As visitors enter the iconic Shaniwar Wada in the heart of Pune, they are greeted by an equestrian statue of a warrior, spear in hand and facing north.
The statue is of Shrimant Bajirao Ballal, also known as Baji Rao I or Bajirao Peshwa. He was the 7th Peshwa (Prime Minister) of the Maratha Empire.
He is considered to be one of the greatest military generals of his time, along with being an outstanding cavalry leader and an accomplished statesman. During his 20-year tenure as the Peshwa from 1720 to 1740, he transformed and expanded the Maratha Empire.
Around the statue, there are beautifully made plaques inscribed in stone, that provide information on the 18th-century warrior. There are displays of Bajirao Peshwa’s signature, seal, headgear, and other fascinating aspects of his life and accomplishments.
He laid the ceremonial foundation of Shaniwar Wada in 1730, which was completed in 1732, thereby commencing the era of Peshwa administration in the city.
The statue was erected in front of the palace and greets the visitors proudly.
Know Before You Go
The statue is located on the northern side of the Shanivar Wada palace complex, outside the grand front gate.