Traditional Dwelling – Wada in Maharashtra, India

WHAT IS A WADA?

  • The traditional residence in Maharashtra was called the wada.
  • A wada was typically a large building of two or more storey with groups of rooms arranged around open courtyards.
  • Two types of wadas:
    • One which houses many families, like an apartment building of recent times or chawl of Mumbai.(Mostly for the middle class families)
    • One in which only one family resided. (Mostly owned by the richer class like relatives of the peshwas and traders)

EMERGENCE OF WADA ARCHITECTURE

  • Wadas – which were the traditional residential form of Maratha architecture, evolved under the reign of Peshwas.
  • Its style was an amalgamation where features from Mughal, Rajasthan, and Gujarat architecture were combined with local construction techniques.

SETTLEMENT OF PUNE UNDER THE PESHWAS

  • Settlements developed around the Peshwa’s residence.
  • Land around the Peshwas residence was divided into wards called peths.
  • These were self-sufficient units and they were named after the days of weeks or the person who had established the peths.

SOCIAL STRUCTURE IN SETTLEMENTS

  • Social life centered around the village community.
  • The village communities were economically self-reliant and self-sufficient units, each having it’s own set of ethics and residential enclaves, shops, temples etc.
  • The administration was autonomous.
  • Town had a multinucleated structure.

NEIGHBOURHOOD OF A WADA

  • The streets and roads in the settlement were narrow.
  • Roads were never straight as the growth of the settlement was organic.
  • The plots for construction of wadas were rectangular and lay right next to the streets.
  • A wada never had a garden or vistas leading to it.
  • The urban form of the settlement appeared like a maze of two or three storied structures having internal open spaces, placed along the road network with very little open community space.

CASE STUDY: KHARADKAR WADA

This Wada was built in 1875 by Shri Karandikar who was a moneylender by profession and was related to the Peshwas.

LOCATION

Kharadkar wada is located in Pune, Maharashtra, in Budhwar Peth.

CLIMATE

  • Pune having a moderate type of climate has the following characteristics:
    • The solar radiation is more or less the same throughput the year.
    • The relative humidity in dry periods varies from 20-55% and in monsoons 55-90%.
    • The total rainfall usually exceeds 1000mm per year. Winter is a dry season.
    • Winds are generally in summer.
    • Their speed and direction mainly depends upon the topography.
    • The sky is mostly clear with an occasional presence of dense low clouds during summer.
  • The design of a wada was not influenced much by the climatic factors rather it was influenced more by the social and cultural factors.

SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF THE KHARADKAR WADA

  • Distinct zoning can be seen.
  • Separate entrances for guests, domestic help, people visiting the durbar, separate entries for the people performing in the durbar and a separate entry into the cattle shed.
  • There are 4 entrances to the house.
  • Privacy for the women given a priority.
  • Three main courtyards or chowks.
  • The wada has it’s entrance in the southern side.

ZONING

  • The most significant features of the wada was the way it’s zoning of public, private and semi-private spaces was done.
  • This can be seen very distinctly in the plan.

Visual showing the environment of the wada

Small window openings with wooden grills

  • There were very few openings on the sides of the building, so the rooms were not well lit.
  • The rooms were ventilated from the courtyards.

One of the HAUDS in the wada

  • One of the most interesting features of this wada was the underground water supply which came from Katraj dam which was 11kms from the site.
  • One noteworthy point is that no pumping was required.
  • The water that came was collected in open tanks called ‘HAUDS.’
  • Kharadkar wada has three separate hauds for separate activities.
  • One for bathing, one for washing utensils and one for storing drinking water.

  • All the staircases were places in 4ft thick walls.
  • This was done so that when the women moved around in the house they wouldn’t be seen from the outside.
  • This way the privacy of the house was maintained.
  • All the external walls of the wada were 4ft thick.
  • This helped to keep the interior of the wall cool in summers.

Stone base supporting a wooden pillar

Niche in the wall

Ring in the courtyard to tie horse

Wooden battens supporting the upper floor

External wall section of a wada

Carving on wooden door frame

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    hi,u hv dont nic work.bt if u
    hi,u hv dont nic work.bt if u want some anather pictures and more information ant wada u can contact me.
    m living in most big and beautyful wada.

    regard
    Pratil Patil
    09922264100

  2. Anonymous says

    nice work…but i guess could
    nice work…but i guess could be elaborated more on details or aesthetic elements with sketches…i need help wid maharashtrian architecture,,,doin research on it..if any architectural info plsss 4wd

    regards
    samy

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