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Field Study In India: Pune Life
COMMUNICATIONS & FINANCES
- Government Required Form: Form C, registration for foreigners, is required for your stay; talk with your mentor further about this prior to leaving.
- Cash: ATM and local money changers generally offer good rates. Foreign transaction fees will be charged by US banks and credit card companies, so check this in advance.
Banking. If you choose to open an account locally, requirements include:
- C-form, verified lease agreement, visa/passport, FRO visa registration
- INR 10k-20k minimum balance; can be refunded when closing account
- Cellphones & Sim Cards: Vodafone prepaid is the option that requires the least paperwork. Requires visa/passport copy, passport photo, Form C.
- BJMC has limited internet. Pathology museum has wifi, but it’s slow and often unreliable.
- Cell phone with 3g: Vodafone prepaid has multiple options. Can tether/hotspot to laptop.
- 3g USB dongles: Need to purchase dongle, sim, and pay for gb (Vodafone again).
- Many cafes have free wifi. You need an Indian cellphone number to receive the code.
- Landline broadband is an option if you are renting a flat.
Trains: Economical option for travel to Mumbai or other cities. Pune station is next to the hospital. Easiest to purchase tickets in person from there. Only Indian residents may purchase online in advance.
Buses: Economical option for travel to other cities or Goa. https://public.msrtcors.com/ticket_booking/ticket_booking.php or visit travel agent. Always get “A/C” bus if possible, not only because of A/C, but they are newer and nicer buses. Note that 1x2 sleeper buses will sell 2 tickets for one bed on the double side.
- Uber: Download app on phone, attach credit card, no bargaining required.
- Wings Radio Cab: Online booking, but best to call and make a reservation (+91 20 40100100). Timing often unreliable.
- Ola Cab: Download phone app and/or call (language barrier may be issue): +91 20 3355 3355
- Simran Travels, Apollo cab, KK travels for long distance
Rickshaws: Ask for “meter” when first approaching. Many drivers will ask for set price, and you can negotiate lower. It is common for drivers to request an additional INR 20 (+/-) if the timing is inconvenient, if they have to travel far, or because they know you are a foreigner. INR 40-80 is reasonable for ride from Sassoon to Koregaon park. Prices are much higher in monsoon season. Tipping is NOT required. Rikshaws are now also available via Ola Cab.
Emergency Health: Ruby Hall Clinic. Clinic also has an inpatient hospital and is familiar with foreigners. There are 2 locations:
- Camp area (across from Marriott) Rickshaw drivers know the Ruby Hall in Camp.
- Wanowrie (closer to NGO).
Fitness: Gym memberships are available in most neighborhoods at a monthly rate, and are available in the hotels listed herein.
- Clothing for Women: appropriate gym attire is capri or full-length pants with looser fitting top. Sleeveless garments are not recommended.
- Most gyms will not let you wear street shoes into the gym so wear sandals and carry sneakers.
- Most gyms provide lockers, but you must bring your own lock.
- Camp: Sassoon/BJMC, Railway and bus stations, MG road shopping, markets, SGS mall.
- Old/Central Pune: “Peths,” Laxmi road, temples, cheapest markets.
- Boat Club Road/Dhole Patil Rd/Bund Garden: Between Camp and Koregaon Park. Residential, restaurants, Wadia College.
- Koregaon Park: Considered most foreigner friendly. Restaurants, bars, residential.
- Kalyani Nagar: Also foreigner friendly, residential, close to big malls.
- Viman Nagar: Close to airport, Phoenix Mall, Inorbit Mall, nice residential.
- Deccan Gymkana/FC Road: Fergusson College, Pune University, restaurants, shopping, residential.
- Shivaji Nagar/SB Road: Residential
Attractions & Sightseeing
- Aga Khan Palace, Kalyani Nagar
- Hiking/trekking: Forts and Mountains 1-4 hours from Pune. Kalsubai Mountain, Rajgad Fort, Torna Fort. Simran Travels offers cab rides that drive you out and wait for you to return (~INR 2650 for sedan).
- Ganesh festival: 10 days between September-October. The ‘old city’ (ask an autodriver to take you to the Mandai or Laxmi road area) becomes a pedestrian-only area in the evenings during the festival. It’s fun to check out the Ganesh idols and decorations and general festivity in the area during this time. Women unfamiliar with this area should try to go with a group of men if visiting during the evening. Evening viewings get crowded, even by Indian standards.
- Diwali: Takes place in Late October/Early-mid November.
- Vaishali, FC road: South Indian food; great chat (snack) items
- Copper Chimney, Phoenix Mall: North Indian food
- Blue Nile: Nonveg opposite SGS Mall
- Dravida’s Bistro, Dhole Patil Chowk
- Coffee House and/or Rama Krishna, Camp (near SGS Mall)
- Kalyani Veg: Opposite Gold Adlabs in Kalyani Nagar
- La Pizzeria, Koregaon Park: Good Italian food, a little expensive
- Dario’s, Koregaon Park: Beautiful outdoor garden seating, expensive
- Mahlzeit, Koregaon Park Lane 6: German foods like Doner kebab, currywurst, and hamburgers
- Sigree Global Grill, Boat Club Road: Fix price (INR 700-900) gets you unlimited kebabs, buffet, and dessert
- Stone Water Grill, Koregaon Park
- Cape Town Bistro, Koregaon Park Lane 7
- Arthur’s Theme, Koregaon Park Lane 6