Offbeat Alert: Places To Visit In Khandesh, Maharashtra

As you plan your Maharashtra adventure, consider veering off the well-trodden path to discover the hidden treasures of Khandesh
Fort ruins in Maharashtra
Fort ruins in MaharashtraShutterstock

Khandesh is situated in Western India and is a part of Maharashtra while also sharing a region, Burhanpur, with Madhya Pradesh. It boasts a diverse physiography, with the Tapti River valley in the centre, the Satpura Ranges to the north, the Berar region to the east, the Ajanta Hills to the south, and the westernmost ranges of the Western Ghats to the west. Ancient in origin, the region is mentioned in the Markandeya Purana and Jain literature and has witnessed continuous action through the early and mediaeval history until modern times. Here is a look at various historical places in the city of Khandesh.


The main gate of Songir Fort
The main gate of Songir FortWikimedia Commons

Songir is located in the Dhule district of Khandesh, Maharashtra and stands at the intersection of Mumbai-Agra highway and Ahmedabad highway. The place has been ruled under different banners throughout history. From the Farooqui Sultans in the 14th century, the Mughals took over the place. It fell to the Marathas after the Mughals and finally to the British in 1818. The 1884 Presidency Gazetteer mentions that the "Arab soldiers made an attempt to recover Songir, but were gallantly repulsed by a part of 250 native cavalry, who had been placed in charge of Captain Briggs."

Visitors can explore the remains of Songir Fort, situated atop the village. The fort's entrance is mainly destroyed, with only the main structure remaining. The gate once bore an inscription from 1575 that praised the bravery of Ugrasen, son of Mansingh. This inscription is now in the possession of the local government. Climbing the fort's stairs will lead travellers to a water tank, the ruins of fort walls, and a dry well that's as deep as a ten-story building. A little further on, a picturesque pond used to store the well's water can be found. Beyond that point, the ruins of a mansion and bastions can be explored.


Farkande is a village situated in the Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. The mosque of twin towers, or minarets, is a well-known attraction in the area. In fact, the Presidency Gazetteer describes the twin minarets as being so sensitive that when one shakes, the other moves. Unfortunately, one of the minarets has crumbled due to nearby construction. Despite being a beautiful example of Indian-style architecture, the mosque is currently ill-maintained and poor.


Temple of Chandika Devi
Temple of Chandika DeviWikimedia Commons

Patnadevi, referred to in the Presidency gazetteer as Patna, is a historic site with much tourist repute situated 18 km southwest of Chalisgaon, Maharashtra. The place is inside the Gautala Autramghat Sanctuary and is encompassed by the dwarfing mountains of Sahyadri. The highlight of the place is two ancient temples, the Chandika Devi Temple and Hemadpanthi Mahadev Temple.

The temples are richly carved with images, sculptures, and figurines within the premises. Bhaskaracharya, or Bhaskara II, a 12th-century Indian mathematician and a renowned astronomer of his time, lived in an ashram in Patnadevi.


Nandurbar district
Nandurbar districtWikimedia Commons

Nandurbari s a district with a high population of tribal people. The region boasts fifteen forts scattered throughout its hills and grounds, each with its own rich history. According to the Presidency Gazetteer, Nandurbar is referenced in a Kanheri cave inscription from the third century, and Ibn Batuta also mentions it. Alongside the forts, visitors can explore the old shrines of Muslim sufis and saints that remain popular with locals.


Mudhai Devi temple
Mudhai Devi templeWikimedia Commons

Nashirabad is a charming town located in the Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. This place is a paradise for history enthusiasts as it features a plethora of ancient and modern temples and mosques. The structures here date back to as early as 1725. According to the Presidency Gazetteer, there was an old fort here that used to offer a stunning view of the surrounding areas. However, it was left to deteriorate since the mamlatdar's office was moved to Jalgaon. Within the Jalgaon district in Waghali, travellers can also find the ancient Mudhai Devi temple.

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