Pune, one of India's most populous cities and a major hub for the information technology industry is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. Located in the state of Maharashtra, Pune boasts a rich heritage that dates back to the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire and continues to thrive today. With its focus on high technology and prominence in education, Pune is not only a thriving metropolis but also an excellent starting point for exciting road trips to nearby hill stations.
Aga Khan Palace, an iconic historical landmark, should be at the top of your list. Constructed in 1892 under the patronage of Mahomed Shah Aga Khan III, the palace played a pivotal role in India's fight for independence. The construction of the palace employed villagers suffering from starvation, making it a testament to both architectural grandeur and humanitarian efforts. Today, the palace stands as a tribute to freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi. Open from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm, visitors can explore the palace, but high-tech cameras with strong lenses are not allowed. However, you can use your phone to capture photos and videos.
History enthusiasts and architecture lovers should not miss Mahadji Shinde Chhatri. This magnificent structure, built in honour of the renowned Maratha warrior Mahadji Shinde, showcases the grandeur of Maharashtra's history. The intricate carvings and regal interior offer a glimpse into the illustrious past of the region.
Fashion Street is a must-visit destination for shoppers seeking a wide variety of goods, ranging from electronics and cosmetics to clothing and accessories. This bustling marketplace caters to both locals and visitors, offering a one-stop shopping experience. However, be prepared for narrow and crowded alleys, and keep a close eye on your belongings. Skilled negotiation is essential to secure the best prices, as vendors often adjust their quotes based on customers.
No visit to Pune is complete without savouring the delectable street food, particularly the famous "Indian Burger" known as Vada Pav. The Garden Vada Pav, a legendary food stall established in 1972, is renowned for serving some of the city's most delicious Vada Pavs. With a constant stream of customers, this iconic eatery sells around 2,000 Vada Pavs each day, solidifying its unmatched local fame.
For breathtaking panoramic views of Pune, make your way to Parvati Hill, often referred to as the "cleanest hill station" in India. Ascend the 108 stairs to reach the hilltop, where the Parvati Temple is situated. Constructed by the Peshwa Dynasty, this ancient heritage site holds great historical significance. Parvati Hill is the second-highest hill in Pune and offers a serene escape from the city's hustle and bustle.
Pune, with its blend of history, culture, and technology, offers a unique and captivating experience for visitors. From exploring architectural marvels to indulging in local cuisine, this vibrant city has something to offer everyone. Plan your visit to Pune and immerse yourself in its rich tapestry of sights, sounds, and flavours.