There was a time when Pune was known as a Pensioner’s Paradise – home to those who had retired and wanted a peaceful life in a salubrious environment. Now of course Pune has grown into a vibrant metro, a hub of education, industry, information technology, entertainment, and so on. But what makes Pune still more significant is that it is a place from where you can plan several exciting trips to hill-stations, forts, and places of pilgrimage, not to forget an adventurous package too.
Apart from the many interesting places just beyond the city limits of Pune, such as the Sinhagad Fort or the backwaters of the Khadakvasla Dam, tourists always make it a point to visit the twin hill-stations of Lonavala and Khandala for its bracing weather and the wonderful views you get of the valley and the snaking highway that leads to Mumbai. Lonavla is about 64 kilometers away from Pune and has several ‘points’ that offer breathtaking views of nature at her best. One of these is the Rajmachi Point
Pune was part of the Jagir (fiefdom) granted to Maloji Bhosale in 1599 for his services to the Nizamshahi of Ahmadnagar.His grandson, Shivaji, the founder of Maratha Empire, was born in Shivneri fort not far from Pune. Shivaji was brought up by his mother in Pune. Pune changed hands several times between the Mughals and the Marathas in the period between 1660 and 1705. When Chhatrapati Shahu succeeded to the Maratha throne in 1707, he wanted to declare Satara the capital but his chief administrators, the Peshwa who were the real power behind the throne, decided Pune was to be their headquarters.
Pune is 560 m (1,840 ft) above sea level on the western margin of the Deccan plateau. 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 its highest hill, Vetal Hill, rising to 800 m (2,600 ft) above sea level. Just outside the city, the Sinhagad fort is at an altitude of 1,300 m. It lies between 18° 32″ North latitude and 73° 51″ East longitude.Central Pune is at the confluence of the Mula and Mutha Rivers. The Pavana and Indrayani Rivers, tributaries of the Bhima River, traverse the northwestern outskirts of metropolitan Pune.
The climate of Pune has changed during the past 3 decades, especially since the rapid expansion of the industrial belts. Pune has a hot semi-arid climate (BSh) bordering with tropical wet and dry (Aw) with average temperatures ranging between 19 to 33 °C (66 to 91 °F).
Hinduism is the dominant religion in Pune. Many Churches, Mosque, Gurudwaras, Buddhist Viharas, Jewish synagogues, Jain temples, and other religious buildings are found throughout the city. Major communities by religion include Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, and Christians. Islam is the second largest religion in Pune. Pune has a large number of Mosques, the most prominent of which are Chand Tara Masjid, Jaama Masjid, and Azam Campus Masjid.
Pune was the largest military camp for the British forces during the Raj era, and the architecture in the Cantonment area is reminiscent of that era. The majority of the old Cantonment land in the city is now occupied by the Indian Army for housing its garrisons and officers.The Southern Command, a World War II Indian Army formation, has its headquarters in Pune cantonment. The city is home to Lohegaon Aerodrome (previously RAF Station Pune), the city’s airport and Indian Air Force airfield for the Sukhoi-30MKI multi-role strike fighters.