Best 20 Places To Visit in Pune

Aga Khan Palace: A Famous Historical and Architectural Wonder

If you are looking for a place to visit that combines history, culture and architecture, then Aga Khan Palace is the perfect destination for you. Located in Pune, Maharashtra, Aga Khan Palace is a majestic building that has witnessed some of the most significant events in Indian history. It is also a stunning example of Islamic and Mughal architecture that will leave you awestruck.

In this blog, we will explore the fascinating history and features of Aga Khan Palace, and why it is a must-visit for anyone interested in Indian heritage. We will also provide you with some practical information on how to plan your visit and what to expect when you arrive. Visit during Pune One day tour By cab

Historical Background of Aga Khan Palace

Aga Khan Palace

Aga Khan Palace was built in 1892 by Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III, the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslim community. He commissioned the palace as a charitable act to provide employment and relief to the people affected by famine in the region. The palace cost about Rs. 1.2 million to construct and took five years to complete.

The palace is spread over 19 acres of land and has five halls and several rooms. The design of the palace reflects the influence of Islamic and Mughal architecture, with domes, arches, pillars and fountains. The palace is also adorned with paintings, sculptures and other artworks that showcase the artistic talent of India.

Significance of Aga Khan Palace in Indian History

Aga Khan Palace

Aga Khan Palace is not only a beautiful building but also a witness to some of the most important events in Indian history. During the Indian Independence Movement, the palace served as a prison for Mahatma Gandhi and other prominent freedom fighters such as Kasturba Gandhi, Mahadev Desai, Sarojini Naidu and others. They were detained at the palace from August 1942 to May 1944, following the Quit India Movement.

The palace was also the place where Mahatma Gandhi lost two of his closest associates: his wife Kasturba Gandhi and his secretary Mahadev Desai. Both of them died at the palace while in captivity. Their samadhis (memorials) are located in the premises of the palace.

The palace is also a symbol of nonviolence and peace, as it was here that Mahatma Gandhi started his famous fasts to protest against communal violence and to promote harmony among different communities. The palace also hosted several meetings and discussions among Gandhi and other leaders on various issues related to India’s freedom struggle.

Architectural Marvels of Aga Khan Palace

Aga Khan Palace

Aga Khan Palace is a masterpiece of Islamic and Mughal architecture that showcases the rich cultural heritage of India. The palace has a unique architectural style that blends different elements from Persian, Turkish and Indian traditions. The palace has a rectangular shape and is surrounded by a high wall with four gates.

The main attraction of the palace is the central hall, which has a large dome that rises to a height of 50 feet. The dome is supported by eight pillars that are decorated with floral motifs and carvings. The hall also has a marble fountain in the center that adds to its beauty.

The palace also has several other halls and rooms that are equally impressive and elegant. The Durbar Hall, where Gandhi held his meetings, is one of them. It has a high ceiling with wooden beams and a large chandelier. The hall also has a balcony that overlooks the garden.

The palace also has a library, a museum, a prayer room and a dining room that are worth visiting. The library has a collection of books and manuscripts related to Gandhi and his philosophy. The museum displays various personal belongings of Gandhi and other freedom fighters such as their clothes, utensils, letters, photographs and more. The prayer room is where Gandhi used to pray every day with his followers. The dining room is where Gandhi used to eat his simple meals with his companions.

The palace also boasts of a spacious layout and lush gardens that add to its charm. The gardens have several trees, plants and flowers that create a serene atmosphere. The gardens also have statues and sculptures of Gandhi and other leaders that pay tribute to their contributions.

The Gandhi Connection Aga Khan Palace

Aga Khan Palace

Aga Khan Palace has a special connection with Mahatma Gandhi, as it was here that he spent some of the most crucial years of his life. Gandhi was imprisoned at the palace from 1942 to 1944 along with his wife Kasturba Gandhi, his secretary Mahadev Desai and other freedom fighters. During this period, Gandhi faced many challenges and tragedies, such as the death of his wife and secretary, the outbreak of communal violence and the threat of famine.

He also used this time to pursue his ideals of nonviolence, truth and harmony. He started several fasts to protest against injustice and to appeal for peace. He also engaged in constructive activities such as spinning, weaving, reading and writing. He also held regular meetings and discussions with other leaders and visitors on various topics related to India’s freedom struggle.

Aga Khan Palace was also the place where Gandhi developed some of his most influential ideas and concepts, such as the Quit India Movement, the Hindustani Talimi Sangh (Basic Education), the Harijan Sevak Sangh (Untouchability Eradication) and the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust (Women Empowerment). He also wrote some of his most important works at the palace, such as the Constructive Programme, the Key to Health and the History of Satyagraha in South Africa.

Aga Khan Palace was not only a prison for Gandhi but also a home and a school. He formed a close bond with the palace and its inmates, who became his family and friends. He also learned a lot from the palace and its surroundings, which inspired him to work for the welfare of humanity.

Exhibits and Memorabilia at Aga Khan Palace

Aga Khan Palace is not only a historical monument but also a museum that showcases the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters. The palace has several exhibits and memorabilia that depict the history and culture of India during the independence movement.

The most prominent exhibits are the personal belongings of Gandhi and other leaders who were imprisoned at the palace. These include their clothes, utensils, books, letters, photographs, spinning wheels, charkhas, khadi products and more. These items give a glimpse into their simple and austere lifestyle and their dedication to their cause.

The palace also has several other exhibits that highlight the various aspects of Gandhi’s philosophy and work. These include his quotes, speeches, writings, paintings, sculptures, documentaries and audio-visuals. These exhibits explain his concepts of nonviolence, truth, swaraj (self-rule), sarvodaya (welfare of all), gram swaraj (village self-governance), swadeshi (self-reliance), ahimsa (non-violence), satyagraha (truth force) and more.

The palace also has a special section dedicated to Kasturba Gandhi, who was not only Gandhi’s wife but also his partner in his struggle. The section displays her personal items, photographs, letters and documents that reveal her role and contribution in the freedom movement. The section also pays tribute to her courage, sacrifice and devotion to her husband and country.

The palace also has a gallery that showcases the history and culture of Pune and Maharashtra. The gallery displays various artifacts, paintings, sculptures and models that depict the rich heritage of the region. The gallery also highlights the role of Pune and Maharashtra in the independence movement and their contribution to India’s development.

Promoting Nonviolence and Social Welfare

Aga Khan Palace is not only a historical site but also a center for promoting nonviolence and social welfare. The palace is managed by the Gandhi National Memorial Society (GNMS), which was founded by Aga Khan III in 1949 to honor Gandhi’s memory and legacy. The GNMS aims to spread Gandhi’s message of peace and harmony among people through various activities and programs.

The GNMS organizes various events and programs at the palace throughout the year to commemorate Gandhi’s birth anniversary (October 2), death anniversary (January 30) and other important dates related to his life. These events include prayer meetings, cultural programs, exhibitions, lectures, seminars, workshops and more. The GNMS also invites eminent personalities from different fields to share their views on Gandhi’s relevance in today’s world.

The GNMS also runs various social welfare projects at the palace to support the needy and marginalized sections of society. These projects include a school for underprivileged children, a hospital for leprosy patients, a vocational training center for women, a library for students and researchers, a dispensary for the poor and a hostel for visitors. The GNMS also collaborates with other organizations and institutions to implement various schemes and initiatives for the welfare of the community.

The GNMS also strives to preserve and protect the palace and its surroundings from any damage or deterioration. The GNMS maintains the palace and its gardens in a clean and green condition. The GNMS also undertakes various restoration and conservation projects to enhance the beauty and value of the palace. The GNMS also ensures the security and safety of the palace and its visitors.

Visiting Aga Khan Palace

If you are planning to visit Aga Khan Palace, here are some practical information that will help you make the most of your trip:

  • Location: Aga Khan Palace is located on Pune-Nagar Road in Yerwada, Pune. It is about 10 km from Pune Railway Station and 7 km from Pune Airport.
  • Opening Hours: Aga Khan Palace is open every day from 9 am to 5:30 pm. It is closed on national holidays.
  • Entry Fee: The entry fee for Aga Khan Palace is Rs. 25 for Indian nationals and Rs. 300 for foreign nationals. There is no entry fee for children below 15 years of age.
  • Facilities: Aga Khan Palace has various facilities for visitors, such as parking, toilets, drinking water, cafeteria, souvenir shop, guide service, wheelchair access and more.
  • Nearby Attractions: Aga Khan Palace is close to some other attractions in Pune, such as Shaniwar Wada, Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Osho International Meditation Resort, Dagdusheth Ganpati Temple and more.

Aga Khan Palace is a place that will enrich your mind and soul with its history, culture and architecture. It is a place that will inspire you with its stories of courage, sacrifice and devotion. It is a place that will make you appreciate the values and vision of Mahatma Gandhi and his followers. It is a place that you should not miss when you visit Pune.

FAQ’s

What is the entry fee of Aga Khan Palace?

The entry fee for Aga Khan Palace is Rs. 25 for Indian nationals and Rs. 300 for foreign nationals. There is no entry fee for children below 15 years of age.

What is Aga Khan Palace famous for?

Aga Khan Palace is famous for being a historical and architectural wonder that has witnessed some of the most significant events in Indian history. It is also famous for being the place where Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters were imprisoned during the Quit India Movement and where Gandhi’s wife Kasturba Gandhi and secretary Mahadev Desai died.

Why was Gandhi kept in Aga Khan Palace?

Gandhi was kept in Aga Khan Palace because he was arrested by the British authorities for launching the Quit India Movement in 1942, which was a mass civil disobedience campaign against the British rule. He was detained at the palace along with his wife Kasturba Gandhi, his secretary Mahadev Desai and other prominent leaders such as Sarojini Naidu, Sushila Nayar and Pyarelal Nayyar.

Can we visit Aga Khan Palace?

Yes, we can visit Aga Khan Palace as it is open to the public every day from 9 am to 5:30 pm. It is closed on national holidays. We can also visit the museum, library, garden and other facilities at the palace.

How to go to Aga Khan Palace Pune?

We can go to Aga Khan Palace Pune by various modes of transport, such as bus, auto-rickshaw, taxi or private vehicle. The palace is located on Pune-Nagar Road in Yerwada, Pune. It is about 10 km from Pune Railway Station and 7 km from Pune Airport.

When was gandhiji in Aga Khan Palace?

Gandhiji was in Aga Khan Palace from August 9, 1942 to May 6, 1944. He spent a total of 21 months at the palace during his imprisonment by the British authorities.

Conclusion

Aga Khan Palace is a historical and architectural wonder that deserves to be visited by anyone who loves history, culture and art. It is a place that has witnessed some of the most important events in Indian history, such as the imprisonment of Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters during the Quit India Movement, the death of Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai, and the fasts and meetings of Gandhi for promoting nonviolence and harmony.

It is also a place that showcases the magnificent Islamic and Mughal architecture that reflects the rich heritage of India. It is also a place that preserves and displays the personal belongings and memorabilia of Gandhi and other leaders that inspire us with their courage, sacrifice and devotion.

Aga Khan Palace is not only a historical site but also a center for promoting nonviolence and social welfare. It is managed by the Gandhi National Memorial Society, which organizes various events and programs to spread Gandhi’s message of peace and harmony among people. It also runs various social welfare projects to support the needy and marginalized sections of society.

Aga Khan Palace is a place that will enrich your mind and soul with its history, culture and architecture. It is a place that will inspire you with its stories of courage, sacrifice and devotion. It is a place that will make you appreciate the values and vision of Mahatma Gandhi and his followers. It is a place that you should not miss when you visit Pune.

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