Wadner Gangai.-Daryapur taluk, houses 711, population 3,071, a village of no particular importance with a Hindu and Muhammadan school. The land revenue is Rs. 19,605-7-3. A story is current that Aurangzeb in his march through Berar halted at this village at midday, and being thirsty called for milk, which, after much trouble and many threats of the Emperor's displeasure, his followers succeeded in obtaining. The "Lord of the Earth" drank it and was not only much refreshed, but noticed that a small spot of white leprosy on his leg was healed. He enquired the cause of the miracle, and was told that the milk was mother's milk, and has been given to the King's messengers by two old women Sitai and Gangai both over a hundred years of age, whom they found near the temple of Maroti. Henceforth the village was given its second name, though why Gangai and not Sitai should have been selected is not clear. The village is also known as Wadner Zagaji Bawa, after a Kunbi ascetic whose shrine here has an inam of 140 acres.
[The article on the Wardha river is a reprint from the draft article for the Imperial Gazetteer.]
-A river in the Central Provinces which rises on the Multai plateau of the Betul District (at 21° 50' N. and 78° 24' E.), some 70 miles north-west of the town of Nagpur, and flowing south and south-east, separates the Nagpur, Wardha and Chanda Districts of the Central Provinces from Berar and the Nizam's Dominions. For over fifty miles of its course it forms the boundary of the Morsi taluk and for a similar distance of that of Chandur. After a course of 290 miles from its source, the Wardha meets the Wainganga river at Seoni in the Chanda District, and the united stream under the name of the Pranhita flows on to join the Godavari. The bed of the Wardha, from its source to its junction with the Penganga at Jugad in the south-east corner of Yeotmal is deep and rocky, changing from a swift torrent in the monsoon months to a succession of nearly stagnant pools in the summer. For the last hundred miles of its course below Chanda it flows in a clear channel, broken only by a barrier of rocks commencing above the confluence of the Wainganga and extending into the Pranhita. The project entertained in the years 1866-1871 for rendering the Godavari and Wardha fit for navigation, included the excavation of a channel through this expanse of rock, which was known as the Third Barrier. The scheme proved impracticable, and except that timber is sometimes floated up from the Ahiri forests in the monsoon months no use is now made of the river for navigation. The area drained by the Wardha includes the Wardha District, with parts of Nagpur and Chanda in the Central Provinces and the eastern parts of Amraoti and Yeotmal districts in Berar. On the eastern or Central Provinces side, it is a rich tract of country confined between the river and a range of hills to the north, and widening to the south as the hills recede. The valley is covered with light black soil, and is a well-known cotton growing tract. In the Chanda District, the Wardha valley coalfield extends for a long distance in the
vicinity of the Wardha, Pranhita, and Godavari rivers. The coal is worked by a Government colliery at Warora, and fresh seams are now being exploited in other localities. The principal tributaries of the Wardha are the Wunna and Erai from the Central Provinces, and the Bembla and Penganga which drain the southern and eastern portions of the plain of Berar. The banks of the river are in several places picturesquely crowned by small temples and tombs, and numerous ruined forts in the background recall the wild period through which the valley passed, during the Maratha wars and the Pindari raids. Kaundinyapur (Dewalwada) on the Berar bank in Amraoti District, is believed to represent the site of a buried city, celebrated in the Bhagavat as the metropolis of the kingdom of Vidarbha (Berar). A large religious fair is held there. At Ballalpur near Chanda are the ruins of a palace of the Gond kings and a curious temple on an islet in the river which for some months in the year is several feet under water. The Wardha is crossed by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway at Pulgaon.
Warha.-A prosperous but unimportant village in the Chandur taluk, of 655 houses and 2,958 inhabitants, the greater part of whom are Ghasmalis. The temple of Maroti was built by subscription at a cost of Rs. 6,000. A bazar is held on Fridays.
Warud Bagaji.-A small village of about 500 people on the banks of the Wardha river in the Chandur taluk, about three miles distant from Mangrul Dastagir. The second name is derived from the samadhi, or tomb, of a Hindu ascetic named Bagaji Baba, in whose
honour a fair is held annually on the 6th day of Phalgun Wadya (March). Formerly the fair lasted for a month or so, and carts, cart wheels, cloth, copper and brass vessels were sold. For the last fifteen years, however, it has dwindled to an affair of a single day.
Warud or Barur.-Houses 1609, population 7179 formerly the headquarters of the Morsi taluk, the tahsili having been moved some 30 years ago to Morsi. It is situated on the Chandra Chudaman river about 56 miles east of Ellichpur and 53 miles from Amraaoti, and is so far as communications are concerned the most important town in
the taluk, having a first-class metalled road through Morsi to Amraoti, another to Multai by Bikatghat, and roads to Nagpur via the Wardha river and Katol, and via Amner. Of these that by Amner is a country road, but the former is muram surfaced and is shortly to be fully metalled. The proposed railway will also run by here. Warud however has neither dak nor inspection bungalow, the nearest being that at Benoda. Turmeric is sold here, but the chief trade is in cotton, the two gins being owned respectively by Sriram Rupram and Sriram Saligram. A Bench of Magistrates tries petty cases and the public buildings include a police station, a sub-registry, dispensary, post office, Anglo-Marathi and Urdu schools. It is the headquarters of the Morsi-Warud forest range. There are several old temples and two new and small but very creditable mosques.
Wathoda.-About 4 miles north of Kholapur on the Purna, has a population of 2121. It has a vernacular school and a branch post office, an opium and a country liquor shop. A temple of Sukleshwar has for its maintenance a field of 21 acres and 28 gunthas rent free.
Wirud.-Taluk Chandur, houses 481, population 2163, is situated to the north of Chandur four miles from the railway. The village is an unimportant one in spite of its size, having
the usual school and post office and a weekly bazar on Fridays. Four small temples are supported by a grant of inam land, and it is said that before the British Administration a peculiarly painful vow was regularly performed before them. The devotee would take a length of coarse string and pass it under the skin on both sides of his body. Two friends would then hold the ends and he would walk to and fro along it in front of the temples, the string sawing his flesh as he did so.