Standing Tall Amidst Glory: 5 Reasons To Visit Shaniwar Wada

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Over 286-year-old, Shaniwar Wada continues to be a reflection of the proud Maratha empire. Once a melting pot of culture and politics, this place, till date, attracts almost 300 tourists from across the globe on a daily basis. And if you haven’t visited it yet, here are five reasons why you must do it. Entry fees of INR 5 and INR 125 are levied for Indians and foreigners respectively.

The History

Built in 1732, Shaniwar Wada was the magnificent seven-storey capital building of then Maratha Empire. By 1818, however, the Peshwas lost the fort to the British post the third War of Panipat. Shaniwar Wada, now in ruins, was destroyed due to various military attacks and fires over the 18th and 19th century. The fire that broke in 1812 destroyed two stories of the fort including the warehouse and the Asmani Mahal. But the worst was in the year 1828 that lasted over a week and devoured several levels in the fort, artifacts and documents.

An Architectural Masterpiece

Alebit in ruins, Shaniwar Wada continues to be one of the greatest architectural masterpieces in Indian history. There are several parts in the palace that survived the fires; one being the famous five doors. The main gate is known as the Dilli gate that has huge spikes on it, to protect the fort from any military attack. Other smaller gates include the Mastani gate, Khidki Darwaza, Ganpati gate and the Narayan Gate. There are numerous stairways along the walls that lead to empty halls inside the palace. Notice the intricate carvings on the pillars, bastions and the arches. What is still left of this place are couple of smaller cannons that were retrieved over the time by authorities. Must check-out the remains of the Hazari Karanje or better known as the fountain of thousand jets, shaped like a 16-petal lotus.

The Beautiful Gardens

If anything ASI and PMC managed to maintain at Shaniwar Wada is its beautiful, well-manicured gardens. You can sit with a book and easily spend hours out here.

Light & Sound Show

One of the major reasons to visit Shaniwar Wada is the light and sound show that happens right at the centre of the wada. Started in 2000, the show happens in Marathi and Hindi and narrates the era of Shivaji’s rule through light and image projection over a water fountain.

One Of The Most Haunted Places In Pune

Shaniwar Wada is considered as one of the most haunted places in the city. The fifth Peshwa, Narayanrao was brutally murdered by the guards inside the fort. Rumour has it that his spirit continues to haunt the palace and many say they’ve heard a male voice crying ‘kaka mala vaachwa’ {uncle, save me}, especially on full moon nights.


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