The historic city of Pune dates back to the second century AD. The city came into prominence when Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj came to live here in his childhood with his mother Rajmata Jijabai. Later, the city gained political and economic prominence during the reign of the Peshwas starting from Peshwa Bajirao, i.e., 1730 onwards. Bajirao built the famous Shaniwar Wada as his imperial residence here. The Marathas built wadas (royal palaces) for themselves based on their ranks and salaries in Pune around the Shaniwar Wada. Many of these wadas could not stand the test of time and turned to ruins; however, some still survive to help us visualise the grandeur and richness of the Maratha empire at its zenith, around 1758–1760. Later, during the British period, modern wadas came into being which were rented out to tenants. This brought the famous wada culture of old Pune.
We will begin our photo walk at Shaniwar Wada, the regal seven-floored wada built by Peshwa Bajirao. It was the biggest wada in Pune city. We will explore the paintings, woodworks, gardens, fountains and gateways of the wada. Further, we will proceed to the ‘Mote Wada’ (Dixit Wada) which has beautiful wooden carvings at its entrance. Next, we will visit the Majumdar Wada and two British- era wadas and spot the difference between the wadas built in the two eras; after which, we will visit the Nana Fadnavis Wada, the wada of the chief advisor and finance minister to the Peshwas.
From there, we will proceed to the Vishrambaug Wada, the wada built by Peshwa Bajirao II. Here we will see the royal wooden carvings and the famous Meghdambari (gallery).