The Aga Khan Palace is an ancient palace situated in the city of Pune in the west Indian state of Maharashtra . It is a monument of national importance, and also the Headquarters of the Gandhi National Memorial Society in India; the palace is often also known as Gandhi National Memorial.
The palace was built in 1892 by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III who was a Muslim ruler in Pune, India. The palace was, in fact, an act of charity to help the poor in the neighbouring areas of Pune, who were drastically hit by famine.
Mahatma Gandhi – the father of the nation was imprisoned here by the Britishers after he started the “Quit India Movement” for India’s independence from British. In 1969, the successor of Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III - Prince Karim El Hussenim Aga Khan IV donated the palace to the Gandhi Smarak Samiti to show his respect towards Mahatma Gandhi.
It took a total of 5 years for the palace to be constructed and around 1,000 workers were employed in its construction. A total of 12 lakh rupees were reportedly spent in building this grand palace.
Aga Khan Palace is a brilliant manifestation of Islamic style architecture. The palace covers a total area of 19 acres, that comprises of the main edifice (which has 5 huge halls) and huge and well-maintained lawns. A wide corridor of 2.5-meter width encircles all of this.
The palace is a three-storied structure, and it also has some distinguishing Italian style arches, which add to its architectural beauty.
Aga Khan Palace is open from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm; every day except on national holidays in India (that includes Republic Day – 26th January, Independence Day – 15th August and Gandhi Jayanthi – 2nd October).
The entry fee is INR 5 for adult Indian citizens, INR 2 for children and INR 100 foreign nationals.
A monument of historical significance, Aga Khan Palace was built by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III in Pune in the year 1892. Built with an aim to help the poor who were affected by famine, this place has also witnessed many historical moments of India’s Independence including the prisoning of Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi, Mahadev Desai, and Sarojini Naidu in 1942.