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Shaniwar Wada is an 18th century palace fort in the city of Pune in Maharashtra, India, that was built by Peshwa Baji Rao – I, prime minister to king Chattrapati Shahu, the son of Shivaji, the famous king of the Maratha empire that occupied most of India after the decline of the Mughal rule.

The Peshwa laid the ceremonial foundation stone on Saturday, January 10, 1730. It was named Shaniwarwada from the Marathi / Hindi words Shaniwar (Saturday) and Wada (a general term for any residential complex). Teak was imported from the jungles of Junnar, stone was brought from the nearby quarries of Chinchwad, and Lime (mineral) was brought from the lime-belts of Jejuri. Shaniwarwada was completed in 1732, at a total cost of Rs. 16,110 (about US $ 300), a very large sum at the time. Following the rise of the Maratha Empire, the palace became the centre of Indian politics in 18th century.

Shaniwar Wada was the seat of the Peshwa rulers of the Maratha Empire until 1818 when they surrendered to the British. Thereafter the fort itself was largely destroyed in 1828 by an unexplained fire. The surviving structures are now maintained as a tourist site.

The place has a reputation of being haunted by the ghost of a young prince who was brutally murdered by the order of one of his uncles. It is said that the assasins chased him all across the fort while the 13 year old boy cried out repatedly: “Kaka, mala vachva!”(Uncle, save me!).

It seems obvious that security, rather than architectural elegance, was given the topmost priority while constructing the building.

Sources : Internet / Wikipedia

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Additional Photos by Satya Ghosal (photographer_sg) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 253 W: 1 N: 572] (3791)
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