With its Maratha legacy, colonial influence and modern industrial parks, Pune is a city where history blends with the present. The former capital of the peshwas, and later known as a 'pensioner's retreat', today Pune is a vibrant metropolis with information technology startups, colleges, plush hotels and restaurants and busy shopping streets.

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Day 1 Morning

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9 am: Start the day at the majestic Aga Khan Palace, which served as a prison for Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Gandhi during the Quit India Movement. Take a leisurely round of the palace museum, which houses several memorabilia from those times. Just 2 km away from the palace stands the GyaanAdab Centre, a cultural hotspot, which hosts art exhibitions and workshops. If you are a meditation and yoga enthusiast, spend some time at the Osho resort, which is located nearby. 

11 am: From Aga Khan Place, about 15 minutes away is one of Pune's oldest attractions, the Pataleshwar temple. Located right on a busy road at Shivaji Nagar, this 8th-century rock-cut cave Shiva temple is set inside a fenced garden. Walk down the shaded pathway to the magnificent temple porch with an umbrella-shaped canopy and spacious courtyards. A beautifully-carved Nandi (the bull who is said to be Lord Shiva's divine mount) and a Shiva linga (a representation of the Lord) stand inside the basalt rock temple. 

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Day 1 Noon

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1 pm: Grab a quick bite at the German Bakery, one of the most popular cafes in Pune, which attracts tourists from across the world. Then head to the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, which is home to what is said to be the largest collection of artefacts collected by one man from across India. From statues of gods and goddess, embroidered textiles and swords of the Peshwas to peacock-shaped sitar (a stringed musical instrument), a veena (a string instrument) made from an ostrich egg, the museum has a wondrous collection of antiques on display. If you are a culture aficionado, you can easily spend half-a-day here. 

3 pm: Next arrive at the historic Shaniwar Wada, the erstwhile fort of the Peshwas of the Maratha empire. Ruins of the once magnificent fort and its fortified gateway stand even today. One of the major attractions here is the light and sound show held in the evening (six days in a week) that brings the fort's history to life. Just outside the fort gate is another historic building, Lal Mahal, when the great Maratha warrior Shivaji spent his early years. Also nearby is the Chaturshringi Temple, one of the most popular sites in the city.If you have time before the show begins, you can walk around the winding lanes outside the fort complex to explore ShaniwarPeth, the old part of the city.  Pune has 17 peths or old roads, named after days of the week or the peths’ founders. Explore the heritage buildings and traditional shops lining these roads. 

Day 1 Evening

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9 pm: After a long day, explore the quaint yet busy by-lanes of MG Road, that is home to several eateries, including the extremely popular Kayani Bakery. Don't forget to taste the iconic cakes and the Shrewsbury biscuits at the city’s oldest bakery. Just 10 minute away is another shopping hotspot in Pune, Laxmi Road. If you want to buy traditional Maharashtriansarees, you will be spoilt for choice here.

Day 2 Morning

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Start your day early at the majestic Lord Ganesha temple, the DagdushethHalwai Temple. One of the most revered temples in the city, devotees flock here for a glimpse of the exquisitely decorated idol, which is said to be more a century old. 

If you want to explore the heart of old Pune, walk over to ShukrawarPeth where stands the Mahatma PhuleMandai, Pune's largest and oldest vegetable market. Housed inside a 19th-century red-tile-roofed Gothic building, the market has been around since the British era. After exploring the buzzing market, walk over to Bedekar’s Tea Stall, around 10 minutes away from the mandai. This eatery has been serving authentic Marathi breakfast for decades. Try the spicy misal-pav (sprouts curry and bread), a local favourite. 

11 am: After breakfast, head to the LokmanyaTilak Museum, opposite Bedekar’s stall. The museum is housed in Kesariwada, where the freedom fighter lived. The museum is replete with personal belongings and photographs of the great leader. It is said the courtyard of this house is where Tilakorganised Pune’s first community Ganesh utsav (an annual festival to worship Lord Ganesha), to build harmony among people. For lunch, you can enjoy the more traditional fare at one of the popular cafes near the legendary Fergusson College.


Day 2 Noon

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2 pm: Post lunch, head to the Okayama Friendship Garden, also known as Pu La DeshpandeUdyan.  Said to be one of the largest Japanese-style gardens outside Japan, it is one of the biggest parks in the city. Lush and landscaped, the 10-acre garden also has a natural canal flowing through it. Stand on the bridge across the canal and watch the colourful fish dart around. 

5 pm: As evening sets in, plan a trip to TaljaiTekdi, a hill surrounded by a forested area located right at the heart of Pune. It's a refreshing natural getaway and the sunset views from the hilltop are stunning. You can even enjoy an evening snack at the foot of the hill.  

Day 2 Evening

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9 pm: Pune has a plethora of fine-dining options and the neighbourhood of  Koregaon Park is famous for the same. From traditional to the exotic, there is something for every taste-bud here.