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Old 28th December 2010, 22:12   #1
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Default Weekend trips - Pune

Place of Visit : Karla Caves

Date : 25-12-2010, Saturday

Driving time : 75 minutes one way

How to go : Situated at a distance of ~70kms from Pune (East), Hadapsar. Take Old Pune-Mumbai highway (NH4). After crossing Pune RTO(Right side), go straight, cross the bridge - take the diagonal right and go straight towards Mumbai/Lonavala. On the way there is one toll booth, return toll is 34.50/-.

Before ~7Kms from Lonavala, there is a juntion, take the right hand side road which goes till Karla Cave parking, around 2kms from this junction. From the parking it is around 10-15minutes climb to the cave. At the junction as soon as one enters the road, some parking guys will ask for 10/- parking fees, best avoid them as again there would be one more group of people asking 10/- for same parking, uphill.

For people going without car - from this Junction, there are autos available which goes till the car parking for Karla caves.

Entry fee to the caves - 5/- per head.

About Karla Caves - Source Wiki

Karla Caves is a complex of ancient Buddhist Indian rock-cut architecture cave shrines developed over two periods - from 2nd century B.C to 2nd century C.E. and in 5th - 10th century. Even though the caves were constructed over a period of time and the oldest one is believed to date back to 160 BC. Located in Karli near Lonavala, Maharashtra, the caves are on a major ancient trade route, running eastward from the Arabian Sea into the Deccan. Karli's location in Maharashtra places it in a region that is the division between North India and South India. Buddhism, having become identified with commerce and manufacturing through their early association with traders, tended to locate their monastic establishes in natural areas close to major trade routes so as to provide lodging houses for travelling traders.

Map

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Old Pune-Mumbai Highway (NH4)

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This is the junction - on the RHS of NH4 around 7KMs before Lonavala.
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This small road of approx. 2 KMs will climb up a small hill and take you to the car parking place for Karla Caves

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Some pics -

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Steps leading to the cave from parking place - It was fully crowded as it is 25th may be, other days I guess crowd will be less

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The cave at some places goes up to three floors. One can go inside, the path is narrow and dark. For the adventurous a torch would be very useful inside the cave, keep an eye on the insects/bees -

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The magnificent prayer hall or Chaitya - Buddhist shrine including the stupa -

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Note the 04 lions(3 can be seen) carved out some 2000 years ago -

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I started at 8.30am, filled up at BP Pump opp. RTO and back home by 3.30pm after having nice lunch at a Chinese restaurant in Pune.

Overall it is a good short weekend trip and one can include lonavala/khandala just few kms away too.

Last edited by AvonA7 : 28th December 2010 at 22:17. Reason: spelling
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Old 28th December 2010, 22:31   #2
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Default Re: Weekend trips - Pune

Also nearby are a couple of attractions. There's a wax museum (run by a malayalee craftsman). It is housing many personalities (most from kerala) including AR Rahman. ARR is supposed to have donated his own clothes for his wax statue. Don't go in there expecting it to be like Madame Tussauds. But it's worth spending time and money there.
Also don't miss the Mega size Ganeshji near the toll booth.

If one has time, one can also visit the Ek Veera temple there. Also note that the Karla caves involves a fair bit of climb. So people travelling with infants and toddlers will have trouble there.

One can also plan for food on some of the famous dhabas dotting that route. There's Tony's and Sunny's Dhaba apart from Big Wheels Motoring.

Last edited by MX6 : 28th December 2010 at 22:33.
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Old 28th December 2010, 23:09   #3
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Default Re: Weekend trips - Pune

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Also don't miss the Mega size Ganeshji near the toll booth.
Here it comes, on the left hand side at toll :
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Old 29th December 2010, 11:17   #4
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Default Re: Weekend trips - Pune

Thanks for those snaps. Was aware of Chaitya halls, but did not know they exist so close to Pune!
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Old 29th December 2010, 11:59   #5
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Default Re: Weekend trips - Pune

theres another cave called "Bedse cavess" on this route. It has the stupa and some awesome carvings. There are almost 300 steps which take you to this cave from the village. Its never crowded though and so you can enjoy the masterpiece.
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Old 29th December 2010, 13:28   #6
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Default Re: Weekend trips - Pune

There are also the Baja caves located on the other side of the highway (and after crossing the Malavli rail station which can be reached by local train from Lonavla or Pune). Further ahead of the Baja caves, there are the twin forts of Lohagad-Visapur
This entire area is magnificent in the rains, nature at its best.
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Old 31st December 2010, 22:09   #7
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Default Re: Weekend trips - Pune

Quote:
Originally Posted by neoonwheels View Post
theres another cave called "Bedse cavess" on this route. It has the stupa and some awesome carvings. There are almost 300 steps which take you to this cave from the village. Its never crowded though and so you can enjoy the masterpiece.
Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
There are also the Baja caves located on the other side of the highway (and after crossing the Malavli rail station which can be reached by local train from Lonavla or Pune). Further ahead of the Baja caves, there are the twin forts of Lohagad-Visapur
This entire area is magnificent in the rains, nature at its best.
Thanks @neonwheels, @selfdrive for the input. Wasn't aware of these places, shall cover these places some other weekends
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Old 1st January 2011, 01:03   #8
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Default Re: Weekend trips - Pune

There is also a twin hill right opposite Begdewadi railway station that has steps leading to a temple at the top. I havent gone there in years, but the view from the top is fabulous - you can see some trains snaking through the countryside - try to go when it isnt foggy for a better/ farther view. you could group this one with any other visit - it shouldnt take one more than 90 mins
have fun!
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Old 1st January 2011, 15:08   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AvonA7 View Post
Here it comes, on the left hand side at toll :
Attachment 474068
Seeing that Ganpati idol , I remember that on the way to Kolhapur before the Peth naka or after it , there is a huge Ganpati idol on the left side. I don't remember where it is exactly. Anyone knows about this idol I am referring to ?
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Old 1st January 2011, 21:17   #10
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Default Re: Weekend trips - Pune

Adding one more weekend trip.

Please feel free to add your inputs/suggestions/tour details, I am sure it would help readers to get a complete weekend tour map of a place near Pune.

A Drive to Lavasa

Lavasa is a planned hill city amidst 07 hills (Sahayadri Mountains) surrounded by lakes. Lavasa calls itself - Free Indiaís First Hill City.
Spread across 25000acres situated at an altitude on 2 - 3K ft above sea level with annual average rainfall between 5 - 8K mm depending upon the region.

It is a beautiful place and itís ideal for a for spending weekends/holidays. One would get up in the morning, walk around the lakes, sit in the balcony with a hot cup of coffee enjoying the scenic views, enjoy some water sports.

Inside Lavasa city there are restaurants, hotels, water sports, hospital, helipads, museum, park, water sport, rock climbing. One can stay at Lavasa at hotels inside the city.
Lavasa information centre is useful for more information about the city and its future plans.

How to go
Situated around 72kms from Pune (East), Hadapsar of which approx. 50KMs are ghat/hill roads, driving time ~ 02 hours with breaks for enjoying the beauty of the route. Take the Paud Road, cross Chandni Chowk go straight towards Mulshi Dam. Youíll find one Toll booth, return toll is 27/-.

Reach Pirangut ghat, once climbing down Pirangut ghat, there are blue colored sign boards showing Lavasa direction. Also, after Pirangut, take a left turn towards Lavasa. Follow the sign boards of Lavasa, you would come across Temghar dam on the right hand side, approx. 10Kms before Lavasa. Few minutes drive (uphill) from here will take you to the main gate of Lavasa. From the main gate, one would go down towards the lake and for a tour of the city.

The roads are excellent, beautiful sceneries, there are lots of curves on the roads and noticed many bikers enjoying their ride.

Map
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Some pics
* Please excuse the pics quality as most of them are taken on the move with windscreen in front.

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These sign boards will take you to Lavasa
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Temghar Dam en-route Lavasa
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The other side of the Temghar Dam, almost full. I am sure during Monsoon this dam would be scaringly beautiful with water overflowing the dam.
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Main entrance of Lavasa City, from here on its a downhill drive
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City Map, excellent roads, beautiful sceneries

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Water sports
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Exit gate Lavasa
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Its a very good drive to spend a weekend, one can plan for Tamini ghat/Mulshi dam also.

My ride -
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Last edited by AvonA7 : 1st January 2011 at 21:35.
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Old 1st January 2011, 22:00   #11
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Default Re: Weekend trips - Pune

We had a mega meet in Lavasa (mumbai and Pune folks).
Check out our thread in t-bhp meet section or the link below.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/team-b...your-date.html (Chor Bizarre, Lavasa meet - please choose your date)
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Old 1st January 2011, 23:37   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
We had a mega meet in Lavasa (mumbai and Pune folks).
Oh! I was out of Pune for 3 weeks starting end of Oct`10, I missed this thread. Somehow, I never browsed this thread category before, good to know and hope you guys had a great time.

I am an avid follower of your travelogue threads, you posses great writing skills and the ability to portray your experience through your words.

BTW, while going through this thread category.... what is Tapri? Sorry, it might be a Qs.

Last edited by AvonA7 : 1st January 2011 at 23:41.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 00:56   #13
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Default Re: Weekend trips - Pune

wow, your ride really looks smashing in that color.
the closest english word I can think of for tapri is a shack (selling chai/ pakodas etc). Further south, I guess the term is "potti kadai"?
Most of us in Pune have grown through college/ work with the "katta" culture. A katta is a kind of adda/ meeting point near one of the tapris (or vice versa), guys do feel free to add!
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Old 2nd January 2011, 01:04   #14
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Tapri can't be explained. It can only be experienced. Make it to the next Tapri meet in and around Pune. Then you'll know what Tapri and Tapri meet is all about!
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Old 2nd January 2011, 11:09   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
wow, your ride really looks smashing in that color.
the closest english word I can think of for tapri is a shack (selling chai/ pakodas etc). Further south, I guess the term is "potti kadai"?
Most of us in Pune have grown through college/ work with the "katta" culture. A katta is a kind of adda/ meeting point near one of the tapris (or vice versa), guys do feel free to add!
Got it. We refer to it in Calcutta as 'adda' or 'thek', one example bengali sentence translated in simple English would be - " lets meet at our thek for an adda ".

this 'thek' can be anywhere, like a tea stall or some nice place, street side crossings etc, basically where group of friends meet regularly and spend time

and 'adda' is chatting, talking about anything and everything and not necessarily serious topics

Last edited by AvonA7 : 2nd January 2011 at 11:15. Reason: spelling
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