Continents like Asia and Europe, as well as the rest of the world, offer various opportunities for holistic living. One such place is Swaswara, located on Om Beach in Gokarna, which provides a serene environment for individuals seeking a holistic lifestyle. For those looking for accommodation in Shekhawati, Piramal Haveli is a great option to consider. It offers a unique experience that combines luxury and traditional heritage. If you're looking for luxury travel in a pilgrim's city, the Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa is a perfect choice. It allows you to indulge in luxury while exploring the spiritual side of Pushkar. Clarks Awadh offers a chance to experience the vibrant life of Lucknow, immersing yourself in its rich culture and traditions. In Nagpur, Chitnavis Wada is a must-visit heritage site that showcases the grand houses of the elite in Maharashtra. Located in the Mahal area, it offers a glimpse into the city's history and architectural beauty.
This particular Wada stands out among others for successfully maintaining the elegance and nostalgic appeal of the prestigious residences. As I made my way in, I passed through an arched entrance featuring a wooden door. On a sign outside, the name and location of the Wada were proudly displayed.
Exploring Chitnavis Wada in Nagpur, I noticed numerous buildings encircling a spacious courtyard. It was quite perplexing to determine whether I was already inside the Wada or still outside, as the surroundings seamlessly blended together. The architecture of the main entrance, with its ongoing construction, evoked a sense of the colonial era. Interestingly, the wooden blind panels reminded me of comparable structures present in Colonial Calcutta.
The tall trees that surround the area appear to be much older than the buildings nearby. As I entered the designated office space, I noticed an abundance of antiquated wooden furniture, such as palanquins, wooden boxes, writing desks, and bullock carts. It became clear to me that this is the primary Wada, while the structures I saw outside were additional buildings used as guest houses during the British era.
I received assistance from a man in charge of the establishment who provided me with a brochure and requested the staff to open the Wada for me. My expectations were not high, as I only anticipated seeing beautifully carved wooden pillars within the Wada. Nevertheless, surprises are always just around the corner. Initially, I came across the carved wooden pillars surrounding the front courtyard.
Chitnavis Wada is a traditional mansion with three courtyards arranged in a row. It resembles the architectural design seen in Shekhawati Havelis. The first courtyard, known as the First Chowk, is typically used for public purposes and is where guests and individuals conducting business would visit. In this particular case, the first courtyard serves as the office space for the head of the family.
Chitnavis was the chief documentation officer of a king. The Chitnavis Wada, a building in Nagpur, was constructed by Rakhmaji Ganesh Randive, who held the position of Chitnavis for the Bhosle kings. Randive arrived in Nagpur in 1744 CE alongside Raghuji – I Bhosle. The Wada is estimated to be around 200 years old, judging by its stylistic features.
As I entered the initial courtyard, I found myself surrounded by vibrant paintings. The courtyard, which was once open, is now sheltered by a wooden structure. However, the surrounding corridor retains its comforting mud flooring.
The walls were adorned with paintings that depicted the life of Krishna, whom I would later learn is the revered deity of the family. These paintings included scenes from famous epics such as Mahabharata, as well as framed lithographs of Raja Ravi Varma's renowned artworks.
Located in a specific area of the courtyard, there is a charming wooden temple that bears resemblance to several temples found in Rajasthan. This particular temple is devoted to Krishna and is known for its exquisite beauty. Sitting in front of this temple creates a sense of being fully encompassed by Krishna's presence. The courtyard itself is appropriately named Deoghar Chowk, signifying its significance as the sacred space dedicated to the deity.
At the junction called Family or Fountain Chowk, we entered a door that led us to another open space with a fountain at its center. Surrounding the fountain was a corridor with a floor made of mud. We found a spot near the fountain and took a moment to appreciate this cozy and inviting section of the Wada. It was clear that this area was designated for family gatherings and shared meals. I could envision the women of the family coming together here for friendly conversations or to bask in the warmth of the sun.
We entered another door which took us to the final courtyard, which was likely used primarily by the household staff. This area used to be the kitchen. Here, you can observe the grinding stone and grooves for pounding ingredients. There is also a well and a sacred Tulsi plant. Colorful carts called palkis were scattered around the area.
A fascinating aspect is a tiny hole in the wall that is linked to the storage area for grains. By simply opening the window, one can easily access the necessary grains for cooking. This opening can also be referred to as a service area or the behind-the-scenes facilities for operating the wada.
Located on the side of this square, there is a door that leads to the private temple of the Murlidhar family. Like many other large traditional homes, this wada also has a personal temple devoted to the family's chosen deity. The Murlidhar temple features a compact inner sanctum and a shikhara (tower) designed in the architectural style of Nagar. Inside the temple's hall, there are numerous wooden pillars, a common feature found in many temples in Nagpur. Additionally, there are smaller temples dedicated to Hanuman and Garuda positioned on either side of the main temple.
When we finish appreciating the inside of Chitnavis Wada, we step outside and admire the beautiful woodwork on its exterior. A distinctive feature of the woodcarvers here is a hanging corner adorned with a peacock and parrot. Additionally, there are Banana flower designs similar to those found on Peshwa wadas in Pune.
The higher levels of the building are linked to the exterior guest houses. It is possible that the colonial section of the guest houses was utilized for entertaining or accommodating Europeans. This section is attached to the main wada but is physically distinct, forming a division between the family space and the guest space.
Across from the wada, there was a garden designed in the Charbhag style, with walking paths dividing it into four sections. The garden has undergone some changes and is not as vibrant as it once was. Nonetheless, I came across a fascinating old handpump that is still operational.
On top of the Wada building, you have a vantage point to observe the inner courtyards and the Murlidhar temple. Additionally, you have a picturesque view of the city skyline. I had the opportunity to visit at sunset, where the slanted red tiled roofs added a unique atmosphere to the scene.
Throughout the years, the current owners of the ancestral home have made efforts to incorporate modern amenities such as bathrooms. A portion of the Wada is utilized as an office space for different organizations. Additionally, they also offer the space for rent for special occasions such as weddings or small gatherings. Interestingly, traditional wooden planks are employed to serve food in a customary manner.
Currently, the location mentioned is not accessible to the general public. To arrange a visit, individuals should reach out to the office of the Sh Gangadhar Rao Chitnavis Trust. Architect Nitika Ramani offers a heritage tour of the Wada, so it is advisable to coordinate with her for the visit.
The amount of time it takes to see it will vary from person to person, ranging from 1 to 2 hours,
In the streets surrounding Chitnavis Wada, there are numerous Wadas and temples that you can explore by foot.
Other articles in the same category include "Ramtek – The Influence of Ramayana in Vidarbha" and "Lingaraja Temple in Bhubaneshwar – An Architectural Masterpiece of Kalinga." There is also an article about Matheran, a charming hill station in Maharashtra. This article has received two comments expressing gratitude for the valuable information about Nagpur.
Your blog has provided me with a unique perspective on the world. Through your captivating narratives and breathtaking images, I have been introduced to unknown and hidden locations. Your talent for capturing the true spirit of a place is truly exceptional. Please continue to share your adventures, as they consistently spark my desire to explore!
Please click on "Cancel reply" to leave a response. Remember to save your name, email, and website in this browser if you want to comment again in the future.
In this code snippet, the element with the ID "ak_js_1" is being accessed using the document.getElementById() method. Then, the attribute "value" of this element is being set to the current timestamp using the getTime
Best 47 Travel Books That Ignite the Desire to Travel
Neemrana Fort Palace – A Luxurious Hotel with a Rich Heritage
Famous Dishes from Kumaon Cuisine in Uttarakhand
Utorda Beach, a Must-Visit Beach in South Goa
Exploring Nandankanan Zoological Park in Bhubaneshwar