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Once the powerhouse for the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire, Pune today is the political and educational hub of Maharashtra. Known as the ‘Oxford of the East’, there are many reputed educational institutions that have been established over the decades such as Symbiosis International University, ILS Law College and the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) among many others.

Pune is also where the pompous Ganesh festival was started by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in the spirit of communal celebration. Irrespective of what community a person belongs to, everyone comes together in these 10 days of fanfare. Apart from religious and communal celebrations, Pune is also a spirituality hub, Koregaon Park being home to Osho International Meditation Resort, which is one of the largest spiritual centres in the world.

From a cultural aspect, Pune has laid down the foundation for Marathi literature, theatre, dance and art. The Pune Festival provides a platform for all these forms to come to life and put their talent and the great history of Pune on display.

Since Pune has a majority of Maharashtrian population, the food too is mainly inspired by the culture and Maharashtrian food seems to be extremely popular on the streets. Bhakri-pitla is a very homely and local dish, commonly found in the homes of people. A popular milkshake that one can enjoy on the streets of Pune is the ‘Mastani’ (named after Queen Mastani of the Peshwas) which is thick, delicious and filled with dry fruits. Other dishes that are commonly found at street vendor stalls is Kutchi Dabeli, Missal Pav and a wide range of Indo-Chinese dishes.

It is an industrial metropolis and has attracted people from all over the country to either settle down in Pune or establish a career, including people from Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Home chefs in Pune have made it possible to enjoy homemade and local food of Pune in their homes. Some of these home chefs are migrants, hence Bengali food, Kerala food and even authentic Rajasthani food in Pune is now possible, thanks to these amazing families. Authenticook is a platform, connecting these amazing families with enthusiastic diners, eager to eat, learn and enjoy!

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