Beautiful Places In Pune To Visit

Aga Khan Palace :

At a distance of 6.5 km from Pune Junction, the Aga Khan Palace is a national monument of India's independence movement. It is situated on Pune - Nagar Road and is one of the prominent tourist places in Pune. 

Aga Khan Palace is a majestic building and is considered to be one of the greatest palaces in Maharashtra. The Palace was built by Sultan Mohammed Shah Aga Khan III in 1892 AD. The palace was an act of charity by the Sultan who wanted to help the poor in the neighbouring areas of Pune, who were drastically hit by famine.

Aga Khan Palace covers an area of 19 acres, out of which 7 acres is the built up area. It has Italian arches and spacious lawns. The building comprises five halls. The palace captivates the visitors with its magnificence and picturesque architecture. It took 5 years and an estimated budget of 1.2 million rupees to construct the palace. It was donated to Government of India by the Prince Karim El Husseni, Aga Khan IV, in 1969 AD, in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi. 

Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapathi Temple :

At a distance of 4 km from Pune Junction, Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapathi Temple is an ancient Hindu temple situated in Budhwar Pet near Shaniwar Wada in Pune City. This is one of the important Ganesh temples in Maharashtra and also one of the popular tourist places in Pune.

Sri Dagdusheth Temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Ganesh. The temple was built by Dagdusheth Halwai, a sweet seller. In late 1800s, he lost his son in a plague epidemic. This caused Dagdusheth and his wife to go into deep depression. To heal them, he built the Ganesh temple in 1893 AD according to their Guru Sri Madhavnath Maharaj's advice. Every year the Ganapathi festival was celebrated with deep faith and enthusiasm not only by Dagdusheth's family but the entire neighbourhood. Later, Lokmanya Tilak made Ganapathi festival a public celebration to bring people together for the freedom struggle. 

Shaniwar Wada Fort :

At a distance of 3 km from Pune Junction, Shaniwar Wada is an ancient palace fort situated in the center of Pune in Maharashtra. This one of the most popular historical places in Pune and also one of the top tourist places in Pune City. 

Built in 1732 AD, Shaniwar Wada was the seat of the Peshwa rulers of the Maratha Empire until 1818 AD when the Peshwas surrendered to the British 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.

Shaniwar Wada was originally built as the residence of the Peshwas. The foundation of the mansion was laid by Bajirao I in 1730 AD and the construction was completed in 1732 AD. It is said that the foundation was carried out on a Saturday, hence the palace got the name 'Shaniwar' (Saturday), 'Wada' (residence). Influenced by Mughal design and architecture, Shaniwar Wada represents the skillful craftsmanship of Maratha artisans and boasts about 21 feet tall main door that faces north. The palace was built using teak that was imported from the jungles of Junnar, stone brought from quarries of Chinchwad, and lime sourced from the lime-belts of Jejuri. Several additions were made to the palace like fortification walls with bastions, gates and court halls by his successors.

Bhimashankar Temple :

At a distance of 111 km from Pune, 124 km from Lonavala, 210 km from Nashik and 224 km from Mumbai, Bhimashankar Temple is ancient pilgrimage center located near Karjat in the Ghat region of Sahyadri hills in Maharashtra. This is one of the top places of pilgrimage in Maharashtra and also one of the best pilgrimage places to visit in Pune.

Bhimashankar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered as one of the 12 holy Jyotirlinga shrines in India, and five in Maharashtra. The other Jyotirlinga shrines in Maharashtra are Vaidyanath near Parli, Trimbakeshwara near Nashik, Grishneshwar near Aurangabad and Aundha Nagnath Temple in Hingoli. Bhimashankar is also the source of the river Bhima, which flows southeast and merges with the Krishna River near Raichur.

It is believed that the original temple of Bhimashankar was built in 12th century CE. However, there is no evidence remains dating to that period have been found. The temple was renovated by Chimaji Antaji Bhide Naik in 1733 CE followed by some repair works by Dikshit Patwardhan in 1766 CE. A well was constructed in the complex by Raghunathrao Peshwa. The famous minister of the Peshwas, Nana Phadnavis carried out a lot of renovations, including the construction of the shikhara.

Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park / Katraj Snake Park :

At a distance of 11 km from Pune Junction and 6 km from Saras Baug, Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, commonly known as Rajiv Gandhi Zoo, is located at Katraj in Pune. It is one of the famous tourist places in Pune and is managed by the Pune Municipal Corporation. 

The Pune Municipal Corporation created Peshwe Park in 1953 on about 7 acres. In 1986, Mr. Neelam Kumar Khaire with assistance from the Pune Municipal Corporation created the Katraj Snake Park on the same land. In 1997, in order to create a more modern zoo, the municipality selected a site in Katraj and started developing a new zoo. The zoo opened in 1999 as the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park & Wildlife Research Centre. The park initially included only the Reptile Park, sambars, spotted deer, and monkeys. Although it took until 2005, all of the animals from Peshwe Park were eventually moved to the new site, and Peshwe Park was closed.

The snake park has a large collection of snakes, reptiles, birds and turtles. There are over 22 species of snakes with 10 species of reptiles comprising more than 150 individuals. This includes a 13 foot long king cobra. The snake park has organized many snake festivals and snake awareness programs to clarify doubts about snakes. During Nag Panchami, the park arranges programs to discourage ill-treatment of snakes.

Sinhagad Fort :