Renowned for its historical importance Pune has a lot to offer you with its authentic cuisine, panoramic views, salutary environment and ancient landmarks from the time of the greatest rulers of Maharashtra.
Peak season: October-March
Climate: Hot semi-arid climate with rainy season from June-October
Budget : INR 800-1000 approx. for a day (including rail/ST bus ticket fare from Mumbai City)
How to reach :
- Pune is a 3 hour drive (170 km) from Mumbai.
- Express trains are also available from Mumbai. (approx. INR 250-400 for a ticket for reserved seats, else unreserved seats are available for INR 75)
- Buses depart from Mumbai too. (approx. INR 150-200 for a ticket)
- Private cars can be hired starting from a budget of INR 1500.
Local Transport : Local buses, auto rickshaws and cabs are available. Buses would charge around 20-50 bucks depending on the distance. Auto-rickshaws would generally charge you around 150-200 bucks but if you’ve got your bargaining skills on you can reduce the rates. A Pune darshan bus is organised by Pune Municipal Corporation.
Places to visit :
Aga Khan Palace : Used as a prison to Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi and Sarojini Naidu during the freedom struggle, this palace will mesmerize you with its Italian arches and spacious lawns. It took Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan lll, 5 years and an estimated budget of ₹1.2 million (US$18,000) to build this. This palace portrays a few glimpses from the life of Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters.
- Opening hours : 9 am to 5.30 pm
- Visit duration: 60 minutes
- Entry Fees: INR 5-10
Pataleshwar Caves : These caves built in 8th century are carved from a single basalt rock. The construction of the temple inside, which was inspired by the Elephanta caves, was left incomplete.
A must visit not only for the religious but also for those who admire architecture. It is 15 minutes by car from Aga Khan palace.
- Opening hours : 8 am to 5.30 pm
- No entry fees
- Visit duration : 30 minutes
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum : 15 minutes by car from Pataleshwar caves, this museum is a place for every history buff. It is a collection of artifacts of just one man Dr.Kelkar, who started collecting exhibits around 1920 till 1960. This place adorns replica of Mastani mahal with various paintings of the great warrior Bajirao Peshwa and his beloved wife Mastani. Wooden work sculptures, ivory objects, musical instruments, textiles are exhibited here.
- Opening hours : 8.30 am to 5 pm
- Entry Fees : INR 20
- Visit duration : 60 minutes
Dagadusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple : Made up of marble interiors this is a very famous Hindu temple not only in Pune but Maharashtra with a 7.5 inch Ganesh idol who is adorned with 8 kilos of gold. It has a rich history of over 100 years. It was built by halwai (sweetmaker) Mr. Dagadusheth Gadve to heal from the loss of his son’s demise.
It is at 10 minutes walking from Kelkar museum.
- Best time to visit is during the Ganesh festival in September.
- Opening hours : 6 am to 11 pm. Aarti at 7.30 am
Shaniwar Wada : Believed to be a haunted place now, this fort was built in the 18th century by the Peshwa Bajirao 1 at a cost of Rs.16,120. This was a 7 floor structure once and was ruined due to a fire. It has five gateways and a beautiful garden inside. Legend says that on a full moon night one can hear the noises of Peshwa Narayanrao who was killed by his uncle in thirst of the throne. It is at 5 minutes walking from Dagadusheth temple. A light and sound show is set up in the evenings in English and Marathi which is the main attraction. (ticket INR 25-30 per person)
- Opening hours : 8 am to 6 pm
- Visit duration : 60 minutes
What & Where to eat in Pune :
Pune is famous for its Puneri missal pav, thali pith and zunka bhakar. One can find these at many joints in every corner of the city.
Tiranga, Budhwar Peth : (approx. INR 700 for 2): On the way to Shaniwar wada, this restaurant serves you the best non-veg food in town. It has many branches in the city. We would recommend you to eat gawti chicken with bhakri, mutton biryani and mutton curry.
Hope you enjoyed this article. We are soon going to share more places in Pune to have a weekend getaway.