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Aga Khan Palace

The Aga Khan Palace was built by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III in Pune. Built in 1892, it is one of the biggest landmarks in Indian history. Aga Khan Palace is a majestic building. The palace is closely linked to the Indian freedom movement as it served as a prison for Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi, his secretary Mahadev Desai and Sarojini Naidu. It is also the place where Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai breathed their last breath. In 2003, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) declared the place as a monument of national importance.

Aga Khan Palace

History

Historically, the palace holds great significance. Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi and his secretary Mahadev Desai were interned in the palace from 9 August 1942 to 6 May 1944, following the launch of Quit India Movement. Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai died during their captivity period in the palace and have their Samadhis located over here. Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi have their memorials located in the same complex, near Mula River. Mahatma Gandhi s items like his bed, writing desk, Kasturba s sari and other clothes; her Chappals (slippers) are maintained properly at their place.

In 1969, Aga Khan Palace was donated to the Indian people by Aga Khan IV as a mark of respect to Gandhiji and his philosophy. Today the palace houses a memorial on Gandhi where his ashes were kept. The then prime minister Indira Gandhi had visited the place in 1974 where she allotted a sum of INR200000 every year, for its maintenance.

Aga Khan Palace Pune

Significance

Aga Khan Palace has Italian arches and spacious lawns. The building comprises five halls. It covers an area of 19 acres (77,000 m2), out of which 7 acres (28,000 m2) is the built up area. The palace captivates the eye of a spectator with its magnificence and picturesque architecture. It took 5 years and an estimated budget of INR1.2 million to complete this Palace. The area of the ground floor is 1756 sq meters that of the first floor is 1080 sq meters, whereas the second floor has a construction of 445 sq meters. The speciality of this structure is its corridor of 2.5 meters around the entire building. Prince Karim Aga Khan donated this palace to Gandhi Smarak Samittee in 1972.

The palace archives a number of photos and portraits depicting glimpses from the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation of India, and other personalities of the Indian freedom struggle. This palace is also the headquarters of the Gandhi National Memorial Society. It also hosts a shop that deals in khaadi and other hand loomed textiles. Aga Khan Palace is situated 2 km away from Bund Garden in Yerwada on Pune-Nagar Road.

Other attractions close to the Palace

Osho Ashram

Osho Ashram, also known as the Osho Communal Centre is located at Koregoan Park. The Ashram offers a variety of expensive courses on meditation. Osho Ashram attracts a number of devotees each year including a large number of them from the western countries since early 70s.

Osho Ashram

Shaniwar Wada

Shaniwar Wada is a royal residence built by the second Peshwa, Bajirao-I Shaniwar Wada, which is located in Pune. Construction of Shaniwar Wada began on 10th of January 1730. It is said that Bajirao Peshwa-I laid the foundation by collecting handful of mud from the nearby Lal Mahal. Shaniwar Wada today is left with only an imposing outer wall. It is visible that the ruins can translate the glory of the Maratha power. The doors of the palace are so strong that it had been designed to dissuade huge enemy attacks.

Shaniwar Wada

Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum

The museum has nearly 20,000 collections of objects paintings, handicrafts, armour-suits, musical instruments and many other objects of art and artefacts collected from all over the world. The building has been designed in a Rajasthan-style, but the galleries give a clear depiction of the life and culture of the Marathas. Dinkar Kelkar spent almost 60 years travelling and purchasing objects from the remote areas and towns of India. Divided into 36 sections, the collections are confined mostly to everyday life like pots, lamps, containers, nutcrackers, pen stands. Mastani Mahal is regarded to be the masterpiece to this museum, which was erected here in its original form.

Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum

Tribal Museum

Maharashtra is a vast country and there are uncountable numbers of tribes based here. Having different languages, these tribes have their own food habits, taboos, and beliefs - in short distinct cultures. Tribal Museum exhibits the cultures of the tribal communities mainly from the Sahyadari and Gondwana regions. It is a place where one can find to get an insight into the lives of the tribal communities of Maharashtra.

Vishrambaug Wada

This is a three-storied mansion, known for its beautiful entrance and balcony with carved woodwork typical of the Peshwa period. The 260 ft long and 815 ft broad Teen-Chowki Wada was built by the last Peshwa, Bajirao II as his residence at a cost of Rs. 2 lakhs. The Wada s eye-catching wooden facade is memorizing in its beauty, and has beautiful columns carved in the Suru form. On October 31, 1880 a surprise fire engulfed the Wada ravaging the entire structure. Vishranbaug Wada was restored to its somewhat original appearance by public subscriptions and municipal contributions. For many years until 1958 it was to serve as the offices of the Poona Corporation. Today it houses assorted offices: a strange fate for what was once a king s abode.

Bund Garden

Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy constructed the Bund Gardens. The Bund gardens, which are next to the river, are just the place for evening strolls on the lush green grass. Boating and rowing facilities are also available over here. There is a Ganesh temple situated in the vicinity of the park too.

Bund Garden

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