Pune city is close to my heart. It is my second home after my parents shifted there from Mumbai ten years ago. Although it is now turning into a concrete jungle, however it is still Green Pune for me as it has abundant open green spaces to explore and admire.
My connection with the Green Pune
But my connection with Pune dates far beyond recent times. During my childhood days we would frequently visit my cousins in Poona (back then). My Uncle who was in the Air force was posted at the Lohegoan Air Force base. We enjoyed bicycling, swimming, badminton, outdoor games and even an open air theatre for movies. Pune weather in winters is fabulous, it gets that rosy glow in your cheeks.
Lets explore Green Pune
In recent times, I have explored some interesting, lesser frequented outdoor places.
- Shaniwar Wada
A historical place to visit. It is actually a fort built in 1732 by the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire. Shaniwar Wada is the capital building and the residence of Baji Rao 1.
A sprawling fort with lush green lawns. It was a pleasant walk around the garden. Most of it was gutted in a recent fire yet the feel of this Bajirao stronghold can be experienced. You can even enjoy a light and sound show in the evenings.
Only wish the general public is more kind towards our Indian Historical monuments and dont strewn the place with ugly plastic bottles.
- Aga Khan Palace
The Aga Khan Palace was built by Sultan Muhhmmed Shah Aga khan lll in the year 1892. This Palace was a house to many students including my husband. He was a border at the National Model School until early 1970.
The Palace premises are beautiful. Some most beautiful Italian arches can be seen too. Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned here during the British rule. Hence now this property is converted a Museum.
The spacious lawns, the tomb of Kasturba and portraits that depict Gandhi’s life are a must see. You can buy handloom and khadi garments on the premises.
The lawns have a peaceful aura which relaxes you instantly. The hustle and bustle of Pune city was forgotten when I visited.
- Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park
Many people think going to a zoo is waste of time. But I honestly think that paying a visit to Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park is absolutely worth it.
Recently visited with my niece and nephew who equally love flora and fauna. They rather visit a zoo than a mall. The zoo is very well maintained with lush green lawns and tall trees. You get to see the White tiger, leopards, deers, elephants monkeys etc along with a whole bunch of other animals.
You can ride around the zoo in a battery operated mini open van. So cool and breezy, and above all that delightful green.
Snake Park is also a must visit here. The first time I got close to a lizard without feeling creepy. Lol!!
- Empress Garden
A beautiful garden in East Pune. It is maintained and managed by the Agri-Horticultural Society of Western India.
This garden is over 100 years old and some of the tall trees are even older.
The chirping of birds and greenery brings a beautiful calmness over you. You can purchase plants and seeds at the park.
A must visit for nature lovers, only one advice to wear long sleeves and be fully covered to be protected from mosquitoes.
- Pune Race Course Club ( Turf club )
This place has a history too, spanning just over two centuries. Last visit to Pune took me to this prestigious club for the first time. Mom insisted I accompany her to meet her childhood friend. Truly a royal club, banister staircases, huge carved photoframes depicting stories of yesteryears when the Queen of England, Shah of Iran and other dignitaries visited.
We spent a lazy afternoon relaxing with coffee and digging into scrumptious chicken sandwiches. Our table overlooked the race tracks, enjoyed seeing the kids run around playing with dogs in wide open spaces.
But thats not enough we got to take a round of the nearby stables to pet those docile ponies, stallions and horses.
- Pune Golf course
The Golfclub in Pune is another picturesque landscape that is a must visit place for all Nature lovers. Luckily non members and guests are allowed to use the club at a reasonable fee. The 18 hole golf course is well maintained , the greenery all around is a treat for the eyes. You just want to roll in the grass and be a child once again.
Golf sticks, coach and caddies can be arranged at a fee too. Next time when you visit Pune, a round of the Golf Course is a must.
- Choki Dani
Chokhi Dhani has an Rajasthani village setup just a few kilometres away from Pune. You can get a taste of Rajasthani culture and traditions. Eat yummy Rajasthani dishes; enjoy regional dance shows and exclusive puppet shows too. It was a family trip we had taken.
The kids enjoyed joy rides while we adults grooved with Rajasthani dancers and had endless rounds of golguppas. Reach early in day light if you have kids. The place opens by 5 pm ans dinner is served by 7.30. There is a cover charge at the entrance that covers quite a few entertainment shows and food.
Keep Pune Green and clean
Pune is yet unexplored and green, just an earnest request to keep it clean. Each time I visit I explore more about breathtaking beauty of nature.
My next post on Pune explores more fun and interesting things to see and do.