Eco-friendly travel guide to Pune advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Pune, India.
Eco-friendly travel guide to Pune advice on how to make your trip sustainable. Learn how to explore the parks and landmarks and where to find green hotels and guest houses. Visit the best local restaurants and cafes. Read more on how to save the environment and how to travel green in Pune, India.
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Pune is known as Poona. In the Western Indian State of Maharashtra, it is a sprawling city. Several times it has been marked the most liveable city. Pune widely secures India's second position in being the "IT-Hub" and "Manufacturing and Automobile-Hub. " Pune city is known as "Oxford of the East." This city is wholly emerged as an educational hub in past years. Many research institutes, such as management and training, information technology, and education, are attracting professionals and students from India and other countries.
Pune is a relatively well-developed city. There are many ways you can travel responsibly. As a tourist, you also have multiple options for moving around the town.
As an eco-friendly tourist, try to use buses run by local Government and private bus agencies. They are very affordable, and they connect all the corners of the city. They offer good comfort for the passengers. You can rent some eco-friendly electric vehicles, two-wheelers, and four-wheelers. These may be hard to come across, but you will have quite a few options in the city if you look in the right places.
The other option that you will have for responsible for traveling in the city are the auto-rickshaws. These are eco-friendly, and they are quite affordable and easy to find. The drivers are well-accustomed to the routes. But auto-rickshaws are mostly used for short or medium-short distance journeys.
The city also has an efficient metro rail in some specific locations. Running on electricity, the metro rail is an exceptionally safe, rapid, and effective transport system for the city's eco-friendly tourist.
Air Quality and Pollution
As a tourist, you wouldn't have too many qualms about the temperatures during the winter; these will range between 15-30 degrees Celsius. At the same time, nights are cold, with a minimum temperature of 10 degrees Celsius. The city also receives occasional showers from October to November. However, the climatic conditions during the summer season span from April to July. Even during the hottest months, nights are usually cold. The best time to visit Pune is from November to February.
Pune is the eighth-most polluted city in the state whereas the 74th most polluted city in the country. The Government has to take drastic measures to avoid choking the citizens and often shutting a few industries, implementing an alternative private car usage system and promoting public transport. The best time to visit this city is in the winter season. There are many tourist places to stay outside the city, such as Matheran, Lavasa, Lonavala, Khandala, etc. These are the places where one can experience real nature as the greenery is spread all over.
Respect the Culture
There are some basic things that you can learn, understand, and appreciate the culture of people living here. This city is the heart of the state and possesses the second-largest position in Maharashtra. However, Pune is the base of the Maratha empire, which was ruled by Peshwas. The founder of the Maratha Empire is Shivaji Maharaj. The culture of Maratha is developed in Pune.
The dressing style of men is wearing a dhoti and Kurta, although women wear a nav-vari sari. People speak Marathi, Hindi, and English language, but Marathi is the preferred language. Therefore as a tourist, you must learn the culture, way of living, and respect cultural diversity and ethnicity.
Some social courtesies are followed by the people that are quite normal. Try speaking a few words in the local language to admire and respect the people. Whenever you visit religious places, private homes, and buildings, you must take off your shoes as this is a part of their culture.
As Pune is a Maharashtrian city, the primary food of Maharashtrian people is to eat dal, rice, roti(tortilla), vegetables(gravy), zunka, bhakari(the type of tortilla prepared from jowar). The specialty in food is Puranpoli, which is a sweet dish served with ghee or milk.
Apart from that, there are a lot of things to do for the tourist. The city has its share of nightclubs, bars, restaurants, and other foreign tourists.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Pune is the City of the Maratha Empire; there are many historical forts and temples to visit. It defines the culture, way of living, etc. There is greenery beside the city, where one can get the touch of nature. There are some places, such as Lonavala, Lavasa, Khandala, etc. However, these places are outside the city. This is one of the best cities to experience real nature. The best season to visit these places in monsoon. The following are some of the famous spots in the town to see.
- Shaniwar Wada - It is the historical monument that was established by the Maratha Empire in 1732, Pune. It is a seven-story building of Peshwas. The entire construction has been made of stones. The Fort has its five main gates viz. Dilli Darwaza, Mastani Darwaza, Khidki (window) Darwaza, Ganesh Darwaza, Jambhul Darwaza. These are the following gates that were usually used to enter and leave from the Fort.
- Aga Khan Palace - It was constructed by Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan (III). This place served prison to Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Gandhi, his secretary Sarojini Naidu and Mahadev Desai. It is also the death place of Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai. This palace is a unique attraction for the photographers for its special appeal for its architecture, greenery, and lightings. But the use of mobile is strictly prohibited inside the palace.
- Sinhagad fort - Previously known as Kondhana fort. It was renamed Sinhagad in the memory of Tanaji Malusare, which is also known as the lion's Fort. Tanaji Malusare lost his life while fighting with the Mughals for the Fort. This Fort is situated in Sahyadri Mountains, 760m above. There are two gates in the Fort named Pune Darwaza, Kalyan Darwaza, situated northeast and southeast.
- Khadakwasla dam - It was built on the Khadakwasla River's the primary water source for the people living in Pune. This dam comprises of two other dams Varasgao and Panshet and it is the primary source of irrigation.
- Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai - The temple was built by Dagdusheth Gadve, who was a confectionary and a lingayat trader. He was basically from Nandgaon, Maharashtra, and gained fame as a famous Halwai. After that, his shop was named Dagdusheth halwai sweets, situated near Datta mandir Pune. After his death, this temple is dedicated to the name of halwai. And this place became a unique attraction for the people. This also a famous tourist place.
- Taljai hill - Situated in the heart of the city. The road comprises from the campus of Maratha college campus. In this area of taljai hills, vehicles are restricted. It is the home for the birds and peacocks. This is a unique attraction for bird lovers and bird lovers. The park timings are 5-10 in the morning and 5-7:30 in the evening. This place is nowadays used for the plastic dumping project.
- Mahatma Phule market -It is a vegetable and fruit market. The market building is constructed in the Gothic style. It is always crowded with the people as it is comprised of a low cost. Also, the market has its Mandal known as Ganesh Mandal. It is generally a whole sell market.
- Vishrambaug Wada - Situated in Central Pune. It was built in 1807 AD. And it took six years to complete the whole construction. It was located on Bajirao Thorle road. It was the luxurious Wada of Peshwa Bajirao (II), who was the last Peshwa of the Maratha Empire. The structure of this place was famous for its balcony with woodwork and the delicate and graceful entrance. After Peshwa Bajirao (II), his wife Varanasibai continues to stay in the Vishrambaug Wada.
- The Pataleshwar caves - It is also a temple and is also known as Bamburde or Panchaleshwara. It is made up of a rock-cut temple. The rock used is the basalt rock. This cave is situated outside the town. This temple or cave is dedicated to the Hindu god named Shiva.
- Mastani Mahal - Mastani was born in the Rajput family, where her father, Maharaja Chatrasal, was a Rajput King and her mother, Ruhanni Begum. Maharaja Chatrasal founded Panna state. Mastani married Peshwa Bajirao ingratitude of her father. But their marriage generally was not accepted by the Peshwa's family because of Mastani's Muslim heritage. Mastani lived a short time with Peshwa in his Shaniwar Wada. Later on, Peshwa created a separate residence for Mastani named Mastani Mahal, situated near Kothrud in 1734.
Pune has quite useful things to offer to the people. The city comprises of various parks, museums, monuments, beaches, zoos. The town has its active nightlife with multiple nightclubs, though it is not the same as other western countries.
Pune is the second biggest city in Maharashtra. And also it has a vast collection of parks and gardens as well. The parks consist of complete greenery worldwide where you can spend your time with your family and friends. The environment is ultimately pollution-free and very healthy.
- Kamla Nehru Park - It is located on Dr. Ketkar Street, Pune. The park has various slides for children. It also has a walking track and cycling track. Datta temple is the nearest temple to this park. There were many food stalls situated next to the main gate of the park.
- Koregaon Park - Located in Koregaon, which is the area situated in Pune city. The site is comprised of greenery everywhere and growing as commercial growth. It is located 5.8 km away from Pune International Airport and 3.8 km away from the Pune Junction railway station.
- Seven wonders dream park - It is located at Sahkarnagar, off Pune-Satara road, Pune. As the name suggests, the seven wonders are created in the park. The beautiful illumination and landscape and 4D and 3D entertainment attract the people and tourists. The seven wonders are done on one hector of land. Small small structures are created. The park timings are 6-10 am and 4-8 pm.
- Okayama friendship garden - It is also named as Pu La Deshpande Udyan. It is one of the biggest and finest gardens in Pune. It is situated on Sinhagad road. It contains many walking tracks. There is greenery all over the park. The Bollywood film named "I Loves You" was shooted in this park.
- Mayureshwar wildlife century - Situated in Baramati, which is in the Pune district. It is 35kms away from Daund and 74kms away from Pune. On 19 August 1997, the area is declared as the wildlife century. There are various animals, birds, etc. in this century, which makes this park a center of attraction for the tourist.
- Rajiv Gandhi Zoo - It is at Katraj in Pune district. This zoo is under the municipal corporation. This zoo has a variety of animals, birds, reptiles, mammals. This zoo also contains a snake park where a variety of snakes are there.
- Bhimashankar Wildlife Century - It was established in the year 1984. It is situated in Ambegaon, which is in the Pune district. It was created under 131 sq. km. The wildlife is vast and dense. Many varieties of animals, birds, mammals, reptiles were found in large numbers. Flora and fauna are well developed, which makes the century more attractive.
There are no specific beaches in Pune, as it not a coastal region. Pune city is not blessed with the sea area. Most of the beaches which are almost 200kms around from Pune. Some of them include Alibaug Beach, Kihim Beach, Mandwa beach, etc.
- National Defence Academy - Situated in Khadakwasla, Pune. NDA is the combination of the three forces, i.e., Army, Navy, and Air force. It trains the cadets before joining their respective forces. NDA is the only tri-service throughout the world.
- Rajgad fort - It is located in Pune. It is also known as Murumdev. The Rajgad Fort is the capital of the Maratha. The Fort was constructed on the mountain named Murumbadevi Mountain, and this was also called Murumdev fort. Shivaji's wife Saibai died in the Fort. This Fort is also one of the Fort from the Treaty of Purandar.
- Katraj Jain temple - It is located at the Sai colony, Katraj, Pune. This temple has its Dharamshalas and bhojanalaya, where people can accommodate and eat very quickly. They provide adequate facilities for the tourists and the people visiting there.
Let's take a look at the famous museums in Pune.
- Mahatma Phule Museum - It is situated in Pune. It was constructed in the year 1890. Earlier it is known as Poona industrial museum. Later on, it was named as Mahatma Phule museum in the year 1968. The museum contains historical monuments, maps, pictures, paintings, utensils, charts, models, etc. and also includes the various species of the animals.
- Pune Tribal Museum - The museum is situated in Pune. It is a museum as well as the Tribal research center. This museum contains household articles, utensils, jewelry, idols, photographs, warli paintings, etc.
- Raja Dinkar Kelar Musuem - This museum is established in the memory of Raja Dinkar's son named Raja. It is constructed in the year 1896. This museum has the finest collection of silver, gold, ivory ornaments, and various musical instruments, making the museum more attractive.
- Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Museum - It is located in the Wawarvadi, Pune. This is one of the tourist attractions in the city. It is famous for its art and culture, where it defines it very well.
Pune is one of the most famous places in Maharashtra, It has the most delicious local delicacies. Indian food is famous all over the world for its flavourful and rich taste not to mention the vegetarian options are great.
Traditional Local Restaurants
In Pune, several traditional restaurants serve conventional authentic Maharashtrian food. It is the best place to have decent Maharashtrian food. They serve puranpoli, which is the specialty of Maharashtra. These are some of the famous local restaurants in Pune
- Dorabjee and son's restaurants
- Zamu's palace
- Malaka spice
- House of paratha
Vegetarian and Vegan
Vegetarian and vegan food is the essential part of Indian food culture. In Pune, several restaurants serve these foods. There are very popular vegetarian as well as vegan hotels in Pune are as follows:
- Granny's bowl
- The real green kitchen
- Mathura pure veg
- Sante's spa cuisine
After visiting Pune, you must eat their famous street food, vada pav, missal-pav, etc.
- Shree Sainath Vadapav Centre - Vadapav is one of the famous street food in Maharashtra. You cannot get enough of that fantastic desi style burger. It consists of vegetarian mainly prepared from potatoes; the potato patty is deep-fried, tucked between the pav's two slices (bun). It is served with fried green chili and their famous chutney's (dips), sweet date's chutney, and green mint chili chutney.
- Hotel Vaishal (FC Road ) - The sabudana vada is again one of the best famous food eaten in India. It is generally consumed on fast, which is an Indian tradition. It is made up of sago pearls, blended potatoes, chilies, peanuts, and coriander to give a creamy, thick batter. The vada is prepared on our hand's palms shaped like a patty and deep-fried in oil. It is served with green chutney.
- Siddharth Pav Bhaji - Pav bhaji is a soulful dish and signature dish in Maharashtra. It is a thick spicy gravy made of different vegetables and mainly with blended potatoes. A generous amount of butter is added to this dish to make it taste more wonderful. The sauce is served with rolled bread toasted in butter, lemon slices, and finely chopped onions. You can also add extra butter as per your convenience.
India has some amazing and exotic drinks. Alcohol is also easily available so you will not have to worry on that front. Other drinks that you should definitely try are:
- Lassi (Yogurt Milk)
- Aam panna (Raw mango drink)
- Ganne ka ras (Sugarcane juice)
Tap water in Pune is not safe to drink and you should boil it before consuming.
This concept of organic café is new. Here are some organic cafes in the city.
- The French Window
- Café good luck
- Pagdandi bookstore café
- Vohuman café
- Chaha café and studio
There are a lot of famous bars and restaurants are located in the city.
- T J Brew's work
- Bollywood brewing company
- Deccan brewing company
Pune is a bustling and famous city in the state as many of the youngsters come here to study and in pursuit of jobs. So there is a craze of activities here. There are gyms, yoga centres, malls etc.
Also, there are various parks and gardens where people can spend most of the time walking and talking with their dear ones. There are various activities carried out by people, such as traveling, shopping, etc.
Yoga and Retreats
The people living in India nowadays are getting more health-conscious day by day. So the training and fitness center is going on with immense growth.
- Reshape fitness
- Dolly fitness
- Fitbeingz gym
- La fit
- Multifit gym
- Pune fitness club
As Pune is one of the famous cities in India, most people visit regularly. Hence there are many accommodation options available. The city has all types of hotels that range from 3 to 5-star hotels. Students can also opt for the guest houses as well as the paying guests.
In Pune, green hotels are recently started serving their services; some green hotels are as given below you can visit.
- Hotel green villa
- Green olives hotel Pune
- Hotel green park
- Hotel green leaf
Hostels and Guest Houses
Here are some pocket-friendly hotels and guest houses for guests and tourists.
- Poona guest house - Poona guest house is an initiative to the backpackers who wish to discover the city. The hostel is equipped with low prices, vibrant and colorful environment all over. You are bound to have a great time here.
- Eden house corporate - This hostel is voted as one of the best hostels in the city, as it provides all the facilities, a wide range of amenities here ensure to have a comfortable stay here.
If you plan to live in Pune for a long time, renting an apartment is the best option. You will be getting all services such as water and electricity etc. You may have the best options, and it will save you money too. You can select different sizes of apartments according to your requirements.
The concept of couch surfing is still catching up in India. You will have to make friend with the locals and ask them to help you around with it.
As Pune city is all over bounded with the hilly region, the camping is mostly taking place to get peace and experience real nature. As a tourist, you will have many places where camping could be the best way to enjoy the sites. The most famous camping camps are as follows.
- Pawana island camping
- Camping near Pune
- Firebug camping
- Camp diamond
- Camp out with us
How to Get There
Pune is the second-largest city in Maharashtra, so it is well connected with air. If you are an international tourist and wish to visit in Pune, you can reach Mumbai, Delhi, using a bus or train. You can contact here from any city as it is having a lot of flights coming going daily. Again let us have a look at the different ways to get here.
Chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj International airport Pune is located 10kms approx. from the Pune central. It is one of the largest airports in India. It is connected to almost all major cities in India. For an International journey, you might have to travel to Mumbai International airport, as it is the nearest International airport.
Suppose someone wishes to move from Pune to other cities via road. In that case, one can opt for a bus where you will find a wide variety of options as the local Government has extensive buses, including necessary buses and luxurious buses. You can choose according to your budget, destination, and need you can select the service. Also, many private bus options are available. The ticketing for the most luxurious buses can be done by yourself only.
The train is a very feasible option for traveling from one city to another. It is the safest among all the majors. Pune city also has locals in some specific areas. It is a very pocket-friendly service. Also, Pune rails are connected to most major cities in India, such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi, etc.
Hitchhiking is the most common practice in other nations, but it isn't the same for India. Though many people are caring, sweet, and hospitable, you can't trust the city's people. There are many thieves, and they can loot you as a foreigner by asking for extra money. Many rape and violation crimes are taking place here. So it is always better to use GPS signals in public as well as in private transport. There is very much vogue in the city, but you might have to be very careful. Avoid hitchhiking at nights and in lonely places.
Nowadays, everyone is going digital; one can use mobile apps for traveling or else can use their motorbike, bicycles, taxies, etc. You certainly could use sharing taxies, and you might want to stick to conventional means of transport.
As Pune is a vast city, moving on feet is not possible for one beyond a limit. Hence can move green by making use of e-rickshaws and metro rail. In the different sections, we shall cover various means of transporting over the city.
Walking is a great option when you wish to explore visiting the nearest parks, hotels, highly crowded markets so you can choose it for a short distance. As the city is widespread, walking is not convenient unless you face many obstacles. One can replace walking by different means of transport given below, such as using bicycles, electronic vehicles, and public transport such as trains, buses, etc.
Bicycles are also available on rent so that one can make use of them. Riding bikes in the town is one of the best options for the shortest distance as it is more reliable and affordable.
Though this a new concept, a beginning has been made, and we can see some vehicles powered by electricity are coming into use nowadays. Few rentals provide private electric cars on rent; this quite a good concept for people. But the majority of people find petrol and diesel cars and vehicles more reliable, as a city severe a lack of electronic vehicles charging framework.
In Pune, a public bus is the best option for traveling throughout the city, as it is available through all the routes. However, it is very safe, affordable, and comfortable for anyone traveling for short and long-distance.
Tram, Train and Subway
In Pune's city, you don't have a tram facility, but you have trains and metro rail to reach your destination. A metro rail is an excellent option for you to travel within the city. Though the metro rail is not started in all the areas, you can travel where it began. The trains can enable you to travel to small towns and cities.
India, as a nation, has a marketplace that has been sustainable environmentally for centuries. Mostly nation has robust, sustainable shopping industries and coincidently; most of these industries are associated with local businesses and not global.
As the rising population influence of foreign manufacturing firms led to some unsustainable methods of manufacturing. Therefore, helping the customer not just shop sustainably but also supports local businesses grow.
- Sustainable eco bazaar
- Sustainable living integrated solutions
- Adrish zero waste organic store
These food markets in Pune have a good supply chain, well-stocked, and very reasonable. There were some weekly markets and daily markets to visit and buy foods and other required stuff daily. Few of them are as follows:
- Balaji food market
- Khadki fish market
- Moreshwara food market
- Rasika food shop
- Sagar mini market
As Indian tradition, there are many handicraft stores and open stores where people can find various things. People also bargain to get something at a reasonable price. Here are some of the flea markets that are as follows.
- Manikbaug market
- Mataji Noviling
- Tibetan market
- Athavada shetkari bazaar
Second Hand Stores
The second-hand stores specifically sell books, hardware, electronics, furniture, etc. The people get these things at half price, which is more affordable for them. So there are some excellent stores if you wish to visit.
- Manase pashan
- The frolic village
- Libra auto mart
Earlier, India belonged to a developing country, so India's people started their homemade artistry, such as drawing, paintings, making handicrafts, ornaments, handmade sculptures, handmade clay articles, etc. It is one of the small businesses for people to earn. So there is a vast collection of such short articles which become an attraction for tourists nowadays. Also, there are different types of clothing famous here, specifically the clothes made from Khadi.
- Upasana store
- The Khadi store
- Eco-friendly solutions
- Eco regain
- Hashtag eco
The Pune city is having 31.2 Lakhs of population, and there are recycling activities to take place. The town generates tons of plastic waste every year, consisting of thin plastic bags, bottles, and plenty of recyclable waste made up of glass, aluminum, and other waste materials. The Indian Government also ensures that the companies selling their product in such a packing should be self-responsible for recycling their products and recycling them. Pune Municipal Corporation has an eye on recycling the waste which is provided by the city. The waste is separated into two categories that are useful waste as well as harmful waste. Useful waste is recycled and trying to reuse them. On the other hand, harmful waste is either destroyed or dumped in the dumping yard, situated far away from the city.
As the city is crowded with a dense population, a considerable amount of waste is generated daily, as India might not have the best facilities for the waste disposal system. But the Government is pushing a lot of awareness activities to educated people. The complete waste which is generated by the city is collected and dumped over some region. The collected waste is processed and recycled. The useful waste is separated to reuse. And also, people are getting aware of the cleanliness.
Work and Study Abroad
Pune is one of the largest cities in India, so it is the home to some of the biggest and famous National as well as International institutes. Also, this city is home to the most reputed and prestigious universities. As Pune is known as IT-hub, many International companies and national companies are here. So different opportunities collectively attract many foreigners to learn as well as to work.
Exchange Student program comprises to greater international understanding. As mentioned, Pune is the second-largest city, so it becomes home to many reputed and prestigious institutes. There are many scholarship programs in collaboration with some foreign institutes. So that these attract the students from various corners of the world. Some universities are:
- Savitribai Phule Pune university
- Vishwakarma Institute of Technology
- Symbiosis Institute of Business Management Pune
The concept of au-pair is yet to catch up in this city. Maybe if you reach out to a few local people, they will help you navigate around it.
Pune is quite a famous city, so volunteering is very popular here. There are many local volunteering organizations, NGO's and charitable trusts doing a lot of acceptable practices towards national development. Also, there are Government as well as non-Governmental volunteering organizations. One can visit some of the organizations so that to get more detailed information about their work. Some volunteering organizations are as given below:
- LETSRISE- This organization is working for child welfare and environmental welfare. It was established in 2012, moving an outstanding child welfare organization, human trafficking victims, and the children suffering from sexual exploitation. Now they are working in collaboration with Chaitanya Mahila Mandal to run the project named "Utkarsha."
- ROSHNI- This NGO is working to spread awareness about menstrual health in the general people. NGO Roshni was established in 2011 by Pravin Nikam. This NGO is working specifically to spread awareness along the uneducated people living in slums and villages.
- SWACHH PUNE SWACHH BHARAT- This organization is working to make a clean and green city. This organization is established after the extension of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's movement of Swachh Bharat Yojana. Puneet Sharma is the founder of this organization. The team is working actively in tree plantation, cleanliness drives, along with the plastic collection. If someone wishes to volunteer at NGO, conservation and preservation are the best options for them.