Sunday, April 25, 2010

Shaniwar Wada, Pune was built at a cost of Rs 16110!

This post was pending since 2 weeks. When I saw Sahara Pune Warriors full page ad in today’s shaniwar-wada-main-entrancenewspapers, which carried Shaniwar Wada’s photo in the backdrop, I decided to sit and complete this post.

Shaniwar Wada is a historical and must visit place in Pune. Your visit to Pune is incomplete if you don’t visit Shaniwar Wada. When I had heard abt it first time I thought this must be something related to weekly markets rural India has (I was translating Shaniwar as Saturday… But later learnt that “Wada” in Marathi roughly translates to “Colony” or basti… and Shaniwar Wada has nothing to do with Saturday (though a lazer show will be held inside on weekends)

Shaniwar Wada was once the residence of Peshwas but now a tourist spot with only foundations of the palace and wall surrounding it.
bajirao-peshwa peshwa-emblem

History: Built in the 18th Century, Shanviwar wada was headquarter of Peshwas. It is said to be the most magnificent and stately mansion ever built in Pune. Foundation stone was laid by Bajirao I (1720-1740) on Jan 10, 1730. The Mansion was completed in 2 years time and inaugurated on Jan 22, 1732. The Palace, which had seven stories, was built at an expense of Rs 16,110 (Another display sums the amount at Rs 16,120…Wow!. I want to go back in time to 18th Century) and it accommodated over 1000 people.

history-2 histroy

Peshwa’s rule ended in June 1818, when Bajirao Peshwa II had to surrender his throne to the British rulers. The palace survived another 10 years, untill an unfortunate and unexplained incident of fire happened on Feb 27, 1828. The fire lasted several days and what was left was just the foundation stones and the outer walls.

view-from-top-shaniwar-wada corner-view-remains-of-foundation

The outer wall had multiple doors, each was named after a city- Main one is Delhi Darwaza that faces north, and other ones are Ganesh Darwaza (south east), Khidki darwaza (East), Mastani Darwaza or Alibahadur Darwaja (North), Narayan Darwaza (south). Main door is the most majestic of them all, large enough to allow elephants and strong (and spiked) to resist charging battle elephants. Each of these doors have its own purpose and history.

close-up-balcony cannon-point

The site is maintained by Archaeological Survey of India, entry fee is Rs 5 takes about 1 hour for a proper walkthrough across the campus. One can walk both inside and on the fort walls.Shanwar Wada is open to public from 8.30AM onwards (better go after 9). The fountain at centre is also as old as the palace

beautiful-yellow-tree walls

I am still trying imagine the seven story palace built with 16120 Rs…Unfortunate that no visuals are available…How much they would have spent if they had to buy an IPL team then?

Nearby places: Lal Mahal, Aga Khan Palace, Jungli Maharaj Mandir and Pataleshwar caves


Mohan said...

Seem to be an interesting place... Look forward to visit this on my next trip to Pune :)

You seem to be a total traveller off late (I know the reason though!).. Great going Shrinidhi... All the best and look forward for many more such interesting articles on less known places.

Ten Year said...

I stumbled upon your blog while surfing the net. My wife and I are currently on an 18 month trip through India and are plan to be in Pune. I will definitely add Shaniwar Wada to our itinerary - sounds like a must see place.
Follow our 18 month backpacking trip through India @

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Shaniwar wada isn't a less known place :)

Thanks. Will keep publishing such stuff as usual...

All the best for your trip.

Anu Menon said...

Hellooo... i have a question... did u buy your domain from i was looking to put my stuff in one place instead of being all over the place... SO wanted some good feedback...

Shrinidhi Hande said...

sorry for the delayed reply Anu.

No I didn't buy it at
I bought it directly from Google.. (in blogspot itself), through its partner eNom