Says a source close to Akshay, "This is the first time a film has been allowed to be shot there. Akki plays a Maharashtrian named Sachin Tichkule in the film. The palace is shown as his home in the film and several portions have been shot there, courtesy Raghunath Raje Naik Nimbalkar, the current Raja of Phaltan and a descendant of Saibai's family. Akshay was fascinated by the history of the place."
The source adds that Akshay didn't just meet Raghunath Raje Naik Nimbalkar but also took a tour of the entire place. "The actor was stunned by some of the old paintings housed there. The entire Khatta Meetha unit got great support and cooperation from the Nimbalkars (through their common friend; a local, Ranjit Pawar) to shoot in Phaltan. Akki found the Raja of Phaltan very humble and sweet."
Priyadarshan says, "Nimbalkarji, a descendant of Saibai's family, arranged everything for us and made our stay extremely comfortable. It's the first time that a film is being shot there. It is because of him that we could shoot at various places including the municipal office and I could give the film a Marathi feel. Akshay too speaks a bit of Marathi in Khatta Meetha."
Priyan adds, "When I went to Wai and Satara to do a recce for the film, I saw this old, beautiful palace in Phaltan, they're called waadas in Marathi, and was struck by the splendour of the place. In the film, Sachin's (Akshay's character) family is shown as a descendant of a Raja's family. I wanted a typically Maharastrian backdrop. When I saw the place, I didn't have to do a thing -- it just gives you that feel."
Shivaji's first wife was Saibai. She was from the house of Nimbalkars of Phaltan. He married her sometime in 1641. She bore him his eldest son Sambhaji and three daughters. The Nimbalkar dynasty is a Maratha clan of Rajput origin. The rulers had the title of Raja or Naik Nimbalkar. The members of the Naik Nimbalkar dynasty were the rulers of Phaltan from the era of the Yadava Kingdom till the princely order ended in 1947.
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