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

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seed and oil. They are, however, gene-
rally industrious cultivators, and have
their houses tolerably well built of wood.
Their original country, which they style
Kolat Desum, is described by them as
the north-western districts of Orissa,
between Singhbhoom and Mohurbunj.

The Khoonds resemble the Gonds, and
are believed to be of the same origin.

The Soors are found chiefly in the
jungles southward and westward of Kut-
tack, and in the woods which skirt the
base of the hills. They are of diminu-
tive stature, of jet black complexion, and
of a mean appearance, and in a most
barbarous state of ignorance. They
worship rocks and stumps of trees, and
appear to be entirely destitute of moral
feeling.

History. The early history of Orissa consists
entirely of ridiculous fables, copied from
the Pooranas, mixed with local tradi-
tions. No dependence can be placed
upon any of the records prior to the
commencement of the sixth century,
when the accounts begin to assume an
appearance of authenticity. According
to these, Orissa was governed by a race
of Hindoo kings, who successively ex-
tended their dominions, by conquest and
otherwise, until they included part of
Bengal on the north, of Gondwana on
the west, and of Telingana southward,
as far as the Godavery. It continued to
form an independent Hindoo state until



170 DEKKAN.

History. 1558, when it was invaded by the Pat-
han ruler of Bengal, who defeated
Mukhum Deo, the raja, and finally over-
threw the Orissa sovereignty. In 1578
the Pathans being conquered by Akber,
Orissa was annexed to the Mooghul em-
pire, at which period, according to the
institutes of Akber, it comprehended the
whole extent of country between Midna-
poor in Bengal on the north, and Raja-
mundry on the south. On the dissolu-
tion of the Mooghul empire, Orissa
formed part of the sovereignty esta-
blished by the subadar of Bengal. In
1 743, it was invaded and plundered by a
large army of Mahrattas, and it was
afterwards subjected to the predatory
incursions of that people every year
until 1750, when Aliverdi Khan, the
soobadar of Bengal, agreed to pay them
a regular chout^ and, in 1756', he ceded
the province to them altogether. From
that period Orissa continued in a most
wretched state of anarchy and distress,
until conquered from the Mahrattas in
1803 by the British. At present the
most fertile and best inhabited portion of
the province is under the jurisdiction of
the British Government divided into a
number of zumeendaries, and the re-
mainder is possessed by tributary r /u-
ineendars, called ghurjats or hill chiefs,
but usually styling themselves rajas, who
pay an annual rent to the British Govern-
ment, and are protected by it; and about
half of their number being also subject
to the British laws.

Religion. ph e Ooreeas are all followers of the



AURUNGABAD.



171



Religion. Brahminical system, but the wild tribes
of Koles, Khonds, and Soors, as has been
already mentioned, have no intelligible
system of religion, and are entirely
strangers to the institution of caste or
other Hindoo observances. There are
also Jains in this province.

Language. The language of the Ooreea nation is
a dialect of the Sanscrit, much resem-
bling the Bengalee, and called the Ooreea.
The dialects of the wild tribes are dis-
tinct.



5.



Aurnngabad.



Bound- North, Guzerat, Khandesh, and Berar ;

east, Berar and Beder; south, Beja-
poor and Beder ; west, the sea.

Divisions. The following are the principal dis-
tricts : Jo war, Kallianee, Bombay, be-
low the mountains ; Sumgumneer, Joo-
neer, Ahmednuggur, Perrainda, above
the mountains, belonging to the British
dominions, and Aurungabad; Bheer,
occupying its eastern side, and belonging
to the Nizam of Hyderabad.

Rivers. Godavery, Seena, Beema, all of which

have their sources in this province,
Moota, Moola, and many smaller.

This province is traversed, from north
tioii. to south, by the great range of Western



372 DEKKAN.

General Mountains, and its surface throughout is
" Ver 7 irregular and broken, abounding
with rocky jungly hills. It is in gen-
eral fertile, and its climate, above the
mountains, temperate. There are some
remarkable caves or excavations in dif-
ferent parts which will be noticed in
connexion with the towns near which
they are situated.

On the coast, in about 19 N. lat. and
separated from the main land by a nar-
row strait, are several small islands, of
which the principal are Salsette and
Bombay.

Produc- Rice and other grains and cotton.
Horses of a small but very active and
hardy breed are reared in great numbers
on the banks of the Beema. Fruits of
different kinds are abundant and fine,
particularly grapes, melons, oranges, and
figs.

Towns, Jowar, Basseen, Kallianee, and Bom-

bay, below the mountains; Nassuck,
Sungumneer, Jooneer, Ahmednuggur, Per-
rainda, Aurungabad, Jalna, and Peytun.
Basseen is a seaport, separated by a
narrow strait from the island of Sal-
sette, and distant about thirty miles from
Bombay. This place was obtained by
treaty, from the sooltan of Cambay in
1531, by the Portuguese, who lost it
about 1750 to the Mahrattas, from
whom it was subsequently taken by the
English.

Kallianee is a populous town, situated
inland about thirty miles to the north-
eastward of Bombay.



AURUNGABAD.



173



Bombay is the third principal English
town in India. It is situated in lat. 1 8
56' N. long. 72 57' E. on a small island,
about ten miles in length and three in
breadth, lying south of Salsette, from
which it was formerly separated by an
arm of the sea about 200 yards across,
but now communicating with it by a
causeway, which was completed in 1805.

The first European settlement here
was formed by the Portuguese, who ac-
quired possession of the island in 1530,
irom the chief of Tanna, in Salsette, In
1661 the Portuguese ceded it to the
English. It is a place of very extensive
commerce with every part of the world.
Its harbour is the best in India, and its
dockyards large and good. Vessels of
the largest size, as well for the British
navy, as for the merchant service, are
built here by Parsee shipwrights, per-
fectly equal to those constructed in the
dockyards of England. The population
of the town of Bombay is estimated at
200,000 persons, comprising a mixed
multitude of Hindoos, Parsees, Maho-
medans, Portuguese, Jews, and a few
Armenians.

Travelling distance from Calcutta,
about 1400 miles, from Delhi 868, from
Madras about 800.

About five miles eastward from Bom-
bay is a small island, named Elephanta,
in which is a remarkable cave, formerly
used as an idol temple. It is 18 feet
high, 55 feet long, and as many broad,
and is filled with large idols, of which
the principal is a colossal Trimoorti, or
three formed figure, combining Bramha,



174 DEKKAN.

Towns. Vishnoo, and Siva. The cavern is not
now used as a place of worship. Near
the landing place, leading to the cavern, is
a large elephant hewn out of the rock,
from which the Portuguese gave the
island its present name. There are also
other remarkable excavations at Kanneri
in Salsette.

Nassuck is situated on the Godaverj,
in lat. 19 56' N. long. 73 56' E. It
is a large town containing about 30,000
inhabitants, principally Brahmins, and
is much resorted to as a place of pil-
grimage. In the neighbourhood are
some extensive Booddhist excavations.

Sungumneer is situated in lat. 19 21'
N. long. 74 24' E.

Jootieer is situated in lat. 19 12' N.
long. 74 10' E. It is a large town, with
a strong fortress, and was formerly the
capital of the province. There are nu-
merous excavations and cave temples at
this place of Jain origin.

Alimedniiggur is situated in lat. ] 9 5'
N. long. 74 55' E. It was built in 1493
by Ahmed Nizam Shah, who made it his
capital. At present it is one of the
principal civil stations of the British
Government in this province. It con-
tains about 20,000 inhabitants, and has a
strongly built fort.

Travelling distance from Bombay 180
miles, from Poona 83, from Hyderabad,
335.

Perrainda is in lat. 18 18' N. long.
75'44'E.

Aurungabad is situated in lat. 19 54'
N. long. 75 33' E. This city was ori-
ginally named Goorklia, but, having.



AURUNGABAD. 1?5

Town. become the capital of the province, and
the favorite residence of Aurungzeb,
when viceroy of the Dekkan, it received
from him the appellation of Aurungabad.
It is a large well built town, abundantly
supplied with water brought in stone con-
duits from the neighbouring hills, and dis-
tributed through pipes, into numerous
stone reservoirs in every quarter. It has
a large and handsome bazar named the
Shah-ginj, particularly noted for silks and
shawls. Aurungabad is the usual resi-
dence of the governor of the northern
division of the nizanTs dominions.

Travelling distance from Hyderabad
295 miles, from Poona 186, from Delhi
750.

Seven miles to the north-westward of
Aurungabad, stands the celebrated for-
tress of Dowlutabad. Prior to the con-
quest of this province by the Mahome-
dans, this place was the capital of an
independent Hindoo state, and was then
called Deogurh or Tagara. In the early
part of the 14th century, the emperor
Sooltan Mahomed, endeavoured to make
Deogurh the capital of his kingdom, on
which occasion he changed its name to
Dowlutabad ; but he was obliged to de-
sist from his project, after nearly ruining
the city of Delhi, by driving away the
inhabitants, in order to make them settle
at the new seat of government. In a
mountain, about a mile to the eastward of
Dowlutabad, are the caves of Ellora, or,
as the place is called by the Natives, Ver-
rool. In magnitude and execution these
excavations excel everything of the kind
in India. They compose several temples,



176 DEKKAN.

Towns. an( j are filled with figures, some are de*
dicated to Siva, and others are Booddhist.
According to the Brahmins they were
formed by Eeloo, raja of Ellichpoor,
about 8,000 years ago, but, on investiga-
tion, they appear to have been executed
about 2,500 years since, and not more.

Jalna, or Jalnapoor, is situated in lat.
19 52' N. long. 76 8' E. It consists of
two towns separated by a small river
and a fort, and is an English military
station.

Travelling distance from Hyderabad
265 miles.

Peytun, properly Puttun, is situated
on the Goclavery, in lat. 19 26' N. long.
75 35' E. This place was formerly
noted for the manufacture of cloths, with
beautiful gold, silver, and silk borders.

Name. j n anc i e i)t Hindoo geography, this pro-

vince, with some others, was included
under the general name of Mahrashtra.
After its subjugation by the Mahome-
dans, it received successively the names
of Dowlutabad, Ahrnednuggur, and Au-
rungabad.

Inhabit- The inhabitants of this province are
principally Mahrattas, this being the ori-
ginal country of that people.

History. j n ear ly times this province was divi-
ded into a number of little principalities
and chiefships, which do not appear to
have been, at any period, completely sub-
jugated, though frequently invaded by
the Mahomedans, and, in the early part
of the fourteenth century, considered as



AURUNGABAD. 177

History. p ar t of the Delhi dominions. It was
afterwards annexed to the Bhamanee
empire of the Dekkan, on the dissolution
of which the town and district of Ah-
inednuggur became an independent sover-
eignty, known as the Nizam Shahee,
existing as such from 1489 until 1634,
when, with the other provinces of the
Dekkan, this also was subdued and
added to the Mooghul empire. The first
Mahratta leader who succeeded in unit-
ing the different chiefs and tribes un-
der one head, and in inducing them to
combine their efforts for the expulsion
of their foreign rulers and the re-esta-
blishment of their independence, was
the celebrated Sevajee. This chief, the
founder of the great federal empire of
the Mahrattas, was born in 1628. He
successfully opposed Aurungzeb, and, at
the time of his death, in 1680, had
firmly established his authority over the
whole of the country below the moun-
tains from Surat to Goa. He was suc-
ceeded by his son Sambajee, who still
further extended the boundaries of his
dominions, but, irj 1689, falling into
Aurungzeb's hands, that monarch put
him to death. Sambajee's successor was
his son, Sahoo raja, who reigned for
more than fifty years, though only in
name, as he indolently delegated the
whole of his authority to his peshwa
or prime minister, a Konkan Brahmin,
named Balajee Bishun-nat. In this period,
however, the Mahratta empire extended
itself with astonishing rapidity, until the
whole of the Dekkan, and several pro-
vinces of Hindoostan Proper, and South-



178 DEKKAN.

History. ern India, were either subdued or made
to pay an annual tribute, known long sub-
sequently as the Mahratta chout, (fourth
part.) Sahoo raja died in 1740, and was
succeeded by his son, Ram raja, a weak
prince, who entirely lost even the shadow
of power which his father had retain-
ed. The peshwa and the bukhshee, who
were the two chief officers of the em-
pire, conspiring together, confined the
raja in the fortress of Suttara, and di-
vided the kingdom, though still leaving
the title to the raja. The peshwa,
Balajee Bajee rao, a son of Balajee
Bishun-nat, took possession of the west-
ern part of the empire, and made Poona
his capital. The bukhshee, named Ra-
gojee Bhonsla, seized the eastern part,
and made Nagpore, in Gondwana, the
seat of his government. On this, other
chiefs, in different provinces, also de-
clared themselves independent, and, even-
tually, the Mahratta empire ceased to
exist as one federal state, and became
divided into the several governments of
the Peshwa or Poona Mahrattas, the
Nagpore raja, or Berar Mahrattas, Sin-
dia, Holkar, and the Gaikowar, with a
number of minor chiefships. The pro-
vince of Aurungabad was one of the
earliest conquests of the Mahrattas from
the Mooghul empire, their authority
over it being fully established in 1707.
From that period, with the exception
of part of the maritime districts pos-
sessed by the British, and the eastern
districts of Aurungabad and Bheer, pos-
sessed by the Nizam of Hyderabad, it
remained under the Poona Mahratta



BEDER. 179

History, government until 1817, when the
peshwa, Bajee rao, urged by extreme
hatred towards the English, commenced
a war, entirely unprovoked by them,
which terminated, in 1818, in the com-
plete annihilation of his power. Bajee
rao, after being for many months a
fugitive, was compelled to surrender
himself a prisoner, and to abdicate his
authority. He was allowed to take up
his residence at Bittoor, a place of pil-
grimage on the banks of the Ganges,
near Cawnpoor, with an annual pension
of eight lacs of rupees, and the whole
of his territories were annexed to the
British dominions, with the exception of
the district of Suttara, which was as-
signed to the raja of Suttara, a number of
jageers being also reserved for the sup-
port of different chiefs and members of
the former government.

Religion. Principally Hindooism.

LaDguagc. The prevailing language of the pro-
vince is the Mahrattee. Goojrattee, and
Hindoostanee are also spoken.



6.



B arie8 d " North, Aurungabad and Berar; east,

Hyderabad and Gondwana ; south, the
Kistna ; west, Bejapoor and Aurungabad.

Divisions. Puthree, Nandair, Calliany, Beder,
Akulcotta, and Kulburga.



180 DEKKAN.

Rivers. Godavery, Munjera, Beema, Kistna 5

and several smaller rivers.

General The surface of this province is broken,
^ion? 1 ^ an< l hiHy> b ut not mountainous, generally
open, and very productive, but thinly
peopled, and consequently not well culti-
vated ; though under its ancient Hindoo
government it is said to have been ex-
ceedingly populous and fruitful.

Produc- Wheat, choluin, and other dry grains,
)ns ' and cotton.

Towns. Nandair, Neermul, Calliany, Beder,

Akulcotta, and Kulburga.

Nandair is situated on the north bank
of the Godavery, 135 miles northerly and
westerly from Hyderabad, in lat. 19 3'
N. long. 77 38' E. It is a large and
populous town, and was the capital of
Nandair when it was a distinct province
of the Mooghul empire. At this place
there is a Sikh college erected on the
spot^where Gooroo Govind is supposed to
have been assassinated, and many of the
inhabitants are of that sect.

Neermul is situated to the eastward
of Nandair in lat. 19 19' N. long. 78*
40' E.

Calliany is in lat. 17 50' N. long.
77 5' E.

Beder , the capital of the province, and
formerly of the Bhamenee empire, is
situated in lat. 17 49' N. long. 77 46'
E. The present town of Beder was
built near the ruins of the old Hindoo
city of the same name, by Ahmed Shah
Bhamenee about the year 1440, and was



BEDER. 181

Towns. called by him Ahmedabad. It was noted
for works of tutenagne inlaid with silver,
such as hookka bottoms and similar
articles, which are still denominated
Beder-ware.

Travelling distance from Hyderabad
76 miles.

Akulcotta stands in lat. 17 30' N.
long. 76 18' E.

Kulburga is situated in lat. 17 19' N.
long. 76 56' E. This is now a place of
little note, but was of considerable eeleb-
rity in ancient times, having been the
capital both of a Hindoo and a Mahome-
dan sovereignty. Rajas of Kulburga are
mentioned by Ferishta as independent
princes in 1295, and when the founder
of the Bhamenee dynasty erected the
standard of rebellion in 1347, he made
this his capital.

Travelling distance from Hyderabad
107 miles.

Name. The name of this province is derived

from that of the old Hindoo city so
called.

^nta^ Notwithstanding its having so long

been under a Moosulman government,
this province contains few Mahomedans,
the inhabitants being chiefly Hindoos.

History. Previous to the invasion of theDekkan
by the Mahomedans in 1295, this pro-
vince belonged principally to the Hindoo
rajas of Nandair and Kulburga. In
1347 it became part of the celebrated
Mahomedan kingdom, known in history
as the Bhamenee empire of the Dekkaii ;



182 DEKKAN.

History, after the dismemberment of which it
passed through various changes of govern-
ment, until in the reign of Aurungzeb it
was annexed, with the rest of the Dekkan,
to the empire of Delhi. In 1717 it be-
came part of the independent sovereignty
established by Nizam AH, with whose
successors it has since remained.

Language. The junction of three languages takes
place in this province. Northward and
westward of Beder, the prevailing lan-
guage is the Mahratee, northward and
eastward the Teloogoo, southward arid
eastward the Teloogoo, and southward
and westward the Kanarese.



7.



Hyderabad.



Bound-
aries.



Divisions.



Rivera.



North, the Godavery, separating it
from Beder and Gondwana ; east, the
Godavery and ranges of hills, separating
it from Gondwana and the Northern
Circars ; south, the Kistna and Toom-
budra, (dividing it from the Ceded Dis-
tricts,) and part of the Dooab, and west,
Beder,

It is divided into several small dis-
tricts or collectorates for revenue pur-
poses, named after the principal town of
each, but which need not be enumerated,
as they are liable to occasional alteration.

Godavery, Munjera, Moosa, and Kist-
na. The Munjera flows northerly into



HYDERABAD. I8S

Rivers. the Godavery, the Moosa easterly and
southerly into the Kistna.

General The surface of this province is an
Jon" P elevated table land, hilly but not moun-
tainous, and generally open. Southward
of the city of Hyderabad, the country is
much covered with jungle and thinly
peopled. The climate is temperate, and
the soil naturally fertile, but it is indif-
ferently cultivated. In former times this
province was thickly populated, and
prosperous, but from being very badly
governed, it has long been in a declining
state.

Produc- Wheat, cholum, and other dry grains,
and a little opium.

Towns. Maiduk, Warungol, Hyderabad, Neel-

coonda, and Kummum-nait.

Warungol was the ancient capital of
the Hindoo sovereignty of Telingana,
and is situated about 80 miles north-eas-
terly from Hyderabad, in lat. 17 54' N.
long. 79 34' E. It was built about the
year 1067. In 1324 it was taken by the
Mahomedans, and some time after re-
taken by the Hindoos. In 1421 it was
again finally captured by the Maho-
medans.

Hyderabad^ also styled in former times
Bag-nuggur, stands on the south side
of the Moosa in lat. 17 15' N. long. 78
35' E. It is a large but meanly built
town, containing about 200,000 inhabit-
ants, and having been for a long time
the capital of a Moosulman government,
is now the chief resort of the principal



184 DEKKAN.

Towns. Mahomedan families of the Dekkan. It
was founded about the year 1585 by
Kootb Shah.

Travelling distance from Madras 394
miles, from Calcutta 940, from Bombay
450. from Delhi 967.

Three miles west of the city of Hyder-
abad stands the fortress of Golconda,
formerly the capital, first of a Hindoo,
arid afterwards of a Mahomedan king-
dom. Under the empire of Delhi, this
fortress was frequently used as a prison
for the Mooghul princes.

Three miles to the north of the city is
Secunderabad, the cantonment of the
English troops.

Name. The present name of this province is

of modern origin, and was given to it
under its Mahomedan rulers from its
capital.

^nfs"*" There is a large proportion of Ma-
homedans in this province, but the Hin-
doos still form the most numerous class.

History. This province was originally part of
the old Hindoo country of Telingana,
which, while it existed as an independent
state, comprehended the greater por-
tion of the districts lying between the
Godavery and Kistna. It was first inva-
ded by the Mahomedans in 1295, and
after its final subjugation by them, be-
came part of the Bhamenee sovereignty
of Beder. On the dissolution of the
Bhamenee empire, about the year 1500 r
Telingana was again formed into an inde-
pendent government, called the kingdom



HYDERABAD. 185

History. o f Golconda, or by Mahornedan writers,
Kootb Shahee of Golconda. In 1690,
Golconda was captured by Aurungzeb,
and the province annexed to the domin-
ions of Delhi. On the breaking up of the
Mooghul empire, after Aurungzeb's death,
Nizam-ool-mooik, then soobadar of the
Dekkan, established himself in the inde-
pendent possession of his sooba, com-
prehending all the Mahomedan provinces
in the Dekkan and southern India. He
died in 1748, aged, it is said, 104 years,
and was succeeded by his second son,
Nazir Jung, who in 1750 proceeded with
a large army to the Carnatic, to settle
the government of that province, and was
there assassinated by the three Pathan
nabobs of Savanoor, Kurnool, and Cud-
dapa. His murderers then proclaimed, as
soobadar, Moozuffur Jung, a grandson of
Nizam-ool-rnoolk, at that time a prisoner
in Nazir Jung's camp, but almost imme-
diately afterwards conspired against him
also. In the conflict which ensued, Moo-
zuffer Jung and the three nabobs were all
killed ; and Sulabut Jung, another son of
Nizam-ool-moolk, then succeeded. He
was murdered in 1763 by his own brother,
Nizam Ali, who took possession of the
inusnud. During nearly the whole of his
reign, Nizam Ali was engaged in disputes
with the Mahrattas, who, in 1795, entirely
defeated him, and but for the protection
and assistance of the British, would soon
have conquered his whole dominions.
Nizam Ali died in 1803, from which
period the government has continued
without interruption in his family, with
the title of "Nizam."



V 186 DEKKAN.

Religion. Mahomedanism and Hindooism.
language. Teloogoo and Hindoos tanee.

8.
MoFtbern Cli-cars*

Bound- North, Orissa; east, the Sea ; south, the

Northern Carnatic ; west, the Ceded Dis-
tricts, Hyderabad, Gondwana, and Oris-
sa, from which provinces it is separated
by ranges of hills.

Divisions. Ganjam, Chicacole, Rajamundry, Ellore,
Kondapilly, and Guntoor.

Rivers, Godavery and Kistna, besides many

smaller rivers and streams.

This province consists of a long and
narrow tract on the sea coast, shut in
throughout the whole length of its western
boundary by ranges of wooded hills. The
soil along the coast is chiefly sandy, but
inland it improves, and is fertile. The
climate is hot, and the air of the hills re-
markably unhealthy.

Produc- Rice, gram, wheat, and other grains in
abundance ; sugar, cotton, and excellent
tobacco. Large quantities of salt are
manufactured and exported, and the
forests produce teak of a large size.

The different circars, and their principal


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Online LibraryCharles Alfred BrowneAn introduction to the geography and history of India, and the countries adjacent; → online text (page 11 of 26)