Places to visit in Pune have its mix of culture which makes for interesting sightseeing within the city! While it has always been a corporate stopover.
For those interested in history and architecture, Pune offers a mix of the modern interlaced with the old! Whether it is the Lal Deval or Vishram Baug Wada, which now functions as a post office, the list is endless! Shaniwar Wada, Aga Khan Palace and the Parvati temple are the other few attractions without which a visit to the city would be incomplete!
Once upon a time Pune was a very sedate Maharashtrian city… very representative of the Maratha heartland.
The arrival of Osho to the city gave it an international flavour. The Osho International Meditation Resort has acquired international recognition with thousands of people, from more than 100 countries, visiting the Resort every year. The beauty of the Resort is its green and tranquil surroundings creating the most suitable environment for meditation and introspection.
The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation Office is at Central Building, Sassoon Hospital Road. And there is an MTDC counter at the train station open from 10.00 to 6.00 pm Monday through Friday and on Saturday till 1.00 pm. The MTDC office organises a three-hour city bus tour for Rs 50, which is not highly recommended
Know More About Pune:
- About Aga Khan Palace
Aga Khan Palace is one of the places in pune to visit.
This palace was built in 1892 by Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah Agakhan III. He was elected as the President of the League of Nations in 1938 and was well renowned in the field of politics and sports. The palace was later donated to India by Aga Khan IV in 1969 as a mark of respect to Gandhiji and his philosophy.
The Agakhan Palace in Pune is a national monument of India’s freedom movement. Following the launch of Quit India movement in 1942, Gandhiji, his wife Kasturba, his secretary Mahadevbhai Desai were interned at the palace from August 9, 1942 to May 6, 1944. Mahadevbhai and Kasturba passed away while in captivity at the Agakhan palace and their samadhis are located in the campus. Situated near the River Mula, the palace is a simple memorial to Gandhi and his life.
The palace has developed into a national and international place of pilgrimage with over a lakh of pune tourist visitors every year who come to pay homage to the samadhis here. The palace is surrounded by a sprawling garden. The famous movie ‘Gandhi’ was shot here.
Gandhi Memorial Society: The management of the museum, samadhis and the palace campus was transferred to the Gandhi Memorial society in 1980. The society has been trying to make this place a living memorial to Ba (Kasturba Gandhi) and Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi) by organizing a number of activities throughout the year.
Following public functions are held here:
1. Martyr’s day ‘ 30th January
2. Mahashivratri – Kasturba’s death anniversary celebrated as Mother’s day
3. Independence day ‘ 15th August
4. Republic day ‘ 26th January
5. Bapu’s birth anniversary and Ba and Bapu awards ceremony ‘ 2nd October.
Picture gallery and museum Pictures depicting important events in the freedom struggle and things used by Mahatma Gandhi during his stay in the palace like utensils, clothes and his personal effects (towel, mala, chappals). Also, room in which Kasturba Gandhi took her last breath, the dining table where they used to have their meals, the room in which Gandhiji used to give science lessons to his grand daughter, letter written by Gandhiji on the death of his dear secretary, are some of the attractions in the palace.
Mahurika nursery school ‘ Kasturba Mahila Khadi Gramodyog Vidyala ‘ Library and documentation centre ‘ Skill and vocational training ‘ UNCHR Refugee Guidance centre ‘ Nashabandi Parishad work ‘ Friends of Gandhi museum ‘ ICDS training of Aganwadi workers, supervisors and CDPQS
A special cenotaph honours Kasturba who died here. A shop attached sells khadi or cotton hand loomed garments and textiles.
Timings : 9 am to 6 pm (Lunch break: 12.30 pm to 1:30 pm)
Entry fee: Rs.10 for adults and Rs.5 for children
Location: Agakhan Palace, Nagar road, beyond Fitzgerald Bridge
Phone no: +91 20 26880250 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Bund Garden
These gardens are located on the banks of the Mula-Mutha rivers are a treat during winters with a number of migratory birds.
Some years back a jogging track was added to the gardens increasing its popularity.
Boat rides are also available in the river’s backwaters. The Gardens are located at a distance of 2 km from the Pune Railway Station.
The Bund Garden nowadays is also known by the alternative name of the Mahatma Gandhi Udyan. This is because the bridge here reaches across the river to the Gandhi National Memorial.
As the name suggests, the place has derived its name from a mini dam that has been constructed across the Mula-Mutha river. Magic shows and horse rides are frequently organized at the Bund Garden in order to entertain young children who accompany their parents to the place.
The Garden is one of the several much-frequented hangout spots of the city of Pune. If you are in the city of Pune, do not miss a chance of visiting this beautiful garden.
About The Film and Television Institute of India
The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) is located in the spacious grounds of the erstwhile Prabhat Studios, comprising of a number buildings standing in 21 acres of land.
The Institute offers courses in direction, editing, screenplay, photography and music.
The FTII was established by the Government of India in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in 1960 on the recommendation of the Film Enquiry Committee for imparting training in the art and techniques of film making. The entire property including a sizeable amount of motion picture equipment and properties was acquired by the Government of India for a sum of Rs. 11.20 lacs in April 1960.
The syllabus and the courses of studies were drawn up, in the original instance, upon the advice of Remy Tessonneau, Director of the Paris Institute des Hautes Etudes Cinematographiques (IDHEC) who paid a visit to Poona in March, 1961 and prepared a draft outline for teaching in five courses, viz. Screen-play, writing-cum-Direction, Motion Picture Photography, Sound Recording and Editing.
Regular courses started from 1961. Television Training Wing which started functioning in 1971 in New Delhi moved to Pune in October 1974. The FTII became a society in October under the Registration of Societies Act of 1860, fully aided by the Government of India, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Some of the outstanding names who have passed out from the Institute are Mani Kaul, Shabana Azmi, Feroz Chinoi, Subhash Ghai, Jaya Bachchan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Getting there: FTII is a famous landmark on Law College road. It is only a km away from Deccan. It’s open all weekdays. If you are not a student, you will require permission to visit the campus.
About 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.
This snake park is well-known for its work towards animals besides its snakes and reptiles. Recently it added a zoo to it as well. Neelimkumar Khaire is the Director of the Snake Park and is himself a snake-lover. He has introduced innovative methods of communication in the park such as providing information about snakes through braille for the blind at the snake park.
Festivals and programs are held to spread awareness and remove common myths about this dreaded species. During the festival of Nagpanchami, the Snake Park has held a number of programs while discouraging mistreatment to snakes.
Getting there: A little out of the city, Katraj Snake Park is on the Pune Satara Highway near the Bhartiya Vidyapeeth University.
Timings: 10:30 am to 6 pm (Wednesday closed)
Entry fee: Rs 3 per head
About Konark Park
Situated in the outskirts of Pune, ahead of Ambrosia and around 5 kms from Pashan is this beautiful bird sanctuary. It is a private collection of birds of Dr. Suhas Jog. The birds here have been collected by Dr. Jog over a period of 30 years from different parts of the world
This aviary cum birds research centre houses the most unique and beautiful species of birds. One cannot but feel overwhelmed by the beauty of these birds. Photography is not allowed inside the park and nothing can replace the joy of seeing the birds in person.
Birds like bare-eyed cockatoo from Australia, Yellow Golden Pheasant from China, Ring Oiet Pheasant from Kenia are some of the birds that will leave you spellbound. Also, birds like Ostrich and Emu will take your breadth with their enormous size. This place which was a dream harnessed by Dr. Jog is a must see for all the nature lovers. For the children, there is a huge collection of beautiful ducks and a playground with swings to keep them elated.
About Mahatma Phule
The Wada was the residence of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and is as old as 1852. It is in Ganj Peth, which is a few kms away from Pune station. Mahatma Phule used to live here with his wife. The house was converted to a museum with photographs of Mahatma Phule with his wife. Inside the wada is a well and it is known that he had opened the well to the backward classes so that they could easily fill drinking water from it.
There is a statue of Mahatma Phule in the courtyard and ample space for people to relax under the shade of trees. The Wada is a reminder of 18 and 19th century way of life of the Pune population.
Mahatma Phule was in favour of girl-child education. He was the first person to open a school for girls and his wife was the first lady teacher.
Entry is absolutely free.
Situated in Khadakwasala, the National Defense Academy (NDA) is a treat to see. Excluding the drive till NDA, the greenery and picturesque surroundings make it one of the best drives in and around Pune. 17 km from Pune, NDA is the only academy in the world, where all the three forces are trained together.
Forming an important backdrop for the training of the forces, it is not uncommon to see punished students running with heavy weight on their backs.
While permission is required to be able to visit the portals of this great institution which has lush greenery and good facilities for training, not to miss the sailing championships which are held every year in the Peacock Bay, this is a must visit places in pune for anybody who wants to know what it takes to make boys into patriotic men!
Getting there: On the Pashan Road, from the University Road, you can drive upto Chandini Chowk, where you pass by Garden Court. A good 10-15 kms away from the city, visits are allowed only on Sundays.
If a large group, a guided tour is also provided. (Tel:020 25291700)
About Osho Ashram
This beautiful campus is situated in the pleasant residential area of Koregaon Park, Pune, around fifteen minutes by air from Mumbai. This lush contemporary 40-acre meditation resort is a tropical oasis where nature and the 21st Century blend seamlessly, both within and without. With its white marble pathways, elegant black buildings, abundant foliage and Olympic-sized swimming pool, it is the perfect setting to take time out for yourself.
This is a place where you can simply relax and where you can also enjoy the company of visitors of all ages from over 100 countries. You can choose if you want to do something, or if you just want to rest, swim, meditate ‘ or just to be.
You can learn simple Osho Active Meditations, techniques specifically designed for the contemporary over-charged mind and stress-impacted body.
You may like to nourish your body-mind-soul with a stunning selection of individual sessions, like bodywork and massage, and longer workshops and courses ‘ all designed to help you become more aware of yourself.
And while we each walk this walk alone, it is more supportive and more fun to share the process with others, whether during the various daytime activities, or in the evening ‘ trying out a new meditation technique, or enjoying an evening at a party, dancing, or the plaza caf’, watching or participating in live theater events or just going to the movies.
Some of your choices at the resort: Osho Multiversity
The Daily Meditation Program Work as Meditation Or just enjoying doing absolutely nothing Osho International Meditation Resort 17 Koregaon Park 411001
About Pataleshwar Caves
Pataleshwar Caves on Jungli Maharaj Road are 8th century cave temples dedicated to Lord Pataleshwar, God of the Underworld. Believed to have been cut out from a single rock, the place has massive pillars, which are the grandeur of the temple caves. The shrine out there is dedicated to Shiva and the Nandi.
This religious shrine on Jungli Maharaj Road, housed in caves, that dates back to 700-800 AD has rather grand statues of Nandi, Sita, Ram, Lakshman, Lakshmi, Ganesh and an over-sized shivalingam under its roof.
The attached museum is dim, dank and dusty and not worth wasting time over, apart from an exhibit that has made the Guinness Book of World Records – a grain of rice engraved with some 5000 characters.
Getting there: Open daily from 08.00 to 17.30, this is located in the middle of the busy thorughfare of Jangli Maharaj Road. Gettting there with most rickshaws willing to ply there!
Parvati is the one of the most scenic locations in Pune. It is situated at a height of 2100 feet above sea level. The temples on Parvati hill are the oldest heritagestructures in Pune and reminiscent of the Peshwa dynasty. It offers an aerial view of the city and for the punekars, it is a respite from the noise and pollution of city life.
Parvati is the daily visiting place for a number of citizens and for many people, going to Parvati (103 steps) forms a part of their daily exercise regimen. Being the highest point in Pune and having conveniently located observation points, the beautiful panaromic view of Pune city leaves visitors spellbound.
Parvati gates open at 5.00 am and close at 8.00 pm. It is said that at this spot the Peshwa ruler Balaji Baji Rao watched the British defeat at the Battle of Kirkee.
Located on this hill is an interesting museum that commemorates the Peshwa rule. Near the museum is situated the Samadhi Sthan of Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa who took his last breath here. Peshwa Museum.
Getting there: Parvati is situated in the centre of the city. It is around 4 Kms from Deccan and 1 km from Swargate.
Shaniwarwada was the stately mansion originally built as the residence of the Peshwas. The foundation of the mansion was laid by Bajirao 1 in the year 1730 AD and construction was completed in 1732 AD at a cost of Rs. 16,120. Several additions were made to the palace like fortification walls with bastions, gates and court halls by his successors.
What was once a seven storied structure was gutted by a fire in the palace. Only the remains can be seen now like the fortification walls with five gateways and nine bastions that enclosed the entire palace. The principal gate is called Dilli Darwaja (Delhi Gate); the other gates are called Mastani or Alibahadur Darwaja, Khidki Darwaja, Ganesh Darwaja and Narayan Darwaja
The walls in the palace were painted with scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata. A sixteen petal lotus-shaped fountain stands reminiscent of the exquisite work of those times. The historical structure which stands as an important chapter in the history of the Maratha empire, is now maintained by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). Around 1,000 people used to stay in the palace.
Light and sound show: A light and sound show set up at a cost of Rs 1.25 crore is the main attraction. Timing of the Show (everyday) 7:15 pm to 8:10 pm (Marathi Show) 8:15 pm to 9:10 pm (English Show) Ticket rate Rs. 25/- per head Ticket booking Everyday 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm (No Advance Booking)
Shaniwarwada is a must see place on the tourists’ itinerary, particularly if one takes the Pune Darshan bus organised by the PMC. It has also become an attractive destination for public functions and speeches by public figures.
About Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
Kelkar Museum was established in 1962 by Baba Dinkar Kelkar and was donated to the Maharashtra government in 1975.
The museum has 20,000 different articles, all personally collected by Baba Kelkar from all over the world. When his son died at the age of seven, he decided to do something in his remembrance and that is how the idea of building this museum was conceived.
The museum houses the entire collection of Baba Kelkar, a recreation of the famous Mastani Mahal, research and storage facilities and the Institute of Musicology and fine arts. It is a resting place for Dr. Kelkar’s obsession to create a centre for artistic endevours. A must see Places in pune.
This museum on Bajirao Road is a marvel and a must see places in pune for tourists. It comprises of rare exhibits and artifacts from all over the country and dates back to the Mughal and the Maratha periods. Paintings, nut crackers, Ganpati’s guns, carved palace doors, pottery and a number of musical instruments.
On the ground floor are displayed household vessels (of 18th and 19th century) made of terracotta, copper and brass and brought from Kerala, Gujrat and Maharashtra. One can see vessles like Dabado, a box in which dowry used to be given in Gujrat.
On another floor, murtis of Shri Ganesha, Shiva and Parvati with paintings showing scenes from Ramayana and paintings in manuscript are on display. Another attraction is armours made of fish scales and crocodile skin, pistols, long barrelled muskets, daggers, shields, swords and small cannons.
For those who want to experience the rich and tasteful lifestyle of maharajas in the 18th century, there is a tambool collection including nut-cutters of different shapes and sizes, betel boxes, lime containers and spittoons. The intrinsic designs are proof of the artistic brilliance of people belonging to that century.
For the music lovers, there is a musical gallery with nearly all types of musical instruments on display. The collection also includes personal instruments contributed by the personalities such as Sarinda by P.L. Deshpande, Saarangi of Ustad Kadarbaksh Khan. One can also see a tortoise shaped veena and a gramophone of early 20th century, donated by HMV Co.
There is a room in the museum which almost steals your heart. It is a recreation of the Mastnai Mahal which was originally built in 1734 in Kothrud, Pune. It has a luxurious setting, colourful paintings and chandeliers, all to give the feel of a palace.
Timings: 9 am to 6 pm (open all days) Entry fee: Rs 15 Tel: 24474466
Getting there: On Bajirao Road, near the famous Abhinav Kala Mandir, this is easily accessible from Deccan which is 2-3 kms away. Best way to make your way is through a rickshaw or a two wheeler as it is in the heart of the city.
About Shinde Chatri
Located in Wanowrie, Shinde Chatri houses the Samadhi of Shrimant Mahadji Shinde. He was a man of great deeds.
The Shiv mandir in the temple campus was built by Shrimant Mahadji in 1794. He passed away the same year and his last rites were performed here. The temple campus including the Samadhi was later built by Madhavrao Sindhia in 1965.
The temple has beautiful architectural designs and remains unaffected by the passage of years.It is maintained by Sindhia Devasthan Trust, Gwalior.
Timings: 6 am to 9 pm Entry: Rs 2
Brief history: In the 18th century, soon after completion of Shree Devdeveshwar Temple on Parvati hill, Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa turned his attention towards the development and beautification of environs of Parvati hills. He decided to construct a lake at the foothills of Parvati. An island of about 25000 Sq.ft. area was retained in the middle of this lake. Later on, a beautiful garden was created on this island. Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa gave it a poetic name, ‘Sarasbaug’.
In 1784, Shrimant Sawai Madhavrao Peshwa built a small temple in Sarasbaug. Sarasbaug has now become a place of worship for people from all over the world and also a popular hang-out for Punekars.
Getting there: Sarasbaug is located in the heart of the city, at walking distance from Swargate. It is around 4 kms from Deccan. There are regular buses and rickshaws plying to Swargate.
About Tribal Museum
Tribal Museum is near the Don Bosco Bridge, the Tribal Museum has showcased the life of the Maharashtrian Tribal Communities. A museum only on tribal communities, interesting insights into the tribal communities from Sahyadri regions are prime attractions and a visit to this outstanding museum is a must.
Excellent documentation via photographs and artifacts of the life and customs of the very unusual tribal people of Maharashtra are here.
Maharashtra is a vast state and there are a number of tribals in this state. Having different languages, these tribes have their own food habits, taboos, and beliefs – in short distinct cultures.
Tribal Museum exhibits the cultures of the tribal communities mainly from the Sahyadari and Gondwana regions. It is a place where one can find to get an insight into the lives of the tribal communities of Maharashtra.
Open daily from 10.00 to 17.00 and located at 28 Queens Garden, near the railway station. Closed on: Sundays and government holidays. Entry: Free Photography: Allowed with permission.
About University of Pune
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. The University houses 40 departments which provide a wide array of academic programs. The placid environs and state of the art facilities provide its numerous students with an ideal atmosphere to pursue education in various areas of science, arts, commerce and languages
The University of Pune (formerly known as University of Poona) was established under the Poona University Act, passed by the Bombay Legislature on 10th February, 1948. In the same year, Dr. M. R. Jayakar assumed office as the first vice chancellor of the University. Shri B.G. Kher, Chief Minister and Education Minister, Govt. of Bombay, took a keen interest in setting apart a beautiful campus for the University. As a result of his efforts, a campus extending over 411 acres was allocated to the University in early 1950.
The university attracts many people who wish to spend time in green and pollution-free surroundings. The peaceful environs of the campus offer a perfect opportunity for relaxation and contemplation.
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.