Pune | India
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Pune (formerly spelt Poona) is in Maharashtra, India. It is considered the state's cultural capital and is the second largest city in the state. Pune is known for its educational tourism and has a blend of cultural, business, health, cuisine tourism background. The large student population in the city makes for a lively nightlife and vibrant atmosphere. Pune also houses fantastic restaurants, good museums, and hill forts which offer panoramic views.

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Pu La Deshpande Garden Since Pune is in the state of Maharashtra, most of the residents are Marathis (or Maharashtrians). The city contains the headquarters of the Pune administrative division. Pune has history that stretches back nearly 1600 years. Pataleshwar caves (Near Jangli Maharaj Road) from the 5th century are evidence to Pune’s old settlements. Pune is a gateway to knowledge about the past with opportunities to learn from the help of forts, monuments, museums and higher-learning institutions. From the medieval Maratha history of King Shivaji to a visit to Aga Khan Palace to learn about Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent freedom struggle, there is much to learn here. If the quote "Freedom is my birthright and I shall have it!" sounds interesting, make a visit to Gayakwadwada museum. If interested in ancient Indian history or Indology, then Deccan college, Bharat Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute are the places of research and learning and house their own museums as well. Pune has been called the "Oxford of the East". It is a university town. There are many colleges and institutes here that offer everything from engineering to fine arts. These establishments boast a large number of foreign students in addition to locals. Climate Osho Garden The climate of Pune is quite pleasant. Pune has three distinct seasons: summer, monsoon and winter. Summers are typically hot with maximum temperatures ranging from 35 to 42°C. The warmest month in Pune is generally April as compared to the rest of the Deccan Plateau where it is May. Pune does not get very hot. Even during the peak of summer the air is cool and standing under a tree can give respite from the heat. However, as the frequent sunlight can cause sunburn, be sure to carry and use sunscreens (above SPF-30). The nights in Pune are significantly cooler than most other parts in this region due to its high altitude. The average rainfall is approx 550mm. The city often receives thundershowers with heavy downpours in May, which brings down the temperature. The rainy season can sometimes be gloomy, with cloud cover for many days in a row. In winter, day temperatures can be as low as 24 - 28°C and temperatures at night as low as 5 - 8°C. Winters are generally dry. Normally, the climate in Pune is pleasant during the month of November. Attitude Attitudes in Pune are liberal. The city used to be very traditional and conservative, but times have changed. The city is not the conservative small-town of old, but now is a much more open-minded developed city.

Pune

Planning a Trip

1 Get in 1.1 By plane 1.2 By train 1.3 By car 1.4 By bus 1.5 By taxi Pune is a major transportation hub for Western Maharashtra. It serves as the gateway for the numerous hill stations in the Sahyadri Hills. By plane 18.582273.91971 Pune Airport (PNQ IATA). Pune does not have its own civil airport. All commercial air carriers operate from the military airport in Lohegaon which is around 10 km from the city center. It takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour to reach, depending on traffic conditions. The airport is served by almost all domestic carriers but the number of flights is limited since the airport is under the control of the air force. International flights operate only to Dubai (as of February 2019 the Frankfurt flight is not running until a new partner can be found). Facilities are sparse, for arrivals there is a money exchange stand, a very small duty free and a pre-pay taxi stall; in airside departure there are a few small snack stalls, a small duty free and goods store. The business lounge is basic. If getting a direct flight proves difficult, then taking a flight to Mumbai and then travelling by taxi or train to Pune is a feasible option. A long-distance private taxi journey should take around three hours and costs about ₹3000.   (updated Mar 2016) Flights connecting to Pune: Air India: Bangalore, Delhi, Goa and Hyderabad Air India Express: Mumbai and Dubai Go Air: Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi IndiGo: Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Jaipur and Nagpur Jet Airways: Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Indore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Indore and Mumbai Lufthansa (operated by PrivatAir): Frankfurt SpiceJet: Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Jaipur AirAsia: Bangalore, and Jaipur Vistara: Delhi There are designated spaces for Uber and Ola taxis By train Pune has many connections to other Indian cities by rail. Check train availability on the Indian Rail website before you go, as train timings are subject to change. There are mainline routes to Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai 18.52895473.8743932 Pune Station (Pune Junction). An above average Indian station, it contains an information booth, an internet café, and a computerized ticket booking office. Trolleys are not available, but porters can be hired to help with luggage. Licensed porters wear a red shirt with a metallic arm-band bearing their serial number. The official rates in Maharashtra are ₹25 for up to 10 kg/3 pieces of luggage (whichever is less); ₹20 per additional 5 kg/piece of luggage (whichever is less); a lightweight briefcase not exceeding 300 cm³ is not included, but carries a ₹5 surcharge. (updated Mar 2016) By car Pune is served by three national highways (NH) and an expressway. NH 4 between Mumbai in the west and Chennai in the south passes through Pune. NH 4, a part of the Golden Quadrilateral of highways connects Pune to Bangalore also. Satara, Kolhapur and Kagal all in Maharashtra are connected to Pune by NH 4. National Highway 4 runs through the villages of Shirwal, Naraspur, Hadapsar, Khadki, Tolegaon, Wadgaon, Lonavala, and Khandala within Pune district. NH 9 connects Pune in Maharashtra to Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh. Indapur, Solapur,and Umarga in Maharashtra, followed by Rajeshwar, Homnabad, and Mangalgi in Karnataka, and thereafter Zahirabad, Hyderabad, Suryapeta and Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh are connected by NH 9 to Pune. The villages of Kambhargaon, Bhigvan, Ravangaon, Loni Kaibhor, and Theur within the district of Pune are connected by this highway. NH 50 connects Pune to Nasik. The cities of Sangamner, Narayangaon, and Khed all in Maharashtra are connected by this highway. Chakan, Rajgurunagar, Malegaon, Mancharo, Kalamb, Narayangaon, and Aleo are the important locations on this highway between Pune and Nasik. By bus It takes about three hours to get from the Mumbai airport to Pune via the Pune-Mumbai Expressway. Private and state-owned companies (MSRTC) operate luxury buses on this route, and run 24 hours service with buses departing every fifteen minutes. MSRTC buses charge approximately ₹200 (Non AC) and ₹420 (AC) for the journey. The MSRTC A/C "Shivneri" buses operate between 5:30AM - midnight. Below are arrival and departure points for buses from cities and villages outside of Pune. 18.52784873.8727093 MSRTC Bus Depot Pune Station, Sanjay Gandhi Rd, Agarkar Nagar. This bus stand (next to the railway station and also considered to be the main bus stand) mainly serves buses on the Mumbai route. Most services make a stop at Lonavala. (updated Mar 2016) 18.53185473.8499494 Shivaji Nagar, Rambhau K Kamble Path. This bus stand serves buses for Vidarbha, Konkan, Marathwada and Northern Maharshtra. A few services connect with other cities in the neighboring state of Gujarat. Buses run by Gujarat Roadways run to Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Surat, Kandla and Rajkot. The bus station is outside the Shivaji Nagar Railway station. (updated Mar 2016) 18.49936373.8581275 Swargate ST Stand, Satara Rd. This bus stand serves buses covering the Western Maharashtra and Konkan Region. (updated Mar 2016) 18.4470473.8590336 Katraj. This is not exactly a bus stand but for most of the Interstate buses this acts as a pick up and drop point. (updated Mar 2016) By taxi Shared cabs operate on a route from Pune City Station to Dadar, Mumbai. These taxis seat 4 to 5 people, and charge ₹300 per person using a regular car, ₹800 for a Fiat Premier and ₹1000 for an Ambassador. Cool cabs (taxis with air conditioning) are also available which charge higher. Ali Cool Cab, Just Car and Taxi Guru Solution provide cool cabs for doorstep pickup and drop for Pune to Mumbai trips. The rates for such doorstep taxi service start from ₹2100 (including toll-tax).

Pune

Getting Around

1 Get around 1.1 By auto-rickshaws 1.2 By bus 1.3 By car 1.4 By taxi 1.5 By two-wheelers 1.6 By suburban rail 18°31′13″N 73°51′24″EMap of Pune Streets in the centre of Pune By auto-rickshaws There is a massive army of three wheeled rickshaws. Some prepaid rickshaw stands can be found at Shivajinagar, Swargate Bus Depot, and Lohegaon Airport. All rickshaws plying in the Municipal Corporation limits are supposed to charge according to the meter. Drivers will give you endless excuses why they cannot use the meter. Remember that they are required by law to have a working meter and use it, and this will almost always be cheapest for you too. If they still refuse, walk away: there are plenty of other rickshaws on the roads. In fact, drivers of rickshaws that you flag down from the streets (if practical and possible) will often be more agreeable than the those waiting in stands, who demand more fare. The driver may occasionally stop to ask for directions depending on how familiar he is with the area. Nowadays, many auto rickshaw drivers try to charge extra for long distances or very short distances, or they refuse the fare. Stick to the demand of charging by meter and refuse strongly to pay any extra amount, unless it is past midnight. It is very common for rickshaw drivers plying between 11PM and 6AM to demand 1½ times the normal rates for the journey. You are advised to get this cleared with the driver before boarding the rickshaw. If they realise you are not from the city, they may try to take longer routes to the destination to charge extra money from you. Thus, outsiders and foreigners, use your own judgement before boarding any auto rickshaw. Autorickshaw drivers may also refuse to travel to quite a few parts of the city as per their convenience; however, this is against the law if their meter reads "on hire" in the upright position. If the sign is turned sideways, the rickshaw driver is not working and can refuse you. If you have complaints against auto drivers for not accepting short distance rides (or any rides), asking more meter fare, not using a meter, taking other passengers along the way, carrying more passengers than allowed capacity, stopping at bus stands or other similar complaints of serious nature, you can email or call the Road Transport Authorities at 020-22051414 or 020-27492828 (PCMC) or email rtopune@dataone.in. Traffic cops usually come right away to the spot to book a complaint against the driver. Commuters can also send their MMS pictures at +91 9420218338. The complaints should clearly mention all details including the auto’s registration number, the time of taking the rickshaw, details of auto fare, the distance commuted, locations, date, time, nature of complaint. After so many calls complaints, the RTO/police can fine them as heavily as ₹50 for refusal of service. By bus City buses in Pune are run by the PMPML. Although the vehicles are crowded and smoke-belching, the network is very extensive. Almost all parts of the city are connected by the PMPML city buses. Major city bus stands include Corporation, Shivaji Nagar, Swargate, Kothrud depot, Nigdi, Hadapsar, Katraj and Deccan. Shivaji Nagar is believed to be the busiest bus stand in the state of Maharashtra. The fare is calculated by distance, and ranges from ₹5 to ₹22. To travel other cities from pune, there are many private bus operators available. You can find from the bus booking sites like Redbus, Abhibus, and Myticketbuddy. By car Though there is a lot of traffic in Pune you can't compare it to Cairo or Kolkata. A majority of the vehicles are two wheelers and apart from the peak hours the roads in Pune are sparsely filled. There are quite a few car rental agencies in Pune. Most of them charge around ₹2500 a day for a mid-size car. There are extra charges for distances above 100 km. It is recommended to get a driver if you are not familiar with Indian cities and this also helps remove the problem of finding parking. Even for India the interpretation of traffic conventions is very flexible and not for the inexperienced or faint hearted. There are also taxis available like Uber, OLA who charge fairly as compared to auto rickshaws. If you are driving a car always be careful, since motorbike riders may overtake you from left or right and cut lanes without warning. By taxi Several radio taxi companies operate in Pune. Uber and Ola are easily available throughout the city. 18.47453373.9240121 Ali Cool Cab, S.No. 59/1A, Shop No. 06, Sulai Complex,, Opp. Desai Hospital, Mohammad Wadi, ☎ +919767433709, e-mail: info@alicoolcab.com. Professional cab operator for Pune to outstation trips. ₹2100. (updated Apr 2016) 18.50088473.9015222 Taxi Guru Solution, Sr. No. 11/21, Hole Wasti, Behind Premanand Park, Wanowrie, ☎ +91-9763356909, e-mail: taxigurusolution@gmail.com. (updated Apr 2016) SuperCabz, ☎ +91-9310-456789. (updated Jul 2017) Just Car, Near Premanand Park, Parmar Nagar, ☎ +91-9527779813. Pin: 411040. Taxis and car rental. 1799. (updated May 2016) CabX (Cab Xtensions), Kondhwa Budruk, ☎ +91-7778889994. (updated Feb 2017) 7mcar, Manish Park NIBM Road (NIBM Road), ☎ +91 8087138713, e-mail: info@7mcar.com. (updated Mar 2016) Wingscabs, ☎ +91 20 40100100. (updated Mar 2016) By two-wheelers This city was once known as the city of bicycles, but now it has turned into the city of motorcycles. Most traffic rules are completely ignored in Pune and there are ten times as many two-wheelers as there are cars. The general attitude towards riding motorbikes in the city is that of total ignorance of any set forth traffic regulations along with complete disregard of one's safety (including not wearing a helmet). Here people ride motorbikes as if they are riding a war horse and will generally try to overtake every vehicle in front. Minor accidents on motorbikes are common; You are advised to be careful even when your signal is green as the traffic flow from other direction generally does not stop immediately. Wearing a helmet is compulsory in Pune. The fine for driving without helmets has been increased from ₹100 to ₹500, which includes both the rider as well as the pillion. Pune's roads might turn to horrid potholes from smooth tarmac in matter of seconds when it rains. Always be on a lookout. The addition of new bicycle tracks all over has made an improvement on two-wheeler traffic. If you do want to hire a two wheeler, there are two outfits who rent these vehicles in Pune. A 100cc Bajaj Platina will cost ₹200 a day and an automatic Honda scooter will cost ₹300. If you are planning on day trips from Pune you would be best with the larger wheels and light weight of a motorcycle rather than a scooter. Both outfits will most likely deliver to your accommodation if you ask nicely. Mehta Autos, Mr Mukesh Mehta, 451 Somwar Peth Nr Khadiche Maidan Chowk, Behind Apollo Talkies cinema, Somwar Peth, ☎ +91 20 26127864, +91 9371026288. (updated Mar 2016) Blossoms, Mr Shakeel Shaikh, 15, Bund Garden Rd, ☎ +91 9890829786. (updated Mar 2016) By suburban rail The Pune Suburban Railway connects Pune to Lonavala, a small town en route to Mumbai. There is only one line with seventeen stations; a second monorail line is under consideration by the government. Here is a list of all the stations, east to west. The places of interest are listed in brackets. Italics indicate the various modes of transport available at the destination station. Pune City (MRSTC, City Bus Stand, Autos, Taxis, PMC) Shivaji Nagar (MRSTC, Shivaji Nagar Bus Stand, Autos, PMC) Khadki/Kirkee (Ammunition Factory, BDL, Ring Sights India Pvt Ltd) Dapodi (CME Museum) Kasarwadi (Air Vents & Glass Factory) Pimpri (Pimpri Plant, TATA Plant) Chinchwad (Bride Industries Ltd) Akurdi (Force Motors Plant, Bajaj Tempo) Dehu Rd (Army AOC & ASC 512 Base repair Depots) Begdewadi (Loco Sheds) Ghorawadi Talegaon (Muhammad Ali Rd, CRPF) Wadgaon (PWD bungalow) Kanhe Kamshet Malwali Lonavala

Pune

Top Attractions

1 See 1.1 Architecture 1.2 Culture 1.3 Scenery Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum building Sinhagad fort Aga Khan Palace Pune-Okayama Friendship Garden Pune is the cultural capital of Maharashtra. The Marathi film industry is also based here. Architecture 18.552373.90151 Aga Khan Palace, Pune Nagar Road, Kalyani Nagar. This historical landmark's architecture features Italian arches, salons, suites and spacious lawns. During the 1942 Quit India Movement, the British interned Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Gandhi here. The palace belonged to Aga Khan, prince and head of Khoja sect, who later donated the palace to erect a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi and his wife. Must see is an exhibition of very rare black-and-white photos and paintings from various epochs in the freedom movement, but descriptions are sparse so it helps if you already have background to the story. Also worth seeing is the Samadhi of Kasturba Gandhi in the backyard. Foreigners ₹100, extra for photos.    18.54115573.8295682 Chatushrungi Mata Temple, Senapati Bapat Rd. (updated Mar 2016) 18.5263888973.849722223 Pataleshwar Caves, Revenue Colony, Shivajinaga. This 8th-century temple is hidden in the heart of the city, nestled between modern high-rise structures and developments. Reminiscent of Ellora, the temple and its massive pillars, a Shiva shrine, and a Nandi bull, have been carved out of a single boulder of massive size. The temple is used by worshippers even today.    18.554573.825734 [dead link] Savitribai Phule Pune University (Pune University). The site of Poona University was the official residence of the Governor of Mumbai during the monsoon season. The campus features mansions built in Italian-Gothic style. A 300-m-high tower beckons to all these who come here in the pursuit of higher education. It is one of the oldest universities of India.   18.5191666773.855277785 Shaniwar Wada, Shaniwar Peth. This palace was built by the successors of Shivaji, the Peshwas in 1736. A massive fire destroyed the building in 1827. Most of the palace interiors were destroyed and all that remains is the old fortified wall. The brass studded gates and lotus pools have also withstood the ravages of time. This palace is situated in the heart of the city next to Deccan Gymkhana, Shivajinagar, and Laxmi Road. There is a 'Light & Sound Show' in three languages (Marathi, Hindi and English) every evening at the wada. It details the history of the Maratha empire and the significance of the role the Shaniwar played.    18.51376873.8534136 Vishrambaug Wada, RB Kumthekar Rd, Perugate, Sadashiv Peth. The remains of this palace stand in the heart of the old city. It was built during the 18th century by a descendant of Bajirao Peshwa. It is well known for its elaborate wooden façade.   (updated Mar 2016) Culture 18.522473.84867 Balgandharva rang mandir (Bal Gandharva Rang Mandir), Deccan, shivajinagar (It is situated close to Pune Municipal corporation office). Theatre and art gallery. The place is maintained by Pune Municipal corporation and has an air-conditioned theatre. Most of the famous Marathi plays are performed here. The theatre is named after famous Marathi artist Bal Gandharv.    18.52414773.875898 Darshan Museum, HH Prince Aga Khan Rd, Sangamvadi. This museum is a light and sound show that uses 3D holographic technology. It's a 100-minute show that takes you through the saint Sadhu Vaswani's life story via different sets. It uses probably the only implementation in the country to use a technique called Pepper's Ghost to create realistic 3D. The sets are real but the people who enact the scene are projections of light. The museum also houses a huge spectrum of artwork that's used to build the sets. A place for the entire family, the Darshan Museum is a must visit for anyone visiting the city. It is close to the Pune Railway Station at Sadhu Vaswani Chowk.    Fortune Art Gallery, 86/1, Erandwana, Deccan Gymkhana.  18.512973.85639 Mahatma Phule Museum, 10 411004, 1204/10, Ghole Rd, Shivajinagar. You can see various industrial products, agricultural and handicraft articles in this museum, which was established in 1890.    18.4972222273.8466666710 Parvati Hill temples and museum (Parvati Hill), Wagh Jai Rd, Parvati Paytha. A few temples and a museum are seated on top of this tall hill which offers spectacular vistas of the surrounding area. A steep flight of 108 narrow steps leads to the hill top temple built by Balaji Baji Rao. ‘Nagarkjana’ drum house is the temple of Parvati and Devdeveshwar. This was once the private shrine of the Peshwas. It is also the final resting place of Nana Saheb Peshwa. The Parvati museum houses portraits of Peshwas, old manuscripts, coins, and other artifacts.    Pune Music Cultural Centre, 459/1, Sadashiv Peth..  18.5107777873.8545555611 Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, 1377-78, Off. Bajirao Rd, Natu Baug, Shukrawar Peth. The museum is housed in a Rajasthani style building situated close to the hustle and bustle of the busy Bajirao Road. The artifacts in the museum were once part of a personal collection. It is now open to the public and houses over 20,000 objects of which roughly 2,500 are displayed. There are 36 sections to the museum and the objects within range from carved palace and temple doors, 2,000 year old pottery, traditional Indian lamps, and 17th century paintings.    Scenery Tekdi - is the Marathi word for hill. There are many small scenic hills in the city used for trekking and birdwatching. Notable among are Taljai (Near Parvati), Hanuman & Vetal Tekdi (near Law College Road, Paud Phata). 18.52396973.83921912 Fergusson College, Fergusson College Rd. Built in 1885, the college has a beautiful tree-lined campus with smooth rolling hills in the background.    18.5231273.88962813 National War Memorial, Prince of Wales Dr Rd, Ghorpuri Lines, Dobarwadi, Ghorpadi. The National War Memorial is a 8-m (25-foot) stone pillar dedicated to post-Independence war heroes. It is surrounded by a garden and has paved pathways. The memorial was funded entirely by the citizens of Pune, under the sponsorship of the Express Citizens' Forum. The foundation was laid in November 1997 and inaugurated in October 1998.  18.53375277777873.78571666666714 Pashan Lake, Sutarwadi Rd.. An artificial lake, once a source for drinking water has become heavily silted and degraded by pollution. Efforts are underway to rectify these issues. This lake remains to be a bird watchers spot due to the variety of birds found in the area.    18.49296573.83571915 Pu La Deshpande garden (Pune-Okayama Friendship Garden), Sinhgad Rd. One of the largest gardens in Pune, modelled after Okayama's Kōraku-en Garden.    18.500867773.852939616 Saras Baug, 2170 Sadashiv Peth. A Ganesh Temple stands in the middle of the garden in a lake. It was built by Peshwa Bajirao II. This area has been developed into a park.    18.3656638973.7552694417 Sinhagad Fort, Sinhagad Ghat Rd, Thoptewadi. This fort is a roughly 29-km drive to the southwest of Pune. It has historical importance dating back to the King Shivaji era. The surroundings are beautiful in the rainy season and on clear days you can see a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.   (updated Mar 2016) 18.525373.815318 Vetal Hill. The highest hill inside the city limits. The walk up to the Vetal Baba Mandir (temple) provides good views of the city but the best views are obstructed by trees and the radio transmitter building. The trail goes through scrub and forest maintained by local nature volunteers. There is a car park on Gokhalenagar Rd but if you start lower down from Kanchan Galli you will also pass the small temple Hanuman Mandir. There is also a chance of seeing wild Peacocks in the area.   (updated Dec 2015)

Pune

Things to do

Bird Watching: Enjoy boating and bird viewing in some of the city parks of Pune. Migratory parks can viewed throughout the year in Pune. At the right time you can see many migrated birds in the parks. Gliding Centre Pune, Hadapsar Airport. Go for a joy ride in a glider and experience flying like a bird. Get an aerial view of Pune at a cost of ₹187. You can also learn to fly gliders at the Gliding Centre, which is India's oldest and till date the most active hub for gliding. It's at Hadapsar on the eastern side of the city. Flying activity is conducted from Sunday through Thursday.  Horse riding. And go out for horse treks with Digvijay Pratishthan.  Japalouppe Equestrian Center (Talegaon Dabhade), somatne phata, mumbai pune highway, talegaon Dabhade, ☎ +91 9890920183. 6AM to 7PM. Punes Premier Riding school, Japalouppe is spread out over a picturesque 19 acres, with a team of 60 horses catering to a wide skill set of riders, from basic trotting and school work to advanced jumping and dressage.  Panshet Water Park. At a nearby dam, the tourism department has setup a water sports park.  Paragliding School & Flying Club. A 1-hr drive from Pune at Kamshet. Para-glide lessons with Nirvana India's oldest and largest residential paragliding school. Flying activity is on from October - June.  Trekking: Bhimashankar wildlife sanctuary in Pune, offers a thrilling and amazing trekking experience for the nature lovers. This wildlife sanctuary has two trekking trails available Seedi Ghat and Ganpati Ghat, out of these two Ganpati Ghat is a longer and less dangerous trekking path. 18.65363473.7319031 Sentosa Water Park (Sentosa Resorts and Water Park), Pune Bypass Road, Ravet, Pune, ☎ +91 9922992520, e-mail: email@sentosapune.com. 10:00-18:00. 6$. (updated Feb 2019) Festivals Pune has a full calendar of events, ranging from Classical Music to Rock Concerts. However, Pune's most famous festival is the Pune Festival, which is held during the Ganesha Mahotsav. The Chatushrungi Fair is an annual event. It is held overnight on Navratri at Senapati Bapat Road. Giant-wheels are the main attractions but the food sold at the stalls is delicious too. The Ganesh Utsav or Ganeshotsav initiated by Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, today is celebrated with great enthusiasm, as city interiors almost remain blocked for ten days. This is usually around the month of September and dates vary based on Hindu calendar. Pune has more than 2000 mandals with Dagdusheth Halwai being the biggest and most famous one. The Osho Festival is another international crowd puller in Pune. Held in the Osho Aashram in Koregaon Park, disciples and followers of Bhagwaan Rajneesh make it a point to attend this festival. The Pune International Film Festival - takes place annually and attracts some splendid films from around the world. This festival which generally takes place in January, lasts for a week and is a treat for film lovers in the city. Passes for single day or for entire duration are available at any of the multiplexes hosting the festival at reasonable rates. Sawai Gandharva classical music festival, which started back in the 1960s, has had every Indian and international artist perform and has given rise to a number of budding ones too. It is held in the months of December from dawn to dusk over three days. A number of college festivals have become very commercialised, but still attract big crowds and a very high degree of competition from colleges all over Pune. Verve organised by Express Youth Forum is the biggest inter-collegiate cultural festival in India while Concepts organized by the Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT) is a very popular engineering (technical) event. The College of Engineering, Pune also organizes a technical festival which attracts participants from all over India. So all year round, there is enough excitement to keep Puneites and tourists on their toes! Itinerary - Hill forts A day trip from Pune Pune - Bhuleshwar - Purandar - Sinhagad - Pune This round trip takes in some of the interesting hill forts around Pune. Total distance is about 220 km and will take 6 hours just to drive the loop, with lunch and sightseeing added on. The full trip could take up to 12 hours so leave a full day. It is suggested that this trip is undertaken either by motorcycle or 4WD due to the state of some of the roads that are encountered. It is possible to make the journey in a regular car (and many do - even auto ricks) but it will take longer and there will be a heavy toll on the cars suspension. To be as safe as possible you would also want some experience on driving on broken or unsurfaced roads and dealing with the challenges of driving in India. Leave Pune on the National Highway 9 (Pune Solapur Highway) which passes the racecourse. This is a toll road and also very busy with cars and trucks. If you have taken a motorcycle be very careful. The turn off to Bhuleshwar is about 35 km from Pune and shortly after the second toll booth (about 2 km before Yavat village). A concrete bridge crosses a canal and the turn off is to the right just before the bridge. There is no sign in English, but there is a sign to Deccan Industrial Explosives pte. After 5 km or so the road will climb into some ghats, where the road becomes quite broken. Once you reach the top of the ghats you will see the temple and a prominent radio mast to the right. The turn to the temple is the next right, the road becomes quite steep at some points. After visiting the temple and fort (allow 30 to 40 min), return to the road and turn right where you turned off. This road will take you to Saswad (or Sasvad on some maps). There are several turnoffs, keep heading west, but also plenty of people to ask the way, nearly everyone knows Saswad. The scenery is quite flat though enlivened by scenes of Indian rural life. The road is paved but quite rough. You can take lunch when you reach the town. Thereafter, ask the way for Purandar itself or Nasrapur which is where the road goes. Many people know it. The road is the Diwale to Narayanpur road. In fact the hill itself is easy to spot as it towers above Narayanpur. After 5 km after the turnoff from you will reach a left fork which is signed (not in English). Take this and follow the twisty road to Purandar. As of October 2009, the majority of the road was totally unsurfaced (awaiting surfacing) so would be muddy during rain and there is also the possibility of dealing with the resurfacing activity. Allow 30 minutes to enjoy the views and look at the abandoned army buildings and another 1½ hours to climb to the top and explore. It will take about 15 minutes to regain the main road if you have a motorbike. Turn left when you reach it and enjoy the smooth tarmac and twists of the road as you pass between the two hills. Eventually you will reach National Highway 4 (also a toll road), turn right and again pay attention to the road hazards. Approximately 12 km later at Khed take a left turn towards Shivapur. Pass through towards Kondapur, where you take a right fork, thereafter at the T-junction take the left which leads to Sinhagad Fort. In terms of time to spend here it is best to gauge your stamina and enthusiasm against the amount of light you have left, as it is better to end the journey in daylight rather than drive at night. Retrace your steps to NH4 and then follow this back to Pune. You will arrive in the Bibvewadi area in the south of the city. Bhuleshwar-a very beautiful 1100-year-old hill temple near Yavat in the Saswad region. The patterns and beautiful stone statues inside the temple are stunning. This place is around 60 km via Saswad-the closest and most beautiful route. This place and the surrounding areas of Saswad are praised by one British General, the Duke of Welligton as “one of the best peaceful place in the Deccan plateau and the region of beautiful temples” Nil Kantheshwar

Pune