Known as the Cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune has a lot of places to visit. Having been under Maratha rule for very long time, the city has a lot of monuments that offers a great chance to really take a dive back into that time and have a look at the culture and lifestyle of Maratha dynasty and its people. Pune is an attraction for mainly two types of people, History and Literature lovers and also, the city has become the educational hub in India due to the presence of several popular educational institutes. And thus, a lot of these people travel to this city every year and if you also have plans of visiting this city on your next vacation then we would like to recommend a few places that you really cannot miss once you’re here. Also, we understand that the budget vacations are not easy to have but most of the places in the list have free entry thereby compensating for the Pune hotel price.
Shaniwar Wada Palace
If you are also scratching your head and feeling a sense of familiarity with the name, then just remember the movie Bajirao Mastani. Built in 1732 by the peshwas of the Maratha empire, this palace packs a lot of history from being under control of peshwas up until 1818 and then being a center of Indian politics when it was captured by the britishers. What you see today are the remains of the real shanivarwada as the fort was destroyed in 1828 by a fire accident. Before this fire, the palace was a seven storeyed building. Major attractions inside the palace are Old mirror hall, Naachacha Diwankhana, Juna Asra mahal, Thora rayancha diwankhana. Open every day of the week, the palace can be visited between 8am and 6:30pm. There is light and sound show every day too which can be enjoyed at a ticket of just 25INR per person with a 5INR for palace entry.
Built during the reign of Peshwa dynasty, Parvati Temple on the Parvati hill is the oldest heritage monument of the city. Located 560 meters above sea level, one can enjoy the serene beauty of the town sitting up there and it is the main reason that a lot of people visit this place. A lot of temples devoted to different gods are located at hilltop like Vitthal and Rukmini, Vishnu and Kartikeya and Rama. You can visit here anytime of the day but temples are open from 5am to 8pm.
Situated at Khadakwasla dam’s lake, Peacock bay is made beautiful by the presence of large number of peacocks but they are not the only species found here. Other species such as lion-tailed monkeys, deer and civets can be easily spotted here. The bay is loved by the water adventure sports lovers because of a large number of water sports that are available here to enjoy. Owned by the National defense academy, Peacock bay receives a large number of visitors throughout the year. This place is amongst the few unspoiled tourist location in the city and offers peaceful ambience to everyone who visits here. If you like to travel to the offbeat locations, then you must add this place to your list.
Pataleshwar Cave Temple
Origins dating back to 8th century, Pataleshwar Cave temple is a nice place to witness the architecture of ancient India during the rashtrakuta period. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is a rock cut cave temple and is made up of beautiful basalt rock. The main structure of the temple contains 2 more sanctums apart from the one of lord Shiva and you can discover the unfinished part of the temple while walk it. Yet another structure of this temple is the Nandimandapa which is in front of the cave held by large square pillars and it really adds a lot to the overall beauty of the temple. Tourists come here to attend the Shiva linga Pooja and find the unfinished part of the temple to be attractive.
Spread across 39 acres, Empress garden has been under maintenance of Agri-horticulture society of Western India since 1880 and is known to nurture some the rare and beautiful species of flora of this region. Since British colonial rule, visitors comes to this garden for recreational purposes and to penetrate into the peace and tranquility of the nature. This garden is a popular picnic spot with a separate play area for kids and a snack shack on the premises. The Agri-horticulture society even organizes some Flower shows and similar events to spread awareness amongst the visitors. With a minimal entry fee of rupees 10 per person, this place is a must visit.
So, these were our top 5 recommendations for the places you can visit in the city of Pune. And we stuck to our words and all the places are either free to visit or have a minimal entry fee while being on the top ranks in the list of places to visit in Pune. So, pack your bags without worrying about the pune’s hotel prices and come to enjoying this great city.