Pune city is known for its distinct qualities of being Oxford of the East, IT hub, automobile sector. lush greenfields, forts, Bakarwadis and many more things. But the city is also known for its various Gallis (lanes) where different craftsmen are selling unqiue items for generations.
Burud Ali – situated right behind the famous Mandai, is known to be the bamboo market of the city. Established in the 18th century, this is the best place to shop for bamboo artefacts in the city.
As you enter the narrow lane of Burud Ali; you will be surrounded by bamboo cane and bamboo artefacts stacked on all sides.
Most of these artisans belong to Satara, Ahmednagar and Karnataka who settled in Pune in the 18 century. You can find an endless variety of cane products; such as cane swings and chairs, home essentials, mats, brooms and ladders or decor pieces including hand-woven baskets and lanterns. They also sell cane curtains that can alter the look of your living space making it look really elegant. You can also get bamboo lampshades and lanterns here.
Kishori Mohite, a resident of Burud Ali for the past 16 years, shared that she and her husband make and sell handmade items made out of bamboo. She hopes that her next generation can continue this family business as it provides them with a good source of income during festivals such as Diwali, Ganpati, Dusra and the wedding season.
Lakshmi Korde, who has been living in Burud Ali for the past 50 years, revealed that her family has been making bamboo items for generations. She added that even her children have now taken up this family business and create various materials out of bamboo.
Chandrabhaga Mohite, an 80-year-old lady who has been living in Burud Ali for over 60 years, shared that they experience a lull in sales during monsoon season, but during other festive occasions, the demand for their handmade bamboo products is high. She also mentioned that even hotel owners come to their lane to buy bamboo items, and their products are even sold in other states due to the growing trend of handmade bamboo products.
It is indeed a great place to visit and buy local handmade items.