About Achalpur ( Ellichpur / Illychpur )

Achalpur, formerly known as Ellichpur and Illychpur, is a city and a municipal council in Amravati District in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the second most populous city in Amravati District after Amravati and seventh most populous city in Vidarbha. It has a twin city known as Paratwada.Achalpur or Ellichpur is first mentioned authentically in the 13th century as one of the famous cities of the Deccan. Though tributary to the Muslim Delhi Sultanate after 1294, it remained under Hindu administration till 1318, when it came directly under the Muslim Delhi Sultanate. In 1294, Ala-uddin nephew of Jalaluddm Khilji, the reigning emperor of Delhi, invaded the Deccan with the object of subjugating Devagiri, of the wealth of which kingdom he had heard in the course of his forays in Central Asia. He halted at Ellichpur for two days and from then marched towards Devagiri from where he carried off an enormous quantity of plunder. In 1347 Achalpur with the Berar region was ruled by the Bahmani Sultanate. In 1490 Fathullah Imad-ul-Mulk proclaimed his independence and founded the Imad Shahi dynasty of the Berar Sultanate. He proceeded to annex Mahur to his new kingdom and established his capital at Ellichpur. It was afterwards capital of the Berar Subah at intervals until the Mughal occupation, when the seat of the provincial governor was moved to Balapur. The town retains many relics of the Sultans of Berar.[2] In 1642 Shah Beg Khan, a commander of 4,000 horse, was appointed subhedar of Berar in place of the Khan-i-Dauran and two years later Allah Vardi Khan was made a commander of 5,000 horse and received Ellichpur in jahagir on the death of Sipahdar Khan. Early in 1658 Aurangzeb left the Deccan in order to participate in the contest for the imperial throne which ensued on the failure of Shah Jahan's health and having worsted his competitors he gained the prize. He appointed Raja Jai Singh to the viceroyalty of the Deccan and made Irij Khan subhedar of Berar. In 1661, Diler Khan accompanied by Irij Khan, the subhedar of Berar and the Faujdar of the province marched through Berar to attack the Gond Raja of Chanda. The Raja submitted and the expedition terminated on the Raja paying to the imperial exchequer a crore of rupees and promising to pay an annual tribute of 2 lakhs and to raze his fortifications. At this time a new power was gaining ascendency in the Deccan, viz., that of the Marathas under the leadership of Shivaji. Inspired by the ideal of carving a separate State, and backed by the zeal of his followers he had made deep incisions in the Adil Shahi kingdom of Bijapur and had carried out daring attacks against the Mughal possessions in the Deccan. Aurangzeb had sensed this danger and had sent his generals, Shayasta Khan, Mirza Raja Jai Singh and Diler Khan to contain Shivaji's activities in 1665. In 1775 Nizam Ali, taking advantage of the existence of strong party opposed to Mudhoji Bhosle in Nagpur, sent Ibrahim Beg against him, and himself advanced as far as Ellichpur. As the Mughal empire deteriorated in the 18th century, Achalpur along with the rest of Berar came under the rule of the Nizam of Hyderabad. In 1853, Berar Province came under British administration, although it remained formally part of the Hyderabad state until 1903 when the province became the Berar Division of the Central Provinces. Achalpur, known by the British as Ellichpur, became part of East Berar, with Amraoti (Amravati) as capital of the division. In 1867 East Berar was split into the districts of Amraoti and Ellichpur district, with Ellichpur as the headquarters of Ellichpur District. The district had an area of 2,605 square miles (6,750 km2). In 1901 Achalpur had a population of 29,740, with ginning factories and a considerable trade in cotton and forest produce. It was connected by good roads with Amraoti and Chikhaldara. Berar was annexed to British India in 1903 and merged with the Central Provinces, and in 1905 Ellichpur District was merged into Amraoti District. The civil station of Paratwada, 5 km. from the town of Ellichpur, contained the principal public buildings at the beginning of the 20th century.[2] After India's independence in 1947, the Central Provinces became the province, and after 1950 the state, Madhya Pradesh. The 1956 States Reorganisation Act redrew the boundaries of India's states along linguistic lines, and the predominantly Marathi-speaking Amravati District was transferred to Bombay State, which was renamed Maharashtra in 1960 when it was split from Gujarat.