Chalo Pune Challenge

So I know that it has been a few days since I have last blogged but I have been very tired and it has been very, very hot here. It has been in the high 90s for the last 2 days so when we have had any free time, we all just sit around because it is too hot to do anything else. We can’t even go in the pool because it has turned green.

A few days ago, we went on the Pune Challenge. This is an activity that participants do during the later stages of an event. They have to navigate themselves around Pune and visit common tourist spots while answering questions on a piece of paper and taking pictures of themselves at the spots that they visit. They usually have 4 places that they have to go and visit and each group has different places that they go and explore. Everyone ends up at the Empress Gardens where we will be in charge of bringing their sack lunch to them.

We started our Challenge by visiting the Kirkee War Cemetery. It is a very beautifully kept cemetery honoring those who lost their lives in World War II.

Our next stop was the Handmade Paper Factory. The tour that we took there was amazing. The head of the factory gave us the tour and explained how they make the paper and how everything is eco-friendly. They use cotton scraps to make the paper. They even reuse the edges of the paper that they cut off.

The third stop was the Chaturshringi Temple, one of the many temples here in Pune. It is very quite and serene when you walk up to the top. We spent a while there resting and enjoying the quite.

The fourth stop was Koregaon Park. This is a nicer part of town. The Osho Ashram is located here, which is an internationally known ashram which brings in a very large foreign population. We ate at Subway and then walked around. We also stopped at the German Bakery and I bought some great croissants to eat for breakfast.

me at Subway.

Anna, Vivi, and me at the Osho Ashram.

After we were finished in Koregaon Park, we decided to go down to MG Road to have a snack at Barista. Barista is like a Starbucks but is way cheaper so I won’t feel so guilty for going there everyday. It was very delicious and it was a great refresher during the hot afternoon.

Vivi and me enjoying our Grande Iced Mocha Frappes.

The Pune Challenge was a very long day but was really fun. The version that the participants do is shorter than what we did. But we have to get out and go exploring so we now at least how to get around to the major places when we are showing participants around Pune.


ps: chalo means “let’s go” in Hindi.

One response to “Chalo Pune Challenge”

  1. Christa,I am enjoying reading your blog. I was at Sangam in 1971. It looks like Pune has changed a lot since then. We never got to go to Subway or Barista. The pool at Sangam never had water in it when we were there. It was during April-drought season. I was there for 2 weeks with 12 Girl Scouts from around the US and 12 Girl Guides from around India. It was a wonderful experience. I remember the smell of India even today. One I will never forget – a mixture of sandalwood, cow dung, and incense. I hope you will have a great time in India. It is getting hotter back here in SD. Today it is 88 and muggy. Not as hot as I remember India being.


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