Juna Bazaar is an old market place in the heart of Pune, often looked over by the residents of the city unless they want to specifically shop for something there. The market comes alive on two specific days in the week, Wednesday and Sunday, when there is a weekly market. There is exceptional buzz in the market and its a great place for taking pictures as well. In short it's a perfect place for Street Photographers like me who are looking for beautiful subjects to shoot.

However, this time I did't want to shoot subjects, but actually talk to the people who make and run this market. These are the hard working people who work behind the scenes and run the marketplace. Their works usually happens in the narrow lanes behind the busy market, and they work all seven days, not just on two weekly market days.

Who are these people? What is their life life? What do they dream of? Here are some of the dream stories I collected in Juna Bazaar of Pune.


"My elder son died and now his children are my responsibility. I dream of giving them both good education and help them become something in life."

street photography pune india juna bazaar

After the battle of 'Haldi Ghati', many families from Rajasthan migrated to Maharashtra, and Radhabai's family was one of them. Her family has traditionally been 'lohars' or ironsmiths and they continued doing the same work here as well.

She never went to school and started working in her family's business after she turned ten. Though traditionally it was done by both men and women, now there are very few women doing this work.

Radhabai's husband is a worker with a national political party and left her for another woman a few years after marriage. After that she raised her kids, got her two daughters married and even now works to secure the future if her grandkids.

Nawab Bhai

"I dream of going to Haj once in my lifetime, but it's too expensive for me right now - it costs about Rs 2.5 lakhs. But I can still go for Umra as its more affordable."

street photography pune india juna bazaar
Nawab Bhai

Nawab bhai is one of the oldest worker of Juna Bazaar and has been working here for almost 40 years now. He has seen many changes in these years - earlier the market was just temporary structures, which later became wooden shops and now the market is fully concrete.

His family comes from a village near Ahmednagar but now everyone is settled in Pune. His one son and four daughters are also now settled in the city.

Whenever free, Nawab bhai goes to the mosque to pray. Earlier he used to go to theaters to watch movies, now he just watches TV at home.

Firoz Khan

"I dream of living the rest of my life with full honesty and remember Allah. That's all."

street photography pune india juna bazaar
Firiz Khan

Firoz Khan comes from a family of painters and he spent his childhood days learning from his father who painted sign boards. He studied till grade nine, and then joined his father.

However he enjoyed carpentry more, and joined his uncle's workshop and worked with him for many years. He moved to Juna Bazaar only two months back.

Firoz lives in a large joint family, with his sons, daughter-in-laws and grandkids. He doesn't watch movies, but has seen 'Ten Commandments' because his friend tricked him into it. He loved the movie.

Kishan Sahu

"My dream is just to take care of my parents. They gave me life and now it's my duty to take care of them in their old age."

street photography pune india juna bazaar
Kishan Sahu
Before Kishan Sahu moved to Pune, he worked on a highway near the Kathmandu airport in Nepal for many years. Later he even did farming in his hometown in Bihar, but barely made a living.

Later he moved to Pune with his relatives to see the place. But he found a good job in the city and decided to stay back. Later he got his wife also from the village and now they all stay together in Pune.

Kishan works for ten hours as a manager in a small shop in Juna Bazaar. In his free days he likes to visit temples, especially Dagduseth Ganesh temple.

Sheikh Tahira

"I earn very little money. I just dream of having enough food to eat well, and maybe a good house to live in."

street photography pune india juna bazaar
Tahira Sheikh
Sheikh Tahira's husband was an alcoholic and 30 years back he died due to liver failure. After that she raised her daughter as a single mother, working continuously every day.

She comes from the family of painters and she learnt painting from her father. She has been doing it from the age of ten, and even now she paints military boxes at a shop in Juna Bazaar. It has been a tough life, but there were always many women like her working alongside which gave her support and strength.

Now her daughter, son-in-law and their four children live with her. She never went to school but wants to ensure some education to her grandkids.


"I really don't have any dream. I just come and work here to make a living. What can I dream at this age?"

street photography pune india juna bazaar

Rafiq is 47 years old and has been working at the Juna Bazaar for the last twenty years. His work mainly involves breaking things down, especially engines and other mechanical devices.

As a kid he was in his family village and studied till grade eight. Family circumstances forced him to leave school and work in the fields. Then he moved to Pune to make a better living by and started working here.

He has two children and they go to school. He doesn't want them to do what he does and pick up their career based on their preferences.
Topli Karvi, or Strobilanthes callosa as it is commonly known in the scientific community, is a wild mountain flower found mainly in the Western Ghats of India. However, that's not interesting part of its story - the interesting bit is that Topli Karvi blooms only once in seven years, and only for about 15-20 days.
Topli Karvi Kaas Plateau Western Ghats Maharashtra Strobilanthes callosa
Topli Karvin in bloom

One of the best places to see the blooming in action is the Kaas Plateau in Maharashtra, and this is the year when the flower is in full bloom there. In fact, after 2015 the other such large scale blooming will happen only after seven years in 2022. In fact some sub-species of this flower bloom once in 16 years!

At Kaas there is a very specific time when the flower blooms - late September or early October. The pink and white buds bear bright purple flower, which can cover large areas and make the entire floor is combination of green and purple. It's a gorgeous view and can easily captivate anyone.

Topli Karvi Kaas Plateau Western Ghats Maharashtra Strobilanthes callosa
Fields of Topli Karvi
Topli Karvi Kaas Plateau Western Ghats Maharashtra Strobilanthes callosa
A spider enjoying a feast on Karvi branch
Topli Karvi Kaas Plateau Western Ghats Maharashtra Strobilanthes callosa
Another close view of Karvi flower

Why is it called Topli Karvi?

The variety of Karvi found here is also locally known as Topli Karvi, which roughly translates into Karvi with a cap. This is due to the round and mushroom-like formation of the plant. This is unique and found only on this side of Western Ghats, mainly in and around Kaas.

In wind the topli of Karvi sways beautifully, but if the wind is particularly strong, the plant gets completely flattened out as well.

Topli Karvi Kaas Plateau Western Ghats Maharashtra Strobilanthes callosa
The typical Topli of Karvi
Topli Karvi Kaas Plateau Western Ghats Maharashtra Strobilanthes callosa
The flattened Topli!

After the flower blooms, it dies out in about 15-20 days and the cycle of growth restarts. After flowering, the plant is covered with fruits which pop with a loud sound loafer and spread the seed. A new life begins as the seeds spread on the first floor.

After seven more years, Karvi blooms once again!

If you want to catch Karvi in bloom this year and not in 2022, you need to go NOW! The blooming season is still on and you can see Karvi spreading it's beauty all over the Kaas Plateau.

Topli Karvi Kaas Plateau Western Ghats Maharashtra Strobilanthes callosa
Karvi - from a distance
Topli Karvi Kaas Plateau Western Ghats Maharashtra Strobilanthes callosa
Karvi - getting closer
Topli Karvi Kaas Plateau Western Ghats Maharashtra Strobilanthes callosa
Karvi - from very close
Grand Tour of Switzerland is a journey which takes you across the country over a distance of more than a thousand miles, and across towns, lakes, UNSECO world heritage sites and more. The journey is best experienced on its roads as a Road Trip. I was invited by the Swiss Tourism Board and NDTV Goodtimes to be a part of this epic journey and also be a star (haha - wishful thinking) for a TV show :)

Here is a short version of this week long trip :)

Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
A stop-over during the Grand Tour of Switzerland
Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
The sign of Grand Tour of Switzerland. Image credit: Swiss Tourism

Sometimes when I get up after a particularly satisfying sleep, I can distinctly feel the taste of chocolate in my mouth, see the bright colored flowers in the balcony, a long, winding and unending road, and company of some exceptional co-travellers. Such mornings are great and they tell me that the dreams Switzerland are still with me and even though I am back home, and that the memories of the magical land and the road trip will stay with me for a long long time to come.

Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
On the way to Zurich...

This wasn’t the first time, I was doing a road trip in an unknown place with promise of meeting strangers and making new friends. More than a decade back when I did an impromptu road trip from Srinagar to Ladakh, the land was as new and unique to me as was Switzerland. However, every time I hit the road (on a bike, car, bus), all I look forward to are adventures and stories.

The planning for the Grand Tour with NDTV started on a rather unusual note. A call from a young woman telling me that in a week’s time I would be in Switzerland made me think of it all as a prank call from friends. It was only when I actually applied for a visa that I the feeling started to sink in - I was going to Switzerland on a road-trip! Well it all did come true and brilliantly together eventually :)

Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
Every village looked as beautiful as this one!

To me the road trip was as much about the road as it was about the people I met as we zoomed past across cities. When I started the trip, I had no clue about the places I would be visiting in Switzerland and even when I got in my hand, I barely looked at it. So the next one week in car, walking on streets, sipping coffee in tiny cafes, waking up in strange new places, dancing on the streets, and more, were all surprises me for. All nights ended with discussing the plans for the next day and each of these conversations were a revelation to me almost everyday. This was one trip where I went with almost no homework, and so enjoyed it all the more!

Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
Ah the gorgeous evening light!
Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
Lovely view of Lake Geneva...

Top 'Grand Tour of Switzerland' experiences!

Traveling with a TV crew is a different experience though, and it actually takes a while to get used to a camera following you everywhere (well, almost). However, once I became friends with the camera crew, we had a blast together everywhere. We were in perfect sync with each other, I always got the cue quickly, and they always understood what kind of traveler I was. As I went about interviewing people for ‘Tell me your Dream’ project, they always followed me close by. We became natural allies in Switzerland.

I can go on and on about the background of the trip, but that’s a subject for another story. For this one, let me share my Top Experiences from the Grand Tour of Switzerland with NDTV. Before you read further, here is the complete map Grand Tour of Switzerland.

Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
Map of Swiss Made Grand Tour. Image credit: Swiss Tourism

Falling in love with the roads and getting lost on them!

Our journey actually started with picking our cars - an Audi and an Volkswagen from Geneva airport, and hitting the road. Rachit and I were in the Audi while the girls chose the convertible to enjoy the breeze. However, very soon it became apparent that something was odd - the girls were gone for too long. For a while we thought that they took the wrong turn and went towards the French border, but we met a few hours later in one of the most beautiful possible Swiss villages for lunch.

Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
View from the car...

A video posted by #TellMeYourDream2015 (@siddharthajoshi) on

A road trip which starts on this note, certainly only got better with each passing day. We often spent hours on the road and I was mostly mesmerised by the beauty outside. The roads are predictably great, but the villages we passed by as we jumped across cities were class apart. I barely used my camera, and tried to soak it all in with just my eyes. The time spent on the roads was often more enjoyable than the city where we spent the nights. 

I love my co-travellers!

I think I am blessed by the Lord himself when it comes to travel companions. I am yet to go on a journey where I have not gotten along well with my co-travellers, and Switzerland was no different. I interviewed Rachit at the airport itself and so we broke the ice right in the beginning. Deeba was a little different though, she was absolutely and unpredictably one of the most hilarious travel companions ever for me. I think she made the journey so much more fun, next time I am planning to actually pay and travel with her :)

Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
The bunch getting a little crazy :)
Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
Ok. Looking more sane :)

Though Neha works with NDTV Good Times, we very quickly gelled well at a more personal level as well. We shared so many dinners, drinks and secrets that we were all pretty much like one large happy family in the end!

Meeting the chocolate chef at 6am

We did chocolate tasking at Max Chocolatier in the afternoon, and even though I loved the experience, I knew something was missing as we the chocolate chef had left for the day and I still had unanswered question - Why are Swiss Chocolates the best in the world?

No to be deterred, I fixed up an appointment with the chef for the next morning at 6am and that’s exactly what I did, even though my body kept demanding that I sleep more. Ove the next one hour and half, I had some great talks with the chef, tasted raw chocolate ingredients and finally found an answer to my question. Are you curious as well? Read: Why are Swiss Chocolates the best in the world?

Walking inside a glacier on the Top of Europe - Jungfraugh

From the moment I stepped on the railway station and met with the guide, I knew this was going to be one heck of a day! I hit it off immediately with the guide and he was also extremely happy about sharing all this life stories with someone - in short we made a perfect combination.

Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
View of Alpine Glaciers from Jungfraugh 
Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
The restaurant inside a glacier :)

Later when we go into the train which took us through the tunnel, he asked me to join him in the engine and sit with the driver. This was certainly a first for me and to be able to do it on one of the world’s steepest and most iconic train ride was in itself an experience. Needless to say, I loved it! The feeling of going deep into a dark tunnel with none in front was something memorable.

I also loved the time we spent walking inside a glacier, especially the ice bar which almost felt like being in a James Bond movie. The place is quite touristy, but I would strongly recommend it to anyone who visits Switzerland, it’s worth the rush!

My first visit to a Medieval castle - Chillon Castle

The first time I heard about the place, I rejected it and thought it would be much better to do a short trek in the Alps. However, Deeba showed me some images of the castle and I changed my ind immediately. It’s one of Europe’s most visited castles, and it’s location on the Lake Geneva makes it a perfect place for gorgeous pictures as well.

Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
Beautiful Chillon :)

Go there for history, stained glasses, wall paintings and the wine which is made in the cellar right there. If you are in two minds still, take my recommendation and make a trip to Chillon Castle.

That BIG jump into deep water - Canyoning in Interlaken

Now Interlake is as touristy as it can get in Switzerland. If there is one place outside New Zealand which can fight for the title of an Adventure Capital, it would probably be Interlaken. This means there are lots of people (though you hardly see anyone), and there are loads of adventure activities that one can try.

canyoning jump interlaken outdoor adventure switzerland grand tour
The crazy jump you cant seen the top of the rock! Pic credit: Outdoor Adventures

canyoning interlaken outdoor adventure switzerland grand tour
Our Canyoning group! Pic credit: Outdoor Adventures

We decided to try Canyoning, a name that I had not even heard before. The evening before we were to try Canyoning, I did a quick youtube search and the videos completely psyched me out, apart from giving me a huge adrenaline rush. However, the experience of actually doing it surpassed anything that I imagined it to be. I wore a GoPro all through the activity and captured some awesome footage, though I have almost no images to show here. Look out for our video when it gets telecast on TV, I am sure it would give you a bit of fright! :)

The steepest train ride in the world - Mount Pilatus 

From Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm, the world’s steepest Cog Railway line takes travellers all the way to the top of the mountain (well almost) and its a trip which is even better than any view you can get from top!

The railway started in 1889 (wow) and goes up at a gradient of a maximum of 48%! Actually if you take the train on the way down, it can feel a little scary going at that angle - but the stunning views will keep you distracted :)

Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
Lake Lucerne from top...

The people and their dreams

No journey for me is complete with our talking to the locals and collecting their dreams, and Switzerland was not different. I was actually quite worried about continuing my pet project there, but collecting dreams there was as fun as anywhere else in the world. People from varied backgrounds opened up to me and shared their stories.

I spoke to my guides, to my co travellers and most importantly to strangers on the streets. Not one person said no to sharing their story and dream. So much warmth!

Diving into a Swiss Lake

I had been telling anyone who cared to listed that I would like to swim in one of the hundreds of lakes in Switzerland. However, for some reason or the other (often it was lack of time), it kept getting pushed to the next day.

So, on the last day when we were driving to Zurich to catch our flight early next morning, we passed by a lake and Neha decided to fulfil my one BIG wish. She herself found the natural lake not as pristine clean as she would have liked, but we both still decided to soak in some cool water on a warm Swiss day. There wasn’t much to do, but throw water on each other and float away. Interestingly, I cold sun bathe while floating in the water :)

Picnic lunch in a Swiss Chalet in Geneva

I think this is what dreams are made of - an afternoon spent drinking wine, eating cheese, getting to know new people and sunbathing in a cool Swiss Chalet. Well, I did start the picnic with a bit of a disaster - I tried opening a bottle of Swiss Wine and ended up breaking the cork! This can be especially bad if you have cameras on you trying to record that moment when the bottle pops, but I made sure it never did :)
Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
Our setting for the picnic!

Nevertheless, the picnic lunch experience at Geneva was perfect in every possible way. With this gorgeous old house in the background, what can actually go wrong?

The old Churches and Abbeys of Switzerland

I had somehow always associated Switzerland with beautiful landscape and villages with wooden houses, and so I was quite pleasantly surprised by the old architectural marvels in the country. The one place which left a lasting impact was Einsiedeln Abbey. I had an opportunity to interact directly with the father, and he even agreed to be interviewed by me. The images of the stunning interiors, especially the ceiling, stayed with me for days after I came back also.

Also worth checking out is the library and the horse-shed, both almost as old as the monastery itself. 

Swiss wine of Lavaux. And those gorgeous houses!

Did you know that Switzerland also had it’s own unique wine, and that it grew in a UNESCO world heritage site? I didn’t and so I was in for a surprise when we decided to drive there for lunch and wine tasting.

Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
Deeba and I enjoying Swiss wine :)

The next few hours were a complete treat to the eyes and mouth. After some great fish caught from the Geneva lake just below the vineyard, Deeba and I went for some wine tasting and later for a walk through the old villages of Lavaux. The pictures that came out of the day were some of the favourite from the entire trip to Switzerland.

Where Sherlock Holmes faked his own death!

In 1893, Sherlock Holmes visited the Swiss Alps and at the Reichenbach Falls he had a scuffle with  Moriarty and fell off to his death. Of course, he faked his own death just as he himself was a character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
Sherlock Holmes at Meiringen

During this trip Sherlock stayed at a beautiful and quaint village of Meiringen, which now also has a museum on him. It’s a popular tourist destination, especially for Sherlock fans but we ended up staying there because the hotels in Interlake were all full! The hotel was disappointing, but I loved the village and the small Sherlock clues spread all across. Looking for them is almost like a treasure hunt!

Fondue for lunch on the Swiss Alps

When Neha asked me if I knew what Fondue was, I was rather embarrassed because I knew was that it was something to do with cheese. While Deeba flaunted her status as a food blogger and rattled about how amazing Fondue was, I wanted to hide my face.

Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes fondue
Setting for Fondue!
Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes fondue
Rachit and Deeba arguing over something :)

Anyway, we decided to try Swiss Fondue in the most traditional possible way. Usually there are fondue tables across the country which can be used by anyone passing by that route to make fondue. The table has space for making fondue and also space for people to sit and eat.

So did I like Fondue? I think it was alright; however as I was really hungry, I gobbled it all up rather quickly. What I loved more was the experience of setting up the table (of course, with help from our Swiss hosts) and eating it as a group from the same Fondue pan. Eating food from the same bowl builds bonds :)

Switzerland - the land of Bollywood Dreams

Dstaad is known as the Bollywood country in Switzerland and the full credit for this goes to Yash Chopra. While we still marvelled at the beauty of Kashmir in 1980s, Mr Chopra suddenly brought Switzerland to our theatres. The most unforgettable image from 1980s is the chiffon clad Sridevi shivering on top of the Alps.

Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
Look at those Bollywood landscapes...

Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
Lovely hotel at Dstaad...

Surprisingly, this part of Switzerland is as beautiful as it looked on the big screen. Every single road is perfectly manicured, not a single flower is out of it’s place and every small chunk of snow seems to be placed to make the view perfect. I absolutely loved these tiny towns, especially Dstaad. My only regret is that we didn’t get a chance to spend the night there.

A Train Ride to remember

Most would think of a road-trip as traveling in a car at all times. However, I am not the one to follow conventions and also decided to try out some luxury train experience between the cities of xyz and Lucerne. My co-travellers left me at the station and zoomed off in cars, while I joined local guide to accompany me and join me for a lovely lunch in the train. A journey is always more interesting than the destination, and the journey in itself is more interesting if you have interesting people around.

Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
My companion in the train ride

Over the train ride of about three hours, I learnt much about the Swiss way of life and especially about the city of Lucerne. I had the a few hours free after reaching Lucerne and XYZ gave me numerous tips on all things I could do based on my interests. Th loved his company, his talks and his life story as I also interviewed him for my ‘Tell me your Dream’ project. I would certainly recommend a train ride to anyone visiting Switzerland - it’s a way more relaxed way of looking at the gorgeous countryside than car ride.

And finally...

Well, is this all? Not at all! I can go on and on and on with the list, and my readers can literally sleep off. This is just the highlight, and if you want to catch up on all the fun from Switzerland, do keep an eye on NDTV Good Times to catch me in action on TV :)

Let me end the post with some fun images with the most fun people in the trip :)

Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
The four of us again :)
Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
I am not sure if I am dancing here :P
Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
Deeba posing!
Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
And Rachit posing :)
Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
And all of us posing :)
Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
Posing after wine tasting (the drivers didn't get to taste any of it :))
Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
And finally Neha living her Bollywood moment :)
Grand Tour of Switzerland road trip swiss made ndtv goodtimes
Our Audi with a Grant Tour sticker :)
Vaishali in Pune is perhaps the most famous restaurant from the city, known to every single resident (well, almost) and often recommended as the first restaurant to visit for a first-time visitor to Pune. Located on the vibrant Ferguson College (or simply FC) Road, the rather simple and small food joint is where Puneites come when they need to fulfil their craving for South Indian food :)

Recently when I was on my way back from Delhi, Indigo Air also recommended that I visit Vaishali right after I leave the airport for some delicious South Indian food. Of course, having lived in Pune for a years already I knew about Vaishali and the amount of love a true Punekar showers on this place, but for someone new these were certainly words of wisdom.

vaishali south indian restaurant FC road Pune
The relaxed Ambience at Vaishali
vaishali south indian restaurant FC road Pune dosa chutney
Masala Dosa with Chutney
vaishali south indian restaurant FC road Pune sabudana vada
The humble Sabudana vada

To me the food at Vaishali has always been good, but that’s not what always takes me back there. I am most intrigued by the stories of Vaishali that I hear from the old timers, the relaxed ambience (despite the rush) and the happy chatter when you sit and eat, an obvious sign that people are having a great time!

The Vaishali Story!

But have you wondered about the when Vaishali started and how did it become the food icon of Pune? To explore this, we will need to go back in time, much before I was born. It was an eventful year for sure - Nathuram Godse was finally hanged to death for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, Tripura became a part of Independent India and the new constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly (it came into force from 26th January 1950). This year a young 17 years old boy from Udupi, Karnataka, came to Pune. His name was Jagannath Shetty.

vaishali south indian restaurant FC road Pune ambience
Young and the old - everyone loves Vaishali

He joined his uncle at his restaurant called ‘Madras Cafe’ (now known as Roopali) and worked hard to ensure it’s success. Soon after he started a new restaurant across the road and curiously named it ‘Madras Health Home’ which accommodated only about 20 people, and later another restaurant called ‘Amrapali’. Amongst the three, ‘Madras Health Home’ took off like a rocket and with time became one of the most popular restaurants in the entire city.

‘Madras Health Home’ later transformed into the present day ‘Vaishali’.

Over the years ‘Vaishali’ developed into the most favourite restaurant for Punekars. The restaurant also modified the recipes to match the local taste palate - a good example is the slightly sweeter Sambhar. It’s excellent location on the busy FC Road also meant that many students came here to enjoy food, especially because the food was always within the reach of a common man. It has continued to remain affordable even now, and you can see people from all walks of life thronging for food.

vaishali south indian restaurant FC road Pune from outside view
Vaishali from outside

It’s usually the mornings and late afternoons, those relaxed hours when the rest of the world is busy at work, when the old  timers come here to meet friends. There are many such groups who meet here every single day for South Indian Filter coffee and conversations. They are all recognised by the staff and get a bit of an extra nice treatment. Now, the staff at ‘Vaishali’ is not exactly known to be friendly, so this special treatment would actually mean smiles :)

What’s good to eat at Vaishali?

Everyone has their favourite food at Vaishali, and so do I. Surprisingly it’s not South Indian at all but the very modest Maharashtrian Sabudana vada! I have eaten all the recommended things like Dosa, Idlis, Medu wada and SPDP (Sev Puri Dahi Puri), but I love the Sabudana vada the most. I am yet to eat better Sabudana vada anywhere else.

vaishali south indian restaurant FC road Pune sabudana vada
My favourite Sabudana vada
vaishali south indian restaurant FC road Pune dosa
Dosa on our table!
vaishali south indian restaurant FC road Pune dosa
More dosa :)

However, if you are eating here for the first time, do try the South Indian food and SPDP. In fact SPDP is a type of chaat and is much loved in this part of the country. If you like chaat, this is certainly a must-try!

And don't forget to end your meal with some South Indian filter coffee. The strength of the coffee is customisable, so do mention right in the beginning if you want it strong or light, with sugar or without.

Address of Vaishali

Vaishali Restaurant
1218/ 1, Fergusson College Road 
Pune - 411 004

Phone no: 020 2553 1244

Share your 'Vaishali' Story!

Do you also have a fond memory from Vaishali? Something from your college days? Your first date? The special moments with your grandparents?

Do share them here with me and I shall add them to the article. It will be a live article with more and more stories added every time I get a new one :)
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