Pune – Oxford of the East

Pune, also called Poona, a city situated in west-central of Maharashtra state in the western India, at the junction of the Mula and Mutha rivers. It is called “Queen of the Deccan”. Pune is the old capital of the Maratha Empire, it is a cultural and educational hub often referred to as the Oxford of the East. Pune is the cultural capital of the Maratha people. 

The city first gained importance as the capital of the Bhonsle Marathas in the 17th century. It was temporarily captured by the Mughals but again it served as the official Maratha capital from 1714 until its fall to the British in 1817. 

Corporate housing in Pune

Pune was the seasonal capital of the Bombay Presidency and is now a popular tourist resort, offering cool weather, historic and religious monuments, museums, parks, hotels, and cultural attractions. It is known for the grand Aga Khan Palace, built in 1892 and now a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, whose ashes are preserved in the garden.

Pune has been a major educational and cultural centre; the former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru referred to it as the “Oxford and Cambridge of India.” Pune is also the headquarters of the southern command of the Indian army, with the Khadakwasla Academy located nearby. A big attraction for foreigners is the leafy quarter of Koregaon Park—full of drama, mysticism, and sprawling mansions, all built around ancient banyans.

The area is primarily a residential area with lush greenery, but of late has been growing into a commercial hub as well. One of Pune’s best-known landmarks is the Osho Ashram, a so-called “meditation resort” which has drawn visitors from around the globe for decades. 

Pune is the second-largest city in the Indian State of Maharashtra, after Mumbai, and the eighth most populous city in India, with an estimated population of 7.4 million as of 2020. Pune has a hot semi-arid climate bordering with tropical wet and dry with average temperatures ranging between 19 to 33 °C (66 to 91 °F). Pune experiences three seasons: summer, monsoon, and winter. Marathi is the main language of Pune, its cosmopolitan population speaks several other languages such as English, Hindi and Gujarati.

A sprawling complex of industrial suburbs has developed around the city. Large factories producing a wide variety of products are distributed along the roads radiating from Pune to Mumbai (Bombay), Ahmednagar, Solapur and Satara. The old city is largely residential and commercial and it is served by large-scale commuter transport. In 1961 the Panshet Dam collapsed, washing away a substantial part of the old town.

The region surrounding Pune includes the Sahyadri Hills, the Balaghat Range (north), and the Mahadeo Hills (south), which enclose the northern Bhima River valley. Most of the important religious, historical, and tourist attractions of the region are located in the Sahyadri Hills. Some of the famous hill forts of the Marathas, such as Sinhgad, are now resorts.


Pune is the second-largest city in Maharashtra, after Mumbai, the cost of living is difficult to determine: Pune is too broad in terms of the area. The average cost of living in Pune is slightly lower than in Delhi and higher than in many cities in southern India. The city is cut in half by a river, and the old town is the cultural heart of Pune. 

Serviced apartments in Pune

There are some very expensive places in Pune, if planned to stay further from the main town then one can cut on the expenses significantly. Koregaon park, Pune’s most exclusive neighborhood, and the place to head for cafes like German bakery, Jewelry boutiques like Sangeeta Boochra and restaurants like Arthur’s Theme, Malaka Spice, etc.

Property prices in the koregaon park area are usually the highest as it is known as one of the poshest and an upmarket locality in the city. High-quality temporary accommodation options include the JW Marriott Hotel Pune, the Pride Hotel, and the Conrad Pune, which is known for its restaurant and spa facilities. 

The liveliest central neighborhood in Pune is the Deccan Gymkhana, which has some great places to eat like Cafe Goodluck, and it lies at the meeting point of the city’s major transport arteries. The Peths are the most ancient part of the city, the Peth areas are a network of tight alleyways that are lined by craft stalls and street food vendors. It’s a great place to wander around.

While looking for an apartment in the city there are a few things to be considered. For example, unfurnished apartments lack all basic household and kitchen appliances including air conditioners. These can sometimes be negotiated with the landlord. 

On the other hand, furnished apartments are very few and furniture is not always up to expat quality. There are a few Hotel service apartments in the city where often expats prefer staying are Oakwood Residence, Marriott Suites and AR Suites Fontana Bay. 

There are not many apartments that expat prefers to stay, due to lack of amenities and low quality of furniture & fixtures. Due to lack of space some buildings do not have open areas such as balconies or terraces and a garden is rare. One needs to check if the rental quoted is inclusive of apartment associated maintenance costs and if the landlord is providing you with utility connections.

The set up cost is borne by the landlord and the monthly rental and usage charges are borne by the tenant. The monthly payment will have to be made directly to the vendors. Please note that there is always a due date for making payments. 

Landlords typically ask for 1-3 months of advance rent but what sets you back is the security deposit, a refundable deposit that could be anywhere between 3-6 months of monthly rent. The rental agreements are signed for a minimum period of 12 months with a one to two month notice for termination. Longer agreements come with a clause for an increase in rent at about 7 – 10 percent on completion of every year.

Pune Cuisine

Pune has a mixed street food culture. The origins can be traced from traditional Maharashtrian, Gujarati and even North Karnataka cuisine. With a dash of Goda masala, raw onions, coriander, lemons, Sev and Farzan, Puneri food is simply delectable. When in Pune, be sure to not miss out on delicacies like Misal Pav, Pithla Bhakri, Bhakarwadi, Mastani, Dabeli, Pav Bhaji, Poha, Vada Pav and baked goodies from the old school bakeries.

Cuisine in Pune

Pune only comprises 5 percent of the total area of Maharashtra, yet when it comes to eating out options, the city makes up with a sizable number of restaurants, bakeries and cafés. While the locals are doing their best to dole out an array of cuisines, the expat community is also happy to root for the cause of good food in the city. There are 7 successful eateries run by a breed of globe-hopping restaurateurs like Indulgence, Simley House, Thai House, Cafe Peterdonuts, Darios, CafeOne-O-Eight, LA Bouchee D’or. 

There are restaurants where many expats visit like Shizusan, Incognito, Moshi Moshi, Momo Cafe, Ukiyo and Crazy Noodles. There are a number of restaurants, as well as roadside eateries, in the city that serve local cuisine. Some of the hotels in the city also serve the local cuisine of Pune, India. The well known simple long running bakeshop in the city is known for many varieties of biscuit, cakes, bread & cookies.

Traditional Pune meal would consist of Puran Poli (a sweet paratha with pulses/dal) Amti (masala dal), Pithla Bhakri (a masala chickpea gravy with a stiff ‘roti’), Varan Bhat (dal and rice), Matki Ki Usal (masala sprouts), Thalipeeth (a spicy chickpea based pancake) and Alu chi Vadi (steamed and fried, sweet n’ spicy leaves). Bakar Vadi (spicy crispy savoury) and Missal Pav (spicy mixture of onions, chilly and small savoury items, with bread) are some of the most delectable snacks. 

For those with a sweet tooth, Pune offers its Shrikhand (a burnt milk delicacy) and the seasonal Amras Puri (thick mango juice with fried ‘puris’) complete the traditional Maharashtrian feast. If one plans to visit the city, they must taste the sweet specialties of the city, especially chiwda, bhakarwadi and pedas.


Healthcare in pune is provided by private and public facilities. Primary care is provided by practitioners of western as well as traditional alternative medicine (i.e.Ayurved, Homeopathy and Unani). For minor and chronic ailments, people in the region have preference for practitioners of traditional medicine. Pune is also the home for Serum Institute, Lupin, and Emcure to name a few. Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. is now the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by number of doses produced and sold globally.

Healthcare in Pune

Pune is served by three government hospitals: Sassoon Hospital, Budhrani and Dr Ambedkar Hospital. There are also a number of private hospitals such as Ranka Hospital, Sahyadri, Jahangir Nursing Home, Sancheti Hospital, Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital, KEM Hospital, Ruby Hall, Naidu Hospital and Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital. All these hospitals are located in the city and the reach to these localities of hospitals is within 30-45 minutes from any part of the city.


The city of Pune in western India includes numerous universities, colleges and other institutes. Due to its wide range of educational institutions it has been called the “Oxford of the East”.

Schooling in Pune

Pune is the chosen destination for pursuing professional courses of study like engineering and mass communication. 

Pune has the third oldest engineering college of Asia, the College of Engineering Pune, which is now an autonomous institute. The Symbiosis International University which has departments like business management, media studies or computer studies, operates 33 colleges or study centers. 

Armament and military research organizations of India are mostly located in Pune, so students willing to study these courses will have to travel to the city to take admissions. The Armed Forces Medical College, the Film and Television Institute of India, the National Defence Academy, the ILS Law College and the Lalit Kala Kendra are some of the institutes that have helped to make Pune a popular city for education in India.

Today Pune colleges and universities receive applications from not only Indians but also foreign students and professionals. A survey conducted in the year 2010 shows that Pune has more educational institutes than any other place in the world. The city has the largest center for teaching Japanese to Indian and foreign students. 

Schools in Pune follow either the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) or the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education syllabus. 

Some of the best international schools in Pune are Orchids International School, Symbiosis International School, The Lexicon International School, Indus International School, RIMS International School & Junior College. Pune is home to almost 40% of foreign students who come to India for higher education. The Pune University and its various affiliated colleges have around 14,000 students from over 102 countries studying in the city.


Pune is known for its premier educational institutions, and a flourishing automobile industry. Pune also finds a place in the list of richest cities in India with an estimated GDP of $69 billion.  Higher transportation and rental costs have meant that even though Pune is only India’s seventh-largest city, it ranks higher in terms of cost of living. 

With strong industrial backing and a booming local economy, Pune has been on a steady growth path and is expected to continue growing steadily in the near future. Plus, Pune also boasts a higher quality of living compared to both Mumbai and Delhi, according to recent estimates. 

The official unit of currency is the Indian Rupee. As a foreigner employed in India, binding to the India foreign exchange and Income tax law, you are restricted to open one bank account per city. Foreign nationals have to obtain a PAN (permanent account number) card for applying for a bank account. 

Direct taxes are low in the city compared to most international cities but you’ll need an accountant to help you with your taxes, given the highly complex tax structure. Overall, depending on the income level, taxes vary from 5 percent to 33 percent. Additionally, there is a GST (Goods & Services Tax) charged at almost everything that you purchase in the city or any services that you avail. The GST rates vary between 5-28 percent depending on the type of goods and services being availed. 

Transportation and Shopping

Pune is a big city. Public transport modes available are buses and auto rickshaws. Pune Airport, is located approximately 10 km northeast of the historic centre of Pune city. The airport is a civil enclave operated by the Airports Authority of India at the western side of Lohegaon Air Force Station of the Indian Air Force. The other nearest international airport is Mumbai, which is around four hours by taxi from Pune. 

Travel in Pune

The city has a vast array of rail connections with major Indian cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad. By road, there is the Mumbai Highway straight to Pune. From New Delhi, there is AH47 road to Mumbai, then can switch to the Mumbai Highway. There are daily bus services from Mumbai, which most of all stop at the railway station (bus stand) and some at Swargate station which are very close from the center of town. 

There is a famous saying-‘old is gold’, if you want to experience this in your life then one must plan a visit to Juna Bazaar. The best places to snap up bargain souvenirs are bustling markets like Juna Bazaar, Tulsi Baug, or Phule Market. However, for more upmarket products, one must check out Fashion Street or Laxmi Road, where hand-made accessories are a specialty. 

Shopping in Pune

The well known store, Dorabjee’s is one of Pune’s oldest, finest and most reputed chain of Supermarkets & Grocery Stores, it is known for its wide variety of quality merchandise, excellent service and great shopping experience. Other places for shopping includes Hong Kong Lane, Fergusson College Road, Seasons Mall, Phoenix Mall, Cake and Shrewsbury Biscuits from Kayani Bakery, Osho Chappals, Laxmi Narayan Chiwda, Chitale Bandhu Bhakarwadi and Poona Sarees.


Pune is a pretty safe place for girls and women. If you’re a student or a working lady who is not a native and is planning to move to Pune away from family then you shouldn’t worry or be hesitant in moving to Pune. Pune stands best in terms of quality of life. It is ranked as the 5th best city in India for women to live and work. 

Safety in Pune

Pune is also known as the Social Capital of Maharashtra. With a low crime rate, Pune is undoubtedly one of the best cities for working women, also So many single girls come to study and work in Pune. They prefer to stay here because they find the city safe.


Before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the Indian government had made several changes to the country’s visa policies, making it easier for foreign nationals to travel to India for work or for leisure. Indian visas are divided between Regular Visas, e-Visas and Visa-on-Arrival. As per the recent changes now an applicant can apply for e-Tourist or e-Business Visa any time before his travel to India. The validity of the visa has now been made 365 days. Thus, an applicant can enter India any day post the grant to e-Tourist and e-Business visa until any time in the next 365 days.  

Immigration services in Pune

Maximum continuous stay period allowed under e-Tourist visa is up to 180 days for – USA, UK, Canada and Japan. For other countries it is 90 continuous days. Similarly, under e-Business visa, a continuous stay of 180 days is allowed and there is no requirement for registration. If the stay exceeds 180 days or if the aggregate stay in a calendar year has increased then 180 days then the applicant is required to register with the FRRO/FRO within 2 weeks of the completion of 180 days in India.

India also has a facility for visa-on-arrival, which has now been extended to nationals of South Korea and UAE also in addition to Japanese nationals. For UAE nationals though they are eligible for this category of visa only if they have applied for e-Visa and/or Regular sticker visa in the past. The validity of the visa is 60 days and can be used for tourism, business, conference and medical visit purposes. Pakistan-origin UAE nationals are not eligible for this visa category and would need to apply for a regular or e-Visa. 

Currently, the regular Tourist Visa, e-Visas and Visa-on-Arrival remain to be suspended until further notice due to the Pandemic. All other visa categories that is – Employment, Dependent, Student and Business Visa are being issued by the Indian missions abroad. In-country visa services like Resident Permit, Visa Extension, Change of Address/Passport etc are being processed smoothly.