6 Hours 6 Destinations – Pune Street Ride
Every now and again as I travel to a new city, I explore places, however, there are so many sights and sounds closer to my heart that I tend to overlook. Isnt this the case with most of us? There are places close to your home or workplace which you unintentionally ignore, however people from far and wide travel to these destinations just to be mesmerized by the beauty of the place or experience a part of history that’s been left behind. This is when I decided to explore ‘Pune’ a city with historical importance.
I decided to start my ride of the city on my ‘Street triple’ by seeking blessings of Lord Ganesh and headed straight to the famous Dagdushet halwai ganapati. (As I revved the engine a cavalry of dogs started following me as though I had entered enemy territory.. J)
Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati – This temple was built in the 1800 by one Mr.Dagadusheth Gadve inorder to heal themselves from deep depression which they suffered due to untimely death of their son. Mr.Dagdusheth was Lingayat trader and Sweet maker (Halwai in Marathi)who came from Karnataka and settled in Pune. Lokmanya Tilak, the Indian Nationalist leader and a contemporary of Dagdusheth, was a close friend of him. Tilak saw his dedication and also the construction of the temple and it was here that the idea of celebrating public Ganesh festival struck him. It proved to be an epoch making event in Indian history.
A person well versed with this temple is also well versed with the traffic conditions surrounding this area. However my ride was cake walk thanks to the ease with which the gear shift happens on the bike as well as the maneuverability in tight traffic conditions. Although the handle is broad for an aggressive stance, it actually helped me to get better control in these traffic conditions. Next Stop was University of Pune.
University of Pune: It was founded in 1948 and is one of India’s premier universities also rated as ‘A’ by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), is spread over a 411 acres (1.66 km2) campus, the university is home to 46 academic departments. The university is named after Savitribai Phule, an Indian social reformer who is known for her contribution towards empowerment and emancipation of women through education.
As I roamed through the university roads I couldn’t ignore the ride quality and the ergonomics of the street triple. It had been couple of hours since I started riding and there was no fatigue per say because of riding as well as the riding posture was comfortable.
I zipped through the vacant patches like hot knife in butter.Heading straight to the biggest market in Pune
Mandai officially known as Mahathma Phule Mandai is the biggest vegetable market in Pune City, India. It is located in heart of Pune in Shukrawar Peth area. The market was built by the British government during the Indian pre-independence era. With 500+ stalls of fruits and vegetables, the market is always crowded. The market’s main entrance is located on the road connecting Shanipar to Chhatrapati Shivaji Road, it has eight entrances.
For an average Indian, the street might look like a tall stallion at first, however once we mount it, you will realize the thought they have put into designing the bike for everyday commute. The height is comfortable for with feet touching the ground comfortably.(trust me this was important riding through Mandai). The knees fit right with the fuel tank for those tight spaces.
Jostling my way through the crowded roads I reached
Tilak Road, is named after the great freedom fighter “Lokmanya Tilak” is one of the longest commercial roads in Pune, Tilak road begins where Laxmi road ends. It runs between Deccan Gymkhana and Swargate (Bus Terminus). Sir Parshurambhau College (SP College), Nehru Stadium and Tilak Smarak Mandir are prominent landmarks. JyotirVidya Parisanstha is the oldest functioning Amateur Astronomy Organization in India, dedicated in propagating astronomy amongst the general public and having a membership base of around 500 members, is located at the Tilak Smarak Mandir. Riding through Tilak road was a slow ride , and passing thought gave me a feeling of how a celebrity looks like. Everywhere I went I got mixed stares some appreciation, some concern while some was pure lust.
Looking at the traffic I decided to take a turn which seemed less crowded. At the end of the road was greenery and to my delight it was one of the famous parks in Pune
Sarasbaug temple houses the idol of Shree Siddhivinayak (“God who makes wishes true”). A sacred ground of faith for millions of devotees in Pune and around the world, on an average the Sarasbaug temple receives ten thousand visitors a day and this figure goes up to eighty thousand devotees per day on Ganesha Chaturthi and other special occasions.
Built in the 18th century, Shrimant Balaji Baji Rao wanted to develop and beautify Pune. He decided to construct a lake at the foothills of Parvati. An island of about 25,000 sq.ft. (2,370 m2) area was retained in the middle of this lake. Later on, a beautiful garden was created on this island. Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa gave it a poetic name, “Sarasbaug”.
Sarasbaug has now become a place of worship for people from all over the world and also a popular hang-out for Punekars. I parked my bike with caution among a hoard of other bikes and decided to spend some quiet time being one with nature. Just looking back at the experience so far, its been pleasurable, solid yet comfortable. As I exited Sarasbaug, I could help notice my hunger.. so I headed straight to the most frequented eating joint.. Vaishali
VAISHALI – I am sure that any person who has ever visited Pune must have atleast heard of Vaishali, if not visited it. Whenever you pass by the FC Road, an enchanting aroma of Sambar will literally draw you towards this place!
What started of as Madras Cafe back in the 1950s has today become one of the most popular restaurants in Pune. Infact Vaishali got its present name in the late 1960s. More than two generations of college students have made this place their ‘adda’ or meeting place. Infact during the day time, Vaishali resembles a college canteen. True to its resemblance, this place was crowded, not with college students but also with working individuals who had come to grab a quick bite. It was a task finding a spot in the parking but was able to ease through the spot to my surprise. I quickly noticed a hoard of students posing for selfies with the street I realized this ‘Triumph Street Triple’ sure is a ‘chic magnet’.
The experience for the last 6 hours has been excellent ,having gone through the paces of diff parts of the city. The response to the throttle is excellent and the brakes are a great match to the machine’s power. The riding height and seating position is brilliant and induces minimalistic or no fatigue for long rides. The speedometer is well lit and legible and the mirrors are well positioned to keep an eye on the happenings as you zoom past it. One important aspect that I didn’t capture during my ride today, but is worth a mention are the headlights, they are bright and their excellent design will keep the road ahead well-lit and safe for long rides.
Well that’s about it for this time as I settled down and gathered my thoughts and placed my order.
Alright folks.. gotta go.. my SPDP is here !!!
Ride safe and gear up even if it’s commute within the city.