Tuesday 15 October 2013

A structured and chronological study of the Development and Expansion of Pune from A.D 1610 till the decline of the Peshwa

Pune, my hometown, has a long history. Established sometime in the 6th-8th century by the name Punnak vishwa, evidence can be given in the form of copper plates found near Talegaon clearly mentioning this name. One may also point to the Rock cut Pataleshwar Caves to show antiquity. That Pune assumed greater importance in the coming centuries, was no coincidence. Pune is located on the confluence “Sangam” of the rivers Mula and Mutha, and in Hindu religion, a place where two rivers met, is always considered to be sacred and is often marked by temples. Pune also had its own temples in the form of Puneshwar and Narayaneshwar, and it is from the Puneshwar temple that Pune most likely derives its name. These temples were subsequently demolished in the 13th century under the regime of the Delhi Sultanates and were replaced by structures, today known as “Shaikh Sallas” - Dhakta Sheikh Salla in place of Puneshwar and Thorla Sheikh Salla in place of Narayaneshwar. 

Another geographically important feature of Pune was that it lay on multiple trade routes- those going from the sea port of Kalyan onto the “Desh” region, as well as routes going north towards Malwa. This may be one of the prime reasons why Pune was established as a “Kasabe” or a trading village. Pune finds its mention in Ptolemy’s book written in 150 AD as Punnat- a place from where Granite was sent to Europe. But what can be concluded with firm evidence is that the hamlet of Pune was definitely in existence since 768 AD by the name of Punnak. Pune later on went to transform into a big city. The following three reasons can be argued as the key reasons why these transformations took place.

  1. Being the headquarters of the Pune pargana, and being conferred to Shahaji raje as a Jahgir. Later Shivaji raje was a key reason why Pune started developing as a town from earlier wild and ravaged coutryside. 
  2. The second important reason was that Shahu raje gave to the Peshwas the province of Pune. Initially Bajirao and Chimajiappa, followed later by Nanasaheb(Balaji Bajirao), Madhavrav and Nana Phadanvis greatly contributed to Pune becoming what it is through extensive urbanization.
  3. Lastly, the establishment of 3 cantonments in and around Pune by the british- Pune, Khadki and Dehu put Pune as a strategic military center. The Britishers, however bitter we may be towards them, should be given due credit for making Pune an educational hub by the establishment of various colleges such as College of Engineering, as well as many schools. Another important aspect was the development of the “suburban” areas of Pune, which were done by them, as well as railways and bridge building.

The scope of this article is restricted to the Peshwa administration, and hence the developments carried out by the Brits, will be covered in another article. Similarly, the article will not look into great detail about the historical events taking place at those times, and as such, unless essentially required to explain, these events will be omitted. Political and palace intrigues are of little significance in this write up, and hence will not be looked into. What the article will try to look into is a systematic and chronological analysis as to how Pune was developed from early 17th century till the time of the decline of Peshwai in 1818.

Before the main points about the article are considered, we need to take a look at prevailing Hindu customs of the time from a point of view of town planning as well as a few terminologies relevant to city planning. In addition, we need to look the geography, where all the development took place. These points are discussed below.

  1. Terminologies:
    1. Kasabe- A village from where mercantile activity could be carried out is termed as Kasabe. Villages in Maharashtra usually either had a “weekly bazaar” or a permanent market. Those places having permanent markets were termed as Kasabe. Pune, which lay on multiple trade routes ought to have had a permanent market, and as such was given the name “Kasabe Pune” which prevailed right upto the time of the Peshwa.
    2. . A Peth means an area dedicated for commercial activity. Usually used as BajarPeth, which signifies a market place. These were often extensions to existing village boundaries, where traders were established, and weekly markets or specialized markets would be set up.
    3. pur, -pura, -puri, -abad is a suffix used in Sanskrit (1st 3 and Persian/Arabic- 1) to signify a populated place. 
    4. A “kot” means a small fortified palace. Kot is a word derived from Sanskrit “Kut”, but may also have Arabic and Persian origins. Another word for the same in Marathi is “Gadhi”. Small gadhis are there in existence all across old towns- Jadhavgadhi near saswad is a prime example.
    5. Ves literally means a “Gate”. In addition, Ves is also known as a “Darwaza”. Ves defines the perimeter of the city or village under consideration.
  2. Prevailing Hindu Customs:
    1. The entry point at any village or city is considered sacred, and as such, has a Ganapati temple. Ganapati is known as the remover of obstacles, and hence it is expected that one should seek his blessings before either entering the city or going out of it on account of some work.
    2. Mhasoba is traditionally the “Dwar rakshak” or the guardian of the gates, and as such has a temple dedicated to him near city entrances. Eg- Mhasoba Gate
    3. Hanuman (Maruti) is often known as gram rakshak or the guardian of the village, and has a temple dedicated to him on the boundary of the village, called as the “Sheev”.
    4. It is customary in Hindu scriptures that the temples point east. Shiv temples point east, but the lingam always points towards north – the direction of Kashi. North facing temples are also quite common. However, since south is the direction dedicated to Yama, the god of death, no temple points towards south- the direction of death. However, a slight exception to this are a few Hanuman temples. Hanuman is believed to have powers to overcome even this obstacle, and hence many temples of hanuman exist which point to south. These are known as “Dakshinmukhi Maruti”, with one famous one being present in Shaniwar Peth in Pune.
    5. A glance of temples dedicated to these three deities often tell us about how a particular village expanded and developed, and this will be used as a tool in our investigation.
  3. Geography of Pune
    1. For a modern reader, Pune is a large bustling metropolis. However, the Pune we are looking at was a rather small city consisting of the 18 wards (Peths). Essentially, Pune has been built on the right bank of Mutha river, which follows a southwest- north east, turning to east course as it flows into the confluence with Mula river. The Pune city that we are looking at is confined to this right bank stretching from what is Lakdi Pul of today upto Sangam.
    2. The readers must also familiarize themselves with two important streams that flow through Pune- Ambil Odha, which has been dammed twice and diverted and the Nagzari (On which bridges such as the Daruwala Pul are situated).
    3. It should be noted that before Nanasaheb Peshwe constructed Sarasbag, the Ambil Odha used to flow through much of todays Sadashiv Peth through to Narayan and Shaniwar Peth and meet the river somewhere before Shaniwar Wada- Most likely near todays Amruteshwar Mandir. Important sites such as the Hujurpaga (which was earlier the royal stable before being converted to a school) were present along the course of the Ambil Odha.
    4.  Pune can thus be thought of as a town confined within the Mutha right bank to its east, and north, Ambil odha(after diversion), Parvati, Hirabag and Sarasbag to the south, and Nagzari to the west.
    5. Original Pune can be thought of as a town confined between the Mutha river to the North, Ambil Odha(original course) to the west and Nagzari to the east.
    6. The following map will give a detail picture of the same.
    7. Pune.

The development of Pune that we are going to discuss from hence, will be broadly divided into the following categories:

  1. Before Shivaji Raje
  2. During the Time of Shivaji Raje
  3.  Development by Bajirao Peshwe (1726- 1740)
  4.  Development by Nanasaheb Peshwe (1740-1762)
  5. Development by Madhavrao Peshwe (1762-1772)
  6.  Latter developments by Nana Phadanvis, Narayanrao, and Bajirao II (1772-1818) 

  1. Before the time of Shivaji
    As discussed earlier, Pune finds mention right from the 7th century AD. The temples of Puneshwar and Narayaneshwar as discussed earlier, were torn down and converted to dargahs by the Delhi Mohmmedians. Under Nizamshahi rule, the Kasbe was protected by a wall as well as a gadhi, and had 3 outlying peths- viz Malkapur, Murtazabad and Shahpura. Kasabe Pune (as known then) in some senses, was a unique kind of settlement, which had a small Gadhi, situated within the city walls, called as “Pandharicha Kot” to protect town. This protective wall bound inside it what we today call the Kasba Peth. This is shown in the figure below.
    Pune before Shivaji

    In 1630, the walls and the gadhi were totally destroyed when Adilshahi forces under the command of Murar Jagdeo totally ravaged the city. (This was the background of the story of “Donkey Plough”).

    The gates to this Kasbe Pune were as follows:
    1. Kumbhar Ves – which went to the Kumbhar Ali part of the City
    2. Mali Ves – which led to the earstwhile Peth Shahapura(Somwar Peth)
    3. Kedar Ves – which led to the earstwhile Peth Malkapura (Ravivar Peth)
    4. Maval Ves – which led to the earstwhile Murtazabad (Shaniwar Peth).
The gadhi and the walls were destroyed by Adilshahi troops and were not reconstructed later. The remains of the steps of the Kokan Darwaza of the Pandharicha Kot are still in existence today- near Surya Hospital.

The ves or the dwars remained intact late into the 17th century after which they were either destroyed or collapsed.

2. During the time of Shivaji Raje.

Shivaji raje, Jijamata and Dadoji Kondadev completely transformed the ruined city of Pune on their arrival. The town- cursed- by placing an iron rod and ploughed Donkey driven plough was given new life when bull driven golden ploughs were used as a ceremonial gensture. There was transformation, and the wild, ravaged countryside developed into a small town. Shahaji Raje had earlier established Peth Shahapura as a supplementary town to the Kasabe Pune.  Jijamata founded the Kasba Ganapati temple- the gram daivat of Pune, got built the Lal Mahal- the royal palace, and hence she can be considered as the first pioneer of the modern Pune. The location of the Kasba Ganapati temple and earstwhile expanse of the city indicates that the main entrance to the city was from the south east part.

Under the administration of Shivaji raje, Shahpura was reestablished along with Murtazabad. However, during the time of Shivaji Raje, Pune was a war torn territory, often exchanging hands, and subject to much plunder and loot. As such, no development from urbanization prospective took place in this time. Another setback was shifting the center of Power from Pune to Rajgad, and then to Raigad, owing to the impregnability of the latter.

What can be noted is that when Mughal General Shaistakhan came to Pune, he himself stayed in the Lal Mahal, while his army was camped in the area which is todays Mangalwar Peth, known as Ashta then. Shaistakhan ordered repopulating the area to have supplies to his troops and re established the peth, naming it after himself – Shaistapura.

Later, when Aurangzeb arrived in Deccan, Pune was under his rule, and he founded Mohiyabad- what is todays Budhwar Peth.

However, these were supplementary towns akin to cantonments, to provide for the troops stationed in the city, and hence can be discounted as serious developmental projects. No effort was taken to rebuild fortifications in place of the old ruined walls, and no serious effort was made to incorporate new established peths into a single command. These remained as isolated weekly bazaars and hamlets outside the main town.

The fact that territory was unstable, and often exchanged hands, subject to loot and plunder, stagnated the development of Pune as a city. This was revived in after the city was handed over to Bajirao Peshwa by Chhatrapati Shahu in 1726. This will be discussed in the next part.

3. Development by Bajirao Peshwe (1726- 1740)

Pune, this it can be said that until 1726 was a desolate place, war torn and completely ruined. The first of redevelopments were done by Bajirao Peshwe and Chimajiappa from 1726-1740. This constituted the first major urbanization phase of Pune. Pune, which was vulnerable at the time to attacks, was given a fortified base in the form of Shaniwar Wada- the palace of the Peshwas. The wada was capable of supporting 10 foot soldiers on each of its bastions, plus patrols, which amounted to about 200 soldiers, plus 200 cavalry and other units, thereby having a total of 500 soldiers. In addition to this, a cavalry unit was established along the banks of the Ambil Odha, and was called as the Hujurpaga – the royal stables.

It was during the reign of Bajirao, Murtazabad was renamed redeveloped and repopulated as Shaniwar Peth. In this area, he built the beautiful temple of Omkareshwar and its many ghats, along with a playground for children- Ramanbag. Large donations would be made in the park in the month of Shravan. Today the premises of Omkareshwar include the temple complex as well as the Samadhi sthan of Chimaji Appa. The old ghats have long disappeared, and replaced by a road along the river bank.

Bajirao was also responsible for reestablishing Malkapur, Shahpura and Shaistapura, and renamed these as Aditwar(Ravivar) Peth, Somwar Peth and Mangalwar Peth respectively. Both these Peths were established earlier, however, since these were on the other side of the Nagzari, contact with Kasbe Pune was not that good. This changed when Bajirao redeveloped these two areas. As flow of people started increasing in these areas, a bridge was needed to cross the stream. A bridge was built here on the stream – known as Jakate Pul, and jakat(octroi) was levied on all goods brought into that part of the city through the bridge. Chavdi (police stations) were established in Somwar Peth, north of Nageshwar Mandir and to east of the Maruti Mandir. With regular patrols, and a bridge connecting Kasbe Pune, these two underdeveloped and overlooked outlying villages were reabsorbed into the Town of Pune (Details of the accounts of these Kotwals and Jamadars can be found in the book relating to governance of Peshwas by Wad.) The assimilation of Somwar and Mangalwar Peth into Pune  were the first serious expansions to the east of the Nagzari.

The arrival of Bajirao saw the arrival of other Sardars, Money lenders, well known businessmen into Pune. To accomodate the newly arriving people, Bajirao ordered a Koul to redevelop the Old Malkapur Peth, south of Kedar Ves. The peth was set up on both sides of the road from Kedar Ves to Pasodya Maruti Mandir- the southern border of Ravivar Peth. Mercentile activity flourished. The redevelopment was done for mercantile as well as residential purposes. In 1734, Bajirao issued an order to establish a new peth- Peth Visapur, as a bazarpeth for the troops garrisoned in Pune. These issuing of orders for new establishments is known as a “Koul”. The “Koul” for Peth Visapur was given to certain Veerkar Bandhu, who acted as the shetya.  Stable Pune thus, in this time consisted of what is Shaniwar Peth, Somwar, Mangalwar, Kasba Peths, alongside Ravivar Peth, and an insignificant colony in Mohyabad and Visapur.

It should also be noted that Bajirao built the Mastani Mahal in what is todays Kothrud region for his mistress Mastani, who was not allowed to enter Shaniwar Wada. However, as it falls outside the scope of the developments under consideration, it will be overlooked.

Pune at the time of Bajiraos Death - 1740.

As you can see from the above map, boundries of different Peths are marked by Maruti Mandirs- Pasodya Maruti on the western extreme of Ravivar, and Veer Maruti on western extreme of Shaniwar Peth.

4.     Development by Nanasaheb Peshwe (1740-1761)

Bajirao, though a brilliant general, was never settled in Pune, leading his troops to battlefields all across the country. On that account, development of the city was slow under his rule. That completely changed when Nanasaheb became the Peshwa. He was a brilliant administrator and can be called the person chiefly responsible for giving Pune the structure it has today.

In terms of establishment of wards, Nanasaheb gave the “Koul” to establish Shukrawar Peth in place of the earlier Peth Visapur, and thus completely redeveloped it as a residential area. The northern boundry was marked by initially Akra Maruti and later by Jilbya Maruti, while the southern boundry was marked by Panchamukhi Maruti. South of shukrawar Peth- in what is todays Satara Road area - the tophkhana or artillary unit of the Peshwa was established.

Similarly, provisions were made to dedicate Ravivar Peth to the merchants. Ravivar Peth thereby became a commercial area of the city and soon ran out of space, which resulted in the establishment of Budhwar Peth to the west. However, this congestion also led to no place for Sarafs- jewellers and goldsmiths, and hence, Ravivar Peth was extended further to the south of Pasodya Maruti, and the area known as Saraf Katta- an area dedicated to jewelers and goldsmiths was established. The boundary of Ravivar Peth was now marked by Sonya Maruti.

 What happened as a result was that Ravivar Peth soon became overcrowded and merchants who came to sell their goods from outside the city could not find space to set up shops. Realizing this problem, Nanasaheb issued a Koul to establish what is “Gurwar Peth”. Traders from across the country used to set up part time stalls to sell their goods by the day and used to return to their villages in the evening.This was known as"Men Bazaar". This caused commotion and difficulty, and hence to meet the need of these part time traders or small traders, Nanasaheb ordered the establishment of Guruwar Peth. Gurwar peth was filled by merchants who specialized in providing building material. A list of merchants include: sonar, lodi, sutar, tamboli, mali, bagwan, mochi, gurav, marwadi, pardeshi, gujrati, chhaparband, govardhan etc.

Ravivar Peth ran out of space in 5 years of its establishment, and instead of crowding the peth, Nanasaheb decided to establish a new peth for businesses. This was established to the east of Ravivar Peth and came to be known as Ganesh Peth. Merchants who could not find space or afford rents in Ravivar Peth and opened shops here. It can be said that Ganesh Peth was an extension of Ravivar Peth- an indicator is the temple of Dulya Maruti, named so as it is said that the idol was oscillating during the defeat at Panipat.  Similarly, Salt Merchants were given a dedicated area- known as Mithaganj, which later came into existance as a seperate Peth known as Ganj Peth. Pune was already a big city, and trade prospered. Population swelled, and demand for goods increased.

As Ravivar Peth ran out of space, Nanasaheb issued a Koul to Jivajipant Khajgiwale for establishment of Budhwar Peth in place of the old Mohiyabad. This area includes what was known as Belbag and Tulshi bag. Budhwar peth was established as a residential cum commercial peth, and largely had shops which sold cloth. A lane known as Kapad Ali was famous. In its peak days, Budhwar peth, along with Ravivar Peth was considered to be an extremely affluent and rich area of Pune. The growth of Budhwar Peth can be observed from corresponding Maruti Mandirs in the ward - when the southern boundry of Budhwar Peth was extended, it let to the establishment of Bhangya Maruti. Similarly, when western expansion took place, it resulted in the establishment of Gavatya Maruti.

What can be concluded is that Nanasaheb issued a Koul to either establish and/or redevelop Ravivar, Shukrawar, Budhwar, Guruvar, Ganj and Ganesh Peths. The expanse of Pune in this time can also be observed in changing Maruti temples. This will be discussed at the end of the writeup.

However, Nanasaheb was responsible not just for expanding Pune but also for its beautification. Many beautiful temples such as the Parvati Complex were built during his time. Parvati, a small temple on the hill, was converted into a huge temple complex at this time, and was an alltime Peshwa favourite, with each one adding to and beautifying the complex. When the Parvati was completed, Nanasaheb decided to undertake beautification of the surrounding areas. He initially dammed the Ambil Odha and changed its course. What happened was the the surrounding marshy area was converted into a lake, with an island, and the island was later covered in a garden, rather poetically named as Sarasbag. The lake was used as a boat club, and secret meetings used to take place on the bag on the island. Nanasaheb is also responsible for developing the “Hira Bag” not far off from Sarasbag. Other Bags that were created during this time were Natu Bag, Bel Bag, Tulshi Bag – in the affluent arreas adjoining Budhwar Peth.

A Ganapati Mandir on the other side of Parvati (Laxminagar side) was established and called Ramana Ganapati. Huge donations were given to Sanskrit scholars from all over India during the month of Shravan. Learned people used to flock from all over india to get this Dakshina, which was of the order of a few lakh rupees each year- with the exception being 1761- the year of Panipat War. This annual programme of giving dakshina encouraged learned people from all over to come to Pune, and thereby helped in establishing Pune as a center of education.

While the rule of Nanasaheb brought crowning glory to the Marathas who captured territory as far as Atock near Peshawar, it also bought upon them the worst deafeat that they have ever suffered- Panipat. In 1761, the beaten forces of the Marathas were returning to pune, and the only way in from the left bank of the Mutha was through the old bridge near Shaniwar Wada, which would lead right into the city. To save the army the ignominy of passing through the city, Nanasaheb ordered the construction of a new wooden bridge, west of the city, which would open up a new route to Maval region. The work was completed in 4 days before the beaten troops arrived, and Nanasaheb himself oversaw the work of this bridge.

These developmental projects were enough to give Nanasaheb a lasting legacy. However, this great administrator also left us a civil engineering marvel of the highest order. The Katraj Shaniwar Wada Water pipeline. During Nanasahebs reign, Pune expanded leaps and bounds, and its population also increased significantly. To provide drinking water, Nanasaheb came up with his most glorious project. He had dammed the Ambil odha twice near Katraj, thereby creating two artificial lakes- An upper lake and a lower lake. The upper lake, which acted as a water filter was connected to the lower lake which acted as a reservoir. Underground stone pipes large enough for a man to walk through it were constructed, and the water of Katraj was brought to Pune city through this system of Pipes and Ochhwas – collection and filteration tanks and pipes. The total distance covered by this system was roughly 12 km, and water thus coming in were distributed to the general population by means of 18 public houds and 40 private houds. A few of the famous Public houds were Kala Houd, Badami Houd, Lakadkhana Houd, Bhau Maharaj Bol Houd, Tulshibag Houd, Budhwar Houd, Faraskhana Houd, Budhwar Wada, Phadke Houd, Datar Houd, Bahulicha houd, Nana Houd, Dhamdhere Bol, Bohari Jamatkhana Houd, Khajgiwale Bag, Rameshwar Houd and Ganesh Houd(Dulya Maruti). This intricate water system is a civil engineering miracle, as using only the natural gradient, water was supplied to over 100000 residents. No motors or any other mechanisms were needed.

Pune at the Time of Nanasahebs Death-1761
In conclusion of this section, it can be said, that Pune as a city got its fabric and skeleton from the administrative genius of Nanasaheb.

5.  Development by Madhavrao Peshwe (1762-1772)

While Pune took shape under the administration of Nanasaheb, Madhavrav Peshwe did no less to contribute to the development of the city. Firstly, he foresaw the importance of expanding east of the Nagzari, and thereby gave a Koul to a Mahadaji Vishwanath, a karkoon for establishment of a new Peth near the Bhavani temple east of Nagzari. This area , covered in Bor trees came to be called as Bhavani Peth. At the same time, he gave a Koul to establish a new peth known as Muzzaffarganj Peth south of Gurwar peth- which is the area south of Ganj Peth and East of Ghorpade Peth.

In 1769, a Koul was given to a certain Appa Mundhe to populate the southwest part of Budhwar peth. This came to be known as Sadashiv peth. People of Pune were initially reluctant to settle over here since it was seen to be too far off from the main city. A tax waiver of 7 years was passed for anyone who settled in the area, and soon population swelled. Sadashiv peth later went on to be the most affluent part of Pune City, giving rise to its own unique subculture. At the intersection of Sadashiv Peth, Budhwar Peth and Shukrawar Peth- an important junction, a new paar was established with a Maruti Mandir- called as Shani Par. The boundries of Sadashiv Peth can be traced through the following Maruti temples- Nagnath Paar, Shani Paar, Bhikardas Maruti and Pavan Maruti.

Other than these, Madhavrao is also credited to having established a very small and residential Nihal Peth east of Nagzari. This area was mainly residential and very small, and was latter(during british administration) absorbed into the more expansive Rasta Peth and Somwar Peth.
Pune at the time of Madhavraos Death

6.      Later developments:

In 1773, a Koul was given by Narayanrao to establish the Narayan Peth( if this was executed by him or Nana Phadanvis is unknown) to ease the burden on the capacity of Sadashiv Peth. A new ward was thus established. Narayan Peth soon flourished and all of Narayan, Sadashiv and Shaniwar Peth were needed to be expanded to occupy the increasing population. This was marked by "Patrya Maruti"

In 1790 a Koul was issued by Nana Phadanvis for establishment of a new peth east of Ganesh peth, across the Nagzari, to accommodate more traders. This was named as Hanumat Peth, which later became Nana Peth. Sawai Madhavrav Peshwe, during this time, built the famous Talyatla ganapati mandir In Sarasbag.

During this time, other areas such as Rasta Peth, developed by Sardar Anandrao Raste as Peth Shivpura, later renamed as Rasta Peth, as well as Ghorpade peth developed by Sardar Gorpade came up. (Ghorpade peth is todays Swargate and nearby areas). However, due to lack of water supply, Ghorpade Peth never took off as a major trading area.

It should be noted that both, Nana Phadanvis and Sardar Anandrao Raste made significant contribution to the development of the city. Both got into the city earthen pipelines from outlying village wells and lakes to provide water to the population. Nana Phadanvis got water from Ambegaon to Sadashiv Peth. Sadashiv Peth houd is a famous houd on this system. The water from Ambegaon was considered to be of especially good quality. If one goes on Sinhagad road towards Vitthalwadi, we see on the left side of the road an old Ochhhwas from this water system(Questionmarks over its current existence). Similarly Sardar Raste and Sardar Roopram Chaudhari got water to areas of Rasta Peth and Shukrawar Peth from near Mundhwa and Wanowrie

By 1800, Sawai Madhavrav had died in an accident, and Nana Phadanvis had passed away, and the power and stability of the Maratha Empire was waning. The last Peshwa Bajirao II(deemed by many as a fool and a coward) built lavish Mahals for himself such as Vishrambag Wada, Budhwar Wada etc. Most of these beautiful wooden structures were burnt in fires post the Peshwa rule. The last development project undertaken by the Peshwa was the establishment of a new Peth “Nrusinhapur” which can be equated to todays extension of Sadashiv Peth -the Lokmanya Nagar area. There were no major developmental project done by the Peshwas thereafter. Individual efforts from earstwhile sardars, traders, money lenders and other rich citizens established many of today's temples in the City area of Pune- such as the Khunya Muralidhar Mandir. The latter development- especially bridges, establishment of the Cantt, Navi Peth, Deccan , Formation of Railways, Mandai etc is a British legacy, and is beyond the scope of this study.
Pune 1805

A Table of establishment of Various Peths:
Sr. No
Name of Peth
Year of Establishment
Converted to Somwar Peth
Before A. D 1610
Around 1732
Residential and Mercantile
Converted to Shaniwar Peth
Before A.D 1610
Around A.D 1731
Residential & Mercantile
Converted to Ravivar Peth
Around A.D 1620
Around A.D 1732
Residential & Mercantile
Converted to Mangalwar Peth
Around 1660 A.D
Around A.D 1732
Residential & Mercantile
Converted to Budhwar Peth
Around A.D. 1703
Around A.D 1742
Residential & Mercantile
Reestablished as Shukrawar Peth
Around A.D 1734
Around A.D 1748
Residential & Mercantile
Guruwar Peth
A.D 1751
Residential & Mercantile
A.D 1755
A.D 1756
Residential & Mercantile
A.D 1766
A.D 1766
Residential & Mercantile
Bhavani Peth
A.D 1767
Residential & Mercantile
A.D 1769
A.D 1773
A.D 1781
A.D 1785
A.D 1790
Residential & Mercantile
A.D 1794

A look at how expansion of Peths was observed by establishment of New Ganpati, Maruti and Mhasoba temples:
  1.  During 17th century, Kasba Ganapati temple was indicating the entrance from the southeastern boundary of Kasba Pune.
  2. In A. D. 1761, Nanasaheb built a new wooden bride called as 'Lakadi Pool' on Mutha river and offered a new entry to Kasba Pune from extreme southwest direction. A small temple of Ganapati called as 'Mati Ganapati' was built to indicate the southwest entrance of Pune. In future, Peth Narayan was established in between this temple and Lakadi Pool.
  3. A small temple of Maruti  called as 'Gavkos Maruti' was built at the city wall to indicate the eastern boundary of Kasbe Pune.
  4.  A small temple of Maruti, called as 'Pasodya Maruti' was built to indicate the extreme southern end of Raviwar Peth and also extreme eastern end of Budhawar Peth.
  5. When Budhawar Peth was further extended towards southern direction, a Maruti temple called as 'Bhangya Maruti' was built at its extreme southern end of the Peth. Similarly, when Budhawar Peth was further extended towards western direction, a Maruti temple called as Gavatya Maruti was built at its extreme western end.
  6. Eventually, Raviwar Peth was extended further towards south from Pasodya Maruti temple for establishment of Saraf and goldsmiths market called as 'Saraf Katta', another Maruti temple called as 'Sonya Maruti' was built to indicate the new southern boundary of the Peth.
  7.  A small temple of Maruti called as 'Veer Maruti' was built on the extreme western border of Peth Shaniwar. Eventually, Shaniwar Peth was extended further and another Maruti temple called as 'Mehendale Maruti' (Near Ramanbag) was built to indicate the new boundary of the Peth.
  8. A small temple of Maruti called as 'Panchamukhi Hanumant' was built on the extreme southern border of Peth Shukrawar.
  9. A small temple of Maruti called as 'Dulya' was built on the extreme eastern border of Peth Ganesh. When this Peth was extended further another Maruti temple was built near a pimpal tree.
  10. Many Mhasoba cells were also built in Pune city, but those were generally indicating a particular lane or 'Aalee' and were specifically built at the entrance of such lanes.

What can be concluded, is that Pune developed in 6 distinct phases till the time before british. Significant efforts were made by Nizamshahi rule to establish Pune, then by Shivaji raje to redevelop and repopulate it. However, the peak of development was during the reign on Nanasaheb Peshwe. It can be thus concluded, that most of Pune that we know of today, is down to Nanasaheb. The decision to build Lakdi pul opened up the prospects of later developing the areas of Parvati, Erandavane, Deccan and Kothrud, thereby making Pune a large metropolis. Special credit must be given to Nanasaheb and Madhavrav and their vision as administrators and city planners to give Pune the framework and layout it today has.

The Peshwas left their stamp on the older parts of Pune City, and much of its existing framework- down to the width of roads and other main roads are their legacy. In addition, the establishment of many beautiful temples and old Wadas will also remain a Peshwa Legacy. Numerous gardens(39 in all) were created from the time of Thorle Bajirao to Bajirao II(Palputya Bajirao) and while many have long since disappeared, a large number of residential complexes that have later sprung up at their locations retain their name. (Tulshi bag, Belbag, Raman Bag, Hira Bag, Moti Bag, Natu Bag etc.) Another lasting legacy of the Peshwa was the intricate system to supply water to the city. If not for ignorance, lack of care,disrepair and in general a negative outlook towards these structures under the garb of development, this system would still be functioning. It would have been preserved and by now would have obtained the status of a World Heritage monument, were it built by Englishmen in England. However, it is no use to blame our people when it comes to negligence and ignorance of history.   On that some other time.

What really irks me is the fact that we Punekars have such a rich heritage in terms of architecture, and yet we are not able to portray it to the world. Most of the historical monuments in this part of the city now lie in ruins, or have disappeared under the garb of development. What each of us should look into is that preserving Old structures is a sure way to earn income from tourism later. We as Punekars should join hands and make conscious efforts to think on these lines before we redevelop any area from the old parts of the city. Places in Europe should be kept as role models- while the olden parts were fantastically remodelled, care was taken that the flavour of the place was retained, and no harm was caused to historically important structures.

Anyway, thats it for this post. Will try to write another post dedicated to the Angrez for the development they did in the city, for its no less significant. That however, on some other day.


1. Maratha System of Town and City Planning during 17th and 18th Century, Chapter 4. [For maps and other in detail study]





6. Poona in Bygone Days – Rao Bahadur Parasanis, Times Press, Bombay

7. Peshwa Madhavrao I (Sections from Peshwa Diaries)- Ganesh Chimaji Wad

8. Commomorative Essays presented To RG Bhandarkar.

9. "Punawdi te Punyanagari" Exhibition at Vishrambag Wada.


  1. chinya ek no..
    We are proud of you he tuch karu shatos..
    khup bhari vatla sagla analysis baghun..

    1. Damya!! Thanks re mitra!!! Farsa kalat nahiye kasa zalay... feedbackach yet nahiye farsa! :-o

  2. Best re chinya ! Perfect Jamlay ! :)

  3. Masta mahiti. Sankalan karun uttam ritya mandalya baddal dhanyawaad. Great work.

  4. This is a brilliant compilation. वाचायला खूपच मजा आली!

  5. Ek number re mitra!! khup chan lihila ahes.

  6. U seem to be at the wrong place buddy! U should have become a historian- Saugat

    1. Hey Saugat! thanks buddy! i hope I am at the right place! History is my first love- but one cant marry it!!

    2. True that! It is also true for the other kind of first love as well. Atleast in most cases! ;)

  7. hats off chinya...Awesome dedication and work!! :-)

  8. What are the sources for the maps? Are they authentic?

  9. Nicely done..You can go in details of the structure of the Peths as urban wards to finish of a good independent study..very impressive.

  10. Thank you so much for this very detailed and well-researched study. Do you have any information about Somwar peth (and Mangalwar peth) as cremation grounds? Is this why these peths were originally established on the opposite/east bank of the Nagzari? At what point did these become mercantile and residential centers rather than functioning primarily as cremation grounds? Any references that you may have on this would be very welcome! Thanks again.

  11. Great work...detailed understanding and brillant writing...खुप छान..!!

  12. Great work...detailed understanding and brillant writing...खुप छान..!!

  13. असंच आणखी लिहीत राहा.

  14. Laich Bhari! Thank you for detailed explanation.

  15. Post bhari ahe, ekunach mala tumcha ha blog avadla, I got connected to it very quickly as I am also Punekar and follower of Sri Chatrapti Shivaji, his Mavle and Peshwas! The powada on Baji Prabhu Deshpande by Veer Savarkarji brought me to your blog! Fantastic is your work it seems to me, will keep on exploring it ! Salute to your overall work here !!