SIGHTSEEING IN PUNE
There are several places of
interest in Pune city. Here is a list of a few of them clubbed together area-wise.
Lal Deval (Synagogue)
Deval is conspicuously placed on Moledina Road. The red-brick-and-stone structure built in the English Gothic style, resembles
a church. It is Pune's finest synagogue, built by philanthropist David Sassoon in 1867.
Bund Garden lies on the right bank of the Mula Mutha river.
Constructed by Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy primarily for providing water to the poor during summer, it has become a popular unwinding
spot for citizens with an added attraction of boating facilities and has recently added a well-designed jogging track. Bund
Garden is now known as the Mahatma Gandhi Udyan.
The Osho International
Commune is in Koregaon Park, attracting thousands of foreigners wishing to take part in the meditation courses organized by
the Ashram. The Commune was founded by Osho Rajneesh who died in 1990. His samadhi is situated in the Ashram. The commune
has beautiful gardens open to the public in the mornings and evenings.
True to its name this place boasts of Italianate arches and spacious lawns, an unlikely
place for a prison but the Britishers interned Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Gandhi here.The architecture of the palace
wil take you down memory lane, reminding you of the illustrations from fairy tale houses.
Amongst the architectural prides of Pune, the memorial to the great warrior Mahadji Shinde, the commander-in-chief
of the Maratha army, between the years 1760 to 1780 under the mighty Peshwas. The temple adorned with Rajasthani architecture
is an imposing edifice situated at Wanowrie.
AREA AND INNER CITY
Pataleshwar Cave Temples lies in the heart of the city, at Shivaji Nagar . This 8th century rock-cut temple,
hewn from a massive single rock, has huge pillars, a Shiva shrine and a Nandi bull.
The the home of the Kesari newspaper
started by Late Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. It was from this very place that the candle for Self Rule was lit. Also worth
seeing is the first Indian National flag unfurled by Madam Cama, and many other documents which are well preserved here.
The historic palace of the Peshwa (Prime Ministers) rulers, became the seat of political power during Bajirao-I’s
reign and became so conspicuous that to this date the palace has become the symbol of the city and its culture. Built in 1736,
the Shaniwar Wada was once the palace of the great Peshwa rulers. The wada (Fort) was destroyed by a major fire in 1827, the
cause of the fire till today remains a mystery.
If it’s the wonders of
nature that you are interested in, then you must visit this museum of Natural History. Their specific focus is on the joint
legged animals. These creatures are always on the move - for they’re all legs. This museum has most of the multi- legged
varieties - lobsters, prawns, crabs, worms, beetles and cockroaches too.
Hill and Temples
The 'Nagarkhana' drum house, the imposing temple of Parvati and
Devdeveshwar are the main structures on the hill. The Parvati museum houses protraits of heroes of the Peshwa dynasty, besides
old manuscripts, weapons and coins. A group of beautiful temples of Ganapati and Kartikeya make Parvati add to Parvati's attractions.
According to the records, the main idol was carved out of gold by craftsmen from Karnataka. After this was stolen in 1932,
it was replaced by silver idols plated with gold. The 108 step climb to the 17th century temple located on top, the hill is
also the favourite haunt of fitness fans.
A famous merchant of the
Peshwa regime, Dada Gadre had this temple built in 1797, in Sadashiv Peth. The marble idol of Radhakrishna was made by a Rajasthani
sculptor named Barwatram. There are a couple of theories about the unusual name 'Khunya Murlidhar' (roughly translated as
Killer Murlidhar). One says that during the installation of the idol, the Arab and English guards were engaged in a bloody
battle. Hence this name. The other theory harks back to mythology blaming Sri Krishna for his advice to Arjuna which led to
the grand battle of Mahabharata and killed all his opponents thereby creating widespread bloodshed.
Omkareshwar Temple was constructed
during the tenure of Sadashivrao Bhau on the banks of the Mutha river. It is well known for its massive stone structure which
survived the floods of Panshet.
The Beilbaug Temple has idols of Laxminarayan,
Shiva and Ganapati and was built during Nana Phadnavis' tenure at Budhwar Peth. During Madhavrao Peshwa's regime, Nana Phadnavis
also constructed his Nana Wada near the more imposing Shaniwar Wada.
Tulsi Baug came to be built during the
time of Balaji Vishwanath. Basil (Tulsi) gardens alongside Shiva and Ganapati temples lie here.
Vishrambaug Wada was a three storied
mansion of the Peshwas. It is remarkable for its beautiful entrance and wooden carvings. Located in the heart of the city
is the Kirti Mandir - a museum of historical glory with antique material.
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is housed in a quaint Rajasthani-style
building. It holds a one-man collection of the most fascinating Indian artifacts. Thirty-six sections of this museum are used
to display a plethora of antiques, carved palace doors, pottery, a priceless collection of lamps and musical instruments of
the Mughal and Maratha periods. A masterpiece is the 'Mastani Mahal' brought and erected as it was from its original place!
The home of Marathi Theatre, both commercial and experimental. Throughout the year there are different cultural happenings
like exhibitions, theatre, orchestra - instrumental and vocal,...
Tilak Smarak Mandir on Tilak
Road is a building commemorating the great freedom fighter and social reformer Lokmanya Tilak. On the ground floor is a small
museum describing Tilak's public life and a theatre on the upper floors.
Sitting like a flat oyster towards one end of the city, the sunken
Sarasbaug is a place where hundreds of Puneites throng every evening, for their share of fresh air among green surroundings.
Adjoining Sarasbaug, across a small narrow road is another garden. This however, is not merely a park but a zoo as well -
situated near Saras Baug, is a zoo maintained by the Pune Municipal Corporation housing a variety of beautiful species
of wild animals. A toy-train ride, an elephant ride and boating are special attractions.
The Katraj Snake Park has a collection
of reptiles, birds and turtles. Naturalists would delight in the Park's exhibits and activities. The park has also recently
added a zoo.
The Film and Television Institute
The Film and Television Institute of India is situated on Law College Road. It imparts training in all branches
of the film and television industry and is known for having produced some of the finest show-business professionals in the
The University Buildings of the University of Pune at Ganeshkhind,
once comprised the official residence of the Governor of Bombay Presidency during the fierce annual monsoons of the coasts.
A large building in the Italian Gothic style, it has a 30 m high square tower, a swimming pool and manicured lawns.
Chaturshrungi Temple is situated on
a hillock off Senapati Bapat Road. This temple of the goddess attracts droves of devotees during the nine-day Navaratri festival
Pashan Lake nestles 12 km away from the main city off the road to the National Defence Academy. It is the favourite
stopover of a number of migratory birds and is home to several residential birds an ornithologically interesting spot.