Thursday, March 3, 2011

The City of Pune and its Transition from a Cultural Paradise to a Buzzing Metropolis

By Bhakti Shah

My Thesis project of township will be proposed in my hometown Pune in India. It lies in western part of India and in the state of Maharashtra. It is 7th largest city in India and 2nd largest in the Maharashtra state. It is about 100 miles from Mumbai – the biggest city in India. Population of this city is around 5.5 million. It experienced a long-standing urban tradition: first as an historic center of pre-colonial urbanism. It is also known as ‘Oxford of East’ and houses 6 universities and around 600 functional higher education centers catering to an estimated half million student population. Not only students within India but students from abroad are attracted in these institutes. It is referred as ‘Queen of Deccan’ as it is geographically situated on leeward site of Deccan plateau. It was also referred as ‘Pensioners Paradise’ before the rapid urbanization. It was calm, quiet small town away from hustle and bustle of the metro areas. It is also known as ‘Cultural capital’ of Maharashtra state. Various cultural activities (classical music, spirituality, theater, sports and literature) are well established in this city. After independence of India, the city grew in a different direction which changed its original identity and it is now recognized for its IT and automotive hub. It is also called as ‘Cyber City’.

The city has a rich historic character. It was first started as agricultural settlement ‘Punnakka’ – ruled by ‘Rashtrakuta’ dynasty in 8th century. Then it was ruled by different dynasties like ‘Yadva’, ‘Holkar’, ‘Mughal’ (Islamic rulers), ‘Maratha’, ‘Peshwa’ and British rulers from 1817 to 1947. Amongst all these emperors Maratha and Peshwa were the main developers of the city. City was developed in term of the city planning. New term of the city planning – Petha structure was developed during the Maratha & Peshwa era. These structures are still considered as the identity of the city and retained in the core of the city. Outskirts of the city core were developed by the British and established their military set up – a cantonment area, which is now controlled by Indian army. After independence and industrial development in 1950’s and 60’s city developed the suburbs of Pune in all directions.

Pune will soon acquire the status of being a metropolitan city in India. According to a recent report on ‘The 7th emerging metro city in India’ it owes its up gradation to a fast development pace in the area of infrastructural facilities, friendly business environment, education avenues and employment opportunities.
Pune is blooming and blossoming briskly as an important metropolis in the country. As the time passes, Pune’s history, too, will get more and more enriched.


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