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Shaniwar WadaPune, hailed as the 'Cultural Capital' of Maharashtra, is one of the most celebrated cities in India. Located in the edge of the Deccan Plateau, near the Western Ghats, it is fondly also known as the 'Queen of Deccan'. The second largest city in Maharashtra and the eight largest in India, Poona traces back its roots to an illustrious and fascinating past. Earlier known as 'Punyanagari' (City of Virtue), it was amongst the significant bases of Chhatrapati Shivaji, during the 17th century. Under the stronghold of the Peshwas, the city took momentous cultural strides, giving birth to its many splendid architectural specimens.

After experiencing a glorious era under the Marathas, Pune saw appropriation by the East India Company in 1818, following the Koregaon Battle. During the colonial rule, it served as a cantonment town and became the 'Monsoon Capital' of the Bombay Presidency. It was during this period that it was renamed 'Poona'. Apart from its colonial history, Pune also associates its name with a few historic episodes of the Freedom Movement of India. The city was the venue where the principles of Swadeshi were initiated by Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

Today, Pune is acclaimed as one of the most developed cities in India. It houses some of the best colleges and universities of the country, which earns it the epithet of the 'Oxford of the East'. Due to the presence of many students, Pune oozes a youthful trend and culture. Besides, the huge populace of students impart the city its progressive outlook and tantalizing nightlife. This vibrant aura of the place comes alive in the form of its many restaurants, pubs, discotheques, shopping malls, bookshops, recreational clubs and multiplexes.

The thumping city life however fails to dampen the deep-rooted tradition and mystical zest associated with Pune. It abounds in many religious shrines and temples, especially Ganesh temples. The city is home to 'The Ohel David Synagogue', the largest synagogue (outside Israel) in Asia. There are also many spiritual centers and yoga ashrams around the city, the most notable being the 'Osho International Meditation Resort' of international fame. Thus, with its perfect fusion of traditional and contemporary delights, Pune stands as one of the best travel destinations in West India.

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