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Born: Two thousand years ago.
There has been a township on the banks of the Mula and Mutha rivers for over
two thousand years. That settlement was known as Kasba. Located in the Sahyadri hills, the town
had a strategic position on trade routes between the Deccan kingdoms
and the Arabian Sea.
Pune was the capital of the Maratha empire and the great Maratha general Shivaji grew up in its neighbourhood. The brahmin Peshwas took over from the Marathas and were in power till the Nizam of Hyderabad annexed Pune and surrounding territories. Pune came under British rule in 1817 and was developed as an important military cantonment and summer capital of the Bombay Presidency.
Today, Pune is a busy industrial city. The Osho Commune has put the city on the spiritual map and Pune gets many overseas neo-pilgrims.
Language: English is quite widely spoken or at least understood. Marathi is the local language though you can get by by speaking Hindi.
Time: Five and a half hours ahead of GMT
Climate: Between November and February Pune is quite cold. March to May is fairly warm. The monsoon months run from June to September.
Best times to visit: Early spring, perhaps February and March when the mercury is beginning to rise again.
Dress sense: Light suits for business meetings in summer and woollen suits for winter meetings. Casual clothes are quite appropriate for evening appointments. Shorts and tank tops are not welcome in temples. How to get there: Regular trains run between Pune and Bombay. The Deccan Queen Express, Pragati Express and the Indrayani Express connect Bombay to Pune. The one way Ac chair car fare is Rs 170 per person. The Bombay Pune Shatabdi Express runs daily, except Sunday, between Bombay and Pune. The one way Ac chair car fare is Rs 365 per person. The Howrah Pune Azad Hind Express connects Calcutta to Pune. The one way Ac two tier sleeper class fare is Rs 1,750 per person.
Pune is easily accessible by road from Bombay with the opening of two sections of the new Bombay-Pune expressway. However traffic moves very slowly on the ghats, where construction work is still underway. Crossing the ghat section takes upto an hour or more. Several express buses and taxis, departing from near Dadar TT, connect Pune with Bombay. For details on the Bombay-Pune taxi service call 022-4114040, 4160737, 4169191.
Indian Airlines and Jet Airways have regular flights to Pune from Bombay, New Delhi and Bangalore.
The approximate one way, economy class fares are:
Be wary of: Beggars, pickpockets and cheats. And be careful
not to get overcharged by autorickshaw/taxis.
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