Architectural Beauty Of Old Pune

The last time I went to Pune was for Kishori Amonkar’s concert and it was just a day trip. That was the only time I’d been to Pune. So after many years, I got a chance to visit Pune because of a very good friend of mine- Pratap. I was going to be there for two days so he suggested me a heritage walk in the old, real Pune. (Or gaav/ peth as the Punekars call it.)

We went there at 10 and walked for around 2 hours. Here are some pictures from the walk. Majority of the pictures are from Shanivar Wada.

Shanivar Wada
The Great Bajirao Peshwa. Statue outside the Palace.
The Great Bajirao Peshwa. Statue outside the Palace.

You fight the enemies, you give us the freedom, you die for us, and this is how we will repay you. Done deal. Okay? Okay!


p9So these huge sharp spikes are on the main door of the palace so that the trespassers couldn’t enter even with the help of elephants. There are 72 spikes on each of the door pane. This type of doors are very common in Maharashtra forts.


This is how the spikes look from inside.



So apparently, Peshwas- originally from Shrivardhan; were big devotees of Ganesh. This painting is on one of the wall inside the palace. And not to mention the great tradition of pompous Ganesh festival celebrations in Pune.



Look at the intricate floral designs on the top.



It is said that the huge palace was burnt down by the British because it displayed the stronghold and power of Marathas over the region. However, everywhere it is mentioned that “The fort itself was largely destroyed in 1828 by an unexplained fire”!



These are the wooden pillars intricately carved in the balconies of the palace.





And I clicked A LOT of pictures but can’t post all of those here. So after the wada tour was done, we stepped out and walked in the lanes of various Peths. This design was on the balcony of one of the old buildings in Shanivar Peth. Look at the flowers and the queen!


Somewhere in Budhwar Peth. How I love the unplastered walls.


Except human beings, I feel that all the other objects create an interesting pattern when arranged or stored together. These are called नळीची कौलं which were used earlier on the roofs before Mangalore tiles took over. And yes, in Konkan, this was the favourite spot of snakes and other reptiles to hide.


Tulshi baag.


So there is around 3 feet tall temple like structure in Tulshi baag which nobody can easily notice because of the ugly buildings surrounding it, but thanks to my friend who asked me to go and peep in. When I saw, I found this amazing idol inside. Look at the carved details.


Wall painting depicting the Seeta- Swayamvar scene. Look how Seeta is shown wearing Brahmini style nauvari saree. Cute, isn’t it?


What a lovely lock.


I have this weird fascination for old doors. I mean, look at this…


Next stop was Vishrambaug wada. This is the last wada built by the Peshwas. Currently it houses a few government offices in it.


Now, the corporation has started the renovation of the wada under the Heritage Corridor Plan. This is the interiors of the palace.


This place is a must see for its beautiful wooden carvings on the pillars and balconies.





And last but not the least. This building in the picture below is Bhide Wada, a place where Savitribai Phule, along with her husband- Jyotirao Phule started first school for the girls in the year 1848 in this very building and made a revolution. Look at the state of this building now.


Feminist in a true sense, this is what she gets for her contribution to the liberation of Indian women. Too bad she didn’t have YouTube to make the so-called ‘thought-provoking’ videos!



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Trying to beat the boredom created by the comfort!

2 thoughts on “Architectural Beauty Of Old Pune”

  1. Beautifully captured…notice every image has earthy color shade offering the rustic feeling of revisiting the history. I wonder how the lock works? It’s a pity that light n sound show has been discontinued, I suppose; I could never watch it 😦 The Pune Heritage Walk is indeed a nice experience. Did you visit Taambat Aali and saw coppersmiths making the utensils? Another fascinating and unseen aspect of Shanivar Wada is its water supply. In 1750s Nanasaheb Peshwa (hope am not wrong) built Katraj lake and channeled the water through underground tunnels to Shanivar Wada with gravitational force. Water carried over 10 km with no electricity (of course) and stored in Hauds across old city. A few of the Hauds are apparently still ‘alive’ and receive water. I have seen the tunnel opening in Katraj lake in dry season and felt thrilled that one can actually reach Shanivar Wada avoiding noisy polluted roads of urban Pune. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this…revived 3 yr Pune memories !


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