Charles Alfred Browne.

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

. (page 12 of 26)
Online LibraryCharles Alfred BrowneAn introduction to the geography and history of India, and the countries adjacent; → online text (page 12 of 26)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

towns, will now be separately noticed.



This is the most northern of the cir-
cars. Its north-western part bordering
upon Orissa, forms a hilly district, called
Goomsur, covered with thick bamboo
forests, and inhabited by a rude mountain
tribe. The remainder of the circar, to-
wards the sea, is flat and open. It is
separated from Orissa by a chain of hills
and a large sheet of water, about 35 miles
long and 8 broad, called the Chilka

A ska, Ganjam, Burhampoor, Munsoor-
cotta, Ichapoor, and Barwa.

Ganjam, situated in lat. 19 21' N.
long. 85 10' E. is a seaport, and was
formerly a place of considerable trade, and
one of the principal stations of the Eng-
lish ; but for some years past it has been
abandoned, on account of the great un-
healthiuess of its climate.

Travelling distance from Madras 700
miles, from Kuttack 117.

Burhampoor is an inland town, situat-
ed 20 miles south-westerly from Ganjam.
It is noted for its silk manufactures. The
silk is imported from Bengal and China.


This district was anciently designated
the Kalinga Desum. It is the largest of
the circars. It is generally hilly, well
watered, having four rivers flowing into
the sea at Kalingapatam, Chicacole, Bim-
lipatam, and Vizagapatam, besides some
smaller streams, and very fertile.


Towns, Kalingapatam, Chicacole, Vizianagram,

Bimlipatam, and Vizagapatam.

Chicacole is situated a little distance
inland on the northern bank of a river of
the same name. By the Mahomedans it
was named Mafooz Bundur. It is noted
for the manufacture of muslins.

Travelling distance from Madras 567
miles, from Ganjam 132.

Bimlipatam and Vizagapatam are hoth
seaports, and places of considerable coast
trade. The chief articles of export are
cotton cloths, commonly called " piece
goods," which are manufactured in various
parts of the district.


This district lies along both sides of the
Godavery, and from its being so well wa-
tered, is the most fruitful of all the circars.
About 35 miles from the sea, the Godavery
divides into two branches, and forms a
triangular or three cornered island, called
Nagur, or Nagrum, containing about 500
square miles of ground, and very fertile.
The Rajamundry forests in the hills,
along the southern bank of the Godavery,
abound with teak. The other principal
productions of this district are sugar and

Towns, Samulcottah, Rajamundry, Coringa,

Injeram, Bundur Mulunka. and Nursapoor.
Rajamundry, (Raja-muhundree,) is
situated on the northern bank of the Go-
davery, in lat. 1659' N. long. 81 53'
E, about 50 miles from the sea. It is a
large town, and the capital of the district.



Towns. During the rainy season, the Goclavery is
here about a mile broad. Below the town
it separates into several branches, forming
a number of fertile deltas and large islands.

Travelling distance from Madras 373

Coring a, about 30 miles south-east from
Rajamundry, is a seaport, and has a wet
dock, which is the only one of the kind
on the coast of India, between Calcutta
and Bombay.

Six miles from Coringa, on the bank of
the Godavery, is a small French settle-
ment, named Yanam.


This is a small inland district, lying
between Rajamundry on the north, and
Kondapilly on the south.

Towns. Ellore, usually called Ooppoo-Ellore, to

distinguish it from Ra-Elloor, or Vellore.
This is an inland town, situated about 50
miles from the coast, in lat. 16 43' N.
long. 81 15' E. It is noted for carpets,
and for leather manufactures.

Travelling distance from Madras 315
miles, from Rajamundry 58.

About 5 miles from Ellore is a large
fresh water lake, called the Lake of
Kolair, formed chiefly by the overflowings
of the Godavery and Kistna. Its breadth
varies from seven to twelve miles, and its
extreme length is about twenty-two miles.
It contains a number of islets, which pro-
duce abundant crops of rice. This lake
communicates with the sea, by a small


Towns. river, called the Ooputnair, navigable for


This district, which now more com-
monly bears the name of Masulipatam, is
separated from Ellore on the north by the
Lake of Kolair, and the river Ooputnair,
and from Guntoor on the south by the
Kistna. It is a very fruitful district,
being well watered by the Kistna and
other rivers.

There are diamond mines in this circar,
but for many years past they have been

Towns. Kondapilly and Masulipatam.

Kondapilly, formerly styled by the
Mahometans Moostuffa-Nuggur, is situ-
ated inland, a few miles north of the
Kistna, in lat. 16 37' N. long. 80 33' E.
This was formerly a hill fort, and the an-
cient capital of the district, under both
its Hindoo and Mahomedan rulers.

Travelling distance from Madras 285
miles, from Masulipatam 55.

Masulipatam^ commonly called "Bun-
dur," and also Muchlee-bundur, is a sea-
port, situated in lat. 16 10' N. long. 81
14' E. This has been a place of con-
siderable commerce for many centuries,
being mentioned as such by European
travellers, so far back as A. D. 1295.
The French established a factory here in
1669, and after it fell into the possession
of the English in 1765, it became the
principal station of the latter on the Cor-
oinandel Coast. The surf here is less


Towns. violent than on other parts of the coast,
and the roads are therefore more conve-
nient for shipping. Masulipatani is noted
for chintzes, and other cotton manufac-
tures, large quantities of which are export-
ed to Persia ; and also for snuflf.

Travelling distance from Madras 285
miles, from Hyderabad 221.


This is the most southern of the cir~
cars, and lies between the Kistna on the
north, and the Gundigama on the south,
separating it from the northern Carnatic.
Its principal article of produce is maize,
which forms the chief subsistence of the
natives of the district ; rice is not plenti-
ful, and cotton is only partially cultivated.
There are diamond mines in the district,
but they have for many years produced

Towns. Bellumconda, Guntoor, Kondaveer, Ni-

zampatam, and Innakoonda.

About 12 miles east of Innakoonda
is a hill, called Buggulkoonda, which is
supposed to be an extinct volcano. At
present it does not possess the least ap-
pearance of the kind, but is subject to
frequent earthquakes, which are some-
times of sufficient violence to move the
houses of the adjacent villages.

Name. The present name of this province is of

modern origin, and was first applied to it
by Europeans, on account of its consisting
of several distinct circars, or districts,
originally five in number, namely, Ka-

192 DEKK\N.

Name. Ymga, Rajamundry, Elloor, Moostuffabad,
and Moortizabad,

Exclusive of a few thousand Mahome-
dans dispersed in the different towns, the
inhabitants of this province are wholly
Hindoos, composed chiefly of two classes,
originally forming distinct nations, Oor-
eeas, and the Telingas.

The Ooreeas, or people of Orissa, were
formerly separated from the Telingas by
the Godavery. Of this tribe are the
Rachewars and Woriars, the former the
descendants of a Rajpoot colony from the
upper provinces of Hindostan, the latter
of the ancient race of the Hindoo kings
of Orissa.

The Telinga?, or Teloogoos, are the
original inhabitants of the district south
of the Godavery. and bordering upon the
Telingana Desuin. Of this class are the

By Europeans the Teloogoo people
are frequently called "Gentoos," from a
Portuguese word, signifying Gentiles, or

Total population of the circars, about
three millions.

History. At an early period of Hindoo history,
this province comprised a number of prin-
cipalities, some of which are noticed by
Ferishta as independent states in 1295;
but latterly subordinate or tributary to
the kings of Orissa and Telingana. They
were first invaded by the Mahomedans of
the Dekkan towards the latter part of the
16th century, but were not permanently
conquered until 1571, when they were



History, subdued by the Mahomedan king of Gol-
conda, and annexed to his dominions.
On the conquest of Golconda by Aurung-
zeb in 1690, the circars became a part of
the empire of Delhi. In 1724? they were
taken possession of by Nizam-ool-moolk,
and were subsequently ceded by his suc-
cessor, Sulabut Jung, to the French, as a
reward for the services they had rendered
him ; but the French being afterwards ex-
pelled by the English, the circars reverted
to the Nizam, with the exception of the
town of Masulipatam, which the English
retained. In 1765, Lord Clive obtained
a grant of the whole province, Guntoor
excepted, from the emperor of Delhi,
which grant was confirmed by the Nizam ;
who also a few years afterwards ceded
the circar of Guntoor, receiving from the
British Government an annual peshkush
of 630,630 rupees, which continued to be
paid till 1823, when it was redeemed for
a final sum of about one hundred and
forty lacks of rupees. Some of the de-
scendants of the former Hindoo princes
still exist in this province, retaining the
title of raja, and the hilly districts along
the western borders are filled with petty
polygars and zumeendars.

Religion. Hindooism and Mahomedanism.

Language. Ooreea and Teloogoo, the former lan-
guage principally in the north-western
and northern parts.




Bejapoor, including the Hoiikan.


North, Aurungabad ; east, Aurunga-
bad and Beder ; south, the Dooab ; and
west, the sea.

Divisions. Its principal divisions are Suttara and
Kolapoor, the former composing the pre-
sent dominions of the Mahratta raja, the
latter belonging to a petty chief, styled
the Kolapoor raja ; and on the coast, the
northern and southern Konkan.





Beema, Kistua, Gutpurba, and some

In the vicinity of the mountains along
its western boundary, this province is
very hilly, and thickly wooded ; eastward
it becomes more level and open.

Cholum, maize, gram, and other dry
grains, with a small proportion of rice,
cotton, and sugar.

The principal towns are Colaba, Poona,
Severudroog, Suttara, Sholapoor, Rutna-
gherry, Kolapoor, Merrich, Bejapoor,
Vingorla, and Goa.

Poona is situated about 30 miles to
the eastward of the Western Mountains
in lat. 18 30' N. long. 74 2' E. It
stands on an extensive open plain, and is
considered one of the best built native
cities in Hindoostan. The small rivers


Towns. Moota and Moola unite at this place, and
form the Moota Moola, which flows into
the Beema ; and it is thus possible, during
the rainy season, to effect a journey by
water in a light canoe, from within 75
miles of the west coast of India, to the
Bay of Bengal. Under the peshwa\s go-
vernment, Poona was the capital of the
western Mahratta empire, and it was here
that the chiefs were accustomed to as-
semble every year with their followers,
for the celebration of the Dushura, be-
fore setting out upon their plundering
excursions into the neighbouring coun-
tries. It is now the principal English
military station of the province, and
contains about 100,000 inhabitants.

Travelling distance from Bombay 100
miles, from Hyderabad 387, from Delhi
913, from Calcutta 1208, and from
Madras 690.

About 30 miles north-westerly from
Poona, are some Booddhist excavations,
called the caves of Karlee. The princi-
pal excavation consists of a hall and
temple, about 126 feet long, and 46
broad. There is no idol in the temple,
but the sides of the hall are covered with
carvings of elephants, and various human
figures, amongst which is that of Boodh.

Severudroog is a small rocky island on
the coast, in lat. 17 46' N. long. 73
15' E., formerly the strong-hold of a cel-
ebrated Mahratta pirate, named Conajee
Angria. It was captured by the English
in 1756.

Suttara is a strong hill fort and town,
situated 56 miles south of Poona, in lat.
17 42' N. long. 74 12' E. This place


Towns, was taken from the Mahomedan sove-
reign of Bejapoor, in 1651, by Sevajee.
Subsequently on tbe usurpation of the
government of the Poona Mahratta empire
by the peshwa, Suttara was converted
into a royal prison, in which Sevajee's
successors were confined. Since the res-
toration of the raja, Suttara has become
the capital of his present dominions.

Travelling distance from Bombay 146

Solapoor, or Sholapoor, is a large and
flourishing town, with a strongly built
fort, in lat. 17 40' N. long. 76* 3' E.
It is an important English military sta-
tion, and is also a place of considerable
inland commerce.

Kolapoor is situated about 70 miles
south of Suttara, a short distance to the
westward of Merrich. It is a neat town,
and the capital of the district.

Merrich) or Mirch, is situated on the
eastern bank of the Kistna, about 70
miles south-easterly from Suttara. This
was formerly the capital of a Hindoo
principality of the same name, and is now
the residence of a Mahratta jageerdar,
subordinate to the raja of Suttara. It
is a large walled town, populous and

Bejapooi\ called by old European wri-
ters " Viziapour," is situated in about
17 N. lat. and 76 E. long. This was
in former times one of the largest cities
in Asia, the fort measuring not less than
eight miles round the outside. At present
it is almost entirely in ruins, but there
remains enough to show that the place
was originally of great magnitude. It


Towns, contained numerous handsome edifices,
many of which are still in good order.
Of these the principal are the mausoleum
and musjid of Ibraheem Adil Shah, and
the mausoleum of Mahomed Shah. The
latter is a plain square building, sur-
mounted by a dome of 350 feet in cir-
cumference, the largest in India, and
visible from the village of Kunnoo, four-
teen miles distant.

Bejapoor was the capital of the Ma-
homecian kingdom of that name.

Goa is situated upon a small island on
the coast, in lat. 15 30' N. long. 74 2' E.

It consists of two towns, Old Goa, and
New Goa, or Panjim. Old Goa, formerly
the most splendid city in India, is now
generally in ruins ; the seat of govern-
ment having been removed to Panjim,
which is a handsome and well built town
upon the island of Goa, five miles nearer
the entrance of the harbour than Old Goa.

Goa was taken from the Hindoo rajas
of Bijanagur by the Mahomedans, about
1469, and in 1510 it was besieged and
taken by the celebrated Portuguese Ad-
miral Albuquerque, by whom it was
made the capital of the Portuguese do-
minions in the east. As the Portuguese
power declined, Goa gradually lost its
former consequence, and though still the
residence of the Portuguese vice-roy, it is
now a place of no importance. Including
Goa and some small island connected
with it, the Portuguese possess a small
territory of about forty miles in length
by twenty in breadth.

T-ravelling distance from Bombay 318
miles, from Madras 574,


Towns. Q ri the bank of the Toombudra, in lat.

15 14' N. long. 76 37' E., about 30
miles north-westerly from Bellary, are
the ruins of the ancient Hindoo city of
Bijanagur, (Vijaya-nuggur, the city of vic-
tory.) Though long uninhabited, except
by a few Brahmins, the numerous pago-
das, choultries, and other buildings, com-
posed of massive blocks of granite, still
in excellent preservation, bear witness to
its former grandeur. Amongst other
remarkable buildings, there is at a part of
the town, called "Humpee," a magnifi-
cent temple dedicated to Mahadeva ; the
gobrum of which is of ten stories, about
160 feet in height. Including Ana-
goondy on the opposite bank, this cele-
brated city is said to have been twenty-
four miles in circumference.

It was founded in the year 1336.

Name. This province derives its name from

that of its capital, Bejapoor, properly
"Vijaya Poorum," ." the city of victory." 1
Its usual Hindoo name was Bijanagur.

inhabit- Principally Mahrattas, and in the south-
ern parts Kanarese. In the hilly parts,
along its western boundary, there is a
tribe of mountaineers, called Raruoosees.
In their habits they resemble the Bheels,
being like them professed thieves, but
. they are not in quite so savage a state.

Ki&tory. ] n early times this province was the
seat of the Hindoo kingdom of Bijanagur,
often called by European writers, Nursin-
ga. The kings of Bijanagur successively
extended their dominions, until they inclu-


History, <Jed all the principal provinces of southern
India. As the Mahomedans established
themselves in the Dekkan, their progress
brought them into contact with Bijanagur,
and involved them in constant war. The
northern and western parts of the province
being conquered by the Mahomedans,
were added to the Bahmenee empire ;
and on its dissolution in 1518, it became
an independent principality, known as the
Adil Shahee kingdom of Bejapoor. In
1564, the four Mahomedan sovereigns of
Bejapoor, Ahmednuggur, Golconda, and
Beder, combined against Ram-raja, the
Hindoo king of Bijanagur, and having
totally defeated him, took and plundered
his capital. From this time the Hindoo
sovereignty rapidly declined, and ulti-
mately became extinct.

The Adil Shahee kingdom lasted till
1689, when the city of Bejapoor was
taken by Aurungzeb, and the province was
added to the Mooghul empire. It can,
however, hardly be said ever to have been
really subject to the throne of Delhi, as
it was very soon after abandoned to the
Mahrattas, who retained possession of it
till 1818, when consequent upon the war
with the peshwa, Bajee rao, it was
transferred to the British.

Religion. Principally Hindooism.
Language. Maliratee and Kanarese.




Hooalb 9 or Southern M aisratta

North, the rivers Gutpurba and Kistna,
separating it from Bejapoor ; east, Hy-
derabad and the Ceded Districts ; south,
Mysore and Kanara ; west, the mountains
dividing it from the southern Konkari.

Rivew. Gutpurba and Malpurba, both flowing

into the Kistna; Wurda, flowing into the
Toombudra, and the Toombudra.

The western districts of the province
tioo P a** 6 mountainous and woody ; eastward,
it is open and generally level. The soil
is good, and the climate favourable.

Produc- Principally cotton, and dry grains.

Towns. The chief towns are Belgaum, Kit-

toor, Dharwar, Gujunderger, Hooblee,
and Savanore.

Belgaum, or Shapoor Belgaum, is a
large flourishing town, well situated in an
elevated plain in lat. 15 52' N. long.
74 42' E. It consists of two distinct

DOOAE. 201

Towns. towns, Belgaum, which has a strong well
built fort, and Shapoor. Amongst the
inhabitants of Belgaum are many of the
Jain sect.

Travelling distance from Bombay 318
miles, from Dharwar 43.

Kittoor is a fortified town, 30 miles
south-easterly from Belgaum. It is the
residence of a Mahratta jageerdar, usually
stvled the Jessaye of Kittoor.

Dharwar, called in Mahomedan ge-
ography Nussurabad, is situated in lat.
15 28' N. long. 75 8' E. It consists
of a large fort and open town, and is the
principal station of the civil authorities of
the province.

Hooblee, 13 miles S. E. from Dharwar,
is a large and populous town, and has
long been celebrated as one of the prin-
cipal places of trade in this part of India.
The English had a factory here in 1660.

Savanore, properly Shanoor, is only
noticed as having been the capital of a
small Pathan state ; the chief of which
was known as the nabob of Savanore, and
whose descendants still reside here.

Name. The term "Dooab" is applied to this

province from its position between the
two rivers Kistna and Toombudra, which
flow along its northern and southern
boundaries. It is of modern origin, this
district having formerly been included in

inhabit- Principally Mahratta and Kanarese,
the Mahomedans in this province being
very few.




In early times this province formed
part of the Hindoo sovereignty of Bijana-
gur. It subsequently fell under the power
partly of Bejapoor and partly of Mysore.
Latterly the whole was conquered by the
Mahrattas, from whom it was taken in
1818 by the British.


Principally Hindooism.
a good many Jains.

There are also

Language. Chiefly Kanarese.


Balaghat, Ceded Districts.

North, the rivers Toombudra and
Kistna, separating it from Bejapoor and
Hyderabad ; east, the mountains dividing
it from the northern Circars and northern
Carnatic ; south, Mysore ; and west, the

Divisions. Its principal districts are Doopad,
Kurnool, Adoni, Cummum, Bellary,
Gooty, Gundicotta, Cuddapa, Sidout,
Raidroog, Gurrumconda, and Puriganoor.


The Vedavutti, also named the Hajnee
or Pajnee, flowing northerly into the
Toombudra, twenty miles from Adoni,
the Pennar, Toombudra, Kistna, and
several smaller streams.

General This province consists for the greater

Desenp- * i , i i j

tion. part ot an elevated open plain, intersected
in different directions by ranges of low
hills, and generally very barren of trees.


General The southern portion of the province
tioiu lp consists of valleys lying between the Eas-
tern Mountains which extend from Colar
to Gurrumconda, and thence stretch
inland to the vicinity of Sera. The soil
is remarkably good. The scarcity of
trees is not natural, but has been occa-
sioned by the continual passage and
encampments of the large armies, by
which this province was desolated, during
the constant wars of which it was for-
merly the seat. The climate of this
province is intensely hot, and it is much
subject to drought, and consequently to

Produc- Cotton, indigo, sugar, rice, and various

tions. -, . &. j r 1

dry grains. Diamond mines are found
chiefly in the Cuddapa district ; all the
diamond mines in this part of India, with
a few exceptions, lie between the Kistna
and Pennar rivers, from which tract the
Golconda diamonds were procured ; the
district of Golconda itself not producing
any. The district of Bellary is noted for
the manufacture of cumlies.

Towns. The principal towns are of the same

names as the districts.

Kurnool, called also Kumeer-nuggur,
is situated on the south side of the Toom-
budra, a few miles from its junction with
the Kistna, in lat. 15 44' *N. long. 78
2' E. It is strongly fortified, and until
1839, was the residence of a petty Pathan
chief, the descendant of the former nabob
of Kurnool. This has been for several
centuries the principal station of the
Dekkan Pathaiis.


Towns. Travelling distance from Madras 28Q


Bellary, the capital of the province, is
situated in about 15 N. lat., and 77 E.
long. It has a small hill fort, and a for-
tified petta.

Travelling distance from Madras 316
miles, from Bangalore 190.

About 30 miles N. W. from Bellary
are the ruins of the ancient Hindoo city
of Anagoondee, or Bijanagur, (Vijaya-
imggur,) formerly the capital of the
Hindoo empire of Kurnata, already no-
ticed in the account of Bejapoor.

Gooty is a strong hill fort, about 45
miles east of Bellary. The highest part
of the rock is 1000 feet above the sur-
rounding plain.

Cuddapa, called by the natives Kurpa,
stands on the bank of a small river, in
about 1 4 30' N. lat., and 79 E. long.
This was for many years the capital of an
independent Pathan state, the chief of
which was termed the nabob of Cuddapa,
and many old Pathan families still remain
here, who are considered to speak the
Hindoostanee language with remarkable
purity. Large quantities of sugar and
jaggery are made in the neighbourhood.
The diamond mines are about 7 miles
north-east of the town, upon the bank of
the Pennar.

Travelling distance from Madras 166
miles, from Bangalore 154.

Punganoor is a fortified town, situated
about 50 miles N. W. from Vellore, in
lat. 13 21' N., and long. 78 3' E. It
is the residence of a Pelygar, generally
styled the Punganoor raja, who holds the


Towns. town and a small adjoining district, under
tribute to the British.

Name. The word Balaghat means "above the

passes," and was first used by the Maho-
medans to distinguish the whole of the

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Online LibraryCharles Alfred BrowneAn introduction to the geography and history of India, and the countries adjacent; → online text (page 12 of 26)