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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Narayangaon

Pune deserves the sobriquet “Queen of the Deccan” and is nested on the fringes of the Deccan Plateau flaunting its quintessential charm. It is also the second largest city in Maharashtra. This queen has many "dasi's" (read small places of interest at a short distance), one among which is Narayangaon. A sleepy, picturesque village in the backdrop of the majestic Sahyadri mountains, Narayangaon is located 76 kilometres from Pune on the Nasik-Pune highway Getting there by road in the only option as Narayangaon does not boast of rail or air connectivity. Travel time is between one and a half to two hours.


Located at a height of 750 metres Narayangaon is a synonym for vineyards as this where the wine industry took root in India. The largest of which is Chateau Indage. Visiting the vineyards is not only enchanting but also so tempting that one could not withstand the desire to pluck some fruits from the grapevine. Vast expansion of green creepers full of ripe fruits make for a spectacular scene. The vineyards are located in a pollution free zone, where the atmosphere is totally virgin. A serene, calm and quite ambience surrounds the entire area. The grape fruits dance to the tunes of the gentle breeze that blows through the nearby mountains. It is for sure that these vineyards inspire every visitor and it is a perfect location to have a weekend tour. Narayangaon is also reknowned for the famous folk art, 'Tamasha'.

How to get there:

Bus

Buses from different parts of the State arrive at Narayangaon. There is local transport around the town as well. Buses are the cheapest mode of transport available, and these can cost you anywhere around Rs: 5 to 15 within the town.

Moving around in Narayangaon:

Auto Rickshaw

There are a few auto rickshaws that can be found around the place. Basic fares will range around Rs: 15 for the first kilometer and Rs: 8 for every additional kilometer. Auto rickshaws are metered and charge one and a half times the general fare during night time.

Cab/Taxi

There are not many local cabs in the place and it is advisable to hire them from other cities and use them for local transport. Cabs from Pune can also be availed, and these will cost you around Rs:1000 to 1500 per day.

When to go:

Winters during December to February offer a pleasant climate in Narayangaon with a temperature range of 22°C to 29°C. Summers (March to May) are hot and maximum temperature crosses 40°C. Monsoons during June to September offer medium to heavy rainfalls.

India's first ever wine festival, Chougule's Annual Wine Festival held during the month of March is celebrated at Chateau Indage every year. Thrilling and exhilarating, with an array of celebrity guests, this wine festival follows traditional french wine festival routes and festivities are conducted in a formal manner but with pomp. splash and splendour. A wide range of ceremonies starting from an educational walk through the vineyards to planting of vines and stomping of grapes is on offer. A tour of the winery is part of the arrangements. The actual spirit behind this celebration is to promote a wine culture with tourism. It is an like an exhibition of the finest quality of wines. They also have cottages on the premises which are open for bookings throughout the year. Mind you though that there no room service and all meals need to taken in the excellent restaurant located just outside the winery gates. The bliss of living in a vineyard though will more than make up for the trouble.

Places of interest nearby:

Meterwave radio telescope facility

A multipurpose instrument used for detecting a variety of radio astrophysical problems Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT), is a unique facility provided by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, a part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay. Located near Narayangaon, it is the world's largest radio telescope at meter wavelengths. An institute of international acclaim, astronomers from all over the world frequently visit here and use the GMRT to observe many different astronomical objects such as galaxies, pulsars and supernovae.

This renowned institute allows the public to have a look at the functioning of the institute. This is held every year in connection with the science day celebration. Every Friday, the public is permitted to avail the facilities of this great observatory. This is a rare opportunity for the common man to get a glimpse of the glittering stars of the sky.

Junnar and Shivneri Fort

A historic town and monument, where Shivaji, the greatest Maratha warrior of Maharashtrian history was born and spent his childhood, is a hot spot for the tourist. A fertile land blesses with a vast variety of vegetation, Junnar allures the visitors. A fascinating spot is Shivneri fort. To each Indian Shivaji is an indomitable spirit and he is the nucleus of the Maratha history. A veritable hot spot of trekking, this hilly terrain is famed for its toughness to climb. A highly defensive spot with steep rocks makes it difficult for the enemies to reach the top and so Shahaji Bhonsale, father of Shivaji moved his wife to this fort during her pregnancy. This gallant fort of the Marathas also houses a magnificent Devi temple nearby and history says that Shivaji is named after the deity of this temple. The fort lies in the midst of lush, verdant greenery. Amazing structures in the fort with its artistic and architectural beauty are a treat for the eyes. The Junnar caves are worth a visit too.

Religious people can visit the various temples in and around Junnar. Famous temples like Bhimashankar temple where Lord Shiva is worshipped is a short span away. Junnar is also famous for the Ganesh decorations during Ganesh Utsav and though a small place they are compared to the ones in Pune.

Besides this Junnar is bound by lush magnificent greenery. The beautiful gardens are the other interesting spots in this thriving village.

Ozar

Located in Pune District of Maharashtra, Ozar is famous for the Vigneshwara and Lenyadri Temples dedicated to Lord Ganesh. Mythology says this is the spot where Parvati peformed penance to beget Ganesha. These magnificent temples are situated on the banks of the enthralling Kukadi River and it is one among the AshtaVinayaka temples in Maharashtra.

The verdant greenery around the temple presents a serene and calm atmosphere to this holy shrine. The Swayambhu idol of the main deity fills the devotee with divine pleasure. Mythology says Lord Ganesh travelled on the back of a mouse here and this temple enshrines the idol of a mouse, which is very enchanting. The golden dome of the temple and other structures of this temple is an architectural splendor. Another interesting attraction of this pleasant place is the ancient cave, a memorial dedicated to Swami Brahmanand.





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