The next destination in our list was the Vishrambaug Wada Pune which is considered to be one of the finest structures of the city. It is regarded as Peshwa Bajirao II’s luxurious residence and located on Thorale Bajirao Road in the heart of the city. In its present form, the wada is spread over an area of 20,000 sq. ft with only a small portion of it being open for the general public. We could also find a small museum comprised of Maratha artefacts and collected by Babasaheb Purandare and many offices belonging to the municipal corporation.
The beautifully carved woodwork on the balcony and near the entrance makes the structure worth visiting. It came into existence in the year 1811 in order to serve as the home of Peshwa Baji Rao II. There is no doubt about the fact that the building is one of the best representatives of the vibrant cultural heritage of the city. At the time of our visit, we couldn’t spot many people in the surrounding areas. There were many markets in the surrounding areas selling a wide range of items, furniture, etc.
The white and brown coloured front portion decorated with terracotta figures is one of the best photogenic sites one can come across. I was extremely happy to visit this place as it enabled me to capture some of the best photographs of my life. A closer look at the wooden pillars will make you feel as if each one of them is crafted from a single trunk. However, on entering the Wada, we were a bit sad with the apathy, neglect and ruins. We could easily spot many rusting iron rods, bags of cement, damaged pipes and broken tiles right before us on the central courtyard.
Efforts have been taken for restoring the past glory of the Vishrambaug but none of them I think produce fruitful results. The dusty staircase made of stone and wood enabled me to visit the city’s development and history from a different angle though. I wasn’t too satisfied with the amateur exhibits either. This is mainly due to the fact that Marathi is the only language used inside the exhibition.