PLACES OF INTEREST

MOKHADA.

Mokha'da, the chief village of the Mokhada petty division, lies, as the crow flies, about twenty, and, through Alvand, about thirty-two miles north of the Igatpuri station of the north-east branch of the Peninsula railway. It lies in hilly country under the Sahyadris, and, though the chief village in those parts, contains only 456 houses, half of them scattered in small hamlets, and, according to the 1881 census, a population of 2107, of whom 2028 are Hindus, 78 Musalmans, and one a Jew.

It is the seat of a mahalkari, but, except a record room, contains no Government offices as they were found unsafe and pulled down in 1880. The mahalkari holds office in a rest-house which was built in 1876-77 at a cost of 318 (Rs. 3180). The only other house of any size is the school which was built in 1879 at a cost of 261 (Rs. 2603). The school is of little use, as the villagers, most of whom are Kolis, do not send their boys to school. The average attendance is about ten. There are fourteen shops mostly held by Shimpis who are the chief traders of those parts. So rugged is the country that the petty division is without carts, except a few in one or two villages which are used for carrying manure to the fields. The post goes through the Dondmaryachi Met pass, thirty-two miles through Alvand to Igatpuri, a difficult route, especially in the rains, when the rivers are at times impassable for a whole day.