Kirti Stambh is One of the most popular Landmarks in the City located near Polo Ground. It is made out of pink Songadh stone and stands tall opposite Nehru Bhavan. The landmark was built to mark 60 years of rule of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in 1935. Perched atop the landmark is a lion that is facing eastwards. Though, many citizens know reasons behind building Kirti Stambh, not many are aware of the philosophy behind the structure. Kirti Stambh is also known as Tower of Fame/Triumph.
The structure depicts Sayajirao’s decision of moving towards ‘Vanaprasthashram’ (Life of Retirement). The lion sitting on the top of the structure faces east and has his back to the Laxmi Vilas Palace (Lukshmi Villas Palace) gate. Travelling towards east is considered to be a way of attaining salvation in Hindu philosophy. The lion’s back is towards the palace and it illustrates the king’s departure from his Kingdom and Luxurious Life.
“If one sees closely, the lion is a bit old and appears fatigued. And, it is about to get up and walk. Sayajirao portrays himself as the ageing lion. There is deep philosophy behind the structure made by prominent artist Krishnarao Chavan and his associates,” said Jeetendrasinh Gaekwad, great grandnephew of Sayajirao.
“All the buildings and structures made by Sayajirao in the erstwhile Baroda state carried some meaning and had philosophical touch,” Gaekwad added. Kirti Stambh is currently one of the busiest areas in the city as a bus deot is located just 100 metres away from it. It stands tall amidst the mushrooming concrete structures around it.