Travel diaries from Pune (southwest India)

At the beginning of March, it was time to pack my stuff and jump on a flight to Mother India. Twenty hours later the final destination was Pune, around 85 km from Mumbai. Getting restless after a few days of relaxation, it was about time to see more of the city. Locals suggested to head over to M.G road for pashmina shawls, spices, fruits and jewelry. Me and my better half liked what we heard and agreed to go the next day as it was already evening.

Shivaji Market

One overpriced rickshaw ride later we were in the middle of it all. The sound of prayers from a mosque, a view of old fashioned tea shops, wooden stalls, cheap spices and amazing fruit. Heavenly, simply heavenly, It was something about the whole atmosphere that was equally mystical and beautiful.

Fresh Mango
During mid day it can become quite hot outside, so it was time for some fruit hunting. As we stumbled across two guys with amazing mangoes, it became a part of our evening snack later that day. Bargaining is fully achievable in India, so we ended up buying perfectly ripe mango, pineapple, strawberries and melon at very reasonable prices.

Mango salesmen

Guys volunteerly posing

Local Indians are mostly friendly, helpful and more than willing to pose in front of a camera. So if you are one of those who like taking photos, this is perfectly acceptable as long as you kindly ask for permission.

Part two – The Aga Khan Palace

I have always been fascinated by Mahatma Gandhi, so it felt natural to pay a visit to the Aga Khan palace. Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III built this palace as an act of charity, to help poor people in 1892. Aga Khan palace is one of the biggest landmarks in Indian history.

Aga khan palace

Aga khan palace pune
The palace holds great historical significance. Mahatama Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi and their secretary Mahadev Desai were imprisoned here from 9 August 1942 to 6 May 1944, followed by the launch of Quit India Movement. These days the property is a combination of park and museum. Gandhi memorial holds five public events a year: Martyr’s day (30th of May), Mahashivratri (Kasturba Gandhi’s death celebrated as mother’s day), Independence day (15th of August), Republic day (26th January) and Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary (2nd of October).

Do not miss out Aga Khan Palace if you happen to be around Pune.

Traveling around the city

Getting to your choice of destination is very simple. Write down the name of location on a piece of paper, head over to a rickshaw driver, show it to him and start negotiating the price. Always start by offering half of the initially given price and negotiate from there. If you don’t agree, simply go for another driver. Just because someone’s not local it doesn’t mean that he/she should pay double price.

Unfortunately for now, the holiday’s over. Fine dining experiences will be covered in another post in a few days.



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2 Responses to “Travel diaries from Pune (southwest India)”

  1. #
    Mitzie Mee — May 6, 2013 @ 10:00 am

    Wow! Looks exactly how I’d expect India to be:)

    • #
      Simon — May 6, 2013 @ 5:16 pm

      Hi Mitzie,

      Thanks for the feedback.Pune is a quite westernized city so I ended up seeking out less touristy parts of town to capture the essence of everyday life in India.India is definitely worth visiting. Very colorful and inspiring country.

      This summer it will be another Thailand special coming up.

      Keep in touch and stay tuned for more content.

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