Pune, the first and the last frontier of Maratha freedom, the birthplace of the Maratha fight, still stands proudly today. All across the now-metropolitan city are reminders of the proud and brave men who came before us and paved way for freedom. Our city isn’t just architecturally rich, it brings with it a history and heritage so stubbornly strong, that to tell its story, we would have to call every grandparent in the city.
Let’s take a walk through memory lane with the help of Pune’s finest monument- Vishrambaug Wada. A house which literally housed royalty, its walls speak a dying tale of the Peshwa empire.
The last Peshwa- Bajirao Peshwa II- lived in this luxurious mansion. The Wada was built in 1807 AD and cost Rs. 200,000 at that time, making it one of the most expensive housing architecture during that era.
Bajirao Peshwa II preferred to be housed in Vishrambaug Wada instead of Shaniwar Wada due to its misfortunate and ill-fated history. Another reason was that it was located in the vicinity of Shaniwarwada, thus making it easily accessible in case of emergencies.
The Wada is located on the bustling junction of Shivaji Road and RB Kumthekar road. Vishrambaug Wada has three huge courtyards and was mainly built to provide comfort and luxury to the last Peshwa ruler. An East-facing, beautifully carved canopy is the highlight of this Wada, and it’s carved entirely from wood.
After losing the fight against the British, Bajirao was exiled out of Pune and Vishrambaug Wada was used as a center for learning Sanskrit and various other arts.
A lot of other monuments and architectural pieces were constructed to showcase the pride and importance of the Peshwa era, but very few still stand. Today, Vishrambaug Wada houses a very famous Pune exhibition called ‘Punwadi to Punnyanagari’ which depicts the beautiful history of Pune.
What adds to the emotional touch of the building is the current metropolitan state of the city; things certainly feel changed now, but a walk within the Wada clearly states otherwise. You will be transported to a part of history where royalty was still indulged in, and monarchy and battles were a dominant part of the era.
The famous heritage tour of our city is an excellent option to explore not just Vishrambaug Wada, but the entire history of our city as well.
Feature image by Umesh Pillai aka @pixxatron via Instagram