Monuments have utmost importance in our history, and our history is our identity. So, it becomes important for us to know about our monuments. One such monument is Aga Khan Palace, which is declared as the monument of utmost importance by Archeological Survey of India.
The city which was once the center of power of Maratha Empire. The city of great history provides me the opportunity to visit the place which speaks the untold stories of the national movement. The place which speaks the cruelty of industrialized barbaric government. And the place which is declared as the monument of National importance by Archaeological Survey of India, the place which cried with Mahatma. The place which is known as Aga Khan Palace.
Location of Aga Khan Palace
The Aga Khan Palace is 2.5km from the famous mall the Phoenix Market on Samrath Ashok road. Gandhi National Memorial Society is present in the complex of the Palace. The identity mark is hotel Hyatt, which is adjacent to the palace. Kalyani Nagar Joggers park is situated back side of the palace.
The entry fee is 15 rupees only for Indian citizens and the citizens of SAARC countries. For foreigners the entry fee 100 rupees. The Aga Khan Palace is opened from 9 am to 6 pm.
About the Aga Khan Palace
The construction of the Palace started by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III. It was built in 1892 and was the charitable work by Aga Khan to provide employment to the people of Pune. As the region was hit by famine at that time. The palace provides employment to about 1000 people.
The Islamic Architecture of the palace reflects the fusion with Italian Architecture, which contains 5 halls and 1 verandah. The palace is spread over 7 acres of land and the large garden area.
Connection of Palace With Bapu and Indian National Movement
At that time no one knows that the palace is going to gain importance in Indian National Movement and get placed a monument of national importance. When in 1942 Mahatma Gandhi was house arrested by British government along with his wife Kasturba Gandhi, Miraben, Dr. Sushila Nayar, his secretary Mahadev Desai and Sarojini Naidu for “Quit India Resolution”.
Some Important Events In Palace Regarding Mahatma’s Life
- 10th August 1942- Gandhiji along with his colleagues were brought to palace from Bombay.
- 15th August 1942- Shri Mahadevbhai Desai died due to the heart attack.
- 26th January 1943- Gandhiji hosted Congress flag at the palace.
- 19th March 1943- Sarojini Naidu released because of ill health.
- 26th January 1944- Gandhiji hosted Congress flag at the palace.
- 22nd February 1944- Kasturba Gandhi died after prolonged illness.
- 6th May 1944- Gandhiji was released along with his colleagues from the palace.
I reached the palace around 11 am. The atmosphere was good with some sunshine and the flow of mild wind seems like they want to speak something. So I seated in the garden at the front side of the palace. The area around the palace is covered with greenery. Sweet sounds of leaves of the trees due to wind tries to speak about the ideology of Mahatma, flowers speak the motherhood of Kasturba. Then slowly I moved towards the Palace. The amazing fusion of Islamic and Italian Architecture of the palace stands because of the hard labor of 1000 people looks magnificent. The corridor of the palace is beautifully designed. 5 halls and 1 verandah are open for the public present at ground floor.
In 1969 grandson (Imam Sultan Shah Karim) of Muhammad Shah Aga Khan donated the palace to the nation and Gandhi Memorial Society grants the charge of its maintenance and protection. In 2003 Archaeological Survey of India declared the palace as the Monument of National importance.
The halls of the palace preserve the memories of Gandhiji and his ideology. In all the hall there are things presents which were directly attached to the life of Bapu. The stories of National Movement and the messages of Bapu is depicted on the walls of the halls in the form of paintings. At last, there were two gates which were protected by the glass, we can only see the rooms from outside but can not visit inside. In these two ones is the room in which Kasturba Gandhi breathes her last and other is the bathroom used by Bapu and Ba.
Samadhis of Kasturba and Mahadevbhai Desai
By getting out of the palace I followed the same path towards the Samadhi of Kasturba which was followed by Bapu. The Samadhi of Kasturba and Mahadevbhai Desai is present adjacent to each other. At some distance from there in the memory of Mahatma one Samadhi is present, which has some of the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi. The area is covered with the greenery and amazing beautiful smell near the Samadhis brings me closer to the great peoples. I spend some time memorizing the struggle of Kasturba Gandhi, Which she did to make women of India aware about their rights and strengthen them to loud their voice in the freedom struggle.
After memorizing the motherhood of Kasturba Gandhi I headed towards the old attractive structure which is now the office of Gandhi Memorial Society. After passing the office there is a small canteen which provides quality food. Then the area of Kasturba Gandhi Women Khadi Gram Udyog Vidyalaya starts. The Vidyalaya is present in the premises of the Palace.
The journey of Aga Khan Palace overs but enlighten the message of Mahatma in my soul. Many people disagree with the path that Mahatma followed. But one should respect the philosophy that he has given to the world. He was not a revolutionary with weapons but a revolutionary with a message which changed the thinking of society. He might not be the king but he was a king shaker. He might not be a politician but was a leader of the mob. He was Bapu, he was Mahatma…..
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