From Indpaedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Hindi English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish


Satara District

This article has been extracted from



Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts. Some units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.

District in the Central Division of the Bombay Presidency, lying between 16 48' and 18 n' N, and 73 36' and 74 58' E,, with an area of 4,825 square miles. It is bounded on the north by the States of Bhor and Phaltan and the Nlra river, separat- ing it from Poona; on the east by Sholapur District and the States of Aundh and Jath; on the south by the river Varna, separating it from the States of Kolhapur and Sangli, and by a few villages of Belgaum District; and on the west, along the Western Ghats, by the Districts of Kolaba and Ratnagiri.

Physical aspects

From Mahabaleshwar in the north-west corner of the District, 4,717 feet above the sea, start two hill ranges of equal height and nearly at right angles to each other one the main range aspects ^ tne Western Ghats running towards the south for sixty miles, and the other the Mahadeo range of hills, which, going first in an easterly and then in a south-easterly direction, extends towards the eastern boundary, where it sinks gradually into the plain. These hills throw out numerous spurs over the District, forming the valleys of the several streams which make up the head- waters of the KISTNA, one of the largest rivers in Southern India. Except near Mahabaleshwar, and in the valley of the Koyna, the hills of the District are very low and have a strikingly bare and rugged aspect. The Mahadeo range, even in the rainy season, is but scantily covered with verdure. The hills are bold and abrupt, presenting in many cases bare scarps of black rock and looking at a distance like so many fortresses. The highest point of the Western Ghats in the District is MAHABALESHWAR. The crest of the range is guarded by five forts : PRATAPGARH the northernmost, Makarandgarh 7 miles south, Jangli-Jaigarh 30 miles south of Makarandgarh, Bhairavgarh TO miles south of Jangli-Jaigarh, and Prachitgarh about 7 miles south of Bhairavgarh.

Within Satara limits are two river systems : the Bhlma system in a small part of the north-east, and the Kistna system throughout the rest of the District. A narrow belt beyond the Mahadeo hills drains north into the Nira, and the north-east corner of the District drains south-east along the Man. The total area of the Bhlma system, including part of the Wai tahtka^ the whole of Phaltan, and the tahika of Man, is probably about 1,100 miles, while the area of the Kistna system is 4,000. Of the Kistna's total length of 800 miles, 150 are within this District. It rises on the eastern brow of the Mahabaleshwar plateau. The six feeders on the right bank of the Kistna are the Kudali, Vena, Urmodi, Tarli, Koyna, and Varna; the two on the left are the Vasna and Yerla. Of the Bhlma river system, the chief Satara representatives are the Nira in the north and the Man in the north-east.

The Nira rises within the limits of the State of Bhor, and running through Wai, Phaltan, and Malsiras in Sholapur, after a total length of 130 miles, falls into the Bhlma. The Man river rises in the hills in the north-west of the Man tahtka t and, after a course of 100 miles through that taluka and the Atpadi mahal of Aundh State and through Sangola and Pandharpur in Sholapur, joins the BhTma at Sarkoli, 10 miles south-east of Pandharpur.

The whole of Satara lies within the Deccan trap area. As in other parts of the Western Deccan, the hills are layers of soft or amygdaloid trap, separated by flows of hard basalt and capped by laterite or iron- clay.

The botanical features of Satara are similar to those of adjacent Deccan Districts. The spurs and slopes that branch east from the Western Ghats are covered by teak mixed with brush-wood. As is usual in the Deccan, the cultivated parts have but few trees, though mango groves are common near towns and villages. Most of the roadsides are well shaded with avenues of banian and mango. Several types of flowering plant are found on the hills, notably the Capfaris, Hibiscus^ Impatiens, Crotalaria^ Indigo/era^ Smithia, Kalanchoe^ Ain- mania, Senecio^ Lobelia, Jasminum, as well as fine examples of the orchid family. Oranges, limes, figs, and pomegranates are widely grown ; but an attempt to introduce European fruit trees at Panchgani has met with indifferent success. Mahabaleshwar strawberries have gained a well-deserved reputation.

In the west near the Sahyadris, chiefly in the Koyna valley and the Mala pass hills, are found the tiger, leopard, bear, and a few sambar and small deer. In the east antelope or black buck, and the chinkara or Indian gazelle, are met with in certain sparsely populated tracts. Common to both east and west are the hare, monkey, and hog. The Vena, Kistna, Koyna, and Varna rivers are fairly stocked with fish. Game-birds are not numerous, the chief being the common sand- grouse, the painted partridge, common grey partridge, quail, and snipe. From December to March the demoiselle crane is to be found in flocks on some of the rivers and reservoirs. Herons and egrets are common. Of the ibis four species, and of duck seven species, are to be seen on the larger rivers.

According to the height above, and distance from, the sea, the climate varies in different parts of the District. In the east, especially in the months of April and May, the heat is considerable. But near the Ghats it is much more moderate, being tempered by the sea-breeze. The temperature falls as low as 58 in January and reaches 100 and over in May. During the south-west monsoon the fresh westerly breeze makes the climate agreeable. Again, while few parts of India have a heavier and more continuous rainfall than the western slope of the Western Ghats, in some of the eastern tahikas the supply is very scanty. The average annual rainfall at Mahabaleshwar is nearly 300 inches, while in Satara town it is only 41 inches, and in some places farther east it is as little as 20 inches. The west of the Dis- trict draws almost its whole rain-supply from the south-west monsoon between June and October. Some of the eastern talukas^ however, have a share in the north-east monsoon, and rain falls there in Novem- ber and December. The May or ' mango ' showers, as they are called, also influence the cultivator's prospects.


It seems probable that, as in the rest of the Bombay Deccan and Konkan, the Andhra or Satavahana kings (200 B.C.-A.D. 218), and History P r obably their Kolhapur branch, held Satara till the third or fourth century after Christ. For the nine hundred years ending early in the fourteenth century with the Muham- madan overthrow of the Deogiri Yadavas, no historical information regarding Satara is available; and most of the Devanagari and Kanarese inscriptions which have been found on old temples have not yet been translated. Still, as inscribed stones and copperplates have been found in the neighbouring Districts of Ratnagiri and Belgaum and the State of Kolhapur, it is probable that the early and Western Chalukyas held Satara District from about 550 to 750; the Rashtrakutas to 973; the Western Chalukyas, and under them the Kolhapur Silaharas, to about 1190; and the Deogiri Yadavas till the Muhammadan conquest of the Deccan about 1300.

The first Muhammadan invasion took place in 1294, and the Yadava dynasty was overthrown in 1318. The Muhammadan power was then fairly established, and in 1347 the Bahmani dynasty rose to power. On the fall of the Bahmanis towards the end of the fifteenth century, each chief set up for himself; the Bijapur Sultans finally asserted themselves, and under them the Marathas arose. Satara, with the adjacent Districts of Poona and Sholapur, formed the centre of the Maratha power. It was in this District and in the adjacent tracts of the Konkan that many of the most famous acts in Maratha history occurred. Sivaji first became prominent by the murder of the Raja of Javli close to Mahabaleshwar, and by the capture of the strong fort of Vasota and the conquest of Javli. He then built the stronghold of Pratapgarh (1656), against which the Bijapur Sultan directed a large force under Afzal Khan with the object of subduing his rebellious vassal. Sivajl met Afzal Khan in a conference underneath the walls of Pratapgarh, slew him with the famous vdgk-nak (steel tiger's claw), and routed his army in the confusion which ensued. Numerous acqui- sitions of territory followed, including the capture of Satara in 1673 i and Sivaji shortly found himself in a position to organize an indepen- dent government, placing his capital at Raigarh, where he was crowned in 1674. On the death of Sivaji in 1680 the fortune of the Marathas was temporarily overshadowed.

Dissensions occurred between his sons Rajaram and Sambhaji ; and though the latter, as the elder, estab- lished his claim to succeed, he was surprised and captured by the Mughals under Aurangzeb in 1689, and put to death. Rajaram was equally unable to stay the advance of the emperor, and in 1700 the capture of Satara crowned the efforts of Aurangzeb to reassert his power in the Maratha territory. In 1707 Auiangzeb died, and Sam- bhaji's son Sahu was released. Aided by his minister Balaji Viswanath, the first of the Peshwas, he secured Sivajfs possessions in the face of the opposition of Tara Bai, Rajaram's widow. The remainder of Sahu's reign was devoted to freeing himself from the power of Delhi, and asserting his right to levy chaitth and sardeshmuhhi in outlying portions of the Deccan. He was gradually superseded in authority by his able minister the Peshwa, who, on his death in 1749, removed the Maratha capital to Poona. Titular kings continued to reside at Satara until the power of the Peshwa was broken in 1818.

The territory was thereupon annexed; but the British, with a politic generosity, freed the titular Maratha Raja (the descendant of Sivaji) from the Peshwa's control, and assigned to him the principality of Satara. Captain Grant Duff was appointed his tutor until he should gain some experience in rule. In April, 1822, the Satara territory was formally handed over to the Raja, and thenceforward was managed by him entirely. After a time he became impatient of the control exer- cised by the British Government ; and as he persisted in intriguing and holding communications with other princes, in contravention of his engagements, he was deposed in 1839, and sent as a state prisoner to Benares, and his brother Shah j I was placed on the throne. This prince, who did much for the improvement of his people, died in 1848 without male heirs \ and after long deliberation it was decided that the State should be resumed by the British Government. Liberal pen- sions were granted to the Raja's three widows, and they were allowed to live in the palace at Satara. The survivor of these ladies died in 1874. During the Mutiny a widespread conspiracy was discovered at Satara to restore the Maratha power with assistance from the North;" but the movement was suppressed with only trifling disturbances.

Besides the Buddhist caves near KARAD and WAI there are groups of caves and cells, both Buddhist and Brahmanical, at Bhosa in Tas- gaon, Malavdi in the Man taluka^ Kundal in the State of Aundh, Patan in Patan, and Pateshwar in Satara. Wai is locally believed to be Vairatnagari, the scene of the thirteenth year of exile of the Pandavas. Satara, Chandan, and Vandan forts, situated 10 miles north-east of Satara, were built by the Panhala kings about 1190.

Except the Jama Masjid at Karad and a mosque in Rahimatpur the District has no Musalman remains. Sivaji built a few forts in Satara to guard the frontiers. The best known of these are the Mahiman- garh fort in Man to guard the eastern frontier, Pratapgarh in Javli to secure access to his possessions on the banks of the Nlra and the Koyna and to strengthen the defences of the Par pass, and Vardhan- garh. The District has a number of Hindu temples recently built at places of great sanctity, e.g. Mahuli, Wai, and Mahabaleshwar.


The number of towns and villages in the District is 1,343. Its population at each of the last four enumerations has fluctuated as follows: (1872) 1,062,121, (1881) 1,062,350, (1891) 1,225,989, and (1901) 1,146,559. The decrease in 1901 was due to famine, and also to plague. The distribution of the population by ialukas in 1901 is shown below:


The Agricultural department's returns give the total number of villages as 1,358.

The towns are SATARA, the head-quarters, WAI, ASHTA, ISLAMPUR, KARAD, TASGAON, MHASVAD, and MAHABALESHWAR. The average den- sity of population is 238 persons per square mile ; but the Man tdfaka, which is the most precarious, has only 103 persons per square mile.

Maiathl is the prevailing vernacular being spoken by 95 per cent of the people. Hindus include 95 per cent, of the total and Musalmans 3 per cent., the proportion of the latter being lower than in any othei District in the Presidency. The Jains, who number 18,483, are met with chiefly in the villages in the south of the Valva and Tasgaon talukas. They bear the reputation of being laborious agriculturists, and contrast favourably with their neighbours the Marathas and Maratha Kunbis. They represent a survival of the early Jainisni, which was once the religion of the rulers of the kingdoms of the Carnatic.

Of the Hindu population, 584,000, or 54 pei cent., are Marathas or Maratha Kunbis ; 92,000, or 8 per cent., are Mahars 46,000, or 4 per cent., Brahmans ; and 45,000, or 4 per cent,, Dhangars, or shepherds, who arc mostly to be found in the hilly tract. Of the remainder, the following castes are of importance . Chamars or leather-workers (i 7,000), Kumhars or potters (12,000), Lingayats (29,000), Malls or gardencis (28,000), Mangs (26,000), Nhavis or barbers (i 5, ooo),Ramoshis (21,000), and Sutars or carpenters (u,ooo). The Marathas or Maratha Kunbis, during the period of the Maratha ascendancy (1674-1817), furnished the majority of the fighting men. The Mavlas, Sivajfs best soldieis, were diawn from the ghatmatha ('hill-top') portion of the District. During the last half-century they have become quiet and orderly, living almost entirely by agriculture. Dark-skinned, and as a rule small, they are active and capable of enduring much fatigue. Brahmans, largely employed as priests or government servants, are found in large numbers in the towns of Satara and Wai. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people, supporting 73 per cent, of the total ; 1 2 per cent, are supported by industry, and i per cent, by commerce.

In 1901, 975 native Christians were enumerated, chiefly in Javli, Koregaon, Satara, and Wai. The American Mission began woik in the District in 1834, when a girls' school was opened at Maha- baleshwar. Till 1849 the school was removed to Satara every year during the rainy season. Since 1849 Satara has had resident mis- sionaries.


The soils belong to three mam classes red in the hills and black and light in the plains. The black soil, which is generally found near the river banks, is most widely distributed in the .

Kistna valley, making it the richest garden and ' dry- g ICU crop ' land in the District. Near the heads of the streams which issue from the Western Ghats, the red soil of the valleys yields most of the rice grown in the District.

Satara is mostly ryotwdrf, about one-fifth of the total area being inam or jdglr land. The chief statistics of cultivation in 1903-4 are shown in the following table, in square miles ; *


  • This figuie is based on the most recent information. Statistics aie not available

foi 335 square miles of this area.

Joivar and bdjra^ the staple food of the people, occupy 1,479 square miles in almost equal proportions. Rice-fields (69) are found in the valleys of the Ghats, especially along the Koyna river. Wheat occupies 77 square miles. In the west, ragi (69) and vari (69) are the chief crops. Pulses occupy 478 square miles, chiefly gram, tur^ kidith^ udid, nw& and math. In the Kistna valley sugar-cane and ground-nuts are extensively cultivated. Chillies occupy 14 square miles, and cotton covers 28 square miles in the east of the District. At Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani potatoes and strawberries are grown for the Poona and Bombay markets. Tobacco is an important crop in Satara, occupying 8,000 acres.

In 1860 an experiment was made in the cultivation of Imfhi (Eolctis sauharatits) or Chinese sugar-cane. The crop reached a height of 8 feet and was much appreciated. During the ten years ending 1904, more than 16 lakhs was advanced to the cultivators under the Land Improvement and Agriculturists' Loans Acts. Of this sum, 9 lakhs was advanced during the three years ending 1901-2.

Satara has two breeds of cattle, the local and the khilari, which is said to come from the east. Though larger and more muscular, the khilari is somewhat more delicate and short-lived than the local cattle. The valley of the Man used to be famous for its horses. All interest in horse-breeding has now died out, and, except in the case of the chiefs and wealthy landowners, the animals ridden are seldom more than ponies. Sheep and goats are bred locally, few of them either coming into the District or leaving it. Goats are valued chiefly for their milk. One breed of goats whose long hair is twisted into ropes is kept by Dhangars. Surat goats are occasionally imported. Pigs are reared by Vadars and Kaikadis, and donkeys as pack-animals by Lamanis, Kumbars, and Vadars. Mules are used as pack-animals sparingly, and camels are rarely seen.

A total area of 154^ square miles, or 6 per cent., was irrigated in 1903-4, the principal sources of supply being Government canals and channels (n square miles), tanks and wells (88), other sources (55^). The chief irrigation works are : the Kistna, Chikhli, and Rewari canals, the Yerla and Man river works, and the lakes at Mhasvad and Mayni. The Kistna canal, which has its head-works 2 miles above Karad, has an unfailing supply of water, and irrigates 6 square miles in the talukas of Karad, Valva, and Tasgaon. The works, which cost 8 lakhs, were opened in 1868, and can supply 12,000 acres. The Chikhli, Rewari, and Gondoli canals cost respectively Rs. 57,000, Rs. 59,000, and 4 lakhs, and can supply 1,500, 1,900, and 2,000 acres. The Yerla river works, begun in 1867 and finished in 1868, the right-bank canal being 9 and the left 8-J- miles long, are supplemented by the Nehra lake, finished in 1880-1, with a capacity of 523,000,000 cubic feet. The whole scheme involved a cost of nearly 8 lakhs up to 1903-4, and commands an irrigable area of 5,000 acres. The Mhasvad lake, having a catchment area of 480 square miles and a full supply depth of 67 feet, completed at a cost of nearly 21 lakhs, covers an area of 6 square miles and can hold 2,633,000,000 cubic feet of water. It includes a large lake on the river Man in the Man taluka^ and also a high-level canal (13 miles long) commanding the area between the Man and the Bhlma. The Mayni lake, on a tributary of the Yerla, cost about 4 lakhs, and commands 4,800 acres.

The water-supply in the west is plentiful, but there is much scarcity in the east during the hot season. The supply comes partly from rivers and partly from numerous ponds and wells. It is estimated that there are 32,600 wells in the District, of which 27,000 are used for irrigation. The cost of building wells varies greatly. They are of every description, from holes sunk in the rock or soil to carefully built wells faced with stone.


Forests cover an area of 702 square miles (including one square mile of protected forest), of which 616 square miles in charge of the Forest department are administered by a divisional and a subdivisional officer. The forests are scattered over the District, and are much broken by private and cultivated land. In the west, the belt of evergreen forest along the line of the Western Ghats is divided into six fairly compact ranges with little cultivated land between. The seven eastern ranges are bare hills, with here and there a little scrub and teak. The forests of the western talukas have a large store of timber and firewood. Jdmbul, gela ( Vangueria sfinosa), and pesha (Cylicodaphne Wightiand) grow on the main ridge of the Western Ghats, and small teak on the eastern slopes. Sandal-wood is occasionally found, and the mango, jack, and guava are often grown for their fruit. Patches of bamboo sometimes occur. A cinchona

VOL. XXII. I plantation; established in Lingmala near Mahabaleshwar, has proved a failure, In 1903-4 the forest levenue amounted to Rs, 46,000.


Iron is found in abundance on the Mahabaleshwar and Mahadeo hills, and was formerly worked by the Musalman tribe of Dhavads. Owing, however, to the fall in the value of iron and mera s. ^ r i se j n t h e p r j ce O f f ue i } smelting is now no longer carried on. Manganese occurs embedded in laterite in the neighbour- hood of Mahabaleshwar. The other mineral products are building stone (trap in the plains and laterite on the hills), road-metal, and limestone.

Trade and Communication

Cotton is spun by women of the Kunbi, Mahar, and Mang castes. The yarn thus prepared is made up by Hindu weavers of the Sali or Koshti caste, and by Muhammadans, into cloth, . ta P e ' and r P es * Blankets (^mblis\ which command a large sale, are woven by men of the Dhangar caste. Satara brass dishes and Shirala lamps are well-known throughout the Deccan. Notwithstanding the great number of carpenters, wheels and axles for cart-making have to be brought from Chiplun in Ratnagiri. Paper is manufactured to some extent.

The District exports grain and oilseeds, a certain number of blankets, a small quantity of coarse cotton cloth, chillies, gur (unrefined sugar), and a little raw -cotton. The chief imports are cotton piece-goods, hardware, and salt. The Southern Mahratta Railway has largely in- creased the trade with Poona and Belgaum, and at the same time has diminished the road traffic between those places. The road-borne traffic with Chiplun in Ratnagiri District is, however, still consider- able, the exports being unrefined sugar, blankets, and cloth, and the imports spices, salt, coco-nuts, and sheets of corrugated iron. Weekly or bi-weekly markets are held in large villages and towns, such as Mhasvad, which is famous for its blankets, and Belavdi for its cattle. The trade-centres are Wai, Satara, Karad, Tasgaon, and Islampur.

The Southern Mahratta Railway traverses the centre of the District for 115 miles from north to south. The total length of roads is 433 metalled, and 284 unmetalled. Of these, 159 miles of metalled and 264 miles of unmetalled road are maintained by the local authorities, the remainder being in charge of the Public Works department. There are avenues of trees on about 400 miles. The Poona and Bangalore road, crossing the District from north to south near the railway, and bridged and metalled throughout, is the most important. A first-class road is maintained from Wathar station via Wai to Panchgani and Maha- baleshwar, whence it passes by the Fitzgerald ghat to Mahad in Kolaba, and another runs from Karad westwards to Chiplun in Ratnagiri and eastwards to Bijapur. An alternative route to Mahabaleshwar runs through Satara town, and there are numerous feeder roads for the railway.


The uncertain and scanty rainfall makes eastern Satara one of the parts of the Bombay Presidency most liable to suffer from failuie of crops. The earliest recorded is the famous famine known as Durga-devl, which, beginning in 1396, is said to have lasted twelve years, and to have spread over all India south of the Narbada. Whole Districts were emptied of their inhabitants ; and for upwards of thirty years a very scanty revenue was obtained from the territory between the Godavari and the Kistna. In 1520, mainly owing to military disturbances, the crops in the Deccan were destroyed and a famine followed. In 1629-30 severe famine raged throughout the Deccan. The rains failed for two years in succession, causing great loss of life. According to local tradition, the famine of 1791-2 was the worst ever known. It seems to have come after a series of bad years, when the evils of scanty rainfall were aggravated by disturbances and war. The native governments granted large remissions of revenue, the export of grain was forbidden, and a sale price was fixed. Rice was imported into Bombay from Bengal. The famine of 1802-3 ranks next in severity. It was most felt in Khandesh, Ahmadnagar, Sholapur, Bijapur, and Dharwar ; but it also pressed severely on Bel- gaum, Satara, Poona, Surat, and Cutch, This scarcity was mainly due to the ravages of Jaswant Rao Holkar and his Pindaris, who destroyed the early crops as they were coming to maturity and pre- vented the late crops being sown. This scarcity was followed by the failure of the late rains in 1803. The pressure was greatest in July and August, 1804, and was so grievous that, according to tradition, men lived on human flesh. Grain is said to have been sold at a shilling the pound. In 1824-5 a failure of the early rains caused consider- able and widespread scarcity. In 1862 there was again distress on account of scanty rainfall.

The early rains of 1876 were deficient and badly distributed, and the crops failed, distress amounting to famine over about one-half of the District, the east and south-east portions suffering most. This was followed by a partial failure of the rains in September and October, when only a small area of late crops could be sown. With high prices, millet at 8-| instead of 17-! seers per rupee, and no demand for field work, the poorer classes fell into distress. The need for Government help began about the beginning of October. The long period of dry weather in July and August, 187 7, forced prices still higher, and caused much suffering ; but the plentiful and timely rainfall of September and October removed all cause of anxiety. By the close of November the demand for special Government help had ceased. On May 19, 1877, when famine pressure was general and severe, 46,000 labourers were on relief works. The total cost of the famine was estimated at about 12 lakhs. In the eastern talukas the number of cattle decreased from 994,000 in 1876-7 to 775,000 in 1877-8. In 1878 the cultivated area fell short of that in 1876 by about 18,400 acres.

In the famine of 1896-7 the District again suffered severely. In December, 1896, the number on relief works was 6,700. It rose to 27,000 in April, 1897, and then began to fall. The number on chari- table relief was 5,000 in September, 1897. The last scarcity occurred in 1899-1900, when the late rains failed. The drought was specially marked in the region east of the Kistna river. Relief works were necessary in 1899. By May, 1900, 47,000 persons were on works, excluding 8,000 dependents and 2,000 in receipt of gratuitous relief. The latter number rose to 17,000 in September. The distress con- tinued till October, 1901, owing to the capricious rainfall of 1900. The total cost of the famine was estimated at 16 lakhs, and the advances to agriculturists and remissions of land revenue amounted to 1 8 lakhs. It is calculated that there was a mortality of nearly 30,000 in excess of the normal during the period, and that 200,000 cattle died.


The Collector's staff usually includes three Assistants or Deputies.

The District is divided into eleven talukas : namely, KARAD, VALVA,


Administration. MAN? KHATAO; andTASGAON> The /tf/w&w of Valva

and Wai include the petty divisions (pethas) of Shirala and KhandaJa, and Javli includes Malcolmpeth. The Collector is Political Agent for the Aundh and Phaltan States.

The District and Sessions Judge is assisted for civil business by an Assistant Judge, one Subordinate Judge under the Deccan Agri- culturists' Relief Act, and eight other Subordinate Judges. There are usually 34 magistrates to administer criminal justice. The usual forms of crime are hurt, theft, and mischief. Dacoity is common in the southern portion of the District.

Before the rise of the Marathas and during their supremacy many surveys were made of parts or the whole of the Satara territory, appa- rently with the object of readjusting rather than of altering the assess- ment, which, under the name of kamal or rack rental, had remained the same for years, No accurate account of the Bijapur survey remains, but the standard of assessment was continued in some villages to the end of the Peshwas' rule (1818). When Sivaj! took the country (1655) he made a new but imperfect survey on the model of Malik Ambar's, fixing two-fifths of the produce or its equivalent in money as the government share. The Mughals introduced the system of Todar Mai, fixing the assessment, not by measurement as in the districts conquered earlier, but by the average produce or its equivalent in money. In some cases Aurangzeb raised the rents for a few years as high as he could, and this amount was ever afterwards entered in the accounts as the kamal or rack rental. In the time of Balaj! BajT Rao some villages in Wai, Valva, Khanapur, and Karad were measured, but do not seem to have been assessed. Bajl Rao II introduced the farming or contract system, for both revenue and expenditure. The contractors usually had civil and criminal jurisdiction, and treated the landholders with the greatest harshness. The result of the excessive bids made by the contractors to please BajT Rao was that most vil- lages were burdened with a heavy debt incurred on the responsibility of the headman and on behalf of the village. The first step after the establishment of the Satara Raja in 1818 was to abolish the con- tract system and to revert to a strictly personal or ryotwar settlement ; but the old and very heavy assessment remained. About 1822 the rates returned for good land varied from Rs. 18 to Rs. r-2 per acre; for mixed land from Rs. 9 to 13^- annas ; and for uplands from Rs. 2-4 to 4-5- annas. The rate for garden land varied from Rs. 28 to Rs. 1-2. Between 1821 and 1829 Captain Adams surveyed all the lands of the State. The arable area was divided into numbers or fields, and the areas of all holdings and grants or mams were fixed. When in 1848 the District was resumed by the British Government, the revenue survey was introduced, beginning with Tasgaon in 1852-3, and com- prising the whole of the District before 1883. A revision between 1888 and 1897 disclosed an increase in cultivation of 7,000 acres. The revised settlement raised the total land revenue from n^ lakhs to nearly 17 lakhs. Under the current survey settlement the average rate of assessment for 'dry' land is 15 annas, for rice land Rs. 3-14, and for garden land Rs. 3-9.

Collections on account of land revenue and revenue from all sources have been, in thousands of rupees : lucre are twelve municipalities in the District: SATARA CITY, A VAT, RAHIMATPUR, KARAD, ISLAMPUR, ASHTA, TASGAON, VITA, MAYNI, MHASVAD, MALCOLMPETH, and SATARA SUBURBAN, with an aggregate income of i-J lakhs. Local affairs outside these are managed by the District board and n local boards. The total receipts of these boards in 1903-4 was more than 2-| lakhs, the principal source of in- come being the local fund cess ; and the expenditure was a little less than that sum. Of the total expenditure, nearly one lakh, or 40 per cent., was laid out on roads and buildings in 1903-4.

The District Superintendent of police is assisted by an Assistant Superintendent and two inspectors. There are 17 police stations and a total police force of 966, of which 16 are chief constables, 196 head constables, and 754 constables. The mounted police number 7, under one daffadar. The District contains 19 subsidiary jails, with accom- modation for 424 prisoners. The daily average number of prisoners during 1904 was 89, of whom 5 were females.

Satara stands nineteenth among the twenty-four Districts of the Presidency in the literacy of its population, of whom 4 per cent (8 per cent males and 0-3 females) could read and write in 1901. In 1865 there were 104 schools and 6,100 pupils. The number of pupils rose to 12,851 in 1881 and to 23,168 in 1891, but fell in 1901 to 22,146. In 1903-4 there were 352 public schools with 16,962 pupils, of whom 1,519 were girls, besides 47 private schools with 878 pupils. Of the 352 institutions classed as public, one is managed by Government, 282 by the local boards, and 36 by the municipal boards, 31 are aided and 2 unaided. The public schools include 3 high, 7 middle, and 342 primary schools, The total expenditure on 'education in 1903-4 was more than if lakhs. Of this, Local funds contributed Rs. 50,000, municipalities Rs. 10,000, and fees Rs. 25,000. About 74 per cent, of the total was devoted to primary schools.

In 1904 the District possessed 2 hospitals and 9 dispensaries and 7 other medical institutions, with accommodation for 124 in-patients. About 106,960 persons were treated, including 818 in-patients, and 3,609 operations were performed. The total expenditure was Rs. 19,770, of which Rs. 11,370 was met from municipal and local board funds.

The number of persons successfully vaccinated in 1903-4 was nearly 28,000, representing a proportion of 24 per 1,000 of population, which is almost equal to the average of the Presidency.

[Sir J. M. Campbell, Bombay Gazetteer, vol. xix (1885) W. W. Loch, Historical Account of the Poona^ Satara^ and Skolapur Districts (1877).]

Water bank

The Times of India, Jul 02 2015

Radheshyam Jadhavy

Farmers join hands to link wells, form water bank in parched Satara

Jotiram Pawar's project has brought about 150 acres of dry farmland in Dhavadshi village under irrigation and helped create a water bank to ensure perennial supply for farmlands.

A series of meetings were conducted and Pawar was the first to offer his well for the project. Soon, many others joined them. Today , 30 wells have been connected. Water is taken from one well to another and circulated across patches of farmlands using pipelines.

“The project cost Rs 7 lakh and about 11,000 ft pipeline has been laid to complete the network,“ said Pol. “Farmers shared the cost of the project without government aid.More farmers are now joining the project while some still continue to oppose it.Farmers share water at nominal charges. During summer, when wells go dry, sharing helps keep the crops alive.We're also constructing bunds so the groundwater table remains good.“

This village with a population of 2,000, has become an inspiration for farmers from nearby areas. Several villages have started following the Dhavadshi model. Gulumb village has connected natural streams to its lake from where farmers `lift' water, while people in Kival have linked the village lake to streams which now provide perennial water for farming. “The government never encourages innovation,“ said Pol. “But we've to find solutions to our own problems. Once we achieve success, the government will come with help. People have to join hands.”

Personal tools