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श्री गणपती मंदिर - तासगाव


Tasgaon, 17° 2´ north latitude and 74° 40´ east longitude, the headquarters of the taluka of the same name, is a municipal town of 16,649 inhabitants. It is 102.99 km (sixty−four miles) south−east of Satara by the Satara−Tasgaon road. The route via Karhad though 3.21 km (two miles) distant is much more convenient. Now the place is generally approached by a visitor by getting down at Bhilavadi, a railway station on the Poena−Miraj route of the South−Central Railway, from where Tasgaon is only 9.65 km (six miles) to the west.

The town is on a slightly elevated ground on the north bank of a stream flowing; into the Yerla about 6.43 km (four miles) to the south−west. The Satara− Tasgaon road crosses the Yerla 4.82 km (three miles) west of Tasgaon. Except during monsoons its bed runs very dry and though the floods last for a very short time they are very sudden. This stream is the major source of water−supply and during summer pits are dug in its bed to get drinking water. To the northern side of the town there are seven draw wells which also hold a good quantity of water.

Tasgaon is a commercial centre of some repute in the district and has a large community of traders, the great trade of the town is in cotton. The principal crops grown are cotton, tobacco, sugarcane, groundnuts and chillis. The traders locally purchase these commodities and send them to the markets of Satara, Solapur, Poona and Chiplun. In exchange commodities like salt, sugar, piece−goods. Metals and spices are brought. At present a market committee is functioning in the town and there is a proposal to set up an industrial estate. There is a considerable population of weavers engaged in weaving handloom cloth: they have formed a co−operative society. In addition there are co−operative societies of the blacksmiths and carpenters.

The mamlatdar’s office, the police station and the sub−registry are housed in one and the same building. The court which for a long time used to be housed in an old dilapidated building has now decent premises. There is a municipal civil dispensary and a maternity home. A veterinary centre is under the management of the Zillah Parishad. The town has a seed and seedlings growing centre, a post and telegraph office and a depot of the state transport corporation. Besides the primary schools there are two high schools, two Training colleges, one each for males and females, and an Arts and Commerce college run by the Swami Vivekananda Education Society. For the first five years from its inception, the college received an annual grant of Rs. 10,000 from the town municipality. The municipality also makes an annual grant of Rs. 900 to the general library of the town.

Ganapati Temple.

The chief buildings are the Patvardhan mansion and the temple of Ganapati also built by the Patvardhans. The mansion of the Patvardhan family is a set of buildings of the ordinary type, with front and back courts and the private dwelling house between with several verandahs. It is situated in an enclosure about 32.51 m2 (360 feet square) surrounded by mud and stone walls from 6.70 (twenty−two) to 9.14 meters (thirty feet) high on the outside, 6.09 meters (twenty feet) on the inside, and 3.04 meters (ten feet) broad all round. There are three chief gates, a small one about 9.14 meters (thirty feet) from the north−west corner and two large ones at the centre of the north and east corners. There are lofty archways fortified on each side. The northern gate was built by the greatest of the Patvardhans, Parasuram Bhau, who flourished at the end of the eighteenth century, and is often mentioned in his Indian Dispatches by General Arthur Wellesley afterwards the Duke of Wellington. He left by this gate for his last battle (1799) where he was defeated and slain. In grief at his loss the gate was blocked up and remains so still. The stabling ran along the inside of the north wall. The most strongly fortified is the eastern gate which is flanked by thick walls and commanded by three towers on the southern side. The four corners of the enclosure and the centre of its southern side are surmounted by bastions. A small temple is near the north−west gate, and a well near the temple of Ganapati was begun in 1779 by Parasuram Bhau and finished in 1799 by his son Appa. It consists of an image−chamber and a hall of plain but finely worked stone. The image−chamber is 9.44 x 8.83 meters (thirty−one feet by twenty−nine feet) and the hall 13.71x 10.36 meters (forty−five by thirty−four feet). The image−chamber has a spire 10.36 meters (thirty−four feet) high from the ground, flanked by smaller ones 2.43 meters (eight feet) shorter. These are all brick and rather tastefully decorated stucco. The hall consists of a nave with two aisles made by two rows of pillars with a 3.04 meters (ten feet) space between them, are shrines of the bullnandi and the man−eagle Garud 6.40 meters (twenty−one feet) high including the pinnacles. They consist of open canopies 0.557 m2 (six feet square) and crowned by pinnacles 2.43 meters (eight feet) high. The courtyard has wall 3.04 meters (ten feet) high with a promenade on the top. The entrance to this courtyard contains the most striking object in the building, a gateway formed by a masonry arch surmounted by a tower of the form so frequent in Southern India and known as the Gopur [The Gopur is a large and lofty pinnacle. Gopur at Gadag in Mysore State can be compared with this.].It is seven storied, gradually tapering till the top storey is a mere ridge. The outer ends curve towards one another like the hoods of the cobra; while at the centre is a pointed urn or Kailas. The lowest storey measures 11.27 meters (thirty seven feet) from east to west. The whole is 29.08 meters (ninety−five feet and five inches) high, and the kalas and curved arms are 0.17 meters (seven inches) higher. The lowest storey is of stone and the rest of brick covered with colored stucco carved into images of gods and goddesses. On each side are stairs or ascending the Gopiir with opening in the centre of each storey. The top storey gives a capital bird’s eye view of the surrounding country and of Tasgaon itself. East of the Gopur is another lower gateway and looking back theGopur appeares to rise gradually behind the gateway, and looks much like a huge snake rearing its head above the entrance to the town. From top to the bottom images of various deities are laid on the Gopur. The Gopur is unrivalled in beauty and magnificence in this part of the country. Thousands of persons gather on the day of theGanes Caturthi festival.

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