It was late
afternoon when Shivaji entered Pune, which was completely destroyed.
It felt as if they were entering some ancient city. Ruined houses,
broken walls were telling tales about time gone by, wealth they had
once seen. But today, weeds were growing on those walls.
There were few
small huts near the river from which people came out to see as Shivaji
and his people came close. They looked scared, as all they had seen
lately was soldiers coming to loot them.
Caravan stopped at
one open field. Jijabai stepped out of her carriage. Maids surrounded
her. Shivaji too came close, he asked, “mother is this Pune?”
“but there is
nobody here but us!”
“if we ask them to
come they will come join us.”
“where are we going
“one should not
just look for a house to live in son; noble men build their own
Camp was set up.
Tents were built. Shivaji, the Governor’s son lit the first lamp on
that deserted land!
Dadoji Konddev was looking at future Pune, - the one that was going to
be. Shivaji was right beside him as he was taking the stroll, looking
around. People, who were scared at first, were now coming close,
asking questions. They were not scared anymore.
Then one day Shivaji ran to his mother in excitement, “mother, Dadoji
Pant has found a god statue!” he said
“near the river.”
Jijabai got up. She and her maids followed Shivaji to the river.
Seeing them approaching, people in the way were moving out of the way
respectfully. One could see happiness as well as amazement on Dadoji’s
face. The Ganesha statue was found under one broken wall. It was a
beautiful statue, unbroken, completely in one piece. Jijabai joined
her hands religiously. Pant said, “madam, this is a very good
“yes Pant, erect a beautiful Temple right here on this spot!”
Pant nodded and said, “madam, we still haven’t found a suitable place
for the house.”
“let that too be here somewhere the Temple.”
And so after all the planning was complete, Dadoji layed the first
brick, and construction started. But Dadoji was restless. In his mind
noble, for important people like Shivaji and Jijabai – having just one
house was neither proper nor safe. And so he chose ‘Khed’ as the
second place of the residence. He mapped the town, chose Mudgal
Nharekar as in charge there, and started the work on the second
residence as well.
Monsoon came, but houses were not ready yet. Nharekar solved this
problem by offering his house in Khed. And so Shivaji and Jijabai
moved into that house for the time being. Shivaji was regularly riding
to and from Pune with Dadoji. He was witnessing new houses being built
in both Pune and Khed, and new people trickling into towns. He was
taking his reading and writing lessons from Shastrji, and was reading
Mahabharata to his mother when time permitted.
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