So what else does Pune have on offer?
First on my list is the Aga Khan Palace. Apart from the pretty edifice and the lawns of what used to be a princely residence, the fact that the Father of the Nation spent a couple of years here makes it well worth a visit. The first time I visited it, I was showing a firangi friend around.
Once we were through with a brief history of the Aga Khans at the ticket counter (you have to ask for this, it isn't part of the tour), we went through the well-labelled rooms, each housing a mini museum to it's famous residents. In fact, so well labelled are the rooms, and so well arranged are the artifacts that one doesn't even need a guide!
It is a great insight into the greatness of the man who is more known for getting India her freedom. Gandhiji's drives around ridding India of untouchability apart from his famous freedom movement initiatives, actually brought tears to my eyes. My firang friend could see that I was moved. I thanked him for coming over as it had given me the opportunity to visit the place.
It is here that Gandhiji lost two of his closest confidantes, his secretary of many years who he treated like a son & his wife Kasturba. Both their samadhis are here, quiet places, strangely in sync with the quiet personalities they seemed to have had.
Shaniwarwada: The place looks like it is falling apart, but it is a tribute to the construction of the monument that it still stands despite it being totally gutted in a fire a few hundred years back. The wooden part of the palace of the Peshwa is totally destroyed, but the stone building still stands practically intact.
The gardens and the water fountains probably give you an insight into the planning & artistry of the Maratha rulers, something they're not well known for.
Lal Mahal: I have only seen it from the outside, as it unfortunately has restricted viewing hours. It is still on my viewing list as I am very keen on seeing what I had hitherto only read about in Amar Chitra Kathas; specially since it has to do with a great king, one whose name has been usurped by & spoilt for political purposes.
Sinhgadh: Fort that was witness to one of the Marathas' greatest victories. Site of the martyrdom of one of Shivaji's greatest generals, Tanaji. Apart from that it is a very green area, where one visit could render the senses fresh.
Lesser places (I guess this varies depending on one's interest) are the temples in Pune.
Dagdusheth & Chaturshringhi, the two that I visited with my firangi friend are deviod of any notable architecture. They're essentially places of faith that are famous I guess for the throngs they attract. One notable thing about Dagdusheth is the amount of gold used in it's inner chamber. It makes ones jaw drop.
Any other ideas about what one can visit in Pune?