Owner of 250-year-old wada where Lokmanya started Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav wants to sell property to builder for reconstruction
The fate of the 250-year-old Vinchurkar Wada, where Lokmanya Tilak started the first Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav, has been left hanging.


THEN AND NOW: An 1898 photograph of the Vinchurkar Wada in Sadashiv Peth with Lokmanya Tilak among the seated people
The owner of the wada wants to sell off the property to builders, while others associated with the first mandal want to continue celebrations at the same spot.

Tilak was staying in the wada as a tenant between 1892 and 1905 and running law classes in the one-storey earthen structure. The wada,  where the Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav was initiated by Tilak by the name of Law Class Ganpati, is still in existence.

Current owner of the wada, Madhukar Dani, a descendent of Sardar Vinchurkar wants to sell off the property but builders are reluctant to purchase it, as they fear the place may be declared a heritage structure. Dani, however, ruled out the possibility of the wada being a heritage site.

Ravindra Pathare, trustee and treasurer of Lokmanya Tilak Pratham Ganpati Trust (LTPSGT), said: “This place has a history and Swami Vivekananda met Tilak here in June 1992.”

The wada today with trustee of Lokmanya Tilak Pratham Ganpati Trust Ravindra Pathare standing before it
Pathare and other trustees have no objection to the selling of the property but are stressing that the first Ganpati should remain in the new construction. “We shall go to court if the tradition is discontinued,” he said. Many politicians have given assurances for financial aid, but the state government is reluctant to help the LTPSGT openly.

Home minister R R Patil, former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and the Pune District Guardian Ajit Pawar had promised to declare the place as a heritage structure. “Nothing has happened so far,” Pathare said.

Mayor Mohansingh Rajpal has assured that the PMC general body will take initiative to pass the resolution for getting a 2,000 square feet hall for LTPSGT from the builder who wants to construct on the place.
“It’s a prime location in the city and this historic place should be in a new strong foundation,” Rajpal said.

Vinchurkar Wada
Sardar Vithal Vinchurkar was the owner of Vinchurkar Wada. He was close to the first Bajirao Peshwa and built the wada with his blessings.Vinchurkar Wada is in a prime location on Kumthekar Road.
Lokmanya Tilak established the first Sarvajanik Ganpati in the wada in 1892.
Noted personalities such as Justice Ranade, educationist Shivrampant Paranjpe, journalist and editor N C Kelkar, playwright
K P Khadilkar have made speeches before the Ganpati.

Dr Deepak Tilak, the Lokmanya’s great grandson is trust president, and Gajanan Ghaisas, Jaywant Mathkar, Ravindra Pathare, Sheela Ghaisas, Rohit Tilak and Mukta Tilak office bearers.

Source: Mid-Day