Great Britain. India Office.

Imperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 22) online

. (page 1 of 51)
Online LibraryGreat Britain. India OfficeImperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 22) → online text (page 1 of 51)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
LO'S ANGELE




m



J




THE

IMPERIAL GAZETTEER

OF INDIA



VOL. XXII
SAMADHIALA to SINGHANA



NEW EDITION

PUBLISHED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF HIS iMAJESTY'S
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA IN COUNCIL



OXFORD

AT THK CLARENDON PRESS
1908



HENRY FROWDE, M.A.

PUBLISHER TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

LONDON, EDINBURGH

NEW YORK AND TORONTO



D5



INTRODUCTORY NOTES

Notes on Transliteration

J^07ve/-Souf/ds

a has the sound of a in ' woman.'
a has the sound of a in 'father.'
e has the vowel-sound in ' grey.'
i has the sound of/ in 'pin.'
i has the sound of / in ' police.'
o has the sound of c in ' bone.'
u has the sound of u in ' bull.'
u has the sound of ti in ' flute.'
ai has the vowel-sound in ' mine.'
au has the vowel-sound in 'house.'

It should be stated that no attempt has been made to distinguish
between the long and short sounds of e and o in the Dravidian
languages, which possess the vowel-sounds in ' bet ' and ' hot ' in
addition to those given above. Nor has it been thought necessary
to mark vowels as long in cases where mistakes in pronunciation
were not likely to be made.

Consonants

Most Indian languages have different forms for a number of con-
sonants, such as dy /, r, &c., marked in scientific works by the use
of dots or italics. As the European ear distinguishes these with
difficulty in ordinary pronunciation, it has been considered undesir-
able to embarrass the reader with them ; and only two notes are
required. In the first place, the Arabic /:, a strong guttural, has
been represented by k instead of ^, which is often used. Secondly,
it should be remarked that aspirated consonants arc common ; and,
in particular, d/i and /// (except in Burma) never have the sound of
//z in ' this ' or ' thin,' but should be pronounced as in ' woodhouse '
and ' boathook.'

A 2

503075



iv INTRODUCTORY NOTES

Burmese Words
Burmese and some of the languages on the frontier of China have
the following special sounds : —

aw has the vowel-sound in ' law.'
o and ii are pronounced as in German,
gy is pronounced almost like j in * jewel'
ky is pronounced almost like ch in ' church.'
th is pronounced in some cases as in * this,' in some cases as in

* thin.'
w after a consonant has the force of 7m'. Thus, ywa and pwc

are disyllables, pronounced as if written jjv/zt'a "xwd. puwe.

It should also be noted that, whereas in Indian words the accent
or stress is distributed almost equally on each syllable, in Burmese
there is a tendency to throw special stress on the last syllable.

General
The names of some places — e.g. Calcutta, Bombay, Lucknow,
Cawnpore — have obtained a popular fixity of spelling, while special
forms have been ofificially prescribed for others. Names of persons
are often spelt and pronounced differently in different parts of India ;
but the variations have been made as few as possible by assimilating
forms almost alike, especially where a particular spelling has been
generally adopted in English books.

Notes on Money, Prices, Weights and Measures

As the currency of India is based upon the rupee, all statements
with regard to money throughout the Gazetteer have necessarily been
expressed in rupees, nor has it been found possible to add generally
a conversion into sterling. Down to about 1873 the gold value of
the rupee (containing 165 grains of pure silver) was approximately
equal to 25., or one-tenth of a £ ; and for that period it is easy to
convert rupees into sterling by striking off the final cipher (Rs. 1,000
= £100). But after 1873, owing to the depreciation of silver as
compared with gold throughout the world, there came a serious and
progressive fall in the exchange, until at one time the gold value of
the rupee dropped as low as \s. In order to provide a remedy for
the heavy loss caused to the Government of India in respect of its
gold i)aymcnts to be made in England, and also to relieve foreign
trade and finance from the inconvenience due to constant and
unforeseen fluctuations in exchange, it was resolved in 1893 to close
the mints to the free coinage of silver, and thus force up the value of
the rupee by restricting the circulation. The intention was to raise



IN TROD UCTOK V NO TES v

the exchange value of the rupee \.o is. ^d., and then introduce a gold
standard (though not necessarily a gold currency) at the rate of Rs. 15
= £1. This policy has been completely successful. From 1899 on-
wards the value of the rupee has been maintained, with insignificant
fluctuations, at the proposed rate of i^. 4^. ; and consequently since
that date three rupees have been equivalent to two rupees before 1873.
For the intermediate period, between 1873 and 1899, it is manifestly
impossible to adopt any fixed sterling value for a constantly changing
rupee. But since 1899, if it is desired to convert rupees into sterling,
not only must the final cipher be struck off (as befcjre 1873), but
also one-third must be subtracted from the result. Thus Rs. 1,000
= £100 — -I = (about) £67.

Another matter in connexion with the expression of money state-
ments in terms of rupees requires to be explained. The method of
numerical notation in India differs from that which prevails through-
.out Europe. Large numbers are not punctuated in hundreds of thou-
sands and millions, but in lakhs and crores. A lakh is one hundred
thousand (written out as 1,00,000), and a crore is one hundred lakhs
or ten millions (written out as 1,00,00,000). Consequently, accord-
ing to the exchange value of the rupee, a lakh of rupees (Rs. 1,00,000)
may be read as the equivalent of £10,000 before 1873, and as the
equivalent of (about) £6,667 after 1899; while a crore of rupees
(Rs. 1,00,00,000) may similarly be read as the equivalent of
£1,000,000 before 1873, and as the equivalent of (about) £666,667
after 1899.

Finally, it should be mentioned that the rupee is divided into
16 annas, a fraction commonly used for many purposes by both
natives and Europeans. The anna was formerly reckoned as i\d. ;
it may now be considered as exactly corresponding to id. The
anna is again subdivided into 1 2 pies.

The various systems of weights used in India combine uniformity
of scale with immense variations in the weight of units. The scale
used generally throughout Northern India, and less commonly in
Madras and Bombay, may be thus expressed : one maund = 40 seers ;
one seer =16 chittaks or 80 tolas. The actual weight of a seer
varies greatly from District to District, and even from village to
village; but in the standard system the tola is 180 grains Troy
(the exact weight of the rupee), and the seer thus weighs 2-057 lb.,
and the maund 82-28 lb. This standard is used in official reports
and throughout the Gazetteer.

For calculating retail prices, the universal custom in India is to
express them in terms of seers to the rupee. Thus, wlien prices
change, what varies is not the amount of money to ije paid for the



vi INTRODUCTORY NOTES

same quantity, but the quantity to be obtained for the same amount
of money. In other words, prices in India are quantity prices, not
money prices. When the figure of quantity goes up, this of course
means that the price has gone down, which is at first sight perplexing
to an Enghsh reader. It may, however, be mentioned that quantity
prices are not altogether unknown in England, especially at small
shops, where pennyworths of many groceries can be bought. Eggs,
likewise, are commonly sold at a varying number for the shilling.
If it be desired to convert quantity prices from Indian into English
denominations without having recourse to money prices (which would
often be misleading), the following scale may be adopted — based
upon the assumptions that a seer is exactly 2 lb., and that the value
of the rupee remains constant at \s. ^d. : i seer per rupee = (about)
3 lb. for 2s. ; 2 seers per rupee = (about) 6 lb. for 2s. ; and so on.

The name of the unit for square measurement in India generally
is the b'lgha, which varies greatly in different parts of the country.
But areas have always been expressed throughout the Gazetteer either
in square miles or in acres.



IMPERIAL GAZETTEF:R
OF INDIA

VOLUME XXII

Samadhiala (i). — Petty State in Kathiawar, Bombay.

Samadhiala (Chabharia) (2). — Petty State in Kathiawar, Bombay.

Samadhiala (Charan) (3). — Petty State in Kathiawar, Bomba.y.

Samaguting. — Village on the lower slopes of the Naga Hills
District, Eastern Bengal and Assam, situated in 25° 47' N. and 93^47' E,
It was occupied in 1S66 by Lieutenant Gregory, in the hope that an
outpost in the hills would put a stop to Naga raids, and remained the
head-quarters of the Naga Hills District till 1878, when it was aban-
doned in favour of Kohima, which is situated in the centre of the
Angami country.

Samalkot {Chamarlakota). — Town in the Cocanada taluk of Go-
davari District, Madras, situated in 17'' 3' N. and 82° 10' E., 7 miles
north of Cocanada, on the main line of the East Coast Railway,
391 miles from Madras city, and on the Samalkot canal. Samalkot
is a rapidly growing town in the Pithapuram estate. The population
in 1 90 1 was 16,015, compared with 4,961 in 1881. A sugar refinery
and distillery, employing 520 hands daily, was opened here in 1899.
A Government experimental agricultural farm has also been started.
Samalkot was formerly a military station, but was abandoned- in 1869.
Troops were again stationed here from 1879 to 1893.

Samana Range. — A rugged range of hills in the North-West
Frontier Province, running east and west about ^y'^ 34'' N. and between
70° 56' and 71° 51' E., and separating the Miranzai valley in the Thai
subdivision of Kohat District from the Khanki valley of Tirah. The
range has an elevation of 5,000 to 6,500 feet ; and its crest is held
by a line of forts, including Fort Lockhart, Saragarhi, and Fort
Cavagnari or Gulistan.

Samana. — Town in the Bhawanigarh iahsll, Karmgarh nizamaf,
Patiala State, Punjab, situated in 30° 9' N. and 76° 15' E., 17 miles
south-west of Patiala town, with which it is connected by a metalled
road. Population (1901), 10,209. It is a well-built town, with many
handsome houses. Samana is a place of considerable antiquity, and



2 SAMANA

tradition ascribes its foundation to the fugitives of the Samanid dynasty
of Persia, on the site of a still older Naranjan Khera or Ratangarh,
Frequently mentioned in the Muhammadan historians as a fief of
Delhi, it surrendered, with Sarsuti, Kuhram, and Hansi, to Muhammad
of Ghor after his defeat of Prithwi Raj in 1192, and became an apanage
of Kutb-ud-din Aibak. Under Muhammad bin Tughlak we read that
the tribes round Samana, driven to despair by his exactions, fled to
the woods. But under the beneficent rule of Firoz Shah III the tract
recovered its prosperity, and became the scene of important events in
subsequent reigns. Under Jahanglr it possessed a thriving colony of
weavers who supplied the emperor with fine cloth, and whose descen-
dants still own part of the town ^. Banda Bairagi sacked the place in
1708. It has now few manufactures, but contains an Anglo-vernacular
middle school, a police station, and a dispensary.

Samaro. — Old name of the Jamesabad tahika of Thar and Parkar
District, Sind, Bombay. See Jamesab.\d,

Samastipur Subdivision. — Southern subdivision of Darbhanga
District, Bengal, lying between 25° 28' and 26° 5' N. and 85° 31'' and
86° i' E., with an area of 778 square miles. The population rose from
738,449 in 1891 to 752,637 in 1901, when there were 967 persons per
square mile, or more than in any other subdivision of the District.
With the exception of part of the dodb between the Baghmati and
Burhi Gandak rivers, the subdivision consists of a large block of
upland, interspersed with a few chains or marshes. It is the richest
and most fertile part of the District, producing all the most valuable
rabi and hhadoi crops, and it is also the centre of the indigo industry.
It contains one town, Samastipur (population, 9,101), the head-quarters:
and 843 villages. Samastipur town is an important railway junction
and contains workshops of the Bengal and North-Western Railway.
The Government estate at Pusa has recently been made over to the
Government of India as the site for an Imperial agricultural college
and research laboratory, and portions of the estate are being utilized
as an experimental farm for cultivation and cattle-breeding.

Samastipur Town. — Head-quarters of the subdivision of the
same name in Darbhanga District, Bengal, situated in 25° 52' N.
and 85° 48' E., on the south bank of the Burhi Gandak river. Popu-
lation (1901), 9,101. Samastipur is an important junction on the
Bengal and North-Western Railway, and the site of railway workshops
which employ 1,000 hands. It is also a large trading centre. It was
constituted a municipality in 1897. The income during the five years
ending 1901-2 averaged Rs. 8,000, and the expenditure Rs. 7,600.

' As early as 1621 the East hidia Company sent factois to Samana to purchase
cnlicoes known by the name of ' semianoci,' at tlie price of from Rs. 2\ to Rs. 4I
per piece (W. Foster, The Early Faclories in India '^1906)).



SJJL4 YAPURAM 3

In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 9,500, of which Rs. 4,000 was derived
from a tax on persons (or property tax) ; and the expenditure was
Rs. 8,600. The town contains the usual pubHc offices, &c. ; the sub-
jail has accommodation for 23 prisoners.

Samatata. — Ancient name for the deltaic tract of Bengal and
Eastern Bengal. See Banga.

Samayapuram. — Village in the District and tdhik of Trichinopoly,
Madras, situated in 10° 56' N. and 78° 45' E., on the high road about
8 miles north of Trichinopoly city. Population (1901), 1,213. Adjoin-
ing it on the south is the village of Kannanur (population, 2,026). The
ground covered by the two villages is of much historical interest. It is
called Samiavaram in Orme's History and Kannanur in ancient stone
inscriptions.

In 1752, when the French army under Law had retreated from the
south of the Cauvery to the island of Srirangam, Major Lawrence, at
Clive's suggestion, determined to divide his army into two divisions,
and to send one of them to the north of Trichinopoly, with the view
of getting possession of the enemy's posts in that part of the country
and intercepting any reinforcements which might be sent from
Pondicherry. This expedition was entrusted to Clive, who on April 7
took possession of the village of Samayapuram. There are two
temples in this village and in Kannanur about a quarter of a mile
apart : namely, the Bhojeswara shrine on the west, and the Mariamman
temple on the east, of the old high road leading to Madras, which
then ran a few hundred yards to the east of the present road. The
Europeans and sepoys were placed inside these buildings, while the
Marathas and Tanjore troops encamped outside. A detachment sent
by Dupleix from Pondicherry under D'Auteuil reached Uttattur on
April 14; and, in order to intercept this body while on the march,
Clive advanced from Samayapuram towards Uttattur, on which
D'Auteuil, who had already started for Trichinopoly, retraced his
steps to the latter village. Clive then fell back on his former position.
Law, who was commanding at Srirangam, heard of Clive's departure
but not of his return, and determined to surprise and cut off whatever
force might have been left behind by him. With this object he
dispatched a force of 80 Europeans (of whom 40 were English
deserters) and 200 sepoys. In the skirmish which ensued, and which
is graphically described by Orme, Clive had more than one narrow
escape. The French force arrived near the English camp in Samaya-
puram about midnight ; and the English deserters persuaded the
native sentries that they had been sent by Major Lawrence to reinforce
Clive, and with all their following were allowed to enter the camp.
They reached unchallenged the smaller of the two temples. \\"hen
challenged there, they answered by a volley and entered the building,



4 SAA/A YAPURAM

putting to the sword every person they met. Clive, who had been
sleeping in a neighbouring resthouse, thought the firing was that of
his own men who had taken some false alarm, and fetched 200 of the
European troops from the other temple. On regaining the smaller
shrine, he found a large body of sepoys firing at random. Still mis-
taking them for his own troops he went among them, ordering the
firing to cease, upbraiding some for their supposed panic and even
striking others. One of the French sepoys recognized that he was
English, and attacked and wounded him in two places with his sword
and then ran away to the temple. Clive, furious at this supposed
insolence on the part of one of his own men, pursued him to the gate
and there, to his great surprise, was accosted by six Frenchmen.
With characteristic composure he told the Frenchmen that he had
come to offer them terms, and that if they did not accept them he
would surround them with his whole force and give them no quarter.
Three of the Frenchmen ran into the pagoda to carry the intelligence,
while the other three surrendered and followed Clive towards the
resthouse, whither he now hastened with the intention of attacking
the sepoys there, whom he now knew to be enemies ; but they had
already discovered the danger of their situation and marched off.
Clive then stormed the temple where he had been challenged by the
six Frenchmen ; but the English deserters fought desperately and
killed an officer and fifteen men of Clive's force, and the attack
was accordingly ordered to cease. At daybreak the officer com-
manding the French, seeing the danger of his situation, made a sally
at the head of his men ; but he was received with a heavy fire which
killed him and the twelve others who first came out of the gateway.
The rest ran back into the temple. Clive then advanced into the
porch of the gate to parley with the enemy and, weak with loss of
blood and fatigue, stood with his back to the wall of the porch
leaning forward on the shoulders of two sergeants. The officer of the
English deserters conducted himself with great insolence, told Clive
in abusive language that he would shoot him, raised his musket and
fired. The ball missed Clive, but the two sergeants fell mortally
wounded. The Frenchmen, who had hitherto defended the temple
with the English deserters, thought it necessary to disavow an outrage
which would probably exclude them from any pretensions to quarter,
and immediately surrendered.

It appears from an inscription in the Jambukeswaram temple on
Srlrangam island that the Bhojeswara temple in Samayapuram was
founded by a Hoysala Ballala king; and Kannanur is itself identified
as the site of Vikramapura, the Hoysala capital in the Chola country
in the thirteenth century. The name Bhojeswara is considered to be
a corruption of the original Poysaleswara (or Iloysaleswara), which



SAMBALPUR DISTRICT 5

owes its origin to a confusion between the long-forgotten Hoysala
king and the better-known king Bhoja of the Paraniaras in Central
India, who never had any connexion with this country. In the
Jambukeswaram inscription king Vira Someswara mentions '[the
image of] the Lord Poysaleswara which we have set up in Kannanur,
alias Vikramapuram ' ; and the south wall of the Kannanur temple
bears an inscription of the Hoysala king Vira Ramanatha Deva (son
of Someswara) in which the temple is called Poysaleswara, ' the Iswara
[temple] of the Poysala [king].' There is also a copperplate edict of
Vira Someswara in the Bangalore Museum which was issued on
March i, a.d. 1253, the day of an eclipse of the sun, 'while [the
king] was residing in the great capital named Vikramapura, which
had been built in order to amuse his mind in the Chola country,
which he had conquered by the power of his arm.'

Sambalpur District. — District of the Orissa Division, Bengal,
lying between 20° 45' and 21° 57' N. and 82° 38' and 84° 26' E., with
an area of 3,773 square miles. Up to 1905 the District formed part
of the Chhattlsgarh Division of the Central Provinces ; and on its
transfer to Bengal, the Phuljhar zaminddri and the Chandarpur-
Padampur and Malkhurda estates, with an area of 1,175 square miles
and a population (1901) of 189,455 persons were separated from it,
and attached to the Raipur and Bilaspur Districts of the Central
Provinces. It is bounded on the north by the Gangpur State of
Bengal ; on the east by the States of Bamra and Rairakhol ; on the
south by Patna, Sonpur, and Rairakhol States ; and on the west by
the Raipur and Bilaspur Districts of the Central Provinces. Sambalpur
consists of a core of tolerably open country, surrounded on three sides
by hills and forests, but continuing on the south into
the Feudatory States of Patna and Sonpur and asoects

forming the middle basin of the MahanadT. It is
separated from the Chhattlsgarh plain on the west by a range of hills
carrying a broad strip of jungle, and running north and south through
the Raigarh and Sarangarh States ; and this range marks roughly the
boundary between the Chhattlsgarh and Oriya tracts in respect of
population and language. Speaking broadly, the plain country con-
stitutes the khalsa, that is, the area held by village headmen direct
from Government, while the wilder tracts on the west, north, and east
are in the possession of intermediary proprietors known locally as
zamlnddrs. But this description cannot be accepted as entirely
accurate, as some of the zamlndari estates lie in the open plain, while
the khalsa area includes to the north the wild mass of hills known as
the Barapahar.

The MahanadI river traverses Sambalpur from north to south-east
for a distance of nearly 90 miles. Its width extends to a mile or more



6 SAMBALPUR DISTRICT

in flood-time, and its bed is rocky and broken by rapids over portions
of its course. The principal tributary is the lb, which enters the
District from the Gangpur State, and flowing south and west joins
the ISIahanadi about 12 miles above Sambalpur. The Kelo, another
tributary, passes Raigarh and enters the Mahanadi near Padampur.
The Ong rises in Khariar and passing through Borasambar flows into
the Mahanadi near Sonpur. Other tributary streams are the jTra,
Borai, and Mand. The Barapahar hills form a compact block
16 miles square in the north-west of the District, and throw out a spur
to the south-west for a distance of 30 miles, crossed by the Raipur-
Sambalpur road at the Singhora pass. Their highest point is Debrlgarh,
at an altitude of 2,276 feet. Another range of importance is that of
Jharghati, which is crossed by the railway at Rengali station. To the
southward, and running parallel with the Mahanadi, a succession of
broken chains extends for some 30 miles. The range, however, attains
its greatest altitude of about 3,000 feet in the Borasambar zamhiddri
in the south-west, where the Narsinghnath plateau is situated. Isolated
peaks rising abruptly from the plain are also frequent ; but the flat-
topped trap hills, so common a feature in most Districts to the north
and west, are absent. The elevation of the plains falls from nearly
750 feet in the north to 497 at Sambalpur town. The surface of
the open country is undulating, and is intersected in every direction
by drainage channels leading from the hills to the Mahanadi. A con-
siderable portion of the area consists of ground which is too broken by
ravines to be banked up into rice-fields, or of broad sandy ridges which
are agriculturally of very little value. The configuration of the country
is exceedingly well adapted for tank-making, and the number of village
tanks is one of the most prominent local features.

The Barapahar hills belong to the Lower Vindhyan sandstone forma-
tion, which covers so large an area in Raipur and Bilaspur. Shales,
sandstones, and limestones are the prevalent rocks. In the Barapahar
group coal-bearing sandstones are found. The rest of the District
is mainly occupied by metamorphic or crystalline rocks. Laterite is
found more or less abundantly resting upon the older formations in all
parts of the area.

Blocks of 'reserved' forest clothe the Barapahar hills in the north
and the other ranges to the east and south-east, while many of the
zamhiddri estates are also covered with jungle over the greater part
of their area. The forest vegetation of Sambalpur is included in the
great sal belt. Other important trees are the beautiful Anogeissus
acuminata, sdj ( Terminalia tonmitosa), bljdsdl {Pterocarpus Ma/supium),
and shtsham {Dalbcrgia .Sissoa). The light sandy soil is admirably fitted



Online LibraryGreat Britain. India OfficeImperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 22) → online text (page 1 of 51)