Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pune: Larger than life

I first visited Pune many years back on business trip. The city had characteristics of a peaceful serene rustic human habitation enveloped by greenery of Shayadhari Hills. Unspoilt by rabid urbanization the old time shopping areas, the green patches augured a characteristic aura of  romance of  India of Old. The impressive structures, relics of British Raj stood out authoritatively as they did during the rule challenging the very concept of free India.  The large shops built during the Raj selling medicine and liquor are still etched in my memory lane. They stood out from the modern contraptions that the city has so eagerly embraced.  

Pune of old can be envisaged as a quaint town with green hills and a redolent population of endemic dwellers. No more it is a bustling metropolitan with ever increasing population. The transmigration of populations from all over the country has taken the city by surprise. The individual identities have drowned in the sea of humanity.

One visit to this bustling town assures you that Poona has transformed to Pune. It is Maharashtra's second largest metropolitan after Mumbai. The city is an IT Hub and large scale  industrialization has taken place. The city has presence of large number of automobile industry - vehicle manufacturers and ancillaries. The Sahyadhari surrounds are still green clean and neat with well defined road network - the highways. The city is a mad cacophony of hotels, shops, garages, pan shops, roadside vendors and skyscrapers.  Even amidst chaos and consternation the city exhibits semblance of sanity and decency. You always manage to get past the traffic.    

The local populace of old and migrants have inculcated the essence of old city and the developed one. Nevertheless Pune is bursting at its seams as more and more people come and settle here. The education infrastructure invites a large number of students every year which constitutes the floating population. 

There are many green areas in the metro that enchant the visitors. The modern upcoming infrastructure constitutes of malls, restaurants and shops. The roadside food is delicious with typical Marathi cuisine steaming hot vada paws, spicy pav bhaji and misal paw. The posh restaurants offer culinary delights from all over the state and foreign countries. One has to pay through the nose at upscale restaurant and the bars in this city but it is worth the food.   

It is no more a holiday destination but a business and education center. If you have taken care of your travel and accommodation than you will love your stay here.     
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