Pune stands second in the largest Indian cities. Pune is celebrated for cultures, cuisine, education, and most importantly Historical Places. From spectacular palaces and forts to beautifully carved temples, Pune presents itself beautifully to tourist and history lovers. One gets completely mesmerized and lost in the charming architecture of the city. If you are planning for Pune tour, ensure to include these historical places in your itinerary.
Historical places in Pune
Aga Khan Palace
The mighty building of Aga Khan Palace popularly known as Gandhi National Museum is a few of the most historical places in India. The palace is well known and famous because it assisted as a prison for the great leader Mahatma Gandhi for a period of 2 years. The palace also serves as Samadhi for Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai. The palace treats with wonderful gardens, huge rooms and long corridors making the view rich and royal. The palace is not only known for its structure but also famous for Gandhi’s personal objects such as slippers, clothes, letters, and utensils. The palace is adorned with beautiful paintings and pictures of the pre-independence era.
2. Rajgad Fort
Rajgad Fort served as a home to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. It is a heaven for trekkers and adventure seekers with majestic architecture. The fort is welcomed by rich forest and greenery with chain-like steps, twisting pathways and green valleys. The fort is a great combination of traditional legacy and adventure. After the treacherous effort, one can fully enjoy the beautiful sunset and cityscape. The fort stands strong on a hill called Mumbadevi Dongar. A small temple- the Padmavati temple finds its place in the fort. The best part about the fort is one can even stay a night and explore the fort.
Best time to visit: winter/monsoon
3. Shaniwar Wada
The Shaniwar Wada is another famous historical place in Pune. It is a combination of Mughal and Maratha architecture. The five majestic gates unlock the palace with the pillars adorned with teak ornaments, the arches finely carved, glass chandeliers and floors of marble. It also comprises of lotus shaped fountains, courtyards, and greenery on sides. The walls of the fort are beautifully adorned with Mahabharata and Ramayana paintings. Situated peacefully near the Mula River, the remains of the fort still stands strong. The palace also attracts a huge crowd for light and sound show, which is held every evening.
4. Pataleshwar Temple
Pataleshwar Temple is the oldest rock-cut temple in Pune. Dating back to the 8th century, the temple is sculpted in basalt rock. The temple delightfully embraces huge square pillars, a canopy shaped of an umbrella, spectacular porch and a brilliantly carved Shiva linga and Nandi shrine. A huge brass temple beautifully hangs on the basalt entryway. The supreme part is that it is carved out from a single rock. It is surrounded by greeneries making the temple look more beautiful and peaceful. The temple is categorized as a Pune’s protected monument. Shiva linga pooja is held annually attracting many visitors and devotees.
Best time to visit is during festival seasons, as the temple beautifully stands decorated.
5. Heritage Walks
Heritage Walk is 3 hour of cultural experience designed to explore the city’s rich history. It stretches to 2.5 km starting from Municipal Corporation of Pune to Vishrambaug Wada. The walk covers two thousand years of Pune’s history, architecture, and eighteen heritage sites. Look out only for a trained and informed guide or volunteer to entertain and educate the heritage walk. The walkers are given information brochures with refreshments, stalls and folk performances. The walk covers
- Shaniwar Wada
- Kasba Ganpati Mandir
- Nana Wada
- Belbaug Temple
- Mahatma Phule Mandai
- Burud Ali
- Tulshibaug (temple and market)
- Vishrambaug Wada
- Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
- Tambat Ali
Preferred time: morning hours: 9:00 am
6. Sinhagad Fort
Sinhagad Fort also known as Fort of the Lion stands strong and separate in the Sahyadri Mountains. The fort has a rich history of 2000 years and has witnessed many famous and dangerous battles which include Battle of Sinhagad. The fort has two entrance gate, while the walls and ramparts are built only in key places. A beautifully carved temple welcome the visitors in the fort and the surrounding view is quite breath-taking. The fort can be reached by motorbikes and cars or another best option is trekking. It is an ideal option for a day trip and is a treat for trekkers and history lovers. The fort not only serves as a tourist place but also gives place to train cadets from the National Defence Academy.
Entrance fee: 20 Rs for two-wheelers, 50 Rs for four wheelers.
7. Lohagad Fort
Lohagad Fort famously known as the Iron Fort is well known for its natural beauty and historical importance. It is situated at an altitude of 3400 feet, it is famous for architecture, scenic beauty, trekking, and hiking. It is surrounded by greeneries giving a panoramic view and a cool breeze. The massive structure comprises of four structures and interiors are carved beautifully.
Best time to visit is during the monsoon season when the fort and the surroundings look fresh and vibrant.
Tips: wear clothes that are comfortable and shoes for trekking. When planning to visit during monsoon season, carry a raincoat, extra clothes, umbrella, and eatables. The fort becomes slippery, so be careful and trek slowly.
8. Shivneri Fort
Shivneri Fort is an important historical place to visit in Pune. The triangular shaped fort stands strong on an isolated hill at a height of 300 meters tall. The fort is protected by seven gates and one can witness the beautiful perennial water springs namely Yamuna and Ganga. The fort is not only famous for its gates but also chain gate, where one has to climb with the help of chains. A small pond gracefully stands in the centre of the fort. Today, the fort is in ruined condition but one can still see the statue of Shivaji and Jijabai (Shivaji’s mother). Very few remains left in the fort with mosque of the Mughal era on one side and stable on another. The fort is famous for trekking and weekend picnic.
Tips: It is better to carry eatables and water.
Vishrambaug Wada is a magnificent mansion spreads over a whopping 20,000 sq. Ft. lies majestically in the centre of the city. It is a three storey building with wooden works, wall paintings, ceiling designs, and facade designs. The style of architecture is Peshwai and Rajput. The columns are sculpted from teak of a single tree. The construction of the palace is done with special bricks made of flat size, seasonal woods, basalt stone, and lime plaster. The balcony has been carved with wood with red tiles, big wooden columns, and exterior of terracotta. It is considered one of the finest monuments of Pune. The Entry is free and is open all the time of the year.
10. Nana Wada
Nana Wada is another famous architecture built in the year 1780 by the Peshwas. The architecture is noteworthy and one cannot miss the Diwankhana and Veranda with paintings adorned on the wall. The palace is made from teak and balconies are arched with wooden railings. The carvings of wood gracefully extend to columns that shape like cypress trees. Though it is in ruined condition now, one can get a glimpse of the royal status. It also has an emergency exit stairway that leads out to the Wada. Presently the Wada runs a municipal school and Municipal office. The government has taken an initiative to restore some parts of the Wada.
11. Bhide Wada
Bhide Wada was the first girl’s school in the whole country started in the year 1848. It sure attracted lots of criticism, but it stood strong during difficult times. The architecture of the Wada is intricately carved from wood. The balconies, tinted glass, railings, windows all together reflect rainbow colors when the sun reflects. It is one of the oldest architectures with the stone walls standing tall. Few parts of the Wada have crumpled and few still standing tall. Visiting Bhide Wada sure takes one to the old times of British era. Volunteers have petitioned to declare Bhide Wada as the national monument.
12. Chatushrungi Mata Temple
Chatushrungi Mata Temple is a famous pilgrimage spot attracting many devotees from all over the place. The temple is a dedication to Goddess Chatushrungi. It is situated at a height of 90 feet, it ruled well during the Shivaji’s period. The architecture of the temple looks stunning and is painted in red and white. A saffron flag flies proudly on the tower of the temple. One needs to climb 100 steps to reach the main temple. There are other small temples located on the premises. A flock of pigeons welcomes you in the entrance of the temple. The temple has kept its devotee’s needs in mind with proper water facility, shoe stand, ample parking facilities, and puja items.
13. Dagduseth Halwai Ganpati Temple
The oldest temple is dedicated to the famous and much-loved god Ganapati. It is 127 years old and is very actively involved in social welfare and development of cultures. The idol of Ganesha is 2.2 meters tall and 1 meters wide. The idol is decorated with 40 kilos of gold. The devotees rain their lord with money and gold. The offering is then used in welfare services. The best time to visit is during the Ganapati festivals where the temple is beautifully decorated with lights and thousands of devotees flung the temple. A fascinating feature of the temple is that one can view the proceedings from outside too. This kind of innovation is cannot be seen anywhere in India.
Tips: take care of your belongings as the temple is always crowded.
14. Lal Mahal
Lal Mahal holds historical significance, was built by Shivaji’s father Shahaji Bhosale in the year 1630. It was rebuilt again in the year 1988. The fort is a marvellous structure made from red brick. It is a perfect example of Maratha architecture. The terrace comprises of four beautiful umbrellas with a statue of Jijabai. It is encircled with a beautiful garden calling it Jijamata Garden. One can experience a great amount of history by visiting the Lal Mahal. It has picture collections of Shivaji and Jijabai where one gets to peek into the past. There is also a famous statue of Jijabai and Shivaji with a golden plough. It has statues of young Shivaji too. Since it is situated in the heart of the city, reaching the place is not a problem.
Timing: 9:00am-1:00pm and 4:00pm-8:00pm.
15. Shinde Chhatri
Shinde Chhatri is a cenotaph for the great Maratha leader Mahadji Shinde. The place holds an important place for the Shinde people. The hall is the cremation place for Mahadji Shinde. The walls are beautifully painted of the warrior and prayer vessels are placed at his feet to please the god. It also houses galleries and photograph of Shinde family. It is believed that Mahadji Shinde constructed a temple for Lord Shiva which is made from yellowstone and black stone. It is a pure Anglo Rajasthani style with cultures rooted deep within. No visitors are allowed to open umbrella within the hall as it is considered an insult to the Lord.
16. Shivaji Bridge
Shivaji Bridge is one of the few historical bridges dating back to the 20th century. It is considered Pune’s largest bridge. The bridge is famed for its architecture and construction style of the Mughal era. It is 370 meters long and the width is 11.45 meters. The bridge is considered strong and well built in black basalt. In the centre, a pointed arch supports the nine spaced structure and four arches on either side. The arched openings of the walls are decorated with floral numbering six petalled medallions. The bridge offers a great view of the city with Shaniwarwada’s Dilli Darga on one side and an ancient ghat on the other.
17. Ghorpade Ghat
Standing in ruined condition near the Municipal Corporation of Pune, Ghorpade Ghat is considered the oldest ghat. The ghat was in best condition during the Peshwa period and had marvellous carvings on walls. It also had a Shiva temple which was destroyed in the floods. It had good changing rooms for visitors, who would come to bath. Today the ghat stands with no water, dirt everywhere and is occupied by beggars. The Ghorpade Ghat is crying for attention and if taken care, it would again become a famed historical site.
18. Fani Ali Talim
Fani Ali Talim is the olden day’s gymnasium. It was a famous place during the Maratha period. The place was always full of people coming to practice for bodybuilding and wrestling. The people of Maratha period were well built and gave much importance to wrestling. It stands alone today with nothing but just a structure. It is the oldest Talim in Pune and is preserved and maintained by the government.
If you have plans to visit Pune in future or for summer vacation, you would definitely find this guide useful for planning your Pune tour itinerary. For best Pune tour packages, get in touch with Visiit.com.