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Babasaheb Purandare, noted historian and Padma Vibhushan awardee, passes away

The Padma Vibhushan awardee breathed his last at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital and Research Centre

Babasaheb Purandare, noted historian and Padma Vibhushan awardee, passes away
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Pune, First Published Nov 15, 2021, 8:23 AM IST
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Notable historian and author Babasaheb Purandare passed away at the age of 99 in Maharashtra's Pune on Monday morning. The Padma Vibhushan awardee breathed his last at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital and Research Centre. He was on ventilator support after being diagnosed with pneumonia. The last rites will be performed at Pune's Vaikunth crematorium at around 10.30 am.

Babasaheb, whose original name was Balwant Moreshwar Purandare, dedicated his life to history and research. Born on July 29, 1922, at Saswad near Pune, Purandare was enamoured by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj from an early age. He authored many books and essays on the Maratha warrior. His play, 'Jaanta Raja' (1985) -- based on Chhatrapati Shivaji's life -- has been enacted in five languages and had nearly 1300 shows. His essays were later compiled in a book titled 'Thinagya' (Sparks).

Babasaheb received the Maharashtra Bhushan award in 2015. Four years later, in 2019, he was honoured with the country's second-highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan. During his lifetime, it is said that Purandare delivered around 12,000 lectures on Chhatrapati Shivaji. Having deeply studied the Maratha forts and the history of their empire, Purandare was the single-point authority on the subject. 

His prominent works include 'Jaanta Raja', 'Maharaj', 'Rajgad', 'Panhalgad', 'Sinhagad', 'Pratapgad', 'Purandaryanchi Daulat', 'Shelarkhind', 'Gadkot Kille',  'Mujaryache Mankari', 'Fulwanti', 'Savitri', 'Agra', 'Lal Mahal', 'Purandar', 'Kalawantinicha Sajja' and the monumental two-volume ' Raje Shivchhatrapati'. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled Purandare's demise. He credited Purandare with connecting the coming generations to Chhatrapati Shivaji through his works. Recalling Purandare as someone who was witty, wise and had a rich knowledge of Indian history, Prime Minister Modi said he had the honour of interacting with him very closely over the years. He had also addressed his centenary year programme a few months ago.

A host of celebrities had called on Purandare on July 29 this year when the renowned scholar and historian completed 99 years. At a felicitation function to mark his birthday, Purandare had expressed his desire to live for some years to serve society. 

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