PLACES

MADHA

The head-quarters of the Madha taluka is situated in 1800' north latitude and 7530' east longitude and has, according to the Census of 1971, a total population of 9,085 souls. The old Sholapur District Gazetteer published in 1884 mentions it as a municipal town. Located about forty miles to the north-west of Sholapur, the district head-quarters, it is a railway station on the Pune-Sholapur broad gauge main line of the South-Central Railway.

The place owes its growth from a small village to a township of consequence to Rambhaji Nimbalkar who lived here and built a fort. Rambhaji Nimbalkar was awarded the title of Rao Rambha in 1707. He held a fief in the province of Pune. The new jagir of Karmala was conferred upon him and he shifted to Karmala in 1727. It was Rao Rambha after he settled at Karmala, who constructed a fortress and a temple of the goddess at Madha. Since the building of the fort, Madha has always been a place of trade' especially while the railway was in making and during the American war.

Being the head-quarters of the taluka, in this village arc located the offices of the Mamlatdar and the Court of the Civil Judge, Junior Division. The jurisdiction of the police station at Madha extends over 52 villages. The head-quarters of the Madha Panchayat Samiti is, however, located at Kurduwadi. The educational facilities are provided by the primary schools conducted by the Zilla Parishad, a high school and a college of arts and commerce. Wells form the main source of water-supply. A weekly market is held at Madha on every Tuesday. A Government rest-house is also located at Madha.

The principal objects of interest in the town are the fortress and the temple of Madheshwari Devi constructed by the Nimbalkars. Of the fort the wall on two sides and bastions at the four corners remain and the space is used to house the backward Class boarding conducted by the Zilla Parishad. The temple of Devi is a handsome building raised by the Nimbalkars on the site of an old shrine. A yearly fair is held at the temple in honour of Madheshwari Devi or the Jagdamba on the full-moon day of Ashvina (September-October). About 2,500 people assemble at the time of the fair.

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