Friday, 29 June 2018

Brief History of Pune

The original nucleus of Pune was located in the immediate vicinity of the confluence of the Mula and Mutha. River confluences have traditionally been considered sacred by the Hindus and to this fact, is attributed the original name of Poona: Sanskrit "Punyapur" (Cleanser), which changed into Marathi "Pune" and the British "Poona". ( Gadgil, 1952). Pune that has a long history can be traced from the copper plate inscriptions of the Rastrakuta kings in the 8th and 10th century. After the Rastrakutas, Pune came under the Yadav Kings of Daulatabad. During the period from sixth to thirteenth century, Pune served as head quarters for Hindu dynasties that controlled the West Deccan Region. Later in 1294 AD it came under Mohammedan rule with Muslim invasion of the Deccan. In the early thirteenth century it was said to be only a small village containing fifteen huts around the traditional temples. At the end of the thirteenth century the first traces of a market town called, 'Kasbe Pune' was developed by an Arab military governor (Burha Arab )whom  Allauddin Khilji had appointed .It was created by combining the villages of Kasarli and Kumbarli to its east Pune remained largely a Muslim garrison town for over three centuries .Kasba Peth was the first Peth to be established . He is also said to have built a fort along the Mutha river as his residential quarters. The fort was known as Kille Hissar .

In 1629, Siddhi Yakub and Ranjitrai were appointed in charge of the fort by Nizamshah. Kille  Hissar  fort  was  reserved  for  the  garrison  and  the  town's  Muslim  inhabitants.  Beyond  the  inner  wall,  an  outer  wall  surrounded  the   civilian   Hindu   population   consisting   of   artisans,   farmers   and   traders.   In   the   early l630s,  Pune  came  into  Shahaji's  (Shivaji's  father)  possession  ranted by the Muslim King of Ahmednagar. Soon  after,   his  enemies  attacked  it  and  Pune  was  burnt  and  razed  to  the  ground.  However,   Shahaji  made  Pune  as  seat  in  1636,  and  the  town  was  reconstructed  .   Small   suburban   settlements   emerged   outside  the   Kasba,   and   Pune   enjoyed  a  brief  period  of  peace  and  prosperity.  ( Joshi, 1971).
  The  kasba  was  surrounded  by  fringe  of  semi  rural  suburbs.  To  the  east  of  Kasba,  was  the  oldest  suburb  called  Shahapur  contained  cultivators,  gardeners,  artisans  and  petty  traders.  To  the  north  of  the  Shahapur  was  Astapur  containing outcaste  communities. The  southern  suburb  of Malkapur  was a settlement  of traders, the  eastern  riverbank  suburb  of  Murtazabad  was  predominated  by  Brahmins  and  to  the  south  east  of  Kasba  was  Mohiyabad,  added  to  it  during  the  visit  of  Moghul  Emperor  Aurangzeb to Pune about  1700 (Gadgil,  1952).

In 1708, the Moghul Emperor declared Shivaji's grandson Shahu as Maratha king at Satara.
Several districts including Pune were granted to Shahu by the Moghul Emperor as his autonomous territory. Shahu appointed a Brahmin as his Prime Minister or 'Peshwa" (a Persian title used by the Muslim kings of the Deccan; Poona Gaz, 11) to look after the administration at Pune. Later 'Peshwa" became hereditary and the second peshwas BajiRao I made Pune as his residence in 1720. In 1726, Shahu granted him the town as a part of his 'Jagir" and thereafter, Pune became the permanent official seat of the peshwas for nearly a century.

The  real  growth  of  Pune  dates  from  the  time  of  Peshwa  Bajirao  I,  when  a  systematic  expansion  of  the  town  was  under  taken.  In 1728, Bajirao Peshwa asked his sardars, Mahadjipant Purandare, Dadaji Nilkantha Prabhu, Sakharampant Bokil and Babuji Naik, to demolish the fort and construct houses for themselves.  Once  the  official  status  of  Pune  as  a  capital  city  was confirmed  by  the  Peshwas  and  his  nobles,  the  town  started  to  grow  organically  by accretion. The  growth  of  Kasba  took  place  through  the  addition  of  new  localities,  which  were  known  as  'Pur'  or  'Pura'  in the  early  stages  and  later  raised,  to  the  status  of  a  'Peth'  (i.e.  a  large  division  of  town).   Gradually  the  peths  grew  to  be  a  fairly  self-sufficient.   Often  a  peth  was  a  small  town,  centering  on  the  founder's  mansion  and  containing  one  predominant  temple,  in  addition  to  several  others. (Gadgil,  1952). The  old  suburbs  were  annexed  to the  Kasba  as its  new peths.
The  old  Muslim  names  of  the  peths  were  gradually  changed  to  the  Hindu  names  following the  days  of  the  week.  (Local  traditions  trace  the  origin  of  these  names  to  the customs  of  holding  weekly markets  in each  peth on a specific  day of the week.)

Former  Shahapur,  Astapur,  Mohiyabad,  Murtazabad  and  Malkapur  were  renamed  Somwar   (Monday),   Mangalwar    (Tuesday),   Budhwar    (Wednesday),   Shaniwar   (Saturday),  and Raviwar  or  Adiwar  (Sunday)  peths,  respectively.  A  new  peth  called  Shukrawar  (Friday)  was  eatablished  in   1734.  (Gadgil,  1952).  In  1739,  Pune  was  described  as  a prosperous,  crowded  and  well  built  town,  with  handsome  houses  and  an impressive  gun  factory.  (Poona gaz.,  HI: 405).  The Town  was further  extended  in  the  1750's  with  the  addition  of  five  new  Peths:  Guruwar  (Thursday)  or  Vetal  peth,  Ganesh  peth,  Ganj  peth,  Musafarjung  peth  and  Nihal  or  Nagesh  peth.   The  early  growth  of  Pune  was  southward,  bounded  as  it  was  by  the  river  on  the  north,  by  the  streams  Nagasari  and  Manik  nala  in  the  east  and  by  another  parallel  stream  in  the  west,  which  was  later,  diverted  and  has  disappeared  completely.  This  was  the  main  reason  for  the north-south  direction  of lines of communication  in the city.

The  physical  expansion  of  Pune,  which  had  so  far  been  largely  southward,  assumed  an  east-west  direction  in  the  late  1760's.  In  the  east,  the  space  between Nagzari  and  Manik  nala  was  being  brought  under  settlement.  Bhawani  peth  was  located  in  this  area  en  route  to  Sholapur,  in 1767.
  In  addition  to  the  Kasba and  the eleven  peths,  two  small  localities  called   Karanpura  and  the  Hashampura,  both  absorbed  into the  Sadashiv  peth  in  1769 came up. (Gadgil,  1952). Narayan  peth  was  also established  about  the  same  time  on a strip  of  land  along  the river,  to the west of
Shaniwar peth. (Poona Gaz.III: 280).
The  last  phase  in  the  extension  of  Pune,  which  transformed   it  into  a  city, began  in the  1780's  and  seems to have resulted  from  its growing  importance  and the concomitant  increase  in  trade  due  to  royal  patronage.  In  1781, Ghorpade  peth  was  founded   and  formed   the  southernmost  extension   of  the  city.    To  the  north  of  Bhavani   peth,  Raste   and   Nana  peths  were  established   during   1785  and   1790  respectively.  The  Kasba  and  its  seventeen  peths,  which  constituted  the  indigenous  city, almost  until  the end  of the 19th  century, were  in place  by  1790.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting and good read. Thanks. Do you recommend any books .