Pune Travel Locations, Pune Sight Seeing
Pune's symbol, symbolising its history and culture. Located in the teaming old section of the city near Vishram Bagh, this imposing palace, built by the Maratha king Baji Rao dates back to the 1730s. Shaniwar means Saturday and it is believed that the building work for the palace began on a Saturday. As the tale goes, one of the Peshwas saw a rabbit chasing a fox out here and thought of the place to be auspicious. Here he decided and Bajirao built Peshwa's palace in 1736 as a seven storied mansion. For some time this place was the seat of political power in Maharashtra as the Peshwa's ruled from here.
Though badly maintained, the haughty grandeur of the place is hard to ignore. The ancient iron studded teak gates are two storeys high and the view of the town from the ramparts conjures images of a kingdom that the Peshwas once ruled.
Attacked by fire on three separate occasions, the worst one in 1827, rocky outcrops (that once were foundation stones) set in spacious lawns is all that is left of the once seven-storey palace famous for its Shish Mahal (glass house), Hamam (royal bathroom) and Mastani Mahal (dancers' residence) among other features. The delhi durwaza was studded with spikes to prevent enemy elephants form breaking it.
Currently, with the light and sound show also beginning in this ancient seat of power, it is definitely the symbol of the city, which is now making waves again! Getting there: In the heart of the city, you can get there by a rickshaw or even simply ask for directions. Close to the Balagandharva Rang Mandir, famous for marathi plays, this is not too difficult to find.
A sunken garden as the first impression states it to be, Sarasbagh was built by Nanasaheb Peshwa, surrounding the Parvati Hill. Now with a Ganapati Temple as the center, the garden now with lush green lawns at one time was a garbage dumping ground for the British.
At the foothills of Parvati Hill this place has become a jogging and walking track and is a popular place for evening walkers and hangouts or kattas for the adults and the young alike. Adjoining it is the Peshwe Park, which is a favourite haunt for children, thanks to its zoo, toy train and boat rides!
This museum on Bajirao Road, in city area is a marvel and a must see for tourists with items collected by Shri Dinkar Ganghadhar Kelkar over a period of 70 years. A one-man collection, it comprises of rare exhibits and artifacts from all over the country and dates back to the Mughal and the Maratha periods. Paintings, nut crackers, Ganpati's guns, carved palace doors, pottery and a number of musical instruments. Mastani Mahal, brought from the original settings and re-erected is the prime attraction here.
Some 75,000 interesting object d'arts, as well as ordinary knickknacks, that were once important to everyday Indian life are housed in a brightly painted bungalow at Shukrawar Peth. Some of the interesting odds and ends on display include a selection of musical instruments a hodgepodge of cooking tools as well as beautifully crafted items of wood and silver. The array is enormous enough to hold anyone's interest.
On Nagar Road, this Palace is also known as Kasturba Gandhi Memorial or Kasturba Samadhi.This palace was built in 1892 by Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah Agakhan III and was donated to India in 1969 by Aga Khan IV. It was here itself where Kasturba Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi's long time aide Mahadeobhai Desai passed away. This palace that once belonged to the Agha Khan, served as quarters for imprisonment of Gandhi and his wife Kasturba towards the tail end of the British rule in India. Situated near the River Mula the palace is a simple memorial to Gandhi and his life and times.
A special cenotaph honours Kasturba who died here. A shop attached sells khadi or cotton handloomed garments and textiles.
This hill, located in Southern Pune is visible from many parts of Pune. The temple atop after a climb, is dedicated to Parvati, Vishnu, Ganesh, Kartikeya and Devadeshwar. The climb comprising of a hundred odd steps to the top does turn to be very rewarding with a beautiful panoramic view of the Pune City.
It is one of the most popular destinations for walkers and the health conscious (besides the devotees) who make their way as early as 5.00 am as they climb the 108 steps up the hill. It is said that at this spot the Peshwa ruler Balaji Baji Rao watched the British defeat at the Battle of Kirkee.
Located on this hill is a fairly interesting museum that commemorates the Peshwa rule and a Ganesh temple.
Located in Koregaon Park, Bhagwan Rajneesh's ashram established in 1987 and now known as the Osho Commune is one of the hot spots in Pune. The ashram contains a spiritual club, a swimming lagoon, waterfall and a commune restaurant. The Osho festival held here annually has a number of people. The commune, 31 acres of meditation space, is Pune's hottest tourist attraction. Described by a Washington Post correspondent as being a mixture between Disney land, a college campus and a resort, OCI is just that.
The purposeful swishing of the red robes and the slap of Hawaiian chappals of foreigners as they single-mindedly go about the every day chores that will bring them in touch with their karma, bemuses. And then there's something so charming and worry-free about the pretty campus that it is no wonder that several hundreds never want to leave this Shangri-La to go back to the everyday grind (although commune authorities are careful to declare that this is not so).
Pune has never been the same after the self-styled Bhagwan Rajneesh began this ashram in 1990. Bhagwan Rajneesh, who later called himself Osho did not believe in organised religion and believed that personal religion should be relatively painless. The commune is a major meditation superstore where it is possible to shop for just the right type of meditation plan; however discounts are few.
The OCI is also a five-star hideout for those who require a spiritual spring cleaning, and gets its quota of fatigued execs, rootless foreigners seeking moorings and tattered vagabonds. Most of the foreign ashram visitors are professionals and well-to-do. Many of them are Germans or Americans. Quite a few are Japanese and according to information issued by the commune, stay for an average of six weeks to chill out.
The commune arranges ashram tours at a fee. Call in advance to find the status on that. A far more interesting alternative, if one has six weeks to spare and is not averse to wearing maroon robes or taking an AIDS test, would be to enroll in the Mystic Rose introductory meditation course. Getting There: Ask for Koregaon Park from the station or even the Osho Commune and most people will take you there easily. Located in the inner by lanes of North Main Road in Koregaon Park, they have tours for the uninitiated twice in a day-one at mid afternoon and the other at late noon.
Located in Katraj, this snake park, one of the only ones in the country is well known for its work towards animals besides its snakes and reptiles. Recently it added a zoo to it as well. It has held many snake festivals and snake awareness programs to let people know this dreaded creepy creature better. During the festival of Nagpanchami, the Snake Park has held a number of programs while discouraging mistreatment to snakes.
The only Film and Television Institute in India, FTII is located on Law College Road. IT has courses for specialisation in Direction, Editing, ScreenPlay, Photography and music. FTII has had a number of its students as one of the prime directors and photographers today. Famous for their film appreciation course, which has people coming in from all over, this one is where all the budding dramatic talent of the country comes from which includes Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Shabana Azmi and the likes.
A three-storeyed mansion with its famous entrance is another of Pune's attractions, which symbolises and tells tales of Pune's rich culture and heritage. Now serving as a post office, this place has carved woodwork in its balcony and is located on Bajirao Road.
Situated in Khadakwasala, the National Defense Academy (NDA) is a treat to see. Excluding the drive till NDA, the greenery and picturesque surroundings make it one of the best drives in and around Pune. 17 km from Pune, NDA is the only academy in the world, where all the three forces are trained together. Forming an important backdrop for the training of the forces, it is not uncommon to see punished students running with heavy weight on their backs.
While permission is required to be able to visit the portals of this great institution which has lush greenery and good facilities for training, not to miss the sailing championships which are held every year in the Peacock Bay, this is a must visit for anybody who wants to know what it takes to make boys into patriotic men!
Pataleshwar Caves on Jungli Maharaj Road are 8th century cave temples dedicated to Lord Pataleshwar, God of the Underworld. Believed to have been cut out from a single rock, the place has massive pillars, which are the grandeur of the temple caves. The shrine out there is dedicated to Shiva and the Nandi. This religious shrine on Jungli Maharaj Road, housed in caves, that dates back to 700-800 AD has rather grand statues of Nandi, Sita, Ram, Lakshman, Lakshmi, Ganesh and an over-sized shivalingam under its roof.
The attached museum is dim, dank and dusty and not worth wasting time over, apart from an exhibit that has made the Guinness Book of World Records - a grain of rice engraved with some 5000 characters
Near the Don Bosco Bridge, the Tribal Museum has showcased the life of the Maharashtrian Tribal Communities. A museum only on tribal communities, interesting insights into the tribal communities from Sahyadri regions are prime attractions and a visit to this outstanding museum is a must. Excellent documentation via photographs and artifacts of the life and customs of the very unusual tribal people of Maharashtra are here.
These gardens located on the banks of the Mula-Mutha rivers are a treat during winters with a number of migratory birds. Some years back a jogging track was added to the gardens increasing its popularity.
Boat rides are also available in the river's backwaters. The Bund Gardens are located at a distance of 2 km from the Pune Railway Station.
Also known as Shindechi Chatri, this temple famous for its architectural splendor means Shinde's Umbrella. It's a tribute to the great Maratha Nobleman Mahadji Shinde, who was Commander-in-chief of the Maratha army under the Peshwas. Located a stone's throw away from the Scindia palace, the temple is in Wanowarie. A pretty shrine situated close to Pune Cantonment, photographs of the Chhatri make appealing pics for your holiday album. Give the gatekeeper a small something to go in to see the intriguing inner sanctum.
The private Hindu chapel of the royal family of the Scindias, the Chhatri is a monument to one of the more famous Scindias. Getting there: Wanowrie is about 4-5 kms from the Pune Railway Station and easy to get there by rickshaw and even six seaters.