Na­ture’s abode

Saras Baug

India Today - - COVER STORY -

It’s usu­ally on the itin­er­ary of na­ture-lov­ing tourists, young cou­ples or fam­i­lies who want to get away from the hus­tle bus­tle of the city. And there’s enough to keep the his­tory buff happy here. One of the few green spots in the city, Saras Baug is an ex­panse of the 25 acres of lush, man­i­cured gar­dens.

Lo­cated bang in the mid­dle of the Swar­gate junc­tion, the com­plex was once a large lake with swans (saras in Marathi and there­fore the name) that dried up and was sub­se­quently con­verted into a gar­den.

At a slightly lower level than the city roads, the com­plex has a pond with lo­tuses, gar­den benches and ped­dlers of­fer­ing can­dies and pop­corn. An at­trac­tion here is the Taly­atla Gan­pati, a tem­ple built in 1790. If you want to in­fuse a dash of ad­ven­ture into your visit here, talk to a his­to­rian or a guide. It is be­lieved that the Sh­ri­mant Nanasa­heb Peshwa and his ad­vi­sors would travel by boat to this tem­ple to plan their mil­i­tary strate­gies against the Nizam and the Bri­tish us­ing African boat­men who couldn’t fol­low Marathi.

To­day, it is a well main­tained pub­lic gar­den at a walk­ing dis­tance from Swar­gate. The gar­dens are a per­fect blend of his­tory and a green out­door space with a prom­i­nent tem­ple housed in it. Saras Baug is on the must-visit of tourists but even if you’re a lo­cal res­i­dent who wants a whiff of fresh air, then head here. Tim­ings 6 am At 4 km from Swar­gat

Pho­to­graph by BHASKAR PAUL

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