Street Views of Central Pune
Central Pune, better known to Puneites as the ‘City’ practically has a building with a historical tale in every lane. Central Pune- a town of eighteen ‘Peths'(seventeen as of today) or wards was the creation of the Peshwas. They were self-sufficient units with their own temple and market. There were clearly discernible characteristics that developed within each of the Peths, based on the culture of population there.
Kasba Peth is the oldest locality, the origin of Pune city. Sadashiv Peth is considered the heart of traditional Pune and has been a heavily Brahmin dominated area along with Shaniwar and Narayan Peth, Tilak Road passes through here. Once a residential road, today it is of the longest commercial roads in the city, with presence of major electronic brands. So does Laxmi Road, one of the most colourful shopping areas in the city, known for clothing and jewellery.
Several other Peths are dominated by the trading community, and many parts still retain the look with small shops and wholesale markets. Nana Peth houses a large number of wholesale grain dealers whereas Ravivar Peth has wholesalers of stationery and daily utility items. However, Pune had an unmistakable stamp of Brahmin orthodoxy. The austere lifestyle of the upper class was reflected in the townscape too. There were no grand avenues, monumental buildings or ornate palaces. ‘Wada’ as a housing form became popular though. It added to the architectural scene of city and almost became synonymous with Pune.
The massive Panshet floods in 1961 made Pune expand beyond these central areas, a very vital step towards it being the big city it is today.