|Facts About Pune|
|Latitude and Longitude||18.5236° N, 73.8478° E|
|Population||3,115,431 (Census 2011)|
|Area||710 sq km (270 sq miles)|
|Languages||Marathi, Hindi, Gujarathi|
|Time Zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Postal Codes||411 0xx|
|Area Code||+91(India) - 20(Pune)|
|Airport Names||Pune Airport, New Pune International Airport (expected to begin by 2015)|
|Points of Interest||Shaniwar Wada, Mulshi Dam, Aga Khan Palace, Sinhagad, Bund Garden, Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple, Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Saras Baug, Khadakwasla, Parvati Hill, Pataleshwar, Pavana River, Chaturshringi Temple, Shinde Chhatri, Mutha River, Vetal Hill, St. Mary's Church|
|Demonym||Punekar (Marathi) / Puneite (English)|
Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra, has a glorious past.. Also noted as the Queen of Deccan, this city was once home to the warrior king Shivaji in the 17th century. After Shivaji, the city witnessed the emergence of the Peshwas.
Today, the city has carved a niche for its Marathi culture and houses one of the oldest universities of India. A cosmopolitan hub , Pune is also known for its narrow winding roads and old-world charm. As per the records of 2011, the city has an approximate population of 3,115,431 people.
Formerly known as Poona, Pune holds the eight rank amongst the largest metropolitan cities in India. It also holds the second rank amongst the largest cities in Maharashtra. Pune city is situated 1,837 ft abovesea level, on the Deccan Plateau. Central Pune lies at the union of two rivers, i.e., Mutha and Mula. The city is surrounded by beautiful lakes and hills and enjoys a temperate climate.
How to reach (transport)
By Air: The Pune Airport is located 12 kms away from the city. Jet Airways and Indian Airlines operate routine flights from Delhi to Pune. Besides, there are four flights operating to and from Chennai and Bengaluru to Pune. Every day, around two or three flights operate from Mumbai to Pune.
By Train: The most convenient way of traveling from Mumbai to Pune is via train. Routine train services including Shatabdi, Pragati, Indraynii, Deccan Express, and Deccan Queen operate from Mumbai to Pune everyday. Besides, the city is also connected to the major cities via rail services.
By Road: You can reach Pune easily by bus from the major cities of the state. Regular MSRTC bus services operate from Mumbai to Pune. Besides, you can also avail private bus services to reach Pune.
When to visit
The best time to visit Pune is from July to February. Winters last from November to February and most people prefer the idea of traveling during this time. The temperature can drop below 10°C in winters. Summers usually last from March to June, where the temperature can rise up to 42°C. Summers aren’t too pleasant and hence you should avoid traveling during these months. If you are traveling during the monsoons, i.e., from July to September, make sure that the streets aren’t waterlogged.
Culture (Fairs and Festivals) and Traditions
The true essence of the Maharashtrian culture can be felt in Pune vividly. The city is home to diverse cultures as well as traditions. People from different religions reside here and observe the various festivals with cordiality and love. Some of the major fairs and festivals celebrated here include:
Ganesh Puja: Celebrated in the month of August/September, Ganesh Puja is the biggest and most prominent festival of Pune. People bring home the idols of Lord Ganesh and worship them for five to ten days. On the day of Visarjan, the idol is taken out with due respect and immersed in flowing water.
Pune Festival: The Pune Festival is celebrated during the Ganesh Mahotsav. The diverse culture, art, dances, songs, traditions and customs of Maharashtra are evident in the Pune Festival.
Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti: On 19th February, the city celebrates the birthday of Chhatrapati Shivaji on a royal note. The day starts with several processions where people dress themselves as Shivaji. Besides, various cultural programs are also organized to commemorate the great achievements of this renowned Maratha ruler.
Bhaubeej: commonly referred to as Bhai Dooj in most regions, it is celebrated with pomp and glory in Pune. On this day, sisters pray for the well-being of their brothers and perform the tika ceremony. Brothers too bless their sisters and present them gifts.
Other festivals celebrated in Pune include Diwali (October/November), Gokul Ashtami (August/September), and Gudi Padwa (March/April).
Points of interest (places to visit)
Some of the major points of interest in Pune are as follows:
Osho Ashram: Located at 17 Koregaon Park, this popular ashram was built by Bhagwan Rajneesh. Situated in an elite suburb of the city, it lures thousands of tourists every year. You can also enrol for various meditation courses here.
Shaniwar Wada: Constructed way back in 1736 by Bajirao Peshwa I, it was formerly home to the Peshwa rulers. Tourists can visit the palace from 8 am to 6.30 pm.
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum: This quaint museum is home to some marvelous collections of Indian artifacts that were once collected by Shree Dinkar Kelkar. The museum is divided in 36 sections and each section houses rich collections of pottery, antiques, and carved palace doors.
Gandhi National Memorial: The affable buildings with suites and salons in the midst of well-laid-out gardens house the former Aga Khan Palace, which was later converted into a memorial. Noted as a historical landmark - Mahatma Gandhi and his wife, Kasturba were imprisoned here at the time of 1942 Quit India Movement.
A good stay doubles the joy of your vacation, and Pune offers some of the best stay options ever - JW Marriott Hotel Pune, The Westin Pune Koregaon Park, Hyatt Regency Pune, and Vivanta by Taj - Blue Diamond. On the other hand, if you are traveling on a tight budget, then Pune also offers you several reasonable options like Hotel Sapna, Hotel Shreyas, Park Central comfort-e-suites, and Hotel Basera.