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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

How to Avoid the 3 Most Common Shopping Scams in India. Photo by David Baxendale (https://flic.kr/p/D6xJcN).

How to Avoid the 3 Most Common Shopping Scams in India

Being overcharged, given wrong change, and high-pressure sales tactics are the 3 most common shopping scams for tourists to India. The first two I still deal with every week being a foreigner living in India. Here’s how to avoid these scams.

Being Overcharged

When I first worked this scam out, I realised that two stores I frequented daily were overcharging me! One of them was a small shop at the end of a lane in Karol Bagh, New Delhi. I’d go there and buy a bunch of small food items and the cashier was scanning the products into the computer and then rounding up the bill by 20 or 30 rupees and never giving me a receipt, so I never saw the real amount.

I cottoned onto this scam when I only bought 2 items that I knew the prices of and realised he was adding more to the bill. You have to know the price of everything you’re buying and roughly add it up in your head, so you know roughly what the total will be. Luckily, that’s easy thanks to a consumer protection in India called Maximum Retail Price (MRP).

Maximum Retail Price (MRP) highlighted in red on a drink bottle and back box of sweets.

Maximum Retail Price (MRP) highlighted in red on a drink bottle and back box of sweets.

Every packaged product in India must, by law, have an MRP printed on it. It’s illegal for a shopkeeper to charge more than the MRP. Always check the MRP before paying to make sure they’re not overcharging you. If they are, point to the MRP – they all know the MRP laws. This law does not apply to items sold loosely, without packaging, such as fruit.

Wrong Change

A Mother Dairy store in New Delhi. Photo by Alan Morgan.

A Mother Dairy store in New Delhi. Photo by Alan Morgan.

The Mother Dairy store on that same street in Karol Bagh was also scamming me. I’d buy sweet lassi and milk from this little hole in the wall dairy and the cashier would never give me change. After I learnt about MRP, I realised he was only scamming me out of 10 or so rupees each time, but it’s the principle – he thought it was ok to shortchange foreigners.

Always know, at least roughly, how much change you should be receiving.

High-Pressure Sale Tactics

Certain stores, usually ones strangers and taxi drivers will take you to because they earn a fat commission, employ high-pressure sales tactics which can be very intimidating. The salesman will start bringing you lots of different products to look at and asking you constantly if you like them. Sometimes they’ll offer you chai and biscuits too. They make you seem very welcome until you decide not to buy something. Then they put the pressure on, “Madame, you must buy something.” They’ll even raise their voices and put a furious look on their faces.

Do not be threatened by these crooks and their high-pressure tactics. Tell them “No thank-you” and leave immediately, you are not obliged to buy anything – especially at the massively inflated prices these scam shops charge.

One skill you must have before shopping in India is bargaining, and it’s not as hard as you think. My India Survival Guide (Quick-Start Survival Guide) breaks it down into 3 simple steps, allowing you to surprise everyone and make massive savings.

Note: the ladies in this article’s feature image have nothing to do with scams, it’s just a beautiful photo of a local Sari store in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

Shop in India. Photo by Martin Garrido.

How to Avoid Being Overcharged in Stores in India

I never used to think twice about the change I was being given or the prices I was being charged in New Zealand, besides we barely use cash so any overcharges on my cards can be disputed at the bank. Unfortunately, I took that bad habit to India.

One day while I was staying in a hotel off the busy main market in Karol Bagh, New Delhi, I went to the store with just 100 rupees in my pocket. That was my budget to get a few drinks. I picked up 5 Tropicana juice packets worth 20 rupees each and went to the cashier. He said, “120 rupees.” I knew the MRP (Maximum Retail Price) printed on the drinks was just 20 rupees each. “Why are you charging me 20 rupees more?”, I asked. He quickly said, “Oops, sorry.”

I realised that same week that the same thing was happening at the Mother Dairy store at the end of the road. The cashier was charging me 20 rupees for 500 ml of milk when the MRP was 15. When I told him, he just looked at me and handed me my 5 rupee change. From then onwards he began charging me the MRP.

Check your receipts! Photo by Leon Brocard.

Check your receipts! Photo by Leon Brocard.

That’s when I realised I’d probably been getting overcharged for weeks. Since I started scrutinising my bills and change, I’ve found countless cashiers trying to give me incorrect change. Sometimes it’s small, sometimes it’s hundreds of rupees. It’s so frequent that it happens every couple of days to me in Delhi.

Now when it happens, I stand there and keep looking at the cashier, and then they re-open their cash drawer and hand over the rest of the change. They know what they’ve done, they’re just trying to make a quick buck off an unsuspecting foreigner. Not anymore though, and not from you either now!

How to Avoid Being Overcharged in Stores in India

  1. Always check the MRP (Maximum Retail Price) printed on products. By law, retailers can’t charge above them!
  2. Always know, at least roughly, what your total bill will be.
  3. Always check that the change given is correct.
  4. If you’re at a store with a computer system, make sure you take the receipt and double check it while leaving the store.

You also need to avoid counterfeit money in India too. Check out my India Survival Guide (Quick-Start Safety Guide) book for full info and photos on how to do that.

Main road Gangtok, Sikkim. Photo by Karl Rock..

Things to Do When in Gangtok

Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim, one of the most mesmerising North-Eastern states in India. The capital city is very scenic. Surrounded by the majestic Himalayas and situated at a considerably high altitude, Gangtok acts as an ideal place for relaxation and a place for attaining oneness with nature. It was a Buddhist pilgrimage site before independence but later went on to become the capital itself.

But Gangtok isn’t only popular because it’s the capital city and its abundant natural beauty. Surprisingly, there are many interesting things to do here that will keep you on your feet. Here are some of them.

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Janpath

The Best Shopping Locations and Markets in Delhi

Accept the fact that we do have an undying and obsessive shopaholic within each one of us. If you have come from a foreign country to the capital of India, you might be in for a shock. Everything in Delhi is the opposite of what it is in your homeland. But these dissimilarities bring with them a bunch of advantages that you’re yet to explore.

We have plenty of ultra-chic malls and shopping complexes in the capital, but so what? You have them in your country as well. What’s so different then, about shopping in Delhi? Well, pep up your bargaining skills because I’m going to tell you why.

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