Skip to main content.
Guides

Arts and Culture in Pune

Find a place to stay

With a rich history that can be traced back over 2,000 years, Pune is a colourful world of ornate palaces, religious temples, and treasure-filled museums. From medieval dynasties to the British Raj, its tangled history can be seen in the artefacts and architecture remaining from long-gone epochs, making simply walking around a distraction in itself.

 

Religious sites

 

Pune is an important site for Hindus, and this is made apparent by the prominent temples decorated with statues and gold leaf paintings. However, you'll also find churches, Buddhist temples, and a diverse range of religious buildings set amongst the mountain landscape.

 

Pataleshwar Cave Temple

 

Dating back to the 8th century, this simple temple was built by Hindus out of basalt rock, with carved pillars and decorative features. Although never completed, this temple remains an important monument to Shiva, and while the city has grown the site remains calm and peaceful amid the noise and bustle.

 

Jangali Maharaj Road, Pune

 

Pataleshwar Cave Temple website
Balaji Temple

 

Balaji Temple is over 600 years old, and makes for a dramatic sight thanks to its giant, looming, intricately carved steeple welcoming visitors. Inside you'll find statues covered in garlands, and bright colours typical of Hindu temples, with people travelling from far and wide to enjoy the spiritual services.

 

Mahatma Phule Rasta, Pune. Tel:+91 20 2587 0125

 

Balaji Temple website

 

Museums

 

There's a wide selection of museums in Pune, full of Indian treasures and artefacts that tell the epic story of this city’s evolution across the ages.

 

Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum

 

With a wide collection of artworks and relics dating back to the 14th century, the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is an impressive portal to the past with exhibits laid out over 3 floors. You can expect to lay your eyes on ancient musical instruments, religious imagery, and visionary carvings of myths and legends.

 

1377-78 Off Baji Rao Road, Pune. Tel:+91 20 2447 4466

 

Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum website

 

Darshan Museum

 

The Darshan Museum is dedicated to Sindhi scholar Sadhu Vaswani, an important public figure in India who campaigned for the rights of the poor. This impressive museum is full of multimedia exhibitions, including a show with 3D holograms, as well as dioramas and films that tell the life story of Vaswani and turn his teachings into immersive audio-visual experiences.

 

HH Prince Aga Khan Road, Pune. Tel:+91 20 4006 4447

 

Darshan Museum website

 

Military sites

 

Pune was a major site for the British military during the days of the Raj, and there are still many historic and modern military sites, including the National Defence Academy where India's army, navy, and air forces train.

 

Visapur Fort

 

Set in the hills, this 18th century fort still has many original features, from the ruins of old houses to decorative arches to the high winding walls. The fort was built during the Maratha Empire, and if you want to explore the whole site, then there's a 2 hour walk which takes you along the walls, with views of the surrounding green hillsides along the way.

 

Near Visapur village, Pune

 

Visapur Fort website

 

Sinhagad Fort

 

Sinhagad Fort is a popular spot for those who enjoy hiking, with well worn, if rocky trails leading up to this historic site. The fort was where the battle of Sinhagad took place in the late 17th century, and the ruins now look like they’ve sprung from a fairy tale, the arches and turrets garlanded with lush grass and jutting branches. You’ll also be wowed by the views over the hillsides and rocky cliffs.

 

Sinhagad Ghat Road, Pune. Tel:+91 20 2612 8169

 

Sinhagad Fort websiteArt

 

Art galleries in Pune are largely dedicated to encouraging emerging talent in the local community. You'll see lots of traditional and folk art being created, and can often find workshops to learn new techniques for your own works.

 

Let Art Work

 

This contemporary space offers exhibitions by local artists, both news and established, and there are often shows set around a certain theme, as well as live demos and other events that will give you a real insight into the creative side of Pune.

 

301 3rd Floor, 18 High Street, Pune

 

Let Art Work website