Ajanta [The article on the Ajanta range is a reprint from the Imperial Gazetteer.]
(or Inhyadri) Hills.-The southern portion of the Buldana District is covered by the Ajanta hills. This range, also called the Chandor, Satmala,
or Inhyardi hills, and Sahyadriparbat in Hyderabad territory, consists of a series of basalt pinnacles and ridges of the same geological formation as the Western Ghats, from which it breaks off at right angles near Bhanvad in Nasik District (Bombay) and runs nearly due east. with a general elevation of 4000 feet or more, for about 50 miles. to near Manmad, where there is a wide gap through which the Great Indian Peninsula Railway passes. From Ankai, south of Manmad, the range runs eastwards at a lower level for about 20 miles, widening into the small table-land of Rajapur. At Kasari there is a second gap, from which the hills run north-eastwards for about 50-miles, dividing Khandesh District from Aurangabad, to near Ajanta. Thence they again turn eastwards into Berar. entering the Buldana District, and pass on into Akola and Yeotmal. The Hyderabad Districts of Parbhani and Nizamabad are traversed by the southern section of the range, locally called Sahyadriparbat. The length of the latter is about 150 miles, and of the section called Ajanta about 100. The range forms the northern wall of the Deccan tableland, and the watershed between the Godavari and Tapti valleys, rising in parts of Berar into
peaks of over 2000 feet in height. The old routes followed by traders and invading armies from Gujarat and Malwa enter the Deccan at the Manmad and Kasari gaps, and at the passes of Gaotala and Ajanta. At the last-named place in the Nizam's Dominions, are the famous Buddhist cave-temples of Ajanta. The range is studded with hill forts, most of which were taken from the Peshwa's garrisons in 1818. The most notable points are Markinda (4384 feet), a royal residence as early as A.D. 808, overlooking the road into Baglan, and facing the holy hill of Saptashring (4659 feet); Raulya-Jaulya, twin forts taken by the Mughals in 1635; Dhodap, the highest peak in the range (4741 feet); Tudrai (4526 feet); Chandur, on the north side of the Manmad gap; Ankai, to the south of the same;
Manikpunj, on the west side of the Kasari gap; and Kanhira, overlooking the Patna or Gaotala pass. The drainage of the hills, which in Bombay are treeless save for a little scrub jungle in the hollows at their feet, feed a number of streams that flow northwards into the Girna or southwards into the Godavari. Beyond Bombay the hills are well wooded and picturesque, and abound in game. In Hyderabad they form the retreats of the aboriginal tribes, and in Yeotmal District are peopled by Gonds, Pardhans and Kolams, as well as by Hindus. The hills are mentioned in the Ain-i-Akbari under the name of Sahia or Sahsa.
Amrapur.-A thriving village in the Chikhli taluk, situated 14 miles west of Chikhli on the road to Khamgaon. The population in 1901 was 3174; its area is 11,076 acres, and it pays a land revenue of Rs. 8662. There are Urdu and Marathi schools and a police Station-house. A weekly bazar is held but the trade is of little importance. On the summit of a small hill about half a mile to the south of the village stands a fine modern temple dedicated to Bhawani, of whom there is an image
bedaubed with red lead in the sanctuary which is curiously lit from above in such a way as to throw the full light upon the image; to the spectator, seeing it only through the chink in the door, the mandap being nearly dark, the effect may be somewhat startling. On the temple is an inscription of eight lines, the characters of which are illegible. Near it are some fragments of two colossal statues, consisting of two pairs of feet, so that the statue must have stood about fifty feet high. Other fragments built into and lying round a temple dedicated to Mahadeo seem to point to the former existence of an older building, probably a Hemadpanthi temple. This is confirmed by local tradition. The village contains a local Board school, a P.W.D., inspection bungalow, a sarai, a police station-house, a sub-registrar's office, and a branch post office. A weekly market is held on Wednesdays.
Anjani Khurd.-A village in the Mehkar taluk, 9 miles south-west of Mehkar on the old Bombay-Nagpur road. Its population in 1901 was 995, and it pays a land revenue of Rs. 3792. It has a Board school, an opium shop, and a cattle pound. A weekly market is held on Saturdays. The village contains an old step well with a flight of steps, and a little room on the south side; also an unfinished masjid built up solidly to the crowns of the arches all around. In general design the building is similar to the mosque at Fatehkhelda.
Asalgaon.-A village in the Jalgaon taluk lying on the main road from Jalgaon to Nandura, 3 miles south of Jalgaon. The population is 2508, and it pays a land revenue of Rs. 8696. A large weekly bazar is held every Tuesday which is attended by about 7000 people. The bazar has been equipped by the local Board with
chabutras and shelters, and shade is also afforded by numerous fine nim trees. The principal articles dealt in are teak-wood, bamboos, cloth, cattle, hides, grains, betel leaves,
meat, fruit and vegetables. The village contains a large Local Board vernacular school, a branch post office, and a sarai. A ginning factory belonging to the Khamgaon Ginning Company is also located here.