Washim (Marathi: वाशिम) is a city and a municipal council in Washim district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Washim is the district headquarter of newly formed Washim district.
Washim was known earlier as Vatsagulma and it was the seat of power of the Vakataka dynasty. Washim is also known as Basim, an Arabic name that means "the one that smiles". The name originated in Saudi Arabia in 436. When Basim R. Iqbal ruled the Jamar clan.
The district had a population of 1,020,216 of which 17.49% were urban as of 2001. Washim is located in the eastern region of Vidharbha. Akola lies to its north, Amravati lies to its north-east, Hingoli lies to its south, Buldhana lies to its west, Yavatmal lies to its east. River Penganga is the main river of the district. It flows through the Tehsil of Risod. Later it flows through the boundary of Washim and Hingoli districts. River Kas is the main tributary of Penganga. River Kas meets Penganga about 1 km from the village of Shelgaon Rajgure. River Arunavati and its tributaries originates in the Tehsil of Washim and them flows through the tehsils of Mangrul Pir and Manora into the district of Yavatmal. River Katepurna originates in the hilly areas of the district and flows northwards through the tehsil of Malegaon and enters the Akola district.
There are hilly ranges extending from through the tehsils of Malegaon, Washim, Mangrul Pir and Manora. There is plain region in the basins of River Penganga in the Risod Tehsil. The important cities are Washim, Risod, Karanja, Malegaon, Mangrul Pir, Manora and Shirpur. Washim is the largest city in the district. There are many well known hospitals, Schools, Colleges and Banks in Washim City. It is specially famous for its Balaji Temple. It also has a railway junction. By railway is connected to Akola, Purna, Nanded and Khandwa. Karanja is another city. It has another railway junction. There are some parts covered by the forests. There are mainly two regions. Both the regions are protected under Katepurna Wildlife Sanctuary and Karanja Sohol Wildlife Sanctuary respectively.
The account of Berar in the Ain-i-Akbari was added to that work in 1596-97. The greater part of the Akola district was included in Akbar's sorkar or revenue district of Narnala, but some of the parganas of this sarkar are now included in Buldhana, while Akola, on the other hand, includes three parganas of Akbar's revenue district of Bashim. The whole revenue demand for the area now included in the Akola district seems to have been nearly twenty-four lakhs of rupees. The only special notice of any places in the District has reference to Balapur, Shahpur, and Bashim. Near Balapur, says Abdul Fazl, are two streams, about the borders of which are found various kinds of pretty stones, which are cut and kept as curiosities. Six kos distant were the headquarters of Sultan Murad, which grew into a fine city under the name of Shahpur'. Of Bashim he writes, 'About Bashim is an Indigenous race, for the most part proud and refractory, called Hatkars their forces consist of 1000 cavalry and 5000 infantry.' He adds that the Hatkars, who are Dhangars, are Rajputs which is true.
In 1707, Shahu was allowed to go back to the Deccan from the imperial camp (from the river Narmada). At the time of release of Shahu by Azam Shah, the terms of the release were (1) that he was to rule the small svarajya of his grandfather as a vassal of the Moghal empire (2) that he was to serve his liege lord whenever called upon to do so with his contingent of troops and (3) that he was also permitted to collect chauth and sardeshmukhi from the six Mughal provinces of the south which included Berar of which Akola district formed a part. Parasoji Bhosle the ancestor of the later Bhosle rulers of Nagpur was then in possession of Berar and Gondvana. Parasoji's uncles were in the service of the Nizamshahi kingdom of Ahmadnagar and were contemporaries of Shahaji, the father of Chhatrapati Shivaji. They were granted Amravati and Bham in Jahagir for the services rendered by them. Parasoji made Bham in Yeotmal distnd his headquarters. He hastened to West Khandesh with his army to join Shahu, whereupon Shahu, along with other prominent Maratha chiefs crossed the Godavari and reached Satara. Tarabai, widow of Rajaram however not desiring to acclaim Shahu, had won over Parashuram Pratinidhi and Bapuji, elder brother of Parasoji, to her side. Tarabai. under the pretence of ascertaining whether Shahu was real, sent Bapuji who was the eldest person known in the Bhosle House, to Shahu's camp. But Bapuji not only joined Shahu's forces but partook food in the same dish with Shahu and convinced all other Maratha chiefs of his blood royal, who now readily joined his standard. Shahu in appreciation of Parasoji's services to his cause, granted him Sanad for Gavil, Narnala Mahur, Khedale, Pavnar and Kalamb, and declared him "Sena saheb subha" in 1707.
The death of Parasoji Bhosle had already been referred to Kanhoji succeeded him to the title of Sena Saheb Subha. Kanhoji not only established firmly the Maratha power in Berar and Gondvana but also laid the foundation of its future in Orissa. His Headquarters being at Bham, the Bhosles are referred to even up to the treaty of 1803 with the English, as the Rajas of Berar. However, the relations of Kanhoji with Shahu were no more cordial. Kanhoji had looked after Raghuji, the son of Bimbaji, his cousin, but now by the blessings of the Saint Ramajipant of Pandavgad near Wai, he had a son, Rayaji and his attention to Raghuji was no more undivided. Raghuji, leaving Kanhoji had joined Shahu and had even once saved the life of Shahu when he was attacked by a ferocious tiger. Shahu gave the daughter of Shirke, the sister of his wife Sagunabai to Raghuji in marriage. Kanhoji's rule, again, according to the contemporary reports seems to be oppressive.
Ranoji, the uncle of Raghuji after his return from Delhi, joining with Raghuji, demanded their share of the hereditary rights in Bhosle principality. Shahu, first through the good offices of Balaji Vishvanath, and later, himself tried to conciliate them. Raghuji and Ranoji were asked to serve under Kanhoji which they refused to do. However, Kanhoji and Fatehsingh Bhosle had accompanied Bajirav and Raghuji Bhosle on their Karnatak expedition during 1725-1727.
As stated before after Parasoji Bhosle, Kanhoji was appointed the Sena Saheb Subha but as he proved to be of a refractory nature, Shahu dismissed him and appointed his nephew, Raghuji Bhosle to the post of Sena Saheb Subhaship. Shahu ordered Raghuji to arrest his uncle Kanhoji. Raghuji defeated Kanhoji at Mandar in Yeotmal district and sent him as a prisoner to Shahu at Satara. Like his predecessors Raghuji established himself at Bham. The rivalry between the Peshva and the Bhosles was not merely confined to the Northern and Eastern regions of India but extended to Berar though in a smaller degree, because of the specific rights of Mokasa and inam which the Peshva acquired from the Chhatrapatis of Satara and the Nizam. It may be interesting to note that Peshva Balaji Vishvanath got in inam from Shahu 2 villages in Berar. Bajirav also obtained certain Mokasa in Jahgir in Berar from Shahu.
Raghuji, on his death, left behind four sons, Janoji, Mudhoji, Bimbaji, and Sabaji. Janoji, being eldest, claimed the Sena-Saheb Subhaship. However, Mudhoji who had been to Gavilgad, hearing the news of Raghuji's death, hastened to Nagpur to ascertain his own claim, as he was Raghuji's son by his elder wife. Janoji preparing himself, despatched Jayaji to capture Gavilgad. Meeting Mudhoji on the way, Jayaji pretended himself a friend of Mudhoji and secured the office of killedar (fort-keeper) of Gavilgad from Mudhoji. Jayaji immediately informed Janoji that Gavilgad was in his possession. Mudhoji, however, exacted tributes from Berar and was well supported by Sadashiv Hari and the Deshmukh of Parole. Moreover, Dinkar Vinayak Prabhu, Shivaji Vinayak Prabhu and Narsingrav Bhavani had joined Mudhoji with their armies. But Janoji was supported by Baburav Konher Kolhatkar (Mujamdar), Rakhmaji Ganesh Chitnavis, Trimbakji Raje Bhosle, Krishnaji Govind, the Maratha Subhedar of Berar, Narhar Ballal (Risbud) and Shivabhat Sathe, the Maratha Subhedar of Cuttak. All the elderly nobility including Raghuji Karande, Bimbaji Wanjal, Nanhoji Jachak, Shivaji Keshav Talkute, Girmaji Khanderav, Anandrav Wagh, Krishnaji Atole, too, supported Janoji. At last Trimbakji Raje Bhosle and Baburav Konher, reaching Pune, paid Rs. 2½ lakhs to the Peshva as Bhosle's tribute to the Maratha State and secured the office of Sena Saheb Subha for Janoji.
On 17 December 1757 Nizam Ali acknowledging defeat sent Vithal Sundar to the Maratha camp begging for terms. Peace was concluded by the Nizam ceding to the Peshva territory worth 25 lacs along with fort Naldurg. Ceremonial visits by the two principals at Sakharkherda ratified and confirmed the treaty on 29 December 1757. Once more the unity of Maratha ranks under the Peshva's direction was plainly exhibited to the Indian world, finally closing the rift that Tarabai's activities had created.
While Nizam-ud-daula was halting at Ellichpur, Raghuji Karande, Bhosle's lieutenant, invaded Berar and advanced as far as Borgaon where Nizam-ud-daula met and defeated him. However, Raghuji Karande and Nanhoji Jachak had looted the Nizam's artiliery baggage in December 1757. The first care of Nizam Ali, who had spent the rainy season in Basim, was to draw the claws of Janoji Bhonsla, and he was preparing to march against him when he heard that his artillery park in Burhanpur was ready to join him, but that Bapu Karande, Bhonsla's lieutenant, was only waiting for it to leave Burhanpur in order to fall upon it. Nizam Ali therefore wrote to Shaikh Amin Ahmad bidding him be upon his guard and cautioning him against leaving Burhanpur until he was joined by his master.
Janoji and Mudhoji had both agreed to pay ten lakhs of rupees to the Peshva each. However, they experienced great difficulties in collecting the tribute due to dissensions every where. Krishnaji Govind had been collecting Berar tribute, as deputy of Kashirav Bhaskarram, but he was removed from the office and instead Janoji now appointed Mansingrav Mohite. The Peshva sent his vakils, Vyankatrav Moreshvar and Trimbakji Bhosle for recovery but to no avail. Negotiations were opened between the two brothers in October 1759. Mudhoji insisted that Janoji should stay in Nagpur, leaving all management to him; while Janoji pleaded for division of territory and parallel management. Moro Raghunath, Raghuji Karande and Balaji Keshav exchanged visits but no compromise could be effected. Dasara, being fixed for the two brothers to meet in ceremony, Mudhoji and Karande sensed a plot against them and escaped to Berar.
Janoji sent Trimbakji Raje to reconcile Mudhoji, but Mudhoji and Karande pointed out that as long as Devajipant, Balaji Keshav and Shamji Fulaji were in the services of Janoji, they would always advise against any permanent reconciliation and that they must be driven out from the court of Nagpur. Janoji agreed to hand over Devajipant to Piraji Naik Nimbalkar but insisted that Mudhoji must terminate the services of Sadashiv Hari, Ramaji Keshav and Nanaji Krishna. Negotiations again failed and Mudhoji collected five and half thousand horse. Janoji intending not to allow sufficient time for Mudhoji to increase his military strength, set out on the Divali day for Berar. The two armies met in battle near Amravati at Rahatgaon, and Mudhoji was completely defeated. A trick was played in the high hour of the battle on Mudhoji's army. A horse exactly like the one Raghuji Karande always used was let loose unbriddled and it gave the impression that Raghuji Karande fell in action. Mudhoji's army became panicky and was defeated. Mudhoji's Fadnis, Moropant, was captured by Janoji. However, Raghuji Karande, collecting his army afresh, released Moropant. Mudhoji, hotly pursued by Janoji escaped towards Karanja. In the meanwhile, Udepur Gosavi of Satara, on behalf of the Peshva, collected tribute from Berar. Peshva's Vakil Vyankatrav Moreshvar tried to reconcile the two brothers and finally it was agreed that Mudhoji would look after the Nagpur affairs and Raghuji Karande, Trimbakaji Raje and Piraji Naik Nimbalkar would see that all crisis would be averted.
On 9 January 1760, both the brothers wrote to Sadashivrav Bhau that their affairs were amicably settled. Janoji and Mudhoji arrived at Vashim on the banks of Penaganga as Sadashivrav Bhau had reached Paithan after his successful battle at Udgir against the Nizam. Balaji Bajirav himself was near Ahmadnagar, Janoji, taking Raghuji Karande [Mudhoji was completely alienated from Divakarpant and Balaji Keshav. Mudhoji ana now Trimbak Raje insisted that both of them should be tested and kept, one in Devagad fort and the other m Ambagad fort whereupon they pleaded to the Peshva for their safety.] with him advanced to Nandashi Brahmani and reached Jogai Amba (Ambejogai), with 12,000 horse and next day joined Sadashivrav Bhau's army. Mudhoji, too by a different route, at the same time reached Sadashivrav's camp. Sadashivrav, Raghoba and Balaji met near Ambe Patdur and received the news of the crushing defeat and death of Dattaji Shinde on 9 January 1860, at the Berar Ghat ten miles north of Delhi Ahmad Shah Abdali defeated and slew Dattaji Shinde in the north. It was at once decided that a force must be despatched under a member of the Peshva's family to restore Maratha influence in Hindustan. Little love was lost between the two cousins, Raghunath and Sadashivrav and the hero of Udgir claimed the command of the Maratha army. The army which set out from Patdur on 10 March 1760 was the most magnificent that the Marathas had ever sent forth to battle. Raghunath however remained behind to check the Nizam and Janoji and Mudhoji too Returned to Nagpur. In 1761 was fought the battle of Panipat between the Marathas and Abdali in which the Marathas were defeated.
Madhavrav Peshva died on 18 November 1772 and Janoji Bhosle too had died in the same year in May. The death of Janoji gave rise to the usual succession disputes and a civil war ensued between the two brothers Mudhoji and Sabaji. The former was supported by Raghunath and Sakharam Bapu from Pune, and the latter by Narayanrav, Nana Phadnis and others. Mudhoji with his three sons, Raghuji, Khandoji and Vyankoji was well supported by Balavantrav Mahipatrav, Ramaji Keshav, Tikhe, Bhavani Atole, Govindrav Mugutrav, Shivaji Talkute and Jagdev Gujar. Sabaji had in entourage Khandoji Adhav from Berar and Shankaraji Ghorpade, Ramasingh Nimbalkar and Zunjarrav Ghatge.
In 1816 the depredations of the Pendharis in Berar roused the British Government to expostulate with the Nizam; and by the Resident's counsel no iess than 7,500 horse were stationed in the province for its protection. "The State of Hyderabad at this time was in a very bad condition. The army of Hyderabad which was a mere rabble was nearly 70,000 in strength and was costing the State exchequer a major portion of the revenue. Large parts of the State were in a State of prolonged rebellion against the Government which was ineffective in dealing with them. The Hatkars, a war-like community in the districts of Nanded, Parbhani and Berar, across the river Painganga, were in open rebellion from 1798 A. D. Similarly the Zamindars of Sironcha and Mahadevpur were in rebellion from the same year. There was practically a collapse of administration in the country at this time. Added to this financiers like Palmer and Company were exploiting the financial embarrassment of the State to the fullest extent. It was at this time that the Third Maratha War started. In 1817 the Peshva Baji Rav II fought against the British in the battle of Khadki. He was defeated and had to flee from Pune. The Nizam's army was co-operating with the British in this war and the Hyderabad Contingent took a leading part in the operations in the Deccan and Malva. Not all of the Nizam's officers were friendly to the British."
Washim district was formed on 1 July 1998. Washim was once known as Vatsagulma, the capital of the Vatsagulma line of Vakataka dynasaty. In the year 1905 during the period of the British Raj Washim district was bifurcated into two separate districts, namely, Akola District and Yeotmal District. It again became a district in 1998.