Pune: a city abounding with history, tradition and yet buzzing with a newfound energy. Its weather, richly influenced by the Western Ghats is conducive to creativity, its history, littered around every corner, inspires thoughts and kindles a spirit to do. There is enough and more to do for students in Pune – be it recreation, rejuvenation or just to reach out to the past or the future. Pune has always been known for its educational facilities and prosperity. It is also the cultural capital of Maharashtra. Not just that, it has a growing industrial hinterland, with information technology, engineering and automotive companies sprouting.
The city is known for cultural activities like classical music, spirituality, theatre, sports, and literature. These activities and job opportunities attract students from all over India and abroad, which makes for a city of many communities and cultures. Just what students at FLAME need to experience, whenever they choose to step out of campus.
Located in the Sahayadri Hills, near the west coast of India, in Maharashtra, Pune is a fascinating city with good climate that suits everybody all year round. Referred to as `Queen of Deccan’, Pune is located 170 km south of Mumbai. Marathi is the official language of Maharashtra. Marathi and Hindi are the two main languages that are spoken in Pune. The largely cosmopolitan population also speak English and Gujarati, and other Indian languages.
The city was one of the main bases of the 17th century great Maratha ruler and warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji. Pune became the seat of Peshwas, under whom Maratha power rose as a major political force. The Peshwas were renowned admirers of art and in their time, enriched the city with temples, gardens and educational institutions. Although, still history plays an important part in the city being a tourist attraction but now more and more people visit Pune for its shopping bonanzas and for the food that is offered here. Pune offers much to tourists and travelers.
PLACES TO VISIT
Sinhagad, ealier known as 'Kondhana' is the most prominent and popular fort in Pune. It is located at village Donaje, taluka-Haveli. It is 25 km away from Pune on a hill 1290 m high. Tanaji Malusare-Chh. Shivaji's trsusted and brave general,fought a battle here all alone with the Mughal army. on hearing news of his death, Chh. Shivaji said. "We won the fort but lost the lion" ("Gad Ala Pan Sinha Gela"), and so after his death Chh. Shivaji renamed this "Kondhana" fort as "Sinhagad".
Agakhan Palace :
Gandhi National Memorial Society's Agakhan Palace is the Italian arches and lawns. This place has been used as a prison by Britishers for Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadeobhai Desai during the 'Quit India Movement'. Marble memorials were put later on in the memory of Kasturba and Mahadeobhai. as both of them breathed their last in this place.
Shaniwar Wada a 13 storey palace of Peshwas was built by Bajirao-I, in the year 1736.It was head quarter of the Peshwas and it symbolizes Pune's culture.The structure was built giving security the highest priority. The main entrance is known as 'Delhi Darwaja' & others have names like Ganesh, Mastani, Jambhal, Khidki. The statue of Bajirao-i on horse in front of Shniwarwada. In side one can see Ganesh Mahal, Rang Mahal, Aarsa Mahal, Hasti_Dant Mahal, Diwan Khana and fountain. A light and music show is conducted every day showing history of Peshwas. The palace was the seat of Peshwa power and later was destroyed by a fire in 1828. All that remails are the walls that fortified this palace, with sturdy doors, studded with spikers for added protection
Vishram Baug Wada :
This is a three storey palace built by Bajirao Peshwa 300 years back, famous for its entrance which is surrounded by a balcony. The carved woodwork of the balcony is the example of fine work of Peshwa Art. The wood used is pure processed saag. It is 78 feet wide and 66 meters long. After Peshwas this place was used as a jail. Now the place is changed into a museum.
This is one of the famous landmarks of Pune. Though the hill is in the Southern half of the city; it is visible from almost every part of the city.There are 08 steps that lead to the temple dedicated to Parvati and davadeshwar. There are also temples dedicated to Vishnu, Ganesh and Kartikeya. Climbing to the top of the hill can be rewarding as one can enjoy an excellent panoramic view of Pune.
Rajgad Fort :
It is about 85 kms from Pune at village Gunjawane, Tal. Velhe. This fort has great historical relevance, as it was Shivaji's favourite fort and first mountain capital. Rajgadh has treacherous approaches, zigzag narrow paths and deceptive double walled armour of its ramparts. The massive pali gate, nedhe or elephant's eye still exists. The view from the top offers a magnificent view of the Sahyadri ranges.
Torna Fort :
This fort is located at Velhe, 65v kms away from Pune. This is the first fort conqurred by Chh.Shivaji Maharaj.
Purandhar and Vajragadh Fort :
Both these forts are located in Tal. Purandar and they are attached to each other. This fort was a capital of Chh. Shinaji Maharaj for some years. Chh. Sambhaji Maharaj, son of Chh. Shivaji Maharaj was born in 1665 on this fort. It is also the first capital of Peshwas. Now the fort is under the charge of National Cadet Corps.
Tomb of Sambhaji Maharaj :
The tomb of Dharmaveer Sambhaji Maharaj is located at Vadu-Budruk on the Pune_Nagar Highway:3-4 km away from Koregaon on the bank of river Bhima.
Katraj Snake Park :
As the name suggests, this place has a collection of snakes., reptiles, birds and turtles. It has 160 species of snakes. Mr. Neelam Kumar Khaire set it up in the year 1986. It was later incorporated in the Rajeev Gandhi Udyan in 1999. Latest addition is a zoo to this park. This place is 8 kms from Pune situated on the Pune-Satara road near Bharati Vidyapeeth.
Sambhaji Park :
This beautiful garden is in Pune city near Deccan Gymkhana next to 'Balgandharva Rang Mandir' on Jangli Maharaj road. Main attraction here is the fish aquarium and a small fort. Various types of trees, flowers, lush green lawn and fountains add to the beauty of garden.
Appughar Indira Gandhi Udyan :
The place Appughar is 2kms away from Nigdi and 22 kms away from Pune city. It is same as the Appughar at Delhi. Lots of games, fun and frolic await the tourists. It also has the waterpark in it. While the number of games enchant the kids, the beautiful cool lake, temple of 'Durgamata' and vast explorable hills attract people of all generations.
Sarasbaug & Peshwa Park :
This park is in the Punecity near Swargate. Grden is full of lush green lawn. it also has a jogging track. There is a small hillock in the garden surrounded by the lake. There is a Ganesh temple on this hillock. The place is famous as 'Talyatala Ganapati'. Peshwa park is next to Saras baug. Previously, it was famous for its zoo. Boat rides are available here.There is mini train called "Phulrani" which atracts the kids most.
Bhatgar Dam :
40 kms away from Pune city , this is a beautiful scenic place. The dam is built on the river Velvandi. It is one of the highest river wall dam in india. Beautiful gardens with water sports have been developed in the surrounding areas, which are worth watching.
The place is near to Pune towards the west. One of the attractive picnic spot developed in recent time. The small village Mulshi in Mulshi taluka has all the natural beauties, which attracts the visitors. A lake named 'Valanewadi' which is just 5 kms away from Mulshi. The village falls in the Sahyadri ranges, has deep forest with marvelous forts nearby viz. Dhangad and korigadh. besides, the place is also famous for its mountains and plateau named "Lavmai'. The hills named Hattihant, Pagota are amazing to see which reach to a height of almost 1000m. Above all, Mulshi is mainly famous for its dam which generates power.
Kasba Ganpati :
It is the Gram Daivat of Pune. Kasba peth is near Lal Mahal and the kasba Ganpati is the Ganpati of fiest Honor in Pune. So it has the first previlage in Ganesh Utsav Procession. Jijabai, the mother of Chh. Shivaji Maharaj had put up the statue of Ganesh. On her behalf, Dadoji Kondadev had put on a tent in front of this statue. Now it is a famous temple in Pune.
This is the place where river Bhima originates. It is 125 kms away from Pune city, near tahsil Khed. It is one of the 5 Jyotirlingas in Maharashtra. Nana Phadanavis has built the temple of Lord Mahadev here. Mear Bhimashankar are the hills of Manmad.There are carvings of Bhooting, Amba-Ambika and Bhimashankar on these hills. The beauty of Bhimashankar is enhanced in monsoon and winter. Bhimashankar is reserved forest area and a wild life sanctuary where a variety of animals, birds, plants and flowers can be seen.
30 kms to the south of Pune is a beautiful place called Baneshwar. It has an old temple of Lord Shiva, which was built by Bajirao Peshwa-I. It has spectacular idols of Lord Vishnu, Goddess Laxmi and Lord Mahadev and five Shivlings. As the temple is in deep woods and it seems like a 'jungle', hence its is called as "Baneshwar". A beautiful garden, a small waterfall, a stream of water all these make Baneshwar a nice picnic spot.
Chaturshrungi Temple :
It is the small hillock dedicated to Godess "Durga". The presiding deity is Goddess Ambreshwari. An annual Navaratri fair is held here in he month of "Ashwin'. The temple is built in Chh. Shivaji era.
A well known place, 40 kms away from Pune, Jejuri is famous for the ancient temple of Lord Khandoba, as known as Khandobachi Jejuri. A "Yatra" is held in the months of Chitra, Margashirsha, Puash and Magh (months of Hindu calender). While on the way to the temple, one gets a view of the Dive Ghat. Deep Mala is popular over here. To reach the temple, one has to climb 200 steps.Jejuri also has historical importnace as Shivaji and Shahaji had discussed the strategy against the Mughals here. Various weapons of those times can be seen here.
Lord Ganesh is the protector of his devotees. Eight effigies found among the nature, sculptured by nature have been housed in temples created ages ago at the places where the effigies were first identified.These are "Swayumbhu" effigies. Out of these Ashtavinayakas, five temples viz. Morgaon (Moreshwar),Theur (Chintamani), Ranjangaon (Mahaganapati), Ozar (Vighnahar), Lenyadri (Girijatmak) are in Pune district.
Situated on the bank of river Indrayani, this is the birth place of Saint Tukaram Maharaj. Pilgrims come here in large numbers. It is 34 kms away from Pune city.
Alandi is 25 kms away from Pune. Popularly known as "Devachi Alandi" (God's Place) has Samadhi and a temple of the saint poet Dnyaneshwar. The temple was built in 1570. Saint Dnyaneshwar wrote the Marathi translation of the 'Bhagvat Geeta' called 'Dnyaneshwari'. The othet famous places in Alandi are Vitthal-Rakhumai temple, Ram temple, Krishna temple and Muktai temple. Saint Dnyaneshwar spent most of his life-span in Alandi. The Palkhi, which is in the month of Ashadh, carried by the pilgrims from Alandi to Pandharpur covers almost 150 kms of distance.The famous wall on which Saint Dnyaneshwar flew to meet Chandev is also present here.
Towards the south of Pune, the village Narayanpur is famous for saint Changdev and Lord Datta temple. Pilgrims visiting here worship the old "Audumbar' tree and visit the Narayaneshwar temple. The sculptures in the temple are of Yadav era.
HOW TO GET HERE
Pune airport is located about 10 km away from the heart of the city, in the Lohagaon area. Taxi charge from airport to city is only Rs 200. Regular, direct flights are available from Pune to many cities in India. The cities Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai are all air connected to Pune. International travelers can get connecting flight from Mumbai International Airport.
The easiest way to travel from Mumbai to Pune is by train. Regular trains - Deccan Queen, Deccan Express, Indrayani, Pragati and Shatabdi all ply to Pune from Mumbai everyday. Bookings are possible two weeks in advance. Train travel is around 4-5 hours. On the way, the trains climb the Western Ghats and afford a splendid view of this green mountainous region. During the monsoon, one can enjoy the sight of huge waterfalls. Most of the trains have a small halt at monkey hill - where both children and adults can feed friendly monkeys. The trains also halt at Lonavala, Khandala and Karjat (known for its delicious fried potato wadas).
Pune is well connected with many of the major cities in Maharashtra by state owned bus services. Private luxury deluxe buses are operated from Pune to many cities in India, including Goa, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Regular frequent bus services are connecting Pune with Mumbai, nearly a distance of 200 km.