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pune

Extensive Definition

Pune (, Marathi: पुणे) is the second largest city in the state of Maharashtra in western India, around 160 kilometers south-east of the capital city Mumbai. Situated 560 metres above sea level on the Deccan plateau, at the confluence of the Mula and Mutha river, it is the administrative capital of Pune district and the eighth most populous metropolitan area in India.
Pune rose to prominence in the 17th century as the seat of the Peshwe, the prime ministers of the Maratha empire. After the town was brought under the control of British India in 1817, it served as a cantonment town and as the "monsoon capital" of the Bombay Presidency. In independent India, Pune is known for its educational facilities, having more than a hundred educational institutes and nine universities, as well as its growing industrial facilities in the information technology and automotive fields.

Name

The name Pune derives from Punya Nagari (Sanskrit, "City of Virtue"). The oldest reference to this name is on a Rashtrakoota copper plate dated to 937, in which the town is referred to as as Punya-Vishaya or Punak Vishaya. By the 13th century, it had come to be known as Kasbe Pune or Punavadi. In the 19th century, it was referred to as Poona by British administrators.

History

Early and Medieval

Pune is located 560m (1,837 ft) above sea level on the western margin of the Deccan plateau. It is situated on the leeward side of the Sahyadri mountain range (the Western Ghats), which separate it from the Arabian sea. It is a relatively hilly city, with its tallest hill rising to 800m (2,625 ft) above sea level.
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 the metropolitan Pune.
Pune lies very close to the seismically active zone around Koyna Dam, about 100 km south of the city, and has been rated in Zone 4 (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. Although no major earthquakes have originated in Pune itself, an earthquake of magnitude 3.2 took place in the Katraj region near Pune on May 17, 2004.

Climate

Pune has a tropical wet and dry climate with average temperatures ranging between 20°C to 28°C.
Pune experiences three distinct seasons: summer, monsoon and winter. Typical summer months are from March to May, with maximum temperatures ranging from 30 to 38 °C (85 to 100 °F). The warmest month in Pune is April; although summer doesn't end until May, the city often receives locally developed heavy thundershowers in May (although 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 43.3°C on April 30, 1897.
The monsoon lasts from June to October, with moderate rainfall and temperatures ranging from 10°C to 28°C (50°F to 82°F). Most of the 722mm of rainfall in the city fall between June and September, and July is the wettest month of the year. Pune once received rainfall on 29 consecutive days.
Winter begins in November; November in particular is known as the Rosy Cold (Marathi: गुलाबी थंडी). The daytime temperature hovers around 28 °C (83 °F) while night temperature is below 10 °C (50 °F) for most of December and January, often dropping to 5 or 6 °C (42 °F). The lowest temperature ever located was 1.7 °C on January 17, 1935.

Transport

Pune is a major railway station of India. Pune Airport is an international airport at Lohegaon, connecting Pune to major Indian cities. Connecting flights are available to international destinations like London, Dubai, Singapore, Hongkong, Los Angeles, Sydney, Johannesberg, Frankfurt, Paris and Toronto.

Road

seealso Roads of Pune Both public transport (autorickshaws and buses) and private transport (cars, motorcycles and scooters) are popular in Pune. According to one study, there were then 400,000 cars and 1.6 million two-wheelers in Pune in 2007. More than 200,000 vehicles are added to the traffic in Pune every year. Pune has been a prominent cantonment town since the early 1800s. Several important battles were fought in and around Pune, including the battle of Khadki (1817) and the battle of Koregaon (1818). Many military establishments have been set up here, including: An old war memorial is located opposite Sassoon Hospital. A new war memorial, the National War Memorial (Maharashtra) is located in Pune Cantonment near Ghorpuri. This memorial commemorates the sacrifice of Maharashtrian soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces who lost their lives in the conflicts fought by independent India.

Demographics

The population of Pune and its surrounding urban agglomeration have an estimated population of just over 5 million, . This includes the towns of Khadki, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Dehu Road. Growth in the software and education sectors has led to an influx of skilled labour from across India. The migrating population rose from 43,900 in 2001 to 88,200 in 2005. Around 45% of Pune population is between 15 and 30 years of age .
Marathi is the official and the most widely spoken language, while English is understood and spoken widely.
The city is home to sizeable religious minorities including Parsis, Jews, Sikhs, Christians and Muslims.

Economy

Pune is one of the eight megacities of India so it is also a major financial centre of India. Pune has a stong economy because it is a industrial hub and a major investment destination in the world. But their is a lack of commercial skyline in the city for its metro look. Pune's economy is driven by its manufacturing industry, although information technology has become increasingly prominent in the last decade .
The automotive sector is particularly prominent. All sections of the automotive industry are represented, from two-wheelers and autorickshaws (Bajaj Auto, Kinetic Motor Company) to cars (Tata Motors, Daimler-Chrysler) to tempos and trucks (Force Motors). Automotive components (TATA Autocomp Systems Limited TACO, Visteon, Continental Corporation, ITW) are also manufactured here. Other automotive companies including General Motors, Volkswagen, and Fiat have set up greenfield facilities near Pune, leading The Independent to cite Pune as India's "Motor City".
Engineering goods manufactured in Pune include forges (Bharat Forge) and engines (Cummins). Other major manufacturers include Alfa Laval, Thyssen Krupp and Black & Veatch.
Other goods are also manufactured in the area. Electronic goods are manufactured by multinational companies such as the Whirlpool Corporation and the LG Group. Food giants like Frito Lay and Coca Cola have food processing plants. Many small and medium-sized companies are also active, producing components for larger companies and creating unique components for the Indian marketplace. Pune was called "the Oxford of the East" by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, due to the well-known academic and research institutions in the city and its popularity amongst students. The temperate climate of the city is responsible for the green campuses of many colleges, and the prevalent academic mindset amongst Punekars helps nurture research and higher education.
The College of Engineering, Pune, Sir Parshurambhau College and Fergusson College have been located in Pune since the late 1800s. Educational foundations such as the Deccan Education Society, founded by Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Symbiosis Society run several colleges at the undergraduate and graduate level. Soon after Indian independence in 1947, the University of Pune, the National Defence Academy and National Chemical Laboratory were established in Pune. In the second half of the 20th century, several other educational and research institutes were established.

Basic and Special Education

Schools in Pune are either run by the PMC, in which case they are called Municipality schools, or privately by trusts and individuals. Private schools have been preferred by a majority of city residents because of better facilities. These schools use either Marathi or English as the medium of instruction. All private schools are affiliated either with the Maharashtra State Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board or the all-India Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and CBSE boards.
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. Other languages like German (Max Muller Bhavan) and French (Alliance Francaise de Poona) are also popular amongst Punekars. Some high schools optionally train students in French, German and Russian from the 8th grade onwards.

University Education

Most colleges in Pune are affiliated to the University of Pune, one of the largest universities in the world in terms of matriculation. The University of Pune was established in 1948. In addition to the University of Pune, there are 5 Deemed Universities : Bharati Vidyapeeth, D.Y.Patil Vidyapeeth, Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, Symbiosis International University and Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth (Sanskrit, Indology, Ayurveda and Social Sciences). Other universities include Deccan College (Archaeology and Linguistics), the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, the SNDT University for Women and Dnyaneshwar Vidyapeeth.
Some prominent colleges include the Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce, College of Engineering, Pune(COEP), Fergusson College, Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Sir Parshurambhau College. These and many other colleges educate students in the arts, sciences and engineering disciplines. The COEP, established in 1854, is one of the oldest colleges in Asia.
There are several prominent engineering and business management schools located in Pune. They comprise a bulk of the student population of Pune.
The Film and Television Institute of India and National Film Archives are also located in Pune on Law College road. ILS Law College, established by the Indian Law Society is one of the top 10 law schools in India. Established medical schools such as the Armed Forces Medical College and Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Medical College train students from all over Maharashtra and India and are amongst the top 10 medical colleges in India. Military Nursing College affiliated to AFMC ranks among the top colleges in nursing in the world.

Research Institutes

In addition to the University of Pune, Pune is home to diverse research institutions of national importance that supplement higher education. Located adjacent to the university is the National Chemical Laboratory and the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET), while the university campus houses the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics and the National Centre for Cell Science.
The KEM Hospital Research Centre, Central Water and Power Research Station (CW & PRS), National Institute Of Bank Management (NIBM), NIC [National Informatics Centre], the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, the Agarkar Research Institute and the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) are located in Pune and conduct fundamental research for the benefit of India's millions. The National AIDS Research Institute is in Bhosari, a suburb of Pune.
The Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute was established in 1917 and is a world-renowned institute for research and instruction in the Sanskrit and Prakrit languages and houses more than 20,000 ancient manuscripts. The National Institute of Virology and National Insurance Academy are located in Pune. Pune also houses a premier industrial research lab Tata Research Development and Design Centre, a research unit of Tata Consultancy Services, working in the areas of computer science and modeling/simulation for materials processing.
Finally, several military and armament research organizations are also located in Pune.

Education Institutes Dedicated to the Defence Forces

Pune is host to several excellent educational institutes specifically dedicated to Defence forces. They include training institutes such as the well-known National Defence Academy (NDA), College of Military Engineering (CME), Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) and Army Institute of Physical Training (AIPT). Medical students are trained at the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) and at Military Nursing Service (MNS) to serve the armed forces. The Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Research and Development Establishment and Army Institute of Technology (AIT) are also located in Pune.

Culture

Pune is considered by many to be Maharashtra's cultural capital and the form of Marathi spoken in Pune is considered to be the standard form of the language. The culture of Pune encompasses both the traditional Maharashtrian lifestyle that is prevalent in the heart of the city, as well as a modern, progressive outlook resulting from its being a hub for education and liberal thought. People from multiple religions and speaking different regional languages reside here. It also hosts various national festivals and cultural events throughout the year.
In recent years it has also been a leader in Trance and Techno movements, alongside Goa and Mumbai. Due to a large student population, Pune also hosts many youth festivals such as Verve annually.

Ganapati (Ganesha) Festival

It was in Pune in 1894 that Lokmanya Tilak initiated the concept of the "Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav" — the collective communal celebration of the festival of Lord Ganesha. During the month of August or September each year, the city celebrates the Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. Almost every neighborhood puts up a pandal with an idol of Lord Ganesha, often amidst a mythological setting, complete with decorative lights and festive music. The 10-day festival culminates in a carnival-like procession along the busy thoroughfares of the city, with every pandal leading the idol on a float to finally immerse (visarjan) it in the local rivers. This is one of the most important yearly events in the city.
During this time, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation organizes the month-long Pune Festival which hosts classical dance and music recitals, a film and drama festival, automobile rallies and some traditional sports.

Religion

The Chaturshringi goddess is the reigning deity of the city of Pune. A temple dedicated to the goddess is situated on the slopes of a mountain in the northwest part of the city. In the month of September there is a huge procession for the Navaratris and people flock in to visit and receive blessings of the Goddess.
Another famous temple is the Parvati Temple, located on a hill in Pune.
Pune was also home to a considerable population of the Indian Jewish community, the Bene Israel. It is home to Asia's largest synagogue (outside Israel), The Ohel David Synagogue (Popularly called Lal Deval - the Red Temple ).
Close to Pune, near the Malavali hills, is the Vedanta Academy, founded by one of the world's most noted exponents of Vedanta, Swami Parthasarathy. The academy offers free Vedantic education to young seekers from all corners of the world.
The Shrutisagar Ashram, located at Phulgaon village off Ahmednagar road, houses the Vedanta Research Center and a unique temple of Lord Dakshinamurthy situated near the confluence of rivers Bhima, Bhama and Indrayani. It was established in 1989 by Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati. Here one can find detailed Marathi and English explanations of the great 'Shruti' and 'Smruti' which include Vedas, Bhagwat Gita, Upanishads and Purana.
Radha Kunjbihari temple, situated at the heart of the city is becoming attraction for the thousands of youths across the India. This temple belongs to ISKCON(International Society for Krishna Consciousness).

Spirituality

The spiritual teacher Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) resided and taught in Pune for much of the 1970s and 1980s. The lush green Osho International Meditation Resort, one of the world's largest places dedicated to meditation and personal development, is located in the Koregaon Park area and attracts a great number of national and international visitors to the city . Pune is also the birth place of spiritual guru Meher Baba.
Pune has become an important place for Yoga education since world famous legendary Yoga Master B. K. S. Iyengar established his Yoga Institute and where teachers of Yoga from all over the world come for final education. His books Light on Yoga and Light on Pranayama are translated in 18 languages world wide and considered textbooks of Yoga, while his Iyengar Yoga System is recognized for school education internationally.
Close to Pune are the villages of Alandi and Dehu where the religious saint Sant Dnyaneshwar and poet Sant Tukaram lived during the 13th and 17th centuries respectively. Each year thousands of pilgrims from all over Maharashtra gather here and start 'Wari' which is the procession carrying 'palkhi's of Sant Dnyaneshwar and Sant Tukaram to Pandharpur. Pandharpur is the home to Lord Vitthal and is about 300 km from Pune. All pilgrims walk this distance to reach Pandharpur on the auspicious day of 'Aashadhi Ekadasshi' when the 'Wari' ends.

Sawai Gandharva Music Festival

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 one of the most eagerly awaited festivals in the city, and it attracts music lovers from Pune and other parts of Maharashtra and India.

Literature and Theatre

Pune has given birth to or attracted a body of organization for the Marathi literati. Marathi Theatre (Drama नाटक — रंगभूमी ) is an integral part of Marathi culture. Both — Experimental (प्रायोगिक रंगभूमी) and Professional Theatre — receive whole-hearted patronage from the Marathi community. Tilak Smarak Mandir, Bala Gandharva Rangmandir, Bharat Natya Mandir, Yashwantrao Chavan Natyagriha and Sudarshan Rangmanch continue to serve these art forms.
Pune have several arts institutes.

Historical and architectural Attractions

Apart from its various temples, other historical attractions in and around Pune include the rock-cut Pataleshwar cave temple, Aga Khan Palace, Shaniwarwada, Lal Mahal, Shinde Chhatri and Sinhagad fort.
The city is also known for its British Raj "bungalow architecture" and the Garden Cities Movement layout of the Cantonment in the early Twentieth Century. Christopher Charles Benninger landmark architectural works surround the city, including the Mahindra United World College of India, the Centre for Development Studies and Activities, the YMCA Retreat at Nilshi and the Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies.

Museums, Parks and Zoos

Pune has a number of public gardens, such as the Kamala Nehru Park, Sambhaji Park, Shahu Udyan, Peshwe Park, Saras Baug, Empress Garden and Bund Garden. The Pune-Okayama Friendship Garden is located on Sinhagad road, and is also named as Pu La Deshpande Udyan. It is a recreation of the Korakuen Garden in Okayama, Japan.
The Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park is located at Katraj, close to the city . The zoo, which was earlier located at Peshwe Park was merged with the reptile park at Katraj.

Food

Pune has a variety of foods and cuisines. A common meal item is bhakri-pitla, or flat millet pancakes and flour-based curry. Savoury items such as chivda and bakarvadi, and sweets are available in various shops and restaurants. Street vendors also offer snacks such as vada pav, bhelpuri, misal and kacchi dabeli. One can also find the mastani, a thick milkshake with dried fruits, which is named after Queen Mastani of the Peshwas.
Several restaurants in Pune offer Udupi cuisine, Kolhapuri cuisine, Maharashtrian cuisine and other Indian and Western cuisines. Pune has many dining Halls spread out across the city catering to students and office goers. These are modest sit-down eateries that serve all-you-can-eat meals at affordable prices. Indian and western fastfood franchises such as Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Subway, Smokin Joes and Papa Johns have outlets in the city, and are comparatively more expensive. There are several coffee houses (including Irani cafes) and modern chains such as Cafe Coffee Day and Barista Coffee.

Entertainment

Trivia

  • Pune is one of the Indian cities which has a Martian crater named after it. The other cities/towns are Amet, Bhor, Broach, Kakori, Rayadurg, Sandila and Wer.
  • The Sinhagad-Katraj-Dive Ghats range is the Southern Boundary of the urban area.
  • The highest point in the city is Vetal Hill in Pune (800 m or 2625 ft above sea level) whereas the highest point just outside the urban area is the Sinhagad Fort (1300 m or 4265 ft above sea level).
  • The highest temperature recorded was 110 °F (43.3 °C) on 30 April 1987 and 7 May 1889. Recently, it recorded a high of 42.4 °C in April, 2008. The lowest temperature recorded during 1881–1940 was 35 °F (1.7 °C) in 17 January 1935. More recently, Pune recorded a lowest temperature of 2.8 °C on January 1991.
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