William Wilson Hunter.

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(1881) 3027, namely, Hindus, 1641, and Muhammadans, 1386. The
town contains a bdzdr (Ratanganj), and a vernacular school, with 10 1
pupils on its roll in 1883.

Injaram {Injeram). — Town in Korangi (Coringa) zafuinddri, Godavari
District, Madras Presidency. Lat. 16° 43' n., long. 82° 15' e. ; 5 miles
south of Korangi. Houses, 380, with (1881) 1660 inhabitants. Now
only known as having been one of the earliest of the British settle-



ments on this coast. The factory was founded in 1708, and was cele-
brated for a manufacture of fine long cloth that afterwards declined. In
May 1757, the factory was captured by Bussy. But Injaram continued
a mercantile station of the Company till 1829. An irrigation canal
takes its name from the town. Injaram and its neighbourhood suffered
greatly from a cyclone in 1839.

Insein. — Town in Rangoon District, British Burma ; distant 9 miles
from Rangoon. Station on the Irawadi State Railway.

In-yeh {Eng-rai). — Town in Bassein District, Irawadi Division,
British Burma; situated on the right bank of the Daga river, in lat. 17°
10' 30" N., and long. 95° 18' 30" e. Formerly the head-quarters of the
extra-Assistant Commissioner. Population (1881) 940, engaged in
rice cultivation and fishing. The town contains 92 houses, and has a
pohce station. Excise revenue (1881), other than that accruing from
the tax on palm-toddy, ^80.

In-yeh-gyi {Eng-rai-gyi). — Lake in Bassein District, Irawadi Divi-
sion, British Burma; about 5 miles in circumference, with a fairly
uniform breadth of 280 to 300 yards, and a depth of from 20 to 45
feet in the centre. It is connected with the Daga branch of the
Bassein by a small outlet, which serves to replenish the lake from the
Irawadi and to carry off the surplus water. This lake is by some
supposed to have been a former portion of the bed of the Daga, by
others it is thought to have been caused by a slip of the lower-lying
beds, totally independent of fluvial action. It is very valuable as a
preserve for fish, and proved an important source of revenue to the
Burmese Government, who exacted an annual tax of £,1^0 from the
Fenin or hereditary chief of the lake, who had sole authority over the
villagers employed in the fishery. Each villager had the right of
investing his capital in the general working of the fishery, and received
a share in the out-turn at the end of the season proportionate to the
sum subscribed. The process of dragging the lake is performed by
floating capstans worked by hawsers of jungle rope attached to a frame,
and occupies three months' working, at the rate of about 45 fathoms
each day. The fishing begins with the full moon in June, when the
temperature of the water has been reduced by the first showers of the
monsoon. The number of fish caught is never below 70,000 to 80,000
of all kinds ; they belong for the most part to the genera of Cerca,
Cyprinus, Gobio, Labeo, Cimelodus, Cirrhinus, Cyprinodon, and
Silurus. The largest specimens weigh about 56 lbs. each. Crocodiles
of all sizes are found in the drag-net. Some 8000 to 10,000 persons
are engaged in the taking and disposal of the fish, of which about
40 tons are annually sold on the spot.

Irak (or Loyach). — River in Sind, Bombay Presidency ; rises in lat.
25° 20' N., and long. 67° 45' e., at the foot of the Hathiil Hills, between


Karachi (Kurrachee) and Sehwan, and, after a south-easterly course of
40 miles, falls into Lake Kanjar in lat. 24° 53' n., and long. 68° 6' e.

Irawadi. — Principal river of Burma. The Iravvadi rises in inde-
pendent territory, and traverses the Pegu and Irawadi Divisions of
British Burma from north to south. The source of the Irawadi has not
yet (1884) been discovered. Several distinct theories exist upon the
subject. D'Anville, in the 18th century, thought the Irawadi was
identical with the Tsanpu (Sanpo), which flows through Tibet from
west to east. Dairy m pie's map accompanying Syme's Embassy to Aiuah
(Ava) shows the Tsanpu as one of the sources of the Irawadi, but
their point of union is not defined. In 1825, Klaproth maintained that
the Irawadi was a continuation of the Pinlaing-kiang, which, after flow-
ing through Western Yunan from the west, not the north, entered the
valley of the Irawadi at Bhamo (Ba-maw). Other geographers asserted
that the true source of the river was to be sought in China. Colonel
Henry Yule, the chief of recent authorities, holds that the cradle of
the Irawadi is in the Langtam range of the Himalayas. Mr. R. Gordon,
late Executive Engineer at Henzada on the Irawadi, adopts the theory
that the Irawadi is a continuation of the Sanpo. It is now, however,
generally accepted that the Brahmaputra, not the Irawadi, is the
continuation of the Tsanpu. The connection of the Brahmaputra
with the Tsanpu was discovered by Lieutenants Wilcox and Burton, who
crossed from Assam into Tibet in 1827 ; and this indicates, as conclu-
sively as can be shown until the entire course of the river is traced, that
the Irawadi rises in the southern slopes of the Patkoi Mountains. One
branch of it apparently rises in lat. 27° 43' n., long. 97° 25' e., and
another in the same hills a few days' journey farther east. These two
branches — known as the Myit-gyi, or ' Large River,' and Myit-nge, or
'Small River' — unite to form the Irawadi in lat. 26° n. The most
upward point of the river yet reached by a European (Mr. Strettel) is
the defile of Munt-gaung within the same parallel of latitude.

The general course of the Irawadi is from north to south. Starting
from its assigned head-quarters in lat. 26° n., it flows through inde-
pendent Burmese territory until a point on the frontier 1 1 miles north
of the town of Thayet-myo is reached. During its course through
independent territory it receives, as chief tributaries from the westward,
the Mogaung, the Kyaung, the Mil, and lesser streams. The
Mogaung joins the main river (600 yards wide at the junction) in lat.
24° 50' N., 100 miles above Bhamo; the Kyaung joins 100 miles below
Bhamo ; and the Mii about 50 miles below Mandalay. From the
eastward, in independent territory north of Bhamo, the Irawadi
receives the waters of the Shimai, the Moulay, and the Taping ;
south of Bhamo, it is increased by the waters of the Shwe-li, Kyin-dwin,
Myit-nge, and Pan-baung.


Shortly after the confluence of the Mogaung, the main stream of
the Irawadi enters the first or upper defile. Here the breadth of the
river varies between 50 and 250 yards ; the current is very rapid, and
the backwaters occasion violent eddies and whirlpools. When the
river is at its lowest, no bottom is found even at 40 fathoms. At
Bhamo, the Irawadi receives the Ta-ping from the east; and then,
turning south, after a long bend to the westward enters a second defile
5 miles long, which is exceedingly picturesque, the stream winding in
perfect stillness under high bare rocks rising sheer out of the water.

Farther down, not far from Mandalay, is the third or lowest defile.
The river banks are covered at this point with dense vegetation, and
slope down to the water's edge ; at places rise almost perpendicular,
but wooded, heights. Except when the river is at its highest, the
navigation of the two lower defiles is easy and safe for all but very long
steamers. The valley of Ava begins below the third defile, and lies
entirely on the east side of the Irawadi ; the range of the Minwun
Hills, terminating at Sagain opposite Ava, hems the river closely in on
the west. After receiving the waters of the Myit-nge, as far as 17° n.
lat., the course of the Irawadi is exceedingly tortuous. The British
frontier is crossed in lat. 19° 29' 3" n., long. 95° 15' e., the breadth of
the river being here three-quarters of a mile. Opposite Thayet-myo,
about II miles lower down, it is nearly 3 miles broad from bank
to bank. Forty -eight miles farther south it passes Prome. ^ At
Akauk-Taung, where a spur of the Arakan Hills ends abruptly in a
precipice 300 feet high, the river enters its delta, the hills giving place
to low alluvial plains, now protected on the west by extensive em-
bankments. From 17° N. lat., a little above Henzada, 90 miles
inland, the Irawadi sends off its first branch to the westward. This
branch, sweeping past Bassein, takes its designation as the Bassein
river from the name of the port, and, bifurcating, flows into the
sea by two chief mouths. A little below Henzada the main stream
sends off a small arm eastward to join the Hlaing river above and near
Rangoon, and, dividing and sub-dividing, enters the sea by nine
principal mouths. These mouths are named the Bassein, the Thek-
ngay-thaung or eastern entrance of the Bassein, the Rangoon, the To
or China Bakir, the Pya-piin, the Kyiin-tiin or Dala, the Irawadi, the
Pya-ma-law^ and the Rwe. The Bassein and Rangoon mouths are the
only mouths used by sea-going ships.

The valley of the Irawadi, for the most part devoted to rice cultiva-
tion, is about 80 miles broad at the frontier fine. It gradually widens
towards the south ; and at 60 or 70 miles below the frontier becomes
a broad, level, and highly-cultivated plain. At its lower end the
valley of the Irawadi meets the valley of the Sittaung, and stretches,
as a great flat country, from Cape Negrais on the west to Martaban


on the east. The watershed between the upper courses of the
Irawadi and the Sittaung is the Pegu Yoma range .'voma = backbone),
which runs from north to south till it terminat in low hills at
Rangoon. The main valley of the Irawadi is split up into several
smaller valleys, separated by the spurs of the Pegu Yoma Hills ;
such as the valley of the Hlaing river, the valley of the Pegu river,
and the valley of the Pu-zu-daung river. The plains of the Irawadi,
extending from Prome, in lat. i8° 15', to the sea, in lat. 15° 50', are
subject to annual inundations, which it has been the endeavour of
Government to lessen or prevent. In 1879, M^- I^- Gordon, Executive
Engineer at Henzada, published the results of an investigation as to
what would be the consequences of embanking the Irawadi main
channel on two sides from the head of the delta seawards for a
distance of 150 miles. Part of a continuous embankment of one side
of the Irawadi, throughout Lower Burma, had been carried on in a
desultory manner from 1863 to 1867; but eventually Mr. Gordon was
directed to obtain exact data as to levels of surface and volume of
water to be dealt with before the project should be resumed. As the
result of his investigations, Mr. Gordon was in favour of the embank-
ment of the Irawadi being carried out, and cited the successful embank-
ment of the Nawiin river, which has been practically encased, as an
additional reason for his opinion. In accordance, therefore, with this
and other testimony, the embankment works are being vigorously
prosecuted; and a special Act (xiii. of 1877) gives power to the
Embankment Officer to impress all able-bodied persons, when a flood
or other emergency occurs, for the construction or repair of the

The Embankment system is divided into two series, the Western
and the Eastern. The former embraces the Kyangin, Myanaung, and
Henzada sections; the latter includes only a few projects in the
survey stage. The amount expended on the Western series up to
1883 was ;£'305,882 ; and the expenditure during that year was
only ^^4676. See Henzada District. In addition, ;£"2 00,000 was
expended in 1882-83 in cutting the Tunte Canal, 8 miles long, a work
meant to shorten and facilitate the passage of craft between the
Irawadi and Rangoon river.

The Irawadi Delta is constantly encroaching on the sea, owing to the
immense quantity of silt brought down by the river, and is cut up into
numerous islands by a labyrinth of tidal creeks. Scattered along
these in the extreme south are temporary villages, occupied during
the dry season by salt boilers and makers of nga-pi or fish-paste.

The area of the catchment basin of the Irav/adi is 158,009 square
miles ; the area of the delta is 18,000 square miles ; and the total length of
the river from its assigned source to the sea is about 900 miles, the last


240 miles flowing in British territory. As far down as Akauk-taung in
Henzada District, its bed is rocky ; but below this, sandy and muddy.
It is full of islands and sandbanks, many of the former, and all the latter,
being submerged during the rains ; its waters are extremely muddy, and
the mud is carried far out to sea. The river commences to rise in March ;
about June, after a fall, it steadily rises again, and attains its maximum
height about September. At Prome, in September, it is from 33 to 40
feet above its dry-season level. Below the latitude of Myan-aung, the
Irawadi inundates large tracts of country on its eastern or unprotected
bank. Several contradictory calculations have been made of its dis-
charge. The average annual discharge, according to Mr. Gordon's
observations, and calculated in metre-tons of 37 cubic feet, is 428
billion tons.

The Irawadi is navigable at all seasons by steamers of light draught
as high as Bhamo, and during the dry season, for steamers drawing
6 feet, as far as the British frontier. In the rains, steamers and large
boats enter the main stream of the Irawadi from Rangoon by the Pan-
hlaing or Bhawlay creeks. During the dry season they have to descend
the Rangoon river for some distance, and, passing through the Bassein
creek, enter the Irawadi through the To or China Bakir. In the dry
season, the northern entrance to the Bassein river is entirely closed by
a large sandbank. The tide is felt as far up as Henzada, and at
Pu-zun-daung it rises 18 J feet at springs. Disastrous floods have
more than once occurred in the Irawadi, the years 187 1, 1875, ^^<^
1877 being remarkable in this respect. Below Akauk-taung on the
west, and Prome on the east, the Irawadi receives no tributaries of

The broad channel of the Irawadi has always been the sole means
of communication between the interior and the seaboard. From time
immemorial, the precious stones, minerals, etc. of Upper Burma and
the Chinese frontier provinces have been brought down by this route.
At the present day, the great bulk of the trade is in the hands of the
* Irrawaddy Flotilla Company,' an important English carrying firm ; but
native boats still maintain a strenuous competition. The flotilla of the
Company consists of about 60 vessels, including steamers and flats.
They employ about 1770 hands, European and native; and distribute
in wages upwards of ^50,000 a year. Their head - quarters are at
Rangoon, where, for the construction and repair of their large fleet,
they have leased from Government the old dockyard, foundry, and
engineer establishment. In 1882, the number of steamers passing
up the Irawadi was 115, and passing down no. In previous years
these numbers had been larger, but as steamers have decreased in
number, the tonnage and number of native craft have proportionately
increased. Steamers run twice a week from Rangoon to Bassein,


and from Rangoon to Mandalay, under contract with the Govern-
ment of India for the conveyance of mails, troops, and stores.
The service from Rangoon to Mandalay is continued twice a month
to Bhamo, about 1000 miles from the sea. The following are
the stopping stations between Rangoon and Mandalay, proceeding
up-stream : — Yandiin, at the mouth of the Pan-hlaing creek, 50 miles
above Rangoon, a large trading village ; Donabyu ; Henzada, a place
of growing importance as a delta station for the observation of physical
data connected with the Irawadi ; Ye-gin, with large exports of paddy
(unhusked rice) to Upper Burma; Myan-aung, the old civil station,
now moved to Henzada; Prome, in former days a terminus for the
steamers; Thayet-myo, the military frontier station, about 350 miles
above Rangoon; Minhla, the custom-house station of Independent
Burma; Magwe, a considerable centre of local trade, frequented at
certain seasons by the Siamese ; Ye-nan-gyaung, the shipping depot for
the earth -oil or petroleum produced in large quantities at a spot 3
miles distant ; Sinyugyan, Nyaungu, Kunywah, and Pokoko ; Mingyan,
the most important river station in Independent Burma after Mandalay,
the traders being chiefly Chinese ; Letsambyu and Sagaing, both only
stopped at going down-stream; Mandalay, about 350 miles above
Prome. The principal articles carried up-stream are Manchester piece-
goods, rice, salt, hardware, and silk. The articles carried down-stream
are raw cotton, cutch (a preparation from Acacia catechu for dyeing),
india-rubber, jade, spices, precious stones, timber, earth-oil, and dry
crops, such as wheat and peas. The value of the trade both ways is
about 2\ millions sterling. The latest figures (for 1881-82) show
imports into Independent Burma to the value of ^1,044,139, against
exports of ;j^i, 440,982.

The total number of native boats on the Irawadi is about 9750 going
up and down stream : the total number of steamers was 225 in 1882-83.
The former mostly carry heavy articles of commerce, especially cutch
and earth-oil. Going up-stream, they take advantage of the wind,
spreading a single enormous sail on a yard sometimes 120 feet long.
The Burmese are good river sailors, but generally hug the bank closely.
Going down-stream, they take advantage of the full strength of the
current, by throwing overboard branches of trees attached to the prow,
which float down faster than the boat itself. The Rangoon and Irawadi
State Railway was opened for traffic as far as Prome (161 miles) on ist
May 1877. The total sum expended on this line up to the end of
1881-82 was ;^i,287,795. A further extension of 42 miles to Allan-
myo is under consideration.

Irich. — x\ncient town in Jhansi District, North-Western Provinces.
Lies in lat. 25° 47' n., and long. 79^^ 8' e., on the right bank of the Betwa,
42 miles north-east of Jhansi city. Population under 5000. Formerly


a town of great importance, the head-quarters of a Sarkar under the
Mughal empire, but now lying in ruins, with a continually decreasing
population. Many mosques and tombs still standing among the
suburbs attest its early prosperity. The British army, under the
Marquis of Hastings, encamped on the spot in 1817, on its advance to
Gwalior, when suffering from cholera. Here also, in 1804, the British
force under Major Shepherd, sent to oppose the incursions of Amir
Khan into Jhansi and Tehri, awaited his approach from Lalitpur. On
his first advance, the Amir found himself overpowered, and retreated
to Mdlthaun ; whereupon the British troops, thinking that he had per-
manently retired, marched on to Banda. Amir Khan shortly after-
wards returned, and made Irich his head-quarters in his expeditions
against Kiinch and Kalpi. Manufacture of chintz and figured broad-
cloth. First-class police station, school, and post-office. A small
municipal income, for conservancy and police purposes, is raised under
the provisions of Act xx. of 1856.

Irodu. — Tdliik and town, Madras Presidency. — See Erode.
Irrikur. — Village in Chirakkal taluk, Malabar District, Madras
Presidency. Lat. 11° 59' n., long. 75° 37' e. Population (187 1) 4330 ;
(1881) 2808, dwelling in 441 houses. A considerable entrepot of
trade, and notable as the scene of Mappilla (Moplah) outrages in
1852. From Irrikur to the sea, the Valarpattanam river is navigable
for boats throughout the year.

Isakapalli C-S^^^ Village' — Telugu). — Village in Nellore District,
Madras Presidency. Lat. 14° 44' n., long. 80° 8' e. Population (1881)
1966. A seaport and customs station; formerly carried on a large
trade in salt, but the competition of other salt-works has caused the
trade to decay. There are granaries and godowns on the beach for
the storage of grain. Good anchorage for large sailing vessels and
steamers. Connected with Nellore town, 23 miles distant, by a
metalled road.

Isakhel. — Tahsil of Bannu District, Punjab, consisting of a tract
shut in between the Chichali and Maidani ranges and the river Indus.
Its extreme northern portion, known as the Bhanji Khel country, is a
wild and rugged region, a continuation of the Khatak Hills. The Bhanji
Khels are an influential, but numerically small, section of the great
Khatak tribe, and occupied their present country about 400 years ago.
The tahsil derives its name from the Isa Khel tribe, a section of the
Niazai Afghans, which, settling here during the sixteenth century, long
maintained its independence of the Mughal empire, and at last
succumbed to the Nawab of Dera Ismail Khan. Area, 675 square
miles. Average area under crops (1877 to 1 881), 128 square miles.
Area under principal crops — Wheat, 35,782 acres ; barley, 11,197 acres ;
and bdjra, 29,320 acres. Total area assessed for Government revenue,


432,016 acres; total revenue of the tahs'il, ;£636i. Population (18S1)
59,546, namely, 53,982 Muhammadans, 5408 Hindus, 78 Sikhs, 60
Jains, and 18 Christians; persons per square mile, 88; number
of towns and villages, 47, of which 18 contained less than five
hundred inhabitants. The landholders are mostly of the Niazai tribe ;
but during their long residence in the valley of the Indus, they have
lost their mother tongue, Pushtu, and now use only the Punjabi dialect
of their tenants. The iahsil contains i civil and i criminal court ; 2
police stations, with a regular police force of 53 men, and a village
watch of 80 men.

Isakhel. — Chief town and head-quarters of Isakhel tahsil in Banna
District, Punjab. Lat. 32° 40' 50" n., and long. 71' 19' e., on the high
right bank of the Indus, 9 miles west of the present channel ; distant
from Edwardesabad 42 miles south-east. Population (1881) 6692,
namely, 1788 Hindus, 4895 Muhammadans, and 9 Sikhs. Founded
about 1830 by Ahmad Khan, ancestor of the present leading family.
Built without plan ; bazar and lanes crooked, narrow, and extremely
dirty. Small local trade. The Khans of Isakhel are the acknow-
ledged heads of the trans-Indus Niazais. Tahsili, old fort used as
police station, staging bungalow, sardi^ and dispensary. A third-class
municipality, with an income in 1881-82 of ^356; average incidence
of taxation, is. ofd. per head of the population.

Isanagar.— Village in Kheri District, Oudh ; situated about 4 miles
west of the Kauriala river. The head-quarters of the Isanagar estate.
Population (1881) 2589 Hindus and 609 Muhammadans — total, 3198.
Small market.

Isarda. — Town in Jaipur (Jeypore) State, Rajputana ; situated
near the banks of the Banas, about 60 miles south from Jaipur city.
It has a citadel, and is surrounded by a wall and moat. Population

Isauli. — Pargand in Musafirkhana tahsil, Sultanpur District, Oudh \
bounded on the north by Paschimrath and Khandausa pargands, on
the east hy pargand Sultanpur Baraunsa, on the south by Amethi and
^Mliin^m pargafids, and on the west by ]3.gd\s^\ir pargand. Originally
in the possession of the Bhars, who were ousted about 550 years ago
by a party of Bais Kshattriyas, on whom Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji
bestowed the title of Bhale Sultan, which their descendants still
retain. Area, 148 square miles, or 94,743 acres, of which 53,749
are cultivated, 16,613 cultivable, 7600 under groves, and the
remainder barren. Government land revenue, ^£9772, or an average
of 2S. id. per acre. Population (1881) 73,593 Hindus, 9749 Muham-
madans — total, 83,342, namely, 40,374 males and 42,968 females.
Number of villages, 184; average density of population, 563 per
square mile.


Iskardo (or Skardo). — Principal town of the province of Balti,
Kashmir State; situated in lat. 35° 12' n., and long. 75° 35' e., on
an elevated plain, 19 miles long and 7 broad; 7700 feet above sea-level,
at the bottom of a valley, surrounded by lofty mountains. The fort,
occupying a rock of gneiss at the confluence of the Indus (here
150 yards broad) with its great tributary the Shegar, is near the
magnificent gorge through which the Indus issues from the western
ranges of the Himalayas. The cliff on which the fort is built
rises to a sheer height of 800 feet above the river, and presents a
perpendicular face on every side, except the west, where it slopes
rapidly toward the plain. Vigne compares the site to that of Gibraltar,
and believes that it could be rendered equally impregnable. The castle
of the late princes of Baltistdn crowns a small natural platform, 300 feet

Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 7) → online text (page 3 of 57)