I don’t want to brag more about how Pune City is historically important and culturally rich etc. We all know that very well. Pune is called the Queen of Deccan. But which place in Pune can be called the Queen of Pune? The answer may surprise some of the ancient hardcore Punekars out there but it’s true. The Queen of Pune is Deccan Gymkhana i.e. Pune-
The location of the Deccan Gymkhana area is the most fascinating thing about it. It is the connection between the old Peths and the southwestern suburbs such as Kothrud, Erandwane, etc. Well, it’s one of the most costly areas for real estate but even if you propose to rent an apartment or take a P.G. there, it’s the matter of luck. I’ve been lucky in the year 2016-17 when I got to live there in this hostel. The MM Boys’ Hostel.
Well the geography of this area is very interesting. Named after the old sports club Deccan Gymkhana, there are many sub-colonies in this area itself but all are largely called Deccan area. Starts off at the Khanduji Baba Chowk or popularly known as the Deccan Corner, the area contains Prabhat Road, Ferguson College Road, Bhandarkar Road, Apte Road, Paranjape Road, Janglee Maharaj Road etc. Some of the oldest and most famous landmarks here are Chitale’s sweets shop, Cafe Goodluck, Vaishali Restaurant, The Fergusson Campus with its 3-4 gates, Dnyaneshwar Paduka Chowk, Sambhaji Garden, Balgandharva Theatre, Deccan Bus Stop, Kamala Nehru Park, The BMCC College, The Gokhale University, The MMCC Campus, the British library etc etc. Each of these areas are amongst the cleanest areas I’ve ever seen in Pune.
What makes Pune-04 special is its elite environment. Perhaps the only area where you can find 2 big sports clubs with their moderately bigger grounds, One giant educational institute with a dozen of colleges inside, a complete University exclusively for economics, one of the tier 1 commerce colleges in India, yet another commerce college just beside, office of Times of India, office of Registrar of Companies and a small hill amidst of all these. Pune is 9th largest metro city in India and 2nd largest in the state of Maharashtra. For a city like this, the entire area of Deccan Gymkhana is indeed a paradise. Checkout the pictures below.
During my days in Pune-04 in the MM Hostel, I used to go to a mess located in the Gokhale Deemed University. That mess was very famous and thus, always crowded by students of all the 3 institutes nearby. I could never be a part of Fergusson college or BMCC but I was friends with many of the alumni of those colleges. They’d always meet me in that mess and we’d discuss various stuff while having lunch or dinner. Just by being in Pune-04 circle, you gain a hell lot of knowledge that you get nowhere else. The entire downhill of Hanuman Tekadi still has the blessings of Lokmanya Tilak and G K Gokhale.
One more fascinating thing about Pune 04 is that the locations of Hanuman Tekadi, BMCC and Gokhale University are an attraction for Marathi film industry. I’ve frequently seen the shootings of some films with my own eyes. It’s even more fascinating when the scenes you watched getting shot actually appear in the movie when released. Faster Fene, Deva, Boyz, YZ, Mulshi Pattern, Ti Sadhya Kay Karte are some of those movies. It’s only then I came to know that a 1 minute movie scene may take about 4 hours to shoot. Following are the pictures of the movie Deva including my selfie with Marathi Superstar Ankush Chowdhury.
Before going to the most beautiful thing about Pune-04, here’s a brief about FC Road or the Fergusson College Road. You get all the things here, from cheapest to the costliest. There’s a fashion street called Hong Kong Lane connecting both JM and FC Roads. While FC Road is full of youth rush and street hawkers, the parallel opposite one way JM Road is full of elite, greenery and brand showrooms. Honestly the whole JM Road is a garden. Checkout the pictures.
FC Road and JM Road are one of the most famous roaming destinations in Pune for sure, but the underrated spot in Pune-04 is largely out of sight, and thank God it is so, the Hanuman Tekadi (Hill).
Located just beyond the DES or Ferguson campus, the hill is about 400-500 meters high above the sea level. Local senior citizens come here every morning and evening for exercise, I used to go there and relax. Many youngsters do the same as well. There’s some magic in the air of Hanuman Tekadi. I’m desparately craving to visit it again, over and over again. Checkout the pictures below. Scenery from the hill and scenery on the hill.
Elite landmarks, unique locations, immense greenery, purest air quality and one of the most beautiful residential areas in the city… Deccan Gymkhana or Pune-04 is indeed a paradise. I pray to the God that I get one more chance to live in Pune-04.
Dnyanesh Make The DPM.