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Home » Maharastra » Pune  

Pune

Ganesh Festival Pune Tour Packages Maharashtra TravelsFor 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 India Company.

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 city.

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.


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Prime Attractions of Pune

» 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 10 PM.

» 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
Architecturally amongst 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 warrior's memory.

» 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
Aga Khan Palace Pune Travel Vacations Maharashtra ToursThe 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 king's abode.

» 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 lovers.

» 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 Naralikar.

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.


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How to Get there

» By Air
Pune airport is 12 kms from the city.

» By By Rail
Mumbai - Pune on Central Railway. 192 kms. Madras-Pune on South Central Railway, 1088 kms.

» By Road
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.

Shopping
Shopping Mall Pune Holiday Packages Maharashtra Travel Guide
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 area.

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