Pune

Welcome to Punya or ‘the city of virtue’. The Sankrit name of Pune evokes memories of a city dotted with temples and religious institutions. Pune is all that and more. It is the eight largest metropolis in India and the second largest city in the state of Maharashtra.

The city was the seat of the Maratha Empire. Under the great ruler Shivaji, it saw rapid growth and development. Under the British Raj, it was also the ‘monsoon capital’ of the Bombay Presidency.

Today, Pune is a vibrant metropolis, famed for its educational and cultural facilities. Its economy is strong and bolstered by well-established manufacturing, glass, and sugar industries. The nineties saw a wave of foreign capital investment here. The boom in the IT and automotive sectors here saw its population burgeon to 55 lakhs and the per capital income leap to the sixth highest in India. Pune continues to attract skilled labour from all over the country. Add to that fine educational institutions with students from all across and you have a city with a very cosmopolitan feel.

As a matter of fact, all communities come together to celebrate its famous Ganpati festival. Pune is the origin of this festival which is celebrated with great fanfare all across Maharashtra and parts of India. During this ten-day long festival, almost every neighborhood puts up a tent with an idol of the elephant God Ganesha, complete with decorative lights and blaring music. Soak in the festive atmosphere and even be part of the idol immersion parade!

Pune has very distinct summer, monsoon and winter seasons. Summers are hot, with April being the warmest month. But owing to its high altitude, nights remain cool all through the year. During the rainy season, be sure to step out with an umbrella! And when you step out, do sample the local cuisine.

It uses liberal amounts of coconut, garlic, chillies and is a foodie’s delight. Don’t forget to try the famous Puran Poli (a dessert bread), bhakri (millet pancakes) with pithla (a flour-based curry)!

Sightseeing in Pune includes:
Pataleshwar Cave Temple – This is an 8th centuury rock cut temple. Made of basalt rock, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has a cube-shaped sanctum and a cicular courtyard right in the front. Its umbrella shaped canopy supported by massive square pillars. A must-see for the religiously inclined and the architecture enthusiasts.

Aga Khan Palace – The palace was built by Sir Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III in the year 1892. It is also called Gandhi National Memorial because Mahatma Gandhi, who was kept under house arrest here during the 1940s. His wife, Kasturba Gandhi and his long-time aide, Mahadev Desai both died while under house arrest here. Visit the museum inside the palace complex to see a rich collection of photographs and personal items of Mahatma Gandhi.

Red Palace – This is one of Pune’s most famous monuments. Constructed way back in 1630 AD, it was built by legendary king Shivaji’s father. Shivaji lived here until 1645 after which it fell into ruins. The present day structure was rebuilt by the Pune Municipal Corporation in 1988.

Shaniwarwada – This palace fort was the seat of the Maratha empire. It was built in 1736 at a sum of Rs. 16,000, an astronomical amount in those days. It derived its name from ‘Shanivar’ which means ‘Saturday’ in Marathi. It was largely destroyed in 1828 by a raging fire but you can still see some of the surviving structures that bring back memories of the princely state!

Top News

The Best of the Classic Run 2018 (Part 1)

The Best of the Classic Run 2018 (Part 1)

The Classic Run Rickshaw Challenge 2018 was a great success!     We can't believe it's already been a month since the end of the Classic Run Rickshaw Challenge 2018. It's always a great way to start the year, and this event was as good as ever. With two months till the next Rickshaw Challenge (the Malabar...
13 Feb, 2018 by David 
Classic Run 2018: Makeover Challenge

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Teams used all their creativity to "pimp" their 'shaws.     The Rickshaw Challenge Classic Run 2018 is over and all we're left with is fantastic memories -- but, luckily, there are lots of memories still left to share! One popular part of the Classic Run is the makeover challenge, when teams have a chance...
4 Feb, 2018 by David 
The Top 10 Craziest Things to Happen on the Rickshaw Challenge

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The GamingZion Rickshaw Challenge Classic Run 2015 was a fiesta of non-stop crazy, but to break things down into a more distilled form of craziness here are our top 10 nutty moments from this year’s event. 10. Driving India in wacky costumes   From Santa Claus to superheroes, from pirates to the Super Mario Brot...
24 Jan, 2018 by Jennifer Walker 
The Classic Run 2018: End of the Road

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Day 10 was the final day of the Classic Run Rickshaw Challenge 2018.     It had been great fun but sadly the Rickshaw Challenge Classic Run 2018 had to end eventually! After heading south on Day 9, the final day saw teams briefly travel north again. The final destination was Trivandrum, capital of Kerala, ...
23 Jan, 2018 by David 
The Classic Run 2018: Heading South

The Classic Run 2018: Heading South

More fun on the Classic Run!     After a fantastic day of Pongal festivities near Tuticorin, the Classic Run Rickshaw Challenge headed out onto the road again. The cities in our sights for Days 8 and 9 were Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari, and there was plenty of Tamilnadu still to explore. Here's Princely,...
16 Jan, 2018 by David 
The Classic Run 2018: Pongal Madness

The Classic Run 2018: Pongal Madness

Pongal Day is always a highlight of the Classic Run.     By Day 7, the Classic Run teams had trained, learned to cope with Indian roads, and had their fair share of adventures. Now it was time for something different: a test of how well they could cook (and look) in traditional local style. It's an event ...
11 Jan, 2018 by David 
The Classic Run 2018: The Fun Continues

The Classic Run 2018: The Fun Continues

After a day exploring Madurai, it was time to visit Tuticorin.     The Rickshaw Challenge Classic Run began with training in Chennai then a great first few days on the road, but the wasn't even halfway done! The fifth day of our event was a chance to explore Madurai, the magnificent temple city famous for...
8 Jan, 2018 by David 
The Classic Run 2018: On the Road

The Classic Run 2018: On the Road

The Classic Run is on the road!     After a training day in Chennai, it was time for teams on the Rickshaw Challenge Classic Run to hit the road! There were lots of cities to see, states to explore, and excitement to be had! Here is Princely's report from the first few days of Classic Run chaos, from Chen...
4 Jan, 2018 by David 
The Classic Run 2018: Training Day

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We had a great first day on the Classic Run.     For those of us at Rickshaw Challenge HQ, Christmas and New Year is one of our favourite times of the year... and not just because of crackers and mulled wine. 28th Decembers marks the start of the Classic Run Rickshaw Challenge, starting off in Chennai an...
3 Jan, 2018 by David 
Why We Love Tamil Nadu

Why We Love Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu has everything.     The Classic Run Rickshaw Challenge begins on 28th December in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu. Soon, teams will be exploring the best that the state has to offer, on their journey to the southern tip of India. Incredible nature and fascinating history awaits the teams, not...
15 Dec, 2017 by David 
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