Nestled in the Sahyadri mountain ranges near the convergence of the Mula and Mutha rivers, Pune, a city surrounded by hills, is an evergreen tourist attraction in India. The second-largest city in Maharashtra has notably emerged as a metropolitan city while also preserving its image as the cultural capital of Maharashtra and the political center of the Maratha rulers. Pune’s popular tourist attractions include historical, cultural, spiritual and recreational sites like palaces, forts, temples, caves, gardens and parks, restaurants, and hotels.
The elevated location of Pune at an altitude of 560 m above sea level contributes to the pleasant climate of the city. Indian Eagle offers year-round deals on flight tickets to this year-round destination, so plan your trip and book our cheap flights to Pune. Here are 5 of the top tourist attractions in Pune you must visit.
Sinhagad Fort is perched on a 760-meter-high-hill in the Bhuleshwar Range of the Sahyadri Mountains. Formerly known by the name ‘Kondhana,’ it served as the battleground for many legendary wars, including the ‘Battle of Sinhagad’ in 1670. The name ‘Sinhagad’ (meaning ‘Lion Fort’ in Marathi) is reminiscent of the fierce battles fought here. The historically significant Sinhagad Fort exposes the grand architecture of the Marathas, who strategically constructed this fortress at the center of the other forts that include Rajgad, Torna, and Purandar Forts.
The beauty of the endless greenery from the top of the hill makes it a popular tourist place in Pune and trekkers love trekking the steep paths to reach the hilltop for the views. While you learn the valiant history of the fortress during the trek, the picturesque beauty of the surroundings captivates you once you reach the top.
Shaniwar Wada is a grand fortification built by Peshwa Bajirao I and is the royal palace of the Peshwas, who ruled Maharashtra. There is an interesting reason behind naming the palace as Shaniwar Wada. Both the laying of the foundation stone and the welcoming ceremony coincidentally took place on Saturday (i.e. Shaniwar), and thus the fort (i.e. Wada) got its name.
Although a major portion of the fort was ravaged by a mysterious fire, the remnants of the huge palace characterized by Mughal architecture are still majestic and hence this tourist place in Pune is popular to this date. Your mind conjures up the grand seven-storied palace by simply looking at the five gateways, the interiors of the palace with heavy chandeliers, paintings decorating the walls, marble floors, the beautiful gardens around the palace and the stunning statue of Baji Rao I at the entrance of the fort! The majestic light and sound show held after sunset against the backdrop of the dark twinkling sky is a major hit among tourists.
Also Read: Simple Pune Travel Guide
Parvati Hill, situated at an altitude of 2100 feet above sea level, is one of the favorite tourist attractions in Pune. Nature lovers, trekkers, and devotees visit this place for their own reasons.
Devotees climb the 103 stone steps to offer prayers at the 17th-century temples built by the Peshwas. This hilltop temple glows radiantly amid the lush greenery of the hills. The other four temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesh, Lord Vishnu, and Goddess Rukmini. Visit the museum on the hill that houses the ancient portraits of the Peshwas, old coins, weapons, and other artifacts. The picturesque views of the city from a height of 2100 feet are absolutely overwhelming!
Aga Khan Palace:
Named after Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III, Aga Khan Palace is one of the prominent historical landmarks in India. Originally built with the noble intention of assisting the poor when famine hits the nearby areas, Aga Khan Palace served different roles throughout history. It acted as a refuge to the poor, a prison of freedom fighters, including Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba, and Mahadev Desai, and now it is the headquarters of Gandhi Memorial Society and a famous tourist place in Pune. This is the place where the ashes of Gandhiji are stashed.
The huge monument covering 19 acres of land, its Italian arches, manicured green lawns, the five halls preserving the portraits of legendary fighters during India’s struggle for freedom, exhibits of personal belongings of Gandhiji, a Khadi and handloom textile shop make Aga Khan Palace a fascinating symbol of the history and architecture. It is one of the must-visit tourist attractions in Pune.
Pune-Okayama Friendship Garden or Pu La Deshpande Udyan:
You might have heard about the 300-year-old Kōraku-en Garden in Okayama, one of the traditional gardens in Japan. If you haven’t visited it yet or wish to revisit, you can fulfil this wish at second-hand while you are in Pune. Yes! The Pu La Deshpande Udyan on Sinhagad Road is inspired by the Japanese culture and ideology of gardening and is the largest Japanese garden in Asia, situated outside of Japan.
Spreading across 10 acres, this tourist attraction in Pune is the perfect spot to find peace. Although walking on the lawn is not permitted owing to maintenance reasons, the walking paths take you through the diverse landscape of the garden comprising artificial ponds, waterfalls, hills, forest, well-cared green lawns, and plants. The waters of a natural canal flow through the garden. You can watch the colorful fish residing in the waters from a bridge dramatically built in the center of the garden. This garden is named in honor of the famous Marathi writer and humorist, Pu La Deshpande and its other name ‘Pune-Okayama Friendship Garden’ illustrates the friendly ties between India and Japan.