PLACES

KHARDA

Situation: Situated in 1835' north latitude and 75 25' east longitude in Jamkhed taluka about twelve miles to the south-east of Jamkhed, the taluka head-quarters, Kharda has a population of 8,329 as per the Census of 1971. This large village is electrified. Wells form the main source of water-supply. The town has a library, three primary schools including one Urdu school and one girls' school and a high school known as the Kharda English School. The medical facilities to the village population are provided by the private medical practitioners and a primary health centre conducted by the Zilla Parishad. A family planning centre is also located at Kharda. It has a post and telegraph office, a village panchayat office and a State Transport bus-stand. The weekly market is held at Kharda on every Tuesday.

History: The village was a scene of the famous Maratha victory over the Nizam in 1795. On the 11th March 1795, Kharda witnessed the famous battle in which Nizam Ali, the Nizam, who brought his army over the Mohori pass from Bidar was defeated by the combined Maratha forces of the Peshva, Shinde, Holkar, Bhosle and Gaikvad numbering, it is said, 1,30,000 horse and foot. The Nizam took refuge in the fort but yielded after two days' cannonade and was forced to sign a treaty ceding extensive territories including the fortress of Daulatabad. About 1840 Kharda was suddenly surprised by a band of dacoits from the Nizam's territories. The Mamlatdar of Jamkhed raised the whole country, and besieged the fort at Kharda with hundreds of men armed with all kinds of rusty weapons. The dacoits fled during the first night and some of the fugitives were captured. During the 1857 War of Independence, Kharda was occupied by 100 men of the 22nd Native Infantry. The place belonged to Nimbalkar, one of the Nizam's nobles.

Objects: The objects of interest in the town include the fort, an old mansion of Nimbalkar, a tomb, village gates, ten temples, three mosques and a pir on a hillock about a mile away from this large village. Of the temples, those of Mahadev and Khandoba are important as big fairs are held in their honour. Of the nine village gates, five are in good condition. Among others, the fort and a mansion have got historical importance.

The fort was built by the Nimbalkars in 1745 in the south-east part of this large village. It is a square, and very strongly built with cut stone walls about thirty feet high and a ditch now entirely ruined. The walls have a very massive gateway and two gates at right angles to each other. Over the inner gateway is an inscription. The interior which is about three hundred feet square, has a small mosque of about 30'xl5' still in good condition, with an inscription on a stone over the front. Besides there is a cellar of about 50'X8' and also an underground gymnasium. Behind the mosque is a deep well built in cut stone now stagnant.

Close to the north gate of the town is a very handsome tomb near which one of the Nimbalkars is buried. It is still in good condition. The general appearance of the tomb is Muhammedan but except the small minarets on the top the details are Hindu. The plinth is of handsomely-cut stone about fifteen feet square and four feet high. The tomb consists of a horizontal dome resting on twelve carved one-stone pillars surmounted with arched openings. The four corner pillars are plain and the middle pairs are cut to represent groups of four.

In the middle of the town is an old mansion of Nimbalkar. Its surrounding walls are now entirely ruined. The mansion is on a slightly elevated ground and could be located from a long distance. The Rayat Shikshan Sanstha of Satara has renovated some portions of the mansion for running a high school. The interior has an old well which is still in use.

Close to the north of the tomb of the Nimbalkars is an old well, built of cut stones. It is still used for drinking water. On a stone below its trough is an inscription. About hundred feet to the right of this well is a Hemadpanti temple of Mahadev. However, it docs not possess carvings of any special note. It is surrounded by a wall built in stones. The idol of Mahadev, it is told, is submerged into water whenever the water-level of the neighbouring well increases. Close to the temple is a small mandap wherein could be seen a large bell of mixed metal fixed by Chimaji Appa, the brother of the second Peshva Bajirav.

Two fairs are held at Kharda annually. One is held in honour of Kanhoba in Chaitra (March-April). About ten thousand people assemble at the time of the fair. Another fair is held on Mahashivaratra in Magh (January-February) in honour of Mahadev. About 9,000 people attend this fair.

TOP