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Vishrambaug Wada

Vishrambaag Wada on Baji Rao Road

Vishrambaag Wada (Marathi: विश्रामबाग वाडा), a fine mansion situated at central Pune's Thorale Bajirao Road,was the luxurious residence of Peshwa Bajirao II, the last Peshwa of Maratha confederacy, in early nineteenth century. The 20,000 sq. ft. wada presently houses a post office on its ground floor, a few other offices of the municipal corporation and a small museum of Maratha artefacts put together by noted Maratha historian, Babasaheb Purandare.[1] This structure is famous for its fine entrance and the balcony with carved woodwork.[2]

History

Vishrambaag Wada was built in 1807 AD at the price of Rs 200,000. It took six years to complete the construction.[2] Bajirao II preferred this residence to the ill-fated Shaniwar Wada, the citadel of the Peshwas. Bajirao II stayed here for eleven years after which he was arrested by the British and detained in Bithur near Kanpur. His wife, Varanasibai, continued to stay here for a while before joining him in Bithur. Soon the British took over Pune.[1]

In 1821, a sanskrit school was started in Vishrambaag Wada, in a move to bringing education to the masses. Government Engineering College, Deccan College, Pune University and Agricultural University started out in the wada premises. In 1871, the eastern wing of the wada was entirely destroyed in a fire.

In 1930, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) bought the property from the British government for a sum of Rs 100,000. Till 1959, the PMC operated out of Vishrambaag Wada, and several PMC department offices were based in the wada till 2003.[3]

Restoration

The PMC has undertaken the restoration work of Vishrambaag Wada under the Heritage Corridor Plan. The conservation is set to be carried out in three phases, starting with the double storeyed mansion where the Peshwa is said to have lived with a battery of 6,000 servants.

According to PMC’s heritage cell chief Shyam Dhavale, the bricks mriginal wada, are specially being recreated. And so are some of the windows, wooden pillars and motifs.

Red tiles on the sloping roof and the courtyard—a typical feature of Maratha architecture—will be retained.

As of 2004, 2500000 (US$41,000) have been spent on the restoration work.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c Vinita Deshmukh (5 September 2004). "Power to the Peshwas". IndianExpress. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Vishrambaag Wada". Maharashtratourism.net. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  3. ^ "Lokmat News Service" (in Marathi). Daily Lokmat (Google archives). Retrieved 1 February 2010. 

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