Tomal K. Ganguly | Executive Assistant Manager, Automotive Division | PRETTL Group

First published in M+V’s India Insight in June 2013

Pune is the second largest city in Maharashtra and is situated 560 meters above sea level on the Deccan plateau on the side of the Sahyadri mountain range. It is also known as “Queen of the Deccan”. During the British Empire, Pune’s role became more important and throughout the years, the city became one of the three major centers for the automobile industry in India and is now a significant location for investors.

Hotels

Hyatt Regency Pune: Located near the International Airport, it is known for its great hospitality and has contemporary artwork from international artists throughout the hotel. Whisky connoisseurs will appreciate the Single Malt & Co. Bar.

Royal Orchid Golden Suites: This hotel is a good alternative if you are fed up with standard hotel rooms. The spacious apartments are equipped with modern kitchens and the living room areas have large TVs, so you feel at home quickly. The location is very convenient as nearby you can find cafés, a shopping mall and the Aga Khan Palace.

Le Meridien Pune: Located in the heart of Pune, guests can enjoy the wonderful Rajasthani architecture of the building. Three restaurants pamper your tastebuds, and the hotel’s nightclub is an insider tip and is very popular among young and trendy Puneites.

The O Hotel: The hotel is known for its hip style. The rooms are huge and comfortable. Staying at the hotel is a unique experience. The O Hotel includes three high-class restaurants. Due to its location, you can also enjoy the wonderful skyline of Pune from the rooftop swimming pool.

Eating Out and Nightlife

Malaka Spice: The restaurant is considered the best for Southeast Asian cuisine in Pune. The atmosphere is very nice – especially for art lovers. Emerging artists show their works, therefore, you sometimes might feel like you are sitting and eating in an art gallery.

Smokies Bar & Diner: The restaurant has its own microbrewery and a live interactive kitchen – it is definitely a unique experience for the guests. You can try the Doolally beer which is served while enjoying food from 5 regions of the world.

Stone Water Grill: Situated on the riverbanks of Mutha River in Koregaon Park, this restaurant is one of my favorites. The relaxing atmosphere, with its attached bar, invites guests to enjoy themselves and forget the stress of everyday life. Wine connoisseurs will appreciate the large variety, but cocktail lovers too can experience interesting and exotic ingredients.

Culture and Recreation

Poona Club Ltd.: The club offers a large variety of sports facilities like swimming, basketball, tennis, badminton, table tennis, squash courts and also includes a golf course.

Osho Ashram: Besides being a tourist spot, the ashram also offers a resort for yoga and meditation lovers.

Places to see in Pune

Shaniwarwada: The fort of Shaniwarwada is a historical fort and was once the seat of the government of the Peshwa. Unfortunately, the fort was destroyed by a fire in 1828. The ruins show the size of the huge area of the fort and impress the visitors each time.

Pataleshvara Cave Temple: The temple is one of the oldest ones in Pune. The temple has interesting architecture as it was built in a rectangular courtyard surrounded with a central circular shrine.

Aga Khan Palace: The palace is one of the biggest landmarks in Indian history. During independence, the palace served as a prison for Mahatma Gandhi and his wife. The architecture is very impressive, with its huge size and its spacious lawn in front of the palace. It is a nice place to visit if you want to know more about “Bapu” and the history of Indian independence.

Bund Garden: This place is also known as ‘Indira Gandhi Udyan’ and offers sport enthusiasts a variety of facilities from boating to jogging. The garden is situated on the banks of the Mutha River and especially in wintertime, one can see migratory birds in the hilly terrain and enjoy a short break from the hectic city life.

Raja Kelkar Museum: The private museum of Baba Dinkar Kelkar shows a large variety of exhibits of Indian crafts from Maharashtra as well as other parts of India, and dates back to the Mughal and Maratha periods. The museum shows more than 21, 000 exhibits and takes the visitor on a historical journey.

Excursions

Panshet Lake: Hiking, cycling, water sports, relaxing. This is a good place for nature lovers and is located about an hour’s drive away from Pune and is ideal for a one day excursion. The two lakes of Panshet and Varasgaon are a perfect place to forget your hectic life and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Mulshi Dam: Another nice place to relax and enjoy nature. With its forts, and surrounded by hills and forests, the Mulshi lake and dam are a good place for picnics, but also to explore wildlife.

Katraj Snake Park: To experience more wildlife, the Katraj Snake Park is a must-visit where you can look directly into the eyes of a King Cobra.

PUNE FACTS

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QUICK FACTS

Area: 700 sq km
Population incl. suburbs: 5 Mio.
Climate: Subtropical
Monsoon Months: July to September
Temperature range: 10ºC to 38ºC
Best Season to visit: October to March
Languages: Marathi, Hindi, English
Major Religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam