Pune is the ninth largest metropolis in India, the second largest in the state of Maharashtra after Mumbai. It is situated on the Deccan plateau at the confluence of the Mula and Mutha rivers. Pune city is the administrative capital of Pune district known to have existed as a town since 847 AD originally called Punawadi. Today, Pune is known for its high educational facilities and relative prosperity. The land of Shivaji Maharaj, Pune is the cultural capital of Maharashtra with manufacturing, glass, sugar and forging industries since the 1950-60s. It has a growing industrial hinterland, with IT, auto setting up factories in the district. Many tourist places and monuments in the city are not only piece of great architecture and splendor of the rulers but they also remind of the efforts made by city's forefathers to make it reliant and hold to its cultures and traditions.
Photo Credit: Ramnath Bhat
Location: Maharashtra, District Pune
Altitude: 560 Meters
Area: 700 Sq. Km.
Temperature: Summer 20 to 42°C & Winter 8 to 32°C
Languages Spoken: Marathi, Hindi and English
Nearest Airports: Pune itself has an Airport.
Main Railway Station: Pune itself has a railway station
Main Bus Station or Road: Public and Private Transport facilities are there to reach Pune from Mumbai.
Distance of a few Major Towns from Pune:
Thane- 145km, Mumbai- 163km, Lavasa-37km, Lonavala-52km, Khandala-68km, Mahableshwar-115km, Panchgani-97km.
Sorghum and Pearl millet are the main ingredients of traditional Pune food. Specialties include Misal pav, puran poli (a dessert bread), Pithla bhakri, Bhelpuri and Pav Bhaji. Mastani, a thick milkshake containing dried fruit, is a speciality of the city. Vada pav, Misal Pav, Poha, Daabeli and Bhel Puri are common and famous street foods. Being a Metropolitan city, Pune also boasts a wide variety of restaurants, serving cuisines from all over the world.
Places of Tourist Interest:
Aga Khan Palace:
The Aga Khan Palace is a historically important place in Pune. It is famed for its connect with the Indian Independence movement. British held many important freedom fighters under arrest in this Palace.
The architectural style is amazing with huge frontal pillars in Gothic style and a clock tower overlooking the whole city.
Dehu is famed as the birth place of the poet saint Tukaram and is an ancient city located on the shores of the Indrāvati River. Tukaram, one of the most revered ancient poets 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.
National War Museum:
The 25 feet pillar represents the memorial. This grand idea was successful by the whole hearted help of the people of Pune, irrespective of cast, creed and religion. People from all walks of life contributed generously for this great cause. It is a patriotic site to pay homage to the great sacrifice of India's War fighters.
Pataleshwar Cave- Is historical temple in the middle of Jangli Maharaj Road in Shivaji Nagar Pune. The temple is made out of a single hard stone and the main deity is Pataleshwar. The temple bears massive pillars and constructed with the architectural excellence like that of Elephanta caves in Mumbai.
Raj Dinakar Kelkar Museum:
The spectacular museum offers unique exhibits like the foot scrubber in the form an elephant-shape, images of Lord Ganesha, and a brass scorpion having a secret lock system. 'Mastani Mahal' which was reconstructed in the museum is a major attraction here.
Shaniwar Wada was the palace of the great rulers Peshwa Dynasty in Pune. Shaniwar Wada stands testimony to the Maratha culture and its architectural design shows influences of Mughal style and features of Maratha artistic styles too.
This is a building constructed as a memorial of the Maratha noble character Shri Mahadju Shinde. The architectural style of the building is appreciable with its beautiful carvings and intricate craftsmanship following the Vaasthu Hara rules. This is an excellent architectural marvel worth visiting.
The Bund Garden was constructed Sir Janshedji with an aim to provide water to the poor for farming. Bund Garden, also known as Mahatma Gandhi Udyan is an ideal place for visitors looking for some calm & peace away from busy city life. The Bund garden is replete with a plethora of flora which draws the attention of visitors.
Mulshi Lake and Dam
The Lake is formed in the catchment area of Mulshi dam. The Dam is a perfect spot for picnics, with its scenic surroundings, unexploited Sahyadri hills, lush green forests & some ancient forts like Koraigadh and Dhangad in the vicinity. The dense forests around the Dam and lake offer the views of some rare wild animals and a variety of trees including teak, sag, mango and oak. The forest cover and the lake are natural habitats for birds too. The Mulshi Lake and dam is an ideal outing for nature lovers.
Mulshi Lake and Dam
Vishram Bagh Wada:
Vishram Bagh Wada, the great old palace marked its presence in grand olden times, is presently in ruins. The palace was renowned for the attractive facades made in good quality wood.
Katraj Snake Park:
The park houses a rare species of Brown Palm Civet and this is a major draw here. As per the wildlife records this is the only specimen of this kind in captivity. The King Cobra of length nine feet, which is brought from Sunderbans, is another attraction to the wildlife enthusiasts. A zoo and a garden located nearby are also worth visiting.
Ashram of Bhagwan Rajneesh (Osho Ashram), in a 32 acre beautiful campus, is in Koregaon Park area of Pune. The ashram is a prime attraction for tourists who are followers of Bhagwan Rajneesh ideologies & preaching. It is a resort for Meditation and Yoga.
Parvati Hill Temple
Parvati hill is a picturesque spot perched atop Pune city. Parvati Hill Temple is an important Hindu religious destination here. It enshrines the idols of Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha, Lord Vishu, Devateshwar and Lord Karthikeya. The Parvati Hill is an ideal location for trekkers.
St. Mary's Church:
This is an elegant structure with a blend of British and Indian architectural styles.
Horse Riding Activity:
Horse Riding Activity in Pune is really a unique opportunity for travelers to do something different on their vacation. There are many horse riding training centers. Some of these centers offer horse riding facilities for tourists too. Horse riding packages are available from Pune to Sinhagad fort. The horse riding training camp offers facilities for people of all ages. The horse riding practices are conducted in outdoor stadiums at the horse riding schools. Expert trainers look after the training progress.
Pune is a renowned name all over the world for paragliding training and institutions. Flying Safari is one of the major institutions providing good quality paragliding training and the facilities in the institute are spectacular. The courses here offer from very basic level to hill flying skills development. In-house accommodation is available here for those who undergo training. This sports activity is open to all through the year, except for heavy rainy monsoon seasons. It offers joy paragliding facilities for enthusiastic travelers.
Panshet Water ParK:
Panshet Water Park, lies between two important dams Varasgaon Dam and Panshet Dam and is one of the most popular attractions in Pune. With several options for water sports like kayaking, swimming, water scooters, excellent rides on speed boats and wind surfing, the park is a perfect spot for the entire family to enjoy a fun day out.
Getting around the Destination:
The best way of transportation is Rickshaw, Private and Public Bus.
Shopping Areas & Entertainment:
Pune is a shopaholic's paradise. The shopping areas in Pune stocks an eclectic collection of wares - from traditional Kolhapuri Chappals to electronic goods.
MG Road for Clothing, pans and other items and Tulsi Baug for reasonable priced garments and shoes are some of the main shopping areas in Pune.
Best time to Visit:
July to February is the best time to visit the destination.
Ganesh Festival: this is the most important and biggest festival in Pune. It falls on the 4th day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada (August - September).
Pune Festival: Pune festival is held between August and September during Ganesh Mahotsav.
Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti: Celebrated as the birthday of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Maharashtra on 19th February.