Vetal Hill (tekdi) Pune - things to do, timings and more!

Vetal Hill in Pune is not just the highest point in the city, with an elevation of 2600 ft,  but also qualifies to be called the lungs of Pune (akin to the famous Central Park in New York). Most months of the year (November to June beginning) the Vetal Hill is rather dry, though it still attracts its fair share of daily walkers and bird watchers.


vetak tekdi hill pune forest green nature
Friends enjoying...
vetal hill tekdi pune
A walkway in Vetal Tekdi
vetak tekdi hill pune forest green nature
Vetal Tekdi at Pune
vetak tekdi hill pune forest green nature
This is as close to fall colors as you get in India :)
Vetal Hill (or वेताळ टेकडी as it's called in Marathiis also rather large, with Pashan Road on one side and S B Road on the other, with the entire Kothrud on the way. On a clear day, especially morning, you can see almost the entire Pune from top and its quite a beautiful sight. It's also the perfect time to take pictures :)

Vetal Hill Pune panorama picture image crater sunset beautiful walking path lane
On the road around Vetal Tekdi

For more gorgeous panoramic images of the hill, read Vetal Tekdi in Panorama.

The tekdi is also home to ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) which occupies a sizeable part of it and there is also an Observation Deck maintained by the Indian Forest Department. Much of the Vetal hill belongs to the Defence and is not accessible to the public, though often kids cross over from the fence to explore the world out there :)

There are plans to develop walking trails here, which will be used to educate the people visiting the hills on the various aspects of the area which are unknown to the people - especially about the diversity of flora and information on migratory birds coming here. There would also be an entry fee charged for these trails.

Why Vetal Hill?

There is an interesting story on why the hill got its name. There was a Vetal temple on the hill top before the hill became popular and the hill also started being called Vetal hill after the name of the temple. The temple exists even now and its quite a popular destination still for many who come up here.

vetak tekdi hill pune forest green nature
Beautiful golden brown...
vetak tekdi hill pune forest green nature
Reflection of friends...
vetak tekdi hill pune forest green nature
I love these greens...
vetal hill pune road trek tekdi
Its a favourite place for the couples also to spend some quality time together

I go there quite often (for a walk or a run) but I never even carry a phone, let alone a camera. It's just so much more convenient to be away from the distraction. However, recently I took a walk with my phone, and so decided to take a few pictures to share here :)

The tekdi is different in different seasons and that makes it a unique place all year round.

Conservation activities at the Vetal Hill

The Vetal Hill is extremely close to the heart of all Puneites. In recent times there have been proposals from government to claim the hilltop and develop theme parks etcetera. This was vehemently opposed and finally the government gave in into people's wishes. There is another proposal to build a road right through the tekdi which will also result in cutting down of many trees. There is much opposition to the idea, though the decision has not yet been reversed.

vetak tekdi hill pune forest green nature
Flowers are seasonal
vetak tekdi hill pune forest green nature
That golden color again...
vetak tekdi hill pune forest green nature
Sometimes even dogs come and enjoy :)
vetak tekdi hill pune forest green nature
The crater at the lake (it's man-made and not natural)

The forest department had also plated many exotic varieties of plants on the hilltop and many believe that they also resulted in the destruction of the original flora here. The people visiting the tekdi are also a conscious lot, with many spending their morning watering the plants during the summer season. Small water tanks are built at many places and water can be taken from these for watering purposes.

Forest fires often destroy some flora here everywhere. In the last hundred years or so, the hill has also lost about thirty varieties of plants due to natural as well as man-made reasons. 

Things to do at Vetal Hill

Based on what one enjoys, there are multiple things that you can do up on the hill.

  1. Most people who come here in the morning come for a walk or a jog. Its often quite inspirational to be there with these people around :)
  2. Many also come up here to walk their dogs - I have never seen any dogs misbehaving, and they are generally calm and friendly.
  3. Cycling is also getting popular here, so you can try that as well.
  4. Its an awesome hang-out place where friends can simply sit with their legs dangling into the quarry and catch-up. There are many couples also who come up here, but you will not find anyone doing anything inappropriate.
  5. Its also a nice place to do some photography, especially if the weather is good and especially in the morning.
  6. The tekdi is also also a short-cut for people who want to walk from Chaturshringi to come to Kothrud, its a tiring but satisfying walk.
  7. And finally, if you can also spend some time exploring the quarry to find interesting rocks - its rare, but might come back home with a beautiful piece of stone.

Birding at Vetal Hill

Birding is extremely popular on Vetal Tekdi and on weekends it's common to find young photography enthusiast looking for different birds. The tekdi has the most diverse bird population in the city and you can see bulbul, bee-eaters, pea fowls, sunbirds, Indian Robin, White breasted Kingfisher, Small Minivet, Oriental white eye, Francolins and more.

Read more: Brding at Vetal Tekdi

How to reach Vetal Hill?

Vetal Hill is accessible from multiple points if you intend to climb, based on where you start from. You can climb up from Chhaturshringi, Kothrud (Paud Road) and also from the Pashan side. These climbs are no really marked and you will have to ask around to find the right path if you intend to come up here. 

If you want to come up on your car, there is only one road which starts from the Paud Road. If you coming from Deccan side, take the first right turn after the flyover on the Paud Road. There is a temple on the right side just where you turn and start the ascent. The road is narrow and passes through the slums, so it's a busy right, at least in the beginning. There are two parking spots on top and they are rarely ever filled. However, I think its best to climb up and enjoy the trek and then you can savour the walk on top, which is fairly flat.


vetal hill pune road trek tekdi map
Map of Vetal Tekdi. Imge ref: google maps

Vetal Hill timings

There is no specific timings, though going up later in the night is not recommended. You can find walkers up on the hill as early as 5 am and generally a few as late as 9 pm. But there are no lights up there and so walking becomes difficult in darkness.

For those residing in Pune, do share the article with friends who love exploring Pune and around. I will keep updating it with Pune stories very regularly :)

vetak tekdi hill pune forest green nature
An old man taking a walk...
vetak tekdi hill pune forest green nature
More lovely leaves...
vetak tekdi hill pune forest green nature
I love the depth of field here...
vetak tekdi hill pune forest green nature
View of Pune from tekdi...
vetak tekdi hill pune forest green nature
Isn't it just beautiful? :)

Comments

  1. Hi Siddhartha, good to see Vetal Takadi through your eyes... am passionate about birding and recently have developed interest in herpetofauna too :) Every weekend I do roam in the outskirts of Pune for my hobby, but never explored these takadis except Talajai tekadi......

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    1. Hey Shilpa that's pretty cool! Do invite me to join you in one of your birding expeditions, if free, I would love to come along :)

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    2. Pune is a worst place to live.. Thanks to Pune for electing the most useless PMC body. I feel ashamed to be part of Pune and still people clog to vote for these goons and Guntha world. Shame on pune

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    3. @Anonymous I understand how you feel. Now they are going to build a road through vetal tekdi. Taljai tekdi is already turning into a hub of crime. A sandalwood tree was chopped from forest department premises, there are rapes every other day and the slum people catch and eat any wild creature they can get. Congress made "Rajiv gandhi Vasahat' and gave the forest to slum people for votes. Now BJP wants to make a road through the most densely forested part of vetal tekdi. These days I too feel there is no hope for Pune and India overall.

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    4. Then guys @anonymous and @Uma. I will suggest you to please leave this city as soon as possible if you are not comfortable here and move to your comfort zone. Have a nice day. :)

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  2. Yes, sure...why not?? I will send you mail.... :)

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    Replies
    1. Great! I will look forward to ti :)

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    2. Hey Siddhartha, I have sent the details on your email id... hope you are free and can join us on Sunday :)

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  3. we have asola bhatti wildlife sanctuary in Delhi/NCR..which is a real good example of regeneration of a mine into a sanctuary(in fact i wrote a paper on it)!!

    nice clicks..and do click pics of it in monsoons!!

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com

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    Replies
    1. That's really cool...I should look it up on my next Delhi visit :)

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  4. Hi there, this weekend is good designed for me, for the
    reason that this point in time i am reading this
    enormous educational article here at my residence.

    Here is my website jual rumah

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  5. I got to see a new place. :)
    Great pics.

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  6. Looks like a nice place to relax, your photography makes it look wonderful..

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  7. It is always nice to be able to get away from the city, without actually leaving the city.
    Thanks for tour...

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely Pat! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  8. Hey brother, thanks for the information. I don't have a bike, so will there be so much of walking? Shall I be able to return in 3-4 hours if I start from Nal stop and go up and come down by auto-rikshaw?

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    Replies
    1. Did you go? You don't need any bike - it's easily walkable :)

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  9. Beautiful Pics, I love exploring new places....

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Did you go to Vetal Hill?

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    2. Sidharth plantation sathi kahi permission ghyayla lagte ka ethe

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  10. hiii any body planning for wandering around in pune? please tell,,I would like to join...#weekends..#fun...#nature...mail me...chougule.unmesh@gmail.com..

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  11. wow! 2 years in Pune ..and now i knw about this place.! Your pics are too good :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And you must visit the place :)

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  12. HI siddhartha!! Was really happy to read about Vetal Hill from your perspective. I am planning to go next weekend. But is the area safe for a lone female? also if u could help me out with the directions. Hope to hear from u

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    Replies
    1. It is quite safe. Stay in areas with people if you are worried in the first visit...

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  13. Hello Sir,
    I am a landscape architecture student working on my thesis project on hills of Pune, your article has really been of great help to me! and the photography of the hill is mesmerizing!
    Regards,
    Aditi

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Aditi! I am glad the article was useful :)

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    2. Hello Siddharta! I am an architecture student from Mumbai currently working on my thesis project on Vetal hill. I would be glad if you could share your contact number. It would be of a great help to know more about the Vetal hill for my research.
      Thanks and Regards,
      Viral

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  14. Hi Siddharth, must say..lovely post with beutiful pics!
    I am a regular visitor of Vetal tekadi. I am initiating a 'Tree plantation' activity to be conducted by my company, and I wish to do it at Vetal Tekadi. Do you have any idea if we need to take any permissions for this? and if yes, do you by any chance have the contact details of the forest authorities in this area? Or any idea about other resources who can get me this information? Thanks in advance.
    Mukta

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Mukta :)

      You are taking up a great initiative and congratulations for that. As far as i know, no special permission is needed to plant trees at the tekdi. However, I am not sure if it would be problem if you go in groups.

      You must also check out this group and you can collaborate with them for this activity. They are also Pune based :)

      https://www.facebook.com/Vrukshayanfoundation/

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  15. Hey Siddhartha joshi...are you married/ taken??

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    Replies
    1. What a shame .. go to vivah vadhu kendra if you are too desperate

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    2. Hey Sonali. Let's get in touch

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  16. Hi Siddhartha, I am a second year engineering student, me and a bunch of my collegefriends wanna do a night out at the Vetal tekdi. Can we do it??

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    1. Hi Ruchi, that won't be possible. It's not allowed to be on the tekdi after sun down...night-out is out of question. You can still sneak up and spend the night there, though I would strongly advice against that.

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  17. Nice place.can i go there from kothrud?

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  18. Hey Siddhartha. I was looking for some place calm n peaceful to spend some quality time with my bf.I m eager to visit this place after reading your post. But i am not sure about it as he gets free after 7:30 in the evening. So will it be a good idea to take some packed dinner up there between 8 to 9.

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  19. Hey Siddhartha. I was looking for some place calm n peaceful to spend some quality time with my bf.I m eager to visit this place after reading your post. But i am not sure about it as he gets free after 7:30 in the evening. So will it be a good idea to take some packed dinner up there between 8 to 9.

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    Replies
    1. I would strongly advice against going there for dinner or eating food. Go there to enjoy a bit of nature and a moment of calm, or to run or for a walk.

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  20. Nice place...how to go there from kothrud?

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  21. Hey Sid,
    I have a various serious question.
    Can you spot manual greenery over there? You know, item log dikhte kya vaha pe? ��

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  22. Thanks Siddharth. I was looking for trekking groups in Pune as I am relatively new here and I found this info. Will surely try it this weekend.

    ReplyDelete

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