Pune, otherwise known as Poona, is the second largest city in Maharashtra and located only about 150 km from Mumbai. It was once the center of the Maratha Empire and remains a hub for education and innovation even today. Fun fact: Badminton was invented in Pune and the sport was formerly known as Poona 😉 If you are curious as to what the city has to offer today, check out our list of the 10 best places to visit in Pune. PS: Scroll down for a map with all Pune highlights!
Pune Points of Interest
- Shaniwar Wada Fortress
- Aga Khan Palace
- Pune University
- Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
- Dagadusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple
- Pataleshwar Temple
- Parvati Hill
- Laxmi Road
- Phule Market
- Koregaon Park
1. Shaniwar Wada
Shaniwar Wada is a fortress originally built in 1732 which served as a political power base of the Maratha Empire for nearly 100 years. Although partially destroyed by a fire in 1828, it is relatively well preserved and open to visitors today. Some people claim that the fortress is haunted by the ghost of a former Peshwa (prime minister) who was assassinated by his uncle’s family in a struggle for power.
Shaniwar Wada features some imposing gates, most notably Dilli Darwaja (Delhi Gate). Inside you will find a beautiful quiet garden featuring a lotus-shaped fountain, but its main attraction is the light and sound show which takes place every day and brings the ruins alive once again. The show takes place in English between 20:15 and 21:10 and tickets should be booked the same day between 18:30 and 20:30.
Where? Shaniwar Peth, Pune
Opening Hours? Daily, 09:00 – 17:30
How much? 15 Rs. (Indian nationals), 50 Rs. (Foreigners); Shows 50 Rs./100 Rs.
2. Aga Khan Palace
Aga Khan Palace was originally built in 1892, but truly became an integral part of Indian history in the 20th century. It held a prime position in the Indian freedom movement as it was where Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi and several others were imprisoned during the time. Today it serves as a memorial site and gives visitors an insight into the Indian Freedom Struggle. Apart from its historic importance, it is also of cultural value due to its beautiful architecture which clearly draws influences from the Italian Renaissance.
Where? Pune Nagar Road, Kalyani Nagar, Palace View Society, Kalyani Nagar, Pune
Opening Hours? Daily, 09:00 – 17:30
How much? 15 Rs. (Indian nationals), 200 Rs. (Foreigners); Extra charge of 25 Rs. for taking videos
3. Pune University
Pune University, founded in 1949, is named after 19th-century social reformer and Savitribai Phule. Today, the university has 43 departments and several hundred affiliated colleges. It is estimated that about 500,000 students are affiliated with the university, contributing to Pune’s image of a university town.
What stands out to visitors is the university’s lush green campus and beautiful architecture. The main sight on campus is the university main building, originally built in 1864 with Victorian and Italian influences.
Where? Savitribai Phule Pune University, Ganeshkhind, Pune
4. Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
The Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is home to a vast collection of well-preserved Indian artefacts and definitely worth a visit. In fact, spanning 3 floors, the collection is comprised of more than 20.000 items reflecting Indian everyday life throughout the ages.
Where? 1377/78, Shukrawar Peth, Kamal Kunj, Natu Baag, Mandai, Shukrawar Peth, Pune
Opening Hours? Daily, 10:00 – 17:30
How much? 50 Rs. (Indian nationals), 200 Rs. (Foreigners); Extra charge for photography (100-500 Rs.)
5. Dagadusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple
This temple is one of many temples in Maharashtra dedicated to Ganesh, the elephant god in Hindu tradition. The temple houses a rather large idol of the god and strikes visitors with its golden ornaments surrounding it. Dagadusheth Temple is a popular pilgrimage site and one of the city’s hot-spots particularly during Ganesh Chaturthi when you’ll see devotees standing in line for hours just to catch a glimpse of the idol. Although the temple is open to visitors year-round, keep in mind that it is a place of worship and behave respectfully. For example, as with any Hindu temple, you are expected to take off your shoes before entering.
Where? Ganpati Bhavan, 250, Budhvar Peth, Shivaji Road, Budhwar Peth, Pune
Opening Hours? Daily, 6:00 – 23:00
How much? Free entry, donations welcome
Read more about the temple schedule on the official website.
6. Pataleshwar Temple
Pataleshwar is a cave temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Originally carved out in the 8th century, the monument has only been included within Pune city limits in rather recent years. Although located rather centrally in the city today, it is still an oasis of calm, away from the hustle and bustle.
Where? Jangali Maharaj Road, Revenue Colony, Shivajinagar, Pune
Opening Hours? 08:00 – 17:30
How much? Free
7. Parvati Hill
Parvati Hill is a small hill on the outskirts of the city center. Not only is it home to several beautiful temples, it also offers magnificent views of the city. In order to reach the top, you will have to climb about a hundred stairs, but it is definitely rewarding! Alternatively, you can also take a rickshaw most of the way 😉 The temples on the hill are dedicated to different deities, such as Ganesh and Vishnu. Particularly for foreign visitors, it should be noted that in recent years Parvati Hill has also become the location of city slums. Don’t let this put you off, but go and enjoy the views 🙂
Where? Parvati Hill, Parvati Paytha, Pune
8. Laxmi Road
Laxmi Road is one of the oldest commercial streets in Pune and famous for its large variety of shops. If you are trying to get in some shopping while you’re in town, this is the place! Make sure to visit one of the many bookshops as Pune residents are seriously obsessed with books of any kind. It is only fitting that Laxmi Road is also the home of some of India’s oldest publishing houses. Apart from books, you can get pretty much anything here, including (but certainly not limited to): spices, jewellery, sarees, and delicious street food. Be advised that the street is rather narrow and usually packed with people. But it wouldn’t be India otherwise, would it? 😉
9. Phule Market
If you haven’t quite satisfied your craving for shopping on Laxmi Road yet, head over to Phule Market. Officially known as Mahathma Phule Mandai, it is the biggest vegetable market in Pune. Considering how much Punekars love their food, that is a LOT of vegetables, believe me 😉 The market gets very crowded on the weekends, so it’s best to come during the week!
Where? Mahatma Phule Market, Amrale Rd, Mandai, Shukrawar Peth, Pune
Opening Hours? 10:00 – 17:00
10. Koregaon Park
Koregaon Park is not actually a park, but rather a neighborhood or district. In fact, it is one of the most expensive areas in Pune. Many big name hotels are located in the area, so you may not even have to travel far to explore Koregaon Park. We usually head over to Koregaon for one reason only: food. Okay, you can get fantastic food anywhere in Pune, but Koregaon Park is home to so many iconic cafes and restaurants that you don’t even know where to start. My favorite restaurant in Pune, Malaka Spice, is located here. Although a high-end restaurant (perhaps even by western standards), don’t miss it, because the food is seriously to die for.
Map: Best Places to Visit in Pune
Now, what do you think? Did we miss any of your favorite Pune points of interest? Which is the best place to visit in Pune? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below! Let’s stay in touch!