I had wanted to visit Tambekar Wada since long. Searching on Google wasn’t helping because there was hardly anything written about it. Whatever little I got to know was enough to hype my curiosity and I dragged my friend M to it.
This historic monument is located in Raopura and looks like just another building or a big house from outside. Localities don’t even glace at it. This was clear after a young girl (of around 14) looked at M curiously and blurted out ‘Aunty, why are you clicking this building?’. She later joined us, along with 2 other girls, in looking around the house after exclaiming her surprise and ignorance about the mansion to the caretaker.
Entry in this Maratha mansion is free. Some years back, this ignored monument was taken over by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) after which several restoration works were done. A lot is still left to be done. It always feels sad to see unique historical monuments getting ignored and left to die.
This 4 storey building was originally the house of Bhau Tambekar, the Diwan of Baroda during King’s rule. Two rooms on 2 storeys are open to visitors. The walls of these 2 airy rooms are covered in paintings and floral murals depicting scenes from Mahabharata & Ramayana, life of Lord Krishna and other Gods/Goddesses and English life scenes. Floral designs of plentiful variety line up the paintings thus acting as borders. The floral work, which is an art lover’s delight, when combined with wooden jaali work gives a very authentic and rustic look. Paintings of 2nd floor are in better condition than those of 1st floor.
The young girl continued to astonish me. By looking at her, I could never have imagined she would speak such good English. ‘Can I ask you something? What will you do with these photos?’ she asked shyly. I said I will write about it and I regularly go to places and write on them. She was amazed. ‘Which other places have you seen here?’ I replied in English and Hindi. ‘Your Hindi is good!, she exclaimed. All this while, I realized, she had been thinking that I was a NRI. I also deciphered from this that not many Indians or localities have shown interest this monument.
This facility can be viewed on all days of the week. Photography is not allowed unless you take special permission from their office beforehand. The caretaker is friendly and will be glad to show you around.
Location: In the lane opposite the famous Dhuliram Pedawala, Raopura.