Dharashiv, new name for Osmanabad, dates back to eighth century: expert

  • | Friday | 1st July, 2022

Aurangabad, Jul 1 (PTI) One of the last decisions of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government was to rename the Osmanabad city in central Maharashtra as `Dharashiv".While `Osmanabad" was a name that was given to the city in the 20th century, the earliest mention of `Dharashiv" dates back to the eighth century when the Satavahana dynasty ruled this region, said a local historian.Hours before Thackeray resigned as Maharashtra chief minister on Wednesday, the state cabinet granted long-standing demands that Aurangabad be renamed as Sambhajinagar and Osmanabad as Dharashiv.Both the cities, now in central Maharashtra, were part of the Hyderabad state before Independence.Writer and historian Raj Kulkarni said that during the Nizam"s rule, Osmanabad was a key city of the Gulbarga province. Naldurg fort, located close to the city, was the district headquarters till 1911."As per R S Morwanchikar"s book, "Satavahana Kalin Maharashtra" (Maharashtra in the Satavahana era), a copperplate inscription records donation of land near `Dharashiv"," said Kulkarni. This inscription is from the eighth century, he said.`Karakandchirayu", written by a Jain saint in the 11th century, refers to Dharashiv Caves which are located 5 km away from today"s Osmanabad city, he said.Researcher Dr Somnath Rode, who has written a thesis on Dharashiv Caves, says that a king named Shiv from Ter, an ancient trading centre, built this cave complex after a water source was found in the area. `Dhara" in Marathi means a flow or stream of water."Bhartiya Sanskruti Kosh" by Marathi scholar-writer Mahadevshastri Joshi claims that when the Dharashiv caves were built, two guards named Dhara and Shiv were deployed to guard them, hence the name `Dharashiv".During the rule of the Nizams of Hyderabad, the names of several cities and towns were changed, Kulkarni said."For instance, the town of Ambejogai (in today"s Beed district) was named as Mominabad. Likewise, Dharashiv was named as Osmanabad in 1904 in the honour of the last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali who was also known as the seventh Asafjah," he said.The demand to change the name to Dharashiv was first raised in 1937. Marathi periodical "Nizam Vijay" which was published from Hyderabad, carried several letters from readers making the demand, Kulkarni said.After Independence, the local governing body of Osmanabad had unanimously passed a resolution to rename the city as Dharashiv in 1962, he said. PTI AW KRK KRK

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