Ghostly screams from the Shaniwar Wada Fort in Pune

Ghostly screams from the Shaniwar Wada Fort in Pune
26 April 2024 J.W.H

It is claimed that on every full moon, the dying screams of the young Peshwa prince who was brutally murdered echo within the Shaniwar Wada fort. The murder was so terrible that it was said to have opened itself to each ghost that died within the old fort.

Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra, is a city steeped in history and mystery. The Maratha Empire was early modern India, controlling large parts of it within the 18th century, at its peak in 1758, from the south to the Sutlej River within the north, until its fall in 1818.

And relating to mystery stories, Fort Shaniwar Wada stands out as one of the crucial intriguing and haunting structures in town.

Fort Shaniwar Disadvantage: Delhi Darwaza is the essential gate of the complex, facing north towards Delhi. The gatehouse is solidly built and has an enormous door, large enough to accommodate elephants with a cover to take a seat on. The Shaniwar Wada Fort was built after completion by a contractor from Rajasthan often known as “Kumawat”. The gate is used for ceremonial purposes, and military campaigns depart and arrive here with religious ceremonies.

Built in 1730, it was the seat of the Peshwas until 1818, after they lost it to the East India Company. The Peshwa was the second highest rank within the Maratha Empire, serving as prime minister and de facto ruler when it became a hereditary position in 1749.

Shaniwar Wada Fort has witnessed several historical events including political intrigues, battles and even a tragic supernatural incident. The fort's eerie atmosphere and unsolved mysteries surrounding the fort have fascinated residents and visitors for generations.

From the mysterious footsteps that echo through the corridors at night to the blood-curdling screams that could be heard in the course of the full moon, Fort Shaniwar Wada has been the topic of many blood-curdling stories.

Peshwa ghosts within the Shaniwar Wada fort

Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao was the eighth Peshwa from 1740 until his death in 1761. He was also known by the name Nana Saheb and had three sons – Madhav, Vishwa and Narayana Rao. Under Peshwa Nana Saheb, the empire reached its peak and golden era, but his family has since declined. His eldest son, Vishwas Rao, died in battle and the eighth Peshwa became depressed after the death of his first son in 1761.

The burden was an excessive amount of for the second son Madhava Rao, who was appointed the ninth Peshwa after the death of his father and brothers on the age of 16, together with his uncle Raghunath Rao serving as his regent for a very long time. However, their relationship soured and my uncle was placed under house arrest.

However, the young prince contracted tuberculosis and the disease slowly killed him until his death in 1772, his death being seen as the start of the top of the Maratha Confederacy.

As Madhac Rao was dying slowly, he also managed to appoint the subsequent heir to the throne and selected his younger brother, Narayana Rao, although his performance didn’t impress anyone much.

The tragic lifetime of Narayana Rao

Narayan Rao (नारायणराव पेशवे) was a young man of only 16 or 18 years of age when it was announced. The proven fact that he was to inherit the title and seat was not well received by his relatives. His uncle Raghunath Rao and his wife Anandi Bai were ambitious and willing to go to great lengths to achieve power. Even though they were under house arrest, the uncle tried to flee several times and the intrigues continued.

It is claimed that they hired a tribe of hunters known by letters because the Gardis. Gardi soldiers were employed by the Peshwa for police duty across the palace and in Pune. They had no personal reference to their employer and were soldiers from North India, Ethiopia, Arabs and so forth. During Madhava Rao's reign, he emptied the treasury and owed them repayments for a few years. It can also be said that they were utilized by the Kalbelia tribe, which is a snake-charming tribe originating from the desert of Rajasthan.

The letter from my uncle was presupposed to read: Narayan Rao la dhara”which implies ““Hold Narayana Rao” because his plan was to kidnap him and keep him under house arrest. However, his wife got hold of the letter and changed it to “Narayan Rao la mara” which means “Kill Narayana Rao”.

The killing occurred in the course of the Ganesh Chathurhu festival in August, when over 500 men stormed the Shaniwar Wada fort.

They dragged him from his chambers, cut his body into small pieces and threw him into a close-by river to do away with the evidence. It can also be said that his stays were collected in a bundle for cremation. But did he do it? There is a rumor that resulting from the murder and lack of cremation, he returned as a ghost.

Spooky sightings at Shaniwar Wada Fort

Legend has it that his ghost still haunts Fort Shaniwar Wada, and in the course of the full moon his blood-curdling screams could be heard within the corridors of the fort. “Kaka Mala Vacchva” he screams, which implies, “Please save me, uncle.” Visitors to the fort have reported feeling eerie presences and hearing strange sounds, making it an ideal place for ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts.

Shaniwar Wada Fort has been the location of several ghosts over time and it is suggested to not enter it after 6.30 pm. Visitors report seeing the ghost of the young prince wandering the fort's corridors and hearing his screams in the course of the full moon

It is even said that on the thirteenth and last Peswha, Baji Rao II believed within the presence of a spirit. To please and soothe his spirit, he planted hundreds of mango trees near town of Pune and likewise made donations to Brahmins and spiritual institutions.

Other ghosts haunting the fort

However, it is claimed that it is just not only the young prince who haunts the Shaniwar Wada fort, because the murder was so heinous and horrible that it opened a portal to the underworld for other individuals who died within the fort.

Others report seeing the ghost of a lady in white, who is claimed to have once been a courtesan within the Peshwa's court. These ghostly sightings only add to the general mystery and intrigue of the fort.

The mysteries of Shaniwar Wada Fort remain unsolved

Another strange thing that happened was a hearth. The Pune fort erupted in 1828 when the British took over. The fire lasted 7 days and destroyed every little thing except the stone a part of the constructing. No one discovered what really happened or the way it began.

Shaniwar Wada Fort is an iconic structure that has stood the test of time. Its haunting legend, mysterious architecture and supernatural phenomena have fascinated visitors for generations. Although among the fort's mysteries have been solved, many remain unsolved.


Tales of affection and deceit – the haunting story of Shaniwar Wady – An exciting journey

Find out why it is best to not visit Shaniwarwada Fort in Pune during full moon | India travel times

Is Shaniwar Wada in Pune really haunted? | India travel times

Image Source:

  • J.W.H

    About John:

    John Williams is a Reincarnationist paranormal Intuitive freelance writer...he is living proof of reincarnation existence, through his personal exploration, he has confirmed its authenticity through visits to the very lands where these events transpired.

    Through guided meditation/s using hemi-sync technology he has managed to recollect 3 previous lives to his own, that go back to the Mid to Late 19th century.

    JWH - "You are the GODS! - Inclusion of the Eternal Light of Love and you shall never die”.

    “Death is Just the Beginning of Life”