melghat history

melghat history

There are passes in Melghat that invaders from the north traversed to reach Berar where the Imad Shahi dynasty was founded in 1484.

Two historic forts called Narnala and Gawilgarh guard the main east-west ridge. In 1803, in the Second Maharatta War, Colonel Arthur Wellesley, who later became the Duke of Wellington, captured the Gawilgarh fort from the Marathas. Melghat was an automatic choice when Project Tiger was launched in 1973.

'Bhavai Puja' is one of the local customs of the Korku adivasis, and is performed annually at the onset of the monsoons. Children between 10-12 years of age carry out the puja. They bathe in the nalla or river near the village, catch a frog and bring it back to the Hanuman temple, where the frog is put in a small pot of water. The direction in which the water splashes is believed to indicate the direction from which the rains will come. The children then put the frog in a bamboo basket after smearing it with wet mud and go house-to-house singing that the pools have all dried up. People who hear their song, come out of their houses and pour water over them. In the evening, the frog is brought back to the temple and released into the nalla or river the following day.

'Rupa Bhavala' is a nalla that originates from a plateau in Gugarnal National Park and joins the Gadga river as two waterfalls, and ultimately meets the Tapti. Local legend has it that the place is named after two youngsters in love who jumped off the ledge here, in the face of parental opposition. The story of the girl Rupa and her young lover is believed to symbolise eternal love, in the union of the two waterfalls.

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