PLACES

BHIR TOWN

Bid, with 33,066 inhabitants according to the 1961 Census, is the headquarter town of the district of the same name situated in 18 59' N. and 75 46' E. on the banks of the Bendsura river across which a dam has recently been constructed.

History

According to tradition, Bid was called Durgavati during the time of the Pandavas and the Kurus, and its name was subsequently changed to Balni; hut Campavati, Vikramaditya's sister after capturing it, named it Campavatinagar. There are yet two more versions as to how the present name came to be given to the town. The first of these tells that a Yavana ruler finding water at a very low depth in the town named it Bhir which in Persian means water. The second one states that as the district is situated at the foot of the Balaghat range it looks as if it is in a hole and hence the name bil (meaning hole in Marathi) was given to it which in course of time corrupted into Bid. So much for the origin of the name of the town.

The history of Bid could be traced from epic to the ancient and mediaeval times. It must have been included successively in the kingdoms of the Andhras, the Calukyas, the Rastrakutas and the Yadavas of Devagiri, the ruling dynasties of that region, and from whom it passed on to the Muslim invaders from the north. A mention of Bid could be found in the Puranas which tell us that when Sita was being forcibly carried away by Ravan, the demon king of Lanka (Ceylon), the bird Jatayu tried to intercept him at this place. Jatayu, however, was crippled by Ravan by cutting off one of his wings. Helplessly he fell down and kept waiting in agony for the arrival of Ram. It was only after narrating the story of Sita's abduction to Ram that he breathed his last. The temple of Jatasankar, located in the centre of the town, is said to have been built on the spot where Jatayu fell dead. The temple architecture indicates that it is the product of the Yadava period.

History has recorded that about the year 1326 Muhammad-bin-Tughluq changed the name of Campavati to Bid. Muham mad after capturing it from the Yadavas made it the headquarters of one of his Deccan provinces. Some 4.82 km. (three miles) from the town, Muhammad's tooth has been buried in a tomb. The tomb is to be seen even today.

A subhedar by name Juna Khan belonging to the Tughluq dynasty is said to have resided at Bid for quite some time and introduced many reforms for the welfare of the ruled. He is said to have been responsible in diverting the course of the Bendsura river from west to east.

After the death of Muhammad-bin-Tughluq, the town fell successively to the Bahamani, the Nizamsahi and the Adilsahi kingdoms. While yet the town was in the possession of the Bahamanis a hotly contested battle between the Bid Jagirdar Habib-ul-lah and Humayunshah Jalim. was fought in the environs of the Kankalesvar temple. A number of people on either side were slain in this battle. The Moghals eventually captured Bid in 1635, and annexed the territory. At this time the imperial army under Khan Jahan had camped here. Early in Shan Jahan's reign several battles were fought near this place between the imperial troops and those of Bijapur and Ahmadnagar. The gate called the Kazi gate of the town commemorates Shah Tahan. When Aurangzeb came as the Subhedar of the Deccan, he appointed Muhammad Sadar Shah as the Nayabsubha who carried out many improvements in the planning of Bid town.

It is noted for several kinds of leathern work, especially water bottles called chagals, and sword-sticks (guptis) of a superior quality. Coarse cloth and saris are manufactured on a small scale. Ordinary blankets are made by the Dhangars.

Bid is one of the wholesale commercial centres of the district. Though it is not a railway station, there are good and direct roads connecting Bid with Jalna (96.56 km. = 60 miles), Ahmadnagar (144.84 km. = 90 miles), Aurangabad (128.74 km. = 80 miles), Barsi (103 km. = 64 miles), and Parali Vaijanath (119.09 km.= 72 miles) all of which are commercial centres of importance. Cotton, groundnut, jovar, mung, bajri, gram, sesamum, tur and sal are the principal commodities brought for sale in Bid market yard. These in turn are mostly marketed to Jalna, Ahmadnagar, Barsi and Parali Vaijanath. The annual turn-over of trade transacted varies between 75 to 80 lakhs of rupees.

Bid town has two oil mills, two ginning and pressing, and three ginning factories. There are two banks, viz., a branch of the State Bank of Hyderabad and the Bid District Central Cooperative Bank.

Objects

Rajuri Masjid: The mosque is located near Rajuri darvaza, one of the entrance gates to the town and hence is called after the name of the gate. It was built during the life-time of Muhammad Shah Ghazi, in the year 1135 Hijri, The entrance to the mosque is on the eastern side. Its main hall is quite spacious and has two rows of pillars forming ten arches. Similarly, there are ten vaults, each in turn crowned with a small dome. There is also an outer hall which has been added recently.

Dargah of Pir Bala Shah: The Dargah of Pir Bala Shah is to the west of the town along Bid-Ahmadnagar Road, about 1.60 km. (a mile) away. It is in the centre of a courtyard with a parapet wall around. The tomb has no built roof above but is covered with a canopy of overhanging creepers. To the right there is the tomb of his mother, surmounted by a dome. Its walls bear lattice work. In the rear of the dargah there is a small mosque, with two domes crowning the top. To the left of it there are corridors. An annual urus is held in honour of the Pir. It is attended by about 4.000 persons.

Dargah of Shahenshavali: About a furlong (.201 km) away from the town is the dargah of Shahenshavali, built on an elevated ground which could be reached after climbing a flight of 23 steps. It is enclosed by an arched compound wall, an imposing gate with its top crowned by two minars serving as the entrance. The dargah, with a small mosque in its rear stands on a spacious plinth of 1.219 metres (4') in height. On three sides of the plinth there are arches similar to those of the compound wall. The actual tomb has a double canopy-like structure the inner being smaller and supported on 4 pillars. The outer one enclosing the inner one is much bigger and has 12 pillars. The floor of the dargah is paved with coloured marble tiles having floral patterns. On the entrance gate is the old naubat-khana or the music gallery. The dargah has an inam of 242.81 hectares (600 acres) of land. In August an urus, attended by about 3,000 persons, is held. In the compound there are many tombs of unknown persons. At the bottom of the stairway leading to the dargah there is a well.

The gates of the town: The town of Bid was fortified during the Bahamani and subsequent dynasties within which the town grew up. Today only the gates could be seen, the walls having collapsed for the most part. The town has now expanded far beyond the old fortifications. In olden times it had the following four main gates:

Rajuri darvaza: It is to the west of the town and is flanked by two strong rounded bastions. The gate is about 15.24 metres (50 ft.) in height and its top could be reached by a flight of stairs. While entering, to the left there is an inscription giving the date of its construction as Saka 1613. There is a similar inscription in Urdu. To the right, against the inside of the gate there is a tomb of one Biland Savli. The gate has wall extensions on either side running to a length of about 7.31 metres (25 ft.)

Kotvali darvaza: This is to the east facing the Bindusara or Bendsura river and has seven bastions to the wall extending alongside the river up to the Dhonda gate. The wall on the right also extends up to the Kazi darvaza and is in fair preservation. It has three bastions on this side. The walls of this gate are the only ones which stand erect even to date. They are built of stone masonry and are similar in design and setting.

Kazi darvaza; It is at a distance of about a furlong (.201 km.) from the juna bazar arch. It is half built in masonry and half in bricks.

Ganj darvaza: It is near Hiralal cauk, previously called Mehboob Ganj. While the lower part is of masonry the upper is of bricks.

Mansur Shah Dargah: The Mansur Shah dargah located near the new market place, stands in a spacious enclosed courtyard, entered through an imposing stone gate. The tomb is housed in a dome of white marble consisting of four pillars, each one of which is made up of three pillars joined together. The dargah is on a plinth measuring 22.86 12.19.761 metres (75' 40'2'). On the same plinth, by the side of Mansur Shah dargah, are the tombs of his parents wife and many other relatives. These other tombs are simple in design and are built in bricks and mortar. A dome has also been erected on the spot where Mansur Shah used to offer prayers.

Kankalesvar mandir: On the eastern bank of the Bendsura river, at a furlong's (.201 km.) distance, in the centre of a lake, stands the temple of Kankalesvar unrivalled in beauty and magnificence. It is the finest temple in Bid in design and workmanship and its beauty is all the more heightened by virtue of its being in the centre of a lake full of water. There is only one path-way to reach the temple. It is supposed to date back from the times of Yadavas and the architectural style used in the temple bears testimony to this contention.

Judging from the sculptural accomplishments of the temple it can be rated as the finest in the Bid district. There is a marked similarity between the designs on this temple and those at the famous caves at Ellora. Practically the whole surface of the temple as also the innumerable pillars which support it are covered with excellently carved divine and human figures. But today most of these are in a defaced state. The temple is said to have had a storey which was pulled down by the Muslim invaders.

At the end of the passage leading to the temple, there is a small ling and an image of nandi, with two tulsi vrndavans on both the sides. The ling is protected by three cobra images one sheltering it and the other two coiling around. On either side of the visitor, in the base of the facing wall are two niches containing idols of Tuljapur Bhavani and Gangadevi to the right and left respectively. The temple is reached by climbing five steps and the entrance to the actual temple is through a narrow passage flanked by many pillars. The sabhamandap is circular in shape and supported on many solid stone pillars. On a pedestal, in the centre of the mandap, is a big image of nandi. In this mandap, there are two small chambers to the left and right of the visitor. The one to the right contains idols of Ram, Laksman and Sita canopied by an arch. At the base, on a platform are placed two idols of Garuda. To the right of Ram, outside the arch compass, there is yet another image of Garuda and to the left that of Kartik Svami. Kartik Svami is shown to be six-faced. Below the Svami's image is placed an idol of Dattatraya and those of Radha arid Krsna below Garuda image. In the chamber to the left, in a similar setting, is an idol of Maruti depicted as lifting the Dronagiri. Under his feet is shown Jambu Mali, the demon who tried to prevent Maruti from performing this feat. Near the gabhari there are openings on either sides. The ling occupies a central position in the.929 sq. metres (10 ft. sq.) gabhara. In the rear are placed the images of Ganpati, Sankar, Parvati and Laksmi Narayan.

The temple has a spacious terrace above. It was formerly surrounded by a dense jungle growth and shrubbery. It is said that it was here that during the time of the Bahamanis a hotly contested battle was fought between Habib-ul-lah, the jagirdar of Bid, and Humayunshah Jalim. The graves that are seen roundabout are said to be those of the soldiers killed in this battle. The temple is said to have been built on the spot where a poor Brahman, by his intense devotion received 1,000 pots full of gold from Sankar. A fair attended by over 25,000 persons is held at the time of Mahasivratra. Facing the temple of Kankalesvar on the bank of the tank is a small temple of Kalbhairava who is depicted as sitting on a dog, which in turn is shown to be devouring a demon. The idol is of flint stone.

Khandesvari Temple: In the vicinity of the Khandoba temple is the antique temple of Khandesvari with three small dipmals in front. Around the temple there was a parapet wall of which, only the gate surmounted by a nagarkhana is in good condition. In the court-yard there is a homakund and the padukas of Kaloji, a Dhangar, who is supposed to have built the temple. Cloisters are provided for the visiting pilgrims. The pavilion of the temple is 2.86 sq. metres (20 ft. square) and has four rows of pillars, two being embedded in the side walls. In the centre of the mandap there is an inverted lotus flower artistically embossed on the floor. On both sides of the entrance to the gabhara are two niches in the wall containing idols of Ganapati, Maruti and many other deities. In the centre of the gabhara which measures, 3.663.66 metres (12'12') is placed the facial plaque of Khandesvari made of brass. On the door-step is inscribed the name of the builder. Of the festivals, Navratra is celebrated with gaiety and on the last day about 3,000 to 4,000 persons gather to grace the occasion.

Rankhamb: To the west of Bid city by the side of Bid-Patoda road is the rankhamb. It is a block of stone about 1.219 metres (four feet) in height, standing on a square pedestal. This rankhamb, bearing some illegible inscriptions in Marathi and Urdu, was cleft into two and the parts were lying apart. However, they have now been put together.

Khandoba Temple: The temple of Khandoba, standing lonely on a rising ground just on the outskirts of the town (eastern side), is reported to be very old. Some say that it was built by Sultanji Nimbalkar, one of the jagirdars of Bid. Others attribute it to Mahadaji Sinde. The structural design of the temple is notable for its finish and craftsmanship. It is built in Hemadpanti style and has two symmetrical and towering dipmals in front, rising to a height of about 21.33 metres (70 ft.). They are ornamented with striking figures of human beings and animals, now in a defaced condition. The dipmals are octagonal in shape and consist of 6 storeys, the last one having a crest on top affording a grand view of the green meadows surrounding the country-Time has withered them away and today they are in a very bad state of repair.

The temple has verandahs on its four sides with a roof supported on 32 solid pillars, which are in some cases single piece-blocks of the length of 2.43 to 2.74 metres (eight to nine feet). The temple has a 4 pillared 1.8 sq. metres (20 ft. square) sabhamandap and has besides the frontal entrance, two side doors. In a niche, in the back wall of the 1.49 sq. metres (15 ft. square) inner shrine is the idol of Khandoba. It is seated on a horse and armed with a sword. The idol is carved out of flint stone. A sikhar adorns the gabhara. There are replicas of the same in the four corners. fax the base of the sikhar there are images of various animals and deities carved in relief. A stairway leads up to the spacious terrace.

Municipality

Constitution: Established in 1952, Bid municipality has an area of 69.15 km2 (26.7 sq. miles) under its jurisdiction. The president is the executive and administrative head. He is elected by the councillors from among themselves.

Finance: In 1959-60 the total income of the municipality, excluding income under extra-ordinary and debt heads, amounted to Rs. 2,28,277.55. It comprised municipal rates and taxes Rs. 79,109.31; revenue derived from municipal property and powers apart from taxation Rs. 45,922.55 and grants and contributions and income under miscellaneous heads together Rs. 1,03,245.69. In the same year expenditure amounted to Rs. 1,96,233.23. It excluded expenditure on extra-ordinary and debt heads. The item-wise expenditure was: general administration and collection charges Rs. 31,254.88; public works Rs. 17,848.65; conservancy Rs. 15,927.07 and miscellaneous Rs. 1,31,202.63.

Cremation and burial places: The communities concerned maintain and use the cremation and burial places.

Health and sanitation: Wells, private as well as public, form the main source of water supply. There are only surface drains. Cess-pools serve to collect the sullage. Bid has an allopathic, an ayurvedic and a veterinary dispensaries. All the three dispensaries are managed by the government. The town has a civil hospital, a maternity home, and a malaria eradication centre, which are adequately staffed and equipped. Recently two health centres were established.

Educational facilities: Primary education is compulsory. It is under the management of the Zilla Parishad. The high schools are privately managed. There are also a government managed girls' school, a multi-purpose high school and a primary industrial training centre. In addition, the town has a college.

Municipal Works: The town has been provided with two vegetable markets and a meat market. Two bridges and a travellers' bungalow have also been built.

Amenities: Two parks are maintained by the municipality.