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Heritage building of Vivekananda faces the axe

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The TOI has reported a story which is very disheartening to read and is about a heritage building in the city in which Swami Vivekananda had stayed in 1892 for three days.
To be very precise it was October 15 to 18, 1892 that Swami Vivekananda was in Belgaum and had visited this place in Risaldar Galli (Now Swami Vivekananda Marg) where he even gave some lectures. Swamiji had stayed here for four days as the guest of Lawyer Bhate. The room, the items used by Swami Vivekanand is still preserved in here like the wooden stick, mirror hand stick etc and is maintained by Ramkrishna Mission Ashrama.

town centre
The house in Risaldar Galli where Swami Vivekananda stayed

The said building was sold to the Belvi family in 1939, and in 1987 Balwant Belvi gifted a part of his portion of the building to the Ramkrishna Mission ashrama which is now run as Sri Ramakrishna Vivekananda Sevashrama.
Now Vidyadhar Belvi wants to sell his part of the portion of the building and a notice issued by Advocate Prabhu in a local news paper calls for any objections if any as his client wishes to demolish the current structure and build a new one.

swamijis cotstick
The room is still preserved

The government on its own should take sumoto action and preserve this ancient heritage building so that the younger generations can know about the history of the nation.
The same building also hosted other noted dignitaries like Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Sarojini Naidu, Nehru and Tilak who were here on various occasions.
This was the same time infact October 15 to 18 when the great man was here and we are reading about this news bite of the heritage building in which he resided for three days then will now be brought down to make way for a new tall building. Seems like another heritage building will be no more and the coming generations will never know where Swami Vivekananda had stayed when he had visited Belgaum.

9 thoughts on “Heritage building of Vivekananda faces the axe”

  1. I read this this morning in TOI (blore edition). Very sad to know abt this issue. The authorities need to intervene and protect this heritage bldg.

  2. The late Dattopant Belvi , freedom fighter and advocate and a personal friend of Balgangadhar Tilak, who bought the property from Mr Bhate, happens to be my great-grandfather. There are a lot of factual errors in the article in TOI and other newspapers.. All the VIPs who came visiting did not visit this house because it was an ashram (it wasn't an ashram then, it was Mr Belvi's residence), but they came there to confer with Mr Belvi, the Congressman. Moreover, half the house (about 3000 sq feet or so) has already been donated to the ashram by the Belvi family. How much more should the family donate? Besides, Swamiji was here only for 4 days. Does the govt go about acquiring every strip of land that the Swamiji ever lived on? I am sure Swamiji wouldn't have wanted this!

  3. world is developing & at the same time to preserve the heritage. Let him construct floors without destroying and allow atleast a small portion of it to be preserved.

    • A large portion (3000 sq feet) has already been preserved as an ashram for the last so many years. The controversy is about the area just adjacent to the ashram, that Mr Vidyadhar Belvi is using for the last so many years as his residence and where he still resides. Preservation of heritage has ALREADY been done.


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