A Princely State

AREA:  471 km2

PRIVY PURSE:  49,924R 

ACCESSION:  8th March 1948

STATE:  Maharashtra

DYNASTY:  Patwardhan



                    Kurundwad  is a small town on the banks of the Panchganga river in Kolhapur district; it lies in the southern part of the Indian state of Maharashtra.

                    During the British Raj, Kurundwad was a native state of India, falling under the Deccan division of Bombay Presidency, and forming part of the Southern Mahratta jagirs. Originally created in 1772 by a grant from the peshwa, the state was later divided in into two parts, one of which, called "Shedbal", lapsed to the British government in 1857. In 1855 the remaining state of Kuruntwad was further divided between a senior (area of 185 miles²) branch and a junior (area of 114 miles²) branch. The territory of both was widely scattered among other native states and British districts. According to the 1901 census, the senior branch had the population of 42,474; and that of the junior branch was 34,003. The chiefs of both the branches were Brahmans by caste, belonging to the Patwardhan family. Both the branches had their residence in the town of Kurundwad which had the population of 10,415 in 1901. The last ruler (junior line) was Meherban Raja Raghunathrao Ganpatrao (Dadasaheb) Patwardhan.

                   population and females 49%. Kurundwad has an average literacy rate of 75%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 82%, and female literacy is 68%. In Kurundwad, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.

                    Kurundwad is situated near the banks of two rivers, Krishna and Panchaganga. Near Krishna river, there is a beautiful construction, Kurundwad Ghat, built by Raja Raghunathrao Dadasaheb Patwardhan around the year 1795. There is a samadhi (memorial) of Santajiraje Ghorapade who was Commander-in-Chief of maratha forces that humbled Aurangzeb during the reign of Chhatrapati Rajaram (1689–1700). In addition to Marathi, Kannada  is widely spoken and understood due to proximity with Karnataka.

Famous residents :



                Ringmaster Vishnupant  Chhatre, a person who launched the first Circus in Asia was       from Kurundwad.

  • History of Indian classical music will always remember three names:


                   Rahimat Khan,               Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar

and his son Pandit D. V. Paluskar

for their invaluable contribution to the field of classical singing. 'Bhoogandharva' Rahimat Khan received patronage of Raja Bhalchandrarao I Annasaheb Patwardhan. He died around 1919 and is buried within the precincts of the Bade Nal Saheb Durgah in Kurundwad.






                     PRESENT RULER:  Raja Shrimant BHALCHANDRARAO II CHINTAMANRAO PATWARDHAN, Raja of Kurundwad-Snr (1980/-), ranks as a 1st Class Sardar in the southern Maratha country  (Kurundwad House, 10-A Margaldas Road, 411001 - Pune, Maharashtra, India)


born 15th May 1953, married Ranisaheb Shrimant Radhikadevi, born 29th November 1959 and has issue.

       Shrimant Yuvaraj Raghunathrao III Bhalchandrarao Balasaheb Patwardhan, born 24th November 1988.

       Shrimant Rajkumari Rajasidevi Sathe, born 25th August 1980, married 12th May 2004, Shri Sandeeprao Sathe.

       Shrimant Rajkumari Ishwaridevi Patwardhan, born 29th May 1984, died 25th June 2008 of a heart attack.


PREDECESSORS AND SHORT HISTORY:  The parent state was founded in 1733 with a grant by the Peshwa in inam to Trimbakrao Patwardhan, third son of Bramhibhoot Harbhat Buva Patwardhan, with a division occurring in 1811 and again in 1854. Kurundwad  represents the senior most line amongst the Patwardhan States. Succession is by primogeniture. A sanad of adoption was granted to the rulers of Kurundwad, though it is the only line which is without any adoptions. The rulers were...

       Har Bhat Patwardhan, a Brahmin (priest) from the area of Kinkan rose to distinction in 1722 during the days of the second Peshwa, he was well known for his piety, saintliness and Vedic lore, he was ancestor of the Royal Families of Kurundwad, Budhgaon, Miraj, Sangli and Tasgaon (lapsed in 1848), he married and had issue. He died 1750.

*    Balam Bhat Patwardhan

*    Raghunath Bhat Patwardhan, married and had issue.

         §  Bramhibhoot Harbhat Buva Patwardhan, married and had issue.

         §  Shrimant TRIMBAKRAO I APPASAHEB PATWARDHAN (third son), founder of                                Kurundwad (see below).

         §  Sardar Govind Hari Patwardhan (fourth son), founder of Miraj, he was granted the title               of Sardar by the Peshwa, married and had issue.

         §  Sardar Pandurangrao Patwardhan, married and had issue. He died at an early age.

         §  Sardar Hariharrao Patwardha, successor to his father, but died at the age of 17 years.

         §  Sardar Chintamanrao Patwardhan I, ruled at Miraj initially, but during one of his                           battles, he was rumoured to have died and his uncle then was crowned as his                            successor. When Chintamanrao returned he was angry and left the house with only                an idol of Lord Ganesha and vowed to set up another Capital for his Jagir. As a result                he established the city of Sangli in 1801.

          §  Gangadharrao Patwardhan of Miraj.

          §  Mahadev Rao Patwardhan

          §  Ramchandra Rao Patwardhan (sixth son), married and had issue. 

          §  Parashuram Rao Patwardhan, married and had issue, 5 sons.

          §  Ramchandra Rao Patwardhan, married and had issue, 1 son.

          §  Shrimant GOPAL RAO RAMCHANDRA RAO PATWARDHAN, founder of Jamkhandi                  state.

          §  Haripanth Patwardhan

          §  Madhav Rao Patwardhan, founder of the Chinchanikar branch of Patwardhan family.

          §  Vinayak Rao Patwardhan 

          §  Ganpat Rao Patwardhan, founder of the Tasganv branch of Patwardhan family.

          §  Bhaskar Rao Patwardhan

          §  Tara Bai

*   Krishna Bhat Patwardhan

       Meherban TRIMBAKRAO I [APPASAHEB] PATWARDHAN 1733/1771, married and had issue. He died 1771.


*    Kanherrao Trimbakrao Patwardhan, founder of the Shedbal branch.


       Meherban NEELKANTHRAO TRIMBAKRAO [DADASAHEB] PATWARDHAN 1771, born 1726, during his reign, gold coins were authorised by the Peshwa, Madhavrao I, to be minted, and these were called 'Neelkantha' (#2) in his honour; fought in the Battle of Moti Talav against Hyder Ali where he was mortally wounded; married and had issue. He was killed in the battle of Moti Talav on 3rd March 1771, his body was brought to Madhavpur-Belgaum in a palanquin and was cremated there, and his samadhi is still present to this day.


*    Shivrao Nilkanthrao Patwardhan, founder of Vadi Jagir.


       Meherban RAGHUNATHRAO I NILKANTHRAO [DADASAHEB] PATWARDHAN 1771/1801, born 1750, married and had issue, one son. He died 1801.



       Meherban TRIMBAKRAO II RAGHUNATHRAO [APPASAHEB] PATWARDHAN 1801/-, in 1811 the state of Shedbal was formed, but it lapsed in 1857 to the British government in default of a male heir, married and had issue.



       Meherban KESHAVRAO TRIMBAKRAO [BABASAHEB] PATWARDHAN -/1827, he signed the Treaty of Pandharpur with the English Crown in 1819; married and had issue. He died 1827.


*    Hariharrao Keshavrao [Bhausaheb] Patwardhan [?Ganpatrao], Co-Ruler of Kurundwad-Jnr

*    Vinayakrao Keshavrao [Appasaheb] Patwardhan, Co-Ruler of Kurundwad-Jnr

*    Trimbakrao Keshavrao [Abbasaheb] Patwardhan, Co-Ruler of Kurundwad-Jnr, died spl 1869, and his share was transferred to Ganpatrao and Vinayakrao.


       Meherban RAGHUNATHRAO II KESHAVRAO [DADASAHEB] PATWARDHAN 1827/1876, born 1812. On the 5th of April 1854 the state was split into Senior and Junior branches, with Raghunathrao continuing the line in Kurundwad Senior. He died 1876.

       Meherban CHINTAMANRAO I RAGHUNATHRAO [BALASAHEB] PATWARDHAN 1876/1908,  born 14th February 1849 (1850?), succeeded 25th January 1876 (#1). He died 1908.

       Meherban BHALCHANDRARAO I CHINTAMANRAO [ANNASAHEB] PATWARDHAN 1908/1927, born 12th May 1873, married Rani Sita Bai Sahib, born 1901, died 1969, Regent of Kurundwad Senior 1927/1942, and had issue.  

       Raja Shrimant CHINTAMANRAO II BHALCHANDRARAO BALASAHEB PATWARDHAN 1927/1980, born 13th February 1921 and succeeded 10th September 1927, married Rani Shrimant Vijayadevi, daughter of Raja Shrimant Sir RAGHUNATHRAO II SHANKARRAO BABASAHEB Pandit Pant Sachiv of Bhor, born 4th January 1927. He died 15th January 1980



       Shashikala Devi Pant Amatya [late Rajmata of Bavda], of the Sardar Raste family and grand-daughter of the Raja of Kurundwad, married (as his second wife), the Raja of Bavda (married 1stly, a Princess of Jamkhandi), widowed at 29 years, died January 2005 aged 92.


Vishnu Digambar Paluskar :


Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar (August 18, 1872 – August 21, 1931) was a Hindustani musician. He sung the original version of the bhajan Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram.

Early life and background :

Vishnu Digambar Paluskar was born in Kurundwad, a small town falling under the Deccan division of Bombay Presidency during British rule, presently in Maharashtra. His father, Digambar Gopal Paluskar, was a singer of Kirtan—a religious song.

He went to a local school in Kurundwad for primary education. But tragedy struck Paluskar at an early age. During a Hindu festival called Datta Jayanti, a fire-cracker burst near his face damaging both his eyes. Being a small town, there was no immediate treatment available and Paluskar lost his eyesight.

The king of Miraj recognising the talent in the boy put him under the guidance of Balakrishnabuwa Ichalkaranjikar, a learned musician. Paluskar trained under him for 12 years till in 1896 the relations between the teacher and student became strained.[1]


After that Paluskar began touring the country and studied the musical traditions in each part of Northern India. He went from place to place and visited many royal families in cities like Baroda and Gwalior, well known for their patronage of musicians. But he broke a long standing tradition of Indian music by giving a public concert in Saurashtra and charging a nominal fee. Concerts by musicians were always given in palaces or temples but never in public. He studied Brijbhasha, a dialect of Hindi, spoken at Mathura. He met Pandit Chandan Chaube and learnt Dhrupad music from him. Paluskar reached Lahore in 1901 where he decided to settle down and establish a music school.

Gandharva Mahavidyalaya

On May 5, 1901 Paluskar founded the Gandharva Mahavidyala, a school to impart formal training in Indian classical music. It was a school open to all and one of the first music schools in India to run on public support and donations rather than the patronage of the royalty. The school was a challenge to the traditional teacher-student method of training music where a student lived under the roof of the teacher. Many students from his early batches became respected musicians and teachers in North India. This brought a change in the way people looked at classical musicians. They started treating musicians with respect which was not associated with the profession earlier.

In September 1908 Paluskar went to Bombay (now Mumbai) to establish another branch of the school. As the work-load increased, Paluskar shifted the school from Lahore to Bombay. To accommodate all the students, he took loans and built a new building for the school and built hostels for the students. He worked very hard and gave several concerts in public places but could not gather sufficient funds to pay his debt. Finally, when he was on a concert tour in 1924, his creditors attached his properties and auctioned off the school. This was a big blow to Paluskar.

Political career

Paluskar came in contact with leaders of the Indian independence movement like Lala Lajpat Rai, Lokmanya Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi. When Lala Lajpat Rai was arrested in 1907 he sang a composition of the famous song Pagree Sambhal Jatta. He used to attend the conventions of the Indian National Congress and sing his own composition of Vande Mataram, the national song of India, in Raga Kafi. Paluskar was a master of taking old religious songs and setting them into classical tunes. Paluskar composed the tune of the devotional song Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram. This was Mahatma Gandhi's favourite Bhajan and was sung daily by the satyagrahis during the famous Dandi March. He also composed a variation of the patriotic song Saare Jahan Se Achcha. Such was his fame that when King George V came to India, Paluskar was asked to perform at the Royal Garden of Lahore.

Famous Compositions

Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar, the father of Indian Classical Music, is known for uplifting Hindustani classical music, but is well known for singing the famous hymn of the lord "Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram, Pateeta Pavan Seeta Ram". He gave this hymn, to Mahatma Gandhi ( Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi) & instructed him to spread the name of the lord, throughout the country, as the lord's name only has the power of liberating the country (India). His hymn is still sang throughout the world, with much fervor & respect, & is said to arouse bhakti & true love for the lord.

Death and legacy

Paluskar died on August 21, 1931. On 21 July 1973, the Posts and Telegraph Department, Government of India paid homage to Pandit Paluskar by releasing a commemorative stamp. Today Paluskar is seen as the musician who brought respect to the profession of classical musicians and took Hindustani classical music out from the traditional Gharana system to the masses of India. He has written a book on music called Sangeet Bal Prakash in three volumes, and also written 18 volumes on ragas. His disciples like Vinayakrao Patwardhan, Omkarnath Thakur, Narayanrao Vyas, Shankarrao Vyas, and B.R. Deodhar, became renowned classical singers and teachers. His son Dattatraya Vishnu Paluskar (D.V. Paluskar) was also trained in classical music and carried on the mission of his father. In 2000, the India Today magazine named Pandit Paluskar to be one of the 100 people who shaped India.