Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Travel: A DAY TRIP TO PUNE

The Volvo that brought us home from Pune
Vinitha and I had been planning a day trip to Pune since three months and were just looking for the right time to go. I had done a bit of research on the net as to the places to see in Pune and both of us also consulted a couple of friends who are familiar with the city.

Last Sunday worked out for both of us and we left in the morning by Neeta Volvo. Luckily for us, we just had to cross the highway to the other side to catch the bus. I believe Neeta Travels has a bus leaving for Pune every hour. We missed the 7.15 am bus by five minutes and they let us take the next bus which arrived at 8 am. A one-way ticket to Pune by this limousine costed Rs. 300.

Entrance to Saras Baug, Pune
The journey lasted for about three and a half hours with one stop at Lonavla for breakfast. The route is pretty scenic and as the weather was simply gorgeous with mild rains, we had a beautiful onward journey. Of course, the two of us spent a large part of it sleeping was another matter altogether.

I was wide awake about an hour before we reached Pune and was quite thrilled to see the greenery and some waterfalls – there weren’t many as the rains have not been grea so far this year.

Temple of Lord Ganesha at Saras Baug, Pune
We reached Pune a little after 11 am and got off at the last stop. The bus driver told us it was the closest point to Swargate. We took a rickshaw from there to Saras Baug. The rickshawala refused to switch the meter on as it was Sunday – that’s what he claimed – and charged us Rs. 100 for the ride. All the rickshawalas in the area then – must have been half a dozen – appeared to be in cahoots. We did not want to hang around bargaining and left by one of them. Considering the distance travelled, I guess it must cost 40-50 rupees under normal circumstances.

Lane 1, Koregaon Park, Pune
We had a super day beginning with a darshan of Lord Ganpati at Saras Baug, a walk around the garden itself, lunch at the café outside, a ride through Pune Cantonment – an amazingly beautiful and peaceful area – by rickshaw and a visit to Koregaon Park.

At Koregaon Park, we spent some time shopping for shawls and costume jewellery. Then we went to the CCD there to escape the rains and spent some time there. Vinitha was quite upset that the German Bakery that had closed down after the bombings has never opened its doors again. We enquired about the meditation retreats at Osho Ashram, walked through the peaceful lane adjacent to it (Lane 1 of Koregaon Park) and checked out Hotel Sunderban for a future stay.

Hotel Sunderban, Koregaon Park, Pune
Vini remembered having stayed at a low key hotel around the corner and we went in search of it. We found South Court, a lovely old mansion tucked away in the left corner of the same lane. It was under renovation and had a lovely olde worlde feel about it. We could not check out the rooms as they were all occupied.

We returned to Hotel Sunderban and visited the spa there for a foot massage. Finally, we had a yummy dinner at Dario’s Restaurant and Bar – the Italian restaurant at the same hotel before leaving to catch the return bus from near Pune station.

South Court, Koregaon Park, Pune
A rickshaw dropped us at the Neeta Travels outlet and we had once again missed the 7.30 pm bus that we were booked on. Both of us were not too worried as the travel agent in Mumbai had told us very clearly that we could always catch the next one as there were many buses going to and from Pune. I believe the number of services on a Sunday were more than the other six days of the week.

Dinner at Dario's Restaurant & Bar, Hotel Sunderban, Pune
We had to wait for almost an hour while we were carted to another point at BC Coco RTO petrol pump to catch the bus. Our Volvo finally left at 8.55 pm and after a stop at Lonavla, we reached Sion at 12 midnight. We were lucky to be dropped right outside our lane and got home in barely three minutes.

What a super day!



14 comments:

  1. Nice ! Considering just some 12 hours, you both covered a lot of places in Pune.
    I hope to visit it for a fun tour soon, missing the city.

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    1. yeah, we did that! really enjoyed the trip :)

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  2. This article is a guideline for me . Hope to explore Pune soon.

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    Replies
    1. You will have a great time, believe me! Actually there are a few more articles that I have still not written. Hope will do so soon :)
      Thank you for the comment Nandita

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Really very nice blog!! have you visited tulsi baug?? if not, you must visit tulasi baug in pune if next time you go

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    1. Hi Shrikant,
      Thanks for visiting my blog and posting a comment. I am glad you liked the article. No, I haven't visited Tulsi Baug. Will def see it on my next trip to Pune.
      warm regards,
      Sundari

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  7. Pune is really cool city in India
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  8. Besides being a cultural and educational hub, Pune has ample attractions to satiate most visitors. Business travellers can consider to stay at St Laurn Business Hotel Pune, one of the prestigious 3 star hotels in Koregaon Park, Pune.

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