Directory of Villages & Towns
AHMADNAGAR, THE HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE DISTRICT BEARING THE SAME NAME and a taluka known as Nagar, is a municipal town with a cantonment board and is located in 19°00' north latitude and 74°00' east longitude. It is situated on the bank of the Sina about seventy-five miles to the north-east of Pune and about 180 miles to the east of Bombay. It covers an area of 9.5 square miles and has a total population of 1,18,236 souls as per the Census of 1971. It is a railway station on the Daund-Manmad broad gauge route of the Central Railway. The town is of historical importance and is of considerable antiquity. The town is famous since mediaeval times. It was a seat of the Nizam-shahi kingdom of Ahmadnagar founded by Malik Ahmad, the founder of the Nizamshahi dynasty and of the town. The town is named after him as Ahmadnagar. As per an anecdote it is said that after founding the city, Ahmad Shah asked his minister Salabatkhan about naming the town. Salabatkhan told him that Shah Ahmad of Gujarat named his capital city as Ahmadabad since his Vazir, Kazi and Kotwal besides himself were all named Ahmad. Similarly, Salabatkhan told Ahmad Shah that the Sultan was known as Ahmad Shah, the Kazi was known as Ahmad and the commander-in-chief was also known as Ahmad and hence he requested the Sultan to name the town after Ahmad and thus it came to be known as Ahmadnagar.
Being the head-quarters of a district and a taluka as also of a Panchayat Samiti, located therein are the offices of the Collector and the District Magistrate, the Mamlatdar, the Zilla Parishad and the Panchayat Samiti. It is a seat of the District and Sessions Judge and a Civil Judge (Junior Division) and First Class Judicial Magistrate. There are three police stations in the town, one each for Ahmadnagar City, Ahmadnagar Cantonment and Ahmadnagar taluka. The jurisdiction of the Police Station for Ahmadnagar Cantonment extends over five villages and that for the taluka extends over 104 villages.
The town gets protected water-supply but scarcity of water is often felt. Medical facilities to the town population are provided by the private medical practitioners and the municipal dispensaries as also by the Ripon General Hospital with 126 beds wherein is attached a family planning centre. The primary schools conducted by the municipality,
the high schools known as A. E. Society's High School, A. E. Boys' High School, St. Xaviour's High School, Dada Chaudhari Vidyalaya Nos. 1 and 2, A. T. U. Chand Sultana High School, Residential High School, Central English Night High School, Sarasvat Mandir Night High School, Sacred Heart Convent High School, A. E. Society's New High School, Rashtriya Pathashala, Sambodhi Vidyalaya, A. M Girls' High School, Kanya Vidya Mandir, L. B. P. Vidyalaya. Government Girls' High School, Pandit Nehru Hindi Vidyalaya and the A. C. High School and the colleges, viz., Ahmadnagar College, Premraj Sarda College and Ayurved Mahavidyalaya affiliated to the University of Pune cater to the educational needs of the local people. The offices of the Ahmadnagar District Central Co-operative Bank Ltd., the Ahmadnagar District Urban Central Co-operative Bank Ltd., Bank of Maharashtra, Devkaran Nanjee Banking Company, the State Bank of India and the New Citizen Bank of India are located in the town. In the town are located two Government rest-houses, an inspection bungalow and a travellers' bungalow. A weekly market which is also a cattle market is held in the town on every Tuesday. A combined agricultural produce market committee for Ahmadnagar and Parner was established in 1954. The jurisdiction of this market committee extends over 223 villages and the commodities regulated are jowar, bajri, wheat, tur, safflower, ground-nut, sesamum, linseed, niger-seed, gram, mug, udid, math, kulthi, vari, cotton, cotton seed, chilli, gur, cattle, sheep and goat.
Walk and Gates: Ahmadnagar was a walled city with gates. Walls around are still seen at some places but in a dilapidated condition and a few gates still exist. In what follows is reproduced an interesting description of these walls and gates as it appears in the old Ahmadnagar District Gazetteer published in 1884:-
" The city walls built of stone and mud masonry below and white mud masonry above are twelve to thirteen feet high, six feet broad, and about three miles round. The walls were built about 1631 (H. 1042) by Sarjekhan, one of Shah Jahan's (1627-1658) nobles. The city is entered by eleven gates, the Jhenda and the Bava Bangali gates in the east, the Malivada or Railway and Fergusson gates in the south, the Nepti and Nalegaon gates in the west, and the Delhi, Tophkhana, Sarjapur, Mangal and King gates in the north. The Jhenda or flag gate is eleven feet wide by seventeen high. The wall, which stretches on both sides, forms the wings of the doorway and is built with stones four feet from the ground, and for the remaining eight feet with burnt bricks and mud masonry, pointed with mortar. Inside a stone-stair leads up the wall to the flat top of the gateway to command a view of the ground in front when the gate was shut in times of danger. The Bava Bangali gate, 335
yards south of the Jhenda gate, is eleven feet wide by fourteen feet high. Except for two side bastions of stone below and brick and mud above, it is built like the Jhenda gate.
About 1,035 yards south-west of the Bava Bangali gate, an ornamented structure about 12'6" wide by 19'6" high, is the Fergusson gate built for easy access to the municipal market by the Municipality in 1881 and called after Sir James Fergusson, Bart., K. C. M. G., Governor of Bombay. About 300 yards west of the Fergusson gate is the Malivada gate, eleven and a quarter feet wide by thirteen feet nine inches high, with an open archway somewhat in the Gothic style, built of ashlar masonry. The gate has two strong stone side bastions, each about seventeen feet high. The parapets of the bastions which are about three feet high and are furnished with gun-holes are of burnt bricks and lime. The parapet over the flat part of the archway has openings for guns and is ascended by a stone-stair. The doors are of teakwood, about four inches thick, and like all the other gates have a small window to pass through at night, when the doors are closed from nine to five in the morning. Malivada is the strongest of the eleven Ahmadnagar gates. Close to the west of the doorway let into the wall in the centre of an arched recess specially built for it, an oblong inscribed black marble tablet, surmounted by an antlered stag's head and the Gaelic motto of the regiment, contains an inscription in memory of the officers and men of the 78th Highlanders who fell at the storming of the city on the 8th of August 1803.
To the right or east of the gateway close to the city wall is a plastered tomb (8' X 4' X 4') built in memory of an officer of the First Regiment of Madras Native Infantry who fell on the same occasion. The tomb which is kept in repair by the Public Works Department is enclosed by a wooden railing (14'6" X 8'6" X 7'8"), with square wooden bars fixed at six-inch intervals. The Nepti gate, 894 yards north-west of the Malivada gate, is nine feet wide by seventeen feet high and is much like the Bangali gate. The Nalegaon gate, 363 yards north of the Nepti gate, is nine feet wide by ten feet high, and is much like the Jhenda gate except that it has no bastions. The Delhi gate, 406 yards north-east of the Nalegaon gate, is twelve feet wide by fourteen feet high and has an open archway over the door, as in the Malivada gate. Like the Bangali gate it has two bastions of stone below and mud above. The Tophkhana gate, 359 yards north-east of the Delhi gate, is 10'6" wide by 12'6" high; it is like the Bangali and Nepti gates with bastions. The Sarjapur gate, 572 yards east of the Tophkhana gate, is eleven feet wide by fifteen feet high and is much like the Tophkhana gate. The Mangal gate, 410 yards north-west of the
Sarjapur gate and 440 yards east of the Jhenda gate, is 10'6" wide by 14'6" high and is much like the Sarjapur gate. Between the Sarjapur and Mangal gates a small gate, three feet wide and six feet high, has been opened by the municipality for easy access to the municipal beef market. About 132 yards east of the Mangal gate near the Brahman cistern is the King gate about twelve feet wide opened by the Municipality in 1881. This is an old gate said to have been closed after the British occupation of Ahmadnagar (1803) to stop disputes between the people of the city and the privates of the Native Infantry Regiment which was stationed outside and close to this gateway. Besides these eleven two new gateways ten feet square have been opened in the city wall near the mission chapel for the convenience of the American Mission and one for the Collector's bungalow.".
Of the eleven gates, viz., Jhenda gate, Bava Bangali gate, Fergusson gate, Maliwada gate, Nepti gate, Nalegaon gate, Delhi gate, Tophkhana gate, Sarjapur gate, Mangal gate and King gate only Malivada gate and Delhi gate are still in existence and those have been declared as historical monuments. Other gates have been demolished under the road-widening schemes.
Channels: Under the Nizamshahi kings (1490-1636), fifteen channels or water-leads supplied the city with pure and abundant water brought from deep wells at the foot of the neighbouring hills. The water from the wells was carried to the city partly by channels dug from the bottom of the wells till it reached the surface of the ground and partly by sets of country earthen pipes.
Of the fifteen water-leads, eight are in good repair and seven are ruined. The eight working water-leads are Vadgaon, Kapurvadi, Bhingar, Shahapur, Anandi, Nagabai, Shendi and Varulvadi. The seven ruined channels are Nepti, Nimbgaon, Imampur, Pimpalgaon, Bhandara, Nagapur and Bhavanipant.
Vadgaon channel: The Vadgaon channel is brought from a covered well close to the left of the Shendi water-course and near the village of Vadgaon, about four miles north of Ahmadnagar. It supplied water to about 12,000 people in the north and west of the city at the rate of eight gallons a day in 1884. The channel was made by a noble named Salabatkhan during the reign of Ahmad Nizam Shah (1490-1508). The channel was actually constructed by one Govande upon whom was conferred the jagir of Nimbal in Parner taluka. Shaniwarwada at Pune is said to have been constructed by the ancestors of the same jagirdar of Nimbal. The sanad issued by Balaji Bajirav mentions some of them as good masons. It watered Changiz Khan's palace, the Jama Mosque, the king's palace, and several other wells in
the city. In the disorders at the beginning of the seventeenth century, about 1630, Babuna, the son of Malik Ambar, destroyed the channel and burnt the Sultan's palace. Some years later during the governorship of Navab Faklaz Khan, a certain Mian Muntaki repaired the channel at a cost of Rs. 1,00,000 and dug a lake called the Nia Kar. The Vadgaon channel was breached in several places before the British took possession of the city in 1803. After repairs by the British Government it supplied seventeen cisterns. Besides sixteen water-cocks, forty---seven dipping wells or cisterns built since 1803 were fed with water from the channel. Of the cisterns, one at the Police Lines and eleven at the criminal jail, originally the Husain mosque and college, were built by Government. One was built in Bagadpati at the cost of the people. [It was constructed in memory of Lieutenant J. W. Henry, the District Superintendent of Police, who fell in attacking a band of Bhils in 1857.] A tablet with the following inscription is fixed on the inner face of the west parapet of the cistern:-
" This Tank was built by the inhabitants of Ahmadnagar and dedicated by them to the memory of Lieutenant James W. Henry, 3rd European Regiment, who as Superintendent of Police in this Zilla won their esteem and regard by his amiable disposition and energetic performance of his duty.
He was killed in action with the rebel Bhils at Nandur Sinkota in the Sinnar Taluka, 4th October 1857.".
Four cisterns at the rest-house near the Police Lines and one near the Maidan's Ad were built by public subscription and one in Dange Ali and one in Gujar Ali by private subscription. The others have been built from municipal funds since the establishment of the municipality in 1854. In 1883 the municipality made a short feeder of about 650 feet in a water-course in the Behisht garden at a cost of Rs. 700.
Kapurvadi channel: The Kapurvadi channel is brought from about 1,500 feet to the east of Kapurvadi village at the foot of hills about a mile and a half north-west of the great Salabatkhan's tomb and about five miles north-east of Ahmadnagar. It supplied water to the north-west of the city and the Native Infantry Lines at a daily rate of six gallons a head in 1884. The aqueduct was built by three nobles Ikhtiyarkhan, Kasimkhan and Sidi Shamsher-khan of the court of Ahmad Nizam Shah (1490-1508). On the overthrow of the Nizamshahi dynasty the channel was broken. It was repaired under Aurangzeb (1658-1707) by Sarjekhan who enlarged it to water the grounds of a palace he built near Ikhtiyar-khan's palace. A few years later the conduit was continued to Ganj, the residence of the governor Furktazkhan and to the mansion of
Abdul Ghafur, the commandant of the fort, who used its water to fill a pond. The conduit supplied a deep well at Burhan-nagar, and after filling two cisterns in the Civil Lines, fed the four cisterns in the Native Infantry Lines, and giving a branch to Kotla passed into the town and supplied ten cisterns. When the city was taken by the British in 1803, the Kapurvadi channel was in many places choked with roots. It was afterwards repaired and three cisterns of the four in the Native Infantry Lines and three of the ten in the city were built. With the average yearly rainfall of twenty to twenty-seven inches the supply of water in all these cisterns was regular. During years of scanty rain the original wells fail and to make up the deficiency, the channel is fed from deep wells along the line of passage by means of water-bags or mots. On the establishment of the municipality in 1854, this and the Vadgaon and Anandi channels were made over by Government to the municipality, a third of the cost of repairs and maintenance being borne by Government and two-thirds by the municipality. During the slight drought of 1867, the water in the original reservoir fell off and at the suggestion of Captain A. U. H. Finch, R. E., Executive Engineer, the municipality dug a pit about twenty feet in diameter and fifteen deep and about 1,350 feet north of the original well. A good supply of water was found within six feet of the surface. It was carried to the original well by an open channel seven to ten feet deep. Soon after a heavy rainfall removed the necessity of continuing the work. During the 1876-77 famine, the water in the original well again failed. The municipality took up the old work as a famine relief work. They proposed to sink small wells at an interval of fifty to sixty feet along the line of the channel, and after taking them to the depth of the original well, to communicate the water by cutting a tunnel. Eighteen shafts or small wells six to eight feet in diameter with a large well about twenty feet in diameter at the head were dug, thirty-five to forty feet deep. The first eight shafts near the original source were joined by a channel three feet wide and seven feet deep and the remaining ten were left incomplete. Except about 200 feet the whole has been tunnelled out. Thirty-eight wells remain to be joined. This extension in August 1884 cost the municipality about Rs. 17,420. The result of the famine works had been a satisfactory increase in the water-supply.
Bhingar channel: The Bhingar channel, originally called the Farah garden conduit, was one of the chief sources of water-supply to the then European barracks, and supplied the Sadar Bazar with a population of about 9,000 by open wells or cisterns. The channel was made in the reign of Burhan Nizam Shah (1508-1553) by two of his nobles, viz., Salabatkhan Gurji and Nyamatkhan Dakhni. The story goes that
finding the king weary of the Hasht-i-Behisht garden, the two nobles thought of a new garden, the Bagh-i-Farah Bakhsh, completed the conduit and built part of a new octagonal palace. But the king did not like the design and the palace remained unfinished. The conduit is brought from a covered well not far from the source of the Bhingar stream below the source of the Kapurvadi and the Nagabai channels. It passes through Bhingar and skirting the east of the cantonment waters the Farah garden.
Shahapur channel: The Shahapur channel had its source at the foot of the hill on which stands the tomb of Salabatkhan. The ravine is small and of little depth and when the conduit was built, it was closed by two masonry dams. Near its head the conduit passes under the high road and opens into a large dipping well. On the side opposite where it enters, the conduit takes a fresh departure and joins the Bhingar channel to the north of the Cavalry Barracks. In 1865 the upper dam was breached and became useless. The lower dam was broken and the pond once formed by it had silted and in the gathered silt crops were grown. The masonry of the original reservoir was also damaged by the roots of a large tamarind tree. In 1869 both the well and the conduit from the base of the lower dam were repaired for the use of the cantonment by Captain E. P. Gambier, Executive Engineer. To prevent dirt or other impurities being blown or thrown into it, the part passing under the high road and the air shafts were covered with solid masonry. As the supply used to run short in the hot weather, the old pond was restored during the 1876-77 famine at a cost of Rs. 10,020. The silt and the broken parts of the old dam were removed and a wall about 500 feet long and seven feet high was built over the old dam by Mr. W. S. Howard, Executive Engineer. The pond was connected by an eight-inch iron pipe with the well and a sluice valve was fixed to it to let the water of the pond into the well when necessary. A waste-weir was also made. The pond contained, in 1884, 16,60,000 cubic feet of water and had a gathering ground of about 560 acres. It supplied water to the cavalry barracks, fed the soldiers' plunge bath, and watered the soldiers' garden.
Anandi channel: The Anandi channel has its source about two miles north of the city, and provided water to 4,000 people at a daily rate of about five gallons a head in 1884. The channel was built during the governorship of Sarjekhan, by one Anandrav Takasale who built two cisterns, one near the Delhi gate and another inside the city, both called Anandi after his name. The channel was repaired during the reign of Aurangzeb by a rich citizen named Ahmad. During the 1876-77 famine, about 1,900 feet of this channel with two silted wells were cleared by the municipality at a cost of about
Rs. 1,900, and one of the wells was arched with burnt bricks and lime masonry to prevent dirt and other impurities getting in. A branch line of this channel, about 7,000 feet from its source, was traced out.
Nagabai channel: The Nagabai channel has its source about a mile below the Kapurvadi channel and its original open square well is about 700 feet to the south of the line of the Kapurvadi channel. Besides to the Stewart Cotton Market outside of the Malivada gate, it supplied water to twenty dipping wells or cisterns, and sixteen water cocks in the south of the city to about 8,000 people at a daily rate of about seven gallons a head in 1884. It was built in the reign of Ahmad Nizam Shah (1490-1508) soon after Ahmadnagar fort was built. The water of this channel was brought from its source by a cutting as far as the village of Nagardevla. From Nagardevla it was taken to fill the fort ditch by sets of double country earthen pipes, laid side by side and covered with stone masonry. As the channel had silted by 1870, the municipality restored the channel at a cost of Rs. 70,000.
Shendi channel: The Shendi channel has its source at the foot of the Shendi hills more than a mile east of Shendi village. The channel was built by Salabatkhan Gurji during the reign of Ahmad Nizam Shah (1490-1508). Its water was brought by a cut channel to feed the Lokad Mahal pond and to water the Behisht garden. During the troubles in the early part of the seventeenth century the conduit was ruined. In 1876 it was repaired, restored and extended at a heavy cost by Messrs. Cursetji & Sons, general merchants, Ahmadnagar, who leased the channel from the British Government for a term of 999 years to water their Behisht garden.
Varulvadi channel: The Varulvadi channel was built by two nobles, Murtaza Khan Fikiti and Farhadkhan Dakhni in the reign of Husain Nizam Shah (1553-1565). The channel was lying in ruins till the 1876-77 famine set the municipality in search of new sources of water-supply. The line of the channel was found about 500 feet from where the earthen pipes of the Kapurvadi channel begin. At its source was an octagonal well with three of its masonry sides broken. Its water was used by the villagers and their cattle. About 300 feet north of this well was found an old pond dammed between the two spurs of a hill with uncoursed stone and lime masonry. The pond was breached in three places and was silted within about seven feet of the brim of the dam-wall. The municipality cleared out the silt of the channel and of the original well. The work was begun as a famine water work, and on removing the silt from the original well and from the channel to a length of about 4,500 feet, the original channel was found never to have been finished, as it was joined
neither with the pond nor with the well. As small streams were found running into the octagonal well, the channel which was about fifty feet from the well was connected with it by an under-ground channel and a six-inch sluice valve was fixed at the mouth of the channel to regulate the water-supply. The channel was also connected with the Kapurvadi channel by about 500 feet of six-inch country earthen piping after a three to twelve feet deep cutting in hard rock. Besides repairing the channel at a cost of about Rs. 8,000, the municipality determined to close with earth the breach in the centre of the pond dam, to build a waste-weir at each side of the dam, to clear part of the silt from the pond and to join the pond with the octagonal well. Within a fortnight of the first fall of rain water began to flow into the old channel, and increased the supply in the Kapurvadi channel, till its own streams began to flow which generally happened after about fifteen inches of rain fell. The work cost the municipality an amount of Rs. 11,160.
Nepti and Nimbgaon channels: Of the seven ruined conduits, two, the Nepti and Nimbgaon channels, have their sources near the villages of Nepti and Nimbgaon at the foot of the hills, four and six miles to the west of the city. They were built by Nyamatkhan Dakhni during the reign of Burhan Nizam Shah (1508-1553) to fill a reservoir before his audience hall and a hamamkhana or bath near it. The channels were destroyed about 1630 by Babuna, the son of Malik Ambar and are still in ruins. The broken ends of the two conduits which run side by side in the same block of masonry, are still seen on the right bank of the Sina.
Imampur and Pimpalgaon channels: The sources of the Imampur and Pimpalgaon conduits were traced by the municipality during the 1876-77 famine. The source of the Imampur conduit is at the foot of the hill near Imampur village on the Aurangabad road about twelve miles north of Ahmadnagar. Marks of the ruined shafts and the line of the conduit were found in many places. The channel was brought to Jeur village on the left bank of the Sina, which rises from the surrounding hills. It ran as far as Pimpalgaon village along the left bank of the Sina about four miles west of Jeur but no trace of it was found as it came near the village. The source of the Pimpalgaon channel is about 1,000 feet south of Pimpalgaon village and about 500 feet to the left bank of the Sina. About a mile and a half of this channel was found connected under-ground by a cut channel and a part about two miles long was found to have marks of shafts excavated from five to thirty feet deep. The direction of the line of this channel showed that, during the reign of Burhan Nizam Shah (1508-1553) Salabatkhan intended to join it to the Shendi channel. The work remained unfinished.
Bhandara channel: The Bhandara channel has its source about a mile to the west of the Shahapur channel. During the 1876-77 famine, the municipality intended to join the water of this channel with the Shahapur conduit, but on taking levels, the Bhandara water was found much lower than the level of the Shahapur water, and the project had to be given up. From its direction the water of this channel seemed to have been taken to water the reservoir and grounds of the Farah garden. The channel was not traced throughout its length.
Nagapur channel: The source of the Nagapur conduit is on the right bank of the Sina about 800 feet south-east of Nagapur village five miles north of Ahmadnagar. The channel was made by Changizkhan during the reign of Burhan Nizam Shah (1508-1553). On the fall of the Nizamshahi dynasty the conduit fell into ruin. The end of the channel is not known; it is said to have been formerly used to supply the city with water.
Bhavanipant channel: Bhavanipant's channel has its source about two miles north of Ahmadnagar and about a quarter of a mile east of the Behisht garden. The water of this channel fed two cisterns at the mansion of Bhavanipant and two other cisterns in Nagarkar's mansion. However, these cisterns were fed by the Vadgaon channel in 1884.
History: The history of Ahmadnagar dates from the year 1490 when Ahmad Nizam Shah, the founder of the Nizamshahi dynasty, defeated [The date of this battle has been given as 19th June 1490 - Ahmadnagarchi Nizam Shahi (M), Dr. B. G. Kunte.] the Bahamani troops under Jahangir Khan near its site. All officers of distinction were slain; others were taken prisoners, and mounted on buffaloes were led about the camp and afterwards sent to Bidar. This victory was called the Victory of the Garden [Briggs' Ferishta, III, 197. This garden was improved by Ahmad's successor Burhan Nizam Shah who walled it and called it Bagh Nizam.], because on that spot Ahmad Nizam built a palace and laid out a garden. Ahmad gave public thanks to God for his victory and granted a village near the spot as a residence for holy men. [Briggs' Ferishta, III, 198.] However, Ahmad had declared his independence in the year 1486 and had proclaimed himself as Sultan in the same year. In 1493 on his way to Junnar from Daulatabad which was blockaded for two months without success. Ahmad Nizam on reaching Bhingar resolved to found his capital on the site of his victory which was midway between Junnar and Daulatabad, and from this place he determined to send an army every year to lay waste the country round Daulatabad till he reduced it. [Briggs' Ferishta, III, 201.] In 1494 he laid the foundation of a city close to the Bagh Nizam
upon the left bank of the Sina river and called it after himself Ahmadnagar or the city of Ahmad. In two years the city is said to have rivalled Bagdad and Cairo in splendour. [Briggs' Ferishta, III, 200-201.] In 1499 after reducing Daulatabad, Ahmad Nizam raised a wall round the Bagh Nizam, and in it built a palace of red stone. [Briggs' Ferishta, III, 204.] In 1529, Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, before whom Burhan Nizam Shah, Ahmad's successor (1509-1553), fled to Junnar, marched on Ahmadnagar and lived for forty days in Burhan Nizam's palace. He then left Imad Shah of Berar to conduct the siege of the fort and marched to Daulatabad. Imad Shah also soon retired to Ellichpur. In 1537 Burhan Nizam Shah showed his preference for the Shiah tenets. This caused much discontent and one Mulla Pir Muhammad, a furious Sunni, rose in revolt. The details of his revolt are given below:-"He [Ahmadnagarchi Nizam Shahi (M), Dr. B. G. Kunte, p. 66.] collected an army of about 3,000 and camped at the outskirts of Ahmadnagar town. His plan was that 2,000 of his army should surround the palace and the remaining one thousand should attack Shah Tahir, an intellectual Shia Maulavi, and should massacre the Maulavi and his family and, his followers. Husain Abdul Rumi, the chief of the Nizamshahi cavalry, on having come to know of their plot by Mulla Pir Muhammad cautioned Burhan Nizam Shah through Shah Tahir. The coup d e'tat was suppressed ruthlessly on the advice of Shah Tahir. Pir Muhammad was captured and was imprisoned in the fort at Pali. He was released from imprisonment when general amnesty was granted, upon the victory of Burhan Nizam Shah over Ibrahim Adil Shah of Bijapur in the battle of Haldighat.". In 1542, Burhan Nizam marching on Bijapur was deserted by Asadkhan of Belgaon who had joined him for policy's sake, retreated towards Ahmadnagar pursued by the Berar and Bijapur army and was forced to leave his capital a prey to the invaders. [Briggs' Ferishta. III, 242.] Burhan Nizam Shah died at Ahmadnagar on December 30, 1553 and was buried in the Roza Bagh. Subsequently his corpse was removed to Karbela and was buried near the dargah of Imam Husain. [Ahmadnagarchi Nizam Shahi (M), Dr. B. G. Kunte, p. 102.] In 1559 Ali Adil Shah (1557-1580) of Bijapur formed an alliance with Ram Raja and Ibrahim Kutub Shah and the allied sovereigns reached Ahmadnagar with an army of 9,00,000 infantry. Husain Nizam Shah, the third Ahmadnagar king (1553-1564), fled to Paithan and the allies laid siege to Ahmadnagar. Ibrahim Kutub Shah, jealous of the Bijapur king's power, connived at supplies passing to the garrison and one of his generals kept communication both with Husain Nizam Shah at Paithan and with the besieged. On Ram Raja's demanding an explanation Kutub Shah marched during the
night for Golkonda, while his general finding his way into the fort joined Husain Nizam Shah at Paithan. Imad-ul-Mulk sent a large force to join Husain. This division, being employed to cut off the besiegers' supplies, compelled the allies to raise the siege. Husain returned to Ahmadnagar and caused the fort which was originally built of mud to be re-built with stone and to be surrounded by a deep ditch. [Briggs' Ferishta, III, 229-230.] In 1562, flying before the allies Husain threw supplies into Ahmadnagar and returned to Junnar. The allies again laid siege to Ahmadnagar, the allied army committing every species of cruelty. At Ali Adil Shah's advice, Ram Raja raised the siege and pursued Husain to Junnar. At the approach of the rainy season the allies returned to the siege. Ram Raja's army encamped on the bank of the Sina. Heavy rain fell in the hills and the river rose so suddenly during the night that 300 of Ram Raja's horses and a vast number of carriage cattle were drowned and twenty officers of rank and upwards of 25,000 men were swept away in the torrent. Ram Raja raised the siege and moved towards the Karnatak and Ali Adil Shah followed his example. [Briggs' Ferishta III, 245.] Husain Nizam Shah died at Ahmadnagar on June 6, 1565. He was also buried in the Bagh-e-Roza. His corpse was removed to Karbela and was buried near the tomb of Imam Abdulla, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad Paigambar. In 1572 Murtaza invaded Berar with a view to annex it. After defeating Tufalkhan, the Berar regent, Murtaza Nizam Shah returned to the capital. He gave patronage to the learned maulavis in the city and a learned maulavi Maulana Saddruddin Talkini became a love associate of his. Leaving the reigns of administration to his prime minister Kazi Beg, he started enjoying retired life. After appointing Asad Khan as the prime minister and Salabat Khan as his aide at the instance of Asad Khan, Murtaza Nizam Shah renunciated the reigns of his kingdom and lived in seclusion for twelve years in the garden on the outskirts of the town and engrossed himself in adhyatma. In course of time Salabat Khan assumed powers and dismissed Asad Khan. The administration of the capital was entrusted to one Nasira. In 1588 Mirzakhan, the regent and prince Miran Muhammad, dissatisfied with the conduct of king Murtaza Nizam Shah (1565-1588), rushed into Ahmadnagar fort with 40,000 armed men and put to death all they found in the city. The death of Murtaza Nizam Shah occurred on June 14, 1588 after a reign of twenty-four years. He was buried in the Bagh-e-Roza. Upon the death of Murtaza Nizam Shah, Miran Husain ascended the throne. He appointed Mirzakhan as his prime minister. In the same year when Mirzakhan wanted to
depose Miran Husain and put in his place another prince, the Dakhni troops and the inhabitants flew to arms and in a short time about 5,000 horse and foot with a numerous mob joined Jamalkhan, a military leader. Mirzakhan commanded the king's head to be cut off and placing it on a pole planted it on one of the bastions of the citadel. At Jamalkhan's instance the mob heaped piles of wood and straw against the gates and set them on fire. The gates were burnt and Mirzakhan and his friends rushed into the fort. Numbers were slain. Mirzakhan who had made his escape was brought back to Ahmadnagar. He was first carried through the city on an ass and his body mangled. The massacre continued for seven days and nearly a thousand foreigners were murdered, a few only escaping under the protection of Dakhni and Abyssinian officers. [Briggs' Ferishta, III, 274-75.] In 1594 Ahmad II, the ninth king of Ahmadnagar, being deserted by Yekhlaskhan, the chief Abyssinian general in the kingdom, Mian Manju the prime minister with his Dakhnis encamped in a large body on the plain of the Kala Chabutra near Ahmadnagar fort. He despatched his son Mian Hasan with 700 horse to disperse the mob under Yekhlaskhan and himself accompanied by Ahmad went upon a raised ground from whence they could see the result. The two parties engaged and the struggle was long doubtful till a shot from the insurgents struck the king's canopy and caused great confusion in the fort. A report was spread that the king was dead. Mian Hasan took to flight and threw himself into the fort. Yekhlaskhan's party advanced and laid siege to the place both by a close blockade and regular approaches. Yekhlaskhan proclaimed another king and collected between ten and twelve thousand cavalry. Mian Manju asked Prince Murad, son of the Emperor Akbar, to march to his assistance who gladly accepted the invitation. In the meantime many of Yekhlaskhan's followers joined Mian Manju who, on the 18th of September 1595, attacked and completely routed the Abyssinians in the neighbourhood of the Idgah. About a month later (14th December) Prince Murad at the head of 30,000 Moghal and Rajput horse
accompanied by Raja Alikhan of Khandesh appeared to the north of Ahmadnagar. Mian Manju repented of the step he had taken and made preparations to oppose the Moghals. Chand Bibi who was appointed regent for the king Bahadur Shah bravely defended the fort against the Moghals. As a last resort she entered into a treaty with the Moghals. [For details see above History.] The city was looted by the army of prince Murad. Belongings of all the citizens irrespective of the fact whether the person was rich or poor were looted and everything was set on fire. In 1596, Chand Bibi, seeing that Muhammadkhan, her adviser, was intent on
usurping all power, asked her nephew Ibrahim Adil Shah of Bijapur to send a large force to enable her to reorganise the government. Sohailkhan, the Bijapur general, accordingly invested the fort and blockaded it for four months. Muhammadkhan wrote to the Moghal commander-in-chief in Berar, promising if he came to his help that he would hold the country as a vassal of the Delhi emperor. Muhammadkhan was seized and Chand Bibi's power was restored. In 1597, Nehangkhan, the minister, attacked the fort and several skirmishes followed. In 1599 he raised the siege in order to oppose the Moghals who were marching on Ahmadnagar at Muhammadkhan's invitation. They soon laid siege to the fort. Chand Bibi was, however, treacherously put to death by her own officers, and the Moghals stormed and carried the place. [Details are given above under History] Khan Khanan was appointed governor of Ahmadnagar. In 1604 Prince Daniel, the Moghal governor of the Deccan whose head-quarters was at Burhanpur, came to Ahmadnagar to receive his bride, the Bijapur king's daughter. Mian Raju, one of the two Nizamshahi generals who had divided most of the Ahmadnagar kingdom between themselves, was asked to come to the prince's camp and make his submission as the other general Malik Ambar had done, but he did not obey the order. In 1607 Ahmadnagar was invested by Malik Ambar, and assistance not coming in time Khwaja Beg, the Moghal commandant, capitulated. [Elliot and Dowson, VI, 324 3. See above under History.] About 1621 Malik Ambar, being deserted by the Maratha chiefs in his service, was forced to tender king Murtaza II's submission and restore the fort of Ahmadnagar together with all the territory he had won back from the Moghals. Soon after Ahmadnagar was besieged by a force of Malik Ambar. The Moghal forces advanced towards the place from Paithan and Malik Ambar deeming further resistance hopeless sent envoys to express repentance and ask forgiveness and entered into a treaty with the Moghals. [Elphinstone's History of India, pp. 562, 563.] In 1624 Malik Ambar again marched to lay siege to Ahmadnagar, but inspite of every effort, he made no impression on Ahmadnagar and leaving part of his army to maintain the investment he marched against Bijapur. In 1627 Khan Jahan, the Moghal general bribed by the Nizamshahi general Hamidkhan, agreed to restore to Murtaza II all the Balaghat as far as Ahmadnagar. He wrote among others to Sipahdarkhan, the commandant of Ahmadnagar, to give up the place to Nizam-ul-Mulk but when Nizam-ul-Mulk's officers reached Ahmadnagar the Khan refused to restore the place and put it in a state of defence. In 1636 the Nizamshahi dynasty came to an end and Ahmadnagar remained with the Moghals till it was betrayed to the Marathas in 1759.
In 1657 Shivaji, who since 1650 had greatly increased his power, marched by unfrequented roads to Ahmadnagar in the hope of surprising the town. His attempt was partially successful. But while his men were plundering he was attacked and several of his party were killed by a detachment from the fort. [Grant Duff's Marathas, p. 74.] In 1665 he again plundered the town. In 1684 Aurangzeb went to Ahmadnagar and stayed there some time and on the 20th of February 1707 he died there in the eighty-ninth year of his age. In 1712 Shahu (1707-1749), the grand-son of Shivaji, thought of moving his capital from Satara to Ahmadnagar but as it gave offence to the Moghal general Zulfikar Khan, Shahu gave up the intention. [ Grant Duff's Marathas, p. 196.] In 1716 a battle was fought near Ahmadnagar between the Marathas under Khanderav Dabhade and the Moghals. The result was not decisive but the advantage remained with the Marathas. [Grant Duff's Marathas, p. 196.] In 1720 Nizam-ul-Mulk made himself independent in the Deccan and Ahmadnagar remained in his possession till 1748. On November 9, 1759, the Nizam's commandant Kavi Jang for a sum of money betrayed the fort of Ahmadnagar to the third Peshwa Balaji Bajirav, through the intrigues of Visajipant Binivale. Kavi Jang was awarded a Jagir yielding a revenue of about fifty thousand. War following between the two powers, the grant was confirmed in 1760. In 1797 as the price of his support of the claims of Bajirav to the Peshwa's throne, the fort of Ahmadnagar was ceded to Shindes, who in the same year imprisoned in it Nana Fadnavis, but released him in the following year. On the 31st of December 1802 the treaty of Bassein was entered into between Bajirav and the English, and Shindes and the Raja of Berar uniting against the British, General Wellesley marched from the Karnatak and reached Ahmadnagar on the 8th of August 1803. He attacked the town in three places and in a short time the British were completely masters of the town. On the 11th after batteries had been built and firing had commenced the commandant of the fort sued for terms, and on the 12th the fort was taken possession of by the British. [Details are given above under History.] The fort held an important position on the Nizam's frontier covering Pune and was a valuable point of support to all future operations of the British to the north. It was considered one of the strongest in the country and except Vellor in the Madras Karnatak was the strongest country fort General Wellesley had seen. Except in the part exposed to the British artillery it was in excellent repair. Inside, it was in a sad dirty state and in the utmost confusion. The quantities of stores were astonishing and the powder was so good that General Wellesley replaced from the magazines what he had
consumed in the siege. General Wellesley thought the tort ought to be cleared of the old buildings with which it was crowded. [Wellington's Despatches, I, p. 310.] Ahmadnagar. together with the surrounding country for some time remained with the British who appointed Captain Graham as their Collector of the place, which was soon restored to the Peshwa. About 1816 Ahmadnagar is described as lying in a grand plain covered with plantations of fruit-trees and watered by the Sina which is distributed over it by aqueducts of hard cement, many of them choked up. The fort was a mile round built of stone with a ditch forty yards broad and sixteen sect deep. [Fifteen Years in India, pp. 432-433.] In June 1817 under the treaty of Pune the fort was ceded by the Peshwa to the British. After the Peshwas fall Ahmadnagar became the head-quarters of the district and a military station and except a scuffle in the jail in 1821, the city has enjoyed unbroken peace. About 1878 old stores of useless raw sugar for the use of the garrison were discovered in the fort.
The fort of Ahmadnagar which was the main centre of political activity and the residence of the Nizamshahi Sultans of Ahmadnagar soon became the prison for royal prisoners when the fort passed on to the Moghals.
In 1681-82 Yesubai and her daughter Bhavanibai were imprisoned in the fort of Ahmadnagar. She was released from jail by the efforts of Sambhaji. However, she was again imprisoned in the fort of Ahmadnagar after the capture of Sambhaji and was there till the death of Aurangzeb.
Tulaji Angre was kept behind the bars in the fort by Peshwa Nanasaheb. Similarly, the imposter of Sadashivaraubhau was also locked up in this fort where he later died.
Peshwa's famous nobleman Sakharam Hari Gupte was detained in the fort of Ahmadnagar under the orders of Nana Phadnis. For siding with Raghoba Dada, Chinto Vitthal Rairikar was also imprisoned in the same fort. Morobadada Phadnis, cousin and a rival of Nana Phadnis. was kept in this fort. He opposed the submission of the tort to Daulatrao Shinde. whereupon he was removed from Ahmadnagar to the fort of Ratangad.
Nana Phadnis who was instrumental in imprisoning many Maratha noblemen in this fort was himself locked up in the fort by Daulatrao Shinde. He was brought to the fort by deceit and was immediately imprisoned. He was asked to pay a ransom of two crores in 1798. However, he was released on promise of paying Rs. 10 lakhs and an additional sum of Rs. 15 lakhs on his being restored to the post of Phadnavis. He was released from the Ahmadnagar fort on July 15, 1798.
Two Divans of the Shindes, viz., Baloba Tatya and Sadashiv Malhar, were imprisoned in the fort where both of them breathed their last. Bhagirathibai Shinde died in the fort on August 15, 1799 while in captivity.
Chhatrapati Shivaji IV of Kolhapur was locked up in the fort of Ahmadnagar. He died in the fort on December 25, 1883 as a result of a kick he received from his bodyguard Mr. Green. At the time of his death there was no one by his side excepting the bodyguard mentioned above and a doctor. The event created a stir in Maharashtra and raised a storm of protest against the British. Ultimately it led to the imprisonment for 101 days for Lokmanya Tilak and Agarkar at the Dongri prison. During the Second World War German prisoners of war were stationed in the fort. They were employed on works of excavation.
During the Quit India Movement of 1942 many of the leaders of the national freedom struggle were kept under confinement in the fort of Ahmadnagar among whom could be mentioned luminaries such as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Barrister Asaf Ali, Dr. Sayyad Mahmud, Pandit Govind Vallabh Pant, Acharya Shankar Rav Deo, Shri P. C. Ghosh, Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, Acharya Kripalani, Acharya Narendra Deo and Dr. Hare Krishna Mehtab. Though the British Government kept the news of their confinement in the Ahmadnagar fort a closely-guarded secret, it ultimately leaked out. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru wrote his famous work ' Discovery of India ' while in confinement at the Ahmadnagar fort.
During 1942 Quit India Movement, Shri Achyutrav Patwardhan, a great freedom-fighter, a socialist and a social reformer, did under-ground work at Ahmadnagar in a distinguished manner.
Though the fort now is under military command it attracts a large number of tourists as a place of historical interest.
Local bodies: The Ahmadnagar city has at present two local bodies, a municipality and a cantonment board.
Municipality: The Ahmadnagar municipal council was established in the year 1854. The jurisdiction of the municipal council extends over an area of 20.55 square kilometres (7.66 square miles). The municipal council is composed of 42 members, three seats being reserved for women and two for the scheduled castes. The municipal council has formed various sub-committees such as the Standing Committee, the Water Supply and Drainage Committee, the Public Works Committee, the Education Committee, the Planning and Development Committee and the Sanitation, Medical and Public Health Committee. The Chief Officer is the executive head of the municipal council. The municipal council is governed under the Maharashtra Municipalities Act, 1965.
The total receipts of the Ahmadnagar municipal council during the year 1961-62 amounted to Rs. 39,51,616, of which the income from the municipal taxes amounted to Rs. 21,28,651, the per-capita municipal tax being Rs. 21.95.
The total income [The income and expenditure of the municipality during 1972-73 was Rs. 92,11,000 and Rs. 90,03,000 respectively.] of the municipal council during the year 1968-69 amounted to Rs. 63,73,634 and was composed of income from municipal rates and taxes, Rs. 24,14,207; revenue derived from municipal property and powers apart from taxation, Rs. 4,29,781: grants and contributions, Rs. 13,67,923 and income from miscellaneous sources, Rs. 3,60,723.
The total expenditure of the municipal council during the same year came to Rs. 60,32,949. It was composed of general administration and collection charges, Rs. 9,06,626; public safety, Rs. 2,10,445; public health and convenience, Rs. 24,14,603; public instruction, Rs. 8,13,501 and miscellaneous expenditure, Rs. 6,42,122 besides capital expenditure, Rs. 5,22,568; extraordinary expenditure, Rs. 2,48,156 and debt heads, Rs. 2,74,928.
For public convenience the municipality conducts four dispensaries, viz., municipal dispensary at Tophkhana, municipal dispensary and diagnostic centre at Navi Peth, the Balasaheb Deshpande charitable dispensary and maternity home near city police station and the infectious diseases hospital at Nalegaon. The municipality does not conduct a veterinary dispensary but makes an annual grant to a veterinary dispensary conducted by the Zilla Parishad.
Underground drainage system has not yet been introduced in the town. The sullage water is carried to the Sina river through flat-bottomed surface drains built in masonry. At present water is supplied to the city through Pimpalgaon water works, Savedi water works, Vadgaon water works and Shendi nallah. The Mula project for the supply of water to the city is under construction with a view to supply the city with thirty lakhs gallons of water daily.
Primary education has been made compulsory in the town and is managed by the municipality. Besides primary schools, the municipality also conducts five Montessory schools in the city. The municipal council, however, does not conduct any high school.
The municipality maintains a fire brigade unit alongwith an ambulance with a staff of twenty-five persons and one fire-fighter and ancillary equipment.
The total road-length in the municipal limits is 41.56 kilometres. Of this, a length of 31 kilometres is asphalted and a length of a kilometre is metalled. The remaining length of 9.56 kilometres is a non-municipal asphalted road.
The municipality has constructed an open-air theatre at a cost of Rs. 60,000 and it is used for dramatic performances and cultural activities.
The municipality maintains five parks and gardens in the town. They are the Mahatma Gandhi Udyan in Wadia Park, the Amardham garden (Nalegaon), the Balasaheb Deshpande Udyan, the Sarosh Bag and the Kamala Nehru Udyan. The children's corners have been provided in Wadia Park, Nalegaon Balodyan, the Balasaheb Deshpande Udyan, the Sarosh Bag, the Kamala Nehru Park and the Vasant Balodyan.
The municipal council has installed a number of statues. A bust of Mahatma Gandhi has been installed in Gandhi Udyan in Wadia Park along with the bust of Lokmanya Tilak. The bust of Dr. Baba-saheb Ambedkar is installed on cotton market road facing the station road. The bust of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule is installed at Malivada ves. The bust of Senapati Tatya Tope has been installed near the city police station. The Balasaheb Deshpande garden contains a bust of a person after whom the garden has been named. The bust of Balaji bowa has been installed in Nehru market on Chitale road. The life-size bronze statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on horse-back has been installed at the corner near the State Transport Depot, facing the station road.
To provide sports facilities to the city population the municipal council has undertaken a scheme of constructing a big stadium on the Wadia Park ground at an estimated cost of about rupees five lakhs.
The municipal council has constructed a cremation ground known as Amardham on the river Sina. It consists of raised platforms for burning dead bodies and bath-rooms, waiting sheds, and other facilities such as urinals, latrines have also been provided by the municipality. Monsoon shelters and lighting arrangements have also been provided at this cremation ground. The municipality also maintains a small and attractive garden known as Amardham garden. A number of burial places are managed by the respective communities.
Cantonment Board: As has been mentioned earlier, the city of Ahmadnagar has a cantonment board. The cantonment board covers an approximate area of about twelve square miles. The board is composed of seven members with one seat reserved for the scheduled castes. The administration of the board is looked after by the three sub-committees, viz., the Civil Area Committee, the Finance Committee and the Health Committee.
During 1961-62 the total income [The income and expenditure of the municipality during 1970-71 was Rs. 10,44.000 and Rs. 10,97,000 respectively.] of the cantonment board came to
Rs. 5,13,352 and was composed of municipal rates and taxes,
Rs. 1,69,435; revenue derived from municipal property and powers
apart from taxation, Rs. 10,115; grants and contributions from Government, Rs. 1,46,277 and from others, Rs. 29,020 and income from miscellaneous sources, Rs. 1,58,505.
During the same year the total expenditure of the cantonment came to Rs. 5,46,552 and it comprised general administration and collection charges Rs. 39,101; public safety, Rs. 25,982; public health and convenience, Rs. 2,22,822; public works, Rs. 1,19,121; public instructions, Rs. 72,911 and miscellaneous expenditure Rs. 66,615.
The total income of the Ahmadnagar cantonment board rose to Rs. 7,03,868 in 1965-66 from Rs. 5,13,352 in 1961-62 and the same was composed of municipal rates and taxes, Rs. 3,37,532; revenue derived from municipal property and powers apart from taxation, Rs. 12,526; grants and contributions from Government, Rs. 1,21,401 and from others, Rs. 53,878 and income from miscellaneous sources, Rs. 1,78,531.
The expenditure of the cantonment board also showed an upward trend in 1965-66 over that in 1961-62. The total expenditure incurred by the cantonment board in 1965-66 came to Rs. 6,66,861 against Rs. 5,46,552 in 1961-62. The expenditure comprised general administration and collection charges, Rs. 45,685; public safety, Rs. 37,642; public health and convenience, Rs. 2,78,782; public works, Rs. 1,00,296; public instructions, Rs. 1,06,412 and expenditure on miscellaneous items, Rs. 91,094.
Objects: As the town is of historical importance, it has a number of objects of considerable antiquity. Many of these objects are now in a ruined and dilapidated state. They, however, bring to the mind the vivid memories of the past as also of persons who built them. The following extract taken from the old Gazetteer gives a detailed description of many such objects:-
" The first and the foremost of the objects of interest in the city is its grand fort.
Fort: About the centre of the cantonment half a mile east of the city, in level ground with well-grown babhul and banian trees, stands the fort, oval in form, one mile and eighty yards in circumference. From the outside a steep wooded bank or glacis, with a broad top or covered way, hides the walls nearly to the top. Inside of the bank runs a great dry ditch, [The ditch seems originally to have been filled with water from the Nagabai channel-It is described in 1750 as always filled from two water channels (Tieffenthaler, Researches Historeque et Geographique,
I, 490). It seems to have been dry in 1803 when the fort was taken by General Wellesley. Under the British, the malaria from its damp bed caused fever, and efforts have from time to time been made to drain it. The drainage is now fairly complete, and except after heavy rain, water seldom lies. It is still damp enough to keep patches of grass fresh throughout the year, and a herd of antelopes and nilgais, turned loose in the ditch about fifty years ago, have since continued to prosper.] eighty-five to 180 feet
wide and fourteen to twenty feet deep whose outer side is an unbroken perpendicular wall four feet thick. The cut stone masonry walls of the fort, said to have been built from the rock hewn out of the ditch, are massive throughout, the parapets being five feet thick and the lower masonry of gradually increasing strength. Of two entrances, one as old as the fort, for wheeled traffic and guns, is on the 'west side at the main gate bastion, the other a modern entrance for foot-passengers is on the east side by a sallyport and suspension bridge. [This gate was built for the convenience of the work people when Ahmadnagar was the head-quarters of the Bombay Artillery and the laboratory was in the fort. Major S. Babington.] At the chief entrance the moat is crossed by a wooden suspension bridge swung on thick iron chains, and the road, skirting the principal bastion, enters the fort through two gateways placed at right angles with doors studded with large nails to guard against elephants. The court between is occupied by guard rooms. At the eastern gate on the east, the moat is crossed by a chain suspension bridge, built some fifty years ago by Colonel Jacob of the Engineers. The walls, rising about thirty feet from the bottom of the ditch, consist of a number of semi-circular bastions eighty-five yards apart, connected by curtains with parapets varying from five to ten feet in height, pierced in most places with loopholes. Behind the parapet a six feet wide path runs round the top of the wall. The bastions are all full, and except the flag staff or chief gate bastions, have embrasures. In bastions 1, 2, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22 the embrasures are cut down from the top of the parapets; for the rest there is a walk or berme above the embrasures, and the parapets are loop-holed for musketry fire. Between each pair of embrasures is a massive stone traverse. The flag staff or chief gate bastion has, from a covered passage in its middle storey, several projections over the ditch from which stones and other heavy missiles could be dropped. One hundred and two guns can be mounted on the embrasures and several more on the flag staff bastion. The inside of the fort is sixteen to twenty-two feet below the terreplein of the bastions and curtains with which it is connected by frequent stone staircases. Except for some buildings and babhul and banian trees it is smooth and open. Of the buildings some are of old native construction, others are officers and storerooms of the commissariat public works barrack and ordnance departments, and the rest are workshops and gunsheds formerly used by the head-quarters of the Bombay foot artillery. The whole area within the fort is vaulted for stores. There is one large powder magazine able to hold two thousand fifty pound barrels of powder, and one ball cartridge room with space for 10,50,000 rounds of
ball ammunition. In the thickness of the inner walls of bastions and curtains many arched recesses might serve as temporary expense magazines. The walls are kept in careful repair, and four wells yield an abundant supply of fair drinking water. Probably from its ditch, which was most difficult to drain, the fort was formerly very unhealthy. Even as late as 1873 all who lived in it, both Europeans and natives, suffered severely and constantly from fever. [Major F. P. Gambier, R. F., Fort of Ahmadnagar, 1873.] Of the old native buildings in the fort the one of most interest, in the centre and still in good order is Malik Ahmad's palace (1490-1508), afterwards repaired by Husain Nizam Shah (1553-1565). Of the palace the most notable part is the public room about ninety-one feet long, twenty-two broad and eighteen high. The roof is a series of domes, the inside of them adorned by richly embossed stucco work. The present (1882) badminton court and the state prisoners' room are parts of the old palace buildings and the executive engineer's office and barrack stores appear to be the old palace stables. [Major S. Babington.] A few buildings were levelled to the ground after the British had taken possession. Close inside of the outer gate, on the right hand side, is the tomb of a holy man Syed Baghi Nizam who was buried about 1490 (H. 895). Lights are kept burning at the tomb which is covered by a green cloth. In the open space to the east of the public works stores are a row of eight English tombs with dates ranging from June 1821 to September 1822. [Of the eight tombs one has no inscription, from one the inscription stone has been removed, and the inscription on one readable. The epitaphs on the five remaining tombs are (1) Sacred to the memory of William Todd, late Sergeant of the 2nd Extra Battalion who departed this life on the 4th August 1821, aged 27 years. (2) Sacred to the memory of Lieutenant R. N. White, 1st Battalion, 11th Regiment N. I., who departed this life August 25th, 18....aged 30. (3) Sacred to the memory of Frances Julia, infant daughter of Captain and Mrs. Laurie, who departed this life 14th September 1822, aged 13 days. (4) Sacred to the memory of Catherine, the beloved wife of Captain Frederick Hood, Commanding the 2nd Extra Battalion of Bombay N. I. She departed this life to the inexpressible anguish and unending regret of her affectionate and devotedly attached husband on the 13th day of November 1821, aged 26 years. (5) Sacred to the memory of Elizabeth Frederica, infant daughter of Frederick and Catherine Hicks. She departed this life on the 3rd June 1821, aged 8 months and one day. Major S. Babington.]
Fort history : The present fort is said to have been built by Husain Nizam Shah (1553-1565) on the side of an earth-work called Bagh Nizam, thrown up in 1490 (H. 895) by Malik Ahmad after his defeat of the Bahamani General Jahangirkhan. It is a peculiarly well-planned and well-built fort as, though lying on comparatively low ground, it is not commanded by any spot within a large distance. The earth bank or glacis was originally so high as altogether to cover the fort walls. [Major S. Babington.] It has always been praised
for the skill shown in its construction, in which, both in the original planning, and afterwards in carrying out repairs, Portuguese engineers are said to have helped. [Meadows Taylor's Noble Queen, III, 171, 173.] Its great strength was shown in its brilliant and successful defence by queen Chand when a great Moghal army under Prince Murad and Mirzakhan besieged it in vain from November 1595 until peace was concluded in February 1596. In July 1600 the fort was again besieged by Prince Daniyal and Khan Khanan and this time successfully owing to a mutiny among the defenders in the course of which Queen Chand was murdered. [Meadows Taylor's account of the siege and defence of Ahmadnagar fort brings out two points of much interest connected with the siege, the part taken by the Portuguese and the skill shown by the miners in following a soft seam in the rock. Noble Queen, III, 168, 208.] The fort remained in the hands of the Musalmans until 1759 when the commandant Kavi Jang treacherously sold it to Sadashivrav Bhau, the cousin of the third Peshwa. The cession was subsequently confirmed by the treaty which followed the battle of Udgir between Nizam Ali and Sadashivrav. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 306.] In 1797 the fort again changed hands and was given up by treaty to Shinde. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 530.] The other leading event in the fort's history was on the 12th August 1803, its surrender to General Wellesley, afterwards Duke of Wellington. The fort was then in excellent repair. Except Vellor in the Madras-Karnatak, it was the strongest fort General Wellesley had seen. [The following details are from Welsh's Military Reminiscences:-The fort is one of the strongest in India. Surrounded by a deep ditch, it is built of solid stone and cement with large circular bastions at short intervals and armed with three or four guns in casemated embrasures, with a terrace above and loopholes for musketry. On the bastions are some sixty guns from twelve to fifty-two pounders. but the casemates were not confined to allow their being effectively employed. The glacis was so abrupt as to cover nearly thirty feet of the wall affording shelter for an enemy if they could only get close to the place. Quoted in Maxwell's Wellington, I, 125.] When after capturing the town General Wellesley reconnoitred the fort on the 9th August the complete protection which the glacis afforded to the wall made it difficult to fix on a spot for bombardment. Raghurav Baba, the Deshmukh of Bhingar, received a bribe of Rs. 4,000 and advised an attack on the east face. Batteries were thrown up somewhere near the present cavalry barracks and during the night a working party under Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace with five companies of the 74th Regiment and the second battalion of the 12th Regiment was sent to cut away through the steep glacis. The battery opened at day-light on the tenth and played with such effect that the commandant desired that firing should cease that he might send a person to treat for surrender. He was told that what he wished to say would be heard, but that the firing would not cease till
either the fort was taken or surrendered. Next morning the commandant sent two agents offering to surrender if he was allowed to leave with his garrison and take his private property. The proposal was accepted, and on the arrival of hostages, the firing ceased. Next morning the commandant left the fort with a garrison of 1,400 men, and the British troops took possession of it. [Duke of Wellington's Despatches (1834), I, 300, 301. After the capture of the fort General Wellesley breakfasted under the large tamarind which stands close to the ditch opposite the flag-stand. In memory of the occasion four old guns have been set mouth down on the four sides of the tree. Murray's Bombay Handbook, 292.] The fort, with a palace of Shinde and some other large buildings, seemed to have been a place of great splendour. In two rooms of the palace were found several dozen large handsome pier glasses, two electrifying machines, an organ, a pianoforte, lustres, chandeliers, globes, and many other luxuries. In other rooms were the richest stuffs of India, cloth of gold and silver, splendid armour, silks, satin, velvets, furs, shawls, plate, and cash. [Maxwell's Wellington, I, 180.] Part of the wall suffered severely from the British cannonade and inspite of complete repairs traces were till lately visible on the east front. [Major S. Babington.] By the treaty of Surji Anjangaon (30th December 1803). Shinde waived all claims to Ahmadnagar and it was given to the Peshwa as part of his share of the fruits of the campaign. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 583.] In 1817, under the terms of the treaty of Poona (13th June 1817) the fort was handed over to the British by Bajirav Peshwa II. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 635.]
Outside of the fort close to the main gate are the petty staff
lines consisting of seven or eight small bungalows, one of which
is (1882) used as a post office. On the north are the Neutral Lines
consisting of three bungalows and the Pensioners' Lines are on the
east of the Bhingar stream close to the Sadar Bazar. To the east
is the cricket ground and lawn tennis court with a gymkhana
pavilion built in 1879 at a cost of Rs. 1,700 subscribed by the
European residents. [Major S. Babington.] ".
The other objects of interest around Ahmadnagar are ruined
Musalman mosques, and mansions built during the sixteenth century
when the power of the Nizamshahi dynasty was at its height.
Rumikhan's or Makka mosque: Rumikhan's or the Makka mosque close to the city wall between the Mangal and Sarjepur gates, about eighty yards east of the Sarjepur gate, was built in the reign of the second king Burhan Nizam Shah (1508-1553) by Rumikhan
Dakhni, the caster of the great gun Malik-i-Maidan [Rumikhan presented the mosque and his palace to one Mir Abdul Gafar.] casted in the year 1549 and subsequently taken to Bijapur. 'The mosque is bullt of trap and lime masonry. It is about forty feet long north and south by about thirty feet broad east and west and on its east front has an enclosure or yard (39' X 27') surrounded by mud walls above seven feet high. The mosque has two floors, the first or ground floor intended for a rest-house or musafarkhana and the top floor for a place of worship. The flat roof of the mosque rests on four round polished one-stone pillars two in each row much like the pillars used in Kasimkhan's palace. Each pillar is about three feet round and eight feet high and looks like black marble. The pillars are said to have been brought from Makka and to have given the building its name of the Makka mosque. Over the pillars two rows of three arches run north and south and on the arches rests the roof. The roof over the west part of the mosque is said to have been in ruins since about 1680. The front is in good repair and is mostly used by beef-butchers. [Ahmadnagar District Gazetteer, 1884.]'
Khwaja Sherif's Haveli: Khwaja Sherif's Haveli, about 130 yards south-east of Rumikhan's mosque, is an old Musalman mansion with mud walls about seven feet high enclosing a space of about 107 yards square. It is said to get its name from Khwaja Sherif, the brother of Kavi Jang, to whom the third Peshwa Balaji presented it in reward for his brother's cession of the fort in 1759. The entrance is on the north by a strong doorway built of dressed stone and lime. In the enclosure, to the south, is a mosque (about 50' X 20' X 16') of dressed stone and lime masonry. Besides the mansion and the mosque the enclosure has a few flat-roofed houses some of them occupied by the descendants of the Khwaja Sherif, and two cisterns fed by the Kapurvadi channel. A bier or tajia in honour of Khwaja Sherif is made every year during the Muharram holidays. The bier is held second in rank to the Bara Imam's bier or tajia, and hundreds of people offer sweetmeats and oil to it in fulfilment of vows.
Illahadad's or Kali mosque: Illahadad's or the Kali that is black mosque, about 220 yards south-east of Khwaja Sherif's mansion, was built by Syed Illahadad Khan Dakhni who was administrator-general during the reign of Burhan Nizam Shah (1508-1553). In 1818 Captain Pottinger turned it into the Collector's office, and buildings for the treasury and Assistant Collector's and Mamlatdar's office have since been built round it.
Kasimkhan's palace: Kasimkhan's palace, about 150 yards southeast of Nalband's mosque, is a handsome two-storeyed building added
to and fitted up in 1818-19 as the Collector's residence since the beginning of the British rule, and the end of the rule of Peshvas. It was built in the beginning of the sixteenth century between 1500 and 1508 during the reign of the first Ahmadnagar king Ahmad Nizam Shah (1490-1508). The centre hall, entered by a long flight of steps, is a stately room, the ceiling supported on large one-stone pillars of black stone similar to the pillars in Rumikhan's mosque. The ceiling of the side rooms is domed and handsomely carved.
Khan Zaman's palace and mosque: Khan Zaman's palace and mosque, about 225 yards south-west of Kasimkhan's palace, were built in H. 967 (A. D. 1559) by Khan Zaman Khan Dakhni in the reign of the third king Husain (1553-1565). The palace is in ruins but the mosque, a small very plain stone building, is still in use. Over the doorway an inscription gives the name of the founder and the date. Except the name, the wording of the inscription is the same as that on Farhadkhan's mosque.
Nyamatkhan's palace and mosque: Nyamatkhan's palace and mosque, about eighty yards north-west of Khan Zamankhan's mosque, is a magnificent pile of buildings now mostly in ruins. It was designed by Sardar Ferrah Bakhsh and was finished by Nyamatkhan Dakhni in H. 987 (A. D. 1579) in the reign of the fourth Sultan Murtaza I (1565-1588). The buildings contained a very large bath and attached to them was a famous Badgir or ventilator which was pulled down by Mr. Woodcock, a former judge of Ahmadnagar. A part of the building with an upper storey fronting the roadway was (in 1882) occupied by a Musalman firework market. The buildings were supplied with water from the Nepti and Nimbgaon channels which was specially built for them. The foundations of the ruined parts of the palace and bath may still be traced. The mosque (50' X 30' X 15') is on a four feet high plinth and is built of dressed stone and lime masonry. Its flat top rests on eight stone pillars about two feet square and about five feet high over which rise the arches. It is still in good repair and is used by sanitary department of the municipality whose office is close-by. The left or south side contains two rows of three archways and was formerly used as a mosque. The right or the south side with two rows of two archways contains the tombs of Nyamatkhan and his wife. The real tomb of Nyamatkhan and his wife is in a cellar while the one mentioned earlier is an artificial tomb of both of them. From the foundations the palace and the bath seem to have filled a space of about 500 square yards. The main entrance was in the line of the north wall close to the mosque which is still standing. The gate bears a Persian and Arabic inscription in eleven lines on the top of the doorway engraved in two stone tablets which gives the date of the mosque as H. 987, that is, A. D. 1579.
Shah Tahir's palace and mosque: Shah Tahir's palace and mosque, called after Burhan Nizam's (1508-1553) Shia Minister one of the most talented and interesting characters in Ahmadnagar history, lies close to the north of Nyamatkhan's mosque where the Mangalvar market is now held. Except one wall no trace of the building is left.
Chobin mosque: " The Chobin or wooden mosque, about sixty yards south-west of the Mangal Market, was built by Syed Jalal Dakhni in the reign of Burhan Nizam Shah (1508-1553)." [Ahmadnagar District Gazetteer, 1884.]
Mengni or Benna Mahal: The Mengni or Benna Mahal, now used as the civil jail, about seventy yards south-west of the Chobin mosque, is said to have been built in 1570 at the time of the marriage of Nyamatkhan Dakhni.
Sarjekhan's palace and mosque: Sarjekhan's palace and mosque, about 100 yards north of the civil jail, is a ruined stone mansion (28' X 18') now used as a court of the Judicial Magistrate, First Class. It is a small one-storeyed structure. Close to the mosque is Sarjekhan's tomb covered with an elegant cut-stone rectangular canopy surmounted by a dome supported on open arches. In the east wall is a small hollow which is called the Dobotka chira or two-finger hole as it is said that any two fingers can fill it. It apparently is a partly-filled flaw in the stone. The mosque is locally known as the Dobotka chira masjid or the two-finger hole mosque. The palace and the mosque were built in H. 969, i.e., A. D. 1561.
Changizkhan's palace: Changizkhan's palace, built by the distinguished and ill-used noble of that name in the reign of the fourth Ahmadnagar king Murtaza Nizam Shah (1565-1586), about sixty-eight yards north-east of Sarjekhan's palace and mosque, is a fine upper storeyed building now used as the District Judge's court. On its plinth is an inscribed stone [This inscribed stone is originally said to have been fixed at Farrah Bag and gave the name of the builder as Nyamatkhan.] but so covered with whitewash as to be almost unreadable.
Jama mosque: The Jama Mosque, about sixty-five yards west of Changizkhan's palace, is a large plain stone building (75' X 44') on a low plinth. The mosque consists of two apartments, each containing five arches. Three arches in the west have domes. In front of the mosque is an old fountain. It was built in H. 1117, that is, A. D. 1705 by Kazi Abdul Rasul Sahib Usmani under orders from Aurangzeb. The property, worth about Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 40,000 of a Khatri named Gopal who died intestate, fell to the crown and was spent by Aurangzeb in making this mosque.
Farhadkhan's mosque, shrine and rest-house: ' Farhadkhan's mosque, shrine and rest-house, about 130 yards north-east of the Jama mosque,
were built by one Farhadkhan in H. 967, that is, A.D. 1559. Over the doorway an inscription gives the date and name of the founder in words the same as those on Khan Zamankhan's mosque. The mosque is still used, a part of the buildings as a rest-house and the rest as a Government store. The mosque is raised on a stone plinth but has no special architectural beauty. The front is of pointed arches and the roof has six domes resting on four central eight-sided pillars. The whole is enclosed in a paved courtyard at the east end of which is Farhadkhan's tomb. The rest-house is a separate court-yard surrounded by a veranda supported on pointed arches.' [Ahmadnagar District Gazetteer, 1884.]
Soneri mosque : The Soneri or golden mosque, about 240 yards north-east of Farhadkhan's mosque built by Nizam-ul-Mulk (1720-1748), appears to have been a very handsome building approached on either side by a low flight of steps. The centre arches of the mosque rest on handsomely-carved stone pillars which appear to be the upper parts and capitals of pillars taken from a Hindu temple. The shafts are eight-sided and the capitals are decorated with flower ornaments. The interior is white-washed, and under the wash on the walls are said to be inscriptions in gilt letters. In the basement are a number of cellars and other rooms.
Badshahi mosque: The Badshahi mosque, about 100 yards southeast of Soneri mosque, built by Aurangzeb (1658-1707), is a stone building (39' x 27') ornamented with stucco and white-wash. It is built on the ground without a plinth and has a flat roof.
Kavi Jang's Mehel: Kavi Jang's Mehel, in the centre of the city about sixty yards west of the Badshahi mosque, is said to have been built about 1750 by Kavi Jang, the Nizam's commandant, who was bribed by Peshwa Balaji Bajirav to surrender Ahmadnagar fort in 1759. The palace (81' x 33') is of dressed stone and lime masonry. It has three floors, the first partly under and partly above ground. The top of the first floor which is about five feet above the ground, forms the plinth of the second floor which has a stone-stair in the middle of its west walls leading to the third floor. The first floor under ground is commonly known as the balad or cellar. In front, to the north and attached to the main building, is a large stone-platform about sixty-four feet long and about nine feet wide with steps on the east and west built to the top level of the first floor. Nov,' a large building is constructed on this platform. The mansion with its enclosure was mortgaged by Kavi Jang's descendants about the end of the eighteenth century to a Bohora merchant who, for more than fifty years, has rented it to the American Mission by whom it is still occupied. Now it is used as American Mission's High School. In the
centre of the enclosure a large dry cistern was formerly fed by the Kapurvadi channel. A small cistern about seven feet square has been built about twenty-five yards north-east of the old cistern. One can have a very good view of the city around from the top of the Mehel.
Tora Bibi's mosque: Tora Bibi's mosque (24' X 18'), about 110 yards south-west of Kavi Jang's Mehel, was built in the reign of Murtaza Nizam Shah (1565-1588) by Tora Bibi, one of Chand Sultana's maids. It is a plain building on a low plinth.
Kamani mosque: ' The Kamani mosque, about sixty yards southeast of Tora Bibi's mosque, still in use was built by Asad Khan Rumi in the latter half of the sixteenth century. A part of the mosque buildings on the east including the gateway have been made into a civil hospital. The mosque (36' X 21') is of stone slightly carved and now white-washed. In front is the tomb of Kavi Jang, the Haidarabad officer, who gave up Ahmadnagar fort in 1759. The tomb bears date H. 1188, that is, A. D. 1774.' [Ahmadnagar District Gazetter, 1884.]
Husain mosque and college: Husain mosque and madarsa, about sixty yards west of the Kamani mosque, was built by Syed Husain Mashadi in the reign of Burhan Nizam Shah (1508-1553) for the spread of the Shia faith. The mosque is a stone building with a large centre dome and is said to be designed on the model of a mosque at Mashad in Persia. It is surrounded by a number of irregular buildings and in 1818 was turned into a criminal jail. The place has been so altered at various times that it is difficult to trace the original buildings. It is still known as old jail. Situated therein is a police station now.
Sadr-ud-Din's mosque and tomb: Sadr-ud-din's mosque and tomb were built by one Sadr-ud-Din in H. 984, that is, A. D. 1576, in the reign of the fourth Sultan Murtaza I (1565-1588). The mosque is a stone building. The eastern arches have been filled with brick. The tomb, which is close-by, is a square stone building with an octagonal cut corner roof surmounted by a circular dome.
Muntakhib-ud-Din's mosque: Muntakhib-ud-Din's mosque was built by one Muntakhib-ud-Din in H. 993, that is, A. D. 1585. Close to the mosque a handsomely-carved square stone building with traceried stone windows is surmounted by a ruined cupola which contains the tombs of two Syeds Subhand and Burhan.
Nahardil palace: Nahardil palace and mosque of unknown date were built by one Samsher Khan. The palace is said to have been a fine building and to have been burnt before the time of Aurangzeb. The mosque is still standing.
Agha Bahizad Dakhni's mosque: Outside the city near the Jhenda gate in Beluchpur is Agha Bahizad Dakhni's mosque still in use.
Bava Bengali's tomb: Bava Bengali's tomb is close outside the Bengali gate. The tomb is said to be older than the fort (A. D. 1495). The name of the saint is lost. He came from Bengal, and by the aid of a Bengali charm is said to have raised to life the body of a Hindu Patel of Bhingar, bitten by a snake. [Bava Bengali was a Musalman ascetic from Bengal, who lived under a tree near the spot where his tomb now stands. He is said to have come before the foundation of Ahmadnagar (1494) and to have been held in great local repute for holiness. A fair in his memory is held in June when about 100 beggars are fed. The tomb enjoys a piece of rent-free land and a yearly cash grant of Rs. 27.] The dargah has been registered under the Bombay Public Trusts Act. It used to get an annual grant of Rs. 14 and has inams in Ashti taluka.
Syed Burhan Dakhni's mosque: Close outside of the Malivada gate is Syed Burhan Dakhni's mosque, a small stone building surmounted by a dome.
Syed Hatti's mosque: On the Sina close to the Nepti gate is Syed Hatti's mosque, a plain building.
Shah Sawar Ghazi's tomb: On the west bank of the Sina opposite the Nepti gate is Shah Sawar Ghazi's tomb, who was killed in H. 987, that is, A. D. 1579.
Char Sanak's tomb: To the north of the town near the Police lines is Char Sanak's tomb, a square stone building surmounted by a cupola. It takes its name from the four ornaments at the foot of the cupola.
Kothla mosque : Near the Mangalwar gate about 200 yards outside the city is the Bara Imamancha [Bara Imam means the twelve preachers who followed the Prophet Muhammad Paigambar.] Kothla. Pilgrims visit this holy place on every Thursday. Tabut festival is also celebrated at the Kothla during the first ten days of the Moharrum and is attended by both Muslims and Hindus in large numbers especially on the ninth and tenth days. Devotees make vow for getting a child, an employment, or getting rid of bodily or mental diseases, etc., and on fulfilment of the desire offer things promised at the Kothla. Swords are also exhibited at this time. The festival of Moharrum is a solemn occasion, as it is associated with the tragic end of Husain, the second son of Fatimah, the Prophet's daughter, by Ali at Karbala. It is said that this practice of celebrating tabut with swords was first started by Taimurlang who used to visit Karbala every year during Moharrum. Once he could not attend the festival in time. On his way, it is believed, that Hasan and Husain appeared before him in person and asked him to make the replicas of their tombs and to worship them. This custom of celebrating the tabut festival was then started at Ahmadnagar during the reign of Burhan Nizamshah.
The Kothla was built by Burhan Nizamshah (1508-1553) in H. 944, i.e., A. D. 1536, under the advice of his clever minister Shall Tahir
(a follower of Shia faith) when Burhan embraced the Shia faith. Thus Burhan was the founder of the Shia faith at Ahmadnagar. He presented the Kothla to Shah Tahir and intended it as a charitable and educational institution for teaching the principles of Shia faith. Learned followers of the Shia faith were invited from distant countries for preaching the principles of the Shia faith. They used to stay at Kothla. The malgyas or the out-houses which were built for the preachers and the students as their resting places still exist. The Kothla was then largely endowed a yearly grant of Rs. 15,000 chiefly from the revenues of a village in Nevasa. This building was also called langarkhana where food and alms were distributed to poor people. Burhan also installed a panja made of silver and gold in the memory of Bora Imam at the langarkhana and granted twelve villages as inam to the langarkhana. However, it is said that this charitable and educational institute was later on converted into a mosque.
The main building of the Kothla is a simple structure. It is a two-sloped building divided into five apartments. Except the outer wall, little of the old buildings is left. The enclosure which is about 300 feet square is surrounded by a wall about 15 feet high built of dressed tap and lime. It has two entrances on the east and south. The east and main entrance is about seven feet high and four feet wide. In front on either side of the entrance are travellers' resting places, with two feet square stone pillars and covered with stone archways set in lime. The central part of the west enclosure wall, which is about 100 feet long, forms the back of the mosque, which is similar in plan to the Jama mosque. On either side of the mosque along the enclosure line were sheds inhabited by the descendants of the Mujawars. The second or the south entrance, which is about 20 feet wide by 15 feet high, was opened about 1865 under the then Government orders for better ventilation. In the centre of the enclosure is a large cistern said to have been fed by the Kapurwadi duct. About 1870 a small cistern about ten feet square fed by the Kapurwadi duct was built in the middle of the old cistern at the joint expense of the mosque people and the cantonment committee.
Rumikhan's tomb or Pila Ghumat: About 100 yards north of the Kothla is Rumikhan's tomb, also called Pila Ghumat or the Yellow Dome. It is a square tomb surmounted by a dome. The tomb is eighteen feet square inside, and, including the dome, is forty feet high. The walls are four feet thick. It has been made into a dwelling by introducing a floor which divides the tomb into an upper and lower room. The tomb stone, which is a single large block, lies outside where it was probably removed when the tomb was made into a dwelling. In the enclosure close alongside of the tomb, a large
hollow, about 100 feet by sixty feet and six feet deep, is said to be the mould in which the great Bijapur gun Malik-i-Maidan was cast in, H. 956, that is, A. D. 1549. [Mr. A. F. Woodburn, C. S. and Major S. Babington. Compare Bijapur Statistical Account, Bombay Gazetteer, XXIII, 639-641.]
Bahri Khan's mosque: Outside the town about 500 yards south of the Malivada gate is Bahri Khan's mosque, a stone building surmounted by a small dome.
Bagh Rauza: About half a mile north-west of the city a few hundred yards of the Nalegaon gate, is the Bagh Rauza or the Garden of the Shrine, where the first Nizamshahi king Ahmad I (1490-1508) is buried. This is one of the finest buildings in Ahmadnagar. It is of black stone about forty feet square and roofed by a dome and inscribed inside with texts from the Kuran in letters of gold. Except the one to the south the doors are closed. In the centre of the building, with other tombs on both sides, is the tomb of Ahmad Nizam Shah. All the tombs are usually covered with a green or black cloth and have no inscriptions. To the south-east of the main building and near a ruinous reservoir is a small square-domed building believed to be the vault, wherein, previous to its being carried to Karbela, the body of Shah Tahir, the Shia minister of Husain Nizam Shah (1553-1565), was laid. Both these buildings are enclosed by a wall about ten feet high. The gateway to the south is domed and also contains some graves. Immediately to the left is a stone and masonry platform about ten feet high and eighteen feet square. It is partly canopied by a stone-slab supported by a number of elegantly-worked stone pillars. It is said to be raised on the place where lies buried the body of the elephant Gulam Ali which captured Ramraja of Vijayanagar in the great battle of Talikot (1565). On the dais are two or three grave-like mounds on which are inscribed in beautiful Persian characters the Muhammedan creed. Close by the canopy on the stone chair is a tomb said to be that of the elephant's driver or mahut.
The river Sina which flows to the west of the Bagh Rauza has demolished one of the corners of the building. In rainy season, the river at times encircles the premises of the Bagh Rauza.
Hazrat Abd-ur-Rahman Chishti's shrine: About half a mile north of the city, close to the Aurangabad road, is the shrine of Abd-ur-Rahman Chishti, who came to Ahmadnagar as a beggar during the reign of Ahmad Nizam Shah and died at Ahmadnagar. About 313 bighas of land were assigned for the repair of this shrine.
Adhai Ghumats: On the Malegaon road about a mile to the north of the city within the limits of Savedi village, are two large domed tombs known as the Adhai Ghumats. About 1579 a Jamadar in
Murtaza I's (1565-1588) service, suspecting the chastity of his mistress, killed her and her lover, a rich Delhi trader. The merchant left a large property from which the two tombs were built. About 1770 they were being pulled down by Babjirav, the second Maratha governor of Ahmadnagar, to build stone bastions on the fort instead of the old clay bastions. The labourers employed died next day, and Babjirav was warned that he also would die if he did any more harm to the tombs. The tombs were added to and made a residence which for many years was held by the District Judge, but is now the property of the American Mission.
Haji Hamid's mosque: About a mile north of the city close to the Adhai Ghumats is Haji Hamid's mosque which was built by one Bessatkhan Dakhni. The saint Haji Hamid is buried close-by. The mosque has an inscription which has not been read.
Damdi masque: Near the fort, about a mile and a half to the north-east of the city, a masonry mosque, called the Damdi mosque, is notable for its elaborate carving and unusually large stones. It is said to have been built in 1567 by a noble named Sahirkhan at the cost of the workmen employed on the fort who gave small daily contributions of a damdi (1/16d.) from their wages. [Compare Life in Bombay (1852), 294, which gives a view of the mosque.]
It is a small mosque divided into three apartments. Every prominent stone is adorned with simple but attractive carving which is not seen anywhere in the city. The carving, especially on the arch in the central portion of the mosque, is very attractive. In the centre of the arch is placed a white marble on which some letters are engraved; inscriptions are also found on various stones of the mosque. The construction of the ceiling of the mosque is very peculiar. The measurements of the well-dressed stones in which the ceiling is built coincide with those of the floor.
Jamalkhan's mosque: Close to the Damdi mosque, about a mile to the east of the city, is Jamalkhan's mosque still in use. It was built by the famous minister Jamalkhan Ghair Mehdi in the reign of the Murtaza Nizam Shah (1565-1588). Near the mosque a square stone-building surmounted by a cupola contains the tomb of one Shah Sharif.
Shah Raju Darvesh's tomb: About a mile and a half west of the city is Shah Raju Darvesh's tomb, an old building which enjoyed a revenue of fifteen acres (twenty bighas) of land.
Farah Bag: About two miles south-east of the Ahmadnagar town are the ruins of the Farah Bag, a fine building in the middle of what was formerly a lake but is now dry except during the rains. The palace was begun for Burhan Nizam Shah I (1508-1553) as
propounded by his two nobles Changizkhan and Salabatkhan I. The work was entrusted to the well-known artisan Nyamatkhan. Burhan Nizam Shah, instigated by his well-known minister Shah Tahir who was an enemy of Nyamatkhan, disliked the design and the masonry work and ordered it to be pulled down and re-built. The work was then entrusted to Salabatkhan I who died while it was in progress. It was finally finished by Salabatkhan's nephew the great Salabat II in H. 991, i.e., A. D. 1583. [The original building was called Farah Bakhsh, the word Farah giving the date H. 902 (A. D. 1497).
It is however said that after the death of Burhan Nizam Shah and of his minister Shah Tahir, Nyamatkhan built the palace in H. 984, i.e., A. D. 1576.] The palace was a favourite place of residence of Murtaza Nizam Shah. It is said that Sultana Chandbibi also occasionally used to stay in the palace. The palace is octagonal with a flat-roofed upper storey. The construction of the upper storey is such that one could have entire view of the central hall. The central hall has a dome about thirty feet high. Including an outer platform all round about twenty-five feet wide the building is about 250 feet in diameter and built of rough stone and lime masonry, plastered inside and outside with stucco. Round the palace is a dry pond about 150 feet wide and about seventeen feet deep which was fed by the Bhingar aqueduct. About 500 yards round the pond the ground was made into a fine garden. The pond is still surrounded by clumps of mango, tamarind and woodapple trees.
Tower of silence: About two miles to the north of the town on a small hill are the remains of three towers of silence, one of them entirely in ruins. The land was granted by Government to the Parsi community in 1826, and vested in the name of Mr. Barjorji Bhikaji. The first tower was built in 1827 by public subscription. The second was finished on the 11th of January 1842 at a cost of about Rs. 3,000 subscribed by Bombay, Pune and Ahmadnagar Parsis. The third tower, the one now in use, was built of stone in 1864 by Khan Bahadur Padamji Pestanji of Pune and Mr. Nasarvanji Cursetji Gopipuria of Ahmadnagar at a cost of Rs. 5,000.
Hasht Behisht Bagh: About three miles to the north of the city. in the limits of Hadiri village, is a ruined palace and garden called Hasht Behisht or the Eighth Paradise. It was built in 1506 by Ahmad Nizamshah on the advice of Salabatkhan and was at first called Faiz Baksh or the Gain Giver. Inside the garden in the middle of a large pond was built an eight-sided two-storeyed palace representing the eight gates of Paradise which, according to Muhammedan belief, has eight doors. A large arch and a hamamkhana (bathing place) were also built to the south of the pond. A wall was constructed around the premises and the garden. No trace of this wall is left at
present. It is said that the palace which was built in the centre of the pond could be approached in a small gondola. Water was brought by a duct from the villages of Pimpalgaon [Old Gazetteer says Vadgaon, see p. 704.] and Shendi, and on the banks of the pond another high palace with out-houses was built. Ahmad Nizam Shah, however, could not enjoy more as he died within two years after the palace was constructed. Burhan Nizam Shah, the second king, named it the Hasht Behisht or Eighth Paradise and made in it eight flower-beds watered by a canal from the Sina, and enlivened with singing birds. [Shahabi's History of Ahmadnagar, pp. 15-16.] This and the Farah Bagh were the special possessions of the royal household and Murtaza Nizam Shah often retired here to play chess with a Delhi singer whom he called Fateh Shah and also built for him a separate mahal called Lakad Mahal in the garden. The central eight-sided palace is now in ruins and except an embankment no signs of the pond remains. Between this garden and the city are seventy domes and forty mosques said to have contained the tombs of many of the royal favourites.
It is said that Akbar's son Shahajada Murad when he came to attack Ahmadnagar town and the fort during the reign of Sultana Chandbibi in 1595, he encamped in this beautiful garden. Murad, however, could not succeed and he had to leave the place after signing a treaty with Sultana Chandbibi.
Salabatkhan's tomb: Six [Contributed by Mr. W. R. Hamilton, Deputy Collector, Ahmadnagar.] miles east of the city on the Shah Dongar hill, about 900 feet above Ahmadnagar and 3,080 feet above sea-level, stands the tomb of Salabatkhan II, the famous minister of Murtaza Nizam Shah I (1565-1588). It was Salabatkhan who after the death of Changizkhan put his best to strengthen and to maintain the reign of Nizamshahis. Salabatkhan, however, could not succeed. The tomb is still in a good condition. The hill is one of the highest peaks in the neighbourhood and with the tomb looks from a distance like a short round tower and forms the most marked feature in the landscape, and commands a view for about twenty-five miles. One could see the northern hill ranges, Manjarsubha fort, Bhatodi tank and also the panoramic view of the town. A made road with an avenue of trees runs from the city past the foot of the hill to Shevgaon. On the way it passes the old town of Bhingar and the deserted village of Shahapur. At the Shahapur mosque the road is crossed by the Shahapur aqueduct and a reservoir about 100 yards to the left receives the hill water and feeds a channel which goes to the cantonment Not far from the reservoir is the road up the hill eight feet broad with a gradient of one in fifteen which was made in 1859 by the military department. It is passable for carts and tongas. The hill-side is strewn with black boulders and is almost bare of trees, but the lower part is being wooded. An easy walk of about fifteen minutes leads to the top of the hill where the tomb is seen to great advantage. By the simple contrivance of a stone terrace built about twelve feet high and 100 yards broad the tomb seems to rise with considerable dignity from the centre of an octagon. The building is plain but the eight-sided platform, the three tiers of pointed arches, and the dome have all much beauty of form. [The building is unfinished. The legend is that Salabatkhan possessed the secret of the philosopher's stone and the art of turning base metal into gold. Tired of life he built himself a tomb and prepared three cups of poison which he asked his two wives to drink that they might die with him. One hesitated but the other drank the poison. To her who drank the poison he assigned the honour of being buried by his side within the tomb. The other wife was buried with her child outside the tomb on the terrace.]
A few steps lead from the terrace into the vault which contains the tomb. The tomb has angular holes so placed that the rising and setting sun-rays fall on the tomb. At night the keeper of the tomb lights a lamp before the tomb. Salabatkhan's name is forgotten and the tomb is locally known as Chandbibi's Mahal. Why the tomb is called as Chandbibi's Mahal is still a matter of historical dispute. The tower is about seventy feet high and the base about twelve feet wide, while the galleries are about twenty feet broad. A narrow stone staircase runs round the tower hidden inside the wall which separates the tower from the galleries. The top storey over the dome is unfinished. It is difficult to say whether an outside dome was intended as a finish or the building was meant to be carried higher by adding additional galleries of smaller size. According to one account Salabat-khan meant to carry up the tower, till from the top of it he could see his beloved Daulatabad. The natural advantages of the hill and tomb as a health resort were early recognised by the English. Captain Pottinger, the first Collector, pitched his tents on the terrace and occupied the tomb. He stopped up one of the inner arches to protect himself from the strong breeze and cut a road up the hill beginning from a point near the present toll-house and ending where the new road ends. The only difficulty on the hill is its scanty water-supply. The legend is that before British rule the tomb was occupied by a Musalman mendicant or fakir skilful in medicine. Afterwards the tomb was held by a gang of Bhil robbers who were attacked and captured by the people of Mehekri village. In 1859 about forty soldiers were sent to the tomb and some of the arches were closed for their convenience. It was then settled to make the tomb a health resort for about fifty men with women and children by stopping all the arches on the first and second storeys with mud and stone leaving windows and openings for air and providing a wooden staircase
inside the tower. The Superintending Surgeon reported that though from its small height the hill could hardly be called a health resort, it would prove beneficial during the hot season for convalescents from fever and for the weakly men of the Nagar Brigade. It was afterwards intended to close all the arches and make a staircase to the top storey, but the cost of these changes prevented their being carried out. A cistern has been made at the foot of the hill: over a fresh spring of water. It was at one time intended to make four cisterns on the hill-top to store rain-water. The masonry walls are still in repair but the cisterns do not hold water except for a short time in the rains. The walls of a large pond stand some way below the main road. It failed as a pond but a patil has drained it and its rich deposit of silt bears excellent crops. The hill has a trigonometrical survey cairn.
Sina bridge [Gazetteer of Bombay Presidency, Ahmadnagar District, 1884, p. 706.] : The Sina bridge is a bow girder bridge of eight spans of sixty feet each with a total length, including masonry abutments, of 530 feet. Its average height above the river is 12 feet 6 inches and the width of its roadway eighteen feet. The roadway girders, each in three lengths of nine feet, rest on cast iron screw piles 1 foot 6 inches in diameter and are sunk in the river-bed to an average depth of seventeen feet. The bow which forms the top of the bridge is formed by four bolted pieces, the shoe pieces of each end being secured to a bed plate resting on the top of the piles. The bow is retained in its place by tension bars on which the roadway girders rest, the bow being filled in with diagonal traces to which are attached a light railing forming the sides of the bridge. The height of the bow at the centre is about seven feet above the roadway level. On the roadway girders, secured by bolts and nuts, are laid stout iron buckled plates, on which the roadway is laid. The corrugations in the buckled plates are filled in with concrete, on which a thin layer of murum and four inches of metal are spread and consolidated. The end bow of the bridge rests on masonry abutments, terminated above the roadway by four massive cut stone pilasters, two on each side of the roadway. A tablet fixed in one of the pilasters bears the inscription:
Sina iron bridge erected by Major E. P. Gambier, R. E.
Commenced in August 1869, completed in January 1873.
Cost Rs. 90,311.
Bhingar bridge: The Bhingar bridge roughly built with stone and lime masonry is about 315 feet long by fifteen wide and consists of four semi-circular archways each about ten feet wide and eight feet high. The roadway parapets are formed by twenty pilasters built on
either side with burnt brick and lime masonry, about thirteen feet apart from centre to centre into which cross wooden railings are fixed.
Christian cemeteries: There are two Christian burial-grounds, one about half a mile north-west of the Delhi gate used by native Christians, the other a walled enclosure nicely laid out and planted with trees about half a mile north of the fort used by Europeans and Portuguese.
Hindu burning ground: The Hindu burning ground is on the right or west bank of the Sina about 1,507 yards to the west of the Nepti and Nalegaon gates. Except Mhars, Mangs, Chambhars and Bhangis the burning ground is used by all classes of Hindus. The Mhars and Mangs have two burning grounds on the left bank of the Sina, one about 250 yards south-west of the Nepti gate, the other about 500 yards south-west of the Nalegaon gate. The Chambhar burial-ground is near the Parsi tower of silence. The Bhangis bury their dead about 400 yards south of the Nepti gate beyond the river, and the Vadars, all of whom live within cantonment limits, bury their dead to the east of the cantonment.
Musalman burying ground: The chief Musalman burying ground is to the north of the city on the river-bank near the Nepti gate close to the wall.