Ichalkranji “ Manchester of Maharashtra.”
Ichalkaranji, located in Western Maharashtra and included in Hatkanangale tehsil of Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. Ichialkaranji has grown drastically and today it became “One of the leading centers of textile industry”. Ichalkaranji has historical importance and also it is known as the Manchester of Maharashtra. Naro Mahadev one of the founders of the Ghorpade family made Ichalkaranji the seat of his capital in 1708 AD, Previously this was a small hamlet situated on the left bank of the river Panchaganga.
Ichalkaranji, remained the capital of the Ghorpade (Joshi’s) from 1708 AD. to 1949 A.D. Anubai, the daughter of Balaji Vishvanath and the sister of the Peshwa Bajirao have got married to Vyankatrao, the ruler of Ichalkaranji in about 1719 A.D and Ichalkaranji became the centre of political activities. The ruler of the Ichalkaranji built the palace and other public buildings at Ichalkaranji.
There were 11 rulers who ruled the Ichalkaranji jahagir, Some of them were farsighted and enlightened. One such ruler was Narayanrao Babasaheb Ghorpade(1892-1943) who made Ichalkaranji a textile city. In 1893, His Highness Shrimant Narayanrao Ghorpade laid the foundation for the municipal council of Ichalkaranji. Many textile powerlooms and allied industries came into existence in Ichalkaranji. A number of cloth merchants, especially the Marwadi community from north India flocked to the city and invested their capital in textile Industries. Side by side some entrepreneurs started co-operative textile industries and spinning mills, like Deccan Spinning Mills, Inchalkaranji co-operative Spinning Mills, Kolhapur Zilla Sut Girani, Nava-Maharashtra spinning Mills etc. There was a need of labour workers for textile and spinning mills. Geographically Ichalkaranji is located near Karnataka side. Some local workers are also involved in this work.
Due to the textile industries Ichalkaranji is known as the “Little Manchester of Maharashtra.” In 1949 Ichalkaranji Jaghir was merged into Bombay presidency. But after independence this city has fast been developing. It is also an educational centre. Class struggle has been always going on between the rich and the poor.
In 1962 the Deccan Co-operative Spinning Mill Ltd. came into existence in Ichalkaranji, which was the first Co-operative Spinning Mill in Asia. As of 2010 over 20 modern spinning mills this region has become one of the major centre for spinning mills in India. Some of these spinning mills are 100% Export Oriented Units of Cotton Yarn.
Ichalkaranji has an important place in the urban development of western Maharashtra. It is called the Manchester of Maharashtra. It is an important industrial city where the development of textile and the power-loom industry has brought about an over-all prosperity. It is also the main place in the boundary of South Maharashtra and Karnataka State.
It’s district place Kolhapur is probably one of the oldest religious and trade centres in Western India. It has ever remained the great center of learning and culture. Now Ichalkaranji is a great commercial, religious, educational and political centre.
Ichalkaranji is also well known for its cultural activities and has a rich cultural heritage. People from different parts of India live in Ichalkaranji and celebrates their cultural festivals peacefully. Almost all festivals in different religions are celebrated in Ichalkaranj especially Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Holi, and Dasera are the attractions. Also, about 15% population being migrated from Bikaner, Nagour Rajasthan, all the major festivals of Rajasthan like Gan Gour, Teej, Holi are celebrated here with great joy. Other festivals like Ramnavami, Mahesh Navami are celebrated with the large participation of all the communities.
The civic administration of the city is managed by the Ichalkaranji Municipal Corporation, as per government GR dated on 5 May 2022, which was established as a municipal council in 1904.
Location of the city
Ichalkaranji is located at 16.7°N 74.47°E. It has an average elevation of 538 metres (1768 ft).
Ichalkaranji (Hatkanangale T.; 16° 40′ N; 74° 25′ E; p. 27,423; an 8.7 square miles), lies in the Panchganga valley about eighteen miles (29 km) east of Kolhapur and half a mile north of the river. It is six miles (10 km) south-east of Hatkanangale railway station. The town is formed of seven hamlets.
Geographically, Ichalkaranji is on latitude 16-40 North and longitude 74-25 East. It is located about 26 kms to the south west of Sangli city . Three roads branching from Kolhapur Sangli road enter into the town, one from the west and the other two from the north and south. Ichalkaranji is joined by road to Nipani and Chikodi towns of Karnataka state.
Ichalkarnji city is situated midway between Kolhapur and Miraj railway line, and it is 9.5 kms south of the Hatkanangale railway station, Hatkanangale is also its taluka place. Ichalkaranji city is 29 kms from Kolhapur railway station.