1 Hour Activities

DISCOVER STREET ART IN THE OLD CITY

  • Visit an ambitious art project in a time-capsule neighborhood
  • See work by artists from around the globe
  • Book a guided tour of the famous murals

Local artist Harshvardhan Kadam—better known on the Pune art scene as Inkbrushnme—founded the Pune Street Art Project in 2012, luring artists from across India, the U.S., Russia, and beyond to the alleys and by-lanes of Pune’s historic Kasba Peth neighborhood. Nowadays you’ll spy vivid murals—depicting everything from pivotal moments in Marathi history to a behemoth riverside crocodile that becomes submerged when water levels rise—in the most unexpected spots. All this makes for a rewarding treasure hunt, which happens to be a great way to explore an atmospheric and engaging neighborhood by bike. To track down the artworks on your own, consult the helpful map Kadam has created (http://thisissheena.com/blog/smalltalk-with-inkbrushnme) and head out on foot or bike; if you’d prefer a guided tour (which we recommend, just to get the context and background), ask the Conrad concierge to arrange one with tour company Virasat Pune.
Kasba Peth is about 20 to 30 minutes from the hotel depending on traffic. It’s best to take a Conrad car to this chaotic part of town.


VAISHALI
1218/1 Fergusson College Rd., Shivajinagar
+91-20-2553-1244
vaishalihotel.in

SAVYA RASA
Gera Serenity Building, CTS No. 15, Koregaon Park
+91-20-3049-1155
savyarasa.com

GET A TASTE OF THE SOUTH

  • Try beloved regional Indian specialties
  • End your meal with a classic South Indian–style filter coffee

Unlike many other midsize Indian cities, where the dominating regional culture reigns supreme, Pune has long attracted transplants from across India, including a sizable South Indian population. No surprise that the city’s South Indian restaurants have amassed cult followings for their dosas, idlis, and sambars. Most locals have a nostalgic soft spot for Vaishali, a longtime favorite with students from nearby Fergusson College, who swear by the butter dosa. But savvy Puneris have found a new haunt: Savya Rasa, which opened in 2015 in Koregaon Park, specializes in refined fare from the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. The elegant interiors are a world away from Vaishali’s collegiate ambience, and you’ll only find one dosa option on the menu here (a paper-thin, rice-batter-based neer dosa). Instead, try the royalla iguru (spicy prawns with chilli, ginger garlic, curry leaves, and lime juice) and kori gassi (chicken curry with coconut milk); pair them with a fluffy bun parotta bread and a classic South Indian filter kaapi (coffee). You’ll soon understand why Savya Rasa was named one of Condé Nast Traveller India’s best new restaurants in the country in 2015.

Vaishali is a 15-minute drive from Conrad Pune (though it can take a lot longer in peak traffic); Savya Rasa is just a few blocks from the hotel in Koregaon Park, on a quiet residential lane behind a big Starbucks.​

VAISHALI
1218/1 Fergusson College Rd., Shivajinagar
+91-20-2553-1244
vaishalihotel.in

SAVYA RASA
Gera Serenity Building, CTS No. 15, Koregaon Park
+91-20-3049-1155
savyarasa.com

KATA KIRR
Survey 40/16, Castle Eleganza, Bhonde Colony, near Kalmadi House, Deccan Gymkhana

JOSHI WADEWALE
Multiple locations including Congress House Rd., Shivajinagar

SPICE IT UP

  • Sample delicious Maharashtrian street food
  • Try iconic dishes like misal pav and vada pav

Let’s face it, in India street food is always going to be something of a gamble—but if you identify spots with dedicated followings and plenty of turnover, you’ll be well rewarded. No one should leave Pune without breakfasting on misal pav—a spicy mix of curry, onions, and sev (crunchy savory noodles), sopped up with a bun. Our go-to for misal pav is the diminutive Kata Kirr, located about 20 minutes from the Conrad. But make sure you ask the cooks to go easy on the spices: Even veteran chilli[[see earlier note…]] aficionados struggle with the heat levels here. Follow that up with a stop at one of the Joshi Wadewale chain’s many outposts around town (there’s one quite near the hotel) for their top-tier vada pav, a savory potato patty served with spongy bread and curry. Bear in mind this is a strictly no-frills chain—it doesn’t look like much—but locals swear by the quality.
Kata Kirr is about 20 minutes west of the Conrad by car. Of the many Joshi Wadewale outposts across Pune, the closest to the Conrad is in Shivajinagar, about 10 to 15 minutes away.

KATA KIRR
Survey 40/16, Castle Eleganza, Bhonde Colony, near Kalmadi House, Deccan Gymkhana

JOSHI WADEWALE
Multiple locations including Congress House Rd., Shivajinagar

AGA KHAN PALACE
Pune Nagar Rd., Kalyani Nagar
+91-73857-46855

GET UP-CLOSE WITH HISTORY

  • Visit an extravagant palace-turned-prison-turned-museum
  • Learn about Mahatma Gandhi and the struggle for independence
  • Stroll through the lush palace gardens

History buffs won’t want to miss a quick visit to the Aga Khan Palace in Kalyani Nagar, an Italianate-Islamic architectural hybrid constructed in 1892 by Sultan Mohammed Shah, also known as Aga Khan III. Its notoriety comes from the fact that this is where Mahatma Gandhi and many of his closest confidants were imprisoned from 1942 to 1944 during India’s Independence movement—Gandhi’s wife Kasturba passed away at the palace during her internment. These days, it’s a well-researched and well-presented tribute to Gandhi and the freedom struggle, with a warren of rooms filled with pictures and tributes and statues of the couple in the front hall. After visiting all the exhibits, spend some time exploring the complex’s tranquil gardens.
Aga Khan Palace is about 15 minutes north of the hotel, across the Muthi River in Kalyani Nagar, but with traffic the journey can easily stretch to 30 minutes or more each way.

AGA KHAN PALACE
Pune Nagar Rd., Kalyani Nagar
+91-73857-46855