Pride Of Pune - Shaniwar Wada
Shaniwar Wada is situated in Shaniwar Peth, near the railway station of Pune. It is a fort, whose foundation was laid down by Peshwa Baji Rao in the year 1729-30. It took two years to complete the fort and later, many additions were also made to it by the successors of Baji Rao. The amazing architecture of the fort speaks volumes about the competence of the Peshwas in the field of town planning. The entire complex of the Shaniwar Wada comprises of fountains, courtyards, blooming gardens, offices, audience halls and residential quarters.
A fire engulfed the fort in 1827 and lasted for approximately fifteen days. The devastating fire led to the destruction of the beauty of the palace, along with all of its artifacts. All one can see now is the huge gate of the fort, with its outer stonewalls, bastions and small gates. The main gate is known as the Dilli Darwaja [Delhi Gate], while the other gates are known as Mastani or Alibahadur Darwaja, Khidki Darwaja, Ganesh Darwaja and Narayan Darwaja. However, Shaniwarwada Fort still counts amongst the major attractions of the Puna city of India.
The city center inside the Shaniwar Wada of Pune serves as a reflection of how the fort originally looked like, before the fire broke out. On the walls of the fort, one can see paintings depicting scenes from the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. The sixteen-petal lotus-shaped fountain standing inside the Shaniwar Wada stands as a proof of the exquisite craftsmanship of those times. A light and sound is also held here everyday, between 7:15 pm and 8:10 pm in Marathi and between 8:15 pm to 9:10 pm in English.