It was a fine evening and we reached our last leg of the sightseeing for the day. Befittingly, it was the Saras Baug, Pune where we had a rendezvous with nature impending. It is said that the park premise that is now existent had nothing but a lake earlier which dried and was later remade into the Baug. Within the landscaped beautiful garden is a temple of Ganesha too, the construction of which took place in the year 1750. It was done under the guidance of Mahadji Shinde of the Maratha Confederacy and Sawai Madhavrao Peshwa. The temple took about 34 years to finish; the work had begun in the year 1750 and was completed by 1784. I know the specifics not because I am a social sciences teacher but more because I like to keep my reading up to date about the places I travel. It feels so much better to be better informed about the places that it makes it doubly interesting then to visit it.
I reveled in the beautiful surroundings of the landscaped gardens in front of me. Also, the temple which is a feature of the place has been subjected to very many renovations in the period of 219 years of its existence. The inscriptions in the temple are proof of its rich legacy and its significance. Though, the locals maintain that the park also housed a zoo for the children but by 2005, all the animals had been shifted to the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park possibly owing to the lack of infrastructure for the upkeep of the animals. But, now the garden and the Temple in the area remain popular as major landmarks and draw a large number of tourists both domestic and international who include Pune in their itineraries.
A noteworthy fact that circulates among the locals is that the erstwhile Maratha rulers held most of their military discussions in the Saras Baug, Pune and in utmost secrecy. The sun was setting in the horizon painting a picture so beautifully that we stopped in our tracks to admire it. The next day we would pay the Lal Mahal Fort, Pune a visit to know more about it.