Queen of the Deccan, Pune city is amongst the largest metro cities of India and stands at the confluence of the Mula and Mutha rivers. Pune has come to be recognized as the cultural capital of Maharashtra, and has transitioned from being an agricultural city to one of the fastest growing cities in the state. After Mumbai, Pune has gained importance for academics, culture and the industrial power horse of the western state of Maharashtra. It has one of India's oldest universities and its numerous colleges attract Indian and international students, the reason why it has also acquired the name “Oxford of the East”. But what is most appealing about Pune is its weather, the well - laid avenues and the relaxed ambience.
How to Reach Pune?
By Air : Pune’s airport at Lohegaon is 12 km from the main city centre. Daily flights connect it to Mumbai and Delhi as well as to other cities such as Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. Private cabs, auto rickshaws or city-airport shuttle buses will cover the distance from the airport to the city centre.
By Rail : Pune is one of the most important rail junctions in the Central railways zone of Indian Railways. Plenty of trains connect it to major destinations in the south, north and west of the country by mail, express and superfast trains. The Deccan Queen and Shatabdi Express are fast commuter trains from/to Mumbai, with travelling time of three-and-a-half hours approximately.
By Road : Maharashtra state roadways buses and buses operated by private companies connect the different places in the state to Pune as well as destinations in the neighbouring states of Karnataka, Goa and Andhra Pradesh.
Best Time to Visit Pune
Back in the good old days, Pune’s climate was perfect with summers cool and pleasant and winters mildly cold but industrialization, urbanization and the reduction of tree cover have drastically changed the weather patterns.
In a city where people didn’t even use fans, summer temperatures average between 26° – 40° Celsius and have been known to go as far up as 44° Celsius in May. The summer months last from March to May and early June. The monsoon brings desperately needed rains that cool the city in the months of June, July, August and September with average rainfall around 70 cm. The winter months of late October, November, December and February are very pleasant with average temperatures hovering between 29°-10° Celsius.
One can safely say that a visit to Pune would be most enjoyable from September to April. This way one avoids the hot summer months as well as the onslaught of the monsoons.
Things to do in Pune
Pune offers an array of things to do and see. Take a trip to its various forts, museums and religious places or head to Empress Botanical Gardens or Bund Gardens for a leisurely stroll. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy watersports at Panshet Dam. Shop to your heart’s content at the various busy markets of Pune or heat to places like Bhatgar Dam, Karla and Bhaja Caves, or Mahabaleshwar near Pune. Delve into a variety of cuisines available here or revel in the festivities of Ganesh Chaturthi and Pune Festival. If you are seeking a destination that offers all the creature comforts with a relaxed pace of life then Pune is ideal for you.
Places Near Pune
The places near Pune city are Bhatgar Dam, 40 kms from Pune this is one of the highest river dam walls in India, built on the river Velvandi and makes for a good day outing.
Visit Karla and Bhaja Caves that are about 50-60 km away from Pune, and situated amongst lush green mountains. These rock-cut Buddhist caves consisting of several viharas and chaityas date back to the 1st and 2nd centuries BC.
Adventure enthusiasts can visit Lohaad and Visapur, 52 km away from Pune these are majestic forts built by Shivaji in the 18th century. The forts stand sentinel atop an impressive hill separated by a one km-long ridge and are excellent sites for trekking.
Shivneri Fort is 94 kms away from Pune and main claim to fame is that this was the birthplace of the great maratha warrior Shivaji.
Mahabaleshwar (1372m) is only 120 km away. This was the summer capital of the Bombay Presidency during the days of the British Raj and some traces of that period remain. You’ll welcome the cool respite from the fast paced city life, and enjoy the pleasant walks, boating on the beautiful Venna Lake and the stunning views from its many viewpoints.
Hotels in Pune – Choice is Yours
There are numerous hotels in Pune ranging from 3-star, 4-star and 5-star deluxe to budget hotels.