Pune: a City that enjoyed the status of being ancient Greece

Pune has been home to various social reformers. It relates in many of ways to Ancient Greece

Thoseghar Waterfalls - Satara, Pune Source: Wikimedia Commons
University of Pune. Wikimedia Commons

Shruti Pandey

A city commonly referred to as ancient Greece of India has a long history on its part. Let us explore by merging Greece of Europe and Greece of Asia as Aasish Chandorkar elucidates the tale of two cities in a recent article published in Swarajya magazine. Here is the summary of his point of view:

Right from the birth of Thales of Miletus in 620 BCE to the death of Aristotle in 322 BCE, Greece saw a paradigm shift in its ideology, varying from mythology to science, myths to facts and reasoning based thought process. The work of various modern minds of Greece eventually led to the establishment of modern city state of Athens and paved a way for Greece to become a nation that could conquer the world.

In the similar context, Pune also lived the idea of thought processing. The outcomes resulted into political awakening, creation of institutions for lasting social change and impelling great minds to initiate a mutiny against the British rule.

The foursome of Mahadev Govind Ranade, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Dhondo Keshav Karve and Gopal Krishna Gokhale did exemplary jobs over the mission. When Ranade shifted to Pune in 1873 ,at the designation of a Magistrate, their ideas came together to impinge upon a political and social awakening. It included thoughts to awaken nationalism, surge the freedom movement and bring about a social renaissance in the nation. Pune lost this momentum with the death of Tilak in 1920. The time between 1873 and 1920 was the “Golden Philosophical Age” of Pune which was tried to be rejuvenated by Maharishi Karve later on.

Also Read: Punjab through the ages!

Pune was also seen as the potential contender of being the capital of India after British sought a move to change the capital from Kolkata to anywhere else. Pune still resumes the legacy left behind by conglomerate of social reformers and thinkers who left behind a galaxy of ideas and theories. The ideology of Pune is still thriving and growing. Very few Indians are aware of the fact that many of the social and liberal thoughts are accredited to this city and its Golden philosophical age. It is still a hub of world class educational institutions and is still a home to writers who aspire to bring about a change.

Shruti Pandey is a third year engineering student at HBTI, Kanpur and aspires to bring a change through words. Twitter handle: srt_kaka



  • Pragya Jha

    There was a time when this city was called as a pensioner’s paradise- an ideal place for the people who want to spend a peaceful time after many years of hardships of life. The enviroment here is salubrious.