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Often referred to as the Oxford of the East, Pune is a bustling hub of multifarious people and activities and is in the contention for rapidly growing into one of the top metropolitan cities in the country. When someone says Pune, you immediately think of a laidback, yet lively town with a young and vivacious crowd that welcomes every visitor with an open heart. However, there is a lot more to Pune than just its youthful vigour. Behind the modern commercialized façade of Pune lies the roots of ancient Poona, which gave birth to the Maratha Empire and had a very crucial role to play in the history of India’s independence. Pune is a city that perfectly blends modernity with tradition, and it deserves the title of being the cultural capital of Maharashtra.
Pune is dotted with palaces and temples that are reminiscent of the city’s ancient heritage, the most important of these being the Shaniwar Wada palace and the Aga Khan palace. The Shaniwar Wada palace is a sprawling monument that used to serve as the seat of power for the Peshwa rulers back during the Maratha Empire. Constructed by Peshwa Baji Rao I after his victory in the Third Anglo Maratha War, this palace is no less than an architectural marvel. Comprising of nine bastions, five gateways, intricate latticework and a beautiful mountain, the Shaniwar Wada Palace allows you a glimpse into the history and architecture of the Peshwas.
The Aga Khan Palace is another palace that is steeped in history. Built by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III this palace has been witness to countless important events in the Indian war of independence, including the imprisonment of Mahatma Gandhi and other important freedom fighters. Boasting of beautiful Italian arches, lush green lawns and large hallways which are now used to display exhibits from the lives of various freedom fighters, the Aga Khan Palace is an important tourist attraction, especially for history buffs.
The Singhagad Fort is a must-visit spot in Pune, and due to its alluring location on the Bhuleshwar Range of the Sahyadri Mountains, it offers excellent trekking trails to the top of the cliffs. The fort once acted as a very important military outpost during the Maratha reign, but a large part of it lies in ruins today – a fading remnant of the glorious past. For those wishing to experience the grandiose Maratha architecture coupled with stunning views of the Sahyadris, the Singhagad fort is a must-visit tourist attraction.
Pune is also home to many temples, the important ones you can visit is the Dagaduseth Halwai Ganpati Temple, the Pataleshwar Cave Temple, and the Chaturshringi Temple.
While Pune has plenty of options for eating, ranging from street food to high-class restaurants where you can enjoy all kinds of cuisines, Pune is renowned for its bakery items. Ranging from a variety of cookies, pastries to even cakes, don’t forget to try out Pune’s mouth-watering bakery items.