04 June 2011

A disastrous heritage walk in Pune

Along with my fellow design faculty at BSSA I was in Pune earlier today for a heritage walk to explore the possibility of doing a project their next semester.

I haven't gone for many heritage walks but one thing is for sure it's going to be difficult to find one that is more badly prepared/conducted than the one I attended earlier today. It was organized (or rather mis-organized) by the Sarvasva foundation and here's my two pennies worth of advise - if you really want to go for a guided heritage walk in Pune you could check on the ones organized by Intach Pune (http://www.intach-pune.org/) or do it yourself after buying the Pune heritage walks maps (also published by Intach and sold at their small heritage store located in the car park of the ShaniwarWada).

The tour I attended was way overpriced and for being conducted by an architect who is said to be the queen of Pune (in terms of her architectural knowledge) I thought it was really disappointing! The guide didn't tell us a word that we couldn't have read on Intach's foldout heritage map and even after knowing that we were architects who were here on a specific search she didn't skip the customary stop at a metal workshop - where we were sort of forced to buy a tiny bowl that was made for us while we watched the dying craft being practiced - the sort of cheap tactics employed  by any tour leader that wants to buy time to add up to the committed tour hours without having to make any effort towards it!
Anyhow neglecting the guide the old quarter of Pune has some architectural gems and here's a few photos from the ones we did manage to see starting with the imposing Shaniwar Wada.
Sadly nothing but the plinth of the actual palatial structure survives today..

The next stop was the close by Nana Wada...

The last structure I'll share is the recently restored Vishrambaug Wada..

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