Pune is a beautiful metropolis city in Maharashtra situated on the Bhuleshwar Range of the Sahyadri mountains. It was the first capital of the Maratha Empire in the 18th century and holds a special place in the heart of the local Marathas. The city is peppered with brilliant heritage structures and palaces that speak volumes about its rich history. Even with rapid development and modernization, Pune has managed to preserve its authenticity. It is known as the cultural capital of Maharashtra, as it perfectly blends modernity and traditions while being sprinkled with colonial-era charm. The city is riddled with landmarks, such as Shaniwar Wada, Aga Khan Palace, Shivneri Fort, and Sinhagad Fort.
Pune is also a foodie’s paradise owing to its many diverse eating options that range from street food to high-end restaurants. The city is full of dining establishments that offer all kinds of cuisines, including local delicacies, vegan options, and international fare. If you are planning a trip to the cultural capital of Maharashtra, then this travel guide is all you will need to have a wholesome experience.
Shaniwar Wada is a 286-year-old mansion that was once the seat of the Peshwa governance. It is one of the finest examples of historic architecture in the city and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Maharashtra. This palace was built by Bajirao I as a residential complex during the Peshwas' regime. The grand palace currently covers an area of 625 acres, which is full of fortified strongholds, majestic fountains, and a statue of Bajirao I himself.
The major buildings to explore inside this attraction are Thora Rayancha Diwankhana – the court reception hall, Naachacha Diwankhana – the dance hall, Juna Arsa mahal – an old mirror hall, and Meghadambari – the presidential palace. The architecture of the mansion is magnificent in nature with doorways made of teak arches and ornamental teardrop pillars shaped like trunks, ceilings adorned with numerous chandeliers, marble floors with lavish Persian rugs, and walls displaying paintings depicting Hindu mythology. Shaniwar Wada is one of the last standing testimonies to the grandeur, valor, and just rule of the Peshwas.
This national Indian dish is cooked from chicken marinated in a dahi yogurt and fragrant spices and grilled in a clay oven - tandoor. Tandoori chicken is such a juicy and flavourful appetizer.
Barbeque Nation is one of the leading casual dining restaurant chains in India. It has pioneered the concept of “over-the-table barbeque” with live grills embedded in dining tables. Located in R Deccan Mall, the restaurant offers a fixed-price all-you-can-eat concept that features Indian and Middle Eastern flavors cooked to perfection. In a cozy and simple interior with marble-lined tables, bright lights, and impressive tabletop grills, guests can enjoy a variety of multi-cuisine dishes.
Diners can relish North Indian grilled delicacies such as lemon fish tikka, tandoori prawns, seekh kebab, chicken tandoori, sautéed crispy corn, hara bhara kebabs, malai mushrooms, and paneer (cottage cheese) tikka. Besides the grilled items you can enjoy an elaborate buffet with rice, assorted Indian flat breads, biryani, lentils, soups, and salads, which are included in the meal. Barbeque Nation’s endless offerings are what makes it a very popular restaurant among locals and tourists alike.
Another landmark that is a must-visit place in Pune is the mighty edifice of Aga Khan Palace which was built by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III in the year 1892. The Sultan had constructed it to support the poor in the neighboring area. The historic monument is an important part of Pune tourism and is also considered to be a sparkling jewel in Indian history, as it had a close connection to the freedom movement. The palace served as a prison for Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Gandhi, his secretary Mahadev Desai, and Sarojini Naidu. In memory of Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai, who passed away in the palace, architect Charles Corea had their memorials built on the premises.
In 2003, the monument was declared to be of national importance by the Archaeological Survey of India and became the headquarters of the Gandhi National Memorial Society. Spread over a vast land area of 19 acres, the Aga Khan Palace is well known for its architectural excellence and its historical significance.
A part of numerous Mediterranean dishes, octopus is a delicious meal with tender and buttery flavor that melts in the mouth. Octopus can be enjoyed grilled, with pasta, in a stew or a salad.
Ukiyo is one of the first restaurants in Pune to offer a modern Japanese dining experience with sushi-grade fish and an exquisite collection of sake. Located close to Aga Khan Palace inside the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Pune, Ukiyo is an ideal place to enjoy a blend of modern perspective with traditional Japanese cuisine. The decor of the fine dining establishment is naturally made using wood and metal elements that create a sense of warmth. The interiors are minimalist, with an outdoor terrace seating area and an indoor symmetrical dining area.
The kitchen is headed by the Director of Culinary Arts, Chef Mayur, who has recently introduced contemporary innovations to the alluring menu. Patrons of the restaurants can experience Japanese dining with a variety of delicacies like toro aburi – the seared belly part of tuna rolled with pickled vegetables, hiyashi wakame – seaweed salad, hosomaki – one ingredient maki roll, okonomiyaki roll made of octopus and rock shrimp, and nabe udon which is a hot pot with noodles, broth, vegetables, and seafood. Ukiyo also features a bar menu made up of unique cocktails, wines, and sakes to pair with your meals.
Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park is a famous tourist and recreational attraction in Pune. It is a grand zoo that is spread over an area of 130 acres and divided into three parts for better management – the central zoo, animal orphanage, and the most popular zone – Katraj Snake Park. The central zoo is home to over 360 inhabitants including endangered species. The orphanage and the zoo are also considered educational attractions, as people get to learn about animals and nature conservation.
Being located near Katraj Lake, it is an ideal place for picnics, outings, and nature walks. The Snake Park is home to over 22 species of snakes and ten species of reptiles, birds, and turtles. This marvelous collection includes a 15-foot king cobra, pythons, Russel vipers, and many more interesting creatures. The park also organizes snake festivals and awareness programs to clarify the doubts of people and destroy the fear of snakes. It is a beautiful place for animals and nature lovers to visit for a wonderful time.
It's a common breakfast dish from South India, it's a savoury mix of rice and lentils stuffed with potatoes, mustard seeds, chutneys and sambar. Masala dosa is garnished with grated coconut, lemon juice and coriander.
After a lovely experience at the zoological park, visit Masakha restaurant for an unbelievable traditional Indian meal. The name Masakha smartly translates to “Eat Fish” in the Marathi language – exactly what you should be doing here. Nestled in green surroundings, the place makes you feel hugged by nature. The eatery features a spacious outdoor seating area in small huts that give it a rustic vibe and an indoor dining room with simple furnishings that has been beautifully designed keeping in mind the aesthetics and comfort of people.
The kitchen specializes in seafood delicacies made up of North Indian and Maharashtrian flavorings. Some of the exquisite dishes that you can relish here are rawas (white river fish) ghee roast, butter garlic crab, prawns kalwan curry with neer dosa – a spicy minty coconut curry accompanied by rice crêpes, pomfret (local fish) tawa fry, and surmai (river fish) tikka masala. Besides seafood, patrons can also enjoy stuffed chicken legs, murg rara masala (mutton curry), and paneer Angara masala.
Osho Commune International of Pune was founded by Rajneesh Chandra Mohan Jain who is popularly known as Osho Rajneesh. Affectionately called Osho Ashram, it is located in Koregaon Park district of the city. The complex is spread across an area of 32 acres and offers its visitors a much-needed break from the urban pollution with its lush green campus. Osho Ashram is renowned for its serenity and surreal practices of meditation and yoga coupled with its startling beauty and calm landscape.
This exciting place has a distinctive atmosphere, and members can indulge in various dynamic yoga sessions, therapies, Vipassana programs, and Nadabrahama and Kundalini styles of meditation. The teachings revolve around the ideologies of Osho that mainly focus on control over one’s mind and renunciation. Osho Ashram is mostly for members of the resort, but tourists and visitors can purchase a one-day pass to experience the soothing and rejuvenating premises.
Burgers are made with meat, cheese, tomatoes, onions, pickles and are seasoned with ketchup, mustard, or another sauce. The ingredients are placed between two halves of a bun. Typically, burgers are made with beef, but other types of meat, such as turkey, chicken, and salmon can be used as well.
Located in a leafy lane of Koregaon Park district in Pune, Sante Spa Cuisine is an organic and vegetarian eatery that gives your daily nutrition habits a positive makeover. The place focuses on super healthy food and provides lots of vegan, organic, and gluten-free options to its diners. The restaurant features an outdoor terrace seating area nestled in lush greenery and an indoor dining room that resembles a café made up of minimalistic furnishings and diffused lighting.
Sante Spa Cuisine prides itself in using only the freshest organic ingredients, greens, and microgreens from the best farms and local businesses around. The menu of the restaurant features experimental and unique items, such as fresh salads, wholesome smoothies, cold-pressed juices, and a wide variety of starters and entrées. Some of the dishes that patrons can enjoy here are avocado bun burger, tofu sui mai, Mediterranean quinoa salad, Vietnamese chilled salad rolls with honey chili sauce, bajra risotto, avocado dynamite sushi roll, and black wasabi ice cream. The eatery also offers juices that are mostly detox, matcha-rich, and energizing, and shakes made of soya, almond, coconut, and fresh A2 milk.
At a distance of 90 km from Pune, in the Junnar region, stands the magnificent Shivneri Fort. It is famous for being the birthplace and training grounds of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire. It was built in the 16th century and was recognized as a military fortification. Today, it is a popular picnic spot for locals and guests of the city.
The sheer magnificence and architecture of the fort draw a considerable number of visitors each year, including foreign travelers and history lovers. An English traveler who visited the Shivneri Fort in the late 17th century to study it, was amazed by how well-designed it was. He concluded the structure had enough supplies and fresh water to feed thousands of families for about 6 to 7 years. Those travelers who are looking for a quick escape into nature and a good trek should visit the ancient Shivneri Fort.
Along the route to Shivneri Fort lies a resort called Saj By the Lake. The in-house restaurant on its premises offers one of the most authentic dining sensations in Maharashtra. The uniqueness of this place is that they use traditional handmade mud pots or earthenware to cook their food. This gives the dishes natural smokey and earthy flavors. Foreshadowing the type of fare you will be savoring here, the name of the restaurant translates to “Earth’s Language”. The interiors of the eatery are designed using brick walls, cloud-shaped hanging lights, and simple wooden furniture that gives this place a serene and intimate ambiance.
The menu features traditional Indian comfort foods that bring people back to village-style cooking. Guests can enjoy scrumptious items such as clay pot tomato rice, bharwani baigan (stuffed eggplant cooked in a spice mix), bhindi masala (fried crispy lady finger in tomato gravy), kothimbir wada (deep-fried dough balls made of coriander flavorings), kadhi chawal (yogurt-based curry with rice), and aloo gobi tikka masala (potato and cauliflower curry). In desserts, you should try gulab jamun (rose-flavored sweet dough balls), kheer (a rice milk pudding with dry fruits), and halwa (flour cooked with clarified butter and jaggery).
Pune city is famous for its plethora of amazing attractions that depict its rich and varied history. It is a thriving modern city – the image of the “New India”, and its baffling mix of capitalism and spiritualism brings together the ancient and the modern. With its majestic historical sites, authentic Maharashtrian food, grand celebrations, and exciting shopping options, Pune is truly an international travel destination worth visiting.
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Visitors have been awestruck by the grandeur and beauty of Shaniwar Wada. The intricate carvings on the wooden pillars, the ornate gateways, and the sprawling gardens have left them spellbound. The fort's historical significance https://trackingstatus.in/ has also been a highlight of their visit, with many expressing awe at the tales of valour, intrigue, and romance that echo through its walls.