Once the capital of the ruling Peshwas, today Pune is a rip-roaring IT powerhouse and academic hub. This metropolis buzzes with young energy and heterogeneity but retains its old-world charm in fortifications, temples and distinct neighbourhoods or ‘peths’.
This Maharashtrian city was the seat of power for the Maratha Empire. On your trip to Pune, visit Shaniwar Wada, now a vestige of an 18th-century fort. You can admire the architectural details of its massive gates and learn more about the Peshwas. To delve deeper into the Indian freedom movement, make your way to the Aga Palace that served as a prison for Mahatma Gandhi. The monument often turns into a muse for photographers, thanks to its sprawling lawns and remarkable architecture.
Beyond its historical highlights, Pune is dotted with religious and spiritual landmarks – one of the globally known ones being the Osho Ashram. To acquaint yourself with the city’s devotional side, visit the Omkareshwar temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. You can also explore monolithic sanctums at the 8th-century Pataleshwar Caves or see the gilded idol of Lord Ganesh at the Srimant Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple.
This city is close to several towns, villages and hill stations, giving travellers a variety of destinations to discover on a day-trip from Pune. You can escape the crowds and head to Khandala or Lonavala, two twin towns nestled in green valleys. To fuel your trip with some adventure, enjoy paragliding in Kamshet or go camping along the banks of Pawna Lake.