India as a nation has been intricately associated with the changing contours of the human civilization over the last few centuries. From the Mughal dynasty to the British era – India has been privy to some of the most eventful periods throughout the course of its chequered history. Wardha is one of the cities in India, located in the state of Maharashtra, which has had a fairly illustrious history akin to the country in which it is situated.
Historical Chronology of Wardha
1.) The earliest history of Wardha states that it was a part of the kingdoms of the Mauryas, Sungas, Satavahanas and Vakatakas at various times in the past. Of all the royal families who ruled Wardha from time to time, the Vakatakas – believed to have been the contemporaries of the Imperial Guptas – were considered to be the most famous and their period of dominance over Central India was 2nd to 5th century BC. The vast expanse of the kingdom of the Vakatakas, of which Wardha was an integral part, ranged from the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea from east to west and from the Krishna-Godavari basin to the River Narmada from south to north.
2.)This phase of dominance by the Vakatakas was followed by a number of regimes during the medieval ages, the most prominent of which are mentioned below –
4. Delhi Sultanate
5. Bahamani Sultanate
3). Two of the most influential rulers of Wardha during the medieval period were Raghuji of the Bhonsale clan and Raja Buland Shah of the Gond dynasty.
4.) The motley of kingdoms of middle ages was followed by the British era, the roots of whose protracted reign could be found in 1850 when the British administrators included Wardha in the Central Provenance in order to facilitate better governance.
5.) Wardha remained an integral part of the district of Nagpur, under British rule, till 1862 after which it was allotted a separate ‘district’ status for the convenience of the fledgling British administration. It was during the change of district headquarters from Pulgaon to Palakwadi in 1866 that the administrators came up with the plan of establishing a whole new city under the name of ‘Wardha’, which till then was just a district delineated from Nagpur for administrative purposes. Thus Wardha became the common name for both the district and the newly created city. The elaborate planning of the city was done by British architects Sir Crawdok and Sir Bachlor.
6). The city of Wardha, following its creation in 1866, gradually grew up into one of the most pivotal centres for the Indian National Movement, by virtue of its strategic location in the heart of the country. Along with its twin city Sevagram, which was established by Mahatma Gandhi for better conduct of his nationwide campaigns, Wardha became a centre of importance to the political fraternity in India in the pre-independence period.