You only live once and you only live a day once, unless of course you are part of a Rom-Com and you get to live the same day every day. Jokes apart, when you are on a trip to a city and you only have a day in hand, you want to use that day in the best possible way. Pune is a city that has so much to do that quite frankly it would take more than a day to soak in the essence of the city. But, where there is a will there is a way and where there is only a day there is also a one-day itinerary for Pune that you can follow, to see and do the top things in the city.
Start off with Aga Khan Place
It would be a shame to miss this one, as anyone and everyone who comes to Pune does go to Aga Khan Palace. The Palace was built in the late 18th century by Sultan Mohammed Shah Aga Khan III. The Palace holds a prominent featuring in the history of Indian independence as this was where Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned along with his wife and several other people. The Palace is a memorial showcasing photographs and documents related to the important phases in the life of Mahatma Gandhi.
Head to the Pataleshwar Temple next
This rock-cut cave temple pays homage to Lord Shiva and is flocked by devotees and tourists in large numbers. The temple is a work of art with the caves here adding an element of mystique. This cave temple bears a strong resemblance to the Ellora caves and it is believed that this temple has been carved out of a single piece of rock. The sculpting of this temple was left midway due to some fault found at the back at the temple which made further work risky. If you have time in hand, you could also visit the Junglee Maharaj temple close by and a museum which holds the Guinness book of records for a rice grain with 5000 characters inscribed on it.
Seen the movie Bajirao Mastani or heard about their romantic tale? If yes, then you must not miss the opportunity to see Shaniwar Wada which was the seat of the Peshwa rulers of the Maratha Empire. Originally built as the residence of the Peshwas in the mid 17th century, it was destroyed by a fire in 1832. The ruins of this fort stand majestically amidst lush green lawns that have some beautiful ponds and a gorgeous fountain. A light and sound show in both Marathi and English also take place here but in the eveningso, you might not be able to cover them. Maybe next time!
Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple
Wouldn’t you want to go and see the one temple which gives a stiff competition to Lal Baugcha Raja of Mumbai? This temple was made by a Sweet vendor by the name of Dagdusheth and has a 7.5 feet tall idol of Lord Ganpati. The idol is covered with gold ornaments worth a crore and weighing almost 8 kgs. It is located near Shaniwar Wada itself so it can be easily made a part of your itinerary.
Other temples you can visit if time permits are Chaturshringi Temple at the Senapati Bapat Road, Sarasbaug Ganpati Temple, and the Parvati Temple on Parvati Hill.
Lal Mahal and Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
Lal Mahal is a museum near Shaniwar Wada and has a vast collection of paintings celebrating the life of Shivaji Maharaj. Alternatively, if you wish to cover just one museum you could also go to the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum at Bajirao Peth which has almost twenty thousand artifacts from all over the country
Trying out the street food of Pune and visiting some iconic eateries
You have to have Chaitanya’s aloo paranthas, the Mawa cake at Kayani’s, Mac n cheese at Marz-o-Rin and SPDP at Vaishali. Pune gets a lot of student crowd as well as tourists and all these places are brimming with both all through the day. All these eating joints have been in Pune for a long time and you cannot leave the city without trying out these places.
This should cover most of the key things that you can do in a day in Pune and then you always come back more days in hand to explore the city completely.