Aga Khan Palace
Built in 1892 by Sultan Aga Khan III, this graceful building was intended to be a source of employment for the famine-struck villagers in the surrounding areas. During the fight for independence from the British, many freedom fighters were imprisoned here. Gandhi, too, was imprisoned here during the Quit India movement. Today, a collection of pictures and photographs of the important incidents in Mahatma Gandhi’s life are housed in a museum inside the palace complex.
Located in a beautiful 32-acre campus, this ashram of Rajneesh Chandra Mohan Jain is a resort for Meditation and Yoga. The practice of meditation is taught at the ashram to reduce of stress and worry. For daytime activities, maroon robes are necessary, while for evenings, white robes are worn. The ashram is a delightful place to attend and one that leaves you stress-free and rejuvenated.
Katraj Snake Park
Established in 1986, Katraj Snake Park is home to over 160 species of snakes. It is aided by the Pune Municipal Corporation and also boasts a vast collection of birds, reptiles and turtles. Highlights include: the Brown Palm Civet, a nine foot long King Cobra brought from Sunderbans, and some rare species of birds and turtles. The park also houses a library where a lot of information about snakes can be found and many programmes by the park authorities are also conducted to discourage snake harassment in the local area.
The Karla caves are historically associated with the Mahasamghika sect of Buddhism. Located around 40 kilometers from the city, the caves date back to the 2nd century BC and represent the golden period of Buddhism in India. There’s a Buddhist monastery located within the caves, as well as carved prayer halls, stunning arched entrances and striking walls decorated with sculptures of humans, lions and elephants.
Sinhagad Fort also known as ‘ Lion’s Fort’ is situated at a distance of 35kms of Pune on a hill rising 800m above the surrounding countryside. It is a strategic fort, carefully selected for its proximity to the settlement of Pune, allowing control over important trade routes and offering protection behind its safe walls in times of need. During the monsoon season in June, the fort and the surround region come alive with beautiful waterfalls and lush flora, making it a hot spot for trekkers and hikers from Pune and Mumbai.
Temple Pilots is Paragliding School, offering both single flights and beginners’ courses. It has nine instructors and maintains an excellent student to teacher ratio. They are certified with APPI International – (Association Of Professional Pilots & Instructors, Switzerland) and have maintained excellent quality and safety standards. If paragliding is on your bucket list and you happen to be in Pune, here is your chance to see the stunning countryside from a different angle.
Tribal Cultural Museum
The Tribal Cultural Museum lies around two kilometres from the railway station. The state of Maharashtra is a vast and many tribal communities call it their home. They have different languages, different lifestyles, food habits and beliefs. The museum exhibits the cultures of the tribal communities through jewellery, utensils, musical instruments and even black magic objects. It’s a great place to learn about the various tribal communities of the state.
Tulsi Baug (Basil garden) is an area located in the centre of Pune city. Its main attraction is the historic temple precinct and the large market. The street is lined with shops selling women’s items and is often visited to purchase gift items, household goods, traditional Maharashtrian wear, cookery items, jewellery and cosmetics. It can ben crowded, but is a must visit for anyone who wants to get their hands on some incredible items or to sharpen their bargaining skills.
Doolally on Tap!
Doolally on Tap! is Pune’s first microbrewery. The beers are crafted by German brew master Oliver Schauf and are changed every month; his influence can also be seen on the menu which includes German sausages among other Indian and European dishes. The interior of the pub is very traditional with wooden bar stools and floor panels, barrels as tables and huge tanks of the brewery in the background.
Opening hours: 12.30pm-12am
Watch out for: Factory hours and Happy Hours
Mohammed Wadi, Pune, Maharashtra, India, +91 20 2695 2229
Della Adventure is one of India’s largest adventure game parks. There are over 80 activities to choose from. It is a perfect place for those who love an adrenaline rush. Be it racing on mud tracks in All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) or zipping across a 500 feet long cable, they have it all. A great place to have some fun with friends or family on a weekend.
Opening hours: 11am-9pm
By Shreyas Kulkarni