August 2, 2021

Did you know SPPU has a Secret Tunnel?

The 411 acres of the campus located in the North-Western part of Pune; one of the leading centers for research and teaching in the country; a wide array of 40 departments! Know what we’re talking about?
It’s the Savitribai Phule Pune University (formerly known as University of Poona/SPPU) !

The institution’s name was changed from the University of Poona to Savitribai Phule Pune University on 9 August 2014 in honor of Savitribai Phule as she was the 19th-century Indian social reformer and the first lady teacher who played an important role in improving the lives of women and the Dalit communities in Maharashtra during British colonial rule.
As the gender studies, to create an equitable gender environment, the university has undertaken a joint research project related to Women Studies and Development in association with the University of Mascouche’s USA.

University Departments334
Colleges11018
University non-teaching staff Class-150
University non-teaching staff Class-232
University non-teaching staff Class-3557
University non-teaching staff Class-4271

The First Lady Teacher of SPPU

Savitribai Phule (3 January 1831 – 10 March 1897) was an Indian social reformer, educationalist, and poet from Maharashtra. She is regarded as the first female teacher in India.  Along with her husband, Jyotirao Phule, she played an important role in improving women’s rights in India. According to government records, Jyotirao educated Savitribai at their home. After completing her primary education with Jyotirao, her further education was the responsibility of his friends, Sakharam Yeshwant Paranjpe and Keshav Shivram Bhavalkar. She also enrolled in two teacher’s training programs. The first was at an institution run by an American missionary, Cynthia Farrar, in Ahmednagar. The second course was at a Normal School in Pune. Given her training, Savitribai may have been the first Indian woman teacher and headmistress.


Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Women’s Studies Centre (KSPWSC) was established in 1987 in Savitribai Phule Pune University (former University of Pune) with the support of the University Grants Commission (UGC). It is one of the four UGC sponsored Women’s Studies Centres with Advanced Status in the country and the only one such Centre in-state university.
The center invokes the ideals set by Savitribai Phule after whom it is named and seeks to deal consciously with the interlocking issues of gender, caste, class, and region in all its programs. The Centre has developed a unique pattern of doing women’s studies with teaching programs at its core, building upon which are its research, publication, and extension programs. Building reflexively on its social location as the first non-metropolitan Women’s Studies Centre in Maharashtra.


About the glory of campus:
The lush green campus of 411 acres is associated with freedom fighters such as Vinayak Chapekar as well as battle-ground for the battle of Khadaki. The main building was built in 1871. The landmarks for this building were it’s 100 feet high garden and beautiful terrace garden. from 1862 to 1867 the main building was the residence for the governor of Bombay Sir H . Bartley Frere.


Do you even know that our university has a ‘Secret Tunnel’ ?!

The university has a secret tunnel that is almost 155-years-old and you can take a walk through it! Once a month, on Thursdays, the University conducts a heritage walk that starts at Potdar Sankul, which now houses the placement and human resources cell of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU). The tunnel has been shut and non-operational since Independence and was refurbished and opened on the 70th Foundation Day in February 2018. The 300-feet tunnel stretches all the way to the main building and was built in 1864, the same time as the main building was underway to house the Governor of the time.

Potdar Sankul used to be the kitchen and servant quarters, and the tunnel was primarily used to transport food during monsoon months. At the end of the tunnel, two rooms lie locked, with secrets maybe? Treasure? Or items of historic importance? We and the officials don’t know, but wouldn’t that be interesting? The tunnel is said to have been used to carry food from the main kitchen to the governor’s house. While the British had spent seven years and almost ₹18 lakh to build the iconic governor’s house, which is the SPPU’s main building now, this time around, the restoration costed ₹14 crore. Wouldn’t it be interesting to take a tour of such 300 feet wide secret tunnel ?! , You can have such

Where: Main Building, Savitribai Phule Pune University, University Road.
When: Thursdays, once a month.


Achievements of University :-

  • In the Khelo India University Games in Odisha, Savitribai Phule Pune University was on top with 29 medals including fifteen gold, eight silver, and six bronze medals on the fifth day on 26th February 2020.
  • Savitribai Phule Pune University’s Joyita Sarkar was one of the 21 people and the only one from an educational institute in the state to be awarded by President Ramnath Kovind for her role in science communication and popularisation on the National Science Day in New Delhi.
  • Four students from the Savitribai Phule Pune University’s (SPPU) competitive exams center have stood first in the state in their respective categories for Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) civil services exams for sales tax inspector.
  • 4088 Research Publications in the last five years.
  • 49 academic units under 11 faculties.
  • 8 department has been selected as the center of Advanced studies.
  • University has received the General championship of ‘Avishkar’ for 8 times out of 10.
  • University has engaged with the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) program of MHRD, Govt. of India.
  • University runs its Radio – ‘Vidyavaani’ (107.4 Mhz).
  • Over 6 Lakh students.
  • 880 Affiliated colleges and institutions.

This article is written by Nachiket Labade.