Pune is Maharashtra’s cultural capital and its second largest city. There are many places in Pune worth recommending to tourists. The same goes for Pune nearest tourist places too. It is one of India’s best modern cities with a rich history and there are enough theme parks, malls, clubs and other attractive locations. The presence of some top educational institutions has earned Pune the name of being the ’Oxford of the East.’ Every individual will get a few places which they would love to visit, based on their personalities and interests. Whatever you like, you will find something which you will love seeing or experiencing. People from nearby cities come down to Pune as their weekend getaway as there are not many tourist attractions here. The landscape of Pune is amazing too as it has lots of greenery. There are a lot of fun places where you can bring your kids with you or arrange for a holiday with friends. We have listed the absolute best and famous places in Pune, which you must not avoid on your trip here:
Places to Visit In Pune
1. Shaniwar Wada Palace
This palace located in Shaniwar Peth in Pune is going to mesmerize anybody and history buffs will especially love it. The Shaniwar Wada Palace has viewed some of the most prosperous times of the city and is a prominent landmark which makes it one of the best tourist spots in the city. The fortification was built under the Peshwa rule of the Marathas in the year 1732. Till 1818 they reigned over here until they lost the seat to the British East India Company. In the 18th century, the Shaniwar Wada held prime importance in Indian politics.
A massive fire almost completely ruined the fort in 1828 and afterwards the remnants were used to turn it to a tourist destination. The Peshwas wanted this capital building to have seven storeys and all built of stone. The people of Satara objected to this as only the Shahu king could build a stone monument. Thus only the ground floor was built with stone and the rest with bricks.
The British were able to completely destroy the monument leaving out the ground floor. Initially, the fort could accommodate almost a thousand people. The fort had some important buildings like the Old Mirror Hall or Juna Arsa Mahal, the reception hall of the eldest royalty or Thoda Rayancha Diwankhana, or the dance hall called Thoda Nachacha Diwankhana and so on. Now if you visit, you will see written descriptions of these places only which have been all destroyed by the fire.
The walls here have paintings based on Hindu mythology. Teak arches and pillars were used to build the doorways. The teardrop shape will remind you of branches of casuarina trees. The top floor, Meghadarbari, served as the residence of the Peshwas. This place is steeped in history and is a great place to visit with friends.
You can visit it any day between 8 am – 6.30 pm. If you want to watch the light and sound show, buy a ticket for that between 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm. It costs 25 rupees. The entry fee to see the fortification is 5 rupees for Indian citizens and 125 for foreigners.
2. Aga Khan Palace
The Aga Khan Palace is the second most noteworthy destination in Pune. Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan iii had built this edifice in 1892. This palace played an important part in India’s fight for independence. This is a place where Mahatma Gandhi along with his wife Kasturba, Mahadev Desai and Sarojini Naidu were kept as prisoners. Apart from being historically significant, the architecture of Aga Khan Palace makes it well-known too. The mighty palace was built on an area of 19 acres. The Gandhi National Memorial Society has put up its headquarters over here now and khadi is primarily manufactured here.
When the neighborhood was affected by a famine, Aga Khan had built this palace to help the poor people. Later on Charles Corea, an architect, had built the memorials of Mahadev Desai and Kasturba Gandhi on the palace premises. There is also a museum inside the palace which houses some of Gandhi’s personal belongings and many precious pictures. The Mahatma’s ashes were also buried in the palace’s grounds. The palace was declared to have national importance in 2003.
You can visit the Aga Khan Palace between 9 am to 5.30 pm. If you are an Indian citizen, you have to pay 5 rupees or if otherwise, 100 rupees. Keep three to four hours in hand for exploring the palace fully.
3. Phoenix Market City
If you are a mall-rat, you must be waiting to find out the best mall in Pune. This mall which was inaugurated in 2013 is Pune’s largest mall. It is spread across an area of 3.4 million square feet. This mall is in Pune’s Viman Nagar and has four storeys. Apart from retail stores, there is also a PVR multiplex having nine screens, a food court which boasts of regular restaurant outlets and also fine-dining restaurants. The food court has a wide range of outlets of popular eateries lined up. Standalone establishments of big chains like Starbucks and Costa Coffee can be found in the mall too.
The mall has plenty of multinational clothing brands like Adidas, Zara and Tommy Hilfiger and also India ones like Reliance, FBB and Max. The ground floor has a hyper mart. The presence of so many departmental stores ensures you get what you are looking for. If you want to spend a lazy day with your friends, catch up with them for a movie and popcorn at PVR and then head to a sports bar for a few drinks.
4. Adlabs Imagica
People from all over Maharashtra come down to this entertainment zone. This is a theme park located in Khopoli and is spread across an area of 130 acres. The park, divided into five sections, is an exciting place for kids and adults alike. There is a gaming zone, water park, theme park, a hotel and a snow park. The rides and events here will make your visit unforgettable. You can also arrange to have an occasion like a marriage or a corporate picnic. The authorities are helpful folks who will help you with transportation too.
You can visit the entertainment destination Adlabs Imagica, located on Pali-Khopoli Road, any day between 10.30 am – 8 pm. There is an entry fee.
5. Western Ghats
Now this is a must visit place and also one of the most beautiful places in Pune, as it is a ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’. This place is a delightful area for all the nature lovers who love nothing more than visiting and getting closer to tranquil nature. Thick forests, lush valleys, misty mountains, beautiful flowers make it a top tourist attraction in Pune, especially during the monsoon. Nature is at its beautiful best. You will be seeing many charming waterfalls as you move across the Western Ghats. If you are an adventurous person, this is a good place to be in as you will be able to go rock climbing, trekking or hiking.
6. Shivneri Fort
Shivneri Fort is one of the most memorable places to visit in Pune. Once you have climbed to the top of this fort, you will get an amazing view of the surrounding landscape. This is also one of the most scenic places near Pune The fort is one of the historical places of Pune as it has its association with the ruler Shivaji. The king wanted the country to be a Hindu swarajya.
The Shivneri Fort was actually the birthplace of Chatrapathi Sivaji, the brave Maratha king. The fort was built to protect him. The walls of the fort were really sturdy and it has seven doors. During Maratha rule, this fort held a place of importance.
The Fort is situated in Pune’s Junnar region. It is open for visit throughout the day and the entrance fee is 5 rupees for adults and just a rupee for a child!
7. Dagdusheth Halwai Temple
This is a famous temple in the whole of Maharashtra which has been dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Hundreds and hundreds of pilgrims visit the Sreemath Dagdusheth Halwai Temple annually. Ganeshotsav, which is a 10-days celebration, is celebrated with a lot of fervour here. Politicians and other celebrities come down to offer their prayers. A whopping amount of ten million has been put to insure the idol of Lord Ganesha here. If you are visiting Pune with your family and there are going to be seniors, you should bring everyone to this temple.
The temple has been named after its founder, Dagdusheth Halwai, who was a sweet-maker, a businessman and a trader. Their spiritual Guru, Shri Madhavnath Maharaj, told him that constructing this temple would help him and his wife overcome the deep depression that they both had become victims of.
The temple was inaugurated in 1893. Lokmanya Tilak, the famous leader, was one of Dagdusheth’s close alliances. Tilak came up with the idea of starting the Ganeshotsav here and the festival has been continuing with aplomb till date. The temple has two guards, Jay and Vijay, built with marble which attracts the visitors too. The temple has been built in a manner that the Ganesha idol is visible from the outside. The Ganesha idol here is 7.5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. 8 kgs of gold also has been used in beautifying the idol. Devotees offer coconuts, money and gold as offerings during their veneration.
You can visit the temple any day between 6 am – 11 pm. The temple is located in Ganpati Bhavan, in Shivaji Road’s Budhwar Peth.
8. Osho Ashram
If you love to meditate and favor serene places, this ashram situated at Koregaon Park is where you should be headed. The Osho Ashram is known to have surprising practices to help people seeking divinity. The ashram is a unique mix of a Greek style resort and a place for meditation. It is also called the Osho Meditation Resort. If your thinking feels a little scattered out of place, you can come here to meditate, to refocus correctly and feel at peace with yourself. The mysterious and mystic Osho ideologies are found here. Though the ashram is available to members only, a visitor can purchase a one-day pass too.
The Ashram which started in 1974 sees a steady stream of visitors the entire year. And many of them are foreign nationals. The vibe of this place is peculiarly exciting and has an intense atmosphere. Various therapeutic and meditation sessions are carried out throughout the day, which you as a member, can choose to participate in. For these members can either select the Osho living or Osho guesthouse. Few of the meditation schedules carried out here are the Kundalini Meditation, Vipassana Meditation, Kundalini Meditation, Nadabrahma Meditation and Dynamic Meditation. Osho Ashram primarily promotes renunciation or sanyas and meditation to gain a better control of one’s mental health.
The visiting hours of the ashram is between 6 am – 10.30 pm. Don’t forget to keep an hour or two in hand when you come to visit the ashram.
9. Sinhagad Fort
This castle is one of the best places to visit near Pune . It is a hill-fort and a visit to this fort will make your Pune trip much more cherishable. You can visit the Sinhagad Fort any day of the week but we would advise you to visit the place as early in the morning as possible. So start your journey accordingly as it is a one hour drive from the main city.
Being at a considerable height and a lot higher than sea-level, the weather remains cool and pleasant throughout the year. Unlike many other forts, there are decent roads albeit filled with curves, and you can take your vehicle right to the top of the fort. But if you are looking for a trekking experience, you can trek to the top by starting at the foothill. For your car, you will find a big parking space adjacent to the food stalls put up by the locals.
This 600 year old historical fort was conquered by Chatrapathi Sivaji. You will be awestruck to see the discarded cannons, ammunition room, the walls made of rocks having interrupted lines and the water tanks of those times. Don’t forget to enjoy the view from the breezy wind point.
This place sees a huge amount of crowds on the weekends as Pune residents love to visit the fort then and this leads to long lines of traffic till the evenings. So if you plan to trek, start really early in the morning so that you are done by ten or eleven in the morning. But if you want an overnight stay at the fort, there are the required facilities too. If you want to go on a long drive and a hike to rejuvenate your mind, visit the Sinhagad Fort.
10. Diamond Water Park
This park is for all the water babies. Pune can be hot, especially during the day. So if you want to stay cool, hit the Diamond Water Park. What was originally only a water park, now also has a camping ground and an adventure park, which gives wholesome fun for people of all ages. There are almost 30 activities which you can do inside the park like rock climbing, archery and zip lining. If you are a parent to a toddler, bring them to the kiddies pool and let them have a gala time. The adults can enjoy the 28 rides. You will be surprised to see the campground which has trekking places, BBQ pits and a whole lot of outdoor activities. This is a pet-friendly plae, so you can take your dog too.
The entry fee to this water park in Lohegaon is 650 rupees. The park is open from 10 am – 5.30 pm.
11. Parvati Hill Temple
Parvati Hill is an important landmark of Pune as there are four ancient temples which were built in the 17th century. Lord Vishnu, Shiv, Kathik and Ganesh are worshipped in these temples. The Parvati Hill is at a height of 2100 feet above sea level and the view that you see from the top is really magnificent. There is also a museum here, called the Parvati Museum. You will be able to see old coins, swords, guns, manuscripts and paintings. The museum has some amazing portraits of the Peshwa kings.
12. Shinde Chhatri
The Shinde Chhatri was built in the 18th century. This old memorial is situated in Pune’s Wanawadi and was built to commemorate Mahadji Shinde, the respected Marathi leader. The architecture of this memorial has been designed to have an Anglo-Rajasthani look. This is one of the oldest memorials in Pine and is a popular tourist spot. Try to include a visit to the beautiful Shinde Chhatri in your Pune itinerary.
The entry fee to this place is very low and one can visit during 6 am to 9 pm.
13. Vetal Tekdi
This is a hill in Pune which is also its highest point, being at a height of 2600 feet, is one of the best tourist places in Pune. This is a prominent getaway spot having the Vetal Temple at the top. The hill has been named after this hill. People from nearby areas come here often when they are tired with the regular busy city life. If you want to go on a trek early in the morning while in Pune, Vetal Tekdi is the best bet.
The Indian Forest Department has put up an observation desk closer to the temple. The hill has been given a Marathi name and on a clear day, one can see the whole Pune city from the hilltop. The hill plays a big part in the city’s tourism industry and is a segment of the Bhamburda Van Vihar, which falls on the Municipal Corporation’s western side.
There are two ridges of this hill which have been named as the Chaturshrungi Hill and the Fergusson College Hill. People can go up the hill by taking the access road which is on the south. There is also a parking space which is open only during 8.30 am – 5.30 pm. The hill is also significant because of anthropological activities like deforestation, urban development and also planting of exotic trees and plants.
Both the central and forest department protects the Vetah Hill now and large scale afforestation programs have been carried out by the Pune Municipal Corporation. As a result of that, you will be amazed to find the abundance of flora and fauna in the area. Trekking on Vetal Hill means you will also trek in one of Pune’s best locations. Don’t forget to carry dry snacks and plenty of drinking water for your trek. You can reach the hill from three sides – Kothrud, Chaturshringi and Pashan.
You can do the trek anytime during the day, but we would strongly suggest you to reach there by dawn so that you can view the spectacular sunset. The calmness of the place will also be very refreshing. So if you love a hill station, you can easily go to Pashan from Pune.
14. Katraj Snake Park
This park is located inside the famous Rajiv Gandhi zoo which is in the Katraj region , very close to Pune. The Pune Municipal Corporation manages this large zoo which is built on an area of 130 acres of land. There are three sections in the zoo – the main zoo, the animal shelter and the hugely popular and well-liked Katraj Snake Park. The Snake Park draws a lot of visitors because they are fascinated by the variety of wildlife they see here which are species of reptiles, birds, turtles and snakes.
If you are in search of a place where you can have wholesome fun with your family without having to spend a lot of money, head to Rajiv Gandhi zoo, especially the Katraj Snake Park. The park houses ten reptile species and more than 22 snake species, taking the total headcount to over 150. An interesting fact about this place is that the park was created earlier than the setting up of the zoo by the park’s first director, Mr. Neelam Kumar Khaire, in 1986. He was helped by the municipal corporation. The Park has been drawing a large number of animal and nature lovers since then.
People are very afraid of snakes and to decrease their fear and make them more aware, the organizers arrange snake festivals and awareness programs. There are programs carried out during Nag Panchami so that snakes are not ill-treated. Everyone in your family will enjoy seeing the Russell snakes, cobras and pythons, especially the king cobra which is thirteen feet long.
These are just the top 14 destinations of Pune and Pune nearby places to visit which you must go to when you are there. There are a lot more places. But one can only see so many on a single trip. So, when are you planning to visit Pune? Don’t delay the trip!