February 15, 2014

A Trip To Ancient Wada

Pune being a city of charm and magic we decided to explore a bit on the ancient side of the city so we thought of dropping in a visit to Shaniwar Wada.
Shaniwarwada was the stately mansion originally built as the residence of the Peshwas. The foundation of the mansion was laid by Bajirao 1 in the year 1730 AD and construction was completed in 1732 AD at a cost of Rs. 16,120. Several additions were made to the palace like fortification walls with bastions, gates and court halls by his successors.

What was once a seven storied structure was gutted by a fire in the palace. Only the remains can be seen now like the fortification walls with five gateways and nine bastions that enclosed the entire palace. The principal gate is called Dilli Darwaja (Delhi Gate); the other gates are called Mastani or Alibahadur Darwaja, Khidki Darwaja, Ganesh Darwaja and Narayan Darwaja.

You can get an entry into the Wada for 5/- per head. What Fascinated us was the garden and the architecture though not much is left of the mansion to see one can imagine the grandeur and the ambience it must has created during its time. The very popular story of Bajirao (Maratha Ruler) and Mastani (Persian Wife) have craved its space into the walls, there is the Mastani Darwaja the long imposing side door of the fort from where it is presumed that Queen Mastani used to enter and leave the fort. Another popular story is of young prince Narayan being brutally assassinated on the orders of his uncle Raghoba's wife.A popular urban legend states that one can still hear the desperate cries of the young prince on full moon nights screaming " Kaka Mala Vachva" ( Uncle Save Me).

A sound and light show is organized every evening at 7.00 pm to depict the era of the fort. Various cultural programmes are also held in the vicinity from time to time. We were lucky enough to view the Pune 360  a digital show that invites one to “listen to images and watch music”. Immersive by nature, its magnitude and graphics makes it an explosion of creativity. The images and sound were played live by Serge Laubier and Meta instrument, a virtuoso instrument, designed by PUCE MUSE and organized by Alliance Francaise De Pune. It was fun and magical evening as we could experience music by seeing the sound wave formations on the fort wall.

Its a nostalgic historic charm of the city.


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