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What to See and Do in Pune - a guide to notable sights and attractions

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Many of Pune’s most marvellous attractions are found in the centre. Discover grand old-world palaces and inspirational museums that tell of Pune’s riveting royal and military history. The city is home to several stately colleges, where the lush grounds and Oxford-inspired architecture make for pleasant strolls. Pune’s religious heritage provides dozens of magical temples. Dotted throughout the city, these golden temples will immerse you in Pune’s colourful culture, past and present.
ISKON NVCC Temple

 

 

The Sri Sri Radha Vrindavanchandra Temple and New Vedic Cultural Centre - known as the ISKON NVCC Temple - rests south of central Pune on the city outskirts, but is well worth the short bus or taxi ride. After walking through the soft grassy grounds to the enormous red and white-striped temple, you can marvel at its gold-capped oblong domes before discovering more about Vedic culture. Look out for the delicate, perfectly-painted blue statues of Lord Krishna and see the intricate carvings, pastel-shaded portraits, and epic murals that tell of his fabled life.

 

Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple

 

 

If you don’t fancy the trip to Pune’s outskirts and prefer to stay central, visit the Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple, located just to the east of the bustling bohemian Deccan Gymkhana district. This temple majestically towers into Pune’s azure skies in a series of gold-washed stacks, finished with ornate white-flecked windows. The temple was consecrated in the late 19th century, and is devoted to the Hindu god Ganesh. Inside, discover the shimmering-white flower-laden shrine to Ganesh. In late summer each year, Pune holds a festival devoted to the god, and the temple becomes the centre for singing and dancing processions, illuminating the night with fire-red lanterns.

 

Malshej Ghat

 

 

While the city itself offers many green public parks that boast idyllic, peaceful breathing-room - such as the Kamala Nehru Park - why not venture outside the city limits, to an area of outstanding natural beauty? Driving west of Pune will find you in the Malshej Ghat, a stretch of wild green hills which hikers will relish. Here you'll lay your eyes on crystal-clear waterfalls, red-flecked flamingos and bronze-winged cuckoos. A lush, refreshing counterpoint to the bustle of the city, it's well worth taking a day out from Pune itself to visit.

 

Shaniwar Wada

 

 

If you’re interested in Pune’s rocky history, you’ll not want to miss the Shaniwar Wada, located in the city centre. This palace-come-fortress is a remarkable example of 18th century Indian architecture. Its mighty stone walls – scarred by battles from long ago - encircle lush grassy gardens and courtyards. While the opulent grounds make for a picturesque stroll, be sure to see to the ominous Delhi Gate. The enormous metal doors are large enough to fit elephants through, and huge 12-inch steel spikes are set across their exterior, once used to deter enemies from charging.