Must Dos


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Sari shopping

Make sure you buy Puneri saris and the Jijamata sari, a unique sari designed by the mother of Shivaji, from Kasat or Peshwai.

Submitted by Darode Vijayendra

Take a walk in the park

Go for a walk in Pu La Deshpande Garden, which is based on the famous Korakuen Garden in the city of Okayama in Japan.

Submitted by Darode Vijayendra

Sinhagad Fort

Early risers must visit this iconic fort on the outskirts of this city. Have your breakfast on Sinhagad Fort with an unhindered, pleasing view of the Sahayadri. Don't forget to have some traditional Maharashtrian fare such as the kanda pohe, kanda bhajji, pithale bhakari, taak and so on. Remember a day that begins well ends well.

Submitted by Darode Vijayendra

Flea market visit  

Tulshibaug, in the heart of the city, off the Laxmi Road, is a long street where you can bargain for anything and everything - from jewellery to cutlery. Youngsters head to the Main Street in Camp, especially on Sundays. If you are in the city on a Wednesday, do visit the Juna Bazaar (or Chor Bazaar, as it is referred to by many) - a weekly flea market. Hrishikesh Kanitkar

Pubs and lounging  

Of late, with Pune emerging as a hub for students and young professionals, there are many places to enjoy a drink or two. The Hard Rock Cafe and Mi-a-mi, the pub at the JW Marriott hotel, are very popular, as is V Lounge near the golf course. But if you want to taste "real beer", as they say, Doolally is the place to go to. Situated in the premises of the Corinthian Club in Kondhwa, it is one of the few micro-breweries in India. Hrishikesh Kanitkar

Pune specialties to take home  

Take back bakarwadi from Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale and Shrewsbury biscuits from Kayani Bakery for your friends and family. These two items are immensely popular and synonymous with Pune. And gone are the days when you had to stand in long queues at one of only two Chitale outlets and hope that they didn't run out of bakarwadi before you reach the counter; Chitale now has franchise outlets all over the city. Hrishikesh Kanitkar

Unique food joints  

Vaishali, a popular restaurant in Pune If you are a foodie, you will have a great time in Pune. The city now boasts cuisines from all across the world, but what still stand out are the Udupi and Irani restaurants. Vaishali and Roopali, Udupi restaurants that serve south Indian fast food, haven't seen their menus amended for nearly six decades now. Among the Irani restaurants, stop in at Cafe Good Luck at Deccan Gymkhana. When you go to these restaurants, you'll find that they have been venues for daily hangouts of friends for well over 50 years or so. You should also try the Puneri misal, a spicy Maharashtrian snack, at Bedekar, Shree Upahar Griha, Shree Krishna or Katakir, which are always packed with people. Hrishikesh Kanitkar

Temples to visit  

Even though Pune was popularly known as a pensioners' paradise till two decades ago, before it was converted into an educational and IT hotspot, it is also well known for its famous temples. The temple of Parvati - the deity of the Peshwas - stands on a hill, and you have to climb about a hundred steps to get to it. You can also visit the two temples dedicated to Pune's patron deity, Lord Ganesh - Kasba Ganpati Mandir and the Dagdusheth Halwai, which are pretty close to each other. Not very far from these are the ancient Shiv temples of Omkareshwar Mandir and Jangli Maharaj Mandir. Hrishikesh Kanitkar

Maratha forts  

Shaniwar Wada, a Peshwa fort in Pune There are plenty of forts of the Peshwa era - almost all of them ruled by Shivaji - close to Pune. Sinhagad is less than an hour's drive away, and is the most popular destination. Shaniwar Wada, which was the seat of the Peshwas in the 18th and the 19th century, is in the heart of the town. Right next to it is Lal Mahal, where Shivaji spent a lot of his growing-up years. While travelling to the Sinhagad Fort, you can stop for a break at the Khadakvasla dam. Hrishikesh Kanitkar

Parvati Hill

Climb Parvati Hill to enjoy a great view of Pune city.

Pune University

Take a walk in the morning in the grounds of the University of Pune.

Local culture

To get a feel of the local culture in Pune, take a walk along Laxmi Road, a busy shopping area, or to Juna Bazaar, a market for second-hand and antique items.

Wine-tasting  

If wine is your thing, take a cab to Chateau Indage in Narayangaon, just 70km away. You can take a tour of the vineyards, sample the wines and have lunch at the Chateau's restaurant.

Shop for Shrewsbury biscuits  

Kayani Bakery in Pune Pick up Pune's famous Shrewsbury biscuits and sponge cake at Kayani Bakery.

Wildlife watching  

Trek in Bhimashankar wildlife sanctuary. The park is home to leopards, sambar, barking deer, wild boar, Malabar giant squirrels and hyenas. Bird lovers can try to spot the black eagle, the Malabar whistling thrush, the green pigeon and the Malabar grey hornbill.

Caves in the middle of the city  

Visit the eighth-century Pataleshwar Caves (in the middle of the city). In the evening, catch a sound and light show at Shaniwar Wada, which was originally built for the Peshwas (successors of Shivaji) in 1736 but burned down in 1828. However, the imposing walls, the pinths still stand tall, as do the palace doors with their fierce spikes. Today it is one of Pune's main cultural symbols.

Check out the Aga Khan Palace  

Go on a history tour of the city, starting your day at Aga Khan Palace - a pretty building with big lawns, Italian arches and salons - where the British imprisoned Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba (who died in this palace) during the Quit India Movement. Later, Prince Aga Khan donated it to the government to erect a memorial for Mahatma and Kasturba Gandhi, and today it has several rare black-and-white photographs of the freedom movement.

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More in Pune

Where to

  1. Top in Town, Wadeshwar and Vaishali

    Among the good budget restaurants in Pune are Top in Town, Wadeshwar and Vaishali.

  2. Lemon Tree Hotel and Holiday Inn

    Closer to the stadium, in Hinjewadi, are Lemon Tree Hotel (Rs 3900), which has good buffet meals, and the Holiday Inn (Rs 4200), a business hotel.

  3. Bamboo House

    Head to Bamboo House in Shivaji Nagar.

Must Do

Take a walk in the park

Go for a walk in Pu La Deshpande Garden, which is based on the famous Korakuen Garden in the city of Okayama in Japan.

Tips for Travellers

Traffic can be pretty chaotic in Pune, so if you're visiting for a few days, depend on auto-rickshaws or taxis. Avoid the headache of driving through traffic jams on your holiday.

City in pictures

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