Shaniwarwada (Śanivāravāḍā) is a historical fortification in the city of Pune in Maharashtra, India. Built in 1732, it was the seat of the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire until 1818, when the Peshwas lost control to the British East India Company after the Third Anglo-Maratha War. Following the rise of the Maratha Empire, the palace became the center of Indian politics in the 18th century.
The fort itself was largely destroyed in 1828 by an unexplained fire, but the surviving structures are now maintained as a tourist site.
As part of my walking tours in Pune, we visited this huge site within the city. Magnificent spiked doors command the entrance, the spikes were to repel elephants.As the sight is a big attraction in the city, it’s impossible to get a shot without people in it, however, the people give a great size comparison to these magnificent doors.
The Shaniwar Wada was originally the seven storied capital building of the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire but after the completion of the base floor or the first story, the people of Satara (the national capital) complained to the Siva(King) saying that a stone monument can be sanctioned and built only by the Siva(King) himself and not the Peshwas. Following this, an official letter was written to the Peshwas stating that the remaining building had to be made of brick and not stone.
The Wada was then completed and upon being attacked by the British Artillery 90 years later, all the top six stories collapsed leaving only the stone base, which was immune to the British artillery. Hence only the stone base of the Shaniwar Wada remains. The interior is now kept as a park, no structures remain apart from the entranceway and the massive walls.
I was offered the opportunity to climb to the top of the ramparts, but once I saw the steps, which required a higher level of mobility than I currently have, ie: super-steep and I didn’t want to think about coming down, I decided to take photos of the inside of the magnificent entrance doors.
Outside as we headed off into the bustling streets, the walls supported their own microcosm of prayer, devotion, business and just passing the time of day.
I found one final door at the end of the walls. Maybe for stopping small elephants.
Linking with Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton. Pop on over, click the blue button at the bottom of Norm’s doors and check out some other doors today…
Information on Shaniwar Wada from Wiki and from my Pune Magic guide, Daya.