Pune city is located above 560 meters from sea level in the state of Maharashtra, lies at the convergence of two rivers Mula and Mutha. Pune got its name around 937 AD and was founded by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja who was the founder of Maratha Empire. During his reign, the place witnessed significant development and growth in every aspect. Pune is the second largest city in the state after Mumbai, and is considered an important city in terms of its economical and industrial importance.
It was earlier known as “Punya-Nagiri” or “Queen of Deccan”. With a rich historical past, Pune has been a popular place since ancient times and still enjoys a similar popularity. In 1730, Pune became the political centre of the Peshwa Empire. The town in 1817 witnessed invasion by British India. This place served as the monsoon capital and the cantonment town to the British until India got independence on the 15th of August 1947.
Pune is not a cosmopolitan city like Mumbai, but is a pleasant travel getaway destination to spend a quite holiday. Situated in the southern part of Maharashtra, Pune is a calm and peaceful city. It offers a comfortable respite from the busy life of Mumbai, the capital city of Maharshtra. This beautiful city has many exotic locales attracting innumerable tourists.
Tourist Attractions of Pune
Parvati Hill temples: It is a splendid temple built by Balaji Baji Rao and occupies a significant place for the pilgrim tourists. You have to climb 108 steep and narrow steps in order to reach the hill top temple. Formerly it was the private shrine of the Peshwas. It also houses Parvati museum featuring portraits of Peshwas, ancient manuscripts and coins. From the top of the temple you can get the awe-inspiring views of the town.
Bund Garden: This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Pune and is also known as Mahatma Gandhi Udhayan. It is located on the right bank of the Mula-Mutha Rivers and was built by Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy to provide the poor with water during hot months of the summers. The adventure enthusiasts can indulge here in boat rides and horse rides.
Pataleshwar Cave Temple : This temple is a quite and an elegant temple that takes you to the world of spirituality. At the entrance of this small underground temple, stands a stone gazebo (Nandi mapandapam). This adds to the charm of this exquisite temple. Definitely, a must visit.
Raja Denkar Kelkar Museum : This museum is a passionate collection of Dr. D.G.Kelkar. The museum has a vast collection of unique and peculiar exhibits. The Raja Denkar Kelkar museum displays the diversity of India’s culture in a subtle and delightful way. The elephant-shaped foot scrubber, a brass scorpion that reveals a secret lock and eight images of Lord Ganesha carved on a bean make it a place to see in Pune.
Shaniwar Wada : This impressive palace was constructed by the Peshwas in the year 1736. The imposing brass studded gates and lotus pools are the only major attractions left in this palace as it was destroyed by a huge fire in the year 1827. This palace is counted among the major tourist attractions in Pune and it is now recognized as symbol of Pune culture. Don’t miss out the ‘Light & Sound Show’ which is held here every evening.
Aga Khan Palace: This palace is an important highlight of this town and flaunts beautiful arches, gracious building having salons, suites and spacious lawns. The palace holds a lot of historical importance since during the 1942 Quit India Movement, Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Gandhi were placed under house arrest by the British in this building. Do not forget to visit the marble memorials of Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadeobahi Desai who died here.
Guru Nanak Darbar : is located in Pimpri, nearly 18 kms away from Pune Station. Local transportation such as Auto Rickshaws, P.M.T. buses and P.C.M.T buses are available to reach to this place.
Everyday the Darbar starts early in the morning at 5:00 am with the Puja and Kirtans. Bhandara is there on every Thursday, hence Devotees from different communities come here on this momentous day. Thursday evening between 7.30 and 9.00 pm a special Bhandara program is observed. There are more than 250 Sikh families in this area and more than 1,500 people gather over here on this day to take part in the Bhandara program.
Pashan Lake : Pashan Lake is a charming artificial lake located in the outskirts of Pune city. The lake is a nice relaxation point for cool evenings and weekends. It offers many eye catching natural views including the full coverage of colorful sunset in the horizon. Pashan lake is a natural habitat of many birds including the migratory bird species. Post monsoon seasons and summers are the period in which one can spot rare species of birds over the lake. This is an intermediate halting place for many migratory birds on their way to southern states like Kumarakom lake in Kerala.
Vishrambaug Wada : A three-storeyed mansion with its famous entrance is another of Pune’s attractions, which symbolises and tells tales of Pune’s rich culture and heritage. Now serving as a post office, this place has carved woodwork in its balcony and is located on Bajirao Road. And yes, the best person to ask for any sort of information on this is the best historian in the city, Baba Saheb Purandare.
Sarasbaug Ganpati : The Sarasbaug temple houses the idol of Shree Siddhivinayak (God who makes wishes true). A sacred ground of faith for millions of devotees in Pune and around the world, on an average the Sarasbaug temple receives ten thousand visitors a day and this figure goes upto eighty thousand devotees per day on Ganesha Chaturthi and other special occasions. Various dignitaries and luminaries throughtout India have made it a point to visit this sacred temple to seek blessings of Shri Siddivinayak.
Katraj Snake Park : Located in Katraj, this snake park is home to a number of snakes and other reptiles like crocodiles. One can see Snakes of different shapes and sizes in the park. Information about snakes with pictures is displayed in a library within the park. A zoo has also been recently added, making it an attractive tourist place, especially for children.
Dehu : Dehu is famed as the birth place of the poet saint Tukaram and is an ancient city located at the shore of the Indravati River. Tukaram is the most revered ancient poet in Maharashtra and his work ‘Abhang Gatha’ has been considered as the one of the greatest literary work in Maratha.
Dehu Temple, built by the youngest son of Tukaram, is the main attraction of Dehu. Dehu temple is assumed to be built during the 18th century and the main deity here is Lord Pandurang. The place in which Tukaram attained Moksha (salvation) is nearby to Dehu. Other attractions in Dehu include a rock famed due to Tukaram’s 13 day fast in standing and a garden in the dedicated to the memory of his wife.
Shindyanchi Chhatri : One of the greatest architectural beauties of the Pune city is the Shindyanchi Chhatri, situated in Wanowrie. It is a memorial dedicated to the great soldier, Mahadji Shinde. For twenty years, between 1760 and 1780, he served as the commander-in-chief of the Maratha army under the Peshwas. The entire complex of the memorial also consists of a temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, which was built by Mahadji himself, in the year 1794. He left for the holy abode the same year and in 1965, Madhavrao Sindhia got the entire complex built, along with the samadhi (memorial).
The major attraction of the Shinde Chatri of Poona is its exquisite architecture, reflecting the style used in Rajasthan, India. Even years after its construction, the memorial retains its architectural designs and beauty and seems to be totally unaffected by time. Presently the Shindyanchi Chhatri of Pune is under the management of the Sindhia Devasthan Trust of Gwalior. You can visit it anytime between 6:00 am and 9:00 pm.
St. Mary’s Church: is an ancient church dating back to 1825, is built by British people to facilitate the British people settled in Pune for worshipping. This is an elegant structure with a blend of British and Indian architectural styles. Everyday worship is offered in this Church and the church still uses pipe organs of about 130 years old. It is a nice Christian religious tourist destination.
Tribal Museum: This museum houses interesting artifacts that were excavated from the Sahyadri and Gondhwa regions of Maharashtra. The archaeologists will surely find this museum an amazing one.
Raj Bhavan Pune: The Raj Bhavan or the Government’s House was built in the year 1866. In the summers it housed the government of Bombay Presidency during the colonial times. This spell binding building was designed by James Trubshawe and is situated in Ganeshkhind. It is one of the must visit places in Pune.
Film and Television Institute of India ( FTII ): The famous and reputed Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) is situated in the Law College Street of Pune. It is one of the most prominent film schools in Asia. The institute has produced many famed actors, directors, and technicians for the Hindi Film Industry. This institute is a worth visiting place in Pune.
Osho Commune International : This is an ashram of Osho, also known as Rajnish. It is located in Koregaon Park and is spread over an lush green area of 24-acre. It is described as the “spiritual Disneyland for disaffected First World yuppies” by the Wall Street Journal. Here you may participate in a number of programs with special emphasis on new-age meditation. Do not miss visiting this place.
Pune University : The University of Pune is a feather in the cap of Pune’s educaion system, placing Pune as a pemier education destination for students from all over the world. Established in 1948, the university has since become one of the leading centres for research and teaching in the country. It is spread over a 400 acre campus and is located in the north-western part of Pune.
Pune is a round the year place and is generally crowded for the most part of the year. Since it has everything ranging from budget hotels for a couple to luxury hotels for business trips, the variety of hotels to choose from is very impressive. Budget hotels have a price range of their own and the minimum room rent at a decent hotel for a couple should cost anywhere between Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000. Since the night culture at Pune is something to experience once, it is better to take a hotel close to the city. The prices may be a bit on the high side, but the nightlife is definitely worth the extra cash.
Luxury hotels in Pune are among the best in India. As Pune is also an emerging industrial city, business men fly in to make late night meetings. A room with unlimited internet access, round the clock bar and other perks are certain basic facilities provided by the hotels. Air conditioning is necessary during the summer months.
How to Reach Pune
By Air : Pune airport is located about 10 km away from the heart of the city, in the Lohagaon area. Regular, direct flights are available from Pune to many cities in India.
By Train : Pune is an important railway junction in Indian railway. Good rail networks connect Pune with all other rail junctions in India.
Pune By Bus : Pune is well connected with many of the major cities in Maharashtra by state owned bus services. Private luxury deluxe buses are operated from Pune to many cities in India, including Goa, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Regular frequent bus services are connecting Pune with Mumbai, nearly a distance of 200 km.
Pune Map[mappress mapid=”71″]