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Best places to visit near Pune

Discussion in 'Maharashtra' started by Mariam01, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. Mariam01

    Mariam01 New Member

    I have recently moved to Pune with my husband and toddler. As everyone knows summers have started and it's nearly holiday time.
    As we are new to the area, we need some help in finding out what are the best places to visit near Pune. We don't want to go too far away which is why I have mentioned 'near' in the title of my post, I would say anything up to 300km is a good distance to travel.

    If there are some exceptionally good places to visit please also mention those and if they exceed the 300km distance please state.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, welcome to the forum!

    (Images from Joe Zach, Naisha, Abhijit, Sagar and Prasad)


    For many, life is a routine of work and home, sometimes, making everything a bit on the automated side. This is where travelling truly fits in, as it allows for the breaking of that routine. It allows for an expansion of your horizon and new experiences that you can cherish with your loved ones. Pune, one of the most developed cities of India, is truly a hub for industrial and IT fields. But for the locals, at times, it is necessary to leave the confines of the city to break free from the usual activities that you do everyday. Thankfully, Pune is in such a position that allows for plenty of getaways, that you can sneak in even with just a day or two in your hands.

    Best Places to Visit Near Pune (Within 300 Kilometres)

    A new perspective with hill stations...

    1. Mahabaleshwar - This hill station is about three hours away from Pune. With its misty atmosphere, cooler temperatures and lush greenery, Mahabaleshwar has long been a tourist getaway in the state of Maharashtra. Various view points can be found in the hill station but perhaps the most popular of which is the Arthur's Seat. In reality, the Arthur's Seat is comprised of different view points leading to the main view point. These view points are of Echo Point, Malcolm Point, Hunter Point and Window Point. After passing through all of these view points, you would reach the end of the peak, where the Arthur's Seat can be found, providing you with a glimpse of the rocky mountains along with the Savitri River. There's also the Elphinstone Point, a few kilometres away from the former view point. From this point, which is easily accessible by foot, you can enjoy a view of the Pratapgarh Fort along with the valleys below. Wilson Point, the highest point in the hill station, accessible by both road and foot. This is the best point in Mahabaleshwar for viewing the sunrise. Once you've had enough of these points, head on to the Panch Ganga Temple, a revered religious site here. It is unique in that the temple houses the points where the origins of the rivers of Koyana, Krishna, Gayatri, Savitri and Venna can be found. Though the temple doesn't have stunning carved works, the serenity and greenery enveloping the place is enough for the devout Hindus. If you're visiting during the monsoon season, you can also make trips to natural attractions like the Lingmala Waterfalls and Dhobi Waterfalls. The Venna Lake is a nice attraction to visit for the families as there are boating facilities here. It even has a small children's park nearby that tourists can access. And finally, a trip to Mahabaleshwar won't be complete without visiting the Mapro Garden. You can buy some snacks to take home from here, but don't forget to buy some of their delicious strawberry products, as Mahabaleshwar is known as the home for the sweetest strawberries.
    • Distance from Pune - 120 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Arthur's Seat, Elphinstone Point, Wilson Point, Panch Ganga Temple, Lingmala Waterfalls, Dhobi Waterfalls, Venna Lake and Mapro Garden
    2. Panchgani - Under three hours away from Pune is the hill station of Panchgani. This hill station is considered as the twin of Mahabaleshwar, yet it isn't suffering from the commercialised tourism that the City of Strawberries seem to have. If you want to avoid the crowds and want to have more of a serene and tranquil time, then Panchgani is the best place for you to visit. It has a number of view points that can give you a nice panoramic view of the mountain ranges and surrounding greenery. You can't miss the Table Land, a huge plateau considered as one of the largest in Asia. Aside from the breathtaking view of Panchgani from the top, you can enjoy a myriad of activities here like scooter riding, cart riding and horse riding. Also a favourite amongst tourists is the Parsi Point, where you can enjoy a view of the Krishna Valley and Sahyadri Mountains. You can also view the Krishna River and Dhom Dam Lake from this view point. There are lots of facilities for snacks and beverages too in case the guests get hungry. Other points in Panchgani worth visiting are the Sydney Point and Kate's Point, which also provide for scenic views of the valleys, mountains and water bodies. Speaking of water bodies, there's the Dhom Dam, located about 22 kilometres away from Panchgani proper. Surrounded by the hills on all its sides, the dam, which was made from the damming of the Krishna River, looks every bit as stunning as isolated lakes. The best part is that there are facilities for boating and speed boating that tourists can enjoy here.
    • Distance from Pune - 116 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Table Land, Parsi Point, Sydney Point, Kate's Point, Dhom Dam and Lingmala Waterfalls
    Panchgani (Image from Sankarshan)

    If you love adventure...

    3. Kamshet - Just 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Pune is Kamshet, a haven for the adventure lovers. At first glance, Kamshet seems to be a sleepy little village, where sugarcane fields are abundant, grazing cows are dominant and rural life is apparent. Perhaps the most popular attraction here is the Uksan Lake, a placid and beautiful lake just a few minutes away from the centre of Kamshet. It is here that you can truly enjoy being one with nature and away from the hustles of the city. But for the adventure seekers, this is also the location for paragliding, an activity that involves flying in the skies, with the use of a paraglider. Companies like Indus, Nirvana and Temple Pilots have equipments for paragliding and also provides for courses so tourists can learn this adventure activity in a matter of days. You can also visit the Bedse Caves, just 10 kilometres away from Kamshet. This is an underrated attraction in Kamshet, but is comparable to the beauty of the Karla Caves. The caves are comprised of two parts, namely, a prayer hall, also known as chaitya and a monastery, also known as a vihara. The prayer hall has a very simple stone edifice and is devoid of any intricate carvings. The monastery has more intricate details, in its arches and walls. Want a more thrilling activity? Then venture into the Dhak Bahiri Caves, about an hour away from Kamshet. Here, you can indulge in a thrilling trekking trail that involves a lot of climbing and even passing through rock pathways. You can even indulge in rappelling at the end of the trail.
    • Distance from Pune - 60 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Uksan Lake, Bedse Caves and Dhak Bahiri Caves
    Paragliding in Kamshet (Image from Suitcase of Stories)

    4. Kolad - Kolad is under three hours of driving away from Pune. A sleepy village, Kolad won't disappoint when it comes to adventure activities. The village is best known for white water rafting, which is a fun activity involving traversing through the rapids of the river. In Kolad, the venue for this is the Kundalika River, which has Grade III rapids, suitable for experts and beginners in rafting alike. However, the timings of white water rafting vary, usually in accordance with the release of water from the nearby Rawalge Dam, usually occurring every morning, around 7:00 up to 10:00. The entire activity lasts for around 2 hours covering the almost 12-kilometre length of the river. Trip Platform, Kundalika Rafting and Adventure Kolad are just some of the many operators conducting rafting activities for tourists here. Around the river, there are also many resorts that one stay in, offering various activities like boating, fishing, river crossing and kayaking to tourists. There are some more places that one can explore around Kolad, most of which are under the radar of most tourist circuits. There's the Tala Fort, also known as the Talgad Fort, which requires some trekking to reach. Built during the 4th century by Bhoja Raja, this fort was also captured by Adil Shah and Shivaji. Although mostly in ruins, the fort still has some intact structures like the water tanks, bastions and an ancient Shiva temple. You can also visit the nearby Ghosalgad Fort, the builder of which is unknown though it is famed as it was once conquered by Shivaji. The trail to reach the fort is very steep, especially as you reach the top, so it isn't recommended for the elderly or little ones. Various structures like cannons and water cisterns are still intact here, though the overgrowth of grasses obstruct you from seeing them clearly. Finally, if you still have the time, do visit the Kuda Caves as well. A collection of 26 Buddhist caves built around the 1st century to the 6th century, these caves also deserve the spotlight.
    • Distance from Pune - 144 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Kundalika River, Tala Fort, Ghosalgad Fort and Kuda Caves
    Because beaches are life...

    5. Alibaug - Alibaug is a beach destination located close to the cities of Mumbai and Pune. The most popular beach here is the Alibaug Beach, which is known for its unique fort, that becomes inaccessible during high tide, as it is located in the middle of the sea. This beach though is far from remote, as it is always bustling with activities. On its shores, there are facilities for horse riding, quad biking, camel riding and horse cart riding. Off its shores, you can enjoy water sports such as banana boating, jet skiing and other boating activities. The beach isn't as clean but it has calm waters and golden sands perfect for building sand castles in. The Versoli Beach, a bit away from the city centre, is also worth a visit. It has a nice assortment of activities like horse riding and jet skiing but isn't as crowded as the former beach. The sands here are darker though but still very clean. For tranquility, you can head to the Nagaon Beach instead, which has some water sports available but limited food stalls away from the shoreline. This has helped maintain the cleanliness of the beach and its water. The hidden beach of Alibaug, the Awas Beach, is perfect for the soul searching individuals. Surrounded by palm trees and shores lined with huge rocks, it makes for a perfect serene getaway as crowds aren't plenty here. The presence of lush greenery and crashing waves are sure to lull you to relaxation.
    • Distance from Pune - 170 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Alibaug Beach, Versoli Beach, Nagaon Beach and Awas Beach
    Alibaug Beach (Image from Alosh)

    6. Diveagar - The beach town of Diveagar is around four hours away from Pune. There are two main beaches here, the most popular is the Diveagar Beach. This beach has black sands in its shores, which is a bit grainy but easy to walk in. Around the sides adjacent to the water, there are coverings of both coconut and betel trees that make the location even more picturesque. If you don't have time to reach Goa, Diveagar Beach offers plenty of water sports such as parasailing, jet skiing and banana boat riding which can make your stay even more enjoyable. Shore activities like quad biking and horse riding can also be enjoyed here. The underdeveloped Velas Beach, famed for being a nesting ground for the Olive Ridley turtles, is the other beach of Diveagar. Again, it has almost chocolate, brownish hued sands and the water is very clean. There are lesser activities here as it is a protected area being home of the endangered species of turtles. Further from Diveagar, you can also visit beaches from nearby towns like the Kondvil Beach and Aaravi Beach. Tourist facilities in these beaches are more limited so make sure you visit them during day trips only or at least bring your own necessities.
    • Distance from Pune - 160 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Diveagar Beach, Velas Beach, Kondvil Beach and Aaravi Beach
    Wildlife to calm you...

    7. Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary - This wildlife reserve is about six hours away from Pune. Established in the year 1985, this wildlife sanctuary is an amalgamation of both lush greenery and bountiful wildlife. Dense forests of the moist deciduous types can be found in the reserve. Various water bodies can also be found inside, with the rivers of Koyna, Solashi and Kandati leading the pack. Wildlife that reside in the sanctuary are large mammals like leopards, Bengal tigers, sloth bears and Indian bisons. For the smaller wildlife, there are various ones like the barking deers, sambars, mouse deers, langurs, squirrels and otters. Also in large numbers, especially during winter season, are the birds residing in the sanctuary. Reptiles such as snakes, lizards and frogs are harder to spot but they also reside in the reserve. Spotting these animals might be hard though due to the thick forest coverings. You can even take a boat ride here amidst the Koyna River to reach the base of the hillock where the Vasota Fort is located. After which, you can indulge in an exciting trek to reach the peak where the fort is located.
    • Distance from Pune - 263 Kilometres
    • Must Spot Animals - Leopards, Bengal Tigers, Sloth Bears, Indian Bisons, Barking Deers, Sambars, Mouse Deers, Langurs, Squirrels and Otters
    • Related Thread - n/a
    8. Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary - The Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Ambegaon in Maharashtra, about three hours away from Pune. This wildlife reserve is particularly important for two reasons. The first one being that the Bhimashankar Temple, 1 of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, is located in the dense forests of the sanctuary. And the second being that the endemic specie of squirrel, the Malabar giant squirrel, can be found in huge numbers here. The Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary has moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests that provide for the shades for the wildlife here. Flowers, plants and herbs can be found in plenty in the sanctuary too. If you're lucky, you can also spot large animals in the reserve like leopards, sambars, wild boars, hyenas and more. The best part is that you can indulge in trekking trails around the sanctuary which means you can get closer to nature and wildlife. Entry fees here are also very cheap, as compared to the more popular and crowded wildlife reserves of Maharashtra.
    • Distance from Pune - 157 Kilometres
    • Must Spot Animals - Malabar Giant Squirrels, Leopards, Sambars, Wild boars and Hyenas
    • Related Thread - n/a
    Snake in Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary (Image from Nikhilmore)

    A stroll amidst the past...

    9. Kolhapur - Next we have Kolhapur, which is a little known tourist destination close to Pune, barely five hours away. If you have a penchant for anything related to history, then this is the best place to be in. It has this unique blend of modernity and tradition, that somehow makes it a unique destination. You won't be truly out of the city when in Kolhapur yet it can let you experience a more laid-back approach to life. For instance, there's the Mahalakshmi Temple considered as the oldest temple of the Mahalakshmi, established in the 7th century by the Chalukya dynasty. Here, Goddess Lakshmi is revered as Mahalakshmi, an amalgamation of both Lakshmi and Ambabai. The architectural style of the temple is very ancient, boasting of stone carvings and an inner sanctum with black stone walls and idol. The Kopeshwar Temple is another ancient temple worth visiting here. Interestingly, the temple remains unfinished with is its unique feature, as it is believed to have been built in just one night. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, there are also shrines for deities like Vishnu and Ganesha. On the exteriors, there are intricate carvings of animals, humans and deities that remain clearly visible despite the attack of Afzal Khan in the temple in the ancient era. Then, you must also visit the Panhala Fort, built around the 12th century by Bhoja II. However, it is famed more for having been conquered by Shivaji from Adil Shah, a tough battle that lasted for hours and took many smart moves on the former dynasty. While mostly in ruins, the fort still retains that old strength and it holds many stories behind its ruined structures. Also worth visiting is the Maharaja's Palace, the royal residence of Shahu Maharaj and his family. Shahu Maharaj was the grandson of Shivaji Maharaj and was once the ruler of the city of Kolhapur. In this palace, you get a glimpse of the past, as the former royal costumes, weaponries and taxidermy animals are on display here.
    • Distance from Pune - 234 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Mahalakshmi Temple, Kopeshwar Temple, Panhala Fort and Maharaja's Palace
    Panhala Fort in Kolhapur (Image from Rupesh)

    10. Junnar - This city is merely two hours away from Pune. Although not much known to tourists, Junnar is actually an ancient city that was an important part of the trading era of Maharashtra. Most Hindu and Buddhist devotees reach the place for the Lenyadri Caves. These are a set of Buddhist caves with a dedicated shrine for Lord Ganesha, known as the Girijatmaj Temple. For the Hindus, this is an important temple, as it is one of the Ashtavinayaks. The other caves, in contrast to this one, are plain and requires steel climbs to reach. Many tourists though skip the Shivneri Fort, which is equally an important part of history being the birthplace of the great Maratha leader, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. This fort can be approached both by foot and by road. The climb requires some steep ones, with a mixture of both stairs and paths. You would enter through several arched gateways that remain intact. At the peak, there's the exact room where the great leader was born, though it is locked away for most parts of the year. You can view it from the outside and also view the water tank outside it.
    • Distance from Pune - 92 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Lenyadri Caves and Shivneri Fort

    So for the locals of Pune, there's no reason not to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city when you have this guide with you. No matter how much we love the city from where we hail from, we shouldn't be confined to it for the rest of our lives. India is a vast country, at every nook or corner, there are sights to explore that are sure to make your life more fulfilling and enjoyable. So good luck, travel more and don't forget to make lots of memories, not just pictures, that you would remember forever.