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Places to visit in Pune

Places to visit in Pune have its mix of culture which makes for interesting sightseeing within the city! While it has always been a corporate stopover.

For those interested in history and architecture, Pune offers a mix of the modern interlaced with the old! Whether it is the Lal Deval or Vishram Baug Wada, which now functions as a post office, the list is endless! Shaniwar Wada, Aga Khan Palace and the Parvati temple are the other few attractions without which a visit to the city would be incomplete!

Once upon a time Pune was a very sedate Maharashtrian city... very representative of the Maratha heartland.

The arrival of Osho to the city gave it an international flavour. The Osho International Meditation Resort has acquired international recognition with thousands of people, from more than 100 countries, visiting the Resort every year. The beauty of the Resort is its green and tranquil surroundings creating the most suitable environment for meditation and introspection.

The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation Office is at Central Building, Sassoon Hospital Road. And there is an MTDC counter at the train station open from 10.00 to 6.00 pm Monday through Friday and on Saturday till 1.00 pm. The MTDC office organises a three-hour city bus tour for Rs 50, which is not highly recommended

Know More About Pune:

About Aga Khan Palace

Aga Khan Palace is one of the places in pune to visit.

This palace was built in 1892 by Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah Agakhan III. He was elected as the President of the League of Nations in 1938 and was well renowned in the field of politics and sports. The palace was later donated to India by Aga Khan IV in 1969 as a mark of respect to Gandhiji and his philosophy.

Historical importance:

The Agakhan Palace in Pune is a national monument of India's freedom movement. Following the launch of Quit India movement in 1942, Gandhiji, his wife Kasturba, his secretary Mahadevbhai Desai were interned at the palace from August 9, 1942 to May 6, 1944. Mahadevbhai and Kasturba passed away while in captivity at the Agakhan palace and their samadhis are located in the campus. Situated near the River Mula, the palace is a simple memorial to Gandhi and his life.

The palace has developed into a national and international place of pilgrimage with over a lakh of pune tourist visitors every year who come to pay homage to the samadhis here. The palace is surrounded by a sprawling garden. The famous movie 'Gandhi' was shot here.

Gandhi Memorial Society: The management of the museum, samadhis and the palace campus was transferred to the Gandhi Memorial society in 1980. The society has been trying to make this place a living memorial to Ba (Kasturba Gandhi) and Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi) by organizing a number of activities throughout the year.

Following public functions are held here:

1. Martyr's day ' 30th January

2. Mahashivratri - Kasturba's death anniversary celebrated as Mother's day

3. Independence day ' 15th August

4. Republic day ' 26th January

5. Bapu's birth anniversary and Ba and Bapu awards ceremony ' 2nd October.

Present activities:

Picture gallery and museum Pictures depicting important events in the freedom struggle and things used by Mahatma Gandhi during his stay in the palace like utensils, clothes and his personal effects (towel, mala, chappals). Also, room in which Kasturba Gandhi took her last breath, the dining table where they used to have their meals, the room in which Gandhiji used to give science lessons to his grand daughter, letter written by Gandhiji on the death of his dear secretary, are some of the attractions in the palace.

Mahurika nursery school ' Kasturba Mahila Khadi Gramodyog Vidyala ' Library and documentation centre ' Skill and vocational training ' UNCHR Refugee Guidance centre ' Nashabandi Parishad work ' Friends of Gandhi museum ' ICDS training of Aganwadi workers, supervisors and CDPQS

A special cenotaph honours Kasturba who died here. A shop attached sells khadi or cotton hand loomed garments and textiles.

Timings : 9 am to 6 pm (Lunch break: 12.30 pm to 1:30 pm)

Entry fee: Rs.5 for adults and Rs.2 for children

Location: Agakhan Palace, Nagar road, beyond Fitzgerald Bridge

Phone no: +91 20 26880250 Email:

About Bund Garden

These gardens are located on the banks of the Mula-Mutha rivers are a treat during winters with a number of migratory birds.

Some years back a jogging track was added to the gardens increasing its popularity.

Boat rides are also available in the river's backwaters. The Gardens are located at a distance of 2 km from the Pune Railway Station.

The Bund Garden nowadays is also known by the alternative name of the Mahatma Gandhi Udyan. This is because the bridge here reaches across the river to the Gandhi National Memorial.

As the name suggests, the place has derived its name from a mini dam that has been constructed across the Mula-Mutha river. Magic shows and horse rides are frequently organized at the Bund Garden in order to entertain young children who accompany their parents to the place.

The Garden is one of the several much-frequented hangout spots of the city of Pune. If you are in the city of Pune, do not miss a chance of visiting this beautiful garden.

About The Film and Television Institute of India

The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) is located in the spacious grounds of the erstwhile Prabhat Studios, comprising of a number buildings standing in 21 acres of land.

The Institute offers courses in direction, editing, screenplay, photography and music.

The FTII was established by the Government of India in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in 1960 on the recommendation of the Film Enquiry Committee for imparting training in the art and techniques of film making. The entire property including a sizeable amount of motion picture equipment and properties was acquired by the Government of India for a sum of Rs. 11.20 lacs in April 1960.

The syllabus and the courses of studies were drawn up, in the original instance, upon the advice of Remy Tessonneau, Director of the Paris Institute des Hautes Etudes Cinematographiques (IDHEC) who paid a visit to Poona in March, 1961 and prepared a draft outline for teaching in five courses, viz. Screen-play, writing-cum-Direction, Motion Picture Photography, Sound Recording and Editing.

Regular courses started from 1961. Television Training Wing which started functioning in 1971 in New Delhi moved to Pune in October 1974. The FTII became a society in October under the Registration of Societies Act of 1860, fully aided by the Government of India, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Some of the outstanding names who have passed out from the Institute are Mani Kaul, Shabana Azmi, Feroz Chinoi, Subhash Ghai, Jaya Bachchan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Getting there: FTII is a famous landmark on Law College road. It is only a km away from Deccan. It's open all weekdays. If you are not a student, you will require permission to visit the campus.

About Katraj Snake Park

Located in Katraj, this snake park is home to a number of snakes and other reptiles like crocodiles. One can see Snakes of different shapes and sizes in the park. Information about snakes with pictures is displayed in a library within the park. A zoo has also been recently added, making it an attractive tourist place, especially for children.

This snake park is well-known for its work towards animals besides its snakes and reptiles. Recently it added a zoo to it as well. Neelimkumar Khaire is the Director of the Snake Park and is himself a snake-lover. He has introduced innovative methods of communication in the park such as providing information about snakes through braille for the blind at the snake park.

Festivals and programs are held to spread awareness and remove common myths about this dreaded species. During the festival of Nagpanchami, the Snake Park has held a number of programs while discouraging mistreatment to snakes.

Getting there: A little out of the city, Katraj Snake Park is on the Pune Satara Highway near the Bhartiya Vidyapeeth University.

Timings: 10:30 am to 6 pm (Wednesday closed)

Entry fee: Rs 3 per head

About Konark Park

Situated in the outskirts of Pune, ahead of Ambrosia and around 5 kms from Pashan is this beautiful bird sanctuary. It is a private collection of birds of Dr. Suhas Jog. The birds here have been collected by Dr. Jog over a period of 30 years from different parts of the world

This aviary cum birds research centre houses the most unique and beautiful species of birds. One cannot but feel overwhelmed by the beauty of these birds. Photography is not allowed inside the park and nothing can replace the joy of seeing the birds in person.

Birds like bare-eyed cockatoo from Australia, Yellow Golden Pheasant from China, Ring Oiet Pheasant from Kenia are some of the birds that will leave you spellbound. Also, birds like Ostrich and Emu will take your breadth with their enormous size. This place which was a dream harnessed by Dr. Jog is a must see for all the nature lovers. For the children, there is a huge collection of beautiful ducks and a playground with swings to keep them elated.

About Mahatma Phule

The Wada was the residence of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and is as old as 1852. It is in Ganj Peth, which is a few kms away from Pune station. Mahatma Phule used to live here with his wife. The house was converted to a museum with photographs of Mahatma Phule with his wife. Inside the wada is a well and it is known that he had opened the well to the backward classes so that they could easily fill drinking water from it.

There is a statue of Mahatma Phule in the courtyard and ample space for people to relax under the shade of trees. The Wada is a reminder of 18 and 19th century way of life of the Pune population.

Mahatma Phule was in favour of girl-child education. He was the first person to open a school for girls and his wife was the first lady teacher.

Entry is absolutely free.

Situated in Khadakwasala, the National Defense Academy (NDA) is a treat to see. Excluding the drive till NDA, the greenery and picturesque surroundings make it one of the best drives in and around Pune. 17 km from Pune, NDA is the only academy in the world, where all the three forces are trained together.

Forming an important backdrop for the training of the forces, it is not uncommon to see punished students running with heavy weight on their backs.

While permission is required to be able to visit the portals of this great institution which has lush greenery and good facilities for training, not to miss the sailing championships which are held every year in the Peacock Bay, this is a must visit places in pune for anybody who wants to know what it takes to make boys into patriotic men!

Getting there: On the Pashan Road, from the University Road, you can drive upto Chandini Chowk, where you pass by Garden Court. A good 10-15 kms away from the city, visits are allowed only on Sundays.

If a large group, a guided tour is also provided. (Tel:020 25291700)

About Osho Ashram

This beautiful campus is situated in the pleasant residential area of Koregaon Park, Pune, around fifteen minutes by air from Mumbai. This lush contemporary 40-acre meditation resort is a tropical oasis where nature and the 21st Century blend seamlessly, both within and without. With its white marble pathways, elegant black buildings, abundant foliage and Olympic-sized swimming pool, it is the perfect setting to take time out for yourself.

This is a place where you can simply relax and where you can also enjoy the company of visitors of all ages from over 100 countries. You can choose if you want to do something, or if you just want to rest, swim, meditate ' or just to be.

You can learn simple Osho Active Meditations, techniques specifically designed for the contemporary over-charged mind and stress-impacted body.

You may like to nourish your body-mind-soul with a stunning selection of individual sessions, like bodywork and massage, and longer workshops and courses ' all designed to help you become more aware of yourself.

And while we each walk this walk alone, it is more supportive and more fun to share the process with others, whether during the various daytime activities, or in the evening ' trying out a new meditation technique, or enjoying an evening at a party, dancing, or the plaza caf', watching or participating in live theater events or just going to the movies.

Some of your choices at the resort: Osho Multiversity

The Daily Meditation Program Work as Meditation Or just enjoying doing absolutely nothing Osho International Meditation Resort 17 Koregaon Park 411001

About Pataleshwar Caves

Pataleshwar Caves on Jungli Maharaj Road are 8th century cave temples dedicated to Lord Pataleshwar, God of the Underworld. Believed to have been cut out from a single rock, the place has massive pillars, which are the grandeur of the temple caves. The shrine out there is dedicated to Shiva and the Nandi.

This religious shrine on Jungli Maharaj Road, housed in caves, that dates back to 700-800 AD has rather grand statues of Nandi, Sita, Ram, Lakshman, Lakshmi, Ganesh and an over-sized shivalingam under its roof.

The attached museum is dim, dank and dusty and not worth wasting time over, apart from an exhibit that has made the Guinness Book of World Records - a grain of rice engraved with some 5000 characters.

Getting there: Open daily from 08.00 to 17.30, this is located in the middle of the busy thorughfare of Jangli Maharaj Road. Gettting there with most rickshaws willing to ply there!

About Parvati

Parvati is the one of the most scenic locations in Pune. It is situated at a height of 2100 feet above sea level. The temples on Parvati hill are the oldest heritagestructures in Pune and reminiscent of the Peshwa dynasty. It offers an aerial view of the city and for the punekars, it is a respite from the noise and pollution of city life.

Parvati is the daily visiting place for a number of citizens and for many people, going to Parvati (103 steps) forms a part of their daily exercise regimen. Being the highest point in Pune and having conveniently located observation points, the beautiful panaromic view of Pune city leaves visitors spellbound.

Parvati gates open at 5.00 am and close at 8.00 pm. It is said that at this spot the Peshwa ruler Balaji Baji Rao watched the British defeat at the Battle of Kirkee.

Located on this hill is an interesting museum that commemorates the Peshwa rule. Near the museum is situated the Samadhi Sthan of Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa who took his last breath here. Peshwa Museum.

Getting there: Parvati is situated in the centre of the city. It is around 4 Kms from Deccan and 1 km from Swargate.

About Shaniwarwada

Shaniwarwada was the stately mansion originally built as the residence of the Peshwas. The foundation of the mansion was laid by Bajirao 1 in the year 1730 AD and construction was completed in 1732 AD at a cost of Rs. 16,120. Several additions were made to the palace like fortification walls with bastions, gates and court halls by his successors.

What was once a seven storied structure was gutted by a fire in the palace. Only the remains can be seen now like the fortification walls with five gateways and nine bastions that enclosed the entire palace. The principal gate is called Dilli Darwaja (Delhi Gate); the other gates are called Mastani or Alibahadur Darwaja, Khidki Darwaja, Ganesh Darwaja and Narayan Darwaja

The walls in the palace were painted with scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata. A sixteen petal lotus-shaped fountain stands reminiscent of the exquisite work of those times. The historical structure which stands as an important chapter in the history of the Maratha empire, is now maintained by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). Around 1,000 people used to stay in the palace.

Light and sound show: A light and sound show set up at a cost of Rs 1.25 crore is the main attraction. Timing of the Show (everyday) 7:15 pm to 8:10 pm (Marathi Show) 8:15 pm to 9:10 pm (English Show) Ticket rate Rs. 25/- per head Ticket booking Everyday 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm (No Advance Booking)

Shaniwarwada is a must see place on the tourists' itinerary, particularly if one takes the Pune Darshan bus organised by the PMC. It has also become an attractive destination for public functions and speeches by public figures.

About Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum

Kelkar Museum was established in 1962 by Baba Dinkar Kelkar and was donated to the Maharashtra government in 1975.

The museum has 20,000 different articles, all personally collected by Baba Kelkar from all over the world. When his son died at the age of seven, he decided to do something in his remembrance and that is how the idea of building this museum was conceived.

The museum houses the entire collection of Baba Kelkar, a recreation of the famous Mastani Mahal, research and storage facilities and the Institute of Musicology and fine arts. It is a resting place for Dr. Kelkar's obsession to create a centre for artistic endevours. A must see Places in pune.

This museum on Bajirao Road is a marvel and a must see places in pune for tourists. It comprises of rare exhibits and artifacts from all over the country and dates back to the Mughal and the Maratha periods. Paintings, nut crackers, Ganpati's guns, carved palace doors, pottery and a number of musical instruments.

On the ground floor are displayed household vessels (of 18th and 19th century) made of terracotta, copper and brass and brought from Kerala, Gujrat and Maharashtra. One can see vessles like Dabado, a box in which dowry used to be given in Gujrat.

On another floor, murtis of Shri Ganesha, Shiva and Parvati with paintings showing scenes from Ramayana and paintings in manuscript are on display. Another attraction is armours made of fish scales and crocodile skin, pistols, long barrelled muskets, daggers, shields, swords and small cannons.

For those who want to experience the rich and tasteful lifestyle of maharajas in the 18th century, there is a tambool collection including nut-cutters of different shapes and sizes, betel boxes, lime containers and spittoons. The intrinsic designs are proof of the artistic brilliance of people belonging to that century.

For the music lovers, there is a musical gallery with nearly all types of musical instruments on display. The collection also includes personal instruments contributed by the personalities such as Sarinda by P.L. Deshpande, Saarangi of Ustad Kadarbaksh Khan. One can also see a tortoise shaped veena and a gramophone of early 20th century, donated by HMV Co.

There is a room in the museum which almost steals your heart. It is a recreation of the Mastnai Mahal which was originally built in 1734 in Kothrud, Pune. It has a luxurious setting, colourful paintings and chandeliers, all to give the feel of a palace.

Timings: 9 am to 6 pm (open all days) Entry fee: Rs 15 Tel: 24474466

Getting there: On Bajirao Road, near the famous Abhinav Kala Mandir, this is easily accessible from Deccan which is 2-3 kms away. Best way to make your way is through a rickshaw or a two wheeler as it is in the heart of the city.

About Shinde Chatri

Located in Wanowrie, Shinde Chatri houses the Samadhi of Shrimant Mahadji Shinde. He was a man of great deeds.

The Shiv mandir in the temple campus was built by Shrimant Mahadji in 1794. He passed away the same year and his last rites were performed here. The temple campus including the Samadhi was later built by Madhavrao Sindhia in 1965.

The temple has beautiful architectural designs and remains unaffected by the passage of years.It is maintained by Sindhia Devasthan Trust, Gwalior.

Timings: 6 am to 9 pm Entry: Rs 2

About Sarasbaug

Brief history: In the 18th century, soon after completion of Shree Devdeveshwar Temple on Parvati hill, Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa turned his attention towards the development and beautification of environs of Parvati hills. He decided to construct a lake at the foothills of Parvati. An island of about 25000 Sq.ft. area was retained in the middle of this lake. Later on, a beautiful garden was created on this island. Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa gave it a poetic name, 'Sarasbaug'.

In 1784, Shrimant Sawai Madhavrao Peshwa built a small temple in Sarasbaug. Sarasbaug has now become a place of worship for people from all over the world and also a popular hang-out for Punekars.

Getting there: Sarasbaug is located in the heart of the city, at walking distance from Swargate. It is around 4 kms from Deccan. There are regular buses and rickshaws plying to Swargate.

About Tribal Museum

Tribal Museum is near the Don Bosco Bridge, the Tribal Museum has showcased the life of the Maharashtrian Tribal Communities. A museum only on tribal communities, interesting insights into the tribal communities from Sahyadri regions are prime attractions and a visit to this outstanding museum is a must.

Excellent documentation via photographs and artifacts of the life and customs of the very unusual tribal people of Maharashtra are here.

Maharashtra is a vast state and there are a number of tribals in this state. Having different languages, these tribes have their own food habits, taboos, and beliefs - in short distinct cultures.

Tribal Museum exhibits the cultures of the tribal communities mainly from the Sahyadari and Gondwana regions. It is a place where one can find to get an insight into the lives of the tribal communities of Maharashtra.

Open daily from 10.00 to 17.00 and located at 28 Queens Garden, near the railway station. Closed on: Sundays and government holidays. Entry: Free Photography: Allowed with permission.

About University of Pune

The University of Pune is a feather in the cap of Pune's educaion system, placing Pune as a pemier education destination for students from all over the world. Established in 1948, the university has since become one of the leading centres for research and teaching in the country. It is spread over a 400 acre campus and is located in the north-western part of Pune. The University houses 40 departments which provide a wide array of academic programs. The placid environs and state of the art facilities provide its numerous students with an ideal atmosphere to pursue education in various areas of science, arts, commerce and languages

The University of Pune (formerly known as University of Poona) was established under the Poona University Act, passed by the Bombay Legislature on 10th February, 1948. In the same year, Dr. M. R. Jayakar assumed office as the first vice chancellor of the University. Shri B.G. Kher, Chief Minister and Education Minister, Govt. of Bombay, took a keen interest in setting apart a beautiful campus for the University. As a result of his efforts, a campus extending over 411 acres was allocated to the University in early 1950.

The university attracts many people who wish to spend time in green and pollution-free surroundings. The peaceful environs of the campus offer a perfect opportunity for relaxation and contemplation.

A three-storeyed mansion with its famous entrance is another of Pune's attractions, which symbolises and tells tales of Pune's rich culture and heritage.

Now serving as a post office, this place has carved woodwork in its balcony and is located on Bajirao Road. And yes, the best person to ask for any sort of information on this is the best historian in the city, Baba Saheb Purandare.

Places Around Pune

Lonavala & Khandala

Very popular hill stations, known for their resplendent green beauty during rains, these twin hill stations offer romantic hills, small waterfalls and the works' A place very easily reachable by train or by road, 70 km from Pune, it's just about an hour-and-a-half long drive. A number of hotels, motels and resorts assure you comfortable stay. Located at a four hours trek is the dreamy hamlet of Rajmachi from where the twin forts of Manoranjan and Shrivardhan are worth seeing!

Besides, a quick weekend getaway to Lonavala is perfect to de-stress you out with must visits to the Lonavala Lake, Bushy Dam, Tiger's Leap, Ryewood Park,Tungarli Dam, Barometer Hill.

Also what makes the place famous is the famous Chikki (made of jaggery and groundnuts) and also the chocolate fudge! A must visit in the rainy seasons; some of the recommended hotels include Duke's Retreat at Khandala and Fariyas at Lonavala!

In recent years the heavy flow of weekenders and conference groups from Pune has changed the demography of the area dramatically.

Khandala gives a good view of the rainwater fed waterfalls while Lonavla acts as the base for the Karla & Bhaja Caves. These caves date back to the 2nd century B.C and are one of the finest examples of rock temples by the Hinayana sect in India.

The Karla caves were carved by the monks and the artisans who tried to imitate the carvings on wood. The light filters inwards through the Sun window. A wooden umbrella protects the Dagoba or representation of Buddha. Kneeling elephants that have seated figures top the pillars. These 37 pillars are the circumambulatory aisles. Teak beams rib the ceiling. Out side the cave a stambha with four back-to-back Lions stands. This pillar is associated with Ashoka and is believed to have been kept there later. The Bhaja caves are older and peaceful than the Karla caves. Out of the 18 Bhaja caves ten are viharas and one is an open chaitya.

Getting There: By Road : Lonavala is on the Mumbai-Pune Highway,104 kms, Pune-Lonavala, 66 Kms By air : Nearest airport is Pune, 66 kms By Rail : Lonavala is on the Mumbai Pune Rail line of the central Railway


The summer capital of the Bombay presidency, the little town of Mahabaleshwar, situated 1372 ft above sea level, was founded in 1828 and is the highest point in the Western Ghats. A relaxing place to diddle away a weekend and an ideal destination in summer. A typical colonial town, in spirit closer to Blighty than Maratha land, with plenty of bridle paths, boating and golf facilities, fishing spots and trekking trails. The town is full of lookout points (Bombay Point, Elphinstone Point, Babington Point, Kate's Point) that provide fetching views of the plains and the sea hundreds of feet below.There are also some pretty waterfalls to visit. By far the best pastime to engage in -- eating strawberries.

The town's strawberries are probably the tastiest in the world. Rummaging around all the old British buildings and cemeteries makes an interesting diversion too. An evergreen vast plateau with long beautiful roads, horse rides & foot paths along forest, the must tries are honey & chikki, channas, and the juicy strawberries, rasberries, gooseberries & mulberries.

Established as a health resort in 1829 AD by Maharaja Pratapsinha of Satara (1818 to 1839), it was a jail for Chinese & Malay convicts from 1834 to 1864. Many of the prisoners stayed at Mahabaleshwar after they were released. The jungle of Mahabaleshwar produces many commercial as well as medicinal trees & plants.

The wild life is limited to foxes, jackals, & wild boars. Deers & bisons are found in the Brahma aranya area. Panthers are rare. The famous bird in the Urdu poetry, Bulbul is found everywhere in the plateau. The best times to visit this hill station are October, Diwali & X'mas holidays & summer.

Hotels are open round the year even during the rainy seasons. Besides some of the fun things that one can do if you are tired of being cooped indoors is visit the Sir B. D. Petit library, play at the Hindu Gymkhana or the Mahabaleshwar Club.

Horse riding, photography, walking, bird watching and boating in the famous Venna Lake are various interesting options! With a vast number of points, the famous Wilson's Point, Arthur's Seat, Sunset Point and the Lover's Point remain must visits for the first timers! A gujju thali at Hotel Rajesh or even a stay at the Valley View Resort, Belmont Park Hill Resort or Lake View is definitely recommended by those who have frequented this place!

Most hotels are closed during the monsoons, an off-season period when Mahabaleshwar is inundated with 6 meters of rain.

Getting There :

Mahabaleshwar is easily accessible from Pune by road and is a 3-hour drive and 120 kilometers northeast of Pune. The MTDC runs luxury buses to Mahabaleshwar regularly from Pune. 4500 feet above sea level, Mahabaleshwar is easily accessible only by road.


Around 100 km from Pune, Panchgani at a height of 1000 m, gets its name from the five hills on which it is built. Panchgani is another one of India's dreamy, quiet hill stations. It is located in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, on Parasni ghat, just 20 odd kilometers from the very resort-ish Mahabaleshwar and set in an even more pretty location. Probably the best option would be to stay at Panchgani Club, which offers temporary membership.

The club authorities can be a bit sticky if you don't have the recommendation of a member; but it is worth a try. Regular buses connect Panchgani with Mahabaleshwar, Pune and Bombay including the MTDC luxury coaches.

This town is crammed with all kinds of lookout spots and lanes of silver oak to pursue nature rambles. The town -which was 'established' in the 1850s by John Chesson -is surrounded by the five hills from which it gets its name. It is at a lower elevation than Mahabaleshwar by just a few feet. The drive between the two towns is breathtaking. Famous for its flowers like Buttercups, pimpernel etc., during the months of August-September, sights on the hill slopes of this place are spell bounding. During the monsoon Panchgani is deluged with some six meters of rain.

So fierce are the downpours that even buildings don special raincoats of kulum grass and the hill station all but closes down. Famous is this hill station for the best variety of boarding schools in the country.. Be it St.Peter's where the who's who of the film industry from Sanjay Dutt have studied or St. Joseph's where Kajol and Zeenat Aman have their Alma Mater. Even Sanjeevni is a great school started by Dr. Neelkanth Kalyani, which offers CBSE and SSC residential boards.


Discovered by an Englishman, this hilltop retreat around 120 kms from Pune, is a green patch in the Western Ghats. Matheran, which means, "wooded head" certainly lives up to its name. There are numerous tracks covered with red earth, crisscrossing this beautiful place. Walking along these tracks, covered almost entirely under a canopy of dense vegetation, can be a charming experience.

This is one of the few retreats where your cars are not allowed beyond a certain point where you can safely park your cars for Rs.10 a day, and you could explore this hill-station on foot or on horseback.

This quaint, old-fashioned town is off limits to cars and a cute toy train up the hillside (grab a window seat) is one way of getting here! Ideal for a weekend break, this hill station closest to Mumbai still has stone villas, graveyards and churches that remind you of the bygone Raj days even today!

Life here, like most other hill stations moves at a leisurely pace. With a beautiful lake with 30 vantage points, you could also spend time strolling down the lazy main market, or wait for the sun to crawl down horizon at the sunset point.

On a clear night you can count a few million stars while listening to an orchestra of crickets and other insects. Though the local population of Matheran is very less the visitors pour at this place frequently.

The best season to visit this place is between November to June but the place is worth visiting any time of the year.During the monsoon the trails become very dirty and the place virtually shuts down.


Easily the most popular getaway, not withstanding that it's much closer than the other forts, the Pashan lake and the lovely drive makes it a much adored and a desired picnic and getaway spot. The Lion Fort, as it would quite literally translate into, is located 25 kilometers South of Pune perched on a steep hill. Once known as Kondhana, the proximity of this fort to Pune has been commercialized to quite an extent. Buses are available from the Sarasbaug Bus Stand, which drop you till the foothill.

However, a bike or a car should be preferred to feel the breezy drive and the beautiful landscape.

This 17th century fort has mostly fallen to ruin, but it is possible to literally walk backwards in history and recreate the scenes of the fierce battle fought by Shivaji's General Tanaji Malasure who died during the battle, to win the fort for Shivaji with the help of the monuments and signboards posted in the area. They have even created a monument at the spot where Tanaji lost his arm.

On the grounds too is a memorial or samadhi to the slain leader. It is said that when Shivaji learned that his general had been killed in the battle he mourned, " We have gained the fort but lost the lion" and it is thus that the fort got its name. Also of interest nearby are the bungalows where Lokmanya Gangadhar Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi met in 1915. The story of his climb to the fort from the back with the help of a chameleon and then getting his army to the top is still the guide's favorite one.

The bhaji's and dahi wati at the top are a crowd favorite. Also, we recommend that you try out the pithla-bhakri and the rustic chicken curry. Sundays here are busy with picnic groups, trekkers and tourists.

Getting There:

Sinhagad can be accessed by the S.T. and P.C.M.T buses. Alight at village Donaje and climb 2000 ft. to enter by the Pune gate. A well marked path-partly in steps -takes one to the top, through a series of gates. An alternative route is also up the ridge through the forests and leading right upto the fort. The shortest ascent -only 1200 ft. is from Kalyan Darwaza, reached by taking a bus to Kondhanapur,from where the village of Kalyan is only 3 miles away

Lohagad and Visapur Forts

A ridge separates the twin forts of Lohegadh and Visapur at 1350m with a km between them. Lohagadh was Shivaji's stronghold during his reign.

A local from Pune takes you there; you have to get down at Malavli, the nearest rail head (10 kms away) which takes roughly an hour or so. A waterfall in the trek to Lohagad is the highlight of the trek. A number of mischievous monkeys can create trouble so watch out.

Though not much remains of the fort, the trek to the top is still worth it. While Visapur might be right next to it, there is not much to see! Dating back to the 1700s, visiting these forts (one kilometer apart), which were taken and lost by Shivaji, makes for a strenuous hike.

The Bhaja caves , situated in Bhaja village, are nearby and it is a 4 kilometer walk from Lohagad to these caves and so also from Lohagad to the main road. The nearest railhead is Malvali, 10 kilometers away.

Rajgad Fort

About 85 kms from Pune, this fort has great historical relevance, as it was Shivaji's favourite fort. Practically speaking, a two hour bus drive to Wazheghar, Bhutonda or Pali. Any of these options will take you right to the foothills of this legendary fort. Accomplished in a matter of four years, 80 kms from the hill station of Mahabaleshwar, the remains of this fort give a glimpse of the majesty of Shivaji's first mountain capital. For those with the adventurous streak, take the trek through the chor darwaza, otherwise the easier route through Pali which while being a cakewalk is a longer one.

The temple atop the Padmavati machi offers a good place to stay! Rajgadh, with its treacherous approaches, zig zag narrow paths and the deceptive double-walled armour of its ramparts, and also the massive pali gate, nedhe or elephant's eye still exists. But Shivaji had to give this up because of its narrow summit to move onto Raigadh!

The view from the top offers a magnificent view of the Sahyadri range.

Pratapgadh Fort

At a distance of 25 kms from Mahabaleshwar stands the majestic Pratapgadh housing the tomb of Afzalkhan at the toe of the fort. This fort is famous for the encounter between Shivaji and Afzalkhan, the ruler of Ahmednagar.

In spite of being attacked by tiger claws, Shivaji killed Afzalkhan. There is a temple of Bhavani Mata, the idol of worship of King Shivajiraje Bhosle. There is a statue of Shivaji Maharaj inside the fort called Bale Killa.

Currently accesible by a motorable road to the top, all the amenities of a hill-station are available at MTDC's resort a few kms. away at Mahabaleshwar.

Purandar Fort

About 40 km from Pune, this place was the capital of Maharashtra under Shivaji for some time. This fort now holds the academy of the National Cadet Corps (NCC). There are a number of interesting historical sights a short distance out of Pune that can be seen over a few days, if you plan your time right.

The charm of this quaint city of Pune is around it in the forts, the caves and the other adventurous treks around the little mountains and hillocks! Some of these sights have great relevance in the history of the Marathas.

Visits to the Buddhist caves at Bhaja and at Karla make rather interesting side trips too. And Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar, located in the Sahyadris, are quaint, pretty places for a relaxing few days. Take your pick.


One of the highest forts in Maharashtra, this fort was Shivaji's first major conquest. He rebuilt it by repairs and made it his base. Shivaji had apparently abandoned this fort for Raigadh after finding it to be vulnerable due to its open summit. This fort offers a lot for trekkers, as it has one of the most exciting treks.

A two-hour bus ride from Swargate will take you to Velha village, where the imposing fort rises out of the outskirts of this village!

Not a fort for everyone, this trek needs to be attempted only for true-blue trekkers, as the fort does not offer any shelter or food! Though what it does make good for is the fantastic viewing of the surrounding forts! A true blue biker's diary reads, "Sunset is beautiful. The view from the top towards Rajgadh is awesome. Climb is dangerous. Almost vertical at times. Biking was great, lots of climbs and down hills."


The temple here is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in the country. Around 20,000 pilgrims annually attend the fair during the festival of Mahashivaratri. This place is about 22 kms from Pune.

A special Hindu pilgrimage site and quite free of tourist stampedes, this Shiva temple was built by a Peshwa ruler and really comes alive during Shivratri.

The temple is rather impressive and beautifully carved and houses one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Hindustan. Located 122 kilometers away from Pune by road in the northeast direction, this temple is close to Shivneri Fort.


Situated on the river Indrayani, this place is famous for the poet Sant Tukaram who was born and brought up here. A number of stories of the famed poet and the place are still popular. There are a number of interesting historical sights a short distance out of Pune that can be seen over a few days, if you plan your time right.

The charm of this quaint city of Pune is around it in the forts, the caves and the other adventurous treks around the little mountains and hillocks! Some of these sights have great relevance in the history of the Marathas.

Visits to the Buddhist caves at Bhaja and at Karla make rather interesting side trips too. And Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar, located in the Sahyadris, are quaint, pretty places for a relaxing few days. Take your pick.

Karla Caves

About 40 km from Pune, these Buddhist caves dating back to 160 BC, have a Chaitya (chapel), the largest in the country and some viharas (dwelling caves).

Karla is the site of some of the best-preserved Buddhist caves and the chaitya cave is perhaps the best-preserved cave of its kind in the subcontinent. Unlike the Ajanta and Ellora caves, the most refreshing feature of Karla is the absence of tourist hordes, since Karla is quite off the tourist beaten track.

However, to avoid holidaying locals, don't visit the caves on the weekends. The Karla caves exist amidst a range of hills not far from Lonavala. Apart from the chaitya hall there are many vihara caves too.

However, it is the awesome chaitya hall that makes this journey worth it. The architecture and the carvings of this hall are something else! A must see!

Bhaja Caves

Bhaja, a famous Buddhist rock cut shrine of 2nd century is situated 6 kms away from Lonavala in Maharastra.

You are to climb almost half a km to reach this beautiful scenic spot where Viharas (hostel) and a huge Chaitya hall (worship place) were chiselled for Buddhist monks and devotees in pre Chistian era. A village of the same name is located at the foothills of this mountain.Although the facade of a grand structure has almost collapsed the Chaitya is still the most remarkable structure over here.

The entrance room of the attention drawing Vihara No.12 has on its right side, sculptures of Surya and Indra with a Yaksha below Surya. Pillars here have centaurs. A scene below on the left side - narrating Buddhist story also draws ones attention. Below this mountain at the pre historic Mother Goddess site Mukkai, the villagers offer sacrifices here once a year even now.

Further in the village on the plains is a shrine to the Goddess in the green fields and another ancient temple with a Goddess half a km away near a lake.

Bedsa Caves

10 miles South of Karle close to the Kamshet Railway Station is this interior village called Bedsa next to which the New Pune Bombay Express highway is being constructed with the cave located on a stiff hill. Though smaller in size the shrine is very attractive. With breath taking scenery one cannot help but appreciate the spot chosen by Buddhist monks.

With a huge chaitya and one big vihara, there are also numerous small resting chambers or cells for monks that were chiseled out here.

The ornamentation on the fa'ade is made up of miniature rails and repetition of window fronts or facades with a number of water cisterns in front of the Chaitya with one of the inscriptions belonging to Mandavi princess Samadinaka who got this facility made for monks and Buddhist devotees.

The Vihara has 9 cells and couple of side cells. In one of the larger cells is a non-Buddhist deity Yamai that is worshipped by the Kolis. Below in the village under a tree is the Tandula stone of Bedsai. A palki (palanquin) from this village every year goes up to Yamai's shrine and then to Vaghoba (deity of the pass) up the hill.


A small village on the banks of the river Indrayani, it is also popularly called Devachi Alandi. Two fairs are held annually here: one on Ashadhi Ekadashi and the other on Kartik Ekadashi.

One can find the samadhi of the famous saint and poet Dnyaneshwar, the author of 'Dyaneshwari' the Marathi commentary on the Gita.

Also situated on the banks of the river Indrayani, 31 kms away, is Dehu, the birthplace of Tukaram, the great 17th century poet-saint of Maharashtra. Hindu pilgrims mostly frequent it.Transport is easy with a number of State Transport buses from Pune. One can also find 'Dharmashalas' for a comfortable stay, but prior booking is necessary.


Situated 48 kms away, Jejuri is known for its Khandoba deity and is considered a religious place by the Hindus. Large congregations attend the annual fair held here. There are eight Ganesh temples or `ashtavinayakas' in Maharashtra where the idol is Swayambhoo or self formed.

Five of these are in and around Pune Sri Moreshwar, Sri Chintamani , Sri Mahaganapati , Sri Wighnahar and Sri Girijatmak.

Khandoba, the deity at Jejuri is the fighter God of the Marathas. He is shown astride a horse and has a angry warlike look. This was reason enough for the Muslims to repeatedly destroy the temple. Even Aurangzeb attempted to destroy the temple a second time in 1690. He however was thwarted in this attempt when the Mughal soldiers while trying to attack the temple disturbed a nest of hornets. The hornets so harassed the besieging Mughal soldiers that Aurangzeb was forced to lift the siege and spare the temple.

The Bigoted but God-fearing Aurangzeb is said to have placated the angry bees by offering One Hundred and Twenty Five Thousand Silver Coins to the God Khandoba

About Pune:

Fondly called as the Oxford of the East and the cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune as a city has grown manifolds over the past few decades.

The regional language out here is Marathi. Unlike many other Indian regional languages, Marathi is easy to understand, posing not too many problems to the tourist.

Much can be attributed to the similarity it holds with the national language Hindi.

The traffic out here does get congested and it is best to travel either via two-wheelers or auto rickshaws in the interiors. The amount of two-wheelers and women drivers here is probably one of the highest in the country.

As is with the most of the cites, the intra-city areas are very safe even during the night. Venturing alone or into unknown areas near the ghats or on the outskirts are not advisable.

Though Pune does not report of very serious crime rates, petty thefts etc. are to be watched out for. Do not stop to give lifts or to ask directions during night times in isolated areas.

The Indian Rupee is the used currency. Many new currency exchange points and ATM centers have come up all over the city over the last two years making money very easily accessible for visitors. Always carry loose change in coins for urgent calls, parking etc. Beware of the Rs 500 notes, check them before using.

The Puneite is definitely much more relaxed and friendly than the average Bombayite. A warm greeting about his wellbeing will do him in and mind you, he's very touchy about Pune. The most outstanding aspect of Pune and its people is the sound balance they have maintained between modernity and their age-old rich culture and tradition. No wonder, it's called the 'Cultural Capital of Maharashtra' as well as 'The Oxford of the East'.

Geographical location: Pune district is located between 17.5' to 19.2' North and 73.2' to 75.1' East. The district is bounded on North & East by Ahmednagar district, by Satara district on the South and by Raigad district on the West. In Pune district, there are two municipal corporations, namely Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri-Chinchawad Municipal Corporation (PCMC).

Pune district covers 14 talukas & 13 Panchayat Samitis. There are around 1,866 villages in the district. Total road length of Pune district is 13,642 kms. Average rainfall in the district is 600 to 700 mms.

Pimpri Chinchwad is located at the West of Pune city, touching the Pune- Mumbai National highway. The corporation covers the area of Akurdi, Pimpri, Chinchwad and Bhosari. The said area is developed by MIDC as an industrial zone.

Geographical Status of Pune city:

Pune city is located at 559 metres from the mean sea level. It is located in the Deccan Plateau and is about 100 kms east from Konkan coast and at a distance of about 160 kms from Mumbai.

It is located at the confluence of Mula-Mutha rivers. It is bounded by hills on the western side. One can see the Sinhagad-Katraj hilly area to the south. About 12% area of the city is hilly area.

Geographical area:

The total geographical area of Pune district is 15642 sq. kms. This is around 5 per cent of the total area of Maharashtra state.

The total geographical area of Pune city is 450.69 sq. kms. Out of the total area, 38.6 per cent is residential area, 1.8 per cent is commercial area, 9.5 per cent is defense area, 11 per cent is industrial area and 9.7 per cent is recreational area.


Total population of Pune district is 72.24 lakhs, out of which 37.68 lakhs are men and 34.56 lakhs are women as per 2001 census.

Population of Pune city is around 31, 57,000 as per 2001 census.

Climatic Conditions:

Pune stands on the leeward side of the Western Ghats on an altitude of 559m.(1863 ft.). The temperatures are pretty moderate. Though not as unpredictable as the British weather, the city of Pune does have its share of uncertainties in different seasons.

Summers here begin from early March to July. Though not as hot as Northern parts of India, the daytimes are very sunny with dry heat. Early mornings are pleasant and evenings after six, cool and breezy

Bright summery clothes are an obvious suggestion with sunglasses for driving. The temperature ranges from 38'C to 20'C. Though, this year, summer hit a new high with 40+ a common temp.

Being on the leeward side of the ghats, Pune has a good three months of rains from July-August to October. Clear skies in the morning are not to be deceived by, as it does rain in the evenings. Umbrellas for pedestrians and raincoats for drivers are a must, as there lies no escape. While driving, beware of potholes and use a minimum of two pairs of shoes as drying takes about 2-3 days. Temperatures range from 18-19 degrees to 30 degrees.

WINTERS: From November to January, Pune has it's winter season. Though light woollens are fine during the day, early mornings, evenings and night times require more clothing as it's chilly.

6'C was the lowest recorded last year. For drivers, windcheaters and head covers are a must. Hot cup of coffee are highly enjoyable during mornings and evenings.

Though not in the real sense of the term spring, late Jan to March are the most pleasant months in Pune. The sun is bright and warm and temperatures move in the moderate zone. Overall, the climate and temperature does not go to extremities and humidity is negligible here. Any time of the year Pune is perfect for morning and evening walks

The temperature of city ranges between 12'C to 37'C.

The average rainfall recorded is 600 to 700 mm. Maximum rainfall is observed from June to September every year. Owing to its geographical location, the climate of the city is cool and pleasant throughout the year. The natural beauty of the city has given it the title of Deccan Queen.

Socio-Economic Status:

In Pune, there are two cantonment areas. Pune city is well connected to the cities of Nashik, Mumbai, Ahamadnagar, Solapur & Bangalore.

Other facts

Jowar, bajara, wheat and rice are the major crops in the city Bhima is the major river of the district and minor rivers are Karha, Kukadi, Pavana, Meena and Shivganga.

The Helpline

The Helpline has specially been created so that the users have all the emergency and important telephone numbers at their fingertips.A 'category menu' has been created to segregate one section from the other, making it easy for the user to get just the 'right' number.

Listing numbers from 'hospitals' to 'railway enquiry' we have covered almost every category. However if you want information on any other category, we would be most happy to be at your service


Ambulance 101

Columbus Ambulance 2553 1146 / 2353 2630

Narayani 2433 8833

Pune Heart Brigade 105

Rugna Seva 2421 7672

Sai Ambulance 2695 9308 / 2695 9208

Ruby Hall Clinic 2612 3391

YCM 2742 3456

Blood Bank

Ruby Hall Clinic Dhole Patil Road 26136318

Acharya Anandrishiji Pune Blood Bank Poona Hospital, Sadashiv Peth, Pune 411030 24337627

Indian Serological Institute Near Vaikunth, Navi Peth, Pune 411030 24339906/24335244

Navjeevan Shanipar Mandir Road, Pune 411 002 2448 0341

Lokmanya Hospital Chinchwad, Pune 411 033 27459222

Inlaks and Budhrani Koregaon Park, Pune 411 001 26129080 Ext 170

Deendayal Memorial Hospital Fergusson College Road, Pune 411 004 2565 2497/ 5657/ 3332 Ext 49

K.E.M. Hospital Rasta Peth 26125600

Red cross 26120650/26120950

A.F.M.C. Blood Bank 26973290 Ext-6037

Bharati Hospital Katraj, Pune-Satara Rd. Pune 411 043 24226116

Sasoon Hospital Near Pune Railway station, Pune-411 001 2612 8000

Jehangir Hospital Blood Bank Sassoon Road, Pune 411001 2612 2551 Ext 3122 / 33

Mathurabai Vasistha Blood Bank Rastha Peth, Pune 411 001 26125600 Ext 324

Wadia Trust Blood Bank Ruby Hall Clinic, Sasoon Road, Pune 411 001 26123391/98

Jankalyan Blood Bank Swargate Pune 411 002 24449527/1462/4502

Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital Blood Bank Near mhatre Bridge, Pune 411 004 2400 300, 2402 307

Vishweshwar Blood Bank Padmashree Dr. D Y Patil Medical College & Hosp., Pimpri, Pune 411018 2742 3844

Pune Chest Hospital Blood Bank Aundh Camp, Pune 411 027 2728 0237

Akshay Blood Bank Gadital, Hadapsar Pune 411 028 2697 6456

Talera Hospital Blood Bank PCMC, Pune 411 033 2745 7054

Armed Forces Medical College Blood Bank Wanowrie, Pune 411 040 2697 3290 Ext. 6037 / 38

Day & Night Chemists

Ruby Hall Clinic Station Road 26123391 - Ext- 263

K.E.M. Medical Store Rasta Peth 26126500

Kotbagi Hospital Drug Store Pune 25887089

Poona Hospital Medical Pune 24331707 - Ext - 215

Krishna Hospital Medical Paud Road 25460625

Amar Medical Store 14 , Yerawada , Pune 6 26693978

Laxmi Medical 29 , Ram Wadi , Pune 14 26682250

Usha Nursing Home Medical - 26344969

Kemps Medical - 26137702

Deendayal Memorial Hospital - 25652497/25651613/25654262 (extn 32)

Chemists and Druggists(Sunday Open)

Amar Medical General Stores - 2669 3978

Mahavir Medicals - 2589 7936

Puno Hospital Medical Store - 2433 8768

Saraswati Medicals - 2663 0485

Medicines (Home Delivery)

Ezzy Medicals - 2634 4247

Kalyani Medicals - 2613 8114

Hari Parshuram Aushadalaya Shaniwar Peth 24451871

Courier Services

Flypak Couriers Shukrawar Bajirao Rd 24477590

Access Worldwide Navi Peth 24335490/24335460

Ahad Tours International Salunke Vihar 26812978

First Flight

Shivaji Nagar 25535933

Chinchwad 27470838

Tilak Road 24491140

Hadapsar 26813777

Pune Station 26122283

Synagogue Street 26133554/26132644

Karve Road 25421005

Lonavala 292470658

Blue Dart Express Ltd.

Bund Garden Road 26120638/26123706/26127440

Karve Road 24004551/25432810

Toll-free numbers:

ABT Courier 1600 44 8585

AFL Wizz 1600 22 9696

Agarwal Packers & Movers 1600 11 4321

Associated Packers P Ltd 1600 21 4560

DHL 1600 111 345

FedEx 1600 22 6161

Goel Packers & Movers 1600 11 3456

UPS 1600 22 7171

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New symbol to make Indian Rupee distinct:

The government on Thursday adopted a new symbol for the rupee that shall be used henceforth to represent the Indian currency in all written and electronic communication worldwide.

The symbol combines the Roman letter 'R' and its equivalent in Devnagari'a script which is employed in Hindi and in some other North Indian languages that were derived from Sanskrit.

The symbol, which replaces the oft-used shortened form of rupee such as 'Rs' or 'INR' (Indian Rupees), will take about two years to be fully implemented considering the time needed to update various software and computer keyboards.

The rupee has thus joined the club of currencies such as UK's pound sterling, US' dollar and the Japanese Yen that are identified by a symbol.

With this, the Indian rupee will also be seen as a distinct entity from its namesakes in the neighbouring countries such as Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, where either rupee or rupaiah are in vogue.

For the government, having a symbol for the domestic currency has been a matter of prestige for the fastest growing free market democracy in the world. The symbol, selected by the finance ministry from over 3,000 entries and approved by the Cabinet, is designed by D Udaya Kumar, a post-graduate from IIT, who has been newly appointed as an assistant professor in the design department of IIT-Guwahati.

The government will try to adopt it within six months in the country and globally within 18 to 24 months, information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni told reporters here after the Cabinet meeting.

'The symbol for the Rupee would lend a distinctive character and identity to the currency and further highlight the strength and robustness of the Indian economy,' the government said in a statement. The symbol would be incorporated in the 'unicode standard', which is a character coding system to facilitate worldwide communication of written texts in diverse languages and technical disciplines.

The government, the software industry body Nasscom and the Manufacturers' Association for Information Technology would take all steps to ensure that computer keyboards allow the use of the symbol, the government said here

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