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Notes on Transliteration 

Voivel- Sounds 

a has the sound of a in ' woman.' 

a has the sound of a in ' father.' 

e has the vowel-sound in ' grey.' 

i has the sound of / in ' pin.' 

i has the sound of / in ' police.' 

o has the sound of o in ' bone.' 

u has the sound of u in ' bull.' 

u has the sound of u in ' flute.' 
ai has the vowel-sound in ' mine.' 
au has the vowel-sound in ' house.' 

It should be stated that no attempt has been made to distinguish 
between the long and short sounds of e and o in the Dravidian 
languages, which possess the vowel-sounds in ' bet ' and ' hot ' in 
addition to those given above. Nor has it been thought necessary 
to mark vowels as long in cases where mistakes in pronunciation 
were not likely to be made. 


Most Indian languages have different forms for a number of con- 
sonants, such as d^ f, r, Sic, marked in scientific works by the use 
of dots or italics. As the European ear distinguishes these with 
difficulty in ordinary pronunciation, it has been considered undesir- 
able to embarrass the reader with them ; and only two notes are 
required. In the first place, the Arabic /c, a strong guttural, has 
been represented by /: instead of ^, which is often used. Secondly, 
it should be remarked that aspirated consonants are common ; and, 
in particular, d/t and f/i (except in Burma) never have the sound of 
i(/i in ' this ' or 'thin,' but should be pronounced as in ' woodhouse ' 
and ' boathook.' 


Burmese Words 

Burmese and some of the languages on the frontier of China have 
the fallowing special sounds : — 

aw has the vowel-sound in ' law.' 
o and ii are pronounced us in German. 
gy is pronounced almost like/ in 'jewel.' 
ky is pronounced almost like ch in ' church.' 
th is pronounced in some cases as in ' this,' in some cases as in 

' thin.' 
w after a consonant has the force of uw. Thus, yiva and pive 
are disyllables, pronounced as if written yinua and pinve. 

It should also be noted that, whereas in Indian words the accent 
or stress is distributed almost equally on each syllable, in Burmese 
there is a tendency to throw special stress on the last syllable. 

The names of some places — e. g. Calcutta, Bombay, Lucknow, 
Cawnpore — have obtained a popular fixity of spelling, while special 
forms have been officially prescribed for others. Names of persons 
are often spelt and pronounced differently in different parts of India ; 
but the variations have been made as few as possible by assimilating 
forms almost alike, especially where a particular spelling has been 
generally adopted in English books. 

Notes on MOiXEv, Prices, Weights and Measures 

As the currency of India is based upon the rupee, all statements 
with regard to money throughout the Gazetteer have necessarily been 
expressed in rupees, nor has it been found possible to add generally 
a conversion into sterling. Down to about 1873 the gold value of 
the rupee (containing 165 grains of pure silver) was approximately 
equal to 2j-., or one-tenth of a £ ; and for that period it is easy to 
convert rupees into sterling by striking off the final cipher (Rs. 1,000 
= £100). But after 1873, owing to the depreciation of silver as 
compared with gold throughout the world, there came a serious and 
progressive fall in the exchange, until at one time the gold value of 
the rupee dropped as low as \s. In order to provide a remedy for 
the heavy loss caused to the (Government of India in respect of its 
gold payments to be made in England, and also to relieve foreign 
trade and finance from the inconvenience due to constant and 
unforeseen fluctuations in exchange, it was resolved in 1893 to close 
the mints to the free coinage of silver, and thus force up the value of 
the rupee by restricting the circulation. The intention was to raise 


the exchange value of the rupee to i^. 4^., and then introduce a gold 
standard (though not necessarily a gold currency) at the rate of Rs. 15 
= £1. This policy has been completely successful. From 1899 on- 
wards the value of the rupee has been maintained, with insignificant 
fluctuations, at the proposed rate of i^. 4d. ; and consequently since 
that date three rupees have been equivalent to two rupees before 1873. 
For the intermediate period, between 1873 and 1899, it is manifestly 
impossible to adopt any fixed sterling value for a constantly changing 
rupee. But since 1899, if it is desired to convert rupees into sterling, 
not only must the final cipher be struck off (as before 1873), ^^t 
also one-third must be subtracted from the result. Thus Rs. 1,000 
= £100 — § = (about) £67. 

Another matter in connexion with the expression of money state- 
ments in terms of rupees requires to be explained. The method of 
numerical notation in India differs from that which prevails through- 
out Europe. Large numbers are not punctuated in hundreds of thou- 
sands and millions, but in lakhs and crores. A lakh is one hundred 
thousand (written out as 1,00,000), and a crore is one hundred lakhs 
or ten millions (written out as 1,00,00,000). Consequently, accord- 
ing to the exchange value of the rupee, a lakh of rupees (Rs. 1,00,000) 
may be read as the equivalent of £10,000 before 1873, and as the 
equivalent of (about) £6,667 ^^er 1899 ; while a crore of rupees 
(Rs. 1,00,00,000) may similarly be read as the equivalent of 
£ 1, 000,000 before 1873, and as the equivalent of (about) £666,667 
after 1899. 

Finally, it should be mentioned that the rupee is divided into 
16 annas, a fraction commonly used for many purposes by both 
natives and Europeans. The anna was formerly reckoned as i^d. ; 
it may now be considered as exactly corresponding to id. The 
anna is again subdivided into 12 pies. 

The various systems of weights used in India combine uniformity 
of scale with immense variations in the weight of units. The scale 
used generally throughout Northern India, and less commonly in 
Madras and Bombay, may be thus expressed : one maund = 40 seers ; 
one seer = 16 chittaks or 80 tolas. The actual weight of a seer 
varies greatly from District to District, and even from village to 
village ; but in the standard system the tola is 1 80 grains Troy 
(the exact weight of the rupee), and the seer thus weighs 2-057 lb., 
and the maund 82-28 lb. This standard is used in official reports 
and throughout the Gazetteer. 

For calculating retail prices, the universal custom in India is to 
express them in terms of seers to the rupee. Thus, when prices 
change, what varies is not the amount of money to be paid for the 


same quantity, but the quantity to be obtained for the same amount 
of money. In other words, prices in India are quantity prices, not 
money prices. When the figure of quantity goes up, this of course 
means that the price has gone down, which is at first sight perplexing 
to an Enghsh reader. It may, however, be mentioned that quantity 
I)rices are not altogether unknown in England, especially at small 
shops, where pennyworths of many groceries can be bought. Eggs, 
likewise, are commonly sold at a varying number for the shilling. 
If it be desired to convert quantity prices from Indian into English 
denominations without having recourse to money prices (which would 
often be misleading), the following scale may be adopted — based 
upon the assumptions that a seer is exactly 2 lb., and that the value 
of the rupee remains constant at i^. 4.^. : i seer per rupee = (about) 
3 lb. for 2S. ; 2 seers per rupee = (about) 6 lb. for 2s. ; and so on. 

The name of the unit for square measurement in India generally 
is the blgka, which varies greatly in different parts of the country. 
But areas have always been expressed throughout the Gazetteer either 
in square miles or in acres. 


Baroda ......... to face p. 64 

Bengal ......... ,, 336 

Berar ......... .at end 



Bareilly Division. — North-central Division of the United Provinces 
lying below the Himalayas between 27° 35' and 29° 58' N. and 78° 
and 80° 27' E. It is bounded on the north by the sub-Himalayan 
tract of the Kumaun Division and by Nepal ; on the west and south by 
the Ganges, which divides it from the Meerut and Agra Divisions ; and 
on the east by the Lucknow Division of Oudh. The Rampur State 
forms a wedge of territory between the Districts of Moradabad and 
Bareilly, and political control is exercised by the Commissioner of this 
Division, whose head-quarters are at Bareilly city. Population decreased 
between 1872 and 1881, but has increased considerably since. The 
numbers at the last four enumerations were as follows : (1872) 5,252,325, 
(1881) 5,122,557, (1891) 5,344,054, and (1901) 5,479,688. The total 
area is 10,720 square miles, and the density of population 511 persons 
per square mile, compared with 445 for the Provinces as a whole. The 
Division is the sixth largest in area and the sixth in population in the 
United Provinces. In 1901 Hindus formed nearly 75 per cent, of 
the total, and Musalmans 24 per cent., while the other religions most 
largely represented were Christians (24,459, of whom 21,421 were 
natives), Aryas (14,993), Sikhs (3,334), and Jains (2,016). The 
Division includes six Districts, as shown below : — 


Area in square 



Land revenue and 

cesses, 1903-4, 

in thousands 

of rupees. 

Bijnor . 
Budaun . 
Moradabad . 
Pilibhlt . 
















The northern portions of each of these Districts, except Budaun, 
reach to the damp submontane area called the tat-ai, and the Division 
VOL. vn. B 


generally is a fertile tract, especially noted for the production of sugar- 
cane. There are 65 towns and 11,403 villages. The largest towns are 
Bareii.i.y (131,208, with cantonments), Shahjahanpur (76,458, with 
cantonments), Moradabad (75,128), Amroha (40,077), Sambhal 
(39.715), Budaun (39,031), PIi.ibhIt (33,490). ChandausI (25,711), 
and Nagina (21,412). The chief places of commercial importance are 
Bareilly, Shahjahanpur, Moradabad, Pillhhit, ChandausI, and 'I'ii,har. 
Sugar and grain are dealt with also in many smaller places. Although 
ancient sites occur in many parts of the Division, Ramnagar is the 
only one which has been even partially explored. Budaun and 
Sambhal were early seats of Muhammadan governors; and Bareiixy, 
PIi.Tbhit, Rampur, and Agnla were important centres during the 
Rohilla rule in the eighteenth century. See Rohilkhand. 

Bareilly District (^rt;r//).— District in the Bareilly or Rohilkhand 
Division, United Provinces, lying between 28° \' and 28° 54' N. 
and 78° 58' and 79° 47' E., with an area of 1,580 square miles. 
It is bounded on the north by Nairn Tal ; on the east by Pillbhit and 
Shahjahanpur ; on the south by Shahjahanpur and Budaun ; and on 
the west by Budaun and the State of Rampur. The District of Bareilly, 
though lying not far from the outer ranges of the 
ysica Himalayas, is a gently sloping plain, with no greater 

variety of surface than is caused by the shifting 
channels of its numerous streams. Water lies almost everyw^here near 
the surface, giving it a verdure that recalls the rice-fields of Bengal. 
The most prominent physical feature is the Ramganga River, which 
traverses the south-western portion. Its channel has a well-defined 
bank at first on the south, and later on the north ; but except where 
the stream is thus confined, the khadar or lowland merges imper- 
ceptibly into the upland, and the river varies its course capriciously 
through a valley 4 or 5 miles wide, occasionally wandering to a still 
greater distance. North of the Ramganga are numerous streams 
running south to meet that river. The chief of these (from west to 
east) are the Dojora, which receives the Kichha or West Bahgul, the 
Deoranian, the Nakatia, and the East Bahgul, which receives the 
PangailT. The Deoha forms the eastern boundary for some distance. 
The gentle slope of the country makes it possible to use these rivers for 
irrigation in the upper part of their courses. Lower down, and more 
especially in the east of the District, they flow below the general level 
and are divided by elevated watersheds of sandy plains. 

The District exposes nothing but alluvium, in which even kankar, or 
calcareous limestone, is scarce. 

The flora resembles that of the Gangetic plain generally. In the 
north a few forest trees are found, the semal or cotton-tree {Boml>ax 
fnalaba?-icum) towering above all others. The rest of the District is 


dotted with fine groves of mangoes, while ih^jatmin {Euge?iia/ambohina), 
shlsham [Daibergia Sissoo), tamarind, and various figs [FicHS glomerata, 
religiosa, iufectoria, and indica) are also common. Groves and villages 
are often surrounded by bamboos, which flourish luxuriantly. The 
area under trees, which is increasing, amounts to about 32 square 

Leopards are frequently found in the north of the District, and 
wolves are common in the east. Antelope are seen in some localities, 
and pdrha or hog deer haunt the beds of rivers. The ordinary game- 
birds are found abundantly, and fish are plentiful. Snakes are also 
very numerous. 

The climate of the District is largely influenced by its proximity to 
the hills, Bareilly city and all the northern parganas lying within the 
limits of the heavier storms. The rainy season begins earlier and 
continues later than in the south, and the cold season lasts longer. 
The north of the District is unhealthy, on account of excessive moisture 
and bad drinking-water. The mean temperature varies from 54° to 60° 
in January, and from 85° to 93° in May, the hottest month. 

The annual rainfall in the whole District averages nearly 44 inches ; 
but while the south-west receives only 39, the fall amounts to nearly 
47 inches in the north and exceeds 48 in the north-east. Fluctuations 
from year to year are considerable; in 1883 less than 19 inches was 
received, and in 1894 nearly 65 inches. 

Before the Christian era the District was included in the kingdom of 
Northern Panchala ; and the names are known, from coins found at 
Ramnagar, of a number of kings who probably 
reigned in the second century b. c. These kings 
were connected by marriage with a dynasty ruling in the south of 
Allahabad, and it has been suggested they were the Sunga kings of the 
Puranas^ A kingdom called Ahlchhattra, in or near this District, was 
visited by Hiuen Tsiang in the seventh century a.d., and is described 
as flanked by mountain crags. It produced wheat and contained many 
woods and fountains, and the climate was soft and agreeable. 

In the early Muhammadan period the tract now known as Rohilkhand 
was called Katehr, and the Rajputs who inhabited it gave continual 
trouble. Shahab-ud-dln, or his general Kutb-ud-din, captured Bangarh 
in Budaun District about the year 1194 ; but nothing more is heard of 
the Muhammadans in this neighbourhood till Mahmud II made his 
way along the foot of the hills to the Ramganga in 1252. Fourteen 
years later, Balban, who succeeded him, marched to Kampil, put all 
the Hindus to the sword, and utterly crushed the Katehriyas, who had 
hitherto lived by violence and plunder. In 1290 Sultan Firoz invaded 

^Journal, Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1897, p. 303; A. Cunningham, Coins oj 
Ancient India. 

B 2 


Katehr again, and l)rought the covmtn' into final subjection to Musalman 
rule, which was not afterwards disputed except by the usual local revolts. 
Under the various dynasties which preceded the Mughal empire, the 
history of Katehr consists of the common events which make up the 
annals of that period : constant attempts at independence on the part 
of the district governors, followed by barbarous suppression on the 
part of the central authority. The city of Bareilly itself was founded in 
1527 by Bas Deo and Barel Deo, from the latter of whom it takes its 
name. It was, however, of small importance till the reign of Shah 
Jahan, when it took the place of Budaun. In 1628 All Kull Khan 
was governor of Bareilly, which had grown into a considerable 
place. In 1657 Raja Makrand Rai founded the new city of Bareilly, 
cut down the forest to the west of the old town, and expelled all the 
Katehriyas from the neighbourhood. A succession of regular governors 
followed during the palmy days of the great Mughal emperors; but after 
the death of Aurangzeb, in 1707, when the unwieldy organization began 
to break asunder, the Hindus of Bareilly threw off the imperial yoke, 
refused their tribute, and commenced a series of anarchic quarrels 
among themselves for supremacy. 

Their dissensions only afforded an opportunity for the rise of a new 
Muhammadan power. All Muhammad Khan, a leader of Rohilla 
Pathans, defeated the governors of Bareilly and Moradabad^, and made 
himself supreme throughout the whole Katehr region. In 1744 the 
Rohilla chieftain conquered Kumaun right up to Almora ; but two 
years later the emperor Muhammad Shah marched against him, and 
All Muhammad was taken a prisoner to Delhi. However, the empire 
was too much in need of vigorous generals to make his captivity a long 
one, and in 1748 he was restored to his old post in Katehr. Next year 
he died, and a mausoleum at Aonla, in this District, still marks his 
burial-place. Hafiz Rahmat Khan, guardian to his sons, succeeded to 
the governorship of Rohilkhand, in spite of the crafty designs of Safdar 
Jang of Oudh, who dispatched the Nawab of Farrukhabad against him 
without effect. Hafiz Rahmat Khan defeated and slew the Nawab, 
after which he marched northward and conquered Pilibhit and the 
tarai. The Oudh Wazir, Safdar Jang, plundered the property of 
the Farrukhabad Nawab after his death, and this led to a union 
of the Rohilla Afghans with those of Farrukhabad. Ahmad Khan of 
Farrukhabad defeated Nawal Rai, the deputy of Safdar Jang, besieged 
Allahabad, and took part of Oudh ; but the ^^'azlr called in the aid of 
the Marathas, and with them defeated Ahmad Khan and the Rohillas 
at Fatehgarh and at Bisauli, near Aonla. He then besieged them for 
four months at the foot of the hills ; but owing to the invasion of 
Ahmad Shah Durrani terms were arranged, and Rahmat Khan became 
the de facto ruler of Rohilkhand. 


After the accession of Shuja-ud-dauUi as Nawab of Oudh, Rahmat 
Khan joined the imperial troops in their attack upon that prince, but 
the Nawab bought them off with a subsidy of 5 lakhs. Rahmat Khan 
took advantage of the victory at Panipat in 1 761 to make himself master 
of Etawah, and during the eventful years in which Shuja-ud-daula was 
engaged in his struggle with the British power, he continually strengthened 
himself by fortifying his towns and founding new strongholds. In 1770 
Najlb-ud-daula advanced with the Maratha army under Sindhia and 
Holkar, defeated Rahmat Khan, and forced the Rohillas to ask the aid 
of the Wazlr. Shuja-ud-daula became surety for a bond of 40 lakhs, 
by which the Marathas were induced to evacuate Rohilkhand. This 
bond the Rohillas were unable to meet, whereupon Shuja-ud-daula, 
after getting rid of the Marathas, attacked Rohilkhand with the help 
of a British force lent by Warren Hastings, and subjugated it by a 
desolating war. Rahmat Khan was slain, but Faiz-ullah, the son of 
All Muhammad, escaped to the north-west and became the leader of the 
Rohillas. After many negotiations he effected a treaty with Shuja-ud- 
daula in 1774, by which he accepted nine parganas worth 15 lakhs 
a year, giving up all the remainder of Rohilkhand to the Wazlr {see 
Rampur State). Saadat Ali was appointed governor of Bareilly under 
the Oudh government. In 1794 a revolution in Rampur State led to 
the dispatch of British troops, who fought the insurgents at Bhitaura or 
Fatehganj (West), where an obelisk still commemorates the slain. The 
District remained in the hands of the Wazlr until 1801, when Rohilkhand, 
with Allahabad and Kora, was ceded to the British in lieu of tribute. 
Mr. Henry ^^'ellesley, brother of the Governor-General, was appointed 
President of the Board of Commissioners sitting at Bareilly, and after- 
wards at Farrukhabad. In 1805 Amir Khan, the Pindari, made an 
inroad into Rohilkhand, but was driven off. Disturbances occurred in 
1816, in 1837, and in 1842 ; but the peace of the District was not 
seriously endangered until the Mutiny of 1857. 

In that year the troops at Bareilly rose on May 31. The European 
officers, except three, escaped to NainT Tal ; and Khan Bahadur, Hafiz 
Rahmat Khan's grandson, was proclaimed Nawab Nazim of Rohilkhand. 
On June 1 1 the mutinous soldiery went off to Delhi, and Khan Bahadur 
organized a government in July. Three expeditions attempted to attack 
Naini Tal, but without success. In September came news of the fall 
of Delhi. Walidad Khan, the rebel leader in Bulandshahr, and the 
Nawab of Fatehgarh then took refuge at Bareilly. A fourth expedition 
against Naini Tal met with no greater success than the earlier attempts. 
On March 25, 1858, the Nana Sahib arrived at Bareilly on his flight 
from Oudh, and remained till the end of April ; but the rebellion at 
Bareilly had been a revival of Muhammadan rule, and when the com- 
mander-in-chief marched on Jalalabad, the Nana Sahib fled back again 


into Oudh. On the fall of Lucknow, Firoz Shah retired to Barcilly, and 
took Moradabad on April 22, but was compelled to give it up at once. 
The Nawab of Najibabad, leader of the Bijnor rebels, joined him in the 
city, so that the principal insurgents were congregated together in 
Bareilly when the English army arrived on May 5. The city was taken 
on May 7, and all the chiefs fled with Khan Bahadur into Oudh. 

AhTchhattra or Ramna(;.\r is the only one of many ancient mounds 
in the District which has been explored. It yielded numerous coins 
and some Buddhist sculptures. It is still a sacred place of the Jains. 
The period of Rohilla rule has left few buildings of importance; but 
some tombs and mosques are standing at Aon la and Barp:illy. 

There are 12 towns and 1,924 villages. Population has risen steadily 
during the last thirty years. The numbers at the last four enumera- 
tions were as follows: (1872) 1,015,041, (1881) 
1,030)936, (1891) 1,040,949, and (1901) 1,090,117. 
The District is divided into six tahsils — Faridpur, Bareilly, Aonla, 
MiRGANj, BaherT, and Nawabganj — the head-quarters of each being 
at a place of the same name. The principal towns are the municipality 
of Bareilly and Aonla. The following table gives the chief statistics 
of area and population in 1901 : — 



Number of 


n in 
n be- 









\3 0, 

en I 
d 19 

ns a 
ad a 



^ s 

I- 3 ?; c 

3 U D -- 





in ? o.# S 

Z " ^ 














+ 7-6 


Bareilly . 






+ 9.1 


Aonla . 






+ 8.1 


MTrganj . 






+ 8.3 


BaherT . 






- 6.6 


District total 







+ 2.2 






+ 4.7 


Hindus form 75 per cent, of the total and Musalmans 24 per cent., 
w^hile Christians number 7,148 and Aryas 1,228. The density is much 
higher than the Provincial average, and the rate of increase between 
1891 and 1 901 was larger than in most parts of the United Provinces. 
More than 99 per cent, of the population speak Western Hindi, the 
ordinary dialect being Braj. 

The most numerous Hindu caste is that of Chamars (leather-workers 
and cultivators), 100,000. Other castes numerically strong in this Dis- 
trict are : KurmTs (agriculturists), 94,000 ; Muraos (market-gardeners), 
73,000; Kisans (cultivators), 67,000; and Kahars (cultivators and 
water-carriers), 56,000. Brahmans number 48,000 and Rajputs 38,000. 
Ahars, who are found only in Rohilkhand, but are closely allied to the 


Ahirs of the rest of the Provinces, number 46,000. Daleras (1,724), 
who are nominally basket-makers but in reality thieves, are not found 
outs-ide this District. Among Muhammadans, Shaikhs number 54,000 ; 
Julahas (weavers), 41,000; and Pathans, 41,000. The Mewatis, who 
number 9,000, came from Mewat in the eighteenth century, owing to 
famine. Banjaras, who were formerly army sutlers and are still grain- 
carriers, have now settled down to agriculture, chiefly in the submontane 
Districts, and number 9,000 here. About 66 per cent, of the popula- 
tion are supported by agriculture, 6 per cent, by personal services, and 
4 per cent, by general labour. Cotton-weaving by hand supports 3-5 
per cent. Rajputs, Pathans, Brahmans, Kayasths, and Banias are the 
largest landholders. Kurmis occupy nearly a quarter of the total area 
as cultivators, while Ahars, Kisans, and Brahmans each cultivate about 
7 or 8 per cent. 

There were 4,600 native Christians in 1901, of whom 4,488 were 
Methodists. The American Methodist Episcopal Mission was opened 
here in 1859, and has ten stations in the District, besides a theological 
college at Bareilly city. 

The north of the District contains a damp unhealthy tract, where 
rent rates are low and population is sparse, while cultivation depends 
largely on the season. The central portion is extremely . 

fertile, consisting chiefly of loam, with a considerable 
proportion of clay in the Mirganj and Nawabganj tahsils. In the 
south, watersheds of sandy soil divide the rivers; but these sandy strips 
are regularly cultivated in the Bareilly and Aonla tahsils, while in 
Faridpur much of the light soil is very poor and liable to be thrown 
out of cultivation after heavy rain. The alluvial strip along the 
Ramganga is generally rich, but is occasionally ruined by a deposit 
of sand. Excluding garden cultivation, manure is applied only when 
the turn comes round for sugar-cane to be grown, at intervals of from 
3 to 8 years. 

The tenures are those common to the United Provinces. Zamliiddn 
or joint zamindari tenures prevail in 5,547 /iiahals, 503 are perfect or 
imperfect pattldari, and 36 are hhaiydchdrd. The District is thus 
chiefly held by large proprietors. The main agricultural statistics for 
1903-4 are shown in the table on the next page, in square miles. 

The principal food-crops, with their areas in square miles in 1903-4, 
are : rice (237), wheat (368), gram (201), bdjra (166), and maize (115). 
Sugar-cane covers 71 square miles, and is one of the most important 
products; while poppy (23), oilseeds (27), cotton (13), and 5rt;/-hemp 
(10) are also valuable crops. 

The total cultivated area has not varied much during the last thirty 
years ; but there has been a permanent increase to the west of Aonla 
and north of Faridpur tahsils, which is counterbalanced by a temporary 


/>. / RETT. T. ) ' PTS TRTC T 

decrease in the north of the District owing to vicissitudes of the seasons. 
The i>rincipal changes in cultivation have been directed towards the sulv 
stitution of more valuable crops for inferior staples. The area under 
bajra has decreased, while sugar-cane, rice, and maize are more largely 
grown. Poppy has been reintroduced recently, and the area sown with 
it is increasing. A rise in the area producing barley and gram points to 
an increase in the area double cropped. Very few loans are taken 
under the Land Improvement Loans Act ; between 1890 and 1903 the 
total amounted to Rs. 41,000, of which Rs. 38,000 was advanced in 
the famine year, 1896-7. Nearly \\ lakhs was lent under the Agricul- 
turists' Loans Act, of which Rs. 63,000 was advanced in 1896-7. In 
uood seasons the advances are small. 






FaiTdpur . 

Bareilly . 








II 1 












The cattle used for agricultural purposes are chiefly bred in the Dis- 
trict or imported from the neighbouring submontane tracts, those bred 
in Pilibhlt being called pa?nvdr. These varieties are small but active, 
and suffice for the shallow ploughing in vogue. Stronger animals, used 
in the well-runs in the south-west of the District, are imported from 
west of the Jumna. Horse-breeding is confined to the Ramganga and 
Aril basins, where wide stretches of grass and in some places a species 
of Oxalis resembling clover are found. Four pony and two donkey 
stallions are maintained by Government and by the District board, and 
two donkey stallions are kept on estates under the Court of Wards to 
encourage mule-breeding. There has, however, been little progress in 
either horse or mule-breeding. Sheep are not kept to any great extent. 

The soil of the District is generally moist, and in ordinary seasons 
there is very little demand for irrigation of the spring crops. In the 
north, where a regular supply of water is valued for rice and sugar-cane, 
the Rohilkhand canals are the main source. Elsewhere, wells, rivers, 
and jhlls are used. In 1903-4 canals and wells supplied 76 and 
75 square miles respectively, tanks ox Jhlls 58, and other sources (chiefly 
rivers) 47. The canals are all small works and may be divided into 
two classes. Those drawn from the Bahgul, Kailas, Kichha, and Paha 
have permanent masonry head-works, with channels dug to definite 
sections, and are provided with subsidiary masonry works, regulators, 


&€., like the regular canals of the Doab. The others are small channels, 
into which water is turned from the rivers by earthen dams, renewed 
annually. Masonry wells are not constructed for irrigation, except 
by the Court of Wards. In most parts of the District the wells are 
temporary excavations w^orked by pulley, or by a lever, as the spring- 
level is high ; but in some tracts to the south water^ is raised in a 
leathern bucket by a rope pulled by bullocks or by men. 

Kankar or nodular limestone is scarce and of poor quality. A little 
lime is made by burning the ooze formed of lacustrine shells. 

The most important industry of the District is sugar-refining. This 
is carried on after native methods, which are now being examined by 
the Agricultural department in the hope of eliminating 
waste. Coarse cotton cloth and cotton carpets or communlcTtfons. 
dans are woven largely, and Bareilly city is noted for 
the production of furniture. A little country glass is also manufactured. 
The Rohilkhand and Kumaun Railway workshops employed 8i hands 
in 1903, and a brewery in connexion with that at NainI Tal is under 
construction. The indigo industry is declining. 

Grain and pulse, sugar, hides, hemp, and oilseeds are the chief 
exports, while salt, piece-goods, metals, and stone and lime are imported. 
The grain is exported to Calcutta, and sugar is sent to the Punjab, 
Rajputana, and Central India. Bareilly city aid Aonla are the chief 
centres of trade. 

The main line of the Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway passes through 
the south of the District, with a branch from Bareilly city through Aonla 
to AlTgarh. The north is served by the Rohilkhand and Kumaun Rail- 
way, which is the only route to the hill-station of NainT Tal, and by a 
line through Pilibhit and Sitapur to Lucknow, which leaves the Rohil- 
khand and Kumaun Railway at Bhojupura, a few miles north of Bareilly 
city. Another metre-gauge line, recently opened, leads from Bareilly 
south-west through Budaun to Soron in Etah District. 

The tcjtal length of metalled roads is 139 miles and of unmetalled 
roads 186 miles. Of the former, 125 miles are in charge of the Public 
Works department, but the cost of all but 88 miles is met by Local 
funds. There are avenues of trees along 254 miles. The District is 
not well supplied with roads. Those which are metalled follow roughly 
the ahgnment of the railways, and there are no others, except the road 
from Aonla to Budaun. In the north communication is almost im- 
possible during the rains ; but the streams can easily be forded in the 
hot and cold seasons. 

Bareilly is not liable to severe famine, owing to the natural moisture 

of the soil and the rarity of so complete failure of the 

11 T • , 11 11 Famine, 

rams as occurs elsewhere. It is also well served by 

railways, and a considerable portion can be irrigated. Ample grazing- 


grounds lor cutllc arc within easy reach. \n 1S03-4 distress was felt, 

and the spring crops were grazed by the cattle as no grain had formed. 

In 1819 and 1825-6 there was scarcity. The famine of 1837-8 followed 

a succession of bad years, and its effects were felt, but not so .severely 

as in the Doab. While famine raged elsewhere in 1 860-1, Bareilly 

sufTcred only from slight scarcity, owing to the failure of the autumn 

harvest ; and relief works, which were opened for the first time, alleviated 

distress. Relief works were also necessary in 1868-9, 1877-8, and 

1896-7, but the numbers attracted to them never rose very high. 

The Collector is usually assisted by a member of the Indian Civil 

Service, and by four Deputy-Collectors recruited in India. There is a 

. , . . . tahs'ihidr at the head-quarters of each tahsil. The 
Administration. „ t- • r , t^ i ,1 , 1 t • • 

Executive Engineer of the Rohilkhand division 

(Roads and Buildings) and the Executive Engineer of the Rohilkhand 

Canals are stationed at Bareilly city. 

There are three regular District Munsifs and a Subordinate Judge, 
and the appointment of Village Munsifs commenced recently. The 
District and Sessions Judge of Bareilly has civil and criminal jurisdic- 
tion in both Bareilly and Pilibhit Districts. Crime is very heavy, 
especially offences affecting life and grievous hurt. Religious feeling 
runs high, and quarrels between Hindus and Muhammadans, accom- 
panied by serious rioting, are not infrequent. The thieving caste of 
Daleras has already been mentioned. Female infanticide is now very 
rarely suspected, and in 1904 only 130 names remained on the registers 
of proclaimed families. 

Under the Rohillas proprietary rights did not exist, and villages were 
farmed to the highest bidder. After annexation in 1801 Rohilkhand 
was divided into two Districts, Moradabad and Bareilly. Shah- 
jahanpur District was formed in 1813-4; Budaun was carved out of 
both the original Districts in 1824 ; the south of Naini Tal District was 
taken away in 1858, and sixty-four villages were given, as a reward for 
loyalty, to the Nawab of Rampur. Pilibhit was made a separate Dis- 
trict in 1879. Ii'' the early short-term settlements the Rohilla system 
of farming was maintained till 1812, when proprietary rights were con- 
ferred on persons who seemed best entitled to them. The demand 
then fixed w-as so high that heavy balances were frequent, and many 
estates were abandoned. A more enlightened method of settlement 
based on a survey was commenced under Regulation VII of 1822, and 
the first regular settlement followed under Regulation IX of 1833. 
Different methods were adopted by the officers who carried this out. 
Some divided each village into circles according to soil and situation, 
while others classified villages according to their general condition as a 
whole. Rent rates were sometimes assumed for the various soils, while 
in other cases general revenue rates were deduced from the collections 



in previous years. The revenue fixed amounted to ii lakhs on the 
present area. Another settlement was made in 1867-70. The rental 
' assets ' were calculated from rent rates selected after careful inquiry. A 
large area was grain-rented ; and the rent rates for this tract were 
selected after an examination of the reputed average share of the land- 
lord, and after experiments in the out-turn of various crops, the average 
prices for twenty years being applied to ascertain the cash value. The 
result was an assessment of 13-5 lakhs ; but this was reduced by about 
Rs. 4,000 in 1874-6, owing to the assessment of too large an area in 
the north of the District, where cultivation fluctuates. The latest 
revision was carried out in 1 898-1 902. Cash rents were then found to 
be paid on about two-thirds of the total cultivated area, and the actual 
rent-roll formed the basis of assessment. Rents of occupancy tenants 
had remained for the most part unaltered since the previous settlement, 
and enhancements were given where these were inadequate. Grain rents, 
chiefly found in the north of the District, were largely commuted to 
cash rates. The demand fixed amounts to 15 lakhs, representing 45 per 
cent, of the net 'assets,' and the incidence falls at Rs. 1-7 per acre, 
varying from Rs. 1-3 to Rs. 2 in different parts. 

Collections on account of land revenue and total revenue have been, 
in thousands of rupees : — 





Lnnd revenue 
Total revenue 





There is one municipality, Bareilly City, and ten towns are ad- 
ministered under Act XX of 1856. Outside of these, local affairs are 
managed by the District board, which has an income of 1-7 lakhs, 
chiefly from rates. In 1903-4 the expenditure on roads and buildings 
amounted to Rs. 63,000. 

There are 22 police stations and 19 outposts, all but one of the latter 
being in Bareilly city. The District Superintendent of police has under 
him an assistant and 4 inspectors, besides a force of 1 1 2 subordinate 
officers and 587 men of the regular police, 374 municipal and town 
police, and 1,989 village and road chaukiddrs. The Central jail, which 
has accommodation for more than 3,000 prisoners, contained a daily 
average of nearly 1,800 in 1903, while the District jail contained 715. 
The latter was formerly used for convicts from NainT Tal and from 
Pilibhit, and is a Central jail for female prisoners. 

The District takes a medium place as regards the literacy of its 
inhabitants, of whom 2-7 per cent. (4-7 males and o-6 females) can read 
and write. The number of public institutions increased from 143 in 
1 880-1 to 154 in 1 900-1, and the number of pupils from 5,033 to 


6,675. In 1903-4 there were 196 sucli institutions, with 9,636 pupils, 
of whom 996 were girls, besides 163 private schools with 2,479 pupils. 
Of the total, 3 were managed by Government, and 136 by the District 
and nuuiicipal boards, while 55 were aided. There is an Arts college 
at Bareilly city. In 1903-4 the expenditure on education was a lakh, 
of which Rs. 53,000 was derived from Local and municipal funds, 
Rs. 23,000 from fees, and Rs. 12,000 from Provincial revenues. 

There are 13 hospitals and dispensaries, with accommodation for 
287 in-patients. In 1903 the number of cases treated was 114,000, 
of whom 3,068 were in-patients, and 2,815 operations were performed. 
The expenditure was Rs. 30,000, most of which was met from Local 
and municipal funds. There is a lunatic asylum at Bareilly city with 
about 400 inmates. 

In 1903-4 the number of persons successfully vaccinated was 36,000, 
representing a proportion of 2)2, per 1,000 of the population. Vaccina- 
tion is compulsory only in Bareilly city. 

\_District Gazetteer (1879, under revision); S. H. Fremantle, Settle- 
7nent Report (1903).] 

Bareilly Tahsil.— Central tahsil of Bareilly District, United Pro- 
vinces, conterminous with the pargana of Karor or Bareilly, lying 
between 28° 13' and 28° 37' N. and 79° 14' and 79° 38' E., with an 
area of 310 square miles. Population increased from 298,482 in 1891 
to 325,650 in 1901. There are 414 villages and one town, Bareilly 
(population, 131,208), the District and tahsil head-quarters. The 
demand for land revenue in 1903-4 was Rs. 2,71,000, and for cesses 
Rs. 48,000. The high density of population, 1,050 persons per square 
mile, is due to the inclusion of a large city. There is some poor soil, 
but the tract across which the Ramganga flows in a constantly varying 
channel is generally fertile. Five smaller streams flow from north to 
south and are used for irrigation. Sugar-cane is the most valuable 
crop, and is largely grown, while sugar is refined at many places, 
especially in Bareilly city. In 1903-4 the area under cultivation 
was 240 square miles, of which 50 were irrigated. Small canals 
drawn from the East Bahgul river irrigate 6 or 7 square miles, and 
wells 15 or 20. Tanks or jhils and rivers supply the remainder. 

Bareilly City {Bareh). — Administrative head-quarters of the Bareilly 
Division and District, United Provinces, with a cantonmen*^, situated in 
28° 22' N. and 79° 24' E., 812 miles by rail from Calcutta and 1,031 
from Bombay. It lies at the junction of a branch of the Oudh and 
Rohilkhand Railway from Aligarh with the main line ; and these are 
met by the narrow-gauge railways from Lucknow through Sitapur, from 
Kathgodam at the foot of the hills, and from Soron through Budaun. 
Population has increased steadily. The numbers at the last four 
enumerations were as follows: (1872) 102,982, (1881) 113,417, (1891) 


121,039, unci (1901) 131,208. These figures include the inhabitants of 
the cantonment, who numbered 13,828 in 1901. There are 67,000 
Hindus, 59,000 Musalmans, and 3,000 Christians. 

Tradition relates that the old city was founded in 1537, and derived 
its name of Bans Bareli from Bas, a Barhela by caste, or from Bas and 
Barel, Katehriya Rajputs. The prefix is now usually interpreted as 
being the word bans or ' bamboo,' and is still used by the inhabitants. 
About 1573 a subordinate post was established here, to check the 
turbulent Katehriyas of Rohilkhand, and a small town gradually grew 
up round the fort. By the close of Akbar's reign, in 1596, Bareilly 
had become the head-quarters of a inalial or pargana. In 1657 it 
was made the capital of Katehr (see Rohilkhand), and a new city 
was founded by Makrand Rai, who was appointed governor. As the 
Mughal empire decayed in the eighteenth century, the Rohilla power 
was consolidated by All Muhammad, who established his capital at 
Aonla, and Bareilly was for a time of small importance. Hafiz Rahmat 
Khan, who virtually succeeded All Muhammad, though nominally 
guardian to his sons, lived alternately at PilibhTt and at Bareilly, 
which again rose into prominence. The place fell, with the sur- 
rounding country, into the possession of the Nawab of Oudh after 
the defeat of the Rohillas by the combined British and Oudh forces 
in 1774, and passed to the British by cession in i8or, when it became 
the head-quarters of a District and of a provincial court. In 18 16 
an insurrection took place in consequence of the imposition of a house 
tax, and in 1837 and 1842 serious religious disturbances occurred 
between Hindus and Musalmans. 

During the Mutiny of 1857 Bareilly was an important centre of 
disaffection. The sepoys rebelled on May 31, and Khan Bahadur 
Khan, grandson of Hafiz Rahmat Khan, was proclaimed governor. 
Most of the Europeans escaped to NainI Tal. The rebel ruler found 
government no easy task, and the annals of his brief term relate many 
dissensions and difficulties. As British troops recovered ground to 
the south and west, the Nawab of Farrukhabad, the Nana Sahib from 
Cawnpore, Firoz Shah from Lucknow, and other leading rebels 
took refuge here. On May 5, 1858, a British army arrived before the 
city, and two days later the rebels fled into Oudh, and the British 
occupied Bareilly. In 1871 the peace of the city was again dis- 
turbed by serious religious riots, and since then religious differences 
have occasionally threatened to develop into actual fighting. 

Bareilly stands on a plateau slightly elevated above the basin of the 
Ramganga, a branch of which now runs under the city. The native 
quarter is traversed by a long, well-kept street, widening at intervals into 
markets. The houses are usually of brick coated with white plaster, 
which is sometimes adorned with tracery, but few have any pretensions 


to architectural beaut)'. Tlie oldest building of any importance is the 
tomb of Hafiz Rahmat Khan, close to the city on the Aonla road, 
which is an elegant building of plastered brick with gilded finials. 
It was built by his son in 1775 and repaired by his daughter in 1839, 
and was again repaired in 189 1-2 at the cost of (lOvernment. The 
finest public buildings are the dispensary and Uufferin Hospitals, 
the tahslll and chief police station, and a triangular building con- 
taining the municipal hall, a literary institute, and the honorary 
magistrates' courthouse. The Central jail is situated north of the 
city on the NainI Tal road. South of the city lies the civil station, 
which contains the high school, the American Methodist Orphanage 
and Theological Seminary, the District offices and District jail, and 
several churches. The cantonment lies south of the civil station, 
and contains a small fort built after the disturbance of 18 16. The 
usual garrison consists of British artillery, British and Native infantry, 
and Native cavalry. Bareilly is the head-quarters of the Commis- 
sioner of the Division, and of the Executive Engineers of the 
Rohilkhand Canals and Rohilkhand division (Roads and Buildings). 

A municipality was constituted in 1858, which in 1901 had a popula- 
tion of 117,380. During the ten years ending 1901 the income and 
expenditure averaged 1-2 lakhs. In 1903-4 the income was 2-1 lakhs, 
chiefly from octroi (1-5 lakhs). The expenditure of 2-2 lakhs included 
public works (Rs. 42,000), conservancy (Rs. 33,000), public safety 
(Rs. 31,000), and administration and collection (Rs. 19,000). An 
excellent water-supply is drawn from wells. In 1903-4 the income of 
the cantonment fund was Rs. 48,000, and the expenditure Rs. 49,000. 

The chief industry of the city is sugar-refining, and about 20,000 tons 
of raw sugar are imported annually, while 10,000 tons of sugar are ex- 
ported by rail alone. Bareilly is also noted for its furniture, made both 
of bamboo and of the ordinary timbers in use for this purpose. Cloth 
is woven and brass vessels are made ; but these industries are not very 
important. The Rohilkhand and Kumaun Railway workshops employ 
about 80 hands, and there is a dairy farm in connexion with the 
lunatic asylum. The principal educational institution is the college, 
which contains 104 students. A new building for this institution will 
be erected shortly on a site in the civil station presented by the Nawab 
of Rampur. The District school has about 450 pupils and the tahslll 
school 370. The municipality maintains 21 schools and aids 3 others, 
with a total attendance in 1904 of 2,321. There are also three 
orphanages, maintained by the Arya Samaj, the American Methodist 
Mission, and a Muhammadan Association. 

Barel. — Hill range in Cachar District, Eastern Bengal and Assam. 
See Barail. 

Barendra. — Ancient name given to the part of Eastern Bengal lying 


between the Mahananda and Karatoya rivers, and corresponding with 
the old kingdom of Pundra, and with the western portion of the 
modern Rajshahi Division. The name is said to have been conferred 
by king Ballal Sen in the eleventh century ; and it still survives in the 
Barind, an elevated tract on the confines of Dinajpur, Malda, Rajshahi, 
and Bogra Districts. 

Bargarh. — ^Western tahsll of Sambalpur District, Bengal, lying 
between 20° 45' and 21° 44' N. and 82°. 38' and 83° 54' E., with an 
area, in 1901, of 3,126 square miles. The population in that year was 
467,076, compared with 452,022 in 1891. In 1905 the Phuljhar 
zaminddri, with an area of 842 square miles and a population of 
102,135 persons, was transferred to the Raipur District of the Central 
Provinces, and the adjusted figures of area and population of the tahsll 
are 2,284 square miles and 364,941 persons. The density is 160 persons 
per square mile. The tahsll contains 1,172 inhabited villages. Bargarh, 
the head-quarters, is a village of 3,609 inhabitants, 29 miles distant 
from Sambalpur town on the Raipur road. Excluding 206 square miles 
of Government forest, 69 per cent, of the available area is occupied for 
cultivation. The cultivated area in 1903-4 was 1,403 square miles. 
The demand for land revenue in the same year was Rs. 1,06,000, and 
for cesses Rs. 21,000. The tahsll comprises an open tract along the 
right bank of the Mahanadi, flanked by hill and forest country to 
the west and north. It contains nine zaminddri estates, with a total 
area of 1,204 square miles. 

Barh Subdivision. — North-eastern subdivision of Patna District, 
Bengal, lying between 25° 10' and 25° 35' N. and 85° 11' and 86° 4' E., 
with an area of 526 square miles. Owing to plague, its recorded 
population in 1901 was only 365,327, compared with 408,256 in 1891, 
the density being 695 persons per square mile. The subdivision consists 
of a long and somewhat narrow strip of country intersected by tributaries 
of the Ganges, and bordering that river. It contains two towns, Barh 
(population, 12,164), its head-quarters, and Mokaisieh (13,861), an 
important railway junction ; and 1,075 villages. 

Barh Tcwn. — Head-quarters of the subdivision of the same name 
in Patna District, Bengal, situated in 25^^ 29' N. and 85° 43' E., on the 
Ganges. Population (1901), 12,164. Barh is a station on the East 
Indian Railway^ 299 miles from Calcutta, and has a considerable trade 
in country produce. Jessamine oil (chameli) of a superior quality is 
manufactured. Barh was constituted a municipality in 1870. The 
income during the decade ending 190 1-2 averaged Rs. 6,700, and the 
expenditure Rs. 6,500. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 10,400, mainly 
from a tax on persons (or property tax) ; and the expenditure was 
Rs. 9,500. The town contains the usual subdivisional offices, a sub-jail 
with accommodation for 28 prisoners, and an English cemetery. 

ifi liAIUIAJ 

Barhaj. — Town in tin- Dcoiia tiiliul (if (.loiakhpur District, UnilL-d 
Provinces, situated in 26° 17' N. and 83" 45' !£., at the ttTniiiuis of 
a branch of the Bengal and North-Western Railway, and near the con- 
fluence of the Rapti and Gogra. Population (1901), 10,054. 'J'he 
town is said to have been founded about 1770, but only rose into 
importance with the introduction of sugar cultivation in the neighbour- 
hood. It is now the most important trade centre in the District, and 
is also remarkable for its filthiness. Grain, oilseeds, and sugar are 
largely exported by rail and river, and the insurance of the river traffic 
is part of the business of the town. Sugar is manufactured in about 
forty ftictories. The banks of the RaptI are covered with immense 
piles of timber — part for re-exportation, part for boat-building, and 
part for fuel in the factories. The town is administered together 
with Gaura under Act XX of 1856, with an income of about 
Rs. 3,400. The Raja of MajhaulT collects octroi duties and bazar dues 
under (United Provinces) Act III of 1901, and pays Rs. 3,500 annually 
to the town fund. Barhaj contains a flourishing town school with 
183 pupils, a girls' school with 26, and a dispensary. 

Barhalganj. — Town in the Bansgaon tahsJl of Gorakhpur District, 
United Provinces, situated in 26° 17' N. and 83° 30' E., on the north 
bank of the Gogra, and on the road from Gorakhpur to Azamgarh. 
Population ( i go i), 5,181. It is composed of a street of masonry shops 
lining the sides of the road, with a fine metalled market-place. The 
trade consists chiefly in the export of grain, and in the distribution 
of imported goods, but there is also some manufacture of sugar. 
Barhalganj is a port of call for the river steamers. It is adminis- 
tered under Act XX of 1856, with an income of about Rs. 1,100. It 
contains a town school with 113 pupils, a girls' school with 14, and 
a dispensary. 

Barhampur. — Subdivision and town of Murshidabad District, 
Bengal. See Berhampore. 

Bari Town. — Head-quarters of the district of the same name in the 
State of Dholpur, Rajputana, situated in 26° 39' N. and 77° 37' E., 
about 19 miles almost due west of Dholpur railway station and 45 miles 
south-west of Agra. Population (1901), 11,603. A strong masonry 
fort here is supposed to have been built in the fifteenth century, but the 
oldest building is a mosque which bears an inscription recording that 
it was constructed between 1346 and 1351. Three miles to the south- 
east are the remains of a palace, built about 161 7 for prince Shah 
Jahan as a shooting lodge. In the vicinity of the town are sandstone 
quarries, which are being connected with the railway at Dholpur by 
a light steam tramway. The town possesses a post office, a primary 
vernacular school attended by 60 boys, and a dispensary. 

Bari Doab.— A doab or 'tract between two rivers' (the Beas 


<iiid Ravi) in the Punjab, lying between 29° 22' and 32'^ 30' N. and 
71° 6' and 75° 58' E., and comprising Amritsar District and portions 
of Gurdaspur, Lahore, Montgomery, and Multan. The name was 
formed by the Mughal emperor Akbar, by combining the first syllables 
of the names of the two rivers. 

Bari Doab Canal. — A perennial irrigation canal in the Punjab, 
taking off from the left bank of the Ravi, and watering the Districts 
of Gurdaspur, Amritsar, and Lahore in the Bari Doab or tract of 
country between the Beas and Ravi. The present undertaking 
originated in a project for the improvement of an older work, the Hash 
canal, constructed about the year 1633 by All Mardan Khan, the 
famous engineer of the emperor Shah Jahan. After the occupation 
of Lahore in 1846, Major Napier (afterwards Lord Napier of Magdala) 
turned his attention at once to this project, and set on foot the necessary 
surveys. The progress of the work was interrupted by the outbreak 
of war. After annexation the work was pressed on, because the 
immediate construction of the canal was regarded as almost a matter 
of political necessity to provide employment for the disbanded Sikh 
soldiers, who, having their homes in the centre of the tract, would 
otherwise have had little encouragement to turn to agriculture. The 
alignment of the Hash canal proved on examination to be so defective 
that the officers in charge decided upon the adoption of an entirely 
independent line, parts only of the original channel being utilized as 
distributaries. Irrigation began in 1 860-1, but the present permanent 
weir and other regulating head-works were not completed till after 1875. 
The head-works are at the village of Madhopur in Gurdaspur District, 
where the river is crossed by a weir 2,700 feet long. The canal is 
capable of carrying 6,500 cubic feet per second: the highest average 
supply in the hot season is 4,850, while in the cold season it varies from 
1,270 to 2,170 cubic feet per second. The main line terminates at its 
31st mile, there separating into the Kasur and main branches. The 
Kasur branch 7 miles lower down gives off the Sobraon branch, and 
the main branch after 25 miles gives off the Lahore branch, the four 
branches following the crests of the ridges into which the tract is divided 
by its natural drainage. The total length of the main and branch 
canals is 369 miles, and there are 1,591 miles of distributaries, from 
which water is brought upon the fields by means of watercourses con- 
structed and maintained by the cultivators. The canal is not navigable. 
The rainfall is heaviest in the upper part of the system, which has 
necessitated a special system of irrigation in Gurdaspur District and in 
the portion of Amritsar District north of the North-Western Railway on 
the Kasur and Sobraon branches. In that tract the distributaries are 
closed during the cold season after a watering has been given for sowing 
the spring crops, the winter rains with some help from wells being 

VOL. VII. c 


sufficient to iiiaturc those crops. The water thus set free has been 
utilized in extending irrigation in the driest part of Lahore District, 
where it borders on Montgomery — a tract for which it would otherwise 
have been impossible to provide a perennial supply. The gross area 
commanded by the canal is 2,710 square miles in Gurdaspur, Amritsar, 
and Lahore Districts. The lower portion of the Doab in Montgomery 
and Multan is not irrigated, as there is not sufficient water avail- 
able in the Ravi during the winter. The area irrigated was 297 square 
miles in i860, 677 square miles in 1880-1, 1,346 square miles in 
1900-1, and 1,464 square miles in 1903-4. The total capital ex[)endi- 
ture (exclusive of interest) up to the end of 1903-4 was 197 lakhs. 
The gross income for that year was about 33 lakhs, or, inclusive of the 
increase of land revenue due to irrigation (which is credited to the canal 
in the accounts), 36 lakhs. The working expenses amounted to 1 1 lakhs, 
leaving a net profit of 25 lakhs, or 12-68 per cent, on the capital outlay. 

Barind. — Elevated tract in Eastern Bengal and Assam, occupying 
a considerable area on the confines of the Districts of Dinajpur, Malda, 
Rajshahi, and Bogra. It derives its name from the old Hindu kingdom 
of Barendra. It belongs to an older alluvial formation than the sur- 
rounding country, and is composed of argillaceous beds of a rather pale 
reddish-brown hue, often weathering yellowish, in which kankar and 
pisolitic ferruginous concretions frequently occur. It is covered in 
many places with a scrub jungle, the predominant tree being the siil 
{Shorea robustd). It is now being reclaimed by the Santals, Mundas, 
and Oraons, large numbers of whom have immigrated into this tract, 
attracted by the prospect of holding their new clearances rent-free for 
a few years. As soon as rent is demanded, they move on, leaving the 
fields they have cleared to be occupied by the less hardy Hindu 
cultivators, who have not the energy to clear land for themselves. 

Baripada. — Capital of Mayurbhanj, one of the Orissa Tributary 
States, Bengal, situated in 21° 56'' N. and 86° 44' E., on the Burhabalang 
river. Population (1901), 5,613. Baripada is connected by a light 
railway (2 feet 6 inch gauge) wMth Rupsa junction on the Bengal-Nagpur 
Railway, and by metalled roads with Bahalda and Karanjia, the head- 
quarters of the Bamanghati and Panchpir subdivisions, and with the 
towns of Balasore and Midnapore ; several fair-weather roads run from 
it to other parts of the State. It is the seat of the administration, 
and contains the residence of the chief, a good dispensary, and a high 
school, besides criminal and civil courts, and a jail. 

Bari Sadri. — Principal town of an estate of the same name in the 
State of Udaipur, Rajputana, situated in 24° 25' N. and 74° 29' E., 
about 50 miles east by south-east of Udaipur city. Population (1901), 
4,063. On a hill to the south is a small fort, now almost in ruins. The 
estate, which is held by the senior noble of Mewar, who is styled Raj, 


consists of 91 villages. The income is about Rs. 48,000, and a tribute 
of Rs. 820 is paid to the Darbar. The chiefs of Sadri are Jhala Rajputs. 
In the beginning of the sixteenth century, one Ajja came to Mewar 
from Hahvad in Kathiawar, and fought in 1527 on the side of Rana 
Sangram Singh I against the emperor Babar in the famous battle of 
Khanua. When the Rana was wounded and was being carried off 
the field, Ajja took his place on his elephant and drew on himself the 
brunt of the battle. He did not survive the day ; but his son received 
the fief of Sadri, the title of Raj, the seat of honour next to the Rana, 
and the right of carrying the ensigns of Mewar and of beating his kettle- 
drums as far as the gate of the palace. These privileges are still enjoyed 
by his successors. Of the latter, one was killed at Chitor fighting 
against Bahadur Shah in 1534, another at the same place fighting against 
Akbar in 1567, and a third at the battle of Haldighat in 1576. 

Barisal Subdivision. — Head-quarters subdivision of Backergunge 
District, Eastern Bengal and Assam, situated at its north-east corner, 
between 22° 28' and 23" 5' N. and 90° \' and 90° 41' E., with an area 
of 1,110 square miles. The population in 1901 was 945,367, compared 
with 879,177 in 1 89 1. It contains three towns, Barisal (population, 
18,978), the head-quarters, and the important marts of Jhalakati 
(5,234) and NalchitI (2,240); and 2,048 villages. It is the most 
densely populated subdivision in the District, having 852 persons to the 
square mile. It is a deltaic tract, intersected by numerous rivers and 
water-channels. The level sinks to the north-west, and parts of this 
portion are covered with deep morasses. 

Barisal Town. — Head-quarters of Backergunge District, Eastern 
Bengal and Assam, situated in 22° 42' N. and 90° 22' E., on the west 
bank of the Barisal river. Population (1901), 18,978. In the middle 
of the eighteenth century Barisal was an important salt chauk'i, or place 
where salt tax was paid. The head-quarters of the District, formerly 
at Backergunge, were transferred here in 1801. The Barisal river is 
navigable by steamers all the year round ; and daily steamers ply to 
Khulna and Narayanganj, establishing communication with Calcutta 
and Dacca respectively, the journey to the former occupying twenty-four 
hours and to the latter twelve hours. It has also steamer communica- 
tion with Patuakhali in the District and Ichakhali and Bhawanlganj in 
Noakhali. Barisal was constituted a municipality in 1876. The income 
during the decade ending 1901-2 averaged Rs. 31,000, and the 
expenditure Rs. 29,000. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 47,000, of 
which Rs. 10,000 was derived from a tax on persons (or property tax), 
and Rs. 12,000 from a conservancy rate ; the income was also augmented 
by contributions of Rs. 4,000 for medical purposes and Rs. 10,000 for 
general purposes from Local funds and other sources. The expenditure 
in the same year was Rs. 35,000. The town has wide, straight, and 

c 2 


well-kept streets, the riverside road to Sagardi being bordered by fine 
avenues ; and it is intersected by numerous creeks, which are flushed 
twice a day at flood tide, and add much to the healthiness of the town. 
There are numerous tanks, of which four, unconnected with the river, 
are reserved for drinking purposes ; a scheme to supply filtered water 
is under consideration. 

In addition to the usual public offices and the jail, the town contains 
three churches belonging to the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Baptist 
denominations, and a public library founded in 1855. The District jail 
has accommodation for 580 prisoners, who are employed on oil-pressing, 
brick-pounding, brick-making, carpet and mat-making, weaving, and 
bamboo work. A first-grade college teaches up to the B.A. standard. 
A District school is controlled by a joint committee of the municipality 
and District board, and two girls' schools are maintained respectively by 
the Baptist Zanana Mission and by subscriptions ; a technical school 
is afifiliated to the District school. There are five printing presses, 
and three vernacular newspapers are published in the town. 

Bariya State {Deogarh Bdriya). — Tributary State in Rewa Kantha, 
Bombay, lying between 22° 21' and 22° 58' N. and 73° 41'and 74° 18' E., 
with an estimated area of 813 square miles. It is bounded on the 
east and west by the British District of the Panch Mahals ; on the north 
by the State of Sanjeli ; and on the south by the State of Chota Udaipur. 
The extreme length, from north to south, is 39 miles. The country is 
hilly in the south and east, but fiat in the west, and is divided into 
seven subdivisions — Randhikpur, Dudhia, Umaria, Haveli, Kakadkhila, 
Sagtala, and Rajgarh. Much of it is covered with forest. The climate 
is damp and unhealthy, fever being the prevailing disease. 

The chiefs of Bariya are Chauhan Rajputs, who are said to have been 
driven south by the advance of the Musalmans about the year 1244, and 
to have taken possession of the city and fort of Champaner. Here they 
ruled till defeated by Mahmud Begara in 1484, and forced to retire to 
the wilder parts of their dominions. Of two branches of the family, one 
founded the house of Chota Udaipur and the other the house of Bariya. 
The connexion of this State with the British dates from 1803, when, in 
consequence of the help given by the chief to the British army in their 
operations against Sindhia, the Government subsidized a detachment of 
Bariya Bhils at a monthly cost of Rs. 1,800. The State formed part of 
the Central India Agency up to 1825, when it was transferred to Bombay. 
The title of the chief is Maharawal of Deogarh Bariya, and he is entitled 
to a salute of 9 guns. He holds a sanad authorizing adoption. Suc- 
cession follows the rule of primogeniture. 

The Census of 1901 showed a population of 81,579, or 100 persons 
per square mile, living in 483 villages. Hindus numbered 79,149, and 
Musalmans 2,301. The chief castes are BhIls, Kolis, and Naikdas 



Of the total area, (Jiily 20 per cent, is cultivated. 'J"he. principal products 
are timber, maize, pulse, gram, and wheat. The State contains no 
mines and no manufactures. The chief has power to try his own 
subjects for capital offences. 

The revenue in 1903-4 was 2 lakhs, of which Rs. 56,000 was derived 
from land and Rs. 18,000 from forests. The State maintains a quasi- 
military police force of 180 men. Of the public works constructed 
before 1876 under British management, the chief are the portion 
(21 miles in length) of the high road between Malwa and Gujarat lying 
within the limits of the State, and a branch 7 miles long connecting the 
village of Bariya with the main road. Since 1892 the Anand-Godhra 
Railway has been extended to Ratlam, passing through Bariya territory. 
The State supports a dispensary, which treated 4,331 patients in 1903-4, 
and 12 schools for boys, with an average attendance of 427 pupils. 
There is also one girls' school, with an average attendance of 48. 

Bariya Village {Deogarh Bariya). — Chief town of the State of 
the same name in the Rewa Kantha Agency, Bombay, situated in 
22° 42' N. and 73° 51'' E., 50 miles north-east of Baroda, about 5 miles 
from Limkheda on the Godhra-Ratlam branch of the Bombay, Baroda, 
and Central India Railway. Population (1901), 3,717. It lies almost 
in the centre of the State, about half a mile from the Panam river, in an 
angle formed by two lines of hills. The third side is enclosed by a wall 
built by Raja Prithvviraj. About the end of the eighteenth century the 
town seems to have been of considerable importance. It was on a much- 
frequented route between Gujarat and Malwa, the tolls levied at its 
gates generally exceeding Rs. 20,000 a year. Partly on the Deogarh 
hill and partly in the plain stands the Bariya fort, with walls about 
10 feet high in the plain and 6 feet on the hill slopes. On the top of 
the hill a small white building contains the tutelary deity of the Bariya 
house. The story is that three generations after the fall of Champaner, 
when Dungar Singh was looking for a site for his capital, one of his 
Bhils, cutting wood on a hill, struck his axe against two round stones, 
blood gushed out, and the axe was shivered. Hearing his story, Dungar 
Singh visited the spot, called it Deogarh or ' God's fort,' installed the 
stones as the tutelary deity of the hill, and founded his capital at its 
foot. The stones are still visited with great pomp by the Raja every 
twelfth year. 

Barkal.— Mart in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Eastern Bengal and 
Assam, situated in 22° 43' N. and 92° 25' E., on the right bank of the 
Karnaphuli river. Population (1901), 2,194. It gives its name to the 
hills in the vicinity. The river here forms rapids, and a tramway has 
been constructed by which passengers and goods are transhipped. 

Barkhan. — Tahsil in the south-east of Loralai District, Baluchi- 
stan, lying between 29° 37' and 30° 21' N. and 69° 3' and 70° 4' E., 


and bonlcring the riinjub, with an area of 1,317 square miles. The 
population in 1901 was 14,922, an increase of 4,276 on the rough 
estimate made in 1891. The head-quarters station, which bears the 
same name as the tahsil^ is about 3,650 feet above sea-level. The 
number of villages is 114. The land revenue in 1903-4 amounted to 
Rs. 47,000. The frequent existence of occupancy rights is a special 
feature of the tenures of the tahs'il. In the LeghariTiarkhan circle, 
one-third of the revenue levied is paid to the Leghari chief as superior 
proprietor of the soil, and he holds a revenue-free grant up to 1907. 
Earkhan rugs are well-known, but have recently deteriorated in quality. 

Barkhera. — ^The name of four Thakiirats in Central India : two in 
the Bhopawar Agency, distinguished as Mota and Chhota, and two in 
the Malwa Agency, known as Deo DungrI and Panth. 

Barkur. — Village in the Udipi taluk of South Kanara District, 
Madras, situated in 13° 29' N. and 74° 48' E. The traditional capital 
of Tuluva, the country of Tulu-speaking people, it was long the local 
seat of the representatives of the Hoysala Ballalas of Dorasamudra, who 
were Jains by religion. The local rulers attained practical independence 
during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the most powerful of them 
being named Bhutal Pandya (^circa a. d. 1250), confounded by some with 
the Bhutal Pandya to whom is ascribed the Aliya Santana law of inheri- 
tance peculiar to the west coast, the origin of which is really much earlier. 
When the Vijayanagar kingdom was founded in 1336, Harihara, its first 
ruler, stationed a viceroy called the Rayaru here and built a fort, 
remains of which are still to be seen. On the fall of Vijayanagar the 
Bedniir kings asserted their authority ; and in the ensuing struggle the 
Jains were almost extirpated and Barkur was destroyed. Ruined tanks 
and Jain shrines and sculptures .still abound, but its importance has 
vanished and not one Jain house remains. 

Barliyar. — Village in the Coonoor taluk of the Nilgiri District, 
Madras, situated in 11° 20' N. and 76° 50' E., 6-| miles from Coonoor, 
and half-way down the ghat road from Coonoor to Mettupalaiyam. 
Population (1901), 2,234. Mr. E. B. Thomas, a former Collector of the 
District, started a private garden here in 1857, which was afterwards 
taken over by Government. Experiments in tea cultivation and in the 
growth of medicinal plants, camphor, rubbers, &c., which like a warm, 
damp climate at a moderate elevation, have been made. The garden, 
which is the only one of its kind in the Presidency, is in charge of the 
Curator of the Government Gardens at Ootacamund. 

Barmanda. — Petty State in Mahi Kantha, Bombay. 

Barmer. — Head-quarters of the Mallani district in the State of 
Jodhpur, Rajputana, situated in 25° 45' N. and 71° 23' E., on the 
Jodhpur-Bikaner Railway. Population (1901), 6,064. 1 h^ present 
town is said to have been founded in the thirteenth century by a 


Raja Bahada, and to have been called after him Bahadaiiicr (the iiicrii 
or ' hill-fort ' of Bahada), since contracted to Barmen It is substantially 
built on the side of a rocky hill, on the summit of which are the remains 
of an old fort ; and it possesses a post and telegraph office, a vernacular 
school, and a hospital. Millstones constructed here are largely exported, 
and fuller's earth (used as a hair-wash) is found at Kapuri and other 
places in the neighbourhood. Barnier is also the name of one of the 
principal estates in Mallani, consisting of sixty-six villages held by five 
different families, who pay between them a tribute of about Rs. 1,000 
to the Darbar. 

Barnadi. — A river of Assam which rises in the Himalayas and enters 
the valley of the Brahmaputra at 26° 13' N. and 91° 48'' E. From this 
point it once formed the boundary between the Districts of Kamrup 
and Darrang, but the river has so often changed its channel that its 
present course is no longer recognized as the boundary. Near the hills 
the Barnadi flows through forest and grass jungle, but farther south vil- 
lages appear on the banks. The most important places are Sonarikhal, 
where two small fairs are held, and Magamuri market in the Tamulpur 
tahsil, which is situated about 4 miles from the Barnadi, but is a con- 
siderable centre of river-borne trade. A ferry plies throughout the year 
at Dumunichaki on the trunk road. The river is largely used as a trade 
route, and boats of 4 tons burthen can proceed as far as Sonarikhal 
throughout the year, and to Malmuragaon in the rainy season. It has 
a total length of about 1 00 miles. 

Barnagar {Nolai). — Town in the Ujjain district of Gwalior State, 
Central India, situated in 23° 4' N. and 75° 23' E., on the west bank of 
the Chamla, a tributary of the Chambal river, and on the Khandwa- 
Ajmcr branch of the Rajputana-Malwa Railway. Population (1901), 
10,856. The town grew rapidly between 1881 and 1891, owing to the 
opening of the railway, and in spite of the famine of 1 899-1 900 is still 
increasing. It belonged formerly to the Bahram Loth family of Raj- 
puts, who still hold a rent-free village in the neighbourhood ; but in the 
eighteenth century it fell to Sindhia. Barnagar is managed by a muni- 
cipality, constituted in 1901, which controls the lighting and sanitation, 
having an income of about Rs. 1,200 a year, chiefly derived from local 
taxes. A considerable trade in grain and opium has arisen since the 
opening of the railway. A State post office, a dispensary, a school, and 
a resthouse are situated in the town. Close to the railway station there 
is a British combined post and telegraph office. 

Barnagar. — Ancient site in Gwalior State, Central India See 

Barnagore. — Town in the Twenty-four Parganas District, Bengal. 
See Baranagar. 

Barnala (or Anahadgarh). — Head-quarters of the Anahadgarh 


tuzdmat, Patiala State, Punjab, situated in 32° 23' N. and 75"^^ 37' E., 
52 miles west of Patiala, on the Rajpura-Bhatinda branch of the North- 
western Railway. Population (1901), 6,905. Rebuilt in 1722 by Ala 
Singh, Raja of Patiala, it remained the capital of the State until the 
foundation of the town of Patiala in 1763, and the hearths of its founder 
are still revered by the people. It is built in the form of a circle, and 
surrounded by a wall of masonry, within which is a fort. Lying in the 
centre of the Jangal tract, it is a mart for the export of grain, and the 
State has constructed a large market to foster its development. The 
town contains a dispensary, an Anglo-vernacular middle school, and a 
police station. 

Baro (or Barnagar). — Village and ancient site in the Gwalior State, 
Central India, lying in 23° 56' N. and 78° 14' E. Baro is now only 
a small village, with a population (1901) of 533; but the neighbour- 
hood is covered with the remains of an ancient city of considerable 
size, the ruins extending to the neighbouring town of Pathari. The 
principal remains consist of Hindu and Jain temples, chiefly situated 
close to a large tank, the waters of which are held up by a fine old 
stone dam. The village stands at the foot of the Gayanath hill, a part 
of the arm of the Vindhyas which strikes north from Bhilsa. The 
sandstone and shales of the Vindhya series are well exposed here, and 
the former has been employed in constructing the temples and houses 
of Baro. The finest building is the Gadarmal temple, on the western 
bank of the tank ; and though the existing structure is a restoration of 
the original shrine, as the heterogeneous nature of its spire shows, it is 
still a magnificent example of mediaeval Hindu architecture. The 
shape of the sanctuary is interesting, being oblong instead of square, 
and within it is an unusually fine sculptured figure. The temple 
formerly stood in a spacious courtyard and was surrounded by seven 
smaller shrines, now mere heaps of bricks. The entrance to the court- 
yard lay through a lofty gate of which one richly carved pillar is still 
standing. The temples in this group are all Saivite, there being no 
Jain sculptures, as Cunningham has erroneously stated. The other 
large temple is called the Jain Mandir, and has evidently been restored 
by Jains from the remains of a Hindu building. It is entirely enclosed 
by a high wall, in the centre of which there is a samddhi or ascetic's 
tomb. A gallery runs round all four sides, the shrines, which number 
eighteen in all and are of various sizes, lying behind it. Six spires and 
several domes surmount the building, and have been made up of the 
remains of Hindu and Jain temples, carved with images peculiar to 
each religion. The cells, however, contain only Jain images. Tradition 
relates that Baro was once a large and wealthy city, but was destroyed 
at the end of the seventeenth century by Chhatarsal, the chief of Panna, 
who sacked the town. It is, however, impo.ssible that a Hindu should 


have injured the temples, which show evident signs of Muhammadan 

[A. Cunningham, Archaeological Sint'ey Reports, vol. x, p. 71.] 

Baroda State (or Territories of the Gaikwar). — An important Native 
State in direct relations with the Government of India, but geographically 
in intimate connexion with the Presidency of Bombay. The territories 
of the State are situated in Gujarat and in Kathiawar, but are so inter- 
laced with British Districts that it is impossible, without reference 
to a detailed map, to realize accurately their position, extent, and 

Roughly speaking, it may be said that the State lies between 20° 45' 
and 24° 9' N. and 70° 42' and 73° 59' E., with the exception of the 
Okhamandal tract, which lies between 22° 5' and 22° 35' N. and 
69° 5' and 69° 20' E. 

The name by which the natives recognize the territories of Baroda 
and the capital town is Wadodara, which according to tradition is 
a corrupt form of the Sanskrit word vatodar (' in the heart of the 
banyan-trees '). At any rate, this name well describes the capital of 
Baroda, inasmuch as in the vicinity of the city banyan-trees exist in 
great numbers. But the capital had also another name, namely, 
Virakshetra or Virawati (' a land of warriors ') ; 'rnd this name deserves 
special notice, as it is mentioned (along with Wadodara) by the Gujarat 
poet Premanand, who was a native of Baroda and flourished in the 
seventeenth century. Moreover, it is stated that the ancient name of 
the city was Chandanavati, and that it was so called after Raja Chandan 
of the Dor tribe of Rajputs, who wrested it from the Jains. It is now 
almost impossible to ascertain when the various changes in the name 
were made ; but early English travellers and merchants mention the 
town as Brodera, and it is from this that the name Baroda is derived. 

The Gujarat portion of the State is divided into three great divisions 
or prdnts : namely, the Kadi prdnt to the north, the Baroda prdnt in 
the centre, and the Navsari prCmt to the south ; while the Kathiawar 
portion is usually known as the Amreli prdnt. 

A consideration of the boundaries of these four administrative 
divisions will make clearer the geographical position of the scattered 
territories of the State. The most northerly taliikas of the Kadi prdnt 
are bounded on the north and north-west by the Palanpur and Rad- 
hanpur States, while the southern half is bounded on the west by 
Ahmadabad District, and on the south by Ahmadabad and Kaira. 
The eastern portion of the //v?;// has for its boundary the Mahl Kantha 
States. The Baroda prdnt has on its northern side Kaira District, 
which juts in between the Petlad and Savli tdhikas. The western side 
is bounded by a portion of Kaira, by Cambay, and by Broach District. 
To the south it is bounded by the river Narbada, a portion of Broach 


District, and a porlion i)f the Rcwa Kaiillui States, and on the east by 
the Panch Mahals District and tlie Rewa Kantlia States. The Navsari 
prant is nearly split into two by a portion of Surat District which 
almost crosses it from north to south. Bearing this in mind, it may be 
said with tolerable accuracy that this praut is bounded on the north by 
Broach and the Rewa Kantha States, on the west by Surat District and 
the sea, on the south by Surat, the State of Bansda, and the Dangs, 
and on the east by Khandesh District. The chief portion of the 
scattered Amreli //-<?«/ is surrounded by Junagarh and other Kathiawar 
States, while the outlying Okhamandal subdivision adjoins the Arabian 
Sea and the Gulf of Cutch, and is bounded on the land side by the 
State of Navanagar. 

The area of the State is now estimated at 8,099 square miles, made 
up as follows : (i) Kadi, 3,015 square miles ; (2) Baroda, 1,887 square 
miles; (3) Navsari, 1,952 square miles; (4) Amreli, 1,245 square miles. 
These figures differ from previous estimates by reason of the progress 
of a survey which is now almost completed. 

The greater part of the State lies within the area of the coastal band 

of alluvium which has been formed by the encroachment on the shallow 

Gulf of Cambay of the detrital deposits brought down 

ysica 1^ j.j^g many rivers, large and small, which drain the 

province of Gujarat, the western slopes of Malwa, and 

the southern parts of Rajputana. The upward slope of this alluvial 

band is very gradual, so that, as a general rule, the face of the country 

appears to be a dead level, and it is only when the eastern side of the 

alluvial flat is approached that low hills begin to make their appearance. 

In the Kadi /ra«/ the only eminences that diversify the general flat 
surface of the country are hillocks and ridges of blown sandy loam, 
which rise, on an average, not more than 50 or 60 feet above the 
general level, and only occasionally attain a height of 100 feet or a little 
more. In the Baroda prdnt the number of eminences deserving the 
name of hills is also very small, and the only ones claiming attention 
are in the Sankheda taliika in the east. Here is the Achali ridge, of 
which the highest point rises 888 feet above sea-level, and the Lach- 
haras hill (508 feet). The Navsari /r<7/// is much more diversified than 
the other divisions ; and here the height of the hills ranges from about 
400 feet to about 2,000, with the exception of the fortified peak of 
Salher, which attains a height of 5,263 feet, and is the third highest 
point in the northern section of the Western Ghats. The greater part 
of the Amreli prCmt is occupied by rolling plains which, as a rule, are 
very treeless and cheerless in their aspect, and it is only in the Dhari 
tdluka that we meet with hills worthy the name. This taluka includes a 
great part of the well-known Gir forest, a tract zoologically interesting as 
being the last refuge of the Gujarat lion. In the Baroda section of the Gir 


there are four groups of hills increasing in height from east to west : the 
Sarkala group, lying to the west and containing Sarkala peak (2,128 
feet above sea-level) ; the Rajmal group, of which the highest point 
attains an elevation of 1,623 feet; the Nandivela group (highest point 
1,741 feet) ; the Lapala group, with a culminating point of 1,547 feet. 
Across the northern ridge of this talitka runs a small range of much 
lower hills, which near its western end is cut through by the Shatranji 
river, 2\ miles north-east of Dhuri. Its highest point is Dharitor (893 
feet above sea-level). The extreme northern part of the Kodinar taluka 
is also hilly, but on a much smaller scale, while in Okhamandal the 
highest elevation does not exceed 150 feet. The hills are mostly flat- 
topped, and form small plateaux which in most cases are more or less 
scarped round their summits. 

The drainage of the Gujarat portion of the State falls westwards into 
the Gulf of Cambay, excepting that of the most northerly tdli/kas, which 
are drained by the Banas and SaraswatI rivers into the Rann of Cutch. 
The four principal rivers falling into the Gulf are the Sabarmatl, the 
Mahi, the Narbada, and the Tapti, all passing in some parts of their 
courses through the Baroda State. Of much smaller size are the 
Dhadhar, between the Mahi and the Narbada ; the Kim, between the 
Narbada and the Tapti ; and the Mindhola, the Puma, and the 
Ambika to the south of the Tapti. The Sabarmati first touches 
Baroda territory at Virpur in the Kheralu tdliika, and then flows 
through it for about 18 miles, thereafter entering Ahmadabad District. 
It receives no affluent of any size in Baroda ; but farther down it is 
joined by the Khari, the Meshwa, and the Vatrak, which drain outlying 
patches of the State. The Mahi only skirts the northern extremity of 
the Salvi taluka, and receives the waters of the Mesri, and a little lower 
down the united Goma and Karad, which flow for a few miles through 
part of Savli. The central part of the Savli taluka discharges its 
superfluous rain-water through the Meni, which falls into the Mahi, 
8 miles west of Baroda. The Narbada itself only skirts portions of 
the State ; but its northern tributary, the Orsang or Or, after being 
joined by the Unchh and Hiran, which drain the eastern part of the 
Sankheda taluka, brings it an important accession of water. The 
Tapti flows for a distance of 43 miles through and past Baroda territory 
in the Songarh and Vyara tdlukas. Farther down it flows for 23 miles 
through the Kamrej taluka, and to the north of Surat skirts the out- 
lying Baroda township of Variav for 2\ miles. The only river of im- 
portance in the Amreli prdnt is the Shatranji, which rises in the highest 
part of the Gir forest and drains the central portion of the division. 

The Baroda /;77«/ presents a great diversity of aspect, the reason for 
this being that south of the city of Baroda black soil extends for a 
distance of 40 miles to the Narbada, while all the country to the north 


of it is red soil. 'Ihe black soil, although very fertile, is remarkable for 
the desert-like appearance it gives to the country where it predominates, 
while where the surface soil becomes red, there is a complete change. 
The latter is cultivated from one end to the other, there are high 
hedges between the fields, and the view is shut in on every side by 
lofty trees such as abound in the neighbourhood of the capital. It is 
for this reason that the country between Baroda and Ahmadabad has 
often been said to present the appearance of an English park. The 
Kadi prdnt, consisting of an uninterrupted plain sloping gently from 
north-east to south-west, has a much more uniform and conse- 
quently less picturesque aspect. The western portion of the division is 
especially monotonous. The Navsari prdnt is the most variegated of 
the four divisions of the State, affording within a small compass the 
scenery of cultivated land, hills, rivers, forests, and seaboard. All the 
country to the north and north-east of Navsari is thickly wooded, and 
these woods run for some distance down into the more level plains of 
Gujarat along the Purna and Ambika rivers. The most hilly portion of 
the country is in the Songarh tdlnka. The inland tdhikas to the south- 
east of Navsari, and the country adjoining the Bansda State, are more 
level, but not so rich or well cultivated as the coast subdivisions. Still 
here and there clumps of forest appear, which become larger and bolder 
as an approach is made to the Dangs, where the wood is very thick. 
The Amreli //-<?«/, being, with the exception of the Gir, devoid of hills 
and containing no rivers of any importance, is decidedly unpicturesque. 
The Okhamandal division is, however, attractive, as it is on the sea- 
coast, and contains the important harbour of Dwarka. 

There are no large natural lakes worthy of the name ; but in the 
Kadi prdnt artificial tanks of more than ordinary dimensions exist, of 
which the Sarmishta at Vadnagar and the tanks in Visnagar and near 
Patan may be specially mentioned. The Baroda /n//// contains several 
large tanks, the most extensive being that of Maval in the Savli tdluka. 
The most important is, however, the great reservoir, almost deserving 
the name of lake, which has been constructed at Ajwa during the rule 
of the present Gaikwar, for the purpose of supplying the inhabitants of 
Baroda city with potable water. 

Our knowledge of the geology of the State is mainly due to Mr. R. 
Bruce Foote of the Geological Survey of India, who, in the years 1892-4, 
visited and carefully examined all the regions containing important 
minerals. The results arrived at by him were published in a memoir, 
entitled The Geology of Baroda State. 

In the Gujarat portion, recent subaerial formations, consisting mainly 
of the great loess or blown-loam deposit, cover by far the greater part 
of the country. They are underlaid by the old alluvium of the great 
rivers, which is nearly coextensive with them in the same area. 


but is, as a rule, exposed only in the deep-cut river valleys. To the 

south of Baroda city the loess itself is largely obscured by extensive 

sheets of black soil. The Deccan trap rocks stand second in respect 

of the area they occupy, and are followed, but at a long distance, by the 

eocene (Nummulitic) rocks. Archaean granites and gneisses, and the 

lower Cretaceous rocks, occupy about equal areas of small extent, while 

the Champaner quartzites, &c., are exposed over an area of only about 

3 square miles, in about twenty different small patches. The succession 

of the geological formations met with in the Kathiawar part of the 

State is shown in order in the following schedule : — 

T ,-, , f Alluvium and subaerial deposits. 

I. Recent \ ^^.,. ,. ^ 

( Miholite. 

TT r,, ,. f Dwarka beds. 

Il.leruary { ^.j ^^^^ 

III. Cretaceous — Deccan trap series. 
Of these the Deccan trap series is much the most important formation 
in every way, being in many parts of great thickness. The Tertiary 
Gaj and Dwarka beds are met with only in the Okhamandal tdhika. 

The vegetation of the greater part of Baroda territory is characteristic 
of a highly cultivated country, .so that beyond the regular crops the 
plants consist mainly of field-weeds, water or marsh plants growing in 
or fringing rivers, and species generally met with in hedges. The hilly 
portions of the State have a flora that is more or less characteristic of 
the Western Ghats generally. Among the weeds of cultivation the 
species are chiefly referable to the natural families Gramineae, about 
thirty species ; Leguminosae, about twenty species ; Cotnposifae, Labiatae, 
and Cyperaceae, about ten each ; Malvaceae, Scrophuhirineae, Convol- 
vi/Iaceae, Acanihaceae, Amarantaceae, and Euphorbiaceae, from six to 
eight each. Aquatic or marsh plants include Jussiaea repens, Trapa 
bispmosa, CaesuUa axillaris, Ipomoea aquatica, Hygrophila spinosa, 
Herpestis Monnieria, Polygonum glabrum, Hydrilla verticillata, Vallis- 
iieria spiralis, Ottelia alismoides, Aeluropiis villosus, Nymphaea Lotus, 
Nelumbiiim speciosum (both confined to ponds), and various Cyperaceae. 
In waste places and by road-sides are found Tridax procumbens, 
Achyranthes aspera, Coldenia procumbens, Evolvulus alsinoides, Tephrosia 
purpurea, Heylandia latebrosa, Waltheria indica, various species of Sida 
and Hibiscus, Hypoxis aurea, Chrozophora plicata, Jatropha gossypifolia, 
Argemone mexicana, Tribulus terrestris, Calotropis gigantea, Echinops 
echinatus, Solatium xanthocarpum. Datura fastuosa, Adhatoda Vasica, 
Clerodendron pJilomoides, Leonotis nepetaefolia, and various grasses such 
as species of Andropogon, Polytoca, and Apluda. Shrubs met with in 
waste places include Woodfordia floribunda. Cassia auriculata, and 
species of Capparis and Zizyphus. The more characteristic hedge- 
plants include species of J/i^^r/^'rt', Cadaba, Capparis, Zizyphus, Alangium, 


ConUa, Vifex Negimdo, one or two of the cactus-like Euphorbias, 
species of Phyllanthus, Flueggea, Jatropha, and at times Streblus asper. 
Mixed with the shrubs in these liedges are often various trees, the 
most characteristic being Bombax inalabaricum. Climbing in hedges 
are many Legiuni/iosae, Alefiispcrmaceae, Co/ivolvulacene, and Aschpia- 
daceae. Among planted trees and shrubs, or sometimes semi-wild in 
the neighbourhood of villages, may be mentioned Michelia Champaca, 
Artabotrys odoratissimus, Polyalthia longifo/ia, Afiona squamosa, Thes- 
pesia populnea, Greivia asiaiica, Aegle Marmelos, Zizyphus Jujuba, 
Mangifeni iiidica, Spondias iiia?igifera, Moringa pterygospcrma, Dal- 
bergia Sissoo, ro7igamia glabra, Poinciana e/ata, Parkinso/na aculeata, 
Tamarindus indica, Bauhinia variegata, Albizzta Lebbek, Acacia arabica, 
Psidium Guyava, Piinica Granatutn, Opuntia nigricans, Cordia Myxa, 
Bassia la/ifolia, Mimusops Elengi, Afillingtonia horfensis, several species 
of Ficus, Artocarpus integri/olia, Holoptelia integrifolia, Phoenix sylves- 
tris, and Borassus flabellifer. 

The wild animals to be found in the Baroda State are the same as 
those of Gujarat : namely, tiger, leopard, bear, hog, wolf, hyena, jackal, 
fox, sdmbar, spotted deer, barking-deer, chinkdra, ntlgai, antelope. 
Monkeys abound. Under game-birds may be noticed : the spur- 
winged goose, the common grey goose, wild duck, teal, peafowl, sand- 
grouse, partridge, quail, snipe, bustard, florican, plover, «&c. P'ish are 
to be found in great abundance in the Mahl and the Narbada. Inland 
in the Navsari division fishing is carried on in the Purna, Mindhola, 
and Ambika rivers. 

In the Baroda /rJ«/ the hottest months are May and June, when the 
maximum temperature is about 105°, though occasionally it rises to 
107° or even to iio"^. The minimum temperature during this period is 
about 80°. The rainy season usually sets in about the middle or latter 
part of June, and ends in October. During this period the climate is 
hot, moist, and very relaxing, with a maximum temperature of about 
86° and a minimum of 78°. The cold season, which commences in 
November and lasts for about four months, is dry and cool, the average 
maximum being about 90° and the minimum 50°. The coldest months 
are generally December and January, while the most unhealthy are 
September and October. The Kadi prdnt is the healthiest division of 
the State. In the hot season the temperature here is high, the average 
maximum being about 100° and the minimum 72°; bui the rainy 
season is pleasantly moist and cool, forming a great contrast to the 
Baroda division. Moreover, Kadi enjoys a moderately good cold 
season, lasting from November till the middle of February, with a 
maximum temperature of about 90° and a minimum of 51°. In the 
Navsari prant a distinction must be drawn between the rani or forest 
mahdls of Mahuva, Vyara, Songarh, and part of Velachha, which are 



unhealthy, and the rasfi mahdls of Navsari, Palsana, Kamrej, and 
Gandevi, where the cHmate is good. The rani mahdls are at all times 
insalubrious. In the rdsti inahdls, the healthiest tracts during the hot 
season are Navsari, Gandevi, and Bilimora. Here the close proximity 
of the sea maintains a moist and temperate climate ; and though the 
early part of the hot season is somewhat heavy and close, the regular 
sea-breezes, which set in towards the end of April, produce a most 
agreeable change. The maximum temperature during the hot season 
is 101° and the minimum 74°. In the rainy season the corresponding 
figures are 91° and 70°, and in the cold season 87° and 60°. In the 
Amreli prant the climate, except in the Dhari and Kodinar tdlukas, 
which are malarious and enervating, may be described as dry and 
salubrious. The hot season, which lasts from March to June, has an 
average maximum of 98° and a minimum of 84°. During this portion 
of the year fresh and cool breezes nearly always set in at evening. In 
the rainy season the maximum is 88° and the minimum 77°, while in 
the cold season the corresponding figures are 88° and 60°. 

In 1 88 1 it was calculated, probably on very imperfect data, that the 
average rainfall of the State amounted to 58 inches in Navsari, 37-3 in 
Baroda, 32 in Kadi, and 21-4 in Amreli. The similar averages arrived 
at for the decades 188 2-1 891 and 189 2- 19 -11 give the following 
result : — 










It will thus be noticed that, though the Southern Gujarat divisions are 
much more favoured than the northern ones, in the Navsari division 
rainfall appears to be steadily diminishing, and the same remark holds 
good with reference to Kadi. 

The history of the Baroda State as such dates only from the break-up 
of the Mughal empire. For previous events see 
Bombay Presidency and Gujarat. '^ ^* 

The first Maratha invasion of Gujarat took place in 1705. A few 
years later, in 1 7 1 2, a Maratha leader, Khande Rao Dabhade by name, 
became so powerful that he was able to exact a fourth of the effects of 
all travellers who did not purchase his passport. He afterwards took 
part in various battles with the Muhammadan viceroys, and finally 
returned to Satara, where he was created Senapati or commander-in- 
chief in 1 7 16. Four years later the emperor Muhammad Shah granted 
the Marathas the right to levy chaiith (a quarter of the revenues) in 


Gujarat. Khande Rao was some time afterwards present at the battle 
of Kalapur, wliere his troops behaved with great bravery; and it was on 
this occasion that one of his officers, Daniaji Gaikwar, distinguished 
himself so much that he obtained the title of Shamsher Bahadur, or 
the ' illustrious swordsman,' a title which has been borne by the 
Gaikwars ever since. In 1721 Khande Rao and Damaji both died, 
the former being succeeded l)y his son Trimbak Rao, and the latter 
by his nephew, Pilaji. 

Pilaji Gaikwar, who may be considered as the founder of the present 
ruling family, obtained the command of a paga, and thereafter dis- 
tinguished himself by his incursions into Gujarat. But in consequence 
of internal dissensions he was obliged to remove to Songarh, and it was 
from here that he conducted his future raids. Not only was Songarh, 
therefore, the cradle of the Gaikwar house, but it continued to be their 
head-quarters till 1766. For several years Pilaji, aided by other 
Maratha chiefs, invaded and exacted tribute from the Surat atthavisi 
or 'twenty-eight subdivisions.' In 1723 he marched on Surat itself, 
defeated the governor, and from that time began regularly to levy 
tribute in Gujarat, Help was afterwards afforded him by the Desais 
of Padra, Chhani, and Bhayali, by whose assistance he was enabled to 
direct his ravages as far as the Mahi river. In 1725, after establishing 
his claim to the districts south of the Mahl — namely, Baroda, Nandod, 
Champaner, Broach, and Surat — he returned to his stronghold of 
Songarh, while at about the same time his superior, the Senapati, 
established himself at Dabhoi, not far from Baroda, making this place, 
which had been captured by Pilaji, his regular head-quarters. Reverses 
now began to befall the Marathas, and for a time they almost lost the 
hold they had gained over Gujarat. Pilaji himself was forced to fly to 
Cambay, and thereafter to Sorath. But the Muhammadan viceroy, 
Sarbuland Khan, owing to want of succour from Delhi, rapidly lost 
ground in his turn, and was obliged to cede to Pilaji a share in the 
chauth of the districts south of the MahT. On the other hand, as Pilaji 
was the agent of the Peshwa's rival the Senapati, the Peshwa directed 
his own adherent, the Ponwar, to drive Pilaji out. Sarbuland Khan 
now came to terms with Peshwa Baji Rao, and promised him the 
chauth and sardeshmiikhi (an additional tenth), on condition that the 
Peshwa should support him against Pilaji and other Maratha leaders. 
Notwithstanding this, in 1727 Pilaji succeeded in capcuring both 
Baroda and Dabhoi. The next event that happened was that Sarbu- 
land Khan's grants to the Peshwa were not ratified at the Delhi court, 
and he was replaced as viceroy in 1730 by Abhai Singh, Raja of 
Jodhpur. As soon as the latter was in power, Bajl Rao concerted with 
him to oppose Pilaji, and, if possible, to turn him out of Baroda. For 
this purpose the Peshwa advanced to lay siege to that town in 1731, 



but was called away by the news that Nizam-ul-mulk's army was 
preparing to attack him. During his march he met the main army of 
the Senapati, who was supported by the Gaikwar, and utterly routed it. 
This was the celebrated battle of Bhilapur, which took place in 1731. 
Pilaji, who was grievously wounded, had again to retire to Songarh ; 
but, fortunately for him, the PeshwS did not deem it politic to crush 
completely the other Maratha chiefs, and so he nominated Pilaji as 
mutalik of the new Senapati, Jaswant Rao Dabhade (appointed in the 
place of his father, who had been slain in the battle). At the same 
time he conferred on Pilaji the title of Sena Khas Khel ('leader of 
the sovereign band '). Pilaji, as mutalik, had now all the resources 
of the Senapati at his disposal ; but his energetic career was put a stop 
to in 1732, when he was assassinated at Dakor by the agents of Abhai 

Pilaji was succeeded by his son Damaji, who at the beginning of his 
career had many troubles to contend with. Abhai Singh, taking 
advantage of the confusion into which the death of Pilaji had thrown 
the Marathas, marched rapidly on Baroda, and captured both the fort 
and the town. Damaji thereupon fell back upon Dabhoi, and busied 
himself with preparations for reprisals in the direction of Ahmadabad. 
This raid met with partial success, and he was also fortunate in other 
expeditions, the result being that Baroda was recaptured in 1734, since 
which date it has always been in the hands of the Gaikwars. After this 
event the Gaikwar's power began to develop rapidly, and Abhai Singh 
was consequently constrained in 1737 to abandon Gujarat altogether. 
Thereafter Momin Khan, who had succeeded Abhai Singh as Mughal 
viceroy, but found it difficult to maintain his position at Ahmadabad, 
summoned Rangoji, Damaji's general, to his assistance, promising that 
he would, with certain exceptions, grant the Gaikwar one-half of the 
revenue of Gujarat. This viceroy remained the ally of the Gaikwar 
until his death, in 1742. 

About this period Damaji's power increased very rapidly, in both 
Gujarat and Kathiawar. This may be inferred from his capture "of 
Bansah, near Ahmadabad, and from his demonstration against Broach, 
which was held by an agent for the Nizam, upon which occasion 
it is said that he succeeded in obtaining a share in the customs of the 
city. Moreover as the Senapati, Jaswant Rao Dabhade, had proved 
utterly incompetent for his situation, Damaji held the real power as 
agent for the late Senapati's widow ; so much so, that when she died 
in 1747, he was nominated deputy of the Peshwa in Gujarat. It was 
while his power was thus increasing that Damaji was incited to make 
an inroad into Malwa, which was very successful. After Momin Khan's 
death, Fida-ud-din was appointed viceroy. He began proceedings 
by vigorously attacking and defeating Rangoji ; but on the return 



of Damaji from Mahva, matters took a turn in favour of the Marathas. 
Fida-ud-din fled the country, Rangoji captured Petlad, and Damaji's 
brother, Khande Rao, established the rights of his family to share in the 
city of Ahmadabad. Meanwhile, there had been dissensions at Surat, 
which resulted, in 1751, in a share of the revenue of that city being 
granted to Damaji, an equal share being subsequently allotted to the 
Peshwa. In 1751 Damaji was called upon by Tarabai of Satara to 
rescue her grandson, the representative of Sivaji, from the Brahmans. 
In response to this request, he at once left Songarh with an army 
of 15,000 men, and attacked and defeated at Nimb a much stronger 
force which opposed his march. But disaster afterwards befell him, and 
he was finally hemmed in by the Peshwa's army. Damaji then offered 
to come to terms with the Peshwa ; but the latter, pretending to 
consider the matter, enticed him into his neighbourhood, and then 
suddenly seized him and imprisoned him at Poona. The Peshwa now 
made great efforts to wrest Gujarat from the Mughal and the Gaikwar 
party ; but failing in his attempts, he resolved to come to terms with 
Damaji, and the latter found himself obliged to accept the Peshwa's 
conditions, which involved the cession of half of Gujarat and of all 
future conquests. He was also to maintain 10,000 horse, to assist the 
Peshwa in time of need, and to pay 5^ lakhs as tribute. The next event 
of importance which took place was the campaign of Damaji and other 
powerful Maratha chiefs in 1753, which resulted in the fall of Ahmad- 
abad. From this time the Mughal authority in Gujarat practically 
came to an end, and the country was divided between the Peshwa 
and the Gaikwar, according to the terms previously settled. 

Damaji Gaikwar was one of the many great Maratha chiefs who 
marched to fight Ahmad Shah Durrani, and in the fatal struggle which 
took place on the plain of Panipat (1761) he and his troops distin- 
guished themselves highly. He was fortunate enough to escape death, 
and to make an honourable return to Gujarat. There he continued with 
undiminished vigour to crush the combined efforts of the Musalmans, 
who had hoped to win something by the great disaster which had 
befallen the Marathas. It was shortly after this that Damaji transferred 
his capital from Songarh to Patau (the ancient Anhilvada). Between 
1763 and 1766 he took possession of almost the whole of what is now 
the Kadi prdni, and thereafter added very considerably to his power 
and revenue by conquests in Kathiawar. He also levied tribute on 
the States of Idar and Rajpipla. The disaster at Panipat was shortly 
followed by the death of the Peshwa Balaji, when the rule passed to the 
youthful Madhava Rao, who was soon thwarted by his ambitious uncle, 
Raghunath Rao (Raghuba), with whom Damaji elected to make a close 
alliance. But in 1768 Madhava Rao defeated the allies at Dhodap, and 
captured Raghunath Rao and Damaji's son, Govind Rao. The most 


onerous terms were again exacted from the Gaikwar by the Peshwa ; 
and as Damaji himself died soon after the battle, it appeared as if the 
prosperity of his house had come to an end. 

Damaji left behind him six sons, of whom the eldest, Sayaji Rao, 
an idiot, and the second, Govind Rao, a weak and vacillating character, 
at once claimed the gaddi. These rivals were under the necessity 
of abiding by the arbitration of the Peshwa, who thereupon released 
Govind Rao from his imprisonment at Poona, and confirmed him 
in the title, but only after he had agreed to pay a very large sum. 
In the meantime, Fateh Singh, the youngest son of Damaji, occupied 
the city of Baroda on behalf of Sayaji Rao. In 177 r Fateh Singh 
proceeded to Poona, and there obtained a revision of the Peshwa's 
decision. Sayaji Rao, whose position, however, was always merely 
nominal, was now declared Sena Khas Khel, and Fateh Singh was 
appointed his miitdlik. These arrangements had, however, scarcely 
been completed, when Khande Rao, a younger son of Pilaji Gaikwar, 
on whom his father had bestowed the governorship of Kadi, began to 
disturb the country, first assisting one nephew and then the other, just 
as his policy dictated. Fateh Singh, being under the apprehension that 
in this disturbed state of affairs the Poona court would have little 
difficulty in acquiring Gujarat, returned from Poona to Baroda, and 
made overtures to the East India Company. In 1772, when Broach 
was taken by assault by the British, he entered into a treaty with the 
Bombay Government for a mutual participation in the revenues of the 
conquered districts. But further proposals of Fateh Singh being 
refused, he and Govind Rao were left for some time to fight out their 
quarrel by themselves. In the meanwhile, Raghuba, who had made 
himself Peshwa, reversed the decision given in favour of Sayaji Rao and 
recognized his old ally, Govind Rao, as Sena Khas Khel. Raghuba 
himself was soon after ousted from Poona by a Regency established on 
behalf of his infant grand-nephew (Madhava Rao II) ; but in March, 
1775, he obtained the support of the Bombay Government by the 
Treaty of Surat, under the sixth article of which he engaged himself to 
'procure from the Gaikwar a grant to the Company for ever of his share 
in the revenues of the town and pargana of Broach.' On this treaty 
being disallowed by the Supreme Government and replaced by the 
Treaty of Purandhar with the Poona Regency, the rival Gaikwars, who 
had been in continuous conflict, were again left to settle their own 
disputes. What followed is not accurately known ; but the upshot was 
that in February, 1778, Fateh Singh obtained from Poona the title of 
Sena Khas Khel, and Govind Rao had to be content with a jdgir 
of 2 lakhs. 

Fateh Singh devoted the first part of his undisturbed rule to an 
attempt to get back from the Company Broach and the districts 

D 2 


adjoining, which had lieen handed over by the Miirathas in virtue of the 
Treaty of Piirandhar (1776); l)ut his efforts were unsuccessful. In 
1779 a second war broke out between the Poona Regency and the 
British, and Fateli Singh entered into an alliance with the latter. This 
was ratiiied by a treaty made at Kandila (Dabhoi) in January, 1780, by 
the terms of which Fateh Singh was to become independent of the 
Peshwa, and was to retain his own share of Gujarat, while the British 
took the Peshwa's portion. This arrangement was afterwards virtually 
cancelled by the Treaty of Salbai. In February, 1780, Holkar and 
Sindhia, as the Peshwa's allies, crossed the Narbada and attacked 
Dabhoi, a town which was bravely defended by Mr. James Forbes 
(well-known as the author of the Oriental M€f?wirs). The war after- 
wards dragged on without any decided results, Fateh Singh remaining 
faithful to the British, notwithstanding the efforts of Sindhia to win 
him over. It was concluded by the Treaty of Salbai (May, 1782), the 
general effect of which was to leave the Gaikwar in his old position. 
He retained what he had before the commencement of the war, but he 
was for the future to pay tribute to Poona as usual. Fateh Singh died 
in December, 1789. 

In spite of the remonstrances of Govind Rao, another brother, 
Manaji, at once assumed the reins of government, and paid a large sum 
to Poona as nazar. Sindhia, however, supported the cause of Govind 
Rao, and the rivalry between the brothers was kept alive until Manaji's 
death, which occurred in August, 1793. The imbecile Sayaji Rao had 
died in the previous year. Govind Rao was now allowed to assume, or 
rather to purchase, the title of Sena Khas Khel. The demands made 
by the Poona court were so heavy that the Company was compelled to 
interfere in order to prevent the dismemberment of the Baroda State. 
Before entering his capital, Govind Rao had one more struggle, for 
a rebellion was raised against him by his own illegitimate son, Kanhoji. 
The latter was, however, betrayed by his own forces, and was obliged to 
surrender to his father. Afterwards he escaped and was joined in a fresh 
insurrection by Malhar Rao, the son of Khande Rao, previously men- 
tioned, who had died in 1 785. But the two quarrelled, Kanhoji was again 
betrayed and imprisoned, and Malhar Rao was forced to purchase peace. 
The matter of greatest interest which occurred during the rule of Govind 
Rao was his campaign against Aba Shelukar, who had been entrusted 
with the revenue management of the Ahmadabad district on behalf of 
the Peshwa. Several engagements took place, and finally Shelukar was 
betrayed by his own troops and imprisoned at Baroda. Hostilities now 
ceased, and the Peshwa in 1799, for the first time, leased the Ahmad- 
abad territory to the Gaikwar. Shortly afterwards, in September, 1800, 
Govind Rao died. 

Anand Rao, the eldest legitimate son of Govind Rao, succeeded ; 


but he was of weak mind, and his position was soon disputed by his 
illegitimate brother KanhojT and the latter's old ally Malhar Rao. Both 
parties appealed to the Bombay Government, which decided in favour 
of Anand Rao ; and in April, 1802, a force from Cam bay entered Kadi 
and established Anand Rao's authority. This was the first of many 
services rendered to the Baroda State by the Bombay Government, and 
the latter was not slow to claim an ample reward. A treat)' was signed in 
July, 1802, by which considerable territories were ceded to the Company, 
and the right of British interference in the case of anything improper 
or unjust being done by Anand Rao or his successors was acknowledged. 
From this time the authority of the British Resident at Baroda was 
paramount. It was at the same period that Holkar and Sindhia, who 
were at war with each other, covered Central India with their armies 
and threw covetous eyes on Gujarat. Holkar's attempt was at once 
frustrated ; but Sindhia's designs were more alarming, as he sent an 
army of 12,000 or 14,000 men in the direction of the northern dis- 
tricts. He was, however, pacified when, with the assistance of the 
British, he received 10 lakhs which he claimed to be due to him. 
In 1804 the Peshwa again renewed the lease of the Ahmadabad 
territory to the Gaikwar, for a term of ten years, at the rental of 
A,\ lakhs per annum. 

In April, 1805, a definitive treaty was concluded between the British 
Government and the State of Baroda, by which the establishment of 
a Subsidiary force and the cession of certain districts for its maintenance 
were settled. This treaty also contained articles to the effect that the 
foreign policy of the State should be conducted by the British, and 
that all differences with the Peshwa should be similarly arranged. 
Fateh Singh, a younger brother of Anand Rao, became a member of 
the State council in 1807, and gradually exercised increased powers. 
In 181 2 the celebrated Gangadhar Sastri became Minister. The rest- 
less intriguer, KanhojT, again endeavoured to subvert his brother's 
administration ; but the plot was discovered in good time, and Kanhoji 
was arrested and promptly deported to Madras. The long-pending 
claims of the Peshwa on the Gaikwar now came up for settlement ; 
and, as the political relations between the States were anything but 
friendly, it was feared that the lease of Ahmadabad would not be 
renewed. Gangadhar Sastri was accordingly deputed to negotiate at 
Poona. As a result of intrigues, set on foot by Sitaram, a dismissed 
Minister of Baroda, the Peshwa refused to listen to the terms offered 
by the Sastri, assigned the Ahmadabad farm to Trimbakji Danglia, 
and left all other points unsettled. While negotiations were still 
being carried on, Gangadhar Sastri was murdered. An attempt at 
a revolution in Sitaram's favour followed, but it proved abortive, and 
finally in 1816 the ex-Minister was deported to Navsari, 

;,S /'.I ROD. I STATE 

A confederacy of the great Maralhil cliiefs had lunv been formed, 
and the Peshwa was tampering witli Katcli Singh, while his agents were 
causing disturbances in Kathiawar. 'I"hc question of the Peshwa's 
claims on the (kiikwar was opened afresh, and matters proceeded so 
tar tliat every preparation for war between the British and the Peshwa 
had been made, when the latter suddenly gave way, the result being 
that a treaty was signed at Poona in 1817. Under this the Gaikwar 
became independent of the Peshwa, who surrendered all i)ast claims 
for an annual payment of 4 lakhs, the tribute of Kathiawar was ceded 
to the British, and Ahmadabad was farmed in perpetuity to the Gaikwar 
for \\ lakhs per annum. In November of the same year a supple- 
mental treaty was entered into with the Gaikwar, by which the latter 
consented to make additions to the Subsidiary force, ceded his share of 
Ahmadabad on payment of its estimated value, and obtained the 
province of Okhamandal and the island of Beyt, &c. It is unnecessary 
to describe here the wars which ensued almost immediately with BajT 
Rao Peshwa, the Raja of Nagpur, the Pindari hordes, and Holkar, 
during which Fateh Singh behaved as a stanch ally of the British. 
The reward for his valuable aid was the remission of the tribute of 
4 lakhs, due to the Peshwa, whose power was now destroyed. Shortly 
afterwards, in 1818, Fateh Singh died, and was succeeded in the 
regency by his younger brother, Sayaji Rao. Anand Rao himself died 
in 1 819, and Sayaji Rao ruled in his own name. 

In 1820 the commission, which, with the Resident at its head, had 
carried on the administration during the reign of Anand Rao, was 
abolished, and the Gaikwar appointed two Ministers, but, as he trusted 
neither, employed Mir Sarfaraz All to watch them both. The State 
was, however, in great pecuniary embarrassment ; and as the Gaikwar 
refused to follow the advice of the Resident, affairs, both financial and 
political, rapidly grew worse. After much delay Sayaji Rao consented 
to the issue of septennial leases of the mahdls to respectable men, 
instead of annual leases to persons of doubtful means and position. 
The intrigues which followed the adoption of this reform led to the 
dismissal of one of the Ministers and the appointment of two joint 
Dlwans. In 1828 Sir John Malcolm, Governor of Bombay, issued 
a proclamation announcing the temporary sequestration of Petlad, 
Dabhoi, Kadi, Amreli, &c., the annual value of which was estimated 
at 10 lakhs. And again in 1830, districts to the annual value of about 
ID lakhs were attached, in order to provide for the reorganization of 
the Contingent of 3,000 horse ; but this second sequestration was 
disapproved by the Court of Directors in 1832, and the territory was 
restored. In 1831 Sir John Malcolm was succeeded by Lord Clare, 
who attempted by conciliatory measures to undo the consequences of 
his predecessor's severity. Steps were taken to satisfy the creditors 


of the State, and the Gaikwar pledged liimself to keep the Contingent 
in an efficient condition. Unfortunately, however, a period of mis- 
government again began, and all remonstrances were unheeded. The 
deposition of Sayaji Rao was contemplated in 1838, but in 1839 he 
made a complete submission and expressed his desire to conform to 
the wishes of the Government. A better system of administration was 
introduced into that portion of Kathiawar which belonged to the 
Gaikwar, and compensation was paid for robberies committed by 
Baroda subjects. But corrupt practices still prevailed at Baroda, not 
only in and about the court, but also in the Resident's office, and 
intrigues were rampant. 

In 1847 Sayaji was succeeded by his eldest son, Ganpat Rao, who 
introduced many reforms into the State. Influenced by the Resident, 
he built roads, bridges, and sarais, planted wayside trees, prohibited 
infanticide and the sale of children, settled claims for robberies com- 
mitted in the State, and generally pursued a path of progress. In 1854 
the political supervision of Baroda was transferred from the Govern- 
ment of Bombay to the Supreme Government. The last year of 
Ganpat Rao's life (1856) was marked by his cession of land required 
for the construction of the Bombay, Baroda, and Central India 

As Ganpat Rao left no legitimate male issue, he was succeeded by 
the eldest of his surviving brothers, Khande Rao. During the Mutiny 
the young Gaikwar stood stanchly by the British, and assisted in 
maintaining peace and security in Gujarat. In 1862 he received the 
right of adoption. He was also created a G.C.S.I. Khande Rao, 
especially at the beginning of his reign, desired to improve the adminis- 
tration of the State, and introduced some beneficial changes ; but his 
fondness for the chase, jewels, d*plays, and buildings left him no 
money to spend on useful public works. However, he constructed the 
branch railway from Miyagam to Dabhoi, attempted to improve the 
land revenue system, and commenced a revenue survey. 

At the time of Khande Rao's death in 1870, his brother Malhar Rao, 
who had been engaged in a plot for his deposition, was a prisoner at 
Padra. But as he was the undisputed heir in default of legitimate 
sons, he was at once released and proclaimed Maharaja. From the 
outset Malhar Rao determined to take revenge for the sufferings he had 
endured at Padra, and consequently ill-treated Khande Rao's servants 
and dependents. The administration rapidly deteriorated, the weight 
of taxation was increased, and folly, extravagance, and cruelty prevailed. 
The Bombay Government, to which the direction of affairs in Baroda 
had been restored in i860, appointed Colonel Phayre as Resident, who 
devoted all his energies to exposing abuses. As a result of Colonel 
Phayre's strong representations, the Government of India appointed 


a Commission of inquii)-, whicli reported tlial tlie charge of general 
niiikulniinistration was proved. Malhar Rao was warnetl tliat he would 
he held responsihle, and called upon to effect thorough reforms before 
the end of 1875. In consequence of the strained relations between the 
Resident and the Maharaja, it was determined to appoint Colonel Sir 
Lewis Pelly, in i)lace of Colonel Phayre, as Special Commissioner and 
Agent to the Governor-General. Meanwhile, in November, 1874, an 
attempt to poison Colonel Phayre was reported. Sir Lewis Pelly 
arrived in December and assumed the virtual direction of the adminis- 
tration. Inquiries were made into the poisoning case ; and the 
Government of India issued a proclamation in January, 1875, notifying 
that the Gaikwar had been arrested, and that, pending the result of an 
investigation by a Commission, they had assumed the administration 
of the State. The ("ommission, which was presided over by Sir 
Richard Couch, Chief Justice of Bengal, was not unanimous in its 
finding. The three English members came to the conclusion that an 
attempt to poison Colonel Phayre had been instigated by Malhar Rao, 
while the three native members did not consider him guilty. It was 
finally decided, as stated in a proclamation issued in 1875, that the 
Maharaja must be deposed, ' not because the British Government have 
assumed that the result of the inquiry has been to prove the truth of 
the imputation against His Highness, but because, having regard to all 
the circumstances relating to the affairs of Baroda from the accession 
of His Highness Malhar Rao, his notorious misconduct, his gross 
misgovernment of the State, and his evident incapacity to carry into 
effect necessary reforms,' the step was imperatively called for. In 
accordance with this resolution, Malhar Rao was at once deported to 
Madras, where he resided under the surveillance of a British officer 
until his death in 1893. 

Jamnabai, widow of Khande Rao, returned to Baroda, and, with the 
consent of the Government of India, formally adopted as the son and 
heir of Khande Rao, with the name of Sayaji Rao, a boy of thirteen 
years of age, who was descended from a distant branch of the family. 
During his minority the administration was conducted by Raja 
Sir T. Madhava Rao as Dlwan, and great reforms were inaugurated in 
every branch of the service. The finances were restored to a healthy 
condition, an efficient revenue system was introduced, vexatious taxes 
were swept away, the judicial, police, medical, and educational depart- 
ments were reorganized, the system of railways was widely extended, 
and public buildings were erected in all parts of the State. In 1881 
Sayaji Rao, whose education had been carefully supervised by a 
European tutor, was formally installed and invested with full powers. 
He immediately commenced his career by entering vigorously into 
every detail of the administration, as will be described below. He 


bears the hereditary title of Maharaja, and is entitled to a salute of 
21 guns. 

The style of architecture, as in the rest of Gujarat, is that sometimes 
called Jain, though many of the finest temples are Hindu. It is 
remarkable that the art is still living, and has not been replaced by 
inferior work in brick and plaster, as in some parts of India. The 
temples are distinguished by tapering spires or sikharas, ornamented 
gateways, halls or 77iandapas, and ornamental archways in front of the 
main buildings. The earliest buildings were probably of brick ; but 
later the sandstone of northern Kathiawar came into use, while white 
marble was also employed, though the latter material has been carried 
away and burnt for lime. Many temples were destroyed by the 
Muhammadans. The chief remains now existing are at Patan, 
SiDHPUR, MoDHERA, Dabhoi, and Vadnagar ; but a number of places 
still await examination. 

The table on p. 77 shows the chief statistics of population in 1901. 

The density of population for the whole State is 229 persons per square 

mile, ranging from 147 in Amreli to 288 in the Baroda _ . . 

- . , J- . • T , ,, • , 1 r Population. 

prant, excludmg the city, in the small island ot 

Beyt and in the city of Baroda the density is far greater, rising to 

1,153 ^"d 11,532 persons per square mile. The rural population is 

about three times as great as that of the towns. 

In 1872 the population was estimated at 2,004,442, while in 1881 it 
was 2,185,005, an increase of 9 per cent. In 1891 the number further 
rose to 2,415,396, or by 10-7 percent. Ten years later the population 
was only 1,952,692, a decrease of 19 per cent. This diminution, chiefly 
due to the effects of plague and famine, was not uniform for all parts 
of the State ; for while in Amreli and Navsari the decrease was 3-7 per 
cent, and 5-9 per cent, respectively, in Baroda it was 22-8 per cent, and 
in Kadi 24 per cent. The city of Baroda lost io-8 per cent, of its 
population in the same period. 

Of the total population in 1901, 1,546,992 were returned as Hindus, 
176,250 as Animists, 165,014 as Musalmans, 48,290 as Jains, 8,409 as 
Parsis, 7,691 as Christians, 38 as Sikhs, and 8 as Jews. Taking the 
three main sects of Hindus, Saivas numbered 276,489, Saktas 260,096, 
and Vaishnavas 1,010,351, The Jains are divided into three sects: 
the Swetambari with 34,410 adherents, the Digambari with 9,599, 
and the Dhundhia with 4,281. Musalmans have two main sects : 
the Sunnis, 129,508, and the Shiahs, 35,506, The ParsTs may also 
be divided into two sects: the Shahanshahis (or Shenshais), 6,010 
in number, and the Kadlmis, 2,399. Animists include all members 
of the forest tribes who are neither Hindus, Musalmans, nor Chris- 

The age statistics, as elsewhere, are unreliable, and only a few 


general conclusions can be drawn fVoni ihe results of the Census. Of 
the total population, children under the age of 5 formed only 10 per 
cent., those from 5 to 15 formed 25 per cent., adults between 15 and 40 
ft)rmed 45 per cent., and those above 40 formed 20 per cent. These 
figures point to the effects of famine, and a comparison between the 
statistics of 1891 and 1901 shows still more clearly the disastrous nature 
of the decade. While the decrease in population at all ages was 
19-2 per cent., the number of children under 10 fell by 35-6 per cent., 
and the number of persons over 60 by 40-6 per cent. The mean age 
for males is 23-56, and for females 23-76. 

Except in the city of Baroda, no rules are in force requiring the 
registration of births or deaths, but it has been the custom for the 
police ax\d pdtels io make monthly reports through the tdiuka officers 
to the Sanitary Commissioner. More effective regulations have, how- 
ever, been made for the future. In 1899- 1900 the recorded birth-rate 
was 13 per thousand, and the death-rate 54-5. That year was, how- 
ever, one of great distress, and during the previous five years mortality 
had averaged only 17-7 per thousand. In 1904-5 the births reported 
were 22-3 per thousand and the deaths 24-7. More than half the 
deaths are ascribed to fever, but the diagnosis, as usual, is faulty. 
Guinea-worm is common in Okhamandal and Kodinar, Epidemics 
of cholera and small-pox are not uncommon, and 39,300 deaths from 
the former and 6,300 from the latter disease were recorded in the 
decade ending 1900-1: 

Plague made its first appearance in the latter part of 1897, and since 
that time has caused considerable ravages. By the end of 1904-5 the 
number of deaths due to this cause alone was 44,251, but here again 
the statistics are not very trustworthy. The worst year was 1903-4, in 
which nearly 15,000 deaths were recorded. In the beginning of the 
plague epidemic the measures resorted to by the State were much the 
same as those adopted in British territory. A great portion of the city 
of Baroda was evacuated, and the people were located in sheds erected 
in fields outside. Persons coming from other affected parts were quar- 
antined for a minimum period of ten days. All houses were white- 
washed, and disinfectants were freely used. A similar course was adopted 
at Petlad, Navsari, and other towns. But as forcible segregation and 
other coercive proceedings led to no appreciable benefit, the only 
preventive measures now in force are thorough cleansing, disinfection, 
and the distribution of medicine. 

Males exceed females by 64,576, the former numbering 1,008,634 
and the latter 944,058. This deficiency of females is a characteristic 
of Gujarat generally. Taking the different religions, it appears that 
among the Hindus there are 929 females to every 1,000 males, among 
the Jains 951, among the Musalmans 956, among the Christians 819, 



and among the Animists 971. The Parsis form an exception, the rates 
for this community being 1,265 females per 1,000 males. 

Of the whole population, 35-2 per cent, of both sexes are unmarried, 
50-1 per cent, married, and 14*7 per cent, widowed. The following 
table compares the actual numbers of either sex in 1891 and 1901: — 









Married . 
NV id owed . 


646,.^ 15 




687,21 1 



422, fi5 




Among Hindus the first decade of life includes 1,584 widows and 
21,431 wives, while the next age period (10-15) includes 4,287 widows 
and 54,955 wives. Thus before reaching what is considered in most 
countries the marriageable age, there are already in this State 5,871 
widows and 76,386 girl-wives. At each age-period the number of 
widows increases until the maximum is reached at the ages 40-5. 
The number of widowers is also greatest at this period. Nearly 5 1 per 
cent, of Hindus are married, 48 per cent, of Jains and Musalmans, 
47 per cent, of Animists, and 44 per cent, of Parsis. 

Every Hindu considers that his eternal welfare depends upon his 
having a son, while the custom of marrying girls at a tender age is very 
common. Hence arise early and unequal marriages, polygamy, early 
maternity, a high birth-rate, a terrible mortality among children and 
child-mothers, early decay in both sexes, and a surplus of widows. 
Steps have, however, been taken to minimize these evils by the passing 
of Acts to legalize the remarriage of widows (1902), and to discourage 
the marriage of infants (1904). The latter measure forbids the marriage 
of girls under 1 2, except with the permission of a court, and in the first 
year of working 718 offenders were fined under its provisions. In such 
castes as the AudTchya Brahmans polygamy prevails, because the num- 
ber of marriageable girls is greater than that of the males. Polygamy 
is also found among the Rajputs and some other castes. Divorce is 
allowed among many castes of Hindus, especially the lower ones which 
permit widow remarriage. Sometimes it is obtained under caste rules, 
while at other times people resort to the courts. 

Practically the whole population speak languages of the Indo- 
European family, only 453 speakers of Dravidian languages, 4 of 
Mongolian languages, and 153 of Semitic languages being recorded. 
In the first group the number of persons speaking GujaratI is 1,773,594, 
Marathi 38,605, and Hindustani or Urdu 68,815. There are also 
many Bhil and Gipsy dialects, the former being spoken by 68,503 


At the Census of 1901 castes were classified, according to the tra- 
ditional arrangement, in four groups. Brahmans number 145,000, or 
9 per cent, of the total Hindu population. The principal class is that 
of (lujarati Bralimans, who number 128,000. Maratha Brahmans are 
comparatively numerous (14,000). The representatives of the Kshat- 
triyas (106,200) were arranged according to their traditional occupations 
as warriors (90,500), traders (11,500), and writers (4,200), the first class 
containing 59,000 Rajputs. Similarly the Vaisyas (459,000) may be 
divided into Hanias or traders (48,000), and Kunbis (411,000), who are 
agriculturists. TheSudras are divided into 'clean' castes and 'un- 
clean.' Among the former are found a large number of occupational 
groups, none of which is singly of great importance except the Kolls 
(325,000). More than half the unclean classes are included in the 
Dheds (94,000). Most of the Jains are Banias (39,500). The Animists 
differ in physical type from the Hindus and Jains, being short in stature, 
with broad flat noses and faces, and much darker in colour. The 
most numerous of these tribes are the Gamits (38,200), Bhils (37,700), 
Dublas (28,500), and Chodhras (23,300). Among Musalmans the most 
numerous groups are Arabs (29,700) and Shaikhs (56,700), the latter 
being largely descended from Hindu ancestors. 

The Girasias, Kathis, Marathas, and Waghers, whose traditional 
occupation is military service, have maintained this to some extent, 
but nowadays many have taken to agricultural or other pursuits. The 
cultivators, who are generally Kunbis, Kolis, or Malis, scarcely ever 
follow any other occupation. The Rabaris, again, who are graziers and 
cultivators, remain almost constant to their hereditary employment, 
only 10 per cent, resorting to other occupations. With the Brahmans 
the case is different, as many of the caste have taken largely to agricul- 
ture. Most of the Prabhus or writers are employed in service, while 
about one-third of the Banias still follow their traditional occupation 
of trade and commerce, the remainder devoting themselves to service 
and agriculture. 

Of the total population, the number of actual workers of both sexes 
is about 47 per cent., and of these nearly 68 per cent, are males. Agri- 
culture and pasture support 54 per cent, of the people, the preparation 
and supply of material substances 14 per cent., unskilled labour 13 per 
cent., personal services 5 per cent., and commerce 4 per cent. 

The staple food of the higher-class Hindus consists generally of rice, 
wheat, pulse, and hdjra. Vegetables of all kinds are freely used, cooked 
with ghl^ salt, spices, turmeric, &:c. Cakes made from bdjra and wheat- 
flour are partaken of with milk, for both dinner and supper. Among 
agriculturists, however, the usual food is khichri (a spiced mixture of 
rice and tuver) and curry. The poorer classes use jowdr as their chief 
food-grain, and also kodra, bavto, and l>a?ifi. 


Dhotars or waistcloths form the common dress of Hindus. The 
upper garments worn by males of the better class are Imdans and 
/Hindis reaching from the neck to the waist, and angarkhas extending 
as far as the knees. Many educated Hindus, however, now wear shirts, 
coats, and pantaloons. Females wear chanios or petticoat sd//ds, and 
cho/ls or bodices with sleeves as far as the elbows. The poorer classes 
do not use cholls. 

In large towns the dwelling-houses are often situated in court-yards 
with one entrance only, called khadkis. This was necessitated by the 
want of safety in former days. The houses of the rich are built of 
brick, and have usually two storeys and an average of seven rooms. 
The poor live in mud huts with one floor only, and usually two 

The chief outdoor games played by the young are gil/i-dando, attiso- 
iiiaffiso, amla-pipli, &c. These all involve running and catching, and 
are very popular. In towns indoor amusements, such as cards, chess, 
&c., are more resorted to. 

The Dewali holidays, which occur during October or November, are 
the most noteworthy of the Hindu festivals. The temples are filled 
with devotees, the people put on their best attire, and the streets and 
houses are illuminated with lamps. At this time merchants and shop- 
keepers worship their account-books and open new ones. The HolT 
takes place in February or March, the Makar Sankranti in January. 
Other festivals are the Maha Sivaratri, the Rama Navami, and the 
Janma Ashtami. In the city of Baroda the Muhammadan festival of 
the Muharram is patronized by the Gaikwar, and many Hindus join 
in the procession. But the greatest of all attractions to the people 
is probably the Dasara procession, which generally takes place in 

The soils are mainly alluvial, except in the hilly parts of the Navsari 

and Amreli prdnfs, and in the south-east corner of the Baroda prdnt, 

where they are mostly formed by the disintegration . . , 

■ AsriculturCa 

of the underlying rocks. These alluvial soils may 

roughly be divided into gordt or light red (sand and sandy loams), besdr 

or mixed (loams), and kdl'i or black. The land is generally flat, here 

and there relieved by small hills, and in consequence the ground is easy 

to work. This, however, is not the case in the 7-dni tnahdis of the 

Navsari prdnt, which are mountainous, or in the eastern parts of the 

Baroda prdnt, which are hilly and wooded. The rainfall in different 

parts has already been referred to. 

Crops are mainly divided into the 'rains' or kharif cro^s and the 

' dry ' or rabi crops. The former are sown in June or July, and reaped 

in October or November ; the latter are sown in October or November, 

and reaped in March or April. In the Navsari prdnt the gordt lands 


produce all kinds oijardyat or 'dry' and /nJi^dydf or garden crops, while 
the crops raised on black soil are rice, cotton, jowdr, wheat, inver, bdjra, 
and adad. Of these, rice and cotton flourish best, the remaining crops 
being deficient in out-turn and of inferior quality. In the Baroda /n;;//, 
Kahnani is famous for its superior black soil, which produces cotton 
and rice in abundance. This soil requires no manure, and is not irri- 
gated, so that garden cultivation does not exist. The ^^orat soil is 
generally irrigated, and wherever this is possible it yields large returns. 
It is specially utilized for the growth oi bdjra. The best kind oi gordt 
is found near Petlad, in Charotar, and is especially suited to tobacco. 
In the Kadi prdiit the soil is well adapted for the cultivation of poppy 
for opium, and in Amreli for the cultivation of cotton. The agricultural 
implements used in different parts of the State are of simple construc- 
tion. They include the mattock {koddli), the hoe (kharpi), the small 
plough {Jwl)^ the large plough {ndgar), and the sickle {ddtardu). The 
small plough serves only to scratch up the surface of the soil. The 
ndgar, which resembles the hoi in construction but is much heavier, 
is employed mostly in the cultivation of sugar-cane. 

In the whole State 1,014,027 persons, or 52 per cent, of the total, are 
supported by agriculture, of whom 45 per cent, are actual workers and 
55 per cent, are dependents. The proportion is lowest in the Amreli 
prdnt (40-7 per cent.), as the soil here is difficult to work. It rises to 
66-2 per cent, in Navsari, because the only pursuit followed by the 
forest tribes, who are numerous there, is agriculture. 

The principal crops are rice {Oryza sativa), bdjra {Pennisetum 
typhoideum), jowdr {Sorghum vulgare), wheat {Triiiciim sativum), fiiath 
{Phaseohis aco>iitifolius), gram {Cicer arietinum), adad {Thaseolus 
radiatus), tuver {Cajanus indicus), vdl {Dolkhos Lablab), chola {Vig//a 
Catiang), kodra {Paspalum scrobiculatum), ndgli {Eleusine coracana), 
bdvto {Patiicum frumentaceiim), banti {Panicum spkatum), vatana {Pisum 
sativum), mag {Phaseohis Mungo), castor-oil {Rid/ms cot?imiinis), til 
{Sesamum indicutn), rapeseed (Brassica campestris), poppy {Papaver 
somniferuui), cotton {Gossypium herbaceum), ^a/z-hemp {Crotalaria 
juncea), tobacco {Nicotiana Tabacum), sugar-cane {Saccharum officina- 
rum), maize {Zea Mays), and kasmnbo {Carthamus tinctorius). 

Rice is generally manured with from five to ten cartloads of cattle- 
dung per blgha \ When available, tank mud is used as manure at the 
rate of ten to fifteen cartloads per blgha. With this treatment, it is 
calculated that from the best rice soils a return of 1 2 cwt. per acre may 
be expected. The crop is sown in June and July, and harvested in 

Bdjra, which is the staple food of the people, is generally sown as 
a mixed crop, except in Amreli. The land is manured either every 

' Seven bighas are equal to 4 acres. 


year, or every alternate year, with farm-yard manure, at tlie rate 
of five or six cartloads per Ingha. The average yield per acre is from 
5 to 9 cwt. It is sown in June and July, and harvesting begins in 

For the growth o{ jowdr, another staple food, five to eight cartloads 
of cattle manure are ap[)lied to each l>igka, and the yield varies from 

4 to 9 cwt. per acre. It is usually sown in July and harvested from 

In Navsari wheat is grown without irrigation, while in Baroda, Kadi, 
and Amreli irrigation is necessary. In Amreli farm -yard manure is 
directly applied to the land set apart for wheat, but in other parts 
manure is used only for the kharlf crops sown before the wheat. Of 
this grain there are about five kinds, and the yield varies from 4 to 
1 1 cwt. per acre. It is sown in October and November, and reaped in 

Gram is usually sown after the rice has been harvested, and gives an 
out-turn of from 7 to 1 1 cwt. per acre. It is sown in November and 
harvested in March. 

Tiiver is generally grown in gorat soil, the average yield being about 

5 cwt. per acre. It is sown in June and July, and harvesting begins in 

The best kind of rapeseed is grown in Kadi, on land which has been 
left fallow for four months. It is a crop which does not require any 
watering, and gives a yield of from 400 to 600 lb. per acre. It is sown 
in November and reaped in March. 

It is a general rule when cotton is grown on black soil that the field 
remains fallow for one year, so that every year in cotton-producing 
tracts half the cultivable land remains untilled. It is generally sown 
mixed with rice in Baroda, and after the latter has been harvested the 
cotton grows rapidly. No manure is required, and the yield is from 
4 to 6 cwt. per acre. Rojl or indigenous cotton is also grown on gordt 
soil, and in this case farm-yard manure is applied. It is sown in June 
and July, and picking takes place in February and March, sometimes 
as early as December, and sometimes as late as April, according to the 

In the growth of sugar-cane a rotation is always observed. Its pro- 
duction so impoverishes the soil that it is not planted again in the same 
field for at least four or five years. In the Baroda prdnt 5rt;i-hemp or 
Jowar is sown as a green manure in the monsoon, and in winter the fields 
are ploughed and prepared for sugar-cane. In Navsari and Amreli the 
method followed is much the same, though the green crops previously 
sown are different. The juice of the cane is turned into molasses, 
a product widely exported to all parts of Gujarat. In Navsari the 
canes are cut in November or December after a year's growth. 


Tobacco is a staple produce of Petlad and the vicinity. It is grown 
in gordt soil and requires frequent irrigation, as well as from twelve to 
fifteen cartloads of farm-yard manure per b'lgha. In Petlad the crop 
can be grown continuously on the same field for some years ; and then 
an interval of two years, during which rice or bajra is planted, must 
elapse before tobacco can again be sown. The yield is from 7 to 
10 cwt. per acre. It is sown in nurseries in June, transplanted in about 
a couple of months, and cut in February or March. 

Poppy is grown in Kadi. Land intended for this crop is generally 
left fallow for about four months and ploughed several times before the 
seed is sown. In some places, however, it is usual to take a crop 
of bajra before utilizing the land for poppy. Manure is applied at the 
rate of twelve to fifteen cartloads per bigha every third year, and 
irrigation is necessary. The average yield is estimated at 1 2 lb. of crude 
opium per acre ; but the out-turn is always a matter of uncertainty, as 
this crop is easily influenced by changes of weather. Poppy is sown in 
October or November, and the collection of the juice takes place 
in February and March. 

During the rainy season various species of Cucurbitaceae, suran or 
elephant-foot, sweet potatoes, &c., are grown ; but most garden crops 
mature in the cold season or early summer. Potatoes are planted in 
small patches near the large towns. They require manure in the form 
of cattle-dung, oilcake, and night-soil, and also irrigation. Brinjdls 
and chillies are cultivated wherever irrigation is available, the brinjdls 
of Kathor being especially famous. Onions are abundant, a white 
variety being largely cultivated in the Amreli prdtit at Kodinar. Garlic 
and radishes are plentiful everywhere. Ginger is largely grown in 
Baroda and Navsari. For this crop it is found that bundles of rotten 
hemp form an excellent manure. Carrots are cultivated everywhere, 
and in some parts, chiefly in Amreli, are used exclusively for fodder. 
Various native vegetables are grown in abundance, and of late years 
tomatoes have been introduced. Among the chief fruits are the mango, 
plantain, pomegranate, pummelo, guava, pineapple, lime, custard-apple, 
fig, and melon. 

A table attached to this article (p. 77) gives statistics of cultivation 
for a series of years. In 1904-5 the total cultivated area was 3,751 
square miles, of which cotton occupied 24 per cent., and bdjra and 
jozvdr about 20 per cent. each. 

A State Agricultural department has been established, under a Director, 
to give assistance to the cultivators in all possible ways. A large farm, 
with a school attached, has been founded at Baroda, where assistant 
masters of vernacular schools are trained as agricultural teachers in 
village schools, a few officials are instructed in the principles of ento- 
mological research, and agriculture is taught to ordinary students. 



At Songarh also a school has been opened, and the farm attached to it 
is entirely worked by the students. A class for sericulture was opened 
in 1904. The department also concerns itself with cattle-breeding, and 
the establishment of seed and manure depots. Travelling instructors 
have been appointed who lecture to cultivators, and endeavour to 
introduce new crops and improved methods and implements. The 
most successful innovation so far has been the introduction of the 
potato, but selected seed of crops already grown is also in demand. A 
State entomologist was appointed in 1905. 

Experiments in agriculture are carried on at the Baroda and Songarh 
model farms, and occasionally in the fields of intelligent cultivators. 
At the Baroda farm attention is chiefly paid to the improved growth 
of the principal crops of the vicinity, and also to the curing of tobacco 
leaf, while at Songarh Jo7vdr, rice, and cotton are mostly experimented 
on. The cultivators take much interest in these farms, and have begun 
to imitate some of the improved processes followed there. 

Advances are regularly made for agricultural improvements, especially 
the construction of wells. In ordinary years from i to 2 lakhs are pro- 
vided for this purpose, the loans being repayable in thirty years, and no 
interest being charged for advances of less than Rs. 500. Advances 
are also made, at easy rates, for the purchase of seed and bullocks, 
amounting to about 2^ lakhs in 1902-3 and 1903-4. Owing to the 
unfavourable season larger amounts were advanced in 1904—5, the 
total being 4-8 lakhs. 

Agricultural banks have been opened at Songarh (1899) and Harij 
(1900), which are practically financed and managed by the State. 
Advances in cash or kind are made to cultivators at the rate of 6j^ per 
cent, interest, and the State profits are limited to 3 per cent., the surplus 
being credited to a reserve or distributed as a bonus. The banks also 
buy and sell produce and agricultural requisites. About Rs. 18,000 
was advanced in 1904-5. An Act to regulate the formation of 
co-operative credit societies has recently been passed. 

The indebtedness of the cultivators is considerable, and few men 
with average holdings do not owe something to the money-lender. 
Money is borrowed by the poorer ryots not merely for marriage and 
other festivals, but also for the purchase of grain and manure. The 
ordinary rate of interest varies from 9 to 15 per cent. As in British 
India, the cultivators still deal largely with money-lenders, instead of 
applying for loans from the State. Advances are regularly given to 
cultivators of poppy. 

The horses and ponies of the country are very indifferent. The best 
breeds are to be found in Kathiawar. Two breeds of cattle may 
be mentioned, the Desi and the Kankreji. The former are found in all 
parts of the Baroda and Navsari profits. They are of small size, the 



cows give little milk, and the bullocks, though fast, are unfit for heavy 
draught. The Kankreji breed is well-known throughout Gujarat, and 
is much esteemed for the size of the bullocks. These large and powerful 
animals are suited for ploughing and other heavy work. Good bullocks 
of this breed sometimes sell for Rs. 200 to Rs. 250 a pair. In the 
Amreli prant the Gir cattle are the most celebrated. They are smaller 
than the Kankreji kind, but the milch cows give a rich and abundant 
supply of milk. Buffaloes, goats, and sheep are kept everywhere, but 
there is nothing special to be noted about them. An attempt has been 
made to improve the breed of buffaloes. 

In many villages pasture land is set apart for cattle. Bullocks 
employed in heavy work are fed on hay, millet stalks, and sometimes 
gram. Cotton-seed is given to buffaloes to increase the supply of milk. 
Grass is generally abundant in all parts of the State ; but in the recent 
famines it failed, and many cattle were lost. Fairs are held in a few 
places for the sale of cattle. The most important is the weekly fair 
at Baroda. 

The two most prominent cattle epidemics are rinderpest and foot-and- 
mouth disease. The former proves fatal in nearly all cases, while the 
latter is not so dangerous. There are two veterinary dispensaries, at 
Baroda city and Mehsana. The surgeons in charge are required to tour 
when cattle-disease breaks out, and give their advice and assistance. 
In 1904—5 the total number of animals treated in the dispensaries 
was 2,049. 

With the exception of the black cotton soil, all the cultivable lands 
can be irrigated. The chief crops which require irrigation are tobacco, 
sugar-cane, poppy, and vegetables. Even the black cotton soil repays 
irrigation if water can be had at moderate depths. 

The irrigation works constructed by the State include a number of 
tanks, with small distributing channels. Some of the larger works have 
not been successful, owing to deficient rainfall or the need for further 
storage reservoirs and other subsidiary works. The most important 
is a reservoir at Kadarpur in the Kadi/n?«/, which cost 3-8 lakhs, and 
will irrigate about 1,500 acres. The largest project is the Orsang weir 
in the Sankheda taluka, which supplies a canal 6 miles long, and is 
designed to irrigate 20,000 acres. It has cost 5-2 lakhs up to the 
present, and the completed works will cost about 20 lakhs. Indigenous 
irrigation is chiefly carried on by means of wells, as very few tanks hold 
a considerable supply of water after the close of the cold season. The 
country is not wanting in streams ; but most of them either run dry in 
the summer months, or fall so low that water cannot be conveyed by 
canals to the land. The usual water-lift is a large leathern bag con- 
taining about 16 gallons of water, which is drawn up by a pair of 
bullocks moving down an incline. Two men are required, one to drive 


the bullocks, and the other to empty the bag when it has arrived at the 
top of the well. The Persian wheel is also occasionally used. Where 
water is near the surface, it is raised in a sitpde or charaidu. The former 
is a rectangular vessel with a rope on each side, worked by two men, 
who simply scoop the water up. The charaidu is a vessel with its 
length greater than its breadth, and having one end broader than the 
other. It is fixed on a pivot, and the broad end is lowered into the 
water and then raised, so that the water flows down. The average cost 
of a masonry well varies from Rs. 200 to Rs. 2,000, while that of an 
unbricked well varies from Rs. 10 to Rs. 35, according to the depth 
of spring-level. The total irrigated area is estimated at 184,283 acres. 
In addition to the land revenue, a cess is levied on irrigation. This 
takes different forms. In some tracts the cess is levied at varying rates 
according to the depth of subsoil water. In others all land round 
a well is charged, while sometimes the rate is paid on the well itself as 
long as it is used for irrigation. The nominal demand is about 2-7 lakhs, 
but scarcely half this sum is recovered. 

The greater part of the State is held on ryotivdri tenure, and the 
payments made by the cultivators are thus revenue rather than rent. 
Holders of large areas, however, being unable or 
unwilling to cultivate the whole of their land them- ^^^ oriels ' 
selves, sublet to others at the highest rates they can 
obtain. In prosperous years the rents thus paid are sometimes double 
or treble the State assessment on the land. Persons holding on the 
narva, bhdgddr, or bhdrkhali tenures, described below under Land 
Revenue (p. 64), also collect rent from the actual cultivators. In all these 
cases rent is sometimes paid in kind, at the rate of one-third or one- 
half of the crop grown. 

Among skilled labourers the carpenter earns the highest wages. At 
Baroda his daily pay varies from 10 annas to a rupee or more, while 
elsewhere he receives from 8 to 12 annas. A blacksmith gets from 
10 to 13 annas a day at Baroda, and 6 to 9 annas in other parts of 
the State. A mason can earn daily at Baroda from 10 to 14 annas, 
or from 8 to 12 annas outside the city. The rates for other classes 
of skilled labour vary from 4 to 6 annas. The wages of agricultural 
labour are fairly uniform throughout the State, varying from 3 to 
4 annas a day. Labourers who work as porters earn similar amounts, 
but at Baroda and other important places which have railway stations 
their earnings often exceed 8 annas. The wages of other labourers 
vary from 2 to 3 annas a day. 

Payment of wages in kind still prevails, especially in villages. Agri- 
cultural labourers who are permanent servants are provided by their 
masters with food, clothing, &c., and a small annual cash payment. 
Casual labour, at the time of weeding and harvest, is in some places 

E 2 



reiiuinerated by cooked food once a day in addition to a small cash 
payment. Again, at marriages or on other occasions villagers often 
secure the services of artisans and labourers in return for thuir food 
and a small money allowance. 

Statistics of prices for a series of years are not available. There 
is little variation in different parts of the State. The following table 
gives average prices for the whole State, in seers per rupee : — 










As far as material condition is concerned, the people of the 7'asti 
(peaceful and populous) mahdls of Navsari stand foremost. There 
are many well-to-do Parsis in this tract. Baroda comes next, while 
Kadi shows a little inferiority. As usual the Amreli prdfit, and 
especially Okhamandal, is the most backward. A. middle-class clerk 
has a comfortable house, with decent furniture. His food is generally 
rice, ttiver, wheat, and bajra, and he also partakes of milk and vege- 
tables. His clothing, too, is good. The cultivators are not so well 
off. Their houses, even though sometimes large, are very scantily 
furnished and their food is poor. Their dress too is indifferent, con- 
sisting generally of angarkhds and badans (vests) of a coarse cloth 
called Jota. The landless day-labourers are the worst off. Their 
usual food is kodm and Jowdr, their dress is ragged, and their abodes 
are poor. 

Navsari /ra;// contains the largest forest tract in the State. Smaller 
areas exist in Baroda and Amreli. In 1905 the total area 'reserved' 
was 680 square miles, in addition to which there are 
considerable stretches of grass land and scrub jungle 
not yet surveyed. All the forests may be classed as deciduous and 
mixed. The most important species of trees are sag ( Tectona grandis), 
shhhain (^Dalbergia Sissod), ianach {Ougeinia dalbergioides), khair {Acada 
Catechu), bia i^Pterocarpus Marsupium), sadad {Termina/ia tomentosa\ 
haladvan {Adina cordifolia), kalam {Stephegvne parvifo/ia), kagar {Aaia'a 
ferruginea), kati {Acacia modesta), dhamafi {Gretvia /i/ia^'folia), tejnru 
{Diospyros vielanoxyloti), bandaro {Lagerstroefuia lanceoiafa), apta 
{Bauhinia race?nosa), behedo {Tenninalia be/erica), kagdoli {Stent/ lia 
nrens), babul {Acacia arabica), and bamboo {Bambusa atu7iditiacea). 

Systematic management of the forests commenced in 1877, but the 
early administration was not successful. More satisfactory results have 
been obtained since 1891 ; and the department is now superintended 
by a ParsI Conservator trained at Cooper's Hill, who has under him 
an assistant, a working-plan officer, 7 rangers, 7 sub-rangers, 202 guards. 




and 15 depot keepers. The forests are administered under an Act 
passed in 1891, and have been completely demarcated and settled. 
^Vorking-plans have been prepared for a large area, and others are 
being drawn up. The unreserved forests are managed by revenue 
officials, but the price of certain kinds of trees is credited to the 
Forest department. Up to 1901 no special steps had been taken 
for the prevention of forest fires ; and though regulations are now in 
force, little has been done beyond clearing the lines of demarcation 
and the main forest roads. Artificial reproduction is being tried in 
a few places ; and along the sea-coast at Umrath, in the Navsari prdni, 
various trees have been planted to check the spread of sand-dunes 

' Major ' forest produce in areas outside the Reserves is sold by 
contract, while ' minor ' forest products, such as lac, gum, resin, colouring 
bark, honey, wax, maJiud flowers, cS^c, are collected by lessees. At the 
several depots which have been established permits are issued at fixed 
rates for the extraction of dry fuel, grass, reeds, bamboos, and other 
' minor ' produce which is not leased. Grazing is permitted in most 
of the Reserves, and fees are realized by levying certain rates per head 
of cattle grazed. 

Under the rules at present in force every family in forest tracts 
is entitled to receive annually inferior timber worth Rs. 5 for repairs, 
and also timber worth Rs. 20 every ten years for reconstruction of huts. 
The villagers are also allowed fuel, grass, leaves, and thatching materials 
for their bona fide use, and minor produce for their own consumption, 
nothing being granted for sale or barter. In return for these concessions, 
the villagers are bound to help the subordinate officials in protecting 
the forests. Owing to the reckless damage done to the forests in 
former days, the value of the free grants has been reduced from about 
Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 8,000. 

In the famine of 1899-1900, when there was no grass available 
in nearly the whole of Gujarat and Kathiawar, the Songarh and Vyara 
Reserves were freely thrown open, and enormous quantities of fodder 
were supplied to the Baroda and Kadi prdnts, as well as to Kathiawar. 
In addition to this, about 55,000 cattle were sent from all parts of the 
State, and even from portions of Rajputana, to these Reserves for 
grazing purposes. Similar assistance was given in the bad seasons 
which followed. 

The average revenue realized from the forests during the decade 
ending 1890 was Rs. 70,200, while the expenditure was Rs. 29,500, 
giving an average surplus of Rs. 40,700. During the next ten years the 
revenue averaged Rs. 93,400, and the expenditure Rs. 59,600, the 
surplus decreasing to Rs. 33,800. In 1904-5 the income was 1-2 lakhs, 
the chief items being produce of clearing and improvement fellings 


(Rs. 33,400), ;iik1 bamboos (Rs. 32,100), while the expenditure was 
Rs. 64,000. 

Rich magnetic iron-sand is brought down in large quantities by the 

Tapti when in flood, and the alluvium deposited on the bank of the 

river is full of it. The ore seems to have been 

minerals worked to some extent formerly, but the introducticMi 

of cheap iron from Europe has destroyed the industry. 

'I'he establishment of smelting works in the Songarh ialuka has been 

considered. Traces of gold have been found in the river-beds. 

Good sandstone is quarried at Songir on the left bank of the Hiran 
river, in the Sankheda tahika. The work is carried on by a private 
company, which pays 2 annas for every large and i anna for every small 
hand-mill stone removed from the quarry, and 12 annas for each 
cartload of building material. Other kinds of stone are common, but 
are not worked. Granite of a very handsome variety is found at Virpur 
in the Kadi prdnt, and at Bhulwan and Bodeli in the Baroda pnint. 
Crystalline limestone of many colours occurs at Motipura, Harikua, 
and ^\'adeli, in the same prdnt. The green marble of Motipura, when 
cut and polished, has been described, on competent authority, as the 
most beautiful marble in India. In Amreli there are practically 
unlimited supplies of common building stone, such as basalt and 
miliolite, some of the latter being equal in quality to the best stone 
obtained in the famed Porbandar quarries. 

As in other parts of Gujarat, the hand-loom weavers are generally 
Dheds and Musalmans, though Khattris, Tais, and Vanjhas also practise 
the same handicraft. Coarse cotton cloth known as 
At s an ^^^^1^ khadi, or chophal, is woven in all parts, the 

products of the Amreli prant bemg perhaps the best. 
They are chiefly disposed of locally, as the erection of steam weaving- 
mills has almost destroyed the export trade in such material. Efforts 
are being made to introduce the use of looms of improved patterns. 
The Khattris of Baroda city turn out a rough woollen cloth which 
is often used for blankets. In the Kadi prdnt a large number of 
Musalman and Hindu women spin cotton thread, which is afterwards 
woven by Dheds. A more valuable industry is carried on at Patan, 
where weavers manufacture jnashrn, which is exported to x\hmadabad 
and other places. Silk is also brought to Patan from Ahmadabad and 
Bombay, and there woven into gajis, p'ltdmbars, and the highly appre- 
ciated patolas. The sacred threads worn by Parsis are largely made at 
Navsari by women of the priestly class, and exported to Bombay. 

At Baroda embroidery with gold and silver thread is undertaken 
by a few artisans, and the work in both pattern and execution is 
of a superior description. The Kharadis of Patan also turn out very 
good embroidery, while more simple work is prepared at Navsari. 


Carpets are made at the Baroda Central jail, and are purchased locally 
or exported to Ahmadabad, Bombay, and Poona. 

There is nothing out of the common in the jewellery made in the 
State. Goldsmiths are found in every town, and in the marriage season 
their business thrives greatly. They manufacture ornaments of gold or 
silver, pearls being freely used in the case of gold ornaments. 

The village blacksmith makes and repairs rude agricultural imple- 
ments, and the wandering Pomalas visit every village to make native 
weights and the minor cooking utensils. At Atarsumba, in the Kadi 
prdnf, knives and frying-pans of good workmanship are produced, and 
a sword-making industry on a small scale exists at Dehgam in the same 
division. At Patan good betel-nut cutters are prepared, which find 
a ready sale through all parts of Gujarat. In the Baroda prdnt, at 
Sojitra, Vaso, and Petlad, locks are manufactured. 

Brass and copper pots for the daily use of the people are manu- 
factured throughout the State, but there is little else worthy of notice. 
1 )abhoi is well-known for the elegance and finish of the articles turned 
out, and a similar remark may be made of the Kadi brass and copper 
work. Visnagar also is famous for the excellence of its brass-ware, 
much of which is exported to Ahmadabad and Kathiawar. 

Earthen jars for holding water or for storing grain, pipe-bowls, and 
clay toys are manufactured in great quantities for domestic use. The 
only ornamental pottery is made at Patan, and this, though thin, light, 
and fragile, is often pretty. Here are manufactured toys, hukkas, 
water-goglets, pipe-bowls, water-coolers, and similar articles. 

The art of sculpture has almost died out, but specimens of stone- 
carving still existing prove how great was once the excellence attained 
in this direction. Splendid examples may be seen at Dabhoi, Chandod, 
Patan, Sidhpur, Modhera, and many other places. Though the art has 
decayed enormously, the stone-carvers of the country have done excellent 
work in the new palace and other buildings at Baroda. 

Ornamental wood-carving is chiefly confined to the Baroda and 
Kadi prduts. In the former excellent workmen reside at Dabhoi and 
Sankheda, and fine specimens of their art may be seen on the doors 
and verandas of the houses. Similar examples may be found at Vaso, 
Sojitra, and Petlad. In the palace at Baroda there is much wood- 
carving which displays the same skill. In Kadi the best wood-carving 
is found at Patan, Sidhpur, and Vadnagar. Good turning is also done 
at Patan. Work in ivory is carried on to some extent at Baroda and 

A spinning and weaving-mill was established by the State at Baroda 
in 1883 at a cost of 6-4 lakhs. It contains nearly 15,000 spindles, 
260 looms, and 40 gins. As signs of private enterprise had become 
apparent, the mill was sold for 5 lakhs in 1905 to a firm which has 


floated a company to work it. Another mill is approaching completicjn, 
and others are projected. Ginning factories number 49 and cotton 
presses 4, while there is a single mill for each of the following 
industries : flour, dyeing, rice, oil, rope, and timber. Chocolate and 
matches are prepared in private factories. A sugar refmery was worked 
for some time without success, and was closed in 1894, but has recently 
been reopened. The total number of hands employed in the mills 
averaged about 730 during the last decade. 

'I'he export trade of the State consists mainly of agricultural produce, 

such as cotton, grain, oilseeds, opium, tobacco, and raw sugar, Bombay 

being the chief market. Brass and copper vessels 

^'dT^d^^ are exported from Visnagar and Kadi to Ahmadabad 

and Kathiawar, and the silk fabrics of Patan are in 

wider demand. The imports consist of rice and other grains, refined 

sugar, metals, salt, piece-goods, spices, and kerosene oil. Goods are 

largely carried by rail, but there is some traffic by sea from the ports 

of Dwarka, Navsari, and Bilimora. The harbours at the two last are 

being improved, and the formation of a harbour at Velam is under 


As traders, petty shop-keepers, money-lenders, and bankers, the 
Banias occupy a prominent position. Some of them also trade in 
cloth, but in this respect the Bhavsars (or ChhTpas) perhaps excel 
them. Brass and copper vessels are dealt in by the Kansaras. The 
Gandhis, who are in general Jains, trade in groceries, spices, articles of 
common use as drugs, and medicines prepared according to native 
fashion. The sale of vegetables is almost exclusively appropriated by 
the Kachhis, while the Ghanchis are dealers in vegetable oil and 
kerosene. They also sell milk and ghi. The Bohras have a special 
trade in iron vessels, such as frying-pans, buckets, &c., and in ropes of 
various kinds, while the petty Bohras sell every kind of small article. 
Confectionery is dealt in by the Kandois, and the Tambolis sell betel- 
leaves, betel-nuts, and tobacco. Corn is sold by Banias or Ghanchis. 
They purchase wholesale from the cultivators and then sell by retail in 
the markets. For molasses and sugar there are always special shops 
in large centres, but elsewhere as a general rule they are sold by the 

Most of the important towns in Baroda territory are either on the 

railway, or are connected by fair roads with stations at no very great 

distance. No railway passes through the Amreli 
Communications. _ , . . ..^ ... ° ,^, 

pra?!t, but part 01 it hes wnthin easy reach of the 

Bhavnagar-Gondal-Junagad-Porbandar Railway. One of the main lines 

from Bombay to Northern India passes through the State. The 

southern portion is the broad-gauge Bombay, Baroda, and Central 

India Railway, which crosses parts of the Navsari and Baroda prdnis. 


From Ahmadabad in British territory this hne is continued northwards 
by the metre-gauge Rajputana-Mahva Railway, passing through the 
Kadi prdiit. The value to the State of this through route has been 
greatly increased by the efficient system of branch lines, most of which 
have been built by the Darbar, though worked by the Bombay, Baroda, 
and Central India Railway. Exceptions are the Tapti Valley Railway, 
constructed by a company, which crosses portions of Navsari from west 
to east, and the Baroda-Godhra chord line, which is part of the Bombay, 
Baroda, and Central India system. The Baroda prant is well served 
by the Gaikwar's Dabhoi Railway (2^ feet gauge), which branches 
south to Chandod, east to Bodeli, west to Miyagam, and north-west to 
Vishwamitri, the two last places being on the Bombay, Baroda, and 
Central India main line. Another branch passes south-west from 
Vishwamitri to Masor Road. The total length of this system is 
95 miles, and its cost to June, 1905, was 24-4 lakhs. The net earnings 
yielded 5 per cent, on the capital cost in 1904. The outlying tdluka 
of Petlad is crossed by the broad-gauge line from Anand to Cambay, 
22 miles of which belong to the State, and yielded a profit of nearly 
6 per cent, on the capital cost of 11-5 lakhs in 1904. In the Kadi 
prant the Gaikwar's Mehsana Railway radiates from Mehsana north- 
west to Patan, north-east to Kheralu, and south-west to Viramgam, 
with a total length of 93 miles. The capital cost of this system was 
34-2 lakhs to June, 1905, and in 1904 the net profit was 6 per cent. 
Another metre-gauge line, 41 miles long, passes south-west from Vijapur 
to Kalol on the Rajputana-Malwa Railway, and then west to Kadi. It 
has cost more than 13 lakhs, and yielded a net profit of 3 per cent, 
in 1904. 

The railways constructed by the Darbar have increased in length 
from 113 miles in 1891 to 185 in 1900 and 250 in 1905. The total 
capital cost has been 83 lakhs, giving an average of Rs. 33,000 per 
mile, and the net profit in 1904 was 5-3 per cent.. Cotton, grain, 
salt, oilseeds, and sugar are the principal commodities carried. 

Good roads are not numerous in Baroda, owing to the great expense 
involved in construction and up-keep, and it is probably cheaper, and 
certainly more effective, to make narrow-gauge railways. The main 
roads are the Bombay-Ahmadabad or old trunk road, passing through 
the Gandevi, Navsari, and Velachha tdlukas, and the Bardoli-Surat 
road. Feeders connect important towns with railway stations, and a 
few miles of metalled road have been made in and around the capital. 
The upkeep of village roads has recently been entrusted to local 

The usual conveyance, as throughout Gujarat, is a large wagon called 
gadu, the general pattern of which is everywhere the same. It is simply 
a long cart with a yoke in front, movable sides, and two wheels, usually. 



hut not always tired. Another type, called a dama/iia, is about half the 
length of the gddu, and is chiefly used for passengers, of whom it can 
convey four or five. It is usually drawn by two bullocks, but some- 
times one only is used, and then the conveyance is called an ekka. 
Closed carriages, called shigrams, are used by wealthy people in large 

In connexion with the chief lines of traffic through the country, there 
are ferry-boats in many places in Baroda territory, some belonging to 
private owners, others to the State. The Mindhola river is crossed by 
four ferries, and the Ambika by three. The Tapti has eight, the 
Narbada thirteen, the Mahl seven, the Vishwamitri two, the Sabarmati 
one, while in Okhamandal there are ten. 

Postal arrangements are entirely under British jurisdiction, the State 
forming part of the Bombay circle. Telegraph offices have been opened 
in all the large towns. The following statistics show the postal business 
in the State for the year 1904-5 : — 

Number of post offices ...... 203 

Number of letter-boxes ...... 563 

Number of miles of postal communication . . . 9674 
Total number of postal articles delivered : — 

Letters ......... 2,222,928 

Post-cards 5.450>545 

Packets (including unregistered newspapers) . . 235,738 

Newspapers (registered as such in the Post Office) . 338,225 

Parcels ......... 23,021 


Value of stamps sold to the public .... 1,33,416 

Value of money orders issued ..... 16,26,490 

When there is scarcity of rain, the liability to famine varies in 
different parts according to the means of irrigation. Thus the rani 
mahdis of Navsari, with a stony and inferior soil, 
suffer as there is no possible way of irrigating the 
land. In the Kahnam and Chorasi tracts of Baroda wells can only be 
made with great difficulty, owing to the prevalence of black soil. Most 
of the Kadi J»'dnt is suitable for the sinking of wells, the exceptions 
being portions of the Patan and Sidhpur td/ukas, the peta viahdl of 
Harij, and the neighbouring parts of the Kadi and Vadavli tdlukas, 
a part of the Kalol tdluka, the peta mahdl of Atarsumba, and the tract 
of country through which the Sabarmati flows. In Amreli the country 
bordering on the Gir, the southern portion of the Dhari tdhika, and 
the northern part of the Kodinar tdluka have few wells, while on the 
sandy and almost rainless promontory of Okhamandal both soil and 
climate seem to combine to forbid cultivation. 

The records of early famines are very scanty. There was certainly 
a great famine in 1791, and another in 1812-3, which prevailed most 


severely in Kadi and Amreli. In 1819, 1834, 1838, 1877, and 1896 
scarcity was experienced in portions of Baroda territory. 

In consequence of the failure of the monsoon in 1899, the whole of 
(lujarat fell a prey to the most terrible famine within the memory 
of living men. In June the usual showers of rain fell in all parts of the 
State, and the first agricultural operations were carried out. But three 
months followed without rain, and all hopes for the year disappeared in 
October ; numbers of cattle died in that month, prices rose very high, 
and a period of disaster set in. The total rainfall varied from 13 to 34 
j)er cent, of the normal in most parts of the State. Up to February, 
1900, the Navsari f>raiif, which had received about 34 per cent, of the 
normal rain, was considered free from famine; but an area of 6,245 
square miles, with a population of 2,095,953, was severely affected 
from the beginning of the year. 

The crops failed entirely in every part, and fodder was soon 
exhausted except in the forest tracts of the Navsari prant. The 
prevalence of famine in the Deccan, Rajputana, Central India, and 
other parts added to the distress, for the prices of bajra and jo7var 
doubled. Wheat rose by only 60 per cent., and the price of rice was 
in some measure kept down by large importations from Rangoon. 

Extensive relief measures were undertaken by the State. Gratuitous 
relief was granted to those unable to work, 6-4 million units being aided 
at a cost of 2-6 lakhs. In addition, 4-6 million units were relieved by 
private charity at a cost of 2-5 lakhs. Cheap grain-shops were also 
opened and poorhouses established. Relief works were opened in 
many places, some of which were large protective irrigational works, 
such as the Kadarpur reservoir, the Orsang irrigation scheme, a new 
feeder for the Ajwa reservoir, tanks at Karachia and Haripura, and 
drainage works at Sandesar and Karamsad. Roads and railway earth- 
works were also used to provide relief. The number of units on works 
was 19-2 millions, and the expenditure was 19-4 lakhs. Advances were 
freely made to agriculturists, amounting to 15-2 lakhs. The preserva- 
tion of cattle was effected to some extent by giving free grazing wherever 
it was available, by the stoppage of the sale of grass on pasture lands, 
by the removal of duties on cattle-food, by the encouragement of the 
growth of fodder-crops, and by the direct supply of grass. The total 
quantity of grass so supplied amounted to 3,255 tons, and the cost was 
a lakh. Wells were sunk, specially in the Kadi division, at a total 
expenditure of i2-2 lakhs, and with the water so obtained fodder-crops 
were raised. The total expenditure during 1899- 1900 on account of 
this great famine was 46 lakhs. 

In the next three years the rainfall was unsatisfactory, and the whole 
country was infested with rats, which destroyed the crops wholesale. 
Ccjnsiderable expenditure was required, amounting to 60 lakhs, of 


which j6 lakhs was spent on works and i6 lakhs on advances. In 
1904-5 scarcity was again felt, and relief measures were required at 
a cost of 10 lakhs, including advances of 7 lakhs. 

As the registration of births and deaths has only recently been 
organized, statistics of the effect on population are not very reliable. 
During the famine year the number of deaths recorded was 131,261, 
while the average mortality of the previous five years was only 42,723, 
The deaths are attributed to the following causes: cholera, 21,986; 
fever, 73,294; dysentery and diarrhoea, 8,560; other causes, 27,421. 
According to the famine report for the year 1 899-1 900, the number of 
deaths due to famine causes alone, to the end of July, 1900, was 

The State is in direct political relation with the Government of 

. . . India, all communications passing through the 
Admmistration. „ . , 


The administration is carried on by an executive council, subject to 
the control of the Maharaja, who is assisted by a Dlwan and other 
officers. A number of departments have been formed, which are 
presided over by officials corresponding to those in British India, the 
principal heads of departments being members of the council. The 
revenue, financial, and settlement departments are at present con- 
trolled by Mr. R. C. Dutt, a retired Indian Civilian. Other depart- 
ments deal with public works, medical, education, police and jails, 
judicial, military, records, and palace. 

The State is divided into {owx prdtits, corresponding to the Districts 
of British territory, and each prdnt is subdivided into mahals or tdiukas, 
which number thirty-three, besides a {q,\n peta mahals or %\x}a-tdlukas. 

A Snbah or Collector is in charge of edich prdnf, with an Assistant 
called the naih-sTibah. A vahivdtddr or tahsllddr is in charge of each 
tdluka. Corresponding to the Commissioner in British India is a Sar- 
sul'ah, who supervises the work of the Subahs, and is subordinate to the 
Revenue Minister. P'or some years attempts have been made to restore 
village autonomy, and since 1902 2i paiichdyat has been formally con- 
stituted for each village with a population exceeding 1,000, smaller 
hamlets being grouped together. The number of members varies from 
five to nine, half being appointed by the district officials and half 
selected. The /a/^/ or headman is president, and the accountant and 
schoolmaster are members ^.v officio. These bodies are in charge of 
various details connected with the administration, and form part of the 
scheme for local self-government, which is described below. 

Before the administration of the present Maharaja there were few 
published codes in force, and these dealt chiefly with civil and criminal 
procedure, stamps, and registration. In 1883 a law committee was 
constituted, consisting of the Naib Diwan and the three Judges of 


the High Court. The committee was replaced in 1904 by a legislative 
department, under a Legal Remembrancer. Bills are published in 
the official Gazette, and after consideration of the 
criticisms made by the public and officers of the State andTustice' 
become law under the orders of the Maharaja. 
The chief measures passed since 1884 are: Acts dealing with Police 
(1884 and 1898), Registration (1885 and 1902), Excise (1886 and 1900), 
Stamps (1889 and 1904), Small Cause Courts (1890), Municipalities 
(1892), Law relating to Possession (1895 and 1897), Court Fees (1896 
and 1904), Civil Procedure (1896, 1902, and 1904), Easements (1896), 
Limitatioii (1896 and 1903), Penal Code (1896 and 1904), Criminal 
Procedure (1896 and 1904), Interest (1898), Inspection of Boilers 
(1898), Contracts (1898), Guardians and Wards (1898), Lunatic 
Asylums (1899), Arms (1900), Transfer of Property (1901 and 1902), 
Hindu Widow Marriages (1902), Opium (1902), Village Munsifs 
(1902), Primary Education (1904), Infant Marriage Prevention (1904), 
Local Boards (1904-5), Co-operative Credit Societies (1904-5), 
Religious Endowments (1904-5), Charitable Estates (1904-5), and 
Customs (1904-5). 

Till recently the subordinate revenue officials exercised magisterial 
powers, resembling those of a magistrate of the second or third class 
in British India. Since 1904, however, the vahivdtddrs have been 
relieved of criminal work in almost every tdluka, and cases are now 
tried by the Munsifs or subordinate civil officers. Nail>-sfil>ahs or 
Siibahs have first-class powers, and the latter can transfer cases from 
one subordinate court to another. 

The lowest civil courts of first instance are those of the mahdl 
Munsifs, who can usually hear suits up to Rs. 7,000, and Small Cause 
suits up to Rs. 100 when sitting alone, and up to Rs. 300 when forming 
a bench with another Joint Munsif or a panchdyat. A few Village 
Munsifs have also been appointed. The Munsifs have criminal juris- 
diction as magistrates of the first class. 

The prdnt Judges try original civil suits up to any amount, hear 
appeals from the Munsifs' decisions, and try Small Cause suits up 
to Rs. 750 when alone, and up to Rs. 2,250 when forming a bench 
with another Judge or with a panchayat. In criminal cases they can 
sentence to imprisonment for life, subject to the sanction of the High 
Court, and to death, subject to the sanction of the Maharaja. In 
certain classes of criminal cases the trial is conducted with the aid of 
assessors, and the adoption of a jury system is under consideration. 
A separate /ra^/" Judge was appointed for Baroda city in 1905. 

The chief tribunal is called the Varishth or High Court, and sits at 
Baroda. It possesses jurisdiction over the whole of the State, and 
hears all final appeals in civil and criminal cases. The Judges of this 



court, wlu) arc thrte in number, besides the Chief Justice, have also 
extraordinary powers to try an original case. Sentences of death, 
however, are subject to confirmation by the Maharaja, who can also 
modify any order passed by the court. 

A special court, for the trial of civil and criminal cases affecting 
certain privileged persons, such as sardars and darakdars^ sits at 
Baroda, and is known as the Sardars' Court. 

Minor offences with regard to sanitation, petty quarrels, &c., are 
disposed of by the village /a/^'A, who can fine up to Rs. 5, and inflict 
48 hours' imprisonment in the village lock-up. 

Cases of theft and robbery are more frequent than any others, and 
offences against the person rank next, although murders and other cases 
of grievous hurt are not prevalent. Offences against public tranquillity 
are comparatively rare. The following table gives statistics of crime 
and litigation for a series of years : — 

Criminal and Civil Justice 

Average for 

ten years 
ending 1890. 

Average for ! 

ten years 1901. 
ending 1900. 


Number of persons tried 


Suits for money and movable 
property .... 
Title and other suits . 
Rent suits .... 




















A Registration department was formed in 1885. In the decade 
ending 1900 the number of ofifices was 48, and the average number of 
documents registered was 15,945. In 1904-5 there were 49 offices, 
and 20,641 documents were registered. 

The department of finance and accounts is usually controlled by 
an Accountant-General, and is modelled on the system in force in 
British India. In addition to the usual detailed 
examination of accounts at the head office, the 
officials of the inspection branch tour and examine the working of all 
disbursing offices, and check cash balances and stock. 

The main items of revenue in the Baroda State are land revenue, 
tribute from other Native States in Gujarat and Kathiawar, opium, 
excise, stamps, and railways. The main items of expenditure are the 
palace, civil establishments, army, public works, police, and education. 




The following table shows the revenue and expenditure for a series 
of years, in thousands of rupees : — 

State Revenue and Expenditure 

Average for 

Average for 

ten years 

ten years 



ending 1890. 

ending 1900. 


Land revenue 





Stamps ..... 





Customs (land, sea, and town 

duties) .... 





Miscellaneous taxes 



I, .^7 


Forests .... 





Registration .... 





Other sources (chiefly tribute, 

excise, railways, opium, and 

interest) .... 
Total revenue 









Collection of land revenue, &c. 





Huzur office establishment . 


5. '3 



Judicial establishment . 





Police ..... 





Education .... 





Medical .... 





Minor civil departments 





Pensions, &c. 





Public works (including irri- 

gation and famine relief) . 





Other charges (chiefly palace 

and military) 

Total expenditure 









The disastrous famine year and its succes.sor account for the diminished 
land revenue in 1901, and the increase of expenditure, due chiefly to 
protective relief works, in the same year. The large decrease in land 
revenue in 1904-5 is due to remissions and suspensions owing to scarcity. 

The tributes from feudatory chiefs in Kathiawar, Rewa Kantha, and 
Mahl Kantha are chiefly collected by the British Government and are 
paid through the Resident. In 1904-5 they amounted to 5-9 lakhs. 

The earliest coin struck in the Baroda State was issued, nominally 
under the authority of Shah Alam II, at the close of the eighteenth 
century. Subsequently the Darbar issued its own money. The silver 
coins were called babashdhi rupees, and the copper coins Baroda pice, 
and all were executed in the rudest manner, except the latest issue, of 
the present Maharaja. This currency did not, however, circulate in all 
parts. In Navsari and Amreli British coin was used, while in Kadi 
i-Zz/X-a/ rupees were current till 1896, when babashdhi xxxs^^t'^ were sub- 


stituted. Great inconvenience was caused by fluctuations in exchange, 

and British currency was introduced everywhere in 1901. The only 

trace still left of the old currency is in the Baroda prdni^ where Baroda 

pice are still in use. 

A large proportion of the land has been alienated. These alienations 

extend not only to portions of the khaha or State villages, but also 

include whole villages, of which about 8 per cent. 
Land revenue. ,.,•,. , ,. , 

have been alienated. A general term applied to such 

lands is hharkhali, the expression meaning those of which the produce 
is not brought into the State khala or ' grain-yard.' Prominent among 
the holders of such land are the Girasias, whose ancestors held estates 
under the Mughals, or rose to power subsequently. Some Girasias 
are entitled to cash payments only, while others hold land and receive 
allowances as well. Land which is exempted from assessment is called 
nakari, and includes dharmadaya, devastkdn, and pirasthdn, or lands for 
the support of charitable institutions or to maintain religious establish- 
ments. Chdkaryat lands are those granted in lieu of cash for services 
rendered to the State, and the occupants have no power to sell, mort- 
gage, or otherwise dispose of them. Pasaita lands are free grants to 
the different orders of village servants in Gujarat. There are also indvii 
grants and alienations given as rewards for services, military or civil, and 
many less important classes of tenure. Since 1880 alienations have 
been more carefully supervised than was usual in the past. 

The principal tenure in the khdlsa area is ryohvdn, under which 
the State collects the revenue directly from each cultivator without the 
intervention of a third party. The land revenue is usually assessed in 
cash on the area of the land occupied, but in a small and backward 
tract it is still levied on the number of mattocks used. This tract is 
now confined to one corner of the State and is mostly forest land. The 
cultivators have full rights of sale and mortgage ; but if a holding is 
sold in execution of a decree, sufficient land is reserved for the sub- 
sistence of the cultivator and his family. 

Two tenures, which resemble to some extent the zamjnddri tenure of 
Northern India, are called narvadari and bhdgddri. The latter has 
practically disappeared. In the former a lump assessment is made on 
a whole village, on general considerations, and the narvaddrs are left to 
make their own terms with the actual cultivators. As a rule, they set 
aside a portion of the village the produce of which meets the State 
demand. While nominally allowed to alienate their rights, they remain 
responsible for the full assessment. Under the ankadabandi and 
ekatikadi tenures a lump sum is assessed on a whole village, and the 
cultivators are left to distribute the demand among themselves. The 
assessment is subject to revision in the case of the former, and is 
permanently fixed in the latter class. 




Under the Marathas tracts of land were leased to farmers, who 
extorted as much as they could from the cultivators. In 1864 Khande 
Rao commenced a scheme for settlement resembling that in the 
adjacent parts of Bombay. He also substituted payments in cash for 
division of the produce, and established a State service for the collec- 
tion of revenue. The system was hardly successful, as the survey was 
incorrect, and the assessment was largely guess-work, while the tendency 
to pitch it too high was increased by the temporary demand for Indian 
cotton during the American Civil War. About ten years later, Sir T. 
Madhava Rao reduced the demand by 12 lakhs; and in 1883 a new 
survey and settlement were commenced under an officer of the Indian 
Civil Service. Operations were modelled on those followed in Bombay. 
The demand for a whole taii/ka was fixed on consideration of the fiscal 
history of the tract, and was then distributed after careful classification 
of the land according to its capabilities. The total demand was still 
further reduced by 8 lakhs, and the assessment was fixed for a period 
of fifteen years. A number of taxes on agriculturists were at the same 
time abolished. In 1904 the revision of this settlement commenced, 
also under the control of an officer of the Indian Civil Service, and it 
has been decided to fix the term of assessment at thirty years. 

Trade in opium is a monopoly of the State, and no cultivator is 
permitted to grow poppy without a licence. A special agency is main- 
tained for supervising and regulating the growth of 
the plant, and the subsequent manufacture of opium. 
At present cultivation is confined to the Kadi pratit. 
Licences are issued by the vahivatddrs or the opium superintendent to 
cultivators, who send their applications through the village accountants. 
Opium is collected from the cultivators at fixed places from April to 
June, and they receive payment immediately, at a rate fixed beforehand, 
which was Rs. 6 per seer in 1904-5. A sufficient quantity is reserved 
for use in the State, and the balance is sent to Bombay for sale in 
China. The latter is packed in chests containing 140^ lb. or half- 
chests of yoi lb., and is subject to a transit duty at present amounting 
to Rs. 600 per chest, collected by the British Government at Ahniad- 
abad. Retail sale within the State is effected by licensed vendors. In 
Navsari and Amreli the contract for sale throughout the whole //■««/ is 
disposed of by auction, while in Baroda shops are let separately. In 
Kadi a selected licensee receives the contract. The area under poppy 
averaged 8,166 acres during the decade ending 1890, 6,223 acres during 
the following ten years, and was 6,973 acres in 1901 and 12,262 acres 
in 1904-5. The net revenue averaged 3-3 lakhs from 1881 to 1890, 
and 4-1 lakhs during the next decade. In 1904-5 sales within the 
State realized a net profit of 2-5 lakhs, and 800 chests were exported 
at a profit of 3-2 lakhs. Many causes affect the popularity of the cultiva- 



litni. The poppy is a difficult plant to bring under culture. It requires 
constant care and attention, and all the processes connected with it 
entail much labour. Rapeseed, wheat, and other crops compete with 
poppy. The price to be offered by the State is notified before issuing 
licences, and the people make a choice according to the conditions of 
the season. 

The manufacture of salt is carried on only in Amreli. The product 
is sold in this prdnf, and cannot be exported to other parts of 
Baroda or to British India. Salt made at Kodinar is a State monopoly ; 
but no restrictions are in force at Okhamandal, except the levy of an 
export duty on salt exported to Zanzibar and other foreign ports. In 
the rest of the State salt may not be manufactured. In 1904-5 the 
State realized Rs. 573 from export duty, and Rs. 348 from the 
monopoly, while it spent Rs. 230 on the latter and Rs. 864 on preven- 
tive establishment. 

The principal sources of excise revenue are the manufacture and 

sale of country liquors and toddy, bhang, ganja, and other intoxicating 

drugs, and fees for licences for the sale of imported foreign liquors. 

In Amreli the out-still system is in force, under which the rights to 

manufacture and sell liquor are sold together. In other prdnts liquor 

is manufactured at a central distillery, still-head duty being levied at 

rates varying from 6 annas a gallon for liquor at 60° under proof, to 

Rs. 2-8 for liquor 15° under proof. Licences for retail vend are sold 

by auction. Toddy is sold in shops which are let singly or in groups 

of licensed vendors, and in addition a tree tax is levied. It is important 

only in Baroda and Navsari. Licences for the sale of imported liquors 

are given at fixed annual rates, varying from Rs. 75 to Rs. 125. The 

excise revenue during the decade ending 1890 averaged 5-44 lakhs, 

and during the next ten years 8-5 lakhs. In 1901 the revenue was 

5-8 lakhs, and in 1904-5, 6-8 lakhs. The chief heads of receipts in 

the last year were 5-8 lakhs from liquors and Rs. 93,000 from toddy. 

The incidence of receipts per head of the population was R. 0-1-9 in 

1 88 1, R. 0-5-5 "^ 1 89 1) R- 0-4-8 in 1 90 1, and R. 0-5-6 in 1904-5. 

The Marathas, Kolls, and labouring Hindus, the Parsis, and some of 

the Muhammadans consume country liquor ; but as usual the greatest 

demand is in the capital and chief centres. In Navsari there is a large 

consumption of toddy, because of the numerous palms that grow there, 

and the superior nature of the manufactured drink. Bhang, gdnja, Szc, 

are not used nearly so freely as liquor. The higher classes are as a rule 

strongly averse to the use of liquor, though some educated persons take 

a stimulant in case of illness. The wealthier part of the community, as for 

instance the Parsis, prefer imported spirits to the coarser country brands. 

The Stamp department is conducted on methods analogous to those 

obtaining in British territory. Various kinds of stamps and stamped 


paper are supplied to selected vendors, who sell by retail to the people, 
and obtain a commission from the State. The revenue derived from 
stamps during the decade ending 1890 averaged 3 lakhs, and during 
the next ten years 5-8 lakhs. In 1901 it was 5-9 lakhs, and in 
1904—5, 4-1 lakhs. 

Till recently a number of vexatious taxes were levied on professions 
and castes, forming 214 classes in 1905. They yielded only about 
Rs. 85,000, and have been replaced by an income tax, first levied, 
in part of the State, in 1901-2. This is assessed at about i per cent., 
incomes of less than Rs. 300 per annum being exempted. The 
revenue in 1904-5 was Rs. 99,000. An income of about a lakh is 
derived from rents paid for homestead land by non-agriculturists, 
licences to collect valuable shells, and taxes on pilgrims. 

Important reforms have recently been made in the customs adminis- 
tration, which were formerly complicated and harassing to trade. In 
1904 the frontier duties hitherto imposed in the Baroda and Kadi 
prdnts on 28 articles were abolished, leaving 8 on the schedule, and a 
similar reduction was made in the duties levied in towns, while export 
duties were remitted, except in the case of cotton and mahua. At 
the same time the assessment was simplified by levying it by weight, 
instead of ad valorem. A year later similar reforms were introduced in 
the Navsari and Amreli //w//^, and in addition octroi was completely 
abolished in several small towns. The customs revenue during the 
decade ending i8go averaged 10-3 lakhs, and during the next decade 
7-6 lakhs ; in 1904-5 it amounted to 5-4 lakhs. In the last year the 
expenditure on establishment was Rs. 80,000. 

A scheme for local self-government came into force in 1905, when a 
tdhika board was constituted in each tdluka and a District board in 
each prant. Groups of villages and each munici- 
pality return a member to the tdluka board, half the „ ^■- , 
^ •' _ ' municipal. 

members of which are thus elected, the other half 
being nominated by the State. Half the members of the District 
board are similarly elected by tdluka boards and large municipalities. 
Alienated villages are also represented on both District and tdluka 
boards. The Sudah presides over the former, and the naib-subah over 
the latter. A local cess is levied at the rate of one anna in the rupee 
on land revenue, but has not yet been extended to the whole State. 
From the proceeds a quarter is set apart for famine and other unfore- 
seen expenditure, and the balance is placed at the disposal of the 
boards, amounting to 2-8 lakhs in 1905-6. Further grants are made 
for public works, vaccination, and village schools, the total income 
being 4-5 lakhs. The boards' functions resemble those entrusted to 
similar institutions in British India, such as public works, schools, 
temporary dispensaries, vaccination, sanitation, and arboriculture. 

F 2 



In 1877 municipalities were e.stablished in all towns containing 
a population of 10,000 persons and over, excepting Dwarka, and grants 
were made by the State at the rate of 4 annas per head of population. 
The grants sufficed only for a limited attention to conservancy, lighting, 
watering, (!v:c., and were subsequently raised to 8 annas per head for all 
towns where the population is more than 7,000, and 6 annas per head 
in other cases. Municipalities were subsequently established in twenty- 
two other towns with a population of less than io,ooo. From 1899- 
1900 (famine year) the grants were reduced to 4 annas, except in 
Patan. In 1905 separate sources of income were assigned to some 
municipalities. Thus Baroda city received a grant of 1-3 lakhs and the 
net receipts from octroi, while custom duties, tolls, local cess, and 
a proportion of the excise revenue raised in them were handed over to 
seven other towns, the ordinary grant being reduced or abolished. In 
1905 there were altogether 35 municipal towns : Baroda city, with 
a population exceeding 100,000; 10 with more than 10,000 and less 
than 100,000 ; and 24 with less than 10,000. The total population 
wathin municipal limits was 412,626. 

With the exception of Baroda city and seven other towns, the Subah 
appoints no less than half the members, who are from eight to sixteen 
in number, and hold office for three years. In making his nominations 
the Subah is expected to take into consideration the different castes of 
the inhabitants, and the nature of the trade carried on in the town. 
He can also appoint State servants, such as members of the medical 
and educational departments. In the more important towns, naib- 
subahs help in the administration, and in the tdhika towns the vahivdt- 
ddrs. In 1905 a scheme was introduced by which half the members are 
elected in the seven towns referred to above. The principle of election 
has been introduced to a certain extent in other municipalities also. 

The following table shows the expenditure of the municipalities, 
excluding Baroda city : — 


for the ten 





Public works 

Planting of trees . 


Watering roads . 


Fire establishment 

Tools and plant . 







not I 
























ARMY 69 

In Baroda city the expenditure was 3-4 lakhs in 1889-90 and 1900-1, 
and 2-4 lakhs in 1904-5. 

The pubh'c works department, which came into existence in 1875, 

is under the control of the Chief Engineer, the administrative part of 

the work being conducted by a secretary in the public 

. Public works 

works department, who is of the rank of Executive 

Engineer. Five divisions have been formed for the prdnts and Baroda 
city, at the head of each being an Executive Engineer with a qualified 
staff under him. There is a separate Executive Engineer for irrigation. 
It has also been found necessary to make a separate branch for land- 
scape gardening, and to appoint at its head a European Garden Super- 
intendent, who reports directly to the Chief Engineer. 

During the decade 1881-90 the expenditure averaged 16-7 lakhs, 
while in the next ten years it rose to 18-3 lakhs. In 1904-5 it 
amounted to 20-1 lakhs, including 2 lakhs for famine relief. These 
sums do not include expenditure on the railways, which were not con- 
structed by the department. 

The following are the principal works that have been carried out 
since the accession of the present Maharaja : The Dufiferin, Jamnabai, 
and Military Hospitals, and a Lunatic Asylum at Baroda city, and 4 
hospitals and 25 dispensaries in the districts ; a college, Anglo- 
vernacular school, and female training college at Baroda, a high school 
at Amreli, and about 50 other schools ; public offices at Baroda, 
Navsari, Amreli, and Mehsana ; a survey office and record ofifice at 
Baroda; judicial courts and a Central jail at Baroda, and 4 District 
jails ; a public park and museum at Baroda ; cavalry and infantry lines, 
with officers' quarters at Baroda ; the Ajwa reservoir and city drainage 
works for Baroda, and drainage and irrigation works in the districts ; 
a lighthouse at Dwarka ; roads from Baroda to Ajwa and Amalyara, 
Petlad to Cambay, vSinor to Karjan, Patan to Harij, Bilimora to 
Gandevi, Songarh to Surat, Amreli to Chital, Dwarka to Koranga, and 
many others of short lengths. In addition, the magnificent Lakshmi 
Vilas palace at Baroda, and a palace at Umrath, have been constructed 

The State army, consisting of the regular and irregular forces, is 
under the command of the Senapati, who is assisted by the military 
secretary. The regular forces include artillery, 
cavalry, and infantry, whose total strength in 1904-5 
was 4,775 officers and men. The artillery forms a light field battery, 
93 strong. There are four cavalry regiments, with a total strength 
of 1,500 men, and four infantry regiments with 3,182, including 
staff officers and the band. The irregular forces are also divided 
into horse and foot, the former numbering 2,000 and the latter 
1,806. The total cost in 1904-5 was 17-9 lakhs, of which io-6 


lakhs was spent on the regulars, 6-5 lakhs on the irregulars, and the 
balance on pensions. In addition, the State pays 3-7 lakhs annually 
to the British Government as coniniutation for the maintenance of 
the former Baroda Contingent, making a total military expenditure 
of 2 1-6 lakhs. A regiment of native infantry of the Indian Army 
garrisons Baroda, which is a cantonment in the Mhow division of 
the Western Command. 

Before i860 the police administration was in the hands of the 

revenue farmers, who were permitted to exercise magisterial and police 

functions. The system was unsatisfactory, and con- 

iails sequently numerous changes and improvements were 

made ; but the first thorough reform was introduced 

by Sir T. Madhava Rao, who separated the work of the magistrates 

from that of the police. 

The present organization of the regular police is as follows : At the 
head of the department is a Commissioner. Each prattt is under 
a district police officer, who is called police naib-subah, corresponding 
in rank with the District Superintendent, and has under him a varying 
number of inspectors. The inspectors are in charge of subdivisions, 
which consist of three or more ta/ukas. Each tahtka has a faiijddr 
(chief constable). A taluka is subdivided into thdnas (outposts), each 
thana containing a certain number of villages. Large and important 
thdnas have chaukls under them for a small group of villages. The 
thdnas are under naib-faitjdars, and the chaukls under havilddrs or 
jemadars. The sanctioned strength of the regular force in 1904-5 was 
4,886, made up as follows: 60 officers, 4,622 subordinate officers and 
men, and 204 mounted police, besides 129 non-effectives. The actual 
strength was 4,660, and the total cost was 6-4 lakhs. The sanctioned 
strength allows one man of the regular police to every 2-9 square miles 
of country, and to every 690 inhabitants. The rural police are said to 
number about 10,000 men. These latter are, strictly speaking, sub- 
ordinate to the village panchdyats, but in criminal cases must give 
assistance and report to the regular police. 

The system of recruitment of the regular police is almost the same 
as in British territory. Recruits must be men of good character, with 
a height not less than 5 feet 5 inches, and circumference of chest not 
less than 31 inches. After enlistment each recruit is trained at the 
head-quarters of the division for at least six months, and is taught drill 
and the use of the rifle. Those who cannot read and write receive 
oral instruction in their duties, and manuals are provided containing 
the chief points of the Police Act and other regulations. In 1904-5 
about 63 per cent, of the force could read and write. Educated men 
have not shown much desire to enter this department ; but a change 
seems to be setting in, and at the present time there are even a few 



graduates in the service. The pay of the force has recently been 

Except in the city of Baroda there is no special branch for detective 
service. To aid in the detection of crime, the system of taking finger- 
prints was introduced two years ago and is now being developed 
throughout the State. Police on the State railways are under the 
control of the Police Commissioner, except on the Dabhoi Railway, 
which is under the Superintendent of Railway Police, Bombay. 

The number of cases dealt with by the police and the main results 
are shown below : — 



Number of cases reported ..... 
,, ,, decided in criminal courts . 
,, ,, ending in acquittal or discharge . 
,, ,, conviction . 






The Jail department is under the Police Ccniimissioner. The State 
contains a Central jail at Baroda, 4 District jails, a subordinate jail, and 
39 lock-ups. The Central jail and three of the District jails are in 
charge of Civil Surgeons, while the others are supervised by vahivdtddrs 
or subordinate officials. The average daily number of inmates was 
1,511 in 1881, 2,324 in 1901 (a famine year), and 915 in 1904-5. The 
mortality usually ranges from 25 to 35 per thousand, but in 1901 rose 
to 84, owing to the effects of famine on the population. The chief 
industry pursued in the Baroda Central jail is weaving. All the 
clothing required for the prisoners themselves, and for the police, is 
prepared here. Excellent carpets are also made, as well as cane 
baskets, boxes, chairs, &c. The produce is sold under a contract, and 
is exported in large quantities. In 1904-5 the total receipts from 
convict labour amounted to Rs. 25,000. The annual average cost of 
maintaining a prisoner was Rs. 69 in 1881, Rs. 76 in 1891, Rs. 81 
in 1 90 1, and Rs. 73 in 1904-5, the total expenditure in the last year 
being Rs. 67,000. 

Up to 1 87 1 the State took no interest in schools and expended no 
money on education. The progress made since, 
which has raised education to a very high standard, 
is thus remarkable. Statistics will be found in a table at the end 
of this article (p. 78). 

Indigenous schools are usually conducted by Brahmans, the post of 
head master being hereditary. The fees are small, varying in the case 
of monthly payments from i anna to 4 annas. In other cases a small 
lump sum is given, or payment is made in grain. The ages of the 
boys attending these schools vary from 5 to 10 in towns, and from 



7 to about 13 in villages. The subjects taught do not go beyond read- 
ing, writing, and elementary arithmetic, though formulae of a moral and 
intellectual nature arc learnt by heart. No books are used, and the 
school-house is either the master's own property or he is allowed to 
use a dharmsdia. Many of these institutions have been replaced by 
State schools. 

In 187 1 five State schools were opened, two for GujaratI, two for 
MarathT, and one for English tuition. In 1875 a department of public 
instruction was established, and rapid extensions and developments 
then followed until the present system was established. The depart- 
ment, which is controlled by the Vidyadhikari or Minister of Education, 
is divided into two branches, the Anglo-vernacular and the vernacular 
branch. The staff of the Baroda College and high school inspect the 
former, while the latter is supervised by an Inspector in each prant, 
aided by eleven deputy-inspectors and a twelfth for Urdu and low- 
caste schools. 

The Baroda College was founded in 1881, and recognized by the 
University of Bombay in the same year. It is fully equipped with 
chemical and physical laboratories, a botanical garden, an excellent 
library, and prepares students for the highest degrees in the faculty of 
Arts, the B.Sc, and also for the first LL.B. examination of the Univer- 
sity. Close to the college building are large boarding-houses for the 
residence of students. In 1905-6 students from this college passed 
the following examinations: Previous 35, Intermediate 3,0, B.A. 19, 
B.Sc. 3, M.A. I, and first LL.B. 13. A number of students have 
been sent at the State expense to continue their studies in England, 
America, and Japan. 

Secondary schools are divided into high schools and Anglo-vernacular 
schools. Their number has risen from 10 with 809 pupils in 1881 to 
17 with 1,978 pupils in 1891, 21 with 2,926 pupils in 1901, and 21 with 
3,095 pupils in 1904-5. In the last year the State maintained 3 high 
schools and 14 Anglo- vernacular schools, and aided the other institu- 
tions. The total expenditure was 1-5 lakhs, and the receipts from fees 
were Rs. 32,000. The proportion of the male population of school- 
going age under secondary instruction in 1904-5 was 1-83 per cent. 

In the vernacular schools education is imparted in Gujarat!, MarathT, 
or Urdu, and in the best of the MarathT and GujaratT schools there are 
seven standards, with Sanskrit as an optional subject. These schools 
are provided in all towns and villages with a population exceeding 
1,000, though even smaller places possess them. Great attention is 
paid in primary schools to subjects of practical use, such as letter- 
writing, book-keeping, history and geography of the State, hygiene, 
village accounts, &c. Moral instruction is also given, and physical 
education is imparted. In some schools manual training has also been 


introduced. Village schools were first opened in 1891, and the village 
schoolmaster is now recognized as one of the permanent members of the 
panchayat. The schools are opened in all villages where there are no 
regular schools, provided that at least sixteen pupils can be collected. 
The standard is lower than in regular schools, but in the upper classes 
boys learn village accounts, book-keeping, and a little surveying. In 
1905 these schools were made over to local boards. 

An experiment in compulsory education has been carried on in the 
Amreli tdhika since 1893. In 1904-5, 66 schools were specially pro- 
vided in 50 villages, and these were attended by 5,879 pupils, or 11 per 
cent, of the total population. An Act was passed in 1904 to provide 
for the extension of this system to other tCilukas. The age limit for 
compulsory attendance is 7 to 12 for boys and 7 to 10 for girls, but 
numerous exemptions are allowed. 

The total number of vernacular schools rose from 180 with 17,465 
pupils in 1 88 1 to 503 with 50,979 pupils in 1891, 1,189 ^^il^h 83,277 
pupils in 1901, and 1,243 ^^"'^h 81,649 pupils in 1904-5. The latest 
figures include 496 State schools for boys, 94 for girls, and 653 village 
schools and other institutions. Nearly 40 per cent, of the villages in the 
State have schools, and 43 per cent, of boys of a school-going age are 
under instruction. The monthly pay of an assistant master ranges from 
Rs. 7 to Rs. 25, while a head master receives from Rs. 15 to Rs. 60. 

In 188 1 the number of girls' schools in the State was 8, with an 
average attendance of 554. In 1891 the number of schools was 39, and 
the average number on the rolls was 4,103. In 1901 the number of 
schools was 97, and, including girls educated in mixed schools, female 
pupils numbered 14,427. There were 94 girls' schools in 1904-5 with 
8,086 pupils, while 5,027 girls were being educated in mixed schools, 
giving a total of 9 per cent, of the female population of a school-going 
age. In the small girls' schools, in addition to the ordinary literary 
subjects, needlework and singing are taught, and in the more advanced 
schools, embroidery, drawing, singing, and cooking. Zandna classes 
have been in existence for some time. They are attended by grown-up 
women, who are taught reading, writing, arithmetic, and needlework, in 
convenient hours when they are free from domestic duties. In 1904-5 
there were 140 students in these classes. 

A training class for female teachers was opened in 1881, and has been 
developed into a female training college under the charge of a Lady 
Superintendent. The number of students on the rolls in 1904-5 was 
26, of whom 7 completed their course and were employed by the 
department. A similar school for male teachers was opened in 1885 
but abolished in 1898. It was reopened in 1905, in connexion with 
the technical school described below, and has 66 pupils. 

In 1890 a technical school, called the Kala Bhavan^ was established 


in the city of Barodii, and has since been improved and extended. It 
now inckides classes for art, architecture, mechanical and chemical 
technology, weaving, and watch-making. The number of pupils rose 
from 175 in 1901 to 364 in 1904-5, and only a small proportion of the 
candidates for admission to the engineering class can be accommodated. 
Industrial schools at Padra, Vadnagar, and Kathor are in charge of the 
Principal of the Kala Bhavan. The total expenditure on these institu- 
tions in 1904-5 was Rs. 53,000. 

Since 1886 schools where music is taught on scientific principles have 
been maintained in Baroda and other places. These are exceedingly 
popular, and contained 638 pupils in 1904 5. Music is also taught to 
girls in the training college and in the higher classes of the vernacular 
girls' schools. 

In 1 88 1 there were only 13 Muhammadan students in secondary 
schools, while primary schools contained 1,456. In 1S91 there was one 
Muhammadan in the Baroda College, besides 32 in secondary and 
5,123 in primary schools. In 1901 the number of Muhammadan pupils 
in the college was 3, in the secondary schools 69, and in the primary 
schools 7,639. A further rise took place in 1904-5, when 9,418 boys 
and 447 girls were attending schools. Muhammadan education has 
thus made rapid strides, though the number of those who desire higher 
instruction is small. Special Urdu schools, numbering 39, have greatly 
helped the community. The Maharaja has recently founded handsome 
scholarships to assist Muhammadans in pursuing a university career. 

Special schools are maintained for the jungle tribes and for the castes 
regarded as unclean. The former are taught reading and writing, and 
are also trained in carpentry and agriculture at Songarh. Less success 
has been obtained with the unclean castes, but in 1904-5 the number of 
pupils was 1,715, or 10 per cent, of the children of a school-going age, 
including 68 girls. Education in these schools is entirely free. 

The total State expenditure on education amounted to 4-9 lakhs in 
1891, to 8-2 lakhs in 1901, and to 6-7 lakhs in 1904-5, or about 
5^ annas per head of the population. A number of scholarships are 
also granted from the Maharaja's privy purse at institutions in Bombay 
and Poona. 

The Census of 1901 showed that out of every 1,000 of the population 
87-7 could read and write, the proportion rising to 162-7 in the case of 
males, and being 7-6 for females. Among Parsis 60 per cent, were 
literate, and among Jains 36 per cent., while Musalmans (9-4 per cent.) 
were rather more advanced than Hindus (8-5 per cent.). The Animists 
are the most backward community, with only 3-6 per cent. 

Since 1881 several newspapers have been started, and at present there 
are five in existence. These papers contain information on local subjects 
and are useful to the people. The State has given much encouragement 




to the publication of vernacular works, including many translations 
from English and Sanskrit books, and also treatises on history, music, 
games, cookery, &c. 

Before 1855 the practice of medicine was entirely in the hands of 
vaids and haklius. They numbered about 50, and their most important 
duty was to attend on the Maharaja, his relations, and 
his immediate followers, though they also practised 
among the townspeople. Native systems of medicine were followed, 
and the practitioners had no acquaintance with European science. In 
1855 a hospital was opened in Baroda city, under the superintendence 
of the Residency Surgeon, but it was not until 1876 that a medical 
department was established. A ELuropean medical officer was called 
in to commence the work, and rapid progress was made. Many of 
the vaids and hakims were pensioned, and their places were filled by 
properly qualified practitioners. The Sayaji Rao Military Hospital and 
the Jamnabai Civil Hospital were opened in the city in 1877. Civil 
hcjspitals were founded at the head-quarters of each prdnt, and dispen- 
saries at most of the taluka head-quarters. A central medical store 
depot was also established, and a chemical analyist appointed. After- 
wards a veterinary hospital was added. In 1886 the magnificent building 
now known as the Countess of Dufferin Hospital was erected to take the 
place of the old State hospital, which had become unsuitable. 

Statistics of the progress made in providing for the medical needs of 
the people are shown below : — 





Number of hospitals and dispen- 

saries ..... 





Daily average attendance of in- 

patients ..... 





Daily average attendance of out- 

patients ..... 





Number ot operations 





Expenditure on establishment Rs. 



I, .^9,7 20 

1,10,61 1 

„ medicines, &c.Rs. 





A lunatic asylum was opened at Baroda city in 1898, with accommo- 
dation for 28 patients — 16 males and 12 females. The number of 
lunatics treated in 1904-5 was 27, and the expenditure amounted to 
Rs. 2,785. Most of the cases of insanity are ascribed to the excessive 
use of liquor and to the smoking oS. gdnja. 

A vaccination department has been in existence for many years, and 
vaccination has been freely carried on among all classes of the people. 
In the city of Baroda both animal lymph and lymph taken from 
vaccinated children are used, but in other parts of the State human 
lymph is generally used, which is revived by bovine lymph from time to 


time. In 1904-5 the staff consisted of 4 inspectors and 35 vaccinators, 
besides probationers and servants, and 60,872 {)ersons were success- 
fully vaccinated, or 31 per 1,000 of the population, the total cost being 
Rs. 13,800. 

The Sanitary Commissioner supervises sanitary arrangements in 
villages, and his instructions and regulations are enforced by the local 
revenue officers and the police pdtels. These officers have the power 
of fining persons who by storing manure or in any other way cause 
nuisances dangerous to health. In 1905 duties connected with village 
sanitation were entrusted to the local boards. 

The system of measurement followed in the State is an improved 
combination of chain and cross-staff survey. Villages mapped by the 
chain survey are now being surveyed. All taldtis and 
tajvtzdars (subordinate revenue officials) have to pass 
an examination in revenue survey, so that they may be able to check 
boundary marks according to the village maps, to help the taluka 
officers in cases where survey units are divided, and inquire into field 
boundary disputes, encroachments, &c. There are also trained in- 
spectors appointed to the different tdlukas to examine the boundary 
marks, and to see that the survey is maintained in all its details. 

[James Forbes : Oriental Menioits, 4 vols. (1813). — -A. K. Forbes : 
Rds Mala, 2 vols. (1856). — F. A. H. Elliot : Baroda Gazetteer (Bombay, 
1883). — Census Reports, 1881, 1 891, and 1901. — Annual Administration 
Reports from 1875-6. — R. Bruce Foote : Geology of the Baroda State 
(Madras, 1898). — J. Burgess and H. Cousens : Architectural Antiquities 
of Northern Gujarat (1903). — Bombay Gazetteer: Kathidwdr (Bom- 
bay, 1884).] 



Distribution of Population, Baroda State, 1901 







Total population. 

Urban population. 


a D 

c c 















































Statistics of Agriculture and Irrigation, Baroda 
State, for the Year ending July 30 

(In square miles) 





Total area .... 





Cultivable, but not cultivated 





Uncultivable .... 





Total cultivated area 





Irrigated from canals 

• • • 




,, „ wells and tanks . 





Total irrigated area . 





Unirrigated area 





Cropped Area. 






Bajra ..... 





Jowar ..... 



1 ,075 







Other food-grains and pulses 





Castor-oil seed .... 




... t 






Sugar-cane .... 





Cotton ..... 





San-\\txn\> .... 










Tobacco ..... 





Miscellaneous .... 





Area double cropped 





Not available. 

t Included under miscellaneous. 



















rt (-« ri CO -^ On 1 -- 00 i^'O 






...""-<>>. . so w 

. . -IN . .11 

• . . »s ■ • 






PI «_ ^ q^ c\ "^ ^ 
►^^ -T n? -f 

of insti- 

" re Tt- ro •^i 00 -t-'O 'O 
« O O 





-■00OrCr»i-i rfjM. 
M CO ^ 0\ 00 O >« ; 






. . . <^ <^ . ... 

■ . . ■+ • : : : 



^O O I-" ON 1^ C?s •* 
« 00 O O . « ro r» . 
M CO '^ "^ ■ OO NO "^ • 




of insti- 








ro t^oo >0 O !>. ro ro 

i-iOsO'^OnOn x-^O. 

11 NO On -^ -^ "^ "2 r 





t^ ON 

: : ;o " ■ : • : 
...-'*; : . : : 



ro 1^00 00 Tj- t-» rO ro 
i-iONO00t-~.CN t^O. 
*-t NO On On -^ ro rO - 

oo" tC 





of insti- 

11 l->- CI • 

ro « • 



Arts college . 

High schools 

Anglo- vernacular schools 

Primary schools 

Training schools . 

Special schools 

{with grant-in-aid). 

Elementary . 
Orphanages . 



Baroda Prant. — A praut or district of the Baroda State, lying 
between 21° 50' and 22° 45' N. and 72° 35' and 73° 50' E., with an 
area of 1,887 square miles. It is bounded on the north by the Kaira 
District of Bombay ; on the west by Broach, Cambay, and part of 
Kaira ; on the south by Broach and the Rewa Kantha ; and on the east 
by the Rewa Kantha and the Panch Mahals. Most of ihe prdnt forms 
a compact block between the Narbada and the Mahl, but the Petlad 
tdhika lies separate, north of the latter river. The southern portion 
of the prdnt is largely composed of black soil, which, though fertile, 
produces few trees. In the north the red soil is thickly wooded. 
The prdnt is either traversed or skirted by the rivers Mahi, Dhadhar, 
Narbada, Vishwamitri, Surya, Meni, Or, Hiran, Unchh, and Oswan. 

The country is largely under cultivation, and the vegetation there- 
fore consists chiefly of the crops with their accompanying weeds. The 
hedges enclosing fields consist of shrubs like Maeriia, Cadaba, Dios- 
pyros, Celastrus, with occasionally fleshy species of Euphorbia ; asso- 
ciated with these shrubby species are trees of Bombax malabarkum. 
The climbing plants in the hedges include soecies of Leguminosae, 
Convo/viilaceae, Metiisper/naceae, and Asclepiadaceae. In waste places 
and on waysides occin- Tephrosia purpurea, Heylandia batebrosa, 
Wabtheria i/idica, Hibiscus Gibsoni, Argemone mexicatia, and similar 
species. In the neighbourhood of dwellings are seen mangoes, 
tamarinds, bmebs, several species of Ficus, A/iona squamosa, Jatroplia 
Curcas, and other more or less useful planted or sub-spontaneous 

The population in 1872 was estimated at 747,437, and at the next 
two enumerations it was (1881) 761,501, {1891) 817,023; while in 
1901 it was only 644,071, of whom 523,999 were Hindus, 36,713 Ani- 
mists, 64,148 Musalmans, and 10,916 Jains. The terrible diminution 
in the population was due to the disastrous effects of famine and 
plague. The prdnt is divided into nine tdlukas and two petas or sub- 
tdbukas, the population of which in 1901 is shown in the table on 
the next page. 

The principal towns are Baroda City, Petlad, Dabhoi, Sojitra, 
Vaso, Padra, Nar, Pihij, and Sinor. Gujarat! is spoken by 93 per 
cent, of the population, and Hindustani by 5 per cent., while nearly 
a fourth of the inhabitants of the city use Marathl. In 1901 iheprdni 
contained 6,943 native Christians. The American Methodist Episcopal 
Mission has adherents in 125 villages and towns, numbering approxi- 
mately 5,200. In addition to two orphanages, it provides a training 
school for teachers and preachers, and fifty-five day-schools. 

The prevailing black soil is very fertile, and requires little manure or 
irrigation, while gordt or sandy loam needs both. The Petlad tdluka 
is noted for the cultivation of tobacco. The chief crops are rice, bdjra, 



joivar, wheat, math, gram, adad, fiiver, val, chola, fa/, diveli, cotton, 
sugar-cane, kasumbo, and tol)acco. Many other minor crops and 
vegetable products are raised for local consumption. 


Number of 

's _ i 

° 1 





3 % 

riation ir 
Illation b 
een i8qi 
nd igoi. 

umber of 
ons able 
ead and 









Baroda (city ex- 

cluded ) . 

1 60 




- 37-4 







- 20.5 








- 14.1 







— 14-6 







- J9-4 







— 22.2 




• > . 




- 23-9 














- 23-3 








- 35-7 



Baroda city with 






- 48-2 






— 22-9 


cantonment . 






— 12.2 


The weaving of coarse cotton cloth is the chief industry. But in 
addition may be mentioned the manufacture of fine turbans at Dabhoi, 
of cloths at Sojitra, Petlad, and Bakrol, of embroidery with gold and 
silver thread at Baroda, and of gold and silver ornaments in most 
towns. Iron-work is poor, but good locks are made at Petlad, Sojitra, 
and Vaso. Excellent brass and copper pots are manufactured every- 
where. The only cotton-mill is at Baroda, but there are twenty-six 
ginning factories. A dyeing factory has been working at Petlad for some 
years. The chief centres of trade are Baroda, Dabhoi, Chandod, and 
Petlad, which are connected by rail. The prdn/ is well provided with 
communications, as the main line of the Bombay, Baroda, and Central 
India Railway runs from north to south, with a State branch from 
Anand to Petlad and Cambay, and narrow-gauge lines connect Dabhoi 
with Bodeli, Chandod, Sinor, and Mobha. In addition, the Baroda- 
Godhra chord line on the broad gauge crosses the prant. The chief 
roads are those from Baroda to Padra, Makarpura, Ajwa, and Savli, 
from Petlad to Sojitra, and from Chandod to Sinor. 

The land revenue decreased from 37-9 lakhs in 1881 to 36-8 in 
1 89 1, but rose to 39-8 lakhs in 1901. In 1904-5 the demand was 
30-7 lakhs, but owing to famine only 23-8 lakhs was collected. The 
average assessment per b'lgha (f acre) varies from about R. 0-3-9 '" 
Padra to Rs. 4 in Sinor. The prdnt was settled for fifteen years 
between 1888 and 1893, and a revision is now in progress. 


Besides Baroda city the J>nr//f contains ten municipalities: namely, 
Dabhoi, Petlad, Padra, Sinor, Sojitra, Vaso, Savli, Bhadran, Sankheda, 
and Makarpura. Their funds, amounting to Rs. 14,800 in 1904-5, 
besides the income from customs, excise, and tolls in Dabhoi, are 
provided by the State. A District board and local boards were con- 
stituted in 1905. 

The prdnt is administered by the Siihah, whose head-quarters are at 
Baroda city. The prd/ii Judge also holds his court at the same place. 

Education is well provided for, there being a college in Baroda city 
and also a high school, while the number of Anglo-vernacular schools 
is 6, and of vernacular schools 476. These schools were attended in 
1904-5 by 35,780 pupils. T\\Q prdfit contains a civil hospital, a leper 
hospital, a lunatic asylum, and 10 dispensaries, in which 131,322 
patients were relieved in 1904-5, of whom 1,044 were in-patients. 

Baroda Taluka. — Central taluka of the Baroda prdnt, Baroda 
State, with an area of 160 square miles. Excluding the city, the popula- 
tion fell from 96,387 in 1891 to 60,428 in 1901. It contains no villages, 
besides the city and cantonment. The tdluka 's a level plain watered 
by five rivers, the Mahl, Meni, Rungal, Jambva, and Vishwamitri. The 
prevailing soil is black, though two other classes, gordt, or sandy loam, 
and besdr, a mixed soil, are found interspersed with it. The chief 
crops grown are ddngar, Joivdr, bdjra, tiiver, ta/, mat/i, skidiu, and 
cotton. In 1904-5 the land revenue was Rs. 3,68,000. 

Baroda City.— Capital of the Baroda State, situated in 22° 18' N. 
and 73° 15' E., on the Vishwamitri river, 244^ miles from Bombay by 
rail, and 6ii miles south-by-south-east of Ahmadabad. The population 
at the last three enumerations was: (1881) 106,512, (1891) 116,420, 
and (1901) 103,790. In 1901 Hindus numbered 80,834, Musalmans 
18,770, and Jains 2,266. 

The municipal board, reconstituted in 1906, has an income of 
about 2 lakhs, derived from octroi, fines levied for permission to 
erect new houses, &c., sales of land, and a conservancy tax. In 1904-5 
the expenditure was 2-4 lakhs, the chief items being roads (Rs. 91,000), 
conservancy (Rs. 61,000), and administration (Rs. 32,000). The aspect, 
comfort, and health of the city have recently been considerably improved. 
A free supply of filtered water, supplied from the Ajwa reservoir, is dis- 
tributed to every street by means of pipes. Drainage works are being 
constructed to carry off storm water and sullage from the houses. New 
roads have been constructed, old roads have been made wider, new 
buildings have been erected on every side, old and inconvenient ones 
have been removed, the streets are clean and well lighted, and con- 
servancy is carefully attended to. 

The city proper is enclosed by the old walls of the fort. It is 
approached from the railway station by a road which, at first broad and 



straight, gradually becomes narrower and more tortuous. Close to the 
station is the magnificent building erected for the Baroda College, at 
a cost of more than 6 lakhs. It is situated in a spacious compound, 
which also contains residential quarters for students, a fine botanical 
garden, a cricket ground, a tennis court, and a gymnasium. A little 
farther is the entrance of the public i)ark, and across the Vishwamitri 
stands the Countess of Dufferin Hospital, a handsome modern building, 
with wards for male in-patients, and the Victoria Jubilee ward for female 
in-patients. Just beyond it, and on the same side, is the Sayaji Rao 
Military Hospital, for the reception of the sick from all regiments of the 
Baroda forces. In the suburbs of the city stands the house of the 
famous minister Gangadhar Sastri, while close by a steep ascent up 
a short hill leads to what is called the Juna Kot, or old fort, probably 
the most ancient portion of the Hindu town of Baroda. The principal 
offices of the State are located here, and just opposite is the new Survey 
Office. A large building has recently been constructed for the safe 
custody of records. The State Library, a small but handsome erection, 
is close to the Record Office. From the Laharipura or western gate 
a broad and picturesque street leads through the city to the clock-tower. 
At right angles to this street branch off pols or wards belonging to 
distinct classes and castes of people, and forming ctils-de-sac the 
entrances of which are barred by heavy doors. Close to the clock-tower 
is the old palace in which the Gaikwars lived formerly ; and immediately 
behind it, rising high above surrounding buildings, stands the white 
stucco Nazar Bagh palace which was erected by the Maharaja Malhar 
Rao. The Gaikwar's jewels, which are stored here, have been valued 
at over 3 crores. They include a diamond necklace, one of the stones 
of which is known as ' the Star of the South,' a brilliant of perfect water 
weighing 125 carats (originally 254-I), estimated to be worth 9 lakhs, 
and a cloth embroidered with precious stones and seed pearls which 
was designed to cover the Prophet's tomb at Mecca. Not far from the 
Nazar Bagh is an old building containing a fine library collected by 
Sampat Rao Gaikwar. The Nazar Bagh adjoins a continuation of the 
Laharipura street, terminating in the eastern or Water Gate. On its 
southern side are the military office, and the lines where the gold and 
silver guns are kept. Just beyond the Water Gate is the arena where 
public sports are still held. From the clock-tower a road leads to the 
Champaner Gate, and another to the Rhinoceros or South Gate. Near 
the western gate is the Sursagar, a large reservoir of water with stone 
banks, and masonry steps in places. The length of this" tank is 
1,057 feet, its width 665 feet, and its average depth 12 feet. In the 
neighbourhood is the Chimnabai Nyaya Mandir, or ' temple of justice,' 
occupied by the High Court, and named after the late Maharanl 
Chimnabai. Close to it are two other fine structures, the female 


training college and the Anglo-vernacular school. Another educational 
building is the Kala Bhavan, a technical institution where students 
learn dyeing, weaving, carpentry, smithy-work, drawing, &c. The 
Central jail is a carefully constructed building arranged on modern 
principles. The public park contains a museum, beautiful gardens, 
and a collection of wild animals. Just beyond the park is the lunatic 
asylum, a new and spacious building. 

Besides the Nazar Bagh palace, the Makarpura palace is situated 
about 4 miles to the south of the city. It was originally erected by 
Khande Rao, but has been much enlarged and improved. It is now 
surrounded by fine gardens containing fountains, grottoes, and pergolas, 
and is used by the Maharaja as a country residence. The chief palace 
is, however, the Lakshml Vilas, a building in the Hindu-Saracenic style, 
which cost about 60 lakhs. It contains a large Darbar hall, with mosaic 
decorations on the walls and a mosaic floor specially executed by Italian 
workmen, and covered wooden galleries reserved for ladies. The palace 
is well furnished, and contains bronze statues and costly paintings by 
European artists. The grounds have been laid out by an English land- 
scape gardener, and add greatly to the attractiveness of the palace. 

There are many other objects of interest in Baroda, of which perhaps 
the most notable are the Hindu temples which crowd the city. Close 
to the stone bridge which crosses the Vishwamitri are the temples raised 
to the memory of several members of the Gaikwar family, as well as two 
temples to Mahadeo. Other temples of importance are Bande's, which 
has the largest allowance from the State; the Sidhnath temple, Lakshman 
Bava's Mandir, Kalika's temple, and Bolai's temple, all of which are 
supported by the State. There are also the temples of Khandoba, the 
tutelary god of the Gaikwar family, and those of Bechraji and BhTmnath, 
where Brahmans undergo penance for the spiritual welfare of the 
Maharaja's house. Ganpati's Mandir and the temple to Kashi Vish- 
veshvar mark the liberality and religious aspirations of the late Gopal 
Rao Mairal, banker, financier, and minister. The chief Gujarat temples 
are those of Narsinhji, Govardhan-Nathji, and Baldevaji, while high 
above all other buildings in the city, except the Nazar Bagh, towers the 
temple built by the followers of Swami Narayan. 

There is no characteristic art in Baroda deserving of special mention. 
A few artisans are proficient in wood-carving, some in lacquer-work, and 
some in iron grille work suitable for balcony railings. Calico-printing 
is also carried on to meet the demand for cheap cotton saris. 
Embroidery with gold and silver thread of a superior description is 
produced to a small extent. A cotton spinning and weaving-mill built 
by the State was transferred to a private firm in 1905, and other mills 
are being built. 

The cantonment or Camp lies north-west of the city, from which it is 

G 2 


separated by the \'ish\vaniilri. Its area is about 2 square miles, and its 
population (1901) 3,162. The garrison consists of a regiment of native 
infantry belonging to the Indian army. In or near the cantonment are 
the church consecrated by Bishop Heber in 1825, the Residency (just 
outside the boundary line), a stone column raised to the memory of 
Mr. \\'illianis a former Resident, the American Methodist Episcopal 
Church and orphanages (280 boys, 260 girls), vernacular schools for 
boys and girls, and a school for European children maintained by the 
Government of India and the Baroda State jointly. 

Baroda Town. — Town in the Sheopur district of Gwalior State, 
Central India, situated in 25° 29' N. and 76° 42' E. Population (1901), 
6,381. Baroda is now the chief town of the Sheopur-Baroday'tT^'Jr, sub- 
ordinate to Gwalior. The holders are Gaur Rajputs from Bengal. In 
the twelfth century Bachh Raj established himself at Ajmer, whence 
the family were driven by the Muhammadans about two hundred years 
later. For services rendered to the Delhi emperors certain lands were 
granted to them, including the territory lying between the Parbati and 
KuntI rivers ; and Sheopur, 12 miles north of Baroda, became their 
head-quarters. During the Maratha inroads of the eighteenth century 
the Raja was forced to acknowledge the suzerainty of Sindhia. Sub- 
sequently Daulat Rao Sindhia assigned the lands then held by Raja 
Radhika Das of Sheopur to his general Jean Baptiste Filose, who com- 
pelled the Raja to relinquish them. Radhika Das was, however, per- 
mitted to retain a portion of his former territory, including twenty-three 
villages, and to take up his residence at Baroda. In 18 13 twelve addi- 
tional villages were assigned to him. In 1857 the Raja revolted and 
his estates were confiscated, but were restored in 1859, through the 
mediation of the Resident at Gwalior. The present holder is Raja 
Bijai Singh, who succeeded in 1865. 

Baroda. — Village in the Gohana tahs'd of Rohtak District, Punjab. 
See Barauda. 

Barot. — Town in the Baghpat tahsll of Meerut District, United 
Provinces. See Baraut. 

Barpeta Subdivision. — Subdivision of Kamrup District, Eastern 
Bengal and Assam, lying between 26° 5' and 26° 49' N. and 90° 39'' 
and 91° 17' E., on the north bank of the Brahmaputra, with an area of 
1,274 square miles. In 1901 the population was 115,935, compared 
with 135,705 in 1891. It contains one town, Barpeta (population, 
8,747), the head-quarters, and 600 villages. The land revenue and 
local rates amounted in 1903-4 to Rs. 2,54,000. The subdivision is 
sparsely peopled, and there are only 91 persons per square mile, as 
compared with 153 in the District as a whole. The decrease of nearly 
15 per cent, in the last intercensal period was due to exceptional un- 
healthiness and to the damage done by the earthquake of 1897. The 


annual rainfall averages 96 inches at Barpeta, but nearer the Hima- 
layas it is considerably higher. The subdivision has always been liable 
to injury from flood, and since 1897 this liability has been seriously 
increased. Mustard was at one time extensively grown on the marshes 
that fringe the bank of the Brahmaputra, but the land now frequently 
remains too cold and wet to admit of a crop being raised. In the 
northern vianzas, which are almost exclusively inhabited by Kacharis, 
rich crops of rice are raised f)n fields irrigated from the hill streams. 
Elsewhere />ao, a long-stemmed variety of winter rice, is the staple crop. 

Barpeta To'wn. — Head-quarters of the subdivision of the same 
name in Kamrup District, Eastern Bengal and Assam, situated in 
26° 19' N. and 91° i' E., on the right bank of the Chaulkhoa, connected 
by a cart-road with the Kholabanda ghdi on the Brahmaputra about 
15 miles away. Population has steadily decreased during the last thirty 
years, and was only 8,747 in 1901. Barpeta is famous as the site of 
a sattra or religious college founded by the Vaishnavite reformer 
Sankar Deb at the end of the fifteenth century. The ground sur- 
rounding the sattra is considered holy, and is crowded with native 
huts, huddled together in the most insanitary propinquity. The town 
has always been liable to flood ; but since the earthquake of 1897 the 
annual inundations have been more extensive, and for some time the 
prisoners, the treasure, and the office records had to be kept in boats. 
It contains a hospital with four beds, and a high school which in 1903-4 
had an average attendance of 113 boys. Barpeta was formed into 
a municipality in 1886. The receipts and expenditure during the ten 
years ending 1902-3 averaged Rs. 10,000. In 1903-4 the income 
was Rs. 9,000, including taxes on houses and lands (Rs. 3,500) and 
a grant from Provincial revenues (Rs. 2,500); while the expenditure 
was Rs. 16,000, the chief items being conservancy (Rs. 3,300) and 
public works (Rs. 10,000). Barpeta is one of the few places in Assam 
where the Assamese have displayed any commercial aptitude. They 
retain all business in their own hands, and there is a considerable trade 
in mustard seed and other country produce. The manufactures 
are not important, but include canoes, earthenware well rings, and 
artistic gold filigree work. 

Barrackpore Subdivision. — North-western subdivision of the 
District of the Twenty-four Parganas, Bengal, lying between 22° 35' 
and 22° 57' N. and 88° 21' and 88° 31' E., on the left bank of the 
Hooghly, with an area of 190 square miles. The subdivision, which 
was formed in 1904 from portions of the Sadar and Barasat subdivi- 
sions, consists of a long narrow strip of riparian land and contains 
a number of low-lying swamps, but the parts along the banks of the 
Hooghly are higher and healthier. The population in 1901 was 
206,311, the density being 1,086 persons per square mile. The bank 


of the Hooghly nortli of Calcutta is lined with mills, which provide 
labour for a large industrial population. The subdivision contains 
twelve towns, all lying within this tract : Naihati (population, 13,604), 
Hai.isahar (10,149), Bhati'ara (21,540), (iARUi.iA (7,375), Barrack- 
PORK Nt)rth (12,600) and South (19,307), TrrAOARH (16,065), I'ani- 
HATi (11,178), Kamarhati (13,216), Baranagar (25,432), and Dum- 
DuM North (9,916) and South (10,904). The remainder of the inhabi- 
tants live in 163 villages. The head-quarters of the subdivision are 
at Barrack pore, historically important as the scene of the outbreak of 
two mutinies. Cantonments are situated within the North Dum-Dum 
and South Barrackpore municipalities, and there is a Government 
ammunition factory at Dum-Dum. Barrackpore also contains the 
suburban residence of the Viceroy. 

Barrackpore Town. — Head-quarters of the subdivision of the 
same name in the District of the Twenty-four Parganas, Bengal, situated 
in 22° 46' N. and 88° 2\' E., on the east bank of the Hooghly river, 
15 miles above Calcutta. I'he town is comprised within two muni- 
cipalities : North and South Barrackpore, containing, in 1901, 12,600 
and 19,307 inhabitants respectively. South Barrackpore includes Bar- 
rackpore cantonment, with a population in 1901 of 9,888. The name 
is probably derived from the fact of troops having been stationed here 
since 1772; the natives call the place Chanak. To the south of the 
cantonment is Barrackpore Park, which has been laid out with much 
taste ; it contains the suburban residence of the Viceroy of India, built 
by Lord Minto and enlarged by the Marquis of Hastings. The military 
force stationed at Barrackpore consists of a field battery, a company 
of British infantry, and a native infantry regiment. 

Barrackpore has played a part in two mutinies. In 1824, when 
Bengal troops were required to take part in the Burmese War, the 
47th Bengal Infantry, which was stationed here, was warned for foreign 
service. Alarmed by rumours that they were to be transported to Ran- 
goon by sea, the regiment mutinied on parade on October 30. After 
ineffectual attempts at conciliation, the regiment was paraded on 
November i in presence of Sir Edward Paget, the Commander-in- 
Chief, who directed them either to obey the orders to march or to 
ground their arms. Upon their refusal, a battery of European artillery, 
supported by two British regiments, opened fire upon the mutineers, 
who broke at once and made for the river, throwing away their arms. 
Some were shot, some drowned, and others hanged ; and the number 
of the regiment was removed from the Army List. 

The first sparks of the Mutiny of 1857 were kindled in Barrackpore. 
The excitement which had been rapidly spreading among the native 
troops culminated on March 29, when Mangal Pande, a sepoy of the 
34th Native Infantry, attempted to kill one of the officers. Lieutenant 


Bough, fired at a European sergeant-major, and called upon his com- 
rades to join him. These outrages were committed within a few yards 
of the quarter-guard, which took no steps to interfere. As a punish- 
ment for this mutinous behaviour, the regiment was disbanded with 
ignominy on May 6, Mangal Pande and the native officer in charge 
of the guard having been previously tried by court-martial and hanged. 
A full account of these events will be found in Sir John Kaye's History 
of the Sepoy War, vol. i, pp. 266-9, 495- 

Barrackpore is an important station on the Eastern Bengal State 
Railway, and the head-quarters of the recently constituted Barrackpore 
subdivision. It contains the usual public offices, a sub-jail with 
accommodation for 14 prisoners, and the Bhola Nath Bose Hospital 
with 18 beds. The town is a favourite residence of Europeans, and 
the Christian population numbers 914. 

The North Barrackpore municipality was constituted in 1869. The 
income and expenditure during the eight years ending 1903-4 averaged 
Rs. 11,000. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 13,000, including Rs. 5,000 
from a tax on persons and the same amount from a conservancy 
rate; and the expenditure was Rs. 11,600. The municipal office is at 
Nawabganj, the residence of the Mandal family of zainindars. Within 
the municipal area is Palta, where the Calcutta water-works are situated, 
and Ichapur, where there is a Government rifle factory. The Garulia 
municipality was separated from North Barrackpore in 1896. 

The South Barrackpore municipality was also constituted in 1869. 
Its area has been curtailed of late years by the separation of the Tita- 
GARH municipality in 1895 and of the Panihati municipality in 1900. 
The income during the four years ending 1903-4 averaged Rs. 10,000, 
and the expenditure Rs. 9,000. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 11,000, 
mainly from a tax on persons {or property tax), a conservancy rate, and 
a tax on houses and lands ; and the expenditure was Rs. 9,000. The 
municipal office is at Khardah. 

The receipts and expenditure of the cantonment fund during the 
decade ending 1901 averaged Rs. 25,000, and in 1903-4 they were 
Rs. 34,000 and Rs. 33,000 respectively. 

Barren Island. — A volcanic island in the Andaman Sea, lying 
about 71 miles north-east of Port Blair. See Andaman Islands. 

Barsana. — Town in the Chhata tahsil of Muttra District, United 
Provinces, situated in 27° 39' N. and 77° 23' E., 31 miles north-west 
of Muttra city. Population (1901), 3,542. According to modern Hindu 
belief, this was one of the favourite residences of Krishna's mistress, 
Radha. It lies at the foot and on the slope of a hill originally 
dedicated to Brahma. The hill has four peaks, each crowned with 
buildings erected during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries ; 
and the importance of the place dates from the settlement here of 


a Brahman who had been family priest to tlie Rajas of Bharatpur, 
Gwalior, and Indore early in the eighteenth century- In 1774 the 
Jats under Sumru were defeated near Barsana by the imperial troofis, 
who plundered the town. A magnificent new temple is being built 
by the Maharaja of Jaipur. 

Barsi Taluka. — 7<7////(vj of Sholapur District, Bombay, lying 
between 17° 57' and 18° 26' N. and 75° 36' and 76° 7' E., surrounded 
on all sides by the Nizam's Dominions, with an area of 596 square miles. 
There are two towns, Barsi (population, 24,242), the head-quarters, 
and Vairag (5,163); and 122 villages. The population in 1901 was 
139,435, compared with 140,322 in 1891. With the excei)tion of the 
Sholapur ialuka, Barsi is the most thickly populated in the District, 
with a density of 234 persons per square mile. The demand for 
land revenue in 1903-4 was 2 lakhs, and for cesses Rs. 14,000. The 
tahika is crossed by several streams, and is, on the whole, well wooded. 
The villages are small, and lie chiefly on river banks. Barsi has a 
better climate and a more plentiful and regular rainfall than the rest 
of Sholapur. 

Barsi To"wn.^ Head-quarters of the tdluka of the same name in 
Sholapur District, Bombay, situated in 18° 14' N. and 75° 41' E. 
Population (1901), 24,242, including Hindus, 20,881 ; Musalmans, 
2,785 ; and Jains, 515. Barsi is an important centre of trade, with 
a large export of cotton, linseed and other oilseeds, chiefiy to Bombay. 
There are seven cotton presses, employing about 500 persons. The 
town is connected with Barsi Road station on the Great Indian Penin- 
sula Railway by the Barsi Light Railway, opened in 1897. It possesses 
a fine temple of Bhagwan, richly ornamented. The municipality, 
constituted in 1865, had an average income during the decade ending 
1901 of Rs. 36,000. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 51,000. Barsi 
contains a Subordinate Judge's court, eight schools, including one for 
girls, attended by 411 and 52 pupils respectively, and two dispensaries, 
one of which belongs to the railway company. The water-supply is 
obtained from a reservoir built in 1877 at a cost of Rs. 28,000. The 
reservoir, which covers an area of 65 acres near the town, is designed 
to contain 19,000,000 cubic feet of water. 

Bars! Takli. — Town in the District and taluk of Akola, Berar, 
situated in 20° 35' N. and 77° 7' E. Population (1901), 6,288. At 
this place there is a remarkably fine Hemadpanti temple, with an 
inscription giving the date Saka 1098 (a. d. 1176), which is probably 
the date of its construction. 

Barsoi. — Village in the head-quarters subdivision of Purnea District, 
Bengal, situated in 25° 38' N. and 87° 53' E., on the east bank of the 
Mahananda. Population (1901), 3,101. It is a railway junction on 
the Eastern Bengal State Railway, from which a branch runs to 


Kishanganj. It has one of the largest weekly markets in the District, 
the chief articles of trade being dried fish, tortoises, gur^ country-made 
cloth, chillies, turmeric, onions, jute, and mustard. Gunny-bags and 
mats of local manufacture are also largely sold. 

Baruipur. — Town in the head-quarters subdivision of the District 
of the Twenty-four Parganas, Bengal, situated in 22° 2V N. and 
88° 27'E., on the banks of the Adi Ganga (original bed of the Ganges), 
15 miles south of Calcutta. Population (1901), 4,217. The town was 
formerly the head-quarters of a subdivision of the same name, which 
was amalgamated with the Alipore subdivision in 1883. Baruipur 
derives its name from the extensive cultivation of pan {Piper Betk) by 
the Barui caste. The town is a mission station of the Society for the 
Propagation of the Gospel, and contains a large church. Baruipur was 
constituted a municipality in 1869. The income during the decade 
ending 1901-2 averaged Rs. 4,700, and the expenditure Rs. 4,500. In 
1903-4 the income was Rs. 6,900, including Rs. 3,000 derived from a 
tax on persons; and the expenditure was Rs. 7,200. 

Barul. — Village in the Asansol subdivision of Burdwan District, 
Bengal, situated in 23° 44' N. and 87° 7' E. Population (1901), 532. 
It lies in the middle of the iron-ore tract and has given its name to 
the surrounding iron-ore field. The total amount of ore extracted in 
1900 was 57,000 tons, or nearly three times the quantity obtained ten 
years previously. 

Barur. — Town in AmraotT District, Berar. See Warud. 

Baruva. — Seaport and station on the East Coast Railway in the 
Sompeta tahsil of Ganjam District, Madras, situated in 18° 53' N. and 
84° 36' E. Population (1901), 4,161. Coco-nut oil and coir rope are 
made in the neighbourhood. The port, which is open only to coasting 
trade, is marked by two obelisks 50 feet high, built on a site 15 feet 
above the sea, bearing north-west from the usual anchorage. Govern- 
ment has planted a casuarina grove to the south-west of the custom- 
house to protect the building from drifting sand, and this also serves as 
a landmark to mariners. The only steamers touching at the port are 
those of the British India Steam Navigation Company, which call 
weekly on their voyages between Cocanada and Rangoon. In 1903-4, 
9,500 native passengers travelled to Burma and 7,650 returned by these 
boats. In the same year the exports to Burma, chiefly coir rope and 
dried fish, were valued at Rs. 13,000. There were no imports from 

Barwaha (or Barwai). — Town in the Nimar district of Indore 
State, Central India, situated in 22° 15' N. and 76° 3' E., t^Z niiles 
south of Mhow cantonment on the Indore-Khandwa road and the 
Khandwa-Ajmer branch of the Rajputana-Malwa Railway, which both 
cross the Narbada by a fine bridge 2 miles south of the town. It 


occupies a picturesque site on the bank of the Choral, a tributary of 
the Narbada. ]\)pulati()n (1901), 6,094. Barwaha, which is said to 
have been originally called IJabulikhera, was founded in 1678 by Kana 
Suraj Mai, an ancestor of the present zannnddrs. It is a place of some 
importance, and was always a favourite resort with SivajT Rao Holkar, 
who built a fine palace on the ridge overlooking the Choral valley. An 
old fort, now used for the district offices, and an old temple to JayantI 
Mata stand near the town. A municipal committee has been formed, 
which has an income of Rs. 1,300 a year, chiefly derived from octroi 
and other taxes. The town contains a British and a State post office, 
a school, a dispensary, a sarai., and a Public Works inspection bungalow. 

Barwani State. — A guaranteed chiefship in Central India, under 
the Bhopawar Agency, lying between 21° 36' and 22° 7' N. and 
74° 28' and 75° 16' E., along the left bank of the Narbada river, with 
an area of 1,178 square miles. It is bounded on the north by the Dhar 
State ; on the north-west by All-Rajpur ; on the east by a portion of 
the Indore State ; and on the south and west by the Khandesh District 
of Bombay. The State lies generally in the hilly tracts division of 
Central India, but falls internally into two subdivisions : that of the 
Narbada valley district, formed of a fertile alluvial plain ; and the 
remainder of the State, which is rough and hilly. Much of the country 
is very picturesque, with a succession of ranges and valleys covered 
with thick forest. In these valleys many traces of former prosperity 
are met with, such as ruined forts, mosques, and dwelling-houses, now 
overgrown with jungle, but once used by the Mughal nobles and 
officials of the Bijagarh sarkar of the STibah of Malwa. The climate is 
subject to greater extremes of heat than Malwa, while the cold season 
is of short duration. The annual rainfall, as recorded at Barwani, 
averages 22 inches. 

The chiefs of Barwani are Sesodia Rajputs, connected with the house 
of Udaipur. Tradition traces their descent from the second son of Bapa 
Rawal, the founder of that house, one of whose descendants migrated in 
the eleventh or fourteenth century into the Narbada districts, and fixed 
his residence at Avasgarh, a hill fort about 8 miles from Jalgun. The 
history of the line is for the most part lost in obscurity. According to 
the State records there have been in all fifty-one Ranas ; but little is 
known of them, and it is difficult to determine the time at which many 
of them lived. Paras Ram (Parsan) Singh, the thirty-fifth chief, was 
defeated by the Muhammadans, and taken a prisoner to Delhi, where 
he embraced Islam on the condition that he should be allowed to 
retain his ancestral estates. His successor Bhim Singh and the two 
Ranas who followed, though nominally Hindus, were virtually Muham- 
madans. About 1650 Chandra Singh, forty-first of the line, finding 
that Avasgarh was too weak a position, moved the capital to Barwani ; 


and the State has since then been known by its present name. In the 
time of Mohan Singh, son and successor of Chandra Singh, the greater 
part of the State was seized by the Marathas. This period marks the 
decHne of the house ; and though the Barwani Ranas managed to keep 
their independence, and were never actually tributary to any of the 
great Malwa chiefs, they were finally left with the small strip of territory 
they now hold instead of their former extensive domains. In 1794 
Rana Mohan Singh II succeeded, and was ruling during the settlement 
of Malwa by Sir John Malcolm. He died in 1839 and was succeeded 
by his son Jaswant Singh, who, in 1861, was removed from the adminis- 
tration owing to his incapacity, but was restored to power in 1873, and 
dying in 1880 was succeeded by his brother Indrajit, whose administra- 
tion was also not a success. On his death in 1894, his eldest son, 
Ranjlt Singh the present chief, succeeded at the age of six. During 
his minority he was educated at the Maytj College at Ajmer. The chief 
bears the title of Rana, and receives a salute of 9 guns. 

Population has been: (1881) 56,445, (1891) 80,266, and (1901) 76,136. 
The number increased by 42 per cent, between 1881 and 1 891, but fell 
by 5 per cent, during the last decade. The density is 65 persons per 
square mile. Hindus number 38,670, or 50 per cent.; Animists (chiefly 
Bhilalas), 32,894, or 43 per cent. ; and Musalmans, 4,197. The true 
percentage for Animists is higher than stated above, as large numbers 
of Bhilalas returned themselves as Hindus, the total of those speaking 
Bhil dialects giving 68 per cent, of the population, which is nearer the 
truth. The State possesses one town, BarwanT (population, 6,277), the 
capital ; and 333 villages. Almost the entire population is composed 
of jungle tribes, who, though describing themselves as agriculturists, in 
fact do but little cultivation. Agriculture supports 65 per cent, of the 
inhabitants, and general labour 6 per cent. 

The total area is thus distributed : cultivated, 302 square miles, or 
26 per cent., of which 3 square miles are irrigated ; forest, 566 square 
miles, or 48 percent. ; cultivable land not under cultivation, 152 square 
miles; waste, 158 square miles. Of the cropped area, y't'zew- covers 
61 square miles; bdjra, 56; cotton, 39 ; ///, 31 ; maize, 20; wheat, 5 ; 
gram, 4 square miles ; and poppy only 1 2 acres. Cattle-breeding has 
always been a speciality of this region, bullocks of the Nimar breed 
being much in demand, on account of their size and strength. Unfor- 
tunately, of late years breeding has not been very systematically 
carried on. 

The rates of assessment are fixed according to the capability of the 
soil, varying from Rs. 2-6-5 to Rs. 8 per acre for irrigated land along 
the Narbada ; from Rs. 2-6-5 ^^ Rs. 3-1-0 per acre for unirrigated 
lands, and 6 annas for the rocky soils of the hills. Special rates are 
given to Bhll cultivators to induce them to settle, only Rs. 7-8-0 being 


demanded from tliem per ' plougli ' (15 acres) of land, where other 
cultivators pay Rs. 20. 

The distance of the State from all railways has delayed the develop- 
ment of trade, although much has been done of late years to increase 
facility of communication by the construction of feeder-roads in con- 
nexion with the Agra-Bombay trunk road, the principal route for traffic. 
In 1891 there were only 7 miles of metalled roads in the State. 
There are now 118 miles, providing feeders to the Agra-Bombay trunk 
road. The road from BarwanT town to Julwania is the general route 
for goods and passengers passing to the railway at Mhow, the nearest 
station, which is 80 miles distant from BarwanT. Four British post 
ofifices are maintained — at BarwanT, Anjar, Rajpur, and Khetia — and 
State offices at other places, with a telegraph office at BarwanT. 

The State is divided into {onx parganas, each in charge of a kamasddi; 
with head-quarters at Anjad, Pansemal, Silawad, and Rajpur. The 
chief, when exercising powers, has complete civil and revenue control, 
but in criminal matters submits all cases punishable under the Indian 
Penal Code with seven years' imprisonment or over for trial by the 
Political Agent, while sentences by the chief of two years' imprisonment 
or over have to be confirmed by that officer. All appeals from subor- 
dinate courts lie to the chief. The British codes, modified to suit 
local usage, have been adopted in the courts. The State being at 
present under British administration owing to the minority of the Rana, 
the general control lies with the Political officer. The medical and 
forest departments are in charge of the Agency Surgeon and Forest 
officer, respectively. 

The total revenue is 4-5 lakhs, of which 1-9 lakhs is derived from 
land, Rs. 28,000 from forests, Rs. 30,000 from customs, and Rs. 29,000 
from excise. The land revenue demand amounts to 15 annas per 
cultivated acre, and 4 annas per acre of total area. The chief heads of 
expenditure are general administration (Rs. 56,000), chief's establish- 
ment (Rs. 53,000), and public works (Rs. 1,10,000). The State pays 
no tribute to any Darbar and receives no allowances, but it con- 
tributes Rs. 3,389 yearly towards the up-keep of the Malwa Bhll Corps. 
The British rupee has been legal tender since 1892. The sale oi gdnja, 
bhang, and opium is controlled by the State. In the hills an excise rate 
of Rs. 2-8-0 is levied from each BhTl village through the headmen, the 
BhTls being then allowed to prepare their own liquor. A Central jail 
is maintained at BarwanT, and a regular civil police force has been 
established. The first school in the State was opened in 1863. In 
1898 the Victoria High School was affiliated to the Calcutta University. 
There are now 19 schools with 1,000 pupils. In 1901, 3 per cent, of 
the population (almost entirely males) could read and write. Six 
dispensaries have been opened in the State. 



Barwani Town. — Capital of the State of the same name, in Central 
India, situated in 22° 2' N. and 74° 54' E., 3 miles from the left bank 
of the Narbada, and 80 miles from Mhow on the Rajputana-Malwa 
Railway. Population (1901), 6,277. Ihe town is believed to have been 
founded in about 1650 by Rana Chandra Singh. Five miles from the 
town is Bawangaja^ ('52 yards') hill, a place of considerable sanctity 
among the Jains. Its name is derived from the popular idea of the 
height of the gigantic figure of the Jain teacher Gomateswara, cut in 
the face of the hill about three-quarters of the way up the slope. On 
the summit is a small temple constructed from the remains of an older 
building, which contains two inscriptions dated 1166 and 1459. Large 
numbers of Jain pilgrims visit the place on the full moon of the month 
of Pausha (January). At the foot of the hill stand some modern Jain 
temples, which are examples of the degraded style of Hindu archi- 
tecture followed in so many modern structures. A State guest-house, 
a hospital, British post and telegraph offices, a jail, and a school are 
situated in the town. 

Barwa Sagar. — Town in the District and tahs'il of Jhansi, United 
Provinces, situated in 25° 22' N. and 78° 44' E., on a branch of the Great 
Indian Peninsula Railway. Population (1901), 6^355. The town 
stands near a fine lake formed by damming the Barwa, an affluent 
of the Betwa. The lake is used for irrigation, and the embankment and 
channels are in the charge of the Public Works department. North- 
west of it stands a castle said to have been built by Udit Singh, Raja 
of Orchha. The neighbourhood is rich in antiquarian remains dating 
from the Chandel period or even earlier. Barwa Sagar contains a school 
with 75 pupils. It is administered under Act XX of 1856, with an 
income of about Rs. 700. Ginger and vegetables are largely grown in 
the neighbourhood, and there is a flourishing local trade. 

Basantia. — Village in the head-quarters subdivision of Jessore 
District, Bengal, situated in 23° 8'' N. and 89° 22' E., on the Bhairab, 
12 miles east of Jessore town. Population (1901), 1,420. It has 
a considerable trade in sugar and rice. Being the nearest point to 
Jessore to which boats of a large size can come, it may be said to serve 
as a j)ort to that town ; there is also a large country traffic by road 
between Basantia and Jessore. 

Basantpur. — Head-quarters of the Araria subdivision of Purnea 
District, Bengal, situated in 26° 18' N. and 87° 2,'h' K-> ^^ '^^ right bank 
of the Panar river. Population (1901), 2,792. Basantpur is 4 miles 
west of Araria village, which gives its name to the subdivision, and 
it contains the usual subdivisional offices ; the sub-jail has accom- 
modation for 17 prisoners. 

' Dr. Iinpey, Journal of the Koyal Asiatic Society, Bombay Branchy vol. xviii, 
p. 918. 


Basarh. — Village in the HajTpur subdivision of M uzafifarpur District, 
Bengal, situated in 25° 59' N. and 85° 8' E. Population (1901), 3,527. 
Basarh is identified with the capital of the ancient kingdom of Vaisali. 
In the sixth century n.c. a confederacy of the Lichchavis was pre- 
dominant here, and was able to prevent the kingdom of Magadha from 
expanding on the north bank of the Ganges. Vaisali was a great 
stronghold of Buddhism, and Gautama visited it three times during his 
life. Here was held the second Buddhist council which had so great 
an effect in splitting up the Buddhists into the Northern and Southern 
sects. The town was visited by Fa Hian and Hiuen Tsiang ; the latter 
found it in ruins. The principal antiquarian feature of the place is 
a large brick-covered mound, measuring 1,580 feet by 750 and repre- 
senting the remains of a vast fort or palace. In the neighbourhood 
is a huge stone pillar surmounted with the figure of a lion. This 
monolith, though locally known as Bhim Singh's lath, appears clearly 
to be one of the pillars erected by Asoka to mark the stages of the 
journey to Nepal which he undertook in order to visit some of the holy 
sites of Buddhism. It bears no inscription, but can be identified with 
one of the Asoka pillars mentioned by Hiuen Tsiang at the site of 
ancient Vaisali. 

[Archaeological Survey Reports, vol. xvi, pp. 89-93 j ^^d Reports of the 
Archaeological Surveyor, Bengal Circle, for 1 901-2 and 1903-4.] 

Basavapatna. — Deserted town in the Channagiri taluk of Shimoga 
District, Mysore, situated in 14° 12' N. and 75° 49' E., 16 miles from 
Channagiri town. It lies in a narrow valley enclosed by hills, and was 
the original seat of the chiefs who, when Basavapatna was taken 
by the Bijapur army in the invasion of 1637, retired to Tarikere, 
and are commonly identified with the former place. It was the seat of 
government for this part of the country under Bijapur rule, and under 
the Mughals afterwards. Later it changed hands several times, and was 
held by the Marathas for seven years. Haidar All dismantled the fort 
in 1763, and the Marathas under Parasuram Bhao sacked the town 
in 1 79 1. The fort was repaired in 1799, but the place never recovered 
its former prosperity. Near the fort was a mosque where Baba Budan 
lived before he settled on the mountain called after him. 

Bashahr. — One of the Simla Hill States, Punjab, lying between 
31° 6' and 32° 5' N. and 77° 32' and 79° 4' E., with an area of 3,820 
square miles. Population (1901), 80,582. Number of villages, 70. 
Between 1803 and 1815 Bashahr was held in subjection by the con- 
quering Gurkhas. On the overthrow of the Gurkha power in 181 5, the 
British Government confirmed the Raja of Bashahr, by a sanad, in 
possession of all his territories, subject to the payment of a tribute of 
Rs. 22,500. In 1847 the tribute was reduced to Rs. 5,910, as com- 
pensation for the abolition of transit duties. The present Raja, Sham- 



sher Singh, who is a Rajput, tracing back his descent for 120 generations, 
succeeded in 1850. He is of weak intellect, and, since the death of his 
only son in 1898, the State has been managed by an official deputed by 
Government. The Raja is required to furnish troops in aid of the 
British Government in time of war, and labour for the construction of 
roads in the Bashahr territory. The revenue of the State is about 
Rs. 85,000, the chief sources being land and forests. The forests are 
leased to the British Government for Rs. 10,000 per annum. 

Basi.— Head-quarters of the Basi /(?/w/of the Kalsia State, Punjab, 
situated in 30° 35' N. and 76° 54' E. Population (1901), 4,641. The 
income of the municipality, wholly derived from octroi, was Rs. 2,604 
in 1903-4; and the expenditure was only Rs. 158. The town has a 
vernacular middle school and a dispensary. 

Basi. — Head-quarters of the Amargarh nizdmat, Patiala State, Pun- 
jab, situated in 30° 42' N. and 76° 28'' E., 6 miles north of Sirhind. 
Population (1901), 13,738. Known in Mughal times as Basti Malik 
Haidar, the capital of the nizamat was established here, as Sirhind itself 
was held accursed by the Sikhs. It is a flourishing mart for agricultural 
produce, and has a considerable manufacture of cotton cloth. It is 
said to export Rs. 10,000 worth of pepper annually. The town is now 
connected with the North-Western Railway at Sirhind by a mono-rail 
tramway, 5 miles in length, which was opened in February, 1907. The 
town has a vernacular middle school and a police station. 

Basim District (or Washim in MarathI). — District in Berar, lying 
between 19° 25' and 20° 28' N. and 76° 40' and 78° 14' E., with an 
area of 2,949 square miles. In 1905 this District ceased to exist, its 
component idluks being divided between Akola and Yeotmal. It was 
bounded on the north by Akola and Amraot! Districts ; on the east 
by Wun District ; on the south by the Penganga river and the 
Hyderabad State ; and on the west by Buldana District. 

The District is situated in the Balaghat of Berar, the table-land on 
the south of the Purna valley. The Basim taluk, the most westerly, 
consists of a rich table-land of the average height of 
about 1,000 feet above sea-level, sloping down to- as^e^t^ 

wards the west and south to the fertile valley of the 
Penganga. The other two taluks, Mangrul and Pusad, are mainly a 
succession of low hills covered with poor grass, the formation being 
trap. The soil of the hollows between the hills is usually of the best 
quality. Many of the hill peaks rise to a height of 2,000 feet, and 
along the ranges of the Pusad taluk stretch wide slopes of woodland, 
containing some teak. The scenery of the more hilly portions of the 
District is fine, especially in the rains and the early part of the cold 
season, when the hills are still covered with vegetation and the grass 
has not been burnt yellow by the sun. 


The principal river is the I'enganga, which, except in one corner of 
the Basim taluk, forms tlie boundary between the District and the 
Nizam's Dominions. Entering the District near Wakad on the west, 
it flows in a south-easterly direction as far as the south-eastern corner 
of the Pusad taluk. It then takes a sharp turn and flows in a north- 
westerly direction, resuming its original course, after another sudden 
bend, close to Mahur in the Nizam's Dominions. The Piis is the 
principal affluent of the Penganga in the District. It rises near Basim 
town and flows in a south-easterly direction through the Pusad tahik., 
joining the Penganga at Sangam, after a course of 64 miles. The Kata 
Purna runs from its source nearly due north until it reaches the slopes 
of the Balaghat, where it inclines eastward, entering Akola District 
near Mahan. Other insignificant streams are the Aran, Kiich, Adol, 
and Chandrabhaga, all tributaries of the Penganga. 

The whole District, like the greater part of the Balaghat, is covered 
with flows of Deccan trap, which were erupted at about the end of the 
Cretaceous times, the volcanic activity lasting, probably, till the begin- 
ning of the Tertiary period. The trap is covered, on the Basim plateau 
and also in the valleys, with black loam. Iron ore is found in the high 
lands, but probably not in workable quantities. 

The commonest trees in cultivated lands are the babul, the pipal, 
the mango, the tamarind, and the mahud. Forests will be noticed 
separately. The weed vegetation is that chiefly characteristic of the 
Deccan, including many small Compositae and Leguminosae. 

Tigers, leopards, bears, wild hog, antelope, nilgai, spotted deer, and 
chinkdra are fairly common ; and the wild dog {Cyoii dakhunensis), 
the jackal, the wolf, and the hunting leopard {Cytiaelurus jubatus) are 
also found in the District. 

The hot season is less severe than in the Payanghat. The highest 
and lowest readings of the thermometer in May, July, and December, 
1901, a normal year, were 114° and 84°, 86° and 76°, and 77° and 68°. 
The climate is fairly uniform, but slightly higher temperatures are 
experienced in the river valleys. The hot season is intensely dry, and 
therefore healthy ; the weather in the rains is usually cool and pleasant, 
and the cold season is temperate and healthy. 

The rainfall, which is uniform throughout the District, exceeds the 
rainfall in the Payanghat. In 1901, a normal year, nearly 41 inches 
were registered. The Penganga sometimes rises, but no serious damage 
has ever been done by such floods ; and the District has been fortunate 
in escaping serious natural calamities other than famine. 

Basim never existed as a separate political entity, and its history is 
chiefly bound up with that of the Province of which it has always 
formed part. In the days of the Mughal empire Basim was the 
head-quarters of a sarkdr, or revenue district, which extended on 


both sides of the Penganga, and the Ain-i-Akbari makes mention of 
the Hatgars or Bargi Dhangars (' shepherd spearmen ') inhabiting the hill 
north of the Penganga. They were proud and refrac- 
tory, and possessed a force of i,ooo cavalry and 5,000 ^^' 
infantry. These highland chiefs owned little more than nominal 
allegiance to the lowland rulers, whether Hindu or Musalman, and 
thus they continued until the establishment of British rule. In 167 1 
the District was plundered by Pratap Rao, one of SivajT's generals. In 
1795, after the battle of Kardla, the pargana of Umarkhed, with other 
territory elsewhere, was ceded by the Nizam to the Peshwa ; and in 
1818 Baji Rao Peshwa, after the rout of Siwni, fled through Umarkhed 
before Sir John Doveton, whom he contrived to elude. In 1819 the 
Hatgar Naiks of the District broke the peace, and Naosaji Naik Muski 
gave battle to the Hyderabad Contingent troops under Major Pitman 
at Umarkhed. He was driven into his stronghold of Nowah, which 
was gallantly carried by assault, and the Naik was sent to Hyderabad, 
where he died. After the Peshwa's downfall the Umarkhed pargana 
was transferred by the East India Company to the Nizam. In 1858 
a gang of plundering Rohillas were pursued by a detachment of the 
Hyderabad Contingent into the village of Chichamba, near Risod, 
where, behind walls, they resisted an assault by the fatigued troops, in 
which Captain Mackinnon was killed. 

On the Assignment, in 1853, when Berar was divided into two 
Districts, Basim was included in West Berar, and soon afterwards 
became the head-quarters of a subdivision. In 1868 the subdivisional 
officer was made independent of the Deputy-Commissioner at Akola, 
and in 1875 the subdivision was formed into a District under the charge 
of a Deputy-Commissioner. 

The temple of Antariksha Parsvanatha at Sirpur, in the Basim 
tdliik, belonging to the Digambara Jain community, is the most 
interesting monument of the past in the District. An old tank at 
Basim is known as the Padma Tirtha, but the date of its construction 
cannot be ascertained. Pusad has two very fine Hemadpanti temples. 

The number of towns and villages in the District in 1901 was 827. 
The population rose between 1867 and 1891, and then declined. The 
number at the four enumerations was as follows : 
(1867) 276,646, (1881) 358,883, (1891) 398,181, °P"^tion. 

and (1901) 353,410. There has thus been a net increase of 76,764 
since 1867. The great decrease during the last decade was due to 
the scarcity of 1896-7, the famine of 1 899-1 900, and mortality from 
epidemic disease. The District included the three taluks of Basim, 
Mangrul, and Pusad, named from the towns at which their head- 
quarters are situated, 'it contained three towns: Basim, Pusad, and 




The following table gives particulars of area, towns and villages, and 
population in 1901 : — 




Number of 



Percentage of 
variation in 

population be- 
tween 1 89 1 
and igoi. 

E S rt i; 






Mangrul . 

District total 











- 13-5 
+ 10.4 

- 2r.6 






— 11.2 


Basim stood fourth among the Districts of Berar as regards the 
density of its population (120 persons per square mile). More than 
92 per cent, of the people are Hindus. The language usually spoken 
is Marathi, but the Musalmans use a corrupt dialect of Urdu, which is 
generally understood by all. 

In Basim, as in all other Districts of Berar, the Kunbis (110,000) are 
more numerous than any other caste ; the Mahars (50,700) come 
second, the Musalmans (22,800) third, and the Banjaras (21,400) 
fourth, being more numerous than in any other District in the Province, 
except Wun. Dhangars number 14,600, Mails 12,500, Brahmans only 
7,700, and Telis 7,600. The Hatgars, specially mentioned in the 
Ain-i-Akbari as an important tribe in the sarkdr of Basim, now number 
only 577, and are, strangely enough, less numerous here than in any 
District in Berar, except AmraotI and Ellichpur. The Banjaras in the 
sarkdr of Basim are mentioned in the Ain-i-Akbari as being under the 
headship of a woman ; and it is known, from the change of surname 
among the local Naiks, who have their head-quarters at Narsi, in 
the Parbhani District of the Hyderabad State, that the office has 
descended at least once in the female line. The figures for castes, 
given above, clearly indicate the principal occupation of the people. 
The District is essentially an agricultural one, over 76 per cent, of 
its population living by the land. The percentage of the industrial 
population is 11. 

There is only one Christian mission, which is supported by the 
American Episcopal Methodist body, and has its head-quarters at 
Basim. Of 229 Christians enumerated in the District in 1901, 
212 were natives. 

The Basim fdhik is a rich table-land, the trap flows being here 
covered with a layer of black cotton soil of varying but nearly always 
sufficient depth. This layer is deeper in the valley of 
the Penganga than elsewhere, the conditions of this 
iirea being not dissimilar from those of the Payanghat. The surface of 




the Mangrul tdluk is more broken, but here too the soil is rich and 
of good quaHty, except on the hills. Pusad consists principally of 
a succession of low waste hills, the soil of which is often too poor to 
support anything but grass of an inferior quality ; but in the hollows 
between the hills, and in the Penganga valley, which is, however, very 
narrow here, the soil is rich and fertile. Cultivation depends almost 
entirely upon the south-west monsoon. 

Almost the whole area is held ryotivdri ; ijdra, Jdgir, -aw^l pdlampat 
villages cover only -1,^ square miles. The principal statistics relating to 
the land in 1903-4 are given below, areas being in square miles : — 











The staple food-grain is great millet {Jo7vdr), the area under which 
in 1903-4 was 822 square miles. Cotton, the most profitable crop, 
occupied 532 square miles, and the other imp irtant crops are wheat 
and oilseeds, which occupied 108 and 59 square miles. 

After the Assignment, when the people began to return to the land, 
the rich soil of the Payanghat was the first to be taken up, and the 
Balaghat remained comparatively neglected till later. In order to 
encourage cultivation in Basim District, it was considered desirable 
to lease entire villages on special terms to lessees who would be likely 
to repay themselves by importing sub-tenant.s, or, failing these, field 
labourers. Of these leased villages, forty-eight still remain. The 
measure undoubtedly gave an impetus to cultivation, but it may be 
doubted whether the wiser course would not have been to await 
patiently the extension, which was certain to come in time, of ryotivdri 
cultivation. For the last fifteen years the extension of the cultivated 
area has been steady and continuous. In agricultural practice there 
has, however, been no marked improvement. On the contrary, the 
cultivator here, as elsewhere in Berar, has abandoned the cultivation of 
the fine quality of cotton for which the Province was formerly famous, 
in favour of a coarser but more prolific variety. The ryots have not in 
the past availed themselves freely of the Loans Acts ; but the famine 
of 1 899-1 900 brought the advantages offered under these Acts into 
prominent notice, and loans were freely applied for and taken. During 
the prosperous years which ensued there have naturally been fewer 
applications for loans, but the solvent and thrifty cultivator has doubt- 
less learnt that it is the Government, rather than the money-lender, who 
is his friend in need. 

The principal breed of cattle is the Umarda, or smaller variety of the 
Berari breed \ but the character of the cattle in the District has been 

H 2 

loo bAst'j district 

modified in the past by an admixture of the types found in the northern 
tracts of the Hyderabad State, and more lately, since recent years of 
scarcity and famine, by the importation of cattle of the Nimari, Shola- 
puri, and Labbani breeds. Buffaloes are chiefly of the Dakhani breed. 
The local breeds of ponies, sheep, and goats are inferior, and the 
breeders have neither the knowledge nor the means necessary to their 

Only 6 square miles of the cultivated land were irrigated in 1903-4, 
consisting almost entirely of garden crops, watered from wells. 

Of the forest land, 266 square miles are reserved for the production 
of timber and fuel, 19 square miles are ramna land, and 436 square 
miles are grazing land. The forests producing timber 
are situated on the northern slopes of the Balaghat, 
in the Basim fdluk, on the hills north of the Pus river between the 
Mangrul and Pusad taluks, on the hills forming the watershed between 
the Pus and Penganga rivers, and in the south-eastern corner of the 
Pusad taluk in the loop of the Penganga. All these forests contain teak, 
which varies in size and quality in different localities, the best being 
found in the Kinwat Reserve in the loop of the Penganga. Tiivas 
{Ougeinia dalbergioides) is also common in this Reserve, but rarer else- 
where. Ain [Terviinalia tomentosa), dhaura {Afiogeissus latifolia), lendia 
{Lagerstroemia parviflora\ and dhd?nan {Grewia tiliaefolia) are also 
common and useful trees. The following trees are common in both 
forest and cultivated land : babul {^Acacia arabka), hhmir {Acacia 
leucophloea), mahud {Bassia latifolia), gular {Ficus glomeraia), chinch 
ox imli {Tamarindus indica), and ber {Zizyphus Jujuba'). The mango 
is cultivated, but does not grow wild in the forests ; bamboos are rare, 
and, where found, inferior. 

The iron ore found in the Pusad hills, which has already been 
mentioned, seems to be the only mineral product of the District, and 
it is very doubtful whether it is of economic value. 

There are no important manufactures. The principal industry is the 
preparation of cotton for the market. The District 
communfcations. t^o"tained 16 ginning factories and 2 cotton-presses, 
all worked by steam. 

The chief export is cotton, which is sent by road to Akola and thence 
by rail to Bombay. Some of the cotton from the south of the Pusad 
idluk finds its way to the Hyderabad-Godavari Valley Railway. Oil- 
seeds and grain and pulse are also exported. The principal imports 
are grain and pulse, sugar, salt, and oils, which come chiefly from 
Akola, having been brought thither by rail. Most of the internal trade 
is effected through the agency of the weekly markets at pargana towns. 
Basim has a cotton market. The traders are chiefly Marwaris and 


There is no railway in the District ; but a project to connect the 
Hyderabad-Godavari Valley Railway with Khandwa, by means of a line 
which will run through Basim and Akola, is under consideration. 

The total length of metalled roads is 62 miles, and of unmetalled 
roads 110 miles. All these, except 5 miles of the former and 27 of the 
latter which are maintained from Local funds, are in charge of the Public 
Works department. The principal road passing through the District is 
the Akola-Hingoli road, which passes through Medsi and Basim town, 
and is the highway from the latter place to the railway. The roads to 
Pusad and Umarkhed are metalled for a short distance only. 

As regards liability to famine, the District cannot be differentiated 
from the rest of Berar. The crops depend upon the south-west monsoon, 
the failure of which is not often so extensive as to . 

cause severe distress. In 1896-7 the District suffered 
from scarcity owing to a partial failure of the rainfall, and in 1 899-1 900 
the famine which was felt throughout Berar afflicted Basim severely. 
The difficulty of coping with this calamity was increased by the 
immigration of large numbers from the Hyderabad State, where relief 
measures were less perfect than in Berar. In May, 1900, when the 
distress was at its height, 103,215 persons were on relief works and 
36,350 in receipt of gratuitous relief; and it is calculated that 24,000 
cattle died. 

The three tixluks, at the head-quarters of each of which there is 

a ta/is'ilddr, have already been mentioned. The . . 

rr c ^ T^- ■ ■ r , i Admmistration. 

superior staff of the District consists of the usual 


The arrangements for the administration of justice are described in 
the article on Akola District. Dacoities, cattle-thefts, and house- 
breakings fluctuate in numbers, as elsewhere, with the state of the 
season, but are somewhat more numerous than in the Payanghat, owing 
to the large number of Banjaras in the District. These, however, are 
gradually being weaned from their criminal propensities. Murders, 
which are not common, are usually due to personal motives. 

According to the Aiti-i-Akbarj^ the land revenue demand in the 
parganas composing Basim District was 6-8 lakhs, a sum which but 
slightly falls short of the land revenue demand in the same area in 
1903-4, which was 8 lakhs. The extent to which Basim, in common 
with the rest of Berar, suffered from the wars, maladministration, 
and natural calamities of the latter part of the seventeenth, the 
eighteenth, and the early part of the nineteenth centuries is illustrated 
by the striking fall in the land revenue demand, which in 1853, at the 
time of the Assignment, was returned by the Nizam's officers — who 
had certainly no reason for understating it — at 2-4 lakhs. Considering 
the extension of cultivation, and the rise in the price of produce since 



Akhar's tinic, it is evident that the present assessnunt, though absolutely 
somewhat higher than Aktiar's, is relatively very much lighter. 

The fust regular settlement of the District after the Assignment was 
made between 1872 and 1875, and is now expiring; but in those tracts 
where it has already expired the introduction of the new rates, assessed 
in 1899, has been postponed, owing to the extent to which the District 
suffered from the famine of 1 899-1 900. Under the new assessment the 
maximum rate is Rs. 1-12 per acre, the minimum 7 annas, and the aver- 
age 12 annas 4 pies. Land irrigated from streams is assessed at a special 
land and water rate of Rs. 8 per acre, except in the Pusad tdhik, where, 
for the purpose of encouraging irrigation, it is assessed either as ' dry ' 
land or as land irrigated from wells. Land irrigated from wells is 
assessed at the maximum rate for ' dry ' land in the village in which it 
is situated where the wells have been sunk before the original survey ; 
but land irrigated from wells sunk since that time is treated as ' dry ' 
land. The average increase of the new rates over the old amounts to 
32-2 per cent, throughout the District, but in areas in which the increase 
is greater than 33 per cent, the enhanced rates are to be gradually 

Collections on account of land revenue and revenue from all sources 
have been, in thousands of rupees : — 



1900-1. 1003-4. 

Land revenue . 
Total revenue . 




6,23 1 7,15 

15,68 i 9,18 


Basim town is administered by a municipality, and local affairs in the 
rest of the District were under the District board, with the three tCxliik 
boards subordinate to it. The expenditure of the District board in 
1903-4 was Rs. 65,000, of which Rs. 25,000 was laid out on public 
works and Rs. 10,000 on education. The principal sources of income 
were Provincial rates, assessed taxes, and the Provincial contribution for 
primary education. 

The District had 20 police stations, 4 outposts, and 3 road-posts, 
and the force under the District Superintendent of police numbered 
413 of all ranks. The District jail at Basim was the only jail, and 
contained in 1904 a daily average of 44 inmates, 

Basim stood fifth among the six Districts of Berar in the literacy 
of its population, of whom 3-1 per cent. (6-o males and 0-2 females) 
were able to read and write in 1901. Education is most advanced 
in the Basim tdltik. In 1903-4 the District contained 73 public, 
19 aided, and 30 unaided schools with a total of 4,881 pupils, of 
whom 4,083 were in public schools and 370 were girls. Of the 


74 primary schools, 69 were managed by the District board and 5 by 
the Basim municipality. The great majority of those under instruction 
were in primary classes, and no girls had advanced beyond this stage. 
Of the male population of school-going age, 6 per cent, were in 
the primary stage of instruction, and of the female population of the 
same age, 0-5 per cent. In recent years the experiment of combining 
elementary instruction in such handicrafts as cane-work and carpentry 
with the ordinary school course has been tried, but it is too soon to 
pronounce definitely on its success. The total expenditure on educa- 
tion in 1903-4 was Rs. 34,100, of which Rs. 29,000 was contributed 
by local bodies and Rs. 2,565 was realized from fees. 

The District possessed one civil hospital and five dispensaries, with 
accommodation for 27 in-patients. In 1903 the number of cases treated 
was 36,467, of whom 252 were in-patients, and 940 operations were 
performed. The expenditure was Rs. 7,365, of which the greater part 
was met from Provincial contributions. 

Vaccination has made satisfactory progress in the District. In 1903--4 
the proportion of persons successfully vaccinated was 33-7 per 1,000, 
the mean for the Province being 36-6. Vaccination is compulsory 
only in the municipal town of Basim. 

On the reconstitution of the six Districts of Berar in August 1905, 
Basim ceased to exist as a separate District. The taluks of Basim and 
Mangrul were transferred to Akola and now form the Basim subdivision 
of that District, and the taluk of Pusad was transferred to Wun, now 
designated Yeotmal District. 

Basim Subdivision.— Subdivision of Akola District, Berar, con- 
sisting of the Basim and Mangrul taluks. 

Basim Taluk. — Formerly the head-quarters taluk of Basim District, 
but since August, 1905, the southern taluk of Akola District, Berar, 
lying between 19° 52' and 20° 25' N. and 75° 40' and 77° 28' E., with 
an area of 1,046 square miles. The population fell from 177,250 in 
1891 to 153,320 in 1901, and its density, 147 persons per square mile, 
is less than in any other taluk except Mangrul. The demand for land 
revenue in 1903-4 was Rs. 3,76,000, and for cesses Rs. 30,000. The 
taluk contains 324 villages and only one town, Basim (population, 13,823), 
the head-quarters of the taluk and of the Basim subdivision. I'he 
northern part of the taluk lies in the Balaghat, or southern plateau of 
Berar, but the southern portion lies in the valley of the Penganga, 
which forms the southern boundary from Pardi eastwards. The soil 
is fertile, especially in the Penganga valley. 

Basim Town (or Washim). — Head-quarters of the Basim tah(k, 
Akola District, Berar, situated in 20° 7' N. and 77° ii' E., at a height 
of 1,758 feet above sea-level; distant 52 miles south-south-east from 
Akola on the Nagpur branch of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, 


with which it is connected by a good metalled road. Population 
(1901), 13,823. Basim is said to be a very old town, and to have 
been founded by Wachh, a Rishi. A legend tells of a king, Vasuki, 
afflicted with leprosy, who was cured by bathing in a pool outside the 
town, which he enlarged to a tank, known as Padma 'Pirtha, still largely 
resorted to for bathing. It is also said to petrify articles exposed to 
its action. The deslwinkhs of Basim in the seventeenth century 
received large grants of land and perquisites from the Mughal 
emperors, and the family has always been of some consideration 
in South Berar. After the Bhonsla ruler of Nagpur ceased to receive 
a share (40 per cent.) of the revenue, the Nizam stationed troops and 
established a mint at Basim. The most striking buildings are the 
temple and tank of Balaji, constructed rather more than a hundred 
years ago by Bhawani Kalu, a general of the Bhonslas. The muni- 
cipality was created in 1867. The receipts and expenditure during 
the ten years ending 1901 averaged Rs. 13,400 and Rs. 12,700. In 
1903-4 the receipts were Rs. 18,000, principally from taxes, the expen- 
diture, mainly devoted to education and conservancy, being nearly the 
same. The town contains several ginning factories and a cotton-press. 
It was the head-quarters of Basim District till 1905, when that District 
ceased to exist as a separate administrative unit. 

Basirhat Subdivision. — North-eastern subdivision of the District 
of the Twenty-four Parganas, Bengal, lying between 21° 31'' and 
22° 55' N. and 88° 33' and 89° 6' E., with an area of 1,922 square 
miles, of which 1,584 are included in the Sundarbans. The northern 
part of the subdivision consists of a fertile alluvial tract ; but to the 
south, where the delta is in a less advanced stage of growth, there is 
a network of tidal creeks winding through numerous islands and 
morasses. The population in 1901 was 372,187, compared with 
347,138 in 1891, the density being 194 persons per square mile. It 
contains three towns, Basirhat (population, 17,001), its head-quarters, 
Baduria (12,921) and Taki (5,089); and 920 villages. 

Basirhat To"wn. — Head-quarters of the subdivision of the same 
name in the District of the Twenty- four Parganas, Bengal, situated in 
22° 40' N. and 88° 51' E., on the right bank of the Jamuna river. 
Population (1901), 17,001. Basirhat was constituted a municipality in 
1869. The income and expenditure during the decade ending 
1901-2 averaged Rs. 6,000. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 6,600, 
mainly from a tax on persons ; and the expenditure was Rs. 6,300. 
Basirhat contains the usual public offices ; the sub-jail has accommoda- 
tion for 12 prisoners. Basirhat is connected with Barasat, a station 
on the Eastern Bengal State Railway, by a metalled road 26 miles in 
length, along which a light railway with eight stations has recently 
been laid. 

B A SOD A 105 

Basmat Taluk.-- Eastern id/uk of Parbhiini District, Hyderabad 
State, with an area of 610 square miles. li\c\\iiX\ng Jdglrs, the popula- 
tion in 1 901 was 79,569, compared with 117,344 in 1891, the decrease 
being due to the famine of 1900. The taluk contains one town, 
Basmat (population, 8,445), ^^^ head-quarters; and 215 villages, of 
which 21 d.xQ, jCxgir. The land revenue in 1901 was 3-2 lakhs. The 
country is composed mainly of black cotton soil. 

Basmat Town. — Head-quarters of the idhik of the same name in 
Parbhani District, Hyderabad State, situated in 19° 20' N. and 77° 10' E. 
Population (1901), 8,445. Besides the tahsll and police inspector's 
offices, it contains three schools and a post office. Basmat is a busy 
centre of the grain trade. 

Basoda (Nawab-Basoda, Haidargarh-Basoda). — A mediatized chief- 
ship in Central India, under the Bhopal Agency, situated on the Malwa 
plateau, with an area of about 40 square miles, and a population (1901) 
of 4,987. The town from which the State takes its name was founded 
by Raja Bir Singh Deo of Orchha in the seventeenth century. It is 
often styled Muhammadgarh-Basoda and Haidargarh-Basoda, to dis- 
tinguish it from the place of the same name in Gwalior State, but is 
generally called Nawab-Basoda. The State is bounded on the west by 
the Sironj district of Tonk State, and a portion of Gwalior ; on the 
north by the Saugor District of the Central Provinces, and the States 
of Pathari, Korwai, and Muhammadgarh ; on the east by Saugor District 
and Bhopal ; and on the south by Bhopal. 

The Nawabs of Basoda belong to the Korwai family founded by 
Muhammad Diler Khan, an Afghan of the Barakzai Firoz Khel, in the 
eighteenth century. On his death the State was divided between his 
two sons, Korwai falling to the elder. The younger, Ahsan-uUah Khan, 
settled at first at Rakha and Bahadurgarh, now Isagarh in the Gwalior 
State, but being hard pressed by the Marathas, moved his capital to 
Basoda in 1753. In 181 7 the State fell into the hands of Sindhia, but 
was restored in 1822 on the mediation of the British authorities. The 
chief, though nominally subordinate to Sindhia, pays him no tribute, 
and in his relations with that Darbar receives the countenance and 
support of the Political Agent, who since 1822 has exercised the 
same general authority in this chiefship as in the guaranteed chiefships 
subject to his control. 

Ahsan-ullah died in 1786, having alienated part of his possessions to 
form the State of Muhammadgarh, He was followed by Nawab Baka- 
ullah Khan and Asad Ali Khan, the last being at one time minister 
of the Bhopal State, from which he was, however, removed for intriguing 
with the pretender Dastglr. The present chief is Haidar All Khan, 
who succeeded in 1897, and bears the title of Nawab. The State con- 
tains twenty-three villages, and is fertile and produces good crops 


Alxiut lo siiiuue miles, or 25 |)er cent, of the total urea, are cultivated, 
126 acres being irrigated. The chief exercises the criminal powers 
of a first-class magistrate, all heinous crimes being dealt with by the 
Political Agent. The normal revenue of the State is Rs. 19,000, of 
which Rs. 16,000 is derived from land. The incidence of the land 
revenue demand is Rs. 2-9-3 P'^r ^cre of cultivated area. Ikisoda, 
the chief town, is situated in 23° 51' N. and T]" 56' Ti. Population 
(1901), 1,850. It contains a British post office, a jail, a school, and a 

Basrur (the Barcelore or Barkalur of early geographers). — Village in 
the Coondapoor iii/uk of South Kanara District, Madras, situated in 
13° 38' N. and 74° 45' E., 4 miles east of Coondapoor. It was once 
a large walled town with a fort and a temple, and carried on an 
important trade with Malabar and the Persian Gulf; but its decline set 
in after the establishment of the Portuguese at Coondapoor in the 
eighteenth century, and it is now an insignificant place. The ruins of 
Sir Thomas Munro's courthouse are still pointed out. As Major Munro 
he was the first Collector of the District. Population (1901), 1,757. 

Bassein District. — District of the Irrawaddy Division, Lower 
Burma, lying between 15° 50' and 1 7° 30' N. and 94° i \' and 95° 28'' E., 
with an area of 4, 127 square miles. It forms an irregular wedge-shaped 
strip of coast land and delta country, narrowing from north to south, in 
the extreme south-west corner of the Province. It is bounded on the 
north by Henzada and Sandoway Districts ; on the east by Ma-ubin 
and Myaungmya; and on the south and west by the Bay of Bengal, 
which curves round its southern and western edges at the elbow 
formed by Pagoda Point. The District is divided into unequal parts 
. by the Arakan Yoma, which enters Bassein at its 

aspects north-western corner, and runs down its western side 

at no great distance from the sea. The main portion 
lies to the east of this range, consisting of a flat alluvial plain, the 
northern end of which is rich rice land. Farther south, between the 
Ngawun and Daga rivers, it is flooded and poor. To the east of 
the Daga and southwards towards Bassein town the land is slightly 
higher and more fertile. To the west of the Ngawun, as far as the 
bifurcation of the Daga, the land is flooded and generally uncultivable. 
Below that point it is higher and of fair quality, while south of the town 
of Bassein it is typically deltaic, intersected by innumerable tidal creeks, 
marshy, and covered with mangrove jungle, with some stretches of rice 
land here and there. In the south the coast-line consists for the most 
part of a gently shelving sandy beach, backed by swampy forest land ; 
in the west beyond Pagoda Point, where the hills enter the sea abruptly, 
the coast is rocky and difficult of approach. With the exception of the 
Arakan Yoma, which here is comparatively low, there is no high land 


in the District. The whole face of the country is intersected by tidal 
channels, but they are for the most part unimportant waterways. The 
principal river is the Ngawun (or Bassein), which, leaving the Irrawaddy 
a short distance above Henzada, pursues a course almost due south 
through the whole length of the District, till it falls into the sea at 
Hainggyi. Its chief tributaries are the Daga, joining it about 14 miles 
north of Bassein, and the Panmawadi, whose waters fall into it some 
28 miles south of that town. The Bassein river has two mouths, but 
the eastern branch is silted up with sand and is useless for navigation. 
The western or main branch, on the other hand, is easily navigable by 
ocean-going vessels of a draught up to 2 7 feet, and is the main waterway 
to the town of Bassein. 

Numerous stretches of water are found in the District ; but the one 
real lake, called the Inye, has a circumference of 7 miles, and averages 
15 feet in depth in the dry season. It is situated in the Kyonpyaw 
township, about 4 miles from Kyonpyaw in the north-east of the District. 
Islands are plentiful in the lower reaches of the Bassein river ; but the 
only two deserving of special mention are Ha'nggyi or Negrais, near 
Pagoda Point, where the first British trading settlement in Burma was 
started, and Diamond Island, called by the Burmans Thamihla 
('beautiful daughter'), a low wooded islet about a square mile in area 
at the very mouth of the river. 

The soil of a portion of the northern part consists of the usual 
agglomeration of clay and silt deposit common to alluvial rice-growing 
plains. North of Bassein town and east of Ngaputaw considerable 
beds of laterite are met with, covered in places with sandy deposits. 
On the west coast a remarkable patch of calcareous sandstone occurs. 
The Nummulitic or eocene group of rocks is well developed ; in the 
Yoma and in the south these have been termed the Negrais beds. 
Subordinate to the sandstone an irregular bed of conglomerate occurs, 
which is, however, marked only near Ywatpa, where there is a so-called 
mud volcano. This is really only a small vent discharging marsh-gas, 
connected geologically, no doubt, with the mud volcanoes of Arakan. 
In the south, at Tonbo and Kyaukthinbaw, limestone of the very best 
quality is found. The supply is practically inexhaustible, the locality 
is convenient for working, and in consequence this area has been largely 
drawn on by the railway for ballasting the lately completed line from 
Rangoon to Bassein. Soapstone in small quantities is found in the 
Arakan Yoma, chiefly on the western slopes. 

The botany of Bassein is similar to that of Hanthawaddy District. 
Large areas of mangrove swamp are found near the rivers, and inland 
are evergreen tropical forests. Palms of various kinds are common. 
The main varieties of timber trees are enumerated under the heading 
of Forests. 


Tigers arc scarce ; but elephants, sdnil/ar, bison, leopards, and bears 
are fairly common in tlie western tracts towards the Yoma. The 
rhinoceros is nearly extinct, being ruthlessly hunted for its blood, which 
is accounted a valuable curative medium by the Burmans, among whom 
it sells for its weight in silver. In the less-developed parts the smaller 
kinds of deer and also wild hog were plentiful, but are being rapidly 
exterminated with nets. Crocodiles are found in most of the tidal 
creeks, and there are rich turtle-beds to the south near the coast. 

The climate is rather relaxing, though the heat in summer is tempered 
to some extent by the strong sea-breezes which spring up in the after- 
noon. The mean of the maxinmm temperatures in the hotter months 
is generally about 95°, that of the minimum temperatures about 75°. 

The rainfall is heavy, though, owing to the shelter afforded by the 
Arakan Yoma, it is not to be compared in volume with what the adjoin- 
mg District of Sandoway receives. The annual average at the District 
head-quarters for the ten years ending 1904 has been 113 inches, while 
at the other recording stations it is highest at Ngaputaw in the south 
(129 inches), and lowest at Kyonpyaw in the north-east (88 inches). 

The great cyclone of May 6, 1902, which affected the whole Burma 
coast, did some damage in the south and west of the District. Part of 
the central tract is inundated annually, but serious floods are not 

Little is known of the early history of the District. Its Burmese 

name is Pathein, though how and when this was corrupted into Bassein 

is far from clear. In old Taking histories the thirty- 
History. . . r ^ • • 1 • r 

two cities 01 Bassein are mentioned in a.d. 625 as 
forming part of the newly established kingdom of Pegu. For many 
centuries after this Bassein was the scene of constant struggles between 
the Takings and the Burmans. The port of Bassein has from early 
days been a trading centre of some importance. In 1687, after two 
unsuccessful attempts to obtain a footing on the Irrawaddy delta, the 
East India Company occupied Negrais, an island now known as 
Hainggyi, at the mouth of the Bassein river, and a trading settlement 
was established there. In 1757 the Company obtained from Alaung- 
paya, the king of Ava, who two years previously had seized Bassein from 
the Peguans, the permanent cession of Negrais and of a piece of land at 
Bassein, in return for aid promised against the enemies of the Burmans. 
On October 5, 1759, however, nearly all the Europeans in the settle- 
ment were treacherously murdered by the Burmese officials, on suspicion 
of having helped the Talaings (or Peguans) against Akungpaya. The 
brick walls of the factory are still standing. Negotiations in 180 1-2 to 
regain Negrais were fruitless ; and the British envoy was treated with 
characteristic insolence, the king of Ava, Bodawpaya, being then at the 
summit of his power. But in 1824, during the first Burmese War, 



Bassein was taken and held as a pledge by the British till the evacuation 
of Pegu in accordance with the terms of the Treaty of Yandabo. During 
the second Burmese War, in 1852, the town was stormed by the British 
troops, and finally occupied. vShortly after the annexation it was pro- 
posed to move the District head-quarters from Bassein to what was 
thought a more suitable site nearer the mouth of the Bassein river ; but 
the beginnings of the new civil station, which was to have been called 
Dalhousie, were wrecked by a cyclone in 1856-7, and the scheme was 
abandoned. Since 1854, when organized crime was checked by Major 
f'ytche, the District has been quiet, except during the Bogale rebellion, 
which broke out simultaneously with the guerrilla war in Upper Burma 
(1806). The District as at present constituted has, so far as its external 
boundaries are concerned, been in existence since 1893, when a portion 
of its area was added to the newly created District of Myaungmya. 

The most important shrines are the Shwemoktaw, the Mahabawdi, 
the Tagaung, and the Shwezigon pagodas in the town of Bassein 
itself ; the Shinthedat pagoda at Kanni ; the Dipayon pagoda at 
Mezali ; the Hmawdin pagoda on a sea-girt eminence at the southern- 
most extremity of the District. 

The population at the last four enumerations was as follows : 
(1872) 202,428, (1881) 268,169, (1891) 320,973. and Population. 
(1901) 391,427. The principal statistics of area 
and population in 1901 are shown in the following table: — 

cr « 


mber of 



V . 



age of 
on in 
on be- 

er of 
able to 




ti ^ 

c'-^'-H c " 

•2 M.n'C 
















Bassein . 






-1- II 







+ 23 

I 2,400 






+ 25 


Ngathainggyaung . 






+ 15 








-^ 40 



District total 





+ 29 







+ 22 



The growth of population has been rapid, amounting to 45 per cent, 
since 1872 ; but it is likely to be less marked in future, as the District 
is said to have fewer attractions for immigrants than the adjoining 
delta areas. Except in the Thabaung and Ngaputaw townships, where 
there are hilly tracts, the density is high. There are only two towns of 
over 5,000 inhabitants : Ba.ssein, the head-quarters of the District, and 
Ngathainggyaung. The population is chiefly Buddhist (348,100, or 
89 per cent.). Christians come next with 22,400; Hindus number 
12,600, and Musalmans 6,400. 


Burmese is spoken by 287,300 persons and Karen by 84,100, a figure 
which indicates that nearly all the Karens use their own vernacular. 
Though Talaings are numerous, the Talaing language appears to be 
hardly spoken at all in Bassein, while in the neighbouring District of 
Myaungmya it is still the speech of one Talaing out of four. 

Burmans numbered 271,800 in 1901; Karens, 85,300 (mostly Pwos) ; 
Arakanese, 6,300; Talaings, 4,700. There are 1,200 Chinese, only 280 
of whom are females. More than half the Musalmans and nearly two- 
thirds of the Hindus live in Bassein town. The agricultural population 
in 1901 was returned at 259,100, or 66 per cent, of the total. 

The large Christian population (more numerous than in any District 
of the Province except Toungoo) is chiefly due to the Karen converts of 
the American Baptist Mission, of whom 13,890 returned themselves as 
Baptists in 1901, and who also probably formed a large proportion of 
the 5,409 Christians who returned no denomination. Roman Catholics 
and Anglicans (principally natives) number more than 1,200 each. The 
total of native Christians was 22,000. The American Baptist Mission 
works among both the Karens and the Burmans. The Roman Catholics 
have three mission stations in the District. 

The conditions of agriculture are generally uniform. The richest land 
lies to the north and north-east. In the north the soil is composed of 

. , a rich silt-impregnated loam, protected from inunda- 

Acriculturc . 

tion by an extensive system of Government embank- 
ments, while in the north-east the land consists of new clearings of rich 
tree-jungle. The southern portion of the tract north of the Daga is 
liable to floods caused by the back-wash from the Ngawun. South of 
the Daga the land is slightly higher and consequently of poorer quality, 
but it falls rapidly south of the town of Bassein. The Ngaputaw town- 
ship, except for some high ground in the Thongwa circle, is flat and 
marshy, the soil is thin, and the surface of the land is intersected by 
tidal creeks. On the west bank of the Ngawun the lower levels are as 
a rule flooded, owing to the embankment on the east bank of that 
stream; and the ground gradually rises from the river to the hills, where 
cultivation is found only in minute patches on the gentler slopes, or in 
the valleys between the hill ranges. About 37 miles of the Ngawun 
embankment lie within the limits of the District. This work, with its 
continuation northward in Henzada, forms a raised embankment 151 
miles in length, protecting from inundation about 1,600 square miles 
of country. 

The methods of cultivation exhibit little variety in the different tracts. 
Ploughing is performed with a rough wooden plough, consisting of 
a transverse bar from 7 to 8 feet long, with seven, eighty or nine pointed 
wooden teeth fixed in it. This is drawn in every direction across the 
field, more or less frequently according to the quality of the soil. The 



rice is then ordinarily transplanted from the nurseries in which it has 
been raised. In the Ngaputaw township, however, the grain is generally 
sown broadcast, the soil here being poorer, and the cost of labour high. 
In the flooded portions of the District transplanting is not possible till 
October, and the success of the crop then altogether depends on the 
sufficiency or otherwise of the later rains. 

The main agricultural statistics for 1903-4 are shown below, areas 
being in square miles : — 


Total area. 




Thabaung . 
Ngaputaw . 
Kyonpyaw . 














284 j 

In the same year 802 square miles were under rice {kaukkyi). Afayin, 
or hot-season rice, is grown, but only to a small extent. Garden culti- 
vation covered 41 square miles, of which the plantain groves of the 
Kyonpyaw township on the banks of the Daga constitute about a third. 
The dani palm is cultivated in the Ngaputaw and Bassein townships on 
2,100 acres, and tobacco on 2,700 acres in the Ngathainggyaung town- 
ship in the north of the District. The size of the average agricultural 
holding is about 18 acres. 

No efforts are made by the husbandmen to improve the quality of 
the crop by selection of seed, or to increase the out-turn by artificial 
manuring, though some years ago the properties of basic slag as a 
fertilizer were tested. Nor is any improvement likely to occur so long 
as the Bassein milling firms refuse to give higher rates for better-class 
paddy. Experiments in the cultivation of tobacco have not found 
favour with the local agriculturist.s. Agricultural advances, generally 
for purchase of cattle or seed-grain, are eagerly taken up, especially in 
the Bassein subdivision, where cattle-disease is particularly rife. The 
yearly loss of cattle is enormous, and more stringent measures to eradi- 
cate disease are required. The total amount advanced in 1903-4 was 
Rs. 15,140. 

The cattle of Bassein are of the common breeds of the country, and, 
except in the Ngathainggyaung subdivision, are only of ordinary quality. 
In the north, however, where the grazing facilities are good, the 
live-stock, and especially the bullocks, are above the average. Scarcely 
any Indian cattle are kept, except in Bassein and Ngathainggyaung 
towns. As is usually the case in the delta Districts, where land com- 
munications are not good, ponies are scarce and the local breed is of 


poor quality. Beasts imported from Prome and other breeding centres 
command high prices, (loats are few in number. 

The grazing is ample, and no difficulties are encountered in feeding 
stock. The grazing-grounds are, however, largely devoid of shade, and 
this fact and the badness of the water-supply in the hot season are the 
principal causes of disease. The total area of grazing-ground actually 
reserved is 104,852 acres, and the total number of cattle in 1903-4 was 
153,700, showing about three-fourths of an acre per head of stock. 

Numerous fresh-water fisheries exist, a full account of which will be 
found in a report by Major Maxwell, published in 1904. They lie for 
the most part in the north-east of the District. The 
' ' most important fishery is the Inye Lake in the 
Kyonpyaw township, the lease of which fetches about Rs. 28,000 
annually. Of turtles, both the loggerhead and the green variety are 
plentiful along the southern coast. The most valuable bank is that at 
Diamond Island, from which Major Maxwell estimates an out-turn of 
one and three-quarter millions of turtles' eggs annually, valued at more 
than a quarter of a lakh. The District fishery revenue amounted to 
2-9 lakhs in 1903-4. 

The forests present two types. The first is found along both slopes 
of the Yoma, and is evergreen, interspersed with patches of bamboo. 
On the western slope it has been greatly overworked in the past, and 
steps are being taken to ' reserve ' large portions. This tract contains 
pyiftgado, pyini?ia, and about thirty other kinds of timber, and provides 
large quantities of canes and bamboos used in the fisheries all over the 
delta and for building. The second type of forest is marshy and tidal, 
and contains various species of mangrove, kanazo, and other inferior 
woods, used mainly for fuel. Owing to unrestrained clearing of forest 
in the north-east, fuel will probably be scarce before long in that quarter. 
The area of protected and ' reserved ' forests is 208 square miles, and 
that of unprotected but 'reserved' forests 76 square miles. The forest 
receipts in 1903-4 amounted to a lakh. 

The only minerals are pottery clay, laterite, limestone, and sandstone, 
and they are of little commercial importance. The requirements of the 
newly constructed railway have brought about a temporary development 
of the limestone and sandstone industry ; but, this demand satisfied, 
the further working of these mineral resources is likely to stop. Laterite 
is worked in a spasmodic fashion to meet the requirements of the 
Public Works department or the Bassein municipality, and pottery clay 
is collected by the pot-makers of Sinobo and Kwinlya ; but there is no 
systematic working of minerals. 

A little gold and silver work is done in Bassein, but it is ordinarily 
of poor quality. The best-known hand industries are pot-making and 
the manufacture of umbrellas. Glazed pottery is made principally at 


Sinobo near Bassein, and at Kwinlya below Ngathainggyaung. The 
Bassein uml)rella is made of paper or pith, and is generally decorated with 
elaborate hand-painted floral designs. The country 
salt, known as kyinsa, is used largely in the making comiunicrtions. 
of ngapi, pressed fish or salted fish paste, which is 
extensively manufactured in the District. From 30 to 40 parts of salt 
are mixed with 100 parts of fish to make this. A full description of 
the methods of manufacture is given in the fishery report referred to 
above, which enumerates eighteen kinds of ngapi, all made in different 
ways and all bearing different names. It is customary in some cases 
for the bark of the ondon-ixe.e {Tetranthera laurifolia) to be pounded 
up and mixed with the ngapi, its object being to prevent decrease of 
weight through shrinkage. 

The principal factories of Bassein are the rice-mills, of which there 
are eight, five owned by British firms and three by German. Another, 
managed by a foreign firm, is in process of construction, and a few 
minor concerns are the property of residents of Bassein. The rice 
turned out is of the kind known as ' cargo rice,' i. e. one-fifth of the 
husk is left on the milled product. 

Saw-mills are the only other factories of importance, the most im- 
portant being one owned by the Sgaw-Karen Baptist Mission. The 
number of logs sawn in it in 1901 was 4,500, but the completion of the 
railway and the consequent demand for sleepers has considerably 
increased the output since then. Pyingado is the principal timber 
dealt with in the mills. Salt is obtained in the Ngaputaw township by 
concentration under solar heat, and then by boiling. 

The maritime export trade of Bassein is practically confined to rice, 
which is grown in the District and milled in the town into 'cargo rice' 
prior to export to Europe. In 1903-4 the exports of rice were 152,000 
tons, valued at 104 lakhs. The total imports by sea in the same year 
were valued at only Rs. 1,35,000. Owing to the absence in most of 
the mills of plant for the production of 'white rice,' the exports to 
India are insignificant. Ordinarily the most important oversea imports 
are salt, coal, and coco-nuts. Salt comes mainly from Europe, coal 
from Calcutta, and coco-nuts from Madras or the Straits. A brisk trade 
in general merchandise is carried on by river steamers with Rangoon 
and other delta towns. The imports are piece-goods, hardware, and 
the like ; and the exports are ngapi and other local products. The 
bulk of the petty trade is still in the hands of the Burmans, but natives 
of India and C'hinamen also do a large and growing business. 

The Bassein-Henzada-Letpadan railway, opened to traffic in 1903, 
passes through the District for 66 miles and taps the centre of it. The 
principal stations are Daga, Athok, Yegyi, and Zayathla. The railway 
is already very popular with passengers, though it has so far al racted 



little goods tiafific, and all the paddy still comes l)y river to be nulled 
at Bassein. 

In the south of the District, where communication is almost entirely 
by water, the roads are chiefly in the immediate neighbourhood of 
Bassein town. The total length of metalled roads outside the town is 
42 miles, 15^ of which are kept up from Provincial and 26^ from Dis- 
trict cess or other Local funds. The total length of un metalled roads 
is 53 miles, 24 being maintained from Provincial and 29 from Local 
funds. The principal roads are : the Bassein-Shwemyindin road, the 
Bassein-Henzada road, and the Bassein-Shanywa road. In the Nga- 
thainggyaung subdivision the main highways are from Ngathainggyaung 
to Ataung (via Kyonpyaw), from Yegyi to Inma (via Athok\ and from 
Inma to Kyonpyaw. In the north the embankments constructed by 
Government about thirty years ago to prevent the flooding of low-lying 
areas afford a convenient means of communication during the rains. 
The Ngawun and Daga rivers are navigable practically throughout the 
District. No sea-going lines of passenger steamers call at the port of 
Bassein ; but the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company runs steamers from 
Bassein three times a week to Rangoon via Myaungmya, Wakema, and 
Ma-ubin, and to Kyonpyaw, daily to Myaungmya, and twice a week to 
Ngathainggyaung, and in the rains onwards to Henzada. The south is 
served by private launches. The District east of the Yoma contains 
scarcely a single village of any size which is not supplied with some 
form of steamer service. Native boats, large and small, ply on all the 
inland waters, and numerous ferries are maintained. 

The District is divided into two subdivisions, with head-quarters at 
Bassein and Ngathainggyaung. Each subdivision has three townships. 

. , . . . The Bassein subdivision comprises the Bassein, Tha- 
Administration. , _ ^ , . j , xt • 

BAUNG, and Ngaputaw townships; and the Ngathaing- 
gyaung subdivision comprises the Ngathainggyaung, Kyonpyaw, and 
Kyaunggon townships. Bassein is the head-quarters of the Bassein- 
Myaungmya Forest division, under a Deputy-Conservator of forests ; 
and the Port Officer, Bassein, is collector of customs. 

The District Judge exercises jurisdiction also over Henzada District, 
and the Bassein Small Cause Court judge is at the same time the judge 
of the Bassein township court. Two other judges relieve the township 
officers of the Ngathainggyaung, Kyaunggon, and Kyonpyaw townships 
of all civil work and have Small Cause Court jurisdiction locally ; 
but in the remaining two townships the township officers are judges in 
their respective courts. 

Criminal justice is administered in the usual way by the executive 
officers. District, subdivisional, and township. In addition, a special 
magistrate has recently been appointed to exercise criminal juris- 
diction within the limits of the Ngathainggyaung and Bassein sub- 


divisions. Sessions cases are tried by the Divisional Judge, Bassein 

Criminal work is heavy. Cattle-thefts are frequent, as also are 
robberies. Deterrent sentences have somewhat reduced the criminal 
use of the knife, but it is still unfortunately common. They have also 
had the effect of causing bullies to substitute for knives clubs, which 
in practice are nearly as dangerous. Gambling, with its lamentable 
predisposition to crime, is very prevalent in all parts of the District ; 
and drunkenness cannot be called rare, although strenuous endeavours 
have been made in the past to reduce the facilities for drinking. 

During the first two years (1852-3) of the British occupation, the 
Burmese tax on cattle was continued by the new rulers, and an impost 
of Rs. 10 was levied on every pair of buffaloes or bullocks used for 
ploughing ; but no land tax was then demanded of the people. In 
1854 surveyors were brought down from Arakan, the different circles 
were measured and a scale of revenue rates was fixed, though it is not 
precisely known on what principles they were calculated. These rates 
were systematically and methodically revised in 1861, crop-cuttings 
being made and local prices considered. A summary enhancement of 
25 per cent, was made in 1879 ; but during this and the following years 
a detailed cadastral survey was undertaken, and regular settlement 
operations at once followed (1879-83) over the whole District, except 
the Ngaputaw township, the maximum rate per acre sanctioned being 
Rs. 3-4-0, and the minimum 12 annas. Portions of the Ngathaing- 
gyaung and Kyonpyaw townships were dealt with in 1883-4 and 1884-5, 
and the Ngaputaw township was regularly settled during the season 
1901-2. The settlement of 1879-83 was revised between the years 
1897-9, the result being an enhancement in the Bassein subdivision of 
20 per cent, and in the Ngathainggyaung subdivision of 48 per cent. 
The maximum rate on rice land now in force is Rs. 4 and the minimum 
12 annas, the average being Rs. 2-4-0. The maximum on mixed 
gardens is Rs. 3 per acre and the minimum Rs. 2-8-0, the average 
being Rs. 2-12-0. Betel-vines are taxed at Rs. 5 to Rs. 10 per acre, 
dani palms at Rs. 4 to Rs. 5, and miscellaneous cultivation at rates 
varying from Rs. 1-8-0 to Rs. 2-8-0. 

The tax on salt is Rs. 2-3-6 per 100 viss (365 lb.) turned out. The 
system of raising the salt revenue by a tax on output was introduced in 
1902 as an experiment, the arrangement previously in force having 
been to tax the cauldrons employed in boiling. After a brief strike the 
salt-makers acquiesced in this method of assessment. For the realiza- 
tion of the tax a staff of two inspectors and two assistant inspectors is 

The land revenue was 12-8 lakhs in 1900-1 and i3'8 lakhs in 1903-4, 
Comparative figures cannot be given for earlier years, owing to the 


modifications that have taken place during the interval in the District 
boundaries, but it may be pointed out that the land revenue raised 
from an area larger than the present District was ^'^ lakhs in 1886, 
The total revenue from all sources was 35-9 lakhs in 1 900-1 and 29-3 
lakhs in 1903-4. 

The District cess fund, administered by the Deputy-Commissioner 
for the provision of roads, (S:c., is maintained by a 10 per cent, levy on 
the land revenue. Its income in 1903-4 was Rs. 1,65,000, and the 
chief item of expenditure was Rs. 52,000 on public works. Bassein 
and Ngathainggyaung with Daunggyi are the only municipalities. 

South of Cape Negrais, in 15° 42' N. and 94° 17' E., is the Alguada 
reef, on which a lighthouse was built in 1865. The structure is of 
granite, stands 144 feet high, and till 1902 exhibited a first-class 
catadioptric light visible at 20 miles. In 1902 a new light of 97,000 
candle-power, visible 18 miles, was substituted for the old one. 

The police are under a Superintendent, assisted by three Assistant 
Superintendents, in charge of the Ngathainggyaung and Bassein sub- 
divisions and the town of Bassein respectively. The force consists of 
3 inspectors, 2 chief head constables, 9 head constables, and 369 
sergeants and constables, distributed in 20 police stations and outposts. 
The military police, who belong to the Toungoo battalion, number 199, 
and are posted as follows : 90 at Bassein, 34 at Ngathainggyaung, and 
the remainder at outlying township head-quarters. 

The Central jail at Bassein has accommodation for 1,271 prisoners, 
and had an average daily population in 1903 of 730. The principal 
industry is mat-making, and the mats are taken as fast as they can be 
turned out for the shipping which visits Bassein. Furniture is also 
manufactured and is sold locally. 

The percentage of literate persons in 1901 was 41 in the case of 
males and 7-5 in the case of females, or 25 for both sexes together. 
The number of pupils at school has increased from 8,630 in 1 880-1 to 
11,019 in 1890-1, and to 11,531 in 1903-4. In the last year the 
District contained 19 secondary, 218 primary, 6 special, and 230 
elementary (private) schools, with 8,908 male and 2,623 feniale pupils. 
The principal educational institution is the Bassein municipal high 
school, in which instruction is given up to the ninth standard. The 
expenditure on education in 1903-4 amounted to Rs. 68,600, of which 
municipalities contributed Rs. 16,700, the cess fund Rs. 14,500, and 
the Government Rs. 10,400, while Rs. 16,300 was collected in fees 
and Rs. 10,700 in subscriptions. 

There are two hospitals, with accommodation for 75 in-patients. In 
1903 the number of cases treated was 24,853, including 1,389 in- 
patients, and 1,135 operations were performed. The income amounted 
to Rs. 20,300, the two municipalities contributing Rs. 14,500, private 



subscriptions Rs. 3,300, and Local funds Rs. 2,500. A disj^ensary is 
about to be built at Kyaunggon. 

Vaccination is compulsory only in the towns of Bassein and 
Ngathainggyaung, but progress in vaccination during recent years has 
been fair. In 1903-4 the number of persons successfully vaccinated 
was 16,320, representing 42 per 1,000 of population. 

[J. Mackenna, Settlement Reports (1899-1900 and 1903) ; Major 
F. D. Maxwell, Report on In /and and Sea Fisheries (1904) ; B. Samuel- 
son, History of Embankments, Hetizada Division (1899).] 

Bassein Subdivision. — Southern subdivision of Bassein District, 
Lower Burma, consisting of the townships of Bassein, Thabauno, and 

Bassein Township. — Central township in the Bassein subdivision 
of Bassein District, Lower Burma, lying between 16° 35' and 16° 59' N. 
and 94° 30' and 95° 3' E., on both sides of the Bassein river, with an 
area of 563 square miles, which includes the area that till recently 
formed the township of Kangyidaung. The two townships together 
had a population of 94,301 in 1891 and 104,647 in 1901, half the 
increase being due to non-agriculturists. They contained one town, 
Bassein (population, 31,864), the head-quarters; and 518 villages. 
In 1903-4 the area under cultivation was 244 square miles, paying 
a land revenue of Rs. 3,67,000. 

Bassein Town {Fathein). — Head-quarters of the Irrawaddy Division 
and of Bassein District, Lower Burma, situated in 16° 46' N. and 
94° 46' E., on both banks of the Bassein river, 75 miles from the sea 
and 192 by rail from Rangoon. The population, including that of 
Bassein port, has increased steadily from 20,688 in 1872 to 28,147 
in 1881, 30,177 in 1891, and 31,864 in 1901. It comprises Burmans, 
Karens, natives of India, and Chinamen, the first forming about 
two-thirds of the whole. The main portion of the town, consisting of 
the Athegyi, Talainggyaung, and Myothit quarters, which comprise the 
civil station and the bazar, lies on the left or eastern bank of the river, 
while the Thinbawgyin quarter on the western bank contains the 
principal mills. No trustworthy records of the early history of the town 
exist. One tradition puts its foundation in the thirteenth century, but 
old Talaing histories mention the thirty-two cities of Bassein (Pathein) 
much earlier. It is believed by some that the name is Talaing in origin ; 
but the theory that Pathein has some connexion with Fathi, the 
Burmese name for a Musalman, is not unreasonable, and it is indisput- 
able that the town has long been inhabited by natives of India. Bassein 
has for centuries been a trading centre of some importance ; and even 
if it be not identical with the ancient port of Cosmin, referred to 
by Cesare de' Federici and Caspar Balbi, it is possible that Cosmin was 
within the limits of the existing District. The seizure of the town 


by the Burmese tro()i)s in 1755 was one of the first incidents in the 
great Alaungpaya's earliest cami)aign against the Peguans in the south. 
The British were at that time established as traders in Bassein, and 
'" 1757 tbe East India Company obtained a piece of land in the town 
by treaty with the victorious monarch of Ava, and secured free trading 
rights within the port. Two years later all the Europeans were 
massacred. The town was captured in 1824 during the first Burmese 
War and held till the Treaty of Yandabo, to be finally occupied in the 
second Burmese War in 1852. 

The town has an area of nearly 12 square miles, the greater part 
of which is wooded. The principal streets run parallel to the river, with 
short connecting roads. The most important is the Strand road, 
following the stream, from which the other main thoroughfares branch 
off. The total length of roads within municipal limits is 37^ miles. 
The Government ofifices and treasury are on the site of the old Zechaung 
fort, built after the province of Pegu was annexed. Around the fort lies 
the civil station. To the east is the Myothit quarter, through which run 
two main streets to a pagoda-covered plain, where all the local festivals 
are held. Close by the fort lie the other principal public buildings, 
post and telegraph offices, the Queen Victoria Memorial Library, the 
Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, and the extensive premises of 
the American Baptist Mission. There are pubHc gardens and a Jubilee 
Memorial Park. The town contains a number of pagodas, among the 
most sacred being the Shwemoktaw within the limits of the Zechaung 
fort, the Tagaung, the Payagyigon, the Mahabawdi, the Shwezigon, and 
the Wetlu. 

Bassein is well served by the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company, the 
steamers of which run eastwards to Rangoon and Myaungmya, and 
northwards to Kyonpyaw and Ngathainggyaung, and, during the rains, 
to Henzada. The new railway gives connexion twice a day with 
Henzada (82 miles), and once a day with Letpadan and Rangoon 
(192 miles). The principal industry is rice-milling ; eight important 
mills and some smaller concerns turn out what is known as ' cargo rice ' 
(one-fifth husk). The manufacture of earthenware and timber-sawing 
are also important local industries. 

Bassein is almost exclusively an exporting market. In 1903-4, 
152,000 tons of 'cargo rice,' valued at 104 lakhs, left the port, consigned 
entirely to Europe. Imports from foreign countries are insignificant ; 
those from Indian ports were valued in 1903-4 at Rs. 89,000, comprising 
gunnies, betel-nuts, and other Indian commodities. A steady river-borne 
trade is carried on with Rangoon, and commerce with the rest of Burma 
is^likely to be stimulated by the new railway. 

Bassein is the head-quarters of the Judge of the Bassein Division. 
The town was constituted a municipality in 1874. The municipal 


income during tlic ten years ending 1901 averaged 1-2 lakhs, and 
the expenditure i-i lakhs. The figures for 1903-4 were 1-5 lakhs 
and 1-6 lakhs respectively. The chief sources of revenue in the 
latter year were house tax (Rs. 28,000), lighting rate (Rs. 10,000), 
conservancy (Rs. 11,500), and bazars (Rs. 56,000); while the chief 
objects of expenditure were lighting (Rs. 12,000), conservancy 
(Rs. 25,000), hospitals (Rs. 20,000), schools (Rs. 7,500), and roads 
(Rs. 31,000). 

The port is administered through a Port fund, which derives its 
income from shipping dues, &c., and bears the cost of lighting and 
buoying the channels. The Port fund income in 1903-4 was Rs. 37,000. 
There is a municipal high school, teaching up to the ninth standard, in 
addition to missionary schools, and a Convent school for girls. The 
civil hospital has 63 beds. 

Bassein River [Ngawun). — A river of Burma, being the most 
westerly of the waterways through which the waters of the Irrawaddy 
find their way to the sea. It leaves the main channel a few miles above 
the town of Henzada, and flows in a south-wes*^erly direction, past the 
towns of Lemyethna and Ngathainggyaung-Daunggyi, through the flat 
delta country, to Bassein, and thence, after a total course of 200 miles, 
into the Bay of Bengal immediately north of the Alguada Reef light- 
house, at about the i6th parallel of latitude. Bassein, famous in 
the past as a commercial emporium, and still important as a rice-shipping 
centre, lies on its left or eastern bank, at a point about 75 miles from 
where it flows into the sea". Ocean steamers can proceed up as far 
as Bassein, and the river is navigable by light-draught launches through- 
out its entire length during the rainy season. 

Bassein Taluka. — Western tdluka of Thana District, Bombay, lying 
between 19° 16' and 19° 35' N. and 72° 44' and 73° \' E., with an area 
of 223 square miles. It contains one town, Bassein (population, 
10,702), the head-quarters, and 90 villages, including Ag.\shi (8,506). 
The population in 1901 was 80,251, compared with 76,110 in 1891. 
The density, 360 persons per square mile, largely exceeds the District 
average. Land revenue and cesses amounted in 1903-4 to i-8 lakhs. 
The tali(ka is formed of a portion of the mainland and of territory which 
was once the island of Bassein, but is now no longer an island, 
the narrow creek which divided it from the mainland having silted up. 
With the exception of two small hills, about 200 feet high, the surface 
of the island portion is flat, with a rich soil, yielding crops of rice, 
plantain, sugar-cane, and pan. On the mainland portion are the 
Tungar and Kaman hills, both over 2,000 feet in height, the last named, 
known as Bassein Peak or Kamandrug, being 2,160 feet above sea-level. 
On the coast the climate is generally pleasant and equable ; inland the 
heat is great, and in the rains much fever prevails. 


Bassein Town {ras(7/, that is, 'The Settlement'). — Head-quarters 
of the taluka of the same name in Thana District, Bombay, situated in 
19° 20' N. and 72° 49' E., about 5 miles from the Bassein Road station 
of the Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway, and 28 miles north 
of Bombay. Population (1901), 10,702. The town was constituted 
a municipality in 1864, the income in 1903-4 being Rs. 17,000. In 
that year the total value of the seaborne trade of Bassein was 13 lakhs, 
of which 5 lakhs represented imports and 8 lakhs exports. The town 
contains a dispensary, a Sub-Judge's court, an English middle school 
with 53 pupils, 8 vernacular schools for boys with 395 pupils, and 
one for girls with 71 pupils. 

Bassein early attracted the notice of the Portuguese, as the river 
or strait separating the island from the mainland was a convenient 
rendezvous for shipping. In 1534 Bassein with the land in its neigh- 
bourhood was ceded to them by Bahadur Shah, king of Gujarat, and 
two years later the fort was built. For more than two centuries Bassein 
remained in the hands of the Portuguese, and during this time it rose 
to such prosperity that it came to be called the Court of the North, and 
its nobles were proverbial for their wealth and magnificence. With 
plentiful supplies of both timber and stone, Bassein was adorned with 
many noble buildings, including a cathedral, five convents, thirteen 
churches, and an asylum for orphans. The dwellings of the Hidalgos, 
or aristocracy, who alone were allowed to live within the city walls, are 
described (1675) as stately buildings, two storeys high, graced with 
covered balconies and large windows. Towards the end of the seven- 
teenth century Bassein suffered severely from outbreaks of the plague, 
so deadly that in 1695 one-third of the population was swept away. 
Notwithstanding the decay of Portuguese power in the seventeenth 
century, Bassein, as late as 1720, would seem to have retained much 
of its prosperity. In that year the population was returned at 60,499, 
and the revenue a few years later (1729) at as much as 4^ lakhs 
(Xer. 914,125). But the wealth of one city was unable to stay the 
advance of the Maratha power. In 1739 Chimnaji Appa, a distinguished 
Maratha general, at the head of a powerful army, appeared before 
Bassein. After a siege of three months, conducted on both sides with 
the greatest skill and courage, the garrison was forced to capitulate, and 
the town and district of Bassein passed into the hands of the Peshwa. 
Under the Marathas, Bassein became the chief place in their territories 
between the Bankot river and Daman ; but they did not long keep 
possession of the city. In 1780, after a siege of twelve days, Bassein 
was captured by a British army under the command of General Goddard. 
By the Treaty of Salbai (1782) it was restored to the Marathas ; and in 
181 8, on the overthrow of the last of the Peshwas, it was resumed by 
the English and incorporated with Thana District. Here was concluded, 

BASTAR 12 1 

in 1802, the treaty by which the Peshwa agreed to maintain a British 
subsidiary force, thus virtually dissolving the Maratha confederacy. 

Of Old Bassein, the walls and ramparts remain in a state of good 
preservation. Within the enclosure, the ruins of the cathedral, of the 
Dominican convent, of the Jesuit Church of St. Paul, and of 
St. Anthony's Church, built as early as 1537, can still be identified. 
[Dr. Da Cunha, Antiquities of Bassein (Bombay, 1876).] 
Bastar. — Feudatory State in the Central Provinces, lying between 
17° 46' and 20° 14' N. and 80° 15' and 82° 15' E., with an area of 
13,062 square miles. It is situated in the south-eastern corner of the 
Province, and is bounded north by the Kanker State, south by the 
Godavari District of Madras, west by Chanda District, Hyderabad 
State, and the Godavari river, and east by the Jeypore estate in 
Vizagapatam. The chief town is Jagdalpur (population, 4,762), situated 
on the Indravati river, 136 miles south of Dhamtarl. The town 
is well laid out, with many handsome buildings and two fine tanks. 
The central and north-western portions of the State are very moun- 
tainous. To the east, for two-thirds of the tot?l length from north to 
south, extends a plateau with an elevation of about 2,000 feet above 
sea-level, broken by small isolated ranges. The old and new capitals, 
Bastar and Jagdalpur, are situated towards the south of the plateau. 
The Indravati river, rising in the Kalahandi State, enters Bastar on the 
plateau near Jagdalpur, and flows across the centre of the State from 
east to west, dividing it into two portions. On reaching the border 
it turns to the south, and forms the boundary of Bastar until it joins the 
Godavari below Sironcha. At Chitrakot, where the Indravati leaves 
the Jagdalpur plateau, is a fine waterfall, 94 feet high, while the course 
of the river through the western hills exhibits some extremely picturesque 
scenery. The rivers next in importance are the Sabari, which divides 
Bastar from Jeypore on the east, and the Tel, which rises in the State 
and flows south-west to the Godavari. The north-western portion of 
the State is covered by a mass of rugged hills known locally as the 
Abujmar, or country of the Maria Gonds. South of the Indravati 
the Bailadila (' bullock's hump ') range runs through the centre of 
Bastar from north to south, its highest peaks being over 4,000 feet 
above sea-level, while smaller ranges extend in an easterly direction to 
the south of the plateau. The south-western tracts are low-lying, but 
are broken by ranges of sandstone hills, all of which run from north-west 
to south-east, each range ending in a steep declivity, a few miles south 
of which another parallel chain commences. Great boulders of vitrified 
sandstone strew the surface of these hills and gleam pink in the sun. 
The rock formation belongs partly to the gneissic and transition series, 
but is mainly the Lower Vindhyan, consisting of sandstones, shales, and 
limestones. The forests in the south-west contain a considerable 

122 B.lS7\iR 

quantity of teak, with which is mixed bijdsdl {Plerocarpus Marsupiuvi). 
Towards the north-east the teak rapidly disappears, and is replaced by 
sal {S/wrea robustd)^ which then becomes the principal timber tree, 
though much of the forest is of the nature of scrub. Frequently the 
undergrowth is replaced by patches of dense high grass, with scattered 
trees of Diospyros or ebony. The Caryota urens and the palmyra palm 
are found, the latter in the south and the former in the west and north. 
Cane brakes also occur by the hill streams. Bamboos, of which three 
species occur, are restricted entirely to the hills. The average annual 
rainfall exceeds 50 inches, and the climate on the plateau is pleasantly 
cool, 102° being the highest recorded. 

The family of the Raja is a very ancient one. It is stated to belong 
to the Rajputs of the I^unar race, and to have come originally from 
Warangal about the commencement of the fourteenth century, driven 
thence by the encroachments of the Muhammadan power. The tra- 
ditional founder of the family, Annam Deo, is said to have established 
himself in Bastar under the protection of the goddess DanteshwarT, still 
the tutelary deity of the family and the State, who presented him with 
a sword which is held in veneration to the present day. The temple 
of the goddess at Dantewara, at the confluence of the Sankani and 
Dankani rivers, was formerly the scene of an annual human sacrifice 
similar to that of the Khonds ; and for many years after 1842 a guard 
was placed over the temple, and the Raja held personally responsible 
for its discontinuance. Up to the time of the Marathas Bastar occupied 
an almost independent position, but a tribute was imposed on it by 
the Nagpur government in the eighteenth century. At this period the 
constant feuds between Bastar and the neighbouring State of Jeypore 
in Madras kept the country for many years in a state of anarchy. The 
chief object of contention was the Kotapad tract, which had originally 
belonged to Bastar, but had been ceded in return for assistance given 
by Jeypore to one of the Bastar chiefs during some family dissensions. 
The Central Provinces Administration finally made this over to 
Jeypore in 1863, on condition of payment of tribute of Rs. 3,000, two- 
thirds of which sum was remitted from the amount payable by Bastar. 
By virtue of this arrangement the tribute of Bastar was, until recently, 
reduced to a nominal amount. The late Raja, Bhairon Deo, died 
in 1 89 1 at the age of 52. In consequence of the continued mis- 
government under which the State had suffered for some years, an 
officer selected by the Local Administration had been appointed as 
Dlwan in 1886. The late Raja's infant son, Rudra Pratap Deo, was 
recognized as his successor, and during his minority the State is being 
managed by Government. For six years two European officers held 
the office of Administrator, but this post was abolished in 1904 and 
a native officer was appointed as Superintendent. The young chief, 


who was twenty years old in 1905, has been educated at the Rajkuniar 
College, Raipur. 

The population in 1901 was 306,501 persons, having decreased by 
I per cent, during the previous decade. The State contains 2,525 
inhabited villages, and the density of population is only 23 persons per 
square mile. About two-thirds of the inhabitants are Gonds, and there 
are also a number of Halbas. The Gonds of Bastar are perhaps the^ 
wildest tribe in the Province. In some localities they still wear no clothing 
beyond a string of beads round the waist, while the approach of a stranger 
is frequently a signal for the whole village to take to the jungle. The 
language principally spoken is Halbl, a mixed dialect of Hindi, Oriya, and 
Marathl. Bhatrl, a dialect of Oriya, is the speech of about 6 per cent, 
of the population, while the Maria Gonds have a language peculiar to 
themselves. More than 7 per cent, of the population speak Telugu. 
The Methodist Episcopal Church has a station at Jagdalpur. 

The soil throughout the greater part of Bastar consists of a light clay 
with an admixture of sand, well adapted to the raising of rice, but 
requiring a good supply of water. There has been no cadastral survey 
except in 647 villages of the open country on the plateau, of which 486 
have been regularly settled. No statistics of cultivation for the State as 
a whole are therefore available. The cultivation is, however, extremely 
sparse, as even in the regularly settled tract, which is the most advanced 
and populous portion of the State, only 25 per cent, of the total area 
available has been brought under the plough. Rice is by fL^r the most 
important crop, but various small millets, pulses, and gram are also 
grown. There are a few irrigation tanks in the open country. About 
9,800 square miles, or three-fourths of the whole area of the State, are 
forest or grass land, but only about 5,000 square miles contain regular 
forest. The remainder either has been wholly denuded of forest growth 
by the system of shifting cultivation, or is covered only by valueless low 
scrub. The moist or sal forests occur in the tract south of the Indravati 
and east of the Bailadila range, principally occupying the valleys and 
lower hills and the eastern plateau. The dry forests, in which the 
principal tree is teak, are distributed over the south, west, and north- 
west of the State, and also cover the higher slopes of the hills in the 
moist forest belt. The commercial value of the forests is determined 
at present rather by their proximity to a market and the comparative 
facilities of transport than by the intrinsic quality of the timber. The 
principal products are teak and other timbers, myrabolams, lac, 
wax, honey, hides and horns, tanning and dyeing barks, tasar silk 
cocoons, and other minor articles. Rich and extensive deposits of iron 
ore occur, especially in association with the transition rocks. Mica has 
been found in several places, the largest plates discovered near Jungani 
from surface deposits measuring about 5 inches across, but being cloudy 

124 BAS7\IA' 

and cracked. Gold in insignificant quantities is obtained by washing 
in the Indravati and other streams in the west. The State contains 
121 miles of gravelled and 191 miles of embanked roads; the principal 
routes are those leading from Jagdalpur to DhamtarT, to Jeypore, and 
to Chanda. The bulk of the trade goes to Dhamtari station. 

The State is in charge of a Political Agent for the Feudatory States, 
under the supervision of the Commissioner, (^hhattlsgarh Division. 
For administrative purposes Bastar is divided into five tahsiis, each in 
charge of a tahs'ildar. The Superintendent of the State is at present an 
Extra-Assistant Commissioner and has two Assistants with magisterial 
powers. The State also employs European Forest and Medical officers. 
There are seven subordinate zamhiddri estates covering 4,189 square 
miles, situated mainly to the south of the Indravati. The total revenue 
in 1904 was 2-76 lakhs, the main items being land (Rs. 1,15,000), in- 
cluding cesses, arrears, and miscellaneous receipts, forests (Rs. 65,000), 
and excise (Rs. 70,000). A revised assessment of land revenue has 
recently been sanctioned. The net demand for land revenue in 1904 
was only Rs. 83,000, a considerable proportion being ' assigned.' A 
cadastral survey has been effected in 647 villages of the Jagdalpur 
tahsll, and in most of these a regular settlement based on soil classifica- 
tion has been carried out. The remaining area is summarily settled, 
the rates being fixed on the seed required for each holding, or on the 
number of ploughs in the possession of the cultivators. The incidence 
of the land revenue per cultivated acre in the regularly settled tract 
is 5 annas i pie. The total expenditure in 1904 was 2-52 lakhs, the 
principal heads being Government tribute (Rs. 15,600), allowances to 
the ruling family (Rs. 24,000), administration (Rs. 32,000), forests 
(Rs. 15,000), excise (Rs. 15,000), land revenue settlement (Rs. 7,700), 
and public works (Rs. 37,000). The tribute is liable to revision. Since 
1893 the State has expended 5-68 lakhs on public works, under the 
supervision of the Engineer of the Chhattlsgarh States division. The 
works carried out include, besides the roads already mentioned, 
residences for the chief and the Administrator and for the zatnindCxr 
of Bhopalpatnam, office buildings at Jagdalpur and the head-quarters 
of td/isils, and a school, dispensary, and sarai at Jagdalpur. The 
State maintains 51 schools, including an English middle school at 
Jagdalpur, 4 vernacular middle schools, and a girls' school, with a total 
of about 3,000 pupils. The expenditure on education in 1904 was 
Rs. iijooo. Only 1,997 persons were returned as able to read and 
write in 1901, the proportion of literate males being 1-2 per cent. 
Dispensaries have been established at Jagdalpur, Antagarh, Kondegaon, 
Bhopalpatnam, Konda, and Bijapur, at which 59,000 persons were 
treated in 1904, and Rs. 12,000 was expended on medical relief. 

Basti District.— North-western District of the Gorakhpur Division, 


United Provinces, lying north of the Gogra river, between 26° 25' and 
27° 30' N. and between 82° 13' and 83° 14' E., with an area of 2,792 
square miles. It is bounded on the north by Nepal territory ; on the 
east by Gorakhpur District ; on the south by the Gogra, which divides 
it from Fyzabad ; and on the west by Gonda. Basti lies entirely in 
the submontane plain, with no natural elevations to 
diversify its surface. It is traversed by a consider- asDects 

able number of small streams, and the north-west 
corner resembles the rice swamps of the Nepal ianii. The whole of 
the drainage ultimately reaches the Gogra, but not within Bast! District. 
The northern portion, extending 14 to 20 miles from the Nepal frontier 
to the Rapti, has a much greater rainfall than the rest. Many small 
streams rushing down from the lower hills or rising in the Nepal tami 
water this tract, chief among them being the Burhi or 'old' RaptI, the 
Banganga, and the Jamwar. South of the RaptI the central plateau of 
the District extends almost to the Gogra, and is drained chiefly by the 
Kuwana, which has a course parallel to the RaptI and Gogra. The 
Katnehia, Rawai, and Manwar are the principal tributaries of the 
Kuwana. Another small river, the Ami, crosses the upland between 
the RaptI and Kuwana. There are many natural lakes or depressions, 
often formed in the old beds of rivers, the largest being the Bakhira, 
Chandu, Pathra, Chaur, and Jasoia Tals. 

As is usual in the submontane tracts, kankar or nodular limestone is 
scarce. No other rock of any kind is found in the alluvium of which 
the District is composed. 

The flora resembles that of the submontane tracts. Forests formerly 
existed, but have been cut down. The District is, however, well pro- 
vided with clumps of mango, bamboo, and mahiid {Bass/a laiifolia). 

Wild hog, ni/gai, wolves, and jackals are common. Spotted deer 
are occasionally seen. During the cold season wild-fowl and snipe 
abound in the numerous lakes and swamps. Fish are plentiful, and 
are much used for food. Snakes and crocodiles are also common. 

The climate of Basti is distinctly milder than that of the more western 
Districts, and extremes of heat and cold are less marked. It is, how- 
ever, not specially unhealthy, except at the close of the rains. 

The annual rainfall averages 49 inches, ranging from 46 in the 
south-west to 52 towards the north. Near the Nepal frontier the fall 
is still heavier. Large variations occur from year to year. In 1877 only 
24 inches were received, compared with 76 in 1894. 

Materials for the history of the tract included in Basti District are 
unusually scarce. It possibly formed part of the great kingdom of 
KosALA. For some years Kapilavastu, the birth- History 

place of Gautama Buddha, was believed to have 
been situated at Bhuila, 15 miles northwest of Basti town; but this 



identification has been abandoned in favoiu" of a site just outside 
tlie north-east angle of the District, in Nepal. The northern part 
had certainly relapsed into jungle by the fifth century a. u., when 
it was visited by Fa Hian, though the ruins of earlier buildings were 
numerous. The traditions of the Rajput clans who now hold the 
l^istrict point to the conclusion that they began to enter it late 
in the thirteenth century, displacing the Bhars and the Domkatars ; 
but little reliance can be placed on them. A number of petty 
Rajas held the country and fought with each other. In Akbar's reign 
the Muhammadans penetrated the District after taking Gorakhpur, 
and maintained a garrison at Maghar; and BastI was included in 
the Subah of Oudh. About 1610 the Muslims were expelled ; but they 
returned in force in 1680, and opened up the country. Most of the Dis- 
trict was included in the Gorakhpur sarkdr, and its later history is that 
of GoR.\KHPUR District, from \vhich it was only separated in 1865, 
though ceded to the British by the Nawab WazTr of Oudh in 1801. 

Many ancient mounds are found in the District, but few have been 
excavated. Bhuila, already referred to, was examined by General 
Cunningham and his assistant '. A stupa at Piprahwa in the north of 
the District was recently excavated, and yielded an interesting find of 
relics in an inscribed casket ^. Gupta coins are occasionally found in 
various localities. The only Muhammadan building of interest is the 
shrine of Kabir at Maghar. 

BastI contains 4 towns and 6,903 villages. Population is increasing 
steadily. The numbers at the last four enumerations were as follows : 
(1872) 1,473,029, (1881) 1,630,612, (1891) 1,785,844, and (1901) 
1,846,153. There are five iahslls — Domariaganj, 
BansI, Haraiva, Basti, and KhalIlabad — the 
head-quarters of each being at a place of the same name. BastI, 
the District head-quarters, is the largest town. The following table 
gives the chief statistics of population in 1901 : — 



Area in square 

Number of 




■^ u 




of variation in 
population be- 
tween 1891 
and IQOI. 

Number of 

persons able to 

read and 




Domariaganj . 
Ilaraiya . 
Khalllabad . 

District total 







I, HI 



+ 2.9 

-1- 10-9 

- 5-1 

+ 4.0 

+ 3-7 








+ 3-4 


* Archaeological Survey Reports, m)1. xii, p. loS. 
"^ Jcurnal, Royal Asiatic Society, 1S98, p. 573. 


Hindus form nearly 84 per cent, of the total and Muhammadans 
16 per cent. The District is densely populated, and supplies a con- 
siderable number of emigrants to the West Indies and to Eastern 
Bengal and Assam. During the last decade it probably gained by 
immigration from the more distressed Districts south of the Gogra. 
Almost the whole population speak Bihari. 

The most numerous Hindu castes are : Chamars (leather-workers 
and cultivators), 278,000; Brahmans, 195,000; Ahirs (graziers and 
cultivators), 185,000; Kurmis (agriculturists), 148,000 ; Banias, 52,000; 
Rajputs, 50,000 ; Kahars (domestic servants and cultivators), 48,000 ; 
and Kewats (cultivators), 40,000. The aboriginal Bhars, who once 
held the land, are now depressed and number only 50,000. Among 
Musalmans may be mentioned Shaikhs, 50,000 ; Julahas (weavers), 
43,000 ; Pathans, 34,000 ; and Riijputs, 34,000. Agriculture supports 
66 per cent, of the total population, and general labour 9 per 
cent. Brahmans and Rajputs or Chhattris hold about two-thirds of 
the land, and Brahmans occupy a larger area than any other caste. 
Rajputs, Ahlrs, KurmTs, and Chamars are also large cultivators, while 
the Koiris are noted for their skill. 

There were only 53 native Christians in 1901, of whom 24 belonged 
to the Anglican communion. The Church Missionary Society has 
a high school at BastI, and there is also a Zanana mission. 

The clima,te and soil are suitable for the growth of nearly all the 
more valuable products, and the comparatively heavy rainfall is 
especially favourable to rice. Wheat and poppy do » • u 
best in the lighter loams, and are accordingly grown 
between the Rapti and Gogra. North of the Rapti late rice is the 
principal crop. In the inferior light soils barley takes the place of 
wheat, and kodon of rice. There is a tract of peculiar calcareous soil, 
known as bhCit, along both banks of the Rapti, which is very retentive 
of moisture and produces good crops without irrigation. In the bed 
of the Gogra strips of alluvial soil are liable to flooding in the rains, 
but are cultivated for the spring harvest. 

About one-third of the District is included in zamindari mahdis, 
and two-thirds in patt'iddri, the area of hhaiydchdrd mahah being very 
small. A great many under-proprietors are found, called birtias. One 
class of biri is peculiar to the District, having been originally granted 
to a military colony of Rajputs or Chhattris who were settled on the 
border as guardians against invasion. The main agricultural statistics 
for 1903-4 are given in the table on next page, in square miles. 

Rice is the crop most largely grown, covering 1,000 square miles, or 
50 per cent, of the net cultivated area, in 1903-4. The other food-crops 
of importance are wheat (377 square miles), peas and masur (325), 
gram (237), barley (208), and arhar (185). The most valuable 



crops are, however, i)oppy, grown on 33 square miles, and sugar-cane, 
Oilseeds are also important, covering 136 srjuare miles. 

grown on 68 






Domariiiganj . 

Ilaraiya . 








2 38 








At the time of its cession to the British in 1801, the District was in 
a very depressed condition. A settled government soon gave an 
impetus to cultivation, and led to the introduction of the more 
valuable crops, sugar-cane and poppy. During the thirty years 
preceding the last settlement the cultivated area increased by 13 per 
cent., or, including the jungle grants in the north of the District, by 
20 per cent. In the last fifteen years there has been a further small 
increase of about 2 per cent, and a still larger rise in the area double 
cropped. There has been no appreciable change in the staples grown. 
Advances are taken freely under the Agriculturists' Loans Act, and 
amounted to a total of 1-2 lakhs during the ten years ending 1901, 
of which Rs. 51,000 was lent in the famine year 1896-7. From 
Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 3,000 has been advanced annually since 1900. 

The cattle of the District are generally inferior, but those bred in 
the Mahuli pargana are a little above the average. Buffaloes are 
largely kept for milk. Ponies are used a good deal both for riding 
and as pack-animals, but are of a very poor stamp. Sheep and goats 
are chiefly kept for the supply of wool, skins, and manure. 

In 1903-4, 323 square miles were irrigated from wells, 435 from 
tanks and swamps, and 211 from other sources. Wells are chiefly 
important in the southern half of the upland area between the Gogra 
and Rapti, and their use decreases as the latter river is approached. 
North of the RaptI they are hardly used at all. Water is invariably 
raised from them by the lever or by two pots slung on a wheel. The 
natural ponds and swamps, which are so numerous in the District, 
are everywhere used for irrigation, in addition to the small tanks which 
have been excavated. The swing-basket is used to raise water from 
these sources of supply. The larger rivers are not used at all for 
irrigation, as their beds lie too low ; but the smaller streams are held 
up by small temporary earthen dams, and their water is turned into 
the rice-fields as required. In the north-east of the District two 
European grantees have constructed a series of works which effectu- 
ally protect about 52,000 acres of rice land. The valleys of several 


small rivers have been dammed with earthen embankments provided 
with weirs and gates, so that sudden floods can be allowed to escape. 
Water is conducted by 82 miles of main canals and about 250 miles 
of distributaries to all parts of the estates. No water rates are charged, 
but the cultivators voluntarily keep the works in repair. This is the 
only considerable system of private canals in the United Provinces, 
and has been imitated with success by a native zamJnddr, who owns 
an estate close by. Except in the case of rice-fields, irrigation is 
chiefly required for the spring harvest. Water is usually sprinkled 
over the land with a wooden shovel ; but poppy and garden crops 
are flooded. 

The chief mineral product is kankar or nodular limestone, which is 
used for metalling roads and making lime. It is, however, scarce and 
of poor quality, and lacustrine shells are also used for making lime. 
Saltpetre is manufactured from the saline efflorescence called reh. 

The District is exceptionally poor in industrial enterprise. Sugar- 
refining alone is of some importance. Agricultural 
implements, coarse cotton cloth, and the ordinary comnuinioitions. 
utensils for household use are made locally. Brass 
vessels are made at Bakhira, but these and also cloth are largely 
imported. A little chintz is made at Nagar and Bahadurpur. 

The trade of the District with other parts of India is chiefly in agri- 
cultural produce. Rice, sugar, opium, saltpetre, oilseeds, and hides 
are exported : and cloth, metals, salt, cotton, and tobacco are im- 
ported. The through trade with Nepal is also of importance. Iron, 
drugs, spices, ghi, fibres, and rice come from Nepal ;' and raw sugar, 
salt, hardware, tobacco, coco-nuts, cotton yarn, and cloth are sent to 
that State. Uska and Mehndawal are the chief marts for the traffic 
of the north of the District with Nepal. The commerce of the south 
is partly carried by the Gogra ; but the railway has largely replaced 
the river, as is usual where the two means of carriage compete. Cawn- 
pore in the west and Calcutta in the east attract most of the trade of 
the District. 

The Bengal and North- Western Railway main line crosses Basti from 
east to west, and Uska in the north-east corner is at present the terminus 
of a branch from Gorakhpur. It is, however, being connected with 
Tulslpur in Gonda District by a line which will pass very close to the 
border of Nepal and may be expected to increase the traffic with that 
State. Communications byroad are not good. Out of 682 miles, only 
113 are metalled. The metalled roads are in charge of the Public 
Works department; but the cost of all but 62 miles is charged to 
Local funds. The main lines are those from Gorakhpur to Fyzabad, 
from Basti town to BansI, and from Uska towards the Nepal frontier. 
Bridges are still required on most of the unmetalled roads, which cross 


I30 I^.ISTI n/STh'/CT 

many small streams by fords and ferries. Avenues of trees are main- 
tniiu'd on 127 miles of road. 

Mention of the famines experienced in IJastT District uj) to 1865, 
when it became a separate Collectorate, will be found in the article 
. on GoRAKiiPUR District. In 1868-9 only slight 

scarcity was felt. The rains of 1873 were light and 
the following spring crop could not be sown. Relief works were opened, 
and in May, 1874, the daily muster rose to 127,000; but it was held 
afterwards that relief had been too lavish. A similar failure of the 
rains in 1877 caused distress in 1878, and relief works were again 
required. In 1896-7 distress was felt ; but this was due to the pressure 
of high prices on the labouring classes rather than to a failure of 
the crops. Relief works were opened, but the proportion of the popu- 
lation who came to them was small. 

The Collector is usually assisted by five Deputy-Collectors recruited 

in India, and a tahs'ildar is stationed at the head- 
Admmistration. , ^ 1,77 

quarters of each tahsll. 

There are two District Munsifs, and the system of Village Munsifs 
was introduced in 1902. Basti is comprised within the Civil and 
Sessions Judgeship of Gorakhpur ; but sessions cases are tried by the 
Judge of Jaunpur, who is a Joint Sessions Judge for this purpose. 
Crime is on the whole light, and the District is not noted for any 
particular form. Infanticide was formerly suspected, but no villages 
are now proclaimed under the Act. 

Bast! was acquired by cession in 1801, but up to 1865 it formed 
part of Gorakhpnr District. The quarrels of the Rajas and the failure 
of the Oudh government to introduce any system of administration had 
reduced the country to a miserable state. The early settlements, based 
chiefly on the previous collections, were for short periods, and at first 
were made with the Rajas or large proprietors at lump sums for whole 
estates. In 1838-9 the first regular settlement was made under Regu- 
lation IX of 1833. It was based on a survey, and it recognized the 
birtids or under-proprietors, from whom engagements were taken direct 
for the first time. The revenue fixed was 9-7 lakhs, which was more 
than double the former revenue. This settlement was revised between 
1859 and 1865 by various officers working on different methods, but 
principally relying on estimates of the rental ' assets,' and the demand 
was increased to 12-8 lakhs. The latest revision was made between 
1883 and 1890, and BastI was one of the first Districts to be resettled 
on the basis of the actual rents paid. The revenue demand amounted 
to 19-4 lakhs, or 46 per cent, of the corrected rent-roll, the incidence 
per acre being Rs. i-i, varying from R. o-8 to Rs. 1-7. 

Collections on account of land revenue and revenue from all sources 
have been, in thousands of rupees : — 







Land revenue 
Total revenue 





There are no municipalitie.s, but three towns are administered under 
Act XX of 1856. Beyond the limits of these, local affairs are adminis- 
tered by the District board, which in 1903-4 had an income of i-6 
lakhs, chiefly derived from local rates. The expenditure was also 
1-6 lakhs, including Rs. 92,000 spent on roads and buildings. 

The District Superintendent of police is assisted by 4 inspectors, 
and has a force of 97 subordinate officers and 378 constables, besides 
52 town police and 3,201 rural and road police. There are 26 police 
stations. The District jail had a daily average of 247 prisoners in 

The District contains few towns, and the proportion of literate 
persons is not very high; only 2-8 per cent. (5-5 males and o-i females) 
could read and write in 1901. Hindus (3 per cent.) were better edu- 
cated than Musalmans (2 per cent.). The number of public schools 
increased from 154 with 5,037 pupils in 1880-1 to 290 with 11,286 
pupils in 1 900- 1. In 1903-4 there were 308 such schools with 16,844 
pupils, including 426 girls, besides 36 private schools with 459 pupils. 
The primary classes contained all but 1,400 pupils in both public and 
private schools. Two schools are managed by Government and 135 
by the District board. Out of a total expenditure on education of 
Rs. 46,000, Local funds supplied Rs. 42,000, and the receipts from 
fees were only Rs. 3,800. 

There are 8 hospitals and dispensaries, with accommodation for 
51 in-patients. In 1903 the number of cases treated was 90,000, 
including 417 in-patients, and 3,562 operations were performed. The 
expenditure in the same year amounted to Rs. 26,000, chiefly met from 
Local funds. 

About 50,000 persons were successfully vaccinated in 1903-4, 
giving a proportion of 27 per 1,000 of population, which is below 
the Provincial average. 

{District Gazetteer {1881, under revision); J- Hooper, Settlement 
Report (1891).] 

Basti Tahsil. — Head-quarters tahs'il of Bast! District, United Pro- 
vinces, comprising the parganas of Nagar (East), Basti (East), Maghar 
(West), and Mahull (West), and lying between 26° t,t,' and 27° 6' N. 
and 82° 37' and 82° 59' E., with an area of 536 square miles. Popula- 
tion increased from 377,935 in 1891 to 393,079 in 1901. There are 
1,600 villages and only one town. Bast! (population, 14,761), the Dis- 
trict and /rt/w7 head-quarters. The demand for land revenue in 1903-4 

K 2 

i-,2 bast! TAIISTL 


was Rs. 4,22,000, and for cesses Rs. 78,000. 'riie density of popula- 
tion, 733 persons per square mile, is the highest in the District. The 
tahsll stretches north from the Gogra in the upland portion of the 
District, and is crossed by the Kuwana and a number of smaller 
streams. The area under cultivation in 1903-4 was 387 square 
miles, of which 238 were irrigated. Wells supply more than half 
the irrigated area, and tanks and swamps are a more important 
source than rivers. 

Basti To"wn. — Head-quarters of Basti District and tahsll, United 
Provinces, situated in 26° 47' N. and 82° 43' E., on the Bengal and 
North-Western Railway and on the Gorakhpur-Fyzabad road. Popula- 
tion (igoi), 14,761. The town became the residence of a local Raja 
in the seventeenth century, but was never of importance. For some 
time before the Mutiny it was the site of an opium storehouse and 
treasury, and in 1865 it became the head-quarters of a new District. 
Basti consists of the old village, in which the Raja's fort is situated, 
a new bazar which has sprung up on the road south of this, and the 
civil station. It is the head-quarters of the Church Missionary Society 
in the District, which maintains the high school ; and besides the usual 
offices there is a dispensary. The town is administered under Act XX 
of 1856, with an income of about Rs. 4,000. There is little trade. 
Two schools for boys contain 330 pupils, and a small girls' school 
has an attendance of 15. 

Baswa. — Head-quarters of the tahsll of the same name in the 
Daosa nizdviat of the State of Jaipur, Rajputana, situated in 27° 9' N. 
and 76° 36' E., on the Rajputana-Malvva Railway, 63 miles east-by- 
north-east of Jaipur city and 128 miles south of Delhi. Population 
(1901), 5,908. The mud walls which surround the town are breached 
in several places, and the small fort is in a dilapidated condition. The 
town possesses a post office, and three schools attended by about 160 
boys. A fair, held yearly in April near the railway station, is visited by 
7,000 to 8,000 Muhammadans. The town is locally famous for its 
red and black terracotta pottery ; and in its neighbourhood are some 
very old palaces, a reservoir, and a temple attributed to a Raja named 
Har Chand. 

Batala Tahsil. — Tahsll of Gurdaspur District, Punjab, lying be- 
tween 31° 35' and 32° 4' N. and 74° 52' and 75° 34' E., with an area 
of 476 square miles. It stretches south-east and north-west between 
the Ravi and the Beas, and consists of strips of alluvial country along 
these two rivers, with a fertile plateau between them irrigated by the 
Bari Doab Canal and the Kiran (District) Canal. The population in 
1 90 1 was 305,867, compared with 300,644 in 1891. The head-quarters 
are at the town of Batala (population, 27,365). It also contains the 
towns of Srigobindpur (4,380) and Dera Nanak (5,118); and 478 


villages. The land revenue and cesses amounted in 1903-4 to 
Rs. 5,51,000. 

Batala Town. — Head-quarters of the tahsll of the same name in 
Gurdaspur District, Punjab, situated in 30° 49' N. and 75° 12' E., on 
the Aniritsar-Pathankot branch of the North-Western Railway, 20 miles 
from Gurdaspur town. It is distant by rail 1,272 miles from Calcutta, 
1,303 from Bombay, and 859 from Karachi. Population (1901), 27,365, 
including 17,876 Muhammadans and 9,071 Hindus. The town was 
founded about 1465, during the reign of Bahlol LodT, by Rai Ram 
Deo, a Bhatti Rajput, on a piece of land granted by Tatar Khan, 
governor of Lahore. Akbar gave it in jagir to Shamsher Khan, his 
foster-brother, who greatly improved and beautified the place, and out- 
side it built the magnificent tank, still in perfect repair. Under the 
Sikh commonwealth, Batala was held first by the Ramgarhias, and after 
their expulsion by the Kanhaya confederacy. On their return from 
exile the Ramgarhia chiefs recovered the town, which they retained till 
the rise of Ranjit Singh. After the anne.xation of the Punjab, Batala 
was made the head-quarters of a District, subsequently transferred to 
Gurdaspur. The principal objects of antiquarian interest are the tank 
above mentioned, the massive tomb of Shamsher Khan, and a hand- 
some building known as the Anarkali, erected by Sher Singh, son of 
RanjTt Singh, who held Batala in jcig'ir. This is now occupied by the 
Baring high school. The central portion of the town is raised to some 
height above the surrounding level, and has well-paved streets, good 
drainage, and substantial brick-built houses ; but its suburbs consist of 
squalid mud huts, occupied by Gujar shepherds and low-caste weavers, 
where filth accumulates to the great detriment of the general health. 

The municipality was created in 1867. The income during the 
ten years ending 1902-3 averaged Rs. 34,900, and the expenditure 
Rs. 34,100. The income in 1903-4 was Rs. 37,900, chiefly from 
octroi ; and the expenditure was Rs. 38,500. The town has consider- 
able manufactures, which include cotton, silk, and leathern goods. Sus'i, 
a striped mixture of silk and cotton, used to be very largely made, 
but the manufacture has now been superseded by that of chintz. 
Carpets and woollen blankets are also woven. Soap is manufactured, 
and a good deal of cotton is ginned. Batala has a large trade in grain 
and sugar, which, however, are bought and sold at a mart outside muni- 
cipal limits. Its chief educational institutions are the Baring Anglo- 
vernacular high school for Christian boys and the A.L.O.E. Anglo- 
vernacular high school, both maintained by the Church Missionary 
Society, and two Anglo-vernacular middle schools, one maintained by 
the municipal committee and the other unaided. The municipality, 
aided by the District board, also supports two dispensaries. 

Batesar. — Village in the Bah tahsll of Agra District, United Pro- 


vinces, situated in 26° 56' N. and 78° 33' E., at a bend of the Jumna, 
41 miles south-east of Agra city. Population (1901), 2,189. 1'''*^ place 
is celebrated for its fair, the largest in the District. Originally this was 
a religious festival, the great day being on- the full moon of Kartik 
(October-November), but it is now also celebrated as a cattle fair. 
Horses, cattle, camels, and even elephants are exhibited, and remounts 
for the native army and police are/)ften bought here. For convenience, 
a branch Government treasury is opened at the time of the fair. In 
1904 the stock shown included 35,000 horses and ponies, 18,000 
camels, 10,000 mules and donkeys, and 79,000 head of cattle; and 
Rs. 13,000 was collected on account of bridge tolls, registration fees, 
and shop rents. 

Baud State. — The most westerly of the Tributary States of, 
Bengal, lying between 20° 13' and 20° 53' N. and 83° 35' and 84° 48' E., 
with an area of 1,264 square miles. It is bounded on the north by the 
Mahanadi river, separating it from Sonpur and Athmallik ; on the east 
by Daspalla ; on the south by the Khondmals ; and on the west by 
Patna and Sonpur, from which it is separated by the Tel river. 

The State is one of the oldest in Orissa, and is said to have been 
originally founded by a Brahman, but he being childless adopted a 
nephew of the Raja of Keonjhar, who is regarded as the founder of 
the present family. The list of chiefs contains forty-five names, who are 
said to have ruled for nearly 1,400 years. The State was formerly of 
considerable extent, but from time to time portions were wrested from 
it by more powerful neighbours, and Athmallik, which was for centuries 
part of Baud and acknowledged its suzerainty, is now quite separate. 
The large tract known as the Khondmals, with an area of about 800 
square miles, which originally belonged to Baud, was made over to the 
British Government in 1835 by the chief, who was unable to control 
the Khonds or to put a stop to their human sacrifices ; and it was in 
1 89 1 formed into a subdivision of Angul District. The State as now 
constituted yields an estimated revenue of Rs. 64,000, and pays to the 
British Government a tribute of Rs. 800. The population decreased 
from 89,551 in 1891 to 88,250 in 1901. The falling oft' is due, as in the 
case of the Khondmals, partly to the prevalence of epidemic disease and 
the general unhealthiness of the climate, and partly to the emigration of 
many migratory Khonds during the scarcity which occurred in 1900. 
The number of villages is 1,070, and the density is 70 persons per 
square mile. Of the total population, 87,988 claim to be Hindus, but 
many of them are really Hinduized aborigines. The most numerous 
castes are the Gaurs (23,000), Khonds (15,000), Pans (9,000), Sudhas 
(7,000), and Chasas (4,000). The Khonds {see Khondmals) are 
giving up their primitive customs and beliefs, and endeavouring to 
amalgamate with their Hindu neighbours. The land is fertile and is 

BAUSI 135 

well provided with wells, reservoirs, and other sources of irrigation. The 
MahanadT, which forms the northern boundary of the State, and the 
Tel, which borders it on its west, afford excellent facilities for water- 
carriage ; and rice, oilseeds, and such cereals as are produced in the 
State are exported in large quantities by boat down the Mahanadi. The 
State maintains a charitable dispensary, a middle English school, and' 
4 upper primary and 16 lower primary schools. 

Baud Village. — Chief place of the Orissa Tributary State of the 
same name, Bengal, situated in 20° 50' N. and 84° 23' E., on the right 
bank of the Mahanadi. Population (1901), 3,292. The village con- 
tains several ancient temples. The most important are the Nabagraha 
temple, built of red sandstone, very profusely carved, and probably 
dating from the ninth century ; and three temples of Siva with elabo- 
rately carved interiors. 

^Archaeological Survey Reports, vol. xiii, pp. 118-9.] 

Baugh. — Archaeological site in Central India. See Bagh. 

Bauliari. — Seaport in Ahmadabad District, Bombay. See Bavliari. 

Baura. — Village in the head-quarters subdivision of Jalpaiguri Dis- 
trict, Eastern Bengal and Assam, situated in 26° 1^' N. and 89° 5' E., 
on a small tributary of the Tista. Baura can be reached by boats of 30 
or 40 tons burden all the year round, and is the principal river mart in 
the District, whence large quantities of tobacco, mustard seed, jute, 
cotton, and hides are exported by water to Sirajganj and Dacca. Baura 
is also served by the Bengal-Duars Railway. The population in 1901 
is not known. It was included for census purposes in maiiza Sibram, 
the population of which was 5,157. 

Bausi. — Village in the Banka subdivision of Bhagalpur District, 
Bengal, situated in 24° 48' N. and 87° 2' E., near the base of Mandar- 
GiRi. Population (1901), 649. The numerous buildings, tanks, large 
wells, and stone figures found for a mile or two round the base of the 
hill show that a great city must once have stood here. The people of 
the neighbourhood say that it contained 52 markets, 53 streets, and 
88 tanks. According to local tradition, a large building, the ruins of 
which still exist, and the walls of which contain an immense number of 
small holes, evidently intended to hold chirags, or small native lamps, 
was formerly illuminated on the night of the Dewali festival by 
a hundred thousand of these lights, each householder being allowed 
to supply only one. How or when the city fell into ruin is not known, 
though popular tradition ascribes its destruction to Kala Pahar. A 
Sanskrit inscription on a stone triumphal arch seems to show that the 
city was in existence less than 300 years ago. After the destruction 
of the temple of Madhusudan on Mandargiri hill, the image of the god 
was brought to Bausi, where it now remains. Once a year, on the Paus 
Sankranti day, the image is carried from Bausi to the foot of the hill. 

136 BAUSI 

and is swung on the triumphal arch. About 50,000 pilgrims assemble 
from all parts of the country, in order to bathe in the sacred tank at 
the foot of the hill, and a fair is held which lasts for fifteen days. 

Bavda {Bavada). — Petty chiefship feudatory to the Kolhapur State, 
within the Political Agency of Kolhapur and the Southern Maratha 
Country, Bombay, lying between 16° 25' and 16° 44' N. and 73° 52' 
and 74° 8' E. See Kolhapur State. 

Bavisi Thana. — Petty State in Mahi Kantha, Bombay. 

Bavliari. — Seaport on the creek of the same name, in the Dhan- 
dhuka idiiika of Ahmadabad District, Bombay, situated in 22° 4' N. and 
72° Y E. Population (1901), 980. In 1903-4 the imports and exports 
were each valued at 8 lakhs, the chief articles of trade being cotton, 
grain, ghi, piece-goods, coco-nuts, oil, molasses, and timber. 

Baw. — One of the Southern Shan States, Burma. See Maw. 

Bawal Nizamat. — A 7iizdmat or administrative district of the 
Nabha State, Punjab, lying between 28° and 28° 25' N. and 76° 15' 
and 76° 45' E., with an area of 281 miles. The population in 1901 
was 71,430, compared with 68,147 it^ 1891. It contains one town, 
Bawal (population, 5,739), the head-quarters; and 164 villages. The 
land revenue and cesses amounted in 1903-4 to 2-2 lakhs. The 
nizamat consists of three separate pieces of territory : Bawal proper, 
Kanti-Kalina, and the isolated village of Mukandpur Basi. Bawal 
proper lies south of Rewari, a tahsil of the British District of Gurgaon, 
and forms a wedge jutting southwards into the Alwar and Jaipur States 
of Rajputana. It is separated by the Rewari tahsil from the />argana of 
Kanti-Kahna, 21 miles long by 9^ broad, lying parallel to the Narnaul 
nizdtnat of the Patiala State. The whole nizdmat is geographically 
a part of the Rajputana desert, being an arid, rainless tract, singularly 
destitute of trees, streams, and tanks, though the Sawi, a seasonal 
torrent which rises in the Jaipur hills, passes through the southern edge 
of the Bawal pargana. It is divided into the two police circles of 
Bawal Kanti and Chauki Deb-Kalan. 

Bawal Town. — Head-quarters of the nizdmat of the same name in 
Nabha State, Punjab, situated in 28^ 4' N. and 76° 36' E., 10 miles 
south of Rewari. Population (1901), 5,739. Founded in 1205 by 
Rao Miswala, Chauhan Rajput of Alwar, it eventually came under the 
Nawabs of Jhajjar and then passed to Nabha. It has since greatly 
developed, though its trade suffers from competition with Rewari. It 
contains several old buildings, the most interesting of which is a 
mosque built in 1560 and still in good repair. It possesses a police 
station, an Anglo-vernacular middle school, and a dispensary. 

Bawa Malang. — Hill fortress in Thana District, Bombay. See 

Bawlake. — One of the Karenni States, P)urnia. 


Bawnin. — Pjurmese name for one of the Southern Shan States, 
Burma. See Mawnanc;. 

Bawzaing. — Burmese name for one of the Southern Shan States, 
Burma. See Mawson. 

Baxa. — MiUtary cantonment in Jalpaiguri District, Eastern Bengal 
and Assam. See Buxa. 

Baxar. — Subdivision and town in Shahabad District, Bengal. See 


Bayana. — Head-quarters of a tahsll of the same name in the State 
of Bharatpur, Rajputana, situated in 26° 55' N. and 77° 18' E., close 
to the left bank of the Gambhlr river, a tributary of the Banganga, 
and about 25 miles south-by-south-west of Bharatpur city. Population 
(1901), 6,867. 'l''^e town contains a vernacular school, attended by 
150 boys, and a hospital. The ancient name of the place was Sripatha. 
Two old Hindu temples were, till recently, used by the Musalmans as 
mosques, and each has a Sanskrit inscription. One of them, bearing 
date A.D. 1043, mentions a Jadon Raja, Bijai Pal, to whom is unani- 
mously attributed the building of the well-known fort of Bijaigarh, 
which is situated on an eminence about 2 miles to the south-west, and 
is shown in all maps under the name of Badalgarh Kot. There are 
several old temples and remains in this fort ; but the chief object of 
interest is a red sandstone pillar (Jaf) bearing an inscription of the 
Varika king, Vishnuvardhana, a tributary of Samudra Gupta, dated in 
A.D. 372. Bijai Pal, whose descendants rule at Karauli, is said to have 
been killed about the middle of the eleventh century in a battle with 
Masud Salar, a nephew of Mahmud of Ghazni, when the fort was taken. 
It was soon after recovered by the Rajputs, only, however, to be again 
stormed successfully by Abu Bakr, Kandahari, whose tomb is still 
pointed out in the vicinity. Thenceforward, it seems to have been 
held by whatever dynasty ruled at Delhi. Muhammad Ghori took 
it in 1 196 and Sikandar LodI in 1492. Babar, writing in 1526, 
describes the fort as one of the most famous in India, and his son 
Humayun took it from the Lodls in 1535. Bayana is mentioned in the 
Ain-i-Akbari as having in former times been the capital of a province 
of which Agra was but a dependent village. It possessed a large 
fort containing many buildings and subterranean caverns, also a very 
high tower. The mangoes, some of which weighed above 2 lb., were 
excellent, and the place was famous for its very white sugar and its 
indigo, the latter selling at from Rs. 10 to Rs. 15 a maund *. 

\Indian Antiquary^ vols, xiv and xv ; J. F. Fleet, Gupta I?iscriptions, 
P- 253-] 

' As much as 3,562 'great maunds of Indicoe Byana,' valued at 278,673 niaJimildis 
(say ;£^i4,ooo), was consigned to England in the Royal Anne, the ship which hrought 
home Sir Thomas Roe in i^kj. 

138 JiA/AK 

Bazar. — Valley in the Khyber rulitiral Agency, North-Wcst Frontier 
Province, running east and west between the Surghar range on the 
south, the liacha Ghar or eastern extension of the Safed Koh on 
the east, and the Turo Sar range to the north, l)etween t^t^'^ 38' and 
35° N. and 70° 37' and 71° E. Its elevation ranges from 3,000 to 
4,000 feet, and that of the enclosing hills from 5,000 to 7,000 feet. 
The valley is sterile in the extreme, save where the village lands are 
irrigated from the hill streams. The people are Afridis of the notorious 
Zakka Khel or clan, the most active thieves on the frontier, against 
whom on three occasions punitive expeditions have been sent. In 
1878 their attacks on the line of communications in the Khyber 
during the second Afghan AN'ar compelled a punitive expedition. 
Major Cavagnari led an armed body of Kuki Khel Afridis, supported 
by guns, against them, and inflicted some punishment ; but a regular 
expedition followed in December, which effectively chastised them at 
small cost of life. Nevertheless the clan continued to give trouble, and 
another expedition had to be sent into the valley in 1879, after which 
the clan submitted. In 1897 two columns under Sir AN'illiam Lockhart 
entered the valley by the Chora and Ilacha passes at its eastern 
extremity, and destroyed the principal villages. 

Beas {Hyphasis of the Greeks ; Arjikuja of the Vedas ; Sanskrit, 
Vipdsa). — One of the ' five rivers ' of the Punjab from which the Pro- 
vince derives its name. Rising on the southern face of the Rohtang 
pass in Kulu, 13,326 feet above the sea, the Beas traverses the State of 
Mandi and enters Kangra District at Sanghol, 1,920 feet above sea-level. 
During the early part of its course the fall averages 125 feet per mile. 
A fine suspension bridge spans the river at Mandi town, and a bridge 
of boats is kept up during the cold season at Dera Gopipur in Kangra 
District. During its lower hill course the Beas is crossed by numerous 
ferries, at many of which the means of communication consists of 
inflated skins {darais). Lower down it meanders in a westerly course 
through hilly country, with a fall of 7 feet to the mile, and forms the 
main channel for the drainage of Kangra. Near Reh in that District it 
divides into three channels, which reunite after passing Mirthal, 1,000 
feet above sea-level. On meeting the Siwalik Hills in Hoshiarpur, the 
river sweeps sharply northward, forming the boundary between that 
District and Kangra. Then bending round the base of the Siwaliks, 
it takes a southerly direction, separating the Districts of Hoshiarpur 
and Gurdaspur. In this portion of its course through the uplands of 
the Punjab plains, a strip of low alluvial soil fringes its banks, subject 
in flood-time to inundation from the central stream. The main channel 
is broad and ill-defined, full of islands and expanding from time to time 
into wide pools. The depth does not exceed 5 feet in the dry season, 
increasing to 15 feet during the rains. Broad flat bottomed country 

BE A WAR 139 

boats navigate this portion of the stream throughout the year. No 
bridges span the Beas in the Districts of Hoshiarpur or (}urdaspur. 
After touching Jullundur District for a few miles, the river forms the 
boundary between Amritsar and the Kapurthala State. At Beas station 
it is crossed by a railway bridge on the North-Western Railway ; and 
a bridge of boats on the grand trunk road is also maintained there 
during the cold season. The channel shifts from year to year through 
the alluvial valley according to the action of the floods. Finally, the 
Beas joins the Sutlej at the south-western boundary of the Kapurthala 
State, after a total course of 290 miles. It ranks sixth in size among 
the rivers of the Punjab. 

The chief tributaries are the Chakki and the Bein. The Chakki 
collects the drainage of the Chamba hills and its main stream joins 
the Beas near Mirthal, while the other branch, formerly a tributary 
of the Ravi, has been turned aside by the Bari Doab Canal and forced 
to return to the Beas lower down. The Bein — called the ' Black ' 
{Sivdh) Bein to distinguish it from the ' White ' {Safed) Bein — rises in 
the Siwaliks, and joins the Beas 10 miles above its junction with the 

The old course of the Beas can be traced from its present point of 
junction with the Sutlej through Lahore and Montgomery 1 )istricts 
to the place where it used to join the Chenab, near Shujabad, before 
the Chenab turned westwards. The united waters of the Jhelum, 
Chenab, and Ravi joined the Beas in those days 28 miles south of 
Multan. Since the end of the eighteenth century the course of the 
Beas has changed but little. 

Beauleah. — Head-quarters of Rajshahi District, Eastern Bengal 
and Assam. See Rampur Boalia. 

Beawar (also called Nayanagar). — Head-quarters of Merwara Dis- 
trict, Ajmer-Merwara, situated in 26° 5' N. and 74° 19' E. Population 
(1901), 21,928: including Hindus, 15,547; Muhammadans, 3,947; 
and Jains, 2,094. Founded in 1835 by Colonel Dixon, afterwards 
Commissioner of Ajmer-Merwara, in the neighbourhood of a now- 
abandoned cantonment, Beawar rapidly grew into a prosperous town, 
owing to its advantageous position between Mewar (Udaipur) and 
Marwar (Jodhpur). The town, which has wide streets and a sur- 
rounding stone wall with four gates, was regularly planned out from the 
beginning, and sites were allotted to traders who applied for shops. 
Beawar is the only town in Merwara District, and is a station on the 
main line of the Rajputana-Malwa Railway. The municipal income 
in 1902-3 was about Rs. 60,000. Beawar is the chief cotton mart for 
Merwara and the contiguous Native Stales of Mewar and Marwar, and 
possesses a flourishing cotton-mill. The United Free Church of Scot- 
land has a mission establishment, and maintains an industrial school. 

I40 BECnRAjr 

Bechraji.^Tcnii)lc in the Kadi //-a///, Baroda State, situated about 
2T^ miles from the town of Kadi, and about the same distance from 
Modhera. The temple has been built in the jungle, and is surrounded 
by large and costly works designed for the accommodation of pilgrims 
and others — wells, tanks, dharmsdlas, dispensary, i^vrc. In the months 
of Aswin (September-October) and Chaitra (March-April) crowds of 
devotees visit the shrine from all parts of Gujarat and make their offer- 
ings to the goddess. From these offerings and from the rich endow- 
ments given by former Gaikwars the expenses of the temple are met. 

Bedadaniiru Coal-field. — Bedadanuru is a hamlet in the Polavaram 
minor td/uk of Godavari District, Madras, situated in 17° 15' N. and 
81° 14' E., about 10 miles from Jangareddigudem on the EUore- 
Prakkilanka road. It is the centre of a small coal-field, where the 
Barakar stage of sandstone outcrops over an area of about 5^ square 
miles. This is the only coal-field lying entirely within the Madras 
Presidency ; but though prospecting has been carried on for some 
years, no paying seam has as yet been discovered. 

Bedla. — Principal town of an estate of the same name in the State 
of Udaipur, Rajputana, situated in 24° 38' N. and 73° 42' E., on the 
left bank of the Ahar stream, about 4 miles north of Udaipur city. 
Population (1901), 1,222. It contains a mission school attended by 
30 boys. The estate is held by the second noble of Mewar, who is 
styled Rao. It consists of in villages, the majority of which are 
situated to the north of Chitor ; among them is Nagari, one of the 
oldest places in Rajputana and mentioned in the article on Chitor. 
The income is about Rs. 64,000, and a tribute of Rs. 4,100 is 
paid to the Darbar. The Raos of Bedla are Chauhan Rajputs, and 
claim direct descent from Prithwl Raj, the last Hindu king of Delhi. 
Bakht Singh, the great-grandfather of the present Rao, brought the 
European residents of Nimach from Dungla to Udaipur during the 
Mutiny of 1857, by the order of Maharana Sarup Singh. For these 
services he received a sword of honour and was subsequently created 
a Rao Bahadur and a CLE. 

Bednor. — Estate and head-quarters thereof in Udaipur State, 
Rajputana. See B.\dnor. 

Bedsa. — Village in the Maval tdhika of Poona District, Bombay, 
5 miles south-west of Khadkala station on the Great Indian Peninsula 
Railway, which gives its name to a group of caves of the first century a. d. 
Population (1901), 171. The caves lie in 18° 43' N. and 73° 35' E., in 
the Supati hills, which rise above Bedsa village to a height of about 
300 feet above the plain, and 2,250 feet above sea-level. The two chief 
caves are a chapel or chaitya and a dwelling cave or layana, both of 
them imitating wooden buildings in style. The chapel is approached 
by a narrow passage 40 feet long between two blocks of rock about 


1 8 feet high. A passage 5 feet wide has been cleared between the 
blocks and the front of two massive octagonal columns and two demi- 
columns which support the entablature at a height of about 25 feet. 
The veranda or porch within the pillars is nearly 12 feet wide, and 
30 feet 2 inches long. Two benched cells project into it from the back 
corners and one from the front, with, over the door, an inscription in 
one line recording : ' The gift of Pushyanaka, son of Ananda Shethi, 
from Nasik.' The corresponding cell in the opposite end is unfinished. 
Along the base and from the levels of the lintels of the cell doors 
upwards the porch walls are covered with the rail pattern on flat 
and curved surfaces, intermixed with the chaitya window ornaments, but 
without any animal or human representations. This and the entire 
absence of any figure of Buddha point to the early or Hinayana style of 
about the first century after Christ. The dagoha or relic shrine has 
a broad fillet or rail ornament at the base and top of the cylinder, from 
which rises a second and shorter cylinder also surrounded above with 
the rail ornament. The box of the capital is small and is surmounted 
by a very heavy capital in which, out of a lotus bud, rises the wooden 
shaft of the umbrella. The top of the umbrella has disappeared. The 
relic shrine is now daubed in front with red lead and worshipped as 
Dharmaraj's dhera or resting-place. There is a well near the entrance, 
and about twenty paces away stands a large unfinished cell containing 
a cistern. Over the latter is an inscription in three lines of tolerably 
clear letters which records : ' The religious gift of Mahabhoja's daughter 
Samadinika, the MahadevI Maharathini and wife of Apadevanaka.' 
This inscription is of very great interest, being one of the earliest 
mentions of the term Maharatha yet discovered. A relic shrine or 
dagoba lies a short distance from the chapel cave and also bears 
a short inscription. 

Beehea. — Village in Shahabad District, Bengal. See Bihiya. 

Beerbhoom. — District in Bengal. See BTrbhum. 

Begampur. — Village in the Sholapur taluka of Sholapur District, 
Bombay, situated in 17° 34' N. and 75° 37' E., on the left bank 
of the Bhima river, about 25 miles south-west of Sholapur city. 
Population (1901), 2,304. The place takes its name from one of 
Aurangzeb's daughters, who died while her father was encamped at 
Brahmapuri on the opposite bank of the river. She was buried at this 
place, and her tomb is a plain solid structure in a courtyard 180 feet 
square. It overhangs the Bhima, from which it is guarded by a strong 
masonry wall now much out of repair. Round the tomb a market 
slowly sprang up, with the result that the suburb of Begampur outgrew 
the original village of Ghadeshwar, from which it is separated by a water- 
course. About Rs. 40,000 worth of thread, cloth, and grain change 
hands every year at the weekly market on Thursday. The village has 


a little manufacture of coarse cotton cloth or khCidi. It contains 
a primary school. 

Begari Canal. — An important water-channel in the Upper Sind 
Frontier District, Sind, Bombay. It taps the Indus at its extreme 
south-eastern boundary, forming for about 50 miles of its course a well- 
defined line of demarcation between the Frontier ]3istrict and Sukkur. 
In 185 1 this canal was at its head only 50 feet wide, with a depth of 
9 feet. It was enlarged in 1854, when the water was admitted into it 
from the Indus and reached Jacobabad, 50 miles distant, in sixteen 
hours. Subsequently, the tail of the canal was enlarged, and extended 
farther westward. Several improvements have been carried out during 
the last few years. The entire length of the main canal is 76 miles, and 
it serves the Districts of Upper Sind Frontier (202 square miles), Sukkur 
(46 square miles), Kalat (43 square miles), and Larkana (300 acres). 
About five canals branch directly from it, the principal being the Nur 
Wah (19 miles) and Mirza (10 miles). The canal is also connected 
with the branches of the Ghar Canal. The aggregate cost of these 
works up to the end of 1903-4 amounted to 17 lakhs ; the receipts in 
the same year were about 4^ lakhs, and the total charges (exclusive 
of interest) over one lakh. The gross income was thus 26 per cent, on 
the capital expended and the net receipts 18-3 per cent. The area 
irrigated was 495 square miles. The canal is navigable for about 
60 miles. 

Begun. — Chief town of an estate of the same name in the State of 
Udaipur, Rajputana, situated in 24° 59' N. and 75"^ V E., about 90 miles 
east-by-north-east of Udaipur city. Population (1901), 3,625, about 
70 per cent, being Hindus. The town contains a picturesque palace 
and a fairly strong fort. The estate, which includes the town and 
127 villages, belongs to one of the first-class nobles of Mewar, who is 
styled Rawat Sawai. The income is about Rs. 48,000, and a tribute of 
about Rs. 5,200 is paid to the Darbar. The Rawats of Begun belong 
to the Chondawat family of the Sesodia Rajputs. In the estate is 
the village of Menal, formerly called Mahanal or the 'great chasm,' 
which possesses a monastery and Sivaite temple constructed, according 
to the inscriptions they bear, in 1168 by the wife of the famous 
Prithwl Raj Chauhan, whose name was Suhav Devi, alias Ruthi 
Rani (' the testy queen '). 

Begusarai Subdivision. — North-western subdivision of Monghyr 
District, Bengal, lying between 25° 15' and 25° 47' N. and 85° 47' and 
86° 27' E., with an area of 751 square miles. The population in 1901 
was 642,966, compared with 611,349 in 1891. It contains 755 villages, 
but no town ; the head-quarters are at Begusarai. The subdivision, 
which forms a continuation of the fertile alluvial plain of Tirhut, 
and supports 857 persons to the square mile, is the most densely 

BEL A 143 

populated part of the District. The cultivation of indigo is carried 
on, but the industry is declining. 

Begusarai Village. — Head-quarters of the subdivision of the same 
name in Monghyr District, Bengal, situated in 25° 26' N. and 86° 9' E. 
Population (1901), 9,338. The village contains the usual public offices ; 
the sub-jail has accommodation for 28 prisoners. 

Behar. — Subdivision and town in Patna District, Bengal. See 

Behir. — Tahsil in Balaghat District, Central Provinces. See Baihar. 

Behror. — Head-cjuarters of a tahsil of the .same name in the .State of 
Alwar, Rajputana, situated in 27° 53' N. and 76° 17' E., about 32 miles 
north-west of Alwar city, and 18 miles west-by-south-west of Ajeraka 
station on the Rajputana-Malwa Railway. Population (1901), 5,540. 
The town possesses a mud fort about 50 yards sfjuare, a fair bazar, 
a post office, a vernacular school, and a hospital with accommodation 
for G in-patients. A municipal committee supervises the lighting 
and conservancy, the income, derived mainly from octroi, being 
about Rs. 2,200 and the expenditure Rs. 1800. The tahsil, which 
contains 132 villages besides the town, is situated in the north-west of 
the State, and has a population of 71,082. More than 35 per cent, 
of the inhabitants are Ahirs, who are the best cultivators in the State. 
Under the Mughals this tract was included in the Siibah of Narnaul, 
but the real rulers were the local Chauhan chiefs. In the first half 
of the eighteenth century the Jats of Bharatpur overran it, but they 
were ousted before the end of that century by Pratap Singh, the 
first chief of Alwar. 

Beji. — River in Baluchistan. See Nari. 

Bekal. — Village in the Kasaragod taluk of .South Kanara District, 
Madras, situated in 12" 24' N. and 75° 3' E. It has a fine fort on 
a headland facing the sea, which was built by Sivappa Naik of Bednur 
about the middle of the seventeenth century. The defences are said 
to show traces of European science. The surrounding tract is really 
part of the Malayalam country, and was at one time subject to the 
Chirakkal Rajas. Bekal formerly gave its name to the present 
taluk of Kasaragod, but it is now of no importance. 

Bela. — Capital of the Las Bela State, Baluchistan, and residence 
of the Jam, situated in 26° 14^ N. and 66° 19' E. It lies near the apex 
of the Las Bela plain, \\ miles from the Porali river and 116 miles 
from Karachi. Population (1901), 4,183. The majority were State 
servants, but 356 Hindus were included. The town is not walled and 
consists of 400 or 500 huts. The Jam's residence, a tahslll, a treasury, 
a jail, and lines for the military police are the principal buildings. 
The ancient name of the town was Armael or Armabel. Sir Robert 
Sandeman died at Bela in 1892, and was buried on the south of the 

14} ]iELA 

town. His tomb, of granite and white English marble, is placed beneath 
a dome erected by the Jam, and is surrounded by a garden. A small 
establishment is maintained in the town for purposes of conservancy. 
Cotton cloth and rice constitute the principal imports ; oilseeds, ghl^ 
and wool the exports. Bela crochet-work is well-known. 

Bela (or Bela Partabgarh). — Head-quarters of Partabgarh District 
and ia/is'i/, United Provinces, situated in 25° 55' N. and 82° E., on the 
bank of the Sai, at the junction of the main line of the Oudh and 
Rohilkhand Railway with a branch from Allahabad to Fyzabad, and on 
a road between the same two places. Population (1901), 8,041. The 
town derives its name from the temple of Bela BhawanI near the river. 
It was founded in 1802 as a cantonment for the Oudh auxiliary force, 
and after the Mutiny became the head-quarters of a District. The town 
is well laid out and has been thoroughly drained. Besides the usual 
offices, it contains a general dispensary and a magnificent female 
hospital, and there is a branch of the Zanana Bible and Medical 
Mission. Bela has been a municipality since 1871. During the ten 
years ending 1901 the income and expenditure averaged Rs. 10,000. 
In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 14,000, chiefly derived from octroi 
(Rs. 8,000) and fees and rents ; and the expenditure was Rs. 16,000. 
There is a flourishing trade in agricultural produce. Three schools 
have 340 pupils. 

Belagutti. — Town in the Honnali tali/k of Shimoga District, Mysore, 
situated in 14° 11' N. and 75° 31' E., 10 miles south-west of Honnali 
town. Population (1901), 2,799. The original form of the name was 
Belagavatti. It was the seat of a line of Naga chiefs who called them- 
selves Sindas. They ruled during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, 
under the Chalukyas, Hoysalas, and Seunas. The place stands in a 
plain of fertile black soil. 

Belapur. — Village in the Rahuri tdluka of Ahmadnagar District, 
Bombay, situated in 19° 34' N. and 74° 39' E., 15 miles north of Rahuri, 
on the Dhond-Manmad Railway. Population (1901), 4,630, including 
Belapur-Khurd (1,167). It lies on the north bank of the Pravara, which 
in floods rises to the gates. On the river-side are some picturesque 
buildings belonging to the Naiks, an old Maratha family. The chief 
traders are Marwari Vanis and Telis. In 1822 an attempt was made 
to make Belapur the centre of a revolt. Troops were to be collected 
here and at Nandurbar in Khandesh, and in conjunction with the local 
KolTs were to make a general attack upon the British posts. The 
plot was, however, discovered and quashed. 

Belgami (or Balgami). — Village in the Shikarpur idluk of Shimoga 
District, Mysore, situated in 14° 24' N. and 75° 15' E., 14 miles north-west 
of Shikarpur. Population (1901), 1,330. Its name appears in inscrip- 
tions as Balligamve, Balligrame, Balipura, and similar forms. Even 


in the twelfth century it was of such aiititjuity as to be styled the mother 
of cities, the capital of ancient cities, the immemorial capital, and 
is said to derive its name from the giant Bali. On account of its 
religious merit it was called the Dakshina Kedara, and also had the 
name Kamatha. Under the Chalukyas and Kalachuris it was the capital 
of the Banavasi ' twelve thousand ' province. It contained five maths, 
with temples dedicated to Vishnu, Siva, Brahma, Jina, and Buddha, and 
ihxQe. pi/ras, besides seven Brahmapuris. At the Kodiya math of the 
Kedaresvara temple medicine and food were dispensed to all comers. 
Of eighty-four inscriptions in the place most are of the eleventh and 
twelfth centuries. Its prosperity continued under the Hoysalas and 
Seunas, but the city no doubt fell a prey to the Muhammadan invaders 
of the fourteenth century who overthrew the Hoysala power. The 
ruined temples are rich with carving equal to any in Mysore. 

Belgaum District. — District in the Southern Division of the Bom- 
bay Presidency, lying between 15° 22' and 16° 58'' N. and 74° 2' and 
75° 25' E., with an area of 4,649 square miles. It is bounded on the 
north by the States of Miraj and Jath ; on ihe north-east by Bijapur 
District ; on the east by the States of Jamkhandi, Mudhol, Kolhapur, and 
Ramdurg ; on the south and south-west by the Districts of Dharwar and 
North Kanara, the State of Kolhapur, and the Portuguese territory of 
Goa ; and on the west by the States of Savantvadi and Kolhapur. The 
lands of the District are greatly interlaced with those of the neighbouring 
Native States, and within the District are large tracts of Native territory. 

The country forms a large plain, studded with solitary peaks and 
broken here and there by low ranges of hills. Many of the peaks are 
crowned by small but well-built forts. The lower 
hills are generally covered with brushwood, but in physical 

1 • • 1 ^11 1 • 11 Aspects, 

some cases their sides are carefully cultivated almost 
to the very summits. The most elevated portion of the District lies to 
the west and south along the line of the Sahyadri Hills or ^Vestern Ghats. 
The surface of the plain slopes with an almost imperceptible fall 
eastwards to the borders of Bijapur. On the north and east the District 
is open and well cultivated, but to the south it is intersected by spurs of 
the Ghats, thickly covered in some places with forest. Except near the 
Western Ghats, and in other places where broken by lines of low hills, 
the country is almost a dead level ; but especially in the south, 
and along the banks of the large rivers, the surface is pleasantly varied 
by trees, solitary and in groups. From March to June the fields 
are bare ; and but for the presence of the mango, tamarind, jack, and 
other trees, reared for their fruit, the aspect of the country would 
be desolate in the extreme. 

The principal rivers are the Kistna, here properly called the Krishna, 
flowing through the north, the Ghatprabha, flowing through the centre, 



and the Malpnibha, through the soutli of the District. From their 
sources among the spurs of the ^V'estern Ghats, these rivers pass 
eastwards through the plain of Belgaum on their way to the Bay of 
Bengal. They are bordered by deei)ly cut banks, over whicli they 
seldom flow. None is serviceable for purposes of navigation. In the 
west the rivers and wells yield a sufificient supply of good water ; but 
towards the east the wells become brackish, and the water-bearing strata 
lie far below the surface. Except the Kistna,' which at all times main- 
tains a considerable flow of water, the rivers sink into insignificant 
streams during the hot season, and the supply of water falls short of 
the wants of the people. 

In the south of the District is a narrow strip of Archaean gneissic rock, 
including some hematite schists of the auriferous Dharwar series. In 
the centre quartzite and limestone of the Kaladgi (Cuddapah) group 
are found partly overlaid by two great bands of basalt belonging to 
the Deccan trap system, and in the north and west basalt and laterite 
occur. Several of the river valleys contain ancient alluvial deposits of 
upper pliocene or pleistocene age, consisting of clay with partings and 
thin beds of impure grits and sandstones. In the banks of a stream 
that flows into the Ghatprabha at Chikdauli, 3 miles north-east of 
Gokak, were found some remarkable fossil remains of mammalia, 
including an extinct form of rhinoceros ^ 

Of the typical trees of the District, mail {Termhialia tome?iiosa), 
jdmbul {Eugeiiia Jambolatid), nana, harda, sisva, and hasan {Pterocarptis 
Marsupium) yield valuable timber ; kdrvi {Strobilanthus Grahamianus) 
and small bamboos are used for fencing and roofing, and kiimba {Carey a 
arbored) is in demand for the manufacture of field tools. The harda 
and hela {Termina/ia belerica) furnish myrabolams, and the shemba 
{Acacia concifina) supplies the ritka or soap-nut which is used in cleaning 
clothes. The chief fruit trees are the mango, jack, custard-apple, 
buUock's-heart, cashew-nut, Jdmbi/l, bael, wood-apple, pummelo, sweet 
lime, citron, lime, orange, kokam, avia, bor, tiiran, guti, agasti, horse- 
radish tree, guava, pomegranate, /a/a/, karanda, fig, mulberry, plantain, 
and pineapple. Among creepers the most noticeable are several species 
of convolvulus ; and a large number of English flowers have been 
grown from seeds and cuttings. 

Antelope are found in the north and east. Sdmbar, deer, wild hog, 
and hyenas are not uncommon in the waste and forest lands. Of the 
larger beasts of prey, leopards are pretty generally distributed, but 
tigers are met with only in the south and south-west. Of game-birds 
there are peafowl, partridge, quail, duck, snipe, teal, kalam, and 
occasionally bustard. 

' R. B. Foote, Memoirs, Geological Survey of India, vol. xii, pt. i ; and 
Palaeontologia Indica, Series X, vol. i, pt. i. 


The moderate heat, the early and fresh sea-breeze, and its altitude 
above the sea, make Belgaum pleasant and healthy. The lowest tem- 
perature recorded is 53° in January, while in May it rises to 100°. The 
most agreeable climate is found in a tract parallel with the crest of 
the Western Ghats between the western forests and the treeless east. 
The cold and dry season lasts from mid-October to mid-February, tlie 
hot and dry season from mid- February to early June, and the wet season 
from early June to mid-October. The heat of April and May causes 
occasional heavy showers, attended with easterly winds, thunder, light- 
ning, and sometimes hail. Even in May the nights are cool, almost 
chilly. Near the Ghats the south-west monsoon is very constant and 
heavy. Farther east it is fitful, falling in showers separated by breaks 
of fair weather. The rainfall at the District head-quarters averages 
about 50 inches. In the east it is as low as 24, while in Chandgad in 
the extreme west 107 inches are registered. From March to September 
the prevailing winds are from the west and south, and from October to 
February from the east and north. 

The oldest place in Belgaum is Halsi, wnich, according to seven 
copperplates found in its vicinity, was the capital of a dynasty of nine 
Kadamba kings. In all probability the Early (550- 
610) and Western (610-760) Chalukyas held Belgaum 
in succession, yielding place about 760 to the Rashtrakiltas, a trace of 
whose power survived till about 1250 in the Ratta Mahamandaleshwars 
(875-1250), whose capital was first Saundatti and subsequently (1210) 
Venugrama, the modern Belgaum. Inscriptions discovered in various 
parts of the District show that during the twelfth and early years of the 
thirteenth centuries the Kadambas of Goa (980-1250) held part of the 
District known as the Halsi ' twelve thousand,' and the Venugrama or 
Belgaum 'seventy.' The third Hoysala king, Vishnuvardhana or Bitti 
Deva (i 104-41), held the Halsi division fora time as the spoil of battle ; 
but the territory of the Goa Kadambas as a whole had by 1208 been 
entirely absorbed by the Rattas. The last of the Rattas, Lakshmideo II, 
was overthrown about 1250 by Vichana, the minister and general of the 
Deogiri Yadava, Singhana II ; and from that date up to their final 
defeat by the Delhi emperor in 1320, the Yadavas .seem to have been 
masters of Belgaum and surrounding tracts. During the brief overlord- 
ship of the Delhi emperors Belgaum was administered by two Musalman 
nobles, posted at Hukeri and at Raybag. About the middle of the 
fourteenth century, the District was partitioned between the Hindu 
Rajas of Vijayanagar, who held the portion south of the Ghatprabha, 
and the king of Delhi, who held that to the north. On the foundation 
of the Bahmani dynasty in 1347 the territories contained in the latter 
half fell under the sway of that dynasty, which subsequently, in 1473, 
took the town of Belgaum and conquered the southern division 

L 2 


also. During the next hiiiKlied years the Vijayauagar Rajils niatlc 
luinierous efforts to recover their territories, in which they were assisted 
l)y the Portuguese ; but they failed to make any lasting conquests, and 
were completely overthrown in the battle of Talikota (1565). For the 
next hundred and twenty years Belgaum may be said to have remained 
part of the territories of the Bijajjur Sultans. On the overthrow of 
Bijfipur at the hands of Aurangzeb in 1686, the District passed to 
the Mughals and was granted as a jaglr to the Nawab of Savanur, who 
subsequently had to relinquish a share to the Nizam. Some part oi it, 
however, appears to have been in the hands of the Marathas. About 
1776 the whole country was overrun by Haidar All, but was subse- 
quently retaken by the Maratha Peshwa with the assistance of the 
British. In 1818, after a period of great disorder, during which the 
country was alternately harried by the troops belonging to Sindhia, 
Kolhapur, Nipani, and other chiefs, the country passed to the British 
and became part of the District of Dharwar ; but in 1836 it was con- 
sidered advisable to divide the unwieldy jurisdiction into two parts. 
The southern portion therefore continued to be known as Dharwar, 
while the tract to the north was constituted a separate charge. 

Copperplate inscriptions have been discovered at Halsi. The Dis- 
trict contains some hill forts, the chief of which are Mahipatgarh, 
Kalanidhgarh, and Pargarh. Scattered temples are ascribed to Jakha- 
nacharya but are really Chalukyan, a very fine one being found at 
Deganve. There is an interesting group of prehistoric burial dolmens 
at KoNNUR. Many temples dating from the eleventh, twelfth, and 
thirteenth centuries are scattered over the District, of which nearly all 
were originally Jain but have been converted into lingam shrines. The 
most noteworthy are a group in Belgaum fort ; those at Deganve, 
Vakkund, and Nesargi in Sampgaum ; groups at Huli, Manoli, and 
Yellamma in Parasgad ; those at Shankeshwar in Chikodi, and at 
Ramtirth and Nandgaon in Athni. The finest Musalman remains are 
the fort and Safa mosque at Belgaum, and the mosques and tombs at 
Hukeri and Sampgaon. 

According to the Census of 1872 the population of the District was 

946,702, The next Census of 188 1 returned 865,922, showing a 

„ , . decrease of over 9 per cent., due to the fiimine in 

Population. „^Tr,,,-- 1 r 

1876. In 1 89 1 the population mcreased to 1,013,261, 

but again fell in 1901 to 993,976, owing to the bad years of 1892, 

1896, 1899, and 1900. 

The table on the next page gives statistics according to the Census 
of 1901. 

The Chikodi and Sampgaon tdhikas contain many large and rich 
villages and are well peopled. The chief towns are Belgaum, the 
head-quarters, Nipani, Athni, Gokak, and Saundatti-Yellamma. 



Classified according to religion, Hindus form 86 per cent, of the total 
population, Musalmans 8 per cent., Jains 5 per cent. Among Hindus 
the only special class are the Lingayats, a peculiar section of the wor- 
shippers of Siva, numbering over 300,000, of whom a description will 
be found under Dharwar District. The languages in use are 
MarathI, mostly in the south and west, and Kanarese generally over 
the greater part of the District. The latter is spoken by 65 and 
the former by 25 per cent, of the total. Hindustani is used by 8 per 

Number of 






Mc goo 

<3 0.2 - 










" Populat 


and I 









- 8 


Chikodi . 






+ 3 








— 2 


Relganm . 






- 7 







— I 


Parasi^ad . 






— 2 



District total 






- 4 






— 2 


The chief castes and their occupations are : Brahmans, or priests, 
numbering 32,000. They are for the most part Deshasths (23,000), 
and employed as writers, merchants, traders, money-lenders, and land- 
owners. Ayyas or Jangams (24,000) are Lingayat priests. Traders in- 
clude Banjigs (26,000) and Adi-banjigs (13,000). There are numerous 
Jain cultivators and labourers, indicating the former supremacy of the 
Jain religion in the Bombay Carnatic. Other cultivators are Marathas 
and Maratha Kunbls (175,000), Chhatris (9,000), Hanbars (15,000), 
and Lingayat Panchamsalis (154,000). ( draftsmen include Panchals 
(15,000) and Gaundis or Uppars, builders and stone-cutters (14,000). 
Lingayat Hongars or Malgars (11,000) are flower-sellers. Shepherds 
include two shepherd castes, Dhangars or Kurubas (73,000), and Gaulis 
who keep cows and buffaloes. The depressed classes are chiefly the 
Holiars or Mahars (48,000) and Mangs or Madigs (22,000). Along 
the banks of the Kistna, in the north of the District, are many Kaikadis, 
a tribe notorious for their skill as highway robbers ; while the south of 
the District was nmch troubled in recent times by Bedars or Berads, 
a thieving caste that assisted in the plundering of Vijayanagar after the 
battle of Talikota. The agricultural population forms 66 per cent, of 
the total. Industry supports 16 per cent, and commerce i per cent. 
Weavers engaged in the hand-loom industry number more than 13,000, 
with 11,000 dependents. 


The District has a considerable Christian population. Of the 5,366 
native Christians in 1901 about 5,000 were Roman (Catholics. The 
majority arc Konkani or Goa Catholics, who are immigrants from Goa, 
and are under the jurisdiction of the Arclibishop of that place. The 
others include Madras Catholics and Protestants, who came from 
Madras about 1817. The chief missions are an Anglican Tamil Mission 
and the American Methodist Mission, with out-stations at Kanbargi, 
Nesargi, and Bail Hongal. Roman Catholic priests are resident in 
Belgaum, Khanapur, and Godoli ; and there are two orphanages and 
a rescue home in the District, which are managed by independent 
trustees, but belong to the Methodist Episcopal Mission. A mission to 
soldiers, known as the Soldiers' Home, is situated in the cantonment. 

The chief varieties of soil are black and red. The black, which 
is by far the most fertile, is of two kinds. One variety is very friable, 

. . . but when impregnated with moisture forms a tough 

Agriculture. , ,1 u . 1 .- ■ • ^ .. a 

clay-like substance, almost nnpervious to water, and 

therefore very valuable as a lining for tanks. The other kind is not so 
tenacious of moisture, and, unless it receives abundance of irrigation, 
either natural or artificial, not nearly so productive. In order to bring 
a waste of black soil under tillage, the field must receive three complete 
ploughings^one direct, one transverse, and one diagonal. It does not 
receive any further ploughing ; but annually before sowing the ground 
is cleared and the surface loosened with a small knife. The red and 
sandy soils are very apt to cake and harden after rain, so that the field 
must be ploughed every year — if possible, once lengthwise and a second 
time transversely. This is done by a smaller plough of the same con- 
struction as the large plough used for black fields, but lighter. Fields 
of pure black soil do not receive manure ; on the other hand, the 
out-turn from red and sandy lands seems to depend almost entirely 
on the amount of dressing they have received. 

On 'dry' fields, most of the grain, pulses, oilseeds, and fibres are 
sown ; some are cultivated on red and sandy soils during the rainy 
months ; others are grown on black soil as a cold-season crf)p. 
Cotton is raised entirely on black soil as a cold-season crop. 

The District is almost wholly ryotwari. Inam or jdgir lands cover 
983 square miles. The chief statistics of cultivation in 1903-4 are 
shown in the table on the next page, in square miles. 

Jojmr, the staple of the District, occupying 884 square miles, is 
grown in all parts, especially in Chikodi, Athni, Gokak, Parasgad, and 
Sampgaon. Bajra covered 297 square miles, chiefly in Athni, Gokak, 
and Chikodi. The south-western portion, being too wet for millets, 
produces rice (176 square miles) and the coarse hill grains. Wheat 
(157 square miles) is the prominent crop of Parasgad. Rale-kang or 
Italian millet occupied 118 square miles. Pulses occupied t^2)c> ^q^ai'e 



miles ; of these, 92 square miles were under tur, 98 under kulith or 
horse-gram, and 62 square miles under gram. Oilseeds were grown on 
98 square miles. Chikodi is famous for its sugar-cane and fruit and 
vegetable gardens. Tobacco (35 square miles) is an important crop in 
Chikodi in gardens or on favourable plots near villages or along rivers 
and streams. Cotton, covering 352 sqaare miles, is the most valuable 
crop grown in the District. It is especially important in Athni, Paras- 
gad, and Gokak. 


Total area. 





Chikodi . 
Belgauni . 
Parasgad . 
































* Statistics are not available for 2y]\ square miles of this area. These figures 
are based upon the latest information. 

American cotton was introduced in 1845, and is planted to a small 
e.xtent in Parasgad and Sampgaon. It has greatly degenerated in the 
course of years. The cultivators avail themselves freely of the Land 
Improvement and Agriculturists' Loans Acts. During the decade 
ending 1903-4 more than 17-4 lakhs was advanced, of which 4-2, 3-2, 
and 3 lakhs was lent in 1896-7, 1899-1900, and 1901 respectively. 

Cattle of inferior quality are bred by Dhangars in the forest tracts of 
Khanapur and Belgaum, the majority of better breed being imported 
from Mysore and other places. Bullocks of eight breeds are found in 
all parts, the strongest and largest being imported from South 
Kathiawar, and the best-trotting oxen from Mysore. Of local breeds, 
the Nagdi are the most useful and hardy. Buffaloes do not thrive near 
the Western Ghats ; but the Gaulis, Hanbars, and Dhangars of Samp- 
gaon, Gokak, and the eastern tract rear buffaloes of a good type. The 
so-called Nagdi buffaloes are reputed the best. Ponies of a small and 
ugly type are bred locally, as also are donkeys and pigs by Vaddars and 
other low-caste Hindus. Sheep of two breeds, the Kenguri with a soft 
red wool and the Yelga with white or black, are reared by Dhangars, 
while goats of four varieties are ubiquitous. The best breed of the 
latter is known as Kui.sheli. 

Of the total area cultivated, 80 square miles, or 3 per cent., were 
irrigated in 1903-4. Government canals supplied 15 square miles, 
tanks 16, wells 46, and other sources 10 square miles. The water- 
supply is plentiful except in the east. Irrigation is largely employed 


for rice and vegetables in the best portions of the western half of the 
District. Of the recently improved reservoirs the chief is the Gadekeri 
lake about 15 miles south-east of Kelgaum, in the Sampgaon taliika^ 
which has an area of 129 acres and a maximum depth of 5 feet. The 
catchment basin measures 4-68 square miles, and the average rainfall is 
29 inches. It supplied 337 acres in 1903-4. The most important 
water-work is the Gokak canal and storage reservoir. A masonry weir 
lias been built across the Ghatprabha where its catchment area, in- 
cluding that of its chief tributaries the Tamraparni and the Harankashi, 
is about 1,100 square miles, of which a large extent lies in the Western 
Ghats. The storage work and the first section of the canal were com- 
pleted at a cost of 12-2 lakhs, the capital outlay to the end of 1903-4 
being 12-9 lakhs. The Gokak canals command 28 square miles, and 
irrigate an average of 16 square miles. Wells used for irrigation are 
most common in Chikodi and Belgaum. In Khanapur no wells are 
used for this purpose. In 1993-4 wells and tanks used for irrigation 
numbered 12,660 and 1,161 respectively. 

In the west of the District, among the spurs of the Western Ghats, is 
a considerable area of forest land. Formerly large tracts were yearly 
destroyed by indiscriminate cultivation of shifting 
patches of fire-cleared woodland. This form of 
tillage has now been limited to small areas, specially set apart for the 
jnirpose. The District possesses 665 square miles of ' reserved ' and 
10 square miles of ' protected ' forest. Of this total, 51 square miles 
are in charge of the Revenue department. It is very unevenly distri- 
buted, the large tdhihas of Athni and Parasgad having little or no 
forest, while Khanapur has twice as much forest as tillage. The 
forest administration is under a divisional officer, assisted by a sub- 
divisional officer. The Belgaum forests may be roughly divided into 
' moist ' and ' dry,' the ' dry ' lying east of the Poona-Harihar road and 
the ' moist ' lying west of the road. The latter includes the forests of 
Belgaum and Khanapur, about 500 square miles. The ' dry ' forest, about 
one-eighth of which is stocked with useful wood, is very poor and stony, 
yielding only firewood scrub with a few small poles fit for hut-building. 
The produce is chiefly cactus, four kinds of fig, di/idai, and tarvar. 
The most important trees in the ' moist ' forest are teak, black-wood, 
honne (^Pterocarpus Marsiipiuin), hirda or myrabolam, and jack-wood. 
There are also a few babul Reserves. The forest supplies large quan- 
tities of firewood to the Southern Mahratta Railway. The total forest 
receipts in 1903-4 were 277 lakhs. 

Diamonds are said to have been found in the sandstone towards 
Kolhapur and gold in the valley of the Malprabha. Iron was formerly 
smelted in Belgaum, Gokak, and Sampgaon, and near the Ram pass. 
The ore is generally peroxide of iron, with a mixture of clay, quartz. 


and lime. All the laterite of the District is charged with irun, though 
in too small a proportion to make it worth smelting. The manufacture 
of iron has now ceased, partly on account of the increased cost of fuel 
and partly because of the fall in the price of iron. Besides iron, the 
only metallic ore which occurs in any quantity is an earthy powdery 
form of peroxide of manganese, which is found among weathered 
dolomite at Bhimgarh. 

Next to agriculture, hand-loom weaving forms the chief industry of the 
District. The weavers are generally Lingayats or 
Musalmans, with a small sprinkling of Marathas. The commurfi^ations. 
finer sorts of cloth are manufactured only in two or 
three towns. With the exception of a small cjuantity of cloth sent to the 
neighbouring Districts, the produce of its hand-looms is almost entirely 
consumed in Belgaum. Simple dyeing and tanning are carried on over 
the whole District. Gokak town was once famous for its dyers, and is 
still noted for a coarse kind of paper made in large quantities. Gokak 
toys, made both from light kinds of wood and from a peculiar kind 
of earth, are also celebrated. They consist of models of men and 
gods, fruits and vegetables. A factory for spinning and weaving 
cotton yarn was established at Gokak, by an English company, in 
1887. The mills are worked by water-power supplied from the falls of 
the Ghatprabha from a height of about 170 feet. The average daily 
number of labourers employed in the factory is 2,038, and the yearly 
out-turn amounts to 5,000,000 lb. The railway station for the mills 
is Dhupdhal. 

The capitalists of the District are chiefly Marwaris and Brahmans, 
but in the town of Belgaum there are a few Musalmans who possess 
comfortable fortunes. There is a considerable trade in cloth and silk, 
the chief exports being rice, jaggery, tobacco, and cotton, and the chief 
imports cloth, silk, salt, and grain. In several villages throughout 
the District markets are held at fixed intervals, usually once a week. 
These markets supply the wants of the country round w-ithin a radius 
of about 6 miles, containing as a rule from twenty-five to thirty 
villages and hamlets. 

The West Deccan section of the Southern Mahratta Railway, 
crossing the District from north to south, was opened in 1887. The 
line passes through the Khanapur, Belgaum, Chikodi, Gokak, and 
Athni tahikas. A considerable traffic which used to pass along the 
Poona-Harihar road, or coastwards by the ghat passes, is now carried 
by the railway. At Londa, a station in the Khanapur td/uka, the West 
Deccan section connects with the Bangalore and the Marmagao lines, 
and in the spring a large amount of produce finds its way to the sea by 
the latter route. The total length of metalled roads is 498 miles, and 
of unmetalled roads 515 miles. Of these, 449 miles of metalled and 


62 of unnictalled roads arc niaintaincd by the Public Works depart- 
ment. The chief roads are the Harihar road, the Belgaum-Amboli- 
Vengurla road, the Nipani-Mahalingpur road, the road from Sankeshwar 
to Dharwar via Hukeri, (jokak, and Saundatti, the road from Shedbal 
to Bijapur via Athni, and the Belgaum-Khanapur road to Londa and 

The District has suffered from constant scarcities owing to the 
uncertainty of its rainfall. The earliest recorded failure of rain led to 
the great Durga-devI famine. Subsequent famines 
occurred in 1419, 1472-3 (exceptional distress), 1790 
(caused by the raids of the Marathas), 1 791-2 (failure of early rain), 
1802-3 (caused by the depredation of the Pindaris), 1832-3, 1853, and 
1876-7. The need of Government help began about the middle of 
September, 1876. At the height of the famine in May, 1877, there 
were 43,196 persons on relief works and 7,641 in receipt of gratuitous 
relief. After fifteen years the District again (1892) suffered from famine, 
which chiefly affected three of its taiukas, Athni, Gokak, and Parasgad, 
and relief works were opened. In 1896 the rains were indifferent, and 
nearly one-third of the total area of the District was distressed, relief 
being again required. In 1899 the rains failed, bringing on intense 
scarcity in Athni, Gokak, Parasgad, and part ofChikodi. Relief works 
were opened in December, 1900, and continued till October, 1902. 
The highest number relieved in a day on works was 16,313 (excluding 
5,672 dependents) in August, 1901, 5,876 being in receipt of gratuitous 
relief. It is calculated that the excess of mortality over the normal 
during the three years was 60,000, and that 100,000 cattle died. 
Exclusive of advances to the agriculturists and remissions, the famine 
in the District cost 5 lakhs. Remissions of land revenue and advances 
amounted to about 2 lakhs. 

The District is divided into seven taiukas : Athni, Chikodi, Bel- 
gaum, Gokak, Sampgaon, Khanapur, and Parasgad. The Collector 
is usually assisted by two officers of the Indian Civil 
Service and one Deputy-Collector recruited in India. 
There are three petty subdivisions {pethas) : Murgod in Parasgad, 
Hukeri in Chikodi, and Chandgad in the Belgaum tdluka. 

The District and Sessions Judge at Belgaum is assisted by five Sub- 
ordinate Judges for civil business. There are altogether seventeen 
officers to administer criminal justice in the District. The commonest 
offences are burglary and theft. 

On the acquisition of Belgaum in 18 18 the Maratha assessment 
remained for a time unrevised, although Baji Rao's revenue-farming 
system, which had wrought great havoc in the District, was immediately 
suspended in favour of the personal or ryoHvdri, then known as the 
Madras system. A survey was attempted during the first ten years 



of British rule, but no revision of assessment was carried out. The 
principal features of the land-rent settlement between 181 8 and 1848 
were a very high nominal demand and the annual grant of large 
remissions after inspection of the crops. The assessment both by village 
and holding was very unequally distributed. The settlement of the 
District began in 1848-9. It was at first introduced into 108 villages 
of the Parasgad idli/ka, and by 1 860-1 the whole District had been 
surveyed and its assessment fixed for thirty years. The villages were 
arranged in five or more classes, the rate of assessment per acre for 
each class being fixed in accordance with climatic conditions, pro- 
pinquity of markets, and other circumstances. The net result was the 
reduction of the total revenue from 6-4 to 5-5 lakhs. The revision 
survey settlement was introduced into the District in 1879 and was 
completed by 1897. The revision found an increase in the cultivated 
area of 2 per cent, and enhanced the total revenue from 8-5 to 10-9 lakhs. 
The average assessment per acre of ' dry ' land is 13 annas, of rice land 
Rs. 3-8, and of garden land Rs. 2—7. 

Collections on account of land revenue and revenue from all sources 
have been, in thousands of rupees : — 

1 880- 1. 



1 900-1. 


Land revenue . 
Total revenue . 




The District contains six municipalities : namely, Belgaum, Nipani, 
Athni, Gokak, Saundatti, and Yamkanmardi, the total annual 
income of which averages a lakh. Outside these, local affairs are 
managed by a District board and seven tdluka boards, with an average 
income of 2-2 lakhs. The principal source of their income is the land 
cess. The expenditure in 1903-4 amounted to 2-3 lakhs, including 
one lakh spent on roads and buildings. 

The District Superintendent of police is aided by two Assistants 
and two inspectors. There are fourteen police stations in the District. 
The police number 667, including 11 chief constables, 139 head 
constables, and 517 constables. The mounted police number 12, under 
2 daffaddrs. There are 10 subsidiary jails in the District, with 
accommodation for 244 prisoners. The daily average number of 
prisoners in 1904 was 81, of whom 6 were females. 

Belgaum stands eleventh among the twenty-four Districts of the 
Presidency in regard to the literacy of its population, of whom 5-1 
(males 9'8 and females 0-3) could read and write in 1901. In 1881 the 
number of schools was 200, with 12,386 pupils. The latter number rose 
to 22,064 in 1891 ; and in 1901 there were 16,239 pupils, of whom 
852 were in 47 private schools. In 1903 4 there were 352 schools, 


of wliich 37 were private institutions, attended by 12,927 pupils, 
including i,Sf)7 girls. Of the public institutions, 2 are high schools, 
6 middle, and 307 primary schools. Of the institutions classed as 
public, one is supjwrted by Government, 220 are managed by local, 
30 by municipal boards, and 64 are aided. The total expenditure on 
education in 1903-4 was 1-38 lakhs, of which Rs. 22,500 was derived 
from fees, and Rs. 34,000 was contributed by Local funds. Of the total, 
75 per cent, was devoted to primary education. 

Belgaum ];)istrict contains one hospital, five dispensaries, and one 
railway medical institution, accommodating 86 in-patients. In these 
institutions 48,000 patients were treated in 1904, including 714 in- 
patients, and 1,386 operations were performed. The total expenditure, 
exclusive of the railway dispensary, was about Rs. 14,500, of which 
about Rs. 6,000 was met from municipal and Local funds. 

The number of persons successfully vaccinated in 1903-4 was 
20,758, rei)resenting a proportion of 21 per 1,000 of population, 
which is lower than the average for the Presidency. 

[Sir J. M. Campbell, Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, vol. xxi 
(1884) ; J. F. Fleet, Dynasties of the Kanarese Districts (1896) ; E. Stack, 
Meinorandiini on Land Revenue Settlements (Calcutta, 1880).] 

Belgaum Taluka. — Central tdluJia of Belgaum District, Bombay, 
lying between 15° 41' and 16° 3' N. and 74° 2' and 74° 43' E., with an 
area, including the Chandgad petty subdivision {petha), of 644 square 
miles. It contains one town, Belgaum (population, 36,878), the 
head-quarters; and 201 villages. The population in 1901 was 137,562, 
compared with 147,150 in 1891, the decrease being largely due to 
the ravages of plague. The density, 214 persons per square mile, is 
about the average for the District. The demand for land revenue in 
1903-4 was 1-9 lakhs, and for cesses Rs. 16,000. In the north-west 
of Belgaum, long sandstone ridges border and in many places cross 
the central plain. In the west, close to the Western Ghats, the climate 
is damp, while to the east it is more pleasant. The annual rainfall is 
fairly heavy, averaging 52 inches. Round Belgaum town the country 
is richly cultivated. 

Belgaum Town. — Head-quarters of the District of the same name 
in the Southern Division of the Bombay Presidency, situated in 15° 
51' N. and 74° 31' E., at an elevation of nearly 2,500 feet above sea- 
level, on the northern slope of the basin of a watercourse called the 
Bellary nullah, and on the Southern Mahratta Railway. Population 
(1901), 36,878, including the cantonment (10,641) and suburbs (3,803). 
The municipality was establi.shed in 1851. During the ten years ending 
1 90 1 the income averaged about Rs. 50,000. In 1903-4 the income 
was Rs. 51,500, chiefly derived from octroi (Rs. 22,000), conservancy 
rates (Rs. 9,100), and taxes on houses and land (Rs. 4,600). The 


expenditure amounted to Rs. 50,000, including general administration 
(Rs. 6,400), public safety (Rs. 2,300), conservancy (Rs. 15,900), public 
works (Rs. 4,coo), and public instruction (Rs. 9,900). The average 
receipts of the cantonment funds are Rs. 25,000. 

The native town lies between the fort on the east and the canton- 
ment, which extends along its western front, separated from it by 
a watercourse. It forms an irregular ellipse, approximating to a circle, 
of which the shorter axis is about 1,300 yards. The rock on which the 
town is built consists of laterite, lying upon Deccan trap. The site 
is well wooded. Bamboos, from which Venugrama, the ancient name 
of the town, is said to be derived, are plentiful, and mangoes, tamarinds, 
and banyans also abound. The fort, about 1,000 yards in length 
and 700 yards in breadth and occupying an area of about 100 acres, 
is surrounded by a broad and deep wet ditch, cut in hard ground. It 
appears to have been built in 15 19 and contains two Jain temples 
of great interest. The dargdh of Asad Khan and the Safa Masjid will 
also repay a visit. Belgaum was the chief town of a district known as 
the Belgaum 'seventy' in 11 60. About 1205 the Rattas captured it 
from the Goa Kadambas and made it their capital. In 1250 it passed 
from the Rattas to the Yadavas. In 1375 the fortress of Belgaum was 
included in Vijayanagar territory. After being held by Muhammadan 
rulers the fort passed to the Peshwas about 1754. In 1818, after the 
overthrow of the Peshwa, the place was invested by a British force. 
It held out for twenty-one days, after which the garrison of 1,600 men 
capitulated, having lost 20 killed and 50 wounded, while the British 
loss amounted to 1 1 killed and 1 2 wounded. 

Belgaum, since its acquisition by the British, has increased greatly in 
size and wealth. It was chosen as the civil head-quarters of the District 
in 1838. It is a military station of the Poona division of the Western 
Command, and is usually garrisoned by British and Native infantry and 
a battery of artillery. Of recent years it has suffered severely from 
recurring epidemics of plague, which have driven many of the residents 
to remove from the town site and to erect houses in the vicinity. The 
principal articles of trade are salt, dried fish, dates, coco-nuts, and coir, 
imported from the sea-coast, chiefly from the port of Vengurla. Grain 
of all kinds, sugar, and molasses are also brought from the country 
round. The city contains more than 300 hand-looms for the manufacture 
of cotton cloth. The water-supply is derived entirely from wells. 
Besides 9 municipal boys' schools with 980 pupils and 4 girls' schools 
with 323 pupils, there are two high schools with about 500 pupils, one 
a Government institution, the other belonging to the Methodist Episcopal 
Mission. There are also two schools for European and Eurasian boys 
and a Roman Catholic convent for girls. Belgaum is the residence 
of the Commissioner of the Southern Division. Besides the ordinary 


revenue and judicial oflfices, the town contains a cantonment magis- 
trate's court and a Subordinate Judge's court, a civil hospital, and 
a railway dispensary. 

Beliapatam.- A'illage and river in Malabar District, Madras. See 

Bellamkonda (' the hill of caves '). — Hill fortress in the Sattanapalle 
fd/uk of Guntur District, Madras, situated in 16° 30' N. and 80° E. 
The works consist of a single stone wall, connecting the elevated points 
of the hill and having bastions at the south-east and north-west angles, 
which terminate the two extremities of the principal front. The 
entrance, which is in this front, at about a third of its length from the 
north-west bastion, is gained by a winding pathway from the foot of 
the hill near the village. In shape, the fort is roughly an equilateral 
triangle, enclosing an area of irregular elevation of about one-sixteenth 
of a square mile. The wall is in a very ruinous state, every shower 
loosening and bringing down parts of it. The two bastions are the 
most perfect parts, but even these from their overhanging position seem 
to threaten destruction to everything below. The interior is overgrown 
with bushes and long grass, which obstruct the passage to the eastern 
and western faces in many parts. There still remain some buildings 
of stone, the old magazine and storerooms. The highest point is 
1,569 feet above the sea. The early history of the fortress is obscure. 
It is said to have been constructed by the Reddi kings of Kondavid. 
After their power had passed away in 1482 it perhaps fell into the hands 
of the Orissa kings, for Firishta says it was taken by the Sultan of 
Golconda from a Telugu Raja who was a vassal of Orissa. In 1531 the 
Orissa king took the place a second time by a general escalade, regard- 
less of the loss of his best troops. It must afterwards have reverted to 
the kings of Vijayanagar, for it was finally taken by the Muhammadans 
in 1578, when they put an end to Hindu rule in this part of the country. 
At the close of the eighteenth century the English had a few troops 
stationed at the bottom of the hill in mud huts. 

Bellary District {Balldri). — The westernmost of the four Ceded 
Districts in the Madras Presidency, lying between 14° 28' and 15° 
58' N. and 75° 40' and 77° 38' E., with an area of 5,714 square miles. 
It is bounded on the west and north by the river Tungabhadra, which 
divides it from the Bombay Presidency and the Nizam's Dominions ; 
on the east by Kurnool and Anantapur Districts ; and on the south by 
the State of Mysore. 

Bellary lies on the northern slope of the Deccan plateau, and the 

trend of the country is towards the north-east, ranging 

^soects^ from an elevation of over 2,000 feet above the sea on 

the south to about 1,000 feet in the north-east corner. 

The District is divided east and west by the range of hills in the 


midst of which lies the Native State of Sandur. To the west the surface 
of the country is broken by various ranges of small hills, especially in 
the Kudligi and Harpanahalli taluks, where the land rises to join the 
Mysore plateau, and is often well wooded and generally picturesque. 
To the east lies a vast expanse of level, almost treeless, dreary, black 
cotton soil, forming two-thirds of the District, which is broken only by 
two small groups of hills in the extreme north and south, and by those 
granite masses, springing abruptly from the surrounding country, which 
form such a characteristic feature of the Deccan. The central rock 
of these is usually surrounded by loose boulders, sometimes of enormous 
size, split off by the action of the weather, and of every variety of 
colouring from warm reds and browns to pale slaty greys. The principal 
hills outside of Sandur are those round Kampli, Adoni, and Rayadrug, 
and the Copper Mountain range. The Kampli group is an irregular 
semicircle of barren hills lying to the north of Sandur on the banks 
of the Tungabhadra, and is mainly interesting as forming the site and 
natural fortification of the ancient city of Vijayanagar. The Copper 
Mountain, so called from mines no longer worked, is a small range 
7 miles west of Bellary town, running parallel to the Sandur hills and 
rising to a height of 3,285 feet. The hills at Adoni and Rayadrug, on 
which stand the ancient forts of those towns, run up to 2,000 and 
2,727 feet respectively. With the exception of the Sandur range, there 
is very little vegetation on any of these elevations, and no real forest. 

The river system of the District consists of the Tungabhadra and its 
tributaries. The Tungabhadra, formed by the junction of the Tunga 
and Bhadra, both rising near the south-western frontier of Mysore, 
skirts the District on its western and northern borders for about 195 
miles and eventually falls into the Kistna near Kurnool. During the 
hot season its stream is low and easily fordable in many places ; but 
from June to October, after the south-west monsoon, the waters rise 
from 15 to 25 feet and the river in several places exceeds half a mile in 
breadth. When not fordable, it is crossed (except in heavy floods) by 
means of coracles made of bamboo frames covered with hides. At 
Vijayanagar the river passes through a fine granite gorge, and below 
this its course is studded with rocks which render navigation impossible 
in the dry season. Its waters abound with crocodiles, and considerable 
quantities of fish are netted. It is crossed by the Southern Mahratta 
and Madras Railways at Hosuru and Rampuram respectively. The 
more notable places upon its banks are Vijayanagar, Kampli, and 
Mailar. The Hagari or Vedavati, the main tributary of the Tunga- 
bhadra in the District, rises in Mysore, and after flowing through the 
Rayadrug and Bellary taluks falls into the Tungabhadra at Halekota. 
It is a very broad and shallow stream, with a total length of about 
280 miles, of which 125 are in this District, and rarely has any flow of 


water tor more tliaii live moiitlis in the year. I'he sand from its bed, 
carried liy the prevaihng south-westerly winds, is perpetually encroach- 
ing on the land along its eastern banks. At Moka, 12 miles from 
liellary, the sand-beds are nearly 2 miles broad. The channel of the 
river varies from a ([uarter to three-quarters of a mile in width, and even 
at flood-time the water rarely exceeds 4 feet in depth. The Southern 
Mahratta Railway bridges it at Paramadevanahalli. The Chikka Hagari 
is a small stream, also rising in Mysore, which, after crossing the western 
taluks, falls into the Tungabhadra at Kittanuru. Though it comes 
down occasionally in heavy floods during the monsoons, it is perfectly 
dry for many months in the year. The irrigation from these rivers is 
referred to below. 

Five-sixths of Bellary is covered with Archaean rocks, granitoid and 
gneissic, and the little barren hills, characteristic of the Deccan, are 
formed of these. Superimposed upon them are four well-marked bands 
of the younger Dharwar series, which run right across the District from 
north-west to south-east. The chief of these is the line forming the 
Sandur hills, which is remarkable for the immense quantities of rich 
hematite it contains. There is also an old gold-mine in it. Quartz 
tops several of the hills, and trap dikes of great length and width are 
further characteristics of the geology of the District. 

In the drier eastern taluks the flora consists largely of such drought- 
resisting plants as Euphorbias, acacias, and Asclepiads, and the Acacia 
arabica and the margosa {Afelia Azadirachta) are the characteristic 
trees. In the west the growth is more luxuriant and date-palms flourish 
in the damper hollows. Over all the waste lands grow the yellow- 
flowered Cassia auriculata and the Dodonaea. The chief trees in such 
forests as the District possesses are referred to under Forests below. 

Leopards are fairly numerous in the hills of Sandur and in the 
Kiidligi and Harpanahalli tdluks, where their depredations on cattle 
are considerable. Bears are found in the western hills, and hyenas 
and wolves in Harpanahalli. Wild hog infest the Kampli hills and 
parts of the Kudligi tiiluk, and do much damage to crops. There are 
also a considerable number of chitikara (gazelle) and antelope in the 
western taluks and in Adoni, but they are not often to be seen in the 
flatter eastern taluks. Of the larger game-birds, peafowl and bustard 
are found in Hadagalli and Harpanahalli. The former are especially 
common along the banks of the Tungabhadra. 

The climate of the District is exceedingly dry throughout and 
correspondingly healthy. The only parts which are at all malarious are 
the Kudligi taluk, where there are numerous hills and tanks (artificial 
irrigation reservoirs), and the irrigated cultivation along the Tunga- 
bhadra. The western taluks, especially Harpanahalli, where the 
temperature approximates Xo that of the Mysore plateau, are consider- 


ably cooler than the eastern. The average mean of the year at Bellary 
town is 82°, but this is considerably exceeded at Adoni. Ramandrug, 
the little military sanitarium on the Sandur hills, has an average 
temperature about 1 2° cooler than Bellary. 

Lying almost in the middle of the Peninsula, the District gets rain 
from both monsoons, but only after their supply is almost exhausted. 
Though everywhere very light, the fall varies considerably in different 
parts. It is heaviest at Ramandrug (39 inches), and the Adoni and 
Hospet taluks (27 inches) receive a good deal more than the western 
taluks or Bellary and Rayadrug. In these last two the average fall is 
only 19 inches, and they form one of the driest tracts in the Presidency. 
Rather more than half the year's supply is received during the south- 
west monsoon. The rainfall is not only small but also very uncertain, 
and Bellary has suffered constantly from prolonged droughts and fre- 
quent deficiencies in the monsoons. Except for famine, it has, how- 
ever, been peculiarly free of late years from serious natural calamities. 
In 1804, during the south-west monsoon, there was a series of terrific 
storms during which hundreds of tanks were breached ; and again in 
1 85 1 a cyclone swept through the District, washing away several villages, 
and destroying many roads and irrigation works. The Hagari rose 
suddenly during this storm and overwhelmed the town of Guliam on 
its right bank, drowning many of the inhabitants. 

The country round Vijayanagar is the traditional scene of some of 
the most notable events in the Ramayana. Inscriptions show that 
Bellary was intimately connected with the fortunes of ._. 
the early dynasties of the Western Chalukyas and 
their successors the Hoysala Ballalas. But little definite is known of 
the history of the District before the fourteenth century. In 1336 was 
founded on the banks of the Tungabhadra, near the present hamlet of 
Hampi, the famous town of Vijayanagar, ' the city of victory.' The 
town rapidly became the nucleus of a kingdom, and the kingdom grew 
into an empire. For two centuries its rulers succeeded in uniting the 
Hindus of Southern India and holding in check the Musalmans who 
were advancing from the north. In 1565, at the battle of Talikota, 
Vijayanagar was utterly overthrown by a combination of the Sultans of 
the Deccan. The Musalman dominion which followed was weak, and 
the country was split up into small principalities under chieftains known 
to history as poligdrs. Locally, their powers were absolute and they 
used them mercilessly, so that the common people were everywhere 
ground into the dust. Aurangzeb annexed the dominions of the 
Musalman kings ; the Marathas, and after them Haidar All of 
Mysore, followed and seized much of the District ; the Nizam's rule 
succeeded ; but through all these changes the poligdrs continued 
to hold all local authority, and it was with them that the British had to 



deal when the District was ceded to the Company. Bellary had fallen 
into the power of Haidar All of Mysore and his son Tipu in the latter 
part of the eighteenth century. At the partition of Tipu's territory in 
1792, part of the District fell to the Nizam. At the further partition 
which occurred after Tipu's defeat and death at Seringapatam in 1799, 
the Nizam obtained the rest of it ; but he ceded both portions and 
other adjoining territory to the British in 1800. Major (afterwards 
Sir Thomas) Munro was the first Collector of the country so obtained, 
called the Ceded Districts, which included the present Districts of 
Cuddapah, Bellary, Anantapur, and much of Kurnool ; and his first 
care was to reduce to order the ^\^\.y poligdrs whom he found within 
it. Some of these were pensioned and the estates of the remainder 
were resumed. In 1808 the tract was split into two Districts, Cuddapah 
and Bellary. The latter then included the present District of Ananta- 
pur. This was formed into a separate Collectorate in 1882, and Bellary 
District as it now stands has thus been a separate Collectorate for only 
twenty-four years. 

More palaeolithic and neolithic settlements and implements have 
been found in Bellary than in any other District in Madras, and some 
of them are of great interest. Round Gollapalle in the Rayadrug tdltik 
are hundreds of kistvaens of the usual pattern, some of which have been 
found to contain pottery, bones, &c. Jain temples are numerous, and 
in the western taluks are a number of little Chalukyan shrines, covered 
with most delicate carving in steatite. These are described and 
illustrated in Mr. Rea's Chalukyan Architecture. At Adoni, Bellary, 
Rayadrug, and elsewhere are ancient hill fortresses of much interest. 
But the most important antiquities in the District are the extensive and 
impressive ruins, near Hampi, of the great capital of the Vijayanagar 

The District contains 10 towns and 929 villages. It is divided into 

8 taluks, the head-quarters of which are at the places from which each 

is named. Statistics of population according to the 
Population. ^ r • ■ ^u i^ ui 

Census 01 1901 are given m the table on next page. 

The principal towns are the two municipalities of Bellary, the Dis- 
trict head-quarters, and Adoni ; and the eight Unions of Hospet, 
Yemmiganur, Rayadrug, Kampli, Harpanahalli, Kosigi, Kotturu, 
and Siruguppa. The population of the District in 1871 was 911,755 ; 
in 1881, 726,275 ; in 1891, 880,950; and in 1901, 947,214. Hindus 
form 89 per cent, of the total and Musalmans 10 per cent. The famine 
of 1876-8 was very severely felt, and it was not until over twenty years 
afterwards that the population recovered the loss it then suffered. The 
percentage of increase during the last decade was a little above the 
average for the Presidency, in spite of considerable emigration to Mysore. 
The apparent decline in the Hadagalli tdl//k is due to the total for 1891 



having been unduly inflated by the presence of numerous pilgrims at 
the great festival a<: Mailar. Bellary is the least sparsely peopled Dis- 
trict in the Deccan, the density being as much as 100 per square mile 
below the Presidency average. Kanarese is the prevailing language in 
the west and Telugu in the east. On the whole, 57 per cent, of the 
people speak the former and 30 per cent, the latter tongue. 


Number of 

°c=i- . 

fli ■— On _ 














tvveen i8 

and 190 

<u rt rt £ 


Adoni . 





+ 11-2 

Alia- . 





+ 11-9 








+ 7.2 








+ 5-3 








+ 10.2 







- 1 1-5 








+ 10.3 



District total 






+ i6-3 






+ 7-5 


The majority of the Hindus are Telugus or Kanarese. Of the 
Telugus, the Boyas {shikaris and cultivators, and formerly the material 
from which many of the troops of the poligars and of Haidar were 
raised) are the strongest community, numbering 121,000, or more than 
in any other District. Then come the Madiga leather-workers (77,000), 
followed by the Kapus, the great agriculturist class (48,000). Among 
Kanarese castes, the Kurubas (shepherds) are the most numerous 
(97,000). The Lingayats, a sect of Hindus who worship Siva and 
his symbol the lingam, and disregard the sacerdotal authority of 
Brahmans, number 96,000 (which is nearly two-thirds of the total 
of the sect within the Presidency). The castes which speak neither 
Telugu nor Kanarese are divided almost equally between Marathas, 
Tamils, and Lambadis, the last of whom, a wandering gipsy com- 
munity, are more numerous in Bellary than in any other District. 
The majority of the Musalmans are Shaikhs, but there are nearly 
10,000 of the mixed race of Dudekulas. By occupation, nearly three- 
fourths of the total population are agriculturists or shepherds. Weavers 
are, however, more than usually numerous. 

The number of Christians in the District is 5,066, or about five in 
every 1,000 of the population. About 3,700 of them are natives, and 
nearly three-quarters are Roman Catholics. The first priest to visit 
this part of the country was a Father Joachim D'Souza, who came 
to Bellary from Goa in 1775 and died in 1829. The natives called 
him Adikanada, and his memory is still held in veneration. The 

M 2 


Bellary mission continued under the charge of the Goa priests until 
1837. In that year a chaplain was appointed by Government for the 
Roman Catholic troops at Bellary, and under the double jurisdiction 
which ensued many more churches and chapels were erected than the 
number of Catholics required. The Goa jurisdiction ceased with 
the establishment of the regular hierarchy by an apostolic letter of 
Pope Leo XIII in 1886. The mission is at present under the direc- 
tion of the Roman Catholic chaplain, assisted by four Fathers from 
the Missionary Society of St. Joseph, London. The only Protestant 
mission in the District is that of the London Missionary Society. 
It was established in 1810 and has a staff of five missionaries, one 
of whom is a lady. 

The soils of the District are classed as red, mixed, and black ; the 
two former preponderate in the hilly western taluks, and the latter 
in the level tracts of Bellary, Alur, Adoni, and 
Rayadrug. The red ferruginous soils are derived 
from the decomposition of the granitic rocks, and are loams of a more 
or less sandy character. They are much less fertile than the black 
cotton soil of the eastern taluks. The average depth of this latter 
is about 4 feet, but a much greater thickness is found in certain 
localities. In Alur it is of particular richness, and the rates of 
assessment there are the highest in the District. A disadvantage, 
however, is that, owing perhaps to the underlying beds of soft 
calcareous limestone, trees will not flourish in it and the water in 
the wells is frequently brackish. 

The seasons of cultivation on the red and mixed soils differ alto- 
gether from those on the black. On the former, ' dry ' crops are 
sown at the beginning of the south-west monsoon in June ; but the 
latter is held to require the thorough soaking obtainable only from 
the later rains of that monsoon, and korra (Setaria italica) and cotton 
are sown on it in August and other crops in November. On ' wet ' 
lands rice is sown in May and January and sugar-cane in March. 
Like the other Deccan Districts, Bellary possesses several ingenious 
agricultural implements which are almost unknown elsewhere, among 
them the bamboo seed-drill, the bullock-hoe, and the big iron plough 
used for eradicating deep-rooted grasses. 

There are no zaminddris in the District, but more than a fifth of 
the total area is indni land. Of the total of 5,714 square miles, 
the village accounts give particulars for 5,697. Details by taluks for 
1903-4 are given in the table on the next page, areas being in square 

The two principal food-grains are cholam {Sorghum vulgare) and 
the korra already mentioned. The area under the former in 1903-4 
amounted to nearly one-third of the total area cropped. Both are 



largely grown in all taluks, but arc especially favourite crops in Bellary, 
Alur, and Acloni in the east. Pulses are grown to a considerable 
extent ; but, except in Rayadrug, they are usually mixed with the 
cereals on no fixed principles, and the exact area is not ascertainable. 
Irrigation being rare, the rice crop is small, occupying only 63 square 
miles in 1903-4. The chief industrial crop is cotton, grown mainly 
on the black cotton soil in the four eastern taluks and in Hadagalli. 
In the red soils of Kudligi, Harpanahalli, and Hadagalli, large 
quantities of castor and other oilseeds are raised. Sugar-cane is 
grown mainly in Hospet, where it occupies 5 per cent, of the culti- 
vated area. It has not yet developed the disease which has appeared 
in other Districts, and the area under it is steadily increasing. 


shown in 











Alur . 

































J 30 




Hi 611 





Total 5,697 





Except in Kudligi, the proportion of arable land to the total extent 
is high, but a considerable amount is still unoccupied, especially in the 
western taluks. The poorer soils there are frequently cultivated for 
a single year, and then abandoned and left to recuperate. The area 
occupied fluctuates considerably owing to the numerous bad seasons 
which have visited the District, but there has been a net increase during 
the last thirty years of rather more than 10 per cent. Except for the 
general introduction of iron ploughs during recent years, little has been 
done in the way of agricultural improvement. Attempts to introduce 
foreign varieties of cotton have been unsuccessful ; and wells, owing 
largely to the great expense of constructing them in both the loose 
cotton soil and the rocky red land, are not popular. 

About 6^ lakhs was advanced during the sixteen years following 1 888 
under the Land Improvement Loans Act. The greater part of this has 
been spent upon the reclamation of land overrun with deep-rooted grass 
and prickly-pear {Opuntia). Considerable sums have also been borrowed 
under the Agriculturists' Loans Act for the relief of distress, purchase 
of seed, and similar purposes. 

The indigenous breed of cattle is small and weak. The best draught 
animals in use in the eastern taluks are brought from Nellore by 
travelling drovers. In the west, large numbers of cattle are imported 


from Mysore and sold at tlic two great annual fairs on the 'I'ungabhadra 
at Mailar and Ruruvatti. A fine breed of pack-buffaloes, bred in the 
Nizam's Dominions, is used in Kampli and the neighbouring villages. 
Ponies are not raised in the District in any number. There are two 
varieties of sheep, the black or long-fleeced and the white and reddish- 
brown long-legged variety. The latter are kept chiefly for their manure 
and flesh ; but the former give a fair wool, which is largely used in 
Rayadrug, Kudligi, and Harpanahalli for the manufacture of the 
cheap black or black and white blankets which serve the ryot as bed, 
umbrella, portmanteau, or great-coat, as need may require. Goats are 
reared in large numbers for both milk and manure. 

Cattle for the plough and milch kine are fed mainly on cholain stalks 
and cotton-seed. Sheep and the younger cattle are grazed in forest 
Reserves and on waste lands. Goats, owing to their destructive habits, 
are confined to waste lands and roadsides. 

The area irrigated in 1903-4 was 90 square miles, or little more than 
2 per cent, of the total area under cultivation. This was watered in 
almost equal proportions from Government channels, from tanks, and 
from wells. Practically the whole of the irrigation from channels is that 
fed by the Tungabhadra canals. This river is perennial, and provides 
the only unfailing source of supply in the District. There are ten dams 
across it, all of which were originally constructed by the Vijayanagar 
kings, though English engineers have done much to improve and 
regulate the supply drawn from them. Near one of them is an in- 
scription recording its construction in a. D. 1521 by the famous king 
Krishna Deva Raya of Vijayanagar. The area irrigated by them 
collectively in 1933-4 was about 17,000 acres, of which 12,500 were in 
the Hospet taluk. The Tungabhadra runs in a deep bed and the 
ground slopes down towards it, so that it is impossible for them to 
command much land. Channels dug annually in the beds of the 
Hagari and Chinna Hagari irrigate small areas in the Rayadrug and 
Kudligi taluks. The great Tungabhadra irrigation project, designed 
to benefit not only Bellary but several other Districts also, is described 
in the separate account of that river. 

The tanks of the District are usually small, irrigating on an average 
less than 50 acres apiece. The two largest are the Kanekallu tank in 
Rayadrug and the Daroji tank in Hospet. The former, which is 
supplied by a channel from the Hagari, waters 2,300 acres. The 
Daroji tank, which is said to have been constructed by Tipu Sultan, 
has an embankment 2\ miles in length and in some places 60 feet in 
height. It irrigates about 1,800 acres. Irrigation from wells is com- 
monest in Kudligi and Rayadrug. There is room for more of these 
sources in Harpanahalli and Hadagalli, but in the cotton-soil taluks 
irrigation is not popular. 


Though there is a considerable area in each taluk of so-called forest, 
the Reserves mainly consist of patches of more or less scanty scrub 
jungle, in which it is hoped that careful preservation 
extended over a number of years may induce a growth 
of larger timber. Tradition says that there were originally extensive 
forests in the District ; but none has existed within living memory, and 
at present the resources of the Reserves are severely taxed to produce 
even the firewood required locally. Timber and bamboos are largely 
imported, chiefly from the Nallamalais. The Kudligi Reserves contain 
the largest growth, including a small amount of teak. Anogeissus 
iatifo/ia, acacias, Prosopis, Carissa, and Tertninalia tomentosa are the 
commonest forest trees. The growth on the hills in the Sandur State 
is finer than anywhere in the District proper ; and 40,000 acres of 
this range are leased from the Raja at a rental of Rs. 10,000 and 
worked as part of the Bellary forests. The characteristic tree here is 
Hardivickia binata, one of the hardest and heaviest woods in India. 
A small amount of sandal-wood and teak is also cut, and it is hoped 
that it may eventually be possible to supply the Southern Mahratta 
Railway with fuel from these hills. Like other forest areas in the 
District they suffer severely from fires, owing to the extreme dryness 
of the climate. 

Very little has been done to exploit the mineral resources of the 
District, though they are considerable. Iron used until recently to be 
smelted in small quantities in Hospet and Kudligi to make boilers for 
the local manufacture of sugar, but it has now been ousted by the 
cheaper English product. With greater facilities for obtaining fuel this 
industry might be enormously extended, as the supply of hematite is 
unlimited and the Sandur hills contain what is possibly the richest ore 
in the whole of India. Manganese deposits also occur on this range, 
and several beds of mineral pigments. A small quantity of gold has 
been won in the past by washing in some of the jungle streams in 
Harpanahalli, but this part of the District has been prospected under 
European supervision without result. Among building materials may 
be mentioned seven beautiful porphyries, eminently suitable for decora- 
tive work, and the splendid varieties of ribbon jasper which occur in the 
Sandur hills. Neither of these has ever been worked. 

Cotton and silk- weaving are important in all parts of the District, and the 

proportion of the population engaged in the former industry is unusually 

large. The cotton stuffs woven are of the ordinary 

• .^ u ^ 4. ^u 4. f ..u 11 • Trade and 

coarse variety ; but at the centres of the silk-weavmg communications. 

industry in Kampli, Hampasagaram, Rayadrug, and 

elsewhere handsome fabrics of various patterns are manufactured, which 

are exported to the Nizam's Dominions and Bombay. Both the cotton 

and silk are largely dyed locally. Coloured cotton rugs, manufactured 


at Adoni, mainly by Muhamnuidaiis, liave a considerable sale all over 
the Presidency and also in other parts of India. Woollen blankets are 
woven in a large number of villages in the Kvldligi and Harpanahalli 
taluks, chiefly by Kurubas, the wool being obtained locally. They are 
exported in large numbers to other Districts. A small amount oi 
ordinary brass-ware is made at Hospet and one or two other villages : 
and a family or two in the Kudligi and Harpanahalli tCxluks make from 
soapstone small vessels and little images of Basava, the bull in whose 
form the founder of the Lingayat sect is worshipped. 

There are seven steam cotton-presses or ginning factories in the 
District, two at Bellary and five at Adoni. The total number of hands 
employed in 1904 was 660. A spinning mill established at Bellary in 
1894, which is fitted with machinery of the latest pattern, employed an 
average of 520 hands in 1903-4. The number of spindles was 17,800, 
producing 650 tons of yarn valued at 4^ lakhs. Several tanneries are 
at work, but the only one of any size is at Rayadrug, where 45 hands 
were employed in 1904. About 45,000 skins were dealt with, producing 
leather valued at Rs. 40,000. A small distillery at Bellary had an 
out-turn of 32,000 gallons of spirit, valued at Rs. 37,000. 

As is natural from its geographical position, the chief trade of Bellary 
is with Bombay, the Nizam's Dominions, and Mysore, rather than with 
the rest of the Madras Presidency. From Bombay are imported rice, 
turmeric, chillies, metal and metal work (especially brass-ware from 
Hubli) ; and in return cereals, silk fabrics, cotton carpets, blankets, and 
jaggery (coarse sugar) are exported. Cattle, rice, timber, and coco-nut 
oil are received from Mysore, blankets, oilseeds, and cotton stuffs being 
exported thither. To the Nizam's Dominions Bellary sends cholam, 
jaggery, cotton and silk fabrics, and receives in return chiefly raw cotton. 
Trade with other parts of the Presidency is principally in manufactured 
goods, the raw products of the District being sent in exchange. About 
three-quarters of the total output of cotton is sent to Madras city. 

The chief centres of general trade are Bellary, Adoni, and Hospet, 
the large trade in cotton being confined to the first two of these. 
Hospet serves as an entrepot for the exchange of the products of the 
western taluks with the Dharwar District of Bombay and the Nizam's 
Dominions, while a great deal of business with both Mysore and Bom- 
bay is transacted at the annual fairs at Mailar and Kuruvatti. From 
the southern parts of the western taluks large quantities of merchandise 
are taken to Davangere in the Chitaldroog District of Mysore. The 
ordinary trade is mostly in the hands of the Chetti caste, but a colony 
of Marwaris at Bellary controls the export grain trade there. Besider 
the fairs above mentioned, there are numerous local markets for in- 
ternal trade. The fees levied at them by the local boards yield about 
Rs. 7,000 annually. 

FAMINE ■ 169 

The north-west line of the Madras Railway (standard gauge) traverses 
the two eastern taluks, passing through the town of Adoni and leaving 
the District by a large girder-bridge over the Tungabhadra at Ranipuram. 
This section was opened in 1870. At Guntakal, just beyond the borders 
of Bellary, there is a junction between the Madras and Southern 
Mahratta Railways. The metre-gauge line of the latter crosses the 
District in a westerly direction, connecting Guntakal with Bellary and 
Bellary with Hospet and with Dharwar in Bombay. Through Guntakal, 
Bellary is also connected southwards with Anantapur and Bangalore, 
and to the east with the Districts of Kurnool, Cuddapah, Guntur, and 
Kistna. The line from Guntakal to Bellary was finished in 187 1, and 
was originally part of the Madras Railway and on the standard gauge. 
It was converted to the metre gauge in 1887. Two metre-gauge famine 
protective lines from Bellary to Rayadrug and from Hospet to Kotturu, 
33 and 38 miles in length respectively, have recently been constructed. 

Bellary has 271 miles of metalled and 582 miles of unmetalled roads, 
all of which are under the management of the local boards. More 
avenues along them are badly needed, only 112 miles being planted 
with trees, a shorter length than in any other Madras District except the 
Nilgiris. The main routes are the road from Bangalore, which passes 
through Bellary and Adoni on the way to Raichiir and Secunderabad, 
and that from Madras to Bombay through Bellary and Hospet. The 
eastern and western taluks are joined by roads passing to the north and 
south of the Sandur hills, and by a third which crosses the State of 
Sandur by means of two narrow gorges through the hills which enclose 
it. Were the roads kept in proper repair, the District would be amply 
supplied with means of communication ; but money for bridges is 
scarce, and in the cotton-soil taluks road-metal is difficult to obtain. 

The whole of Bellary lies within the famine zone, irrigation works are 
few, and any shortage in its scanty rainfall is liable to produce distress. 
It has in consequence suffered perhaps more than any 
other District in Madras from severe and protracted 
famines. There were scarcities in 1802-4, 1805-7, 1824, 1884-5, ^^^^ 
1900; and famines in 1833, 1854, 1866, 1876-8, 1891-2, and 1896-7; 
and it has been truly said that 'the unfortunate ryot has hardly emerged 
from one famine before he is submerged under another.' 

It has been calculated that during the last half-century alone the 
expenditure on relief and the loss of revenue due to bad seasons in 
Bellary have amounted to no less than 196 lakhs. The worst years 
were 1854, 1866, 1876-8, and 1896-7. In the famine of 1876-8 
Bellary was very severely affected ; more than a fifth of the population 
is computed to have perished from starvation or disease, and the 
mortality in the Adoni and Alur taluks was as high as one-third. At 
the Census of 1891, fourteen years after the famine, the population of 


the District continued lo l)e less than at the Census of 187 1, before 
this visitation. At the heiglit of the famine one-half of the population 
were in receipt of relief in one form or other. The supreme difficulty 
that baffled the authorities was the absolute impossibility of getting 
grain to an area where the only means of transport was by bullock-cart 
and there was no fodder for the bullocks. The railways will now 
prevent the recurrence of such a disaster. The famine of 1896-7 was 
severely felt in all but the Rayadrug and Harpanahalli taluks. In July, 
1897, about 18,000 persons were receiving gratuitous relief by grain 
doles and 78,000 were employed on relief works. There was con- 
siderable mortality from cholera and measles, but, as far as could be 
ascertained, no deaths occurred from privation alone. 

For administrative purposes Bellary is arranged into three subdivisions. 
The four western taluks of Hospet, Hadagalli, Harpanahalli, and Kudligi 
. . . form one charge, known as the Hospet subdivision, 
under a Covenanted Civilian. The Bellary subdivi- 
sion, consisting of Bellary and Rayadrug, and the Adoni subdivision, 
consisting of Alur and Adoni, are usually under Deputy-Collectors 
recruited in India. Besides the eight tahs'ildars in charge of these eight 
taluks, dei^nty-tahslldars are stationed at Siruguppa in the Bellary taluk 
and at Yemmiganur in Adoni ; and stationary sub-magistrates at Bellary, 
Hospet, Kudligi, and Adoni. The District Forest officer and the Dis- 
trict Superintendent of police reside at Bellary, which is also the head- 
quarters of the Inspector of Schools, Second Circle, of the Superin- 
tending Engineer, Third Circle, and of the Assistant Commissioner of 
Salt and Abkari Revenue, Bellary Subdivision. 

For purposes of civil justice, part of Anantapur (which was originally 
included in the old Bellary District) comes under the jurisdiction of the 
District Judge at Bellary ; but on the other hand the Adoni ttlluk is 
within the Munsifi of Gooty, outside the District, appeals from which 
area lie to the District Court of Kurnool. There are two District 
Munsifs, one at Bellary and the other at Hospet. As a rule, fewer 
cases are dealt with by Village Munsifs in Bellary than in any other 
District. The number of revenue suits is also extremely small, there 
being no zamlnddris and but few large indms. 

The arrangements regarding criminal justice are also anomalous, the 
Court of Sessions at Bellary taking cognizance of sessions cases in all 
the taluks of Anantapur except Gooty and Tadpatri, as well as those in 
Bellary. The Collector and the three divisional officers are first-class 
magistrates with the usual powers. All tahs'ildars and deY>^iy-tahsllddrs, 
as well as the stationary sub-magistrates, have second-class powers, and 
in some cases the taluk sheristaddrs are third-class magistrates. Usually 
very few of the village magistrates use the petty powers with which they 
are entrusted. 


The distinctive criminal caste of the District is the Korachas, an 
incorrigible class who wander about in gangs. Several of their gangs 
have settled permanently in Bellary, and are greatly aided in their 
depredations by the proximity of the Nizam's Dominions, where they 
can easily take refuge and are difficult to trace. They are some of the 
most daring and best-organized dacoits in the Presidency. Murders, 
which are numerous, are mostly due to village factions. Other crimes, 
such as cattle-theft, are also common, and are traceable to the natural 
poverty of the District and the uncertainty of the seasons. 

Nothing is definitely known of the revenue system under the Vijaya- 
nagar kings, but according to tradition the revenue was paid in kind in 
the proportion of half the gross produce. The Musalman governments 
which followed apparently continued the same system, though, by some 
method not clearly ascertainable, a minimum amount was fixed as the 
assessment for the whole region now constituting the Ceded Districts. 
This was called the kdniil assessment, and was retained by Aurangzeb 
and afterwards by Haidar All, though the latter and his son and 
successor Tipu Sultan increased the revenue by a large resumption of 
indnis. After the overthrow of the Vijayanagar empire, the country was 
largely in the hands of the poligdrs already mentioned, through whom 
a great part of the revenue was nominally collected. The amount 
which reached the central government naturally varied according to 
the relative power of the poligdrs, and the result was an ever-increasing 
impoverishment of the cultivating classes. 

When the Ceded Districts were transferred to the East India Company 
in 1800, the whole tract was placed in charge of Munro. His first step 
was to do away with the interference of the eighty or more poligdrs who 
were scattered over them, and to introduce a system of direct engage- 
ments with every cultivator for the revenue, the assessment varying 
according to the amount of land occupied. In conjunction with this, 
he instituted a survey, which ascertained not only the extent of the 
fields, but also the quality of the different kinds of soil. 

While this settlement was in progress, the Government of India 
directed that, as a preliminary step towards a permanent settlement of 
the land revenue on the Bengal system, the villages should be leased to 
renters for a fixed sum for three years, the lessee making his own 
arrangements with the cultivators. In spite of the strenuous representa- 
tions of Munro and the opposition of the Governor of Madras, Lord 
William Eentinck, this system came into force in the Ceded Districts in 
1808. Munro had taken leave shortly before this, and, on his departure, 
the present Districts of Bellary and Anantapur were constituted a Col- 
lectorate by themselves. Though the Collector reported very strongly 
against the triennial leases and their damaging effect on the condition 
of his charge, an extension in the shape of decennial leases was intro- 



duced by order of Government in 181 2. The result was a complete 
fiiilure. The renters were incompetent and merciless, the ryots were 
contumacious and obstructive, and large numbers of the former became 
unable to pay their dues to Government. Eventually the Court of 
Directors ordered a return to the ryotivdri settlement on the expiration 
of the leases, and the immediate surrender of the leases was accepted in 
all cases where the renters were willing to relinquish them at once. The 
result of this disastrous experiment was a great reduction in the wealth 
of the District, the villages being given up by the renters with their 
resources much impaired. From the introduction of the ryotwari 
settlement in 18 18 down to 1859 there were several general reductions 
in the assessment, rendered necessary both by a succession of bad 
seasons and also by the fact that Munro's original settlement had 
imposed a higher rate than the land was capable of bearing, especially 
since it was calculated on the basis of the grain prices in force at the 
beginning of the century and these had since fallen very greatly. 

In 1882 seven of the southern taluks were formed into the separate 
District of Anantapur. A survey and settlement of the remaining taluks 
which constitute the present Bellary District were carried out between 
1884 and 1896. The excess discovered in the cultivated area was about 
5 per cent., and the increase in the assessment effected (which was 
especially lenient in consideration of the infertility of the District and 
its losses by bad seasons) was Rs. 85,000, or rather less than 7 per cent. 
The average assessment on 'dry' land in the cotton-soil taluks of Adoni, 
Alur, and Bellary is now R. 0-15-7 per acre (maximum Rs. 2-8, mini- 
mum 2 annas), and on 'wet' land Rs. 6-14-11 (maximum Rs. ir, 
minimum R. i) ; while in the remaining red soil taluks the average 
'dry' rate is R. 0-8-8 (maximum Rs. 2-4, minimum 2 annas), and 
the average 'wet' rate Rs. 5-6-3 (maximum Rs. 11, minimum R. i). 
Owing partly to the small extent of irrigated land, the average extent of 
a holding is 15 acres, being greater than in any other Madras District 
except the Nilgiris. 

The revenue from land and the total revenue in recent years are 
given below, in thousands of rupees : — 




Land revenue 
Total revenue . 



32, .^0 

There are two municipalities in the District, Bellary and Adoni, both 
established in 1867. Outside their limits local affairs are managed by 
the District board, and the three taluk boards of Bellary, Hospet, and 
Adoni, the jurisdictions of which correspond to the subdivisions of the 
same names. The expenditure of all these boards in 1903-4 was 


2\ lakhs, of which nearly half was laid out on roads and buildings. 
The chief item in the receipts, as usual, is the land cess. Nineteen 
towns and villages have been constituted Unions under (Madras) 
Act V of 1884. 

The police force is controlled by a District Superintendent and an 
Assistant Superintendent. In 1904 there were 61 police stations, and 
the force consisted of 13 inspectors and 1,141 constables, with a reserve 
of 89 men. There were also 974 rural police working in conjunction 
with the regular force. 

The District jail at Bellary town has accommodation for 323 males 
and 23 females, exclusive of the observation cells and hospital, which 
will hold 27 and 36 inmates respectively. As this does not sufficiently 
provide for the needs of adjoining Districts, from which prisoners are 
sent to this jail, 100 more cells are being constructed. The only 
manufacture carried on in the jail is the weaving of the woollen blankets 
of the country. There are nine subsidiary jails. Seven are situated at 
the taluk head-quarters (except Bellary), and the other two at the 
deputy-/<rA«M?ri-' stations at Siruguppa and Yemmiganur. They pro- 
vide accommodation for a total of 161 prisoners. 

As regards education, Bellary is one of the most backward areas in 
Madras. At the Census of 1 901 it stood seventeenth among the twenty- 
two Districts of the Presidency in the literacy of its male population, 
and last in that of its females. Persons who could read and write 
formed only 4-6 per cent. (8-6 males and 0-3 females) of the total. The 
Bellary taluk contained a considerably higher proportion than any other, 
but in Rayadrug only 3 per cent, were returned as literate. The total 
number of pupils under instruction in 1881-2 was 10,368; in 1890-1, 
18,858; in 1900-1, 26,283 ; and in 1903-4 only 14,861. The number 
of educational institutions of all kinds in March, 1904, was 627, of which 
604 were classed as public, and the remainder as private. Of the former, 
1 1 were managed by the Educational department, 36 by the local boards, 
and 8 by the two municipalities; 314 received grants-in-aid, and 235, 
though not aided, conformed to the rules of the department. These 
institutions included 591 primary, 9 secondary, 3 training and other 
special schools, and the Wardlaw College at Bellary town. The number 
of girls in them was 1,504. As usual, the majority of the pupils were 
only in primary classes. The percentage of boys of school-going age in 
these classes was 18, and of girls 2. Among Musalmans the corre- 
sponding figures were 19 and 2. There are 13 Panchama schools in 
the District, with 479 pupils. The total expenditure on education in 
1903-4 was 1-2 2 lakhs, of which Rs. 34,000 was derived from fees. Of 
the total, Rs. 8,500 was devoted to primary education. 

Bellary possesses seven hospitals. Two are maintained by the 
municipalities ; of the other five, which are all kept up by the local 


boards, four are at taluk and one at a AQ.\ywX,^-tahs'ilddr's head-quarters. 
They have a total accommodation of 95 beds, 57 for males and 38 for 
females. The Bellary hospital, founded in 1842, with a small endow- 
ment of Rs. 2,500, has 40 beds. There arc also five dispensaries 
maintained by the boards in certain of the larger villages, and two more 
by the municipality at Bellary. The total number of cases treated in 
1903 was 129,000, of whom 900 were in-patients, and 3,000 operations 
were performed. The total expenditure was Rs. 31,000. There is a 
hospital for women at Bellary town, built from subscriptions to the 
Victoria Memorial Fund, and two others are to be opened shortly at 
Adoni and Hospet. 

Vaccination has been efficiently performed in late years. In 1903-4 
the number of persons protected w^as 32 per 1,000 of the population, 
compared with the average of 30 for the whole Presidency. Vaccination 
is compulsory in the two municipalities of Bellary and Adoni, but in 
none of the nineteen Unions. 

[For further particulars of the District see the Bellary Gazetteer, by 
W. Francis (1904).] 

Bellary Subdivision. — Subdivision of Bellary District, Madras, 
consisting of the Bellary and Rayadrug taluks. 

Bellary Taluk. — Eastern taluk of the District of the same name, 
Madras, lying between 14° 57' and i5°44'N. and 76° 40' and 77° 10' E., 
with an area of 962 square miles. The population in 1901 was 193,401, 
compared with 180,353 in 1891. The taluk contains two towns, 
Bellary (population, 58,247), the head-quarters and the capital of the 
District, and Siruguppa (5,805); and 156 villages. The demand for 
land revenue and cesses amounted in 1903-4 to Rs. 4,23,000, being 
the highest in the District. As much as four-fifths of the total area, a 
higher proportion than in any other taluk, is covered with black cotton 
soil, the remaining fifth being red land. Except in the extreme south, 
where it is bounded, and in places broken up, by the spurs of the 
Copper Mountain, it forms a wide level expanse diversified only by low 
granite hills. It slopes north and north-eastwards towards the Tunga- 
bhadra and the Hagari ; the Pedda Vanka, one of the streams which 
carry its drainage into the latter, is of a respectable size. It is the 
largest, most populous, and best-educated taluk in the District ; and it 
contains the highest proportion of Musalmans, nearly four-fifths of all 
the Christians, and an unusual number of the few Jains who are found 
there. More than half the population speak Kanarese, only a fifth 
speaking Telugu. The land served by the Tungabhadra channels about 
Siruguppa is the most fertile in the District. Cholam and korra are the 
staple crops, but the area under cotton is large and a considerable 
amount of cambu is grown. The forest area is smaller than in any 
taluk except Alur, and the rainfall is the lightest in the District. 


Bellary Town. — Head-quarters of the District and taluk of the 
same name, Madras, situated in 15° 9' N. and 76° 51'' E. It is one 
of the chief military stations in Southern India, and is garrisoned by 
both British and Native troops. The force maintained is, however, 
considerably smaller than it used to be. Bellary is the seventh largest 
town in the Presidency. Its population in 1871 was 51,766; in 1881, 
53,460; in 1891, 59,467 ; and in 1901, 58,247. The growth has thus 
been slow. The decline during the last decade was due to the removal 
of some of the troops. In 1901, 60 per cent, of the inhabitants were 
Hindus and 32 per cent. Musalmans ; Christians numbered about 4,000. 

The town stands in the midst of a wide, level plain of black cotton 
soil. The .Southern Mahratta Railway passes through it, connecting it 
with Hubli on the west and with Guntakal junction on the east, by which 
route it is 305 miles from Madras. It also lies on the trunk road from 
Bangalore to Secunderabad. The most conspicuous objects are the 
Fort Hill and the Face Hill, the latter so called from the resemblance of 
certain rocks on its summit to a human face. They are bare, rocky 
elevations with hardly any vegetation on them. The fort on the former 
gave Bellary its ancient importance and led to its selection as the site of 
a cantonment. This fortress consists of an upper citadel on the rock, 
the top of which is 1,976 feet above the sea, and a lower enclosure at 
the foot. The citadel is guarded by three lines of strong fortifications, 
which are still in excellent repair, and contains a number of substantial 
buildings and an ample water-supply from reservoirs constructed in 
the clefts of the rocks. There is only one way up, which is strongly 
defended. The lower fort is surrounded by a rampart with numerous 
bastions, faced by a deep ditch and glacis. Magazines, the quarters of 
the guard in charge of them, the chief church of the civil station, and 
several public offices and schools are built within this. It used also 
at one time to contain an arsenal. The town includes the civil station 
to the east of the fort, the cantonment on the west, and on the 
south, between these two areas, the Cowl Bazar and the suburbs of 
Bruce-pettah and Mellor-pettah, named after two civil officers once 
stationed at Bellary. 

Until the British made Bellary a cantonment it contained little but 
its fort. This was originally the residence of a chieftain called Hanum- 
appa Naik, whose family held it as vassals of the kings of Vijayanagar 
and afterwards of the Sultans of Bijapur. About 1678 it was taken from 
them by the famous Maratha chief SivajT, because as he was passing that 
way some of his foragers had been killed by the garrison ; but he restored 
it again at once on condition that tribute should be paid him. About 
1761 it became tributary to Basalat Jang of Adoni. The chief quarrelled 
with Basalat Jang and refused to pay tribute. The place was accordingly 
besieged by a force from Adoni. The chief applied for aid to Haidar 


All, who made a wonderful forced march, which has been graphically 
described by Wilks, and routed the Adoni troops. He then, however, 
seized it for himself and erected the present fortifications. Tradition 
says that they were designed by a Frenchman in Haidar's service, and 
that Haidar, finding the fort was commanded by the Face Hill, hanged 
him afterwards at the main guard gate. The fort was in the possession 
of Mysore until 1 792, when, with others of Tipu's territories, it was given 
to the Nizam. The Nizam ceded it to the British with the rest of the 
District in 1800. It did not become the head-cjuarters of the District 
until 1840, the Collector until that year living at Anantapur. 

Though Bellary is situated 1,400 feet above the sea, its climate is hot 
and very dry, but it is considered a healthy town. Its great want is 
a proper water-supply, and it is hoped that the completion of the great 
irrigation project connected with the Tungabhadra will supply this. 
Besides being the head-quarters of the District staff, it is also the 
residence of a Superintending Engineer and an Inspector of Schools. 
A company of the Southern Mahratta Railway Volunteer Rifles is also 
located here, and the town is the head-quarters of the Roman Catholic 
Mission and of the London Mission. It contains a District jail, with 
accommodation for 346 prisoners. 

The chief educational institution is the Wardlaw College, which was 
founded as a school in 1846 by the Rev. R. S. Wardlaw, D.D., of the 
London Mission, and was raised to a second-grade college in 189 1. It is 
the only Arts college in the Ceded Districts. In 1903-4 it had an average 
daily attendance of 319 students, of whom 17 were in the F.A. class. 
A high school is maintained by the municipality ; and there is a techni- 
cal class at St. Philomena's high school managed by the nuns of the 
Order of the Good Shepherd, the pupils of which are almost all 
Europeans or Eurasians. 

Bellary was created a municipality in 1867. The receipts and expen- 
diture during the ten years ending 1902-3 averaged Rs. 80,000 and 
Rs. 85,000 respectively. The income in 1903-4 was Rs. 1,17,000, and 
the expenditure Rs. 90,000. Of the former, Rs. 44,000 was contributed 
by Government, and the rest was principally derived from the house 
and land taxes and tolls, while the chief items of expenditure included 
conservancy, roads and buildings, and education. The municipal 
hospital, known as the Sabhapati Mudaliyar Hospital, was founded 
in 1842 and has forty beds. The building was presented by the 
gentleman whose name it bears. There are two other dispensaries. The 
industries of Bellary include a small distillery, two steam cotton-presses, 
and a steam cotton-spinning mill. The latter, established in 1894 and 
fitted with machinery of the latest pattern, employs 520 hands. The 
number of spindles is 17,800. 

Bellavi. — Town in the Tumkur tdhik of Tumkur District, Mysore, 

BE ME TAR A 177 

situated in 13° 25' N. and 77° i' E., 9 miles north-west of Tumkur 
town. Population (1901), 1,669. ^ great weekly fair is held here, on 
which all the surrounding country depends, and which is an important 
mart for exports. The streets are wide, with uniform shops on either 
side. The municipality formed in 1870 was converted into a Union 
in 1904. The receipts and expenditure during the ten years ending 
1 90 1 averaged Rs. 960 and Rs. 700. In 1903-4 they were Rs. 1,000 
and Rs. 2,700 respectively. 

Belur. — North-western taluk of Hassan District, Mysore, lying 
between 12° 58' and 13° 19' N, and 75° 44' and 76° Y E., with an area 
of 339 square miles. The population in 1901 was 79,192, compared 
with 75,470 in 1891. The tdhik contains one town, Belur (population, 
3,862), the head-quarters ; and 410 villages. The land revenue demand 
in 1903-4 was Rs. 1,81,000. The west is a part of the Malnad, and for 
a short distance is bounded by the Hemavati river. The Yagachi flows 
through the centre in a south-easterly direction, being joined in the 
north by the Berinji-halla. In the forests of the hill country to the west 
are coffee plantations, while rice is grown in the valleys. In the 
east are rocky hills, either bare or covered with scrub jungle. The 
centre is more level, with either gravelly and grassy plains, or stretches 
of rice land. Some small channels are drawn from the Yagachi and the 
streams falling into it. The soils are poor in the west but improve 
eastwards, much of the best description being around Halebid and 
Belur. In the south-west the high ground, instead of sloping gradually 
to the lower, drops abruptly in perpendicular scarps 50 to 100 feet 
high. Good tobacco is grown in the east. 

Bemetara.— Northern tahsil of the new Drug District of the Central 
Provinces, which was constituted in 1906 from portions of Raipur and 
Bilaspur. The tahsil lies between 21° 20' and 22° o' N. and 80° 43' and 
82° 2' E., and contains portions of three former tahsils. A tract of 363 
square miles was taken from the west of the Mungeli tahsil of Bilaspur ; 
614 square miles comprised in six zamlndari estates were transferred 
from the old Drug tahsil; and 589 square miles were transferred from 
the Simga tahsil of Raipur. The Bemetara tahs'il is an irregularly 
shaped tract, nearly cut in two by the Khairagarh State. Its area 
is 1,566 square miles, and the population of the tract now constituting 
the tahs'il wdA 240,843 persons in 1901, compared with 290,238 in 1891. 
The density is 154 persons per square mile, and there are 874 inhabited 
villages. The head-quarters are at Bemetara, a village of 1,197 inhabi- 
tants, 47 miles from Drug town by road. It includes the six zamhiddri 
estates of Sahaspur-Lohara, Silheti, Barbaspur, Gandai, Thakurtola, and 
Parpori, with a total area of 614 square miles and a population of 48,327 
persons. About 308 square miles in the zamlnddris are forest, but there 
are no Government Reserves. The western portion of the tahsil 




consists of a fertile and closely cultivated black soil plain, while in the 
east the zam'tndari estates border on the Satpura Hills. The demand 
for land revenue in 1902-3 on the area now forming the tahstl was 
approximately r-go lakhs. 

Benares Division. — South-eastern Division of the United Provinces, 
lying between 23° 52' and 26° 12' N. and 82^ 7' and 84° 39' E. The 
northern portion is traversed by the Ganges and in the east reaches to 
the Gogra, while the southern extends beyond the Kaimur range and the 
river Son to the East Satpuras. The head-quarters of the Commissioner 
are at Benares city. Population increased from 1872 to 1891, but fell 
during the next decade. The numbers at the last four enumerations 
were as follows : (1872) 4,395,252, (1881) 5,178,005, (1891) 5,368,480, 
and (1901) 5,069,020. There is reason to believe that the Census of 
1872 understated the actual population. The decrease between 1891 
and 1 90 1 was due partly to an epidemic of fever following disastrous 
floods in 1894, partly to emigration, and partly to the effects of famine. 
The total area is 10,431 square miles, and the density is 486 persons 
per square mile, as compared with 445 for the Provinces as a whole. 
The Districts north of the Ganges include the most thickly populated 
area in the United Provinces. In 1901 Hindus formed more than 
91 per cent, of the total population, and Musalmans not quite 9 per 
cent. There were 2,949 Christians and 1,984 Sikhs. The Division 
contains five Districts, as shown below : — 

Area in square 


Land revenue and 

cesses, 1903-4, 

in thousands 

of rupees. 

Mirzapur . 
Ghazipur . 














This is the only considerable area in the United Provinces of which 
the revenue is permanently settled. Ballia District lies entirely in the 
Doab between the Ganges and Gogra, which form its northern and 
southern boundaries and meet at its eastern extremity. Jaunpur District 
is situated in the same Doab, but does not reach either of the rivers. 
Ghazipur, Benares, and Mirzapur lie on both sides of the Ganges ; but 
while the first two Districts are situated entirely in the alluvial plain, 
Mirzapur stretches many miles south to the Vindhyas and East Satpuras. 
There are 13,654 villages and only 38 towns; and the Division is 
remarkable for the number of small hamlets in almost every village, 
contrasting with the closely-packed central village sites of the Western 


Districts in the United Provinces. The largest towns are : Benares 
(fJopulation, 209,331 with cantonments), Mirzapur (79,862), Jaunpir 
(42,771), and Ghazipur (39,429). There are few places of commer- 
cial importance, the chief being Benares, Mirzapur, Ghazlpur, Jaunpur, 
Shahganj, and Ahraura. Benares is one of the holiest centres of 
Hinduism, especially to the worshipper of Siva ; and some interesting 
Buddhist remains have survived at Sarnath near it. Jaunpur was 
the seat of a powerful kingdom during the fifteenth century, and con- 
tains fine specimens of the Muhammadan buildings of that period. 

Benares District (Bandras). — District in the Division of the same 
name. United Provinces, lying between 25° 8' and 25° 35' N. and 82° 
40' and 83° 33' E., with an area of 1,008 square miles. Benares is 
bounded by Jaunpur and Ghazlpur on the north ; by the Shahabad 
District of Bengal on the east ; by Mirzapur on the south ; and by 
Jaunpur and Mirzapur on the west. The District is part of the alluvial 
valley deposited by the river Ganges, and forms an 
irregular parallelogram, divided by the sacred stream. nysical 

On each bank of the river is found a high ridge of 
coarse gravelly soil, mixed with kankar or nodular limestone, and scored 
by ravines. East of the Ganges the surface dips rapidly, and a large 
portion of this tract is under water during the rains, and is generally 
marshy. On the opposite bank the level is more uniformly maintained. 

The Ganges first touches the District on the .southern boundary, and 
after crossing it in a series of bold curves, with a general direction from 
south-west to north-east, leaves the northern border, at the point where 
it receives the Gumtl, which forms the northern boundary for about 
22 miles. Two small streams, the Barna and Nand, drain the area on 
the left bank of the Ganges. The Karamnasa skirts the south-eastern 
border ; it becomes a heavy stream after rain, and is subject to sudden 
floods, but is almost dry during the hot months. The District contains 
many small marshy lakes or jhils, some of which attain a length of 
several miles during the rains, but most of them are almost dry in the 

Benares lies entirely in the Gangetic alluvium, and kankar is the only 
stone found. Saline efflorescences called reh are not uncommon, 
especially in the Chandauli tahs'il. 

The flora of the District presents no peculiarities. The mango and 
bamboo are largely planted, and fine groves are numerous. Fruit is 
also largely grown, and Benares is famous for its mangoes and guavas. 
There is very little jungle. 

Owing to the absence of uncultivated land, the wild animals found 
here are not important. A few antelope are seen north-east of the 
Ganges and along the Karamnasa. Wild-fowl congregate in numbers 
on the rivers and lakes. Fish are caught abundantly in the Ganges. 

N 2 


The climate, except in the cold season, is moist and relaxing, and 
resembles that of Bengal. Even during the winter months the cold 
is much less marked than in the Districts farther west. In summer, 
though the heat is great, the west winds blow intermittently ; but during 
the rains a fairly constant east wind prevails. The mean monthly tem- 
perature ranges from about 60° in January to 92° in May and June. 

The annual rainfall over the whole District averages nearly 40 inches, 
varying from 38 in the west to 41 in the east. Fluctuations from year 
to year are occasionally considerable, but are not so violent as in 
Districts farther west. In 1876 the fall was only 26 inches, while in 
1894 nearly 64 inches were received. 

Before the Muhammadan invasion Benares City was at times the 
capital of a kingdom ; but the records of the early period are vague and 
unreliable. Tradition relates that aboriginal races, 
such as the Bhars and Koirls, once held the District ; 
but in the twelfth century they certainly owed allegiance to the Raja 
of Kanauj. Benares fell into the hands of Muhammad Ghorl after the 
defeat of Jai Chand, and a governor was appointed to dispense justice 
and repress idolatry. In the fifteenth century the District formed part 
of the separate kingdom of Jaunpur till its fall ; and in the struggles of 
the next century between Mughal and Pathan it suffered much. Under 
Akbar it was included in the Subah of Allahabad, and enjoyed a period 
of peace until the eighteenth century, when it shared in the troubles 
that attended the fall of Mughal power. About 1722 the greater part 
of the present Benares Division was included in the territory governed 
by Saadat Khan, the first Nawab of Oudh, who sublet it to Mir Rustam 
All. The latter was expelled in 1738 ; and the grant was transferred to 
his agent, Ma nsa Ram , an ancestor of the present Maharaja, who had 
already acquired a fort in Jaunpur. 

Mansa Ram died in 1739; but his son, Balwant Singh, in whose 
name the grant had been made and who had received the title of Raja, 
successfully followed his father's policy. Through a long course of years 
he endeavoured to make himself practically independent of the Nawab, 
his lord-paramount, by building or seizing a line of fortresses on a 
strong strategical base south of the Ganges. Step by step he acquired 
new strips of territory, and strengthened each acquisition by fresh 
military works. 

In 1763 the Raja joined the emperor. Shah Alam, and the Nawab, 
Shuja-ud-daula, in their invasion of Bengal. After the disastrous battle 
of Buxar, however^ he went over to the British camp and prudently 
sought the protection of the conquerors. By an agreement of 1764, 
Balwant Singh's estates were transferred from Oudh to the Company ; 
but the transfer was disapproved by the Court of Directors, and in 1 765 
the Benares territory was restored to Oudh, the Nawab consenting to 


guarantee the Raja in the quiet enjoyment of his possessions. Balwant 
Singh died in 1770, and the Nawab endeavoured to use the opportunity 
thus afforded him of dispossessing his powerful vassal. The British, 
however, compelled him to recognize the succession of Chet Singh, an 
illegitimate son of the late Raja. Five years later, the Nawab ceded 
the sovereignty of the Benares estate to the British, who confirmed 
Chet Singh in his holding by sanad, dated April 15, 1776. 

In 1778 a contribution of 5 lakhs was levied upon Chet Singh for 
the maintenance of a battalion of sepoys ; similar demands were made 
in 1779 and 1780. In the latter year, British power in India being then 
threatened with a simultaneous attack on the part of Haidar All, the 
Nizam, and the Marathas, the Governor-General, Warren Hastings, 
called upon the Raja to furnish a cavalry contingent of 1,500 men. The 
Raja returned evasive answers, but did not send a single trooper. For 
this conduct Hastings determined to inflict upon him a fine of 50 lakhs. 
In August, 1 781, he arrived in person at Benares, and finding Chet 
Singh still insubordinate, gave orders that he should be arrested in his 
own house. A riot occurred, the little body of British troops was 
attacked and easily overcome, the Raja fled to one of his strongholds, 
and a general rising took place in the city. Hastings, shut up with his 
slender retinue in Benares, found himself in a most critical position, 
from which he extricated himself by flight to Chunar. The Raja 
remained in open rebellion till the end of September, when the British 
troops dispersed his followers. The Governor-General then returned 
to Benares, deposed Chet Singh, and recognized his nephew, Mahip 
Narayan, as Raja. Chet Singh retired to Gwalior, where he died in 
18 10. The criminal administration of the whole estate and the civil 
and criminal administration of the city were taken from the Raja and 
assumed by the Company. For the later history of the family, see 
Benares Estate. When Wazir Ali, Nawab of Oudh, was deposed by 
the British in 1798, he received orders to live at Benares. In January, 
1799, he attacked Mr. Cherry, the Governor-General's Agent, and mur- 
dered him with two other officers. The Magistrate, whom he proceeded 
to assail, defended himself in his house till the cavalry arrived from 
Bitabar and rescued him. Wazir Ali escaped at the time, but was 
subsequently given up and confined for life in Calcutta '. 

From this period British rule was never seriously disturbed till the 
Mutiny of 1857. News of the outbreak at Meerut reached Benares on 
May 15. The 37th Native Infantry at once became disorderly, and it 
was determined to disarm them on June i. They replied to the order 
with a volley ; but when it was returned they shortly dispersed. The 
Sikhs and the Irregular Cavalry joined the mutineers. The civil officers, 
however, held the mint and the treasury, and the rebellion went 

' Vizier Ali Khan, or the Massacre 0/ Benares (1S44 ; reprinted at Jienares). 



farther. Parties of Europeans passing up from Calcutta to the north- 
west sufificed to keep the city quiet, though in the District some distur- 
bances took place. Early in June the Rajputs of Jaunpur marched to 
attack Benares, but on June 17 they were cut to pieces by a British 
force. Next day the erection of the fort at Rajghat was commenced on 
a site which commands the whole city, and no breach of the peace 
afterwards occurred. 

Ancient remains are found in many places, the oldest being the group 
of Buddhist ruins at Sarnath. The famous temples of Benares City 
are not conspicuous for architectural beauty or for antiquity ; and the 
finest, together with the magnificent line of stone bathing ghats along 
the Ganges, date principally from the eighteenth century. 

The District contains 4 towns and 1,972 villages. Its population in- 
creased between 1872 and 1891, and then decreased owing to a series of 
bad seasons. The numbers at the last four enumera- 
tions were as follows : (1872) 794,039, (1881)892,684, 
(1891) 921,943, and (1901) 882,084. It is probable that the Census of 
1872 understated the population. There are three tahsils — Benares, 
Gangapur, and Chandauli — each named from its head-quarters. 
Benares City is the administrative capital, and Ramnagar, the 
residence of the Maharaja, is the only other town of importance. The 
following table gives the chief statistics of population in 1901 : — 



Area in square 

Number of 



Percentage of 
variation in 

population be- 
tween i8gi 
and 1901. 

Number of 

persons able to 

read and 







Benares . 

District total 







- 3-9 

- 5-4 







- 4-3 


The density of population is extremely high, being nearly double that 
of the United Provinces as a whole. Hindus form more than 89 per 
cent, of the total, and Musalmans more than 10 per cent. The language 
in common use is Biharl, which is spoken by 90 per cent, of the popula- 
tion, while Western Hindi (chiefly Hindustani) is spoken by 7 per cent. 
Owing to its religious reputation, there are large numbers of persons 
speaking Bengali, Marathi, and GujaratI in Benares city. 

The most numerous Hindu castes are : Brahmans, 98,000 ; Chamars 
(leather-workers and cultivators), 97,000 ; Kurmis (agriculturists), 
83,000; Ahirs (agriculturists), 81,000; Rajputs, 53,000; and Koirls 
(cultivators), 42,000. Among the castes found chiefly in the east of 
the United Provinces are the high-caste Bhuinhars, who claim to be 



Brahmans, 18,000; B bars (an aboriginal tribe), 38,000 ; Lunias (labour- 
ers), 15,000 ; and Gonds (corresponding to Kahars elsewhere), 12,000. 
Among Muhammadans the castes and tribes chiefly represented 
are the Julahas (weavers), 28,000 ; Shaikhs, 26,000 ; and Pathans, 
10,000. The principal landholders are Brahmans, Bhuinhars, Rajputs, 
various money-lending castes, and Kayasths. Agriculture supports 
57 per cent, of the total population, and general labour 6 per cent. 

There were 669 native Christians in 1901, of whom 380 belonged to 
the Anglican communion. The Church Missionary Society commenced 
work here in 181 8, and the London Missionary Society two years 
later. The Baptist and Wesleyan Societies also have branches. 

The characteristic features of the portion of the District east of the 
Ganges are the ab.sence of drainage and the clay soil in the centre. 
Rice cultivation is thus more important here than in 
the tract west of the river, and in ordinary years the 
spring crops are largely grown without irrigation. In the extreme east 
the soil turns to mar, the black soil of Bundelkhand. West of the 
Ganges the soil is lighter, and not so liable to waterlogging. The 
whole District is very closely cultivated. In the cold season the 
spring crops are often liable to attacks of rust. 

In the portion of the District outside the Benares Estate the 
ordinary tenures are found, zamindari mahals numbering 2,688, and 
pattidCwi 1,972. Some of the mahals are of the variety known as 
complex, which comprise portions of a number of separate villages. 
There are also tenants at fixed rates, who have a transferable as well 
as a heritable right, and under-proprietors called mukarraridars, who 
hold permanent leases. The main agricultural statistics for 1903-4 
are given below, in square miles : — 







Gangapur . 
Chandaull . 




326 159 

85 45 
332 89 


743 1 293 


Rice and barley are the chief food-crops, covering 162 and 152 
square miles respectively, or 25 and 23 per cent, of the net area 
cropped. Gram (77 square miles) and wheat (60) come next in 
importance; jowdr, maize, bdjra, and sdwdn are also grown. Maize 
is a favourite crop in the neighbourhood of the city and near village sites. 
Sugar-cane was grown on 2 r square miles, hemp {sail) on 1 7, and the 
District also produces poppy and oilseeds. 

Between 1840 and 1880 the total cultivated area (excluding the 


Gangapur tahs'il) increased by only about 4 per cent. The principal 
change in this period was the replacement of sugar by rice and 
hemp {san), and there have been no striking alterations since. As a 
rule, few or no advances are made under the Loans Acts, but in 
1896-7 Rs. 7,400 was lent. 

The cattle of the District are very poor, and when better animals are 
required they are imported. The ponies are also inferior, and there is 
no peculiar breed of sheep or goats. 

In 1903-4, 187 square miles were irrigated from wells and 59 from 
tanks. The tanks are chiefly natural depressions or J h'l/s, and are used 
in October and November for rice cultivation, and later for the spring 
crops and for sugar-cane if the water is not exhausted. Wells can be 
made in most parts of the District, and are chiefly worked by bullocks. 
The rivers are hardly used at all for irrigation, as the lowlands in their 
beds do not require it, and the expense of raising water to a higher 
level W'Ould be prohibitive. 

Kankar, or calcareous limestone, is the only mineral product, and 
is used for metalling roads and for making lime. 

Excluding the city of Benares, there are few manufactures, and these 

are confined to the preparation of a few classes of articles for local use, 

the weaving of coarse cotton cloth being the most 

Trade and important. The city is, however, celebrated for gold 

commixnications. <■ -' ' ' , ■ ■ 

and silver jewellery, ornamental brass-work, embroi- 
dery, and silk-weaving. It also contains three ice factories, several 
printing presses, two chemical works, and two brick-making concerns. 

There is little surplus agricultural produce in the District, and oil- 
seeds are perhaps the most important export. The manufactures of the 
city are, however, largely prepared for outside markets. The imports 
include piece-goods, salt, and metals. Benares city is the only trade 
centre, and absorbs a large part of the produce of the District, while it 
is the chief place for the distribution of imported goods. Railways 
have now taken the place of roads as trade-routes, and there is little 
traffic on the river except the carriage of stone and fuel from Mirzapur. 

The District is exceptionally well served by railways and roads. The 
main line of the East Indian Railway traverses the eastern portion, and 
at Mughal Sarai gives off a branch to Gaya in Bengal. Mughal Sarai is 
also the terminus of the Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway, which crosses 
the Ganges by a magnificent bridge, and then divides into two branches 
at Benares, and serves the western half of the District. Benares is the 
terminus of a branch of the Bengal and North- Western Railway which 
runs north. There are 577 miles of road, of which 127 are metalled. 
The latter are maintained by the Public Works department, but the 
cost of all but 51 miles is charged to Local funds. The main 
lines are : the grand trunk road, which traverses the south of the 


District, crossing the Ganges at Benares; and a series of roads radiating 
from Benares city to Jaunpur, Azamgarh, and Ghazipur. Avenues of 
trees are maintained on 262 miles. 

Benares District suffers like its neighbours from drought, and from 
its natural consequence, famine; but it is less severely affected than the 
regions south or west of it. In 1770 Benares was 
visited by the famine which devastated Bihar and 
Northern Bengal. In 1783, though the dearth was more marked in the 
western Districts, Hastings described the country from Buxar to Benares 
as devastated, and serious riots took place. There was little distress in 
1803-4, though bounties were given to encourage the import of grain 
from Bengal. The famines of 1837-8 and 1860-1 were also not felt 
here severely. High prices caused distress in 1869, in 1874, and in 
1 87 7-9, but to a much smaller degree than elsewhere. The monsoon 
of 1896 ceased prematurely, and the important rice crop yielded only 
one-eighth of the normal. Prices rose very high ; but the distress was 
mainly confined to artisans and those who were unable to labour, and 
the numbers on the relief works opened did not reach 4,000, though 
12,000 persons were in receipt of gratuitous relief 

The Collector is usually assisted by a member of the Indian Civil 
Service, and by five Deputy-Collectors recruited in .... 
India. A tahsllddr is stationed at the head-quarters 
of each tahstl. 

The civil courts of the District are those of the Munsif, Sub-Judge, 
Small Cause Court Judge, and District Judge ; but these have no 
jurisdiction within the Benares Domains in cases which are in any way 
connected with land. The District Judge is also the Sessions Judge. 
Murders are not uncommon, and agrarian quarrels often lead to riots. 
Professional dacoity is rare. The Bhars, Musahars, and Doms of this 
District commit dacoities in Eastern Bengal. Infanticide was formerly 
suspected, but no villages are now proclaimed under the Act. 

After the cession to the British in 1775 the revenue administration 
was carried on for some years by the Raja, who paid a fixed subsidy to 
the British Government. In 1787 Mr. Jonathan Duncan, afterwards 
Governor of Bombay, was appointed Resident at Benares, and was 
impressed by the mismanagement and extortion which prevailed. 
Reforms were commenced in the following year, and a settlement was 
made in which the annual value of each village was ascertained by 
applying rates calculated on the average produce. The amiVs (native 
collector) fees of 10 per cent, and banker's dues were deducted, and 
half the balance was taken as revenue. The term then fixed was four 
years in part of the District and ten years in the remainder. In 179 1-2 
the Decennial Settlement was extended to the tract where engagements 
for a shorter period had been taken, and in 1795, ^^'tb a few revisions, 


the whole settlement was declared permanent. In 1818 the Districts of 
Gha/.Tpur (then including Ballia) and Jaunpur were formed, and in 1830 
Benares was still further reduced by the formation of Mirzapur District. 
The permanent settlement had not been based on a survey, and no 
detailed record-of-rights was prepared, engagements being often taken 
from a few representatives of large bodies of co-sharers. Between 1833 
and 1 84 1 a survey was made, field maps were prepared, and detailed 
records drawn up. A second formal revision was made between 1882 
and 1886, since which time annual papers have been prepared as in the 
rest of the Provinces. The revenue assessed in 1 795 on the two tahslls 
outside the Benares Domains was 7-9 lakhs, which by 1843 had risen to 
8-2 lakhs, owing to the assessment of alluvial land and resumption of 
revenue-free grants. In 1903-4 the demand was 7-7 lakhs, and the 
demand in the Gangapur tahsll was 1-2 lakhs. 

Collections on account of land revenue and total revenue have been, 
in thousands of rupees : — 





Land revenue 
Total revenue 





Benares is the only municipality in the District, but there are two 
towns administered under Act XX of 1856. Outside of these, local 
affairs are managed by the District board, which had an income of 
I'l lakhs in 1903-4, about one-third of which was derived from local 
rates. The expenditure on roads and buildings amounted to Rs. 60,000, 
out of a total expenditure of 1-2 lakhs. 

The District Superintendent of police has a force of 4 inspectors, 
121 subordinate officers, and 619 men, distributed in 22 police stations, 
besides 424 municipal and town police, and 1,460 rural and road police. 
There is a large Central jail with a daily average of 1,292 prisoners in 
1903, while the District jail contained 411. 

The District of Benares contains a higher proportion of persons able 
to read and write than any other in the United Provinces, except the 
Himalayan Districts. In 1901, 4-9 per cent, of the population (11-2 
males and 08 females) were literate. The peculiar conditions of 
Benares city are largely responsible for this. The number of public 
institutions fell from 142 with 6,933 pupils in 1880-1 to 92 with 5,274 
pupils in 1 900- 1. In 1903-4 there were 209 such institutions with 
12,006 pupils, of whom 1,165 were girls, besides 130 private institutions 
with 3,471 pupils, including 879 girls. Three colleges and a collegiate 
school are maintained in Benares City, but the majority of schools 
are of the primary class. Four schools and colleges are managed by 
Government, and 118 by the District and Municipal boards. The total 


expenditure in 1903-4 was 1-3 lakhs, of which Provincial revenues 
contributed Rs. 58,000, Local funds Rs. 29,000, and fees Rs. 25,000. 

There are 1 1 hospitals and dispensaries, with accommodation for 
330 in-patients. In 1903 the number of cases treated was 124,000, 
including 3,819 in-patients. The total expenditure was Rs. 27,000, 
chiefly met from Local funds. 

In 1903-4 the number of persons successfully vaccinated was 26,000, 
representing a proportion of 28 per 1,000 of population. Vaccination 
is compulsory only in the municipality and cantonment of Benares. 

^District Gazetteer (1884, under revision); F. W. Porter, Survey and 
Revision of Records in Benares E)istriit (iSSj) ; A. Shakespear, Selections 
from the Duncan Records (Benares, 1873).] 

Benares Tahsil. — Northern tahsil of Benares District, United 
Provinces, comprising the parganas of Dehat Amanat, Kaswar Sarkar, 
Pandrah, Katehir, Sultanipur, Kol Aslah, Athganwan, Shivapur, and 
Jalhupur, and lying between 25° 12' and 25° 35' N. and 82° 40' and 83° 
12' E., with an area of 464 square miles. Population fell from 580,467 
in 1891 to 557,541 in 1901. There are 98q villages and two towns, 
including Benares City (population, 209,331), the District and 
tahsil head-quarters. The demand for land revenue in 1903-4 was 
Rs. 4,94,000, and for cesses Rs. 77,000. The density of population, 
1,202 persons per square mile, is considerably above the District average, 
owing to the inclusion of a large city. The tahsil forms an elevated 
plain, bounded in part on the south and east by the Barna and Ganges, 
and on the north by the GumtT. The northern portion is also drained 
by the Nand, a tributary of the Gumti. The soil is generally a rich 
loam, and irrigation is provided chiefly by wells, though tanks or 
ihils serve a small area. In 1903-4 the area under cultivation was 
326 square miles, of which 159 were irrigated. 

Benares Estate. — An estate, usually known as the Family Domains 
of the Maharaja of Benares, comprising the tahsils of Gangapur in 
Benares District and Korh or Bhadohl and Chakia in Mirzapur Dis- 
trict, United Provinces. The total area is 988 square miles, and the 
revenue due to Government from Gangapur and Korh is 3 lakhs, 
Chakia being held revenue-free, while the rent-roll is about 10 lakhs. 
The Maharaja is exempted from the payment of cesses on account 
of the Domains, and under Act I of 1904 has recently been authorized 
to collect certain rates which will be applied in the same manner as 
local rates in ordinary Districts. Besides his Family Domains the 
Maharaja owns a large area of za/ninddri land in the Districts of 
Benares, GhazTpur, Ballia, Jaunpur, Allahabad, Mirzapur, and Shahabad 
(Bengal), with a rent-roll of 7 lakhs, paying 3-9 lakhs revenue and 
Rs. 59,000 cesses. The founder of the family was Mansa Ram, a 
Bhuinhar, who entered the service of Rustam All, goverjior of Benares 


under the Nawab of Oudh. In 1738 Mansa Ram obtained the engage- 
ment for the revenue of the sarkars of Jaunpur, Chunar, and Benares in 
the name of his son, Balwant Singh, on whom the title of Raja was 
conferred. Balwant Singh was subsequently recognized as the zainlnddr 
of Gangcipur, and in 1754 he received a revenue-free grant of Chakia on 
payment of Rs. 80,000. Later, on the accession of Shuja-ud-daula, half 
the revenues of Korh were granted to him in jagir. In 1764, after the 
battle of Buxar, the territory held by Balwant Singh under the Nawab 
of Oudh was granted by the emperor to the Company, but the Court 
of Directors disapproved the treaty and restored the sovereign rights to 
the Nawab. Balwant Singh was succeeded in 1770 by Chet Singh; 
and the sovereignty of the tract under his control was ceded to the 
Company in 1775. ^" agreement was made with Chet Singh confirming 
him in his possessions subject to the payment of revenue. In 1778 the 
Raja was required to pay for the maintenance of three battalions of 
sepoys, and in 1780 he was further required to pay for cavalry for the 
general service of the state. Chet Singh manifested great reluctance to 
meet these demands, and was also believed to be disaffected, and to be 
holding correspondence with the enemies of the British Government. 
He Avas accordingly arrested in August, 1781, by order of Warren 
Hastings, who had come to Benares ; but his retainers collected and 
cut to pieces the troops guarding the Raja, and Hastings was compelled 
to withdraw to Chunar. A month later, when a sufficient force had 
been collected, the Raja's strongholds were reduced, and Chet Singh 
fled to Gwalior, where he died in 1810. The zamlndari was then 
granted to Mahip Narayan, a grandson of Balwant Singh, at an enhanced 
revenue ; and the criminal administration of the province, as well as the 
civil and criminal administration of the city of Benares, together with 
control over the mint, was taken out of the new Raja's hands. In 
1787 Mr. Duncan, the Resident at Benares, called attention to the 
bad condition of the province, owing to maladministration, and was 
authorized to carry out a settlement of revenue with the actual land- 
holders, and to institute other reforms. A formal agreement was con- 
cluded in 1794, by which the lands held by the Raja in his own right 
were separated from the rest of the province, of which he was simply 
administrator. The direct control of the latter was assumed by the 
Government, and an annual income of i lakh of rupees was assured to 
the Raja, while the former constituted the Domains. Within the 
Domains the Raja has revenue powers similar to those of a Collector in 
a British District, which are delegated to certain of his own officials. 
All civil cases which are in any way connected with land, and all rent 
cases arising within the Domains, are tried in the Raja's own courts. 
The Commissioner of the Benares Division is Superintendent of the 
Domains, and an appeal lies from all decisions of the Raja's courts to 


the Superintendent. The Deputy-Superintendent, who is a member 
of the Indian Civil Service stationed at Mirzapur, exercises most of the 
powers of the Superintendent, subject to the control of the latter. 
Appeals lie from the Superintendent or Deputy-Superintendent to the 
Board of Revenue, which stands in the place of the High Court for such 
land suits as would be tried by the ordinary civil courts. The tenures 
hi the Domains differ in some respects from those in ordinary British 
territory. Under-proprietors are called majiziir'idars or iiiukarrarldat-s ; 
the revenue payable by the former to the Raja is subject to revision at 
a settlement made under his orders, while the latter pay a fixed sum. 
The tenant rights resemble those of tenants at fixed rates and occupancy 
tenants in the neighbouring Districts ; but the occupancy right is ac- 
quired after twenty years instead of twelve, and is transferable by sale, as 
well as heritable. The piresent Raja,Sir Prabhu Narayan Singh, G.C.I.E., 
who succeeded in 1889, holds the personal title of Maharaja Bahadur, 
and the privilege of being addressed by the title of ' Highness.' He 
is also authorized to possess 8 cannon and maintain 700 armed retainers. 

[JVarrafive of the Insurrection in the Zemeedary of Banaris (Calcutta, 
1782, reprinted at Roorkee, 1853); A. Shakespear, Selections from the 
Dimcan Records (Benares, 1873); F. Curwen, The Bulwuntnamah 
(Allahabad, 1875); H. B. Punnett, Alanual of the Family Domains 

Benares City {Banaras, or Kasi). — Head-quarters of Benares 
District, United Provinces, with cantonment, situated in 25° 18' N. and 
83*^ i'' E., on the left bank of the Ganges ; distant by rail from Calcutta 
479 miles, and from Bombay 941 miles. The city is the second largest 
in the United Provinces ; but its population includes a large number of 
pilgrims and is liable to considerable fluctuations. The numbers at the 
last four enumerations were as follows : (1872) 175,188, (1881) 214,758, 
(1891) 219,467, and(i90i) 209,331. In 1901 the population included 
153,821 Hindus, 53,566 Musalmans, and about 1,200 Christians. The 
cantonment contained a population of 4,958, included in the figures 
already given. 

The ancient name of the city of Benares was VaranasI, the etymology 
of which is uncertain ; its popular derivation from Varana (Barna) and 
AsT, the names of the two small streams which confine the modern city, 
is, however, untenable. A more recent name, still commonly used by 
Hindus in all parts of India, is Kasi or KasI, w^hich is possibly taken 
from the name of a tribe of Aryas, though popularly explained as 
meaning ' bright.' In the eighteenth century the city was officially 
known as Muhammadabad. The great antiquity of Benares is attested 
by its mention in both the Mahabharata and the Ramayana ; but details 
of its history are very scanty, and even the Puranas record only 
one dynasty of kings. It was close to Benares, in the deer-park which 


is identified with the country round Sarnath, that Gautama Buddha 
commenced to preach. In the seventh century a. d., Hiuen Tsiang 
found the kingdom of Benares inhabited mostly by Hindus, and only 
a few followers of the law of Buddha. The city at that time contained 
twenty Hindu temples, with a gigantic copper image of Siva. It is 
probable that Benares was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni early in the 
eleventh century, and nearly 200 years later it fell into the hands 
of Muhammad Ghorl. Throughout the Musalman period its political 
importance was slight, and the active cultivation of the Hindu religion 
was forcibly restrained. In the eighteenth century, as has been shown 
in the history of Benares District, the city and surrounding country 
gradually came under the Raja of Benares, and finally in 1775 were 
ceded to the British. 

Benares or Kasi is at the present time one of the holiest places to the 
orthodox Hindu, and attracts great concourses of pilgrims, while many 
of its inhabitants are persons who have settled there in the hope 
of salvation through a death within its sacred precincts. The native 
town lies for four miles along a kankar ridge on the north-west bank of 
the Ganges, which forms a slightly curved reach below it, thus permit- 
ting the eye to take in at a single sweep the long line of picturesque 
ghats surmounted by irregular buildings of various styles and propor- 
tions, the slender white minarets of Aurangzeb's mosque rising high 
above the general level. For a distance of from one to two miles from 
the bank the city consists of winding labyrinths and narrow alleys, lined 
by many-storeyed buildings used as shops or private houses, with 
innumerable shrines in every part, ranging from a shapeless fragment 
of stone smeared with vermilion to magnificent temples. Raja Man 
Singh of Jaipur is said to have presented 100,000 temples to the city 
in a single day. 

The ordinary throng of a large city is swollen by the presence 
of strings of pilgrims being conducted from one to another of the more 
important shrines, and by the number of sacred bulls which wander 
about the streets. Along the ghats strange figures of religious mendi- 
cants and ascetics are to be seen, some superintending the ablutions of 
the pilgrims in the sacred stream of the Ganges, while others practise 
devotions or various forms of austerity. Within the city there are many 
handsome houses substantially built and elaborately decorated ; but the 
narrow, dirty, and crowded environments usually disappoint the visitor, 
after the high expectations aroused by the view from the river. Even 
the temples are generally small, and are not more than a few hundred 
years old. From a religious point of view, the Bisheshwar or Golden 
Temple, dedicated to Siva, is the most important. Siva in the form 
of Bisheshwar is regarded as the spiritual monarch of the city, and this 
is the holiest of all the holy places in the sacred city. It contains 


the venerated symbol of the god, a plain lingam of uncarved stone. 
The building is not of striking dimensions and has no great pretensions 
to beauty, but is crowned by a dome and spire covered with copper, 
which was gilded at the cost of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore. It 
was built by Ahalya Bai, the Maratha regent of Indore. Subordinate 
to Bisheshwar is Bhaironath, who acts as his minister and magistrate. 
The other temples to which pilgrims are specially directed are those 
of Bhaironath, and his staff or Dandpani, Ganesh or Dhundi Raj, 
Vindumadhava or Vishnu, Durga, and Annpurna. These were chiefly 
built by Marathas during the seventeenth century, and are all compara- 
tively small. The Durga temple is, however, remarkable for its simple 
and graceful architecture, and is situated in the outskirts on the bank of 
a large tank. Along the river front the Dasashwamedh, Manikarnika, 
and Panchganga ghats are the most esteemed. At the first of these 
Brahma is said to have performed ten horse-sacrifices. Near the second 
is situated the famous well, which Vishnu dug with his discus and filled 
with his sweat, forming one of the chief attractions for pilgrims, 
thousands of whom annually bathe in the fetid water. The Panchganga 
ghat is so named from the belief that five rivers meet at it, but 
the Ganges alone is visible to the gross material eye. Raja Jai Singh's 
observatory, built in 1693, is a handsome and substantial building 
overlooking the Man Mandir ^M/. It includes a number of instruments 
which have been allowed to fall out of repair. Close by stands the 
Nepalese temple, which is ornamented by a series of obscene wooden 
carvings. The huge mass of Aurangzeb's mosque, built from the 
remains of a temple, towers high above a steep cliff over the Panchganga 
ghat, and is the most conspicuous building in the city when seen from 
the river. Another mosque, also built on the remains of a temple 
of Bisheshwar, stands close to the Gyan Bapl or ' well of knowledge,' 
where Siva is said to reside. The older buildings and remains are 
found chiefly in the north and west of the present city, and the ancient 
site appears to have been situated on both banks of the Barna. This 
stream flows into the Ganges about a mile beyond the present northern 
limit of the city. West of the city lies the suburb of Sigra, the seat of 
the chief missionary institutions. Northwards, the Sikraul cantonments 
and parade-ground stretch away to the bank of the Barna, which is here 
crossed by two bridges, of stone and iron respectively. The civil 
station, including the courts and Central jail, occupies the northern bank. 
The most noteworthy of the modern buildings are the Mint, the 
Government College, the Prince of Wales's Hospital, built by the gentry 
of Benares in commemoration of the visit of His Majesty to the city in 
1876, the police station, and the town hall, a fine building constructed 
at the expense of a Maharaja of Vizianagram. Benares is the head- 
quarters of the Commissioner of the Division, who is also a Political 


Agent for the payment of certain pensions ; of an Inspector of Schools, 
and of an Executive Engineer in the Roads and Buildings branch. It 
contains three male and three female hospitals, besides a lunatic asylum, 
a leper asylum, a poorhouse, and branches of the Church Missionary, 
London Missionary, Baptist, and Wesleyan Societies. Some members of 
the ex-royal family of Delhi reside at Benares in a large building called 
the Shivala, which was once occupied by Chet Singh. 

A municipality was constituted in 1868. During the ten years 
ending 1901 the income averaged 4-8 laklis, and the expenditure 
5'8 lakhs ; the latter, however, included capital expenditure on water- 
supply and drainage. In 1903-4, excluding a loan of 1-5 lakhs, the 
income was 4-7 lakhs, the chief items being octroi (3 lakhs), water rate 
(Rs. 83,000), other taxes (Rs. 34,000), and rents (Rs. 30,000). The 
expenditure amounted to 6-4 lakhs, including repayment of loans and 
interest (r-i lakhs), water-supply and drainage (capital, 2-2 lakhs, and 
maintenance, Rs. 72,000), conservancy (Rs. 70,000), roads and build- 
ings (Rs. 28,000), public safety (Rs. 50,000), and administration and 
collection (Rs. 40,000). An excellent system of water-works was con- 
structed between 1890 and 1892, which has cost upwards of 26 lakhs. 
In 1903-4 the daily consumption of filtered water amounted to over 
16 gallons per head of population, and there were more than 5,000 
house-connexions. Water is pumped from the Ganges and filtered 
before use. An elaborate drainage scheme is still under construction, 
which is estimated to cost 15 lakhs. It includes a system of sewers, 
with house-connexions. 

The cantonment is usually garrisoned by British and Native infantry. 
The receipts and expenditure of the cantonment fund during the ten 
years ending 1901 averaged Rs. 12,500. In 1903-4 the income was 
Rs. 12,700 and the expenditure Rs. 13,100. 

The wealth of Benares depends largely upon the constant influx of 
pilgrims from every part of India, whose presence lends the same 
impetus to the local trade as that given to European watering-places by 
the season visitors. Some of the pilgrims are Rajas or other persons 
of importance, who bring considerable retinues, and become large 
benefactors to the various shrines and temples. Hindu princes of 
distant States pride themselves upon keeping up a ' town residence ' 
in holy Kasi. The city thus absorbs a large share of the agricultural 
produce of the District, and it also acts as a distributing centre. Its 
manufactures include ornamental brass-ware, silk, both plain and 
embroidered with gold and silver, jewellery, and lacquered wooden 
toys. The brass-ware has a considerable reputation among Europeans 
as well as natives. The trade in silk kamkhwdb or kincob, woven with 
gold and silver, is decreasing as native taste inclines towards European 
fabrics. A good deal of German-silver work is now turned out in 


Benares, employing a number of wcjrkmcn who formerly prepared gold 
and silver wire. This is perhaps the most flourishing industry of the 
place. The only factories are three ice works, two brickyards, two 
chemical works, and a few large printing presses. 

The Benares College was opened in 1791, and the fine building in 
which it is now housed was completed in 1852. It is maintained by 
Government, and includes a first-grade college with 97 students in 1904, 
and a Sanskrit college with 427 students. The Central Hindu College, 
opened in 1898, is aflfiliated to the Allahabad University up to the 
B.A. standard. It contained 104 students in the college and 204 in 
the school department in 1904. It was founded largely through the 
efforts of non-Indian theosophists, and is intended to combine Hindu 
religious and ethical training, on an unsectarian basis, with modern 
Western education. The missionary societies maintain a number of 
schools for both boys and girls ; and the Church Missionary Society is 
in charge of Jai Narayan's collegiate school, which was founded by a 
Hindu, after whom it is called, in 1818, and presented to the Society. 
The same society manages a normal school for female teachers. The 
municipality maintains fifteen schools and aids seven others, attended 
by more than 1,300 pupils. Benares has produced a number of Hindu 
scholars and authors, and was the residence of the celebrated religious 
teachers Vallabhacharya, Kabir, and Tulsi Das, and the nineteenth- 
century author and critic, Harish Chandra. The Sanskrit college 
issues a periodical called The Pandit, dealing with Sanskrit learning, 
and a society called the Nagari Pracharini Sabha has recently com- 
menced the publication of ancient vernacular texts. A few newspapers 
are published, but none of importance. 

[Rev. M. A. Sherring, The Saered City of the Hindus (1868).] 
Bendamurlanka. — Village in Godavari District, Madras. See 


Bengal ' (mf)re precisely designated. Lower Bengal). — The largest 

1 The ailicle was written before the changes were carried out which constituted 
the new Province of Eastern Bengal and Assam. These were determined upon 
to lighten the excessive burden imposed upon the (lovemment of Bengal b)' the 
increase of population, the expansion of commercial and industrial eiUcrprise, and the 
growing complexity of all branches of administration. The Province had hitherto 
comprised an area of nearly 190,000 square miles, with a population of over 78 
millions, and a gross revenue amounting to more than 1100 lakhs. In these circum- 
stances, the relief of the P.engal Government had become an administrative necessity, 
and it was decided that it could be afforded only by actual transference of territory 
and not by organic changes in the form of government. Accordingly, on October 16, 
1905, the Divisions of Dacca, Chittagong, and Rajshahi (except Darjeeling), tlie 
District of Malda, and the State of Hill Tippera were transferred to the newly formed 
Province of Eastern Bengal and Assam, the area under the jurisdiction of the Bengal 
Government being thus reduced by 50,000 square miles and its population by 



and most jiopulous Province in India. It lies between 19° 18' and 
28° 15' N. and between 82° and 97° PI, and contains four large sub- 
provinces, Bengal proper, Bihar, Chota Nagpur, and Orissa. 'Hie two 
former comprise the lower plains and deltas of the (langes and the 
Brahmaputra. Chota Nagpur is a rugged tract and jungle, broken by 
deep ravines and river valleys. The greater part of Orissa belongs to 
the same formation as Chota Nagpur : but along the coast there is a 
narrow belt of alluvium, formed from the silt deposited by the rivers, 
which drain the hills as th('y find their sluggish way to the sea. 

The Province is bounded on the north by Nepal and Tibet, and by 
the mighty chain of the Himalayas ; on the east by A.ssam and the 
continuation of the range of hills which divides Assam from Burma ; 
on the south by the Bay of Bengal and Madras ; and on the west by 
the United and the Central Provinces. 

The whole Province forms a Lieutenant-Governorship with an area' 
of 196,408 square miles, of which 84,728 square miles are included in 
Bengal proper, 44,259 in Bihar, 24,306 in Orissa, and 43,115 in Chota 
Nagpur. These figures include an unsurveyed tract of swamp and 
jungle on the fringe of the delta, the extent of which is about 6,600 
square miles. Of the total area, 157,796 square miles are British 
territory, while 38,612 square miles lie in the Native States attached 
to Bengal : namely, Cooch Behar, Sikkim, Hill Tippera*, and the 
Tributary States of Orissa and Chota Nagpur. 

According to Hindu legend, king Bali of the Lunar race had five 
sons, begotten for him on his queen Sudeshna by the Rishi 
Dirghatamas : namely, Anga, Vanga, Kalinga, Pundra, and Suhma. 
Each of these sons founded a kingdom that was named after him. 
Vanga ^ or Banga is said to have occupied the deltaic tract south of 
the Padma, lying between the BhagTrathi and the old course of the 

25,000,000. The five Hindi-spe.nking Native Stntes of Jashpur, Siirgnja, Udaipur", 
Korea, and Chang Bhakar were at the same time transferred to the Centrnl Provinces ; 
while the District of Sambalpur with the exception of two zaniindaris, and also the 
Oriya-speaking States of Patna, Kalahandi or Karond, Sonpiir, Bamra, and Kairakhol 
in the Central Provinces, were attached to l^engal. The result of these transfers of 
territory is that the Province as now constituted comprises an area of 148,592 square 
miles, with a population of 54,662,529 persons. In order to show the effect of this 
change in the constitution of the Province, footnotes have been added, where\er 
possible, giving statistics for the new area ; and the States, Divisions, Districts, and 
towns transferred from Bengal have been indicated by asterisks. 

' Of the total area of 148,592 square miles now included in Bengal, 35,576 square 
miles are in Bengal proper (including 5,700 square miles in the Sundarbans\ 43 524 
square miles are in Bihar, 41,789 in Orissa, and 27,703 in Chota Nagpur. Altogether, 
115,819 square miles are British territory and 32,773 square miles are Native .Slates. 

^ The v^'ord Vanga first appears as the name of a country in the Aitareya 
Aranyaka (2-1-1). where its inhabitants are represented as eaters of indiscriminate 
food, and as progenitors of many children. 


Brahmaputra, and to have been conquered by the Pandava Bhini and 
also by Raghu. The inhabitants of this region are described in the 
Raghubaiisa as hving in boats, and as growing transplanted rice for 
their staple crop. In the time of Ballal Sen the tract immediately to 
the east of the Bhagirathi was called Bagri, and Banga occupied 
the eastern portion of the delta. The tract west of the Bhagirathi was 
known as Rarh, which in Prakrit was softened to Lala. Possibly 
Bengal or Bangala is a combination of Banga Lala, and, in any case, 
there can be no doubt that the word is connected with the ancient 
Vanga. During the period of Muhammadan rule the term was applied 
specifically to the whole delta, but later conquests to the east of the 
Brahmaputra and north of the Padma were eventually included in it. 
Under the British the name has at different times borne very different 
significations. All the north-eastern factories of the East India 
Company, from Balasore on the Orissa coast to Patna in the heart of 
Bihar, belonged to the ' Bengal Establishment,' and as its conquests 
crept higher up the rivers, the term continued to be the designation of 
the whole of its possessions in Northern India. From the time of 
Warren Hastings to that of Lord William Bentinck, the official style 
of the Governor-General was ' Governor-General of Fort William in 
Bengal.' In 1836, when the Upper Provinces were formed into a 
separate administration, they were designated the North-Western 
Provinces, in contradistinction to the Lower Provinces ; and although 
they, as well as Oudh, the Punjab, the Central Provinces, and Burma, 
were sometimes loosely regarded as forming the Bengal Presidency, the 
word was ordinarily used in this sense only for military purposes, to 
denote the sphere of the old army of Bengal, as distinguished from 
those of Bombay and Madras. In its ordinary acceptation, the term 
now covers only the jurisdiction of the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal. 
The term ' Bengal proper ' has a still more restricted meaning, and 
indicates, roughly speaking, the country east of the Bhagirathi and 
Mahananda, where the prevalent language is Bengali. 

Bengal contains tracts of very different physical features, including 
the alluvial plains of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, and the 
deltas of those rivers, which form the greater part of 

Ph VS1C3 1 

Bihar and Bengal proper ; the crystalline plateau asoects 

of Chota Nagpur, including the Tributary States 
of Orissa, and the hills stretching to the Ganges at Rajmahal ; the 
narrow strip of alluvium comprising Orissa ; and lastly, a small portion 
of the sub-Himalayas, the Sikkim State, and a tract which once be- 
longed to Sikkim but now forms the main part of Darjeeling District. 
It is thought that there was formerly a continuous chain connecting 
the Rajmahal range with the remains of the ' peninsular system,' still 
in existence in Assam, and that their subsidence was due t(j the 

o 2 


same disturbances that resulted iti the elevation of tlie Himalayas. 
The hollow thus formed has been filled in by the fluvial deposits of 
the Himalayan rivers ; but the gradual raising of the surface has been, 
to a great extent, discounted by fresh subsidences, which have been 
accompanied by upheavals elsewhere. However this may be, the 
uplands of Chota Nagpur date from a very ancient period, while the 
Himalayas were thrown up at a time which, from a geological point 
of view, is com{)aratively recent, and the alluvium in the greater part 
of Bengal proper has been deposited at a much later date than that 
in the Bihar plain west of Rajmahal. 

The sub-province of Bihar occupies the north-western quarter of 
Bengal. It is divided by the (ianges into two parts — north and south. 
North Bihar is a level plain falling very gradually from the foot of the 
Himalayas, and with a belt of fairly high land along the bank of the 
Ganges. Between these two extremes the general elevation is lower, 
and considerable areas are liable to damage by floods. 'Jlie soil 
consists mainly of the older alluvium or bdngar, a yellowish clay, with 
frequent deposits of kankar \ but in many parts this has been cut away 
by the torrents that rush down from the Himalayas, and the lowland, 
through which these rivers have at one time or another found an exit 
to the Ganges, is composed of more recent deposits of sand and silt 
brought down by them when in flood. In South Bihar the effects of 
recent fluvial action are less marked, especially towards the east, where 
the outlying hills and undulations of the Chota Nagpur plateau trench 
more and more upon the Gangetic plain until, at Monghyr, they extend 
as far as the river itself, and ofier an effectual opposition to the 
oscillations in its course which the more yielding alluvial soil is unable 
to prevent elsewhere. The Bihar of our administration contains two 
tracts which do not properly belong to it. The Santal Parganas in 
its physical and ethnic features is an integral part of Chota Nagpur, 
while Malda* and the eastern part of Purnea belong to Bengal 

The latter sub-province naturally subdivides itself into four distinct 
parts. West Bengal, or the part west of the Bhagirathi, lies outside the 
true delta. The eastern portion of this tract is low and of alluvial 
formation ; but farther west laterite begins to predominate, and the 
surface rises and becomes more and more undulating and rocky, until 
at last it merges in the uplands of Chota Nagpur. Central Bengal, or 
the part lying south of the Padma, between the Bhagirathi on the west 
and the Madhumatl on the east, was formerly the Ganges delta ; but it 
has gradually been raised above flood-level, and the great rivers which 
formerly flowed through it, depositing their fertilizing silt, yielding an 
ample supply of wholesome drinking-water, and draining it, have shrunk 
to insignificance. Their mouths have silted up and their banks are 


often higher than the surrounding country, whicli they are no longer 
able to drain. East l^engal, (jr the country east of the Madhumati, 
includes the present delta of the Ganges and Ikahmaputra, where the 
process of land-formation is still going on ; but in the south-east the hill 
range that divides Assam from Burma projects into it, while on the 
confines of Dacca* and Mymensingh* the Madhupur Jungle*, a tract 
of (///aw'-laterite, rises above the recent alluvium. North Bengal lies 
north of the Padma and is wholly alluvial, with the exception of the 
Himalayan State of Sikkim, the greater part of the District of Darjeeling, 
and an elevated tract known as the Barind*, similar to the Madhupur 
jungle, which occupies a considerable area on the confines of Dinajpur*, 
Malda*, Rajshahi*, and Bogra*. In spite of its proximity to the hills, 
the general level of the alluvial country is very low, especially in Cooch 
Behar, Rangpur*, and the central part of Rajshahi*; and it sufiers from 
obstructed drainage, due to the silting-up of the rivers and the gradual 
raising of their beds. 

The plains of Orissa are a flat alluvial tract of which the centre and 
south comprise the delta of the Mahanadi, and the north has been 
formed by the fluvial deposits of the rivers which drain the southern 
flank of the Chota Nagpur plateau. Behind these plains rises a belt 
of hills, which gradually merge in the rocky uplands of the Tributary 

Chota Nagpur, with the Santal Parganas and the Tributary States of 
Orissa, belongs throughout to the same geological formation. On the 
whole, the level rises gradually towards the north and west, but some of 
the highest peaks are in the south. 

The main axis of the Himalayas skirts the northern boundary of 
Sikkim, dividing it from Tibet; but one of the loftiest mountains in 
the world, Kinchinjunga (28,146 feet), lies within Sikkim, and three 
outliers project far into the plains of Bengal. The Singalila range 
strikes southward from Kinchinjunga in 88° E., and forms the boundary 
between Nepal and Darjeeling, its highest peaks being Singalila (12,130 
feet), Sandakphu (11,930 feet), Phalut (ii,8ii feet), and Sabargajni 
(11,636 feet), and the connected ranges and spurs covering the greater 
part of Darjeeling District. Fifty miles to the eastward, the Chola 
range runs southward from the Dongkya peak (23,190 feet), and divides 
Sikkim from Tibet and Bhutan on the east ; it is pierced by the 
Jelep La Pass, at 14,390 feet, and separates the basin of the Tista 
on the west from that of the Torsa on the east. At Gipmochi (the 
tri-junction point of the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet boundary) this range 
bifurcates into two great spurs ; one runs to the south-east and the other 
to the south-west, including between them the valley of the Jaldhaka. 
From Chumalhari (23,933 feet) another great ridge strikes south 
through Bhutan between the basins of the Torsa (the Chumbi \'alley) 


ami Kaidak rivers, terminating in the Sinchula hills which form the 
boundary between Jalpaiguri District* and Bhutan. The sub-Himalayan 
zone is represented by the Someswar hills (2,270 feet), which form the 
boundary between Champaran District and Nepal. 

The Chota Nagpur plateau is contiguous to the Vindhyan system and 
attains an elevation of 2,000 feet. There are in reality three separate 
plateaux divided by belts of rugged hill and ravine ; and a confused 
mass of hills fringes the plateaux, extending in the Rajmahal Hills 
and at Monghyr north-east to the Ganges, and southwards over the 
Orissa Tributary States, while outlying spurs project far into the plains 
of South Bihar and West Bengal, Parasnath (4,480 feet) in Hazari- 
bagh District is the loftiest of these spurs, and the Saranda hills in 
Singhbhiim rise to 3,500 feet. 

On the south-eastern frontier a succession of low ranges running 
north and south covers the east of the Chittagong Division* and Hill 
Tippera*. The SItakund* hill rises to 1,155 ^^^'^', '^ut the ranges in 
the Chittagong Hill Tracts* attain a greater altitude, the highest peaks 
being Keokradang (4,034 feet) and Pyramid hill (3,017 feet). 

The most distinctive feature of the Province is its network of rivers — 
the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, with their affluents and distributaries. 
These rivers are of use in many ways. They furnish an admirable and 
cheap means of transport ; they contain an inexhaustible supply of fish; 
and they bring down vast quantities of fertilizing silt, which they distri- 
bute over the surface of the delta. The Ganges, which enters on the 
western frontier, flows almost due east, with numerous oscillations, as 
far as Rajmahal, where it escapes from the restraining influence of the 
hard rocks of the Chota Nagpur formation and enters the loose alluvium 
of Bengal proper. Until some 400 years ago, its subsequent course was 
due south, down the channel of the Bhagirathl By degrees this 
channel silted up and became unequal to its task, and the main stream 
of the Ganges was thus obliged to seek another outlet. In this way the 
Ichamati, the Jalangi, and the Matabhanga became in turn the main 
stream. The river tended ever eastwards, and at last, aided perhaps by 
one of those periodic subsidences of the unstable surface of the country 
to which reference has already been made, it broke eastwards, right 
across the old drainage channels, until it was met and stopped by the 
Brahmaputra. The river, below the point where the Bhagirathi leaves 
it, is known as the Padma. 

Having its source at no great distance from that of the Ganges, but 
on the other side of the Himalayas, the Brahmaputra flows eastwards 
through Tibet, where it is known as the Tsan-po, until it reaches a point 
due north of the eastern extremity of Assam, when it takes a southerly 
course and, threading its way through the Eastern Himalayas, emerges 
in the [)lains of Assam. It then turns westwards and, after traversing 


the Assam Valley, enters Bengal from the north-east. It formerly 
followed the contour of the Garo Hills and, bisecting the District of 
Mymensingh*, joined the Meghna, or the united channel of the rivers 
which drain the Surma Valley and the surrounding hills of the Assam 
range and Lushai. This is the course shown on the maps of Rennell's 
survey in 1785 ; and it was not till the beginning of the nineteenth 
century that, having raised its bed and lost its velocity, it was no longer 
able to hold its own against the Meghna, and suddenly broke westwards. 
Its new course runs due south from Dhubri and joins the Padma near 
GoALUNDO*. From this point these two great rivers travel down 
a common channel and vie with each other in depositing their silt in 
the eastern corner of the delta, where the land area is now being rapidly 
thrust forward. They discharge into the Bay of Bengal down the 
Meghna estuary. 

Along the northern frontier of Bengal numerous rivers debouch from 
the Himalayas. There are reasons for supposing that formerly, when 
the Ganges and the Brahmaputra were still 150 miles apart, many of 
them united to form a great independent river which flowed southwards 
to the sea, sometimes east of the Barind down the channel of the Kara- 
TOYA, and sometimes west of it by way of the Mahananda. It has 
been suggested that the Haringhata was the original estuary of the 
Karatoya and its affluents, and it is possible that the Bhairai; was the 
ancient channel of the Mahananda. Its tortuous course can still be 
traced on both sides of the Jalangi and the Matabhanga ; and it is only 
near the Padma, almost opposite the point where the Mahananda flows 
into it, that all upward traces of this old river disappear. At the present 
time the chief Himalayan tributaries of the Ganges in this Province 
are the Gandak, the Kosi, and the Mahananda, while the Tlsta — the 
modern representative of the Karatoya — is an affluent of the Brahma- 
putra. On its right bank the Ganges receives the Son from Chota 
Nagpur ; and its ancient channel, the Bhaglrathi, which, in the latter 
part of its course, is called the Hooghly, is augmented from the same 
direction by the waters of the Damodar and the Rupnarayan. Farther 
south, in Oribsa, several rivers, draining the Chota Nagpur plateau, find 
an exit to the sea independently of the great fluvial system described 
above. Of these the chief are the Subarnarekha, Baitarani, 
BrahmanI, and Mahanadi. 

In a level alluvial country like Bengal, where the soil is composed of 
loose and yielding materials, the courses of the rivers are constantly 
shifting ; land is cut away from one bank and thrown up on the other, 
and the definition and regulation of the alluvial rights of the riparian 
proprietors, and of the state, form the subject of a distinct branch of 
Anglo-Indian jurisprudence. 

In spite of the dead level and the consequent absence of variety, the 


scenery of Bengal proper and Orissa has a distinct charm of its own. 
Even in the dry months the groves of bamboos and of mango, areca 
and coco-nut palm, tamarind, ///^r/ and other trees, in which the home- 
stead lands of the people are buried, afford a profusion of green vegeta- 
tion very restful to the eye, while in the rains, from the time when tlie 
young rice seedlings cover the ground with a delicate green sward until 
December, when the golden heads of the mature plants fall before the 
sickle, the landscape verges very closely on the beautiful. In South Bihar, 
the village sites are, for the most part, devoid of trees, and the houses are 
crowded together in inartistic confusion. Except for occasional mango 
groves and the trees on the steeper hills or along some of the main 
roads, there is very little vegetation when the crops are off the ground, 
and the prospect is bare and arid, until the rains cause the maize, 
millets, and early rice to germinate. In North Bihar trees are more 
plentiful, though much less so than in Bengal proper. The Chota 
Nagpur plateau is a tangled mass of rock and forest. The outlook is 
always diversified, and from the higher points magnificent views are 

In their upper reaches the rivers have a rapid flow and carry away the 
soil ; but when they enter the level flats of Bengal proper, their speed 
is reduced, and their torpid current is no longer able to support the 
solid matter hitherto held in suspension. They accordingly deposit it 
in their beds and on their banks, which are thus raised above the level 
of the surrounding country, until at last the river breaks through to the 
adjacent lowland and makes for itself a new bed, where it repeats the 
process. Great marshes or bils are often found within the enclosures 
thus formed by the high banks of rivers. These are generally connected 
with the outside rivers by khals or drainage channels ; but, owing to the 
tendency of all watercourses to silt up, they remain open only so long 
as the difference of level between the water in the basin and that outside 
is sufificiently great to maintain a flow which gives an efficient scour. 
The natural tendency of these swamps is to fill up ; in the rainy season 
the rivers drain into them and deposit their silt, and decayed vegetable 
matter also gradually accumulates. In this way, but for the vagaries of 
the rivers and fresh subsidences of the surface^ the irregularities in 
elevation would in course of time disappear. These marshes are met 
with all over Bengal proper ; but they are especially numerous in the 
south of Faridpur* and the west and north-west of Backergunge*, 
where the whole country is a succession of basins, full of water in the 
rains, but partially or wholly dry in the winter months. The largest of 
these depressions is the Chalan BTl*, lying partly in Rajshahi* and 
partly in Pabna*, which has a water area varying from about 20 square 
miles in the dry season to 150 in the rains. The average depth of 
water during the dry season is about 3 feet ; a tortuous navigable 


clianncl runs thi()UL;h it, with a depth of from 6 to 12 feet all the year 
round. In Bihar the number of these marshes is com[)aratively small, 
and they usually dry up during the eold season. The only lakes, pro- 
perly so called, are found in Champaran, where a chain of them (forty- 
three in number), covering an area of 139 square miles, runs through 
the centre of the District, marking the old bed of some extensive 
river which has now taken another course. 

The largest lake, if such it can be called, in the whole Province is 
the Chilka, in the south of Orissa, a pear-shaped expanse of water, 
44 miles long, with an area varying at different seasons from 344 to 
450 square miles. It was once doubtless a gulf of the sea, protected on 
the south by a barren spur of hills and on the north by the alluvial 
formation deposited by the MahanadT and other rivers. These two 
promontories are now joined by a bar of sand, thrown up by the winds 
of the south-west monsoon, which is steadily growing in breadth. 
P2arly in the nineteenth century the only opening had silted up, and an 
artificial mouth had to be cut, which still connects it with the sea. 
P>om December to June the water is salt ; hut when the rivers which 
feed it are in flood, the salt water is gradually driven out, and it 
becomes a fresh-water lake. It is slowly filling up, and its average 
depth is now only 3 to 5 feet. 

The process of land-formation, which is active along the shores of the 
Bay of Bengal, forms numerous islands, which tend to join the mainland 
as the intermediate channels silt up ; many of them are, however, still 
separated from the shore by broad channels. Sagar Island, off the 
mouth of the Hooghly, has for centuries been famous as the scene of 
an annual bathing festival, at the point where the sacred Changes merges 
its waters in the Bay. Dakhin Shahbazpur*, at the mouth of the 
Meghna, is the largest of the islands formed by the silt-laden waters of 
the Ganges and Brahmaputra, which have also created SandwIp* and 
Hatia* ; the former was long notorious as a nest of the Portuguese 
and Arakanese pirates who harried the coasts of Bengal in the seven- 
teenth century. Kutubdi.\* is an alluvial island off the Chittagong* 
coast which has also been formed by deposits of silt washed down from 
the Meghna ; the adjacent island of Maiskhal* has a backbone of low 
hills which rise abruptly from the sea. 

The coast-line of the Bay of Bengal is everywhere alluvial, and the 
harbours are situated up the rivers which until recently carried all the 
commerce of the country. Calcutta, 80 miles from the mouth of the 
Hooghly, absorbs almost the entire trade of the Province, the value of 
its imports and exports in 1903-4 having been 113 crores, or 75 millions 
sterling, out of a total for all Bengal of rather less than 118 crores. Of 
the entire volume of its trade loi crores is with foreign ports. 

Chittagong*, 12 miles up the Karnaphuli river, on the east side of 

20 2 BENGAL 

the Bay, is a much older i)t)rt tluiii ( 'alcutUi, hut has until lately served 
a very limited area, the principal business having been the shipment of 
jute carried in brigs from Narayanganj*. The Assam-Bengal Railway 
has now connected it with the Assam Valley, of which it promises to 
become the principal outlet. The value of its imports and ex[)orts in 
1903-4 was 4 crores or nearly 3 millions sterling. The Orissa ports 
include Balasore, False Point, and Puri ; but their trade is declin- 
ing owing to the competition of the East (.'oast Railway, and it was 
valued in 1903-4 at only 83 lakhs. 

As has already been stated, the greater part of the plains of Bengal 
is covered by alluvium. Little is known of the hills in the Chitlagong 
Hill Tracts* and Hill Tippera*, except that they are composed of 
Upper Tertiary rocks, and geological interest is confined to the Chota 
Nagpur plateau and to the portion of the Himalayas contained in 
Darjeeling and Sikkim. 

Gneissic rocks form the nucleus of the Chota Nagpur plateau, and 
are fringed on all sides by transition rocks, and freely interbedded with 
micaceous, siliceous, and hornblendic schists. The transition or sub- 
metamorphic rocks form groups of isolated hills in South Bihar, known 
as the Rajgir, Sheikhpura, Khafakpurj'and Gidhaur hills; and similar 
transition rocks are found in parts of Manbhum, Singhbhum, and 
Ranch! Districts. The transition rocks carry metalliferous lodes of 
gold, silver, copper, and lead, but so far none of these have proved 

Sandstones, shales, and limestones belonging to the Sasaram 
Vindhyan system occur near Rohtasgarh in Shahabad District. 

The Gondwana system contains coal-bearing strata, and is represented 
in the Rajmahal Hills, the Damodar valley, in several of the Chota 
Nagpur Districts, and in Orissa. At the base of this system lies the 
Talcher group of shale and sandstone, and above it the Karharbari 
sandstones, grits, and conglomerates, with seams of coal. This is super- 
posed by the Damodar series, which comprises in ascending order the 
Barakar group, ironstone shales, and the Raniganj beds. The Barakars 
consist of conglomerates, sandstones, shales, and coal ; and above them, 
in the Raniganj and a few other coal-fields of the Damodar valley, there 
is found a great thickness of black or grey shales, with bands and 
nodules of clay ironstone. The Raniganj beds comprise coarse and fine 
sandstones, with shales and coal-seams. 

Laterite (a porous argillaceous rock much impregnated with iron 
peroxide) is well developed on the west coast, and is traced northward 
from Orissa, through Midnapore, Burdwan, and Birbhiim, to the flanks 
of the Rajmahal Hills, where in places it is as much as 200 feet thick. 

Gneiss of the well-foliated type, frequently passing into mica schist, 
constitutes the greater portion of the Darjeeling Himalayas ; but sub- 


metaniorphic or transition rocks, known as the Daling series, are well 
represented in the Tista and the Rangit valleys, and in the outer hills 
south of Kurseong, while sandstones, conglomerates, and clays, referable 
to the Upper Tertiary period, occur as a narrow band fringing the base 
of the Himalayas. Intervening between the sub-metamorphics and 
the tertiaries there is a thin belt of Lower Gondwana rocks, which 
includes various alternations of sandstones or quartzite, shales, slates, 
and beds of friable coal. 

The vegetation of Bihar and Bengal proper is 'diluvial' : i.e. it is of 
the kind usually found in or near places liable to inundation, and most 
of the species, both wild and cultivated, if not cosmopolitan, are wide- 
spread in the eastern tropics. In Bihar the older alluvium, with mainly 
annual turf, has the crops and weeds of Upper India. Inundated tracts 
near rivers are often under tamarisk. Village shrubberies, except on 
abandoned sites, are scanty, and the forests in the south are open and 
park-like. Bengal proper has perennial turf. Except in the extreme 
north the forests are often mixed with reedy grasses, which are some- 
times replaced by savannahs. The river-beds are wide and often bare. 
East of the Bhagirathi the country is for the most part a half-aquatic 
rice plain, with patches of jungle on river banks, and shrubberies of 
semi-spontaneous species on the raised ground found near habitations 
and roadways. The marshes, pools, and sluggish streams are filled 
with water-plants. These conditions become intensified eastwards in 
the b'lls, which are rice swamps in the dry season but become inland 
fresh-water seas with grassy floating islets during the rains ; and still 
more so in the Sundarbans, where the partially-submerged muddy 
islands lying among interlacing brackish creeks are densely covered 
with Malayan shore forest and mangrove swamps. The hills on the 
extreme south-east are covered with forest, Indo-Chinese in character, 
without sal {Shorea ro/u/sta), but with giirja/i {Dipterocarpiis turbinatiis), 
unknown elsewhere. 

In the north the flora gradually changes from tropical to Himalayan. 
The lower ranges and the tarai beneath are covered with dense forest. 
On sandy or gravelly soils, the sal is the typical tree, while in marshy 
tracts the gab {Diospyros Embryopieris) and other like species are 
found. A similar forest skirts and ascends the hills of the Chota 
Nagpur plateau. The high lands above have a vegetation which 
is mainly of the Central Indian type, but that on the more elevated 
peaks is sub-temperate. The Orissa rice plain resembles that of Bengal 
proper. Except in the delta of the Mahanadi, which is occupied by 
a mangrove swamp, it is separated from the sea by sand-dunes covered 
with Coromandel coast plants. 

In ancient times Bengal was the home of numerous wild animals, 
and the ele[)hant, rhinoceros, and wild buffalo frefjuented the dense 


jungles which have long since given place U) cultivivtion. These 
animals have now disappeared from all but the most remote tracts, such 
as the Sundarbans and the jungles of Chittagong*, Jalpaigurl*, and the 
Orissa Tributary Stales. Practically the only large game remaining are 
tigers, leopards, bears, deer, and wild hog. Tigers are comparatively 
scarce, but still do a great deal of damage in some Districts ; leopards, 
deer, and wild hog are common in many parts ; and bears abound 
wherever there are rocky hills. Owing possibly to the absence of suit- 
able grazing, the domestic animals are of an inferior stamp. The cattle 
are small and weakl}', and the buffaloes also are a very degenerate breed 
compared with the wild stock from which they are descended. 

Although Bengal is situated almost entirely outside the tropical zone, 
its climate for about two-thirds of the year, i.e. from the middle of 
March to the end of October, is of the kind usually characterized as 
tropical ; it has a high temperature and humidity, and a dry and a wet 
season. During the other months the temperature is much lower, the 
humidity is slight or moderate, and the rainfall is generally scanty. The 
mean temperature during the cold-season months is about 64° and 
during the hot season about 83°. About the beginning of March, as 
the sun gains a higher altitude and the days grow longer, the tem- 
perature increases rapidly. The process is aided, in the greater part 
of Bengal proper and Orissa, by moisture-laden southerly winds from 
the Bay of Bengal, which give a fairly copious rainfall when weather 
is disturbed \ while in Bihar and part of North Bengal hot and dry 
westerly winds are prevalent in the daytime, but die away at night. 
From about the middle of May the south-west wind-current steadily 
strengthens, and, being diverted northwards by the mountain range on 
the western side of Burma, causes increasing rainfall in East Bengal. 
By the middle of June, in normal years, the monsoon has attained its 
full strength, and, flowing northwards, is checked and turned westwards 
by the Himalayan range. The moist current in its northward course 
is the cause of heavy rainfall near the coast and in the eastern Districts. 
Farther west the rainfall is more intermittent, and is due more to the 
cyclonic disturbances which develop at short intervals of two or three 
weeks in the north-west angle of the Bay and in Lower Bengal. These 
invariably move westwards, and in passing over the western Districts 
cause continuous and occasionally very heavy rainfall for several days 
at a time. From the beginning of September the south-west monsoon 
begins to fall off in strength. Cloud and rainfall are more intermittent, 
and are generally due to cyclonic storms, which begin to move more to 
the north and north-east than to the west. Temperature increases owing 
to the longer intervals of bright sunshine. Before the end of October 

' The local liot-season storms are known as ' nor'-westers.' They are geneially 
acconipaiiicil bv heavy rain and occasinnallv h\ hail. 


the south-west monsoon has ceased to affect the Province ; and, as 
during the latter half of that month pressure becomes higher in Bengal 
than over the Bay, northerly winds begin to set in. Being land winds, 
they carry but a small amount of moisture, and coming from the colder 
region in the north, their advent is followed by an immediate fall of 
temperature. Hence, during the months from November to February, 
fine dry weather, with an almost entire absence of cloud and rainfall, 
prevails in all parts of the Province. Occasional disturbances originating 
in, or proceeding from, the north-west of India pass from west to east 
over Bengal in January and February. The cyclonic winds which they 
cause are followed by the formation of general cloud, with irregular, but 
at times heavy, rainfall. 

Excluding the Darjeeling hills, where the mountain slopes cause an 
annual rainfall varying from 209 inches at Buxa* to 122 inches at 
Darjeeling, the areas of greatest precipitation are in the south-east, 
where the rainfall ranges between 100 and 140 inches. In the rest of 
East Bengal it is between 70 and 80 inches, but again rises in North 
Bengal to 84 inches in Rangpur*, and to between 100 and 130 inches 
in the submontane plains. In the coast Districts of Central and West 
Bengal and in Orissa, where the effect of cyclonic storms from the Bay 
is chiefly felt, the annual fall is generally from 60 to 70 inches, but in 
places it exceeds 80 inches. In the other Districts of Bengal proper, 
and in the east of Bihar, where the influence of mountain ranges and 
cyclonic storms is less apparent, the rainfall is lighter and more uniform, 
being generally between 50 and 60 inches. Farther west it diminishes 
to 45 inches in Chota Nagpur and to 42 inches in South Bihar. In the 
submontane tracts of North Bihar the annual fall varies from 50 to 
55 inches. 

The rainfall depends largely upon local conditions, and the fluctuations 
are irregular; but generally it was very deficient in 1873, in 1883 and 
1884, and in 1895 and 1896. The most marked deficiency was in 1873, 
when the fall was only between 50 and 60 per cent, of the normal. 
Heavy rainfall occurred throughout the Province in the years 1876, 
1886, and 1899 ; in other years heavy local falls occurred, e.g. in 
Lower Bengal in 1893 and 1900. If the variability be shown by the 
absolute range, that is, the difference between the heaviest and lightest 
rainfall on record expressed as a percentage of the normal, we find that 
it is greatest in the north-west of the Province and diminishes southward 
and eastward. In Bihar it is 108, in Chota Nagpur 87, in Orissa 87, 
in the central Districts 83, and in North and East Bengal about 72. 

One of the most remarkable features of the rainfall of Bengal is the 
occasional occurrence of excessive local precijiitation. Thus, ow 
September 25, 1899, a fall of 19^ inches was registered in Darjeeling, 
causing numerous landslips and some loss of life. The natural effect 


of a heavy downpour is to cause the rivers to rise and overflow tlioir 
banks, especially the rivers flowing from the Himalayas, which collect 
the rain-water more rapidly than do those in the plains. 'l"he most 
disastrous flood of this nature on record occurred in 1787, when the 
Tlsta suddenly burst its banks and spread itself over the whole District 
of Rangpur*. It is estimated that the direct loss of life due to 
drowning, and the indirect mortality on account of famine and disease, 
amounted to one-sixth of the entire District population. In the case 
of non-Himalayan rivers, the liability to damage is greatest where 
embankments have been thrown up to hold the river to its course. The 
effect of these embankments is that the water, which is flowing at a 
higher level than the surrounding country, suddenly rushes over them 
instead of rising gradually, as it would do if there was no embankment. 
Consequently, when a breach occurs, the water pours over the lower 
land beyond and does immense damage. In 1885, and again in 1890, 
when the great Lalitakuri embankment of the BhagTrathi gave way, the 
flood-water swept right across Murshidabad and Nadia Districts for 
a distance of more than 50 miles. 

The Province suffers even more from cyclones, especially on the sea- 
coast of East Bengal, where they often cause an inundation of salt water. 
The most striking features in these cyclones are the great barometric 
depression in the centre and the magnitude of the storm area. These 
two causes produce a large accumulation of water at and near the 
centre, which progresses with the storm and gives rise to a destructive 
storm-wave when the centre reaches a gradually shelving coast. This 
conjunction of adverse circumstances occurs more or less regularly 
at intervals of ten or twelve years. The worst of the recent calamities 
of this nature was in 1876, when a great part of Backergunge* and 
the adjoining Districts was submerged to a depth of from 10 to 45 feet. 
Nearly 74,000 persons were drowned in Backergunge* alone, and the 
cholera epidemic which followed carried off close on 50,000 more. On 
October 24, 1897, Chittagong District* was devastated by a similar 
but more local catastrophe; 14,000 persons were drowned and nearly 
three times that number died of the diseases that followed. Tidal 
waves have more than once caused great damage to the shipping in the 
HooGHLY ; and although Calcutta itself is so far from the sea, it is by 
no means certain that it is beyond the reach of a bore of exceptional 
height and momentum. Great damage is occasionally caused by 
cyclones on the sea-coast of Orissa, and in 1885 a considerable area in 
Cuttack and Balasore was inundated and large numbers of human 
beings and cattle were drowned. 

In the earlier part of this article reference has been made to the 
probability that in the distant past the surface of Bengal had been 
greatly affected by changes of elevation. Small earth tremors are still 


of constant occurrence, and on at least seven occasions in the past 
150 years — in 1762, 1810, 1829, 1842, 1866, 1885, and 1897 — earth- 
cjuakes of considerable severity have taken place. By far the wcjrst of 
these was that of June 12, 1897. Its focus is believed to have been 
somewhere near Cherrapunji in the Assam range, but it travelled with 
such rapidity that it reached the western extremity of Bengal in six 
minutes or even less. The violence of the shock in this Province was 
greatest in the Districts bordering on Assam, and it was comparatively 
slight west of the Bhagirathi. In North and East Bengal most of the 
older masonry buildings fell or were severely damaged, and even 
in Central Bengal a considerable proportion of the larger buildings 
suffered. Some of the older ones collapsed altogether and many others 
were rendered unfit for occupation. In the alluvial tracts near Assam 
numerous long cracks and fissures opened in the ground, and cir- 
cular holes were formed through which water and sand were ejected ; 
wells were filled with sand, and many small river-channels were entirely 
blocked by the upheaval of their beds. The railways in the same 
localities were rendered impassable owing to the damage done to bridges 
and to fissures in the embankments, which in some places subsided 
altogether. The shock fortunately occurred in the daytime and the 
mortality was thus small ; had it occurred at night, the number killed 
must have been very large. The previous earthquake (that of 1885) was 
felt chiefly in the same parts of Bengal, but it was more local ; its area 
of maximum intensity was in the neighbourhood of Bogra*. 

The people of Bengal appear from their physical type to belong to 
three distinct stocks — Dravidian, Mongoloid, and Aryan. Except on 

the northern and eastern outskirts, the main basis 

1 Tx • 1- 1 ■ T^ 1 1 History. 

IS everywhere Dravidian; hut in Bengal proper there 

is a Strong Mongoloid element, while in Bihar the Dravidian type 
has been modified by an admixture of Aryan blood. Philologists hold 
that the earliest recognizable linguistic formation in India is the Dra- 
vidian. How the people who brought these languages with them en- 
tered India is a problem regarding which we can only speculate. They 
may have come from the north-west by way of Arabia, where (if so) the 
subsequent intrusion of a Semitic race has since obliterated all trace of 
them ; or they may, more probably, have come from the south in 
the prehistoric time when it is thought that India was connected with 
Madagascar by a land area, known to naturalists as Lemuria, which 
subsequently broke up and sank beneath the sea, leaving as its only 
trace several huge shoals and a chain of islands, including the Seychelles, 
Chagos Islands, the Laccadives and Maldives. Dravidian languages still 
survive, not only in Southern India, where 'Pamil and Telugu are its 
leading representatives, but also in the Chota Nagpur plateau, where they 
are spoken by the Oraon, Male, and other tribes. Bengal was next over- 

2o8 BEXGJr, 

run, as far as Bihar and Chota Nagpur, l^y tribes spoaking languages of 
the family known as Mon-Anam or Mon-Khnier, which is still extant in 
Pegu, Cambodia, and Cochin China. These tribes probably came from the 
north-east by way of the Patkai pass and the valley of the Erahmajiutra. 
The only dialect of this fiimily which survives in Assam is the Khasi ; 
in Bengal not a single representative is left, but indications of its former 
existence are perhaps disclosed by the Munda family of languages'. 
These invaders from the north-east were followed by fresh hordes from 
the same direction, whose speech was of the type known as Tibeto- 
Burman, of which Tibetan and Burmese represent the two standards 
to which the other and ruder dialects tend to conform, and which is 
believed to have had its origin in Eastern Tibet or in adjacent territory 
now Chinese. The earliest of these later incomers were probably the 
ancestors of the Pods of Central and the Chandals of East Bengal, who 
have long since abandoned their characteristic dialects, while the latest 
were the Kochs, Mechs, and Garos, many of whom still retain their tribal 
forms of speech. The Aryan invasion from the north-west, which took 
place while the incursions of Mongoloid tribes from the north-east were 
still in progress, was the last notable movement so far as this Province 
is concerned. Bihar was the seat of rule of Aryan princes, but in 
Bengal proper the stream of immigration was comparatively thin and 
attenuated. As the Aryan invasion spread, its character changed, 
and arms gave way to arts. Aryan priests, adventurers, merchants, and 
artificers found their way over and beyond Bengal, and by their superior 
intelligence and culture gradually imposed their religion and language 
on people whom they had never conquered, and sometimes even 
snatched the crown from the indigenous ruling families. 

The province of Bihar is known to us from very early times. The 
ancient kingdom of Magadha comprised the country now included in 
the Districts of Patna, Gaya, and vShahabad. Its capital was at Raja- 
griha (Rajgir), some 30 miles north-east of Gaya. North of the 
Ganges was Videha or Mithila, which was very early a great seat 
of Sanskrit learning, and included the modern Districts of Darbhanga, 
Champaran, and North Muzaffarpur ; the south of the latter District 
constituted the small kingdom of Vaisali. To the east lay Anga, 
including Monghyr, Bhagalpur, and Purnea, as far as the Mahananda 
river. There are constant references to these countries in the Maha- 
bharata. Magadha is even mentioned under the name of Kikota in the 
Rig Veda, and Mithila in the Satyapatha Brdhmana. It was in 
Magadha that Buddha developed his religion, and that Mahavira 
founded the cognate creed of the Jains. Soon after Buddha's death, 

' There are traces of an alliance with the Mon-speaking races in the social 
organization of the Munda-speaking tribes and in the monoliths which some of them 

still erect. 


a Sudra, named Nanda, wrested the throne from the Kshattriyas and 
founded a new dynasty. He made his capital at the confluence of 
the Son and the Ganges near the modern Patna. Chandragupta, 
a contemporary of Alexander the Great, on the death of that monarch, 
organized a powerful force with which he expelled the Macedonians. 
He then turned his arms against Dhema Nanda, king of Magadha, and 
having defeated and slain him, seated himself on the vacant throne 
of Pataliputra and gradually extended his rule over the greater 
part of Northern India. He successfully resisted Seleucus, who had 
succeeded to the eastern portion of Alexander's empire. When peace 
was made, all the Indian provinces of Alexander, and probably also the 
Kabul valley, were ceded to Chandragupta, and a matrimonial alliance 
was effected between the two royal houses. Megasthenes was deputed 
by Seleucus as his ambassador at Pataliputra, and it was here that 
he compiled his work on India. The government of the Indian 
monarch is described as strong and well organized, and as established 
in a magnificent fortified city. The standing army numbered 60,000 
infantry, 30,000 cavalry, 8,000 elephants, and a multitude of chariots. 
On active service the army is said to have attained the huge total 
of 600,000 men. In 272 B.C. Chandragupta's grandson, Asoka, 
ascended the throne, and nine years later he added Kalinga to his 
empire. His experiences during this campaign impressed him so deeply 
with the horrors of warfare that he thenceforth turned his thoughts to 
religion and became the great champion of Buddhism. He sent 
his missionaries to every known country and himself took the vows 
of a Buddhist monk. 

In the fourth century a. d. the Gupta dynasty rose to power. Their 
capital was also at Patna, and their supremacy was acknowledged by 
the kings of the different countries now included in Bengal. They 
were Hindus by religion. In Hiuen Tsiang's time (seventh century) 
North Bihar was divided into Vriji to the north and Vaisall to the 
south, both countries stretching eastwards to the Mahananda. South 
of the Ganges were Hiranya Parvana (Monghyr) and Champa (south 
Bhagalpur, the Santal Parganas, and Birbhum). The rulers of both 
these kingdoms were probably Khetauris of Mai origin. In the ninth 
century the Buddhist dynasty founded by Gopal included Bihar in its 
dominions. The last of this line was defeated in 1197 by Muhammad- 
i-Bakhtyar Khilji, whose soldiers destroyed the capital at Odantapuri 
and massacred the Buddhist monks assembled there. 

Very little is known of Bengal proper until the rise of the Pal 
dynasty. At tlie time of the Mahabharata, North and East Bengal 
formed, with Assam, the powerful kingdom of Pragjyotisha, or 
Kamarupa as it was subsequently called, and its ruler, Bhagadatta, was 
one of the great chiefs who fought in the battle of Kurukshettra. This 

VOL. VII. 1' 


kingdom stretched westwards as far as the Karatoya river. It was 
ruled" by a succession of princes of Mongoloid stock, and was still 
flourishing when visited by Hiuen Tsiang in the seventh century. 
South-west of Pragjyotisha, l)etween the Karatoya and the Mahananda, 
lay PuNDR.A. or Paundravardhana, the country of the Pods, which, 
according to Cunningham, has given its name to the modern Pabna* ; 
its capital may have been at Mahasthan* on the right bank of the 
old Karatoya river, or at Pandua*, near Malda*. This kingdom was 
in existence in the third century li.c, and Asoka's brother found 
shelter there in the guise of a Buddhist monk. It was still nourishing 
when Hiuen Tsiang travelled in India ; and it is mentioned as a power- 
ful kingdom in the eighth century a. D., and as a place of pilgrimage in 
the eleventh century. 

East of the Bhagirathi and south of Pundra lay Banga or Samatata. 
Its people are described in the Rag/iuf>ansa as possessing many boats, 
and they are clearly the ancestors of the Chandals, who at the present 
day inhabit this part of the country. On the west of the Bhagirathi 
lay Karna Suvarna (Burdwan, Bankura, Murshidabad, and Hooghly), 
whose king, Sasanka or Narendra, the last of the Guptas, was a 
fanatical worshipper of Siva, and invaded Magadha and cut down the 
sacred l)odhi tree early in the seventh century. The capital was pro- 
bably near R.\ngamati, in Murshidabad District. Lastly, there was 
the kingdom of Tamralipta, or Suhma, comprising what now con- 
stitutes the Districts of Midnapore and Howrah. The rulers of this 
country seem to have been Kaibarttas. 

During the ninth century, the Pal dynasty rose to power in the 
country formerly known as Anga, and gradually extended their sway 
over the whole of Bihiir and North Bengal. Traces of their rule are 
very common in the south of Dinajpur*, where the memory of Mahlpal, 
in particular, is preserved both in the traditions of the people and in 
numerous names of places. Like the kings of Pundra, they were 
Buddhists, but they were tolerant towards Hinduism. They were 
driven from Bengal proper, about the middle of the eleventh century, 
by a king named Vijaya Sen of the Sen family, but they continued to 
rule for some time longer in Bihar. The Sens rose to power in East 
and deltaic Bengal towards the end of the tenth century, and eventually 
included within their dominions the whole of Bengal proper from the 
Mahananda and the Bhagirathi on the west to the Karatoya and the 
old Brahmaputra on the east. The Sens were Hindus, and during 
their rule Buddhism was actively discouraged. The best remembered 
king of this dynasty is Ballal Sen, who reorganized the caste system 
and introduced Kulinism among the Brahmans, Baidyas, and Kayasths. 
To him is attributed the division of Bengal into four parts : namely, 
Rarh, west of the Bhagirathi, corresponding roughly to Karna Suvarna; 



Barendra, between the Mahananda and the Karatoya, corresponding 
to Pundra ; Bagri (Bagdi) or South Bengal; and Banga or East 
Bengal. He conquered and annexed Mithila, where the era inaugu- 
rated at the accession of his son, Lakshman Sen, is still current. The 
latter was still holding his court at Nabadwip at the time of Muhanimad- 
i-Bakhtyar's invasion at the end of the twelfth century. He himself 
fled to Orissa ; but his descendants exercised a precarious sovereignty 
in East Bengal, with their capital at Bikrampur* in Dacca District, 
for a further 120 years. 

At the dawn of history Orissa formed part of the powerful kingdom 
of Kalinga, which stretched from the mouths of the Ganges to those 
of the Godavari. It was conquered by Asoka, but by 150 B.C. it had 
again passed to the Kalinga kings. Jainism was then beginning to 
spread in the land; but about the second century a.d. it was suc- 
ceeded, according to Buddhist tradition, by the latter creed, which was 
still flourishing in 640. Subsequently the power of the Kalinga dynasty 
declined, and Orissa seems to have become independent. In 610, 
however, an inscription of Sasanka, king of Magadha, claims it as a 
part of the dominions of that monarch, and in 640 it was conquered 
by Harshavardhana of Kanauj. In the tenth and eleventh centuries, 
Orissa is said to have been under the rule of the Kesari kings, to whose 
rule are ascribed the Saiva temples at Bhubaneswar and most of the 
ruins in the Alti hills ; but the existence of such a dynasty is uncertain '. 
Then followed the dynasty founded by Chora Ganga of Kalinganagar. 
These kings were of the Vaishnava faith ; they built the famous temple 
of Jagannath at Puri and the Black Pagoda of Konarak.. There were 
frequent wars with the Muhammadans, and about. 136 1 the emperor 
Firoz Shah conducted an inroad into Orissa in person. In 1434 
Kapileswar Deva, of the Solar line, usurped the throne. He extended 
his dominions to the south, where Muhammadan inroads had sub- 
verted the old order of things, as far as the Penner river ; but his 
successors were gradually shorn of these additions by the Musalman 
rulers of Golconda. In the north also the onset of the Muhammadans 
became more and more insistent ; and at last in 1568, after a period of 
civil war, the last Hindu king, a usurper of the name of Mukund Deo, 
was overthrown by Kala Pahar, the general of Sulaiman Kararani. 

Muhammad-i-Bakhtyar Khilji, a TurkI free-lance, who acknowledged 
the suzerainty of Muhammad Ghori, conquered Bihar about 1197, 
Two years later he advanced with a small troop of horsemen into 
Bengal, and took possession of Gaur* and Nabadwip without a 

' The account of these kings given in the Rladala Panjika, or palm-leaf records of 
the Temple of Jagannath, has been shown to be wholly unreliable, Init several 
inscriptions have recently come to light which are thought by some to [novc that the 
dynasty really exiittd. 

P 2 


.struggle. He unsuccessfully invaded Tibet, and in his retreat lost the 
greater part of his army at the hands of the Mechs east of the Karatoya. 
The greater part of Bengal gradually came under the control of the 
Muhammadan governors, who ruled at Gaur or LakhnaiitT, in loose 
subjection to the Delhi emperors. 

Mughls-ud-dln Tughril, the sixteenth governor, who had originally 
been a favourite slave of the emperor Balban, seeing that Balban was 
preoccupied with the advance of the Mongols from the west, rebelled 
and defeated in turn the imperial armies that were sent against him. 
Balban himself then took the field (in 1282), and having surprised and 
slain Tughril and put a great number of his followers to the sword, 
installed his son, Nasir-ud-din Bughra, as governor. In 1338 Fakhr-ud- 
din Mubarak revolted against Muhammad bin Tughlak, and declared 
himself independent. 

Eight years before this date South Bihar had been separated from 
Bengal and annexed to Delhi. North Bihar apparently belonged to 
Bengal for some time longer, as the Bengal king, Hajl Shams-ud-din 
Ilyas, is reputed to have been the founder of Hajipur. In 1397 the 
whole of Bihar became part of the kingdom of Jaunpur ; but a century 
later it was again taken possession of by the emperors of Delhi, who 
continued to hold it, except for a short time when the Bengal king, 
Ala-ud-din Husain, and his son, Nasir-ud-dln Nusrat, obtained tem- 
porary possession of the country north of the Ganges. Under the 
Mughals the capital of the country was the town of Bihar in the south 
of the Patna District, and from this town the whole province took its 
name. A considerable part of North Bihar was under the rule of a 
line of Brahman kings, who were generally tributary to the l^athans, 
from the middle of the fourteenth to the middle of the sixteenth 
century. Another Hindu dynasty, possibly connected with them, 
ruled during the fifteenth century in Champaran and Gorakhpur. 

From 1338 till 1539, when it fell into the hands of Sher Shah, 
Bengal was ruled by various lines of independent kings, mostly of 
Pathan or Turk! origin. Some, however, were Abyssinian eunuchs, 
and one, Raja Kans or Ganesh of Dinajpur*, was a Hindu ; the 
latter's son, who succeeded him, became a convert to Islam. The 
exact area of their dominions varied. Sometimes they were contracted 
by the encroachments of the kings of Kamatapur, Arakan, and Tippera*, 
while at others they were extended, notably by Ala-ud-din Husain, who 
in 1498 conquered the kingdom of Kamatapur in the north-east and 
overran Orissa and Bihar. 

After Babar had overthrown the Afghan dynasty at Delhi, he turned 
his arms against the Afghan rulers of Bihar. These were twice 
defeated in 1528 and 1529, and sought refuge with their compatriots in 
Bengal, who in their turn were worsted in a battle on the banks of the 


Gogra. After Babar's death the Bihar Afghans rallied under a brother 
of the late Lodi Sultan of Delhi, but were decisively vanquished by 
Humayun in 1531 in an engagement near Lucknow. Meanwhile Sher 
Shah, a descendant of the royal house of Suri kings of Ghor, who rose 
from a humble executive office to the rank of prime minister of the 
Afghan governors, or kings of Bihar, as they called themselves in 
Babar's time, had established himself at Chunar. Humayun did not 
trouble to reduce him, but contented himself with a verbal submission ; 
and the result was that during the next six years, while the emperor 
was engaged elsewhere, Sher Shah became supreme on the borders of 
Bengal. In 1537 Humayun marched against liim, and after a siege 
of six months reduced his fortress of (Chunar. At the same time Sher 
Shah was himself engaged in the conquest of Bengal. He effected this ; 
but when Humayun, after taking Chunar, marched into Bengal, Sher 
Shah shut himself up in Rohtasgarh, which he had captured by a 
stratagem, and made no effort to oppose his advance. Humayun spent 
six months in dissipation in Bengal ; but then, finding that Sher Shah 
had cut off his communications and that his orother at Delhi would not 
come to his assistance, he retraced his steps and was met and defeated 
near Buxar. Sher Shah then ousted the Mughal governor who had 
been left at Gaur, and proclaimed himself king of Bengal and Bihar. 
A year later he again defeated Humayun at Kanauj and became 
emperor of Delhi. He proved a strong and capable ruler ; during 
his reign the country enjoyed peace and prosperity, and the people were 
secure from oppression and bribery. He died in 1545. Ten years 
later Humayun recovered the throne of Delhi from his nephew, but 
the Afghan governors of Bengal remained unconquered. Raju, better 
known as Kala Pahar, the general of Sulaiman KararanI, who acknow- 
ledged the supremacy of Akbar, but was practically independent, 
conquered Orissa in 1568. Sulaiman's son Daud at first made his 
submission to Akbar. He subsequently rebelled, but was defeated ; 
and Bengal was definitely annexed to the Mughal empire, to which it 
continued to belong practically till the disintegration of the empire 
after the death of Aurangzeb, and nominally until it passed into the 
possession of the East India Company. 

During the earlier years of Mughal rule, the governors were called 
upon to meet repeated risings of the previously predominant Afghans, 
who, when defeated, took refuge in Orissa. Raja Man Singh inflicted 
a crushing defeat on them, but they were not finally subdued until 
161 1 in the viceroyalty of Islam Khan. At this time the incursions of 
Maghs from Arakan, and Portuguese pirates from the islands at the 
mouth of the Meghna, had become so] persistent that special steps had 
to be taken to resist them. With this object Islam Khan removed the 
capital, which had usually been at Ciaur or the neighbouring towns 


of Panduji and Rajmahal, to Dacca*, wlierc it remained, except 
for a short interval, until Murshid Kuli Khan made Murshidabad his 
head-quarters a hundred years later. When Shah Jahan rebelled 
against his father, the emperor Jahangir, in 162 1, and after being 
defeated, fled to the Deccan, where he again suffered defeat, he 
determined to seize upon Bengal. He took Orissa by surprise, and 
subsequently, with the aid of the Afghans, overthrew the governor and 
took possession of the whole Province. He held it for two years, but 
was then defeated and made his submission. On the death of JahangTr 
he became emperor, and in 1639 appointed his son Sultan Shuja to be 
governor of Bengal. The latter subsequently fought against his brother 
Aurangzeb, but was defeated by Mir Jumla and fled to Arakan, where 
he died a miserable death. Mir Jumla was rewarded with the post of 
governor, which he filled with conspicuous ability. The most important 
event of his rule was his invasion of Cooch Behar and Assam in 1661 
and 1662. He overran both countries ; but the rigours of a rainy 
season in Upper Assam spread death and disease among his troops, 
and he was compelled to return, only to die of dysentery contracted 
during the campaign, shortly after his arrival at Dacca*. 

When Aurangzeb died, the governor of Bengal was Murshid KulT 
Khan, a Brahman convert to Islam. He possessed great administrative 
ability ; and, profiting by the dissensions at Delhi, he succeeded in 
making himself practically independent. From that time forward the 
supremacy of the Mughal emperors was little more than nominal. 

In North Bengal various Mongoloid tribes rose in turn to power. 
When Ala-ud-dln Husain overran the country at the end of the fifteenth 
century, the ruling monarch was Nllambar, the third of a line of Khen 
chieftains. Shortly afterwards Biswa Singh, the progenitor of the Koch 
kings, founded a new dynasty, whose rule extended from the Karatoya 
to Central Assam ; and it was not until 166 1 that the country as far as 
Goalpara was permanently acquired by Mir Jumla. Previous to the 
seventeenth century the Chittagong Division* was usually in the hands 
of the Tipperas or of the Maghs, and it was only after the transfer of 
the capital to Dacca* that this tract was gradually annexed. 

Orissa (including Midnapore), which had been wrested from the 
Hindu kings by Kala Pahar, remained in the possession of the Afghans 
until 1592, when Man Singh annexed it. It was placed under separate 
governors, but Midnapore and Balasore were subsequently transferred 
to Bengal. In 1751 All VardT Khan ceded the province to the 
Bhonslas of Nagpur, in whose possession it remained until its conquest 
by the P.ritish in 1803. The Marathas made no attempt to establish 
any civil administration, and their rule was confined to a periodic 
harrying of the country by their cavalry, who extorted whatever they 
could from the people. 


Chota Nagpur, including the Tributary States of Chota Nagpur and • 
Orissa, is called Jharkand in the Akharndma. The country was ruled 
by chiefs of various aboriginal tribes, the Cheros being predominant in 
Palamau, the Mundas in Ranch!, and the Bhuiyas and Gonds in the 
Orissa States. The south of Chota Nagpur proper was annexed by 
Akbar, and Palamau by Shah Jahan. The remoter chiefs appear to 
have remained independent until their subjugation by the Marathas 
towards the end of the eighteenth century. 

During Muhammadan rule the authority of the central government 
varied with the character of the king or governor for the time being. 
If he was energetic and masterful, the whole country accepted his 
authority ; but if he was weak and indolent, the local rulers became 
practically independent. At all times their internal administration was 
but little interfered with, so long as they paid a regular tribute and 
furnished troops or supplies for troops when required to do so. 

Some of these local potentates were Hindu Rajas and others were 
Muhammadan free-lances, who carved out kingdoms for themselves, 
and some, again, were agents of the central authority, who gradually 
secured a large measure of independence. The founder of the 
Burdwan Raj family was a Punjabi Khattri, who had received an ap- 
pointment under the Faujdar of Burdwan, and whose descendants 
acquired property and power by degrees, until, in 1753, one of them 
received from the emperor Ahmad Shah a farmdn recognizing his 
right to the Burdwan Raj. The Rajas of Bishnupur or Mallabhum 
were pseudo-Rajputs of aboriginal origin, who were sometimes the 
enemies, sometimes the allies, and sometimes the tributaries of the 
governors, but were never completely subjugated. About the middle 
of the fifteenth century a Muhammadan adventurer, named Khan 
Jahan, or Khanja All, obtained a jdg'ir from the king of Gaur, and 
made extensive clearances in the Sundarbans, where he appears to 
have exercised all the rights of sovereignty until his death in 1459. 
A hundred years later, when Daud, the last king of Bengal, rebelled 
against the emperor, one of his Hindu counsellors obtained a Raj in 
the Sundarbans, the capital of which, near the KalTganj police station 
in Khulna, has given its name to the modern District of Jessore. 
His son, Pratapaditya, was one of the twelve chiefs or Bhuiyas who 
held the south and east of Bengal nominally as vassals of the 
emperor, but who were practically independent, and were frequently 
at war with each other. He rebelled against the emperor, and, after 
some minor successes, was defeated and taken prisoner by Raja 
Man Singh, the leader of Akbar's armies in Bengal from 1589 to 
1606. Amongst the other Bhuiyas who were ruling at the time of 
Ralph Fitch's travels (towards the end of the sixteenth century), may 
l)e mentioned Paramananda Rai, who ruled over a small kingdom at 



('handradwTp in the south-east of the modern District of Backcrgunge*, 
and Isa Klian, of Sonargaon* in Dacca*, who was 'chief of all the 
other kings ' and powerful enough to make war on the Koch kings of 

The following is a chronological table of the Muhammadan rulers of 
Bengal : — 

Early Muhavnnadau Governors of Bengal 

Muhninmnd-i-Bakhtyar KhiljT 
Izz-ud-ciln Muhammad Shiran 
Ala-ud-din Mardaii 
Ghiyas-ud-dln Iwaz 
Nasir-iid-din Mahmud, son of em 

peror Altamsh . 
Ala-ud-dln Jani . 
Saif-ud-din Aibak 
Izz-ud-din Tughril Tuglian . 
Kamar-ud-din Tamar . 
Ikhtiyar-ud-din Yiizbak 
Jalal-ud-din Masud 
Izz-ud-dln Balban (afterwards em 

peror) .... 
Muhammad Arslan Tatar Khan 
Sher Khan .... 
Amin Khan .... 
MughTs-ud-din Tughril 


1 202 















Nasir-ud-din Bughra (son of Bal- 
ban) ..... 1282 

Rukn-ud-din Kaikaus (son of Bu- 
ghra) . . . • . 1 291 

Shams-ud-din Firoz (son of Bughra) 1 30 2 

Shahab-ud-din liughra (son of 

Bughra, \V. Bengal) . . 1318 

Ghiyas-ud-din Bahadur i^son of 

Firoz, E. Bengal) . . .1310 

Ghiyas-ud-din Bahadur (all Ben- 
gal) 1319 

Nasir-ud-dln (son of Fiioz, Lakh- 

nauti) .... I3^3-.S 

Bahadur restored with Bahram 

'E. Bengal) . . . 1324-30 

Bahram .... 1330-8 

Kadar Khan (Lakhnauti i32,=;-39 

Izz-ud-din (Satgaon) . . 1323-39 

Independent MuJiavimadan Kings of Bengal 


Fakhr-ud-dTn Mubarak (E. 

Bengal) .... 
Ikhtiyar-ud-din Ghazi (E. 

Bengal) .... 
Ala-ud-din All (W. Bengal) 
Shams-ud-din Ilyas (in Gaur) 
Sikandar I . 
Ghiyas-ud-din Azam Jn the 

Saif-ud-din Hamza 
Shahab-ud-din Baya/id Shah wii 

Raja Kans (Ganesh) 
Jalal-ud-din Muhammad 
Shams-ud-din Ahmad 
Nasir-ud-din Mahmud 
Rukn-ud-din Barbak 
Shams-ud-din Yusuf 
Sikandar II . 






1 396 


1 43 1 



Jalal-ud-din Fateh 
Shahzada Barbak Ilabshi 
Saif-ud-din Firoz 
Nasir-ud-din Mahmud . 
Shams-ud-din Muzaffar 
Ala-ud-din Husain 
Nasir-ud-din Nusrat 
Ala-ud-din Firoz . 
Ghiyas-ud-din Mahmud .Shah (tiie 
last substantial King of Bengal) 
Conquest by HtiDiayfiii 
Sher Shah ^Sultan of Delhi) . 
Islam Shah ditto . 

Shams-ud-dln Muhammad Sur 
Bahadur .... 
Ghiyas-ud-din Jalal 
Sulaiman Knrarani 
Bayazid .... 

Daud ..... 

1 48 1 









' 563 



Governors of 

Bengal under tlie DelJii Einperc 




Khan Jahan 


Sultan Shiija 

• i^'3'> 

Muzaffar Khan . 

• 1579 

Mir Jumla . 

. 1660 

Raja Todar Mai . 

• 1580 

Shaista Khan 

. 1664 

Khan Azim . 

• 1582 

Fidai Khan 

• 1677 

Shahbaz Khan 

• 1584 

Sultan Muhammad Ai.iiu 

. 1678 

Raja Man Singh . 

. . 1589 

Shaista Khan (again) . 

. 16S0 

Kutb-ud-din Kokaltash 

. 1606 

Ibrahim Khan II 

. 1689 

Jahanglr Kull 

. 1607 


• 1697 

Shaikh Islam Khan 

. 1608 

Murshid Kull Khan 

• 1704 

Kasim Khan 

• 1613 

Shuja-iid-din Khan 

• 17^5 

Ibrahim Khan I . 

. 1618 

Sarfaraz Khan 

• 17.^9 

Shah Jahan 

. 1622 

All Vardi Khan . 

■ 1740 

Khanazad Khan . 

. 1625 


• 1756 

Mukarram Khan . 

. 1626 

Mir Jafar 

• 17.^7 

Fidai Khan , 

. 1627 

Mir Kasim All Khan . 

. 1760 

Kasim Khan Jabuni 

. 1628 

Mir Jafar (again) . 

■ i7''3 

Azim Khan . 

• 1632 

Najim-ud-daula , . •» • ' Z'^S 

Islam Khan Mashhadi . 

• 1637 

The history of Bengal under the British is part of the general history 
of India. The earliest European traders in Bengal were the Portuguese, 
who began to visit Chittagong* and Satgaon near Hooghia' about 
the year 1530. They were well established at Hooghly when Ralph 
Fitch travelled through the country in 1586. Factors of the East India 
Company, coming from Surat by way of Agra, first visited Patna in 
1620. About 1625 the Dutch settled at Chinsura and at Pipli in the 
north of Orissa, and about 1642 the first factory of the East India 
Company in this Province was established near Balasore. In 1650 
a factory was started at Hooghly, where trade was greatly facilitated by 
^.farnian obtained in the following year from the emperor Shah Jahan 
by a surgeon of the Company named Boughton, who had succeeded in 
curing a lady of the royal family. Shortly after this factories were 
started at Cossimbazar and Patna, and a few years later a fifth was 
opened at Dacca*. These settlements in Bengal were at first worked 
in subordination to Fort St. George at Madras, but in 1681 they were 
constituted an independent charge. The sole object of the Company 
at this time was trade, the articles most in demand being salti)etre, 
silks, and muslins. Their dealings were hampered by c(jnstant disputes 
with the Nawab and his local officials, who tried to exact what they 
could ; and on more than one occasion hostilities broke out, in which, 
on the whole, the Company's servants held their own. Sutanuti, the 
northern part of modern Calcutta, was occupied as his head-quarters by 
Job Charnock, temporarily in 1686, and permanently in 1690, and by 
1 7 10 the old Fort William had been constructed. In 1698 the 
Company was permitted to purchase, for Rs. 1,300, the three villages 


of Calcutta, Sfitanuti, and dohindpur, subject lo a revenue of 
Rs. 1,195 • ^'""^ '" '^1^1 ^'^6 purchase was sanctioned of thirty-eight 
more villages, paying a revenue of Rs. 8,121. 

In June, 1756, Siraj-ud-daula, the Nawab of Bengal, finding that the 
English, in fear of an attack by the French, who had established them- 
selves at Chandernagore in 1688, were strengthening the fortifications 
of Calcutta without his permission, marched against the place and took 
it. It was then that occurred the massacre of the Black Hole. The 
European prisoners, 146 in number, were confined in a small room, 
only 18 feet by 14 feet, and next morning all but 23 were found to 
have died of suffocation. A force was immediately dispatched from 
Madras under Clive, who advanced in 1757 towards Murshidabad. The 
Nawab, with a large army, met him at Plassey, but was utterly 
defeated ; Mir Jafar was appointed Nawab, but was soon afterwards 
ousted in favour of his .son-in-law, Mir Ka.sim. The latter, exasperated 
liy the exactions of the servants of the Company and their interference 
with the transit duties, engaged in hostilities, but was twice defeated. 
He fled to Oudh, after causing a number of English prisoners at Patna 
to be put to death. The Nawab of Oudh espoused his cause ; but the 
combined armies were defeated by Major Munro at Buxar in 1764, 
and the Dlwani or civil authority over Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa was 
conferred in perpetuity on the East India Company by the emperor 
Shah Alam \ The result was that the centre of British power was 
transferred from Madras to Calcutta, and that from 1774 to 1854 the 
Governorship of Bengal was merged in the Governor-Generalship of 
the Company's territories in India. The French Settlement at Chander- 
nagore was captured at the same time, but was subsequently restored, 
and the place is still a French possession administered in subordination 
to the French governor of Pondicherry. 

In 1765 was inaugurated Clive's celebrated 'dual system,' by which 
it was thought that the Company would get all the benefit from its new 
possessions, without the trouble and responsibility involved in their 
actual administration. Mir Jafar was reinstated as Nawab ; but he was 
required to execute an agreement by which the Company received the 
revenues and undertook the military defence of the country, while he 
carried on the civil administration in return for a fixed stipend. The 
revenue was collected by Naibs or Deputy-Nawabs. This dual 
government was found most unsatisfactory ; the people were subjected 
to great oppression, while the collections rapidly declined. In 1769-70 
there was a terrible famine in which a third of the population is said to 
have perished, and which is believed to have been aggravated by the 
misgovernment of the agents of the Nawilb and the ignorance of local 

' Oriss.i was at the time in tlie possession of (he Marathils. and it was not nntil 1S03 
that it was conquered and annexed by l^ord \\ ellesley. 


conditions on the part of British officials. After several abortive 
experiments an entirely new system was introduced by Warren Hastings. 
European Collectors were appointed in each of the fourteen Districts 
into which Bengal was then divided, and the collection of the revenue 
was placed in their hands. They were also placed over the Dlwani 
Adalat or civil courts, where they were assisted by the advice of 
experienced native officials. The Faujdari Adalat or criminal courts 
were still presided over by Muhammadan officials, but the Collector 
was required to see that all witnesses were duly examined and that the 
decisions were fair and impartial. Appeals from the local civil and 
criminal courts were allowed to two superior courts in Calcutta. 
Subsequently the European Collectors were replaced by native dmils, 
and the superintendence of the collection of the revenue was vested in 
six Provincial Councils, at Calcutta, Burdwan, Dacca*, Murshidabad, 
Dinajpur*, and Patna. The amih administered civil justice, while the 
criminal courts were presided over by native officers called faujdars. 
Further changes were made ; but when Lord Cornwallis became 
Governor-General in 1786, the original system of Warren Hastings 
was reverted to, with this difference that the Collector was himself 
Civil Judge and Magistrate. For some years longer serious criminal 
cases were required to be referred for trial to the Deputy of the Nawab, 
but in 1793 f'^ur courts of circuit, superintended by covenanted servants 
of the Company, were established to try cases not cognizable by the 
magistrates. Separate judges were next appointed in each District, 
with native subordinates to deal with petty civil cases. 

Various further improvements and alterations were from time to time 
effected, notably in 1829, when Commissioners of Revenue and Circuit 
were appointed, but it is unnecessary to di.scuss them in detail. The 
system of administration at the present day is the direct outcome by 
a gradual process of evolution of the arrangements made by Lord 

In 1836 the now overgrown Bengal Presidency' was divided into two 
parts — Fort William in Bengal, and Agra — and a separate Lieutenant- 
Governor, subordinate to the Governor-General, was appointed for the 
latter. The former, which included the whole of what now constitutes 
the Province of Bengal and the territories comprised in the Province of 
Eastern Bengal and Assam ^, remained under the direct control of the 
Governor-General, who was authorized, when absent from the Province, 
to nominate a Deputy-Governor from among the ordinary Members of 
his Council, to carry on the government. This arrangement continued 


The varyinc^ nie.nninj( of tlie term has already been exjilained on ji. 195. 

Sylhet, Goalpara, and the Garo Hills formed part of P.eiif^al from the beginning 
of British rule ; the Assam Valley proper was ac(|uired from I'.iirma in iS2fj, and the 
other tracts on different dntes which need not here be detniled. 



■ 1854 

Sir Rivers Thompson . 

. 1882 

. 1859 

Sir Steuart Bayley 

. 1887 

. 1862 

Sir Charles Elliot 

. 1890 

. 1867 

Sir Alexander Mackenzie 

• 1895 

. I87I 

Sir John Wood burn 

. 1 898 

■ 1874 

Sir James Bourdillon 


• "877 

Sir Andrew Fraser 

• 1903 

until 1S54, when tlic (loveinor-dcncnil was relieved of llie direct 
administration of IJengal by the appointment of a permanent Lieu- 
tenant-Governor. The change was much needed, as the Governor- 
General being frequently absent, and his I)ej)uty-Govcrnor, who was 
usually the senior ordinary Member of Council for the time being, 
constantly changing, the element of personal continuity at the head of 
the Administration was sadly lacking. The names of the successive 
Lieutenant-Governors of Bengal are noted below ^ : — 

Sir Frederick Ilalliday . 
Sir John Peter Grant 
Sir Cecil BeadoH . 
Sir William Grey . 
Sir George Campbell 
Sir Richard Temple 
Sir Ashley Eden . 

The events of the Sepoy Revolt took place chiefly in Upper India, 
and the rising in Bengal was comparatively unimportant. But the story 
of the greased cartridges had its origin at Barrackpore, and both there 
and at Berhampore, Dinapore, and Dacca*, the sepoys mutinied. They 
were, however, quickly suppressed ; and it was only in Bihar that events 
for a time took a serious turn, especially in Shahabad, where the 
defence of the billiard-room at Arrah, by a handful of Civilians and 
Sikhs, against the onslaught of the sepoy mutineers from Dinapore and 
the levies of a local Rajput zamlndar^ forms one of the most splendid 
pieces of gallantry in the history of the British arms. 

In 1864 repeated raids by the Bhutanese, and the barbarous outrages 
committed on the British Envoy sent to negotiate with the Bhutan 
government, led to a campaign in which the Bhutanese were worsted 
and the British troops took possession of the Duars, i.e. the passes into 
the hills and the adjoining lowlands; and in 1865 a treaty was 
concluded by which those territories were ceded to the British 
Government in return for a fixed annual payment. In 1874 the 
Districts constituting the Province of Assam were separated from 
Bengal and placed under a Chief Commissioner. In 1888 the Tibetans 
having advanced into Sikkim, an expedition was sent against them. 
They were defeated with ease, the campaign ending with their complete 
expulsion from Sikkim, and that State was brought into closer relations 
with the British Government by the appointment of a resident Political 
officer. This was followed by the execution of a convention which 
provided for the improvement of the trade relation with Tibet ; but the 
results in this respect were disappointing, and in 1904 a British Mission 
was sent into Tibet and penetrated as far as Lhasa, where a new 
convention was executed by the Tibetan authorities. 

• Short officiating appointments liave been omitted. 


The oldest remains of ascertained date are a series of iiiscrii)tions of 
Asoka, partly on rocks, as at Dhauli in Purl District and in a small 
cave high on the Chandan Pir hill at Sasaram, and partly on pillars, 
four in number, marking the route taken by the great king through 
Muzaffarpur and Champaran, on his visit to the sacred sites of 
Buddhism in what is now the Nepal tarai ; of the latter the pillar near 
Lauriva Nandangarh is still almost perfect. Next, in point of time, 
come the caves on the Khandgiri and Udavagiri hills, in the District 
of Purl, which were long believed to be Buddhist but are now thought 
to be mostly of Jain origin. Their period is fixed by an inscri[)tion of 
Kharavela in 165 r.c. With the exception of the Sonbhandar cave at 
Rajgir, dating from the third century a.d., these are the only Jain 
remains with any claim to antiquity. Buddhist relics, though 
frequently reduced to mere heaps of bricks, are far more plentiful, 
especially in South Bihar — the ancient Magadha, the birthplace of 
Jainism as well as of Buddhism — where the latter religion continued to 
flourish more or less until finally swept away by the Muhammadans. 
At BuDDH Gaya are still to be seen portions of an ancient stone 
railing, with interesting carvings in relief, dating from about the time of 
Asoka, which originally surrounded the holy ///«/-tree there. The 
present temple of Buddh Gaya was probably erected about a.d. 450, 
but it underwent many additions and repairs before it fell into ruins ; 
its restoration was effected about twenty years ago under the auspices 
of Government, but the method in which the work was carried out has 
been much criticized. Interesting remains of the ancient city of 
Pataliputra have recently been discovered at Patna by Major Waddell. 
Numerous mounds at Baragaon, 7 miles south of Bihar town, bury 
the remains of Nalanda, a famous seat of Buddhist learning in the days 
of the Pal kings. The innumerable Buddhist images still to be seen 
in every village in South Bihar date from the same period. 

The temple of Jagannath at Purl and the Saiva temples at 
Bhubaneswar have already been mentioned. The latter have recently 
been repaired, and efforts are now being made to remedy the inroads 
made by time and mischief in the temple of the Sun God at Konarak, 
which was built by Nara Sinha Deva about a.d. 1275. Among other 
Hindu remains, which are far from numerous, may be mentioned the 
temples on the Mundeswari Hill in Shahabad and at Afsar near 
Gaya, both dating from the sixth or seventh century ; a number of stone 
temples at Barakar and elsewhere in the old tract of Jharkand, some 
of which are upwards of 500 years old ; and some Bengali brick 
temples, from 200 to 400 years old, of which those at Bishnupur in 
Bankura and at Kantanagar in Dinajpur * are typical examples. 

Under the rule of the independent Muhammadan kings, Bengal 
proper developed a peculiar style of Pathan architecture, the most 


striking feature of whit h is the curved battlement, imitating the peculiar 
shape of a Uengali hut. (Ial r and Pandua, in the District of Malda*, 
the ancient capitals of those dynasties, still contain the best s[)eciniens 
of this type, such as the liaraduari of Ranikel, the Dakhil Darwa/.a, the 
'lantipara, Sona, and Lotan mosques, the Kadam Rasul, and the Kiroz 
Minar. ihe Adina mosciue, at Pandua, was built by Sultan Sikandar 
Shah in 136S. It is constructed almost entirely from the spoils of 
Hindu temples, which must have abounded in this neighbourhood '. 
Many of these are now being repaired. Among other buildings of this 
period may be mentioned the curious Shat Gumbaz, a mosque with 
seventy-seven domes, near Bagherhat in the District of Khulna, built 
by Khan Jahan, whose tomb is close to the mosque. At a second 
Pandua, in Hooghly District, there is a large mosque and miliar of 
about the year 1300, and close to it, at Tribeni, is the dargah of Zafar 
Khan (IhazT and a mosque of the same period. 

The short reign of Sher Shah is still borne witness to by one of the 
finest specimens of Muhammadan sepulchral architecture, his own 
tomb at Sasaram, which place he originally held as his Jdgir. His 
father's tomb in the same town, and the tomb of Bakhtyar Khan, near 
Chainpur, in the Bhabua subdivision of Shahabad District, are similar 
but less imposing. The small hill fort of Shergarh, 26 miles south- 
west of Sasaram, dates from Sher Shah's time, but at Rohtasgarh 
itself little remains of his period ; the palace at this place is attributed 
to Man Singh, Akbar's famous general. The dargah of Shah Daulat at 
Maner, near Dinapore, completed in 1616, is a fine specimen of 
architecture of the Mughal period ; it is covered with most exquisite 
sandstone carvings. There are numerous other tombs and mosques of 
the same period at Patna, Bihar, Rajmahal, Murshidabad, Monghyr, 
Dacca*, &c.; but they are of little interest compared with similar 
buildings in other parts of India, 

The distribution of the population", as disclosed by the Census of 

1901, is shown in Tables II and IIa at the end of this article (pp. 343-5). 

The total population of the Province, including Native 

States, is 78,493,410, of whom 39,278,186 are males 

and 39,215,224 females. Of the total number, 74,744,806 are in 

British territory and 3,748,544 in Native States. 

In the Province-'' as a whole there are 400 persons to the square 
mile, but the density varies remarkably in different parts. It is greatest 

' It hns already been mentioned that Pandua is believed by many to be identical 
with the ancient Paundiavardhana. 

^ The population of the Province as now constituted is 54,662,529, of whom 
27,140,616 are males and 27,521,913 females. Of the total number 50,722,067 are 
in British territory and 3,940,462 in the Native States. 

" The i)resent area of Penj/al coiuains 368 persons to tiie S(iuaie mile. 


in North Bihar, where there are 634 persons to the S([uare mile. 
Central Bengal and West Bengal are also thickly peopled. Then 
follow South Bihar, Orissa, East and North Bengal, and last the Chota 
Nagpur plateau, which, with only 152 persons per square mile, is the 
area of least dense population. The density is far from uniform even 
in the same natural division. In East Bengal, for example, Dacca 
District* has 952 persons to the square mile, while the Chittagong Hill 
Tracts* have only 24, and in North Bihar the number ranges from 908 
in Muzaffarpur to 375 in Purnea. Howrah, with 1,668 persons to the 
square mile, is the most thickly-inhabited District in Bengal, while the 
most sparse population (21 to the square mile) is found in Sikkim and 
in the Chang Bhakar* and Korea* Tributary States of Chota Nagpur 
(22 to the square mile). Marked variations are sometimes found even 
within the borders of a single District, e. g. in Dacca*, where the 
Srinagar police circle contains 1,787 inhabitants to the square mile 
compared with only 415 in Kapasia. As a general rule it may be said 
that the tracts where cold-season rice is the chief staple of cultivation 
are capable of supporting the largest number of inhabitants. Some 
parts of Bihar, where other crops are mainly grown, have a fairly dense 
population ; but their inhabitants are not wholly dependent on local 
sources of income, and a large proportion of the adult males earn their 
livelihood in other parts of the Province, whence they make regulai 
remittances for the support of their families. 

In the Province as a whole, out of every 100 persons, 95 live in 
villages and only 5 in towns\ Bengal is a distinctly agricultural country, 
and many even of the so-called towns are merely overgrown villages. 
The urban population is considerable only in Central Bengal, where the 
inclusion of Calcutta and its environs brings the proportion up to 19 per 
cent. The second place is shared by West Bengal, with its flourishing 
industrial centres at Howrah, Bally, Serampore, and Raniganj : 
and by South Bihar, with its ancient towns of Patna, Cava, Monghvr, 
and Bihar. In both these tracts 7 per cent, of the inhabitants live in 
urban areas. Orissa follows with an urban population of 4 per cent., 
then North Bihar and North Bengal with 3 per cent., and, lastly. East 
Bengal and the Chota Nagpur plateau with only 2 per cent. The order 
in which the different tracts stand is sufficient to show the want of any 
connexion between the prosperity of the people and the growth of 
towns. The general standard of comfort is highest in East Bengal, 
although it has the smallest proportion of persons living in towns. 
South Bihar ranks comparatively high in respect of its urban population, 
and yet it includes the poorest part of the Province. The older towns, 
which usually owed their origin to the presence of a native court, have 
few industries, and such as they possess are for the m(xst part decadent ; 

' r)f the present populalion 94 per cent, live in villay;es anrl 6 jier cent, in towns. 

2 34 BENGAL 

whiU' ill llu' newer towns the industries are carried on by foreign capital, 
and even the employes come from other parts of the country. The 
mills of Howrah and the coal-mines of Asansoi. are alike worked, with 
British capital, by coolies from Bihar and the United Provinces, and 
the shopkeepers, who are enriched by the trade they bring, are also for 
the most part foreigners. 

The population of Calcutta, as limited by the jurisdiction of the 
municipal corporation, is 848,000; but to this should be added that of 
its suburbs (101,000), and also of Howrah (158,000), which lies on the 
opposite bank of the Hooghly and is as much a part of Calcutta as 
Southwark is of London. With these additions, the number of inhabi- 
tants rises to 1,107,000, which is greater than that of any European city 
except London, Constantinople, Paris, and Berlin. Next to Calcutta 
Howrah is now the largest town in Bengal. It is of entirely modern 
growth, and owes its position to its growing importance as a manufac- 
turing centre. The increase during the last decade has been 35 per 
cent., and it has grown by no less than 80 per cent, since 1872. Patna, 
which stands next, has a very ancient history, and its population was 
once much greater than at present. It was estimated by Buchanan 
Hamilton at 312,000; but his calculation referred to an area of 
20 square miles, whereas the city as now defined has rather less than 
half that area. At the present time its prosperity is declining, owing to 
the gradual diversion of trade from the river to the railway. At the time 
of the Census plague was raging in the city, and the recorded population 
w'as only 134,785. Six months later, when the epidemic had subsided, 
a fresh count showed it to be 153,739, which was still less by nearly 
17,000 than in 1881. Dacca* was also a flourishing city long before 
the days of British rule. For about a century it was the capital of the 
Nawabs, and its muslins were once famous throughout Europe. When 
the demand for these muslins declined, its prosperity was seriously 
affected, and in 1830 its inhabitants numbered only about 70,000. 
Since then the growth of the jute trade has caused a revival, and the 
population has now risen to 90,542. 

The villages of Bengal vary greatly in different parts. In Bihar, 
especially south of the Ganges, the buildings are closely packed together, 
and there is no room for trees or gardens. As one goes eastwards, the 
houses, though still collected in a single village site, are farther apart, 
and each stands in its own patch of homestead land, where vegetables 
are grown, and fruit trees and bamboos afford a grateful protection from 
the glare of the tropical sun. Farther east, again, in the swamps of 
East Bengal, there is often no trace of a central village site, and the 
houses are found in straggling rows lining the high banks of rivers, or in 
small clusters on mounds from 12 to 20 feet in height laboriously thrown 
up during the dry months when the water temporarily disappears. The 



average population of a village is 335, but the definition of this unit for 
census purposes was not uniform. In some parts the survey area was 
adopted ; elsewhere the residential village with its dependent hamlets 
was taken ; but in practice it was often found very difificult to decide 
whether a particular group of houses should be taken as a separate 
entity or treated as a hamlet belonging to some other village. 

The information regarding the early population of Bengal is scanty 
and unreliable. In 1787 Sir William Jones thought that it amounted to 
24 millions, including part of the United Provinces then attached to 
Bengal. Five years later Mr. Colebrooke placed it at 30 millions. In 
1835 ^^^- Adam assumed it to be 35 millions, but this estimate was 
thought too high and was reduced to 31 millions in 1844. In 1870 the 
population was held to be about 42 millions, or more than a third less 
than the figures disclosed by the first regular Census of the Province, 
which was taken in 1872. The changes recorded by subsequent 
enumerations are shown below :— 



of va nation. 







+ 1 1-5 

+ 7-3 

+ 5-1 

+ 259 

West . 

- 2.7 

+ 3-9 

+ 7-1 

+ 8-3 

Central ,, . 

+ II-7 

+ 3-1 

+ 5-1 

+ 21. :^ 

North „ . . . 

<- 5-3 

+ 4-4 

+ 5-9 

+ 16.6 

East „ . . . 

+ 109 

+ 14.1 

+ IO-4 

+ 39-9 

North Bihar . 

+ 14-0 

+ .s-s 

+ O-l 

+ 20-8 

South ,, . 

+ 10-9 

+ 2.6 

- 3-6 

+ 9-7 

Orissa .... 

+ 17-6 

+ 6.8 

+ 7.1 

+ 34-5 

Chota Nagpur plateau . 

+ 32-1 

+ 13-5 

+ 7.8 

+ 61.S 

* The corresponding percentages of variation for Bengal as now constituted are 
+ 3-2, + 6-5, + 135, and + 247. 

Between 1872 and 1881 the Chota Nagpur plateau showed the greatest 
apparent growth of population, but this was due mainly to the inaccuracy 
of the first Census in this wild, remote, and sparsely-peopled tract. 
Orissa, which came second, had suffered a terrible loss of population in 
the great famine of 1866, and its rapid growth was the natural reaction 
from that calamity during a period of renewed prosperity. In North and 
South Bihar, as in Chota Nagpur, the Census of 1872 was defective, 
and the increment recorded in 1881 was to a great extent fictitious. 
The decline in AVest Bengal was due to a virulent outbreak of malarial 
fever. Between 1881 and 1891 the apparent rate of development in 
East Bengal and Chota Nagpur was about the same, but the latter tract 
again owed part of its increase to better enumeration, and the real 
growth was greatest in East Bengal. Then followed Orissa and North 


2 26 BENGAL 

Bihar, Ukii North Bengal, and then, in order. West Bengal, Central 
Bengal, and South Bihar. At the Census of 1901 East Bengal again 
heads the list, and is followed in order by the (liota Nagpur plateau, 
Orissa, West liengal, North Bengal, and Central Bengal. The population 
of North Bihar is stationary, while that of South Bihar has suffered 
a loss of 3-6 per cent. 

So far as the figures go, the rate of growth in the Province as a whole 
shows a progressive decline, but this is due to a great extent to omissions 
at the earlier enumerations. The pioneer Census of 1872 was admit- 
tedly very incomplete. That of 1881 was much more accurate; and 
although it is impossible to estimate, even approximately, the extent to 
which this affected the comparative results of the two enumerations, it 
would probably be quite safe to say that, if the two enumerations had 
been equally accurate, the excess of the figures for 1881 over those for 
1872 would have been less than the increment disclosed by the Census 
of 1 90 1 as compared with that of 1891. But although the Census of 
1 88 1 was very much more complete than that of 1872, there were 
still tracts where the standard of accuracy fell considerably below that 
attained ten years later ; and it has been estimated that of the increase 
disclosed by the Census of 1891, about half a million may be ascribed 
to the greater accuracy of that enumeration, but even so the increment 
then recorded exceeds that of the last decade by about 800,000. It is 
calculated that the plague, which appeared for the first time in 1898, 
accounted for 150,000 deaths; while the cyclone of October 24, 1897, 
which devastated large tracts in Chittagong*, is believed to be respon- 
sible, directly and indirectly, for a mortality of about 50,000. Apart 
from the deaths due to plague and cyclone, there seems no reason to 
believe that there has been any general increase in the death-rate, and 
the slower rate of growth seems to be due rather to a falling off in the 
birth-rate. In Orissa and Central and West Bengal the birth-rate prior 
to 1891 was abnormally high, owing to the recovery, in the one case, 
from the famine of 1866, and, in the other, from the ravages of malarial 
fever. In Bihar successive bad seasons have led to various preventive 
checks on the growth of the population ; but, as noticed elsewhere, they 
do not appear to have affected the death-rate, and it is onl> among the 
wild tribes of Chota Nagpur that a certain amount of mortality was 
possibly attributable to famine. 

The number of immigrants to Bengal from other parts of India, 
according to the Census of 1901, is 728,715, and the corresponding 
number of emigrants is 879,583. By far the greatest influx is from the 
United Provinces, which send a continually growing supply of labourers 
for the mills of the metropolitan Districts and the coal-fields of Burdwan 
and Manbhum, and for earthwork, /a/>^/-bearing, &c., throughout the 
Province. The total number of persons born in the United Provinces 


and its States, but enumerated in Bengal, was 496,940 in 1901, com- 
pared with 365,248 in 1891 and 351,933 in 1881. These figures include 
the ebb and flow between contiguous Districts along the boundary line. 
If this be left out of account, the number of immigrants from the United 
Provinces at the Census of 1901 is about 416,000. Of these, nearly 
three-sevenths were residing in Calcutta, the Twenty-four Parganas, and 
Howrah \ The emigrants to the United Provinces number only 
128,991, of whom all but about 32,000 were found in Districts 
contiguous to the District of their birth. 

The emigrants from Bengal to Assam in 1901 numbered nearly 
504,000, or 85,000 more than at the previous Census. Of these, 
300,000 were from the Chota Nagpur plateau, which is the great 
recruiting ground for the tea gardens of Assam. About 157,000 
persons born in Bengal were enumerated in Burma, compared with 
112,000 in 1 89 1. The majority were harvesters from the adjoining 
District of Chittagong*; but many also were from Bihar, and some of 
these have been settled on waste-land grants in Upper Burma. 

Of migration within the Province, the mosi noticeable feature is the 
great movement from Bihar to Bengal proper in quest of employment 
in coal-mines and factories, or on earthwork, or as field-labourers. 
These immigrants are for the most part adult males who eventually 
return to their old homes. Their total number at the time of the 
Census was very little short of half a million. Another internal move- 
ment of a more permanent nature is that of the tribes of the Chota 
Nagpur plateau, who, in addition to 300,000 persons enumerated in 
Assam, have given 400,000 to Bengal proper. The Santals have been 
working their way steadily north and east for seventy years or more, and 
are now found in considerable numbers in the elevated tract known as 
the Barind, in the centre of North Bengal, which they are rapidly bring- 
ing under cultivation. The other tribes are following their lead as 
pioneers of cultivation ; many also take service in the coal-fields and 
in the tea gardens of Jalpaiguri"^ and the Darjeeling tarai, and large 
numbers leave their homes every cold season to obtain employment 
on earthwork or as field-labourers. 

The age return is so inaccurate that very little reliance can be placed 
on the absolute results. The degree of error may, however, be assumed 
to be fairly constant, and, if so, some interesting conclusions may be 
deduced by a comparison of the figures for successive Censuses. It 
would seem that the mean age of the population, which fell slightly in 

' The Districts of the United Provinces from which most of the immigrants come 
are those in the extreme east : namely, Ballia, Azamgarh, Ghazipur, Gorakhpur, 
l?enares, Jaimpur, Mirzapur, and Allahabad. Then come the Districts immediately 
to the west of these : namely, Fyzabad, Sultanpur, Partabgarh, Kae Bareli, Liicknow, 
Fatehpur, and Cawnpore. 

() 2 

2 28 BENGAL 

1891, has now risen to a somewhat higlier figure tlian in 1881 '. This 
is due mainly to the variations in the birth-rate. The population was 
growing more rapidly than usual in the decade ending 1891, which was 
a period of recovery from famine and disease, and the larger proportion 
of young children reduced the average age of the population as a whole. 
The higher castes appear to live longer than the aboriginal tribes, while 
the latter have larger families than any other section of the community. 
There does not seem to be much difference in the relative longevity of 
Hindus and Muhammadans, but the latter have a larger proportion of 
children than the Hindus, and the mean age of the community is 
consequently lower. 

Births and deaths are recorded throughout the Province, except in 
Angul, the Chittagong Hill Tracts*, and the Feudatory States. The 
present system of mortuary registration was introduced in 1869. 
The duty of reporting deaths was imposed on the chaukiddrs, or 
village watchmen, and not on the relations of the deceased. In 
1876 the system was extended to births; but the returns received 
were so incomplete that they were soon discontinued and, except in 
towns, for which special legislation was undertaken in 1873, deaths 
alone were registered until 1892. In that year the collection of 
statistics of births as well as of deaths was ordered, and the system 
now in vogue was introduced. In the Chaukidari Amendment Act 
of 1892, the reporting of vital occurrences was made one of the legal 
duties of the chaukiddrs. The births and deaths occurring in each 
beat are entered on leaflets by the chaiikiddr, or, if he be illiterate, 
by the panchdyat, and taken by the former to the police station when 
he attends his weekly muster. A consolidated monthly statement is 
compiled at the police station and submitted to the Civil Surgeon, 
who prepares a similar return for the whole District. The accuracy 
of the reporting is checked by the police and other local officers, but 
the most valuable testing agency is that of the vaccination establish- 
ments, who are required to make inquiries regarding vital occurrences 
when on their rounds to test the vaccination operations. Errors and 
omissions thus brought to light, which usually range from i to i^ per 
cent, on the total number of vital occurrences, are communicated to 
the District Magistrate and the chaukiddrs at fault are punished. 
Under the special Act for towns the reporting of births and deaths by the 
nearest male relative was made compulsory. The information was col- 
lected for some time by the municipal authorities, but the results were 
not satisfactory, and the duty was subsequently transferred to the police. 

' By mean age is meant the average age of the living, which (except in a stationary 
population^ is not the same thing as the mean duration of life. The mean age of 
males is calculated to have been 24.2 years in 1S81, 24-0 in 1S91, and 24-3 in 1901. 
These figures, however, are mere approximations. 


These measures have led to a great improvement in the accuracy of 
the vital statistics. The latest estimate of the birth and death-rates in 
Bengal is that of Mr. Hardy, F.I.A., F.S.S., based on the Census 
figures for 1891 and 1901, which places them at 43-9 and 38-9 per 
1,000 respectively. The rates according to the returns are still below 
this estimate, but the figures reported from year to year show a gradual 
improvement ; and they are now sufficiently accurate not only for the 
purpose of showing the relative healthiness or unhealthiness of the year, 
but also for calculating the approximate growth of the population. The 
increase shown by the Census of 1901, as compared with that taken ten 
years previously, in the areas for which vital statistics are collected, was 
3,358,576, while that indicated by the excess of reported births over 
deaths was 3,159,200. In Noakhali* in 1900 the reported birth-rate 
was 52-3 per 1,000 calculated on the population disclosed by the 
Census of 1901, and in Patna in 1901 the reported mortality was 56-8. 

According to the returns, more than 70 per cent, of the total mortality 
is ascribed to fever. This is due mainly to the difficulty of diagnosing 
all but a few well-defined diseases. Cholera, dysentery, and small-pox 
are known, but most other complaints are classed indiscriminately as 
fever. It is impossible to say what proportion of the total is attributable 
to malarial affections, but it may safely be assumed that, wherever the 
mortality entered under ' fevers ' is unusually high, the greater part of 
the excess over the normal is due to their prevalence. On an average, 
about one-twelfth of the total mortality is due to cholera, but the 
])revalence of this disease varies greatly from year to year and from 
District to District. In 1898 it was responsible for less than i death 
per 1,000 of the population of the Province, but in 1900 the mortality 
from it rose to nearly 5 per 1,000. In the latter year it killed off nearly 
24 persons in every 1,000 in Purnea, while in Bankura only i person 
in 4,000 died from the disease. Dysentery and diarrhoea account for 
barely a quarter as many deaths as cholera, while small-pox claims only 
I victim in every 5,000 persons yearly. 

Plague first appeared in Bengal in 1898, when there were two out- 
breaks, one in Calcutta and the other in Backergunge*. In the early 
part of 1899 it again visited Calcutta, and there were also outbreaks in 
ten rural Districts ; and in the cold-season months of 1 900-1 the 
disease spread over a larger area, not less than 40,000 deaths being 
caused by it during that period. Plague has now become an annual 
visitation in many parts of the Province, altogether twenty-seven Dis- 
tricts being affected in 1905. In the eastern Districts the conditions, 
whether of soil, climate, or habitations, seem to be inimical to the 
propagation of the microbe ; but in the north-western part of the 
Province, and particularly in the Patna r)ivision, the disease has 
established itself firmly, coming and going w'ith the seasons with 


wonderful regularity, being i)revalent in the winter, and then 
practically disappearing or remaining dormant throughout the hot and 
rainy seasons, to recrudesce in September with the advent of the cold 
season. The mortality from plague in 1905 was the highest on record 
since it first broke out in 1898, the total number of deaths being 
126,000, as against 75,000 in 1904 and 58,000 the average of the 
preceding quinquennium. 

As in other parts of India, so also in Bengal, the infant mortality is 
very high, and it was estimated in 1891 by Mr. Hardy that only 71 per 
cent, of male and 75 per cent, of female children survive the first year 
of life. During the second year the mortality is believed to be only 
one-third as great as in the first year, and it then continues to fall 

Vital Statistics as registered 

under re- 

Ratio of 


births per 


Ratio of 


deaths per 


Deaths per i,ooo from 





1 901 




















The actual population shows a slight deficiency of females, who 
number only 998 to every 1,000 males ^ ; but if the effects of migration 
be discounted by considering only the natural population, i.e. the 
persons born in the Province, it appears that the females exceed the 
males in the ratio of 1,003 ^o 1,000. They are in marked excess in 
Bihar and Orissa and, to a less extent, in West Bengal and the Chota 
Nagpur plateau. East of the Bhaglrathi, where the Mongoloid element 
in the population is largest, they are in a considerable minority. There 
has been a steady decline in the proportion of females since i88r, due 
to the fact that the most progressive tracts are, generally speaking, those 
where males predominate, while many of the Districts with the largest 
proportion of the other sex are stationary or decadent. In urban areas 
females are generally in marked defect, and in Calcutta they are only 
half as numerous as the males. 

The most striking fact brought out by the statistics of marriage is the 
universality of this institution. The number of persons, other than 
those suffering from some bodily or mental affliction, who go through 
life unmarried is extremely small. About half the total number of 
males were returned at the Census as unmarried, but of these four-fifths 
were under fifteen years of age. Only one-third of the female popula- 

' In the present area of l^engal there are 1,015 females to every 1,000 males. 


tion was unmarried, and of these only 4 per cent, were over fifteen. 
The proportion of the widowed is about i in 25 in the case of males, 
but among females nearly i in every 5 is a widow. 

The marriage practices vary greatly in different parts of the Province, 
especially in regard to females. The girls of the animistic tribes marry 
when they are about seventeen or eighteen years of age. Muhammadan 
girls marry earlier, but not so early as those of the Hindus, with whom 
marriage before puberty is the rule. In some parts of Bihar the Hindus 
give their children in wedlock much earlier than elsewhere, and in 
Darbhanga and the neighbourhood both boys and girls are frequently 
married before the age of five. Widows remarry most freely amongst 
the animistic tribes, and least so amongst the Hindus. Hindu widows 
of the higher castes are everywhere forbidden to take a second husband, 
and in Bengal proper the prohibition extends to all but the lowest 
castes. The result is that the proportion of Hindu women of child- 
bearing age who are widowed is nearly twice as great in this tract as 
elsewhere. In the Province as a whole the age at marriage is gradually 
rising, while the proportion of the widowed is diminishing. The former 
circumstance is due, in part at least, to a genuine change in the customs 
of the people. In Darbhanga and the neighbourhood, infant-marriage 
is as prevalent as ever, but elsewhere the tendency is to postpone the 
age at which girls are given in wedlock. The decline in the number of 
widows is due partly to the fact that the Muhammadans, animistic 
tribes, and low Hindu castes, who permit their widows to marry again, 
are increasing more rapidly than the section of the community that 
forbids them to do so, and partly to the effect of the preaching of the 
Maulvis amongst the Muhammadans and to the gradual disappearance 
of their old Hindu prejudices against widow marriage. 

Polygamy is allowed among Hindus, Musalmans, and Animists alike, 
but in the case of the first-mentioned it is often accompanied by restric- 
tions ; many castes allow a man to take a second wife only when the 
first is barren or suffers from some incurable disease ; frequently the 
permission of the caste panchdyat has to be obtained, and in some 
cases that of the elder wife. With the Muhammadans there are in 
theory no restrictions on the practice, so long as a man does not exceed 
the limit of four wives prescribed by the Prophet, but in practice 
the poorer classes at least are almost invariably monogamous. The 
fraternal form of polyandry, where a man's younger brothers share his 
wife, still survives amongst the Bhotias ; but it seems to be dying out. 
The woman is regarded as the wife of the elder brother, and the children 
that are born of her call him 'father' and his brothers 'uncle.' The 
woman moreover can, if she wishes, withhold her favours from the 
younger brothers. A somewhat similar system prevails amongst the 



Civil comiition. 





Male . 





■ Female 




Total . 




(Male . 




Married . 

■ Female 
iTotal . 







.Male . 




Widowed . 

J Female 





(Total . 




Note.— The figures are for British Districts only, and those for 1881 and i8gi ex- 
clude the Chittagonjj Hill Tracts* as civil condition in that District was not recorded 
at those enumerations. 

Excluding immigrants, the languages spoken in Bengal belong to one 
or other of four linguistic families : Aryan, Dravidian, Munda or Kol- 
arian, and Tibeto-Burman. Of these, the languages of the Aryan family 
are by far the most important, being spoken by no less than 95 per 
cent, of the total population. The Munda family comes next, but its 
speakers represent only 3^ per cent, of the total, while the other two 
families each claim less than i per cent. The Aryan languages are 
spoken in the plains by almost the whole population, while those of 
the other families are current only in the hills or among recent settlers 
in the plains. The home of the Munda and Dravidian dialects is in 
the Chota Nagpur plateau. The Tibeto-Burman languages are found 
partly in Darjeeling and Sikkim and the adjoining District of Jalpai- 
guri*, and partly in the south-eastern corner of Bengal, in the Chittagong 
Hill Tracts* and Hill Tippera*. There are also a few scattered 
colonies of people speaking languages of this family in Dacca* and 
Mymensingh*. All these non-Aryan dialects are gradually dying out, 
and are being replaced by some Aryan form of speech. The main 
Aryan languages of Bengal are Bengali, Bihari, Eastern Hindi, and 
Oriya. The Census does not distinguish Bihari from Hindi. On the 
average, of every 1,000 persons in the Province, 528 speak Bengali, 
341 Hindi (including Bihari), 79 Oriya, and i Khas, leaving only 51 
persons per 1,000 for all the other languages put together. 

Language spoken. 




Bengali . 

Hindi . 

Oriya . 


Ho . . . 

Santali . 

Oraon . 


















Note. — The figures are for British territory- only. 

Bengal proper, Bihar, and Orissa each has its own caste system, with 



many castes not found elsewhere, and in the north there are numerous 
representatives of the caste system of Nepal. Chota Nagpur is peopled 
mainly by Dravidian tribes who are still outside the pale of Hinduism, 
and on the eastern border there are many similar tribes of Mongoloid 
stock. The main characteristics of the Dravidians are a long head, 
a very broad bridgeless nose, a full round eye, thick protruding lips, 
hair inclined to be woolly, somewhat low stature, black colour, and 
absence of muscle on the limbs, especially the legs. The Mongoloid 
nt)se is also broad and bridgeless, but less so than the Dravidian ; the 
head is short, the eye oblique and narrow, the cheek-bones very promi- 
nent, the hair coarse and straight, the colour inclined to yellow, and 
the figure short and clumsy, but very muscular. The Aryan type, which 
is comparatively rare in i3engal, except among some sections of the 
higher castes, differs markedly from the others. The head is long, 
like the Dravidian, but the features are finely cut, and the thin nose 
in particular is characteristic ; the figure is tall and well shaped, and 
the hair is comparatively fine. 

Owing to the size of the Province and tht inclusion within its limits 
of the dissimilar tracts described above, the number of its castes and 
tribes is exceptionally great. There are 66 castes with 100,000 members, 
and 15 with a strength of more than a million: namely (in order of 
numbers), the Ahir (or Goala), Brahman, Kaibartta, Rajbansi (including 
Koch), Namasudra (Chandal), Santal, Chamar (including Muchi), 
Rajput, KurmI, Teli, Kayasth, Koiri, Dosadh, Babhan, and Bagdi. 
The Ahirs, who number nearly four millions, are by far the most 
numerous ; next follow the Brahmans with nearly three millions, the 
Kaibarttas with two and a half millions, and the Rajbansis with over 
two millions. The Brahmans and Kayasths are found everywhere, and 
so also are the Chamars, Telis, and AhIrs, though to a less extent ; the 
Rajputs, Kurmis, Koiris, Dosadhs, and Babhans are, in the main, Bihar 
castes. The home of the Kaibarttas and Bagdis is in West, of the Raj- 
bansis in North, and of the Namasudras in East Bengal ; the Santals 
are one of the great non-Hindu tribes who inhabit the Chota Nagpur 

The persons who described themselves at the Census as Hindus con- 
stitute 63 per cent, of the total population ' of the Province, and the 
Muhammadans t^-^ per cent. ; all other religions taken together make 
up only 4 per cent, of the population. Hindus are most numerous 
in Bihar (excluding Malda* and East Purnea), Orissa, and West 
Bengal, and Muhammadans in the Districts lying east of the BhagT- 
rathi and the Mahananda. The Musalmans of Bengal form more than 
two-fifths of the total number in India. 

' In the present area of Benj^al, Hindus constitute 78 per cent., Muhammadans 
17 per cent., and other religions 5 per cent, of the population. 


The actual numerical increase since 1891 is about llic same An^ botli 
tlu' main religions ; but compared with their previous strength, the 
followers of the Prophet have increased by nearly 8 per cent., while 
the Hindus have gained only 4 per cent. The most progressive part 
of the Province is that inhabited by Muhammadans, while Bihar, the 
stronghold of Hinduism, has returned a smaller population than in 
1891 ; but this affords only a partial explanation of the figures, and the 
Muhammadans have gained ground in every Division as compared with 
their Hindu neighbours. The subject has been discussed at length in 
the Census Report for 1901, where it is shown that Islam gains to some 
extent through conversions from Hinduism, but chiefly on account of 
the greater prolificness of its adherents. They have a more nourishing 
dietary, their girls marry later, and they permit widow marriage. They 
are also, in Eastern Bengal, more prosperous than the Hindus, as they 
have fewer prejudices about changing their residence and move freely 
to new alluvial formations, where the soil is exceptionally fertile. The 
advance made by Islam is to some extent obscured by the fact that 
Hinduism has itself been gaining new recruits from the ranks of the 
animistic tribes — the .Santals, Mundas, Oraons, and other so-called 
aborigines. These tribes are very prolific, and yet the strength of the 
animistic religions has increased by only i per cent. The natural 
growth was probably at least 1 1 per cent., but this has been counter- 
balanced by conversions to Christianity and Hinduism. Christianity 
has taken some 60,000 during the decade. The rest (about 200,000) 
have entered the fold of Hinduism. 

The conventional divisions of Hinduism are better known to the 
readers of textbooks than to the people themselves. In Bengal proper 
and Orissa, where the Vaishnava reformer, Chaitanya, gained a great 
following, the people may often give a definite reply to the question, 
whether they are followers of Vishnu or of Siva and his wife ; but in 
Bihar it would be extremely difficult to collect accurate information 
on the subject. Moreover, it is only the members of the highest castes 
who concentrate their worship on the deities of the orthodox Hindu 
pantheon. The everyday religion of the lower orders consists largely 
of the propitiation of a host of minor deities and spirits. The personi- 
fied powers of nature — the Earth, Sun, planets, and certain mountains 
and rivers — are worshipped everywhere ; deified heroes are the main 
objects of veneration in many parts of Bihar, while in West and part of 
North Bengal snake-worship is widely prevalent. Farther east various 
aboriginal deities are adored as forms of the goddess Kali. In addition, 
almost every village has its special tutelary spirits, who preside over the 
welfare of the community and have their home in a tree or sacred grove 
somewhere within its precincts. There are again numerous disembodied 
spirits of persons who have met with a painful or violent death, e.g. of 


women who died in childbirth or of persons killed by wild animals. 
These hover round the scene of their former existence and cause 
various kinds of illness and misfortune, and they thus require to be 
propitiated. In the (juaint and childish ceremonial observed at the 
worship and propitiation of these demons and spirits, the Brahman 
has, as a rule, no place. 

A third aspect of the amorphous collection of religious ideas known 
as Hinduism is furnished by the followers of the different persons who 
have from time to time set themselves up, sometimes as inspired 
teachers, but more often as incarnations of the supreme deity. The 
Kartabhajas, for example, regard their founder, a man of the Sadgop 
caste, as an incarnation of the Divinity, and his descendants are held 
in equal veneration. The exhibition of fervid love is the only form of 
religious exercise practised by them, and indescribable excesses are said 
to take place at their secret nocturnal meetings. 

The religion of the uneducated majority of the people is a mixture of 
Hinduism and Animism, in which the belief in evil spirits is the main 
ingredient. There must be something tangible to represent a beneficent 
or even a malignant spirit, on which vermilion can be rubbed, over 
which a libation can be poured, and before which a fowl, goat, or pig can 
be sacrificed. Accordingly, the simple villagers set up a shapeless stone 
or block, or even a mound of mud, to represent the spirit whom they 
worship, while side by side with it is a temple dedicated to one of the 
regular gods of the Hindu pantheon. The architecture of these temples 
varies greatly in different parts of the Province. In Bihar their dis- 
tinguishing feature is a tall pyramidal spire, the outline of which appears 
originally to have been determined by the natural bend of two bamboos, 
planted apart in the ground, and drawn together at the top. In Lower 
Bengal the temples are dome-shaped structures, with a peculiar hog- 
backed roof, which has obviously been modelled on the form of the 
ordinary Bengali huts surrounding them. 

The Muhammadans of Bengal are mostly, in name at least, Sunnis. 
But the great majority are of Hindu origin, and their knowledge of the 
faith they now profess seldom extends beyond the three cardinal doc- 
trines of the Unity of God, the Mission of Muhammad, and the Truth 
of the Koran. It was, until recently, the regular practice of low-class 
Muhammadans to join in the Durga Puja and other Hindu festivals, 
and, although they have been purged of many superstitions, many still 
remain. In particular, they are very careful about omens and auspicious 
days. Dates for weddings are often fixed after consulting a Hindu 
astrologer ; bamboos are not cut, and the building of new houses not 
commenced, on certain days of the week, and journeys are often under- 
taken only after referring to the Hindu almanac to see if the proposed 
day is auspicious. When disease is prevalent, Sltala and Rakshya Kali 


arc worshipped. Dharmaraj and Manasa or IJishahari are also venerated 
by many ignorant Muhammadans. Sashthl is worshipped when a cliild 
is born. Even now in some parts of Bengal they observe the Durga 
Puja and buy new clothes for the festival like the Hindus. In Bihar 
they join in the worship of the Sun, and when a child is born they light 
a fire and place cactus and a sword at the door to prevent the demon 
Jawan from entering and killing the infant. At marriages the bride- 
groom frequently follows the Hindu practice of smearing the bride's 
forehead with vermilion. Offerings are made to the grainya devatd 
(' village god ') before sowing or transplanting rice seedlings, and exor- 
cism is resorted to in case of sickness. These practices are gradually 
disappearing, but they die hard, and amulets containing a text from 
the Koran are commonly worn, even by the Mullas who inveigh against 
these survivals of Hindu beliefs. 

Apart from Hindu superstitions, there are certain forms of worship 
common among Muhammadans which are not based on the Koran. 
The most common of these is the adoration of departed Firs. When 
a holy man departs from this life, he is popularly believed to be still 
present in spirit, and his tomb becomes a place of pilgrimage to which 
persons resort for the cure of disease or the exorcism of evil spirits, or 
to obtain the fulfilment of some cherished wish. The educated stoutly 
deny that Pirs are worshipped, and say that they are merely asked to 
intercede with God, but among the lower classes it is very doubtful if 
this distinction is recognized. Closely allied to the adoration of Pirs is 
the homage paid to certain mythical persons, among whom Khwaja 
Khizr stands pre-eminent. This personage appears to have been a 
preTslamic hero of the Arabs, and he is believed at the present day to 
reside in the seas and rivers of India and to protect mariners from 

These unorthodox beliefs are violently inveighed against by numerous 
reformers, most of whom owe their inspiration to Ibn Abdul Wahhab 
of Nejd in Arabia, who, early in the eighteenth century, founded the 
sect called Wahhabi. He rejected the glosses of the Imams, denied 
the superiority of the Ottoman Sultan, made comparatively light of the 
authority of Muhammad, and insisted on the necessity for waging war 
against all infidels. His followers in India at the present day do not 
accept all his views, and many now hold that India is not a country 
in which war against the infidels is lawful. But they are all united in 
their opposition to non-Islamic superstitions, and in many places they 
seem to have succeeded to a great extent in eradicating them. 

In Eastern Bengal the Wahhabi movement met with considerable 
success during the nineteenth century. The principal local reformers 
were Dudhu Mian and Karamat All. The adherents of both are known 
as Farazis, or followers of the law ; but there is a considerable difference 



between them, the latter being pure revivaHsts, while the former sub- 
scribe to the extreme views of the original VVahhabis regarding infidels. 
The aggregate Christian population in 1901 was 278,366, compared 
with 192,484 in 189 1. Of the total number, 27,489, or 9-9 per cent., 
belong to European and allied races; 23,114, or 8-3 per cent., are 
Eurasians; and 227,763, or 8i-S per cent., are native converts or their 
descendants. About nine-tenths of the Europeans are of British nation- 
ality. The great increase of the Christian population during the decade 
is due to new conversions, especially in Chota Nagpur, and more par- 
ticularly in Ranch!, where the German Lutheran missionaries have met 
with great success. This District now contains 124,958 Christians, 
against 75,693 only ten years ago. Some other Districts in the Province 
which show a noteworthy increase in the number of Christians are 
noted below : — - 

Number of 
Christians in 

C^'-'^- P^s. 









189I . 
1901 . . 








The return of sects shows that 165,528 are Protestants and 108,194 
Roman Catholics ; the balance consists of persons who failed to specify 
their sect, and Armenians, &c. Of the Protestants, 61,024 belong to 
the Anglican communion, 69,580 are Lutherans, 21,621 Baptists, and 
6,691 Presbyterians. The remainder belong to various miscellaneous 

The great centre of Roman Catholic missionary enterprise in this 
Province is Ranch!, where three-fifths of the total number of converts 
are found. The next largest community of Roman Catholic native 
Christians is in Dacca*, where they exceed 10,000 (partly descended 
from Portuguese settlers in the seventeenth century) ; the number is 
also considerable in Calcutta, the Twenty-four Parganas, Nadia, and 
Champaran. The mission in the last-mentioned District is the oldest 
of all, dating from 1740. 

Of the Protestant missions the best known and most successful is 
that in Ranch!, which was started in 1845 ^Y six German missionaries, 
under the name of Gossner's Mission. An unfortunate disagreement 
took place twenty-three years later, and the mission was split up into 
two sections, the one enrolling itself under the Society for the Propa- 
gation of the Gospel, and the other retaining the original designation. 
The first mission of the Church of England was started in Burdwan in 
1816 ; but the success here has not been so great as that of the offshoot 
of Gossner's Mission in Ranch!, which has already been mentioned, nor 
as that in the adjoining District of Nadia, which was founded by the 



Church Missionary Society in 1831, and now claims nearly 6,000 native 
Christians. Anions other missions of the Church of England, those in 
the Twenty-tour I'arganas, Calcutta, and the Santal Parganas are the 
most successful. The liaptists have their liead-cjuarters in the swamps 
of Backergunge* and Faridpur*, where they have been working among 
the Chandals since 1824. The number of their converts now exceeds 
7,000. The Cuttack mission, founded in 1822, claims 2,000 con- 
verts. The missionaries of the Church of Scotland have been at work 
since 1870 in Darjeeling and Jalpaigurl* Districts with a fair measure 
of success. 

So far as the Anglican Church is concerned, the whole of Bengal, 
with the exception of Chota Nagpur, which is under an Assistant 
Bishop, lies in the diocese directly administered by the Bishop of 
Calcutta, the Metropolitan of India. The ecclesiastical jurisdiction 
of the Roman Catholic Church vests in an Archbisliop resident in 
Calcutta, who has suffragan sees at Krishnagar and Dacca* ; but cer- 
tain small communities of Portuguese origin are under the Portuguese 
Vicar-General of Bengal. 

Of the other religions returned at the Census it will suffice to mention 
the Buddhists, numbering about a quarter of a million, found mainly on 
the confines of Burma and Nepal; the Jains (7,831), who are chiefly 
immigrant traders; and the Brahmos or Hindu Theists (3,171). 







Musalman . 

















Note. — The figures are for British Districts only, and the details for i88i and 
1891 are the adjusted figures on the area of 1901. 

The most striking feature of the return of occupation is the very 
large proportion of persons who are dependent on agriculture. Nearly 
two-thirds of the population are either landlords or tenants ; 6 per cent, 
have been returned as agricultural labourers ; and of the 7 per cent, 
shown as general labourers the great majority must also be mainly 
dependent on agriculture. About 1 2 per cent, of the total population 
(including dependents) are engaged in the preparation and supply of 
material substances ; and of these half find a livelihood by the provision 
of food and drink, and a fifth by making and dealing in textile fabrics 
and dress. Domestic and sanitary services provide employment for 
very few, the number of persons who support themselves in this way 
being barely 2 per cent, of the population, or less than a third of the 
proportion so employed in England and Wales. Commerce, transport. 


and storage provide employment for 2 persons in every 100, of whom 
rather more than half are engaged on transport and storage, and slightly 
less than half on commerce. Professions, including the priesthood, 
are the means of subsistence of less than 2 persons per 100. 

In East Bengal the cultivator takes as a rule three meals a day. He 
begins in the early morning with rice left over from the previous night's 
supper, parched or popped rice, and jack-fruit or mango when in season. 
The midday and evening meals have boiled rice as their foundation, 
and with it are mixed pulses of different kinds, fish, or vegetables. 
Muhammadans eat meat when they can afford it. Among the poorer 
classes in Bihar conditions are very different. The principal meal is 
taken at nightfall and consists of some coarse grain, such as maize or 
a millet, boiled into a porridge. A lighter meal of the same diet is 
taken at midday, but only the well-to-do enjoy two full meals a day. 
In Orissa rice again forms the staple diet, but the cultivator is content 
with a full meal in the evening of rice boiled with a little salt, 
some pulse or vegetables, and perhaps fish ; in the morning he eats 
cold the remains of the evening meal. In Chota Nagpur a cold meal 
is taken at noon, and a hot supper in the evening ; the food consists 
sometimes of rice or maize, but more commonly of a millet such 
as niarud i^Ekusine coraca/ia) or gondii {Panicuin miUare\ pulses, oil, 
vegetables, &:c. These are eked out with jungle fruits and roots, and 
especially with the blossoms of the fnahita tree {Bassia latifolia) when 
in season. 

The garments commonly worn by men are the dhoti or waist cloth 
and the chddar or loose cloth worn over the shoulders ; those who can 
afford it wear Sipinln or coat. Among the strict Farazi Muhammadans 
of Eastern Bengal, the dhofi is worn as a lungi or kilt, and is frequently 
of coloured cloth. Muhammadans wear a skull-cap, and Hindus 
a pagri. In Bihar the poorer classes wear only the dhoti, and the pagr'i 
is reserved for special occasions. For women the sdri is almost uni- 
versal, one end being worn over the head and shoulders and fastened 
to the waist-piece ; a bodice is added by those who can afford it, and is 
commonly worn even by women of the poorest class in North Bihar. 
In the towns the men wear an English shirt over the dhoti, the tails 
hanging loose, and a chddar over the shoulders ; English socks, loose 
slippers or shoes, and an umbrella complete the costume. In the fields 
the agriculturist is content with an exiguous rag round his loins, and in 
Eastern Bengal a large wicker shield, and in Orissa a wicker hat, 
protects him from the weather. Girls up to the age of three and boys 
up to five years generally go naked. All but the very poorest women 
wear ornaments on wrist, neck, and ankle ; these are generally of silver, 
brass, or lac. 

The houses in Lower Bengal are not congregated into villages, but 

2 40 BENGAL 

each homestead stands in its own orchard of fruit and pahii trees. Tlie 
sites have been laboriously raised by excavation, which has left tanks in 
every compound ; and the houses arc erected on mud i)linths and built 
round a courtyard with wooden or bamboo posts and interlaced walls 
of split bamboo, with thatched roofs resting on a bamboo framework. 
The whole is encircled with a bamboo fence, and sometimes by a moat 
and a thorny cane or cactus hedge. In Bihar the comi)ounds are 
smaller, and where the fields are low the houses cluster thickly on the 
raised village sites ; the walls are of mud and the roof tiled or thatched. 
In the uplands of Bihar, and in Chota Nagpur and Orissa, the home- 
steads are separate, though they generally adjoin one another ; each 
house is surrounded by a well-manured patch of castor, tobacco, or 
some other valuable crop. 

The Hindus bury small children who die during the first year after 
birth ; all others are nominally burnt, but where fuel is scarce the 
cremation is often far from complete, and sometimes consists only 
of putting a few lighted sticks in the mouth and on the face, after 
which the corpse is thrown into the nearest river. In tracts near the 
Ganges it is the practice to carry dead bodies to burning ghats on 
its banks, and in all parts it is considered right that the ashes and main 
bones should be thrown into the sacred stream. The Muhammadans 
bury their dead, and so do the Jugis of Eastern Bengal and various 
sects of ascetics, and also the low castes and most aboriginal tribes. 
The Jugis place the corpse in a sitting position, with the legs crossed in 
the conventional attitude of Buddha, and the face turned towards the 

The chief amusement of the people lies in attending the fairs which 
are held all over the Province. These gatherings are at stated seasons, 
generally in connexion with some bathing festival or other religious 
ceremony, and are attended by numerous hawkers, who set up booths 
for the sale of miscellaneous articles, by religious mendicants, jugglers, 
conjurers, actors, and musicians, all of whom contribute their quota 
to the entertainment of the crowd. Every market is thronged by gaily 
dressed crowds, who exchange the gossip of the day and discuss the 
latest cause cefebre while making their weekly purchases. The great 
annual religious festivals afford an excuse for merry gatherings, espe- 
cially at the New Year in April, when numbers congregate in the fields 
and amuse themselves with wrestling, hook-swinging, which now takes 
the form of a merry-go-round, and gossip. Every one goes mad with 
merriment at the Holi festival, and many Musalmans enjoy the fun as 
much as the Hindus. Their own religious festivals are attended by 
devout worshippers ; they are very fond of religious discussions, and 
immense crowds gather when famous Maulvis are pitted against each 
other to argue some knotty point of law or practice. Football is by far 


the most popular outdoor game, and huge crowds assemble on the 
Calcutta maiddn to watch games under Association rules, at which 
Bengali boys are remarkably proficient. Among the aboriginal tribes 
hunting, cock-fighting, bull-baiting, drinking bouts, and saturnalian 
dancing are the chief amusements. 

Hindu names are threefold. The third name is a family or caste 
title, such as, among others, Mukhopadhyaya (contracted to Mukharji) 
or Acharjya in the case of a Brahman, Das for a Kayasth, Singh for a 
Rajput. The first two names are appellative, and the middle name is 
often dropped in actual intercourse. In Bihar there is generally no 
middle name. Common affixes denoting a town are -dbad, -pur, and 
-nagar ; -garh means a fort, -gauj a market, -gaon or -grdm a village, 
and -bdgh a garden : e.g. Murshidabad, Chandpur, Krishnagar, Rohtas- 
garh, Sirajganj, Bangaon, Kurigram, Hazaribagh. 

The general characteristics which distinguish agricultural conditions 
in Bengal are a regular and copious rainfall, a fertile soil, and a dense 
population subsisting on the produce of the land ; . 

but within the Province conditions are by no means 
uniform, and the important factors of soil, surface, and rainfoll vary 
widely in different localities. The soils may be classed as either 
gneissic, old alluvium, or recent alluvium, the first two classes being 
found for the most part to the west, and the last to the east, of the 88th 
degree of longitude, which passes a few miles west of Calcutta and 
Darjeeling. The gneissic tract comprises the Chota Nagpur plateau 
and portions of the neighbouring Districts. Laterite soils are to be 
found sloping upwards towards the interior from beneath the old 
alluvium of Orissa and of West Bengal, and overlying part of the Chota 
Nagpur plateau. For agricultural purposes the whole of this western 
tract, comprising the sub-province of Bihar with the exception of Malda 
District*, the Chota Nagpur Division, and the Burdwan Division with 
the exception of Hooghly and Howrah Districts, may be distinguished 
from the eastern tract of recent alluvium which includes the excepted 
Districts, the Rajshahi*, Presidency, and Dacca* Divisions, the greater 
part of the Chittagong Division*, and the coast-line of Orissa. The 
gneissic, laterite, and old alluvial soils are alike mainly dependent upon 
artificial manures to maintain their fertility, whereas the recent alluvium 
is periodically fertilized by fresh deposits of silt from the overflowing 
rivers. The latter process is most active in Eastern Bengal, in the 
deltas of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, whose waters possess the 
fertilizing properties of the Nile. 

The conformation of the surface in the old and the new alluvium is 
widely different, the former being in process of denudation and the 
latter of formation. In the tract covered by new alluvium the periodical 
deposits of river 3ilt maintain a perfectly level surface, which is eminently 


24^ nEXCAL 

adapted for rice cukivalion. The surface of the old alluvium, on the 
other hand, is broken by the scouring action of the rivers and of surface 
drainage, and the level of the country rises and falls in parallel waves at 
right angles to the watershed, the crest of each wave lying midway be- 
tween two rivers. In order to make this undulating surface fit for rice 
cultivation, an elaborate system of small terraces and low embankments 
has to be constructed to hold up the rain-water. \\'here the gradient is 
steep, the expense of this terracing is prohibitive, and on such slopes 
rice is generally replaced by some less thirsty crop. 

There are of course local exceptions to this broad classification of 
soils and surface conditions. In North Bihar, for instance, there are 
numerous saucer-shaped depressions, sometimes of considerable extent, 
in which rice thrives. The soil in these depressions is generally a strong 
clay, with a much smaller admixture of sand than is found in the 
higher uplands which mark the deposits of some ancient river. Again, 
in the broad belt of hilly country which surrounds the Chota Nagpur 
plateau, rice can be grown only in the valleys. The hill slopes are 
steep, and are covered with forest and dense undergrowth, except where 
they have been artificially cleared. Scanty crops of millets and pulses 
are raised in patches on the hill-sides ; and where the forest has been 
recently cleared, the primitive form of nomadic culture known asy'////;// 
is practised, as it is also in the Chittagong HillTracts*. 

The distinction between the east and west of the Province, due to the 
difference in soils and surface, is accentuated by the unequal distribution 
of rainfall, which is generally far less regular and copious in the west 
than in the east. The annual fall in the western tract averages only 
52 inches, as compared with 73 inches in the east. Rain commences 
much earlier in North and East Bengal than it does farther west, and 
heavy showers in April and May facilitate the cultivation of jute and 
early rice. Moreover, the average yearly humidity in the east, including 
Orissa, is 86 per cent., as compared with only 74 per cent, in the west 
of the Province. 

Not only do the eastern Districts receive a great deal more rain, but, 
owing to the annual overflow of the great rivers that traverse them, they 
remain practically under water for six months in the year, and the 
people live on little island mounds and can move about only by boat. 
The surface of this tract is low and flat, and much of it is covered with 
huge marshes where rice and jute luxuriate. In fact, in the east of the 
Province rice and jute are grown almost exclusively, the former occupy- 
ing two-thirds, and both together no less than three-fourths, of the gross 
cropped area. 

In the west all this is changed. Rice is still the principal crop, but 
the rainfall is often insufficient to bring it to maturity, and has to be 
supplemented by artificial irrigation ; fortunately the broken surface 


admits of water storage, and there are numerous small streams which 
can be dammed. The products are far more varied ; there is very little 
jute, and rice accounts for only half the cultivated area, the other crops 
most extensively grown being maize, barley, wheat, oilseeds, marud 
[^Ekusine coracand), and gram. The most striking contrast to the 
monotony of cropping in East Bengal is furnished by West Bihar, where 
an astonishing variety of staples is raised, and where it is by no means 
unusual to find four crops, such as gram, wheat, sesamum, and linseed, 
grown together in the same field. 

Reference has already been made to the nomadic form of cultiva- 
tion locally known as jhum. A piece of forest land, generally on a hill- 
side, is selected in April ; the luxuriant undergrowth of shrubs and 
creepers is cleared away, and the felled jungle is left to dry till May and 
is then burnt. At the approach of the rains, small holes are made, and 
into each is put a handful of mixed seeds, usually cotton, rice, melons, 
pumpkins, maize, and yams. The crops ripen in succession, the 
harvest ending with the cotton in October. After a year or two the 
ground becomes choked with weeds and is abandoned for a new 
clearance, where the same process is repeated. 

In the Darjeeling Himalayas steep mountain slopes are terraced 
and revetted with stone for rice cultivation, wherever water is available 
for irrigation ; elsewhere the mountain-sides are sown with maize or 
millets. In the Rajmahal hills the level crests are cultivated with the 
ordinary plains crops, and it is not uncommon in these parts to find 
rice flourishing on a hill-top. 

More than 56 millions, or 71 per cent, of the entire population of 
Bengal, are supported by agriculture; and of every 100 agriculturists 
89 are rent-paying tenants, 9 are agricultural labourers, and 2 live on 
their rents. The proportion of field-labourers varies widely in different 
parts, being as high as 16 per cent, of the agricultural population in the 
Patna Division, and as low as 2 per cent, in the Dacca Division*. The 
agriculturists are far better off in the east of the Province than in the west. 
Not only are their profits much higher, especially from the very lucrative 
jute crop, but they enjoy a far larger measure of rights in the soil. 

No record is maintained in Bengal of the cropping of each field from 
year to year, and accurate statistics of agriculture are not available. 
The District officers furnish periodical estimates to the Agricultural 
department of the areas in each District under each of the more 
important crops, and it is upon these estimates that the agricultural 
statistics of the Province are based. These are not sufficiently accurate 
to form the basis of a reliable comparison between the results of 
successive years, except in the case of such crops as jute and indigo, to 
which special attention is devoted. Such as they are, they apply to 
the whole of British territory, excluding the Chittagong Hill Tracts* 

R 2 


and the Sundarlxms. They show that of the total area' of 146,132 
square miles, 76,454 square miles, or 52-5 per cent., were cropped in 
1903-4. Of the remainder, 4,372 square miles, or 3 per cent, of the 
whole, were covered with forests, 35,263 scjuare miles (24-1 per cent.) 
were not available for cultivation, 19,470 square miles, or 13-3 per cent., 
were cultivable waste other than fallow, and 10,573 square miles 
(7-2 per cent.) were fallow. An area of 16,925 square miles, or 22 per 
cent, of the cultivated area, was returned as cropped more than once 
in the year. 

Food-crops occupy 82 per cent, of the gross cropped area ; 6 per 
cent, is under oilseeds, \\ per cent, under fibres, and sugar-cane and 
tobacco each occupy about i per cent. Of the food-crops, rice is by 
far the most important, as it occupies 54,690 square miles, or 71 per 
cent, of the net cropped area. Next come various cereals and pulses 
with 11^ per cent., and these are followed by maize (4 per cent.), 
wheat and barley (3 per cent, each), and gram and mariid (2 per cent, 
each). Among the non-food-crops, jute (5 per cent.) occupies an area 
second only to that of rice. Of the oilseeds, rape and mustard, together 
covering 3,125 square miles, are grown most extensively. 

There are innumerable varieties of rice, each possessing special 
characteristics which adapt its cultivation to particular localities. They 
may all, however, be classified, according to the harvesting season, 
under three main heads : the winter rice, occupying 42,970 square 
miles; the early rice, 10,940 square miles; and the spring crop, 780 
square miles. 

The winter rice is grown on low land. A piece of high ground is 
usually selected for a seed nursery, ploughed in May or June after the 
first rain, and sown broadcast. In July or August the seedlings are 
transplanted to flooded fields, which have been ploughed and re- 
ploughed till the whole surface is reduced to mud, and the crop is 
harvested between November and January. In the swamps of Eastern 
Bengal, however, a variety of long-stemmed rice is sown broadcast after 
one or two ploughings ; by harvest-time the fields are several feet under 
water, and the rice, which rises with the flood-level, is reaped from 
boats, the ears only being cut. In West Bihar the fields are drained 
in September when the rice is flowering, and flooded when the grain is 
forming in October. It is this practice, known as nigar/i, which makes 

* In Bengal as now constituted, the net cropped area was 54,138 square miles, or 
49.1 per cent, of the total area of 110,217 square miles. Of the remainder, 4,419 
square miles, or 4 per cent, of the whole, were covered with forests, 26,161 square miles 
(23.7 percent.) were not available for cultivation, 16,421 square miles (14-9 per cent.) 
were cultivable waste other than fallow, and 9,078 square miles (8.3 per cent.) were 
fallow. Altogether 10,369 square miles, or 9.4 per cent, of the net cropped area, 
were returned as cropped moie than once in the year. 


rainfall or artificial irrigation in the beginning of October essential to 
a .successful harvest. 

The early rice is generally sown broadcast in April or May, though 
it is occasionally transplanted ; the crop is harvested in August or 
September. Spring rice is grown on the low banks of rivers or on the 
edges of swamps. The seed is sown in a nursery in October and trans- 
planted a month later ; the crop is harvested in March and April. The 
yield per acre of cleaned rice is estimated at 11-02 cwt. for winter rice 
and 7-34 cwt. for the early and spring crops. This is the average yield 
for the Province ; in the rich rice swamps of Eastern Bengal the return 
is at least half as much again, while on the sterile uplands of Chota 
Nagpur not half this estimate is realized. Unhusked rice or paddy yields 
about three-fifths of its weight as cleaned rice. 

Maize occupies 3,125 square miles, mainly in Bihar and Chotil 
Nagpur, and in Darjeeling District. It is a valuable food-crop, yield- 
ing 7-34 cwt. per acre; it is sown in June and harvested in September 
or October. Wheat and barley each cover about 2,344 square miles, 
and both are grown principally in Bihar, barley thriving best north of 
the Ganges, and wheat south of that river ; both are sown in November 
and reaped in March. The out-turn of wheat is estimated at 8-8 1 cwt. 
to the acre for Bihar, 7-71 cwt. for Bengal, and 4-04 cwt. for Chota 
Nagpur, the average for the Province being 5-87 cwt. The normal 
yield of barley is 7-88 cwt. per acre. Gram {Cicer arietiiiion) is a pulse 
which thrives on clay soils, and is grown on over 1,560 square miles, 
principally in Bihar and Central Bengal. It is in the ground from 
November to March, and yields about 7-88 cwt. to the acre. Mariui is 
a valuable millet which occupies nearly 1,560 square miles in Bihar and 
Chota Nagpur. It is sown in July and reaped in November, and the 
average yield is 7-34 cwt. per acre. Jowar {Sorghum vii/gare) and Inyra 
or spiked millet {Pennisetum typhoideum) are grown in Bihar and Chota 
Nagpur ; they are sown in July and reaped in November-December, 
and yield about 7-34 cwt. per acre. Jowdr is grown as a fodder-crop 
in Central Bengal. 

More than 1,562 square miles, principally in Bihar, are under various 
cereals and pulses, which are sown in November and reaped in March 
or April. Among these are the china millet {Fatu'ciun miliaceum), peas, 
lentils, kalai {Phaseolus radiaius), kurthl {Do/ichos InJIorus), and khesdri 
{Lathyriis saiivi/s). Some other cereals and pulses are sown in July and 
reaped in December. These occupy 1,953 square miles, and include 
rahar {Cajafius indicus), gondii {Fanicuni mi/iare), kodon {Paspalum 
scrobiciilatum), a species of kalai, and urd {Phaseo/us Ro.xdiirghii). 

Jute is commercially the most important crop in the Province, and its 
cultivation is developing rapidly. In 1872 it occupied less than 1,560 
square miles, while at the present time the normal area is probably 


not far short of 3,900 scjuare miles, and the exports in 1900-1, a bumper 
year, were valued at 14 millions sterling. The tract in North and East 
Bengal which lies between 23° and 26° 30' N. and 88° and 91° E. is 
by far the largest jute-growing area in the world. 'I'he crop is sown in 
April and reaped in August, and, after retting, the fibre is baled to save 
freight. The chief centres of the jute trade and baling are Narayan- 
GANj*, SiRAjGANj*, and Chandpuk*. The average yield per acre is 
estimated at 10-71 cwt. 

The various oilseeds are commercially important, and collectively 
occupy nearly 6,250 square miles. Rape and mustard account for more 
tlian half this area, and are grown extensively in North Bengal and 
Mymensingh*. Linseed is commonly grown as a catch-crop after the 
winter rice has been reaped. Other oilseeds are /// or gingelly [Sesamnm 
i/idiai/fi), castor, and sargi/Ja or niger-seed {Guizotia a/^rssi/n'ca), the 
latter grown largely in Chota Nagpur. These are mostly spring crops, 
sown in October and harvested in March. Rape, mustard, and linseed 
yield about 4-41 cwt. per acre, and the other crops about 3-12 cwt. 

Sugar-cane, with 1,020 square miles, is usually planted in February or 
March and occupies the ground for ten or eleven months ; the normal 
out-turn is 22 cwt. per acre. The juice is boiled and sold as gur or 
jaggery, and is also refined into sugar ; large refineries have recently 
been started at Ottur in Muzaffarpur, and elsewhere in North-West Bihar, 
where the cultivation of sugar-cane is to some extent replacing indigo. 
Tobacco is grown everywhere in small quantities and occupies 780 
square miles ; it is cultivated on a large scale in Rangpur* and the 
neighbouring Districts of North Bengal, whence the leaf is exported to 
Burma and made into cigars. The produce varies from 4-41 to 
8-82 cwt. per acre in Bengal, and from ii'75 to 14-69 cwt. in Bihar; 
it is sown in November and reaped in March. 

Indigo occupies 390 square miles, chiefly in North Bihar, though it is 
still cultivated in Central Bengal ; the area is shrinking, as the natural 
dye suffers from competition with the artificial substitute. Indigo is 
sown in March, and the leaf is cut in July and again in September ; the 
yield of dye varies from 12 lb. per acre in Bengal to 20 lb. in Bihar. 
The general practice is for the planter to take a lease of a village, and 
then arrange with the cultivators to grow indigo, assisting them with 
seed and cash advances, though in some places the villagers grow it 
independently and sell it to the factory by weight. 

The poppy is grown in West Bihar, and to a small extent in Chota 
Nagpur, and occupies 390 square miles. It is cultivated with the help 
of Government advances, and the opium is sold at a fixed rate to 
Government, as will be described in the section on Miscellaneous 
Revenue. The seed is sown in November, and the crop is collected in 
March and April ; the yield varies from 10 lb. to 1 8 lb. per acre. Cotton 


is little grown ; there is none in the plains of Bengal proper, and else- 
where it occupies only about 125 square miles. One crop is sown in 
July and harvested in November, and another is sown in October and 
harvested in April. Tea is cultivated on a large scale only in Jalpai- 
GURi*, Darjeeling, and Chittagong* ; in 1903 there were 422 
gardens, with a total area of 210 square miles and an out-turn of 
51,000,000 lb. The average yield from mature plants is 367 lb. per 
acre ; but the out-turn varies in different parts, averaging 453 lb. an acre 
in Jalpaigurl*, 313 lb. in Chittagong*, and 2S8 lb. or less elsewhere. 
The value of the crop in 1901 was i-| crores, and the average price per 
pound in the same year was 5^ annas, compared with 7f annas twelve 
years previously. This disastrous fall in prices is due mainly to over- 
production ; but during the last two or three years there have been very 
few fresh extensions of tea cultivation, and it may be hoped that better 
times are in store for this important industry. Gaiija {Cannabis sativa) 
is a Government monopoly and is grown on 1,100 acres in Rajshahi 
District*; the yield varies from 10 to 21 cwt. per acre. It is sown in 
August and harvested in February. 

Among non-food-crops grown in the rains are hemp and mulberry, 
the latter chiefly in Malda*, Murshidabad, Rajshahi*, and Bogra*. 
In the winter are grown condiments, such as chillies {Capsicum fnitescens) 
and onions, the safflower dye, and oats, which are generally used for 
fodder. Turmeric is sown in June and harvested in March, and ginger 
is sown in June and harvested from December to February, The piin 
creeper {Piper Betle) is planted in May or June in a thatched enclosure, 
and the leaves are ready for picking in twelve months. Among other 
condiments are garlic, coriander, cumin, and aniseed. Large areas are 
given up to thatching grasses, such as ulu grass {Iviperata arundinacea) 
and kiis {Saccharum spontaneum). In the Santal Parganas and parts 
of Chota Nagpur sabai grass {Ischaenuun angus/ifo/ium) grows on the 
hilly slopes and is carefully preserved ; it is used locally for twine and 
rope, and it is also extensively employed in the manufacture of paper. 
Reeds, such as the hogla {Typha e/ep/iantina), nal {Aniphidonax Koika), 
and siialpdti {Phryniutn dichotomutn), are extensively grown and woven 
into mats. 

A strong prejudice exists against night-soil or bonemeal as manure, 
and chemical manures are practically unknown. Cattle-dung is used 
wherever it can be spared, but it is largely burned as fuel, and little 
or no use is made of the urine. The feeding of the cattle is also so 
poor that their dung is not rich in manurial constituents. House- 
sweepings are freely utilized, generally in the form of ashes. What 
little manure is available is mostly applied close to the homesteads for 
garden crops, and for maize, tobacco, castor, and poppy. Castor and 
mustard-cake are occasionally used as a top-dressing for sugar-cane and 


potatoes. In East Bengal rice straw is sometimes burnt as a manure, 
and sugar-cane, garden crops, potatoes, and tol^acco are generally 
manured, though the (juantity applied is very small. In Bihar refuse 
indigo is used with avidity where it is available in the neighbourhood 
of factories, and pond mud is very highly valued. 

Clay soils grow winter rice year after year ; occasionally a catch-crop 
of khesari is taken as a fodder, or, if the land continues moist until 
harvest tinie, it may be ploughed and sown in East Bengal with kalai, 
and in Bihar with gram and peas or barley. Lighter soils generally bear 
two crops in^ the year — in the rainy season, early rice or jute in North 
and Lower Bengal, and maize or some of the inferior millets in Bihar or 
Chota Nagpur ; in the winter a pulse or an oilseed in Bengal, and a 
mixture of various pulses and oilseeds with wheat or barley in Bihar. 
Potatoes often follow maize in Bihar, and jute or early rice in North 
and Lower Bengal, and jute itself is sometimes rotated with early rice. 
Sugar-cane is an exhausting crop and is generally rotated with rice. 
The mixture of pulses and cereals serves the purpose of rotation, as 
the pulses belong to the leguminous family and enrich the soil with 

Among the cultivated fruits are the mango {Mangifera i/idica), plantain 
{Musa sapientiini), pineapple {Ananassa sativa), jack-fruit {Artocarpus 
integrifolid), guava {Fsydiia/i pomiferu/n), custard-apple (Anona squa- 
mosa), lichl {Nephelium Litchi), and several varieties of fig and melon. 
Many parts of East Bengal are studded with coco-nut plantations. The 
mangoes of Darbhanga and Malda* enjoy a high reputation. \^egetables 
are everywhere cultivated in garden plots for household use, and also on 
a larger scale in the neighbourhood of large towns. The favourite are 
the egg-plant or baigun {Solani/m Afelongena), ground-nut {Trichosanthes 
dioica\ pumpkin {Lagenaria vulgaris), gourd {Benincasa cerifera), and 
aru?n {Colocasia Antiquorum) grown in the rains, while in the winter 
potatoes, yams, melons, and radishes are largely cultivated. Cauliflowers 
and cabbages are also common, and spinach and onions are universal. 
Potatoes are extensively grown on the rich soils bordering the Ganges 
in West Bihar, and in the Hooghl)- and Burdwan Districts of West 
Bengal; they yield about 2 tons to tho acre. 

There has been a steady increase of cultivation during the last twenty 
years, but the earlier statistics were so defective that they do not afford 
evidence of this increase. Tillage is extended by felling the forests on 
upland tracts and in the submontane tarai, by reclaiming the sandy 
islands which are constantly forming in the big rivers, by embanking 
lands in the littoral tracts, and by cultivating the swamps of Eastern 
Bengal, the level of which is being gradually raised by silt deposits. 

An Agricultural Institute under the Government of India has been 
opened at Pusa in Darbhanga District. Experimental farms under the 


-superintendence of the Agricultural department are established at 
SiBPUR, BuRDWAN, and Dumraon, and demonstration farms have 
recently been started at Chittagong* and Angul. Experiments 
have been made with improved varieties of rice, wheat, sugar-cane, and 
potatoes, and with manures for these crops ; the cultivation of potatoes 
has been extended, and Burdwan sugar-canes have been introduced into 
Bihar. Useful work has been done in the direction of stimulating the 
out-turn of raw silk, by training the rearers to eradicate pebrine and 
other diseases of the silkworm. An agricultural class is attached to the 
Sibpur Engineering College, but it has not been successful ; it is to be 
moved to Pusa. The department has recently extended its sphere of 
activity in many directions. Special investigations have been made into 
the alleged deterioration of jute, efforts have been made to extend the 
cultivation of cotton, aid has been given to indigo research operations, 
and an experimental farm has been started at Cuttack to show cultivators 
what can be done with water always at command. Besides this, agri- 
cultural associations, working in co-operation with the department, have 
been established in order to help it with advice, to disseminate agricul- 
tural knowledge by communicating the results of its operations to the 
people, and to awaken further interest in the development of the 
agriculture of the Province. A Central Association has been formed 
at Calcutta, and Divisional and District Associations are being formed 
in the interior, which will work in concert witli this central body. 

Loans are rarely taken from Government, and in 1903-4 the total 
sum amounted to onl}' 3-6 lakhs, of which nearly half was advanced 
in Palamau District. It is too early to pronounce an opinion on the 
prospects of the Agricultural banks which have recently been started ; 
but 58 banks are now in existence, and some of them seem to be 
working successfully. 

Little attention has been directed in Bengal to the subject of the 
indebtedness of the cultivators, and in the Province generally the 
question has never reached an acute stage. In a great part of Bengal 
proper a system akin to peasant proprietorship prevails, and the rich 
profits of jute cultivation are shared by all the cultivating classes. In 
Bihar and Chota Nagpur the peasantry are as a class impoverished, but 
there is little evidence to show the extent of their indebtedness. In 
Chota Nagpur and the Santal Parganas, the Bengali money-lender at 
one time threatened to oust the improvident aborigines from their 
lands ; but land transfer to Bengalis has now been prohibited, and the 
prohibition is strictly enforced at the time of rent settlement. In 
various parts of the Province a survey and record -of-rights are in 
progress, which aim at securing to the ryots the fixity of status and 
the immunity from arbitrary enhancement which the Tenancy Act 
prescribes, and the Settlement officers have made careful inquiries as 


to the extent of indebtedness in Gaya, Champaran, and Muzaffarpur 
Districts, where, if anywliere in the Province, it niiglit be expected to be 
serious. The inquiries in Muzaffarpur and Gaya show that cultivators 
owe on the average Rs. 2-6 a head and cultivating labourers Rs. 1-5, 
and that indebtedness is decreasing. In (Champaran the tenantry are 
badly off, and, during the decade preceding the settlement, 1-4 per 
cent, of the cultivators' holdings had been sold or mortgaged to 
money-lenders. The people are thriftless, and the majority are in 
debt to the mahajan. In Saran only one-fifth of the cultivators are in 
debt, and their total indebtedness is estimated at less than a crore, 
whereas the net profits of cultivation amount to over 2>\ crores. In the 
whole Province only 7,000 holdings were purchased by money-lenders 
in 1902, and there is no indication that the peasantry as a body are in 
danger of losing their lands to money-lenders. A common rate of 
interest is 36 per cent, per annum. 

The implements in universal use are the plough, harrow, sickle, and 
hoe, and they vary in size and shape according to the strength of the 
draught cattle in use, the texture of the soil, and the description of 
cultivation practised. The ploughs in Bihar are generally heavier and 
more effective than in Bengal, and work the soil to a depth of 5 inches, 
whereas those in use in North Bengal scratch the surface to a depth of 
only 2 inches. The Cuttack and Noakhali* ploughs are very heavy, 
and the two sides are shaped like mould-boards, giving them the 
appearance of ridging ploughs. The Bihiya sugar-cane mill, made in 
Shahabad, and a similar type of mill made at Kushtia in Nadia are the 
only improved implements which are really popular ; they have largely 
superseded the native wooden mills. 

The cattle are generally poor, especially in the east of the Province, 
where pasture is deficient; in the north-west some improvement has 
been effected by crossing with bulls imported from the United 
Provinces. The chief breeds of cattle are the Patna, Sltamarhi, 
Bachaur, and Bhagalpuri in Bihar, and the Siri and Nepali in 
Darjeeling. These are worth from Rs. 30 to Rs. 40 a head, though the 
Patna milch-cattle, which were crossed half a century ago with an 
imported short-horn strain, sell for Rs. 80. Good buffaloes are to 
be found in the forests and swampy island flats, and are much prized 
for their milk. The only horses bred in Bengal are the weedy 
indigenous ponies or tats^ which are found everywhere and are worth 
from Rs. 50 to Rs. 60 each. Goats abound, but are very small. 
Sheep are bred in Bihar and Chota Nagpur ; the Patna breed is 
the best. 

Pasture is plentiful in the neighbourhood of the few forests and on 
the river islands ; but it is very scanty elsewhere, especially in Bengal 
proper, where every inch of land grows rice and the cattle have to be 


content with such scanty herbage as the roadsides, tank hanks, and 
field boundary ridges afford. Cart bullocks and plough bullocks are 
partly stall-fed on chopped rice straw when at work, and milch-buffaloes 
are carefully tended ; but the cattle generally are under-fed and 
miserably housed, and no attempts are made to improve the breed. In 
Bihar and elsewhere dedicated bulls roam the countryside and feed on 
the fat of the land, but they are not selected for breeding. The cattle 
suffer fnjm rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease, haemorrhagic septi- 
caemia, and malaria, and occasionally from anthrax. The Civil 
Veterinary department trains young men at the Bengal Veterinary 
College at Belgachia, and distributes them to the District boards and 
other bodies requiring their services ; the total number of passed 
students from this college who were employed as veterinary assistants 
or in other capacities under these bodies and under Government in 
1903-4 was 46. 

A large number of cattle and horse fairs are held, the largest being 
those at Sonpur, Sitamarhi, Suri, and Kalimpong. At these fairs 
cattle shows are held, and prizes are given for the best specimens 

The copious and regular rainfall renders irrigation far less essential 
than in other parts of India, and it is almost unknown in a great part of 
Bengal proper. Statistics are available only for the areas irrigated from 
Government canals ; and in 1903-4 less than 2 per cent, of the rice crop 
and only about 2 per cent, of the wheat crop were supplied with water 
from this source. The principal crops irrigated are winter rice, wheat, 
barley, poppy, sugar-cane, and potatoes. Of these, winter rice is by far 
the most important. It is not irrigated in East or North Bengal, and 
but seldom in the Presidency Division, while in North Bihar it is only 
irrigated near the foot of the Himalayas, where the hill streams can be 
dammed without much difficulty. In Orissa there are large irrigation 
works, but they are not much resorted to in normal years. In the 
Burdwan and Chota Nagpur Divisions, however, and in South Bihar, 
the natural supply of rain-water is insufficient, and rice can be grown 
only with the aid of artificial irrigation. This is chiefly necessary in 
October ; but if the rains are late in starting, water is also required for 
the seed-beds, and again at the time of transplantation. Wheat and 
barley are commonly grown without irrigation, except in the vicinity of 
homesteads in North Bihar, where they get two or three waterings from 
wells in November and December. The poppy is generally irrigated 
from wells and requires weekly watering. Sugar-cane is irrigated, 
except in North Bihar and North Bengal ; it is watered once a fortnight 
during April, May, and June, and once a month in November and 
December. Potatoes are irrigated once a fortnight in Burdwan, 
Hooghly, Patna, and Cuttack, but not usually elsewhere. 


Bengal possesses three important systems of irrigation canals — the 
Son, the Okissa, and the Midnapork. The Son Canals in Bihar are 
fed from the Son river by means of a weir at Dkhri ; they supply water 
to Shahabad District on the west and to Gaya and Patna Districts on 
the east. The system comprises (1903-4) 367 miles of main and 
branch canals, of which 218 are navigable, with 1,217 "liles of 
distributaries, and 3,237 miles of village channels which are private 
property. The supply of water available for the kharlf or autumn 
irrigation is about 6,500 cubic feet per second. For the rain or spring 
crops the supply is always ample. The demand fluctuates greatly 
according to the rainfall in September and October ; the area irrigated 
in 1903-4 was 790 square miles, compared with 756 square miles in 
1902-3. In the hot season the supply of water is very limited, but 
there is usually sufficient for the irrigation of about 25,000 acres of 

The Orissa Canals are fed n)ainly from the MahanadI river, but 
derive part of their supply from the Brahman! and BaitaranI, there 
being in all seven anicuts or weirs. The country served by these canals 
lies chiefly in the delta of the MahanadI, and, being liable to 
inundation, it has been necessary to protect the irrigated tracts by 
marginal flood embankments. Four main canals — the Taldanda, 
the Kendrapara, the Machgaon, and the High Level — comprise 301 
miles of main and branch canals, of which 205 miles are navigable, and 
1,166 miles of distributaries. There are no village channels. The 
supply which can be given in the kharif season is 4,550 cubic feet per 
second. During the rabi season there is very little demand for water. 
Sugar-cane is little cultivated in these parts. 

The Midnapore Canal is supplied from the Kasai river. It is 72 
miles in length and is navigable throughout, and possesses 267 miles 
of distributaries and 30 miles of village channels. The capacity of 
discharge is 1,500 cubic feet per second. The supply at the end of 
the kharif season is, however, uncertain, and in a dry autumn there is 
frequently difficulty in meeting the demand for water. There is little 
irrigation in the rabi season. 

In the north-west corner of Champaran District the Tribeni Canal 
is being constructed as a protective work. It is designed to carry 
enough water to irrigate about 178 square miles. 

Table III at the end of this article (p. 346) gives the principal 
figures connected with these systems of canals ; the falling off in 
navigation tolls is due to the development of railways. 

The ' minor ' irrigation works maintained by Government are the 
Saran, the Eden, and the Tiar or Madhuban canals. The Saran canals 
have a head sluice on one of the side channels of the Gandak river. 
There is no weir, and, owing to alterations in the main channel, it is 


very difficult to feed the canals, which for the present are closed. The 
Eden canal takes off from the Damodar river in Burdwan. It was 
intended primarily to supply fresh water to some old river-beds as a 
sanitary measure, but it is also used for the irrigation of about 42 
square miles. The Tiar canal in the north of Champaran is supplied 
from the stream of the same name, and can irrigate 9 square miles. 

The sale of water for irrigation is regulated by Act III (B.C.) of 
1876, which provides that it shall only be supplied on a written request. 
For rice, leases are entered into for a term of years in which the 
lands to be irrigated are specified in detail ; the quantity of water to 
be given is not mentioned, but there is an implied obligation to supply 
what is needed. In charging for the irrigation of rabi and sugar-cane, 
it is not practicable to determine beforehand precisely which lands 
are to be supplied, and the principle of the Northern India Act is 
adopted, i.e. an acreage rate is charged on those fields which are 
actually irrigated. 

The principal private irrigation works are reservoirs and water 
channels. This form of irrigation is mainly practised in the gneissic 
and old alluvial tracts, where the broken surface facilitates water- 
storage. In hilly country the reservoir is made by throwing an 
embankment across a drainage channel, but on more level ground the 
surface-water is confined in an artificial catchment basin, of a more or 
less rectangular shape, by an embankment raised on three sides of the 
rectangle. Artificial channels are dug parallel to the beds of rivers 
which have a steep gradient, to irrigate high lands down stream ; many 
of these are large works with numerous branches and distributaries. 
Comparatively little use is made of wells for irrigation, though a good 
deal of land along the banks of the Ganges in Patna and Muzaffarpur 
Districts is watered from earthen wells, and small masonry wells are to 
be found near the houses in Bihar, and are used for irrigating poppy 
and other crops. The cost of a masonry well varies from Rs. 100 to 
Rs. 300 and of a kachchd well from Rs. 2 to Rs. 5. Tanks are used 
to a considerable extent for irrigating rice, especially in Burdwan. 

Numerous water-lifts are used, such as the lever and bucket or skin 
bag, the swing-basket, and the spoon irrigation lever. The first- 
mentioned lever is fitted to a forked tree or masonry pillar, and 
counterpoised by clods of earth. When bullocks are used, they are 
yoked to a rope which passes over a pulley carried on a cross-beam, 
supported on two masonry pillars. The basket is swung by two men 
with the aid of ropes tied to the corners, and is used for raising water 
from a river or tank. The spoon irrigation lever is a canoe-shaped 
dug-out working on a pivot. When the level of water is very low, two 
or more successive lifts are required. 

The importance of the Bengal fisheries may be gauged from the fact 


that 1-6 per cent, of the population is engaged in catching, curing, and 
selHng fish, a percentage which rises to 2-6 in the Presidency, Rajshahi* 
and l^acca* Divisions ; moreover, one cultivator in every twenty is 
returned as a fisherman also. The waters of the ]]ay, the rivers, and 
swamps swarm with fish, and every ditcli and puddle furnishes small 
fry to eke out the frugal diet of the people. The best salt-water fish 
are the hckti, iapsi or mango-fish, mullet, pomfret, and sole. Inland 
the hilsa {Clupea ilisha) is found in shoals in the Ganges, while the 
rohu i^Laheo rohitd) and the kdtdl [Catla buchanani) abound every- 
where, as do also innumerable other varieties much esteemed by the 
Bengalis ; prawns and crabs are caught in myriads. The mahseer is 
found in the higher reaches of the rivers which debouch from the 
Himalayas, and in some of the rivers of the Chota Nagpur plateau. 

The Bengali is a very clever fisherman. In the Bay of Bengal he 
practises deep-sea fishing, drying his catch ashore on stakes driven into 
some sandy beach. The larger rivers are trawled from a sailing boat, 
and the smaller streams are fished from weirs. The tanks and ditches 
are periodically dragged, the fish at other times being angled or caught 
in a cast-net. Every streamlet is studded with hundreds of wicker 
fish-traps, while prawn cages are ubiquitous. The wonder is that any 
living fish escapes, so persistent and remorseless is the hunt for the 
finny tribe. Every other interest is subordinated to its pursuit, and not 
only is navigation impeded, but the drainage of the country is blocked 
by the obstruction of every channel and outlet. 

The right of fishery in all but the largest rivers has generally been 
alienated by Government to private persons, having been included in 
the ' assets ' on which the permanent settlement of estates was based, 
but in some cases the fishery itself is a separate ' estate.' In tanks the 
right of fishing vests in the owner or occupant ; in the Bay and large 
rivers fishing is free to all. 

The conditions which determine the rent paid by the actual culti- 
vator to his immediate landlord vary widely in different parts of the 
Province, and even in different estates. In some large 

en s, wages, ggj-g^j-gg jj \^ p^j^j according to rates current throughout 
and prices. . '. . , *^ f . 

a village, while in others lump-rents prevail. In Orissa 

and the Santal Parganas the rents have been fixed by Settlement 
officers. In Bengal proper, lump-rents are generally paid, except for 
newly reclaimed lands, and inquiry often fails to detect the existence of 
any standard rates known to the people. In large estates in Bihar, on 
the other hand, it is usual to find the rent calculated according to rates 
applied to different classes of soil or to particular crops. Generally 
speaking, the principal factors which affect the incidence of rent are the 
fertility of the land, the density of population, the antiquity of the hold- 
ing, the social position of the tenant, and the position and character of 


the landlord. Where the population is dense, there is a keen demand 
for arable land and rents rule high. On the other hand, rents which 
were fixed some years ago are lower than those recently settled, 
because prices and rent rates have steadily increased for many years. 
A Brahman, again, usually pays a lower rate than a man of low caste. 
The highest rents prevail where the landlord is a petty proprietor or a 
middleman resident in the village. Specially high rent rates are usually 
paid for land under special crops, such as sugar-cane, /^J//, mulberry, 
and poppy. The cultivators have been protected from arbitrary rent 
enhancement and eviction by the Bengal Tenancy Act of 1885, but, 
owning to the apathy and ignorance of the peasantry, the Act has 
remained a dead letter over a great part of the Province. In Bihar, 
especially, the tenant is still very much at the mercy of his landlord, 
who rarely gives him a written lease. In Eastern Bengal conditions 
are different. Documents are far more freely interchanged, the demand 
for cultivators to till the land is keen, and the tenant has the best of 
the bargain. 

Little accurate information is available in Bengal regarding rates of 
rent, but the following are the average rates per acre ascertained by 
Settlement officers. In Eastern Bengal Rs. 4 is paid in Tippera*, and 
Rs. 5-12 in Chittagong*, where rents rule very high; the ordinary 
minimum and maximum rates probably range from Rs. 3 to Rs. 12. 
In Orissa rents vary from Rs. 1-8 to Rs. 4, the average being Rs. 2-8. 
In Central Bengal they run from Rs. 3-4 to Rs. 8-1 1, the average 
being Rs. 5-8, and in North Bihar the limits are Rs. i— 14 and Rs. 4-5, 
the average being about Rs. 3-2 an acre. In Chota Nagpur the rents 
are much lower, varying from 8 annas to Rs, 2, with an average of 
Rs. 1-4, while in the Santal Parganas the average is Rs. 4-4, the limits 
being Rs. 3-12 and Rs. 6-12. The rates of rent for special crops 
occasionally rise much higher, the maximum rates recorded for tobacco 
being Rs. 37-8; for sugar-cane, Rs. 18; for potato and poppy, Rs. 20; 
and {ox pan, Rs. 75. 

Rent is extensively paid in kind in Ciaya, Shahabad, and l-'atna 
Districts, where the character of the country renders the maintenance 
of an elaborate system of irrigation necessary ; but to a less extent such 
rents are to be found throughout the Province. Different methods of 
payment prevail; sometimes the grain is divided on the threshing-floor, 
or the standing crop is appraised, while sometimes a fixed payment in 
grain is made irrespective of the yield. In Bengal newly reclaimed 
lands are often tilled by temporary settlers, who contract to raise a 
crop and give the landlord half of it ; they erect temporary shelters for 
the season, and throw up the land at the end of it. 

Wages for all kinds of labour are lowest in Bihar and highest in 
Bengal, Orissa occupying an intermediate position. The actual daily 



rates for skilled and unskilled labour in the different sub-provinces and 
in the three chief cities are shown below : — 



Bengal. Orissa. 


Calcutta. ' Dacca*. 


Skilled labour . 
Unskilled do. . 

A. P. A. p. 

7 10 ' 5 3 
41 29 

A. P. 

4 9 
2 6 

A. P. A. P. 

S u 67 

••• j 3 4 

A. p. 


In Bihar there has been a nominal rise of 7 per cent, in the wages of 
unskilled labour during the last decade, and in Bengal of 14 per cent. ; 
in Orissa, on the other hand, wages are reported to have fallen 12 per 
cent, during the same period. In Patna city they have increased 
9 per cent., while a decrease of 2 per cent, has taken place in Dacca*. 
The wages of skilled labour have increased by 11 per cent, in Bihar, 
15 per cent, in Orissa, and 5 per cent, in Bengal ; they have increased 
in Calcutta by 20 per cent., while in Patna and Dacca* they are 
reported to have fallen by 5 and 13 per cent, respectively. 

The remuneration of village servants is fixed by custom. In Bihar 
each artisan takes his recognized share of grain when the crop has been 
reaped and brought to the threshing-floor ; he often holds in addition 
a small plot of land rent-free, in remuneration for services rendered to 
the zamhidar. In Orissa the village employes serve a fixed circle of 
from 30 to 50 families and receive small monthly payments of grain 
and money, with other customary perquisites. This system is not 
found in Bengal proper, where the village organization, with its com- 
plete equipment of servants and artisans, never seems to have been 

The rise in wages has not kept pace with the increase in the price of 
food-grains, for, whereas during the last twenty years the price of rice 
has risen by 38-5 per cent., the wages of unskilled labour have risen 
by only 15 and of skilled labour by 25-4 per cent, during the same 
period. The fact is that wages are largely governed by custom, and it 
seems probable that the increased demand for labour due to the 
development of railways and to industrial expansion has had more to 
do with the rise in wages than the increase in the price of food-grains. 
The payment of day-labourers and village artisans and servants in kind 
also tends to keep down wages in spite of high prices. 

The average prices of certain staples at important centres during the 
last three decades and for the year 1903-4 are shown in Table IV at the 
end of this article (p. 347). The increase during the years 1890-1900 
was due to the famines of the decades, which caused a heavy drain of 
food-stuffs from this Provincei 


The masses are much better off and enjoy a more generous diet in 
Lower Bengal and Orissa than in Bihar and Chota Nagpur. The 
annual cost of living per head of an average adult cultivator is estimated 
at Rs. 15 in Bihar, Rs. 20 in Chota Nagpur, and Rs. 35 to Rs. 45 in 
Lower Bengal and Orissa. An ordinary hut costs from Rs. 5 to Rs. 40, 
and a well-to-do family has three or four of them. The furniture 
consists of mats, one or two wooden boxes, bamboo baskets, earthen 
pots and pans, and brass utensils. To dress himself and his family 
costs a well-to-do cultivator from Rs. 10 to Rs. 15 per annum, while he 
may spend Rs. 5 or Rs. 10 in brass and silver ornaments. The landless 
day-labourer is generally attached to the household of his master, and 
lives in a wretched hut on his employer's land. He gets one full meal 
at midday and a scanty breakfast and supper. 

The middle classes comprise those who live on land rents, members 
of the learned professions, merchants and shopkeepers, and persons in 
Government or private employment. The joint family system which 
furnishes a common fund for all the members is a relief to those earning 
small salaries. Their food consists of rice, pnlses, vegetables, fish, ght, 
oil, milk, sugar, flour, and sweetmeats, and occasionally meat. The 
ornaments of a married woman of this class are usually not worth more 
than Rs. 50. One or two bedsteads, a few cane or wooden stools, a few 
cheap boxes, some coarse mats, together with a number of brass and 
bell-metal utensils, make up the furniture of an ordinary house, except 
in the towns, where it may include a table, a couple of chairs, and one 
or two benches. The cost of living in Calcutta is estimated at Rs. 50 
to Rs. 70 a month for an ordinary family, and in the country at 
from Rs. 30 to Rs. 50. 

There is no doubt that the standard of living has improved of late 
years in North and East Bengal, where better clothes are worn, earthen- 
ware is giving place to brass-ware, and vegetable oils to kerosene. \n 
Bihar progress is slower, though the improvement in communications 
has facilitated migration to Bengal, where the remarkable industrial 
expansion of recent years has created a great demand for labour. The 
same causes have benefited Chota Nagpur, but here the people are 
primitive in their habits, and they have not yet taken to growing 
produce for export on a large scale ; the Bengal-Nagpur Railway has, 
however, done much to open up this part of the country. The middle 
classes suffer from high prices, unless they have an interest in land, as 
many of them have ; and this is probably the class which has made 
least progress. 

The history of the Government forests in Bengal is similar to that 
of the forests in other parts of India. When the _ 

East India Company first began to acquire sovereign 
rights, its ofificers were naturally impressed by the great extent of the 

VOL. VII. s 


forests, rather than by the benefits to be derived from them ; and for 
many years their sole aim was to expedite their conversion into culti- 
vated fields. Many of the best forests were alienated, and reckless 
exploitation ran riot. The work of destruction was hastened by the 
wasteful form of shifting cultivation known as jhuvi, the constant 
occurrence of forest fires, and the direct and indirect demands for 
railway construction. But with the growing scarcity of valuable timber, 
and the observed bad effects upon climatic conditions of the wholesale 
removal of forest growth, a reaction set in ; and scientific forest manage- 
ment and conservancy in Bengal dates from the year 1854, when the 
first Conservator of Forests was appointed. As in other Provinces, rules 
were then laid down for the control of forest matters, which eventually 
led up to the passing of the Indian Forest Act, VII of 1878. 

Under this enactment land at the disposal of the state may be divided 
into ' reserved,' ' protected,' and ' village ' and ' unclassed ' forests, and 
powers are also taken for the issue of orders with the object of prevent- 
ing the destruction of private forests. No such orders have hitherto 
been issued in Bengal, and there are no ' village ' forests. The arrange- 
ments for conservancy are most complete in the case of 'reserved' 
forests. These are permanently demarcated ; private rights, where they 
exist, are defined, commuted, or provided for elsewhere, and every 
effort is made to prevent damage by fire. Timber is extracted from the 
greater part of these forests in accordance with scientific working-plans, 
and the regeneration of suitable species is carefully attended to. In 
' protected ' forests the arrangements are less elaborate : private rights are 
recorded but not defined, and the efforts of the Forest department 
are directed mainly to the prevention of reckless felling and to securing 
to Government its dues on account of forest produce extracted. As 
cultivation extends, the area of these ' protected ' forests tends to become 
more and more restricted. There are also, in the Chittagong Hill 
Tracts*, certain waste lands at the disposal of Government, in which 
even this modified control is considered inadvisable. The forests on 
such lands are known as ' unclassed,' and their management is regulated 
by executive orders. 

In consequence of the permanent revenue settlement, there is very 
little land at the disposal of Government in the greater part of Bengal 
proper and Bihar, and the forests there have long since yielded to the 
axe and the plough. Owing to the moisture-laden winds of the south- 
west monsoon, and the generally low and level surface of the country, 
which prevents rapid draining and denudation, their disappearance has 
not been accompanied by the ill effects which have supervened in other 
less favourable conditions. Except in a few limited areas, vegetation is 
suflficiently plentiful ; and the bamboos, palms, and fruit trees grown by 
the villagers suffice to meet all their ordinary requirements. For other 


purposes, however, such as sleepers for railways, timber for bridges and 
large buildings, tea boxes, and to meet the fuel demand in cities, the 
only important sources of supply, with the exception of the forests in 
a few Native States and the timber imported from Nepal or from 
abroad, are the Government forests which have been ' reserved ' or 
' protected ' in the tracts lying outside the area which was permanently 
settled : namely, in Chota Nagpur, the Santal Parganas, the Jalpai- 
guri Duars*, Darjeeling, Chittagong*, Angul, and Purl Districts, the 
Chittagong Hill Tracts*, and the Sundarbans. The Government 
forests in these tracts' in 1904 covered an area of 9,581 square miles, 
of which 6,014 square miles were 'reserved,' and 3,567 'protected,' 
while there were also 3,753 square miles of 'unclassed' forests in the 
Chittagong Hill Tracts*. With a few exceptions, the whole of this 
area is uncier the contrcjl of the Forest department of the Province. 
At the head is a Conservator of Forests, and under him are deputy, 
assistant, and extra-assistant Conservators, who are in charge of or 
attached to Forest * divisions ' (twelve in number), and a subordinate 
staff of rangers, deputy-rangers, and foresters. In matters of general 
Forest administration, the divisional officer is the assistant of the 
Collector of the District, or in some cases of the Commissioner, while 
as regards technical matters, accounts, establishments, and the like, he 
is directly under the Conservator. 

The forests of Bengal contain a great number of species, anti their 
composition is very varied in character. The principal types are 
briefly : {a) The tidal forests situated in the delta of the Ganges, known 
as the Sundarbans, where the sundri {Hentiera littoralis) is the most 
important species ; {b) the dry forests of Chota Nagpur and the Santal 
Parganas, where the sal tree {Shorea robustd) largely predominates ; 
(f) the forests in the hilly portions of Orissa, where the sal occurs some- 
times in pure forests, but usually in conjunction with several species of 
Terminalia^ Diospyros, Albizzia, Dalbergia, and bamboo ; {ci) sal forests 
in the Duars * and tarai at the foot of the Eastern Himalayas and on 
the drier spurs of the lower hills, and those of Dalbergia Sissoo and 
khair {Acacia Catechu) on the gravel and boulder deposits along the 
rivers of that part of the country ; {e) the hill forests of British Sikkim 
and Bhutan, stocked chiefly with oaks, magnolias, and rhododendrons ; 
and lastly (/) the Chittagong * forests, of which bamboos, jdrul 
i^Lagersiroemia Flos Reginae) and gurjan {^Dipterocarpus iurbinaius) 
are the most important products. 

Timber and other forest produce are, for the most part, now removed 

1 The Jalpaicjuri Duars, Chittagong, and the Chittngong Hill Tracts have been 
transferred to Eastern Bengal and Assam. The Government forests in the present 
area of Uengal cover 7,806 square miles, of which 4,244 square miles are ' reserved,' 
and 3;562 square miles are ' protected.' 

S 2 


by purchasers, and departmental working is resorted to only for the 
supply of sal sleepers to railways, and of fuel to the Commissariat 
department at Darjeeling. Water-carriage is little used save in the 
forests of Angul, the Sundarl)ans, and the Chittagong Hill Tracts*, 
and to some extent in the Jalpaiguri* and Buxa* forests. The practice 
of shifting cultivation, which is most injurious not only on account of 
the destruction of forest growth, but also because the fires employed 
for clearing the felled areas often spread in all directions, is now almost 
everywhere forbidden, though it is still allowed in the ' unclassed ' 
forests of the Chittagong Hill Tracts* and in the ' protected ' forests 
in the Santal Parganas. The most valuable minor products of the 
forests are bamboos, golpata (palm) leaves, mica, honey and wax, 
thatching grass and sabai grass {Ischaemum atigustifolium), the last 
named being largely used in the manufacture of paper. 

The experiment of cultivating rubber (Ficits elasticd) has been tried 
in the Darjeeling tarai, the Tista valley, and Chittagong* with some 
success, but the plantations are still on a very small scale. 

Measures for protecting the forests from fire were commenced in 
1872, and have now been extended to all the more valuable areas. 
At the beginning of the dry season fire-lines, as well as all boundaries 
and forest roads, are cleared of grass and jungle, and a number of fire- 
watchers are employed to assist the ordinary protective establishment 
in patrolling the forests. In many parts, e.g. in the Sundarbans, the 
forests are not inflammable, and in others, owing to the damp climate, 
fire-protection is an easy matter. It is in the dry climate of Chota 
Nagpur and Orissa that forest fires are most to be feared, and the 
greatest care has to be taken ; but, in spite of all precautions, large 
areas in these portions of the Province are frequently burnt. Of the 
total area of 2,169 square miles in 1903-4, over which protection from 
fire was attempted, 94-98 per cent, was successfully protected at a cost 
of Rs. 7-8-7 per square mile. 

With the exception of a small area in Jalpaiguri District*, there are 
no special fuel and fodder Reserves. In the temporarily settled estates 
of Orissa, however, lands have been set apart in many villages, during 
the recent settlement operations, for grazing purposes, while in the 
Government estates of the Kolhan and Palamau and in some recently 
settled tracts in Singhbhum District blocks of waste land have been 
detached from the 'protected' forest areas and included in the limits 
of villages, to meet the possible requirements of the villagers in respect 
of fuel-supply and pasture grounds. In the case of famine or fodder 
scarcity, the ' reserved ' forests in the affected area are thrown open for 
the free removal of fruits and roots, and in some cases for grazing. 

During the ten years ending 1890, the forest revenue, expenditure, 
and surplus averaged, respectively, 6-5i, 3-86, and 2-65 lakhs; and for 


the ten years ending 1900, 9-45, 4-86, and 4-59 lakhs. In 1900-1 the 
gross revenue was 12-34 lakhs, the expenditure 5-78 lakhs, and the net 
surplus 6-56 lakhs ; and in 1903-4 the gross revenue^ was 10-47 lakhs, 
the expenditure 6-89 lakhs, and the net surplus 3-58 lakhs. 

Coal is the chief mining industry. The Bengal mines furnish more 
than 83 per cent, of the total output of coal in India, and nearly the 
whole of the coke. With the exception of a narrow 
unworked field of crushed anthracitic coal of Gond- minerals 
wana (upper palaeozoic) age in Darjeeling District 
near the Nepal frontier, the coal seams lie mainly in the valleys of two 
rivers, the Barakar and the Damodar. The principal fields at present 
worked are at GirTdih, or Karharbari, in the valley of the Barakar, and 
at Jherria and Raniganj in the valley of the Damodar. These fields 
are estimated to be capable of yielding 14,000,000,000 tons of coal, 
excluding 67,000,000 tons already extracted. They all lie within 200 
miles of Calcutta and have been made accessible by rail. The Raj- 
mahal fields give a small output, and Daltonganj, which has recently 
been connected by rail with Barun, is being developed. Of the un- 
worked fields, Karanpura with nearly 9,000,000,000 tons of coal is 
perhaps the most important. The Auranga, Bokaro, Hutar, and Ram- 
garh fields are also of value, but they have not yet been opened out by 
the construction of railways. These fields contain fair steam coals ; 
some are very good, but they all contain a rather high percentage of 
ash. Many of them yield a good firm coke suitable for furnaces. 

The maximum thickness of the seams is 95 feet, and the portions 
worked vary in thickness from 2\ to 45 feet. As a rule, a quarry is 
commenced at the outcrop ; and as it pays to remove a large over- 
burden from thick seams, a number of huge open excavations are 
formed. When the cover overlying a seam is too thick to be econo- 
mically removed, or when the seam is thin, galleries from 8 to 12 feet 
wide are driven, both on the dip and along the strike of the seam, 
leaving pillars of coal the size of which varies according to the method 
of working and the thickness of the seams cover. A system which 
provides for 12 feet galleries and 12 feet pillars yields at once three- 
quarters of the coal ; but the remaining quarter, which is left in pillars, 
can seldom be won. A system allowing 12 feet galleries and 60 feet 
pillars yields 30 per cent, of coal in the first working, and 70 per cent, 
is left in pillars ; but unless the seam be more than 20 feet thick, a large 
proportion of the latter can be obtained in the second, or pillar, work- 
ing. Pillar working is mainly confined to European-managed mines, 
as there is always danger of a fire breaking out in large areas of pillars. 
In driving galleries it is usual to start from the top of the seam with 

' The coriespoiuling fij^utes for JJciigal as now constituted are: receiiits, S-6 lakhs; 
expenditure, 5-45 lakhs; and net surplus, 3-15 lakhs. 


a height of 6 feet, and, after tliis thive lias advanc-cd some distance, to 
deepen it to the full height of the seam by rutting out the remainder 
of the coal in successive steps. In a few mines the galleries are 
commenced in the lower portion of the seam, and are heightened by 
dropping the coal left above. In the East Indian Railway collieries in 
the Gfrldih coal-field the coal is extracted by a combination of the pillar 
and long wall methods. The lower portion of the scam is cut up into 
pillars 6 feet in height, and the latter are thinned down till they are 
only just able to carry the weight of the overlying coal. These thinned 
pillars are then blown down by dynamite, and the top coal (17 feet 
thick), which comes away readily from a strong sandstone roof, falls on 
the floor, ^^'hen a large area of coal has been extracted, a rib of coal 
is left against the worked-out portion, or goaf, and a new set of workings 
is started. 

The methods of raising the coal to the surface vary from the primi- 
tive means of baskets carried on the heads of cooly women to hauling 
sets of 5 or 10 tubs on inclines provided with rails, or hoisting in 
well-fitted shafts up to 640 feet in depth by direct-acting engines. All 
three methods are in vogue in the chief coal-fields. The coal is cut with 
picks of English pattern and make by natives of many castes, including 
the aboriginal Santals, Mundas, and Oraons, and the semi-Hinduized 
Musahars, Bauris, Bagdis, Ghatwals, Mahlis, Turis, Chamars, Telis, 
and PasTs. The majority are recruited from the villages surrounding 
the coal-fields, and from the adjoining parts of Bankura, Manbhum, 
Birbhum, and the Santal Parganas, 

The underground work is performed at a fixed price per tub of coal 
by families, or gangs of men, women, and children, who choose their 
own hours of labour. The men cut the coal, and the women and 
children carry it to the tubs. As a rule, they also push the tubs to the 
shaft or incline, but at one colliery no horses and ponies are employed 
to ' lead ' the coal underground. A man can cut about 2^ tubs (i^ tons) 
of coal per day of eight hours; but he seldom works more than five days 
in the week, and strictly observes all high-days and holidays. The 
number of working days per year varies from 200 to 300. The total 
value of coal at the pit's mouth in 1901 was 1-54 lakhs; and as there 
were 79,652 persons employed, the value of each person's out-turn for 
the year was Rs. 191. Of this sum, the colliery owner's profit, the 
landowner's rent or royalty, the cost of stores, tools and equipment, and 
the superior establishment take about Rs. 98, leaving about Rs. 93 
a year as the earnings of each person, or about Rs. 15-8 a month 
per family. 

In 1774 Mr. S. G. Heatly (the reputed discoverer of Bengal coal) and 
Mr. J. Summer applied to Government for the right of working coal at 
Raniganj. In 1777 six mines were worked and 90 tons of coal were 


obtained. Nothing further was done till about 1815, when a Mr. Jones 
mined coal from pits and was the first to sell it in the general market. 
The industry progressed slowly till 1840, when the imports to Calcutta 
from RanTganj reached 36,200 tons. From 1840 to 1845 there was 
a constant increase in output, which in 1845 amounted to 62,400 tons. 
The East Indian Railway tapped the fields in 1854, and in 1858 
the out-turn had increased to 220,000 tons. In 1903 the out-turn 
exceeded 3,000,000 tons, obtained from 142 mines employing 34,000 
persons daily. The Raniganj field contains two valuable coal series, 
which are separated by ironstone shales x,ooo feet thick. The Giridih 
field was worked from 1857 to r86i, when it was closed for a time; 
it was reopened and worked systematically in 187 1, and in 1903 its 
yield was 767,000 tons, from nine mines employing 10,700 persons. 
It possesses two valuable seams in the lower coal series, and one of the 
shafts has a depth of 640 feet. Jherria was opened in 1894, but its 
output in 1903 had already risen to 2,746,000 tons, from 115 mines 
employing 28,000 persons. As at Raniganj, two coal series exist, the 
lower one containing eighteen, and the upper one two, valuable seams. 
Of these seams, twelve are being worked. The East Indian Railway 
Company at Giridlh, and the Bengal Coal Company in the Daltonganj, 
Glridih, and RanTganj coal-fields, each raise more than 600,000 tons 
yearly ; and the output of the Equitable, New Birbhum, and the 
Barakar Coal Companies exceeds 300,000 tons each. The European- 
owned collieries raise between them more than 4,000,000 tons, and 
those owned by natives have an output exceeding i\ million tons. 
The capital invested in joint-stock companies is about 115 lakhs, and 
there is also a large but unknown investment by private owners. The 
total output of the Province in 1881 was 930,000 tons. In 1891 it had 
risen to 1,747,000, in 1901 to 5,704,000, and in 1903 to 6,566,000 tons. 

The railways consume one-third of the total output. The imports 
of foreign coal into Calcutta, the only important distributing port, which 
were 70,000 tons in 1880, had dwindled to 2,000 tons in 1901. The 
exports to foreign ports amounted to 8 tons in 1880, 26,000 tons in 
1890, a quarter of a million tons in 1897, and more than half a million 
in 1901. In Bombay English coal still competes with Indian, for 
although the latter can be bought in Calcutta for Rs. 7 per ton, the 
steamer freight and other charges raise its price to Rs. 15 at Bombay, 
which is only Rs. 2 less than the cost of English coal of better quality. 
Indian coal reaches Suez on the west and Singapore on the east ; at the 
latter port it competes with the supply from the Japanese mines. 

About 1,700 persons are employed in iron-mining, and practically all 
the mineral won is dispatched to the works at Barakar, near Asansol, 
where pig-iron, pipes, and various kinds of castings are turned out. 
The ore is found in thin alluvial deposits at a number of places, as 



masses of hematite and magnetite in metamoiphic njcks at Kalimati 
and in the ironstone shales of the Ranlganj coal-field. The alluvial 
deposits were at one time worked by natives. The Kalimati quarries 
are shallow, and were opened in 1901, when they produced 7,800 tons 
of ore, rising in the following year to 10,382 tons. The Raniganj ore 
is in the form of carbonate below ground, but it readily weathers, and 
at the surface consists of hematite and limonite. The beds vary from 
2 to 8 inches in thickness and form one-seventeenth of the whole series, 
which is 1,000 feet thick. About 50,000 tons of ore were won in 1901 
from shallow trenches and pits. The output of the Province rose from 
20,000 tons in 1891 to 58,000 tons in 1901 and to 72,000 tons in 1902. 
The success of the industry depends in a great measure on the coking 
qualities of the Bengal coal. Attempts at steel-making have proved 

Details of Output and Labour for each 
Coal-field in 1903 



Name of coal-field. 






Number of mines . 







Output in thou- 

sands of tons . 






Average number 

of persons em- 

ployed daily 







L 'nder gioiiiid 







Men . 














Children (^under 







Above groiatd 







Men . 














Children (under 








Mica is found over a large area in Gaya, Hazaribagh, and Monghyr 
Districts. It occurs in dikes and masses of pegmatite, as more or less 
defined shoots and patches which, in many cases, are found at the 
surface during the rains and are worked in the cold and hot seasons. 
In 1903 there were 251 mines and quarries, employing about 6,500 
labourers daily. With the exception of Bendi, all the quarries and 
mines are worked by primitive native methods. Haulage and pumping 
are done by women, who are seated on ladders and i)ass up, from hand 
to hand to the surface, earthen pots filled with water or baskets with 


mica. The output in 1901 was 914 tons, valued at 4^ lakhs, or seven 
times the quantity obtained ten years previously. Of this amount, 
628 tons were obtained by a European firm, which owns a large 
area of land outside the Kodarma Government forests, where most 
of the other mines are situated. In 1903 the output had fallen to 
692 tons. 

Recent gold-bearing sands are widely distributed, and yield poor 
wages to a few Jhoras working with wooden dishes. Numerous veins 
of vitreous white quartz and grey quartzites occur in Singhbhum District, 
and in 1895 several small shafts were sunk. Assays give results varying 
from r to 7 dwts. per ton. A small amount of prospecting work was 
done in 1901. Copper pyrites are found at Karaganda, in a band 
of mica and talcose schists varying from 12 to 40 feet in thickness. 
The only mine hitherto worked was closed in 1891. The rock contains 
3 per cent, of copper, which was increased by concentration to 12 per 
cent, and the concentrates were carted to Girldih and smelted. In all, 
1,100 tons of copper were obtained. At Rajdoha also copper has been 
worked in small quantities. Alluvial tin is reported from Hazaribagh, 
but it has not yet been found in paying quantities. 

The saltpetre of Indian commerce is obtained mainly from the Patna 
Division and Monghyr. It occurs as a natural efflorescence on the 
surface of the ground, and its manufacture affords employment to 
a large number of people belonging to the caste (Nunia) named after 
it. The quantity produced in 1900 is estimated at 160,000 cwt., 
valued at 12 lakhs, or rather less than the out-turn in 1891. In 1903 
the out-turn was 382,000 cwt., of a total value of 22-33 l^ikhs. 

Slate has been quarried in Monghyr for many years, and is now 
mined. The industry gives employment to nearly 400 persons, and 
1,600 tons were produced in 1903. There are two beds of slate on 
edge, 13 and 9 feet thick respectively. Owing to 'creep' in the hill-side, 
quarrying has been given up and underground chambers are now cut, 
from 15 to 25 feet in height, leaving a minimum cover of 30 feet. The 
slates are thicker than Welsh slates, but are strong and suitable for 
the flat roofs of Indian bungalows. The castes employed are chiefly 
Koras, Musahars, Beldars, Gonrs, Nunias, Chamars, and Goalas. 

Limestone is widely distributed in the nodular form known as kankar, 
except in the deltaic tract east of the Bhaglrathi. In 1900 the out-turn 
was 100,000 tons, valued at three-quarters of a lakh. Sandstone, suit- 
able for building and road-making, is found in the coal-fields. An 
output of 40,000 tons, valued at a quarter of a lakh, was reported in 
1900. Laterite is found in Bihar and Orissa ; 100,000 tons, valued at 
half a lakh, were raised in 1900. Granite and other igneous rocks are 
used in Gaya and Hazaribagh for road-metal. Soapstone occurs in 
Manbhum, and is made into cups and images, but the industry is small. 


'J'hroughout the Province various handicrafts are carrictl on, but, 

as a rule, the articles manufactured suffice only to meet the local 

demand. Dacca* and Santipur were formerly 
Arts 3.ncl • • 

manufactures f^'^'^^is for their fine mushns ; and early in the nine- 
teenth century the cjuantity exported to Europe, and 
especially to France, was very great. From Dacca* alone the exports 
in 1817 were valued at 152 lakhs. Ordinary cotton goods were also in 
great demand for the P^uropean market, and as early as 1706 efforts 
were made to induce weavers to settle in the neighbourhood of 
Calcutta. The introduction of machinery in Europe has not only 
killed the export trade, but has flooded the country with cheap piece- 
goods and seriously crippled the local weaving industry. Country-made 
goods, however, are more durable, and, in the more remote parts, 
country weavers have maintained their business. The weavers of 
Serampore, who use an improved loom, still hold their own, and so do 
those of Dacca*, where. a carefully bleached white cloth with a border 
of gold thread is made ; wiiile in Patna District the trade in cotton 
goods and cheap muslins made at Dinapore is still fairly brisk. Cotton- 
spinning, except as a domestic industry, no longer exists, and the 
weavers generally work with imported yarn or cotton twist. 

Jute is worked up into cloth for gunny-bags, sails, and quilts, mainly 
in Hooghly and Dacca*, but smaller quantities are manufactured in 
most parts of Bengal proper. This work is the speciality of the Kapali 
caste. The yarn is prepared by the men, and the women weave tlie 
cloth. Jute is also twisted into twine from which ropes are afterwards 

The silkworm is reared in West Bengal and in the tract where the 
Presidency and Rajshahi* Divisions meet. The industry was threatened 
with extinction, owing to diseases among the worms ; but the subject 
has been investigated by Government agency, and remedies have been 
applied with a fair measure of success. Silk-reeling is carried on in 
both European and native filatures, and raw silk is largely exported, the 
value of the exports amounting in 1903-4 to 47 lakhs. Silk thread 
is twisted from the reeled silk by women, and is knotted and uneven. 
The cloth woven is thus of a rough quality, but in spite of this silk- 
weaving was once a flourishing industry. Of late years it has suffered 
greatly from the competition of silks made in Japan, China, and Italy, 
and the value of manufactured silk exported in 1903-4 was estimated 
at only 6 lakhs compared with 18 lakhs in 1881. The weaving of 
mulberry silk, which is made chiefly for export, is carried on in 
Murshidabad and several Districts of West Bengal. That of tasar silk, 
which is in demand among natives, who wear it when performing 
religious ceremonies, has its head-quarters in West Bengal, Manbhum, 
and Gaya ; the business is still fairly prosperous, but, as the worm 


is not cuUivntcd and the cocoons are collected in the jungle, the supply 
is very fluctuating. In East Bengal w/7i,''<7 silk from Assam is woven, 
and in North Bengal a rough cloth is made by the Mech women 
from the silk of the eri worm. A mixed cloth, the warp of which 
is tasar silk and the woof cotton, is woven at Dacca*, Bhagalpur, 
and Bankura. 

I-ocally made cloths and English cloths of similar texture are 
embroidered in coloured silks and cottons at Santipur by the women 
of the weaving class, but the arrangement of colours is not very 
pleasing. Embroidered caps are made at the town of Bihar. .Skilled 
embroiderers in gold and silver are found at Patna and Murshidabad, 
but their work is chiefly confined to caps and to the trappings of horses 
and elephants. In Calcutta and the neighbourhood, the fancy work 
known as chikan is a thriving industry, and there is a considerable 
demand for it in Eurooe. 

Cotton carpets are made at Nisbetganj in Rangpur* and at a few 
places in Bihar. The weaving of woollen goods is carried on only in 
Bihar and in part of Murshidabad District ; but the industry is almost 
entirely confined to the manufacture of blankets, which are made for 
the most part by the shepherds themselves. The cloth is woven in 
narrow strips which are afterwards stitched together. Woollen carpets 
of good texture are made at Obra in Gaya District. 

The filigree gold- and silver-work of Cuttack and Dacca* is well- 
known. The silver-work of Kharakpur in Monghyr is famous, and 
there are also skilled workers in Calcutta. lilacksmiths and workers in 
iron are found everywhere, but most of them are employed in the 
manufacture and repair of agricultural implements and other articles of 
general use. In Patna, Calcutta, and Kishanganj (Purnea), iron cages, 
platters, spoons, chains, bolts, &c., are made. A few cutlers work in 
the suburbs of Calcutta, at Kanchannagar near Burdwan, and at one 
or two other places. Padlocks and keys are manufactured on a small 
scale at Natagarh and elsewhere. Monghyr was famous for its iron- 
workers before the days of foreign competition, and it still holds a 
relatively high position. Its speciality is the making of shot-guns ; but 
during the last few years the business has declined, and in 1901 only 
463 guns were manufactured, or less than one-sixth of the out-turn 
four years previously. The number of fire-arms exported in 1903-4 
was 899. This is attributed by the dealers in arms partly to the effect 
of foreign competition, and partly to the reduced number of gun 
licences issued in recent years. The manufacture of brass and copper 
utensils is the one indigenous industry which has not suffered from 
foreign competition. Figures, supports for /lukkas, hinges, and the like 
are sometimes moulded ; but the chief articles manufactured are do- 
mestic utensils, vessels of brass being used by Hindus and of copper 

2 68 BENGAL 

by Muhanimadaiis. They arc made either by casting and moulding, or 
by joining together pieces of beaten-out metal, which at the present 
day is usually imported in sheets from Europe. The methods employed 
are of the simplest, and practically no machinery is used. 

The manufacture of earthen vessels is carried on everywhere in 
Bengal, but the best ware is made in Burdwan District, on the banks of 
the Bhagirathi, where the clay is especially suitable for the manufacture 
of durable pottery. Black earthen jars are exported in large quantities 
from the Satkhira subdivision of Khulna, and are used for storing oil 
and grain. In Monghyr porous water vessels are made, and decorated 
pottery of graceful form is produced at Sasaram. Ornamental pottery 
is also made at Siwan in Saran, which is remarkable both for its shape 
and decoration, llie vessels are baked in earthen jars to prevent con- 
tact with the flames ; they thus become black when baked, and are 
then glazed with a mixture of clay and fuller's earth. Owing partly to 
the absence of suitable clay, and partly to the fact that Hindus think 
it necessary to change their earthen vessels constantly, nothing has yet 
been done in Bengal towards the production of porcelain or white 
earthenw^are. Glazes also are rarely resorted to. Occasionally vessels 
are smeared, before burning, with a mixture of fine clay, but the art of 
fusing glazes is not understood. Clay figures of some merit are moulded 
at Krishnagar, and idols with no pretensions to artistic skill are made 

Stone-carving, as an art, is practised only in Gaya, where small 
statues of gods and figures of animals are made of granite ; the carving 
of stone for the decoration of temples and buildings has almost entirely 
died out in Bengal. Glass-ware is made, chiefly in Patna, from Son 
river sand mixed with carbonate of soda. The glass is green and 
clouded, but at Patna a fair amount of white glass is now made. Bottles 
for holding perfumery, lamps for illuminations, and glass bangles are 
the chief articles produced. Bracelets of coarse glass are also made at 

The ordinary carpenter of Bengal is a very rough workman, and is 
capable of little beyond the making of ploughs and other simple articles 
in common use among the people. In North and East Bengal, Orissa, 
and Chota Nagpur, the number even of such carpenters is deficient. 
Carving in wood was formerly practised as an adjunct to architecture, 
and there are traces of the skill of former workmen in the carved bal- 
conies of Patna, Gaya, and Muzaffarpur. This sort of work has almost 
entirely died out ; and the only indigenous wood-carving deserving of 
mention at the present time is that of the ebony workers of Monghyr, 
who make pieces of furniture, boxes and other small articles, which are 
inlaid with patterns in horn and ivory. In some parts, especially in the 
Patna Division, carpenters have been taught by Europeans to make 


articles of furniture from European models, and they often acquire great 
accuracy and finish. In Calcutta there are now numerous cabinet- 
makers who learnt their art in the English shops. In Muzaffarpur 
hiikka stems are turned, and over 200,000 are exported yearly ; palkis 
and cart-wheels are also manufactured on a large scale. 

Conch-shell bracelets are made chiefly in Dacca*. They are sawn 
out by a large metal disk, and are then polished and coloured. Bengal 
has always been famous for its ivory-carving, the peculiar feature of 
which is the minuteness of the work, which requires about eighty 
different tools. The number of persons now employed is, however, 
very small, and consists only of a few families in Murshidabad, Rang- 
pur*, and Cuttack. Metal inlaying is practised in a few places, the 
best known being the so-called bidri work of Purnea and Murshidabad, 
which was introduced from the Deccan, and consists of inlaying with 
silver a sort of pewter, which is made black with sulphate of copper. 

Mat-making is largely carried on in South Midnapore, whence comes 
the cyperus matting sold in Calcutta, and mats of fine reeds are woven 
in various parts of East Bengal. Bamboo n.ats and baskets are made 
everywhere, and fancy baskets of coloured grasses in Bihar. The in- 
digenous Cham fir, or leather-dresser and cobbler, is found all over 
the Province ; but his work is very rough and is confined to meeting the 
simple requirements of ordinary village life — the supply of leather 
straps for plough yokes, rough shoes, and the like. In Calcutta a 
number of shoemakers working in the European style are found, com- 
prising both Chinamen and natives of the country. Leathern harness 
is made on a small scale in Calcutta and Patna. 

The extended use of jute, as a fibre, dates from 1832, when experi- 
ments made in Dundee showed that it could be used as a substitute for 
hemp ; and a further impetus was given to the demand when the diffi- 
culties which once existed in bleaching and dyeing it were overcome. 
It is used not only for the making of gunny-bags and coarse cloth, but 
also in the manufacture of carpets, curtains, and shirtings, and is largely 
mixed with silk or used for imitating silk fabrics. The rapid spread 
of jute cultivation during recent years has already been described. The 
whole of the raw material, except such as was required for the hand- 
looms of the villages, was formerly exported to Europe, mainly to 
Dundee ; but of late a flourishing local industry has been established, 
and the banks of the Hooghly are now lined with jute-mills, which are 
rapidly growing in number and importance. In 1903-4 there were 
36 mills with 18,000 looms, employing 122,724 hands, compared with 
25 mills with 9,000 looms and 66,000 hands in 1892-3. Nearly half 
the raw jute produced in Bengal is now consumed in these mills ; the 
value of gunny-bags, rope, and other goods exported in 190 1-2 was 
859 lakhs, against only 100 lakhs twenty years previously ; and the 



export had furtlier increased by 1903-4 to 936 lakhs. Jute presses are 
also increasing rapidly in number; in 1903 there were 155, compared 
with 37 in 1892 and only 4 in 1882. 

The great centre of the Indian cotton-manufacturing industry is in 
Bombay, but it is steadily growing in importance in Bengal, and there 
.irc now ten mills employing about 11,000 hands, compared with an 
average of six mills employing 6,000 hands in the decade 1881-90. 
In 1903-4 the out-turn of yarn exceeded 46,000,000 lb. and that of 
cloth was nearly 700,000 lb. The capital invested has risen from 
"iiT^ to 177 lakhs. 

The principal statistics in connexion with the jute and cotton indus- 
tries are shown in the following table : — 



Number of 





daily number 





of persons 

Jute-mills : 








8, 066 








1903-4 . 





Cotton-mills : 










1896-7 . 




10 900 






1903-4 . 





There were in 1903 four paper-mills with a capital of 50 lakhs, em- 
ploying on the average nearly 900 hands each, and producing nearly 
36,000,000 lb. of paper. The capital invested and the production 
have quadrupled since 1881-90. Other large industries are also growing 
apace, such as iron and brass foundries, oil-mills, silk, soap, and lac 
factories, potteries, rope works, &c. ; and for miles above Calcutta the 
banks of the Hooghly present a scene of industrial activity which bids 
fair in time to rival that of the largest towns in Europe. The principal 
statistics of these undertakings are shown in the following table : — • 



Iron and 










188 1 . 
1891 . 
1901 . 
1903 . 





















* These Ogures include some weaving establishments, the number of which was not reported. 


These industries are at present worked chiefly under European super- 
vision and supported by European capital. It may be hoped that in 
time the natives of the country will follow the lead thus given them. 

It is said that the supply of labour for these large industries has not 
kept pace with the rapidly growing demand, but in spite of this the 
number returned as employed in 1902 aggregated 253,000, compared 
with 247,000 ten years earlier. The real increase is much greater, as 
many industries employing less than twenty-five persons have been left 
out of account in recent years ; and if allowance be made for these, the 
total number of labourers employed in 1902 may be estimated at 275,000. 
The returns for 1903 show altogether 261,656 persons employed. These 
labourers come chiefly from Bihar and the United Provinces and, to 
a less extent, from Chota Nagpur. The wages offered by the mills are 
nearly double those obtained by unskilled labourers in the tracts whence 
they chiefly come ; and, although the cost of living is also higher, 
there is no doubt that the rapid expansion of this field of employment 
is a great boon to the poorer classes. Their main object is to save as 
much money as they can for the support of their families at home or as 
a provision for their old age. In the meantime, they live huddled to- 
gether in crowded lodging-houses as close as possible to the mills and 
factories where they work ; but in other respects they fare far better than 
they would do in their own country, and their dietary is much more 
liberal and of a far better quality than that to which they are accustomed 
at home. 

British trade with Bengal commenced about 1633; but prior to the 
acquisition of the Province it was on a very small scale, and in 1759 
only thirty vessels with an aggregate burden of less 
than 4,000 tons sailed from Calcutta. The chief . . . 

exports were opium from Bihar and Rangpur*, silk 
manufactured goods and raw silk from Murshidabad and Rajshahi*, 
muslins from Dacca*, indigo and saltpetre from Bihar, and cotton 
cloths from Patna. Little except bullion was imported. The 150 
years of British rule have witnessed a commercial revolution. Hand- 
woven silks and cottons are no longer exported, and machine-made 
European piece-goods have taken the first place among the imports. 
On the other hand, owing to the increased facilities for the transport 
of goods, the food-crops have been largely displaced by fibres and 
oilseeds, which now figure largely among the exports. The principal 
imports are yarns and textile fabrics, metals and machinery, oil, and 
sugar ; and the principal exports are raw and manufactured jute, coal, 
tea, opium, hides, rice, linseed, indigo, and lac. Bengal enjoys a 
practical monopoly of the export of coal, raw and manufactured 
jute, lac, saltpetre, and raw silk, and has a large or preponderating 
share in that of opium, indigo, rice, hides, and tea. 


The maritime trade of the Province is concentrated in Calcutta, 
Chittagong*, the terminus of the Assam-Bengal Railway, exports 
jute, rice, and tea, and imports salt and oil ; but its total trade is still 
comparatively small. The Orissa ports do an insignificant rice trade. 
The head-quarters of the jute trade are N.\ravanganj*, Sirajganj*, 
Chandpur*, and Mad.\ripur* in East Bengal, and Jalpaiguri* 
in North Bengal ; the jute-mills line both banks of the Hooghly river 
from lo miles below to 30 miles above Calcutta. Patna is still a market 
for grain, but the East Indian Railway has robbed it of much of its 
importance. Raniganj, Asansol, GTrIdTh, Jherria, and Barakar are 
the centres of the coal trade. Calcutta, with its suburbs of Howrah, 
Garden Reach, and Chitpur, is the centre of the commercial and 
industrial activities of the Province. 

The Bengal Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1834, and 
represents all the large commercial interests of Calcutta. The Bengal 
National Chamber of Commerce and the Calcutta Trades Association 
have been formed to protect the interests of native merchants and 
of the retail trading community. The affairs of the Calcutta and 
Chittagong ports are administered by Port Trusts. 

Broadly stated, the imports into Calcutta represent the convergence 
of the products of the country to the chief seaport for shipment 
overseas, and the exports from Calcutta the distribution inland of 
foreign imports ; the principal articles of export and import are thus 
the same as have already been enumerated for the Province as a whole. 

The registration of internal trade is defective, except for Calcutta, 
and complete returns exist only for rail-borne traffic. The Province is 
divided for registration purposes into eight blocks. The articles most 
largely exported from the Eastern block are jute, grain and pulses, 
timber, kerosene oil, and fodder ; from the Northern block jute, grain 
and pulses, tobacco, and tea ; from the Dacca* block jute ; and from 
Bihar grain, pulses, oilseeds, stone, and lime. All the blocks obtain 
their piece-goods from Calcutta. Calcutta receives rice from East and 
West Bengal ; coal from West Bengal and Chota Nagpur ; jute from 
Dacca* and East and North Bengal; timber from East Bengal ; grain and 
pulses from West, East, and North Bengal, Dacca*, and Bihar ; and oil- 
seeds, opium, and indigo from Bihar. West Bengal imports salt, oilcake, 
wrought iron and steel, and sugar from Calcutta ; coal and timber from 
Chota Nagpur ; and grain, stone, lime, and oilseeds from Bihar. East 
Bengal draws its supplies of salt and railway material from Calcutta ; 
coal from ^Vest Bengal and from Chota Nagpur ; and jute and rice from 
North Bengal. Bihar imports coal and timber from Chota Nagpur. 

The railways, rivers, canals, and roads carry country produce to the 
ports for export, and distribute the imports : the main routes of traffic 
will be described under the head of Communications. Calcutta, 


the chief receiving and distributing centre, is connected with all parts 
of the Province by the railways, which carry the bulk of the internal 
trade. Next in importance as a channel of communication are the 
Calcutta and Eastern Canals, which carry enormous quantities 
of rice and jute from the eastern Districts into Calcutta. 

Jute is either exported from Calcutta or manufactured in the mills on 
the Hooghly. In the former case it is pressed into bales to reduce the 
freight. One-third of the jute pressed at Narayanganj* finds its way 
to Chittagong* by the Assam-Bengal Railway, and is thence shipped 
direct. The presses and the mills obtain their jute from the cultivator 
through native brokers, and the trade in Calcutta is largely in the hands 
of European brokers. Tea grown in North Bengal is taken to Calcutta 
by rail, but most of that produced in Assam is carried thither by 
steamer, and shipped thence to London either by the producers, or 
by brokers who purchase it at auction. Considerable and increasing 
quantities of Assam tea are, however, now sent by the Assam-Bengal 
Railway to Chittagong*, and are shipped thence direct to England. 
Coal is carried by rail from the mines to Calcutta, whence it ,is shipped 
to Bombay and other coast ports. Opium intended for export is also 
brought to Calcutta, where it is sold at auction by the Board of 
Revenue. Imported foreign goods are bought by native merchants, 
through European brokers, from the consignees, and distributed up- 

Only 8 per 1,000 of the population are engaged in commerce. 
A great part of the trade is in the hands of enterprising merchants from 
Marwar, chiefly Agarwals and Oswals ; the indigenous dealers belong in 
Bengal to the Sunri, Kayasth, Teli, Subarnabanik, and Brahman castes, 
and in Bihar to the Rauniar and Kalwar castes. The Marwaris are 
bankers and money-lenders, and dealers in piece-goods and country 
produce ; of the other castes mentioned, the Brahmans and Kayasths 
are engaged as brokers, money-lenders, and bankers, while the others 
are for the most part petty shopkeepers. 

Statistics of the value (i) of the trade with other Provinces and States 
in India, (ii) of the foreign maritime trade, and (iii) of the foreign 
land trade are given in Tables V-VII on pp. 348-50. Of the trade by 
sea with other Provinces the largest share, both in imports and exports, 
is with Burma, which sends rice, timber, and kerosene oil to Bengal, 
and receives from it coal, tobacco, gunny-bags, and betel-nuts. Next 
comes the Bombay Presidency, which supplies Bengal with cotton 
goods and salt, in exchange for coal, rice, gunny-bags and cloth, and tea. 
The trade by land with Provinces other than those named is carried 
by rail and river, and much of it is due to the position of Calcutta as 
a seaport and medium of trade with other countries. The largest share 
of this trade is with the United Provinces, whence are received opium, 

VOL. VII. t 

2 74 BENGAL 

oilseeds, grain and pulses, hides and skins, and wool manufactures, and 
to which are sent cotton piece-goods, gunny-bags and cloth, metals, and 
sugar. From Assam, Calcutta receives tea, oilseeds, grain and pulses, 
and stone and lime, and sends in return cotton piece-goods, metals and 
manufactures of metals, oils (mostly rape and mustard), and salt. 
Excluding the trade with Calcutta, the imports of Bengal consist 
mainly of the staple products of the United Provinces, Assam, and the 
Central Provinces, and the exports consist mainly of grain and pulses, 
coal, jute, gunny-bags and cloth, spices, and sugar. 

Of the foreign trade by far the largest part is with countries in 
Europe ; and of this the greatest share is with the United Kingdom, 
from which two-thirds of the imports come. Kerosene oil is imported 
from Russia, sugar and piece-goods from Germany, wrought iron and 
steel from Belgium, and sugar from Austria-Hungary and from the 
Straits. The United Kingdom takes one-third of the total exports, and 
Germany as much as all the other countries combined. 

The foreign land trade is insignificant except with Nepal, which 
absorbs about 92 per cent, of the total. Tibet still presents a practically 
closed door to the Indian trader, and with Sikkim and Bhutan the trade 
is trifling. About half of the imports consists of grain and pulses 
(largely rice) ; the exports are cotton yarn and piece-goods (European 
and Indian), metals, provisions, and salt. 

The total length^ of the railways in the Province in 1904 was 

4,578-4 miles, of which the state owned 3,894-8 miles, 971-3 being 

worked by the state and 2,92^-15 by companies, while 
Commumcations. ^ ^ -, , , •, . ^^ ^ ^ ' ., 

616-7 nines belonged to assisted companies, 33-3 miles 

to an unassisted company, and 33-6 to Native States ; no lines are 

owned by guaranteed companies. Of the total length, 2,932-6 miles 

belonged to inter- Provincial railways ; these are the East Indian, Bengal- 

Nagpur, Assam-Bengal, and Bengal and North- Western Railways. 

The East Indian Railway, a broad-gauge line owned by the state, the 

length of which in Bengal is 1,211-6 miles, connects Bengal with the 

1 In the same year the railways in Bengal as now constituted had a length of 3,484.9 
miles, of which 3,040-5 miles were owned by the state, .^77-5 miles by assisted com- 
panies, 33-3 miles by an unassisted company, and 33-6 miles by Native States. Of 
the state-owned railways, 2,808-8 miles were worked by companies, and 231-7 by the 
state. Of the total length, 3,049.6 miles belonged to inter-Provincial railways : 
namely, the East Indian, Bengal-Nagpur, Bengal and North- Western, and Eastern 
Bengal State Railways. 

As a result of the partition the following railways now lie entirely outside the 
Province : the Assam-Bengal (193-9 miles), Bengal-Duars (152-3), Mymensingh- 
Jamalpur-Jagannathganj (51.4), and Noakhali (34-9) Railways. The Eastern 
Bengal State Railway now lies partly outside Bengal, 231.6 miles being included in 
the Province and 739-6 miles in Eastern Bengal and Assam. The length of the 
l^engal-Niigpur Railway witliiii ]>engal has at the same time been increased by 
79.2 miles. 


United Provinces, and fur many years was the only connexion between 
Calcutta and Bombay. It enters l^engal on crossing the Karamnasa 
river a little west of Buxar, and has its terminus on the west bank of the 
Hooghly at Howrah, which is connected with Calcutta by a pontoon 
bridge. There is also a short link-line which connects the East Indian 
Railway at Hooghly with the Eastern Bengal State Railway at Naihati. 
The earliest alignment of the East Indian Railway ran due north from 
Howrah to Sahibganj, where it struck the Ganges, and then swung 
westwards along the south bank of that river. This is now known as 
the loop-line, and has been replaced for through traffic by a chord-line 
from Luckeesarai to Khana junction. Another chord-line from Mughal 
Sarai via Gaya and Katrasgarh to Sitarampur was opened in 1907. 
The East Indian Railway is the main carrier between Bengal and 
the United Provinces, and it taps the coal-fields in the neigh- 
bourhood of Raniganj. This railway is worked by a company, which 
also works the South Bihar and Tarakeswar Railways, two small broad- 
gauge lines owned by assisted companies. 

The Bengal-Nagpur Railway is owned by ihe state, but is worked by 
a company of that name. It is a broad-gauge line with a length of 
855-4 miles within Bengal, and a terminus at Howrah ; it forms a con- 
necting link between Bengal and Madras, and provides an alternative 
and shorter route to Bombay. The bifurcation of the lines to Madras 
and Bombay takes place at Kharakpur, 70 miles west of Calcutta, 
whence the Madras line runs south through Orissa, while the Bombay 
line passes west through Chota Nagpur to the Central Provinces. 
This line taps the Jherria coal-field, and competes with the East Indian 
Railway as a coal-carrier to Calcutta. 

The Assam-Bengal Railway is also a state line worked by a company. 
It is a metre-gauge line with a length of 193-9 miles within Bengal. 
The terminus is at Chittagong* and the main line runs north-east to 
Assam. From Laksham* a branch runs west to Chandpur* on the 
Meghna, whence communication with Calcutta is established by steamer 
to Goalundo* ; and another branch from Laksham* to Noakhali* has 
also been opened by the company, to whom land was given free of 
charge. This line competes with the river steamers in carrying tea 
from Assam, and it also brings Narayanganj* jute from Chandpur* to 
Chittagong* for shipment. 

The Bengal and North-Western Railway, a metre-gauge line, con- 
necting North Bengal and Bihar with the United Provinces, belongs 
to an assisted company, which also works the Tirhut State Railway, 
and has a length in this Province of 671-7 miles, including 535 miles 
of the Tirhut State Railway. The metre-gauge line from Sagauli to 
Raxaul, 18 miles in length, was purchased from a company and 
incorporated with the Tirhut State Railway. It is linked with the 

T 2 

2 76 BENGAL 

Eastern Bengal State Railway at Katihar, and with the East Indian 
Railway by ferries across the Ganges. 

The railways lying wholly within Bengal are the Eastern Bengal State 
(including the former Bengal Central), the Noakhali ^ (Bengal), the 
Myniensingh-Jamalpur-Jagannathganj ', the South Bihar, the Bengal- 
Duars, the Calcutta Port Commissioners', the Darjeeling-Himalayan, 
the Deogarh, the Tarakeswar and the Cooch Behar Railways, and the 
Howrah-Amta, Hovvrah-Sheakhala, Tarakeswar-Magra, Bakhtiyarpur- 
Bihar, Barasat-BasTrhat, and Baripada light railways. 

The Eastern Bengal State Railway is of different gauges : 278-7 miles 
on the 5 feet 6 inch gauge and 20-3 miles on the 2 feet 6 inch gauge 
are on the south of the Padma, and north of that river 637-6 miles are 
on the metre-gauge and 34-8 miles on the 2 feet 6 inch gauge. The 
Cooch Behar State Railway, on the 2 feet 6 inch gauge, which is also 
on the north of the same river, forms part of the Eastern Bengal State 
Railway system. The terminus is at Sealdah in Calcutta. The main 
line runs north to the foot of the Himalayas at Siligurl, crossing the 
Padma by a ferry at Sara*. From Poradaha a branch line runs east to 
the steamer terminus at Goalundo* ; and from Parvatipur*, north of 
the Ganges, branches run east to Dhubri in Assam and west to Katihar, 
where a junction is effected with the Bengal and North-Western Rail- 
way. Branch lines run south from Calcutta to Diamond Harbour, 
Budge-Budge, and Port Canning ; and an isolated branch from 
Narayanganj* runs north to Dacca* and Mymensingh*, and thence 
to Jagannathganj* via Singhani. This railway brings to Calcutta large 
quantities of jute and tea from North Bengal and of jute from East 

The Bengal Central Railway, on the 5 feet 6 inch gauge, is a state 
line formerly worked by a company, which has been worked by the 
Eastern Bengal State Railway since July i, 1905, the date of the 
termination of the contract between the Secretary of State for India 
and the company. It runs north-east from its terminus at Sealdah to 
Khulna, with a branch from Bangaon to Ranaghat, and carries a large 
jute traffic. The Bengal-Duars Railway on the metre-gauge traverses 
Jalpaiguri District*, and is connected with the Eastern Bengal State 
Railway system at Jalpaiguri* and Lalmanir Hat*. It serves the sub- 
Himalayan tea district known as the Duars. The Calcutta Port Com- 
missioners' Railway on the 5 feet 6 inch gauge connects the Eastern 
Bengal State Railway north of Calcutta with the docks ; a short branch 
runs on the Howrah bank from Telkal Ghat to Shalimar. The Deogarh 
Railway is a metre-gauge line of short length running from Baidyanath, 
a station on the East Indian Railway, to Deogarh, a popular place 
of Hindu pilgrimage. The Darjeeling-Himalayan Railway, which is 

* Transferred entirely from Bengal. 


assisted by Government, runs from SilTgurl, the northern terminus of 
the Eastern Bengal State Railway, to Darjeeling. The ruling gradient 
is I in 28, and curves with radii varying from 60 feet (the sharpest) 
to 1,000 feet are almost continuous on the hill portion of the line. 

The Howrah-Amta Light Railway, like most of the other light 
lines, receives a 4 per cent, guarantee from the District board, and any 
profits above that figure are divided equally between the board and the 
company. Several similar lines have been constructed of late years, 
the most recent being the Barasat-Baslrhat Railway opened in 1905. 
The Tarakeswar-Magra Light Railway is also on the 2 feet 6 inch 
gauge. The Baripada Light Railway, a feeder-line with a 2 feet 6 inch 
gauge, opened in 1905, cfjnnects the Mayurbhanj State with the 
Bengal-Nagpur Railway system. 

The rapid extension of railways has revolutionized agricultural and 
trade conditions. They have rendered the greater portion of the 
Province immune from famine, and have greatly reduced the difficulty 
of battling with it in the few Districts still liable to its attacks. The 
railways have also done much to level prices and to moderate their 
fluctuations ; and by putting food-grains in circulation, they have led 
to a vast increase in the cultivation of fibres, oilseeds, and other non- 
food crops of commercial value. 

The principal statistics in connexion with the Provincial railways are 
given in Table VIII at the end of this article (pp. 351-2). 

Roads are classed as Provincial or District roads, the former being 
maintained from Provincial and the latter from District funds. Pro- 
vincial aid is occasionally given to the District boards for the construc- 
tion of new roads, especially for those intended to serve as feeders to 
railways. Minor roads are classed as municipal, Local fund, military 
or cantonment, and village roads. 

The total length^ of Provincial roads, which was 1,663 mile^ in 
1890-1 and 1,659 in 1900-1, increased to 2,406 in 1903-4. During 
the same periods the length of District roads increased from 32,110 to 
37,728 and to 50,631 miles respectively; the last figure includes a great 
many village roads already in existence but not previously taken into 
account. The maintenance of Provincial roads cost 6-27 lakhs in 1 890-1, 
12-29 lakhs in 1900-1, and 9-99 lakhs in 1903-4. The corresponding 
figures for District roads were 22-09, 22-81, and 21-16 lakhs. The 
increase in the cost of maintenance of Provincial roads in 1 900-1 was 
due t(_) the expenditure of 7-34 lakhs on the Darjeeling roads after the 
cyclone. The grand trunk road traverses the Burdwan, Chota Nagpur, 
and Patna Divisions, from ("alcutta to the western frontier, with a total 

' The total lent;th of Provincial roads in 1904 -5 in the Province as now constituted 
was 2,362 miles, and of ])istrict rf)ads 36,367 miles. The cost of maintenance of 
Provincial roads was 8-21 laklis, and of District roads 14-45 lakhs. 

2 78 BENGAL 

length ill the Province of 390 miles. The Orissa trunk road runs 
from Calcutta via Cuttack to tlie Madras border, the length being 320 
miles. The Ranlganj-Midnapore road has a length of loi miles, and 
the Barakar-RanchT road of 120 miles. The Ganges-Darjeeling road 
runs from near Katihar to SilTgurT for 1 24 miles. These roads are 
metalled. An important unmctalled road runs from Chittagong* to 
Daudkandi*, a distance of 124 miles. 

\\\ the alluvial soil of Bengal proper it is very difficult to make good 
roads. The roads are raised by embankments above the level of the 
swamps with earth dug from the roadsides, but, stone not being avail- 
able locally, very few of them can be metalled. Those which are 
metalled are soled with brick and dressed with broken brick. Stone 
is employed only in Calcutta and Chittagong*, to which ports ships 
bring stone in ballast. Elsewhere in the Province laterite and kankar 
make excellent road material, and stone also is sometimes available. 
The construction of railways has diminished the importance of the 
trunk roads, some of which have consequently been made over to 
District boards for maintenance. On the other hand, the increased 
facilities afforded by the railways for the export and import of goods 
have created a demand for numerous feeder-roads. 

The ordinary country cart of Bengal consists of a framework of 
bamboo, supported on two wooden wheels and a wooden axle. The 
body is in the shape of a triangle tapering down towards the front, and 
it is drawn by a pair of bullocks which are yoked to a cross-bar about 
4 feet long. The felloes of the wheels are made of six segments of sissu 
wood, and there are six spokes arranged in parallel pairs. The ekka is 
a light two-wheeled trap, drawn by a single pony. The body consists of 
a framework covered with coarse cloth with iie7var tape woven across. 
It can be used over the most uneven ground. The vtanjholl and the 
champiDii zx^ both drawn by a pair of bullocks. The former is similar 
to an ekkd, but the yoke consists of a beam of wood at right angles to 
another long beam projecting from the body of the cart. The c/iampani 
is a two-wheeled, and sometimes a four-wheeled, light carriage similar in 
construction to an omnibus. It has, however, no benches within to sit 
on, and the travellers squat or lie down as they please. It has a pole 
with a cross-bar, which rests on the necks of the bullocks which drag it. 

On the hill roads of Darjeeling a very heavy strongly made cart is 
used. In Bihar a distinction is made between the large heavy country 
cart or chakrd and the sdgar^ which is rougher, lighter, and cheaper, but 
otherwise very similar. In Chota Nagpur and the Orissa Tributary 
States, where the sdgar is also in use among the villagers, the wheels do 
not exceed 2-| feet in diameter, and are made by joining three pieces of 
solid wood hewn out of a mango or viahud tree ; being low and narrow, 
it is well suited for rough work and bad roads. The Oriya cart is 


peculiar. It consists of two poles of sd/ wood or bamboo tied together 
at one end and about 3 feet apart at the other, and joined by cross-bars 
at intervals. The framework rests on a pair of wheels about 4 feet high 
and about 4 feet apart, and there is as much behind as in front of the 
axle-bar. The bullocks are yoked one on each side of the narrow end, 
and wilj^drag half a ton 15 or 20 miles a day on a metalled road. For 
carrying grain a long cofifin-shaped basket of split bamboo holding some 
10 maunds is fitted on to the body of the cart, while in towns the 
body itself is often made in the shape of a box for transporting road 
materials. In Cuttack town, with the advent of the railway, the light 
little Madras hackeries drawn by a single bullock have become common. 

Several steam tramways have been opened in rural areas ; but these 
would be more properly described as light railways, and as such have 
been mentioned in the section dealing with railways. The only tramway 
in urban areas is that serving the city of Calcutta, which is owned by 
a private company. This tramway was formerly dependent on horse 
traction ; but the unsatisfactory condition of the tramway lines and of 
the traction employed led in 1900 to the framing of a new agreement 
between the Corporation and the company, the main features of which 
were the introduction of electric traction by means of overhead wires, 
the postponement of the Corporation's right to purchase the tramways 
to 1 93 1, and the restriction of the fixed track rents payable by the 
company for the existing tramways to Rs. 35,000 a year. An arrange- 
ment has recently been made with the Calcutta Tramways Company for 
the introduction of a similar electric tramway service in Howrah. 

The Calcutta and Eastern Canals are a system of improved 
natural channels connected by artificial canals, which carry the produce 
of East Bengal and of the Brahmaputra Valley to Calcutta. The total 
length is 1,127 miles, and the capital outlay amounts to 77-1 lakhs. The 
net revenue in 1903-4 was 1-3 lakhs, and in the same year the value of 
the goods carried was estimated at 512 lakhs. 

The HijiLi Tidal and Orissa Coast Canals run from the mouth of 
the Rupnarayan river to Chandbali in Balasore District, with a total 
length of 159 miles. The capital cost of the two canals has been 26-15 
and 44-79 lakhs respectively. Their gross revenue in 1903-4 amounted 
to Rs. 42,000 and Rs. 34,000 respectively ; the former showed a small 
profit and the latter a loss on the year's working. The Bengal-Nagpur 
Railway has diverted much of the trafific from these canals, as it has also 
from the Midnapore and Orlssa Canals, which, like the Son Canals, 
were constructed primarily for irrigation. The Midnapore Canal is 
navigable for 72 miles, and the tolls collected in 1903-4 amounted to 
Rs. 47,153. The Orissa Canals are navigable for 205 miles, and carried 
in 1903-4 cargo valued at 74 lakhs, tlie tolls aggregating Rs. 70,336. 
The Son Canals are navigable for 218 miles. The East Indian Rail- 


way has killed the traffic on them, and in 1903-4 they carried cargo 
valued at only 16 lakhs, the tolls amounting to Rs. 22,708. 

Finally, the Nadia Rivers are a group of spill channels of the 
Ganges, which are kept open by artificial means in the dry season, and 
are navigable for 472 miles. In 1903-4 the cargo carried by them was 
valued at 205 lakhs; the gross revenue amounted to Rs. 88,402, but 
there was a loss of Rs. 15,986 on the year's working. 

In the east of the Province the rivers and estuaries carry the bulk of 
the country trade, and the roads are little used, especially in the rainy 
season. The chief waterways are the Ganges and Brahmaputra, and 
their joint estuary the Meghna, which are navigable throughout their 
course in Bengal by river steamers and large country boats. Both rivers 
throw off in their lower reaches innumerable distributaries, which inter- 
sect the country in every direction and enable boats to find their way 
to every village and almost to the door of every cottage. The eastern 
deltaic offshoots of the Ganges feed the Calcutta and Eastern Canals. 
The Gandak in North Bihar still carries a heavy traffic, and the 
Mahanadi and Brahman! tap the hinterland of Orissa. 

Weekly steamers ply to Chittagong* and to Chandbali on the Orissa 
coast ; small steamers also run from Chittagong* to Cox's Bazar*. 
Goalundo*, at the confluence of the Padma and Brahmaputra rivers, is 
the terminus of a great steamer traftic up the Ganges to Ghazipur, and 
up the Brahmaputra to Dibrugarh. A daily service to Narayanganj* 
connects Dacca* with Calcutta, while mail steamers to Chandpur* link 
up the Assam-Bengal with the Eastern Bengal State Railway, Steamers 
ply daily from Calcutta through the Sundarbans to Assam, via Barisal*, 
Chandpur*, and Narayanganj*. On the Hooghly river steamers run 
daily up to Kalna, and down to Budge-Budge, Ulubaria, and Ghatal. 
On the Padma steamers ply between Damukdia (ihat and Rampur 
Boalia* and Godagari*, with a continuation to English Bazar (Malda)*, 
and between English Bazar* and Sultanganj. From Khulna steamers 
run to Barisal*, Noakhali*, Narayanganj*, Madaripur* and other places, 
and there is a daily service on the Brahmaputra from Goalundo* to 
Phulchari*. Backergunge District* is also well served by steamers. 

Several lines of steamers connect Calcutta with London, the principal 
being those of the Peninsular and Oriental and the British India Steam 
Navigation Companies, and the City, Clan, Harrison, and Anchor Lines. 
The Flansa Line has a steamer service to Hamburg and Bremen, the 
Austrian-Lloyd Steam Navigation Company to Trieste, and the Brockle- 
bank Line to Antwerp. The South African mails are carried by the 
Natal Line, while the steamers of the Indian and African Line also ply 
between Calcutta and Durban. The chief steamers running to Australia 
are those of the British India Steam Navigation Company and the 
Currie and Commonwealth Lines. A steamer of the Messageries 


Maritimes Company plies regularly between Calcutta, Pondicherry, and 
Colombo, where it connects with the main line between Marseilles and 
the Far East. Vessels belonging to the fleet of the British India Steam 
Navigation Company carry passengers and cargo to Penang and Singa- 
pore, and also to Chittagong*, Akyab, Rangoon, Moulmein, and various 
coast ports on both sides of the peninsula. The Calcutta-Hongkong 
Line of Messrs. Apcar & Co. maintains a regular service to Penang, 
Singapore, and Hongkong; while the Asiatic Steam Navigation Company 
carries the mails to Port Blair, and has a line of steamers running 
weekly to Burma and fortnightly to the coast ports and Bombay. 

Country boats are of all shapes and sizes, and the largest carry some 
150 tons. They are generally very broad in the beam and of light 
draught. All carry a great square sail, the larger boats adding a topsail. 
Against wind they are rowed, or poled if the water be shallow, and 
against tide or current they are towed from the bank. The cargo boats 
are always decked over. Passengers use the budgerow, a broad-beamed 
craft with ample cabin space and room for a galley in the stern. The 
hhaulid is a smaller and more lightly buiU passenger boat. On the 
smaller streams and across the swamps light dug-outs carry all the 
traffic. They are poled in shallow water and paddled on the deeper 

The larger rivers are rarely bridged, and passengers, carts, and cattle 
cross in ferry-boats. These ferries are leased annually at auction for 
a considerable sum. Some are Provincial, but most have been made 
over to District boards and municipalities. The total receipts from 
ferries in 1903-4 were 6-5 lakhs, of which 5 lakhs was credited to 
District boards and 1-5 lakhs to municipalities. Steam ferries ply 
across the Ganges, connecting railway systems ; the most important 
are at Sara, Mokameh, and Paleza Ghat. A steam ferry crosses the 
Hooghly from Diamond Harbour to Geonkhali. 

The Province is divided for postal purposes into three circles \ of 
which the Bengal circle (which includes Katmandu in Nepal) is under 
a Postmaster-General, and the East Bengal and Bihar circles under 
Deputy-Postmasters-General. Each circle is subdivided into divisions 
managed by Superintendents. The table on the next page shows the 
remarkable advance which has taken place in postal business, for the 
three Bengal circles taken together. 

The business is, however, still very small in comparison with the 
population, and the number of postal articles of all kinds delivered 
in 1903-4 works out to only two per head of the population. The 
figures relate to both the Imperial and District post. The latter system 
was a substitute for the official posts which under ancient custom 

' In 1905 the Pioviiice, as reconstituted, became a single circle, the liihfir circle 
being abolished. 



Bengal landowners had to maintain. A tax, known as the Dak cess, 
was levied, and expended in maintaining postal communications required 
for administrative purposes, the up-keep of which was not warranted on 
commercial principles. The District Magistrate decided what communi- 
cations were to be opened and maintained, but their management was 
in the hands of the Postal department. The expenditure from this cess, 
which was fixed for each District according to its requirements, averaged 
3-58 lakhs annually for the five years ending in 1903-4. In 1903-4 the 
offices numbered 292, the length worked was 11,832 miles, and the 
expenditure amounted to Rs. 3,53,384. In 1906 the tax was abolished, 
and the District post was amalgamated with the Imperial system. 


1 890-1. 



Number of post offices 

and letter boxes 





Number of miles of 

postal communica- 






Total number of postal 

articles delivered (in 

thousands) : — 






Postcards . 













9- .^88 







Rs. in 

Rs. ill 

Rs. ill 

Rs. in 





Value of stamps sold 

to the public . 





Value of money orders 






Total amount of sav- 

ings bank deposits . 






In an agricultural country like Bengal the failure of the crops must 
always cause considerable distress, the degree of which varies with the 
nature and extent of the failure, the material condition 
of the people, and their character, and lastly the 
accessibility or otherwise of the tract affected. 

The great cause of deficient harvests is insufficient or badly distributed 
rainfall. Sometimes much damage is done by floods, and sometimes, 
though more rarely, by blight or locusts ; but in such cases the area 
affected is generally limited. 

The crop which is most sensitive to a short or badly distributed rain- 
fall is the winter rice, which requires copious showers in May and a 
punctual commencement of the monsoon, but is especially dependent 
on the continuance of the rainfall throughout September and the early 
days of October; it is this crop which is most liable to fail in adverse 


seasons. It follows that, if the rainfall is uncertain, the tracts most 
liable to famine are those in which the winter rice is most largely grown. 
In the favoured Districts of Eastern Bengal the winter rice is the staple 
crop ; but there a serious failure of the annual rains is unknown, and 
the subsoil water-level is so high that, in years when the rainfall is only 
moderately deficient, the ground retains sufficient moisture to prevent 
anything approaching a total loss of the crops. The whole of the 
Dacca* and Chittagong* Divisions are therefore excluded from the list 
of tracts liable to famine. Here the only danger of disaster arises from 
the cyclonic storm-waves which, at intervals, burst over the country and 
carry in their train widespread ruin and desolation. In other parts of 
Bengal proper, where also the winter rice is as a rule the principal crop, 
the immunity from famine is less complete ; but the rainfall is usually 
ample, and the areas liable to famine are less extensive than in the 
other sub-provinces. From time to time the submontane tracts have 
been swept by disastrous floods ; and, when the embankments on the 
left bank of the Bhaglrathi give way, floods occasionally break across 
Murshidabad and Nadia Districts. The Damodar also sometimes 
inundates the country on its right bank. 

In Bihar the conditions north and south of the Ganges differ con- 
siderably. The latter has a more scanty rainfall ; but it enjoys an 
extensive system of irrigation, partly from the Son Canals constructed 
by the Government, and partly from reservoirs constructed by the ryots 
themselves on the slopes of the undulations which characterize that part 
of the country. A great variety of crops are grown, and it rarely happens 
that famine obtains a grip over any considerable area. North of the 
Ganges the rainfall is more copious than on the south bank, but it is 
more capricious than in Bengal proper. In Saran and the south of 
Muzafiarpur there is a good deal of irrigation from wells or streams, and 
the crops are divided almost equally among the three great harvests of 
the year, so that a total crop failure is practically impossible. Elsewhere, 
and especially in the northern part of Champaran, Muzafiarpur, and 
Darbhanga Districts, which borders on the Nepal tarai, winter rice is 
the main crop. In normal years the fertile soil yields bountiful crops 
without irrigation, which has not been adequately provided and which 
is necessary only in seasons of drought ; but the population is dense, 
wages are low and rents high, and when the rains fail the distress is 
great. This is the zone described by Sir Richard Temple as the 
' blackest of black spots on the famine map.' There has scarcely ever 
been a year of distress or scarcity in any part of Bengal when North 
Bihar did not bear the brunt of it. Orissa suffered terribly from famine 
in 1866 and 1867 ; but, since the construction of the canals now in 
existence, there has been no widespread crop failure, and it is only in 
Purl District that famine on a large scale is at all likely to occur. Chota 


Nagpur is a sparsely populated region, inhabited by wild tribes ; and its 
liability to famine is due mainly to its inaccessibility, which makes it 
difficult to import food-grains, and to the suspicious and restless nature 
of the ignorant aborigines, who shun relief works as they would the 

The danger of widespread famine is gradually being reduced, owing 
to the improvement in the material condition of the people, the growing 
demand for labour in the coal-mines, jute-mills, and other non-agricul- 
tural undertakings, the great improvement that has been made in com- 
munications, and especially the rapid growth of railways, which now tap 
nearly every District in the Province, and the construction of protective 
canals in the tracts where the danger of famine due to insufficient rain- 
fall is greatest. In the whole Province it is estimated that an area of 
74,500 square miles is liable to famine ; and of this area 28,500 square 
miles are in the sub-province of Bihar, 27,000 in Chota Nagpur, 14,500 
in Bengal proper, and 4,500 in Orissa. The population of this area is 
29,000,000 ; and if all these tracts were simultaneously affected by severe 
famine, it might be necessary to provide relief for 2,000,000 persons. 

The first great famine of which we have any trustworthy record is 
that which devastated the Province in 1769-70, when Bengal, though 
under British control, was still under native administration. Eastern 
Bengal alone escaped, and, except for the importation of a small quan- 
tity of rice from this favoured tract, it does not appear that any public 
measures for relief were taken. One-third of the population of Bengal 
is believed to have perished in this terrible catastrophe. The next 
really serious scarcity in Bengal was the memorable Orissa famine of 
1865-7. The full extent of the crop feilure consequent on the scanty 
rainfall of 1865 and the exhaustion of the local food supplies was not 
realized by the authorities in time; and when at last, in June, 1866, an 
effort was made to provide the starving people with food, the south-west 
monsoon prevented the ships, lying laden with grain in the port of 
Calcutta, from reaching the stricken peopled It is said that a quarter 
of the population died of starvation and of the diseases which resulted. 
This disaster, appalling as it was, had one good result — it led to a firm 
determination to prevent all similar occurrences in future, and from that 
time dates the earnest watchfulness which has never since been relaxed. 
At the next serious crop failure in 1874 scarcity prevailed chiefly in 
North Bihar and also, in a lesser degree, in South Bihar and North 
Bengal. On this occasion relief measures were undertaken in ample 
time, and all serious loss of life was prevented. The defect, if any, in 
the administration of this famme was that money was expended too 

' The monsoon of 1S66 was as heavy as that of the previous year had been light, 
and in low-lyini( tracts tiie rice was destroyed by floods. On this occasion ample 
relief was given. 


lavishly, and the object in view might perhaps have been effected at a 
lower cost than the 6 crores actually spent. 

In 1 89 1 the early close of the monsoon and the absence of the cold- 
season rains caused much damage to the winter rice and rabi crops, 
and relief operations were necessary in parts of Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, 
Monghyr, BhSgalpur, Purnea, and Dinajpur*. The largest number on 
relief works on any one day was 83,000, and on gratuitous relief 4,700 ; 
the total cost of the operations was rather less than 5 lakhs. 

The famine of 1896-7 was far more serious. The causes of the crop 
failure were a very unfavourable distributioi'v of the rainfall early in 1896 
and its entire absence after the early part of September. There had 
been a very poor harvest of winter rice in 1895, and in 1896 it was 
again this crop that suffered most. The brunt of the famine fell U[)on 
the Districts of Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, and Saran, and 
especially upon the tracts near the Nepal frontier, where the proportion 
of rice cultivation is highest. In the Chota Nagpur plateau, Palamau, 
Hazaribagh, Manbhum, and two tracts in the Santal Parganas were 
seriously affected. Relief works were opened in November, 1896, and 
by the close of the year 45,000 persons were employed on them. In 
March, 1897, the distress deepened rapidly, and the numbers on relief 
rose steadily until May, when 402,000 persons were employed on 
famine works, and 426,000 were in receipt of gratuitous relief. As 
soon as the monsoon had fairly set in, the numbers quickly diminished, 
and during September and October relief operations were brought to 
a close. The total expenditure was nearly no lakhs, in addition to 
advances to cultivators aggregating nearly 3 lakhs, donations of nearly 
20 lakhs from the Charitable Relief Fund, the outcome of voluntary 
subscriptions in India, England, and other countries, and private relief 
by zamlndars and others. The measures adopted were most successful 
in saving life ; and the vital statistics, which are confirmed by the results 
of the last Census, show that, except in the wilder parts of Chota Nag- 
pur, the mortality was actually below the normal during the famine 
year\ The birth-rate was very little affected; it fell slightly in 1898, 
the year after the famine, but rose so much higher than usual in the 
following year, that the mean birth-rate of the two years taken together 
was considerably above the average for the decade. 

In 1899 the monsoon was very capricious in parts of Chota Nagpur 
and Orissa. There w^as excessive rain in July, but exceptionally little 
in August and September. The crops were very poor throughout 
the area affected, but actual famine supervened only in about half of 
Ranch! and a small part of Palamau District. 

As already stated, the immediate control of the Province of Bengal 

' This subject is fully discussed in the Bengal Census Report for 1901, paragiaphs 
iSi, 184, 1S6, 199, 202, and 397. 


was vesical in thr Governor-General of India till 1854, when a Lieuten- 
ant-Governor was api)ointed. He has a staff of five 
Administration. ^ . . r .1 j- • -i 1 ■ • . .• 

secretaries — three for the ordinary civil administration 

and two for Public \\'orks. The former are the Chief Secretary, who is 
in charge of the Revenue, Political, and Appointment departments, the 
General Secretary in the Judicial and General departments, and the 
Secretary in the Financial and Municipal departments. One of the 
Public Works Secretaries is concerned with irrigation, marine, and 
railways, and the other with roads and buildings. The Judicial de- 
partment was formerly under the Chief Secretary, and revenue matters 
were dealt with by the General Secretary ; but recently (1905) a redis- 
tribution of work has been introduced by which the Revenue depart- 
ment has been transferred to the Chief Secretary, and the Judicial 
department to the General Secretary. The branches of work now 
under the Chief Secretary include land revenue, surveys and settle- 
ments, agriculture, forests, mines, police, registration, and political 
matters ; those under the Judicial and General Secretary include 
prisons, education, and emigration ; and those under the Financial 
and Municipal Secretary include separate revenue, opium, local self- 
government, medical, and sanitation. 

The control of all matters connected with the collection of the 
revenue and the administration of the land is vested in the Board of 
Revenue, which was constituted by Regulation III of 1822. There 
are two members, one of whom deals with land revenue, surveys and 
settlements, land registration, the management of wards' estates, the 
collection of cesses, &c., and the other with miscellaneous revenue, 
including excise, opium, income-tax, salt, customs, and the like. Each 
member is vested with the full powers of the Board in respect of his 
own department, and can act for his colleague if the latter is absent. 

For administrative purposes Bengal is divided into nine Divisions, 
each of which is superintended by a Commissioner. Of these, five — 
the Burdwan, Presidency, Rajshahi*, Dacca*, and Chittagong* Di- 
visions — lie within the limits of Bengal proper ; two — Patna and Bha- 
galpur — make up the sub-province of Bihar, while Orissa and Chota 
Nagpur each forms a separate Commissionership. The average area * 
of a Commissioner's Division is rather more than 17,000 square miles, 
and the average population is a little more than 8 millions. The 
Chota Nagpur Division with 27,000 square miles is the largest, while 
the most populous is the Patna Division with 15-I millions, or about 
the population of the Bombay Presidency, excluding Sind. The Com- 
missioner exercises a general control over the conduct of affairs within 
his Division. He is responsible for seeing that the local officers duly 

' Bengal now consists of six Divisions, tiie average area being a little over 19,000 
square miles. 


perform the duties required of them, and that the orders issued by 
Government are carried into effect. He is addressed by the local 
ofificers when they are in need of instructions, and he refers to Govern- 
ment or to the Board of Revenue all questions which he is not competent 
to dispose of himself. He also assists Government and the Board with 
his advice when called upon to do so. 

These Divisions are again subdivided into Districts, each under a 
District officer, known as the Magistrate and Collector in regulation, 
and the Deputy-Commissioner in non-regulation * tracts. Including 
Angul and the Chittagong Hill Tracts*, but excluding Calcutta, there 
are in all forty-seven Districts. The two largest are Hazaribagh and 
Ranchl, each extending over more than 7,000 square miles, or about 
half as large again as Wales, while the smallest is Howrah with only 
510 square miles. The greatest number of inhabitants is found in 
Mymensingh*, whose population of 4,000,000 does not fall far short 
of that of the whole of Upper Burma. The average area^ of a District 
exceeds 3,300 square miles, and the average population is more than 
1^ millions. 

These Districts again are usually partitioned into two or more sub- 
divisions, the head-quarters subdivision being usually administered by 
the District Magistrate and each of the others by a Joint, Assistant, or 
Deputy-Magistrate subordinate to him. The total number of these 
subdivisions is 134. Their area is on the average^ i)i77 square miles, 
and their population more than 559,000. The last and smallest unit of 
administration is the police circle or thdna. This is primarily the unit 
of police administration, and is usually in charge of a sub-inspector ; but 
it has also come to be the acknowledged unit of territorial partition and 
is used in all administrative matters. The number of thdnas in Bengal 
is 569, or about 12 per District; their average area is 277 square 
miles, and their population about 130,000 persons. The fiscal divisions 
of the Muhammadans, called parganas, formed the basis of the British 
revenue system ; but they are wanting in compactness and, except for 
the purpose of land revenue payments, they are no longer of any prac- 
tical importance. 

The mainstay of the British administration is the District officer. 
He is the executive chief and administrator of the tract of country com- 
mitted to him, and all other magisterial, police, and revenue officers 
therein employed are subordinate to him. As District Magistrate he is 

* The non-regulation Districts are those in which some at least of the general laws 
and regulations are not in force. They form the ' .Sclieduled Districts ' referred to in 
Act XIV of 1874 (see Vol. IV, p. 1311. 

- There are now thirty-three Districts, the average area being 3,500 square miles. 

" There are now 100 subdivisions, the average area f)eing 1,170 square miles and 
the average population 504,000. 


the head of the department of criminal justice, which is charged with 
the trial of all but the more important charges; the latter are committed 
to the Court of Sessions, if inquiry goes to show that a prima facie case 
has been established. He is assisted in police matters by the District 
Superintendent of police, who is allowed a free hand in all purely 
administrative details. He is cx-ojficio chairman of the District board, 
and, as such, is in charge of all local public works, village sanitation, 
and education ; he is assisted in these matters by the District Engineer 
and the Deputy-Inspector of schools. The municipalities of the Dis- 
trict are sometimes presided over by official, and sometimes by non- 
official, chairmen, but in either case the District officer is expected to 
exercise a general supervision and control. He is also ex-officio Regis- 
trar of assurances. As Collector he is responsible for the realization of 
all kinds of revenue and taxes, for the management of Government 
estates, the assessment of the income-tax, the settlement of, and super- 
vision over, excise and opium shops, &c., &c. The officers in charge 
of subdivisions exercise in their own jurisdictions, in subordination to 
the District officer, the powers of chief local magistrate ; certain other 
powers are also delegated to them, but they do not usually collect land 
revenue, and in police matters they have only judicial and not executive 

The Magistrate-Collector is assisted in the criminal and revenue 
administration of the District by a subordinate staff— a Joint-Magis- 
trate, Deputy-Magistrate-Collectors, Assistant Magistrate-Collectors, and 
Sub-Deputy Magistrate-Collectors. Joint-Magistrates and Assistant Ma- 
gistrates are junior officers of the Indian Civil Service ; the other officials 
are recruited in India, and are members of the Provincial or the Subor- 
dinate civil service. All these officials are stationed either at District 
or at subdivisional head-quarters. 

The village watch are paid from taxation assessed and collected in 
the villages by the panchdyats, who represent all that remains in Bengal 
of village autonomy. These panchdyats assist in the registration of vital 
statistics ; and recently, in order to develop the system of village govern- 
ment, it has been decided that the presidents of the panchdyats are to 
be ex-officio visitors of primary schools aided from public funds or 
under public management, and also of pounds, public ferries, and 
public sarais in their Unions. In some Districts the presidents have 
also been granted certain magisterial powers. In Chota Nagpur village 
communities are still to be found, and some account of the system is 
given in the article on the Munda tribe. 

The following are the Native States under the control of, or in 
political relations with, the Government of Bengal ' : — 

1 In 1906 Sikkim and l^hutan were placed in direct relations with the Government 
of India. 


Sikkim lies to tlie east of Nepal and is bounded on the north and 
north-east by Tibet, on the east by Bhutan, and on the south by Dar- 
jeeling District. Early in the nineteenth century Sikkim was menaced 
by the Gurkhas, but its independence was secured by the treaty made 
with Nepal in 1816, at which time it included the greater part of the 
present District of Darjeeling. In 1835 part of the hilly tract west of 
the Tista was ceded to the British (Government, for the purpose of a 
sanitarium ; and in 1850 the rest of it and the tarai, i.e. the Sillguri 
thdna, were annexed on account of the Raja's misbehaviour. For 
many years the State was left to manage its own affairs, but for some 
time prior to 1888 the Tibetans were found to be intriguing with the 
Maharaja, who became more and more unfriendly. Affairs reached a 
climax in 1888, when an expedition was sent against the Tibetans, who 
had advanced into Sikkim and built a fort at Lingtu. The Sikkim State 
was occupied by British troops, and the Tibetans were driven off with 
ease. Since 1889 a Political officer has been stationed at Gangtok, to 
advise and assist the Maharaja and his council. No precise rules 
have ever been laid down for the civil and criminal administration. All 
except very trivial cases are tried at Gangtok, either by the Maharaja 
himself or by the Political officer, or by one or other of them in associa- 
tion with some member of the council. Appeals are heard by the 
Maharaja, sitting with one or more members of the council, or by a 
committee of the council. Capital sentences passed by other autho- 
rities require the confirmation of the Maharaja. The annual budget 
estimates of income and expenditure are, in the first instance, approved 
by the Maharaja and the council, and are then submitted for the 
sanction of the Government by the Political officer. 

Bhutan lies east of Sikkim and Darjeeling and north of Jalpaiguri* 
and of the Goalpara, Kamrup, and Darrang Districts of Assam. It is 
internally independent, and there is no British Resident. Repeated 
outrages on British subjects by the hillmen, and the brutal treatment 
of a British envoy, led in 1864 to the hostilities already described, 
which resulted in the confiscation of the Duars*, or submontane tracts, 
with the passes leading into the hills, in return for which an annual 
subsidy of Rs. 50,000 is paid at Buxa*. Since then relations with 
Bhutan have, on the whole, been of a friendly character ; and under the 
ascendancy of the Tongsa Penlop, who, in the name of the Deb Raja, 
controls all public affairs, the country enjoys the advantage of a settled 
government. The Political officer in Sikkim now conducts relations 
with Bhutan also. 

The Feudatory State of Cooch Behar lies in the plains at the foot 
of the Bhutan hills, between the District of Rangpur* and the 
Jalpaiguri Duars*. It is the only remnant of the great Koch kingdom 
founded by Biswa Singh in the early part of the sixteenth century, 

VOL. VII, u 

290 J^JCAiG^l/. 

which, under his son Nar Narayan, extended from the Mahananda as 
far east as Central Assam. On Nar Narayan's death the kingdom was 
divided into two parts, and only the western portion remained in the 
possession of the ancestors of the present Maharaja, who accepted 
the Muhammadans as their overlords. Their power gradually declined, 
and from time to time they were shorn of outlying parts of their 
dominions. Early in the eighteenth century the Bhotias began to 
interfere, and by 1772 they had taken possession of the Raja and of his 
capital. British aid was then sought, and, in consideration of the cession 
in perpetuity of half the revenues as then ascertained, the Bhotias were 
driven out. The Maharaja administers the State with the assistance 
of a council, of which he is the president, and which includes the 
Superintendent of the State, a British ofificer, who is vice-president, 
and two State officials — the Dlwan, who is revenue member, and the 
Civil and Sessions Judge, who is the judicial member. The executive 
control is vested in the Faujdari Ahlkar, who corresponds to the 
Magistrate of a British District, and is subordinate to the Superintendent 
of the State. The Civil and Sessions Judge occupies much the same 
position as the corresponding officer in Bengal regulation Districts. 
Sentences of death require the confirmation of the Maharaja. The 
budget is passed by the Maharaja, and does not need the sanction of 
any other authority ; but a general control over the affairs of the State 
is exercised by the Government of Bengal in the Political department. 

Hill Tippera* lies to the south of Tippera District* and, like Cooch 
Behar, represents the last fragment of a once powerful kingdom, which 
formerly extended far into the plains of East Bengal and South Assam, 
and which long bade defiance to the Muhammadan Nawabs\ The 
Tippera kings were gradually deprived of their rule in the plains, and 
at the time of the acquisition of Bengal by the East India Company 
they exercised sovereign powers only in the hill tract now ruled 
by them. The Raja, however, derives the greater part of his income 
from certain large estates in British territory which he holds as 
zain'inddr. No formal treaty regulates the relations between the British 
Government and the Raja of Hill Tippera*, but the succession of a new 
Raja has always been subject to recognition and investiture by the 
British authorities. No control was exercised in respect of the internal 
administration until the year 1871, when an English officer was 
appointed to reside in the State as Political Agent, to protect British 
interests and advise the Raja. This officer was subsequently withdrawn, 
and his duties now devolve on the Magistrate and Collector of Tippera 
District*, who is ex-officio Political Agent for Hill Tippera'. He is 

' The Rajindla, or Chronicle of the Kings of Tippera, has been analyzed by the 
Rev. J. Long, in a paper in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. xix. 


required to maintain a close watch over the affairs of the Slate, and 
it is to him that Government looks for information regarding all 
important occurrences there. All correspondence passes through him, 
and an annual report on the administration of the State is submitted to 
him for transmission to Government, through the Commissioner of the 
Chittagong Division*. The chief is himself the highest court of appeal 
in all civil and criminal matters, and sentences of death passed or 
confirmed by him are final. 

The Orissa Tributary States' are 17 in number: namely, Athgarh, 

Talcher, Mayurbhanj, Nilgiri, Keonjhar, Pal Lahara, l)henkanal, 

Athmallik, Hindol, Narsinghpur, Baramba, Tigiria, Khandpara, Naya- 

garh, Ranpur, Daspalla, and Baud. These were acquired at the 

conquest of Orissa from the Marathas in 1803 ; but as they had never 

been brought under complete control by the native governments, they 

were exempted from the operation of the general Regulations. Treaties 

were made with the several States on various dates between 1803 and 

1829. It has been held that these States do not form part of British 

India, and the status, position, and power of the chiefs are defined in 

their sanads. The chiefs administer civil and criminal justice under 

the supervision of the Commissioner of the Orissa Division, who is 

exofficio Superintendent of the Tributary States. All capital cases, and, 

except in special cases when a chief's powers have been increased, all 

heinous offences which require more than two years' imprisonment, are 

committed by the Assistants to the Superintendent of Tributary Mahals 

for trial. One of these is a special native Assistant, who tries sessions 

cases from certain States and such other cases as the Superintendent 

may make over to him ; the others are the Magistrates of Cuttack, Purl, 

and Balasore, and the Deputy-Commissioner of Angul, who are ex-officio 

Assistant Superintendents, but, with the exception of the two last 

mentioned, they do not often deal with criminal cases. The Assistant 

Superintendents have the power of District Magistrates and Sessions 

Judges, while the Superintendent has the powers of a Sessions Judge, 

and also, in respect of the proceedings of his subordinates, those of a 

High Court. 

In Chota Nagpur there are seven Tributary and two Political States -. 
The former, including Chang Bhakar*, Korea*, Jashpur*, Surguja', 
Udaipur*, Gangpur, and Bonai, were tributaries of the Bhonsla dynasty 

* Owing to the territorial change effected in October, 1905, the number of these 
States has been increased from 17 to 24, as two States, Gangpur and Bonai, have been 
transferred from the Chota Nagpur States, and five more, namely, Bamra, Kairakhol 
Sonpur, Patna, and Kalahandi, have been transferred from the Central Provinces. 

* The Chota Nagpur Slates now include only tlie two Political Slates of Kharsawan 
and Saraikela. Of the oilier States, Gangpur and Ponai have been transferred to the 
Orissa Tributary Stales, and the reit, namely, Chang Bhakar, Korea, Jashpur, Surguja, 
and Udaipur, have been transferred to the Central Provinces. 

U 2 


of Nagpur, and were ceded under the provisional agreement concluded 
with Madhuji Bhonsla in 1818. The tribute was then fixed at a lower 
rate than that levied under the Maratha government, and the settle- 
ments witli the chiefs were made for a limited period. Fresh settlements 
for a nominal term of five years were made in 1827, but were not 
renewed until 1875, when they were made for a period of twenty years. 
The latter were renewed in 1889, when the tribute was fixed for 
a further period of twenty years, and the States having in the mean- 
time been declared by the Secretary of State to be outside British India, 
the relations between them and the British Government were defined 
in their new sanads. The chiefs of these States are under the control 
of the Commissioner of Chota Nagpur. They are permitted to levy 
rents and certain other customary dues from their subjects. They are 
empowered to pass sentences of imprisonment up to five years and of 
fine to the extent of Rs. 200 ; but sentences of imprisonment for more 
than two years, or of fine exceeding Rs. 50, require the confirmation 
of the Commissioner. Heinous offences calling for heavier punish- 
ment are dealt with by the Deputy-Commissioners of Ranchi, Palamau, 
and Singhbhum, who exercise the powers of District Magistrates and 
Assistant Sessions Judges ; the Commissioner and Judicial Com- 
missioner in respect of such cases occupy the position of a Sessions 
Court, while the functions of a High Court are performed by the 
Government of Bengal. 

The two Political States of Saraikela and Kharsawan lie in Singh- 
bhum, and control over them is exercised by the Commissioner through 
the Deputy-Commissioner of that District. They were claimed as 
feudatories by the Raja of Porahat, whose territory was confiscated in 
1857 for rebellion, but was in 1895 restored as a revenue-free zamindari 
to his son. It is believed that engagements were taken from the chiefs 
of these States, but they are not now forthcoming. They have now, 
however, received sanads similar to those described above, and their 
general position is much the same as that of the Rajas of the Tributary 
States, except that they do not pay tribute. 

The laws in force in Bengal consist of (i) Acts of Parliament relating 

to India ; (2) certain still unrepealed Regulations of what was known 

as the Bengal Code, framed by the Executive Govern- 

egis a ion a ^lent before the creation of the legislative bodies ; 

justice. '^. . , ' 

(3) Acts of the Governor-General's Legislative Council, 

now constituted under the Indian Councils Acts, 1861 and 1892; 

(4) Regulations for certain backward tracts issued by the Government 

of India under the Statute 33 Vict., c. 3 ; and lastly, (5) Acts of the 

Bengal Legislative Council. The Bengal Council came into existence 

on January 18, 1862, under a proclamation by the Governor-General-in- 

Council which extended the provisions of the Indian Councils Act, 


1861, to the Bengal Division of the Presidency of Fort WilHani '. Tlie 
Council at first consisted of twelve members and a president, the 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal ; but this number has been raised to 
twenty under the Indian Councils Act, 1892. By regulations made 
under this Act, it has been provided that of the twenty members not 
more than ten shall be officials ; of the non-official members seven are 
nominated by the Lieutenant-Governor on the recommendation of 
certain local bodies and associations, and three at his own discretion. 

The financial position of the Government of Bengal is explained in 
Council every year, and is there open to criticism, so far as it concerns 
the branches of revenue and expenditure that are under the control 
of the Government of Bengal. There is also a right of interpellation, 
which is limited to matters under the control of the Lieutenant- 
Governor, who may disallow questions which appear to him to be 
inconsistent with the public interest. No resolution can be proposed 
or division taken in connexion with the financial statement. 

Among the legislative measures enacted since 1880, which specially 
affect this Province, the following deserve mention :— 

Act of the Indian Council 

The Uengal Tenancy Act (VIII of 1885). 

Acts of the Bengal Council 

The Bengal Drainage Act (VI of 1880). 

The Cess Act (IX of 1880). 

The Bengal Municipal Act (III of 18S4). 

The Bengal Local Self-Government Act (III of 1SS5). 

The Calcutta Port Act (III of 1890). 

The Public Demands Recovery Act (I of 1895). 

The Calcutta Municipal Act (III of 1899"). 

In respect of civil justice the High Court at Calcutta (more properly 
designated the High Court of Judicature at Fort William in Bengal) 
is a court of record and equity, and is constituted under the Indian 
High Courts Act, 1861, as the supreme court in Bengal, exercising 
both original (including ecclesiastical, admiralty, and bankruptcy) and 
appellate jurisdiction. Below the High Court are the District and 
Additional Judges, the Small Cause Courts, the Subordinate Judges, 
who are sometimes also appointed to be Assistant Judges, and the 
Munsifs. Of these, the District, Additional, and Assistant Judges also 
exercise the powers of a criminal court ; the others are purely civil 
judges, with the exception of a few Munsifs who are vested with magis- 
terial powers. 

The ordinary jurisdiction of a Munsif extends to all original suits 
cognizable by the civil courts in which the value of the subject-matter 

' As legaril:; legislation and ihe functions of ihe Provincial Legislative Councils, 
see Vol. IV, L-hap. v. 



in dispute does not exceed Rs. i,ooo, or, it" specially extended, Rs. 2,000. 
The jurisdiction of a Subordinate Judge or District Judge extends to 
all original suits cognizable by the civil courts. It does not, however, 
include the powers of a Small Cause Court unless these have been 
specially conferred. 

Appeals from Munsifs lie to the District Judge, or to the Subordinate 
Judge, if the High Court, with the sanction of the Local Government, 
so direct. Appeals from Subordinate Judges lie to the District Judge, 
except when the value of the subject-matter exceeds Rs. 5,000, in which 
case the appeal lies to the High Court. Appeals from the decrees 
and orders of District and Additional Judges lie to the High Court. 
An appeal may, subject to certain restrictions, be preferred from the 
High Court to the Privy Council in England, if the amount in dispute 
exceeds Rs. 10,000. 

The powers of Courts of Small Causes are regulated by Act IX 
of 1887. Subject to certain exceptions, their jurisdiction extends to all 
suits of a civil nature of which the value does not exceed Rs. 500, a 
limit which may be increased to Rs. 1,000 by a special order of the Local 
Government. The Local Government is empowered, under Act XII 
of 1887, to invest Subordinate Judges and Munsifs with Small Cause 
Court jurisdiction for the trial of cases not exceeding Rs. 500 in value 
in the case of Subordinate Judges, and Rs. 100 in the case of Munsifs. 
In civil suits above a certain limit Calcutta is under the original 
jurisdiction of the High Court. The Small Cause Court of Calcutta 
has a purely local jurisdiction and is regulated by a special Act. 

The principal statistics^ relating to civil justice are embodied in the 
statement below : — 

Class of suits. 

Average for 

ten years 



Average for 

ten years 



I 90 I. 


Suits for money and movable 
property .... 
Title and otlier suits 
Rent suits .... 



3. "^,65 3 






2 98. 6 86 







Criminal justice is administered by magistrates (of whom there are 
three classes), the Courts of Sessions, and the High Court. Subject to 
the maximum punishment prescribed by law for each offence, a magis- 
trate of the first class has power to sentence offenders to imprisonment, 

' The corresponding number of suits instituted in 1903 in Bengal as now con- 
stituted was : — Suits for money and movable property, 161,173 ; title and other suits, 
46,914; vent suits, 211,783; total, 419,870. 


either rigorous or simple, up to two years, including solitary confine- 
ment, or to fine to the extent of Rs. 1,000, or to imprisonment and fine 
combined, or to whipping as a separate or an additional punishment. 
A magistrate of the second class can award imprisonment up to six 
months, fine up to Rs. 200, or both, and also whipping, if specially 
empowered in this behalf. A magistrate of the third class may im- 
prison up to one month or fine up to Rs. 50, or he may combine these 
punishments. Benches consisting of two or more honorary magis- 
trates, sitting together, have been appointed at almost all the District 
head-quarters, and at most of the subdivisional stations in Bengal. An 
honorary magistrate, if specially empowered, can also sit singly for 
the trial of cases. Honorary magistrates are ordinarily appointed for a 
term of three years, which is renewable. Their powers vary according 
to circumstances ; but, generally speaking, benches of honorary magis 
trates are invested with second or third-class powers, and the majority 
of honorary magistrates sitting singly with the powers of a magistrate 
of the second class. The Magistrate of the District exercises first-class 
powers, and hears appeals against convictions by magistrates of the 
second and third classes. Such appeals may also be heard by any 
magistrate of the first class duly empowered by the Local Government. 
Magistrates of the first class and benches of magistrates of the second 
and third classes may try certain offences summarily when specially 
empowered to do so, but in such cases the sentence may not exceed 
three months' imprisonment. 

In Calcutta criminal justice is administered by three stipendiary 
Presidency - Magistrates a municipal magistrate appointed to try 
offences under the Municipal Act, and several benches of honorary 

The Courts of Sessions are presided over by a single Judge, who 
tries, with the aid of a jury or assessors, all cases committed to him by 
the magistracy, and decides, sitting alone, all appeals from convictions 
by magistrates of the first class, other than those in cases tried 
summarily, when the magistrate passes a sentence of imprisonment not 
exceeding three months, or fine not exceeding Rs. 200, or of whipping 
only, or in petty cases, when the sentence does not exceed one month's 
imprisonment or Rs. 50 fine. The Sessions Judge is also empowered 
to call for and examine the record of any proceeding before a sub- 
ordinate court, for the purpose of satisfying himself as to the correct- 
ness and legality of any order passed. The powers of a Sessions Judge 
are limited only by the maximum punishment fixed for each offence 
in the Penal Code, but sentences of death are subject to confirmation 
by the High Court. 

The High Court, on its original side, tries, by a single Judge with a 
jury, all cases committed to it by the Presidency Magistrates, and also 



certain cases in whicli the accused are European British subjects, 
which may be committed for trial by magistrates in the interior. On 
its appellate side the High Court, by a bench of two or more Judges 
disposes of appeals in respect of convictions on trials before a Court of 
Sessions. It revises, upon reference from Sessions Judges or magis- 
trates, the decisions of inferior courts, when in error upon points of law, 
deals with appeals which the Local Government may prefer against 
acquittals, and confirms, modifies, or annuls all sentences of death 
passed by Sessions Courts. 

The table ^ below contains some of the more important statistics 
relating to criminal justice. During the last few years there has been 
a considerable increase in the number of offences against property, 
which is said to be due to the high price of food-grains. 




for ten 

for ten 

age of 












Number of persons tried : 

{a) For offences against 

person and properly 






ijf) For other offences 

against the Indian 

Penal Code . 






I (c) For oftences against 

special and local 












. 63-5 , 

The registration of assurances is effected under the same law (Act III 
of 1877) as in other parts of British India. The cost is met by fees 
levied from persons presenting documents for registration or desiring 
copies of registered documents, according to a scale prescribed by 
Government. The Registration department is presided over by an 
Inspector-General. The District Magistrates, who are ex-ojficio Regis- 
trars, have full powers of inspection and control over all registration 
offices in their Districts, and are responsible for the proper conduct 
of the work. At the head-quarters of each District there is a salaried 
officer, known as the special sub-registrar, who deals with the documents 

^ The following table gives the corresponding figures for 1903 for Bmgal as now 
constituted : — 

{d} Offences against person and jiroperty . 

(h) Other offences against the Indian Penal Code 

{c) Offences against special and local laws 


Number of 



of convic- 











presented for registration there, and assists the Registrar in the super- 
vision of the proceedings of all other registration officers in the District. 
The number of the latter, who are called rural sub-registrars, varies 
according to local requirements. Formerly the special sub-registrars 
used to receive, in addition to their salaries, a commission on the 
documents registered by them, while the rural sub-registrars were 
remunerated only by fees on a sliding scale and were entitled to no 
pension or gratuity on retirement. A new scheme for the reorganization 
of the department has, however, recently been introduced. The system of 
payment of commission has been abolished, and both the special and 
rural sub-registrars have been graded on fixed salaries, the services of tlie 
latter, like the former, being made pensionable. In Calcutta the Registrar 
is a separate officer on a fixed salary. The chief statistics connected 
with registration operations are exhibited below. The number of 
documents registered in 1901 was more than double the average of 
the decade 1881-90, and the receipts exceeded those of the same 
decade by more than 50 per cent. 





Number of offices 
Number of documents 

Annual receipts . Ks. 
,, expenditure Rs. 




5 62,043 



14-4^. .^31 









* The corresponding figures for the present area of Bengal are: number ot 
ofTices 272, and of docviments registered 8<)'),9Jo ; annual receipts Rs. 10,14,127, 
and expin(iiture Rs. 5,20,618. These ligures incliuie the portion of Sainbalpur 
District not transferred to Bengal, separate statistics for which are not available. 

The present Provincial system of finance dates from 187 1, when the 
financial management of the great spending departments of registra- 
tion, jails, police, education, medical (except medical 
establishments), printing, and certain branches of 
public works expenditure was entrusted to the Government of Bengal, 
a fixed assignment of 1 1 7 lakhs being made to meet the charges. In 
1877 the process of decentralization was continued by the transfer 
to the Local Government of other items of expenditure, together with 
the assignment, on progressive terms, of certain heads of revenue 
which it was thought would benefit by careful local management, 
including salt, stamps, excise, Provincial rates, and assessed taxes ; an 
equilibrium being established between the income from these sources 
and the expenditure, as estimated for the first year of the contract, by 
means of a fixed money contribution. The receipts and expenditure 
on state railways and canals were also made over to the Local Govern- 
ment. It was anticipated that the interest charges on account of their 
cost of construction would exceed the net earnings, and the Local 


Government was empowered to meet the deficiency by taxation to he 
raised by a special puhhc works cess imposed under Act II (!!.('.) of 
1877. This settlement was made for a period of five years. 

C)n its expiry, a new settlement was arranged, on very similar terms, 
but a proportion of the land revenue was given instead of the fixed 
money contribution required to produce an eciuilibrium between revenue 
and expenditure, and the [)ublic works cess, being no longer regarded 
as hypothecated for the payment of interest on the capital cost of Pro- 
vincial public works, became merged in the general revenues of the 
Province. In the three quinquennial settlements which followed, no 
material advance in the system of decentralization was made ; but the 
shares of the Provincial and Supreme Governments in the three 
principal heads of land revenue, stamps, and excise were redistributed, 
the Local Government obtaining in 1887 and 1892 one-quarter of the 
receipts from land revenue and excise, and three-quarters of the stamp 
revenue. Meanwhile, the management of all but a few minor lines of 
railway was gradually resumed by the Government of India, the last 
railway to be transferred from local control being the Eastern Bengal 
State Railway. This was in 1897 ; and in order to compensate for 
the loss of this progressive source of revenue, the Provincial share 
of the receipts from excise was raised from one-quarter to one-half. At 
the same time, the receipts and expenditure of the Salt department 
were reserved as wholly Imperial. The settlement of 1897 was, as 
usual, fixed originally for five years, but was extended by two years 
and did not expire until March 31, 1904. 

The latest settlement marks a great advance in decentralization. 
The previous five-year settlements began with undue economy and 
ended with extravagance. The difficulty has been to devise a scheme 
which should be permanent, but which should not involve unfairness, 
or risk of unfairness after a lapse of years, to the Supreme Government 
or to the Local Government. For this problem a simple solution has 
been found. The present settlement is neither for five years nor is it 
permanent, but it will last for an indefinite period, and it is subject to 
revision if over a long period of years it is found to be unfair to one 
side or the other. Another principle laid down was that when heads of 
revenue or expenditure were divided, the Local Government should 
have the same share both of the revenue and of the expenditure under 
the same head. This has, however, been departed from in the case of 
land revenue, the expenditure on which has been made wholly Provin- 
cial, although the Local Government gets only one-quarter of the 
receipts. The Local Government gets the whole (jf the receipts under 
registration, one-half of those under stamps, seven-sixteenths of those 
under excise, and one-quarter of those under assessed taxes and forests, 
and bears the same proportion of expenditure in each case. 


The result of this arrangement has been to reduce the annual net 
addition to the Provincial revenue by about one-fourth. Previous 
settlements involved a revision at tlie end of five years, which meant 
that the Local Government gave up part of its income to the Supreme 
Government. As such revisions are no longer to be made, it is obvious 
that the rate of expenditure must be fixed on a somewhat lower level. 
On the other hand, the Local Government will not benefit from the 
absence of revision until the expiry of five years, when the first revision 
would otherwise take place ; and to make up for this, the Supreme 
Government made a grant to the Local Government of a lump sum of 
50 lakhs, on the understanding that its expenditure was to be spread 
over several years. The net result of the changes under the present 
settlement is that the charges made over to Provincial management 
exceed the Provincialized receipts by 49 lakhs, and this deficit is made 
good annually by a fixed assignment under the Land Revenue head. 

The general financial results, so far as the Province of Bengal is con- 
cerned, will be seen from Tables IX and X at the end of this article 
(pp. 353-4). The most noteworthy features are the expansion of the 
revenue under the headings excise. Provincial rates, registration, stamps 
and forests, and of the expenditure under superannuation, law and justice, 
police, contributions to Local funds, medical, and general administration. 
The growth of the excise revenue has been due to various causes, of 
which the more important are enhancement of the rates of duty levied, 
increase of population, greater prosperity of the people, which has 
enabled them to spend more on luxuries, improvement in the efficiency 
with which the department is administered, and not least the general 
rise of prices, which has affected excisable equally with other articles, 
and has swelled the receipts of the venders and the public revenue. 
The avowed policy of the Government has been to restrict the con- 
sumption of drugs and spirits by raising the duty charged on them. 
The steady expansion under Provincial rates, which are assessed on the 
annual value of land, is due mainly to periodic revaluations, and not to 
any change in the rate at which the cess is levied, which has for many 
years stood at the maximum allowed by law. The registration receipts, 
though they still show an upward tendency, increased most rapidly 
during the early years of the system of Provincial contracts, when 
registration offices were freely opened wherever there appeared to be 
a reasonable demand for them, with the result that many more 
documents were brought under registration than had been the custom 
in previous years. In 1887 it was decided that process-serving fees in 
revenue courts and copying fees should in future be levied in court-fee 
stamps and not in cash, and this led to a marked improvement in the 
stamp revenue. Apart from this, the development of this source of 
revenue is the outcome of growing prosperity and industrial and com- 


mercial development, aiul that under forests is tluc to more efficient 
management coupled with an increasing demand for forest produce. 

There has been a rise on account of salaries in various departments. 
Exchange compensation allowance has been granted to European 
otificials, and in several departments there has been a reorganization 
of establishments and a general increase of pay. During the currency 
of the settlement of 1884-5, ^'"' additional yearly expenditure of 
4| lakhs was incurred under 'judicial courts,' the result of an increase 
in the number of Subordinate Judges and Munsifs and of judicial 
establishments generally. About the same time the reorganization of 
the police department, in accordance with the recommendations of the 
Police Commission of 1891, led to an additional yearly expenditure 
of about 6 lakhs. In recent years the expenditure under medical has 
been swollen by charges incurred in connexion with the suppression of 
plague ; but large sums have also been spent on works of general utility, 
such as the building of the BhawanTpur Hospital, the remodelling of 
the Cieneral Hospital, and the extension of the Medical College in 
Calcutta. The increased contributions to Local funds were made 
partly to aid them in the arrangements they had to carry out for the 
prevention of plague or in the repairs of damages caused by the disastrous 
earthquake of 1897, and partly to assist them to provide feeder-roads for 
railways and improve communications generally. The ordinary income 
of the District boards is not capable of much expansion, and those 
bodies have to rely on subventions from Government to meet their 
growing needs, while the amount of aid which the latter is able to 
render varies with its own financial position \ 

The transfer of a number of Districts to Eastern Bengal and Assam 
has reduced the Provincial revenues to about 463 lakhs (estimate for 
1906-7), to which is added a fixed contribution of 11 lakhs from 
Imperial funds. 

The current land revenue demand- for the year 1903-4 was more 

than 4 crores, or one-fifth of the principal heads of receipts in the 

Province. Four-fifths of the land revenue was per- 
Land revenue. , , , , , r 1 ■ 1 , 

manently settled at the end 01 the eighteenth century ; 

and since that date the zamlndars and their tenants have shared between 

them the entire benefit of the enormous increase in the value of the 

produce of land which has taken place, including that of waste land 

since brought under cultivation. The result is that Bengal pays a lower 

' The Provincial finances were seriously crippled in 1897 by an expenditure of 27^ 
lakhs on famine relief, besides nearly 5 lakhs granted as compensation for the dearness 
of food to the lower-paid servants of Government, and a heavy expenditure on account 
of plague; it was thus necessary to withhold the much-needed aid to local bodies 
until equilibrium was restored by a special contribution of 17 lakhs from the 
(Government of India. 

'-' The demand in Bengal as now constituted was 2.S4 lakhs, or nearly 3 crores. 


revenue than any other Province, with the single exception of the 
Central Provinces, and the incidence of the land revenue per acre is 
only R. 0-13-2 as compared with Rs. 178 for India as a whole. 

According to valuation returns furnished by zamlndars and tenure- 
holders under the Cess Act, the total rental of the Province amounted 
in 1903-4 to 17-84 crores. Of this sum, the land revenue absorbs less 
than one quarter, and the remainder is shared by the zamlndars, tenure- 
holders, revenue-free proprietors, and rent-free holders. These figures 
illustrate the huge financial sacrifice involved in the permanent settle- 
ment, for, after deducting the gross rental of revenue-free estates, rent- 
free holdings, and temporarily settled estates, the ' assets ' of the 
permanently settled revenue-paying estates may be estimated at 1472 
lakhs ; and if the revenue had been periodically resettled, their assess- 
ment would probably now be not less than half the gross rental, 
i. e. 736 lakhs, or considerably more than double the actual figures of 
323 lakhs. 

The earliest assessment known to have been made in the Province 
was Todar Mai's great settlement of 1582, according \.o which the 
revenue of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa amounted to 185 lakhs of rupees. 
The principle of Todar Mai's settlement was to ascertain the produce 
of each field, and to take as the revenue a share of it, estimated by 
different authorities at one-third or one-fourth. Bengal, however, being 
an outlying Province of the empire, was not measured, and Bihar was 
ouXy partially surveyed ; the assessment was therefore made on the basis 
of the reports of village accountants, and cannot be said to have borne 
any ascertained relation to the produce of the soil. Such as it was, 
however, it remained the basis of all subsequent Mughal settlements, 
and practically of the Decennial Settlement also. 

Todar Mai's revenue was enhanced by the successive Mughal 
governors of Bengal, the increases being due partly to territorial 
acquisitions, partly to alnvabs or proportionate additions to the original 
assessment of Todar Mai, and partly to the taxation of newly cul- 
tivated or improved lands. By 1765, when the British acquired the 
Diwani or financial administration of the Province, the nominal revenue 
had risen to 312 lakhs, though it is doubtful whether so large a sum 
was ever realized. 

In 1790-1 the Decennial Settlement, which in 1793 was declared 
permanent, was carried out by British oflScers, and the total assessment, 
including that of two Districts in Assam, amounted to 268 lakhs oi sicca 
rupees, or 286 lakhs of Company's rupees. It was made on the basis 
of preceding temporary settlements ; and detailed inquiries regarding 
out-turn and rates of rent were expressly forbidden, as the Directors 
were anxious to avoid any investigations of an inquisitorial character. 
It is impossible, therefore, to determine the proportion which the 


assessment bore either to the i)roduce of the land, ox to thr niUal 
received by the zannndars. It was behcved at the time, however, 
tliat it amountetl to 90 i)er cent, of the gross rental; and Sir John 
Shore estimated that, of the gross produce of the soil, the British Gov- 
ernment received 45 per cent., the zamliidCirs and their under-renters 
15 j)er cent., and the cultivators 40 per cent. 

The increase in the revenue of the permanently settled estates, from 
286 lakhs in i 790-1 to 323 lakhs in 1903-4, was due to the resumi)tion 
and assessment, during the first half of the nineteenth century, of a large 
number of estates which had been claimed as free of revenue. During 
the same period, however, the gross rental of these estates has risen 
from 318 to 1472 lakhs (assuming that the assessment of 1790 was 
equivalent to 90 per cent, of the gross rental) ; in other words, the 
Government share of the rental has fallen during this period from 90 to 
24 per cent. 

The operations of the Permanent Settlement did not include the 
unsettled part of Chittagong*, the Kolhan estate in Singhbhum and 
other tracts in Chota Nagpur, the Daman-i-koh in the Santal Parganas, 
or the Sundarbans. These tracts are temporarily settled, as are also 
many alluvial islands and estates which have escheated, or been pur- 
chased from time to time by the Government at revenue sales. Tracts 
acquired since 1793 are also temporarily settled : namely, the sub- 
province of Orissa, acquired from the Marathas in 1803 ; the Khurda 
estate in Purl, confiscated in 1804 ; the District of Darjeeling, acquired 
partly from Sikkim in 1835 and 1850, and partly from Bhutan in 1864; 
the estates of Banki and Angul, confiscated in 1839 and 1847 ,' ^^^d the 
Western Duars*, taken from Bhutan in 1864. Cachar and the Assam 
Valley proper were acquired on various dates between 1826 and 1842 ; 
but in 1874 they and the permanently settled Districts of Sylhet and 
Goalpara were separated from Bengal and formed into a separate 
administration. A brief review of the revenue history of the separate 
tracts is given below. 

Orissa was settled in 1845 at a revenue of 13-84 lakhs for a period 
of thirty years, which, however, was extended in consequence of the 
famine of 1866. In 1897 it was resettled for 21-05 lakhs, or 54 per 
cent, of the ' assets,' which amounted to 38-68 lakhs. The incidence 
of the new revenue is Rs. i-i-io per acre, and the period of settlement 
thirty years. The Khurda estate was settled ryohvari in 1875 for 
2-68 lakhs. In 1897 the estate was resettled for fifteen years at a 
revenue of 3-46 lakhs, the increase being effected by an enhancement of 
3 annas in the rupee. The incidence of rent per acre is Rs. 1-10-6. 

The resettlement of the Palamau estate in 1896 for a term of fifteen 
years resulted in the increase of the rental from Rs. 58,000 to Rs. 74,000, 
mainly on the ground of extension of cultivation \ the average rate of 


rent paid by settled ryots is Rs. 1-2-3 P^i" ^icre. By the settlement of 
the Darjeeling taraim 1898 the revenue was raised from Rs. 93,000 
to Rs. 1,12,000, the assessment being made at rates varying from 
4 annas to Rs. 2 per acre, and the term being fixed for twenty years. 
The Banki estate in Cuttack District was resettled in 1891, the revenue 
being increased from Rs. 21,000 to Rs. 29,000, mainly on account of 
extensions of cultivation. The revenue of Angul, resettled in 1892, 
was increased from Rs. 46,000 to one lakh for the same reason, but 
the enhancement was introduced on the progressive system. The 
Western Duars* were resettled in 1895, when the revenue was 
increased from 2-34 to 3-75 lakhs. 

The temporarily settled estates in Chittagong* were settled in 1848 
and in 1881, the aggregate revenue amounting to 3-85 lakhs. This was 
raised by the settlement of 1897 to 6 lakhs, the enhancement being 
due chiefly to extension of cultivation. The settlement was made 
partly with middlemen, who were allowed to retain, on the average, 41 
per cent, of the 'assets,' and partly with the ryots direct. The average 
rate of rent paid by settled ryots is Rs. 5 per acre. The term of this 
settlement is thirty years. 

The settlement of the Jaypur Government estate in Bogra District'^ 
in 1898 increased the revenue from Rs. 39,000 to Rs. 51,000, while the 
resettlement of a number of petty Government estates in the Sundar- 
bans and elsewhere raised the demand from 4-20 to 5-41 lakhs. 

It has already been stated that the revenue^ of the permanently 
settled estates has risen from 286 to 323 lakhs. The revenue of the 
temporarily settled estates, which was nil \\\ 1790, was in 1903-4 
36 lakhs, and that of estates held direct by Government 46 lakhs, the 
total revenue of the three classes of estates taken together being 405 
lakhs, compared with 347 lakhs in 1850, 379 lakhs in 1882, and 383 
lakhs in 1892. The formation of the Province of Assam in 1874 
deprived Bengal of a total land revenue of 30 lakhs, of which 4^ lakhs 
was due from the permanently settled estates of Sylhet and Goalpara 
and the remainder from other areas. 

The number of permanently settled estates is increasing very rapidly 
owing to partitions ; this is especially the case in the Patna Division, 
where the number has almost trebled in thirty-eight years. Revenue- 
paying estates^ in 1903-4 numbered 190,000, of which 176,000 are per- 
manently and 10,500 temporarily settled, and the remainder are held 

' In the present area of Bengal (he current demand from permanently settled 
estates in the same year was 228J lakhs, from temporarily settled estates 29I lakhs, 
and from estates held direct by Government 25^ lakhs. 

^ In the same year the number of revenue-paying estates in the present area of 
Bengal was 122,000, of which 110,000 were permanently and 10,000 temporarily 
settled, the remainder being held direct by Clovernment. 

304 BENGM, 

direct by Government. Only 474 estates are large properties of 
over JO, 000 acres, while 90 per cent, of the total number comprise 
less than 500 acres apiece. 

In addition, 56,000 revenue-free estates and 119,000 rent-free hold- 
ings are assessed to road and public works cesses. At the time of the 
Termanent Settlement large areas were claimed revenue-free, and the 
authority to scrutinize such revenue-free grants, and, if invalid, to resume 
them, was specially reserved. They were divided into two classes, 
according as they had been granted by the Mughal emperor direct, or 
by the officials of the empire. The former were recognized as valid if 
the holder could prove that his grant was hereditary and that he was in 
possession. The latter were accepted as valid if dated prior to 1765 ; 
all grants of a subsequent date were resumed, but those given between 
1765 and 1790 were assessed at privileged rates. All rent-free grants 
made by zaminddrs after 1790 were invalidated, and zaminddrs were 
authorized to nullify their own grants. Resum})tion proceedings were 
systematically undertaken by special Commissioners between the years 
1830 and 1850, when some thousands of estates were added to the 
revenue-roll. The revenue-free estates are those which escaped re- 
sumption during these proceedings, and their number has been swelled 
by redemption of the land revenue, which is permitted in the case of 
very petty estates. The rent-free holdings are small areas which were 
assigned in former times by zaminddrs for religious or charitable 

The land revenue is realized with remarkable punctuality. In 1903-4 
no less than 97-8 per cent, of the current demand was realized within 
the year, the percentages in the three classes of permanently settled, 
temporarily settled, and directly managed estates being 98-9, 96-7, and 
89-3 respectively. The revenue of estates belonging to the first two 
classes is realized under the Sale Law, which renders an estate liable to 
summary auction sale if the revenue is not paid in full by a fixed date. 
The revenue is payable by instalments which have been fixed for each 
District with reference to the date of the harvests, so that the instal- 
ments may be paid from the sale proceeds of the surplus produce. 
Arrears of rent in estates under direct management are recovered 
under the ' certificate procedure ' : in case of default the Collector cer- 
tifies the amount due, and his certificate has the force and effect of 
a decree of court, and is executed accordingly. 

In early Mughal times the only zaminddrs recognized were the terri- 
torial chiefs, who were left in possession on grounds of policy, on 
condition that they agreed to pay into the imperial treasury a certain 
proportion of the revenue collected from their villages ; with this ex- 
ception, the ordinary revenue system was to collect a share of the pro- 
duce direct from the cultivators through their headmen. With the 


decay of the Mughal power, however, the practice of farming the 
revenues grew up, and the ^.v-officials, court favourites, and men of 
local influence who undertook to farm the revenues gradually acquired 
the name and position of zam'inddrs. 

(3riginally the zaviinddrs paid into the treasury the whole amount 
collected by them from the cultivators, less a definite allowance for 
maintenance, for collection charges and the up-keep of accounts, and for 
expenditure on charity. Gradually, however, the contributions to the 
treasury tended to become fixed, though always liable to enhance- 
ment, and meanwhile the zamlnddrs exploited new sources of income 
over and above the rental upon which their revenue was calculated. 
They acquired private lands, realized rent from the cultivators of waste 
lands, imposed cesses or additions to the rent rates, and levied dues 
on fisheries and tolls on markets. By degrees also the zaf/ilnddr's 
office became hereditary, and the practice of obtaining a fresh grant 
or authority to succeed from the ruling power dropped into desuetude. 

During the two centuries which followed Todar Mai's settlement, the 
farmer class of zamlnddrs had acquired a position similar to that of 
the original landholders of the Province, and they were recognized as 
proprietors of the soil by Lord Cornwallis, who was ' persuaded that 
nothing could be so ruinous to the public interest as that the land 
should be retained as the property of Government.' This bias was 
shared by the Directors in 1792, and they were 'for establishing real, 
permanent, valuable rights in our Provinces, and for conferring such 
rights upon the zamlnddrs.'' The proprietary title of the zamlnddrs was 
therefore not questioned at the time of the Permanent Settlement ; and 
the Regulation which gave it the force of law prescribed that the 
zamlnddrs, with whom the Decennial Settlement had been made, and 
their heirs and lawful successors, should be allowed to hold their 
estates at the same assessment for ever. The right of transfer of their 
estates was also conferred upon them. The present right of the 
zamlnddrs, therefore, is freely heritable and alienable. It is, however, 
limited by the rights of their tenure-holders and ryots, and also by the 
Government prerogative to sell the estate in default of full payment of 
revenue on the due date. 

There are two main classes of tenants — tenure-holders and ryots. It 
is often difticult to distinguish between the two classes in individual 
cases, but broadly a tenure is an intermediate interest between the 
zamlnddr and the cultivating ryot. For practical purposes the essential 
difference between a tenure-holder and a ryot is that the former can 
sublet to an under-tenure-holder or to a ryot, while the sub-tenant of 
a ryot must necessarily hold the inferior status of an under-ryot. 
The distinction is of importance, because a sub-lease to an under- 
tenure-holder or ryot commands a bonus, which is not ordinarily the 



case with a sub lease to an undcr-ryot ; hut, on the otlicr hand, the 
position of a settled ryot, who holds an occupancy right in all lands 
held or acquired by him in a village, is nuich coveted l)y the tenure- 
holder, whose rights arc more restricted. 

I'enures are distinguishable into four classes according to their origin. 
Many ancient tenures existed before the creation of the zatnlndaris to 
which they are now subordinate. At the time of the Permanent Settle- 
ment, many of these tenures, known as taluks, were separated from the 
zamlndaris, and formed into distinct estates, paying revenue direct to 
Government. A large number of the smaller tenures, however, remained 
subordinate to the zaminddrs. A second class of tenures was created 
by the zainviddrs, with a view to protect their property from the ruin 
which involved so many estates immediately after the Permanent Settle- 
ment. The painl taluk, which originated in Burdwan and has since 
spread over other parts of Bengal, is an estate within an estate, the rent 
being fixed in perpetuity and the tenure being saleable by the Collector 
at the zaminddrs instance for arrears, precisely in the same way as the 
parent estate. In some parts the process of sub-infeudation has 
proceeded much farther ; the patntddr has given his lands in per- 
manent lease to dar-pain'iddrs, and the dar-patn'iddrs have done the 
same to si-patnlddrs. 

The reclaiming tenure is a bait which tempts the petty capitalist to 
spend his resources on the land. It is found all along the coast, where 
the low mud fiats are being gradually raised by deposits of silt. The 
great rivers discharge into the Bay of Bengal an immense mass of sand, 
clay, and vegetable debris, which is again carried inland by the action of 
the tide. The coast-line is ever encroaching on the Bay, and as the 
deposits rise above water-level they become clothed with mangrove 
jungle, and if left to themselves would in time rise to high spring-tide 
level. But the impatience of the reclaimer forestalls this natural process, 
and soon after the surface emerges, an earthen embankment is thrown 
round it to exclude the salt tidal water, and the newly-formed islet is 
cultivated. The natural growth of the surface is thus arrested, and the 
deposit of silt is confined to the beds of the tidal channels, which 
gradually rise until they threaten to overwhelm the new reclamation. 
Perpetual leases at low rents are needed to persuade the capitalist to 
undertake the heavy initial and recurring expenditure required for the 
protection of such reclamations, and similar leases are often granted in 
the case of waste land when heavy expenditure has to be incurred 
in felling dense forests and undergrowth. 

There is a fourth class of tenures, which is probably the most numerous 
of all, and which may be described as the land-jobbing tenure. This 
class is to be distinguished from the reclamation leases described 
above, though the nomenclature is generally the same. It is found in 


enormous numbers in Backergunge* DIstrict, where, probably owing 
to the depredations of Arakanese raiders in the seventeenth and eigh- 
teenth centuries, reclamation in the coast tract was arrested until the 
surface had risen above flood-level, and where comparatively small ex- 
penditure on embankments is required. The profits of agriculture are 
very great in this District, as plentiful crops are reaped which find a good 
market in Calcutta, and the rich soil, which is periodically fertilized by 
silt deposits from the overflow of the great rivers, requires no manure. 
The price of rice is also steadily rising, owing to the rapid growth of 
population, the extension of non-food-crops, such as jute, and the infla- 
tion of the currency caused by the export of jute from East Bengal. 
The profits of agriculture are therefore steadily increasing, while at the 
same time the practice of granting perpetual leases has stereotyped rent 
rates. The cultivator is not, however, allowed to absorb the whole of 
the increase in agricultural profits, but is compelled to disgorge a portion 
of it in the shape of abwabs, or cesses proportionate to his rental, and 
each new cess affords subsistence to a land-jobbing tenure-holder. The 
ryot, moreover, ekes out his income by sublecting at rack-rates to under- 
ryots, and the rents paid by the latter are perpetually rising. 

The system may best be illustrated by taking the simplest case of 
a zamlnddr who has given a perpetual lease to a ryot. The ryot grows 
rich, and the zamlnddr is in need of money ; he offers the lease of 
a tenure of his holding to the ryot at a reduced rent, upon payment 
of a bonus equivalent to twenty years' purchase of the difference 
between the two rents. If the ryot refuses, a third person is offered the 
tenure, and he probably squeezes a cess out of the ryot. The same 
process is repeated shortly afterwards, either by the zamlnddr, who may 
create a tenure between himself and the new tenure-holder, or by the 
latter, who creates an under-tenure between himself and the ryot. The 
creation of each new tenure is the occasion for the payment of a 
substantial bonus, for which the lessee recoups himself by extracting 
a cess from the man below him, which is ultimately passed on to 
the ryot. 

Tenures of the classes described above are usually hereditary and 
held at fixed rates of rent. Temporary farming leases are common in 
Bihar and on Government estates ; they are granted for a short term, 
either at a fixed rent or a percentage of the rental of the farm. 

The status and privileges of all classes of tenants have been secured 
by the Bengal Tenancy Act of 1885. When Lord Cornwallis settled 
the revenue of the zamlndCirs in perpetuity in 1793, he apparently 
intended to confer upon the ryots a similar immunity against enhance- 
ment of their rents, and power was reserved to legislate in future, if 
necessary, for the protection and welfare of the tenantry. The matter 
was, however, lost sight of for half a century. The terms at which the 

X 2 


Decennial Settlement had been concluded were severe at the time, while 
the proprietors were unaccustomed to the punctual payments necessary 
to protect their estates from sale. The consequence was that many 
proprietors defaulted and their estates were sold, and the attention of 
(Government was for twenty years concentrated on efforts to realize the 
revenue with punctuality. The zamlnddrs complained of the difficulty 
they experienced in collecting rents punctually from their tenants, and 
in 1799 special powers were given them to seize the person of a default- 
ing ryot and to distrain on his crops summarily. These powers were 
grossly abused and led to much oppression, but it was not until 1859 
that a remedy was found. Act X of that year conferred on the ryots 
a right of occupancy in lands cultivated by them for twelve years, and 
protected occupancy ryots from enhancement of rent except on certain 
specified grounds ; the landlord's power of distraint was also restricted. 
This Act failed, however, to give the needed protection to the tenantry ; 
and after prolonged discussion a new Tenancy Act was passed in 1885, 
which provided that every ryot who has held any land in a village for 
twelve years acquires thereby a right of occupancy in all the land he 
may hold in the village. The result is that a proportion of all the ryots 
in the Province, varying from four-fifths to nine-tenths, have occupancy 
rights in their lands. In the case of such ryots, enhancement by 
contract is limited to an addition once in fifteen years of one-eighth to 
the previous rent, and a civil court can enhance the rent only on certain 
specified grounds, and even then only once in fifteen years. Whether 
such holdings are transferable or not depends on local custom. A small 
number of ryots hold at fixed rates of rent, and the remainder are with- 
out a right of occupancy. Even the latter, however, cannot be ejected 
except in execution of the decree of a competent court, nor can their 
rents be enhanced at shorter intervals than five years. 

Produce rents are to be found all over the Province, and are especially 
common in South Bihar, where landlords maintain irrigation works or 
embankments. Sometimes the value of the standing crop is estimated, 
and the share to be paid as rent is fixed accordingly ; sometimes 
the grain is divided on the threshing-floor. The landlord generally 
takes about half the crop, exclusive of the straw. 

No attempt has yet been made to check the transfer of land by ryots, 
except in Chota Nagpur, the Santal Parganas, Angul, and the Kalim- 
pong Government estate, where transfers to non-agriculturists, or, in 
some cases, to any outsider, are forbidden, and where the prohibition 
is strictly enforced at the time of settlement of the rents. 

In the Bengal Tenancy Act of 1885 power was taken by Government 
to order a survey and record-of-rights in any local area ; such operations 
have since been completed in the four North Bihar Districts of Saran, 
Champaran, Muzaffarpur, and Darbhanga, and are in progress in 


portions of Monghyr, Bhagalpur, and Purnea Districts, and in Ranch! 
and Backergungc*. The object of these operations is to frame an 
authoritative record of the status and rents of the tenantry, with a view 
either to protect them against arbitrary eviction and illegal enhance- 
ment, or to compose or avert agrarian disputes. Similar operations 
have been conducted on a large scale in estates under the administra- 
tion of the Court of Wards, with a view to preparing correct rent-rolls, 
and also in a number of estates upon the application of the proprietors. 

The land revenue in Bengal is so small a fraction of the produce that 
it can have no bearing on the ability of the people to withstand famine. 
The produce may be valued at not less than Rs. 20 per acre, or 9796 
lakhs for the Province as a whole, of which the total cropped area was 
estimated at 76,454 square miles in 1903-4. The rental of 1670 lakhs, 
therefore, represents 1 7 per cent., and the revenue of 400 lakhs only 
about 4 per cent, of the value of the produce. Remissions and 
suspensions of the revenue are very rarely granted in permanently 
settled estates, as the incidence of the revenue is so light that they are 
unnecessary. In temporarily settled and Government estates, however, 
remissions are allowed for special reasons, among which are deteriora- 
tion of land, drought, and damage caused by fioods and cyclones. 

I'he production of opium in Bengal and the United Provinces is 
a Government monopoly, and the administration of the operations is in 
the hands of the Board of Revenue, Bengal, under 
whom are two Agents, staticjned at Patna and Ghazi- revenue 
pur respectively, and a subordinate staff of sub-deputy 
and assistant opium agents. The poppy is grown in ten Districts 
in Bengal and in thirty-six Districts of the United Provinces. The 
total area under cultivation (deducting failures) averaged 823 square 
miles during the ten years ending 1890, and 820 square miles in the 
subsequent decade. In 1 900-1 it was 948 square miles, of which 345 
square miles were in Bengal and 603 square miles in the United 
Provinces; and in 1903-4 it was 1,004 square miles, of which 324 
scjuare miles were in Bengal and 680 in the United Provinces. The 
process of manufacture is carried on in factories at the head-quarters of 
each Agency. The legal position is governed by the provisions of Acts 
XIII of 1857 and I of 1878. 

The cultivation of the poppy is permitted only under annual licences 
granted for the purpose ; sowing is restricted to the area applied for, 
and the whole of the produce must be sold to Government at a fixed 
rate, which for some years has been Rs. 6 per seer (2 lb.) of 70° 
consistency. Advances free of interest are given to the cultivators, 
whose accounts are adjusted after the opium has been taken over. 
Application for a licence is entirely optional. 

The opium is manufactured in two forms : ' provision opium ' for 



export |)iin(ii);illy to Chinu and tlie Straits Settlements, and 'excise 
opium' for consumption in India. The difference lies in the consis- 
tency and size of the cakes and the method of packing. ' Provision 
opium ' is dispatched to the warehouses of the Board of Revenue 
in Calcutta, where it is sold at public auction, the number of chests to 
be offered for sale during the year being fixed by the Government 
of India, with reference to the quantity manufactured and the stock 
held in reserve. During the period 1881-90, a yearly average of 54,664 
chests (each containing 40 cakes weighing about 140 lb.) was exported 
from Calcutta, and 43,164 chests during the succeeding decade. In 
1900-1 47,950 chests, and in 1903-4 48,218 chests, were shipped, and 
the normal .sale standard is now 48,000 chests per annum. The gross 
value of the chests sold averaged about 6^ crores between the years 
1881 and 1890, and a little over 5 crores between 1891 and 1900. In 
1 900-1 it amounted to about 6^ crores, and in 1903-4 to just over 
7 crores. ' Excise opium ' is supplied to all Government treasuries for 
sale to licensed vendors. The price, which is fixed by Government, 
varies in different parts of the Province. At the present time it ranges 
from Rs. 28 to Rs. 31 per seer in Bengal proper ; in Orissa it is Rs. 2>Z '■> 
and in the Patna Division, where the danger of smuggling is greatest, 
it is only Rs. 1 7 per seer. With the retail sale of the drug to the actual 
consumers the Oi)ium department has no concern ; this is under the 
control of the Commissioner of Excise, as described farther on. 

The net yearly revenue of the Opium department averaged 4;^ crores 
from 1 88 1 to 1890 ; from 1891 to 1900 it was a little over 3 crores ; in 
1 90 1 it amounted to about 4 crores, and in 1903 to 3-98 crores. The 
revenue varies from year to year according to the quantity of opium 
available for sale and the price realized for it. A standard quantity 
to be produced yearly is periodically fixed by Government, and the 
maximum area to be cultivated is calculated accordingly ; but the area 
actually under poppy depends also on the willingness of the culti- 
vator to grow it. The crop, though on the average a remunerative one, 
is very sensitive to climatic conditions, and a series of unfavourable 
years may create a prejudice against it. The amount realized by the sale 
of ' provision opium ' depends partly on the quantity offered for .sale, 
and partly on the nature of the season in China and the area under 
cultivation there. Differences in the rate of exchange between the two 
countries may have a disturbing influence upon the market, and the 
interest charged by the Calcutta banks also affects it. 

The administration of excise, including the retail sale of opium, 
is vested in the Excise Commissioner, subject to the general control of 
the Board of Revenue. In the Di.stricts the Collector is in charge, 
assisted by a Deputy-Collector (who is, in the more important Districts, 
a special officer) with a clerical, preventive, and, where Government 



distilleries have been established, a distillery staff. The revenue is 
derived from imported liquors ; country spirits, including country rum ; 
fermented liquors made in India, including beer, tdri (fermented date 
juice), and pacJnvai (rice beer) ; hemp drugs, including gdnja, siddhi or 
hhaug, c/iaras, and /iidjum ; opium ; and cocaine. The revenue is 
derived from {a) the duty levied on excisable articles passing into 
consumption, other than imported liquors the duty on which is credited 
to the Customs revenue, (b) the fees paid for a licence to manufacture 
and sell excisable articles, and {c) the fees paid on spirits manufactured 
in distilleries. 

The following figures show the excise revenue * for the decades 
1881-90 and 1891-1900 (averages), and for the years 1 900-1 and 
1903-4, in thousands of rupees : — 

Ht.'a(!s of revpiiuc. 








Imported liquors 





Country spirits manufactured 

after the native method 





Country spirits, includini^ coun- 

try rum, manufactured after 

the English method, and beer 





lari ..... 





Paclnvai .... 



5, .34 


Hemp drugs .... 





Opium ..... 






Total excise revenue 
Customs revenue from im- 








ported liquors . 





The causes leading to this rapid expansion ha\ c been indicated in the 
section on Finance. The incidence of ex(ise revenue per head of the 
population was 2^ annas in 1881-2, 2\ annas in 1891-2, 3^ annas in 
1901-2, and 2y\ annas in 1903-4. 

Country spirits and tdri are preferred in the dry Districts, such 
as those of Bihar and Chota Nagpur, with pronounced hot and cold 
seasons, and containing a large non-Muhammadan population. The 
aboriginal tribes brew paclnvai at home, but consume the stronger 
spirit when it is within their means. The consumption of gdnja is very 
general ; it is greatest in wet and malarious Districts, such as those 
of Bengal proper and part of the Bhagalpur Division. Opium is also 
in general use, but chiefly in the Districts lying on the seaboard and 
where the Muhammadan population is large. 

The consumption of exci.sable articles is closely watched, and 

' The excise revenue in Hengal as now constituted was Ks. 1,4.', 13,000 in 1904-5. 

312 BENGAF. 

facilities for obtaining them are allowed only in order to meet an 
ascertained demand, or for the prevention of illicit practices. The 
number of licences issued is carefully considered, and the sites for 
licensed shops are selected with due regard to local feeling. The fees 
for a licence are ordinarily settled by auction, subject to a minimum 
Avhich is fixed with reference to the estimated sales at each shop and 
the average fees previously paid for the licence. Educated o{)inion is 
opposed to the use of stimulants, and the general feeling of the people 
condemns over-indulgence. The consumption has, however, increased 
rapidly among the educated classes, who, next to Europeans, are the 
chief purchasers of imported liquors, and especially of the cheap brands 
manufactured from German spirit and sold, under English names, in 
bottles with attractive labels. These brands compete with the country- 
made spirit in cheapness, and are believed to be stronger. 

The revenue on salt is levied mainly in the shape of an import duty— 
formerly Rs. 2^, reduced in 1903 to Rs. 2, in 1905 to Rs. 1-8, and in 
1907 to R. I per maund of 82 lb. — which is realized by the Customs 
authorities. There are also certain miscellaneous receipts, of which the 
most important are the rents paid for the storage of salt in Government 
\varehouses and the fees realized upon the passes granted for its 
removal. The Bengal coast is unsuitable for the local manufacture 
of salt, by reason of the dampness of the climate and the large amount 
of fresh water discharged into the Bay of Bengal by the Ganges and the 
Brahmaputra, and the manufacture of salt in the Province has been 
discontinued since 1898 and is now forbidden. The quantity annually 
manufactured bjt Government and private individuals during the ten 
years 1881-90 aVeraged about 280,000 maunds, and during the 
succeeding seven years about 120,000 maunds. The quantity imported 
yearly from within India and from other countries during the periods 
1881-90 and 1891-1900 averaged 9^ and 10 million maunds respec- 
tively. In 1900-1 it was about 9 million maunds, and in 1901-2 about 
13^ million maunds. The average consumption of salt per head of the 
population during each of the four years 1880-1, 1890-1, 1900-1, and 
1903-4 was 5j^g, 5-|, 5I, and 5I seers respectively. The gross revenue 
from this source, exclusive of miscellaneous receipts, averaged 2-18 
crores between the years 1881 and 1890, and 2-59 crores between 
1891 and 1900, while in 1900-1 it amounted to 2-66 crores, and in 
1903-4 to 2-27 crores. 

The course of the salt trade has been greatly influenced by the 
substitution of steamships for sailing vessels and by the improvement 
in the means of communication in India. The former circumstance 
has given a great impetus to the practice of bonding -salt, as steamers 
are unable to waste time in port. The opening of the East Coast 
Railway encouraged the importation of Madras salt into Orissa, and it 


is now acquiring a firm hold of the markets there. At the present time 
the United Kingdom supplies about half the salt imported by sea, Aden 
and the Red Sea ports about 31 per cent., Germany approximately 
10 per cent., while the remainder comes from the Persian Gulf, 
Port Said, and Madagascar. The quantity supplied from the United 
Kingdom is declining, owing to competition from other sources, and 
especially from the Red Sea ports. Preventive establishments are 
employed to cope with the illicit manufacture of salt along the coast 
and in other saliferous areas, and the possession and transport of salt 
are regulated by a system of passes. 

The stamp revenue is collected under the Indian Stamp Act (II of 
1S99) and the Court Fees Act (VH of 1870). Stamps are broadly 
divided into ' non-judicial,' or revenue stamps, and ' court-fee,' or judicial 
stamps. Of non-judicial stamps there are two main classes, adhesive 
and impressed. Adhesive stamps include share transfer stamps, foreign 
bill stamps, and stamps for use by notaries, advocates, vakils, and 
attorneys. Impressed stamps comprise impressed stamp paper and 
impressed labels, and forms of different descriptions, such as skeleton 
cheques, &c. For the distribution of stamps a central depot is main- 
tained at Calcutta, while every treasury is a local, and every sub-treasury 
a branch depot. There are, in addition, numerous licensed vendors, 
who are allowed a discount on the stamps purchased by them. The net 
revenue derived from the sale of judicial stamps ^ during the decades 
1881-90 and 1891-1900 averaged 93 and 117 lakhs respectively; in 
1900-1 it was 131 lakhs, and in 1903-4 it was 143 lakhs. The revenue 
from non-judicial stamps^ during the same four periods amounted to 
34, 44, 49, and 50 lakhs respectively. 

The growth of litigation mainly accounts for the progressive increase 
in the sale of judicial stamps, but probate duty also shows a tendency 
to yield larger receipts. The revenue derived from non-judicial stamps 
develops along with the normal progress of the country, but in particular 
years the state of the harvests causes fluctuations. 

Income-tax is levied on non-agricultural incomes under the provisions 
of Act II of 1886 as recently amended {see Vol. IV, chap. viii). The 
minimum income assessable under the original Act was Rs. 500, but 
this has now been raised to Rs. 1,000 per annum, upon which, and up 
to Rs. 2,000 a year, the tax is levied at the rate of 4 pies in the rupee. 
On larger incomes the rate is 5 pies in the rupee. 

The assessment and collection of the tax outside Calcutta are 
subject to the control of the Collector, under the supervision of the 
Commissioner and the Board of Revenue ; but the actual adminis- 
tration of the Act is in the hands of a Deputy-Collector, who is usually 

' In 1904-5 tlie net receipts from the sale of judicial stamps in Bengal as now 
constituted was 94-38 lakhs, and from the sale of non-judicial stamps 34-49 lakhs. 


in charge of excise duties also. For Calcutta, wliich, with the town of 
Howrah, constitutes a separate District for income-tax purposes, there 
is a special Collector of Income-tax. Since the enhancement of the 
minimum taxable income, assessors are appointed to Divisions, and the 
work of assessment in the different Districts in eacli Division is dis- 
tributed among them by the Commissioner in consultation with the 
District officers. The rates of pay of the assessors are Rs. loo, Rs. 90, 
and Rs. 80 a month. In Calcutta seven assessors are employed, who 
belong to two grades with pay of Rs. 250 and Rs. 200 respectively. 

The net revenue derived from the tax on incomes during the five 
years 1886-90 averaged 37-5 lakhs. During the next ten years it 
averaged 45-7 lakhs, and in 1901 it amounted to 54-4 lakhs ; in 1902-3 
it was 56-5 lakhs, but in 1903-4 (after the increase of the minimum 
assessable income) it fell to 47-7 lakhs ^ The incidence of the tax per 
head of the population during the same five periods averaged o-o6, o-o6, 
0-07, O'oS, and o-o6 of a rupee, while the average number of assessees 
was 109,000, 119,000, 134,000, 135,000, and 56,000, or i-6, i-7, i-8, 
1-8, and o-8 per 1,000 of the population respectively. 

The work of the Calcutta Custom House is directed by a Collector 
of Customs, who is subject to the control of the Board of Revenue as 
the chief Customs authority, and is assisted by five Assistant Collectors. 
The examination of goods and their valuation for customs purposes are 
entrusted to a staff of eighteen appraisers, while the guarding of vessels 
and patrolling of the port in order to prevent smuggling, the control 
over the discharge of cargo, and the loading or unloading of salt at the 
^t'/Jy (warehouses) rest with a special establishment of about 205 officers 
under the orders of the Superintendent of the Preventive Service and 
Salt department. 

Information as to the tariff is given in Vol. IV, chap, viii, and it will 
suffice to state here that the ordinary import duty is 5 per cent., either 
ad valorem or on a tariff valuation. The most important exceptions 
are cotton piece-goods, assessed at 3^ per cent. ; iron and steel, at i per 
cent. ; petroleum below a certain flashing point, at i anna per imperial 
gallon ; and machinery, railway material, and raw cotton, which are free. 
The duty on salt has varied ; it was reduced from Rs. 2-14 to Rs. 2 per 
maund in 1882, but was again raised to Rs. 2-8 per maund in 1888, at 
which figure it continued till March, 1903, when it was again reduced 
to Rs. 2 per maund. It has recently (1907) been still further reduced to 
R. I per maund. A duty was first imposed on kerosene oil in 1888; 
and in 1899 countervailing duties were placed upon bounty-fed sugar. 

The total customs revenue in Bengal averaged 247 lakhs during the 
period 1881-90, and 352 lakhs during the following decade. In 

' The revenue from the income-tax in Bengal as now constituted was 41-^3 lakhs 
in J 904-5. 


1900-1 it amounted to 427 lakhs S and in 1903-4 to 384 lakhs. 
Excluding the receipts from salt and rice, the import duties in 1903-4 
yielded 150 lakhs, to which cotton-goods contributed 51 lakhs, mineral 
oils 18 lakhs, metals 16 lakhs, and sugar (inclusive of countervailing 
duties) 9 lakhs. The only export duty is that on rice, which realized 
18 lakhs in 1880-1, nearly 22 lakhs in 1900-1, and 19 lakhs in 1903-4. 
In discussing the rise and present position of local institutions it is 
necessary to distinguish between town and country. In towns the need 
for proper roads, water-supply, and sanitary arrange- 
ments is far greater than in rural tracts, while, as • • , 

° . . . ' ' municipal. 

their area is limited, it is comparatively easy for the 
representatives of the people to deal with these matters. The inhabi- 
tants of towns are also more advanced and better able to express their 
requirements than those of the scattered villages in the interior. It 
follows that the first steps in the direction of delegating to the natives 
of the country a share in the administration of public affairs were 
taken in towns, and in this, as in other matters, Calcutta naturally 
led the way. 

Outside towns the rise of local self-government in Bengal dates from 
1870, when District committees were created for the administration of 
the funds set apart for the construction, repair, and maintenance 
of roads, bridges, &c., which were derived mainly from the road cess. 
They consisted of the District Magistrate and other officers of the 
District staff, and of a certain number of payers of road cess appointed 
on the nomination of the local authorities. District school committees, 
consisting partly of officials and partly of private persons nominated as 
above, were at the same time formed for the control of education, and 
were made responsible for the supervision of all Government schools 
and the allotment of the sums set aside for grants-in-aid of private 
schools. Owing partly to the constitution of the committees, and partly 
to the fact that the powers delegated to them were very circumscribed, 
these measures were not attended with much success, and local self- 
government in the Districts was for some years little more than a name. 
At the instance of Lord Mayo, a fresh scheme was drawn up by 
Sir Ashley Eden, the Lieutenant-Governor, with the threefold object 
of relieving the Provincial authorities of some portion of the ever- 
growing details of the work of administration, of reconciling the public 
to the burden of local taxation, and of conferring on the people or their 
representatives greater powers of control over expenditure on objects of 
local importance. This scheme was the foundation of the Local Self- 
Government Act, III (B.C.) of 1885, which is still in force. 

'■ These figures exclude collections in inland treasuries on bonded salt. The 
receipts on their account averaged 8 lakhs a year between i!^95 and 1900, and in 
1900-1 and in 1 903-4 amounted to 26 lakhs. 


This Act provides for the constitution of three classes of local 
authorities— the District board with jurisdiction over the whole District, 
a local board for each subdivision, and Union committees for smaller 
areas where circumstances may indicate the desirability of appointing 
them. The District board is the principal local authority, and the local 
boards and Union committees work in subtjrdination to it, exercising 
such powers and administering such funds as the District board may 
direct. District boards have been constituted throughout Bengal, save 
only in Darjeeling and a few remote tracts ; local boards have also been 
formed in most Districts. On March 31, 1904, there were 42 District 
boards and 104 local boards in Bengal '. The system of village Unions 
has not yet been fully developed, and only 58 have been created, chiefly 
in the Burdwan and Presidency Divisions. Half the members of Dis- 
trict boards are appointed by Government and half are elected by local 
boards ; where there are no local boards, the District board consists 
entirely of members appointed by Government. On March 31, 1904, 
the 42 District boards contained in all 846 members^. Of these 221 
were members ex officio, 292 were appointed by Government, and 2>2)Ci 
were elected by the local boards. The Collector of the District has in 
all cases been appointed chairman. The area dealt with by each board 
is so large, and the interests of different parts of it are so divergent, that 
jio non-ofificial member would be able to perform effectively the executive 
duties of the post or to weigh impartially the conflicting claims of 
different localities. The members of local boards are appointed partly 
by nomination and partly by election, one or more members being 
elected for each thdna. All residents who possess a small property 
qualification are entitled to vote, but the number who actually do vote 
is usually very small. Similar rules have been framed for the constitution 
of Union committees. 

The District boards have full control over all roads and bridges, save 
on a few main lines of communication of more than local importance. 
They are also entrusted with the maintenance and supervision of all 
primary and middle schools, the management of pounds and most 
of the public ferries, the control over and upkeep of dispensaries, the 
provision of a proper water-supply, village sanitation, lS:c. When scarcity 
occurs, it becomes their duty to subordinate all other objects to the 
special consideration of saving life, and they are expected to devote 
their whole available resources to affording relief. If the scarcity is not 
serious or widespread, the District board is left to cope with it, with 

^ The number of District hoards in IJengal after the recent territorial changes was 
29 and of local boards 76. 

^ The number of members of District boards in Bengal as now constituted was 5!^o 
in 7904, of whom 148 were members ex officio, 18S were appointed by Government, 
and 244 were elected. 


such financial assistance as may seem to be needed ; but when famine 
supervenes, the management of rehef operations is taken over by 
Government. The immediate administration of the roads and build- 
ings under the control of the District board is vested in the District 
Engineer, who is appointed and paid by the board, while that of the 
schools subordinate to it lies with the Deputy-Inspector of schools, an 
officer of the Educational department, who, in respect of these schools, 
works in subordination to the board. 

The chief functions hitherto delegated to local boards are the care 
and maintenance of village roads, the management of pounds, and the 
charge of ferries. In a large number of cases they have also been 
entrusted with powers of varying extent with regard to primary educa- 
tion, and in a few cases with the control of dispensaries and the main- 
tenance of District roads. As at present constituted, local boards have 
not been a very great success, and several of those at the head-quarters 
of Districts have recently been abolished. 

The Union committees exercise control over pounds, village roads, 
sanitation, and water-supply. In regard to primary schools, their au- 
thority is restricted to inspection. Their income consists of the receipts 
from pounds situated within the Union, a lump sum granted by the 
District board for village roads, sanitation, and water-supply, and funds 
raised under section 118 of the Act. In some Districts these com- 
mittees are reported to have done useful work within the narrow limits 
of their powers and resources. 

Nearly 53 per cent, of the income of District boards is derived from 
the road cess levied on land, under the provisions of Act IX (B.C.) of 
1880. A considerable sum is also derived from pounds and ferries and 
special grants made by Government. The main heads of expenditure 
are public works (59 per cent, of the total), education (22 per cent.), 
medical (5 per cent.), and general administration (4 per cent.). Sta- 
tistics of income and expenditure are given in Table XI at the end of 
this article (p. 355). The duties of the boards tend to outgrow their in- 
come, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to spare money 
for the construction of feeder-roads to railways and other new works. 
Government has therefore recently helped to restore the equilibrium by 
assigning to the Commissioner of each Division a considerable sum to 
be allotted by him to the boards which stand most in need of assistance. 
The total of the special grants thus made amounted to 15 lakhs on 
April I, 1904 ; and in 1905 a further grant of 12^ lakhs was made from 
Imperial funds to the District boards. 

The history of municipal government in Calcutta is dealt with in 
the article on that city. The first enactment having for its object the 
creation of local bodies elsewhere was Act XXVI of 1850, which autho- 
rized the Lieutenant-Governor, on the application of the inhabitants of 


any place of pul)lic resorl or residence, to extend the Act to it uiid to 
appoint commissioners who, by ilic levy of a rate on houses or of town 
duties or otherwise, were to make better provision for purposes of public 
health (^r convenience. The Darjeeling municipality was constituted 
in 1850 under the provisions of this Act; but otherwise very little ad- 
vantage was taken of it or of a subsequent Act (XX of 1856), the main 
object of which was to make better provision for the appointment of 
police chaukidars in towns, but which also provided that any sur{)lus 
funds raised in a town, primarily for the above purpose, might be ap- 
plied to cleansing or lighting or otherwise improving it. These two Acts 
were superseded in the larger towns by Act VI of 1868, which repeated 
their provisions in a modified form. The first real attempt at inaugu- 
rating municipal government was made in 1864, when the District 
Municipal Improvement Act was passed. This Act authorized the 
Lieutenant-Governor to appoint municipal commissioners for any town 
to which it was extended, with power to levy certain rates and taxes to 
meet the cost of conservancy, general improvement, and police. 

The enactments were consolidated and amended by Act V (B.C.) 
of 1876, in which year there were in existence 24 municipalities under 
Act III of 1864 and 2 under Act XXVI of 1850, 70 'unions' under 
Act XX of 1856, and 95 ' towns ' under Act VI of 1868. The new Act 
recognized four classes of municipal institutions : namely, first and 
second-class municipalities, ' unions,' and stations. The elective prin- 
ciple was allowed in the case of municipalities, provided that one-third 
of the ratepayers desired it ; but this condition was fulfilled in respect 
of only three municipalities. The Magistrate of the District or of the 
subdivision, as the case might be, was as a rule ex-officio chairman of 
all municipalities situated within his jurisdiction ; power was given to the 
Lieutenant-Governor to appoint other persons, but it was exercised only 
in a single case. 

This Act was, in its turn, superseded by Act III (B.C.) of 1884, 
which is still in operation, and which provides for the election of a 
majority of the commissioners and gives to them a far greater degree 
of independence. By this Act the distinction between first and second- 
class municipalities was abolished, and the other corporate bodies known 
as ' unions ' and ' stations ' were extinguished. Under its provisions the 
ratepayers of 125 municipalities, out of a total of 161, have obtained the 
privilege of electing two-thirds of their commissioners, and in 109 cases 
the latter have been empowered to choose their own chairman. In the 
remaining towns, which are either very backward or are divided by con- 
tending interests or strong party feeling, Government has reserved to 
itself the power of appointing the commissioners or the chairman, but 
in only twenty-seven municipalities does it appoint both. Except 
in Howrah, the municipalities have been relieved of the charges on 


account of the local police, over which they exercised practically no 
control, on the understanding that the funds thus set free must be 
spent on works of general utility and may on no account be devoted to 
the reduction of taxation. The charges previously borne by Govern- 
ment on account of dispensaries and hospitals within municipal limits 
have at the same time been transferred to these bodies. The muni- 
cipal law has now been extended to all places of an urban character, 
where alone it can be satisfactorily worked. 

Act III of 1884 has been amended by Acts IV (B.C'.) of 1S94 and 
II (B.C.) of 1896. By these enactments the elective principle has been 
further developed, and the powers and responsibilities of the municipal 
commissioners have been enhanced. The scope of municipal expendi- 
ture has been extended, and now includes the establishment and 
maintenance of veterinary institutions and the training of the requisite 
staff, the improvement of breeds of cattle, the training and employment 
of female medical practitioners, the promotion of physical culture, and 
the establishment and maintenance of free libraries. The commissioners 
may order a survey and organize a fire brigade ; they may control the 
water-supply when its purity is suspected, even to the extent of inter- 
ference with private rights ; larger powers of precaution are conferred 
in the case of ruined and dangerous houses and other erections, as 
well as increased powers for the general regulation of new buildings. 

Out of the total number of municipalities* in existence on March 31, 
1904 (excluding Calcutta), only two, Howrah and Patna, contained 
over 100,000 inhabitants; 98 contained from 10,000 to 100,000, and 
in 61 there were less than 10,000 inhabitants. The total population 
within municipal limits was 2,871,249, and the incidence of taxation 
per head of the population was Rs. 1-3-11. The total number of 
municipal commissioners was 2,236, of whom 1,160 were elected and 
1,076 appointed; 336 were official members, and 1,900 non-official; 
261 were Europeans and 1,975 natives. The land holding classes and 
members of the legal profession provide about 50 per cent, of the com- 
missioners, and of the remainder the majority are Government servants 
or traders. Statistics of municipal finance are given in Table XII 
at the end of this article (p. 356). 

There are two branches of the Public Works department, one of 

which is in charge of roads and buildings and mis- _. ... , 

,,.°. , , , Public works. 

ceilaneous public miprovements, and the other con- 
trols irrigation, marine matters, and railways. Each branch is under 

' In the present area of IJengal, there were 127 municipalities in 1904, of which 75 
contained from 10,000 to 100,000 inhabitants, while 50 had less than 10,000 inhabi- 
tants. The total population within municipal limits was 2,354,180, and the incidence 
of taxation was Rs. 1-4 per head. The total number of municipal commissioners 
was 1,753, of whom 913 were elected and 745 were nominated; 249 were official 
and 1,504 non-official members; 231 were Europeans and 1,522 were natives. 


a Chief Engineer, who is also secretary to Government. The Roads 
and Buildings branch administers five circles ', three of which are 
controlled by Superintending Engineers and two by Executive En- 
gineers, who are designated Inspectors of Works, and whose duties 
are to inspect the work done under the Engineers employed by the 
District boards and to exercise professional control over their proceed- 
ings. The Imperial and Provincial buildings and roads in these circles 
are in charge of the District P^ngineers, where the District boards con- 
cerned have accepted the responsibility for their up-keep, and of the 
Inspectors of Works in certain Districts in which those bodies have n(jt 
accepted such a responsibility. The Superintending Engineers have 
control of Public Works divisions held by Executive Engineers, and 
they also act as Inspectors of Works in their circles. The Roads and 
Buildings branch also includes a temporary charge, comprising the 
buildings connected with the Imperial Agricultural Institute at Pusa, 
which is under the control of a superintendent of works. 

The Irrigation branch comprises four circles, each of which is under 
a Superintending Engineer. In Irrigation circles the Executive 
Engineers also carry out the works of the Roads and Buildings branch 
within the limits of their divisions, and the Superintending Engineers 
act as Inspectors of Works. Three revenue divisions formed for the 
assessment and collection of canal water rates are held by Deputy- 
Collectors under the control of the Superintending Engineer of this 
branch. The main lines of railway and their branches are administered 
directly by the Government of India, the Government of Bengal con- 
trolling only a few minor railways undertaken by private enterprise. 

Rapid progress has been made in all departments since the intro- 
duction of Provincial finance in 1871. The Northern section of the 
Eastern Bengal State Railway was opened in 1878. The Orissa, 
Midnapore, and Hijili Canals were completed in 1873, and, with the 
exception of the Calcutta and Eastern Canals, the entire Provincial 
canal system has been constructed since that date. The canalization 
of the Bhangar channel in 1899 and the opening of the Madhumati Bil 
route in 1902 have greatly facilitated navigation by the Calcutta and 
Eastern Canals. As regards roads, the operations of the department 
are limited to the maintenance of a few trunk lines, and the initiative 
in the construction of new roads has been transferred to the District 
boards. Special efforts have, however, been directed to the improve- 
ment of communications in the Western Duars*, and to the construction 
of feeder-roads to the railways. 

Great improvements have been effected in the public buildings both 

' The number of circles in Bengal, as at present constituted, is four, of wliicli three 
are controlled by Superintending Engineers and one by an Executive Pjigineer, who 
is designated Inspector of Works. 

ARMY 321 

in Calcutta and in the Districts. The antiquated structures in which 
the courts and pubHc offices were formerly accommodated have been 
replaced by more spacious edifices built with some pretensions to 
architectural effect. Munsifs' courts, in particular, are being gradually 
transformed from primitive mat-and-thatch structures into permanent 
buildings of brick and mortar, and educational institutions are being 
provided with more suitable accommodation than was formerly thought 
sufficient for them, while the jails are being altered to meet modern 
sanitary requirements and to prevent overcrowding. 

Among more or less recent buildings in Calcutta may be mentioned 
the Imperial Secretariat, Writers' Buildings, the General Post Office, 
the Telegraph Office, the Surveyor-General's Offices, the Government 
of India Central Press, the High Court, the Office of the Geological 
Survey department, and the Economic and Art Museum. Of educational 
buildings, the most important are the Senate House, Presidency College, 
Hare School, School of Art, and the additions to the Medical College. 
The Eden, Ezra, Sambhu Nath Pandit, and Victoria Zanana Hospitals 
and the Leper Asylum are new, and the Presidency General Hospital 
has been reconstructed. 

Much attention has been devoted to the preservation of antiquities 
at Pandua* and Gaur* ; and the Konarak temple and the Bhu- 
BANESWAR temples in Puri have been protected from decay. 

Drainage schemes have been undertaken in Hooghly District at 
a cost of 26 lakhs, whereby an area of 370 square miles has been 
drained and cultivation rendered possible. 

Extensive waterworks have been constructed at Dacca*, Bhagalpur, 
Mymensingh*, Howrah, Burdwan, Arrah, Murshidabad, and 
Darjeeling ; a complete drainage scheme has been carried out 
at Patna, and electric lighting has been introduced at Dacca* and 

The strength of the army stationed within the Province in June, 1903, 
was 7,866, British troops numbering 3,221 and Native troops 4,645. 
Bengal is garrisoned by the Lucknow division of the 
Eastern Command. The troops are distributed at 
eleven military stations. At Fort William in Calcutta there are British 
and Native infantry, British artillery, and a submarine mining company ; 
and there are Native infantry and cavalry at Alipore. British and Native 
infantry and British artillery are cantoned at Barrackpore, and British 
and Native infantry and British artillery at Dinapore. Darjeeling with 
Lebong has British infantry and artillery, and a British regiment 
is stationed at Dum-Dum. The remaining cantonments of Ranchi, 
Buxa, Cuttack, and Gangtok are manned by Native infantry. No 
recruitment takes place among Bengalis. 

There is an arsenal at Fort William, a foundry and shell factory at 

VOL. vii. y 



Cossipore, an ammunition factory at Dum-Dum, and a rifle factory 
at Ichapur. 

Volunteer corps have their head-quarters at Calcutta, Muzaffarpur, 
Darjeeling, Ranchi, Jamalpur, Bankipore, Dacca*, and Chittagong* ; 
and the head-quarters of the Bengal-Nagpur Railway Volunteer Rifles 
are at Kharakpur. The following table gives the total strength of all 
the corps in 1881, 1891, 1901, and 1903 : — 

Police and 

The Calcutta police force, of which an account will be found in the 
article on Calcutta, has a history of its own, and has always been 
independent of the police system in other parts of the 
Province. In the early days of British rule the Bengal 
zaminddrs were required to keep up establishments 
of police for the maintenance of peace, but by Regulation XXII of 1793 
this system was abolished ; the police were placed under the exclusive 
control of Government officers, and the zaminddrs were forbidden to 
maintain any such force '. Every District was divided into police circles, 
with an area of about 400 square miles, and a ddroga, with a staff 
of subordinate officers, was appointed to each. To meet the cost of 
these measures, a police tax was imposed on traders and others who 
were specially interested in the maintenance of the force and who made 
no other direct contribution to the State ; but this tax was abolished in 
1797, when court-fees and stamp duties were introduced. The functions 
of the new force were at first confined to the arresting of accused 
persons ; but in 1797 the police ddrogas were directed to inquire 
regarding unnatural deaths, and in 1807 the Magistrate was authorized 
to order a police inquiry when he saw reason to distrust the truth of 
a complaint. From this small beginning was soon evolved the regular 
system of police inquiries now in vogue, which was placed on a legal 
footing by Regulation XX of 181 7. 

In 1808 Superintendents of police were appointed to certain 

' In 1807 the experiment was tried of associating landholders and others with the 
police, and of authorizing them in certain cases to receive charges and arrest accused 
persons and send them to the ddrogas ; but it proved a failure and was abandoned in 
1 8 10. 



divisions, where they exercised concurrent jurisdiction with the Magis- 
trates of Districts and cities. These posts were abohshed in 1829, but 
they were again revived in 1837. The civil poHce force in that year 
consisted of 444 ddrogas, 1,353 subordinate olificers, called muharrirs 
a.nd Jemadars, and 6,699 barkandaz or constables. 

The whole force was reorganized and placed on its present footing 
by Act V of i86r. An Inspector-General of police was appointed, 
with complete powers of control in all departmental matters, and under 
him were 6 Deputy-Inspectors-General, 52 District Superintendents, 
III Assistant Superintendents, 570 inspectors, 936 sub-inspectors, 
2,234 head constables, and 25,000 constables : these figures include 
the police in Assam, who were not separated from the Bengal police 
till 187 1. The annual cost of the police force in Bengal rose from 
36-6 lakhs in 1881 to 40-8 lakhs in 1891, to 51-7 lakhs in 1901, and 
to 54-9 lakhs in 1903. The composition of the force in those years 
is shown below : — 


Number in 





Deputy-Inspectors-General . 





District and Assistant Super- 






Inspectors .... 










Head constables . 





Constables, includint^ muni- 

cipal police 





Note. — These Ggures are exclusive of the Calcutta force, the aggre'gate strength 
of wliich in 1903 was 3,3.;3, and also of the railway and military police; they refer 
only to the executive force together with the reserves, both ordinary and armed. 
' The corresponding figures for Bengal as now constituted were : — 

Deputy-Inspectors-General . 

District and Assistant Superintendents 

Inspectors ...... 


Head constables 

Constables, including municipal police 






The Deputy-Inspectors-General are, in the main, inspecting officers, 
but they also arrange the posting of officers below the rank of Assistant 
Superintendent. The District Superintendents are in charge of the 
police of their Districts, but in all save purely departmental matters 
they are subordinate to the District Magistrates. Inspectors are 
employed chiefly on inspection, and the greater part of the investigations 
is conducted by sub-inspectors ; much of this work was formerly done by 
head constables, but of late years it has, as far as possible, been taken 
out of their hands. 

The higher grades of the police are filled on the results of a com- 
petitive examination in England and a competitive examination in 

V 2 


India, restricted to nominated candidates, a certain number of appoint- 
ments being also given by nomination to natives of the country. The 
competitive examination held in India is now, however, to be abolished. 
Inspectors are almost invariably promoted sub-inspectors, but in future 
a certain number are to be appointed direct. Sub-inspectors are 
appointed either by open competition or by nomination. As a result 
of the Police Commission of 1903, it has been decided that there is 
to be no competitive examination for the recruitment of sub-inspectors, 
but that they shall be, as far as possible, recruited direct, and that a 
maximum proportion of appointments shall be fixed for promotion from 
the rank of head constable. In every case they have to go through 
a year's training in the Bhagalpur Training School, Avhere they are 
taught law, the Police Manual so far as it concerns them, the reading 
and recording of finger-impressions, riding, and drill. Head constables 
are, as a rule, promoted constables. Constables are recruited at the 
head-quarters of each District. The percentage of foreigners (i. e. men 
of another District) which it is permissible to enlist varies in different 
Districts from 30 to 80. Constables receive some training at the 
head-quarters before being sent out to investigating centres, and when 
stationed at head-quarters they also get some instruction in drill. In 
future they will be trained at central schools which are now being 
established for the purpose. 

Service in the police has, till very lately, been unpopular with 
educated natives. The appointment of the Police Commission and 
the hopes of an improved service have, however, of late led many 
well-connected natives to apply for direct appointment to sub-in- 

The rural police force of chauklddrs or village watchmen is a very 
ancient institution, and, except in East and North Bengal, it is for the 
most part descended from the old Hindu village system, under which 
they were remunerated by small assignments of land. The village 
watchmen were placed under the ddrogas by the Regulation of 1 793 
already referred to. Between 181 3 and 181 6 provision was made for 
the maintenance of chauklddrs at all Magistrates' head-quarters, who 
were paid monthly stipends by the residents of the towns in question ; 
and a somewhat similar arrangement was soon afterwards introduced 
generally in all Districts where the indigenous system mentioned 
above did not exist. The powers and duties of the chauklddrs 
were laid down in detail in Regulation XX of 181 7. In 1838 their 
number was estimated to be 190,000. In 1870 a new law was enacted 
(VI (B.C.) of 1870) detailing their duties and providing for the levy of 
their pay through the agency of local committees, called panchdyais, 
who were empowered not only to fix their pay at any rate between 
.Rs. 3 and Rs. 6 a month, but also to appoint and, if necessary, dismiss 


them. The latter powers are now exercised by the District Magistrate ; 
the necessary funds are still usually collected by the panckdyat, but 
the Magistrate may, in certain cases, appoint a tahsilddr f(jr the 
purpose. The chaukiddrs are required to attend the police station at 
regular intervals, usually once a week, in order to report the births 
and deaths occurring in their beats, and to give information regarding 
the movements of bad characters and other matters. They are also 
required to give immediate notice of the occurrence of all heinous 
offences, and are empowered to arrest and take to the police station 
persons caught red-handed. In order to provide a link between the 
regular police and the village chaukiddrs, dajfadars have been appointed 
over groups of from ten to iweniy ckai/kiddrs. The rural police are not 
legally subordinate to the regular police, to whom they merely report. 
They are under the control of the District Magistrate, who can, however, 
delegate his powers to the District Superintendent of police. In some 
Districts he delegates all his powers, keeping in his own hands only the 
general power of control ; in some Districts he delegates his powers 
in the head-quarters subdivision only ; in otiiers, again, he delegates 
powers to punish and reward within fixed limits. There are now 
153,000 chaukiddrs, and the value of their annual emoluments is 
estimated at about 79 lakhs*. Most of them are now under Act VI 
(B.C.) of 1870, but about 5,000 still hold service-lands in lieu of salary ; 
about 4,500 are under Regulation XX of 181 7, and upwards of 9,000, 
in Chota Nagpur, are under a special Act (V (B.C.) of 1887) passed 
for that part of the Province. 

The only criminal tribe having its head-quarters in Bengal that need 
be noticed is the Magahiya Doms. These are most numerous in 
Saran and Champaran Districts, where an attempt has been made to 
reclaim them by inducing them to settle down as agriculturists. Settle- 
ments have been formed on land given for the purpose by zamnddrs, 
and allowances for the purchase of seeds, &c., have been made to them 
by Government. Enough has been done to make it possible for them 
to live honestly if they choose to do so, but there has so far been no 
very marked improvement in their habits ; their location in settlements, 
however, gives the local authorities some hold over them. 

Reformatory schools are maintained at Alipore and Hazaribagh ; 
these contained 383 boys at the end of March, 1904, the total cost to 
Government during the year being Rs. 58,000. Boys of the agricultural 
classes are sent to the Hazaribagh school, where cultivation and 
gardening are specially taught, while boys belonging to the industrial 
castes are sent to the Alipore school, where they are instructed in 
various industries. The kindergarten system of teaching has been 

' The number of diaukJdars in Bengal as now constituted is 106,500, and tiie value 
of their annual emoluments is estimated at nearly 49 lakhs. 


introduced at AHpore ; drill and gymnastics are included in the training 
at both schools, and games are played. A number of boys are provided 
with work outside the schools under a system of licences, and the 
Educational department endeavours to follow up the history of each 
boy for three years after his release. 

On an average, 134,000 cases were reported yearly by the police 
between 1896 and 1901, of which 67,000 were dealt with by the criminal 
courts, 56,700 or 84-6 per cent, ending in conviction and the remainder 
in discharge or acquittal. During the same period 32,000 cases were on 
the average dealt with yearly by the Calcutta police, the nature of whose 
work is very different ; of these, 29,800 were referred to the courts, and 
all but 950 ended in conviction. 

The plan of identifying criminals by means of head measurements 
was introduced by Sir Edward Henry, when Inspector-General of 
Police ; but he subsequently replaced it by the system of finger-prints, 
which is now in vogue everywhere. The record of finger-impressions, 
which in 1897 consisted of only 8,000 slips, had risen to nearly 56,000 
in 1 90 1, and to nearly 80,000 in 1903, when 1,555 ^''^'^ were thus 
identified, compared with 345 in 1898, the first complete year of 

A special reserve of from twenty to fifty constables, armed with 
converted vSniders (now being replaced by converted Martini-Henry 
carbines) under a sub-inspector, is maintained at the head-quarters of 
each District, and four military police companies of 100 each, armed 
with Martini-Henry rifles, are stationed at Dacca*, Bhagalpur, Dumka, 
and Hooghly. In accordance with the recommendation of the Police 
Commission, these reserves are to be strengthened and placed in charge 
of European inspectors, and all members of the force are to pass 
periodically through them for courses of training. A separate railway 
police was formed in 1867, and now comprises 2 Assistant Inspectors- 
General, 17 inspectors, 44 sub-inspectors, 154 head constables, and 
731 native and 14 European constables. 

The jails of Bengal are divided into three classes — Central, District, 
and subsidiary. The Central jails, which are in charge of whole-time 
officers, are intended for the confinement of persons sentenced to 
long terms of imprisonment. Including the Presidency Jail in Cal- 
cutta, where European convicts are incarcerated, there are now eight' 
Central jails; in 1881 there were nine, and in 1891 seven. At the 
head-quarters of Districts where there is no Central jail, there is 
a District jail, which, except at Darjeeling, is supervised by the Civil 
Surgeon. Prisoners sentenced to imprisonment for more than two 
years are transferred to a Central jail. There are subsidiary jails at all 
subdivisional head-quarters for the detention of under-trial prisoners, 
' There are six Central jails in Bengal as now constituted. 


and of those sentenced to imprisonment for not more than fourteen 
days. It is proposed to detain only under-trial prisoners in these small 
jails as far as is practicable. Detailed statistics are given in Table XIII 
at the end of this article (p. 357). 

The modern administration of the Jail department, which is controlled 
by an Inspector-General, dates from the period between 1877 and r88r, 
when many improvements were effected — the superintending staff was 
strengthened, and the pay and prospects of the subordinates were 
improved ; new jails were built, discipline was made more strict, and 
greater care began to be taken to see that the prisoners were properly 
housed, clothed, and fed, and that medical aid was promptly rendered 
to those in need of it. The result of these measures has been most 
satisfactory. In 1881 and for twenty years previously, the mortality 
amongst prisoners had exceeded 61 per 1,000 ; in the next decade it fell 
to 45; between 1892 and 1901 it was only 32, and in 1903 only 23-7 
per r,ooo. The chief jail diseases are dysentery, pneumonia, malarial 
fevers, and cholera. Dysentery is becoming less common ; in 1903, in 
spite of a greatly increased jail population, the deaths from this cause 
numbered only 91, compared with 475 twenty years earlier. Cholera 
has almost ceased to be a jail disease; in 1903 there were only 24 
cases and 15 deaths. Fewer deaths than formerly are now ascribed 
to ' fever,' but this is due in part to better diagnosis ; and the same 
cause may also perhaps account for the reported increase in tuberculosis, 
which, like pneumonia, often results from overcrowding. 

In the District jails the prisoners are employed on simple forms of 
labour, such as brick-pounding, flour-grinding, and oil-pressing ; but in 
the Central jails special industries are carried on to meet the require- 
ments of various Government departments. In the Presidency Jail 
much of the Government printing is done ; at Buxar tents and cotton 
cloth are made ; at Midnapore the prisoners work in cane, coir, and 
aloe fibre, and so on. The earnings aggregated nearly 6 lakhs in 1903, 
compared with 5^ lakhs in iSSr, but the provision of hard labour 
for the prisoners is considered of more importance than the amount 
earned. The expenditure is steadily rising, but this is due largely to the 
increased cost of food-stuffs. 

Bengal has always contained a large number of ordinary village 

schools or pathsdlas. These were used mainly by the higher Hindu 

castes and gave instruction in reading, writing, and ^^ 

• 1 , 1 • 1 rr ^ ^ Education. 

arithmetic, but the education they afforded was very 

elementary ; it consisted largely in learning by rote, and especially in 

committing elaborate arithmetical tables to memory. Brahman pandits 

taught Sanskrit to their disciples, who were mostly Brahmans and 

Baidyas, and there were also some indigenous medical schools. Muham- 

madan children attended maktabs, or elementary schools where boys 

328 • BENGAL 

learnt to recite the Koran, and madrasas, or more advanced schools 
teaching Persian and Arabic. Under the Company's Charter Act of 
1813 a lakh of rupees a year was allotted for expenditure on education, 
and in 1823 a Committee of Public Instruction was appointed. This 
Committee sought to encourage the learning and literature respected by 
the people and to foster high education as it was then understood, but 
no attempt was made to arrange for any general system of education. 

Under Lord William Pentinck the cause of English education, which 
had hitherto been fostered mainly by the independent efforts of mission- 
aries, rapidly gained ground; and in 1835 ^^ was decided, through the 
influence of Macaulay, to impart instruction in the higher schools 
through the medium of English. The abolition in 1837 of Persian as 
the court language gave a great stimulus to the study of English, and 
about the same time the education grant was raised to 4-| lakhs ; 
a system of scholarships was created for English schools, and Bengal 
was divided into nine educational circles, in most of which there was 
a central college, while every District was provided with a school to 
teach both English and the vernacular. 

The Committee of Public Instruction was replaced in 1842 by 
a Council of Education. A system of examinations and scholarships 
was devised, and steps were taken to obtain employment in the public 
service for the most successful students. Model vernacular schools 
were established, and arrangements were made for the periodical 
examination of indigenous schools. Books were lent to these schools, 
and money rewards, amounting to about Rs. 5,000 a year, were given 
to deserving teachers and pupils. 

The celebrated educational Dispatch, issued by the Court of Directors 
in 1854, gave a great impulse to education in India, and led in Bengal 
to the appointment in 1855 of a Director of Public Instruction and of 
a certain number of inspectors and sub-inspectors of schools, and also, 
shortly afterwards, to the constitution of a University Committee. This 
was followed by the establishment of a regular department of Public 
Instruction. From that date the progress of education in Bengal has 
been rapid and sustained. Systematic inspection was introduced, the 
scholarship system was developed, and grants-in-aid were given to 
private schools and colleges. All grades of education were fostered, 
and a complete system of examinations was organized. Encouragement 
was afforded to elementary education by means of small scholarships 
offered to the best pupils of vernacular schools. The most advanced 
boys from the District schools competed every year for higher scholar- 
ships tenable in colleges. Grants-in-aid were given to 79 English and 
140 vernacular schools, and the School Book and Vernacular Literature 
Societies were established, both of which published useful works. 

In Bengal proper the colleges established prior to 1857 were fourteen 


in number, the earliest and most important being the Calcutta Madrasa, 
which was founded by Warren Hastings in 1781. In 1817 the Hindu 
College, which was subsequently merged in the Presidency College, was 
founded for the teaching of the English language and European science. 
A college was established by the Baptist missionaries at Serampore in 
1818. The Sanskrit College dates from 1824, and in 1830 Dr. Duff 
founded the General Assembly's Institution. The schism in the 
Scottish Church in 1843 led to the establishment of the Free Church 
Institution. The Hooghly College was opened in 1836, and the Patna 
College in 1855-6. Besides these, there were Government colleges at 
Dacca*, Berhampore, Midnapore, and Krishnagar. The Doveton, 
La Martiniere, and St. Paul's Colleges in Calcutta were private founda- 
tions, and the BhawanTpur College was maintained by the London 
Missionary Society. 

The Educational department is divided into four sections : namely, 
the Imperial service, the Provincial service, the Subordinate service, 
and the Lower Subordinate service. The Imperial service ^ consists of 
31 officers appointed in England, comi)rising the Director of Public 
Instruction, Assam, the Assistant Director of Public Instruction, Bengal, 
6 principals of colleges, 15 professors and 5 inspectors of schools, 
and 3 to fill vacancies. The post of Director of Public Instruction 
is not included within the Indian Educational service. The Provincial 
service, which is filled mainly by recruitment in India, consists of 
109 officers: namely, 6 divisional inspectors of schools, 7 assistant 
inspectors, 7 principals of colleges, 56 professors of colleges, 23 head 
masters of collegiate and training schools, and 10 other officers. The 
Subordinate service, which includes all deputy-inspectors of schools, 
head masters of District schools, some assistant masters in District 
schools, foremen at technical institutions, &c., comprises 464 appoint- 
ments. The minimum pay is Rs. 50 a month. The Lower Subordinate 
service consists of 1,112 persons. 

The Director is the chief controlling officer of the department. 
Below him the chief executive officers are the divisional inspectors of 
schools, one for each Commissioner's Division, who, with the help of 

' Owing to the recent transfer of officers to the new Province of Eastern Eeiigal 
and Assam, the strenf;th of the Indian Educational service in Bengal has been reduced 
to 27 officers. It includes 2 divisional inspectors of schools, the inspector of European 
schools, the inspectrcss of schools, the Assistant Director of Public Instruction, 
5 principals and 14 professors of colleges, and 3 officers to fill vacancies. After the 
transfer of 27 officers to the new Province, there remain Sr officers in the Bengal 
Provincial service: namely, 4 divisional inspectors and 5 assistant inspectors of schools, 
5 principals and 42 professors of colleges, 16 head masters of collegiate and training 
schools, and 9 other officers. Altogethtr 101 officers have been transferred to the new 
Province from the Subordinate Educational service, which now comprises 346 officers 
exclusive of the sub-inspectors of schools. 

330 BENGAf. 

assistant inspectors, supervise all schools in tlicir Divisions. Usually 
each District is in charge of a deputy-inspector, who is assisted by a 
sub-inspector in each subdivision and guru instructors in each thdna. 
The District boards have control over education more or less elemen- 
tary in rural tracts, but in some cases they have delegated their duties 
in regard to primary education to local boards. In the few Districts 
where these boards do not exist, the local control is vested in special 

The department^ maintains ii Arts colleges, including one for girls ; 
9 professional colleges, of which 7 are law colleges attached to and 
forming part of the same number of Arts colleges ; 77 secondary schools, 
including 2 high and one middle English school for girls; 123 primary 
schools, including one for girls; and also 145 schools for special in- 
struction, including a Government college and 4 Government vernacular 
schools for medicine. 

The teaching institutions fall into three main groups : namely. Uni- 
versity education, or the advanced instruction given to candidates for 
degrees ; and secondary education, or the instruction given to boys and 
girls who have passed beyond the third or elementary stage, known as 
primary education. 

The rise of the Calcutta University dates from 1856, when rules were 
formulated for conducting examinations and granting degrees in Arts, 
Law, Medicine, and Engineering, and the Presidency College was 
placed upon an improved footing. The Act of Incorporation of the 
Calcutta University was passed in January, 1857. In 1859 the inter- 
mediate examination in Arts was established, the degree of ' Licentiate ' 
was created in the Faculties of Law and Engineering, and that of 
Doctor in the Faculty of Law. The degree of M.A. was conferred for 
the first time in 1862, and that of Bachelor of Science in T901-2. 

In 1904 the Indian Universities Act was passed, which gives greater 
control in academical matters to the teachers who are connected with 
colleges affiliated to the University ; it also aims at improving the 
standard of education in colleges, imposes more stringent conditions 
on affiliation, and provides for periodical inspection by experts. 

The Viceroy is Chancellor of the L^niversity. The Fellows are 
appointed by him, but some of them are selected on the suggestion 
of graduates and of the Faculties of the Senate. The Vice-Chancellor 
is appointed by the Governor-General-in-Council from the Fellows. 
The University is not a teaching University in the ordinary sense of the 

* In the new Provincial area the department maintains S Arts colleges, one of 
which is for girls ; 6 professional colleges ; 59 secondary schools, including one high 
and 2 middle English schools for girls; 86 primary schools, one of which is for girls; 
and 103 special schools, including one Government college and 3 Government 
vernacular schools for medicine. 


term ; its principal functions are to affiliate colleges, to recognize high 
schools, to prescribe courses of study for colleges and the upper classes 
of high schools, to hold examinations, and to grant certificates and 
diplomas to the successful candidates. The Chancellor, Vice-Chan- 
cellor, and Fellows constitute the Senate, which meets once a year, 
and also when convened by the Vice-Chancellor on the requisition of 
any six members. It is divided into the Faculties of Arts, Law, Medi- 
cine, and Engineering, to which a Faculty of Science has now been 
added. Tiiese Faculties are appointed by the Senate at its annual 
meeting, and each elects its own president ; every member of the 
Senate is a member of at least one Faculty. The executive government 
of the University is vested in a Syndicate, consisting of the Vice-Chan- 
cellor and ten of the Fellows, who are elected for one year by the 
several Faculties. Boards of Studies consisting of from six to sixteen 
members are appointed for the principal departments of studies ; their 
duties are to recommend textbooks and the courses of study in their 
respective departments, and to advise the Syndicate regarding the 
appointment of examiners and upon any other matter that may be 
referred to them. The expenditure of the University in 1903-4 was 
2-29 lakhs, which was entirely met from the fees paid by candidates at 
the examinations. 

In 1857, 10 Arts colleges were affiliated to the Calcutta University. 
The number had risen to 34 in 1891, to 44 in 1901, and to 46 in 
1903-4. These are divided into two grades: the first-grade teach 
up to the B.A. standard of the University, while in the second-grade 
colleges the course prescribed for the intermediate examination in 
Arts, or a course of a similar standard, is taught. An undergraduate 
of the University may appear for the B.A. or B.Sc. examination, pro- 
vided he has prosecuted a regular course of study in any affiliated 
institution for not less than four academical years, and if he passes, he 
may appear at the M.A. examination whenever he pleases. Of the 
46 affiliated colleges, 1 1 are maintained by Government and one from 
municipal funds ; 6 are aided and 28 unaided. The Presidency, 
Patna, and St. Xavier's Colleges were affiliated to the B.Sc. standard 
of the Calcutta University in 1901. The Indian Association for the 
Cultivation of Science has also been affiliated to this standard. In 
addition to those just mentioned, the Dacca* College, the General 
Assembly's Institution, the Duff College, the Metropolitan Institution, 
the Ripon and the BangabasI Colleges are the most important Arts 
colleges. The total expenditure incurred on Arts and Professional 
colleges in 1903-4 was 12-73 lakhs, of which 5-87 lakhs was derived 
from Provincial revenues and 4-92 lakhs from fees. 

A Law department was attached to the Presidency College and 
affiliated to the University in 1857. This example was soon followed, 



and the number of colleges teaching law had grown to 12 in 1 890-1, 
and to 17 in 1900-T, the number falling to 16 in 1903-4. The open- 
ing of law classes in other Calcutta institutions greatly reduced the 
attendance and income of those at the Presidency College, which were 
therefore abolished. The Calcutta Medical College was founded in 
1835 by Lord William Bentinck, and affiliated to the Calcutta Univer- 
sity in 1857. For the students of this college University standards of 
various descriptions have been prescribed. Institutions for medical 
education are now controlled by the Inspector-General of Civil Hos- 
pitals. The Civil Engineering College was opened in November, 1856, 
as a department of the Presidency College, but in 1880 it was replaced 
by the Government Engineering College at Sibpur {see Howrah), 
which was affiliated to the University ; the instruction was made more 
practical, and classes were opened for civil engineers, mechanical 
engineers, overseers, and mechanical apprentices. A few appointments 
under Government are guaranteed to the students of this college. 

Students not living with their parents or guardians are now required 
to reside at duly authorized hostels. The number of such hostels in 
1903-4 v>'as 411, with 14,045 inmates; and they were maintained at 
a cost of 10-95 hakhs, of which Rs. 51,000 was paid from public sources. 

The results of the most important examinations in each of the years 
1 880- 1, 1 890-1, 1 900- 1, and 1903-4 are shown below : — 

Passes* in 


1890- 1. 

1900- I. 



First or Intermediate in Aits 

Ordinary Bachelor of Arts 

degree .... 

Higher and special degrees . 


.30 1 





91 § 

2,. ^94 


74 II 

* Including private candid<atcs. 

+ In M..^. only. Besides, there were 35 passes in B.L., 17 in L.M.S., one in Honours 
in Medicine, 9 in M.B., 10 in L.E., and 3 in B.E. 

\ In M.A. only. Besides, there were 128 passes in B.L., 13 in 2nd L.M.S., one in 
Honours in Medicine, 3 in 2nd M.B., one in M.D., 3 in L.E., and 2 in B.E. 

§ In M.A. only. Besides, there were 160 passes in B.L., 64 in 2nd L.M.S., 3 in 2nd 
M.B., and 10 in B.E. 

II In M.A. only. Besides, there were 136 passes in B.L., 50 in 2nd L.M.S., 3 in 
2nd M.B., 12 in B.E., and 5 in B.Sc. 

Schools which have classes where students are prepared for the 
University Matriculation examination are classed as ' high schools,' and 
all other secondary schools are ' middle schools.' The latter, again, are 
divided into two classes, according as English is or is not included in 
the curriculum. This language is the medium of instruction in the first 
four classes of high schools, and it is taught as a second language in all 
but the lowest classes of both high and middle English schools. There 
is a tendency to convert middle vernacular into middle English schools, 
and to raise the latter to the rank of high schools ; the middle English 


now outnumber the middle vernacular schools, and also contain con- 
siderably more pupils. The attendance at schools of this class is 
improving, and is now about the same as in high schools. The total 
number of secondary schools for boys in 1903-4 was 2,465, of which 
74, or 3 per cent., were directly managed by Government, and 186, or 
7-5 per cent., by District or municipal boards ; 1,584, or 64-3 per cent., 
were aided from public funds, including Native State revenues, while 
the rest were unaided. The number attending these schools was 
252,000, or 4-4 per cent, of the boys of school-going age. 

Primary schools are intended chiefly for the masses. They are 
divided into two grades — upper and lower. In the latter the elements 
of reading, writing, simple arithmetic, and agriculture are taught. It is 
now proposed to establish in purely agricultural areas rural schools with 
shorter and simpler courses suited to the needs of the agricultural 
population. In the upper primary schools the curriculum is a little 
more advanced, though considerably below the final course prescribed 
for middle schools ; it includes the elements of history, geography, 
geometry, and science, in addition to the study of vernacular literature. 
A few primary schools are managed by the Educational department or 
by local bodies ; but the great majority are merely aided by the grant 
of monthly or quarterly stipends, supplemented by grants made on the 
result of local inspection and depending upon the number of pupils 
under instruction, the stage of instruction reached, the qualifications of 
the guru, the nature and condition of the school-house, and other factors 
which go to make up a successful school. This system of payment was 
until recently the usual one, except in backward localities, but it has 
been held not to work satisfactorily. It has now been decided to pay 
all the gurus by fixed stipends, and an additional grant of 5 lakhs has 
been set aside by the Local Government for this purpose. In 1903-4, 
122 primary schools were wholly maintained by the department, 18 
by District or municipal boards, and 304 by Native States ; nearly 82 
per cent, of the total number were aided in the manner described 
above, and a few were aided by Native States ; the remainder were 
unaided. The average yearly pay of the teachers of upper primary 
schools was about Rs. 136 in 1900-1, and rose to Rs. 148 in 1903-4; 
that of the teachers of lower primary schools rose in the same period 
from Rs. 56 to Rs. 63. In recent years no systematic attempt has 
been made to train guriis, but training schools for them are now being 
started in each subdivision. 

The promotion of female education in Bengal is beset with difficulties. 
There is no general demand for it as a means of livelihood ; the parda 
system and early marriage stand in the wa)', and, until recently, the 
curriculum was not suitable for girls. New standards, containing more 
congenial subjects such as literature, history, domestic economy, and 


needlework, have now been prescribed for schools in and about 
Calcutta, and are being gradually introduced in the Districts, 

Girls' schools in advanced tracts are aided from Provincial revenues, 
and model primary schools for them have been started in every District. 
Training classes, aided from Provincial revenues, have been recently 
opened in connexion with mission and other schools, and orthodox 
Hindu and Muhamniadan female teachers have been appointed to 
further the spread of zandna education. Zandna teaching is also 
carried on by Christian missionaries and by several Hindu and Brahmo 
associations, especially in Calcutta. 

The number of Arts colleges and schools for girls rose from 83 1 in 
1881 to 2,362 in 1891, to 2,973 in 1901, and to 5,005 in 1904. In the 
same years the numbers of girls in colleges were respectively 5, 40, 72, 
and 98; in secondary schools, 6,000, 5,500, 5,600, and 5,600; and in 
primary schools, 29,000, 75,000, 91,000, and 147,000. The percentage 
of girls under instruction to the number of school-going age was 0-87 
in 1880-1, i-6i in 1890-1, i-8 in 1900-1, and 2-8 in 1903-4. The 
Bethune College, La Martiniere, and Loretto House are the principal 
centres of female education. In all twelve high schools for girls were 
aided by Government or by District or municipal boards in 1903-4. 

District boards spent Rs. 25,000 on girls' schools in 1890-1, Rs. 
38,000 in 1 900-1, and Rs. 80,000 in 1903-4. The boards have also 
created special scholarships for female pupils in primary schools. To 
encourage their education up to higher standards at home. Government 
has recently ruled that girls may draw scholarship stipends without 
attending schools, if they can prove that they have attained a higher 
standard by home study. There are an inspectress and assistant inspec- 
tress of girls' schools, whose duty it is to look after female education. 

The establishment of normal schools for training teachers other than 
gurus dates from 1855, but it was not until 1874 that they became at all 
numerous. There were then 56 in all. There are 10 medical schools 
as compared with 5 in 1884; of these 4 are Government institutions, 
and the rest are unaided. Among other special schools may be 
mentioned 4 engineering and survey and 4 art schools. There were 27 
industrial schools with 806 pupils in 1903-4, against 4 with 144 pupils 
twenty years previously. Aladrasas (for the teaching of Arabic and 
Persian) have increased during the same period from 7 to 83. Various 
other educational institutions, such as recognized tols (for the teaching 
of Sanskrit), reformatory schools, music schools, and schools for the 
deaf and dumb, number in all 590. An agricultural department 
attached to the Sibpur Civil Engineering College was attended in 
1903-4 by 25 students, 11 in the first year class and 14 in the second 
year ; it has not been very successful and will shortly be removed 
to Pusa. 


Fixed grants were formerly given to certain European schools in 
Bengal, but since 1882 the annual grants have been based partly on the 
returns of attendance, and partly on the results of examinations. The 
primary and secondary schools, taken together, numbered 55 with 5,000 
pupils in 1883, and 69 with 7,000 pupils in 1891"; while 80 schools 
with 8,000 pupils were returned in 1903-4. The number of pupils who 
passed the various code examinations was 65 in 1883, 247 in 1S91, and 
543 in 1903-4 ; the numbers who passed the entrance examination of 
the Calcutta University in the same three years were 38, 95, and 16 
respectively. A few boys of the better class are provided with appoint- 
ments in the Police, Opium, and Accounts departments. Some have 
obtained situations in railways, mercantile offices, tea-gardens, and jute 
factories, and some have continued their education in the Medical 
College or at the Sibpur Engineering College. The girls have become 
teachers, typewriters, or shop assistants, and a few of them have entered 
the medical profession. 

Although some improvement is observable of late years, Muham- 
madans are still backward in respect of education. In proportion to 
the relative populations, Hindus gained twelve times as many University 
degrees in 1901 as Muhammadans, and they sent thrice the number of 
pupils to secondary schools. In the same year only 9 per cent, of 
Muhammadans of school-going age attended primary schools, as com- 
pared with 11-9 per cent, among Hindus. The comparison, however, 
cannot fairly be made solely on a numerical basis ; the great majority 
of the Muhammadans of Bengal are converts from the lower strata of 
the population, and it is doubtful if they are worse educated than the 
Kochs and Chandals and cognate Hindu castes from whose ranks they 
have sprung. Moreover, their instruction in the ordinary schools is 
retarded by the long course of religious training which a devout 
Musalman must undergo before he may turn his thoughts to the 
acquisition of secular knowledge. In order to foster Muhammadan 
education, steps have been taken to improve the Maktabs and Koran 
schools by offering subsidies to teachers who adopt the departmental 
standards, by replacing teachers of the old type by better qualified men, 
and by increasing the number of Muhammadans on the inspecting staff. 
Muhammadan pupils in high schools are allowed additional free 
studentships and enjoy the benefits of the Mohsin fund, under which 
they obtain part remission of fees in schools and colleges. Several 
special scholarships have also been created, with a view to enable 
Muhammadans to receive collegiate education. 

The great home of the aboriginal races is in the hills and uplands 
of the Chota Nagpur plateau and the adjacent country. Special 
attention has been given to the requirements of these rude tribes by 
Government and the District boards, and excellent service has been 


rendered by missionaries, who have established many schools in their 
midst. The Dublin University Mission has started a college at 
Hazaribagh for the promotion of their higher education, and a Govern- 
ment high school at Rangamati is also chiefly intended for aborigines. 
In the Santal Parganas a special inspector has been appointed to visit 
Santal schools. In all 8,000 Christian and 34,000 non-Christian 
aborigines attended school in 1903-4. 

The expenditure on the various classes of educational institutions 
in 1 900-1 and in 1903-4, with the sources from which the funds were 
derived, is shown in Table XIV at the end of this article (p. 358). 

The number of children attending schools represented 10-2 per cent, 
of the total population of school-going age in 1881, 13-5 in 1891, 14-2 
in 1901, and 16-5 per cent, in 1903-4. The number of persons returned 
as literate at the Census of 1901 was 4,259,000, or 5-5 per cent, of the 
total population ; for males the percentage was 10-5 and for females 0-5. 
During the last decade the number of literate males shows an increase 
of 15 per cent., while that of females has risen by 63 per cent. In 
every 10,000 persons of each sex, 89 males and 6 females can read and 
write English. The Burdwan, Presidency, and Orissa Divisions are 
the most advanced in the matter of education. Among religions, 
Christians take the lead, followed, in the order mentioned, by Buddhists, 
Hindus, Musalmans, and Animists. Of the Hindu indigenous castes, 
the Baidyas and Kayasths have the largest proportion of literate 
persons, and the depressed race-castes of Bihar have the smallest. 

The fees in Government colleges vary from Rs. 12 a month in the 
Presidency College to Rs. 2 in the Calcutta Madrasa and the Sanskrit 
College ; those in aided colleges range from Rs. 5 to Rs. 3, and those 
in unaided colleges from Rs. 5 to Rs. 2-8 \ In Government high 
schools fees range from R. r to Rs. 5 \ in aided high schools from 
annas 8 to Rs. 2, and in unaided high schools from annas 4 to Rs. 2. 
In Government middle schools the fees vary from annas 2 to R. i, in 
aided middle schools from 2 to 8 annas, and in unaided middle schools 
from I to 8 annas. In primary schools the fees are from i to 4 annas. 

The principal statistics of colleges, schools, and scholars for each of 
the years 1 890-1, 1 900-1, and 1903-4 are shown in Table XV at the 
end of this article (p. 359). 

Leaving out of account the Samdchdr Darpan, which was started 
long ago at Serampore by Baptist missionaries, and the Samdchdr 
Chandrikd, a Calcutta publication, it is doubtful whether even 
half a dozen vernacular newspapers were in existence in Bengal before 
i860. In 1863, when a weekly official report on native papers was 
instituted, the total number was 20, of which one was published in 
English and Urdu, 3 in Persian, one in Hindi, and 15 in Bengali. No 

' The Raj College at Jjiaduaii charges 110 fees. 


less than 7 of these papers were entirely devoted to religious and social 
topics. The numbers of these newspapers stood at 40 in 1873, at 
50 in 1881, at 71 in 1891, at 55 in 1901, and at 70 (4 only being 
Muhammadan) in 1903-4. In that year there were also 22 native- 
owned English newspapers and 4 Anglo-vernacular papers. Owing 
to the spread of vernacular education and the growth of a reading 
public, the native newspaper press has now, in its own way, become a 
power in the country. A great change has gradually taken place in 
its character, tone, and literary style. In 1863 and for some years 
afterwards the papers devoted small space to the discussion of political 
questions or large administrative measures, and items of news and 
speculations on religious and social subjects constituted the major 
portion of their contents. Politics received very meagre treatment ; 
the writers offered their opinions with diffidence, and their tone was 
always respectful ; their literary style was stiff and sanskritized. The 
principal characteristics of such papers at the present time are the 
increasing prominence given to political and administrative questions, 
a reckless, exaggerated, and occasionally disloyal tone, and a colloquial, 
ungrammatical, and anglicized style. With the spread of English 
education, the papers published in English by Bengalis are rapidly 
growing in importance. 

The vernacular papers have, as a rule, a very limited circulation, and 
only about 1 5 are of much importance. The Hiiabadi and Basumati 
occupy the first place in respect of circulation ; the latter paper has, 
however, less influence than the Bangabdsl, the organ of the orthodox 
Hindus. The Sanfibant is the mouthpiece of the Brahmos, and the 
Habl-ul-mafin and Mihir-o-Sudhdkar represent the Muhammadans. 

The number of publications received in the Bengal Library during 
1903-4 was 2,905, of which 2,089 ^^re books and 816 were periodicals. 
These publications deal with literary, social, political, religious, and 
economic subjects ; but, with the exception of a few important scientific 
publications, they display little original research. 

Most of the chief medical institutions of the Province are in Calcutta. 
Among the Mofussil institutions the largest and most important is the 
Mitford Hospital at Dacca*, which was built in 1858 ^ 

at a cost of over Rs. 76,000 ; it has accommodation 
for 170 patients. The Bankipore Hospital, for which a new building is 
being provided, has now 124 beds; the Cuttack General Hospital has 
82 beds ; the Burdwan Hospital, 76 ; the Darbhanga Hospital, 65 : 
the Midnapore Hospital, 77 ; and the Gaya Pilgrim Hospital, 84 beds. 
The Lady Dufferin Zanana Hospitals in Bettiah and Darbhanga, main- 
tained, respectively, by the Bettiah and the Darbhanga Rajs, and 
the Lady Elgin Zanana Hospital at Gaya are also doing excellent 

VOL. VIT. z 


There are dispensaries at all District and siibdivisional head-quarters 
and wherever there are municipalities, and also at many places in the 
interior ; all the former and many of the latter of these have accommo- 
dation for in-patients. They are for the most part maintained by the 
municipality or District board concerned, with the aid of grants from 
Government and public subscrijitions. The total number of these 
dispensaries in 1903 was 614, compared with only 237 twenty years 
earlier. For further details Table XVI at the end of this article 
may be referred to (p. 360). 

There are 5 lunatic asylums in the Province, situated at Bhawanlpur 
in Calcutta, Dacca*, Patna, Cuttack, and Berhampore. Of these, the 
first is reserved for Europeans and Eurasians, and the others for 
natives ; the latter, with the exception of that at Dacca*, will soon be 
replaced by a single central asylum. The alleged causes of insanity 
among Europeans are chiefly the abuse of alcohol among males and 
heredity in the case of females ; ^«?//a-smoking and heredity are the 
chief causes assigned for lunacy among natives. 

There are 8 asylums for lepers, at Gobra, Deogarh, Purulia, RanT- 
ganj, Asansol, Bankura, Bhagalpur, and Lohardaga. The six last 
mentioned have been established by the Society for Missions to Lepers 
in India and the East, and the Gobra asylum is a Government institution 
managed by a body appointed by Government. The total number of 
inmates in October, 1904, was 1,179, of whom 622 were in the Purulia 
asylum. The Lepers Act, III of 1898, which came into force in 
Bengal in 1901, provides for the segregation and medical treatment of 
pauper lepers and for the control of lepers following certain trades 
connected with the bodily requirements of human beings. 

In former times the practice of inoculation was widespread. The 
operation was preceded by a ceremony performed in honour of 
Sitala, the goddess of small-pox : a twig of a mango-tree was dipped 
in a pitcher of water, some mantras or charms were recited by 
a Brahman, and offerings of milk and sweetmeats were made. The 
patient was then inoculated with the crust of small-pox on the right 
forearm, if a male, or on the left forearm, if a female. He was bathed 
on the second day, to bring on fever, and was then confined for twenty- 
one days, after which a mixture of turmeric, ?ttm leaves, and coco-nut 
oil was rubbed over the body. Inoculation is still practised clan- 
destinely in parts of Orissa and Bihar, but it is becoming more and 
more rare, and vaccination is rapidly taking its place. Vaccinators are 
licensed by District Magistrates, and their work is supervised by the 
Civil Surgeons and the Superintendents of Vaccination. Where the 
older method survives, the vaccinators are usually recruited from 
the ranks of the former inoculators, but in the Province as a whole 
barely a quarter of the staff belongs to this class. 


The chief statistics of hospitals, lunatic asylums, and of vaccination 
are shown in Table XVI at the end of this article (p. 360). 

In order to bring quinine within the reach of all, the system of selling 
it through the agency of the Postal department, in pice-packets, each 
containing 5 (now 7) grains, was inaugurated in 1892. The drug is 
manufactured at the Government factory in Darjeeling, and is made up 
into packets at the Alipore jail, whence it is supplied to all post offices 
in Bengal. The postmasters receive a small commission on the sales 
effected by them. The system has met with considerable success ; in 
1903 nearly 3,000,000 packets of this valuable febrifuge were sold, 
compared with one-eighth of a million in 1893. 

The difficulties in the way of promoting village sanitation in India are 
enormous, the chief being the ignorance and prejudices of the people 
and the absence of an educated and trustworthy local agency. Some- 
thing has been done to improve the water-supply by providing tanks 
and wells, and disinfecting them either periodically or when epidemic 
disease breaks out ; and grave sanitary evils, which affect the public 
health and so constitute a public nuisance, are dealt with under Chap- 
ter XIV of the Indian Penal Code. The Local Self-Government Act 
(III (B.C.) of 1885) contains provisions for enforcing sanitation, but 
they have not yet been applied. A Sanitary Board was constituted in