Pune City Information
Pune, located 118 km from Mumbai, is situated 1,837 feet above sea level on the Deccan plateau, at the convergence of two rivers Mula and Mutha. It is on the sheltered side of the Sahyadri mountain range, which forms a barrier from the Arabian Sea and is a hilly city. Once the centre of power of the Maratha Empire, established by Shivaji Maharaj, this city has now come to be known as the cultural capital of Maharashtra. It epitomises Marathi culture, and places emphasis on education, arts and crafts, music, and theatre. Pune culture reflects a blend of tradition with modernity.
This city has emerged as a major educational hub in recent decades, with nearly half of the total international students in the country studying in Pune. Due to the presence of several well-known educational institutions in the city, Pune has been nicknamed ‘Oxford of the East’. It is known for its manufacturing and automobile industries, as well as for research institutes of information technology (IT), education, management and training, which attracts students, and professionals from India, South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Several colleges in Pune have student-exchange programs with colleges in Europe. It is also home to some of the finest institutions like the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla, the elite training school for the armed forces as well as the Armed Forces Medical College, Film and Television Institute of India and the Symbiosis Educational Society as well as the University of Pune (now renamed Savitribai Phule Pune University). It serves as the headquarters of the Southern Command of the Indian Army.
A few decades ago, the city was hailed as a pensioner’s paradise; now the scenario has undergone a complete makeover. Pune is one of the fastest growing cities in the Asia-Pacific region. Industrial development started in the 1950s and ’60s in Hadapsar, Bhosari, Pimpri and Parvati. Telco (now Tata Motors) started operations in 1961, which gave a huge boost to the automobile sector. In 1990, Pune began to attract foreign capital, particularly in the information technology and engineering industries. By 2001, the six-lane Mumbai-Pune expressway work was completed and eventually IT Parks were established in Aundh, Hinjawadi and Wagholi. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway is India’s first six-lane high-speed expressway, and it was operational from 2002. This expressway has reduced travel time between Pune and Mumbai to almost two hours. A ring road is being planned for the convenience of heavy traffic. On the express highway only four wheelers are allowed, thus only private cars, buses and taxis can travel on this route.
Marathi is the official and most widely spoken language, while English and Hindi are understood by a significant part of the population. Since Pune is a major industrial metropolis, it has attracted migrants from all parts of India to come and settle here. Thousands of students and employment seekers come to the city for better opportunity and to settle here. Pune is a place that is always changing and yet somehow maintains a sense of diversity, versatility and secularity.
Climate in Pune :
Pune has a hot semi-arid climate bordering with tropical wet and dry, with average temperatures ranging between 19 to 33 °C. Pune experiences three seasons: summer, monsoon, and winter. Typical summer months are from mid-March to June often extending till 15 June, with maximum temperatures sometimes reaching 42 °C. However, even during the hottest months, the nights are usually cool due to Pune’s high altitude. The monsoon lasts from June to October, with moderate rainfall. Hailstorms are not unheard of in this region. Winter traditionally begins in November.
How to reach Pune :
By air: Pune International Airport is an international Airport at Lohegaon, operated by the Airports Authority of India. It shares its runways with the neighbouring Indian Air Force base. In addition to domestic flights to all major Indian cities, this airport serves international direct flights to Dubai and to Frankfurt.
By train: 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, Hyderabad, Delhi, Nagpur, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Coimbatore, Chennai, Bangalore, Allahabad, Kanpur, Howrah, Jammu Tawi, Darbhanga, Goa, Gwalior, Varanasi, Bhubaneswar, Patna, and Jamshedpur.
By road: Pune is well-connected to other cities by Indian highways and state highways. National Highway 4 (NH 4) connects it to Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolhapur. NH 9 to Hyderabad, and NH 50 to Nashik. State highways connect it to Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, and Alandi. Abhibus offers bus services to Pune from Nagpur, Mumbai, Nashik, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolhapur, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Indore, Surat, Baroda, Ahmedabad and Goa.
Best places to visit in Pune :
In close proximity to several tourist spots, Puneites and visitors enjoy luxurious stays and visits within Pune as also thrilling road trips to several locations around Pune. Listed below are a few attractions within Pune.
1 – Shaniwar Wada
Shaniwar Wada was a majestic fortification built in 1732 and during that time it was the seat of the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire and they ruled over there until 1818. When they were in the reign, Shaniwarwada was the centre of Indian politics in the 18th century. But in 1828, the fort was destroyed by a huge fire and later the remnants were transformed to become a tourist site. It is visible that the ruins can translate the glory of the Maratha power. The doors of the palace were so strong, designed to dissuade huge enemy attacks.
2 – Pu La Deshpande Garden
One of the largest gardens in Pune is Pune-Okayama Friendship Garden aka Pu La Deshpande Udyan. It is situated on Sinhagad Road in Pune, Maharashtra. The major attraction in the garden is the uncanny natural flow of water from a canal that spreads across the beautifully landscaped garden but won’t allow you to walk around the lawn and there is a bridge from which you can enjoy the colourful fish collection in the pool. The garden paths paved inside are the ones which people can walk through and enjoy the landscape. The garden stretches across a beautiful and serene area of 10 acres and has been named after Pu La Deshpande who is a famous Marathi writer from Maharashtra.
3 – Osho Ashram
Osho Ashram in Pune is perhaps the most visited tourist destination located in Koregaon Park in Pune. The founder of the ashram was Rajneesh Chandra Mohan Jain who is famous among the people as Osho Rajneesh. The ashram has got another title as Osho Commune International of Pune and it is spread across 32 acres of land. The space is undoubtedly dedicated to yoga and meditation and promises its visitors a rejuvenating experience, letting one understand their body and soul in the peaceful and serene environment of the ashram. The ashram offers a host of training programmes of different kinds, based on the visitor’s choice. The programmes are on spiritual living and stress-free lifestyle and they are conducted at regular intervals. The ashram teaches the concepts and ideologies of Osho Rajneesh to the visitors. Osho Multiversity is another part of the ashram that provides extensive methods for personal development. One can also gain knowledge of healing arts, creative arts, martial arts, esoteric sciences, Sufism and much more. The gardens in the Ashram are open to the public every day during morning and evening hours.
4 – Katraj Snake Park
Katraj Snake Park is well known as the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park or simply the Rajiv Gandhi Zoo located near the city of Pune. It is managed by the Pune Municipal Corporation. An extensive park spread across 130 acres, it is divided into three parts; an animal orphanage, a snake park and a zoo with a variety of animals and snakes. Also, it fiercely protects a 42-acre wide Katraj Lake. A major tourist attraction is the snake park which has a large collection of rare species of snakes, reptiles, birds and turtles. The park is an intricate display of more than 22 species of snakes with 10 species of reptiles. More than 150 individuals are living in harmony under this sections. For animal lovers, the Katraj Snake Park is an absolute delight to spend time and watch these gentle animals in their special habitats.
5 – National Defence Academy
NDA is the colloquial acronym of the National Defence Academy in Pune. It is the joint services academy of the Indian Armed Forces where three sections of the defence field such as the Army, the Navy and the Air Force cadets are trained together before they get pre-commissioning training in the respective service academies. The academy is located at Khadakwasla near Pune and it is the first tri service academy in the world. Since its establishment, the cadets from the academy have led and fought in major conflicts in which the Indian Armed Forces has been called to action. The building is a three storied one made of basalt and granite structure constructed with the famous Jodhpur red sandstone. The exterior design has a blend of arches, pillars and verandahs topped by a dome. There are a number of war relics in the campus along with an extensive library named the Vyas Library that accommodates more than 100000 printed volumes.
6 – Dagdusheth Halwai Temple
A famous Ganesha temple in Pune is Shreemath Dagdusheth Halwai Temple which is a major attraction in Maharashtra. The temple is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. The annual ten-day celebrations of Ganeshotsav is the main festival conducted at the temple when celebrities and ministers arrive to pay tribute to the Lord. The main idol is insured for a sum of Rs.10 million. Dagadusheth Halwai was the founder of the temple who was a trader, businessman and a sweet maker. He was from Karnataka and settled in Pune long ago. The temple was constructed very simply so that the idol of Ganesha can be seen from outside. The idol is huge with 7.5 feet height and 4 feet width. It was made more beautiful by adding nearly 8 kilogrammes of gold. Devotees of the temple offered money and gold regularly and heaps of coconuts are also a special offering made by people.
7 – Peacock Bay
Peacock Bay is a famed spot in Pune, located as a part of Khadakwasla dam’s lake and it is owned by the National Defence Academy in Pune. It is known to be the nerve centre of all watermanship training programmes. A large number of peacocks found near the location is the reason why it is called Peacock Bay. This picturesque bay has all the facilities to train the cadets. It includes an extensive arrangement of seamanship training equipment, sailing boats of all sorts, speed boats, water skis, whalers, dinghies, windsurfers and cutters. Also, the bay is made beautiful by the presence of other species such as deer, Lion-tailed monkeys, civets etc. The bay is famous for hosting many events such as annual national inland championship, open lake swimming competition and so on.
Many adventure lovers arrive here to partake in different water sports as it is a celebrated destination for adventure water sports. It is located around 12 kilometres away from Pune and situated on the famous Mutha River.
Just outside the city, the Sinhagad fort is at an altitude of 4,300 feet. Hikers and Adventure buffs should explore Rajmachi and Tapola. For those who are seeking thrill, the theme park- Adlabs Imagica is the right place to visit. Also, mesmerise yourself in the lush green vicinity of hill stations like Mahabaleshwar, Lavasa and Panchgani.
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