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Pune is a metropolitan city in Maharashtra. It is the 8th most populous city in India.
In the 13th century, Pune was known as Punawadi. A settlement known as Punnaka existed in the 9th century at the modern location of Pune. This region was part of the Rashtrakuta dynasty. Pune was a part of the Ahmednagar sultanate (Nizamshahi) in the 16th century. Later on, Pune became an important part of the Maratha, Mughal, and the Peshwa dynasty.
The great Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born at Shivneri fort, which is not very far from Pune.
The city expanded greatly during the Peshwa rule. When the Peshwas lost the 3rd Anglo Maratha war, the city was seized by the British. The city was also an important center of India’s independence moment. The city grew at an enormous pace after independence.
The city is nicknamed as- IT capital of India, Cultural capital of Maharashtra, Oxford of the East, the queen of Deccan, and the cycle city of India.
Pune lies on the western margin of the Deccan plateau. The city is a confluence of Mula and Mutha river and is also flooded by Pavana, Indrayani, and Bhima river.
Pune has seen a rapid growth of industrialization and urbanization over the years. Pune has a number of townships, which serve as a prominent landmark of the city and are very scenic – Magarpatta, Nanded city, Lavasa, Amby Valley, Blue Ridge, Life Republic, etc. The core area has 17 paths, which houses a number of old buildings and gives an insight into the old city life.
Pune has a pleasant temperature all around the year except for the month of May. There is moderate rainfall in the monsoon and the winters here are very mild.
The best time to visit Pune is from September to March.
Pune is ranked highest in terms of living index. India’s first girl’s school was started in Pune by Savitribai Phule, which is also the name given to the Pune University. Due to a prominent number of best educational institutes, the majority of the Pune crowd includes the youngsters. Half of the country’s international students study in Pune.
Pune has contributed a lot in literature, art, theatre, films, folklore, music, performing art, etc. There are a number of cultural fests and festivals organized in Pune. The most popular one is the Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav (biggest classical music fest), followed by the International film festival, Pune literature fest, etc.
Bhimthadi is a popular fair organized in the region.
One must definitely not miss the Ganapati festival in Pune as it takes place on a very large scale with an energetic music of dhol and tashaa, huge decorations, and a very enthusiastic and energetic participation of Punekars.
Pune also offers a number of food variety to eat from. One will find hotels and restaurants of all cuisines in Pune. Pune also has some old and famous Irani cafés that serve delicious food. Some popular dishes in Pune are Puran Poli, vada pav, missal, biryani (in the camp area) and Mastani (a different kind of milkshake that finds it’s origin in Pune and is named after Mastani – 2nd wife of Bajirao Peshwa).
Pune houses a number of museums, gardens, historical monuments, worshipping centers, shopping hubs, and the state’s best monsoon getaways.
The religious places in Pune are Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati mandir, Chaturshrungi, Jejuri, Parsi temple in camp, Bhuleshwar, St. Mary’s church, Ohel David Synagogue, BAPS Swaminarayan temple, Katraj Jain temple, etc.
The historical monuments include the famous Shaniwar Wada, Pataleshwar caves, Aga Khan Palace, Lal Mahal, Sinhagad, Shinde chhatri, Vishrambaugh Wada. Some popular museums include Blades of Glory (largest cricket museum in the country), Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Tribal museum, Joshi’s miniature railway museum, Mahatma Phule Museum, Deccan college museum, etc.
Pune also has some beautiful gardens and hills like Saras Baug, Empress Garden, Pu La Deshpande garden (replica of a Japanese garden), Kamla Nehru Park and the hills of Parvati, Taljai, Hanuman tekdi, Vetal tekdi and ARAI offers the best view of the city.
Other tourist attractions include Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, Osho International Meditation center and some good monsoon getaways like Mulshi dam, Panshet dam, Khadakwasla, Tamhini ghat, Dive ghat that houses a number of waterfalls and good trekking places and forts.
One can also practice paragliding in the Kamshet region. Some popular fest organized that attracts the young crowd are Sunburn, NH7 weekender, Zomaland, etc.
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