Pune Travel Guide

places to visit
Places of tourist interest

* Shaniwarwada palace.
* Aga Khan Palace.
* Pataleshwar Curve Temple.
* Chaturshringi Temple.
* Shinde Chhatri.
* Saras Baug.
* Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park.
* Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum.
* National War Memorial.
* Pu La Deshpande Garden.
* Dashabhuja Ganapati Temple.
* Peshwe Park.
Museums, Parks and Zoos
Pu. La. Deshpande Garden

Prominent museums in Pune include the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Mahatma Phule Museum, Babasaheb Ambedkar Museum, Pune Tribal Museum and the National War Museum.

Pune has a number of public gardens, such as the Kamala Nehru Park, Sambhaji Park, Shahu Udyan, Peshwe Park, Saras Baug, Empress Garden, and Bund Garden. The Pune-Okayama Friendship Garden, now renamed Pu La Deshpande Udyan, is a recreation of the Korakuen Garden in Okayama, Japan[39].

The Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park is located at Katraj, close to the city [40]. The zoo, earlier located at Peshwe Park, was merged with the reptile park at Katraj in 1999.

The College of Military Engineering has a small rail museum as part of their larger Corps Equipment Museum. A large railway museum is also coming up in Lonavala about 60 km away from the city on the Mumbai railway line

Hinduism is the most commonly practised religion in Pune, although many mosques, gurudwaras, Jain temples and other religious buildings are found throughout the city[citation needed]. The most prominent Hindu temple in Pune is the Parvati temple, located on Parvati hill and visible from most of the inner suburbs. The most famous is likely the Chaturshringi Temple, located on the slopes of a hill in the northwest of the city. During Navratri (which usually falls in the month of September), there is a large procession to this temple and worshippers gather from around the country to pray here.The presiding god of Pune city is the Kasba Ganapati, whose temple is found in Kasba Peth in central Pune.

Since 1894, Pune has celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi as a ten-day long festival, in which most neighborhoods put up a pandal (tent) with an idol of Ganesha, often amidst a religious setting, complete with decorative lights and festive music. This festival culminates with a parade of Ganesh idols from across the city carried to the local rivers to be immersed (Ganesh visarjan). The Kasba Ganapati, as the presiding deity of the city, is the first in this parade. The idea of a public celebration was initiated by Lokmanya Tilak in Pune, and has since spread to many other cities, particularly Mumbai, which has a massive parade every year.

Significant religious leaders Sant Dnyaneshwar (born in Alandi in the 13th century) and poet Sant Tukaram (born in Dehu in the 17th century) were born near Pune. Their link to the city is commemorated with an annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur, 300 kilometers away, consisting of a palkhi of both figures being carried to the main temple of the Hindu god Vithoba. The pilgrimage is timed to end on the auspicious day of Aashadhi Ekadasshi.

The Shrutisagar Ashram, located at Phulgaon village off Ahmednagar road, houses the Vedanta Research Centre and a unique temple of Lord Dakshinamurthy, located near the confluence of the Bhima, Bhama and Indrayani rivers. It was established in 1989 by Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati. Here one can find detailed explanations of sruti and smrti (including the Vedas, Bhagwat Gita, Upanishads and Puranas) in Marathi and English.

Pune has been associated with several significant spiritual teachers. Osho (known earlier as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) lived and taught in Pune for much of the 1970s and 1980s. The Osho International Meditation Resort, one of the world's largest spiritual centers, is located in the Koregaon Park area. It has visitors from over a hundred countries[37]. Pune is also the birthplace of spiritual guru Meher Baba, although pilgrims usually travel to Meherabad. Hazrat Babajan, according to Meher Baba one of the five Perfect Masters of her time, lived the final 25 years of her life in Pune. She established her final residence first under a neem tree near Bukhari Shah's mosque in Rasta Peth and later another neem tree in the then-dilapidated section of Pune called Char Bawdi where she remained the rest of her life. Her Samadhi tomb shrine is located in pune [38].

The ISKCON movement also has a presence in the city, with the Sri Radha Kunjbihari Mandir.

B. K. S. Iyengar, an internationally known yoga master, established the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune in 1975, in order to train students in the Iyengar Yoga System.






The city of Pune can be divided into the following zones:

* Central Pune: consisting of roughly seventeen peths, or neighborhoods. These were established and developed during the Maratha and Peshwa rule, and are referred to as the old city.
* Westside Pune(inner): consisting of Deccan Gymkhana, Erandwane and Shivajinagar in the west, Camp, Dhole-Patil Road, and Koregaon Park in the east, and Swargate, Parvati, Sahakarnagar, Mukundnagar, Maharshinagar, Gultekdi, and Salisbury Park in the South. On the north, the inner city is bounded by the Mula-Mutha river.
* Eastside Pune(outer): including the newer developed areas of Khadki, Aundh and Ganeshkhind in the northwest, Kothrud and Paud Road in the west, Dattawadi, Sahakarnagar and Dhankawadi in the southwest, Bibvewadi, Lullanagar, and upper Kondhwa in the southeast, Yerwada (including Kalyani Nagar and Shastri Nagar) in the northeast, Vishrantwadi in the north, and Ghorpadi, Fatimanagar, Wanowrie and Hadapsar South in the east.
* Suburbs: including Baner and Pashan in the northwest, Bavdhan and Warje in the west, Wadgaon, Dhayari and Ambegaon in the southwest, Katraj, Lower Kondhwa, Undri and Mohammedwadi in the southeast, Hadapsar North, Mundhwa, and Manjri in the east, Wadgaon Sheri and Kharadi in the northeast, and Dhanori and Kalas in the north.

The Pune metropolitan area also includes the following areas, located roughly to the northwest of Pune city. These are administered by the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation.

* Pimpri and its surroundings: Chikhli, Kalewadi, Kasarwadi, Phugewadi, and Pimple Saudagar.
* Chinchwad and its surroundings: Thergaon, Tathawade, and Talawade.
* Sangvi and its surroundings: Dapodi, Wakad, Hinjewadi, Pimple Nilakh, and Pimple Gurav.
* Bhosari and its surroundings: Moshi, Dighi, Dudulgaon, and Charholi Budruk.
* Nigdi-Akurdi and its surroundings: Ravet, Dehu Road, and Somatne.

Media and Communication

Marathi newspapers such as Sakal, Loksatta, Lokmat, Kesari, Maharashtra Times and Pudhari are popular. English dailies such as The Times of India, Indian Express,Pune Mirror, MidDay, Daily News & Analysis (DNA) and Sakaal Times (formerly the Maharashtra Herald) have editions based in Pune, with additional local supplements.

Star Maajha, Zee Marathi, Doordarshan Sahyadri and ETV Marathi, Me Marathi, are popular television channels. Many English and Hindi entertainment and news channels are watched as well. Pune has FM Radio services as well running for last few years. Though Radio Mirchi (98.3 MHz) tops the popularity rating (it being the first of Private FM channels being introduced in the city), AIR FM (101.MHz), Radio City(91.10), Radio One (94.30), Red FM (93.5) and Vidyavaani (University of Pune's own FM Channel) have their presence felt.

There are plans to make Pune India’s first wireless city. Intel Corporation, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Microsense joined hands to commercially roll out the first phase of a 802.16d Wi-Fi and WiMax network in the city. The first phase of the Unwire Pune project deployment would provide wireless connectivity in a 25 km² expanse of the city. After the completion of the first phase, in around four months, Pune Municipal Corp is planning to make services commercially available to citizens offering a speed of 256 kbit/s.[44]


Early and Medieval

Copper plates dated to 758 and 768 show that, by the 8th century, an agricultural settlement known as 'Punnaka' existed where Pune is today. The plates indicate that this region was ruled by the Rashtrakutas. The Pataleshwar rock-cut temple complex was also built during this era.

Pune was a part of Yadava Empire of Deogiri from the 9th century to 1327. It was later ruled by the Nizamshahi sultans, until it was annexed by the Mughal empire in the 17th century. In 1595, Maloji Bhosale was appointed the jahagirdar of Pune and Supe by the Mughals[5].
[edit] Maratha and Peshwa rule

In 1625, Shahaji Bhosale appointed Rango Bapuji Dhadphale(SarDeshpande) as the administrator of Pune. He was one of the first major developers of the town, overseeing the construction of the Kasba, Somwar, Ravivar and Shaniwar Peths. After the destruction of town in the raid of Vijapur sultan during 1630, and again from 1636 to 1647, Dadoji Kondev- a military and administrative officer of Shahaji Bhosale, oversaw development and construction in the area, he not only stabilzed revenue system of Pune and 12 Mavals but also developed effective methods to control disputes and law & order situation. Construction also began on the Lal Mahal palace, as Shahaji's son, Shivaji Bhosale (later Chattrapati Shivaji) was to move there with his mother Jijabai. The Lal Mahal was completed in 1640[5]. Jijabai is said to have commissioned the building of the Kasba Ganapati temple herself. The Ganapati idol consecrated at this temple is regarded as the presiding deity (gramadevata) of the city[6].

Shivaji was crowned Chhatrapati in 1674, he oversaw further development in Pune, including the construction of the Guruwar, Somwar, Ganesh and Ghorpade Peths.

Baji Rao I became Peshwa of the Maratha empire, ruled by Chattrapati Shahuji, in 1720. By 1730, the palace of Shaniwarwada had been constructed on the banks of the Mutha river, ushering in the era of Peshwa control of the city. The patronage of the Peshwas resulted in the construction of many temples and bridges in the city, including the Lakdi Pul, Parvati temple and the Sadashiv, Narayan, Rasta and Nana Peths. The Peshwas fell into decline after their loss in the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761. In 1802, Pune was captured from the Peshwa by Yashwantrao Holkar in the Battle of Poona, directly precipitating the Second Anglo-Maratha War of 1803-05.Navi Peth, Ganj Peth and Mahatma Phule Peth believed to developed in Pune during British Raj
[edit] British Raj

The Third Anglo-Maratha War broke out between the Marathas and the British in 1817. The Peshwas were defeated at the Battle of Khadki (then transcribed Kirkee) on 5 November 1817 near Pune, and the city was seized.[7] It was placed under the administration of the Bombay Presidency, and the British built a large military cantonment to the east of the city (now used by the Indian Army). The Pune Municipality was established in 1858. Pune was at one time the "monsoon capital" of the Bombay Presidency.

Nanasaheb Peshwa, the adopted son of the last Peshwa Bajirao II, rose against British East India Company rule in 1857, as part of the Indian Mutiny. He was helped by Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi and Tatya Tope. After the mutiny failed, the final remnants of the Maratha empire were annexed to British India.

Pune was an important centre for the social and religious reform movements of the late 19th century. Many prominent social reformers and freedom fighters lived here, including Bal Gangadhar Tilak a.k.a Lokmanya Tilak, Maharshi Vitthal Ramji Shinde and Jyotirao Phule.

In late 1896, Pune was hit by bubonic plague, by the end of February 1897, the epidemic was raging, the mortality twice the normal, with half the city population having left it. A Special Plague Committee was formed, under the chairmanship of W. C. Rand, an Indian Civil Services officer and troops brought in to deal with the emergency. By the end of May the epidemic was under control.On 22 June 1897, the Diamond Jubilee of the coronation of Queen Victoria, Rand, the Special Plague Committee chairman and his military escort Lt. Ayerst were shot at, while returning from the celebrations at Government House. Both died, Ayerst on the spot and Rand of his wounds on 3 June, 1897. The Chapekar brothers and two accomplices were charged with this murder in various roles, and also the shooting of two informants and an attempt to shoot a police officer. All the three brothers were found guilty and hanged, an accomplice was dealt with similarly, another a school boy was sentenced to ten years rigorous imprisonment. This action of the Chapekars has been considered as the worst violence against political authority seen anywhere in the world during the third plague pandemic.[8]
[edit] After independence

After Indian Independence, Pune saw a lot of development, such as the formation of the National Defense Academy NDA, Khadakwasla, NCL [disambiguation needed], Pashan and some other research institutes. Pune also served as headquarters of the Southern Command of the army. Industrial developments started around 1950-60s in Hadapsar, Bhosari, Pimpari, and Parvati Industrial estate. Telco (now Tata Motors) started operations in 1961, which gave a huge boost to the automobile sector. Pune was referred at that time as “Pensioners’ Paradise” since many government officers, civil engineers, and Army personnel preferred to settle down in Pune after their retirement. Pune had 200,000 bicycles at that time. In July 1961, Panshet dam broke and its waters flooded the city, destroying most of the older sections, giving a chance for modern town planning concepts to be put into use. This unfortunate incident however led constructive developments in the city, and the economy of the city witnessed a boom in construction and manufacturing sectors. By 1966, the City had expanded in all directions. After 1970, Pune emerged as the leading engineering city of the country, especially in the automotive sector with Telco, Bajaj, Kinetic, Bharat Forge, Alfa Laval, Thermax, etc. expanding their infrastructure. By this time the city had gained the reputation of being the ‘Oxford of the East’ due to a large number of educational institutes. In 1989, Dehu Road-Katraj bypass (Western bypass) was completed, reducing traffic congestion in the inner city. In 1990 Pune began to attract foreign capital, particularly in the information technology and engineering industries; new businesses like floriculture and food processing begin to take root in and around the city. In 1998, work on the six-lane Mumbai-Pune expressway began; a huge accomplishment for the country, the expressway was completed in 2001. In the three years before 2000 Pune saw huge development in the Information Technology sector, and IT Parks formed in Aundh, Hinjewadi and Nagar road. By 2005 Pune overtook both Mumbai and Chennai to have more than 2 Lakh (200,000) IT professionals.In 2006, PMC started BRT (Bus Rapid Transit System) project first among all Indian cities but due to narrow roads of the city it have not worked properly however PMC is working on glitches in this project and planning skywalks near BRT and other changes.The year 2008 saw huge development near the Chakan [disambiguation needed] and Talegaon region as Multinational Corporations (MNCs) like General Motors, Volkswagen, and Fiat have set up greenfield facilities near Pune. Additionally, in 2008 the Commonwealth Youth games took place in Pune, which encouraged additional development in the north-west region of the city and added a few Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses on Pune's road. The Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (PMRDA) operations should be established by late 2009, Its proposed initiatives will give a huge boost to the city’s infrastructure and include the development of systems for a metro (rapid-transit rail) and buses, plus effective water and garbage treatment facilities.

During July and August 2009 many cases of the Influenza A(H1N1) virus were reported in the city, the first recorded case being at Abhinav School. Pune reported India’s first H1 N1 death,followed by other 52 deaths. Such large number of fatalities due to H1 N1 is highest among all asian cities, this situation resulted in a temporary exodus of students and professionals from city and had a negative impact on the Dahihandi-Gopalkala and century old Ganesh festivals. The city’s cold and humid weather during these months helped to spread the virus.





get there and around

Pune Bypass helps traffic from the north to south bypass easily

Both public transport (autorickshaws and buses) and private transport (cars, motorcycles and scooters) are popular in Pune. According to one study, there were then 400,000 cars and 1.7 million two-wheelers in Pune in 2007[citation needed]. More than 200,000 vehicles are added to the traffic in Pune every year.
Pune BRTS is the first Bus rapid System in India

Public buses within the city and its suburbs are operated by the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML). A Pune Bus Rapid Transit system has been proposed, in which dedicated bus lanes would allow buses to travel quickly through the city. Buses to towns within Pune district surrounding Pune, as well as cities throughout Maharashtra are run by the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation. Private bus companies also run buses to major cities throughout India, especially Mumbai. Initially, about 10 years ago, the public transport was a little too bad. Recently, a new fleet of buses have started plying and doing good business; morover, routes have been extended/added to cope up with the burdening population of the metro. Lately (since August 2008), CNG (Compressed natural gas) buses have started operating and saving fuel cost for the government. Pune is well-connected to other cities by Indian highways and state highways. National Highway 4 (NH 4) connects it to Mumbai and Bangalore, NH 9 to Solapur and Hyderabad, and NH 50 to Nashik. State highways connect it to Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, and Alandi.
MSRTC's "Shivneri" Volvo Bus from Pune to Mumbai

Since 2002, Pune has been connected to Mumbai via the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, India's first six-lane high-speed expressway. Both pre-paid air-conditioned "cool" cabs and private bus companies ply this route, connecting Mumbai and Pune in three hours.Out of the total distance of 165 km from Mumbai to Pune, the Express Highway part is 96 km.A ring road is being planned to be constructed for the convenience of traffic.
The Mumbai-Pune Expressway as seen from Khandala

Pune is served by two intra-city highways:

1. Old Pune-Mumbai Highway: This is a major arterial road serving the Pune metropolitan area. The highway begins at the centre of the city i.e. Shivaji Nagar and stretches up to Dehu Road. Most sections of the highway feature 8 lanes (4 in each direction). It features a series of flyovers and underpasses making certain sections traffic signal-free.
2. Katraj-Dehu Road Bypass: This road is a part of the National Highway 4 and forms a metropolitan bypass of the city, skirting through its western border. It is also known as Westerly Bypass. It stretches from Dehu Road in the north to Katraj in the south. This highway features 4 lanes (2 in each direction) and a series of flyovers/grade-separators. All the westbound roads of Pune intersect this highway.

The Nashik City-Pune Highway NH 50: This is the Highway totally devoted to traffic from nashik city to pune and from pune to nashik city.A big highway featuring 4 lanes and a series of Tunnels and Bypasses.Sangamner Bypass is still on work.It will make the golden triangle(Nashik-Pune-Mumbai). Pune has witnessed an extraordinary growth in vehicular density and has consequently seen an alarmingly high increase in traffic offenses, accidents, and fatalities resulting from these.[12]



A rapid transit system has been proposed in Pune, from past 5 years and is scheduled to begin operations in 2010[13]. It is being planned in consultation with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited, the corporation which built and operates the Delhi Metro. Three routes have been identified thus far:

* Warje-Chinchwad, via Karve road, Jangli Maharaj road, Shivajinagar, and the Pune-Mumbai road (22 km, elevated)
* Shivajinagar-Kalyaninagar, via Raja Bahadur Mill road and the Pune-Ahmednagar road (13 km, elevated)
* Agriculture College-Swargate, via Shivaji road (10 km, underground)

The city has two railway stations, one in the city and the other at Shivajinagar. Both stations are administrated by the Pune division of the Central Railways, which extends from after Lonavala (which is administered by the Mumbai CSTM division) to before Daund (which is under the Solapur division), to Baramati, and to Hubli (via Miraj)[citation needed]. All the railway lines to Pune are broad gauge, with double electrified lines (1500 volt DC traction) to Lonavala, a double non-electrified line to Daund, and single non-electrified lines to Kolhapur via Miraj and Baramati via Daund.

The city has Pune-Miraj-Hubli-Bangalore rail track which is one of the most important track in Maharashtra.

Local trains (EMUs) connect Pune to the industrial town of Pimpri-Chinchwad and the hill station of Lonavala, while daily express trains connect Pune to Mumbai, Howrah, Delhi, Jammutawi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore,Jamshedpur(Tatanagar) and so on. There is a train which connects Nashik to pune. At Pune, there is diesel locomotive shed (DLS) and electric trip shed (ETS).


Pune International Airport is an international airport at Lohegaon, operated by the Airports Authority of India. It shares its runways with the neighboring Indian Air Force base, the only one of its kind in the world.[citation needed] Apart from domestic flights to all major Indian cities, this airport serves two international direct flights: one to Dubai (operated by Air India Express), and one to Frankfurt (operated by Lufthansa on an exclusively business class jet). New airport at Chakan is opening shortly The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation is responsible for the design and construction of a new Pune International Airport. The area between Chakan and Rajgurunagar, around the villages of Chandus and Shiroli, is currently being considered as a construction site. If constructed here, it will be 40 km from central Pune along the Pune-Nashik National highway (NH-50)and will be the largest one in Asia. Domestic airlines connect Pune to Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Goa, Indore and Shirdi