Rulers of different dynasties have ruled Pune. Evidence found as copper plates of 758 AD and of 768 AD reveal that the Rashtrakootas ruled this region at that time. The Pune Gazetteer explains the term Pune as Punya - a holy place. The Pataleshwar rock-cut temple complex was built during this era. The Kasba peth in central Pune were constructed in the 5th century. Pune was ruled by the Yadava dynasty of Deogiri from the 9th century to 1327 (after the Rashtrakootas).
With the emergence of Chhatrapati Shivaji, who founded the Maratha empire, Pune became known to the Delhi Sultanate. Shivaji, spent his early childhood in Pune at Lal Mahal, a palace built by his father Shahaji, where Shivaji's mother Jijabai lived for a decade. Dadaji Konddev, Shivaji's mentor, developed Pune city. Jijabai is said to have commissioned the building of the Kasba Ganapati temple herself.
Aurangazeb named Pune as Muhiyabad after the death of Shivaji in 1680. Pune again gained importance during the period of the second Peshwa, Thorale (senior) Bajirao who ruled from 1720 to 1740. The palace of the Peshwas - Shaniwarwada was built during his time. The patronage of the Peshwas resulted in the construction of many temples and bridges in the city, including the Parvati temple and the Ganesh, Sadashiv, Narayan, Rasta and Nana Peths.
British defeated the Marathas in 1818 and established the administration in this region. Pune and Delhi were the only centres of power during this century. Pune was an important center for the social and religious reform movements that were sweeping the country. Many prominent reformers lived here, including Mahadev Govind Ranade, Ramakrishna Gopal Bhandarkar, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Maharshi Vitthal Ramji Shinde and Jyotirao Phule. The most important political reformer of this era was Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who dominated the Indian political scene for six decades. Mohandas Gandhi was imprisoned at Yerwada jail several times, and placed under house arrest at the Aga Khan Palace in 1942-44, where Kasturba Gandhi, his wife died during that period.
Once the center of power of the Maratha Empire, Pune is situated 560 metres above sea level on the Deccan plateau at the confluence of the Mula and Mutha rivers. Pune has been recognized as a seat of learning and the Deccan College (1851) led the educational movement in Pune. The Pune-Mumbai rail track and the Khadakwasla Dam were constructed in 1857. Later many colleges were established gradually, the Deccan college, the college of Engineering and the Ferguson college. In 1857, the offices of the Department of Meteorology were shifted from Simla to Pune. The first Textile Mill was built in 1893 by Raja Bahadur Motilal Pittie.
After Indian Independence, Pune saw a lot of development, such as the establishment of the National Defense Academy National Defense Academy at Khadakwasla, National Chemical Laboratory at Pashan. Pune also serves as the headquarters of the Southern Command of the Indian Army. Industrial developments started around 1950-60s in Hadapsar, Bhosari, Pimpri, and Parvati. Telco (now Tata Motors) started operations in 1961, which gave a huge boost to the automobile sector. Pune was referred at that time as “Pensioners’ Paradise” since many government officers, civil engineers, and Army personnel preferred to settle down in Pune after their retirement.
In July 1961, Panshet dam broke and its waters flooded the city, destroying most of the older sections, giving a chance for modern town planning concepts to be put into use. This unfortunate incident however led constructive developments in the city, and the economy of the city witnessed a boom in construction and manufacturing sectors. By 1966, the City had expanded in all directions.
After 1970, Pune emerged as the leading engineering city of the country with Telco, Bajaj, Kinetic, Bharat Forge, Alfa Laval, Atlas Copco, Sandvik and Thermax expanding their infrastructure. By this time the city had gained the reputation of being the ‘Oxford of the East’ due to a large number of educational institutes. In 1990 Pune began to attract foreign capital, particularly in the information technology and engineering industries; new businesses like floriculture and food processing begin to take root in and around the city. In 2001, work of the six-lane Mumbai-Pune expressway was completed which is a huge accomplishment for the country.
In 2000, Pune saw huge development in the Information Technology sector, and IT Parks formed in Aundh, Hinjewadi and Nagar road. By 2005 Pune had become a major software hub. The year 2008 saw huge development near the Chakan and Talegaon region as Multinational Corporations (MNCs) like General Motors, Volkswagen, and Fiat have set up facilities near Pune. Additionally, in 2008 the Commonwealth Youth Games took place in Pune, which encouraged additional development in the north-west region of the city and added a few Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses on Pune's road.