Palshi, a market town on a feeder of the Mula twenty miles north
of Parner, with in 1881 a population of 1110, has, between the town gate and the river, stones built into and lying in front of a small rude temple. The temple shows the same scanty ornaments as the temple and reservoir at Parner. The village has a handsome temple of Vithoba with a fine domed hall resting entirely on pillars. The pillars are stiff in outline and the inside of the dome is disfigured by ugly painted figures. The shrine or viman is graceful and has some fine wood-carving. [Ind. Ant. V. 14.]
Pa'rner, 19° north latitude and 74° 30' east longitude, twenty
miles south-west of Ahmadnagar, with in 1881 a population of 4058 is a sub-division head-quarters with a Sunday market. Parner hasabout fifty moneylenders, chiefly Marwaris with a bad name for greed and fraud. In the 1874-75 riots of the husbandmen against moneylenders, [Details of the 1874-75 riots are given above pp. 318-319.] the people of Parner were among the first to follow the example of Kirdeh, Nemunch, and other villages in Sirur in Poona, the inhabitants of which in the beginning of 1874 placed the Marwaris in a state of social outlawry, refusing to work for them, to draw water, supply necessaries, or shave them. The watchfulness of the police saved Parner from a riot. Parner has two wells and the tomb of a Musalman saint or Pir which enjoys a grant of land. In the tomb enclosure are fine trees and a small mosque and pond.
Near the usual camping place, at the meeting of two small
streams, is a temple of Sangameshvar or Trimbakeshvar. The ground plan is the usual double-broken diamond or square. The temple is not much facetted and has only three superior re-entering angles on the front sides of the hall and lesser re-entering angles near the front porch. All the three porches are ruined, the best
preserved being the front porch. Its door strongly resembles the inner door of the second Belgaum temple, but has not the pierced flanking panels. The pillars are more in the style of the first Belgaum temple. [Compare Belgaum Statistical Account p. 540.] Four large pillars, with the help of the walls and remaining pilasters, support the roof which is composed of nine small rough domes. This appears to have been the original plan, but the whole roof has been destroyed and restored from a height of about nine feet above the ground as appears by the use of mortar in the restored part and by the inverted position of the decorations. The lower or ancient part is of dry stone work in receding imbedded courses of very large blocks. The ling is enshrined in a deep pit. The whole exterior is covered with a carving representing, in low relief, sometimes an arch and sometimes a dome. A few fragments of the cornice seem to show that the roof was Dravidian in style. The Nandi in front of the chief entrance now rests at the bottom of a pit lined with modern masonry, and partly covered by a rough dome built out of the ruined porch and perhaps of a destroyed pavilion. On this rests a stone representing apparently an inverted bunch of grapes which the people call a ling but do not worship. It was probably a finial of the pavilion or of one of the porches. Several slender pillars of a broken square section have been built into a small modern temple with a relief in moulded clay, coloured and gilt, of Chandikadevi killing the buffalo demon Mahishasur. Under a pipal tree before this temple are several carved fragments of sculpture, among which are a huge gurgoyle in the form of a monster's head and a large stone ranjan or vase the upper and lower parts of which have been hewn separately and afterwards fitted together. The vase is of the still popular form of an egg truncated at both ends and is 4½ feet both in height and in external diameter. It is very rough and its simple ornamentation does not correspond with that of any of the other remains. It may be modern, the work of Vadar stonecutters. [A lower half of a ranjan similar to the Parner vase lies among the ruins of a deserted old temple which lies on the left of the Kanhur road four miles north of Parner. The vase was found in a Brahman's stackyard and brought to its present place by a mamlatdar.] A little from the town, to the east of the Nagar gate, is an old temple of Nagnath Mahadev. The temple enclosure has a large well or baro containing a stone inscription dated 1093 (Shak 1015). This well seems to be intended for public use as well as for watering a little garden which is now used for growing temple flowers. The well has steps on two sides, and on the top remains of the plaster work made for the bucket to draw water from. Outside the Nagar gate are many funeral monuments one of which is said to record the death of a demon or rakshas.
Pa'thardi about fifteen miles south of Shevgaon, is a large market town with in 1872 a population of 7117 and in 1881 of 5123. The town lies picturesquely on the side of a steep hill which rises in the midst of a barren tract skirted on the north and east by the range of hills which pass from Dongargan into the Nizam's territory.
The houses are mostly mud built and straggling, broken here and there by the dwellings of well-to-do merchants. The weekly market is on Wednesday. Want of communication has checked the development of Pathardi trade. Towards the Nizam's territories there are no roads, but from Pathardi to Tisgaon, on the main road from Ahmadnagar to Shevgaon an unbridged and very fair road is newly made.
The sanitation of Pathardi is bad though its position on a hill side offers facilities for drainage. The people bathe, wash, and drink from a large water-course which flows past the town. About 1852 Pathardi is described as having upwards of 500 looms.
Patta Fort, about sixteen miles north-west of Akola lies on a bare
hill two miles long, half a mile broad, and 4587 feet above the sea. Three paths, none of them fit for laden animals, lead up the hill. The hill top has an old building (90' x 30') coveted by three solid masonry domes with walls four feet thick. All round this building are ruined huts with remains of walls. On the hill top are two large caves and about half-way down the hill two or three smaller caves, one of which is a temple. The water-supply of the fort is from about twenty rock-cut cisterns, some of them thirty feet by fifteen and six to eight feet deep. One large cistern is close to the
Chief building and the rest are in two groups higher up. All the cisterns hold excellent water throughout the year. The fort has ruins of small fortifications in places and a solid cut-stone wall about ten feet high and six feet thick runs across the hill about two-thirds of the way along the top towards the north.
Ekdara fort five miles south of Patta and Aundha four miles to the north formed with Patta the Peshwa's outposts in this direction. These two, with Alang Kulang [Alang and Kulang had the stairs scarped of and are now inaccessible.] and Pabar fifteen to twenty-five miles west of Akola and Kaladgad twenty-two miles south-west of Akola, were blown up and their Approaches buildings and cisterns destroyed by Captain Mackintosh in 1819-20. The wild rugged peaks of these forts form one of the grandest pieces of scenery on the Sahyadris.
Pedgaon on the north bank of the Bhima eight miles south of
Shrigonda, is a ruined market town with in 1881 a population of 1747. Pedgaon has four ruined Hemadpanti temples of Baleshvar, Lakshmi-Narayan, Mallikarjun, and Rameshvar. Of Baleshvar's temple only the shrine is left with a ling. What is left of the pillar capitals is ornamented with well-carved cobras. Of the Lakshmi-Narayan temple the hall or mandap is covered by good domes, of which the centre dome and the shrine dome are carved. Three doors lead to the hall or mandap with fine pillars. The shrine is on a lower level than the hall or mandap and is filled with earth. Outside and inside many elaborate carvings have been wilfully broken. The outside
carving consists of elephants in the lowest panel, tigers in the next, and men and women in the succeeding panels. Of the Mallikarjun temple only the shrine and two pillars of the
hall or mandap remain. The only carvings are broken cobras on the pillar capitals. The Rameshvar temple has shrines on three sides of the hall or mandap and a door on the fourth side. The hall or mandap roof is of one dome resting on four pillars, the spire between the pillars and the wall being covered with plain flat stones. The shrine opposite the door has a ling on a slightly lower level than the hall or mandap floor.
About 1680 Pedgaon was one of the chief stores and a frontier post of the Moghal army and the ruined fortifications which from a distance give an imposing appearance to the town were built by the Deccan Viceroy Khan Jahan who camped here during the monsoon of 1672 in pursuit of Shivaji. Another of Khan Jahan's works is a fairly preserved channel or conduit for bringing water from the Bhima. The water was raised from the Bhima by an elephant mot and a Persian wheel. The mot and a tower for the Persian wheel are still fairly preserved. Khan Jahan gave Pedgaon the name of Bahadurgad which it has not retained. In 1673 the English traveller Fryer notices Pedgaon on the Bhima three days' journey from Junnar, where the Moghals had a large host of 40,000 horse under Bahadur Khan. [East India and Persia, 139, 141.] In 1759, during the conflict which followed the treacherous surrender of Ahmadnagar fort to the Peshwa, Pedgaon was captured by his cousin Sadashivrav and remained with the Marathas till 1818.[Grant Duff's Marathas, 306.] About 1851 Pedgaon is noticed as a much reduced town with 1900 inhabitants.
Pimpalvandi, sixteen miles north of Jamkhed, has a temple of Ashviling Mahadev said to be Hemadpanti. A new dome was built about 1730 by a Gosavi whose temple is on a hill above the village. The temple is surrounded by a wall and to the west is a pond with walled sides. A yearly fair is held in honour of the temple. Near it to the north is a row of small temples of Bali, Mahadev, Bahiroba, Bhavani, and Khandoba, all said to be of the same age. [Mr. A. F. Woodburn, C. S.]
Punta'mba on the Godavari twelve miles south-east of Kopargaon, with in 1881 a population of 5787, is a large market town with a station on the Dhond-Manmad railway. The traders are Marwaris and Brahmans owning in all about £6000 (Rs. 60,000). Puntamba has fourteen modern temples and low flights of steps or ghats to the Godavari one built by Ahalyabai the great temple-building princess of Indor (1765-1795) and another by one Shivram Dumal. The chief temple is of about the middle of the seventeenth century and belongs to Changdev a famous saint said to have had 1400 disciples. The other temples are of Annapurna, Balaji, Bhadrakali shankar, Gopalkrishna, Jagadamba, Kalbhairav, Kashivishveshvar, Keshavraj, Maharudrashankar, Ramchandra, Rameshvar, and Trimbakeshvar. [Dr. Burgess' Lists of Antiquarian Remains, 113.]