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enclosing the famous well. The gardens cover nearly 50 acres, and are
prettily laid out. Over the fatal well, a mound has been raised, which
slopes upwards until it is crowned by a handsome octagonal Gothic
wall, with iron gates. In the centre of the enclosure is the figure of an
angel in white marble by Marochetti, with arms crossed on her breast,
each hand holding a palm branch. Over the archway of the gate is
inscribed : ' These are they which came out of great tribulation ; ' and
around the wall which marks the circle of the well : ' Sacred to the
perpetual memory of a great company of Christian people, chiefly
women and children, who near this spot were cruelly murdered by the
followers of the rebel Nana Dhundu Panth of Bithur, and cast, the
dying with the dead, into the well below, on the xvth day of July
mdccclvii.' The expense of the construction of the gardens and
memorial was defrayed partly out of a fine levied on the city after
the suppression of the rebellion. A Government grant of ^500 a
year is made for the maintenance of the gardens, which is irrigated
from the Ganges Canal. In the gardens, south and south-west of the
well, are two graveyards with monuments to those who were massacred
or died at Cawnpur during the Mutiny. Farther to the west stands the
civil station, with the Bank of Bengal, Christ Church, the theatre, and
other European buildings. Old Cawnpur lies three miles farther along the
river-side, separated from the present city by fields and gardens. The
modern origin of Cawnpur deprives it of architectural attractions ; and
it cannot boast of such ancient palaces or handsome mansions as adorn
Agra, Benares, and other historic capitals. The few buildings with any
pretensions to beauty or elegance have been erected during the last fifty
years by bankers, merchants, or pleaders. The native city was built
according to no plan, and is badly laid out, abounding in narrow streets
and passages. Except on the undulating margin of the Ganges, or
where indented by ravines, the sites of the city, cantonment and civil
station, are alike flat and uninteresting. The principal landing-place
on the Ganges is that known as the Sarsiya ghat, a noble flight of steps,
surrounded by a vaulted arcade of brick and stone. Cawnpur also
contains, besides the buildings mentioned above, two Roman Catholic
chapels, a Union Church, a fine market-place, high school, club, and
two racquet courts, etc.

History. — Cawnpur possesses no historic interest in early times,
being a purely modern creation to meet the military and administrative
needs of the British Government. The city first arose after the defeats
of Shuja-ud-daula, Nawab Wazir of Oudh, at Buxar, in October 1764,



CAWNPUR CITY. 291

and at Kora in May 1765. The Nawab then concluded a treaty with
the British, granting them the right of stationing troops at two places
in his dominions, Cawnpur and Fatehgarh. One of the detachments,
however, was at first quartered at Bilgram ; and it was not till 1778
that the present site became the advanced frontier post in this por-
tion of the newly-acquired territory. From the location of a large
body of troops in Cawnpur, the town sprang rapidly into importance
as a trading mart, and has now developed into a commercial city of
the first rank. In 1S01, the surrounding country came finally under
British rule, by cession from the Nawab Wazir, and the head-quarters
of a District were fixed in the city. No events of historical note
occurred between the annexation and the Mutiny of 1857 ; but in that
year Cawnpur was rendered memorable by the leading part which it
played in the operations of the mutineers. The struggle with the rebels
lasted from May to December ; but the station itself was never lost for
more than a few days.

News of the outbreak of the troops at Meerut reached Cawnpur
on the 14th of May. Eleven days later, the Nana Dundhu Panth
of Bithur, adopted son of the last Peshwa, Baji Rao, was placed
in charge of the treasury; and, on the 30th of May, the entrench-
ment of the European barracks began. On the 6th of June, the native
troops mutinied, sacked the treasury, broke open the jail, and burnt the
public offices. Next day, the Nana opened fire on the entrenchments,
which had no other fortification than a mud parapet, 5 feet in height.
After three weeks' cannonade, the position became untenable, and the
garrison capitulated under a promise of personal security and safe
conduct to Allahabad. On the 27th they embarked in boats on the
Ganges for Allahabad, at the Sati Chaura ghat, a landing-place near
the spot where the Memorial Gardens now stand. Before they could
put off, they were treacherously fired upon from the bank, and all
destroyed or captured, except one boat-load, which escaped for the time
into Fatehpur District. The prisoners, including women and children,
were crowded into a house at Cawnpur, and finally massacred by the
Nana's orders, in the Savada Kothi, near the East Indian Railway,
and their bodies cast into the now historic well, noticed above. On
the 1 6th of July, Havelock's small force entered the city, and the Nana
fled precipitately to Bithur.

Four days later, General Neill arrived with an ample reinforce-
ment of 400 Europeans. Havelock thrice advanced unsuccessfully
into Oudh, and retreated at last to Cawnpur, on the 10th of August.
Shortly afterwards, General Outram reached the city, and marched
on to the relief of Lucknow, which was successfully accomplished on
the 25th. Lord Clyde's and Col. Greathed's columns passed through
on different occasions in October; and on the 26th of November, the



292 CAWNPUR CITY.

Gwalior mutineers approached Cawnpur. General Windham attacked
and defeated the rebel force; but, being strengthened by Oudh insur-
gents, they again assaulted the city, which they wrested from us on the
27th. They held it, however, only for a single night, as Lord Clyde's
army marched in on the evening of the 28th, drove out the mutineers,
and utterly defeated them next day, outside the city, with the loss
of all their guns. After the re-organization of the District, the site of
the massacre was laid out as Memorial Gardens, and an ornamental
building was placed over the well into which the bodies were flung.
The surrounding wall is pierced with rows of lancet windows or open-
ings, having trefoiled mullions; and handsome bronze doors close the
entrance. Within stands the marble angel of Marochetti, already
described. This forms the chief object of interest to visitors in a city
otherwise devoid of historical interest. A Memorial Church also
occupies the site of General Wheeler's entrenchments in the canton-
ment. The style is Romanesque, and the material consists of massive
red brick, relieved by buttresses and copings of buff freestone.

Population. — The Census of 1881 returned the population of Cawnpur
city and civil station at 120,161 souls; namely, 90,922 Hindus,
28,359 Muhammadans, in Jains, and 769 Christians or 'others.' The
cantonments contained a population of 31,283, made up of 22,432
Hindus, 6378 Muhammadans, 3 Jains, and 2470 Christians and ' others.'
Grand total, 151,444, namely, Hindus, 113,354; Muhammadans,
34,737 ; Jains, 114 ; Christians, 3194 ; and 'others,' 45.

Covununications, Trade, etc.— The Ganges forms the natural waterway
for the traffic of Cawnpur, and still carries a large portion of the heavy
trade. The Ganges canal, which passes just south of the city, is also
navigable, and affords means of communication for a considerable number
of country boats. The East Indian Railway from x\llahabad to Delhi
has a station about a mile west of the city ; and the Lucknow branch
of the Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway, after crossing the Ganges by a
girder bridge, passes between the native quarter and the cantonments
and joins the East Indian line a little west of the Cawnpur station.
The Grand Trunk Road from Calcutta to Delhi also runs through the
city and military lines ; while other roads branch off southward to
Kalpi and Hamirpur, and northward over the railway bridge, to Unao
and Lucknow.

The chief industry of Cawnpur consists in the manufacture of leather
goods, which is rapidly developing from year to year. A large Govern-
ment tannery and leather manufactory is situated in the old fort, together
with a steam flour mill. Two large steam cotton mills give employment
to a considerable number of operatives, who manufacture yarn, cloth,
and tents, and supply the native weavers with material for their craft ;
and several co:ton presses, both European and native. These two items



CEDED DISTRICTS— CENTRAL INDIA. 293

of leather and cotton goods make up the principal export trade of
Cawnpur ; but the city also forms a great grain mart where agri-
cultural produce from Bundelkhand, Oudh, and the middle Doab is
collected for despatch by rail. The commerce of Cawnpur has
steadily increased for many years past, somewhat to the detriment
of Fatehgarh, Mirzapur, and other local trading centres ; but the
development of the railway system in Upper India is already acting
so as to decentralize the trade, by creating intermediate marts.

Three weekly vernacular newspapers are published in the town,
which also contains two English and about six vernacular printing-
presses. Municipal income in 1882-83, jC I 5t I ^°f of which ^9103
was derived from taxation; average incidence of taxation, is. 6d.
per head of population within municipal limits (117,030). The
cantonment is not included within municipal limits. The troops
ordinarily stationed in the cantonment consist of one European and
one native regiment of infantry, a regiment of native cavalry, and a
battery of royal artillery.

Ceded Districts. — A term applied to the territory in the Deccan
ceded to the British in 1800, after the downfall of Tipu Sultan, for the
maintenance of the Nizam's Subsidiary Force. In the Madras Presi-
dency, the Districts of North Arcot, Kurnool, Bellary, and Cuddapah
are known as the Ceded Districts. — See Hyderabad State.

Ceded and Conquered Provinces. — A term formerly applied to
the Provinces ceded by the Nawab Wazir of Oudh in 1801, includ-
ing Allahabad, Azamgarh, Farukhabad, Etawah, Gorakhpur, etc., with
a total revenue of Sicca rupees 13,523,474 (see Aitchison's Treaties,
vol. ii. pp. 100-103, ed. 1876). They formed the nucleus of the
North-Western Provinces, and still constitute the eastern portion of
that Lieutenant-Governorship.

Central India. — This is the term now officially applied to
the territories included in the nine Political Agencies under the
ultimate supervision of the Agent to the Governor-General for Central
India, who resides at Indore, and who is in direct correspondence
with the Supreme Government. These are the Indore, the Bhil or
Bhopawar, the Deputy Bhil, the Western Malwa, the Bhopal, the
Gwalior, the Guna, the Bundelkhand, and the Baghelkhand
Agencies, all being included and collectively designated as the
'Central India Agency.' The whole tract in which these Agencies
are included lies to the north of the Central Provinces, having the
North-Western Provinces on the north-east, Rajputana on the north-
west, the Bombay District of Khandesh and Rewa Kantha on
the west and south-west, and the Garhjat State of Chang-Bakhar
of Chutia-Nagpur in Bengal on the east. The states of the Central
India Agency, comprised in this tract of country, cover an area of about



294 CENTRAL INDIA.

75,000 square miles, with a population (1881) of 9,261,907 souls. The
whole tract has been roughly described as a great triangle with the
Narbada (Nerbudda) and Son (Soane) for its hypotenuse, and having
for one side the valley of the Ganges, and for the other the river,
Chambal and the Chittor hills. It lies between 21 24' and 2 6° 52'
x. lat., and between 74 o' and 83 o' e. long. The British Districts of
Jhansi and Lalitpur, of the North-Western Provinces, divide this Agency
into two main divisions — Native Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand,
lying to the east, and Central India proper to the west.

The following are the States included within the whole area, each
of which see separately: — Indore, Dewas, Bagli, and 15 guaranteed
Thdkurates under the Indore Agency ; Dhar, Jhabua, Ali-Rajpur, Jobat,
and 13 guaranteed Thdkurates under the Bhil or Bhopawar Agency ; the
British pargand of Minpur, Barwani, and 10 guaranteed Thdkurates
under the Deputy-Bhil Agency ; Jaora, Ratlam, Sitamau, Sailana,
and 1 7 guaranteed Thdkurates under the Western Malwa Agency ;
Bhopal, Rajgarh, Narsinghgarh, Khilchipur, Kurwai, Maksiidangarh,
Muhammadgarh, Pathari, Basoda, and 1 7 guaranteed Thdkurates under
the Bhopal Agency; Gwalior, and 15 minor chiefs under the Gwalior
Agency and the Giina Sub- Agency of Gwalior ; Orchha or Tehri Datia,
Sampthar, Panna, Charkhari, Ajaigarh, Bijawar, Chhatarpur, Baoni,
Alipura, Bironda, Jaso, Kalinjar, Gaurihar, Khania-Dhana, and 17 other
petty chiefs under the Bundelkhand Agency ; Rewa, Nagode, Maihar,
Sohawal, Koti, Sidpura, and Raigaon under the Baghelkhand Agency.

The Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand portion, or the eastern part of
the great triangular plateau of Central India, is watered by the rivers
Dhasan and Ken flowing into the Jumna, and on the east by the Son
flowing into the Ganges, the Khaimiir range of hills — a continuation of
the Vindhyas— rising up along its left bank. The Panna range, with
deep ravines and isolated crags on its north-western face, traverses this
Division of Central India, and there is a broken plateau between the
Panna and Khaimiir ridges watered by the Tons, a tributary of the
Ganges. To the north, the Bundelkhand division terminates in an
amphitheatre of precipices shaping the country below into a bay
bounded by sandstone cliffs.

The larger or Central India division has the great range of the
Vindhyas along the whole south, abruptly overhanging the valley of the
Narbada (Nerbudda) and presenting the appearance of a weather-beaten
coast-line. From its summits, varying in height from 1500 to 2500 feet,
the northern slope to the Jumna commences, the whole region consist-
ing of a broken but elevated country, with ranges of hills, watered by
the river Chambal, with its tributaries the Kali-Sind and Parbati, and
by the Sind and Betwa, all flowing into the Tumna, and descending
from the high table-lands in cascades of great height.



CENTRAL INDIA. 295

The mineral resources of the whole country are considerable-iron,
coal, copper, and limestone abound; and in the Bundelkhand portion,
about 12 or 15 miles north-east of the town of Panna, the capital of the
State of that name, is an adamantiferous tract from which diamonds arc
extracted of the value of several thousand pounds sterling a year. 1 he
mines are less prosperous now than formerly; but it is believed that
inexhaustible diamond-producing strata exist in this locality, and that, if
the mines were properly worked, their productiveness would be found not
to have diminished. Most of the territory included under the Central
India Agency is well cultivated and fertile, and the whole of the Malwa
plateau most fertile, producing in abundance and excellence, wheat,
rice, and other grains and pulses, sugar-cane, cotton, and especially
opium Tobacco is also much cultivated, and is of excellent quality.

Population. — The population of the States under the Central
India Agency is of a widely diverse character, comprising besides
Marathas (the ruling class), Rajputs, Bundelas, Bdghelas, Jats, Kolis,
and a number of aboriginal tribes, the most numerous being the
Gonds and the uncivilised Bhils. The Census of 1881 was the first
systematic attempt that has been made to enumerate the population
of these States, all previous returns being mere estimates. The results
disclosed a total population of 9,261,907 persons, spread over an area
of 75,229 square miles, containing 53 towns and 31,465 villages, and
inhabiting 1,680,394 houses; average density of population, 123 12
per square mile; persons per town or village, 294; persons per occu-
pied house, 5-5- The population is almost entirely Hindu, no less than
7 800,396 being returned as belonging to this religion, while only 5 10,7 1*>
are Muhammadans. Jains number 49,824; Parsis, 916; Christians,
706=; principally in the British cantonments; Sikhs, 1455; Jews, 3» >
aborigines, 891,424; and 'others,' 7 i. Brahmans number 96 1,993,
and are the most numerous caste, except the despised Chamars,
in the Central India States. Rajputs are returned at 803,366.
Other principal Hindu castes— Chamars, 1,076,949; Gujars, 337 A™ ,
\hirs, 246,376; Baniyas, 286,678; Telis, 250,252 ; Balais, 170,392 ;
Kachhis, r8 ,064; and Kdnbis, x68, I4 8. The aboriginal tribes eon-
stitute 9 per cent, of the population of the Central India State^ The
Gonds number 413,602, and live in the Gondwana tract. Next 1
importance come the Bhils, who are returned at 217,022 u They
inhabit the States on the south-west corner, and are not found else, he c
in Central India. Formerly a tribe which lived by plunder they are
now gradually settling down as peaceful agriculturists. Kols ; who
number 187,315, are aborigines of the hilly country imodMrf
Na.pur, and are only found in Panna among the Central India States.

cLat,-The northern part of Central India has a climate pax-
taking of the torrid character of the neighbouring tracts of the North-



296 CENTRAL INDIA.

Western Provinces and Rajputana. In these parts, the climate during
the rainy season, and for a short time after, is exceedingly unhealthy,
fevers being then rife in consequence of the moisture imbibed by
the superficial alluvial soil being prevented from passing off by an
impenetrable substratum of sandstone. During the dry and hot seasons,
the climate is not unhealthy. The middle, the southern, and the
western parts, or those occupied within the Malwa tract, with little
exception, have a mild and rather equable climate, resulting from the
greater elevation of the surface. The cool season comprises the period
from November to February, the hot season succeeds and continues to
the middle of June, when the periodical rains set in and last to the
close of September, the average fall being about 50 inches. During the
rains the thermometer has a moderate range, rarely more than from 72°
to 8o° F. ; in the winter it sometimes falls three or four degrees below
freezing-point. During the sultry season the hot winds are comparatively
mild, and of short duration, though the thermometer sometimes rises to
nearly ioo° during the day, but the nights are for the most part cool
and refreshing.

A trunk road from Gwalior to Bombay, via Indore, runs through the
whole length of the Central India division of the territory, while good
roads connect the capitals of the various states throughout the whole
tract with each other and with the neighbouring large towns in British
territory. The ' Rajputana-Malwa Railway,' from Ajmere, connects
with the Great Indian Peninsula Railway at Khandwa station, passing
through the territory on the west via Neemuch, Ratlam, Indore, and
Mhow (Mau), a small branch of the line connecting with Ujjain. The
Bhopal State Railway, branching off from Itarsi station of the Great
Indian Peninsula Railway, runs to Bhopal, while the Sindhia State
Railway has been completed between Agra and Gwalior via Dholpur,
the surveys for an extension of the line via Jhansi and Lalitpur to
Bhopal being in progress. The Jabalpur (Jubbulpore) extension line of
the East Indian Railway from Allahabad to Jabalpur runs through the
Bundelkhand portion of the country.

The highest representative of the Paramount Power in Central India
is the Agent to the Governor-General of India, who resides at Indore.
His authority is the unifying principle that pervades the administration
of the many states of Central India committed to his care. He is the
friend and counsellor of all the ruling chiefs ; he is the guardian of
chiefs during their minority ; and he is the medium of communication
between the Imperial Government and the native Darbdrs. He is,
moreover, a minister of war for Central India, having large bodies of
troops at his disposal. He exercises the functions of a High Court of
Judicature, original and appellate, within the limits of the Residencies
and Cantonments. He exercises a supervision over the opium-tax,



CENTRAL PROVINCES. 297

with the designation of Opium Agent ; over the payment of tribute,
relief, and other feudal charges to which the protected states are habit ,
and over the various political officers superintending the several
agencies named above.

Central India Agency.-The collective name given to the nine
Political Agencies under the Agent to the Governor-General for Central
India.— See Central India.

Central Provinces.-The name given to the territory under the
administration of a Chief Commissioner, lying between 17 5° an <J
24 27' n. lat, and between 76 and 85° 15' E. long. The Chiet-
Commissionership extends from Bundelkhand in the north to the
Madras Presidency in the south, and from the frontier of Bengal in the
east to Independent Malwa and the Deccan in the west, with an
extreme length from north to south of 500 miles, and from east to west
of 600 miles. Of the ancient geographical divisions of India, the
Central Provinces comprise nearly the whole of Gondwana, and parts of
Hindustan and Malwa. Population in 1881, n,548 ) 5 11 5 area '
113,279 square miles.

Physical Aspects.- -The tract falls naturally into several distinct areas,
marked out by their physical features, and in a great measure by
geological structure. To the north extends the Vindhyan table-land
(including the Districts of Sagar (Saugor) and Damoh), which sheds
its waters northwards into the valley of the Ganges. Throughout this
region, the surface is formed by the deposits styled 'Vindhyan, except
in the large tracts where the Vindhyan strata are concealed by the
overflowing volcanic rocks of the great Deccan trap area. South ot
Sagar (Saugor) and Damoh, in the valley of the Narbada (Nerbudda),
come Mandla (which includes the upper course of the river before it
debouches into the plains), Jabalpur (Jubbulpore), Narsinghpur,
Hoshangabad, and a part of Nimar, the rest of which lies in the
valley of the Taptf. This area chiefly consists of alluvial and tertiary
deposits, with a narrow belt of older rocks along the southern side of
the valley. Continuing southwards, the next cluster of Districts comprises
Betul, Chhindwara, Seoni, and Balaghat, which occupy the extensive
highlands constituting the Satpura table-land, in great part formed o
the Deccan traps resting upon crystalline rocks, or upon sandstone and
other rocks of later date. These Districts at their central plateaux
attain a height of about 2000 feet. Still farther to the south extends
the great Nagpur plain, formed by the valleys of the ttardha and
Wainganga, which comprises the Districts of Nagpur, WXrdha,
Bhandara, and Chanda. This region has no great elevation It
rests principally on gneissose and trap rocks, the former predomi-
nating in Nagpur and Bhandara, the latter in Wardha, eastwards
Below the ghats lies the Chhatisgarh plain, a low expanse of red



298 CENTRAL PROVINCES.

soil, containing the Districts of Raipur and Bilaspur. In this
division is also included the District of Sambalpur, a rugged and
jungly country, composed of crystalline and metamorphic rocks.
Sambalpur is not, however, part of Chhatisgarh proper, either
geographically or historically. It was originally attached to the South-
Western Frontier Agency of Bengal, and lies principally in the valley of
the Mahanadf. Last of all, to the extreme south, almost cut off by
forests and wild semi-independent States, is a strip of territory, of varied
geological structure, stretching along the left bank of the Godavari,
and attached to Chanda District.

The hill plateau is thus succeeded by a lowland plain, and again a
larger and loftier plateau by a larger plain, ending in a mass of hill and
forest, which is probably the wildest part of the whole Indian peninsula.
But even the comparatively level portions of this area are broken by
isolated peaks and straggling hill ranges ; and nowhere in India are the
changes of soil and vegetation more rapid and marked than in the
Narbada (Nerbudda) country. ' There,' writes Mr. Charles Grant, ' in the
pleasant winter months, the eye may range over miles of green corn-
lands, broken only by low black boundary ridges or dark twisting foot-
paths. The horizon is bounded here and there by hill ranges, which



Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 3) → online text (page 35 of 56)