Hiking up the Vetal Tekdi Ft. Zelocity by Zivame

Posing with my Zelocity workout gear with the quarry as my backdrop

I needed to go #FitTripping for Zelocity by Zivame before the month ends. But unfortunately, I was in Pune in the last week of February. Therefore, I wanted to go outdoors with my cousin in or around Pune. I planned my outfit beforehand, including the green sunglasses and the grey hoodie, both of which were a major part of the outfit. Since I was wearing all black, I required some colours to break the monotony. 

I had actually thought of trekking followed by camping with my cousin and his friends and for the same, had asked him. But his friends had exams due, which meant only the two of us remained. The plan required a group of people, so we dropped it completely. I was disappointed as I had to travel somewhere before the month-end. On this, my mom volunteered and we planned to climb the Parvati Hill, which is in the city again. I was a little reluctant as my mom has just revived from dengue and climbing the 103 steps of Parvati would weaken her further. I thought of asking my cousin for a shorter hike just in case he agrees.

He surprisingly said yes though previously, he was saying how he dislikes one-day treks. I was talking to my cousin Sheetal about our plan, on which she recommended the ARAI Hills, which were nearer to my house in Pune. She informed me that the hills are situated off Paud Road and have a gorgeous quarry up top. I just nodded since I had no clue how close Paud Road was to my house. I quickly checked YouTube for the hills but did not find satisfactory results. However, I later realized that the hills are also known as Vetal Tekdi. Nevertheless, this destination was finalised.

Mesmerised after looking at the view in front

I called my cousin to come home by 4:00 in the noon; we had planned of leaving the house by 5:00 pm when it is a lot cooler and the yellowness is faded too. This timing is apt (I had mentioned about it in my summer travel blog-post a few days ago).
Ishan came home by 3:45 pm and took a nap thereafter. I was to wake him up at 4:45 pm, followed by which, he was to have upma my mom had freshly made for us and her childhood friend who had visited her. I woke him up at the decided time and after getting dressed, we left the house at 5:15 pm. Ishan was wearing his jeans and a pair of flipflops, which was contradictory to the outfit I was dressed in. 

He had brought our uncle's bike and off we started our journey. We crossed Pune Metro construction and soon, after reaching Paud Road, we reached a board that directed us towards ARAI. The initial path was outlined by slums and temporary houses. But later, the road was neater and was dotted with leafless trees alongside. We gradually touched a part that had green plants along with the lifeless trunks and then we were stopped by a guard at the security check. Looking at the little greenness, I fancied the rain falling on me and taking away all the heat from the earth. I wished it rained at that point in time.

The guard let us pass through the gate and we officially entered the ARAI campus. We soon reached the parking space and there it was, the gigantic building of the Automotive Research Association of India  (ARAI)! We could see many people––some of them being the company's employees and some, like us, who were visiting the hills to shake some legs. I could sense that these people visited the hills regularly to exercise and the only thought that occurred to me was how Punekars find time at 5:30 pm to exercise!

Running on the spot with full intensity

We started walking with fellow zealots and were accompanied by a voluminous bunch of leafless trees throughout. Just at the beginning, right when we walk past the tekdi gate, we saw a group of gym equipment, where people––along with grandparents and kids––were exercising. I realized that the tekdi was visited frequently, if not regularly, by most of the people here.

We shot some trial pictures as I wanted to direct my cousin how exactly I wanted my pictures: background blurred out (which means to use the 'portrait' mode of my phone) and without any noise.   The pictures turned out to be fairly good––not impressive but not even terrible. Ishan assured me that the quarry would make an amazing backdrop and the pictures would come out much better than these.

We walked further and I could catch a glimpse of the quarry. I had preconceived it to be 10 times smaller than what it actually was. I was impressed, needless to say, as the shallow waters were framed by trees. I only wondered how beautiful the area would be in monsoon as the number of trees was countless.

The photos came out mystical as if clicked in some part of Europe, where there are leafless trees and only the branches are prominent...just the white hue of snow was missing. We walked further while shooting alongside. I was taken aback by the breathtaking view of the sun and, within no time, reached a barren land that gave a much better view of the quarry.
Honestly, I had not imagined it to be this gigantic. Though it was not filled with water fully, it must be overflowing when it downpours. We clicked few fantastic slow-motion shots and it was then the time to exercise at the cliff. With the scenic quarry as my background and the dynamic Zelocity by Zivame workout wear as the foreground, the shots came out brilliant.

Capturing my cousin Ishan and the splendid sun in one frame

After the yellowness of sun was turned orange and then mixed with a little red, we started descending. Ishan took me from a different route this time which was void of any people. However, it was much prettier than the route we had taken to ascend. While we were nearing the Vetala Temple, we spotted people, fervently climbing up the hillock. Ishan showed me a watchtower that was hiding amongst the long trunks of trees.

We quickened and descended down by 6:50 pm. After reaching ARAI parking space, we grabbed our bike and rushed home. We were going out for pizza with our sister Sheetal!

I am thankful for my cousin for taking me to these hills without hesitation. I was surprised how he did not appear bored even once because usually whoever travels with me for shoots starts with a bland note. But I am glad Ishan sounded okay till the end. The evening was eventful and I am surely coming back in the monsoon again.


ARAI, off Paud Road

790 metres

Super easy

Thoroughly lost as the sunshine highlights my hair with a deep orange hue

Trail Type
Barren path surrounded by trees

Parking Facility
Available (ARAI parking area)

1/4 Day

Best Season
All around the year

Water and Food Source
None. Carry your own

View from the top
Pune city

What can you expect
Lush greenery in monsoon, Vetala temple, huge open land, large quarry, a watchtower, gym equipment, sunset and sunrise, and birds (if you're lucky, then peacocks too!)

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