Pune is between 160 and 180 km from Mumbai by road, depending on your point of starting in Mumbai. The Mumbai-Pune section of National Highway Number 4 is the busiest in the country and often has terrible traffic jams that extend tens of kilometers. This is especially so in the monsoon months. The new six-lane expressway connecting the two cities is the shortest road link.
While it has always been a corporate stopover, Pune has its mix of potpourri and culture which makes for interesting sight seeing within the city! For those interested in history and architecture, Pune offers a mix of the modern interlaced with the old! Whether it is the Lal Deval standing side by side with a spanking petrol pump 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!
Major Attractions :
Dagdusheth Ganpati Temple, Kelkar Museum, Shaniwar wada, Ramani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Gandhi National Memorial, Empress Botanical Gardens, Lal Deval, Bund Garden, Osho Commune International, Shindyanchi Chhatri and Pataleshwar Cave Temple.
Best Hangouts :
Dagdusheth Ganpati Temple
The Halwai Ganapati Trust carries out philanthropic work from the donations received, and is one of the richest in Maharashtra. The trust operates an old age home called Pitashree at Kondhwa in Pune. The home was built at a cost of Rs. 1.5 crore (US$ 319,500) and opened in May 2003. In the same building the trust provides housing and education for 40 destitute children. Other services provided by the trust include ambulance service for poor and health clinics in tribal belts of Pune District.
Here you will find the personal collection of Dinkar Gangadhar. The museum house around 17,000 artworks. The collection includes musical instruments, hookah pipes, oil lamps, carved doors and windows, hair drying combs, noodle makers, etc.
Shaniwar wadada is a palace fort located in the center of Pune in Maharastra. It was the royal residence of the Peshwa rulers till 1818. After 1818, the Peshwas surrendered to the British.
The Shaniwar Wada palace complex has impressive mansions and was built by the Peshwas themselves.
Bajirao started the construction of his residence with a handful of eart h from Lal Mahal, which is located in the vicinity. The palace Shaniwar Wada was started construction in 1730. For the palace, teaks were brought from the jungles of Junnar, stones from the quarries of Chinchwad and lime from the lime belts of Jejuri for the edifice. The successors of Bajirao added several things to beautify the palace namely, fortification walls with bastions and gates, court halls, fountains and reservoirs. There are five gateways and nine bastion towers encircling the entire complex.
Shaniwar Wada There are two gates facing the north, two in the east and one in the south. The main gate in the north is called Dilli Darwaja. The other gate in the north is called Mastani Darwaja, which is also called Alibahadur Darwaja. The gates in the eastern direction are called Khidki Darwaja and Ganesh Darwaja. In the south there is the Jambhul Darwaja. The western wall has no gate. In the Shaniwar Wada there is one building which has seven storeys. Among the important buildings in the palace there are other buildings, which are Thorlya rayancha diwankhana, Naachacha diwankhana, Ganesh Rang Mahal (Hall of justice) and June Arse Mahal (old mirror hall). The doorways of the stately halls in the buildings have arches carved out of teak wood. There were beautiful glass chandeliers decorating the ceiling. The floors were covered with marble mosaic floor with rich Persian carpets on them. The walls were adorned with scenes from the great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. The Shaniwar Wada palace complex had a picturesque sixteen-petal lotus shaped fountain, which was called Hazaari Kaaranje (fountain of thousand jets). Each petal had sixteen jets, which rose eighty feet high.
In 1828, this palace complex was gripped by fire destroying the buildings. Today one can see the stone plinths of the palace and the fortification wall.
Ramani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute
This the perfect place for the people interested in Yoga. The institute is off Ganesh Khind Road in Model Colony. There are six classes a week and it costs up to US$200 for a month. You have to look for accommodation outside the institute.
Gandhi National Memorial
This Memorial, set in 6.5 ha of gardens, was built by Shah Aga Khan III in 1892. It was his palace till 1956. In 1969, it was donated to India by Aga Khan IV. Kasturba Gandhi, Mahatma's wife and Mahadeobhai Desai, Mahatma's secretary for 35 years, died here during their stay. Their ashes have been kept in Memorial tombs in the gardens.Patalesvara Temple
This is a 8th century rock cut cave temple. This place is a must visit for the tourists keeping interest in ancient art and architecture.
Empress Botanical Gardens
Osho Commune International
This is the famous ashram of Bhagwan Rajneesh at Koregaon park. The ashram now known as a spiritual health club, attracts thousands of visitors each year. The ashram has facilities like a swimming pool, saunas, tennis and basketball courts, beauty parlour, bookshop and a massage centre.
The Bund Garden is one of the most well-known park among the gardens of Pune. The Bund Garden is located at a distance of 2 kilometers from the Pune Railway Station. It was built following the instructions of Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy. Situated on the right hand bank of the Mula-Mutha rivers, the Bund Garden is a welcome retreat during the season of winters, when a host of migratory birds take refuge here from the extreme cold elsewhere.
Also called Shinde Chatri is a beautiful architectural memorial in Wanowrie. It is dedicated to the great soldier, Mahadji Shinde. For twenty years, between 1760 and 1780, he served as the commander-in-chief of the Maratha army under the Peshwas. The entire
complex of the memorial also consists of a temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, which was built by Mahadji himself, in the year 1794. He left for the holy abode the same year and in 1965, Madhavrao Sindhia got the entire complex built, along with the samadhi (memorial).
The major attraction of the Shinde Chatri of Poona is its exquisite architecture, reflecting the style used in Rajasthan, India. Even years after its construction, the memorial retains its architectural designs and beauty and seems to be totally unaffected by time. Presently the Shindyanchi Chhatri of Pune is under the management of the Sindhia Devasthan Trust of Gwalior
The Red Church (Lal Deval) which is actually a Synagogue. A red brick and trap stone building of English-Gothic style, the Lal Deval was built by the famous David Sassoon in 1867. This picture also dipicts the irony of the fact that Pune which was known as the “City of Cycles” is now being replaced by Automobiles. The Indica Car and all TATA vehicles are manufactured and assembled in this very city.