Beed Knowledge Guide
Foundation and name
The early history of Beed is unknown and there is a contradiction in the historical accounts in defining the foundation and early history. According to legend, Beed was an inhabited place in the period of Pandavas and Kurus as Durgavati. Its name was subsequently changed to Balni. Champavati, who was sister of Vikramaditya, after capturing, renamed it as Champavatinagar. After that the city fell to Chalukya, Rashtrkuta and Yadava dynasties before felling to the Muslim rule. However, some scholars say that it was possibly founded by the Yadava rulers of Devagiri (Daulatabad). Tārīkh-e-Bīr (history of Beed) mentions that Muhammad bin Tughluq named it Bir (Arabic بئر meaning ‘well’) after building a fort and several wells in and around the city. Ground water was abundant in the city and when wells were built, water was found at only at several feet. Hence Tughluq named it as "Bir" Until recent times, wells were abundant in the city. They became little important due to modern system of water supply hence subsequently most of them were filled. It is unclear that as to how the present name Beed came into use. There are at least two different traditions. The first tradition says that since the district is situated at the foot of Balaghat Range as if it is in a hole, it was named as Bil (बील Marathi for hole) which in course of time corrupted to Bid. According to the second tradition a Yavana (यवण) ruler of ancient India, named it Bhir (Persian ٻھېڔ for Water) after finding water at a very low depth and Bhir might have become Beed in course of time. The first tradition seems to be untrue, because with no angle, the entire district can be called a ‘hole’. Only north eastern part of the district is at lower heights and a vast area of 10,615 km2 can not be called a ‘hole’ just because of slight depression. Furthermore, Bil (बील hole) in Marathi is spoken for a deep and narrow hole and not for a slight depression. The second tradition though have some distortion, appears to be true and in accord with Tārīkh-e-Bīr of Quazi Muhammad Qutubullah (1898). The word ‘Yavana’ in early Indian literature meant a Greek or any foreigner. At a much later date it was frequently applied to the Muslim invaders of India. It is quite possible that Muhammad bin Tughluq may have been referred in this tradition as Yavana ruler. Muslims ruled the Deccan for centuries and almost all Muslim rulers had Persian as their court language. It seems that Arabic word 'Bir' was eventually pronounced ‘Bhir’ in the Indian accent and the people mistakenly took this Arabic word as Persian for the court language of the rulers was Persian. Until recent times after independence, the city was called ‘Bir’ and ‘Bhir’ in the official documents.
According to legend, when Ravana, demon king of Lanka (Sri Lanka), abducted Sita (wife of Hindu deity Rama) and was taking her to Lanka, Jatayu (eagle) tried to stop him. Ravana cut its wings and wounded Jatayu fell on the ground. When Rama reached there in search of his beloved wife, Jatayu told him the whole story and died. The place where he died is said to be in Beed city and Jatashankar temple is standing at the place, which is; according to scholars, possibly built by Yadavas of Devagiri. However, Jatashankar temples are abundant in other parts of India with same narrations. Another legend also narrates that Beed was called Durgavati in the period of Pandavas and Kurus who fought a devastating war of Mahabharata.
There are no amenities in the city except cinema halls and a small, little maintained garden. Few years back there were seven cinema halls, but now in 2018 Two are remaining; namely 'Asha' and 'Santoshimata'. Two parks were maintained until 1969 by the municipal council.