PLACES

PEDGAON

Situated in 1830' north latitude and 7440' east longitude in Shrigonda taluka, eight miles to the south of Shrigonda, the taluka head-quarters on the north bank of the Bhima,. Pedgaon has, as per the Census of 1971, a total population of 3,681 souls. It has a primary school, a gymnasium and a grampanchayat office. A post office is also located at Pedgaon. River forms the main source of water-supply to the village populace. Medical facilities are provided by the dispensary conducted by the Zilla Parishad and by private medical practitioners. The weekly market is held on every Friday.

About 1680 Pedgaon was one of the chief stores and a frontier post of the Moghal army and the ruined fortifications which from a distance give an imposing appearance to the village were built by the Deccan Viceroy Khan Jahan Bahadur Kokaltash who camped here during the monsoon of 1672 in pursuit of Shivaji. Another of Khan Jahan's works is a fairly preserved channel or conduit for bringing water from the Bhima. The water was raised from the river by an elephant mot and a Persian wheel. The tower of the wheel is in a ruined condition. Khan Jahan gave Pedgaon the name of Bahadurgad which it has not retained. In 1673 the English traveller Fryer notices Pedgaon on the Bhima three days' journey from Junnar, where the Moghals had a large host of 40,000 horse under Bahadur Khan. In 1759, during the conflict which followed the surrender of Ahmadnagar fort to the Peshva, Pedgaon was captured by his cousin Sadashivrao and remained with the Marathas till 1818.

Among the objects of interest in the village may be mentioned the temples of Lakshmi-Narayan, Baleshvar, Mallikarjun or Mundeshvar, and Bhairavnath and are situated in the fortifications. Except the temple of Lakshmi-Narayan all the temples are in a dilapidated condition. Of Baleshvar's temple which is closely situated in front of the Lakshmi-Narayan temple only the shrine is left with a linga. Of the twelve pillars eight are lying on the ground. The side stones of the door of the shrine bear ornamental designs. What is left of the pillar capitals is ornamented with well-carved cobras. Of the Mallikarjun temple only the shrine containing a linga and two pillars of the hall or mandap remain. The only carvings are broken cobras on the pillar capitals. The temple of Bhairavnath facing south is also in a ruined condition. It has a mandap of 20' X 30' with two doors. The inner shrine or gabhara admeasures about 6'X10' and contains a simple image of Bhairavnath. The side stones of the door of the shrine have elaborate carvings. The temple is surrounded by a wall with three doors and the one in the south bears beautiful carvings.

The Lakshmi-Narayan temple, rectangular in size, is a fine specimen of the Hemadpanti style. Every stone of it bears carvings. Its hall or mandap is covered by good domes, of which the centre dome and the shrine dome are carved. Three doors lead to the hall with fine pillars. The shrine is on a lower level than the hall and is filled with earth. It does not contain any image of the god. Outside and inside many elaborate carvings have been wilfully broken. The outside carving consists of elephants in the lowest panel, tigers in the next, and figures of men and women in the succeeding panels.

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