Pune, in the state of Maharashtra, is within three hours of India's western coast. It lies in an area known for its wildlife sanctuaries and rich cultures and traditions. Maharashtra is the richest state in India, and many businesses are based in Pune, particularly those in the fields of technology and engineering. Considered the cultural capital of the state of Maharashtra, Pune has become a popular tourist destination.
Ghandi National Memorial
The Aga Khan Palace, also called the Ghandi National Memorial, was built in 1892 by the Sultan Mohammed Shah, Aga Khan III, who was inspired by a terrible famine to bring employment to his neighbors. The palace is now home to the Ghandi Memorial Society.
Osho International Meditation Resort
The Osho Ashram in Koregaon Park offers meditation courses and classes on self-discovery. The ashram has relaxing gardens, massage parlors, beauty parlors, basketball courts, swimming pools and a sauna.
Parvati Darshan is located 2,100 feet above sea level and offers magnificent views of the surrounding area. Four temples grace this hill. To reach the top of the hill visitors must climb 103 steps that are 250 years old. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring plenty of water.
Katraj Snake Park
The Katraj Snake Park is not for everybody -- a zoo with a special emphasis on snakes. This attraction has a vast collection of snakes -- about 160 different kinds -- other reptiles, birds and turtles.
The Jejuri Temple is located just southeast of Pune. You have to climb nearly 200 steps to reach this large temple, where a sword competition is held every year. It was dedicated to Khandoba, a god revered by the Dhangars, one of the oldest tribes in the region.
Other Historic Places
Historic monuments and temples are in abundance in Pune. Copper plates dating back to 758 A.D. have been found in the city, but historians at the Decan College believe civilization in the area dates back as far as 50,000 years. The Mahatma Phule Wada museum is housed in a building dating back to 1852. The Pataleshwar Caves date back to the 8th century A.D. and were dedicated to the God of the Underworld. A number of shrines and statues are situated here. Shinde Chatri, built in 1794, houses the remains of Shrimant Mahadji Shinde and is an example of great Indian architecture.
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