When you travel to Pune, you will love to visit popular tourist spots and enjoy the local culture. Amongst other Things to do in Pune, you can surely explore some of the best things to do in Pune to make your trip a fulfilling one. On a trip to Pune things to do can include exploring Pune attractions and visiting the places of interest.
The Shaniwar Wada, a palace built in 1746 was the home of the Peshwa rulers till they lost to the British.
The Vishrambaug Wada was the home of Peshwa Baji Rao II.
The Aga Khan Palace, built by Sultan Mohammed Shah Aga Khan in 1892 is an epitome of his virtuous reign
The Sinhagad, a fortress is a reminiscence of the Battle of Sinhagad in 1670 and a number of other battles.
The Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, the Dadasahed Phalke 4D theatre near Parvati Area, the Pimpri Chinchwd Science Centre, the Katraj Zoo on Satara Road are some places that kids enjoy the most to visit.
The Parvati Temple on the Parvati Hill, the Chatursinghi Temple, the Pataleshwar Temple, the Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple, the ‘Samadhi’ of the Bhakti saints are to name a few, which are the prominent religious places visited by the followers of Hinduism.
Muslims constitute a major part of the population of Pune, raking second largest in number. The Chand Tara Mosque, Jama masjid and the Azam Campus Masjid have beautiful architecture as well other than the religious significances attached with them.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pune is a beautiful church, a branch of the Mumbai Ecclesiastical province.
With a huge number of Jews who speak Marathi, the Ohel David Synagogue or the ‘Lal Deval’ is of huge importance.
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, which dates back to the century 14th, has a tragic story of the untimely death of Kelkar’s son Raja, and a collection of art items from 18th and 19th centuries that is dedicated to his son. The ‘Mastani Mahal’, the palace of Baji Rao I’s wife Mastani, illustrated by Kelkar is one chief interest if the museum.
Other than that, the Railway Museum is equally interesting.
Beautifully designed and maintained this park also houses a Ganpati temple that has been a source of inspiration for many.
With huge animal statues located all over in the park; it also has a musical fountain. Clicking pictures with the animal statues is one of the best things to do in Pune.
Marleshwar (264km), Durshet (97km), Lonavala (65km), Matheran (120km, KHandala (68km), Mahabaleshwar (120km), Dapoli (197km) and so on and so fore are a few tourist locations around Pune which can be visited making Pune the epicentre.
The Pune University is one of the most important landmarks in the city.
Pune is green and well maintained. However, to make it greener, there are ecological societies working on this prospect.
A gorgeous and exciting tourist destination, Bhimashankar is a small town in Pune, Maharashtra popular for the Bhimashankar temple, nature, trekking and bird sanctuary. Situated in the lush and lofty ghat region of Sahaydari hills, it is a serene weekend getaway from the bustling cities of Mumbai and Pune.
A primaeval jyotirlinga shrine, it lies on the banks of the Bhima river 50 km northwest of Khed. The temple is a beautiful mélange of old and new graceful nagara style architecture skillfully built by the ancient Vishwakarma sculptors in the 13th century. The sabha mandap and the main shikhara of the temple were built in the 18th century by Nana Phadnavis and the unique huge Roman-style bell engraved with a cross in front of the temple was presented by Chimaji Appa as an award of his victory in the war against the Portuguese.
Legend has it that an evil, Bhima was creating havoc in the Trilok – hell, heaven and netherworld and all the Gods beseeched Lord Shiva to come to their rescue. Lord Shiva appeared before him and slayed Bhima ending his tyranny and the war. After the battle, while resting in the Sahyadri hills, the sweat trickling down from his body started forming the river Bhima. Lord Shiva was requested by the sages to make this place his dwelling and hence the jyotirlinga had manifested.
Owing to the presence of the sacred jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva, it is one of the most popular attractions and a pilgrimage site for Lord Shiva’s devotees. The timings of the temple are 4:30 am to 9:30 pm.
The surrounding panorama of the temple is stippled with Buddha style carvings of Amba-Ambika, Bhootling and Bhimashankar in the nearby hills of Manmaad at a height of 1034 metres
Bhimashankar spread over a dense forest area of over 120 square kilometres, was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1984 to preserve the highly rich diverse flora and fauna found in the Sahyadri ranges. From the rare Indian giant squirrel ‘Shekaru’ to leopards, hyena, boar, jackal, langur, deer and other various species of animals, insects and reptiles are found aplenty in this luscious green beautiful hills.
To enjoy the core of the forest, you can embark on a jungle safari and traverse through the dense luxurious evergreen vegetation and get a glimpse of the wildlife alongside. The safari rides are conducted from 6 am to 6 pm.
A paradise for bird lovers, the sanctuary is a haven for exotic and endangered species of birds such as Malabar Grey Hornbill, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Quaker Babbler, Black Eagle, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Malabar Pied Hornbill etc.
Trekking to Bhimashankar temple and sanctuary begins from a quaint village, Khandas. There are two trekking routes:
Ganesh Ghat – This ghat is named after the Ganesha temple that comes on the way. Less difficult, it is an 8 kms’ and 4 hours’ downhill trek through the Paddar Killa Rock Tower and Nagphani Peak – a snake hooded shaped peak.
Sidhi Ghat – Sidhi Ghat is named after the three ladders that are placed along some tricky sections on this trail to Bhimashankar. A more perfidious route, this uphill trek is shorter and takes 2 hours to complete and is more suitable for experienced trekkers. It is more steep, riskier and slippery as the ladders have long vertical steps with cracks and crevices in between. This trek covers Kondana caves – eight ancient Buddhist caves baroqued with carvings and sculptures and a majestic waterfall before merging with the Ganesh Ghat trail at the Chahacha Aamba.
The best time to visit Bhimashankar is from October to February during the winter season as the climate is pleasant and perfect for treks and exploration. During summers it gets unbearably hot and heavy rainfall is received during the monsoons making it unfavourable for trekking.
1. The architecture of the Bhimashankar temple brilliantly showcases the excellent skills of the ancient Vishwakarma sculptors.
2. Though tricky, it serves as an exotic location for trekkers as the route is embellished with luscious dense forest, rocky terrains, small rivulets of glistening water and ancient caves.
3. The dense, luscious rainforest, hills and waterfalls with breathtaking and awe-inspiring views and the rare and diverse species of flora, fauna and birds make Bhimashankar an excellent tourist spot for nature lovers and trekkers.
Interesting Facts About Bhimashankar
1. The temple has undergone several renovations that were carried out by the Peshwas
2. The forest has around 14 sacred groves of trees which are believed to be the origin place of many species of flora and fauna.
3. Every year, before the arrival of monsoon, the Bhorgiri village comes alive with thousands of fireflies settled on the ground, hovering in the air or lighting up the trees around. It is a truly stunning spectacle to witness.
A weekend getaway with family and friends
How to get to Bhimashankar
Air: The nearest airport is the Pune airport and then a two and a half hours’ drive from there to Bhimashankar
Train: The nearest railway station is the Pune station which is well linked with most of the cities in India. From there, Bhimashankar is nearly 100 kms’ drive.
Road: There are regular private and state bus services from Mumbai and Pune. Cabs and private cars can also be hired.
A stroll by the side of the Khadakwasla Dam or in the quite lanes of Pune, visiting the Vedanta Research Centre or the Osho International Meditation Resort, a visit to Pune provides more than one options to relax.
From star resorts to expensive hotels, from low budget hostels and hotels to medium budget stays- a stay in Pune has several options according to preference. There are government accommodations too, subjected to prior and protocol based bookings.
Ellora lodge, Kings Guest House and so on and so for are the government accommodations, which are comfortable and pocket friendly.
The private star accommodations are the Ambience Hotels in Model Colony, the Aura Hotels in Swargate and the non star ones like the Ashray Hotels in Parvati, the Asterix Hotels in Pimpali to name a few.
Make sure to visit Olive Bistro, Pesto Pesto, Royal Orchid hotels, Flambos, Habibi and Baan Tao. Places like Maratha Chambers in Rohan Chambers, Durvankur in Tilak road and many others offer authentic traditional Maharashtrian food.
Other than the traditional food, food joints like Yana for sizzlers, Bedekar for Misal, Marz-o-Rin for sandwiches are famous. Street foods like Kapila Kathi Kebab at Dhole Patil Road and many more food corners serve yummy street food. Italian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Indonesian, Mughlai, South Indian- a variety of cuisines are available in places like Copper Chimney, Pasha, Baan Tao, Favola etc. places in Pune.
When in Pune, savouring the Maharashtrian cuisine is a must. The puran poli, batata wada, sev batata puri, modak, shira, thaleepith, a whole main course Maharashtrian thali, Mutton Kolhapuri, Chicken Maratha are only a few mentioned. The Maharashtrian cuisine has a rich variety of pickles, jellies, jams and sweet dishes to offer.
Rocking- This is the most apt word to describe Pune’s nightlife. Be it an absinthe dive into the shots at amazing nightclubs dancing like there is no tomorrow, to a quite night out in a serene ambience, Pune has it all. A lunge into the nightlife of Pune, and Pune offers classical, rock, jazz, or fusion performances to make the evenings and nights musically beautiful.
The music scene is quite lively in Pune, with many pubs and bars offering live music for recreation.
The famous ones are the Evviva Ouzos Sky Lounge, Fishbowl, Mi A MI, Kue Bar, 1000 Oaks, Area 51and The 1st Brewhouse along with many more.
Juna Bazaar and Weekend Flea Street, Manikbaug Flea Market and Mataji Noviling among the most noteworthy ones in the city.
The shopping malls like Phoenix market city, Inorbit malls and the likes are amazing shopping hauls too.
A hub of traditional and new age wear, utensils, fashion accessories, shoes, home appliances and everything possible where free bargaining is more than possible makes Laxmi Road, the undisputed shopping destination of Pune.