You have 24 hours to spend in this city and you are one of those who do not like the typical tourist points (Pune darshan bus) and wish to explore the city in the wackiest possible way.
Pune has almost variety of things to indulge in and make it a memorable city trip. It is all about eating here so do not wonder why the topic keeps coming back to discussing food. And why not! The basis of every civilisation is food, as one of my friends had made me notice the fact.
Midnight to 4 am
Go hog, considering you have reached after a journey. Your options, besides Pune station's Comesum and Shivajinagar bus stand, are bakeries opposite station. They have buns laden with butter and/or jam along with other bakery products.
You can get chai too. After this, drive around the city because during daytime it would be irritating to drive or ride in Pune's traffic. It won't take more than an hour to drive from one corner to another. Around 3 am little shops are opened at Nul Stop or MIT College where they serve tasty pohe or upma for early-risers. Lastly, trek up the Sinhgad fort, closest to the city.
4 am to 8 am
As you watch the rising sun, do not forget to order your chai along with hot kandaa bhajji or taak with pitlaa bhakri (the latter may take time). This is the local cuisine and Western Maharashtra swears by it. The day's work out is also taken care of by this trek. As you come downhill, there are photography opportunities down the ghat. So, keep the camera handy!
8 am to noon
You are too tired and wish to relax now. The easiest way is to look for group of youngsters near some restaurant. Katta is the place to get the essence of the city. Everything from newspaper stories to reactions on the city and many more can be overheard at a katta.
They are usually near restaurants or colleges - on a wall, under a tree. You can also go to the University of Pune. It has old huge trees, a mud walking track, planned narrow roads, nooks and corners to sit and canteens. A perfect place to relax and have cheap snacks!
Noon to 4 pm
Pune shuts between 1 and 4 pm, almost. So shop for little needs you think are important before 1 pm. This is the time when you hunt for places of your interest. A graveyard in Kondhwa can be one option for tourists like my mom and her friend who used to spend their summer afternoons and read Hindi novels sitting under shady trees.
Or you could take a stroll in the old city (most of those areas' names end with peth) observing and clicking pictures (if interested) of the old architecture of wadas or huge black-stoned independent bunglows. The interiors of wadas seem mysterious to those who fancy old architecture. When tired and hungry, enquire about missal pav joints.
This is locally savoured snack, a mix of sprouts, namkeen, pohe in a spicy curry, topped with coriander and chopped onions. The very local market, Tulsi Bagh is buzzing with people round the clock. A trip to this area is
adventurous for people who prefer crowd.
4 pm to 8 pm
Evenings are perfect spent in gardens here instead of the hustle bustle of the city and markets. The city has lots of them in almost every area. A beautiful landscaped garden is Osho Garden. Also, looking at a smiling, playful kid in one of these gardens can bring much joy than roaming on crowded F C Road.
You could be spell bound if you make a visit to the Vishram Bagh, the coolness inside this old wada tucked in the old city, situated at a square, is mesmerising. You can also climb a hill again and sit atop to relive old memories with friends! There are many in the city namely FC Hill, Law College tekdi, Parvati or Talzai and hills near NIBM Road.
8 pm to midnight
Wow! So the sun is down and its no more sweaty. Have friends together in a car or on number of two-wheelers and reach Pune's own Chandni Chowk! Unlike Delhi's area, this is the quiet corner of the city with some restaurants and coffee corners. This is also where you can drive up to NDA and spend quality time, one-to-one with a close friend.
One and Only in india
Check the timings, wherever applicable, to make a visit
The Common man by R K Laxman and the building is not to be missed.
Doubtful if you can get in, but drive up to the main gate. Worth it!
To take a short tour of the Ashram, check their timings in advance.
Check their schedules to catch a short documentary. The ambience is what attracts eyes.
If have a friend, inform him earlier about your visit. You will need a reason to get in.
The Pune trip does not include multiplexes, shopping malls, parties (home or otherwise), star hotels. They are same everywhere. The highlights here are typical Puneri things or what migrants from other parts of the country think are interesting. Sitting on the bridges, besides Mutha or Mula is at your discretion.
• Pune closes, well almost, between 1 pm and 4 pm
• Do not give gyan to riders and drivers. They don't listen
• Do not teach them traffic and road sense. It is something customised
• Take a ride in an auto rickshaw. You will never forget it. There is no connection between the distance you travelled and fare you paid.
• Be ready to ask for directions to many people as one won’t direct you fully to the place you intend to reach.
• Most of the snacks are accompanied by tasteless pav. Ignore it.