Achalpur and Paratwada — Twin City
Narrow gauge train named 'Shakuntala' at Achalpur Railway Station
|Nickname(s): City of Dams|
|Elevation||369 m (1,211 ft)|
|• Official||Marathi, Hindi, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|PIN||444805 or 444806|
|Vehicle registration||MH 27|
Achalpur, formerly known as Ellichpur and Illychpur, is a city and a municipal council in Amravati District in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the second most populous city in Amravati District after Amravati and seventh most populous city in Vidarbha. It has a twin city known as Paratwada.
Achalpur and Paratwada as a twin city is located at . It has an average elevation of 369 metres (1210 ft). This twin city is surrounded by rivers named Sapan and Bichan, the tributaries of Chandrabhaga river. There is hilly area that acts like a fence to this city. This city is at the boundary of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Even Madhya Pradesh is so close to this city that travelling of (about) 10 km changes the state region.
As of 2001 India census, Achalpur & Paratwada had a population of 107,304. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Achalpur has an average literacy rate of 88%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 54% of the males and 46% of females literate. 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Achalpur is the northern terminus of the 762 mm narrow gauge railway known locally as the Shakuntala railway. This line is composed of two legs intersecting with the Mumbai–Kolkata standard gauge railway at Murtajapur — the 76 km northern leg to Achalpur and the 113 km southeastern leg to Yavatmal. As of 2004 this line was still owned by a London-based company which had leased the line to India's Central Railway since 1903.
Paratwada is connected to Nagpur, Mumbai, Pune, Shirdi, Nashik, Jalna, Amravati, Chikhaldara, Anjangaon, Yavatmal, Akola, Aurangabad, Chandrapur, Bhandara, Gondiya, Jalgaon, Indore, Jabalpur, Parbhani, Bhopal, Betul, Burhanpur, etc. by the bus. Several private busses also run from Paratwada to Pune & Mumbai mainly due to youth students.
Nagpur is the nearest international airport (200 km). Flights to all important cities are available from Nagpur. Other nearest national airports are Amravati airport (64 km), Bhopal airport (280 km) and Indore airport (317 km). Nearest broad gauge railway station is at Amravati (50 km), Betul (100 km) and Badnera (62 km). Direct trains to all major cities are available from Badnera and Betul.
Economic Activity and Marketing
The town had been major trade center for Palmarosa oil in India. The major commodities for trade include
- Natural Gums
- Red chilis
- Ayurvedic Medicine
The Major Indian festivals like Dipawali, Holi, Makarsankranti, Eid, Chritmas, Good Friday, Dussera, Moharram, Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja and Maha Shivratri are celebrated in this city with lots of enthusiasum. During the festival of Navratri, a mela lasting nine days is organized, people from nearby towns and villages participate and dance Garba/Dandiya until late in the evening. The famous temples are the Bahiram Temple, Dattaziri and Muktagiri Temple, located on a hill nearest to this city. Another famous temples are Waghamata temple, Kalimata temple and Ashtamahasiddhi temple (Chakradhar Swami). Hence this city is becoming attraction for the thousands of youths.
Places to visit
- Chikhaldara Hill Station 35 km
- Muktagiri Digambar Jain Tirth 15 km
- Chandrabhaga Dam
- Vazzar Dam
- Gondvihir Dam
- Khatijapur Dam
- Gondwagholi Dam
- Achalpur Bhool Bhulayya
- Orange Farms
- Shivaji Statue
- Satpura Hill Range
- Chikhaldara Wind Mill
- Pandit Nehru Botanical Garden
- Ashtamahasiddhi Temple (Chakradhar Swami)
- Naldamyanti Dam
- Shenshah e Killah, Khalifa e Guass Pak, Hazrat Sayyed ali Chandshah wali Qadri Baba (RA)
- Shah Dulha Rehman Gazi Dargha (shrine)
- Waghamata and Kalimata Temple
- Bhairam Temple
- Dharkhora Water Fall
- Bakadari and Kalalkund Water Fall
- Wildlife Museum
- Jungle Safari
- Gugamal National Park
- Haud Katora
- Kartikswami Temple
- Semadoh Lake
- Forest Gardens
- Triveni Sangam
- Tapti River
- Melghat Tiger Reserve
- Gawilgad Fort
- Vairat Devi Temple
- Ganesh Statue (22 feets)
Achalpur or Ellichpur is first mentioned authentically in the 13th century as one of the famous cities of the Deccan. Though tributary to the Muslim Delhi Sultanate after 1294, it remained under Hindu administration till 1318, when it came directly under the Muslim Delhi Sultanate.
In 1294, Ala-uddin nephew of Jalaluddm Khilji, the reigning emperor of Delhi, invaded the Deccan with the object of subjugating Devagiri, of the wealth of which kingdom he had heard in the course of his forays in Central Asia. He halted at Ellichpur for two days and from then marched towards Devagiri from where he carried off an enormous quantity of plunder.
In 1347 Achalpur with the Berar region was ruled by the Bahmani Sultanate.
In 1490 Fath-ullah Imad-ul-Mulk proclaimed his independence and founded the Imad Shahi dynasty of the Berar Sultanate. He proceeded to annex Mahur to his new kingdom and established his capital at Ellichpur. It was afterwards capital of the Berar Subah at intervals until the Mughal occupation, when the seat of the provincial governor was moved to Balapur. The town retains many relics of the Sultans of Berar.
In 1642 Shah Beg Khan, a commander of 4,000 horse, was appointed subhedar of Berar in place of the Khan-i-Dauran and two years later Allah Vardi Khan was made a commander of 5,000 horse and received Ellichpur in jahagir on the death of Sipahdar Khan. Early in 1658 Aurangzeb left the Deccan in order to participate in the contest for the imperial throne which ensued on the failure of Shah Jahan's health and having worsted his competitors he gained the prize. He appointed Raja Jai Singh[disambiguation needed] to the viceroyalty of the Deccan and made Irij Khan subhedar of Berar. In 1661, Diler Khan accompanied by Irij Khan, the subhedar of Berar and the Faujdar of the province marched through Berar to attack the Gond Raja of Chanda. The Raja submitted and the expedition terminated on the Raja paying to the imperial exchequer a crore of rupees and promising to pay an annual tribute of 2 lakhs and to raze his fortifications. At this time a new power was gaining ascendency in the Deccan, viz., that of the Marathas under the leadership of Shivaji. Inspired by the ideal of carving a separate State, and backed by the zeal of his followers he had made deep incisions in the Adil Shahi kingdom of Bijapur and had carried out daring attacks against the Mughal possessions in the Deccan. Aurangzeb had sensed this danger and had sent his generals, Shayasta Khan, Mirza Raja Jai Singh and Diler Khan to contain Shivaji's activities in 1665. In 1775 Nizam Ali, taking advantage of the existence of strong party opposed to Mudhoji Bhosle in Nagpur, sent Ibrahim Beg against him, and himself advanced as far as Ellichpur.
As the Mughal empire deteriorated in the 18th century, Achalpur along with the rest of Berar came under the rule of the Nizam of Hyderabad. In 1853, Berar Province came under British administration, although it remained formally part of the Hyderabad state until 1903 when the province became the Berar Division of the Central Provinces. Achalpur, known by the British as Ellichpur, became part of East Berar, with Amraoti (Amravati) as capital of the division. In 1867 East Berar was split into the districts of Amraoti and Ellichpur district, with Ellichpur as the headquarters of Ellichpur District. The district had an area of 2,605 square miles (6,750 km2).
In 1901 Achalpur had a population of 29,740, with ginning factories and a considerable trade in cotton and forest produce. It was connected by good roads with Amraoti and Chikhaldara. Berar was annexed to British India in 1903 and merged with the Central Provinces, and in 1905 Ellichpur District was merged into Amraoti District. The civil station of Paratwada, 5 km. from the town of Ellichpur, contained the principal public buildings at the beginning of the 20th century.
After India's independence in 1947, the Central Provinces became the province, and after 1950 the state, Madhya Pradesh. The 1956 States Reorganisation Act redrew the boundaries of India's states along linguistic lines, and the predominantly Marathi-speaking Amravati District was transferred to Bombay State, which was renamed Maharashtra in 1960 when it was split from Gujarat.
Paratwada is a famous modern city in Amravati District. Its existence being due to its selection as a military camp when Salabat Khan's reformed troops were converted into the Achalpur Bridge and made a part of Hyderabad Contingent. The city is divided into seven puras or quarters named Chhota Bazaar, Motha Bazaar, Mogalaipura, Gatarmal pura, Vakil line, Pension pura etc. The civil station is well laid out area with broad roads or two way roads and excellent bungalows and public offices. There are two temples of Lord Datta and Vitthal. The Paratwada Municipal Council was established in the year 1893. Now both, Achalpur and Paratwada Municipal Councils are amalgamated.
During the reign of the British in India a military camp was established on the outskirts of the city. Paratwada during British Rule was known as Paltanwada or Achalpur Camp. After Independence the name was later changed to Paratwada from a Marathi word "Parat". It has been said that British camp was set up in the Civil Lines area of Paratwada and a big American Hospital was also built in Civil Lines which is now converted to the Maharashtra State Electricity Board office. Presently it is one of the most developed (largest city) civil townships in Amaravati district as well as in Maharashtra. It provides milk and milk related products to the market. Paratwada is the biggest supplier of Honey and Teak wood to all over Asia. There is a famous hill station nearly an hour away known as Chikhaldara. Also a famous religious Digambar Jain Tirth known as Muktagiri is located about 14 km from Paratwada. Paratwada is very closed to Madhyaya Pradesh. Various dams are being built on the outskirts of the city which is becoming a famous well known picnic spot.
India's President Pratibha Patil on 6 September 2008 laid the foundation stone of the Finlay textile mill at Paratwada/Achalpur in Amravati district of Maharashtra. The textile mill, which was initiated as a private enterprise in 1903, was closed down in 1959. Then, it was taken over by the Government of Maharashtra and brought under state textile corporation in 1972 and subsequently nationalised on April 1, 1974 and was known as Vidharbha Mills. The unit was closed down once again in 2003. The new Finlay mill is now being relocated on this spot with the sophisticated machinery through the investment of Rs 326 crores. The plant, which has a potential of around 1250 employees, has started production in 2010. "Kandli" is small village attached to the Paratwada. It is a gram panchayat.
Kothara Community Hospital
The Central India Korku and Hill Mission originally established the Kothara Community Hospital as a leprosy home in 1898. It functioned as a leprosy asylum until the 1970s when it was converted into a leprosy hospital. Presently it is a 90-bed multi-speciality Community hospital providing high quality, comprehensive and compassionate healthcare to the mainly rural and tribal community. The Hospital has grown from being a purely leprosy referral hospital, with no scope for self-sufficiency. Today, it is a well reputed community hospital providing secondary level care in Ophthalmology, Dermatology, General Medicine and Tertiary level care in Leprosy. This progress towards financial self-sufficiency indicates the great strides that hospital has made over the last few years.
The Hospital is the only Christian Mission hospital in this backward area. It is also located in a community with a low paying capacity. It thus has an important role to play in providing much needed services to the community. A well-equipped laboratory, general physiotherapy services, X-ray, ECG and optical services, supports the speciality services. Over 30,000 Outpatient visits were recorded in 2005 for various specialities.
The Hospital networks with other NGOs in the area to provide basic medical and healthcare to the tribal population, especially those living in the interior villages, where medical care is non-existent. Kothara Community Hospital offers tertiary level care in Leprosy and secondary level care in the specialties of Ophthalmology, Dermatology and General Medicine. General Surgery through visiting surgeons both from TLM and outside was also a service provided at set times. Specialized services like Diabetic clinics, Glaucoma clinics and special eye clinics for leprosy home inmates were run. Low vision services for the visually impaired who cannot benefit from surgery or spectacles was a new service provided. Computerization of all OP services and billing since November 2007 was a major change. Evaluations of the Base Hospital and the CCC project were completed in 2007. CMAI recognized 2 ½ year Diploma in Ophthalmic Technology course was started with 3 students enrolled in 2007. The hospital also had a change in leadership in the Superintendent, Dy Superintendent, Dy Superintendent (admin) and Administrative assistant posts.
Water is supplied from Chandrabhaga Dam and Vazzar Dam.
Paratwada is well connected to major cities by state highways. Maharashtra Major State Highway 6 and Major State Highway 24 passes from Paratwada.Both public and private transport are popular in Paratwada. Private companies too run buses to major cities throughout India. Auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are allowed to operate in this city. Also The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) provides transport services to this city for interstate travel.
Shopping and Entertainment
Much new entertainment will be seen in this city in the coming months when the city will gain many new sources of entertainment. Also there are many places which are good sources of entertainment. This twin city has many cinema halls.
Sadar Bazar is one of the most popular shooping destination for the people of this twin city. Madan Mahal is famous mall located in Paratwada. Lifestyle brands have a retail presence in the city. This has happened as a result of increase in the standard of living and due to drastic increase in the city. Hence this city is known as Modern city.
There are many National Banks, International as well as Co-operative Banks in this city which includes IDBI Bank, Canara Bank, State Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, State Bank of Hyderabad, YES Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of Andhra, Amravati District Co-operative Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Union Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, etc.
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc – Achalpur
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "Indian Narrow-Gauge Lines 2002–2003". Simon Mortimer. Indian Railways Fan Club. February 13, 2004.
- One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ellichpur". Encyclopædia Britannica 9 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 291.
||Chikhaldara, Khandwa, Indore||Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh State||Betul, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh State|
|Burhanpur, Jalgaon||Nagpur, Wardha|
|Aurangabad, Jalna||Nanded, Parbhani||Amravati, Yavatmal|