Solapur (Marathi : सोलापुर) is a city in South Western Maharashtra, India governed by municipal corporation. Solapur is an important city in Maharashtra most well known for its textile industry, and bed sheets in particular.
Solapur is one of the four districts that form the region of Western Maharashtra. It is the fourth largest district in Maharashtra in terms of land area and seventh largest in terms of population. It is an important junction on the Central railway line. Solapur is a city with an array of small and medium scale industries. It has been a leading center for cotton mills and power looms, though recent times have seen these industries relocate elsewhere. Bedding accessories made in Solapur ('chaddars') have earned fame and reputation for their novel designs and durability.
The chief deity of the city is Shri Siddeshwar. The "Nandidhwaj" procession on Makar Sankranti fair is attended by millions of devotees.
Solapur is transport hub connecting Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and also Tamil Nadu. It is well connected by Road and Rail to major districts and cities. Akkalkot is the site of Akkalkot Swami Maharaj Math, visited yearly by huge number of people from Maharashtra and neighbouring Karnataka. Also an annual fair is held in the month of January wherein huge crowd comes from various parts of country, which is called as Gadda Fair in vernacular language. It is also famous for its shenga chatni and bhakri.
History: The Solapur District was ruled by various dynasties such as Andhrabhratyas, Chalukyas, Rashtrkutas, Yadavas and Bahamanis. 'Solapur' is believed to be derived from two words 'Sola' meaning sixteen and 'pur' meaning village. The present city of Solapur was considered to be spread over sixteen villages viz. Aadilpur, Ahmedpur, Chapaldev, Fatehpur, Jamdarwadi, Kalajapur, Khadarpur, Khandervkiwadi, Muhammadpur, Ranapur, Sandalpur, Shaikpur, Solapur, Sonalagi, Sonapur and Vaidakwadi. Recent research work however shows that the name SOLAPUR is derived not from the congregation of sixteen villages. It is evident from the inscriptions of Shivayogi Shri. Siddheshwar of the time of the Kalachuristis of Kalyani, that the town was called Sonnalage which came to be pronounced as Sonnalagi. The town was known as Sonnalagi even up to the times of Yadavas. A Sanskrit inscription dated Shake 1238, after the downfall of the Yadavas found at Kamati in Mohol shows that the town was known as Sonalipur. One of the inscriptions found in Solapur fort shows that the town was called Sonalpur while another inscription on the well in the fort shows that it was known as Sandalpur.
Siddheshwar Lake the present Solapur district was previously part of Ahmednagar, Pune and Satara districts. In 1838 it became the Sub-district of Ahmednagar. It included Barshi, Mohol, Madha, Karmala, Indi, Hippargi and Muddebihal Sub-divisions. In 1864 this Sub-district was abolished. In 1871 this district was reformed joining the Sub-divisions viz. Solapur, Barshi, Mohol, Madha and Karmala and two Sub-divisions of Satara district viz. Pandharpur, Sangola and in 1875 Malshiras Sub-division was also attached. After the State reorganisation in 1956 Solapur was included in Mumbai State and it became a full fledged district of Maharashtra State in 1960.
How to reach:
Rail: Solapur is one of the largest train junctions on the Mumbai-Chennai, Mumbai-Hyderabad lines and is one of the five divisions of the Central Railway Zone of the Indian Railways. It is connected by direct trains to many important cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram, Vijayawada etc. Solapur is also a terminal point of the Solapur-Bijapur line. A current railways timetable for the Solapur Railway Station is available on the Solapur district website.
Road: Solapur is well connected by road with major cities of Maharashtra as well as the adjoining State Capital of Hyderabad and important cities in Karnataka by three National Highways - NH-9 connecting Pune with Vijaywada via Hyderabad, NH-13 connecting Solapur to Mangalore, Karnataka and NH-211 connecting Solapur to Dhule. There are also numerous state and country routes that pass through Solapur. And connected to some cities like Siddipet, Karimnagar, Warangal etc. daily.
Ratnagiri-Nagpur National highway NH-204 connects Solapur to important cities of Maharashtra like Nagpur, Sangli, Kolhapur and Nanded.
Airport: Solapur city is now connected by airways with Mumbai. It will be connected to other cities after completion of new airport. (IATA code: SSE) Kingfisher Airlines operates flights from Solapur to Mumbai on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Public transport in Solapur is primarily provided by buses operated by Solapur Municipal Transport (SMT) and auto rickshaws.