Kirti Mandir – or temple of fame – is the cenotaph of the royal Gaekwad family, built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III to perpetuate the memory of his ancestors.
It was built in 1936 as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Maharaja. The Bhoomi-Poojan was done in 1926 and the construction was completed in 1933.
The magnificent E-shaped monument with domes, terraces, balconies and the central shikhara rises to a height of 33 meters. The characteristic ‘sikhara’ of the monument represents the sun, the moon and the earth in bronze with the undivided map of India. The walls of the central hall are superbly embellished with murals of Gangavataran, battle of Mahabharat, the life of Mirabai and the Natir Pooja done by the eminent Bengali artist Nandalal Bose.
The Kirti Mandir also houses priceless photographs and statues of the Gaekwads and coins, weapons and other personal items. Kirti Mandir is situated near the picturesque Vishwamitri Bridge.
The Abhivyakti Sanskrutik Sthal is a recent addition to the campus. A stage created adjoining the Shiv temple has lent vibrancy to the cultural activities in the city. The dance performances held at the backdrop of the old, beautifully carved temples, makes it a favourite spot for such events.
There is also an art gallery in the same premises. Rangoli exhibitions are held annually during Diwali at Kirti Mandir.