Great Britain. India Office.

Imperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 15) online

. (page 21 of 50)
Online LibraryGreat Britain. India OfficeImperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 15) → online text (page 21 of 50)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


12,500


179


Gaikwarand
Junagarh.


Jamka . . .






1


601


6,000


15,000


185


Gaikwar.


Kaner . . .


..




1


261


2,300


2,400


195


,,


Kathrota . .






1


138


2,200


2,SOO


52


,,


KhijadiaNajani


.,




1


156


2,700


2,800


52





Lakhapadar


"




1


544


2.7OO


3,000


178


Gaikwar and
Junagarh.


Manavav . .


,j




1


400


4,000


4,100


172


,,


Monvel . . .


,,




3


1,967


l8,000


1 8,200


313


Gaikwar.


Silana ....


n




1


774


6,000


6,250


102


,,


Vaghvadi . .


»




1


109


1,400


1,450


i54


Gaikwar and
Junagarh.


Vekaria . . .
Civil Stations


Total




1


595
675,288


6,uoo


6,150


55


Gaikwar.


*5,2i7


M93


36,10,725


53,99,349


2,15,030




11


26,736








and other vil-


















lages.!
Grand Total


















{20,882


4,242


2,329,196


1,39,60,058


i,93,7i,55i


§10,71,482



* This is the actual area of thepraat. No details are available for small States.

t The total number of villages and population according to the Census of 1901 are respectively 4,242 and
2,329,196: of the former, 11 (three civil stations and ihe rest villages of insignificant talukdars who do not pay
tribute) with an aggregate population of 26,736, have been omitted from the prant totals. They are : Rasnal,
Pipalva (Vithalgadh) (i,8ii), Ranparda (459), Hathasni (939), and Noghanvadar (113), in Gohilwar ; Raj kot Civil
Station (8,992), and Hadala (468), in Halar; Wadhwan Civil Station (11,255), in Jhalawar ; and Jetalsar Civil
Station (463), Dhasa (1,473), and Shapur (763), in Sorath praut.

\ Separate figures for talukas under ihana circles are not available. The areas of the whole than*
circles, in square miles, are —

Babra . . .2
Songadh
Chamardi .

§ The total amount of tribute of all kinds is Rs. 10,79,371, according to Aitchison's Treaties. To this sum
Rs. 1,225 on account of Unamamuli paid by Dedan has been added ; while Rs. 9,114, the amount of tribute and
zorlalbi paid by the Amreli mahal of the Gaikwar, has been omitted.



Chok.


. 104


Lodhika .


. 265


Dhrafa .


. 208



Wadhwan ihana


197


Paliyad .


. 227


Chotila


^68


Lakhapadar


■ 137


Bhoika


179


Bagasra .


. 89



170 KATHIAWAR

Formerly Kathiawar was divided into ten prdnts : namely, Jhalawar
in the north ; Machhukantha, west of Jhalawar ; Halar, in the north-
west ; Okhamandal, in the extreme west, belonging to Baroda ; Barda
or Jethwar, along the south-west coast ; Sorath, in the south ; Babriawar,
a hilly tract in the south-east ; Kathiawar, a large district near the
middle ; Undsarviya, situated along the Shetrunji river ; and Gohelwar
in the east, along the shore of the Gulf of Cambay, so named from the
Gohel Rajputs who are the ruling race in it. In this last-named
division is situated the Gogha mahal of Ahmadabad District.

A square peninsula, standing boldly out into the Arabian Sea be-
tween the smaller projection of Cutch and the straight line of the Gujarat
coast, its physical features suggest that it may once
as ts have been an island or a group of islands of volcanic

origin. Along its northern border stretch the shallow
waters or the salt-encrusted surface of the Rann. On the east, between
Kathiawar and the mainland, a belt of salt lands and the long lagoon
of the Nal mark the line of the depression, which, unless the evidence
of travellers is unusually at fault, formed until recent times during the
rains a connecting link between the Gulf of Cambay and the Little Rann.

Three travellers of authority, all of whom visited Cambay, speak of
Kathiawar as an island. The first of these, Varthema, 1503-8 (Badger's
edition, p. 105), says that the city of Cambay lies 3 miles inland close
to the mouth of the Indus. Baldaeus, 1672 (ChurchilVs Voyages, vol. iii,
p. 566), states that Cambay stands on one of the largest channels of the
Indus; Alexander Hamilton, 1690-1721 (New Account, vol. i, p. 131),
states that one of the largest branches of the Indus running into the sea
at Cambay makes Gujarat an island. Still more difficult to consider
a mistake is Captain MacMurdo's statement in 181 3 (Journal, Royal
Asiatic Society, vol. i, p. 41), that a tract similar to the Rann and known
partially by the same name connects the Gulf of Cutch and Cambay,
forming an island off the peninsula of Gujarat for six months in the
year. From the coast Kathiawar rises to a central table-land where all
the rivers of the peninsula take their rise. The silt of the old eastern
branch of the Indus and of the rivers Luni, Banas, Saraswati, and
Rupen, gradually filling the sea-bed, with some help possibly from the
great upheaval of 1820, has joined north-east Kathiawar with the main-
land of Gujarat.

Kathiawar was known to the Greeks and Romans under the name of
"S,avpu(TTpi)vij ; the Muhammadans called it by the prakritized name
of Sorath, and to this day a large division in the south-west, 100 miles
in length, retains that title. Another tract, quite as large, to the east
of the centre, however, has long been known as Kathiawar, from having
been overrun by the Kathis, who entered the peninsula from Cutch in
the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In the fifteenth century the



PHYSICAL ASPECTS ryt

whole tribe was driven out of Cutch, and in that and the following
century conquered a considerable territory. The Marathas who came
into contact with them in their forays, and were sometimes successfully
repelled by them, extended the name of Kathiawar to the whole pro-
vince, and from them has been borrowed the appellation in its wider
sense; but by Brahmans and the natives generally it is still spoken of
as Surashtra.

The surface of Kathiawar is for the most part undulating, with low
ranges of hills running in very irregular directions. With the exception
of the Thanga and Mandav hills, in the west of Jhalawar, and some
unimportant hills in Halar, the northern portion of the country is flat ;
but in the south, from the neighbourhood of Gogha, the Gir range runs
nearly parallel with the coast, and at a distance of about 20 miles from
it, along the north of Babriawar and Sorath to the neighbourhood of
Girnar. Opposite this latter mountain is the solitary Osam hill, and
still farther west is the Barda group, between Halar and Barda, run-
ning about 20 miles north and south from Ghumli to Ranawao. The
Girnar clump of mountains is an important granitic mass, the highest
peak of which rises to 3,500 feet above the sea.

The principal river is the Bhadar, which rises in the Mandav hills
and, flowing south-west, falls into the sea at Navibandar, in Barda,
after a course of about no miles, everywhere marked by highly
cultivated lands bordering its course. From the same hills rises
another Bhadar, known as the Sukha Bhadar, flowing eastward into
the Gulf of Cambay. Other rivers are the Aji, Machhu, Bhogava, and
Shetrunji, the latter remarkable for wild and romantic scenery.

Of salt-water creeks the most important are Hansthal, connecting the
outer and inner Gulf of Cutch ; Bhaunagar, forming the channel between
that town and the Gulf of Cambay ; the Sundrai, 8 miles north of
Bhaunagar ; the Bavliali, 2 miles north of the Sundrai creek ; and the
Dholera, leading from the Gulf of Cambay 10 miles inland to the town
of Dholera.

Notwithstanding its extent of coast, Kathiawar has no really good
harbour except Beyt, at the north-east corner of Okhamandal. The
principal ports are Vavania, Jodiya, Bedi, and Salaya in the Gulf of
Cutch ; Dholera, Bhaunagar, and Gogha in the Gulf of Cambay ; and
Mahuva, Jafarabad, Diu, Veraval, Mangrol, Navibandar, and Porbandar
on the south and west coasts. Of these, Vavania, Jodiya, Bedi,
Salaya, Navibandar, Mahuva, Bhaunagar, and Dholera are on creeks,
and communication with them depends on the tide ; while the rest are
little better than open roadsteads.

The chief islands are Piram in the Gulf of Cambay ; Chanch, Shial,
and Diu off the south coast ; Beyt in the west ; and the Chanka islets
in the Gulf of Cutch.

vol. xv, m



1 72 KATHIAWAR

The peninsula contains few lakes larger than village reservoirs. The
most remarkable are the Nal at the head of the Rann of Cambay, and
the Gheds on the south-west coast near Madhavpur.

With the help of the Nal, two ranns or salt wastes nearly encircle the
east and north-east of Kathiawar, the little Cutch Rann and the Rann
of Cambay stretching about 35 miles north from the mouth of the
Sabarmati. From the head of the Gulf of Cutch, at the mouth of
the Hansthal creek, the Little Rann, covering an area of about
1,600 square miles, stretches north-east for about 60 miles, varying
from 5 to 30 miles in breadth, and connecting with the Great Rann.
In the south-west corner are the Kharaghoda salt-works.

The Rann of Cambay, a long, shallow, rocky channel or dry estuary,
extends north-west about 35 miles from near the mouth of the
Sabarmati at the upper end of the Gulf of Cambay. The lower part
is rich in marine silt, and joins the Nal during the south-west monsoon,
forming a connected sheet of water which spreads over the neighbouring
tracts of the Bhal and the Nalkantha, turning the villages into islands
and cutting off communication with Ahmadabad. The upper end of the
Rann is now crossed by the railway between Viramgam and Wadhwan.

Basalt beds belonging to the Deccan trap formation occupy the
greater portion of the peninsula of Kathiawar. They lie almost hori-
zontally, and have been deeply denuded, so that countless numbers of
intrusive dikes, filling the fissures through which the molten material
was injected, have become visible in every district. These dikes are
remarkable for their columnar structure, consisting of huge hexagonal
prisms loosely stacked upon one another and arranged horizontally.
They exert a pronounced influence upon the underground drainage,
a circumstance well-known to the agriculturists, who persistently sink
their irrigation wells along the dikes, tracing out their course with great
assiduity, and are almost invariably rewarded by the presence of water
at a depth of 15 to 20 feet. In some instances apparently the joints
and cracks in the dike rock communicate with some deep-seated water-
bed ; in other cases the dikes seem to wall up and keep in on one side
the water of the adjoining strata. The Girnar mountains, and probably
the Barda hills north-east of Porbandar, appear to be great intrusive
masses of the same age as the basalt flows and columnar dikes ; they
may represent the inner cores of great volcanoes now denuded of the
volcanic ejectamenta that formerly covered them. The rocks of Girnar
contain the somewhat uncommon mineral alaeolite, and some of them
belong to the exceptional class of rocks known as monchiquites. The
basaltic formation has a very low dip from north to south, perhaps
original, in consequence of which some of the older underlying rocks
in the northern part of the peninsula, and some of the newer super-
incumbent strata, are exposed. The older rocks in the northern part



PHYSICAL ASPECTS t73

belong to two different series : the Umia beds, which arc of neocomian,
that is, of the Lower Cretaceous age ; and the Lameta beds, which are
Upper Cretaceous (cenomanian). The Umia beds (which take their
name from a village in Cutch) are principally exposed about Dhran-
gadhra and farther south-west. They consist chiefly of sandstone,
open, imperfectly cemented, and unevenly stratified, with coarse and
gritty, or even conglomeratic runs and layers. There are, however,
some thick beds of fine texture among them, and a few subordinate
bands of shale. The Lameta beds occur principally round Wadhwan,
where they are locally known as the Wadhwan sandstones. Beds
newer than the basalts and overlying them run along the southern
seaboard of the peninsula from Dwarka on the west to Bhaunagar
on the east. They include sandstones and pure limestones with
marine fossils identical with those of the Gaj group in Sind, overlaid
by sandstones and conglomerates of fluviatile origin corresponding
in age with the Siwalik. These fluviatile beds contain an older series,
sometimes with abundant remains of terrestrial animals, as for instance
in the island of Piram, corresponding with the Lower or Middle Siwaliks;
and a newer series known as the Dwarka beds, corresponding with the
Upper Siwaliks. Laterite sometimes intervenes between the basalt and
the overlying Tertiary beds.

A belt of recent alluvium follows the southern coast, and there are
large alluvial areas in the eastern part of the peninsula near the Gulf of
Cambay and in its northern part where the alluvium merges into the
silt of the Little Rann. Raised beaches occur at some places along
the sea-coast. The somewhat low rainfall allows to a certain extent the
accumulation of wind-borne deposits ; the finer particles of the sand on
the sea-beach, consisting principally of the minute shells of foraminifera,
are blown all over the land, where they accumulate to form the curious
calcareous rock known as miliolite. In the immediate neighbourhood
of the coast this wind-formed miliolite merges into the raised beaches.
The well-known ' Porbandar stone,' which is largely quarried and
shipped to Bombay, is a variety of miliolite 1 .

Except in the Glr forest, Kathiawar is thinly wooded ; and even there
the timber is of little value. The mangrove abounds along the shores
of the peninsula and is largely used as fuel. The coco-nut grows
rapidly and bears steadily all along the south coast, and the wild date
is met with in most parts of the peninsula. Excellent mangoes are
grown in Mahuva from Bombay grafts.

1 F. Fedden, Memoirs, Geological Survey of India, vol. xxi, pt. ii ; J. W. Evans,
Quarterly Journal, Geological Society of London, vol. lvi (1900), pp. 559-83, and
vol. lvii (1900), pp. 38-54. Descriptions of the fossil bones from the Island of Perim
(Piram) have been published by H. Falconer in vol. i (1854) of the Quarterly Journal,
Geological Society of London, and by R. Lydekker in Series X of the Lalaeonlolcgia
hi die a.

M 2



i 7 4 K A Till A WAR

The principal wild animals include the lion (found in the Glr range),
leopard, hunting cheetah, antelope, hog, hyena, wolf, jackal, wild cat,
fox, porcupine, and smaller vermin. Of reptiles, the Indian python,
the cobra, the whip-snake, and others abound, and the crocodile and
land tortoise are common.

The lion was formerly common all over the Kathiawar peninsula,
extending into Gujarat and Central India. It is now found only in the
Glr forest, and rarely on the Girnar mountain. Its mane is shorter
and its colour lighter than that of the African lion. Approximating in
size to the tiger, it is somewhat heavier in bulk and stronger. It seeks
the loneliest spot for its midday sleep, and when disturbed does not
try to conceal its escape like the tiger, but walks boldly away. It used
to avoid man more than either the tiger or leopard, and never lived
near a village or hamlet ; but since the last famine these habits have
changed. Of a gregarious disposition, it moves in family parties,
comprising occasionally three generations. Careful preservation of
these lions has resulted in an appreciable increase of their number,
which at present must be from 60 to 70. Since the last famine they
have done considerable damage to cattle, and cases of attack upon men
have also been reported from outlying villages.

The climate of Kathiawar is in general pleasant and healthy. January,
February, and March are marked by heavy dews and thick fogs. The
hot season, which is the healthiest period of the year, begins in April
and lasts until the rain falls in June. The hot wind is most felt in the
south. From September to the first part of November the climate is
unhealthy for both Europeans and natives. A violent bilious attack,
lasting for four or five days and followed by ague and fever, is the only
special Kathiawar disease.

The heaviest rainfall in the peninsula occurs at Junagarh (42 inches),
in the Sorath prant ; at Rajkot, in the Halar prant, the average yearly
fall is 30 inches ; at Wadhwan, in Jhalawar, 21 inches. The monsoon
begins in June and ends in October, the wettest months of the year
being July to September.

During the last century Kathiawar suffered several times from earth-
quakes. On April 29, 1864, a shock occurred in many parts of the
peninsula a little after n a.m. It was preceded by a low rumbling
noise followed by a vibration for six seconds, causing widespread panic
and excitement. On Nov. 27, 1881, at midnight a shock of earth-
quake was felt at Rajkot. In September and October, 1898, shocks
of earthquake were felt in the northern districts, and in other years
lesser shocks ; but none of them caused any damage.

At a very early period Surashtra was doubtless brought under the
influence of Brahmanical civilization, and, from its position on the
coast, was most accessible to influences from the west. The edicts



HISTORY 175

of Asoka (265-231 B.C.) were inscribed by that monarch on a huge
granite boulder between Junagarh and Girnar. The Saraostos of

Strabo is not improbably identical with Surashtra ;

. . r , . , ..... . History.

and it so, the peninsula was included in the con-
quests of the Indo-Scythian kings (circa 190-144 B.C.). Its shores
were well-known to the Alexandrian merchants of the first and second
centuries, but there is considerable difficulty in identifying the places
mentioned by them.

Of the early history of the country we have but scanty notice.
Mauryas, Greeks, and Kshatrapas probably held it in succession, and
were followed for a brief space by the Guptas of Kanauj, who
apparently governed by se/iafiatis. The later se/iapafis became kings
of Surashtra, who placed their lieutenants at Vallabhi-nagar (identified
with the buried city at Yala, 18 miles north-west of Bhaunagar). When
the Gupta empire fell to pieces, the Vallabhi kings, whose dynasty was
founded by Bhattaraka, a Gupta commander, extended their sway over
Cutch and defeated the Mers, who appear to have gained considerable
authority in Kathiawar between 470 and 520. It was in the reign
of Dhurvasena II (632-40) that the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsiang
visited Va-la-pi (Vallabhi ?) and Su-la-ch'a (Surashtra), the inhabitants
of which, he says, are indifferent and not given to learning, but profit
by the proximity of the sea, and engage much in trade and barter.
The people he described as numerous and wealthy, and he remarked
many convents established for the benefit of recluses engaged in the
contemplative piety of Buddhism.

How Vallabhi fell is not known, but possibly it was subverted by
Muhammadan invaders from Sind. The seat of government was then
moved farther north beyond the borders of Kathiawar, and remained
at Anhilvada from 746 to 1298, during which time various petty king-
doms arose, and the Jethwas became a powerful tribe in the west of
Surashtra. Anhilvada was sacked by the Muhammadans in 1194, and
finally conquered in 1298. The Jhalas are said to have been settled
in Northern Kathiawar by the Anhilvada kings. The Gohels (now in
Eastern Kathiawar) came from the north in the thirteenth century,
retreating before the tide of Muhammadan conquest, and were enabled
by the decadence of Anhilvada to conquer new seats for themselves.
The Jadejas and the Kathis came from the west, through Cutch. The
sack of Somnath, in Southern Kathiawar, by Mahmud of Ghazni in
1026, and the capture of Anhilvada in 1194, were the prelude to
occasional Muhammadan invasions of Kathiawar. In 1324 /afar Khan
destroyed the temple of Somnath. lie was the first of the Muham-
madan kings of Gujarat, who reigned in prosperity from 1396 to 1535,
and in decadence to the close of 1572, when Gujarat was conquered
by Akbar. The Ahmadabad kings, who held the tributary chiefs of



176 KATHIAWAR

Kathiawar in subjection, carefully fostered commerce, and developed
the ports of Mangrol, Veraval, Diu, Gogha, and Cam bay.

About 1509 the coast was threatened by the Portuguese. Bahadur,
defeated by Babar's son Humayun, sought safety in Diu, and afterwards
permitted the Portuguese adventurers to build a factory, which they
turned into a fort, after having treacherously killed Bahadur (1537).
The island and fort of Diu are still a Portuguese possession. Gujarat,
after its conquest by Akbar in 1572, was ruled by viceroys from the
court of Delhi, until the Marathas supplanted the imperial power. In
1705 the Marathas entered Gujarat, and by 1760 had firmly established
their rule ; but the following half-century was a time of little ease for
the tributaries in Kathiawar, and petty wars were frequent. During
the latter part of the eighteenth century, according to Musalman and
Maratha custom, the Gaikwar, partly for himself and partly for his
overlord the Peshwa, sent yearly a revenue-collecting army [rnulk-giri)
to collect contributions from the chiefs of Western and Northern
Gujarat. As this armed expedition caused much waste and confusion,
the British Government agreed to associate itself with the Gaikwar in
recovering the Maratha tribute from the Kathiawar States.

In 1803 some of the weaker tdlukdars applied to the British Resident
at Baroda for protection, offering to cede their territory to the Com-
pany. They were then independent of the Peshwa and the Gaikwar, with
the exception of being bound to furnish contributions. In 1807 the
forces of the Company and the Gaikwar advanced into Kathiawar, and
the chiefs entered into engagements to pay a fixed tribute to their over-
lords, to keep the peace towards each other, and to maintain order
within their own limits. In return, they were secured from the visita-
tions of the mulk-giri force, which used to appear at harvest-time and
in default of payment ravaged the crops and fired the villages. Internal
warfare and resistance to the supreme authority were ended in 1807-8
by the settlement effected by Colonel Walker, one great feature of
which was that the tributes were fixed, and the work of collection
was undertaken by the British Government, which also acquired the
Peshwa's rights in Kathiawar after the Satara proclamation in 181 8.
In 1820 the Gaikwar agreed to have his share collected and paid by
the British Government.

Under the ruling houses there are numerous petty Rajput lairds and
yeomen, representatives of old houses long ruined and supplanted, or
of the younger brothers of chiefs who have received their girds or
portions from the estate.

Kathiawar has many notable antiquities, which have been fully
described by Dr. James Burgess 1 . Besides the famous inscription
of Asoka already referred to, there are a number of rock-cut Buddhist
1 Archaeological Survey of Western India, vols, ii and viii.



AGRICULTURE 177

caves and temples at Junagarh, mentioned by Hiuen Tsiang in the
seventh century, and some fine Jain temples on Mount Girnar and
the Shetrunja hills at Palitana. At Ghumli, a former capital of the
Jethwas, there are extensive ruins.

The Political Agency of Kathiawar has (1 90 r )a population of 2,329,196.
The population in 1872, 1881, and 1891 was 2,318,642,
2,343,899, and 2,752,404. During the last decade
there was a decrease of 423,208, due to the famine of 1899-1901.

Natives of Kathiawar are largely represented in Bombay city, where
45,000 immigrants were enumerated at the recent Census. A similar
number were found in Ahmadabad city. The more adventurous
Musalman traders in the coast towns travel in considerable numbers
to South Africa and Natal, and the seafaring population, once notorious
for piracy, now furnishes numerous lascars to ocean-going steamers.
The last detected case of piracy from Kathiawar occurred as recently
as 1903. The distribution of the population among the numerous
States of the Agency has been given above (pp. 165-9). They contain
52 towns and 4, 163 1 villages, with an average density of 112 persons
per square mile. The principal towns are Bhaunagar, Navanagar,
Junagarh, Rajkot, Dhoraji, Porbandar, Gondal, Morvi, Mahuva,
Veraval, and Wadhwan. Hindus form 81 per cent, of the total,
Musalmans 14 per cent., and Jains 5 per cent.

The most interesting caste is the Rajput, numbering 113,000, and
including the ruling families of the majority of the States. The Kathis,
from whom the peninsula derives its name, number 21,700. Among
castes of 100,000 and over are Kunbis (358,000), Kolis (249,000),
Brahmans (158,000), traders, including 4 Vams and Lohanas (135,000),



Online LibraryGreat Britain. India OfficeImperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 15) → online text (page 21 of 50)