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Belgaum is the fourth largest city of Karnataka state and also serves as head quarter of the district of the same name. The city of Belgaum is largely built during 12th century under the Ratta dynasty which was based at nearby place of Saundatti. The fort of Belgaum was built in 1204 by the Ratta dynasty. It also served as the capital place of the dynasty from 1210 to 1250. The region witnessed the rule of many kingdoms. It was once in under the rule of Yadava dynasty of Devgiri. Then the region came under the rule of Kilhji during 14th century. In 1474 the region was captured by Bahamani Sultanate. In the year 1518 the Bahamati Sultanate was divided into small five states and Belgaum became the part of Adilshahi Sultanate of Bijapur. Many existing historical building and structures in Belgaum belong to the era after the year 1519. The region was taken by Mughal dynasty under Aurangazeb the Mughal emperor. Belgaum was then captured by the Peshawa during the Maratha rule. They continued to rule the region until the British brought it under their rule.
British continued to rule Belgaum until Aug-1947 when India got the independence. During the British rule Belgaum was actively involved in the freedom struggle of India. In Dec-1921 Belgaum was the venue for the 39th session of Indian National Congress under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. After the independence of India Belgaum remained the part of Bombay Presidency until 1956 when States Reorganization Act made Belgaum a part of Mysore state which was further renamed as Karnataka in 1972. In 1956 State Reorganization Committee was set up to demark the borders of states of India on linguistic line. But the committed decided to make the region of Belgaum a part of Karnataka state ignoring the fact that the region houses a large number of Marathi people (about three fourth of the total population). The state of Maharashtra continues to claim the region and at present the matter is under the Supreme Court of India.
History of Shirdi
Shirdi is known for its abode of famous saint Sri Sai Baba. Shirdi is a small town situated in Ahamadanagar district of state of Maharashtra. Town of Shirdi which houses the temple of Sri Saibaba is visited by lakhs pilgrims round the year from across the country. History of Shirdi is linked to the life of Sri Sai Baba.
In the year 1954 the local people of the village of Shirdi found a young boy in meditating position under a neem tree. People were attracted by his tranquility, wisdom and Spiritual power. Soon he became a famous fakir in surroundings area of the village. Later on he spent his six decades of his life there. People began to call him by the name of Sai Baba. Sai Baba relentlessly worked for the poor and wretched people. He is believed to have performed many miracles and thus helped many people. He became so famous that many people come to seek his blessing from far and wide. Among his followers were many well off people who used to donate some money to Sri Baba. Sai Baba on other hand helped the poor with the same money. Sai Baba remained in Shirdi until his death in 1918. Privileged by the touch of such holy man the town of Shirdi has now become one of most important pilgrimage center in India. The place where Sri Sai Baba took his last breath now houses a big temple of him. The temple is visited by lakhs of pilgrims from all over the country round the year.
A prominent pilgrim site for the Hindus Madurai is the third largest city of Tamil Nadu. Madurai has a long and constant history since 3Rd BC. It has the references in the written history of Greek Ambassador Megesthenes and kautilya the minister in the Mauryan Empire. Madurai was a prominent cultural and administrative center during Pandyan rule till about 1311; afterwards rule of Ma’bar was established by Delhi Sultanate. Later it came to be known as Ma’bar sultanate which ruled till Vijaynagar Empire absorbed Madurai in 14Thcentury finally British East India Company ruled Madurai till India’s independence in 1947.George Procter was the first collector of Madurai.
History of Varanasi
Varanasi was known as Kashi Kshetra in the Rigvedic texts. Since the ages it has been regarded as one of the important Pilgrimage centers for Hindus, Jains and Buddhists. The place was formed into an independent city during 18th century.
The earliest mention of the city could be found in Rigveda. Then the great epics of India (The Ramayana and The Mahabharata) talk about this place. Buddha gave his sermon at Saranath which is just 10 m away from Varanasi. The 23rd Tirthankara of Jainism (Parsvanatha) was born here.
From 11th to 17th century Varanasi was under the capture of the Muslim rulers. The city saw a setback during this time due to the invaders. Kingdom of Kashi was established during 18th century. Under the British rule Varanasi was made a separate State in 1910, making Ramanagar its headquarters. The Kashi Naresh is a title of honor bestowed upon the king. Kashi Naresh is the supreme power concerning ritualistic activities there. He stays in Ramanagar fort. The then Kashi Naresh raja Balwant Singh built this fort. After Independence, Varanasi merged with the Indian Union.
On attaining Independence from the British in August 1947, India had to surrender quite a lot of its northern territories for formation of Pakistan, Punjab was also split into two parts with Lahore its biggest city going to Pakistan. Then a need to create a new capital for Punjab led to many options but the most suitable one was creating a new modern city as the capital. This proposal was selected by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. A Swiss born French architect Le Corbusier was commissioned to design a new city Chandigarh as the capital of Punjab. Later in the year 1966 Haryana state was created from the eastern portions of Punjab. Chandigarh was at the border of both Punjab and Haryana hence it was made a union territory and appointed as the capital for both the states.
Guntur is a city and municipal corporation in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It also serves as head quarter of the district of the same name. Guntur gets its earliest recorded reference from the Indren plate of Ammaraja the Vengi Chalukyan king who ruled the region during 922 to 929 CE. The city also gets its reference in the inscriptions which date back to 1147 and 1158 CE. Garthpuri was the original Sanskrit name of Guntur. Agasthyeswara Sivalayam is temple of Shiva situated in the old city of Guntur. The temple is most famous temple in Guntur and houses inscriptions in Naga scripts which dates back to 1100 CE.
After the arrival of Europeans, Guntur rose to prominence. In 1752 the French moved their head quarter from Kondavid Fort to Guntur and established their settlement there. This settlement later on formed the center of modern city. Nizam and Haider Ali ruled Guntur and surrounding region until 1778 when the region came under the rule of British. Guntur was made a district which was abolished in 1859 only to be reconstituted again in 1904. The city witnessed the railway track being laid in 1890 under the British rule. British continued to rule Guntur until the independence of India in Aug-1947. Post independence era witnessed large scale development in the city. Guntur is at present the fourth largest city of Andhra Pradesh.
History of Kota
Kota, formerly known as Kotah, is prominent city in Indian state of Rajasthan. Situated on the Chambal River, the city of Kota was once the princely city in the region. During 12th century the region was under Rao Deva who belonged to Hada clan. Rao Deva was the chieftain of that community. It was Rao Deva who later brought the surrounding territory under his control and established the Budi and Hadoti and thus Kota and the surrounding region became the main place of ruling for Bhill communities. Later on the chieftain of Hada community lost to Bundi ruler Jait Sigh.
During the early 17th century the Mughal Emperor Jahangir handed over Kota to Madho Singh the son of Rao Ratan Singh and thereafter Kota came to be known as an independent state. Under the rule of Madho Singh, Kota grew large in area and became richer and more powerful. Maharao Bhim Singh who was holding the Mansab of five thousands and was the first one in the dynasty to have been honored with the name Maharao played a vital role in the history of Kota. Later on Kota came under the control of the British who continued to rule it until Aug-1947 when India got independence.
Guwahati is the largest city of the state of Assam in India. It serves as a gateway to the North-eastern region of India. According to Puranas, Hindu epic and other mythological stories the history of Guwahati goes several thousand years back. As per the Mahabharata it was the capital place of demon king Narakasura who was killed by lord Krishna. Excavations at Ambari take the history of Guwahati back to 6th century when Guwahati was known as Pragjyotishpura. Guwahati was the capital place of Pala and Varaman dynasties of Kamarapura kingdom. Excavations during the construction of Cotton College in Guwahati suggest that Guwahati was city of great size and also significant one from economic and strategic points of view in the 9th and 10th centuries.
In the medieval time Guwahati and the surrounding region were ruled by the Koch Hajo and Ahom kingdoms. After the defeat of Koch Hajo at the hand of Mughal, Guwahati came under the rule of Ahom kingdom that made it an important military outpost. There were about seventeen invasions from the Mughal on Guwahati but each time they had to face the defeat at the hand of Ahom kingdom. A major earthquake 1897 and then a series of floods devastated most part of the city of Guwahati. Guwahati then witnessed the rule of British until Aug- 1947 when India got the freedom from the colonial rule. Guwahati served as capital place of Assam until the city of Dispur was made capital of the state.
History of Solapur
Solapur is a district of Maharashtra State now. History of this district is associated with the Bahamani Sultanate, the rulers of Bijapur and the Mughals in the medieval period. It was ruled by the Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas and the Kalchuri rulers. It was a part of Kuntala region in the ancient period. The actual formation of Solapur into an independent territory took place in the medieval period.
Solapur was a part of the Gulbarga division in the reign of the Bahamani Sultans. After that it came under the rule of the rulers of Bijapur Adil Shahi. It became a part of Bijapur region then. Later in the Mughal period it was a part of the Telangana region. Marathas ruled over it for a decade and Solapur (it was known as Sholapur) came under Ahmadnagar district. During Anglo-Maratha tussles the area comprising Solapur and Pandharapur were the center of disputes.
During Indian Freedom Struggle Solapur had acquired three days independence due to insurgency of the freedom fighters. This happened in 1930 from 9th of May to 11th of May. In 1930 after Gandhi’s arrest there were protests and rallies all over India. Even in Solapur many freedom fighters took up protests and the angry mob had ransacked the police station. The police and other authorities had fled from the city for three days and the Congress men of Solapur took charge of Solapur for three days. Tulsidas Jadhav, a leader of Congress Party was in charge of the responsibilities. On 6th April in 1930, a month before the incident mentioned above the freedom fighters had even hoisted the national flag on Muncipal Council building. It is known as the first Muncipal Council in India to hoist the national flag. Irritated British executed many freedom fighters making them the martyrs of Freedom struggle.
After Independence many taluks of Solapur district were relocated and in the year 1956 the district came under the Bombay State of that time. In 1960 the district became a part of the Maharashtra State.
Mysore is the second largest city in the Karnataka state.Only in the eighteenth century Mysore was under the rule of Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan for roughly about 40 years, rest from the olden days up to 1947 (when Mysore Joined free India) Mysore was under the rule of Wodeyar rulers. In early days Mysore was known as Mahishuru or Mahishapuram and ruled by the demon Mahishasura. Mahishasura was killed by the goddess Chamundeshwari. The city later came to be known as Maisuru. Later British changed its name to Mysore. But the Karnataka government has passed a resolution to change the name back to its Kannada name Mysuru which has been approved by Central Government and is awaiting completion of formalities. Before 15Th. century the place was known as Puragere. Chamaraja Wadeyar III built the fort Mahishuru Fort in 1524 and the place got its name Mahishuru which is again being changed to Mysuru now. The city was named a municipal city 1888 and became a municipal corporation in 1977. According to 2001 census the population of Mysore was about 8 Lacs.
History of Bikaner
The desert city Bikaner was founded by Rao Bika around 15th century. Prior to that period, Bikaner was under the Jat rule. It is said that the ‘Jangladesh’ mentioned in the Mahabharata (in the Bhishma Parva) was none other than the present day Bikaner. Around 1465 Rao Bika of the Marwar dynasty (Rathores) separated from his father (Rao Jodha) to build his own kingdom. With the help of his supporters Rao Bika built his kingdom in the Jangladesh region. The city was named after him and thus came to be known as Bikaner.
There were frequent clashes between the Marwar kingdom and the Bikaner kingdom. Rao Bika made frequent attacks on the Marwar proclaiming his rage against his father. The rule of Bikaner had acquired full control over the local rulers such as the Jats up until the Mughal invasion. Rao Bika died in 1504.
The later rulers of Bikaner established a cordial relationship with the Mughals of Delhi to attack the Marwar clan. During the Mughal period the rajas of Bikaner became the most trusted allies of the Mughals. After the Mughal rule the British took advantage of the circumstances and as a result the Bikaner kings signed a Treaty of Perpetual Friendship with the British in 1818. It is called the subsidiary alliance. Later by the frequent threats from the Thakurs the Bikaner rulers had to take the support of the British which lasted till India gained its independence. The Rajas of Bikaner assisted the British as political agents and the British gained both financial and military support from the rulers without any obstacles.
In the period of Ganga Singh (1880- 1943) the Bikaner region saw great developments in terms of civic amenities and the economic growth. Ganga Singh was English educated King who had gained the confidence of the British to the full extent. Railway line was built during this period. After independence the last ruler of the Bikaner Raja Sadul Singh chose to sign the Instrument of accession (legal formalities for the former Princely States to join either India or Pakistan) and chose to be with the Indian Government. Now, Bikaner is part of Rajasthan State.