The Aga Khan Palace also known as the Ghandi National Memorial is a palace converted museum in Pune in Maharashtra.
Curiously this massive mansion was built in 1892 as an act of charity by the Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III, the 48th Imam of the Nizari Ismaili community. The purpose was to provide job for the poor people around Pune who where drastically hit by famine.
More importantly Aga Khan Palace has a significant place in India's freedom movement.
After Ghandi delivered the landmark 'Quit India' resolution in 1942, the then British colonial powers arrested and jailed him for two years here. Mahatama Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi and his secretary for 35 years, Mahadev Desai, were interned in the palace from 9 August 1942 to 6 May 1944.
Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai died during their captivity period in the palace and have their Samadhis (Memorials) located over there. Mahatama Gandhi's and Kasturba Gandhi's ashes are buried in the memorials located in this complex.
The attractions include exhibition of rare photographs, letters and personal items used by Ghandi. The narratives of personal tragedies in Ghandi's life and the space where Gandhi spend those days are especially moving.
The 15 acre of so Aga Khan Palace campus is thickly wooded and a beautifully maintained lawn around the palace. There is a massive gateway on the Nagar Road to enter the palace compound.
This place is a protected monument under the care of Archaeological Survey of India. Opens daily for visitors between 9am and 5.45pm. Aga Khan Palace is on the Nagar Road , about 5km from Pune Railway Station. Bus from the city drops you right next to the main entrance.
There is a nominal entry fee (standard ASI rates for Indian/foreign nationals). Typically it is much less crowded , except on those special days associated with national importance, when the school children makes a beeline to this place.
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