Having been named India's most liveable city on several occasions, Pune is well known for the high-quality lifestyle it offers residents. Whether expats are in the mood for a bit of shopping, a stroll outdoors, a bite to eat, or a drink, they'll find plenty of options in Pune.
Shopping in Pune
Pune is nothing short of a shopper's paradise. Sprawling shopping centres abound, including the likes of Amanora Mall, Phoenix Marketcity, The Pavillion and Seasons Mall. There's also some great street shopping to be done on Laxmi Road, Hong Kong Lane and the aptly named Fashion Street.
Nightlife and eating out in Pune
Clubs, pubs and bars galore line the streets of Pune. Koregaon Park is an especially popular nightlife district, where there's something to suit everyone's taste.
There are also plenty of restaurants to explore across the city, with some serving up local fare while others cook cuisine from around the world. A range of budgets is catered to, from cheap eats to fine dining.
Outdoor activities in Pune
Pune is situated in a beautifully green region of Maharashta, with a number of hilly areas just beyond the city dotted with the ruins of various forts, some of which are thought to date back more than 2,000 years. Hiking to these forts is a popular activity among locals and expats alike.
Meanwhile, Peacock Bay and Khadakwasla Dam are great choices for those who wish to spend some time by the water. Those up for a bit of a walk should visit Devkund Waterfall, a beautiful natural water feature that can only be reached by a two-hour hike.
See and do in Pune
Aga Khan Palace
A sprawling palace originally commissioned by Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III in the late 19th century, Aga Khan Palace is most famous as a place of imprisonment for Mahatma Gandhi from 1942 to 1944.
Today, visitors can view a display of a number of Ghandi's personal possessions, including letters and clothing. The grounds themselves are beautiful, consisting of rolling lawns and the exquisitely designed palace.
Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple
This beautiful temple dedicated to the Hindu god Ganesh has stood for more than 130 years. Inside, there is a 7.5ft (2.3m) tall Ganesh idol, beautifully decorated with real gold. The best time to visit is during the annual Ganeshotsav festival (August/September), when the temple is lavishly adorned with flowers and lights.
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
This museum was established in 1920 by art collector Dinkar Gangadhar Kelkar in memory of his son, Raja. The three-storey museum displays around 2,500 artefacts at any given time, with the greater collection amounting to more than 20,000 pieces. Here, visitors will find authentic Indian sculptures dating back to the 14th century, various arms and armour, as well as a collection of ancient musical instruments.
What's on in Pune
Each March, the streets of Pune burst into colour as Holi parties take place all over the city. Participants throw brightly coloured powder and water balloons at one another, with everyone emerging covered in colour. The celebration continues as singing and dancing go on late into the night.
Ganesh Chaturthi (August/September)
The event of the year, this 10-day festival welcomes all and is not to be missed. Before celebrations begin, clay idols of Ganesh are placed in homes and public spaces throughout the city. These idols are considered 'divine guests' throughout the festival. Every day, worshippers offer the idols Ganesh's favourite foods, which are later consumed in celebration.
During the festival, newcomers can look forward to huge processions with traditional dance and drum performances. At the end of the festivities, the clay idols are submerged in water and dissolved, symbolising Ganesh's journey home to Mount Kailas.
In Pune, Diwali is traditionally celebrated with pahats. These events, beloved by locals, are early-morning outdoor music concerts, usually consisting of classical music performed by renowned local artists. Traditional dress is worn, and the pahat concludes with the lighting of lamps and lanterns, setting the scene for the rest of Diwali.
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"There is a great range of convenient shops, schools, restaurants, gyms etc. The people are friendly and helpful. I like the small shops and markets. Pune is still sort of ‘greenish’, with street trees and some parks, which is nice. Although busy, it is more laid back." Read more of Australian expat Annie's interview.
Are you an expat living in Pune?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Pune. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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