B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) online

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native rulers, and in this branch of the administration alone, therefore,
are any regulations referred to as emanating from the ancient rulers.

With reference to the land settlement of the Kadamba kingdom, the
following particulars are given in a report by Mr. H. Stokes.

Kadamba Raya with Gopa mantri and Naga Deva Karnika caused

* Every village, with its twelve Ayangadis as they are called, is a kind of little
republic, with the patel at the head of it ; and India is a mass of such republics.
The inhabitants, during war, look chiefly to their own patel. They give themselves
no trouble about the" breaking up and division of kingdoms ; while the village remains
entire, they care not to what power it is transferred, wherever it goes the internal
management remains unaltered ; the patel is still the collector and magistrate and
head farmer. From the age of Menu until this day, the settlements have been made
either with or through the patel. — Report by Lieut. -Col. Mitnro.

• The Village Community of India exhibits resemblances to the Teutonic Township
which are much too strong and numerous to be accidental, observes Sir H. S. Maine,
whose works on this subject are of great interest.


to be measured,' between Nagara khanda and Varada khanda (Shi-
karpur and Sorab taluqs), all the land within the limits of each village
that had been or was fit to be cultivated, and marked its boundaries by
stones. In the year Kilaka, Sal. 90 (.\.D. 168) Gopa mantri made the
bi'javari and assessment as follows : — One grain from each of the nava
dkiinya, or nine kinds of produce (paddy, wheat, hesaru, uddu, kadale,
jola, avare, togari, and ellu), being taken to form one nishka, 10 nishka
were called a phala or navtakku ; 64 phala, a mana ; 20 mana, akolaga ;
20 kolaga, a khandaga. ]3ut in some places 40 or 60 kolaga formed a

For watered land of the best quality, namely, black soil near a river
or mountain, red soil, or black mixed with yellow and containing springs,
there were three rates, — 18, 21 and 9^ (pagodas per khandaga). Black
land, suitable for wheat and kadale, paid i pagoda for every 9^ mana of
seed. Watered land of white soil mixed with sand, near a hill, paid 7
pagodas for every khandaga. Similar land near a river paid 5^. White
or red land watered by a well, paid 9 pagodas per khandaga.

A garden containing areca nut, cocoanut, plantains, limes and citrons
was called aga?na, and was measured with a rod 18 lengths {nictfu) of a
man's foot, measured so as to take in also half the right foot at the
beginning and half the left foot at the end.- This rod was called mana
danda. In the square of such a rod might be planted 3 areca-nut trees,
with cocoanuts intermixed ; and for a 1,000 such squares the king's
share was 7 pagodas, the other productions being included in the assess-
ment. Of a garden containing vines, sugar-cane, dates, betel-leaf, cocoa-
nut, mango, jack, sampige, ashoka malagi, jessamin and such choice
plants, together with areca nut, the produce might be estimated at 25
pagodas, and one-third of this was the king's share. In two of the above
rods 3 cocoanut-trees might be planted, and the king's share was half a
nishka and 5 nuts on 10 trees.

Of the assessment under the Hoysala kings the same document says :
— Under them each cultivator paid to the king one iron kula or bar
(? ploughshare). This was dropped into a well of quicksilver in the temple
of Padmavati at Humcha and became gold. Hence the word kula
came to be applied to a ryot, and the money paid by him is still called
kulnvaiia. In the time of the Vijayanagar kings, it is added, the well
dried up, and the iron ploughshare was commuted for a payment of one
pagoda for every plough. {See p. 339.)

1 Willi a line of six bdhu — each bdhu lieing two cubits — at cither extremity and in
c middle, for both length and breadth, and the mean of the three measurements
aken for each.

- The rod used was measured by the feet of Dharadwaja Haritika (perhaps a guru).
This corresponds with Sivappa Nayak's standard for the daya. Sw farther on.

1' P


Under the Vijayanagar Sovereii^ns.

For the later system of government, under the Vijayanagar empire
and the governments which succeeded it in the north of Mysore, the
following particulars, greatly condensed, have been taken from the
Mackenzie MSS.

It appears that in the time of Krishna Raya and Achyuta Raya the
revenues of the Vijayanagar State were first reduced to a regular form,
checked by ordinances, and a system of accounts and management
introduced, calculated to improve the revenue of the empire gradually
in yearly amount without distressing the inhabitants."

In the course of their conquests the kings of Vijayanagar reinstated
some of the original rajas in their ancient possessions on submitting to
be tributary vassals to them as superior lords. They also appointed
some of their own slaves and servants, recommended by their fidelity
and abilities, to manage tracts of uncultivated waste country, wnth
instructions to clear away the jungles and to bring the lands into
culture, with a view of increasing population, the wealth of the State,
and the prosperity of the land by good management. By the royal
commands, these governors formed many Pdlyams ox Pdlepats, and new
establishments, cleared away the jungle, and recovered the country
from the robbers and lawless banditti who infested it, and from the
wild people of the hills. Those who established Palyams under these
sovereigns were distinguished by the title of Pdlegars (polygars).

When they had thus settled these Palegars, and appointed various
other officers for the management of these woodland countries, they
then formed regulations to improve the revenue, and published the
Rayarekas, which fixed the settlement of the revenues, the boundaries,
duties and customs, and made ordinances for all other affairs. These
were transmitted to the headmen of the towns and nads for preser\-adon
as records of this settlement, for reference on future emergencies, or
disputes about revenues, boundaries, &c. At the same time, landmarks
and stones, inscribed with writings or with symbols, were erected on
the boundaries even of every little village. Unto our times the custom

' The empire at this period had acquired its utmost extent, by the reduction of
several extensive provinces, particularly the northern districts, which increased its
revenues in their reign to 8i crores of Avakoti chakras or pagodas ; this increase of
revenue and territory, it would appear, suggested the expediency of a more general
and comprehensive system, better adapted to the various tribes and nations now
reduced to one common sway.

The system of letting out the lands in perpetuity, as appears in some instances,
prevailed sometime previous, in the reign of Harihara Raya, and perhaps existed
long before.



generally prevailed in the Bala Ghat of referring to the Rayar^kas when
any doubts occurred on these points.

The words Atthavane and Sfma mulam were applied to the Revenue
department. The Military branch was called Kandachar. The fol-
lowing terms were also used in the management : —

Karnataka ancient

Musalman names.


Mulk .


Taluq .

Hobali, hobli

Taraf .


Gaam .

Kaluhalli .


Aramane .

Iluzur or Mahal .

Samsthdn .

Riyasat, Sarkar .

Umbalike .

Jagi'r .


Srotriyani ,





Great Division or Province.


Subdivision or inferior district.

Ancient village.

New additional village.

Presence or Palace.

The Government.

Rent-free estates, granted as a gift.

Lands given away to Brahmans.

Lands granted in perpetuity, for which the

proprietors receive a yearly money rent from

the occupiers.
Lands or villages granted in charity, generally

to Brahmans ; or free gift.

Shares of the crop given to Brahmans.

The following offices were hereditary, and established in all towns
and villages, under the general name of A'yagar in Canarese and Bara

Baliiti in Hindustani : —

1. Shanbhog, accountant,

2. Gauda, headman.

3. Kammara, ironsmith.

4, Badagi, carpenter,

5, Agasa, washerman,

6, Panchangi, calendar.

7. Nayinda, barber.

8. Madiga, shoemaker.

9. Akasale, goldsmith,

10, Talari, watchman of the village.

11, Nirganti, watchman of the tanks.

12, Kumbara, potmaker.

The A'yagdr depended on the financial or revenue branch. 'I'he
ryots gave them a share, called tiijayam and ard/iciya/n, of the crop
produced in their village ; these were for each ka[)ila, bed, kandi or
putti, varying according to regulations established anciently in dilTercnt
parganas. The nijayam above the Ghats was 4 seers or measures of
grain, and the ardhayam 2, Mdnyams or privileged lands were also
allowed to the A'yagar, for which they regularly paid the Jot/i, a small
tax from which none of these official hereditary estates were exempt
except the Panchangi.

To the Shanbhog, as accountant of tiic village, the ryots paid the full

P P 2


dyam. If he had a share of any charity lands from the inhabitants or from
the Sarkar, he paid the j6di to Government : to him and to the head gauda
the inferior classes rendered their rents or shares of the revenue.

The duty of the Gauda was to see that the farmers cultivated the land
for the kandiiyaiii or rent agreed on in the jamdbaiidi or annual settlement ;
to collect the revenue composed of the different branches, duties, &c., and
to pay it to the proprietors of the districts according to the kist or agree-
ment ; to adjust all accounts relating to these at the end of the year ; and
then to settle the rent of the ensuing year according to the estimate made
by the Amildar by order of the Government. But in adjusting these
concerns it frequently happened that, the ryots having no access to people
in the higher offices, parcels of lands were unaccounted for, and their
produce clandestinely secreted by the gaudas and shdnbhdgs, which they
collusively divided among themselves.^

The Kammdr or ironsmith, and Badagi or carpenter, had to supply the
ryots with ploughs and other implements of husbandry without taking any
price for the same. If a ryot wanted to build a house, he must then pay
some consideration to these artificers ; but they paid nothing for the public
duty, such as ploughs, buckets, &c., for which the horc-hiillu and viura-
batta were assigned.^

The Agasa or washerman, and Ndyinda or barber, must wash and shave
gratis for all the ryots of a village ; the latter also dressed wounds and
performed other surgical operations — for this they received hore-huUu and
mura-batta. When the washerman delivered the cloths after washing, he
received provision sufificient for one day. The washerman paid annually
some money to the Sarkar for the rent of the drying-ground.

The duties of the Panchdiigi (always a Brahman) were to mark the
proper times for sowing the great and small grains in their right season ;
also to declare from the calendar the fortunate time for commencing any-
new undertaking. This Brahman also officiated as priest, to perform the
ceremonies of funerals and marriages according to the laws. He must
daily attend the headman of the village, and from his calendar read off the
day of the week, month and year, the predominant signs and constellations,
&c. For these duties he collected the hore-hullu and mura-batta.

The Mddiga or chuckler, furnished shoes, ropes, leather buckets, and

> The clandestine embezzlements happened from the following causes : — From the
Gauda and Shanbhog taking advantage of the timidity of the ryots, who were afraid
to discover the frauds of people under whose control they had lived time out of mind,
their offices going from father to son. The ryots were so very timid that they were
even alarmed to see the peons of the Sarkar. — The Gaudas having full authority to
settle the revenue of the village, and the ryots generally requiring extension of time,
particularly when the Sarkar augmented the rent of a village, these gaudas had it in
their power to distress those who displeased them by overrating their proportions and
selling their effects and cattle at a reduced valuation, and thus utterly ruining those to
whom they entertained a grudge. The ryots for these reasons endeavoured to
preserve a good understanding with these officers, that they might not be exposed to
extraordinary impositions.

^ Hore-hidlu seems to be a bundle of straw : Mura-batta, some portion of grain.


other little necessaries for cultivation, for which he was entitled to the dyam,
hore-hullu and mura-batta.

The duty of the Akasdle or goldsmith was to measure the songiiru or
half-share of the crop which the ryots paid to the Sarkar, and to shroff the
money collected in the village in payment of the revenue. For any other
work done by him he might take payment, but for these the hore-hullu and
mura-batta were his perquisites.

The Talari was the police officer or kotwal of the inferior villages.
Besides the nijdyam and ardhdyam, and the niAnyams allowed for their
maintenance to encourage them to a due performance of their duties, the
ryots privately bribed them with ragi, vegetables and conks (?) in the harvest
time, to conciliate their favour and protect themselves from certain
inconveniences, such as being forcibly delivered over to travellers to carry
burdens to the next stage, &c. The appropriate duty of the Tahiri also
was to watch over the safety of the village, and to be ready to provide
forage and conveniences for those employed by the Sarkar. He was
responsible for all things stolen within the enclosure of his village : what-
ever was lost or stolen on the highways, or without the precincts of the town,
was to be recovered or accounted for by the KAvalgdrs. People of all
castes were employed in this station, except in the Chitaldroog country,
where only the Boyis or Bedars acted in this capacity.

The Nirganti's duty was to attend to the tanks and to shut up, when
necessary, their sluices or tubus with the stoppers usually fitted for this
purpose ; in the winter time he must watch carefully on the banks of the
tanks to preserve the water. It was his appropriate duty to divide among
the ryots of the village what water was requisite for the production of the
crop ; when the water diminished, he rendered account thereof to the
managers, lest he be suspected of disposing of it clandestinely. For these
duties he received hore-hullu and mura-batta.

The Kmnbdra or pot-makers were not stationed in every village, one or
two being generally sufficient for a hobli or taraf ; he furnished pots for all
the ryots of his taraf, and was entitled to ayam in an equal proportion as
the other A'yagar. For liberty of exposing his wares for sale to travellers in
the markets he paid chakra-kdnikc to the Sarkar.

I'hc above twelve were the village servants ; their oflfices were
hereditary, going from father to son ; and they were authorized to sell
or mortgage their office when in distress.

From 10 to 40 villages were called a Hobli or Taraf, and from 4
to 10 of these constituted a Gadi, called pargana in the Northern
Sarkars. From 10 to 20 of these gadis, annexed to a kaslm or capital
town, constituted a Sima or country ; a name in latter times applied
to provinces of considerable extent, in like manner as the Ndds more
anciently. The chief officer of a gadi was the Parpattegar, at present
an Amildar ; of a hobli, the Nadiga ; of a village, the Gauda, in whose
absence the Shdnbhog was the chief. The chief ( '.overnor or magistrate


of a Si'ma was an officer of great consideration, distinguished by
particular titles, applicable to circumstances under the several States.

The ^Sarvddhikdri or Atthavane Pdrpattegar, the chief director of
the Revenue, arranged the forms of accounts, and issued all orders
relating to that Department, and for the improvement or increase of the
collections ; but he could do nothing, even in the most trivial matters,
without the Raja's knowledge and permission. In his office the renters
of villages settled their accounts. In the time of the Chitaldroog rulers,
the chief managers employed the gaudas to direct the cultivation of the
lands, and the revenue was collected by the nadiga appointed for the
hobli from the Aramane or Palace : the nadiga, at the end of the year,
accompanied by some of the principal Desasts or inhabitants, went to
the office of the Atthavane to clear the accounts of the preceding year,
according to the settlement or agreements made in the beginning of
the year. These customs were observed by all the Carnatic Palegars
above the Ghats. The gaudas collected the rent from the ryots
according to the settlement of the Atthavane office, and paid it in to the
Parpatti appointed by Government. If the managers of the Atthavane
found it necessary to introduce any new regulation, after stating the
same to the Raja and obtaining his consent, they transmitted orders
under the royal signature and seal to the Parpattegars of the districts
for execution.

The la7id rent consisted of that for land sown with one ko]aga of
seed, at rates equal to from 3 to lo Kanthiraya pagodas according to
the nature of the soil. Land watered by kapiles was let for a money
rent ; but for lands cultivated with paddy by means of tanks, the
songaru, or one-half of the crop, was generally required, without any
money, though in some districts the ryots rendered inugiiru, or one-
third of the produce, with 2 or 3 pagodas in money for each plough.
Waste lands were let to strangers at first for small sums (called bhumi'ila
gntta or kola gittta) for a term of years, according to agreement, after
which they were annexed to the cultivated tracts and brought under the
same management.

Gardens and plantations were numerous in the districts of Madgiri,
Sira, Banavar, Chanraypatna, Nagar, and in those adjacent to Seringa-
patam, from the collections of which (called dgram) the Government
derived a considerable revenue. In the Mysore country great quantities
of areca-nut, and cocoanut ; and in Nagar, pepper and other kinds of
spices were cultivated in these plantations. These gardens were con-
sidered as belonging to the wet land, or nirdvari, for which the
Government collected the rents in some cases from the soil, and in others
from a share of the produce. These regulations appear to have been


established of old, so far as 1,000 years ago, as observed in some
inscriptions in the Banavar district.

Besides the land rent, there were several heads of customs,, duties,
taxes, &c., which the nadigas (or tarafdars) collected from the different
trades. The inhabitants were divided into three classes — Jirayati, Bagair
Jirayati and Khushbash. The Jirayati were those who cultivated the
soil ; Bagair Jirayati those from whom the Government derived revenue
by other means. The Khushbash were those who led a free life, the
servants of the Sarkar and others, who were exempted from paying any
revenue or taxes.

The revenue derived from the Bagair Jirayati yQ:\.x\)- for the privilege
of exercising their trades, for rent of the houses {matte gutta), &c.,
according to their stations, was carried to account in the revenue lists
under the head of mane-bdb. The duties paid by the shopkeepers in
towns and villages, exclusive of the customs at the several places or
kattes where goods were exported and imported, were included in angadi
gutta. The yV'yagar and others who enjoyed lands in consequence of
their offices or gifts, in some places accounted for one-third or one-eighth
of the produce to the Sarkar, according to the usual custom of these
places ; this was carried to account under the head of jbdi and manc-
gdnike. In the countries about Seringapatam and Chitaldroog, the
toddy of the ichalu or country date was used for distillation, there being
few palmyras : the palanquin-bearers, or caste of Bestars, also made
arrack from sugar, the ippe flower, and some from the bark of a tree ;
these people, for permission to sell this spirituous liquor, paid a certain
revenue to Government, called kallali.

In the Sunkam or customs, there were three different heads.
Customs on goods imported to be sold at one place were called sthahx-
ddyam ; customs taken for goods in transit through a district were called
77idrgdddyam ; customs taken for goods exported to foreign countries
were called mdmuldddyaiii. Under these heads the land customs were
collected at the different kattes or custom-houses. All kinds of goods,
even firewood and straw, paid these duties, excepting glass rings, brass
pots and soap balls. There were no particular regulations for the rates
of collection of land customs ; the Government farmed out the kattes to
renters, who took various measures frequently for increasing the perqui-
sites of their respective chaukis at the e.vpense of others. For instance,
they advanced money to some of the merchants, requiring only one-half
the duty which was paid by others, thus encouraging them to come by
their kattes, where they paid reduced customs, with a view of inducing
others to follow the same route. It is impossible to fix on any certain
rate in collecting customs on goods imported. When one farmer


demanded lo pagodas for loo loads, another took only 2 pagodas, and
their rates widely differed as collected in various places. These farmers,
from the collections of the customs on different descriptions of goods and
trades, paid the amount of the agreed rent to the Sarkar, reserving the
profits, which were more or less considerable according to circumstances.

The butchers, for liberty of purchasing sheep at the first price from the
country and selling them in the markets for a certain profit, paid yearly a tax
called kasdyi-giUta, which was carried to account in the settlement of the
jamdbandi. The washermen, for liberty to wash and bleach their cloths on
the banks of rivers, tanks, &c., paid the tax iibbe giitta. In the winter season,
a certain class employed themselves in collecting black sand and earth in
channels from the hills, from which they smelted iron used for agricultural
and other uses. This ore was smelted in a kind of furnace or large fire-stand
called hoinjiial. For permission of cutting down wood for charcoal and for
digging the ore they paid a yearly revenue called hoinla gutta, proportioned
to the quantity of iron made in the district.

The Kurubas or weavers of kamblis, and the Julays or manufacturers of
cotton cloth, for liberty to sell their goods to the merchants, paid to the
Government a duty for each loom, rated according to the quantity of the
manufacture, which formed a separate branch of the revenue caXled. jakdyati.
The weavers paid no duties to the land customers for the goods they disposed
of in their own villages ; but the merchants who transported the cloths from
one place to another must first pay the customs previous to exportation.
The weavers generally preferred disposing of their goods to the merchants
of their own place. In some places the weavers paid a trifling tax, called
kaddivaram, to the collectors of the sunka. For the privilege of making oil,
the oilmakers'paid yearly gdnige gutta, a rent for their ganas or mills for
grinding oil-seeds ; for this the Sarkar provided a great tree for the mill and
a place to erect it on ; and none other was permitted to manufacture oil in
the village except him who paid this rent.

The Government used to appoint some aged men of the several inferior
classes to be the heads of their respective castes, and to administer justice.
These Headmen, on any complaint against their people, should investigate
it and fine them if guilty, adjudging the fine or punishment proportioned
according to the law and the nature of the case. For instance, a husband
convicting his wife of adultery, was allowed to sell her to another man, but
of his own caste, and receive the price for his use.' These Headmen
employed Dasaris as subordinate officers to minister in religious ceremonies

• An instance of this kind occurred at Harihar, says the writer, when we were in
that neighbourhood in 1800 ; a Brahman among many other fugitives from the seat of
war in the Savanur country, then overrun by Dundia and the contending parties,
offered his wife for sale, because the unfortunate woman had been violated ; but the

Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 69 of 98)