PLACES

SANGAMNER

Situated in 1934' north latitude and 7416' east longitude at the meeting of the Mahalungi and the Pravara, Sangamner is a municipal town and head-quarters of the taluka bearing the same name. It lies about fifty miles to the north-west of Ahmadnagar, the district headquarters. The town has a population of 28,594 souls as per the Census of 1971. Being the head-quarters of a taluka and a panchayat samiti, located therein are the offices of the Mamlatdar and the Block Development Officer. It is a seat of a Civil Judge (Junior Division) and First Class Judicial Magistrate. There is a police station at Sangamner which has jurisdiction extending over 139 villages. The town has a post and telegraph office and a Government rest-house. The offices of the Ahmadnagar District Central Co-operative Bank Ltd., the Ahmadnagar District Urban Central Co-operative Bank Ltd., the New Citizen Bank of India Ltd. and the State Bank of India, are located at Sangamner. A weekly market which is also a cattle market is held at Sangamner on every Saturday. The joint agricultural produce market committee for Sangamner and Akola was established in the year 1969, its area of operation extending over 291 villages and the commodities regulated being jowar, bajri, wheat, gram, tur, mug, math, udid, safflower, gur and groundnut. ' Sangamner' as stated by the old Ahmadnagar District Gazetteer 'had formerly a paper industry.'.

Municipality: The municipality was established at Sangamner in 1861. It covers an area of eight square miles and is now governed under the Maharashtra Municipalities Act, 1965. The municipal council is composed of 22 members, twenty elected and two nominated. Of the elected seats, two are reserved for women. The Chief Officer is the executive head of the municipality. The municipal functions are looked after by various sub-committees, viz., the standing committee, the sanitation, public health and medical committee, the water-supply and drainage committee, the education committee, the planning and development committee and the public works committee.

The total receipts of the Sangamner municipality during the year 1961-62 amounted to Rs. 4,47,750, of which the receipts from the municipal taxes were to the tune of Rs. 3,06,241, the per capita municipal tax being Rs. 14.09.

The total income [The income and expenditure of the municipality during 1970-71 was Rs. 13,14,000 and Rs. 12,11,000 respectively.] of the municipality during the year 1965-66 amounted to Rs. 8,14,816 and was composed of municipal rates and taxes, Rs. 3,94,889; revenue derived from municipal property and powers apart from taxation, Rs. 2,53,558; grants and contributions from the Government, Rs. 1,62,235 and income from miscellaneous sources, Rs. 4,134. During the same year the total expenditure of the municipality came to Rs. 4,78,229 and comprised general administration and collection charges, Rs. 67,290; public safety, Rs. 35,131; public health and convenience, Rs. 2,57,748; public works, Rs. 14,833; public instruction, Rs. 49,183 and miscellaneous expenditure, Rs. 53,384.

The total income of the municipality including extra-ordinary and debt heads during the year 1968-69 amounted to Rs. 11,46,976 and was composed of municipal rates and taxes, Rs. 6,82,279; revenue derived from municipal property and powers apart from taxation, Rs. 96,596; grants and contributions Rs. 7,41,624; income from miscellaneous sources, Rs. 17,574 and income from extra-ordinary and debt heads, Rs. 1,08,903.

During the same period the total expenditure of the municipality including the extra-ordinary and debt heads came to Rs. 9,13,608 and comprised general administration and collection charges, Rs. 1,45,856; public safety, Rs. 63,737; public health and convenience, Rs. 3,88,999; public works, Rs. 27,405; public instructions, Rs. 44,716; grants and contributions, Rs. 10,423; education cess paid to the Government, Rs. 14,994; miscellaneous expenditure, Rs. 33,038 and expenditure incurred under extra-ordinary and debt heads, Rs. 1,84,440.

For public convenience the municipality maintains one vegetable market. There is one library in the town. The medical facilities to the town populace are provided by the private medical practitioners and a municipal cottage hospital with twenty beds and a hospital conducted by the Government. The veterinary dispensary in the town is conducted by the Zilla Parishad. The town is supplied with tap water from a jackwell constructed for the purpose.

Primary education has been made compulsory in the town and is managed by the Zilla Parishad, the municipality paying 5 per cent of the rateable value to the Zilla Parishad as contribution towards the expenses incurred on primary education in the town. The facilities for higher education are provided by one college and two high schools, viz., Shri D. M. Petit High School and the Dnyanamata Vidyalaya. There are three Montessori schools in the town.

The total length of roads in municipal limits measures 14.10 Km., of which a length of 3.85 Km. is asphalted and the remaining 10.25 Km. is metalled. The extinguish fires, the municipality maintains one fire-fighter. There are a number of crematoriums and burial-places in the town and they are managed by the respective communities. There are nineteen temples, ten dargahs and two churches in the town.

Objects: To the east of the town is a little domed tomb of Khvaja Muhammad Sadek who is said to have been the teacher of the emperor Alamgir. The tomb bears two inscriptions dated 1659 A. D. (H. 1079). The first inscription reads as under:-

" The dargah of the worker of Keramat is at the propitious hour, to the people a place of pilgrimage, where their difficulties are solved. Difficulties become easy to these Neksabandi Khvajahs; the royal Khvajah is a turner away of calamities by grace and blessing. When he arrived in his wanderings and travellings from Bokhara the manifestor of the possession of the Vilayat enjoyed glory and pomp. Kamel Arif built this mausoleum in the auspicious year 1070 of the exile.".

The second inscription is as follows:-

"The dargah of His Excellency Khvajah Muhammad Sadek, son of His Excellency Kutaballa Ktab, Syed Muhammad Bokha known as Khvajah Behah-al-din Naksabandi, son of His Excellency Imam Hasan Alzikri Elahy in reality a Saikh of the religion known as Karkhy is a protection from misfortunes of times by the nobility of the Khvajah Muhammad Sah. Assistance from God and speedy victory. And do thou bear good tidings to true believers.". To the east of the town near the Assistant Collector's bungalow is an old Muhammedan graveyard, one of the head-stones in which is a pillar from a Hindu temple. A bath-room or hamamkhana of the old town fort has been turned into a tomb by a saint in whose memory a green flag waves and a light burns. The town has a mosque with the inscription 'Established by Divine favour H. 1119', that is, A. D. 1707-08. The inscription has become illegible. A little to the south of the town the Pune-Nasik road climbs to a lofty plateau by a difficult pass called Hanmant Naik's bari presently known as Chennapuri ghat. Near the top, on the ridge of a natural trap-dyke, a stone pillar covers the remains of a Bhil chief named Hanmant Naik. Hanmant Naik made war upon Peshva Balaji Bajirav. The Marathas came from Pune and had a short skirmish with the Bhils in which Hanmant was shot in the chest. The Bhils buried him here and set up this stone pillar. Tombs of other Bhils have been built here at various periods since the Naik's death. The Bhils hold the spot sacred and honour it by a yearly carouse and a slain cock. Marathas formerly believed in the Naik's power of healing broken legs and arms if propitiated by an offering of a model of the broken limb made of Aegle marmelos or bel wood. Close by the chief tomb are two or three smaller tombs. square platforms surmounted by little obelisks about seven feet high. These tombs have been renovated some time past.

In 1679, Shivaji was attacked near Sangamner by a Moghal force. Part of his troops were thrown in confusion and Sidhoji Nimbalkar, one of his best officers, was killed. Shivaji led a desperate charge and by great personal exertion retrieved the day. In a revenue statement of about 1790 Sangamner appears as the head of a sarkar of eleven parganas including the greater part of Nasik district with a total revenue of Rs. 18,56,080. About 1874, the Sub-Divisional Officer of Sangamner was a saintly person popularly known as dev Mamlatdar. He was very modest and unassuming and had early distinguished himself by a great respect for human and animal suffering. He was held in great veneration by all classes of people in Maharashtra except the hill-tribes, and pilgrims flocked from great distances and by the most toilsome paths to fall at the feet of the dev Mamlatdar.

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