It was the year of 2017 and the monsoon month of August when I was desperate to travel to the Forts surrounding Pune.
I checked my bank balance and booked a weekend ticket to Pune. In the process of getting the cheapest ticket I booked the flight that landed Pune at 2am. So now I had to decide itinerary to account for minimum stay at the hotel/hostel.
Being a solo budget traveler I always prefer to stay in Hostel and make sure that it is closest to the main area of the city. After going through all the listings I finally found the one, Backpacker Panda, which ticked all the checkboxes.
For the things to do, I realized many of those are close to Koregaon Park (where the Backpacker Panda is) and so planned to visit couple of places before the check-in time.
However when I reached Pune airport at 2 I couldn’t sleep much as it is not a “silent” airport compared to other airports in India. Pune airport makes announcements unlike other airports and so feels like being at a railway station. I left Pune Airport at around 6 in the morning when the Osho Garden opens.
Compared to Bangalore, the airport is pretty close to the city. Osho Garden was around 20 mins from the airport. The place is beautiful with greenery all around and there were many people who came for their morning walk.
After spending close to 30 mins amidst the lush greenery my legs ached to reach the hostel. Thankfully, the hostel was just couple hundred metres away from the garden.
Post a quick nap, I got bike on rent from Snapbike, a local startup providing bikes on rent. The rental terms were not traveler friendly as it required the bike to remain within city limits (so no forts 😦 ). Moreover the bike pickup at 10:00am and drop at 7:00pm Faced with these challenges, I decided to cut short forts visit and stayed within the city.
Places to visit:
1. Aga Khan Palace: Close to the hostel and the place where Gandhiji and Kasturba were kept as captives. Today, the mortal remains of both of them are present at this beautiful location.
Aga Khan Palace
2. Shaniwaar Vada: Located between the crowd this place also attracts a lot of crowd over the weekends. Parking is difficult here but knowing the sad history behind this ancient fort is more sad.
3. Osho Garden: Best time to visit in the morning or late evening which closes at around 6pm.
4. Night life: One of the biggest benefit of Backpacker Panda is that it is located in very close proximity to the pubs and restaurants. I tried Murphies and Irish cafe during two days of stay.
5. If you are traveling solo or backpacking then why not share stories with other travelers? I met some great people at Backpacker hostel who were inspiring in one way or the other
For me the total cost of trip came around 7k of which 4k was on flights!
Have you ever visited a city without planning because you just wanted to?