Pune is said to be the cultural capital of the state of Maharashtra. Pune has been an example for the blending of the culture and heritage with modernisation and its side effects. It epitomizes the Marathi culture, which lays emphasis on education, arts and crafts , music , and theatre. Pune culture reflects a blend of traditions with modernity, as along with hosting classical shows , the city also boasts an active night life. There are approximately three lakh Bengalis in the city who celebrate the Durga Puja festival every year.
RELIGION Hinduism is the most commonly practised religion in Pune, and many mosques, gurudwaras, Jain temples and other religious buildings are found throughout the city. The most prominent Hindu temple in Pune is the Parvati temple, located on Parvati hill and visible from most of the inner suburbs. The most famous is likely the Chaturshringi Temple, located on the slopes of a hill in the northwest of the city. Pataleshwar Cave Temple is believed to be one of the oldest temples in the city.
Pune local cuisine has a taste of coconut and garlic, with large use of chillies. Jowar (sorghum) and bajra (millet) are the main ingredients of traditional Pune food. A typical Pune meal includes Vada Pav, Bhelpuri, Pani Puri, Pav bhaji , misal, and kacchi dhabeli. Mastani, a thick milkshake containing dried fruit, is a speciality of the city. It is named after Mastani, the controversial mistress of the Peshwa Baji Rao I in the 17th century. And Puran Poli (a sweet paratha with pulses/dal), Amti (masala dal), Pithla Bhakri (a masala chickpea gravy with a stiff 'roti'), Varan Bhat (dal and rice), Matki Ki Usal (masala sprouts), Thali pith (a spicy chickpea based pancake) and Alu chi Vadi (steamed and fried, sweet n' spicy leaves). Bakar Vadi (spicy crusty savoury) and Missal Pav (spicy mixture of onions, chilly and small savoury items, with bread) are some of the most delectable snacks. For those with a sweet tooth, Pune offers its Shrikhand (a burnt milk delicacy) and the seasonal Amras Puri (thick mango juice with fried 'puris') complete the traditional Maharashtrian feast.