If you know Pune. On the west is the Paud Road which passes through Kothrud. Framous road but do you where is Paud ?
Well the road goes straight 30kms and there is a now growing village called Paud which is about 1 hour journey by car from Pune.
I been there yesterday on way to the Chinmaya Vibhooti Ashram run by the Chinmaya Mission Trust to attend the Pune Yoga Festival which is further 11kms (approx 40 min.) from Paud.
Got to know about the event a week earlier and went bonkers on viewing the photographs on Google so decided have to go there.
How to get there ?
By car : drive 45kms total journey. Paud village from Pune is 35kms approx and then take a right turn for Kolvan where the ashram is about 11kms. Approx 2 hours journey is adding a halt for snacks.
By bus : Take the PMPL bus starting from swargate for Paud. Get down at the bus stand and take the Kolvan bus or take the shared tumtum till the ashram.
Its a huge campus and difficult to walk because of steep hill but there is an internal shuttle service in form of a Maruti Van provided for people at no cost.
When to go there ?
If you are not registered for any courses the visitor access is only on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Festivals like Diwali the museum is closed.
Visitors timing is 1:30pm to 5pm to the campus on the above mentioned dates.
What to know before you reach there ?
There is a dinning hall. But it serves food for residents only and course participants. There is no cafeteria nor food stall in the campus. So before you reach at 1:30pm have lunch at Pirangut plus snacks in your car if required.
What to do there ?
- Chinmaya Maruti Mandir : This is close to the entrance of the complex itself. A beautiful idol of lord Hanuman. If you visit the Upahaar store mentioned below you will get Hanuman’s H logos like of superman’s S which kids love it.
- Chinmaya Jeevan Darshan (Museum) : A rare collection of Swami Chinmayananda’s photographs depicting his life. Huge murials of collagues hand painted depicting his story, philosophy and teachings. His handwritten letters and his daily use items are displayed. A headphone based guided system tells each person the details in their preferred language.
The WOW factor is Swami Chinmayananda’s life like wax statue. The exhibit opens at 1:30pm and entry is closed at 3pm while museum closes at 4pm since it takes about 1 hour for the audio guided tour. I reached at 3:15pm
- Book Store : There is a book store with a huge collection of books kept for sale published by the Chinmaya Mission with MP3 and DVD collections and even children books.
- Upahaar Shop : This is a merchandise shop where items like tshirts, bags, keychains of the Chinmaya Mission Trust are kept for sale. Found the items a bit too expensive
- Antique shop : A lot of handicraft items are for sale here. Bought the wooden door chimes for my house and few zari purses.
- Garden : There was a garden which opens at 5pm but couldn’t see it because of the function I had come to attend.
- Pranav Ganesh Mandir : The Pranav Ganesh Mandir is perhaps the biggest Ganesh temple in the surrounding area. Its a 5.2 feet tall, beautiful and pristine white marble idol of Lord Ganesha. Its located at the top most part of the property giving a fantastic 360 degree view of the surrounding area upto kolvan village. There are regular havan’s conducted so if someone wants to offer one can contact the office for it. Temple opens at 4:30pm for regular visitors so plan accordingly.
Note: Couldn’t check out the cottages for the course participants. Just was able to glance at them. They beat any resort cottage hands down. So well build and well designed.
The staff was cooperative and friendly. So I definitely recommend a visit. But do call up their office before going to check if the museum will remain open when you visit. Thats the star attraction.