From The Peshwas To The British To Now: Inhale The Undying Culture Of Pune With These Heritage Walks!

Shivani posted on 31st July

Ten-Second Takeaway

Pune was not only the capital of the Peshwas but is also a major cultural centre in Maharashtra. Here are some heritage walks that you can book for yourselves, and go around the city to know the ancient stories that rose from here.

Pune Heritage Walk by Maharashtra Tourism (MTDC) & Janwani

Started in 2012 by the Municipal Corporation in collaboration with an NGO called Janwani, Pune Heritage Walk has won a National Award as the Best Heritage Walk project. And it indeed deserves the award for its amazing 2 and a half hour long tour along a 2km route where one visits 18 different heritage sites (to name some- Shanivar Wada, Kasba Gandhi Mandir, Mandai, etc) and is also accompanies by a trained guide. A walk is conducted on every weekend in three different languages- namely Marathi, Hindi, and English- to suit the likes of all visitors, be it the locals or tourists. Architecture, market streets, temples- the Regular Pune Heritage Walk is a fascinating cultural experience that one can barely get otherwise, only for INR 250 per head.

Arranged on special request, The Signature Walk for a group of at least 15 individuals, has an added benefit apart from what is involved in the Regular Walks. A 3 hour long Heritage walk, this one includes several other things like amazing refreshments, the local Maharashtrian folk performances, and a couple of more that you get to experience first-hand, for only INR 350 per head.

We had a great a time getting to know Pune when we first started here. After all, it’s important to know the roots of the tree you’re taking shelter in, no?

Wandertrails

Wandertrails, an online experiential site, arranges 3 hour long heritage walks through Pune, to allow visitors to experience not just the tangible aspects like the architecture and art, but also the intangible ones that differs for all. This walk covers some of the oldest heritage sites in Pune, starting from the PMC building and covering the grandest of wadas in the city. Pune is after all famous for all its wadas built in the Peshwa Empire. Well-known stories of valour and love, women emancipation and other social reforms are narrated by the guides who’re well-versed with history. This enthralling experience around Pune costs only INR 385 per head. But this is totally worth it because a delicious Maharashtrian meal and local cultural performances are also inclusive. We hope you don’t have to end up cancelling a heritage walk with Wandertrails at all, but in case of situations you can’t overlook, the cancellation policy is also at place keeping you in mind! Awesome, isn’t it?

Western Routes

The heritage walks that usually start after 9 am, give a deep insight about the traditional architectural styles and influences on the architecture over different time periods of the Maratha, Mughal and the British empires. Visitors get a chance to hear the intriguing stories of the rise and fall of the Peshwas at Shaniwar Wada and walk through the historic market of Tulshibaug. Nope, that’s not it. They can also admire the Neo-Gothic architecture of the Phule Mandai vegetable market. Covering about ten sites in a span of 3 hours, this walk is approximately 1.6 kilometres long. The cost of the walk with Western Routes is based on the group size and requirement. But let us tell you- bigger the group, greater is the fun!

Pune Walks

A social initiative taken by Darpana and Mukund Athale, Pune Walks is more like a ‘return gift’ to the city and the community at large. The cause was taken up in the hope that it would bring a positive change and action to benefit the people, the city, and most give justice to its heritage.

Apart from the main walk around the city, ‘Pune Walks’ has other routes. These specific walks include a ‘Crafts Walk’, a ‘Temple Walk’, a ‘Wada walk’ amongst others. What sets Pune Walks apart from the rest of them is that all the walks are customised keeping in mind the age and interests of participants, and time on hand.

One of the unique walks conducted was the Chinchwad Heritage Walk where a lot of like-minded people from different fields were gathered to absorb the history of one particular area of Pune by sharing insights and getting the kind of knowledge that may be inaccessible elsewhere.

Pune Walks communicates with everyone through its Facebook presence, where events of different kinds of heritage walks are updated, each having an exclusive fee, usually around INR 300. Totally worth it, we say!

Chalo Heritage And Nature Walks

Jan Ali fell in love with India the moment she came here. The history and culture inspired her to start this initiative with Rashid Ali who conducts nature walks. Jan provides three ways to explore Pune’s heritage and culture. Her first walk is called the Kasba Tour which at least 3 to 4 hour long, and includes several temples, markets and historical sites, apart from the Kasba Peth. Another one called the Out of Pune Tour explores Pune’s buildings and architecture for its grandeur, and also the forts on the majestic mountains surrounding Pune which add to Pune’s heritage. The third one called the Classic Tour, although not a heritage walk particularly, does involve driving down to the south east of Pune to explore Saswad, a small town in a rural community, where one can visit its temples and a 300 year old Wada, and explore the heritage from Early Hindu to British period. This particular tour may take approximately 5-6 hours.

There are no fixed rates of these tours, and the prices will be given on request. Why don’t you drop in a request too? It’s insanely tempting!