[Pune, India] Udaan Biodiversity Park: A Trigger for the Senses

The Udaan Biodiversity Park takes you on an exciting journey of discovering the plant kingdom. Tucked away in the Viman Nagar area of Pune, this initiative of the Zensar foundation is a commendable one.     <p class="wp-caption-text"> Sweet Basil. Udaan Biodiversity Park, Pune, India </p> <p class="wp-caption-text"> Indian Borage. Udaan Biodiversity Park, Pune, India </p> <p class="wp-caption-text"> Take a seat. Udaan Biodiversity Park, Pune, India </p>

[Pune, India] A Touch of Japan in Pune: The Pune-Okayama Friendship Garden

Looking for a change of scenery on the busy Sinhagad Road? The Pune-Okayama Friendship Garden (or Pu La Deshpande Udyan), located on Sinhagad Road in Pune, is a welcome visual treat. It is based on the Korakuen Garden in Okayama City and was inaugurated in 2006.  B has a special fondness for everything J (read Japanese), and so, as we entered the garden, he was on a high. We strolled along the paths in the well landscaped and vast green space, and crossed the little bridges over streams flowing through the garden.

[Pune, India] Atop the Parvati Hill in Pune

Many years ago, I would often hike in the hills in the Sahakar Nagar neighborhood of Pune with my parents and sister. Sometimes, as a special treat to ourselves, we would cross several hills and reach the beautiful temple complex of Parvati, located on a hillock. At other times, we would go to Parvati the “official” way: climb approximately 80 steps from the main entrance near Mahila Mandal. And each time, the beauty of the temple complex and the views of the city from atop the hill made it a joyful experience.

[Pune, India] Good Morning, Pune: The Pune Heritage Walk

Back in Pune after more than a decade, I have started re-exploring my “home” town. Often, the sight of familiar neighborhoods kindles trips down memory lane in the city that I called home for more than twenty years. At other times, I view Pune from the perspective of a visitor. New sights and experiences in the city. Familiar sights and experiences viewed with a new lens. And so, one weekend, I decided to join the Pune Heritage Walkto discover Pune with a guided walking tour of the city.

[Pune, India] The Pimpri-Chinchwad Science Centre: Automobiles, Fun Science, and Dinos!

The Pimpri-Chinchwad area, home to several major automobile companies, now has a Science Centre. Explore the world of automobiles, enjoy learning science in the “Fun Science” section, and walk among dinosaurs in the open Dinosaur Park. We spent a Sunday afternoon at the centre and thoroughly enjoyed our visit.  The Pimpri-Chinchwad Science Centre(or Pimpri-Chinchwad Science Park) is located near the Auto Cluster in Chinchwad. At the entrance, one can purchase general entry tickets to the science centre, as well as additional separate tickets for the 3D Science show and the Taramandal, an inflatable portable planetarium.

Coming Home to Pune

Pune. A city I called home for over 20 years. From tiny steps at a preschool to the adventures in high school. From feeling completely lost on the first day of junior college to graduating with confidence from an engineering college. From weekly family outings to the Peshwe Udyan Zoo to weekend trips with friends to Esselworld. From riding a tricycle on the terrace to zooming on a Bajaj scooter in the streets.

Ganesh Chaturthi: Mandal Hopping in Pune – II

After a lovely day in the midst of Ganesh Chaturthi festivities in Pune, we awoke to a bright morning in the city. With all the mandals in the snooze mode until evening time, we opted to spend the morning walking along Main Street (MG Road). A large part of this area remains unchanged from the last time I was here (was it 7 or 8 years ago?). And again, a flood of memories came by: unbeatable potato chips from Budhani Waferwala, brand new school uniforms from Indo-Foreign Stores, endless shopping in “Wonderland”, and MARZORIN!

Ganesh Chaturthi: Mandal Hopping in Pune – I

Wish comes true! Destiny has a way with making wishes come true unexpectedly. For the past several years, I’ve been trying to plan a trip to Pune during Ganesh Chaturthi. I earnestly wanted my husband to experience the vibrant festivities first-hand. Somehow, the plans never worked. I almost forgot about this wish. And then, out of the blue, with less than a week’s notice, we had to visit Mumbai(and hence, an opportunity to visit Pune) right in the middle of the 10-day long festival.