The Land of Peshwas, Pune traces its origin to 758 A.D. Ruled by the Rashtrakutas, its earliest known name was Punaka vishaya. Later on it was referred to as Punekavadi, Punevadi and finally Pune. The city is situated at the confluence of Mula and Mutha rivers.
Down the centuries, Pune has been ruled by several dynasties. Among its most famous rulers was Chhatrapati Shivaji, who spent his early childhood here at Lal Mahal. Dadaji Kondadev, Shivaji's mentor, developed the city. Pune gained prominence during the period of the Peshwas, who began as prime-ministers under the Maratha Kings but later were de-facto rulers themselves. The first peshwa was Balaji Vishvanath. His son, the second Peshwa Bajirao I ruled from 1720 to 1740. He constructed a fortress named Shaniwarwada in 1730-32 and it remains a must visit tourist attraction today. Bajirao and his son Nanasaheb expanded the Maratha Empire such that it extended from Attock in modern day Pakistan to Cuttack in Orissa. The sport of pole gymnastics or Malkhamb was developed in Pune under the patronage of last Peshwa Balambhat Deodhar. The Peshwas and their courtiers were patrons of Lavani, a song & dance form which was sung in a quick tempo. While it began as a form of entertainment for tired soldiers, it later helped in the development of Marathi folk theatre.
Pune is also known as Queen of Deccan because of its historical, social, cultural and political importance and its picturesque surroundings in the Deccan. Over the years, the city has become the place for quality education. Thousands of students, both from within and outside the city take admission in the educational institutions where people from diverse backgrounds stay together harmoniously. Pune is the 7th ranking industrial metro of India at present.
It boasts of the National Film & Television Institute, the National Film Archives, the National Defence Academy and the Southern Command Military headquarters. Situated at 560 meters (1840ft) above sea level on the Deccan plateau, the climate in Pune remains salubrious throughout the year. It is surrounded by many hills and at least four rivers traverse the city. It has the right blend of a metropolis and a small town and has thus become the popular choice for people from all over the country. Its excellent weather and peaceful life in the city had earned it the nickname ‘Pensioners’ Paradise’!
Pune is also a great place for the gourmets. Fergusson College Road is full of budget eateries serving delicious hot food at nominal charges. For a range of multi-cuisine restaurants, you can visit the Koregaon Park, which houses the city’s best restaurants. Its restaurants serve all kinds of traditional cuisines, snacks and bakery products ranging from middle-eastern to east Asian, and main course to dessert items which are a food-lovers delight.