May was a significant month for our Rehab center students as they learned more about our historic city. Firstly, we visited Ahmednagar Municipal Museum to celebrate International Museum Day, 18 May, and then visited some of the historic sites we had learned about there to mark Ahmednagar Day, 28 May.
Ahmednagar is steeped in history with the remains of many significant monuments still visible. With a history dating back to 240 B.C. when the area was mentioned in reference to the Mauryan Emperor Ashok. The city officially became Ahmednagar (Ahmed’s Town) in 1494 when Ahmed Nizam founded it on the left bank of Sina river, naming it after himself. Within a few years it was said to have rivaled Bagdad and Cairo in splendour.
The city and district has provided the backdrop for some significant skirmishes between warring rulers, including the Nizam Shahs, Aurangzeb, Shivaji, Chand Bibi, the Marathas and the British. It also played a key role in the freedom movement, with most of the leaders, excepting Gandhi, imprisoned in Ahmednagar Fort, which is where Jawaharlal Nehru wrote his famous book, The Discovery of India.
Our visit to the museum covered all of the history of our district honouring and sharing the histories the above. The displays also include a range of artefacts, from precious stones, Ganpati idols, coins from 17th and 18th centuries and weaponry to maps, copper carvings, mud utensils, ornaments, padlocks, natural colour paintings and Sanskrit manuscripts. Displays also highlight the most significant monuments to visit in our city, including Ahmednagar Fort, one of the largest ground level forts in India, tombs, temples, mosques, palaces and a step well.
Our children were fascinated to learn more about our city and were awed by the displays. Harnessing their enthusiasm, a few days later they joined historical tours of two of our city’s most significant sites, Ahmednagar Fort and Farah Bagh, a huge palacial complex completed in 1583.