Datto Vaman Potdar
Vice Chancellor, University of Pune
In office
1 July 1961 – 30 June 1964
Preceded byDattatreya Gopal Karve
Succeeded byNarhar Vishnu Gadgil
Personal details
Dattatray Vaman Potdar

(1890-08-05)August 5, 1890
Birwadi, Raigad District, Bombay Presidency (now part of Maharashtra)
DiedOctober 6, 1979(1979-10-06) (aged 89)
Pune, Maharashtra
Alma materFergusson College
AwardsPadma Bhushan (1967)

Dattatray Vaman Potdar (5 August 1890 – 6 October 1979), better known as Datto Vaman Potdar, was an Indian historian, writer, and orator. He was the Vice-Chancellor of University of Pune during 1961 - 1964.

The British colonial Government of India had honored Potdar with the title Mahamahopadhyaya in 1946. He was honored by government of india with Padmabhushan in 1967.[1] Because of his vast knowledge, he was sometimes called as Dr. Johnson of Maharashtra or a living encyclopedia.

Potdar was a disciple of the historian Vishwanath Kashinath Rajwade, and served as a trustee of Pune based Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal (इतिहास संशोधक मंडळ) founded by Rajwade. His disciples included Pandurang Sadashiv Sane, Swami Swaroopanand, Vasudeo Sitaram Bendrey, Sethu Madhav Rao Pagadi, and Ramchandra Chintaman Dhere.[2]

Early life

Potdar was born into Karhade Brahmin family[3] in the village of Birwadi in Raigad District of Maharashtra. Potdar completed his matriculation in 1906 from Nutan Marathi Vidyalaya in Pune, and four years later received a bachelor's degree in History and Marathi from the then University of Bombay affiliated Ferguson college in Pune.


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Potdar became a teacher in 1912 at Shikshan Prasarak Mandali's Nutan Marathi Vidyalaya, his former school. He left the school in 1920 as the Head Master of the school. Shikshan Prasarak Mandali appointed him as a professor in 1921 at New Poona College (later renamed S. P. College) in Pune. He remained in that position until 1935.

Potdar had mastered Sanskrit to the extent that he could fluently converse in it. He also was proficient in Persian and this proved to be valuable while conducting Historical Research.

Scholarly career

In 1910, Sardar Mehendale, V. K. Rajwade, and Potdar founded Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal. Potdar maintained passionate interest through his life in the growth of the Mandal. He traveled all over India, collecting historical documents pertaining especially to Maratha empire and Marathi literature. He ran periodicals, delivered speeches, and organized lecture series, inspiring others to research historical papers. He only once went abroad and that was to what in those times was USSR. In 1965, the Government of Maharashtra appointed Potdar to write the biography of Shivaji, but before he could finish the assignment, he died on 6 October 1979 in Pune.


Potdar remained a lifelong bachelor.


Besides the above, Potdar has to his credit over 600 historical articles (Marathi and English).

Editorial works


Potdar was closely associated with 68 organizations. including the following:


See also


  1. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Historian Bendre". Archived from the original on 19 December 2014.
  3. ^ Govind Chimnaji Bhate (1939). History of modern Marathi literature, 1800-1938. The author. p. 589. Datto Vaman Potdar comes from a Desasth Brahmin family hailing from Kolaba district. Dattu (the colloquial for Datto fuller name being Dattatraya) was born at Biravadi, taluka Mahad, district Kolaba in 1890.