I have great interest in history and hence am quite eager to visit places that display the golden past of our ancestors. So the next destination that was on my must see itinerary was the Shaniwar Wada fort of Pune. The stately mansion Shaniwar Wada was originally built to serve as a residence for the Peshwa rulers. Bajirao I founded this mansion in the year 1730 AD. It took a cost of Rs16120 and was finally completed in 1732 AD. The successors made further additions in the form of fortification of the palace, gates, bastions and court halls.
This seven storied mega structure was unfortunately gutted by fire and was dwindled down to just remains leaving behind the fortification walls with five gateways and only nine bastions which enclosed the entire palace previously. The main gate of this mansion is termed as Dilli Darwaza or the Delhi gate. The other entrances are called as Mastani or the Alibahadur Darwaza, Narayan Darwaza and the Ganesh Darwaza.
Tales from the great Hindu epics the Mahabharata and the Ramayana were painted on the walls of the palace. A sixteen petal lotus shaped fountain is evidence for the exquisite workmanship of the past era under Peshwa rule. The Pune Municipal Corporation currently is responsible for the maintenance of this eminent structure that represents an unforgettable chapter in the history of India. During the reign of the Maratha rulers about 1000 people used to reside in the Shaniwar Wada palace.
The main attraction that draws tourists from far off destinations is the light and sound show tht is set up in the mansion at a cost of Rs 1.25 crores. This show is held every day from 7:15pm to 8:10pm in Marathi and from 8:15pm to 9:10 pm in English. The tickets for admittance to this show are available at a very cheap rate of just Rs 25 per head. The tickets can be availed everyday between 6:30pm to 8:30pm but no advance booking facilities are available for the light and sound show. This monument has also developed into a popular site for public speeches and functions over the past few years.