Beed is a city in central region of Maharashtra state in India. It is the administrative headquarters and the largest city with a population of 146,709 in Beed district. Nearly 36% of the district’s urban population lives in the city alone. It has witnessed 6.1% population growth during 2001 – 2011 decade.
Its official name is Beed, though; Bhir, Bir, Bir, Bid or Bid is also seen in official and unofficial usage. Encyclopædia Britannica refer it as Bhir, Encyclopedia Encarta as Bir and Google Maps as Bir while it is found at World Gazetteer as Bid.
Beed’s early history is obscure. Historians speculate; based on archaeological remains, that the city might have been founded by the Yadava rulers (1173–1317) of Devagiri (Daulatabad). Beed was a part of the State of Hyderabad (Asaf Jahi Kingdom) of Nizams in British India. Operation Polo, the code name of the Hyderabad “Police Action” was a military operation in September 1948 in which the Indian Armed Forces invaded the State of Hyderabad and overthrew its Nizam, annexing the state into the Indian Union. Beed remained in annexed Hyderabad state until 1956 when it was included in Bombay Presidency. On May 1, 1960 Maharashtra state was created on linguistic basis and Marathi dominant Beed district became part of Maharashtra.
The city has got several historical buildings of which Kankaleshwar temple is the most famous. Remains of fort (?beeg???)[clarification needed] are still visible on the western bank of Bensura river. Being district headquarters, the city has several administrative offices including district and municipal councils, district and session courts, collectorate and office of the superintendent of police. Radio and television stations are also located in the city.
Beed district has a long history of many rulers and kingdoms. In the ancient era, this city was called as Champavati nagari. The city still proudly shows some old monuments showing the signs of past glory in the form of many city entry doors (called Ves in local language) and city protection walls. Until the 19th century, this part of Marathwada was under the Nizam monarchy, but was later included into the Indian Republic after a fierce struggle between Indian freedom fighters and Nizam soldiers. THE name of Bhir is given by Mohammad Tughlaq.
Agriculture is the main business in Beed, and it is largely dependent on monsoon rain. Beed also is a district which provides a large number of laborers in India.
It is perhaps the oldest and the most beautiful building in the city. Historians are not sure about the construction period of this temple. The architectural style suggests that it might have been constructed during Yadava period., most probably during the reign of Singhana (1210–47). The design of this temple has some close similarities to the temples at the famous caves of Ellora. Situated in the middle of a small artificial lake in the eastern part of the city, the temple is built in black stone and is carved with excellent human and divine figures. A fair is held in the grounds of temple during Mahashivratri.
Khazana Well (Kajana Bavdi)
This historic and famous well is situated about 6 km south of the city. It was constructed in 1583 (991 Islamic Year) by Salabat Khan, a Jagirdar of Beed in the period of Murtaza Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar. It is said that the water level in this well remains unchanged even in droughts. Three currents of water start from the well, two currents keep water in well and one take it out and irrigate the land of Barg o Zar (meaning ‘Leaves and Flowers’, pronounced in colloquial as Balguzar). During droughts, municipality of the city take water from this well and supply it to some parts of the city and surrounding villages. Salabat Khan also constructed Karanja (fountains) and a garden in the centre of the city. Tower of Karanja is still standing in the middle of the city in a very bad condition. Only drawback regarding this well is these days it is getting polluted by frequent usage of people. Few years before water of the well was used to fulfil the thirst because so many water tanks were frequently using water from this well. But its totally polluted. One more interesting fact regarding this well is that people saying the well has 3 outlets. But yet the ends of these outlets are unknown for all. Its need to discover them all. Some people of city saying that one of those 3 outlets is opening at Kankaleshwar Temple area.
Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque)
This beautiful Masjid is situated in the centre of the city at Quila (fort) and is one of the largest Masjids of Beed city. It was built during the period of Mughal emperor Jahangir (1605–27) by his official in Beed Jan Sipar Khan in 1627 (1036 Islamic Year).Constructed completely in stone, it has ten huge domes and four minarets. All the domes are having different designs from inside and does not match with each other. Until recently, the masjid was in poor condition. Some enthusiasts have renovated the masjid by removing the age old whitening layers of calcium and protecting the stone with polish.
The Khandoba temple is situated on the eastern hills. Built in Hemadpanti style. Two symmetrical, octagonal dipmal (tower of light) rising 21.33 meters (70 ft) are standing in front of the temple. Towers have carved figures of humans and animals, now most of them defaced. There are two stories about the construction of this temple. One says that it was built by Sultanji Nimbalkar a Jagirdar of Nizam era. The other says that it was built by Mahadji Scindia. Tarikh-e-Bir (History of Beed) mentions it with Nimbalkar.
The city had several gates and a small fort in the past.Now only five are remaining and are in very poor condition. Only one out of several was built in the eastern part in Mahbub Gunj (now Hiralal Chowk). Bab-uz-Zafar (known as Kotwali Ves) is situated at the western bank of river Bensura. This has got its name because a police station (Kotwali) was situated adjacent to the gate. Another gate, which is also in a bad condition, is found at Quila near Milliya campus. Fourth gate is in Bashir Gunj area and is in a little better condition than the other gates, most probably due to the grave on its Burj which is said to be of some Sufi Buland Shah. The filfth gate is at the bank of Bensura and is in a near collapse condition.
Shahinshah Wali tomb
Shahinshah Wali was a Sufi of the 14th century from Chishtiya clan. He came to Beed during the rule of Muhammad Tughluq. His tomb and surrounding areas were built in different periods from 1385 to 1840. The details can be seen in the history of Beed. It is situated on the eastern elevations. Each year an Urs (fair) is held here on 2nd day of Rabi’ Al-Awwal, third month of Islamic calendar.
Mansur Shah tomb
Mansur Shah was 18th century Sufi of Suharwardy (???????) clan of Sufis. He is said to be a Dharma Guru (spiritual teacher) of Mahadji Scindia. His tomb is in the eastern part of Beed near Khandeshwari temple. Dome of the shrine is made of marble.