Charles Alfred Browne.

An introduction to the geography and history of India, and the countries adjacent; online

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21 1' N. long. 74 47' E.

Chopra, lat. 21 41' N. long. 75 23' E.

Jamneer, lat. 20 54' N. long. 75 52' E.

Mulligaum, lat. 21 31' N. long. 74
3.6' E.

Chandoor, a fortified town command-
ing the principal pass into Aurungabad,
and situated in lat. 20 19' N. long. 74
19' E.

Kurgoon is situated in lat. 21 50' N.
long. 75 40' E. It is considered the cap-
ital of the Holkar districts in Khan-
desh, and the usual residence of the Mah-
ratta governor.

Bejagur is a large hill fort, situated
in the Satpoora mountains, in lat. 21 36'
N. long, 75 30' E. This was the capi-
tal of the old Hindoo province of Nee-
mar, and was subsequently that of the
Mooghul province of Khandesh, until
supplanted by Boorhanpoor.

Hoshungabad) or, as it is sometimes



Towns. called by the English, Hussingabad, is
situated on the south bank of the Nur-
budda, in lat. 22 40' N. long. 77 51' E.
It is a large town, and of considerable
importance on account of its position, as
it commands the principal fords in this
direction. In 1827 a vein of blind coal
was discovered here. The town with its
dependent district belongs to the British,
and may be considered as annexed to the
Gurra-Mundla division of Gondwana.

Travelling distance from Nagpore 1 87

Hindia is situated on the Nurbudda,
in lat. 22 56' N. long. 77 5' E. It is
the head of a district of the same name,
occupying the north easternmost part of
the Sindia division.

Asseevgurh is a strong hill fortress,
situated about 12 miles northerly and
easterly from Boorhanpoor. It is noted
on account of its siege in 1819 by the
British troops, by whom it was captured
after an obstinate resistance.

Boorhanpoor, formerly the capital of
the province, is situated in a fine plain on
the bank of the Tuptee in lat. 21 19' N.
long. 76 18' E. This is one of the
largest and best built cities in the Dek-
kan, and abundantly supplied with water
brought into the town by aqueducts, and
distributed through every street, the
stream being conveyed at a certain depth
below the pavement, and the water
drawn up through apertures by means
of leather buckets. The grapes grown
in the vicinity of this town and Asseer-
gurh are considered the finest in India.

Travelling distance from Poona 288


Towns. miles, from Nagpore 256, from Oojein
154. Boorhanpoor is the principal resi-
dence of the class of Mahomedans called

Name. The origin of the name of this pro-

vince is not correctly known.

inhabit- Mahrattas, a small proportion of Ma-
homedans, including those of the Bora
cluss, and Bheels, of which tribe this pro-
vince may be considered the original
country. The Bheels are found in all
the hilly and wooded districts, from Mal-
wa to Bejapoor, and from the eastern
parts of Guzerat to Gondwana. They
are a distinct people from the Hindoos,
and are supposed to form part of the
original inhabitants of central India. In
person they are generally small and
black, of wild appearance, going nearly
naked, and constantly armed with bow
and arrow. They are divided into a
number of tribes, each under its own
naik or chief. They are generally
averse to agriculture, ano! addicted to
- hunting and plunder, but being now sub-
ject to a more regular control, they will
probably acquire more civilized habits.

History. Prior to the Mahomedan invasion this
province formed part of the Hindoo
sovereignty of Deogurh. After the dis-
solution of the Bhamenee empire of the
Dekkan, Khandesh appears to have con-
stituted an independent state under a
Mahomedan family claiming descent from
Oornr Khalif, and having their capital at
Asseergurh. Towards the close of the

154< DEKKAN.

History. 15th century, it was subdued and added
to the Mooghul dominions, from which it
was wrested in the early part of the 18th
century by the Mahrattas. It was sub-
sequently partitioned among three chiefs,
Holkar, Sindia, and the Peshwa, and
suffered severely from the disputes in
which those rival powers were constantly
engaged, particularly from the savages
of Holkar's troops, in 1802 arid 1803.
It remained under these rulers until
1818, when in consequence of the war
which then took place between Holkar
and the British, the principal portion of
the province was transferred to the lat-
ter. When entered by the British, the
greater part of Khandesh, though no-
minally subject to the Mahrattas, was
found to be actually under the authority
of a number of Arab leaders, whom the
English were compelled to remove by
force, as they refused the offer, which
was made to them, of being conveyed
back to their own country. These
Arabs had originally engaged in the
service of the Mahratta chiefs as mer-
cenaries, and, having gradually acquired
possession of the principal fortresses, were
in a fair way to become the independent
rulers of the whole province.

Religion. Hindooism and Mahomedanism.

Language. The prevailing language is the Mah-
rattee. In the Hoshungabad district the
Gondee is commonly spoken.



Bound- North, Allahabad and Bahar ; east,

Bahar and Orissa ; south, Orissa, the
northern Circars, and Hyderabad ; west,
Beder, Berar, Khandesh, Mahva, and

Divisions. Qf the numerous districts into which
this extensive province is divided, the
following may be considered the princi-
pal. Baghela or Baghulkhund, Singrow-
la, Gurra-Mundla, Sohajpoor, Sirgooja,
and Sumbhulpoor, belonging to the Bri-
tish dominions, and Deogur, Nagpore,
Chanda, Chouteesgur, Wynegunga and
Bustar, belonging to the raja of Nagpore.

River?, Sone, Nurbudda, Gunga or Wyne-

Gunga, Wurda, and Mahanudee ; all,
excepting the Wurda, having their sour-
ces in this province. The Gunga flows
southerly, and joining the Wurda, falls
with it into the Godavery.

General The greatest portion of this province

Descnp- , a .1 -,

tjon. presents a very wild appearance, abound-
ing with rugged mountains, and covered
with forests. The eastern and southern
districts, particularly, are in an exceed-
ingly savage state. Westward, though
traversed by ranges of hills, and in many
parts thickly wooded, the country is
more open ; and in Chunteesgur and the


General northern districts there are large tracts
tioru 1P " f c ^ ear and fertile ground. The pro-
vince in general is poorly cultivated and
thinly inhabited. The climate of the
hilly and wooded districts is remarkably
unhealthy, and usually fatal to the na-
tives of other parts.

Produc- Rice, wheat, chenna, jowaree, and
other dry grains ; sugar, hemp, cotton,
opium, tobacco, arrow-root, pan, and
bees wax ; dyeing drugs, oils, gum, and
coarse silk, of the description called tus-
sur, obtained from the cocoon of a large
species of caterpillar. The forests yield
a plentiful supply of teak, saul, and other
Jarge timber, and the lac insect abounds.
Diamonds of a large size, and gold, are
to be found in the vicinity of the rivers,
particularly of the Mahanudee ; but the
unhealthiness of the climate prevents
their being much sought after. Iron,
talc, limestone, coal, red-ochre, and mar-
ble are also procured in different parts.
The district of Singrowla contains the
largest quarry of corundum in India.
Wild beasts are numerous, particularly
tigers and bears of a large size, with the
gaour, mirjee, a peculiar species of wild
dog, and some others very little known
to Europeans. The gaour is a very pow-
erful and fierce animal of the ox kind,
resembling the bison. The mirjee, or
mouse deer, so called from its head re-
sembling that of a mouse in form, is the
smallest of the deer species, being about
the size of a jackal. Among the snakes
which abound in this province is the boa-


Towns. Bandoogur, Saipoor, Gurra, Jubbul-

poor, Mahadeo, Chouragur, Ghoupara,
and Mundla, Sohajpoor, Kurgomnia and
Oomerkuntuk, Sirnadoo, Jushpoor, Gang-
poor, Sumbhulpoor, and Patna, Deogur,
Babye, Baitool, Jilpee-Amneer, Nagpore,
Chanda, Ruttunpoor, Konkeer, and Byr-
gur, Wynegunga, Wyragur, and Bustar.

Jitbbulpoor is situated in lat. 23 11'
N. Jong. 80 ](>' E. It is the modern
capital of the district, and is better built
than the majority of the towns in this
part of India. Coal is found in its neigh-

Travelling distance from Nagpore 160

Mahadeo is situated in the Mahadeo
hills, in lat. 22 22' N. long. 78 35' E.
This is one of the wildest tracts in the
Dekkan, and was almost unknown to
Europeans until 1818, when it was en-
tered by the British troops in pursuit of
Appa Sahib, the ex-raja of Nagpore. It
is a place of pilgrimage for the Hindoos,
but it is chiefly noticed here on account
of its hot sulphurous springs, of which
there are two in the vicinity.

Oomerkuntuk is situated at the sour-
ces of the Sone and Nurbudda, in lat.
22 55' N. long. 82 7' E. on which ac-
count alone it is noticed, being otherwise
merely a place of resort for pilgrims.

Nagpore, the capital of the province,
and of the Bhonsla Mahratta state, is
situated in lat. 21 9' N. long. 79 IV E.
It is a large town, but meanly built, and
its site is low and swampy. It contains
about ] 15, 000 inhabitants of various


Towns. Travelling distance from Calcutta 740

miles, from Hyderabad 300, from Bom-
bay 550, from Madras 700.

A short distance from the city of Nag-
pore is an English Military cantonment,
which has the name of Kamptee.

Chanda, situated 80 miles southward
from Nagpore, is a populous and strongly
fortified town, equal in size to Nagpore,
and has generally been the principal
depot of the Mahratta government in
this province.

*ame. This province has received its general

name of Gondwana, as being the country
of the Gond tribe.

inhabit- Gonds, Hindoos of various classes,
principally Mahrattas and Telingas, from
different parts of Hindoostan Proper and
the Dekkan, and a small proportion of
Mahomed an s.

The Gonds are mentioned in the his-
torical poems of the Hindoos, as being a
powerful nation or tribe in early times ;
and there seems no doubt that they are
an original people, the first possessors of
the land, and quite distinct from the
Hindoos, by whom at different periods
they have been partially conquered arid
driven from the plains to the hills and
jungles. They are divided into a num-
ber of tribes or clans, the majority of
which are in an exceedingly ignorant and
savage state, many of them living like
wild beasts in the woods, perfectly naked,
and subsisting upon roots and vegetables.
According to native accounts these tribes
are addicted to cannibalism. Their re-


inhabit- ligion is of a very rude character, and
is occasionally attended with human sa-
crifices, especially amongst the Bustar
tribes. There is, however, a great dif-
ference, as well in habits as in size and
appearance, between the domesticated
Gonds of the plains and the wild tribes,
the former being generally tall and well
made, and frequently fair and handsome,
and in many respects superior to their
Hindoo and Mahomedan neighbours. In
the districts eastward of Nagpore there
are two tribes, named the Golur and
Holur, who speak the Canarese lan-
guage. They are all thieves, but per-
fectly under the control of their naiks
or chiefs, and never troublesome when
the latter are conciliated. Nothing has
been ascertained regarding their origin.

History, The country over which the Gonds are
now scattered seems, at an early period,
to have been partially subdued by the
Hindoo rajas of the adjacent provinces ;
and when the Mahometans first invaded
the Dekkan, Gondwana was under the
general rule of the three Hindoo mon-
archs of Gurra, Deogur (in Aurungabad)
and Telingana. After the overthrow of
the Deogur and Telingana kingdoms,
the greater portion of the province ap-
pears to have been divided into a number
of independent states, some under Hin-
doo, some under Gond rajas, but all,
however, generally styled Gond chiefs,
the most powerful of whom was the
raja of Deogur. During the reign of
Akber, the Gurra raja was conquered,
and his territory annexed to the Moo-



History. gj iu j empire, in which, subsequently, the
whole province was nominally included,
though never really subject to any Ma-
homedan government. In 1738, Ragojee
Bhonsla taking advantage of internal
dissensions and disputed claims to the
sovereignty, obtained possession of the
Deogur territories, and fixed his capital
at Nagpore. Under his successors the
remainder of the province was subdued
and added to the eastern or Bhonsla Mah-
ratta empire. In 1803 the raja of Nag-
pore having joined the Sindia Mahrattas,
in a confederacy against the English,
was compelled to purchase peace by the
cession of a large portion of his territo-
ries, eastward in Orissa, to the English,
and westward in Berar, to the Nizam of
Hyderabad; and in 1818 a second war
with the English was followed by the
further loss of the several districts in the
province of Gondvvana itself, which have
been already enumerated as belonging to
the British dominions.

Language. Gondee, Mahratee, and Teloogoo.
The Gondee is spoken more or less
throughout the province. It contains
many words resembling the Teloogoo
and Tamil, but has no peculiar written
character. The Mahratee is the lan-
guage of the court and of all govern-
ment functionaries, and is most common
in the districts of Deogur, Nagpore,
Chanda, and Wyne Gunga. Teloogoo
is spoken in Chanda. Many other dia-
lects and mixtures of dialects are spoken
by the various mountain and wild tribes.

BERAR. 161


North, Khandesh and Gondwana ;
east, Gondwana ; south, Beder and Au-
rungabad ; west, Aurungabad and Khan-

The province is divided into a number
of small districts, but which are not suf-
ficiently well defined to be correctly enu-

Tuptee, Wurda, Paeen Gunga, and two
Poornas. The Wurda and Paeen Gun-
ga both have their sources in this pro-
vince. The Paeen Gunga flows easterly
into the Wurda, and the Wurda south-
easterly, joining the Wyne Gunga in
Gondwana; one Poorna flows westerly
into the Tuptee, and the other south-
easterly into the Godavery.

The principal portion of this province
consists of an elevated valley shut in on
the south by ranges of hills extending
from Ajuntee to the Wurda, other ranges
of hills traverse the province further
northward, but the country in general
is open. The soil is chiefly of the des-
cription designated black cotton and is
naturally fertile, though, owing to the
very disturbed state in which the pro-
vince has long been, it is poorly culti-


Produc- Wheat, maize, gram, and other grains;
cotton, and flax.

The bullocks of this province are noted
for their size and strength.

Towns. Gawilgurh, Narnulla, Ellichpoor, Mul-

kapoor, Bajapoor, Akola, Oomrawutti,
Ajuntee, Jaffurabad, Maikher, and Ma-

Gawilgurh is a fortress, situated on a
rocky hill, in the midst of a range of
mountains, lying between the Tuptee
and Poorna in lat. 21 2*2' N. and long.
77 24' E. fifteen miles north-westerly
from Ellichpoor. This was considered
by the Natives of India as impregnable,
but it was taken by assault in 1803 by
the British troops after a siege of not
more than a few days.

Narnulla is a fortified town, situated
about 40 miles N. W. of Ellichpoor, lat.
21 40' N. long. 77 30' E. It is an
ancient town, and has always been a
place of note in the province.

Ellichpoor is situated in lat. 21 14' N.
long. 77 36' E. It is a large open town,
the capital of the province, and the usual
residence of the NizanVs governor in
this part of his dominions.

Travelling distance from Hyderabad
340 miles, from Nagpore 120.

Oomrawutti is situated thirty- four
miles south-easterly from Ellichpoor, in
lat. 20 54' N. long. 77 57' E. It is a
large and populous town, and a place of
considerable inland traffic.

Ajuntee is noticed on account of its
situation near the ghat or pass of the

BEKAR. 163

Towns. same name, in lat. 20 34' N. long. 75
56' E. It is a large town but not popu-
lous. In the neighbourhood are some
excavations resembling those of Ellora.

In this province are the villages of
Assaye and Argaum, where two celebra-
ted battles were fought in 1803 between
the British troops, under General Wel-
iesly, and the Mahratta armies of Sindia
and the Bhonsla raja.

Name. The derivation of the name of this

province is not known.

inhabit- Principally Hindoos of the Telinpa

ants. 1 Ti/i i

and Mahratta races.

History. Prior to the Mahomedan invasion in
1294, this province was partly dependent
upon the Hindoo sovereignty of Telin-
gana, and partly under different petty
Gond chiefs. After its conquest by the
Mahomedans, it became part of the
Bahmenee empire of the Dekkan, on
the dissolution of which, the principal
portion of the province was formed into
an independent state styled the Oommed
Shahee, from its founder, Oommed Ool
Moolk. This, however, lasted only from
1510 to 1574, when Berar fell under the
dominion of Ahmednuggur, and subse-
quently of Delhi. In the early part of
the 18th century it was overrun by the
Mahrattas, and for several years was
divided between the peshwa and the
raja of Nagpore. The latter having
joined Dowlut rao Sindia in hostilities
against the British, his share of Berar
was transferred to the Nizam of Hy-


History, derabad, with whom the greater part of
the province now remains.

Religion. Hindooism and Mahomedanism.
Language. Mahratee and Teloogoo.


North, the river Subunreeka, separat-
ing it from Bengal ; east, the sea ; south,
the Ganjam district of the Northern
Circars ; west, Gondwana.

Divisions. Singhbhoom, Mohurbunj, Balasore,
Kunjoor, Boad, and Kuttack, with
several smaller zumeendaries.

Rivers. Subunreeka, Solundee, Bytoornee,

Bahmunee, Mahanudee, and others.

General This province may be considered as

Descrip- . . J , j 7 . . . ,

tion. consisting of three distinct regions, the
maritime, the central, called the Moo-
ghulburidee, and the western, or Rajwara.
The maritime, from the Subunreeka on
the north to the Chilka Lake on the
south, and, from the sea to about twenty
miles inland, is a low, flat, swampy tract,
covered with wood, and frequently inun-
dated, and intersected in all directions by
numerous rivers. Twenty miles inland
the country rises considerably r with an
open, dry, and fertile surface, forming
the second or Mooghulbundee division,

OR1SSA. 165

General which, about twenty miles further inland,
T tk>n! lp ~ swells into wooded hills ; and beyond
these is the third, or Rajwara, occupying
the western portion of the province, arid
consisting 1 entirely of ranges of hills.
The greater part of the interior of this
province is in a very savage state, parti-
cularly the Rajwara division, being coin-
posed*of rugged hills, thick jungles, and
deep nullas, and pervaded by a remark-
ably pestilential atmosphere.

Produc- Rice, maize, wheat, gram, and other
grains ; aromatic roots, spices, dyeing-
drugs, sugar, cotton, tobacco, honey,
wax, and dammer. The woods of the
maritime districts are chiefly of Soon-
dree, from which wood oil is extracted,
and Janool ; those of the Mooghul-
bundee abound with resinous trees, and
others valuable for cabinet work and for
dyeing ; and from the Rajwara forests
teak of good quality is procured. Iron
is abundant ; many valuable and curious
minerals are found in Rajwara, and,
from the mountain streams, gold dust is
collected. Diamonds, also, of a large
size, are to be found, but the extreme
unhealthiness of the climate, in the dis-
tricts in which they are met with,
prevents their being properly sought
after. Abundance of salt, of a remark-
, - ably white and pure description, is
manufactured on the coast. The rivers
abound with fish, and the whole province
swarms with wild beasts, particularly
leopards of a large size, and it is much
infested by snakes, alligators, and rep-
tiles of all kinds.


Towns. Singhbhoom, Hurioorpoor, Balasore,

Kunjoor, Jajpoor, Kuttack, and Jugger-

Singhbhoom is in the Rajwara, in lat.
22 3i' N. long. 85 40' E'. and is the
residence of the zumeendar of the dis-

Hurioorpoor is the principal town or
village in the zumeendaree of Mohur-
bunj. It is in lat. 21 51' N. long. 86
42' 'E.

Kunjoor, the chief town of the zumeen-
daree of the same name, is situated in
lat. 21 31' N. long. 85 32' E.

Balasore, ( Balishwar,) the principal
seaport of the province, is situated near
the mouth of a small river called the
Boori-Balang, in lat. 21 32' N. long. 86
56' E. This was formerly a flourishing
town, and at an early period of their
intercourse with India, the Portuguese,
Dutch, and English had factories here.
It is still the principal trading place of
the province, and is the regular resort of
the Maldive vessels. It has dry docks
capable of receiving small vessels, not
drawing more than fourteen feet.

Travelling distance from Calcutta 141
miles, from Kuttack 103.

Jajpoor is situated on the south bank
of the Rytoornee, in lat. 20 52' N. long.
86 24' E. This was the ancient capital
of the kings of Orissa, and was also a
place of importance under the Mooghul
government, and was the usual residence
of the Mahomedan governor of the pro-
vince. At present it is little more than
a large straggling village of mud huts,
but it contains some remarkable ruins of


Towns. Hindoo temples, and it is considered by
the Hindoos as a holy place, being fre-
quently styled the first gate of Jugger-
naut. A good deal of cloth is manufac-
tured here.

Kuttack is situated inland, between
two branches of the Mahanudee, in lat.
20 27' N. long. 86 5' E. It is the
capital of the province, and is a large
well built town, containing about 40,000
inhabitants. During the rainy season
the Mahanudee, near the city, is two
miles from bank to bank, but, during the
dry season, it is fordable with less than
three feet of water. The surrounding
country is low, and frequently under
water for a circuit of more than ten

Travelling distance from Calcutta 248
miles, from Nagpore 482, from Madras

Juggernaut, or Jugga-nat, is on the
coast, in lat. 19 49' N. long. 85 54' E.
This is one of the most celebrated places
of Hindoo pilgrimage in India, and great
numbers of persons annually resort thi-
ther to be present at the bathing and car
festivals. The idols are three in number,
and are formed of rudely carved blocks of
wood, painted white, black, and yellow,
and having exceedingly hideous and gro-
tesque countenances. The ceremony of
the procession is too obscene and dis-
gusting to describe. The present pagoda
of Juggernaut was completed in the
year 1198, during the reign of the Hin-
doo rajas of Orissa. The town is named
Pooree, and is inhabited chiefly by Brah-
inins, and others connected with the


Towns. pagoda. The town is usually called

Travelling distance from Calcutta 297
miles, from Madras 766.

On the sea-shore, eighteen miles to the
northward of Juggernaut, are the re-
mains of an ancient temple of the sun,
called, in English charts, the black
pagoda. The greater part of the temple
is in ruins, having been thrown down,
apparently, by lightning or earthquake ;
but, from what remains, it appears to
have been one of the most singular edi-
fices ever constructed in India. Part of
the tower, 120 feet high, is still standing,
and the antechamber, or jungmohun,
about 1 00 feet high. They are built of
immense blocks of stone and massive
beams of iron, some of which are nearly
a foot square, and from twelve to
eighteen feet long. This temple, which
has been long deserted, was built by a
raja of Orissa in 1241.

Name. The name "Orissa" appears to be

derived from Ooresa or Oor-desa, the
country of the Oor or Oorda tribe.

inhabit- The inhabitants of the province are

Hindoos, with the distinguishing name of
Ooreas, but there are also in the woods
and hills three distinct tribes, called
Koles, Khonds, and Soors, all differing
in language and appearance from the
Hindoos, and generally supposed to have
been the original natives of the province.
The Koles, who are subdivided into a
number of small tribes, are a hardy
athletic race, of black complexions and


Inhabit- exceedingly ignorant, without any regu-

ants. x v i ?t

Jar system or religion, worshipping the
dog, the sahajna tree, paddy, mustard

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Online LibraryCharles Alfred BrowneAn introduction to the geography and history of India, and the countries adjacent; → online text (page 10 of 26)