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Pune is a sprawling city in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. It was once the base of the Peshwas (prime ministers) of the Maratha Empire, which lasted from 1674 to 1818. It's known for the grand Aga Khan Palace, built in 1892 and now a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, whose ashes are preserved in the garden. The 8th-century Pataleshwar Cave Temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.

Pune, also called Poona, city, west-central Maharashtra state, western India, at the junction of the Mula and Mutha rivers. Called “Queen of the Deccan,” Pune is the cultural capital of the Maratha peoples. The city first gained importance as the capital of the Bhonsle Marathas in the 17th century. It was temporarily captured by the Mughals but again served as the official Maratha capital from 1714 until its fall to the British in 1817. It was the seasonal capital of the Bombay Presidency and is now a popular tourist resort, offering cool weather, historic and religious monuments, museums, parks, hotels, and cultural attractions.

Pune has long been a major educational and cultural centre; former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru referred to it as the “Oxford and Cambridge of India.” The city houses some 30 constituent and affiliated colleges of the University of Pune (1948); the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (1917) is renowned for research and instruction in the Sanskrit and Prakrit languages and has more than 20,000 ancient manuscripts. Pune is also the headquarters of the southern command of the Indian army, with the Khadakwasla Academy located nearby.

Must Visit Places in Pune


Sinhagad Fort


Sitting atop the Deccan plateau, Maharashtra, attract over a million of visitors to its heritage sites all through the year. Pune, the cultural capital of the state is famous for a number of forts which were in itself small towns with highly advanced architecture. Amongst many, one such mega structure is the Sinhagad Fort that was named after the Battle of Sinhagad of 1671. Carved out of the Bhuleshwar range of the Sahyadri Mountains, it was erected 760 meters from the base town of Sinhagad. It has been inhabited by different dynasties, predominantly, the Deccan rulers, Siddi dynasty headed by Siddi Amber, the Marathas under ruler ship of Chatrapati Shivaji and the Mughals during the reign of Aurangzeb. Even British rulers have taken shelter within the walls of the mighty Sinhagad Fort. All those visiting Pune over the weekend can definitely take a ride on road to Sinhagad to visit this ancient military base.


History Of The Attraction
Previously known as Kondhana, this fort was constructed in the early 1400’s by the artisans and slaves of the Koli tribe. Over the years, the fort’s ownership got transferred from the Koli tribe to Deccan King Mohammad Bin Tughlaq, who was overthrown by overthrown by the Maratha warriors, who used it as their military base for several years. In memory of Tanaji, a brave warrior and mastermind behind the Battle of Sinhagad, a memorial was built and still continues to greet visitors at the entrance of the fort. Also another bust was put up in memory of Chatrapati Rajaram, son of Shivaji who took his last breath amidst the isolation of the Sinhagad Fort.


Chaturshringi Temple


One of the most famous temples in Pune, Chaturshringi Mountain is located on the top of a hill right on the Senapati Bapat Road. It is said to have been built during the reign of the Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhosle. The presiding deity of the temple is Goddess Chaturshringi, also known as Goddess Ambareshwari. To reach the main sanctum of the temple, tourists will have to climb approximately 100 stairs but the view of the hill that one gets from the top is worth all the efforts.


History Of The Temple
As per the legends, the temple was built by Durlabhsheth Pitambardas Mahajan, an ardent believer of Goddess Chaturshringi. One night, the goddess appeared in the dream of the Pitambardas Mahajan and indicated him to come to a mountain. He also dreamed that at the mountain, where the main idol of the temple is dug. Next day, he followed the dream where, and fortunately found a statue. A few days later, he built a temple at the same place where the statue was found.

Aga Khan Palace


On Nagar Road, hardly 2 kilometers from the Bund Garden, is the iconic Aga Khan Palace; built by Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan in 1892. Spread over 1756 square meters, it was built to give shelter to famine affected people in Maharashtra. Aga Khan Palace has a lot for visitors to enjoy. Whilst the manicured garden of the palace is a beautiful sight, the interiors of the palace are stunning. Don't miss the five halls that have Italian arches.


Kasturba Gandhi, wife of Mahatma Gandhi, and Mahadev Desai breathed their last in the premises of this place. To honor them, a memorial was built in the palace by the Charles Correa, a famous architect. A lot of history is associated with the palace. And to commemorate all these events, a memorial was made under the care of the Gandhi Memorial Society. Exhibition on the various aspects of Mahatma Gandhi’s life that offers visitors a deeper insight into the life of our father of the nation is a must visit.


History Of The Aga Khan Palace

Aga Khan Palace has a unique history and grandeur. The palace was the abode of Mahatma Gandhi from 9 August 1942 to 6 May 1944, mainly during the Quit India Movement. It is the final resting ground of Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai, and their memorials can be seen in the palace complex, near the Mula river. In 1969, Aga Khan Palace was handed out to the people of India as a mark of respect to Gandhi and his philosophy.


After some time, the palace was converted into a museum where the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were kept. In the year 1974, Indira Gandhi too visited this place, and allotted a sum of ₹200,000 (US$3,000) every year, for its maintenance. In 2003, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) declared the place as a monument of national importance.


Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park


Commonly known as the Katraj Snake Park, Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park is prominent zoo cum snake park in Pune. Spread over 130 acres, it is divided into three parts - an animal orphanage, a snake park, and a zoo; also there's a lake. In the snake park, one can see over 22 species of snakes and 10 other species of reptiles comprising over 150 individuals, including a King Cobra. In this section of the park, one can visit the library too that tells about all the vital information related to snakes. So as to engage more tourism, the park keeps on organizing festivals and snake awareness programs. The zoo in the complex features animals like leopard, sloth bears, sambars, barking deer, black bucks, monkeys, and elephants


History Of The Park
Till 1986, there were only two parks in Pune - Peshwe Park, and Katraj Snake Park. In 1997, a notice was issued by the government to make a modern park as per the guidelines of Central Zoo Authority of India. In 1999, a new zoo opened in Katraj by the name of Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park & Wildlife Research Centre. Initially, it was exclusively a reptile park with a small population of sambars, spotted deer, and monkeys. In 2005, all of the animals from Peshwe Park were included in the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park & Wildlife Research Centre. The park also incorporates a rescue center for injured and orphaned animals. It has run an animal adoption scheme since October 2010.

Khadakwasla Dam


A prominent attraction in Pune, Khadakwasla Dam remains crowded with nature lovers, and adventure enthusiasts. If tourists love the idea of enjoying a relaxing sunny day under the canopy of a tree then there's no better place to visit than the Khadakwasla Dam. Make sure to see sunset and sunrise, and visit the Sinhagad Fort. Monsoon is the best time of the year to visit the dam, but December-February is also a great time to go.


Eloped amidst the trees, the Khadakwasla Dam is just the perfect place to relax, and enjoy the best of nature. Else, quite close to the dam, there is Sinhagad Fort, located on a fascinating peak, which is also worth a visit.


History Of The Khadakwasla Dam

In 1869, the detailed work on the dam was started by the Captain Fife RE of the British Army as a respite to severe droughts. The man made lake close to the dam, Khadakwasla Lake is therefore called Lake Fife.


Dagadusheth Ganapati Temple


A face of Indian independence movement, Dagdusheth Halwai Temple was built by Shri Dagdusheth Halwai and his wife, Lakshmibai when they lost their son due to a plague epidemic. Since its inception, the temple has been celebrating Ganapati festival with deep faith and enthusiasm. And later, Lokmanya Tilak made the Ganapati festival a public celebration to bring people together for freedom struggle. To continue the tradition of celebrating in full swing, a trust was established - Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Sarvajanik Ganapati Trust. Trustees of the organization keep on taking up the activities of the festivals with exemplary integrity and dedication.


Magnificent Architecture
Like its history, the temple architecture is equally magnificent. The marble statues of Jay and Vijay catches a lot of attention. Inside the sanctum of the temple, there is a 7.5 feet tall and 4 feet wide Ganpati idol, decked up in 8 kilos of gold. According to the trustees, the Ganesh idol is insured for a sum of ₹10 million (US$150,000). When on a visit to the temple, make a point to try some sweets from Dagdusheth halwai sweets.

Lohagad fort


The Lohagad fort is an iron fort and one among the many hill forts in the state of Maharashtra. It is situated near the picturesque hill station of Lonavala, at a distance of about 52 km. to the northwest of the city of Pune and a major tourist attraction of Maharashtra tourism. Lohagad is raised 1033meters above sea level. The fort has a connection with the adjacent Visapur fort by the minute range. This fort was under the rule of the Maratha ruler for the maximum period and only for 5 years under the rule of the Mughal Empire. This fort is raised to a height of 1,033m above the sea level and is situated southwest to Visapur Fort. The fort belongs to the Western Ghats. The mountain divides basins of the pavana and the Indrayani rivers and the Lohagad fort overlooks Pavana reservoir situated south of the mountain range. The range extends to a buttressed spur known as Vinchukata for its shape. The gates of Lohagad are in good state and intact. It is a very popular attraction of a Maharashtra tour.


History Of The Attraction

This fort is of considerable historical significance and was under the reign of various rulers during the various periods of time. It was captured by the Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Satavahanas, Yadavas, Bahamanis, Mughals, Nizams and finally the Maratha ruler Shivaji Maharaj captured it in the year 1648 C.E. He was compelled to surrender the fort in the year 1670C.E. by the Treaty of Purandar. Later this fort was used as a residence of the Peshwa, Nana Phadnavis and he built a couple of structures within the fort, like a step-well and big tank. Now the fort is a heritage tourist site in Maharashtra.


Shaniwarwada


Shaniwarwada also known as Shanwarwada is a historical fortification in the city of Pune in Maharashtra, India. Built in 1732, it was the seat of the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire until 1818, when the Peshwas lost control to the British East India Company after the Third Anglo-Maratha War.

History Of The Attraction
It was the seat of the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire until 1818, when the Peshwas lost control to the British East India Company after the Third Anglo-Maratha War. Following the rise of the Maratha Empire, the palace became the center of Indian politics in the 18th century.

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