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History / Patronage of Shri. Shahu Maharaja

Shri. Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaja
Both Karveer Gayan Samaj and Deval Club started their activities out of pure love towards Hindusthani Classical music. Neither of them had any formal establishment nor the funds so as to have their own premises. Naturally, all the early activities were being arranged in either of the member's residence or in a rented hall. Many of the concerts were held in a hall of the Rajaram College. Since regular attendance had substantially increased, a residential hall on the first floor of the building owned by Mr. Luktuke, situated behind the Laxmiprasad Theatre in Mangalwar Peth, was taken on rent on a regular basis. That was the time when the great musical personalities such as Govindraoji Tembe, Ustad Alladiyan Khan Saheb, Bhaskarbuwa Bakhale, Bal Gandharv, Keshavrao Bhosale and many others became regular visitors, who attended every function religiously. Eventually all their admirers and followers followed suit and the popularity of this Club started spreading across the country.

Deval Club - Kolhapur
No wonder, this group started feeling a need for their own building, where they could independently continue their activities. For the purpose, with a view of collecting funds, they produced a few theatrical plays; including mainly 'Vinod', a comedy authored by Shri. Madhavrao Joshi. The actors in this comedy included V. Shantaram, Bhalji Pendharkar and Baburao Pendharkar, who later on became great personalities of Indian Cinema. Rajarshi Shri. Shahu Maharaja was in the audience for one of the shows and was very much impressed by their performance. Understanding the need of the club and considering its achievements in past, he donated to the club, a piece of land and an amount of Rs. 3000/- as donation and additional Rs. 3000/- as loan, for the construction of club building. He did this in the memory of Shri. Govind Ballal Deval, his resident tutor and the author of Sharada, Manapaman and SanshayKallol, the great Marathi musical classics. Deval had passed away in 1916. Following the footsteps of Rajarshi Shri Shahu, many renowned musical personalities and admirers of arts, donated generously for the club building, which was completed and inaugurated by Shri. Shahu Maharaja in 1919.

Deval Club Old Building - Kolhapur
Old building of the Club as it is today
This building has witnessed the golden era of the development and popularity of the traditional classical performing arts. All the renowned artists of the time have resided and performed their skills in front of the highly appreciative crowd of Kolhapur. Now with the passage of time and changing needs of the city, this historical building has been reshaped to facilitate the road widening work. Simultaneously, the club has taken up construction of a modern multipurpose cultural complex, suitable for the modern times, so as to give a fillip to the ongoing activities. Nevertheless, the institute is planning to reconstruct this heritage building in the memory of Shri. Govind Ballal Deval, as also of Rajarshi Shri. Shahu Maharaja for his unforgettable contribution and patronage for Classical Music, Dance and Drama.