Sitting along the Mutha River, Pune city is the second largest metropolis in Maharashtra. Perched atop the Deccan Plateau, the city’s character is an interesting blend of its royal Maratha history and the wave of urbanization it has seen in the last few decades. Pune attracts travelers from all over the country looking for rich history, deep-rooted culture with a modern twist, mouth-watering foods, and beautiful cityscapes and natural landscapes. So, here is the ultimate itinerary for your 2-day trip to Pune for your next weekend getaway trip!
Aga Khan Palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Pune and a great way to delve into the city’s rich history. Built by Sultan Mohammad Shah in 1892, the palace portrays the intricacies of Mughal architecture at its best! Spread across an area of 1756 square meters, Aga Khan Palace is decked with beautiful gardens, high Italian arches, long and narrow corridors, museums, and memorials.
The palace is known to be the last place where Mahatma Gandhi’s wife, Kasturba Gandhi, and his associate, Mahadev Desai took their last breaths. Hence, their memorials were later added inside the palace grounds. The complex also has museums that display various pictures and personal belongings of Gandhi. And if you are interested in Khadi clothes, the palace houses a shop selling Khadi items and handmade textiles!
Timings: 9 am to 5:30 pm, from Monday to Sunday.
Entry Fee: INR 5 for Indians, INR 2 for children, and INR 100 for foreign tourists.
Also read: Best Bars And Pubs In Pune
Pune is a major landmark in Maratha history, and the Lal Mahal plays a major role in this history. Lal Mahal, which literally translates to Red Palace is located close to the popular Shaniwar Wada and represents the valiant efforts of the Maratha royals. The palace showcases the architectural finesse of the 16th century and is entirely constructed of red brick, hence the name. The medieval palace houses the statues of young Shivaji Maharaj and his mother Jijabai.
The palace was constructed in 1630 AD by Shahaji for his wife and son, Jijabai and Shivaji, and was their residential palace until 1645 AD. The palace walls have witnessed Shivaji’s childhood. Later the palace was seized by Shaista Khan, and in 1663 Shivaji laid siege to the palace and conquered it back from the Mughal army. Today, you will find wall paintings depicting the battle with Shaista Khan as well as paintings that show Shivaji’s administration and rule.
Timings: 9 am to 1 pm and 4:30 pm to 6 pm, Monday to Sunday.
Entry Fee: The entry fee is a basic amount of INR 5 for any visitor.
Also Read: Experiencing Vipassana Meditation In Pune
There’s nothing better to immerse yourself in the history of a city, and after getting a glimpse of the rich history of the Lal Mahal, the Shaniwar Wada is the perfect place to move on to. Located in the heart of the city, the Shaniwar Wada was built in 1763 by Bajirao Peshwa. The mansion was primarily the residence for the Peshwas and their family. The Wada depicts Mughal influence in its architecture, with intricate darwazas (doors) and the lotus flower-shaped fountain in the middle of the courtyard.
The complex boasts a 21-feet tall main door, as well as several other doors like the Dilli Darwaza, Mastani Darwaza, and the Khidki Darwaza. Both the Dilli Darwaza and the Mastani Darwaza are on the northern side of the Wada, while the Khidki Darwaza is located on the southeast side of the complex. The Nagarkhana attracts a lot of tourists with its beautiful latticework and sturdy wooden pillars. You will also find the intricate carvings and incredible designs done by Maratha artisans and various paintings depicting the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Timings: 9:30 am to 5 pm, Monday to Sunday.
Entry Fee: INR 5 for Indian visitors, INR 125 for foreign visitors, and INR 25 per person for Light and Sound Show.
Also read: 5 Places To Go Glamping Around Pune
Pune has its fair share of natural landscapes and scenic beauty, and Mulshi Lake is one of them. Located about 35 km from the city center, the lake is a must-visit during the monsoons but is tranquil and splendid all around the year. Away from hustle and bustle of the city, the lake is popular among nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The calm surroundings and cool atmosphere makes for a perfect picnic spot during the summer months. The lake is a perfect way to end day one of your Pune trip.
One of the most popular activities around the lake is camping. You can rent a lakeside cottage or join a camping group and get to spend the night by the lake. But that’s only if you have more time to spare. Think about it because building a campfire, gazing at the starlit sky and the picturesque surroundings of the Sahyadris by the lake makes it all worth it! The lakeside is also perfect for nature walks, small hikes, and photography. If you’re planning for a one-day trip to Pune then you can also travel to Lavasa, Panshet, or Tamahini Ghat which are close to Mulshi Lake.
Timings: 9 am to 6 pm, Monday to Sunday.
Entry Fee: There is no entry fee for visiting the lake.
Also read: Mumbai Travel Guide
Pune has much more than forts and historical structures. A must-visit when you travel to Pune is the Okayama Friendship Garden. The manicured gardens and display of beautiful flowers and botanical plants make for a great break from all the history-heavy sightseeing. The garden represents the bond with one of Pune’s eight ‘sister cities’ i.e. Okayama in Japan. The concept of sister cities essentially is a social agreement between two geographically different cities, in this case, Pune and Okayama, to build a cultural bond.
Hence, to mark the Indo-Japenese bond, the Okayama Friendship Garden was created. The garden’s structure and design are inspired by the 300-year-old Korakeun Gardens in Okayama and reflect the traditional Japanese gardens. Spread across 10 acres, the garden is a blend of natural and man-made design which portrays the principle of Japanese gardening culture - Sumima. Sumi means balance and Ma means nature. Okayama Garden incorporates all 8 important elements of a traditional Japanese garden like waterfalls, ponds with Koi fishes, stone lanterns, water basins, bridges, decorative walls and statues, various plants, and bamboo fences.
Timings: 6 am to 10:30 am and 4 pm to 8 pm, Monday to Sunday.
Entry Fee: INR 5 per person.
Also Read: 5 Best Weekend Trips From Pune
Another scenic spot located in the city is Parvati Hill. The hill attracts several hikers and nature lovers every day. Located at the southern end of the city, Parvati offers a stunning panoramic view of the entire city and the surrounding valleys. One of the oldest structures in the city, an ancient temple also sits atop this hillock. The temple is said to have been a part of the Maratha dynasty and has seen the Peshwa rule. Apart from this, there are 5 smaller temples around the hill that have some of the most incredible architectural designs.
To get to the top of the hill, you’ll have to climb the 103 paved steps. This climb is perfect exercise and gets you into the mood for a good hike! And for anyone that is not particularly keen on hiking, the climb is pretty easy and not too taxing. On reaching the hilltop there is abundant space to sit and watch the city life go by. You will also find a museum here, which displays items belonging to the Peshwa era. From coins to guns to ancient manuscripts and paintings, the museum gives you a peek into life during the Peshwa rule.
Timings: 5 am to 8 pm, Monday to Sunday.
Entry Fee: No entry fee is required to visit the hill.
Also read: Pune Travel Guide
What better way to wind up your 2-day Pune trip than with Pune’s most famous picnic spot - Khadakwasla Dam. It may seem slightly odd that a dam is a tourist attraction, but Khadakwasla’s surrounding scenic beauty and natural diversity make it one of the most- visited spots in the city. The dam and the adjacent Khadakwasla Lake attract adventurers and nature enthusiasts from both Pune and Mumbai, especially during the weekends. The monsoon is the ‘tourist season’ and rightfully so. The entire area is transformed into a green paradise with the gurgling waters from the dam taking center stage.
The dam offers one of the most scenic views of sunrise and sunset. A million droplets dispersed into the air from the dam reflect the sun rays and you’ll get to see a rainbow every few hours here! There are various trekking expeditions and camping groups ending at Khadakwasla. So if you enjoy a dose of adventure this would be a great way to explore Pune city. Make sure to try the local snacks while you are here. The street food stalls at Khadakwasla have a reputation for serving some of the most delicious foods in the city!
Timings: 6 am to 6 pm, Monday to Sunday.
Entry Fee: There is no entry fees for visiting the dam.
Also read: Homestays In Pune
Pune has much more to offer than formidable forts shrouded in the veil of history and lanes of street shopping. The city has its fair share of scenic spots both natural and man-made that are worth visiting. So if you’re planning for a weekend getaway to Pune then make sure to visit these ‘local favorites’ as well. And if you’re not sure where to start, our ultimate itinerary has it all covered!
Why Is Pune Famous?
Pune is a major landmark in Maratha history and for housing the Shaniwar Wada and Lal Mahal. The city has gained considerable traction recently due to the Bollywood movie ‘Bajirao Mastani’ that was shot here in the city, at Shaniwar Wada. The city is also well-known as a major IT hub in the country.
Is Pune Better Than Mumbai?
Both cities are popular metropolitan hubs in the country. Though Pune is larger in terms of area and has a good balance of greenery and open spaces along with urban development. Pune is also comparatively less crowded than Mumbai.
What Is Pune Well-Known For?
Pune is known as the ‘Oxford of the East’ and is a popular educational hub of the country.
What Are Pune’s Famous Street Foods?
Pune’s vada pav, misal pav, meat kebabs, egg Kathi rolls, pav bhaji, and poha are famous options of street foods one ought to try.
What Is Famous In Pune To Buy?
Pune has several street markets like MG Road or FC Road, from where you can buy a variety of clothing, jewelry, bags, shoes, and other aesthetic items. Some other Pune exclusives are the biscuits and cakes from the popular Kayani Bakery, wafers and snacks from Budhani and Sons, Laxmi Narayan Chiwda, and Chitale sweets.
Why Is Pune So Cold?
Pune is known for its chilly weather and this is because of the northerly winds followed by the north-westerly winds flowing through Madhya Pradesh into Maharashtra. The humidity from the coastline prevents these winds from escaping to the west and adds to Pune’s cold weather.
Which Month Is The Coldest Month In Pune?
January is the coldest month with the lowest temperature going down to 13-degree celsius.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Pune?
The months between October and February are the best time to visit Pune as the cold weather is the most ideal and pleasant for sightseeing. The summers in Pune can be quite hot making it difficult to step out of the house!