William Wilson Hunter.

The imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 4) online

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poppy ; the harvests are t-he usual kharif and rabi, the former being
the more important of the two. Of a total area of 1,112,829 acres
in 1881-82, more than one-half, or 683,537 acres, were under cultiva-
tion ; 206,773 acres cultivable waste; 9259 acres of grazing land; and
213,260 acres barren and uncultivable waste. The area occupied by
the principal crops was distributed as follows : — Wheat, 129,900 acres ;
barley, 60,424 acres; indigo, 20,002 acres; cotton, 42,958 acres; sugar-
cane, 15,158 acres ; /Wr, 103,838 acres; bdjra^ 131,588 acres; Indian
corn, 33,720 acres; and rice, 14,093 acres. The average out-turn of
an acre of wheat is 13 tnaunds, or a little over 9 cwts., valued at £2>'
The employment of manure is almost universal, though a single
application is expected to suffice for two successive harvests. As
a rule, only one crop a year is raised on each plot, but cotton is often
succeeded by tobacco or v^etables, and indigo by wheat or barley.
Rotation of crops is rapidly supplanting the old wasteful habit of
leaving the lands to lie fallow after exhausting products have been
grown. Irrigation is extensively practised from wells and canals,
though it has not kept pace with other agricultural improvements.
The total area irrigated in 1881 was 263,197 acres, of which 183,293
acres were irrigated by private enterprise from wells, tanks, etc., and
79,944 acres from Government works. The recent completion of
the Lower Ganges Canal, however, will doubtless effect an immense
extension in the Government irrigated area. The area under sugar-
cane has decreased in recent years, except where an abundant
water-supply can be obtained from the canals which intersect the
south-western corner of the District ; but all the other export staples
have been grown in larger quantities, while no corresponding diminu-
tion has taken place in the area devoted to food-stuffs. The cultivators
are in comfortable circumstances, less wealthy than their neighbours

ETAH. 363

in the Meerut Division, but removed far above the squalid poverty of
Bundelkhand. Temples and mosques are rare in Etah, a mound of
earth being often the only place of worship in a village ; while in Ali-
garh, beyond the northern boundary, handsome buildings for religious
purposes are to be seen on every side. Cultivators with rights of
occupancy hold 64 per cent, of the cultivated area, and tenants-at-will
21 per cent., while the remaining 15 per cent, is occupied by small
proprietors who farm their own land. Rents are unusually low, chiefly
owing to the jealous care with which Government has guarded the
rights of hereditary tenants, and resisted all attempts at illegal en-
hancement. The average rates vary from 2s. gd. to 7s. id. per acre,
according to crop. The male adult agriculturists in 1881 numbered
194,399, cultivating an average of 3*54 acres each. The total popula-
tion, however, dependent on the soil is returned at 511,519, or 6 7 '6
per cent, of the entire District population. Of the total area of the
District, 24*5 square miles are held revenue-free, leaving 1714 square
miles assessed for Government revenue. Total land revenue in 1881,
including cesses and local rates levied on the land, ;^ 140,5 95, or an
average of 4s. i|d. per cultivated acre. Total rental paid by
cultivators, ;;£"24i,965, or an average of 7s. per cultivated acre.
Wages ordinarily rule as follows : — Carpenters, masons, and black-
smiths, 6d. per diem ; tailors, 4jd. per diem ; coolies, water-carriers,
etc., 3d. per diem. Agricultural labourers are generally paid in kind ;
when paid in cash, men get 3d., women ijd., and children 3|d. per
diem. Prices have risen steadily during the last thirty years. The
average of ten years, ending in 1870, shows the following rates at Kas-
ganj : — Wheat or gram, 22 sers per rupee, or 5s. id. per cwt. ; barley
or jodr^ 28 sers per rupee, or 4s. per cwt. ; bdjra^ 27 sers per rupee, or
4s. ifd. per cwt. Prices at Etah town ruled about i ser per rupee
dearer than these quotations. The average rates in 1883 were as
follow: — Wheat, 19 J sers per rupee, or 5s. 9d. per cwt.; barley, 24J:
sers per rupee, or 4s. 7d. per cwt. ; common rice, 14I sers per rupee, or
7s. 9d. per cwt. ; jodr^ 22^ sers per rupee, or 4s. i id. per cwt. ; bdjra^
2 2^ sers per rupee, or 4s. iid. per cwt.; gram, 23 J sei's per rupee, or
4s. 9d. per cwt. Jodr and bdjra form the ordinary food-grains of the

Natural Cala??iities. — Etah suffers from the ravages of locusts, white
ants, and other destructive insects ; and the cereal crops are liable to
several kinds of Wight. Floods also occasionally occur in the low-
lying valley of the Ganges, and overwhelm the fertile soil with ridges
of barren shingle. But the great enemy of Etah, as of all the Doab, is
drought, which has frequently produced severe famines. The last was
that of 1860-61, known among the peasantry by the graphic title of
the ' Seven-5^;' famine,' in which rice sold at the rate of 7 sers per

364 ETAH,

rupee, or 7 lbs. for a shilling. The people were forced to live upon
wild fruits and vegetables, and even to extract food from grass seeds.
The drought of 1868-69, however, was felt in Etah much less severely
than in neighbouring Districts. Though both harvests were partial
failures, the scarcity which ensued did not rise to the intensity of
famine, and the highest quotation for wheat was only 13 sers per rupee,
or 8s. 7jd. per cwt. Famine rates are reached in this District when
wheat sells at less than 12 sers per rupee, or more than 9s. 4d. per
cwt. But it is hoped that the Lower Ganges Canal, recently com-
pleted, will secure the District in future from the extremity of famine.

Commerce, Trade, etc. — Etah has a considerable export trade in
agricultural produce. In an average season the surplus for exporta-
tion is estimated to amount to the following quantities : — Rice, 100,000
uiaunds, or 73,469 cwts. ; cleaned cotton, 46,909 maiinds, or 34,463
cwts. ; uncleaned cotton, 140,727 maunds, or 103,391 cwts. ; wheat and
barley, 1,831,725 mau?ids, or 1,345,757 cwts., besides a large quantity
of pulses and millets. The only important manufacture is that of
indigo, which is carried on in about 200 factories, some of them under
European management. Sugar is refined to a large extent in the
northern part of the District ; and the pargands lying on the banks of
the Ganges and the Biirh Ganga prepare salt from the saline earth
which is common everywhere. Ropes and coarse sacking are also
made from the hemp of the country, and exported as far as
Calcutta. Before the Mutiny, firearms of finished workmanship and-
elaborately inlaid with silver were manufactured in the District ; but
since the Disarming Act this trade has greatly declined. A religious fair
is held once a year at Soron, when the Hindus bathe in the purifying
waters of the Biirh Ganga, and lay in their annual stock of clothing and
household utensils. Another fair is held at Kakora in Budaun District,
just opposite the village of Kadirganj in Etah; and although the traders
congregate chiefly on the Budaun bank, many pilgrims, whose object
is purely religious, bathe and remain at Kadirganj. No railway passes
through the District, but a good metalled road connects the head-
quarters at Etah with the Shikohabad station on the East Indian
line, 35 miles distant. There are altogether 541 miles of first, second,
and third-class roads in the District. The last class are being raised
and bridged in portions from year to year. The Ganges is navigable
throughout the District, and the exports of Kasganj and Dundwaraganj
are shipped at the ghats of the same name. Some small traffic also
passes by the Cawnpur branch of the Canal. In 1881 there were two
printing-presses in the District, owned by natives at Etah, provided both
with Nagari and Persian type.

Ad77iinistration. — In 1860-61, the total revenue of the District from
all sources amounted to ;£88,867, of which ;£73,743 was derived from

ETAH. 36s

the land-tax ; while the total expenditure amounted to ;^23,68o, or
hardly more than one-fourth of the revenue. In 1870-71, the total
receipts had increased to ^119,399, while the land-tax had remained
almost stationary at ;^78,852. The increase was mainly due to canal
collections, and to a large rise in the proceeds of local cesses, the income-
tax, and the items of stamps and octroi. At the same time, the
expenditure had risen to ;£^37,272, or nearly one-third of the revenue.
This increase was due to the need for more active administration, and
was chiefly set down to such items as salaries of officials, education,
post-office, canals, medical staff, and local cesses. In 1882-83, after
the transfer of Jalesar tahsil from Agra District to Etah in 1879, the
gross District revenue amounted to ;£^i35,788, of which ^119,521 was
derived from the land. In the same year, the District was administered
by 2 covenanted civilians, and contained 1 1 magisterial, 2 civil, and 9
revenue courts. The police consisted in 1883 of 350 regular and 262
municipal and town police, maintained at a cost of ;£592 3, of which
^4467 was paid from provincial funds, and ^1456 from local sources.
This force was supplemented by 1469 village watchmen {cJuiukiddrs)
and 66 road patrols, maintained at a cost of ;^5565. The whole
machinery, therefore, for the protection of person and property consisted
of 2043 officers and men, or i policeman to every o*8i square mile and
every 370 inhabitants ; and the total cost of their maintenance was
;£i 1,488, or about 3jd. per head of the population. The District
has but one jail, the average daily number of prisoners in which was
117 in i860, 210 in 1870, and 257 in 1882. Education is making a
slow but steady advance in Etah ; it is gaining in popular estimation,
and some of the village schools are said to be models of excellence. In
1870-71, the District contained 166 Government-inspected schools,
with a total of 3953 pupils. By March 1883, although the number of
such inspected schools had fallen to 149, the number of pupils had
increased to 4586. There are also a number of private schools unin-
spected by the educational officers; and the Census Report of i88e
returns 5499 boys and iii girls as under instruction, besides 15,731
males and 230 females able to read and write, but not under in-
struction. The District is divided into 4 tahsils and 13 pargandsy with
an aggregate, in 1882, of 1856 estates. It contains 6 municipalities —
Kasganj, Jalesar, Etah, Soron, Marehra, and Aliganj. In 1882-83
their joint income amounted to ;!^5073, of which ^£^43 17 was derived
from octroi; expenditure, ;£^262,.

Sanitary Aspects. — The climate of Etah is dry and healthy, but sand
and dust storms are of almost daily occurrence in the hot season.
During the cooler months the air is cold and bracing, and fires are
often found necessary, especially in the winter rains. The total rainfall
was 44*7 inches in 1867-68, i2"9 inches in 1868-69 (a year of scarcity),


27-3 inches in 1869-70, 34*1 inches in 1870-71, 36*1 inches in 1880-81.
and 34*6 inches in 1881-82. The principal diseases are fevers and
small-pox, but cholera sometimes visits Etah with severity. The
reported death-rate was 22 per 1000 in 1872, 24-2 per 1000
in 1873, 22-1 per 1000 in 1874, and 29*5 per 1000 in 1882. In the
latter year, the total number of deaths recorded was 21,554, of which
as many as 19,204 were due to fever alone. There are 7 charitable
dispensaries in the District, of which 2 are supported by endowments,
which afforded assistance in 1883 to 35,902 out-door and 887 in-door
patients. [For further information regarding Etah, see the Gazetteer
of the North- Western Provinces^ vol. iv., compiled by E. T. Atkinson,
Esq., C.S. (Allahabad, 1876). Also Report on the Settlement of Etah
District from 1863 to 1873, by S. O. B. Ridsdale, Esq., dated February
1873 ; the Census Report of the North- Western Provinces and Oiidh for
1881 ; and \kit Administration and Departmental Reports of the North-
western Provinces from 1880 to 1883.]

Etah.— South-western tahsil of Etah District, North-Western Pro-
vinces, lying to the west of the Kali Nadi, and watered by three
branches of the Lower Ganges Canal. Area, 491 square miles, of
which 276 are cultivated. Population (1881) 226,892, namely,
Hindus, 207,624; Muhammadans, 17,021; Jains, 2191 ; and 'others,'
56. Number of towns and villages, 470. Land revenue, £%S^^^2> ;
total Government revenue, ;^ 40, 256; rental paid by cultivators, ;65 7 j 23 1 ;
incidence of Government revenue per acre, 2s. of d.

jjtah. — Town, municipality, and administrative head-quarters of
Etah District, North-Western Provinces. Situated in lat. 27° 33' 50" n.,
and long 78° 42' 25" e., on the Grand Trunk Road, 9 miles west of the
Kali Nadi. Population (1881) 8054, namely, Hindus, 521 1 ; Muham-
madans, 2311 ; Jains, 492 ; Christians, 31 ; 'others,' 9 ; area of town
site, 230 acres. Municipal income in 1882-83, ;^io47, of which £ti1
was derived from octroi, and the balance from miscellaneous fees and
fines ; average incidence of taxation, is. 9jd. per head. Etah is rather
an overgrown village than a town, deriving its whole importance from
the presence of the civil station, removed hither from PatiaU in 1856,
on account of the superior accessibility of the site. The principal
market-place, Mayneganj, perpetuates the name of Mr. F. O. Mayne,
C.B., a former Collector of the District. Westward lies the new town of
Etah, containing the tahsili school, while to the east Raja Dilsugh Rai's
temple towers over the other buildings to an extraordinary height.
Large tank with handsome flight of steps, municipal hall, court-house,
tahsili office, dispensary. The site is low, and was formerly subject to
floods ; but a cutting to the Isan Nadi, efl'ected by Mr. Mayne, has
remedied this evil. In the town itself mud houses predominate, but
most of the streets are metalled and drained. The residences of


the officials are iQ\v and scattered. Founded about 500 years
since by Sangram Singh, a Chauhan Thakur, whose mud fort still
exists to the north of the town. His descendants occupied the
surrounding territory, with the title of Raja, till the Mutiny, when Raja
II Damar Singh rebelled, and lost his property, together with the family
honours. {See Etah District.) Chief trade — the scarlet dl dye,
indigo-seed, cotton, and sugar. Market twice a week, on Monday and

Etaiyapuram. — Town in Tinnevelli District, Madras Presidency.
Population (1881) 5167, namely, Hindus, 4831; Muhammadans, 320;
and Christians, 16.

Etawah. — British District in the Lieutenant-Governorship of the
North-Western Provinces, lying between 26° 21' 8" and 27° o' 25" n. lat.,
and between 78° 47' 20" and 79° 47' 20" e. long. Etawah is a District
of the Agra Division. It is bounded on the north by Mainpuri and
Farukhabad ; on the west by the Jumna (Jamuna) river and Agra
District, the Chambal, the Kuari Nadi, and the Native State of Gwalior;
on the south by the Jumna ; and on the east by Cawnpur. Area
(1881) 1693 square miles; population, 722,371 persons. The admini-
strative head-quarters are at the town of Etawah, which is the only
place of importance in the District.

Physical Aspects. — The District of Etawah is a purely artificial
division for administrative purposes, stretching from the level plain of
the Doab, across the valley of the Jumna (Jamuna), to the gorges and
ravines of the Chambal, which form the last outliers of the Vindhyan
range. It exhibits an unusual variety of scenery. The north-eastern
portion of the District, known as the pachdr, which is separated
from the remainder by the deep and fissured bed of the river Sengar,
belongs in its physical features to the great upland plateau of the
Doab. This tract consists of a fertile loam, occasionally interrupted
by barren tisar plains, and interspersed with saucer-like depressions
of clay, whose centre is occupied by marshes or shallow lakes. It
is well watered, both by the streams which take their rise from these
,, swampy hollows, and by the great artificial canals which intersect and
^ fertilize the Upper and Central Doab. The Cawnpur branch canal,
though it does not enter the District, runs close to its borders, and sends
off distributaries which supply the extreme eastern angle ; the Etawah
branch traverses the centre of the plateau ; while the Bhognipur division
of the Lower Ganges Canal, recently completed, passes between the two
older works, and irrigates the intervening country. The whole pachdr
is rich and fertile, and it is clothed in the season with a green expanse
of wheat and sugar-cane.

On the opposite bank of the Sengar lies another stretch of
uplands, reaching almost to the bed of the Jumna. This tract,


locally known as the garh^ is not unlike the pachdr in its physical
characteristics ; but as water can only be obtained at a great depth
in wells, cotton and inferior food - grains here replace the more
valuable crops for which abundant irrigation is necessary. The
Bhognipur canal, however, now passes through the very heart of this
region, whose natural fertility was always considerable. The uplands
descend into the Jumna valley through a wild terraced slope, broken
by ravines, and covered with thorny brushwood. Upon its sides the
villages are scanty, and lie concealed in the remotest nooks, while
cultivation is difficult and unprofitable. Below, the river bank is
sometimes fringed by a strip of rich alluvial deposit ; but in other
places the Jumna sweeps close round the bold bluffs which terminate
the upland terraces. Its bank should form the natural boundary
of the District, but a narrow strip of British territory lies along its
opposite side, cut off from the Native State of Gwalior by the rapid
torrents of the Chambal and the Kuari Nadi. This outlying region has
been attached to Etawah for administrative purposes. A little alluvial
soil is found here and there on small plots of table-land in the trans-
Jumna tract ; but the greater part consists of a perfect labyrinth of
gorges, amongst whose recesses may be found some of the wildest and
most romantic scenery in Upper India. From the fortress-crowned
cliff of Bhareh the eye wanders over a tangled mass of rock and valley,
threaded by eddying rivers, overgrown with leafy jungle of acacia or
oleander, and studded on every prominent bluff with the ruined strong-
hold of some ancient robber chief. The rugged and picturesque nature
of this intricate range, known as the Panchnada, or Country of Five
Rivers, contrasts strangely with the cultivated and monotonous level of
the Doab to the east.

Etawah is well watered, both naturally and artificially. The rivers of
the District, proceeding from east to west, are the following: — (i) The
Pandu rises in the extreme north-east corner of the District, in a great
clay depression forming a large ///f/ or marsh, and flows south-eastwards
into Cawnpur District, ultimately joining the Ganges. This channel
attains to no size in Etawah, and is dry except in the rainy season.
(2) The Rind or Arind rises in Aligarh, touches on Etawah near the
village of Bhau Khera, runs eastwards along the northern boundary as
far as the large village of Sabhad, when it turns to the south until it
receives the united waters of two small tributaries, the Puraha and
Ahneya, after which it flows south-east into Cawnpur District. The
Rind is a perennial stream, but very shallow in the dry season. Its
banks are mostly formed of alluvial soil. The tributary streams entirely
dry up in the hot and cold seasons, being mere drainage channels
for carrying off superfluous rain-water. (3) The Sengar Nadi, said to
derive its name from the Sengar clan of Thakurs who live along its

ETA WAH. 369

banks, enters the District from the north-west, and flows in a south-easterly
direction till it enters Cawnpur District. In the upper part of its course
the stream is not of much importance, and the banks are generally
cultivable ; but about four miles above Etawah town it is joined by a
smaller stream, the Sarsa, which has previously flowed almost parallel
to it. Thenceforward the Sengar runs in a deep bed, and the drainage
from the surrounding country furrows its banks into deep ravines,
altogether unfit for cultivation. They are, however, in places useful for
pasturage, and produce bdbid and rhmj trees, which are utilized for
timber. (4) The Jumna first touches on the north-western extremity of
the District, and, flowing in a south-easterly direction, either bounds or
traverses it for 115 miles. During the rainy season this river 'is
navigable by boats of heavy burthen, though the windings of its channel
render it by no means a direct line for traflic, and reefs of lime-
stone and sand conglomerate jut out into the stream, and frequently
render navigation both difficult and dangerous. The traffic is small,
and hardly averages more than two boats up and down every day. The
bank on one side is usually steep and precipitous, and on the other low
and open to the overflow of the river in the rains. The river conse-
quently spreads out widely in time of flood, and its surface velocity
being small, it covers a large area in the rains with a rich alluvial
deposit. Numerous ferries are maintained across the Jumna on the
principal lines of traffic. (5) The Chambal runs in a direction almost
parallel with the Jumna. It forms the south-western frontier of Etawah
for about 25 miles, after which it continues its course through the
District, and eventually joins the Jumna at Bhareh.. In appearance
and character, the Chambal in this part of its course closely resembles
the Jumna, and has a channel of equal dimensions. It is exceedingly
liable to sudden and heavy floods, when from the superior velocity of
its current it discharges a greater volume of water than the Jumna.
During heavy flood, communication is almost entirely cut off" between
the two banks. It is crossed by four principal ferries. The waters of
the Chambal are as clear as crystal; and for some distance after its
junction with the Jumna, its stream may be distinguished from that
of the latter, which always carries either sand or mud in suspension.
(6) The only other river of importance is the Kuari, which also
marks a portion of the south-western boundary of the District, or
traverses it for a distance of about 20 miles, when it unites with
the Jumna and Chambal just below their junction. It is of the
same class and character as those rivers, and subject to great and
sudden floods in the rains, though very often dry in the hot season.
The characteristic of the tract lying around the confluence of these
rivers is the tangled mass of ravines which lie on either side of their
channels. The whole of it is so deeply furrowed, that only a little

VOL. IV. 2 A


more than a quarter of the area is under cultivation. The canals by
which the District is watered artificially have been alluded to in the
previous paragraph.

Etawah in general is well wooded, except in the usar tracts. There
are no jungles of any size, but the remains of a broad wooded belt,
now containing little but d/idk trees (Butea frondosa), runs in a south-
easterly direction through the pacJidr tract. This jungle was once
of considerable size, but all the cultivable parts of it are now being
brought under the plough. The usar plains in the Doab and the
ravines along the courses of the larger rivers occupy a considerable
portion of the area of the District, and detract much from its general
productiveness. The village communities who inhabit these tracts
have done all that industry could do to utilize the existing patches
of good land. Where the ravines are wide enough, they have been
dammed across so as to stop the rush of water and preserve the good
soil. The sides, too, have been carefully terraced. The portions
which could not be so worked are of value for pasturage, or as pro-
ducing firewood; and the people derive a liveUhood from grazing
cattle, and by the sale oi ghi. Th€ other uncultivated land is, as a rule,
bad land, impregnated to a greater or less extent with the saline
efflorescence reh. There are no mines or stone quarries in the District,
but kankar or calcareous Umestone is procurable in quantities from the
ravines, which is either ground into lime, or used in its raw state as
road-metalling. The principal wild beasts found in the District are the
following : — Leopard, wolf, jackal, nilgai, antelope, wild hog, porcupine,

Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 4) → online text (page 44 of 58)