Wednesday, 17 December 2014

12 Puneri Food Joints You MUST Visit!

Food Trailing in Pune

Text: Jayesh Paranjape | Photos: Vidyuth Singh

Pune, like any other budding cosmopolitan has a large and ever growing food community! Like everything else, Pune and Punekars take pride in the food they eat and serve. Those who swear by innumerable gastronomical delights peppering the city, claim the spirit of any place is defined by the age-old, lesser known food joints which are generally missed out by conventional city guides.

We list 12 food joints in Pune city which have shaped Pune’s food culture over the years. When in Pune, eat like the Punekars do! 

1. ShriKrishna Bhuvan

Located in one of the by-lanes of Tulshibaug and established in 1941, Shrikrishna Bhuvan serves one of the best Misal in Pune. At Shrikrishna, you get the typical Puneri misal served in the form of pohe (flattened rice) and potato bhaaji covered with shev and raw onions, served along with two slices of bread and a spicy ‘tarri’ (Curry made from onions, grated coconut and tomatoes) or more famously known as ‘sample’. One can ask for a ‘sample’ in varying forms of spice. Shrikrishna takes pride in serving ONLY misal through the day.

2. Royal Bakery & Confectionery

Started by S. A. Irani in the early 1900’s, Royal Bakery & Confectionery is located on the M.G. Road in the cantonment area of Pune. One of the oldest bakeries in Pune, Royal has a long list of customers and loyalists who make sure that the cakes and breads are off the counter by afternoon! The most famous item on the menu is the milk bread known as Milko-Vita along with the soft cupcakes and the wine and pistachio biscuits. 

3. The Place, Touché The Sizzler

In 1963, Firoz Erani conceptualized a way to keep meats hot till the last bite and so he created The Sizzler, a quaint garden restaurant in the old Exclesior Cinema in Mumbai. In 1967 Erani’s son Shahrookh who had trained and worked with him started a restaurant called ‘Touché’ in Breach Candy, Mumbai which served ‘sizzlers’. In 1971 after moving to Pune, he continued his father’s legacy by opening The Place, Touché The Sizzler. Four decades later, The Place continues to be the ultimate sizzler joint for residents of Pune and Mumbai too.

4. Vaishali

In 1949, at the age of 13, Jagannath Shetty came to Pune from Karnataka and worked with his uncle for a few years. Then in 1951, he opened his own place Café Madras (present day Hotel Roopali) and then the Madras Health Home which later came to be known as Vaishali Restaurant in the 1960s. Located on the Fergusson College Road, Vaishali in those days was a tiny restaurant which served piping hot Udupi food and became particularly famous among youngsters from the many colleges in the area. Today Vaishali is one of the most popular restaurants in Pune and a favourite among young and old alike. Whenever you pass by FC Road, an aroma of Sambar literally draws you towards this place!

5. Cold Drink House

The Cold Drink House is probably the first place in Pune to serve doodh cold drink or ice-cream cold drink in Pune (Now popularly known as Mastani). Tucked away in a by-lane near Mandai, the cold drink house is run by the Gujar family and has been in operation 1923. Once you enter the shop, you are transported back to that era, thanks to the paintings, old photographs and advertisements for Kokam Sarbat and Brahmi Oil. They serve the Bajirao Mastani which is delicious, but their Mango Mastani is one of the best in Pune.

6. Garden Vada Pav

Started in 1972 by Kashinath Naiku and his mother Parvati, the Garden Vada Pav Centre has been serving yummy wada pav for over 40 years and three generations. Started as a hand-driven cart opposite the JJ Garden off M. G. Road, this place is hard to miss thanks to the hungry crowd surrounding the stall throughout the day! The vada preparation happens at the newly acquired premises nearby and the hot wadas are carried manually to the cart. The wada pav is served with raw onion, chura and pickled lemons. Voted as the best place to have Wada-Pav in Pune by food-bloggers and TripAdvisor, this place finds mention in a lot of guidebooks and food guides about Pune.

7. Vaidya Upahar Gruha

Vaidya Upahar Gruha was started in 1912 by Raghunath Ramchandra Vaidya who had migrated to Pune from the Konkan region. It was started near the bustling Phadke Haud Chowk in Raviwar Peth, at a time when not many Maharashtrians ventured into the food business. Over the 100 years, the ownership has stayed within the family and currently the place is run by Deepak Joshi, Vaidya’s great-grandson. The timings of the eatery were set by Joshi’s grandmother Sushila in 1960 as she had to look after the house along with the restaurant. The ‘Saturday off’ rule has been in operation since inception, to make sure that the staff is happy and can work in a better frame of mind! 

8. Café Goodluck

In 1935, Hussain Ali Yakshi started Good Luck Café after he acquired the premises from one Narayan Seth. Good Luck is one the oldest Irani places in Pune and now one of the last few left in the city. Since the inception of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in 1965, Good Luck has been popular with the students who used to frequent the café, where one samosa with one chaai and a cigarette would cost one rupee. The café is famous for its various egg preparations along with the Baked Beans on toast, Bun Maska & Irani Chai. The café also served a range of sweet dishes which include the caramel custard, bread pudding and the fruit funny. 

9. Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale

Following his father’s successful dairy business in Sangli, Raghunathrao (Bhausaheb) Chitale established Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale in 1950 in Pune, Maharashtra. Operations began from a shop on the Bajirao Road in the heart of the city, which is still in existence. Eventually, one more principal outlet was opened at Deccan Gymkhana. After years of two operational branches, Chitale ventured across the city in the form of ten franchise outlets making the products accessible to a wider audience. Chitale generates a profound recall value for its Bakarwadi, a crisp and spicy Maharashtrian snack which sells at an average of 3000 kg everyday!

10. Dorabjee & Sons 

Dorabjee & Sons Restaurant was started by Dorabjee Sorabjee in 1878 with an aim to create a homely eatery which serves food that he enjoyed eating. He made sure that the portions are generous and affordable, so that his cosmopolitan friends could eat here and go away satisfied. 120 years later, Darius Dorabjee, the fourth generation descendant of Sorabjee, still honours this tradition. With specials like mutton & chicken dhansak with brown rice, patrani machhi, sali chicken and the chicken farcha, this place serves the best Parsi food in the city. Dorabjee is one of the very few places in Pune which serves the locally made cold drink – Ardeshir, which was established in 1884! 

11. Marz-o-rin

Marz-o-rin was founded by Sheriar Sheriyarji in 1965 with only four items on the menu. Housed in a heritage building over 100 years old, today Marz-o-rin has over 150 items on the menu and is one of the most popular locations in Pune. Marz-O-Rin loyalists come from far and wide just to eat the chutney, vegetable, chicken and cheese sandwiches. The menu changes with time and now it includes a lot of healthy options like low fat sauce, tofu, brown bread and salads.

12. Blue Nile

Blue Nile was started around 40 years back by Haji Ali Akbar Mashallah and is housed in a beautiful heritage building opposite Poona Club. Blue Nile is synonymous with Biryani in Pune and their loyal customers throng this place to get a taste of their favourite mutton and chicken biryani. Apart from Biryani, Blue Nile also serves Irani food items like Chicken and Mutton Chelo Kabab with Buttered Rice. 

The Western Routes conducts Food Walks in the old city to give travelers an authentic taste of Pune. Here are the details

The Pune Food Trails are now the #1 Activity to do in Pune according to TripAdvisor. Click here to read the reviews!

Vidarbha: The Land of Tigers & More!


There is no denying that tigers in India are in trouble. Everyday there is news of a tiger death somewhere in the country, either by poachers, a highway accident or resultant death from human-animal conflict. Amidst all the grim news and the state of tiger habitats in the country, one region offers some hope - the forests of the Satpuda Range in Central India. Believed to be the largest continuous tiger habitat in the world, this area contains approximately one-third of India’s remaining tiger population. This landscape which covers a part of Maharashtra & Madhya Pradesh, contains six tiger reserves (Melghat, Pench & Tadoba-Andhari in Maharashtra and Pench, Kanha, and Bori-Satpuda in Madhya Predesh). In Maharashtra, the Satpudas pass through the Vidarbha region and these dry teak forests support some incredible biodiversity. Starting October to June every year, photographers, tiger lovers, nature enthusiasts throng these areas to get a glimpse of the big cat. But in this story, besides exploring Vidarbha’s tigers & wildlife we will discover more about its culture and some unknown history!

Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve

The Tadoba National Park was created in 1955 with an area of 116.55 sq km and the Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary was created in 1986 with an area of 508.85 sq km. Together they form the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. As the name suggests, Tadoba gets its name from the local deity Taru, worshiped by the tribals in this region. The Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary gets its name from the Andhari River which meanders through the forests of the reserve.
The tribal population mainly consists of the Gonds, who are known to use the forest for its rich herbal and healthy natural resources for their daily needs. They have a strange ritual where they feed the newborn with nectar of the flowers of the Mahua tree (Madhuca longifolia), even before the child is fed the mother’s milk. This is to signify the eternal connection between the nature and the humans and also that the tree and the child will look after each other! Another interesting historic feature in Tadoba is the presence of stone pillars at regular intervals on the Mohurli-Tadoba road. There are many stories explaining these, but the most popular one is that the pillars are either antique lamp posts or were some sort of communication device for the Gond king of Chandrapur.

At the reserve, you can have a close encounter with the Tiger and witness other wildlife species in action. Visitors to the park report frequent tiger and wild dog sightings among mammals. Apart from these the reserve is also home to the Leopard, Sloth Bear, Gaur, Barking Deer, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Wild Boar, Four Horned Antelope and many more.
Bamboo & teak dominate most of the areas of Tadoba among other flora. Scattered through the forest are the lovely Kusum and Silk Cotton trees. Other tree species include Ain, Bija, Dhauda, Haldu, Salai and Tendu. The most striking floral feature of Tadoba is the numerous Ghost Trees, which derive their name from the colour of the bark and their ability to change colour as per season. During the summer months, the bark which is pale pink otherwise turns white, giving it a ‘ghostly’ look.

Photo: Jayesh Paranjape

How to get there
Air: Nagpur (approximately 150 km)
Rail: Chandrapur (45 km)
Road: Nearest bus stand is Chandrapur (45 km) and Chimur (30 km)
Best Time to Visit: The Park is open from October to June. The best time to visit is January to May. Tadoba is open to visitors on all days except Tuesdays and New Year's Day. 
Safari timings are 6:00 am – 11:00 am and 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

Extend your Tadoba trip!

Markanda Temple

Around 60 km from Chandrapur in the Gadchiroli district lies a cluster of 24 temples built in the ‘Hemandpanthi’ style of architecture called the Markanda Temple. The temple derives its name from sage Markandeya who according to the Hindu Holy Scriptures, worshipped Lord Shiva here and obtained immortality. One of the most famous temples of the cluster is the Shiva Temple which houses the Shivling which sage Markandeya is believed to have worshiped. Some of the temples are in complete ruins, but the overall effect of the cluster is extremely impressive. Sir Alexander Cunningham, the famous British archaeologist and the father of the Archaeological Survey of India, wrote extensively about the Markanda Temple. He wrote “…(The temple cluster) perhaps forms the most picturesque group of temples that I have seen. There are no inscriptions to tell their age, but their style is so similar to that of the Candle temples of Khajuraho and other places, that there can be little doubt, that they belong to the same period of 10th and 11th centuries.”


Photo: Jaideep Kanhere

The Pench Tiger Reserve is spread across two states, the Seoni and Chhinwara districts of Madhya Pradesh and Nagpur district of Maharashtra. Pench (M.P.) covers an area of 757 sq. km. and Pench (Maharashtra) covers around 257 sq. km. Pench was declared as a Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger in 1999 and became the 25th tiger reserve of the country. The Totladoh reservoir which is a result of the Totladoh Hydroelectric Project is situated in the heart of the tiger reserve and takes up almost 67 sq. km. of the forest land! 

The park gets its name from the Pench River, which meanders through the forests. It is the panoramic beauty of this region that has been described as early as the beginning of the 20th century by naturalists like Captain J. Forsyth in 'Highlands of Central India' and by Rudyard Kipling in the 'Jungle Book'. The poet Kalidas also wrote about the scenic charm of this place in his epics Meghdootam and Sakuntalam.
Photo: Jayesh Paranjape

The Pench Tiger Reserve of Maharashtra is relatively unknown and not visited by many tourists as compared to Pench (M.P.) and Tadoba. But it is one of the finest and most biodiverse forest in Maharashtra. The best wildlife sightings happen between March & June, when the forest thins, smaller streams and rivers run dry and animals congregate at waterholes (locally known as doh) to seek respite from the heat. The Nagdeo pahadi, the Ambakhori waterfall and Gawli ghat are probably the best areas in Pench to see wildlife including tigers, leopards and sloth bears. Pench is a birder’s paradise with more than 170 recorded bird species. Water birds are often found around the artificial wetlands created by the submergence of the Pench reservoir. The area is on the migratory route of waterfowl during winter.

A trip to Pench (Maharashtra) and an extended 2 days in Pench (M.P.) is highly recommended for those who are always on a lookout for newer wildlife reserves as the more popular or famous ones are becoming too crowded and mismanaged!

How to get there
Air: Nagpur (70 km)
Rail: Nagpur (70 km)
Road: Buses can be boarded at Nagpur till Pauni on the Nagpur-Jabalpur highway. The park gate at Sillari is 10 km from Pauni.
Best Time to Visit: January to June. The park is open to tourists from October to June. Park is open on all days of the week. Safari timings are 6:00 am – 11:00 am and 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm.  Personal vehicles, light vehicles and 15-seater buses are allowed inside the park with speed restrictions.


Mansar Excavation Site

Photo: Jayesh Paranjape

In 1972, an image of Shiva Vamana was found on a hillock, locally known as Hidimba Tekdi in Mansar, on the Nagpur-Jabalpur highway. Important excavations have been carried out at Mansar since 1997-98, under the aegis of Archaeological Survey of India (Delhi) and the Buddhist organization of the Nagarjuna Smaraka Sanstha (Nagpur) and so far five sites have been excavated. A huge temple complex recognized as Pravaresvara and a three-meter tall lime model of a male figurine in crouching position, were unearthed. Sculptures of Hindu deities, artifacts, and some coins of 5th century have also been discovered in these excavations. Detection of ancient tools and water reservoirs indicate the presence of large inhabitants in this area around 1600 years ago. The site still remains unknown to most of the people living in Mansar, Nagpur or Maharashtra, but is definitely worth a visit on the way to Pench or Ramtek.

Ramtek Temple

Photo: Siddhesh Dhupe

It is believed that Ramtek was the place where Rama, the Hindu god, rested while he was in exile. Legend has it that the aashram of great Hindu sage Agastya was situated close to Ramtek. While the sages performed religious rites, the demons used to disrupt their activities and slayed a great number of holy men. Lord Rama was distressed to hear about this, and took a vow to relieve the world from the demons. ‘Tek’ means vow in local language, hence the word Ramtek comes from ‘Vow of Ram’. Thus it is believed locally that whoever takes a vow at Ramtek is blessed by the gods for its fulfillment. The present temple at Ramtek is believed to have been built by the King of Nagpur Raghuji Bhonsale, after his victory over fort of Deogarh in Chindwara. This place is also famous for its relation with Great poet Kalidasa who wrote his epic Meghdootum in hills of Ramtek.


A haven for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary lies in Gondia district of Maharashtra and covers an area of 152 sq. km. This sanctuary and the adjoining Navegaon National Park have been calling out for additional protection and management of its forests and wildlife. The Government of Maharashtra finally declared that the Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary and the Navegaon National Park will soon be notified as the Nagzira-Navegaon Tiger Reserve. Additionally, around 152 sq. km. of forest have been added to Nagzira and 122 sq. km. have been added to Navegaon.

The Nagzira Lake which is located right in the core of the sanctuary is probably one of the best places to observe wildlife. The lake guarantees a source of water to wildlife throughout the year and also greatly heightens the beauty of the landscape. Locals believe that Kolu Patel Kohli created the lake at the beginning of the 18th century with the help of the Gods! On the lake fringe there is an idol of Hanuman whose feet are said to go below the embankment. Nagzira exhibits an amazing diversity of terrain. The seven peaks (altitude ranging between 400 and 750 m) surrounding the lake are known as the Saat Bahini or Seven Sisters. There are times in Nagzira when you can see several species of large mammals in just one safari ride. This can range from a tigress and her cubs resting in an artificial waterhole, a leopard on a tree, wild dog packs to an occasional sloth bear crossing the road!

How to get there
Air: Nagpur (122 km)
Rail: Gondia (45 km) and Bhandara (75 km)
Road: Sakoli (22 km) has a bus stand which is well connected to Gondia, Bhandara & Nagpur
Best time to visit: Januar to May. The park is open to tourists from October to June. Park is open on all days of the week. Safari timings are 6:00 am – 11:00 am and 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm.  Personal vehicles, light vehicles and 15-seater buses are allowed inside the park with speed restrictions.

If you want to make a trip to these tiger havens and explore the unknown history and culture of Vidarbha, do write to us on or visit 

Eight Wonders of Coastal Ratnagiri!


You drive up mountains and glide down green valleys and all along yearn to finally reach the ocean front. Just as you wonder if the journey is on forever, suddenly the ocean meets your eyes. You remain transfixed! Situated on the gorgeous western coast of India, the Ratnagiri district is home to some of the most stunning landscapes. Thanks to the presence of the majestic Sahyadris range on one side and and the beautiful Arabian Sea on the other. The sandy beaches, rocky outcrops and small but vital estuaries along the Ratnagiri coast are ideal spots to reconnect with nature. Add to this the friendly and ever helpful people and the yummy Konkani cuisine. A combination that you don't want to miss! Here are The Western Routes' EIGHT most favorite destinations around coastal Ratnagiri!


A newly hatched Olive Ridley Turtle making its way to the sea. Photo: Anshul Khandelwal

Ever wondered how it would be to witness an Animal Planet like moment when tiny turtle hatchlings, make that journey from the hatched egg to the sea? Between February to April, nature enthusiasts can actually experience this rare event on the Velas beach in Ratnagiri district. A local NGO from Chiplun, Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, started this project in 2002 and in the first year they protected 50 nests of Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and released more than 2700 hatchlings in the sea. Now, Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, has joined hands with the Gram Panchayat at Velas and the local Forest department office to organise a unique Turtle Festival each year. The villagers are actively involved in the conservation of these turtles. They offer their homes as home-stays to the tourists who come to Velas during the festival. Once in Velas, you can also visit the Himmatgad fort or take a ferry boat from Bankot to the beautiful Harihareshwar Beach.

Check out the Olive Ridley hatchlings making their way to the sea!


The Kadyawarcha Ganpati Temple in Anjarle. Photo: Kedar Champhekar

Anjarle is one of the most secluded beaches in the Konkan belt. The 2 km stretch is full of crystal like scintillating white sand and sparking clean water, surrounded by an array of palm trees. Adjoining the beach is the traditional pastoral Anjarle village. Anjarle is also known for the legendary Ganpati Temple. The Kadyavarcha Ganpati (temple on a cliff) is one of the well-known prehistoric temples of India and dates back to 1500 A.D. It is known for its architecture. The temple has a very beautiful primordial décor with stone staircases leading to the temple’s Kalas (mast) on the top. There is also a fishpond in front of the temple alongside a shrine of Lord Shiva. The Ganesh Idol here is rare and locally called as “Ujwya Sondecha Ganpati” (trunk turned to the right side), a very rare sight for the devotees. This Ganpati is also known for wish fulfilling powers, traditionally called as “navsala pavnara Ganpati”. Hence in the customary dialect, it is referred as ‘Jagrut Daiwat’ or a very lively God.

Murud, Karde & Harnai

One of the beaches between Murud and Harnai. Photo: Vinit Godbole

Have you ever been to a fish fight (fish, fishing and trading)? You can experience one at Harnai village, around 12 km from Dapoli. Being one of the natural harbors, it is an ideal wharf for fish trading. The fish auction at Harnai village is one of the most sought after events in the area and is a daily custom held between 8 am to 10 am in the morning and 4 pm and 7 pm in the evening. The market is known to sell different varieties of fish like Pomfret, Surmai, Tiger Prawns, Squids, Lobsters, Mackerel, and many more. The fish quality is high and has lured many travelers and photographers. Tourist can also indulge in the fish fest of betting and auctioning. Apart from the auction, Harnai is also known for the magnificent Harnai Fort located on the northern front of the village.

Some glimpses from the Fish Auction at Harnai Beach. Photos: Vinit Godbole

The Murud & Karde beaches are known for its marvelous, mesmerizing, and friendly  Dolphins. The Murud-Karde beach stretch is situated around 12 km from Dapoli. The coastal hamlet of Murud serves a variety of yummy fishes cooked in local masalas (seasoning) that are known world-wide. The area is also a culturally rich coastal community acknowledged for its Diwali and Holi celebrations. Head to these twin beaches to indulge into some touristy things like water sports and boat rides or simply for the breath-taking sunset or being in the company of the affable Dolphins.

Velneshwar & Hedvi

Photo: Raphael Baumann

Around 20 km south of the famous Guhagar Beach and to the north of the Shastri River lies the idyllic village of Velneshwar. The quiet, coconut-fringed beach offers tourists the ideal opportunity for swimming or just relaxing without any tourist disturbance. There is an old Shiva temple in the environs which is often frequented by pilgrims particularly during the Maha Shivratri festival. A few kilometers away from Velneshwar is Hedvi, which is known for its unique Dashabhuja Ganapati. Standing 3 feet tall and carved in white stone, the ideol, is beleived to be from the Kashmir region and has ten hands, hence the name ‘Dashabhuja’. While in Hedvi, do not miss experiencing the water rising to almost 30-40 feet at one point along the beach. This is called as Brahman Ghal. It is a rare natural phenomenon where the sea water has created a gorge in the black rock patch, which is around 20 feet deep and 2 feet wide. When the sea water gushes in the vertical column, it rises through the gorgre for almost 30-40 feet!


Ganpatipule Temple. Photo: Raphael Baumann

‘Ganpatipule’ – the name itself suggest the place of Lord Ganesha. Ganpatipule is one of the ‘Astha Ganpatis’ (Eight Ganesha pilgrim centers) of India. The idol is believed to be nearly 400 years old is ‘swayambhu’ or self-created. The divine abode is blessed with sparkling beaches, and jagged coconut palm and mangroves along the coastline. The picturesque 12 km stretch is an ideal place to rejuvenate and immerse within the self and nature. The silver sand, swaying palms, glittering beach, and the beaming moon is meditative in itself and ought to leave you spell bound. The narrow red mud roads and vegetation of mangoes, jackfruit, betel nut, and bananas along with thatch-roofed dwellings bring travelers closer to their true home.  For adventure lovers, this place offers paragliding and other water sports. Over the years Ganpatipule has emerged to be one of the most visited beaches along the Konkan coast. During tourist seasons, the beach gets crowded around the temple. A simple solution is to walk a bit south away from the crowd and find a patch which is devoid of any tourists!


The Aare Beach from the road which goes on to Waare Beach. Photo: Bhavpreet Ghai

Aare and Ware are little twin beach brothers, naked and virgin. The beaches are safely tucked away from the crowds which throng the Ganpatipule beach. Aare Ware beach is situated en-route from Ratnagiri to Ganpatipule. If you are travelling from Ganpatipule, you will first witness the beautiful Ware beach that is about a kilometer from the Aare beach. You have to take a meandering path through the village to get to the Ware Beach. At a certain stretch of the beach, there is a belt of dense Suru trees, which looks like a stunning emerald on the white sand alluring the travelers. The sunset point from the hilltop near Aare beach is a breathtaking view covered by the blue sea from all three sides.


A panoramic view of the stunning Ganeshgule Beach. Photo: Raphael Baumann

Gulyaacha Ganpati Pulyaalaa Gela is a famous proverb that goes with the primordial temple of Ganeshgule, which is anticipated to be about 400 years old. The shrine is unique in itself, as, it is a South-facing temple, which is very rare in India. The temple premise has a 70 feet deep well with steps to go till its bottom. A myth states that water use to surge from the navel of Lord Ganesh and one fine day it just stopped flowing. Hence Ganesha shifted from Gule to Pule. The temple is situated on a hillock that is about 40 feet from the seashore. Ganeshgule beach has a 2 km shoreline with crystal white sand. This lazy beach is scarcely developed and is a nice respite after a strenuous day. 

Check the sun setting at the Ganeshgule Beach!


The entrance to the Purnagad Fort. Photo: Vidyuth Singh

Maharashtra, a land whose sheer size and diversity fascinates people, is also known for its warrior history and forts. Purnagad is one such fort. The majestic structure with its grand entrance, huge walls guarding the bastion, beautiful ancient carvings are sure to leave you awe-struck. The fort has a sphere of four entrances. Its main entrance door is engraved with pictures of the Sun, Moon and Lord Ganesha alongside which there is a giant statue of Lord Hanuman covered with shendur, an orange colored paste. A nice walk on the walls of the fort will give you a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area with its scintillating azure sea, Suru Ban trees, and the Muchkundi river creek at its base.
The legend goes that the fort was named Purnagad because it resembles the size of a full stop or when the construction of the fort was complete Shivaji Maharaj decided not to reform its further extension and called 'purnaviram' hence the name Purnagad. Similarly, there is some evidence which also suggests that the fort was constructed by Sakhoji Angre, son of Kanoji Angre. But historical debates notwithstanding, the fort is stunning and the ruined state adds to the charm!

A lone fisherman at the Purnagad beach. Photo: Raphael Baumann

This article was taken from Routes & Trails January 2013 issue which is an online magazine by The Western Routes. Read it here

To know more about these destinations and if you want to include these in your trip, click here