Shaniwar Wada, Pune: The prominent seat of the “Peshwas”…

I was today years old when I heard/read that this fort has its ghost and is termed haunted with the spirit of Narayanrao, the then Peshwa who was brutally murdered here. it is known that people still hear the cry of Narayanrao “Kakaa mala vachava” (Uncle, save me) during full moon nights…

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, I haven’t been to Pune where my uncle his family, and my grandmother live. If I visit Pune, it will be mostly during the festive season of Deepawali (a.k.a. Diwali), the festival of lights. And at once I got a chance to visit this beautiful place situated at the city center, Shaniwar Wada.

This historical fort was built in 1732 and it served as the capital building/a eminent seat of the Peshwa Kingdom of the great Maratha Empire for almost 100 years until the British East India Company took over. It was built in Maratha imperial architectural style. Major parts were known to be destroyed by the British during the Anglo-Maratha war and the fire blaze caught which was known to have burnt for seven long days. Only the first storey which is made of stones remains today.

The fort has five major gates, nine towers, and a garden complex. The foundations or the base of the construction of original buildings inside the fort can still be seen. The main entrance is known as ‘Delhi Darwaja’, others have been named like Ganesh, Mastani, Jambhal, and Khidki. The gates are sturdy, with spikes for added security during the attack by the enemy elephants.

The history of the events that took place at the fort is intriguing and heart-wrenching. The rise and fall of the Peshwas and how a sinister plot led to the murder of Narayanrao. I would recommend some old Marathi novels translated in your language of choice to know more about the Peshwas and this fort.

The remains of the fort are now converted into a tourist attraction. A beautiful garden and fountain have been built to attract visitors.

More details:

  • Timings: 9:30 am to 5 pm on all days …
  • Entry fee: INR 25 (Indians) & INR 300 (Foreigners)…
  • Time required at the site: 1-2 hours…
  • Location: Shaniwar Peth, Pune – 411030
  • Must see: Light & Sound show in the evenings at 07:30 pm (In Marathi) and 08:30 pm (In Hindi)…
  • Best time to visit: August to May…
  • Other attractions nearby: Lal Mahal, Tulsi Baug, Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple, Saras Baug, Parvati Hill, and few museums…
  • Must-try food: Maharashtrian Thali, Bakarwadi…
  • Mentions: Few film shootings have taken place at this fort notably Bajirao Mastani (Hindi) & Panipat (Hindi)…

It took me around 90 minutes to explore this fort. There is a large hall just above the main entrance through which one can witness the entire fort. The garden inside is well maintained. Evenings are the best time to visit as the heat is not much and you won’t be much tired.

Just opposite the Dilli Darwaza (Delhi Gate), the Indian national flag is been hoisted which is one of the tallest in the country. Also, the statue of Bajirao I mounted on a horse has been installed.

“If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India!”

– Romaine Rolland (French scholar)

Although it is termed haunted, it shouldn’t stop you from visiting and exploring this magnificent fort which is still standing tall after 300 years.

The next time I visit Pune will try to cover more places and blog about them.
Stay safe & take care…

2 Replies to “Shaniwar Wada, Pune: The prominent seat of the “Peshwas”…”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s