a period of over one hundred years the district of Pune has been a bastion
of the all-powerful Maratha empire. Pune District is marked by numerous
awesome land and sea forts, a testimony to Raja Shivaji's daring exploits.
Later, Pune was handed over to the Peshwa family, whose Maratha power rose
to be a major political force. In 1818, Pune was taken over by the East
The cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune is just 170 kms from Mumbai.
In fact, Pune exemplifies an indigenous Marathi culture and ethos, in
which education, arts and crafts, and theater are given due prominence. It
has one of India's oldest universities and numerous colleges catering to
Indian and international students. Small when compared to Mumbai, Pune's
old city area is peppered with narrow and winding roads but the newer
areas are more open and spacious. Though mostly populated with a
Marathi-speaking community, Pune is slowly becoming a more cosmopolitan
Today, Pune is an important commercial and educational center with
distinctive features and characteristics of its own including the
omnipresent 3 wheeler auto-rickshaws and cyclists and a daily siesta hour
which is taken very seriously.
Prime Attractions of
» Osho Ashram
Bhagwan Rajneesh's famous
ashram is located at 17 Koregoan Park, a green and elite suburb of Pune.
This site attracts thousands of visitors. The Ashram offers a variety of
expensive courses on meditation. All that is required is filling out of an
application form (with 2 passport photographs) and an on-the-spot HIV
negative test and purchase of special tunics. Accommodation needs to be
arranged outside the ashram. Casual visitors can view a 45 minute video
presentation and take a tour (Rs. 60) at 10.00 am and 2.30 pm daily.
Please book ahead. You can easily reach this place by auto-rickshaw. The
nearby Nulla Park also called Osho Teerth, is a beautifully maintained
garden, transformed from a swamp, open for public from 6 to 9 am and 7 to
» Shaniwar Wada
Built in 1736, Shaniwar
Wada was once the palace of the Peshwa rulers. This historic seven-storied
palace was built by Bajirao Peshwa I. During his days, it became the seat
of political power and achieved tremendous importance. To this date,
Shaniwar Wada has been the city's main landmark. Within easy reach from
all parts of the city, Shaniwar Wada was mysteriously destroyed in a fire
in 1827. Mysterious fires continued to raze down portions of Shaniwar Wada
in the early 19th century, and the entire palace -- barring its Mirror
Hall was burnt in the fire that broke out for about a fortnight. What now
remains of this once palatial Wada are only the plinths, the fortification
walls with five gateways, and nine bastions that enclosed the whole
complex, elaborate foundations of the original palace and the nagarkhana
with its fine wooden pillars and lattice work. One enters the palace
through sturdy doors designed to dissuade enemy attacks. This palace is
located in the narrow winding old part of the city. The palace is open
from 8 am to 6.30 PM.
» Shinde Chhatri
the best, just about a couple of kms from the Pune racecourse is the
memorial of the great Maratha nobleman Mahadji Shinde. You can see the
warrior's painted silver likeness, swathed in a flame-colored turban and
elaborate shawl. At his feet are the original prayer vessels, used to
propitiate the family deity each morning. A sign asks you not to open an
umbrella within the Chhatri's precincts, as it would be an insult to the
» Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
A must see,
this quaint building houses a fascinating collection of Indian artifacts
collected by the late Shree Dinkar Kelkar. The 36 sections of the museum
are used to display a wealth of antiques, carved palace doors, pottery,
17th century miniatures, a priceless collection of nut crackers, lamps,
musical items, hookah pipes, hair drying combs and other such items from
the Mughal and Maratha period.
This collection was donated to
the government of Maharashtra by Shree Dinkar Kelkar and is only displayed
by rotation -- giving you another excuse to return to Pune. The museum is
open from 8.30 PM to 5.30 PM daily.
» Pataleshwer Cave Temples
Hidden in the
heart of the city in the Shivajinagar area is this 8th century rock-cut
temple. Still in use, this temple, similar to the caves at Ellora, has
been painstakingly hewn from a single rock and includes massive pillars, a
Shiva shrine and a Nandi bull.
» Tribal Museum
The Tribal Museum
documents the cultures of Maharashtrian communities, particularly those
from the Sahyadri and Gondawana regions. It is open weekdays from 10 am to
5 PM The city tours do not halt at this site.
» Gandhi National Memorial / Aga Khan Palace
gracious buildings with salons and suites that you see standing amidst
well laid out gardens is more that just a palace. It is a historical
landmark. It was donated to India by the Aga Khan IV in 1969. During the
1942 Quit India Movement, Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned here.
On the grounds are the remains (samadhi) of Kasturba Gandhi, Mahatma
Gandhi's wife, who died here while in internment. The memorial is open
from 9 am to 5.45 PM.
» Vishrambaug Wada
This is a
three-storied mansion, known for its beautiful entrance and balcony with
carved woodwork typical of the Peshwa period. The 260 ft long and 815 ft
broad Teen-Chowki Wada was built by the last Peshwa, Bajirao II as his
residence at a cost of RS 2 lakhs. The Wada's eye-catching wooden facade
is memorizing in its beauty, and has beautiful columns carved in the Suru
form. On October 31,1880 a surprise fire engulfed the Wada ravaging the
entire structure. Vishranbaug Wada was restored to its somewhat original
appearance by public subscriptions and municipal contributions. For many
years till 1958 it was to serve as the offices of the Poona Corporation.
Today it houses assorted offices: a strange fate for what was once a
» Bund Garden
Bund Garden is located on
the right bank of the Mula Mutha river, only a couple of kms northeast of
Pune railway station. A stroll in the breeze and a cool evening boat ride
in the back waters created by the 'Bund' on the river attracts many fun
» Saras Baug
Evenings are best for a
stroll through this beautiful garden that houses the famous Ganesh Temple
on the top of a small hillock in the center. The temple was formerly
surrounded by a lake, which has been fully reclaimed in the form of an
open park, now a popular public place in Pune.
» Parvati Hill
This famous landmark is
located on the southern end of the city. A climb of 108 wide stone steps
rewards you with a beautiful round view of the city and an invigorating
draught of cool, fresh air. It also takes you to the group of four temples
of Shiva, Ganesh, Vishnu and Kartikeya. The Parvati Temple used to be the
private shrine of the Peshwa rulers. Also take a look at the Parvati
Museum, which houses replicas of ancient paintings, old manuscripts,
weapons and coins.
» Peshwe Udyan
A zoo maintained by the
Pune Municipal Corporation. It houses a variety of species of wild
animals. The zoo offers a toy-train ride -- a very special attraction for
children, and boating facilities for the family.
» Katraj Snake Park
Started in 1986 with
the help of the Pune Municipal Corporation, the Katraj Snake Park is
situated on the Pune-Satara Highway near Bharati Vidyapeeth Campus. The
straight road emanating from Swargate takes you to the desired
destination. The park today has a collection of wonderful reptiles, birds,
a baby leopard, crocodiles and others. The prize collection is of course
the six-year-old, nine feet long King Cobra.
» Pune University
Pune' s oldest
education institute is the Pune University formed in 1948. The university
has many affiliated education institutes and colleges from all parts of
Maharashtra -- research institutes such as the National Chemical
Laboratories, Center for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Gokhale
Institute of Politics and Economics, National Institute of Virology (NIV)
are just to name few. The IUCAA, one of the pioneering institutes for
research in astronomy, is located in the lush green environment of Pune
University, and is headed by a world renown mathematician, Dr Jayant
Pune University is located on 400 acres of sprawling
grounds with quiet roads and small open canteens towards the city limits.
It was once the official residence of the Governor of Mumbai during the
monsoons, the Pune University is now a stately mansion at Ganeshkhind. A
large building in the Italian Gothic style, built with local grey tap
rock, it has a square tower 40 m high and well-maintained lawns. One can
spend a pleasant evening here.
How to Get there
» By Air
Pune airport is 12
kms from the city.
» By By Rail
» By Road
Mumbai - Pune on Central
Railway. 192 kms. Madras-Pune on South Central Railway, 1088 kms.
Mumbai-Pune, 170 kms. Nashik-Pune,
209 kms, Aurangabad-Pune, 230 ksm.
State Transport buses ply from
Mumbai, Nagur, Aurangabad, Solapur and other places to Pune.
Pune can be a shoppers dream and offers a lot of shopping options both
quality and quantity wise. Your visit to Pune is incomplete if you don’t
visit Laxmi Road at least once. Located in the heart of Pune you’ll
find shops selling a wide range of articles but it is most famous for
garments and jewellery shops. Bajirao Road also offers excellent
opportunities for shopping. Both East Street and Mahatma Gandhi Road are
also popular areas, and the Mahatma Gandhi Road is famous for its gifts and
souvenir articles. Deccan Gymkhana a compact, triangular area is so full of
shops that it has to be seen to be believed and is a real shopper’s
paradise All up if you enjoy shopping…you’ll love the
choices available here. Shopping Hours are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. generally
shops are closed on Mondays in the city and on Sundays in the cantonment