Vishrambaug Wada : The Magnificent Heritage of Pune

It’s always so inspiring to walk through the lanes of old cities and discover countless heritage structures and tonnes of history. Pune is one such city and having been the seat of the Maratha empire, was the political centre of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th Century. It thus has plenty of history and heritage to offer. Pune is  considered the cultural capital of Maharashtra. And in one congested lane of old Pune, Morale Bajirao Road, lies the magnificent Vishrambaug Wada.

Vishrambaug Wada was built in 1807 AD and took some six years to complete construction. Bajirao II preferred this Wada to the Shaniwar Wada and stayed here for over 11 years after which he was arrested by the British and detained at Bithur near Kanpur. (Subsequently the Brits took over Pune).

In 1821 a Sanskrit school was started at Vishrambaug Wada. Government Engineering College, Deccan College and Pune University and Agricultural College all started out in these premises. In 1930 the Pune Municipal Corporation bought the property from the British Government for a sum of about a lakh of rupees and the PMC operated out of this building till about 2003. Now the PMC has undertaken a restoration of the Wada under the Heritage Corridor Plan.

Since we had reached in the evening in thinning light, and much of the Vishrambaug Wada is under renovation, we couldn’t shoot more pictures.

Pune Market
The lanes around the market comprise Old Pune, and have bustling markets in them.
Stepping inside Vishrambaug Wada one sees the wonderful architecture and woodwork.

Vishrambaug Wada
A security guard’s yellow plastic chair contrasts with the beautiful century old wooden door of Vishrambaug Wada
Vishrambaug Wada
The doors of Vishrambaug Wada open open to a busy road outside.
Vishrambaug Wada
Inside the Vishrambaug Wada, which is now being restored, steps lead to the first floor.

In the city of Pune, simple walks reveal so much architectural joy, it’s the subject of many a blog post.

Old Pune
An old house, from perhaps the 1920s, in a lane inside Good Luck Chowk, Pune
Old Pune.
However, many of these gorgeous old buldings, even though still strong, are being pulled down for ugly new buildings. Also inside a lane near Good Luck Chowk, Fergusson College Road, Pune.
Old Pune
Walking in these old lanes, one discovers countless treasures, like this temple here.
Old Pune
Or the details in an old brick building. Notice how the bricks are laid out and the design elements in the window arches.

[box type=”success” width=”100%” ]Where to stay: Pune is a large city and offers plenty of choice for stay. How to reach : Pune is about 4 hours from Mumbai by road, has an airport and is well connected by train. Where to eat : There are, again, plenty of options. But somewhere around old Pune, one can find plenty of interesting joints serving traditional Maharashtrian Food. Pune also has a rich nightlife and eat out culture and offers almost all kinds of cuisines.[/box]

12 thoughts on “Vishrambaug Wada : The Magnificent Heritage of Pune”

  1. The first time I learned about Pune was more than 10 years ago when I read an article on a magazine about the city’s rapid development. I wasn’t aware at that time about its historical significance as the seat of the Marathas. From your photos it seems that Pune still retains its historic corners despite the developments of new buildings. I hope those beautiful wada, old houses, and temples will survive for many centuries to come.

  2. There is no doubt that Pune is one of the most famous places for heritage. According to me, 24 hours wouldn’t be sufficient to cover all the heritage places. If you are from different city then you must need vehicle to save your time and energy. So whenever you are coming to Pune, make sure that you have arranged all the needful stuffs.

    For transport, I can recommend for self drive vehicles like car and motorbike. Zoomcar and Snapbikes are the two companies which provides car and motorbike on rent respectively. Although car is helpful but I would recommend for motorbike as it is efficient and requires small place to park. Therefore, Snapbikes ( for people around the Pune & for people coming from different cities across country) would be recommended website for motorbike rental service.

  3. Lovely post! If you haven’t already, you should try going on a heritage walk conducted by Janwani ( It was a good walk and we went to Vishrambaug Wada enroute. The walk ends with a lovely cultural performance and some mouthwatering samosas and modaks!

  4. The road on which Vishrambaug wada is built is ‘Thorale Bajirao Road’ and ‘Morale’ as you have written. Thorale stands for eldest in Marathi. The road is named after first Bajirao Peshwe.

  5. I loved the way you’ve emphasized on the need of restoration of such precious properties. Please could you write and show more photographs stressing on the details of the “Wada architecture”? I am very much interested in this style of architecture and interiors, so I want ideas to accomodate this style in my new bungalow which is under construction. Please do give it a thought and help me with detailed ideas and plans. Thank you very much.


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