PLACES

SHRIGONDA

Located in 1841' north latitude and 7444' east longitude, Shrigonda, also known formerly as Chambhargonda from Govind a pious Chambhar, is the head-quarters of the taluka bearing the same name and is situated thirty-two miles to the south of Ahmadnagar, the district head-quarters. The town lies on the Sarasvati, a feeder of the Bhima, and covers an area of 32.3 square miles and had a population of 13,050 as per the Census of 1971.

It is a head-quarters of a taluka and also a panchayat samiti and as such are located therein the offices of the Mamlatdar and the Block Development Officer. The Court of the Civil Judge (Junior Division) and First Class Judicial Magistrate is also located at Shrigonda. There is a police station at Shrigonda, the jurisdiction of which extends over 84 villages. Wells form the main source of water-supply to the town populace. It has a post and telegraph office. Primary schools conducted by the Zilla Parishad and a high school known as the M. S. Vidyalaya cater to the educational needs of the town populace. The medical facilities are provided by the private medical practitioners and a taluka dispensary with six beds. A weekly market is held at Shrigonda on every Monday. The branch of the Ahmadnagar District Central Cooperative Bank is also located at Shrigonda. The Government rest-house provides lodging facilities to the Government servants on duty and to the tourists. The combined agricultural market committee for Shrigonda and Karjat was established in 1963, its area of operation being over 166 villages and the commodities regulated being jowar, bajri, wheat, tur, gram, mug, math, kulthi, safflower and ground-nut. The nearest railway station for the town is Shrigonda Road on the Pune-Manmad broad gauge railway route of the Central Railways.

Of the objects of interest in the town, mention may be made of four Hemadpanti temples and two mansions belonging to the Shindes of Gwalior. The four Hemadpanti temples are of Hatkeshvar, Mahalakshmi, Rakhumai and Vithoba.

The Vithoba temple which is built of large blocks of stone without cement in imbedded courses, has a hall or mandap admeasuring 28'x21' with nine domes supported on six pillars. There is one dome over the shrine and one over a portico in the front. The capitals of the pilasters have cobra heads and other figures are carved on the pillar capitals. The door step in front of the temple has an inscription. The steps appear to be modern. Round the door of the shrine are two rows of figures, the inner row of women and the outer row of monkeys. On each side of the raised block which forms the threshold of the shrine is carved a tiger head. Carved blocks stand out from the top of the entrance to the shrine and from the middle of the front of the hall. The temple has slightly fallen from outside. Rakhumai's temple is near Vithoba's temple and is in the same style but smaller. The temple of Hatkeshvar is in the same style though plainer, with the same number of domes. Cobras are carved on the pillar capitals. The front of the hall or mandap is built up in bricks. The temple of Mahalakshmi, now known as Lakshmi-Narayan temple, has the same number of domes. The shrine and parts of the hall or mandap have beer built up. Above the shrine is a pinnacle constructed in bricks. The temple of Mahadeva is to the east of the Mahalakshmi temple and has a height of about six feet. The inner shrine is supported by four pillars with a height of 4  One pillar has an inscription over it. The shrine measures 12'x12' with a door of 2'x3 '.

Two annual fairs are held at Shrigonda. One in honour of Mahamed Maharaj is held on Phalgun Shuddha 11 (February-March) and the other in honour of Bhairavnath is held on Chaitra Vadya 10 (March-April). About five thousand people attend both these fairs.

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