Pune in India – The Oxford of the East
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Pune is the second largest city in Maharashtra, India. With 3,124,478 inhabitants (2011). The area of Pune is 700 km ² and is located at 560 m altitude in the west of the country. The city is located on the Dekkan Plateau on the right bank of the river Mula. Pune has been known as a city since 847. It is the first capital of the Maratha Empire at the time of Chhatrapati Shivaji Rajj Bhosale. In the 18th century, it became the political center of the Indian subcontinent, the residence of the Marathi Pews (the Prime Minister of the Maratha Empire).
1. The earliest reference to Pune is an inscription on a copper plate of the Rashtrakuta dynasty dating back to 937 AD, which the city refers to as Punya-Vishaya, meaning “holy message.” Until the 13th century, it was known as Punawadi (पुनवडी).
2. The climate is much more favourable comparing to the always sultry Mumbai, it was named by the British colonial rulers as “monsoon capital”, then called Poona. The ideal travel time to Pune is from October to April.
3. Compared to the other cities in India, Pune has the highest growth rate within 20 years.
4. Pune has the highest number of pubs in Asia.
5. Pune has the highest number of cigarette smokers in India.
6. Pune has the highest number of software companies in India – 212, followed by Bangalore (208) and Hyderabad (97). Therefore, it is also called the “Silicon Valley of Maharashtra”.
7. Pune has the most public sectors and government organizations in India.
8. Pune has only 38% of the local population (ie Marathi). It is a true cosmopolitan with about 20% North Indians, 10% Tamils, 14% Telugites, 10% Keralites, 8% Europeans (Koregaon Park), 5% Africans. 2% Bangalis and 6% a mix of all ethnic group.
9. Pune has the highest traffic density in India.
10. Pune is called “Oxford of the East”. It owes this title to its multitude of universities and industrial companies in the automotive industry.