Hindu Datrutva Ratna
Shriman Bhagoji Sheth Keer, an artisan turned businessman, was born in Killa area of Ratnagiri in a poor family. In his early days, he learnt carpentry work from a Government School in Rajiwada area of Ratnagiri. His talent was rightly tapped by Shri. Shapurji Palanji, a rich businessman from Mumbai. Shri Shapurji Palanji was impressed by the integrity and honesty of Bhagoji Keer and led him towards success and prosperity.
Even though Shri Bhagoji Keer became rich and even though he acquired huge wealth and property, he did not forget his society and religion. Therefore Shri Bhagoji Keer constructed Temples, buildings, Dharmashalas, Ghats on the banks of rivers and Hindu crematories at Mumbai, Pune, Alandi, Ratnagiri and at various other places.
Shri Bhagoji Keer belonged to Bhandari community i.e. a sea warrior community. Still, because of the peculiar special frame of Hindu community, he was not allowed to enter the adytum of any temple and to worship God. Therefore, Shri Bhagoji Keer built a beautiful Shiva Temple out of his own funds in Killa area of Ratnagiri. The temple is known as Shri Bhageshwar Temple. Presently it is a well known a tourist attraction.
Shri Bhagoji Sheth Keer was staunch follower of Veer Sawarkar. In 1928, on the occasion of Shivratri Festival, Shri Keer had invited Veer Sawarkar in Bhageshwar Temple. Veer Sawarkar in his speech, expressed anguish over the Hindu caste system. He told Shri. Keer that because he was rich person he could construct his own temple and worship god, but there are thousands of Hindus who are not fortunate enough to touch the feet of deity and to worship god. He further expressed utmost necessity to construct a temple for all such Hindus and requested Shri Keer to construct such a temple. Shri Bhagoji Keer immediately accepted the request and promised Veer Sawarkar to build such a temple.
Accordingly Shri Bhagoji Keer constructed Patitpavan Mandir Temple out of his own funds and contributed to the social revolution work of Veer Sawarkar at Ratnagiri. Even thereafter, he actively participated in various temple activities.
After Sawarkar left for Mumbai in 1937, Shri Bhagoji Sheth Keer and others continued the activities till his last in 1948. Even today one member from Shriman Bhagoji Sheth Keer family is there as a trustee in the temple trust. In February 2008, Mandir trust honoured and felicitated this gigantic generous work of Shriman Bhagoji Sheth Keer by conferring ''Hindu Datrutva Ratna'' title to him. Work of Shriman Bhagojisheth Keer is remembered by temple trust on his punya-tithi, i.e. on 24th February of every year.