During our recent trip to Pune in Maharshtra, we visited the Aga Khan Palace, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi's National Memorial, where he was kept under house arrest in 1940s.
Aga Khan Palace in Pune
Situated about 2 kms away from Bund Garden in Yerwada on Pune-Nagar Road, the Palace looks magnificient with its Italian arches and spacious lawns. Sultan Mohammad Shah Aga Khan built this Palace in 1892 to provide employment to the famine affected people of Maharashtra. It took 5 years and Rs 12 lakhs to build this Palace.
During Gandhi's house arrest, his wife Kasturba and his long-time aide Mahadev Desai died in the palace and their memorials were built by noted architect Charles Correa.
A museum inside the palace complex has a rich collection of pictures and photographs depicting the important events of his life. A wide assortment of his personal items, including utensils, clothes, mala, chappals (slippers), a letter written by Gandhi on the death of his secretary, are on display here. A small amount of Gandhi's ashes are kept here as well.
Richard Attenborough used the palace as one of the filming locations for his biopic of the Father of the Nation, Gandhi.