|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)
Lal 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
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.
Aga Khan Palace
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.
CENTRAL AREA AND INNER CITY
Pataleshwar Cave Temples
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-Iís 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.
Museum of Arthropoda
If itís 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 theyíre all legs. This museum has most of the multi- legged varieties - lobsters, prawns, crabs, worms, beetles and cockroaches too.
Parvati 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.
Khunya Murlidhar Temple
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
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
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!
Bal Gandharv Mandir
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
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 - Peshwe Park.
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
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 of India
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 country.
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 in October.
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.