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Going into the History of Roha

History of Roha    ► History of "First Train in Roha"

History of Roha:

Roha is one of the selected villages in Maharashtra which celebrates the Ganapati festival under the programme 'Ek Gaon Ek Ganapati'. This means only one common Ganapati for one village. This practice is carried out for more than 80 years by the "Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Trust", Roha.

Today's Kundalika river on the banks of which Roha is situated was once upon a time part of the sea. Small ships used to sail from here, which carried rice, brass & copper utensils to all parts of the world. The bridge on this river was built in 1960, spending a hopping amount of Rs.5 lakhs. It joins Roha and another small village called Ashtami which has a long history behind it. Presently Roha-Ashtami comes under one Nagar-Palika. But History of 1000-1200 years tells that Ashtami was the original place where people started reciding. Kundalika river was the boundary of the two kingdoms i.e Roha & Ashtami.

On one side of Roha are the forts Tale, Ghosale & on another side Avchitgad, gives the proof of the historical importance of Roha. 'Rohe' means seedling of Rice. People from Ashtami village used to cultivate rice crop on other side of the river i.e in Roha. It is assumed that these people derived the name Roha from "Rohe".

In 1818 Britishers captured Tale, Ghosale and Birwadi forts. But for proper working they reduced the importance of forts and created "Talukas". Actually Roha was included in the Rajpuri taluka, but the British Government shifted the Rajpuri Taluka Court to Roha, and there started the true development of the village(Roha). During Shivaji Maharaj reign Ashtami was under the Marathas. But Roha was ruled by the Siddhis as was Murud. It is also beleived that the British Ambassaddor Henry Oxindon recided in Ashtami village for one day when he went to Raigad fort for Shivaji's royal incarnation.

The families like Mehendale, Raje, Deshmukh, Gadkari, Gangal, Soman, Kulkarni came in Roha during the British rule and started cultivating different crops.

In 1866 when Colaba district & Roha taluka came into existance 'Roha-Ashtami' was known as one village. In same year Nagar Palika's establishment was done as 'Roha Ashtami Nagar Palika Parishad'. Though the Kundalika river separates the two places, people of both this regions live with a sense of unity & freindship. Once upon a time Israeli people used to stay in Ashtami. In 1948 after the existance of Israel lot of people migrated from here. Their Cinigogz are still present here.

Similar to the God of Roha(Gaavdev) - Dhavir the Ganesh festival which is carried out under the program 'Ek Gaav Ek Ganpati' is very popular and has a great support from the people of Roha. At the end of 19th century Lokmanya Tilak started the ganpati festival in Pune, then in Mumbai and then started spreading in all parts of Maharashtra. In 1907 the "Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Trust" was started in Roha. But those days were of dependence, therefore the British regime started pressurising people and brought an end to the festival. In 1922 some young people from Roha came together and again started the Ganesh festival. The aim with which Tilak started the festival is proved right by the people of Roha. More then 80 years have passed and the "Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Trust" is celebrating this festival under the programe 'Ek Gaav - Ek Ganpati & the support of people is increasing every year.

History of "First Train in Roha":

Want to know about the first time when train entered into Roha, then this is the right place you have landed in. The history of this train heads back to 1922 and used to go from the, then existing Roha market. In those days to reach Mumbai (that time it was known as Bombay) only the sea route was available. Son of Roha Dr. C.D Deshmukh who passed the ICS exam with top-most rank travelled to Roha through this route, and had come to meet his mother on a two day visit.

Yes!, all what you read above is true, and in such difficult days there was a train running between Roha and Bhira. Industrialists Tata, wanted to start electricity production plant in Bhira by const-ructing The Tata Power House.Bhira Power Station when it was started in 1922. Image Source: Tata Group website For this to become a reality his plan was to construct a dam near Mulshi and then get that water to Bhira for electricity production. The material required for the project like big machinery, cement etc. was to come from Mumbai. The plan was to get this required material via Roha till Bhira, as sea route was available till Roha. In those days travelling to Bhira had only one option, by foot. Considering the amount of raw material that was to be required for the power plant Tata carried out a inspection from Bhira to Roha and came to a conclusion that carrying raw material from Roha to Bhira via a train will prove cost saving as well as time saving. Now, for this to become a reality big cranes were required to be mounted on the port so that the material coming from the sea route can be boarded into the trian, that would come from Bhira. That is why a proposal was put forward by Tata to the Roha - Nagar palika which included giving free-electricity to Roha. But the proposal was rejected giving reason that there was no need of electricity for this small village. Instead the Nagar palika demanded toll as well to build a way to go to the Ashtami village.

Roha would have flourished like anything within no-time if the proposal of Tata was excepted at that time.

The Nagar palika earned some 1 lakh 32 thousand rupees from Tata. He excepted the proposal and started work to put up a 92 mile railway track from Roha to Bhira. Its route was fixed from Bhira, Patnus, Kolad to Roha and back through the same route. In this train two boggies were reserved for people from Bhira and four wagons for carrying machinery and the material that was required. The trian would enter in Roha from Damkhadi would go through the old fish market and then take a halt at the Shiladankar bakery. From there it would go to drop or take the machinery and raw material from the port.

Finally the 300mw hydro station was started at Bhira in 1922 by the Tata Power company. Today because of this water that is let-off from the station farming has become easy in this area and farmers are happy about it.

This era of the Roha-Bhira train came to an end in 1960 when the State Transport started running buses. By that time trucks were also available for carrying raw material.

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