Oxford of the East, Queen of Deccan, cultural capital of Maharashtra and the citadel of legendary Maratha Empire, the glorious city of Pune manifests itself as a lagoon of culture, art, education and industrialization. The city of Pune, with its unique culture, magnificent land, pleasant climate and verdant hills, entices the visitors from all across the globe. Being the link between conservative and contemporary India, Pune stands as the meeting ground of the old and the new. Whether you are a birdwatcher, nature lover, wildlife enthusiast, shopaholic or a foodie, this is the place to experience the real flavor of good life. With a string of excursion points, discos and pubs, food stations, retail outlets and fascinating architectures, the city of Pune is the perfect place to experience the ‘New India’. Whatever is the reason behind your visit, make sure to explore the city to the fullest during your visit to this urban hub. You can lounge around the legendary citadels or woo your artistic instincts with modern architecture on your visit to Pune. Go ahead and explore this article on places to visit in Pune and plan your sightseeing accordingly.
Tourist Attractions In Pune
Empress Garden, situated near Pune Race Course in Pune-Solapur Road, is a huge garden spread across 59 acres of land. The sprawling garden, which is more or less botanical in nature, was originally under the ownership of Sardar Vithalrao Purandhare and was managed by General Finjer. However, in the year 1838, the management of the garden was passed on to the hands of British government. Later in the year 1845, the ownership of the garden was passed on to Sir Charles Napier who renamed the garden as “Garden of Dr. Don”. The present name ‘Empress Garden’ was given in the honor of Queen Victoria who was fondly known as the “Empress of India”. However, because of the frequent visit by the British soldiers, the botanical garden soon became famous as ‘Soldiers Garden’ and even today the garden is known by this name. Presently managed by horticulture department, the garden serves as the major tourist attraction in Pune. The garden is open to visitors on all days from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm.
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, located in Bajirao Road in Shukawar Peth, is one of the best museums in Pune. Dr. Dinkar G. Kelkar established the museum in commemoration of his only son, Raja. Hence, the name - Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum. The majority of the collections displayed in the museum are the result of the extensive efforts of Dr. Dinkar. Presently, the museum displays more than 20,000 articles in various fields such as royal heritage of maharajas, fine arts, music, paintings, antiques, hose hold products, armors etc. On your trip to Pune, do pay a visit to this amazing museum, which remains open from 9 am to 6 pm on all weekdays.
Aga Khan Palace
Aga Khan Palace, one of the finest architectures in Pune, is situated in Yerwada. This exquisite palace, surrounded by lush green gardens, was built in 1892 under the supervision of Sultan Mohammad Shah Aga Khan. The palace was built with the noble cause of providing employment to the famine-hit people of Pune. This palace, which served as an accommodation for imprisonment of Gandhi and his wife during Quit India Movement, today, stands as a proud memorial of Gandhi and his life. In the year 1969, Prince Karim El Husseni, Aga Khan IV donated this palace to the Government of India and he wished the palace to used be as a platform for displaying Gandhi’s philosophy. Today, this lavishly decorated palace serves as a museum that houses a wide collection of things pertaining to Gandhi’s life. The memorial remains open for public from 9 am to 5.30 pm.
Lal Mahal in Shaniwar Peth was built in 1630 by Sahaji Bhonsale, the father of great Maratha ruler Shivaji Bhonsale. When Sahaji took over Pune, he constructed Lala Mahal, which served as the residence for his wife Jijabai and his young son Shivaji. After coming under the supervision of Pune Municipal Corporation, Lal Mahal was completely renovated and today, this centuries-old citadel stands as one of the major tourist attractions in Pune. The majestic structure of the Mahal is famous for its beautifully designed umbrellas at the terrace, children’s garden and the famous statue of Jijabai. This famous historical wonder is open for the visitors from 9 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 8 pm.
Mahatma Phule Museum
Mahatma Phule Museum, situated on Ghole Road in Shivaji Nagar, was constructed in the year 1890. The museum displays an extensive array of artifacts in the field of artifacts, textile, modern industry, arms and armory, geology, agriculture, forestry and history. Apart from the wide collections, the museum is renowned for its well-maintained library with the rare compilation of books in various backgrounds such as art, culture, history etc. Adding to this, special film shows and seminars conducted in the museum attracts tourists from all walks of life. You can enjoy the glorious journey of museum on any day except Wednesday from 8 am to 5 pm.
Shaniwar Wada, the royal fort situated in Shaniwar Peth, is a masterpiece in itself. Stamped with the influence of Mughal architecture and the hallmark of Maratha artisanship, this fort was erected in the year 1736 and speaks volume about Peshwas competence and aesthetic abilities. The stunning structure of Shaniwar Wada consists of fountains, fascinating gardens, courtyards, audience halls and residential quarters. On the walls of the fort, you can see the paintings depicting the stories of the great Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. This place is open for the visitors from 8 am in the morning to 5 pm in the evening.
Even decades after the death of Bhagwan Rajneesh or Osho, the Osho Ashram in Koregaon Park, continues to attract people from different corners of the world with its magnetic meditational and yogic power. The 32 acres of beautiful campus mesmerizes tourists with its spiritual beliefs and tranquil nature. The ashram, which remains open on all days, offers its service to vistors from 9 am to 3.30 pm. A beautiful park called Osho Teerth near the ashram provides beautiful landscapes like swimming lagoon, rock gardens and artificial waterfalls.
Shindyanchi Chhatri, the most renowned architectural beauty of Pune, is situated in Wanowrie. This marvelous citadel, established between 1760 and 1780, is dedicated to Mahadji Shinde, who served as commander-in-chief of the Maratha army under the supremacy of Peshwas. The entire monument is noted for its exquisite Rajasthani architecture. You can visit the memorial on any day between 6 am and 9 pm.
Tribal museum in Queens Road is dedicated to tribal communities of Maharashtra. The museum, which displays the culture and lifestyle of the tribal people, emphasizes on the communities living in Sahyadri and Gondhavana regions of the state. With its outstanding documents and a rich collection of pictures and artifacts, the museum is a true reflection of the tribal life. The museum remains open for your service on all days from 10 am to 5 pm.