Hyatt Regency Pune is an elegantly designed hotel located on Nagar Road, at a mere distance of 2.5 km from the Lohegaon International Airport. Situated in close proximity to the city’s entertainment areas of Koregaon Park and Kalyani Nagar, the Hyatt Regency Pune is sure to create a memorable stay experience whether travelling for business or leisure.
For more details, please visit Hyatt Regency website here
Pune is the educational hub with more than nine universities, prominent research institutions and educational institutions catering to more than a million students each year. With an ambient climate, rich history, and strong roots in arts and culture, Pune establishes itself as one of the prominent centers of learning aptly gaining the title ‘Oxford of the East’.
The stately mansion of the Peshwas, and the seat of the Maratha empire from 1730 to 1818, Shaniwar (saturday) wada (a residential complex) stands amidst Shaniwar Peth, basking in the ruins of all its former glory. Originally built as a seven storied complex by Peshwa Bajirao I, the complex spoke of Maratha grandeur with its intricately carved walls and ceilings. However, the attack of the British artillery and a mysterious fire in 1828 razed the entire palace to the ground. What remains is the perimeter fortification with its five strong teak gateways and nine bastions, enclosing a garden complex and the ruins of the original building.
Shaniwar wada is as famous for its spookiness as it is for its historical significance. The story speaks of the growing differences between Peshwa Narayan Rao and his greedy uncle Raghunath Rao. A deceptive message led to the gruesome murder of the Peshwa. Rumor has it, as he was being hunted, young Narayan rao was heard screaming “Kaka mala vachva” (uncle save me), the cries of which can be still heard on some nights.
An insight on the architectural marvel can be glimpsed in the 2015 Hindi feature film, Bajirao Mastani.
An edifice defining many a moments during Indian Independence, Aga Khan Palace, built in 1892, was also an act of charity by Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan. The emperor started the construction to provide employment to the poor people of areas adjoining Pune, which were drastically hit by famine.
In 1969, Aga Khan IV donated the palace to Indian people as a mark of respect to Gandhi and his philosophy. Following the launch of Quit India Movement, Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai interned in the palace from August 1942 till May 1944.
Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai died during captivity and have their samadhis located within the complex on the banks of the Mula river. The complex is a unique combination of Italian arches and spacious lawns, sprawled across 20 acres. Today, the place also serves as headquarters of Gandhi National Memorial Society and a museum which archives several photographs and personal belongings of Mahatma Gandhi. In 2003, the monument was declared to be of national importance.
So close has its association been with Mahatma Gandhi and Indian Freedom Movement, that late Richard Attenborough shot parts of his movie “Gandhi (1982)” in these premises.
Popularly known as “Oxford of the east”, Savitribai Phule Pune University (previously, University of Pune) was established in 1949. Spread over 411 acres, the university has an exceptionally pictresque campus, with lush green lawns and age old buildings.
The lofty Main Building was once the residence of the governors of Bombay during the British Raj. Inspired by Prince Albert’s Osborne House, the palatial house was built in 1864 but was vastly criticized for being “extravagant’. Today, the main building houses the office of the Vice Chancellor, the Dean’s chambers and Records Section. A lush public garden surrounds the Main Building.
The university also boasts of Alice Garden, famed for being haunted by the ghost of Alice Richman. The daughter of a prominent British Official, the story of her death revolves around an unfulfilled love story, though her grave says otherwise. Spooky or not, the place is worth a visit if you are up for a walk through the woods in the middle of city.
Located a little away from central Pune, in Wanowrie, lies a lesser known monument from the Peshwa era, Shinde Chatri was originally built as a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva by Mahadji Shinde in 1794. The outer sanctum of the temple witnessed the last rites of Mahadji, when he died that same year. In 1965, Madhavrao Shinde constructed a cenotaph exactly where Mahadji was cremated. A great warrior and an ardent ‘shivbhakt’, Mahadji was the commander-in-chief of the Peshwas from 1760 to 1780. He is credited with bringing back much of the lost Maratha glory, and played an instrumental role in the first Anglo-Maratha war.
Shinde Chattri is known for being built in accordance with Vastu rules. An architectural marvel, it reflects the Anglo-Rajasthani construction styles, bringing the two cultures together. The yellow sandstone rectangular block shaped mandapa with its stained glass doors and windows stands in stark contrast to the black stone temple shikhar. The interiors are rich with intricately carved idols of saints, and beautiful stucco work in green and orange. A small gallery with photographs and paintings of prominent Scindia Kings embellishes the complex. This place is a must visit to anyone wanting to understand the city better.
A hill fortress located 25 km southwest of Pune, Sinhagad (literal translation: Lion’s fort) is a perennial weekend destination for trekking enthusiasts, bikers and cyclists. Situated in the Bhuleshwar range of Sahyadri Mountains rising above 1312 meters above sea level, the fort was strategically built to provide protection owing to its steep slopes. The walls and bastions were constructed only at key points, and the fort was accessible through two gates, Pune Darwaja (to the north-east) and Kalyan darwaja (to the south-east).
Formerly known as Kondhna Fort, Sinhagad houses a temple dedicated to sage Kaundinya. The carvings and the caves date the fort back 2000 years. The fort also houses a memorial to Tanaji Malusare, the tomb of Rajaram Chattrapati, military stables and a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali. Passing hands under the reins of many a ruler, the fort, now almost in ruins, has witnessed battles and been a part of cunning schemes. To this date, as locals say, the war cry of the soldiers can be heard in the dead of the night (the credibility of the statement is somewhat questionable).
The place offers a refreshing view of the city outskirts, and should be on your visiting list if you are a trekking and history buff.