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Arsenal Tower: The Watch Tower

After the Marathas got defeated in Pune by British army around 1817 and got occupied by the Britishers they began to develop a cantonment area. One of the most important aspect was protection of these areas by armed forces. The Britishers needed some guarded space for their ammunition depot. So they built a ammunition storage space with a watch tower in 1822.

This tower still stands testimony to British era of Pune cantonment. The tower is located on Tarapore Road which runs parallel to Moledina Road (present Ambedkar Road going in front of Aurora Towers). Tarapore road is parallel to this road on other side, not on Main Street side.

The tower is not very tall ,but in those days it was tall enough to get a view over long distance, since there were no tall structures. The nearby Army houses were tiled roof houses, and squat single storey ones. The tower is square in shape built in stone, with tall pointed arch doors,and four big holes on the top. But all these openings are bricked now. I had a chance to stay in the house in next compound house (it was my father in law's house). I used to look at it curiously, as to what purpose it would have served, till I read its history. Now the old houses have gone and Army quarters have been built.

The area is now used to store supply depot items (probably). It still stands solidly giving it a perfect military look, when I last visited this area on my way to somewhere else.

Today it is the oldest monument in Cantonment area and believed to be appearing in the Heritage Structures List of Cantonment. It is not a spectacular structure ,but the oldest one and still standing tall. In olden days Moledina Road was known as Arsenal Road, denoting the military area of the Britishers and the nearby arsenal depot and the Arsenal Tower.

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