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While Pune has existed as a town since the 8th century, today it presents the modern face of India: a city able to harmoniously blend its rich history and culture with a modern workforce and amenities.
Known as the ‘Oxford of the East’, Pune has over 100 education institutions and one of the most elite universities in India. Its abundance of students ensures Pune has a great nightlife, good shops and a wide variety of restaurants and eateries.
Pune’s strong economy is supported by international investment in software and IT and the city has developed modern business parks to house this sector. It is the centre for automobile manufacture in India and its hinterlands also accommodate food processing plants and floriculture.
Pune was once the centre of power of the Maratha Empire, and it has retained its importance as a cultural centre, displaying the best of Marathi culture in dance, art, crafts, music and theatre.
The Osho International Meditation Resort also attracts many thousands of international visitors each year.
Pune’s pleasant climate - the British used it as a summer capital – and its lush green cover makes it a lovely town to visit.
When to go:
The best time to visit Pune is from October to March.
- Sneak a peek at the Osho International Meditation Resort, made famous by its controversial founder, Bagwan Sri Rajneesh. Even if you decide not to pay the hefty fee to enter, you can see the plush gardens for free.
- Take a look around the Aga Khan Palace, a national monument to India’s freedom movement. Following the launch of his Quit India movement in 1942, the British interned Gandhi here for nearly two years.
- Visit the remains of the Pehwa palace, Shaniwar Wada, and watch the sound and light show put on in the evenings.
- Climb the 103 steps to the top of Parvati hill – the highest point in Pune - to see the beautiful temples built by the Peshwas.
- Pop along to see the Pataleshvara Cave Temple, an 18th century temple carved from rock. The Jangali Maharaj Temple nearby is also worth a look.
- Be brave enough to enter the Katraj Snake Park. Pune is a bit of a snake-lover’s dream, and also celebrates a snake worshipping festival, Martharaj Naag Panchami, every August.
- The quirky Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum holds the extensive personal collection of Baba Dinkar Kelkar, who donated his art, crafts and curios to the state.
- Visit during the Sarai Gandarvar festival in February that features classical Indian music and dance performances that last all night.
- Shop till you drop. Try Laxmi Road Market for traditional handicrafts and funky fashion. The modern Nucleus and City Mall is also a shopper’s paradise.