1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Things to see in Pune

Discussion in 'Maharashtra' started by Yami, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Yami

    Yami New Member

    I have already created a thread on the forum about places to hang out in Pune. I would also like to know what things there are to see in Pune.
    During the time my friends will be in Pune, it will be a busy schedule, and we would spend time seeing places (according to the information provided on the forum) and just chilling out. They are waiting for me to give an update on what they have to look forward to, so as soon as I get feedback, the sooner things can be planned.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Yami! Welcome to the forum!

    Pune is the 9th most populous city in India and the 2nd largest in the state of Maharashtra. Historically, Pune was once the centre of power of the Marathas, which was established by Shivaji Maharaja. Now, the city is one of the fastest developing ones in the country. It is known for its manufacturing, automobile and research industries. Pune also has the 8th largest metropolitan economy and the 6th highest per capita income in the country. Here are some of the main attractions of the city of Pune:

    • Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Sarvajanik Ganpati - This temple was built by Mr. Dagdusheth Halwai and his wife, after they lost their son to a plague epidemic. It was Guru Shri Madhavnath Maharaja who recommended that they build a temple to heal themselves because they were so depressed after their son's death. The temple was completed in the year 1893. This is where the annual Ganeshotsav Festival is also held. It was Lokmanya Tilak who initiated the idea of celebrating this festival in the temple. The idol of Lord Ganesha in the temple is 7.5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. It is adorned with almost 8 kilos of gold.
    • Sri Balaji Mandir - This temple was built by the VH Group. It is also known as the Sri Venteshwara Temple. This temple is a replica of the Tirupati Balaji Mandir in Thirumala. The priests of the temple even come from Tirupati and every sevai done here resembles that of the one in Tirupati. The temple trust also gives out free laddoo to every visitor as well.
    • Sarasbaug Ganpati Temple - This temple was built by Shrimant Sawai Madhavrao Peshwa in 1784. Then, he installed the idol of Shree Siddhivinayak Gajanan in the temple. However, the lake nearby the temple was built by Shrimant Balaji Baji Rao. The island on the middle of the lake was retained and later on, an additional garden was constructed here. It was Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa who named the garden Sarasbaug. On an average day, the Sarasbaug Temple receives about 10,000 visitors and this number rises to 80,000 during the annual Ganesha Chaturthi Festival.
    • Parvati Temple - Parvati Hill is a hillock in Pune, rising about 640 metres above sea level. On the peak of the hillock, you can find the Parvati Temple. This is the oldest heritage temple in Pune, built during the rule of the Peshwa. You need to climb about 103 steps to reach the top of the hill. The main temple here is called the Devdeveshwara Temple, completed in 1749, under the rule of Balaji Baji Rao. It is dedicated to both Shiva and Parvati. The other temples are dedicated to Karitkeya, Vishnu, Vitthal and Rama. The samadhi of Balaji Baji Rao is also located in the hillock.
    • Bhuleshwar Temple - This temple is believed to have been built in the 1200 century by King Krishnadevray. Originally, Bhuleshwar is believed to have been a fort named Mangalgadh. This is where Parvati danced for Shiva and after which, they got married in Kailash. A phenomenon here is that if you offer a bowl of sweets to the shivalingam, one or more of the sweets disappear. The walls of the temple have classical carvings. It is crowded during the annual Mahashivratri Festival.
    • Baneshwar Temple - This temple was constructed in 1749 by Peshwa Nanasaheb, the son of Peshwa Bajirao I. The temple has a bell with an inscription dated 1638 to it, which means that the bell belonged to a church and was transported to the temple as a token of victory. The location of the temple is amidst a forest, home to many species of birds and plants.
    • Chatushrungi Mata Temple - This is located on the Senapati Bapat Road in Pune. The story goes that there was once a rich merchant by the name of Durlabhsheth Pitambardas Mahajan. He was an ardent worshipper of Goddess Saptashrungi and visited her temples everywhere. As he grew older, he became weak and cannot visit temples anymore. The Goddess Saptashrungi appeared in her dream and told him that if he cannot come to her, she will come to him and stay near him. She instructed Durlabhsheth to dig in a mountain located in the northwest of Pune. He did so and he dug a natural statue of the goddess. He constructed a temple in this location and this is where the Chatushrungi Mata Temple is located now. The Chatushrungi Temple is located on a mountain with four peaks, hence the name Chat. The presiding deity here is Goddess Chaturshrungi, but there are also shrines dedicated to Goddess Durga and Lord Ganesha. You have to climb about 100 steps to reach the temple though.
    • Morgaon Mayureshwar Temple - This is located in Morgaon, about 80 kms from Pune. It is not known exactly when the temple was built but some scholars believe it to be between the 13th to 17th centuries. This temple is the starting and ending point of the pilgrimage of the eight revered temples of Ganesha in Pune. This pilgrimage circuit is known as the Ashtavinayak or the Eight Ganeshas. A unique feature of the temple is that it has some influences of Muslim architecture, since at one time, a Muslim chieftain was a patron of the temple. The temple has four gates, each of which has an image of Ganesha with his two attendants.
    • Jangali Maharaj Temple - Jangali Maharaj was an ascetic yogi who lived during the 18th century. He was also the disciple of Swami Samarth of Akkalkot. He is believed to have meditated in the Bhamburde jungles of Shivajinagar in Pune. Thus, he earned the title of Jangali Maharaj or King of the Jungle. He died in the year 1890 and his disciples built a samadhi for him, adjacent to the Pataleshwar Cave Temple. After which, a temple was built nearby his samadhi. Outside the temple, there's a bell and a lotus sculpture. There's also a small artificial water tank with a cow spout and a wall mural depicting a palkhi.
    • Sangameshwar Temple - This is near to Sasvad, at the confluence of the Karha River and Chamli River. It is believed to have been built during the 7th to 10th century during the rule of the Yadava. The temple's dome has sculptures of different deities. The sculptures look a bit worn out but you still decipher the images.
    • Katraj Jain Temple - This is located in Katraj, a suburb of Pune. The temple is dedicated to the 24th and last tirthankar of Jainism, who is Mahavir. The main attraction of the temple is the 12-feet statue of Mahaveer Swami in Padmasan posture. This statue weighs around 5,000 kilograms. Behind the main temple, there's another statue, this time of Bhagwan Parswanath, which is about 8-feet tall. Both statues are made of panch dhatu. The 24 tirthankaras of the Jain faith are also displayed in the temple.
    • Pataleshwar Cave Temple - This is located in the Jungli Maharaja Road. This is a rock-cut temple built around the 8th century, under the Rashtrakuta rule. The main sanctum houses the shivalingam of Lord Shiva. At the entrance of the cave, you'll find the Nandi mandapa, with its umbrella-shaped canopy supported by massive pillars. The cave temple is left incomplete though, possibly because of a fault line found at the back of the main sanctum.
    • Omkareshwar Temple - This is located in the banks of the Mutha River in Pune. It was built around the 18th century by Krsnaji Panta Citrava and inaugurated by Chimaji Appa Peshwa. It is one of the largest temples in Pune and is dedicated to the Lord Shiva. The shikhara of the temple consists of nine layers, the central one being specially carved. There are also Hindu inscriptions around the walls of the temple. There are also shrines dedicated to Shani, Hanuman, Vishnu, Ganesh and Durga inside the temple premises. Also present is a statue of Nandi and a deepmal, both found in the courtyard.
    • Bund Garden - This is about two kilometres away from the Pune Railway Station. Its name was derived from the Bund or Dam on the Mula River which is nearby the garden. The garden was planned by Coronel Sellon, who transformed a wasted space into a beautiful recreational place. It was completed in the year of 1869, just when the Fitzgerald Bridge was completed as well. The garden has an exclusive jogging track, boating facilities, food stalls and children's play area.
    • Pune Okayama Friendship Garden - This garden is a symbol of the friendship between the cities of Okayama and Pune. The garden itself represents the harmonious ways of the Japanese. It is located on Sinhagad Road in Pune. The garden has natural flowing water due to the developed canals here. The landscape of the garden changes the further you walk. You can also spot some fishes in the manmade pond within the garden. There's also a little children's play area within it.
    • Empress Garden - This is also known as the Soldier's Garden since it was mostly the soldiers who used this place for recreation. It is located near the Race Course in Pune. The garden houses many varieties of shrubs, plants and flowers. Mango trees and tamarind trees also dominate the garden. Originally, the garden was owned by Vithalrao Purandhare, a native of Pune. In 1838, the garden was acquired by the British government. It was then known as the Garden of Dr. Don, under the management of Sir Charles Napier. It was renamed again to the Empress Garden, after the Queen Victoria. Now, the garden is managed by the Agri-Horticultural Society of India.
    • Mahatma Phule Museum - This museum was founded in 1875 and was previously known as the Poona Industrial Museum. In 1968, it was renamed as the Mahatma Phule Museum. The collections here are related to industry and engineering, geology and minerals, handicrafts and cottage industries, agriculture, forestry, natural history and armoury. The armoury section has items pertaining to the Maratha and Mughal empires. The natural history section has taxidermies of various species of animals. The museum also publishes the science journal named Srishtidnyan.
    • Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum - This museum houses the collections of Doctor Dinkar Kelkar. The museum is dedicated to his son, Raja. It is a three-storey building with the main collection being sculptures from the 14th century. The museum is now handled by the Department of Archaeology within the Government of Maharashtra. It now houses over 20,000 items, 2,500 of which are in display. Other items you can find here are musical instruments, everyday house items and paintings.
    • Darshan Museum - This museum is dedicated to the Sindhi saint and scholar, Sadhu TL Vaswani. The museums showcases the life and teachings of Sadhu Vaswani. The museum has real-life mannequins, graphic panels, holographic screens and other interactive materials. It was the Bollywood actor, Aamir Khan, who inaugurated and built this museum in 2011.
    • Tribal Museum - This is in Queen's Road, near the Pune Railway Station. The museums houses different collections depicting the lives of the tribes in Maharashtra. Particularly, the tribes in the Sahyadri and Gondwana regions in the state. Items such as ornaments, musical instruments, clothes, weapons and home utensils are in display here.
    • National War Museum - This museum was built in 1997 and is located near the Pune Cantonment. It is a museum dedicated to the Indian soldiers who dedicated their lives for the country. One of the main attractions of the museum is the MIG 23 BN Jet Fighter, used during the Kargil War. The museum also has costumes, weaponries and other personal mementoes given by the Scottish to the British community.
    • Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park - This is located in Katraj in Pune. The park contains an animal orphanage, a snake park, a zoo and the Katraj Lake. In 1986, Mr. Neelam Kumar Khaire created the Snake Park on the land which is going to be the location of the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park. The Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park and Wildlife Centre was opened in 1999 which initially only has reptiles, sambars, spotted deers and monkeys. In 2005, the Peshwe Park was officially closed and all its animals were moved in the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park. Now though, the park has white tigers, Bengal tigers, leopards, sloths, blackbucks and elephants.
    • Peshwe Udyan Zoo - The location of this zoo used to be the hunting ground of the Peshwas, hence the name was derived from them. This park can be described as an extension of the Sarasbaug as they're located in close proximity with one another. Aside from the animals, kids can also ride the mini train here called the Phoolrani.
    • Aga Khan Palace - This palace was built by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III in 1892. Originally, the palace was meant as a means to help the people of Pune who were hit by famine. Historically though, it is very important as this was where Mahatma Gandhi and his wife, Kasturba Gandhi were detained. Mahadev Desai and Sarojini Naidu also stayed in this palace as prisoners. This is also where Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai took their last breaths. The palace now houses a memorial for Gandhi, where his ashes are kept.
    • Lal Palace - This was built by Sahaji Bhonsale in 1630 AD. It is also known as the Red Palace of Pune. Sahara built the palace for his son Shivaji and his wife Jijabai. However, the original Lal Mahal was already destroyed and this present structure is just a replica of the original. This is also where Shivaji and Maharani Saibai's marriage took place. The present structure now houses a collection of large-sized oil paintings based on the significant events in the life of Shivaji. There's also a statue of Rajmata Jijabai, a carving depicting Shivaji using a gold plough along with Dadoji Konddeo and Jijabai, a fiber model of Raigad with horsemen and a huge map of Maharashtra indicating the forts of Shivaji.
    • Shaniwar Wada - This was built by Peshwa Baji Rao I in the 1730s. However, it was completed only in 1732. The fort was built using limes, teak and stones. Shaniwar means Saturday and Wada means residence complex. The foundations of the fort was laid on a Saturday and it was also inaugurated on a Saturday. The fort was destroyed in 1828 by a fire so most of its inner structures were ruined. So now, only the heavy granite ramparts, strong teak gateways and deep foundations and ruins of the buildings remain on the fort.
    • Shinde Chhatri - This is a memorial dedicated to Mahadji Shinde, the commander in chief of the Maratha army under the Peshwa rule. In 1794, the location only has a temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva, built by Shinde himself. In 1965, a samadhi was built outside the temple for Shinde. This was constructed by Madhav Rao Scindia. The Scindia family of Gwalior are descendants of Shinde.
    • Vishram Baug Wada Palace - This is located in Thorale Bajirao Road in Pune. This was the residence of the Peshwa Bajirao II which was the last Peshwa of the Maratha empire. It was built around the 1807 AD and took about 6 years to complete. Bajirao II stayed here until his exile in Bithur. Thereafter, the mansion was owned by the British government. The Pune Municipal Corporation bought the mansion from the British during the 1930s. The main attraction of the mansion is its exquisitely carved balcony.
    • Malhargad Fort - This is about 30 kms from Pune. It is in Saswad, near the village of Sonori. This was the last fort built by the Marathas in 1775. The fort is believed to have been built to keep an eye to the Dive Ghat. It was built by Bhivrao Yashvant and Krishnaji Madhavrao Panse from 1757 to 1760. Inside the fort, there are two temples, one is dedicated to Lord Khandoba and the other is dedicated to Lord Mahadeva.
    There you go. These are all the attractions you can visit in Pune. Some of the other forts are located at quite a distance from Pune though so I didn't include them. Let me know if you'd like a list of those though. I hope this helps!