Once the capital of Maratha kingdom, today Pune is renowned for its charm, serenity and adventurous attitude. It is said that the rich history of the place determines the culture, tradition and mould of the place. Pune, erstwhile known as Punya-Nagari, serves as the veritable heartthrob of the state. With a horde of titles and accomplishments to its name, Pune acts as the cultural amalgam between fashionable and traditional world. This emerging metropolis, once popular as ‘cycle city’ and now ‘scooter city’, is emerging as the ‘IT capital’ of country. For the strong base of the city, the glorious and magnificent history acts as the source. Being the cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune’s history has lot to display through its valuable forts, museums, palaces, little mountains and hillocks. Legendary battles, humble Nizams, vivacious Marathas, talented Peshwas and dignified British have contributed a lot in making Pune the “Detroit of India”. Go ahead and explore the article to enjoy the amazing history of Pune.
Over the centuries, Pune have survived the dominance of different rulers from several noted dynasties. The earliest evidence, such as copper plates of 758 AD and 768 AD, reveal that Rashtrakootas ruled the region. As per the explanation in Pune Gazetteer, the term Pune is linked to the word Punya that means holy. After the spectacular Rashtrakuta rule, Pune was under the control of Yadav dynasty followed by Muslim rule during the middle of seventeenth century, during which the province was known as Kasabe Pune.
Glory Of Maratha, Mughal and Peshwa Rule
At the end of 16th century, the Mughal Empire appointed Maloji Bhosale as the ‘Jagirdar of Pune’. Maloji Bhosale, the grandfather of eminent Maratha ruler Shivaji, attracted Mughals by his spectacular management. Following him, his son Shahaji Bhosale took over the responsibility of Pune and appointed Rango Bapuji Dhadpale as the administrator of Pune, under whom the city witnessed some of the stunning construction such as Somwar, Kasba, Ravivar and Shaniwar Peth. It was during the same time that Lal Mahal was established, were Shivaji and his mother Jijabai resided. After his father, as per the legacy, Shivaji was crowned as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1649. It was during his rule the city experienced large scale of architectural and cultural development. Being the religious and respectful man Shivaji earned the title ‘People’s King’ by his glorious administration which opposed forceful conversion of religion, ill treatment of women and several other illegal activities. In the golden era of Shivaji, Pune reached its peak. After the death of Shivaji in 1680, his son Sambhaji Maharaj took reign. However, he was defeated under the hands of famous Mughal ruler Aurangzeb. During his control over the city, he renamed Pune as Muhiyabad. With the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, Maratha Empire established power with the help of Peshwa rule. With the largest battle of Khadki in 1818, the glory of Maratha rule declined completely under the hands of Peshwa.
With the decline of Marathas, British firmly established their rule in Pune. During the reign of British, Pune’s glory further inflated with the establishment of number of noted educational institutions like the Deccan College, College of Engineering and Ferguson College. Apart from educational institutes, several offices, factories and mills were established in the city. The Pune- Mumbai rail track and Khadakwasla Dam, constructed during British rule, further enhanced the glory of Pune.
During The Independence Struggle
During the time of Indian Independence, Pune served as an important center for social and religious reform movements. Many prominent national leaders such as Mahadev Govind Ranade, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Maharshi Vitthal Ramji Shinde and Jyotirao Phule swept the nation with their ideas of freedom and reformation. The most important political reformer of the country, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who established the name for nearly six decades, hailed from Pune. The city’s independence struggle is also associated with Gandhiji’s imprisonment at Yerwada jail and Aga Khan Palace.
After country’s independence in 1947, Pune saw a lot of development in the field of science, education, research and technology. The glory of automobile sector in the city created huge employment opportunities. Pune’s IT expansions have further made this place one of the leading technical hub of the country. With the professional and technological boom, Pune today stands as a blossoming metropolitan of the country.