As my stay continued in Pune, the next monument that I was very keen to visit was the Aga Khan Palace located at Nagar road beyond Fitzgerald Bridge in Pune. The official timings for visitors are 9am to 6pm. So I had my breakfast and headed towards the palace in the morning itself. I also carried my camera along with me so that I could shoot as many pictures of this embodiment of India’s freedom struggle.
The Aga Khan Palace was built by Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah Agakhan III in the year 1892. In the year 1969 this palace was donated to India by his descendent Aga Khan IV as a token of respect to Mahatma Gandhi. This monument is of national importance as it narrates the story of India’s freedom movement.
Succeeding the launch of the Quit India Movement in 1942 mahatma Gandhi along with his wife Kasturba Gandhi and his secretary Mahadevbhai Desai were confined in this palace from 9th august 1942 to 6th may 1944. Kasturba Gandhi as well Mahadevbhai Desai both passed away during this two year long duration of confinement in the Aga Khan Palace.
Their Samadhi were located in the campus of the palace itself. Erected near river Mula the palace is a memorial stands as a constant reminder of Gandhi’s indomitable struggle for India’s free future.
This place serves as a very famous site for tourists from all over the world, both because of its historical significance as well as archaeological charm. It was developed as an international place of pilgrimage and witnesses more than one lakh visitors from near and far off places who come to pay homage to the Samadhi located in the vicinity.
To sprawling garden that encompasses this structure adds to the beauty of the palace. The famous movie “Gandhi” was also shot on this site that has witnessed two years of the life of Gandhiji.
Due to its historic significance in the struggle for freedom of India, a couple of public functions including Martyr’s day, Mahashivaratri, Independence day, Republic day and Bapu’s birthday are also held in the Aga Khan Palace.