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Queen of the Deccan, Oxford of the East
Clockwise from bottom: the National War Memorial Southern Command, the HSBC Global Technology India Headquarters, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Fergusson College and Shaniwar Wada
Location of Pune
in Maharashtra and India
Coordinates 18°28′25″N 73°47′52″E / 18.47361°N 73.79778°E / 18.47361; 73.79778
Country  India
State Maharashtra
District(s) Pune
Subdistrict Haveli taluka
Mayor Mohansingh Rajpal[1]
Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Zagade
3337481[2] (8th) (2009)
7,214 /km2 (18,684 /sq mi)
5273211[3] (8th) (2009)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
1109.69 km2 (428 sq mi)
560 m (1,837 ft)

Pune (pronounced [puɳeː], Marathi: पुणे), also known as 'Punawadi' or Punya-Nagari or Poona, is the eighth largest city in India, and the second largest in the state of Maharashtra, after Mumbai. Once the capital of the Maratha Empire, situated 560 metres above sea level on the Deccan plateau at the confluence of the Mula (Marathi: मुळा) and Mutha rivers (Marathi: मुठा),[4] Pune is the administrative capital of Pune district and the 8th Metro city of India.

Pune is known to have existed as a town since 937 AD.[5] Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire, lived in Pune as a boy, and later oversaw significant growth and development of the town during his reign. In 1730, Pune became an important political centre as the seat of the Peshwa, the prime minister of the Chhatrapati of Satara. After the town was annexed to British India in 1817, it served as a cantonment town and as the "monsoon capital" of the Bombay Presidency until the independence of India.[6]

Today, Pune is known for its educational facilities, having more than a hundred educational institutes and nine universities.[7] Pune has well-established manufacturing, glass, sugar and forging industries since 1950-60s. Pune also has a growing industrial hinterland, with many information technology and automotive companies setting up factories in Pune district. Additionally, Pune is known for various cultural activities like Classical Music, Sports, Literature, Foreign language learning and Administrative, Economics, Social Science studies. These activities and job opportunities attract migrants and students from all over India, and also attract students from Middle-East, Iran, Eastern Europe, South-East Asia which makes for a city of many communities and cultures.



The name Pune (anglicized as Poona) derives from Punya Nagari (Sanskrit, "City of Virtue"). The oldest reference to this name is on a Rashtrakuta copper plate dated to 937. Current Era in which the town is referred to as Punya-Vishaya or Punak Vishaya.[8] By the 13th century, it had come to be known as Kasbe Pune or Punavadi. Although the city's name is sometimes transcribed as Poona in English, a practice particularly common during the British Raj, the spelling "Pune" has now become standard. Pune is also referred to as the "Student Capital Of India", on account of a tremendous population here being primarily of students in various universities and institutes.[citation needed]


The circular Nandi mandapa at the Pataleshwar cave temple, built during the Rashtrakuta dynasty
Shivaji Maharaj was a great king of the Maratha Kingdom

Early and Medieval

Copper plates dated to 758 and 768 show that, by the 8th century, an agricultural settlement known as 'Punnaka' existed where Pune is today. The plates indicate that this region was ruled by the Rashtrakutas. The Pataleshwar rock-cut temple complex was also built during this era.

Pune was a part of Yadava Empire of Deogiri from the 9th century to 1327. It was later ruled by the Nizamshahi sultans, until being annexed by the Mughal empire in the 17th century. In 1595, Maloji Bhosale was appointed the jahagirdar of Pune and Supe by the Mughals.[8]

Maratha rule

In 1625, Shahaji Bhosale appointed Rango Bapuji Dhadphale(SarDeshpande) as the administrator of Pune. He was one of the first major developers of the town, overseeing construction of the Kasba, Somwar, Ravivar and Shaniwar Peths. After the destruction of town in the raid of Vijapur sultan during 1630, and again from 1636 to 1647, Dadoji Kondev- a military and administrative officer of Shahaji Bhosale, oversaw development and construction in the area, stabilzed the revenue system of Pune and 12 Mavals and developed effective methods to control disputes and law and order situations. Construction also began on the Lal Mahal palace, as Shahaji's son, Shivaji Bhosale (later Chattrapati Shivaji) was to move there with his mother Jijabai. The Lal Mahal was completed in 1640.[8] Jijabai is said to have commissioned the building of the Kasba Ganapati temple herself. The Ganapati idol consecrated at this temple is regarded as the presiding deity (gramadevata) of the city.[9]

Shivaji was crowned Chhatrapati in 1674, he oversaw further development in Pune, including the construction of the Guruwar, Somwar, Ganesh and Ghorpade Peths.

Baji Rao I became Peshwa of the Maratha empire, ruled by Chattrapati Shahuji, in 1720.[10] By 1730, the palace of Shaniwarwada had been constructed on the banks of the Mutha river, ushering in the era of Peshwa control of the city. The patronage of the Peshwas resulted in the construction of many temples and bridges in the city, including the Lakdi Pul, Parvati temple and the Sadashiv, Narayan, Rasta and Nana Peths. The Peshwas fell into decline after their defeat in the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761. In 1802, Pune was captured from the Peshwa by Yashwantrao Holkar in the Battle of Poona, directly precipitating the Second Anglo-Maratha War of 1803-1805. Navi Peth, Ganj Peth and Mahatma Phule Peth are believed to have developed in Pune during British Raj.

British Raj

The Third Anglo-Maratha War broke out between the Marathas and the British in 1817. The Peshwas were defeated at the Battle of Khadki (then transcribed Kirkee) on 5 November near Pune, and the city was seized.[11] It was placed under the administration of the Bombay Presidency, and the British built a large military cantonment to the east of the city (now used by the Indian Army). The Pune Municipality was established in 1858. Pune was at one time the "monsoon capital" of the Bombay Presidency.

Nanasaheb Peshwa, the adopted son of the last Peshwa Bajirao II, rose against British East India Company rule in 1857, as part of the Indian Mutiny. He was helped by Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi and Tatya Tope. After the subsiding of First War Of Independence, the final remnants of the Maratha empire were annexed to British India.

Pune was an important centre for the social and religious reform movements of the late 19th century. Many prominent social reformers and freedom fighters lived here, including Bal Gangadhar Tilak a.k.a Lokmanya Tilak, Maharishi Vitthal Ramji Shinde and Jyotirao Phule.

In late 1896, Pune was hit by bubonic plague; by the end of February 1897, the epidemic was raging, with a mortality rate twice the norm, and half the city's population having left. A Special Plague Committee was formed, under the chairmanship of W. C. Rand, an Indian Civil Services officer and troops brought in to deal with the emergency. By the end of May the epidemic was under control. On 22 June 1897, the Diamond Jubilee of the coronation of Queen Victoria, Rand, the Special Plague Committee chairman and his military escort Lt. Ayerst were shot at, while returning from the celebrations at Government House. Both died, Ayerst on the spot and Rand of his wounds on 3 July. The Chapekar brothers and two accomplices were charged with this murder in various roles, along with the shooting of two informants and an attempt to shoot a police officer. All three brothers were found guilty and hanged, an accomplice was dealt with similarly, another a school boy was sentenced to ten years rigorous imprisonment.

After independence

After Indian Independence, Pune saw a lot of development, such as the establishment of the National Defense Academy at Khadakwasla, National Chemical Laboratory at Pashan. Pune also serves as the headquarters of the Southern Command of the Indian Army.[12] Industrial developments started around 1950-60s in Hadapsar, Bhosari, Pimpri, and Parvati.[13] Telco (now Tata Motors) started operations in 1961, which gave a huge boost to the automobile sector.

In July 1961, Panshet dam broke and its waters flooded the city, destroying most of the older sections, giving a chance for modern town planning concepts to be put into use. This unfortunate incident however led constructive developments in the city, and the economy of the city witnessed a boom in construction and manufacturing sectors. By 1966, the City had expanded in all directions.[13]

In 1990 Pune began to attract foreign capital, particularly in the information technology and engineering industries; new businesses like floriculture and food processing begin to take root in and around the city. In 1998, work on the six-lane Mumbai-Pune expressway began; a huge accomplishment for the country, the expressway was completed in 2001.[14] In the three years before 2000 Pune saw huge development in the Information Technology sector, and IT Parks formed in Aundh, Hinjawadi and Nagar road. In 2008 the Commonwealth Youth Games took place in Pune, which encouraged additional development in the north-west region of the city.[15]

On 13 February 2010, a bomb exploded at the German Bakery in the Koregaon park neighbourhood on the east side of Pune killing 11 and injuring 33.[16] The explosion is now suspected to be an improvised explosive device (IED) using an ammonium nitrate fuel oil mix.[17] The blast was a first in what was till then relatively safe environment of Pune.[18]


One of the streets in central Pune- Laxmi Road area
Pashan lake is a man made lake

Pune is located 560 m (1,840 ft) above sea level on the western margin of the Deccan plateau. It is situated on the leeward side of the Sahyadri mountain range (the Western Ghats), which separate it from the Arabian sea. It is a relatively hilly city, with its tallest hill, Vetal Hill, rising to 800 m (2,600 ft) above sea level. Just outside the city, the Sinhagad fort is located at a height of 1300 m.

Central Pune is located at the confluence of the Mula and Mutha rivers. The Pavana and Indrayani rivers, tributaries of the Bhima river, traverse the northwestern outskirts of metropolitan Pune. Pune lies very close to the seismically active zone around Koyna Dam, about 100 km south of the city, and has been rated in Zone 4 (on a scale of 2 to 5, with 5 being the most prone to earthquakes) by the India Meteorological Department. Pune has experienced some moderate-intensity and many low-intensity earthquakes in its history. Although no major earthquakes have originated in Pune itself, an earthquake of magnitude 3.2 took place in the Katraj region near Pune on May 17, 2004[19]. In 2008, and a low intensity earthquake observed on night of 30 July 2008 was measured at 4.2 as per news resources around 12:41 am. The epicenter for the earthquake was in Koyna Dam field [20]


Climate chart (explanation)
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: IMD

Pune has a tropical wet and dry climate with average temperatures ranging between 20 °C to 28 °C.

Pune experiences three distinct seasons: summer, monsoon and winter. Typical summer months are from March to May, with maximum temperatures ranging from 30 to 38 °C (86 to 100 °F). The warmest month in Pune is April; although summer doesn't end until May, the city often receives heavy thundershowers in May (although humidity remains high). Even during the hottest months, the nights are usually cool due to Pune's high altitude. The highest temperature ever recorded was 43.3 °C (109.9 °F) on April 30, 1897.[21]

The monsoon lasts from June to October, with moderate rainfall and temperatures ranging from 10 to 28 °C (50 to 82 °F). Most of the 722 mm (28.4 inches) of annual rainfall in the city fall between June and September, and July is the wettest month of the year.

Winter begins in November; November in particular is referred to as the Rosy Cold (literal translation) (Marathi: गुलाबी थंडी). The daytime temperature hovers around 28 °C (82 °F) while night temperature is below 10 °C (50 °F) for most of December and January, often dropping to 5 to 6 °C (41 to 43 °F). The lowest temperature ever recorded was 1.7 °C on January 17, 1935.[22]



Pune International Airport is an international airport at Lohegaon, operated by the Airports Authority of India. It shares its runways with the neighboring Indian Air Force base, the only one of its kind in the world.[23] Apart from domestic flights to all major Indian cities, this airport serves international direct flights to Dubai (operated by Air India Express)[24] and to Frankfurt (operated by Lufthansa).[25]

The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation is responsible for the design and construction of a new Pune International Airport. The area between Chakan and Rajgurunagar, around the villages of Chandus and Shiroli, is currently being considered as a construction site. If constructed here, it will be 40 km from central Pune and will be the largest one in Asia.[26]


Local trains (EMUs) connect Pune to the industrial town of Pimpri-Chinchwad and the hill station of Lonavala, while daily express trains connect Pune to Mumbai, Howrah, Delhi, Jammutawi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Goa, Varanasi, Jamshedpur(Tatanagar) and so on. At Pune, there is diesel locomotive shed (DLS) and electric trip shed (ETS).[27] A rapid transit system has been proposed in Pune, from past 5 years and is scheduled to begin operations in 2010.[28] It is being planned in consultation with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited, the corporation which built and operates the Delhi Metro.

The city has two railway stations, one in the city and the other at Shivajinagar. Both stations are administrated by the Pune division of the Central Railways, which extends from after Lonavala to before Daund, to Baramati, and to Hubli (via Miraj).[29] All the railway lines to Pune are broad gauge.


Pune BRTS is the first Bus Rapid Transit System in India

Both public and private transport are popular in Pune. Public buses within the city and its suburbs are operated by the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML). The PMPML operates the Pune Bus Rapid Transit system, the first of its kind in India, in which dedicated bus lanes allow buses to travel quickly through the city.[30] Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation runs buses from its main stations in Shivajinagar, Pune station and Swargate to all major cities and towns in Maharashtra and neighbouring states. Private companies too run buses to major cities throughout India.[31]

Pune is well-connected to other cities by Indian highways and state highways. National Highway 4 (NH 4) connects it to Mumbai, Bangalore, Sangli and Kolhapur. NH 9 to Solapur and Hyderabad, and NH 50 to Nashik. State highways connect it to Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, and Alandi.

The Mumbai-Pune Expressway, India's first six-lane high-speed expressway was built in 2002, and has reduced travel time between Pune and Mumbai to almost two hours. A ring road is being planned to be constructed for the convenience of heavy traffic.[32]

The Mumbai-Pune Expressway as seen from Khandala

Pune is served by two intra-city highways: Old Pune-Mumbai Highway and Katraj-Dehu Road Bypass, a part of the National Highway 4. The Nashik City-Pune Highway NH 50 will be part of the golden triangle(Nashik-Pune-Mumbai).

Civic administration

Statue of Aryabhata on the grounds of IUCAA, Pune. As there is no known information regarding his appearance, any image of Aryabhata originates from an artist's conception.

The city of Pune is managed by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). The Corporation consists of 149 directly elected councilors,[33] who are led by the Mayor of Pune, a titular position mainly acting as an ambassador and representative of the city. Actual executive power is vested in the Municipal Commissioner, an officer of the Indian Administrative Service who is appointed by the Government of Maharashtra.

Apart from the PMC, four other administrative bodies are active within the Pune Metropolitan Area:

A plan to establish a single Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (PMRDA), consisting of the combined municipal councils, corporations, and other local governments of Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Lonavala, Talegaon, Bhor, Shirur, Saswad, the three cantonments and hundred villages near the city, has been considered since 1997, but might come to fruition this year.[37] This body will then be the executing authority which will acquire and develop reserve land to improve the infrastruction of the Pune metropolitan area.

The Pune Police is headed by the Police Commissioner of Pune, an officer of the Indian Police Service. The Pune Police report to the state ministry.

Military establishments

Pune was the largest military base for the British during the Raj and the architecture in the cantonment area is very evocative of the era. The majority of the old Cantonment land in the city is now occupied by the Indian Army for the housing of its garrisons and officers.[38] The Southern Command, a World War II Indian Army formation has its headquarters in Pune cantonment. The Lohegaon Air Force base was primarily developed as a base for the multi-role strike fighter squadrons of Sukhoi-30MKI.

The National Defence Academy is an integrated military training center, that provides education up to the graduation level and joint training for cadets of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.[39] The NDA estate is spread over 8,028 acres (3,209 hectares) of land in Khadakwasla, near Pune and contains apart from NDA facilities, a mini sanctuary and the Peacock Bay, one of the lakes that provide water to Pune city.[40]


As per 2001 census of India, the population of the Pune urban agglomeration is 3,529,900.[42] This includes the towns of Khadki, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Dehu. Growth in the software and education sectors has led to an influx of skilled labour from across India. The population of the urban agglomeration has been estimated to be around 4,485,000 in 2005.[43] The migrating population rose from 43,900 in 2001 to 88,200 in 2005.[44] According to the Pune Municipal Corporation, 38.9% of the population lived in slums in 2001.[45] The sharp increase in censorial decade of 1991–2001 can be attributed to the absorption of 38 fringe villages into the city.[41] The literacy rate is about 81%.[46]

Marathi is the official and most widely spoken language, while Hindi and English are understood and spoken widely. The dialect of Marathi-speaking in Pune has been suggested to be the "standard" form of the language.[47] Pune has many white-collar professionals thanks to a large number of educational, research and training institutes spread throughout the city.

Pune has a significant Brahmin and Maratha population. Pune also has a large Islamic population, half of which speak Marathi, with the remainder speaking Hindi and Urdu. Pune is also home to a large Christian and Jewish population. People from the Dawoodi Bohra community are also found in the city. Pune also hosts a large numbers of Parsis, majority of whom are found in Camp, Pune Station, Koregaon Park and Nagar Road areas. A sizable Sikh population can be found in the Pune Camp, Ganesh Peth, Lulla Nagar and Dehu Road areas. Pune's Buddhist population is found primarily in the Yerawada and Parvati area. A majority of Pune’s population is Marathi.


Infosys office building in Pune

As one of the largest cities in India, and as a result of its many colleges and universities, Pune is emerging as a prominent location for IT and manufacturing companies to expand. Pune has the sixth largest metropolitan economy and the highest per capita income in the country.

The automotive sector is prominent in Pune. It is home to the Automotive Research Association of India, which is responsible for the homologation of all vehicles available in India. All sectors of the automotive industry are represented, from two-wheelers and autorickshaws to cars, tractors, tempos, excavators and trucks. Several automotive component manufacturers like TATA Autocomp Systems Limited , Robert Bosch GmbH, Visteon, Continental Corporation etc are also located here. Other automotive companies including General Motors, Volkswagen, and Fiat have set up greenfield facilities near Pune, leading The Independent to cite Pune as India's "Motor City".[48]

India's largest engineering conglomerate, the Kirloskar Group, were the first to bring industry to Pune by setting up Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd in 1945 at Kirkee in Pune. The Group was oronially setup in Kirloskarwadi[49] Kirloskar Brothers Limited (India’s largest manufacturer and exporter of pumps and the largest infrastructure pumping project contractor in Asia[50]), Kirloskar Oil Engines (India's largest diesel engine company[51]), Kirloskar Pneumatics Co Ltd and other Kirloskar companies are based in Pune.

The HSBC Global Technology Center at Kalyani Nagar develops software for the entire HSBC group.[52]

The Hinjawadi IT Park (officially called as the Rajeev Gandhi IT Park), is a project undertaken by MIDC to promote the IT sector in Pune. When completed, the Hinjawadi IT Park is expected to have an area of about 2800 acres. The estimated investment in the project is Rs. 600.0 million.[53] To facilitate economic growth, the government made liberal incentives in its IT and ITES Policy, 2003 and leased properties based on MIDC land.[54] The IT sector employs more than 70,000 people. Major software companies in Pune include Infosys, Wipro, Satyam, TCS, Cognizant,Tech Mahindra and IBM global. Software giant Microsoft intends to set up a Rs. 700 crore (Rs. 7 billion) project in Hinjewadi.[54]

Pune Food Cluster development project, which is an Initiative Funded by World Bank and is being implemented with the help of SIDBI, Cluster Craft for upliftment of the Fruit and vegetable processing industries in and around Pune.[55][56]

Education and research

Pune has more than a hundred educational institutes and nine universities,[7] and has acquired a reputation as 'The Oxford of the East', with students from all over the world studying at the colleges of the University of Pune. Pune has more schools, colleges and universities than any other city in the world.[citation needed].

Basic and special education

Public schools (known locally as municipality schools) are run by the PMC, and are affiliated with the MSBSHSE. Private schools are run by educational trusts or individuals. They are usually affiliated to either the state board or to national education boards, such as the ICSE, CBSE or NIOS boards.

Pune is the largest centre for Japanese learning in India.[57] JLPT exams are held every December. Instruction in Japanese is provided by many educators, including the University of Pune. Other languages including German (taught at the Max Muller Bhavan) and French (at the Alliance Francaise de Poona) are popular in the city.

University education

Most colleges in Pune are affiliated to the University of Pune, established in 1948. Seven other universities have also been established in the city.[58]

The College of Engineering, Pune, founded in 1854, is the third oldest engineering college in Asia. The Deccan Education Society was founded by several local citizens in 1884, including social and political activist Bal Gangadhar Tilak,[59] and was responsible for founding Fergusson College in 1885. This society currently maintains and operates 32 institutes in Pune.

The University of Pune, the National Defence Academy, Film and Television Institute of India, National Film Archives, Armed Forces Medical College and National Chemical Laboratory were established in Pune after the independence of India. Symbiosis International University, which operates 33 different colleges and institutions in the city, is one of India's largest private universities.[60] The Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM) is ranked amongst the top management institutes in the country.[61]

ILS Law College, established by the Indian Law Society is one of the top ten law schools in India. Established medical schools such as the Armed Forces Medical College and Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Medical College train students from all over Maharashtra and India and are amongst the top medical colleges in India. The AFMC consistently ranks among the top five medical colleges in India.[62].

Research institutes

In addition to the University of Pune, Pune is home to several research institutions of national importance. Located adjacent to the university is the National Chemical Laboratory, one of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET), while the university campus houses the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics and the National Centre for Cell Science.

The KEM Hospital Research Centre, Central Water and Power Research Station (CW & PRS), National Institute Of Bank Management (NIBM), NIC [National Informatics Centre], the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, the Agharkar Research Institute and the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI),Unit for Research and Development of Information Products (URDIP) and the National AIDS Research Institute are all in or around Pune. YASHADA, which is the Administrative Training Institute of Maharashtra is situated next to the Raj Bhavan in Pune.

The Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute was established in 1917 and is a world-renowned institute for research and instruction in the Sanskrit and Prakrit languages and houses more than 20,000 ancient manuscripts. The National Institute of Virology, National AIDS Research Institute, and National Insurance Academy are located in Pune. Pune also houses the Tata Research Development and Design Centre, a research unit of Tata Consultancy Services, working in the areas of computer science and modeling/simulation for materials processing.

Several military and armament research organizations are also located in Pune (see the Military establishments section in this article).


Pune is said to be the cultural capital of the state of Maharashtra. It epitomizes the Marathi culture, which lays emphasis on which education, arts and crafts, music, theatre, etc. Pune culture reflects a blend of traditions with modernity, as along with hosting classical shows, the city also boasts of an active nightlife.[63] Pune also hosts large population of migrants from different states. In September 2009, around four lakh Malayalees across the city celebrated Thiru Onam, the biggest and most important festival of Kerala.[64] Similarly There are approximately three lakh Bengalis in the city who celebrates Durga Puja festival every year.[65]

Pune local cuisine has the typical taste of coconut and garlic, with large use of chillies. Jowar and Bajra are the main ingredients of traditional Pune food. A typical Pune meal includes Poli, bhakri (millet pancakes) with pithla (a flour-based curry), Vada Pav, Bhelpuri, Pani Puri, misal and kacchi dhabeli,Pav bhaji.[66] The mastani, a thick milkshake containing dried fruit, is a speciality of the city. It is named after Mastani, the controversial mistress of the Peshwa Baji Rao I in the 17th century.[67]

The form of Marathi spoken in Pune is held as the standard form of the language.[68] The city's metropolitan area has grown rapidly but retains its old Marathi neighborhoods and the aura of an intellectual center.[69][70] As the agro-pharmaceutical business has dwindled in recent decades, immigration from erstwhile tribal peoples now accounts for seventy percent of population growth and education syllabi have not adjusted in accordance with other industrialised regions.[71][72] This has created what has become an exclusive environment in the government's expansion of education infrastructure, and Marathi literati have received a number of grants in areas that were previously ignored. Both experimental (प्रायोगिक रंगभूमी) and professional theatre receive extensive patronage from the Marathi community. The Tilak Smarak Mandir, Bala Gandharva Rangmandir, Bharat Natya Mandir, Yashwantrao Chavan Natyagriha and Sudarshan Rangmanch are prominent theatres in the city. Ganesh Kala Krida Rangamanch is the largest closed theatre in the city, with a seating capacity of 45,000.[73]

The Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav, one of the most prominent and sought-after Indian classical music festivals in India is held in Pune every year in December. The festival is led and organized each year by Pt. Bhimsen Joshi and it commemorates the life and achievements of Pt. Sawai Gandharva.[74]. The concept of Diwāḷī Pahāṭ originated in Pune as a music festival on the morning of the festival of Diwali.[75]

The Lalit Kala Kendra, is an undergraduate department of Music Dance and Drama on University of Pune campus that has been operational since 1987. This department features a combination of Gurukul and formal education systems.[76]


With 200,000 visitors annually, the Osho International Meditation Resort in Pune is one of the largest spiritual centres in the world

Hinduism is the most commonly practised religion in Pune, although many mosques, gurudwaras, Jain temples and other religious buildings are found throughout the city[citation needed]. The most prominent Hindu temple in Pune is the Parvati temple, located on Parvati hill and visible from most of the inner suburbs. The most famous is likely the Chaturshringi Temple, located on the slopes of a hill in the northwest of the city. During Navratri (which usually falls in the month of September), there is a large procession to this temple and worshippers gather from around the country to pray here. The presiding god of Pune city is the Kasba Ganapati, whose temple is found in Kasba Peth in central Pune.

Pataleshwar Cave Temple is believed to be one of the oldest temples in the city.[citation needed]

Since 1894, Pune has celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi as a ten-day long festival, in which most neighborhoods put up a pandal (tent) with an idol of Ganesha, often amidst a religious setting, complete with decorative lights and festive music. This festival culminates with a parade of Ganesh idols from across the city carried to the local rivers to be immersed (Ganesh visarjan). The Kasba Ganapati, as the presiding deity of the city, is the first in this parade. The idea of a public celebration was initiated by Lokmanya Tilak in Pune, and has since spread to many other cities, particularly Mumbai, which has a massive parade every year.

Significant religious leaders Sant Dnyaneshwar (born in Alandi in the 13th century) and poet Sant Tukaram (born in Dehu in the 17th century) were born near Pune. Their link to the city is commemorated with an annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur, 300 kilometers away, consisting of a palkhi of both figures being carried to the main temple of the Hindu god Vithoba. The pilgrimage is timed to end on the auspicious day of Aashadhi Ekadasshi.

The Shrutisagar Ashram, located at Phulgaon village off Ahmednagar road, houses the Vedanta Research Centre and a unique temple of Lord Dakshinamurthy, located near the confluence of the Bhima, Bhama and Indrayani rivers. It was established in 1989 by Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati. Here one can find detailed explanations of śruti and smrti (including the Vedas, Bhagwat Gita, Upanishads and Puranas) in Marathi and English.

Pune has been associated with several significant spiritual teachers. Osho (known earlier as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) lived and taught in Pune for much of the 1970s and 1980s. The Osho International Meditation Resort, one of the world's largest spiritual centers, is located in the Koregaon Park area. It has visitors from over a hundred countries.[77] Pune is also the birthplace of spiritual guru Meher Baba, although pilgrims usually travel to Meherabad. Hazrat Babajan, according to Meher Baba one of the five Perfect Masters of her time, lived the final 25 years of her life in Pune. She established her final residence first under a neem tree near Bukhari Shah's mosque in Rasta Peth and later another neem tree in the then-dilapidated section of Pune called Char Bawdi where she remained the rest of her life. There is a shrine erected in her honour in Pune, around the tree under which she made her final street home.[78]

The ISKCON movement also has a presence in the city, with the Sri Radha Kunjbihari Mandir.

B. K. S. Iyengar, an internationally known yoga master, established the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune in 1975, in order to train students in the Iyengar Yoga System.

Museums, parks and zoos

Pu. La. Deshpande Garden

Prominent museums in Pune include the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Mahatma Phule Museum, Babasaheb Ambedkar Museum, Pune Tribal Museum and new Deccan Museum the National War Museum.

Pune has a number of public gardens, such as the Kamala Nehru Park, Sambhaji Park, Shahu Udyan, Peshwe Park, Saras Baug, Empress Garden, and Bund Garden. The Pune-Okayama Friendship Garden, now renamed Pu La Deshpande Udyan, is a replica of the Korakuen Garden in Okayama, Japan.[79]

The Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park is located at Katraj, close to the city.[80] The zoo, earlier located at Peshwe Park, was merged with the reptile park at Katraj in 1999.

The College of Military Engineering has a small rail museum as part of their larger Corps Equipment Museum. A large railway museum is also coming up in Lonavala about 60 km away from the city on the Mumbai railway line.


The city of Pune can be divided into the following zones:

  • Central Pune: consisting of roughly seventeen peths, or neighborhoods. These were established and developed during the Maratha and Peshwa rule, and are referred to as the old city.
  • Westside Pune(inner): consisting of Deccan Gymkhana, Erandwane and Shivajinagar in the west, Camp, Dhole-Patil Road, and Koregaon Park in the east, and Swargate, Parvati, Sahakarnagar, Mukundnagar, Maharshinagar, Gultekdi, and Salisbury Park in the South. On the north, the inner city is bounded by the Mula-Mutha river.
  • Eastside Pune(outer): including the newer developed areas of Khadki, Aundh and Ganeshkhind in the northwest, Kothrud and Paud Road in the west, Dattawadi, Sahakarnagar and Dhankawadi in the southwest, Bibvewadi, Lullanagar, and upper Kondhwa in the southeast, Yerwada (including Kalyani Nagar and Shastri Nagar) in the northeast, Vishrantwadi in the north, and Ghorpadi, Fatimanagar, Wanowrie and Hadapsar South in the east.
  • Suburbs: including Baner and Pashan in the northwest, Bavdhan and Warje in the west, Wadgaon, Dhayari and Ambegaon in the southwest, Katraj, Lower Kondhwa, Undri and Mohammedwadi in the southeast, Hadapsar North, Mundhwa, and Manjri in the east, Wadgaon Sheri and Kharadi in the northeast, and Dhanori and Kalas in the north.

The Pune metropolitan area also includes the following areas, located roughly to the northwest of Pune city. These are administered by the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation.

  • Pimpri and its surroundings: Chikhli, Kalewadi, Kasarwadi, Phugewadi, and Pimple Saudagar.
  • Chinchwad and its surroundings: Thergaon, Tathawade, and Talawade.
  • Sangvi and its surroundings: Dapodi, Wakad, Hinjewadi, Pimple Nilakh, and Pimple Gurav.
  • Bhosari and its surroundings: Moshi, Dighi, Dudulgaon, and Charholi Budruk.
  • Nigdi-Akurdi and its surroundings: Ravet, Dehu Road, and Somatne.

Media and communication

Marathi language newspapers such as Sakal, Loksatta, Lokmat, Kesari, Maharashtra Times and Pudhari are popular. Major English dailies in the city are The Times of India, Indian Express, Pune Mirror, Mid Day, Daily News & Analysis (DNA) and Sakaal Times (formerly the Maharashtra Herald) have editions based in Pune, with additional local supplements.

Star Maajha, Zee Marathi, Doordarshan Sahyadri and ETV Marathi, Me Marathi, are popular television channels. Many English and Hindi entertainment and news channels are watched as well. Pune has FM Radio services as well running for last few years. Though Radio Mirchi (98.3 MHz) tops the popularity rating (it being the first of Private FM channels being introduced in the city), AIR FM (101.MHz), Radio City(91.10), Radio One (94.30), Red FM (93.5) and Vidyavaani (University of Pune's own FM Channel) have their presence felt.

Sports and recreation

Popular games and sports in Pune include athletics, cricket, basketball, badminton, field hockey, soccer, tennis, kabaddi, kho-kho, rowing and chess. The Pune International Marathon is an annual marathon conducted in Pune. The 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games were held in Pune.

Cricket is played between clubs affiliated with the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA), which maintains a domestic cricket team (the Maharashtra cricket team). This team, one of three based in the state of Maharashtra, competes in interstate matches and leagues, such as the Ranji Trophy.

The Pune Football Club also known as Pune FC is a recently founded football club that plays in the Indian Football League. It was established in August 2007.

Pune has basketball at the Deccan Gymkhana club and at the Fergusson College.[81]. American football coach J. D. Walsh held his first JDBasktball India camp in Pune[82].

The National Education Foundation (NEF) organises Enduro3, a cross country adventure race in Pune. It is normally a 2-3 day event with activities like cycling, trekking, river-crossing and rifle shooting.[83] The city has also been host to the 2009 FIVB Men's Junior World Championship.

The Pune Race course, located in Pune Cantonment, Maharashtra, India was built in 1830, over 118.5 acres of land. The land is controlled by the Indian Army. The racing season is from July to October every year. The Royal Western India Turf Club manages the race course. The course has two training tracks and two racing surfaces. Major racing events include The Pune Derby, RWITC Invitational, Independence Cup and the Southern Command Cup[84]

The beginnings of Badminton can be traced to mid-19th century Pune (then known as Poona). During a party, a few guests fastened feathers onto champagne corks and used the bottles as bats. They called this game Poonai.[85] The first rules of the game were written in Pune in 1873, by the British.[86]

Sport institutions

Prominent sporting institutions in Pune include the Nehru Stadium, the Deccan Gymkhana, the PYC Hindu Gymkhana and the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex at Balewadi. The Nehru Stadium is the home ground of the Maharashtra cricket team, and has hosted many prominent cricket events, including one of the matches in the 1996 Cricket World Cup. The Deccan Gymkhana has hosted Davis Cup matches on several occasions. The facility at Balewadi hosted the National Games in 1994 as well as the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games. The Royal Connaught Boat Club is one of several boating clubs on the Mula-Mutha river. A new cricket stadium, the Pune International Cricket Centre, is to be constructed by 2010, near Mahalunge village on the Mumbai-Pune expressway.

Prominent sportspersons hailing from Pune include cricketer D. B. Deodhar, father-son cricketing duo Hemant and Hrishikesh Kanitkar, tennis players Radhika Tulpule, Gaurav Natekar and Nitin Kirtane, and table-tennis player Aniket Koparkar. Abhijit Kunte and Pravin Thipse are chess grandmasters and national champions. Dhanraj Pillay, ex-captain of the Indian national field hockey team. Local MP Suresh Kalmadi is also the president of the Indian Olympic Association.

International relations

Sister cities

Sister City Country
San Jose United States United States
Bremen Germany Germany
Tromsø Norway Norway
Nagoya Japan Japan
Cape Town South Africa South Africa

Places of tourist interest

See Also


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External links

Redirecting to Pune

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

POONA, or Puna, a city and district of British India, in the Central division of Bombay. The city is at the confluence of the Mutha and Mula rivers, 1850 ft. above sea-level and 119 m. S.E. from Bombay on the Great Indian Peninsula railway. Municipal area, about 4 sq. m.; pop. (1901), 153,320. It is pleasantly situated amid extensive gardens, with a large number of modern public buildings, and also many temples and palaces dating from the ,6th to the 19th century. The palace of the peshwas is a ruin, having been destroyed by fire in 1827. From its healthy situation Poona has been chosen not only as the headquarters of the 6th division of the Southern army, but also as the residence of the governor of Bombay during the rainy season, from June to September. The native town, along the river bank, is somewhat poorly built. The European quarter, including the cantonment, extends north-west towards Kirkee. The waterworks were constructed mainly by the munificence of Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy. Poona was never a great centre of trade or manufacture though still noted for brass-work, jewelry and other articles of luxury. Cotton-mills, papermills, a brewery (at Dapuri), flour-mills, factories of ice and mineral waters, and dairy farms furnish the chief industries. Educational institutions are numerous. They include the government Deccan College, with a law class; the aided Fergusson college; the government colleges of science and agriculture; high schools; training schools for masters and mistresses; medical school; and municipal technical school. The recent history of Poona has been painfully associated with the plague. During 1897, when the city was first attacked, the death-rate rose to 93 per 1000 in Poona city, 71 per 1000 in the cantonment, and 93 per 1 000 in Kirkee.

The District Of Poona has an area of 5349 sq. m. Population (1901), 995,330, showing an increase of 18% after the disastrous famine of 1876-1877, but a decrease of 7% in the last decade. Towards the west the country is undulating, and numerous spurs from the Western Ghats enter the district; to the east it opens out into plains. It is watered by many streams which, rising in the ghats, flow eastwards until they join the Bhima, a river which intersects the district from north to south. The principal crops are millets, pulses, oil-seeds, wheat, rice, sugarcane, vegetables and fruit (including grapes). The two most important irrigation works in the Deccan are the Mutha canal, with which the Poona waterworks are connected, and the Nira canal. There are manufactures of cotton, silk and blankets. The district is traversed by the Great Indian Peninsula railway, and also by the Southern Mahratta line, which starts from Poona city towards Satara. It is liable to drought, from which it suffered severely in 1866-1867, 1876-1877, and again in 1896-1897.

In the 17th century the district formed part of the Mahommedan kingdom of Ahmadnagar. Sivaji was born within its boundaries at Junnar in 1627, and he was brought up at Poona town as the headquarters of the hereditary fief of his father. The district thus was the early centre of the Mahratta power; and when Satara became first the capital and later the prison of the descendants of Sivaji, Poona continued to be the seat of government under their hereditary ministers, with the title of peshwa. Many stirring scenes in Mahratta history were enacted here. Holkar defeated the last peshwa under its walls, and his flight to Bassein led to the treaty by which he put himself under British protection. He was reinstated in 1802, but, unable to maintain friendly relations, he attacked the British at Kirkee in 1817, and his kingdom passed from him.

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