Savitri Khanolkar Age, Death, Husband, Children, Family, Biography & More » StarsUnfolded


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Age: 77 Years

Date of Death: 26/11/1990

Spouse: Vikram Ramji Khanolkar

Savitri Khanolkar

Savitri

Some lesser known facts about Savitri Khanolkar

  • Savitri Khanolkar was an Indian designer best known for designing India’s highest gallantry award, the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). She is also known for designing other gallantry awards for the nation.
  • Savitri started her schooling in Geneva; Her father, there, worked at the University of Geneva.
  • Savitri was greatly influenced by Indian culture and traditions. During his summer vacations, he read many books on Indian culture.
  • During her summer vacations, she went to the beach in Geneva with her family; It was here that she met Vikram Ramji Khanolkar and fell in love with him.
  • Vikram Ramji Khanolkar visited Geneva while training as an Indian officer cadet at the Sandhurst Military Academy in the United Kingdom.
  • Savitri somehow persuaded her father to get Vikram’s house address and soon they started talking to each other through letters.
  • A few years passed and Savitri decided to meet Vikram, who was living in Bombay. Soon after meeting, both of them decided to marry each other. In 1932, both of them got married in Bombay.
  • After marrying Vikram, Savitri completed her formal education from Patna University. There he studied Indian culture, Hinduism and the Vedas.
  • Till India gained its independence from the British Raj; Savitri had learned a lot about Indian culture. It was decided by the Indian Army that new gallantry awards have to be designed. The army then gave the responsibility of designing the new gallantry award to Major General Hira Lal Atal.
  • When Major General Hira Lal met Atal Savitri Khanolkar, he was impressed by his knowledge of the country, and hence, he sought his help in designing the medals.
  • While designing the Param Vir Chakra, Savitri included the Vajra, a weapon made by the spine of a saint named Sage Dadhichi, who donated his spine to the gods. She was also greatly influenced by an Indian warrior named Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Thus, his sword Bhavani was incorporated into the design of the medal.
    Param Vir Chakra Medal

    Param Vir Chakra Medal

  • The medal is made entirely of bronze and has a 32 mm purple ribbon attached to its swivel, which holds the medal. The medal consists of a raised circular platform in the centre, on which the national emblem of India is embossed. The raised circular platform is surrounded by four vajras and each vajra is flanked by two Bhavani swords of Shivaji Maharaj.
    PVC Medal Ribbon

    PVC Medal Ribbon

  • On the reverse of the medal, Param Vir Chakra is written in both Hindi and English languages. Words are separated from each other by two lotus flowers. The diameter of the medal is 13/8 inch or 41.275 mm.
  • The Mahavir Chakra is a round-shaped medal made of silver. This medal is India’s second highest gallantry award, which is awarded during wartime. In the medal, there is a five-pointed heraldic star, and in the center of the star, there is a circle on which the national emblem of the country is embossed.
  • On the other side of the medal Mahavir Chakra is written in English and Hindi languages. These two languages ​​are separated from each other by the lotus flower.
    Maha Vir Chakra Medal

    Maha Vir Chakra Medal

  • The ribbon of the Mahavir Chakra is half white and half orange and has a total width of 3.2 cm.
    MVC Medal Ribbon

    MVC Medal Ribbon

  • Savitri also created India’s third highest wartime gallantry award, the Vir Chakra. The medal is circular and made of silver. The medal consists of a 5 star with a dome in the center. In the center of the dome is the national emblem of India. The diameter of the medal is 13/8 inch or 41.275 mm.
  • On the other side of the medal, the Vir Chakra is written in both English and Hindi; Separated from two lotus flowers.
    Vir Chakra Medal

    Vir Chakra Medal

  • The ribbon of the medal is half dark blue and half saffron. The diameter of the ribbon is 30 mm.
    Veer Chakra medallions

    Veer Chakra medallions

  • Apart from designing war medals, Savitri also designed gallantry medals to be given during peacetime.
  • The Ashok Chakra is India’s highest gallantry award, awarded during peacetime. The award is made of gilded gold and measures 13/8 inch or 41.275 mm in diameter.
  • In the center of the medallion is an Ashoka Chakra surrounded by a circular garland of lotus flowers. On the other side of the medal, Ashoka Chakra is written in both English and Hindi languages. These words are distinguished by the lotus flower. The medal is circular in shape.
    Ashoka Chakra Medal

    Ashoka Chakra Medal

  • The medal hangs from a swivel, which is attached to a 32 mm dark green ribbon with a 2 mm saffron stripe in the middle.
    Ashoka Chakra medallions

    Ashoka Chakra medallions

  • The Kirti Chakra is made of silver and is circular in shape. This medal is India’s second highest gallantry award, which is awarded during peace time. Its diameter is 13/8 inch or 41.275 mm. The medallion has an Ashoka Chakra in the center and is surrounded by a circular garland of lotus flowers. Kirti Chakra is written on the other side of the medal in English and Hindi.
    Kirti Chakra Medal

    Kirti Chakra Medal

  • The ribbon of the medal is a dark green ribbon 30 mm in width and divided into two by 2 mm saffron strips.
    Rebandi of Kirti Chakra Medal

    Rebandi of Kirti Chakra Medal

  • Shaurya Chakra is India’s third highest gallantry award, which is awarded in peacetime. The medal is circular in shape and is made of bronze. The medallion in the center has an Ashoka Chakra, surrounded by a wreath made of lotus. Shaurya Chakra is engraved on the reverse of the medal both in Hindi and in English.
    Shaurya Chakra Medal

    Shaurya Chakra Medal

  • The medal has a dark green ribbon; Divided equally into four by three saffron strips.
    Rebandi of Shaurya Chakra Medal

    Rebandi of Shaurya Chakra Medal

  • Savitri also designed a Common Service Medal, which was discontinued in 1975. Soldiers were awarded medals for their service in the theater of operations. The medal is made of nickel and is round in shape. The medal consists of a 31 mm red ribbon with five identical, 1 mm dark green stripes.
    ribbon of general service medal

    ribbon of general service medal

  • Shivaji’s sword Bhavani is on the obverse of the medal. The sword is surrounded by a halo. The reverse of the medal has a lotus flower bud in the center and Common Seva Medal is written on the edge of the medal.
    general service medal

    general service medal

  • Savitri’s mother died while giving birth. As a child, she often asked her father about her mother. Giving an interview, Lieutenant General Harbakhsh Singh said,

    Born to Hungarian parents, Mrs Khanolkar lost her mother at birth. Her father was then the librarian of the League of Nations in Geneva. She was raised by him and placed in a school in the Riviera, which was near the beach. She missed her mother from the very beginning, and often asked her father where her mother was, and why did he come to school alone to see her?”

  • Savitri was also a social worker. He helped people displaced from their homes and land due to the violent partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.
  • Savitri is described as a very simple woman. She, after the death of her husband, joined the Ramakrishna Math in 1952. In an interview, Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh said,

    Mrs Khanolkar was actually an Indian wife. She wore a cotton sari, no rouge, and she had slippers to wear! I really liked Mrs. Savitri Khanolkar and her methods. She became a follower of Ramakrishna Math and started following Vedanta. And, in his own way, he got me involved in Vedanta. ,

  • Savitri was fluent in many languages. She could speak Hindi, English, French, Marathi and Konkani fluently.
  • He has written and published a book titled “The Saints of Maharashtra”.
  • Savitri’s decision to marry Vikram was opposed by her father. Even Vikram’s parents and his senior British officers were not so happy with their decision to get married. Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh told in an interview that,

    He brought her to Aurangabad as his newly wedded bride, but the British officers in the battalion did not like it – first because she was a foreigner, and second because she had married against the unwritten law that as a British officer, you Can’t get married until you were 30.”

  • Savitri often said that she was accidentally born in Europe instead of India. He never liked it when someone called him a ‘foreigner’.
  • Many famous personalities used to meet Savitri because of her contribution in designing medals for the country.
    Savitri Khanolkar with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi

    Savitri Khanolkar with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi



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