Purandare Clan of Saswad as Architectural Patrons

DOI : 10.17577/IJERTCONV10IS03039
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Purandare Clan of Saswad as Architectural Patrons

Ar. Siddhant Gadade (Author)
Sinhgad College of Architecture, Vadgaon Bk.,
Department of Architectural Conservation (AC),
Pune, Maharashtra, India.

Dr. Vaishali Latkar (Co-Author)
Sinhgad College of Architecture, Vadgaon Bk.,
Department of Architectural Conservation (AC),
Pune, Maharashtra, India.

Abstract The Purandares were an important clan in the Maratha land during Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century. They migrated from the region of Karnataka to Maharashtra and were appointed as the administrator of Pune and Saswad. Later on, Trimbak Bhaskar ruled the restored jaghir of Saswad until Ambajipant Purandare took over. After this, Purandare family rose to prominence. Close association with Balaji Vishwanath Bhat, resulted in Purandare getting more power and wealth that enabled them to patronize art and architecture. The paper explores the nature of patronage of Purandare.

This research is primarily qualitative type, inductive and exploratory. It is based on secondary literary sources and primary filed study of identified and studied built typologies.

The research concludes with the planning principles of Saswad and temples and demonstrated the Maratha town planning principles. Purandare patronized temple building activity along with residential typologies.

KeywordsHistory, Patronage, Architecture

  1. INTRODUCTIONIn the Maratha Period, during the rule of Shivaji Maharaj, in 17th Century A.D., many trustworthy and capable persons became Sardars1 and villages were given to them as jaghirs. Similarly, Purandares of Saswad were an important and historic family during the 18th Century A.D. After the allotment of responsibilities to the Purandares as the administrator of the Peshwas, that played an important role in providing patronage in the field of architecture, developing Saswad town as their capital and constructing Wadas and temples prominently.
  2. HISTORY OF PURANDARESAs per (Purandare V., 2021) the history of Purandares can be traced back to 12th Century where Mudgalbhatta Purandare is said to be the founding forefather of the clan who migrated from Karnataka region to Maharashtra. The main person of the family is said to be Trimbak Bhaskar in 17th Century (Kasture, 2016) Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj gave the Sabnisi2 of Purandar Fort to Trimbak Bhaskar and this can be the evidence that Trimbak Bhaskar to be the clan person of Purandares. (Kasture, 2016)1 Sardar- Elite class post who was administrator of a particular region

    2 Sabnis- Business Officer

    Purandares served as the Shiledars3 in the Maratha Land initially but later, the dignity of this royal family raised and they became the Sardars, as Ambajipant Purandare was the administrator in the Maratha Period. In the later phase Balaji Vishwanath Bhatta was coronated as Peshwas, Purandares were given the rights and other responsibilities. The bond between the Purandares and Balaji Vishwanath Bhatta got so strong in the 1690s and remained unchanged till the decline of the Peshwa Empire. The persons who stood beside was Dengle, Vinchurkar and Nilkanthrao Purandare. (Kasture, 2016) Meanwhile, before the total decline of the Peshwa empire, it was Nilkanthrao Purandare who patron Rs. One Lacs for development of a village (Duff, 1826)

    Ambajipant became the Mutalik4 of the Peshwas and Malhar Tukdev as the Phadnis and Modhave village was allotted to him as his jaghir. Also, Ambajipant were heading the post of Potnis5 and the Jamadarkhana6 of the Peshwas. Therefore, the treasure was in the hands of Purandares and therefore did contributed in the development. Before that, Purandare and Bhatt took the responsibility of Pune region by the orders of Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj. During the siege lead to the fort of Sinhgad by the Mughals, Purandare provided armory and other military equipments for the Maratha soldiers in the war. But, due to the agitations by the Mughals, Gomaji Vishwanath Purandare ordered Rs 50,000 of ransom money to the guard of the fort and loosened the siege of Sinhgad. (Puradnare, 1929)

  3. SASWAD AS A MARATHA TOWNThe History of Saswad can be traced back to 13th Century but mainly evolved as a Maratha Town in the late 17th Century and emerged as the capital of Purandares in the early 18th Century as it was restored to the royal family by Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj of Satara when Balaji Vishwanath Bhatta was coronated as the Peshwa. The 18th Century proved to be the hey days for the evolution and development of the town where new architectural renaissance took place.A. Evolution of a Maratha Town

    The transformation of Saswad happened along the bank of Karha river according to the principles of Maratha Town Planning and evolved in a larger village over the period of time. As per Dr. Avinash Sowani, the amalgamation of small

    3 Shiledar- An officer taking care of weapons, horses and other equipments required for warfare

    4 Mutalik- An agent of the minister having responsibilities of the office

    5 Potnis- A Cash Keeper

    6 Jamadarkhana- The place use to keep the treasure or money

    clusters or Wadis for expansion of a village using centralization, new Bajarpeth were established outside the original expanse of the village where decentralization is been seen. And in the last, some Peth7 and Puras were amalgamated in the original expanse of the village.

    During late 18th Century, several Kasba8 Villages got converted into towns and few of these villages like Pune got converted into to Shahar or cities and conversion took place with the support and patronage from the powerful leaders and the administrators. New residential arrangements were made in the village considering the increase population and the existing Bajarpeth9 were sufficient for sufficing the basic needs of the residents. Pune and Satara became the political head quarter and the important destination of the Maratha Empire and were financially patronized. Similarly, Saswad as a Maratha Town represents an example of reformation of a Kasba Village made into a small town in the middle 18th Century.

    Fig. 1. Centralization of Wadi’s and other Villages in the expanse of Mouja Village

    Source: Maratha Town and City Planning by Dr. Avinash Sowani

    Fig. 2. Decentralization of a Village amalgamating Peth and Pura’s

    Source: Maratha Town and City Planning by Dr. Avinash Sowani

    The expanse of Kasba Saswad increased and many new residential colonies were added. Brahman Aali10 , Peth Somwar were established in the 18th Century and Kasba Saswad evolved as a town not because of the Bajarpeth but due to the new residential colonies and settlements. Currently, there are many new mercantile settlements in the nearby vicinity and outskirts of the town along Pune-Baramati Road.

    7 Peth- Residential Neighborhood

    8 Kasba- large mercantile village or a small city.

    9 Bajarpeth- Market Place

    10 Brahman Aali- A settlement formed by Brahmin families.

    Fig. 3. Imaginary Map of Saswad in 18th Century

    Source: Maratha Town and City Planning by Dr. Avinash Sowani

    Fig. 4. Evolved town of Saswad in 20th Century

    Source: Maratha Town and City Planning by Dr. Avinash Sowani

    Fig. 4 shows the evolved town of Saswad in 20th Century with new settlements like Brahman Aali, Peth Somwar, Peth Bahiravpura around the historic Sarkarwada of Purandares.

  4. PATRONAGEThe concept of Patron or Patron-Client relationship comes from the Roman History (Sahasrabuddhe, 2017) The study of patronage and architecture is also one of the important concerns in the study of history as it is also a part of a community which is explained in three ways such as embedded in society, deliberae act of choice and in the type of service.The concept of embedded patronage deals with the Yajman11 as a culture seen in Maharashtra. The next patronage can be explained is in the Form of Exchange, in simple

    11 Yajman- client of a priest or of attendants who are offered gratification in the form of cash.

    language termed as Dana and Dakshina12 seen in a larger context in the Peshwa Period which can be dominated by the Brahman Leaders and patron as the Yajamans on the religious front. Though architectural patronage is difficult to study, it can be put forth through the styles that were prominent in that period. just to summaries the basics of patronage it is the idea of Yajman, acted as a patron of Purta Dharma as a religious duty of a person and leadership patronizing construction projects. (Sahasrabuddhe, 2017). Therefore, the patronage by the rulers, elite class and religious leaders are involved in the religious activities. The eighteenth century witnessed the importance included the traditional noble families but a new elite class was formed around the leadership of the Peshwas who were the Brahmins, especially of administrators, Military leaders and Bankers like Phadnis, Tulshibauhwale, Purandare, Bhide, and others.

    There is also some extreme individuality in the choice of the language of the architecture seen in the 18th Century. All the temples at Ssvad were designed in the so-called revivalist Yadava style (Sohoni, 1998) except for few temples which got patron under the scheme of renovation during the Peshwa rule. The choice of the term may be arguable but the use of a specific language by the family for their temple construction activity which spans the first half of the eighteenth century is an expression of identity which the family was defining. (Sahasrabuddhe, 2017) Purandare patron their own architectural style with Maratha Architecture as the foremost style during that period. Architectural language in such cases became a tool to forge an identity as distinct from the rest. (Sahasrabuddhe, 2017)

    Purandares patron their own architectural style which became an identity during that period which got reflected in the architecture which got constructed by them in the 18th Century. These built architectural typologies consisted of Gadhi13 and temples in the town. These temples and Wada were commissioned by Purandares.

  1. Sarkar Wada, SaswadFig. 5. Location map of Sarkar Wada and Ganpati Temple, SaswadSource: Google Earth

    12 Dakshina- Offerings made in terms of money.

    13 Gadhi- Any typology protected by huge fortification wall

    The Sardar Purandare Wada or Sarkar Wada14 of Saswad is the oldest standing structure located in the core area of Saswad built in 1710 by Ambaji Purandare as a residence. The Wada is known as Gadhi and the total construction cost of the Wada was Rs. 50,000.

    Fig. 6. Sarkar Wada, Saswad

    Source: Vastu Chitra

    Spatial Organization and Material: The Wada is fortified complex having main entrance facing the East. The fortification is around 30 feet having a huge entrance door of 25 feet facing East which allows an Ambari15 to pass through it. The Wada and the fortified wall are constructed using Basalt Stone and Pustaki Vita16 with Lime mortar. Along the fortified wall lies a Ganpati temple facing towards East. To the next of the first Wada, lie a second Wada where the descendants of Purandare stay having entrance opposite to the next Wada having same entrance as of first Wada. After entering, the Wada is having a huge Diwankhana17 having intricate carvings in timber and a huge fountain place at the entrance of Diwankhana known as Karanjacha Chowk18. Next to it, there is a Sopa in the front and on the walls of the Wada, the original Hirmuji Paint19 can be seen. Even today the original essence of that period can be experienced which narrates the magnificent history of the Purandares. There are painting of Widows in the internal face.

    14 Wada- A large enclosure with residential and other allied activities

    15 Ambari- A seat for king or monarch on an elephant

    16 Pustaki Vita- Bricks specially from the Peshwa Period having less thickness

    17 Diwankhana- The living or drawing room particularly seen in Wada

    18 Karanjacha Chowk- A Courtyard in Wada holding a huge fountain

    19 Hirmuji Paint- A type of paint used in 17th and 18th Century

    Fig. 10. Gajakhile on the door of Sarkar Wada

    Source: https://shindebai.home.blog/2019/02/14/an-encounter- with-the-past/#jp-carousel-54

    Fig. 7. Sketch Plan of Sarkar Wada, Saswad

    Source: Author

    Elements: The Wada is square in shape having courtyard, facing towards North, with 2 octagonal bastions and entrance gate known as Dindi Darvaja20 which is 10 feet high, constructed in Timber having spikes known as Gajakhile21 protecting the Wada.

    Fig. 8. Main Entrance of Sarkar Wada

    Source: Author

    Fig. 9. Dindi Darwaja of Sarkar Wada

    Source: https://shindebai.home.blog/2019/02/14/an-encounter- with-the-past/#jp-carousel-54

    20 Dindi Darwaja- A Small door opening in main door

    21 Gajkhile- Spikes on the door for protecting the Wada from Elephant attacks

    After entering in the Wada, there is a Devdi beyond which comes the main Chowk known as Phadacha Chowk22.

    Fig. 11. Devdi at the entrance of the Wada

    Source: https://shindebai.home.blog/2019/02/14/an-encounter- with-the-past/#jp-carousel-54

    The columns are made of timber having a simple Talkhade23 for each column. Above the column, there are Stambhashirsha24, intricately carved having motifs of Kelphool25, leaves prominent from Maratha Period.

    Fig. 12. Phadacha Chowk in Sarkar Wada

    Source: https://shindebai.home.blog/2019/02/14/an-encounter- with-the-past/#jp-carousel-54

    22 Phadacha Chowk- The first entrance courtyard in a Wada

    23 Talkahda- Stone base of columns

    24 Stambhashirsha- A column head which is basically in shape of lotus having carvings.

    25 Kelphool- A motif similar to Banana carved in timber, seen usually on arches

    To the fortification wall, there are Panchkoni Sajje26 at every corner as well as at the center of the wall as unique feature of the Wada and not seen on any other Wada of that period.

    Fig. 13. Panchakoni Sajje on Sarkar Wada

    Source: Source: https://stock.adobe.com/in/images/ganesh-mandir-and-outer- wall-of-the-purandare-wada-saswad-maharashtra

  2. Ganpati Temple, SaswadDuring Peshwa Period, construction of temples is prominently seen. The royal families used to worship several deities and constructed temples of the same. In Saswad, there are temples constructed in the later phase of the Maratha rule. One such temple patron by Purandares for worship is the Ganpati temple along Sarkar Wada.Fig. 14. Ganpati Temple, Saswad Source:https://heritagesofpune.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/1005415_562504 657121088_1071946387_n.jpg

    Spatial Organization and Material: The temple is part of the Wada having entrance from outside, oriented to east. Framed and symmetrical in plan it is constructed in Basalt stone, Timber and Pustaki Vita as traditional construction

    26 Panchkoni Sajje- Pentagonal balcony with a covering on top.

    materials. The temple is having a Sabhamandap27 and

    Garbhagriha28 in pillared sanctuary with idol of Lord Ganesh.

    Fig. 15. Plan of Ganpati Temple

    Source: Author

    The Shikhara29 is designed in a way that it is wide at the base and tapers at the top. The Kalasha is bulbous dome having sculptures of lions on four direction which are in dilapidated state, Kutas30 with mythical figures carved like Dwarpaal, Hanuman etc. There are horses carved on the Shikhara which tries to depict a scene of procession.

    Elements: There are Nagas carved on the Shikhara, depicting as a support element seen in many temples of that period associated with the mythological stories of Ganpti. There is a band of Peacocks intricately carved in lime stucco. The other interesting feature seen on the Shikhara is a Ganpati sculpture in Kutas with Mahishasur Mardini with four arms. Some of the elements seen on the temple can be analyzed on other temples giving an indication being patron by Purandares.

    Fig. 16. The Kutas’s on the temple having Dwarpaals, Hanuman carved Source: https://stock.adobe.com/in/images/ganesh-mandir-and-outer-wall-of- the-purandare-wada-saswad-maharashtra-in

    27 Sabhamandap- Sabhamandap is a assembly hall covered with walls

    28 Garbhagriha- Garbhagriha is the innermost sanctum of a Hindu temple where resides the idol of the primary deity of the temple.

    29 Shikhara- It is a rising tower exactly above the Garbhagriha, Mandap or Sabhamandap.

    30 Kuta- Octagonal or stellate with domical roof constituting to the superstructure

    Fig. 17. Naga Sculpture on Shikhara of the temple

    Source: https://stock.adobe.com/in/images/ganesh-mandir-and-outer-wall-of- the-purandare-wada-saswad-maharashtra-in

  3. Purandare Wada, Modhave:Fig. 18. Location Map of Purandare Wada, ModhaveSource: Google Earth

    Purandare Wada in Modhave is situated near Morgaon. This fortified residence was constructed between 1760-1770 AD for Malhar Tukdev after the partition of the Purandare family. Therefore, this Wada is also known Modhvekarancha Wada, situated on the bank of a small stream surrounded by the settlement of Modhave village. The fortified residence is on the outskirts from the main vicinity.

    Fig. 19. Purandare Wada, Modhave

    Source: Shubham Jagtap

    The Wada is constructed in traditional materials same as Sarkar Wada having 4m high entrance with a Ganesh Patti and standing on four 8m high Bastions, the below course constructed in stone and the upper course constructed in bricks. To the internal, there is a double storied residential

    with two enclosed rooms. On the upper floor, a well-designed Diwankhana in carved columns, possessing a Maajghar and a Swayampakghar32 at the rare side which have two Dhuradi33 to pass the smoke generated in the room. The planning of the Wada is different than the Wadas planned in that period.

  4. Sangameshwar Temple, Saswad:

Fig. 20. LOcation map of Sangameshwar temple

Source: Google Earth

Sangameshwar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, located on the confluence of two rivers, Karha and Chambali hence the name Sangameshwar, guarded by a fortification wall. The temple is also surrounded groove of forests. The temple is said to be constructed during the rule of Ambajipant Purandare in 1720s, constructed in the Neo Yadava with Maratha Architecture Style, (M.S.Mate, 2008)in planning and designing aspects.

Fig. 21. Sangameshwar Temple, Saswad

Source:https://www.flickr.com/photos/56705304@N08/22454503130/in/phot ostream/

Spatial Organization and Material: The use of materials and the construction techniques shows a drastic change and development to the temples that were built in the Early period to the temples erected during the early Middle Phase. Similarly, the same was patronized in construction of this temple, oriented to East, constructed on a high molded platform and constructed in Basalt Stone and Pustaki Vita with lime. The temple is symmetrically planned along the square module which encompasses a square Garbhagriha with two

structure constructed in timber and lime having an Osari31

32 Swayampakghar- Kitchen

31 Osari- large verandah 33 Dhuradi- Chimneys

Ardhastambp4 at the entrance with Ganesh Patti on the doorframe, connected to the stellate sanctuary of the Antarala35 which is enclosed by a closed Mandapa. The Mandapa36 consists of Four Ardha Stambhas, accompanying with other twelve Ardhastambh with two entrance to the South and North. The temple also has a RangMandap enclosed to the Mandapa where a series of two columns instead of Ardhastambh and four columns at every corner is seen. The Rangmandap37 have a huge Nandi instead of a separate Nandi Poarch. As the Maratha Architecture and the character, deepmaal are seen at two ends. Certain aspects which are prominently seen is high flight leading to the temple including the Ghats of the River. It is very surprising to find a stellate plan so early in the Middle Phase, especially in comparison to the Revivalist plans of the Early Phase, though the plan of the sanctuary is stellate, it lacks the principles of a Yadava stellate geometry. (Sohoni, 1998)

Fig. 22. Plan of Sangameshwar Temple

Source: Author

The Shikhara is having miniature Kuta along to the edges of the plans raising in diminishing stories. There are small niches and floral decorative elements carved on the outer wall of the temple. The Kutas are treated as Maratha and Islamic technique and decoration system. They recess is usually an arch surrounded by rectangular frames often filled with images / stucco in plaster. There are various figures inscribed in the Kutas. To the Shikhara on the Mandapa similar Kutas are arranged in a square periphery and topped with a similar kalasha. (Sohoni, 1998)

34 Ardhastambha- Columns which are half embedded in walls.

35 Antarala- Antarala is a vestibule or a small cell which is adjacent to the Garbhagriha which is connected via doorway

36 Mandapa- Mandap is a temple porch covered with columns adjacent to the Antarala

37 Rangmandap- Rangmandap is a hall usually used for dance performances

Fig. 23. Kuta’s on the Shikhara of the Mandapa arranged in square periphery

Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/

The Kalasha is a bulbous fluted dome held by the tusk like formation projecting from the cardinal point of each side of the shikhara. (Sohoni, 1998)

Fig. 24. The Kalasha of the temple

Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/

An interesting feature of the open Mandapa of the temple is that it forms double columns at the edges where four columns get attached to each other at the corners.

Fig. 25. Double Columns at the end forming 4 Columns attached

Source: Author

Fig. 26. Deep Maal in the temple

Source: Author

Fig. 26. Shows the deepmaal38, a typical Maratha architecture element seen in the temples constructed during Maratha period which is used to light the temple surrounding during occasions.


The main aim of the research was to examine and find out the nature and the practice of patronage provided in the field architecture in 17th -18th century by the Purandares in the region of Pune and the jaghir of Purandares.

The Purandares history dates back to the 12th Century and originated from a different region who settled and contributed in the Maratha land with other personalities form the clan, raised as an important holding important posts and responsibilities during the Peshwa Period. The development and evolution of Saswad was seen as per the principles of Maratha town with amalgamation of villages, Peth and Puras. They were the trustworthy of the Chhatrapati of Satara and were allotted the land of Saswad and Supe as their jaghirs. Purandares belongs to the elite class of patron who provided patronage of Daan-Dakshina and in the form of construction and restoration. Apart from this, they provided patronage in the form of commissions. The architecture style patron by Purandares are Maratha, Islamic and Yadava Architecture since these are prominently seen on the temples and Wadas with new and unique features from all these styles are used. They carry forwarded a particular architectural style which marked the language of a specific style of Purandares. The materials that were used in the construction of these typologies were an experiment to spread the new fabric and new construction technique in the land.

Not only temples, but Wadas were commissioned by Purandares during 18th Century. All the temples and Wadas were having huge fortification walls, known as Gadhi. The temples patrnized by Purandares prominently in Saswad are

38 Deepmaal- Huge pillar use to lite Diyas during occasions.

like Yadava Architecture style and not Yadava Architecture Style due to the carvings and elements observed on them.


I am grateful to my guides Dr. Vaishali Latkar and Ar. Sonal Chitnis Karanjikar for their constant support, encouragement and guidance to which the research could not have been completed. I thank Ar. Poorva Patil, Ar. Shreeamey Phadnis and Ar. Ruchita Belapurkar for their valuable comments, criticism and timely inputs. I would also like to thank Shri. Vidyacharan Purandare for his intellectual and technical support.


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