The Imperial Gazetteer of India - Volume VIII
About this text
The Imperial Gazetteer of India was the outcome of a detailed statistical survey of the country conducted between 1869 to 1881. The Gazetteer volumes were published under the supervision of William Wilson Hunter. Hunter was educated at the Universities of Glasgow, Paris and Bonn and had a degree on Sanskrit, before joining the Indian Civil Service in 1862. Hunter joined as assistant magistrate and collector of Birbhum district in Bengal. During his days in Birbhum, Hunter meticulously collected local traditions and records and published the, The Annals of Rural Bengal. Hunter also compiled A Comparative Dictionary of the Non-Aryan Languages of India. Impressed with Hunter's endeavors, the then Viceroy Lord Mayo, asked Hunter in 1869 to supervise the comprehensive statistical survey of the Indian sub-continent. The survey report completed in 1881 comprised of 128 volumes. These volumes were condensed into 9 volumes and was published as The Imperial Gazetteer of India. Hunter thereafter presided Commission of Indian Education (1882) and became Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University, before retiring from service in 1887. In this project we have made our selections from the Second edition of The Imperial Gazetteer of India. The second edition, published between 1885-1887 from Trubner & Company had 14 volumes.
The following excerpts from the Gazetteer have been selected from the entries on the districts of Khandesh, Kheri, Kistna, Lahore and for Lucknow both the entries on division and the city have been included.
The following excerpts from the Gazetteer have been selected from the entries on the districts of Khandesh, Kheri, Kistna, Lahore and for Lucknow both the entries on division and the city have been included.
The Imperial Gazetteer of India.
W. W. HUNTER, C.S.I., C.I.E., LL.D.,
DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF STATISTICS TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA.
KARENS TO MADNAGARH
London: TRUBNER & CO. 1886
British District of the Bombay Presidency, lying between 20° 15' and 22° 5' N. lat., and between 73 0 37' and 76° 24' e. long. Bounded on the north by the Sdtpura hills and the Narbada river; on the east by Berar, and the Nimar District of the Central Provinces; on the south by the Satmala or Ajanta hills; on the south-west by the District of Nasik; and on the west by Baroda territory and the petty State of Sagbara. The District is distributed into the following sixteen Sub-divisions, each of which see separately :—Amalner, Bhusawal, Chalisgaon, Chopda, Dhulia, Erandol, Jamner, Nandurbar, Nasirabad, Pachora, Pimpalner, Savda, Shahada, Sherpur, Taloda, and Virdeb. Area, 9944 square miles. Population (1881) 1, 237,231. Chief town, Dhulia.
Khandesh under the Mughals (1600-1760) was for more than a century and a half given up to every species of calamity, internal and external. Before the arrival of Akbar, all descriptions agree in representing it to have thriven wonderfully. The Mughal governors could not be held responsible for such natural changes as the years must bring ; but as to the degenerate condition of Khandesh and its people under the Mughals, the following picture is extant:—‘In 1609, the English merchant Hawkins, travelling from Surat to Burhanpur, even with an escort of about 60 Pathan horse, was attacked by a troop of outlaws. Next year, the Viceroy was defeated by the people of the Deccan, and the country was disturbed. The roads were not safe for bodies of less than 1000 horse. The Deccanis made inroads to the Tapti, plundering the people and sacking Raver and other towns. Ten years later (1618) Sir Thomas Roe found the country quite as unsettled. Travellers, when they stopped for the night, made a ring-fence of their carts and pitched their tents inside. On any suspicion of danger, the local governor provided a special guard of horse.’
In 1630, Khandesh suffered from both war and famine. One army after another sent from Delhi, at times with the Emperor (Shah Jahan) in command, laid the country waste. The chiefs rose in revolt. After the rains the governor of Gujarat (Guzerat) let loose a force of 26,000 men to ravage the country and sack the towns. The rains proved deficient over the country between Ahmadabad and [Page 153] Daulatdbad. Areas, before famous for fertility, became utterly barren. 'Life,’ says the chronicler, ‘ was offered for a loaf, but none would buy; rank for a cake, but none cared for it; the ever-bounteous hand was stretched out to beg, and the rich wandered in search of food. Dogs’ flesh was sold, and the pounded bones of the dead were mixed with flour. The flesh of a son was preferred to his love. The dying blocked the roads, and those who survived fled.’ From 1634 to 1670 there was an interval of relief. Todar Mal’s revenue system was introduced into the District, to the greater security of the rdyat's tenure and the State revenue. The land was measured, the produce of each bighd ascertained, and the proportion to be paid for each field to Government settled. Trade began to increase over the Khandesh roads, on its way to the emporium of Surat. The ways were safely guarded, the towns and villages made secure. Cotton, rice, and indigo were largely grown. Burhdnpur again rose into importance as a cloth mart.
But in 1670 began the Mughal contests with the Maratha hordes, which were to end by dragging the District back to a condition worse than that before its temporary prosperity. The struggles between the Mughals and Marathas practically ended with the fall of Asirgarh in 1760, and the cession of Khandesh to the descendants of Sivaji. The period of Maratha supremacy in Khandesh lasted till the fall of the Peshwa in 1818. Until that year Khandesh experienced a return of most of its former miseries.
In 1802, the country was ravaged by Holkar’s army. For two seasons the land remained uncared for, the destruction and ruin bringing on a severe famine. In the years that followed, Khandesh was further impoverished by the greed and misrule of the Peshwas. The people leaving their peaceful callings, joined together in bands, wandering over the country, robbing and laying waste. It was in this state that, in 1818, the District passed into British hands. Order was soon established, and has never since been disturbed.
In 1881, agriculture supported 820,127 persons, or 66 per cent, of the entire population. All varieties of soil—black, red, and light, from the richest to the poorest—are found. The agricultural stock in State villages amounted in 1881-82 to 113,187 ploughs, 75,501 carts, 369,782 bullocks, 284,295 cows, 131,244 buffaloes, 15,949 horses, 252,744 sheep and goats, and 8705 asses. The District contains many fine cows and bullocks, brought chiefly from Nimar and Berar. But the greater number of the cattle are small and poor, reduced during the hot season to the most wretched condition. The horses also are small, and of little value. To improve the breed, Government has introduced [Page 156] bulls and stud horses. Certain tracts have, from their rugged character and unhealthy climate, been excluded from the Survey operations. Out of 3,455,122 acres, the total area of Government cultivable land, 2,861,910 acres, or 82 -83 per cent., were taken up for cultivation in 1881-82. Of these, 179,962 acres, or 6.29 per cent., were fallow or under grass. Of the remaining 2,681,947 acres under actual cultivation (3478 acres of which were twice cropped), grain crops occupied 1,5 15.346 acres, or 56.5 per cent.; pulses occupied 117,286, or 4.37 per cent. ; oil-seeds occupied 247,390, or 9.22 per cent.; fibres occupied 759,346, or 28 -31 per cent., of which 758,134 acres were under cotton; and miscellaneous crops occupied 46,057 acres, or 171 per cent.
Irrigation is more extensively practised in Khandesh than in the Deccan and Southern Maratha country. The principal agricultural products exported are wheat, gram, linseed, sesamum, and cotton. Millet is retained for local consumption, and forms the staple article of food. Indigo and opium, once important products, are now no longer grown. Thirty years ago, the poppy was a favourite crop; but in 1853, the Khandesh opium factory was closed, and the further cultivation of the poppy forbidden. On the other hand, the area under linseed and cotton has increased from year to year. Two descriptions of foreign cotton, Dharwar and Hinganghat, have been successfully introduced. Cotton is seldom grown oftener than once in three years in the same field, whether of black or light soil, the intermediate crops being wheat and Indian millet. A Government farm has been established at Bhadgaon. Almost every year is marked by some partial failure of the crops. The District is liable to floods, the rivers overflowing the country for a considerable distance from their banks.
1.3. Attempts at Land Reclamation
Several attempts have been made, dating from 1829, at a re-colonization of the Pal tappa, a waste tract in the neighbourhood of the Satpura hills, which is said to have been formerly well inhabited. At the time of the British occupation in 1818, the whole was found to be an uninhabited jungle, excessively unhealthy, and infested with wild beasts. It is said to have been deserted about the middle of the 17th century, owing to famine ; and the remains of ancient buildings show that the village of Pal was formerly a place of considerable importance. Portions of the old fort and sardi are still standing, though much ruined; a handsome mosque with a fountain and reservoir still remain in good repair; and the lines of the old streets were traceable in 1870. Small mounds here and there mark the site of an old fort ; but most of the villages have so entirely disappeared that their sites cannot be ascertained. Several attempts have been made to colonize Pal, or some other village in the tappa, as a preliminary to the settlement of the whole tract. The experiment is still (1885) going on, but as yet, owing to the excessive [Page 157] poverty of the cultivators and other causes, it has yielded little or no results.
District in the Sitapur Division of Oudh, under the jurisdiction of the Lieutenant-Governor of the North-Western Provinces, lying between 27° 41' and 28° 42' N. lat., and between 80° 4' 30" and 81° 23' e. long. The largest District in Oudh, in the extreme northwest of the Province. Bounded on the north by the river Mohan, separating it from Nepal ; on the east by the Kauridla river, separating it from Bahraich; on the south by Sitapur District; and on the west by Shahjahanpur District, in the North-Western Provinces. Area (1881), 2992 square miles. Population, according to the Census of 1881, 831,922 persons. The administrative head-quarters are at Lakhimpur town.
The rice of Kheri District is of excellent quality, but its cultivation is slovenly. There are two harvests in the year. The kharif or autumn crops consist of rice, kodo, kakan, joar, bajra, mas, and mug, sown from June to August, and reaped between the end of September and the beginning of November. The rabi or spring crops are barley, wheat, gram, peas, and arhar, cut between March and June. The people are employed principally in the cultivation of the soil as tenants. The agricultural stock, in 1882-83, consisted of 93,733 ploughs, 567,395 bullocks and buffaloes. North of the river Ul, land is hardly ever manured, and never irrigated, except the small gardens in which tobacco and vegetables are grown. Total irrigated area, 96,714 acres, all by private industry. South of the Ul, a fair amount of labour is bestowed upon the crops in this respect, although less than is usual in the rest of Oudh.
2.2. Natural Calamities
The District is liable to blights, droughts, and floods, the former, however, doing but little damage. Inundations are very destructive in Dhaurahra, Srinagar, and Firozabad parganas, from the overflow of the Chauka; and in Kheri and Haidarabad parganas, from the local rainfall causing the jhils and marshes to overflow into the neighbouring fields. Muhamdi, Magdapur, Paila, and Khairigarh have good drainage generally, and do not suffer from floods. Hailstorms seldom occur. Severe famines occurred in 1769, in 1778-84, and in 1837, while there has been scarcity in 1865, in 1869, and in 1874; all these were caused by drought. The price of coarse grain reached 7 sers during these famine times ; but whenever the cheapest wholesome grain in the market, whether it be kodo, maize, or barley, be priced for any length of time at a higher rate than 15 sers for the rupee, there will undoubtedly be famine.
3. Kistna (Krishna)
A British District in the Madras Presidency. It lies along the coast of the Bay of Bengal at the mouth of the river Kistna or Krishna, which gives it the name it bears; between lat. 15° 35' and 17° 10' n., and between 79° 14' and 81° 34' e. Bounded on the north by Godavari District; on the east by the Bay of Bengal; on the south by Nellore; and on the west by the Nizam’s Dominions and Karnul (Kurnool). The District was formed in 1859 by the amalgamation of the two Collectorates of Guntur and Masulipatam, a small portion of the latter being assigned to Godavari District. Prior to 1859 there had been in existence the three Districts of Guntur, Masulipatam, and Rajamandri (Rajahmundry) ; but these were afterwards consolidated into the two Districts of Kistna and Godavari, each containing its own irrigation system, constructed in the deltas of the two rivers which give their names to the Districts. Area, 8471 square miles, or about the size of Wales. Population (1881) 1,548,480 persons. The administrative head-quarters are at MASULIPATAM.
Of the total area of 4,093,718 acres, 667,696 were in 1882 held as indm or rent-free; of the remaining 3,426,022 acres, 1,461,964 acres were under cultivation, of which 12,615 acres were twice cropped; the whole untilled but cultivable area was returned at 964,108 acres, and the uncultivable waste at 879,126 acres. In 1882-83, of the total area (Government and inam) of 4,093,718 acres, 1,886,063 acres were under actual cultivation, of which 14,123 acres were twice cropped; cereals occupied 1,264,608 acres; pulses, 111,841; fibres, 202,874; dyes (chiefly indigo), 122,975; oil-seeds, 112,385; sugar (palm or palmyra), 6680; condiments and spices (mostly chillies), 55,105; drugs and narcotics (principally tobacco), 20,170; orchard and garden produce, 3201; and starches (chiefly potato), 357 acres. The staples raised in the District are rice, maize, ragi, pulses, hemp, flax, cotton, tobacco, gingelly, oil-seeds, chillies, wheat, garlic, indigo, and various kinds of fruit. There are three classes of crops grown — namely, punasa (early crop), sown in May or June, and reaped in September; pedda (great or middle), sown from July to September, and cut between November and February; and paira [Page 231](late crop), sown in November and December, and gathered in February and March. Rice of all kinds is sown in regar or black soil. The area under rice in 1882-83 was 351, 330 acres, or 18 per cent, of the whole cultivated area. The price of the best rice per maund (80 lbs.) was, in the same year, 5s. 3d.
3.2. Natural Calamities
Famines occurred in 1423, 1474, 1686, and 1793, but of these there is no detailed account extant. The great famine of 1832-34 caused a decrease of 200,000 in the population- It was worst in the Guntur portion, and was due to the failure of both the monsoons, causing, it is said, a loss of revenue in Guntur District estimated at £2,2 70,000. Prices rose enormously. Public works were opened, but the bulk of the people would not avail themselves of them, and wandered away to other Districts. The loss of population was only in part due to deaths. Kistna District was but slightly affected by the great South Indian famine of 1876-78. [Page 232] Although the cultivated area temporarily fell off by 14/2 per cent., the local scarcity did not reach famine point. Inundations of the sea overwhelmed the town of Masulipatam in the years 1779 and 1864; and in both cases they were due to a storm-wave forced on to the coast by the violence of a cyclone. The reported loss of life on each occasion was between 20,000 and 30,000 persons. In the last cyclone, the salt water penetrated to a distance of 17 miles inland.
District in the Lieutenant-Governorship of the Punjab, lying between 30° 37' and 31° 54' n. lat., and between 73° 40' 15" and 75° 1' e. long. Area (1881), 3648 square miles. Population, 924,106. [Page 403] Lahore forms the central District of the Lahore Division. It is bounded on the north-west by Gujranwala; on the north-east by Amritsar; on the south-east by the river Sutlej (Satlaj), which separates it from Firozpur District; and on the south-west by Montgomery District. It is divided into four tahsils, of which Sharakpur comprises the trans-Ravi portion of the District; and Chunidn the south-western half of the tract between the Ravi and the Sutlej. The north-eastern half is divided between Lahore tahsil, which lies along the Ravi; and Kasur tahsil, along the Sutlej. Lahore stands eleventh in order of area, and third in order of population, among the thirty-two Districts of the Province, comprising 3.42 per cent, of the total area, 4.91 per cent of the total population, and 3.88 per cent, of the urban population of British territory. The administrative head-quarters are at Lahore City, the capital of the Punjab.
According to the Punjab Administration Report for 1883-84, out of a total District area of 2,364,887 acres, 1,156,385 acres were under cultivation, 159,545 acres were grazing land, 738,156 [Page 410] acres were cultivable, and 310,801 acres were uncultivable waste. Of the cultivated area, 548,688 acres were artificially irrigated, 239,808 acres from Government works, and 308,880 acres by private individuals from wells, etc. The great crop of the District is the rabi or spring harvest. The principal staples of this harvest, and their area in 1883-84, are as follow :—Wheat, 393,070 acres, now the great agricultural product of the District since the opening up of the formerly sterile tract of the Manjha by the Bari Doab Canal. The best variety is grown in the villages around Lahore city. Gram occupies 188,459 acres; barley, 34,597 acres; mustard seed, 13,729 acres; and vegetables, 10,626 acres. The kharif or autumn harvest is mainly devoted to inferior grains and fodder for cattle. Rice occupies 15,609 acres, the best kinds being grown along the banks of the Degh, and in the bangar tract of Sharakpur tahsil. Joar is the principal kharif crop, and occupies 62,809 acres; Indian corn, 46,643 acres; moth, 34,793 acres. Of non-food crops, cotton is the most important, and is cultivated on 33,961 acres. It is grown in the lowlands of Chunian and Kasur between the old bed of the Beas and the Sutlej. It is, however, of inferior quality, and is mainly employed for home consumption. The principal fruits cultivated in the District are—mangoes, peaches, oranges of superior quality, mulberries, plums, loquats, melons, guavas, pine-apples, phalsa (an acid berry), pomegranates, sweet limes, and plantains
4.2. Natural Calamities
Famines, due to drought, occurred before the British occupation in 1759, 1783, 1813, and 1833. Since the British assumed administration, the greatest scarcities have taken place in 1860 and 1867; but Lahore District suffered comparatively little, except from the exportation of its produce to other quarters. Grain rose to 7 sers per rupee, or 16s. per cwt. Poorhouses and famine relief works were set on foot, but they proved useful chiefly to the starving refugees from Malwa, Hissar, and the eastern Districts. The construction of the Bari Doab Canal will probably serve in future to protect the naturally fertile uplands of Lahore from drought. Hail-storms, locusts, and rats sometimes cause considerable damage to the standing crops.
District of Oudh, in the Lucknow Division or Commissionership, under the jurisdiction of the Lieutenant-Governor of the North-Western Provinces; lying between 26° 30' and 27° 9' 30" n. lat., and between 80° 44' and 81° 15' 30" e. long. Area, 989 .6 square miles ; population (1881) 696,824. Lucknow is bounded on the north by Hardoi and Sitapur; on the east by Bara Banki; on the south by Rai Bareli; and on the west by Unao Districts. In shape, the District is an irregular oblong, running north-west and south-east; average length, 45 miles; average breadth, 25 miles. The administrative head-quarters are at Lucknow City, the capital of the Province.
The total area of Lucknow District, after the recent transfer of pargands Mohan Auras, Kursf, Dewa to neighbouring Districts in 1881, is 989.6 square miles. The area under cultivation was estimated by the District officer in 1882-83 at 426,000 acres, or 665 square miles. This estimate includes land counted twice over as yielding two harvests in the year. The actual cultivated area in 1883-84 was only 332,463 acres, of which 139,998 acres were irrigated, entirely by private enterprise. Of the remaining area, 139,046 acres were returned as cultivable, and 155,210 acres as uncultivable waste. There are three harvests in the year, the rabi in spring, the kharif in the rainy season, and the henwat in the autumn. For the rabi, the chief crops are wheat, barley, gram, peas, gujai (a mixture of wheat and barley), and birra (a mixture of barley and gram, gram predominating). The land under these crops amounts to 150,026 acres, wheat heading the list with 72,329 acres, or more than one-fifth of the whole cultivated area. For the kharif, the crops are rice, millets, sawan, mandwa, kakun, and Indian corn or maize. For the henwat, the crops are jodr and bdjra, mash, mung, moth, [Page 498] masfir,and lobia. In addition, there are the valuable tobacco and opium and kachhiana or vegetable crops ; of which tobacco takes up 1527 acres, opium 5623 acres, cotton 910 acres, and the spices, as zira (cummin seed), sannf (aniseed), dhaniya (coriander seed) 402 acres. Irrigation is carried on from rivers, tanks, and wells.
Famines or severe scarcities have occurred in Lucknow in 1769, 1784-86, 1837, 1861, 1865-66, 1869, 1873, and 1877-78 — all caused by drought. In 1866, the price of wheat rose to 12 sers per rupee, or 9s. 4d. a cwt. ; and in 1869 to as high as 9 sers per rupee, or 12s. 5d. a cwt. Maize and gram were quoted at from 13 to 12 sers per rupee, or from 8s. 7d. to 9s. 4d. a cwt. in 1866 and 1869. At the height of the scarcity of 1873, cheap grain of some kind was to be had at from 18 to 16 sers per rupee, or from 6s. 3d. to 7s. a cwt. During the famine of 1877-78, Lucknow was one of the Districts most severely affected, and numerous Government relief works were opened.
Capital city of the Province of Oudh ; situated on both banks of the river Gumti, in lat. 26° 51' 40" n., and long. 80° 58' 10" E. Distant from Cawnpur 42 miles, from Benares 199 miles, from Calcutta 610 miles. Area, 13 square miles. Population in 1881—city, 239,773, and cantonments, 21,530; total, 261,303. Though quite a modern town, Lucknow at present ranks fourth in size amongst British Indian cities, being only surpassed by the three Presidency capitals of Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay. It stands on a plain, 403 feet above sea-level. Till recent years, it formed the metropolis of a great Muhammadan kingdom, and afterwards contained the administrative head-quarters of a considerable British Province; while even at the present day it retains its position as a centre of modern Indian life, being a leading city of native fashion, and a chief school of music, grammar, and Musalman theology. Trade and manufactures are now beginning to restore the wealth which it formerly owed to the presence of the luxurious court of the Nawab Wazirs or kings of Oudh.
The three earliest Nawabs of the Oudh dynasty were soldiers and statesmen, all of whom took the field in person against English, Marathas, and Rohillas, or against the great nobles whose feudal power had reduced the central authority to a mere name. Under their government, therefore, Lucknow received few architectural embellishments of an ornamental kind. Only works of military utility, such as forts, wells, and bridges, engaged their attention; though the city continued to grow, as the head-quarters of the ruling house, and several wards were added on its spreading outskirts.
With Asaf-ud-daula, the fourth Nawab, a new political situation developed. He lived the contented and servile ally of the English. By their aid, Oudh had acquired Rohilkhand, and might acquire Benares; and he felt himself independent of his own people. The grandeur of Lucknow dates from the reign of this Nawab. Yet his works did not degenerate into the mere personal extravagance of his successors. He built bridges and mosques, as well as the Imambdra, the chief architectural glory of Lucknow. Though inferior to the purest Muhammadan models of Delhi and Agra, the Imambara, taken together with the adjoining mosque and the Rumi Darwdza, forms a group of striking magnificence and picturesque splendour. Asaf-ud-daula’s erections are simple and grand, free from the base admixture of bastard Greek and Italian features which disfigure the later style of the Oudh dynasty. The Imambara, constructed during the great famine of 1784, as a relief work for the starving people, now covers the remains of its founder. Tradition relates that many of the most respectable inhabitants, compelled by want, enrolled themselves amongst the workmen; and that to save their honour and keep their identity unknown, their names were [Page 507] called over, and their wages paid, at dead of night. The building consists of one large hall of immense size and magnificence. It measures 167 feet in length by 52 in breadth, and cost, according to local computation, no less than a million sterling. The gaudy decorations which once covered its walls have now disappeared; and as the mausoleum stands within the walls of the fort, it serves at present as an arsenal for the British garrison. The building is as solid as it is graceful, being raised upon very deep foundations, and without a single piece of woodwork in its construction. Mr. Fergusson, though he has little to say in favour of any other architectural work in Lucknow, praises the admirable vaulting of the Imambara, and observes that the mausoleum, ‘when not too closely looked into, is not unfit to be spoken of in the same chapter as the earlier buildings.’