pune detectives logo
24 hrs service
the best detective agency in India

History of Pune

The history of Pune (a city in Maharashtra, India) begins in the 6th century, and is closely linked to the history of Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha empire, and to the Peshwa, the ministers of the Maratha empire and later the Maratha confederacy.

Early and medieval

The circular Nandi Mandapa at the Pataleshwar cave temple, built during the Rashtrakuta dynasty

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 built during this era. The Kasba peth in central Pune were constructed in the 5th century.

In the copper plate of 993 A.D. It is named as Punaka desha. Later on it was referred to as Punekavadi. Punevadi, Kasabe Pune. There was temple of Punyeshwara on the bank of River Mutha. Saint Namdev (1270-1350) visited this temple. Poona Gazetteer explains that this city is situated on the confluence of Mula and Mutha rivers. The confluence / sangam of two rivers is called as 'punya'. Hence the name Pune. It is also referred to as Punyanagari.

Pune was a part of Yadava Empire of Deogiri from the 9th century to 1327. It was later ruled by the Nizamshahi Sultans, until it was annexed by the Mughal Empire in the 17th century. In 1595, Maloji Bhosale was appointed the Jagirdar of Pune and Supe by the Mughals.

Maratha and Peshwa rule

In 1625, Shahaji Bhonsle appointed Rango Bapuji Dhadphale as the administrator of Pune. He was one of the first major developers of the town, overseeing the construction of the Kasba, Somwar, Ravivar and Shaniwar Peths. Construction also began on the Lal Mahal palace, as Shahaji's son, Shivaji Bhonsle (later Chattrapati Shivaji) was to move there with his mother Jijabai. The Lal Mahal was completed in 1640. Jijabai is said to have commissioned the building of the Kasba Ganapati temple herself. The Ganesh idol consecrated at this temple is regarded as the presiding deity (gramadevata) of the city. 

From 1630 to 1647, Shivaji maharaj was crowned Chhatrapati (King) in 1649, he oversaw further development in Pune, including the construction of the Guruwar, Somwar and Mangalwar peths. Before the rise of the Peshwe, five other peths were constructed: Shukrawar, Raviwar, Shaniwar, Bhavani, and Ghorpade Peth. Budhwar Peth was constructed in 1703 by the emperor Aurangzeb.

Baji Rao I became Peshwa of the Maratha empire, ruled by Chattrapati Shahuji, in 1720. 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 Parvati temple and the Ganesh, Sadashiv, Narayan, Rasta and Nana Peths.

The Peshwas fell into decline after their loss 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 1803-05.

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) near Pune, and the city was seized. 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. The British also oversaw the construction of Ganj Peth (renamed to Mahatma Phule Peth after 1947) and Navi Peth. 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 1856, as part of the Indian Mutiny. He was helped by Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi and Tatya Tope. After the mutiny failed, the final remnants of the Maratha empire were annexed to British India.


Pune got its name from the name of the temple 'Punyeshwar'. In the year 1918, Pune municipality had found some ruins of the temple when development work was undertaken e.g. dwarshakha of the temple, idol of Sree Vishnu, an idol of a hermit, other idols of Hindu deities, 'Shiva-linga', Gomukh etc. These were handed over to the Indian Historians.

Pune was an important center for the social and religious reform movements that were sweeping the country. Many prominent reformers lived here, including Mahadev Govind Ranade, Ramakrishna Gopal Bhandarkar, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Maharshi Vitthal Ramji Shinde and Jyotirao Phule. The most important political reformer of this era was Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who dominated the Indian political scene for six decades.

Pune is also associated with the struggle for Indian independence. Mohandas Gandhi was imprisoned at Yerwada Central Jail several times, and placed under house arrest at the Aga Khan Palace in 1942-44, where both Kasturba Gandhi, his wife, and Mahadev Desai, his long-time aide and secretary, died.

After independence

After Indian Independence, Pune saw a lot of development, such as the establishment of the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla, National Chemical Laboratory at Pashan. Pune also serves as the headquarters of the Southern Command of the Indian Army.[4] Industrial developments started around 1950-1960s in Hadapsar, Bhosari, Pimpri, and Parvati.[5] Telco (now Tata Motors) started operations in 1961, which gave a huge boost to the automobile sector. Pune was referred at that time as "Pensioners' Paradise" since many government officers, civil engineers and Army personnel preferred to settle down in Pune after their retirement.

After 1970, Pune emerged as the leading engineering city of the country with Telco, Bajaj, Kinetic, Bharat Forge, Alfa Laval, Atlas Copco, Sandvik and Thermax expanding their infrastructure. By this time the city had gained the reputation of being the 'Oxford of the East' due to a large number of educational institutes. In 1989, Dehu Road-Katraj bypass (Western bypass) was completed, reducing traffic congestion in the inner city. 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.[6] In the three years before 2000 Pune saw huge development in the Information Technology sector, and IT Parks formed in Aundh, Hinjewadi and Nagar road. By 2005 Pune overtook both Mumbai and Chennai to have more than 200,000 IT professionals.In 2006, PMC started BRT (Bus Rapid Transit System) project first among all Indian cities but due to narrow roads of the city it has not worked properly. However, PMC is working on glitches in this project and planning skywalks near BRT and other changes. The year 2008 saw huge development near the Chakan and Talegaon region as Multinational Corporations (MNCs) like General Motors, Volkswagen and Fiat have set up facilities near Pune. Additionally, in 2008 the Commonwealth Youth Games took place in Pune, which encouraged additional development in the north-west region of the city and added a few Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses on Pune's road.[7] The Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (PMRDA)'s proposed initiatives will give a huge boost to the city's infrastructure and include the development of systems for a metro (rapid-transit rail) and buses, plus effective water and garbage treatment facilities.

The Flood of 1961

Panshet Dam:

The Panshet Dam, near Pune, was under construction when the dam had failed. It was zoned at a height of 51 m and having an impervious central core outlet gates located in a trench of the left abutment and hoists were not fully installed when floods occurred at the site of construction. The reservoir had a capacity of 2.70 million m3. Between 18 June and 12 July 1961, the recorded rainfall was 1778 mm. The rain caused such a rapid rise of the reservoir water level that the new embankment could not adjust to the new loading condition. The peak flow was estimated at 4870 m3/s . Water rose at the rate of 9 m per day initially, which rose up to 24 m in 12 days. Due to incomplete rough outlet surface the flow through was unsteady which caused pressure surges. Cracks were formed along the edges of the right angles to the axis of the dam causing a subsidence of 9 m wide. An estimated 1.4 m of subsidence had occurred in 2.5 hours, leaving the crest of the dam 0.6 m above the reservoir level. Failure of the dam was attributed to inadequate provision of the outlet facility during emergency. This caused collapse of the structure above the outlets.

Khadakwasla Dam:

The Khadkawasla Dam was constructed in 1879 as a masonry gravity dam, founded on hard rock. The dam had a flood capacity of 2,775 m3/s and a reservoir of 2.78 * 103m3. The failure of the dam occurred because of the breach that developed in Panshet Dam, upstream of the Khadkawasla reservoir. The upstream dam released a tremendous volume of water into the downstream reservoir at a time when the Khadkawasla reservoir was already full, with the gates discharging at near full capacity. This caused overtopping of the dam because inflow was much above the design flood. Vibration of the structure was reported, as the incoming flood was battering the dam. Failure occurred within four hours of the visiting flood waters.

 It is situated 560 metres (1,837 feet) above sea level on the Deccan plateau at the right bank of the Mutha river.  Pune city is the administrative headquarters of Pune district and was once the centre of power of the Maratha Empire.

Pune existed as a town since 847 AD. It was the first capital of the Maratha Empire under Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhosale. In the 18th century, Pune became the political centre of Indian subcontinent, as the seat of Peshwas who were the prime ministers of the Maratha Empire.

Pune is considered the cultural capital of Maharashtra.[11] Since the 1950s and 1960s, Pune has had traditional old-economy industries which continue to grow. The city is now also known for manufacturing and automobiles, as well as government and private sector research institutes for information technology (IT) education, management and training, that attract migrants, students and professionals from India, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa.


The name Pune is derived from Modi Pu?yanagari (?????????) (City of Virtue). The oldest reference to this name was found on a Rashtrakuta Dynasty copper plate dated 937 C.E., which refers to the town as Punya-Vishaya or Poonak-Vishaya (????? – ?????).

By the 13th century, it had come to be known as Punawadi (??????).


Copper plates dated 858 AD and 868 AD 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 Rashtrakuta dynasty. The Pataleshwar rock-cut temple complex was built during this era.

Pune was part of the Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri from the 9th century to 1327. In 1595, Maloji Raje Bhosale was appointed the jagirdar of Pune by the Mughal Empire.  It was ruled by the Ahmadnagar Sultanate until being annexed by the Mughals in the 17th century.

Maratha rule

In 1626, Shahaji Raje Bhosale (father of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj) appointed Rango Bapuji Dhadphale as the administrator of Pune. He was one of the first and the main developer of the town, overseeing many construction of some markets and residential areas like the Kasba Peth, Somwar Peth, Raviwar Peth and Shaniwar Peth. After the destruction of the town in raids by the Adil Shahi dynasty in 1630 and again in 1636 to 1647, Dadu Kondadev Kulkarni, an administrative servant of Shahaji, oversaw redevelopment and construction of the area. He stabilized the revenue and administration system of Pune and the neighboring towns of Maval . In addition, he developed effective methods to manage disputes and to enforce law and order. Construction began in 1631 on the Lal Mahal. The Lal Mahal was completed in 1640.  Jijabai is said to have commissioned the building of the Kasba Ganapati temple. The Ganesha idol consecrated at this temple was and is regarded as the presiding deity (gramadevata) of the city.

After bitter opposition from Brahmins of Pune and from Some Jahagirdar Maratha Families, Shivaji was crowned Chhatrapati in 1674 thus founding the Maratha Empire. He oversaw further development in Pune, including the construction of the Guruwar Peth, Somwar Peth, Ganesh Peth and Ghorpade Peth. Shivaji encouraged development of dams in Parvati and Kondhwa regions of Pune for agriculture purposes. Pune and surrounding villages later provided manpower for Shivaji's efforts to build an army during the period from 1645 to 1680. Between 1660 and 1670 the town was captured by Mughal General Shahista Khan, but was recaptured by the Marathas in 1670 after the Battle of Sinhagad. Chatrapati Shivaji often used Pune as his Transit Base while his major campaigns such as Varhad-Karanja(1673), AhemadaNagar District(1675), Karanataka(1677) and Jalna(1679). During the 27-year long conflict between the Marathas and the Mughals, the town was occupied by Aurangzeb from 1703 to 1705; during this time the name of the town was changed to "Muhiyabad".[citation needed] Two years later, the Marathas recaptured Sinhagad fort and later Pune city from the Mughals as had been done in 1670.

Peshwa rule

An equestrian statue of The Great Peshwa Bajirao I outside the Shaniwar Wada, who is credited with successful expansion of Maratha power in North India (circa 1730 CE)

A memorial commemorating The Great Peshwa Shrimant Madhavrao I, who (with assistance from Maharaja Mahadaji Scindia) resurrected Maratha power in North India (circa 1770 CE)

Grandson of Shivaji- Shahu realized importance of Pune and asked most of his army to stationed in Pune as it is central place and various regions such as Konkan, Khandesh, Marathwada, South Maharashtra, North Karnataka can be reached from Pune in just 3 to 4 days.He also asked his army to report Peshwas at Pune location for Fast expedition, Finances than relying on Satara- the seat of Chatrapati. In 1720, Baji Rao I was appointed Peshwa (Prime Minister) of the Maratha Empire, ruled by Chhatrapati Shahu of Satara. He selected Pune as his base and started construction of Shaniwar Wada on the right bank of the Mutha river. The construction was completed in 1730, ushering in the era of Peshwa control of the city. The patronage of the Maratha Peshwas resulted in the construction of many temples and bridges in the city, including the Lakdi Pul and the temples on Parvati Hill. Bajirao Peshwa also constructed an underground aqueduct to bring water from Katraj Lake to Shaniwar Wada. The aqueduct is still operational. Pune prospered as a city during the reign of Nanasaheb Peshwa. He developed Saras Baug, Heera Baug, Parvati Hill and new commercial, trading and residential localilties. Sadashiv Peth, Narayan Peth, Rasta Peth and Nana Peth were developed in this era. The Peshwas fell into decline after their defeat in the 1761 Battle of Panipat. In 1802, Pune was captured by Yashwantrao Holkar in the Battle of Pune, directly precipitating the Second Anglo-Maratha War of 1803–1805. During this period Sardar Apajiram Sahasrebudhe was the Kotwal of city (further adopted Kotwal as surname)

British rule

Fergusson College, founded in 1885 during the British Raj, it was the first privately governed college in India.

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 spelt Kirkee) on 5 November near Pune and the city was seized by the British. 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. Navi Peth, Ganj Peth and Mahatma Phule Peth were developed during the British Raj.

Pune was an important centre in the social and religious reform movements of the late 19th century. Prominent social reformers and freedom fighters lived here, including Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Vitthal Ramji Shinde, Dhondo Keshav Karve and Mahatma Jyotirao Phule and Dr. Raghunath Karve. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar resided in Pune when he enrolled in Fergusson College in 1902.

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 fled. A Special Plague Committee was formed under the chairmanship of W.C. Rand, an Indian Civil Services officer. He brought troops to deal with the emergency. Although these measures were unpopular, the epidemic was under control by May. On 22 June 1897, during the Diamond Jubilee celebration of the coronation of Queen Victoria, Rand and his military escort were killed by the Chapekar brothers. A memorial to the Chapekar brothers exists at the spot on Ganeshkhind Road (University Road) between the Reserve Bank and the Agricultural College.

Pune was prominently associated with the struggle for Indian independence. In the period 1875 and 1910, the city was a major centre of agitation and social reforms led by Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Bal Gangadhar Tilak, as well as feminist Tarabai Shinde. They demanded the abolition of caste prejudice, equal rights for women, harmony between the Hindu and Muslim communities, better schools for the poor and complete independence from Britain. Mohandas Gandhi was imprisoned at Yerwada Central Jail several times and placed under house arrest at the Aga Khan Palace in 1942–44, where both his wife and aide Mahadev Desai died.


After Indian independence in 1947 from Britain Pune saw a lot of development, such as the establishment of the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla and the National Chemical Laboratory at Pashan. Pune serves as the headquarters of the Southern Command of the Indian Army. 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 July 1961, the Panshet and Khadakwasla dams broke and their waters flooded the city, destroying most of the older sections of town, facilitating the introduction of modern town planning concepts and the development of parts of Pune.[citation needed] The economy of the city witnessed a boom in the construction and manufacturing sectors. By 1966, the city had expanded in all directions.

In 1990 Pune began to attract foreign capital, particularly in the information technology and engineering industries; new businesses like floriculture and food processing, Wineries started to take root in and around the city. In 1998, work on the six-lane Mumbai-Pune expressway began, the expressway being completed in 2001.  IT Parks were established in Aundh, Hinjawadi and on Nagar Road. In 2008 the Commonwealth Youth Games took place in Pune, which encouraged additional development in the northwest region of the city.

In July 2009, India's first death due to H1 N1 occurred in Pune. Later the city became an epicentre of swine flu due to the large number of H1 N1 cases.

On 13 February 2010, a bomb exploded at the German Bakery in the upmarket Koregaon Park neighbourhood on the east side of Pune, killing 17 and injuring 60.  The explosion is now suspected to be an improvised explosive device using an ammonium nitrate fuel oil mix.  The blast was a first in what was until then the relatively safe environment of Pune.  During June first week of 2013, heavy rainfall caused casualties, landslide near Katraj Ghat very near to city limit believed to be "Modern South Gate" of the city. This unfortunate incident highlighted need of preservation of hills and prevention of encroachment on natural water resources .


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, which forms a barrier from the Arabian sea. It is a 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 an altitude of 1300 m. It lies between 18° 32"North latitude and 73° 51"East longitude.

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 (62 mi) south of the city, and has been rated in Zone 3 (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.

Earthquakes felt in Pune with a magnitude of more than 3.0 are listed below.


Pune has a hot semi-arid climate (BSh) bordering with tropical wet and dry (Aw) with average temperatures ranging between 20 to 28 °C (68 to 82 °F).

Pune experiences three seasons: summer, monsoon and a 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 (and 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 42.3 °C (108.1 °F) on 30 April 1897.

The monsoon lasts from June to October, with moderate rainfall and temperatures ranging from 22 to 28 °C (72 to 82 °F). Most of the 722 mm (28.43 in) of annual rainfall in the city fall between June and September, and July is the wettest month of the year. Hailstorms are also common in this region.

Winter begins in November; November in particular is referred to as the Rosy Cold (literal translation) (Marathi: ?????? ????). 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 (35 °F) on 17 January 1935.


As per the 2011 Census of India the population of the Pune urban agglomeration is 3,304,888, while the population of Pune District is 9,429,408.  According to recent estimates, the population growth in Pune is 12% every year. 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 was estimated to be around 4,485,000 in 2005.  The migrating population rose from 43,900 in 2001 to 88,200 in 2005.  According to the Pune Municipal Corporation, 40% of the population lived in slums in 2001.  The sharp increase in censorial decade of 1991–2001 can be attributed to the absorption of 38 fringe villages into the city. Average literacy rate of Pune in 2011 were 86.15 compared to 80.45 of 2001.

Marathi is the official and most widely spoken language, while English, Hindi and Kannada are understood and spoken. Pune has a great Marathi influence as it was the bastion of the Maratha Empire. Like most of the cities, Pune is also one of the cities in India having majority of Hindu population with 70% Hindus. Central Pune has Brahmin majority. Pune also has a good Muslim and Christian population. The city has proportionately large no. of students and young professional populations than Metros or any other city in India.

52.3% of Pune's population is in the 15–59 years age category. Around 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.


Hinduism is the dominant religion in Pune. Many Churches, Masjids, Gurudwaras, Buddhist Viharas, Jain temples and other religious buildings are found throughout the city.  The most prominent communities include Marathas, Mahars, Mali, Brahmin, Marwaris, Marwari Jains, Punjabi and Sindhi people, along with the local communities. 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 visited temple is likely the Chaturshringi Temple, located on the slopes of a hill in the northwest of the city. During Navratri, 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 Ganpati, whose temple is found in Kasba Peth in central Pune. Sarasbaug Ganpati is also a prominent landmark in Pune.

The Pataleshwar 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 neighbourhoods 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 Bal Gangadhar Tilak in Pune, and has since spread to many other cities, particularly Mumbai, which now has a parade every year.

Religious persons, like Dnyaneshwar and the revolutionary spiritual poet Sant Tukaram Maharaj, were born near Pune. Their link to the city is commemorated with an annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur, 300 kilometres away, consisting of a litter 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 Ekadashi

Islam is the second largest religion in Pune.[citation needed] Pune has a large number of Mosques, the most prominent of which are Chand Tara Masjid, Jaama Masjid and Azam Campus Masjid. Chand Tara Masjid, located in Nana Peth, is one of the biggest and most important mosques in Pune as it is the city headquarters (markaz) for the Tablighi Jamaat. The Eid-gah Maidan located near Golibar Maidan on Shankar Sheth Road witnesses a large gathering of people for Eid namaz on Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

There are a significant number of Christians residing in Pune. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pune (Latin: Poonen (sis)) is located here. It is a part of the Ecclesiastical province of Mumbai established in 1854 as the Apostolic Vicariate of Pune from the Apostolic Vicariate of Bombay. On 1 September 1886 it was promoted to the Diocese of Pune.

Protestantism arrived in the 18th century when the British took over from the Maratha Empire. American missionaries were the first to start evangelising local people, building many churches and schools in Pune. Pune's Christians are also called Marathi Christians because of their use of the Marathi language. The Vineyard Workers' Church is a popular place of Christian worship in Dapodi, a village near Pune.

Pune is known for its Marathi-speaking Jews. The Ohel David Synagogue (popularly known as Lal Deval in Marathi or Red Temple) built by David Sassoon is renowned. David Sassoon died in the city in 1864.

The Shrutisagar Ashram, located at Phulgaon off the Nagar road, houses the Vedanta Research Centre and a unique temple of 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 sruti and smriti (including the Vedas, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads and Puranas) in Marathi and English.

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

Pune has been associated with several significant spiritual teachers. Osho lived and taught in Pune for much of the 1970s and 1980s. The Osho International Meditation Resort, one of the world's largest spiritual centres, is located in the Koregaon Park area. It has visitors from over a hundred countries. Pune is also the birthplace of Meher Baba, although his followers usually travel to Meherabad to visit his tomb. Hazrat Babajan, identified by Meher Baba as one of the five Perfect Masters, lived the final 25 years of her life in Pune. She was an Afghan Muslim noted for her great age and outdoor existence. She established her final residence first under an 'Azadirachta indica tree near Bukhari Shah's mosque in Rasta Peth and later another A. indica 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 home.

The ISKCON movement has a presence in the city at the Sri Radha Kunjbihari Mandir.

Though Punjabi population is less in Pune but still significant numbers are living in Pune. There are places of worship (called Gurudwaras) for Sikhs at Camp, Kharki, Aundh, Pimpri, Akrudi, Budhwar Peth are few to mention. Camp Gurudwara being one of the main, almost 300+ people visits every day. It is named as "Guru Nanak Darbar" and some people also call it as "Hollywood Gurudwara". This complex includes charitable hospital, community kitchen for Langar and Sarai for refugees.

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


Pune is said to be the cultural capital of the state of Maharashtra. It epitomises Marathi culture, which lays emphasis on education, arts and crafts, music, and theatre. Pune has emerged as a centre of modern architecture in India, with prize-winning buildings. Pune culture reflects a blend of traditions with modernity, along with hosting classical shows.


Sorghum and Pearl millet are the main ingredients of traditional Pune food. Specialties include Misal Pav, Puran Poli (a dessert bread), Pithla bhakri, Bhelpuri and Pav Bhaji. Mastani, a thick milkshake containing dried fruit, is a speciality of the city.  Another speciality is Bakarvadi, a crispy snack item. Vada Pav, Misal Pav, Poha, Dabeli and Bhelpuri are common and famous street foods. Being a Metropolitan city, Pune also boasts a wide variety of restaurants, serving cuisines from all over the world.[citation needed]

Major tourist attractions

Shaniwar Wada: Shaniwar Wada was the palace of Peshwa (Prime Minister of Chhatrapati) in Pune. Shaniwar Wada is the original Lal Mahal built by Shivaji Raje Bhosale, it has been cunningly and deceptively attributed to be built by the Peshwa Baji Rao in 1730. The Palace was destroyed in a big fire in 1827; the mammoth structure of the walls survived the fire. Shaniwar Wada stands testimony to the Maratha culture and its architectural design shows influences of Mughal style and features of Maratha artistic styles too. The 21 feet tall massive door of the palace known as Delhi Darwaza is one of the remains of the grand old Palace.

Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple: The temple was founded in 1893 by Dagadusheth Halwai, a sweetmart seller who became a wealthy businessman. Halwai had lost his son the previous year, and at the request of his guru created murtis (image of a deity) of Ganesha and Dattatreya. He later established the Halwai Ganapati Trust. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, during the British Raj, gave a public form to the Ganesh festival celebrations as a way of getting around an order that barred public meetings.

Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum: Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is located at the busy Bajirao Road in the heart of the Pune city. This museum displays a variety of artefacts which showcases the vastness and diversity of culture of the country and people. The Museum houses many items collected by Dr. D. G. Kelkar. The spectacular museum offers unique exhibits like the foot scrubber in the form an elephant-shape, images of Lord Ganesha, and a brass scorpion having a secret lock system. 'Mastani Mahal' which was reconstructed in the museum is a major attraction here. It also exhibits 20th century pottery, paintings of 17th century and carved doors of temples and palaces. It is a museum which is worth a visit.

Saras Baug: Saras Baug constructed by Nanasaheb Peshwa is located against the scenic background of Parvati Hills. The imposing garden is a popular relaxation spot and is exquisite with elegant fountains and lush green lawns. The garden houses a renowned temple constructed in 1774 by Madhav Rao Peshwa. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and there is a Ganesh Murthi Museum, enclosing large number of Ganesh statues. Saras Garden has been used by citizens of Pune as a walking and jogging track and it also serves as a beautiful hangout for the populace during the weekends and evenings.

Parvati Hill: Parvati hill is a picturesque spot perched atop Pune city. Parvati Hill Temple, believed to be built during the 17th century, is an important Hindu religious destination here. It enshrines the idols of Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha, Lord Vishnu, Devateshwar and Lord Karthikeya. This temple was solely used for the prayers by the Peshwa rulers in bygone era & was only later opened to the public. Steps with artistic stone work of the Maratha's lead to this hill temple. The Parvati Hill is an ideal location for trekkers. Nearby attractions include Parvati Museum enclosing old manuscripts, rare coins, weapons, the Sati Monument and Vetal Chabutra.

Osho International Meditation Resort: Ashram of Bhagwan Rajneesh (Osho Ashram), in a 32 acre beautiful campus, is in Koregaon Park area of Pune. The ashram is a prime attraction for tourists who are followers of Bhagwan Rajneesh ideologies & preaching. It is a resort for Meditation and Yoga.

Vishrambaug Wada: Vishrambaag Wada is a fine mansion situated at central Pune's Thorale Bajirao Road, was the luxurious residence of Peshwa Bajirao II, the last Peshwa of Maratha confederacy, in early nineteenth century. The 20,000 sq. ft. wada presently houses a post office on its ground floor, a few other offices of the municipal corporation and a small museum of Maratha artefacts put together by noted Maratha historian, Babasaheb Purandare. This structure is famous for its fine entrance and the balcony with carved woodwork.

Bund Garden, Pune: Bund garden in Pune is a place filled with natures beauty in abundance & scenically located on the banks of the rivers of Mula and Mutha. The Bund Garden was constructed by Sir Janshedji with an aim to provide water to the poor for farming. Bund Garden, also known as Mahatma Gandhi Udyan is an ideal place for visitors looking for some calm & peace away from busy city life.

Science Park at Chinchwad (in PCMC area) – A first of its kind science park (in India) that includes various educational galleries providing information about all the topics related to science that provide great learning experience for all age groups and especially it will help students to know various basic concepts in science and workings of various scientific gadgets in daily life through simple language and demonstrations. It is located at Chinchwad on Old Pune–Mumbai Highway stretch, open from 10 am to 5.30 pm daily and will be closed on Mondays.

Shirgaon Sai Temple – is popularly known as Prati-Shirdi among Sai devotees. There are lot of similarities in Shirgaon and Shirdi. The name itself resembles to Shirdi to great extent. The temple layout, Gabhara, Samadhi, Sai moorti makes one feel as if he is in Shirdi. Dwarkamai at Shirgaon holds Sai Dhuni which is enlightened 24 hours, 7 days a week. It is situated off old Old Pune–Mumbai Highway and is around 30 km (19 mi) from Pune railway station.


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 seventh largest metropolitan economy[citation needed] and the sixth 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. Automotive companies like Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Mercedes Benz, Force Motors (Firodia-Group), Kinetic Motors have set ups in Pune. Automotive companies including General Motors, Land Rover, Jaguar, Renault, Volkswagen, and Fiat have set up greenfield facilities near Pune, leading The Independent to cite Pune as India's "Motor City".  Several automotive component manufacturers like Saint-Gobain Sekurit, TATA Autocomp Systems Limited, Robert Bosch GmbH, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Visteon, and Continental AG are located here.

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

The Hinjawadi IT Park (officially called the Rajeev Gandhi IT Park) is a project being started by MIDC to house the IT sector in Pune. When completed, the Hinjawadi IT Park is expected to have an area of about 2,800 acres (11 km2). The estimated investment in the project is INR600 billion (US$9.8 billion). To facilitate economic growth, the government made liberal incentives in its IT and ITES Policy, 2003 and leased properties on MIDC land.[63] The IT sector employs more than 70,000 people. Software giant Microsoft intends to set up a INR7 billion (US$110 million) project in Hinjewadi.

Pune Food Cluster development project is an initiative funded by the World Bank. It is being implemented with the help of SIDBI, Cluster Craft to facilitate the development of the fruit and vegetable processing industries in and around Pune.

The Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions trade is expected to get a boost once the Pune International Exhibition and Convention Centre (PIECC) completes in 2017. The 97-hectare PIECC will boast a seating capacity of 20,000, with a floor area of 13,000m2. It will have seven exhibition centres, a convention centre, a golf course, a five-star hotel, a business complex, shopping malls and residences. The US$115 million project is developed by the Pimpri-Chinchwad New Town Development Authority.[66] Nowadays a growing number of automotive dealerships are springing up all over the city. They include luxury car makers like Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi and bike manufacturers like Kawasaki, KTM and Harley Davidson

Museums, parks and zoos

Prominent museums in Pune include the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Mahatma Phule Museum, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Museum and the Pune Tribal Museum. The College of Military Engineering has an archive and an equipment museum which has a rail exhibit with a metre-gauge train. A large railway museum is also coming up in Lonavala about 60 km (37 mi) away from the city on the Mumbai railway line.[citation needed]

Celebrity WAX Museum consist famous faces of India such as freedom fighters, Bollywood stars, social activists and many more. It is situated about 40 km (25 mi) from Pune on old old Pune-Mumbai highway approaching toward Lonawala which already beckon tourist attraction. Adlabs Imagica is another attraction near Khopoli.

Pune has public gardens, such as the Kamala Nehru Park, Sambhaji Park Shahu Udyan, Peshwe Park, Saras Baug, Empress Garden, Taljai Hills and Bund Garden. 'Pu La Deshpande Udyan(The Pune-Okayama Friendship Garden) is a replica of the Korakuen Garden in Okayama, Japan.  The Aga Khan Palace was built by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III in Pune, India. Built in 1892, it is one of the biggest landmarks in Indian history. The palace was an act of charity by the Sultan who wanted to help the poor in the neighbouring areas of Pune, who were drastically hit by famine.

Aga Khan Palace is a majestic building and is considered to be one of the greatest marvels of India. The palace is closely linked to the Indian freedom movement as it served as a prison for Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi, his secretary Mahadev Desai and Sarojini Naidu. It is also the place where Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai died.  In 2003, Archeological Survey of India (ASI) declared the place as a monument of national importance.

The Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park is located at Katraj, close to the city. The zoo, earlier located at Peshwe Park, was merged with the reptile park at Katraj in 1999. Besides this, certain spots in Pune such as Hanuman Tekdi, Vetaal Tekdi and Taljai forest are popular haunts for nature lovers.

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. 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 (????????? ???????) 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.

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. It commemorates the life and achievements of Pt. Sawai Gandharva. The concept of Diwa?i Paha? originated in Pune as a music festival on the morning of the festival of Diwali.