MUMBAI: Bollywood superstar Rajesh Khanna’s Carter Road bungalow, popularly known as ‘Aashirwad’, is being sold to a city industrialist.
The landmark sea-facing property, a major tourist attraction for legions of his fans, is believed to have been purchased by Shashi Kiran Shetty, executive chairman of Allcargo Logistics.
Market sources said the 603sq m property could fetch the late superstar’s family around Rs 90 crore. The sole beneficiaries are his two daughters, Twinkle and Rinke.
Shetty refused comment when TOI contacted him. His solicitor firm, Maneksha & Sethna, too, declined to name the buyer. According to sources, the deal is expected to be concluded once the mandatory 14-day notice about any ownership claim by a third party is over, said sources.
TOI has learned that Shetty has been scouting for a bungalow in the city with a budget of around Rs 100 crore for the past couple of years. He had booked a sprawling apartment in the under-construction Palais Royale skyscraper at Worli for about Rs 40 crore. But the highrise, touted as the tallest residential tower in India, has been embroiled in a legal battle since 2012 and the BMC has halted work. “When Palais Royale got into legal trouble, Shetty started hunting for a bungalow,” the sources said.
Khanna’s bungalow falls under the stringent coastal regulation zone and, hence, the property is entitled to a limited floor space index in case it is redeveloped. But the sources said Shetty plans to live in it.
The tinsel town heartthrob, whose real name was Jatin Chunnilal Khanna, died of cancer in July 2012. Some years before his death, the actor, adulated as ‘Kaka’, wanted his house to be converted into a museum. In an interview to Bombay Times in 2009, Khanna had talked about plans to open India’s first star museum here. “By the grace of the Almighty, my daughters Twinkle and Rinke are married, settled and have huge houses themselves. They don’t need my property… Aashirwad is the home of the first superstar of Bollywood, and I would like it to remain that way. Of course, my daughters will take the final decision because it will be their inheritance in the future,” he had said.
The actor bought the bungalow from another Bollywood legend, Rajendra Kumar, sometime in the late 1960s and had it rebuilt in the 80s. It was once attached by the income tax authorities after Khanna defaulted on payments, but he managed to clear his dues and reclaim it. After his death, it was bequeathed to his daughters. It is now named Vardaan Aashirwad.
Anita Advani, who claimed to have been the actor’s live-in partner, had staked a claim on his legacy and moved court against his family soon after his death. “I am not interested in Aashirwad. I just want it to be converted into a museum. I want to ask them (his family) where were they when he needed them. I looked after him all these years. I lived in that house, took care of him and all his needs. The reason I am asking for compensation is because they stripped me of everything,” she had told TOI. The actor’s family refuted her claims.