Shaniwar Wada is a historical fortification in the city of Pune, Maharashtra, India. Built in 1732, it served as the seat of the Peshwas, who were the prime ministers of the Maratha Empire. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of Pune‘s rich cultural heritage.
The construction of Shaniwar Wada was ordered by Baji Rao I, the second Peshwa of the Maratha Empire, in 1730. The fortification was completed in 1732, and it served as the seat of the Peshwas for over 70 years. The Peshwas were instrumental in expanding the Maratha Empire, and Shaniwar Wada played an important role in their rule.
The fortification was designed to be a seven-storey building, with the topmost storey being made of wood. The fortification was surrounded by a moat, and it had five gates that were heavily guarded. The fortification was also equipped with several underground tunnels and secret passages that were used by the Peshwas to escape in case of an attack.
In 1773, a massive fire broke out in Shaniwar Wada, and most of the fortification was destroyed. However, the walls and foundations of the fortification survived, and they continue to stand to this day.
Shaniwar Wada was also the site of a tragic incident in 1774. Narayanrao, the fifth Peshwa, was murdered in the fortification, and his death led to a period of turmoil and unrest in the Maratha Empire.
In 1818, the Maratha Empire was defeated by the British, and Shaniwar Wada was taken over by the British East India Company. The fortification was later used as a courthouse and a jail, and many parts of it were converted into offices and other government buildings.
Today, Shaniwar Wada is a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of Pune‘s rich cultural heritage. The fortification is open to the public, and visitors can explore the ruins and learn about the history of the Maratha Empire and the Peshwas. The fortification also hosts a sound and light show that tells the story of Shaniwar Wada and its significance in the history of Pune.
In conclusion, Shaniwar Wada is a historical fortification that played an important role in the rule of the Peshwas and the expansion of the Maratha Empire. Despite being destroyed by a fire in 1773, the walls and foundations of the fortification continue to stand to this day, and it remains a popular tourist attraction in the city of Pune.