What to See in Pune
Pune has numerous attractions throughout the city, with most of them being glimpses into its history. Once the seat of the Maratha Empire, it has numerous monuments and forts throughout the city. Pune and its surroundings are rich in cultural commodities and it’s an alluring destination for travelers. The museums, parks and palaces offer a look into the past and a rich experience while on a vacation. Additional attractions throughout the year are festivals and such festivals may be national or regional in nature. They are either a glimpse into the heritage left behind by previous occupants of the ancient city of Pune or they are undertakings by public and private bodies to beautify an already glamorous city. Pune is a city of contrasts with a rich heritage but at the same time a young populace.
Locations to visit include the Bhimashankar Temple, The Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Panshet dam, Laxmi Road, Krishnai Water Park, Nucleus Mall and many others. Some other major attractions in this beautiful city are the likes of Osho International Meditation Resort, Konark Park, Saras Baug, Aga Khan Palace, FTII, NDA, Parvati Hill and Temple, Mahatma Phule Wada, and Katraj Snake Park.Read More
Aga Khan Palace
The Aga Khan Palace, also known as the Gandhi National Memorial, was built in 1892 by Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan. The reason for its construction was to provide the people in the famine-hit surrounding areas employment. The palace is surrounded by lush gardens and acts as a museum and is the place where Mahatma Gandhi’s wife, Kasturba Gandhi died. It also boasts of being one of the locations where Sir Richard Attenborough filmed the epic biopic, ‘Gandhi’.
- Opening Hours: 09:00 to 18:00
- Location: Aga Khan Palace, Nagar Road, beyond Fitzgerald Bridge.
Popular with those who want to get away from the city. This is one of the Jyotirlinga temples and it is located in the bank areas of the Sahyadri Hills.
- How to get there: Take a direct bus from Kurla
The garden derives its name from the title ‘Empress of India’ gained by Queen Victoria. It was frequented by English soldiers and is also known as the ‘Soldier’s Garden’. The garden spread across 59 acres houses a small zoo along with mango and tamarind trees. Controlled by the Argi-Horticultural Society of Western India, it is widely used as a picnic spot.
- Opening Hours: 09.30am-06.30pm
- Location: Near Race the Course, Pune - 411 001.
The Ganapati Temple is located on the banks of the river Krishna and situated at the centre of the Saras Baug. The temple is dedicated to Ganesh, the elephant-headed God in Hindu mythology who is also referred to as Ganapati or Ekdanta. Built in 1726 by Shivaji’s mother, it is carved out of black stone and is considered unique in the country.
- Location: Swargate – one kilometre from Swargate S.T. Stand
Katraj Snake Park
Founded in 1986 by Neelam Kumar Khaire, the Katraj Snake Park is a renowned conservation park known to house about 160 species of snakes, including a nine-foot long King Cobra. It holds numerous snake festivals and also snake awareness programs to spread general awareness and to educate people against the mistreatment of snakes.
- Opening Hours: 10:30 – 17:30
- Location: Pune Satara Highway near Bharati Vidyapeeth Campus.
- Remarks: (closed Wednesdays)
One of the most popular locations around Pune, this aviary is a collection of birds from around the world from the personal collection of Dr. Suhas Jog. Photography is not allowed inside.
- Location: Around five kilometres from Pashan.
Osho International Meditation Resort
This is exceptionally popular among tourists coming from the west and is a special Ashram where you live away from all the trappings of the real world.
- Address: 17 Koregaon Park Pune 411001
Parvati Hill and Temple
The Parvati Hill and Temple finds its origins in the 17th century and is one of the oldest and most famous landmarks in Pune. It rises to 2,100 feet and is visible from most parts of the city. Dedicated to various figures of Hindu mythology such as Parvati, Devadeshwar, Karthik, Vishnu and Ganesh, it also houses the Peshwa Museum and provides an excellent if not breathtaking view of the entire city.
- Opening Hours: 05:00 – 20:00
- Location: About one kilometre from Swargate
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum was constructed by Dr. Dinkar Kelkar in memory of his son Raja Dinkar Kelkar. It houses his personal collection of artifacts with ornately carved wooden doors and windows sharing space with Mughal artifacts. The Department of Archaeology with permission from Dr. Kelkar took authority of this museum in 1962.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 17:00 (except government holidays)
- Address: 1377-78, Natu Baug, Off. Bajirao Road, Raja Kelkar Sangrahalay Road, Shukrawar Peth
- How to get there: Hiring a rickshaw or an auto-rickshaw would be the best option.
Originally a lake around the Ganapati temple, Saras Baug is a very popular location. The lake has dried up and the lake bed has been turned into a 25-acre park with lush green lawns and flower beds. The Ganapati Temple is in the central region of the park. The place is frequented by joggers and evening walkers.
- Location: One kilometre from Swargate
Constructed by Peshwa Baji Rao in 1729, the Shaniwar Wada was a palace of remarkable architecture that burned down in 1827. All that survives this day are the large outer gates, stone walls and the bastions enclosing a sprawling garden complex. Although it is just a shadow of its former self, the Shaniwar Wada is frequented by tourists and its parks are frequented by the public in the evenings to get a glimpse of the cultural heritage of the Peshwas.
- Remarks: Light and sound shows are held every day. The English -language show is held every day from 20:15
- How to get there: Take the Pune Darshan Bus
Shivneri Fort is 3,500 feet above sea level and credits itself as being the birthplace of the founder of the Maratha Empire, Shivaji, on 19th February 1630. The fort houses statues of Shivaji in his youth and that of his mother Jijabai. Notable is a temple built in honour of the goddess Shivai Devi and two springs which run throughout the year called Ganga and Jammuna.
- Location: Situated 105 km away from Pune
- How to get there: Head to the base village of Junnar
The Tribal Museum houses various artifacts and documents regarding the tribes of the state of Maharashtra. The tribes from the Sahyadri regions are primarily showcased in this museum. Pictures, artifacts and documentations outline the unique daily tribal lives and should be on the itinerary of visitors to Pune. Photography is allowed with prior permission.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 17:00
- Address: 28 Queens Garden, near Railway Station
This is a place has great trekking as it is somewhere around 4,000 feet above sea level and the actual journey there is very enjoyable. It is located past Bhaje on an offshoot of a road, one of which leads to Lohagaon and the other to Visapur Fort.
- How to get there: The best way in which one can get there is by a private car and then one can go on foot to the fort. It is advisable to take extra food when you go there.