Spinning cylinder rotating about its axis experiences a transverse force/lift, an account of this basic aerodynamic phenomenon is known as the Robins-Magnus effect in text books. Prandtl studied this flow by an inviscid irrotational model and postulated an upper limit of the lift experienced by the cylinder for a critical rotation rate. This non-dimensional rate is the ratio of oncoming free stream speed and the surface speed due to rotation. Prandtl predicted a maximum lift coefficient as C L max = 4 π for the critical rotation rate of two. In recent times, evidences show the violation of this upper limit, as in the experiments of Tokumaru and Dimotakis [“The lift of a cylinder executing rotary motions in a uniform flow,” J. Fluid Mech. 255 , 1–10 (1993)] and in the computed solution in Sengupta et al. [“Temporal flow instability for Magnus–robins effect at high rotation rates,” J. Fluids Struct. 17 , 941–953 (2003)]. In the latter reference, this was explained as the temporal instability affecting the flow at higher Reynolds number and rotation rates (〉2). Here, we analyze the flow past a rotating cylinder at a super-critical rotation rate (=2.5) by the enstrophy-based proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) of direct simulation results. POD identifies the most energetic modes and helps flow field reconstruction by reduced number of modes. One of the motivations for the present study is to explain the shedding of puffs of vortices at low Reynolds number ( Re = 60), for the high rotation rate, due to an instability originating in the vicinity of the cylinder, using the computed Navier-Stokes equation (NSE) from t = 0 to t = 300 following an impulsive start. This instability is also explained through the disturbance mechanical energy equation, which has been established earlier in Sengupta et al. [“Temporal flow instability for Magnus–robins effect at high rotation rates,” J. Fluids Struct. 17 , 941–953 (2003)].