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but a town named Kharak, with a considerable commerce, is mentioned
as lying on the other side of the Hab river at the confluence of the
river and the sea. The entrance to Kharak harbour, however, becoming
blocked with sand, a migration was made to a spot near the present
head of Karachi harbour, and at that time (1729) called Kalachi
Kun ; and in time, under Jam Daria Khan Jokia, some little trade
began to centre upon the convenient harbour. Cannon brought from
Muscat fortified the little fort, and the name of Karachi, supposed to
be a corrupt form of Kalachi, was bestowed upon the rising village.
The hopeless blocking up of Shahbandar harbour shortly afterwards
drove much of its former trade and population to Karachi.

Under the Kalhora princes, the Khan of Khelat obtained a grant of the


town, which he garrisoned from his own territory. Within the short period
1702-1795, three Balilch armies appeared before the town; but only
on the third occasion did the Talpur chief of Haidarabad, who led the
Balilch troops, gain possession by force of arms. A fort was built at
Manora, at the mouth of the harbour. The Talpur chiefs made con-
siderable efforts to increase the trade of Karachi, so that in 1838 the
town and suburbs had a population of 14,000, half of whom were
Hindus. The houses were all flat-roofed, and built of mud, very few
of them having more than one storey : each house had its hadgv or
wdnd-catcher for the purposes of ventilation. The Government under
the Mirs was vested in a civil and military official, the Nawab, who
ruled despoticallv over the town and neighbourhood.

Population. — -Wi^ Census of i83i returned the total number of
inhabitants, including the cantonment, at 73,560, namely, 43,561
males and 29,999 females. The military force, with camp followers,
amounted to 5228 men, comprising a battery of Royal Artillery,
I European and i Native infantry regiment, and the men and families
of the ordnance and barrack departments. The Muhammadans
numbered 38,946, and the Hindus 24,617; Christians, 4161 ; Parsis,
937; Jains, 9; and 'others,' 4890.. The proportion of European
inhabitants in Karachi is unusually large.

Commerce and Trade, ^/r.— Even before the period of British rule,
the commerce of Karachi had attained to some importance, owing
to the value of the river Indus as a channel of communication. Never-
theless, the sparse population of the country, combined with the short-
sighted and selfish policy of its rulers, prevented it from reaching
its proper development. Under the Talpur Mirs, all imports were
subjected to a 4 per cent, duty, and all exports to one of 2\ per cent
In 1809, the customs revenue amounted to ^9900; by 1838, it had
risen to ^15,000. In the latter year, the whole trade of the town
was valued at ^374,7oo. The following list gives the value of the
principal articles of trade in 1837, under the Mirs, six years before
British annexation :^Imports- English silk, broadcloth, chintz, etc.,
;£6o,ooo; Bengal and China raw silk, ^24,800 ; slaves, ^12,000;
dates, ^10,000; sugar, ^8500; ivory, ^6400; copper, ^54oo;
spices, ^5850 ; and cotton, £zi^o : Exports-opium, ;^i6o,ooo ; ghi
ri7,ooo; indigo, ^12,000; wheat, £(^1^0; madder, i:45oo ; wool,
^3500; raisins, ^3200; and salt fish, ^3000. Slaves came chiefly
from Muscat, and consisted of negroes or Abyssmians. Opium to the
extent of 500 camel-loads came from Marwar, and was exported to the
Portuguese town of Daman. Almost all the goods imported into bmd
were then consumed within the Province, only ;£i 5,000 worth being
sent across the frontier. The total gross revenue drawn from the town
and port of Karachi by the Mfrs in 1837 amounted to ^17,389.


In 1843-44, the first year of British rule, the trade of Karachi,
including Keti and Sirganda, had a total value of ;£"i2 2,i6o, com-
prising exports, ;£ioio, and imports, ^121,150. The second year
of British rule saw a rise to ^227,000, the third to ^353,400, and
the fifth to ^442,602. By 1852-53, the total value had risen to
^812,000, comprising imports, ^£535, 690, and exports, ;^2 76,3io.
Apart from the increase in the trade as a whole, the rapid development
of the exports deserves attention. In 1855-56, the figures stood as
follows: — Imports, ^629,813; exports, ^604,440; total, ^1,234,253.
In 1857-58, the exports nearly overtook the imports, the two standing
respectively at ^^i, 081,101 and ;^i,o78,i28 ; total, ;^2, 159,229. The
American civil war gave an enormous impetus to the trade of Karachi,
by the high demand for Indian cotton which it created in the Euro-
pean markets; and in 1862-63, the total value of the trade amounted
to no less than ^5,316,424, viz. imports, ;^2, 188,943, and exports,
;£3,i2 7,48i, being the first year in which the balance stood in
favour of Karachi. In 1863-64, the total returns rose to ^6,567,685,
viz. imports, ^2,520,898, and exports, ;^4,o46,787. The restoration
of peace in America, however, brought about a lower price for cotton
in the home markets, and the trade of Karachi gradually returned
to what was then considered its normal level. The total value sank
from ;i^5,o58,8o2 in 1864-65, to ^4,053,610 in 1867-68, and
^£■3,507,684 in 1873-74.

In 1882-83, the trade of Karachi port, both foreign and coastwise,
had increased in value to ^^7,07 7,084, namely, imports, ;^3, 329,1 48,
and exports, ;£'3, 747,936. Including the two minor ports of Keti and
Sirganda, the total sea-borne trade of Karachi District (foreign and
coastwise) was ^7,181,199, or double that of nine years previously.
The main cause of the increase is due to the annually augmenting
exports of wheat and other food-grains, and oil-seeds. The following
were the articles of foreign import, with their values, for the three
ports, in 1882-83: — Apparel, ^£18,879; cotton piece-goods, ^201,683;
other cotton manufactures, ;^4467 ; cotton twist and yarn, and raw
cotton, ^33,360; raw wool, ^^30,180 ; manufactures of wool, ^£5505 ;
coal and coke, ;^23,997 ; patent fuel, ^12,964; hardware and cutlery,
;^23,53o; malt liquors, ^^15,096 ; wines and liqueurs, ;^34,448 ;
spirits, ^68,665 ; metals, wrought and unwrought (chiefly copper, iron,
and steel), ^195,438; matches, ^£6^66 ; provisions, ^116,697; rail-
way plant and rolling stock, ^^194,247 ; spices, ;^io8 ; sugar, molasses,
etc., ^272 ; manufactured tobacco, £2'j4^; hops, ^£'19,405 ; machinery
and mill-work, ^15,016; paints, colours, painters' materials, printing
and writing paper, ^11,631; glass — sheet, plate, bottles, bead, etc.,
^8808; grain, ^6974 (wheat, ^^5218, and pulse, ;£'i756); leather,
unwrought and manufactured, ^6539 ; drugs and medicines, ;^56i 2 ;

KARA cm TO IViV. 45 7

military and other uniforms and accoutrements, ^5373; ^'^rms and
ammunition, ^5312; other merchandise, ^ii,344; and specie,
^^32,202 : total imports from foreign ports, including treasure,
;^i,2i9,o58. The following list shows some of the countries from
which these imports were received: — United Kingdom, £si^^Sl^')
Persia, ^43,545; France, ^3162; Italy, £2>A^o; United States,
^23,764; Austria, ^728; Arabia, ^i3,730- 'i^he imports coastwise
into Karachi and the two subordinate ports in 1882-83, amounted to
;£i, 939,122 of private merchandise and ^202,151 of specie, giving a
total of ^2,141,273, of which ^2,010,100 represented the imports of
Karachi port alone. The imports, foreign and coastwise, into the three
ports amounted to ;£'3»36oj332-

From the United Kingdom, Karachi imports cotton manufactures,
railway materials, liquors, coal and coke, machinery, metals, provisions,
apparel, drugs, and medicines; from Bombay, cotton piece-goods
and twist, treasure, metals, silk, sugar, tea, jute, spices, dyes, woollen
manufactures, cocoa-nuts, manufactured silk, liquors, fruit, and
vegetables; from the Persian Gulf, dried fruits, treasure, wool, grain,
and horses; from the coast of Makran, wool, provisions, grain, and
pulses ; from Calcutta, jute, sugar, grain, and pulses ; from the United
States, oil for lighting and other purposes; and from Persia, dyeing

The following list shows the value of the exports to foreign ports
from the three ports in 1882-83 :— Apparel, ^2192; raw cotton,
twist and yarn, ^241,686; cotton goods, £i9y^ZT, dyes (mostly
indigo), ^49,245 ; fruits and vegetables, ^385 ; grain and pulses,
^1,376,739, of which ;£i,28r,268 represented wheat ; hides and skins,
^40,815; oil, ;£"54i3; provisions, ^6913; oil-seeds, chiefly rape
and /// (Sesamum indicum), ^583,495 ; wood, ^988 ; ^a^^' ^^'oo^j
^239,945; shawls and other woollen manufactures, ^^1290; sugar,
;£"572; specie, ^42,070; and other articles, ;£5o,i69. Total value
of exports, including treasure, ;£2,66 1,754. The following list shows
the distribution among the several countries: — United Kingdom,
;£825,9i4; Bombay, ^913,625; France, ^588,690; Mauritms,
^7356; Madras, ^1897; Persia, ^110,227; Arabia, ^9344; Cutch,
;£io7,762; Austria, ^^23,765; Bengal, ^6936; Italy, ^19,843;
China, ;^io9,293 ; and to other countries, ;^986,549, or about a
million sterling. The exports coastwise from Karachi and the two ports
of Keti and Sirganda amounted to ^{^1, 15 9, 113 in 1882-83, of which
;£"i,o86,2oo represented the exports of Karachi alone. The exports,
foreign and coastwise, from the three ports amounted to ^3,820,867.

To the United Kingdom, Karachi exports cotton, wool, indigo, seeds,
hides, skins, tea, and oils; to France, wheat, cotton, gingelli, and ra])e-
seed; to Bombay, Culch, and Gujarat (Guzerat), cotton, grain, ^/^/,


indigo, oils, seeds, rice, raw silk, shawls, wool, and horses ; to Mauritius,
grain, pulses, and oils ; to Persia, indigo, oils, hides, skins, and piece-
goods ; to Madras, horses ; and to China, raw cotton.

The inland trade of Karachi includes, besides goods from the Upper
Provinces by rail, a large quantity of wool, dried fruits, and horses from
Kandahar and Khelat; while camels, bullocks, and donkeys bring in
firewood, grass, ^/zf, date-leaves, hides, etc., from Las Bela and Kohistan.
The total coasting trade of the three ports, import and export, was in
1882-83, ;£"3, 300,386, of which ;£'3, 096,300 represented Karachi port
alone. It must be remembered that these figures include re-imports
and re-exports which have already been given in the figures for foreign
trade. The total sea-customs revenue of Karachi port in 1882-83
amounted to ^41,117— viz. import duty, pf 35^025 ; export duty,
^6151. The customs duties were abolished throughout India in 1882,
with the exception of the import duties on salt, wines and spirits,
opium, arms and ammunition. Karachi is therefore now practically a
free port.

Shipping, etc. — The harbour of Karachi, during the period of the
Talpur Mirs, and for the first few years after British annexation, was
only capable of accommodating small native craft. Steamers and large
ships anchored outside Manora Point, whence men and stores were
conveyed in boats up the river, as far as the tide permitted, and then
transferred into canoes, which carried them through a sea of liquid mud
to a spot near the site of the existing custom-house. In process of time,
however, it became apparent that the bar did not interpose so great an
obstacle as was originally supposed, and that square-rigged vessels of
a certain draught could cross it with safety. Up to 185 1, only one
English sailing ship had entered the harbour. In 1852, however, the
Duke of Ar gyle, a vessel of 800 tons, arrived at Karachi from England
direct with troops, coal, and iron. In 1854, under the Chief Com-
missionership of the late Sir Bartle Frere, the Napier Mole road or
causeway, connecting Karachi with the island of Kiamari, was com-
pleted, and thus offered additional inducements to ships for visiting the

In 1856, a scheme for improving the harbour by deepening the
water on the bar was submitted for the opinion of Mr. James Walker,
an eminent London engineer, who estimated the cost of works to
provide an ample width of passage vvith a depth of 25 feet at neap
tides, at ;£2 87,ooo. After much debate and intermissions, owing
to partial failures, the principal part of the works — the Manora
breakwater, 1503 feet in length— was commenced in March 1869,
and completed in February 1873. It affords complete shelter to
the western channel over the bar during the south-west monsoon,
and combined with other works, has already led to the deepening


at the entrance to 20 feet at low - water spring tides. The rise
and fall is about 8 feet. The other portions of these extensive
works include the Kiamari groyne or stone bank, the east pier, the
screw-pile bridge on the Napier Mole, the native jetty, and the Chini
creek stoppage. The total expenditure on the harbour improvements,
up to December 1873, amounted to ;£"449)79S.

In 1847-48, the number of vessels which entered the harbour was
891, all native craft, with a total burden of 30,509 tons. In 1873-74,
the list included 30 square-rigged sailing vessels, 152 steamers, and 731
native craft, making a total of 913 ships, with a tonnage of 161,284
tons, or more than five times that of 1847. I^ 1882-83, 373 vessels
(of which 95 were steam vessels) entered Karachi harbour with cargoes
from foreign ports: gross tonnage, 105,251 tons. In the same year
398 vessels (of which 148 were propelled by steam) cleared with cargoes
from Karachi for foreign ports: gross tonnage, 175,896 tons. From
the ports on the coasts of India and Burma 1551 vessels entered
Karachi laden with cargoes; tonnage 198,673; of these 1382 were
native craft. For the ports on the coasts of India and Burma 1252
vessels cleared from Karachi laden with cargoes, tonnage 178,100;
of these 11 00 were native craft.

Municipality, etc. — The Karachi municipality was established in
September 1852. Its revenue in 1874 amounted to ^22,596, and its
expenditure to ^20,142. In 1882-83, the municipal income was
;^3o,i2 6, and the expenditure ;£4o,732 ; incidence of municipal
taxation, 5s, 2d. per head. The municipal police force in 1881
numbered 56 men. The jail, completed in 1868, is capable of accom-
modating nearly 800 prisoners. Education is carried on by the
Government high school, Anglo-vernacular schools, 13 Government
vernacular schools, and several female and other minor establishments.
Ten schools, with 942 pupils, were within municipal limits in 1882-83,
supported by local funds. Six newspapers or periodicals are published
at Karachi, three English (including the Government Sind Official
Gazette, with a vernacular translation ; and the Sind Gazette) and three
native (in Sindi, Gujarathi, and Persian respectively). The five charit-
able dispensaries afforded relief in 1883 to 48,505 persons, of whom
loio were in-door patients treated in Karachi Civil Hospital. A sick
hospital was established in 1869, in connection with the cantonments.

Medical Aspects, Water-Supply, ^/^.— The climate of Karachi, owing
to the prevalence of sea-breezes during eight months of the year, has a
better reputation for healthiness than any other in Sind. The low
situation of the city, and the near neighbourhood of marsh land,
render the atmosphere both moist and warm ; but the heat during the
hottest months cannot compare with that experienced in the interior.
The mean annual temperature, calculated from data extending over


nineteen years, may be stated at 77° F. The hottest weather occurs in
April, May, and June, though September and October are also often
close and sultry.

The difficulty of water-supply long formed one of the chief draw-
backs to Karachi, most of the wells being too brackish for drinking
purposes. Formerly, the supply was mainly derived from wells tapping
a subterranean bed of the Layari. The inhabitants of Kiamari, and
the shipping in the harbour, obtained water from, carts, which brought
it up from camp. For the purposes of ice manufacture, water was
formerly imported by rail from Kotri. A scheme for constructing an
underground aqueduct, 18 miles in length, from the Malir river, at a
cost of ^48,000, has been recently carried out, and the town is now in
possession of a pure water-supply. The foundation stone was laid in
February 1880, by Sir Richard Temple, Governor of Bombay. The
works were finally opened in 1882. The estimated cost of this under-
taking, including pipes for distributing the water to the town, Kiamari,
and the cantonments, amounted to 14 lakhs of rupees (say ^140,000).
The prevalent diseases of Karachi include intermittent fevers, chronic
rheumatism, and bowel complaints, arising apparently from imperfect
drainage, variable climate, and unwholesome drinking water. Cholera
occurred in an epidemic form in 1865, 1867, and 1869, and small-pox
in 1866, 1868, and 1870.

Kar^d.— Sub-division of Satara District, Bombay Presidency. Area,
395 square miles ; contains 2 towns and 102 villages. Population
(1872) 133,122; (1881) 140,920, namely, 70,721 males and 70,199
females, dwelhng in 16,971 houses. Hindus numbered iSS^^TSJ
Muhammadans, 5315; and 'others,' 530. Land revenue, ^1091-
The Sub-division contains i civil and 3 criminal courts ; police station
{thdnd), I ; regular police, 65 men ; village watchmen, 112.

Karad.— Chief town of the Karad Sub-division, Satc4ra District,
Bombay Presidency ; situated at the confluence of the Koyna tributary
with the Kistna river, and on the Bombay-Madras high road, 31 miles
south-south-east of Satara town, about four miles south-west of Karad
road station on the West Deccan line of the Southern Maratha Railway.
Lat. 17° 17' N., and long. 74° 13' 30" e. Population (1872) 11,410;
(1881) 10,778, namely, 5459 males and 5319 females. Hindus
numbered 9197; Muhammadans, 1495; Jains, 84; and Christians, 2.
Area of town site, 235 acres. Municipal income (1882-83), ^1045;
incidence of taxation per head of population, is.; municipal expendi-
ture, ;£43o. Sub-judge's court, post-office, and dispensary.

Karagola.— Village in Purniah District, Bengal; situated on the
left bank of the Ganges, in lat. 25° 23' 30" N., long. 87° 30' 51" e.
Karagola is on the old route from Calcutta to DarjiHng, and is the
terminus to which a steamer runs from Sahibganj in connection with


the East Indian Railway. Of late years, however, a large sandbank
has formed in front of the village, on account of which the steamer,
except during the rainy season, is obliged to anchor at a point 2 miles
farther down the river. Karagola contains a police-outpost station,
dak bungalow or staging inn, and a post-office, which, until the opening
of the Northern Bengal State Railway, was also the chief agency for
the Government post-carriage service to Darjiling. A native firm of
carriage-owners is also established here.

The village of Karagola derives its chief importance from being
the site of one of the largest fairs in the Lower Provinces of Bengal.
It was formerly held at Pirpainti in Bhagalpur District, on the opposite
bank of the Ganges; but early in the century it w^as removed to
Purniah, and, after various shiftings, was held at Karagola in 185 1,
and has been regularly held there since, except in i§74, the year of
the Behar scarcity. The fair is held on a large sandy plain, on ground
belonging to the Maharaja of Darbhanga. During the continuance
of the fair, which lasts for ten days, the plain is covered with streets
of small shops constructed of bamboos and matting, in which nearly
every article required for domestic use is to be found. There is a
large sale for cloth of all kinds, from thick English woollens, long-
cloth of European and native make, down to fine Dacca muslins. A
considerable trade is also carried on in iron ploughshares of
Monghyr make and plain English cutlery. Brass and bell-metal
cooking utensils are brought in great numbers from Calcutta and
Rajshahi. The south of Purniah supplies blankets and rugs from
Saifganj and Kadba, and reed-mats from Balrampur. Ornamental
cabinet-ware, as well as common furniture, also stone handmills for
grinding corn, etc., come from IMonghyr. Calcutta and some of the
large up-country towns send dressed leather, boots, looking-glasses,
and Rampur shawls. Spices from INIurshidabad and Nadiyd, and lac
ornaments and toys from Monghyr and Birbhiim, are largely sold. A
few dealers in trinkets and pedlars' ware also attend. Since the pro-
hibition of the sale of firearms and ammunition, the attendance of
Nepalis has somewhat diminished. They still visit the fair, however,
bringing knives, kukris, hill canes, yak tails, drugs, a litde coarse lac,
and hill ponies. Food-grain is only sold in such quantities as to meet
the immediate requirements of the visitors. The business done is
generally purely retail ; but in some years, when country produce is in
much request, and large stocks are on hand, a w^iolesale trade is
developed during the last two ar three days of the fair. In 1876, it
was estimated that 40,000 persons attended. In 1881, the estimated
attendance at the fair was 30,000. Epidemics frequently break out at
the gathering; and since 1870, cholera has twice spread from Karagola
over the District, with fatal results.


Karai. — River of Northern Behar, or rather the local name of part
of the Baghmati river system in Darbhanga District. The Great Bagh-
mati bifurcates about a mile above Haia ghdt^ where its north-eastern
channel picks up the Little Baghmati, and under the name of the
Karai flows south-eastwards and joins the Kamla at Tilkeswar ghat on
the northern boundary of Monghyr District, in lat. 25° 44' n., and long.
Zd'' 28' E. It is navigable during the rainy months by boats of about
75 tons burden. This part of Darbhanga District is a close network
of watercourses connected with the two Baghmatis, the Kamla, the
Bolan, and the Tiljuga, under various names. There is not, and never
w^as, any independent river called the Karai.

Karaibari. — Forest tract within the Garo Hills, Assam, extending
from the Kalankini river on the west, to the Bogai river in the south
of the District, belonging to the wealthy zaminddrs of Karaibari, w^hose
zamindih'i estates lie chiefly within Goalpara District. The forest tract
has now been clearly demarcated by a survey party, and is managed by
Government, which collects the revenue derived therefrom through its
own forest officers, and hands over 75 per cent, of the proceeds to the
zaminddrs, retaining 25 per cent, for costs of collection. The weekly
market held in the vicinity at Bahadur Kata hdt^ at the foot of the hills,
is largely frequented by Garos, who bring down the produce of their
hills to exchange for cotton goods, salt, and hardware.

KaraichlitU. — Town in Tenkarai tdUik or Sub-division of Tinne-
velli District, Madras Presidency ; situated in lat. 8° 24' 45" n., and
long. 78° 7' 20" E. Area, 3210 acres. Population (1881) 5476. Con-
siderable trade in palm-sugar (jaggery) and rice.

Karaimadai {Ka?'a?nady). — Town in Coimbatore Sub-division of
Coimbatore District, Madras Presidency. Lat. 11° 10' 45" n., long.
76° 59' E. Population (1872) 2677; (1881) 9418; number of houses,
518. Hindus numbered 9000; Muhammadans, 396; Christians, 19;
and 'others,' 3. Station, 17 miles from Coimbatore, on the Nilgiri
branch of the Madras Railway. There is a Vishnuite pagoda here
which is held in great local esteem.

Karajgaon. — Town in EUichpur District, Berar, Haidarabad,
Deccan. Lat. 21° 19' 30" n., long. 77° 39' e. ; about 8 miles north-east
of EUichpur, formerly the head-quarters of a tdlukddr's grant. Popu-
lation (1867) 7369; (1881) 7330, namely, 3771 males and 3559
females. Of the total population, 6529 were Hindus, 716 Muham-
madans, and 85 Jains. Garden cultivation very extensive. Weekly
market on Mondays ; wheat, rice, gram, and mahiid are brought in
from the hills ; good bullocks are also procurable. Government
school. A former tdlukddr, Vithal Bhagdeo, in 1806, built a fortified
residence of fine sandstone, which is now in a ruinous condition.

Karajgi. — Sub-division of Dharwar District, Bombay Presidency.


Area, 442 square miles, containing i town and 129 villages. Popula-
tion (1872) 71,215; (1881) 83,216, namely, 41,888 males and 4Ij328
females, dwelling in 14,691 houses. Hindus numbered 74,689 ; Muham-
madans, 8096; and 'others,' 431. Except in the south-west, where it
is broken by hills, the country is flat. It is crossed from east to west

Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 7) → online text (page 55 of 57)