1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sholapur

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SHOLAPUR, a city and district of British India, in the Central division of Bombay. The city is 164 m. S.E. from Poona by rail. Municipal area, about 8 sq. m.; pop. (1901) 75,288. Since 1877 it has ceased to be a military cantonment. Its great fort, of Mahommedan construction, dates from the 14th to 17th centuries. The large bazaar is divided into seven sections, one of which is used on each day of the week. There are two municipal gardens, with fine tanks and temples. It is an important centre of trade, with three cotton mills.

The District of Sholapur has an area of 4541 sq. m. Except in Karmala and Barsi subdivisions, in the north and east, where there is a good deal of hilly ground, the district is generally flat or undulating; but it is bare of vegetation, and presents everywhere a bleak treeless appearance. The chief rivers are the Bhima and its tributaries — the Man, the Nira and the Sina — all flowing towards the south-east. Lying in a tract of uncertain rainfall, Sholapur is peculiarly liable to seasons of scarcity; much, however, has been done by the opening of canals and tanks, such as the Ekruk and Ashti tanks, to secure a better water-supply, the Ekruk tank near Sholapur city is the second largest irrigation work in the Deccan. In 1901 the population was 720,977, showing a decrease of 4% in the decade. The principal crops are millet, pulse, oil seeds and cotton. There are manufactures of silk and cotton cloth, and blankets. The chief trading mart is Barsi. Pandharpur is a popular place of pilgrimage. The Great Indian Peninsula railway runs through the district, with a junction for the Southern Mahratta railway, and another junction for the Barsi light railway, recently extended to Pandharpur.

Sholapur passed from the Bahmani to the Bijapur kings and from them to the Mahrattas. In 1818, on the fall of the peshwa, it was ceded to the British, when it formed part of the Poona collectorate, but in 1838 it was made a separate district.