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definition - Khandesh

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  Area comprising the Khandesh region of Maharashtra.
  Location of Khandesh in Maharashtra
  Modern-day map of Khandesh

Khandesh (Marathi/Hindi: ख़ानदेश) is a region of central India, which forms the northwestern portion of Maharashtra state.[1]

Khandesh was the terminal territorial part under the rule of the Mughals. The Start of Deccan region demarcated by the boundary of Khandesh.

Originally The Khandesh state was founded and ruled by Faruqi dynasty with the capital at Burhanpur. During 1388 to 1888 the Khandesh State had covered the area of the today's Jalgaon, Dhule, Nandurbar districts of Maharastra state and Burhanpur district of Madhya Pradesh state.

The terms "Khandesh" and "Deccan" thus connote historical and political affiliations, as well as geographical zones. Khandesh lies on the Northwestern corner of the Deccan plateau, in the valley of the Tapti River, and is bound to the north by the Satpura Range, to the east by the Berar (Vidarbha) region, to the south by the Hills of Ajanta, belonging to the Marathwada region of Maharashtra, and to the west by the Northernmost ranges of the Western Ghats, and beyond them the coastal plain of Gujarat.

After India's independence in 1947, Bombay province became Bombay state, which in 1960 was divided into the linguistic states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. During State formation Burhanpur became the part of State Of Madhya Pradesh and in 1960 East Khandesh became Jalgaon district, and West Khandesh became Dhule of the Maharastra State.

The principal natural feature is the Tapti River. Unlike the rest of the Deccan, whose rivers rise in the Western Ghats and flow eastward to the Bay of Bengal, the Tapti flows westward from headwaters in eastern Maharashtra to empty into the Arabian Sea. The Tapti receives thirteen principal tributaries in its course through Kandesh. None of the rivers is navigable, and the Tapti flows in a deep bed which historically made it difficult to use for irrigation. Most of Kandesh lies south of the Tapti, and is drained by its tributaries the Girna, Bori and Panjhra. The alluvial plain north of the Tapti contains some of the richest tracts in Kandesh, and the land rises towards the Satpura hills. In the centre and east the country is level, save for some low ranges of barren hills. To the north and west, the plain rises into rugged hills, thickly wooded, and inhabited by the tribal Bhil people.



  Khandesh District (1878)

Khandesh was ruled by the Faruqi dynasty from 1388 to 1601 with capital at Burhanpur, who maintained their independence from the Bahmani Sultanate which ruled much of the Deccan from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries. Asirgarh and Burhanpur were conquered by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1601, and Khandesh became province of the Mughal empire. It was conquered by the Marathas in the early eighteenth century, and ruled by the Maratha Peshwas until their defeat in the Third Anglo-Maratha War in 1818. After 1818 Burhanpur became the part Central province and Khandesh (Jalgaon, Dhulia & Nandurbar), along with most of the Peshwa's dominions, became part of Bombay Province of the British Raj. The region was administered as Khandesh district, which was divided in 1906 into two districts, East Khandesh and West Khandesh. East Khandesh, headquartered at Jalgaon, had an area of 4544 mi², and a population of 957,728 in 1901, and West Khandesh, headquartered at Dhulia (Dhule) had an area of 5497 mi² and a population of 469,654 in 1901.[2]

Farmers of Khandesh are hardworking. There was no major irrigation facility in Khandesh before the Girana and Hatnur dams were commissioned. Most of the Khandesh is arid or semi arid.

Due to the efforts of great freedom fighter and socialist leader venerable Pandurang Sadashiv Sane (popularly known as Sane Guruji) of Shahada, Maharashtra and generous donation of Pratap Seth of Amalner, Pratp College become an important center of education.

Khandesh has rich cultural and literary heritage. Mukta Bai, the younger sister of Dnyaneshwar lived at Muktai nagar(earstwhile Edalabad). Near Edalabad, lived the great yogi, Changdeva in the thirteenth century. There was also strong presence of Kabir Pantha in Khandesh due to the proximity of Burhanpur, the seat of Kabir Panth.

Bahina Bai Choudhary regarded as one the greatest poetess in Marathi literature belonged to a Khandeshi farmer family. Her son Kavi Sopandeo Choudhary was famous for his poetry with a touch of humor. Balkavi, Trambak Bapuji Thombre, then another great name in Marathi poetry belonged to Jalgaon district. Dr. V.B. Kolte a noted scholar of Marathi hailed from Khandesh who was the top authority on Mahanubhav literature.

The well known Marathi writers from Khandesh region include Dr. Bhalchandra Nemade, N.D. Mahanor and Dr Sharad Rane. Dr. Nemade is known for his Novels Kosala, Bidhar, Jarila and Zool and collection of poetry Melody.

Dr Nemade belongs to the Sangavi village in Yawal taluka, and his novel Kosala is a semi-autobiographical account narrating his abrasive experiences in Pune where he came for higher education. He has poignantly exposed cultural snobbishness of people around him which, forces him to go into the seclusion (kosala).

Poet N.D. Mahanor can be described as the true exponent of natural poetry who seemed to have adopted himself very ably in the shoes of Balkavi. Through his poetry on nature, Mahanor breathed fresh air in Marathi poetry in the early 1970s.

Dr. Sharad Rane writes for children. Comrade Sharad Patil, one of the original thinkers in Maharashtra lives in Dhule. He is an authority on Indology, Marxism, Ambedkarism and Marathi literature. His name is well known in the higher academic circle for his contributions.

Khandesh provided many freedom fighters to the country, Dadasaheb Dhanaji Nana, Bhausaheb Bonde Guruji, Dadusinh, Vyankatrao randheer, Shivaji Patil, Uttamrao Patil, Hutatma Bapu Wani(Neve), Lilatai Patil, Shirishkumar were the famous characters. Late Sonusingh Patil, Late Bapuso Sudhakarrao Neve,Dadasaheb Raval, P.K. Patil, Udesing Anna Pawar, Pundlik Jibhau, KakaBaba(Purmepada) are the main faces who representated this area.as well as Padmasri sheetal mahajan (first lady who jumps both North and south pole),Nilima Mishra(winner of reman magasasy award, Philippines) they are belonging from Khandesh


Ahirani is spoken in West Khandesh from Girana basin this language is the mix of Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati. Khandeshi is spoken in Eastern part of Khandesh.[3]

More history about Khandesh may be located in the various books written by Prof. Dr. Gajkumar Shah. Shah has done vast research in "Peshwe kalin Khandesh" [Khandesh during the time of Peshwe] and published several research papers on economical conditions of Khandesh during Peshava's time. He got his doctorate from Poona University in 1984 and studied Peshwe Daffatar [administrative records of Peshwa] and made avaialble to the aspirants of medieval history. Khandesh is the land of learned people from ancient time, and this tradition has followed by people like Prof. G.B. Shah, Prof. P.N. Deshpande to name a few.

  A panorama of Purna River, Dhupeshwar, Malkapur. Purna originates in Pokhran Village which is 2 KM away from Bhaisdehi Madhya Pradesh and flows from Vidarbha region mainly and empties in Tapti, near Changdeo in Khandesh.

  Major cities

  • Jalgaon
  • Dhule
  • Dharangaon (comes in Jalgaon dist part)
  • Shahada
  • Shirpur
  • Nandurbar(Newly formed district especially for Adivasis))
  • Taloda (Falls in Nandurbar Distict)
  • Prakasha (Falls in Shadada Dist. famous as Southern Kashi, Holi Place for Hindus))
  • Chopda
  • Parola ( comes in jalgaon district part)
  • Amalner
  • Bhusawal
  • Bodwad
  • Chalisgaon
  • Malegaon (comes in Nashik Dist part of old Khandesh province)
  • Satana (comes in Nashik Dist part of old Khandesh province)
  • Kalwan (comes in Nashik Dist part of old Khandesh province)
  • Burhanpur {comes in Madhya Pradesh Capital of old Khandesh province}
  • Asirgarh {comes in Madhya Pradesh Part of old Khandesh province}
  • Arthe (comes in shirpur dist part)
  • Taradi (comes in shirpur dist part)
  • Nageshwar Bangala (comes in shirpur dist part)
  • Nimzari (comes in shirpur dist part)
  • Vadhoda (comes in Chopda dist part)
  • Chimthana (comes in Shindkheda dist part)
  • Pachora (comes in Jalgaon dist part)
  • Dondaicha (comes in Nandurbar dist part)
  • Erandol (comes in Jalgaon dist part)
  • Balsane (comes in Dhule dist part)(Jain thirth God Vimalnath )


chilane in shindkheda part of dhule


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