Pune Knowledge Guide
Early and medieval period
Copper plates dated 858 and 868 CE show that by the 9th century an agricultural settlement known as Punnaka existed at the location of the modern Pune. 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 territory ruled by the Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri from the 9th century to 1327.
Bhosale Jagir and the Maratha Empire
Pune was part of the Jagir (fiefdom) granted to Maloji Bhosale in 1599 for his services to the Nizamshahi (Ahmadnagar Sultanate). Pune was ruled by the Ahmadnagar Sultanate until it was annexed by the Mughals in the 17th century. Maloji Bhosale's grandson, Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha Empire, was born at Shivneri, a fort not far from Pune. It changed hands several times between the Mughals and the Marathas in the period 1680 to 1705. After the destruction of the town in raids by the Adil Shahi dynasty in 1630 and again between 1636 and 1647, Dadoji Konddeo, the successor to Dhadphale, oversaw the reconstruction of the town. He stabilised the revenue collection and administrative systems of the areas around Pune and the neighbouring Maval region. He also developed effective methods to manage disputes and to enforce law and order. The Lal Mahal was commissioned in 1631 and construction was completed in 1640 AD. Shivaji spent his young years at the Lal Mahal. His mother, Jijabai is said to have commissioned the building of the Kasba Ganapati temple. The Ganesha idol consecrated at this temple has been regarded as the presiding deity (Gramadevata) of the city.From 1703 to 1705, towards the end of the 27-year-long Mughal–Maratha Wars, the town was occupied by Aurangzeb and its name was changed to Muhiyabad. Two years later the Marathas recaptured Sinhagad fort, and later Pune, from the Mughals.
In 1720, Baji Rao I was appointed Peshwa (Prime Minister) of the Maratha Empire by Chhatrapati Shahu. He moved his base from Saswad to Pune in 1728, marking the beginning of the transformation of what was a kasbah into a large city. He also commissioned the construction of the 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. Bajirao's son and successor, Nanasaheb constructed a lake at Katraj on the outskirts of the city and an underground aqueduct to bring water from the lake to Shaniwar Wada and the city. The aqueduct was still in working order in 2004.The patronage of the Maratha Peshwas resulted in a great expansion of Pune, with the construction of around 250 temples and bridges in the city, including the Lakdi Pul and the temples on Parvati Hill and many Maruti, Vithoba, Vishnu, Mahadeo, Rama, Krishna and Ganesh temples. The building of temples led to religion being responsible for about 15% of the city's economy during this period. 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 localities. Sadashiv Peth, Narayan Peth, Rasta Peth and Nana Peth were developed. The Peshwa's influence in India declined after the defeat of Maratha forces at the Battle of Panipat but Pune remained the seat of power. In 1802 Pune was captured by Yashwantrao Holkar in the Battle of Poona, directly precipitating the Second Anglo-Maratha War of 1803–1805. The Peshwa rule ended with the defeat of Peshwa Bajirao II by the British East India Company in 1818.Historian Govind Sakharam Sardesai lists 163 prominent families that held high ranks and played significant roles in politics, military and finance in 18th century Pune. Of these 163 families, a majority(80) were Deshastha Brahmins, 46 were Chitpawan, 15 were Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu(CKP) whereas Karhade Brahmin and Saraswat accounted for 11 families each.
British rule (1818–1947)
The Third Anglo-Maratha War broke out between the Marathas and the British East India Company in 1817. The Peshwas were defeated at the Battle of Khadki (then spelled 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 Southern Command of the Indian Army was established in 1895 and has its headquarters in Pune cantonment.The city of Pune was known as Poona during British rule. Poona Municipality was established in 1858. A railway line from Bombay to the city opened in 1858, run by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR). Navi Peth, Ganj Peth (now renamed Mahatma Phule Peth) were developed during the British Raj.
Pune since Indian independence
After Indian independence from the British in 1947, Pune saw enormous growth transforming it into a modern metropolis. The Poona Municipal Council was reorganised to form the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in 1950. The education sector in the city continued its growth in the post-independence era with the establishment of the University of Pune (now, Savitribai Phule Pune University) in 1949, the National Chemical Laboratory in 1950 and the National Defence Academy in 1955.The establishment of Hindustan Antibiotics in 1954 marked the beginning of industrial development in the Hadapsar, Bhosari, and Pimpri areas. MIDC provided the necessary infrastructure for new businesses to set up operations. In the 1970s, several engineering companies were set up in the city, allowing it to vie with Chennai. In the 1990s, Pune began to attract foreign capital, particularly in the information technology and engineering industries. IT parks were established in Aundh, Viman Nagar, Hinjawadi and Wagholi. As a result, the city saw a huge influx of people to the city due to opportunities offered by the manufacturing, and lately, the software industries. The breach in the Panshet dam and the resulting flood of 1961 led to severe damage and destruction of housing close to the river banks. The mishap spurred the development of new suburbs and housing complexes. To integrate urban planning, the Pune Metropolitan Region was defined in 1967 covering the area under PMC, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, the three cantonments and the surrounding villages.In 1998 work on the six-lane Mumbai-Pune expressway began; it was completed in 2001. In 2008 the Commonwealth Youth Games took place in Pune, which encouraged development in the northwest region of the city. On 13 February 2010 a bomb exploded at the German Bakery in the upmarket Koregaon Park neighbourhood in eastern Pune, killing 17 and injuring 60. Evidence suggested that the Indian Mujahadeen group carried out the attack.
Historical attractions include the 8th century rock-cut Pataleshwar cave temple, the 18th century Shaniwarwada, the 19th century Aga Khan Palace, Lal Mahal and Sinhagad fort. Shinde Chhatri, located at Wanowrie, is a memorial dedicated to the great Maratha general, Mahadaji Shinde (Scindia).The old city had many residential buildings with courtyards called Wada. However, many of these have been demolished and replaced by modern buildings. A renowned wada in Pune is the last residential palace of the Peshwa called Vishrambaug Wada which is currently being renovated by the city corporation.The city is also known for its British Raj bungalow architecture and the Garden Cities Movement layout of the Cantonment from the early 20th century. Landmark architectural works by Christopher Charles Benninger 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
Museums in Pune include the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Mahatma Phule Industrial Museum, Deccan college museum of Maratha history, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Museum, Joshi's Museum of Miniature Railway and the Pune Tribal Museum. Pune also houses Blades of Glory Cricket Museum which is the biggest cricket museum in the world. The College of Military Engineering has an archive and an equipment museum; this includes a rail exhibit with a metre-gauge train.The Aga Khan Palace, where Mahatma Gandhi was interned during the Quit India movement, has a memorial dedicated to his wife, Kasturba Gandhi who died here during the internment. Parks and green spaces in the city include the Kamala Nehru Park, Sambhaji Park, Shahu Udyan, Peshwe Park, Saras Baug, Empress Gardens, and Bund Garden . The Pu La Deshpande Udyan is a replica of the Korakuen Garden in Okayama, Japan. The Hanuman hill, Vetal hill, and Taljai Hills are protected nature reserves on hills within the city limits. The Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park is located in Katraj. The zoo, earlier located at Peshwe Park, was merged with the reptile park at Katraj in 1999.
Both experimental and professional theatre receive extensive patronage from the Marathi community. The Tilak Smarak Ranga Mandir, Bal Gandharva Ranga Mandir, Bharat Natya Mandir, Yashwantrao Chavan Natya Gruha, and Sudarshan Rangmanch are prominent theatres in the city.Ganesh Kala Krida Rangamanch is the largest indoor theatre in the city, with a seating capacity of approximately 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 Sawai Gandharva. The concept of Diwāḷī Pahāṭ (lit. Diwali dawn) originated in Pune as a music festival on the morning of the festival of Diwali.