PLACES

AKLUJ

Situated in 1750' north latitude and 7500' east longitude, Akluj is a large market town on the Nira, about six miles to the north-east of Malshiras, the taluka head-quarters. This large village has a population of 40,278 souls as per the Census of 1971. The town was formerly very flourishing with a large trade in cotton which has now almost disappeared. However, it still continues to be the principal trading centre in the taluka, the main articles sold being cotton, wheat, groundnut and gur. A weekly market which is also a cattle market is held at Akluj on every Monday.

The town has a post and telegraph office. River and wells form the main source of water-supply. Primary schools conducted by the Zilla Parishad and one high school known as the Shikshan Prasarak Mandal Vidyalaya cater to the educational needs of the town populace. The primary health centre and the private medical practitioners provide medical facilities to the town populace. The town has a ruined fort.

History: In 1689, Aurangzeb, driven north from his camp at Bijapur by an out-break of the plague, came to Akluj where the epidemic subsided. After his arrival at Akluj plundering parties of Marathas were frequently near and detachments were sent to Sambhaji's territories. One of these under Mukarrab Khan was sent to Kolhapur. Mukarrab Khan succeeded in capturing Sambhaji and twenty-six others at Sangameshwar in Ratnagiri and marched with the prisoners to the Moghal camp. When the news of Sambhaji's capture reached Aurangzeb's camp at Akluj there were great rejoicings. During the four or five days when Mukarrab Khan was known to be coming with the prisoners, all classes were so overjoyed that they could not sleep and went out four miles to meet the prisoners and give expression to their joy. In every town or village on or near the road, wherever the news reached, there was great delight; and wherever the prisoners passed the doors and roofs were full of men and women who looked on rejoicing. In 1792 Captain Moor, the author of the Hindu Pantheon, described it as " Akhloos, a large respectable town with a well supplied market and with a fort and several handsome buildings and wells ". In 1803 on his march from Shrirangpattam to Pune to reinstate Bajirao II, General Wellesley halted at Akluj from the 13th to the 15th of April.

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