Charles Alfred Browne.

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

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Bound- North, the Baramahal, and Central

Carnatic ; east, Central Carnatic ; south,
Southern Carnatic, andCoimbatoor; west,
Coimbatoor, and Mysore.

Rivers, The only river of any note is the Ca-

very, which flows along the western side
of the province.

General This is an elevated district, generally

ttoiT^ open, with occasional ridges and clusters

of hills, and towards its western boundary,

mountainous. The Shevaray hilis in the

SALEM, 223

General vicinity of the town of Salem are parti-
tion/ cularly noted, and have been much resort-
ed to by Europeans for change of climate.
These hills consist of three distinct divi-
sions, the Salem Naad, the Moko Naad,
and the Moottoo Naad. The last is the
loftiest, its elevation above the sea being
about 5,000 feet. It has a table-land,
seven miles by three, producing coffee of
very good quality, wheat, barley, and
millet. The inhabitants of these hills
are exclusively of the Vullaler caste, and
according to their own traditions, emi-
grated from Conjeveram about the year

productions of this province
are rice, maize, cotton, coffee, salt-petre,
and magnesia. Its cotton manufactures
of all kinds are extensive.

Towns. The principal towns are Dhurmpooree,

Salem, and Namkool.

Salem, which is the capital, is situated
in a plain, six miles south of the Shevaray
hills, in lat. 11 37' N. long. 78 13' E.
It is a celebrated mart for cotton goods.

Travelling distance from Madras 210
miles, from Bangalore 114.

Name. This province has its name from its


inhabit- The inhabitants are chiefly Hindoos.

ants. J

History. This province was originally part of
the great Hindoo sovereignty of the Car-
iiatic. It was afterwards conquered and
annexed to the dominions of Mysore,



History. im til 1792, when it was ceded to the

Religion. Principally Hindooism.
Language. Tamil and Teloogoo.

Central or Middle Carnatic.





This province is bounded on the north
by the Ceded Districts, and the river
Pennar ; east, by the sea ; south, by the
Coleroon ; west, by Salem, the Barama-
hal, and Mysore.

Its principal districts are part of Nel-
lore, Venkatagherry, Kolastree, Chand-
gherry, Chittoor, Madras, Arcot, Chin-
glepet or the Jageer, Cuddalore, and part
of Trichinopoly.

The chief rivers are the Pennar, Palar,
and Panar, besides many smaller streams.

This province is in general level and
open, gradually rising from the coast to
the eastern mountains ; broken in differ-
ent directions by ridges and clusters of
rocky jungly hills. It is well watered by
rivers and large tanks, arid is considered

Rice, raggy, gram, and other dry grains;
indigo, and salt. Iron is abundant, and
is manufactured into steel, of very superior



quality, at Porto Novo. Copper is also
found in the neighbourhood of Kolastree.

Towns. The principal towns are Kolastree,

Chandgherry, Pulicat, Chittoor, Madras,
Ainboor, Vellore, Arcot, Conge veram,
Chinglepet, Arnee, Vandiwash, Sadras,
Trinomally, Ginjee, Pondicherry, Trica-
loor, Cuddalore, and Chillumbrum.

Pulicat is situated on the sea coast,
about 25 miles north from Madras. It
formerly belonged to the Dutch, who es-
tablished themselves there in 1609. The
town stands on the bank of a lake, of about
40 miles in length, and 6 in breadth,
which communicates by means of a canal
with Madras.

Chittoor is situated in the hills, about
80 miles west from Madras. It was for-
merly one of several small pollams, or hill
districts, and came into the possession of
the English in 1801, though the Polygars,
or hill chiefs, were not finally subdued
till 1804.

Madras^ which is the capital of the
British government in southern India, is
a large and populous town, with a strong
fort, situated on the sea-coast, in lat. 13
5' N. long. 80 21' E. This town was
founded in 1936, in which year the Eng-
lish obtained the grant of a piece of ground,
for the erection of a town and fort, from
the raja of Chandgherry, Sree-rung-Ra-
yeel. The raja desired that the new town
should be named after himself, Sree-run-
ga-raya-Puttun ; but the naik, or go-
vernor of the district, ordered the English
to give it the name of his own father,
Chinnapen, and it was accordingly called


Towns. "Chinna-Puttun" Madras wasthename
of the village which existed before the
present town was founded, and this name
has been continued by the English to the
town, the fort being denominated u Fort
St. George." Madras soon became a flou-
rishing city, and the chief station of the
English on the Coromandel Coast. In
1702 it was besieged by Daood Khan,
one of Aurungzeb's generals, who notified
that he had orders to take the fort and
entirely destroy it. However, he was
defeated, though the fort was then a very
weak place, with only a few soldiers to
defend it. In 1744 it was besieged and
taken by the French, who kept it until
1749, when peace was made, arid the place
was restored to the English. In 1758 it
was again besieged by the French, under
the celebrated Lally, who was obliged
to retreat, after a siege of two months.
Since that time, Madras has never been
besieged by an enemy ; though, in 1769,
it was threatened by Hyder Ali, who en-
camped his army within a few miles from
the fort, and forced the English to make
a treaty with him.

In the quarter called Triplicane, or Tir-
oomul-kheree, a little to the south of the
fort, is the residence of the nominal nabob
of Arcot, the descendant of the former
Mahometan rulers of the Carnatic. Near
Triplicane, on the sea side, is the small
town of Mylapoor, or St. Thome, the
latter being the name given to it by the
Portuguese, who captured the place, and
formed a settlement there in the year

Eight miles southward from the fort


Towns. j s the Mount, the principal station of
the Madras Artillery. At this place is
an old Romanist chapel, built by the Por-
tuguese, upon the summit of a rocky hill,
from which it has its name of "St. Tho-
mas' Mount.'" By the Natives it is usu-
ally called "FuringeeKonda," or "Furin-
gee Mulye." Two miles from the Mount,
towards Madras, is the "Little Mount,"
a low rocky hill, on which stand the re-
mains of an old Portuguese convent. The
road here crosses the Adyar river, over
which is a narrow bridge of twenty-nine
small arches, 1230 feet long, called the
Marrnalong Bridge. It was built by an
Armenian gentleman of Madras. The
total population of Madras is estimated
at 450,000, including about 30,000 Maho-

Amboor is situated near the eastern
hills of the Baramahal, about 120 miles
westerly from Madras. The town is neat
and well built, and manufactures large
quantities of castor-oil. On a mountain,
to one side of the town, there was former-
ly a strong fort.

Vellore, called by the Natives, Rae-El-
Zoor, is situated about 90 miles westerly
from Madras. The fort is large, arid
strongly built, and surrounded by a deep
ditch, which was formerly filled with alli-
gators, but it is completely commanded
by the neighbouring hills. It is now a
place- of little importance.

Arcot ( Urkat,) is situated on the south
side of the river Palar, 70 miles south-
westerly from Madras. This was the
capital of the Carnatic, under the govern-
ment of the Mahomedan nabobs, and it is


Towns. gtill a favourite place of residence with
Mahomedan families. The fort was for-
merly large and tolerably strong, but it
is now in ruins. The celebrated Clive
took it in 1751, with a small party of 200
Europeans and 300 Natives, although the
garrison then consisted of 1100 men.
The place was immediately besieged by
raja Sahib, with an army of 10,000 men,
assisted by 150 French and artillery;
but after a hard struggle of fifty days,
Clive, with his handful of men, entirely
defeated them. On the north side of the
river is an English cavalry cantonment,
and a large open town connected with it.
This also is named by Europeans Arcot,
but by the Natives it is usually termed

Travelling distance from Madras 71

Congeveram, or Kanchipoorum, is a
large open town, situated about 45 miles
south-westerly from Madras. It stands
in a valley, and being built in a straggling
manner, covers a space of ground nearly
six miles in length. It consists of two
divisions, one named Vishnoo Kanchi,
and the other Siva Kanchi. The princi-
pal street is about two miles and a half
in length. This place is noted on account
of its being the chief Brahmin station in
the Carnatic. The great pagoda in Siva
Kanchi has a lofty tower over its entrance,
from the summit of which there is a fine
view of the surrounding country. Besides
Brahmins, Congeveram is inhabited by a
considerable number of weavers.

Arnee is situated about 20 miles to the
south of Vellore. During the wars with


Towns. Hyder Ali, this was a place of consider-
able consequence, and its fortress was
Ryder's chief magazine. It is noted for
its clever workmanship in cloths, which
are held in great estimation by the Natives
of this part of Hindoostan.

Sadras, or Sadrungaputtanum, is sit-
uated on the sea-coast, about 40 miles
south from Madras. It belongs to the
Dutch, who settled there in 1647; and it
was formerly a flourishing town, but it
now consists of merely a few houses and
a native village. About five miles to the
northward of Sadras is a Brahmin vil-
lage, called Mahabalipuram, (Muha-Buli-
poorum, the city of the great Nuli, one
of the titles of Vishnoo,) or, as it is
named by the English, the Seven Pagodas,
remarkable for various extraordinary re-
mains of Hindoo temples and sculptures
of great antiquity. According to the
Hindoo legends, there was, at some very
remote period, a considerable town at
this place, the site of which is now cover-
ed by the sea.

Trinomally, (Tiroona-Mulye,) is sit-
uated about 50 miles from the coast, in
lat. 12 11' N. long. 79 7' E. It is
chiefly noted as a place of pilgrimage for
the Hindoos. It consists of a large craggy
mountain, on which are several pagodas,
and at its base* a populous town. The
principal pagoda is built at the foot of
the mountain, and has a large gateway of
twelve stories, 222 feet high.

Pondivherry, (Phool-cheree, or Poodoo-
cheree,) is situated on the coast, about .90
miles south from Madras. It is a hand-
some well built city, belonging to the


Towns. French, and was once the most splendid
European settlement in India, though now
much decayed. The French first came
to India in 1601 ; and in 1672, having
purchased the ground from the king of
Bejapoor, they built the town and fort of
Pondicherry. In 1748 it was besieged
by the English, who were defeated, and
obliged to retreat. In 1761 it was again
besieged by the English under Coote, and
taken. It was restored to the French in
1763, but war breaking out again, it was
besieged once more, and taken in 1778.
At the peace of 1783, it was again trans-
ferred to the French, and again taken in
1793 ; restored to them in 1802, and, for
a fourth time, occupied by the English in
1803. At the peace in 1815, it was again
given up to the French, with whom it has
since remained.

Cuddalore, (Goodaloor,) is situated
on the coast, 12 miles south from Pondi-
cherry, standing between two arms of the
river Panar. It is an extensive and pop-
ulous town, and was formerly the seat
of the English Government. The English
factory was first established there in
1691, when a piece of ground was pur-
chased from the raja, and a fort erected,
called Fort St. David. After the capture
of Madras by the French in 1746, Fort
St. David became the head of the English
settlements, and continued so until 1758,
when it was besieged and taken by the
French under Lally, who entirely de-
molished the fort.

Chillumbrum is a large and populous
town, situated on the coast, 36 miles
south from Pondicherry, and not far from


Towns. the river Coleroon. There is a large in-
digo factory at this place, and the islands
in the Coleroon are covered with the indi-
go plant. It is also celebrated on account
of its pagodas, which are large and an-
cient. About a mile to the north of Chil-
lumbrum are the remains of Porto Novo,
formerly a large and wealthy town, but
destroyed by Hyder Ali, when he invaded
the Carnatic in 1782. It is still a place
of some trade.

Name. The present name is of English origin.

inhabit- The inhabitants of this province are
Hindoos and Mahomedans, the latter
being found chiefly in the Madras and
Arcot districts. At Porto Novo, and
along the coast, there is a distinct class
of Mahomedans, denominated "Lubbees."
They are of Arab origin, and are the prin-
cipal traders of this part of India.

History. j n ancient times this province formed
part of the Hindoo sovereignty of the
Karnatuk Desuni; the various petty prin-
cipalities, which it comprised, being all
nominally subject to it. It was first in-
vaded by the Mahomedans in the year
1310, but was not actually taken posses-
sion of by them until the early part of
the 18th century, when it was annexed
to the sooba of the Dekkan, as part of
the Mooghul empire. In 1743 the gov-
ernment of the Carnatic was given by
Nizam-ool-moolk to Anwarood-Deen, as
his deputy or nabob ; on whose death, in
1749, the succession to the musnud was
actively disputed, the opposing claimants


History, being respectively supported by the Eng-
lish and the French. The contest which
ensued continued with intervals, until
towards the close of the century, when
the authority of Mahomed Ali, son of
Anwarood-Deen, whose claim had been
supported by the English, was finally es-
tablished. Jvlahomed Ali died in 1795,
and was succeeded by his son Oomdut-
ool-Oomra, who died in 1801, in which
year the whole of the nabob's dominions
were transferred by treaty to the British
Government, in consideration of a fixed
annual pension to be paid to the nabob
and his family.

Religion. Hindooism and Mahomedanism.

Language. The prevailing languages of the Hindoo
population of this province are, in the
northern and western districts, Teloogoo,
and in the southern, Tamil.


North, Kanara ; east, Mysore, Koorg,
and Coimbatoor ; south, Travancore ;
west, the sea.

Divisions. i t j s divided Into three districts, Wy-
naad, Palghat in and above the moun-
tains, and Malabar below.


The description already given of Kan-
ara, is equally applicable to Malabar, in
all particulars.


Black pepper may be considered the
staple of this province, which also pro-
duces abundance of rice, cocoa-nuts, and
jaggery. Gold dust is found in some of
the mountain streams, and the forests of
the Wynaad and Palghat abound with
excellent teak and bamboo.

Towns. The principal towns are Cannanore,

Tellicherry, Mane, Manantoddy, Calicut,
and Palghatcherry.

Cannanore is situated on the coast, in
lat. 11 42' N. long. 75 27' E. This
town, with a small surrounding district,
was formerly under the government of a
bebee or princess, whose descendant still
retains the title, and resides in her palace,
under the protection of the English. Her
ancestor, a chief of the Maplays, purchas-
ed the estate from the Dutch. It was
subsequently seized by Hyder Ali, and in
1799 annexed to the British dominions;
an adequate pension being settled upon
the bebee. The Portuguese had a fac-
tory at this place in 1505.

Travelling distance from Madras 423
miles, from Mangalore 90, from Banga-
lore 200.

Tellicherry is a small seaport town,
situated in lat. 11 45' N. long. 75 33' E.
It was for many years the principal Eng-
lish settlement on the western coast, a
factory having been established there in
1683. It is the principal mart in India
for sandal-wood, brought from the forests
above the ghats, and for the cardamoms
of Wynaad, which are considered the
best on the coast.

Travelling distance from Madras 412


Towns. miles, from Cannanore 16, from Banga-
lore 206.

Mahe^ situated on the coast, in lat. 11
42^ N. long. 75 36' E. was formerly the
chief French settlement on this side of
India, and is still in their possession.
The French first settled there in 1722.

Manantoddy is a small inland village,
situated in the forest of Wynaad. It is
the principal military post of the district,
and commands the Peria Pass.

Travelling distance from Madras 3o*5
miles, from Bangalore 160.

Calicut, on the coast, in lat. 11 15'
N. long. 75 50' E. was formerly the
capital of the province. It is also cele-
brated as being the first place in India, at
which any European settlement was form-
ed, the Portuguese, under Vasco de Gama.
having landed there in 1498.

Travelling distance from Madras 422
miles, from Bangalore 200.

Palg hat cherry is situated inland, about
70 miles S. E. from Calicut, in lat. 10
45' N. long. 76 38' E. Under Hyder
Ali, this was a place of considerable im-
portance as a military post. It is still a
station for an English garrison. The sur-
rounding forests abound with excellent

Travelling distance from Madras 340
miles, from Bangalore 209.

Name. r f he name Malabar is a compound of

the two words Mulye, hill or mountain,
and bar or var, region or district, "the
hilly country." In ancient Hindoo ge-
ography, this province forms part of a
division called "Kerala"


inhabit- The inhabitants of this province are
principally Hindoos, divided into Num-
boorees, or Brahmins, Nairs, Tiars, and
Maliars, who are all free men ; and Po-
liars, and other lower castes, who are all
slaves. There are also several thousand
Christians of the Romish and Syrian
churches, and on the coasts, Maplays
and Jews. The total population is esti-
mated at ] ,000,000.

History. j^ appears probable that this province
originally formed part of the dominions
of one of the Hindoo kings above the
ghats, by whom it was placed under thfe
government of Brahmins ; and that these,
for their greater convenience in collecting
the revenues, established the Nairs as
their deputies, who, in course of time, be-
came independent, forming the country
into a number of principalities, the chief
of each taking the title of raja. Amongst
the number, the Zamooree raja, or raja of
Calicut, of whom frequent mention is
made in the writings of European voya-
gers as the Zamorin of Calicut, was the
most powerful. The many local difficul-
ties of the country presented such for-
midable obstacles to invaders, that it es-
caped subjugation by the Mahomedans
until 1760, when it was attacked and par-
tially subdued by Hyder. His successor,
Tippoo Sooltan, determined that the
whole province should embrace Mahome-
danism ; to effect which, he entered it in
1788 with a large army, and forcibly cir-
cumcised numbers of the Brahmins and
Nairs. This caused a general insur-
rection, which, however, the Sooltan


History, promptly quelled, driving out the rajas,
and circumcising all of whom he could
get hold. After the first war between
the British and Tippoo, the rajas and
Nairs who had been leading a predatory
life in the jungles, were reinstated in their
authority by the former, as tributaries to
the English Government. Their mode of
ruling, however, was soon found to be
such as could not be allowed or supported
consistently with humanity; and it became
necessary, for the relief of the country,
from the confusion into which their mis-
rule had plunged it, to deprive them of
their power. The rajas were in conse-
quence deposed, an allowance being set-
tled upon them of one-fifth of the revenues
for their support. Dissatisfied with this
arrangement, the rajas excited a rebellion,
which terminated in the final annexa-
tion of the province to the British do-

Religion. Hindooism is the prevailing system of
the inland districts, and Mahomedanism
mixed with many Hindoo usages, that of
the maritime parts. Though ruled by a
Hindoo government, this province appears
to have received the Mahomedan system
at a very early period ; and when the
Portuguese first visited the Zamorin's
dominions, they found them filled with
Moosulmans. Christians also of the Sy-
rian and Romish churches are numerous.
There are likewise many of the Jain sect
in the interior.

Language. The languages most generally spoken
are the Kanarese and the Malayalim.

KOORG. 237



Bound- North, Mysore ; east, Mysore ; south,

Mysore ; west, Malabar, and Kanara.

Rivers. Xhe Cavery and Boodra, both have

their sources in Koorg, and there are
various other small streams.

General This province, being situated in the
J tiJST P * midst of the mountains, is composed of a
succession of hills and valleys, in some
places open, with some scattered trees and
shrubs ; but the hills, for the greater part,
are wild and covered with forest.

Produc- The valleys are exceedingly fertile,
yielding a plentiful supply of rice, and
cattle are in abundance, the pasturage
being excellent. The forests produce
sandal, teak, and other valuable woods,
and abound with elephants. There are
no manufactures.

Towns. There are no towns of any consequence

in this province, the Koorgs preferring to
live scattered over the valleys and in
their woods. The raja's principal resi-
dence, and which may therefore be called
the capital, was Merkara, situated nearly
in the centre of the country, about 50
miles north-easterly from Tellicherry, and
178 from Bangalore.


Name. The origin of the name of this province

is not known.

The natives of this province, or as they
are usually styled, the Koorgs, are a di-
vision of the Nair caste of Hindoos, and
have always been considered as a people
of martial habits. Some of the tribes in-
habiting the hills and forests are of a very
wild character. The total population is
estimated at 200,000.

History. The Hindoo principality of Koorg is
one of the most ancient in India. Its
rajas, named the Beer and Veer rajas,
are mentioned by the Mahomedan his-
torian Ferishta, as independent princes, so
early as A. D. 1583, and there is an au-
thentic history of the family commencing
in 1632. It remained under the govern-
ment of its hereditary raja until subdued
by Hyder Ali. In the year 1779, on the
death of the raja Linga, Hyder excluded
the next heir, Beer Rajindra, from the
succession, and confining him in a Mysore
fortress, partitioned the country into jag-
eers among a number of his Mahome-
dan officers. Tippoo Sooltan caused the
young raja to be circumcised, but in 1787
he made his escape, and returning to
Koorg, succeeded after a long struggle in
expelling the Mysoreans, and recovered
possession of his dominions. Under the
protection of the British, Koorg continued
undisturbed under its own government
until 1834, when in consequence of the
violent conduct of the raja, Veer Rajindra
Woodiyer, nephew of Beer Rajindra,
it became necessary to deprive him of his


History, power. He was consequently removed,
and placed under restraint, and Koorg
now forms part of the British territories.

Religion. Hindooism.
Language. Kanarese.


Bounda- North, Mysore, Salem; east, Salem,
Southern Carnatic; south, Southern Carna-
tic, Travancore, Malabar ; west, Malabar.

Divisions. Jtg principal divisions are the districts
of Suttimunglum, Coimbatoor, Caroor,
and Darapoorum.

Rivers. The Cavery, Bhoowani, Amravutti,

and smaller streams.

General This is an elevated district, especially
tionT P towards the north and west, much diver-
sified with hill and dale, forest and open
country, generally fertile and well culti-
vated. The soil for the most part is dry,
but in the vicinity of the hills, and also in
some of the southern parts, there is much
low marshy ground. In the district of
Coimbatoor, along the western frontier,
are the celebrated Neilgherry mountains.

Produc- The chief articles of produce are cotton,
rice, and tobacco. The province also
yields abundance of muriatic and common
salts, nitre, and iron.


Towns. The principal towns are Suttimunglum,

Bhoowani, Coimbatoor, Caroor, and Dara-

BJioowani, being situated at the conflux
of the rivers Bhoowani and Cavery, is

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Online LibraryCharles Alfred BrowneAn introduction to the geography and history of India, and the countries adjacent; → online text (page 14 of 26)