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The city of Pune is situated in Maharashtra and is said to be the cultural capital of the state. Located at a distance of approximately 120 km from Mumbai, the city is one of major tourist destinations in India. Pune is also one of the largest urban agglomerations in India. Pune city is situated at the eastern edge of the Western Ghats on the Deccan plateau, at an altitude of 559 m above sea level. Initially developed as an agricultural settlement, Pune city now counts amongst the most developed cities of India.
One of the major attractions of the city is Osho Commune International, an ashram set up by Rajneesh Osho for teaching meditation. Apart from that, the city serves as the base for visiting Shirdi, known for housing the samadhi temple of Sri Sai Baba. The Buddhist caves of Bhaja and Karla are also situated quite near to Poona. The rich history, architecture and culture of the city makes it a must visit destination for the tourist coming to India.
How to reach Pune
By Air : Air travel to Pune is quite easy as the city has its own airport. Located in the Lohagaon area, Pune airport is approximately 10 km to the northeast of the city. All the major public and private airlines of India offer their services at this airport. There are regular flights to important Indian cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, etc. Direct flights also connect Pune to international destinations, like Dubai and Singapore.
By Rail: Pune has a railway station of its own, which facilitates railway travel to the place. The station acts as a major stopover junction for the key trains, which link it with other main cities of India. Moreover, there are daily trains between Mumbai and Pune. Trains like Shatabdi Express, Deccan Queen, Indrayani Express, Pragati Express etc, regularly ply between these two cities.
By Road: Well -maintained road network connects Pune with most of the important cities in and around Maharashtra. In fact, the excellent Mumbai-Pune Express Highway presents one of the best options of reaching the place. Pune is also easily accessible from Goa, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Shirdi, Bangalore, Indore, Hyderabad and Aurangabad by road. State Transport as well as private buses regularly shuttle between Pune and other nearby cities. Private taxis are also easily available for getting to Pune.
Situated near the western periphery of the Deccan Plateau, at 18° 31' North and 73° 52' East, Pune is the second largest city in Maharashtra. Deemed as the cultural capital of the state, it bustles with tourist activities throughout the year. The city's pleasant landscape and salubrious weather are two prime reasons of its popularity amongst the vacationers. Mainly, Pune experiences three distinct seasons in a year - summers, winters and monsoons. In case you want to drive down to the city, first check out this article and get all the information on its weather and climate.
The summer season in Pune arrives in the month of March and stretches until mid-June. During this period, the maximum temperature soars to around 38° C. The days remain very hot and sultry, with the warmest month being April. Quite often, the mercury level falls to around 30° C. However, owing to its high altitude (560 m), the temperature remains favorable during nights. In the month of May, the city experiences severe thundershowers and piercing downpours, which lower the temperature, but increase the humidity level.
After the sharp summer months, the monsoon winds from the Arabian Sea lend a soothing touch to the air in the month of June. During this month, the city also experiences heavy rainfall. However, as a whole, Pune receives moderate downpour, with the annual rainfall being 722 mm. Due to the southwestern monsoon, frequent spells of rain assault the place, especially between the months of June and September. July is the wettest month, with incessant showers often continuing for days.
With the retreating of the monsoons in October, nights become comparatively cooler. Finally, winters arrives in November and stretch until February. During these months, the daytime temperature remains somewhere around 28° C. However, temperature dips down during the night, reaching a minimum of 10° C. During December and January, the winter temperature often falls down to as low as 7° C. Often, chilly winds blow, making the climate very pleasant. The best time to visit Pune is between the months of October and May, when the weather is accompanied by fresh winds, blue skies and crisp air.
Places Of Interest
Osho Ashram, also known as the Osho Communal Centre is located at the greenery area of 17 Koregoan Park of the city. The Ashram offers a variety of expensive courses on meditation. Osho Ashram attracts a number of devotees each year including a large number of them from the western countries since early 70s even though Osho expired in 1990.
Shaniwar Wada is a royal residence built by the second Peshwa, Bajirao-I Shaniwar Wada, which is located in Pune. Construction of Shaniwar Wada began on 10th of January 1730. It is said that Bajirao Peshwa-I laid the foundation by collecting handful of mud from the nearby Lal Mahal. Shaniwar Wada today is left with only with an imposing outer wall. It is visible that the ruins can translate the glory of the Maratha power. The doors of the palace are so strong that it had been designed to dissuade huge enemy attacks.
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
The museum has nearly 20,000 collections of objects paintings, handicrafts, armour-suits, musical instruments and many other objects of art and artifacts collected from all over the world. The building has been designed in a Rajasthani-style, but the galleries give a clear depiction of the life and culture of the Marathas. Dinkar Kelkar spent almost 60 years traveling and purchasing objects from the remote areas and towns of India. Dividing into 36 sections, the collections are confined mostly to everyday life like pots, lamps, containers, nutcrackers, pen stands. 'Mastani Mahal' is regarded to be the masterpiece to this museum, which was erected here in its original form.
It is near the railway line, which is just east to the railway station. Maharashtra is a vast country and there are uncountable numbers of tribal in this country. Having different languages, these tribes have their own food habits, taboos, and beliefs - in short distinct cultures. Tribal Museum exhibits the cultures of the tribal communities mainly from the Sahyadari and Gondwana regions. It is a place where one can find to get an insight into the lives of the tribal communities of Maharashtra.
Gandhi National Memorial / Aga Khan Palace
Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi, Shri Mahadeobhai Desai, Dr. Sarojini Naidu and others were kept under imprisonment in the Agakhan Palace during 1942- Quit India movement. Shri Mahadeobhai Desai and Kasturba Gandhi breathed their last breath in this Palace. Marble memorials of these two great leaders are there. Agakhan Palace is known for its architectural excellence. Spreading on a 19-acre land, the picturesque beauty of the palace captivates the eye of every onlooker; with its magnificent structure. Mahatma Gandhi's items like his bed, writing desk, Kasturba's saree and other clothes; her Chappals (slippers) are maintained properly at their place.
This is a three-storyed mansion, known for its beautiful entrance and balcony with carved woodwork typical of the Peshwa period. The 260 ft long and 815 ft broad Teen-Chowki Wada was built by the last Peshwa, Bajirao II as his residence at a cost of Rs. 2 lakhs. The Wada's eye-catching wooden facade is memorizing in its beauty, and has beautiful columns carved in the Suru form. On October 31,1880 a surprise fire engulfed the Wada ravaging the entire structure. Vishranbaug Wada was restored to its somewhat original appearance by public subscriptions and municipal contributions. For many years till 1958 it was to serve as the offices of the Poona Corporation. Today it houses assorted offices: a strange fate for what was once a king's abode.
Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy constructed the Bund Gardens. The Bund gardens, which are next to the river, are just the place for evening strolls on the lush green grass. Boating and rowing facilities are also available over here. There is a Ganesh temple situated in the vicinity of the park too.
Pune Universty premise spreads over 400 acres of sprawling grounds with quiet roads and small open canteens towards the city suburbs. Mr.Woodrew laid out the university garden. Spending a pleasant quiet evening at this garden is refreshing.
Popularly known as the 'Soldiers Garden', the Empress Garden is a botanical garden that stands near the Pune Race Course. A favorite getaway from the time of the British, the most fascinating attributes of the garden are its tropical trees, burdened with ripe fruits, and a small zoo. Sprawled across an area of 59 acres, the park is today, a favorite picnicking spot of tourists as well as locals.
Pune city offers a wide range of shopping options to its visitors. There is hardly anything that you won't find in the shopping places of Pune. Infact, the city offers so many options that it is difficult to decide what to buy in Puna. From branded goods to the exquisite handicrafts of the state, each and everything is available in the city. You can also bargain with the shopkeeper, especially while buying small knick-knacks. In the following lines, we have provided information about where to shop in Poona, India.
The Deccan Gymkhana market has shops selling mainly suiting, shirting, toys, steel and plastic articles, embroidery items, etc.
One of the busiest markets of Pune, Laxmi Road comprises of a number of narrow side streets and by-lanes. The market is famous for clothes as well as jewelry shops.
Bajirao Road is considered as the furniture market of Pune. Besides furniture, you can also get garments and presentation articles here.
Mahatma Gandhi Road (M.G. Road)
Mahatma Gandhi Road, also known as the M.G. Road, is frequented by those looking for gift items and other such articles.
The fashion street of Pune has been modeled after Mumbai's Fashion Street. The market consists of around 450 stalls, in toto, and is a multi-purpose shopping place. Here you can get anything, ranging from clothes to footwear.
Tulsi Baug is situated near the Laxmi Road market. The majority of goods sold here comprise of women's items. One can get gift items, household items, metal ware, etc here.
Mahatma Phule Mandai (Market)
Situated in the heart of the Pune city, Mahatma Phule Mandai is mainly famous for fresh vegetables, fruits and puja items.
Other Shopping Places In Pune
- Timber Market (wood items)
- Market yard (wholesale Market for grains, flowers, fruits, etc)
- Juna Bazar (second-hand goods market)
- Nana Peth and Bhavani Peth (wholesale markets for wood, steel, oil, grain and automobiles spare parts)
- Dhole Patil Road, Koregaon Park and Fergusson College Road (boutiques and shopping plazas)
The local cuisines of Pune retain the typical taste of coconut and garlic. At the same time, a large amount of green chilies are used, making the dishes quite spicy. The main course in the traditional food of Poona comprises of a number of food items made up of jowar and bajra. If you are planning to visit the city, do not forget to taste the sweet specialties of the city, especially chewda, bhakerwadi and pedas.
A typical Pune meal comprises of the following items.
There are a number of restaurants, as well as roadside eateries, in the city that serve local cuisine. Some of the hotels in the city also serve the local cuisine of Pune, India. There are also a number of restaurants in the outskirts of the city that offer the traditional food. However, if you are looking for the authentic taste, along with reasonable prices, then check out the restaurants in the following places.
- Puran Poli (a sweet paratha with pulses/dal)
- Amti (masala dal)
- Pithla Bhakri (masala chickpea gravy with a stiff roti)
- Varan Bhat (dal and rice)
- Matki Ki Usal (masala sprouts)
- Thali pith (a spicy chickpea based pancake)
- Alu chi Vadi (steamed and fried potatoes)
- Koregaon Park
- J.M. Road
- Fergusson College Road
- Shivaji Nagar
- Laxmi Road
Pune Nightlife is vibrant and enchanting for tourists and Pune localities alike. Pune is indeed a perfect place for those who love to attend late-night parties. There are many pubs and bars in this cultural city. Each of these contribute a lot to the nightlife of Pune. These nightclubs offer a wide stock of exotic drinks and several live performances are organized over there throughout the year. In reality, Pune nightlife reflects the lifestyle and culture of the residents of Pune.
Some of the pubs, bars and nightclubs that offer exciting nightlife experience are Aahar Resto Bar, Crystal Wines Barista Expresso Bar, Deccan Club and Jayashree Wines. Some other party venues in Pune include Ten Downing Street Nightclub, Club Polaris and 1000 Oaks Pub.
Rich Nightlife at Ten Downing Street
This nightclub is located at the road of Dhole Pati and is also popular as TDS. It can be found on the 2nd floor of a Pune shopping mall. People of different age group come here. Various types of music are played over here. While listening to these wonderful songs, people can enjoy a variety of alcoholic drinks too.
Enjoy a Night in Club Polaris, Pune
This club is situated inside Taj Blue Diamond hotel (Koregaon Park) and offers a delightful experience to each of its visitors. Usually, on Saturdays, Fridays and Wednesdays this place attends the highest number of people. Rocking dance numbers and amiable disc jockey make this place a real venue of entertainment. Snacks and other light food items are also served as refreshments.
1000 Oaks Pub is there to engross the partygoers
1000 Oaks Pub is situated at the East Street, in the camp area of Volga Chowk. Here, along with the refreshing bear and rocking music, it serves delicious starters and soft drinks. Generally, on Thursdays, Tuesdays and Mondays from 9 pm, the pub is filled with party lovers visit Oaks Pub to enjoy.
Besides, to have a vivacious Pune Nightlife, people can also pay a visit to Silk Route (Koregaon park), Nawab, Camp, All Stir Fry (University Road), Seasons (Aundh), Soul and Arthur's Theme (Koregaon park).