Located on the Deccan Plateau near Western Coast, Pune is known as ‘Punya-Nagiri’ or ‘Queen of Deccan’. The Britishers called it Poona. Now it has got its original name Pune. It is the eighth largest city in India and the second largest in Maharashtra. Pune, which has a long history, has several places of interests for tourists. The eighth century Pataleshwar Cave Temple, dedicated to the god of the underworld, is a marvel of rock-cut architecture. Shrimant Dagduseth Halwai Ganpati Temple houses the deity of Ganesha. Osho Park is a great centre for meditation and rejuvenation.
The city boasts of the prestigious Film institute. Aga Khan Palace, where Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned for participating in the ‘Quit India Movement’ in 1942, is a major tourist attraction. Among other attractions are Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, Shaniwar Wada, Sinhgad Fort, Saras Baug (a park), Sadhu Vaasvani Mission and Katraj Jain Temple.
The distance from Pune to Solapur is about 260 km. The name Solapur is combination of two words ‘Sola’ and ‘Pur’. ‘Sola’ means sixteen and “Pur” means village. This is relevant because Solapur is considered to include sixteen villages. It is situated near the borders with Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
The major attraction of Solapur is Siddheshwar Temple. It is situated in the middle of a lake. Solapur has many Jain temples named after the Jain Tirthankaras like Parasnath temple, Mallikarjuna temple and Adinath temple. Revansiddeshwar temple and famous Bhuikot fort are the other temples worth a visit. Another tourist attraction is the Samadhi of Swami Samarth Maharaja of Akkalkot.
Solapur is famous for its textile industries, towels and Solapur chaddars. Weaving is a popular occupation. People belonging to Padmashali community are mainly dependent on weaving for livelihood. In recent years, Solapur seems to have lost its attraction as an industrial area. Though both Pune and Solapur have airports, it is not advisable to travel such a short distance by air. Travel by train is a popular mode of transport from Pune to Solapur. There are ten daily trains between these two places.
They are Mumbai-Bangalore Udyan Express (No.16529), Mumbai-Hyderabad Express (No.17031), Mumbai-Chennai Express (No.11041), Mumbai-Bhuwaneshwar Konark Express (No.11019), Mumbai-Kanyakumari Express (No.16381), Dadar-Chennai Egmore Express (No.12163), Mumbai-Hyderabad Hussain Sagar Express (No.12701), Lokmanya Tilak-Coimbatore Express (No.11013), Mumbai-Solapur Siddheshwar Express (No.12115) and Mumbai-Chennai Mail (No.11027). Besides, there are some trains running only a few days of the week, Train takes about five hours to six hours to travel from Pune to Solapur.
Road travel is also convenient to reach Solapur from Pune. Buses are available on this route in plenty. Buses charge a fare ranging from Rs.450 to Rs.650. While non-A/c taxi cab charges Rs.4500, A/c Taxi cars charge a rate of above Rs.6500 for the trip.