Pune as a city is highly recommended if you are seeking solace after the cosmopolitan madness, or if you love partying, or if you are fond of history and architecture, or if you are old, or if you are young. Quite a paradox, I know. But this is exactly what Pune is, it has something in it for everyone. The city is bestowed with culture and just the right blend of modernity; attracting people from across interests to make them fall in love with it. With numerous attractions to boast, the weather, the accessibility, cozy cafes and eating joints, Pune will make you want to never leave. However, keeping the busy schedule of the millennials in mind, we have encapsulated a list of things to do in Pune on a short trip:
1. CaXpture the glorified Shanivar Vada
For all you Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh fans, you already know what we are talking about. ‘Shanivar Vada’ built in 1736, under the rule of Bajirao Peshwa I, speaks volumes of the glorifying era of Peshwa rule in Pune. Among the numerous stories about Shanivar Vada, one of them also claims of some ghostly stories associated with it but nevertheless, the palace is a work of art with as many as five gates, intricate latticework, artfully crafted wooden pillars and nine bastions for defence purpose.
- Timing: 8 AM – 6 PM
2. Get to know more of Indian History at Aga Khan Palace
If history gives you a kick, Aga Khan Palace in Pune is your paradise. This place has witnessed many important incidents from Indian history including the rescue of famine-struck countrymen, imprisonment of Mahatma Gandhi and the demise of Mahadev Desai and Kasturba Gandhi. The palace has now become Mahatma National Memorial that showcases photos and paintings on the life of Mahatma Gandhi.
- Timing: 9 AM – 05:30 PM
3. Meditate at Osho Ashram
The Osho Ashram in Pune is an unusual but an enriching experience. A wide and open 40-acre resort in Koregaon Park is a habitat for meditation, finding inner self, conducting workshops and theatre events. If you are seeking solitude, then Osho Ashram will embrace you like no other place, people come here from more than 100 countries. The tranquillity of this place and its positive aura has a great calming effect on people. The ashram is a resort in itself with luxurious facilities such as swimming pool, spa, sauna and gym among others. The charges vary for the kind of services you wish to take.
- Entry Fee: INR 60
- Timing: 10 AM – 02:30 PM
4. Explore the giant Sinhagad Fort
The Sinhagad Fort, suspended by the Bhilaswar Range of Sahyadri, offers an awe-inspiring sight. The fort is believed to be built 2000 years ago with a lot of stories and beliefs stringed to the fort. It is an interesting place to visit, and travel enthusiasts can do a little adventure trek uphill as well.
- Timing: 09:00 AM – 06:00 PM
5. Take a Chill Pill at Koregaon Park
I’m quite sure, the adage ‘EAT. DRINK. REPEAT’ was made in Pune at Koregaon Park. Now that we have talked about the rich heritage of Pune, you cannot just miss out on the most happening area of Pune, Koregaon Park that comes alive in full swing in the evenings. If you are visiting with friends, this place can be your one-stop for all needs with lovely, heartwarming cafes serving a myriad of national and international cuisines. Shopping and street art are also a key attraction in this area.
Recommended Places: Shisha Jazz Café, ABC Farms, German Bakery (opposite Osho Ashram)
Must-have: Coffee at German Bakery, Continental food at Prem’s restaurant
6. Eat at J1-जेवण and Have Coffee at Roopali
What’s a trip to Maharashtra, if you haven’t had a scrumptious Marathi meal, J1-जेवण is a Marathi fine-dine restaurant that serves a royal at a reasonable price. It’s a fairly new place with great ambience and service. Also, a fulfilling cup of coffee at Roopali can give your day a kick start. Travellers from far and beyond visit this place to enjoy morning delicacies.
- Where: Shivaji Nagar
- What to Order: Chicken Masala, Koliwada Prawn, Bombil Fry, Kothimbir Vadi, Chicken Warhadi, Fish, Sea Food
7. Photo session at Shivaji Bridge
Shivaji Bridge is the place which can add that much-needed validation to the photographer and traveller in you. The spot is perfect for capturing some really cool pictures. It’s an old bridge and also marks an entrance to Old Pune city. Highly recommended for that soul-search walk.
- Where: Near Shanivarwada
- How to Reach: Take the Road opposite Mangala Theatre towards Congress Bhavan
8. Seek solace at Saras Baug
An evening spot for a laid-back sun-downer. With a temple perched alongside that can be visited as per individual choice, Saras Baug is also one of those places where you can find solace.
9. Shop for Bakery Items
Pune can rightly be a synonym to baker’s paradise. When visiting Pune, one has to stop and take home a bag full of sinful indulgence that the city offers. Places such as MG Road, Kayan Bakery and Budhani Chips have some of the best bakery items that one cannot miss. Make use of the free testers before you take your favourite pick.
- Where: MG Road, opposite Marz-O-Rin
- What to Order: Mawa Cakes (Kayani Bakery), Shruberry Biscuits and Potato Wayfers (Budhani Chips)
10. Bike Ride to Lavasa
While managing everything else along with this dream-bike ride on a two-day trip might be slightly difficult but Lavasa is a heaven located about 57 km from Pune. The journey takes you through the Western Ghats and is breathtakingly beautiful; it is a perfect opportunity for bikers and passionate photographers to come across beautiful sceneries, experience the winding path with one side covered with mountains.
11. Take a panoramic shot of Pune from Vetal Hill
A city as bright and beautiful as Pune that holds the heart of Maharashtra in it looks nothing less than majestic from atop. Vetal Hill is the highest point in the city and it offers an aerial view of the entire region, where Vetala Temple stands. Vetal is a must-visit place to get some interesting pictures of the city. You may reach the hilltop doing a small trek; the best time to execute this is early morning for that picture-perfect sunrise.
Pune speaks to the soul of people visiting it. The city makes you feel young and safe in its arms as it embraces you with the warmth of a grandparent. Today, Pune looks a lot different from what it used to be but its old self is still intact – warm as ever, green as ever.