Beed

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This article is about the municipality in Maharashtra, India. For its namesake district, see Beed district.
Beed
بیڑ
बीड
Khandoba temple, often regarded as the symbol of the city, stands in the eastern hills.
Khandoba temple, often regarded as the symbol of the city, stands in the eastern hills.
Beed is located in Maharashtra
Beed
Location of Beed in Maharashtra, India
Coordinates: 18°59′N 75°46′E / 18.99°N 75.76°E / 18.99; 75.76Coordinates: 18°59′N 75°46′E / 18.99°N 75.76°E / 18.99; 75.76
Country  India
State Maharashtra
Region Marathwada
District Beed
Founded 13th century CE (Possibly)
Founded by Unknown
Government
 • Body Municipal Council
Area[1]
 • Total 8.29 km2 (3.20 sq mi)
Elevation 515 m (1,690 ft)
Population (2011)Largest city of Beed district
 • Total 146,709
 • Rank 321
 • Density 17,697.1/km2 (45,835/sq mi)
Languages
 • Official Marathi, Urdu
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 431 122
Telephone code +91-2442
Vehicle registration MH-23
Sex ratio 933 /
Child sex ratio 843 /
Literacy 88.56%
Male literacy 94.01%
Female literacy 82.81%
Climate BSh (Köppen)
Precipitation 666 millimetres (26.2 in)
Avg. summer temperature 40 °C (104 °F)
Avg. winter temperature 15 °C (59 °F)
Website beed.nic.in

Beed (Marathi: बीड, Urdu: بیڑ‎) is a city in central Maharashtra state in India. It is the administrative headquarters and the largest city with a population of 146,709 in Beed district.[2] Nearly 36% of the district’s urban population lives in the city alone. It has witnessed 6.1% population growth during 2001 – 2011 decade.

Its official name is Beed, though; Bhir, Bir, Bīr, Bid or Bīd is also seen in official and unofficial usage. Encyclopædia Britannica refer it as Bhir, Encyclopedia Encarta as Bīr and Google Maps as Bir while it is found at World Gazetteer as Bīd.

Beed's early history is obscure. Historians speculate; based on archaeological remains, that the city might have been founded by the Yadava rulers (1173–1317) of Devagiri (Daulatabad). Beed was a part of the State of Hyderabad (Asaf Jahi Kingdom) of Nizams in British India. The Hyderabad state was annexed to India in September 1948 following a military action. Beed remained in annexed Hyderabad state until 1956 when it was included in Bombay Presidency. On May 1, 1960 Maharashtra state was created on linguistic basis and Marathi dominant Beed district became part of Maharashtra.[1][3]

The city has got several historical buildings of which Kankaleshwar temple is the most famous. Remains of fort (قلعه) are still visible on the western bank of Bensura river. Being district headquarters, the city has several administrative offices including district and municipal councils, district and session courts, collectorate and office of the superintendent of police. Radio and television stations are also located in the city.

Topography[edit]

The Kapildhar fall in Balaghat range about 18 km south of Beed city.

Location[edit]

Beed is situated on the Deccan Plateau, on the banks of Bensura river (also called Bendsura or Bindusara). Bensura is a sub-tributary of Godavari river originating in the hills of Balaghat range, about 30 km south-west of Beed near the village of Waghira. The river divides the city into smaller eastern and larger western parts. Balaghat Range stretches very close, up to 10 km south of the city resulting in undulating terrain in the eastern part of the city. Soil is coarse and rocky largely consisting of basalt. Thin layers of fertile black soil are also seen in the northern part of the city. Bensura is a rapid and seasonal river. Bendsura Project (capacity 7.106 mm3) was constructed on the river in 1955 near the village Pāli, about 10 km south of the city.[4] At some places in the city, the river is narrow and looks like a stream. The river has slop due to undulating terrain which contributes to violent floods when it rains heavy. Floods have repeatedly caused substantial loss of property and life in the history of the city, most recently on July 23, 1989 when a massive flooding of three habitations in the city caused a number of dead or missing and property losses of millions of rupees.[5] Beed falls under Seismic Hazard Zone-III in India according to the new seismic hazard map updated in 2000 by the Bureau of Indian Standards. The city was under Zone-I prior to this update.[6]

Climate[edit]

The Bensura River(Bendsura). It is cleaned of debris and garbage before a monsoon to facilitate the flow of flooding water. Photographed in the monsoon season.

The city has Semi-arid, hot and dry climate consisting mainly of three seasons. Summers are long, ranging almost five months from mid February to June. Temperatures in summer fall between 31 °C (87.8 °F) – 40 °C (104 °F) (1997 average). However, it may reach higher than 40 °C in searching summer. May is the hottest month of a year with an average day temperature of 42 °C (107.6 °F). Winters are short with temperatures ranging within 12 °C (53.6 °F) – 20 °C (68 °F). December is the coldest month in a year. Occasionally, temperature may fall as low as 3 °C (37.4 °F) or 4 °C (39.2 °F) due to northern cold waves. Relative humidity in winter is the lowest and December is the driest month in a year with the relative humidity as low as 30%. Rains are scarce and occur only during the Monsoon from mid June to September. Annual average rainfall is 66.6 cm (26.22 inches).[3] The average rain fall has got a drop of 9.6 cm from the averages recorded during the 1900s.[7] Average number of rainy days in a year is 41. September gets the maximum rainfall in a year while July has the maximum rainy days. Highest rainfall recorded in 24 hours (19.18 cm) occurred on August 17, 1887.[8] Climate of Beed can be compared with that of Pune city's climate.

History[edit]

Beed is a historical city of possibly medieval origin. But the early history of the city is obscure.

Historical accounts[edit]

The first historical mention of the city came in the history of Firishta (Tārīkh-e-Firishta تاريخ فرشته) written by famous 17th century Persian-Indian historian Muhammad Qasim Firishta (1560–1620). This can be referred in the famous English translation of this book History of The Rise of Mahomedan Power in India by John Briggs, which has been published several times in India and abroad. Firishta has given modest but valuable information about the city of his time. He has mentioned the famous Kankaleshwar temple in some detail. Qazi Muhammad Qutubullah, a resident and Qazi of Beed wrote a detailed Tārīkh-e-Bīr (تاريخ بير History of Bir) in Urdu in 1898 (1317 Islamic calendar). Copy of this book, now can only be found in the State Archives, Library of Salar Jung Museum and Library of Osmania University. However, the first detailed history of the city Riyāz-ul-Abrār (رياض الأبرار Garden of the Virtuous) was written by Qazi Muhammad Fakhruddin in 1739 (1152 Islamic calendar). Unfortunately this book is now unavailable in the libraries for reference. Qutubullah has quoted this book in his History of Beed and also has acknowledged this book as a source for his history.

In 1942 (1361 Islamic Year) Syed Basit Ali, a resident of Beed, who was a student of intermediate in the City College of Hyderabad, wrote a brief history Tārīkh-e-Bīr in Urdu. Its copies can be found in the library of Osmania University. In 1998, Abdul Hamīd Nathapuri has written Zila Bīr Kī Tārīkh (ضلع بيڑ كي تاريخ history of Beed district) in Urdu which is published from Mumbai. His book gives accounts of mainly Beed city and is largely based on Qutubullah’s history and public narrations. Some historical accounts can also be found in the gazette of Beed district published in 1969 by the Gazetteers Department of Beed district. This Gazette is now out of print but available online at website of the government of Maharashtra. The Imperial Gazetteer of India, compiled during the British rule also gives some important details of the city and the district.

Kankaleshwar Temple – Most beautiful and perhaps the oldest monument in the city. It has only one way to access which remains submurged in the water of its artificial lake through the year.

Foundation and name[edit]

The early history of Beed is unknown and there is a contradiction in the historical accounts in defining the foundation and early history. According to legend, Beed was an inhabited place in the period of Pandavas and Kurus as Durgavati. Its name was subsequently changed to Balni. Champavati, who was sister of Vikramaditya, after capturing, renamed it as Champavatinagar. After that the city fell to Calukya (Chalukya), Rashtrkuta and Yadava dynasties before felling to the Muslim rule. However, some scholars say that it was possibly founded by the Yadava rulers of Devagiri (Daulatabad). Tārīkh-e-Bīr (history of Beed) mentions that Muhammad bin Tughluq named it Bir (Arabic بئر meaning ‘well’) after building a fort and several wells in and around the city. Ground water was abundant in the city and when wells were built, water was found at only at several feets. Hence Tughluq named it as "Bir"[1][5][9] Until recent times, wells were abundant in the city. They became little important due to modern system of water supply hence subsequently most of them were filled. It is unclear that as to how the present name Beed came into use. There are at least two different traditions. The first tradition says that since the district is situated at the foot of Balaghat Range as if it is in a hole, it was named as Bil (बील Marathi for hole) which in course of time corrupted to Bid. According to the second tradition a Yavana (यवण) ruler of ancient India, named it Bhir (Persian ٻھېڔ for Water) after finding water at a very low depth[1] and Bhir might have become Beed in course of time. The first tradition seems to be untrue, because with no angle, the entire district can be called a ‘hole’. Only north eastern part of the district is at lower heights and a vast area of 10,615 km² can not be called a ‘hole’ just because of slight depression. Furthermore, Bil (बील hole) in Marathi is spoken for a deep and narrow hole and not for a slight depression. The second tradition though have some distortion, appears to be true and in accord with Tārīkh-e-Bīr of Quazi Muhammad Qutubullah (1898). The word ‘Yavana’ in early Indian literature meant a Greek or any foreigner. At a much later date it was frequently applied to the Muslim invaders of India.[10] It is quite possible that Muhammad bin Tughluq may have been referred in this tradition as Yavana ruler. Muslims ruled the Deccan for centuries and almost all Muslim rulers had Persian as their court language. It seems that Arabic word 'Bir' was eventually pronounced ‘Bhir’ in the Indian accent and the people mistakenly took this Arabic word as Persian for the court language of the rulers was Persian. Until recent times after independence, the city was called ‘Bir’ and ‘Bhir’ in the official documents.

Historical events[edit]

A plaque in Persian (فارسى) on Bab-uz-zafar (Kotwali gate) states the re-construction of eastern protection wall by Amir Nawaz Jang in 1835.

According to legend, when Ravana, demon king of Lanka (Sri Lanka), abducted Sita (wife of Hindu deity Rama) and was taking her to Lanka, Jatayu (eagle) tried to stop him. Ravana cut its wings and wounded Jatayu fell on the ground. When Rama reached there in search of his beloved wife, Jatayu told him the whole story and died. The place where he died is said to be in Beed city and Jatashankar temple is standing at the place, which is; according to scholars, possibly built by Yadavas of Devagiri.[1] However, Jatashankar temples are abundant in other parts of India with same narrations. Another legend also narrates that Beed was called Durgavati in the period of Pandavas and Kurus who fought a devastating war of Mahabharata.

Early history[edit]

Early history of the Beed is obscure until it became part of Tughluq empire. If the city was founded in Yadava era then possibly it happened in king Singhana's (1210–47) period, when Yadava dynasty was at its height. Singhana may have built Kankaleshwar temple with a small surrounding city. Beed came under Muslim rule for the first time in 1317 when Qutb-ud-Din Mubarak Shah (1316–20), the last Khilji, captured Devagiri and Yadava dynasty was ended. Beed remained under Khiljis until 1320 when Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq (1320–25) took over. In 1327 Muhammad bin Tughluq (1325–51) made Daulatabad his capital. Firishta narrates that Tughluq and his army camped near Bīr city in 1341 (AH 742 Islamic calendar) while on the journey back to Daulatabad from Warangal. The emperor lost one of his teeth here, which he ordered to be buried with much ceremony and a tomb was constructed at the place.[11] The tomb of Tughluq’s tooth is in about to collapse condition on a hill near the village Karjani about 13 km south of the city. Juna Khan one of the governors of Tughluq empire is said to have resided in Beed for quite some time and introduced many reforms for the welfare of the ruled. He diverted the course of Bensura from west to east by constructing a protection wall around the city. Before his time there was no such protection for the city and it was situated on the eastern bank of the river. After that the population was largely shifted to the western part.[9]

Panoramic view of eastern wall of the Fort(قلعه). It works as a shield for old city from rare but violent floods of Bensura (Bendsura) river which is seen in the photo as a plain area with plenty of shrubs. The wall & burjs of the fort have lost the splendor and is about to crumble.

In 1347 Beed came under Bahmanid rule when Hasan Gangu (1347–58), founder of Bahmanid Sultanate, rebelled against Tughluq rule and ascended throne of Daulatabad as Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah. Muhammad Tughluq acted vigorously and came to Deccan to subdue the rebels. He recaptured the province of Daulatabad, of which, Beed was a part. Hasan Gangu and other insurgents fled to Bidar and Gulbarga through Beed. Before the matter is fully settled a rebel broke in Gujarat and the sultan approached to Gujarat appointing Imad-ul-Mulk as governor in Deccan. Meanwhile Hasan Gangu attacked Daulatabad and marched towards Beed and captured it. After that the city remained under Bahmanid rule and is said to be flourished under Firuz Shah Bahmani's (1397–1422) rule. During the reign of Humayun Shah Bahmani (1451–61), famous as Zālim (cruel), his brother Hasan Shah rebelled and came to Beed. A Jagirdar (feudatory) of Beed, Habibullah Shah was his supporter. Humayun Shah sent an army and after a fierce fighting in the grounds of Kankaleshwar temple, the rebellion armies defeated Humayun's army. Humayun became furious and sent another force to defeat the rebels. This time rebels were defeated, Habibullah Shah was killed and captured Hasan Shah was taken to the capital and was put before a hungry lion.[5]

1600 to 1858[edit]

After the decline of Bahmanid Sultanate the city fell to Nizam Shahi rulers of Ahmadnagar. Several wars were fought in Beed between Nizam Shahi and Adil Shahigfug rulers of Bijapur to take the control of Beed. In 1598 Mughals captured Beed from Chand Bibi of Ahmadnagar. A year later Nihang Khan retook it but soon it fell again to Mughals. Mughal army camped here for some time. During the reign of Jahangir (1569–1627), Jan Sipar Khan was administering Beed city. He constructed Jama Masjid of Beed in 1036 AH (1627).

Inside of the Jama Masjid جامع مسجد (Grand Mosque) of Beed. One of the largest Masjids in Beed, this magnificent structure is built completely in stone and has ten domes. All the domes of Masjid are unique in design and does not match with each other.

Aurangzeb (1658–1707), appointed Haji Sadar Shah in Beed as Naib-e-Subadar (assistant of governor). Sadar Shah did some good changes and constructions in the city. He built Eid Gah (place of Eid prayer) in 1702 and a new habitation on the heights in the eastern part as Ghazi Pura (now Islam Pura) in 1703. The remains of it are still visible. He also constructed a citadel (1703) inside the old fort which was worn out after standing for several hundred years, from Tughluq period. A stone plate in Persian script at the main entry of Jama Masjid sets the year of construction of citadel by Haji Sadar Shah in the year 1115 AH (1703). In his period economy of the city also flourished. Chhagal (water container made from leather), Gupti (hidden sword in wooden stick) etc. made in Beed were popular in the region.[9] Beed was quite a beautiful city during Bahmanids and Mughals. Tārīkh-e-Bīr mentions many gardens and amenities of these periods. Until the 1960s there were two well maintained gardens in the city. In 1724 Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah founded Asaf Jahi kingdom, seizing Deccan against the rule of Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah (1719–48). In Nizams' era no major addition or construction was done to the citadel because the old building was serving the purpose and the citadels were losing importance with the advent of modern fighting techniques. Maratha ruler of Gwalior, Mahadji Scindia (1761–94) was missing after a severe injury and defeat in the third war of Panipat in 1761. His wife, who is said to be from Beed, went to a Muslim Sufi of Beed Mansur Shah and told him to prey for the return of Mahadji. When Mahadji returned to Gwalior, he called the Sufi to Gwalior but he refused and sent his son Habib Shah instead. Mahadji remained thankful to Mansur Shah for all his life. His tomb is in eastern Beed which was built by Scindias. Reign of sixth Nizam Mir Mahbub Ali Khan (1869–1911) proved eventful in the history of Beed. Rebels, great famine and floods happened in his reign. Jagirdars were replaced by collectors (Awwal Taluqdars) in his father's reign and Jivanji Ratanji came as the first collector of Beed in 1865. Districts were created and Beed district was formally settled in 1883.[7] He constructed one habitation and market Mahbub Gunj (now Hiralal Chowk) on the eastern bank of Bensura, remains of that can still be seen. After a very scarce rainfall in three successive years 1897–99, great famine occurred in Beed in 1900. Thousands of cattle and Hundreds of humans died of starvation and thousands migrated to the neighbouring parts of the country. The census in 1901 reported remarkable decrease of 150,464 in the population of Beed district.[7] Mir Osman Ali Khan (1911–48) came after death of Mahbub Ali Khan as seventh and the last Nizam of Hyderabad State. His period was full of reforms in the government system, education and healthcare. Kotwalis, Police Stations, Schools, Hospitals and Dispensaries were built during his period. He established big libraries with the high schools in the state.[12] Nizams were allies of the British Empire in India. During the countrywide movement for independence, in 19th and 20th centuries they tried to suppress the feelings of nationalism which were spreading due to nationwide efforts of the freedom fighters. Nationalists in the state of Hyderabad did not like Nizam's friendship with the British Empire. Beed was the place in Marathwada region where freedom struggle first started in 1818.[13] In 1818 during the rule of Nizam Sikandar Jah (1803–29) first rebel broke out in Beed under the leadership of Dharmaji Pratap Rao. Nizam sent the Risala of Navab Murtaza Yar Jang under the command of British Lieutenant John Sutherland. The rebel leader and his brother were captured and a long run rebellion movement in Beed came to an end.[13][14]

1858 to Present[edit]

Panoramic view of a part of Beed city from the eastern hills on a rainy day. Eastern hills in the city and western hill range are visible in the view

Another rebel broke in 1858 but all the rebels were captured. After this many small incidents of defiance happened against British rule but all were suppressed by force. A major rebel broke under the leadership of Baba Sahab alias Rao Sahab in 1898. The important leaders of this movement were Brahmins of Beed and the Brahmin officials in police and judiciary also supported the movement. They were dreaming of Brahmin rule and started collecting money for arms by looting and donations in different parts of the district. But after a short fight the rebels were captured and the movement came to an end. But the feelings of defiance could not be suppressed and different movements under the leadership of Swami Ramanand Teerth continued in Marathwada and the state. After independence, Mir Osman Ali Khan was reluctant to join the Indian Union. Finally, on September 12, 1948 a military action Operation Polo was launched and the state was easily captured within six days as Nizam's army resisted little. Although Operation Polo caused relatively few casualties, the following communal carnage was all the more terrible. Beed was one of the eight worst hit districts in the state. After calm down, a team visited the town on behalf of Indian government and sent a report to the centre. According to official, Sundarlal Report, 27,000–40,000 Muslims were killed throughout the state. Horrible crimes of abduction and rape of Muslim women's & girls, loot, arson, desecration of masjids, forcible conversions and seizure of houses and lands were mentioned in the report.[15] Some unofficial reports, however, puts the figure of killings up to 50,000 and some even to a few hundred thousand.[16] A plebiscite was held shortly after the military action in which the population voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining the Indian Union. Many Muslims during and after 1948 migrated to Pakistan. The city has witnessed communal strife several times in modern India. In 1949 Bendsura Project was launched to provide drinking and irrigation water supply to the city and nearby villages. The project was completed in 1956. In 1952 Beed Nagar Pālika (Municipal Council) was established under the undivided Hyderabad State. In 1962, a year after the creation of Maharashtra State, Beed District Council (Beed Zila Parīshad) came into being after dissolving all the local bodies.[1]

Demographics[edit]

Religions in Beed City
Hinduism
  
53%
Islam[citation needed]
  
31%
Buddhism[citation needed]
  
10.6%
Christianity
  
1.4%
Jainism
  
3.7%
Others♦
  
0.3%
Distribution of religions
Includes Sikhs (0.2%).

At the 2001 India census,[17] Beed town had a population of 138,091. Male population is 71,790 and females constitute 66,301. There are 923.54 females per thousand males in the town. Birth rate is 15.9 which is lower than the national average of 22. Death rate is 3 which is lower than the national average of 8.2. Infant mortality rate is 71 per thousand live births which is much higher than the national average of 54.6 deaths for thousand live births. Maternal mortality rate however, is 1 which is extremely lower than the national average of 540.[18] Beed district has got the lowest sex ratio in Maharashtra State. Beed has the lowest male-female sex ratio in the age group of 0–6 years (801 as against 1000 male children) as per the 2011 census. Maharashtra's sex ratio in the age group of 0–6 years is 883 girls as against 1000 boys.[19]

Even this small town is an evidence of India’s religious and cultural diversity. 69.15 km² of land is home for Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jain, Christian and Sikh communities. A calculated Hindu population in the town comprises around 40% – 41%. 12,307 Hindus were living in the town in 1901, which was 69.64% of the then population.[7] This proportion was reduced after a mass conversion of Dalits to Buddhism and Christianity. Moreover, Jain population was also considered as Hindu at that time. Nearly 25% of population in Beed comprises Muslims.[20][21] 4,993 Muslims were living in the town in 1901 which was 28.25% of the then population.[7] Calculated Muslim population in Beed as per 2001 census reaches 34522. Percentage of Dalit (Scheduled Casts & Scheduled Tribes) population in the district is 14.13% (SC 13.01% – ST 1.12%) in the 2001 census.[3] Calculated Dalit population in the town as per 2001 census is 19512. By religion, nearly all Dalits are Buddhist; however, some still follow Hindu customs. A Buddhist temple is located at Mali Chowk area. According to Crusade Watch there were 662 Christians living in the town in the year 2000 which was 0.5% of the then population.[22] In 1901 only 68 Christians were living in the town and most of them were native.[7] Protestant (Assemblies of God) and Roman Catholic (Saint Ann’s) churches are located in the town. A missionary Saint Ann’s school has a reputation of elite with excellent infrastructure. Jain community (both Svetambar and Digambar Jain) also has presence with the temples of both communities. Digambar Jain temple is located in Juna Bazar, almost entirely Muslim area. Sikhs are perhaps the smallest religious entity in the town but have their Gurdwara which is said to be built in 1895.[5] Urdu (Deccani accent) is the mother tongue for Muslims. Hindus and Dalits speak Marathi. Other communities use Marathi and Hindi as a mode of communication. Officially Marathi, Hindi and English languages are in use.

Administration[edit]

New building of Municipal Council at Basheer Gunj.

The municipal council (established in 1952) is the administrative body for the city which is directly responsible for the affairs within the city limits which is 69.15 km² presently. The city has been divided into 40 Wards, each ward has its elected representative called 'Councilor'. The councilors elect the 'President' of the council which is always from the party which has majority in the council. The municipal elections are held after every five years. The district has a Superintendent of police whose office is in the city. Two police stations covering eastern and western parts of the city are operational under the superintendent of police.

Culture[edit]

Biryani — the most famous non-vegetarian dish.

Culture, though not typical, is predominantly Maharashtrian. Customs and religion still holds importance in the society. Food is largely vegetarian, but spicy non-vegetarian food is also popular. Several restaurants, Dhabas and roadside food shops offer non-vegetarian food. Biryani is the most popular non-vegetarian food in all sects of society. Beed is famous in Marathwada for its Biryani. Achār (pickle), pāpad (poppadom) and spices are part of a common high chilli diet.

New generation wear western outfits. Shalwar Khamis is popular in young girls. Married women wear Saris (a long piece of colourful fabric) and bodice. Traditional outfits are popular, if any, only in elderly. Diwali, Holi, Dasehra, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha and Buddha Jayanti are major festivals. New housing constructions are mainly concrete based, but in poor, mud-and-mortar houses with metal sheet roofs are common. There are no amenities in the city except cinema halls and a small, little maintained garden. Few years back there were seven cinema halls, now four are remaining; of which ‘Ashoka’ is the oldest. Two parks were maintained until 1969 by the municipal council.[1] One small but well maintained garden including a small zoo was situated at the eastern bank of Bendsura. A massive flood on July 23, 1989 wiped it off leaving no traces.

Jatra — night view of Khandeshwari jatra which is held during Dussehra each year.

Economy[edit]

Beed has a backward economy with a negligible growth. In 1997 Sarma committee has listed Beed as one of the 100 most backward districts in India.[18] After this listing the government of India and the government of Maharashtra specified Beed town as 'D' zone and declared tax holiday and concessions to lure the investors in the district.[23] Without proper arrangement of water supply and transport facility, this declaration resulted nothing. Economic backwardness is attributed to the lack of natural resources, frequent droughts, lack of good transport facilities and corruption.[20] Economy entirely depends on monsoon dependent agriculture, service sector and small businesses. Beed is one of the poorest districts of Maharashtra with Per capita GDP of Rs 15,303 (about $380) which is lower than the Maharashtra State average GDP Rs 17,079 (about $427).[20][24] There are some small-scale industries of ginning, PVC and plastic pipes, wood cutting and local based soft drink. Business sector comprises small and medium scale retail and wholesale businesses of daily needs, textile and automobiles. Small business includes roadside shops and vendors of vegetables, spices, food and snacks, cloths and toys etc. Beed has a good wholesale market of cloths where small vendors from neighbouring towns and districts approach for purchase.

Education[edit]

Multipurpose High School — established in 1912 by Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan; is the oldest high school in Beed, now a garbage dump.
Milliya (مِلِّيه) Campus — a minority education center and one of the largest campuses of the city was founded in 1959 by Maulvi Mir Raunaque Ali (مولوی میر رونق علی)

Beed has the highest literacy rate in the urban areas of the district.[3] English, Marathi and Urdu are the mediums of education. Many schools and colleges have very good infrastructure and facilities. Primary education is managed by the Zila Parishad (district council), headquarters in Beed. All the secondary schools and junior colleges are affiliated to Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education in Pune.some schools in the city are sanskar vidyalaya, champavati vidyalaya, shivaji vidyalaya, savarkar vidyalaya, st.anns school, gurukul vidyalaya etc. there is also One Engineering institute, one Dairy Technology college, one Dental College, one Ayurvedic Medical College, two diploma Engineering Colleges (one is state run), one Homoeopathic Medical College, one Diploma Pharmacy College and one Industrial Training Institute are offering professional education in the town. Other colleges offer arts, science, commerce and vocational faculties up to post graduation level. All the colleges are affiliated to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad.

Health[edit]

Under its health policy, the state government runs a 300-bed hospital (District Hospital) in the city with some modern facilities like Computed Tomography Scan (CT scan). Hospital receives average 18,000 patients and performs 250 HIV tests monthly.[25] Various private clinics and hospitals and a state run veterinary hospital are also providing services. Prominent among them is Vithai Hospital, which is the Largest Charitable Multi speciality hospital in district, having 200 beds.

One Homoeopathic hospital is running with ‘Sonajirao Kshirsagar Homoeopathic Medical College’. No facilities are available in super specialities like Neurology, Oncology etc. Beed was in the international news in August 1994 for the outbreak of Bubonic Plague. To some researchers, though, the disease detected here resembled Plague but could not be substantiated as per WHO criteria.[26]

Sports[edit]

Cricket is undisputedly, the most popular game in the city. There are many small clubs playing cricket. State level soccer competitions held in the recent times have also fuelled love for soccer and few Soccer clubs have also been emerged. There is a medium size District Stadium in the city with a good shopping complex but poor sports facilities. 23rd National junior Kho-Kho championship was held in the stadium in 2002. State level volleyball and Kabaddi competitions were also held in late 90s. Sports Like Taekwondo are gaining popularity. The district also held the 22nd State Taekwondo Championship in 2008.

Media and communication[edit]

Radio transmission tower of Akashwani Beed is visible in this evening landscape from the eastern hills.

More than a dozen Marathi and two Urdu dailys are published from the city. Beed Reporter(newspaper), Champavatee Patra, Lok Prashn, Lokasha, Parshv Bhumi and Zunjar Neta are major Marathi dailies. Local and regional news, crime stories and articles on local issues and politics are common features of the dailies. Marathi, Urdu, Hindi and English dailies including national dailies publishing from different cities of India also have penetration. No magazines are published in the city, but all the major national magazines do have readers. In 1961 there were only 51 working telephone connections in Beed exchange. Today Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), a state owned telephone service provider, has more than 15,000 customers. It has also introduced broadband internet lines. In 2004 district’s first mobile phone service was started in the city by ‘Idea’. After that BSNL, Airtel, Vodafone, BPL, Tata Indicom and Reliance also jumped in the growing market. In 1982 the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi put the foundation stone of terrestrial television relay centre, situated on eastern hills. Only Doordarshan was available until the 1990s when satellite channels and cable operators started the business. Some enthusiasts have started a local cable channel ‘Beed News’. It provides local news coverage and plays movies rest of the time. All India Radio Beed, at FM 102.9 MHz,[27] broadcasts news, film and folk music, programmes of Vividh Bharti and programmes based on agriculture and health education.

Issues and challenges in the 21st century[edit]

Beed district as a whole —

  • Population below poverty line = 32.4%
  • Sex ratio = 912 (rural) /
  • Estimated coverage of safe drinking water (habitations) = 66.1%
  • Villages not connected by paved roads = 52.82%[28]

Beed town —

  • Sex Ratio = 933 /
  • Child see ratio = 843

Beed has a long history as a neglected and backward area. Industrial and economic backwardness, lack of good transport facility, electricity and literacy were the issues in the 1960s and they are the same even today.[20][29] Many elections have been fought with the issue of railway line facility. In the recent times the list of issues has gone up with shortage of drinking water supply and electricity, frequent droughts, failing crops and suicide of farmers, unemployment, corruption and increasing crimes.[20] Beed also records highest power theft in Maharashtra. Nearly 60% power supplied to the district is stolen before it can reach to the consumers who pay for it. Further, unpaid electricity bills runs to almost Rupees 4540 million (about $113 M) .[30]

Social and environmental issues are no different from that of the whole country. Human rights (especially women’s and children’s), child labor, poverty, rising HIV infections, religious strife, human trafficking and sexual abuse are some major social issues of concern in Beed. Sex Ratio in the city is also on decline as is the case of the whole country due to foeticide of female babies.

The district ranks 143rd in literacy in India based on IndianNgos.com research and analysis of 586 districts throughout India.[31][32] On Human Development Index (HDI), using UNDP method, Beed ranks 18th out of 30 districts in the State of Maharashtra, with 0.47 HDI. It is 7th poorest district in the state with Human Poverty Index (HPI) of 21.21.[24] Deforestation, desertification, frequent droughts, shrinking water reservoirs and extreme shortages of drinking water, especially in rural areas are major issues which needs urgent attention. Beed district, according to the official statistics, has only 2.47% forest area, that too of lower quality.[3]

Historical buildings[edit]

Bāb-uz-Zafar (Gate of success) — now known as Kotwali Ves (Kotwali gate) was re-built in 1835 on the western bank of Bendsura. The gate is now in poor condition and the adjacent Fatah Burj on left is almost gone.
This main entrance of Kochak Shah alias Shahinshah Wali tomb was constructed by Amīr Nawāz Jang in 1830.
Mansur Shah tomb in the eastern part of Beed city.
Khazana well about 6 km south of the city.

Kankaleshwar Temple[edit]

It is perhaps the oldest and the most beautiful building in the city. Historians are not sure about the construction period of this temple. The architectural style suggests that it might have been constructed during Yadava period.,[1] most probably during the reign of Singhana (1210–47). The design of this temple has some close similarities to the temples at the famous caves of Ellora. Situated in the middle of a small artificial lake in the eastern part of the city, the temple is built in black stone and is carved with excellent human and divine figures. A fair is held in the grounds of temple during Mahashivratri.

Khazana Well (Kajana Bavdi)[edit]

This historic and famous well is situated about 6 km south of the city. It was constructed in 1583 (991 Islamic Year) by Salābat Khan, a Jagirdar of Beed in the period of Murtaza Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar. It is said that the water level in this well remains unchanged even in droughts.[5] Three currents of water start from the well, two currents keep water in well and one take it out and irrigate the land of Barg o Zār (meaning 'Leaves and Flowers', pronounced in colloquial as Balguzār). During droughts, municipality of the city take water from this well and supply it to some parts of the city and surrounding villages. Salābat Khan also constructed Kāranja (fountains) and a garden in the centre of the city. Tower of Kāranja is still standing in the middle of the city in a very bad condition. Only drawback regarding this well is these days it is getting polluted by frequent usage of people. Few years before water of the well was used to fulfil the thirst because so many water tanks were frequently using water from this well. But its totally polluted. One more interesting fact regarding this well is that people saying the well has 3 outlets. But yet the ends of these outlets are unknown for all. Its need to discover them all. Some people of city saying that one of those 3 outlets is opening at Kankaleshwar Temple area.

Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque)[edit]

This beautiful Masjid is situated in the centre of the city at Quila (fort) and is one of the largest Masjids of Beed city. It was built during the period of Mughal emperor Jahāngīr (1605–27) by his official in Beed Jān Sipār Khan in 1627 (1036 Islamic Year).[5] Constructed completely in stone, it has ten huge domes and four minarets. All the domes are having different designs from inside and does not match with each other. Until recently, the masjid was in poor condition. Some enthusiasts have renovated the masjid by removing the age old whitening layers of calcium and protecting the stone with polish.

Khandoba Temple[edit]

It is situated on the eastern hills. Built in Hemadpanti style. Two symmetrical, octagonal dīpmal (tower of light) rising 21.33 meters (70 ft) are standing in front of the temple. Towers have carved figures of humans and animals, now most of them defaced. There are two stories about the construction of this temple. One says that it was built by Sultanji Nimbalkar a Jagirdar of Nizam era. The other says that it was built by Mahadji Scindia. Tārīkh-e-Bīr (History of Beed) mentions it with Nimbalkar.[9]

Historic Gates[edit]

The city had several gates and a small fort in the past.[5] Now only five are remaining and are in very poor condition. Only one out of several was built in the eastern part in Mahbub Gunj (now Hiralal Chowk). Bab-uz-Zafar (known as Kotwali Ves) is situated at the western bank of river Bensura. This has got its name because a police station (Kotwali) was situated adjacent to the gate. Another gate, which is also in a bad condition, is found at Quila near Milliya campus. Fourth gate is in Bashīr Gunj area and is in a little better condition than the other gates, most probably due to the grave on its Burj which is said to be of some Sufi Buland Shah. The filfth gate is at the bank of Bensura and is in a near collapse condition.

Shahinshah Wali tomb[edit]

Shahinshah Wali was a Sufi of 14th century from Chishtiya clan. He came to Beed during the rule of Muhammad Tughluq. His tomb and surrounding areas were built in different periods from 1385 to 1840. The details can be seen in the history of Beed. It is situated on the eastern elevations. Each year an Urs (fair) is held here on 2nd day of Rabi’ Al-Awwal, third month of Islamic calendar.[5]

Mansur Shah tomb[edit]

Mansur Shah was 18th century Sufi of Suharwardy (سهروردي) clan of Sufis. He is said to be a Dharma Guru (spiritual teacher) of Mahadji Scindia. His tomb is in the eastern part of Beed near Khandeshwari temple. Dome of the shrine is made of marble.[5]

Chronology[edit]

Date Event
13th century (possibly) Beed city was founded.
13th/14th century (possibly) Kankaleshwar temple was built.
1317 Beed falls to the Khiljis as Qutb-ud-Din Mubarak Shah captures Devagiri.
1327 Beed came under Tughluqs.
1341 Emperor Muhammad Tughluq came to the city. On his order the citadel was built, the flow of Bensura was turned to the south, several wells were dug in and around the city and the city was named Bir.
1347 Beed comes under Bahmanid rule as Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah founds Bahmani Sultanate.
1455 (roughly) A fierce war was fought between Humayun Shah Zālim and Hasan Shah in the grounds of Kankaleshwar temple. Ruler Humayun was defeated. Humayun sent another army and the rebel was captured.
1499 Beed was annexed to the Nizam Shahi dynasty of Ahmadnagar after the capture of Daulatabad.
1583 Khazana Well constructed by Salābat Khan.
1598 Mughal captures Beed from Chand Bibi of Ahmadnagar.
1627 Jama Masjid was constructed by Jān Sipār Khan.
1702 Eid Gāh (place of Eid prayer) was built.
1703 New citadel inside the old fort and a new habitation on the eastern heights were built during the rule of Aurangzeb.
1724 Beed became part of Asaf Jahi kingdom (Hyderabad state) as Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah-I seize Deccan.
1739 Qazi Muhammad Fakhruddin writes a detailed history of Beed city by the name 'Riyāz-ul-Abrār' (Garden of the Virtuous) in Urdu.
1818 Rebel brakes under the leadership of Dharmaji Pratap Rao. British Lieutenant John Sutherland comes with army and captures the rebel.
1835 Massive flood hits the city. Kotwali Gate and adjacent wall was re-constructed after damage due to flood.
1858 A small rebel breaks but all the rebels were captured.
1865 Jivanji Ratanji became the first collector of Beed as the feudatory system was abolished by Nizams.
1883 Beed district was formally settled.
1898 A rebel broke under the leadership of Baba Sahab alias Rao Sahab. The rebels were captured.
1898 Qazi Muhammad Qutubullah, a resident and Qazi of Beed wrotes a detailed history of Beed city (Tārīkh-e-Bīr) in Urdu.
1898–1900 Great famine occurs in Beed. Hundreds of humans and thousands of cattle die.
1942 Syed Basit Ali wrotes a brief history of Beed city in Urdu.
1947 India gains independence.
1948 Operation Polo was launched to take the Hyderabad State in the Indian Union on September 12. During the operation communal strife breaks and thousands killed in the carnage.
1949 Bensura project was launched.
1952 Beed Nagar Pālika (Municipal Council) established.
1956 Bendsura project completed.
1962 Beed Zila Parīshad (District Council) came into being.
1969 First Gazette of Beed district under the modern India was published.
1982 Television transmission station was constructed.
1982 Area of 43 villages from Beed district was given to a newly created Latur district.
1989 Massive flood wipes out three habitations in the city. Several died or missing, properties worth of millions of rupees destroyed.
1994 Beed came in headlines world wide after the breakout of Bubonic Plague.
1998 Abdul Hamīd Nathapuri wrote a history of Beed district (Zila Bīr Kī Tārīkh) in Urdu.
2002 23rd National junior Kho-Kho championship was held.
2004 First mobile phone service started in the city.
Panorama of Bensura (Bendsura) Project in Pali near Beed city.

Further reading[edit]

  • Qazi, M. Q. Bīri (1898): Tārīkh-e-Bīr (History of Beed in Urdu).
  • Nathapuri, Abdul Hamīd (1998): Zila Bīr Kī Tarīkh (History of Beed District in Urdu). Asian Printing Press, Gulshan Colony, Jogeshwari (W) Mumbai.
  • Gazette of Beed district (1969) Gazetteers department–Bhir (Beed). Out of print but available online at the government of Maharashtra web site.
  • Official website of Beed district
  • The Imperial Gazetteer of India. New edition, published under the authority of His Majesty's secretary of state for India in council. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1908–1931. Editors – Hunter, William Wilson, Sir, 1840–1900 /Cotton, James Sutherland, 1847–1918 ed./Burn, Richard, Sir, 1871–1947 joint ed./Meyer, William Stevenson, Sir, 1860–1922. joint ed.
  • From the Sundarlal Report Frontline, Volume 18, Issue 05, March 3–16, 2001
  • Noorani, A. G. Of a Massacre Untold. Frontline, Volume 18, Issue 05, March 3–16, 2001

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Gazetteers Department – Bhir". maharashtra.gov.in (Government of Maharashtra). Archived from the original on 24 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  2. ^ "Maharashtra India". citypopulation.de. Retrieved 2014-10-23. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "New Page 4". beed.nic.in. Retrieved 2007-03-04. 
  4. ^ "Gazetteers Department – Bhir". maharashtra.gov.in (Government of Maharashtra). Archived from the original on 24 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Nathapuri, Abdul Hamīd (1998). Zilla Bīr Kī Tārīkh (History of Beed District) (in Urdu). Asian Printing Press, Gulshan Colony, Jogeshwari (W) Mumbai. 
  6. ^ "Amateur Seismic Centre – Pune". Amateur Seismic Centre – Pune. Retrieved 2007-03-04. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Hunter, William Wilson, Sir (1908-19-31). "Bir". The Imperial Gazetteer of India. Oxford, Clarendon Press. pp. 114–117 (volume 8). Retrieved 2007-04-26.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ "Gazetteers Department – Bhir". maharashtra.gov.in (Government of Maharashtra). Archived from the original on 24 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  9. ^ a b c d Quazi M. Q. Bīri (1898). Tārīkh e Bīr (History of Beed) (in Urdu). Quazi M. Q. Bīri. p. 90. 
  10. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica contributor (2007). "Yavana". Encyclopædia Britannica 2007 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. 
  11. ^ Firishta, Muhammad Qasim (1829). History of The Rise of The Mahomedan Power in India. John Briggs (translation from original persian text). Longman, London. Volume I, Page 424. 
  12. ^ "Gazetteers Department – Bhir". maharashtra.gov.in (Government of Maharashtra). Archived from the original on 24 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  13. ^ a b Rizvi, S. M. Jawwād (1992). Riyāsat e Hyderābād mein Jadd o Jahd e Āzādi 1800 – 1900 (Freedom struggle in the state of Hyderabad 1800 – 1900) (in Urdu). Bureau for Promotion of Urdu Language, Ministry of Human Resource Development, India. p. 79. 
  14. ^ "Gazetteers Department – Bhir". maharashtra.gov.in (Government of Maharashtra). Archived from the original on 24 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  15. ^ "From the Sundarlal Report". Frontline. March 3–16, 2001. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  16. ^ Noorani, A. G. (March 3–16, 2001). "Of a massacre untold". Frontline. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  17. ^ "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. 
  18. ^ a b "Empower Poor.Com". Empower Poor.Com. Retrieved 2007-04-20. 
  19. ^ "Mah govt worried over skewed sex ratio in Beed; meet on May 20, IBN Live News". IBN Live. Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  20. ^ a b c d e Srinivasan, S. "Marathwada Profile". Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 5 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-26. 
  21. ^ Justice Sachar, Rajinder (November 2006). Social, Economic, and Educational status of the Muslim community of India, A Report. Prime Minister’s High Level Committee, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India. 
  22. ^ "Crusade Watch". Crusade Watch. Retrieved 2007-02-26. 
  23. ^ "www.mah.nic.in/beed_district/dicothe.html". Government of Maharashtra. Retrieved 2007-11-17. 
  24. ^ a b Kamdar, S. and Basak, A. "Beyond the Human Development Index, Preliminary Notes on Deprivation and Inequality" (PDF). Mumbai University. Retrieved 2007-02-27. [dead link]
  25. ^ "Hospitals Under CIVIL SURGEON BEED". beed.nic.in. Retrieved 2007-03-04. 
  26. ^ Deodhar/ Yemul/ Banerjee (1998). Plague that never was: A review of the alleged Plague outbreaks in India in 1994. Journal of Public Health Policy, Vol. 19, No. 2. 
  27. ^ Alan G. Davies. "Radio Stations in Maharashtra – India". Asiawaves. Archived from the original on 27 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-04. 
  28. ^ "Empower Poor.Com". Empower Poor.Com. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  29. ^ "Gazetteers Department of Beed district". maharashtra.gov.in (Government of Maharashtra). Archived from the original on 24 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  30. ^ "Beed Records Highest Power Theft". Ramachandran, Anupama (NDTV.com). 2006-03-06. Retrieved 2006-03-09. 
  31. ^ "IndianNGOs.com". IndianNGOs.com. Retrieved 2007-03-01. [dead link]
  32. ^ "IndianNGOs.com". IndianNGOs.com. Archived from the original on 2007-03-09. Retrieved 2007-03-01. 

External links[edit]