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The lower Vindhyan series occupies the Son valley. It includes
a compact limestone bed, 250 feet thick, with varying underlying
beds of conglomerate, shale, carbonaceous beds, limestone, por-
cellanite, and glauconitic sandstones. On the south bank are beds
of indurated highly siliceous volcanic ashes, while on the north
limestones and shales belonging to the Kheinjua and Rohtas groups
are found. The hilly tracts south of the Son consist of the Bijawar
slates, quartzites, limestones, basic volcanic rocks, and hematitic
jasper. In the extreme south are found gneiss and the Gondwana
beds of shale, sandstone, and boulders. On the south-west border
adjoining the Rewah State are the remains of an exhausted coal-mine ^

The flora of the Gangetic valley presents no peculiarities. The
area north of the river is well wooded, while trees become scantier
as the hills on the south are approached. The eastern portion
of the plateau has extensive areas of low jungle ; but timber attains
an average growth only in the remoter portions and in the game
preserves. South of the Son the principal jungles are composed
of salai {Boswellia /hiirifera), mixed with thorns and a few dwarfed
trees. Sal {Skorea robusta) is found in the hollows, and khair (^Acacia
Catechu) is common. In the extreme south the sal is of better quality,
but no forest land is 'reserved.'

^ Records. Geological Survey of India, \ols. v and vi ; Mei>ioirs, C'eoios^ica! Sjtrvey
of India, vol-;, vii and xxxi.


Tigers are occasionally found in the preserves of C'hakia. and are
more common over the whole tract south of the Son. They are
also met with in the gorges of the Kaimurs near the Rewah boundary,
and in parts of the plateau. Leopards are found over the whole
District south of the Ganges. The hyena, wolf, jackal, and fox are
common, and packs of wild dogs hunt the southern jungle. The
sloth bear occurs on the Vindhyan plateau and on the Kaimurs. In
the Ganges valley are found antelope, ' ravine deer ' (gazelle), and
nilti^ai ; while sdnibar and ch'ital are common in the preserves, and
the four-horned antelope is met with occasionallv. As a rule game-
birds are scarce, aquatic species particularly so. Fish are common
in the Ganges, and are largely caught. Mahseer are found in the
Son and Belan.

The temperature of Mirzapur is subject to smaller e.xtremes than
in the Districts farther west. The greatest heat is less, except where
bare rock is found, and the cold season is also less marked. The
climate is unhealthy at the commencement of the hot season and also
at the end of the rains.

The annual rainfall averages about 41 inches, varying from 38 at
Korh, north of the Ganges, to 45 at Robertsganj on the plateau.

The early history of the greater part of the District is unknown,
as no records exist of the rule of the aboriginal tribes, and their
traditions are vague and unreliable. The Bhars
once held the Ganges valley, and had a city near
the present site of Bindhachal. Eastward from Chunar the country
was held by the Cherus. The Soerls, who are now almost extinct,
were formerly powerful. In the south of the District the Kols and
Kharwars ruled in the forests. About the end of the twelfth century
Rajput clans seized the whole District. Portions of the Gangetic
valley fell into the hands of the Musalmans a few years later; but
little is heard of the District till the sixteenth century, when Chunar
became an important post in the wars between Humayun and Sher
Shah. The fort was held by the Fathans for some time after the
accession of Akbar. In the eighteenth century this area was included
in the territory granted to the Nawab of Oudh. In 1738 the governor
of the sarkars of Benares, Jaunpur, GhazTpur, and Chunar fell into
disfavour and was replaced by Mansa Ram. who had been in his
employment. Mansa Ram was succx^eded by his son, Babvant Singh,
Raja of Benares, who rapidly extended his possessions and acquired
the whole of the present District, except the fort at Chunar. At his
death in 1770 the British compelled the Nawab to recognize the
succession of Chet Singh, an illegitimate son of Babvant Singh.
In 1775 the Nawab ceded sovereign rights to the British, who
confirmed Chet Singh in full civil and criminal powers subject to the


payment of a fixed revenue. Chet Singh refused certain demands
made by Warren Hastings in 1781, and an attempt to arrest him
led to an emeute at Benares. Hastings, who had come to Benares,
had to fly to Chunar and collect troops, who defeated Chet Singh's
forces at Slkhar PatTta and T-atlfpur. Chet Singh took refuge in
Bijaigarh, his stronghold on the Kaimurs, but again fled on the
approach of the British. His estates were then conferred on Mahip
Narayan, a nephew of Balwant Singh. In 1788, owing to his mis-
government, MahIp Narayan's private estates, comprising Korh and
Chakia, were separated from the rest of the District, which was
brought under the ordinary administration. Its history is thenceforth
a blank till the date of the Mutiny in 1857,

At first only a Sikh guard had charge of the treasury at Mirzapur ;
but after the outbreaks at Benares on the ist and at Jaunpur on
the 5th of June, Colonel Pott arrived with part of the 47th Native
Infantry. The Sikhs were called into Allahabad on the 8th ; and
next day, strong rumours of intended attacks by the rebels being
current, all the ofificers, except Mr. Tucker, retired to Chunar. On
the loth Mr. Tucker attacked and defeated the insurgents ; and
on the 13th a detachment of the ist Madras Fusiliers arrived at
Mirzapur, and destroyed Gaura, a stronghold of the river dacoits.
In the Bhadohi /^/-^rt«a, Adwant Singh, head of the Thakurs, rebelled,
but was captured and hanged. The Thakurs vowed vengeance,
attacked Mr. Moore, Deputy-Superintendent of the Benares Domains,
at the Pall factory, and on July 4 murdered him together with two
planters, while endeavouring to make their escape. On June 26 the
Banda and Fatehpur fugitives arrived and passed on to Allahabad.
On August 1 1 the Dinapore mutineers entered the District, but were
put to flight by three companies of the 5th Fusiliers, and left
Mirzapur at once. Kuar Singh, the rebel zamhiddr of Shahabad
District, made an incursion on September 8 after his defeat at Arrah,
but the people compelled him to pass on to Banda. On September
16, when the 50th Native Infantry mutinied at Nagod, the ofificers
and 200 faithful sepoys marched through Rewah to Mirzapur. In
January, 1858, Mr. Tucker led an expedition against Bijaigarh, drove
the rebels across the Son, and re-established order, which was not
again disturbed.

Some interesting cave-dwellings have been discovered on the scarp
of the Kaimurs, the walls of which are occasionally adorned with
rude drawings of the chase, while stone implements have been found
on the floors \ Curious stone images of bearded men, supposed
to be relics of Bhar rule, are found in the north of the District.

' Journal, Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1894, pt. iii, p- ^i ; Journal, Royal Asiatic
Society, 1899, p. 89.



\x\ interesting inscription of Lakhana Deva of Kanauj, dated in
1 1 96, was dug up near Ahraura. The most striking memorials
of Aluhamniadan rule occur in the great fort of Cf^unar, and the
remains of ruined castles exist at various places on the Kaimurs.

Mirzapur contains 7 towns and 4,257 villages. Population increased
from 1872 to 1891, but the famine of 1896-7 caused a decrease in the
next decade. The numbers at the four enumerations
were as follows: (1872) 1,015,826, (1881) 1,136,796,
(1891) 1,161,508, and (1901) 1,082,430. There are five /fl'/wJ/y — Mirza-
pur, Chunar, Robertsganj, Korh, and Chakia — each named from
its head-quarters. The principal towns are the municipality of Mirza-
pur, the District head-quarters, which includes Eindhachal, and the
'notified area' of Chunar. The following table gives the chief
statistics of population in 1901 : —


Chakia .

District total




Number of



Percentage of
variation in

population be-
tween 1891
and IQOI.

Number of

persons able to

read and
















- 10.7

- 4-9

- 8.3

- 2-1

- 6.1








- 68


Of the total population, 93 per cent, are Hindus, and nearly
7 per cent. Musalmans. North of the Ganges the density of popu-
lation is very high ; but the large area of jungle and rock in the
centre and south of the District reduces the density elsewhere,
and the Robertsganj tahsil is one of the most thinly populated
tracts in the Provinces. The boundary between the tracts where
Eastern Hindi and Biharl are .spoken passes through the north of
the Di.strict ; but Eastern Hindi is the prevailing speech south of the
Son. Biharl is spoken by about 63 per cent, of the population,
and Eastern Hindi by 36 per cent. The aboriginal tribes have
largely given up their own tongues.

The principal Hindu castes are: Brahmans, 153,000; Chamars
(leather-workers and cultivators), 134,000; Ahirs (graziers), 102,000;
Kurmis (agriculturists), 64,000 ; Rajputs, 42,000 ; Kevvats (cultivators),
40,000; and Koirls (cultivators), 40,000. The District also contains
a number of aboriginal tribes similar to those of Chota Nagpur and
Central India, the most important of which are the Kols, 27,000;
Majhwars, 21,000; Kharwars, 15,000; Bayars, 12,000; and Cherus,
6,000. These are rapidly becoming Hinduized. Among Muham-


niadans the largest tribes and castes are : Julahas (weavers), 20,000 ;
Shaikhs, 13,000; Behnas (cotton-carders), 9,000; and Pathans, 7,000.
The high proportion of 7 1 per cent, of the total population are sup-
ported by agriculture, and only 4 per cent, by general labour.

Out of 413 native Christians in 1901, Congregationalists numbered
254 and members of the Anglican communion 93. The London
Mission commenced work at Mirzapur in 1837 and at Dudhi in 1862.
In 1897 a hospital and dispensary were founded at Kachhwa. The
Church Missionary Society has a small branch at Chunar.

The soils and consequently the agricultural conditions of the
District present many diversities. In the Gangetic plain the usual
loam and sandy and clayey soils are found, the .

first variety preponderating ; and this area produces
the ordinary crops — rice, gram, wheat, barley, and the millets. On
the Vindhyan plateau the soil is a stiff and shallow red clay, giving
only scanty crops, with generally two fallows intervening. Kodon^
a small millet, is the chief crop grown here. A remarkable strip of
fertile country, however, stretches across the District between the
Belan and the base of the Kaimurs. The western portion, like the
rest of the plateau, suffers from the lack of facilities for irrigation ;
but in the east the spring-level rises, and large quantities of rice are
grown, while even sugar-cane and poppy succeed. The broad valley
of the Son has a light sandy soil. In the tract south of this river
cultivation is practically confined to four places — the Son, Kon, DudhI,
and Singrauli valleys. Rice, kodon and other millets, wheat, and
oilseeds are the principal crops grown here. Cultivation is largely
fluctuating ; and, excluding fields round the homesteads, lands are
only cultivated once in three years. The custom of firing the jungle
borders to obtain fertile land is still practised.

The tahslls of Korh and Chakia form part of the Benares Estate,
and the former includes a number of villages owned by sub-proprietors
called 7nanzuridars or mukarrarlddrs. Excluding a few large estates
held by single persons, in some of which sub-proprietary rights exist,
and the Dudhl/ar^a««, the prevailing tenure is the ordmaxy pattlddri.
The DudhI pargana is almost entirely managed as a Government
estate, and proprietary rights exist only in a small portion. The main
agricultural statistics for 1903-4 are given in the table on the next
page, in square miles.

The principal food-crops, with their areas in the same year, were —
rice (163 square miles), gram (169), kodon (161), wheat (113), and barley
(109). BdJra,Joivar, and maize are also grown. Oilseeds (grown on
118 square miles), sugar-cane (10), and poppy (3), are of some impor-

The system of crop records has only recently been introduced into


the permanently settUnl Districts, anil it is impossible to sav whether
cultivation is progressing or not, and what changes nre taking place
in agricultural methods. The changes, if any, have not been sufficiently
important to attract attention. Advances are rarely made under the
T.and Improvement Loans Act, and only small amounts have been lent
under the Agriculturists' Loans Act, amounting to Rs. 82,000 during
the ten years ending 1900, of which Rs. 51,000 was advanced in 1896-7.


Robertsganj .
Korh .









474 i-






- 1







These figures exclude the unsurveyed area south of the Son.
t Agricultural statistics available for only l6o square miles.

The cattle bred locally are very inferior ; and animals are imported
from Bihar for the plough, from the Districts north of the Gogra for
other agricultural work, and from Surguja for as pack-animals.
The buffaloes of the District are of a better stamp, and supply milk
and are used for hauling stone. Ponies are also very inferior. Sheep
and goats are largely kept, but no particular breeds are recognized.

Excluding the Benares Domain.s, 108 square miles were irrigated
in 1903-4, of which 55 were irrigated from wells, 31 from tanks or
jhtls, and 22 from other sources. The Gangetic valley is supplied
chiefly by wells and jhlls. On the plateau wells are almost unknown,
except in the fertile strip below the Kaimurs. Tanks and embank-
ments are the usual means for the storage and supply of water here,
and are extensively used for rice cultivation. The artificial lakes at
Karsota on the plateau and at Gaharwargaon south of the Son are the
most important of these works. South of the Son the number of
embankments approaches 900, but increased facilities for water-supply
are still needed. The rivers are rarely used for irrigation ; and there
is only one small canal, made about 1820 by the Raja of Benares,
which supplies water from the Chandraprabha.

The most im])orlant mineral product is building stone, which is
largel)' ([uarried in the north of the District, and exported as far as
Calcutta. Millstones, curry-stones, boundary pillars, and fencing posts
are also made. The quarries are Government property and a royalty
is levied, which yields about i lakh annually. Iron ore is found in
places, and a little is worked by the aboriginal tribes for local use.
Coal was formerly extracted south of the Son and carried on pack-
bullocks to the river steamers at Mirzapur, and as recently as 1896


an unsuccessful attempt was made to work it again. Mica and iron
pyrites are also found, but are not used.

The District generally has few arts or industries, excluding those
of the city of Mirzapur. Cane sugar is produced north of the Ganges,
and palm sugar near Chunar. Iron vessels are made
at Kachhwa, lacquered wooden toys at Ahraura, communications.
and an inferior art pottery at Chunar. The manu-
facture of indigo and weaving of tasar silk, which were formerly of
some importance, have dwindled considerably ; but the silkworm is
still bred, and wild silk is also collected. South of the Son catechu
is extracted in most villages. Mirzapur city is one of the most im-
portant centres of brass manufactures in the United Provinces. It
also contains large industries turning out shellac, lac-dye, and woollen
carpets, besides a cotton-spinning mill.

The District exports stone, shellac, catechu, and other jungle
produce, carpets, brass and iron utensils, grain, ,i^//J, oilseeds, spices
(chiefly betel-nuts), and raw silk ; and imports brass, iron and copper,
salt, cotton, and piece-goods. The chief channel for trade is now the
railway, the Ganges being little used, except for the carriage of stone
and fuel. Trade between the north and south of the District is carried
entirely on pack-bullocks, and is decreasing owing to the establishment
of markets outside the border, Mirzapur, Kachhwa, and Ahraura
are the chief trading centres, while Chunar railway station is an
important place for the export of stone.

The main line of the East Indian Railway passes through the
District a little distance south of the Ganges, and the Oudh and
Rohilkhand crosses the extreme north. There are 1,025 miles of
road, of which 148 are metalled. The latter are maintained by the
Public Works department, but the cost of all but 69 miles is met from
Local funds. The main lines are the grand trunk road north of the
Ganges, with branches from Mirzapur city to several points on it ;
the great Deccan road ; the road from Mirzapur to Jaunpur ; and the
roads from Mirzapur and Chunar to the south of the District, Avenues
of trees are maintained on 123 miles.

Local tradition tells of serious suffering in the northern parts of

Mirzapur during the great famine of 1783 ; but the District has usually

escaped the worst degrees of famine. In 1864 and

or ^i • . J . r .1 • Famine.

1865 the rams were scanty and most of the rice

crop perished, and revenue was freely suspended. In 1868 drought

again caused distress, which deepened into famine in the southern

part, though rain in September saved some of the late crops. Relief

works were opened early in 1869, and provided work for all who came :

but the forest tribes remained in their jungles, living on forest produce.

A series of bad seasons caused distress in 1873, when nearly 44,000


head of cattle were lost owing to the failure of fodder and water, and
small relief works were necessary. The great scarcity of 1877-8 was
only slightly felt in this District. In 1896, however, the rainfall was
short for the second year in succession, and the late rice and the
following spring crops were lost. The Vindhyan plateau and the
tract south of the Son suffered most severely ; but some distress
was also felt in the area between the Ganges and the plateau. North
of the river high prices were the only inconvenience to the people.
By June, 1897, there were 48,000 persons on relief works and 23,000
in poorhouses or receiving gratuitous relief. The Maharaja of Benares
spent 1-8 lakhs on relief in his estates.

The Collector is usually assisted by a member of the Indian Civil
Service, and by three Deputy-Collectors recruited in India. The
Deputy-Superintendent of the Family Domains of
Administration. ^^^ Maharaja of Benares {see Benares Estate) has
his head-quarters at Mirzapur, a tahsilddr is stationed at the head-
quarters of each tahsil, and there are two ofificers of the Opium
department in the District.

Civil justice is in the hands of a Munsif, a Sub-Judge, and the
District Judge, the latter being also Sessions Judge. In the two tahsih
of the Benares Estate all civil cases which are in any way connected
with land, and all rent and revenue cases, are tried by the Maharaja's
courts with an appeal to the Deputy-Superintendent. The tract south
of the Son is a separate non-regulation area, in which the talmldar of
Robertsganj and the Collector and his Assistants have civil powers.
Crime is light, especially in the jungle tracts.

Up to 1830 Mirzapur formed part of Benares District, and most
of it was thus permanently settled by 1795. A survey was carried out
between 1839 and 1841, which was followed by the preparation of
a record-of-rights. The District was again surveyed between 1879 and
1882 ; and the old record-of-rights, which had been of an imperfect
nature and had never been corrected, was thoroughly revised for the
area included in the Gangetic valley. In the two tahs'ils belonging to
the Benares Estate the Maharaja makes his own settlement with the
subordinate proprietors. The Dudhi pargana was for many years
entirely overlooked by the British administrators, and it thus escaped
the permanent settlement. The Raja of Singrauli usurped the whole
pargana, and complaints against his misgovernment led to its inspec-
tion in 1847. A formal inquiry was held, and it was declared to be
the property of Government. A settlement was made in 1849-56,
which was revised in 1871-5, 1886-7, and 1897-8. Proprietary rights
in tliis pargana do not exist except in tappa Gonda Bajia, and the
assessment is based on the number of ploughs maintained by the
cultivators. The area estimated to be cultivated by each plough is



fixed, and the rates per plough vary in different villages. The village
headmen or sapurddrs receive concessions for their own cultivation,
and also a percentage on collections.

The collections on account of land revenue and revenue from all
sources have been, in thousands of rupees : —

1 880-1.




Land revenue
Total revenue .





The towns include one municipality, Mirzapur, one 'notified area,'
Chunar, and four places administered under Act XX of 1856. Be-
yond the limits of these the District board administers local affairs. In
1903-4 the board had an income of 1-2 lakhs, chiefly derived from
local rates, a contribution from Provincial revenues, and ferries ; while
the expenditure was i'3 lakhs, including Rs. 55,000 spent on roads
and buildings.

The District Superintendent of police has a force of 4 inspectors,
1 01 subordinate officers, and 1,446 constables, distributed in 26 police
stations, besides 195 municipal and town police, and 1,500 rural and
road police. In 1903 the District jail contained a daily average of
230 prisoners. The Provincial reformatory is now located in the fort
at Chunar.

Mirzapur District takes a fairly high place as regards the literacy
of its population, of whom 3-6 per cent. (7 males and 0-3 females) could
read and write in 1901. The number of public schools rose from 144
with 4,724 pupils in i88o-r to 231 with 9,334 pupils in 1900-1. In
1903-4 there were 197 such schools with 7,914 pupils, including 291
girls, besides 55 private schools with 1,560 pupils, of whom 168 were
girls. Only 1,941 pupils in both descriptions of schools were receiving
secondary education. Four of the public schools are managed by
Government and 115 by the District or municipal boards. Out of
a total expenditure on education in 1903-4 of Rs. 91,000, Local funds
supplied Rs. 47,000, and fees Rs. 8,000.

There are 11 hospitals and dispensaries, with accommodation for
75 in-patients. In 1903 the number of cases treated was 102,000,
including 1,200 in-patients, and 7,800 operations were performed.
The total expenditure was Rs. 24,000, chiefly met from Local funds.

About 34,000 persons were successfully vaccinated in 1903-4, repre-
senting a proportion of 31 per 1,000 of population. Vaccination is
compulsory only in the municipality.

[A. Shakespear, Selectio?is from the Duncan Records (Benares, 1873) \
District Gazetteer (1883, under revision) ; G. Dale, Revision of Records
in the Gangetic Valley, Mirzapur District (1887); W. Crooke and


(]. R. Dampier, A Note on the Tract of Country south of the River Son,
Mirzapur District (1S94).]

Mirzapur Tahsil. —Western tahsil of Mir/apur District, United
Provinces, comprising the tappas of Upraudh, Chaurasi, Chhiyanve,
and Kon of pargana Kantit, and tdluka Majhwa of pargana Kaswar,
and lying between 24° 36' and 25° 17' X. and 82° 7' and 82° 50' E.,
with an area of 1,185 square miles. Population fell from 372,015 in
1891 to 332,340 in 1901, the rate of decrease being the highest in the
District. There are 964 villages and two towns, including Mirzapuk
(population, 79,862), the District and tatisil head-quarters. The
demand for land revenue in 1903-4 was Rs. 3,21,000, and for cesses
Rs. 68,000. 'J'he density of population, 281 persons per square mile,
is above the District average. Most of the tahsil is situated south
of the Ganges, which forms part of the northern boundary and then