Talegaon Dabhade is a historical town located around 30ms from Pune city lying across the old Pune Mumbai highway.
It was once the jagir of Sarsenapati Dabhade family who were the commander in chiefs of the Maratha army.
The town still has remnants of this historical legacy in form of the Induri Fort, the Rajwada pedhis (small forts), Naska talao,Kadjai, Mahadev and Pandav temples, Sardar Khanderao Dabhade samadhi etc.
This fiefdom was singlehandedly created by Sardar Khanderao Dabhade (son of Yesba Dabhade, the personal bodyguard of Chatrapati Shivaji maharaj), one of the early patriarchs of the family. Sardar Khanderao was one of the earliest supporters of Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj, the grandson of Chatrapati Shivaji raje. Because of his sheer valour and integrity, Sardar Khanderao rose to the rank of the Sarsenapati in Ch.Shahus army.
The Dabhades seat of power was initially Gujrat (Sardar Pilaji Gaekwad the patriarch of the Baroda royal family was a commander in Sardar Dabhades army). But after a fallout with the Peshwas (Chief minister to the Chatrapati-King) following a territorial dispute, the Dabhades were confined to their family estate of Talegaon Dabhade (especially after Yeshwantrao Dabhade, second son of Khanderao refused to serve under the Peshwa Bajirao I, whom he held personally responsible for his brother Trimbakrao's death).
This fort was constructed by Sarsenapati Sardar Khanderao Dabhade in 1720-21 across the banks of River Indrayani.
The fort walls are still very much intact. Above the entrance of the fort lies the nagarkhana with a carved 'Ganesha' emblem signifying his protection for the fort.
This emblem is flanked by two 'sharabha' emblems.
The walls are connected by bastions that may have served as watchposts for the fort.
The forts also house the Godesss Kadjai temple. It is said that the idol of Kadjai was brought along by Sau Sagunabaisaheb.
Note:Sau Umabaisaheb was a warrior in her own right and had on one occassion repelled a attack by a Mughal sardar Jorawar Khan Babi on the city of Ahmedabad-Gujrat. For her service to the kingdom Chatrapati Shahu maharaj of the Satara throne had presented Umabaisaheb with a gold 'toda' (anklet) and a bejewelled sword. Even the title of Sarsenapati continued with Sau Umabaisaheb even after the death of her husband Khanderao.Today the Dabhades of Talegaon and the royal Bhosales of Satara have matrimonial relations with each other (as with other maratha aristocrat families like Scindias of Gwalior, Bhosales of Nagpur, Bhosales of Kolhapur, Kibes of Indore etc).
Sardar Khanderao Dabhade Samadhi sthal:
The ornately carved samadhi sthal of Sardar Khanderao Dabhade has also been constructed alongside the Mahadev temple, located in Talegaon village.
Also alongside one can see a water tank called 'Naska Tala'.
Pic: walls of the old Rajwada
Besides there are a few more samadhis belonging to the Dabahade family members and some veergals (hero stones).
This temple is also owned by the Dabhade family and is a unique temple dedicated to the five Pandavas and Draupadi.
Text and Photographs: Abhijit Rajadhyaksha, Acknowledgements to Satyasheelraje Dabhade, the 13th descendent of the Dabhade Junior house.