The Hitavada, Sunday, 4 January 2004. Jabalpur.
'Sunday Breakfast' section
Once glorious 'Govind Bhavan' now lost in concrete jungle
By Anindita Bose
*Govind Bhavan - see middle of this web page
*Gokul Das web site
*About Gokul Das - a dissertation chapter
*Photographer JS Murthy's two photos of Govind Bhavan
'GOVIND BHAVAN' now housing the office of the Regional Transport Officer (RTO), was once a mansion of noble proportions, which is known to few.
But, however, the present day building now lies camouflaged by residential houses constructed by the Housing Board and sundry thclawas that now scar its once manicured lawns.
Not quite a century ago, in the year 1909, Jiwandasji (son of Raja Gokuldas) constructed this grand Kothi as a residence of Rani Chunni Bai, widow of Raja Gokuldas.
Jiwandasji was man who could be described as lover of art. In keeping up with his taste, Diwan Bahadur, conceptulised this beautiful mansion at the present spot, where now it lies in state of despair, waiting for its revival.
In no time, work was under way. Artists and craftsmen best in their work were deployed.
Soon the 'Kothi' when completed was elegantly furnished with the best English and French furniture of the period, and its gardens were adorned with dozens of Grecian Urns and sculptures and twin Italians marble fountains.
Even the formal sitting room had a fountain playing in the centre. Thus it could be summarised as heaven on earth,with luxuries of life.
Most of the garden parties hosted by Jiwandasji in honor of his visiting guests as well as British officers were generally organised here.
The rooms of the mansion had names representing the colour. It had yellow, blue and other colour rooms.
All possible care was take, by Jiwandasji to decorate each of these rooms to keeping with the colour.
Even Motilal Nehru, who stayed in the mansion along with his wife while on his way to Nagpur, was carried away by the breath-taking charm of the rooms and decorative piece which adorn the walls.
The mansion was named Govind Bhavan by Jiwandasji in the name of his only son, Seth Govind Das.
It was equipped with latest amenities of life or in other words luxuries of life for his son.
Even the such comforts were not able to keep, Seth Govind Das away from growing national movement of the time.
(To be continued .... )
Photographer - JS Murthy
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