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tradition asserts that, from a time long previous to Christianity, the
dynasty in power was that of a Rajput chief whose ancestors had come
from Oudh. The first line of which distinct record remains is, how-
ever, that of the Andhras. The Andhras were temporarily displaced
by the Western Satraps ; in the fifth century a.d. the Chalukya dynasties
rose to power; local chiefs followed; and Khandesh was under the
Chauhan ruler of Asirgarh when Ala-ud-din appeared.

Muhammadan rule lasted until the Marathas captured the stronghold
of Asirgarh in 1760. In the interval, until the Farukis, Khandesh was
subject to successive governors from Delhi, sent by the different
dynasties that rose in that city. Under Muhammad bin Tughlak, from
1325 to 1346, Khandesh was administered from Ellichpur in Berar.



HISTORY 229

From 1370 to 1600 the Arab dynasty of the Farukis administered the
District, and, though nominally subject to the Sultans of Gujarat, were
practically independent. The last year of the sixteenth century (1599)
saw the coming of the Mughals. In that year Akbar in person overran
Khandesh at the head of an army, captured Aslrgarh, and sent the
reigning prince, Bahadur Khan, to Gwalior fur safe keeping. Khandesh
then became incorporated into the Delhi empire. Its name was
changed for a time to Dandesh in honour of its new governor, prince
Daniyal. In the middle of the seventeenth century it was highly pros-
perous. From 1670 Maratha raids commenced, and it was for more
than a century given up to every species of calamity, internal and
external. In that year Sivaji, after his second sack of Surat, sent an
officer to demand chauth in Khandesh. The Marathas captured and
held Salher fort, and afterwards Khande Rao Dabhade established
himself in the western hills. Thenceforward the District was the
scene of numerous plundering raids. Sivaji, Sambhaji, and the
emperor Aurangzeb ravaged it in turn. In 1720 Nizam-ul-mulk an-
nexed Khandesh and held it throughout his life. His son was ousted
by the Marathas in 1760. The Peshwa, on recovering the District,
granted portions of it to Holkar and Sindia.

In 1S02 the country was ravaged by Holkar's army. For two
seasons the land remained uncared for, the destruction and ruin
bringing on a severe famine. In the years that followed, Khandesh
was further impoverished by the greed and misrule of the Peshwa.
The people, leaving their peaceful callings, joined together in bands,
wandering over the country, robbing and laying waste. It was in this
state that, in 181 8, the District passed into British hands. For many
years after annexation the Bhll tribes gave trouble by outbreaks of
lawlessness, and were only brought into submission under the kindlier
measures adopted in the time of Elphinstone (1825), who entrusted
the work of pacification to the skilful hands of Outram, the founder
of the Bhll Corps. A serious riot occurred in 1852, and in 1857 the
Bhils broke out under the leadership of Bhagoji and Kajarsing Naik ;
but these disorders were easily suppressed.

Generally distributed over Khandesh, as well as in Ahmadnagar and
the Central Deccan, are the stone-built temples, reservoirs, and wells
locally known as Hemadpanti, or in Khandesh as Gauli Raj. The
term ' Hemadpanti ' is derived from Hemadpant or Hemadri, the
minister {mantri) of Ramchandra (1271) the Yadava ruler of Deogiri,
but is now applied to any old stone building. The local Khandesh term
'Gauli Raj' probably also refers to the Yadava kings. In Khandesh
thirty-nine Hemadpanti buildings are found, thirty-one of them being
temples, six step-wells, and two stone-lined reservoirs. Some may be
of greater age, but most of them were probably built in either the



KHANDESH DISTRICT



twelfth or the thirteenth century. These Hemadpanti buildings are
all of blocks of cut stone carefully joined and put together without
mortar. In some the stones are so large as to have given rise to the
saying that they are the work of giants.

Besides the Hemadpanti remains, the District possesses some Musal-
man buildings, the most important of which is the mosque at Erandol.
Pitalkhora glen in the Chalisgaon tdluka contains a ruined chaitya and
vihdra, very early Buddhist works, probably dating from two centuries
before Christ. In the valley beneath is the deserted city of Patna,
where there are old carved temples and inscriptions, while on the hill
opposite are other and later caves. The temple of Krishna in Vaghali,
built 200 years before Hemadpant lived, contains three fine inscribed
slabs in the inner wall of the hall.

There are 31 towns and 2,614 villages in the District. The Census
of 1 90 1 disclosed a total population of 1,427,382, or an increase
of 40 per cent, in the last thirty years. In previous
years the numbers were : (1872) 1,030,106, (1881)
1,237,308, and (1891) 1,434,802. The increase of 20 per cent, in 1881
was due to immigration, attracted by the large area of unoccupied
fertile land available for cultivation. The population decreased by
0-5 per cent, in 1901 owing to a succession of bad harvests (1896-1901)-
The distribution by talukas is as follows : —



Population.



Talukas.


Area in square
miles.


Number of


c

_o

"5
c

0.


G

'ci v

§■&


Percentage of
variation in

population be-
tween 1891
and 10,01.


Number of

persons able to

read and

write.


a


H


be
>>


Taloda
Shahada
Nandurbar .

Navapur petha
Sindkheda .
Shirpur
Chopda
Yaval.
Raver,
llmpalner .
Dhulia
Amalner

I'.uula petha .
Erandol
Jalgaon
Bhusawal .

,, Edalabad petha
Jamner
Pachora

,, Bhadgaon petha
Chalisgaon .

District total


1,177

479

I 992 {

505
651
368
250
481

933
760

} i*\

458

3 J 9

} 570 {
527

I 542 {
5 01


1

I

I

2
2

2
I
I

3
3

2
2
1

1


193

155

203

81

141

99
9'

75
106

151
154
164

64
'95

89
105

75
i55
121

65
132


33,881
59.75S
67,369
20,068
76,811

SO, 1 ??
75,550
82,299
80.368
56,638

104,952
73,083
38,210

105,840
85,151

76,943
32,3/2
9 X ,739

80,724
44,612
90,837


29

I *8{

!5 2

77
205

329
67
61

'38

}2,l{

2 3,1
269

}l 9 2{

174

}23I<
l8l


-40

- 8

- 1

- 34

+ 5

- 10

+ 4
+ 2

+ 5

- 5
+ 7
+ 4

- 4

+ 1

- 2

- 9

+ 5
+ 1

+ 7
+ 21


I,o8o
3,162
2,8l8
271
2,963
2,045
2,763
4,614
4.667
2.000

6,435

2,45 s
»,893
6,435
5-5i6

5-387
1,163

3,343
3-934
2,244

3-582


10,041


3i


2,614


1,427,382


I42


-0.5


68,773



POPULATION 231

The chief towns arc : Dhulia (the head-quarters of the new District
of West Khandesh), Bhusmval, Dharangaon, NasIrabad, Nandi r
bar, Chalisgaon, Bhadgaon, Jamner, Adavad, Chopda, Jalgaon
(the head-quarters of the new District of East Khandesh), Parola,
Erandol, Amalner, Faizapur, Pachora, Nagardevla, and Bodvad.
The average density is 142 persons per square mile, but the western
portion of the District is on the whole more thinly populated than the
east. Shahada and Taloda are the tahtkas of smallest density, and
Yaval and Jalgaon are the most densely populated. Of the total
population, 90 per cent, are Hindus, 8 per cent. Musalmans, 12,298
or 0-9 per cent. Jains, and 11,600 or o-8 per cent. Animists ;
Christians number 1,398. Gujarat! is in use among the higher classes
of husbandmen to the north of the Tapti, and it is the language of
trade throughout the District ; but Marath!, the speech of the people in
the south and west, is the language of Government offices and schools,
and is gradually gaining ground. In their homes the majority of the
people speak a dialect known as Khandesh! or Ahirani, a mixture of
Gujarat!, Marath!, Nemadi, and Hindustani, in which Gujarat! pre-
dominates.

The important castes are: Kunbl, 330,000; Bh!l, 167,000 (of whom
10,000 are Musalmans); Mahar, 107,000; Maratha, 94,000; Mai!
(gardener), 60,000; Kol!, 57,000; Brahman, 50,000; Van!, 47,000
(chiefly Gujars) ; Rajput, 40,000 ; Dhangar, 39,000 ; Vanjari, 32,000 ;
Teli (oil-men), 27,000; Sonar (goldsmith), 24,000; Nhavi (barber),
21,000; Chamar (leather-worker), 20,000; Sutar (carpenter), 16,000;
Shimpi (tailor), 16,000; and Mang, 13,000. Of the thirteen divisions
of Brahmans in the District, three understand but do not speak
Marath! ; the remaining ten use that language. As a rule, the main
divisions eat together but do not intermarry ; the subdivisions as a rule
do both. Deshasths (32,546) are most numerous. The others are the
descendants of Brahmans from every part of India who found their
way to Khandesh. The Prabhus, a section of the 'writer' class, are
scattered over the District, most of them in the service of Government.

Besides the general body of cultivators, who are Kunbis by caste,
large numbers of Pardhis (5,150), a low caste of wandering hunters and
snarers, and Rajputs have long been settled in the District. Another
class of cultivators worthy of notice are the Gujar Vanis, the most
industrious and well-to-do of the agricultural population. Their name,
and their habit of speaking Gujarat! among themselves, show that they
are immigrants from Gujarat. Most of the traders are foreigners :
Banias from Marwar and Gujarat, and Bhatias, recent comers from
Bombay. Wandering and aboriginal tribes form a large section of the
population. Many of the Bhils are employed on police duties and as
village watchmen. But though most have settled down to peaceable



23 2 KHANDESH DISTRICT

ways, they show little skill in farming. Since the introduction of
British rule into Khandesh, the efforts made, by kindly treatment and
the offer of suitable employment, to win the Bhlls from a disorderly life
have been most successful. With the Mahars they form the labouring
class in nearly all the villages of Khandesh. The Nirdhls dwell along
the foot of the Satmalas. In former times they were much dreaded.
During seasons of revolt the most atrocious acts were invariably the
work of the Nirdhls. Vanjaris or Lamanis, the pack-bullock carriers
of former and the gipsies of present times, have suffered much from
the increased use of carts and the introduction of the railway. A few
are well-to-do traders ; but most of them live apart from the villages, in
bands or fandas, each with its own leader or naik. Forced to give up
their old employment, they now live chiefly by grazing, and cutting
grass and wood. The majority of the Musalmans are converts from
Hinduism and are styled Shaikhs (55,787). In 1901, 18,504 Pathans,
descendants of the Musalman invaders, were found in the District.
More than 50 per cent, of the population are agriculturists, and various
industries support 22 per cent.

Of the 821 native Christians in the District in 1901, 440 were Roman
Catholics and 132 Anglicans. There are Roman Catholic chapels at
Dhulia, Bhusawal, and Dharangaon. For missionary purposes the
District is divided into three parts, the western portion being occupied
by the Scandinavian-American Mission, the centre by the Church
Missionary Society, and the east by the American Alliance Mission.
The head-quarters of the first-named society are at Nandurbar, of the
second at Dhulia, while the Alliance Mission has stations along the
Great Indian Peninsula Railway at Bhusawal, Jalgaon, Pachora, and
Chalisgaon. Besides these, there are two smaller semi-independent
missions : the Tapti Valley Railway Industrial Mission at Navapur,
which works chiefly among the Bhlls, and the Peniel Mission at
Dharangaon. The majority of the Christian population reside at
Nandurbar, Dhulia ; Bhusawal, and Dharangaon.

The soils are composed of all grades, from the deep rich black

of the Tapti valley to the poor stony red and white of the low trap

A . , ranges. The local husbandmen divide them into

four classes : kali (black), pandhari (white), khdran

(salt), and burki (white and salt).

The District is chiefly ryotivdri, only about 2 per cent, of the total
area being held on udhad tenure and 3 per cent, as inam land. The
chief statistics of cultivation in 1903-4 are shown in the table on the
next page, in square miles.

Jowar and bajra are both largely grown in Khandesh, the areas
under these crops being 667 and 929 square miles respectively;
fowar is chiefly grown as a kharif crop, in rotation with cotton.



AGRICULTURE



233



Bajra everywhere holds a far more important place. Wheatj
with an area of 182 square miles, is grown throughout the District,
though most common along the Tapti valley and in the west. The
chief pulses are tur, gram, udid, kulith, and mug, which to§
occupied 581 square miles in 1903-4. Til and linseed arc the
principal oilseeds, covering 250 and 63 square miles respectively. The
former is considered the more profitable crop. The area under the
latter varies considerably according to the nature of the late rains.
Cotton, long one of the chief crops, occupied 2,013 square miles. It
is seldom grown oftener than once in three years in the same' field,
and the local variety has been supplemented by Hinganghat and
Dharwar seed.



Tahika.


Total
area.


Cultivated.


Irrigated.


Cultivable
waste.


Forest.


Taloda


M77


IOO


I


18


15


Shah ad a


48 2


284


I


16


74


Nandurbar .


992


2 43


3


69


49


Sindkheda .


5°5


377


4


20


34


Shirpur


678


201




'7


27


Chopda


36S


22S




16


M


Yaval


249


214


5


I


3


Raver


4S0


205


3


12


12


Pimpalner .


93 2


344


9


163


299


Dhulia


759


412


7


55


199


Amalner


528


409


8


9


33


Erandol


45 s


366


3


S


2 7


Jalgaon


3 T 9


22S


2


5


36


Bhusawal .


57°


379


3


23


106


Jamner


5 2 7


37o


1


39


65


Pachora


54 2


388


3


17


44


Chalisg.ion

Total


5°4


306


3


16


95


10,070*


5r°54


56


5°4


1,132



* For 2,530 square miles of this area statistics are not available. There have
been changes since 1900 in the areas of several talukas, owing to the introduction
of the revision survey.

Several attempts have been made, dating from 1829, to reclaim the
Pal tappa, a waste tract in the neighbourhood of the Satpura Hills,
which is said to have been formerly well inhabited. At the time of
the British occupation in 18 18, this was a deserted jungle, excessively
unhealthy, and infested with wild beasts. It is said to have been
deserted about the middle of the seventeenth century, owing to
famine ; and the remains of ancient buildings show that the village of
Pal was formerly of considerable importance. .Special efforts to improve
the staple of the local cotton have been made for many years, but the
cultivation of exotic varieties has not spread ; it is found that the
exotics speedily deteriorate in quality and give an inferior yield to that
of the local variety. In 1903-4 a small plot of land was acquired
by Government at Dhulia, and several varieties of cotton and jowar^



234 KHANDESH DISTRICT

new to the District, were sown. The experiment is reported to be more
promising than previous attempts, but definite results have not been
arrived at. Sugar-cane is grown in small areas where irrigation is
available. Chillies, fennel, and coriander are the principal condiments
and spices. The cultivation of betel-vines is carried on with consider-
able success in garden lands.

The cultivators of Khandesh have availed themselves freely of the
Land Improvement and Agriculturists' Loans Acts, and nearly 25 lakhs
was advanced during the decade ending 1904. Of this sum, nearly
20 lakhs represents advances made during the famine years 1899-1900,
1900-1, and 1901-2.

The District contains many fine cows and bullocks, brought chiefly
from Nimar and Berar. The Thilari herd of cattle of West Khandesh
has a good reputation in the Deccan ; but the greater number of the
cattle are small and poor, reduced during the hot season to the most
wretched condition. The horses also are small and of little value.
To improve the breed, the Civil Veterinary department maintains
two pony stallions at Dhulia and Chalisgaon, which are not, however,
fully utilized.

Irrigation is practised mainly from dams thrown across the streams,
particularly on the Girna and Panjhra rivers, and there are lakes
and reservoirs which also serve for irrigation. The area under various
classes of irrigation is 56^ square miles, or a little more than one per
cent, of the total cultivated area of the District. Government canals
supply 16 square miles, private canals one, wells 38, and other sources
i\ square miles. The dams must at one time have been very
numerous. In the west there is scarcely a stream of any size without
traces of them. Of works carried out by the Irrigation department
the chief are : lower Panjhra river works, the Hartala tank, the Jamda
canals, and the Mhasva lake. The first two are old works improved
and extended ; the others are new. The lower Panjhra water-works,
which are estimated to command nearly 20 square miles, supply about
4 square miles in Dhulia and Amalner. The Jamda canals on the
Girna, one of the earliest Government water-works, which are esti-
mated to command 72 square miles, water about 2 square miles,
mostly in Chalisgaon and Pachora. The Hartala lake in the Bhusawal
taluka commands an area of 600 acres, but did not supply water in
1903-4. The Mhasva lake in the petty subdivision (petha) of Parola
in Amalner irrigated a total area of 181 acres, and is estimated
to command 4,600 acres. Over most of the District water is found
near the surface. But near the Satpuras and within 8 or 10 miles of
the Tapti, wells have sometimes to be dug as deep as 100 feet.
For drawing water the leathern bag or mot is in almost universal use.
Each bag waters a quarter of an acre daily. In 1903-4, 83 other



TRADE AND COMMUNICATIONS 235

irrigation works (including the Parsul tank, irrigating 66S acres) watered
19,500 acres. Wells numbered 27,031, and minor tanks 12.

Khandesh is the most important forest District of the Bombay Presi-
dency after Kanara. The absence of conservancy rules in the past and
the destructive habits of the hill tribes have robbed
the jungles of most of their valuable timber. The
forest Reserves now cover more than 2,168' square miles, and the area
of fodder reserves and pasture land under the control of the Revenue
department is 284 square miles. They lie chiefly on the hills to the
west and south-west, but much of the hilly land unsuited for cul-
tivation may eventually be reserved for forest. In spite of its large
area, Khandesh uses more timber than it grows. The most impor-
tant minor produce is the mahua flower. Myrabolams and mahua
seed are collected in the west. Teak, babul, and black-wood are of
common occurrence. The gross forest revenue in 1903-4 amounted to
2-3 lakhs. The District is divided into two forest divisions, which
are in charge of divisional Forest officers aided by two subdivisional
officers.

Khandesh has little mineral wealth. Building stone occurs every-
where, the best quarry being in the bed of the Vaghur river near
Bhusawal. Kankar or nodular limestone is found in all black soil
and yields good lime, while clay suitable for brick-making is obtain-
able in all parts of the District.

The crafts and industries are of some importance. Cotton-pressing
and ginning is carried on in 36 presses with 2,228
operatives. The weaving of coarse woollen blankets commun i ca ti ns.
is common all over the District. There is a cotton-
spinning and weaving mill at Jalgaon, started in 1874, under the
name of the Khandesh Spinning and Weaving Company. It has
425 looms and 20,948 spindles, and employs 1,185 hands. The out-
turn is over 2 million pounds of yarn and \\ million pounds of cloth,
and the paid-up capital 7^ lakhs. The cloth is sold in Khandesh,
Berar, and the Nizam's Dominions. There are railway workshops at
Bhusawal.

The most important article of export is cotton. The Bombay
Bhatias buy it from local dealers and growers, and press it for direct
shipment by sea. Of late years many Bombay mercantile houses
have established agencies in Khandesh, and towards the east in the
rich Tapti valley. Jalgaon and Bhusawal are rising into important
centres of trade. The other chief exports are food-grains, oilseeds,
butter, indigo, wax, and honey. Of imports the chief articles are salt,

1 This figure differs from that in the table on p. 233, owing to the omission of forest
statistics of certain villages in the Shahada taluka and to the non-inclusion in the
revenue returns of the forest area of the Mehwas estates.

VOL. XV. Q



236 KHANDESH DISTRICT

spices, metals, piece-goods, yarn, and sugar. The internal trade is
carried on by means of weekly markets and a succession of fairs and
religious feasts.

At the beginning of British rule there were no made roads. The
first to be constructed was the Bombay-Agra road, which runs via
Malegaon, Dhulia, and Shirpur through the District. Since then road-
making has made considerable progress, and some of the passes
through the hills have been opened to cart traffic. Besides the
Bombay-Agra road, the chief roads are those from Dhulia to Surat
and from Dhulia to Mhasawad. The total length of roads is 955
miles, of which 325 are metalled. Of these, 300 miles of metalled
roads and 252 miles of unmetalled roads are maintained by the
Public Works department. Avenues of trees are planted on about
950 miles. The Great Indian Peninsula Railway runs for 137 miles
through the south of the District from Naydongri to Bhusawal, where
it divides, one branch going to Jubbulpore and the other to Nagpur.
Branches from Jalgaon to Amalner, 35 miles long, and from Chalisgaon
to Dhulia, 35 miles in length, were opened in 1900. The Tapti Valley
Railway from Surat to Amalner, running for 108 miles through the
central portion of the District from east to west, was opened in March,
1900, and has ten stations within its limits.

The Tapti and lesser streams are liable to sudden and disastrous
rising of their waters. Six great floods caused more or less injury in
. the District during the nineteenth century. In

1822 sixty-five villages were entirely destroyed by
the Tapti, and fifty were partly washed away, causing a loss in money
value of 2\ lakhs. In 1872 the Girna and Panjhra rose 45 feet above
the level of the river-bed, the latter sweeping away five hundred houses
in the town of Dhulia. A whole village on the opposite side of the
river suddenly disappeared. One hundred and fifty-two villages were
damaged, and property to the value of 16 lakhs destroyed. Over one
thousand persons were on this occasion relieved by public and private
charity.

Besides the Durga-devI famine, which is said to have greatly reduced
the population of Khandesh, the only scarcity mentioned before the
beginning of the last century was in 1629. In that year, following
the ravages of war, there was a total failure of rain which caused
widespread distress. A severe famine was recorded in 1802-4, when
the selling price of grain is reported to have risen to one seer per
rupee. Great numbers died, and extensive tracts were left deserted
and waste. This famine was due, not to any natural causes, but to
the ravages of Holkar's army, which during two years (1802-3) spread
desolation and famine throughout the District. Scarcities not amount-
ing to famine occurred in 1824, 1833-6, 1845, 1 876—7, and 1896-7.



ADMINISTRA TION



237



In 1896 the population suffered from a general rise in the prices of
food. The early rains, however, were excellent, and the khaftf did
not fail. The hill tribes therefore suffered little, and West Khan-
desh was free from the pinch of the high prices. Relief works were
maintained for fourteen months, the workers reaching a maximum
of 36,560 in April, 1897. In 1899 the failure of the rains affected
all parts of the District, and the distress lasted for fourteen months.
The kharlf crop was a total failure and the rabi area was not sown,
except in irrigated lands, there being no late rains. As early as
October, 1899, tne number on relief works exceeded 33,000. It
advanced steadily till in March of 1900 it was 257,000, while the
number on gratuitous relief was 13,000. From this it fell to 553
in February, 1901, rising again to 42,000 in July, 1901, and falling
to 1,800 in September. It is calculated that 79,000 deaths occurred
in excess of the normal during the period, and that 385,000 cattle
died. The total cost was about 76 lakhs. Remissions amounted
to 17 lakhs, and nearly 20 lakhs was granted in loans to agri-



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