Shaniwar Wada Fort in Pune was built in 1732, by the Peshwas of the Maratha Kings. Baji Rao I had dreamt about a residence that reflect his ambitions and provide the strong defence to Peshwa. Thus, on 30th January, 1730 Peshwa laid the foundation of this fort after performing certain rituals.
Since, the day was Saturday when the construction started so the fort was named as Shaniwar Wada (Shaniwar means Saturday and Wada means residential complex). Initially, the construction of the palace began with the stones however later the construction was done with the bricks and wood. The palace was taken over by the East India Company from Peshwas. They did a lot of harm to the palace. Later, the massive fire raging for 7 days destructed the fort and just the original stone foundation, stone walls and doors are left.
Eerie story of Shaniwar Wada fort
Like most of the other forts in India, eerie stories are associated with Shaniwar Wada fort also. It is said to be haunted as various paranormal activities are felt over here. A lot of local people have heard the sound “KAKA MALA VACHWA” (uncle save me) from the Fort on every new moon night. They believe the fort is haunted by the spirit of Bajirao’s grandson Narayanrao.
He was brutally assassinated by his own relatives. Peshwa Narayanrao said to have differences with his uncle Raghunathrao who hired tribal hunters to hold Narayanrao but before the message reached to them the message was changed by Raghunathrao’s wife, Anadibai, to Kill Narayanrao. Hence, Narayanrao’s body was cut into pieces and carried in a pot.
Fort was the set of the Movie Bajirao Mastani
Shooting of some scenes of Bollywood movie Bajirao Mastani was done in this haunted fort. This movie is based on the legendry story of a Maratha warrior and a Muslim princess. The fort is said to have architectural brilliance. However, the number of incidents happened in this fort describe its ill-fate. Along with the early and unfortunate death of Peshwa Bajirao I, betrayal for Kashibai, an incomplete love story of Bajirao-Mastani, brutal killing of Narayanrao, death of two out of five infants of Nanasaheb, there are many more incidents which tells the ill-fate of this fort.