Historical Monuments in Pune
Pune at first mention would bring up images of college campuses, young professionals and swanky social hotspots. But this city is also the heart of Marathi culture and has always been an important part of the local history.
The heritage side of Pune is a fascinating journey into centuries of accumulated history, which lives now in some of the most important buildings and monuments of India. Find the best way to explore. There are many reliable options for cab booking in Pune.
It was the seat from where the mighty Peshwas ruled and some stories suggest that even today, on a quiet moonlit night, one can feel the presence of a tragic royal of the old Maratha kingdom. Shaniwar Wada directly translates to Saturday Residence and this grand teak and stone building was constructed in the year 1732.
Today it remains as one of Pune’s most iconic landmarks, a must visit for those who want to learn about the city’s cultural legacy. One can marvel at the medieval architecture, the 5 gates, the palace halls and manicured gardens of the complex and get an idea of how the structure was the nerve centre of sub-continental politics at one point, having also seen brutality unfold within its walls.
Aga Khan Palace
The national importance of Aga Khan Palace stems from the fact that it was a venue for many events of the freedom struggle. Built in 1892, the structure was a prison to freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai for close to 2 years. The latter two passed away in the building during this internment.
Monuments at the palace include a memorial for Kasturba Gandhi and a place where the Mahatma’s ashes have been kept. The museum is another highlight. From an architectural point of view, the palace is a lavish exhibition of European influences and the gardens add another layer of opulence.
Around 30 kms south of Pune, in the Sahyadri Range, is Sinhagad Fort. Sitting on a cliff, this strategic location has been the venue for many battles between Maratha warriors and the Mughals. The steep sides of this ancient fort are the main reasons for its importance to past kings.
A visit here will give you a glimpse of the military past of Western India and highlights include the old stables, the gates, a brewery and a temple housing a statue of the goddess Kali. There are memorials here of Tanaji Malusare, one of Shivaji’s bravest generals, and the king’s younger son, Rajaram.
The scenery around Sinhagad Fort will whisk you away to a medieval fantasy novel. Verdant forest clings on to the hostile heights, and at the summit one can see the valleys below, a bounty of sorts for those who controlled the fort. For those who want to enjoy a comfortable trip, it is advised to choose an Innova car rental in Pune.
An 8th century temple carved out of a rock, Pataleshwar is one of Pune’s oldest and most significant historical sites. The internal columns of the temple fascinate connoisseurs of old architecture. A carved circular shrine and a mandapa are some of the highlights of this site. Pataleshwar boasts intricate carvings and drawings that tell stories of Shiva, the deity it is dedicated to and whose lingam rests in the central sanctum.
Explore old Pune and relive many chapters of its long history. Find a car rental in Pune and enjoy the drives across the beautiful terrain of the Sahyadris and into the old neighbourhoods, looking for more secrets that the city has to offer. A city with many layers, the culture of Pune continues to enamour the curious traveller, as it has done for generations so far.