Pune or Poona, the second largest city in the state, and the cultural capital. Pune stands on the confluence of two rivers, the Mula and the Mutha, and was the headquarters for the British in the monsoon season.
Many will find the city more laid back than Bombay, the atmosphere less muggy, added to by the backdrop of the high Deccan plateau. Taking a look around Pune(Poona), the signs of a colonial history are easily picked out. Not only that, but Pune has also the feel of an educational center, home to 10 Universities and over 40 colleges giving the streets a young and cosmopolitan feel.
The city is served well by road and rail and has its own airport. Once here, there are many things to be enjoyed. Apart from being an educational hub, Pune also has something of a reputation as a haven for spiritual learning. One of its' most famous residents is the popularized Bhagwan Rajneesh or Osho. One can visit the Osho Ashram located at 17 Koregaon Park.
Pune was once the home to the largest army cantonement in India. Those seeking history of the East India Company and its machinations, and ultimate demise, would find it an interesting place to start. Pune is also a gastronomical delight. One can try bhakri-pitla, which is a flat millet pancake served with a flour based curry. Very delicious, cooked in peanut oil, giving it a unique Pune zest. Vada Pav, Misal Pav, Poha, Daabeli and Bhel Puri are some other things that one should try.
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