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Pune

A Deccan Odyssey Destination

PuneQueen of the Deccan, Oxford of the East, and cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune is a city with a future that promises to be as interesting as its history.

Long-standing bastion of the Maratha empire and home to the legendary Raja Shivaji, the Pune district is marked by magnificent land and sea forts, testimony to its glorious past.

After Shivaji, the early 18th century saw the emergence of the Peshwas, a Maratha family that grew from being ministers at the court into a major political power over the next few decades. However, after the battle of Panipat in 1761, the Maratha empire began to decline and in 1818, Pune was taken over by the British East India Company.
Today, Pune is the centre of traditional Marathi culture, in which education, arts and crafts, and theatre are given pride of place. It has one of India's oldest universities and its numerous colleges attract both Indian and international students, which is probably why it is called the Oxford of the East.
Pune is slowly becoming a cosmopolitan city and is now an important commercial centre. The narrow winding roads of the old Pune offer an interesting contrast to the open, spacious new city. However, Pune retains the old-world charm and its many quaint characteristics, including the omnipresent cyclists, rickshaws and a daily siesta hour that is taken very seriously indeed.
Surrounded by verdant hills and beautiful lakes, Pune has a temperate climate and is among the greenest urban areas in the country.
Pune, located 170 kms. south of Mumbai has been the cultural capital of Maharashtra, since ages. The city was one of the pivotal bases of the 17th century great Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji, who was born at the Shivneri Fort here.
Pune became the seat of the enterprising Peshwas, under whom Maratha power rose into a major political force. The Peshwas were renowned patrons of the arts and in their time, enriched the city with temples, gardens and educational institutions.
It was here that Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak introduced the principle of Swadeshi during the Freedom Movement.
Today Pune is one of the leading metros in India, with the Film and Television Institute of India and National Defense Academy based here. It is fast becoming one of the major hubs of industry and commerce in the country.

How to Get There :

By Air Indian Airlines and Jet Airways provide regular flights to Pune from Delhi, four flights a week to Chennai and Bangalore and two to three flights daily from Mumbai. Pune city is 12 kms from the Pune Airport.

By Rail The easiest way to travel from Mumbai to Pune is by train. Regular trains Deccan Queen, Deccan Express, Indrayani, Pragati and Shatabdi all ply to Pune from Mumbai everyday. Bookings are possible two weeks in advance. Train travel is around 4-5 hours. On the way, the trains climb the Western Ghats and afford a splendid view of this green mountainous region. During the monsoon, one can enjoy the sight of   huge waterfalls. Most of the trains have a small halt at monkey hill where both children and adults can feed friendly monkeys. The trains also halt at Lonavala, Khandala and Karjat (known for its delicious fried potato wadas).

By Road Pune is easily accessible by bus from any of the major cities of Maharashtra. From Mumbai, regular MSRTC buses and private buses ply to Pune. The bus route also flows through the Western Ghats. Long distance share taxis ply from Mumbai (Dadar) regularly. There is a fixed rate of charge.
 

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Kundan Palace
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