Pune: A City of Historical and Cultural Significance

Pune is one of Maharashtra’s largest and most important cities and ranked among India’s top ten metropolises. Despite being long overshadowed by Mumbai, this city has progressively carved out a place on the Indian map.

Pune is home to some of the top schools and institutions, major corporations, and many well-known residential and commercial developments. Adjacent to many lesser-known weekend getaway locations and hill regions, people would find several places to visit near Pune

Pune: A Historical Overview

Pune has had its historical significance for ages and has witnessed several battles. Let’s have a glance over the traditional importance of the “Queen of Deccan”. 

At the Early Age

The name ‘Pune’ is derived from the Sanskrit word Punya, which means “holy.” The first mention to the city known as Pune may be found on copper plates dating from 768 and 758 A.D.

The Rashtrakuta ruler Krishna (I) created these copper plates, and the region is known as ‘Punaka Vishaya’ and ‘Puny Vishaya,’ respectively. It was the same time when the well-known and exquisite Pataleshwar rock-cut temple was created.

Pune was ruled by the Yadava Empire of Deogiri in the beginning, around the 9th century. In 1317, the Khalji Dynasty, which ruled Delhi, destroyed the Yadavas, and Pune fell under Islamic administration for 300 years.

The Tughlaqs took over from the Khalji. Only Muslims and a few non-Muslim troops stayed within the town halls during this time, while the remainder of the non-Muslim people lived outside.

A City that Reflects Maratha Glory

Pune is most known for being ruled by the Marathas. The first Maratha rulers arrived in the early 1600s, although power continued to move between the Bhosale dynasty, the Mughals, and the Adilshahi until the 1700s.

Maloji Bhosale’s grandson Shivaji was the future founder of the Maratha empire. Shivaji and his mother Jijabai lived for a decade in the Lal Mahal, which his father, Shahaji Bhosale, erected. Shivaji also defeated Aurangzeb’s Shahistekhan here.

After the death of Chhatrapati in the late 1600s, Pune went under the control of Aurangzeb. Later the charge of Pune was given to Balaji Vishwanath, the newly appointed Peshwa. Before being defeated by Britishers in the early 1800s, the Pune region was under the rule of this family.

A Crucial Political Center During British Imperialism

Pune, like Delhi, became an important political center after the British took authority. During British rule, these two cities were the first to gain prominence. With the establishment of Deccan College in 1851, Pune made a step toward becoming a center of learning.

The Pune-Mumbai railway route and the well-known Khadakwasla Dam were erected a few years later, in 1857. Deccan College, Fergusson College, and the College of Engineering are among the city’s most prestigious institutions. Deccan College trained historical figures such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Gopal Krishna Gokhale.

Pune: Culture & Heritage

Pune showcases an original Marathi culture and ethos, emphasizing education, arts & crafts, and theatres. Tukaram and Jnaneshvara, the author of the well-known commentary ‘Jnaneshwari’ on the “Bhagavad Gita,” were born there. Great liberation fighters like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Agarkar, and Gopal Krishna Gokhale have called it home.

Pune is home to Jayant Narlikar, a well-known modern scientist. The city of Pune is the birthplace of North Indian classical music. It offers a three-night cultural program of vocal and instrumental classical music named “Savai-Gandharva” every December. Pune has served as a model for the rest of the country.

Cuisines

Pune, the Peshwas’ capital, has kept its traditional food. Puran Poli (sweet paratha with pulses/dal), Amti (masala dal), Pithla Bhakri, Varan Bhat (dal and rice), Matki Ki Usal (masala sprouts), Thalipeeth, and Alu chi Vadi (steamed and fried sweet and spicy leaves) are all part of some of the most mouthwatering snacks include Bakar Vadi (spicy crispy savoury) and Missal Pav (spicy mixture of onions, chilly, and small savoury things, with bread). Pune serves Shrikhand (a burnt milk delicacy) and seasonal Amras Puri (thick mango juice with fried ‘puris’) to round up the typical Madras meal.

Festivals

Although all the Indian festivals, including Diwali, Dussehra, Navratri, Janmashtami, Holi, Rakshabandhan, Eid, Christmas, are celebrated with the same enthusiasm in Pune, Ganesh Chaturthi is a significant celebration all across the Pune as Bal Gangadhar Tilak started this tradition to ignite the flame of nationalism and religion. 

Closing Words

For backpackers and those who have wanderlust, Pune is an excellent place to explore. Pawana Lake, Lonavala, Lavasa, Lagatpuri, Kolad, Khandala, Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, Matheran, and Rajmachi are magnificent places to visit around Pune. The international airport offers convenience for overseas tourists.

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