An Authentic Maharashtrian Dining Experience in Pune

Pune is known to have one of the best culinary scenes in the state. The land of the Marathas converges myriad cultures and lifestyles seamlessly, welcoming the contemporary while still respecting its roots. An authentic Maharashtrian dining experience in Pune is loaded with delicacies like Kaanda poha, Misal pav, Sabudana khichdi, Mastani milkshake, Pithla bhakri, Vada pav, Puranpoli, Kombdi Rassa, Bombil fry, Aamti and more. Not to forget, the vibrant pubs around the neighborhoods make…

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Bohri Mohalla food trail – The best places to eat

As a foodie, every year I look forward to Ramadan. Closer to where I live in Mumbai, there is a huge Muslim community so the streets and by-lanes turn into an Iftari food fest with the aromas of fried malpuas, mawa jalebis, fresh fruits and dates, chicken shawarmas, satay, mutton cutlets and what not. Four years after my last visit to Mohammad Ali road to explore the food scene in the Minara Masjid area, I…

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Visiting Bhilar book village in Mahabaleshwar

In the era of Kindle, would you visit a village dedicated to books? On the way to Mahabaleshwar over a weekend, we spotted a huge signage that read Pustakanche Gaon – Bhilar. Predictably, the next morning we showed up in the village to find out more. Bhilar is a quiet town, sandwiched between the twin hill stations of Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani in Western Maharashtra. Much like its neighbours, its population of barely 3000 earn their…

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Kolhapur trip planner – A foodie’s guide

You ever do a trip only to eat? Like there’s no agenda, except food! Until a while ago, a small outlet of Purepur Kolhapur restaurant in the suburbs of Mumbai was my window to Kolhapur’s cuisine. This was about to change. I had set out on a two day road trip to explore the food scene in Kolhapur first hand. From the city’s linkage to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to being a Maratha princely state of…

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Matinees at Matterden

Matterden - Deepak Talkies - Mumbai

I’ve just returned after watching the 1975 classic – One flew over the cuckoo’s nest on a 70mm screen. Matterden Carnival Cinemas (also Deepak Talkies), a single screen theatre in Mumbai’s Parel area is a place of gathering for movie buffs. Every Sunday they play a vintage film at a matinee show time. These are classics from around the world. Think Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, Roshomon, Roman Holiday, Annie Hall, Citizen Kane, Pather…

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Top 5 places to see in Mahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar, a hill station in the Western Ghats, is the ultimate retreat if you want to get away from the mad crowd in the city. Once the summer capital of the Bombay Presidency during the British Raj, today this hill station includes three villages (Malcolm Peth, Old Kshetra Mahabaleshwar and a part of the Shindola village). Places to see in Mahabaleshwar There are several places to see in Mahabaleshwar that offer breath-taking views, which are bound…

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Fireflies and vegan meals in Purushwadi

[Last updated: 25 May 2019] Picture this Somewhere in the interiors of Maharashtra, you’re walking on a lonely winding road – no street lights – pitch dark – dense forest – and millions of fireflies glowing like Christmas lights. I saw this magical sight in Purushwadi, a village merely four hours from Mumbai. Every year, Purushwadi is host to the Fireflies festival, around the month of June-July. Well, it’s actually Grassroutes – an eco tourism organisation…

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A staycation in Ganpatipule

I’ve said enough of how I have turned into a corporate slave. Work is getting the better of me. And while I enjoy budget travelling and roughing it out on the road, I’ve slowly developed a need and liking for do-nothing holidays. Those we also call ‘Staycation’. The type of trips where your hotel is a world in itself. There are no rushed itineraries to meet or monuments to see. You sit back and relax…

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Four people stories from Ganpatipule and other travel anecdotes

There’s an interesting quote by Nick Miller I read on the internet which I am going to use as the basis for this post… …Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. It’s waiters, gas station attendants, and housekeepers becoming the most interesting people in the world… Travel is a smile that leads to a conversation in broken English. It’s the epiphany that pretty girls smile the same way all over the world. Travel is tipping 10% and…

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Off the beaten path in Maharashtra: Phaltan-Satara with Jakson Inns

This is my 100th post on Wannabemaven. Three years and 100 posts, that’s the longest I have stuck to any hobby. Many persistent efforts later, the blog is getting noticed. Occasionally travel brands reach out and if it interests me, I am always willing to collaborate. Earlier this year, on the Independence Day long weekend, I headed to a rural town in Maharashtra called Phaltan. How many of you have heard of Phaltan? I’ve been…

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Meeting Olive Ridleys at the Velas Turtle Festival

A small coastal town in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra is home to the annual Velas Turtle Festival. The endangered Olive Ridley Turtles thrive in warm tropical waters of the Pacific and Indian Ocean and India is a hotspot breeding ground for them. If you want to see hordes of these turtle hatchlings then the coast of Odisha is the place to be. Closer home, a town named Velas accounts for 40% of the hatchlings in Maharashtra. Every…

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Visiting a hi-tech biographical museum in Pune

When my plan to play paintball at Della Adventures didn’t work out, I drove down to Pune from Lonavla. Looking for things to do in Pune, I came across the Darshan Museum. What would a Darshan Museum exhibit, I thought? At the back of my mind, I was skeptical if the museum would even let me in. In the past, I was not allowed to enter the Jama Masjid in Hyderabad because I wore a jeans…

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Celebrating the Bhandara festival at Khandoba Temple, Jejuri

bhandara festival jejuri - Khandoba Temple near Pune

I was randomly surfing the web one evening when I saw a picture of a temple in Jejuri covered in carpets of yellow. A quick search told me that the spectacle is called the “Bhandara Festival”. Bhandara is turmeric and the festival is related to a local God named Khandoba. Khandoba was a folk deity belonging to the 9th century. He was believed to possess qualities of Lord Shiva and his wives: Mhalsa and Banai – who…

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Beach Hopping in Maharashtra

The one thing Maharashtra must be thankful for is the Arabian Sea. Western Maharashtra is blessed with a wonderful coastline stretching 720km and dotted with beaches, both popular and pristine. There is a beach in Maharashtra for whatever your reasons – adventure sports, powdery white sands, virgin, secluded and/or a sea fort. Earlier this year, when Republic Day coincided on a Monday, I capitalized on the long weekend to cover some of the beaches on…

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