Maharashtra is a state with many historical monuments & forts. Erected by the Marathas, these military fortifications spread across the state and are rich with history. Away from castles, the state has some scenic palaces and sepultures.
Aga Khan Palace
This palace in Pune is spread over 19 acres, was erected by the Aga Khan III in 1892. Even Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi were kept captive here by the Britishers. Gandhi’s ashes have been saved on the palace grounds, and the room in which he stayed remains untouched.
One of Pune’s most prominent milestones, Shaniwarwada, is a fort that was erected by the Peshwas in 1732. It stayed the seat of Peshwa power till 1818, when Bajirao II renounced his throne in favour of the East India Company. One of the gates is called Mastani Darwaja after Mastani, the woman of Bajirao II.
Bibi ka Maqbara
Indeed though they call it the poorer kinsman of the Taj, the grave in Aurangabad is lovely in its own right.
The remains of Dilras Banu Begum, also known as Rabia-ud-Daurani, the first wife of Aurangzeb, are interned here. The tomb was erected in 1660 by her son Azam.
It was designed by the mastermind Ata-ullah, whose father Ustad Ahmad Lahauri is believed to have been the main mastermind of the Taj Mahal.
Near Aurangabad is Daulatabad Fort, a massive stronghold megacity that was the seat of Delhi sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq in the fourteenth century when he moved his capital to this area.
The stronghold itself was erected by the Yadava clan in the twelfth century. Before it was renamed Daulatabad by Tughlaq, the megacity around the fortress was called Devagiri under the Yadava rule.
Erected on a hill, the assessing stronghold was Shivaji’s seat in the seventeenth century. Erected by Chandraraoji More, the More’s who claimed descent from Chandragupta Maurya.
The stronghold was seized by Shivaji in 1674, the time he was crowned the king of the Maratha Kingdom.
It was sacked and partially destroyed by the British forces in 1818 and taken over by the East India Company.
One of the spots to see at the stronghold is the statue of Waghya, which was believed to be Shivaji’s pet canine. Legend has it that Waghya was so faithful, he hopped into Shivaji’s alighted funeral pyre in 1680. Getting to the stronghold requires climbing around 1450 steps.
The riverside stronghold in Alibaug was used to launch maritime raids on the British in the seventeenth century during Shivaji’s reign.
In the early eighteenth century, the stronghold was given to the Maratha chief of Naval staff Kanhoji Angre, who annoyed the British, Dutch and Portuguese by attacking them along the Indian seacoast.
It is prudent to visit the stronghold during a low drift; during the high drift, trippers must take boats to get to the place.