Where Mahatma Gandhi was Imprisoned – Aga Khan Palace

07 Sep

Aga Khan Palace is yet another historical site in Maharashtra that holds a great significance in Indian history. It is located at about 2 Km away from Bund Garden in Yerwada, on Pune-Nagar Road. It is also recognized as Kasturba Gandhi Memorial or Kasturba Samadhi. It was built in 1892 by Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah Agakhan III and was donated to India in 1969 by Aga Khan IV as an act of charity because the areas of Pune drastically hit by famine at that time.

Aga Khan Palace

Historically, this palace is a ceremonial building and is closely associated with the Indian Freedom Movement as it served as a prison for Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi, his secretary Mahadev Desai and Sarojini Naidu. It is the place where Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai died. In 2003, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) declared the palace as a monument of national importance.

Mahatma Gandhi Memorial inside the Palace

This lonely palace once belonged to the Agha Khan, served as quarters for imprisonment of Gandhi and his wife Kasturba towards the trail end of the British rule in India. It is situated near the river Mula and is just a simple memorial to Gandhi and his lifetimes. A shop attached to the palace sells Khadi or cotton, hand loomed garments and textiles. It is also called the Gandhi National Memorial or the Yerwada Ashram. It is located at Talegaon Road, beyond Fitzgerald Bridge.

Museum inside the Palace

The significance of the Aga Khan Palace is that it has marvelous Italian arches and spacious lawns. The building constitutes of five halls. It covers an area of 19 acres, out of which 7 acres are just a built up area. The palace bewitched the eyes of a spectator with its glamour and picturesque architecture. It took 5 years and an estimated budget of Rs. 1.2 million to complete this palace. The area of the ground floor is 1756 sq meters, in which the first floor is 1080 sq meters and the second floor is 445 sq meters. The specialty of this adorable palace is its corridor of 2.5 meters spreads around the entire building. In 1972, Prince Karim Aga Khan of that time donated this palace to Gandhi Smarak Samittee and since then Parks and Gardens organization is maintaining it.

Mahatma Gandhi Statue

Now, the palace mainly houses a memorial to Gandhi where his ashes were kept. The then prime minister India Gandhi had visited the place in 1974 where she allotted a sum of Rs. 200000 every year, for its maintenance. The amount rose to Rs. 2 million till 1990s, after which the national monument of India, was neglected for many years due to improper allocation of funds. There was a grand protest held at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi near Pune Railway Station on July 1999 to protest against the deteriorating condition of the monument.

Museum view inside Aga Khan Palace

The archives of the palace contain a number of photos and portraits depicting stories from the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation of India, and other personalities of the Indian freedom struggle. Many activities are organized there at some special occasions. The Gandhi Memorial Society celebrates the following public functions at the palace: –

30th January – Martyr’s Day 
Mahashivratri – Kasturba Gandhi’s Death Day Celebrated As Mother’s Day
15th August – Indian Independence Day
26th January – Republic Day
2nd October – Mahatma Gandhi’s Birth Anniversary

Other than yearly events, morning prayers terms are held daily at the Samadhi for decades. The prayer attracts a large number of crowds every day, and the number goes up threefold on 2 October as most of the people visit the place to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. So, this monument is worth to see and surely visited by the tourists.


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15 responses to “Where Mahatma Gandhi was Imprisoned – Aga Khan Palace

  1. Destination Infinity

    September 7, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Looks neat and well maintained. If I visit Pune, I will definitely visit this monument 🙂

    Destination Infinity

  2. Carver

    September 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Interesting post and great shots.

  3. cindy knoke

    September 7, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    It is beautiful!

  4. Renuka

    September 8, 2013 at 7:22 am

    It’s a nice palace – an interesting visit, I guess.

  5. Krishna

    September 9, 2013 at 5:17 am

    Beautiful palace… nice photos…


  6. frizztext

    September 9, 2013 at 10:23 am

    maybe a comfortable prison?

    • Swati Singh

      September 9, 2013 at 10:28 am

      By the looks of it, too comfortable

      • frizztext

        September 9, 2013 at 10:30 am

        a feminist blogger from India told me, that the problem of Ghandi’s ideology of patience, is, that the changing of India into a modern state was blocked. Could you agree?

  7. noel

    September 9, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    What a beautiful place, thanks for sharing today on today’s link up

  8. diankelly65

    September 9, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Tis a nice tribute to Ghandi.

  9. Son of Sharecroppers

    September 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Fascinating. I appreciate learning about this site. The photographs are excellent.

  10. pattisj

    September 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    What a lovely place, hard to imagine it as a prison.

    • Swati Singh

      September 11, 2013 at 4:45 am

      Well it is not a prison actually, it is a palace which is now converted into a museum. As Mahatma Gandhi was a political prisoner, the Britishers chose this place.

  11. Rob

    June 11, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    I visited this site as my father was a private in the British army and was on guard duty while Ghandhi was imprisoned in Puna.


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