|Type of Tourism||: Heritage city|
|Area||: 146 square km|
|Population||: 5,518,688 (As per Indian census- 2001)|
|Altitude||: 560 meters|
|Best Tourist Season||: July to March|
|Telephone Code||: India (020), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 411001 to 411053|
|Clothing recommended||: Light cotton in summer, woolen in winter|
|Languages spoken||: Marathi, Hindi, English|
|Famous Shopping Areas||: Tulsi Baug, Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar (Deccan Gymkhana), Juna Bazaar, Laxmi Road , Mahatma Gandhi Road, Fashion Street, Hongkong Lane, Vishram Baug Wada, Koregaon Park, Dhole Patil Road, Fergusson College Road, Chor Bazaar, Bajirao Road, Karve Road|
|What to buy||: Clothes, Cotton Silk Saris, Nau Vari Saris, Pearl Nose Ring (Nath), Jewellery, Kolhapuri Chappals, Leather Items, Trinkets, Fashion Accessories, Antique Coins, Gramophone Records, Bags, Books, Furniture|
|Food Specialties||: Puran Poli, Pithla - Bhakri, Chitales's Bakarwadi, Mastani, Vada Pav, Misal Pav, Laxminarayan Best Chiwda, Indian Chat, Mango Barfi, Amrakhanda, Basundi, Modak, Karanji, Soonth Paak, Chakali, Surali Wadis, Kacchi Dabeli, Amti, Thali Peeth, Kobhi Zunka, Pitacgi Mirchi, Varhadi Aloo Bhat, Pavta Batata, Valachi Virdi, Nawabi Biryani, Kolhapuri Rassa, Papletchi Amti, Sukhi Kolmi|
|Local transportation||: Auto Rickshaw, PMPMl Local City Bus, Cab, Suburban Railway|
The erstwhile center of the great Maratha hegemony and today celebrated as the ‘Oxford of India’, Pune; the ‘Punyanagari’ is one of the most picturesque civics of the ‘Incredible India’. Entitled as ‘the Queen of Deccan’ this dynamic city is nestled in the radiant cradle of the Sahayadri Mountain Ranges at the periphery of the Deccan Plateau where the Mula and Mutha rivers converge. Pune, the precious jewel studded in the luminous crown of the Western Ghats happens to be the second largest metropolis of Maharashtra and the eighth largest conurbation of the country. It is also acknowledged amongst the greenest urban areas of the country. Furnishing as the administrative capital of the Pune District, this city boasts of its 1600 years of glorious history and its affluent cultural legacy. Rightly anointed to the status of ‘the cultural capital of Maharashtra’, the present day Pune is the blooming hub of education, art & culture, industrialization, economy and modernism. The extravagant historical monuments and palaces illustrating the Maratha, Peshwa and British era, the sublime temples, the majestic edifices, the relics of ancient architecture and the fabulous museums retrieving the ostentatious heritage of this opulent city fascinate its visitors to no extent. Pune, a lofty synthesis of old and new and conventional and contemporary is the vicinity that promises an equally grand future as its legendary past.
Etymology The eponym ‘Pune’ finds its origin from a Sanskrit term ‘Punyanagari’ meaning ‘the city of virtue’. The earliest citation to this name is found on a ‘Tamra Patra’ i.e. copper plate of Rashtrakuta Dynasty dated 937 AD, where Pune is referred to as ‘Punya-Vishaya’ or ‘Poonak-Vishaya’. By 13th century AD Pune came to be known as ‘Punavadi’ or ‘Kasbe Pune’. During the British Raj, the prevalent name of Pune was ‘Poona’. The present title ‘Pune’ was officially adopted in the year 1976.
History Of Pune
In 8th century AD Pune was a small agricultural establishment named ‘Punnaka’ which came under the dominion of Rashtrakuta Kings. From 9th to 14th century AD it was a part of the Yadava kingdom of Devagiri. Later, Pune belonged to the governance of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate until 17th century when it was taken over by the Mughals. Maratha rule was the golden era of the development of Pune when most of the ‘Peths’ including Kasba Peth, Shaniwar Peth, Raviwar Peth, Somwar Peth etc. were set up. In 17th century the city also had to face recurring raids of Adil Shah but later Dadoji Kondadev, the administrative and military officer of Shahaji Raje Bhosale undertook the restoration of the region and also guarded the enforcement of law and order. The Lal Mahal Palace of Pune was built in 1640 where Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj spent his childhood.
Shivaji Maharaj constituted the ‘Maratha Empire’ in 1674 who further executed the expansion and promotion of Pune. Aurangzeb conquered Pune in 1703 AD who rechristened the city as ‘Muhiyabad’, but just in two years time the Sinhagad Fort as well as the Pune city was regained by the Marathas. In 1720, Chattrapati Shahu Maharaj appointed Baji Rao I as the Peshwa (Prime Minister) of the Maratha Empire who picked Pune as his headquarters and commenced the construction of the Shaniwar Wada. By the time the Wada was completed in 1732, the epoch of the Peshwa supremacy in Pune had ushered. Peshwa Rule was another hey day of the prosperity of Pune as a civic when a number of temples, edifices, gardens, peths and trade centers were built.
The Battle of Panipat (1761) proved to be fatal for the Peshwa rule and in the Battle of Poona (1802) Yashwantrao Holkar captured the territory. The British seized Pune on 5th November 1817 in the Battle of Khadki; a part of the Third Anglo-Maratha War, and placed it under the Bombay Presidency. A British military cantonment was built in Pune and the Pune Municipality was established in the year 1858. In late 19th century Pune functioned as the center of social and religious reform movements as well as the struggle of Independence. Eminent personalities of India like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Dhondo Keshav Karve, Vitthal Ramji Shinde, Jyotirao Phule belonged to Pune. One of the most noteworthy catastrophes that Pune had to undergo was the bubonic plague of the year 1896 – 97 when half the population of Pune fled. It was during this time when Chapekar brothers shot W. C. Rand and were hanged. The Yerwada Jail and the Aga Khan Palace of Pune served as the venue of the imprisonment of Mahatma Gandhi several times.
After the Independence, Pune once again witnessed the boom of its all round development. When Panshet and Khadakwasla dams broke in the year 1961, most of the older Pune was destroyed which was subsequently developed according to a proper plan. In 20th century Pune flourished in all the fields including construction, manufacturing, IT, engineering, floriculture, food processing, etc. The Commonwealth Youth Games of 2008 exhilarated the additional development of Pune. Recently in the year 2009 Pune faced a lethal epidemic of H1 N1.