Pune

The erstwhile stronghold of the mighty Maratha empire, Pune epitomizes the rapid development and the changing face of India. The center of business, IT, automobile, research, and education industries, it is a cosmopolitan city with a tinge of the old. The city boasts of providing a high quality of living to its residents, with swanky malls, international restaurants, and every other amenity an urban Indian can think of. At the same time, it is a torchbearer of the zestful Marathi culture. The celebration of the Ganapati Festival in the city is something one must experience. Tourist attractions in Pune stand as a grand testimony of the glorious past of the city, and each conveys its own story. Having witnessed major battles, the city has endured the test of time. Aga Khan Palace is a marvel of architecture and Yerwada Central Jail once housed freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi and Veer Savarkar. Shaniwar Wada was the residence of the valiant Peshwa Baji Rao. Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum takes you through the timeline of Indian history. If you are fascinated with the beauty of nature, you can visit Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, home to several species of fauna. The zoo even has a unique snake park.  

Best Time To Visit Pune.

Earlier, Pune had a mild climate throughout the year. However, due to the reduction of green cover as a result of urbanization and industrialization, the summers are hot, and the monsoons are humid, making winter season, which lasts from November to February, as the best time to visit. The weather is very pleasant during this season, and it is the ideal time to explore the city. The average temperature is between 28 °C and 10 °C. This season also witnesses various festivals celebrated by people belonging to different backgrounds.  

Transport in Pune.
The local bus network in Pune is well-maintained. The city and its suburbs are connected via buses provided by Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML). Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation and private organizations also run a number of buses. The buses are available frequently from most of the areas of the city.  

How To Reach Pune.
The city is served by Pune International Airport. It is connected to various cities across the country such as Bangalore, Delhi, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata etc. via domestic airlines such as AirAsia India, Air India, GoAir, IndiGo, Jet Airways, SpiceJet, Vistara. Currently, the only international cities connected to Pune are Frankfurt (via Lufthansa) and Dubai (via Air India Express). Tourists who are travelling from other global cities can reach any of the major international airports in India, such as Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, etc. and board a connecting flight to Pune.

Nearest Airport: Pune International Airport is located around 10 km from the main city of Pune.

Safety Suggestion: As Pune experiences mild weather throughout the year, air travel to Pune is very safe and the city can be visited throughout the year.  

History of Pune.
Pune has a vast and diverse history. According to copper plates dated between 858 AD and 868 AD, the present-day city was an agricultural settlement called Punnaka. The region was ruled by the Rashtrakuta dynasty. From the 9th century to 1327, it was under the Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri. Before being annexed by the Mughals, it was ruled by the Ahmadnagar Sultanate. Under the Mughal empire, Maloji Raje Bhosale was selected as the Jagirdar of Pune in 1595, who was the grandfather of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha Empire. From 1660 and 1705, Pune frequently changed hands between the Marathas and the Mughals. The city was destroyed in the raids by Adil Shahi dynasty in the 17th century. However, Dadoji Konddeo later oversaw the reconstruction of Pune. It served as a transit for many of Shivaji’s campaigns. Chhatrapati Shahu appointed Baji Rao I as the Peshwa, in 1720.\n\nMarathas in Pune were defeated by the British East India Company. Yashwantrao Holkar captured Pune during 1802, in the Battle of Pune. This led to the Second Anglo-Maratha War from 1803 to 1805. During the freedom struggle, Pune was home to prominent freedom fighters such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mahatma Jyotirao Phule.  

Places to visit in Pune.

Shaniwarwada, once the seat of the Peshwa governance in Pune is a 286-year-old mansion and is one of the finest examples of architecture in the city. It is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Maharashtra. This grand mansion was built by the Peshwa Bajirao I himself as the residence of the Peshwas. Although the Wada currently covers an area of 625 acres, in its heyday it covered almost the entire area of the city itself. The place never fails to amaze the visitor with its various forts and fountain, and the majestic statue of Baji Rao I that greets the visitor at the entrance of the palace. Although most of the Wada was destroyed by an unexplained fire in 1828, what remains of it is equally thrilling and majestic.

The Shaniwar Wada, although ridden with tales of treachery and deceit, is one of the last standing testimonies to the grandeur, valour, and the just rule of the Peshwas. The entire old part of the city of Pune is laid out in a chaotic yet ironically, orderly fashion all around this historical structure. It is around Shaniwar Wada that you will find the oldest markets of Pune including Laxmi Road, Tulshibaug, Ravivar Peth etc. It is said that on a full moon night the fort is haunted by the ghost of a former Peshwa king Narayanrao as he was murdered in the palace by his aunt and uncle – Anandi and Raghunathrao. However, there is not a shred of evidence to support such claims. So, you can get a glimpse of history and some drama as well! This was after all the site of the famed romance between Peshwa Bajirao and Mastani Sahiba. In fact, one of the gates has also been named after her!

Aga Khan Palace, Pune Overview

The mighty edifice of Aga Khan Palace is situated in Pune and was built by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III in the year 1892. It is one of the most important landmarks in Indian history and has been instrumental in many defining moments of India’s independence. It was once the site where Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi, as well as Sarojini Naidu and Mahadev Desai were held prisoners. Aga Khan Palace is well known both for its architectural excellence as well as its historical significance. Spread over a vast land of 19 acres, the palace is now the headquarters of the Gandhi National Memorial society. Here, making khadi is still one of the prime activities.

The Sultan built the palace to support the poor in the neighbouring areas who were hit by a famine. In the memory of Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai, architect Charles Corea had their memorials built in the premises of the palace. The palace houses a museum which holds a rich collection of pictures. There are also other items like the personal belongings of Gandhi. The Palace also has the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi buried in its ground. In 2003, the monument was declared to be of national importance.

Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple, Pune Overview

A divine place of worship devoted to Lord Ganapati, Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati temple is extremely famous for its religious festivities and is located in Pune, Maharashtra. The temple receives a considerable crowd of devotees every day who come to attend the daily pooja, abhisheka and the Arti of Lord Ganesh. The idol of Lord Ganapati is 2.2 meters high and 1 meter wide and is adorned with almost 40 kilos of gold. The temple receives offerings of gold and money from Lord Ganapati’s devotees every day which goes into the temple’s trust. The temple is open daily from 6 am to 11 pm.

The inception of the temple took place over 125 years ago by Shri Dagdusheth Halwai (sweet maker) and his wife, Lakshmibai. Even today the temple celebrates Lord Ganesh with utmost devotion and grandeur and is visited by celebrities and politicians of Maharashtra. The temple is splendidly decorated with colourful lights during the Ganesh festival and attracts both locals and tourists who come to witness the marvellous celebrations. The Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati temple trust does not just worship the deity of Lord Ganpati but also serves humanity through various means. The trust is one of the richest in Maharashtra and is utilized to serve humanity by building old ages homes, housing orphan children, establishing cooperative banks, organizing medical camps and ambulance services, facilitating E-learning in school and much more. Atharvashirsha recital which takes place on the fourth day of Ganeshotsav witnesses a gathering of thousands of women for the chanting.

Pune Tourism

Pune is a bustling metropolis of Maharashtra, ranked number one in India in the ease of living. 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.

Behind the modern commercialized façade of Pune lies the roots of ancient Poona, which gave birth to the Maratha Empire and had a very crucial role to play in the history of India’s independence. Pune is globally known for the Osho Ashram which attracts followers from all over the world. Dotted with palaces and temples, the most important of these are the Shaniwar Wada palace and the Aga Khan Palace. 

To experience the grandiose of Maratha architecture coupled with stunning views of the Sahyadris, the Singhagad fort is a must-visit tourist attraction. Due to its alluring location on the Bhuleshwar Range of the Sahyadri Mountains, it offers excellent trekking trails to the top of the cliffs. 

While Pune has plenty of eating options, ranging from street food to high-class restaurants where one can enjoy all kinds of cuisines, it is renowned for its bakery items. Ranging from a variety of cookies, pastries to even cakes, don’t forget to try out Pune’s mouth-watering desserts.

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