Diwali In Pune?

#1 Sep 7th, 2008, 18:51
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#1
Hello!

Anyone here know what's going on in Pune for Diwali?

I'll be there with the LP (Little People - not Lonely Planet!!) for the festival and would love for them to have a fantastic time. They are particularly keen to ride an elephant, and I remember from my last Diwali in Pune (when the biggest LP was just 7 months old) that there were elephants rides, but can't remember where, or how to go about finding one.

Apart from that - where might be a good place to be for optimum enjoyment of festivities and fireworks? Is there anything else going on that I should know about?

Thanks!

Hazel
#2 Sep 7th, 2008, 18:56
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There may be some light classical performances which happen around that time. Also have Navratri/Durga Puja/Dassera around that time so enjoyment is everywhere.

For traditional stuff, check out the ¨Peths¨ . There are number of Peths (A peth would be something like 2-3 km. radius area, and there are 8-9 of them), there are lots of places for one to enjoy.
#3 Sep 7th, 2008, 19:03
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Thanks for the really speedy reply, Jivan!

This will be our shortest trip ever to India - so I guess I'm just trying to make sure that we don't miss something amazing because I just didn't know about it!!

H
#4 Sep 7th, 2008, 19:21
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Haze,
The best way is to scan local news on something like expressindia.com and esakaal.com or punecity.com and few sites. Events and things keep happening the year around. Also for quite sometime now there has been sort of Jazz revival in Pune as well, it all depends on what you are looking for
#5 Sep 7th, 2008, 19:23
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Jivan

Of course!! I'd forgotten about those resources. (looking around for memory stick to plug into my head......)

H
#6 Sep 7th, 2008, 21:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haze View Post They are particularly keen to ride an elephant, and I remember from my last Diwali in Pune (when the biggest LP was just 7 months old) that there were elephants rides, but can't remember where, or how to go about finding one.
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=...num=1&ct=image
Peshwe Park, which is at the bottom of Parvati Hill, about a mile from SP College, has always had an elephant ride, at least since 1960( guess how I know!), did in 2005 and as per the following still does:

Peshwe Park is situated near Saras Baug, is a zoo maintained by the Pune Municipal Corporation housing a variety of beautiful species of wild animals. A toy-train ride, an elephant ride and boating are special
http://meghnad.iucaa.ernet.in/~icgc07/sub/pune.htm

How I'd have loved to have left "will call" tickets for you and the LPs, for entrance to the zoo, for the elephant ride, for the PhoolRani(toy-train), for the boat ride, some salted roasted phootane and peanuts thrown in, bhel from a hawker, washed down by fresh sugar-cane juice at the gurhal. While I will be in India, I won't be in Pune until the last week of Nov onwards, otherwise I'd personally accompany you and the LPs.

Sadly, these things aren't there yet, I can't quote my CC # and buy online from a hawker or a sugar-cane-juice point, nor at the Zoo. Unless of course somebody tells us different.

Enjoy, especially the LPs, on my behalf. The pleasure will really be all mine.

-skk
#7 Sep 7th, 2008, 23:24
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SKK

Thank you so much for this wonderful, generous reply. The girls were delighted when I told them that I now know where there are elephants for riding on.

It's not too late for you to change your mind and make it to Pune for Diwali as well.

H
#8 Oct 18th, 2008, 17:53
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Sorry if I'm raining on your parade, but isn't Peshwe Park shifted now (and possibly renamed too?)? I think it has been shifted to somewhere near Katraj or beyond, please confirm.
SKK, just to trigger your nostalgia, when I used to go there as a kid, there were 3 elephants there ... Anarkali, Sumitra and I forgot the name of the third.... were those the same when you used to go as well?

And remember, there was a defunct army tank there as well, captured at Longewala in the 71 war with Pakistan. I remember climbing down into the cabin and pretending I was the commander. Every time I climbed into the tank, though, I used to be scared that someone had been too lazy to walk all the way over to the public toilets in the park and had decided to take advantage of the enclosed cabin instead! Don't think I ever did actually run into the situation, though ... but it would have been hard to tell based upon the smell, since the tank was quite close to the enclosures where the hyenas, some foxes and I guess some old lions were ..... the stench is indelibly imprinted in memory !
If at first you don't succeed, try management
Last edited by DrHeckleAndMrSnide; Oct 18th, 2008 at 18:02.. Reason: Adding to the nostalgia
#9 Oct 18th, 2008, 19:50
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Dr H

Thanks for your note - this is perhaps why someone who actually lives in Pune might be better off to suggest somewhere! Anyway, I looked up Peshwe Park this morning and it seems that it was still there as of June this year. Still, if there's any question about it, it might be better to meet in another place.

Any suggestions?

H
#10 Oct 18th, 2008, 22:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrHeckleAndMrSnide View Post Sorry if I'm raining on your parade, but isn't Peshwe Park shifted now (and possibly renamed too?)? I think it has been shifted to somewhere near Katraj or beyond, please confirm.
You are thinking of the Rajiv Gandhi Zoo out in Katraj, and indeed people in Pune told me, and even the wiki on Rajiv Gandhi zoo says so, that Peshwe Park was closed down and the animals relocated over to the Rajiv Gandhi zoo in 1999 ; but what can I say, except that the animals were all still there at Peshwe Park in Jan. 2005. We can all imagine the reasons why Peshwe Park still continued to function, political pressure about job losses would be MY hot idea, but this divergence between published official "truth" and the "facts on the ground" is not unusual, all over the world, in all sorts of spheres. I 'googled' "Peshwe Park closed" and come up with some amazing dates when its been going, going, going gone - even the laying of a foundation stone for an "energy park" in 2003! Politicians - barf !. Meantime, the Pune Diary still lists the day of the week when its closed (Wednesday) - I'm certain to go to Peshwe Park in late Nov. 2008 and will report back - lets see if its STILL open. My bet - yeah - rumors of its death will have been greatly exaggerated.

I could call and ask my niece in Pune, my XX, YY, ZZ, but like I said above, even the people who live and grew up in Pune didn't think it was still open - in Jan 2005 - when it patently WAS open. They also probably didn't know the Bund at Bund Gardens had a huge gap in it either I suspect.

I've seen this phenom - I've been shown up about my own ignorance of my own town before ! In Los Angeles, several people told me that the famous Watts Towers sculpture/building had been demolished/closed to the public in 1992 and so on - they were still going strong in 1992, and by 1996 even spruced up, as I saw on those two of the numerous times I visited them !


Quote:
Originally Posted by DrHeckleAndMrSnide View Post SKK, just to trigger your nostalgia, when I used to go there as a kid, there were 3 elephants there ... Anarkali, Sumitra and I forgot the name of the third.... were those the same when you used to go as well?
...And remember, there was a defunct army tank there as well, captured at Longewala in the 71 war with Pakistan.
Wow, Sumitra definitely rings a bell - the tank ( military not water) doesn't - not suprisingly - I was out of India in 1966.

Separately, I notice that Haze says something about meeting up there in her post. Sarasbaag( baug), the gardens adjacent to Peshwe Park will still be there, whatever's happened to Peshwe Park - that's the place where adults have hung out anyway..

-skk
#11 Oct 20th, 2008, 13:08
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Wow, didn't know Sumitra was around for THAT long.... I was present in Peshwe Park the day Sumitra died ... she was lifted by crane from near her enclosure and buried some distance away ...

Haze, in case you're interested, there usually is an exhibition of replicas of forts held in Sambhaji Park during Diwali. These are replicas of historical forts in and around Maharashtra created by enthusiasts who participate in a competition held annually there. Quite interesting.
#12 Oct 27th, 2008, 01:57
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That's actually a great idea, Sambhaji Park while not being as big as Saras Baugh does have its moments. Not to mention its right in the bang of the city so getting transportation is not an issue even if its late night or something. Try doing that at the other side of the town

Another thing, does anybody remember the camels that used to be in Peshwe Park. I always enjoyed more the camel rides rather than anything else.

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