Pune was earlier known as Punya Vishaya by the Rashtrkootas (7-8th Century AD) and as Punaka Desh during the Yadav's period. The transition from Punya Vishaya to Pune took about 1000 years. Pune is now one of the leading cities in India with a blend of rich heritage and modernization. It boasts of a number of educational institutes like the National Defense Academy, IUCAA, NCL, FTII. Pune is also host to leading software companies like Infosys, Satyam, IBM, Wipro, etc. Pune city has the largest greenary coverage among Indian cities which is about 40% of available land.
Some of the major attractions in Pune are as follows:
Shaniwar Wada, Pataleshwar Temple, Aga Khan Palace, Sinhagad Fort, Parvati, Raja Kelkar Museum
Built around 1736, Shaniwarwada was the most magnificent & safety Mansion built chiefly as the residence of the Peshwas. In 1730 A.D., the palace was built at cost of Rs. 16,120s. The palace was burnt in a fire, but the walls and some parts of the interior are still intact.
Timings : 8.00 am - 6.00 pm
Pataleshwar Cave Temple:
This temple is is a rock cut excavation of the Rashtrakuta period (8th - 9th century A.D.). The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The complete temple is carved in stone and has over 40 pillars. The central shrine houses a linga & there are two smaller cells on either sides. In front of the cave is a circular Nandi-Mandapa. Massive square plain pillars support the umbrella shaped
canopy of the Nandi - Mandapa.
Aga Khan Palace (Gandhi National Memorial):
The Aga khan's Palace, a combination of Muslim and French architecture, is sited on about 19 acres of land. During the 1942 Quit India Movement the British interned Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi Aga Khan palace. In 1969, 7 acres, including the Palace were donated by Prince Karim Aga khan to Gandhi Smarak Nidhi.
Timings : 9.00 am - 5.45 pm
‘Sinhagad' means ‘the fortress of lions'. Over 300 years ago, Tanaji - the Maratha warrior, and his army, with the help of ropes and gaint lizards, scaled the once considered impregnable fort and silently stormed the Bijapur citadel at midnight, creating history. The 'samadhi' to Tanaji Malusare stands as a reminder of the bravery and glorious victory of the Marathas. This historic fort is located about 25 km from Pune city.
The famous temple of Parvati (consort of Lord Shiva) is on a hillock in the city . It was the private property of the Peshwes. The Parvati museum houses memorabilia of the Peshwes. It is also the final resting place of Nana Saheb Peshwe. Parvati offers a panoramic view of Pune city.
Osho Teerth Zen Garden
A 12-acre open-air sewer has been transformed into a landscaped garden in a unique environment project. A must see for Pune visitors.
Raja Kelkar Museum:
The Raja Kelkar Museum is the odyssey of one man's passion for Indian artifacts. It is a collection of over 20,000 artifacts of Indian origin – collected painstakingly by Padmashree Dr. D. G. Kelkar. The museum has 36 sections, which include carved palace and temple doors, 2000-year-old pottery, traditional Indian lamps and 17th century paintings.
Timings: 9.30 am - 5.30 pm. Closed On: 15th August & 26th January
Site seeing in Pune
If you are a tourist staying at a hotel in Pune, your best bet would be to contact the reception for various tourist attractions in Pune and how to get there.
Shopping Centers in Pune
The shopping districts of Pune are spread across the length of the city. The Deccan Gymkhana is a triangular area packed with shops selling just about anything and is a paradise for bargain hunters. Another famous are is the Laxmi Road which is know for fine traditional Indian saris and jewellery.
The M.G Road, popularly known as Camp or Main Street, is more elite and upmarket. It is known for expensive clothes, antiques, ceramics, designer watches, footwear and bags and is the great for window shopping. Queue up at Kayani's for its famous Shrewsbury biscuits and buns in the Camp area.
Dhole Patil Road, and Fergusson College Roads, more ppopular amount students, have boutiques and shopping plazas to offer for a fulfilling shopping experience.
One important thing to remember here is that most shops are closed between 1.00 and 4.00 pm. However in the evening, they stay open untill 8pm.