With the city's rapid expansion as a major industrial hub, many visitors (including large numbers of foreign businesspeople) tend not to venture far from the green, upmarket suburb of Koregaon Park. Situated around 30 minutes northwest of Pune's historic heart, this is also where hundreds of Osho devotees congregate around the Westernized cafes and restaurants in the immediate vicinity of the meditation resort they've come to experience. While the Osho Resort is surely the central reason for visiting, the historic Old City is architecturally and culturally fascinating enough to hold your attention for a while, and it's also where you'll discover one of India's most intriguing museums. You can take in the best of the city's "other" sights in one morning, and finish off with lunch in a traditional Maharashtrian diner, before heading back to the resort for more earnest introspection. While here, do drop by the colorful Mahatma Phule Market where orderly rows of fruit and vegetable stalls operate in a Victorian-era warehouse. You may also want to explore some of the streets and laneways around the market -- many of the haveli-style buildings are architecturally intriguing, and a total contrast to the lavish modernism in Koregaon Park.

En route to the market, you'll probably pass the looming walls of Shaniwarwada Palace (Rs 100; Wed-Mon 8am-6pm) established here by the Peshwa rulers in the eighteenth century; no need to stop, though, since the palace itself has long been in complete ruin -- the highlight being the views from the ramparts. If you are interested in learning more about the history of the city and the palace, you can check out the sound and light show that's staged here most evening (Rs 25; Wed-Mon 8-9pm) and gives some insight into the impact that Maharashtrian hero Shivaji had on the region. The palace is just a short distance from one of Pune's most beloved religious icons, a statue of Ganesha, the popular elephant-headed god. The basic little temple, no more than a roof over the venerated deity idol, is known as Shrimant Dagdu Sheth Halwai Ganpati Mandir (Budhwar Peth), considered one of the most important temples in India, despite being a fairly recent construction. Ganesh, who is believed to be the god who can make wishes come true (believers whisper their desires into the ear of the rat upon which Ganesha rides), gets especially intense attention during the annual Ganesh festival, and each night a lovely arti ceremony is held here, attended by many devotees.

A short rickshaw ride from the market brings you to the intriguing Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, which is one museum you shouldn't miss. Afterwards, you can visit one of Pune's prettiest buildings, the delicate-looking Shinde Chhatri (tel. 020/2685-2141; Rs 2; daily 9am-6pm), located south of the race course in Wanowrie. This gorgeous cenotaph inters the samadhi (memorial) of the great Maratha warrior, Mahadji Shinde, whose descendants, the Scindias, are the royal family of Gwalior. The vessels at the feet of the warrior's silver likeness are used in a daily puja ceremony, performed in the morning. If, after your city visit, you're keen on a bit more culture, stop off at the Tribal Museum (28 Queens Garden), which curates objects, icons and handicrafts associated with Maharashtra's tribal communities; photographic displays provide some anthropological insight into their lives.


Serious yoga enthusiasts might want to take a look at the website of the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (tel. 020/2565-6134; www.bksiyengar.com), where the founder of the global Iyengar Yoga movement still holds court. However, you need to be a veteran of the form with many years of practice if you intend joining one of his advanced courses. Beginners will have to dedicate themselves to one of the monthly induction programs that requires month-long participation.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.