The Aga Khan Palace was built by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III in the city of Pune, India.

The Aga Khan Palace
LocationPune, Maharashtra, India
Coordinates18°33′08″N 73°54′05″E / 18.5523°N 73.9015°E / 18.5523; 73.9015
Area7.7 hectares (19 acres)
Built1892; 132 years ago (1892)
Governing bodyGandhi National Memorial Society
Aga Khan Palace is located in Maharashtra
Aga Khan Palace
Location of Aga Khan Palace in Maharashtra

The palace was an act of charity by the spiritual leader of the Nizari Ismaili Muslims, who wanted to help the poor in the neighbouring areas of Pune, who were drastically hit by famine by offering them work.[1] The construction lasted 5 years and involved hundred thousand people. It costed 1.2 million rupees.[2]

The Aga Khan Palace is a majestic building.[3] The palace is closely linked to the Indian freedom movement as it served as a prison for Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi, his secretary Mahadev Desai. Sarojini Naidu and several others were also imprisoned during the Quit India Movement that demanded an end to British rule in India.[2] It is also the place where Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai died.[3] In 2003, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) declared the site as a monument of national importance.[2][4] Aga Khan Palace is major attraction of photographers for various kind of photo shoot because of its special architecture, greenery and perfect for photography lighting.


Aga Khan Palace, Pune
Statue depicting the Quit India Movement, Aga Khan Palace, Pune
Kasturba Gandhi Samadhi

Historically, the palace holds great significance. Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi and his secretary Mahadev Desai were interned in the palace from 9 August 1942 to 6 May 1944, following the launch of Quit India Movement. Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai died during their captivity period in the palace and have their Samadhis located over there. Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi have their memorials located in the same complex, near Mula river.[5] Legend goes that the Sultan built the palace to provide employment to the famine struck villagers of the surrounding region; so he employed 1000 people, and the palace was constructed in five years. It was built in Rs 12 lakhs. The total area is 7.7 hectares (19 acres) and built up palace covers 2.8 hectares (6.9 acres), and the rest is a well maintained garden.[citation needed]

The palace housed a residential co-education School from 1953 - 72. In 1969, Aga Khan Palace was donated to the Indian people by Aga Khan IV as a mark of respect to Gandhi and his philosophy.[1][2] Today the palace houses a memorial on Gandhi where his ashes were kept. The then prime minister Indira Gandhi had visited the place in 1974 where she allotted a sum of 200,000 (US$2,400) every year, for its maintenance. The amount rose to 1 million (US$12,000) until the 1990s,[6] after which the national monument of India, was neglected for many years due to improper allocation of funds. There was a protest held at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi near Pune railway station in July 1999 to protest against the worsening condition of the monument. The present condition has improved quite a lot.[7]



The Aga Khan Palace follows the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture and is complete with pediments and turrets.[2] The area of the ground floor is 1756 m2, that of the first floor is 1080 m2, whereas the second floor has a construction of 445 m2. The speciality of this structure is its corridor of 2.5 meters around the entire building. The palace captivates the eye of a spectator with its magnificence and picturesque architecture.[8]



The Gandhi Museum at Aga Khan Palace is spread over six galleries. The galleries exhibit several statues of Gandhi and others. There are several displays complete with charts and diagrams depicting the history of the Quit India Movement.[2]



The complex covers an area of 19 acres (77,000 m2), out of which 7 acres (28,000 m2) is the built up area. The palace is also the headquarters of the Gandhi National Memorial Society.[9] It also hosts a shop that deals in khaadi and other hand loomed textiles.[10] There is also a canteen. The complex also houses the samadhis of Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai. The marble samadhis contain the shes of both and are octagonal in structure. In 1992 a portion of Mahatma Gandhi's ashes were shifted in the complex and a similar (not replica) samadhi built. The three samadhis are enclosed in a walled complex with marble flooring and surrounded by a low wall.[2]

Activities organised at the palace

Aga Khan Palace as viewed from the left rear side

Gandhi Memorial society celebrates the following public functions at the palace:

Other than yearly events, morning prayer sessions are held daily at the samadhi since decades. The prayer draws huge crowds everyday, and the number goes up threefold on 2 October as people visit the place to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.[11]

Panoramic view from the palace

See also



  1. ^ a b Suryawanshi, Sudhir (1 February 2012). "State govt to set up special cell to preserve heritage structures". DNA India. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Datta, Rangan (30 January 2024). "Aga Khan Palace in Pune — where Mahatma Gandhi & other freedom fighters were put behind bars". The Telegraph. My Kolkata. Retrieved 2 February 2024.
  3. ^ a b "Respecting our legacy". Deccan Herald. 29 April 2012. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  4. ^ "On Gandhi Heritage Sites list, Aga Khan Palace, Yerawada jail". The Indian Express. 5 September 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Aga Khan Palace History". Archived from the original on 4 May 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  6. ^ Deshmukh, Vinita (16 July 1999). "In Shiv shahi, Aga Khan Palace has no place?". The Indian Express. Pune. Archived from the original on 23 February 2001. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Congress flays State Govt for neglect of Aga Khan palace". The Indian Express. Pune. 17 July 1999. Archived from the original on 27 September 2022. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  8. ^ Times News Network (1 May 2004). "Paint job 'taints' historic photos". The Times of India. Pune. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  9. ^ Aga Khan Palace Archived 9 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  10. ^ "Try these places". India Today. 15 February 2012. Archived from the original on 22 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Following the Mahatma". The Indian Express. 2 October 2009. Archived from the original on 27 September 2022. Retrieved 10 May 2012.