Great Britain. India Office.

Imperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 17) online

. (page 4 of 51)
Online LibraryGreat Britain. India OfficeImperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 17) → online text (page 4 of 51)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


the south-west lies the Rahilya Sagar, on the bank of which a large
ruined temple is situated. Mahoba was probably the civil capital of
the Chandels, while their greatest fortress was at Kalix.iar, and their
religious cai)ital at Khajraho. After a rule of more than three
centuries Parmal was conquered by Prithwi Raj of Delhi in 1182, and
twenty years later Mahoba fell into the hands t)f Kutb-ud-din. after
which little is heard of the Chandels. In the seventeenth and eigh-
teenth centuries this part of the country was ruled by the Bundelas.
The Musalman buildings of the town are exclusively constructed from
Hindu materials. A mosque bears an inscription which assigns its
foundation to the year 1322 in the reign of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlak.
The town contains a small cotton-press, a dispensary, and a mission
orphanage. It is administered under Act XX of 1856, with an income
of about Rs. 3,500. There is an increasing trade in local produce.
The tahslli school has 164 ])upils.

Mahraj. — A collection of four large villages in the Moga tahsil of



24 MAHRAJ

Ferozepore District, Punjab, situated in 30° 19' N. and 75° 14' E.
It is the head-quarters of a pargana, held ahnost entirely by the
Mahrajki section {al) of the Sidhu Jats, the clan of which the Phulkian
families of Patiala, Xabha, and Jind are another section. A great
excavation, from which was taken earth to build the town, is regarded
as a sacred spot, offerings being made monthly to the guardian priest.
The Mahrajkians, who own the surrounding country as Jdgirddrs, form
a distinct community ; physically robust, but litigious, insubordinate,
and addicted to excessive opium-eating. Population (1901), 5,780.
The place possesses a vernacular middle school and a Government
dispensary.

Mahroni. — South-eastern tahsil of Jhansi District, United Provinces,
comprising the parganas of Banpur, Mahroni, and Madaora, and lying
between 24^ \i' and 24° 58' N. and 78° 30' and 79° o' E., with an area
of 887 square miles. Population fell from 117,047 in 1891 to 103,851
in 1 90 1.. There are 300 villages and one town, Mahroni, the tahsil
head-quarters (population, 2,682). The demand for land revenue in
1903-4 was Rs. 65,000, and for cesses Rs. 12,000. The density of
population, 1 1 7 persons per square mile, is the lowest in the District.
In the south a confused mass of hills marks the commencement of the
Vindhyan plateau. The drainage is carried off by the Dhasan and
jamnl, tributaries of the Betwa, which in turn form part of the eastern
boundary. Below the hills lies a tract of black soil, gradually turning
to red in the north and east. The former has largely deteriorated
owing to the spread of kdns {Saccharum spontaneiun). Irrigation is
practised in the red soil, especially towards the north. In 1903-4
the area under cultivation was 233 square miles, of which 22 were
irrigated, almost entirely from wells.

Mahsuds. — The country of the Mahsuds lies in the south 01
^^'a/i^istan, North-West Frontier Province. It is hemmed in on the
north and west by the Utmanzai Darwesh Khels, on the south-west
by the Ahmadzai of Wana, and on the east by the Bhittannis. On the
south of the Mahsud country a tract on both the north and south side
of the Gonial Pass is devoid of permanent inhabitants. The per-
manent neighbours of the MahsCids in this direction are the Shiranis,
whose countrj' lies south of the tract referred to. 'I'he Mahsud country
hardly comes in contact with British India; all the i)asses from it
which debouch on to British territory pass through the country of the
Bhittannis. The (iomal Pass is the sole exception to this rule, and
several routes lead from it to the Mahsud country. This })ass has
always been considered as belonging to the Mahsuds, though actually
it is outside the limits of their country. 'J'he Mahsuds renounced their
claim U) raid in the i)ass, and undertook to keep it safe in consideration
of the allowances and service granted in the beginning of 1890 at



MAHSUDS 25

Apozai (Fort Sandeiiian), which were revised after the attack made by
them on the DeUmitation Commission at Wana in November, 1894.

The Mahsud country is a tangled mass of mountains and hills of
every size, shape, and bearing, and is intersected in all directions by
ravines generally flanked through their course by high hills. At first
sight the whole region appears to be occupied by hills and mountains
running irregularly in all directions : but there are well-defined ranges
which protect the interior of the country by double barriers, and make
penetration into it a matter of extreme difficulty.

The Mahsuds claim descent from Mahsud, son of Mahmud, son of
Khizri, son of ^\■azlr, and are divided into three main branches: namely,
Alizai, Shaman Khel, and Bahlokai, each of which is subdivided
into countless sections and sub-sections. The fighting strength of the
three branches is estimated at— Alizai, 4,042 ; Shaman Khel (including
Urmars), 2,466 ; and Bahlolzai, 4,088 : a total of 10,596. Notwith-
standing the differences in their fighting strengths, the three branches
divide the tribal profits and liabilities into three equal shares among
themselves.

The Punjab (lovernment described the Mahsuds in 188 1 as
follows : —

* Notorious as the boldest of robbers, they are more worthily admired
for the courage which they show in attack and in hand-to-hand fighting
with the sword. From the early days of British rule in the Punjab few
tribes on the frontier have given greater or more continuous trouble,
and none have been more daring or more persistent in disturbing the
peace of British territory. It is no exaggeration to say that for the first
twenty years after annexation not a month passed without some serious
crime, such as cattle-lifting, robbery accompanied by murder, being
committed by armed bands of marauders from the Mahsud hills.'

The description is still applicable, though the behaviour of the tribe
has been good since the blockade of 1901.

The redistribution of the allowances granted to the tribe in 1895,
after the close of the Mahsud expedition, was made with special
reference to the reorganization of the whole scheme of inaliks. The
principle which underlies the new arrangement was that the power and
influence of a limited number of leading maliks in the tribe, and more
particularly in their res[)ective sections, should be enhanced by every
possible means, so as in the first place to enable them to control theii
respective sections as effectively as i)ossible, and secondly to enable
flovernment to deal with a definite number of tribal representatives.
'J'he plan broke down completely, for Government was unable to
protect the irm/iks, and the i/ia/iks consequently were reluctant to
exert such authorit\ as they had. The state of the border went from
had to worse between 1895 and 1900, when the tribe was put under



?6 MAHSUDS

strict blockade. 'I'his resulted in the submission of the Mahsuds in
1901, when a coniplele redistribution of allowances was made. The
tribe has since restrained its young men from raiding : but fanatical
nmrders by Mahsuds, which were previously unknown, have given
them an unen\iable notoriety.

Mahudha. — Town in the Nadiad tdliika of Kaira District, Bombay,
situated in 22° 49' N. and 72° 56' E. Population (190 1), 8,544.
Mahudha is said to have been founded bj- a Hindu prince named
Mandhata about two thousand years ago. The municipality was
established in 1889, the average income during the decade ending 1901
being Rs. 8,000. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 8,300. The town
contains a dispensary and four schools (three, including an English
school, for boys and one for girls), attended l)y 377 male and 70
female pupils respectively.

Mahudi. — Hill in the head-quarters subdivision of Hazaribagh
District, Bengal, situated in 24° 12' N. and 85° \2 E., about 8 miles
from the southern face of the Hazaribagh plateau. The hill is 2,437
feet above the sea, falling steeply on every side for 800 feet. Four
rock-cut temples are situated on the summit.

Mahul. — North-western tahsll (jf Azamgarh District, United Pro-
vinces, comprising the parganas of Mahul, Kauria, and Atraulia, and
lying between 2^"" 48' and 26° 27' N. and 82° 40' and 83" 7' E., with
an area of 436 square miles. Population fell from 344,723 in 1891 to
312,234 in 1 90 1. There are 947 villages and two towns, but neither
of them has a population of over 5,000. The demand for land revenue
in 1903-4 was Rs. 3,63,000, and for cesses Rs. 58,000. The density
of population, 716 persons per square mile, is about the District
average. The tahsll is divided into two portions by the Kunwar Nadi.
North of this river the soil is a light loam varying to sand, while the
southern part is chiefly clay and is intersected by swamps and small
channels. The largest river is the Tons. The area under cultivation
in 1898-9 was 251 square miles, of which 149 were irrigated. Wells
supply more than half the irrigated area, and tanks, swamps, and small
streams the remainder.

Mahuva. -Town and port in the Stale of Bhaunagar, Kathiawar,
Bombay, situated in 21^ 5' N. and 71° 40' E. Population (1901),
17,549. The fort is 2 miles from the mouth of the bay, the east side
of which is formed by an island known on this side as Jegri or Jigi
Bluff, with a 2 fathoms shoal extending for nearly a mile. North of
this shoal the water is deei). The town is 2 miles to the north of the
port and is a large place, having several buildings and a temple, (iood
water may be had at a well on Jegri island. In the neighbourhood
is a large swamp extending for several miles to the north-east. The
islands that front this swamp are about 60 feet high and form a



MAIHAR STATE 27

continuuuh line fiuiii ihc buy to Kutpur Bluff, 12 miles distant from
Jcgri. Mahuva, the ancient name of which was Moherak, stands on the
Malan river, 55 miles south-west of Bhaunagar. The town contains
a cotton-press, and is the scene of four annual fairs attended by about
5,000 people. On Jegri Bluff is a lighthouse, 99 feet high, with a fixed
white catadioptric light of the fourth order visible from 13 miles. The
soil of Mahuva is very fruitful and the mangoes grown here rival those
of Bombay. The betel-vine is also cultivated. Coco-nut palms are
plentiful. Mahuva merchants are generally both wealthy and enter-
prising. The principal export trade is in cotton sent to Bombay.
There are good turner.s, who manufacture cots or dhoiias, cradles, and
many kinds of wooden toys.

Maibang. — Ruins in the North Cachar subdivision of Cachar Dis-
trict, Eastern Bengal and Assam, situated in 25° 17' N. and 93° 9' E.,
between two spurs of the Barail Hills on the north side of the water-
shed. When the Kachari Rajas were compelled by the aggressions
of the Ahoms and the Nagas to abandon their capital at Dimapur, and
move farther into the hills, they settled at Maibang : but during the
first half of the eighteenth century they left that place, and after
crossing the Barail, established their court at Khaspur in the plains
of Cachar. In 1882 a man named Sambhudan took up his abode at
Maibang, and announced that he had been commissioned by Heaven
to restore the Kachari kingdom. The Deputy-Commissioner, Major
Boyd, proceeded with a force of armed police to arrest him ; but
Sambhudan evaded him and burnt the subdivisional station at Gun-
jong, which had been left undefended. He then returned and attacked
the Deputy-Commissioner. The attack was easily repulsed, but Major
Boyd received a severe cut in the hand, which caused his death from
tetanus a few days later. Sambhudan was mortally wounded while
endeavouring to escape from the police. Maibang is now a station
on the Assam-Bengal Railway. Groves of bamboos and the remains
of irrigation works show that the place must originally have been
densely peopled, but few masonry ruins are now to be seen.

Maihar State. — A sanad State in Central India, under the Political
Agent in Baghelkhand, lying between 23° 59' and 24° 24' N. and
80° 23' and 81° o' E., with an area of about 407 sc^uare miles. It is
bounded on the north by the State of Nagod ; on the east by Nagod
and Kewali ; on the west by Ajaigarh ; and on the south by the
Jubbulpore District of the Central Provinces. Maihar is watered by
the Tons, which traverses it in a north-easterly direction. The trat:t
is composed mainly of sandstones of the lower Bandair (Bhander)
series, in great part concealed by alluvium. At Jukhehi in the south
of the State, the strike of the Kaimur range is displaced, producing the
only important gap in the whole length of the Vindhyans. Advantage

VOL. XVII. c



28 MAIHAR STATE

was taken of this in constructing the great Deccan road and the branch
of the East Indian Raihvay between Jubbulpore and Allahabad.

The chiefs of Maihar claim descent from the Kachwaha Rajput clan,
a claim, however, which is not admitted, and has indeed little to
support it. The family apparentl}- migrated from Alwar in the seven-
teenth or eighteenth century, and obtained land from the Orchha chief.
Thakur Bhim Singh later on entered the service of Chhatarsal of
Panna. His grandson, Beni Singh, the founder of the State, rising
from a low position, finally became minister to Raja Hindupat, who
about 1770 granted him the territory now forming ISlaihar, which had
originally been a part of Rewah. BenI Singh was killed in 1788. He
has left many monuments of his liberality throughout Bundelkhand in
numerous tanks and buildings. He was succeeded by his son Rajdhar,
who, together with the other chiefs in this region, was conquered by
All Bahadur of Banda early in the nineteenth century. Ali Bahadur,
however, restored the State to Durjan Singh, a younger son of Beni
Singh. In 1806 and 1814 Durjan Singh received sanads from the
British Government, confirming him in the possession of his lands.
On his death in 1826 the State was divided between his two sons,
Bishan Singh, the elder, succeeding to Maihar, while Prag Das, the
younger, obtained Bijai-Raghogarh. The latter State was confiscated
in 1858 owing to the rebellion of the chief. The present chief,
Raghubir Singh, succeeded as a minor in 1852, and obtained adminis-
trative powers in 1865. The title of Raja was conferred on him in
1869 as an hereditary distinction, and a personal salute of 9 guns was
granted in 1877 and made hereditary in 1878.

The region in which Maihar lies is of considerable archaeological
interest, but has not as yet been fully investigated. Remains are
numerous throughout the State, especially of temples in the mediaeval
style of the eleventh to the thirteenth centur)-.

The population has been: (1881) 71,709, (1891) 77,546, and (1901)
63,702, giving a density of 156 persons per square mile. Hindus
number 49,740, or 78 per cent.; Animists (chiefly Gonds), 11,876,
or 19 per cent.; and Musalmans, 2,009. The State has one town,
Maihar (population, 6,802), the capital; and 210 villages. Baghel-
khandi is spoken by 50 per cent, of the inhabitants, and Bundelkhandl
by 47 per cent. Agriculture supports about 90 per cent, of the total
population.

The soil, excei)t in the hills, is fertile and bears good crops. Of the
total area, 110 square miles, or 27 per cent., are under cultivation,
of which 70 square miles are irrigable; 43 square miles are cultivable
but not cultivated ; and the rest consists of forest and waste. The
forests, which cover a large area of the State, are not as yet under
systematic management. Kodon and rice each occupy 20 square miles.



MAIKALA 29

or 36 per cent, of the cropped area ; gram, 12 square miles ; and wheat,
8 square miles.

Formerly a considerable iron-smelting industry existed, but this has
now almost entirely disappeared. Want of good internal communica-
tions has made the development of trade difficult, though a certain
amount of timber is exported.

The chief has full powers in all matters of general administration
and in civil judicial cases. In criminal cases he has power to inflict
sentences of imprisonment not exceeding two years. The total revenue
from all sources is about Rs. 75,000, of which Rs. 55,000 is derived
from land revenue. The principal item of expenditure is Rs. 32,000
on general administration, including the chief's establishment. The
British rupee has been current since 1849. A small force of foot and
horse, amounting to 150 men with 7 serviceable guns, is maintained.
At the Census of 1901, only i per cent, of the population were able to
read and write. The State contains eleven schools and one hospital.
Vaccination has made little progress, owing to the strong prejudice
shown by the inhabitants.

Maihar Town. — Capital of the State of the same name in Central
India, situated in 24° 16' N. and 80^ 46' E., on the East Indian Rail-
way, at the foot of the Bandair range, 1,980 feet above the level of the
sea. Population (1901), 6,802. It is a well-built place, many of the
houses being constructed of the local sandstone. Outside the present
site is a fort built in the sixteenth century by Raja Bir Singh Deo
of Rewah, mainly from remains of Hindu temples, which is used as
a residence by the chief. A large number of ruined shrines are
scattered round the town, and traces of old foundations exist which
must have belonged to a large place. There are tw^o lakes, one to
the north-west and the other to the south-west of the town. Maihar
contains a British post-office, a school, and a dispensary.

Maikala (or Mekala). — Range of hills in the Central Provinces and
Central India, lying between 21° w' and 22° 40' N. and 80° 46'
and 81° 46' E. It is the connecting link between the great hill systems
of the VixDHVAS and Satpuras, forming respectively the northern and
southern walls of the Narbada valley. Starting in the Khairagarh State
of the Central Provinces, the range runs in a general south-easterly
direction for the first 46 miles in British territory, and then, entering
the Sohagpur pargaiia of Rewah State, terminates 84 miles farther at
Amarkantak, one of the most sacred places in India, where the source
of the Narbada river is situated. Unlike the two great ranges which it
connects, the Maikala forms a broad plateau of 880 square miles in
extent, mostly forest country inhabited by Gonds. The elevation of
the range does not ordinarily exceed 2,000 feet, but the Lapha hill,
a detached peak belonging to it, rises t(j 3,500 feet. The range

c 2



30 MAIKALA

is best known for the magnificent forests of sal {Shorea robiistd) which
clothe its heights in many places. These are mainly situated in
zamlnddri estates or those of Feudatory chiefs, and hence are not
subject to any strict system of conservation, and have been much
damaged by indiscriminate fellings. The hills are mentioned in ancient
Hindu literature as the place of Maikala Rishi's penance, though
Vyasa, Bhrigu, Agastya, and other sages are also credited with having
meditated in the forests. Their greatest claim to sanctity lies, however,
in the presence upon them of the sources of the Narbada and Son
rivers. The Markandeya Purana relates how, when Siva called succes-
sively on all the mountains of India to find a home for the Narbada,
only Maikala offered to receive her, thus gaining undying fame ; and
hence the Narbada is often called Maikala-Kanya, or ' daughter of
Maikala.' The Mahanadi and Johilla, as well as many minor streams,
also have their sources in these hills. Local tradition relates that in
the fourth and fifth centuries a. d., during the Gupta rule, this plateau
was highly populated ; and the Ramayana and the Puranas mention
the Mekhalas as a tribe of the Vindhya range, the former work placing
them next the Utkalas or people of Orissa. The Rewah State has
lately begun to open up the plateau. Iron ore is met with in some
quantity, and is still worked at about twenty villages to supply the
local demand.

Mailan. — Hill in the Surguja State, Central Provinces, situated in
23° 31' N. and 83^^ 37' E., and rising to a height of 4,024 feet above
sea-level.

Mailar. — Village in the Hadagalli taluk of Bellary District, Madras,
situated in 14° 48' N. and 75° 42' E. Population (1901), 1,722. It is
famous throughout the District for the annual festival held at its temple
every February, at which a cryptic sentence containing a prophecy
{kdratiikam) regarding the prospects of the coming year is uttered.

The temple is dedicated to Siva in his form of Mallari. The story
is that a demon called Mallasura (' tlie demon Malla') and his brother,
having by severe penances extracted from Brahma a promise that they
should never be harmed by any being in any form then existing, began
to harass the rishis. The gods were appealed to ; and Siva put on
a new form, so as to evade Brahma's promise, and taking with him
forces to the number of seven crores, also in new forms (such as dogs)
which had never before served in an army, warred with Mallasura and
his brother for ten long days and at length slew them both with his
bow and overcame their followers. The gods and rishis were in
transports at his triumph, and joined in foretelling unbroken prosperity
as the fruit of it. The ceremonies and rites at the festival form
a curious sort of miracle-play representative of this war in heaven
and its result. The [)ilgrims to the festival go about shouting Elukoti !



MAILOG 31

Elukoti ! ('seven crores ! ') instead of the name of the god as usual ;
and the goravns, the special name for the men (and women) who have
dedicated themselves to this temple in the curious manner prevalent in
the western td/iiks, dress themselves up in blankets and run about on
all fours, barking and pretending that they are Siva's army of dogs.
After residing for ten days, the period during which Siva fought with
Mallasura and his brother, on a hillock outside the village, the god
returns. He is met half-way by the goddess, his wife, who comes to
congratulate him on his success, and the two remain for some time at
the place of meeting. The expectation of good times to follow the
victory is represented by the prophecy or kdranikam. It is pronounced
on this tenth day, and all the thousands of people present crowd round
the place where the god and goddess have halted. A huge wooden
bow, about 10 feet long, symbolic of that with which Siva slew Mall-
asura, is brought and placed on end. A Kuruba (the same man has
performed the ceremony for many years in succession) who has fasted
for the past week steps forward and receives the benediction of the
temple manager. He then climbs partly up the bow, being supported
by those nearest him. For a minute or two he looks in a rapt manner
to the four points of the compass, then begins shuddering and trembling
as a sign that the divine afflatus is upon him, and calls out ' Silence ! '
The most extraordinary and complete silence immediately falls upon
the great crowd of pilgrims, every one waiting anxiously for the
prophecy. After another minute's pause and again gazing upwards
to the heavens, the Kuruba pronounces the word or sentence which
foretells the fate of the coming year, invariably following it with the
word Parak ! meaning ' Hark ye,' or 'Take ye note.' It is stated that
in the year before the Mutiny the prophecy was ' they have risen against
the white-ants.' Latterly the sentence has either been of exceedingly
cryptic meaning, or has related to the prospects of the crops.

Mailog {MahIog).~Ox\Q. of the Simla Hill States, Punjab, lying
between 30° 52' and 31° 5' N. and 76° 52' and 76° 58' E., with an
area of 43 square miles. Population (1901), 8,968. Patta, its capital,
lies 30 miles south-west of Simla station, at the foot of the Kasauli hill.
The chiefs of Mailog came from Ajodhya. The State used to pay
tribute to the Mughal emperors through Bilaspur, and with that State
was occupied by the Gurkhas between 1805 and 1815. In the latter
year, on the expulsion of the Gurkhas, the Thakur received a sanad
from the British Government confirming him in the possession of the
State. Thakur Raghunath Chand succeeded in 1880 and obtained the
title of Rana in 1898. On his death in 1902 he was succeeded by his
minor son, Thakur Durga Chand, and the State is now administered
by a council of four members. The State has a revenue of Rs. 20,000,
out of which Rs. 1,440 is paid as tribute.



32



MAIL ST



Mailsi. — TahslI of Multan District, Punjab, lying between 29"^ 35'
and 30° 19' N. and 71° 45" and 72° 52' E., with an area of 1,658 square
miles. Its long southern boundary is formed by the Sutlej, which
periodically floods the lowland along its bank. Between the lowlands



Online LibraryGreat Britain. India OfficeImperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 17) → online text (page 4 of 51)