Shaniwar Wada Palace is a major tourist attractions of Pune since its a haunted palace. People believe that they hear cries on full moon nights so don’t you dare to go that day!
About Shaniwar Wada
Shaniwar Wada comprises of two Marathi words “SHANIWAR” and “WADA” which means “Saturday” and “PALACE” respectively. This name is because its foundation was led on 10 th January, 1730 which was Saturday.
It was a seven storied building earlier before the attack of Britishers which turned down it to a single stored building. It was a capital building for Peshwas and it remained residence for Peshwas for 70 years until 1818. It was a residence for thousand of people. It was supposed to be built with stone only but people of Satara complained Chhatrapati Shahu to be built by him and not with stone. So, the base was made with stone.
Shaniwar Wada was made in honor of Peshwa Bajirao Ballal Balaji Bhat for remarkable courage and undisputed defeat towards Maratha Empire.
To display exquisite work of 18th century, Shaniwar Wada had a sixteen petal Lotus Fountain,court halls along with 5 gates . Namely Dilli Darwaza, Mastani Darwaza (named after Bajirao’s II wife Mastani), Khidki Darwaza, Ganesh Darwaza and Narayan Darwaza.
Story Behind Haunted Palace
Before the death of Peshwa Bajirao Ballal Bhat, Nanasaheb (son of first wife of Bajirao Ballal Bhat , Kashibai) took the control of the throne. Nanasaheb had 3 sons namely Vishwasrao, Madhavrao and Narayanrao. Vishwasrao died during battle of Panipat. His death is a resultant of failed strategies of Madvarao who was chief strategy planner for the battle.
Madhavrao died due to illness and later Narayanrao became the 5th Peshwa who had complete power of Shaniwar Wada. Since Narayanrao was just 16 years old at that time he was guided with his maternal uncle Raghunathrao.
Unhappy and in hunger of power Raghunathrao along with his wife Anandibai made a plan of assasination of Narayanrao. Anandibai was unhappy to hear house -arrest of his husband due to which she planned a revenge. Knowing the disputes of Narayanrao with hunting tribe, Gardi , she convinced Raghoba to send a letter to Gardi, Bheel of Central India. The letter said “Narayanrao la Dhara”(Capture Narayanrao) which she changed it to “Narayanrao la Maara” (Kill Narayanrao).
The trained assasins entered the room of Narayanrao and killed him brutally during the last of Ganesh Chaturthi. Narayanrao kept calling his calling “Kaaka mala vaachva!!”( uncle, save me) but he didnt respond. His body was cut into so many pieces that it was carried into a pot. His body was cremated during midnight in river. His body was never found.
In Hindus, its believed if rituals after death are not been performed then the soul haunts that place. Shaniwar Wada haunted with the spirit of Narayanrao since people hear cries “Kaaka Mala Vaachva”. Shaniwar Wada was built for glory and as a mark of undefeated spirit but it has seen pain, illness and death for power.
Unexplained Fire in Shaniwar Wada
Unexplained fire took place in Shaniwar Wada which continued for 7 days before it was extinguished in 1828. The entire palace was burned living the outer area. The walls and gates were remained which today are maintained by Pune Municipal Corporation( PMC).
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