I love travelling and I also love exploring the town I am in.. be it for travel or work purposes. Ever since I moved to Pune a year ago, am constantly looking for places to go to – walks to attend and trails that companies or individuals do. I have explored some touristy places by myself around this time last year, but love going on guided tours, you learn so much more!!
Along these lines I came upon Sandeep who does these Heritage & history walks. Have also heard from the friends at the bookclub about his walks, how good he is, insightful etc. And so decide to attend one around Kasba Peth a few weeks back.
The walk began at Shaniwar Wada, and was supposed to have been a 1.5hr – 2hr walk, but we ended it after a good 3.5hrs. It was that fascinating & interesting.. We walked through narrow streets, listening to stories Sandeep and Sonali shared, imagining how people lived, saw the houses in ruins and how modern times have taken over – adding new architectural elements, renovations, new buildings standing tall and proud next to ruins etc.. The walk ended with a visit to Kasba Ganapathi temple [a small yet beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha] & Lal Mahal, which was a majestic huge hall adorned with light fixtures and portraits narrating tales of the rulers and all they did for Pune.
A few weeks later I chanced upon Western routes, [a brand created by Jayesh who also did heritage, history walks and lots of food walks.. he is renowned for knowing the best places to grab a bite or drink at across Pune]. This trip I saw was to Kaas plateau & Urmodi Dam view-point [a day trip]..
I have read about the plateau and how it is supposed to be beautiful across the year, but more so during Sep-Oct with flowers in full bloom, the blue skies, the waterfall nearby and open spaces all around. Sometime last year we went to Satara with my partner’s biker gang which is closed by to this but did not get a chance to go to the plateau. Without hesitation, I booked myself a seat on this trip and must say it was one of the most beautiful trips I have taken in recent times.
The bus ride, the walk around the plateau, the volcanic soil ground, discovering plants and flowers I hadn’t heard of, learning about plans that lure bugs to devour and meeting the 2 friendly doggies are all the highlight of this trip. The plethora of knowledge that Jayesh has about the terrain, the plants, the flowers and his ability to spot plants that are rare, or hidden was astounding. I highly recommend this trip to anyone curious about areas around Pune.. Am yet to try his food walks, will share insights once I get to one~
The only drawback, or negative for me is the long commute to the meeting point, as we live outside the city, but hey I ain’t complaining! Am happy to wake up at 4/5am and scoot… Totally worth it and I look forward to more such..
The only difference between doing these box in Chennai and doing them here in Pune is the travel time to the places.. Pune feels much bigger or maybe as mentioned earlier it is where we live! Let me know of other companies/individuals who do such walks/talks or a website where updates around these are shared.. Thank you!!