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