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Miraj pronunciation (help·info)(Marathi:मिरज), is a town in southern Maharashtra, India that was founded in the early 10th century. It was an important Jagir of the Adilshahi Court of Bijapur. Shivaji Maharaj stayed in Miraj for two months during his South India Campaign. Because of its location, Miraj has been held as a strategic bastion: it was the capital of Miraj Senior and an important junction on the central railway network. Pathwardhan Raje ruled Miraj until Independence. Miraj City is part of the Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad Municipal Corporation formed in 1999. The town is recognised for performance of Hindustani classical music, its medical services and as a place of religious harmony. Marathi and Kannada are widely spoken languages.

Contents [hide] 1 Early history 1.1 Silahara. (1000 to 1216) 1.2 Yadavas and Bahamanis. (1216 to 1347) 1.3 Fortress 1.4 Fall of the Bahamani Empire 1.5 Rise of the Maratha empire 1.6 Mughals 2 Modern history 2.1 Peshwas 2.2 British 2.3 Independence 3 Climate 4 Hindustani classical music 4.1 Musicians 4.2 String instruments 5 Transportation 5.1 Railway 5.2 Road 6 Medical facilities 6.1 Wanless hospital 6.2 Open heart surgery 6.3 Hospitals 7 Schools 8 Places of worship 9 See also 10 References 11 External links

[edit] Early historyIn 1024 AD, Miraj was ruled by Narsimha of the Silahar dynasty. From 1216 to 1316, the Yadavas of Devgiri ruled the town. In 1395, the Bahamanis conquered Miraj. Between 1391 and 1403, Miraj was affected by the Durgadevi famine. From 1423, Malik Imad Ul Mulk ruled Miraj. 1494 was the year of Bahadur Khan Gilani's rebellion. For two months of 1660, Shivaji Maharaj and Adilshah battled for control of Miraj. In 1680, Santaji Ghorpade became Deshmukhi of Miraj and six years later, the town was captured by Aurangzeb. In 1730, Chatrapati Shahu of Satara instructed Pant Pratinidhi to attack the town. Shahu gains power in Miraj on 3 October, 1739 and brings Maratha rule. In 1761, Harbhat Patwardhan's son, Gopalrao, took the Miraj Jagir from Peshwa Madhavrao. In 1801, the Miraj was divided into two parts, Miraj and Chintamanrao with Sangli. In 1819, British rule is established and in 1948, the Princedom of Miraj becomes part of the Republic of India.

[edit] Silahara. (1000 to 1216)At the end of the 9th century, the Silaharas of Kolhapur gained rule of Miraj. Jattiga II (circa 1000-1020 AD), the fourth ruler of Silahar dynasty, appears in the records of his son, Narasimha (circa 1050 to 1075 AD). Jattiga II was succeeded by his son, Gonka who has been described in inscriptions as the conqueror of Karahata (Karhad), Mirinj Miraj and Konkan. The Silaharas were able to retain the rule of Miraj despite nearby military action by Chavan-raja, the general of Chalukya Jayasirhha II.

[edit] Yadavas and Bahamanis. (1216 to 1347)In 1216, Miraj, along with other territories of Silaharas, was conquered by the Yadavas. In 1318, the Bahamanis gained control. Historian, Tazkirat-ul-Mulk, reported that Hasan, the founder of the Bahamani dynasty, was in the employ of the Saikh Muhammad Junaidi at Gangi near Miraj. Hasan found a treasure with which he raised an army, marched on Miraj. He defeated and imprisoned Rani Durgavati, the subhedar of Miraj and captured the town's fort. At the behest of Saikh Muhammad, the name of the town was changed to Mubarakabad in 1347 (748 Hijri).

[edit] FortressThe builder of the Miraj fort is unknown. It probably predates the Bahamani sultans even though they may have repaired the fort and increased its fortifications. They used the fort as a base for military expeditions against South Konkan and Goa. Firishta mentions the fort in an account of the rebellion of Bahadur Gilani in 1494, which was quelled by Sultan Muhammad II (1452–1515). Muhammad II took the fort from its governor, Buna Naik, who acquiesced to the new ruler. Gilani's troops were offered the options of joining Muhammad's army and being treated with leniency or leaving. About 2000 soldiers left the fort to join Gilani's rebel forces. The main entrance of the fortress was a huge gate about 30 ft (9.1 m) high but it has been demolished in recent times.

[edit] Fall of the Bahamani EmpireThe power of the Bahamani rulers wained under the influence of powerful provincial governors. In 1490, the rule of Miraj passed to the Sultanate of Bijapur. During the later years of his reign, Ibrahim Ali Shah I (1534-1558), kept his son, Ali Adil Shah I (1558-1580) under house arrest in Miraj. On Ibrahim's death in 1580, Miraj became an point d' appui (an assembly point) for Ali's troops in his assuming the thrown. Subsequently, the troops of Miraj fought with Ismail against Ibrahim Adil Sah III.

[edit] Rise of the Maratha empireBy the mid 1640's the muslim Bijapur sultanate was weakening.Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha empire, was growing in power. He went to battle agains the Bijapuris and the Mughals. On 28 November, 1659, (within 18 days of Afzal Khan's, the Bijapuri sardar's, death at Pratapgad, Panhala), the western Adil Sahi district was surrendered to Annaji Datto (Shivaji's finance minister). Unlike other towns, the Miraj fort resisted. Shivaji, who was encamped at Kolhapur, sent Netaji Palkar to besiege Miraj. In January, 1660, Shivaji arrived to personally command the three month long ongoing siege. However, news of attacks by Siddi Johar and Fazal Khan caused his return to Panhala. The siege of Miraj was abandoned and negotiations began. Under the rule of Sambhaji, Maratha generals (Santaji Ghorpade and Dhanaji Jadhav) chose Miraj as a safe place for their families while they were conducting guerilla actions against the invading Aurangzeb forces of the Mughal emperor.

[edit] MughalsIn 1687, Bijapur fell to the Mughals. Miraj remained under Mughal rule until 3 October, 1739. On that day, it was captured by Chhatrapati Shahu after a military campaign of two years, reflecting the fall of the last defences of the Mughals.

[edit] Modern history[edit] PeshwasThe state of Miraj was founded prior to 1750. In 1761, Peshva Madhavrao gave the Miraj fort to Gopalrao Patwardhan. The Patwardhans of Miraj, who took the title, Raja were instrumental in the Peshwa military campaigns against Haider and the Tipu Sultan.

[edit] BritishThe Patwardhan dynasty ruled Miraj as the capital of a principality, overseen by British rule. Miraj was part of the southern division of the Bombay Presidency which in turn was part of the southern Mahratta Jagirs, and later the Deccan States Agency. In 1820, the state of Miraj was divided into Miraj senior and Miraj Junior. The territory of both regions was distributed among other native states and British districts. The area of Miraj Senior was 339 square miles (880 km2). In 1901, its population was 81, 467. Its revenue was £23,000 and the tax paid to the British was £800. The population of the town of Miraj in 1901 was 18, 425. It lay on a junction on the Southern Mahratta Railway.

[edit] IndependenceOn 8 March, 1948, Miraj Senior acceded to the Dominion of India. At the present day, it is a part of the Maharashtra state.

[edit] Climate[hide]Climate data for Miraj Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Average high °C (°F) 30.5 (86.9) 32.8 (91.0) 36.1 (97.0) 37.9 (100.2) 37.5 (99.5) 31.5 (88.7) 27.9 (82.2) 28.2 (82.8) 29.2 (84.6) 31.0 (87.8) 30.1 (86.2) 29.5 (85.1) 31.85 (89.33) Average low °C (°F) 14.1 (57.4) 15.2 (59.4) 18.5 (65.3) 21.5 (70.7) 22.7 (72.9) 22.3 (72.1) 21.7 (71.1) 21.2 (70.2) 20.2 (68.4) 20.1 (68.2) 17.3 (63.1) 14.3 (57.7) 19.09 (66.37) Precipitation mm (inches) 4.1 (0.161) 0.5 (0.02) 3.8 (0.15) 32.0 (1.26) 56.4 (2.22