Great Britain. India Office.

Imperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 15) online

. (page 4 of 50)
Online LibraryGreat Britain. India OfficeImperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 15) → online text (page 4 of 50)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Karanjia. — Village in Mayurbhanj, one of the Orissa Tributary
States, Bengal, situated in 21 44' N. and 86° 6' E. Population
( l 9 0i )i 73 - Karanjia is the head-quarters of the PanchpTr sub-


division of the State, and is connected with Baripada, the capital,
by a metalled road.

Karasgaon. Town in the Ellichpur taluk of Amraoti District,
Berar, situated in 21 20' N. and 77° 39' E. Population (1901),
7,456. A fort of fine sandstone, now in ruins, was built here by
Vithal Bhag Deo, a talukdar in the Ellichpur jagir in 1806.

Karatoya. — Old river of Eastern Bengal and Assam, which rises
in the Baikuntpur jungle in the extreme north-west of Jalpaiguri
District in 26 51' N. and 88° 28' E., and meanders through Rangpur,
until, after a course of 214 miles, it joins the Halhalia, in the south
of Bogra District, in 24 38' N. and 89° 29' E. The united stream
is known as the Phuljhur, and it eventually finds its way into the
Jamuna (3). The Karatoya bore in ancient times, as we learn from
the Puranas, a high character for sanctity; and its mermaid goddess,
whose image has been found among the ruins of Mahasthan, was
widely worshipped, and this place is even now a favourite place of
pilgrimage. The river is mentioned in the Jogini Tantra as the
western boundary of the ancient kingdom of Kamariipa, which it
separated from Pundra or Paundravardhana, the country of the Pods,
whose capital was at Mahasthan. It was along its right bank that
Muhammad-i-Bakhtyar Khilji, the Muhammadan conqueror of Bengal,
marched upon his ill-fated invasion of Tibet in 1205 ; and in the
narrative of that expedition the Karatoya is described as being three
times the width of the Ganges. It was no doubt the great river crossed
by Hiuen Tsiang on his way to Kamariipa in the seventh century, and
by Ala-ud-din Husain on his invasion of the same country in 1498.

The topography of the river is attended with numerous difficulties ;
changes of name are frequent, and its most recent bed, which ultimately
joins the Atrai some 30 miles east of Pabna, is known indifferently
as the Burhi ('old') Tista and the Karto or Karatoya. It appears
that at the end of the eighteenth century, when the Ganges and the
Brahmaputra were still 150 miles apart, the Tista united with the
other Himalayan streams to form one great river. The elevated tract
of stiff clay known as the Barind, which spreads over a considerable
part of the modern Districts of Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Malda, and Bogra,
formed an obstacle which could not be so easily pierced as the more
recent alluvium round it, and the outlet of the Himalayan streams was
thus diverted to one side or the other. Sometimes when the trend
of the rivers was eastwards, they flowed down the channel of the
Karatoya, which is shown in Van Den Broucke's map of Bengal
{circa 1660) as flowing into the Ganges, and was, in fact, before the
destructive floods of 1787, the main stream which brought down to
the Ganges the great volume of Tista water. South of the Padma
there is now no trace of any river bearing this name; and, since the



main stream of the Tlsta broke away to the east in 17*7, the Karatoya
has gradually silted up, and it is at the present clay a river of minor
importance, little used for navigation.

Karaudia. Thakurat'm the Malwa Agency, Central India.

Karauli State. — State in the east of Rajputana, lying between
26 3' and 26 49' N. and 76° 34" and 77 24' E., with an area of
1,242 square miles. It is bounded on the north by Bharatpur; on
the north-west and west by Jaipur; on the south and south-east by
Gwalior ; and on the east by Dholpur. Hills and broken ground
characterize almost the whole territory, which lies
within a tract locally termed the Dang, a name given Physical
to the rugged region immediately above the narrow
valley of the Chambal. The principal hills are on the northern border,
where several ranges run along, or parallel to, the frontier line, forming
somewhat formidable barriers. There is little beauty in these hills ;
but the military advantages they present caused the selection of one
of their eminences, Tahangarh, 1,309 feet above the sea, as the seat
of Jadon rule in early times. Along the valley of the Chambal an
irregular and lofty wall of rock separates the lands on the river bank
from the uplands, of which the southern part of the State consists.
From the summits of the passes the view is often picturesque, the
rocks standing out in striking contrast to the comparatively rich and
undulating plain below. The highest peaks in the south are Bhairon
and Utgir, respectively 1,565 and 1,479 feet above the sea. Farther
to the north the country falls, the alluvial deposit is deeper, level
ground becomes more frequent, and hills stand out more markedly,
while in the neighbourhood of the capital the low ground is cut into
a labyrinth of ravines.

The river Chambal forms the southern boundary, separating the
State from Gwalior. Sometimes deep and slow, sometimes too rocky
and rapid to admit of the safe passage of a boat, it receives during
the rains numerous contributions to its volume, but no considerable
perennial stream flows into it within the boundaries of the State. The
Banas and Morel rivers belong more properly to Jaipur than, to
Karauli ; for the former merely marks for some 4 miles the boundary
between these States, while the latter, just before it joins the Banas,
is for only 6 miles a river of Karauli and for another 3 miles flows
along its border. The Panchnad, so called from its being formed
of five streams, all of which rise in Karauli and unite 2 miles north of
the capital, usually contains water in the hot months, though often
only a few inches in depth. It winds away to the north and eventually
joins the Gambhir in Jaipur territory.

In the western portion of the State a narrow strip of quartzites
belonging to the Delhi system is exposed along the Jaipur border,


while Upper Vindhyan sandstones are faulted down against the quartz-
ites to the south-east, and form a horizontal plateau extending to the
Chamal river. To the north-west of the fault, some outliers of Lower
Vindhyan rocks occur, consisting of limestone, siliceous hreccias, and
sandstone, which form two long synclinals extending south-west as
far as Naraoli.

In addition to the usual small game, tigers, leopards, bears, iri/gai,
sdmdar, and other deer are fairly numerous, especially in the wooded
glens near the Chambal in the south-west.

The climate is on the whole salubrious. The rainfall at the capital
averages 29 inches a year, and is generally somewhat heavier in the
north-east at Machilpur and the south-east at Mandrael. Within
the last twenty years the year of heaviest rainfall has been 1887
(45-i inches), while in 1896 only a little over 17 inches fell.

The Maharaja of Karauli is the head of the Jadon clan of Rajputs,
who claim descent from Krishna. The Jaddns, who have nearly always
remained in or near the country of Braj round
Muttra, are said to have at one time held half of
Alwar and the whole of Bharatpur, Karauli, and Dholpur, besides the
British Districts of Gurgaon and Muttra, the greater part of Agra west
of the Jumna, and portions of Gwalior lying along the Chambal. In
the eleventh century Bijai Pal, said to have been eighty-eighth in
descent from Krishna, established himself in Bayana, now belonging
to Bharatpur, and built the fort overlooking that town. His eldest
son, Tahan Pal, built the well-known fort of Tahangarh, still in Karauli
territory, about 1058, and shortly afterwards possessed himself of
almost all the country now comprising the Karauli State, as well as a
good deal of land to the east as far as Dholpur. In n 96, in the time
of Kunwar Pal, Muhammad Ghorl and his general, Kutb-ud-dln,
captured first Bayana and then Tahangarh ; and on the whole of the
Jadon territory falling into the hands of the invaders, Kunwar Pal fled
to a village in the Rewah State. One of his descendants, Arjun Pal,
determined to recover the territory of his ancestors, and about 1327
he started by capturing the fort of Mandrael, and gradually took
possession of most of the country formerly held by Tahan Pal. In
1318 lie founded the present capital, Karauli town.

About a hundred years later Mahmud I of Malwa is said to have
conquered the country, and to have entrusted the government to his
son, Fidwi Khan. In the reign of Akbar (1 556-1 605) the State
became incorporated in the Delhi empire, and Gopal Das, probably
the most famous of the chiefs of Karauli, appears to have been in
considerable favour with the emperor. He is mentioned as a com-
mander of 2,000, and is said to have laid the foundations of the Agra
fort at Akbar's request. On the decline of the Mughal power the


State was so far subjugated by the Marathas that they exacted from
it a tribute of Rs. 25,000, which, after a time, was commuted for
a grant of Machilpur and its dependencies. By the treaty of November 9,
1817, with the East India Company, Karauli was relieved of the
exactions of the Marathas and taken under British protection ; no
tribute was levied, but the Maharaja was to furnish troops according
to his means on the requisition of the British Government. In 1825,
when the Burmese War was proceeding, and Bharatpur was preparing
for resistance under the usurpation of Durjan Sal, Karauli undoubtedly
sent troops to the aid of the latter ; but on the fall of that fortress
in 1826 the Maharaja made humble professions of submission, and it
was deemed unnecessary to take serious notice of his conduct.

The next event of any importance was the celebrated Karauli
adoption case. Narsingh Pal, a minor, became chief in 1850, and died
in 1852, having adopted a day before his death a distant kinsman,
named Bharat Pal. It was first proposed to enforce the doctrine of
1 lapse,' but finally the adoption of Bharat Pal was recognized. In the
meantime a strong party had been formed in favour of Madan Pal,
a nearer relative, whose claim was supported by the opinions of several
chiefs in Rajputana. An inquiry was ordered ; and it was ascertained
that the adoption of Bharat Pal was informal, by reason of the minority
of Narsingh Pal and the omission of certain necessary ceremonies.
As Madan Pal was nearer of kin than Bharat Pal and was accepted by
the Ranis, by nine of the most influential Thakurs, and by the general
feeling of the country, he was recognized as chief in 1854. During the
Mutiny of 1857 he evinced a loyal spirit and sent a body of troops
against the Kotah mutineers ; and for these services he was created
a G.C.S.I., a debt of 1-2 lakhs due by him to the British Government
was remitted, a dress of honour conferred, and the salute of the
Maharajas of Karauli was permanently increased from 15 to 17 guns.
The usual sanad guaranteeing the privilege of adoption to the rulers
of this State was granted in 1862, and it is remarkable that the last
seven chiefs have all succeeded by adoption.

Maharaja Bhanwar Pal, the present ruler, was born in 1864, was
installed in 1886, obtained full powers in 1889, and, after receiving
a K.C.I.E. in 1894, was made a G.C.I.E. in 1897. The nobles are
all Jadon Rajputs connected with the ruling house, and, though for
the most part illiterate, are a powerful body in the State, and until
quite recently frequently defied the authority of the Darbar. The chief
among them are Hadoti, Amargarh, Inaiti, Raontra, and BarthQn,
and they are called Thekanaddrs. The Rao of Hadoti is looked
upon as the heir to the Karauli gaddi, when the ruling chief is without

The only places of archaeological interest are Tahangarh, already

vol. xv. c



mentioned, and Bahadurpur, 8 miles south of the capital ; both are
now deserted and in ruins.

The number of towns and villages in the State is 437, and the
population at each of the three enumerations was : (1881) 148,670,
(1891) 156,587, and (1901) 156,786. The smallness
Population. of the increase during the last decade is ascribed to
famines in 1897 and 1899. The territory is divided into five tahsils:
namely, Karauli (or Sadr), Jirota, Machilpur, Mandrael, and Utgir, the
head-quarters of each being at the place from which it is named, except
in the case of jirota and Utgir, the head-quarters of which are at
Sapotra and Karanpur respectively. The only town in the State is the
capital, a municipality.

The following table gives the chief statistics of population in 1901 :—


Number of


Percentage of
variation in

population be-
tween 189 1
and 1901.

Number of

persons able to

read and








Jirota .
Machilpur .
Utgir .

State total






+ IO-8
+ 3.2

- 3-8

— 19-0

54 2





+ o-i


Nearly 94 per cent, of the total are Hindus, the worship of Vishnu
under the name of Krishna being the prevalent form of religion, and
more than 5 per cent, are Muhammadans. The languages mainly
spoken are dialects of Western Hindi, including Dangi and Dangbhang.

The principal tribe is the Minas, who number 32,000, or more than
20 per cent, of the population, and are the leading agriculturists of the
country; next come the Chamars (23,000), who, besides working in
leather, assist in agriculture. Brahmans number 20,000, and are
mostly petty traders, village money-lenders, and cultivators ; while
the Gujars (16,000), formerly noted cattle-lifters, are now very fair

Agricultural conditions vary in different parts of the State. In the
highlands of the Dang the soil is clayey, and the slopes of the hills are
embanked into successive steps or terraces, only
a few yards broad ; here rice is grown abundantly,
and after it has been reaped barley or gram is sometimes sown. The
fields are irrigated from tanks excavated on the tops of the hills.
The lowlands of this tract are surrounded by hills on two or three
sides and are called antrl. The soil is of two kinds : the first is
composed of earth and sand washed down the hill-sides by the rain-



fall, and is of very fair quality, while the second is hard and stony
and is called kanknll. The crops grown here are mostly bajra and
moth, though the better of these two soils produces fair spring crops
where irrigation from wells is possible. On the banks of the Chambal
the soil is generally rich, and the bed of the river is cultivated to the
water's edge in the cold season. The principal crops here are wheat,
gram, and barley. Elsewhere, outside the Dang, the soil is for the
most part light and sandy, but in places is associated with marl.
Excellent crops of bajra, moth, and jowar are produced in the autumn ;
and by means of irrigation, mostly from wells, good crops of wheat,
barley, and gram in the spring.

No very reliable agricultural statistics are available, but the area
ordinarily cultivated is about 260 square miles, or rather more than
one-fifth of the total area of the State. The principal crops are bajra
and gram, the areas under which are usually about 58 and 57 square
miles respectively; moth occupies 36 square miles, wheat about 25,
barley nearly 20, rice 18, and jowar about 14 square miles. Cotton,
poppy, and sugar-cane are cultivated to a certain extent, and san-hemp
is extensively grown in the neighbourhood of the capital.

Karauli does not excel as a cattle-breeding country ; the animals are
small though hardy, and attempts to introduce a larger kind have not
succeeded as they do not thrive on the rock-grown grass. The goats
alone are really good, and many are exported from the Dang to Agra
and other places.

Of the total area cultivated, 61 square miles, or about 23 per cent,
are generally irrigated. Well-irrigation is chiefly employed in the
country surrounding the capital. The total number of wells is said
to be 2,813, °f which 1,645 are masonry; leathern buckets, drawn up
with a rope and pulley by bullocks moving down an inclined plane, are
universally used for lifting the water. Tanks are the principal means
of irrigation in the rocky and hilly portions; there are said to be 379
tanks of sorts in the State, but only 81 of them have masonry dams.
From tanks and streams water is raised by an apparatus termed dhenkli,
consisting of a wooden pole with a small earthen pot at one end and
a heavy weight at the other.

There are no real forests in the State and valuable timber trees are
scarce. Above the Chambal valley the commonest tree is the dhao
(Anogeissus pendula), but it is scarcely more than a shrub ; other
common trees are the dhak {Bi/tea frondosa), several kinds of acacia,
the cotton-tree {Bombax malabaricuni), the sal (Shorea robusta), the
garjan {Dipterocarpus alatus), and the n'un (Me/ia Azadirachta). Near
the Chambal in the Mandrael tahsll, and again in a grass reserve 20
miles north-east of the capital, a number of shlsham trees (Da/bergia
Sissoo) are found together ; but they are, it is believed, not of natural

c 2


growth. The so-called forest area comprises about 200 square miles,
and is managed by a department called the Bagar, whose principal
duties are to supply grass for the State elephants and cattle, find and
preserve game for the chief and his followers, and provide a revenue by
exacting grazing dues. The forest revenue averages about Rs. 6,400
a year, derived mainly from grazing fees, and to a small extent from
the sale of grass and firewood, while the annual expenditure is about
Rs. 3,000.

Red sandstone abounds throughout the greater portion of the State,
and in parts, especially near the capital, white sandstone blends with
it. Other varieties of a bluish and yellow colour are also found, the
former near Machilpur, and the latter in the south and west. Iron ore
occurs in the hills north-east of Karauli ; but the mines would not pay
working expenses, and the iron manufactured in the State is smelted
from imported material.

Manufactures are not of importance. There is a little weaving and

dyeing ; and a few wooden toys, boxes, and bed-legs painted with

coloured lac, and some pewter and brass ornaments

are turned out. The tat or gunny-cloth of Karauli is
communications. . .

well-known in the neighbouring marts, and a good
deal is exported ; it is made from san-hemp grown near the capital.

The chief exports are cotton, ght, opium, zlra (cumin seed), rice
and other cereals, while the chief imports are piece-goods, sugar, gur
(molasses), salt, and indigo. The trade is mainly with the neigh-
bouring States of Jaipur and Gwalior and with Agra District.

There is no railway in the State, the nearest stations being Hindaun
Road on the Rajputana-Malwa line, 52 miles north of the capital, and
Dholpur on the Indian Midland section of the Great Indian Peninsula
Railway, about 65 miles to the east. Apart from a few metalled streets
in Karauli town, the only metalled road in the State is about 9 miles
long. It runs north from the capital in the direction of Hindaun Road
as far as the Jaipur border, and was completed in 1886 at a cost of
Rs. 37,000. The rest of the roads are mere fair-weather tracks, some
passable by bullock-carts, and others only by camels and pack-bullocks.
The Chambal river is crossed by means of small boats maintained by
the State, and the fare per passenger is usually about a quarter of an
anna, the transit of merchandise being specially bargained for. There
are five British post offices in the State (four having been opened
in January, 1905), and that at the capital is also a telegraph office.

The State has been fairly free from famines, but has had its share of

indifferent years. In 1868-9 tne rains crops failed, and there was

considerable distress ; but the Maharaja did his best

to mitigate the sufferings of the poor by establishing

kitchens and poorhouses and starting public works. A sum of 2 lakhs

ADM I. \ 7.S TRA TION 3 1

was borrowed from the British Government ; the price of grain went up
to 8 seers per rupee, and there was scarcity of fodder, especially in the
highlands of the Dang, where nine-tenths of the cattle are said to have
perished. The years 1877-8, 1883-4, 1886-7, and 1896-8 were
periods of scarcity and high prices. In 1897 locusts did much damage ;
and in the following year a pest called hala, akin to the locust, almost
entirely destroyed the autumn crops in parts of the State. In 1899-
1900 distress was confined to a comparatively small area of 254 square
miles, and never amounted to famine. Nevertheless, about 268,000
units were relieved on works ; and the total expenditure, including
loans (Rs. 23,800) and land revenue remitted (Rs. 46,000) and sus-
pended (Rs. 28,600), exceeded a lakh.

The State is governed by the Maharaja, assisted by a Council of five
members. His Highness is President of the Council and has exercised

full powers since 1889. Each of the five tahsils is

a * 1 -7v- a ^i i

Online LibraryGreat Britain. India OfficeImperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 15) → online text (page 4 of 50)