Who doesn’t enjoy a story well-told? Most especialy a delectable one replete with the navarasas of drama, intrigue, romance and adventure! On the joyous occasion of our 75th Independence Day, Heritage India is happy to announce “Punyakatha”- Pune’s Story of a Million Years– a children’s book cum family encyclopedia on the historical city of Pune. The work marks Pune’s transition from a Stone Age settlement to a hugely reputed cultural, educational and economic hub on the verge of megapolism against the backdrop of India’s most prosperous state Maharashtra.

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Like every history buff knows, the past is important not only for its own sake but also for the continuous link it provides to the present as well as to the foreseeable future.
Precisely why the questions of what happened and when need to be supplemented by why the chain of events matter. In short, perspective is as important as the view offered unto the pages of history. You are where you are today because of where you were yesterday.
At Heritage India, we are ever committed to our belief that history is for everyone. Especially our young audiences-after all, they are both our present and our future. Any retelling of the past, therefore, has got to be resonant
and relatable. It has to be a narration that goes beyond a telling of events and dates; a narration that brings alive the men and the moments that have brought us to the point we stand; a narration that is fun, colorful and
What better way to do so than in the form of a story? Is there anyone who doesn’t enjoy a story well-told! A throbbing, pulsating narration of vignettes that brings alive events as they happened and the protagonists as they
emerged. An account that attempts to connect the dots despite the blind spots of history in a largely linear and readable sequence for our young readers.
A spiel that brings forth engagement and conversation, art and activity, that makes the reader wonder, gasp, laugh and ponder by turn.
A tale that goes back and forth in time at will—in a way a formal history lesson just cannot. (And honestly, we do not claim to have brought out an exhaustive directory of facts, places, monuments, or events. There are plenty
of books that have done just that.)
So why have we done what we have done?
The experts will say: a city is more than just a human settlement of a certain vintage. It is a microcosm of human progress, a barometer of civilization, an evolving slice of life, and a testimony to the forces of change.

We say: Let’s look at how Pune (city and district) go from a small basti to a jagir to an important bastion of power over a period of time. Let’s look at how its popular reputation runs through history like an invisible, continuous thread. How the legacy we have inherited has been seeded, nurtured, and diversified in centuries past. How the rituals we cherish and the images we
hold dear go back to yesterday.
A city that has supported human life for over a million years, one that has been coveted throughout written history by rulers of every hue for its weather, location, water, and culture, deserves such an effort. What’s more, Pune’s importance continues to go from strength to strength.
Closely associated with the rise of the Maratha empire from the 17 th -18 thcentury, Pune emerged as a leading power center as the seat of the Peshwai,
the prime ministerial administration of the Maratha empire.
Even as the Peshwa rule declined in 1818, the British Raj developed it as a strategic military base. This was also an important period of expansion. Prior to the British takeover, the city was largely located along the eastern bank of the Mutha. Since then, the city has grown on both sides of the river. As the Raj cornered the country, Pune distinguished itself as a seat of
considerable intellectual and political unrest against the British, providing a significant share of the ideological heft needed to convince their countrymen that foreign domination is a terrible thing. The image of the hard to please, discerning, politically aware and stridently vocal Punekar persists to this day- with good reason. More on that, later. The Post-Independence era saw Pune emerging as a major manufacturing center as well as a much-respected educational hub. The ensuing tragedy post the bursting of the Panshet Dam in 1961 saw the growth of new suburbs. By the 90s the city had gained clout as a major Information and Technology hub.
Simultaneously, a peripheral look at all that was happening around is important in order to provide background and context.
To that end, our offering Punyakatha—Pune’s story of a million years attempts the challenging yet exciting tightrope link between yesterday and today in a memorable, entertaining fashion.

Simply put, our story is that of an important city of many contradictions: a city as traditional as it is trendy, as constant as it is changing, as classical as it is cosmopolitan, as rooted as it reaches out its arms towards a tomorrow that includes the adjectives of smart city and megapolism.
A city that is statistically amongst the top ten most populous cities of India, and recently declared as the largest in Maharashtra.
A city that routinely features on the lists of the best cities to live in India.
A city whose time has come.
A city whose story both you and your child deserve to know.


Additional information

Weight 2 kg

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