Dhondo Keshava Karve
was born on 18th April 1858 in Sheraoli, a village of Ratnagiri District. His father was
Keso Pant or Keshava. The mother was Lakshmi Bai. Karve's was an aristocratic family. The
members of the family had been rich enough to lend six and a half lake rupees to Damoji
Gaikwad, the ruler of Gujarat. But all this fortune and this aristocracy were things of
the past; they related to three or four generations before Dhondo Karve. When Dhondo Pant
was born the Karve family had only debts to repay.
Although Dhondo Pant was born in Sheraoli, he looked upon
Murud as his hometown.
When Dhondo Pant was born the family was steeped in
poverty. Keso Pant realised that if he spent his life idling in Murud the family would
starve. So he took up employment as a clerk with a landlord named Barve in Koregaon.
Keso Pant had three children - Dhondo Pant, his elder
brother Bhikaji and younger sister Ambatayi.
Dhondo Pant's parents were religious by nature. Everyday
there was worship and singing in the house. Even as a boy Dhondo Pant practiced reading
religious works like 'Shivaleelamrita' and 'Gurucharitre.'