District – Osmanabad

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The Osmanabad district lies in the south east part of the Maharashtra and the district is part of Marathwada region of the state. The Regional headquarter of the district is located at Aurangabad. The district lies between 17? 39? 28? and 18? 40? 08? north latitude and between 75? 17? 08? and 76? 40? 43? east longitude. It is spread up over an area of 7512.5 Sq.kms. Out of the total area of the district 3.21% area comes under city where as remaining part of the district is rural. Total population of the district as per 2001 census report is 1486586. It ranks seventh in Maharashtra state in regard to the area and 12th in respect of population.

The Osmanabad district represents undulating topography. The district in general has fairly leveled to slightly sloping lands in the central and south central parts. The district has Manjara, Bhima, Sina, & Godavari as the major rivers (basins). Considerable area is covered by the Manjara basin. Manjara river flows in southeast direction. In Bhima River basin , the river Benithora flows in west-east direction and river Bori in north-south direction respectively. The Sina river flows in south-east trend and it?s tributaries flows in south-west direction. Where as river Godavari flows in north-east direction. The general drainage pattern of the district is quite obvious with the striking uniformity in geological formation.

The factor of soil classification in the district is rainfall. This has classified the soil into three parts such as, Deep black cotton soils, Mdium black cotton soils, Shallow black cotton soils. The entire area of the district is covered by Deccan trap formation represented by nearly horizontal lava flows of basaltic composition. The thickness of each lava flows varies from 16 to 42 meters. At places the vesicular component of the flow is as thick as 25 meters. The formation is quite fractured and porous allowing the recharge to deeper levels and deep sheeted aquifers are yielding water in the later part of the summer.
Historical:- Moghals ruled the Osmanabad lastly for a long period. The last war (battel) for capturing The Osmanabad took place in October 1924. The war was faought between Shahu Maharaj and the Nizam Emperor. In which Nizam?s were victorious. Osmanabad before 1960 was the district of Hyedrabad but in 1960 it was made the district of Maharashtra state.
The Osmanabad district contains some ancient places of great historical intrest. The old name of the district was Dharashiva. Dharashiva is as ancient place which have caves excavated in hillocks at a distance of 8 miles from the district headquarter.
These caves were originally Buddhist, but were later converted into monuments of Jain religion. The district was under the ruling of Nizam kingdom before independence and was one of the important place in Nizam kingdom. The District is famous all over the state for Tuljabhavani Temple located at Tuljapur tahisil.
Naladurg which was formerly a district headquarter is situated about 50 Kms. south-east of Osmanabad. The fort which is an interesting place has enclosed a surface of a knoll or plantain of basalt rock which is jutted out into the valley or raving of the small river Bori. Along the rest of the cliff on three sides ran fortifications. bastion firmly built out have deseed basalt and are large enough to carry heavy guns. The entire circumference is about a mile and a half. The interior portion is covered with ruined walls and a half, the interior portion is covered with ruined walls and a vide road running up to the centre. The fort has many bastions amongst which are upli Buruj, which is the height point in the fort paranda Buruj , nagar Buruj, Sangam Burug, Sangram Buruj, Bands Buruj, poone Buruj, etc.
Inside the fort there are remains of the walls and some of the building such a Barood kotha, Baradari, Ambarkhana, Rangaan mahal, Jali etc. Though the buildings are in ruins the remains give a impression that there night have been at one time the specious buildings, There are two tanks in the fort known as machali guns amongst which important are the ?hathi toph? and magar Toph?, The hathi Darwaza and the hurmukh and the hurmukh darwaza are the main gates of the fort
The most interesting building which connects the fort and the Ranmandala is the dam constructed across the bori river, the dam and the? pani mahal, which is built underaatch and in the middle of the dam were, constructed. During the reign of Ibrahim Adil shah II. The fort is said to have been originally built by a Hindu Raja who was a vassal of the Chalukya kings of kalyani. It was latter included in the dominions of the Bahamanis and was subsequently taken over by the Adil shahi kings of bijapur, from whom it passed in the hands of mughalain the year 1686.A.D.
The dharashiv caves are situated 8 Kms away from Osmanabad city in Balaghat Mountains. The caves were taken note of by Archaeological Department and mentioned in the book “Archaeological survey of India” by James Verges. There are total 7 caves in the Balaghat Mountain lane. The first cave is without any statue with small open space .The second cave consists of a statue with Artistic work on right side of statue. The art work is of gandharva era. The fourth cave is with open space without any statue inside. The statue in the sixth cave is damaged while the seventh cave has no statue.
As per the historical survey of caves they were built in 5th century B.C. There is severe differences between historical researchers & archaeological intelligence regarding religion i.e. whether the caves belongs to Buddha or Jain. There is also strong differences regarding the era of when the caves where built. Recently in 1996 with help of World Bank few parts of cave have been repaired.

Cultural :-
The Osmanabad district includes people of different castes and tribes. The major religions are the hindus, muslims and the jains. Each one has different type of traditions and costumes, but dew to many differences people here are nice to each other. The Hindus observe a variety of fasts, feasts and festivals throughout the year. Kept as they are primarily with a religious spirit, all could be called holiday. But they may be distinguished from one another as sanas, utsavs, jayantis or punyatithis, jatras or religious fairs and upavasas or fasts.
Gudhipadva or the salivahan saka new year’s day, Ram-navmi, Hanuman-Jayanti, Aksayatrtiya, Asadhi Ekadasi, Nagapancami, Rakhi-Purnima, Gokulastami, Pola, Ganes-Caturthi, Navaratra, Dasara, Divali, Kartiki-Edadasi, Makara Sankranti. Mahasivaratri and and Holi are some of the most prominent among them.
Islam in its puritanical stand-point enjoins on its followers observation of a few religious festivals but in association of the tendencies of Hindus. Muslims in this district have several occasions for celebrating a variety of festivities. Their year begins with Muharrum. The Wafat or the day of the Prophet’s death Id-e-Milad falls on the 12th day of the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal and among the Sunnis, it is the greatest day of the year, next only to the Ids. Another day of festival is the 17th day of the month of Maulad or birthday of the Prophet. On the 14th evening of Saaban comes the night of record sab-e-Barat or All Souls Day. On this night, the fates of the unborn souls are held to be registered in Heaven. Ramzan is the ninth month of fast for Muslims. At the end of the Ramzan fast, i.e., the first day of sawwal, the, 10th month, comes the fast-breaking festival known as Id-ul-Fitr commonly known as Ramzan Id. This feast is one of the greatest Muslim festivals, the second great feast being the feast of sacrifice Id-uz-Jaha Kurban also known as Bakr-Id which falls on the 10th day of Zil-Hijja, the 12th month of the Muslim year.
The Jains (Sravaks) keep most of the Brahmanic holidays and besides observe the yearly ‘Sacred Season’ known as Panchusan. Among the Svetambaras it begins with the twelfth of Sravan Vad and ends with the fifth of Bhadrapad sud. Among the Digambaras the ‘Sacred Season’ lasts for fifteen days beginning from the fifth of Bhadrapad Vad. A strict svetambar ought to fast during the whole Panchusan week but in rare instances the rule is observed and almost all fast on the last day. During this week the svetambaras generally do not work and both men and women flock several times during the day to the temples where the Sadhus read and explain the Kalpasutras, one of the religious books of the Jains. Besides hearing the scriptures read to them, many prefer every day in the evening during the Panchusan week the parikrama ceremony which is something like a confession by body of persons. Next in importance to the Panchusan is the Siddhacakra Puja or saint-wheel, which is performed twice a year in Caitra and Asvin and lasts for nine days beginning on the seventh and ending on fullmoon day.

Host spots:-
Famine in the district has been a common phenomenon. It was first recorded in the 1396. After that it was then recorded in 18th century, there were four (4) femines recorded in the year 1702,1713,1747,1787 respectievly. In the 19th century eleven (11) femines were recorded between the years 1804-1877. The district was seriously affected after the famine of 1900. After this famine the district suffered from the epidemics like plague, smallpox and cholera. The epidemics affected the districts heavily in the year 1918-1919. The major reason for famine was drought i.e excessive rain. There after the afforts and preventive measures has been brought in process to tackle the problem. The Killari earthquake in the year 1993 is the recent natural disaster which caused major disaster to human wealth and life

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