nasik/ Aga Khan Palace, Pune
Call it Pensioner's Paradise, Oxford of the East or Cultural Capital of Maharashtra, Pune or Punyanagari (the pious city ) enjoys all the above mentioned titles. But the new breed of professionals and college goers from all over the country, seem to have taken the responsibility of giving it a new name - Cybercity or Shopper's Paradise. Sitting gracefully on the cotton-rich Deccan Plateau, Pune is the second important city in the state after Mumbai. Rich with the heritage of old bungalows endured with flower gardens and decaying wadas, the city blend itself well with the modernization and is going global with malls, multiplexes, pubs and the Semi-Metro tag.
Intriguing Features of Pune
National Defence Acadamy - Patriotic Zone
The training centre of future Indian army officers, National Defence Academy (NDA) is a must visit destination in the city. Situated at Khadakwasala, 17 km from Pune, NDA is the only academy in the world where all the three forces are trained together. Seeing the cadets taking training and even punishment with picturesque and lush greenery at the backdrop, gives a unique experience altogether. Yes, permission is required to enter into this high security zone.
Raja Kelkar Museum - Captive Historynasik/
Established by Baba Dinkar Kelkar in 1962, the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum has 20,000 different articles all personally collected by Baba Kelkar from all over the world that date back to even Mughal and Maratha period. The musical gallery with nearly all types of musical instruments is the prime attraction of the museum showing Baba Kelkar's love for the music and art. The museum remains open all days in the week from 9 am to 6 pm.
Shaniwar Wada - Reminiscence of the Peshwas
Magnificent 18th century palace of the Peshwas stands gracefully spreading the glorious tincture of city's pride, whose foundation was laid by Bajirao 1. Burnt down in a fire in 1827, the remains still fascinate people so much that tourists coming to Pune, make it a point to visit this majestic place at least once. Walls painted with scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata, a sixteen petal lotus-shaped fountain and those huge bastions and gates stand testimony to the imperial past of Shaniwar Wada.
Aga Khan Palace - Soaked in Memory of Gandhiji
The imposing Aga Khan Palace situated at Nagar Road is a must visit destination in Pune for housing the famous Gandhi National Museum in it. Gandhiji, along with his wife Kasturba were interned at the palace for almost two years from August 9, 1942 to May 6, 1944 just after the launch of Quit India Movement. Gandhiji lost his consort Kasturba here in the palace and her samadhi graces the palaces campus. You can even go through the letters, pictures and other memorabilia telling the story of the Father of the Nation.
Osho International Meditation Centre
Located in the opulent Koregaon Park, Osho meditation centre is a place where you can relax and enjoy the company of visitors coming from 100 different countries. The 40 acre meditation resort rich with lush greenery, white marble pathway and huge swimming pool offers a rejuvenating experience inside the city. You can even attend a meditation program or take part in the dance session at the resort and who knows, you get that peace of mind here only!
The Pune Extravaganza
Your visit to Pune is not complete without the famous traditional goodies. Chitale's bakarwadi, the Laxminarayan 'Chiwada' and the Shrubbery biscuits of 'Kayani Bakery' have takers from all over the world. The Puneri sari bears the stamp of simplicity and elegance, and now even gifts - such as purses and wall hangings - made from this fabric are available. One can pick up Narayanpeth and Pithani saris from Bajirao Road and East Street. Gifts and souvenirs can be chosen from Mahatma Gandi Road. Shrubbery and Raspberries from Mahabaleshwar. Shops are open from 10 am to 9am. Closed on Mondays.
Lohegaon Airport situated approximately 10 km from the downtown connects Pune well with other cities of the country. Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Air Sahara fly their flights on a regular basis to and from Pune.
Pune is linked to Mumbai (170 km), Nashik (209 km), Aurangabad (230 km), Chennai (1088 km), Delhi and other major cities including Bangalore. There are regular trains connection available with Mumbai. The Shatabdi Express also operates from Mumbai to Pune. Another convenient train is the Deccan Queen and other trains from Mumbai to Pune are the Pragati Express and the Indrayani Express.
Pune-Mumbai Expressway is the first eight-lane highway of international standards in the country. It has reduced the travelling time between Mumbai and Pune to just 3 hours. The Expressway starts at Dehu Road (a suburb of Pune) and carries on straight through to Panvel. Regular buses and taxis are available on Mumbai-Pune route. Bus service is also good between Pune and Bangalore, Nasik, Nagpur, Goa and other cities of India. Distance from Pune to major cities are : Ahmedabad - 660 km, Aurangabad - 214 km, Bangalore - 835 km, Chennai - 1166 km, Hyderabad - 548 km, Kolhapur - 233 km, Mumbai - 170 km, Nagpur - 880 km, Nashik - 202 km, Panaji - 495 km and Surat - 362 km.