William Wilson Hunter.

The imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 7) online

. (page 2 of 57)
Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 7) → online text (page 2 of 57)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

leopards may be enjoyed. The railway station is about a mile from
the palace.

Apart from the town of Indore, but adjoining it, on the other side of
the railway, is the British Residency. This term comprises not only
the mansion and park of the Governor-General's Agent for Central
India, but also an area assigned by treaty, within what are known as
the Residency Limits. A bazar of some importance has grown up
within this area, and the freedom from transit duties along the British
Trunk Road is developing an export trade in grain, etc., by the railway.
The central opium stores and weighing agency, referred to under Indore
State, also lie in this little tract. The hospital within the Residency
Limits is one of the most useful and successful institutions of the kind
in India. It has a special reputation for its major operations, which
number about five hundred per annum ; one special feature of its
surgical cases being the manufacture of new noses for women who have
suffered the penalty in Native States for conjugal infidelity, real or
supposed. The aggrieved or jealous husband throws his suspected
wife down and cuts off her nose. The woman then repairs to the
hospital at Indore, sometimes with her amputated nose carefully wrapped
up in a napkin. The process of reproduction is generally successful,
and this together with other operations in surgery has earned a high
reputation lor the hospital throughout the Native States of Central


India and Rajputana, as far as the confines of the Bombay Districts.
The Residency itself is a handsome stone mansion, approached by a
rather imposing flight of steps, and surrounded by gardens tastefully
laid out. From this stretches a park of considerable extent. A little
river, the Khan, has been utilized to form a sylvan retreat of wood,
water, and creeping plants, of almost unique beauty in India.

The height of Indore above the ghats or Vindhya escarpment
which rises from the Narbada valley, and 1786 feet above sea-level,
renders the climate cool and agreeable, with the exception of two
really hot months in summer. A body of native and European
troops acts as the escort to the Governor- General's Agent, and is
provided with a range of spacious barracks. Several small bungalows
are occupied by the British Residency staff and other Government
servants. The Rajkumar College, where the young chiefs and nobles
of Central India are educated, is situated within the jurisdiction of
the Residency. It has been referred to, along with other local
institutions, in the preceding article on Indore State.

Indore Agency. — The collective name given to the three Native
States of Central India comprised therein, namely, Indore, Dewas,
and Bagli (all of which see separately), under the superintendence of
the Government of India, through an official styled ' Governor-General's
Agent for Central India.'

Indori.— Small hill torrent in Gurgaon District, Punjab. Rises
beyond the boundary in Rajputana, on the Alwar (Ulwur) side of the
Mewat Hills; runs due nortlward into British territory; passes the towns
of Taoru and Bahora ; and finally, after joining the Sahibi, falls into the
Najafgarhy/«7. The Indori frequently floods the country at the foot
of the hills. There is a second and smaller stream of the same name,
which falls into the Sahibi, some six miles above the junction of its
larger namesake. Both are mere torrents, flowing only after rain.

Indus (Sanskrit, Sindhu ; Greek, Sinthiis ; Latin, Sindus). — River
in Northern India. The Indus rises in an unexplored region on the
northern slopes of the sacred Kailas Mountain, the Elysium of ancient
Sanskrit literature ; and as the Sutlej (Satlej) is in the Aryan tradition
supposed to issue from the mouth of a crocodile, so the Indus is said to
spring from the mouth of a lion. On the south of the Kailas Mountain
rises the Sutlej, the great feeder of the Indus, which unites with it
after a separate course of about 1000 miles. The Indus rises in lat.
32° N. and long. 8i° e., enters the Punjab (Panjab) in lat. 34° 25' n.
and long. 72° 51' e., leaves the Punjab in lat. 28° 27' n. and long.
69° 47' E,, enters Sind in lat. 28° 26' n. and long. 69° 47' e., and
finally falls into the Arabian Sea in lat. 23° 58' n. and long. 67° 30' e.'
The drainage basin of the Indus is estimated at 372,700 square miles,
and its total length at a little over 1800 miles. The towns of import-


ance on or near its banks in British territory are Karachi (Kurrachee),
Kotri, Haidarabad, Sehwan, Sukkur (Sakhar), Rohri, Mithankot, Dera
Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan, Kala Bdgh, and Attock.

The first section of the course of the Indus lies outside British
territory, and must be briefly dealt with here. The river rises in Tibet
behind the great mountain wall of the Himalayas, which forms the
northern boundary of India. Rising from the ring of lofty mountains
about Lake Manasarowar, whence also the Sutlej, the Brahmaputra,
and the Gogra spring, it flows north-west for about i6o miles under
the name of Singh-ka-bab, until it receives the Ghar river on its south-
western bank. A short distance below the junction of the Indus and
the Ghar, it enters Kashmir, and continues north-west to Leh, where
it is joined by the Zanskar river, and crossed by the great trade route
into Central Asia via the Karakoram Pass. Early travellers like Dr.
Thomson and Mr. Blane have described this portion of the Indus.
The former found numerous hot springs, some of them with a tem-
perature of 174° F., and exhahng a sulphurous gas. The Indus is
supposed to have an elevation of 16,000 feet at its source. Shortly
after it passes the Kashmir frontier, it drops to 14,000 feet, and at
Leh is only about 11,278 feet above the level of the sea. The rapid
stream dashes down gorges and wild mountain valleys; it is subject to
tremendous floods ; and in its lower and more level course it is swept
by terrific blasts. Even in summer it is said to dwindle down to a
fordable depth during the night, and during the course of the day to
swell into an impassable torrent from the melting of the snows on the
adjoining heights. Still flowing north-west through Kashmir territory,
it passes near Iskardoh in Little Tibet, until in about lat. 34° 50' n.,
and long. 74° 30' e., it takes a turn southwards at an acute angle,
receives the Gilgit river from the north, and shordy afterwards enters
Kohistan near Gur. It then passes for about 120 miles south-west
through the wilds of Kohistan, until it reaches the Punjab frontier in
lat. 34° 25' N., and long. 72° 51' e., near Derbend, at the western base
of the Mahaban mountain. The only point to which special allusion
can be made in the long section of its course beyond British territory
is the wonderful gorge by which the river bursts through the western
ranges of the Himalayas. This gorge is near Iskardoh in Little Tibet
{i.e. North-Western Kashmir), and is said to be 14,000 feet in sheer

The Indus, on entering the Punjab, 812 miles from its source, is
about 100 yards wide in August, navigable by rafts, but of no great
depth, and studded with sandbanks and islands. It is fordable in many
places during the cold weather ; but floods or freshets are sudden,
and Ranjit Singh is said to have lost a force, variously stated at from
1200 to 7000 horsemen, in crossing the river. Even the large and


solid ferry-boats which ply upon it are sometimes swept away. A
little way above Attock, in Rawal Pindi District, it receives the
Kabul river, which brings down the waters of Afghanistan. The two
rivers have about an equal volume, both are very swift, and broken
up with rocks. Their junction during floods is the scene of a wild
confusion of waters. The Kabul river is navigable for about 40
miles above the confluence, but a rapid just above it renders the Indus

Attock (Atak), the limit of the upward navigation of the Indus, forms
the first important point on the Indus within British territory. By this
time the river has flowed upwards of 860 miles, or nearly one-half of
its total length, its further course to the sea being about 940 miles.
It has fallen from its elevation of 16,000 feet at its source in Tibet
to about 2000 feet, the height of Attock being 2079 ^^^^- I" ^^^
hot season, opposite the fort, its velocity is 13 miles an hour; and in
the cold season, 5 to 7 miles. The rise of ordinary floods is from 5
to 7 feet in 24 hours only, and the maximum is 50 feet above cold-
weather level. Its width varies greatly with the season ; at one time
over 250 yards, at another less than 100. The Indus is crossed at
Attock by a bridge of boats and a ferry : in its upper course a massak
or inflated skin is the usual means of transportation. The main trunk
road to Peshawar also crosses the river at Attock. By the opening of
the Attock railway bridge across the Indus in May 1883, the chain of
railway communication between Peshawar, Bombay, and Calcutta was
completed. The view from the railway bridge is a very striking one.

After leaving Attock, the Indus flows almost due south along the
western side of the Punjab, parallel to the Sulaiman Hills. The great
north road from Sind to Bannu runs for several hundreds of miles
close to its western bank ; and another road from Multan (Mooltan)
to Rawal Pindi almost parallel to its eastern bank. The river inter-
sects the two frontier Districts of Dera Ismail Khan and Dera Ghazi
Khan, with the Sind Sagar Dodb on its eastern bank, and only a
narrow strip of British territory between it and the hill tribes of the
Sulaiman ranges on the west. Just above Mithankot, in the south of
Dera Ghazi Khan District, the Indus receives the accumulated waters
of the Punjab. Between the Indus and the Jumna (Jamuna) flow
the five great streams from which the Punjab (Panj-ab, literally 'The
land of the five waters ') takes its name. These are the Jehlam
(Jhelum), the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas (Bias), and the Sutlej.
After various junctions, these rivers all unite to form the river Panjnad,
literally ' The five rivers.' The Panjnad marks for a short space the
boundary between the Punjab and Bahawalpur State, and unites with
the Indus near Mithdnkot, about 490 miles from the sea. The breadth
of the Indus above the confluence is about 600 yards, its velocity 5


miles an hour, its depth from 12 to 15 feet, and its estimated dis-
charge 91,719 cubic feet per second. The breadth of the Panjnad
above the point of junction is 1076 yards, with an equal depth of
12 to 15 feet, but a velocity of only 2 miles an hour. Its estimated
discharge is 68,955 cubic feet per second. Below the junction the
united stream, under the name of the Indus, has a breadth which
varies from 2000 yards to several miles, according to the season of
the year.

The whole course of the Indus through the Punjab is broken by
islands and sandbanks, but some beautiful scenes are afforded along
its banks, which, especially near Bukkur, abound with the date, acacia,
pomegranate, and other trees. Mithankot has an elevation of only 258
feet above the level of the sea. From Mithankot the Indus forms
the boundary between the Punjab and Bahawalpur State, until near
Kashmor it enters Sind in lat. 28° 26' n., and long. 69° 47' e.
Kashmor is the most northern town on the Indus in Sind. From
Bukkur in Sind to the sea, the river is known as the ' Lower Sind,' but
it is also known famiHarly among the Sindis as the ' Daryah.' PHny
writes of Indus i?icolis Sindiis appellatus. Finally the river empties
itself by many mouths into the Arabian Sea, after a generally south-
westerly course in that Province of 580 miles. It ranges in width from
480 to 1600 yards, the average during the low season being 680 yards.
During the floods it is in places more than a mile wide. Its depth
varies from 4 to 24 feet. The water, derived from the snows of the
Himalayas, is of a dirty brown colour, and slightly charged with saline
ingredients, carbonate of soda and nitrate of potash. Its velocity in
the freshets averages 8 miles per hour, at ordinary times 4 miles. The
discharge per second varies at the two periods from 446,086 cubic feet
to 40,857 cubic feet. On an average, the temperature of the water is
10° F. lower than that of the air.

The delta of the Indus covers an area of about 3000 square miles,
and extends along the coast-line for 125 miles. It is almost a perfect
level, and nearly destitute of timber, the tamarisk and mangrove alone
supplying fuel. In these respects the delta of the Indus is similar to
the Nile, but dissimilar from the Ganges, delta. The marshy portions
contain good pasturage, and rice grov;s luxuriantly wherever cultivation
is possible, but the soil generally is not fertile, being a mixture of sand
and clay. In the Shahbandar District are immense deposits of salt.
The climate of the delta is cool and bracing in the winter months,
excessively hot in the summer, and during the floods most unhealthy.
In 1800, the Indus at the apex of the delta divided into two main
streams, known as the Baghiar and Sita; but in 1837 it had entirely
deserted the former channel. The Khedewari passage also, which
before 18 19 was the highway of water traffic to Shahbandar, was in that


year closed by an earthquake. In 1837, the Kakaiw^ri, which had
then increased from a shallow creek to a river with an average width
at low water of 770 yards, was recognised as the highway; but before
1867, this also was completely blocked. For the present the Hajamro,
which before 1845 was only navigable for the smallest boats, is the
main estuary of the Indus. The shape of the Hajamro is that of a
funnel, the mouth to the sea ; on the east side of the entrance is a
beacon 95 feet high, visible for two miles ; and two well-manned pilot
boats lie inside the bar to point out the difficulties of navigation.

The following facts illustrate further the shifting nature of the Indus.
In 1845, Ghorabari, then the chief commercial town of the delta, was
on the river bank; but in 1848 the river deserted its bed. The town
of Keti was built on the new bank. The new bank was overflowed a
few years later, and a second Keti had to be built farther off. At pre-
sent one of the chief obstructions to navigation is a series of rocks
between Tatta and Bhiman-jo-pura, which in 1846 were 8 miles inland.
In 1863, a thousand acres of the Dhareja forest were swept away. The
rapidity and extent of the destructive action in constant progress in the
delta may be estimated from the fact that travellers have counted by
the reports as many as 13 bank slips in a minute. In some places the
elephant grass (Typha elephantina) does good service by driving its
roots very deeply (often 9 feet) into the ground, and thereby holding it

The Indus begins to rise in March, attains its maximum depth and
width in August, and subsides in September. The registered rise at
Gidu-Bandar, near Haidarabad, is 15 feet. Other river gauges are at
Kotri and Bukkur, the latter a fortified island in the river.

Fish abound. At the mouths, the salt-water varieties include the
Clupea neowhii, a species of herring largely consumed along the coast
and in the delta. The chief of the fresh-water varieties is the pala,
placed by Dr. Day under the Clupeidae, and nearly allied to, if not
identical with, the hilsa of the Ganges. The local consumption and
also the export of dried pala are very large. Otters, turtles, porpoises,
water-snakes, and crocodiles are numerous.

The entire course of the Indus in British territory, from Attock to
the sea, lies within the zone of deficient rainfall, the annual average
bein^y nowhere higher than 10 inches. Cultivation, therefore, is
absolutely dependent upon artificial irrigation, almost to as great an
extent as in the typical example of Egypt. But the Indus is a less
manageable river than the Nile. Its main channel is constantly shifting ;
at only three places, Sukkur (Sakhar), Jerruck (Jirak), and Kotri, are
the river banks permanent ; and during the season of flood, the melted
snows of the Himalayas come down in an impetuous torrent which no
embankment can restrain. From time immemorial, this annual inunda-


tion, which is to Sind what the monsoons are to other parts of India,
has been utilized as far as possible by an industrious peasantry, who
lead the water over their fields by countless artificial channels. Many
such channels, constructed in the old days of native rule, extend 30
and even 40 miles from the river bank ; but no comprehensive scheme
of irrigation, comparable to the works on the Ganges and Jumna, has
yet been taken in hand by British engineers. The existing canals are
all classified as 'intermittent inundation canals,' i.e. they have been
constructed without system so as merely to intercept the flood-waters
when they rise high enough to overtop the head-works. The first
recorded inundation of the Indus took place in 1833 ; another occurred
in 1 84 1 on a much larger scale. This flood was said to have been
caused by the bursting of a glacier which formed over an accumulation
of water in the Nubra Tso, into which there was a regular and steady
flow of water from the surrounding hills. Eventually the glacier was
burst asunder by the pressure, and the released flood poured down the
Sheok valley, carrying everything before it. There was another great
flood of the Indus in August 1858. On the loth of that month at 5 a.m.
the river at Attock was very low; at 1 1 a.m. it had suddenly risen 1 1 feet;
by 1.30 it had risen 50 feet; and in the evening the river was 90 feet higher
than in the morning. By this flood the greater part of private property
in Nowshera cantonment was destroyed.

The great want of Sind is recognised to be a system of ' perennial
canals,' which shall take off from the Indus at those few points in its
course where a permanent supply can be secured all the year through,
and regulated by a series of dams and sluices. One such work, 63
miles long, the Sukkur Canal, was approved in the year 1861, and was
finished in 1870. Of recent years the Indus has been embanked from
above Kashmor to the mouth of the Begari Canal, a distance of more
than 50 miles. The embankment has proved a great protection to
the Sind-Pishin or Kandahar railway, which here runs parallel to the
Indus. A full account of irrigation in Sind will be found in the article
on that Province. It must suffice in this place to give a list of the
principal works, following the Indus downwards from the Punjab. The
waters of the river are first utilized on a large scale in the thirsty
Districts of the Derajat, which form a narrow strip between the Indus
and the Sulaiman mountains. The canals in this tract have an
aggregate length of 618 miles, of which 108 have been constructed
under British rule. In Muzaffargarh District, and in the Native State
of Bahawalpur, which extends 300 miles along the opposite bank, the
Chenab and Sutlej, as well as the Indus, contribute to render cultiva-
tion possible. In Sind itself, the following are the chief canal
systems : — On the right or west bank, the Sukkur, the Sind, the Ghar
or Larkana, the Begari, and the Western Nara ; on the left or east


bank, the Eastern Nara and the Fuleh', each with many distributaries.
The total area irrigated by canals from the Indus in 1883-84 was :
in the Punjab, 150,418 acres; in Sind, 1,627,900 acres, thus distributed
among the several Districts, — Karachi, 248,371 acres; Haidarabad,
517,403 acres; Shikarpur, 563,897 acres; Upper Sind Frontier,
209,867 acres ; Thar and Parkar, 88,362 acres.

As a channel of navigation, the Indus has disappointed the expecta-
tions that were at one time formed. Before British arms had conquered
Sind and the Punjab, it was hoped that the fabled wealth of Central
Asia might be brought by this course down to the sea. But, even so
far as local traffic is concerned, experience has proved in this case, as
with most other Indian rivers, that the cheapness of water communica-
tion cannot compete with the superior speed and certainty of railways.
Since the opening of the Indus Valley State Railway in the autumn of
1878, navigation on the Indus, whether by steamer or by native boat,
has greatly fallen off. The general character of the Indus trade may
be inferred from the following statistics, which refer to 1875-76. The
Indus flotilla, under the management of the Sind Railway Company,
carried down-stream goods to the value of ;^5 19,000, the chief items being
Indian cotton goods (^219,600), wool (^89,000), oil-seeds, indigo, and
sugar; the up-traffic by steamer was valued at ^^5 18,000, almost entirely
confined to Manchester piece-goods (;^4i 5,000) and metals (^61,000).
The traffic down-stream in country boats, as registered at Sukkur,
was valued at ;^449,ooo, the chief items being wool, oil-seeds, wheat,
and raw cotton. The return trade by country boats was valued
at only ;^86,ooo, of which more than one-half was metals. The total
number of boats passing Sukkur was 31 17, of which 2616, with cargoes
aggregating 1,272,186 viaunds, or 45,435 tons, were going down-stream.
The total receipts of the Conservancy and Registration Department in
1875-76 amounted to ;^59i6, against an expenditure of ;£"6442,
showing a deficit of ;^526. The Indus flotilla was aboHshed in

The first steamer was placed on the river in 1835. I" ^^47 there
were 10 Government steamers, with head-quarters and a factory at
Kotri, the yearly expenditure ranging from ^27,500 to ^£"50,000.
This flotilla was broken up in 1862. In 1859, a company established
another ' Indus flotilla ' in connection with the Sind Railway, with
which it was formally amalgamated in 1870, the joint head-quarters
being removed to Lahore in the Punjab. In 1874, the number of
steamers plying was 14, and of barges 43, with an aggregate tonnage of
10,641 tons. The receipts were ;£83,37o, being from goods up-river,
^53,955; down-river, ^23,678; and from passenger traffic, ^^5737.
As previously stated, the railway flotilla was abolished in 1882-83.
These were not the only 'flotilla' experiments on the Indus. In


1856, the Oriental Inland Steam Company obtained a yearly subsidy of
^^5000 from Government. In 1861, the Company had 3 steamers and
9 barges on the river ; but as the river current proved too powerful
for the steamers, the Company stopped the traffic, and eventually

For the conservancy of the river, Act i. of 1863 (Bombay) provides
for the registration of vessels, and the levy of pilotage fees by an
officer called the Conservator and Registrar of the Indus, the sum
realized being expended on the improvement of navigation.

The boats of the Indus are the dundhi and zaiirak^ both cargo-boats,
the kauntal, or ferry-boats, and the diindo^ or fishing-boats. The cargo-
boats are sometimes of 60 tons burden, and when laden draw 4 feet of
water. The state barges ox jhamptis of the Mirs were built of teak, four-
masted, and sometimes required crews of 30 men.

Inhauna. — Pargand in Digbijaiganj tahsil, Rai Bareli District, Oudh ;
bounded on the north by Haidargarh and Subeha parga?ids of Bara
Banki District, on the east by Jagdispur pargand of Sultanpur, on the
south by Simrauta and Mohanganj pargaiids of Rai Bareli. Originally
held by the Bhars, an officer of Sayyid Salar Masaiid's army defeated
them, and occupied their fort, but appears to have made little progress.
Ultimately, a Bais named Binar Sah came from the west, drove out the
Dhobis and Bhars, and acquired the whole country. Area, 100 square
miles, of which 44 are under cultivation, and 26 fit for cultivation but
not under tillage. Government land revenue, ^6639, at the rate of
2S. i|d. an acre. Of the 77 villages comprising the pargand^ 2>1 ^^^
held by Hindu Bais, and 24 by Bharsians, a family of Bais who
have been converted to Islam. Twelve villages are held under
za??iindd}i tenure, 21 are tdlukdd?i, and 44 pattiddii. Population
(1881), Hindus, 43,166; Muhammadans, 8650; ^others,' 2; total,
51,818, namely, 24,693 males and 27,693 females: average density
of population, 518 per square mile.

Inhauna. — Town in Rai Bareli District, Oudh ; situated about mid-
way on the unmetalled road between Lucknow and Sultanpur, 30 miles
from Rai Bareli town, and head-quarters of Inhauna pargand. Lat.
26' 32' N., long. 81° 32' E. Formerly the head-quarters of a tahsil zxi^
police circle, removed on the re-arrangement of Oudh Districts in 1869,
since which time its traffic has considerably diminished. Population

Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 7) → online text (page 2 of 57)