Appa Balwant Chowk
Appa Balwant Chowk is one of the best places of interest located in the Budhwar Peth. Appa Balwant Chowk is very well known by the name of ABC to the people in Pune. ABC lane is almost a historical street as it has been in existence since the British era. Appa Balwant Chowk is situated on NC Kelkar Road, closed to Laxmi road and parallel to HN Apte Path. ABC is an important link that joins to Dagru Sheth Halwai and Jogeshwari Temple. The Jegeshwari Temple is one of the oldest temples of Budhwar Peth. It pulls a lot of crowd from the main city area because of its oldest and traditional ways of poojas. The temple is beautifully decorated which makes it a very prominent place for visiting even by the tourist that visit the area. ABC is a very student oriented area because the most essential feature of the area is books. As some people say it, It is an open street library of Pune. You can find books from categories of A to Z. The books can be author books which you like to keep in your reading list, a romantic novel, best sellers, recipe book you wanted since a long time, story book, books for your school and college syllabus or even religious books! Anything and everything in the category of books you need, you can find it at ABC.
The ABC lane is always very populated by people because it's a fully commercial street. There are a few residential building which are fairly 30-40 years old. But according to the people living in the area, having the resident in such a locality is difficult because of the daily city noise. There are all types of means of transports that move along the ABC lane like bikes, buses, auto rickshaws, cars etc which adds to the convenience of everybody who wishes to visit the area. But the negative effect of this so called convenient quality is that it creates immense amount of traffic for the daily movers who have to cross this street. The traffic signal always needs to require a traffic police man, if not; you can easily expect yourself to be stuck in the traffic for almost 2 hours or more.
A few bookstores like ABC Book Centre, Pragati Educational Mall, Natraj Bookstore, Venus Traders, Goel Bookstore, Hindu Law House, Yash Book Stalls, Vikas Book House and Vision Publications are very much preferred by people. They provide books from different streams and fields. A student pursuing a foreign course can also find their syllabus books at these stores. The variety and choices given by the book sellers is a factor appreciated by the people. They sell books at a discount rate which causes an attraction for the crowd. Apart from the legal bookstores we see on the main road, there is another books market placed behind these front stores. These inside bookstores are famous for their second hand books. There is an association called as Shree Tambadi Jogeshwari Navin Juni Pustak Vikri Sanghatna which works as a welfare of book sellers. Mostly students come to these association members to sell books of the previous years at an offer of almost 50% cash back offer and buy books for the present year at a very reasonable and affordable discount. The peak business time for the book sellers are the month from March to July. As students finish off with their exams, the book sellers and buys of ABC are all ready to make sale for their stalk of books. Students rush to ABC to get the best offers on the books they sell and buy from the stores. During these months of sale, it is a total win win situation for both the traders and the customers. The traders keep their word clear while selling the books that they won't sell a book if it causes any kind of loss to them.
Apart from that, ABC also has a variety of other shops where you can find things like stationary items, shoes, school bags, travel bags, mats, belts, wrist watches, optical shops etc. It's a very well known fact known by the people of Pune that every street in the city has some or the other eating junction. At ABC, you have New Poona Bakery which is famous for its cream rolls and fried items like samosa and puffs. Then there is City Cafe which is loved by the youngsters for its tasty cold coffee and paneer tikka sandwich. Other stalls like Bhutta (roasted corn) wala, Jaljira wala and Kings Kacchi Dabeli are located at the nooks and corners of the lanes. Despite the traffic issues or the fact that you can never find parking in the first five minutes of entering the Appa Balwant Chowk, it still remains as the most necessary part of the city of Pune. The book bonanza at ABC is the real reason why you can't leave the lane without spending at least half an hour. Any book lover who wants to visit the Heaven of Knowledge should visit Appa Balwant Chowk in Pune!