Great Britain. India Office.

Imperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 17) online

. (page 14 of 51)
Online LibraryGreat Britain. India OfficeImperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 17) → online text (page 14 of 51)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Manabum. — Range of hills on the extreme eastern frontier of
Lakhimpur District, Assam, lying between 27° 30' and 27° 47' N. and
95° 54' and 96° 18' E. These hills are an outlying spur of the mountain
country occupied by the Singphos and Khamtis, and mark the eastern
limit of the administrative jurisdiction of the British Government.

Manantoddy. — Village in the Wynaad tdluk of Malabar District,
Madras, situated in 11° 49' N. and 76° E. Population (1901), 2,000.
It is the head-quarters of the divisional officer and taJmlddr, and of
one of the two Forest oflicers of the District.

Manar, Gulf of.— Gulf between India and Ceylon. See Manaar,
Gulf of.

Manargudi. — Subdivision, tdluk, and town in Tanjore District,
Madras. See Mannargudi.

Manas. — River of Assam, which rises in the Bhutan hills and


enters the valley of the Brahmaputra at the point where the Districts of
Kamrup and Goalpara meet. It once formed the boundary between
these, but its channel is subject to frequent changes, and the greater
part of its present course lies within Goalpara. The principal tribu-
taries are : on the right bank, the Makra, Dulani, Ai, Pomajan,
Bhandura, and Koija ; and on the left bank, the Chaulkhoa. The
banks are, as a rule, covered with jungle ; and the river is not much
used as a trade route above its junction with the Chaulkhoa, though
boats of 4 tons burden could probably go as far as Mowkhoa at all
seasons of the year. Some damage is caused by the floods of an
old channel known as the Mora Manas. The total length of the
Manas is about 200 miles.

Manasa. — Town in the Rampura-Bhanpura district of Indore State,
Central India, and head-quarters of the pargana of the same name,
situated in 24° 29' N. and in 75° 11' E., 1,440 feet above sea-level.
Population (1901), 4,589. The town is said to have been founded
by Mana Patel of the Mina tribe. From an inscription in the temple
to Kherapati, it must have been in existence in the twelfth century.
In 1749 it was held by Raja Madho Singh of Jaipur, falling to Holkar
in 1752 with the Rampura district. Besides the pargana offices,
a school, a dispensary, a State post office, and an inspection bunga-
low are situated in the town.

Manauli. — Estate in the Kharar and Rupar tahsils of Ambala
District, Punjab, with an area of 1 1 square miles. It was the prin-
cipal jdgir held till recently by a member of the Faizullahpuria or
Singhpuria family, which was one of the twelve great Sikh misis or
confederacies. Founded early in the eighteenth century by Kapur
Singh, a Jat of Amritsar District, the family played a great part in
the Jullundur Doab under his great-nephew, Budh Singh. In 181 r,
however, the Singhpurias were expelled from their territories north
of the Sutlej by RanjTt Singh's generals, and confined to the estates
south of that river, which they still hold. From 1809 to 1846 the
family ranked as independent protected chiefs, but they lost their
status in the latter year. The last owner, Sardar Raghublr Singh,
held 81 villages m jdg'ir. These yield a net revenue of Rs. 36,000,
and the Sardar had also other estates. After his death in 1904, the
jdgir was divided among a number of his relatives.

Manaung. — Island forming part of Kyaukpyu District, Lower
Burma. See Cheduba.

Manavadar(or Bantva-Manavadar). — State in the Kathiawar Politi-
cal Agency, Bombay, lying between 21° 23' and 21° 41' N. and 70°
2' and 70° 23' E., with an area of 90 square miles. The population
in 1901 was 14,478, residing in 23 villages. The revenue in 1903-4
was Rs. 2,35,447, and 83 square miles were cultivated. Manavadar

H 2


ranks as a third-class State in Kathiawar. Tlie ruling family is Musal-
man, and is descended from a younger son of the second Nawab of
Junagarh, to whom the Bantva territory was made over in 1740.
Engagements to keep order and remain at peace were entered into
with the British Government in 1807. There are two sharers with
the ruling chief, both holding the title of Babi, one of whom re-
sides at Sardargarh and the other at Bantva.

Manavan. — Petty State in Kathiawar, Bombay.

Manbhum. — District in the Chota Nagpur Division of Bengal,
lying between 22^' 43' and 24° 4' N. and 85° 49' and 86° 54' E.,
with an area of 4,147 square miles. It is bounded on the north
by Hazaribagh and the Santal Parganas ; on the east by Burdwan,
Bankura, and Midnapore ; on the south by Singhbhum ; and on
the west by Ranch! and Hazaribagh. The whole of the northern
boundary is marked by the Barakar river ; on the north-east, the
Barakar and Damodar rivers separate the District from Burdwan ;
while the Subarnarekha flows along the boundary for short distances
on the west and south.

Manbhum District forms the first step of a gradual descent from

the table-land of Chota Nagpur to the delta of Lower Bengal. The

undulation so characteristic of Chota Nagpur here

Fnysica becomes less pronounced, and level tracts of con-

aspects. • , , 1 r r T

siderable extent are of frequent occurrence. In
the north and east the country is open, and consists of a series of
rolling downs, dotted here and there with isolated conical hills.
During the hot season the scarcity of trees gives to this part of the
country a scorched and dreary appearance ; but in the rains the fresh
green of the young rice and the varying foliage of the low jungle
form contrasts of colouring with the soil, and the scenery assumes
a park-like aspect. In the west and south the country is more broken
and the scenery far more picturesque. Here the Baghmundi range
striking out from the plateau of Chota Nagpur, and farther to the
south the Dalma range dividing Manbhum from Singhbhum, stand
up as commanding features in the landscape. These hills are covered
almost to their summits with large and heavy forest. The principal
hills are Dalma (3,407 feet), the highest peak of the range of that
name; Panchkot or Panchet (1,600 feet), situated to the north-east
of Purulia ; and Gangabari or Gajburu, the highest peak of the Bagh-
mundi plateau, situated about 20 miles south-west from Purulia.
The principal river is the Kasai, which flows through the District
from north-west to south-east and then turns almost due south as
it passes into Midnapore ; the total length of its course is about
171 miles. Just above Raipur the Kasai forms rapids and several
picturesque waterfalls of no great height. The Damodar flows


through Manhhfim in an easterly (h'rertion with a slight inclination
to the south. Its chief tributary, the 1)ARAKAr, has already been
mentioned as forming part of the north-eastern boundary of the
District, and the Subarnarekha as dividing it on the west and south
from Ranch! and Singhbhum. The only other rivers of any impor-
tance are the Dhalkisor, which rises in the east of Manbhum and
after a short south-easterly course enters Bankura ; and the Silai,
also rising in the east of the District and flowing south-east into

The geological formations are the Archaean and the Gondwana.
The Archaean rocks consist of gneiss and crystalline schists, the
gneiss occupying by far the largest portion of the District. It be-
longs principally to the group known as Bengal gneiss, which is
remarkable for its varied composition, consisting of successive bands
of intermixed granitic, granulitic, and dioritic gneisses, and micaceous
chloritic and hornblendic schists, with a laminated or foliated structure
striking usually east and west. About the centre of the District is
a great belt of unfoliated or only slightly foliated granitic intrusions,
also striking east and west, and extending westwards into the adjacent
District of Ranchi. Crystalline limestones occasionally occur. Along
the southern boundary there exists a group of rocks resembling the
Dharwar schists of Southern India, which were originally sedimentary
and volcanic, but have been altered into quartzites, quartzitic sand-
stones, slates of various kinds, hornblendic mica, and talcose and
chloritic schists, the latter passing into potstones, green stones, and

Quite close to the southern boundary of Manbhum the schists
are invaded by a gigantic dike of basic igneous rock, forming an
imposing east and west range which culminates in the lofty Dalma
hill. The schists are here more metamorphosed than elsewhere, with
a considerable development of iron ores ; in this neighbourhood,
moreover, the rocks are richest in gold.

The Gondwanas, whose age as determined by fossil plants is partly
upper palaeozoic and partly mesozoic, are the principal rocks from
an economic point of view. They occur along the Damodar river
and form the Ranlganj coal-field, the western portion of which lies
in Manbhum, and the rich Jherria coal-field almost entirely situated
within the District. The Gondwana rocks comprise the Mahadeva,
Panchet, Ranlganj, ironstone shales, Barakar, and Talcher divisions,
of which all but the first belong to the Lower Gondwanas. The
series consists throughout almost exclusively of shales and sand-
stones. The coal seams are restricted to the Barakar and Ranlganj

The coalfields owe iheir preservation from dt luulali* n and th.eir


present situation to a system of faults that has sunk them amidst
the surrounding gneiss. The faults arc easily recognized along their
boundaries, especially on the south, and sulphurous hot springs are
often situated in their neighbourhood. Innumerable fissures are occu-
pied by intrusive dikes of basalt and of mica-apatite-peridotite, the
latter being frequently detrimental to the coal seams, which have often
been burnt away by it. These intrusions are of the same age as the
volcanic rocks of the Rajmahal hills \

The narrower valleys are often embanked for rice cultivation, and
the rice-fields and their margins abound in marsh and water plants.
The surface of the plateau land between the valleys, where level, is
often bare and rocky, but where undulating is usually clothed with
a dense scrub jungle, in which Dendrocalamus strictus is prominent.
The steep slopes of the higher hills are covered with a dense forest
mixed with climbers. Sal {Shorea robusta) is gregarious ; among the
other noteworthy trees are species of Buchanania, Semecarpus, Ter-
minalia, Cedrela, Cassia, Bntea, Ba^ihijiia, Acacia, and Adina, which
these forests share with similar ones on the lower Himalayan slopes.
Mixed with these, however, are a number of characteristically Central
India trees and shrubs, such as Cochlospermum, Soymida, Bosivellia,
Hardwickia, and Bassia, which do not cross the Gangetic plain. One
of the features of the upper edge of the hills is a dwarf palm. Phoenix
acai/Iis ; while the wealth of scarlet blossom in the hot season pro-
duced by the abundance of Bntea froudosa and B. superba is also

Tigers, leopards, bears, wolves, hyenas, deer, and wild dogs were
formerly common, but are now decreasing in numbers, tigers being
very rare visitors. The short-tailed Indian pangolin {Maiiis penta-
daclyla), which owing to its peculiar habits is one of the least-known
quadrupeds in India, is occasionally found in the jungles bordering
on Singhbhum.

Temperature is moderate, except during the hot months of April,
May, and June, when the westerly winds from Central India cause
great heat with very low humidity. The mean temperature increases
from 82° in March to 89° in April, May, and June, the mean maximum
from 95° in March to 101° in May, and the mean minimum from
68° to 76°. The annual rainfall averages 53 inches, of which 8-9 inches
fall in June, 13-4 in July, 13-2 in August, and 7-8 in September.

' The Archaean series has been described by V. Ball, Memoirs, Geological SiiTvey of
India, vol. xviii, pt. ii ; the RanTgnnj coal-field by W . T. Blanford, Memoirs, vol. iii,
pt. i ; the Jherria coal-field by Th. Hughes, Memoirs, vol. v, pt. iii, and by Th. Ward,
Records, Geological Siirvey of India, yo\. xxv, pt. ii ; the inica-apatite-peridotites by
T. H. Holland, Records, \o\. xxvii, pt. iv.

The above account was contributed by Mr. E. Vredenburg of the Geological Survey
of India.


The distinctive tribe of the District is the Bhumij, who are closely
allied to the Mundas and have been identified with the Bajra Bhumi
of Jain legendary history. The ancient Jains have
left their traces in the ruins of temples near Purulia
and several places along the course of the Kasai and Damodar rivers ;
but we have no authentic records of this part of the country till
Muhamniadan times, when it was regarded as part of the Jharkand
or ' forest tract," which is the name given in the Akbarnama to the
whole region from Birbhurn and Panchet to Ratanpur in the Central
Provinces and from Rohtasgarh in South Bihar to the frontier of Orissa.
In the Badshalmama the zam'inddr of Panchet is shown as a com-
mander of horse under Shah Jahan, and his zaiiiinddri was subject
to a fixed peshkash. The territory comprised in the present District
of Manbhum was acquired by the British with the grant of the Dlwani
of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa in 1765. Up to 1805 the estates con-
tained in it were attached, some to Birbhum and some to Midnapore ;
but in that year they were formed with a few others into a separate
District called the Jungle Mahals. In 1832 one (ianga Narayan,
a claimant to the Barabhum estate in this District, rose in rebellion,
but was driven to Singhbhum, where he died. As a result of these
disturbances, a change of administration was determined upon, and
by Regulation XIII of 1833 the District of the Jungle Mahals was
broken up ; the estates of Senpahari, Shergarh, and Bishnupur were
transferred to Burdwan, while the remainder, with the estate of Dhal-
bhum detached at the same time from Midnapore, were formed into
the present District of Manbhum, which was withdrawn from the
regular system of administration and placed under an officer called
the Principal Assistant to the Agent to the Governor-General for the
South-West Frontier. Subsequently, by Act XX of 1854, his. title
was changed to Deputy-Commissioner, and that of the Governor-
General's Agent to Commissioner of Chota Nagpur. Dhalbhum had
again been transferred to Singhbhum eight years previous to this,
and the District of Manbhum was reduced to its present area by
further transfers of minor importance in 187 1 and 1879. When the
District was first constituted, the civil station was fixed at Manbazar,
but it was transferred to Purulia in 1838. During the Mutiny of
1857 the military garrison at Purulia, which consisted of 64 sepoys
of the Ramgarh battalion and 12 sowars, all Hindustanis, plundered
the treasury, released the prisoners in the jail, burnt the records,
and then marched off towards Ranch!.

The District contains several interesting archaeological remains.
The most ancient of these are ascribed to the Jain Saraks, including
ruins at Palma, Charra, Pakbira, where a temple, belonging probably
to the seventh century, contains a statue of the Jain hierarch Arnanath,

I r4


and Deoli, where there is a group of temples, one containing a fine
Jain figure now also known as Arnanath. Instances of early Brah-
manical architecture occur in the villages of Para and Katras. A group
of temples at Telkupi on the Damodar belongs apparently to the early
part of the Muhammadan period. Other interesting ruins exist at
Dalmi, Boram, and Panchet.

The population increased from 820,521 in 1872 to 1,058,228 in 1881,
to 1,193,328 in 1891, and to 1,301,364 in 1901. This rapid growth is
due mainly to the healthiness of the climate and
the fecundity of the aboriginal tribes who form the
majority of the inhabitants; in 1881 it was also due in part to better
enumeration, while recently the natural increase has been assisted by
the opening up of the country by railways and the growth of the coal
industry. Blindness and leprosy are exceptionally common.
The principal statistics of the Census of 1901 are shown below : —





Number of






Percentage of
variation in

between i8qi
and igoi.

Number of

persons able to

read and




t M

Gobindpur .

District total







+ 5-4
+ 25.1







+ 9.1


The three towns are Purulia, the head-quarters, Jhalida, and
Raghunathpur. The density is greatest in the alluvial tract along
the banks of the Damodar ; in the broken country in the north-west
and south the inhabitants are fewer, except in the neighbourhood
of the Jherria coal-field, where the mines attract large numbers of
coolies. The Jherria and Topchanchi thanas in the north-west, which
contain the greater number of the collieries, grew by 75 and 30 per
cent, respectively during the decade ending 1901, accounting between
them for over 45 per cent, of the total increase. A large number of
immigrants, chiefly from Hazaribagh, Bihar, and the United Provinces,
come to work in the mines ; but the emigrants, more than half of
whom were enumerated in Assam, exceed the immigrants by over
74,000. The vernacular of the District is the western dialect of
Bengali known as Rarhi boli. Along the western border this merges
into Hindi, the dialect spoken being locally known as Karmall or
Khotta, or even Khotta Bangala. SantalT is spoken by 182,000 persons.
Hindus number 1,132,619, or 87 per cent, of the total; Animists,
103,011, or 7-9 per cent. ; and Muhammadans, 62,799, or 4-8 per cent.

The aboriginal element is strongly represented, the most numerous
tribes being the Santals (195,000, of whom 96,000 were returned as



Hindus, and 99,000 as Animists), Bhumijs (109,000), and Koras
(22,000). Many of the lower Hindu castes consist to a great extent of
aboriginal elements ; such are the Bauris (99,000), Bhuiyas (37,000),
Rajwars (32,000), and Donis (19,000), and probably also the Kurnils
(241,000), the most numerous caste in the District. Agriculture sup-
ports 67 per cent, of the population, industries 11-7 per cent., and the
professions i -3 per cent.

Christians number 2,910, of whom 2,599 '^'^^ natives. The German
Evangelistic Lutheran Mission, which began work in 1864, maintains
schools and also works among the lepers ; while a mission of the Free
Church of Scotland in the Gobindpur subdivision has a community
of 700.

The surface consists of a succession of rolling uplands with inter-
vening hollows, along which the drainage runs off to join the larger
streams. The soil is for the most part composed of
hard, dry, ferruginous gravel, which has been furrowed
into countless small channels by the discharge of surface drainage ; but
many of the lower levels are filled with good alluvial soil. The lower
slopes of these uplands, and the swampy ground between, supply the
only land on which a wet rice crop can be grown without elaborate
levelling and embanking. The hill-sides, when terraced for rice cul-
tivation, present the appearance of a series of steps varying from i to 5
feet in height. In some cases the beds of streams are banked up at
intervals and made into long narrow rice fields.

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







Purfilia .











It is estimated that 10 per cent, of the cultivated area is twice
cropped. The most important staple is rice, which covers an area
of 1,428 square miles. Two principal crops are grown : the nuaji or
aus, which is sown broadcast as soon as possible after the first good
fall of rain and reaped at the end of September ; and the haimantik or
dman, which is sown in a nursery about the end of May and afterwards
transplanted and finally reaped from November to January. A third
but less important crop, the summer rice or goradhdfi, is sown broad-
cast in May on table-lands and tops of ridges, and is reaped in August.
The first two crops are grown only on lands where there is a good
supply of water. Other important cereals are maize grown on


172 square miles, mama, kijra, wheat, and barley. Green crops and
pulses — including gram, vimig, kalai, rahar, peas, khesar^\hQ2^ns,, kurthi,
and 7nasuri — are cultivated on 245 square miles. Among oilseeds rape
and mustard are grown on 52 square miles, and til on about 16 square
miles. Some sugar-cane, cotton, and tobacco are also grown. Rota-
tion of crops is practised to a very limited extent. Manure is used for
all crops to which the cultivator can afford to apply it. It usually con-
sists of cow-dung, ashes, decayed leaves and grass, and black mud
mixed with decayed vegetable matter gathered from the bottoms and
sides of stagnant pools and tanks.

There is an ever-increasing demand for land ; and, in spite of the
unusual amount of labour required to bring fresh fields under culti-
vation, reclamation is steadily proceeding under the tenures known as
?iaydbddi and jalsdsan. The proportion of uncultivated waste is still
high, but it is estimated that during the decade ending 190 1-2
there was an increase of 60 per cent, in the area under crops. Little
advantage is taken of the provisions of the Land Improvement and
Agriculturists' Loans Acts, but during the lean years 1896-8 about
Rs. 86,000 was advanced under the provisions of these Acts.

The local cattle are small, but a larger variety is sometimes obtained
by cross-breeding with large Hazaribagh bulls. Regular pasture-
grounds are rare ; but sufficient rice straw is kept in stock by the
ryots for fodder during the hot months, and after the break of the
rains the extensive waste lands of the District afford ample pasturage.
Fairs are held annually at Chakultor, south of Purulia, in September
for a month, and at Anara on the Purulia-Barakar road for about twenty
days in April,

The surface drainage is rapid and the soil dries up quickly ; irrigation
of some kind is thus essential for most crops. There are no canals or
other artificial water-courses, but there is a very large number of tanks
and dhars. The latter are reservoirs, often of considerable size, con-
structed by running a dam across a ravine or dip, thereby holding
up the natural surface drainage. The fields below the dam are kept
continually moist by the percolation of the water.

There are two small ' protected ' forests, but no revenue is derived
from them. The predominant tree is sal {Shorea robi/sfa). The
principal minor jungle products are lac, catechu, sabai grass, and fasar
silk cocoons. Lac rearing forms the occupation of a large section
of the population. The best variety is produced on kusum trees
{Schkichera trijiiga), and inferior qualities on ber (Zizyphus Jiijuba)
and palds {^Butea fro/idosa). The chief edible jungle products are
the flowers of the inahiid [Bassia latifolia) and the fruits of tlTe ber
and singhdra {Trapa bispinosa\

The most important mineral in Manbhum is coal, which is mined

^flNERALS 117

on a large scale in the Ciobindpur subdivision. The Jherria coal-field

occupies an area of about i8o square miles, and a portion of the

Ranlgani-Barakar field also extends into the District.

Coal had long been known to exist in Alanbhum,

but as recently as 1891 only two mines were being worked, with an

output of 78,000 tons. The Jherria field was tapped by the railway

in 1894; and the output of coal from the collieries of the District

rose from 129,000 tons in that year to 1,281,000 tons in 1895, nearly

the whole of the increase coming from the Jherria field. After a short

period of depression in the two following years the industry has grown

steadily, and in 1903 as many as 141 collieries were at work : namely,

115 in the Jherria field and 26 in the Ranlganj field, with outputs

of 2,746,000 tons and 246,000 tons, and giving employment to 28,000

and 3,000 persons respectively. The most important concerns are

those of the Barakar Coal Company, Jardine Skinner &: Co., the

Standard Coal Company, Agabeg Brothers, MacLeod & Co., Turner

Morrison c^ Co., the Ranlganj Coal Association, the Bengal Coal

Company, and the Bengal-Nagpur Coal Company.

Steam-power is generally used in the Ranlganj field, but only in
twenty-four collieries in the Jherria field, where good coal is often

Online LibraryGreat Britain. India OfficeImperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 17) → online text (page 14 of 51)