Salbardi.-Houses 36, population 163, is an insignificant village about 5 miles north of Morsi and lying partly in the taluk of that name and partly in the Betul District, but holds an important position in Hindu mythology. It is here that Sita is said to have come when she was deserted by Rama, and to have given birth to her two sons Lava and Kusha; these were taught by Valmik after he had been reformed by Narad, who released him from his entombment at Salbardi. The twins are said to have caught the horse Shyamkarna let loose by their father. On this a great fight occurred in which the god with his three brothers was defeated and left unconscious. Their clothes and ornaments were recognised by Sita and they were restored to life by Valmik. Sita and the sons were then acknowledged by Rama, and were taken by him to Oudh. Salbardi is situated on the Maru
river, and is celebrated on account of two springs-one very cold, and the
other hot, or decidedly tepid. The springs flow into a small stone cistern
which was formerly divided into compartments for the hot and cold water but has now been made one. Some of the water was recently analysed, and reported on as containing sulphates and phosphates in small quantity; unfit for drinking but probably useful as a wash for skin diseases. Colonel Meadows Taylor records bathing here in 1857 and says that the waters gave his malaria temporary relief. As might be expected, the place contains several spots of mythological interest, particularly the bath or Nihani of Sita and an underground temple of Mahadeo in a natural cave; also some images cut in the natural rock. A hill close by is crowned with a rough stone fort known as Babu Khan's kila after a famous Pindari who occupied it. Near this place R. B. Hira Lal has recently discovered two Buddhist viharas or monasteries consisting of spacious halls and rooms all cut out of rock. One of them contains a headless image of Buddha, now worshipped as a Devi with vermilion and water. Hence the story given in the Betul Gazetteer from which the following is extracted.
'A small village in the Multai tahsil on the Berar border, about 44 miles south of Badnur on the Maru river, with a population of about 300 persons. A cave in a hill by the village, approached through a long narrow passage, contains an idol of Mahadeo. It is popularly supposed that an underground passage leads from this cave to Mahadeo's hill at Pachmarhi, and it is said that Mahadeo put two thousand goats into the passage at Pachmarhi, and only one came out of Salbardi. It is said also that a hole in the hill leads down to the cave and that this hole was made by Bhimsen so that he might see Mahadeo better. There were also hot and cold water springs here, but they have now become
mixed. A temple on the hill contains a headless image of Devi and a pool of reddish-coloured water in front of the temple is supposed to be tinged by the blood that fell from the image when its head was cut off. An annual fair is held here in March, lasting for three days, and is attended by about 5,000 persons, nearly a hundred temporary shops being opened for the sale of goods. In the village is a quarry of hard stone from which mortars, cups and cooking slabs are made. There is also a quarry of limestone. The proprietor is a Khatri.'
Salbardi is named from its abundance of sal trees and the stony character of its soil.
Satpura Hills.-A range of hills in the centre of India.
The name, which is modern, originally
belonged to the hills which divide the
Nerbudda and Tapti valleys in Nimar, Central Provinces,
and were styled the Sat putra or seven sons of the Vindhyan
mountains. Another derivation is from Satpura (sevenfolds),
referring to the numerous parallel ridges of the range. The local interpretation placed on the Satpura refers the word to
the seven distinct ridges that a traveller from the Berar valley
has to cross before he reaches the Nerbudda. Taking Amar-kantak in Rewah, Central India (20° 40 N. and 81° 46 E.)
as the eastern boundary, the Satpuras extend from east to west
for about 600 miles and in their greatest depth exceed 100
miles from north to south. The shape of the range is almost
triangular. The western prolongation of the Satpura hills,
which walls in the northern frontier of Berar, lies chiefly
in Amraoti District and is sometimes spoken of as the
Gawilgarh range, from the fort of that name which stands on
one of its highest buttresses directly overlooking the plain.
The range is almost coterminous with the Melghat taluk, so
called not from ghat a mountain but from Melghat a small
village and ford on its northern side; and forms the water-shed between the Tapti on the north and the Purna and
Wardha rivers on the south. Its greatest length through
the Betul, Amraoti and Nimar Districts is probably about 160 miles. The hills rise abruptly from the plains of Berar on one side and from the banks of the Tapti on the other, the summits reaching an elevation of two to four thousand feet. Plateaux rather than isolated peaks are the rule, interspersed with precipitous ravines.
The most notable elevations locally are Khamla (3,700 feet)
an Bhainsdehi (2,609 feet) in Betul,
Bairat (3,866 feet), Chikalda (3,664 feet) in Amraoti and the two great fortresses of Gawilgarh (3,513 feet) in Amraoti and Narnala (3,052 feet) in Akola. The last-named though geographically part of the Melghat taluk was handed over to Akola apparently with the idea that it should be a hill station for that District. Its inaccessibi-lity, however, has largely prevented its use. For further details reference may be made to the article on the Melghat taluk.
Saur.-In the Amraoti taluk, 417 houses, population 2,162 It is 18 miles from Amraoti by road and about 4 miles to the west of the pakka road to Chandur Bazar. There is a vernacular school, with a branch post office. A bazar is held on Saturdays.
Sawanga.-Pargana Malkhed, taluk Chandur, a small village with 664 inhabitants. A fair in honour of Vithoba commences on Chaitra Sudi Pratipada (March) and lasts for 10 days, being attended by about 2,000 people. There is no temple or other building of any importance.
Sawalpur.-Houses 268, population 1,147,in the Ellichpur taluk, on the borders of Amraoti taluk adjoining Assegaon, is situated on the banks of the Purna. Its only claim to be noticed is a fairly executed image ot Keshaoraj which was unearthed here in 1884.
Sembadoh.-Melghat taluk, a forest village 30 miles from Ellichpur, on the Dharni road; the population, 342 in number, is entirely Korku. It is the headquarters of a forest range, and has a Public Works Department inspection bungalow.
Sendurjana.-A village in Morsi taluk about 60 miles east of Ellichpur with 1,463 houses and 6,860 population. The contiguous village of Malkapur has 1,946 inhabitants. Sendurjana formerly belonged in jagir to an agent of the Nagpur Raja called Gaikwar who lived there and made the village one of considerable importance. He built a splendid well about a mile distant which goes by his name and cost, it is said, some 20,000 rupees. There are also ruins of a small mosque, and a temple of Balajl for the support of which seven
inam fields are assigned. Some tombs also exist of early European adventurers. A big weekly bazar is held on Fridays at which timber and jaggery are sold. Now that the police station here has been suppressed a Marathi and an Urdu school and post office are the only public buildings. Malis are the chief element in the population, Kunbis and Musalmans coming next. The place is well known for the manufacture of kunku, a red powder, used by women. Rai Sahib Sunder Lal has a cotton gin here.
Sendurjana Buzruk.-Pargana Kurha, taluk Chandur, houses 302, population 1,429, has a musafirkhana, a District Board chaodi, and a school. The weekly bazar which is held on Tuesdays is a very large one, and cattle are sold. There is also a Sendurjana Khurd with a population of 260 in the same pargana.
Shahnur River.-A river which, taking its rise near the Gawilgarh fort, flows through the length of the Daryapur taluk from the north southward. The name is said to be derived from the Shaha Neera or "javelin thrown" by Ramachandra: and the river to have sprung up where, the javelin struck the ground. It is met by its tributary the river Bordi close to Adul and thence taking a westerly course leaves the Daryapur taluk at Dahihanda, and flowing in the same direction effects a junction with the river Purna near Pilakwari in the Akot taluk. At one point, about a quarter mile north of the little hamlets Malkapur and Wagdeo, which form part of the Ellichpur taluk and lie at the foot of the Satpura hills, it is possible that a fine reservoir might be
constructed. The banks of the river here are very high and precipitous, and approach each other so closely that by means of a small embankment a large valley can be easily enclosed. In the monsoon a large body of water rushes down this channel only to disappear, however, as rapidly as it collects, and it has been is suggested that this amount of water could be saved by a reservoir for purposes of irrigation.
Shirala.-Amraoti taluk, about 15 miles north of Amraoti, is about 2 miles to the east of the Chandur Bazar road, and has a population of 3,546. Like other villages of its class it has a vernacular school with a branch post office attached, a pound and a sarai. The weekly bazar is held on Wednesdays. A Marathi school for girls teaches 3 standards, and the Hindustani school contains 4 classes. Good tadhaos,a coarse cotton cloth like canvas, used as carpets etc., are made here on handlooms by Dhangars.
Shirasgaon Kasba.-A large and rich village with 1,289 houses and a population of 6,537, situated on the banks of the river Megha about 14 miles from Ellichpur. A large area of garden land belongs to the village. The bazar day is Wednesday; and the village has a first-class police station and a combined post office and vernacular school teaching up to the sixth standard. There is nothing else of note. The yearly land revenue is about Rs. 17,000.
Sipna River.-This stream in the northern portion of the Melghat taluk rises near Khamla and Kukru in the Betul District of the Central Provinces, and runs south of the Makhla plateau for eight or 10 miles. Passing under the villages of Harisal and Duni, it then meets the Tapti about 4 miles north of Dharni. Otters (Lutranain) are found in the Sipna.