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Ahmadnagar, and so much of its water as was not wanted for the
town and other places on its bank was taken to feed a canal for
irrigating the Parantlj tdliika of Ahmadabad District. Though it has
no natural lakes, MahT Kantha is well supplied with ponds and wells.
The Rani Talao has an area of 94 acres, and a greatest depth of
17 feet; the Karmabawi Talao, area 134 acres, greatest depth 15 feet ;
the Babsur Talao, area 182 acres, greatest depth 15 feet.

With the exception of Idar, which was geologically surveyed in 1902,
the Mahl Kantha States have never been visited by any geologist, and
nothing definite can be said about their geological constitution, further
than that it appears to be extremely varied and com[)lex. One of the
finest building stones in India is the calcareous sandstone used in
the mos(|ues, temples, and palaces of Ahmadabad, which is quarried at
Ahmadnagar, .Savgarh, and Parbada in the Idar State, and exported to
considerable distances. No details as to its mode of occurrence have
ever been ascertained ; but it is suggested, from its resemblance to
certain rocks of Gujarat and Central India, that its age may be Cre-
taceous. The best lime obtainable in India is made from a limestone
occurring at Betali in the mountainous country about Idar, which
constitutes the material used in preparing the beautiful stucco so
largely used in the buildings at Delhi. Granite, gneiss, and crystal-
line marble are also said to occur.

Of trees, MahT Kantha has the mahiia, the mango, the banyan, the
dsopcVav, the kha/ikra, the wood-apple, the mm, and the teak. 'Hie
wild animals, many of which are becoming rare, are tiger, leopard, bear,
wolf, wild hog, hyena, jackal, and fox. Deer include the sdmbar,
the spotted deer, the antelope, the Indian gazelle, and the i/l/gai. The
otter, hare, monkey, and wild cat are common. Snakes, both harmless
and venomous, abcjund. The chief game-birds are jungle-fowl, wild
duck, sni{)e, green pigeon, rock grouse, partridge, bustard, and florican.
The rivers are well stocked with fish.

Except in several parts situated in the north and north-east, the
climate of Mahi Kantha is fairly good. The greatest heat is generally
in the beginning of April, and the greatest cold in January. The tem-
perature rises to 110° in May and falls to 50° in January. The annual
rainfall at Idar averages 34 inches.


The earliest settlers, both rulers and ruled, were the tribes now-
known as Bhlls and Koll.s. The next comers were Rajputs, whose
arrival in Mah! Kantha seems to date from the
establishment of Arab power in Sind and the fall
of ^'allabhinagar in the eighth century. In the eleventh century the
Musalman destruction of Nagar Tatta in Sind drove out the Paramara
Rajputs ; and in the next two centuries the farther advance of Musal-
nian power forced many other Rajput tribes, such as the Paramaras of
Chandravati, the Rathors of Kanauj, and the Chavadas of Anhilvada,
'^outh into the Mahl Kantha hills. To the Chandravati Parmars belong
the houses of Mohanpur, Ranasan, Rupal, Varagam, and Bolundra ; to
the Kanauj Rathors belong the houses of Pol, Malpur, Valasna, and
Magori ; and to the Chavadas of Anhilvada belong the houses of
Mansa and Varsora. By intermarriage with the KolTs many of these
Rajputs lost caste, keeping only the names of the clans — Makvana,
Dabi, and Bariya — to which their forefathers belonged. In the fifteenth
century came the \'aghela houses of Pethapur and Posina (in Idar).

Jai Chand, the last Rathor Rajput sovereign of Kanauj, is said to
have left two sons ; the first founded the present family of Marwar, and
the second in 1257 established himself at Idar. For four centuries the
chiefs of the line bore the title of Rao of Idar; but the last independent
prince, Jagannath, was driven out by the Muhammadans in 1656.
(For further history of Idar, see Idar State.) The family retired into
the hills, fixed their head-quarters at Pol, and were known as the Raos
of that mountainous tract. The present chief is descended from them.
Danta is said to have been established in 809, but its history is mainly
a record of continual struggles with Idar. In the fifteenth century
MahT Kantha fell under the sway of the Ahmadabad Sultans, and on
their decline under that of the Mughal emperors. The Mughals only
collected occasional tribute by moving a large force into the territory.
The Marathas followed the Mughals, and every tw'o or three years sent
their mulk-giri or 'tribute-collecting army' into the region. In 181 1,
when the Maratha power was declining, the British Government stipu-
lated to collect and pay over to the Gaikwar the yearly tribute. In
1820 the British Government finally took over the management of the
MahT Kantha territory. They agreed to collect and pay over the
tribute free of expense to Baroda, w^hile Baroda was pledged not to
send troops into the country, or in any way to interfere with the
administration. Since 1820 disturbances have occurred more than
once. From 1833 to 1836 there were local tumults, which required
an armed force for their suppression. In 1857-8 a display of force
again became necessary, when the registration of arms and the dis-
arming of part of the people took place. A smart engagement was
fought at Taringa hill, and the town of Mondeti was carried by assault.



In 1867 a dislurbanrc arost- at Tosiiia. rcarc rt-mainecl iinljiokLii
until 1S81, wlien the Blnls of Pol rose against their chief and extorted
from him a settlement of their claims.

The population of Mahi Kantha at the last four enumerations was ;
(1872) 447.056, (1881) 517,485, (1891) 581,568, and p i^tjoj,^
(1901) 361,545. The enormous decrease of 38 per
cent, during the last decade was due tf> famine. Mahi Kantha con-
tains 6 towns and 1,723 villages, and supports 115 persons to the
.square mile. The towns are MAxsa, Io.vk, Pkihapur, Vadai.i,
Ahmadnagar, and S.^oka. Hindus form 90 per cent, of the total,
Muhammadans 5 per cent., Jains 3 per cent., and aboriginal tribes
number 6,367. Among the Hindus, Brahnians number 27,000, Raj-
puts 15,000, VanTs 9,000, Kunbis (cultivators) 68,000, Kolis (labourers)
92,000, Kumbhars (potters) 9,000 ; and among low castes, Chamars
15,000, and Dhers 14,000. Muhammadans are chiefly Moniins (4,000),
formerly weavers but now mostly cultivators, and Ghanchis (3,000) or
oilmen. The aboriginal tribes are chiefly BhTls (18,000), of whom
1 2, coo were entered as Hindus at the recent Censu.s, though probably
not differing in religion from their animistic brethren.

The Bhils are the most remarkable of the Mahi Kantha tribes.
They are hardy and enterprising, and as sagacious in daily conduct
as they are secret and speedy when on one of their robbing expeditions.
They speak a dialect composed of RajasthanT and Gujarat!, which is
extremely difficult to understand ; worship stones covered with red lead
and oil ; believe firmly in witchcraft, and are much addicted to witch-
swinging. Ordinarily among the Mahi Kantha Bhils the woman
chooses her own husband. At the Posina fair in the north, if a Bhil
succeeds in taking the woman he desires to marry across the river
without being discovered, the parents of both agree to the marriage.
If he is found out before he has crossed the river, the man is severely
handled by the father of the girl. The ver or Bhil vendetta usually
takes the form of cattle-lifting. No Bhil will disregard the kiiiki or cry
which proclaims that a tribesman is in trouble. Some Bhils, taking the
name of bhagats or ascetics, have become the followers of a Bhil
teacher, Kheradi Surmal. This teacher is a follower of the Hindu god
Rama (the seventh incarnation of \Mshnu), and forbids eating the flesh
of domestic animals, the drinking of liquor, and the committing of
offences. Like a high-caste Hindu, the hhagat does not partake of food
without bathing, puts a red mark on the brow, and ties a yellow strip
of cloth round the turban. The Bhils formerly treated these bhagats as
Outcastes, and caused them much annoyance. This the authorities put
a stop to. In 1880 the bhaga/s were estimated at 800, and not one of
their number had been accused of any crime. They are now no longer
regarded as outcastes, iind are increasing in number.

i8 Xr.lJII K A XT HA

The Census of 1901 sliowcd llial 59 per cent, of the entire population
are engaged in agriculture ; commercial and professional classes include
4 per cent, and i per cent, respectively.

The soil is of two kinds, sandy and black, both of which are rich.
The south and west of the Agency are level. Most
of the tillage is for kharlf or rainy season crops. Of
the total area of 3,125 square miles, more than 850 square miles, or
27 per cent., are cultivable. The chief crops grown are wheat, rice,
l/ajra, gram, cotton, sesamum, rapcseed, and sugar-cane. The Mahi
Kantha bullocks are smaller and weaker than those of North Gujarat ;
the buffaloes are also inferior. In the valley of the Saraswati there is
a large irrigated area. The waters of the Hathmati have been used
for irrigation, and the canal from that river is worked by Government.
Elsewhere irrigation is carried on chiefly from wells and ponds.

Though it contains large tracts of more or less wooded hills, chiefly
covered with bamboos, brushwood, and teak, Mahi Kantha has no
important revenue-yielding forests. The teak is generally uncared for,
and cut down before it grows to any size. The chief products are gum
and honey. At Ahmadnagar, Savgarh, and Parbada in the Idar State
a very superior calcaref)us sandstone is quarried, which is much used
for ornamenting public buildings.

Weaving is carried on at Ahmadnagar and Pethapur. The finest

weaving is the work of the Musalmans of the Momin sect. The. cloth

made by them is woven from silk and cotton yarn,

Trade an^ both country and English. The best dyers are at

communications, _ ,

Pethapur and Vasna, who colour and export coarse

English cloth. Since the famine many of the people engaged in local

industries have emigrated to the neighbouring cities to find work in

the mills. Idar, Ahmadnagar, and Pethapur were once famous for their

arms and cutlery. The manufacture of arms is now forbidden, and the

cutlery industry is declining.

Considerable trade was formerly carried on between Gujarat and
Mewar through Idar, Pol, and thence to Marwar. Pethapur and Vasna
export dyed cloth worth over a lakh annually. The chief local trade
centres are Mansa, Pethapur, Sadra, Idar, Ahmadnagar, and Katosan.
The most important fairs are those at Samalji and Brahmakhed.

The Mahi Kantha Agency is traversed by three railways, the i\hmad-
abad-Parantlj, the Gaikwar's Mehsana, and the Vijapur-Kalol-Kadi line.
The first passes by Dabhoda, Rakhial, and Ahmadnagar; the second
by Jotana and Katosan ; and the third has stations at Limbodra and
Radheja, serving the Mahi Kantha towns of Mansa, Pethapur, and
Sadra. There are 41 miles of metalled and 89 miles of unmetalled
roads in the Agency, the most important being the Idar-Ahmadnagar
road in Idar, the Danta-Ambaji road, the Sadra-nubhoda road, and the


Jlialod-Mndasa road in \'ar;lg:"lm. Avenues of trees are maintained for
3 miles. Post offices are situated at Idar, Ahmadnagar, Sadra, and
Mansa. Telegraph ottices have been recently opened at Sadra, Idar,
and Ahmadnagar.

Severe famines occurred during the last two centuries in 1791, 1813,
and 1899-1900, besides scarcities in 1825 and 1834. The recent famine
of 1 899-1900 was of an unprecedented nature and
pressed very severely on the people. Relief works I'amme.

were (-)])enetl and poorhouses were established. At the height of the
famine there were 37,249 persons on relief works and 6,251 in receipt
of gratuitous relief. Advances and remissions were granted, and the
talukdars were assisted with loans from Government for relief and
other purposes.

At the head of the Agency is the Political Agent, who has three

Assistants. The faliikas up to the third class are under his direct

supervision. The other faliikas and the five thanas

r ,^ ^ , 1 • 1 1 1 . 1 • Administration.

or groups ot petty estates are divided between his

Assistants. The Assistant Political Agent has also the charge of the
Agency police. The Personal Assistant has the charge of all estates
and taliikas attached by the P>ritish Government during the minority of
the holders or by reason of mismanagement. The Native Assistant has
charge of the Sadra civil station, the treasury, and the jail. Civil and
criminal justice is administered by the chiefs according to the class to
which they belong. The Maharaja of Idar is a first-class chief, exer-
cising full powers of jurisdiction, both civil and criminal (in the case of
capital offences committed by British subjects with the consent of the
Political Agent). The chiefs of the second class exercise jurisdiction in
civil cases up to Rs. 20,000 and full jurisdiction in criminal cases,
subject to confirmation by the Political Agent in capital cases, and with
the same limitation as Idar in regard to British subjects. Chiefs of the
third class exercise jurisdiction in civil cases up to Rs. 5,000, and in
criminal cases up to a penalty of two years' imprisonment and Rs. 1,000
fine, with a limitation in regard to British subjects j and so on for the
remaining four classes, with gradually decreasing powers. The Political
Agent is vested with the powers both of a Sessions Judge and of a Dis-
trict Magistrate. As far as practicable, the Civil and Criminal Procedure
Codes and the Indian Penal Code are in force, but in the wild Bhil
tracts on the Rajputana frontier all offences are dealt with under rules
based on local customs. In 1838 Captain (afterwards Sir James)
Outram instituted hoxdi^x panchayats for the settlement of the numerous
blood-feuds and disputes between the wild Bhils on the Mah! Kantha
and Rajputana frontiers. The system, which is one of money com-
pensation for crime, has been found very effective in [)reventing reprisals
and maintaining peace. In 1873 the rules were revised, providing fur


the regular assembling of the courts under a British officer as president,
aided by two assessors from each of the States concerned. In 1878
arrangements were concluded for the extradition of all criminals except
Bhils, and of bhopas or witch-finders among the Bhlls, between Mahl
Kantha and Rajputana. The commonest forms of offence are theft,
robbery, dacoity, cattle-stealing, hurt, and murder.

Formerly the land revenue was farmed, but it is now collected direct
from the cultivators. Except in a portion of the Idar State, no survey
settlement has been introduced. The entire revenues of the States
of Mahl Kantha in 1903-4 were returned at 11^ lakhs, the chief
sources being land revenue, excise, and judicial revenue. Prior to the
famine of 1 899-1 900 the gross revenues exceeded 12 lakhs. The
expenditure in 1903-4 amounted to 11 lakhs. The total tribute pay-
able by different States amounts to nearly \\ lakhs. The Gaikwar, as
superior overlord, receives more than a lakh ; but of this amount about
a lakh has been credited to Government towards police expenses since
the withdrawal of the contingent maintained by the Gaikwar. The
chief of Idar receives about Rs. 8,600, and other Gujarat States (who
receive tribute from minor allied feudatories in the Agency) Rs. 2,166.
The whole of the tribute is collected by the British Government
and handed over to the superior chiefs entitled to receive it. In
1878-9 measures were taken in most of the Mahi Kantha States
for the suppression of illicit stills, in which mahua liquor is manu-
factured ; but the cheapness of this litjuor is still the curse of the Mahl
Kantha States, as the Bhlls and KolTs cannot resist the temptation to

There are two distinct pcjlice forces in the Agency, the Agency police
and the State police. In 1903-4 the strength of the former was 121
mounted and 393 foot, and the latter consisted of 175 mounted and
915 foot. There are 39 jails and lock-ups, witii a daily average of
210 prisoners.

Local funds are collected and placed at the (lis|)osal of the Political
Agent. The receipts of the Agency Local funds in 1903 4 amounted
to more than one lakh, and the expenditure was Rs. 96,000. These
funds are known as the (r) Agency general fund, made up of contri-
butions from the States and judicial recei[)ts of the Agency courts, and
expended on education, justice, and vaccination : (2) .Sadra Bazar fund,
composed of taxes and octroi, and cxpendctl on education and con
servancy ; (3) Scott (Jollege fund, composed of subscriptions from the
States: and (4) the Jubilee Pauper Patient Endowment fund, com-
posed of subscriptions from the States and pri\ate persons tor the
benefit of helpless patients in the dispensary.

There is a ialiikddri school, known as the Scott College, at Sadra,
with 27 boys on the rolls, built at a cost of over half a lukh, for

MAHT.AiyCr 21

the sf)ns of the Rajas and tlie 'I'hakurs wlio are unable tf) attend iIh-
Rajkumar C'ollege in Kathiawar. The total number of schools in the
Agency in 1903-4 was 117, with an attendance of 6,315 pupils. The
total expenditure was Rs. 30,189. The 4 Bhil schools managed by
the missionaries are attended by over 117 pupils. Of the total popu-
lation, 22,641, or 6 per eent. ((2 per cent, males and 0-3 females), were
recorded as literate in 1901.

Nineteen dispensaries were maintained in 1903-4, at \vhii;h 59,228
patients were treated. The total cost was Rs. 22,605. About 10,000
persons were vaccinated in the same year,

Mahim Taluka. — Western ialnka of Thana District, Bombay,
lying between 19° 29"* and 19° 52' N. and 73° 39' and 73° \' E., with
an area of 409 square miles. It contains one town, Kelve-Mahim
(population, 5,699), the head-quarters ; and 187 villages. The population
in 190T was 82,562, compared with 85,841 in 1891. The density, 202
per square mile, is slightly below the District average. Land revenue
and cesses in 1903-4 amounted to more than 1-9 lakhs. A range of
forest-clad hills divides the taluka from north to south ; and in the
north-east corner are high hills with jagged peaks, of which Asheri is
the chief. In the south-east, Takmak peak rises to 2,000 feet above
sea-level. The land to the west of the central range is low, flat, and
broken by swamps and tidal creeks. The climate is pleasant on the
coast during the hot season ; but during the rest of the year both the
coast and the interior are notoriously malarious. The rainfall (63
inches) is much below the District average. The water-supply is fair.
The Vaitarna river, which flows through the taluka, is navigable by
native craft of about 25 tons. Hot springs, similar to those at Vajrabai
in Bhiwandi, are found at Sativli and are supposed to flow from the
same source.

Mahim. -Town in Thana District, Bombay. See Kelve-Mahim.
Mahim. — Town in the District and tahsll of Rohtak, Punjab. See

Mahlaing.— North-western township of jSIeiktila District, Upper
Burma, lying across the Meiktila-Myingyan railway, between 20^ 54'
and 21^ 19' N. and 95^ 28' and 95° 52' p:., with an area of 426 square
miles. The population was 55,868 in 1891, and 62,890 in 1901, dis-
tributed in 250 villages, Mahlaing (population, 2,251), a local trade
centre, situated on the railway near the Myingyan border, being the
head-quarters. The township, together with the adjoining Xatogyi
township of Myingyan District, constitutes the chief cotton-jjroducing
area in Burma, and consists of typical cotton country, dry and
undulating. In 1903-4 the area cultivated was 143 square miles,
including 31 square miles under cotton; and the land revenue and
thathameda amounted to Rs. 1,23,000.

2 2 .VAirroG

Mahlog, - One of the Simla Hill States, Punjab. See Mait.oc..

Mahmudabad Estate. — Large lalukdari estate in the Districts of
Sitapur, Bara Bank!, Kherl, and lAicknow, United Provinces, with a
total area of 397 square miles. The land revenue payable to Govern-
ment amounts to 3-5 lakhs, and cesses to Rs. 55,000, while the rent-
roll is 8-5 lakhs. The talukdar traces his descent from a Shaikh
named Nasrullah, who was Kazi of Baghdad, but came to India in
the twelfth century. His descendants for three generations held the
ofifice of Kazi of Delhi ; and about 1345 Kazf Xusrat-ullah, also known
as Shaikh Nathan, was sent by Muhammad bin Tughlak to reduce the
lihars in Para Bank!. He was successful and received a large estate.
Another member of the family, named Baud Khan, was a celebrated
soldier who did good service against Himu, the general of the Suris.
His son, Mahniud Khan, was also a distinguished leader, and founded
the town of Mahmudabad. The family maintained its position through-
out the Mughal period, and their estates were largely extended under
the Oudh rulers, Nawab Ali Khan received the title of Raja from
the king in 1850. A few years later he took a prominent part in the
Mutiny, but submitted early in 1858. His successor, Muhammad
Amir Hasan Khan, rendered important public services and was
rewarded by the recognition of the title of Raja and the grant of
a K.C.I.E. He was succeeded in May, 1903, by his son, Raja All
Muhammad Khan, a member of the Provincial Legislative Council.
The chief town in the estate is Mahmudabad.

Mahmudabad Tcwn. — Town in the Sidhaull tahsil of Sitapur
District, United Provinces, situated in 27° 18' N. and 81° 8' E., on
a metalled road from Sidhauli station on the Lucknow-Bareilly State
Railway. Population (1901), 8,664. It was founded by an ancestor
of the talukdar who owns the Mahmudabad Estate, and contains a
fine mansion, which is the family residence, and also a dispensary. A
large market is held twice a week, and brass vessels are manufactured.
There is a school with 58 pupils.

Mahoba Subdivision. — Subdivision of Hamiri)ur District, L'nited
Province^, including the Mahob.\ and Kui.pahar tahfils.

Mahoba Tahsil. — South-eastern tahs'il of Hamlrpur District, United
Provinces, conterminous with the pargajia of the same name, lying
between 25° 6' and 25° 38' N. and 79° 41' and 80° 9' E., with an area
of 329 square miles. Population fell from 74,200 in 1891 to 61,938
in 1901, the rate of decrease being the highest in the District. There
are 92 villages and one town, Mahoba (population, 10,074), the
tahsil head-quarters. The demand for land revenue in 1904-5 was
Rs. 75,000, and for cesses Rs. 13,000. The density of population,
188 persons per square mile, is the lowest in the District. In the
north some fairly good black soil is found : but scattered rocky hills


stud the southern portion, and the soil here is inferior and only a thin
layer conceals the underlying rock. Several considerable artificial
lakes made by the Chandels add a charm to the landscape and supply
water for irrigation. In 1903-4 the area under cultivation was 133
square miles, of which onl\- 5 were irrigated. Pan cultivated near
Mahoba has a great reputation, being exported to Calcutta and Bombay.

Mahoba To^wn. — Ancient town in Hamirpur District, United Pro-
vinces, and head-quarters of the iahs'il of the same name, situated in
25" 18' N. and 79° 53' !'>., on the road from Cawni)ore to Saugor and
also on the Great Indian Peninsula Railway. Population (1901), 10,074.
The name is derived from the great sacrifice or Mahotsava, said to have
been performed by Chandra A'armma, the traditional founder of the
Chandel dynasty, which ruled a large tract of country from here {see
Bundelkhaxd). Mahoba stands on the banks of the Madan Sagar,
a lake constructed by Madan ^'armma, the fifteenth king and the
most powerful of all the Chandel rulers. Architectural antiquities of
the period abound throughout the neighbourhood. The Ram Kund,
which is believed to mark the place where Chandra Varmma died,
is a tank of especial sanctity. The fort, now almost entirely in ruins,
commands a beautiful view over the hills and lakes. Several of the
latter, confined by magnificent masonry dams, have greatly silted up ;
but the Kirat Sagar and Madan Sagar still remain deep and clear sheets
of water. The shores of the lakes and the islands in their midst (one
of which in the Madan Sagar is connected with the mainland by a stone
causeway) are thickly covered with pillars and broken sculpture. The
numerous arms of the lakes embrace rocky tongues of land surmounted
by j)icturesque ruins. Three miles east of the town lies the Bijainagar
Sagar, the largest of all and more than four miles in circuit, while to