Gadhinglaj (16° 10' N, 74° 20' E; p. 8,546)
lies on the left bank of the Hiranyakesi closed to the Sankesvar
Amboli Pass road forty-five miles south-east of Kolhapur. It is 26
miles from Ghataprabha railway station on the Bangalore-Poona meteh
gauge railway. It is the head-quarters of the taluka of the same
name. The river Hiranyakesi flows from west to east on the outskirts
of the town. The town is a centre of trade for the agricultural
produce of the surrounding villages. A weekly bazar is held every
Area and Population.
Of the total population of 8,546 according to the
census figures of 1951, the agricultural classes number 4,291 and
the non-agricultural classes 4,255. Of the latter 1,019 persons
derive their principal means of livelihood from production other
than cultivation, 1,207 persons from commerce, 110 persons from
transport, and 1,919 persons from other services and miscellaneous
The civic affairs of the town are managed by a
municipality established in 1887 and now functioning under the
Bombay District Municipal Act (III) of 1901. The municipal area
covers nearly 3 square miles. The municipal council is composed of
16 members, all elected. One seat is reserved for the scheduled
castes in ward No. 1 and two seats for women, to rotate-alternately
in wards I-II and wards III-IV. There are two municipal committees,
namely the managing committee and the octroi committee. In 1954-55,
the total income of the municipality, excluding extraordinary and
debt heads, was Rs. 59,556. House tax was Rs. 18,221; special
sanitary cess, Rs. 1,736; general sanitary cess, Rs. 3,297; grants
Rs. 5,817; licence fees, Rs. 2,797; revenue derived from municipal
property, Rs. 9,163; octroi, Rs. 14,970 (from 26th January to 31st
March 1955); miscellaneous, Rs. 3,555. The total expenditure in the
same year amounted to Rs. 39,898 of which Rs. 6,569 was incurred
under general administration; Rs. 5,712 under public safety; Rs.
21,950 under public health and convenience; Rs. 100 under public
instruction; contributions Rs. 2,000 and miscellaneous Rs. 3,567.
There is a Government dispensary in the town, to
which the municipality contributes Rs. 1,000 every year. There is
also a Government veterinary dispensary, which is now located in the
dharmasala. As the town is situated on a hillock the sullage
water is easily drained away. There is no special drainage work for
the town (February 1956). There are some stone-lined gutters and
other kutcha drains by the side of roads, which are meant
only for draining away the rain water. The town gets all its water
supply from a few wells in the town and from the Hiranyakesi river
outside the town. Very few of the wells contain drinkable water.
There is a scarcity of drinking water in the town, and the question
of building a water-works for the town is now (February, 1956)
engaging the attention of the municipality. There is compulsory
primary education functioning in the town. The District School Board
manages it, the municipality making its statutory contribution to
the School Board. The Government runs a high school called Maharani
Radhabai High School. There is also a boarding house called
Chatrapati Sivaji Boarding, run by a private institution to which
the municipality makes a grant of Rs. 100 a year. There is no fire
service maintained by the municipality. The total length of roads
within the municipal limits is 9 miles, all of which is unmetalled.
There are no municipal burial places. There are two burial places,
one maintained by the Muslim community and the other by the Lingayat
community. The municipality has decided to provide a public park for
children and approached Government for the grant of suitable land
for the purpose.
The fort of Samangad is situated nearly six miles
away to the south-east of the town. A big fair is held there in the
month of March attended by about 12,000 people.
Like other Kolhapur towns Gadhinglaj suffered
greatly during the long wars at the close of the eighteenth century
(1773-1810), especially at the hands of the Patwardhan Konherao and
the Desals of Nipanl. The fort which was built in about 1,700 by an
ancestor of the Kapasi family is now in ruins.
The chief temple in honour of Kalesvar in the centre
of the town is built of rubble and mortar 30' x 20' x 30' high.
About three miles north of Gadhinglaj is a temple of Bahiri, where
every March a fair is held attended by about 8,000 people.