Pune is one of the most famous cities of India and the second largest city of Maharashtra and used to be called Poona. The city has become a popular tourist destination in recent years and is located in the east of the Western Ghats encircling some of the well known weekend destinations like Khandala and Lonavala. It lies on the Deccan plateau at the convergence of the Mula and Mutha rivers. This beautiful city was once well known as the center of power of the Maratha Empire and is located at the height of 560 meters above sea level. If you are in Pune then visit the places mentioned below for sure.
Aga Khan Palace
The Aga Khan Palace is also known as the Gandhi National Museum and is a part of the Indian freedom struggle. It served as a prison for national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi during the Quit India Movement in 1942.The Aga Khan Palace was donated to India by Aga Khan IV during 1969. The museum also serves as a memorial wherein the remains (samadhi) of Mahatma Gandhi’s wife, Kasturba Gandhi rest in peace. The palace was built in 1892 by Sultan Mohammed Shah, Aga Khan III.
The Shinde Chhatri is a memorial constructed for the Maratha leader, Mahadji Shinde. The memorial is situated in Wanowrie and holds great importance for the Scindia (Shinde) people. It has a hall that happens to be the cremation spot of Mahadji Shinde and was built on 12th February 1974. The memorial has a painted silver likeness of the warrior covered with a flame-colored turban and a shawl. Prayer vessels are also kept at his feet and are used to please the Lord every morning. It is open every day and there are no visiting charges.
Bajirao Peshwa built the Shaniwar Wada in 1736. It is a seven storied mansion and served as a seat of political power during its time. It acclaimed tremendous importance and is the city’s main attraction till date. The elaborate foundations of the original palace along with the nagara khana showcasing the wooden pillars and lattice work add up to the beauty of the mansion. The sturdy doors were designed to be protected from the enemy. It is open every day and also organizes a light and sound show every day.
To calm the restless mind, seek inner peace and meditate in tranquillity, the premises of the famous Osho Ashram in Koregaon Park, is absolutely apt. The cool aura, calm ambiance, burbling waters and the angelic sound of birds add to this blissful experience. As the brainchild of Bhagwan Rajneesh, the Osho Ashram reverberates the teachings and philosophy of Osho. Sprawling across 32 acres of land, the ashram includes a beautifully maintained park known as Nulla Park or Osho Teerth. The Osho Ashram offers courses like Osho Nataraj meditation, Osho dynamic meditation, Osho Nadabrahma meditation and Osho Kundalini meditation. Although the courses are chargeable yet they offer a great spiritual and peaceful experience.
National War Museum
The National War Museum was built in 1997 and is a memorial for Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the nation. It was established by citizens of Pune under the Express Citizen Forum which established the War Memorial Fund. The museum is situated in Pune Cantonment and has been opened up to the public since 1998. The National War Museum is made up of pillars and spreads across 25 feet of land. The major attraction of the museum is MIG 23 BN Jet Fighter which was used during the Kargil War. The museum showcases arms, uniforms, and personal mementos which were given as a Scottish contribution to the British Army. It is open every day.
The Parvati Hill is situated at the southern end of the city and it takes 108 steps to climb the hill to get a magnificent view of the city. The hill has four temples dedicated to Shiva, Ganesh, Vishnu and Kartikeya respectively situated on top of the hill. The place also has a close association with the Peshwa rulers and is also a part of the Maratha history. Apart from the temples, there is also a Parvati museum that houses replicas of old manuscripts as well as paintings. The wooden pillars and ceiling present in the museum are the original dwelling. The museum is a commemoration of the Peshwa rule and has a collection of portraits of the Peshwa rulers. The museum is also the deathbed or Samadhi Sthan of Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa.