As part of a major initiative, a documentary on novelist and wanderer Gopal Neelkanth Dandekar is being made to pay homage to the legendary man and inspire generations to head for mountains, forts and nature.
Dandekar was known in Maharashtra as Gonida (July 8, 1916 – June 1, 1998) and is a revered figure in the literary world of Maharashtra.
Akhil Maharashtra Giryarohan Mahasangh (AMGM), Maharashtra’s umbrella mountaineering organization, has taken the initiative.
“Gonida has always been an inspiration and a revolutionary person who embodied the art of exploring the forts,” said AMGM President Umesh Zirpe, a seasoned mountaineer, trainer and mentor.
The management committee includes Zirpe, working chairman of AMGM Hrishikesh Yadav, famous actor and director Mrunal Kulkarni, who is the granddaughter of Gonida, Vijay Joshi, Ravi Paranjape and Abhijit Belhekar. Dr Veena Deo has agreed to guide this working committee and will work as an advisor for the project.
Nilesh Deshpande will be the main guest of the project.
AMGM plans to produce this documentary in the next 5 to 6 months.
“Gonida had been a pioneering novelist who walked every ghat, every path and every fort of Sahyadri with the greatest adulation to none other than Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that he spent most of his life exploring the forts of Sahyadri, ”Zirpe said.
“He has visited some of his favorite forts several times. Raigad, Rajgad, Torna, were some of his special characters. He not only visited the forts, but he really enjoyed being nestled in their lap, ”he said.
Its exploration led to some of the classic documentations on forts such as Durgabhramangatha, Gurgadarsham Shivteerth Raigad and others. These readings have led thousands of fort lovers to the foothills of Sahyadri.
According to Zirpe, Gonida’s exploration and documentation reveals an art of understanding forts and their histories. From the archaeological remains of the structures of the fort, he discovered the historical facets of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his kingdom. The last three generations of Maharashtra followed him.