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provided Rs. 4,200 ; municipal fund, Rs. 3,600 ; fees, Rs. 3,600 ;
and the District cess fund, Rs. 2,400.

The District contains 2 hospitals, with accommodation for 34 in-
patients. In 1903 the number of cases treated was 12,846, of whom
512 were in-patients, and 383 operations were performed. The total
cost was Rs. 6,000, chiefly met from Local funds.


Vaccination is compulsory only in Mergui town. In 1903-4 the
number of persons successfully vaccinated was 4,388, representing
49 per 1,000 of population.

[Captain J. Butler, Mergui District Gazetteer ^\%'^^^)^\

Mergui Subdivision. — Subdivision of Mergui District, Lower
Burma, consisting of the Mergui, Palaw, Tenasserim, and Bokpvin

Mergui Townsliip. — Township of Mergui District, Lower Burma,
comprising the most important islands of the Archipelago and a small
piece of the mainland in the neighbourhood of Mergui. It extends
from 11° 25' to 12° 47' N. and from 97° 30' to 98° 58' E., with an area
of 1,879 square miles. The eastern islands, lying at the mouths of the
Tenasserim and Lenya rivers, are in muddy waters teeming with fish.
They support a large fishing population, but only King Island is culti-
vated. The population was 32,448 in 1891, and 43,070 in 1901, when
the township contained 152 villages and hamlets, besides Mergui
Town (population, 11,987), the head-quarters. Outside the town
90 per cent, of the people speak Burmese, the rest being Karens,
Chinese, or Salons. Of the Burman.s, nearly half are fishermen. The
cultivated area in 1903-4 was 64 square miles, of which about 41 square
miles were under rice, and the rest orchards and palm groves. The
land revenue in the .same year amounted to Rs. 94,400.

Mergui Town. — Head-quarters of the District of the same name in
Lower Burma, situated in 12° 26' N. and 98° 36' E., on the Tenasserim
coast, just outside the principal mouth of the Tenasserim river, and
protected by the little hill-island of Pataw, which helps to form a good
natural harbour, and farther out by a ring of islands to the south and
west, including King Island, the largest of the Mergui Archipelago.
The principal Government buildings are on a ridge parallel to the
coast, rising abruptly from the sea, and affording a view of the harbour
backed by the pagoda-crowned hills of Pataw and Patet on the islands
opposite, and the distant heights of King Island beyond. The inner
town is densely packed, the houses being huddled together without
much regard for sanitation, especially on the foreshore, where they are
built over the mud. In the suburbs the buildings are scattered among
orchards, but roads are lacking everywhere.

The population of the town fell from 9,737 in 1872 to 8,633 ""^ 1881,
but rose again to 10,137 i'^ \'i^\ and 11,987 in 1901. The Census,
however, is taken at a time when the fishermen and their families, who
number several thousands, are living 'jn the islands. During the mon-
soon they move into the town. The population is very mixed. To
a European resident most families seem to have either Chinese or
Indian blood in them ; but the census figures show only 1,400 Muham-
madans and 700 Hindus in the town, while the total number of persons


in the entire District, including the miners, returning themselves as
Chinese, is only 2,100. No doubt most of these are in the town, many
Chinese miners being imported for the monsoon only. Practically
no persons called themselves Siamese or Karens, but there must be a
very large admixture of these races in the population. No Malays
reside in the town.

The Burmese name of Mergui is written Mrit, but pronounced Beik.
The Siamese write and pronounce the name Marit. The origin of the
name used by Europeans (and also by Malays and natives of India)
is quite unknown. It is by no means certain that it is connected with
the Siamese name, for no plausible explanation of the second syllable
has ever been given.

Mergui was formed into a municipality in 1887. The recci})ts during
the ten years ending 1901 averaged Rs. 27,600. In 1903-4 the income
was Rs. 34,700, of which Rs. 14,700 was derived from a tax on houses
and lands, Rs. 9,200 from market dues, and Rs. 6,800 from lighting
and conservancy rates. The chief items of expenditure were con-
servancy (Rs. 5,800), lighting (Rs. 4,300), hospital (Rs. 3,900), roads
(Rs. 3,700), markets (Rs. 3,000), and education (Rs. 3,000). There are
two bazars, one of brick on the shore, and the other of wood and
thatch, behind the ridge which runs along the centre of the town.
The hospital, school, and municipal office are situated on tliis ridge,
near the courthouse and police station.

The Port fund has an income of Rs. 3,500 a year. Passengers and
cargo from foreign ports are landed at the main wharf, which was built
of stone in 1900, at a cost of Rs. 38,000. Cargo from Rangoon and
coast ports usually goes to a smaller wharf in the south of the town,
and there are in addition numerous private jetties. The total value of
the exports in 1903-4 was 16 lakhs, of which 11 lakhs went to Indian
ports and 5 lakhs to the Straits and England. The imports were valued
at 14 lakhs, of which iii lakhs came from Indian ports.

The principal exports are fish-paste and salted fish, sent mostly to
Rangoon and Moulmein, and mother-of-pearl shell, sent to the United
Kingdom ; cotton piece-goods and husked rice are the two principal
imports, coming mainly from Rangoon.

Merkara. — Taluk and town in Coorg. See Mercara.

Merta. — Head-quarters of a district of the same name in the State
of Jodhpur, Rajputana, situated in 26° 39' N. and 74° 2' E., about
9 miles south-east of Merta Road station on the Jodhpur-Bikaner Rail-
way. Population (1901), 4,361. The town was founded by Duda, the
fourth son of Rao Jodha, about 1488, and was added to by Rao
Maldeo, who about 1540 built the wall (now somewhat dilapidated)
and the fort called after him Malkot. In T562 Akbar took the place
after an ol)stinatc and sanguinary defence, but about twenty years later


he restored it to the Jodhpur chief, Raja Udai Singh. Merta was
at one time a great trade centre, and there are still many fine carved
stone houses ; it possesses a post office, an Anglo-vernacular school,
a hospital with accommodation for six in-patients, and a handsome
mosque built by Akbar. The principal manufactures are khas-khas
fans and screens, ivory work, country soap, and earthenware toys-
The country around Merta has been the scene of many a hard-fought
battle, and is covered with stone pillars erected to the memory of the
dead. Here in 1790 the Marathas under De Boigne inflicted a severe
defeat on the Rathors ; and on the dam of a tank called Dangolai is
the tomb of a French captain of infantry, who fell on that occasion.

Mertiparvat (or Mertigudda). — Mountain peak, 5,451 feet high, in
the south-west of Kadur District, Mysore, situated in 13° 18' N. and
75° 23' E. To the north it presents a majestic conical aspect. To-
wards the south-west it is connected with two lower heights, and is so
surrounded on all sides with high hills that its true elevation does not
appear except at a distance. The top is bare, but the sides are clothed
with fine forests, and where the ground admits, terraced for paddy-
fields. It is also called the Kalasa hill, being near to that place.

Merwara. — British District in Rajputana, lying between 25° 24'
and 26° 11' N. and 73° 45' and 74° 29' E., with an area of 641 square
miles and a population (1901) of 109,459. The .local name of the
District is Magra, which signifies * hills.'

Beyond the fact that between 1725 and i8r6 several unsuccessful
attempts were made by Rajputs and Marathas to subdue the country,
the history of Merwara is a blank up to 18 18, when the British appeared
on the scene. Captain Broughton, who accompanied the Maharaja
Sindhia in his march from Agra to Ajmer, 1809-10, describes it in his
Letters from a MaJwatta Caitip as

' the district of Miigruolee, celebrated for its hilly fastnesses and im-
penetrable jungles. It forms the boundary between the countries of
Marwar or Jodhpur and Mewar or Udaipur ; but the daring race of
robbers who inhabit it acknowledge the authority of neither. They
subsist by levying contributions on the inhabitants of the plains around,
when they are not checked by the presence of a still greater evil than
themselves, a large army of Marathas.'

The District was then an impenetrable jungle, inhabited by outlaws
and fugitives from surrounding States. The population, known under
the general name of Mers, originally comprised a very heterogeneous
mixture of castes : Chandela Gujars, Bhati Rajputs, Brahmans, and
Minas. It is said that Visaldev, the Chauhan king of Ajmer, subdued
the inhabitants, and made them drawers of water in the streets of
Ajmer. Mr. Wilder, the first British Superintendent of Ajmer, entered
into agreements with certain villages binding their inhabitants to abstain

3IO .VE/^JJ'ylJ^.I

from plunder. These pledges were disregarded : and in 1819 a force
was dispatched from Nasirabad which destroyed the offending villages,
and established police posts at Shamgarh, Lulwa, and Jhak. In
November, 1820, the police ofificers were murdered, and the country
had to be thoroughly subjugated. An expedition started again from
Nasirabad, and accomplished its purpose by the end of January, 182 1,
the campaign having lasted three months. It now became necessary
to make arrangements for the administration of this turbulent tract,
which was made up of three portions : British Merwara, Mewar-
IMerwara, and Marwar-Merwara. ("aptain Tod, the author of Raja-
sf/iaii, undertook the administration of the portion belonging to Mewar.
The Marwar portion was handed over to the Thakurs of adjoining
villages, and the British portion to the Thakurs of Masuda and Kharwa,
who were held responsible for its management, under the general
superintendence of Mr. Wilder. This arrangement was a complete
failure. The District was infested with murderous gangs, criminals
from one portion were sheltered in another, and the condition of
Merwara became worse than it had been prior to 1818. In 1823
and 1824 the British authorities entered into engagements with Udaipur
and jodhpur, and took over the management of the whole tract. From
time to time these treaties were renewed, and the whole District is
now, to all intents and purposes, British territory. The first officer
appointed to hold charge of the newly acquired tract was Captain Hall,
who in 1836 was succeeded by Colonel Dixon. In 1842 Colonel Dixon
became Superintendent of Ajmer also, and since then the two Districts
have been administratively conjoined. To Hall and Dixon belongs the
credit of reclaiming the inhabitants of Merwara from predatory habits
to a life of honest industry. Colonel Dixon died at Beawar in 1857,
having lived in Ajmer-Merwara for thirty-seven years. A system of
government, which may Avell be called paternal, was established by
these officers in Merwara, and was eminently suited to the needs of
the people. Civil and criminal administration was carried on by
a panchdyat or assembly of the elders of the village. If two-thirds
of the assembly were agreed, the question was settled. Prior to 185 1,
when a regular settlement was effected by Colonel Dixon, the revenue
was settled by an estimate of the crop, one-third of the i)roduce being
the share of the Government, excei)t in special cases. Police and
revenue duties were combined. The people themselves were made
responsible for protecting travellers and trade ; and to this day certain
villages provide men to guard some of the passes leading out of
Merwara, receiving in return a small remuneration from travellers.
In 1822 a corps, designated the Merwara Local Battalion, was raised,
which transformed a number of wild mountaineers into brave and
disciplined .soldiers, and exercised a beneficial effect on the jjacification

ME WAR 311

of the country. In 1858 a second baltaliun, known as tlie Mliair
Regiment, was raised for service in the Mutiny. In 1861 the two
battalions were amalgamated into one, 1,000 strong, called the Mhair
Military Police Battalion. This corps was in 187 1 retransferred, with
a strength of 712 men, to the regular military establishment. It served
in the Afghan ^Var of 1878-80, and is now the 44th Merwara Infantry,
with head-quarters at Ajmer. Colonel Dixon's administration was^
remarkable for the building of a large number of irrigation tanks.
The good effect of these works was enormous. Cultivation increased,
and the old villages, which had been perched on inaccessible peaks,
were deserted for places in the valleys where agricultural operations
could be carried on. It thus came about that the inhabitants of
Merwara, who had proclivities very similar to those of the Highland
caterans, and who lived by plundering in Mewar, Marwar, Kishangarh,
and Ajmer, were led into the paths of civilization. As the area under
cultivation and the produce of the lands increased, it became apparent
that something must be done to attract mahajans (traders) to Merwara,
to enable the people to reap the benefits of their industry. Colonel
Dixon, therefore, founded in 1835 the town of Nayanagar, better known
as Beawar, which is the commercial and administrative capital of the
District. By these measures a great social change was wrought in
Merwara, and Colonel Dixon had the satisfaction of seeing round him
a people whose wants had been supplied, whose grievances had been
redressed, and who are described as being ' most prosperous and highly
favoured.' The people of Merwara have not forgotten their benefactor.
They erected a monument to his memory in the town which he built.

For further information see Ajmer-Merwara.

Mesana. — Tdluka and town in Kadi prdnt, Baroda State. See

Mettancheri.— Town in Cochin State, Madras. See Mattan-


Mettupalaiyam. — Village in the District and taluk of Coimbatore,
Madras, situated in 11° 19' N. and 76° 58' E., on the banks of the
Bhavani at the foot of the Nilgiri Hills. Population (1901), 10,223.
Being the terminus of the Nilgiri branch of the Madras Railway and
the starting-point of the ghat road and rack railway which lead up
those hills, it is a place of some importance and a deputy-Za/mZ/^r
is stationed here. Owing to its situation, it is notoriously hot and
unhealthy. A tannery owned by a native firm employs 60 hands, and
turns out annually nearly 85 tons of leather, valued at over Rs. 50,000.
There are more than a hundred dolmens in the fields round the place.

Mevali. — Petty State in Rewa Kantha, Bombay.

Mevasa. — Petty State in Kathiawar, Bombay.

Me\var.— Another name for the Udaipur State in Rajputana.



'l"hc word Mcwar is ti corruplcd Ibrni of ihe Sanskrit Med Pal, mean-
ing the country of the Meds or Meos, a tribe now numerous in Ahvar,
Bharatpur, Gurgaon, &c. See Mew at.

Mewar (or Udaipur) Residency.— One of the eight Political
Charges into which Rajputana is divided. Situated in the south of the
Agency, it consists ^ of the four States of Udaipur, Banswara, Dijngar-
PUR, and Partabgarh, and lies between 23° 3' and 25° 58' N. and 73° i'
and 75° 49' E. It is bounded on the north by the British District of
Ajmer-Merwara and the Shahpura chiefship : on the north-east by
Jaipur and Bundi ; on the east it touches Kotah and an outlying
district of Tonk, but the greater part of this boundary is formed by
Central India States ; to the south are several States belonging to
either Central India or the Bombay Presidency ; while on the west the
Aravalli Hills separate it from Sirohi and Jodhpur. The head-quarters
of the Resident are at Udaipur and those of his Assistant ordinarily at
Dungarpur. The population at the three enumerations was : (1881)
1,879,214, (1891) 2,310,024, and (1901) 1,336,283. The figures for
the two earlier years are, however, unreliable, as, except in Partabgarh,
the Bhils who form the majority of the population in the south were
not counted, a rough guess only being made of their numbers. But,
though the census figures for 1881 and 1891 may have been too high,
the loss of population during the last decade was certainly very great,
due to the famine of 1899- 1900 and the severe epidemic of fever
which immediately followed it. In regard to area and population, the
Residency stands third among the eight political divisions of Raj-
putana, while the density is nearly 79 persons per square mile, as
compared with 76 for the whole Agency. Of the total population in
1901, Hindus formed nearly 69 per cent., Animists (mostly Bhils) 21,
and Jains about 6 per cent. The following table gives details re-
garding the four States making up the Residency : — ■


Area in square


Normal land

revenue (k/ia/sa)^

in thousands

of rupees.

Udaipur .
Banswara .













There are altogether 8,359 villages and 17 towns. Of the latter,
only two have more than 10,000 inhabitants: namely, Udaipur City
(45,976) and Biiii.wara (10,346).

' It has recently been decided to establish n new Agency, comprising the Slates of
Banswara, Dungarpur, and Partabgarh.

ME WAT 313

Mewat. — An ill-clefincd Iract lying south of J )elhi, and including
part of the British Districts of Muttra and Gurgaon, and most of
Alwar and a little of Bharatpur State. It takes its name from the
Meos, who appear to have been originally the same as the Minas of
Rajputana, but say that they have not intermarried with these since
the time of Akbar. The origin of the name Meo is disputed, some
deriving it from Mewat, which is said to be the Sanskrit mlnd-vatl,
' rich in fish,' while the Meos themselves derive it from maheo, a word
used in driving cattle. Mina is said to come from Amina Meo or
' pure ' Meo, a term applied to those who did not become Musalmans.
The Hindu Meos and Minas claim to be Rajputs, but are not so
regarded by other Hindus, and it is certain that outsiders have often
been admitted in the past. Their tribal constitution varies in different
places. The Muhammadan Meos call themselves Mewatis. In 1901
there were 10,546 Meos and Minas in the United Provinces^, chiefly in
the Districts of Meerut (916), Bulandshahr (4,745), Agra (906), Bijnor
(1,263), Budaun (884), and Moradabad (1,070); and 51,028 Mewatis,
chiefly in the Meerut (22,576), Agra (7,316), and Rohilkhand (16,129)
Divisions. The large number in Rohilkhand, which was never part of
Mewat, is explained by a migration owing to famine in Mewat in
1761-2. The Meos of Rajputana numbered 168,596, or nearly 2 per
cent, of the total population. Practically all are Muhammadans, and
they are found in thirteen out of eighteen States. In Alwar there were
113,142, or over 13 per cent, of the population; and in Bharatpur
51,546, or 8 percent. The Khanzada subdivision is represented by 9,317
members, most of whom are in Alwar. The Mewatis have preserved
many Hindu customs, such as exogamous rules and Hindu festivals.

According to tradition, the Meos first crossed the Jumna in the
period of anarchy which succeeded the invasion by Mahmud of Ghazni
in 1018-9. The great Rajput clans of Bulandshahr and Etawah state
that they dispossessed the Meos at the order of Prithwi Raj of Delhi
towards the end of the twelfth century. Throughout the period of
Muhammadan rule the Meos were the Ishmaelites of their own country
and of the Upper Doab, though harried again and again by the kings
of Delhi, from Nasir-ud-din Mahmud (1259) to Babar (1527). During
the troubled times of Timur's invasion (1398) Bahadur Nahar, who
founded the subdivision of Mewatis called Khanzadas, members of
which were, for many years, rulers of Mewat, was one of the most
powerful chiefs in this part of India. Under Akbar the tract was
divided between the sarkdrs of Alwar and Tijara in the Siibah of
Delhi. The rule of the Mewatis was subsequently challenged by the
Jats, who had already risen to importance before the death of Aurang-
zeb in 1707, and consolidated their power in Southern Mewat in the
first half of the eighteenth century ; and from this time the history of

314 ME WAT

McwaL merges in thai of Alwar aiul l;li.iiat|>ur. 'I'he Mcos and
Mewatis, however, retained their character tor turbulence; and towards
the end of the eighteenth century travelHng in the Upper and Central
Doab was unsafe owing to armed bands of Mewati horsemen. They
gave much trouble to Lord Lake's forces in the Maratha War of 1803,
while in the Mutiny they and the Gujars were conspicuous for their
readiness to take advantage of disorder.

[W. Crooke, Tribes and Castes of the North- ]Vestern Provinces and
Ondh, vol. iii, p. 485 et seq., where full authorities are quoted.]

Mhasvad. — Town in the Man tdluka of Satara District, Bombay,
situated in 17° 38' N. and 74° 48' E., 51 miles east of Satara town, on
the road to Pandharpur. Population (1901), 7,014. Six miles south-
east of the town, at Rajewadi in Aundh State, is the great Mhasvad
irrigation lake, covering an area of 6 square miles. An ancient temple
of Nath stands near the western entrance of the town. Its courtyard,
in which Puranas are read daily by a Brahman, contains an inscription
and a black stone elephant, which is greatly venerated. A large fair
is held in December, at which cattle and blankets are sold. The
municipality, constituted in 1857, had an income during the decade
ending 1901 averaging Rs. 4,700, In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 5,300.
The town contains a dispensary.

Mhow [Mau). — British cantonment in the Indore State, Central
India, situated in 22° 33' N. and 75° 46' E., on the southern boundary
of the Malwa plateau, and on the Ajmer-Khandwa branch of the
Rajputana-Malwa Railway. Population (1901), 36,039. It stands
on a somewhat narrow- ridge of trap rock, with an average elevation of
about 1,800 feet, the highest point near the barracks of the British
infantry being 1,919 feet above sea-level. The ridge falls away abruptly
on the south and east, but slopes away gradually on the west, forming
a broad ])lain used as a brigade parade ground. Mhow was founded by
Sir John Malcolm in 18 18, in accordance with the conditions laid down
in the seventh article of the Treaty of Mandasor {see Indore State),
and remained his head-quarters till 1821 while he held general political
and military charge in Central India. In 1857 the garrison at Mhow
consisted of a regiment of native infantry, the wing of a regiment of
native cavalry, and a battery of field artillery, manned by British
gunners but driven by natives. An outbreak took place on the
evening of July i, but order was rapidly restored, and only a few lives
were lost, the I'^uropeans taking refuge within the fort. The canton-
ment is now the head-quarters of the Mhow division in the Western
Command. The garrison consists of one regiment of British cavalry,
two batteries of horse artillery, one regiment of British infantry, one
ammunition column, and two regiments of Native infantry.

The population in 1872 was 17,640; in r88i it was 15,896, the

MI A XI 315

decrease being due to the withdrawal of the lal:)Ourers employed in con-
structing the Rajputana-Mahva Railway in 1875; in 1891, 28,773; and
in 1901, 28,457. Mhow has no export trade properly speaking, but the
imports are considerable. The total receipts of the cantonment fund
in 1903-4 amounted to 1-4 lakhs, including receipts from octroi
(Rs. 50,000), chaukldari tax (Rs. 22,000), grants-in-aid (Rs. 31,000),
and excise (Rs. 18,000). The chief heads of expenditure were medical
and conservancy (Rs. 31,000 each), police (Rs. 19,000), public works
(Rs. 17,000), general administration and collection of revenue
(Rs. 10,000), water-supply (Rs. 3,000), and education (Rs. 1,400).
The sanitary condition of the cantonment has been much improved of
late years, a regular water-supply having been completed in 1888. The
Cantonment Magistrate exercises powers as a District Judge and Judge
of the Small Cause Court, his Assistant being a magistrate of the second
class and a judge of the Small Cause Court for petty suits. Appeals
from the Cantonment Magistrate lie to the First Assistant Agent to the
Governor-General, who is Sessions Judge and first Civil Appellate
Court, the Agent to the Governor-General being the High Court. The
police, who belong to the Central India Agency force, number 107 men

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