Exploring the Grandeur of Chitnavis Wada: A Glimpse into Nagpur’s Heritage

Exploring the Grandeur of Chitnavis Wada: A Glimpse into Nagpur’s Heritage

Exploring the Grandeur of Chitnavis Wada: A Glimpse into Nagpur’s Heritage

Continents such as Asia and Europe, as well as the rest of the world, offer various destinations for holistic living. One such destination is Swaswara, located on Om Beach in Gokarna. For a stay in Shekhawati, Piramal Haveli is a recommended option. If you are looking for luxury travel in a pilgrimage city, Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa is a great choice. Experience the vibrant lifestyle of Lucknow with a stay at Clarks Awadh. Discover the rich heritage of Nagpur by visiting Chitnavis Wada, a grand house located in the Mahal area.

This particular Wada stands out among the others for successfully maintaining its majestic and vintage appeal that is often associated with elite residences. I made my way inside by passing through a beautifully arched gate featuring a wooden door. A sign placed outside displayed its name and location.

When I entered Chitnavis Wada in Nagpur, I observed numerous buildings surrounding a spacious open area. I found it challenging to determine whether I was already inside the Wada or still outside due to the layout. The construction on the side of the main entrance had a distinct colonial feel to it. The wooden blind panels specifically reminded me of similar architectural features found in Colonial Calcutta.

The tall trees, which are likely older than the buildings nearby, provide a dense canopy. I entered the office as directed, and found a collection of antique wooden furniture, such as palanquins, wooden boxes, writing desks, and wooden bullock carts scattered throughout the room. It became apparent to me that this was the central Wada building. The structures I had seen outside were additional units used as guest houses during the time of British rule.

I received assistance from a polite man in charge of the establishment who provided me with a brochure. He also requested the staff to unlock the wada for me. I had low expectations, anticipating only the presence of attractive wooden pillars within the Wada. However, to my delight, there were additional pleasant surprises awaiting me. Although my initial observation was the carved wooden pillars surrounding the front courtyard.

Chitnavis Wada is a traditional mansion with three consecutive courtyards, known as 3-Chowk Haveli or Wada. This architectural layout resembles the one observed in Shekhawati Havelis. The first courtyard, commonly referred to as the public area, serves as a space where visitors, including guests and individuals conducting business, are received. In this particular Wada, it functions as the outer courtyard and also serves as the office for the head of the family.

Chitnavis was the title given to the chief documentation officer of a king. The Wada, or building, in question was constructed by Rakhmaji Ganesh Randive, who held the position of Chitnavis for the Bhosle kings of Nagpur. Rakhmaji Ganesh Randive arrived in Nagpur in the year 1744 CE, accompanying Raghuji – I Bhosle. Based on its stylistic details, it is estimated that this Wada is approximately 200 years old.

When I entered the first courtyard of Chitnavis Wada, I was immediately greeted by vibrant paintings in every direction. The open area of the courtyard is currently sheltered by wood, but the surrounding corridor still retains its calming mud flooring.

The walls were adorned with artworks showcasing the life of Krishna, which I later came to know is the revered deity of the family. These paintings depicted scenes from ancient epics such as Mahabharata. Additionally, there were framed prints of Raja Ravi Varma's famous artworks.

Located in a corner of the courtyard, there stands a charming wooden temple that bears resemblance to numerous temples found in Rajasthan. This temple is devoted to Krishna and exudes remarkable beauty. When one sits in front of this temple, they are completely enveloped by the presence of Krishna. This courtyard is aptly referred to as Deoghar Chowk, which translates to the deity's courtyard.

Located at the intersection of two streets, Family or Fountain Chowk is a charming area with a fountain at its center. Surrounding the fountain is a corridor with a earthy floor made of mud. We took a seat around the fountain, appreciating the cozy and inviting atmosphere of this section of the Wada. It was clear that this space was designated for family gatherings and meals, as I could envision the women of the family coming together here for casual conversations or to enjoy the warmth of the sun.

Kitchen Square

We entered through another door and arrived at the final square, which was likely frequented by the household staff. This area used to house the kitchen. Here, you can observe the presence of a grinding stone and grooves for pounding. Additionally, there is a well and a Tulsi plant. Colorful Palkis were scattered around the vicinity.

There is a fascinating aspect of the wall that is connected to the granary. It consists of a small opening that allows you to easily access the grains needed for cooking. This opening can also be referred to as a service chowk or the behind-the-scenes services for operating the wada.

Located on the side of this courtyard is the entrance to the family temple, known as the Murlidhar Temple. It was common for large homes, like this one, to have their own personal temple dedicated to their family's deity. The Murlidhar Temple features a small inner chamber and a spire in the Nagar architectural style. Inside the temple's hall, there are numerous wooden pillars, a characteristic I have noticed in several temples in Nagpur. Additionally, there are smaller temples dedicated to Hanuman and Garuda positioned on either side of the main temple.

Upon appreciating the insides, we step outside of the wada and marvel at its intricate wood carvings. One particular standout is a hanging corner adorned with depictions of a peacock and a parrot, which serves as a distinctive symbol of the talented woodcarvers in this area. Additionally, there are ornamental Banana flower motifs reminiscent of those found in the Peshwa wadas in Pune.

The higher levels of the building are linked to the guest houses situated on the outer side. The guest houses, which have a colonial influence, might have been utilized for entertaining or accommodating Europeans. Although it is connected to the main wada, this section is physically distinct, serving as a barrier between the family space and the guest space.

Across from the wada, there was a garden designed in the Charbhag style, which means it was divided into four sections by pathways. The garden is not as vibrant as it used to be, but I did come across an intriguing old handpump that is still functional.

On top of the Wada building, you have a vantage point to observe the inner courtyards and the Murlidhar temple. Additionally, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city that surrounds it. I had the opportunity to visit during sunset, and the charming red tiled roofs enhanced the atmosphere.

Throughout the years, the current generation of owners have made efforts to bring the Wada up to date by incorporating modern amenities such as bathrooms. Additionally, a section of the Wada is utilized as an office space for different organizations. Furthermore, they offer the Wada as a rental venue for occasions like weddings or small gatherings. As a nod to tradition, wooden planks are used to serve food in this setting.

Current access to the Wada is restricted and not available to the general public. To make arrangements for a visit, it is necessary to get in touch with the Sh Gangadhar Rao Chitnavis Trust office. The Wada's heritage tour is led by Architect Nitika Ramani, therefore it is recommended to coordinate with her for the best experience.

The amount of time required to fully experience it varies depending on how interested you are, but generally it takes around 1-

In the vicinity of Chitnavis Wada, there are numerous lanes where you can take a stroll and explore various Wadas and temples.

Other articles on this website discuss various topics such as the historical influence of the Ramayana in the region of Vidarbha, the impressive architecture of the Lingaraja Temple in Bhubaneshwar, and the charming hill station of Matheran in Maharashtra. This particular article has received positive feedback from readers, with two comments expressing gratitude for the new knowledge gained about Nagpur.

I find your blog to be a captivating and enlightening source of worldly knowledge. Your skillful storytelling and breathtaking photographs have introduced me to hidden gems that I never knew existed. Your talent for capturing the true essence of a place is truly impressive. Please continue sharing your adventures, as they continuously inspire and fuel my desire to explore the world!

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