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Miraj
City
Laxmi Market in Miraj
Laxmi Market in Miraj
Miraj is located in Maharashtra
Miraj
Miraj
Coordinates: 16°50′N 74°38′E / 16.83°N 74.63°E / 16.83; 74.63
CountryIndia
StateMaharashtra
DistrictSangli
Government
 • TypeMunicipal corporation
 • BodySangli, Miraj and Kupwad City Municipal Corporation (SMKC)
 • MayorDigvijay Suryavanshi (NCP)
DemonymMirajkar
Languages
 • OfficialMarathi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN
416410
Telephone Code0233
Vehicle registrationMH-10

Miraj (Pronunciation: [miɾəd͡z]; listen) is a city that is part of the Sangli-Miraj-Kumand metropolitan region in Sangli district, Maharashtra. Founded in the early 10th century, Miraj was an important jagir of the Bijapur Sultanate.

Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha Empire, stayed in Miraj for two months during his south India campaign. Because of its location, Miraj has been held as a strategic bastion. It was the capital of Miraj Senior and a vital junction on the central railway network. The Patwardhan family were the hereditary rulers of Miraj until independence.

Miraj is known for Hindustani classical music and medical services. It is an emerging medical hub in India. The city has an unbelievable[clarification needed] doctor-to-patient ratio. The low cost of medical treatment, treatment facilities, and adjoining medical facilities attract patients to Miraj. The language is a key factor as most of the Kannada-speaking staff attract many patients from North Karnataka.[1] Many medical tourists visit from the adjoining districts of North Karnataka and Goa, as well as all over India and from Arab countries. The annual Ganesh Visarjan procession is an attraction that lasts for an average of twenty hours.

History

Shilahara (1000 to 1216)

At the end of the 9th century, the Shilaharas of Kolhapur gained control of Miraj. In 1024, the city was ruled by Narasimha of the Shilahar dynasty. Jatiga II (c. 1000–1020), the fourth Shilahar ruler, appears in the records of his son, Narasimha (c. 1050–1075). Jatiga II was succeeded by his son Gonka, who has been described in inscriptions as the conqueror of Karahata (Karad), Miraj, and Konkan. The Shilaharas were able to retain control of Miraj despite nearby military action by Chavan-raja, a general of Western Chalukya King Jayasimha II.

Yadavas and Bahmanis (1216 to 1347)

In 1216, Miraj, along with other Shilahara territory, was conquered by the Yadavas of Devagiri. In 1318, the Bahmanis gained control.[2][page needed] The historian Tazkirat-ul-Mulk reported that Hasan Gangu, the founder of the Bahmani dynasty, was in the employ of the Shaikh Muhammad Junaidi at Gangi near Miraj. Hasan found a treasure with which he raised an army, and marched on Miraj. He defeated and imprisoned Rani Durgavati, the subedar of Miraj, and captured the town's fort. At the behest of Shaikh Muhammad, the name of the town was changed to Mubarakabad in 1347 (748 AH). In 1395, the Bahmanis conquered Miraj.[2][page needed] Between 1391 and 1403, Miraj was affected by the Durga Devi famine. From 1423, Malik Imad Ul Mulk ruled Miraj. 1494 was the year of Bahadur Khan Gilani's rebellion. For two months in 1660, Shivaji and Adilshah battled for control of Miraj.

Fortress

The builder of Miraj fort is unknown. It probably predates the Bahmani sultans, although they may have repaired it and increased its fortifications. They used the fort as a base for military expeditions against South Konkan and Goa. Firishta mentions the fort in an account of Gilani's rebellion in 1494, which was quelled by Sultan Muhammad II (1452–1515). Muhammad II took the fort from its governor, Buna Naik, who acquiesced to the new ruler. Gilani's troops were offered the option of joining Muhammad's army and being treated with leniency or leaving. About 2000 soldiers left the fort to join Gilani's rebel forces.

The fortress's main entrance was a massive gate towering at 9 m (30 ft), but it has been destroyed.

Fall of the Bahmani Empire

The power of the Bahmani rulers waned under the influence of powerful provincial governors. In 1490, the rule of Miraj passed to the Sultanate of Bijapur. During the later years of his reign, Ibrahim Adil Shah I (1534–1558) kept his son, Ali Adil Shah I (1558–1580), under house arrest in Miraj. On Ibrahim's death in 1580, Miraj became an assembly point for Ali's troops in his assuming the throne. Subsequently, the troops of Miraj fought with Ismail against Ibrahim Adil Shah II.

Rise of the Maratha Empire

On 28 November 1659, within 18 days of Bijapur General Afzal Khan's death at Pratapgad, the western Adil Sahi district was surrendered to Annaji Datto (Shivaji's finance minister). Unlike other towns, the Miraj fort resisted. Shivaji, who was encamped at Kolhapur, sent Netaji Palkar to besiege Miraj. In January 1660, Shivaji arrived to personally command the three-month-long ongoing siege. However, news of attacks by Siddi Johar and Fazal Khan caused him to return to Panhala. The siege of Miraj was abandoned and negotiations began. Under the rule of Sambhaji, the Maratha Empire generals Santaji Ghorpade and Dhanaji Jadhav chose Miraj as a safe place for their families while they conducted guerrilla actions against the invading forces of Aurangzeb of the Mughal Empire.

Mughal Empire

In 1687, Bijapur was conquered by the Mughals. Santaji Ghorpade became Deshmukh of Miraj in 1680 and Aurangzeb captured the town six years later. In 1730, Maratha Chhatrapati Shahu of Satara ordered Pant Pratinidhi[which?] to attack the town. Miraj remained under Mughal rule until 3 October 1739, when it was captured by Shahu after a military campaign of two years, reflecting the fall of the last defences of the Mughals. In 1761, Harbhat Patwardhan's son, Gopalrao, took the Miraj jagir from Peshwa Madhavrao.

British Raj

The Patwardhan dynasty ruled Miraj as the capital of a principality, overseen by British rule. Miraj was part of the southern division of the Bombay Presidency which in turn was part of the southern Maratha jagirs, and later the Deccan States Agency. In 1820, the state of Miraj was divided into Miraj Senior and Miraj Junior. The territory of both regions was distributed among other native states and British districts. The area of Miraj Senior was 339 square miles (880 km2). In 1901, its population was 81,467. Its revenue was £23,000 and the tax paid to the British was £800. The population of the town of Miraj in 1901 was 18,425. It lay on a junction of the Southern Mahratta Railway.

Independence

On 8 March 1948, Miraj Senior acceded to the Dominion of India, and the city became part of the Republic of India. Since 1960, it has been part of the state of Maharashtra.

Climate

Climate data for Miraj (1981–2010, extremes 1968–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 36.1
(97.0)
40.0
(104.0)
42.3
(108.1)
43.0
(109.4)
42.9
(109.2)
41.6
(106.9)
35.8
(96.4)
34.8
(94.6)
36.5
(97.7)
39.2
(102.6)
35.1
(95.2)
34.4
(93.9)
43.0
(109.4)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 31.8
(89.2)
34.1
(93.4)
36.8
(98.2)
38.5
(101.3)
37.3
(99.1)
31.5
(88.7)
28.9
(84.0)
28.4
(83.1)
30.5
(86.9)
32.1
(89.8)
31.7
(89.1)
31.0
(87.8)
32.7
(90.9)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 14.4
(57.9)
15.7
(60.3)
18.8
(65.8)
21.5
(70.7)
22.4
(72.3)
22.2
(72.0)
21.6
(70.9)
21.2
(70.2)
20.9
(69.6)
20.3
(68.5)
17.4
(63.3)
14.7
(58.5)
19.2
(66.6)
Record low °C (°F) 7.0
(44.6)
8.6
(47.5)
11.1
(52.0)
14.2
(57.6)
15.5
(59.9)
18.5
(65.3)
9.7
(49.5)
17.4
(63.3)
14.1
(57.4)
13.3
(55.9)
8.7
(47.7)
6.5
(43.7)
6.5
(43.7)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 0.3
(0.01)
0.2
(0.01)
6.5
(0.26)
21.6
(0.85)
51.9
(2.04)
137.9
(5.43)
108.1
(4.26)
89.2
(3.51)
124.0
(4.88)
115.6
(4.55)
22.2
(0.87)
4.5
(0.18)
681.8
(26.84)
Average rainy days 0.0 0.0 0.5 1.5 2.8 7.6 9.7 9.2 7.0 5.5 1.5 0.4 45.6
Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST) 39 31 30 31 45 68 75 76 69 56 49 45 51
Source 1: India Meteorological Department[3]
Source 2: Government of Maharashtra[4]

Demographics

Marathi is the official and most widely spoken language of the city. A form of Hindustani, Hyderabadi Deccani, is also spoken.

Hindustani classical music

Miraj is a popular place for artists to perform during urus. The administrative office of the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya is at Miraj. The city is known for its players and manufacturers of sitars.

Musicians

String instruments

Miraj supplies Indian string instruments such as the sitar, sarod, and tanpura. These are made of wood and specially treated gourds. The art of instrument making was developed by Faridsaheb Shikalgar in the 18th century, and his descendants follow this tradition. The area of Miraj is known for creating sitars. The traditional craft of making these instruments is passed down from generation to generation.

Famous places

Miraj is also known for Khwaja Shamna Mira, a dargah over the tomb of Khwaja Muhammad Mira Hussaini Chishti, a Sufi originally from Kashgar who migrated to Miraj. The story behind him is that at the time of his arrival in Miraj, the city was ruled by a black magician Gangna Dhobi who made human sacrifices. It is said that due to Mira's spiritual power he convinced Dhobi to become a Muslim. Another story tells that Mira was walking barefoot, and a shoemaker decided to make shoes for him with skin torn from his own thigh. As a reward, he asked for the right to cover the first chadar of Mira during his urus.[clarification needed] This has continued since, and during his urus a shoemaker first puts a chadar on the tomb.

Transportation

Railway

Miraj Junction railway station is an important junction on the Central Railway. It was the only junction to have all three rail gauges: broad gauge, narrow gauge, and metre gauge. The last narrow gauge train departed on 1 November 2008. Miraj now has only broad gauge railway tracks.[when?] Miraj is connected by railway to Pune in the north, Kurduvadi via Pandharpur in the northeast, and Belgaum and Goa in the south. In February 2011, passenger trains from Kolhapur to Solapur began running on the converted Miraj-Pandharpur-Kurduvadi broad gauge track.

Trains of the South Western Railway, like the Rani Chennamma Express bound for Bengaluru, originate from Miraj Junction station.

Road

Miraj lies off the Mumbai-Pune-Bengaluru highway, NH 48. Sangli and Miraj form a triangle with two exits of NH 48, each about 50 km away. Though the time taken to travel from Miraj varies depending on speed and other factors, Mumbai is about 7 hours away, and Bengaluru about 11 hours away by car.

See also

References

  1. ^ Mali, Amit Mahadev; Chavan, S. D. (January 2017). "Medical Tourism In Miraj City: Opportunities And Challenges" (PDF). International Journal of Researches in Social Sciences and Information Studies. 5 (1): 69–74. ISSN 2347-8268.
  2. ^ a b Husaini, S. A. Q. (1960). Bahman Shah: The Founder of the Bahmani Kingdom (PDF) (1st ed.). Calcutta: Firma K. L. Mukhopadhyay.
  3. ^ "Station: Miraj (Sangali) Climatological Table 1981–2010" (PDF). Climatological Normals 1981–2010. India Meteorological Department. January 2015. pp. 497–498. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  4. ^ "Climate". Government of Maharashtra. Retrieved 10 April 2020.