For a period of over one hundred years the district of Pune has been a bastion of the all-powerful Maratha empire. Pune District is marked by numerous awesome land and sea forts, a testimony to Raja Shivaji's daring exploits. Later, Pune was handed over to the Peshwa family, whose Maratha power rose to be a major political force. In 1818, Pune was taken over by the East India Company.
The cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune is just 170 kms from Mumbai. In fact, Pune exemplifies an indigenous Marathi culture and ethos, in which education, arts and crafts, and theatre are given due prominence. It has one of Indias oldest universities and numerous colleges catering to Indian and international students. Small when comapared to Mumbai, Pune's old city area is peppered with narrow and winding roads but the newer areas are more open and spacious. Though mostly populated with a Marathi-speaking community, Pune is slowly becoming a more cosmopolitan city.
Today, Pune is an important commercial and educational centre with distinctive features and characteristics of its own including the omnipresent 3 wheeler auto-rickshaws and cyclists and a daily siesta hour which is taken very seriously.
Sant Dnyaneshwar - a famous saint in Maharashtra - was born in Apegaon near Paithan. But Alandi is the place famous for his Samadhi. Sant Dnyaneshwar spent his short life here. He inspired the entire Maharashtra to worship Lord Panduranga. "Dnyaneshwari" - is famous manuscript (holy book) will always remind him alandi is truly a pilgrim center. The Palakhi in the month of Ashadh is very popular and many people walk almost 150 kms. from Alandi to Pandharpur.
Alandi is situated on the banks of river Indrayani and the ghat behind the samadhi temple is very beautiful. Samadhi temple is worth to see and creates a pleasant atmosphere. This temple was built in 1570. You can also see the famous wall in Alandi on which Dnyaneshwar sat and flew the wall to meet Changdev.
The other famous places in Alandi are Muktai temple, Ram temple, Krishna Temple, Math of Swami Hariharendra, Vitthal-Rakhumai temple and the famous wall.
Alandi - a clean and nice pilgrim center makes Pune district a landmark for the pilgrims in the country.
Dehu (Reminiscences of Saint Tukaram)
Dehu is a place of Sant Tukaram - well known saint in Maharashtra. He lived here and taught people how to pray the god. He and Sant Dnyaneshwar was the popular saints and both worshiped Lord Vitthal. The 'Palakhi' in the month of 'Ashadh' from Dehu is one of the main attractions of Dehu. Many people are taking part in it from so many years till now.
Dehu is a place where the 'Abhang 'of Sant Tukaram can be remembered. One can see his temple here on the banks of river. This temple was constructed by his younger son Narayanbaba in 1723. Various other temples near the worth to see. A rock where Sant Tukaram was on fast is also here.
Sant Tukaram will always be remembered for his Abhang and Gatha.
The Chaturshringi Temple is a small hillock dedicated to Goddess "Durga". The Presiding deity is Goddess "Ambreshwari". An annual Navaratri Fair is held here in the month of "Ashwin" This temple was built in Shivaji's era.
Kasba Ganpati is the first Ganpati of honour in Pune. Since 1894, mandal is being in the first place in the procession. The Kasba Ganpati Utsav is celebrated without use of 'Gulal'. Shivaji Maharaja's mother Jijabai had put up the statue of Ganesh. On her behalf Dadoji Kondadev had put on a tent in front of the statue of Ganesh.
Guruji Talim Mandal
Guruji Talim the Third Ganpati of Honour in Pune. The Mandal was established in1887. This was the first mandal in Pune to celebrate its 100 years. The expenditure of the festival is very rearly collected from the public, it is mostly collected by the members of the mandal. Thus mandal existed even before the Ganesh festival had started.
Tulasi baug Ganapati
Tulshi Baug Ganpati is the Fourth Ganpati of honour in Pune. Peculiarity of this mandal is the Ganesh idol is a new one every year. The size of the idol is about 13 feet in height. The idol is of fiber glass and the mandal is the pioneer in such kind of idol making. The mandal is in its centenary year, next year i.e. in 2002 it completes its 100 years. Through the year the mandal is busy celebrating various festivals. The decoration for this year is 'Sapta Matrika'. These are seven idols hence called 'Sapta Matrika'.
Year of Establishment : 1887
Address : 33, Budhwar Peth, Pune
Tambadi Jogeswari is the Second Ganpati of Honour in Pune. Tambdi Jogeswari was one of the early established Ganesh Mandals. The Mandal has already completed its 100 years. The Idol resembles an elephants.
Various functions are organised during the festival by the Mandal. Many people take part in these events keeping social interest in mind. Many people attend the Aarti to seek blessings.