Vetal Hill which is also known as Vetal Tekadi is the highest point in the Pune city.It can be called as Lungs of Pune. Most of the months of the year say November to June begining vetal tekadi is rather dry but still it attracts fair no. of daily walkers and bird watchers.
Vetal Hill (or वेताळ टेकडी as it’s called in Marathi) is 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.
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.
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.
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.
How to reach vetal tekadi ?
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.
There is no specific timings, though going up later in the night is not recommended. You canfind 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.
Compiled by: Townpune.com Team