Pune is a multifaceted city that wears various hats, each with its unique character. It's an industrial metropolis, a renowned education centre, and a longstanding bastion of defence with a decades-long history. However, these roles have not remained pristine through time. Over centuries, Pune has also served as a convergence point for the Hindu and Buddhist faiths. As the homeland of the Peshwas, it is one of India's final strongholds of the Maratha Empire. That is why you will find some of the best historical places near Pune, giving glimpses of the erstwhile era!
Despite its rich history and diverse identities, it's intriguing that many outsiders focus solely on Symbiosis's shiny emblem. While students and young professionals continue to pour into the city, Pune cultivates an environment that strikes a balance between the frenetic pace of Mumbai and the leisurely approach of Kolkata, offering both stimulation and comfort.
For those exploring Pune, venturing along the conventional tourist path of heritage structures (which, believe me, are abundant) can be captivating. This guide will provide insight into Pune's most captivating places to explore.
Are you intrigued by the allure of exploring ancient ruins? Look no further than Sinhagad Fort, a historical marvel dating back 2000 years that witnessed many battles. While its current state may not be pristine, the remnants offer a captivating glimpse into bygone magnificence. The trail leading to this secluded cliff-top fortress promises a delightful journey through undisturbed surroundings.
Aga Khan Palace: Harken back to the 19th century at Aga Khan Palace, a testament to the region's illustrious past. This architectural masterpiece boasts sprawling lawns, vast halls, and graceful Italian-style arches. Beyond its structural elegance, the palace holds historical significance as a former prison for Mahatma Gandhi and freedom movement leaders. Today, it stands as the headquarters of the Gandhi National Memorial Society.
Shaniwar Wada Palace: Step into history at Shaniwar Wada, a Pune landmark built in 1732. Merging Maratha and Mughal architectural styles, it dazzles with teak arches, marble floors, and intricate glass chandeliers. Inside, learn about the Peshwa legacy and enjoy captivating light and sound shows every evening. An educational and entertaining experience, especially for children.
Imagine Maratha history at Lal Mahal, a 1630 structure with a rich legacy. This is where Shivaji spent his formative years, and his legendary encounter with Shaista Khan unfolded. Today, the palace commemorates Shivaji's life through captivating paintings. The adjoining Jijamata Garden offers a serene spot while your kids enjoy themselves.
Perched on a hill in Junnar, about 90 km from Pune, the grandeur of Shivneri Fort awaits. A monumental site, it served as the birthplace and training ground of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire. Erected in the 16th century, this fortress is now a sought-after tourist and picnic destination.