Etapalli is a Village a tehsil in Gadchiroli district in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

Etapalli
Etapali
Village
Etapalli is located in Maharashtra
Etapalli
Etapalli
Location in Maharashtra, India
Coordinates: 19°36′N 80°14′E / 19.60°N 80.23°E / 19.60; 80.23Coordinates: 19°36′N 80°14′E / 19.60°N 80.23°E / 19.60; 80.23
Ettapalli India
StateMaharashtra
DistrictGadchiroli
Elevation
120 m (390 ft)
Marathi, Hindi, Madia, Gondi, Bengali, Telugu.
 • OfficialMarathi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)

Etapalli is tehsil and Sub-division of Gadchiroli district along with Aheri, Bhamragad and Sironcha tehsils.

This area is notorious for naxalite activity.

Etapalli is also known for its rich forest and a beautiful range of mountains called surjagarh, located at the distance of 15 km from etapalli. It can be reached by road.

The surjagarh pahadi consists of a range of 4 mountains which are straight and vertical, very difficult to climb on. Yet the strong and flexible tribals conquer them every year in huge numbers when there is a pilgrimage on an auspicious day in the first week of January. This is the only time when one can step up on these mountains because of its immense religious importance. As is the belief of the tribes, "the bada deo " I.e. the greatest God resides on the mountain, and so the women do not climb up the mountain.

Despite the difficult treck, men of all ages and even children climb up the mountain some with a hegoat on their shoulders for sacrifice. These men are first worshipped at the base and they are greeted with dance. Huge crowd of women children and other people waits at base for the men of honour to climb up and come down safely from the dangerous place.

The meaning of surjagarh is the fort of the sun. It is so because there is a fort built in a single stone on one of the mountain roof. The is said to be built by the famous Veer Baburao Sadmake, the freedom fighter. He used the fort for keeping himself and his army safe and hidden from the British army.

Surjagarh is also known for its richest source of iron ore. It is said that the iron ore at surjagarh is so big that it can fulfill whole India's iron requirements for next 120 years. For this iron there had been a lot of struggle between the mining companies and the villagers. There had been many incidences of bloodshed supposedly related to this mining.

Despite the disapproval of the natives of surjagarh, thousands of age old trees were slashed and the forest of surjagarh suffered irreversible loss and so did the environment.

The villagers claimed that the then state government and the mining companies fulled the villagers by taking a fake approval from dummy villagers that they presented at the aamsabha I. e. General body meeting which was taken at a place 45 km from surjagarh. This matter was raised international indigenous peoples conference organized by United nations organisation by one of the activists adv. Lalsu Nogoti.

ReferencesEdit