Charles Grant.

The gazetteer of the Central Provinces of India online

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Traders from Cuttack come up periodically and carry off the iron on pack-
bullocks. The rdjd derives little or no income from the trade; the smelters
merely pay him a very trifling tax for the right to work up the ore. It is said
that the iron is very good indeed, and that traders make an enormous profit by
its sale. The smelters are all deeply in their books for advances, and are
therefore compelled to work for them, and them only. The chief is by caste a
Chauhdn Rdjput.

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RAJ 425

RA'JA'BORA'Rr — A state forest of about 160 square miles in extent, on tlie
southern border of the Hoshangdbdd district, and extending from SiuUgarh on
the east to Kdlibhft and Makrdi on the west. It has been much exhausted hj
indiscriminate cutting, and will require many years^ rest.

RA'JGARH — The north-centre pargana of the Mdl tahsfl, in the Chdndd
district, bounded on the north by the Garhbori pargana, on the east by the
Waingangfi, on the south by the Ghitkdl pargana, and on the west by the
parganas of Ghfitktil, Haweli^ and Garhbori. Its area is about 447 square
miles, and it contains 140 Villages. It is intersected from the north by two
branches of the Andh^f, which meet about its centre, and a third branch flows
along its western boundary in a south-easterly direction. The western and
northern portions are hilly and covered with forest. The soil is chiefly sandy,
producing rice and sugarcane. Telugu is the general language, the most
numerous agricultural class being the Eipewdrs. Sduli and Mdl are the prin-
cipal towns. This pargana formerly belonged to the Gond princes of Wairdgarh.

RA'JGHATA^ — A small village in the Chindd district, five miles north-east
of GarhchiroK, with a fine irrigation-reservoir.

RA'JI'M — ^A town in the Rdlpdr district, situated on the right bank of the
Mah^nadf at the junction of the Pairi with that river, and about twenty-four
miles to the south-east of Rdfpdr. It is celebrated for the temple of R^jfva
Lochan, and for the annual pilgrimage and fair held in his honour in April.
The fair lasts for a month, and usually attracts between 20,000 and 30,000
people. In the temple is an image of Rimchandra,* four feet high, of black
stone, in a standing posture, facing the west. It has four arms, holding the
four common Hindd emblems — ^the sanhh (conch), the chahra (discus), the
gadd (club), and the padma (lotus). Gtunida (the bird and vehicle of Vishnu),
as usual, faces the god in a posture of devotion, and behind him on a separate
terras are images of Hanumdn and Jagatpfl — the king who is said to have
built the temple. The latter is in a sitting position. Between these two
is a doorway, beautifiiUy sculptured with representations of Ndgas (serpent
demi-gods) entwined together in endless folds. This doorway leads to two
modem temples of Mahideva, and a third behind them is dedicated to the wife
of an oil-seller, respecting whom there is a popular story connected with the
ancient image of Rdj(va Lochan, which makes her contemporary with Jagatpdl.
In the same court of the great temple are shrines dedicated to Narsinha,
Wdman, Var^ha, Badrindth, and Jaganndth. There are two ancient inscriptions
on the walls of the temple of Rdmcbandra, one of which bears, the date
Samvat 796, or a.d. 750. Both of them relate to the origin of Jagatpil, and
to his prowess in subduing many countries, and they give the names of the
enemies conquered, or assaUed by Jagatpdl. Mention also is made of a fort called
Durga being obtained on his marriage. This is no doubt the fort of Drdg,
situated twenty-five miles to the west of Rdipdr, which, according to local
tradition, Jagatpdl obtained by marrying the daughter of the Rdjfi of Drdg. On
a small rocky island at the junction of the Pairi and Mahdnadi is a temple of
Mahddeva called Kuleswar, said to have been built by the Rdni of Jagatpdl.

* This account is taken from an article in "'Asiatic Researches," vol. xv. p. 499 ff. From
the symbols here mentioned, the image would appear to be that of Vishnu and not Rdmchandra,
who is usually represented with a bow and arrow, and a quiver, and with Hanum&i) before him,
rather than Garuda.

54 CPG

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426 RAJ-^RAM

There is an inscription on the wall, but it is now entirely illegible. 'Bi^im is a
pretty little town containing 700 houses, with between 3,000 and 4,000 inhabit-
ants. It has a town school, a district post-office^ and a police station. There
are agencies here for the collection and export of lac, of which from 3,000 to
4,000 Dullock-loads are annually sent to the Mirz^pdrand Jabalpdr markets.

RA'JOLI' — A small zamind&i or chiefehip in the south-eastern comer of
the Bhanddra district, consisting of thirteen villages, with an area of nearly
forty-three square miles, of which about a square mile and a half may be under
cultivBtion. The holder is a Mohammadan, and the grant is of some standing.
The residents belong mostly to the Gond and Gaull castes, and the forests
afford pasturage for large herds of cattle.

RA'JPU'R — A chiefship now attached to the Sambalpdr district- It is
said to have been created by Madhukar S&, a former rijd of Sambalpdr, in favour
of a son by a left-hand marriage {Phul Shddi), about three hundred years ago.
It is situated about thirty miles due north of Sambalpdr, and has an area of
some thirty square miles, about three-fourths of which are cultivated. It con-
sists of twenty-one villages, and the population, which is chiefly agricultural, is
numbered at 2,756. Rico is the staple product. Iron is found in parts. There
is also some good timber to be met with (s^l and &&j), but no teak. The pre-
vailing castes are Agharids, Koltds, Sdonrds, and Gonds.

RA'JULI' — A thriving village in the Chdndd district, eight miles north of
Mdl. Three miles to the north-east of it, in the basin of lulls, is a magnificent
artificial lake.

RA^MDIGHI' POOL— See "Kesldbori/'

RA'MGARH'— The north-eastern revenue subdivision or tahsfl in the
Mandla district, having an area of 2,503 square miles, with 681 villages, and a
population of 71,620 souls according to the census of 1866. The land revenue
for the year 1869-70 is Rs. 17,286-4-0.

RA'MGARH — A village in the Mandla district, situated on a rocky emin-
ence, at whose base fiows the Burhner, separating Rdmgarh from the village
of Amarpdr. The encamping-ground is at the latter place. In a.d. 1680 the
whole of the temtory bearing this name was bestowed by Rdjd Narendra Sd,
together with the title of ^^ rdjd,'' on a chief who had gi7en him great assistance in
recovering his ancestral dominions, from which he had been expelled by a
cousin, aided by a Mohammadan contingent. The quit-rent payable by the
Thdkur was fixed at Rs. 3,000 or Rs. 3,500, which was still in force at the
British occupation in 1818. On the execution of Rdjd Shankar Sd, the repre-
sentative of the Gond kings of Garhd Mandla, at Jabalpdr in 1857, the Rdnl — ^who
then represented the family on behalf of her lunatic son Amdn Singh — ^broke
into rebellion, drove the oflSciala from Rdmgarh, and seized the place in the
name of her son. Eventually a small force was sent against her. She behaved
with great bravery, and is said to have headed her own troops in several
skirmishes, but was eventually compelled to flee to less accessible parts of the
district. When the pursuit grew warm, she dismounted from her horse, seized a
sword from an attendant, and plunged it into her stomach. She was carried
into the victor's camp, where she was attended by a surgeon, but medicd skill
was unavailing, and she expired. After her death, the insane Rajd and his two
sons surrendered themselves. The former was deprived of the title of rdjd and

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RAM 427

of his estate, and a stipend was assigned to the family for their support.
Rdmgarh is now the head-qnarters of a tahsil, and there are here a police
station and a school.

R A'MNAGAR — A town in the Mandla district, situated about ten miles to
the east of Mandla, at one of the most beautiful spots in the whole surrounding
country. Here the Narbadd makes a bond, and from where the present palace
stands the most enchanting views of both reaches of the river are obtainable.
Rimnagar was selected as a royal residence in a.d. 1663 by Hirde S&, the 54th
king of the Garhd Mandla line. The power of the Gond dynasty had received
so severe a shock from the storm of Chaurdgarh by the Bundel&, and was so rapidly
being overshadowed by the growing Moghal empire on the one hand, and by
the rising strength of the Deogarh Gond line on the other, that it became advisable
for the Geurhd Mandla kings to select a more retired stronghold than Garhi, or
Chaurdgarh in the Narbadd valley. This place then became the capital of the
Garhd Mandla kingdom, and must at one time have been a town of considerable
size. There still exists a baolij now four miles to the east of the palace, which is
represented to have then been in the heart of the town. The ruins are very exten-
sive, the most remarkable being those of a palace built by Bhagwant Rio, the
prime minister of Hirde SL It is said to have been of five stories, and to have
over-topped the palace of the king, who therefore ordered that its walls should be
lowered. Rdjd Hirde Sd's own palace is a quadrangle built round an open court-
yard, and divided into numberless small rooms and narrow winding passages •
In the centre of the open court is a small tank, with remains of fountains to raise
water, for which a dam was made in the river almost opposite to the palace.
Close by is a small temple with a Sanskrit inscription on stone, recording the
names of the Gond line from Samvat 415 to the time of Hirde SL Rdmnagar
remained the seat of government for eight reigns, until Rdjd Narendra S&
removed to Mandla.

RAT^PU'R — ^A chiefship now attached to the SambaTptlr district, and
created in the reign of Chhatra Sd, rdjd of Sambalpdr (a.d. 1630), by whom
it was conferred on Prin Nith, a Rijput. It is situated about twenty-five, miles
north-west of the town of Sambalp6r, and consists of sixty-three villages, with
an area of some hundred square miles. The population is computed at 5,288
souls, belonging chiefly to the agricultural classes. The prevailing castes are
Agharids, Gonds, and Bhuyis. l^e agricultural products are rice, oU-seeds, the

SiUses, &c. Iron-ore is found in considerable quantities. There is also a good
eal of usefril timber, such as sfl {shorea robusta), sdj (pentaptera tomentosa ) , dhduri
{conoearptis latifolia), ebony (di^oapyros melanoxylon), &o* Darydo Singh is
the present chief. In the time of RSjd Ndriyan Singh (a.d. 1835) several of his
relations were murdered by the brothers Surendra S4 and Udant S4, who for
this offence were sentenced to imprisonment for life. They were undergoing
their sentence at Haz&rib^gh when they were released, in the year of tho
great rebellion in 1857, by the mutineers, and in the same year they came
down and set on foot rebellion in Sambalpdr.

RATMLTEK — ^The north-eastern revenue subdivision or tahsfl in the Ndgpiir
district, covering an area of 1,072 square miles, with 560 villages, and a popula-
tion of 134,846 souls according to the census of 1866, The land revenue of the
subdivision for 1865-70 is Rs. 1,85,301.

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428 RAM

RA.'^MTEK — The head-quarters of the tahsil (5f the same name^ in the N&^dr
district. It is situated twenty-four miles north of Nigpdr, and four miles east of the
Ndgpdr and Jabalpdr road, at the southern foot of a ridge of hills detached by a few
miles of cultivation from the undulating forest country, which extends up to the base
of the Sitpurfa. The town is built on gravelly soil, and is surrounded by exten-
sive groves planted about the base of the hill. The houses are generally good
and substantial. The population amounts to 7,933 souLs. Of these one-twelfth
are Musalmdns, one-eighth areBr^hmans, and one-eighth Barais (p&n gardeners).
Of the remainder, one-half are cultivators. There are also many Parwfir shop-
keepers of the Jain religion. The trade of Bdmtek is not important, except that
from hence a great quantity of betel-leaf is exported. The quality of the Rdm-
tek ''pin" has long been well known, and large quantities have always been
taken mto Seoul, Chhindwfod, Jabalpdr, theBer&:«,and other districts. During
the last ten years the cultivation had languished till \he opening of the railway,
since which time a large export has begun towards Bombay. Prices have consi-
derably risen, and the area of cultivation is increasing. The cultivation of p6n is
said to have flourished here for three centuries, having been introduced from
Deogarh by an ancestor of the present owner of the gardens. The sums realised
from octroi are spent by the town committee in the support of their schools
and town police, and on municipal works. A good metalled road from Mansar,
on the trunk line between Jabalpdr and Ndgpdr, is now nearly completed
through the town to the village of Ambild, where, on the banks of a small lake,
an annual fair is held in the month of " Kdrtik," corresponding to November.
Last year (1868) there were not far short of 100,000 people present during the
busy fortnight. There is an excellent bungalow on the ridge of the hill, about 500
feet above the plain. From this spot a varied and extensive view is obtained in
every direction. The tahsili is a commodious structure at the western end of
the town.

Rdmtek has ever been a chosen seat of religious veneration amongst
the Hindds. Of the many old temples the oldest appears to be one in a
small dell on the north side of the hill. It is built of hewn stones, well fitted
together without mortar. From its shape and structure it is probably a Jain
temple, though local tradition would make it the work of one Hemdr Pant, by
some said to have been a Brdhman, by others a " Bikshasa,'' with whose name
many remains of buildings in the Bhanddra and Nigpdr districts are connected.
Near this temple are the modem ** Parwdr" temples — a large and handsome
group, enclosed in courts well fortified against approach from the plain to the
north. The centre of interest, however, is the group on the western extremity
of the hill, where the temple ofRdm (BSmchandra), the tutelary god, stands
conspicuous above the rest and above the walls of the citadel. The lull on the
south and west sides is protected by a lofty natural scarp ; the north side alone
is very steep, and has a double line of defence. The inner line belongs to the
citadel ; the outer one from the western point, running below the citadel walls,
gradually diverges more and more, till some 300 yards beyond the inner portion
it turns to the south, and is carried across a narrow valley which leads down to
Ambdla. From the place where it meets the bluff on the south side of the hill,
facing the town of Bdmtek, it is continued along the edge, here strengthened
with a bastion, there with barrier-walls, blocking up the small ravines which
creep up the lull-side, till it joins, at the extreme west point, the more recent
walls of the citadel. This outer fortification is now in ruins. Though of rude
construction, being made by piling ponderous stones on one another, it was

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RAM 429

high and strong. It is without doubt very old, and is believed to be a work of
the Gaulfs< mthin it was a considerable village, a few traces of which are still
to be seen. The citadel is at the western and highest extremity of the
enclosure, having the chief temples at the apex of the angle. It was only
on the eastern side that the approach of an enemy could be feared. To
ascend to the citadel from the i^b&ld side, the road passes under a small
wooded hill, having on its top a fortified summer-palace, accessible from one
side only, which is said to have been built by a riji of the Sdrya-Vansl
(Solar) race. Following this road, which, after passing through the town, winds
first round the outer and then round the inner side of the southern ridge
of the hill, we have in front the embankment of the tank, along which a
line of defences, with strong bastions flanking the gateway, was built by
Baghoji I. Inside this is Amb£i&, with its pretty Idke, its bathing gh&ts,
and numerous temples, each belonging to one of the old Marithd families of
this country. From the western corner of the tank flights of stone stairs, half
a mile in length, lead up to the citadel, passing through the Graulf walls by a
narrow gateway. All pilgrims going to worship at the temples ascend the hill
by this way. Nearly at 3ie top, on the right, is a large and very ancient open
baoU, with a dharmsala attached. To the left are two plain, but very old,
temples of Elrishna in the avat&r of Narsinha. Opposite to these is a plain
mosque, said to have been built in commemoration of a great man in the retinue
of the Emperor Aurangzeb.

From this a flight of steps leads up to the outer gate, a massive building,
which, with all the outer line of walls belonging to the citadel, was built by the
first Mardthd ruler. Inside the gateway, on the right, are Hindd temples of
Nirfiyan ; on the left are other temples, where Parwirs annually resort. Passing
through this lower court, the Singhpdr gate in the second line of walls is reached.
The buildings here are much more ancient than those in the first line, and are
referred to the time of the Sdrya-Yansfs. In the second court the Mardth^
had their arsenal, of which a few wall-pieces are still left. The third court is
reached through a very fine gateway ceJled the Bhairava Darw^; in this part
the walls and bastions restored by the Mardth^ are in very good repair. This
innermost court has on either side the dwellings of the servants of the temples,
and at the frurther end the Gokul Darw&za — a building of the most fSemtastio
architecture leading to the shrines of Gbnpati and Hanum&n ; and lastly, built on
the edge of the hbaS, the shrine of Bdma. From this inner court another series
of stone-stairs lead down into the town of B^tek. In the time of Baghojf I.
the fort, with its temples, must have been safe {torn any force which coiud then
have been brought against it.

Though the name of Bdmtek is seldom heard in Hindustan as a celebrated
resort of pilgrims, yet the annual number of visitors to it is very great. The great
fair attracts people from £&(pdr, Bhopfl, and Haidar^bdd. All attempts to
obtain from the traditions of the people a coherent or intelligible history of the
various ancient shrines and ruins have proved fruitless. The buildings them-
selves throw little light on the past. Tlie present fortress was in great measure
built or restored by the Mardth^. In the beginning of the Mar^thd times two
very fine old laolisy which had for ages been covered over by earth, were
discovered, long after all tradition of their existence had been lost. These
were probably built before the ascendancy of the Gonds. These bdolis and much
of the temples and citadels must be ascribed to Hindds, such as the traditional

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430 RAM— RAT

Sdrya-Vansi rdjds — ^immigrants from Ayodhyd. Anterior to these are the Ganli
walls^ and traces of a Gauli town ; and still earlier the small Jain-like temples
built without mortar. The architectural characteristics of the different races
are easily distinguishable the one from the other; but what gaps of time sepa-
rated the eras of the Jain and the GauH, the Sdrya-Vansf, and the Gond, can
only be the subject of conjecture.

RA'MTI'RTH Temple— See '' Balliilptir.^'

RANEH — ^A town in the Damoh district^ sitnated about twenty-one
miles north-east of Damoh. The population^ according to the census of 1866^
exceeds three thousand souls. Some cotton-cloth is manufactured here^ and the
town has a police-station and a government school.

RA'NGI' — A chiefship in the Chindi district, situated twelve miles
south-east of Waird^arh, and containing seventeen villages. The soil is sandy,
producing rice and in some places sugarcane. The eastern portion is very hiUy,
with a good deal of teak ; but sdj and mhowa trees are more common. A weekly
market, attended by some three hundred visitors, takes place at the village of
R^gi, which is the head-quarters of the ^minddri. At Ingdrd there is an
ancient temple, on which there is a carving of a warrior with a short straight
sword and a shield.

RA'NGI'R — One of the oldest villages in the Sfigar district, about twenty-
two miles south-east of Sdgar. An annual fair is held here in March, at which the
attendance in 1869 was 65,000 persons.

RANMACHAN — A village in the Ch&idd district, situated six miles
south-east of Brahmapurl, at the point where the Bot^dhi falls into the Wam-
gangd. In the vicinity a battle was fought between the Mdnd princes of
Wairdgarh and Brahmapuri, in which the latter was defeated.

RASUTiA'BA'D— A village in the A'rvi tahsfl of the Wardhd district,
eighteen miles west of Wardhi. It was founded some two hundred years ago
by Nawdb Indyat Khdn of Ellichptir, who called it Rasdldbdd in honour of his
son Rasdl Eh&n. It now contains 2,565 inhabitants, chiefly cultivators. A
government village school, lately opened here, is doing well. A large weekly
market is held here on Fridays, and town duties are collected. The village
lands are rich and well cultivated.

RATANPU'R (RATNAPUH)— A town in the district (rfBil&ptir,8ituated
twelve miles north of Bildspdr town. It was here that the ancient rdjds of
the country first held their court, and it was from this point that the early
Hindd settlers, gradually acquiring strength, displaced the aborigines,
reclaimed the wilderness, and spread over the plain their civilisation and faith.
Although the importance and ancient glory of Ratanpdr have long since de-
parted, there is probably no town ijx Chhattisgarh which to the Q^tiofuarian or
archaaologist would be more interesting and attractive. The town is situated
at the base of the Kend^ o£&hoots of the Vindhyan range, and lies in a hollow,
almost surrounded by isolated hills. The result is that nothing is seen of it
till its precincts are entered, though the white edifice which crowns Temple
Hill distantly indicates its position, and often creates a delusive hope that it
has been nearly reached. Like all towns once populous but now declining,

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RAV— REH 431

there is about many of the streets of Batanpdr an air of dilapidation and deser-
tion. A cluster of houses is met with in one spot, then a great gap, then
another cluster, and so on, over a long straggling disconnected stretch of
habitations. There are here and there a few houses of permanent masonry — the
melancholy relics of past greatness — amid a throng of thatched and tiled build-
ings ; then we come on the crumbling arches of the old fort, the broken walls
and scattered debris of the ancient palace, and the partially-filled moat which
surrounded the city — all speaking of days gone by. Nothing, however, seems
so striking, or dwells so vividly in the memory in connection with Batanpdr^
as its numerous groves, temples, and tanks. Ruins are a heritage common to
all old cities, and there is admittedly nothing of marked interest or beauty
about those of Ratanpdr. But here is a township covering an area of fifteen
square miles, and containing within its limits a perfect forest of mango
trees, amid the luxuriant shade of which are scattered an almost countless
number of tanks and temples. It is quite possible to wander for days through
these groves, ever discovering some new tank or stumbling upon some fresh
temple, and although the inquirer may have occasion to do s(5 often, he
will always find some new pile^ till then unobserved, to enter and examine.
Mixed up with the temples are great blocks of masonry, of much the same shape,
Sacred to distinguished " Satis ^' — ^those unhappy victims to a melancholy reli- "f'
gious fanaticism. The most prominent of these is near the old fort, where a
large building, gracefully adorned on all sides with arches and minarets, pro-
claims that here, some 230 years ago, twenty Bdnfs of "R&ji Lachhman Sahi -^^
became voluntary martyrs to Brihmanical cruelty and popular feeling. Batanpdr
is essentially a city of the past, and has declined much in population even within
the last few years. Less than two years before the census a house-to-house
enumeration was made, and the population stood at 8,462, which at the time of

Online LibraryCharles GrantThe gazetteer of the Central Provinces of India → online text (page 76 of 94)