Areas and Localities in PuneThe city of Pune, located at a height of 560m above sea level is among the ten largest metros in the country and also one of the most populous. Pune has had a long and colourful past. It started of as a small town in the 7th century, serving as the centre of power during the Maratha rule, an army cantonment during the British era and finally becoming one of the fastest growing regions in India especially in the IT sector. The city itself has been divided into several zones, the old city comprising of the Peths, the new city inner district comprising areas like Shivaji Nagar and Deccan, new city outer district of which Viman Nagar is a part, the suburbs like Pashan and areas of proposed expansion. The Pune metropolitan area also comprises of Pimpri and Chinchwad, administered by the Pimpri – Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. Though part of the same city each area has its own unique characteristics and each has developed at a different pace.
Deccan or the area around the Gymkhana derives its name from falls in the central part of Pune. This area in Pune is famous for movie theatres and cafés like the Good Luck Café established in 1935. Deccan also houses the PYC Hindu Gymkhana and the Deccan Gymkhana Sports Club, which hosted the Davis Cup and the Maharashtra Premier League. It is one of the most central and important areas of Pune as it connects a number of important routes leading to and out of the city,
Shivaji Nagar is perhaps the most important area of Pune. The district court of Pune and the Pune Municipal Corporation are located in Shivaji Nagar. It is also centrally located and apart from the important administrative buildings is a major commercial area. Shivaji Nagar is important to Pune from the suburban railway traffic point of view. The Shivaji Nagar Railway Station connects Pune to most major cities in Maharashtra. Located right next to the station is the Shivaji Nagar Bus Stand which is also extremely essential with the MSRCT now running luxury air conditioned buses between Mumbai and Pune.
Camp or Pune Cantonment is a military cantonment established in the year 1918 for the use of British Indian Army. The headquarters of the Indian Army’s Southern Command is located here. M.G Road, famous for its shopping locations is also in this area. Camp is home to many establishments that are fairly popular like the erstwhile Kayani Bakery which is extremely well known for their mouth-watering mawa cake and shrewsbury biscuits and Toons which is a popular pub amongst the youth.
Koregaon Park or KP is one of the most prestigious and plush addresses in Pune. Primarily a residential place, known for old bungalows in narrow lanes and plush housing complexes, Koregaon Park is slowly developing into a commercial marketplace. The well-known German Bakery and the Osho Ashram are located here. The latest additions to Koregaon Park, which have helped enhancing its popularity even more, are the opening of the international coffee chain Starbucks, Hard Rock Café, Koregaon Park Plaza Mall and The Westin Hotel. ABC farms is another well-known attraction here famous for Burger King (not related to the international chain) and High Spirits, a popular pub. Koregaon Park holds the distinction of being one of the most happening places in Pune.
Magarpatta City is a satellite township of Pune. Magarpatta was conceived to be mainly a corporate community dominated by the IT sector with companies like HCL, Accenture, Tata Elexi and many more based here. Magarpatta comprises of residential, commercial and cybercity zones which also includes SEZ towers. The township boasts of a multitude of residential buildings, large bungalows, schools, a hospital, restaurants and an upcoming mall with a multiplex theatre as well. Magarpatta is a lush-green, pollution free Oxygen Zone which is fast making it one of the most sought after neighbourhoods in Pune.
Peth is a general term in the Marathi language which literally means locality. There are as many as 17 peths only in central Pune. Peths were established during the rule of the Marathas and the Peshwas and form the cultural centre of Pune. Collectively, the Peths are referred to as the Old Pune City. An interesting fact about seven of Peths is that they are named after the days of the week since traders conducted business in the area only on that particular day. They are crowded areas with narrow lanes and an admixture of crumbling old and swanky new buildings.
Kothrud is a suburb of Pune which has only recently started developing but has already become one of the fastest developing suburbs in Asia. This area is divided demographically between the native Maharashtrians and students who prefer Kothrud for its relative low-cost housing and the presence of colleges like MIT and Cummins. Known to have the largest student population in Pune, with students pouring in from all over India, Asia and Africa, the economy of the area is mainly dependent on them. Kothrud is significant historically as Peshwa Bajirao’s second wife, Mastani used to live here.
Historically, Aundh is known as the place where the Battle of Khadki was fought. Today Aundh is a posh and up-market suburb with attractive residential complexes in Pune. The presence of numerous pre-schools, schools and colleges along with stores and restaurants chains, gymnasiums and multiplexes make Aundh a self-sustained locality for the purposes of recreation. Aundh has one of the highest real estate prices in Pune and boasts of the presence of high end showrooms, health clubs and other recreational outlets. With a cosmopolitan crowd living here, Aundh has become a hub for many businesses as well.
Pashan is a suburb in Pune which is mainly residential with large portions of the locality occupied by governmental and educational institutions. Located on the Mumbai-Bangalore National highway, Pashan also serves as the main approach road to the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The Pashan Lake which is a man-made catchment area fulfils the water needs of the locality while at the same time attracts migratory birds thus making Pashan a popular spot with bird watchers. A fair number of the gypsy community also live in the hills surrounding Pashan.
Though Kalyani Nagar is pre-dominantly a residential area, rapid development has led to the area being more accessible and seen the rise of new buildings, malls and IT Parks. Named after the industrialist Neelkanth Kalyani, who pioneered the Kalyani Forging Company, this area has become popular for its hangout places like restaurants and pubs.
Kharadi is located on the eastern side of Pune. It has been designated under the EON Free Zone and Special Economic Zone which is why it is steadily becoming an upcoming area. Kharadi also has an IT park with IT and ITES companies. Historically it is significant for the Khardyancha Ladai which was fought here. Kharadi is popular because it offers a nice blend of modernization and at the same time offers panoramic views of the city giving it a charming atmosphere and rustic ambience in a zero pollution environment.
Home to a military airstrip and Pune’s only domestic and international airport, it is obvious where Viman Nagar gets its name from. With the presence of schools and colleges like Billabong and Symbiosis International University, hotels like the Hyatt and Sheraton and premium malls like Inorbit and Phoenix, Viman Nagar has seen a tremendous development spurt in the last few years. Over a hundred eateries are spread in this area. The Aga Khan Palace is also situated close to Viman Nagar.
Lohegaon is primarily a village in Pune with a number of ex-servicemen residing here. The second oldest air force base in the country is also located here. Being pre-dominantly a military area, the schools and colleges here are also run by the military with the presence of two prominent engineering colleges. A water park in the area has added to the tourism of Lohegaon.
Until the 1980’s, Hadapsar was a village in Pune. With the development of Magarpatta city and Fursungi IT Park has changed Hadapsar into an industrial suburb of Pune. The presence of Mastani Lake, Theur Temple and The Gliding Centre run by the Civil Aviation Department boost tourism in the area. Major real estate projects like Magarpatta City and Amanora Park have changed the face of Hadapsar. Hadapsar also has a fairly cosmopolitan crowd and also boasts of green zones and zero pollution zones.
Mundhwa is one of the many areas in the centre of Pune city which remain largely undeveloped. There are small farms and mud houses with thatched roofs scattered around bungalows, small residential buildings and a tiny marketplace. The place has a slightly more rural feel to it and has several army establishments and the railroad line passing through it.
Pimpri Chinchwad is a suburb of the Pune Metro City consists of the twin towns of Pimpri and Chinchwad. Bhosai or Bhojapuri was the capital of a prominent king Raja Bhoj which makes Pimpri-Chinchwad historically significant. This city has also been mentioned in the Mahabharata as Bhojakta. One of the largest industrial zones in Asia is located here making Pimpri Chinchwad an industial hub. This are is also known for the famous Saint Morya Gosavi Shrine. A large number of rehabilitated Sindhis from Pakistan reside in this area. Pimpri Chinchwad also has a higher literacy rate than the national average.
Baner, another suburb of Pune, is integral to reinforcing the cultural heritage of Pune. With temples dedicated to Shri Ram, Hanuman, Lakshmi, Tukai, Divyai, Bhairavnath, SantSavatamali, Baneshwar, Vitthal Rukmini, Ganpati and Dattatray, Baner is also a major religious destination in Pune. From an agricultural zone to becoming an amalgamation of religious and technological development, Baner has come a long way.
The different zones put together make Pune a large and diverse city. The rapidly expanding IT sector and the relatively higher standard of living is making lakhs of people from all over the country move here looking for work and quality affordable housing. Good schools and colleges only add to the appeal of the city. And with Pune showing no signs of a downturn in the near future the prospects for this rather laid back city appear bright.