Peth (पेठ) is a general term for a locality in the heart of Pune, or as many refer to it, Old Pune. There are about 17 Peths in the city. These were mainly created during the rules of Marathas and Peshwas. Seven of them are named after the days of the week in Marathi. Others are named after the rulers or famous personalities in the times of the Peshwas. Let’s look into the history of the most popular Peths of Pune.
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It is named after the Arabic word Qasba which means Urban Cluster. This is the oldest Peth in the city, made by Chalukya Kings in 1637-62. Today it is known for the temple of one of the ‘Manacha Ganpati’ that Pune celebrates every year. It also has the famous Laal Mahal where Shivaji Maharaj attacked and cut Shaista Khan’s fingers.
Named after the hero of Panipat War, Sadashivrao Bhau, who lost his life in the war in 1761. This Peth was supposed to be the area of the soldiers, but Brahmins also started living in the area and many still live there. It hosts the famous Saras Baug and Vishrambaug Wada.
What was first known as ‘Visapur’ later in 1734, became the Shukrawar Peth. It was one of largest areas in the city. Mandai, the historical market of the city was built here in 1885.
Earlier it was named ‘Malkapur’ but in the reign of Balaji Bajirao Peshwa it was renamed to Raviwar Peth. The Peth being closed on Sundays as the reason. This place has many gold and silver shops due to which it gets the name ‘Saraaf Katta’
This Peth was a commercial centre under the rule of Sawai Madhavrao Peshwa. It was known as Mujaffarganj, later made short into Ganj and now, it is called as Mahatma Phule Peth. It is where Mahatma Phule started the first school for untouchables.
Developed by Sardar Raste in 1780, this place was called ‘Shivpuri’ in the old days. It is famous for various food joints and Apollo film theatre.
Named after Monday, it was named ‘Shahpura’ before. The people living in this area were called ‘Gosavi’. These people would lend money before the banks came into being.
Known as ‘Mohitabad’ under the rule of Aurangzeb. When the Peshwas took over, Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath developed it in 1703. Today Budhwar Peth is the busiest area in the city. It hosts the famous Dagdu Sheth Halwai Ganpati Temple, which is believed to be the richest amongst all Ganesh Temples, Appa Balwant Chowk, Laxmi Road and the city’s huge Red Light Area.
It was developed by Moropant Pingale in 1675. Under the Muslim Rule, it was known as ‘Murtuzabad’. The famous Peshwa monument in Pune, Shaniwar Wada is located in this area.
Named after the Goddess whose temple is in the same area, Bhavani Peth is in the heart of Pune. Bhavani Peth is a giant Timber market of Pune. It was also known as ‘Borevan’ due to the many ‘Bor’/berry trees in the area.