Sherghati

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Sherghati (Gaya)
शेरघाटी
Saharghati
Sub-Divisional Town
Remains of the fort of the Kol rulers. One of the boundaries of the fort is visible in this picture.
Remains of the fort of the Kol rulers. One of the boundaries of the fort is visible in this picture.
Sherghati (Gaya) is located in Bihar
Sherghati (Gaya)
Sherghati (Gaya)
Location in Bihar, India
Coordinates: 24°34′N 84°47′E / 24.57°N 84.78°E / 24.57; 84.78Coordinates: 24°34′N 84°47′E / 24.57°N 84.78°E / 24.57; 84.78
Country  India
State Bihar
District Gaya
Elevation 121 m (397 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 60,000
Languages
 • Official Magahi, Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Sherghati (formerly Shergotty) is a subdivision-level town of the Gaya district in Bihar, India. The Morhar River surrounds it; that is why the length of the city is much more than the width.

An origin story says that Sher Shah Suri, formerly known as Farid Khan, had hunted a lion at this very place; subsequently Farid was known as Sher Khan, and when he became the ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, defeating Humayun, became Sher Shah. During British rule, Sherghati was a place of administrative importance as a Commissionary headquarters.

The economy of the town is based on trade. Sherghati is a famous market of crops. The farmers of the neighbouring villages come to sell their farm produce, and traders of crops buy them. N.H. 2 passes through the town. This road is also known as Grand Trunk Road, touching Calcutta on the one side and Pashawar (Pakistan) on the other side. This road was renovated in 2007 under the Golden Quadrilateral Project of the Government of India.

A number of freedom fighters belonged to this place. During the Indian Independence struggle, the residents of Sherghati contributed to the movement. The Zamindars of the town contributed by donating land during the Bhudan Movement.

There is one remarkable geographical incident associated with Sherghat. A meteorite that came from Mars fell here in 1865; it is now kept in a London museum and is known as the Shergotty meteorite.

History[edit]

For centuries, until the accession of Akbar to the throne of Delhi, Sherghati had been inhabited by the adivasis that continue to live in the southern state of Jharkhand. The Kol community constituted the majority of the adivasi population of Sherghati.

According to the legend, when Aurangzeb attacked Sherghati after conquering Aurngabad, the brave Kols of Sherghati stopped the Mughal army at the bank of Morhar river and did not let them enter the borders of Sherghati. The two brave soldiers of the Mughal army under the Aurangzeb's rule, Quamar Ali and Sultan Ali were brought to death by the Kols. they were entombed river side near Hamzapur. Now this place is worshiped by both the Hindus and the Muslims. This is probably one the reasons why the towns that come after Sherghati while coming from Aurangabad retain their original adivasi names (Gamharia, Dobhi, Barachatti, Chauparan, etc.) In 1728 Nawab Sarbuland Khan gave pargana Sherghati as jagir to Nawab Azam Khan Rohilla(History of Bihar by Govind Mishra).In 1781 pargana Sherghati was the property of his grandson Raja Ghulam Husain Khan(Gaya tenure report).Imamganj is named after his son Nawab Imam Baksh Khan and Raniganj is named after his wife Umda Rani. Nawab Jehangir Baksh Khan of this family revolted against the British. Babu Yusuf Ali Khan, mukhiya of Khaira, Imamganj belonged to this family.

The Pathan lands and villages are scattered all over Bihar and I concentrated only on the area where Sher Shah Suri lived, which was mostly in and around Patna and Sehsaram. Sher Ghati and villages in that area are reputed for having wild Pathans.

Geography[edit]

Sherghati is located at 24°34′N 84°47′E / 24.57°N 84.78°E / 24.57; 84.78.[1] It has an average elevation of 121 metres (396 feet).

Sherghati is the southern most major town of Bihar. It shares the common boundary with the Chatra district of Jharkhand. The thick forest belt of Jharkhand loses its presence while we reach Sherghati. It has two main rivers one is Morhar and the other is called Sorhar (boodhi nadi) or the old river.

Industries[edit]

Like most of the towns in Bihar, Sherghati is prominently dominated by agri-based industries. The major cash crops produced here are rice, wheat, pulses, groundnut and sugar cane. Industrialization of this area, as is the case with most of Bihar, has largely been neglected by the successive state and central governments. The major reason for the private sector not participating in the process is the lack of basic facilities like electricity, irrigation and roads. Electricity, for example, is available for only 6 to 8 hours per day. This statistic is as per the present scenario, earlier (before 2000) it used to be 2 to 4 hours per day, with several days without any supply.

The top two photographs are of the ruins Sheo Narayan Flour and Oil Mills. The bottom two photographs at the bottom are of the ruins of Arya Steel Udyog (functional till the mid 1900s) that produced iron and steel based equipments for the local agri-based industries.

Around forty to fifty years back, the condition of industries in this area was far better comparatively. Since at that time most of the Indian villages did not have access to electricity, the cost of production for industries in Sherghati was almost the same as in other villages. But as soon as electricity reached the remote villages in other parts of the country, the industrialists (though small-scale) in Sherghati faced fierce competition from them, and this led to the closure of industries that had just started to flourish in this area. One typical example is the closure of Sheo Narayan Flour and Oil Mills, which was situated in the Gola Bazar area of Sherghati. It was started in the 1950s by Ram Sharan Prasad Arya, a local businessman. At that time there were only two or three oil mills in the entire Gaya District. The entire plant was imported from England via Calcutta. But the functioning of the mill was finally stopped in the 1980s after a series of interruptions.

At present there is probably no industry (even small-scale) in Sherghati that can boast of a considerable growth rate. Although Sherghati has potential to grow on this front, it still lacks in law and order implementation. Now some development witnessed the progress of the area especially in the communication. Entrepreneurship is the up-and-coming major employment sector of the area, and there are a few success stories.

Land reforms[edit]

Sherghati has always been in the news for Communist uprisings in the area. Sherghati is the home of various extremist organisations like Naxalites, MCC (Maoist Communist Centre), PWG (Peoples War Group), etc. and their counterparts, the Ranvir Sena.

In 1952, the Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act was passed, and a large portion of the Sherghati Estate (Darbar House), which was owned by Babu Panchratan Lal, Babu Brijmohan Lal and Shiv Prasad Rauniyar was handed over to the government. They were the zamindars of Sherghati region and occupied a lot of land in the area.still the famous and rich area of sherghati is darbar house (SPA). Babu Panchratan Lal's granddaughter Asha Rani is married to Siyaram Saran the fourth son of Acharya Ramlochan Saran.

But the discontent of the underprivileged, landless and the unemployed sections remained even after the reforms. The crumbling industries give rise to extreme unemployment, in addition to the rapidly growing population. These people mostly belong to the SC/ST or the OBC. In most cases, they join the extremist organisations, mentioned earlier, as an alternative to earn their livelihoods.

Demographics[edit]

As of 2011 India census,[2] Sherghati had a population of 60,000. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Sherghati has an average literacy rate of 70%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 80%, and female literacy is 66%. In Sherghati, 19% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Health Services[edit]

The health care facilities in Sherghati like any other town is poorly maintained and lacks basic medical amenities. A private nursing home is situated in the Naya Bazar area of the city is the only maternity center which has all the modern facilities such as Sonography, Autoanalyser as well as well-equipped Operation Room and Labour Room. A nursing home is run by senior physician of Subdivisional Hospital Dr.Shahabuddin at Gola Bazar Road. Government of Bihar also runs a hospital which caters poor to lower middle class families.

Education[edit]

The condition of the education machinery in Sherghati has become slightly better (at least at the school level). On 29 Dec 2014, Ranglal High School celebrated Shatabdi Samaroh, A memoir has also been published on the occasion of the function.Since the DAV Public School opened its branch in the town (around 1992) Holy Family Public School in 1997 and Gurukul Residential in 2002. In spite of the dreary education system in Sherghati, there have been people who went places in search of higher studies. Birendar kumar s/o Anirudh Vishwakarma, (Gola Bazar) a student of engineering has got distinction in 2014. He was student of Gandhi Group of Institutions Technical, Orissa. Aditya Prasad (of the Sherghati Darbar House) was among the first in the town to get a degree in engineering, in London in 1924. Subodh Kumar Gupta I.A.S. Jharkhand Cadre and noted storyteller Prabhat Manjudarshi also hails from the Darbar House family. Nawak Hamzapuri of nearby village Hamzapur has established himself as a stalwart in Urdu World, He has written at least 115 books.

Schools
Ranglal High School

DAV Public School, Sherghati

Auxilium Educational Academy, Lodi Shaheed, Sherghati (Co-Education)

Computer center, Gola Bazar Sherghati

  • Magadh Central School (Residential)
  • Shastri High School (Previously Shastri Shikcha Nikketan)
  • ABTECH Computers (Apna Bazar Sherghati)
  • Bal Vikash Niketan (Satsang Nagar)
  • Royal Public School
  • DAV Public School (co-education)
  • Rajkiya Abhyaas Buniyadi Vidyalay (Basic School)
  • Gurukul Residential Schooll
  • Gyan Bharti Residential Public School, Run by a well known academician Satish Kumar Sharma
  • Tiny Flower Academy(Play School)
  • Heaven Flower Academy, Hamzapur, Sherghati
  • Anugrah Narayan Shahdev High School (Gamharia)
  • Adarsh Academy (Manjhauli,Dumaria)
  • Zenith Public School (Gamharia)
  • Urdu Public School (Gamharia)
  • Ramlal & Syam Lal Sanskrit Vidyalaya (Mahmadpur)
  • Gyan Deep Public School
  • Heaven flower academy, jail road, hamzapur, sherghati
  • Sir Syed Memorial School, Karma, bhadeya
  • Gautam Buddha Public school
  • Tiny Flower Academy, PIPARPATI Road
  • Educare Public School at satsang nagar
Girls' schools
  • Manorama Kanya Middle school
  • Girls High School
Training schools
  • District Training School (for teachers)
Colleges
  • Mahant Shatanand Giri college, Hamzapur, Sherghati
  • Dr. Zakir Hussain, Evening College, Hamzapur, Sherghati.
  • Colour craft- A School of Designing & Printing

References[edit]