Yerwada Central Jail is a noted high-security jail in Yerwada, Pune, in Maharashtra. This is the largest jail in the state of Maharashtra, and also one of the largest prisons in South Asia, housing over 3,600 prisoners (2005) spread over various barracks and security zones, besides an open jail just outside its premises. Many famous personalities like Mahatma Gandhi have been jailed here during the Indian independence movement in 1930s and 1940s.
The campus is spread over 512 acres, holds over 3,600 prisoners and is one of the largest prisons in South Asia. Within the campus, the main high security jail is protected by four high walls and is divided into various security zones and barracks it even has egg-shaped cells meant for high-security prisoners. It has been known for overcrowding and poor living conditions after news reports in 2003 lead to Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MHRC) issuing a notice. Yerwada Central Jail was built in the year 1871 by the British, when the place was outside the city limits of Pune.
During British Raj the jail housed many freedom fighters especially during the years 1930 to 1942, which included Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Netaji Subhas Bose and Bal Gangadhar Tilak. In 1924 Veer Savarkar was also kept in this jail. Mahatma Gandhi spent several years in Yerwada Jail during India's freedom struggle, notably in 1932 and later in 1942 during the Quit India movement, along with many other freedom fighters. During his 1932 imprisonment, which started after his arrest in January 1932, he went on an indefinite fast to protest against the Communal Award on September 20, 1932, as a result he the famous Poona Pact was passed which he signed in this jail on 24 September 1932, he was later released in May 1933.