The Cambridge English Dictionary provides a simple and self-explanatory definition of a metropolis; “a very large city, often the most important city in a large area or country”. In other words, a metropolis is a large city or conurbation that holds a substantial economic, political, and cultural significance for the region.
Metropolitan areas usually comprise multiple urban regions, satellite towns, and surrounding rural areas that are socio-economically reliant on the urban core. ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India)’s report on ‘The 7th Emerging Metro City in India’ published in 2008 evaluates Pune as a metro based on eight key parameters.
Out of them, Pune ranked first for five parameters namely business environment, infrastructure availability, real estate cost & availability, educational institutes, and employment opportunity. Post 2008, Pune has experienced exponential growth with regard to the remaining three parameters viz. social infrastructure, financial services, and transportation facility as well.
Pune’s status as one of the most prominent metros of India further augmented with the constant expansion and advancement of its twin city PCMC. A leading industrial hub in Asia, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is a home to numerous top IT & software companies, automobile companies, and heavy industries. It beckons thousands of young engineers from all over the country every year.
One may wonder, how and when did all this begin? Pune has enjoyed a prestigious position throughout India’s history. In 9th century AD, Pune flourished as an agricultural settlement called ‘Punnaka’, and later it changed hands among the Rashtrakutas, the Devagiri Yadavas, the Nizam of Ahmadnagar, the Marathas, the Mughals, and the British.
Today esteemed as the cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune derives its name from a Sanskrit word ‘Punyanagari’, meaning ‘the city of virtue’. During the British Raj, it prevailed as ‘Poona’, while the name ‘Pune’ was officially assumed after independence in 1976. Commended as the ‘Oxford of India’ and ‘the Queen of Deccan’, Pune is particularly glorified for its heritage in education, art & crafts, literature, music, theater, and architecture.
Anticipating an equally sublime future as its legendary past, Pune basks in the glory of its extravagant architecture. The majestic palaces, awe-inspiring temples, and other historical monuments and edifices illustrate the glory of Pune’s Maratha, Peshwa, and British era; while the well-maintained museums preserving the heritage of this city fascinate everyone.
Although Pune couldn’t outshine Mumbai with respect to industrialization during the British Raj, it prevailed as a major military base. Telegraph system, railways, public bus service, electricity, public health services, etc. were also introduced to Pune in the course of the British Era. Further, Pune also remained an important center of various social and religious reforms and nationalist movements in late 19thand early 20thcenturies.
Boasting over 1600 years of magnificent history and rich cultural legacy, Pune features an impeccable synthesis of tradition & modernism, conventional &contemporary. Today the second largest city of Maharashtra and one of the greenest urban areas of India, Pune has now turned into a highly sought-after education hub and a home to an unsurpassed industrial and economic boom.
Pune’s journey from a humble agricultural settlement to a hustling-bustling education and corporate hub is indeed invigorating. More about Pune’s advancement towards being one of India’s finest metros in our next blog post… till then stay tuned and continue loving Pune!
About The Author:
Akash Pharande is Director of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in Western Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a diverse range of real estate products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran. The luxury township Puneville at Punavale in West Pune is among the company’s latest premium offerings. Woodsville in Moshi is another highly successful PCMC-based township by Pharande Spaces which is now in its 3rd phase.