Shaniwar Wada: The 18th Century Fort

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.

The Entrance Of Shaniwar Wada

The Entrance Of Shaniwar Wada | Image Resource: wikimedia.org

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.

Bajirao Statue Shaniwar Wada Pune

Bajirao Statue Shaniwar Wada Pune | Image Resource: wikimedia.org

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.

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Shinde Chatri, Pune: The Symbol of Maratha Heritage

Established in 1794 the Shinde Chatri is located at Wanowrie in Pune. it is a monument dedicated to the military leader Mahadji Shinde who reigned in the 18th century. Mahatji Shinde served was the commander in chief of the Maratha army, who served under the Peshwa rulers from 1760 to 1780. This structure was erected in memorial of Mahadji and is one of the most eminent landmarks in Pune city. This regal embodiment of the past splendor of the Maratha rulers has survived the storms of time and still stands victorious representing the beauty of the past era.

The entrance is carved out of iron and has a captivating sheen. The exteriors are embedded with detailed and delicate carvings which depicts the expertise of the workers of the golden era. Shinde chatri comprises of three stories and offers a daunting look into the heritage of the past. The architecture of the monument is the major attraction and reflects the Rajasthani style of construction. Precisely the Shinde Chatri represents a cultural blend of the Anglo- Rajasthani style of architecture. The monument is a livid specimen of workmanship that depicts the Vaastu Hara Rules. This monument retains its beauty and grandeur over time and draws tourists from all parts of the globe.

Shinde Chatri, Pune

Shinde Chatri, Pune | Image Resource: wikimedia.org

A temple dedicated to lord Shiva is also erected in the premises. The steeple of this temple is embedded with idols of saints and finely carved embellishments made of yellow stone, whereas the sanctum sanctorum and the base of the temple are constructed out of black stone which gives it a mystical look.

The Chhatri or the hall comprises of carvings and beautiful paintings and also houses a very interesting gallery within it. The English style of architecture is intertwined into the monument, one of the marks of which can be seen in the colored window panes that are used for the construction of the windows of this majestic structure. The hall is beautified by paintings and pictures of the members of the descendants of the Shinde commander in chief, i.e. the Scindia family.