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Shaniwarwada Fort: The facts you must know about the most haunted place

  • Dailybhaskar.com
  • Aug 03, 2013, 16:07 PM IST
Shaniwarwada Fort
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Shaniwarwada Fort

Pune: Shaniwarwada Fort situated near Abhinav Kala Mandir on Baji Rao Road of Pune in India is one of the most haunted historical places of India and contains a nerve chilling story within its walls. The construction of this palace, whose ceremonial foundation was laid down by Peshwa Baji Rao I on 10th January 1930, cost more than Rs. 16, 110 those days and accommodated more than 1000 people.  

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    Historical place in Pune
    Historical place in Pune

    It was named Shaniwarwada from the Marathi words Shaniwar (Saturday) and Wada (a general term for any residence complex).Teak was imported from the jungles of Junnar, stone was brought from the nearby quarries of Chinchwad, and Lime (mineral) was brought from the lime-belts of Jejuri

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    Fortification wall of Shaniwarwada Fort
    Fortification wall of Shaniwarwada Fort

    The opening ceremony was performed according to Hindu religious customs, on January 22, 1732, another Saturday chosen for being a particularly auspicious day. Later the Peshwas made several additions, including the fortification walls, with bastions and gates; court halls and other buildings; fountains and reservoirs. Currently, the perimeter fortification wall has five gateways and nine bastion towers, enclosing a garden complex with the foundations of the original buildings.

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    Full moon nights at Shaniwarwada Fort
    Full moon nights at Shaniwarwada Fort

    Full moon nights are especially haunted here. This is the place where the 13 year-old Peshwa Dynasty heir Narayan was brutally assasinated. As his assassins chased him all across the fort, the boy yelled, again and again "Kaka, mala vachva!" (Uncle, save me!) And even today locals say that they hear his cries for help at midnight on every new moon day. Visitors to the fort after nightfall can still hear his cries for help. 

     

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    Gates of Shaniwarwada Fort
    Gates of Shaniwarwada Fort

    Shaniwarwada has five gates:Dilli Darwaza (Delhi Gate), facing north, Mastani Darwaja (Mastani's Gate) or Alibahadur Darwaja, facing north, Khidki Darwaja (Window Gate), facing east, Ganesh Darwaja (Ganesh Gate), facing south-east, Jambhul Darwaja or Narayan Darwaja (Narayan's Gate), facing south

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    Delhi Gate of Shaniwarwada Fort
    Delhi Gate of Shaniwarwada Fort

    Each pane of the Delhi Gate has seventy-two sharp twelve-inch steel spikes arranged in a nine by eight grid, at approximately the height of the forehead of a battle-elephant. Each pane was also fortified with steel cross members, and borders were bolted with steel bolts having sharpened cone heads.

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    Narayan Gate of Shaniwarwada Fort
    Narayan Gate of Shaniwarwada Fort

    Narayan's gate was used by concubines to enter and leave the fort. It obtained its second name after Narayanrao Peshwa's corpse was removed from the fort for cremation through this gate.

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    Fountain at Shaniwarwada Fort
    Fountain at Shaniwarwada Fort

    The complex had an impressive lotus-shaped fountain: the Hazari Karanje (Fountain of a thousand jets). It was constructed for the pleasure of the infant Peshwa Sawai Madhavrao. It was designed as a sixteen petal lotus; each petal had sixteen jets with an eighty foot arch. It was the most complicated and intricate fountain of its time. In one corner is a marble Ganapati statue and the palace is flanked by a fountain and a flower garden.”

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