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| Historical Overview of Kolhapur City |
History of a city echoes in the lifestyle of people and various organizations in the city . The magnanimous development of Kolhapur city can be traced to its history. The various types of transformations that occurred in Indian social life during historic and prehistoric times are seen in Karvir region also. During the historic period from first century before Christ to ninth century AD, kolhapur was situated on the Brahmpuri hills. The excavations on the hill and the research on items found there indicate that during Satwahan period there was wealthy and cultured population staying there. From 225 AD to 550 AD there was dynasty of royal families of Wakatak , Kadamb, Shedrak and Mourya. During 550 AD to 753 AD there was kingdom of Chalukya family from Badami.

In 634 AD, King Kamadeo from this family started construction of Mahalaxmi temple. Almost all Chalukys Kings address Kolhapur as ‘Dakshin Kashi’ or ‘Mahateerth’. In 753 AD to 850 AD Rashtrakut dynasty was established in the south. Kolhapur region also came under their jurisdiction. From that time to 1210 AD there was kingdom of Shilahar in Kolhapur. Kolhapur has played a major role during that period as a main power center of Shilahaar kingdom. Kolhapur has been referred as Mahateerth in the stone carvings during the period of Gandaradivya King. He completed the construction of Mahalaxmi temple. His sister Chandrikadevi was married with Chalukya King Second Vikramaditya and the wealth of Kolhapur started growing.

Brahmpuri, Uttareshwar, Kholkhandoba, Rankala, Padmala and Ravaneshwar were the main natural centers of Kolhapur city in the ancient time. Hence the Kolhapur region was known as of historical importance. The above centres were like small villages at that time. In ninth century AD, Mahalaxmi temple was established and these centers were bound in to strong cultural and financial center. Archeologists believe that stone carvings, literature and architecture suggest that Mahalaxmi temple’s wealthy background cannot be taken back beyond 9th century A. D. ie . Rashtrakoot dynasty.

It is equally important to examine the relation of name Kolhapur in the light of geographical and cultural context. Karvir Peeth is referred as Dakshin Kashi in old literature. Mahalaxmi lifted the city by her pious hands to a safe place during in Paralay calamity. Hence the city was aptly named as ‘Karvir’. This hypothesis was suggested by Major Graham. In Karvir Mahatmya It is mentioned that Karvirnagar is the city lifted by Mahalaxmi goddess with her hands. In Hari Puran also there is a mention of Karvir.

City was referred as Karvir after the installation of Mahalaxmi temple. Before that, there were many names like Kolhapur, Kollpur, Kollagiri, Kolladigiripattan. Kolla means valley and Kolhapur means city of vallies. In shot, Brahmapuri, Karvir and Kolhapur are different names for this place. After the establishment of Mahalaxmi temple, Kolhapur was recognized as a religious center and gave rise to various cultural and financial developments.

There was kingdom of Shilahar in Kolhapur during 12th century AD. In 1210AD, King Sighandev of Devgiri Defeated Shilahar kingdom of Kolhapur. It was leading capital of one province of Yadav kindom of Devgiri. In 1298 AD Yadav of Devgiri were defeated and Muslim dynasty was established in Kolhapur during 1306 AD to 1307. After Shri. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj conquered Panhalgad in 1659, Kolhapur became part of Maratha kingdom. Kolhapur played a major role in freedom war of Shivaji. During the period of Maharani Tarabai, Kolhapur Attained the status of capital city. After the establishment of Karvir kingdom, there was rapid growth of the city.

In 5th century Ad, Jain came in Kolhapur. In 13th century, Vidyashankar Bharti established MATH of Shrungeri Peeth. Kolhapur attained the prestigious status name of Daxin Kashi due to such religious centers. New habitats and lanes got developed. Mahalaxmi temple became the main center of gravity and growth of city started accordingly. In 17th century, Kolhapur was at the summit6 of wealth due to its role as political power center. In 19th century, city played a role of social upliftment movement during the period of Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj.

Indication of new era :
Kolhapur municipality was established on 12 October 1854. Establishment of municipality initiated planning of modem Kolhapur city. Efforts were done with elaborate planning to develop stable and comfortable citylife. The radient indication of modern enhancement of city growth, happiness, health & beauty started reflecting in various fields. The period from 1941 to 1944 was the golden period in the history of municipality. There were major changes in various fields.

In the three year election of March 1941 local self government was established. A control board of three persons i.e. Bhai. Madhavrao Bagal, Seth Govindrao Korgaonkar, Shri Ratnappa Kumbhar was appointed in it. Motto of this board “To reserve the society without any discrimination. There is no linking of this board to any political organization. Whatever rights are confessed by government to citizens should be utilized fully is prime duty of the board.” Is declared in the board’s manifesto.

Progress of corporation :
The period from 1954 to 71 was the period of speedy growth of Kolhapur city. It is seen that the municipality moved towards corporation status during this period. It is seen from records that in 1960, there were 44 members in municipality. Out of them 37 were from general category, 3 from reserved backward category and 4 from women reserved category. The municipal working was based on administrative triangle of general body meeting, chief officer and standing committee. Engineers, health officers, account officers, supervisors, octroi and tax officers used to help Chief officer. In1956-57, the annual income of municipality was Rs. 33,21, 213 through taxes and other means, and the expenditure was Rs. 29,29,161. This indicates the growing business of municipality. During this period network of roads was constructed in the city. New bridges were constructed as per requirement. Water supply was made more effective. New markets, gardens were constructed to make the city more beautiful.

Effective growth in industrialization in Kolhapur resulted in starting a new industrial era, due to devoted efforts of Y.P. Pawar, Mhadba Mistri, Tatya Shinde, and Late. Rambhai Samani. The large area of Udyam nagari was busy in preparing machinery and spare parts. The products from Kolhapur Industrial Estate started getting exported to number of Asian and African companies. Municipality helped the growth of industry in many ways.

During this period only Shivaji University was established at the hands of Dr. Radhakrishnan in 1962. Thus municipality helped in restructuring industry and education. In December 1972 the municipal council was dissolved.

Corporation during administrative rule :
On 15th Dec. 1972, the municipal council was coverted into corporation. The corporation was need of the time to solve growing Urban problem due to growing population. During 1972-78, Dwarkanath Kapoor, Shri N.M. Devsthale, shri D. T. Joseph, Shri V. N. Makhija worked as administrators. Revised city development plan is the main success of corporation. The suburb towns were planned as per town development plan scheme of 1960. The displaced citizens were rehabilitated properly.

Era of elected body of members :
In August 1978, the first people elected corporation was formed in true sense. During this period, Shri Babasaheb Kasabekar (1978-79) Shri Nanasaheb Yadav, (1979-80) Late Shri D. N. Kanerkar (1980), Baburao Parkhe (1980-81), Prof. Shri Subhash Rane ware mayors and they contributed significantly in the development of Kolhapur city.

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