Pune

Pune is located in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. Pune is the 7th largest city in India, it is the second largest city in the state of Maharashtra. It is situated at the eastern edge of the Western ghats on the Deccan plateau.
Pune is widely considered the cultural capital of Marathi-speaking Maharashtrians. Pune is known as Oxford of India as it has a reputation for its several esteemed colleges and educational institutions. It has a very strong presence in the automobile sector and is on its way to consolidate its position as the 'Detroit of India' too. Pune city once referred as 'pensioner's paradise' and now Pune is fast emerging as an important Information technology hub of India. Its cosmopolitan population speaks several other languages like English and Hindi.

Pune's Fame began when king of Maratha Empire 'Chhatrapati Shivaji' came to stay here with his great mother Jijabai in 1635-36. They lived in Lal Mahal. Kasba Ganpati Mandir was built by Jijabai.
In the early 18th century, prime minister of Chhatrapati Shahu, Peshwe Baji Rao wanted to make Pune his home. He built his palace on a ground near the Mutha river which is now known as Shaniwar Peth. The palace built in Shaniwar Peth is known as Shaniwar Wada.

In 1817 the Peshwas were defeated and the British forces took over the town. The British built a large cantonment to the east of the city. The city passed into British rule after the defeat of Marathas in the Battle of Ashti in 1818. Army bases established by the British on the outskirts of the city were later converted into cantonments of Pune and Khadki. The Pune Municipality was established in 1858. A number of esteemed educational institutes also came up here in the latter half of the 19th century.

During the struggle for Indian independence the presence of Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar dominated the political scene for six decades. It was the home to some reformers who were stalwarts of the national movement, like Mahadev Govind Ranade, R.G Bhandarkar, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Maharshi Vitthal Ramji Shinde and Jyotirao Phule.
Pune's reputation as an educational and research node grew after independence with the establishment of University of Pune, National Defence Academy (NDA), National Chemical Laboratory, College of Engineering, Pune, SP College, Fergussan College.

Points of Attraction

The Aga Khan Palace, the tribal museum, old central market, the osho ashram and the Shaniwarwada Palace are the main tourist attractions of Pune. The most interesting place to look out for is the Raja Kelkar Museum, which houses an interesting collection of artifacts and antiques belonging to the 17th, 18th and the 19th century. The old central market consists of a large octagonal central tower with Gothic features and arms radiating from it. The Central market is a reminder of the colonial period. A Jewish merchant, Sir David Sassoon, built it in the year 1867. The David Synagogue is an important heritage site and one of the finest synagogues in India.
The Aga Khan Palace is a historical monument where many freedom fighters were imprisoned during the Quit India movement of 1942. Another tourist attraction of Pune is the Shaniwarwada Palace. It is known for its light and sound show. The light and sound show at the Shaniwarwada Palace takes you back to the days of the mighty Maratha Empire.

There are many other places to visit in Pune

  • Lonawala and Khandala
  • Sinhagad
  • Aalandi and Dehu
  • Theur
  • Jejuri
  • Bhimashankar
  • Mahabaleshwar
  • Matheran
  • Panchgani
  • Purandar
  • Shivaneri

Transportation

The city has two main railway stations, Pune and Shivajinagar. Pune local/suburban trains connect Pune Railway Station to the industrial towns of Khadki, Pimpri and Chinchwad. Local trains run from Pune up to Lonavala and from Mumbai up to Karjat and Khopoli, the authorities are trying to connect Lonavala and Karjat by local rail so that travel between all the stations becomes seamless. Road travel between Pune and Mumbai has improved significantly with the construction of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
Inter-city luxury buses, both state owned and private ones, also connect Pune with other major cities such as Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. A brand new International Airport for the Pune metropolitan region is going to start and the Govt of Maharashtra has entrusted responsibility for the Pune International Airport project to MIDC. PMT and PCMT together form the backbone of Pune's public transport service. Within the city, auto rickshaw is a common mode of transport. Air-conditioned taxis, operating mostly on pre-paid fare basis, are only at the Pune Airport or at the Pune Railway Station.

Economy

Pune is the major industrial center. Pune has world famous companies like two-wheeler manufacturers, Bajaj Auto, automobile majors are Tata Motors, India's largest passenger car and commercial vehicle manufacturer, DaimlerChrysler, it has an assembly line for its Mercedes-Benz brand, Kinetic Engineering, Force Motors Ltd (previously known as Bajaj Tempo) Then other engineering goods industries situated in pune are Bharat Forge Ltd, world's second largest forging company, Cummins Engines Co Ltd, has its Research & Technology India center, Thermax Limited a global player providing sustainable solutions in energy and environment, Alfa Laval, Sandvik Asia, Thyssen Krupp (Buckau Wolff), KSB Pumps, Finolex, Greaves India, Forbes Marshall, etc.

Pune has electronic companies like Whirlpool and LG have appliance manufacturing plants. Food majors like Frito Lay and Coca Cola. The international air connectivity had helped many volume produce growers in the surrounding districts to export their goods conveniently.

Pune has achieved additional reputation because of the presence of IT parks like

  • Rajiv Gandhi IT Park at Hinjewadi
  • Magarpatta Cybercity
  • MIDC Software Technology Park at Talawade
  • Marisoft IT Park at Kalyaninagar
  • International Convention Center (ICC)

Global majors: BMC Software, NVIDIA, HSBC Global Technology, IBM, Red Hat, Siemens, EDS, UGS, I-Flex, Cognizant, Symantec, SunGard Data Systems, Versant Inc., Zensar Technologies, T-Systems and SAS Research and Development India Pvt Ltd have a major presence in Pune.
New Entry: IPdrum, which is a new entrant in the Voip business, has also established a branch office in Pune.
Pune is also emerging as a prominent city for Business Process Outsourcing due to the availability of skilled English speaking manpower.
BPO companies: Convergys, WNS, Infosys BPO, EXL, Wipro BPO and Mphasis have started operations in Pune.
Software companies: Infosys, Sasken, Fluent, Tata Elxsi, Xansa, TCS, Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Patni, Satyam, Cybage, KPIT Cummins, Aztecsoft (Disha), Persistent Systems, Geometric Software Solutions Limited, Neilsoft and Kanbay Software have their major presence in Pune.

Speciality

Pune is known as The Oxford of the east because of wellknown institutions in the city and its popularity amongst students. Pune is the largest center for Japanese learning in India and the JLPT exams are held in Pune annually (December). The Japanese language training is provided by the University of Pune among others. Some schools in Pune also train students in other languages like German, French, Russian. Pune has several colleges offering bachelor and masters courses in engineering and technology.

Sawaai Gandharva
Sawaai Gandhrava is the biggest classical music festival in Pune. Every year it is celebrated in New English School, Ramanbag Pune. In December Pune hosts the Sawai Gandharva Music Festival. It is dedicated to the classical forms of music — both Hindustani and Carnatic. Many renowned artists perform through 3 consecutive days creating a hype unique to this city. It is eagerly awaited festival in the city, and it attracts music lovers from Pune and other parts of Maharashtra and India.

Food
Pune is famous for quality in food. Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale and Kaka Halwai are famous for their sweets and bakarwadi. Pune has its own speciality of Mastaani, Thick milk-shakes with ice-cream scoops topped with chopped dried fruits called Mastaani, Sujata mastani and Kaware cold drinks are famous for this. Pune residents are known for their liking for food. Light snacks like wafers fresh potato chips, a fried spicy snack called Chiwda a fried potato pattie and bun sandwich called wada pav are available everywhere Joshi Wadewale is famous for wada pav. Another type of Maharashtrian food is, Misal - a mixture of sprouted cereals, puffed rice flakes, lots of spices and special Tarri (soup) with bread, is available in almost all restaurants. Besides this, Pune has many places serving south indian food, available at Vaishali Restaurant at F.C. Road and Gujarati and Rajasthani food, available at Rajdhani, Sukanta, Rutugandh.