PLACES

MIRI

Situated in 1915' north latitude and 7455' east longitude in Pathardi taluka on the Paithan road twenty miles to the south of Nevasa was at the time of the publication of the old Ahmadnagar District Gazetteer an alienated village and was just within the limits of the Nevasa sub-division. The village covers an area of 21.7 square miles and has, as per the Census of 1971, a total population of 4,658 souls. It has a post office. The educational facilities arc provided by the primary schools conducted by the Zilla Parishad and a high school known as the C. S. High School. Medical facilities are provided by the private medical practitioners and a sub-centre of the primary health centre. Wells form the main source of water-supply. A library is conducted by the village panchayat. A weekly market is held at Miri on every Saturday. The village contains three temples, a church and a masjid.

The old temple of Moteshvar Mahadev and a shrine of the Hindu-Musalman saint Kanhoba whose chief shrine is at Madhi in Shevgaon taluka are important. The Moteshvar temple is square at the base and rises in an octagonal shape to a great height. It is said to have been built about 1625 A. D. and was repaired by one of the proprietors of Miri about 1690. Kanhoba's shrine is both a temple and a mosque which had a well-carved wooden canopy with hanging ostrich eggs. The shrine of Bahiroba was built in Miri by a Dhangar about 1780 A. D. Miri with two neighbouring villages appears from Persian documents to have been first granted by Aurangzeb to Ramrav Narayan Mirikar. The third Peshva Balaji Bajirav (1740-1761) renewed the gift and gave a written grant to the Mirikars. In 1644 A. D. (H. 1055) a grant of land was made to the ministrants of Kanhoba's shrine for repairs and worship. The shrine is said to have been built by Alamgir or Aurangzeb at that time. In 1770 was built the outer hall or sabha-mandap to the shrine of Kanhoba and in 1820 was built a drum house or nagarkhana. The remains of the temple to-day indicate it to be a simple structure supported by wooden pillars.

Two fairs are held in the village. The one in honour of Virabhadra is held on Ashvin Paurnima (September-October) when about five thousand people assemble. The other is held in honour of Kanhoba on Chaitra Shuddha 10 (March-April). About four thousand people assemble at the time of the fair.

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