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This is one city in Maharashtra that has seen a sudden change from being a sleepy town to a major IT hub and a bustling city. Boasting of a glorious past, Pune saw the rule of a number of illustrious dynasties and has inherited something from all of them.
The innumerable temples and monuments stand as a testimony to the same. With all the traditions and moral etiquettes from the past a unique culture has evolved in Pune that locals swear by.
Pune is recognized for its Peshwa style monuments which still hold beholders in a gaze. Shaniwarwada is one of the best examples of the same. A seven storey mansion of the Peshwas it was once a haven of glory and luxuries, but was reduced to ashes by fire. The remains however remind strongly of the lost magnanimity. The formidable gates and palaces still enchant tourists. The 16-petal lotus-shaped fountain in the courtyard of the Palace is an architectural wonder. The Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is one of the best places in the region to get a glimpse of the past. It houses artifacts from the Mughals to the Marathas. A major draw here is a section of the Mastani Palace. It was built by Bajirao for his lover Mastani. An interesting Music gallery is also maintained there.
A tortoise shaped veena and a gramophone belonging to the early 20th century are some of the featured artifacts there.
Another important historical monument in Pune is the Aga Khan Palace. It is noted for its association with the Father of the Nation, who spent a good time here. It houses a large number of memorabilia and pictures of Gandhi and his days of struggle. The courtyard even has Kasturba Gandhi's Samadhi who breathed her last here. The Mahatma Phule Wada is yet another noted historical building in Pune. Former residence of Jyotiba Phule it is now a museum and has artifacts related to him on display.
The city of Pune has inherited some interesting and revered temples too. The Sarasbaug Temple is one of the best known ones here and is dedicated to Siddhivinayak. It draws ten thousand visitors on an average per day which goes as high as eighty thousand for festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi. A good number of temples are present on the Parvati Hill which is famous for the same. The hill top is accessible
through a flight of 108 steps which leads to temples dedicated to Parvati, Vishnu, Ganesh, Kartikeya and Devadeshwar. According to poular beliefs, the Parvati Temple enshrined a pure gold idol which was stolen and a silver idol with gold polish was put in its place.
Pune has got international recognition for being home to the Osho International Meditation Resort. Sprawling over 40 acres of verdant greens, it is a heaven for those who seek a retreat. Disciples here are trained in Osho's techniques of meditation, stress relief and massages. The Film and Television Institute of India is also present in Pune. It is noted to be the best acting school in the country and has produced some of the finest artists for the industry. Courses in direction, editing, screenplay, photography and music are offered here. National Defence Academy is situated in Khadakwasala. It is a joint services academy for the cadets of three wings - Army, Navy & Air Force. All cadets undergo training before they depart for their respective academies.
Like any other major city in the country, Pune also has a lot of eating out options and one can easily find almost all types of popular cuisines here. However, it is not the swanky restaurants but the small cafes and bakeries that give out the best of stuff. Mostly family run, they have their own signature specialties.With its commercialization Pune has witnessed a rise in the number of hotels too. Some of the well known brands have come up there are make for the best options in the luxury segment. Some decent properties for budget conscious travelers are also there. Visitors to Pune can always rest assured of getting a hotel of their choice.
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