Cheap Flights to Pune
Pune, nestled atop the Deccan Plateau with the Mutha River flowing alongside, is the second-largest city of the State of Maharashtra after Mumbai. This thriving hilly metropolis is also nicknamed the “Queen of the Deccan”. Boasting of a rich history, Pune was formerly ruled by the Rashtrakuta Dynasty and also by Chhatrapati Shivaji. The city is now home to flourishing industrial and IT zones, and also witnessed growth in tourism sector over the past few decades. With its old world charm, historical monuments, rich culture and traditions, temples, parks, gardens, mouthwatering street food and natural beauty, Pune perfectly reflects Maharashtra's diversity. It’s no wonder that tourists visiting Mumbai and take domestic flights to Pune for a vacation in the ‘Cultural Capital of Maharashtra’ and the fastest-growing tourism hotspot.
By virtue of being just 4 hours drive or a train ride away from Mumbai, this key city is the state is a popular weekend getaway for the people of Mumbai. Pune takes pride in offering the high quality of living with affordability. Hugely popular with arts and music lovers, the city attracts a large number of tourists to the famous Indian classical music festival Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav held in December every year. Pune is also an ideal higher education destination for students by virtue of being home to the world-famous Pune University, also called the “Oxford of the East”, and also attracts families in a big way with its prominent attractions such as the Aga Khan Palace, Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, Ambedkar Museum, Chaturshringi Temple, Parvati Temple, rock carved Pataleshwar Temple, Dagaduseth Halwai Ganapati Temple, Sinhagad Fort and Shaniwar Wada.
Discovering the 6th century old civilization in the “Smart City” of Pune is purely fun-filled and memorable experience. Let’s find out even more reasons how to best enjoy this world-class vacation destination with unmatched adventure and breathtaking sights.
Top Things to Do in Pune
Being Maharashtra’s second-largest city and fast growing metropolis, Pune has successfully emerged out of the shadow of its rich cousin Mumbai and made a mark for itself. The city offers plenty of reasons to visit more often. The moderate climate of Pune round the year is a top attraction for tourists.
Trek to Sinhagad Fort, located at a height of 750 meters in the Sahyadri Mountains. This popular historical site is renowned for its splendid architecture. It is one of the best trekking destinations in Pune, and quite busy on weekends, especially with locals.
The greenery in Pune is unsurpassed. The lush forests and trees co-exist here with towering skyscrapers. The city is greener than other metropolitan cities in the country. Visit the major urban centers of the city such as JM Road, Prabhat Road, Model Colony, and Shivaji Nagar with tree canopies everywhere. The sight of greenery all around is quite refreshing indeed.
Plan a tour of the cheese factory at ABC Farms, one of the lesser-known places in Pune. It has now gained popularity with the tourists and locals. The ABC Farms is home to a cheese factory, a dairy and five restaurants offering delicious cheese dishes. Consider taking a 3-hour tour of the factory to know more about cheese and its production. Look forward to sampling blue cheese, buffalo mozzarella and cheddar.
Go for paragliding in the small town of Kamshet, l;ocated 45 km from Pune. Tourists from all over Maharashtra are attracted for the spectacular views and paragliding opportunities. Plan your trip here during the winter months. Book your paragliding session in advance before visiting here.
Tourists are attracted to Pune because of its affordability. It is one of India’s first smart cities, but continues to offer the same quality of life like many other metropolitan cities far more affordably than in other important cities of the country. Whether you are visiting Pune for tourism or for living, you will find the city a highly affordable destination.
Best Time to Visit Pune
It is recommended that you should book flight tickets to Pune between the months of October and February. This is the perfect time to enjoy the pleasant weather. Visiting in December has its own advantages as this festive month attracts Indian classical music lovers from different parts of India to attend the famous Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav. Avoid visiting from March to June during the summer months as it’s hot and humid. It’s also better not to visit during monsoon from July to September as the weather is humid and the streets of the city are flooded.
What to Eat in Pune
Pune is absolutely a great place for food lovers, where you will relish authentic, distinctly-flavored Maharashtrian cuisine. The city is renowned for its street food dishes, such as vada pav, sabudana vada, missal pav, kande pohe, keema bun, patti samosa, beef keema, bun maska and bhel puri. Pune also excels in its delicious bakery items. Some of the must try bakery items here include nankhatai, oatmeal raisin cookies, cheese sticks, butter khari, mawa cake and Shrewsbury biscuits. If you want to sample main course dishes then order for popular Maharashtrian thali like varan bhaat, puran poli and besan pitla. For non-vegetarians, chicken thali is a must try. Among other dishes not to be missed include cheesy deep dish pizza, kathi rolls, lemon tarts, mango mastani and chutney sandwich.
Places to Stay in Pune
Pune being one of Maharashtra's key metropolitan cities after Mumbai is home to a large number of hotels, resorts and homestays. No matter whatever be your budget all kinds of accommodations suiting your pocket can be found here. If you are on a luxury trip to explore the city, you can choose to stay in one of the many luxury hotels, including The Westin, Amanora The Fern, JW Marriott Hotel Pune, Conrad Pune by Hilton, The Corinthians Resort & Club, and Fazlani Nature's Nest. There are many hotels for mid-budget travellers as well. These include Ramee Grand Hotel, Mantra Resort, Royal Orchid Golden Suites, The Central Park Hotel and The Orchid Hotel. The best budget hotels and guesthouses for stay in the city include Omate Villa, Park Central Comfort-e-suites, Tarawade Clarks Inn and Fairfield by Marriott. Most mid-range and budget hotels are clustered around the train station and Koregaon Park, near Osho Meditation Resort.
Getting Around in Pune
If you are planning a vacation in Pune and ready to board flights from a U.S. city then you will first have to arrive at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM) and then take a connecting flight to Pune International Airport (PNQ), located 34 km the city centre. In fact, Pune doesn’t have direct flights from USA, but has efficient domestic connections from major cities in India. Pune airport is also closest to Mumbai, and the city can be reached within one hour through domestic flight or in around 3 to 4 hours by taxi from Mumbai airport. Navigating around the Pune is easier by taking a local bus, shared mini-van, taxi or car rental.
Pune is a great city to enjoy a brief holiday. With myriad attractions and natural beauty you are sure to enjoy the energy and charm of this vibrant destination.
Major Festivals in Pune
Ganesh Festival: Pune’s biggest and most important Ganesh Festival is celebrated in August/September. The idols of Ganesh are kept as a divine guest in the homes of city residents for 5 to 10 days. On the final day of the festival, the idols are taken out in a procession and ceremoniously submerged into the well, river or sea. The festival is marked by puja, rituals and good food, and celebrated with fanfare.
Pune Festival: The 10-day Pune Festival is yet another festival in the city celebrated between August and September. The festival is held during Ganesh Mahotsav with the installation of Lord Ganesha idols. Organized by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, the festival is focused on the celebration of art and culture, dance and song, and tradition and custom. The major highlights of the festival include drama festival, music recitals, classical dance, traditional sports and automobile rallies. Pune Festival is undoubtedly a huge attraction for tourists from around the world.
Pune Travel Tips for Tourists
- You must be cautious when hiring taxis or autorickshaws. Tourists are mostly confronted with several autorickshaws and rental taxis asking you to get in. You should beware as the drivers may try to trick you into overpaying for services, such as by charging for your luggage, which is generally included in fares
- Use online maps to get to a place in Pune with the fastest route. Sometimes autorickshaws and cabs tend to take a longer route for increasing the fare. It can be avoided by using maps while saving additional fare as well as time
- Book a hotel offering packages when planning a business trip to Pune. These packages offer both accommodations and meals. It will help you save on additional meals expenses
- You can save a great deal by booking a sightseeing tour in advance. You don’t have to pay extra than what you would usually do when visiting each place individually