William Wilson Hunter.

The imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 7) online

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by the Varada, a tributary of the Tungabhadra river. In the north and
east the soil is black, and in the south and west mostly red, with an
occasional plot of black. In 1881-82, out of 129,001 acres, the whole
area occupied for tillage, 25,550 acres, or i9'8 per cent., were fallow or
under grass. Of the 103,451 acres actually under tillage, grain crops
occupied 51,210 acres; pulses, 12,410 acres; oil-seeds, 5415 acres;
fibres, 30,815 acres ; miscellaneous crops, 3601 acres. The Sub-division
contains i civil and 3 criminal courts, and has i police station (thdnd),
37 regular police, and 204 village watchmen {chaiikiddi's). Land
revenue, ^19,232.

Karajgi. — Head-quarters of Karajgi Sub-division, Dharwar District,
Bombay Presidency. Lat. 14° 52' n., long. 75^ 31' e. Situated about
50 miles south-east of Dharwar, and about seven miles north-east of
Haveri station on the Harihar branch of the Southern Maratha Railw^ay.
Population (188 1) 3838. Weekly market on Tuesdays, when millet
and pulse are sold. Post-office.

Karakal i^ Black-stone''). — Town in Udipi taluk or Sub-division of
South Kanara District, Madras Presidency. Situated in lat. 13° 12'
40" N., and long. 75"^ i' 5c" e. ; on one of the main lines leading from
Mysore to Mangalore {via Agilmbay glidt). Population (1871) 3269;
(1881) 3392. Hindus numbered 2717; Muhammadans, 379; Christians,
240 ; and 'others,' 56. Number of houses, 611. The centre of a con-
siderable rice trade. Karakal was formerly a Jain town of some size
and importance ; and the antiquarian remains are very interesting. Chief
among them is a colossal monolithic figure of Buddha or Gautama,
locally known as Gumpta, after Gumta Raya, once ruler of the
country. The figure is placed on a huge black rock, and is within
a fraction of 50 feet high. On the same rock or hill is a Jain pagoda
or Basti, containing some images of the later Buddhist type. A high
monoUthic Dwaja Stauiba (a kind of obelisk), the ruins of the
Wadiya's palace, a Hindu temple containing a figure of Anantashin,
and a Jain impaling stone, are the other curiosities of the village.

Karakoram Pass. — The name applied to the point where the
principal route between India and Eastern Tiirkistan traverses the
water-parting between the river basins of those two regions. Strictly,
in the sense in which pass is used as equivalent to col, or as denoting
a marked depression in an otherwise inaccessible ridge, the Karakoram
Pass is a misnomer. Dr. T. Thomson, of the Bengal Army, the first
European who is known to have set foot on it, and who reached it on


the 19th August 1848, describes it as ' a rounded ridge connecting two
hills, which rise somewhat abruptly to the height of perhaps 1000 feet
above the summit of the pass.' Dr. Scully speaks of it in very similar
language : ' Northwards (of the Depsang plain) we saw a few irregular,
flat-topped hillocks. . . . We ascended a few hundred yards to a
small commissure of loose detritus connecting two low hills, and found
ourselves on the Karakoram Pass. The descent on the north side was
even less than the ascent had been, and altogether the Karakoram
Pass reminded one of a short embankment 300 feet or so above the
level of the surrounding country.' Dr. Thomson remarks, that on the
crest of the pass the rock was limestone, showing obscure traces of
fossils ; the shingle composed of a brittle black slate lay scattered over
the ridge. Vegetation is entirely wanting.

The name Karakoram has been extended by some geographers to
a fancied range occupying the exact line of water-parting between
those streams which discharge into the Tarim basin and those
which join the Indus, while others have applied the name to the
closely contiguous range usually called IMuztagh. The late Tvlr.
R. B. Shaw, the well-known geographer, has, however, conclusively
shown the fallacy of the former view ; while as regards the second
contention, the appropriateness of the name Muztagh (ice-mountain),
and the fact that the Karakoram Pass lies some distance north-
ward of this undoubted range, have since induced most geographers
to restrict the name Karakoram to the above pass. The enormous
physical difficulties of the Karakoram route, combined w^ith the
scarcity of supplies along it (apart from political considerations),
must always prove an almost insuperable bar to any extensive exchange
of intercourse between India and Eastern Tiirkistan in this direction.
Its height above mean sea-level is 18,550 feet. Lat. 35° 33' n.

Karamnasa {Karma-ndsd, ' the Destroyer of Religious Merit '). —
The accursed stream of Hindu mythology; rising on the eastern
ridge of the Kaimur Hills, Shahabad District, Bengal, in lat. 24°
34' 30" N., long. 83^ 41' 30" E. It flows in a north-westerly
direction, and near Darihara it forms the boundary line between
Bengal and the North - Western Provinces, separating Shahabad
from Mirzapur District ; it then flows through Mirzapur for about 1 5
miles northwards ; after which it runs north-eastwards, again marking
the boundary between Shahabad and the North-Western Provinces,
until it falls into the right bank of the Ganges near Chausa, in lat. 25°
31' N., long. 83° 55' E., after a total course of about 146 miles. Its
tributaries are the Durgauti and Dharmauti rivers, small streams which
fall into its right bank. In the hills, the bed of the Karamnasa is
rocky, and its banks abrupt ; but as it debouches upon the plains, it
sinks deeply into a rich clay, very retentive of moisture. The stream


is here about 150 yards wide. By the end of February, the river
generally runs dry, but during the rainy season boats of about 2 tons
burden can proceed as far up as its confluence with the Durgauti.
Near Chausa, the East Indian Railway crosses it on a stone bridge.
At Chhanpathar, in its course through ^Mirzapur District, the river
forms a waterfall 100 feet high, which, after heavy rains, affords a
magnificent sight.

The river is held in the utmost abhorrence by Hindus, and no person
of any caste will drink or even touch its waters, except persons per-
manently residing on its banks, who freely use the water, and are said
to be exempt from the consequences of its impurity. The legendary
reason of its impurity is said to be that a Brahman having been
murdered by Raja Trisanku, of the Solar line, a saint purified him
of his sin by collecting water from all the streams in the world, and
washing him in their waters, which were collected in the spring from
which the Karamnasa now issues. This spot is near the village of
Sarodag, and the river soon becomes a rapid streamlet of beautifully
clear water with deep holes, and abounding in fish. The true reason
of the evil reputation of the Karamnasa is that at one time it formed
the boundary between the ancient Aryan colonies of the north and the
still unsubdued aboriginal tribes of the east. Brahmans or other Aryan
castes who crossed the Karamnasa in that early period passed into
regions destitute of 'religious merit.'

Karanbas. — Town in Amipshahr taJisil, Bulandshahr District,
North-Western Provinces ; situated on the right bank of the Ganges,
12 miles south-east of Amipshahr, and 30 miles south-east of Buland-
shahrtown. Population (1881) 192 1, almost all Hindus. i:\\Qzaininddrs
are wealthy Hindus of the Bais clan of Rajputs. The fair held here on
the occasion of the Dasahara, in the month of Jaistha (May-June), is
attended by perhaps as many as 50,000 pilgrims from the west, and is
said to be the largest fair in the District. A small temple on an
ancient site, sacred to the goddess of small-pox, is visited every Monday
by numbers of women.

Karanguli {CariniguH). — Town in Madhurantakam idlitk or Sub-
division of Chengalpat District, Madras Presidency. Lat. 12° 32' n.,
long. 79° 56' 40" E. Situated on the Great Southern Trunk Road,
48 miles distant from Madras. Population (1S71) 2978; (1881)
3160, namely, 1560 males and 1600 females, occupying 407 houses.
Hindus numbered 2969; Muhammadans, 162; and Christians, 29
The head-quarters of the District from 1795 to 1825; and once
the kasbd or head - quarters of a tdliik. The site, low-lying and
surrounded with a bamboo fence, is unhealthy, and particularly
liable to cholera. Though the town is now unimportant, the fort
of Karanguli was occupied as a strategic point during the Anglo-



French wars of the Karnatic, being regarded as an outpost of
Chengalpat, from which it is 15 miles distant to the south-west.
These two places, with Wandiwash and Utremalur, formed a sort
of quadrilateral on the line of attack between the seats of the
two Governments of Madras and Pondichem. As early as 1755 it
was a point of dispute. In 1757 it was evacuated by the English in
the face of advancing French troops. The following year the English
attempted to recover it by surprise, but were repulsed with loss ; a
failure which was repeated in 1759. But a few months later, Colonel
Coote, after a few days' bombardment, captured the fort. This was the
first decisive action in the successful campaign of 1759-60, which led
to the victory of Wandiwash. The circumference of the fort is 1500
yards, and encloses the remains of what were apparently once huge
granaries for the storage of grain, the tribute to the Muhammadan
Government out of the produce of the neighbourhood. The ramparts
of the fort now supply stone for the building of local public works. '

Karanja (or Uran). — Island, village, and petty division of Panwel
Sub-division, Thana District, Bombay Presidency. Karanja, or, as
better known, Uran Island, is situated in the south-east of Bombay
harbour, and about 6 miles south - east of the Carnac Bandar
of Bombay. On a clear day the island can be disdnguished plainly,
and apparently but a mile or two distant, from the Apollo Bandar
in Bombay harbour. It is 8 miles long and 4 broad, and on the
east is cut off from the mainland by the Bendkhal creek, which at
high tide is filled through its whole length. The island consists of two
two rocky hills, between which stretch grass and rice lands, wooded
with mango trees and palms. The creek to the east is broken up into
several salt-pans, the officers connected with which are stationed at the
village of Uran close by. Beside its rice crop, which is of considerable
value, the two special exports of Karanja Island are salt, and mahuii
and date liquor. Salt is estimated to be worth ^469,000, and the
liquor ^166,000 a year. The chief industry of the people, however,
is fishing. The great area of the salt works, namely, about 3000 acres,
the shining white pans, regular boundaries, and heaps of glistening
salt, produce a curious effect to the eye. The salt-pans are not of
recent date. Reference is made to them in 1638; and in 1820
they are noted as having produced 20,000 tons of salt. During the
five years ending 1882, the salt export was about 5t,I25 tons, and
the yearly revenue ^^271,934. There are 19 viahud distilleries on
t'le island, all owned by Parsis. The flower is brought through Bombay
from the Panch Mahals, and the revenue they annually return is about
;£i 15,000.

The water-supply is good, and is derived from reservoirs, and from
many ponds and wells which hold water for several months after the


rains. Of the reservoirs three may be noticed, one on the road-side
half-way between Alora and Uran, a second between Uran and
Karanja, and the third, the largest (about a quarter of a mile round), in
Uran. The drinking water comes from springs.

Karanja has passed under every form of rule and suffered every
species of vicissitude. Under the Silharas, in the 12th century, the island
was prosperous, with many villages and gardens. It formed part of
BasseinProvince, under the Portuguese, from 1530 to 1740; was fortified
with two strongholds, one at Uran, the other on the top of its southern
peak ; and a hundred armed men were maintained as garrison. At the
present day may still be seen the ruins of Portuguese hermitages and
churches. In 1535 the island was in charge of the Franciscans. In
16 1 3 it was the scene of a great riot. In 1670 it was plundered by
a Maratha freebooter. In 1737 the Marathas finally occupied the
place, and held it until 1774, when the English took possession.

A metalled road runs along the whole east side of the island ; and a
road, 14^ miles long, is being made between Uran and Panwel, to
whose officials Karanja Island is subordinated as a petty division of 22
villages and one town, inclusive of three ports. The population of the
island is included in the Census returns for 1881 with those of Panwel
Sub-division. A steam ferry runs daily between Bombay and Mora,
calling at Hog Island in the harbour, and at Ulva near Panwel, and
returning the same day. ]\Iora is the chief port of the island, where
passengers land and embark for Bombay. Karanja is the name of a
small fishing village in the south of no importance. The most note-
worthy ruins are on the summit of Dronagiri, the southern of the two
hill peaks, including the Portuguese fort, the guard-house, church, rock
temple, and reservoir. On the east face of KharavH (the north hill
peak) is a Buddhist rock-cut chapel ; at Uran town, the old Portu-
guese fort and churches ; in the village of Sheva, a ruined church, of
which the broken walls of the graveyard are the only trace.

Karanja Island is a favourite resort of snipe and duck, and is almost
daily visited by sportsmen from Bombay.

Karanja. — Customs division in Thana District, Bombay Presidency.
The customs division contains three ports, viz. Mora, Karanja,
and Sheva, which division has been since 1881-82 officially named
Uran {q.v.).

Karanja. — Port in Karanja (or Uran) petty division of Panwel Sub-
division, Thana District, Bombay Presidency. The port is now known
as Uran {q.v.).

Karanja. — Town in Wardha tahsil, Wardha District, Central Pro-
vinces ; situated on high land surrounded by hills, 41 miles north-west
of Wardha town. Karanja was founded about 270 years ago by Nawab
Muhammad Khan Niazi of Ashti. It is situated on high land sur-


rounded by hills, but in the intervening valleys are some fine garden
lands growing sugar and opium. The population, consisting principally
of cultivators, traders, and weavers, numbered in 1881, 3220, made
up as follows: — Hindus, 3070; Muhammadans, 148; and aboriginal
tribes, 2. Market and school. A good road connects the town with
the high road from Nagpur to Amraoti.

Karanja. — Town in Amraoti District, Berar. Lat. 20° 29' N.,
long. 77° 32' E. Population (1867) 11,750; (1881) 10,923, namely,
5631 males and 5292 females. Of the total population, 7689 were
returned as Hindus, 2625 Muhammadans, 603 Jains, 3 Parsis, 2
Sikhs, and i Christian. A place of some commercial importance.
It is said to take its name from an old Hindu saint, Karinj Rishi,
who, being afflicted with a grievous disease, invoked the aid of the
goddess Amba, who created for him a tank (still existing opposite
the temple of the goddess), in which he bathed and became clean.
The wall round the town, built many years ago, is now^ dilapidated.
There is a travellers' bungalow, which was built when the postal road
from Nagpur ran through the town. Several ancient temples, the
carved woodwork of which is greatly admired.

Karan Khera. — Village in JagamanpuryV?^''//', Jalaun District, North-
western Provinces : situated in lat. 26° 20' n., and long. 79° 34' e., on
the right bank of the Jumna (Jamuna), the channel of which is here
obstructed by rocks of kanJzar or calcareous conglomerate, which
seriously interfere with navigation.

Karanpura. — Coal-field in Hazaribagh District, Bengal; lies between
23° 37' and 23° 57' N. lat,, and between 84"^ 51' and 85° 30' e. long.
Area, 472 square miles; greatest length, 42 miles; breadth, 19 miles.
It is divided into two tracts by the Damodar river, and in point of size
is inferior only to the Raniganj field of all the coal-fields of the
Damodar valley, although not so important economically as either the
Karharbari, Bokaro, or Jharia fields. The seams decrease in number
in going from east to west. The coal series represented in the field are
the Talcher, Damodar, and Panchet. The probable amount of avail-
able fuel, after making deductions for 'partings,' and calculating on a
coal-bearing area of 250 square miles in the total of 472 included in
the field, has been estimated at 8| billions of tons in the northern,
and 75 million tons in the southern field. Regarding the quality, the
following assay may be taken as giving a fair measure of the better class
of coals: — Carbon, 64-5 ; volatile matter, 27-0; ash, 8*5. The amount
of ash compares favourably with the ordinary Damodar coals. Iron-
ores of good quality occur in abundance in the field, and the manu-
facture of iron forms one of the industrial features of Hazaribagh
District, where many villages are inhabited solely by iron-smelters.
Limestone is found along the edge of the field in many places, but not


in sufficient quantity to be available as a flux for large ironworks for a
lengthened period.

Karatoya. — River of Northern Bengal, rising in the Baikunthpur
jungle in the extreme north-west of Jalpaiguri District, whence it follows
a very winding southerly course into and through Rangpur, until it
joins its waters with the Halhalia in the south of Bogra District, and
the united stream becomes the Phuljhur. The topography of this
river is attended with numerous difficulties. The vagaries of the Tista
in the last century have left behind a maze of old watercourses and
stagnant marshes, so as to render it nearly impossible to trace the
course of former rivers. Changes of name are numerous, and in many
places an old channel of the Tista is known indifferently as the Buri
Tista and as the Karto or Karatoya. That stream ultimately joins the
Atrai; but the Karatoya proper, as above stated, becomes the Phuljhur.
It was formerly a first-class river, but is now of minor importance for

Karattanad. — One of the ancient chieftainships {ndds) into which
Malabar District of the Madras Presidency was formerly divided ;
situated between 11° 36' and 11° 48' n. lat., and between 75° 36' and
75° 52' E. long. ; stretching from the sea-coast up the western declivity
of the Western Ghats. The level tracts near the sea are very fertile,
but suffered to such an extent from the devastations of Tipii Sultan,
that the people were unable to raise grain sufficient for their support.
The eastern hilly parts are well wooded, and contain indigenous
cardamom plants. The petty State was founded in 1564 by a Nair
chief, who probably inherited it (in the male line) from the Tekka-
lankiir (Southern Regent) of the Kolattiri kingdom ; and he and his
successors ruled the country until the invasion of Tipii Sultan. On the
expulsion of Tipu in 1792, the Nair Raja was restored, and his family
have held the State ever since. Population, principally Nairs. Chief
town, Kuttipuram; lat. 11° 42' N., long. 75° 44' e.

Karauli {Kerowhe). — Native State in Rajputana, under the political
superintendence of the Bhartpur (Bhurtpore) and Karauli Agency;
lies between 26° 3' and 26° 49' n. lat., and between 76° 35' and
77^ 26' E. long. The river Chambal forms the south-eastern boundary
of the State, dividing it from Gwalior (Sindhia's territory). On the
south-west and west it is bounded by Jaipur (Jeypore), and on the
north and north-east by the States of Bhartpur (Bhurtpore) and
Dholpur respectively. Area, 1208 miles. Population (1881) 148,670

Physical Aspects. — Hills and broken ground characterize almost the
w^hole territory, which lies within a tract locally termed the ' Dang,'
being the name given to the rugged region which lies above the narrow
valley of the Chambal. The principal hills in the State are on the


northern border, where several ranges run along or parallel to the
frontier line, forming formidable barriers ; but there are no lofty peaks,
the highest being less than 1400 feet above sea-level. There is little
beauty in these hills, but the military advantages they present caused
the selection of one of their eminences as the seat of Jadun rule in
early times. Along the valley of the Chambal an irregular and lofty
wall of rock separates the lands on the river bank from the uplands, of
which the southern part of the State consists. From the summits of
the passes fine views are often obtainable, the rocks standing out in
striking contrast to the comparatively rich and undulating plain below,
through which winds the glittering river. For some miles the country
north of these passes is high, and too rocky to be deeply cut by ravines
or to be pierced for water, and the few inhabitants depend upon tanks
and dams ; but farther north the country falls, the alluvial deposit is
deeper, level ground becomes more frequent, and hills stand out more
markedly, while in the neighbourhood of the city of Karauli (Kerowlee)
the low ground is cut into a labyrinth of ravines.

The river Chambal, sometimes deep and slow, sometimes too
rocky and rapid to admit of the safe passage of a boat, receives
during the rains numerous contributions to its volume, but no
considerable perennial stream flows into it within the boundaries
of Karauh. The Panchnad is the only river which rises in the
State, and this does not flow into the Chambal. It is so called
from its being formed of five streams, which unite 2 miles north
of the city. All these five rivulets rise in Karauli territory, and
all but one contain water in dry weather, though often only a few
inches in depth. The Panchnad winds away to the north and ulti-
mately joins the Banganga. The Kalisur or Dangir and the Jirota
Nadi drain the country to the south-west of the city. Both are insigni-
ficant streams, dry or nearly so most of the year, and flowing into the
Morel on the Jaipur border. The sub-surface water throughout the
territory is for the most part good. That of the tanks in the high rocky
country, above the passes leading into the valley of the Chambal,
becomes unwholesome in the hot weather; and the inhabitants often
move down with their cattle to the banks of the Chambal, the waters
of which, however, have a bad reputation for drinking purposes.

Geology. — The rocks in this territory belong to two series — viz. the
Vindhyans and the Quartzites. The latter are only exposed in a
narrow ridge extending in a south-westerly direction from Baoli, situated
about 8 miles south-west of the city of Karauli, to the Bands river.
The rocks of the Vindhyan series cover a large area on both sides of
this ridge of quartzites. On the south-east side they form the high
land extending in that direction as far as the Chambal. The grand
scarp on the left bank of the Chambal, rising in places to upwards


of a thousand feet above the river, is formed entirely of the highest
group of this series,— the Bhanrers, which cover a larger area than
all the other groups put together. In fact, they cover the whole of
Karauli, with the exxeption of that portion north-west of the quartzite
ridge. Over the greater part of this area, the Bhanrers are nearly
horizontal, but along a portion of their north-western boundary they are
a good deal contorted. The Bhanrer sandstones are generally very
fine in texture, but in some places there are coarse, almost conglo-
meratic beds. In colour they are purple, white, yellow, and red, with
patches or spots of white. The last is the common variety. In the
grand scarp on the left bank of the Chambal, a good section of the
Bhanrers is exposed. The limestone is light blue, brownish, or yellow
in colour; in places largely crystalline, and often containing strings
and veins of calcite ; the lower beds sometimes include bands and
nodules of chert. Above the limestone to the top of the scarp there
are between 600 and 700 feet of the Sirbu shales, consisting of several
alternations of shales and sandstones.

The Vindhyans on the north-west side of the quartzite ridge
belong to the two lowest groups of the upper Vindhyas, namely,
the Kaimur and the Rewa. The mineral resources of the Vindhyan
rocks are chiefly confined to building stone of excellent quality,
and limestone. The palace of Fatehpur Sikri, and portions of the
Taj Mahal at Agra, are built of the upper Bhanrer sandstone,
quarried a short distance from Karauli. The Bhanrer lime-

Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 7) → online text (page 56 of 57)