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old forts scattered through the District, and a few religious buildings,
elaborately sculptured, and of beautiful though somewhat heavy design.
The chief modern buildings are the religious houses or maths of the
Lingayat sect. These are ugly but commodious structures, used as a
residence for the priests or ayahas^ and also to a large extent as resting
places for travellers.

Population. — In 1872, the population of the District was 989,671.
The Census of 1881 returned a total population of 882,907 persons,
or 195 to the square mile. There has thus been a faUing off of
106,764 persons since 1872. Of the population in 1881, 769,349, or
87 per cent., were Hindus; 100,622, or 1 1 '40 per cent, Musalmans ;
2356, or 0*30 per cent., Christians, including 79 Europeans, 73 East
Indians, and 2204 native converts; 10,526, or 1*20 per cent., Jains; 31
Parsis; 18 Jews; and 5 Buddhists. The males numbered 442,035,
the females 440,872 ; percentage of males in the total population, 5o"o7.
Classified according to caste, the Hindus included 28,403 Brahmans ;
3450 Rajputs; 54,254 Berads; 2545 Chamars; 6579 Shimpis
(tailors); 87,568 Dhangars; 6869 Dhobi's (washermen); 6880 Hajjams
(barbers); 39,116 Jangams ; 44,345 Kunbis (cultivators); 4410 Kolis
(cultivators); 18,953 Koshtis (weavers); 2641 Kumbhars (potters);
4359 Lingayats ; 12 17 Lobars (blacksmiths); 1545 Mali's (gardeners) ;
27,612 Mangs (inferior caste) ; 11,392 Mahars (inferior caste) ; 135,357


Panchamsalis ; 21,686 Reddis; 2405 Sonars (goldsmiths); 2014 Sutars
(carpenters); 22,499 Telis (oilmen); and 233,127 'other' Hindus.
Among the Muhammadans are included 7994 Pathans ; 13,1 18 Sayyids ;
78,261 Shaikhs; and 'others,' 1249. Of the adult males in the six
classes into which the Census divides the people as regards occupation,
there were in all 442,025 ; namely, in the professional class, 13,750; in
the domestic, 4422; in the commercial, 3540; in the agricultural,
207,143; in the industrial, 53,499; and in the indefinite and non-
productive, 159,681. Of the 1285 towns and villages in the District
in 1 88 1, 303 contained less than two hundred inhabitants, 493 between
two and five hundred, 308 between five hundred and one thousand,
114 between one and two thousand, 30 between two and three thousand,
24 between three and five thousand, 9 between five and ten thousand,
I between ten and fifteen thousand, i between fifteen and twenty
thousand, and 2 between twenty and fifty thousand.

In the Sub-divisions of Dharwar, Hubli, Gadag, and Bankapur, and
in the State of Sawaniir, the population contains a considerable Musal-
man element. Among the nomadic tribes, the chief are the Waddars,
Lambanis, Collars, and Advichinchars. The Waddars move, with
their wives and families, from place to place in search of work. They
are generally employed on earthwork, quarrying, sinking wells, or
making roads and reservoirs. The Lambanis also wander about in
gangs. They correspond to the Banjaras, or gipsies, of Cujarat and
Central India, and do a large carrying trade on pack-bullocks and
ponies. The Collars and Advichinchars are a class of wandering
jugglers, who live in the forest and pick up a precarious and often
dishonest hvelihood ; but they are not thieves by profession.

The population of Dharwar is, on the whole, prosperous. The soil is
fertile, the climate favourable, and the people not wanting in energy.
The cultivators have a good stock of cattle, especially in the eastern
parts of the District. Towards the Western Chats, cultivation is
scantier, and the people less thriving.

There are three Christian Missions in the District. The chief one is
subordinate to the Basle Cerman Mission, with resident missionaries at
Dharwar, Hubli, and Cadag-Betigeri, and congregations at the villages
of Unkal, Hebsiir, and Shagoti. The second mission is subordinate to
the Roman Catholic Bishop of Bombay ; its chief station is Dharwar,
and it has congregations at Hubli and Tumrikop. The third mission is
subordinate to the Archbishop of Coa ; excepting the town of Dharwar,
its congregational stations are situated beyond the District boundary.

Kanarese is the vernacular language of the District, though the
Dharwar dialect is not so pure as that spoken in Kanara itself. By
many of the better classes Marathi is understood ; and Hindustdni is
known to a few. .


The chief towns of the District are— (i) Hubli, population (1881)
36,677; (2) Dharwar, 27,191 (town 26,520, cantonment 671); (3)
Ranibennur, 10,202; (4) Gadag, 17,001; (5) Nargund, 7874; (6)
Nawalgund, 7810; (7) MuLGUND, 5386; (8) Shahabajar or Banka-
PUR, 6037; (9) Haveri, 5652; (10) Naregal, 6071; (11) Hangal,

5272; (12) TUMINKATTI, 4622; (13) ByADGI, 4I16; (14) MUNDARGI,


Formerly all the principal towns, and even villages, were defended
by a fort within which the richest inhabitants lived in well-built houses ;
without the walls were the huts of the poorer and less influential classes.
Though the fortifications have now been allowed to fall into decay, a
marked distinction still exists between the town proper or pet and the
houses within the fort. Villages in the western and southern parts of
the District have in general a thriving appearance, arising from the
common use of tiled roofs. In the northern and eastern parts, houses
are, as a rule, flat-roofed, and there are few trees near the villages.
The houses are chiefly constructed on massive woodwork frames, built in
with mud bricks, the ends of which are triangular in shape. Formerly
many of the villages were surrounded by low walls of mud and sun-
dried bricks, as a protection against the attacks of thieves, but most of
these walls are now falling into decay.

Exclusive of hamlets, there were, in 1881, 14 towns and 1271 in-
habited State and alienated villages, giving an average of 0*29 villages
to each square mile, and 687 inhabitants to each village. The total
number of houses was returned at 206,419, of which 455269 were
unoccupied, showing an average of 45-5 houses per square mile, and
of 5 "47 persons per house.

Three annual fairs or religious meetings are held in the District — (i)
at Hulgiir in Bankdpur Sub-division, in February, in honour of a famous
Musalman saint; attendance of pilgrims about 3000; (2) at Yamnur
in Nawalgund Sub-division, in March, also in commemoration of a
Muhammadan saint; attendance of pilgrims, about 26,000; (3) at
Gudguddapur in Ranibennur Sub-division, in September, in honour of a
Hindu deity, Malhar Martand ; attendance of pilgrims, about 8700.
Trade is carried on only to a very limited extent at these festivals.
There are 2 1 other religious gatherings of less importance.

The staff of the village community consists of two classes, one con-
nected with the Government, and the other useful to the community
alone. The first class comprises the pdtel, or head-man ; the hilkarni,
or accountant ; shetsandi, or policeman ; and talwars^ barkis, and
mahdrs, the menial servants. In the second class are the Joshi, or
astrologer ; the kdzi and mulld, the Musalman priests ; the jangam, or
ay a ; the siitdr, or carpenter ; the lohdr, or blacksmith ; the kumbhdr,
or potter ; the sondr^ or goldsmith ; the hajjdm, or barber ; the vaidya,


or doctor; the dhor, or manufacturer of leathern articles for farmers-
the dhohi, or washerman ; the piijdri, or worshipper ; the viathapati, or
procurer of milk and butter for strangers ; and the viahdrs, or sweepers.
In large villages, the organization may be found complete; but in
small villages, the joshi, so?idr, vaidya, dhobi, and hajjdm, do not
generally exist. Besides the above, in some few villages in the Hangal,
Karajgi, and Kod Sub-divisions, there is a class of village servants
called nir manegdrs, whose special duties are to keep the tank water-
courses in repair, and let water on to the fields.

Agriculture. — Exclusive of land belonging to other jurisdictions situated
\vithin its limits, Dharwar District contains a total area of 2,902,400
acres, of which 864,204 acres, or nearly 30 per cent., have been
alienated. Of the remainder, 1,659,321 acres are assessed arable land,
and 378,733 acres are unassessed waste. The total cultivated area in
1882-83 ^vas 1,503,011 acres, including 1,409,175 acres under dry
crops, 86,873 acres under rice, and 6963 acres irrigated for garden crops.
The soil of the District may be divided into three classes, viz. red soil,
black soil, and a rich brown loam. The red soil is a shallow gravelly
deposit formed by the disintegration of hills and rocks. The black soil
is the well-known regar, or cotton-soil, on which the value of Dharwar
as a cotton-producing District depends. It ordinarily varies in depth
from 2 to 20 feet. The brown loam is found chiefly on the west of the
District, once the site of large forests ; it is supposed to be chiefly of
vegetable origin, and is of little depth. The Government land is held
under the Bombay Survey tenure, at a revenue fixed, in 1857-58, for
a term of thirty years. The land alienated by the State is, as a rule,
held at a fixed quit-rent. There are two chief crops in the year— the
early or khaiif, and the late or rabi harvest. The early crops are sown
in June, and harvested in October and November. The late crops,
except cotton, are sown in October and reaped in February. Cotton
is sown in August and picked in March. A field of black soil requires
only one ploughing in the year, and is seldom manured. A field of
red soil, on the other hand, is ploughed three or four times, and is
generally manured. The entire stock of agricultural implements
required by a single husbandman may be valued at from los. to £2.

The oxen are of three varieties — two of inferior breed, indigenous
to the District, and the large and well-made animals imported from
Mysore. These Mysore bullocks are much valued ; an ordinary pair
fetches about ;^i5, and for a superior pair as much as ^45, or even
^200, is sometimes paid. The ponies of Dharwar were once famous,
but of late years the breed is said to have fallen off.

The agricultural stock in possession of the cultivators of Government
or khdlsd villages during 1881-82 numbered 89,205 ploughs, 37,376
carts, 224,170 bullocks, 111,352 buffaloes, 122,386 cows, 5162 horses,


174,528 sheep and goats, and 5633 asses. Of 1,507,942 acres, the total
cuhivated area in the same year — cereals occupied 756,034 acres, or
50*10 per cent.; pulses, 101,197 acres, or 670 per cent.; oil-seeds
70,426 acres, or 4*67 per cent.; fibres, including cotton, 359,210
acres, or 21*19 P^^ cent.; sugar-cane, 3742 acres; tobacco, 1251
acres; and miscellaneous crops, 32,967 acres, or 2*20 per cent.:
184,776 acres were under grass. The current prices of the chief
articles of food, per ??iaund of 80 lbs., in the District in 1881-82, were,
for wheat, 3s. 7jd. ; for rice, from 6s. 9d. to 9s. ; for bdjra (Holcus
spicatus), 2s. lojd. ; for j oar (Holcus sorghum), 2s. 6d. ; for pulses
or da/, 5s. 7d. ; for wheat flour, 5s. 2d. ; for gram, 5s. id. ; and for salt,
8s. 7^d.

Of the total just enumerated, 534,185 acres, or 21*06 per cent., were
under cotton, the indigenous variety occupying 395,396, and Orleans
cotton 138,789 acres. Several attempts had been made by Govern-
ment to introduce the culture of New Orleans cotton, but up to 1842
without success. In that year, however, the results were most satis-
factory. Both in quantity and quality the out-turn was better than the
indigenous variety, and the cultivation of New Orleans cotton has since
spread rapidly. Its superiority is now generally recognised, not only
in Dharwar, but in the neighbouring Districts. As American cotton
cannot be properly ginned by the native process, it was found necessary
to introduce new machinery. To ensure a sufficient supply of the best
gins, they are imported from England and offered for sale at the
Government factory at Dhdrwar, while for their repair branch factories
have been established at local centres of trade.

Natural Calamities. — From the earliest date of which historical
record is available, the District appears to have suffered from droughts
of more or less severity. Between 1787 and 1796 a succession of
droughts, accompanied by swarms of locusts, occurred. This period
of famine is said to have been at its height about 1791-92. The
people were forced to feed on leaves and berries, and women and
children were sold or deserted. No measures were taken by the
Government of the day to relieve the sufferers. The next famine was
in 1 80 2-1 803, occasioned by the immigration of people from the
valley of the Godavari and the march of the Peshwas army through
the country. In 1832, from want of rain, prices ruled very high, but
the distress cannot be said to have amounted to famine. Owing to
successive bad seasons, famines occurred in the years 1866 and 1877,
and it was found necessary to employ large bodies of people on works
of public utihty.

Trade, etc. — In no part of the Bombay Presidency has more been
done of late years to improve communications than in Dharwar. Thirty
years ago, there were neither roads nor carts. In 1881-82, the


number of carts was returned at 37,376, and about 1000 miles of road
were kept in sufficient repair to allow a spring carriage to be driven
over them. The District is connected with the ports of Coompta,
Karwar, and Vingorla by excellent roads, the distance from the western
sea being about 100 miles. On the east, a road runs to the railway
station of Bellary, in the Madras Presidency. The distance of Bellary
from the Dharwar frontier is also about 100 miles. A line of railway is
now under construction to pass through the District, from Bellary via
Gadag and Hubli, to Marmagao in Portuguese territory, with a branch
to Belgaum, while the Southern Maratha Railway, from Sholdpur, passes
through the north-eastern portion of the District via Bijapur to Gadag.
No returns of the internal trade of the District are available. Cotton
is the chief article of export, and European goods, chillies, cocoa-nuts,
molasses, and betel-nuts are imported from Kanara and Mysore. The
local trade mjodr is also considerable.

The manufactures consist of cotton and silk cloth, and the usual
household utensils and ornaments. Common silk and cotton cloth
are woven to a considerable extent in all the large towns. Fabrics
of delicate texture and tasteful design are occasionally produced.
Fine cotton carpets are manufactured at Nawalgiind, both for home
consumption and for export to the neighbouring Districts. The wild
aloe grows well, and the manufacture of matting from its fibre has been
carried on at the jail with success. In the city of Dharwdr there is
also a considerable manufacture of glass bangles. Blocks of blue and
green glass in a rough state are imported from Bellary and re-melted
in crucibles, made of a species of clay brought from Khanapur, in
Belgaum. During eight months of the year (October to June) iron-
smelting is carried on in small furnaces in parts of the District, but
want of fuel prevents any extension of this industry.

The majority of the traders are local capitalists, a few representing
firms in Bombay and other important places. Except a few Parsis in
the town of Dharwar, they are by caste generally Brahmans or Lingayats,
a few being Muhammadans, Giijars, etc. Porters and other unskilled
labourers earn from 4|d. to 6d. a day ; agricultural labourers from 3d.
to 4id., bricklayers and carpenters from is. 3d. to is. 4jd. Female
labourers earn about one-third less than males. Lads of from twelve to
fifteen get about two-thirds less than full-grown men.

Administration. — The District is divided into 11 Sub-divisions, or
taluks, and into 3 petas or larger fiscal units. The 11 Sub-divi-
sions of the District are — Dharwar, Hubli, Gadag, Nawalgund,
Bankapur, Ron, Ranibennur, Kod, Hangal, Karajgi, and
Kalghatgi. The administration in revenue matters is entrusted to a
Collector and 5 Assistants, of whom 3 are covenanted civil servants.
For the settlement of civil disputes there were, in 1881, 4 courts,


including the court of the District Judge. Thirty officers, including 6
Europeans, shared the administration of criminal justice. In the same
year, the total strength of the District or regular police force was 733
officers and men. The total cost of maintaining this force was
;^i2,i54. These figures show one policeman to every 6*i8 square
miles as compared with the area, and i to every 1204 persons as
compared with the population ; the cost of maintenance was
;3^2, 13s. yd. per square mile, or 3d. per head of the population.
There is i jail at Dharwar town, in which 562 male and 109 female
prisoners were confined in 1880. The District contains 51 post-offices
and 3 telegraph offices, viz. at Dharwdr, Hubli, and Gadag-Betigeri.

In 1881-82, the re-settlement of the Dharwar District was com-
pleted at a total cost of ;£44,o3o, resulting in a total increase of
the land revenue to ;^266,54o, the annual increase consequent on
re-settlement being ;j^45,489. The local funds, created since 1863 for
works of public utility and rural education, yielded, in 1881-82, a sum
of ;^i5,89i. There are 11 municipalities in the District; their total
receipts in 1881-82 amounted to ^10,170, and their expenditure to
;^ 1 0,64 1. The incidence of municipal taxation varied from lojd. to
3s. ijd. per head. In the same year there w^ere 377 schools in the
District, or an average of 5 schools for every 15 villages, with an
attendance of 27,113 pupils. In Dharwar tow^n there is i library, and
3 local newspapers are published.

Medical Aspects. — The climate is, for both natives and Europeans,
about the healthiest in the Bombay Presidency. In December and
January, dews are heavy and general. From February to the middle
of April is the hot season ; and from the latter date to the beginning
of June, when the regular rainy reason sets in, showers are frequent.
Except in November and December, when strong winds blow from the
east, the prevailing winds are from the west, south-west, and south-east.
The average maximum temperature for the hot months (March to May)
is 93° F. ; the maximum for the rainy season (June to October), 83° ;
the maximum for the cold season (November to February), 84° F. The
average rainfall at Dharwar town for a period of seven years ending
1 88 1 was 32-89 inches. At HubH the rainfall for the same period
averaged 25*8 inches.

There are 3 dispensaries in the District, and a civil hospital at
Dharwar town. During 1881-82, 43,498 persons in all were treated,
of whom 42,900 were out-door and 598 in-door patients. There
is also a lunatic asylum at Dharwar. The births registered in the
District in 1881 numbered 33,315, or 3773 per 1000 of population ;
the deaths in the same year numbered 20,492, or 23*30 per 1000; the
average death-rate for the five years previous being 41 "o. Number
of persons vaccinated in 1881-82, 21,025. [For further information


regarding Dharwar District, see Records of the Gove7'n?Jtent of Bombay
(New Series), Papers i-egardvig the Revisio?i of the Settlement^ Nos. cxlv.,
CLV., CLVi., CLix., CLX., CLXi., and CLXii. See also the Bombay Ce7isus
Report^ and the Bombay Annual Admi7iistration and Departmental
Reports from 1880 to 1883.]

Dharwar. — Sub-division of Dharwar District, Bombay Presidency.
Area, 425 square miles; contains i town and 127 villages. Population
(1881) 111,137, namely, 55,524 males and 55,613 females. Hindus num-
ber 92,547; Muhammadans, 15,011; 'others,' 3579. The Sub-division
contained in 1883, i civil and 10 criminal courts; police stations
{thdnds)^ 3 ; regular police, 70 men; village watchmen (^//^zz/y^/^iri-), 382.

Dharwar. — The chief town of Dharwar District, situated in latitude
15° 27' N., and longitude 75° 3' 20" e. Area, including the suburbs,
3 square miles. Population (1881) 27,191, including 671 in canton-
ments, thus classified — 19,709 Hindus, 6545 Muhammadans, 271
Jains, 618 Christians, 24 Parsis, and 24 'others.' The fort stands
on undulating ground. Towards the west, low hills run down to the
plains, forming the last spurs of the Western Ghats. The fort and
the town are almost hidden from view on the east by trees and rising
ground. The approach from the south is striking. The highest point
is occupied by the Collector's office, from which a commanding view
of the town, suburbs, and surrounding country is obtained. Below the
office and adjacent to it is the temple of Ulvi-Basapa, and beyond, the
hill of Mailargud, formerly considered the key to the fort of Dharwar.
The travellers' bungalow or rest-house is one mile west of the fort, and
the cemetery is a little to the south-west. The church, about one mile
to the south of the travellers' bungalow, belongs to the Basle German
Mission. The cantonments lie to the north-west of the fort, about 2
miles distant. Beyond the town extensive plains of black soil stretch
across to the hills of Nawalgund and Nargund on the east, and on
the north-east to the famous hills of Yellama (a Hindu deity) and
Parsagad. Towards the south-east, the hill of Mulgiind appears at the
distance of about 36 miles. There is no authentic evidence of the
date when the fort was founded. A purdna or legendary chronicle
concerning the origin of the neighbouring temple of Someswar makes
no mention of Dharwar. According to local tradition, the fort was
founded in 1403 by one Dhar Rao, an officer in the Forest Department,
under Ram Raja, the Hindu King of Anigiindi. The Anigundi
kingdom was overthrown by Muhammad Adil Shah of Bijapur in
1568. In 1685, the fort was captured by the Mughal Emperor of
Delhi ; and in 1753, it fell into the hands of the Marathas. In 1778,
Dharwar was taken from the Marathas by Haidar All, the Muhammadan
usurper of Mysore; and in 1791, it was retaken by a British force
auxiliary to the Marathas under Parshuram Bhao. On the final over-


throw of the Peshwa, in 1818, Dharwar, with the other possessions of that
potentate, fell to the disposal of the British Government. The fort is
described as being well planned and naturally strong. Previous to
1857 it was kept in repair. Since then it has been breached; and,
like all other forts in the District, it is now fast falling into ruins.
In 1837, Dharwar was the scene of violent feuds between the
Brahmans and Lingayats, compelling the interference of the British

The town, which is very straggling, is made up of 7 quarters, or
mahdh. There are few good houses with upper storeys. A market is
held every Tuesday. The only monument of historical interest is
that erected in memory of the Collector, Mr. St. John Thackeray, and
the sub-Collector, Mr. J. C. Munro, who were killed at the taking of
Kittiir in 1824. About a mile and a half south of Dharwar is a hill
called the Mailargad ; on its summit stands a small square stone
temple, built after the Jain fashion, and facing the east. The columns
and beams are of massive stone, and the roof of the same material is
handsomely carved. On one of the columns is an inscription in Persian,
recording that the temple was converted into a mosque in 1680 by the
deputy of the King of Bijapur. The only prosperous classes of the popula-
tion are the Brahmans and Lingayats. The influential Brahmans are
generally public officers, vakils (advocates), zaminddrs (landowners),
and saiikdrs (bankers and money-lenders). The Lingayats are, as
a rule, traders, who almost monopolize the export of cotton, timber,
and grain. Some of the Musalmans are also wealthy merchants.
A few Parsis and Marwaris, who have recently settled in the town, deal
chiefly in European goods. The principal articles of export are cotton
and rice ; the imports comprise English piece-goods, chillies, cocoa-nut,
molasses, dates, betel-nut, groceries, indigo, lead, zinc, and wrought and
unwrought copper and brass. There are no manufacturing industries
of any importance ; but in the jail, carpets, table-linen, cloths, and cane
articles,— all of superior quality,— are made by the prisoners. In
1882-83, the municipal income amounted to ^{^2509, and the expendi-
ture to j{^2297 ; the incidence of municipal taxation being is. sd. per
head. The water-supply is drawn from two reservoirs. There are also
several wells in the town, but with one of two exceptions they are not
used for drinking purposes, the water being brackish. The native
. quarter was formerly unhealthy ; but since the introduction of the

Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 4) → online text (page 32 of 58)