Pune, known as Poona until 1978 is the second-largest metropolitan city in the Indian State of Maharashtra and the eighth most populous city in India, with an estimated population of 7.4 million as of 2020.[23] It has been ranked as “the most livable city in India” several times.[24] Along with the municipal corporation limits of PCMC and the three cantonment towns of Camp, Khadki and Dehu Road, Pune forms the urban core of the eponymous Pune Metropolitan Region (PMR).[25] According to the 2011 census the urban area had a combined population of 5.05 million whilst the population of the metropolitan region was estimated at 7.4 million.[9] Situated 560 metres (1,837 feet) above sea level on the Deccan plateau on the right bank of the Mutha river,[26] Pune is also the administrative headquarters of its namesake district.

In the 18th century, the city was the seat of the Peshwas, the prime ministers of the Maratha Empire and one of the most important political centres on the Indian subcontinent.[27] The city was also ruled by the Ahmadnagar Sultanate, the Mughals and the Adil Shahi dynasty. Historical landmarks include Lal Mahal, the Kasba Ganapati temple and Shaniwar Wada. Major historical events involving the city include the Mughal–Maratha Wars and the Anglo-Maratha Wars.

Pune is widely regarded as the second major “IT hub of India”[28][29] and the top “automobile and manufacturing hub of India”.[30] It is known as the Oxford of the East with the presence of a wide range of educational institutions.[31][32] India’s first indigenously run girls’ school was started in Pune by Savitribai Phule and Fatima Sheikh.[33] The city has emerged as a major educational hub in recent decades, with nearly half of the total number of international students in the country studying in Pune.[34][35] Research institutes of information technology, education, management and training attract students and professionals from India and overseas.