Ahmadnagar

Ahmednagar district is the largest district of Maharashtra state in western India. The historical Ahmednagar city is the headquarters of the district. Ahmednagar was the seat of the Ahmednagar Sultanate of late medieval period (1496–1636 CE). This district is known for the towns of Shirdi associated with Sai Baba and Meherabad associated with Meher Baba. Ahmednagar district is part of Nashik Division.

The neighbouring districts to Ahmednagar district are Solapur (South East- SE), Osmanabad (SE), Beed (SE), Aurangabad (NE), Nashik (NW), Thane (NW), and Pune (SW).

Although Ahmadnagar district was created as early as in 1818, modern history of Ahmadnagar may be said to have commenced from 1869, the year in which parts of Nasik and Sholapur which till then had comprised Nagar were separated and the present Nagar district was formed. Ahmednagar District was created after the defeat of the Maratha Confederacy in the Third Anglo-Maratha War in 1818, when most of the Peshwa’s domains were annexed to British India. The district remained part of the Central division of Bombay Presidency until India’s independence in 1947, when it became part of Bombay State, and in 1960 the new state of Maharashtra.

In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Ahmednagar one of the country’s 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).It is one of the twelve districts in Maharashtra currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).

In the 2001 India census, Ahmednagar district had a population of 4,040,642.At that time the district was 19.89% urban.Males represented 51.55% of the population, and females 48.45%, for a sex-ratio of 940 females per thousand males in 2001.

In the 2001 census, the majority of the population in Ahmednagar was Hindu, but there were other religious groups such as Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Zoroastrians in smaller numbers. According to census, Hindus were 84%, Muslims 7%, Christians 4% and others were 4%.

In the 2011 census Ahmednagar district recorded a population of 4,543,083, roughly equal to the nation of Costa Rica or the US state of Louisiana.This gave it a ranking of 33rd among the districts of India (out of a total of 640).The district had a population density of 266 inhabitants per square kilometre (690/sq mi).Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 12.43%.Ahmadnagar had a sex ratio of 934 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 80.22%.

Islam arrived in Ahmednagar during the Tughlaq dynasty. There are many Muslim monuments like Chand Bibi Mahal, Faria Baug, Ground Fort and many dargas (mosques), and they are found in main town and cities.

Christianity arrived in the 18th century when the British took over the area from the Maratha empire onwards. Christianity has been Ahmednagar’s third-largest religion, found all over the district except in the south-west. In Ahmednagar Christians are Hindu converts and many Christians are a result of the American Marathi mission and the mission of the Church of England’s Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.During the British era Ahmednagar was part of Bombay presidency. The first Protestant Christian mission in the district was opened in 1831. Every village has one or more resident families as Christian and every village has its own church for worship.Ahmednagar’s Christians are called Marathi Christians and a majority of them are Protestants, plus large scale of Banjara communities.