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 like Asia and Europe, as well as the rest of the world, offer various destinations for holistic living experiences. One such place is Swaswara, located on Om Beach in Gokarna, where visitors can indulge in a holistic lifestyle. For accommodation in Shekhawati, Piramal Haveli is a recommended option. If luxury travel is preferred, the Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa in the city of Pilgrim is a great choice. For those interested in experiencing the Lucknow lifestyle, Clarks Awadh provides an authentic experience. In Nagpur, one can explore the rich heritage by visiting Chitnavis Wada, a grand house located in the Mahal area of Chitnavispura.

This particular Wada stands out among the rest for successfully maintaining the splendor and nostalgic atmosphere of the prestigious mansions. I made my way inside through an arched gate that featured a wooden door. A sign outside displayed the name and location of the Wada.

When I entered the gate of Chitnavis Wada in Nagpur, I was surrounded by buildings and could see an open ground. It was hard to tell if I was already inside the Wada or still outside, as the construction on the main door side had a distinct colonial era feel to it. The wooden blind panels, in particular, reminded me of similar structures I had seen in Colonial Calcutta.

The tall trees, which are likely older than the nearby buildings, provide a dense forest environment. As I entered the designated office space, I noticed a collection of ancient wooden furniture, such as palanquins, wooden boxes, writing desks, and wooden bullock carts. It became clear to me that this area is the central Wada. The additional structures I observed outside were built as guest houses during the time of British rule.

I received assistance from a kind man who is in charge of the area. He provided me with a brochure and requested the staff to allow me access to the wada. My expectations were not high, as I only anticipated seeing well-crafted wooden pillars in the wada. Nevertheless, surprises are always around the corner, as I was pleasantly surprised to discover the beautifully carved wooden pillars surrounding the front courtyard.

Chitnavis Wada is a traditional Indian mansion with three courtyards arranged in a row. This architectural style, known as a 3-Chowk Haveli or Wada, can also be found in Shekhawati Havelis. The first courtyard, known as the First Chowk, serves as a public space where guests and business associates are received. In the case of Chitnavis Wada, this outer courtyard also functions as the office of the family's patriarch.

Chitnavis was a title given to the head documentation officer of a king. The Wada, or building, mentioned in the text was constructed by Rakhmaji Ganesh Randive, who held the position of Chitnavis for the Bhosle kings of Nagpur. Randive arrived in Nagpur in 1744 CE alongside Raghuji – I Bhosle. Based on the stylistic details, it is believed that the Wada is approximately 200 years old.

I entered the initial courtyard and found myself immersed in a vibrant display of paintings. Although the open area was now covered with wood, the surrounding corridor still had a calming mud floor.

The walls were adorned with paintings that portrayed the life of Krishna, who I later learned is the revered deity of the family. These paintings depicted scenes from famous epics like Mahabharata. Additionally, there were framed lithographs of Raja Ravi Varma's artworks.

Located in one section of the courtyard stands a charming wooden temple that bears resemblance to several temples found in Rajasthan. This particular temple is dedicated to the deity Krishna, and it exudes a remarkable beauty. When one sits in front of this temple, they are completely enveloped in Krishna's presence. This courtyard is aptly named Deoghar Chowk, signifying its status as the deity's sacred space.

The next chowk we entered was called Family or Fountain Chowk. In the center of this chowk, there was a beautiful fountain. Surrounding the fountain was a corridor with mud flooring. We found a spot near the fountain and took a moment to appreciate this cozy and welcoming area of the Wada. It seemed to be a place where family members would gather to enjoy meals together. I could envision the women of the family coming here to chat or bask in the sunlight.

Kitchen Chowk

We entered through another door and arrived at the final courtyard, which was likely utilized mostly by the household staff. This particular area used to house the kitchen. In this space, you can observe a grinding stone and grooves for pounding. Additionally, there is a well and a Tulsi plant present. Colorful Palkis were scattered throughout the area.

One intriguing aspect is a tiny aperture in the wall that links to the granary. By simply opening the window, one can easily access the grains needed for cooking. This space could also be referred to as a service area or the behind-the-scenes operations for running the wada.

There is a doorway located on the side of this courtyard that leads to the family temple. It was common for large households to have a personal temple devoted to their family deity, and in this particular household, it is called the Murlidhar temple. The temple consists of a small inner sanctum and a tower in the Nagar architectural style. Inside the temple, there is a mandapa filled with wooden pillars, a feature that I noticed in many temples in Nagpur. Additionally, there are smaller temples dedicated to Hanuman and Garuda situated on either side of the main temple.

Upon appreciating the interior of Chitnavis Wada, we proceed to the front of the wada and appreciate the craftsmanship of its woodwork. A distinct feature created by the woodcarvers here is a hanging corner adorned with a peacock and parrot. Additionally, there are also decorative elements resembling the Banana flower endings found in the Peshwa wadas in Pune.

The higher levels of the building are linked to the external guest houses. The guest houses, which have a colonial style, might have been utilized to entertain or accommodate European visitors. While connected to the main wada, this section is physically distinct, serving as a barrier between the family space and the area designated for guests.

Across from the wada, there was a garden designed in the Charbhag style, which includes walking paths that divide the garden into four sections. The garden is not as vibrant as it used to be, but I did come across an intriguing antique handpump that is still functional.

Atop the Wada building, one can enjoy a panoramic view of the inner courtyards and the Murlidhar temple. Additionally, the rooftop offers a splendid view of the city skyline. I had the opportunity to be there during sunset, where the charming red tiled roofs enhanced the overall ambiance.

Throughout the years, the current owners of the Wada have attempted to incorporate modern amenities, such as bathrooms, into the property. Additionally, a portion of the Wada is utilized as an office space for different organizations. The owners also offer the option to rent out the venue for events like weddings or small gatherings. Interestingly, traditional wooden planks are utilized to serve food at these occasions.

At the moment, the place is not accessible to the general public. If you wish to visit, you will need to get in touch with the office of Sh Gangadhar Rao Chitnavis Trust. The heritage tour of the Wada is organized by Architect Nitika Ramani, so it is recommended to arrange the visit through her.

The amount of time it takes to see it varies depending on how interested you are, but generally it can be done in

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

Other articles related to Nagpur include the Ramtek, which showcases the influence of the Ramayana in Vidarbha. Additionally, the Lingaraja Temple in Bhubaneshwar is known for its remarkable Kalinga architecture. Another interesting place to visit in Maharashtra is Matheran, a charming hill station. This article has been found useful by readers, who appreciate the new information provided about Nagpur. The author is thanked for sharing this knowledge.

I consider your blog as a portal that opens up the world for me. Your captivating narratives and breathtaking images have allowed me to explore unfamiliar places that I had no knowledge of before. Your talent in capturing the essence of each destination is truly extraordinary. Please continue to share your adventures, as they consistently stimulate my desire to travel and explore new horizons!

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