I took this pic at Shaniwarwada, the iconic monument in Pune. If you ask me to picturise Pune in one picture it would be Shaniwarwada. This pic is taken at one of the balconies in Mastani Mahal.
Shaniwarwada was the official residence of the Peshwas, the ministers of the Maratha kingdom. Mastani was his mistress……. The love story of Peshwa Bajirao and Mastani is immortal. Devout Hindu Brahmin and powerful minister of the Maratha kingdom falls in love with the beautiful Muslim dancer and the rest is history.
Mastani’s beauty has been described as a very fair woman with translucent skin and beautiful eyes. Bajirao’s love for Mastani turned out to be the thorn in his life for which he was chastised by his entire family, his peers and the entire Maratha kingdom. Mastani too bore the brunt of the family and the Pune and she was made to live in the quarters over the main door of the wada (Building) she also had her own private entrance. This was where she would wait for her Peshwa….. yearning to meet him.
This pic is taken just at that location. From these arches you can see the entire of the Wada (Building): the gardens, what used to be the buildings, the gates and the fountains.
Studies today have shown that Mastani was infact the princess of a neighboring kingdom which the Peshwa had won over and she was infact his wife not his mistress. You can read more about it HERE.