Known as the cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune is the second largest city in the state. It’s also called as the â€˜Oxford of the East’ owing to the rich tradition of research and education kept alive by a number of renowned educational institutions. Ancient architecture, number of majestic forts at a convenient distance enabling trekking expeditions, pleasant weather and the tranquil life attract all kinds of tourists to Pune. From history lovers to adventure freaks, from the ones who enjoy the picturesque landscapes to those looking for peace, every kind of traveler will find a reason to fall in love with this city. It’s a great city to quench your wanderlust. All you need is to spend enough time here!
Let’s take a look at some of the places one must visit in Pune city. Needless to say, there are many other places that can be added to this list –
Aga Khan Palace is an architectural marvel of ancient era considered as one of the greatest landmarks in Indian history. Established by Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III in 1892, the purpose behind it was to help the famine hit people from nearby places. The place gained popularity after Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandh, Mahadev Desai and Sarojini Naidu were imprisoned at the palace following Quit India movement in 1942. The palace is now the headquarters of the Gandhi National Memorial society.
Shaniwar Wada is one of the finest historical monuments of Pune. It was once home to the Peshwa dynasty of Maratha Empire and center of Indian politics in the 18th century. The palace was known for its five majestically built gates, the lotus shaped fountain and elegantly designed inside buildings. It was destroyed in 1828 by an unexplained fire, but the surviving structures are maintained as a tourist site.
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum contains the collection of Dr. Dinkar G. Kelkar. The three-storey building houses over 20,000 objects (2500 are on display). The collection dates back to the 14th century and includes sculptures, ornaments made of ivory, silver and gold, musical instruments, war weapons and vessels.
Parvati hill is a popular destination among the travelers, trekkers as well as devotees. There are five temples built by the Peshwas, situated at 2100 ft above the sea level, dating back to the 17th century. One can witness some spectacular views from the top, especially beautiful sunsets.
Pataleshwar Cave Temple is a rock-cut cave temple built during the Rashtrakuta dynasty, dating back to the 8th century and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has been carved from a single piece of basalt rock. The ancient architecture of the temple includes a Shivaling, a circular Nandi Mandapa and a passage with massive stone pillars inside.
Sinhagad Fort is one of the glorious historical forts located at 4300 feet above sea level and is about 2000 years old. Earlier known as Kondhana, the fort was under the control of Mohammad bin Tughlaq before King Shivaji took its charge in 1647. The fort has seen many battles, most notably the Battle of Sinhagad in 1670. A great place to visit if you are a history lover.