Pune
The Oxford of the East

Pune

Ensconced within the majestic Sahayadri range , the bustling city of Pune, second-largest in Maharashtra and therefore the eight-largest metropolis in India, is hailed for its impressive architecture, which may be a legacy of the Marathas who were the erstwhile rulers. Dotted with grand forts, palatial structures (wadas), ancient caves and temples, the town is steeped in spirituality and history. Its reverential fervour are often experienced within the many ashtavinayak (Lord Ganesha) temples that the town plays host to. Boasting a vibrant culinary scene, Pune may be a treasure trove of delicacies. MG Road, Koregaon Park, Kalyani Nagar and Viman Nagar are perhaps the foremost frequented areas within the city and offer everything from street food to luxury dining.

 

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Pune has seen an influx of German and other European citizens who have migrated here to volunteer at local schools and ashrams. This has led to a notable change within the sort of cuisine and elegance of presentation within the city – the restaurants and pubs now have a flexible audience to cater to. Pizzerias, Greek resto-bars, Continental cafes, steakhouses and an entire host of patisseries call Pune home, and there are more cropping up a day .

A green city with variety of parks and recreational areas, Pune is particularly preffered by retirees who move here to urge faraway from the hustle and noise of larger, more boisterous cities. Its lovely weather, accessible amenities and peaceful streets have earned it the sobriquet ‘pensioner’s paradise’

.Besides, it’s an upscale history woven by the legendary Maratha empire. In fact, under the Peshwa rule, it had been the capital city. In 1817, British made it the monsoon capital of the Bombay Presidency. Now growing by leaps and bounds, economically and industrially, it’s also a crucial IT hub of the country. Besides, automotive and engineering industries are arising during a big way in Pune. The presence of several educational and research institutions has earned the town the title of the Oxford of the east. One will find several museums that hold rare artefacts in Pune.

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How to get there ?

By Air

Pune has its own international airport at Lohegaon and there are direct flights from most major cities of the country.

By Road

Pune has motorable roads and highways in good condition. They are connected to all the major Indian towns and cities including Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Kolhapur and Mumbai by several state and roadways buses. From Mumbai, the 150 km Mumbai-Pune expressway takes you around three hours to reach your destination.

Rail

Pune is a major railhead and connected to all the major Indian cities. From Mumbai, the Deccan Queen and Shatabdi Express take you to Pune in around four hours.

Attractions In Pune

Aga Khan Palace

Occupying a neighborhood of about 19 acre, this palatial mansion was once used as a jail by British for Gandhi , Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadeo Desai, also as Miraben, Pyarelal Nair, Sarojini Naidu and Dr Sushila Nayar. Imprisoned during the Quit India movement, both Ba (as Kasturba Gandhi was fondly known) and Desai died of a attack in these premises. Their memorials, made from marble, now stand here. With Italian architecture and sculpted lawns, this grand building is today the headquarters of the Gandhi National Memorial Society.

It was Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III who built this palace in 1892 as an act of charity for those that were drastically suffering from the famine that had hit Pune at the time.

Khadi, the handwoven natural fiber that Gandhiji wont to spin on his charkha, remains made here. There are several photographs and portraits of Gandhi and other leaders of the liberty movement housed here; one among the foremost impressive and moving of those may be a tableau of the Mahatma leading a civil disobedience against British . Visitors also can take a gander at Gandhiji’s work on the Sewagram, located 8 km within the within the village of Wardha. Other highlights of the palace that are hospitable public viewing are the space during which he stayed with Kasturba Gandhi, also as his charkha, sandals and other personal belongings. it’s now been appropriated by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

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Ahmednagar

Lying at a distance of about 106 km from Pune, Ahmednagar is situated on the banks of River Sina. It holds immense historical importance as its heritage are often dated back to the 1490s. one among the main attractions here is that the Ahmednagar Fort, which later served as a makeshift prison for leaders of the liberty struggle, including Nehru . Other historical sites that one can visit here are Salabat Khan’s tomb, Kot Bagha Nizam and Bagh Rauza. Ahmednagar also can be an excellent spiritual stopover and one pays obeisance at various temples just like the Mohata Devi Temple, Siddheshwar Temple etc. Devotees majorly flock to the Shani Shinganapur village nearby, along side the pious village of Shirdi, which is taken into account to be the abode of Sai Baba.

Ahmednagar was established as a town by Ahmed Nizam Shah in 1494. Later, the district visited the Peshwas and therefore the Marathas. Its last conquerors were British , under the leadership of Lord Wellesley. it’s said that Mughal emperor Aurangzeb spent the last of his years here.

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Bedsa Caves

Around 45 km faraway from Pune, within the Maval taluka lie Bedsa Caves that were excavated within the 1st century BC. With two finished and two unfinished Buddhist caves, Bedsa is unquestionably worth a visit, and may be accessed through a series of steps on a slope. you’ll also encounter a couple of rock-cut cisterns and a memorial stupa, the highlight of the caves. Some striking carvings are often seen at the chaityagriha that features a stone screen, also as a verandah with engraved pillars, which are 25-foot-tall and support a ribbed roof. Figures of couples riding horses and elephants are intricately carved into these pillars, thus giving the impression of being sculptures themselves. The roof is additionally supported by orthogonal

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Jejuri

Around 50 km from Pune lies Jejuri, the most centre of worship of Khandoba, also referred to as Mhalsakant or Malhari Martand or Mylaralinga. Khandoba or Malhari Martanda is that the deity of several Maharastrian families, including warriors and priests, also as farmers and herders. The temple is found on a 758-m-high hillock, which is rich in lime deposits that are the first artifact for the noted Shaniwar Wada Fort, the central seat of the Maratha empire.

The Bhandara festival held here sees on the brink of six lakh visitors flocking to the temple town. It involves the showering of haldi (turmeric) because the devotees make their high Capitol Hill . The route, in fact, gets a reasonably yellow hue due to this tradition. The “sonyachi Jejuri” or golden Jejuri takes places 3 times during a year. An idol of the deity is taken on a yatra (journey) till the nearby Karha river, where it’s immersed.

To reach the temple, you’ve got to travel through seven arches then go down some steps. it’s a generous courtyard with walled compounds. There are 63 verandahs (roofed porches) within the complex. it’s designed sort of a fort with three entrance gates and this is often why the locals call it ‘kot’, which suggests fort. All devotees need to enter from the northern gate.

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Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI)

On Robert E Lee’s Birthday , 1975, the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute opened its doors to the people of Pune. Known to be the guts and soul of Iyengar yoga, it’s dedicated to yogacharya BKS Iyengar’s wife. There are three floors within the building, dedicated to mind, body and soul. There are eight columns to denote the eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga – yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi.

It also features a library with a generous collection (over 8,000 volumes) of books on various subjects including yoga, Ayurveda and philosophy. The busts of Smt Ramamani and Guruji are placed within the premises; Guruji’s bust was chiselled by the queen dowager of Belgium, in celebration of getting performed Sirsasana at the age of 81.

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Shivneri Fort

Famously referred to as the birthplace of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, this 17th century fort located near Junnar on the northern side of Pune district, holds a crucial place within the history of Maharashtra. The fort features a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as a toddler , as he only lived here for the primary six years of his life.

While time and weather have made their mark on the fort over the years, it’s still standing strong, if somewhat in ruins. The Ambarkhana or Dhanyakothi ruins, an erstwhile granary, are definitely worth studying. Further in, twin underground water tanks referred to as the Ganga-Jamuna cisterns are another interesting feature. The Badami talav, an enormous circular tank, which wont to stand up , is at the centre of the fort. The Shiv mandir stands at the spot where Shivaji was born. Towards the north is that the Kadelot Point, a cliff where criminals got execution – their hands in cuffs, they were shoved down into the valley to certain death. Today, it’s an honest viewing point to ascertain the Manikdoh Dam, the Hadsar Fort and therefore the Chavand Fort, also as Narayangad, Lenyadri Hill, among others.

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