Known as the cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune is located at the convergence of two rivers, Mula and Mutha. Pune has retained its historic past despite embracing modernity.
Pune, derived from the word Punyanagari – or City of Virtue, is often referred to as the “Oxford of the East”. Students from all over the world come here to study in its world class educational institutions. Institutions like the Armed Forces Medical College, Film and Television Institute of India, Symbiosis Educational Society and National Defence Academy have earned international fame in their respective fields.
The city is also an industrial hub and preferred location for software industries. The automotive sector is prominent in Pune and so is the engineering industry. Pune is also a cantonment town, and the headquarters of Indian Army’s southern command. Lohegaon is a prominent air base and Sukhoi fighter-aircrafts are stationed here.
The city is a charming mélange of the old and the new, traditional and contemporary. Pune is also famous for adventure activities like camping, rappelling, lake crossing, paragliding and jungle trekking.
Nearby hill stations and spots like Lonavala, Rajmachi, Mahableshwar, Panchgani, Kashid and Phansad are places where there are numerous opportunities for adventure sports.
Pune’s annals date back to 1600 years. Pune has had a rich history with several illustrious dynasties ruling it, like the Rashtrakutas in the 8th century AD, Yadavas in the 9th century and the Mughals during medieval times and later the Marathas.
The Rashtrakuta kings had built a beautiful temple of Lord Shiva called Punyeshwar, but it got destroyed during the Mughal attack on city in the 13th century.
Maratha king Shivaji spent his childhood here. Peshwa Baji Rao I made it the capital of Maratha empire.
The British gained control of the city after the war of 1817 against the Marathas. They developed the city as their summer capital.
Pune has also been a witness and a strong participant in the freedom struggle of India. Some of the great reformers in the socio religious field were born or lived in Pune. Bal Gangadhar Tilak spent a long part of his life in the city.
WHERE TO STAY
Pune is a busy city with a lot of business opportunities. There are several hotels to suit every budget. You will get budget hotels to luxury hotels.
Minimum rent at a decent hotel would cost anywhere between Rs 1,200 to Rs 2,000. Air conditioning is necessary during summers. The luxury hotels in Pune are among the best in India. As Pune is also an emerging industrial city, businessmen often frequent the city. At these high-end, 5-star hotels you will get rooms with unlimited internet access, round the clock bar, breakfast and other perks.
WHERE TO EAT
Whether you are a foodie or not, you won’t be disappointed in Pune as the city offers a wide range of options. Numerous bistros and eating joints are available. You will find everything from local Maharashtrian street food like vada pav, misal pav, bhelpuri and bhajjis to the more sophisticated sit down restaurants.
A typical Pune meal would consist of Bhakri-pitla (millet pancake served with flour-based curry), pickles and vegetables. Special foods like Soonth Panak, Puran Poli, Coconut Potali, Karanji and Chakli are the favourite of the Maharashtrians during festivals and family occasions. Mastani, a thick milkshake with dry fruits, and Modak are a speciality of the city.
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Pune is as given below. The best time to visit Pune is also specified.