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Maharashtra Cabinet decides to rename Aurangabad to Sambhajinagar, Osmanabad to Dharashiv

The demand to rename Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar has been a long-pending vexed issue
Last Updated : 29 June 2022, 17:29 IST
Last Updated : 29 June 2022, 17:29 IST
Last Updated : 29 June 2022, 17:29 IST
Last Updated : 29 June 2022, 17:29 IST

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Fulfilling the dream of late Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray and demand of the people, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in a special Cabinet meet on Wednesday, approved the proposal to rename Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar and Osmanabad as Dharashiv.

The Navi Mumbai International Airport, which is expected to be commissioned next year, has been named after late farmers’ leader D B Patil.

The demand for renaming of Aurangabad and Osmanabad - the two important towns of the Marathwada region - as Sambhajinagar and Dharashiv, respectively, goes back to the 90s when late Balasaheb Thackeray was the chief of Shiv Sena.

When the erstwhile Shiv Sena-BJP government was in power from 1995-99, a move was made; however, it could not be carried forward.

When Shiv Sena was back in power in 2019 – though with allies NCP and Congress – it had renewed the demand and fiercely pursued it.

Aurangabad has a very long history and at different periods of time, it has been known by different names.

It has seen the influence and rule of various dynasties – Satavahana, Vakataka, Chalukya, Rashtrakuta, Yadav, Khilji, Tuglaq, Bahmani Sultanate, Nizam Shahi, Deccan Sultans under Mughals and Hyderabad Nizams and Marathas and Britishers.

The strategic location of Aurangabad as an entry point in ancient Dakshinapatha was the main reason why the region witnessed the rise and fall of so many dynasties.

The ancient town of Paithan on the banks of the Godavari river is located in Aurangabad. In historical and medieval times, it was known as Pratisthana, which was known for its Buddhist, Jain and Brahmanical literature.

From the Deogiri or Devagiri, the Yadavas ruled areas between Tungabhadra and Narmada rivers covering parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.

Alauddin Khilji defeated Yadava king Krishna in 1296 and placed it under control of slave-general Malik Kafur.

Muhammad bin Tughluq later became the Sultan of Delhi and in 1327 shifted the capital to Deogiri and renamed it as Daulatabad. In 1334, however, the capital was back in Delhi.

In 1499, Daulatabad became a part of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate. In 1610, a new city named Khirki or Khaḍkī was established at the location of modern Aurangabad to serve as the capital of the Ahmednagar Sultanate by Siddhi leader Malik Ambar, who was brought to India as a slave but rose to become a popular Prime Minister of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate.

Malik Ambar was succeeded by his son Fateh Khan, who changed the name of the city to Fatehnagar.

In 1636, Aurangzeb, who was then the Mughal viceroy of the Deccan region, annexed the city into the Mughal Empire.

In 1653, Aurangzeb renamed the city as "Aurangabad" and made it the capital of the Deccan region of the Mughal Empire.

Osmanabad is named after the last ruler of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan, while Dharashiv is derived from the name for the sixth-century caves near the city.

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Published 29 June 2022, 13:12 IST

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