Great Britain. India Office.

Imperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 17) online

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

a ferry connects it with the Sagaing terminus of the line to Myitkyina.
The other turns abruptly eastwards, and after a level run of 16 miles
across the plain climbs up the Maymyo plateau, and, passing Maymyo,
leaves the District near Wetwin about 55 miles from Mandalay. The
city will i)robably before long be connected with Madaya by a light

. / n Any IS tra tion ^ 3 5

The District is fairly well provided with roads. Of these, the most
important outside iDunicipal limits are the Mandalay-Lashio road,
metalled in part, passing through Maymyo and quitting the District at
Wetwin ; the Mandalay-Madaya road along the Shwetachaung Canal
embankment ; and the Mandalay-Lamaing road, the two last being
each about i6 miles long. These three are maintained by the Public
Works department. The District fund is responsible for the upkeep
of a considerable number of inter-village tracks, which include the
Madaya-Singu road (32 miles), continuing for another 19 miles to
the Ruby INIines District boundary, and 3 miles of the metalled road
from Mandalay to Amarapura. There is an electric tramway in
Mandalay city.

The Trrawaddy is navigable at all seasons by large river steamers,
while country boats navigate the Madaya and Myitnge rivers all the
year round, the former up to Sagabin, about 20 miles, and the latter
for 16 miles, and in the rains for another 30. The Shwetachaung
Canal is navigable from the dam just above Mandalay to its head.
Government launches ply constantly between Mandalay and other
stations on the river ; and the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company runs, in
addition to some cargo-boats, one mail steamer a week to Bhamo,
two to Thabeikkyin (for the Ruby Mines), and two down the river to
Rangoon, calling at the several river-side stations, and one daily
to Myingyan. The tolls levied on the Shwetachaung Canal and the
six ferries that the District contains bring in respectively Rs. 6,000 and
Rs. 8,000 a year.

The District is divided into five subdivisions : the eastern and
western subdivisions of Mandalay City, the former including the can-
tonment : the Amarapura subdivision in the south- . , . .

.... , „ Administration,

west, compnsmg the Amarapura and Patheingyi

townships ; the Madaya subdivision in the north, comprising the
Madaya and Singu townships ; and the Maymyo subdivision in
the south-east, comprising the Pvintha, Maymyo, and ^VET\VIN town-
ships. The subdivisions and townships are under the usual executive
officers. The three township officers in the Maymyo subdivision,
however, are little more than myothitgyis^ and the myo-oks at A\'etwin
and Pyintha have third-class powers, but cannot take cognizance of
cases and never try any. There were 449 village headmen in 1903.
The District falls within three Public Works divisions. The greater
part forms a portion of the Mandalay division, with head-quarters at
Mandalay city. Maymyo and its environs form, with the Lashio
subdivision, the Maymyo division under an Executive Engineer at
Maymyo, and the Mandalay (anal constitutes a third charge. There
are two Deputy-Conservators of Forests, one in charge of the depot
division at Mandalay and one at Maymyo, who in addition to the


Mandalav forests has charge of the forests in Kyaukse, Meiktila, and
Myingyan Districts, and in the Northern Shan States. At the port
of Mandalay are two officers of the Royal Indian Marine, one being
Marine Transport officer for Upper Burma, the other the Superintend-
ing Engineer for Government vessels and launches.

Mandalay is the head-quarters of the Judicial Commissioner, Upper
Burma, as well as of the Commissioner of Mandalay, who is Sessions
Judge. There is a whole-time District Judge, who is also additional
Sessions Judge of the Mandalay Division and Judge of the Mandalay
Small Cause Court. In criminal work the Deputy-Commissioner is
assisted by the head-quarters Assistant Commissioner (senior magis-
trate). Violent crime is most prevalent in the Amarapura subdivision,
and theft of stray cattle is common in Maymyo. On the whole, liow-
ever, the crime of the District presents no special features.

Under native rule the District was divided administratively into
eight parts, one comprising the city and one the islands in the Irra-
waddy, while the rest were under salaried officials called ne-oks. The
actual collection of revenue was done by the myothugyis and sub-
ordinate thugyis, who were i)aid by a lo per cent, commission on the
revenue collected, and whose office was as a rule hereditary. Appeals
lay first to the Ahindow Tana (revenue court), and second appeals
were allowed to the Hbifdaw (high court) ; but in cases relating to
royal lands appeals lay to the Leyotidaw (land court), and thence to
the Hlufdaw. Thaihaiiicda, at the average rate of Rs. lo a house-
hold, was assessed by fliamadis, elders of the village specially appointed
for the purpose, but not in the city itself, where instead of the t/ia-
//lanieda, imposts were levied on goods sold. No land revenue was
collected over the greater part of the District on bobabaing or non-state
lands, unless they were irrigated, in which case a tax of Rs. 2 per pe
(1-75 acres) was levied. On state lands a rate theoretically equivalent
to one-fourth of the gross produce was assessed, but in practice the
amount was fixed by custom.

'i'hree attempts at a regular settlement were made in the District
soon after annexation. The first two were confined to limited tracts ;
but in 1851, after a cadastral survey had been completed, a regular
settlement of the plain was undertaken. The rates proposed in 1893
were crop rates fixed at one-eighth of the gross produce on state land,
and two-thirds of that rate on non-state land. These propo.sals were,
however, revised, and in 1896 new rates on state land were introduced
as follows : for kaukkyi rice, Rs. 2 to Rs, 7-6 per acre ; for mayin
(or hot-season) rice, Rs. 2-4 to Rs. 4 per acre. Gardens paid from
Rs. 5 to Rs. 25 ; miscellaneous crops on islands and alluvial lands,
Rs. 2-8 to Rs. 7-8; and ya, or upland holdings, Rs. 1-8 to
Rs. 4 per acre. These changes brought in a revenue of 3 lakhs in


1897 8, as compared with i ^- lakhs reah'/ed in the year before their
introduction. In 1899 -1900 rates were levied on non-state land, the
old water rate being abohshed, while irrigated lands paid seven-eighths
of the state land rate and non-irrigated three-fourths ; at the same time
the thathameda rate was readjusted. The result was a slight increase
of revenue. Since 1901 these rates have been resanctioned from year
to year, and are still in force, except in the new Mandalay Canal tract,
where tentative land revenue and water rates came into force in
1903-4. The rates, however, still require readjustment, especially in
the Shwetachaung tract, and settlement operations are now being
carried out with a view to their revision. No land revenue is
collected in the three townships of the Maymyo subdivision.

The table below shows, in thousands of rupees, the fluctuations in
the land revenue and total revenue since 1890-1. .\.t present an impor-
tant item of receipt is fhat/iameda, which amounted to Rs. 2,59,600
in 1890-1, Rs. 2,59,400 in 1900-1, and Rs. 2,78,000 in 1903-4.

1890-1. 1900-1.


Land revenue
Total revenue

1,77 4,17
6.54 13,14


* Inclusive of Rs. 12,000 collecteri in Mandalav city.

The District fund, administered by the Deputy-Commissioner for
the provision of various local needs, had an income of Rs. 42,600 in
1903-4. The chief item of expenditure was public works (Rs. 40,000).
Mandalav Citv is the only municipality, but Maymyo is administered
by a town committee.

The District garrison, which is divided between Mandalay and
Maymyo, consists of a British battalion, a Gurkha battalion, and two
Punjabi regiments, a Native mountain battery, and a transport column.
The head-quarters of the Burma division, formerly at Rangoon, are
now at Maymyo, while Mandalay is the head-quarters of a military

The District Superintendent of police is aided by four Assistant
Superintendents (one at head-quarters, the others in charge of the
two urban subdivisions and the Maymyo subdivision), 6 inspectors,
19 head constables, 68 sergeants, 625 Burman and 335 Indian
constables, distributed in 21 police stations and 15 outposts. South
of the city are large barracks for the Mandalay military police
battalion, the strength of which is one commandant, two assistant
commandants, and 1,356 native officers and men. One assistant
commandant and 889 men are stationed at Mandalay itself. The
only other military police posts in the District are at Maymyo
(60 men) and Maduya (25 men).


There is a Central jail in the north-west corner of Fort Dufferin at
Mandalay, with accommodation for 1,141 prisoners, who are engaged
in gardening, carpentry, smithy and cane-work, carriage-building and
repairing, &:c. Large orders for furniture for Government offices are
carried out by means of prison labour.

The proportion of literate persons in the District in 1901 was
28-7 per cent. (49-9 males, 7-6 females). The total number of pupils
under instruction in the District as a whole was 13,773 in 1891,
18,375 in 1901, and 21,720 in 1904. The principal schools are in
Mandalay and Maymyo.

It will be found convenient to give separate educational figures for
Mandalay city and for the District. Mandalay city contained in
1903-4, 142 special, 22 secondary, 91 primary, and 927 private
schools, with 10,710 male and 3,260 female pupils. These schools
were maintained at a total cost of Rs. 96,000, towards which muni-
cipal funds contributed Rs. 38,000 and Provincial funds Rs. 16,000.
The District, excluding the city, contained in the same year 4 special,
7 secondary, 92 primary, and 749 private schools, with 6,590 male
and 1,160 female pupils. These schools are maintained largely from
Provincial funds, which provided Rs. 21,000 in 1903-4.

There are four hospitals and a dispensary, with accommodation for
191 in-patients. In 1903 the number of cases treated was 51,508,
including 2,987 in-patients, and i,86r operations were performed.
The Mandalay municipal hospital accounted for 2,482 of the in-
patients and 17,271 of the out-patients. The total income of these
institutions amounted to i-i lakhs, towards which the Mandalay
municipality contributed Rs. 68,000, the Maymyo town committee
Rs. 11,300, and Provincial funds Rs. 21,600. In addition to the
hospitals, two institutions for lepers are maintained at Mandalay.

Vaccination is compulsory only within municipal limits and in
cantonments. In 1903-4 the number of persons successfully vac-
cinated was 10,432, representing 28 per 1,000 of population.

[Symes, Embassy to Ava (1795); Crawford, Mission to Ava (1826);
Colonel Yule, Narrative of the Mission sent to t/ie Court of ^yvr (1857) ;
M. Laurie, Settlement Report (1894).]

Mandalay City. — Head-quarters of the Division and District of
the same name in Upper Burma, and capital of the Burmese kingdom
from 1858 to 1885. The city lies in 21° 59' N. and 96° 6' E., and
occupies part of a plain, here about 8 miles wide, on the east bank
of the Irrawaddy, between the river and the Shan range, the dead
level of which is broken only by a hill 954 feet in height. To the
south-west of this hill, a mile and a half from the river, are the
moat and walls of the old city, nearly 6 miles in circumference.
The cantonments include the hill with the old city and a space


tu the north and cast ol" it, about 6 bquare uiilcb in all. W'e.^t
and south of the cantonments is the present native city, which
stretches to the river on the west, and to the walls of the old fort
of Amarapura on the south. I'he entire area of the municipality and
cantonments is 25 square miles, but this includes large unoccupied
spaces at the four corners. Religious buildings are scattered over the
whole, covering with their precincts 2 square miles. The European
quarter is on the south of the fort, and the business quarter is on the
west. Masonry buildings are general in the latter, but over the rest
of the city the houses are sometimes of wood, more commonly of
bamboo. Paddy-fields occupy the country near the river to the north
and south ; and towards the south-east, where the royal gardens of
Mindon once were, is a piece of land now given over to the St. Johns
Leper Asylum and to rice cultivation. As the city lies below flood
level, it is protected by an embankment, which runs all round the
municipality and cantonments, and is in some places doubled.
A canal, called the Shwetachaung, gives water connexion with
Madaya on the north. Along the river bank are some backwaters
cut off by the embankments and gradually filling up.

Mandalay dates only from the accession of king Mindon, who is
said to have been induced by a dream to abandon for it the old
capital of Amarapura, immediately south of the .

present nmnicipal limits. The walls and moat of
the new city and the palace were constructed with paid labour
between February, 1857, and May, 1858. Jars full of oil, buried in
masonry pits at each of the four corners, are said to have taken the
place of the human sacrifices which had once been customar)-. The
whole area to be occupied, both within and without the walls, was laid
out in square blocks separated by broad roads, along most of which
tamarind and other shade trees were planted. Many of these blocks
w-ere occupied in the centre by a high ofticial, whose retainers dwelt
along the edges,

Mindon's reign was peaceful, except for an attempt at rebellion by
his son the Myingun prince, who in 1866 killed the heir apparent, and
eventually fled to Rangoon. Mindon was succeeded in 1878 by his
son Thibaw, the history of whose reign is one of palace intrigue varied
by massacre. A year after his accession about eighty of his kindred — ■
men, women, and children — were murdered in the palace precincts,
and their bodies thrown into a trench. In 1884 occurred a further
massacre of about 200 persons, suspected of being concerned in a plot
on behalf of the Myingun prince. In 1885 came the rupture with the
British ; an expeditionary force was dispatched into Upper Burma^
and towards the end of November of that year General Prendergast's
flotilla api)eared off Mandalay. No resistance was offered, and the

VOL, ,\\ 11. K


king received Colonel Skideii in a suninicr-house in ihe })alaee gardens
and formally surrendered himself. For some months after this dacoi-
ties and robberies were frequent in and about Mandalay, but the city
was eventually reduced to order. About a tenth of the urban area was
burnt down during the hot season of 1886, and in August of that year
an abnormally high flood burst an embankment built by king Mindon,
and caused some loss of jjroperty. In 1887 a municipal committee
was formed and the metalling of the main roads taken in hand, a
telephone system was introduced, and a survey partly carried out.
Before the introduction of municipal government the stockade round
the palace and the bamboo houses in the old city were removed, com-
pensation being paid for the sites, and new land being given to the

The old city now forms part of the cantonments, and is known as Fort
Dufferin. The walls form a perfect square, with a side a mile and

. ^ . a quarter long. They are built of brick and pro-

Descnption. .,,.,, ^, ' , , ■ , 1 ■ r

vided with battlements, the total height bemg 29 feet.

Picturesque watch-houses with many-storeyed roofs rise above them

at regular intervals, thirteen on each side, the largest over the gates,

which are twelve in number. Outside the walls is a strip of grass

land, and beyond this the moat, more than 200 feet across, and

bridged opposite the central gate on each side, and also opposite the

gates on the south-west and north-east.

In the centre of the square, with roads converging on it from the
four main gates, is a platform 11 feet high, 1,000 feet long, and about
half as wide, on which the palace is built. It was surrounded in the
Burmese kings" time by a brick wall and stockade 2,000 feet square,
but these have been removed. Within this space, north and south
of the palace, are shady pleasure gardens with lakes and grottoes.
The garden on the south contains the summer-house where king
Thibaw surrendered. On the east is the bell-tower where the watches
were sounded, and north of it the glittering tomb of king Mindon,
covered with glass mosaic. Opposite the bell-tower, on the south side
of the road, is another tower enshrining a tooth of Buddha ; and farther
south a small monastery of glass mosaic on the site of an older one,
where Thibaw was living in retreat with shaven head and yellow robe,
in accordance with Burmese custom, when called to the throne.

The principal throne-room, surmounted by a nine-roofed spire
200 feet high, is near the east end of the platform. Jn front of it
is an open hall 285 feet long. Its golden roof is supported by gilded
teak pillars, some of them 60 feet high. The building was repaired,
and the gilding renewed, at a cost of more than a lakh, after Lord
Elgin's visit in 1898. The throne is approached through a gate of
gilded iron open-woik from a fliglit of steps at the back. 'I'o the west


is aiKJther thrunc-iooni in which foreign re[)resL'ntativeb were received.
Next in line lu the west are the hall of the body-guard ; a waiting-room
for readers and others, with the pages' quarters to the north of it ;
another throne-room used for royal marriages ; and a lofty room with
an open veranda on two sides that was used by king Mindon as
a sleeping-chamber. Thibaw's queens slept in the last room of the
series, when not in the royal apartments to the south. On the west
of this are sitting-rooms with the usual gilded pillars and roof, and
scjuth of them a room from which plays were witnessed. To the east
of the entrance hall is a brick building with a tank (now filled in),
where the king and queen amused themselves at the annual water-
festival by watching the pages and maids-of-honour throw water at each
other. On the north of this is the king's treasure chamber and a room
where he held informal levees, and on the east the council-chamber where
the ministers held their secret deliberations. The Hlutdaw, where they
met in public for judicial and other business, was to the east of the
platform and has been pulled down. Close to the council-chamber is
a watch-tower, 78 feet high, exclusive of its decorative roof, from which
a fine view is obtainable. On the north side of the platform is a gilded
entrance hall similar to that on the south. Both contained thrones^
which have been rem

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