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20 53' n. lat., and between 78° 52' and 8o° 59' e. long. It forms an
irregular triangle, with its northern base resting on the Districts
of Wardha, Nagpur, and Bhandara ; its western side bounded by the
Wardha river, and its south-eastern by the Bastar State and Raipur
District. Population in 1881, 649,146; area, 10,785 square miles.
The administrative headquarters of the District are at Chanda, which
is also the principal town.

Physical Aspects. — Except in the low-lying region in the extreme
west, along the Wardha river, Chanda is thickly dotted with hills, some-
times rising isolated from the plain, sometimes in short spurs or ridges,
all running towards the south. East of the Wainganga river, the hills
increase in height, and form a broad table-land, at its highest point
about 2000 feet above the sea. The Wainganga flows through the
centre of the District from north to south, till it meets the Wardha
at Seoni, where their united streams form the Pranhita. The eastern
regions of Chanda are drained by the headwaters of the Mahanadi,
which flows in a north-easterly direction, and by the Indravati. Each
of these rivers receives the waters of many large streams, which in
their turn are fed by countless rivulets from the hills. In many places
the streams have been formed into lakes, by throwing up dams
across the sloping lands which they intersect. Such artificial lakes are
found in greatest number in the Garhbori and Brahmapuri pargands;
as many as 37 can be seen at once from the heights of Perzagarh.
To the abundance of its waters Chanda owes the luxuriance of



CHANDA. 34Q

its forests, which everywhere fringe the cultivated lands. Dense
forests clothe the country, girdling or intersecting the cultivated
lands, and feathering the highest hills. Along the eastern frontier
the trees attain their finest growth, specially in Ahiri, where teak
of large size abound. The total area of Government forest was
returned in 1881 at 391 square miles of ' first -class,' and 2977
square miles of ' second-class » reserves. The unreserved forests cover
an area of 114 square miles. Chanda is also rich in wild fibres, lac,
tasar, cocoons, beeswax, mahud, and other forest produce. 'The
important coal-field at Warora, opened out some few years ago, is now
connected with the general railway system of India by a State line of
railway running from the Wardha station of the Great Indian Peninsula
branch line to Nagpur. Chanda is particularly rich in iron-ores, and a
scientific inquiry into its resources in this respect was conducted in
1881-82, which promises most favourably for the future. The ore
varies in appearance from a bright steely substance to a dull red-brown
rock, and from a ferruginous earth to a black sand. Gold dust
is found in the sands of some of the hill streams ; and diamonds and
rubies were formerly obtained near Wairagarh, but the mines have long
since been abandoned. The ochres and plastic clays of the District
are excellent, and in the vicinity of the Wardha is a valuable layer of
silicious sand, as fine-grained as flour. To the lover of scenery and
the sportsman, Chanda offers singular attractions. The combinations
of stream and lake, hill and forest, form a variety of scenes of pic-
turesque beauty ; while game of every description swarms in the woods
and on the waters.

History. — For several centuries before the Maratha dominion,
Chanda enjoyed substantial independence from foreign rule, notwith-
standing the nominal allegiance of its Gond princes to the Delhi
throne. Under the Gond dynasty, the inhabitants of Chanda were
elevated from a savage tribe into an orderly and contented people;
large tracts of country were reclaimed from the forest, and engineering
works of no mean skill were planned and successfully executed. At
what date these princes adopted the Hindu faith cannot be determined ;
but it was not until the reign of Bir Shah, in the middle of the 17th
century, that the yearly sacrifice of cows to Pharsa Pen, the great Gond
deity, was entirely abolished. With Nilkant Shah, the Gond line
came to an end. That cruel and tyrannical prince made himself
hateful to all classes of his subjects ; and when, in 1749, the Marathas
under Raghuji Bhonsla blockaded Chanda, the city was surrendered
without a battle by the treachery of the courtiers. At first Raghuji
contented himself with a tribute of two-thirds of the revenues of
the kingdom ; but two years later he took entire possession of Chanda,
and Nilkant Shah ended his days in confinement. From this time,



350 CHANDA.

Chanda became a province of the Bhonsla family. The loss of its
independence marks the close of its prosperity. Contested suc-
cessions among the Maratha rulers afforded an opportunity for an
unsuccessful Gond rising in 1773 under the son of Nilkant Shah, who,
after being defeated and imprisoned, was in 1788 pensioned off by the
Marathas on £60 a year. The Maratha succession was then adjusted
by one claimant slaying the other with his own hand.

Chanda next suffered from the Pindaris. About 1800, these or-
ganized banditti spread over the District, till few villages had escaped
pillage, and hundreds were left wholly desolate. The Pindaris
ncited to action the predatory castes throughout the country, and
between 1802 and 1822, one-half the population is said to have been
killed off. Even in the walled city of Chanda, the number of houses
diminished in nearly this proportion. The death of the Maratha Raja
in 181 6 left the succession to his only son, Parsoji. Blind, lame, and
paralyzed, and with an intellect as feeble as his body, this unhappy
prince, after being used as a tool in the hands of contending court
factions, was found dead in his bed — strangled, as was afterwards dis-
covered, by the secret orders of his cousin, Apa Sahib, who, as next of
kin, now became Raja of Nagpur. After various acts of treachery and
hostility, Apa Sahib surrendered to the British, and was reinstated by
them, but faithlessly allied himself with the Peshvva against them. In
1818, he was seized by the Resident at Nagpur, on the eve of his
throwing himself into Chanda. His ally, the Peshwa Baji Rao, pushed
on to meet him within 10 miles of Chanda, when his progress was also
checked by a British force ; and on the 17 th April 1818, he was routed
at Pandarkankra, west of the Wardha river. The English army then
laid siege to Chanda, and on the 2nd May carried it by storm in spite
of the desperate resistance of the garrison. The kildddr (com-
mandant) himself fell fighting gallantly at the head of his soldiers ; and
the conquerors, admiring his courage, spared his house amid the sack
of the town.

The faithless Apa Sahib was deposed by the British Government ;
and the administration of the country was conducted by the Resident,
acting in the name and during the minority of the new Raja,
Raghuji, with British officers in charge of each District. Under their
administration, the disaffected Gonds returned to habits of order,
plundering was checked, assessments were reduced, irrigation works
were restored, and education was encouraged. But when, in 1830, the
government was made over to the Raja, his narrow and grinding policy
checked the progress which had begun, and plundering again prevailed
through the country. In 1853, Raghuji hi. died without an heir;
and Chanda, with the rest of the Nagpur Province, was incorporated
into the British Empire, the administration being conducted by a



CHANDA. 35 r

Commission under the Supreme Government. During the Mutiny, the
uild nature of the country, the innate predatory habits of the Gonds,
and the proximity of the Haidarabad territory, caused great anxiety ;
but it was not till March 1858 that order was disturbed. Babu Rao, a
petty chief of Monampallf in the Ahiri zaminddri, then began to plunder
the Rajgarh pargand. He was soon joined by Vyankat Rao, zamindd?-
of Arpalli and Ghot ; and the two leaders, collecting a band of Rohillas
and Gonds, openly declared rebellion. On the night of the 29th April,
Messrs. Gartland, Hall, and Peter, telegraph employes, were attacked
by a party of the rebels near Chunchgundi, on the Pranhita river.
Messrs. Gartland and Hall were killed, but Mr. Peter contrived to
escape, and joined Captain Crichton, then Deputy Commissioner.
Afterwards, disguised as a native, Mr. Peter succeeded in delivering
to a leading lady zaminddr, Lakshmi Bai, a letter from Captain
Crichton ; and by her exertions Babu Rao was captured. He suffered
death at Chanda, on the 21st October 1858. Vyankat Rao escaped
to Bastar; but in April i860 he was arrested by the Raja of
that State, and handed over to the British authorities, by whom he
was sentenced to transportation for life, with forfeiture of all his
property.

Population. — The population of Chanda District (after allowing for
an increase of 1085 square miles by the incorporation of four taluks of
the abolished Upper Godavari District in 1878-79) was returned,
according to the Census of 1872, at 558,856. In 1881 the population
numbered 649,146, showing an increase of 90,290, or 16*16 per cent.,
in the nine years. This rapid increase, above the natural excess of
births over deaths, is attributed partly to a considerable immigration
from the Nizam's territories into the Sironcha Sub-division, and partly
to the greater accuracy of the Census of 1881. The details of the
enumeration are as follows: — Total population, 649,146, namely,
males 326,824, and females 322,322, spread over an area of 10,785
square miles, and living in 2804 villages and towns ; number of houses,
i 7°j549j of which 148,135 are occupied and 22,414 unoccupied;
average density of population, 60*2 per square mile ; number of villages,
•26 per square mile ; number of houses, 1374 per square mile; persons
per village, 232 ; persons per occupied house, 4-38. Classified
according to religion, the population consisted of — Hindus, 499,327 ;
Kabirpanthis, 1064; Satnamis, 173; Muhammadans, 10,987; Sikhs,
5; Christians, 289; Jains, 737; and aboriginal tribes still professing
their primitive forms of faith, 136,564. The ethnical division returns
the undoubted Hindu castes at 474,769; indefinite castes at 3685 ;
and the non-Hindu or aboriginal tribes at 158,679, of whom 154,701
were Dravidian Gonds, 1466 other Dravidians, and 2513 Kolarian
tribes or unspecified.



35 2 CHANDA.

Among Hindus proper, Brahmans numbered 6458, and Rajputs
2221 ; the inferior Hindu castes above 5000 in number being —
Kurmis, the principal agricultural caste, and the most numerous
in the District, 92,806; Mahars, weavers, day-labourers, and
village watchmen, 72,472 ; Gauri, herdsmen, carters, etc., correspond-
ing to the Goala caste in Bengal, 42,796; Mara, cultivators, 32,001 j
Teli, oil-pressers, 31,126; Mara, cultivators, 28,806; Dhimars,
fishermen, dealers in jungle products, etc., 27,875; Koshti, weavers,
13,246; Kalar, spirit-sellers, 10,689; Nai, barbers, 5466. As regards
the occupations of the people, the Census Report classifies the male
population into the following six main divisions: — (1) Professional
class, including Government officials and learned professions, 6937 ;
(2) domestic servants, etc., 2291 ; (3) commercial class, including
merchants, traders, carriers, etc., 3988 ; (4) agricultural and pastoral
class, including gardeners, 146,472; (5) manufacturing, artisan, mining,
and other industrial classes, 53,893; (6) indefinite and non-productive
(comprising 3004 general labourers, and 110,239 unspecified, including
children), 113,243.

There are only three towns in Chanda District with a population
exceeding 5000 — viz., Chanda, the District capital, population (1881)
16,137; Warora, 8022; and Armori, 5584. Towns with 1000 to
5000 inhabitants, 74 ; villages with from 200 to 1000 inhabitants,
795 ; with fewer than 200 inhabitants, 1932. The only municipalities
are Chanda and Warora, with a total population of 24,159, and an
income in 1880-81 of ^£2282.

Antiquities and Places of Interest. — The chief architectural objects of
interest are the cave temples of Bhandak, Winjbasanf, Dewala, and
Ghugiis ; the rock temple in the bed of the Wardha, near Ballalpur ;
the ancient temples at Markandi, Neri, Batala, Bhandak, Wairagarh,
Ambgaon, Waghnak,and Keslabori; the monoliths near Chanda; the forts
of Wairagarh and Ballalpur ; and the walls of Chanda town, its system of
waterworks, and the tombs of the Gond kings. The following places
are also worthy of visit : — the rapids of the Wardha at Soit, the junction
of the Wardha and the Wainganga at Seori, the Ramdighi pool near
Keslabori, the Mugdai spring and caves in the Perzagarh hills near
Doma, and the different iron mines, coal seams, and stone and clay
quarries.

Agriculture. — Of the total area of 10,785 square miles, only 1148
were cultivated in 1881 ; and of the portion lying waste 5840 were
returned as cultivable, and 3797 as uncultivable. Less than a fourth
of the cultivated land is irrigated — entirely by private enterprise.. The
principal crops consist of rice and sugar-cane ; excellent cotton, jodr,
oil-seeds, wheat, gram, and pulses are also grown, and the Chanda pan
gardens are famous throughout the Province. The area under the



CHANDA. 353

principal crops was returned as follows in i S8 1-82 :— Rice, 245,406
acres; wheat, 83,091 ; other food-grains, 281,698; oil-seeds, 121,323 ;
sugar-cane, 5364; cotton, 25,139; fibres, 1345; tobacco, 2962; and
vegetables, 9644 acres. These figures include land bearing two crops
in the year. Horned cattle, of indifferent quality, are bred in great
numbers. Large flocks of sheep abound, principally kept for their wool
and manure. The Godavari breed, found in the extreme south, have
coats of hair rather than wool. Goats and poultry, both good of their
kind, are plentiful. The agricultural stock of the District approxi-
mately comprises 450,379 cows, bullocks, and buffaloes, 583 horses,
546 ponies, 386 asses, 113,469 sheep and goats, 4217 pigs, 36,236
carts, and 46,898 ploughs.

The Census of 1881 showed a total of 3780 landed proprietors ;
tenants of all ranks numbered 112,784, of whom 18,410 had either
absolute or occupancy rights, while 24,605 were tenants-at-will, and
69,799 engaged in home cultivation. The average area cultivated in
1 88 1 by each head of the regular agricultural population (253,238, or
39*01 per cent, of the District population) was 15 acres; the amount of
Government land revenue and local cesses, levied from the landholders,
was ^29,071 ; and the amount of rental, including cesses, paid by the
cultivators was ^49,297, or an average of is. 3^d. per cultivated acre.
Average rent per acre, in 1881, of land suited for rice, is. 4^d. ; for
sugar-cane, 3s. 4d. ; for wheat, is. ; for cotton, iojd.; for oil-seeds or
inferior grain, is. ; for fibres, nd. ; for tobacco, 7d. Average produce
of land per acre, in lbs. — rice, 498; gur or unrefined sugar, 666;
wheat, 390 ; inferior grain, 236 ; cotton, 64 ; oil-seeds, 304 ; tobacco,
320. Average price of produce per cwt. — rice, 4s. 5d. ; gur, 16s. 4d. ;
wheat, 4s. 9d. ; gram, 4s. id. ; cotton, ^3, 13s. 9d. ; linseed, 6s. iod. ;
jodr, 4s. Average wages per diem — skilled labour, is. ; unskilled, 3|d.

Natural Calamities. — In September 1797. the Virai river rose to an
extraordinary height, flooding the entire city of Chanda, and submerging
numerous dwellings.

Commerce and Trade. — The external commerce of Chanda is princi-
pally with Wardha, Nagpur, Bhandara, and Raipur Districts, with
Bastar State, and the eastern coast Districts, and with the Haidarabad
territories and Berar. The trade is mainly carried on by means of
annual fairs, the most important of which are held at Chanda in
April, and at Bhandak in February, being frequented by visitors from
distant parts of India. Trade, which had dwindled away almost to
nothing subsequent to the Maratha conquest, has revived wonder-
fully under British rule ; and Chanda now promises to become a great
commercial centre, as a few years will in all probability see the
town connected with Bombay on the west by the extension of the
Wardha railway from Warora to Chanda, and also with Haidarabad

vol. in. z



354 CHANDA.

on the south, the capital of the Deccan. The chief manufacture
consists of the weaving of fine and coarse cotton cloths, which once
found their way as far as x\rabia, and are still largely exported to
Western India. Silk fabrics are well made, although the demand for
them is not great ; and there are also stuffs manufactured of a mixture
of silk and cotton. Large numbers of tasar silkworms are bred in the
forests, and the wound silk thence obtained forms an important item of
export. Considerable quantities of excellent iron are smelted, both for
home and foreign use ; and from the resources of Chanda in coal, cotton,
and iron, and the abundance of labour, the rise of great manufacturing
industries may be confidently anticipated as soon as further means of
transit are opened up. The important colliery of Warora was producing,
in 1877, coal at the rate of 3500 tons per month, and giving employment
to 350 men ; but this output had declined to a total of 10,107 tons for
the year 1881-82. The coal sells, when screened, for 10s. a ton, and
has proved sufficiently good for locomotive fuel on the railways. The iron
resources of the District were scientifically inquired into in 1881-82 by a
gentleman of great experience in iron-mining in Austria, and his opinion
of the prospects for iron in Chanda is most favourable. With the con-
struction of an ironwork at Dungarpur, and the erection of more blast
furnaces, there seemed to him no reason to doubt of Chanda turning
out 260,000 tons of iron or steel yearly. He reported further that,
besides supplying India with much of her steel and iron requirements,
Chanda is able to open an export trade to England in certain articles
now imported into England from the Continent, particularly in Ferro-
manganese and Brescian steel.

Communications in 1881 : — By the Wainganga and Wardha rivers, at
certain seasons, 252 miles; made roads, second-class, 42 miles; rail-
roads, 17 miles, being the coal-branch line from Warora to Wardha,
where it joins the Great Indian Peninsula Railway system.

There is a first-class dispensary in the city of Chanda, with branch
dispensaries at Armori, Brahmapuri, and Warora.

Administration. — In 1861, Chanda was formed into a separate British
District. It is administered by a Deputy Commissioner, with Assistants
and tahsilddrs. Total revenue in 1876-77, imperial and local,
,£44,395, of which the land revenue yielded ^24,529. Total cost of
District officials and police of all kinds, ,£13,786. By 1881-82, the
total revenue had increased to .£87,778, or nearly doubled itself, while
the land revenue had increased only to ,£27,847 ; the expenditure
on officials and police amounted to .£15,292. Number of civil and
revenue judges in 1881, 10; of magistrates, 12. Maximum distance of
any village from the nearest court, 130 miles ; average distance, 20 miles.
Number of police, 615, costing ^£8623 ; being 1 policeman to about
every 17*54 square miles and every 1055 persons. The daily average



CHANDA.



355



number of convicts in jail in 1SS1 was 97, of whom 9 were females.
The number of Government or aided schools in the District under
Government inspection was 64, attended by 3735 pupils.

Medical Aspects.— -The rainy season sets in about the middle of June,
and lasts till the end of September. Showers, on which the dry crops
and sugar-cane are dependent, are also expected in November and
December. Average annual rainfall, 507 inches; rainfall in 1881,
56*8 inches, or 5-9 inches above the average. Temperature in the
shade at the civil station during the year 1881 — May, highest reading
115 F., lowest reading 67-1° ; July, highest reading 93 , lowest 72 ;
December, highest 85 °, lowest 44 .

From the middle of September to the end of November, malarious
fever prevails throughout the District, exposure to the night air being
especially dangerous. Cholera frequently occurs, and dysentery,
diarrhoea, and small-pox carry off large numbers ; but it may be hoped
that the increased attention paid to vaccination will mitigate the last-
mentioned scourge. [For additional information regarding Chanda,
see the Settlement Report of the District by Major C. B. Lucie Smith
(1869). Also The Central Provinces Gazetteer, by Charles Grant, Esq.,
C.S. (second edition, Nagpur, 1870); the Central Provinces Census
Report for 1881 ; and the Annual Administration Reports for the
Central Provinces from 1880 to 1883.]

Chanda. — Chief town and administrative head-quarters of Chanda
District, Central Provinces. Lat. 19 56' 30" n., long. 79 20' 30" e. ;
population (1881) 16,137, chiefly Marathas and Telingas, the latter
including most of the tradesmen and artisans. Hindus numbered
14,340; Kabirpanthis, 4; Sikh, 1 ; Muhammadans, 1308; Christians,
79; Jains, 112; and aboriginal tribes, 293. Principal agricultural
products — pan leaves, sugar-cane, and vegetables; manufactures
of fine and coarse cotton cloths, silk fabrics, brass utensils, leather
slippers, and bamboo work. Chanda carries on a considerable
trade, especially at the great fair, which begins in April and lasts
three weeks. The town is surrounded by a continuous wall of cut
stone, 5 \ miles in circuit, crowned with battlements, and having
a crenelated parapet and broad rampart. There are 4 gates and
5 wickets. Inside the walls are detached villages and cultivated
fields, and without lie the suburbs. Chanda stands amid charming
scenery. Dense forest stretches to the north and east ; on the south
rise the blue ranges of Manikdriig ; while westward opens a cultivated
rolling country, with distant hills. Set in this picture, sweep the long
lines of the ramparts now seen, now lost, among great groves of ancient
trees. In front glitters the broad expanse of the Ramala tank ; while
the Jharpat and Virai flow on either side. The citadel, now enclosing
the jail, contains a large well with an underground passage, leading no



356 CHANDA—CHANDARNAGAR.

one knows whither. The tombs of the Gond kings, the Achaleswar,
Maha Kali, and Murh'dhar temples, with the massive monoliths at
Lalpet, form the most striking monuments in the place. The public
buildings consist of — the kotivdli with garden in front, the zild school-
house, the dispensary, the travellers' bungalow, and the sardi. Near
the Jatpura gate is the Victoria market ; and a public park extends
between the city and the civil station, which lies to the north of the
city, with the military cantonment at the west end, and the civil lines in
the centre and east. This park contains the District court-house, the
head-quarters police station-house, a Christian cemetery, quarters for
a regiment of Native infantry, and post-office. Municipal revenue
(1880-81) ^"1283, of which ^1001 was derived from taxation, or an
average of is. 3d. per head of population.

Chanda. — Pargand of Sultanpur District, Oudh, lying between
pargand Patti of Partabgarh District on the south, and pargand Alde-
mau on the north. Area, 130 square miles, of which 73 are cultivated ;
Government land revenue, ^£"9773. The villages, which number 290,
are nearly all in the possession of Bachgoti Rajputs ; the Rajkumars,
one branch of that clan, owning 114 ; and the Raj wars, another branch,
138. About half the pargand, or 146 villages, is held in td/ukddri, and
144 villages in zaminddn tenure. Population (1881), Hindus, 71,408;
Muhammadans, 5382: total, 76,790, viz. 39,069 males and 37,721
females. Among high castes, the most numerous are Brahmans
(14,091), and Rajputs (7662); among low castes, Chamars (14,883),
and Ahi'rs (6325). The road from Jaunpur to Lucknow runs through
the pargand.

Chandala. — Small zaminddri or estate in the Mul tahsil of
Chanda District, Central Provinces. Area, 17 square miles, containing
7 villages, with 117 occupied houses, and a population (1881) of 675.
The zami?iddri is of recent creation, having been granted to the first
holder about 1820.

Chandan. — River rising in the hills near Deogarh, in Bhagalpur
District, Bengal. It flows a northerly course, and is fed by numerous
tributaries. As it approaches the Ganges, it throws off branches to the
east and west ; and at its point of junction with the great river, near
Bhagalpur town, its main channel is reduced to insignificant dimensions.
Greatest width, 1500 feet from bank to bank. Except in the rains, its



Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 3) → online text (page 42 of 56)