Driving down to Poona
Poona is just 120 km southeast of Bombay .The best way to get there is by road especially during the rains when the hills are green and waterfalls abound.
The new road to Poona
Back in the day when Pune was Poona, the drive was a small 20 ft road with a perilously steep mountain road that took my family all of 8 hours to navigate.
This was largely because we stopped on the way to eat a dosa at Matunga. More often than not we’d visit an Uncle or aunt in one of the suburbs on the way. We’d stop at Khopoli for a a cup of tea and a batatawada at Khopoli. Invariably we’d stop for a bit to cool down the car just after throwing a coin at Shingroba’s temple half way up the hill road.
The new Expressway changed all that and today we make the trip in under 4 hours even if we stop for tea and pee.
After the second tunnel, most travellers stop at the first food mall which has two huge HP pumps that dominate the landscape.
Going up the road towards Lonavala is another tunnel which brings the downhill traffic to the coastal plains.
Approaching the fourth tunnel
Inside tunnel 4
Today there are houses all the way through and billboards announcing even more homes and houses for people looking to live in the ‘countryside’!
Getting to Poona
For those who want more privacy, you can go by taxi.
Reasons to go to Pune in the rains
- To enjoy the scenic journey to and from Mumbai to Pune
- Pune rains are a pleasant drizzle for the most part and it’s a fun place to visit in the rains
- The Race season is the main reason for avid race goers who actually maintain a residence for those few months
- Pune in the summer is a killer and in the winter it can get quite chilly so this is really the best time of year to visit.
- For a completely relaxed de-tox in a very urban setting . Somehow Poona still has a laid back feel and is perfect for frenetic Mumbaikars who want to get away and still not get away.
So what are you waiting for?