Routes & Trails (March 2014)

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& trails Vol.2 Issue 1. March 2014

cover story


AND WE JUMP! twr traveller

SiNdhudurg Road Trip

Food Trailing in Pune P

une, like any other budding cosmopolitan has a large and ever growing foodie 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. In this issue of Routes & Trails, we feature 12 restaurants in Pune city which have shaped Pune’s food culture over the years.

Photo: One of the best Vada Pavs in Pune at Garden Vada Pav



Photos by Vidyuth Singh Routes & Trails |


Idli Wada Sambar


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’. Once can ask for a ‘sample’ in varying forms of spice. Shrikrishna takes pride in serving ONLY misal through the day.


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.


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.



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

“Pune food trail was a wonderful experience which i would love to repeat next time i’m in pune again.The combination of exploring old pune and getting to eat authentic puneri food was just amazing and I applaude Jayesh (the organiser) for thinking of it” - Nimrata, New Delhi. To read more reviews, click here.


Puneri Misal


Wine Biscuits and Pistachio Cookies


Chicken Shashlik Sizzler

Routes & Trails |

Exploring the ‘assal’ flavours of old Pune: Those who swear by innumerable gastronomical delights peppering the city and treat local food guides as their Bible, claim the spirit of any place is defined by the age-old, lesser known food joints not listed in conventional guides. To read the complete article, click here.


Baked Beans on Toast, Bun Omelette and Fruit Funny

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!

and TripAdvisor, this place finds mention in a lot of guidebooks and food guides about Pune.


Vaidya Upahar Gruha

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.

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!



Café Goodluck


Cold Drink House

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

In 1935, Hussain Ali Yakshi started Café Goodluck after he acquired the premises from one Narayan Seth. Goodluck 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, Goodluck 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.


Puneri Misal with a ‘tarri’ made from green chillies

Routes & Trails |


Sali Chicken and Rice


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!


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!



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.

The trail was wonderful and in just 3 hours or so, we explored not only the food and heritage of the old city, but I was also reminded of how little I know my own city. For a mere Rs. 500, the walk takes you to various places one wouldn’t normally go to. To read the complete article, click here.


Mango Mastani




Sandwiches, Burgers, Salads and Cakes

Routes & Trails |


Chicken Biryani


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.

In August 2013, The Western Routes launched customized ‘Food Trails’ in Pune city to explore the traditional eating joints in the city. We currently offer food trails in the old city area and the cantonment areas of Pune. The food trails are guided by a team of quintessential Punekars and above all hardcore foodies at heart, who know the best and the most authentic places to eat in the city! For more details about our upcoming food trails check or

“As a born Puneri but settled in the US for the 10+ years, I always long to get the real Puneri food during my yearly visits back home, especially since those visits now seem to have become more like once-every-two-year visits. The ‘Pune Food Trail’ fixed this need and it did it very well.” - Kaushik G, San Francisco, US

photo feature


Photos by Jayesh Paranjape

Bhuleshwar Temple, Pune

As we enter a new year of exploring Maharashtra, we at The Western Routes want to remember the fun times we had in the past 2 years. People jump with happiness on our trips. Some people are super synchronized, some give that perfect jump, some extremely funny, some are too quick to jump, some awkward and some simply don't get it! But clicking a ‘jumping’ photo is an amazing bonding activity to connect with the travelers. These ‘JUMP’ photos have been taken at the end of some of our most memorable trips in 2012 and 2013.

Routes & Trails |

shaniwarwada, Pune

velas beach, ratnagiri

fort sinhagad, pune

Foothills of Fort Harishchandragad

bibi ka maqbara, aurangabad

Atop Nagfani Kada, Bhimashankar

Gateway of india, mumbai

different styles of jumps

Shantadurga Temple, Goa

Routes & Trails |

Sindhudurg Road Trip By Gayatri Kokje


onkan fascinates me. The serene beaches and the not so commercial atmosphere, makes it very homely. We decided to tour the Sindhudurg district and try to cover as much as we can during our short stay.

Photos by Dhananjay Kulkarni, Gayatri Kokje, Jayesh Paranjape

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Routes & Trails |

Travel Duration: 5 days- 4 nights Date: 6-10 November 2013 Climate: Pleasant (Nov to Jan would be a good time to visit) Day 1 We started from Pune and took the KolhapurRadhanagari route to reach Parule. Although the roads are not in good condition the route passes through the Radhanagari forest with the dam backwaters in sight and is very scenic and beautiful. It was a log drive to reach Parule, where we were put up at Macchli, a nice resort in the natural beauty. After refreshing and having a fulsome meal we headed off to check the nearby beach which was Bhogave beach. Bhogave is endowed with foamy waves and silver sand. Bhogave village has another attraction of unification of sea and river named Karli. After enjoying a nice dip in the sea we headed back just by the sunset as it is difficult to travel in Konkan during night. With no street lights and no one on the streets too to check for directions we reached back Macchli in time and had a great dinner to end our first day. Day 2 On our second day we drove to Malvan. Sindhudurg is a great place to try water sports and snorkeling, scuba diving in India. On reaching Malvan we took a ferry to the Sindhudurg fort and also included snorkeling and scuba diving. Bhogave Beach

It was a nice breezy ride and we anchored close to the fort where there was a small training session for the snorkeling and scuba participants after which they performed it. Our son did not fit the age for snorkeling but then was allowed a little swim with some help. He thoroughly enjoyed it! After the Sindhudurg fort ride we were dropped back on the shore and we then headed for lunch at Atithi Bamboo hotel which serves meals with different offerings in variety of fish, prawns and chicken. My husband, Vishal enjoyed a surmai rava fry while I hogged on the modest vegetarian meal offered along with some nice Solkadhi. After lunch we headed to the Rock garden and Chivla beach. The Chivla beach is very rocky and reminded me of the Band Stand in Mumbai. It’s a nice place to sit on the rocks and view the waves running towards the shore. We spent some time here and then headed towards Tarkarli. Tarkarli seemed a more popular destination with lots of tourists and the beach road full of homestays and resorts. A fellow traveler mentioned to us that when they had visited Tarkarli way back in 2000, the water was so clear they could see the corals from the beach shore. Now it happens to be polluted a lot with large volume of masses flocking to it. There were a lot of crabs too on the beach, due to which my son was not even ready to step into the water.

Scuba Diving at Sindhudurg Fort

Rock Garden and Chivla Beach

Routes & Trails |

Devi Idol at Dhamapur

Idol at Redi Ganpati Mandir

Terekhol Fort

Sawantwadi Palace

We then cut our visit short and headed to the Dhamapur lake from Tarkarli. It was a short drive we made with the help of GPS and also inquired on the route of the best route to take. (We realized long back that GPS is not solely reliable in Konkan).

The drive on the ‘Sagari Mahamarga’ or coastal highway from Dwarka homestay to Kondura and back was great and refreshing. We then spent time chatting with the owner Dilip Aklekar, who had passionately built the property. The day ended with another great dinner.

Dhamapur is a quiet and serene place with a very beautiful temple of Bhagwati Devi. The idol of the Devi is very beautiful and the surrounding lake appears very pious and pure. Here we sat on the steps near the lake and had a natural fish therapy pedicure as there were a lot of fish in the lake. It was nearing sunset and that meant we needed to head back to Parule.

Day 4 The next day we drove to Redi Ganapati Mandir. The Ganapati temple of Redi is located approximately 30 km from Vengurla, in the small village of Redi. The town in which this temple is situated contains manganese mines and the Ganpati idol was found in one of the mines near Rewati port.

Day 3 The next day we were to leave Macchli and say goodbye to our hosts – The Samant family. In the morning we visited an ancient Surya Narayan temple, which belonged to the Samant family. It was very beautiful and clean.

Trucks keep ferrying the ore to the shore. The story goes that the Ganapati idol was found by one of the truck drivers after the Ganapati appeared in his dream and instructed him to search a particular place. The idol is in a sitting position and approximately 15 meters in height.

Before moving onto Sawantwadi for our next 2 days, we visited the Kille Nivati and the Nivati beach. This is a small fort in ruins mostly but offers a great view of the Bhogave beach. We reached Dwarka Homestay after lunch. Dwarka is a wonderful homestay midst nice mango plantations. We had some rest and post tea, we left for Kondura beach. This was a lovely beach. The high tide kept us away from water. We then watched the fishermen gather the catch of the day and also enjoyed the kite flying with the village kids. Natural fish pedicure at Dhamapur

While Redi is in Sindhudurg, we were so close to Goa. From the Redi temple we visited the Terekhol Fort, which is in Goa. It was originally built by the King of Sawantwadi but later captured by the Portuguese. The fort was recently converted to a hotel, but the hotel was not operational when we visited. The fort offers a great view of the Tericol river and the coast of Goa. We then ferried to the other coast along with our car, took a fill and a lunch at Mandrem beach and returned back to Sindhudurg. Day 5 The next day we departed back to Pune, via the Sawantwadi-Amboli-Kolhapur-Pune route. It was an amazing 5 day trip where we covered around 6 beaches, 2 forts and a few temples. Both the homestays were amazing with great hospitality and great food. Jayesh Paranjape from The Western Routes helped us plan this wonderful trip and assisted with booking the homestays.

Routes & Trails |

UPCOMING TRIPS Turtle Festival at Velas

• Olive Ridley Turtle eggs hatching • Stay with the villagers, Konkani food • True eco-tourism model

Dates: 22-23 March 2014 Cost per person: Rs 2,800

Bhimashankar Camp

• Camp inside the wildlife sanctuary • Home of the Indian Giant Squirrel • Village based eco-tourism model • Jungle walks

Dates: 29-30 March 2014 Cost per person: TBA

Snorkeling & Scuba Diving in Konkan

• Scuba Diving and Snorkeling at Malvan • Sindhudurg Fort • Stay in a Heritage Homestay • Malvani Food

Dates: 4-6 April 2014 Cost per person: Rs 7,200


March - May 2014 Tigers & more at Nagzira

• One of the most beautiful forests in Maharashtra • Witness the charisma of tiger and other species

Dates: 17-20 April 2014 Cost per person: TBA


• Go on a Treasure Hunt in search of food • Food Tasks among teams • Explore the city through clues

Dates: 22 April 2014 Cost per team: Rs 500

Mango Picking & Tasting

• Eat unlimited mangoes throughout the trip • Mango and cashew picking • Home-stay by the beach

Dates: 9-11 May 2014 Cost per person: TBA

| +91-9011040773

twr contest


Guess which place this is and win exclusive merchandise from The Western Routes

Rush your answers to by 31 Mar 2014. The first 3 correct entries would receive some really cool TWR merchandise. Terms and Conditions: The contest is valid for residents of India only. Prizes are non-transferable, non-negotiable, subject to availability and there will be no cash alternative. These terms and conditions are governed in accordance with the laws of India.

Congratulations to the winners of our last contest



Prathamesh Mhatre

The correct answer was Khandoba Temple, Jejuri

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