Morning Walk at Parvati Hills in Pune

Recently I came across an article that traced the history of Parvati Hill landmarks in Pune. It was fascinating to walk in the bylanes of history and come to know that the hill represents the second highest elevation in Pune after Vetal Tekdi.

Indeed one gets a panoramic view of the city from the top. But I have great memories of going for morning walks at Parvati Hills in Pune – am sure it remains a popular activity even today.

It was the early 90s and I was still studying in High School. One of elder brother’s friends was very close to us and used to regularly visit our home. Suddenly he felt the need to undertake a vigour exercise program to cut the flab and chose me to keep company. My ineffectual protests did not make much of an impact, so imagine the two of us would start out around 5 30 in the morning to reach Parvati Hills for our exercise routine.

On googling it I learn that the distance from our homes in Rasta Peth to Parvati was about 6 KMs and we should be able to easily cover it within 10 minutes by using a two-wheeler when there was little traffic in the morning. Am sure that it is factually correct to state thus – the experience was no less shocking as one left the warm quilt in exchange for the nipping winds that Pune continues to experience in winter nowadays as well. They did serve one purpose though – one was fully awake and alert at the end of the journey.

The exercise regimen was wrong all over I would think since one is asked to warm-up and then get into vigorous activity. The Parvati Hills were designed for a different purpose – we began our routine by climbing 103 steps. Yes, I am sure of the count as I checked it online. That itself left one short of breath and with aching limbs all over. But it was not an end in itself – it was followed by a random walk routine that lasted another 30 minutes. My friend was full of stories of the morning fresh air that could not be had at any price in any other location.

The disruption caused by this routine was significant – I was never quite an early morning riser. If the early bird is supposed to get the worms – I was happy enough to concede my claim as I had no interests in worms. I refused to coöperate on Sundays – the state of life in those days meant we had 6 working days. With prodding and cajoling we went about the routine for couple of months. It did not make a material impact on me as I used this as an excuse to avoid many other instances of what would be considered to be physical activity and exercise.

Our activity finally dropped off as life’s daily routine prevailed and it seemed too cumbersome to undertake a 6 KM journey to start of the exercise regimen. Am sure my friend found an alternate routine that was more suitable and thankfully he spared me from it.

Am not quite sure why he thought of it in the first place but the proposal in pure academic terms is quite interesting. I can safely advise it for others – keeping up such a routine for even 6 months will make a material improvement in anyone’s life. So if you hear of any stories of people complaining that their exercise routine is not delivering the goods, please recommend them the same. And it takes just an hour to be done with it – 10 minutes to reach, 5 minutes to climb,30 minutes of brisk walking, 5 minutes to descend and finally another 10 minutes to safely reach your home and hearth.

Collection:Hulton Archive Courtesy: Getty Images
Collection:Hulton Archive
Courtesy: Getty Images

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