Revisiting Pune’s History – Nana Wada

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Being the throne of the Peshwa dynasty, Pune is peppered with old historical places which are of tremendous architectural and sentimental significance. Our rich culture owes much to the Maratha and Peshwa dynasty. A walk through old Pune is enough to tell you about our city’s role in the fight for independence as well; our freedom fighters were influenced and inspired by their courageous predecessors.

Pune
Nana Phadnavis

One such brave Maratha leader, Nana Phadanvis, was the stalwart fighter for the Peshwa dynasty. Nana Wada, built by this brave chief administrative officer of the Peshwas, stands testimony to the golden rule.

Before we explore this wada through words, let’s recollect this treasured Maratha soul. Nana Phadanvis served under four Maratha rulers in succession. During the dark time after Madhavrao Peshwa’s death, Nana Phadanvis took the reins of the Maratha empire and guided it towards prosperity.

Along with being a wise advisor and an excellent leader, Nana Phadanvis was also treasured for his vision and bravery. A free Maratha kingdom wouldn’t have been an imaginable reality if not for this amazing individual.

As to Nana Wada, it is an architectural representation of the man himself. Strong foundations are a huge forte of this wada; of course, nothing less would have sufficed as well or survived the test of time.

Located near Shaniwar Wada (Vasant theater, to be precise), this Wada is one of the oldest heritage sites in our city. Built in 1780, the Wada is almost entirely constructed with timber. The highlights of this wada include timber ceiling, arches, carved patterns on the wall and ceiling, columns which look like Cyprus trees.

Image by Shraddha Gosavi

The faded wall paintings add to the charm of this wada as well. The balcony has a dome shaped ceiling. As was the custom back then, the wooden architecture signifies royalty. The wada also has an emergency exit in the wall, a sign of true foresight amidst the war torn era.

Image by Sampath Menon

As it is with historic monuments, the wada has suffered heavy architectural losses, but some restoration has been done by our government. The modern day Wada houses a municipal school and office which stores old records.

Pune
Image by Chirag Tembhurne

Nana Wada is an excellent metaphor for that era- the bravery and strong foundations of people as well as their legacy can be felt in the wada’s walls. Another gem in our city’s collection of historical monuments, Nana Wada is a must visit for locals and tourists alike.

Feature image by Jignesh Rathod via Instagram

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