A Historical Nashik
Nashik: Historical Background
Nashik is an ancient city of India. References are found showing
its importance in all the four Yugas. It was known as Padmanagar
in Kruta Yuga, Janasthana in Dwapar Yuga and Nashik in Kali-Yuga.
It has many associations with the Hindu epic Ramayana. Lord Ram
his wife Sita and Laxman was said to have cut off the nose (Nasika)
of Ravana’s sister Shurpanakha here, thus giving the city name “Nashik”.
has a personality of its own, due to its mythological,
historical, social and cultural
importance. The city is situated on the banks of the Godavari River,
making it one of the holiest places for Hindus all over the world.
Nashik has a rich historical past, as the mythology has it that
Lord Rama, the King of Ayodhya, made Nashik his adobe during his
14 years in exile. At the same place Lord Laxman,
by the wish of Lord Rama, cut the nose of
"Shurpnakha" and thus this city was named as
In Kritayuga, Nashik was 'Trikantak', 'Janasthana' in Dwaparyuga
and later in Kuliyuga it became 'Navashikh' or 'Nashik'. Renowed
poets like Valmiki, Kalidas and Bhavabhooti have paid rich tributes
here. Nashik in 150 BC.was beleived to be the country's largets
market place. From 1487 A.D, this province came under the rule of
Mughals and was known as 'Gulchanabad'. It was also home of emperor
Akbar and he has written at lenght about Nashik in 'Ein-e-Akbari'.
It was also known as the 'Land of the brave' during the regime of
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
No one knows when the city of Nashik came into existence.
It is stated to have been
present even in the stone age. Lord Ramchandra
along with wife Sita and brother Laxman settled down in Nashik for
the major time of their "Vanwasa". According
to the mythology, Laxman cut the nose ("Nasika"
in Sanskrita) of "Shurpanakha"
and hence the city got the name 'Nashik'. Long
ago, Brahmadeva had meditated in "Padmasana"
here, so the city was also called "Padma-Aasana"
for some time. It is also believed that, Lord Vishnu had defeated
the three demons and thus city also had the name "Tri-Kantak"
(Tri = Three).
During Peshwa's period
In the recent past, the Moguls were fascinated by
the beauty of the city and renamed it as "Gulshanabad"
meaning the city of gardens. Beautiful fresh flowers were sent to
Aurangazeb from Gulshanabad i.e. Nashik. But it was during the rule
of the Peshwas, when the place was finally renamed as Nashik. During
the Peshwas period, Raghobadada and his wife Anandibai settled down
at 'Anandwalli' in Nashik. There re some remains of Anandibai's
fort. There is also a temple called 'Navasha Ganapati' built by
Anandibai. It was during the British rule in April 1818, when Nashik
once again regained its importance. The British fell in love with
the beauty of the city and developed it in various fields. The Golf
course, developed by the British, was one of the largest in Asia.
Nashik is surrounded by nine hills, namely: Durga, Ganesh, Chitraghanta,
Pandav, DingerAli, Mhasarul, Jogwada, Pathanpura and Konkani. This
beautiful city with hills surrounding it has lakes, adding to its
Rise & Growth
Of National Movement
In 1869 the region came to enjoy unbroken peace.
In 1869 Nashik was made a full-fledged district with its present
talukas. With the return of peace Nashik flourished into prosperity.
Reasons, political, religious, as well as commercial led to its
rapid development. With the construction of the railway, going from
Bombay to north-east, from very near the city, religious minded
devotees came to be attracted to The town in ever increasing numbers
where they made their purchases of various artistic & useful
articles. This made Nashik a great trade centre where artisans skilled
in manufacturing utensils & smiths excelling in workmanship
in silver & gold crowded to ply their trade. Already Nashik
was a highly flourishing town even under later Maratha rule &
some time during that period the sow car families like barves, Vaishampayans
& Gadres of the locality started their financial activity. Under
Maratha rule they advanced sums to finance military campaigns of
feudal Sardars & in their later times their Pedhi's gradually
began to finance the flourishing trade in metalware & fabrics
as well as grapes & onions. By the middle of 19th century the
British Rule was firmly established & the public life of Nashik
began to pulsating with activities suited to the times. In 1840
was established a ' Native Library Nashik' . In 1861 an Anglo-vernacular
school was started & 1864, The town came to have a municipality
of its own.
During these days there lived in Nashik a saintly
person, known as Dev Mamaledar. His name was Yeshvant Mahadev Bhosekar.
He began his career as an humble clerk in the revenue department
& gradually rose to the position of Mamaledar. He always had
a feeling for the poor & the suffering. During the period of
his service as a Mamlatdar in Baglan Taluka which has its head quarter
at Satana , A severe famine affected the area & Bhosekar generously
helped the people to alleviate their sufferings. He always led a
virtuous life & spent his spare moments in devout religious
practices. In course of time he became so famous that princes &
people began to respect him as a saint & called him Yeshvantrav
Maharaj. Upon his death in 1887 people raised a small beautiful
temple for his Samadhi on the bank of the river where his last funeral
rites were performed. The paved floor around came to be known as
Yeshvant Patangana which has now become a great centre of public
assemblage & activity.
21st December 1909. Anant Kanhere shot the collector
Jackson in Vijayanand theater. The murder of Jackson challenged
the British Rule. The people involved in the incidence, Anant LaxmanKanhere,
Krishnaji Gopal Karve and Vinayak Ramchandra Deshpande were sentenced
to death. It wasduring this time that 'Abhinav Bharat ' was formed.
The young Nashikites were influenced by the speech of Lokmanya Tilak
given on the 26th of August 1906. Veer Savarkar successfully organised
underground movement against the rulers.
The revolutionary activities at Nashik however continued.
Although elaborately planned & very cautiously carried out they
came to be suddenly interrupted on account of the hot-headed, intemperate
& hasty on the part of a group of young men from Aurangabad,
who involved some of the weaker members of the Mitra-Mela in their
plan. Of these hot-headed persons one Anant Kanhere came to Nashik
& on the night of 21st December 1909 suddenly fired at Mr. Jackson,
the collector of Nashik when the latter had gone to see a drama
'Sharada' stagd by Kirlosker Natak Mandali in the local Vijayanand
theater. The collector died on the spot. This set a whole chain
of government inquiry into vigorous activity, the result of which
was that all those connected with underground activities in the
name of Mitra-Mela, including Savarkar, who at that time had been
in India came to be arrested, tried & sentenced to severe punishments.
The embers of revolution flared , in those days, into Marathi songs
full of patriotic fervour written by various writers, prominent
among whom was G.T. Darekar popularly called 'Govind Kavi' whose
poems such as 'Who could ever win freedom without fight ?' or addressing
his prayer to God Rama & saying 'When, O Rama, wilt thou be
pleased to satisfy our burning desire for freedom,
If Italy be free, why not India ?
If Ireland be free, why not India ?
If America be free, why not India ?'
The tempo in singing such songs in congregation
used to enliven the audience & strengthen their determination
to face the struggle. Subsequently government banned all such songs
& suppressed all undrground activities with a heavy hand. The
government had become very sensitive & even an utterance here
or there or a display of an objectionable picture led to extreme
government action. A few examples would suffice. Shri Khare, a pleader
in Nashik , was accused to havesaid the following a few days before
the murder of Mr.Jackson : "Today 4 crores of people rule over
33 crores & they have destroyed Indian industries ." .
"It is the businessof the white to ruin us black people".
"europeans are like the demon ghost Putana, who was fair outside
but poisonous within". " The time for action has come.
How many of you ae ready to go to jail or to die?" & the
like. Shri Khare was asked to submit a personal bond failing which
the High Court recommended that his sanad should be suspended till
such time that the order to furnish security continues in force
Another interesting case was that of Shridhar Waman Nagarkar of
Nashik who was sentenced to three years' rigorous imprisonment for
drawing & publishing a picture containing a mythological representation
of the slaying of demon Mahish by the Goddess Durga, framed with
portrails of certain persons, notorious for sedition. The government
took the view that the picture is likely to excite disaffection
towards His Majesty or the government established by law in British
India. Similar was the case against Devising Mohansing & Shankar
Gir Hanumantgir of Nashik for publishing a seditious picture under
the title "Rashtra Purusha". The former was sentenced
to three years' rigorous imprisonment. Given below are the details
of Jackson murder case that resulted in the subsequent unrest &
Jackson Murder Case
Story of The Nashik Conspiracy
The Mitra Mandal
The evidence in this case establishes that prior
to the year 1906 , an association of young men , mostly Brahmans,
existed in Nashik under leadership of Ganesh & Vinayak Savarkar
which was known as the Mitra-Mela. In it were reproduced the features
of other similar associations in the Deccan to which reference has
already been made. Exciting songs were prepared for the Ganapati
& Shivaji festivals & the members of the Mitra-Mela used
to join in singing these songs either in procession or in the precincts
of some temple or other place of assembly.
Physical instruction was given to members by one
of the witnesses in this case & by a Mahomedan brought for the
purpose from Baroda. The activities of the association did not,
however, cease there, for we have evidence, which we accept as true,
that meetings were held at the house of Ganesh Savarkar & of
Aba Darekar, one of the song-writers of the association, at which
the biographies of patriotic revolutionists were read & re-read,
the particular favourites being Mazzini, Shivaji & Ramdas &
where discusssions were carried on with regard to the means for
attaining independence for India. At these meetings the methods
advocated were the education of public by means of lectures, books
& songs, & the preparation for rising against the British
Government by collection of arms & ammunition.
We have examples of inflammatory speeches delivered
by Vinayak & Narayan Savarkar & by Mahadev Bhat, & a
photograph of number of members of the Mitra Mela, several of whom
are among the accused, grouped round Vinayak Savarkar in which four
or five pictures of Shivaji, A board bearing the words "Bande
Mataram" & a book bearing the name of Mazzini on the outer
cover are prominently displayed, which corroborate the general description
of the aims & methods of the association given by the witnesses.
The photograph Exhibit A-271, to which referance
has been made, marks an important stage in the history of the association
. Its occasion was the impending departure of Vinayak Savarkar for
England in the middle of June 1906, a step which he was enabled
to take owing to his being the recipent of a scholarship given by
Shamji Krishna Varma, the founder of the India House at Highgate.
Up to the time of his departure Vinayak Savarkar had been one of
the most active & probably the most stimulating of the members
of the Mitra Mela. In the early part of 1906 speeches were delivered
by him in Poona & in nashik the object of which was to arouse
the country & to suggest how by means of mental training &
physical exercises, preparation might be made for successful revolt.
Jackson Murder Case
The following persons were arrested in connection with the murder
of Mr. Jackson, Collector of Nashik, on the night of the 21st December,
Name Arrested on Made statement on
Anant Laxman Kanhere 21st December 1909 21st December 1909.
Krishna Gopal Karve 24th December 1909 6th January 1910.
Vinayak Narayan Deshpande 23rd December 1909 6th January 1910.
Shankar Ramchandra Soman 23rd December 1909 6th January 1910.
.Waman Daji Narayan Joshi 30th December 1909 4th January 1910.
Ganesh B. Vaidya 22nd December 1909 2nd january 1910.
Dattatraya Pandurang Joshi 22nd December 1909 5th January 1910.
Before the departure of Vinayak Savarkar the Mitra Mela had developed
into or given birth to the Abhinav Bharat or Young India Society
a title which the prosecution suggests was borrowed from the "Young
Italy" of Muzzini. Its objects were unquestionably revolutionary.
The aim of its members was to be prepared for war. The list of objects
enumerated in Exhibit 9B found in the possession of Kashikar in
1909 affords ample corroboration of the evidence of witnesses upon
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
After matriculation in 1901, he took admission in Fergusson
College of Poona.
He was however more interested in India's freedom from British rule.
The young college students in Poona were charged by the speeches
by the patriots and political leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak,
Bhopatkar etc. The news papers in Poona were also actively participating
in creating anti-British atmosphere in the society and appealing
society’s feelings of Nationalism. Savarkar was the uncrowned
leader of the youth in this movement. In 1905 he burnt the imported
clothes as a token of India’s protest to imported clothes.
In May 1904, he established an International Revolution Institute
named "Abhinav Bharat". His instigating patriotic speeches
and activities irritated the British Government. As a result his
B.A. degree was withdrawn by the Government. In June 1906 he left
for London to become Barrister. However, once in London, he united
and inflamed the Indian students in England against British. He
believed in use of arms against the foreign rulers and created a
network of Indians in England, equipped with weapons . Although
he passed Barrister Examination in England, because of his anti-government
activities, he was denied the Degree.
He was the prime inspiration for the Indian students
to rise against British rule. The British Government Officers were
waiting for some opportunity to arrest him. He was arrested in London
on 13 March 1910 on some fabricated offenses. The case against him
was to be heard by the court in India. So he was to be sent to India.
During his travel in a ship, as the ship neared Marseilles in France,
he jumped through a porthole and swam to the port. This was on 8
July 1910. As per the plan, his colleagues were to reach there beforehand.
However, they reached late and he was caught by French Police. The
French Government denied him asylum.
After the case was decided in India, he was sentenced
to 50 years rigorous life imprisonment in Andaman on 24 December
1910. Since 4 July 1911, he was in Andaman Jail in solitude. On
2nd May 1921 he was brought to India from Andaman. Since 1921 to
1922, he was in Alipur (Bengal) and Ratnagiri (Maharashtra) Jails.
On 6th January 1924, he was released from the jail on two conditions
viz. a) He will not actively participate in politics and b) he will
stay in Ratnagiri District. He was in house arrest at Ratnagiri.
Thereafter he spent his life in different fields of social work.
He breathed his last at the age of 83, on Saturday, February 26,
1966. "Prayopveshana" , meaning fast till death, was what
he observed and refused any intake of food. His death was like a
true warrior. Death did not grab him, he approached death with erect
The books of verse composed by members of the socitey
known as the "Laghu Abhinav Bharat Mala" were printed
& published in Bombay & Sholapur & were for a long time
openly sold though of a most inflammatory character. The publisher
of four of the earlier issues of the above series departure for
England in 1906 & an edition of 5,000 copies was published in
September of that year.
Ganesh Savarkar Sentenced
This series of publications culminated in 1908 with
the issue by Ganesh Savarkar of Fiowers 8 & 9 containing a clear
incitement to war against the British. They resulted in the arrest
of Ganesh Savarkar on the 28th February 1909 & his subsequent
conviction & transportation but not before he had made arrangements
for the reception in Bombay of a consignment of Browning pistols
which were originally destined for Nashik.
The supreme sacrifice of Anant Kanhere , Krishnaji
Karve & Vinayak Deshpande is a glorious chapter in the history
The begining of 20th century witnessed increase in atrocities
by Britishers on the innocent Indians . Lokmanya Tilak was put behind
the bars for 6 years . Babarao alias Ganesh Damodar Savarkar was
sentenced to life imprisonment for publishing the patriotic songs
of his younger brother Vinayak Savarkar . Jackson , the then collector
of Nashik , was responsible for prosecution of Babarao Savarkar
. He tortured Waman Sakharam Khare , a well-known lawyer , so much
that Khare lost his mental balance . The only 'offence ' of Khare
was : he pleaded for revolutionaries.
All these incidences evoked a sharp reaction in the patriotic youths
of Nashik . The last straw came when a British officer beat a farmer
to death for not allowing his vehicle to overtake . When the situation
was heating up to the boiling point , Jackson was transferred on
promotion outside Nashik .
Kanhere & his friends made up their minds : It's now or never
A farewell ceremony was arranged for Jackson in the Vijayanand theatre
A famous Marathi drama Sharada was staged to mark the occasion .
Anant Kanhere & his friends were all set to execute their plan
. Anant grabed the opportunity & fired at Jackson. As per the
plan , Anant tried to commit suicide but he failed to do so . He
used one of the 20 revolvers which were sent by Veer Savarkar from
England . The historical day was : December 21 , 1909.
It was planned that only Anant should take entire
responsibility of the assassination so that other conspirators would
remain in dark . But it did not happen . The Police arrested Krushnaji
Gopal Karve , Vinayak Narayan Deshpande , Shankarrao Soman , Wamanrao
Joshi & Ganu Vaidya . All these youths were detained in the
Sarkarwada & were treated brutally to know more about the conspiracy
. The torturing Police team was headed by Alikhan who was reputed
for his inhuman behavior. The prosecution of these brave youths
is well-known in the history of India as 'Nashik Conspiracy Case'
Who Were They?
1814 - 1859
Ramachandra Pandurang popularly called, as Tatya Tope was an able
leader of the great uprising of 1857. He was a personal adherent
of Nana Saheb of Kanpur. He progressed with the Gwalior contingent
after the British reoccupation of Kanpur and forced General Windham
to retreat from Kanpur. Later on, he came to the rescue of Rani
Laxmi Bai. However he was defeated by General Napier's troops and
was executed by the British Government at Shivpuri on 18th April
One of the greatest heroes of the Great uprising of 1857, Tatya
Tope was born in 1814 at Yevla in Nashik District of Maharashtra
State. He was the only child of Pandurang and his wife Rukhmabai.
Having brought up in Bithoor, he came into contact with Nana Saheb
Peshwa. He was a great admirer of Nana Saheb, who was ready to sacrifice
his life for him. Tatya Tope was the only person who witnessed the
rebellion since the Kanpur revolt till his own end on 18th April
Tatya Tope was the Commander - in - chief of the
rebel army of Shivarajpur. He defended Kanpur gallantly and captured
Kalpi. His able leadership led to the victory of Indian forces at
Kanpur. He won a number of battles against the British. His guerilla
tactics frightened the British Generals.
The British army was directed in searching him while
he was wandering in jungles. Tatya kept himself busy in organizing
the forces during this period. He along with Rani Laxmi Bai seized
Gwalior, but later he was defeated by Sir Collin Campbell. The British
army surrounded him from all sides. He managed to escape and fled
to the jungle. For a couple of months, he was wandering in jungles
facing unimaginable difficulties and hardships.
During this critical juncture of his life, a traitor
informed the British about the place, where he hid. The British
army captured him on 7
April 1859 and was trailed in the court. He admitted boldly "What
he did, was for his own mother land and he has no regrets".
He was hanged and ultimately the First War of Indian Independence
came to an end.
The great uprising of 1857 was a remarkable event
under the commanding guidance of Tatya Tope. He was a man of an
adored and most admired personality who had courage, zeal and foresight.
His timely help to Rani Laxmi Bai some how created a hope but the
luck was in favour of the British which led to their defeat.
With Tatya's death on 18th April 1859 the sun of
the great uprising was set forever.
Anant Laxman Kanhere
Born in 1891. Elder brother Ganpatrao, younger brother Shankarrao.
Two sisters . started life at Indore . Went to Aurangabad to his
uncle Barve in 1903 for further study. His brother Ganpatrao at
Barsi. Anant stayed with this brither for some time. In 1908 he
returned to Aurangabad & stayed in a hired room in one Gangaram
Rupchand Shroff's house. Gangaram had a friend at Yevla named Tonpe
. He was a member of the secret of Nashik. One Ganu Vaidya of Nashik
used to visit Yevla to meet his relative. Ganu became acquainted
with Gangaram at Yevla. He went with Gangaram to aurangabad to purchase
cheap weapons for the Nashik Secret Socitey. Anant became acquainted
with this Vaidya at Aurangabad.
Krishnaji Gopal Karve
Gopal Karve was a scholar of Hindu philosophy . He had
a great faith in the idea of reincarnation . He , therefore , used
to say , " If I die early , I will be reborn early & can
start fighting with the Britishers again ." Karve told the
court that even if it appeared that he was not responsible for the
assassination , in fact , responsibility lay on his shoulders.
He was a B.A(Hons.) & was studying law at Mumbai. He was then
23 years old . He was the moving spirit of one of the secret organizations
in Maharashtra. He initiated Shankar Ramchandra Soman in the secret
organization. He knew the preparation of bombs & taught the
process to Soman & Chandratre. He purchased seven Browning pistols
, one revolver, & one country-made pistol from one Gopalrao
Patankar, who had received the parcel of Browning pistols sent by
V.D Savarkar through his cook Chaturbhuj. This was in May or June
Vinayak Narayan Deshpande
He was 21 years old . He was a member of the secret organization.
He was the First Assist ant teacher in the Panchvati school at Nashik.
He was married. He conducted a handloom as an additional vocation.
On the third floor of the building where this handloom was working
there was an old darkroom, where Deshpande & others of the secret
meetings. Deshpande had collected some explosives, which were kept
in a box.
Shankar Ramchandra Soman
He was a student aged 18 years.
Waman Daji Narayan Joshi
He was 20 years old. He was a teacher in the Panchvati school.
He was the person who collected & stored explosives & weapons
for the secret society. It was to him that Anant expressed his willingness
to do something by way of retalition against the barbarous conviction
Dattatraya Pandurang Joshi
He was a student at Aurangabad & a friend of Anant
In the court , Anant Kanhere defended himself without
any lawer. During the prosecution , he was calm & quiet . He
was so much stable-both physically & mentally- that , according
to the official records , he put on 15 pounds of weight during this
On 7th March 1910 all the accused were presented
before court. They included Anant Kanhere , Krishnaji Karve , Vinayak
Deshpande ,Shankarrao Soman , Wamanrao Joshi , Ganu Vaidya &
Dattu Joshi. Hundreds of citizens had gathered outside the court
to have a 'Darshan' of these courageous youths. Justice Mr. Hiton
was so much impressed by Anant's personality that he remarked ,
" I am very sorry that I have to
sentence him to death . "
It was on 20th March , 1910 that the court declared
the verdict . Kanhere , Karve & Deshpande were to be hanged.
Shankarrao Soman , Wamanrao Joshi & Ganu Vaidya were given life
imprisonment . However , later on , Ganu Vaidya was treated accomplished.
Soman & Wamanrao Jashi were to be taken to Andaman - Kala Pani
. But Soman (fortunately ? ) passed away before sending to Andaman
. Wamanrao Joshi had to undergo the agony of the cellular jail in
Kanhere , Karve & Deshpande were hanged to death
on 19th April 1910 . Krishnaji Karve was the only son of his parents
. His supreme sacrifice brought an end to his clan.
At cellular jail of Andaman we find there a list of 300 prisoners
who were kept in the jail . The list includes three Maharashtrians
Svatantryaveer Savarkar , Babarao Savarkar &
Wamanrao Joshi .
It is a matter of pride for Nasikites that all of them hailed from
Milestones in the history of Nashik
Some of the major events in the history of Nashik are :
· 1840 : Sarvajanik Vachanalaya established. (Public Library)
· 1854 : Sharanpur Colony formed.
· 1861 : Deolali Cantonment formed.
· 1862 : Nashik Road railway station was built.
· 1864 : Nashik Municipality formed.
· 1869 : Nashik district formed.
· 1894 : Saint Andrew Church built.
· 1894 : Construction work for Victoria Bridge started.
· 1910 : Police Training School established.
· 1922 : Distillery started at Nashik Road.
· 1927 : Security Press formed at Nashik Road.
· 1941 : Artillery Center migrated to Nashik Road from Quetta