Saturday, July 11, 2020
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Kesari Wada

 

Kesari Wada previously known as Gaikwad Wada, located at Narayan Peth in Pune at a distance of 2kms from the city centre is a historical monument. Built by Gaikwad Sarkar, the wada was the residence of Sayajirao Gaikwad, the prince of Baroda. In 1905 Bal Gangadhar Tilak bought it from Sayajirao Gaikwada and started his famous Kesari and Marati newspaper. Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak, the great freedom fighter and social reformer stayed here for a long time (1905 to till his death 1920).

The monument houses a small museum inaugurated by Shrimati Soniya Gandhi, the then Congress President of India on 22nd of January 1999 and a Library founded by Lokmanya Tilak on the 1st of August 1912 for his newspapers Kesari and Maratha. The museum on the ground floor consists of the first Indian National flag unfurl by Madam Cama, offices of Kesari and Maratha newspapers, mementos of Tilak such as his clothes, books, watch ,his writing desk, genealogical table ,replica of Tilak’s study room and cell in Mandalay Jail,orginal letters and many documents. Library on the second floor houses more than 50,000 books including the books written by Professor Jinsiwale, Lokhitwadi and other up to date intellectuals. The first and second floors of the monument is now used as the branch offices of the Bank of Maharashtra and the third floor houses the Kesari-maratha Trust Office.

The Wada that can be seen at present is a renovated one, but its huge wooden main entrance is still the original one. The entrance doors are carved with the figures of roaring ‘kesaris ‘(sanskrit word for lion). The hall well known as Lokmanya Sabhagriha found on the right side of Wada has been used for conducting various programmes. While moving across the open ground one can found a Bronze statue of Lokmanya Tilak at the back of a beautiful gold plated Ganesh idol. The walls on both sides have beautiful carvings, which shows Tilak initiating the celebrations of the Ganesh festival and Shivjayanti Festival. The open ground of the Kesari Wada has been used for social gatherings, lectures and meetings during the Ganesh festival in pre independence era. Tilak started the annual Ganesh festival at the courtyard with the aim of bringing people together and train them for the freedom struggle. At present during the Ganesh festival many cultural programmes like music concerts, lectures and competitions are conducted. Large number of visitors from whole over the country will gathered here to attend the festival. The Omkareshwar Temple and the Modi Ganesh Temple are the nearby attractions.

The museum and library of Kesari wada opens from 10 A. M. to 01 P. M. and again from 03 P. M. to 06 P. M. on all days. Entrance is free.


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