Pune has been known by a plenty of sobriquets. Some popular among them are: pensioner’s paradise, Oxford of the East, Queen of the Deccan,and cultural capital of Maharashtra. Pune is one of the historical cities of India with a magnificent past, an unconventional present and an encouraging future.
Pune’s classic route will take you through the city’s right culture and history. Take a tour of Shaniwar Wada palace, built in the 18th century that was the throne of the Peshwa empire. Pataleshwar Caves, a labyrinth of underground, Rock-cut caves in the center of the city are worth a visit. The Aga Khan Palace, established in the 19th century, is where Mahatma Gandhi was incarcerated for about two years. He was kept with his wife Kasturba and secretary Mahadev Desai, both passed away in captivity. Today, the palace is in a good condition which is preserved in the memory to the freedom struggle. Mumbai to Pune taxi cab are easily available for people travelling from Mumbai to explore the city.
The cool itinerary:
- Trek to one of the forts: Maharashtra’s Western Ghats have an excessive density of forts, and Pune is the ideal base to explore them from. Purandar, Sinhagad, Torana and Lohagad are all within an hour from the city. Most treks don’t need previous experience, but if you’re a complete newcomer, join one of the many trekking groups that head out over the weekend. For some more adventure, join for an overnight trek.
- Pune Heritage Walk: Though Pune is soaked in history, it doesn’t have a devoted area or zone where you can take it all in. Forts, palaces and some other places of interest have been implored by the contemporary and the humdrum. What can help is a guided heritage walk. Every weekend, tours are being conducted, which includes Nana Wada, Lal Wada, Shaniwar Wada and other places of interest.
- Go paragliding: About 45km from Pune is Kamshet, India’s top paragliding spot. Between November to May, a small bunch of recognised paragliding companies conduct flights at different times of the day. Join for a weekend course or a more in-depth three days flying lesson. The experience includes camping in the Sahyadris, and plethora of banter, so plan a weekend for this.
- Pune Zoo: The Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park is at the southern part of the city and can easily keep you hooked for half a day. On display are elephants, deer, tigers, bears, leopards, and a host of reptiles. Alligators and gharials draw a lot of attention, but it is the variety of snakes that summon the strongest response. There are more than 160 species of snakes, including the vipers, pythons and the daunting King Cobra. Definitely not for the squeamish.
- Shop for trendy curios: A new breed of product designers, entrepreneurs and graphic artists have set up a span of stores that sell quirky, handcrafted products. Near Bund Garden Road is a one-stop shop for jewellery, clothes, home decor and handicrafts by local and national designers. Atelier, at Aundh, stocks some unusual home décor products sourced from around the world. There are many holy religious places in Pune to visit if you are keen to know about the maharashtrian religions and customs.