Pune

Famous For: Pune is widely regarded as the second major “IT hub of India” and the top “Automobile Manufacturing Hub of India”. It is known as the “Oxford of the East” with the presence of a wide range of educational institutions. However, here are some interesting places to visit in Pune below:
Sinhagad Fort, Aga Khan Palace, Shaniwarwada Palace, Vishrambaug Wada, Lal Mahal, Empress Garden, Parvati Hill, Okayama Friendship Garden, Vetal Hill, Bund Garden, Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, Sentosa Water Park, Shisha Jazz Café, Independence Brewing Company, Shinde Chhatri, National Defence Academy, Pashan Lake, Shinde Chhatri, Peacock Bay, Rajmachi, Mulshi Lake and Dum, Panshet Waterpark, Appu Ghar Amusement Park, Kolad, Panchgani, Khandala, Lonavala, Alibag, Lavasa, Bhandardara.
Major Attractions: Aga Khan Palace, Lal Mahal, National Defence Academy, Parvati Hill, Pashan Lake, Shaniwarwada Palace, Rajmachi, Mulshi Lake & Dum.
Ideal Visit Time: The months of October to February is the ideal time to visit Pune as the climate is pleasant with cool and humid atmosphere and makes it perfect for sightseeing. The temperature in Pune in October nestles at a range of 20°C and 27°C whereas it drops to a minimum of 12°C in the month of November.

About Pune

Pune is a sprawling city in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. It was once the base of the Peshwas (prime ministers) of the Maratha Empire, which lasted from 1674 to 1818. It’s known for the grand Aga Khan Palace, built in 1892 and now a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, whose ashes are preserved in the garden. Often referred to as the Oxford of the East, it is a hub of diverse people and activities and is in rapidly growing into one of the top metropolitan cities in the country. Pune is a city that perfectly blends modernity with tradition sprinkled with colonial-era charm, and it deserves the title of being the cultural capital of Maharashtra. Here are some interesting and famous places to visit in Pune.
 
Now, let’s talk about some attractive places of Pune below – 
 

Aga Khan Palace

Aga Khan Palace is one of the amazing places to visit in Pune with its amazing monuments and friends. It was built in 1892 by Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III. The palace has established itself as one of the largest landmarks in the history of India. As a work of charity, the palace existed and the sultan who built it wanted to help the poor in the region. The mighty monument is an important part of Pune tourism and is also considered to be a sparkling jewel in Indian history which had a close connection with the Indian freedom movement since it served as a prison for Mahatma Gandhi and his wife, his secretary and Sarojini Naidu. Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai, the secretary died in this palace.
 
The palace is exactly situated about 2 km away from Bund Garden in Yerwada on Pune Nagar Road. The palace presents Utalian arches and a huge lawn at the front and it houses five falls. The total area in which the palace is situated in 19 acres including the lawn and other spaces. The Aga Khan Palace is an important place to visit in Pune, as an important archive displaying portraits, portraits of Mahatma Gandhi’s life and other important personalities of the Indian freedom struggle. It also serves as the headquarters of the Gandhi National Memorial Society.
 
 

Lal Mahal

Lal Mahal is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Pune, also known as the Red Palace (Lal Mahal). It is a beautiful monument established in 1630 AD for Shivaji Maharaj’s father Shahaji Vosle, his wife and son. Shivaji Maharaj lived here for a long time until he captured his first fort. The original palace was the scene of several devastating incidents, and the current one is a rebuilt structure in the city center. The original monument was built with the aim of reviving the city of Pune. The exact location of where the monument was erected is still unknown. It was later learned that it was probably very close to the location of Shaniwarwada. The newly built red palace does not have many of the features of the old one and it is not built in the same style.
 
The Pune Municipal Corporation started the reconstruction work of the present Lal Mahal in 1984 and it took about 4 years to complete. The Lal Mahal became an important part of the history after an encounter between Shivaji and Shaista Khan when the former cut off the latter’s fingers and he tried to escape from the window of the Lal Mahal. The present palace displays a collection of large-scale oil paintings based on important events that took place in Shivaji’s life. There is a recognized “Jijamata Garden” here as an amusement park for children.
 

National Defence Academy (NDA)

National Defence Academy (NDA) is a joint service academy of the Indian Armed Forces where three divisions of the defense sector like Army, Navy and Air Force cadets are trained together before pre-commissioning training at the respective service academies. It is also one of the sights of Pune. The academy is located at Khadakwasla near Pune and it is the first tri-service academy in the world. Since its establishment, the cadets from the academy have led and fought in major conflicts in which the Indian Armed Forces has been called to action.
 
The NDA campus is situated about 17 km south west of Pune city. The administrative headquarters of the NDA, the Sudan Block is named like that in honour of the soldiers of Indian soldiers who lost their lives during the East African Campaign in Sudan. The building is a three storied one made of basalt and granite structure constructed with the famous Jodhpur red sandstone. The exterior design has a blend of arches, pillars and verandahs topped by a dome. There are a number of war relics in the campus along with an extensive library named the “Vyas Library” that accommodates more than 100000 printed volumes.
 

Parvati Hill

The hill of this beautiful green land is one of the places of interest in Pune. It is also one of the places on the top list of tourists. Not only is this place popular for trekking and getting lost in the bosom of nature, but it is also famous for an ancient mountain temple located at the top of the hill. Located at an altitude of about 2,100 feet above sea level, this temple was built during the Peshwas period and is one of the best sites in Pune. One of the best activities in Pune is to see the sunset from this hilltop, which is reachable after a climb of around 103 steps. 
 
There are also other temples like Devdeveshwar temple, Kartikeya temple and Vishnu temple at the top. If you’re planning to visit this interesting place, don’t miss the Peshwa Museum to see pictures and exhibits about the glorious life of Peshwa rulers.
 

Pashan Lake

Near the suburbs of Pashan Hills, it is a fascinating artificial lake, located 12 km from Pune city. The lake is named “Pashan Lake” after the Pashan hills. It was built during the British period to meet the water needs of the locals in the vicinity. The Ram River is controlled by a barrage on the north side of the lake and it is one of the best places to visit in Pune. This lake is an amazing place to visit in Pune with family. It covers an area of about 40 square km. Unfortunately, as a result of urbanization, much of the lake’s water has receded.
 
Currently, the lake’s water is largely polluted and unfit for drinking. However, the location of the still picturesque place attracts thousands of tourists to spend enough time to visit the place of interest and a lot of migratory birds visit the lake in winter. There is a Nature Trail on one side of the lake, built by the Pune Municipal Corporation, which is 300 meters long and thus people can cross and see the man-made lake. Concluding all, if you are opting your tour for a picturesque and peacefull views, Pashan Lake can be one of the best places to see in Pune.
 

Shaniwarwada Palace

One of the prominent historical landmarks in Pune is Shaniwarwada, which is considered as one of the best tourist destinations in Pune. It is a royal castle, built in 1732. At that time it was the seat of the Peshkars of the Maratha Empire and they ruled there till 1818. After the British East India Company lost control, they could no longer use it. Shaniwarwada was at the center of Indian politics in the 18th century. But in 1828, the fort was destroyed by a huge fire and later the remnants were transformed to become a tourist site.
 
Only the base floor survived when the British invaded and all other floors were completely destroyed. Earlier the fort had accommodation for about a thousand people. The main buildings inside the fort are the Thora Rayancha Diwankhana or the court reception hall of the veteran royal member, the Nachacha Diwankhana, which is the dance hall, the Juna Arsa Mahal Old Mirror Hall and others. Since all the buildings were destroyed in the fire, only details of the rest of the area are currently available.
 
The doors were made of teak arch with ornamental teardrop seg pillars shaped like a trunk. The roofs were adorned with numerous chandeliers and the floors were filled with marshal marble decorated with rich Persian rugs. Paintings depicting Hindu epics were displayed on the walls. The upper floor of the building was designed as a Peshwas residence and was called Meghadambari. It is a place to enjoy with friends and family, which carries ancient history and tradition.
 

Rajmachi

This obscure village is one of the tourist spots near Pune which is hidden in the Sahyadri range. A castle stands near this place which is often surrounded by hikes and adventurous steamers. Let it rain and this vast area is covered with several waterfalls and small streams as well as greenery. It is a famous trekking place near Pune.
 

Mulshi Lake & Dum

This incredible place is located in the Mulshi Taluka administrative division of the Pune district. In the recent years, Mulshi Lake and Dam have been reformed to be one of the major tourist places in Pune and those who love to capture the pleasant pictures of nature at its best flood toward this lake and dam built on the famous Mula River. Near Pune, it is also a perfect place for bird watching, nature walking, photography and trekking as this place has primitive nature influences. During the rainy season, lakes and dams will overflow and the urine water plays a significant role in giving comfort to the amazed mind. So during the heavy rainy season, people who love to travel abroad come here to enjoy the beauty of the lake and the dam.
 

How To Reach

By Road: Pune is well-connected with roads and metro line. Go for Pune visit by bus if looking to travel by one of the cheapest modes of transportation. Tickets for Pune trip by bus can be booked online and physically. The state government, as well as private buses, offer daily services to Pune. The main bus stations are Chinchwad and Pune (By-Pass). Buses mainly stop at these stations. Pune car rentals are also available for those who want to drive and explore by themselves. The advantage of travelling to Pune by car is that the vehicle can be stopped anytime and anywhere as desired. Pune travel cabs are available for hire which is the most efficient way to cover the entire city.
 
By Train: Pune is well-connected by rail as well. Local as well as express trains run throughout the day. Trains to Pune are available from all major railway stations in India. Some of the popular Pune trains are Pune Duronto Express, Puducherry Express and Tirunelveli Express. Pune train timetable can be checked if unfamiliar with the trains and its timings.
 
By Air: Pune Airport is located at the heart of the city. It’s an international airport, busy with flights from all around the world. Direct flights to Pune are available from all major airports in India. How to reach Pune in the shortest time is to take the aerial route. After reaching the airport, you can easily hire a taxi or cab to reach your preferred destinations.