A Refreshing Family Trip to Pune - Happening Experience of Cultural Capital of Maratha

01 August 2019, Places I explored Shaniwar Wada, Parvati Hills, Dagdu Seth Ganpati, Aga Khan Palace

As soon as family vacations start, we all are on the lookout for destinations to travel with our family. We also travel a lot to different pilgrim and other places. Today let me share with you my exciting experience of traveling to Pune with my husband and five-year-old daughter. Every year we celebrate our daughters birthday, but, this year we decided to go out on a Family trip to Pune. I will share with you my favorite places that you can visit with your kid, the places where you can eat out and have some authentic food and delicacies and the museums that you can visit. 

Pune Point of Interest

First of all, let me tell you the reason why I chose Pune city as my travel destination. Pune city has a mixture of cultural heritage, courage, and valor. I wanted to make my daughter aware of our history. Also, Pune is the city with a lot of greenery and site seeing places. So, this was the reason, why we chose Pune for our Family trip.

We had decided to go to Pune on my daughter’s birthday. The main point was to celebrate our daughter’s birthday by planning a trip for her as she loves to travel and explore new things. Also, I had told my daughter stories of Maratha warrior Shivaji and she was very excited to visit his birthplace.

So, we left for Pune on 3rd of May. We had decided to travel by train and hence booked tickets for Duronto, that leaves from Ahmedabad at 11:00 PM and reaches Pune at 7:00 AM the next day. We had booked our hotel near to Pune Central Railway station. The Hotel Sirona was very comfortable and reasonable from Oyo rooms. So, we reached our hotel which was about 10 minutes away from the railway station, freshened up, had our breakfast and then decided to go for site-seeing.

Places to Visit in Pune

Here are the places to visit near Pune with our daughter and we enjoyed a lot. Pune is very well-known for it's tradition and mouthwatering food. Our former P.M Shree Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru referred Pune as "Cambridge of India". It is also a cultural capital for Marathas. These places are primary tourist places in Pune. Also these are some perfect one day picnic spot near Pune.

1. Dagdu Seth Ganpati

While asking at the Hotel reception area, we came to know that Shreemath Dagdu Seth halwai Ganpati temple is a major attraction in Pune and luckily the temple was located just a few Kms away from the Hotel. So, decided to first have a darshan over there. We thought that getting the blessings of Lord Ganpati at the beginning of the trip is a very good omen. So, we left to have our darshan.

Walking through the streets surrounding the temple we saw various shops selling Ganesh idols and cute Ganesha artifacts that can be put on the table. We bought the very famous delicacy modak, which is believed to be Lord Ganesha’s favorite as prashadam and entered the temple for Darshan. The temple and the idol left us awestruck. We had a peaceful darshan and then came out of the temple.

The idol of Lord Ganesha had very powerful vibes and it was awe-inspiring. Dagdu Seth halwai was the founder of the temple, who himself was a sweet maker.

2. Shaniwarwada - One of the Top Places to Visit Near Pune

Then we visited Shaniwarwada. It was built in 1732 and was the seat of Peshwas of the Maratha empire. The building was built by Peshwa Bajirao Ballad I. They ruled over there till 1818. The year they got defeated by the Britishers. In 1828 the fort was destroyed by a huge fire. Only the ground floor survived. The ground floor was restored and was converted into a site-seeing place for public.

The remains of Shaniwarwada remind us of Peshwa Bajirao I and his bravery. It was built strategically to prevent Mughals and Britishers from attacking Pune. At the time of its grandeur, the fort used to house 1000 people at a time.

When we visit the garden area inside the Wada we can still see the remains of the drainage system on the ground floor and believe me, it is designed way better then the drainage system of today. Inside there is a magnificent and lush green garden. Shaniwarwada is a must-visit place when in Pune.

3. Lal Mahal - Among the Famous Places in Pune

Then next place on our way was Lal Mahal, the residence of Shivaji Maharaja. Shivaji Resided over there for a long time before capturing his first fort. Shivaji spent his childhood over there and his marriage to Maharani Sai bai also took place over here.

The original monument was built by Shahaji Maharaj for his wife Jijabai and son Shivaji. The original monument got destroyed a number of times and the recent one is the nearest replica of the original monument.

But, it still mesmerized me and kept me thinking about the bravery filled magnificent era of Shivaji Maharaj.

4. Parvati Hills - Fascinating Hill Station Near Pune

The next place to visit on our list was Parvati Hills. We went over there to pay homage to the Jagatmata Goddess Parvati. The Hill is at a height of about 2100 feet from the sea level and is the second-highest point in Pune city. The main attraction, as you know from the earlier statement, is the Goddess Parvati temple.

The temple is the oldest heritage structure in the city of Pune. It was built by Balaji Baji Rao. The temple offers a panoramic view of the city. There are about 103 stones to the temple, which are made of black stones, which are not affected by the weather. The other temples on the hilltop include Vitthal and Rukmini temple and Vishnu, Kartikeya and Rama temple. Parvati Hill is considered as one of the best hill stations of India.

The Parvati hill is located in the southeast part of the city and is covered with lush green trees.

5. Pheonix Mall - In the List of Places to Visit in Pune with Friends

I wanted to purchase a birthday gift for my daughter and hence, decided to visit Pheonix Mall. This Mall is located in Vimannagar area of Pune. It is built by the owners of Pheonix mills. The mall has four floors. The mall has shops of all the big brands in the country.

It is one of the largest malls in India. We went to buy a gift for our daughter at "Hamley’s" and "Toys ‘R’ us".

6. Agakhan Palace

The next we visited Aga Khan Palace, which has a prominent place in Indian History. Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III built the palace in 1892 as an act of charity to help the poor people. Aga Khan Palace has played a prominent role in the history of Indian freedom fight.

It is the same palace where Gandhiji, Kasturba, and Mahadev Bhai Desai were held hostages during Quit India movement and the place where Kasturba and Mahadev Bhai Desai breathed their last. They still have the samadhi of Kasturba and Mahadev Bhai over theirs. The part of the palace is now converted into a museum displaying all the artifacts used by Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba during their stay over here.

The samadhi of both Kasturba and Mahadev Bhai Desai are surrounded by lush green garden and great numbers of Banyan trees. This lovely garden is really appealing to the eye and provides fresh air.

7. War Memorial Museum - One of the Best Picnic Spot Near Pune

Pune is also one of the biggest bases of Indian Army. All of us respect our army a lot. In South Pune, the army has built a war memorial museum. Which tells about the fights we have fought, the strategies developed and has on display details about all the brave commanders. They also have on display various different uniforms worn by army, navy, and air force in different areas.

They also have a huge display of tanks and other ammunition used in different wars and the parts played by these war vehicles. They also have statues of our great leader warriors like Maharana Pratap, Shivaji Maharaj, Jhansi Ki Rani and many more.

They also have a shop where you can purchase mementos for your loved ones.

Best Places to eat in Pune

We are real foodies. Me and my hubby like to try a lot of new things. Here are the few restaurants where we ate in Pune. I would suggest you to go over there when you visit Pune. These are actually best restaurants in Pune for couples. 

a. German Bakery

German Bakery

If you are fond of great coffee and pastries, then you must visit this place. The German Bakery opened its doors for the people of Pune in the year 1988. From then onwards it has served some of the tastiest authentic German desserts to the people of Pune.

They also serve Indian delicacies and tea and coffee for those who are fond of Indian Masala tea and other snacks. There was a blast in German Bakery in 2010. But, forgetting everything the German Bakery has risen like a legend and is scaling heights.

b. House full Paratha

After visiting a lot of places, we decided to go for our lunch and wanted to eat something heavy, as we were really very hungry. This is the place which serves some of the best parathas in the city. The place is famous for its Bahubali and Devsena Thali.

We had opted for Bahubali thali and it had a lot of varieties of food and delicacies served to us. The food was really yummy, piping hot and fresh.

c. Up South

Up South is a Restaurant serving delicious South Indian food. It is a great place to visit for people who are a fan of South Indian Snacks in the evening. We had visited this restaurant at around 6:00 PM and enjoyed the piping hot idlis, dosas, and vadas along with mouthwatering chutney.

And the best part was the welcome lemon juice that was served in small shot glasses. My daughter is a fan of good and soft idlis and she enjoyed the idlis over there to the heart's content.

d. Shabree

Marathi Food at Shabree

It is the restaurant serving authentic Marathi food. We thought that if we have visited Pune, then we should definitely eat some authentic Marathi food. So, we asked a few people around and everyone told us about Shabree. So, decided to visit the restaurant. The restaurant is not only famous for its authentic food but, also for its ambiance and lighting.

So, this was our family tour to Pune. I know that we might not have visited a lot of other places in Pune. Please do let me know about these places in the comment section and will definitely visit next time. 

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