Pune, also called the "Oxford of the East" due to the presence of several esteemed colleges and educational institutions, is situated at the eastern edge of the Western ghats on the Deccan plateau. It is bordered on the north by the river Mula and to the west by the rive Mutha. It is widely considered the cultural capital of Marathi-speaking Maharashtrians. It derives its name from Punya Nagari, or the city of virtuous deeds.
It is believed that the original inhabitants of Pune were the Rashtrakutas. In the 17th century the Mughals ruled over the city. Until 1818, this city was ruled by many dynasties, the prominent ones being the Nizamshahi Sultans, Mughals, and the Marathas. In the 17th century, the city became the temporary residence of Shivaji and by 1749 A.D, the place gained importance as capital of the Peshwa kingdom and during this period, the city started expanding.
In the year 1817, there was a war breaking out between the Marathas and the British. A battle was fought in Kirkee, now called as Khadki, a small town outside Pune city. The Britishers defeated the Peshwas and took over the rule. During the struggle for India’s independence, Pune took center stage for various social and religious reforms. Pune became home to some reformers like Mahadev Govind Ranade, R.G Bhandarkar, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Maharshi Vitthal Ramji Shinde and Jyotirao Phule.
Air: Pune airport is located about 10 km away from the heart of the city, in the Lohagaon area. Taxi charge from airport to city is only Rs 200. Regular, direct flights are available from Pune to many cities in India. The cities Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai are all air connected to Pune. International travelers can get connecting flight from Mumbai International Airport.
Rail: Pune is an important railway junction in Indian railway. Good rail networks connect Pune with all other rail junctions in India.
Road: Pune is well connected with many of the major cities in Maharashtra by state owned bus services. Private luxury deluxe buses are operated from Pune to many cities in India, including Goa, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Regular frequent bus services are connecting Pune with Mumbai, nearly a distance of 200 km.
For shopper's Pune is paradise and it offers a plethora of interesting items. From the traditional to the contemporary, you will find everything in the markets of Pune. Some of the best buy of Pune include the Maharashtrian saree known for its distinctive borders, glass bangles, silver jewelleries, leather and pottery. Also buy the famous strawberry biscuits and chevda. Laxmi road in the old city is famous for traditional sarees and glass bangles in every hue and colour. Visit Commercial Street's main market for bangles and buy silver jewellery at Centre Street near Hanuman Mandir. For Pune sarees visit Wonderland Complex at MG Road, and Hanuman Mandir area for leather, handcrafted Kolhapuri chappals. Opposite Blue Diamond Hotel there is a group of five stores which are worth a visit. The atmosphere of the shopping centre caters to discerning shoppers. Don't miss the pottery shop and also visit the departmental stores offering branded items.
Tulsi Baug: Tulsi Baug is a well known market area in Pune. This is a very busy shopping area in Pune. Traditional Maharashtrian wares and cookery items, cosmetics, jewelry and all types of household item can be shopped in this market. One area of the market is dedicated to fresh vegetables, fruits and other items including items for Pooja.
Tulsi Baug has been famed as woman's grant shopping mall, where ladies can get all kinds of gift articles, cosmetics, vessels, artificial gold jewelries and other fashion and trendy items. This is a good shopping place.
Pune has several hotels of different price range from 5-star deluxe to moderate motels as well as hostels and very cheaply priced. In the 5 star category are the well know Taj Blue Diamond and Le Meridien. Park Ornate, Hotel Central and Phoenix feature in the 3 star category, are located near the airport and well suited to the business traveler.
Pune is dotted with a number of hotels that include luxury, deluxe and standard hotels. Opt any of the hotel of the city according to your budget and requirements. All the hotels in Pune offer a comfortable stay to guests. Some of the popular hotels of Pune are :
Luxury Hotels : Le Meridien, The Central Park and Aurora Towers.
Deluxe Hotels : Taj Blue Diamond, Sun-N-Sand and Best Western the Pride.
Standard Hotels : Hotel Sagar Plaza, Hotel Woodland and Hotel Srimaan.
Hotel Le Meridien (Five-Star)
Le Meridien is a five-star hotel, located in the center of the business district. It is approximately ten kilometers from the Pune airport. The amenities provided at the hotel comprise of Restaurants, Bars, Business Centre, Travel Assistance, Foreign Exchange Services, Secretarial Services, Barber Shop, Beauty Salon, Car Rental Desk, Doctor on Call, Florist, Gift Shop, Library, Multilingual Staff, etc.
Hotel Taj Blue Diamond (Five-Star)
Taj Blue Diamond is also a five-star hotel, situated amidst the residential area of Koregaon Park. The amenities provided at the hotel comprise of Swimming pool, Fitness Centre, Salon, Travel Desk, Car Rental, Currency Exchange, Safe Deposit Locker, Shopping Arcade, Doctor-on-Call, Restaurants, Bars, 24 hrs Coffee Shop, Fully-equipped Business Centre, 24 hrs Internet Connectivity, Secretarial Services, Meeting Rooms, Banquet Facilities, etc.
Hotel Sagar Plaza (Four-Star)
The Sagar Plaza is a four-star hotel, situated right in the middle of Pune. It is approximately 1 km from the city railway station and only 15 min drive from the airport. The amenities provided at the hotel comprise of Conference Facilities, Restaurants, Bars, 24 hrs Coffee Shop, Travel desk, Laundry, Safe Deposit Lockers, Money Exchange, Doctor on Call, Health Club, Swimming Pool, Direct STD & ISD Dialing from Rooms, etc.
Hotel Regency (Three-Star)
Regency is a three star hotel in the Pune, which is located at a distance of approximately 1 km from the railway station and 7 km from the airport. The amenities provided at the hotel comprise of Multi-cuisine Restaurant, 24 hrs Coffee Shop, Bar, Conference Facilities, Banquet Facilities, Doctor on Call, Laundry, etc.
Hotel Madhav (Two-Star)
Hotel Madhav is a two star hotel, which is just a stone's throw from the Pune railway station. It lies at a distance of less than 1 km from the Bus Terminus and about 6 km away from the airport. The amenities provided at the hotel comprise of Business Centre with Internet Facility, Travel Desk, Direct Dialing STD and ISD in Rooms, Health Club, Chemist Shop, Gym & Steam Facility, etc.
Ganesh Chaturthi is a ten-day festival that goes beyond the religious and was revived in the late 19th century by Bal Gangadhar Tilak as a showcase of Indian culture in an effort to rekindle national self-esteem. The festival is celebrated with many cultural and community activities and culminates with the immersion of idols of the God Ganesh. The ten-day period also coincides with the Pune Festival of classical dance and music concerts, folk dances and a village festival including bullock cart races and wrestling.
Horse Riding: Horse Riding Activity in Pune is really a unique opportunity for enthusiast adventurous people. There are many horse riding training centers. Some of this centers offer horse riding facilities for the tourists. Horse riding packages are available from Pune to Sinhagad fort.
The horse riding training camp offers facilities for people of all ages. The horse riding practices are conducted in outdoor stadiums of each horse riding school. The beginners to experts took part day to day exercises. Expert trainers look after the training progress. There are facilities for riders for venturing out in nights over the knights. Horse riding is one of the most exciting attractions in Pune.
Paragliding: Pune is a renowned name all over the world for paragliding training and institutions. Flying Safari is one of the major institutions providing good quality paragliding training and the facilities in the institute are spectacular. The courses here offer from very basic level to hill flying skills development.
This sports activity is open to all through the year, except for heavy rainy monsoon seasons. It offers joy paragliding facilities for enthusiastic travelers. Inhouse accommodations are available here for those who undergo training.