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PUNE

After the death of Shivaji in 1680 and the cold blooded murder of his son Sambhaji, Aurangazeb named Pune as Muhiyabad. Pune gained importance during the period of the second Peshwa Thorale (senior) Bajirao who ruled from 1720 to 1740. (The chief minister in the court of Shivaji Maharaj was called as Peshwa.) During his time, the palace of the Peshwas - Shaniwarwada was built. Nanasaheb Peshwa succeeded Thorala Bajirao Peshwa and ruled the Maratha kingdom from 1740 to 1761. He tried to control the Nizam and maintained peace. He was instrumental in urbanising Pune city and encouraged the setting up of Peths or wards in Pune. He constructed the famous Parvati Temple complex, a pride of Pune city. He designed a water supply system from Katraj Lake that lies to the south of Pune city.

Pune has been known by various names, Popular among them: Queen of the Deccan, cultural capital of Maharashtra, pensioner's paradise and Oxford of the East. Pune is one of the historical cities of India with a glorious past, an innovative present and a promising future. The Pune Municipal Corporation administers the city. Its boundaries extend over four hundred square kilometers and it has a population of 4,485,000 in 2005 according to the 2001 census provisional counts. Thus, Pune city has been developed into a Pune metropolitan area, just equal in area to that of Greater Mumbai. It is located 192 km (by rail) and 160 km (by road) from Mumbai and is 559 meters above the mean sea level. Being surrounded by beautiful hills and the Sinhagad fort, it has a temperate climate. Water, which is plentiful, is supplied to the city from Khadakvasla, Panshet, and Varasgaon dams --all located about thirty kilometers from Pune. Pune is among the greenest urban areas in the country with more than 40 per cent of its area under green cover.

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