The Udgir city has glorious historical background and is known for a well built fort of pre-Bahamani age and the nearly 800 years of Muslim rule under the Sultans and the Mughals over the region. It is also famous for the historic battle between Marathas led by Sadashivrao Bhau and Nizam in 1759. The town remained a part of the Hyderabad State under the rulership of the Nizam until the invasion by the Indian forces in 1948. Thereafter it became a part of the independent Republic of India. Until 1956 the town remained a part of Hyderabad State within India. Under the administrative reforms that year and the break up of the State of Hyderabad, Udgir and the adjacent towns were transferred to Maharashtra State.
Administration under the Muslim rulers.
Over the centuries, the local administration of the towns of the region was under the "Kazi" of the town or city. The Kazi would be responsible for the administration, judiciary, economy and other aspects of the town and its environs. The Kazi was groomed in the sciences of jurisprudence and administrative affairs, and would be considered an authority in shariah and religious sciences as well.
Other key officials used to be the khateeb (who was responsible for education and spread of knowledge, and would also deliver the Friday sermons), and the muhtasib (who was the ombudsman).
The Kazis of Udgir belonged to the famous noble family descended from the famous Sufi Baha-ud-din Zakariya Multani (1160-1267) through the lineage of the first Caliph Abu Bakr. One of his great-grandsons Shaykh Nizamuddin moved to the Deccan in South India during the reign of Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq around the year 1343. Subsequently, this branch of the family settled down in Hyderabad for over six centuries.
The first of the Kazis of Udgir was Kazi Abdul Qadir (lived in the early part of the seventeenth century). The last of the Kazis of Udgir was Kazi Zainul Abedin, one of the earliest officers of the Hyderabad Civil Service who eventually rose up to the rank of a Secretary in the government of the Nizam of Hyderabad State. He migrated to Pakistan in 1948 just before the fall of Hyderabad State to the Indian armed forces and spent the rest of his days in Mirpurkhas Sindh, where he died in 1963. His eldest son Kazi Abdur Rasheed also followed in his footsteps and joined the Hyderabad Civil Service in 1946.
The fort of Udgir stands in all its glory speaking volumes about the Muslim history and culture of the Deccan. The fort is bounded by a 40 feet deep trench as the fort is built at the ground level. Jamia Masjid located at Chaubara is one of the two biggest mosques, the other one is Maqbara mosque which is located in the centre of the city.
In the fort are several palaces Durbar halls and the Samadhi of Udaygir Maharaj which is 60 feet under the normal ground level. Udgir was named after the famous Hindu Saint Udaygiri Rishi. This is a place of great reverence to the people of the region. The fort has some rare inscriptions written in Arabic and Persian which testify to the promotion of knowledge and culture by the Muslim rulers over the centuries.
Present day Udgir
Today the town is an important commercial centre. It is a taluka and also the subdivisional Headquarters.The cattle market of Udgir has been famous mainly on account of the Devani breed of Bull which is not merely a graceful herbivore but equally efficient friend of the farmer.
Situated along the Mahrashtra-Karnataka border, Udgir taluka has achieved remarkable development. It has introduced revolutionary study techniques for the intensely competitive 10th and 12th standard examinations. Udgir created academic history with many of its students topping the State merit list. Today the town is an important commercial centre. It is a taluka and also the subdivisional Headquarters.There are three colleges in Udgir:Shivaji Mahavidhyalaya,Maharashtra Udaygiri Mahavidhyalaya & Havagiswami Mahavidhyalaya.
Railways : Direct passenger and express trains are available to Udgir from Aurangabad , Hyderabad , Bangalore, Kakinada and Tirupati. Udgir falls under the Divisional Headquarters of South Central Railway.
Roads : Udgir is 590 kilometers east of Mumbai (the state capitol) by road and 7 hours drive away from Aurangabad , 10 hours from Pune and 5 hours from Hyderabad. Several passenger bus services operate out of Udgir providing easy overnight connectivity with almost every major city in Maharashtra. These buses are reasonably priced, fairly punctual. The comfort level differs greatly from operator to operator.
Air : Nearest international and domestic airport to Udgir is Hyderabad (210 Kilometers).
Udgir is famous for its business in pulses, oil seeds and clothes.