B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

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

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assessment of each field forming the varg is defined, so as to afford the
usual facilities to the ryot for retaining and resigning as much as he cannot
cultivate, provided that whole fields or numbers only are relinquished.

Unnkahi and Hddya Lands. — Attached to each varg are tracts of land
called hankalu and hddya, for which no assessment is paid, but which are
said to be included in the varg to which they are attached. The hankalu,
like the bdnes in Coorg, are set apart for grazing purposes, but have of late
also been used for dry cultivation. The hddya are lands covered with low
brushwood and small trees, from which firewood and leaves, tSic, are taken
for manuring the fields of the varg.

Tatjina Hankalu. — In the Malnad to each gadde or wet field are
attached tracts of dry land, called tattina hankalu, for which no assess-
ment is paid, but which are said to be included in the assessment on the
wet field.

Kdns. — These are large tracts of forest, extending in one case over eight
miles in length, for which a cess called kan khist is paid. The kdns are
preserved for the sake of the wild pepper-vines, bagni palms, and certain
gum-trees that grow in them, and also to enable the vargdars to obtain
wood for agricultural and domestic purposes. The privilege of cutting
wood in them, formerly allowed to ryots, has, after much discussion, been
withdrawn, and the holders of kdns are allowed only to enjoy the produce
above mentioned, to clear the undergrowth and clip trees where
necessary for the growth of the pepper-vine and also for manuring
purposes. It is under contemplation whether the usufruct of kdns should
not be leased out as in Canara, the Government reserving all rights over
the live timber of all kinds.

Kiiinri. — This is a system of cultivation almost peculiar to the hill tribes.
Soon after the rains, they fell the trees on a forest site, a hill-side being
preferred. The trees are left lying till January and then set on fire. The
ground is afterwards partially cleared, dug up, and sown towards the end
of the rains with ragi, castor-oil nut, and other dry grains. In the first
year the return is prodigious, but it falls off by one-half in the second year,
and the place is then abandoned till the wood has again grown up. Strong
fences are made to keep off wild beasts, and for a month before han-est the
crop is watched at night by a person on a raised platform. No doubt
kumri cultivation thus carried on involves great waste of timber, but if it is
restricted to undergrowth it is not so wasteful.

Coffee Lands. — Grants of land for coffee cultivation are made out of the
Government jungles, chiefly in the Western Ghats, forming the Nagar and
Ashtagram Malnad. On receipt of applications for a plot of such land, its
area is ascertained by a rough survey, the boundaries defined, and then it is
sold by public auction. The successful bidder is granted a patta or title-


deed. The clauses of the coffee patta or title-deed transcribed below show
on what tenure land for coffee cultivation is now held by the planter.

" These lands are granted to you for the purpose of planting coffee, and
should you raise any other crop upon them, lands thus appropriated will be
liable to assessment according to the prevailing rates in the taluq. By this,
however, it is not intended that plaintains, castor-oil plants, or fruit-trees,
planted for the bo7id fide purposes of affording shelter or shade to the
coffee, should be liable to taxation. — On the coffee-trees coming into
bearing, you are to pay Government an excise duty or hdlat of four annas
on every maund which is produced. This is in substitution of the ancient
wdra. This taxation is subject to such revision as the Government of
Mysore may at any time deem expedient. — For every acre of land which
you take up under this patta, you must within a period of five years plant a
minimum average number to the whole holding of 500 coffee-trees to the
acre. The Government reserves to itself the right of summarily resuming
the whole of any uncultivated portion of the land mentioned in your patta
should you not conform to this condition. — You are exempt from the visits
of all jungle and petty Izardars, who will be prohibited from entering here-
after lands taken up for coffee cultivation, and you are empowered to fell
and clear away the jungle, but previous to doing so, you are bound to give
six months' notice to the Sarkar authorities, to enable them to remove or
dispose of all reserved trees which may exist on the holding. — Should you
wish to sell or alienate in any way the lands mentioned in this patta, you
must notify the same to the Commissioner of the Division, and this patta
must be forwarded for registration under the name of the new incumbent..
Any attempt at evading the hdlat will involve confiscation of the article
itself, together with a fine of twice the amount of hdlat leviable upon it.

Cai'danicDi Lands. — Lands for the cultivation of cardamom are granted
from the jungles on the east side of the Western Ghats, where this plant
grows spontaneously. In these jungles are also to be found lac, resin,
bees'-wax, gums, pepper, and similar other articles. The farms were
formerly leased out, the limits of the tract being annually defined ; but to
afford every facility to the planter, and to encourage the cultivation of the
cardamoms, rules have recently been framed, under which those planters
who are desirous of embarking on cardamom cultivation can obtain land
for the purpose on more liberal and advantageous terms. Under these
rules, grants of land not exceeding 200 acres, nor less than 10 acres, and
well defined by natural features, can, after being put up to auction, be
secured by planters on 20-year leases : the lessee binding himself to pay
the actual cost of survey and demarcation at once, and the auction price by
twenty instalments. At the expiration of the lease, should the lessee be
desirous of renewing it, he is allowed to do so on terms fixed by Govern-
ment, and in the event of his declining to renew, he is paid compensation
for improvements from any surplus on the resale of the land realized by
Government. The lessee pays a hdlat or excise duty of two rupees per
maund of 281bs. on the cardamoms produced by him, and as the land is
granted solely for the cultivation of cardamoms, the rules provide that if



any portion of it is cultivated with any other description of crop, such land
will be assessed at the prevailing rates. The lessee is, however, allowed to
make use of minor forest produce, and to fell trees (with the exception of
he ten reserved kinds) in order to facilitate the growth of his cardamoms.
On the other hand, he binds himself to plant not less than 500 cardamom
plants per acre on his land by the expiration of five years from the date of
his grant.

Kayamgutta. — This term, in its literal sense, describes a permanent
village settlement, and it probably owes its origin to a time when many
villages were depopulated and when the Government found it advantageous
to rent out such on a fixed but very moderate lease, the renter undertaking
to restore them to their former prosperous condition. These tenures were
also largely added to during the former Mahardja's direct administration of
the country, when in several cases flourishing villages were given to
favourites at Court. The kayamgutta lands comprise some of the most
valuable indm lands in the Province.

Shraya, or lands granted on progressive rent. — Waste lands, chiefly in
jungly districts, were granted free of assessment, at J rates for the first
year, and afterwards increasing yearly till the fourth or fifth year, when the
full assessment is attained. Under the advantages afforded by this tenure,
large tracts of land have been brought under cultivation and many villages

Inam Tenures. — The following are the inam tenures in Mysore : —

. Sarvaiiidnya, villages or lands held free of all demands, including sdyar,
mohatarfa, &c.

Ardhamdiiya, Ardhayaswdsfi, or land assessed at half the usual rate. —
This proportion is not, however, maintained, the share of the Government
varying in some cases from iVth to ^ths.

Jodi villages, or lands granted and held on a light assessment, the pro-
portion of which to the full rates varies.

Jodi Agrahdfs. — These are ordinarily whole villages, held by Brahmans
only, on a favourable tenure ; but in some cases the agrahdrs merely
consist of selected streets in Government villages, to which patches of
cultivation, generally leased out by the Brahman agrahardars, are

Sthal or Mahal Jodi. — These indms appear to have come into existence
during the loose fiscal administration of the Mahardja's time. Their
holders claim to be in the position of holders of kayamgutta villages, but as
they derive their grants from incompetent local revenue ofiicers, they stand
on a different footing, and in this view the Inam Department has been
directed to confirm only those Mahal Jodi indms for which valid proofs of
alienation are adduced.

Bhatamdnya or Bralundddya. — These terms are used to designate
grants and endowments of land held by Brahmans for their support, which
are personal grants as distinguished from those held on conditions of


Dcvd'Mya and Dharmdddya are grants made for the support of

religious and charitable institutions, and persons rendering services therein.

Uinbli, f///rtr.— These terms are used, chiefly in the Nagar Division, to

signify lands held by village servants on condition of service, subject

generally to the payment of a jodi.

SMst and Kutiigadi Lands.— These are also held by village servants, and
descendants of the holders of the defunct service of Deshpande, Kulkarni
and Nadigar, on a jodi, which is in fact the old Sivappa Nayak's shist or
assessment without the patti or subsequent imposition.

Kodigi Indms represent land granted free of tax, or on a light
assessment, in consideration of services rendered in the construction or
restoration of tank^, or on condition of their being maintained in good
repair. But as the repair of such tanks was almost universally neglected
by the indmdars, they have been relieved of the duty, and the following
rules since adopted for enfranchisement of the inams, the quit-rent being
credited to the irrigation fund for up-keep of the tanks, i. Indms granted
to private individuals for the construction and up-keep of tanks, are
enfranchised on \ quit-rent if the conditions are certified by the chief
Revenue Officer of the District to have been fairly observed and the tanks
to be in use; otherwise at |- quit-rent. ii. Indms granted to private indi-
viduals for the up-keep of Government tanks, are enfranchised on \ quit-
rent if certified to as above ; otherwise they are confirmed to the present
holders on \ assessment for life, and afterwards brought under full
assessment, iii. Kodigi indms in rent-free villages, as also in jodi or quit-
rent villages, when their up-keep rests with the jodidars, are confirmed on
the existing conditions, subject to regulations for the proper maintenance of
the tanks.

Bdvadi Dasavanda Iw'uns are indms granted for the digging and up-keep

of wells, chiefly in some of the taluqs of the Kolar District. Formerly

th of the produce of the lands thereby irrigated was paid to the constructor

of a well, as well as his remuneration. But this proportion is not strictly

kept up in practice.

Kercbandi and Kerekulaga Inams. — These indms were granted for the
annual petty repairs of tanks. As, however, the system was found practically
useless, and the indmdars invariably neglected their obligations, such indms
are confirmed to the present holders on half assessment for life, and on
their death brought under full assessment.

Patiaoaddcs — These are patches of land held by the ryots of one village
in another, not as paya karis (foreign cultivators) but as a part and portion
of their own village. These pattagaddes are distinguished by separate
boundary-marks from the other lands of the village in which they are
situated. The origin of these tenures is traceable to certain mutual agree-
ments between the cultivators of adjoining villages, to allow those of one to
cultivate portions of wet lands under the tank of another constructed by the
joint labour of all. The tenure may also be in part due to an exchange of
land, by which ryots who had no wet land in their own village became
entitled to a portion of the wet land in another.

Y Y 2


Such are the principal land tenures in Mysore. By far the most
common of these is the ordinary kandayam, or ryotwari tenure. The
main distinction is between ryotwari and inam land. Each of these
descriptions of land is now being settled on a permanent basis, by the
Revenue Survey and Settlement Department, and the Inam Depart-

Revenue Survey and Settlement. — Immediately after the
conquest of the country, a general topographical survey was made by
Colonel Mackenzie, subsequently Surveyor-General of India. While
Purnaiya was Divan, a revenue survey was made, but it was necessarily
very imperfect at the time, and after the lapse of fifty years the records
had become extremely defective, advantage being taken of the insur-
rection to destroy the survey papers pretty generally. Though nothing
was subsequently done in the way of any general measure, a good deal
was effected by measurements of particular lands to check the
shanbhdgs in their attempts to falsify the records. Sir Mark Cubbon
was, however, fully alive to the value of a thoroughly scientific Revenue
Survey and Assessment, and expressed his intention, if the financial
state of the country continued to prosper, to propose its being carried
out. In July 1862 the more glaring defects apparent in the existing
revenue system were stated in some detail to the Government of India.
A brief inquiry had elicited proof of the existence of so much dis-
crepancy and fraud, that the Superintendents were called on to report
upon the classification of soils in their respective Districts, and on the
prevailing rates of assessment.

In one taluq of the late Bangalore Division, there were reported to be
596 rates of assessment on dry land per kudu, which is 3,200 square yards, or
about §rds of an acre, these rates being fixed on a progressive scale ranging
from I vis= i anna 9 pie, to 3 pagodas 2 fanams = Rs. 10 i anna per kudu,
or from })\d. to ^i 6i-. \od. per acre, distributed over 26 classes of land.
For wet and garden land, the results, though less striking, were also
remarkable, in one case the number of rates being 81, and in the other 451,
on the kudu of 500 square yards.— In Chitaldroog, the assessments were
nearly as complicated. The kudu is generally of the same extent as in
other parts of the Province, viz., 3,200 square yards on dry lands, and upon
it the rates were 465 in number, with a minimum of i anna and a maximum
of Rs. 9-4-1 1. — In parts of Ashtagram the assessment was theoretically based
on Purnaiya's survey, but, in fact, few traces were left of this, and its
principles were unknown, the practical consequence being that people paid
generally what their forefathers did, without much interference in time-
honoured abuses. In the Nagar Division, owing to the hilly nature of the
country, and to its having been ruled for centuries by quasi-independent
chiefs, the character of the landed tenure presented a notable contrast to
that which prevailed in the rest of the Province ; but scarcely more


uniformity was to be found in the rates of the assessment, or in the
classification of the soil, than in the other Divisions, as in one hill taluq,
taken at random apparently, there were 147 rates on wet land, varying in
rentals of from nearly Rs. 34 to a little more than R. i per khandi, i.e.,
from about Rs. 165 to 75rds annas per acre. In the plain taluqs of the
District, less discrepancy existed in the rates of assessment, but some of
them were enormously high, and in numerous instances the returns showed
great deviations from the rates which formerly existed.

In consequence of this capricious and intricate system of assessment, all
real power had passed into the hands of the shdnbhdgs, or hereditary
village accountants, the recognized custodians of the records relating to the
measurement and assessment of lands ; and as no permanent boundary-
marks had ever been erected, it rested with them to regulate at will every
ryot's payments. On the better classes of land the rates in some cases
were so preposterously high, as to make it certain that unless a man so
assessed held considerably more land than was entered against him, he
could not possibly pay the Government demand ; while, on the other hand,
much land capable of being profitably cultivated under a moderate assess-
ment was thrown up, because the lighter rates had been fraudulently shifted
to superior lands held by public servants and others who could afford to
bribe the shdnbhogs.

In addition to the discrepancies in the rate of assessments, another fertile
source of embarrassment existed in the prevalence of the batdyi system,
and the unsatisfactory state of the indm holdings, regarding which it was
notorious that from the absence of any adequate check on unauthorized
occupancy extensive frauds had been practised.

The Supreme (jovernment fully recognized, as the only effectual
remedy for the evils pointed out, the advisability of introducing a
Revenue Survey and Settlement, accompanied pari passu by an equit-
able and low assessment, such as had given so beneficial an impetus to
some of the Districts of Madras and Bombay ; and it was subsequently
decided to adopt the Bombay Revenue Survey system, which had been
proved incontestably by figures, and by the well-known satisfaction of
the ryots, to be successful in the Districts of that Presidency bordering
on Mysore.

My reason, writes Mr. Bowring, for preferring the system of survey and
settlement pursued in Bombay may be summed up thus : — I found that in
Mysore, which borders both on that Presidency and on Madras, we had
ample opportunity of comparing the method pursued in either case. The
difference is as follows : — Under the Bombay system, the survey, classifica-
tion, and settlement are all continuous links of one chain, forged under the
directions of the same individual, whose interest it is to see that every
successive link fits closely into its predecessor, every step being also care-
fully taken with advertence to the next one. There is no such close con-
nection in the Madras system. The boundaries arc fi.xed by one person,


the survey laid down l)y another, and the settlement by a third, these
several agencies not being under one responsible head. The survey, so far
as I can judge, is excellent, but the surveyor had not the power of altering
boundaries if incorrect. On the completion of the survey, the work was
taken up by the Settlement Officer.

In introducing the survey and settlement into any taluq, the first
steps taken are the division of the village lands into fields, the defini-
tion of the limits of such fields by permanent marks, and the accurate
measurement of the area of each field in itself, by chain and cross-staff.
In the division of the lands into fields, the points kept in view are : —
ist. That the fields, or at least a majority of them, should not be
larger than may be cultivated by ryots of limited means. 2nd. That
they should not be made smaller than is necessary for the above object
without an adequate reason. The former of these points is determined
by the extent of land capable of being cultivated by a pair of bullocks,
which area varies according to climate, soil, description of cultivation
and methods of husbandry. In the second case, when a holding is of
small area, contiguous small holdings are clubbed to bring the area
within the limit. The marks used for defining the limits of fields, laid
out as above, are rectangular mounds of earth (popularly known as
hdndhs) at the four corners and at intervals along the side. The pro-
traction on paper of the survey made of the village lands by cross-staff,
theodolite, and chain, constitute the village maps, which afford the
most minute information as to the position, size, and limits of fields,
roads, water-courses, &:c., comprised within each village, while they
possess a degree of accuracy sufficient to admit of their being united
so as to form a general map of a taluq or District, exhibiting the relative
positions and extent of villages, topographical features of the country,
and a variety of other information of use to the local revenue and
judicial officers.

The next step towards the settlement of the taluq is the classification
of the land, with the object of determining the relative values of the
fields into which the land is divided. For this purpose, every variety
of soil is referred to one of nine classes, such classes having a relative
value in annas or sixteenths of a rupee, and this division of classes
experience has proved to afford a sufficiently minute classification for
all practical purposes. All land is divided into dry-crop, wet and
garden-land, but in the two latter, in addition to soil classification, the
water-supply is taken into consideration, and its permanency or other-
wise regulates the class to which it is referred ; the soil and water class
conjointly afford an index to the value of the field. In the case of
gardens which are irrigated by wells, in addition to the classification of


soil, the su[)[)ly, depth, and quantity of water in the wells, the area oi
land under each, and the distance of the garden from the village, as
affecting the cost of manuring, &c., is carefully ascertained. The whole
of the fields into which each village has been broken up being thus
classified, the taluq is ready for settlement.

In this last proceeding, the first question taken into consideration is
the extent of territory for which a uniform standard of assessment
should be fixed. Among the most important influences admitted into
the considerai.ion of this point are, climate, position with respect to
markets, communications, and the agricultural skill and actual condi-
tion of the cultivators. The villages of the taluq having been divided
into groups, according to their respective advantages of climate,
markets, (Sec, and the relative values of the fields of each village having
been determined from the classification of the soils, command of water
for irrigation, or other extrinsic circumstances, it only remains to com-
plete the settlement by fixing the maximum rate to be levied on each
description of cultivation, together with the absolute amount of assess-
ment to be levied from the whole.

The determination of this point, involving the exercise of great
judgment and discrimination, is arrived at by a clear understanding of
the nature and effects of the past management of the taluq for twenty
years, and by examination and comparison of the annual settlements
of previous years. The maximum rates having been fixed, the inferior
rates are at once deducible from the relative values laid down in the
classification scales, and the rates so determined are applied to all
descriptions of land. When the calculation of the assessment from
these is completed, field registers, embodying the results of the survey,
are prepared for each village separately, for the use of the revenue
authorities. The registers and the village maps form a complete
record of the survey operations ; as long as these and the field
boundaries exist, all important data resulting from the survey will be

The survey rules, and the guarantee which has been formally notified,
while securing the just rights of the State in clear and unequivocal
terms, also define those possessed by the ryot in the land. The benefits
of the improvements he makes to the land are left to him exclusively
during the present lease, which extends over a period of thirty years ;
and it has been announced that at the next revision the assessment
will not be revised with reference to the improvements made at the
ryot's cost, but acccording to the progress of natural events, the
benefits of which the Government have a right to share equally
with the ryot.



'J'he Survey and Sctllenient Department in Mysore is further
entrusted with the important and arduous duty of revising and settling

Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 82 of 98)