Chakan on the Poona-Nasik road six miles south of Khed and eighteen miles north of Poona is a market town, with in 1872 a population of 3164 and in 1881 of 4055. The weekly market is held on Thursday. Chakan has a Collector's bungalow and an old fort famous in Deccan history. In the bungalow enclosure under a tree is an old stone with a carved figure like Lakshmi-Narayan except that there is a bull in the right corner.
The fort was dismantled in 1858. About 1836 it was described by
Grant Duff as nearly square with bastioned fronts and corner towers. The walls were high surrounded by a ditch wet on the north side and thirty feet deep by fifteen wide all round. The fort had one entrance on the east through five or six gateways. Beyond the wall was an outwork of mud with a ditch locally said to be the remains of a fortification made in 1295 by an Abyssinian chief. The earliest certain notice of Chakan is in 1443 when Malik-ul-Tujar, the leading Bahmani noble who was ordered by Ala-ud-din II. (1435-1457) to reduce the sea coast or Konkan forts, fixed on Chakan as his headquarters. In one of his Konkan expeditions Malik-ul-Tujar advanced with the Moghals into a woody country, where as his Deccan and Abyssinian troops refused to march, Malik was slain with 500 Moghals and the rest retired. [Briggs' Ferishta, II. 436- 439.] Contrary to the advice of the Deccan officers, who tried to persuade them to withdraw to their estates, the Moghals fell back on Chakan. The Deccan officers sent a false message to the king that the disaster was due to Malik-ul-Tujar's rashness and to the turbulence and disobedience of the Moghals, who, they said, were now in revolt. The king ordered the Moghals to be put to death and the Deccan nobles attacked Chakan. After the siege had lasted two months, the Deccan officers forged a letter from the king and persuaded some of the Moghals to leave the fort. They gave an entertainment to the rest in the fort, and while the feast was going on, attacked them and put them to death. At the same time one party of the Moghals outside the fort were attacked and every male was put to death. Another party who were more on their guard made good their escape. The survivors succeeded in convicting the Deccan nobles of their treachery and procured their punishments. From this time Chakan and Junnar continued military posts. In 1486 Zain-ud-din the commandant of Chakan revolted, and Nizam-ul-Mulk the Bahmani minister sent his son Malik Ahmad the founder of the Ahmadnagar Nizamshahis (1490-1636) to reduce Chakan. Zain-ud-din applied for help to Yusuf Adil Khan of Bijapur. Later in the same year when Malik Ahmad threw off his allegiance Mahmud Shah Bahmani II. (1482-1518) ordered Yusuf Adil Khan of Bijapur and Zain-ud-din of Chakan to attack him. Malik Ahmad tried but failed to win Zain-ud-din to his side. As the Bahmani army was advancing against him Ahmad left his family in Shivner and marched to meet the Bahmani force. During the night he suddenly turned on Chakan, was himself the first to scale the walls, and had helped seventeen of his men to gain a footing before the garrison took alarm. Zain-ud-din and his men fought with great bravery, but their leader was killed and the rest surrendered. From Chakan Ahmad marched against and defeated the Bahmani army. [Briggs' Ferishta, III. 190-195.] In 1595 the tenth Ahmadnagar king Bahadur (1595-1599) granted
Chakan with other places in the Poona district to Maloji Bhonsla the grandfather of Shivaji. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 41.] In 1636 Mahmud of Bijapur (1626-1656) concluded a treaty with the Moghals under which the Ahmadnagar territory was divided between Bijapur and the Moghals, Bijapur securing the country between the Bhima and the Nira, as far north as Chakan. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 52.] In this division of territory Chakan continued to remain in the possession of Shahaji in charge of a brave commandant Phirangaji Narsala. When, about 1647, Shivaji was trying to establish his authority in his father's Poona estates, he won over Phirangaji without much trouble. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 60.] In 1662 Shaistekhan a Moghal general was sent to punish Shivaji for his incursions into Moghal territory. Shaistekhan took Supa and marched to Chakan which was still held by Phirangaji Narsala. After examining its bastions and walls the Moghal army opened trenches, erected batteries, threw up intrenchments round their own position, and began to sap the fort with mines. Heavy rains greatly interfered with the Moghal operations. The powder was spoiled and bows lost their strings, but the siege was vigorously pressed and the front walls were breached. Though hard pressed, the garrison sallied forth on dark nights into the trenches and fought with surprising boldness. Sometimes a Maratha force from outside combined with the garrison in making a joint attack in broad daylight and placed the trenches in great danger. After the siege had lasted about two months a mined bastion blew up and stones bricks and men flew like pigeons into the air. [Waring notices (Marathas, 73) that, according to Orme, the magazine was blown, up by flying a paper kite with a lighted match at its tail; according to Dow the explosion was due to a shell.] The Moghals rushed to the assault but the Marathas had thrown up a barrier of earth inside the fortress and had made intrenchments and places of defence in many parts. All day passed in fighting and many of the assailants were killed. The Moghal army did not retreat and passed the night without food or rest amid ruins and blood. At dawn they renewed the attack, and, putting many of the garrison to the sword, carried the fort but not
until they hadlost about 900 men. The survivors of the garrison retired to the citadel and did not surrender till reduced to extremities. Shaistekhan treated Phirangaji with great respect and sent him in safety to Shivaji by whom he was praised and rewarded. [Khafi Khan in Elliot and Dowson, VII, 262-263. According to Khafi Khan, besides sappers and others engaged in the work of the siege, the Moghal army lost about 300 men. Six or seven hundred horse and foot were wounded by stones and bullets arrows and swords. Ditto.]
According to an inscription at Chakan dated H. 1071, Shaistekhan
repaired the fort in 1663. [Indian Antiquary, II. 352.] Chakan was left in charge of one Uzbek Khan. After Shivaji's surprise of Shaistekhan in Poona city in 1663, Prince Muazzim was appointed viceroy, and the main body of the Moghal army retired leaving strong detachments at Chakan and Junnar. About this time Shivaji, who had gone to Poona to hear a sermon by the great Vani saint Tukaram, narrowly escaped being made prisoner by the garrison of Chakan. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 89, note 1.] In 1667 Shivaji obtained from Aurangzeb the title of Raja and the district of Chakan along with Poona and Supa. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 99.] In 1671 the Moghal general Diler Khan captured Chakan and Lohogad with a large Moghal force. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 110] In 1685 Aurangzeb's rebel son Akbar was intercepted near Chakan and defeated by the Moghal forces. [Scott's Deccan, II.70.] In 1796 Baloba Tatya seized and imprisoned in Chakan Baburav Phadke the commandant of the Peshwa's household troops. In the 1818 Maratha War, a force under Lieutenant-Colonel Deacon came before Chakan on the 25th of February 1818, bringing from Poona a detachment of the Bombay European Regiment and some howitzers and guns, the heaviest of them iron and brass twelve-pounders. The garrison made a show of resistance. On the first day one of their guns was disabled, and on the same evening preparations were made for establishing a breaching battery within 250 yards of the western face. The brass twelve-pounders were first brought down to battery early on the 26th to take off collateral defences, and the enemy still continued the fire they had begun on the previous day though with little execution. At the same time a position was given to the 2nd battalion of the 17th Madras Native Infantry and a company of Europeans on the south, while the Nizam's battalion occupied a post on the north. At ten the garrison desired terms; but, as they were asked to lay down their arms, they delayed capitulating till the afternoon when they marched out and grounded. [Blacker's Maratha War, 245; Bombay Courier, 7th March 1818.] In 1827 Captain Clunes mentions Chakan as a market town and fort with 300 houses and seven shops. [Itinerary, 18,]
Cha'skama'n [This town is called Chaskaman to distinguish it from Chas Narodi fourteen miles north of Khed. Kaman and Narodi are villages adjoining the two towns of Chas.]on the right bank of the Bhima, six miles north-west of Khed, is a market town with in 1881 a population of 2225. Under the Peshwas Chaskaman was a place of importance especially about
1750 when Rakhmabai, the daughter of the second Peshwa Bajirav Ballal (1721 -1740) and the sister of two later Peshwas Balaji and Raghunathrav, married Krishnarav Mahadev Joshi of Chas who was killed at the battle of Panipat (1761).
Rakhmabai spent a large sum of money in improving Chas and built a fine flight of steps to the river and a temple of Someshvar Mahadev near the river to the west of the town. The temple is surrounded by a shady quadrangular enclosure whose outer walls have four corner bastions and end in blank petal-shaped battlements. Each battlement of the south and east bastions bears a snake ornament. The chief entrance is the east doorway fronting which inside is a striking lamp-pillar, a curvilinear basalt column ending in an elaborately carved capital with a square abacus. The pillar is lighted on the full-moon of Kartik or October-November. The receptacles for the lights, a few of which bear on their front sculptured figures in high relief, are said to number 350. Beyond the lamp-pillar and facing the temple is a deformed bull or Nandi on a raised platform and under a domed canopy. Below the dome and on each of the four sides the canopy has a fine cusped arch slightly ogeed. The temple is oblong and consists of the usual hall and shrine. The hall has three square headed doorways, the north and south doorways having each a grotesquely carved human head as a stepping stone. The shrine is surmounted by a brick and mortar dome adorned with niches figures and miniature domes. Three small carefully pierced holes in the wall-veil admit light into the shrine.
Cha'vand is a ruined and dismantled fort ten miles north-west of
Junnar and ten miles south-east of the Nana pass. The road from
Junnar to Chavand runs through a valley between two ranges of hills one with Hadsar fort stretching to the north-west and the other with the forts of Chavand and Jivdhan running to the southwest. These three forts, and Shivner at the south-east end of the Nana pass valley, effectually guarded the Nana pass and preserved a safe communication between Junnar and the Konkan. The chief strength of Chavand lies in its great natural defences. Its artificial defences, which were weak and incapable of holding out against a hostile force, were all destroyed and the approach to the fort blown up about 1820. Except to hill men the hill is now inaccessible. Near the summit is a deep
and narrow precipice which cannot be climbed except with a rope. On the plateau is a small shrine dedicated to the goddess Chavandbai. The water-supply is good but other supplies are scarce. In 1486 Chavand was among the Poona forts which fell to Malik Ahmad the founder of the Ahmadnagar Nizam Shahi family. [Briggs' Ferishta, III. 190.] In 1594 Bahadur the infant son of Burhan Nizam II. (1590-1594) was confined in Chavand for over a year and was then raised to the Ahmadnagar throne. [Briggs' Ferishta, III. 304.] In 1637 Jund or Chavand appears among the Poona forts which Shahaji gave to the Moghals. [Elliot and Dowgon, VII. 60; Grant Duff's Marathas, 53.] In the Maratha war of 1818 a British brigade was sent to take Chavand. The brigade encamped before;
Chavand on the 1st of May 1818 and demanded its surrender. The commandant refused to surrender unless directed by his master. A fire of mortars and howitzers was begun in the evening and the bombardment continued till next morning during which about a hundred shells were fired. Then the garrison of upwards of 150 Marathas surrendered unconditionally. They were disarmed and dismissed to their villages. [Pendhari and Maratha War Papers, 294.]
Chinchvad, a small town in Haveli, with in 1881 a population of 1762, lies about ten miles north-west of Poona, on the right bank of the Pavna which falls into the Mula below the village of Aundh. In 1846 the town is described as looking well from the river side with temples, high' walls, and flights of steps leading to the water's edge. [Lady Falkland's Chow Chow, I. 292.] It is now a market town with a railway station. The 1880 railway returns show 25,355 passengers and 586 tons of goods. Chinchvad is famous as the residence, of a human shrine of the god Ganpati. The
story [Trans. Bom. Lit. Soc. III. 69; Murray's Handbook, 178-179. Lord Valentia (Travels, II. 152-158) gives a different version of the story. According to this version, Moroba Gosavi was an inhabitant of Bedar and a pious man. In his youth he was turned out by his father, who found him of no use to the family. In passing Moreshvar or Morgaon near Baramati the youth felt a liking for the god Ganpati and resolved to pay him regular devotion. He proceeded to the then poorly inhabited village of Chinchvad about fifty miles north-west of Morgaon. From Chinchvad he used to go to Morgaon every day to pay his services to Ganpati. On the fourth of the bright half of Bhadrapad or
GaneshChaturthi (August-September) the principal day of the deity's worship Moroba could find no place in the temple to offer his services as it was crowded by the laity of the place and among them the Pingles a wealthy Brahman family. Moroba left his offerings under a tree, but through some miracle the boy's offerings were found in the temple while those of the laity were under the tree. After inquiry the boy was found out and condemned as a sorcerer and forbidden to enter Morgaon on pain of punishment. That night Ganpati appeared in a dream to Pingle and told him that he was extremely offended at his ill-usage of Moroba his favourite devotee. The next day Pingle solicited Moroba to come to the village but Moroba would not. Ganpati thereupon appeared to Moroba in a dream and expressed his wish to stay with him at Chinchvad. The next day Moroba while bathing in the river found the image of Ganpati which is worshipped at Moreshvar. He took it home and built for it a small shrine. It was soon known that Ganpati had taken up his residence with Moroba. He afterwards married and his son was named Chintaman Dev as an incarnation of Ganpati and began to be worshipped as a living god. The Dev whom Lord Valentia visited was the seventh in descent, and was suffering from some disorder in his eyes. Valentia's Travels, II. 152-158.
Mrs. Graham, who visited the living god in May 1809 or seven years after Lord Valentia, describes him as a boy not in any way distinguished from other children except by an anxious wildness of his eyes said to be occasioned by the quantity of opium which he was daily made to swallow. Residence in India, 270.] of the god is that about 250 years ago there lived in Poona a poor but virtuous couple, zealous votaries of Ganpati. They were originally childless, but their great devotion propitiated Ganpati who favoured them with a son whom they named Moroba in honour of the god. Shortly after the birth of Moroba the family removed to Pimple a village about four miles south of Chinchvad. Moroba, who from his youth was studious pious and thoughtful, after the death of his parents removed to Tathvade two miles west of Chinchvad, and from Tathvade used to pay a monthly visit to the shrine of Ganpati at Morgaon about fifty miles south-east of Tathvade. The headman of Morgaon admired his pious life and used to give Moroba
a bowl of milk every time he came. It happened once that the headman was gone to work in the fields, and when Moroba called for his milk he found no one in the house but a blind girl whom he told to fetch the bowl. The girl was restored to sight as soon as she touched the threshold of the house where Moroba was. This miracle, and a little later the cure of the then rising Shivaji's eyes, raised Moroba to fame and people flocked to see him. As these visits came in the way of his daily service, Moroba betook himself to a forest which then covered the site of modern Chinchvad. When Moroba grew old loss of strength made it difficult for him to continue his monthly visits to Morgaon. Once he arrived late at Morgaon and found the shrine doors shut. Wearied with fatigue and hunger he lay down and slept. Ganpati appeared to him in a dream, advised him to offer his usual worship, and told him not to trouble to come again to Morgaon, saying, I will live in you and in your children for seven generations, and will fix my residence at Chinchvad. Moroba awoke, found the shrine door open, offered his worship, and retired to rest. In the morning, when the temple ministrants opened the doors of the shrine, they were amazed to find the image adorned with fresh garlands and found a pearl necklace missing from the image. Search was made and the necklace was found on Moroba's neck, who was sentenced to imprisonment. But by Ganpati's aid Moroba was released and returned to Chinchvad and found in his house a conical stone rising from the ground. Recognising it as his favourite deity he built over it a large temple and soon after buried himself alive sitting with a holy book in his hand. He left strict orders that his grave should not be opened. Moroba's son Chintaman was the second living god. He once assumed the form of Ganpati to satisfy the jealousy of the great Vani poet Tukaram who prided himself on Vithoba's coming to dine with him. Tukaram called Chintaman by the surname of god or dev and. this surname has passed to his descendants. Chintaman died a natural death and was succeeded by Narayan the third dev, who is said to have changed into a bunch of jessamin flowers a dish of beef which Aurangzeb (1658-1707) sent him to test his god-hood. Aurangzeb was so pleased with the miracle that he is said to have made the Dev family an hereditary grant of eight villages. The fourth dev was Chintaman II. the son of Narayan. The fifth dev was Dharmadhar, the sixth Chintaman III., and the seventh Narayan II. The last dev drew upon himself a curse which ruined the family. An idle curiosity led him to open the grave of Moroba, who, disturbed in his meditations, told him that the godhood would end with his son. Narayan II.'s son Dharmadhar II. died childless in 1810, and with him ended the seventh generation of the dev family. A boy named Sakhari a distant relation of the deceased was set up in his place by the priesthood to preserve the valuable grants to the temple. The only miracle which the god is believed to have still the power of working is that at the yearly entertainments given to Brahmans at Chinchvad, however limited the provisions for the guests,. there is never either too much or too little, but enough for guests however numerous.
The Dev family lives in a mansion on the river built partly by Nana Fadnavis (1764 -1800) and partly by Hari Pant Fadke a
famous Maratha general (1780 - 1800). [Valentia's Travels, 11.152158.] Near the palace stand temples each sacred to one of the departed Devs. The chief temple is dedicated to Moroba. It is a low plain building (30' x 20' x 40') with a square hall or mandap
and an octagonal shrine.
On the wall of the inner shrine is a Marathi inscription in Devnagari letters
which may be translated:
This temple was begun on the bright twelfth of Kartik (November-December) Shak 1580 (A.D. 1658-50) VilambiSamvatsara and finished on Monday the bright fourth of A'shadha,VikariSamvatsara.
On the outer wall of the temple of Shri Narayan, the third dev or
human-Ganpati shrine, is another inscription in Marathi which may be translated.
Begun on the bright tenth of the month of Kartik (November-December) Shak 1641 (A.D. 1719-20) VikariSamvatsara and finished on the bright third of Vaishakh (April-May) Shak 1642 (ID. 1720-21) ChitrabhanuSamvatsara.
The temples enjoy a yearly grant of £1380 (Its. 13,800) being the revenue of eight villages. [The eight villages with their revenues are Banere Rs. 773; Chikhli Rs. 2323; Chinchvad Rs. 1369; Man Rs. 1922; Charoli Budrukh Rs. 3570; Chincholi Rs. 677; and Bhosari Rs. 3169. All are in the Poona district. Mr. Norman, Collector of Poona, 1879.] A yearly fair attended by about 2000 persons is held here in honour of Ganpati on the sixth day of the dark half of Margshirsh or December-January and lasts three days.