Certain spots in Pune are our cultural heritage, and as surprising as this may sound, very few people know a lot about them. One such place is Shivaji Market- a market everyone is familiar with, but few have knowledge about the place. This is one of the oldest markets in the city; in fact, it used to be a shopping district earlier, but now it’s been reduced to a crumbling state.
The government may or may not work on preserving such places, but imparting knowledge about them might just motivate people to do whatever little they can. So, without further ado, here are five reasons why Shivaji Market is an absolute gem for Pune!
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Apart from being a Class I Heritage, Shivaji Market is still a favorite shopping market in our city. Built in 1885 by British Lt. Gen John Ross and designed by Gen Cecil D’Urban La Touche and W.M Ducat, it was one of the highlights of Pune during the pre-independence era. The market was set up to feed servants and the quarters of the then ‘white population’ in the Pune cantonment area. Now with all the malls and shopper plazas in the city, the market doesn’t get as much attention as it really should!
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The building is made up of Grey stone granite rocks reminiscent of a vintage Warriors Fort standing tall amidst the fast-paced city life. The building is a heritage structure and that was known only after the PMC decided to take up the renovation work to accommodate more vendors. The dull colors of the building are soon taken over by dark, bright fresh vegetable and fruits vendors stalls.
Realistically, despite there being a plethora of shopping goods, there’s very little at Shivaji Market which you can’t find in any of the malls. However, the tiny knick knacks which can only be found in street markets are also a specialty of Shivaji Market. For example, the Goan Masalas, marinades, bangles, and some spices which can only be found in Shivaji Market.
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Shivaji Market was the hub of commerce and colors during the British era, but now it lies in ruins. Exposed water distribution lines, pipes, broken electricity boards, and several hoardings have ruined its beauty and majestic charm. Plans are being put into motion to renew and redecorate this market, however, nothing concrete can be said just yet.
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A walk through this market will still bring back all those childhood memories, especially for those who were either schooled in Camp or used to work around the area. The beauty and immortality of the Pune’s Camp region was sourced from Shivaji Market; a place so colorful and alive, that it brought the entire locality in the limelight!