Jawhar, Maharashtra - Informative & researched article on Jawhar, Maharashtra
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Jawhar, Maharashtra
Jawhar, located in Maharashtra, is a place with immense historical importance.
 
 Jawhar, MaharashtraJawhar is a city and a municipal council in Thane district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is about 166 km from the Indian city of Mumbai and 80 km from the city of Nasik

History of Jawhar
Jawhar, a princely state of India, was founded in the year 1343. As a princely state, it became a part of Bombay Presidency during the British Raj. The last Princely Ruler of Jawhar at Indian independence was HH Shrimant Raja Patang Shah V (Yeswant Rao) Mukne. The small tribal state of Jawhar, in the Konkan, dates its foundation to 1306, making it one of the oldest princely states in the old Bombay Presidency. In that year, a certain Jayabha Mukne, a Poligar, took possession of the fort at Jawhar. His elder son, Dulbarrao, expanded his patrimony and conquered a large territory, controlling 22 forts, comprising most of the Nasik and Thana districts. He received recognition as ruler by Sultan Muhammad Shah II Tughlaq, receiving the new name of Nimshah and the hereditary title of Raja on 5th June 1343. This event was marked by the creation of a new calendar era used within the state for over six hundred years.

The grandson of Nimshah, Deobarrao, did battle with Sultan Ahmad Shah I Bahmani. During his capture at Bidar, he fell in love with the Sultan's daughter. The marriage was solemnised after he converted to Islam and took the name Muhammad Shah. He returned to Jawhar and continued to rule his state unmolested, for the rest of his life. At his death, the powerful Hindu sardars and nobles refused to recognise his son as his successor, on account of his Muslim faith. In his stead, they chose the Hindu grandson of Holkarrao, the younger brother of Nimshah. Thereafter, his Hindu descendants ruled the little state in relative peace until the advent of the Maratha power.

Raja Vikramshah I met Shivaji the Great at Shirpaumal, during the latter's historic march to Surat, then joined him in the plunder of that city in 1664. However, he soon fell-out with the Marathas and was by the first Peshwa, Moropant Trimbak Pingle, in 1678. From then on, the Marathas slowly and steadily tightened their grip on the Mukne rulers, annexing district after district and imposing ever-increasing taxes, levies and fines. They took control of the state in 1742, 1758 and 1761. Each time releasing control to the Mukne family on condition that territories were ceded and the tribute increased.

The advent of British rule brought a degree of stability unknown for more than a century. However, development was extremely slow, given the low level of revenue receipts and haphazard organisation of the administration. Little or no improvements were made until the reign of Patangshah IV. An enlightened and well-educated ruler, he immediately set about improving conditions, streamlining the government, building roads, schools and dispensaries. At his death in 1905, conditions had improved beyond measure.

The relatively short reigns of Patangshah's two sons, Krishnashah V and Vikramshah V, also saw steady improvements. The last named was especially diligent in improving the agricultural sector, constructing wells, securing lad rights and improving the infrastructure of the state. He contributed substantially towards the war effort during the Great War, and received a 9-gun salute in recognition of his services. His early death in 1926 ushered in a ten-year regency for his son, Yeshwantrao Patangshah V - the latter assumed full power in 1938 having received the best education out of all the member of his family. He continued the good work achieved under the regency by expanding development activity, encouraging the chemical, paper, textile, and dyeing, printing, liquor and starch industries. The state provided free primary schooling and medical relief, ran middle and high schools, a central library and museum, hospital and maternity home, and provided touring dispensaries for the rural areas. At the outbreak of the Second World War, the Raja immediately volunteered for service and served for four years with the RIAF.

Yeshwantrao Patangshah V assumed the title of Maharaja, shortly before he signed the instrument of accession to the Dominion of India in 1947. He then merged his state into the Bombay Presidency early in the following year. He then embarked on a political career, representing his people in both the national parliament and the state assembly. He died in 1978 and was succeeded by his only son, Digvijaysinhrao. The latter died in 1992, leaving his only son, Mahendrasinhrao, to represent his illustrious line.

(Last Updated on : 06/08/2012)
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