Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj statue, Katraj, Pune, Maharashtra.

In this comprehensive guide, we uncovered the top places to visit near Pune, ensuring every traveler can experience the beauty beyond the city’s borders.

Pune, often called the “Queen of the Deccan,” is a gateway to many enchanting destinations. Beyond the bustling city life, a treasure trove of natural wonders, historical marvels, and serene getaways await those eager to explore.

Pune is a vibrant reflection of the region’s rich diversity in the heart of Maharashtra, where time seems to weave a tapestry of culture, history, and modernity. The cityscape unfolds as a mosaic of architectural marvels, educational institutions, and bustling marketplaces, all narrating tales of a city that has evolved through the epochs. Yet, just beyond Pune’s bustling streets and urban allure lies a world waiting to be explored—a realm of unexplored wonders that adds an extraordinary chapter to Pune’s narrative.

The narrative begins with an invitation—a virtual odyssey named “From Pune with Love.” This odyssey is not a mere journey but an exploration of the untouched landscapes that grace the Western Ghats, the tranquil coastal retreats, the echoes of historical marvels, and the serene embrace of hill stations. Often regarded as the “Queen of the Deccan,” Pune sets the stage for this adventure, beckoning travelers to uncover the hidden gems that lay just beyond its city limits.

The phrase “From Pune with Love” encapsulates the essence of this expedition. It’s a sentiment, a promise of discovery and connection—a journey transcending geographical proximity boundaries. The love in the phrase is not just for the city itself but extends to the neighboring landscapes that enrich Pune’s identity. It’s an acknowledgment that the true charm of Pune lies not just within its boundaries but also in the stories written in the natural wonders, historical narratives, and cultural experiences surrounding it.

As we embark on this virtual odyssey, the Western Ghats stand as our first chapter—a symphony of hills, valleys, and lush greenery that transforms the narrative into a visual and sensory delight. With their mist-laden hills and cascading waterfalls, the Ghats become more than a backdrop; they become the stage upon which our exploration unfolds. Each curve in the road, each trek through the hills, reveals a new facet of nature’s grandeur.

From Alibaug’s historic forts to the pristine beaches of Kashid, the coastal symphony adds a rhythmic cadence to our exploration. The beaches become canvases painted with golden sands and azure waters, inviting us to immerse ourselves in the tranquility of the coastal narrative.

The narrative takes an intriguing turn as historical marvels become the focal point. Aurangabad, the gateway to ancient splendors, unfolds as a chapter rich in heritage. The Ellora and Ajanta Caves, with their rock-cut sculptures and ancient Buddhist art, become portals to bygone eras. Here, history isn’t confined to textbooks; it’s etched in the stone walls and the intricate details of each carving, inviting us to witness the grandeur of civilizations long past.

With their serene charm, Hill stations become the final movement in our symphony. Panchgani’s sprawling strawberry farms, Matheran’s automobile-free lanes, and Mahabaleshwar’s evergreen forests offer a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. The hills become a canvas where nature paints in shades of green, and experiences unfold in the tranquil embrace of misty mornings and cool evenings.

The phrase “From Pune with Love” transforms into more than just an invitation; it becomes a mantra—a call to embrace the diverse narratives that surround Pune. It signifies an acknowledgment of the interconnectedness between a city and its neighboring wonders. The journey is not just about physical distances; it’s about bridging the gap between urban landscapes and the untouched beauty beyond the horizon.

As we unravel the charms of nearby destinations, we find ourselves on a tale of exploration beyond geographical coordinates. It’s a narrative that weaves together the heady rush of adventure, the tranquility of nature, the richness of history, and the vibrancy of cultural experiences. “From Pune with Love” is an ode to the unexplored, an embrace of the unknown, and a celebration of the wonders that make Maharashtra a traveler’s paradise.

1.  Lonavala and Khandala: The Twin Hill Stations

Lonavala

Distance from Pune: Approximately 65 km

Lonavala and Khandala stand as the timeless jewels of the Sahyadri range and are attractive Places to Visit Near Pune, offering a retreat into the lap of nature. Blessed with lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and panoramic views, these hill stations provide a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of Pune. Explore the mesmerizing landscapes of Tiger’s Point, savor the serenity of Bhushi Dam, and trek through the mist-laden hills to witness the magic of these twin hill retreats.

As we venture into the Western Ghats, the symphony of nature unfolds in the twin hill stations of Lonavala and Khandala. A short drive from Pune leads to mist-kissed hills, sprawling valleys, and the rhythmic dance of waterfalls. Lonavala and Khandala, perennial favorites for Pune’s weekend warriors, offer scenic beauty and a canvas of adventures. From trekking to exploring ancient caves, the charm of these hills lies not only in their landscapes but in the stories etched within their stones.

Nestled in the lush embrace of the Sahyadri range, Lonavala and Khandala stand as the twin jewels of Maharashtra. Located just a scenic drive from Pune, these hill stations beckon with mist-laden hills, sprawling valleys, and cascading waterfalls. Lonavala and Khandala, often called the “Twin Hill Stations,” offer a symphony of natural beauty and adventure, making them perennial favorites for locals and tourists.

2. Mahabaleshwar: The Strawberry Paradise

Wilson Point, Mahabaleshwar

Distance from Pune: Approximately 120 km

Mahabaleshwar, known for its strawberry fields and evergreen forests in Places to Visit Near Pune, is a charming hill station that beckons travelers with its cool climate and breathtaking vistas. From the scenic viewpoints of Arthur’s Seat and Kate’s Point to the lush greenery of Lingmala Waterfall, Mahabaleshwar unfolds a tapestry of natural beauty. Indulge in a boat ride on Venna Lake, savor locally grown strawberries, and immerse yourself in the tranquility that defines this beloved destination.

Perched on the lush green plateau of the Western Ghats, Mahabaleshwar unfolds as a paradise for nature enthusiasts and gastronomes alike. Beyond its breathtaking viewpoints and evergreen forests, Mahabaleshwar is renowned for its strawberry fields, making it a sensory delight for those who savor the sweet aroma of this red jewel. Explore the panoramic landscapes, savor the locally grown strawberries, and immerse yourself in the tranquility that defines Mahabaleshwar.

Further south, the enchanting hill station of Mahabaleshwar extends an invitation to a world of strawberries and serenity. Set against lush greenery, Mahabaleshwar’s viewpoints unfold panoramic vistas that captivate the soul. The sweet aroma of locally grown strawberries permeates the air, creating a sensory journey that delights the palate. With its colonial charm and natural abundance, this destination becomes a testament to the unhurried pace of life that defines the hills.

3. Matheran: Asia’s Only Automobile-Free Hill Station

Matheran Hill Station

Distance from Pune: Approximately 120 km

The quaint hill station of Matheran boasts the unique distinction of being Asia’s only automobile-free hill station. Accessible by a scenic toy train ride, Wander through the red pathways, take in the panoramic views from the viewpoints, and revel in the simplicity of this eco-sensitive paradise.

Our journey takes a charming turn as we board the toy train to the quaint hill station of Matheran. Matheran is an automobile-free oasis that invites visitors to step back in time, where red pathways lead to viewpoints that frame nature’s grandeur. This eco-sensitive retreat, surrounded by unpolluted air and colonial architecture, becomes a haven for those seeking simplicity and tranquility. Matheran isn’t just a destination; it’s a poetic pause in the fast-paced symphony of modern life.

Tucked away in the embrace of the Western Ghats, Matheran stands as a unique haven—a hill station untouched by the hum of automobiles. Accessible by a scenic toy train ride, Matheran unfolds as a step back in time, where red pathways lead to viewpoints that frame nature’s grandeur. As the only automobile-free hill station in Asia, Matheran offers an eco-sensitive retreat, inviting travelers to connect with nature in its purest form.

4. Panchgani: The Table Land Marvel

Panchgani

Distance from Pune: Approximately 100 km

Panchgani, perched atop the Sahyadri Mountains, captivates with its sprawling strawberry farms, colonial architecture, and the iconic Table Land—a vast expanse of flat laterite rock. Unwind in the lush valleys, explore the historic Rajpuri Caves, and relish the spectacular views from Sydney Point. Panchgani promises a perfect blend of natural beauty and historical charm.

Perched atop the Sahyadri Mountains, Panchgani paints a vibrant picture with its sprawling strawberry farms, colonial architecture, and the iconic Table Land—a vast expanse of flat laterite rock. Panchgani offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and historical charm, inviting travelers to explore its lush valleys and historic caves. This destination becomes a canvas where every step reveals a tableau of tableaus, each more captivating than the last.

Perched atop the Sahyadri Mountains, Panchgani captivates with its sprawling strawberry farms, colonial architecture, and the iconic Table Land—a vast expanse of flat laterite rock. Unwind in the lush valleys, explore the historic Rajpuri Caves, and relish the spectacular views from Sydney Point. Panchgani promises a perfect blend of natural beauty and historical charm, making it a destination that appeals to the laid-back traveler and the history enthusiast.

5. Lavasa: India’s Planned Hill City

Lavasa

Distance from Pune: Approximately 65 km

Nestled around the serene Warasgaon Lake, Lavasa is a modern Place to Visit Near Pune and India’s first planned hill city. Lavasa offers a contemporary escape for those seeking a different facet of hill station charm with its European-inspired architecture, vibrant promenades, and water sports activities. Explore the lakeside beauty, engage in adventure sports, and relish the urban comforts surrounded by nature.

Our journey turns contemporary as we head to Lavasa, India’s first planned hill city around Warasgaon Lake. With European-inspired architecture, vibrant promenades, and water sports activities, Lavasa presents a modern mirage amidst the hills. This destination showcases a different facet of the hill station experience—a blend of urban comforts and natural splendor. Lavasa beckons as a city by the lake, a modern adventure waiting to be explored.

Nestled around the serene Warasgaon Lake, Lavasa emerges as India’s first planned hill city. Lavasa offers a contemporary escape for those seeking a different facet of hill station charm with its European-inspired architecture, vibrant promenades, and water sports activities. Explore the lakeside beauty, engage in adventure sports, and relish the urban comforts surrounded by nature in this meticulously planned hill city.

6. Aurangabad: The Gateway to Ancient Splendors

Aurangabad The Gateway to Ancient Splendors

Distance from Pune: Approximately 235 km

Aurangabad is a testament to India’s rich historical heritage, featuring UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Ellora and Ajanta Caves. Explore the intricate rock-cut sculptures, ancient Buddhist caves, and the grandeur of Bibi Ka Maqbara—a striking resemblance to the Taj Mahal. Aurangabad offers a cultural odyssey for history enthusiasts, showcasing the architectural marvels of bygone eras.

Venturing further east, the historical city of Aurangabad unfolds as a gateway to ancient splendors. Home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Ellora and Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad invites travelers on a cultural odyssey. Here, the intricate rock-cut sculptures, ancient Buddhist caves, and the grandeur of Bibi Ka Maqbara transport visitors to eras long past. Aurangabad is more than a city; it’s a living testament to the rich historical heritage of Maharashtra.

Aurangabad, steeped in historical grandeur, stands as the gateway to ancient splendors. Home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Ellora and Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad invites travelers on a cultural odyssey. Explore the intricate rock-cut sculptures, ancient Buddhist caves, and the grandeur of Bibi Ka Maqbara—a striking resemblance to the Taj Mahal. Aurangabad offers a seamless blend of history and architectural marvels.

7. Alibaug: Sun, Sand, and Seafood

Kolaba Fort, Alibaug

Distance from Pune: Approximately 142 km

For those yearning for sun-kissed beaches and a coastal retreat, Alibaug presents an idyllic escape. Embrace the tranquil beaches of Kashid and Alibaug, explore the historic Kolaba Fort, and indulge in the delectable seafood that graces the local eateries.

For those yearning for sun-kissed beaches and coastal retreats, Alibaug emerges as a coastal symphony. Embrace the tranquil beaches of Kashid and Alibaug, explore the historic Kolaba Fort, and indulge in delectable seafood that graces the local eateries.

For those yearning for sun-kissed beaches and a coastal retreat, Alibaug presents an idyllic escape. Embrace the tranquil beaches of Kashid and Alibaug, explore the historic Kolaba Fort, and indulge in the delectable seafood that graces the local eateries.

8. Kolhapur: A Blend of History and Culinary Delights

Kolhapur: A Blend of History and Culinary Delights

Distance from Pune: Approximately 230 km

The city of Kolhapur is one of the best tourist places in Maharashtra, steeped in history and cultural richness, and beckons with its magnificent temples, royal palaces, and delectable Kolhapuri cuisine. Visit the revered Mahalaxmi Temple, explore the historic New Palace, and savor the iconic Kolhapuri misal and spicy mutton preparations. Kolhapur invites travelers to experience a blend of architectural marvels and culinary delights.

Kolhapuri Cuisine: A Culinary Expedition

Kolhapur is renowned for its distinct culinary identity, and a visit to this city is complete with savoring its iconic Kolhapuri cuisine. The streets resonate with the aromas of spices as local eateries serve up spicy misal pav, succulent mutton curries, and delectable jaggery-sweetened treats. Each dish reflects the robust flavors that define Kolhapuri gastronomy, leaving an indelible mark on the taste buds of those who indulge.

Mahalaxmi Temple: A Spiritual Odyssey

At the heart of Kolhapur lies the revered Mahalaxmi Temple, a place of profound spiritual significance. Dedicated to the goddess Mahalaxmi, this ancient temple showcases exquisite architecture and intricate carvings. Pilgrims and tourists flock to seek the blessings of the goddess and witness the grandeur of a structure that stands as a testament to Kolhapur’s religious heritage.

New Palace: A Glimpse into Royalty

The New Palace, a majestic architectural marvel, stands as a reminder of Kolhapur’s royal legacy. Built in the 19th century, the palace blends Indo-Saracenic and Gothic architectural styles. Visitors can explore the opulent Durbar Hall, adorned with Belgian crystal chandeliers, and the extensive collection of weapons and artifacts that offer a glimpse into the regal history of Kolhapur.

Kolhapuri Chappals: A Craftsmanship Tradition

Kolhapur is not only celebrated for its culinary and historical riches but also for its traditional craftsmanship. The city is renowned for its Kolhapuri chappals and handmade leather sandals known for their durability and unique design. The intricate artistry of crafting these footwear pieces has been passed down through generations, making them a prized possession and a sought-after souvenir for visitors.

The city of Kolhapur, nestled on the banks of the Panchganga River, invites travelers to a unique blend of history and culinary delights. Explore the revered Mahalaxmi Temple, marvel at the historic New Palace, and savor the iconic Kolhapuri misal and spicy mutton preparations. Kolhapur becomes a sensory journey where architectural marvels intertwine with the rich flavors of local cuisine.

9. Jejuri: The Khandoba Temple Town

Jejuri: The Khandoba Temple Town

Distance from Pune: Approximately 50 km

Jejuri, known for its vibrant and turmeric-stained landscapes, is a town that revolves around the revered Khandoba Temple. Ascend the steps to the temple, witness the unique custom of turmeric throwing, and soak in the spiritual ambiance of this quaint town. Jejuri provides a unique cultural experience, especially during the annual Somvati Utsav.

Just a short distance from Pune, Jejuri unveils a unique cultural experience centered around the revered Khandoba Temple. Ascend the steps to the temple, witness the custom of turmeric throwing, and soak in the spiritual ambiance of this quaint town.

Just a short distance from Pune, Jejuri emerges as a quaint town steeped in religious fervor and cultural richness. This destination, known as the Khandoba Temple Town, offers a unique blend of spirituality, vibrant traditions, and a landscape stained with the hues of turmeric.

Khandoba Temple: Spiritual Centerpiece

The Khandoba Temple in Jejuri is the spiritual centerpiece of the town. It is dedicated to Lord Khandoba, a manifestation of Lord Shiva. The temple’s steps, adorned with vibrant shades of turmeric, lead devotees to the sanctum where the deity is worshipped with immense devotion. The custom of turmeric throwing during fairs and festivals adds a dynamic and colorful dimension to the spiritual ambiance of Jejuri.

Cultural Extravaganza: Festivals and Traditions

Jejuri comes alive during festivals, especially the Ekadashi and Champa Shashthi celebrations when devotees from far and wide gather to participate in vibrant processions and rituals. The air is filled with the beats of traditional instruments, devotional chants, and the joyous spirit of the locals. These cultural extravaganzas provide visitors with a firsthand experience of Jejuri’s lively and spiritual community.

Turmeric Stains: A Symbol of Devotion

The town’s landscape, with its turmeric-stained steps and streets, is a living canvas portraying the devotion and cultural significance associated with Lord Khandoba. The turmeric stains reflect religious customs and create a visually captivating and unique atmosphere that sets Jejuri apart from other towns in the region.

10. Bhandardara: The Lake and Waterfall Haven

Bhandardara The Lake and Waterfall Haven

Distance from Pune: Approximately 175 km

Tucked away in the Sahyadris, Bhandardara is a hidden gem boasting pristine lakes, gushing waterfalls, and the towering Ratangad Fort. Experience the tranquility of Arthur Lake, marvel at the cascading Randha Falls, and embark on treks to Ratangad and Harishchandragad. Bhandardara promises an immersive experience in nature’s bounty, making it a haven for trekking enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Tucked away in the lap of the Sahyadri Mountains, Bhandardara unfolds as a hidden gem, offering a haven for nature lovers, trekking enthusiasts, and those seeking serenity amidst lakes and waterfalls.

Arthur Lake: Tranquil Reservoir

At the heart of Bhandardara lies Arthur Lake. The lake’s calm waters reflect the surrounding landscape, making it picturesque for visitors to unwind. Boating on Arthur Lake allows one to soak in the serenity and appreciate the natural bounty that defines Bhandardara.

Ratangad Fort: Trekking Adventure

The towering Ratangad Fort is a testament to the historical richness of Bhandardara. Trekking enthusiasts can journey to the summit, where the fort offers panoramic views of the Sahyadris and the surrounding valleys. The trek to Ratangad Fort is not just an adventure; it’s a pilgrimage through history, with each step revealing the stories in ancient stones.

Randha Falls: Nature’s Symphony

Bhandardara is also home to the majestic Randha Falls, where the Pravara River cascades down the rocks, creating a symphony of nature. The gushing waterfall, surrounded by verdant landscapes, captivates visitors with its beauty and provides a refreshing escape. During the monsoon season, Randha Falls transforms into a roaring cascade, adding a layer of drama to the natural spectacle.

Bhandardara: A Trekker’s Paradise

The hills surrounding Bhandardara offer trekking trails that cater to both beginners and experienced trekkers. The trek to Harishchandragad, with its ancient temples and breathtaking views, is a favorite among adventure seekers. Bhandardara’s diverse landscapes, including lush forests, pristine lakes, and rugged terrains, make it a paradise for those seeking an immersive trekking experience.

As we explore these destinations—Kolhapur, Jejuri, and Bhandardara—we unveil a tapestry of history, spirituality, and natural wonders that contribute to Maharashtra’s diverse and enchanting landscape. Each destination tells a unique story, inviting travelers to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of experiences these places offer.

Tucked away in the Sahyadris, Bhandardara unfolds as a hidden gem boasting pristine lakes, gushing waterfalls, and the towering Ratangad Fort. Experience the tranquility of Arthur Lake, marvel at the cascading Randha Falls, and embark on treks to Ratangad and Harishchandragad. Bhandardara promises an immersive experience in nature’s bounty, making it a haven for trekking enthusiasts and nature lovers.

 

Conclusion: Exploring Pune’s Surrounding Symphony

As we traverse the diverse destinations surrounding Pune, it becomes evident that the region is a tapestry of natural wonders, historical treasures, and vibrant cultures. Each location offers a unique chapter in the story of Maharashtra’s rich heritage and diverse landscapes. From the mist-laden hills of Lonavala to the ancient caves of Aurangabad, every place near Pune beckons travelers with its charm and allure.

In this enchanting journey, “From Pune with Love” has unfolded as a love letter to the hidden gems nestled just beyond Pune’s bustling cityscape. As we traversed the Western Ghats, explored coastal retreats, delved into historical marvels, and reveled in the tranquility of hill stations, a vivid tapestry of experiences emerged, each destination leaving an indelible mark on our senses.

The Western Ghats, with their misty peaks and cascading waterfalls, became the first chapter of our exploration. The allure of Lonavala and Khandala’s twin hill stations echoed with the whispers of nature, drawing us into a symphony of verdant landscapes and adventure.

Coastal retreats beckoned us with promises of sun-kissed shores and seaside adventures. Alibaug, with its historic forts and delectable seafood, painted a picture of serenity by the Arabian Sea, providing a perfect escape from the city’s hustle.

Historical narratives came to life in Aurangabad, where the Ellora and Ajanta Caves stood as testaments to ancient grandeur. The intricate rock-cut sculptures and the architectural marvel of Bibi Ka Maqbara transported us across the sands of time.

Our journey then ascended to the hills, where Mahabaleshwar’s strawberry fields, Matheran’s automobile-free lanes, and Panchgani’s Table Land Marvel offered a poetic retreat into nature’s embrace. Each destination brought a unique flavor to the narrative, weaving tales of simplicity, tranquility, and the charm of hill station life.

The exploration extended to Lavasa, India’s planned hill city, where modernity met nature in a harmonious dance. Lavasa invited us to experience a contemporary twist to the traditional hill station adventure, showcasing that urban comforts and natural splendor can coexist seamlessly.

Our sojourn embraced cultural richness in Kolhapur, where history met culinary delights in a captivating blend. Jejuri unfolded as the Khandoba Temple Town offered a spiritual odyssey colored with vibrant traditions and the echoes of devotion.

Finally, Bhandardara, nestled in the Sahyadris, unveiled itself as a haven for nature enthusiasts. The pristine lakes, gushing waterfalls, and trekking trails painted a landscape of tranquility and adventure, completing our odyssey on a high note.

“From Pune with Love” is not just a journey through physical landscapes but a celebration of Maharashtra’s diverse experiences. As we conclude this odyssey, the love letter continues to be written, inviting all to explore, cherish, and become a part of the ever-evolving story of nearby destinations that Pune holds close to its heart.