From the National War Memorial Southern Command Pune, we moved on towards our next destination which was the Shaniwar Wada Pune. It is actually the name of a fort built in the year 1746.
This 18th century monument used to serve as the base for the Peshwa rulers of Maharashtra till the year 1818. It is located on the banks of the Mula Mutha River in an area called Kasba Peth. However, Peshwas of the Maratha army had to shift their base after they lost the Third Anglo Maratha War and had to surrender almost everything to the Britishers.
There are reports which show that the fort has also suffered greatly in the year 1828 due to a mysterious fire. The structures that survived the damage are presently maintained to form a tourist spot. The Shaniwar Wada was actually constructed to serve as a residence of Peshwa Baji Rao I who was Chattrapati Sahu’s prime minister.
We came to know that the mansion was built using teak imported from Junnar, lime from Jejuri and stone from Chinchwad. While the foundation stone of the mansion was laid on 10th January, 1730, it got completed in two years with a total expense of INR 16,100 at that point of time. With the passage of time, several modifications were made to the mansion.
We came to know that reservoirs, fountains, court halls, gates, bastions and fortification walls were added at a latter point of time. The gates have different types of names such as Dilli Darwaja, Khidki Darwaja, Narayan Darwaja, Ganesh Darwaja, Alibahadur Darwaja, etc.
We spotted around five gateways along with 9 bastion towers at different points of the fortification walls. The sight of the lush green gardens surrounded by remains of the original building was simply mesmerizing. One of the saddest things about the fort is that it is not able to garner much attention and care from the Government.
Due to these reasons the advisory committee of the fort had to house different types of private businesses within the Shaniwar Wada. One of the key attractions of the mansion is its beautiful light and sound show which takes place during the evening.