Pune is a sprawling city in the western Indian state of Maharashtra It was once the base of the Peshwas (prime ministers) of the Maratha Empire, which lasted from 1674 to 1818. It's known for the grand Aga Khan Palace, built in 1892 and now a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, whose ashes are preserved in the garden. The 8th-century Pataleshwar Cave Temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
Pune, also known as Poona is a bustling metropolis in the Indian State of Maharashtra and the eighth most populous city in India, with an estimated population of about 7.2 million as of 2019. It has been ranked as one of the most livable cities in India several times.
Along with its extended city limits Pimpri Chinchwad and the three cantonment towns of Pune, Khadki and Dehu Road, Pune forms the urban core of the eponymous Pune Metropolitan Region (PMR). According to the 2011 census, the urban area has a combined population of 5.05 million while the population of the metropolitan region is estimated at 7.27 million. Situated 560 metres (1,837 feet) above sea level on the Deccan plateau on the right bank of the Mutha river, Pune is also the administrative headquarters of its namesake district. In the 18th century, the city was the seat of the Peshwas, the prime ministers of the Maratha Empire and so was one of the most important political centres on the Indian subcontinent.
The city is considered to be the IT capital of India. It is also known as the "Oxford of the East" due to the presence of several well-known educational institutions. India's first girls' school was started in Pune by Savitribai Phule along with her associate Fatima Begum. The city has emerged as a major educational hub in recent decades, with nearly half of the total international students in the country studying in Pune. Research institutes of information technology, education, management and training attract students and professionals from India and overseas.
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.
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 in the Battle of Sinhagad, the Marathas recaptured Sinhagad fort, and later Pune, from the Mughals.
Pune is situated at approximately 18° 32" north latitude and 73° 51" east longitude. The city's total area is 15.642 sq. km. By road Pune is 1,173 km (729 mi) south of Delhi, 734 km (456 mi) north of Bangalore, 570 km (350 mi) north-west of Hyderabad and 149 km (93 mi) south-east of Mumbai.
Pune lies on the western margin of the Deccan plateau, at an altitude of 560 m (1,840 ft) above sea level. It is on the leeward side of the Sahyadri mountain range, which forms a barrier from the Arabian Sea. It is a hilly city, with Vetal Hill rising to 800 m (2,600 ft) above sea level. The Sinhagad fort is at an altitude of 1,300 metres (4,300 feet).
The old city of Pune is at the confluence of the Mula and Mutha rivers. The Pavana, a tributary of Mula river and Indrayani river, a tributary of the Bhima river, traverse the northwest suburbs of Pune.
Peth is a general term in the Marathi language for a locality in Pune. Seventeen peths are located in Pune, which today constitute the old city of Pune. Most were established during the Maratha empire era under the Maratha and Peshwa rule of the city in the 18th century, before the arrival of the British. Seven of them are named after the days of the week in Marathi, and the day of the week on which traders and craftsmen in these peths mainly conducted business corresponded to the day after which each is named. Other peths are named after their respective founders. Pune includes seventeen peths: Ghorpade Peth, Somwar Peth, Mangalwar Peth, Budhwar Peth, Guruwar Peth, Shukrawar Peth, Shaniwar Peth, Raviwar Peth, Kasba Peth, Bhawani Peth, Ganj Peth, Nana Peth, Ganesh Peth, Sadashiv Peth, Narayan Peth, Rasta Peth, Navi Peth.
Pune has a hot semi-arid climate (type BSh) bordering with tropical wet and dry (type Aw) with average temperatures ranging between 20 and 28 °C (68 and 82 °F). Pune experiences three seasons: summer, monsoon, and winter. Typical summer months are from mid-March to mid-June, with maximum temperatures sometimes reaching 42 °C (108 °F). The warmest month in Pune is May. The city often has heavy dusty winds in May, with humidity remaining high. Even during the hottest months, the nights are usually cool due to Pune's high altitude. The highest temperature recorded was 43.3 °C (109.9 °F) on 30 April 1897.
The monsoon lasts from June to October, with moderate rainfall and temperatures ranging from 22 to 28 °C (72 to 82 °F). Most of the 722 mm (28.43 in) of annual rainfall in the city falls between June and September, and July is the wettest month of the year. Hailstorms are not unheard of.
For most of December and January the daytime temperature hovers around 26 °C (79 °F) while night temperatures are below 9 °C (48 °F), often dropping to 5 to 6 °C (41 to 43 °F). The lowest temperature recorded was 1.7 °C (35 °F) on 17 January 1935.