It is located atop a plateau in the Sahyadri Mountains and houses the Kaundinya Eshwar Temple, some beautifully carved hidden caves, bastions, and tombs of Rajaram Chhatrapati and Tanaji Malusare. Don’t miss to see the majestic Pune and Kalyan Darwaza, a brewery, and bunkers.
There is a huge fountain shaped like a 16 petal lotus. There are bastions, intricately carved pillars, and wall paintings that display scenes from Mahabharata and Ramayana. What we see today are the remains after many British attacks and unexplained 7-day long fires. This is one of the few historical places in Pune to hold a light and sound show every evening.
The palace housed Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu, and Mahadev Desai at the time of their imprisonment. There is a beautiful collection of rare pictures and belongings of the Gandhi family including his Samadhi. It now houses the Gandhi Memorial Society and has shops where you can pick up authentic Khadi clothes and see spinning being done on ‘Charkhas’.
What you will see here is a restored building, very majestic nonetheless This is the place where Shivaji had cut the fingers of the invader Shaista Khan. There is a small replica of Raigad Fort here, which is quite fascinating.
Located nearby are other popular attractions like Sati Monument, Vetal Chabutra, and Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa’s Samadhi. Reachable after climbing 103 steps, the summit offers breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding hills.
It is famous for its impressive architecture and has massive gates like Ganesh Darwaza, Narayan Darwaza, Hanuman Darwaza, and Maha Darwaza. Don’t miss to see the beautiful wall carvings and the lush natural scenery around.
In the central area, you will see a huge Shivalinga reposed inside a small cave. Several surrounding caves have idols of Lord Ram, Lakshman, Hanuman, Sita, etc. Don’t miss to visit the museum here, which is mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records. It houses a single grain of rice that is believed to have 5000 letters carved on it.
Don’t miss to see the bridge’s beautiful black basalt stone arches, carved poles, and flower motifs. Historians believe that some ancient Hindu and Jain relics are buried beneath the bridge.
Location: Near Pune Municipal Corporation Building.
Price: No entry fee.
Timings: Accessible at all times.
Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple
It was built by a sweetmaker Shri Dagdusheth after he lost his son and the temple’s trust, has since then carried on social work like providing medical care, education, building old age homes & orphanages, etc.
The structure looks resplendent in hues of gold, green and brown and consists of floral carvings, glass panels, pillars, and colourful facades, lit up by humongous chandeliers. The central hall is where the leader was cremated. The inner galleries have paintings that depict his life and valour.
Location: Wanawadi Road, Cantonment Area, Pune.
Chatushrungi Mata Temple
An interesting thing here is a miniature version of the temple is constructed for devotees who are unable to climb the 100 steps that lead to the inner sanctum. The place is visited by thousands during the 9 holy days of Navratri to see the chariot procession and showering of flowers by helicopters.
You will see a Diwan Khana on the first floor, which also has some manuscripts in the Modi script prepared by Nana himself. An interesting feature here is the emergency exit dating back to the time of its construction. Nana Wada is now housing a school.
The building has a carved pillar, ornamental ceiling, basalt stone floors, and huge arches. It was used as a prison for a while and now is occupied by government offices.
The fort is now a popular weekend trekking destination. Trekkers especially love the western slope known as the chain route. This is where the Maratha troops used to climb up the fort using chains. Explore ancient caves, natural springs, mosque, and a pond known as ‘Badami Talav’.
Once you reach the summit, you will see two majestic gates that are still in good condition. There is a Veer Maruti idol and a Zolayi Devi Temple at the top. Don’t miss to see the 16 water cannons near the fort.
National War Museum
People love to see the replicas of combat vehicles like MIG 23 BN Jet, INS Trishul, etc. There is even a captured Pakistani Patton Tank here including different kinds of guns and rocket launchers. Don’t miss to try your hand on paintball at the museum’s shooting area.
Masks used during tribal dances, paintings, utensils, and clothing also form a major part of these collections. Built-in 1962, this museum is now a part of the Tribal Research and Training Institute and is a major contributor to education and research about these communities, their lifestyles, and culture.
Dehu Gatha temple
There is also an idol of Lord Pandurang inside. The best time to visit is during the month of Ashadh (June-July), when colorful processions are taken out in the memory of the Saint and people recite the legends about him.
Mahatma Phule Museum
Other sections contain exhibits, paintings, and models related to irrigation, handicrafts, science, power generation, refining, etc. The museum has a library of rare books on these subjects. Not many people know that the museum has been publishing a science journal ‘Srushti Dnyan’, in which one can read articles by the best scientists and researchers of the country.
It is worthwhile to visit this place, which deserves to be declared as a heritage monument. One can still see imprints of royal Maratha architecture in its dilapidated pillars, carved facades, and arched windows.