Chanakyanagar

2. The Maitra Mahal

Chanakyanagar is a fictional Class III town located fifty miles down South of Nagpur, Maharashtra, India. The town is the center for the Chanak District that borders the much bigger Nagpur district. While the Chanak District spans for a cumulative area of 1,453 sq. km, the town of Chanakyanagar spans for an area of 479 sq. km, claiming about 30% of the district. The total population as of 2011 census is 36,421 and is the most populous town in its district. There are five villages in the same district and the town is situated along the National Highway NH-7 which also connects Nagpur and other national destinations.

 

The town comprises a District Court (Courthouse), Collector's office (Town Hall) and several tourist attractions which gather people from the surrounding villages in the same district as well as from other districts of the state. The town has three major recreational centers: The Chanak Public Park, the Chanak Public Gardens and Lake Powell, and the Cliffy Rocks and Castle. Besides them, the town is famous for its exquisite temples, the Pre Historic Arts Museum, Maratha Antique Museum, an IMAX theater and several shopping bazars and malls.

 

The town has a very busy and frequently used bus terminus and railway station complete with a railway yard for servicing and maintenance of the trains and engines. Talks are on for building a domestic airport in the town that will connect flights into and out of the town to different cities of the state. This is a pilot project initiated by the Maharashtra State Government considering the town's growing popularity among the locals.

 

The common language spoken in the town is Hindi and Marathi although, thanks to the very high literacy rate, people generally understand English as well. The town has a growing urbanization that is encroaching the surrounding jungles and the farming lands bordering the town. The major source of power for the town is from a Coal plant located at the outskirts of the town, and the Hydro electric power plant associated with the more recently constructed Dam against the Chanak River.

The Castle is a very famous landmark in the town among the locals. Hailed as a mysterious place that harbors the existence of haunting spirits, different theories exist to support the eeriness surrounding the monumental structure.

 

The Castle was the ruling court and place of residence for the last Maratha King who ruled over the town of Chanakyanagar and the villages surrounding it before the invasion of the British East India Company. The King, named Bhargava Muralidhar Gaikwad, was a very commemmorative ruler with strict Laws imposed on his subjects and civilians. The British Raj had realized the weakness in his kingdom which was social inequality and gender-based discrimination. Bringing the Court Minister and the King's trustworthy confidant under their custody, the British East India Company gathered all the secret loopholes and flaws in Gaikwad's kingdom and ruling. Instead of attacking the King directly, the British Raj organized rallies and protests and brainwashed the civilians of the kingdom to join hands with them in overthrowing the King.

 

Promises to abolish gender-based discrimination and other inequalities were made which lured the common people towards them and against the King. In the early years of the 18th century, a civil war broke out in the kingdom and the whole empire was overthrown by the common people, establishing a unanimous British Government there. The King was sent into exile but he came to know the Court Minister's hand behind the whole falling. Story goes to say the King cursed the Minister and the entire kingdom to rot in Hell before his departure.

 

When the Court Minister was found dead early next day, the curse story started spreading around the locality. Ever since then, the Castle was someplace feared by everyone. During its dictatorial regime, the British Raj had tried razing the Castle down to the ground but every time someone made plans to blow the building away, some cataclysmic event would strike, either stalling the procedure or killing someone involved in the project. Later during the 1980 flood of the Chanak River, ensuing landslides dislocated the ground beneath the Castle and shifted it to the very edge of the Cliff it was built over. While it was feared by many the Castle would tip off the edge and collapse, it hasn't, which has further strengthened the ghost theories.

3. Shivalik Colony

Shivalik Colony is one of the two residential colonies of Chanakyanagar.

© 2017 by Aditya Sundararajan