Pune also known as Poona is the cultural capital of Maharashtra. It was the seat of power during Maratha Kingdom. Located at a distance of 160 km from Mumbai, Pune is the second largest city of Maharashtra.
Pune lies close to the Western Ghat Mountains, on the edge of the Deccan plains as they stretch away to the east. Pune is the cultural capital of the Maratha people, which is also known as the “Queen of the Deccan. " Pune is a contrast of history and modernism. Pune is considered as the Oxford of India – with its many educational and research institutions apart from other institutions for sports, yoga, ayurveda, culture and social services. Pune is nowadays also seen as a potential city for massive growth of Information Technology.
Places to see in Pune:
Creation of the passionate efforts of a single person, Dr. D. G. Kelkar, the museum has a vast collection of unique and peculiar exhibits. The collection is eclectic and exceptional. In a pleasant change from the other well-known museums of India, the Raja Denkar Kelkar museum exhibits the diversity of India's culture in a subtle and delightful way. The elephant-shaped foot scrubber, a brass scorpion that reveals a secret lock and eight images of Lord Ganesha carved on a bean make it a place to see in Pune.
Popularly Known as SONAR QUILA, rising from the sand, the mega structure merges with the golden hues of the desert ambience and the setting suns in its most colourful shades gives it a fairy tale look. Its simply a magic, the bastions envelops a whole townships that consist of palace complex various security sources and the havelis of rich merchants carved with an incredibly light touch.
Raj Bhavan or the Government's House was built in the year 1866 and housed the government of Bombay Presidency during the colonial times in the summers. The building was impressively designed by James Trubshawe and is situated in Ganeshkhind. It is must visit place for all the tourists in Pune.
This lake situated in south of the city walls, once held the town water supply, and befitting its importance in providing precious water to the inhabitants of this arid city, it is surrounded by small temples and shrines. The beautiful yellow sandstone gateway arching across the road down to the tank is the Tilon-ki-Pol, and is said to have been built by a famous prostitute, Tilon.
Situated in the outskirts of Pune, ahead of Ambrosia and around 5 kms from Pashan is this beautiful bird sanctuary. It is a private collection of birds of Dr. Suhas Jog. The birds here have been collected by Dr. Jog over a period of 30 years from different parts of the world. This aviary cum birds research centre houses the most unique and beautiful species of birds. One cannot but feel overwhelmed by the beauty of these birds. Photography is not allowed inside the park and nothing can replace the joy of seeing the birds in person.
Situated outside the premises of Western group of temples, this Lord Shiva's temple is known for the daunting eight-feet high lingam (male organ representing the natural process of reproduction and the continuity of human life form) that it enshrines.
Hill Stations in Pune:
Pune being surrounded by the Sahyadris is very near to various hill stations of Maharashtra. Mahabaleshwar, the queen of hill stations in Maharashtra was established in 1829 by the British. Situated in the heart of Sahyadri hills, this cool place has a legendary past with a temple dedicated to Shiva. At an altitude of 1372m, this place is 120 km away from Pune and offers splendid spots.
Matheran is actually closer to Mumbai but is hardly 118 km from Pune. The most unforgettable things about Matheran are the deep forests, waterfalls nearby and the splendid flora - fauna. Monsoon spells out double magic in Matheran.
Lonavala and Khandala
Lonavala and Khandala are two charming little hill stations on the western slopes of the Sahyadris, 5-km apart, that straddle the Mumbai - Pune highway at an altitude of 625m. These small towns, 70 km away from Pune, are blessed with nature in bounty. With beautiful hills, deep green valleys, huge lakes, and waterfalls these are paradise for the trekkers.
Pune has three distinct seasons: summer, monsoon and winter. Typical hot summer weather runs from March to May, with maximum temperatures ranging from 35 to 42°C. Contrary to most of the Deccan Plateau where May is the warmest month, the warmest month in Pune is April. The city often receives local and heavy thundershowers with sharp downpours in May, which cools the temperatures. Nevertheless, the nights in Pune are significantly cooler than most other parts in this region owing to its high altitude.
How to Reach Pune:
Airport is situated in the Lohagaon area, about 12-km from the city. Indian Airlines and Jet Airways provide regular flights to Pune from Delhi, four flights a week to Chennai and Bangalore, two to three flights daily from Mumbai and to Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Goa.
Pune has excellent railway services connecting all major cities.
Pune is well connected by road with the all major cities within the state as well as outside the state. Daily private and government buses ply from Pune to Mumbai (4hrs).
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