Known as the Oxford of the East, the vibrant city of Pune has its own charm. A booming IT and manufacturing hub with huge amount student population is like an emerging metropolitan but still has its small city tag attached to it. It is a perfect blend of modern with a huge sprinkling of culture to it. Having spend most of my life here, I love this city. This is the reason I want my little one to fall in love with Pune too. What better way than to show her the places that Pune is famous for. So here is a list of the Top 10 Places to Visit in Pune with Kids.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 10 Places to Visit in Pune with Kids
- 2 Where to Stay in Pune
Top 10 Places to Visit in Pune with Kids
The most popular monument in Pune Shaniwar Wada is a fort situated right in the heart of the City. Built in 1732, by Peshwa Bajirao I, it was the capital building of the Maratha Empire. There are several palaces, gates, fountains, reservoirs within the fort walls. Its popular with tourists as well as locals. The beautiful garden is well maintained and you can even see students preparing for their exams under a tree here. The fort has some really spooky stories attached to it which are better explained by the locals there. This fort gained more popularity by the movie Bajirao Mastani as the story was based here.
Aga Khan Palace
This majestic monument has a special place in India’s Freedom Struggle. This historical place is where Sarojni Naidu, Kasturba Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi and his secretary Mahadev Desai were imprisoned after the Quit India Movement. Later on, Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai also breathed their last here during their captivity. It also houses a memorial for Gandhi where his ashes are placed. Built by Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III, in the year 1892, to offer a means of livelihood for the famine hit villagers. This place is open from 0900 to 1800 for tourists. Many artifacts and belongings of Gandhi are on display here. This palace looks so spectacular that the kids will be perplexed whether it was a palace or a prison.
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
This museum houses the personal collection of Late Dr. D. G. Kelkar. The museum houses 22,000 artifacts that depict the day-to-day life. There are also jewelry made of ivory, gold and silver. There is a section dedicated to musical instruments also. Fondly remembered as Kaka, Dr. Kelkar travelled extensively across the country and collecting artifacts along the way. This museum was dedicated to his son who died an untimely death.
Sinhagad is a fortress lining the outskirts of Pune. Built at a height of 1300 meters it is perfect place for some light trekking with the kids. This fort still stands tall in-spite of the many battles fought here. The last being the Battle of Sinhagad in 1670. The views of Pune city from the top are stunning and if combined with the lush greenery that monsoon brings then it just takes it to another level. There are many spots inside the fort that are worth visiting like Tanaji Memorial, the Kali Temple, Tomb of Rajaram Chattrapati. Do not miss the local food sold here.
Empress Botanical Garden
Pune is one of the few cities that still has places where there are huge parks with birds chirping and kids playing around. The Empress Botanical Garden is in fact a landmark in Pune. It is good idea to get the kids here than to take them to the malls. It’s a botanical garden so there are many types of trees and flowers on show. There is an annual flower show that takes part here to generate awareness about horticulture. This park is managed by the Agri – Horticulture Society of western India.
This Mahal or Palace was built in 1630 AD by Shahaji Bhonsale for his wife Jijabai and son Shivaji. Shivaji Maharaj grew up here and stayed till he captured his own fort. He even got married in this palace. The palace was destroyed and what stands no is a reconstructed one. This now houses a memorial with many paintings depicting the main events of Shivaji’s life along with many sculptures of Jijabai and Shivaji. This is great place to introduce the Great Maratha Warrior to your kids.
The Khadakwasla Dam built on Mutha River on the outskirts of Pune, is a favourite picnic spot for many. The dam’s reservoir is perfect for splashing around. It is beautiful and scenic. It is perfect an evening outing and a good way to show the kids what a dam is. This place can get very crowded in the evenings as this place has always been the most favored spot among the huge number of student population in the city.
Joshi’s Museum of Miniature Railways
This miniature railways museum was founded by Bhausaheb Joshi in 1998. It includes various working models of trains like steam train, bullet train and a mini sky train. The children will watch with awe the mini trains going around a mini city complete with flyovers, 65 signals, lamp posts and fences. It has its own manufacturing unit that sells miniature models to other countries. This includes the scale model of Europe’s highest railways at Jungfrau. There are even toy rail kits available for sale. The kids will surely enjoy their time here.
Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park
This is not one of the best Zoo’s in the country but its worth a visit with kids. I remember visiting this every year with my cousins. Earlier it was the Katraj Snake Park which later became the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park. Apart from the Royal Bengal Tiger, white tiger and leopard there are different types of deer, monkeys and sloth bear. The snake park attached to it is very informative and the handlers might also allow you to touch one. There is also boating in the Katraj Lake which is an added attraction.
Pune is situated in the leeward side of the Sahyadri Range, This close proximity ensures a number of hill stations within drivable distance. The list is quite exhaustive; Lonvavla, Khandala, Mahableshwar, Panchgani, Panhala, Kamshet, Panshet and so on. These hill stations come alive in the monsoons. The beauty of staying in Pune is that you can even drive to these places for a meal or evening tea and be back home before dinner time. It is perfect to take your kids out for a day of trekking in the lush greenery surrounding the hills.
Where to Stay in Pune
As in the case of any other city in the country, Pune, has no dearth of Hotels. In fact you will be spoilt with options. To help you choose your staying option click here.
Hope you find this post on Pune of use to you. Have you also visited any of these places with kids. What was your experience? Do let us know about your experience or if I am missing something, please contact us or comment below and I will update this blog soon. Your comments and/or feedback are most welcome.
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