History of Mangalwedha

Mangalwedha is said to be noticed as Metulingpuri in the Bhima Mahatmya included in the Skanda Purana. But this identification is doubtful. From innumerable monumental stone remains of the times of the Chalukya kings of Kalyani found scattered about the place, it is concluded that it must have been a town of great note during the ninth, tenth and eleventh centuries. It is certain from the inscriptions that the town was subject to the domination of the Chalukyas of Kalyani and was a seat of a great officer of theirs who lived at this place. Later on it was the head-quarters of Kalachuryas and was the chief town of Tarikadu-nadu. According to one inscription Bijjana who suddenly emerged with great prestige and importance first as a Chalukya feudatory and then as a usurper of the Chalukya throne and an independent king was ruling from Kalyani on May 6, 1162 A.D. while according to another, from Mangalwedha in January 17, 1162 A.D. Bhillama, the king belonging to the dynasty of the Yadavas of Devagiri after conquering the fort of Shrivardhana and storming the fort of Pratyantagad (Prachan-dagad or Torna), proceeded towards the south and killed the Kalachuri king Bilhana. This happened between c. 1170 A.D. and c. 1184 A.D. Thus Mangalwedha passed on to the Yadavas of Devagiri and ceased to be the capital city which it formerly was.
It subsequently passed on to the Bahamanis in the fourteenth century. Mangalwedha and the surrounding area was conquered by Bahadur Khan Gilani, a rebel Bahamani noble. Gilani entrenched himself in the fort of Mangalwedha. However, on the approach of the Sultan's army, he left the fort and the fort surrendered. Ratankhan defeated and killed Bahadur Khan Gilani on November 5, 1494 and captured Mangalwedha. It was subsequently bestowed upon Majlis I Rafi Malik Usuf Turk Adilkhan. In 1603 it was a seat of residence of Mir Mustafakhan, the nobleman of the Emperor Akbar. It constantly passed on from Moghals to Bijapur and vice versa and it finally became subject to the Moghal rule after the fall of Bijapur kingdom in 1686. During his stay at Machnur eight miles east of Mangalwedha, the Emperor Aurangzeb used to pay a weekly visit to the masjid of Pir Gaibi Saheb at Mangalwedha. It is said that while thus going from his camp at Mangalwedha through the waving fields of corn, Aurangzeb happened to enquire into the revenue of the pargana or sub-division and was told that only Rs. 1 lakh were realized by his government. This amount he deemed to be very small and gave orders to double it for that year and to increase the same by Rs. 40,000 more for the next year, that is, the husbandmen of the pargana had to pay Rs. 2 lakhs in 1699 and Rs. 2,40,000 in 1700. These exorbitant rates were continued for many years until in 1716, under the Satara kings, Bahirji Raje Pandhre in charge of the pargana found the country entirely depopulated and uncultivated.
Pandhre induced the people to cultivate lands at Rs. 17½ per chahur of 120 bighas for the year 1717 and at Rs. 35 for the following year, thus increasing every year by a multiple of Rs. 17½ till it came to Rs. 105 in 1722. The Pandhres were succeeded by the Shivdevs in the headship of the pargana and in 1750 by Meghashyamrao Krishna Patwardhan who acted as a Mamlat-dar of the Peshawar's government till 1764 when Mangalwedha became part of the saranjam granted to Govind Hari Patwardhan. In 1801, at the division of the saranjam Mangalwedha came to the share of the Sangli branch. A ground fort was constructed at Mangalwedha in the year 1493. Chhatrapati Shahu, after his release from the Moghal captivity and after ascending the throne, appointed Raje Pandhre as Subhedar who looked after the town from 1708 to 1742. The chauburji inside the fort was constructed by Raje Pandhre in 1720-1730. The town went under the British administration for a few years after Shrimant Dhundiraj Tatyasaheb became the chief of the Sangli State. Much of the fort was demolished by the Joint Administrator Captain West and then by Major Waller. It again went under the British administrator from 1901 to 1910. After the rulership of the State was assumed by Sir Chintamanrao Appasaheb in 1910, some democratic rights were conferred upon the people in 1930.
The responsible democratic government was established in Sangli State in 1946 and one Shri Ramchandra Ganesh alias Bhausaheb Karandikar of Mangalwedha was elected the chairman of the Sangli State Legislative Assembly. After the deed of accession to the Indian Union was signed by the Chief of Sangli on February 19, 1948, the State was merged with the Indian Union and became part of the district of Sholapur. When the State of Sangli was under the rule of an elected government, the Chief of Sangli used to visit Mangalwedha after every two to three years for about three days and give a patient hearing to the local people.