We drove past this place on our way to somewhere else, but you can’t see it from the road. As we drove by, it was mentioned that Mahatma Ghandi was imprisoned here and it piqued my interest.
Aga Khan Palace, situated in the Yerwada area of Pune is one of the biggest landmarks of Indian history. Sultan Mohammed Shah, Aga Khan III, had the palace constructed in the year 1892. The aim behind the construction of the Aga Khan Palace was an act of charity by the sultan, to provide employment to the people of the nearby areas, who were drastically hit by famine – this majestic building is considered to be one of the greatest marvels of India.
It took 5 years and 1000 workers to build it, at a cost of Rs 12,00,000. The palace is spread across an estate of 19 acres with a built area of 7 acres. The gardens are beautiful and well tended to, though the building itself is in a state of disrepair – I have since visited the national war memorial and museum and the contrast between the two tourist attractions, is stark. As we walked around the grounds there were any number of people there for photo sessions – maternity, family, ‘seniors’, or even ‘just because’ pictures were happening all around – and with good cause too, the place was very pretty indeed.
Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi and his secretary Mahadev Desai were interned in the palace from 9 August 1942 to 6 May 1944, following the launch of Quit India Movement. One of the major attractions of the Aga Khan Palace comprises of the samadhis (memorials) of Kasturba Gandhi (wife) and Mahadev Desai (long time aid). Since both of them breathed their last breaths in here, Charles Correa got their samadhis built in the grounds of the palace itself. Gandhi’s ashes are also interred at the Gandhi National Memorial of Pune.
The rooms that were used by the Gandhis, now serve as a museum to them. They are spartan and simple in taste. The museum inside the palace complex has a rich collection of pictures, depicting almost all the important incidents in the life of Mahatma Gandhi. There are personal items of Gandhi’s on display like utensils, slippers, clothes, and letters as well as a number of statues – most notably one in the first, main room, of Gandhi and his wife, the palace also served as the venue for the famous movie ‘Gandhi’. Since 1980, the management of the museum, samadhis and campus of the Agakhan Palace is under the Gandhi Memorial Society. Prince Karim El Husseni, Aga Khan IV, donated the palace to India in 1969, in the honor of Gandhi and his philosophy.
Opening hours of Aga Khan Palace:
Open all days 09:00 am to 05:30 pm
Entry fee for Visiting Aga Khan Palace:
The entry fees for Aga Khan Palace is mentioned below. We have listed the entry fees for Indians, the entry fees for foreigners, camera fees and other charges if applicable.