July 26, 2010

The place named in famous Bollywood song, "Aati Kya Khandala". It is really the place to ask someone special :) "Wanna come Khandala with me (aati kya khandala)".

There are places in the world, you can't pen their beauty, this is one of those places. To really enjoy the place, you have to be here specially during monsoon. The proof are the images below.

It is the perfect holiday destination and famous for honeymoon and romantic vacations in India. The place can be easily accessed from Pune or Mumbai through Mumbai-Pune expressway. During the monsoon season, The place wears lusk green carget surrouded by clouds alongwith eye-loving views. This hill station fulfills the reqiurements of all kinds of tourists having good hotels.

It was our family trip from out of the hustle and bustle of Pune city. This area we covered after our Lonavala visit. Here is the best place to adore the natural glory, and can meet and feed your forefathers, the point named as Monkey point. The entry fee of this garden is just 5 INR.

It was the best time, and the nature was playing hide and seek game. So the other side of the hill was completely invisible sometime, hiding all its waterfall and lusk green beauty. Other than this there are many nearby treks for trekkers. You can also enjoy during sunrise and sunset times. You can see many people watching the glory of the nature, from this hill, over looking this Mumbai-Pune expressway.

What to bring from Khandala:
You can't carry nature with you. But you can capture those moment. So from Khandala, you can have a different varieties of coconut, peanut, til, chikki, tasty powder etc. Nearby place, Lonavala is famous for Chikki. Beware of any artificial colors and flavours while purchasing it. You can always taste it before purchasing.

July 10, 2010

As everyone knows, During monsoon season, every place nearby (or within) Pune is like a bed of roses. So my monsoon express have a local stop this time, named Sarasbaug. Saras Baug lies at a distance of approximately 1 KM from Swargate, Pune. We followed the roads from Magarpatta, Hadapsar to Swargate, then to Sarasbaug.
The lush green lawns of the Baug, along with its blooming flowerbeds, attract tourists and devotees of Lord Ganesh from all nearby places. Outside the park, the environment is like a small fun fair, which include small fun rides, jumping, magic shows, and many more for chidren. There are many other juice corners, icecreams stalls, and fast food restaurants nearby to serve visitors and devotee's hunger.

Pune Saras Baug is also quite famous for the Ganapati temple (Shree Sidhivinayak Temple) situated inside its premises. At the entrance (there are two entry/exit points) of the sarasbaug, you can get worship stuff (garland, coconut, peanut, fresh flower, grass, holy thread bla bla...), to present the Lord Ganesh. The temple is perched on top of a small hillock and provides an amazing view of the surrounding areas (specially during monsoon). Most of the time, there is quite long queue, to have a glimpse of lord Ganesh from front side. There is a small museum, where some of the idols of Lord Ganesha are available for display.
The place where the park now stands was once occupied by a small lake. However, the lake got dried up and was later developed into the Saras Baug. Inside the lake, Now a days many fish can be seen. You can enjoy feeding them from very near as they move in the groups. In the garden (baug), you wouldn't find many (or sometime any stork) saras. If you are coming here thinking of that only, you would be disappointed.

The park is frequently accessed by joggers and walkers, in early morning as well as evening. There is no entry fee for this Sarasbaug (Stork garden in Pune) Saras Baug is quite popular as a picnic spot among families and can be easily reached by bikes or auto rickshaws. There is nearby 2 wheeler and 4 wheeler parking area.

There is a bridge to cross the road connected to the premises of Sarasbaug. From the top of this bridge, another beautiful Parvati Temple can be seen, which is just 4-5 KM away. The place is more crowded during Ganesh chaturthi and holy festivals at time to time.

Another family visit to Katraj - Snake Park, Katraj, Pune
Coming soon... Monsoon Express to Lonavala with family ...

July 9, 2010

Welcome to the Jungle of Pune!
This is most attractive [Just to write!] and crowded [It is, due to most people come here for other purposes rather than enjoying zoo] tourist place in Pune, being one of the best snake parks in the country.
This snake park is home to a variety of snakes and other reptiles like crocodiles. This park also has a library, which provides lots of information about snakes and other reptiles. The place is known as Sarp Udhyan (Snake Park) and Pune Zoo among Auto-walas and nearby people. The zoological park is also famous for wildlife research centre. It is located on the Pune to Satara road, near Bharati Vidyapeeth Campus. It can be easily reached from Swargate bus stop.

In the park, you can enjoy watching monkeys, vulture, eagle, peacock, snake, crocodile, tortoise, green Iguana at the left way after entrance. While at the right turn, bear, leopard, white tiger, deer, antelope, jackal, wolf, elephants are the main animals. Inside the park, you can enjoy boating (manually driven) for 2 (specially) or 4 people, the place known as Katraj Water Sports Centre. Tickets can be purchased from nearby boating ticket booking office. At the time, when I visited the place, the charges were:
4 seat Boat 100 INR. [For 20 minutes]
2 seat Boat 80 INR. [For 20 minutes] There is also a canteen and plenty of toilets for the easiness of travellers. I like the map of the park, so that it can be easily traversed covering all the area. So after entering the park, take extreme left or extreme right, and the middle way, meets the boating and water sports area. The main attractions of the udhyan (park) are, a king cobra, white tiger, green Iguana, and the plenty of jumping deers. This park is good for animal lovers, family and specially for children. Though couples can easily search the couple of places for the Parrot-Maina talk as usual. :-)

Address: Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, Katraj
Timings: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Sale of tickets up to 5:30 p.m. only)
Note: It remains closed on every Wednesday.
Katraj Snake Park Entry Fee: Adult (10 INR) Child (5 INR) Foreigners (25 INR)
There are discounts for school students during wildlife week (1st to 7th October - 2 INR), only if accompanied by teacher.

You can get bulk of fresh air within this small money, alongwith some exercise (jog), being connected to nature. Latest Rajiv Gandhi Zoo timings can be seen at the entry gate itself. On a regular basis, some festivals (e.g. Nagpanchmi) and programs also organized to spare awareness and correct information about common myths about this dreaded species.
I would rate this place just 4 out of 10, but I enjoyed being with whole family for the first time in Pune.
Coming soon... Monsoon Express to Lonavala Khandala with family ...

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