Pune old city: SMILE and brass shops in Tulsibaug

If you have lived in Pune, you know Tulsibaug and Laxmi Road – where everyone heads for their shopping sprees, where the pulse of Pune is felt best, and where while walking through the streets you are likely to suddenly come face to face with an old Peshawa building that will blow your mind away!

When my art teacher Neha Ghamande (a feature on her exquisite art work will be posted here soon) told me about the SMILE shop in Tulsibaug, I was intrigued. I decided I had to visit the shop, and my new neighbor Neelam (I love her enthusiasm!) agreed to accompany me. Getting there was quite easy. It’s right next to the famous Chitale Bandhu Mithai shop.

SMILE (Savitri Marketing Institution for Ladies’ Empowerment) is located in one such old Peshawa quarter, and the entrance to the store was quite an experience – an 18th century building with the most amazing architecture, with its pillars and carvings still intact! It was built in 1811 by Peshwa Baji Rao the second, for his relaxation and entertainment. I stood there for a while, just taking in the beauty of it all, while the cacophony of the market provided a strange yet fitting backdrop to the view.

….and I finally got to the entrance of SMILE

The interiors are sparsely and thoughtfully done up, with great care to keep the heritage value of the building intact. I loved the wooden beams on the ceiling, the period display furniture and the simplicity with which products were arranged. est of all, I loved their stuff!

SMILE is a joint venture of the Sfurti Mahila Mandal and the Pune Municipal Corporation. It has become an umbrella for women to come together and sell homemade ware – food, art, handicrafts, etc.

Vishrambaug Wada, Bajirao Road, Sadashiv Peth, Pune 411030.
Other outlets are at Lokmanyanagar and Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park.
Ph: 020 24492652
Contact Vandana Chauhan: vandanahchavanAThotmailDOTcom

Brass stalls in Tulsibaug

Tulsibaug is great for shopping, and on our way to Vishrambaug Wada, Neelam and I saw some lovely brassware on display. We decided to go there as well after our trip to SMILE. Let me tell you, we did not regret this trip. We entered a quaint little lane filled with shop after shop selling the loveliest brass ware. The rates are not bad either. Needless to say, we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and had a lot of extra baggage returning home πŸ˜‰

The very first shop


The narrow alley dotted with brass shops


The shopkeepers were a friendly lot, and when I told them I would be putting up these pics on the Internet one of them jumped up and asked me if I could include his email id. Well, here it is in case you want to get in touch with him πŸ˜‰

Prabhad KhuleΒ  prasadunderscorekATyahooDOTcoDOTin

Prabad’s shop


Some of the moolah I brought back…the rest is with Neelam..
we were so late getting back home, that I decided I would
take my stuff from her later πŸ™‚

And….for all those who haven’t read it yet, Kamini Raghavan from Saffron and Silk has written a lovely little Ode to her fellow bloggers. Hope your weekend is unfolding to be as enjoyable as mine!


  1. Loved the brass stalls…. They are so so elegant & beautiful…. Things I would forever drool over… I rather drool over almost everything…. The arts & crafts are totally of my interest.. πŸ˜‰ If that shop keeper gets to see this post, he would be totally happy…. Every single space is covered to give us an overview of the place…. πŸ™‚


  2. Hi Sharon,
    These shops have always been my fav. haunts … the absolutely only reason anyone could drag me to the other world of Laxhmi Road … once in a while if you get to know these vendors well … you can hit upon great geniune antiques … really loved your post … πŸ™‚

  3. Sharon… This is such an awesome post.. I'm coming to Pune… Will you take me…??!! I have lots of stuff I want from here.. πŸ™

    or .. can you come visit me… I'll send you my list…

    You go for arts class.. I want to come… (I sound like a whining child now.. )

  4. Hey Sharon…i too chanced upon the smile shop sometime back while strolling on lakshmi road and did pick up some key rings and chutnies from there..:)

    great post!

  5. Hi Sharon..your post brought back lot of lovely shopping memories from this area.. Last time I had picked up so many items from there..Its always on my must go places in Pune when I am home:)

  6. The brass stalls are my fav too. Love the tiny buckets and colorful lanterns, gr8 find sharon. You must take me there when I drop in at Pune.

  7. Breathtakingly beautiful brass ware.

  8. Oh, you have me dreaming that one day I will walk through these markets!

  9. I would love to browse in these markets. Lovely!

  10. I would love to browse in these markets. Lovely!

  11. Brillant post. I am sure you had a lovely time exploring the market & clicking snaps.

    Art class…yummy! tell me more please!