Tales of infidelity, murder, and exile
The first stop on the tour was of Shaniwar Wada, which was built in 1732 by the Peshwa Baji Rao I as a seat of power. He had a muslim mistress who was not accepted by the public and was essentially kept under house arrest in Shaniwar Wada. In 1773 Narayan Rao, the grandson of Baji Rao I was murdered by his uncle Raghunathrao in order to secure power. Narayan Rao's ghost is said to still haunt the wada on a full moon with people hearing the shriek "Kaka Mala Vaachva!" (Save me uncle!). Then in 1818 the son of Raghunathrao, Baji Rao II fearing for his life from challenges to power turned to the British for help, giving up large amounts of territory and fleeing in exile. Then in 1828, a great and mysterious fire destroyed most of the wada and its internal structures.
A city of hidden temples and crowded alleys
We then walked down some of the old city streets and alley ways. Between the crowds and the cars that would cram themselves through you can find beautiful colonial architecture and observe the daily life of India.
Open air markets are the Indian supermarket
We next walked towards the heart of Pune to Mahathma Phule Mandai market where farmers bring in their produce from the outlaying fields and offer them for sale. Organized with 526 stalls and built in 1882 it is often crowded due to the affordability and freshness of the produce. Outside the market, basket weavers and other craftsman sell their wares to shoppers.