Encroachment on Heritage Sites A Case Study of Tulshi Baug

DOI : 10.17577/IJERTCONV10IS03049

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Encroachment on Heritage Sites A Case Study of Tulshi Baug

Ms. Savri Kulkarni Fourth Year B.ARCH 2021-2022 Sinhgad College of Architecture

Pune, India.

Abstract What is Encroachment?

Encroachment, in simple words, can be defined as a gradual advance beyond usual / acceptable limits. It can also be explained as unlawful occupation of land or extension in someone elses land without their permission.

From the process of mapping of Tulshi Baug, a plot of the said area is procured. This plot assists in dividing the area into further segments, wherein the study takes place. The area gets fractionated into four divisions; each division analyzed individually, contributes to the identification of encroachments in the region. This paper also represents, with the help of photographs, the current state of the identified Heritage Structures in Tulshi Baug. A documentary based on this study puts in picture the significance of this area and voices the reasons why its essence should be safeguarded.

Hence, the above stated research brings to light the issue of encroachments that are currently posing a threat to the historic and cultural character of Tulshi Baug and the Heritage Structures there.

KeywordsEncroachments; Tulshi Baug; Heritage Sites; Heritage Conservation.


    To study the current encroachments that are prevailing in the Tulshi Baug area of Pune City and to highlight the menace caused due to the same. To identify the problems that arise due to these encroachments and pose a threat to the sole identity of the area.


    By visiting the area of study and interacting with people and the stall vendors / shopkeepers there, the author gets to know about the history of the place and its significance in past as well as present context. By doing so, the author will further interpret on the encroachment issues that the area is facing today. This paper also voices the significance of the area, explores the site and carries out a mapping study in order to get a grasp on the current encroachments there.

    Tulshi Baug being one of the oldest parts of Pune city serves as a cultural heritage. This paper puts light on how modern day encroachment is changing the identity of the area. By doing the needful, one can try to preserve the character of the area without it being taken over by encroachments.


    Located in the core area of Pune city, Tulshi Baug is a busy market place. Well known for its historic temples with tall shikharas, the name Tulshi Baug indicates that the place once was a garden of tulsi plants. The temple of Lord Ram here, is quite noteworthy. Built during the Peshwa era under Naro Appaji Khire (Tulshibaugwale), this temple along with two other temples (one of Lord Ganpati and another of Lord Shiva) stands in around one acre of land. This space, formerly laid as a garden, is today completely paved in stone. The courtyard has been reshaped into a market trading all kinds of copper and brass utensils.

    A map showing the location of Tulshi Baug.

    Satellite View of the area.

    The area of study is based in Shukrawar Peth, Pune, which is an inseperable part of the citys congested core and a place

    that has witnessed the history of Pune. Tulshi Baug is surrounded by a number of major roads in Pune city namely, Laxmi Road towards the North, Shivaji Road towards the East and Bajirao Road towards the West; all of these being prime market locations themselves.


    1. History of Tulshi Baug : How was the Market developed?

      The 1700 was the Golden Era for Pune city while under the rule of the Peshwas. After the death of Balaji Vishwanath, Bajirao I took over as the then Peshwa and had his capital shifted from Saswad to Pune in search of a better capital town. This was when the construction of Wadas had started in the city. Shaniwar Wada was laid and the development of various wards (Peths) begun.

      It was during this time that Naro Appaji Khire decided to built a Ram Mandir at Tulshi Baug : an orchard that he owned. The temples Shikhara was constructed tall enough in order to symbolize the nobility of the Maratha Empire; which still is the tallest Shikhara in the state of Maharashtra. The area was then located in the citys outskirts, which gradually would become an inseperable part of the citys core. Later, Vishrambaug Wada and other significant structures were built in the proximity of Tulshi Baug and added to its splendor.

      During the British Rule, with further evolution of the Tulshi Baug area, new structures such as the Nagar Wachan Mandir (a city post and a library) came up. This was when it became difficult for the Khires (Tulshibaugwale) and Khasgiwales (the then owners) to maintain the huge orchard. Hence, they started renting out the spaces along the temple complex to various shops in order to generate revenue funds. Soon, a utensils market grew around the temple complex leading to the flocking of ladies who used the complex as a social interaction space.

      More shops came up in the vicinity to generate revenue for the temples maintenance. In addition to this, the British had decided to relocate a vegetable market, which was formerly held in the premesis of the Dilli Darwaza of Shaniwar Wada. The relocation site was chose opposite to Tulshi Baug temple, where once was the Khasgiwale Baug. Even after tremendous opposition from the localities, the market was shifted in front of Tulshi Baug temple and a complex was constructed for the same. Today known as the Mahatma Phule Mandai, was then known as Reay Market. To prove the mightiness of the British Government, the structure was constructed taller than the Ram Mandir Shikhara. The overall form of the market dominated the temple complex due to which the temple looked quite frail.

      A view of the Ram Mandir and the shops in its vicinity.

    2. Socio-cultural importance of Tulshi Baug

      While a part of the core of the city, Tulshi Baug is also a prime location for festive celebrations and processions. Pune

      being renowned for its Ganeshotsav, many Ganpati Mandals are located in and around Tulshi Baug. The area also pulls crowds of people during the celebrations of Ram Navami and Janmashtami.

    3. Hypothesis

      Today, encroachments seem to have taken over the overall cultural and historical essence of Tulshi Baug. Many people perceive the place to be nothing more than a large busy market in the centre of the city. This perspective being flawed, we need to change it in order to restore Tulshi Baugs cultural identity. One of the way of doing so might be identifying the encroachments that have seized the area and making an effort to prevent any further obtrusions.

    4. Literature Review

      In order to get to know more about the word encroachment and how it affects heritage sites, some papers were referred that talked about the same. This data collection provided us with many examples in India wherein encroachments have lead to the loss of the given sites identity. This study highlighted the fact that encroachments can be of various types; namely : land encroachment, visual encroachment, etc. From this study, it was also revealed that the modern development that takes place around the heritage sites may, at times, add up to visual encroachment and cause the heritage site to loose its individuality. Urbanization being inevitable, we also need to take into consideration the loss of heritage that comes along with it, and hence try to develop cities in a considerate manner that would work in acordance with the conservation of the citys built as well as cultural heritage. These papers also talked about how unawareness amongst general public leads to loss of heritage too. Therefore an effort to educate people about the importance of our heritage can help in its conservation.

    5. Papers Referred

      • Balancing the old and the new Nancy H. Welsh.

      • Heritage conservation : Challenges and new paradigms

        • Arun Menon.

      • Effects of urbanization on Heritage Buildings K. Kiruthiga, K. Thirumaran.

      • Conservation and management of Indian built heritages

        • Arnab Gantait, Priyakrushna Mohanty, G. Anjaneya Swamy.

      • Conservation of Heritage Sites in India Ehtesham Patel.

      • Conservation and the law in India Ar. Kiran Kalamdani.


    Located right in front of Vishrambaug Wada, stands the busy overcrowded market of Tulshi Baug. Today known for its huge bazaar, Tulshi Baug is also a significant heritage site

    in Pune. However, modern day development and the encroachments that have arose here have lead to a loss of identity of the area. Battling these odds, there still exist a few wadas and temples in Tulshi Baug that remind us of the markets history.

    A view of the main entrance of Tulshi Baug market.

    As the years have passed, this small area known for its utensils trade has expanded into a street mart and has gained fame as a place where one can buy anything and everything; that too at a significantly lower cost. With the growth of the market here, there came a number of stalls, hawkers and vendors who took over the bystreet. As a result, the congestion in this area shot up. Being bound by Laxmi Road, Shivaji Road and Bajirao Road on its sides, Tulshi Baug quickly became an overpopulated town square.

    With all this congestion came along the problem of traffic control and lack of parking spaces. Inspite of the construction of two parking arenas, these problems remain unsolved. The arenas being built without any consideration of the built heritage around, add up to the visual encroachment of the site. The whole area having mixed landuse, has no restrictions imposed on the height of the structures that are being built around it. This also leads to loss of scale of the heritage site along with visual encroachment.

    The main market at Tulshi Baug has four entrances; all of them being overcrowded throughout the day. Hawkers and stall owners can be found setting up their kiosks wherever free space is found, irrespective of the structures that get covered up in their tarpaulin.


    Herein, the site of study has been divided into four areas; referred to as lanes. Each lane studied individually in order to identify and highlight the heritage structures there and the encroachments that have taken over the place.

    1. Lane Number 01

      Lane Number 01 demarcated on Site map.

      Known as the main entrance to the Tulshi Baug market, is a street that passes along the Bank of Maharashtra building right in front of Vishrambaug Wada. Inconsistent in its width, this wide street narrows down as one goes walking along it.

      The Bank of Maharashtra building being one of the most oldest and prominent structures here, hasnt been spared by the encroaching stalls either.

      Tarpaulin sheets hanging from a prominent stone structure.

      One can see the vendors setting up kiosks that find support along the heritage structure itself. Tarpaulins hanging from over the buildings projections highlight the increasing issue of encroachments in the area, and so starts the market of Tulshi Baug. As one goes further in along this lane, a few old wadas can be seen; all of them covered up by the tarpaulin stalls and lacking maintenance.

      Ill-maintained structures around the place.

      Not only the kiosks but also some legally constructed stores that are set up in these wadas have extended their shop area by encroaching parts of the streets side way and by hanging products over scaffoldings that project from the said heritage structures. These scaffoldings often create a barrier and cover up the structure behind it. One can hardly identify the structures that back these scaffoldings.

      Stalls set up in front of Wadas.

      Vendors can be seen with their various stalls sitting right in front of the heritage structures, often not knowing that they are encroaching the occupied area. In order to find entrances to a few wadas, one has to make their way through the hanged

      items. Most of these items obstruct the view of the structures that lie behind them.

      Stalls set up in front of Wadas.

      The deteriorating condition of the Wadas in Tulshi Baug.

      Most of these structures being ill-maintained, are often seen by the locals as obsolete. A few stall owners, who were asked if they were aware of the fact that they had been encroaching the given area, responded to the question by saying that these structures were anyway useless and needed to be demolished. This highlights how unaware the local vendors are about the significance of the Tulshi Baug area.

      One of the most majestic heritage structures here is the Paranjape Wada. The wada was once the residing place of eminent Marathi writer, scholar, journalist, orator and freedom fighter Shivram Mahadev Paranjape. Even when the Paranjape Wada is enlisted in the register of Punes Historic Structures, battles encroachments on all its faces.

      Stalls set up in front of Paranjape Wada are blocking the view of the structure and encroaching the given site.

      This lane also opens up to an entrance to the Historic Temple of Lord Ram in Tulshi Baug. However, this entrance is hard to find. An old worn out structure with scaffoldings is what allows entrance to this temple. Afflicted by the encroachments, one can hardly distinguish this entrance from other structures around. A stall has been set up at the entrance as well, causing a trouble for devotees and visitors to enter the temple.

      Entrance to the Temple of Lord Ram that was built during the reign of Peshwas (1700s); today stands seized by the encroachments on all its sides.

      As one enters the temple, there are stores on both the sides of the entrance alley. There also are a few advertisement flyers stuck to the entrance door. The stores in the alley have extended their areas too by encroaching the walkway. The shopkeepers set up various stalls in front of their shops that encroach the walkway area.

      The alley opens up into a verandah that spills out towards the temple. The surroundings of the temple arent maintained either. There can be seen various stalls and shops in the temple verandah too. Also ill-maintained buildings in the temples surroundings lead to visual encroachment on the heritage site.

      The temple has been renovated and conserved, but there lie dissembled scaffolding scraps in the yard behind the temple complex. The remaining two entrance alleys of the complex also have shops along their perimeters, similarly encroached by the shopkeepers using tarpaulins and temporary stalls for display purposes outside their shops.

      A view of the Temple courtyard that is also being taken over by illegally arranged stalls and kiosks.

      The entrance of the Lord Ram Temple on this street is also being ill-treated. Tourists / Non-locals can hardly spot this entrance that should rather stand out from the remaining structures around it. The Lord Ram Temple being one of the oldest structures constructed here, should be conserved.

      C. Lane Number 03

      The wadas inside the Temple complex are also falling apart due to negligence of the conservation agencies.

    2. Lane Number 02

    Lane Number 02 demarcated on Site map.

    The structures in Lane Number 02 are facing the same issues, if not less, as the structures in Lane Number 01.

    <>This lane lies on the outer side of Tulshi Baug, towards Mahatma Phule Mandai. Being a part of the Shanipar-Mandai Road, this lane is less congested as compared to the main entrance walkway of Tulshi Baug. Nevertheless, hawkers and vendors have managed to encroach the backside of the heritage structures too. Identical encroachments as seen in Lane number 01 can be spotted here too.

    The back façade and backyard of the Lord Ram Temple.

    Lane Number 03 demarcated on Site map.

    The third entrance alley of the temple opens up on a walkway in Tulshi Baug. This walkway being studied as Lane number 03, is so overcrowded by shops, hawkers and vendors that one can hardly pass through the lane without getting pushed against. Similar to Lane number 01 and Lane number 02, this walkway has been encroached by the shopkeepers and stall vendors.

    One can hardly identify the structures behind the tarpaulin sheets, that manage to cover up almost every part of the heritage site. However no listed structure / wadas / temples are located in this lane, it still houses a few wadas that depict the lifestyle and the contruction techniques that were used during the period of their construction.

    Images of the wadas in Lane Number 03. One can hardly see the elevation of these structures due to the tarpaulin sheets laid in front of them.

    D. Lane Number 04

    Lane Number 04 demarcated on Site map.

    Lane number 04 is home to another significant structure that stands amidst the busy market. Constructed in the year 1931, the Gothic styled structure is known as the Kakakuwa Mansion. As its name suggests, this building, now a restaurant and commercial complex, was once a masion. Encroachments have almost taken over this building; the structures name plate, once visible, is now lost somewhere under the tarpaulin sheets.

    Current condition of the Kakakuwa Mansion.

    Interactions that were done with the locals, vendors and shopkeepers in Tulshi Baug provided the writer with more information about the history of the place : the wadas that are seen in Lane number 01 were once the residences of the Khajindars of the Peshwa court.


    After completing the study of current encroachments in the Tulshi Baug region of Pune city, it has been observed that the locals, stall vendors as well as the shop owners; being unaware of the significance of the area, have unanimously encroached the site and hence the Heritage structures that stand here.

    Tulshi Baug, being one of the most busy areas in Pune, has an untold history. Most locals and the shopkeepers who have encroached the site are unaware of the importance that Tulshi Baug holds in the history of Pune and also as a heritage site. People being uninformed about the areas historic stature, consider the old structures in the area as obsolete.

    If conserved, even today Tulshi Baug can turn itself into a potential heritage site that might inform people more about the towns history and making.

    Tulshi Baug retains most of the historic structures that were built here during the Peshwa rule. From Stone-built Gothic styled buildings to Puneri Wadas, the area has alot to reveal.

    However, today, Tulshi Baug is losing its historical identity and turning into another busy market. Encroachments by hawkers and vendors have consumed the place to its core. The majestic structures that once stood tall amidst Pune are today being covered by tarpaulin sheets. The wadas in the area are degrading due to ignorance of the government organizations in preserving them. Once the pride of the area, the wadas have today turned into mere supports for hanging the tarpaulin sheets.

    People need to understand the gist of the area and hence try to protect it from the encroachments that are taking over the place.


In order to work towards the restoration of the Heritage site of Tulshi Baug and attempt to conserve the sites sole identity, the Author has put forward some general guidelines.

  1. Educate

    Programs should be implemented to encourage the local understanding of Heritage Resources and the development of the local Heritage.

  2. Improve Oversight

    The organizations / stakeholders must be well co-ordinated to improve the issuance of resources. A social audit system should be developed to monitor the government efforts towards conservation and the involvement of the stakeholders in the same.

  3. Inclusion

    The informal sector should also be taken into consideration while planning and implementation of any of the conservation programmes. In particular, the informal sector should not be ignored in this process as it is responsible for a significant amount of encroachments done on street level.

    This sector should be included in the conservation and restoration process and be treated as stakeholders in order to control the development and stabilize their roles. Schemes may include licensing, semi-permanent location of stalls etc.

  4. Sustainable Tourism

Developing tourism in the area would help generate revenue for the maintenance of the monuments of the area as well as provide a source of income for the locals.

A capital-intensive development of the area should be promoted by making the First and the Second tier monuments ticketed. Third tier monuments can be studied and divided into groups according to the INTACH grading system. A-Grade monuments could be treated the same as First and Second tier monuments while flexibility may be introduced in the conservation of B-Grade and C-Grade structures.

Clearly, the infrastructure of the city around the heritage sites should be developed as the tangential issues such as over

population, traffic congestion and waste management have a significant impact on the Heritage Structures as well. But above all, policies should be enforced.

While the intention of the government in conservation is very clear on paper, it fails to be properly executed on site. By including the local population in the conservation process and by encouraging responsible ownership of the heritage sites, the government could implement their policies more efficiently.


  1. Balancing the old and the new Nancy H. Welsh.

  2. Heritage conservation : Challenges and new paradigms Arun Menon.

  3. Effects of urbanization on Heritage Buildings K. Kiruthiga, K. Thirumaran.

  4. Conservation and management of Indian built heritages Arnab Gantait, Priyakrushna Mohanty, G. Anjaneya Swamy.

  5. Conservation of Heritage Sites in India Ehtesham Patel.

  6. Conservation and the law in India Ar. Kiran Kalamdani.

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