Pune (District) is situated in Maharashtra state of India. Pune city is the district headquarters. In the most recent census on 2011, the total population of the district was 9,426,959, making it the fourth most populous district in India (out of 640).Urban population comprises 58.08% of the total population.The current population of Pune urban agglomerate is over 5 million.
Malik Ahmad : establishment of Nizamshahi of Ahmednagar (1490)
With the establishment of the Nizamshahi rule with Ahmednagar as its headquarters, practically the whole of the Poona territory, perhaps with the exception of Indapur, which still continued to be under at least the nominal suzerainty of Yusuf Adil Khan of Bijapur, came under the unified control of the Nizamshahi. The territory was formed into a separate district or sarkar, with sub-divisions called paragana and smaller ranges called prant or desh. From such records as are available it appears that the revenue collection was mostly farmed amongst the important chieftains who were henchmen of the Nizamshahi. There was indeed an officer of the Nizamshahi who was charged with the responsibility of supervising and administering the functions of police and criminal justice, civil suits, as a rule, seem to have been referred to local panchayats.
Ahmednagar king had to bear the brunt of a heavy attack from the Mughal armies which converged on the capital in 1595. It was at this time that, with a view to enlisting the strongest possible local support against the Mughal invaders and to stabilise the administration of the territories under Ahmednagar rule, a policy of conferring on local Maratha chieftains increasing power was initiated by the Ahmednagar rulers. Amongst the chieftains so favoured was Maloji Bhosale, who was made a Rana in 1595, and the districts of Poona and Supa were conferred upon him as a jagir. Maloji Bhonsle was also given charge of the forts of Shivneri and Chakan, which have played a very important part in the early political history of the Poona territory. Even before his coming into the title of Raja, Maloji had several watans as patil for a number of villages, including Verul which at that time was a part of Vidarbha. Maloji had married Dipabai, sister of Jagpalrao Naik Nimbalkar, the deshmukh of Phaltan. Maloji Bhonsle was thus one of the most exalted and at the same time the best connected chieftains of the Maratha country at this critical juncture when the Nizamshahi of Ahmednagar was entering upon a very intense struggle for existence against the on-coming forces of the Mughals. In the year 1600, Ahmednagar was captured by the Mughals. Thus, at the commencement of the seventeenth century, the suzerainty over the possessions of the Ahmednagar kingdom, including the Poona territory, passed to the Mughals. Malik Ambar, the faithful minister of Nizam Shah, raised Murtaza II to the Nizamshahi throne with its temporary headquarters at Junnar. For nearly a generation, Malik Ambar continued to guide the destinies of the Nizamshahi kingdom, and as the Poona area was practically the seat of the Nizamshahi government, the good effects of the all-sided reforms of Malik Ambar were witnessed in the administrative and economic life of the region. By the time Malik Ambar died in 1626, the revenue system of the Poona area had been put on a sound and liberal basis. The farming system which was in vogue for a long time and which raised its head again till the advent of British rule in all periods of political unsettlement was at least of the time being put a stop to.
Shahaji Bhosle, who had inherited from his father Maloji Bhosle a personal interest in devoting himself to the cause of Nizam Shah and who in fact had done a good deal to strengthen the cause of his master, found that both his master and his more favourite advisers, instead of appreciating the valuse of his services even failed to trust his advice. He, therefore, in 1629 broke with Nizam Shah and retired to Poona. But with a view perhaps to securing his own jagirs which would be endangered, he offered his allegiance to the Mughals, who besides confirming his jagirs conferred on him the command of 5,000 horses. It is not relevant to the purpose of this administrative history of the Poona district to go into the pros and cons of the successive changes in allegiance that Shahaji at this time seems to have effected. It is of interest, however, to note that while over a large part of the seventeenth century the Poona area continued to the administered as a jagir, first of Maloji Bhosle and then of his direct successors, the ultimate sovereignty of the place kept on changing according as the Bhosles transferred their allegiance from one to another sovereign. In fact, in 1632 Shahaji forsook the Mughals and accepted the friendship of the Adilshahi rulers of Bijapur, who were the traditional rivals of the Nizamshahi Sultans of Ahmednagar. It seems, however, that Shahji had continued to look upon the Ahmednagar regime as his first concern, and he used the support that he received from Bijapur to raise an infant to the Ahmednagar gadi and to proclaim him Nizam Shah. The Mughals, whose pressure on the Deccan was now increasing and who were grievously offended at the change of attitude on the part of Shahaji, made a determined attack on Poona and in 1635 Poona is said to have been raised to the ground. After this success of the Mughals, the Ahmednagar kingdom ceased to exist, its territory being divided between the Adil Shah of Bijapur and the Mughals. In this scheme of division Poona fell to Bijapur. Shahaji for some time refused to surrender Junnar, which was the very seat of the foundation of the Nizamshahi dynasty. But this he had ultimately to surrender. Shahaji, however, seems to have enjoyed sufficient importance with the hostile powers to be called upon even in defeat to play an important part in the administration of the new regime. Not only were his own jagirs confirmed, thus continuing the direct connection of the Poona area with the Bhosle family, but also his services along with those of Murarpant, the Bijapur minister, were actively employed to settle the new lands that had passed under the control of Bijapur. It was in this connection that when Shahaji went on his Karnatak expeditions that he left had passed under the control of Bijapur. It was in this connection that when Shahaji went on his Karnatak expeditions that he left his son Shivaji with his mother Jijabai at Poona, making his trusted servant Dadaji Kondadeo responsible for the smooth working of the jagir estates and for the upbringing and education of Shivaji. It is of interest to note that among the reforms that Dadaji Kondadei is said to have introduced at his time was the system of charging one-fourth of the cash equivalent of the yield of land as a permanent revenue demand. The Fasli year was also officially introduced at this time. Either because the mawals, i.e., the western portion of the Poona district, were politically more important or because they had a comparatively secure agriculture, Dadaji is said to have given a large part of his attention to them. It was during this period that one of the best known sights of later day Poona, the vestiges of which are still seen in what is called the Jeejamata gardens was constructed and called the Rang Mahal or the Lal Mahal. In so far as Shivaji had any official residence in Poona this was the place which he inhabited. Dadaji died in 1647, and Shivaji almost naturally took charge of all the responsibility that devolved on him as deputy of his father.
Under Rule of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj (17th Century)
It is not necessary in the present context to refer to the well-known traits of Shivaji objectives and policy which has already assumed a purposeful shape by the time Dadaji died. Shivaji signalised his succession to independent authority by taking possession of Kondana by bribing the Musalman commander of the fort, a method much subtler than the one which he had to employ for its conquest at a later date. With the acquisition of Kondana, which occupies a key situation in the Poona territory, it was easy for Shivaji to consolidate his authority over the whole territory between Chakan and Nira, that is, practically the whole of the Poona district. The headquarters of Shivaji were moved to Rajgad in 1648, and it was not till a year later, When Muhammad Adil Shah of Bijapur, sensing serious danger in the movements of Shivaji, imprisoned Shahaji as a hostage, that Shivaji held his hand in the progress of his expansionist schemes.
Shivaji accepts post of mansabdar under Mughal Emperor. The means that Shivaji adopted to extricate both himself and his father from the wrath of the Bijapur Government are very revealing. Instead of making any direct overtures to Bijapur, he secured from the Emperor at Delhi, who then was Shah Jahan, the post of mansabdar with command over 5,000 horses. The Bijapur sultan had to accept this submission as adequate guarantee of Shivaji’s loyalty, and Shahaji was released. In a way, however, the acceptance by Shivaji of a subordinate status vis-a-vis the Mughal emperor helped, at least for the time being, to strengthen Mughal rule in the Poona district. The northern and north-western part of Poona was still held by the Mughals, and it was only after the death of Shah Jahan and during the period of the uncertainly attending the succession to the imperial throne that Shivaji was able to shake off Mughal rule in this part of the district. It was in this context that Shivaji encouraged, if he did not actually lead, the Kolis in that part against Mughal rule. The revolt did not finally succeed, as Aurangzeb, who by then had moved into the Deccan, through his captains succeeded in infliction a severe defeat on the Kolis. Many of the insurgent leaders were put to the sword at Junnar, where the Kala Chabutra still stands as a monument to that terrific act of punishment. Aurangzeb next made an attempt to win over Shivaji to his side in his fight against his brothers. But Shivaji’s policy consisted in taking advantage of rivalries among the claimants to the Delhi throne to enhance and consolidate his power in Poona and in the wider Deccan territory and he spurned these advances.
Prosperity of village communities under Shivaji (1647–1680).
On the whole, however, it must be said that during Shivaji’s stay and activities at Pune, the ordinary life of the village communities in that district continued to prosper. Not only were the indigenous crops regularly raised but such comparatively foreign plants as cotton and wheat were extensively cultivated, especially in the north-western part of the district.
After Sambhaji: Great political ferment in the Deccan.
The period that followed the death of Sambhaji was one of great political ferment in the Deccan, and the Pune territory witnessed major fluctuations of administrative authority.
Poona becomes centre of movements in Maharashtra (1714).
It was not till Balaji Vishwanath, with his sons and Abaji Purandare, offered some opposition in the interest of Shahu that the situation returned to normal. This, however, was not easily achieved.
First Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath (1714–1720).
Poona becomes effective seat of government.
Policy of “March to Delhi”.
In the very next year, 1715, Balaji Vishwanth induced the Mughal agent for the Poona district, Baji Kadam, who still continued to exercise de jure authority in the place, to make over that authority to the Peshwa on the promise that the estates of Rambhaji Nimbalkar, captain of the Nizam’s army, would be respected. Thus was consolidated for the first time the authority of a successor of Shivaji in the Poona district with Poona as the effective seat of Government. From this time also commences a powerful trend in Maratha history which had as its objective the expansion of especially towards the north. In 1718, Balaji was sent by Shahu to Delhi to assist the Sayyads, and in return for this obligation Muhammad Shah, the then Emperor at Delhi, conferred on Shahu the title for Poona, Supa, Baramati, Indapur and Junnar as Maratha swaraj. It will thus be seen that by the time Baji Rao became Peshwa in 1721, the authority of the Satara Chhatrapati was fully established, both de jure and de facto, in the Poona territory.
Last Peshwa, Baji Rao II (1795–1817)
In 1797, a clash occurred between the Arab troops in the employ of the Peshwa and the soldiers of the subsidiary battalion under Capt. Boyd maintained by the Peshwa. As a result of this clash, no less than 100 persons lost their lives and there was a general looting of shops. In the same year, Nana Fadnavis’s own house was attacked by an officer os Shinde’s army, named Sarjerao Ghatge. Fighting in the streets on this occasion is said to have gone on for a whole day and night. Baji Rao II in his vacillating policy was thrown more and more into the arms of designing and ambitious chieftains like Daulatrao Shinde. Both Daulatrao and his lieutenants like Ghatge showed not the slightest consideration for the rights or interests of the peaceful population of the district. Baji Rao, who had promised to give two crores of rupees to Daulatrao and found himself without funds to back that promise, permitted Daulatrao to raise the money from the people of Poona. It was only natural that such a surrender of authority should have emboldened Daulatrao not only to levy his exactions from the merchants of the city but also to ingratiate himself into his benefactor’s grace and wreak a private vengeance of his own by singling out for special attention the reputed or suspected partisans of Nana Fadnavis.
Whatever little influence-and it was little indeed-that Nana Fadnavis exercised after the accession to the peshwaship of Baji Rao II was finally brought to an end when in March 1800 Nana Fadnavis died. Daulatrao Shinde now became all-powerful, and both he and Baji Rao mulcted all their political opponents mercilessly. The influence of Shinde on the Peshwa evoked a feeling of opposition in Holkar, who attacked and defeated the combined forces of the Peshwa and Shinde at Hadapsar near Poona in October 1802. For a time Holkar made Amrit Rao the Peshwa in place of Baji Rao, who on his run ultimately joined the English, and by the treaty of Bassein, purchased his safety and his position as the Peshwa at the cost of his own independence and of the freedom of his people. When Baji Rao approached Poona, Amrit Rao, it is said, desired to burn the city rather than hand it over to his brother. The arrival in time, however, of General Wellesley prevented that disaster. The city, thus saved from the hands of its human masters, was not, however, saved from the powers of nature, which was particularly unkind to the district in the year 1803–1804.
Though Pune was surrendered on 17 November 1817, the district was not reduced till the month of May 1818. After the capture of Poona the British troops naturally turned their attention to the capture of the de jure seat of Maratha power, namely, Satara, which was taken on 10 February 1818. It was only after the capture of Satara and the flight of Baji Rao away to the north that a proclamation was issued by the Company’s Government taking over the territory of the Peshwas. The forts of Sinhgad, Purandar, Chakan, Lohogad, and one or two other forts in the district held out for a couple of months longer. Sinhgad was captured on 3 March 1818 and Purandar on 16 March. On 3 May, with the surrender of Jivadhan, near the Nana-pass, the last of the forts passed into the hands of the company. Within a month, Baji Rao himself surrendered to Sir John Malcolm in North India, and thus from every stand-point the conquest of the Peshwa’s dominions, including the Poona district, was complete.
Elphistone appointed commissioner and administrative boundaries of the district almost intact. The administrative boundaries of the Poona district have not, except for the recent merger of a large part of the Bhor State area, altered materially since the start of the 20th century. The merger of certain talukas of Bhor State in the Poona district, though it constitutes an important administrative event for the State as a whole, does not materially add either to the area or to the population of the district. The only practical effect of this merger for the Poona district is that an additional taluka, called Bhor Taluka, and a new Mahal, Vele Mahal, have been included in its jurisdiction.