Pune – The Cultural Capital of Maharashtra
Pune is the second largest city in the state of Maharashtra and the eighth largest city in the Indian sub-continent. The city is popularly referred to as the “Oxford of East” as it is a very famous educational centre in India. In ancient times Pune was an agricultural town ruled by Peshwas and Marathas. Today Pune is the blooming educational centre, IT hub and home to well-established Manufacturing, Glass, Sugar and Metal Forging industries since 1950-60s.
Another thing for which Pune is famous for is the OSHO Ashram. OSHO earlier known as Bhagvan Rajneesh is the spiritual teacher who lived in Pune in 1970s and 1980s. The OSHO International Meditation resort is one of the largest and very popular tourist attractions in Pune. Each year thousand of tourists come here to meditate. The ashram is located in the Koregaon Park area in Pune.
Apart from being the manufacturing and forging hub Pune is visitor’s paradise also. There are various ancient monuments which have historical importance, temples, ancient buildings, beautiful hill stations etc. It is a modern city also; the night life in Pune is simply amazing and is something you should experience when in Pune. The huge shopping malls and multiplexes are the favorite hangout places for young as well as old Puneites.
General information :
Pune also written as Poona was earlier known as Punawadi or Punya Nagri which means “City of Virtue”. The city is located in Sahayadri Hills nears the west coat of Maharashtra. Pune witnesses pleasant climate all year round. The city can also be referred to as the Automobile city of India as there are various automobile plants set up in and near pune. Pune is the second largest city in the state of Maharashtra after Mumbai (popularly known as Bombay). Pune will soon earn the status of the best Metropolitan city of India as it is becoming a major IT and educational center of India. It is home to various IT companies, educational institutes, MNCs, Manufacturing and Forging companies and is also a famous military Base of India.
Getting in and around :
Being a famous educational center, It hub, house to manufacturing and forging industry, Pune is well connected with the Rail, Road and air transport. Pune airport is the main and only airport in Pune that connects the city with rest of India. There are two major railway station in Pune one being Pune Railway Station and other being Shivajinagar Railway Station that link the city with the other railheads of the country. The Mumbai Pune Express way have reduced the congestion on the old Mumbai Pune highway and have various Public and Private Carriers that operate between Pune and other major cities of India.
The local transport of the city includes auto-rickshaws, six seaters and buses. All the places are easily accessible by buses and auto-rickshaws.
Pune has a pleasant weather all year long but summers are a little hot. April is the hottest month and the temperature in this month may vary from 35 degree Celsius to 42 degree Celsius. The mornings and the nights are always pleasant and sometimes cool even if the days are hot.
There are various options depending on your pocket size. Being a business capital of Maharashtra there are various budget hotels, lodges, guest houses and luxury hotels wherein you can stay. Most of the hotels include bed and breakfast but the lodges near railway station provide bed only.
If you are a foodie like me then Pune has lots and lots of items to satisfy your taste buds. If you ask me to prepare a list of must-have dishes, there are numerous items to include but my personal favorites that you must try are:
- Pithla Bhakri
- Junka Bhakar
- Misal Pav
- Bhel Puri
- Wada Pav
- Chicken Curry
Places to see:
Located in the middle of the city is the historic monument names Shaniwar Wada. The building was built by the successors of Shivaji in 1736. In the year 1827 most of the monument was destroyed by the massive fire and today it is the centre of Pune’s culture and a famous tourist attraction.
Parvati Hill temples
The Parvati temple is located on the top of the hill. One has to climb nearly 108 stair steps to reach the temple. The temple was built by Balaji Baji Rao and is the last resting place for Nana Saheb peshwa.
The OSHO Ashram is one of the largest meditation resort in India dedicated to Bhagvan Rajneesh who is a spiritual teacher. Tourists across the world visit the ashram and meditate. The Ashram also celebrates OSHO festival which is one of the major festivals celebrated in Pune and it attracts visitors all over the world.
Aga Khan Palace
The Aga Khan Palace hold an important incident in Indian history. During the Quit India Movement Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Gandhi were held intern in this palace by the British rulers. The palace showcases the rare photographs of the freedom movement and the freedom fighters.
The fort was built by Shivaji and the literal meaning of Sinhgad is Lion Fort. The Fort was amongst the undestroyed forts of Maharashtra as its given protection by the steep slopes. The fort has seen many important battles out of which the battle of Sinhagad was the most important one that took place in 1670.
The saras bagh is another famous tourist attraction in Pune City. It was built by Bajiro II and it has one Ganesh Temple that stands amidst the garden. It also contains a small lake and today Saras bag is a favorite place for youngsters to hangout and elders to take an evening walk.
Vishram Bagh Wada
The Vishram Bagh is the remains of once wooden palace that was located in the old city of Pune. Today the Vishram bagh is situated in the middle of Lakshmi road which is the major market area of the city and is very congested as well.
The Chtuhshringi Mata temple is located on the top of a hill. The temple is situated on the Senapati Bapat Road in Pune.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha (The elephant Head God) and is located near Lakshmi Road. The temple is one of the major religious places of the city. Every year thousands of devotees pay their homage during the Ganesh Chaturthi which is the major festival celebrated in the city.
A beautiful lake and a dam situated on the way to Sinhgad. It is a perfect place to spent an evening with friends and family.
These caves are believed to be century old. There exists an 8th century rock cut temple at Shivajinagar.
Mahatma Phule Museum
The museum was established in the year 1890 and showcases various industrial products, agricultural articles and handicrafts
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
This museum is built in the Rajasthani style of architecture and exhibits 2000 year old pottery, traditional lamps, paintings and other ancient artifacts.
Popularly referred to as the Oxford of East.