Saturday 28 May 2022
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Shivpatan Wada remains found at foot of Rajgad fort

Ajit Pawar saw in Village Pale Khurd a wall of the samadhi of Shivaji Maharaj called ‘Shivpatan Wada’, after which the excavation started

The remains of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s ‘Shivpatan Wada’ were found at the foot of Rajgad fort during the ‘archaeological scientific clearing work’ carried out by the state archaeological department and Pune district administration.

The project took off after deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar okayed the excavation during the inauguration of the development of the mausoleum area of Maharani Chhatrapati Saibai, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s wife and Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj’s mother, at the foot of Rajgad fort.

The work is carried out under the guidance of Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar, chairman of the Legislative Council and president of Maharani Chhatrapati Saibai Samadhi Trust.

Pawar visited village Pale Khurd where the samadhi and ‘Shivpatan Wada’ is located and saw one of the walls of the historic structure visible above the ground level. Later, Pune district collector granted funds for the project and the digging work started in February 2022 with a three-month schedule.

Pandurang Balkawade, a historian and member of the Bharatiya Itihas Samshodhak Mandal, said, “There is mention of this wada structure, located at the bottom of Rajgad fort, in several historical scripts from where Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj used to stay and carry out its administrative works.”

According to the officials, a huge structure of an old wada with boundary walls, flooring, pathways, bronze coins and household clay utensils were found at the site. As clearing work is still on, the state archaeological department will release a detailed report of findings after collecting primary work of research.

“We came to know about the ancient structure from villagers. On clearing the soil and mud from 22 cm onwards, we found the vastness of the site. We are using modern techniques to identify the structure and remains of the wada, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey to know about the underground alignments of the structure,” said Vilas Wahane, assistant director, state archaeological department.

The existing wada structure is found after excavating 25 metre wide and 50 metre long and the area is spread over one acre. The site is located in front of the fort at the foot of the hill. As the wada has changed many hands, there is no record to show if Shivaji Maharaj had built it.

“The GPR survey helped to clear soil and dig without hampering the walls and flooring structures. We have found around 8 to 10 coins, but only two can be identified as Bahamuni coins. Other items found include things like stone lamp, clay pot, utensils and flooring structures. From primary observation, the wada had a fortification wall with a huge entrance door on its eastern side,” said Wahane.

Rajendra Kachare, Bhor sub-divisional officer (SDO), “We submitted a proposal under the guidance of Pune district collector Rajendra Deshmukh and state archaeological department for scientific clearance and received funds to carry out the project. The first phase will end by April. We have received good response from villagers and have imposed Section 144 (prohibits public gathering) at the site area as a preventive measure.”

Balkawade said, “It is a matter of pride that our state archaeological department with the help of district administration is finding the remains of ‘Shivpatan Wada’.”

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