Shaniwar Wada, Pune is said to be the most impressive mansion ever to be built by the Peshwas in the city. The foundation for the monument was laid down in 1720 by Bajirao I. Today is completely engulfed by the city!
We tried to visit it on our first evening in Pune. I was with Dr. Supriya Himanshu of All What She Wants. We were together on the Suryagar trip as well earlier this year. It was good fun to meet her again. The first evening when we reached there, it was already closed. We visited the Lal Mahal instead which is at walking distance from Shaniwar Wada. The current Lal Mahal is not the original one, if you are pressed for time you can easily give it a miss! The entrance fee for Shaniwar Wada is Rupees 5 and for Lal Mahal Rs 2 for Indian nationals!
Large parts of the Shaniwar Wada were destroyed in an unexplained fire in 1828. So as of now only the entrance and the grounds remain. Still it is a nice place to visit, particularly if you like ruins and history. We visited it on a week day, hence it was not too crowded.
There are steps to climb to go to the top of the building at the entrance. I could see no means by which it would be accessible to a person on a wheel chair. But then I should not just single out this monument, I guess a large number of them would be inaccessible across India. The stairs are somewhat steep.
The stairs lead to a spacious courtyard. It took me some effort to take this picture when I managed to get it sans any human beings! The view to the front are nice. You can see the lawn and the fountains. I am told there is a musical fountain show on the premises but not everyday.
From the first floor one can also see towards the city. I wonder what was the amphitheater was being prepared for? The monument is clean and I could see no graffiti or litter. I had a completely relaxed morning with Supriya at Shaniwar Wada in Pune.
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