I just had to do it. I just needed to go visit this place. Pune always had a special place in my heart. So without thinking too much, I did what it said.
As a solo backpacker one can really explore the places as you have no other option than to talk to the locals and ask for directions, motels, food eateries and everything else. Just blend in, eat the local food, ask for the direction in their dialect. Gives immense pleasure when you feel like coming out of your comfort zone.
Here in Pune people and culture is not just different, It is just something else. Sometimes it amazes, sometimes it makes you rethink about them.
In the bus I was rewatching Bajirao Mastani and making a priority list of places that needs a visit, and the very first of them was Shaniwar Wada.
As I landed in pune I met local who guided me till Shaniwar Wada. It was sad to see a monument with such a glorious history in ruins today. There I had a random chitchat with local who guided me to various places around that place.
Shaniwar Wada Front Face
From Shaniwar Wada my next stop was Lal mahal. Crossed the famous Dagduseth ganpati temple while going there. Lal Mahal was the first home of Shivaji. The current building is the reconstruction of Lal Mahal and no one actually knows where the original Lal Mahal is. Mean while between I forgot the names of a few places that needed a visit (The name of the places are not memory friendly).
Dagduseth Ganpati temple
Someonce once said to me that if you really want to see the essence of a place, go visit its museum. So I headed to kelkar museum that is at a walking distance from Lal Mahal. I was astonished to see the amazing collection made by a single man in the course of his lifetime. One place of particular interest is the “Mastani Mahal” which depicts the life of mastani - the second wife of Bajrao Peshwa.
Mastani Mahal @ Kelakar Museum
Next Day with my BFAM visited lonavala and we cursed the gods that it is not the season of monsoons.
In Lonavala we first visited Ryewood Park and a temple attached to it. Both the places are at a walking distance from the railway station. The Park is very Peaceful and scerene. The garden is full of tall trees and open areas. Not that great but good to spend a couple of minutes with yourself.
Next, after eating local food at some restaurant we went to Bhusi Dam. It is the popular tourist spot but the scarecity of the people amazed us. Except for a few couples cuddling beside the trees there were only us. Maybe a wrong time to visit, we said to each other and went back to auto station.
Resort at the Lake
Later, we went to the well known Lion’s Point. If you Google lonavala 80 percent of the images show up for this place only. The place offers spectacular views of western ghats. The point is on the cliff, giving marvellous view of valley. One can have Hookah and Pakoras as an add on while enjoing the views.
Approximatley 3 kilometers from lonavala is khandala. As we were out of time and luck we covered a few points like monkey point, shooting point and sunset point. The View of Mumbai Pune Expressway is amazing from here.
View From Monkey Point
With A tons of Mixed Memories I went back to my city. Will come back again probably in monsoons.