Karl Rock's Blog

India Travel Safety & Advice plus the Best of Incredible India

Author: Priyesh Vishwakarma Page 1 of 2

Lohagad Scenic View. Lohagad Trek. Lohagad Fort Stairs. Lohagad Scene. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Nearby Escapes from Pune, India

It’s almost monsoon hitting the Deccan part of India. Pune, is one of the most happening places in Maharashtra, and across India is an excellent place to start with weekend escape plans during monsoon.

Mulshi Ghat/ Mulshi Dam

A nice escape for a day from Pune. It has got a real natural beauty comprising of a huge lake, which gives a sense of infinite water body and is surrounded by lush green hills. During monsoons, you can see several waterfalls around.

Mulshi WaterFall. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Mulshi WaterFall. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Mulshi Water fall. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Mulshi Water fall. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Mulshi Lake. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Mulshi Lake. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Mulshi Garden Field. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Mulshi Garden Field. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Mulshi Village. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Mulshi Village. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Mulshi Lake. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Mulshi Lake. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Best Conveyance: Mulshi ghat is 43.6 km from Pune. It is better to have your own conveyance or book a cab from Zoomcar or Drivezy. The scenic beauty of the route itself makes the journey beautiful.

Best Season to visit: July to April is the best season. But this place can be visited at any time of the year.

Accommodation: There are various resorts around the place, so you can plan your stay during night, and wake up at sunrise. The place is situated around a village, it could be adventurous to take a tent and have a bonfire there.

Lonavala-Khandala-Lohagad

Lonavala is the most popular place around Pune. Foggy green mountains at 2,041 ft above sea level gives an adrenaline pump. There is a lot to do around Lonavala, as Khandala and Lohagad are nearby places. You can go to:

  • Tiger point and lion point – the two most popular peak points in Lonavala.
  • Bushi Dam – a small dam with a scenic view between mountains.
  • Sunny’s Wax Museum – you’ll find wax statues of popular Bollywood celebrities, politicians, and influencer.
  • Lohagad Fort – This can be a one-day trek.
Tiger Point, Lonavala. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Tiger Point, Lonavala. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Tiger Point, Lonavala. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Tiger Point, Lonavala. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Sunny Museum. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Sunny Museum. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Lonavala Dam. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Bushi Dam. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Lohagad Trek. Lohagad Fort Stairs. Lohagad Scene. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Lohagad Trek. Lohagad Fort Stairs. Lohagad Scene. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Lohagad Fort Stairs. Lohagad Scene. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Lohagad Fort Stairs. Lohagad Scene. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Lohagad Scene. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Lohagad Scene. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Best Conveyance: Lonavala is 64 km from Pune. It is better to have your own conveyance or book a cab from Zoomcar or Drivezy. Riding on Mumbai Expressway itself is an adventurous trip if you have a  love for riding.

Best Season to visit: June to April is the best season. Can be visited at any time of the year.

Accommodation: Being the most popular place around Pune, you can get accommodations easily. But do book in advance as the pricing might be higher at peak times.

Lavasa

It is known as India’s newest hill station. Lavasa is an amazing blend of beauty and modern infrastructure. Lavasa is a privately planned hill city located near Pune in Maharashtra. It is situated in Mose Valley.

En-route Lavasa. Photo by: vkpriyesh

En-route Lavasa. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Lavasa. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Lavasa. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Lavasa Lake. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Lavasa Lake. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Lavasa. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Lavasa. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Best Conveyance: Lavasa is 60 km from Pune. It is better to have your own conveyance or book a cab from Zoomcar or Drivezy.

Best Season to visit: June to April is the best season. Can be visited at any time of the year at the stroke of sunrise or sunset.

Accommodation: Lavasa can be pretty costly during weekends and peak season (monsoon). Pre-booking can be done.

Deserted Race. Painting by: Narendra Panchal

KalaaKaarts – An Artistic Collaboration

KalaaKaarts is a blend of experiential activities, and artistic exhibitions, as the name itself, is a blend of an artist and their art, “Kalaakaar” (कलाकार) – an Artist and “arts” – the Art. It is a platform that was established for exhibiting and selling Narendra Panchal’s artwork, which emerged out to be a platform that now serves artistic collaborations, and events in experiential form.

Why it started? How it processes? What it does?

The team at KalaaKaarts believed in redefining the way artists exhibit their artwork, and the way a viewer experiences it. For this, they collaborated with cafe’s, local bodies, and outdoor places to procure space so that the artist can exhibit their artwork not just to the art enthusiasts but to the people who are around as well.  Along with the art exhibitions, or the performances, KalaaKaarts offers experiential activities to create a sense of connect between different strangers who visit the place, and with the artist.

Let’s dive into the artist because of whom KalaaKaarts got incepted.

Narendra Panchal – The Artist

Narendra Panchal, is into artistic space for more than 30 years. Narendra was born in Jhalawar, Rajasthan, you can say he is a prodigal artist. He has never undergone any formal education in art. During the time of going school, he used to grab a broom-stick, pluck one of the brooms out, and used paint the muddy walls of the town with lime, as gathering resources wasn’t an obstacle for him.

When he was 20 years old, he left his home to feel the nature in the jungles of Kerala. The charismatic beauty captivated him for so long. He spent most of time in South India roaming around breathtaking hills and alluring forests. All he wanted to realize calmness and the beauty of nature.

He dived deep into the learning of Bible, Osho, Buddhism Jesus, Krishna, Quran, Vivekananda, Paramhans, Manikyamuni, Vishwakarma, Khalil Jibran, and a lot of others. After having this vivid knowledge, painted his thoughts from spirituality to sexuality, from contemporary to modern, from inside thoughts to the thoughts residing in the outer world.

He exhibited his artwork at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur, National Art Festival, Mount Abu and Pragati Maidan, Delhi. He was also awarded at National Art Festival in Mount Abu.

Christ on Cross. Painting by: Narendra Panchal

Christ on Cross. Painting by: Narendra Panchal

 

Christ. Painting by: Narendra Panchal

Christ. Painting by: Narendra Panchal

 

Hidden Shyness. Painting by: Narendra Panchal

Hidden Shyness. Painting by: Narendra Panchal

 

Sudden rush. Painting by: Narendra Panchal

Sudden rush. Painting by: Narendra Panchal

 

Deserted Race. Painting by: Narendra Panchal

Deserted Race. Painting by: Narendra Panchal

 

Blissful Buddha. Painting by: Narendra Panchal

Blissful Buddha. Painting by: Narendra Panchal

 

KalaaKaarts Event. Photo by: vkpriyesh

KalaaKaarts Event. Photo by: vkpriyesh

 

KalaaKaarts Exhibit. Picture by: vkpriyesh

KalaaKaarts Exhibit. Picture by: vkpriyesh

On Instagram, follow kalaakaarts wonderful collection: http://Instagram.com/kalaakaarts
On Facebook, like the page “kalaakaarts”: http://fb.com/kalaakaarts
Interested art lovers can buy the artworks at http://kalaakaarts.com

Osho Park Pune

Top 5 Things to Do in Pune

Pune is known as the Queen of Deccan and is one of the most happening places in Maharashtra. Surrounded by lush green hills, lakes all around, it is a city of youth. From historical places to crazy party places, you can find everything inside it.

1. Peace out and chill

Osho Meditation Park

You’d love to start your day with a walk or meditation at Osho Meditation Park. With a lush green garden, Osho and Buddha statues, you’ll find people attaining bliss for their day. A really good place to connect with like-minded people as well. The place is open for public from 6-9 AM, and 3-6 PM every day.

Osho Park, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Osho Park, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Pune Hip Hop Art, Osho Park. Photo source: shotbyvk

Pune Hip Hop Art, Osho Park. Photo source: shotbyvk

Breakfast in Viman Nagar

You can hit Viman Nagar at any point of the day, and you’ll find delicious food with wide variety. You can try out tea, coffee, buns at Irani Cafe, or you can go for street food as well.

Irani Cafe, Pune. Photo Source: Zomato

Irani Cafe, Pune. Photo Source: Zomato

2. Experience historical Pune

Shaniwarwada

It was the seat of the Peshwas of Maratha Empire until 1818 when the Peshwas lost control to the British East India Company after the Third Anglo-Maratha War. This palace became the centre of Indian politics in the 18th century. The fort itself was destroyed in 1828 by an unexplained fire. The remaining structure serves as a tourist attraction now.

Shaniwarwada, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Shaniwarwada, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Shaniwarwada, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Shaniwarwada, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Dilli Darwaja at Shaniwarwada, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Dilli Darwaja at Shaniwarwada, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Dagdusheth

The temple is really beautiful which boasts a rich history of over 100 years. The construction is so simple that all the proceedings in the temple along with the beautiful Ganesh idol can be seen even from outside, which is adorned with nearly 40 kilos of gold. The temple is situated in the centre of the city, local shopping market is also the nearby temple. Ganesh Chaturthi is THE BEST time to visit this place.

Dagadusheth, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Dagadusheth, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Dagadusheth during Ganesh Chaturthi, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Dagadusheth during Ganesh Chaturthi, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Pataleshwar Caves

You’ll be amazed by the serenity of this place amid the city’s rush. Its cold ambience makes it a good to chill place in summers.

Pataleshwar Caves, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Pataleshwar Caves, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Pataleshwar Temple, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Pataleshwar Temple, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

 

Aga Khan Palace

This place is of a great importance for Indian Freedom Movement as it served as a prison for Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi, his secretary Mahadev Desai and Sarojini Naidu. It is also the place where Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai died. The palace was an act of charity by the Sultan who wanted to help the poor in the neighbouring areas of Pune, who were drastically hit by famine.

Aga Khan Palace, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Aga Khan Palace, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Aga Khan Palace, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

Aga Khan Palace, Pune. Photo source: shotbyvk

3 & 4. Shopping and Try Puneri Food

FC Road

One of the busiest places in Pune, where you’ll find a lot to shop and hop upon. The street is full of restaurants, street food, and street vendors selling all kinds of stuff. If you are into street shopping, this place is perfect for you. Some of the places where you can try eating out are Roopali, Vaishali, Barbeque Nation, Good luck Cafe, and Wadeshwar.

FC Road, Pune. Photo Source: shotbyvk

FC Road, Pune. Photo Source: shotbyvk


Sukanta

With an amazing ambience, spectacular service of waiters whistling, and awesome delicious food, you won’t regret doing a full thali lunch at Sukanta. Normal Thali would be more than sufficient for a single person’s appetite for the whole day.

Sukanta, Pune. Photo source: Zomato

Sukanta, Pune. Photo source: Zomato

 

Aaoji Khhaoji

A restaurant where you can only go with a group because you can’t eat there alone. This place offers a food as if you are hungry from ages. Their food (thaali) packages are named on Bollywood actors/actresses.

Aaoji Khhaoji, Khadki, Pune. Photo Source: Zomato

Aaoji Khhaoji, Khadki, Pune. Photo Source: Zomato

5. Party

Clubbing at Koregaon Park (KP)

SWIG Bar and Eatery, High Spirits Cafe, are some of the topmost clubs/pubs in KP to see the exciting nightlife of Pune. If it’s a Saturday, then it’s a cherry on ice-cake for crazy partying. You can also find one of the best hotels for dinner there.

Swig Bar and Eatery, Pune. Photo source: Zomato

Swig Bar and Eatery, Pune. Photo source: Zomato

 

High Spirits, Pune. Photo source: Zomato

High Spirits, Pune. Photo source: Zomato

Balewadi High street

You can visit BHS in Baner if you are bored off KP. Incognito, Playboy and Urban Foundry are some really amazing places to spend an amazing night.

Incognito, BHS, Pune. Photo source: Zomato

Incognito, BHS, Pune. Photo source: Zomato

 

Playboy Beer Garden, Pune. Photo source: Zomato

Playboy Beer Garden, Pune. Photo source: Zomato

Orchha, chhatris, MP. Photo source: Flickr

The Best Places to Visit in Madhya Pradesh

“See India’s heart,” that’s how the Government’s Incredible India campaign describes Madhya Pradesh, as it is located in the center of the country, resembling the heart of the nation. It’s a state with a blend of heritage, culture, wildlife, food, and one of the biggest rivers – Narmada.

Sanchi

This place has Buddhist Stupas – hemispherical structures typically containing relics of the Buddha or his followers. The Sanchi Stupas were constructed on the orders of Emperor Ashoka. There are numerous stupas, temples, monasteries and an Ashokan pillar.

Points of interest:

  • Unesco world heritage site ‘Mahastupa’ (The Great Stupa)
  • Gupta Temple
  • Asokan pillar at Archeological museum
  • Chaiyta, Vihar
  • Bija Mandal, Vidisha District

Best Conveyance:

  • Air Travel – Nearest airport is in Bhopal city. Sanchi is 55 km north-east of Bhopal airport, which is well-connected with other airports like Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Raipur and Delhi.
  • Train – The nearest station is Bhopal. One can reach Bhopal by train and avail a bus / car from there for Sanchi.
  • Road – Sanchi is at a convenient distance from places like Bhopal (46 km), Vidisha (10 km) and Indore (232 km). Various tour operators provide private taxis and cabs.

Best Season to visit: July to April

Accommodation: Check availability on http://olrs.mpstdc.com/

Sanchi. Photo Source: flickr

Sanchi. Photo Source: Flickr

Khajuraho

Khajuraho is famous for its ancient temples that depict some of the finest art in the world. These temples depict various forms of meditation, spiritual teachings, kinship, wrestling, royalty and most significantly, erotic art.

Points of interest:

  • Kandariya Mahadeva Temple
  • Lakshmana Temple
  • Chitragupta Temple
  • Parsvanath Temple
  • Bija Mandal, Vidisha District
  • Can visit Panna National Park from there

Best Conveyance:

  • Air Travel – Khajuraho Aerodrome about 2 km from the town center and is well connected to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Varanasi and Indore. Taxis are available from the airport to reach the city centre.
  • Train – Khajuraho Railway Station, is around 5 km from the main town centre. The station is well connected to Delhi and Varanasi and (via Satna Railway Station) to Mumbai and Kolkata.
  • Road – Sanchi is at a convenient distance from places like Bhopal (46 km), Vidisha (10 km) and Indore (232 km). Various tour operators provide private taxis and cabs.

Best Season to visit: September to February

Accommodation: Check availability on http://olrs.mpstdc.com/

Khajuraho, MP. Photo source: Flickr

Khajuraho, MP. Photo source: Flickr

Kanha National Park

Kanha National Park is one of the largest parks in Madhya Pradesh. You can find Royal Bengal tigers there.  National Geographic’s award-winning ‘Land of the Tigers’ was shot here. A safari in Kanha is a must to have.

Points of interest:

  • Sonf Meadows
  • Kanha Meadows
  • Sindoor Trees
  • Shravan Tal
  • National Park

Best Conveyance:

  • Air Travel – Nearest airport is in Jabalpur (170 kms). The second best option is Nagpur airport (290 kms).
  • Train – The nearest railway stations are Bilaspur – 175 kms, Gondia – 127 kms, Jabalpur – 214 kms, Nagpur – 280 kms and Raipur – 216 kms
  • Road – The routes are: Jabalpur – Mandla – Kanha, cabs for hire available Raipur – Simga – Kawardha – Chilphi- Gadhi- Kanha, cabs for hire available Nagpur – Seoni – Balaghat – Baihar – Kanha, cabs for hire available.

Best Season to visit: September to February

Accommodation: Check availability on http://olrs.mpstdc.com/

Tiger at Kanha National Park, MP. Photo Source: Flickr

Tiger at Kanha National Park, MP. Photo Source: Flickr

Hanuwantiya

Located around Madhya Dweep which is a group of islands in the Indira Sagar dam and Hanuwantiya which is by the bank of Indira Sagar dam. Hanuwantiya also hosts India’s only and largest water carnival, Jal Mahotsav, every year.

Points of interest:

  • Boriyamal Island
  • The boat club/house
  • Tent City

Best Conveyance:

  • Air Travel – Indore Airport is the nearest (150 kms. / 03 hrs. approx.) to the Madhya Dweep group of islands.
  • Train – Khandwa is the nearest railway station is 50 km away.
  • Road – Connected by road from Indore, Bhopal and Khandwa

Best Season to visit: July to April

Accommodation: Check availability on http://olrs.mpstdc.com/

Hanuwantiya, MP. Photo source: Flickr

Hanuwantiya, MP. Photo source: Wikimedia

Bhedhaghat

Marble rocks along the graceful Narmada river. These tall mountains, are known to magically change shapes as you sail along the river, along with the Dhuandhar falls. Treat yourself with a boat ride on a moonlit night at the marble rocks.

Points of interest:

  • Marble Rocks
  • Chaunsath Yogini Temple
  • Dhuandhar Falls

Best Conveyance:

  • Air Travel – The nearest airport to this place is Jabalpur which is just 23 km away.
  • Train – Jabalpur is the nearest railway station to Bhedaghat.
  • Road – Easy to reach Bhedaghat by road, as buses, tempos and taxis run regularly from Jabalpur.

Best Season to visit: July to April

Accommodation: Check availability on http://olrs.mpstdc.com/

White Marble Rocks at Bhedaghat, MP. Photo source: Wikimedia

White Marble Rocks at Bhedaghat, MP. Photo source: Wikimedia

The Best Places to Visit Near Indore (Omkareshwar, Ujjain & Mandu)

After having a full eating dose in Indore, I was all geared up for a three days trip to three different places around Indore. It consisted of Omkareshwar, Ujjain and Mandu.

Omkareshwar, Narmada River. Pic courtesy: vkpriyesh

Omkareshwar, Narmada River. Photo by vkpriyesh

Omkareshwar

77.6 km south of Indore exists a place of utmost religious spirit, Omkareshwar. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga (devotional representation) shrines of Lord Shiva in India and is situated on an island named Mandhata or Shivapuri in the Narmada river. A place full of sadhu babas, an amazing sunrise scene, rhythmic water waves, and Sangam.

Best travel connectivity from Indore

Frequent buses from Sarwate Bus Stand, Indore. You can also book a local taxi. Travelling by road is another add-on to the journey as the route consists of ghats on the way. It’s a 3-hour journey.

Food & Stay

Although the place can be fully experienced in a day. If you wish to stay, then Narmada Resort is a good option. The restaurant offers good quality food too.

Prominent Places

Standing on the bridge, you can experience a blissful sunrise over the dam. There are two main temples of Lord Shiva.

Narmade Har, Omkareshwar. Pic courtesy: vkpriyesh

The island is said to be in the shape of Om () symbol. Narmade Har, Omkareshwar. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Sangam, Omkareshwar. Pic courtesy: vkpriyesh

Sangam is wonderful place to sit and meditate. You can take a boat ride from the main temple to Sangam at a very cheap cost. Sangam, Omkareshwar. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Ujjain

55.4 km north of Indore exists another place with full of divine power, Ujjain. A city that hosts Simhastha, one of the biggest Hindu pilgrimages along the Kshipra River. You can visit infamous Mahakaleshwar Temple, another jyotirlinga out of 12.

Best travel connectivity from Indore

There are frequent buses from Indore. Taxis are good. You can also opt for the train.

Food & Stay

If you are a religious person, and you are in India to see innumerable temples, then you got to spend some time in Ujjain, as it takes a while to get a grasp on each and every temple. You can find some good hotels, and food similar to Indore’s food around the railway station.

Prominent Places

Shri_Mahakaleshwar_Temple_Ujjain. Pic courtesy: Wikipedia

Mahakaleshwar: As described, it is a must visit temple. Shri Mahakaleshwar Temple Ujjain. Photo by: Wikipedia

Ram Ghat and Kshipra river, Ujjain. Pic courtesy: Wikipedia

Ram ghat in the evening gives you a sense of complete serenity.Ram Ghat and Kshipra river, Ujjain. Photo source: Wikipedia

Kal Bhairav Temple, Ujjain. Pic courtesy: Wikipedia

Kal Bhairav: A very interesting temple where it is believed that the idol of Kal Bhairav drinks alcohol, as that is his favourite beverage. Kal Bhairav Temple, Ujjain. Photo source: Wikipedia

Iskcon, Ujjain. Pic courtesy: vkpriyesh

ISKCON Ujjain: Ujjain’s Iskcon is one joyous place to be during the evening. Iskcon, Ujjain. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Mandu

Nearly 100 km south of Indore, exists a wonderful place with beautiful places, and Mughal architecture. It’s an ancient town with humongous heritage.

Best travel connectivity from Indore

Book a private taxi, as the places are located pretty far.

Food & Stay

Malwa Retreat, the hotel by MP tourism is finest.

Prominent Places

Rani Roopmati Mahal, Mandu. Pic courtesy: vkpriyesh

Rani Roopmati Mahal (Palace) – Along the Narmada river, this palace was home to Rani Roopmati. Surrounded by thick stone walls, view from the top makes it a must to visit place in Mandu. Rani Roopmati Mahal, Mandu. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Rani Roopmati Palace Garden, Mandu. Pic courtesy: vkpriyesh

Rani Roopmati Palace Garden, Mandu. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Baaz Bahadur Palace, Mandu. Pic courtesy: vkpriyesh

Baaz Bahadur Palace, Mandu. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Jami Masjid

Jami Masjid, Mandu. Pic courtesy: vkpriyesh

Jami Masjid, Mandu. Pic courtesy: vkpriyesh

Jahaz Mahal, Mandu. Pic courtesy: vkpriyesh

Jahaz Mahal, Mandu. Photo by: vkpriyesh

Sunset Point, Mandu. Pic courtesy: vkpriyesh

Sunset Point, Mandu. Pic courtesy: vkpriyesh

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