Once of the Peshwas of the Maratha dynasty Pune (formerly known as Poona) was ranked first in the ease of living state in the country. Pune being rich in historical heritage is the cultural capital of Maharashtra and also the second largest city of the state. Besides the splendor of historical places in the city, Pune never fails to impress with its modern culture coupled with the beauty of picturesque scenarios. The tourists from all across the country and also from various locations of the world come to Pune to inhale the plethora of natural air while visiting those intriguing places linked to the history of India. Pune is also known by the name “Oxford of the East” because of the bountiful educational institutes established in the city. To list the places to visit in Pune can be a never-ending process. However, here we have curated for you some of the must-visit places in the city that you will regret missing out on.
1. Aga Khan Palace
Put together by Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III is the humongous edifice –Aga Khan Palace that came into existence in the year 1892. The Aga Khan palace situated in Pune city embarks historical events of the past mainly blended along with India’s independence. This is the site where the father of our Nation –Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi, the nightingale of India –Sarojini Naidu and Mahadev Desai were held, hostages. However, the Aga Khan palace is infamous for its architectural magnanimity and historical heritage that it beholds. The Aga Khan Palace is one of the best places to visit in Pune spread across 19 acres of land as the headquarters of the Gandhi National Memorial community, now.
The manufacturing of Khadi is among the primordial activities performed here, which still continues to be till date. The palace was mainly built for the poor of the neighbouring areas who survived the catastrophic famine. Architect Charles Corea built the grounds of the palace as a remembrance to Mahadev Desai and Kasturba Gandhi. In the museum inside of the palace are a rich collection of pictures and personal belongings of Mahatma Gandhi. In the year 2003, the Aga Khan Palace was declared to be of historic importance as the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi are buried in the grounds here.
2. Chattushringi Temple
Located in the slopes of Senati Bapat Road hills, is one of the most renowned temples in Pune. The Chattushringi temple is said to be crafted during the times when the Marathas ruled over Pune. The temple which is considered as a symbol of faith and power is situated at a height of 90 feet above the ground across 125 feet wide area. To reach to the shrines of goddess Chhatushringi you need to surpass around 100 steps of the temple.
Every year during the time of Navratri there is a fair held at the base of the temple when followers all across the city come to worship goddess Chattushringi. This is among one of the very famous tourist places in Pune, which you should visit if you are a follower of the Hindu religion.
Also See : 10 Best Markets in Pune
3. Pataleshwar Cave Temple
This temple was carved out from the rocks during the 8th century during the period of Rashtrakuta. The temple is situated in the Jangli Maharaj Road far away from the hustle-bustle of city life. The monument declared as of historic importance to the government is originally dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The Pataleshwar Cave temple has been carved out from basalt rocks. In the premises of the temple, there is Nandi shrine. This is one of the tourist places near Pune within 100 km radius that you must visit with your friends and family to have an exciting experience.
4. Saras Baug
The landmark area in Pune was actually occupied by a small lake previously. But as the water dried up it is converted into Saras Baug. Inside the Saras Baug area spread across 25 acres of land is a Ganapati temple famous by the name Talyatla Ganapati which was often used by the Marathas to discuss their military strategies during the historic times. Built during the 17th century Saras Baug is one of the best places to visit in Pune with friends. You can have a soothing experience while discovering Indian history in this place.
5. Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park
The Rajiv Gandhi zoo managed by the Municipal Corporation of Pune is categorised into three different parts: an orphanage for the wild animals, a zoo, and a snake park. This is one of the best places to visit in Pune with kid which will be a very intriguing trip for you as well your entire family. With the Rajiv Gandhi zoological park take a step closer to nature and have a look at various types of mammals, birds, and reptiles here.
The list of mammals present in the zoo includes –a white Bengal tiger, sloth bears, barking deers, monkeys, leopard, sambhars, blackbucks, and elephants. The fascinating reptiles present in the zoo are the Indian rock python, vipers, Indian, star tortoise, cobra, and Indian crocodiles. Also, the unique bird peafowl is found in this great zoo.
6. Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
Situated in Bajirao Road is the Raja Dinkar Kelkar museum which is one of the most popular places to visit in Pune city. This museum came into existence in the year 1962 and currently is under the vigilance of the Archaeology Department of Maharashtra. In this museum, there are 20000 varieties of artifacts collected from different parts of the world by Baba Kelkar himself.
This museum was built to commemorate his son’s memory who died when he was just seven years of age. You can find an impressive collection of Mughal lamps, paintings from the scenes of the epic Ramayana, musical instruments, carved palace doors, and various other antiques. The one with an inclination towards historic elements of India should not miss a chance of visiting the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum.
7. Mulshi Dam
This dam is located 35 km from the city which is an immensely beautiful place to visit during the monsoon season. The place is copious with serenity and provides ultimate tranquillity even during the summer season. You can plan your visit to the Mulshi Dam anytime during the year. This is the best-suited place for nature lovers. For a picturesque view of the Mulshi Dam, you can plan a short trip along with your friend and family to escape from the hustle bustle of the city life. Visitors often camp near the scenic beauty of Mulshi Lake or you can also book a cottage and spend some relaxing time.
The lake is surrounded by the Sahyadri ranges formed from the backwaters of River Mula surrounded with lush green nature. Can anything else give you a more serene and calming experience than camping near this lake? Also, the Lavasa city is a few miles away from the lake. The dam also serves as a major source of irrigation and electricity to the city. When you are visiting the Mulshi Lake you can also go to some of the nearby places like the Nilakantheshwar temple, Panshet, and the Tamahini Ghats. The lake is worth visiting to have a mesmerising experience and to carry along with you some cherish-able memory for life.
Take a trip to the Lavasa city being tailored near Pune city based on the town plan of Portofino in Italy. In Lavasa their streets and various building being named after that of the town in Italy. The city is spread across 7 hills covering an area of 25000 acres is now touted as the newest hill station of India.
This modern-day hill station can be the best holiday destination and one of the best places to visit near Pune in summer. With its picturesque view and statistically planned out infrastructure Lavasa has become infamous among the people to get away from the hustle-bustle of city life.
9. Lohagad Fort
Among the best hill forts of Maharashtra Lohagad fort is the one situated in the hills of Lonavala. This is one of the best places to visit near Pune within 300 km positioned at a height of 3,389 ft above the sea level. You can have a hiking experience to reach up to the Lohagad fort.
This is one of the best places to visit in Pune in monsoon season along with your friends or family to have an exploratory experience. The view from the top is worth taking two hours trekking trip that will leave you all mesmerised with the beauty of nature. You can enjoy the cascading waterfalls and can spot a variety of birds too.
10. Sentosa Resorts and Water Park
This is one of the best water parks in Pune which is a must visit along with your friends and family to have a pleasant experience. The luxurious resort in Pune will give you an enthralling experience away from the jostle of crowded city life. Enjoy the distinctive hospitality combined with a fun-filled in the water park.
In the Sentosa Resorts, enjoy to grooving music of the DJ while showering under the sprinkling water, spend as much time in the swimming pools separated for the kids and adults. If you are looking for breathtaking experience in Pune, the resorts and Water Park by Sentosa are one of the best places to visit in Pune for friends and family.
11. The House of Medici, The Westin
This is one of the best places in Pune to have exhilarating clubbing experience. If you and your partner love to party then Westin’s House of Medici must be one of the places to visit on your list. This place consists of the longest bar ever in the country with exquisite furniture and a cigar room.
This tops the list of places to visit in Pune for couples on a Saturday night. With the stylish interiors tap on to the music played some of the very famous International DJs and enjoy mime shows put up by the talented artists. If you take a trip to Koregaon Park in Pune do not forget to visit this place.
12. Shanivar Vada
The 286-year-old mansion was once the seat of the Peshwas (ministers) of the Maratha Empire. Known for its intricate architecture is the Shanivar Vada one of the most famous tourist places of Pune. The stately home under the governance of the Maratha was established by Bajirao I which is spread across an area of 625 acres of land. The mighty statue of Peshwa Bajirao I greet its visitors to a place filled with delicate fountains and forts.
The fire incident that took place in the year 1828 destroyed most of the parts of the mansion. However, the ruins left behind are equally magnificent and a treat to the eyes. The edifice of Shanivar Vada is the still proof of the grandeur of the Maratha rulers which is of great historic value.
13. Osho Ashram
The Ashram was founded by Rajneesh Chandra Mohan Jain that proliferates across 32 acres of land. Located in the Koregaon Park area of Pune is the Osho Ashram filled with lush greens and serene nature that definitely gives a break to the visitors from the crowded city life.
If you are looking for natural places to visit in Pune at night then this should be added to your list of visiting places, as the Ashram serves with great hospitality and has all arrangements for its guests to stay there and have a peaceful experience for at least 2 days. During your stay here you can take advantage of the spiritual sessions conducted here and leave with a rejuvenated soul full of calmness and peacefulness.
14. Dagaduseth Halwai Ganpati Temple
Dedicated to Lord Ganesh is the temple situated in Pune city, to which pilgrims from all across the country come to worship. The temple boasts of 100 years old historic culture of India. With its simple yet beautiful construction, you can view everything from the outer side too.
The idol of Lord Ganesh is made 2.2 metres tall and is donned with 40 kilos of gold jewellery. The believers including the ministers of Maharashtra do visit Dagaduseth Halwai Ganpati temple during Ganeshostsav held consecutively for ten days. With its glorifying light decorations, the temple becomes one of the best places to visit in Pune at night.
15. Parvati Hill
In the outskirts of the Pune city lays the Parvati hillock rising 2100 feet above the sea level. Amid the bravura beauty of the Parvati hillock, is situated the Parvati temple which one of the very ancient heritage structure that possesses of great historic importance. The temple was said to build during the Maratha dynasty which today offers a picturesque and panoramic view of Pune city.
To reach up to the top in order to visit the temple you need to climb 103 steps. There are all in all 5 temples atop the hills of Parvati alongside the Peshwa Museum where the Samadhi of Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao is. It is said that Balaji Baji Rao spent the last moments of his life in the Parvati hills. Also, there is a Buddhist cave towards the South-eastern side of the hill believed to be existing with the Pataleshwar caves.
16. Shinde Chhatri
The place is dedicated in the memory of the commander-in-chief of the Marathas, Mahadji Shinde. He served under the Peshwas from the year 1760 to 1780. The Shinde Chhatri is regarded as one of the most momentous landmarks in Pune city which was built in the 18th The reminiscent of Maratha Empire had a temple of Lord Shiva built by Mahadji himself. Just outside the temple premises, a Samadhi was built for Mahadji Shinde in the exact place where he was cremated. The intricate architectural design of the place is the main attraction.
Also, the Shinde Chhatri reflects the amalgamation of two different cultures with Rajasthani architectural designs used in commemorating a fighter of the Maratha dynasty. You must visit this place to at least have a look of the beautiful carvings and idols obscured on the Shiva temple made out of yellow stone, while the base and sanctum sanctorum are excavated from black stones. The Chhatri hall houses a huge gallery that is filled with varieties of paintings depicting the history of Maratha dynasty. While the entire area speaks for the Indian culture, the windows of the Chhatri have a touch of the English style.
17. Bund Garden
Located amidst the Pune city is one of the most gorgeous and well-maintained garden –Bund Garden. This garden is also famous by the name Mahatma Gandhi Udyan, which is very famous among the fitness freaks and the ones who just simply love to spend some time in the open space. The Bund Garden attracts a lot of visitors during early morning and evening hours as well as this is the go-to place for the local residents of the area. The attraction of this place is the Fitzgerald Bridge that caters tourists from all across with its abundant beauty; this also is fit for having a picnic with the family.
The Bund Garden is beautifully packed with lush greens and natural flora for you to come and enjoy with your friends and family. The Bund Garden also attracts visitors because of some of the famous eateries that the garden is surrounded by. The eateries here serve delicacies to relish that too at a nominal price rate. If you are a nearby resident of this area and search for the best places to visit in Pune near me online, the Bund Garden will top the list. Also, for the early risers and the fitness fanatics to enjoy the bountiful nature, Bund Garden is one of the best places in Pune.
18. Khadakwasla Dam
For the adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers, Khadakwasla dam is a beauty that you wouldn’t regret visiting. If your meaning of spending a holiday is under the canopy of a tree then you must plan a trip to the Khadkwasla dam in the outskirts of the city. Do not miss on the striking sunrise and sunset view from this place. You can visit the dam during monsoon season or even during the winter months. The British Army established the dam in the year 1869 as a respite to severe drought conditions.
You can book a cab or take a bus to reach the Khadakwasla dam from the city to the Khadakwasla bus stop. You can spend some time amidst the greenery alongside the dam away from the busy life of the city. This is one of the best tourist places near to Pune where you can spend time in restoring all the lost energy. While you are planning a trip to the Khadakwasla dam you can also plan along to pay a visit to the Sinhagad fort situated on the peaks of the fascinating mountain ranges.
19. Sinhagad Fort
Located in the outskirts of Pune is the Sinhagad fort, which was one of the top military outposts during the period of influence of Shivaji Maharaj. The Sinhagard Fort is one of the places to visit in Pune for 1 day trip to have historic experience of a place that was said to be established 2000 years ago. The carvings and caves in the Kaundinyeshwar temple stand as a testimony to these sayings. The fort was strategically devised and designed to protect the steep slopes of the Bhuleswar range. The high guarding walls and citadel were built in some of the prime places with two entrances namely –Pune Darwaza and Kalyan Darwaza. While the former entrance is towards the North-east, the latter guards the South-east side of the fort.
It is one of the most demanded destinations among the trekking enthusiast. If you are among one of those people, you can start your trekking from the basement of Sinhagad village to the top of the fort. This fort is one of the best places to visit near Pune in rainy season to enjoy the lush green views surrounding the beautiful fort. The distance is about 2.7 km with an elevation of 1950 feet. During your trek excavation, you can view the military stables alongside a brewery, a temple of goddess Kali and Hanuman statue standing right adjacent to the temple. While commemorating the historic times you can view the ethereal works of the Sinhagad fort.
20. Vetal Hill
This is one of the most loved places among the residents of Pune and also one of the best tourist places at Pune. The Vetal hills are infamous for the continuous invasion hub of the migratory birds; the place is filled with lush green trees all around and also serves as a great escape from the agitated city life experience. You can visit the Vetal hills to unwind yourself from daily life stresses from 2600 metres above the ground. For a relaxing yet rejuvenating experience while on your trip to the city, you should go pay a visit to the Vetal hills. The hill ranges derive its name from the Vetala temple situated here.
If you are a lover of adventurous sports, this definitely is your place; as there are several spots near the Vetal hills which you can see only if you go on a trek expedition to the nearby places. You can go along with your friends to chill out on the weekends. Remember to carry along your camera with you to get some of the aesthetic pictures of the place, especially during the monsoon season. All credit goes to the Indian Forest Department that even today puts on an effort to maintain the flora intact of this place. You can get rental cars or buses to reach up to the entrance point of the hill. So what are you waiting for? Grab onto your trainers and go for a trekking to this amazing place in Pune.
21. Shivneri Fort
This fort is located in the Junnar district of Pune which is the birth place of Chhatrapati Shivaji who was the king of the Maratha dynasty. As the birthplace of the ruler, the Shivneri fort was one of the most important forts during the reign of the Marathas. The fort was designed and constructed accordingly to protect one of the greatest rulers of Indian History –Shivaji, with its seven humongous doors and inexplicably strong walls.
If you visit the Shivneri Fort you must try and reach to the top of it to get the peaceful view of Pune city, surrounded with abundant ruins of nature proliferating over a vast land area. A number of tourists are attracted to this destination because of the stunning view and also because to experience the culture filled with a rich heritage of Indian history associated with the mighty king Shivaji whose ultimate reverie was to establish Hindu Swarajya. The doors of Shivneri fort remain open throughout the day; you can visit any time suitable with your schedule.
22. Shivaji Bridge
This is also known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Road is one of the most important routes in Pune to commute in between Shanivar Vada to Jedhe Chowk in Swargate. Not only has this but the old bridge provided a picturesque view where you can to click several pictures but also is the place where the very famous Dagaduseth Halwai Ganpati temple is located.
This road is the common pathway to the University of Pune and the Mahathma Phule Mandai. This is one of the oldest bridges in Pune built across the Mutha River. Formerly addressed as the Navapool was built to avoid traffic through the city. While you are visiting various places in the city you will definitely cross paths with the Shivaji Bridge, then just stop for a while intake the beauty of its old architectural structure and click pictures to reminisce this beauty from the ancient times, later.
23. Pu La Garden
In between the modernised city lies a serene garden known by the name Pu La Deshpande Garden. The structure of the garden has been inspired by the Okayama Korakuen Garden that was built in Japan 300 years ago. The Ikeda royal family was behind the established of the Pu La Garden that stretches across 10 acres of land containing tiled passageways. The name of the garden is given after a Marathi writer awarded with a Padma Bhushan, Purushottam Laxman Deshpande. Amidst the lush green grasses are the tiled paths covering the entire park. Also, the grasses are hoarded with migratory birds.
The park serves best with the scenic views and serene ambience, which will definitely capture your heart in the first visit itself. Colourful flowers are planted all around in the garden along with some non-flower bearing plants. Additionally, the garden is equipped with artificial water bodies that give out even more stunning look to the place. The park is located in between the Sinhagad Fort and Saras Baug. You can go here bird watching as the migratory birds come swarming to the place from time to time or you can simply take a walk in the tranquil beauty of nature.
24. National Defence Academy
Located near Khadakwasla Dam is the National Defence Academy, where the cadets are trained for all the defence forces of India including the Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and Indian Navy too. This place is to be held responsible for producing one of the greatest men that time has ever seen who are leaving no stone unturned in making our nation proud starting all the way from mountaineers to sportsmen to great champions of the Olympics.
Apart from altruistically serving our country, the National Defence Academy can also be regarded as an edifice of architectural greatness that definitely attracts many eyes. Organised groups from various educational institutes more often than not pay a visit to the National Defence Academy for the purpose of motivation. If you are looking forward to visiting this remarkable place situated in Pune, you must write to the academy via post or email asking for permission and if granted you can pay a visit to the NDA.
25. The National War Museum
This museum is solely dedicated to the heroes of our Nation who fought prominently for our country’s independence. If you are a true patriot and the citizen of India you cannot refrain from paying a visit to the National war museum located in Ghorpadi, Pune. Mig 23 BN that was used in the Kargil war is displayed in the museum along with a replica of the INS Trishul. The INS Trishul was used in the war in Pakistan of Pakistan in the year 1971 and also in the Portuguese-Indian War. The place gives out a motivational vibe to the visitors not only just to the Indians but also attracts foreign visitors in huge quantity.
How to Reach
By Air: The airport of Pune is situated at a distance of 10 km from the heart of the city. You can book a cab or take advantage of the bus service to commute to the main area of the city.
By Rail: The railway junction of Pune is among the most important junctions of India. It is quite easy to reach Pune through a train as Pune junction is connected to almost all the major cities of India.
By Road: The roads of the Pune is well connected to all major cities in India. The bus services provided by the state are greatly economical and friendly with the pockets too. The distance between Pune and some of the cities of Maharastra are –Mumbai (120 km), Ahmadnagar (115 km), Bijapur (275 km), and Aurangabad (215 km); all of these cities are easily accessible by road.
The climatic conditions of Pune vary from semi-arid to borderline tropical wet and dry. The average temperature of the city is somewhat in between 20° C and 28° C. There are three seasons distinctively experienced in Pune –winter, summer, and monsoon.
Best time to visit Pune
The summer season begins from the mid of March and extends up till June. However, summer cannot be the perfect time to visit Pune as the temperatures go as high as 42°C accompanied by dusty winds and humid weather conditions.
The Rainy season is from the end of June to October with moderate rainfall and moderate temperature too. The lush green hills surrounding the city get even more enhanced during the monsoon.
The winter season is actually the perfect time to visit Pune; just after the monsoon season has ended and the area is abundant with natural enigma you should pay a visit to the city. You can visit here during the winter vacations or during the time of New Year’s along with your friends and family to venture all the beautiful places around.
Pack your bags, book the tickets and plan a vacation to the city situated on the Deccan Plateau to have a blissful vacation trip.