Great Britain. India Office.

Imperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 17) online

. (page 6 of 51)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

MAINFURI TOWN ' 41

the Chaulians settled near Bhongaon early in the fourteenth century.
It is probable that the Rai Pratap, mentioned by the Muhammadan
historians as occupying part of this District towards the close of the
fifteenth century, was a member of the family. Pratap aided Bahlol
Lodi in his wars with Jaimpur and was confirmed in his estates. Jagat
Man, ninth in descent from Pratap, founded the city of Mainpuri,
which was extended in 1 749 by another descendant. During the rule
of the Oudh government, towards the close of the eighteenth century,
the Raja was deprived of many of the farms he had previously held ;
but at the cession to the British a large tract was settled with him
as talukddr, the estate being sometimes known as Manchana. In 1840
it was decided that settlement should be made with the subordinate
proprietors where these existed, the talukddr receiving a certain pro-
portion of the rental 'assets,' but being excluded from management
of the villages. The Raja now receives this allowance from 133
villages, while his zamlndari estate comprises 75 villages. In the
Mutiny Raja Tej Singh rebelled, and the estate was confiscated and
conferred on his uncle BhawanI Singh, who had contested the title
when Tej Singh succeeded. The present Raja, Ram Partab Singh,
is a son uf Bhawani Singh.

Mainpuri Town. — Head-quarters of the District and tahsil of the
same name. United Provinces, situated in 27° 14' N. and 79° 3' E., at
the junction of metalled roads from Agra, Etawah, Etah, and Fatehgarh,
and on a branch of the East Indian Railway recently opened from
Shikohabad. Po{)ulation (1901), 19,000. The town, which lies south
of the Isan river, is made up of two parts, Mainpuri proper and
Muhkamganj, lying respectively north and south of the Agra road.
The former existed, according to tradition, in the days of the Pandavas,
while another fable connects an image known as Main Deo with the
name. It seems to have been of no importance till the Chauhans
migrated here from Asauli at dates ranging from the thirteenth to the
sixteenth century, according to different versions. The town contains
a fort, composed partly of brick and partly of mud, belonging to the
Raja. Muhkamganj was founded in 1803 by Raja Jaswant Singh. In
the Mutiny the place was occupied by the Jhansi rebels, who plundered
and burnt the civil station, but were beaten off when they attempted
to sack the town. The Agra branch of the grand trunk road runs
through the centre and forms a wide street, lined on either side by
shops which constitute the principal bazar. Besides a tahsili and
dispensary, the town contains the head-quarters of the American
Presbyterian Mission, a large sarai and grain market called Raikesganj,
after the Collector who built it about 1849, and a fine street called
Laneganj, after another Collector. The civil station, with the District
offices and jail, lies north of the Isan, which is crossed by stone



42 MAIXPURI TOWN

bridges. Mainpuri has been a municipality since 1866. During the
ten years ending 1901 the income and expenditure averaged Rs. 16,000.
In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 22,000. chiefly from octroi (Rs. 16,000) ;
and the expenditure \vas Rs. 25,000. Trade is mainly local, but may
be expected to expand now that the railway is opened. The place
is noted for the production of articles of carved wood inlaid with brass
wire. A steam cotton-ginning factory, recently opened, employs about
100 hands. The municipality maintains two schools and aids two
others, with 322 pupils in 1904. There are also a District and tahsill
schools, and a Presbyterian Mission school.

Maiskhal. — Island off the coast of Chittagong District, Eastern
Bengal and Assam, lying between 21° 29' and 21° 45' N. and 91° 50'
and 91° 58'' E., with an area of 102 square miles. Population (1901),
24,228. Through the centre and along the east coast-line rises a range
of low hills 300 feet high ; the west and north are fringed by mangrove
jungle and are of the same character as the Sundarbans. Among the
hills is built the shrine of Adinath, which attracts pilgrims from all
parts of the District. The greater portion of the island belongs to
a permanently settled estate.

Maisur. —Native State, District, taluk, and town. See Mysore.

Maizar. -Village on the southern bank of the Margha river in
the Madda Khel territory. Northern Waziristan Agency, North-\\'est
Frontier Province, situated in 32° 54' N. and 69° 37' E. On June 10,
1897, the Madda Khels treacherously attacked the Political officer's
escort, and shot down several British officers and sepoys of the force
under the walls of the village. A punitive expedition was dispatched,
which exacted a fine of Rs. 10,000, besides Rs. 9,000 as compensation
for the property taken in the attack, and the surrender of six of the
ringleaders.

Majhauli. — 'Village in the Deoria tahsU of Gorakhpur District,
United Provinces. See Salkmpur-Majhauli.

Majhgawan. — ^'illage lands in the Mau faJisil of Banda District,
United Provinces, containing the town of Raj.\pur.

Majitha. — Town in the District and tahsll of Amritsar, Punjab,
situated in 31'^ 46' N. and 74° 58'' E., 12 miles north-east of Amritsar
city. The main branch of the Bari Doab Canal runs between Majitha
and the \illage of Kathu Nangal, a station on the Amritsar and
Pathankot Railway, 4 miles to the north. Population (1901), 6,403.
The town is said to have been founded by a Gil Jat from the Malwa,
named Madu, who called the town Madu Jetha after his eldest son
{jethd). To the Jat clan of this village belonged the Majitha Sardars,
some of whom, such as Sardars Desa Singh and Lehna Singh, held
high places at the court of Ranjit Singh. The municipality was
created in 1867. The income during the ten years ending 1902-3



MAKHU



43



averaged Rs. 3,700, and the expenditure Rs. 3,000. In 1903-4 the
income was Rs. 4,800, chiefly from octroi ; and the expenditure \va.s
Rs. 4,700. Some carpets are manufactured, but the town is not of
any commercial importance. There is an Anglo-vernacular middle
school and a dispensary.

Majuli. — Island (or diar) in the north of Sibsagar District, Assam,
lying between 26° 45' and 27° 12' N. and 93° 39' and 94° 35' E.,
formed by the diversion of the Kherkutia channel from the main
stream of the Brahmaputra. This channel subsequently receives the
waters of the SubansirT, in itself a large river, and is then known as
the Luhit to the point where it rejoins the parent stream opposite the
mouth of the Dhansiri. The island has an area of 485 square miles,
with a population (rgoi) of 35,000, and is the site of the Auniati,
Dakhinpat, Garamur, and other sattras, or priestly colleges, which
are held in great reverence by the Assamese. The Majuli is much
exposed to flood and diluvium, and the staple crops are summer rice
and mustard. It contains numerous streams, lakes, and patches of
tree forest covered with beautiful cane brake, and the general effect is
very picturesque. The island has but one road and no town, and an
old-world air pervades the place which savours more of the eighteenth
than the twentieth century.

Makanpur. — Village in the fahsil of Bilhaur, Cawnpore District,
United Provinces, situated in 26° 54" N. and 79° 59' E., 40 miles
north-west of Cawnpore city. The shrine of a Musalman saint, named
Shah Madar, who had originally been a Jew, attracts a large number
of pilgrims annually, both Musalman and Hindu, the latter regarding
the saint as an incarnation of the god Lakshmana. In addition to the
religious attractions of the fair, a large cattle-market is held, at which
15,000 to 20,000 animals of all kinds are offered for sale.

MdikhiaX.— Taiiik in Mahbubnagar District, Hyderabad State, with
an area of 511 square miles. The population in igoi, including y(?^^Jr.f,
was 69,560, compared with 68,031 in 1891. The ta/uk contains
120 villages, of which 13 a.xe Jdglr, and Makhtal (population, 4,476)
is the head-quarters. The land revenue in 1901 amounted to i-8 lakhs.
In 1905 the fii/i/k was enlarged by the addition of some villages from
Narayanpet, but lost 31 villages to Yadgir in Gulbarga. The town of
Narayanpet is now included in this fiili/k, which forms the borderland
between the Carnatic and the Telingana country.

Makhu. — Town in the Zira iahsll of Ferozepore District, Punjab,
situated in 31° 6' N. and 75° 4' E., 30 miles north-east of Ferozepore
town. Population (1901), 1,355. ^^'^ municipality was created in
1867. The income during the ten years ending 1902-3 averaged
Rs. 1,100, and the expenditure Rs. 1,000. In 1903-4 the income was
Rs. 1,500, chiefly from octroi ; and the expenditure was Rs. 1,000.

VOL. XVII. D



44 MAKRAI

Makrai. — Feudator)- State in the Central Provinces, lying between
2 1° 58' and 22° 14' N. and 76° 57' and 77° 12' E., within the Harda
tahs'il o{ Hoshangabad District, with an area of 155 square miles. The
State contains some rich villages in the open valley of the Narbada ;
bui the greater part of it is situated on the lower slopes of the Satpura
range, consisting of low hills covered with forest, of which teak, saj
{Terininalia tomentosd), and tinsa {Oitgeinia dalbergioides) are the
j)rincipal trees. The head-quarters of the State are at Makrai, which
contains an old hill-fort, and is 15 miles from BhiringI station and
19 miles from Harda on the Great Indian Peninsula Railway. The
ruling family, who are Raj Gonds, claim a high antiquity of descent
and a jurisdiction extending in former times over the whole of the
Harda tahsll. There is, however, no historical evidence in support of
their pretensions, and all that is known is that they were deprived by
Sindhia and the Peshwa of the forest tracts of Kalibhit and Charwa.
The present chief. Raja Lachu Shah, alias Bharat Shah, was born in
1846 and succeeded in 1866. He was temporarily set aside for mis-
management in 1890, but reinstalled in 1893, when he appointed a
Diwan with the approval of the Chief Commissioner. The population
of the State in 1901 was 13,035 persons, showing a decrease of 30 per
cent, in the previous decade, during which it was severely affected by
famine. Gonds and Korkus form a considerable portion of the popu-
lation. In 1904 the occupied area amounted to 62 square miles, of
which 54 were under crops. The cropped area is said to have
decreased by 3,000 acres since 1894. Wheat is the staple crop, and
wzvar, cotton, and gram are also grown. The revenue in 1904
amounted to Rs. 62,000, of which Rs. 43,000 was derived from land,
the incidence ot land revenue being Rs. 1-8 per acre. Other
principal sources of revenue were forests (Rs. 5,500), excise (Rs. 5,000),
and law and justice (Rs. 1,400). The expenditure in the same year
was Rs. 64,000, of which Rs. 14,000 was expended in the maintenance
of the ruling family, Rs. 6,100 on administration, Rs. 4,700 on police,
Rs. 1,600 on education, Rs. 1,700 on medical relief, and Rs. 9,000 on
miscellaneous items. The receipts and expenditure during the five
years ending 1903 averaged Rs. 65,000 and Rs. 61,000 respectively.
No tribute is paid to Government. The State contains 42 miles of
unmetalled roads. It maintains five primary schools, the total number
of pupils being 273. In 1901 the number of persons returned as able
to read and write was 353. There is a dispensary at Makrai. The State
is under the charge of the Deputy-Commissioner of Hoshangabad Dis
trict, subject to the control of the Commissioner, Nerbudda Division.

Makran i^Afakkuran). — The south-western division of the Kalat
State, Baluchistan, lying between 25° i' and 27° 21' N. and 61° 39'
and 65° 36' E., with an area of about 26,000 square miles. It is



MAKRAN 45

bounded on the east by the Jhalawan country and part of Las Bela ;
on the west by Persia ; on the north by the Siahan range, which
separates it from Kharan ; and on the south by the
sea. The coast-line, which stretches dry and arid n^'ct^

from Kahnat .to Gwetter Bay, is about 200 miles
long. Much of the country consists of mountains, the parallel ranges
of which have a general direction east to west, ei)closing narrow valleys.
The more important are the Makran Coast, Central Makran, and
Siahan Ranges. They gradually ascend in height, as they leave the
sea, to an elevation of about 7,000 feet. Within them lie the cultivated
areas of the country, including Kulanch ; Dasht ; Nigwar ; Kech, also
known as Kej, of which Kolwa, Sami, Tump, and Mand form part ;
and Panjgur with Rakhshan, The Central Makran hills contain
the minor cultivable tracts of Buleda, Balgattar, Parom, Gichk, and
Raghai. The most important rivers are the Dasht and the Rakshan.
They are dry throughout the greater part of the year, but carry heavy
floods, and one of their features is the frequent pools from which water
is drawn off for purposes of irrigation. iVmong streams of minor
importance may be mentioned the Shadi Kaur, which enters the sea
near Pasni ; and the Basol, which breaks through the Makran Coast
Range. Gwadar and Pasni are the seaports, and a little traffic is
carried on at Jiwnri. The coast is open and exposed, and owing to
the shoaling of the water no large steamers can approach nearer than
two miles from the shore.

The only information we possess about the geology of the country is
derived from Dr. Blanford's observations '. It is known to contain
a large development of eocene flysch (Khojak shales), while along the
coast the Siwaliks include numerous intercalations of marine strata,
known as the Makran group, containing rich fossil fauna of upper
miocene age. The coast appears to coincide with a line of faulting,
and the mud volcanoes, which occur near it, are probably connected
with this fracture. The vegetation of the country is similar to that
which occurs generally throughout Southern Baluchistan, consisting of
an ill-favoured, spiny scrub. Such species as Capparis aphylla, Salva-
dora oleoides, Zizyphiis Jiijiilja, Prosopis spicigera, Aca/tthodiutn spicatiim,
Tamarix ar/icit/ata, several kinds of Acacia, and many Astragali are
common. The mangrove grows in the swamps on the coast. Sind
ibex and mountain sheep are common in the hills, and ' ravine deer '
(gazelle) along their skirts. An occasional leopard is killed, and wild
hog are to be found in places.

The climate is marked by three zones of very different character.
Along the coast it is uniform and, though hot, not unpleasant. In
Kech the winter is healthy and dry, but the heat in summer is intense
' Records, Geological Survey of India, vol. v; and Eastern Persia (1S76).

D 2



46 MAKRAN

and in remarkable contrast to the milder atmosphere of the coast.
Panjgur lies in the most temperate zone, with severe cold in winter
and moderate heat in summer. The north wind {gorlch) is experienced
everywhere throughout the year. It is scorching in summer and
cutting in winter. During the winter Kech is subject to dense fogs,
called nod ; and, to guard against the damp and the mosquitoes, every
native of Makran possesses a mosquito-curtain. The rainfall is capri-
cious and uncertain, and the country is liable to long periods of
drought. Previous to 1904 good rainfall had not been received in
Kolwa, Kulanch, and Dasht for five years, and this is said to be no
uncommon occurrence. The two periods during which rain is ex-
pected are known as hashshdm and bahargah. Bashshain brings the
summer rains, between May 15 and September 15, which generally
affect the eastern side of the country. The north and west are more
dependent on the winter rains iJmhargaJi), falling between November
and February.

Makran is generally known as Kech-Makran, to distinguish it from
Persian Makran. Kech-Makran and Persian Makran together con-

„. , stitute the Makranat, a term occurring in several

History. , . . ^, , . , .

histories. 1 he etymology of the name is uncertain.

By some Makran is said to be a corruption of maki khordn, 'fish-
eaters,' identifiable with the Ichthyophagi of Arrian. Lord Curzon
considers the name to be Dravidian, and remarks that it appears as
' Makara ' in the Brihaf Sanhita of Varaha Mihira in a list of tribes
contiguous to India on the west. To the Greeks the country was
known as Gedrosia. Lying on the high road from the west to the
east, Makran is the part of Baluchistan round which its most interesting
history centres. Legendary stories tell of the marches of Cyrus and
Semiramis through its inhospitable wastes, marches which Alexander
sought to emulate when he made his famous retreat from India in
325 B.C., so graphically described by Arrian. The Shdhndma relates
how Kaikhusru of Persia took the country from Afrasiab of Turan ;
and the memory of the former, and of his grandfather Kai-Kaus, is
preserved in the names of the Khusravi and Kausi kdrez in Kech,
But the suzerainty over Makran gravitated sometimes to the west,
and sometimes to the east. At one time the Sassanian power was
in possession ; later we hear of its conquest by Rai Chach of Sind.
The Arabs, in the seventh century, made themselves masters of the
country ; but, on the decline of the Khalifat, it disappears from
authentic history until Marco Polo mentions it about 1290 as the
most westerly part of India under an independent chief. Local
tradition relates that of the indigenous races the Rinds, Hots, and
Maliks successively held sway in the country after the Arabs ; the
Maliks were followed by the Buledais, who in their turn were ousted



POPULATION 47

by the Gichkis from India. In the time of Ahmad Shah Durrani, the
country was reckoned in the province of Kirman. Owing to internal
dissensions, the Gichkis fell under the suzerainty of Kalat in the middle
of the eighteenth century ; and Mir Nasir Khan I acquired the right
to half of the revenue of the country, besides extending his conquests
westward into Persian Makran. In 1862 Makran came into the
prominent notice of the British Government in connexion with the
construction of the Indo-European Telegraph line, and a British officer
was stationed at Gwadar from 1863 to 1871. Meanwhile Persia was
extending her power eastward, and in 1879 it was found necessary to
depute Colonel Goldsmid to settle the western boundary. Internally
matters had gone from bad to worse, owing to the disputes between the
Khan of Kalat and the dominant races, the Gichkis, Nausherwanis, and
others, until at length a settlement was effected by Sir Robert Sandeman
in 1884. The interference of the British Government has ever since
been constantly required, and frequent visits have been paid to the
country by European officers supported by escorts. In 1891 Mr. Tate,
of the Survey of India, was appointed as the Khan's representative;
but he was withdrawn in 1892, being succeeded by a Hindu Govern-
ment official as the Khan's ndziin. A rising of the Makranis took place
in 1898, when the ndzim was temporarily captured, but the rebels
shortly afterwards received a severe lesson at the fight of Gokprosh.
A Brahui of good family was thereupon appointed ndzim. A dis-
turbance in 1 90 1 led to another small expedition, which captured
Nodiz fort. An Assistant Political Agent, who is ex-officio commandant
of the Makran Levy Corps, has been posted to Panjgur since 1904.

Erom careful inquiries made in 1903 the population of Makran was
estimated at about 78,000. The permanent villages number 125, the

chief of which are Turbat, the head-quarters of the ^ , .

... ^ _ „ , T • rr^i Population.

admmistration, Gwadar, Pasni, and Isai. 1 he more

important villages are those clustering round the forts, which number
fifteen. The population may be divided into five classes: the dominant
races; the middle-class cultivators, generally known as Baloch; culti-
vators of irrigated lands, menials, and artisans, called Darzadas, Nakibs,
and Loris ; fishermen, known as Meds and Koras ; and dependants of
servile origin. It is distributed into groups, each of which lives
independently of the rest ; and the democratic tribal system, which
is so strongly prevalent in other parts of the Kalat State, is here non-
existent. The dominant races include the Gichkis, Nausherwanis,
Bizanjaus, and Mirwaris, the whole of whom i)robably do not number
more than about 500 persons. Their influence is due either to their
acquisition of the country by conquest, or to the fact that they repre-
sent the ruling power in Kalat. They are strictly endogamous, and
Gichkis born of Baloch mothers are known as tolag, \. e. ' jackal '



48 MAKRAN

Gichkis, and lose much of their social status. The Baloch are the
peasant proprietors ; the more important are the Hot, Kauhdai, Sheh-
zada, Kalmati, and Rais. The Darzadas and Nakibs are regarded as
of aboriginal descent. They are courageous and of fine physique.
Of the coast population, the Meds are fishermen and the Koras
seamen who make voyages in their vessels to distant countries. Servile
dependants abound, and do much of the cultivation and all the house-
hold work for men of means. Many of them are Baloch or descendants
of Baloch who were captured in the frequent raids which took place in
pre-British days. About half of the people are Sunni INIuhammadans
and the other half Zikris, a curious sect whose alleged incestuous and
other immoral practices appear to have been much exaggerated. The
language of the country is Baluchi. The majority of the population
live by agriculture. Other occupations are flock-owning, seafaring and
fishing, weaving, and pottery-making.

Most of the cultivable land consists of ' dry-crop ' area. Irrigation
exists in Kech and Panjgur, which could probably be improved and
developed. Its sources are underground channels
{kdrez), channels cut from pools in rivers {kaur-jo\
and springs. The kdrez in use number 127, and the channels cut from
rivers 118. The best soil, known as milk, consists of a soft white clay.
When it contains a mixture of sand, it is known as zawdr. The
principal spring crops {Jopag) are wheat and barley. Minor crops
include beans and pulses. The chief autumn crop (er-aht) x-s, jowdr\
rice is cultivated in Kech, Buleda, Panjgur, and Zamuran ; while
Tump, Dasht, and Kulanch produce cotton. The date, however, is
the crop par excellence of Makran, and the best are said, even by the
Arabs, to surpass those of Basra. The cultivators are well versed in
the artificial impregnation of the date-spathes, on which the quality
of the produce depends. Amen, the date-harvest from July to
September, is the pivot round which the thoughts of all the people of
Makran centre, and is a signal for a general influx of all the inhabi-
tants of the surrounding country to Kech and Panjgur. Horses, camels,
cows, donkeys, every beast and every man lives on dates. Laghaii, or
com[)ressed dates, constitutes the staple food of the poor. Those pre-
served with date-juice in earthen jars, called humb, are much relished
everywhere. More than 300,000 date-trees are assessed to revenue by
the Khan, but the actual number exceeds this figure. The Makrani is
an able, though indolent, cultivator, and with the introduction of peace
and security agriculture will doubtless develop.

Horse-breeding is not so popular as elsewhere in Baluchistan, and
few mares are kept. The breed of cattle is small and generally of a
brown colour. Makran donkeys are known for their fleetness. Goods
are carried chietly by camels, which are available everywhere, except



TRADE AND COMMUNICA TIONS



49



along the coast. The commonest sheep in the .country are white.
Brown and grey sheep, known as l>or and /drg, are especially valued for
their wool, which is made into overcoats {s/idl). Four-horned sheep
are not uncommon in Dashl and Nigwar. No system of forest reserva-
tion has yet been introduced. The commonest trees are the tamarisk,
which abounds in river-beds, and the acacia. No minerals of economic
value have yet been found.

The people comprising the artisan class are generally landholders
also. They have no stock in trade, and merely supply manufactured
articles from the material furnished to them. The
weaving industry is moribund, owing to the impor- con^unka'tfons.
tation of European cloth. A few coarse cottons are,
however, still manufactured. Kerchiefs, used by the women to put
over their hair, are made from floss silk obtained from Sarbaz in Persia.
Horse-cloths, sword-belts, and shoes are embroidered in silk. The
pottery is of the roughest description, consisting of round pitchers and
earthen jars.

In 1902-3 the imports to the Makran ports from India were valued
at 6^ lakhs and the exports at 7 lakhs. These figures, however, include