Introduction

Jalna district is approximately situated at the center part of Maharashtra state of Republic of India and in northern direction of Marathwada region. Specifically district lies between 19o1 north to 21o3 North Latitudes and 75o4 East to 76o4 East Longitude.

Jalna was formerly a part of Nizam State and after the Marathwada Mukti Sangram, became part of India, as a tahsil of Aurangabad district.

Jalna district erstwhile a part of Aurangabad district was formed on 1st May 1981 by carving out Jalna, Bhokardan, Jafrabad, Ambad tahsils of Aurangabad district and Partur tahsil of Parbhani district.The boundaries of Jalna district are adjacent to Parbhani & Buldhana on east, Aurangabad on west, Jalgaon on north and Beed on south.Jalna district covers an area of 7,612 Sq.Kms, which is 2.47% of the total state area.

The district head quarter is at Jalna & well connected to state capital and national capital by broad gauge railway line. Major towns of the state are also connected by state highways. Jalna district is well known for it’s hybrid seed industries, steel re-rolling mills, bidi industry & agro based industries like dal mill. The district is also known for the highest production of Sweet Lemon(Mosambi) in the state.

The peoples of Jalna district played a important role in the Marathwada MuktiSangram, in which Shri. Janardan Mama Nagapurkar of Jalna laid down his life for motherland.

Location and geographical conditions

Jalna district is situated at the center of the state, therefore the Union Ministry of Communication has established satellite monitoring station at Indewadi near Jalna city. This makes it convenient to communicates with the other satellites in space.

According to 2011 census, the total area of ​​the district is 7718 sq. Km., it is 2.51% as compared to area of Maharashtra state. About 1.32% of the total area i.e. 102.0 sq.km is urban area and 98.68% i.e 7616 sq. Km is rural area. For administrative convenience, there are eight talukas Bhokardan, Jafrabad, Jalna, Badnapur, Ambad, Ghansawangi, Partur, Mantha and four subdivisions for eight Tehsil. For each sub-division there is a separate sub-divisional office, Jalna, Ambad, Bhokardan and Partur. There is Zill-Parishad  at district level and under its control (8) Panchayat committees are functioning.

As per Census 2011, there are 971 villages in the district, out of which 963 villages and 8 desert villages are located. There are 806 separate Gram Panchayats and 157 Gram Panchayats in the district. The district headquarter is located at Jalna and there are district collector office and district level offices of various departments located at Jalna. In the district Jalna, Ambad Partur and Bhokardan are Municipal Councils. The nagar panchayats Jafrabad, Badnapur, Muntha and Ghansawangi. Jalna Nagarparishad is a ‘A’ category, Ambad, Partur, Bhokardan, these three municipal councils are ‘C’ category. Agricultural Produce Market Committee are functional at Jalna, Ambad, Bhokardan Partur and Mantha.

HISTORY –

Jalna :

The Jalna city is situated on the banks of Kundalika river,is the premier commercial centre of the Marathvada region. Subsequently, as the desire of a wealthy Muhammedan merchant, who is said to have been a great benefactor of the place, the name was changed to Jalna, from his occupation of Julaha or weaver.

Jalna is a muncipal town and continues to be an impotant handloom and powerloom weaving centre. Among the handloom societies working on co-operative basis, the foremost is the Markandeya Handloom weaving society having nearly 87 looms. Like Aurangabad and Paithan, the town was once known for the manufacture of fine gold and silver thread and silk textiles. There are also cotton ginning and pressing factories.

Jalna was surrounded by a mud and brick wall but it is all in ruins except two gates, knwon as the Murti Darwaza and the Hyderabad gate. Jamshed Khan, the governor during Malik Akbar’s time constructed a fine Masjid and a sarai, also the Moti Talav, a large tank to the west of the town. A system of underground pipes conveyed water to reserviors, in the town. the largest of which is in quadraangle of the sarai. The system is no longer in working order. When the city was at the height of its prosperity it had five tanks. Jalna now derives its water supply mainly from the Jaikwadi Dam and also Ghanevadi tank.

During Akbars time Jalna was held in as jagir by one of his generals, and Abul Fazl has made it his residence for a short period. Nizam -ul- Mulk Asaf Jah also favoured the town as being more healthy than Aurangabad and it was he who ordered Kabil Khan in 1725 to build the fort together with citadel situated to the east of the town and which is today known as Mastgad. The citadel is being used to accommodate the muncipal offices. The fort is quadrangular in shape,with semi circular bastions at the corners.

It is reported that the inner and the outer gates were constructed by Asaf Jah himself in 1711and 1723, respectively. The citadel bears of Persian inscription recording the date when it was constructed. Within the citadel is a large well containing a series of galleries and chambers which are now filled up with rubbish. At the entrance to the well is a defaced inscription in Balbodh. Subsequently a part of Land revenue of Jalna was collected by the Marathas. The place has had frequent changes of masters. For a long time, it was held by one of the Shinde’s dependents, but shortly after the battle of Udgir in 1760, a rival claimant from Pune endeavoured to seize it. A sanguinary conflict took place which resulted into the discomfiture of the Pune sardar. It was taken possession of by Colonel Stevenson’s Troops in 1803 in the famouse battle of Assaye, a village in Jafrabad tahsil on the river of Juah located around 10 K.M east of Bhokardan . After the extinction of the Maratha power, it finally reverted to the Nizams of Hyderabad. In 1855 it was the scene of a conflict between the Rohilas and the Company’s troops. After a stubborn conflict in which about 100 were killed or wounded on both sides, the Rohilas surrendered.

[ The information is taken from the Gazeteer of India, Maharashtra State, Aurangabad District, Page No : 1018,1019,1020]

Jafrabad :

Jafferabad is situated at the confluence of the Khelna and the Purna rivers. It is surrounded by a fortified stone wall, now in a very dilapidated state; but a small stone gadhi inside is in fair order. The place derived its name from its founder Jafar Khan, who held it along with 115 other villages in jagir from Aurangzeb, the Moghal Empeor. There are in all seven mosques and temples in Jafferabad. The principal mosque has a Persian inscription recording its construction under the orders of Aurangzeb by Rizazath Khan in 1076 Hijri (A.D.1664). Within the fortifications there is a large handsome watercistern with an inscription stating that it was built at the command of Shah Jahan by Mustafa Khan, the Turkoman in Hijri 1040 (A.D.1630).

[ The information is taken from the Gazetteer of India, Maharashtra State, Aurangabad District, Page No : 1017,1018]

Ghansavangi :

From the broken tanks and numerous dislapidated tombs which surround it, Ghansavangi appears to have been a place of much importance in the olden days. In the north-west is a large open plain where at one time it was contemplated to station the Hyderabad Subsidiary Force. An annual fair is held in honour of Narsimha.

[ The information is taken from the Gazetteer of India, Maharashtra State, Aurangabad District, Page No : 1015]

Ambad :

Ambad situated between a ridge of hills is the headquarters of the tahsil of the same name. It lies along Jalna-Gevrai road the former place being the principal commercial centre in the Marathvada region.

Matsyodari Temple-

It appears that once Ambad enjoyed great prosperity, the marks of which are still seen in the decayed stonebuildings and ruined walls and gateways. A local tradition ascribes the foundation of the town to a Hindu Raja by name Amba Rishi who being weary of the cares of running the Government went and settled in a cave in a hill to the east of the town. This site is now occupied by a shrine dedicated to goddess Matsyodari, so called because the hill resembles the shape of a fish (matsya). It is believed to be one of the oldest temples in the region. A largely attended annual fair is held at the temple in October.

Khandoba Temple-

The town also contains a temple of Khandoba and a masonry Kund (tank), both of which were constructed by that pious and philanthropic queen, Ahilyabai Holkar, about the end of the eighteenth century. The structure to Khandoba has three temples joined together an arrangement often found in the south, but rarely in the north, and capable of giving a greater variety of effect of light and shade than is observed, in plainer forms. The shrine is surrounded by a stone-wal and has a gallery all round. The entrance is surmounted by a nagarkhana or chamber for temple-musicians. The courtyard has an iron-pillar on either side, besides a figure of a lion standing on four small elephants, with a fifth elephant in its mouth. Some finely sculptured images are seen scattered about inside. The shrine is crowned by three large shikhars in a line, with a small one at either end. They are built of bricks and are variously ornamented. None of these shikhars are alike. The village has also a masonry kund believed to have been built by Ahilyabai Holkar. It has fallen into ruins.

Among the cults prevailing in the region the one espoused by Svami Ramanand, a devotee of Rama, claims a considerable following Svami Ramanand, originally from Gondi village near Ambad, made Ambad his abode and preached his doctrines. Achhutashram Svami was his chief disciple. The memory of Ramanand Swami is highly revered in and around Ambad.

[ The information is taken from the Gazetteer of India, Maharashtra State, Aurangabad District, Page No : 933,934]

Badnapur :

Badnapur  is situated on the right bank of the Dudhna about ten miles west of Jalna. It is here that a meeting took place between General Wellesley and Colonel Stevenson at which the plan of operations for attacking the Marathas, two days before the battle of Assaye, was drawn up. Amidst a grove of trees, a short distance to the north-east of the village, stands a dargah to Mir Gulam Shah.

[ The information is taken from the Gazetteer of India, Maharashtra State, Aurangabad District, Page No : 961]

Bhokardan :

Bhokardan is settled along the right bank of the Khelna river, a tributary of the Purna.

In 1852 the Patel of a village named Javla enraged at the deprivation of his appointment collected a force of 300 Arabs and Rohilas and attacked Bhokardan, but was bought off. About seven years later he again attacked the town which was defended by the naib and was bought off a second time. The Rohilas were occasionally troublesome after this. They were finally subdued by a contingent force of 500 men and 2 guns sent from Aurangabad.

Bhokardan is surrounded by a ruined wall. There is an inner citadel which served to house the offices of the tahsildar and other minor officials. The marks of its former prosperity are discernible in the solid masonry walls which have collapsed for the most part, while the bands of earth scattered round the town mark the sites of once beautiful fruit and vegetable gardens.

[ The information is taken from the Gazetteer of India, Maharashtra State, Aurangabad District, Page No : 962,963]