Chitnavis Wada – Peep Into Nagpur Heritage

Chitnavis Wada – Peep Into Nagpur Heritage


I knew Wadas are the grand homes of the elite in Maharashtra. Keep in mind the Shaniwar Wada of Peshwas in Pune! Effectively, Nagpur’s previous metropolis is stuffed with many such Wadas. My introduction to town started with a tour of Chitnavis Wada in a locality referred to as Chitnavispura within the Mahal space.

It is without doubt one of the few Wadas that has managed to protect the grandeur and the old-world attraction of the elite homes. I entered by an arched gate with a wood door. A board exterior introduced the title and deal with of it.

Visiting Chitnavis Wada in Nagpur

Contained in the gate, I might see buildings throughout an open floor. I puzzled, if I used to be contained in the Wada or nonetheless exterior, it was troublesome to say! Development on the principle door facet gave an impression of belonging to the colonial period. In truth, the wood blind panels jogged my memory of comparable constructions in Colonial Calcutta.

Entrance of Chitnavis Wada
Entrance of the Wada

The thick bushes, in all probability older than these buildings, stand tall. I stepped inside what I used to be instructed is the workplace. A number of previous wood furnishings right here together with some palanquins, wood containers, writing desks, and wood bullock carts is mendacity round. I spotted that is the principle Wada. What I noticed exterior have been extensions that served as a visitor home, through the British interval.

Colonial era part of the Wada
Colonial period a part of the Wada

A gentleman who manages the place helped me with a brochure and requested the employees to open the wada for me. I used to be not anticipating a lot besides good wood-carved pillars within the Wada. Nevertheless, surprises are by no means too far, although I did first see the carved wood pillars throughout the entrance courtyard.

Chitnavis Wada is a 3-Chowk Haveli or Wada, which suggests there are 3 courtyards one after the opposite. Keep in mind we noticed the same plan at Shekhawati Havelis. First Chowk is normally the general public space the place friends or business-related individuals go to. Right here, this space is an outer courtyard that acted because the workplace of the top of the household.

Who was Chitnavis?

Chitnavis is a designation that refers back to the chief documentation officer of a king. This Wada was constructed by Rakhmaji Ganesh Randive who was a Chitnavis of the Bhosle kings of Nagpur. He first got here to Nagpur in 1744 CE with Raghuji – I Bhosle. It’s believed that this Wada is about 200 years previous, based mostly on the stylistic particulars.

Deoghar Chowk of Chitnavis Wada

I stepped into the primary courtyard and was all of a sudden surrounded by colourful work throughout. The open courtyard is now lined with wooden, however the hall working throughout had soothing mud flooring.

Krishna Leela at Deoghar Chowk
Krishna Leela at Deoghar Chowk

The partitions had work depicting the lifetime of Krishna that I might quickly uncover is the household deity. There have been scenes from epics like Mahabharata. There have been framed lithographs of  Raja Ravi Varma’s work.

Deoghar or the temple in wood

In a single nook of this courtyard is a stunning temple in wooden. It jogged my memory of many temples in Rajasthan. Devoted to Krishna, it’s a lovely temple. You might be completely surrounded by Krishna once you sit in entrance of this temple. This courtyard is rightfully referred to as Deoghar Chowk or the courtyard of the deity.

Household or Fountain Chowk

Fountain chowk
Fountain chowk

A door right here took us to the following chowk that has a fountain within the center. It additionally had a hall working throughout with mud flooring. We sat across the fountain to admire this easier but heat a part of the Wada. That is the household space the place individuals would sit collectively and eat. I might think about the ladies of the household gathering right here for chit-chat or to soak within the solar.

Kitchen Chowk

One other door led us to the final chowk that was in all probability used extra by the employees of the household. That is the place the kitchen was once. You may see the grinding stone and groves for pounding. There’s a effectively and a Tulsi plant. Palkis in vivid colours have been mendacity round.

An attention-grabbing characteristic is a small opening within the wall that’s linked to the granary. You simply open the window and take the grains required for the cooking. You might additionally name it a service chowk or the backend companies for working the wada.

Murlidhar Temple

Murlidhar Temple at Chitnavis Wada
Murlidhar Temple on the Wada

A door on the facet of this chowk results in the household temple. Sure, most massive wadas had a private temple devoted to the household deity. At this wada, it’s the Murlidhar temple. The temple has a small garbhagriha and a shikhara in Nagar fashion. The mandapa is stuffed with wood pillars, one thing that I might see in lots of temples in Nagpur. Small temples of Hanuman and Garuda flank the temple.

Wooden Carvings at Chitnavis Wada

After admiring the interiors, we come out in entrance of the wada and admire its woodwork. A dangling nook with a peacock and parrot is sort of a signature of the woodcarvers right here. There are Banana flower endings similar to Peshwa wadas in Pune.

Parrot, Peacock and Banana Flower in Wood
Parrot, Peacock, and Banana Flower – Signature parts of woodcarvers of Maharashtra

The higher flooring connect with the outer visitor homes. The colonial a part of the visitor homes could have been used to entertain or host Europeans. This half is linked to the principle wada but it surely stands separate, making a partition between the household space and the visitor space.

Toys and Murtis in Wood
Toys and Murtis in Wooden

Reverse the wada, there was a Charbhag-style backyard that divides the backyard into 4 elements by strolling paths. The backyard is a pale model of its authentic self. Nevertheless, I did discover an attention-grabbing classic handpump there that’s nonetheless in use.


From the rooftop of the Wada, you possibly can see the interior courtyards and the Murlidhar temple. Extra importantly, you additionally get a skyline view of town surrounding it. I used to be there when the solar was simply setting and the slanting purple tiled roofs added their very own aura to it.

Wood carved arches, pillars and brackets
Wooden-carved arches, pillars, and brackets on the Wada in Nagpur

Over the interval the descendant homeowners have tried so as to add trendy services like bogs. Part of the Wada is used as an workplace for varied organizations. They do hire out the place for occasions like weddings or small features. You may see wood planks used to serve meals historically.

Journey Suggestions

As of now, it’s not open to the general public. It is advisable contact the Sh Gangadhar Rao Chitnavis Belief workplace to go to it. The Architect Nitika Ramani conducts a heritage tour of the Wada and it might be finest to undergo her.

You want 1-2 hours to see it, relying upon your degree of curiosity.

You may stroll round and see many Wadas and temples within the lanes round Chitnavis Wada.


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