Shaniwar Wada Palace in Pune- a historical fort
Shaniwada Wad is an old palace in Pune and is proud of the Maratha Empire. Every day huge numbers of tourists visit this place due to its attractive feature. It was once a jackpot of politics and culture and the tall building with its ancient architecture takes us back to that time period. The age of Shaniwar Wada Palace is more than 286 years. Being a historical palace it possesses a great ancient past. The fort was once a dream palace of Baji Rao and Kashi. It was built in the year 1732 over a land of 625 arches and was regarded as the capital building of the Maratha Empire. After the third war of Panipat, the Peshaws lost it to the British rulers. Over the centuries it has survived many military attacks and now we could see only the left-out parts. The Asmani Mahal and the warehouse survived a fire in 1812. In this regard, many documents and artifacts were destroyed. If ever you are in Pune then you must visit this place, the reason for which is mentioned below:
It is an architectural masterpiece that is almost in ruins and is known for its architecture in the history of India. There is a main gate that is called the Dilli gate and is composed of huge pikes for protecting the palace against any military attacks. The popular five doors of the fort once caught in the fire but still survived. The other gates include the Ganapati gate, Narayana gate, and Mastani gate. A huge number of stairways are there leading to empty halls. The bastions and the pillars have been carved with intricate designs. A few of small cannons have been preserved by the responsible authorities over time. The thousand fountain jets is a must-see, the shape of which resembles 16 petal lotus. Another attractive feature of the fort is the beautiful gardens where you can spend a peaceful time alone or with family.
Shaniwar Wada, a Haunted palace in Pune
Apart from its beautiful nature, the palace is believed to be the most haunted palace in the locality. According to history, Narayan Rao, the fifth Peshwan ruler was viciously killed by the guards of the fort. His uncle sent a message to Narayan informing him to hold but on the way, his wife changed the letter that was being said to the guards. In the letter, it was written to kill Narayan Rao. And thus at night, the guards murdered him. And he ran all around the palace shouting for his uncle to save him while the guards were chasing him. It is a rumor that the spirit of the king haunts the palace. It is said that on full moon nights, a male voice is heard crying and shouting asking his uncle to save him.
What to see
Since most of the fort buildings were destroyed in a fire, only some parts survived and are left for us. Only the following features are available to visit, others are only history and scholarly descriptions.
- The hazari karanji, a fountain in lotus shape was designed to impress little Peshwa Madhavrao
- The five gates that include Dilli Darwaja, Mastani, Khirki, Ganesh, and Jambhul Darwaja
- The nine bastion forts with a garden complex that stands in Kasba Peth near Mula Mutha river
- At the main entrance, there is s statue of the Peshwa Baji Rao that seems to welcome visitors.
- You can spot a light and sound show at the Shaniwar Wada Palace that serves as a source of education for the general mass. The 55 minutes show starts in the evening including Marathi and English shows. The ticket cost is 25 INR and it can be purchased between 6:30 to 8:30 in the evening every day. The Marathi show starts at 7:15 p.m and the English show starts after one hour.
Entering the Shaniwar Wada Palace is not free and levy a fees of five rupees to one hundred twenty-five rupees based on national and international tourists. The palace remains opened on every day of the week from 8 in the morning till 6:30 in the evening.
Shaniwar Wada Palace was built in the year 1732 by the Maratha ruler, Baji Rao I. It was built on the site of an earlier fort that had been built by the Maratha Empire. The palace was designed to be the residence of the Peshwas, the de facto rulers of the Maratha Empire, and it was meant to symbolize their power and prestige. Over the years, the palace underwent several modifications and additions, and it became one of the largest and most impressive buildings in India.
During its heyday, Shaniwar Wada Palace was the center of Maratha politics, culture, and administration. It was the site of many important events, including the coronation of new Peshwas and the signing of treaties with other powers. The palace was also known for its beautiful gardens and ornate architecture, which showcased the Maratha’s wealth and sophistication.
However, the palace was also the site of several historical events, including the assassination of the last Peshwa, Baji Rao II, in 1818. The assassination led to a period of instability in the Maratha Empire, and the palace became the center of political intrigue and conflict. In 1827, a major fire broke out in the palace, and it destroyed much of the building. Only the walls and the entrance gate still stand today.
Despite its troubled history, Shaniwar Wada Palace remains an important part of India’s cultural heritage, and it is a popular tourist attraction in Pune. The ruins of the palace serve as a reminder of the rich history of the Maratha Empire and offer a glimpse into the culture and politics of 18th and 19th-century India.
Here are some interesting facts about Shaniwar Wada Palace:
- Location: Shaniwar Wada Palace is located in Pune, India, and is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.
- Origin: The palace was built in 1732 by the Maratha ruler, Baji Rao I, and was meant to be the residence of the Peshwas, the de facto rulers of the Maratha Empire.
- Architecture: The palace was designed in the Indo-Saracenic style, which combined elements of Indian and Islamic architecture. It was known for its beautiful gardens, intricate carvings, and ornate arches.
- Size: Shaniwar Wada Palace was one of the largest buildings in India at the time, and it covered an area of nearly 7 acres.
- Significance: The palace was the center of Maratha politics, culture, and administration, and it served as the site of many important events, including coronations, treaties, and political negotiations.
- Fire: In 1827, a major fire broke out in the palace, and it destroyed much of the building. Only the walls and the entrance gate still stand today.
- Tourist Attraction: The ruins of Shaniwar Wada Palace are now a popular tourist attraction, and they offer a glimpse into the rich history of the Maratha Empire.
- Cultural Heritage: Shaniwar Wada Palace is an important part of India’s cultural heritage and is considered a valuable historical site by the government of India.
- Film Location: Shaniwar Wada Palace has also been used as a filming location for several Indian and international movies and television shows.
- Restoration Efforts: The government of Maharashtra has undertaken several efforts to restore and preserve the ruins of Shaniwar Wada Palace, and it is now considered a well-maintained tourist attraction.
How to reach
Shaniwar Wada Palace is located in Pune, India, and is easily accessible by various modes of transportation. Here are some ways to reach the palace:
- By Air: Pune has its own airport, Pune International Airport, which is well connected to major cities in India and abroad. From the airport, you can take a taxi or an Uber to reach Shaniwar Wada Palace, which is located about 10 kilometers from the airport.
- By Train: Pune is well connected to the rest of India by railway, and there are several trains that run from Mumbai to Pune on a daily basis. From the railway station, you can take a taxi or an Uber to reach Shaniwar Wada Palace, which is located about 5 kilometers from the railway station.
- By Bus: There are several state-run and private buses that run between Mumbai and Pune, and these buses drop you off at the Pune bus stand, which is located about 5 kilometers from Shaniwar Wada Palace. From the bus stand, you can take a taxi or an Uber to reach the palace.
- By Car: If you are driving to Pune, Shaniwar Wada Palace is well-connected by road, and it is located on the main road that runs through Pune. You can easily find parking near the palace.
Once you reach Shaniwar Wada Palace, you can explore the ruins of the palace and learn about its rich history and cultural heritage.