Pen (T. Pen; 18°40'.N, 73°05' E; p. 8,607; RS. Khopoli, 12 m.)
the headquarters of Pen taluka lies on the right bank of Bhogavati creek about ten miles from its mouth. At high water spring tides, the creek is navigable for boats of forty tons to Antora, a mile and a half below Pen. The Bhang Bandar or neap tide port is four miles below Pen. A built road joins Pen with Antora.
Pen is the centre of considerable traffic between the Deccan and the sea-coast. Trucks come down the Sahyadris along the Khopoli road bringing tobacco, molasses, pepper, and onions, and taking
salt and rice. The public buildings of Pen are: Government grain-godown, police sub-inspector's bungalow, two police lines (residential quarters), P. W. D. inspection bungalow, Central Excise inspector's bungalow, a post-mortem building, mamlatdar's office, city survey office, Forest Department office, Salt Department's checking office, post-office, etc.
Pen [Professional Papers on Indian Engineering, X. 121-123; Sanitary Commissioner's Report for 1876, 259-260] was formerly badly supplied with water; almost all the wells and ponds ran dry during the hot season. About three-quarters of a mile to the east of the town a small stream runs through a valley which is sufficiently high to deliver water in the town under pressure. The area of this valley is about 100 acres, and it is calculated that, with an average yearly rainfall of 110 inches, 120,000,000 gallons could be stored for the use of the town in one season. The works consist of an earthen dam built across the mouth of the valley about 500 feet long, and forty feet at its greatest height. On the hill side, to the west of the dam, a waste-weir has been cut, twenty feet long and three feet deep, which is enough to carry off the surplus water of the lake; and a small tunnel six inches by four has been built under the dam through which the outlet and waste-pipes run. The waste-pipe, which is twelve inches in diameter, is fitted with a valve in the tunnel, and opens whenever the lake is full and the water begins to escape by the weir. The current caused by means of this outlet keeps the bottom of the lake clear. The outlet pipe, which is six inches in diameter, is also fitted with a valve in the tunnel, and ends in a small reservoir on the town side of the dam where a self-acting valve is fitted to it, thus regulating the supply of water to the town. From the reservoir to the filter, a distance of 2,500 feet, a nine-inches earthenware pipe has been laid with a fall of one in 1,000, and is calculated to deliver 1,60,000 gallons in twelve hours. The filter, which is thirty feet long six feet broad and ten feet deep, is placed near the town, in order that it may be easily accessible, and from it to the town a six-inch cast-iron main has been laid; from this main cast-iron pipe four-inch and three-inch mains with wrought iron branches distribute the water to the various parts of the town. Fifteen small cisterns have been made in various parts of the town for the use of those who do not wish to make connections with their houses, which may he done at private expense. The dam is built of earth excavated from the rice fields, which form the bed of the reservoir. The earth is laid in concave layers, each layer not more than one foot in thickness. On a line with the inner edge of the dam, a puddle wall has been built eleven feet thick at the bottom tapering to four feet thick at the top. This wall is made of the clayey soil found in rice fields, and is entirely free from vegetable matter. The bottom of the wall penetrates at least two feet into the firm earth, which forms the original surface of the valley. The dam is thirty-five feet at its greatest height and ten feet wide at the top, with slopes of two and a half to one on the inner, and one and a half to one on the outer side. These slopes have been carefully pitched with dry
rubble pitching, well rammed into the bank, and so laid as to have no cracks or crannies. The tunnel or outlet for the pipes through the dam has side walls and a paving of rubble masonry set in cement, pointed on all exposed faces, and an arching of roughly dressed rubble also set in cement. The cement is composed of one part raw Portland cement of the best quality, and two parts of clean sharp river-sand well washed. The stone is of blue trap laid in its natural bed. No boulders or friable stone was used, and no face work was allowed. The reservoir in which the outlet pipe ends is also of rubble in cement, the same sort of work as the tunnel. At the beginning of the works it was found necessary to dig eleven feet into the bed of the valley, to intercept the springs which flowed below the dam site, and from this depth the puddle wall is carried up. The extreme width of dam at bottom is 170 feet, the height forty feet, and slope of 510 feet, the breadth at top twelve feet, the slope of the stream side two and a half to one, and of the down stream side one and a half to one. In addition to this slope, the lower side has about 100,000 cubic feet of stone laid upon it. The dam contains 850,000 cubic feet of earth. The tunnel under it, which is 162 feet long and six broad by four deep, contains the waste-pipe twelve inches in diameter with its valve, and the supply pipe six inches in diameter with its valve. The end of the tunnel is closed with six feet of solid masonry on the lake side, and through this the pipes communicate with the lake, the supply pipes being connected with the inlet pipe in the lake. The inlet pipe has four arms fitted with plugs, which can be removed as the water in the lake falls. The reservoir on the lower side is fitted with a self-acting regulator, and from the dam to the filter nine-inch stoneware pipes run with a fall of one in 1,000. From the filter to the town there is a six-inch cast-iron main, having a pressure of forty-two feet at the entrance to the town. Two fountains or reservoirs, the gift of the late Sir Cawasji Jahangir, are built at the entrance to the town on the main road. The mains in the town are of cast and wrought iron, the ends of all being connected one with the other, so as to equalize the pressure and produce continual circulation. Five plugs are fixed at certain points in the town, and stand-pipes are erected for the poorer classes who are unable to take connections into their houses. Except the town mains which are laid at the expense of the municipality, the whole of the works have been completed by subscription. The cost of the dam was Rs. 18,000, and of filtering and carrying the main to the town Rs. 10,000, or a total Rs. 28,000, of which Rs. 12,000, were bequeathed by Kesvaram Motiram, a rich grain merchant of Pen. The gathering ground is 100 acres, and the capacity of the lake 60,000,000 gallons; the stream runs every year till January. Over the outlet is placed a tablet with the inscription.
'The Kesav Motiram Reservoir is named after a Marvari merchant of Pen who bequeathed Rs. 12,000 for the Pen water-supply. This dam was cammenced 2nd January 1876, and finished 1st June 1876 by Arthur Crawford, Collector; W. Gray, C. E., Engineer; and Nagu Purbhaji Contractor.'
The reservoir is also known as the Crawford Tank. No major repairs were carried out to the Pen Water Works in recent years. Wells supplement the tap water and during summer the supply falls short.
About a quarter of a mile to the north of Pen there is a deep pool [ It is popularly known as Kasar Tale and is said to have been constructed by Malik Amber.] in the Bhogavati formed by a trap dyke (with a masonry dam on the top of it). The pool is much used for bathing and washing purposes and is a good fishing place.
In historical times Pen was under rule of the Silaharas of
Shri Sthanak (Thana) from 9th to the 12th Century and subsequently it passed under the control of the Yadavas. As Silaharas
rarely acted as sovereign rulers and acknowledged the successive
suzerainty of Gujarat in the north, Karnatak in the south, Pen is
often referred to as belonging to their respective dominions.
When Shayastakhan was sent against Sivaji, a detachment of
the Moghal army had been kept at Pen but it was subsequently
routed by him. In 1668 Pen is mentioned as a port which
acknowledged the Moghal as its superior, though it lay in Sivaji's
territories [ Bruce's Annals, II. 242.]. In 1676 it is mentioned by Fryer [ New Account, 51, 61, 77.]. Parvatibai, the wife of Sadasivrav Bhau, the hero of Panipat, came from the Kolhatkar family of Pen which incidentally had taken active part in inciting the impostor of Bhau to rise against Savai Madhavrav. In 1819 the easy communication with Bombay and with the Deccan by the Bor pass made Pen an important centre. Its chief prosperity lay in its salt beds. There was a considerable export of rice to Bombay [ Revenue Diary, 142 of 1819, p. 2570.]. A number of carved stones about the town appear to belong to an unusually large temple of about the thirteenth or fourteenth century.
The population of the town according to 1951 census was 8,607.
Of this the agricultural classes numbered 1,247 and the non-agricultural classes 7,360. Of the latter, 1,901 persons derived their principal means of livelihood from production other than cultivation; 1,598 persons from commerce; 356 persons from transport; and 3,505 persons from other services and miscellaneous sources.
Pen is a town with an area of 6.75 square miles where the municipality was established in the year 1865. It is now governed under the Bombay District Municipal Act, III of 1901. The municipal council consists of 15 members where two seats are reserved for women. The municipal affairs are looked after by three committees, viz., (1) Managing Committee, (2) Dispensary Committee and (3) School Committee. The administrative organization of the municipality comprises the following departments: (1) Establishment, (2) Octroi, (3) Conservancy, (4) Market and (5) Water Works.
The total income of the municipality for the year 1958-59 excluding extraordinary and debt heads amounted to Rs. 1,41.963 comprising municipal rates and taxes Rs. 1.11,846; realisation under special Acts Rs. 776; revenue derived from municipal property apart from taxes Rs. 14,453; grants and contributions Rs. 9,880 and miscellaneous Rs. 5,008. The expenditure for the same year amounted to Rs. 1,43,063; general administration and collection charges being Rs. 22,591; public safety Rs. 15,489; public health and convenience Rs. 90,780; public instruction Rs. 13,236, contributions Rs. 211 and miscellaneous Rs. 756.
A tank constructed about two miles away from the town serves as the chief source of water-supply for the town details of which have been given before.
There are kutcha drains in the town through which waste water is carried outside the town.
Primary education which is not compulsory in the town is managed by the Zilla Parishad the municipality paying an annual contribution at the rate of five per cent of the annual letting value every year. The municipality also pays an annual grant to the local high school. The municipality pays an annual grant of Rs. 250 to the Mahatma Gandhi Granthalaya and Vacanalaya. The library has about 6,050 books and a number of dailies, weeklies and monthlies both Marathi and English are subscribed to.
The municipality maintains a grant-in-aid dispensary and pays a monthly grant to the maternity hospital and infant welfare centre. Besides, there is one veterinary dispensary managed by Government.
The total road length in the town is four miles and five furlongs. All are kutcha roads.
The municipality maintains a park near the Municipal Office.
There are four cremation and burial places managed by the municipality.
Pen is known for its idol making industry and wooden toys. Idols and wall-plates of Gods and Goddesses in Hindu and other religions are made in plaster of paris. These are known for the delicacy of their expressions and colour effect. Images of famous historical and legendary personalities in different countries are also made. The industry has about six workshops engaging over 150 persons. It is semi-mechanised process where the minor details of expression and colour effects are worked out with hand. The images have a great demand in the country and are being introduced in the markets all over the world and specially so in the middle east. The wooden toys with varied colours have a local demand. Pen is also known for its small sized factory manufacturing knives and penknives. The industry acquired great
stimulus during the Svadesi movement. The 'Kolaba Samacar' published from Pen an ably conducted weekly paper of the district used to be edited by Rambhau Mandlik who had been a fearless and persistent constitutional fighter under the British rule in the 30's and 40's of this century.