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Mumbai to Pune: Do you travel by road or train?

A random fruit seller on an elevated stretch of the Western Ghats.
Every day, an estimated 60,000 cars use the 94-kilometre (58 miles) six-lane Mumbai-Pune Expressway linking the two bustling cities in the western state of Maharashtra. You can easily drive through the Expressway for a day’s work, leisure, a family occasion, an onward journey, or a weekend getaway to the two popular hill stations, Khandala and Lonavala, that fall on the way.
Pune and its smaller satellite neighbourhoods are only 50 minutes by air. But if you’re not flying, the Expressway is the quickest way to reach the culture-rich city, from Mumbai, separated by a distance of 152 kilometres (94 miles). The travel time is roughly three to four hours depending on the traffic, especially on weekends and holidays. If you enjoy train journeys, you can take one of the many express trains to Pune, which takes slightly longer but is worth the experience.
Whether you go by road or rail, both routes are scenic – cutting, as they do, through the Western Ghats rolling across six states, including Maharashtra, for about 1,600 kilometres (about 994 miles). The Sahyadri mountain range, as it is also known, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the 36 biodiversity hotspots in the world.
Although my wife and I make frequent trips to Pune by road, we prefer going by train for its charm. Besides, the journey of two-dozen tunnels becomes more beautiful in the rains, with the hills and mountains bathed in a vibrant green, the rivulets and waterfalls pretty as a picture, and tribes of monkeys from the valleys below observing the human spectacle as the train passes by.
Even if it’s only a weekend trip, train journeys make you feel like you're going on a long vacation. There's fun and joy in that, too.
Here are a few photos from one of our recent non-monsoon trips to Pune.

Spotted my doppelgänger on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway!

Blue skies and fresh air are two of the scenic wonders of travelling by road.

In the Vistadome coach, like this one in the Mumbai-Pune Deccan Express, you can rotate your reclining seats to face the windows and look at nature. Imagine travelling in the coach during the monsoon!
Mountains like these are camouflaged in greenery during rains.


© Text and Images: Prashant C. Trikannad

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2 commentaires

It's all so very beautiful! I can really see why you enjoy that trip so much. There's so much beautiful greenery, and I'll bet that it's even more magical during the monsoon. Thank you for sharing these photos.

En réponse à

Margot, thank you for commenting. The Western Ghats are especially "beautiful" in the rains. What we see along the Expressway is only a stretch of this majestic mountain range that rolls all the way to South India.

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