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.

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There was. long line of cars waiting at the toll booth on the sea link

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.

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Entering the first of the five new tunnels on the Expressway

The new Expressway changed all that and today we make the trip in under 4 hours even if we stop for tea and pee.

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Emerging from the second tunnel before the first food mall

After the second tunnel, most travellers stop at the first food mall which has two huge HP pumps that dominate the landscape.

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The new HP pump

Going up the road towards Lonavala is another tunnel which brings the downhill traffic to the coastal plains.

Driving up can sometimes be difficult if a landslide has clogged up the road.

The old tunnel before Khandala still has a signboard advising all motorists to “remove their goggles”.

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As a child I used to get mortally scared of this tunnel !

Approaching the fourth tunnel

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getting closer

Inside tunnel 4

and at the other end

Driving down the straight stretch of road

Approaching the last small tunnel before the end of the Expressway
And finally on the home stretch as the Expressway comes to an end .

At one time the road passed through farmland with paddy fields that gave way to sugar cane as we came closer to Poona.

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

There are numerous options of getting to Pune. Government and private bus operators offer a regular service with buses leaving every 15minutes , stopping at various points along the way.

For those who want more privacy, you can go by taxi.

And of course there is the option of the four hour train journey or a half hour plane ride!

Reasons to go to Pune in the rains

  1. To enjoy the scenic journey to and from Mumbai to Pune
  2. Pune rains are a pleasant drizzle for the most part and it’s a fun place to visit in the rains
  3. The Race season is the main reason for avid race goers who actually maintain a residence for those few months
  4. 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.
  5. 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? 

Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!


  1. That was quite a nice journey you shared. The beautiful rains and can spot some mini waterfalls in the images. Have a nice time.

    1. The 8 hours were because my family liked to dawdle. It was still possible in 4 hours those days too – it’s just that my family made every journey into a long distance trip.

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