Thursday, 19 November 2020

Interesting Bhor Rajwada, Bhor, Maharashtra - a simple, but elegant monument of Maratha period

Inner courtyard, Bhor palace, Bhor, Maharashtra.

Bhor palace, Maharashtra fine  wooden images, etc in the pillar

Bhor State was one of the 9-gun salute Maratha princely states of British India. It was the only state belonging to the Poona Agency under the Bombay Presidency, which became later part of the Deccan States Agency. Along with Akkalkot State, Aundh State, Phaltan State and Jath State, it was one of the Satara Jagirs. It became part of the Indian union in March, 1948 after independence. 

1909 Imperial Gazetteer of India Bombay Presidency II map section/, 

Bhor Rajwada also known as Bhor Palace) is a historical palace at Bhor in the Maharashtra state of India.  An  official royal  residence  of the Rajas of the Princely State of Bho, it was founded by Shangarji Narayan Gandekar (Desashta Rigvedi  Marathi Brahmin), pantsachiv one of the hereditary ministers appointed by  Chatrapati Rajaram (in 1697. This amazing palace  was built blending native Indian and European Renaissance Architectural styles. Gothic influence is well pronounced. Its builder was ruler  Chimnajirao, the ninth ruler of Bhor ( the third ruler happened to be the 2nd son of renowned  first ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji).  It is said the then construction cost was around  INR 2 lakh in 1869, a big sum in that period.  During the colonial rule, Bhor State was one of the 9-gun salute Maratha princely states of British India apparently taken over by the wily British invoking the Doctrine of Lapse.  Surprisingly, it was the only state under the  Poona Agency of the Bombay Presidency. Subsequently, it became part of the  Deccan States Agency. The town Bhor is about 51 km from the Pune Metro.  Located in the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, this small Maratha state covered an area of 2,396 square kilometers and was one of the Satara Jagirs.

Bhor palace, Bhor, Maharashtra, details on pillar

Inside one of the rooms in the  Bhor  palace.grille/mesh on the window,

The last palace, now known as Old Palace or the Wooden Palace, was  turned into ashes in 1869 due to an unexpected fire mishap  during the Ram Navami festival.  Undeterred, Raja Chimnaji Raghunathrao had a new,  spacious and strong palace rebuilt  on the site of the Old Palace. Cloe to the Bhatgar Dam, the Rajwada of Bhor is a simple, but beautiful palace with large imposing pillars in its courtyard. There are inner and outer courtyards; square in shape, the rooms in the inner courtyard  align uniformly in square plan and it is assumed, it is the living quarters of the royal family. On the other hand, the outer larger courtyard area was mainly used for   darbars - meeting the common citizens by the ruler along with his ministers. The ruler would get  to know the grievances of the common people, their social issues, lack of public amenities,  pitfalls in his administration  administration and other problems that needed the attention of his administration. There are old offices around the palace  and presently some  government departments function there.   Near-by are located a  bathing ghat on the river bank and a  few old Hindu temples.  The wada was studied in 1930's by Prof. Claude Batley, of Sir J. J.


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