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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 8, p. 112.


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r r 2 BH!zVAf L
containing several inscriptions, the oldest of which (of the same date
as the temple) is important as enumerating nineteen generations and
the principal events of the Sonigara (Chauhan) rule.
Bhir District (Bir).-District in the Aurangabad Division, Hyder-
abad State, lying between 18° 28' and 19° 27' N. and 74° 54' and
q6° 57' E., with a total area of 4,460 square miles. It is bounded
on the west and north by the Bombay District of Ahmadnagar
and Aurangabad ; on the north-east by Parbhani ; on the east by
Nander and Bidar ; and on the south by Osmanabad. The area of the
khdlsa and sarf-i-khds ('crown') lands is 3,926 square miles, the rest
being fi ir. The District is divided into two portions: the Balaghat
or highlands forming the south and east, and the Payanghat or
lowlands. The tdluks of Kaij, Amba, Bhir, and Patoda lie partly on
the Balaghat, while the remaining tiluks are all situated on the low-
lands. A low spur of the Western Ghats traverses the district from
Ahmadnagar to Amba.
The largest river is the Godavari, which forms the northern boundary,
separating Bhir from Aurangabad. Other streams
Physical which cross the District are the Mdnjra, the Sind-

aspects. phana and its tributary the Bendsūra, and the
Vijarta. The first two rise in the Patoda tdluk, and are tributaries of
the Godavari.
The District is situated within the Deccan trap area. In the valleys
of the Godavari and some of its tributaries the trap is overlaid by
gravels and clay beds of upper pliocene or pleistocene age, containing
fossil bones of extinct mammalia.
Owing to the small extent of jungles large game is rare, though tigers
are occasionally met with in some of the wooded hills. Antelope,
hyenas, wild hog, wolves, bears, and leopards are common.
The climate is generally healthy and temperate. Patoda, on the
Balaghat, is the highest part and is cool even in the hot season.
The climate of Bhir, Mazalgaon, and Gevrai, on the lowlands, is warm
and humid.
The annual rainfall averages 30 inches. The amount received in
1899 (15 inches) and 1900 (20 inches) was exceedingly deficient and
resulted in the great famine of 19oo.
According to tradition, Bhir was called Durgavati during the time of
the Pandavas and Kurūs, and its name was subsequently changed
History. to Balni ; but Champavati, Vikramaditya's sister,
after capturing it, called it Champavatinagar. Nothing
definite is known of its history, but it must have been included succes-
sively in the kingdoms of the Andhras, the Chalukyas, the Rashtra
ktitas, and the Yadavas of Deogiri, from whom it passed to the
Muhammadan kings of Delhi. About 1326 Muhammad bin Tughlak
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