Thursday, September 28, 2023

Tourism      Monuments      Forts      Maharashtra     Pune    

Shaniwar Wada

Place : Pune district, Maharashtra
Best Season : October to February
Time : 8 am to 5 pm
Significance : It is a great palace fort in the city of Pune.
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Situated south of Shivaji Bridge, Shaniwar Wada is a great palace fort in the city of Pune in Maharashtra State. Shaniwar Wada taken from the Marathi words Shaniwar (Saturday) and Wada (residence complex). It is said that the foundation was carried out on Saturday by Peshwa Bajirao I. The fort was the chief residence of the Peshwas until 1808 when the Peshwas surrendered to the British.

Built in 1730, the fort itself was destroyed by fire in 1828 that lasted for 7 days. The Palace that stood inside has completely vansihed, except for masonry foundations of the various halls and courts. Now the remaining structures are maintains Pune Municipal Corporation as a tourist site.

The agreement between the East India Company and the Peshwas to combat Tipu Sultan was singed here in 1790. Shaniwar Wada is contained by a rectangle of high walls of stone and brick, 170 m by 160 m. There are pictures from Mahabharata and Ramayana are engraved on the palace walls.

Prominent round basions occur at the corners and in the middle of three sides; polygonal bastions flank the magnificent Delhi Gate (Dilli Darwaza) on the north, its arched stone entrance being surmounted by a timber balocy with a wooden roof.

The fort stand amidst a beautiful landscape which contains water channels and different shaped ponds. The open space infront of Shaniwar Wada now mostly used for recreation, has an equestrian statue serveing as a Memoral to soldiers who fell in the First World War. Inside the structure there are 'Duwai Bunglow (a beautiful two-storeyed apartment), the Nagarkhana, Rang Mahal, Ganesh Mahal, Hasti Dant Mahal, Aarsa Mahal, nine towers etc. One notable thing inside the fort is a Door with passages adjacent to both sides leading to stairways and this is the site of a 300 year old murder of a 16 year old prince Narayan Rao at the hands of his very own uncle.

There are light shows in the evening in Marathi and English. The statue in front of the fort is of Bijarao who led the Palkhed Campaign 1727-1728.