The city of Pune in Maharashtra, although often overshadowed by its neighbor Mumbai, is rich in both natural and historical attractions. As India’s first high-tech city, Pune is also an education hub. And being close to several hill stations makes Pune ideal for exciting road trips. The following are the top 20 exciting places that you must visit in Pune.
National War Museum
Built in 1997 by the Express Citizens’ Forum, National War Museum in Pune is 25 feet tall and a huge draw among people who want to know more about the Indian army. The major attaction is a MIG 2 BN used in the Kargil War. Located in the Pune Cantonment area, the Museum pays tribute to soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country.
Situated in Koregaon Park in Pune, the Osho Ashram is an oasis of peace and serenity spread across 32 acres. The Ashram is dedicated to yoga and meditation, and is popular among both Indians and visitors. Some of the various meditation programs at the Ashram include Osho Nadabrahma, Osho Kundalini meditation, Osho Nataraj, and Osho dynamic meditation.
Aga Khan Palace
A major historical destination in Pune, the Aga Khan Palace was built in 1892 by Sultan Aga Khan to serve as a refuge for famine-hit people. Later, the place was used to imprison several famous freedom fighters including Mahatma Gandhi. The grand structure of this building makes it instantly recognizable.
Another historical landmark in the city of Pune, is a majestic ancient fort that was erected way back in 1732 that goes by the name Shaniwarwada. It used to be the seat of the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire. In 1828, fire destroyed the fort, so it was rebuilt and converted into a tourist attraction. There used to be several buildings inside but since all of them were destroyed in the fire, only descriptions are now available.
Built in 1869, the Bund Garden on the banks of the Mula river is an oasis of peace and greenery in the middle of the busy city. This is a regular haunt for morning walkers and joggers, as well as migratory birds in winter. There is a separate kids play area within the garden, where little ones can enjoy the swing, the slide, and the see-saw. Also known as Mahatma Gandhi Udyan, the garden is popular all over the city and is a must-visit for all.
A very popular theme park in Pune, Adlabs Imagica has become a family attraction ever since it opened a few years ago. This place attracts both the young and the young-at-heart, with magic shows, thrill rides family and child-friendly rides, meeting cartoon characters, and other fun activities. The park can be visited all year round.
This beautiful artificial lake situated in the suburbs of Pashan Hills is an ideal spot to spend some quiet time. The lake was built by the British to compensate for the water shortage in the area, but is now maintained by the Pune Municipal Corporation. The lake gets a lot of migratory birds, and there is also a nature trail and a bamboo plantation for visitors to enjoy.
The Tribal Museum is another attraction for those who want to know more about the tribal population, their lives, and their culture. Set up in 1962, the museum is home to the artworks, masks and tools of the indigenous groups in Maharashtra.
Chronicling the life and teachings of modern spiritual guru Sadhu Vaswani, the Darshan Museum is a popular attraction in Pune. People interested in spirituality will find a great deal of interest here. The Sadhu Vaswani Mission is a charitable organization situated in the same building.
Ohel David Synagogue is an old synagogue that sits on the Moledina Road. It is also known to locals by the name of Lal Deval. The brainchild of philanthropist David Sassoon, the building came into existence in 1867 and is built in the English Gothic style. The synagogue is protected by the Pune police and visits require prior permission.
Also known as the Red Palace, Lal Mahal was built by Shivaji’s father Shahaji Bhosale in 1630 AD. The original construction doesn’t exist anymore; the current building is a reconstruction. Although the new structure lacks most of the features of the old building, visitors will find a wide array of paintings and other historical artifacts inside. There is also a children’s recreational park within the premises.
Pune is full of historical buildings, and Shinde Chhatri is another gem in the city, built in memory of Mahadaji Shinde, the commander-in-chief of the Maratha army. Situated on the banks of the Bhairobi stream in Wanavadi, the imposing structure is a blend of Rajasthani and British architecture.
A hill that rises to 2100 feet above sea level, Parvati Hill is a popular tourist attraction in Pune. The Parvati temple situated at the top attracts devotees every day. The temple is the oldest heritage structure in the city, and can be reached by climbing 103 steps.
Pataleshwar Cave Temple
A rock cut cave temple dating back to the 8th century, the Pataleshwar cave temple belongs to the Rashtrakuta era. Also known as the Panchaleshvara or Bamburde temple, this place is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvati, and is the site for a number of religious festivals.
National Defence Academy Museum
If you’re interested in learning more about the Indian Armed Forces, you could get prior permission to visit the museum inside the NDA. There is also a vast library with more than 100,000 printed titles.
This is a zoological park with a rich variety of animals and birds. Besides the natural aspects, there are other activities in the park, like animal rides, boating, and toy train rides, making the place a great place to take the kids.
Baner Pashan Biodiversity Park
The protected region of Baner Pashan Biodiversity Park is spread over 200 hectares and was built with the aim to protect the greenery and biodiversity around Baner Hill and Pashan Hill. People visiting the park can expect to spend peaceful time surrounded by nature.
Owned by the National Defence Academy as part of the Khadakwasla dam’s lake, the Peacock Bay gets its name from the large number of peacocks found around the place. This is also where all watermanship training programs of the NDA are conducted.
Located amid the Sahyadri Mountains, Krushnai Waterpark is one of the best water parks in India, and a must-visit for lovers of water sports. Activities available at the park include kayaking, water scooter rides, speed boating, swimming, and surfing.
Appu Ghar Amusement Park
Known as the first amusement park in India, Appu Ghar Amusement Park was established in 1984, and offers a variety of activities for children and families. Activities in the park include the roller coaster, the helicopter, My Fair Lady, Appu Express, Gammat Girki, kiddy boat, Jumping Frog.