Ganpatrao Bodas
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1880 – 1965

When his mother realized the young Ganpatrao Bodas’ leaning towards theater; she advised him to join the best drama Company, i.e. Kirloskar Natak Mandli.

Ganpatrao joined it on 30/9/1895. Ganpatrao used to study ins and outs of every actor of the times, from the wings of the stage. He was a keen and observant student.

The playwright Deval taught him the role of Shankar from the play ‘Mruchchakatik’, which became a pet role for him. His roles, Promad in ‘ Mookanayak’, Shrungi in ‘Gupta Manjusha’ and Laximdhar in ‘Manapaman’, were his very famous roles.

Ganpatrao mastered Deval’s style of dramatics to the letter. In 1913, there was a split in Kirloskar Natak Mandli and Ganpatrao, Bal Gandharva and Govind Tembe started another drama company Gandharva Natak Mandli.

The Company produced Deval’s play ‘Phalgunrao’ adding music to it and remaining it ‘Samshay Kallol’. Ganpatrao Bodas’ role of Phalgunrao in it has simply become immortal on the Marathi stage.

Bodas reached a pinnacle of glory, success and popularity in the history of the Marathi theater through his performances of the roles Krishna in ‘Swayamwar’ and ‘Sudhakar’ in ‘Ekach Pyala’.

In 1919, Bodas left Kirloskar Company and worked in Yashwant Natak Mandli as Manager. He returned to Kirloskar once again for a year and then from 1923 Bodas started working on the night-basis. In those days Bodas used to get Rs 250/- per night show.

Bodas was back to Kirloskars’s company for 4 more years from 1928 to 1931. Bodas continued acting his typical roles of Phalgunrao, Laxmidhar, Kanchanbhat etc., till 1956.

He was a born actor who was interested in the theater till his old age. He wrote his autobiography entitled ‘Mazi Bhoomika’ (My Role) in 1940.

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Milestone and Achivements
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Year Milestone
1895 On the occasion of the Dassera festival, 1st part of the play ‘Hamlet’ was performed.
1905 Member of the organization passes resolution to perform play to help society and the Institutions to built up the Funds.
1913 Younger ‘Students Social Club’ get converted to ‘Social Club’
1919 In the due respect of Lokmanya Tilak organization performed a play ‘Tratica’
(Based on the play by Shakespeare’s ‘Teeming of the through’ ) at new Aryabhushan Theater in Pune, Lokmanya Tilak was present on the occasion.
1923 On April 19th at Pune, organization performed a play ‘Kanchangadchi Mohana’ to raise the funds for self reliance.
1924 Organization had his own premise of size 24 feet X 18 feet.
1928 In the month of may the play ‘Falgunrao’ was performed. A great freedo mfighter on the nation ‘Netaji Subhashchandra Bose’ was present at this show.
1935 Organization had its open air theater which was inaugurated on 4th May. The collectorate of Pune, Mr. Mak lacklun was the guest of the occasion. 27th Bharat Natya Sammelan was held at new open air theater in presence of noted harmonium artist Mr. Govindrao Tembe. Organization was registered on 8th July.
1944 27th September, was the golden year of the organization. A special function was held under the leadership of noted writer Tatyasaheb Kelkar.
1950 From 15th of August a constitution of organization starts implementing.
1951 From 16th to 20th May, gathering of armature artists from Pune was held under leadership of noted marathi stage artist Mr. Keshavrao Date.
1952 On 26th July a students from California University, U.S.A. visited organization.
1963 Organization had its close theater.
1969 Organization celebrate its Platinum year and decide to go for full flanged, well equipped auditorium.
1970 On 9th May, a new well equipped auditorium was inaugurated. Homeminister Mr. Yashwantrao Chawhan visited organization on 10th May
1994 Organization completed 100 years. The year was celebrated as Century year.
2003 Organization is not out 110. Celebrating the year with various activities.


When Marathi theater activity was at high with the trend of Musical drama (similar to dramatic opera in the west) from year 1882 to around year 1933, Bharat Natya Samshodhan Mandir performed mostly prose drama in the theater acivity. ‘Zunjarrao’, ‘Mohantara’, ‘Kanchangadchi Mohana’, ‘Tratika’, ‘Falgunrao’, ‘Kichakwadh’, ‘godgondhal’, ‘Municipalty’, ‘Umaji Naik’, ‘excap from Agra’ are some noted prose plays performed by the organization.

And now today when Marathi theater is at high with the trend of prose plays, organization is marinating the trend of musical drama. The old performed musical plays are reproduced occasionally by the organization to maintain the tradition and culture of old Marathi Theater.

  • Organization had its own full-fledged well equipped auditorium in 1970.
  • Organization performed musical play ‘Swayamwar’ in state level musical drama competition by Maharastra governmentin 1970. First, ‘Mandarmala’ and ‘Vairin Zali Sakhi’ for next consistent years. Won the first prize for three consistent years in this competition and made history.
  • In prose statelevel competition, organization has performed prose plays like ‘Takshashila’, ‘shitu’ and prose plays like ‘Umbrella’, ‘Rakshas’, ‘Natawal’, ‘Bhairavi to Bharatwakya’ of parallel theater activity.
  • Organization has started kids drama wing in 1952 with famaus kids play ‘Hema ani ssat butake’, ‘princes laughed’, ‘Nilampari’, ‘Tun tun nagari, khan khan raja’, ‘A magic rope’ etc. The noted marathi artist Mr. Mohan Joshi, Rohini Hattangadi, Rajan Mohandikar are came up from this activity.
  • Organization is conducting Single Character Acting performance competition in the honour of late Mrs. Vasumati Vijapure for last 25 years. This year is Silver Jubilee year of the Competition.
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