Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My Travel Chronicles - A Trek up the Parvati Hill!

1st April, 2007

The plan to visit the famous Parvati Temple in Pune was made all of a sudden… of course, I’d had it in my mind for quite some time now, but had never managed to execute it – at times for the lack of time, at others for lack of companions! Then, just when I’d decided upon visiting the place alone, things clicked and this very memorable and wonderful trip happened!

Two juniors of mine and I set off early in the morning (much later than what we’d initially planned, but it was still early morning for us late risers!) and made our way towards the desired destination – Parvati Hill! It is quite centrally located – an auto rickshaw could take you there either from Deccan (a 4 km drive) or from Swargate (just 1 km). Since we stay near Deccan, we naturally found it easier to reach the Hill via Deccan.

The Parvati Hill happens to be the highest peak of the city of Pune (it’s situated at a towering height of 2100 ft above sea level), and predictably, it offers a beautiful panoramic view of the entire city spread around it. In fact, some people visit the Temple daily, both for religious and health purposes – climbing up the 108 steps leading to the Temple makes sure that you burn whatever extra calories you have!

The temples on the Parvati Hill are among the oldest heritage structures in Pune and are reminiscent of the Peshwa dynasty. There are five temples in all on the Hill, one each for the Lords Devdeveshwara (Vitthal), Karthikeya, Vishnu & Ganesh, and one for the Goddess Parvati.

(pic above) The Devdeveshwara Temple

That’s about all the history and geography of the place that I’m gonna include in here! As usual, I did my share of the research for you guys, and anyone interested in reading up more about the place can visit Virtual Pune or Pune Line.

Of course, the main attraction of the Parvati Hill for me was the famous bird’s eye view of the city all around. I’d only heard about the magnificent panoramic view that it offers, but once I went there I realized that words could not have described even a quarter of the real beauty of the scene! In fact, even the pictures uploaded here only depict half of the real beauty of the views!

(pic above) A view from the Parvati Hill! Pic taken by me...

Up on top of the Hill, it felt as if we indeed were on top of the world! We could see Pune at different angles from different parts of the Hill… and what a view it was! Multi-storied houses looked like small blocks that kids play with, the cars plying below resembled miniature toys, the roads and the river appeared to be sleek grey and green ribbons…!

Apart from the amazing panoramic view of Pune, exploring the Hill itself was a treat too… what with the ancient temples, the Peshwa Museum, the trees and the greenery, and most of all, the breath of fresh air, the two-n-half hours that we spent there seemed like an eternity in paradise!

(pic above) Can you make out the roads and the cars?
Pic taken by Anupam Prakash, my junior, and edited a bit by me!

Of course, we had to pay a price for this memorable trek - the scorching heat had depleted us of all our vital energies by the time we descended the 108 steps, even though we’d been smart enough to carry three litres of glucose water with us! We therefore thought it fitting to top the trip up by a sumptuous lunch at a wonderful place called Sukanta, near Deccan, which would wash away whatever fatigue we had… and it indeed served the purpose! The cool sugarcane juice and the yummy aamras soon revived us, and by the time we were home, we were already making plans of revisiting the place soon!

Though I’m not sure of that plan taking shape, you surely could whip up a plan to visit the Parvati Hill – trust me, you wouldn’t regret it!