Pune formerly known as Poona is the ninth largest metropolis in India, the second largest in the state of Maharashtra after Mumbai. Once the centre of power of the Maratha Empire, it is situated 560 metres above sea level on the Deccan plateau at the confluence of the Mula and Mutha rivers. Pune city is the administrative capital of Pune district. Pune is known to have existed as a town since 847 AD. Pune was originally called Punawadi. In 1730, Pune became an important political center as the seat of the Maratha Peshwa, the prime minister of the Bhonsle Chhatrapati of Satara (ruler of the Maratha Empire); it was during this era that Pune became the centre of Indian politics. After the town was annexed to British India in 1817, it served as a cantonment town and as the "monsoon capital" of the Bombay Presidency until the independence of India.
Today, Pune is known for its educational facilities and relative prosperity. Pune is the cultural capital of Maharashtra. Pune has had manufacturing, glass, sugar, and forging industries since the 1950-60s. It has a growing industrial hinterland, with information technology and automotive companies setting up factories in the district. The city is known for cultural activities like classical music, spirituality, theatre, sports, and literature. These activities and job opportunities attract migrants and students from all over India and abroad, which makes for a city of many communities and cultures. Pune is ranked as a Gamma- Global City.
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 center 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 Puran Poli (a dessert bread), Bhakri (millet pancakes) with Pithla (a flour-based curry), Bhelpuri and Pav Bhaji. Mastani, a thick milkshake containing dried fruit, is a speciality of the city. Vada Pav and Misal Pav are common street foods. Being a Metropolitan city, Pune also boasts a wide variety of restaurants, serving cuisines from all over the World.
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 mt) away from the city on the Mumbai railway line.
- 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. The Pune-Okayama Friendship Garden, is a replica of the Korakuen Garden in Okayama, Japan.
- 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.
Five star hotels in Pune include:
- Hyatt Regency Pune, Nagar Pune, Pune
- Marriott Courtyard, Bund Garden Road, Pune
- Le Meridien Hotel, Raja Bahadur Mill Road, Pune
- Taj Blue Diamond Hotel, Koregaon Park Road, Pune
- Holiday Inn, Hinjewadi, Pune
- Sun and Sand, Bund Garden Road, Pune
- The Westin, Koregaon Park, Pune
- The Pride Hotel, Shivajinagar, Pune
- Royal Orchid Golden Suites, Kalyani Nagar, Pune
- Marriott Hotel and Convention Centre, Senapati Bapat Road, Pune
Pune has a tropical wet and dry climate 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). 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 (28.4 inches) 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.