Solapur is a city located in the south-western region of the Indian state of Maharashtra, close to its border with Karnataka.Solapur is located on major highway, rail routes between Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad, with a branch line to the cities of Bijapur and Gadag in the neighbouring state of Karnataka. Solapur international Airport is under construction.It is classified as A1 Tier and B-1 class city by House Rent Allowance (HRA) classification by the Government of India.It is the 5th biggest city in Maharashtra and the 49th most populous city in India and 43rd largest urban agglomeration.
Solapur leads Maharashtra in production of beedi. Solapuri Chadars and towels are famous not only in India but also at a global level, however there has been a significant decline in their exports due to quality reasons. “Solapuri chadars” are the famous and first product in Maharashtra to get a Geographical Indication tag.It has been a leading centre for cotton millsand power looms in Maharashtra. Solapur had the world’s second-largest and Asia’s largest spinning mill. The National Research Centre on Pomegranate (NRCP) of India is located in Solapur and pomegranate farming is done on a large scale in Solapur District. The Science Centre in Kegaon (Solapur) is the third largest and prominent scientific association in Maharashtra. The Raichur-Solapur Power Transmission line of 765 kV power capacity suffices the power grid accessing need of the southern states of Karanataka and Andhra Pradesh. The first waste-to-energy electricity plant in Maharashtra is situated in Solapur.
The Gramadevata (Chief deity) of the city is Shri Shivyogi Siddheshwar. The “Nandidhwaj” procession on the Hindu festival of Makar Sankranti and on account of it an annual fair locally known as Gadda Yatra attracts large crowds and is associated with the marriage of Lord Siddheshwar. In 1992, the Solapur Municipal Corporation extended its area up to 300 square kilometres (120 sq mi) by merging its suburbs. Solapur has the Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary.
The Solapur (anciently called sonnalage) District was ruled by various dynasties such as Andhrabhratyas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Yadavas and Bahamanis. ‘Solapur’ spelled in (Marathi: सोलापूर is believed to be derived from the combination of two words: Sola / सोळा in Marathi means “sixteen” and “Pura / पुर” means “village”.The present city of Solapur was considered to be spread over sixteen villages viz. Aadilpur, Ahmedpur, Chapaldev, Fatehpur, Jamdarwadi, Kalajapur, Khadarpur, Khandervkiwadi, Muhammadpur, Ranapur, Sandalpur, Shaikpur, Solapur, Sonallagi, Sonapur and Vaidakwadi and all these villages are now merged with Solapur Municipal CorporationIt is evident from the inscriptions of Shivayogi Lord Siddheshwar of the time of the Kalachuristis of Kalyani, that the town was called ‘Sonnalage’ which came to be pronounced as ‘Sonnalagi’. The town was known as Sonnalagi even up to the times of Yadavas. A Sanskrit inscription dated (Sanskrit:शके १२३८) Śakē 1238, after the downfall of the Yadavas found at Kamati in Mohol shows that the town was known as Sonalipur.
One of the inscriptions found in Solapur fort shows that the town was called Sonalpur while another inscription on the well in the fort shows that it was known as Sandalpur. Subsequently, the British rulers pronounced Solapur as Sholapur and hence the name of the district. The present Solapur district was previously part of Ahmednagar, Pune and Satara districts. In 1838 it became the Sub-district of Ahmednagar. It included Barshi, Mohol, Madha, Karmala, Indi, Hippargi and Muddebihal Sub-divisions. In 1864 this Sub-district was abolished. In 1871 this district was reformed joining the Sub-divisions viz. Solapur, Barshi, Mohol, Madha and Karmala and two Subdivisions of Satara district viz. Pandharpur, Sangola and in 1875 Malshiras Sub-division was also attached.After the State reorganisation in 1956 Solapur was included in Bombay State and it became a full-fledged district of Maharashtra State in 1960
As per 2011 census of Solapur city and as per provisional reports of the Census of India, the population of Solapur in 2011 was 951,118, of whom av were male and 468,924 were female.
Solapur’s population, with the inclusion of its suburbs, increased to 1,250,000 reorganized in 2012.
In 2011, the total literates in Solapur city are 710,180 of whom 390,335 are males while 319,845 are females. The average literacy rate of Solapur city is 83.88 percent of which male and female literacy was 91.31 and 76.30 percent respectively.
Hinduism is the majority religion in Solapur city with 75.73% followers. Islam is the second most popular religion, with approximately 20.64% following it. Buddhism 1.62% Jainism by 1.00%, Christianity 0.73%, others, no religion and not stated 0.28%.
Solapur is located at 17.68°N 75.92°E. It has an average elevation of 458 metres (1502 feet). It is bordered by Ahmednagar district on the north; Osmanabad district on the north and northeast.
Gulbarga district on the southeast and Bijapur Districts on the south of Karnataka State, Sangli district on the south and southwest; Satara district on the west, and Pune district on the northwest. It is situated at a distance of 410 km (250 mi) from the Maharashtra State Capital of Mumbai by road and train.
Solapur is at a distance of 245 km (152 mi) from Pune and 305 km (190 mi) from Hyderabad. Solapur is situated on the Deccan plateau.
Solapur falls under the category of dry (arid and semiarid) climate according to the Köppen climate classification. The city experiences three distinct seasons: summer, monsoonand winter. Typical summer months are from March to May, with maximum temperatures ranging from 30 to 45 °C (86 to 113 °F). The warmest months in Solapur are April and May. The typical maximum temperatures being 40 °C (104 °F) or more. The highest temperature ever recorded is 46.0 °C (114.8 °F) in May 1988. Although summer does not end until May or even the midst of June, the city often receives locally developed heavy thundershowers in May (although humidity remains high). The monsoon lasts from June to the end of September, with moderate rainfall. The city of Solapur receives an average rainfall of 545 mm (21.5 in) per year.Winter begins in November and lasts until the end of February, with the temperatures occasionally dropping below 10 °C (50 °F). Solapur lies very close to the seismically active zone around Killari, Latur District, about 100 km (62 mi) east of the city.