Pune district

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Pune district
District of Maharashtra
Location of Pune district in Maharashtra
Location of Pune district in Maharashtra
Country India
State Maharashtra
Administrative division Pune division
Headquarters Pune
Government
 • Lok Sabha constituencies based on (Election Commission website)
 • Assembly seats 21
Area
 • Total 15,642 km2 (6,039 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 9,426,959
 • Density 600/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Demographics
 • Literacy 87.19%[1]
 • Sex ratio 919
Major highways NH-4, NH-9, NH-50
Website Official website

Pune (District) is in the state of Maharashtra, India. Pune City is the district headquarters. The district's population was 9,426,959 in the 2011 census, the fourth-most-populous of India's 640 districts.[2] Its urban population is 58.08 percent of its total population;[3] the population of the Pune urban area is over five million.

History[edit]

Elaborate prayer hall with pillars in a cave
The Great Chaitya at Karla Caves

The district has a long human history. The town of Junnar and the Buddhist caves at Karla date back more than two thousand years, and visitors to Junnar were recorded in the 1400s. The region was under Islamic rule from the 13th to the 17th centuries. During the 17th century, the Marathas under Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj laid the foundation for an independent kingdom. The Peshwas, who ruled the expanded Maratha empire, established their headquarters in the small town of Pune and developed it into a large city. The city and district became part of the British Raj in the 19th century. Many early Indian nationalists and Marathi social reformers came from the city.

Ancient and medieval history[edit]

According to archaeological discoveries of the Jorwe culture in Chandoli and Inamgaon, portions of the district have been occupied by humans since the Chalcolithic (the Copper Age, 5th–4th millennium BC).[4] Many ancient trade routes linking ports in western India (particularly those of coastal Konkan) with the Deccan Plateau pass through the district. The town of Junnar has been an important trading and political center for the last two thousand years, and it was first mentioned by Greco-Roman travellers in the early first millennium AD.[5][6][7] The Karla Caves in Karli, near Lonavala, are near the Western Ghats and a major ancient trade route running eastward from the Arabian Sea to the Deccan Plateau. The caves are a complex of ancient Indian Buddhist rock-cut shrines which were developed from the second century BC to the fifth century AD; the oldest of the shrines is believed to date to 160 BC. Traders and Satvahana rulers financed construction of the caves.[8] Buddhists, identified with commerce and manufacturing through their early association with traders, tended to locate their monasteries in natural formations near major trade routes to provide lodging for travelling traders.[9] Inscriptions at Karla and Junnar suggest that in the early part of the Common Era, the area was controlled by the Shaka ruler Nahapana.[10] Coins found further east in the district, near Indapur, suggest that the region may have been controlled by the Traikutaka king Dahragana in 465 AD; silver coins found at Junnar suggest that the region may also have been ruled by Andhra kings.[11]

The first reference to the Pune region is found on two copper plates, dated to 758 and 768 AD and issued by the Rashtrakuta ruler Krishna I. The plates call the region "Puny Vishaya" and "Punaka Vishaya", respectively. The Pataleshwar rock-cut temple complex was built during this time, and the area included Theur, Uruli, Chorachi Alandi, and Bhosari.[12] The region became part of the Yadava Empire of Deogiri from the ninth to the 13th centuries.

The Muslim Khalji rulers of the Delhi Sultanate overthrew the Yadavas in 1317, beginning three hundred years of Islamic control. The Khalji were followed by another sultanate dynasty, the Tughlaqs. A Tughlaq governor on the Deccan Plateau rebelled and created the Bahamani Sultanate, which later dissolved into the Deccan sultanates. During the 1400s, Russian traveler Afanasy Nikitin spent many months in Junnar during the monsoon season and vividly describes life in the region under Bahamani rule.[13] The fort at Chakan played an important role in the history of the Deccan sultanates.[14] The Bahamani Sultanate broke up in the early 16th century; the Nizamshahi kingdom controlled the region for most of the century, with Junnar its first capital.[15] During the early 1600s, the Nizam Shahi general Malik Ambar moved his capital there.[16]

Stone fort, surrounded by grass
Ruins of Chakan Fort

Deccan sultanates and the Bhosale jagir[edit]

17th-century painting of a man in ceremonial dress with a staff, against a green background
Malik Ambar, the minister of Nizamshahi of Ahmadnagar, who moved his administration to Junnar
Old fort on a mountain
Shivneri, a fort near Junnar (birthplace of Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire

Pune became politically important when the Nizamshahi capital was moved there at the beginning of the 16th century. The Bhosale family received a jagir (land grant), and control of the region shifted among the Bhosale rulers, the sultanates and the Mughals during the century. The district was central to the founding of the Maratha Empire by Shivaji Maharaj.

Nizamshahi[edit]

With the establishment of Nizamshahi rule, with Ahmednagar its headquarters, nearly all of the region was controlled by the Nizamshahi. It was formed into a district (or sarkar), with sub-divisions (paragana) and smaller ranges (prant or desh). Revenue collection was delegated to important chieftains who were henchmen of the Nizamshahi.

At Ahmednagar, the king bore the brunt of a heavy attack from Mughal armies who converged on the capital in 1595. To rally the strongest possible local support against the Mughal invaders and stabilise the territories ruled by Ahmednagar, local Maratha chieftains were given increased power. Amongst the chieftains was Maloji Bhosale, who was made a raja in 1595; the districts of Pune and Supa were given to him as a jagir. Bhosale was also given charge of the forts at Shivneri and Chakan, which played an important role in the district's early political history.[17]

In 1600, Ahmednagar was captured by the Mughals. Nizamshahi minister Malik Ambar raised Murtaza II to the throne, with its temporary headquarters at Junnar.[15] For nearly a generation, Ambar guided the Nizamshahi kingdom and the Pune region benefited from his leadership. By his death in 1626, the region's revenue system was sound and fair.

Bhosale jagir under the Adilshahi[edit]

The Pune region was administered as a jagir during much of the 17th century by Maloji Bhosle, his son Shahaji and his grandson Shivaji. Its sovereignty changed with the Bhosles' shifting allegiances. In 1632, Shahaji forsook the Mughals and accepted the friendship of the Adilshahi rulers of Bijapur (the Ahmadnagar Sultanate's traditional rivals).

After the fall of the Ahmadnagar (Nizamshahi) Sultanate, its territory was divided between the Adilshahi and the Mughals; Pune went to the former. Shahaji refused to surrender Junnar (the seat of the Nizamshahi dynasty) before he finally capitulated. However, Shahaji was apparently considered important enough by the hostile power to play a key role in the new regime's administration. His jagir was confirmed, continuing the region's connection with the Bhosale family.[18]

Contemporary portrait of a bearded Shivaji, holding a sword
Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire

Shivaji and the Mughals[edit]

Shahaji's second son, Shivaji (founder of the Maratha Empire), was born on the hill fort of Shivneri near Junnar on 19 February 1630.[19][20][21][22] Shivaji was named after a local deity, the goddess Shivai.[23] His mother was Jijabai, the daughter of Lakhuji Jadhavrao of Sindhkhed (a Mughal-allied sardar claiming descent from a Yadav royal family from Devagiri.[24][25]

Shahaji appointed Dadoji Konddeo administrator of the Pune jagir (which was restored to him after he joined the Adilshahi service in 1637), and was based in Bengaluru as the Adilshah commander. Konddeo established complete control over the Maval region, winning over (or subduing) most of the local Maval leaders.[26] He rebuilt the settlement of Pune, and prominent families who had left the town during its 1631 destruction by the Adilshahi general Murar Jaggdeo returned.[27] Shahaji selected Pune as the residence of his wife Jijabai and son Shivaji, and Konddeo oversaw the construction of their Lal Mahal palace.

Among Kondadeo's reported reforms was a tax of one-fourth the cash equivalent of a land's yield, and the Fasli calendar was introduced at this time. He is said to have focused on the western Pune region, and has been credited with overseeing Shivaji's education and training.[28][29][30] Kondadeo died in 1647, and Shivaji became his father's deputy.

Many of Shivaji's comrades (and, later, a number of his soldiers) came from the Maval region in the district's western mountains, including Yesaji Kank, Suryaji Kakade, Baji Pasalkar, Baji Prabhu Deshpande and Tanaji Malusare.[31] Shivaji traveled the hills and forests of the Sahyadri range with his Maval friends, acquiring skills and familiarity with the land which would be useful in his military career.[32] [33] Around 1645, the teenaged Shivaji first expressed his concept of Hindavi Swarajya (Indian self-rule) in a letter.[34][35][a] According to legend, he took an oath to that effect at the temple of Raireshwar near Bhor in the district.[39]

Shivaji began his rule in 1648 of the Pune region, taking possession of the key Torna Fort and controlling the Chakan and Purandar forts and raiding Junnar. He moved his administration to the newly-built Rajgad in 1648 and a year later, when Muhammad Adil Shah of Bijapur took Shahaji hostage, restrained his expansionist schemes.[40]

During the late 1640s and 1650s, Shivaji controlled the Pune district and beyond. Rajgad was his seat of government until his 1674 coronation.[40]

During the 1660s, the Mughals under Aurangzeb began paying attention to Shivaji. Pune and the region's forts frequently changed hands between the Mughals and Shivaji.[41] In the Treaty of Purandar (1665), signed by the Mughal general Mirza Jaisingh and Shivaji, Shivaji ceded control of a number of forts in the district to the Mughals.[42] Shivaji recaptured many of these forts when the truce ended.

He was succeeded on the Marathi throne by his eldest son, Sambhaji, in 1680. Shortly afterwards, the Mughal army under Aurangzeb moved into the Deccan Plateau and remained there for nearly three decades. Sambhaji was captured and executed, at Aurangzeb's order, in the village of Tulapur at the confluence of the Bheema and Indrayani Rivers.[43][44] According to other accounts, Sambhaji's remains were fed to dogs.[45]

The period following his 1689 death was one of political ferment in the Deccan Plateau, and the Pune region experienced major fluctuations in administrative authority. Shivaji's younger son, Rajaram I, ruled after his brother's death. He spent most of his time in Gingee, fighting the Mughal siege. Before the Mughals captured Gingee, Rajaram returned to Maharashtra and died in Sinhagad in 1700. Ambikabai,[46] one of his widows, committed sati at Rajaram's death.[47] The Bhimthadi (or Deccani) horse was developed in the region under Maratha rule by crossing Arabian and Turkic breeds with local ponies.[48][49]

Peshwa rule (1714–1818)[edit]

Painting of a lake with boats and mountains in the background
Watercolor painting of Pune in the late Peshwa era at the confluence of the Mula and Mutha Rivers by British artist Henry Salt
Painting of a bathing area, with buildings in the background
Saswad, seen from the Sangameshwar temple in 1813 by British artist Robert Melville Grindlay

Shivaji's grandson, Shahu I, appointed the Chitpavan Brahmin Balaji Vishwanath as his Peshwa in 1714. Vishwanath received the area around Pune from the grateful mother of one of Shahu's ministers for saving her son's life.[50] In 1718, Shahu sent him to Delhi to assist the Sayyads; in return for this help, Muhammad Shah (the Mughal emperor in Delhi) granted Shahu sardeshmukhi rights for Pune, Supa, Baramati, Indapur and Junnar. Shahu appointed Baji Rao I Peshwa in 1720, succeeding his father.[51] Baji Rao moved his administration from Saswad to Pune in 1728, laying the foundation for turning a kasbah into a large city.[52][53] Pune grew in size and influence as Maratha rule extended through the subcontinent in subsequent decades. A well-known saying in the era before the third battle of Panipat was that the "ponies of Bhimthadi[48] drank the water of the Indus river".

Pune under the Peshwas[edit]

Pune gained more influence under the rule of Baji Rao I's son, Balaji Baji Rao (Nanasaheb). Maratha influence waned after the disastrous 1761 Battle of Panipat, and the Nizam of Hyderabad looted the city. It (and the empire) recovered during the brief reign of Peshwa Madhavrao. The rest of the Peshwa era was rife with family intrigue and political machinations. The leading role was played by the ambitious Raghunathrao, the younger brother of Nanasaheb, who wanted power at the expense of his nephews Madhavrao I and Narayanrao. After Narayanrao's 1775 murder by order of Raghunathrao's wife, power was exercised in the name of his son Madhavrao II by a regency council led by Nana Fadnavis for most of the century.[54] Under Peshwa rule, the urban elite came from the Chitpavan Brahmin community; they were the military commanders, the bureaucrats and the bankers, and had ties to each other by marriage.[55]

Nanasaheb built a lake in Katraj, on the city's outskirts, and a still-operational underground aqueduct to bring water from the lake to Shaniwar Wada.[56] The city received an underground sewage system in 1782 which discharged into the river.[27][57] Pune prospered during Nanasaheb's reign. On the southern fringe of the city, he built a palace on the Parvati Hill, developed a garden known as Heera Baug, and dug a lake near the hill with a Ganesha temple on an island in its centre which is called Sarasbaug. Nanasaheb also developed new commercial, trading, and residential localities: Sadashiv Peth, Narayan Peth, Rasta Peth and Nana Peth. During the 1790s, the city had a population of 600,000. In 1781, after a city census, a household tax (gharpatti) was levied on the more affluent: one-fifth to one-sixth of the property value.[58]

Order in Peshwa Pune was maintained by the kotwal, who was a police chief, magistrate and municipal commissioner and whose duties included investigating, levying and collecting fines for offences. The kotwal was assisted by police officers who manned the chavdi (police station), and clerks collected fines and paid informants who provided intelligence. Crimes included illicit affairs, violence and murder; in the case of murder, sometimes only a fine was imposed. Inter-caste or inter-religious affairs were also resolved with fines.[59] Although the kotwal's salary was as high as 9,000 rupees per month, it included officer salaries (mainly from the Ramoshi caste).[60] The best-known kotwal in Pune during Peshwa rule was Ghashiram Kotwal, and the city's police force was admired by European visitors.[61]

The patronage of the Brahmin Peshwas resulted in Pune's expansion, with the construction of about 250 temples and bridges (including the Lakdi Pul and the temples on Parvati Hill).[62] Many temples like Maruti, Vithoba, Vishnu, Mahadeo, Rama, Krishna and Ganesha temples were built during this era. Their patronage extended to 164 schools (pathshalas) in the city which taught Hindu holy texts (shastras) to Brahmin men.[63]

Pune also had many public festivals. Major festivals were Ganeshotsav , the Deccan New Year (Gudi Padwa), Holi , and Dasara. Holi at the Peshwa court was celebrated over a five-day period. The Dakshina festival, celebrated in the Hindu month of Shravan (when millions of rupees were distributed), attracted Brahmins from throughout India to Pune.[64][65] The festivals, the building of temples and temple rituals led to religion being responsible for about 15 percent of the city's economy during this period.[66][67][68]

Peshwas and knights residing in the city had individual hobbies and interests; Madhavrao II had a private collection of exotic animals, such as lions and rhinoceros, near the Peshwe Park zoo.[69] The last Peshwa, Baji Rao II, was a strength and wrestling enthusiast. The sport of pole gymnastics(mallakhamba) was developed in Pune under his patronage by Balambhat Deodhar.[70] Many Peshwas and their courtiers were patrons of lavani and Maharashtrian dance, and a number of composers (such as Ram Joshi, Anant Phandi, Prabhakar and Honaji Bala) flourished during this period. The dancers primarily came from the Mang and Mahar castes.[71][72] Lavani used to be essential part of Holi celebrations in the region's Peshwa courts.[73]

Peshwa influence in India declined after the defeat of Maratha forces in the 1761 Battle of Panipat, but Pune remained the seat of power. However, the city's fortunes declined rapidly after the 1795 accession of Baji Rao II. Pune was captured by Yashwantrao Holkar in the 1802 Battle of Pune, precipitating the Second Anglo-Maratha War of 1803–1805. Peshwa rule ended with the defeat of Baji Rao II by the British East India Company, under the leadership of Mountstuart Elphinstone, in 1818.

British rule and independence[edit]

1896 map of the district
Poona (Pune) district in 1896
Long dam
When the Khadakwasla Dam was built in 1878, it was considered one of the world's largest.

In 1818, the Pune region and the rest of the Peshwa territories came under the control of the British East India Company. Company rule came to an end when, under the terms of a proclamation issued by Queen Victoria, the Bombay Presidency, Pune and the rest of British India came under the British crown in 1858.[74] The governor of the new territories, Mountstuart Elphinstone, appointed a commissioner and left the district's boundaries almost intact. Elphinstone and other British officers enjoyed Saswad and the fertile valley around it.[75]

During the first and second Anglo-Maratha wars, it took four or five weeks to move materials from Mumbai to Pune. An 1804 military road constructed by the British East India Company reduced the journey to four or five days. The company built a macadam road between the two cities in 1830 which permitted mail-cart service.[76]

A rail line from Bombay, operated by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR), reached Pune in 1858.[77][78] In the following decades, the line was extended east and south of the city. The GIPR extended its line east to Raichur in 1871, where it met the Madras Railway and connected the city to Madras.[79] The metre-gauge Pune-Miraj line was completed in 1886, making the city a rail junction. The Bombay-Poona line was electrified in the 1920s; this cut travel time between the cities to three hours, enabling day trips for events such as the Poona races.[80] Many villages in the west, east and south of the district, such as Lonavla, Uruli Kanchan and Daund, were connected by rail.

Pune's first bus service began in 1941 with the Silver Bus Company, and Tanga (horse-drawn carriage) drivers went on strike in protest.[81] Tangas were a common mode of public transport well into the 1950s, and bicycles were a private vehicle choice in the 1930s.[82]

The British installed a telegraph system in Pune in 1858.[83] According to the 1885 Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency: Poona, the city and the GIPR had telegraph offices. In 1928, a relay station was built in Khadki to relay telegraph signals for the Imperial Wireless Chain. In 1885, Pune was a post-distribution hub for the district. There were two post offices in the city, which also offered money-order and savings-bank services. [7]

Areas east of Pune receive less rainfall than areas west of the city adjacent to the Western Ghats. To minimize drought risk, a masonry dam was built on the Mutha River at Khadakwasla in 1878. At the time, the dam was considered one of the world's largest. Two canals were dug on each riverbank to irrigate land east of the city and supply drinking water to the city and its cantonment.[84] In 1890 Poona Municipality spent Rs. 200,000 to install water filtration works.[85]

In the early part 20th century, hydroelectric plants were installed in the Western Ghats between Pune and Mumbai. The Poona electric-supply company, a Tata company, received power from the Khopoli (on the Mumbai side of the Ghats) and Bhivpuri plants near the Mulshi dam.[86] Power was used to electrify trains running between Mumbai and Pune and for industrial and residential use, and a dam was built on the Velvandi River in Bhor.[87][88]

Villages in the district saw rioting in 1875 by peasants protesting Marwari and Gujarati moneylenders. The disturbances involved peasants getting the moneylenders to burn their documents and, in some cases, torching their houses.[89]

Geography and climate[edit]

The district is surrounded by Thane district on the northwest, Raigad district on the west, Satara district on the south, Solapur district on the southeast, and Ahmednagar district on the north and northeast. On the leeward side of the Western Ghats, it extends to the Deccan Plateau on the east. Pune is at an altitude of 559 metres (1,863 feet). The district is located between 17.5° and 19.2° north latitude and 73.2° and 75.1° east longitude.

Nine of the district's 15 talukas are identified as drought-prone, covering a total area of 1,562,000 hectares (6,030 sq mi) and a cropped area of 1,095,000 hectares (4,230 sq mi). Of the cropped area, only 116,000 hectares (450 sq mi) are irrigated—nearly half by wells and tanks, and 40 percent by government canals. The district had a population of 4.2 million in 1991, of which 52 percent was rural. There were 1,530 villages in the district.[90]

Its average rainfall is 600 to 700 millimetres (24 to 28 in), most of which falls during the monsoon months (July to October). The area adjacent to the Western Ghats gets more rain than areas further east. The Daund and Indapur talukas experience more-frequent droughts than Maval, on the district's western edge. Temperatures are moderate and rainfall is unpredictable, in tune with the Indian monsoon. Summers, from early March to July, are dry and hot. Temperatures range from 20 to 38 °C (68 to 100 °F), and may reach 40 °C (104 °F). Winter runs from November to February. Temperatures usually hover around 7 to 12 °C (45 to 54 °F), sometimes dipping to 3 °C (37 °F). June is the driest month, and the agricultural sector is considered vulnerable until 20 September.

Climate data for Pune
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29.9
(85.8)
31.9
(89.4)
35.4
(95.7)
37.7
(99.9)
36.9
(98.4)
31.7
(89.1)
28.4
(83.1)
27.4
(81.3)
29.4
(84.9)
31.4
(88.5)
30.0
(86)
28.0
(82.4)
31.5
(88.7)
Average low °C (°F) 10.0
(50)
12.0
(53.6)
15.0
(59)
19.5
(67.1)
22.4
(72.3)
22.7
(72.9)
22.0
(71.6)
21.3
(70.3)
20.3
(68.5)
17.0
(62.6)
14.0
(57.2)
10.0
(50)
17.2
(62.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 0
(0)
3
(0.12)
2
(0.08)
11
(0.43)
40
(1.57)
138
(5.43)
163
(6.42)
129
(5.08)
155
(6.1)
68
(2.68)
28
(1.1)
4
(0.16)
741
(29.17)
Average precipitation days 0.1 0.3 0.3 1.1 3.3 10.9 17.0 16.2 10.9 5.0 2.4 0.3 67.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 291.4 282.8 300.7 303.0 316.2 186.0 120.9 111.6 177.0 248.0 270.0 288.3 2,895.9
Source: HKO

Rivers and dams[edit]

See caption
Confluence of the Indrayani and Bhima Rivers at Tulapur

The Bhima River, the Krishna River's main tributary, rises in the Western Ghats and flows east. All the district's rivers (the Pushpavati, Krushnavati, Kukadi, Meena, Ghod, Bhama, Andhra, Indrayani, Pavna, Mula, Mutha, Ambi, Mose, Shivganga, Kanandi, Gunjavni, Velvandi, Nira, Karha and Velu) flow into the Bhima or its tributaries. Major dams are on the Kukadi, Pushpavati, Ghod, Bhima, Pavna, Mula, Mutha (the Temghar and Khadakwasla Dams) and Mose.[91]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Colour-coded map of the district's talukas, with an inset map of the district in Maharashtra
The district's talukas

The district has two municipal corporations: the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC). Pimpri-Chinchwad is west of Pune on the Pune-Mumbai national highway, and its corporation covers Nigdi, Akurdi, Pimpri, Chinchwad and Bhosari. The region was zoned for industrial development by the state of Maharashtra in the early 1960s.

Pune district is divided into 15 talukas (Junnar taluka, Ambegaon taluka, Khed taluka, Maval taluka, Mulshi taluka, Velhe taluka, Bhor taluka, Haveli taluka, Purandar taluka, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune, Indapur taluka, Daund taluka, Baramati taluka and Shirur taluka) and 13 panchayat samitis. The district has 1,866 villages and 18 Vidhan Sabha constituencies: Junnar, Ambegaon, Khed-Alandi, Maval, Mulshi, Haveli, Bopodi, Shivajinagar, Parvati (SC), Kasba Peth, Bhvani Peth, Pune Cantonment, Shirur, Daund, Indapur, Baramati, Purandhar and Bhor. Its four Lok Sabha constituencies are Pune, Baramati, Shirur and Maval (shared with Raigad district).

Cities and towns[edit]

High-rise buildings, seen across water
New housing in Kharadi, a suburb of Pune

Pune. The district has three cantonments, in Pune, Khadki and Dehu Road.

Smaller towns in the district have Nagar Palikas (municipal councils). Most are the taluka headquarters or its main town:

The growth of the Pune metropolitan area has led to the development of new towns near the city (such as Magarpatta, Amanora and Nanded City) and development further from the city in the mountains, such as Lavasa.[92]

District court[edit]

Pune District Court administers justice at the district level, and is the principal court of original jurisdiction in civil matters. The district court is also a Sessions Court for criminal matters. It is presided over by a Principal District and Sessions Judge appointed by the state government.

Court decisions are subject to the appellate jurisdiction of Bombay High Court. Pune District Court is under the High Court's administrative control.

Demographics[edit]

Pune district had a population of 9,429,408 in the 2011 census,[2] roughly equal to the nation of Benin[93] and the US state of North Carolina.[94] The fourth-most-populous of India's 640 districts,[2] it has a population density of 603 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,560/sq mi).[2] The district's population-growth rate between 2001 and 2011 was 30.34 percent.[2] Pune has a sex ratio of 910 females to every 1,000 males,[2] and a literacy rate of 87.19 percent.[2]

By age, 685,022 were age four or younger; 1,491,352 were between ages five and 15; 4,466,901 were 15 to 59, and 589,280 were 60 years of age or older. For every 1,000 males age 6 and older, there were 919 females.

Population by language[edit]

According to the 2001 census, about 80 percent of the district's population speaks Marathi. Linguistic minorities with more than 100,000 native speakers are Hindi (including Hindi dialects, about 690,000 people), Urdu, Kannada and Telugu. Marwari (a Hindi dialect with Marathi influences), Gujarati, Malayalam (47,912), Tamil (47,504), Sindhi (40,602), Vadari (a Telugu dialect; 35.282), Lamani (a Hindi dialect; 30,604), Panjabi (28,500), Bengali (22,628) and Konkani (19,594) are spoken by over 10,000 people.

Linguistic composition
Language Number Percentage
Marathi 5,742,291 79.40
Hindi 520,089 7.19
Urdu 170,658 2.36
Kannada 418,648 5.64
Telugu 118,257 1.64
Marwari 99,850 1.38
Gujarati 82,487 1.14
Other 380,275 5.26

Population by religion[edit]

According to the 2001 census, most of the district's population is Hindu; there are also significant minorities of Muslims and Buddhists.

Religion Number Percentage
Buddhists 321,948 4.45
Christians 116,661 1.61
Hindus 6,197,349 85.69
Jains 104,073 1.44
Muslims 452,397 6.26
Sikhs 21,938 0.30
Other 11,283 0.16
No response 6,906 0.10

Education[edit]

Primary and secondary education[edit]

State primary schools in the cities and district are run by the city corporation and Zilla Parishads, respectively; private schools are operated by charitable trusts. Secondary schools are also run by charitable trusts. All schools are required to undergo inspection by the Zilla Parishad or city corporation.[95] Instruction is primarily in Marathi, English or Hindi, although Urdu is also used. Secondary schools are affiliated with the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) or the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education. Under the 10+2+3 plan, after completing secondary school students typically enroll for two years in a junior college (also known as pre-university) or a school with a higher secondary curriculum affiliated with the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education or a central board.

Vocational training[edit]

Pune and the district have a number of post-secondary-school industrial training institutes (ITI) run by the government and private trusts which offer vocational training in trades such as construction, plumbing, welding and automobile repair. Successful candidates receive the National Trade Certificate.[96]

Higher education[edit]

Pune is home to Savitribai Phule Pune University, and the city has been called the Oxford of the East.[95] The district has a number of central government run educational and training institutes, including the National Defence Academy, the Armed Forces Medical College and the Film and Television Institute of India. The district has many privately run colleges and universities (including religious and special-purpose institutions). Most of the private colleges were founded after the Maharashtra state government of Chief Minister Vasantdada Patil liberalised the education sector in 1982.[97] Politicians and other leaders were instrumental in establishing the private institutions.[98][99]

Other higher-education institutions in the district include:

Economy[edit]

Although the district is an industrial center, its economy also has a significant agricultural component.

Manufacturing[edit]

Industrial development began during the 1950s in Pune's outlying areas, such as Hadapsar, Bhosari and Pimpri. The government-run Hindustan Antibiotics was founded in Pimpri in 1954.[100] The area around Bhosari was set aside for industrial development by the newly-created Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) in the early 1960s, and the corporation provided business infrastructure.[101] Telco (now Tata Motors) began operations in 1961, boosting the automotive sector. Around 1970, Pune emerged as India's leading engineering region with the expansion of Telco, Bajaj, Kinetic, Bharat Forge, Alfa Laval, Atlas Copco, Sandvik and Thermax; the region vied with Chennai as the "Detroit of India".[102] Growth in the villages of Pimpri, Chinchwad and Bhosri allowed them (and their surrounding areas) to incorporate as the city of Pimpri-Chinchwad. The Pune metropolitan area was defined in 1967 as the city, the three cantonment areas and the villages on its outskirts. Some of these villages, such as Kothrud, Katraj, Hadapsar, Hinjawadi and Baner, have become suburbs of Pune.[103] In 2008, General Motors, Volkswagen and Fiat built plants near Pune. MIDC parks founded during the 1990s in Shirur and Baramati have attracted foreign companies.

Information technology[edit]

Futuristic dome-shaped building
Infosys in Hinjawadi

After India's 1991 economic liberalization, Pune began attracting foreign capital from the information-technology and engineering industries. Between 1997 and 2000, IT parks were developed in Aundh and Hinjawadi.[104]

Agriculture[edit]

Although the region around Pune is industrialized, agriculture continues to be important elsewhere in the district. Since most arable land is still rain-fed, the southwest monsoon season (between June and September) is crucial to the district's food sufficiency and quality of life. Fluctuations in time, distribution or quantity of monsoon rains may lead to floods or droughts. The eastern part of the district has been historically drought-prone, but irrigation provided by dams, canals and wells have made agriculture less dependent on rainfall.[105] The overtapping of aquifers has led to increased water salinity in the talukas of Purandhar, Baramati, Daund, Indapur and Shirur (in the eastern part of the district), threatening agriculture and the drinking-water supply.[106]

Monsoon crops include rice, jwari and bajri. Other crops include wheat, pulses, vegetables and onions. Ambemohar, a mango-scented rice grown in Bhor taluka and areas near the Western Ghats, is popular throughout Maharashtra. Since it has a low yield, many farmers in the region grow the crossbred Indrayani rice instead.[107]

Six outdoor barrels against a background of vineyards and a hill
Barrels at the Narayangaon Winery

Major cash crops include sugarcane and oil seeds, including groundnut and sunflower. The district has significant fruit orchards, particularly mango, grape and orange. A winery in Narayangaon produces sparkling wine from locally-grown Thompson seedless grapes.[108] Most growers of cash crops (including cotton) in the district belong to agricultural cooperatives, and sugar is produced in mills owned by local cooperative societies whose members of supply sugarcane to the mills.[109] During the last fifty years, the local sugar mills have played an important role in encouraging political participation and have been a stepping stone for aspiring politicians.[110]

Transport[edit]

Highways[edit]

Six-lane highway, seen from above
Mumbai Pune Expressway

Pune district has 13,642 kilometres (8,477 mi) of roads. National and state highways crossing the district include:

  • NH 4, from Mumbai to Bangalore. The western Dehu Road-Katraj bypass was completed in 1989, reducing traffic congestion in Pune and leading to industrial and housing growth along the bypass.
  • NH 9, the Pune-Solapur-Hyderabad National Highway
  • NH 50, the Pune-Nashik National Highway
  • Mumbai Pune Expressway - Work on the six-lane toll road began in 1998 and was completed in 2001.

State highways include:

  • Pune-Ahmednagar-Aurangabad State Highway
  • Pune-Alandi State Highway
  • Pune-Saswad-Pandharpur State Highway
  • Pune-Paud Road State Highway
  • Talegaon-Chakan State Highway

Public transport[edit]

Bus service by a private company was introduced in Pune shortly before independence. The city took over the service after independence in 1947 as Poona Municipal Transport (PMT). During the 1990s, PMT and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Transport (PCMT, the bus-service provider in Pimpri-Chinchwad) had a combined fleet of over 1,000 buses. Because municipal transport coverage was patchy, a number of employers in the industrial belt near Pimpri-Chinchwad and Hadapsar offered bus service to their employees.[111] The companies used many more private buses than the municipal providers used.[111] The Pune Municipal Corporation began a bus rapid transit system (India's first) in 2006, but it encountered a number of difficulties. The two municipal bus companies merged in 2007 to form Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML). The Commonwealth Youth Games were held the following year, which encouraged additional development in north-western Pune and added a fleet of buses running on compressed natural gas (CNG) to the city's streets. Maharashtra State Transport buses began operating in 1951 throughout the state.

During the 1960s, motorized three-wheeled auto rickshaws began replacing horse-drawn tangas in the district's urban areas; their number grew from 200 in 1960 to over 20,000 in 1996. Although Pune was known as the bicycle city of India in the 1930s, motorcycles began replacing bicycles in the 1970s; the number of motorcycles increased from five per 1,000 people in 1965 to 118 per 1,000 in 1995.[111]

Air[edit]

Pune Airport (IATA: PNQ) is a civil enclave at Lohegaon Air Base, northeast of the city, with service to a number of domestic and international destinations. Since Pune's air traffic is controlled by the Indian Air Force (IAF),[112] there is occasional conflict between the Airports Authority of India and the IAF over flight schedules or night landings. The airport apron is becoming inadequate to handle the growing number of flights into Pune since the airport's upgrade to international status with flights to Dubai, Singapore and Frankfurt.[113][114] Pune Airport handled about 165 passengers a day in 2004–05, increasing to 250 passengers a day in 2005–06. There was a sharp rise in 2006–07, when the number of daily passengers reached 4,309. In 2010–2011, the number of passengers was about 8,000 a day.[115]

The government of Maharashtra has entrusted responsibility to Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) for the greenfield Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje International Airport project,[116] between Chakan and Rajgurunagar along NH 50 (the Pune–Nashik national highway). Baramati Airport, 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from Baramati and 100 kilometres (62 mi) from Pune and used for pilot training and charter flights, was being planned in 2011 as a private-jet hub by Reliance Infrastructure.[117]

Rail[edit]

White-and-yellow electric train at a station
Lonavla EMU at Pune's platform 6

The district's two major rail junctions are Pune Junction and Daund Junction. All rail lines through Pune are broad gauge double track, and are part of Indian Railways' Central Railway zone. The Pune-Mumbai line, the district's most important rail route, was built during the British Raj. Khandala and Lonavla are on this route, which has a number of daily high-speed trains. The Mumbai-Kolhapur line also passes through the district, and other major Indian cities are connected to Pune by rail.

The district's rail lines are:

  • Pune-Kalyan (towards Mumbai)
  • Pune-Daund
  • Daund-Kurduwadi
  • Daund-Manmad
  • Daund-Baramati branch line (single-track)
  • Pune-Miraj (single-track from Pune to Miraj, towards Bangalore)

Although express trains on these routes skip many smaller stations, local "passenger trains" stop at each station. A suburban rail system, operated by Central Railway, connects Pune to its suburbs and neighboring villages west of the city. The system has two routes: from Pune Junction to Lonavla and to Talegaon. Five trains operate on the Pune Junction-Talegaon route, and 18 trains operate on the Pune Junction-Lonavla route.[118] Eight passenger trains run between Pune Junction and Daund as suburban trains, making the Pune-Daund section a third suburban route. Major stations on this route are at Loni Kalbhor and Urali Kanchan.

Healthcare[edit]

The district has three government hospitals (Sassoon Hospital, Budhrani and Dr. Ambedkar Hospital) and a number of private hospitals, including Sahyadri Hospital, Jahangir Hospital, Sancheti Hospital, Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital, KEM Hospital, Ruby Hall Clinic and Mangeshkar Hospital.

Tourism[edit]

Ornate temple exterior, with many people outside
Principal temple of Khandoba, worshipped by many Marathi Hindu families
Large building, with steps down to a river
Alandi, on the Indrayani River

Pune district has been at the center of Maharashtran history for more than four hundred years, beginning with the Deccan sultanates and followed by the Maratha Empire. The district has a number of mountain forts and buildings from these eras, in addition to shrines revered by Marathi Hindus (including five of the eight Ashtavinayaka Ganesha temples). Samadhis of the two most revered Marathi Bhakti saints (Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram) are in Alandi and Dehu, respectively. The main temple of Khandoba, the family deity for most Marathi Hindus, is in Jejuri.[119]

The British designated Pune as the monsoon capital of the Bombay Presidency, and many buildings and parks from the era remain. Hill stations such as Lonavla and Khandala also date back to the Raj, and remain popular with residents of Pune and Mumbai for holidays.[120] The district's mountains, forests and reservoirs are popular for hiking and birdwatching. Bhigwan, a catchment area of the Ujjani Dam, is about from Pune on NH 9, the Pune-Solapur highway. An area of about 18,000 hectares (69 sq mi) has been proposed as a sanctuary for migratory birds.

Pilgrimage sites[edit]

Ashtavinayak temples[edit]

Eight Ganesha temples are in Pune district and the vicinity. Each has its own legend and history, and five of the temples are in the district:

Forts[edit]

A road, with mountains in the background
The medieval Purandar fort

A number of historically-important hill forts and castles in the district date back to the Deccan sultanates and Maratha Empire. The forts and surrounding mountains are popular for trekking.[122]

Sports[edit]

The Maharashtra cricket team has its home ground in Pune, playing at the new Maharashtra Cricket Association MCA Cricket Stadium in Gahunje. The I-League Pune Football Club plays in the league's First Division, and finished third in the 2009–10 season.

The 1993 National Games were held in Pune, and the new Sports City hosted the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2008. Puneri Paltan, one of eight teams in the professional kabaddi league, has its home ground in Balewadi.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Some scholars interpret Hindavi Swarajya as meaning self-rule of Hindu people,[36] while others state that Shivaji's struggle was for gaining "religious freedom" for Hindus.[37] However the term hindavi was in use by both Hindus and Muslims in the time period concerned.[38]

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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 18°31′48″N 73°50′24″E / 18.53000°N 73.84000°E / 18.53000; 73.84000