Home Stay with Stayzilla

Ganpati Festivities With Stayzilla Home Stay

For someone who travels so much, it’s a little strange that I had not tried Home Stay options in India until very recently. I’ve stayed with families and a couple of home stays internationally, but never considered a home stay when travelling within India.

Whenever I think of home stays in India, first of all, the ‘How Safe Is It Anyway?’ question pops up. Security is a big concern in India, especially for a solo woman traveller. Then, there’s the question of how to go about it. But as a traveller who loves to explore now places and new options, I always hoped to experience living in a Home Stay in India.

My Home Stay in India finally happened with Stayzilla.

Home Stay with Stayzilla
Home Stay with Stayzilla

Last week, I was invited to speak at the Pune International Literature Festival, and to moderate a session on Roles, Identity and Stereotypes. For this short trip, I stayed at a stunning Home Stay with Stayzilla, and luckily, it was during the Ganesh Chaturthi time! Seriously, my timing couldn’t have been better even if I planned it months ago. Ganpati is undoubtedly the best time to be at a Home Stay in Maharashtra.

I was travelling with my best travel buddy – my four year old daughter. When our taxi stopped in front of the address provided by Stayzilla, I was already impressed. It was a beautiful bungalow called Jewelz 6 on a quaint street in Koregan Park  – peaceful, yet close to all the action in Koregaon Park, which is one of the most happening areas in Pune.

Home Stay with Stayzilla
The Swanky Interiors.

This Home Stay is run by Mr.Suntosh Goel who welcomed us warmly and even made a cup of tea for me himself because the cook was out and he thought I looked tired. I was tired, I’ll confess, and the ginger tea he made was yummy. The house itself is huge and extremely well maintained. The Home Stay had about 15 rooms and he was getting some work done in a few of them. The interiors are state of art and very contemporary. The washrooms are big and clean (my biggest concern when travelling with the kid), and our room had a tub in the bathroom with ready supply of hot water – something I found very impressive in a Home Stay.

Home Stay with Stayzilla in Pune
My Room – Home Stay with Stayzilla

The room was spacious and an entire glass wall looking out on a huge green garden, made it very appealing. It had a balcony attached to it, which became my daughter’s favourite area. That night, both of us slept peacefully and woke up to the chirping of birds in the garden. Bliss!

Home Stay with Stayzilla in Pune review
Good Breakfast, Great View – Home Stay with Stayzilla

For breakfast, the very friendly and chatty cook made Poha (beaten rice) with veggies for us on my request, and Goel uncle, as I had started to call him by now, sat with us. Chatting to him was so good! He told me how his family moved from Haryana to Pune years back, and a lot of fun stories about his little grandson. Listening to him talk about this Home Stay with so much passion, made me appreciate the effort he puts in, even more. He took care of us and strangely, in just one day, I felt like a part of the family. That’s the charm of a Home Stay!

Home Stay with Stayzilla
The Cosy Corner in Morning Light. Home Stay with Stayzilla

All through our meals in the backyard, Gauri (my daughter) kept running in the garden and giggling when uncle joked with her about a funny monkey and a grumpy cat. Gauri had started calling him uncle too, like me, and clearly was feeling right at home.

All around us, Ganpati celebration preparations were going on, and it was impossible not to feel the excitement in the air! Bringing Ganpati in the homes is a a tradition here, and also – there are big Lord Ganesha idols in the streets for big celebrations by the entire society. It is a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL sight, let me tell you.

Home Stay with Stayzilla
Immersing in the joyful Ganapati Celebrations with Home Stay.

I Googled it and found out that Ganesh Chaturthi was celebrated for the first time in Pune during Shivaji’s reign, and since then the festival has gain popularity all across the country. Various families bring home beautiful Lord Ganesha idols. And even more popular is huge Ganeshas in Pandals all around the cities, also known as stalls. In fact, I am sure that a Ganesha idol can be found in every street and society during Ganesh Chaturthi.

Home Stay with Stayzilla
Waking up to Ganesh Chaturthi festivities in Pune in the local newspaper.

Suntosh uncle told me that while I’m in Pune, I should definitely do some “Pandal hopping” to witness the dholtasha performances, the stunning arti, the festivities and faith. And I did just that!

This was not only my first time to experience the warmth of a Home Stay, but also to witness the love and the magic of faith with the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations everywhere. Hope the pictures do justice to my experience.

Home Stay with Stayzilla
Celebrations in full bloom in Pune!

In the end, I want to say that travelling like a local is the real fun for me, and Home Stays take it a step ahead. Home Stay options let you live like a local at a destination, and let you experience the destination in its most natural way. And for my first Home Stay in India, this was a great experience. Stayzilla made sure that this stay was comfortable and unforgettable.

Happy Travelling and Ganpati Bappa Morya!

Post Author: Aditi Mathur Kumar

Author of 2 books. TEDx Speaker. Travel Writer. Blogger. Addicted to Travel & Books. Digital Media Strategist. Social Media Girl. Army Wife. Mom. Curious. Crazy.

16 thoughts on “Ganpati Festivities With Stayzilla Home Stay


    (September 12, 2016 - 3:12 pm)

    Looks like you had a lovely time there :). The place looks really homely and I am sure the people you encountered were friendly as well :D. You know the security part is why I myself and my friends have been quite scared to think about Homestays in India. But I am sure if your experience is anything to go by, I would sure take a chance hopefully someday.

    Anindya Sundar Basu

    (September 12, 2016 - 6:41 pm)

    I have been in Pune for 4 years and have experienced the Ganpati festival and will recommend that for everyone. I personally like this post for the reason – simple, great flow of thoughts, personal connection and subtle plug ins . Great one Aditi.

    Vishal Bheeroo

    (September 17, 2016 - 2:29 pm)

    I stayed as a local in Pune for more than three years where it was home to me. Pune is bliss and KP is an amazing place. Love it loads. Pandal hopping is always awesome and mesmerzing.


    (September 17, 2016 - 6:36 pm)

    I have heard a lot about Ganpati in Pune..thanks for the virtual trip through your pics 🙂

    Awkward Earthling

    (September 17, 2016 - 11:55 pm)

    Wow 🙂 that’s a wonderful space & looks like you really enjoyed

    Saumy Nagayach

    (September 18, 2016 - 7:08 pm)

    Lovely post,Aditi! Glad you enjoyed your stay in Pune and had fun visiting different ganpati pandals. 🙂

      Aditi Mathur Kumar

      (September 22, 2016 - 1:35 pm)

      Thank you Saumy. It was my first experience wiht Home Stays in india and I loved it.
      Thanks for dropping by!

      Aditi Mathur Kumar

      (September 22, 2016 - 1:35 pm)

      Thank you Saumy. It was my first experience with Home Stays in India and I loved it.
      Thanks for dropping by!

    Kala Ravi

    (September 19, 2016 - 10:45 pm)

    Aditi this sounds like a lovely Homestay! Indeed the cleanliness aspect plays a vital role for me too! I’ve heard of a lot of disaster stories associated with Homestays! Pune and Mumbai during Ganpati are THE places to be in! It is simply amazing to see the fervor and frenzy that accomapany this festival. Lovely post 🙂

      Aditi Mathur Kumar

      (September 22, 2016 - 1:29 pm)

      Yes, cleanliness is very important, especially when you are travelling with a kid. Do visit this and let me know if you like it as much as I did. Thank you for dropping by 🙂


    (September 20, 2016 - 1:04 pm)

    Beautifulfestival !!! I love this 🙂

    […] any means. The rhythm of Pune is unique in its cosmopolitan yet desi charm. [Remember I celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune last year, when I was there to speak at the Pune Literature Festival? Was […]

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