The city, formerly spelt as Poona is located just 170-km from Mumbai at an altitude of 598m. Pune is Maharashtra's second city, which lies close to the Western Ghat Mountains
(known also as the Sahyadri Hills), on the edge of the Deccan plains as they stretch away to the east. Pune is the cultural capital of the Maratha people, which is also known as the "Queen of the Deccan."
The city of Pune first gained its importance as the capital of the Marathas in the 17th century. It was temporarily captured by the Mughals but again became the official Maratha capital from 1714 until its fall to the British in 1817. It served as the seasonal capital of the Bombay Presidency, and after independence it is a burgeoning city, expanding in all directions, but especially along the Pune - Mumbai (Bombay) rail and road routes through the industrial townships of Pimpri, and Chinchwad.
The city was one of the pivotal bases of the 17th century Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji, who was born at the Shivneri Fort here. Later, Pune was handed over to the Peshwa family, whose Maratha power rose to be a major political force. Its influence expanded beyond the limits of the Maratha kingdom. After the Battle of Koregaon in 1818,
Pune fell into the hands of the East India Company. The British proposed to transform the city into a 'monsoon capital' but instead developed it into a 19th century Indian army town and renamed it Poona.
Specimen Of Maharashtrian Cultural Heritage
Pune exemplifies an indigenous Marathi culture and ethos, in which education, arts and crafts, and theatres are given due prominence. It is the birthplace of the poet-saint Tukaram (in Dehu) and Jnaneshvara (in Alandi), the author of the well-known commentary on the
It is the home of great freedom fighters like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Agarkar and Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Jayant Narlikar, the famous contemporary scientist, is from Pune. Pune is the seat of North Indian Classical music. Annually, in the month of December, it hosts a three nightlong cultural program of vocal and instrumental classical music, called "Savai-Gandharva".
Major Tourist Attractions in Pune
Here you will find the personal collection of Dinkar Gangadhar. The
around 17,000 artworks. The collection includes musical instruments, hookah pipes, oil lamps, carved doors and windows, hair drying combs, noodle makers, etc. Shaniwar wada
Built in 1736, Shaniwar Wada is ruins of the palace of the Peshwar rulers. It was burnt down in 1828, but the walls still remain. The doors of the palace are studded with spikes so that the enemies do not enter the place.
Ramani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute
This the perfect place for the people interested in Yoga. The institute is off Ganesh Khind Road in Model Colony. There are six classes a week and it costs up to US$200 for a month. You have to look for accommodation outside the institute.
Gandhi National Memorial
This Memorial, set in 6.5 ha of gardens, was built by Shah Aga Khan III in 1892. It was his palace till 1956. In 1969, it was donated to India by Aga Khan IV. Kasturba Gandhi, Mahatma's wife and Mahadeobhai Desai, Mahatma's secretary for 35 years, died here during their stay. Their ashes have been kept in Memorial tombs in the gardens.
This is a 8th century rock cut cave temple. This place is a must visit for the tourists keeping interest in ancient art and architecture.
Empress Botanical Gardens
These gardens have fine trees and there is also a zoo nearby. The parks include the Saras Bagh which has a number of food stalls outside. The other popular garden is the Bund Gardens which is ideal for walks.
Osho Commune International
This is the famous ashram of Bhagwan Rajneesh at Koregaon park. The ashram now known as a spiritual health club, attracts thousands of visitors each year. The ashram has facilities like a swimming pool, saunas, tennis and basketball courts, beauty parlour, bookshop and a massage centre.
How to Reach
The Indian Air Lines office next to the Hotel Amir on Connaught Rd. Air India is on Moledina Rd. Indian Airlines flies Delhi to Pune and vice versa daily. It also flies to Madras/Banglore/Pune and vice versa three days a week.
Flights are available from Mumbai and take 20 minutes and from Delhi approximately 2 hours. Indian Airlines has flights to Banglore,Delhi,Chennai flights from Pune.