Pune Travel GuideEdit This The best resource for sights, hotels, restaurants, bars, what to do and see
Long time ago who would have known that a Deccan plateau 800 mts above the sea level surrounded by hills, valleys and historic forts would emerge as a district named PUNE. A small village inhabited by musicians and artists in 613 A.D grew into the Deccan Capital to rival Delhi.
In 750A.D The Rashtrakut Dynasty ruled the Punewadi, now called Pune Poona to the old diehards.
Later in the 1600s the great Hindu king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj rebuilt the town devastated by invasions. During the Maratha regime, the Peshwas (Prime Minister) ruled from the famous citadel, Shaniwar Wada. This was the seat of power until the British took over and burnt the 7-storyed building in the Shaniwar Wada.
The city of Pune also gave great national leaders like Lokmanya Tilak during the independence movement.
In 1856 the Pune-Mumbai rail track and the Khadakwasla Dam in 1857 was constructed.Later many colleges were established gradually, the Deccan college, the college of Engineering and the Ferguson college. In 1857, the offices of the Department of Meteorology was shifted from Simla to Pune.The first Textile Mill was built in 1893 by Raja Bahadur Motilal Pittie.
Pune was home to some of the fiery personalities who wrote the eventful pages of India's freedom struggle. Mahatma Gandhi rightly said that " Pune is a bee-hive of dedicated workers for a noble cause."
At present Pune is the 5 th ranking industrial metro of India. Infact Kothrud has achieved a place in the Guinness book of world records for having the fastest urban growth rate
Sights and Sounds
The Aga Khan’s Palace: This Palace boasts of Italianate arches, a gracious building having salons and suites and spacious lawns . The place has a historical landmark. During the 1942 Quit India Movement the Britishers interned Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Gandhi here. Later a memorial was erected here in the memory of Kasturba Gandhi who died in this palace.
Appu Ghar: Indira Gandhi Udyan situated at Pradhikaran, Nigdi on Pune-Bombay highway. It is a play park and a mini Disney Land full of wheels, merry-go-round and swings. Both adults and the children enjoy the rides and the fun alike. Reaching there is no problem as there are direct bus service from the Pune station.
Bund Garden: This garden is also known as the Mahatma Gandhi Udhayan. It was built by Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy, on the right bank of the Mula-Mutha to provide the poor with water during summer. Main attraction here is the evening boat rides, horse rides etc. The garden is famous for Bhel-Puri and Pani-Puri. It is situated on the Airport road and very close to the Camp area.
Film and Television Institute of India: The FTII is situated on a sprawling campus midst much greenery on the Law College Road. It is a premier institute that imparts training in all branches of the film industry and is known for having produced some of the finest professionals in the Audio- Visual media, most of whom have won accolades abroad. So if you have star in your eyes, FTII is a must.
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum: The museum is housed in a Rajasthani styled building situated close to the hustle and bustle of busy Bajirao Road of Pune. It holds a one man collection of the most fascinating Indian articrafts that you would have ever seen. ‘Mastani Mahal’ which was brought and erected as it was from it’s original form is a masterpiece amongst it’s other exhibits. It has 36 sections which include carved palace and temple doors, 2,000 year old pottery, traditional Indian lamps and 17th century paintings.
National Defence Academy: This is a Defence Academy that imparts basic training to officers, cadets of all the three branches of the Defence Services for Commission in the Army, Navy and Air-Force. It is situated at Khadakvasla 17 kms From Pune.
Osho Commune: Pune has become a international tourist spot because of the Osho Commune International. Spread over 31 acres of flush green surroundings, is the meditation resort to people from over 60-70 different countries. The Osho Commune offers over 100 different meditation techniques to all the participants. It has become a must-visit to all the tourists over the world who are on a spiritual journey.
Parvati(Not pronounced as Paarvati) Hill and Temples: Standing atop this hillock you get a vertical glimpse of Pune. A steep flight of 108 narrow steps lead to the hill top temple built by Balaji Baji Rao. ‘Nagarkjana’ drum house is the imposing temple of Parvati and Devdeveshwar. This was once the private shrine of the Peshwas. It is also the final resting place of Nana Saheb Peshwa. The Parvati museum houses portraits of Peshwas, old manuscripts, coins etc.
Pashan Lake: This lake is situated 12 Kms off the road to N.D.A. It is an Orinthologists delight, as it is the favourite haunt of a number of migratory and residential birds. For birdwatching head towards this little lake.
Pataleshwar Caves: This 8th century rock cut temple is hidden in the heart of the city in the midst of modern high rise structures and developments, at Shivajinagar. Reminiscent of Ellora, the temple has been carved out of a single boulder of awe inspiring size which includes massive pillars, a Shiva shrine and a Nandi bull. the temple is used by worshippers even today.
Shaniwar Wada: This imposing palace was built by the successors of Shivaji, the Peshwas in 1736. A massive fire destroyed the building in 1827. Most of the palace interiors also got destroyed and all that remains is the old fortified wall. But of course the impressive brass studded gates and lotus pools have also withstood the ravages of time. This Palace situated in the heart of the city near to Deccan Gymkhana, Shivajinagar, and Laxmi Road, has become the symbol of the culture of Pune. It is place to charm you and take you through the memory pages of history.
Sinhagad fort: Sinhagad fort stands 25 Kms from Pune, formerly known as Kondhana, once being the most impregnable fort in western India. It’s literal translation is the "Fortress of the Lion". The fort has changed hands many times from Mohammed Tughlak in 1340 A.D., to the British in 1918 A.D. Legends says, 300 years ago Shivaji’s Gen. Tanaji Malusare scaled this sheer precipice with ropes and giant lizards. He was killed in the battle and a memorial exists. It is an ideal place for a day long picnic and site seeing. The main attraction is climbing the fort on foot.
University Of Pune: The site of Pune University, stately mansions at Ganeshkhind built in Italian-Gothic style, was the official residence of the Governor of Mumbai during the monsoon season. The 300 mt high tower beckons to all these who come here in the pursuit of higher education. It is one of the oldest universities of India.
Shinde Chatri: Amongst the architectural prides of Pune, the memorial to the great warrior Mahadji Shinde, the commander-in-chief of the Maratha army, between the years 1760 to 1780 under the mighty Peshwas. The temple adorned with Rajasthani architecture is an imposing edifice situated at Wanowrie.
Karan Agri Tourism: Hill Top Agri excursion destination:
Colourful flowers, small footway through green bushes, various countryside foods, fresh vegetables, various horticultural activities, tree bound swing, sliders, huts, tents, natural cool water, Tulshi vrindavan, & fabulous entrance, these are the features of Karan Agri Tourism at Bhambarde near to Pune.
Karan Agri Tourism is located at Bhambarde, 5 KMs away from Ranjangaon Ganpati (one of the famous Eight Ganpatis) on Ahmednagar-Pune Highway. This tourism spot is developed by Mr. Ramesh Karbhari Sangpal in around 2 acres on a hill top. Tourists like Ganpati devotees, Industrial employees from Ranjangaon MIDC & group of families from Pune city are taking the experience of rural culture.
Shirdi Saibaba Temple:The Shirdi Saibaba Temple, located at Shirdi, Maharashtra, India attracts millions of devotees of all religions, castes and creed who come to pay homage to Shri Sai Baba. The temple is a beautiful shrine that was built over the Samadhi of Shri Sai Baba.
About Shree Saibaba Chandbhai, the headman of a village called Dhoopkhede (in Aurangabad, India), once lost his horse and was looking for it. Suddenly he heard a voice say "You look tired. come here and rest a while". He turned around and saw a young Fakir . The fakir smiled at him and said "What are you looking for in this jungle, Chandbhai". Chandbhai was surprised and he wondered how the fakir knew his name. Slowly, he said "I have lost my horse. I have looked for it everywhere, but cannot seem to find it". The fakir told him to look behind a clump of trees. Chandbhai was pleasantly surprised to find his horse grazing peacefully behind those trees. He thanked the fakir and asked his name. The fakir said "some people call me Sai Baba." Sai Baba then invited Chandbhai to have a smoke with him. He got the pipe ready, but there was no fire to light it with. Sai Baba thrust a pair of tongs into the ground and brought out a burning coal. Chandbhai was wonderstruck. He thought "this is no ordinary person" and invited Baba to come to his house and be his guest for a few days. Next day Baba went to Chandbhai's house and found everybody in a very joyful mood and festivities going on all around. He found that Chandbhai's wife's nephew was getting married. The bride was from Shirdi and the marriage party was going to Shirdi. Chandbhai invited Baba to accompany the marriage party to Shirdi. At Shirdi they camped in a field next to Khandoba's temple. After the wedding, Saibaba stayed on at Shirdi. At first he lived under a neem tree and begged for food whenever he needed it. He then went to Khandoba's temple, intending to stay there, but the temple priest met him at the entrance and told him to go to the mosque. That is how Baba, started staying at the Mosque which was later called Dwarkamayi. Baba preached at Shirdi all his life and performed numerous miracles to convince people that God exists. He healed people's diseases, provided moral and material comfort to his devotees. Baba helped bring Unity and Harmony between all communities. He said that God is one, but called by different names. He said follow your own religion and seek the truth. One day a rich millionaire named Booty came to Sai Baba and said he was going to construct a stone building for Shri Krishna. Baba helped him plan the building. Before the building was completed Baba fell very ill. On the 15th of October 1918, he breathed his last. His last wish was to be buried in Booty's building. Booty's stone building came to be known as the Samadhi Mandir. Shri Sai Baba was buried here and a beautiful shrine was built over it. To this day, people flock to Shirdi to pay homage to Shri Sai Baba
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