A Design Lover's Guide to Pune in 24 Hours

Traditional Diwali lanterns | © Ramnath Bhat/WikiCommons
Traditional Diwali lanterns | © Ramnath Bhat/WikiCommons
Photo of Vishal Ingole
19 January 2018

Pune is a young and vibrant city, with lots of cool places to hang out and have a good time. What most people don’t know is that the city is rich in art and culture, with a glorious historical past. With so many attention grabbing buildings here, the city offers plenty of opportunities for design lovers to get inspired. Here’s a whirlwind tour of the Oxford of the East in 24 hours.

10:00 AM – Aga Khan Palace

One of the most famous historical monuments in the city, the Aga Khan Palace is an art lover’s delight. Not only is this place one of the biggest landmarks in India, it is also widely regarded for its architecture. The majestic structure built in 1892 has an Indo-Gothic architecture designed by famous architect Charles Correa. The white marble structure is spread over 20 acres, and is now a museum. Even though the architecture was inspired by Islamic art, it also has many arches designed in Italian style. The ornate design of the monument draws art lovers from across the globe.

Gandhi spent almost 2 years in the Aga Khan Palace in internment. Today there is a small but fine museum detailing his struggle and his time in Pune.

12:00 PM – ISKCON NVCC Temple

The ISKCON temple is not only the biggest temple in Pune but also an architectural wonder. Built on six acres, this majestic marble structure is a sight to behold at any time of the day. Each pillar of the building has two Gopis and one elephant engraved at the base, while the gold-embossed altar doors and the transparent marble flooring glowing in diffused lights enhance the beauty.

1:30 PM – Infosys building

A fairly new building, the Infosys campus is of great interest to those interested in futuristic architecture. Even though it has been labeled weird and impractical by many, the concept has drawn quite some attention. The unique dome shape of the building makes it look like an UFO from the outside. Designed by architect Hafeez Contractor, the building is both environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Infosys Pune Phase II, Hinjewadi, Pune | © Srijan Kundu/WikiMedia Commons

2:30 PM – Lunch at Mineority

Everything about this restaurant is boho chic. Those interested in interior decor will find this place totally Instagram worthy, with the unique mining theme and colorful interiors. The vibrant interiors are completely unlike what people would expect from a restaurant with a mining theme. There’s yellow and green and pink, and the whole place is bright and full of life. A lot of thought and detailing have gone into the decor. Enjoy the interiors of this artsy restaurant while munching on your favorite chicken, mutton, and prawn dishes.

3:30 PM – St Patrick’s Cathedral

One of the oldest churches in Pune, St Patrick’s Cathedral is in the cantonment area because it was built for the Irish soldiers serving in the British army. The cathedral is not only historically significant to the city but is also an architectural marvel. There are several turrets, spires, and belfrys on both sides. There is a vault-shaped roof with a cross atop and a rose window as its central feature.

St Patricks Church Pune | © Rishabh Tatiraju/WikiMedia Commons

6:00 PM – Dine at Sante Spa Cuisine

If eco-friendly and earthy design in a building appeals to you, then the Sante Spa Cuisine will not disappoint. This green and white building has a small space but it is tastefully done. Most of the seating is in the covered outdoor area. The décor is done with eco-friendly materials, like the plates, forks and spoons made from neem wood, corrugated lampshades, and soup bowls made out of heavy stone. The distressed wood furniture gives a rustic feel to the place while the herb garden is a breath of fresh air.

There is so much for design lovers to explore in Pune that 24 hours is barely enough. Try these must-visit places for your design fix when on short travels in the city.

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