Central Division

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This article has been extracted from



Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts. Some units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.

Central Division

(Bombay)This Division lies between 16° 48' and 22° 2' N. and 73° 15' and 76° 26' E., and comprises the Districts of Ahmadnagar, Khandesh, Nasik, Poona, Satara, and Sholapur. It extends from the Satpuras in the north to the Bhima in the south- east, and has an area of 37,192 square miles and a population (1901) of 5,944,447. The total population increased by 18 per cent, in the twenty years previous to 1891, but in the next decade there was a decrease of 4 per cent., due to plague and famine. The density is 159 persons per square mile, being slightly higher than the average of the British Districts in the Presidency. Classified according to religion, Hindus form 92 per cent, of the total, and Muhammadans 6 per cent., while other religions include 73,830 Jains, 43,130 Christians, 4,263 ParsTs, and 11,697 Animists.

The following table shows the area, population, and land revenue and cesses of each District comprised in the Division : —


In 1906 Khandesh was divided into two Districts, called West and East Khandesli. See Khandesh District.

Excepting Khandesh, which Hes mainly in the Tapti valley, all the Districts are part of the great Deccan plain. The Division contains 75 towns and 8,819 villages. The largest towns are Poona (153,320 with cantonments), Ahmadnagar (42,032), Barsi (24,242), Dhulia (24,726), Nasik (21,490), Pandharpur (32,405), Satara (26,022), and Sholapur (75,288). The chief places of commercial importance are Poona, which is the head-quarters of the Commissioner, and Sholapur. Nasik and Pandharpur are famous for religious gatherings. Satara was the capital of the Maratha Rajas from the time of SivajT's successor till the Peshwas. Karli near Poona has cave-temples of archaeological interest. Junnar in Poona District was once famous as the capital of the early dynasties of Kshatrapas, and has many interest- ing remains. Poona is also the rainy season head-quarters of the Government of Bombay, and contains a College of Science, the only one in the Presidency.

Under the supervision of the Commissioner of the Central Division are the following Political Agencies : —

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