Pune In Maharashtra
150 kms east of Mumbai, Maharashtra
Osho Commune International, Raja Dinkar
Kelkar Museum, Shaniwarwada Palace, Aga Khan Palace, Panchalesvara Cave,
Tribal Museum etc.
Best Time To Visit :
October to April
also called Poona is a city located in the west Indian state of Maharahstra.
The second largest city in Maharashtra after Mumbai, Pune is about 150 km
east of Mumbai. Situated at the eastern edge of the Western Ghats, Pune is
bordered on the north by the river Mula and to the west by the rive Mutha.
Considered as the cultural capital of Marathi speaking people, Pune has its
connection with the great Maratha leader, Shivaji. Over the last couple of
decades, Pune has bee transformed from a quaint, sleepy town to one of the
most happening cities in India.
Pune is also called the 'Oxford of the East, due to the presence of several
esteemed colleges and educational institutions. One of the country's
prestigious centres for education, Pune is also emerging as major IT centre
and now home to many software and IT companies. Of course Pune is a modern
city, but it still retains its old world charm and refused to get caught in
the fast pace of bigger cities. Usually the afternoons in Pune are laid back
with shopping centres remain close between 1 pm to 4 pm. On the other hand,
the nights are active and the bars and nightclubs attract people from far
and near. So, visit the charming city of Pune for enjoying a peaceful
holiday, amidst the pleasant environs far from the chaos of the big city.
How to Reach Pune
By Air :
Pune has its own airport which is approximately
10 km away from downtown . Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Air Deccan and
Kingfisher Airlines connect Pune to various cities with regular flights.
From the airport taxis and auto-rickshaws are available for various parts of
By Train :
Pune railway station is an important railway
station of Western railway. Express and super-fast trains are available to
Pune from Mumbai, Nasik, Aurangabad, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore and other
major cities of India. Regular trains ply between Pune and Mumbai. Shatabdi
Express, Deccan Queen, Pragati Express and Indrayani Express are convenient
trains from Mumbai to Pune.
By Bus :
National and State Highways connect Pune to rest
of the Maharasthra and neigbouring states. There is an eight-lane expressway
of international standards between Mumbai and Pune. MSRTC buses and private
buses ply from Pune to important destinations of Maharashtra. Regular buses
are available from Pune to Mumbai, Bangalore, Nasik, Nagpur, Goa and several
other cities. Road distances of some of the important cities from Pune are
Mumbai (170 km), Nasik (209 km) and Aurangabad (230 km).
Local Transport :
You can hire private taxis or cabs to
travel within and outside Pune. Auto-rickshaws are also available as a mode
of local transport in Pune.
Places Where You Can Stay
Pune is dotted with a number of hotels that include luxury, deluxe and
standard hotels. Opt any of the hotel of the city according to your budget
and requirements. All the hotels in Pune offer a comfortable stay to guests.
Some of the popular hotels of Pune are :
Luxury Hotels :
Le Meridien, The Central Park and Aurora
Deluxe Hotels :
Taj Blue Diamond, Sun-N-Sand and Best
Western the Pride.
Standard Hotels :
Hotel Sagar Plaza, Hotel Woodland and
Tourist Attractions in Pune
Rajneesh Ashram or Osho Commune Interntaional :
the headquarters of the Bhagwan Rajneesh's non-religious Osho Commune
International. Rajneesh Ashram is located in Koregoan Park, a relatively
spacious superb of Pune, 2 km east of railway station. Shree Rajneesh is
both one of the most popular 'export gurus' of India and also the most
controversial. Every day you will find around 5,000 followers in Pune, about
1,000 live in the ashram. About 90 percent of his followers are westerners
and the Germans constitutes the biggest single group. Rajneesh Ashram is
neat and clean, and modern with neat little touches. With a daily income of
around $68,000 the commune has transformed the twenty acres area of ashram
into an exclusive playground with cafes, swimming pool, clinics and a shop
selling books, videos and cassettes of Osho.
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum :
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is
one of the real delights of Pune city. Dinkar Gangadhar Kelkar (1896 -
1990), apart from being a renowned Marathi poet, spent much of life
travelling and collection arts and crafts from all over India. In 1975,
Dinkar donated his collection to the state government as a permanent museum
dedicated to his son, Raja, who died at the age of twelve. Raja Dinkar
Kelkar Museum is housed in a magnificent red and green Rajasthan style
building. The museum has a wonderful collection of artifacts and objects of
daily usage. Here you will see the Peshwa and other miniatures, a coat of
armour made of fish scales, an impressive collection of musical instruments,
carved doors and windows, hookah pipes, strange locks, oil lamps and a
wonderful collection of betel nut cutters. The museum is open daily from
8.30 am to 12.30 pm and 3 pm to 6 pm.
Shaniwarwada Palace :
Shaniwarwada Palace stands in the centre of the old part of the town where
narrow and winding streets form a maze. Constructed in 1736 by the Peshwa
ruler Bajirao I, the massive palace was the chief residence of the Peshwas
until the British arrived in 1817. Shaniwarwada Palace was also burnt down
by fires in 1791, 1812 and 1828 and now only the imposing high walls
survive. Inside the palace there is a beautiful garden and small signs
proclaiming the rooms used to stand there. Shaniwawada Palace is open every
day from 8 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm.
Aga Khan Palace and Gandhi Memorial :
Aga Khan Palace is
set in a tranquil gardens, across the River Mula, 5 km northeast of the city
centre. In the year 1942, Mahatma Gandhi his wife Kasturba Gandhi and other
noted freedom fighters were interned at the Aga Khan Palace. In 1969 Aga
Khan donated this palace to the state and now it is a small museum houses
captioned photos and rooms occupied by the freedom fighters. A small Khadi
shop in the memorial sells handloom cloth and products made by local
villagers. Aga Khan Palace is open daily from 9 am to 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm
to 6 pm.
Panchalesvara Cave :
Panchalesvara cave lies to the west
of the city, just across the river Mula. Hewn from rock just like other
caves in Maharashtra, the Panchalesvara cave dates from the Rashtrakuta
period (8th and 9th centuries). The roughly excavated cave has broad,
square, unfinished pillars, bearing numerous chisel marks and even today
appears to have been in use for a 1,000 years. You can see locals or
devotees at prayer at most time of the day. The principal shrine contains a
shivalingam, while the subsidiary cells hold images of Ganesha, Lakshmi,
Rama, Sita and Lakshmana.
Tribal Museum :
Run by the Tribal Research and Training
Institute, the Tribal Museum is dedicated to the protection and
documentation of the surviving culture of tribal groups of Maharashtra.
Tribal museum's collection of photos, costumes and artifacts provide an
introduction to the little-known world of tribals. Highlight of the museum
is the fantastic collections of dance masks and Worli wedding paintings.
Located 2 km east of the railway station, the museum is open from 8 am to
5.30 pm daily.
Temples and Gardens :
Visit the Empress Gardens which has
fine tropical trees and a small zoo nearby. The Empress Gardens also has a
moated Ganesh temple in the middle. Take an evening stroll in the Bund
Gardens, located on the banks of the river. The Parvati Temple is situated
on the outskirts of the town atop a hill. From the temple you will good view
of the city. The rock cut Panchaleshwar temple, another interesting temple
of Pune. Built in 8th century AD, the temple resembles in style to the rock
temples of Ellora. Just close to Panchaleshwar temple there is a fine
equestrian statue of Shivaji.
Tourist Attractions Around Pune
Sinhagad or the 'Lion Fort' is 25 km south-west
of Pune atop an almost perpendicular cliff in the Bhuleshwar mountains.
Originally known as Kandana, the ruined fort of Sinhagad can easily be
visited in a day trip from Pune. In 1647 Shivaji, on hearing that his
general Tanaji had died after defeating the unprepared forces of Bijapur.
Shivaji said "I have won the fort, but lost the lion", to
commemorate Tanaji's heroism, the fort was renamed as Sinhagad.
Surprisingly, even today you will find a few families live in small houses
within its 12 m high walls.
Mahabaleshwar is a popular hill station of
Maharashtra located 120 km north-east of Pune. Set at an altitude of 1,372
mts above sea level, Mahabaleswar boasts of the network of marked hiking
trails through the woods and assorted vantage points, with views over the
peaks and down to the plains. You can also enjoy boating on the central
Yenna Lake and shop for locally made jams and honey in the lively market.
An hour's bus ride takes you to the 17 th
century fort of Pratapgarh, 24 kms away from Mahabaleshwar. Reached by a
climb of 500 steps, the fort is connected with one of the most notable feats
in Maratha chieftain, Shivaji's dramatic life. At Pratapgarh you can see
Afzal Khan's tomb, a Mughal general and a memorial to Shivaji. Also enjoy
the superb views of the surrounding hills.
Just 19 km from Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani or
'Five Hill's is also a popular hill station of Maharashtra. Panchangani is
situated at a height of 1,334 mts above sea level and known for its pleasant
Shopping in Pune
For shopper's Pune is paradise and it offers a plethora of interesting
items. From the traditional to the contemporary, you will find everything in
the markets of Pune. Some of the best buy of Pune include the Maharashtrian
saree known for its distinctive borders, glass bangles, silver jewelleries,
leather and pottery. Also buy the famous strawberry biscuits and chevda.
Laxmi road in the old city is famous for traditional sarees and glass
bangles in every hue and colour. Visit Commercial Street's main market for
bangles and buy silver jewellery at Centre Street near Hanuman Mandir. For
Pune sarees visit Wonderland Complex at MG Road, and Hanuman Mandir area for
leather, handcrafted Kolhapuri chappals. Opposite Blue Diamond Hotel there
is a group of five stores which are worth a visit. The atmosphere of the
shopping centre caters to discerning shoppers. Don't miss the pottery shop
and also visit the departmental stores offering branded items.