So the day we arrived in Pune that is 7th June 2009 was a rest day for everyone except me. I had my first blogger’s meet that day which I described in my earlier post.
8th June 2009 :- We hired a vehicle to take us to Khandala and Lonavala and back. The driver turned out to be a mobile phone addict!! Thank god we had a safe trip. We stopped at a little restaurant “Shiv Sagar” just outside Aundh. The food was tasty and reasonably priced. Thats the place, our hired car, my parents and my sister’s MIL.
After filling our stomachs we moved on. The Pune – Mumbai Expressway was beautiful and the long tunnel awesome!
As it hadn’t started raining yet, all the waterfalls and greenery were dry in Khandala and Lonavala. So we didn’t get to enjoy much in the hot sun. We found Lonavala to be better than Khandala though. It sure was windy in Lonavala as you can see my new hairstyle. We bought the famous Lonavala Chikki and came back to Pune by evening.
9th June 2009 :- Again we hired a vehicle from the same guy to take us around Pune. And ended up with the same driver. First of all we went to Aga Khan Palace in Pune. It was a wonderful place with such green surroundings and peaceful atmosphere.
The Aga Khan Palace Pune is a national monument of India’s freedom movement. Following the launch of Quit India movement in 1942, Gandhiji, his wife Kasturba, his secretary Mahadevbhai Desai were interned at the palace from August 9, 1942 to May 6, 1944. Mahadevbhai and Kasturba passed away while in captivity at the Agakhan palace and their samadhis are located in the campus.Situated near the River Mula, the palace is a simple memorial to Gandhi and his life. The famous movie ‘Gandhi’ was shot here.
Then we went onto see Pataleshwar Caves and the adjoining Shri Jangli Maharaj Mandir. Maybe be Nita or Suda will be able to shed light on the question – who was he? I don’t know 🙂 I was surprised to find so many office goers ( from their attire and bags) lounging around with newspaper or some book in that mandir and caves area on a late weekday morning.
From there we went to visit Shaniwarvada, a palace fort built by the Peshwas.
Then we went to see the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum. It was awesome but camera was charged at Rs 150 extra!! It was too much! But yes it is indeed a place to take snaps. Such wonderful artifacts. Maybe I will take photos when I go to Pune next time. From there we went to Nivant Garden Restaurant on Paud Road. There were three sections at that place – one ac section full of agarbatti smoke, one hot garden considering there was no wind and one inside with very less fans. We were all sweaty by the time we finished eating. I won’t recommend the place in summer. The chilly chicken dish in Pune restaurants (I saw in 2 of them) is quite different from other places. It is served as long slices!
After lunch we skipped a few places and went to Khadakwasla Dam which didn’t turn out to be much enjoyable at afternoon.
Then we came to back to hotel. On way the driver stopped the vehicle and went to attend some personal work. He was gone for around 45 mins! Atleast this time he didn’t play bad songs like he had done on our Khandala trip.