Satara district is located in the western part of Maharashtra, between north latitudes 170 5’ to 180 11’ and east longitude 730 33’ to 740 54’. District is bounded by Pune to the north, Solapur in the east, Sangli in the south and Ratnagiri district in the west. Geographical area of the district is 10,484 sq. km. Population is 27, 96,906. For administrative purpose district has 11 tahsils namely Satara, Karad, Wai, Mahabaleshwar, Phaltan, Man, Khatav, Koregaon, Patan, Jaoli and Khandala.Geography:
Geographically area can be divided into three parts. Western ghat section, central part and eastern part. The district is situated in the river basins of Krishna and Bhima River. The physical setting of district shows a contrast of immense dimensions and reveals a variety of landscapes influenced by relief, climate and vegetation. The relief ranges from the pinnacles and high plateaus of main Sahyadrian range having height over 1300m above mean sea level to subdued basin of the Nira River in Phaltan tahsil with the average height of about 515m above mean sea level. District experiences minimum temperature 11.68 and maximum 37.5 o celcius. Climate ranges from the rainiest in the Mahabaleshwar area which has an average annual rainfall over 6000mm to the driest in Man tahsil where the average annual rainfall is about 500mm. Eastern part of the district is included in drought prone area development program. The vegetal cover too varies from the typical monsoon forest in the west to scrub and poor grass in the eastern parts. Area is drained by major Krishna River originating at Mahabaleshwar plateau. Koyana, Urmodi, Venna, Tarali, Yerala, Vasna are the tributaries of Krishna river. Nira and Manganga are the tributaries of Bhima River. Overall drainage pattern is dendritic. In the western part at places, drainage is controlled by lineaments.Geology:
District is covered by horizontally disposed basaltic lava flows of Deccan trap formed due to fissure type volcanic eruption activity during Upper Cretaceous to Lower Eocene in age about 65 million years ago. The lower part of the basaltic lava flow is fine grained, grayish black in color, compact and joined while upper part is vesicular. The individual flows vary greatly in thickness from few meters to 40m. Laterite capping occurs almost all the plateaus of the Western Ghats and in north and central parts of the district.Hydrology:
District is divided into 50 elementary watersheds. The Ground water Assessment was worked out as per GEC-97 in 2004. As per 6th Groundwater Assessment, 1 watershed is over exploited, 3 watersheds are critical, 7 watersheds are semi critical and remaining 39 watersheds are safe. The occurrence of groundwater depends on the water holding capacity and transmissivity of the individual flow units. The flows at depths having porosity, permeability and connectivity with recharge area are known as aquifer. The storage capacity and transmissivity of individual flow is different. Ground water occurs in weathered, fracture zone, joints and vesicular basalt. There are number of natural springs in the Mahabaleshwar, Patan and Jaoli tahsils. Groundwater levels in the district during post monsoon ranges between 2 to 5m and 6 to 12m in pre monsoon period. Water table fluctuation, range between 3 to 11m with an average of 8m.Historical Background:
Satara was the capital of Maratha kingdom spread over 14 lacks sq. km. District has a rich heritage several great warriors, saints and great personalities created their evidence in the history of Maharashtra. The oldest known place as old 200 B.C. is Karad (Karhakada). The Viratnagari where Pandavas lived in 13th year of exile believed to be Wai. The Mauryan Empire was followed by Satvahnas for a period of two centuries, 500 A.D. to 750 A.D. The area was also ruled by Chalukyas of Badami, Rashtrakutas, Silahars and Yadav of Deogiri, Bahamnis, Adilshahi, Muslim rule, Chatrapati Shivaji (Maratha rule), Shahu Ram Raje and Shahu II Pratapshinh. The Musalmans took over the Deccan in 1296. In 1636 the Nijam Shahi comes to an end.
Chatrapati Shivaji, the founder of Maratha Empire, established himself in the hilly parts of Poona and Supa. Shivaji Maharaj built about 25 forts. He fought with Adil Shahi and Mughals throughout his life. The historical defeat and end of Afzal Khan took place at Pratapgad. In 1663 Shivaji Maharaj conquered Parali and Satara fort. Shri Samartha Ramdas Swami stayed at Parali fort, later known as Sajjangad. The Satara city is situated on the slope of Ajinkyatara fort. After the death of Shivaji Maharaj Aurangzeb conquered Ajinkyatara Fort later in 1708 Shahu Maharaj crowned on this fort.Mahabaleshwar Basaltic flowsVardhangad Basaltic flows
Scarcity, due to the erratic and scanty nature of the rainfall eastern part of district experiences drought conditions repetitively. Man and Khatav tahsils are part of identified chronically drought prone area of the state.
Earthquake, District experiences earthquake of small magnitude. The epicenter of these earthquakes is scattered in Patan tahsil.
Landslides, in western ghat section due to heavy down pouring of rainfall within a short time in Mahabaleshwar, Patan, Jaoli and Satara tahsils in certain area becomes susceptible to landslides.