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|Founded by||King.Ambrishi Raja|
|Area code||(+91) 2184|
Barshi is a town and a Municipal Council in Solapur district in the state of Maharashtra, India. It is Situated in 18°13' north latitude and 75°41' east longitude north-west of Solapur, the district headquarters. Barshi is a municipal town and a headquarters of a taluka bearing the same name. Being the headquarters of a taluka the offices of the Mamlatdar and the Block Development Officer are located at Barshi. It is also a seat of the Civil Judge (Junior Division) and First Class Judicial Magistrate. There is a separate police station for the town only. It is a railway station on the Latur-Kurduwadi narrow gauge section of the South-Central railway. The railway itself was known as Barshi Light Railway. Wells and a tank form the main sources of water-supply. Scarcity of drinking water is often felt. A weekly market which is also a cattle market is held at Barshi on every Saturday.
It is a headquarters and the largest city in Barshi Taluka. It is famous in the region for its quality toor dal (lentil) production and other agriculture products. The town is traditionally considered as a gateway to the neighboring region "Marathwada". Barshi has one of two temples dedicated to Vishnu as Lord Bhagvant; the other is at Varanasi or Kashi. Barshi has also twelve Jyotirlinga such as Uttareshwar, Bhogeshwari, Baleshwar and so on. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama traveled through here while going to Sri Lanka.
Barshi had three cotton textile mills, although only one survives. The three were Rajan Mill, Lokmanya Mill and Barshi Textile Mill (called BTM - Old Name JaiShankar Mills Ltd.). The last one is now managed by NTC- previously managed by Rao Bahadur Ganpatrao Zadbuke alias Kakasaheb. Barshi is also known for its wholesale trading market, called "Krishi Utapanna Bazar Samiti (adhat bazzar)". Farmer and cattle owners come to Barshi from all over to sell raw commodities, crops, vegetables, fruits, animals, and animal products to wholesale buyers, who then sell to big city traders. It is emerging as a regional education centre with reputed educational institutes.
Nargis Dutt Memorial Cancer Hospital, initiated by film actor Sunil Dutt, is situated in Barshi. It has state-of-the-art facilities and is funded privately (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) as well as by the government. The hospital is also linked to Tata Memorial Hospital for Cancer Research, Parel-Mumbai. Dr. B.M Nene took the responsibility as the head of hospital since founded. This campus of 50 acres donated by Utreshwar alias Baburao Kathale, brother of Balasaheb Naganath Kathle, grandfather of Anand Zadbuke, this hospital is run by Sarumanga Utreshwar Kathle Trust.
The great spiritual guru of Kundalini Shakti, the late Vamanrao Gulawani Maharaj, lived in Barsi for almost 12 years while he worked as a young school teacher in a local high school. Barshi was ruled by the Bhonsale dynasty of the Marathas.
The history written here was of a different place called Barshi Takali. That place is situated in Akola district whereas this place called only Barshi and situated in Solapur district.
As of 2011[update] India census, Barshi had a population of 118,722. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Barshi has an average literacy rate of 71%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 56% of the males and 44% of females literate. 12% of the population is under 6 years of age. It had, as per the Census of 1971, a total population of 62,374 souls.
The municipality was established at Barshi in 1865. It covers an area of 14 square miles (36 km2) and is now governed under the Maharashtra Municipalities Act, 1965. The municipal council is composed of thirty-three members with three seats being reserved for women and two for scheduled castes. The municipal council has six committees: the standing committee, the public works committee, the education committee, the sanitation, medical and public health committee, the water-supply and drainage committee and the planning and development committee to look after the various aspects of municipal administration. The Chief Officer is the executive head of the municipality and is assisted by the Health Officer, the Municipal Engineer, the Octroi Superintendent, the Internal Auditor and the Chief Accountant and other ministerial staff.
For public convenience the municipality maintains two vegetable markets, one mutton market and one fish market. The open-air theatre-cum-mangal Karyalaya has been constructed at a cost of about Rs. 67,000. The municipality conducts one hospital and an ayurvedic dispensary. The veterinary dispensary is managed by the Zilla Parishad. Primary education has been made compulsory in the town and is conducted by the municipal school board. The municipality spends annually about Rs. 4,00,000 on primary education. The underground drainage system has not been introduced in the town as yet. There are open and covered gutters and the arrangements are made by the municipal council for the removal of night-soil. Wells and the Pathari tank form the main sources of water-supply. Pumping sets have been installed on wells within the municipal area. The municipality maintains one fire-fighter and the necessary staff. The total length of roads in the municipal limit is approximately 46 kilometres (29 mi), of which a length of about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) is asphalted, about 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) metalled and about 18 kilometres (11 mi) unmetalled. The cremation and burial places are maintained by the municipality.
About Bhagvant Temple
The temple was built in 1245 A.D. in Hemadpanthi style. There are four entries to the temple from all the four directions, but the main entry is east-facing.
There is one GARUDKHAMB in front of Garbhagraha. The idol of main deity Shri Bhagvant is in black stone having SHANKH, CHAKRA andGADA is in the hands and picture of devotee king Ambrish below the right hand. Shri Laxmi is on the back of Bhagvant idol. Shivlinga is there on the forehead and marks of Footsteps of Bhrigu Rishi on the chest of the deity.
There are old records showing the grants released by Shri Nanasaheb Peshve in the year 1760, by East India Company in 1823 and by British Government in 1784.
The temple management is looked after by a Panch Committee. Badves carry out the work of daily rituals of the temple. The daily rituals include Kakada Arti, Nitya Puja, Mahapuja in the morning, Dhuparti in the evening and Shejarti in the night.
Large number of devotees visit during the Chaitri, Maghi, Aashadi & kartiki (Hindu Months) Ekadashi.
During the Aashadi & Kartiki Ekadashi a large procession is taken out covering the town with Bhagvant riding on Garuda. A CHABINA is taken out on every full moon day.
Ritual at Sri Bhagawanta Mandir:
Every morning at five Lord Bhagawanta is woken up with the Kakad arati adorations to the accompaniment of the sound of the cymbals. Several devotees, both men and women, attend these morning devotions. They bring the offerings of sugar, fruits, milk, curds and butter. The traditional honour of the Kakad of Bhagawant Mandir is with Sri Dattatreya Krishnath Patil. The priest is particular about continuing this convention. It was Sri Bhaurao Tatya Patil who took up the onus of Bhagawant Kakad way back, a tradition that has been passed down the generations.
At the time of Kakad arati, the Lord is first adored with ghee lamps and then the priest changes the cloak and offerings of fruits and sugar are made. The lotus feet of the Lord are washed with warm water. Incense is waved, milk offered in silver vessel and then a pancharati performed. After this Sri Ganapati and Varun are worshipped with blowing of conch. The priest puts a blob of butter in Lord’s mouth. Then He is anointed with milk, curds, ghee, sugar and honey. Lord Bhagawanta is given a bath with water showered out of His silver pail. This water is considered equal in merit to Bhagirathi and sprinkled upon the devotees assembled. After this follows the karpur arati and hymns and praises are sung by the devotees. After the Lord has bathed and put on new clothes, He is given an offering of khichadi. This is being taken care of by the local business community— Sri Nanasaheb Budukh and Sri Balasaheb Kokate are looking at this aspect presently.
In the afternoon, the Brahmins of town, Deshpande, Joshi, Patil, Deshmukh etc. provide the naivedya/repast for Lord Bhagawanta. The priests bring this from the homes of the respective families. Many are the offerings made on occasions such as Gudi Padva, Dasera, Diwali etc.
The city is well known in the region for its state of the art educational institutions and nearby districts and tehsils depends upon these educational facilities. Major Pre Schools - 1 Shishuvihar Barshi.
Major Primary Schools - 1. Navin Marathi Vidyalaya, Barshi 2. Nutan Marathi Vidyalaya, Barshi 3. Jijamata Primary School, Barshi 4. Mahatma Phule Primary School, Barshi 5. MIT's Smt. Prayag Karad Vishwashanti English Medium Primary School, Barshi 6. Datta Prathmik Vidyamandir, Vaiduwadi, Barshi Apart from these there are 19 primary schools run by Municipality. Most are Marathi medium but 2 Urdu and 1 Gujarati medium schools are also there.
Major High Schools - 1 Sulakhe High School, Barshi 2 Barshi Technical High School, Barshi 3 New High School, Barshi 4 Maharashtra Vidyalaya, Barshi 5 Silver Jubilee High School, Barshi 6 Anglo-Urdu High School, Barshi 7 Adarsh Highschool, Shendri. 8 Model High School, Barshi
Junior and Senior Colleges - 1 Shree Shivaji Mahavidyalaya (Shri Shivaji Sikshan Prasarak Manadal - founded by Karmaveer Mamasaheb Jagdale) 2 Shriman Bhausaheb Zadbuke College 3 B.P. Sulakhe Commerce College - SSSPM's Polytechnic, Barshi - Karmveer Institute of Information Technology(K.I.I.T.)
These institutions serves the higher educational needs of the town as well as surrounding region. Sarvodaya Shikshan Prasarak Mandal, Chare is one of the educational institute run Schools and collages in Barshi Taluka. The Junior Collage of education (Adhyapak Vidyalaya Chare)Chare is one of oldest D. Ed. collage founded by Mr Sambhajirao Jagdale and Late Shree Madhukar Kisan More (sir).
Barshi is one of the best leading centers in the field of IT.
There are about 35 Computer Institutes like Shree Computers, Suyash Computers, Promtech Computers, Samarth computers keeping city up to date. There are also various institutions providing competitive professional education such as BA, B.Com, BSC, BCA, BCS, B.P.Ed, M.P.Ed, M.Sc, Agri, Engg, Diploma, ATD, Pharmacy, ITI, etc.
Recently renowned educationalist Dr. Vishwanath Karad announced his plans to establish state of the art Medical institution in the city. ( at the place of old textile mill - Lokmanya Mills)
Technical Education: BIIT Engineering college,Barshi S.S.S.P.M Polytechnic, Barshi provides Diploma courses in the stream of Industrial Electronics, Civil and Computer sciences. This is one of the very few institute offering diploma course in Industrial Electronics department. At the place of KIIT which becomes now School of Nursing which gives diploma in nursing.
- Tushar Polytechnic, Vairag.
Barshi was the original terminus of the 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge Barsi Light Railway, constructed by British engineer Everard Calthrop. The Barsi Light Railway opened in 1897 and was extended on a number of occasions until it reached a total length of 202 miles (337 km) in 1927. The example of the Barsi Light Railway is regarded as having revolutionised the narrow gauge railway system of Indian subcontinent. The railway continued to operate as a narrow gauge railway until conversion to broad gauge began in the late 1990s as part of Indian Railways conversion program for most metre and narrow gauge lines.
The conversion of the narrow gauge track of the Barshi Light Railway to broad gauge was partly completed in 2007. The converted track from Latur to Osmanabad opened in September 2007. The converted track from Osmanabad to Kurduvadi was opened in October 2008. The Kurduvadi-Latur route connects Barshi to Parbhani, Solapur, Pune and Mumbai and hence to the national rail grid. Mumbai-Latur, Pune-Hyderabad and Pandharpur-Nizamabad trains operate on this route.
Barshi town is connected to Solapur, Ahmednagar, Beed, Osmanabad, Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Latur towns by road. In the Barshi tehsil, Agalgaon, Pangaon, Vairag, Pangri, Khamgaon, Kari, Mamdapur, Chikharde, Gormale, Kuslamb, Jamgaon(A), Nari etc., are the important villages.
Epilogue about Narrow Gauge
The Narrow Gauge Track from Kurduwadi to Barshi used to pass through streets of Barshi Town. The Track was in parallel and touching the State Highway between Barshi and Kurduwadi. On conversion to Broad gauge the entire alignment is changed and is 3 to 4 kilometres away from old narrow gauge alignment and stations in between have been built at different location.After gauge conversion Barshi Station is located at different location due to change of alignment and railway line does not cross Barshi City and the station is located 6-kilometres away from Town. The new Barshi railway Station construction is also delight to watch as it done keeping the nature contour and using it to maximum advantage
Barshi has many brick factories in the area of Subhash nagar.
- "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.
- http://solapur.gov.in/htmldocs/1977/places_Barshi.html Barshi information
- Hughes, Hugh 1994 Indian Locomotives Pt. 3, Narrow Gauge 1863-1940. Continental Railway Circle.
- Bhandari, R R. "Steam in History". The IRFCA Server. Indian Railways Fan Club. Archived from the original on 6 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
- Marshall, Lawrence C., 2001 Indian Narrow Gauge Steam Remembered Plateway Press, East Harling
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Barsi.|