The Queen of the Deccan and The Oxford of The East, our Pune city has many names as well as many wonders to its name. We may love it for its forever-pleasant weather, or for the laid-back attitude reserved for its residents. But the love for the city is much more deep-rooted than that. You ‘assal’ Punekars may have already heard of these facts, but did you know the details behind them? No? Read on!
Pune got its name from ‘Punya’
From a copper plate from 993 AD, we know it was called Punaka Desha. Several names later (Punekavadi, Punevadi, Kasaba Pune) the name Pune came to be. ‘Pune’ comes from ‘Punya’, which means the confluence of two rivers, as the city is situated on the confluence of the Mula and Mutha rivers.
Pune was the headquarters of the Maratha Empire
When the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire rose to power, they moved their base from Saswad to Pune, selecting it as their headquarters. Besides this, Pune is linked to many historically and politically significant events, including the battle of Kirkee (Khadki), after which it was seized. It was also home to many social reformers and freedom fighters, thus forever linking it to the struggle for Indian independence.
Mohandas Gandhiji was imprisoned at Yerwada Jail
Mahatma Gandhi spent several years in the Yerwada Prison in Pune, along with several other freedom fighters, notably in 1932 and later in 1942, facing charges for urging public revolution against the British Empire. In 1932, during his imprisonment, he decided to go on an indefinite fast which led to the Poona Pact.
Kasturba Gandhi passed away in the Aga Khan Palace
During the Quit India Movement, Kasturba Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi and his secretary, were held prisoners at Aga Khan Palace. Already keeping unwell from stress and bronchitis, Kasturba Gandhi passed away there. Gandhiji’s secretary also saw his demise in the palace.
Pune was referred to as the ‘Pensioner’s Paradise’
Owing to its wonderful climate and because many officers and defense personnel chose to retire in Pune, it was considered as the ‘Pensioner’s Paradise’. Salunke Vihar was one of the settlements that developed rapidly to accommodate the retired.
Punekars Hold Some Real Quirky World Records
Quite recently, Pune-based Khushi Parmar broke the record for open sea water scuba diving in several record books. Santosh Raut of Pune created a world record of draping 129 Maharashtrian Phetas (Turban) in an hour. Pune also holds the record for the largest recorded rangoli.
Pune is situated on an Earthquake prone area
As safe as Pune might feel, both geographically and politically, did you know that it actually falls under the top 10 earthquake prone areas in India? It is situated close to Konya Dam, which is seismically active and rated Zone 3 out of 5 (5 being most prone to earthquakes).
Pune is one of the fastest growing cities in the Asia-Pacific region
Pune saw tremendous growth and development post-independence, and continues to do so today as well. Pune is called the Oxford of the East due to the vast number of universities and colleges. It is also the host of the highest number of registered engineering colleges in India. The city is a prominent hub for IT and manufacturing and home to the Automotive Research Association of India. Pune has the eighth largest metropolitan economy and sixth highest per capita income in the country. It is also one of the largest hubs for start-ups in India.
No wonder Pune is one the best cities to live in!