FEW [Road details are chiefly compiled from materials supplied by Mr. G. A. Bhat,
assistant engineer.] details of roads are available before 1855. At the accession
of British power in 1817 and from that time till about 1850,
Sholapur had no made roads and few carts; all traffic went over fair
weather tracks on pack bullocks. [Government Selections, New Series, IV. 3-4. As in Poona carts originated with
Sir George Wingate; they were first made at Tembhurni in Karmala by a Parsi
named Kavasji Nasarvanji. Carts were then distributed among husbandmen and the
cost was recovered by instalments. This had so-good an effect that by 1850, in the
Sholapur, Barsi, and Karmala sub-divisions private carpenters made carts in numbers
on the Government model but of rougher and cheaper materials. Ditto, 4-11.] Daring the four rainy months the
tracks were impassable and for about two months afterwards the passage was rendered most tedious and difficult by the black soil and the numerous streams. During the eight dry months also the tracks were neither smooth nor easy for carts. Of these old tracks eight lines centred at Pandharpur, eight at Sholapur, and two at Pangaon in Barsi. Of the eight lines which centred at Pandharpur, one went twenty-three miles north to Tembhurni in Karmala; one went fifty-seven miles north-east to Barsi by Mohol, Vairag, and Pangaon; four went south and south-west, one being forty-two miles to Jath, another seventy miles to Athni in Belgaum, a third eighteen miles to Sangola, and from Sangola sixty miles to Miraj, and a fourth eighty miles to Karad in Satara; and two went west and north-west, one passing eighty-nine miles to Satara by Mhasvad and Koregaon, and the other 148 miles to Poona. Of the eight lines which centred at Sholapur, two went north-east to the Nizam's territory, one being twenty-five miles to Tuljapur and the other thirty-eight miles to Dharshiv; one went 176 miles east to Haidarabad by Naldurga and Kalyan; one went south-east twenty-two miles to Akalkot; one went south fifty-eight miles to Bijapur; two went west, one passing thirty-eight miles to Pandharpur and the other 152 miles to Poona by Tembhurni and Indapur, and one went north-west fifty-four miles to the old fort of Paranda in the Nizam's territory. The two lines which centred at Pangaon in Barsi, went north-east to the Nizam's territory, one passing sixty-six miles to Latur and the other sixty miles to Ambegaon.
At present (1883) Sholapur has ten lines of made roads together equal to 382 miles. Of these three are Provincial and seven local fund. The three Provincial lines are the Poona-Haidarabad road seventy-eight miles, the Barsi road with its extension towards the Nizam's territory sixty-two miles, and the Sholapur-Bijapur road nineteen miles. Of the seven local fund lines four are first class, the Barsi-Pandharpur road thirty miles, the Mohol-Pandharpur twenty-four miles, the Pandharpur-Janoni forty-two miles, and the Jeur-Karmala with its extension towards Ahmadnagar and the Nizam's territory twenty-seven miles ; and three are second class, the Sholapur-Barsi forty-two miles, the Sholapur-Akalkot fifteen miles, and the Jeur-Pandharpur forty-three miles. As forming part of the direct line from Poona to Sholapur and Haidarabad the seventy-eight miles within the district of the Poona-Haidarabad road was the first care of the Bombay Government. Between 1849 and 1855 the sixty-one miles of this section which run north-west to south-west from the Bhima on the borders of Poona and Sholapur to the city of Sholapur, were completed by Captain H. C. Adams of the Bombay Engineers at an estimated cost of £22,020 (Rs. 2,20,200). The road enters the district at Ranjni on the Bhima in Karmala and runs south-east through the subdivisions of Karmala Madha and Sholapur. Of the towns and villages which lie on this road the chief are Tembhurni in Karmala, Vadvad Shetphal Chikhli and Mohol in Madha, and Kegaon and Sholapur in Sholapur. It is an excellent murum or crumbly trap road, curbed and drained throughout except on the Bhima
and Sina, and four other large streams which it was deemed unnecessary to bridge owing to the nearness of the rail road then under consideration. The Bhima and Sina which are both unfordable during the rains, are crossed by flying bridges, the Bhima near Ranjni in Karmala and the Sina at Lamboti on the borders of Madha and Sholapur. From Sholapur this road runs seventeen miles east towards Haidarabad up to the Tandulvadi stream which separates Sholapur from the Nizam's territory. The road was laid out and completed in 1858 at a cost of about £4170 (Rs. 41,700). This portion carries a considerable traffic in grain, especially in wheat and gram. The Barsi road, running nearly east and west for about thirty-five miles, was made and murumed in 1856 by Captain Haughton of the fourteenth Bombay Native Infantry. As the traffic from Tembhurni to Barsi largely increased, the murum road was severely injured and cut up every season. After the construction of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway in 1860, the traffic on this road rapidly increased and the twenty-one miles from Barsi to Kurduvadi or Barsi Road station became an important feeder of traffic from the Nizam's territory, the average number of carts being estimated at about 500 a day. To carry this heavy traffic more easily an estimate was submitted to make a tram line from Barsi to Barsi Road station, and in 1870, at a cost of about £50,000 (Rs. 5,00,000) this portion was metalled bridged and made fit to lay rails, though no rails were eventually laid down. From Barsi the road is extended twenty-seven miles east to wards the large town of Latur in the Nizam's territory. Of these, nineteen miles from Barsi to the village of Yedsi on the Talghat or the first range of the Balaghat hills were improved in 1862 by the civil department. In 1875 this portion was transferred to the public works department and during the 1876 famine was improved at a cost of about £10,300 (Rs. 1,03,000) and made a Provincial road. In 1881-82 this portion was metalled and bridged throughout with
masonry road dams. For a little over half a mile the road runs over the Balaghat hills; the ascent is easy and where necessary is provided with parapet walls. On this hill pass the traffic in cotton, oilseed, wheat, gram, and barley is unusually heavy, being over 500 carts a day. In 1881-82 the traffic yielded a toll revenue of about £1700 (Rs. 17,000) and in 1882-83, as the toll on each bullock cart was reduced to 3d. (2 as.), it yielded about £1000 (Rs. 10,000). In continuation of this road the further eight miles above the Balaghat range from Tedsi to Tadvala were improved and repaired by the civil department till 1882, but owing to heavy traffic this portion was so badly cut every year that plans and estimates amounting to £6755 (Rs. 67,550) have been now submitted for Government sanction to metal and bridge it. [To the south of the village of Yedsi and about one-third of a mile from the road the well-known old temple of Shiv, called the Ramling, lies in a deep shaded valley and surrounded by the Ramnadi on three sides. In old times this place is said to have been a favourite abode of Hindu yogis or ascetics, who led their pious secluded life in neighbouring rock-cut caves. The villagers still consider the place a cool and beautiful summer retreat.] Of the Sholapur-Bijapur road about nineteen miles run south within Sholapur limits from Sholapur to Takli on the Bhima. Till 1874 this road was kept by the civil department. In 1875 it was transferred to the public works department and partly bridged at a cost of about £6700 (Rs. 67,000), and during the 1876 famine it was further improved at a cost of about £4800 (Rs. 48,000). At present (1883) it is a good murumed road. Of the two rivers, the Sina and Bhima which the road crosses, the Sina is crossed by a flying bridge at Vadakbal ten miles south of Sholapur and the Bhima is crossed by a flying bridge and by a ferry at Takli nineteen miles south of Sholapur. Since 1863 roads have been much improved from local funds. Of the seven local fund lines the Barsi-Pandharpur road, running about thirty miles north and south, is a first class road. It is bridged and drained throughout except a few large streams. As a large number of pilgrims from the Deccan and North India visit the sacred shrine of Vithoba at Pandharpur from Barsi
Road station, this road carries a heavy cart and pilgrim traffic throughout the year. The Mohol-Pandharpur road, running about twenty-four miles east and west, is a first class local fund road. It joins Pandharpur with the Great Indian Peninsula railway at Mohol station by the shortest way. This road is largely used by pilgrims from the east. The Pandharpur-Janoni road, running forty-two miles
south-west, is an important first class local fund road. In 1875 this road was transferred to the public works department and during the 1876 famine it was considerably improved at a cost of about £5000 (Rs. 50,000). It leads to the large market of Athni
in Belgaum and carries to Barsi Road station by Pandharpur a considerable traffic in grain and oil-seed from Belgaum and other parts of the Bombay Karnatak. The Jeur-Karmala road runs from the Jeur station eleven miles north to Karmala. It is a first class local fund road and is bridged and drained throughout. From Karmala the road branches into two, one branch passing eight miles north to Jategaon and the other eight miles north-east to Aljapur. The
eight miles from Karmala to Aljapur were considerably improved during the 1876 famine at a cost of about £1050 (Rs. 10,500). Most of the exports from South Ahmadnagar and from the parts of the Nizam's territory which lie east of Karmala go to Jeur station by the Jeur-Karmala road. Of the remaining three second class local fund roads the Sholapur-Barsi road runs forty-two miles north to Barsi from Sholapur, the Sholapur-Akalkot road runs fifteen miles southeast towards Akalkot, and the Jeur-Pandharpur road runs forty-three miles south to Pandharpur from Jeur station. These second class roads are fairly good. Besides these ten well-made lines, four other lines have been lately transferred to the public works department which will soon be made second class roads. Of these one runs from Sholapur ten miles north towards Tuljapur in the Nizam's territory, and three run from Pandharpur, one twenty-five miles west towards Karad through Pandharpur and Sangola, another twenty-six miles west towards Satara through Pandharpur and Malsiras, and the third forty-six miles north-west towards Mahad and Poona by Velapur, Malsiras, Nateputa, and Dharmapuri.
Besides by made roads communication has been much improved by railways. The south-eastern branch of the Great Indian Peninsula
Railway passes through the district with a length of 115 miles. Crossing the river Bhima in the north-west on the border of Poona and Sholapur, the railway enters the district and runs south-east to Ingalgi on the frontier of Sholapur and Akalkot. In these 115 miles are twelve stations, Katraj 189 miles from Bombay, Pomalvadi 195 miles, Sogaon 203 miles, Jeur 213 miles, Kem 223 miles, Barsi Road 234 miles, Madha 244 miles, Angar 253 miles, Mohol 263 miles, Pakni 278 miles, Sholapur 283 miles and Hotgi 292 miles. The line up to Sholapur was begun in 1856 and the portion from Diksal in Poona to Barsi Road was opened on the 23rd of October 1859, from Barsi Road to Mohol on the 20th January 1860, and from Mohol to Sholapur on the 6th June 1860. Work on the line from Sholapur southwards was began on the 3rd August 1865 and the line was opened for traffic on the 1st February 1870. Except the bridges across the Bhima and the Sina, no engineering difficulties were met with. The Bhima bridge at 184 miles from Bombay and about 1317 feet long, has twenty-eight segmental arches of masonry of forty feet each. The piers are sixty feet high from rail level with foundations resting on rock and the flood stream is forty-six feet deep. It was built at a cost of about £26,000 (Rs. 2,60,000). The Sina bridge at 269 miles from Bombay and about 575 feet long, has twelve segmental arches of masonry of forty feet each. The piers are fifty-four feet high from rail level resting on foundations partly of rock and partly of clay. The flood stream is forty-one feet deep. It was built at a cost of about £14,800 (Rs. 1,48,000). Besides the ordinary building at the different stations costing £250 to £1000 (Rs. 2500-Rs. 10,000) with quarters for a station master and a booking office, there is a refreshment room at Sholapur.
Besides the Peninsula railway the East Deccan or Hotgi-Gadag section of the Southern Maratha and Bombay Karnatak railways which are now being made, runs north and south for eight miles in the
east of the Sholapur sub-division. This section leaves the Great Indian Peninsula railway at Hotgi station at 292 miles from Bombay which was chosen as the nearest point on the Peninsula railway to Bijapur and as it affords an easy approach to the crossing of the Bhima river. About a quarter of a mile to the east of Hotgi station, after crossing a small stream, the line gets on to a ridge to which it keeps for about eight miles till the village of Jovalgi is reached and the line enters the Akalkot state. This ridge is fairly straight and flat and the work on it very easy, the general direction being nearly due south. The only station on this length of line is Hotgi. No bridges or other works call for remark.
Of twelve toll bars four are on Provincial and eight on local fund
roads. The four Provincial toll bars are one each at Kondi on the Poona-Sholapur road, at Boramani on the Sholapur-Haidarabad road, at Kuslamb on the Barsi-Mominabad road, and at Papnus on the Barsi and Barsi Road station road. The eight local fund toll bars are one each at Takli on the Sholapur-Bijapur road, at Tirhe on the Sholapur-Pandharpur road, at Ulhe on the Sholapur-Tuljapur road, at Kumbhari on the Sholapur-Akalkot road, at Kakrumb on the Sholapur-Barsi road, at Ashti on the Kurduvadi-Pandharpur road, at Devlali on the Jeur-Karmala road, and at Vakri on the Pandharpur-Poona road. All the tolls are yearly sold by auction to the highest bidder. The amount realized in 1832-83 was £3449 (Rs. 34,490) on the Provincial roads and £1323 (Rs. 13,230) on the local fund roads, that is a total toll revenue of £4772 (Rs. 47,720).
Besides three Collector's bungalows at Mohol and Shetphal in
Madha and at Pangaon in Barsi, there are four bungalows for European travellers at Sholapur, Ashti lake, Pandharpur lake, and Barsi Boad station. Besides the Collector's and travellers' bungalows there are 319 rest-houses or dharmshalas for native travellers. Of these nineteen are in Sholapur, thirty-nine in Barsi, thirty-six in Madha, forty-three in Karmala, sixty in Pandharpur, thirty-seven in Malsiras, and eighty-five in Sangola. [The nineteen in Sholapur are: One each at Ahirvadi, Boramani, Ghodeshvar or Begampur, Kamti-budruk, Kasegaon, Kumbhari, Lamboti, Mandrup, Pathri, Savat-khed, Singoli, Takli, Tandulvadi, Tirhe, Ulhe, Vadakbal, Vadale, Valsang and Vangi. The thirty-nine in Barsi are, one each at Ambejavalge, Barsi, Bhandegaon, Bhatambre, Chikharde, Degaon, Ghari, Gaudgaon, Kajal, Kaudgaon, Kari, Kasari, Kategaon, Kusalamb, Kave, Khandvi, Korphal, Mahagaon, Maiegaon, Malvandi, Mandegaon, Manegaon, Mirjanpur, Nari, Pangri, Pimpalgaon, Puri, Sanvdare, Sarole, Selgaon, Shiral, Surde, Tadval, Tadval-kasba, Undegaon, Vagholi, Vairag, Yavli, and Yedsi. Tne thirty-six in Madha are, one each at Ahergaon, Akole-bndruk, Ambad, Bemli, Bhend, Bhosre, Darphal, Ghoti, Najik-pimpri, Papnus, Parite, Penur, Sapatne, Shetphal, Tambve, Tulsi, Uplai-budruk, Uplai-khurd, Vadshinge, and Varkute; two each at Anagar and Mohol; three at Ashti; four at Kurdu and Kurduvadi or Barsi Road station, and five at Madha. The forty-three in Karmala are, one each at Adhegaon, Akolakhurd, Aljapur, Bitargaon-Vangi, Dahivadi, Devlali, Gulsadi, Hivre, Jategaon, Jeur, Kandar, Kavitgaon, Kem, Kolegaon, Kondharchincholi, Korti, Mangi, Padle, Pande, Rajuri, Sade, Satoli, Shetphal, Singevadi, Sonari, and Vadshivne; two each at Pothre, Pomalvadi, and Vangi; and eleven at Karmala. The sixty in Pandharpur are, one each at Adhiv, Aherbabulgaon, Ambe, Badalkote, Bathan, Bhatumbre, Bhovali, Bhose, Degaonbudruk, Gadhegaon, Gardi, Ghurnike, Guraale, Isbavi, Jaloli, Karole, Kharsoli, Khed-Bhalavani, Khed-Bhose, Kondarki, Korti, Kuroli, Machnur, Mundhevadi, Narayanchincholi, Ojhevadi, Palsi, Phul-chincholi, Rhatvadi, Sarkoli, Segaon-Bnalavani, Shelve, Shetphal, Shevte, Sidevadi,
Sonake, Supli, Suste, Takli, Tanosi, Tisangi, Tungat, Umbergaon, Upri, Vadikureli, Vakri and Yeklaspur, two each at Brahmapuri, Kasegaon, and Khardi; three at Karkamb and four at Bhalavani. The thirty-seven in Malsiras are, one each at Babhulgaon, Bondle, Borgaon, Dahigaon, Kalegaon, Kaner, Khndus, Knrbavi, Lonand, Mahalung, Malkhambi, Mundve, Morochi, Palasmandal, Punadavde, Tandulvadi, and Tonle; two each at Dharmapuri, Maloli, and Velapur; four at Katepute and five each at Akluj and Malairas. The eighty-five in Sangola are, one each at Achakdani, Ajnal, Akole, Bhose, Chinchale-Gherdi, Chinchale-Sangole, Chinake, Dhayti, Haldahivadi, Hangirge, Junjharpur, Kadlas, Katphal, Kole, Lonviri, Mahmedabad, Mahud-budruk, Manegaon, Mangevadi, Manjri, Medshinge, Karale, Pachegaon, Pare, Rajuri, Sangevadi, Save, Snirbavi, Shivne, Sonalvadi, Udanvadi, Vadegaon, Vaki-Kasegaon, Vasud. and Vatamre; two each at Alegaon, Anekdhal, Dahivadi, Hatid, Junoni, Kamlapur, and Najhre; three at Balvadi, four at Gherdi, eleven at Javle, and eighteen at Sangola are in the Sangola sab-division.]
Three flying bridges and three ferries are supported from local funds; besides these about sixty ferries at Pandharpur belong to private persons. Of the three flying bridges one is on the Poona-Sholapur road at Lamboti about fifteen miles west of Sholapur, and two are on the Sholapur-Bijapur road, one at Vadakbal across the Sina ten miles south of Sholapur, and the other at Takli across the Bhima nineteen miles south of Sholapur. Of the three ferries one plies across the Sina at Tirhe and one across the Bhima near Begampur on the Sholapur-Sangola road, and in addition to the flying bridge the third plies across the Bhima at Takli on the Sholapur-Bijapur road. The flying bridges consist of a galvanized wire rope 3½ feet in circumference, with a deflection of 1/80th of the span, supported on teakwood standards set in coursed stone and lime masonry on the banks. The raft consists of two boats joined together and supporting a platform twenty-nine to 29½ feet by fourteen to eighteen feet. It is provided with a wooden railing and is large enough for four laden bullock carts or for sixty passengers. The boats forming the bridges are twenty-nine to 29¾ feet long, seven to 7¾ feet wide, and 3¼ to
3 2/3 feet deep. The ferries are single boats 27½feet long, nine wide, and 3¼ to four deep; when laden they draw 1½ to 1¾ feet They are large enough to carry two laden carts or fifty passengers. All are made entirely of teak and were built on the spot or at Bombay. The cost of a flying bridge with a raft ranged from £600 to £900 (Rs. 6000 - 9000) and that of the ferries or single boats from £80 to £100 (Rs. 800-1000). The bridges and ferries are in charge of tandels who are paid 10s. (Rs. 5) a month from local funds all the year round for steering the boats and taking care of them when not in use. The crew are supplied by the ferry contractors and are paid monthly 12s. to 14s. (Rs. 6-7). The total yearly revenue from the bridges and ferries is about £183 (Rs. 1830).
Sholapur forms part of the Ahmadnagar postal division. Of the forty-one post offices one is a disbursing office, one a town sub-office, nineteen sub-offices, and twenty-four village offices. Of these, besides the two disbursing and town sub-offices at Sholapur, thirteen sub and twenty village offices are within British limits, two sub and four village offices are within the limits of the Sholapur and Kolhapur and Bombay Karnatak agencies, and four sub-offices are within the limits of the Nizam's territory. Of the post offices within
British limits the thirteen sub-offices are at Akluj, Barsi Road, Barsi Town, Hudgi, Jeur, Karmala, Kem, Madha, Malsiras, Mohol,
Pandharpur, Sangola, and Vairag; and the twenty village offices at Angar, Ashti, Gnerdi, Javla, Jinti, Kadlas, Kakramba, Kari, Karkam, Korti, Kurdu, Maloli, Natepute, Pangaon, Pangri, Rajuri, Ropla, Sonand, Tembhurni, and Velapur. Of the post offices within the limits of the Sholapur and Kolhapur and Bombay Karnatak agencies the two sub-offices are at Akalkot and Mangalvedha; and the four village offices are at Dudhni, Maindargi, Modnimb, and Pimpalner. The four sub-offices in the Nizam's territory are at Dharashiv, Latur, Mominabad, and Parli. The disbursing post office at Sholapur is in charge of a postmaster who draws a yearly salary of £120 (Rs. 1200). The sub-offices are in charge of sub-postmasters who draw a yearly salary of £18 to £48 (Rs. 180-480). The village post offices are in charge of schoolmasters who receive, in addition to their pay as schoolmasters, yearly allowances varying from £2 8s. to £7 4s. (Rs. 24-72). In towns and villages which have post offices letters are delivered by thirty-one postmen drawing a yearly salary of £7 4s. to £12 (Rs.72-120). In small villages without post offices letters are delivered by sixty-seven postmen. Of these forty-two are paid yearly from £9 12s. to £10 16s. (Rs. 96-108) from the Imperial post and twenty-five are paid yearly from £10 16s. to £12 (Rs. 108-120) from the Provincial post. In some villages letters are also delivered by postal runners who receive yearly £1 4s. (Rs.12) for this additional work. Mails to and from Bombay to Sholapur are carried by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway.
From the large towns of Barsi, Pandharpur, and Karmala which lie off the railway line, mails are carried in tangas or pony carts, from Barsi and Pandharpur to Barsi Road station and from Karmala to Jeur station. The post offices are supervised by the superintendent of post offices Ahmadnagar division, who has a yearly salary of £300 (Rs. 3000) and whose head-quarters are at Ahmadnagar. The superintendent is assisted in Sholapur by an inspector who draws £96 (Rs. 960) a year and whose head-quarters are at Barsi Road station.