Next Great Maratha just below Shivaji Maharaj. It was his dream
to extend the Maratha empire to North India. By this time, Pune
had regained its status as capital of Maratha Kingdom from
Rajgad. In 1734, Bajirao captured the Malwa territory in the
north, and in 1739, his brother Chimnaji drove out the
Portuguese from almost all their possessions in the northern
Western Ghats. Bajirao died in 1740 and left three sons behind
him. It was Bajirao who built the 'Shanivarwada', the residence
and ruling place for the Peshwas.
of Thorale Bajirao, Creator of Parvati Temple and Saras Baug.
Succeeded Bajirao as Peshwa in 1740. He was ambitious and a
multifaceted person. Nanasaheb encouraged agriculture, protected
the villagers and brought about a marked improvement in the
state of the territory.
of the three sons of Nanasaheb Peshwe and Gopikaabi, got the
Peshwa throne after Vishwasrao died at Panipat.
a Phadnis in Madhavrao's era. Described the Panipat scene in his
Ganesh Agarkar (1856-1895)
Social Reformer. First Editor of "Kesari". Established
'New English School', with Vishnu Shastri Chiplunkar and Tilak.
Learned and a Wise Professor. Professor of 'Pune Pathshala' and
Principal of Training College. Excellent in Translation.
Originator of Modern
Marathi Literature. Was ahead of the rest in establishing Kesari
Maratha Sanstha, Chitrashala, Kitabkhana, Aryabhushan Press, New
English School etc.
Balwant Phadke (1845-1883)
A charismatic leader
who was enraged when he saw the level of exploitation farmers
were suffering. became the leader of a brave group : Ramoshi
after failing to get any help from the self-satisfied middle
class. A Series of successful raids on British treasury were led
by him to feed the hungry during the famines which recurred in
the 1860s. Someone was bribed by the British to betray him, he
was arrested and hanged under the charge of "high
Great Social Worker who
worked for the up upliftment of the down trodden and women.
Gopal Hari Deshmukh was
popularly known as 'Lokhitwadi'. A Social worker who started his
career as a Translator and got retired as a Sessions Judge.
Brought about public awakening by 'Prabhakar' and 'Shatpatre'.
Govind Ranade (1840-1901)
Born in Niphad on
January 18, 1842 Mahadev Govind Ranade was from a strictly
orthodox Chitapavan Brahmin family. He was commonly known as
'Justice Ranade'. He enrolled in the Elphinstone institute at
the age fourteen. He was in the first batch of students to join
the Bombay University. Has also been the teacher of Economics,
History and Literature. However, he preferred a career in law.
In his career as a judge spanning over thirty years' in which he
worked firmly towards the reform of social evils such as child
marriage, the seclusion of women and tried to introduce the
remarriage of widows. He was one of the first members of the
Prarthana Samaj which was founded in 1867. His judgeship
prohibited Ranade from actively entering politics. He died in
Pune on January 16, 1901. His writings continued to inspire
other leaders of Western India, notably Gokhale and Gandhi.
Keshav Atre (1898-1969)
litterateur has a massive contribution to Marathi literature.
His oratorical skills mesmerised the audience, outstanding
literary style, humour.
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Shastri Abhyankar (1863-1942)
A Sanskrit Pandit. Had
a great knowledge of Grammar, Advyet Vedant, Dharm Shastra, Yog
Great Industrialist of
Maharashtra in Sugar Industry. Great donor for the Educational
and Cultural organisations. Brahma Maharashtra College of
Commerce, Maratha Chamber of Commerce etc. are result of his
Krishna Gokhale (1866-1915)
Founder of 'Bharat
Sevak Samaj'. Professor in Fergusson College. Supporter of Women
Freedom and Racial Discrimination.
G. Kelkar (1896-1990)
Devoted his entire
life to build Kelkar Museum from scratch to crest with his
tireless enthusiasm and efforts. Honoured with Padmashree and
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Keshav Karve (1858-1962)
Promoter of Women
Education and Widow Remarriage. Established 'Nathiabai Damodar
Takarsi' University for Women. Appointed as Mathematics
professor in Fergusson College after Tilak resigned.
Ganesh Gadkari (1885-1919)
A Great Poet, Dramatist
and Humourist. Wrote poetry by the nickname of 'Govindagraj'.
Worked in 'Gyan Prakash' for some time and then was a teacher in
New English School.
Renowned and a
Favourite Actor of the Marathi Theater. 'Nagnath Gore' was the
real name. Initially played Feminine roles in 'Bal Mohan' Natak
Mandali. President of 'Balgandharva Rasik Mandal' & 'Bharat
acclaimed vocalist who traversed though Bijapur, Pune and
finally to Gwalior in search of a guru who could get him to the
particulars of Khayal-Gayaki. Till Sawai Gandharva taught him
the essentials of Khayal-Gayaki. His rivals admit, there is no
other vocalist today can be compared with Panditji.
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G. Chapekar (1869-1968)
His writings reflected
the then prevailing society. Editor of 'Maharashtra Sahitya
Patrika' and also the president of this organisation.
C. V. Joshi
Well known humourist.
First Comic Write up 'Chintamanrao' was published in the
Fergusson Magazine. 'Chinamrao Gundyabhau' was a gem of his
work. 'Jatakatil Nivdak Gosti', 'Buddha Sampradaya', 'Shikwan'
etc were some of his books on serious topics.
N. Dandekar (17/3/1909)
acclaimed Sanskrit Pandit. Professor in Fergusson during 1932
and 1950. Secretary of Bhandarkar Institute for many years.
Awarded Padmabhushan by Govt. of India in 1962.
Served as Editor of
'Daily Kesari' for many years. Rajya Sabha M.P. Responsible for
the transformation of 'Kesari' into a Daily Newspaper in 1962.
Active participation in 'Sanyukta Maharashtra' and 'Goa Mukti
Andloan'. Involvement with Tilak Maharashtra Vidhyapeeth, Deccan
Education Society, Pune Unniversity, Vasant Vyakhayanmala etc.
Gangadhar Tilak (1856-1920)
"Swaraj Is My
Birthright And I Shall Have It". Editor of "Kesari".
Entered 'Kesari Maratha' with Agarkar in 1881. Gave priority to
the Political problems then the Social problems and wrote
accordingly and agitated against the British. Had been in
jail in 1897 and 1908 to 1914. Sharpened the Independence
Movement by starting the 'Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav' and 'Shiv
Advisor of various Government and Semi Government Educational
Institutes. Awarded 'Padmashree' by the government and in
the year 1989 was the first to get 'Karma Veer Bahurao Patil
Samaj Seva' award.
L. Deshpande (1919-2000)
Deshpande the name which brings a smile to the face of
any Marathi reader. P. L. Deshpande was joyful personality of
Maharashtra. Every member craves to recount one P. L. joke or a
scene from his plays, one-man shows, films, books or whatever.
He is an integrated part of Marathi Literature.
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Scientist. Professor of Astronomy at the Tata Institute Of
Fundamental Research for 12 years. Many Honours and Awards for
various Scientific inventions and discoveries. Received 'Padmabhushan'
in 1965, 'Rashtrabhushan' in 1981 and 'Nehru Fellowship' during
1973-75. Recently got the 'Indira Gandhi Puraskar' for making
Ace actor and Movie
Director. Originally an Organ Player. Later entered into movies
after being with Bhalji Pendharkar. Flourished the Film Industry
with G. D. Madgulkar and Sudhir Phadke. 'Jagachya Pathiwar', 'Pedgaonche
Shahne', 'Lakhachi Goshta' etc had a lions share of Raja
Paranjpe in their success.
Sitaram Phadke (1894-1978)
Popular Novelist and a
promoter of Art. Professor of Philosophy in New Poona College in
1916. Worked in 'Kesari Maratha' for some time as a Sub Editor.
Then was a Professor of Philosophy and Psychology for nearly 25
years in 'Sita Ram College'. His first Novel was 'Allaha Ho
Akbar'. Wrote about 150 books which included 74 Novels (Daulat,
Jadugaar, Uddhar, etc..), 27 Story Collections, 9 Character
Writings, 22 Reviews, 7 Plays, 'Maje Jeevan:Ek Kadambari', etc.
He was at the peak of his writings during 1925-1960. Editor of 'Ratnakar',
'Zhankar' and 'Anjali'. Headed the 'Marathi Sahitya Sammelan' in
the year 1940. Was also awarded with 'Padmabhushan' by the
V. Pendse (1916-1983)
Founder and Co-ordinator
of 'Gyan Probhidini'. 'Gyan Probodhini' was established in
1962. Wrote some inspirational books like 'Rashtra Drohe
Vivekanand', 'Bhagini Nivedeta', etc.
K. Firodia (1910-1997)
Great work in the field
of Vehicle Industry for nearly half a century. Practiced as an
Advocate for some time. Participation in Freedom Fight and also
had been imprisoned for the same. Provided Guidance to 'Modern
Foundry and Machine Works', 'Kinetic Engineering Ltd.', 'Kinetic
Honda Motor Ltd.' etc. Also has given lots of funds o various
organistion hence contributed towards social service.
Ace Industrialist in
the production of Auto Rickshaws and Scooters. Chairman and
Managing Director of Bajaj Auto Ltd. (Akurdi). Great
contribution in the development of Bajaj Tempo, Bajaj
Electricals, Hind Limps etc.
Full name Narayan
Shripad Rajhansa. Senior most and the best actor who played
female roles in theater. Played the roles of Sharda, Shakuntala,
Subhadra, Indira, Sindhu etc. during 1905-1910 in Kirloskar
Sangeet Mandali. Learnt the intricacies of singings from
Govindrao Tembe and Bhaskarbua Bakale. Due to his soft voice and
easy going female roles received the honours like 'Balgandharva'
and 'NataSamrat'. Tembe, Bodas and Balgandharva together
established 'Gandharva Natak Mandali' in 1913. Was the Chairman
of the 24th Natya Sammelan' in 1929 which was held in
Pune. Government awarded him with 'Padmabhushan' and
constructed 'Balgandharva Ranjmandir' after his name honouring
Renowned All-Rounder in
the game of Cricket. Expertise in Batting, Bowling and Fielding.
Excellent performance in Ranji Trophi where he was the captain
of Maharashtra team. Brilliant Batting performance against West
Indies in 1958. His highest score was of 177 against
Pakistan in 1961. 55 wickets in test matches. Specialised as a
Goggle Bowler. 3061 runs in 55 test Matches. In which he had 5
centuries and 18 half centuries. Has been several times in the
selection committee. was the captain of the Indian Cricket Team
in1964 against Australia at Brisbane. This was the only match
when he headed the team.
A noted exponent of the
Hindustani classical music of the Agra Gharana. Born in 1914,
she begun her career in singing in the early 1930s, and would be
remembered for her immense contribution to the traditional
Marathi Bhav Geet. She was also one of the first women to
perform on stage when she acted in the Marathi play 'Andhlyachi
Shala' with 'Keshavrao Date'. Some of her evergreen songs are 'Tu
majhi ani tujha mi zari' and 'Manoramana Madhusudana'. Was
awarded 'VishnuDas Bhave Purasakar' in 1980. She is remembered
for her roles in plays like Bhanumati in 'Kul Wadhu', 'Radha
Mai', 'Bhumi Kanya Sita' and movies like 'Kuber'.
Sharad Talwalkar an
extremely talented and versatile actor ruled the Marathi Film
Industry and Theatre for many years. His childhood liking
towards plays grew up with him till he along with acting started
directing plays in his S. P. college. He had performed in more
than 180 Marathi films.
D. Madgulkar (1919-1977)
The great Poet,
Lyricist, Screenplay-Dialogue writer who became popular amongst
the young and the old especially by his composition of the
'Geeta Ramayan'. By one or other way his name is attached with
almost 150 movies. Also acted in a few. Was awarded 'Padmashree',
was the chairman of the 'Natya Sammelan' and 'Akhil Bharatiya
Marathi Sahitya Sammelan' and also was a M.L.A.
(Jadugar - Magician)
Bhopale was the surname
of this Famous Magician from Pune. Inspired from a Magician
called Rana who performed Rajasthani Magic in a show held in his
School. By his dedication and efforts mastered the art of Magic
and Hypnotism and performed hundreds of shows not only in India
but also in Japan, England etc. In 1960 started Magic classes in
'Pravasi Jadugar' - a place which he built for himself. Wrote
his experiences in two books named 'Pravasi Jadugar' and 'Me
Born in Karnataka
Pandita Ramabai a social reformer and a champion for the
emancipation of women. Dongare was her surname prior to
marriage. As a Sanskrit Scholar she acquired a great
reputation. She translated the Bible into Marathi, which was her
mother tongue. Sanskrit scholars at Calcutta University who were
deeply impressed with her knowledge and ability conferred on her
the titles of 'Saraswati' and 'Pandita'. She was baptized in
England. She was determined that becoming a Christian should not
be interpreted as a denial of her Indian culture and roots. In
1882, for the cause of women's education Ramabai established the
Arya Mahila Samaj. This led to her founding Sharada Sadan in
1889, this school bloomed into the umbrella organization which
came to be known as PANDITA RAMABAI MUKTI MISSION. She died on
April 5th 1922.