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Gandhi Memorial Hall |   Kasturba Gandhi Smriti Mandir |   Patalshvara Temple |   Shaniwar Wada |   Yoga Institute

Gandhi Memorial Hall

Across the river in Yerwada in this fine memorial set in 6.5 hectares of gardens. Built by Imamsultan Muhammad Sha Aga Khan III in 1892, it was the Aga Khan's palace until 1956 after which it became a school. In 1969 it was donated to India by the Aga Khan IV. After Mahatma Gandhi delivered his momentous Quit India resolution in Bombay in 1942, the British interned him and other leaders of India's independence movement here for nearly two years. Both Kashturba Gandhi, Mahatma's wife, and Mahadoebhai Desai, his secretary for 35 years, died here during this period of imprisonment. Their ashes are kept in memorial tombs (samadhis) in the gardens. A photographics exhibition details some of the highlights of Gandhi's long career, but it is the simple personal effects (including a pair of sandals and a thermos) and the personal tragedies of Mahatma during this period that leave the deepest impression. Films buffs will recognise the building from the movie Gandhi.

Kasturba Gandhi Smriti Mandir

Kasturba Gandhi Smriti Mandir (The Aga Khan’s Palace) - The gracious building with salons and suites standing amidst well laid out gardens is more than just a palace. It’s a historical landmark. During the 1942 Quit India Movement, Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders of the Indian National Congress were imprisoned here. On the grounds of the site, is the ‘samadhi’ of Kasturba Gandhi, the Mahatma’s wife who died here while in internment.

Pataleshvara Temple

Just across the river on Jangali Maharaj Rd is wonderful rock-cut Pataleshvara Temple (aka Panchalesvara cave), a small 8th century temple similiar in style to the much grander rock temple at Elephanta but never completed. More importantly, it's an active temple. In front of the excavation is a circular Nandi mandapam (pavilion). Adjacent is the Jangali Maharaj (Lord of the Jungle) temple, dedicated to a Hindu ascetic who died here in 1818.

Shaniwar Wada

The ruins of this fortress-like palace stand in the old part of city. Built in 1736, the palace of the Peshwa rulers burnt down in 1828, but the massive walls remain. Today there's an unkempt two hectare garden inside and not a lot to see. There's a small gallery above the main entrance. The sturdy palace doors are studded with spikes designed to dissuade enemies from leaning too heavily against the entrance, and in a nearby street the Peshwa rulers executed offenders by having elephants trample them.

Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute

Despite the pulling power of the Osho Commune, many visitors are drawn to Pune for the more serious study of hatha Yoga under the watchful eye of the legendary BKS Iyengar. In many way Iyengar, author of the book Light on Yoga, revolutionised yoga in the 1950s with his vigorous physical therapies. The institute is about 5 km west of the centre, just off Ganesh Khind Rd in Model Colony. Accommodation must be arranged outside the institute.

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