Charles Alfred Browne.

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

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History, posed of all classes, Mahomeclans, Raj
poots, and Mahrattas, who were gradu-
ally formed during the disorders which
followed the breaking up of the Mahratta
empire ; and who under various leaders
went on increasing in number and ex-
tending their incursions, which were
executed with great rapidity, until their
power became too formidable to be with-
stood by any Native state. The Mah-
ratta chiefs showing that they were
unwilling, as well as unable, to put a
stop to the ravages of these blood thirsty
robbers, the British Government was
compelled to interfere. Dowlut rao
Sindia, who had encouraged the Pinda-
rees to invade the British territories, and
who was also known to be engaged in
intrigues with the Peshwa for the sub-
version of the British power, was in
consequence compelled to submit to a
treaty which effectually deprived him of
the power of doing further mischief, and
he has since remained at peace, under
the control of the British Government.
Dowlut rao died in 1827, and, having no
son, was succeeded by a distant relation,
adopted by his widow Baiza Bhye, who
mounted the throne under the title of
Muha raja Junkojee rao Sindia. The
capital of this state is Gualior, to which
Dowlut rao removed from Oojein soon
after the former place was made over to
him by the British Government in 1805.
The founder of the Holkar dynasty,
Mulhar rao Holkar, was the son of a
Mahratta shepherd ; at an early age he
was taken into the service of the Pesh-
wa, and rapidly rose to distinction as a

MALWA. 117

History, military leader. He died about 1769,
leaving no male descendants, and the
government was assumed by Ahlia Bhye,
the widow of his son, one of the most
remarkable women who have ever lived.
Her success in the administration of her
dominions was extraordinary, and her
memory is still revered throughout the
country for the justice and wisdom of
her rule. She associated with herself in
the government, a relation of Mulhar
rao, named Tukojee Holkar, whom she
made her commander-in-chief, and nomi-
nated as her successor. Ahlia Bhye
died in 1795, and Tukojee Holkar in
1797. Tukojee left four sons, two legi-
timate, Kasee rao and Mulhar rao, and
two illegitimate, Wittul rao and Juswunt
rao Holkar. These disputed the suc-
cession, and Dowlut rao Sindia, who was
called in by Kasee rao after putting
Mulhar rao to death, seized upon the
greater part of the territory for himself.
A long conflict ensued between Dowlut
rao and Juswunt rao, in which the lat-
ter was at first defeated, and in 1801,
Dowlut rao took possession of Indoor.
Juswunt rao, however, soon afterwards
collected another army, and commenced
operations against the Peshwa. In a
battle which he fought in 1802, he com-
pletely defeated the Peshwa's forces and
captured Poona, which he was immedi-
ately after compelled to abandon by the
advance of the British troops under
General Wellesley. Juswunt rao took
no part in the war which then broke out
between Dowlut rao and the English, but
his plundering habits, from which he


History, could not be brought to desist, subse-
quently involved him in hostilities with
the British Government, which lasted
during the years 1804 and 1805. His
troops were completely defeated in seve-
ral battles, and he was at last obliged
to sue for peace which was granted.
Juswunt rao not long afterwards became
deranged, and dying in 1811, was suc-
ceeded by his son Mulhar rao Holkar,
whose mother Toolsee Bhye acted as
regent during his minority. Toolsee Bhye
was unable to control the Pathan and
other chiefs of the bands of Pindarees,
who had formed a main part of Juswunt
rao's forces; and in 1817, their aggres-
sions brought on a second war with the
English. Toolsee Bhye, who foresaw
the consequences, and would gladly have
made peace, was murdered by the
Pathan chiefs, who the next day, 17th
December, 1817, were attacked by the
British army under General Hislop, at
Mahidpoor, and totally routed. A treaty
was soon afterwards concluded with
Mulhar rao, who has since continued
in peaceable possession of his principa-
lity, under the protection of the British
Government. His capital is Indoor.

Bhopal is a Mahomedan principality,
founded in the latter part of the 17th
century by a Pathan chief, to whom the
district was assigned as a reward for his
services by Aurungzeb. His family still
continue to hold the government, having
succeeded in maintaining their inde-
pendence against all the attacks of the
neighbouring Mahratta chiefs, without
any aid from the English until 1816,



History, when, in consequence of the widely in-
creasing power of the Pindarees, the
British Government found it necessary
to yield to the entreaties of the nabob,
and to take his state under its protec-
tion. Bhopal has ever since remained
in peace.

Religion. Generally Hindooism, and in Bhopal,

Language. Mahratee, and a mixed dialect called
the Rungkee, formed chiefly from the




North, Agra and Oude ; east, Bahar ;
south, Bahar and Gondwana ; west, Mal-
wa and Agra.

Divisions. Cawnpoor, Allahabad, Manikpoor, Ju-
wanpoor, Benares, Mirzapoor, Bundul-
khund, Rewa.



Goomtee, Ganges, Jumna, Tonse ot
Tunsa, Betwa, and numerous others.
The Gogra flows along part of the north-
ern frontier of the province, dividing it
from Oude.

This province is one of the richest and
most productive in India. The surface
of the districts adjacent to the Ganges
and Jumna is level and very fertile, la


General Bundulkhund and Rewa, the country
tion? P forms an elevated table land, occasion-
ally mountainous and jungly, and diver-
sified with high hills ; but for the greater
part open and capable of being made
very fruitful. The northern frontier of
the Rewa country consists of an abrupt
front of sandstone rock, rising perpendi-
cularly from two to three hundred feet
from a sloping base. A large proportion
of the water that falls during the rainy
season on the table land of Rewa is pre-
cipitated over this rocky margin in nu-
merous cataracts ; amongst which those
of the Beyhar and Tonsa rivers are of
remarkable grandeur. The Beyhar ca-
taract is one of the highest in the world,
forming a single unbroken fall of 360

Produc- Wheat, barley, rice, maize, and other

tions. . . J . j.

grains ; opium, sugar, indigo, cotton, nax,
and in the hilly districts, dyeing drugs
and gums ; chironja nut, catechu, arid
iron-diamonds, sometimes of large size,
are found in the Punna district of Bun-
dulkhund ; and, in the district of Benares,
there are extensive stone quarries. A
good deal of alkali is also supplied from
the country between the Goomtee and
Ganges, from Kurra to Benares. The
province has long been noted for its
cotton fabrics, particularly muslins and
brocades. Carpets also are manufactur-
ed, and coarse cuinlies.

Towns. Rusoolabad, Cawnpoor, Akberpoor,

Futihpoor, Kurra, Shahzadabad, Alla-
habad, Manikpoor, Mahowl, Azimgur,


Towns. Mow, Juwanpoor, Benares, Chunar, Gha-
zipoor, Mirzapoor, Dittea, Jhansee, Kee-
ta, Banda, Kallinjer, Chutturpoor, Pun-
na, Maltovrn, Hutta, Mow, Douree, and

Cawnpoor (or Khanpoor) is situated
on the west side of the Ganges, which is
here more than a mile broad, in lat. 26
SO' N. long. 80 13' E. It is a modern
town, and one of the principal military
stations in the province, to which cir-
cumstance it owes its rise. The neigh-
bouring gardens produce abundance of
grapes, peaches, and other European
fruits and vegetables.

Travelling distance from Delhi 273
miles, from Allahabad 129.

Allahabad, the capital of the province,
is situated at the confluence of the Jum-
na and Ganges, in lat. 25 27' N. long.
81 50' E. This was one of the favorite
places of residence of the Emperor Akber,
who founded the modern city. The fort
is large and very strongly built, and is
maintained by the British Government
as the chief military depot of the upper
provinces. By the Hindoos, Allahabad
is named Bhat Prayaga, or, by way of
distinction as the largest and principal,
simply Prayaga, and it is much resorted
to by pilgrims; amongst whom suicide,
by drowning themselves at the spot
where the rivers unite, is a frequent prac-
tice. The word Prayaga means the
confluence of any two or more sacred

Travelling distance from Benares 75
miles, from Delhi 400.

Juwanpoor is situated on. the banks of



Towns. the Goomtee, about 40 miles north-west-
ward of Benares. This was formerly a
place of considerable importance, and for
a short time the capital of an indepen-
dent sovereignty founded by Khaja Ju-
han, wuzeer to Sooltan Mahmood Shah
of Delhi, who assumed the title of Sool-
tan Shirkee, and taking possession of
Bahar, fixed his residence at Juwanpoor.

There is here a bridge, remarkable for
the skill and solidity of its architecture,
which was constructed in the reign of
the Emperor Akber, and still remains
perfectly firm.

Travelling distance from Lucknow 147
miles, from Benares 38.

Benares is situated on the northern
bank of the Ganges, in lat. 25 30' N.
long. 83 1' E. This is considered to be
the largest and most populous city in
Hindoostan, its population (consisting of
all classes, including Natives of all parts
of India, with considerable numbers of
Turks,Tartars, Persians, and Armenians,)
being estimated at not less than 700,000
persons. It is, however, very badly built,
the streets being extremely narrow, and
the whole town remarkably dirty. By
the Hindoos it is usually styled Kusee,
or the splendid, and according to the
Brahminical legends, it was originally
constructed of gold ; which in conse-
quence of the wickedness of the people
became stone, and latterly has degenera-
ted into mud and thatch. The city with
the surrounding country for ten miles
distance, is held by the Hindoos to be
sacred, and it is resorted to by great
numbers of pilgrims. Many chiefs of


Towns. distant provinces, who cannot visit it in
person, are accustomed to send deputies
tliither to wash away their sins for them
by proxy. It is a place of considerable
commerce, and a noted mart for diamonds
procured chiefly from Bundulkhund.

Travelling distance from Calcutta 460
miles, from Allahabad 75.

Ghazipoor is situated on the north
side of the Ganges, in lat. 25 85' N.
long. 83 33' E. This is a large and
populous town, and is noted for the man-
ufacture of rose water. Numbers of
superior horses are bred here in the Go-
vernment stud ; and there are canton-
ments for three regiments of cavalry.

Travelling distance from Benares 46

Mirxapoor, situated on the south side
of the Ganges, in lat. 25 10' N. long.
83 35' E. is a large and flourishing
town, well built and populous, contain-
ing about 70,000 inhabitants, of a re-
markably active and industrious charac-
ter. It is a place of extensive inland
trade, and the principal cotton mart of
the province. It is noted for its manu-
factures of carpets and various cotton

Travelling distance from Benares 80
miles, from Calcutta, by Moorshedabad,

Banda is situated in lat. 25 BO' N.
long. 80 20' E. This is the modern
capital of Bundulkhund, and the resi-
dence of the principal British authorities
of the district. The cotton of the neigh-
bouring country is of a superior quality.

Kallinjer is situated in lat. 25 6' N.


Towns. long. 80 25' E. in a large open town,
with an extensive and strongly built
hill fort. The latter, however, is now
dismantled, having been taken by the
British in 1812, after a bloody siege, and
subsequently destroyed.

Rewa stands in lat. 24 34' N. long.
81 19' E. about 70 miles southerly and
westerly from Allahabad. It is the cap-
ital of the district, and the residence of
the raja.

Name. The present name of this province was

given to it by the Emperor Akber, on
its being constituted by him a distinct
sooba of the Mooghul empire. Origi-
nally there does not appear to have been
any one general appellation applicable to
the whole. The Hindoo division, an-
swering to the modern district of Alla-
habad, was denominated Bhat Prayaga.

Inhabit- Hindoos and Mahomedans. Amongst
the former are some tribes of Rajkoo-
mars, who were formerly in the habit of
putting their female children to death.
This practice, however, has now become
infrequent, being punished under the Bri-
tish Government as murder. The peo-
ple of the Bundulkhund district are gen-
erally called Boondelas.

History. J n early times the northern districts
of this province were included in the
dominions of the Hindoo empire of Oude,
and subsequently of Karroje. It was
invaded and plundered as early as 1017
by Sboltan Mahmood of Ghuznee, and
towards the close of the 12th century,



History, or about 1190, it was permanently sub-
dued by the Pathan emperor of Delhi.
It subsequently became for a short pe-
riod an independent kingdom, the capital
of which was Juwanpoor. Along with
the rest of the Pathan possessions it
afterwards fell under the power of the
Mooghuls, and was formed into a dis-
tinct sooba by Akber, who new named
the whole Allahabad. On the dismem-
berment of the Mooghul empire, the
northern districts were appropriated by
the nabobs of Oude; but in 1764, the
'district of Allahabad was ceded to Shah
Alum, the then fugitive sovereign of
Delhi, for his residence and support, re-
verting, however, to the nabob on the
return of Shah Alum to Delhi in 1772.
In 1775 the British Government acquir-
ed the districts of Benares, Juwanpoor,
and Mirzapoor, from the nabob of Oude
by treaty, and at subsequent periods the
districts of Allahabad and Cawnpoor.
Manikpoor still belongs to the Nabob.
Bundulkhund and Rewa, though nomi-
nally included in the Mooghul province,
appear always to have remained under
their Native chiefs or rajas, composing
a number of petty principalities. They
were partially subdued by the Mahrat-
tas who retained permanent possession of
some of the western and southern dis-
tricts, which with the rest were subse-
quently annexed to the British domin-
ions. The northern parts are now
under the immediate jurisdiction of the
British Government, and the remainder
is occupied by a number of petty chief*
under British protection and control*


Language. The general language of the province
is Hindoostanee. The Bundulkhundee,
or Boondelee dialect is spoken princi-
pally in the country westward of Alla-
habad, as far as Kalpee.


Bound- North, the Hills of Nepal ; east,

Bengal ; south, Orissa and Gondwana ;
west, Gondwana, Allahabad, and Oude.

Divisions. Sarun, including Bettia, Tirhoot, Sha-
habad, Bahar, Boglipoor, Ramgurh, in-
cluding Chhota-Nagpoor.

Rivers. Ganges, Gunduk, Kurumnasa, and

Sone, all three flowing into the Ganges,
and many others.

The Kurumnasa, though but an insig-
nificant stream, is noticed on account of
the singular character it bears amongst
the Hindoos. They consider its waters
to be so impure, that if a pilgrim, cross-
ing it on his return from Benares, do
but touch, them, all the sins which the
Ganges had washed away, will return
upon him doubled.

General From its northern frontier southward,

tiorT P including Sarun, Tirhoot, Shahabad, and
Bahar, the country in general presents a
level open surface, copiously watered and
remarkably fertile. There are, however,
some low sterile hills scattered through

BAHAR. 127

General the district of Bahar. Boglipoor is oc-
tkm? P casionally hilly, and towards its eastern
frontier mountainous and woody. Ram-
gurh is mountainous throughout, very
rocky, and much covered with jungle.
There are hot springs in various parts,
and the climate of the northern and cen-
tral districts is temperate and healthful.

Produc- Agriculture, manufactures, and com-
merce have always flourished in this pro-
vince ; opium may be considered its sta-
ple commodity. Its other chief articles
of produce are rice of the finest kind,
excellent wheat and other grains, sugar,
indigo, tobacco, cotton, hemp, pan, cas-
tor and seed oils, and a great variety of
flower essences, particularly utr, usually
called otto of roses, and rose-water. Sa-
run abounds in large timber, much used
for shipbuilding, and produces a superior
breed of cattle. Very good horses are
bred in Tirhoot ; amongst the wild
animals a species of baboon is found in
Boglipoor, named the Hunooman, which
is held by the Hindoos as sacred as the
cow. Bears also are numerous, and in
the hilly parts, tigers, wolves, and hyenas.
Large quantities of nitre are supplied
from Saruri and Tirhoot, and iron, lead,
antimony, and mica are found in Rarn-
gurh. The manufactures are principally
of cotton goods, and earthen-ware in
imitation of English crockery. Opium,
which has been mentioned as the staple
of this province, is produced from a
species of the poppy. When ripe, a
small incision is made in the pod of the
flower towards evening, from, which the


j u * ce distils during the night. In the
morning this is scraped* off, and after-
wards being dried in the sun becomes

Towns. Bettia or Chumparun, Chupra, Chee-

run, Moozuffurpoor. Hajeepoor, Buxar,
Arra, Rotasgurh, Dinapoor, Patna, Bar,
Bahar, Daoodnuggur, v Gaya, Monghir,
Chimipranuggur, Boglipoor, Rajmahal,
Sheergotti, Palamo\v, Ramgurh, and

Hajeepoor is situated at the confluence
of the Gunduh and Ganges, nearly oppo-
site to Patna, in lat. 25 41' N. long, 85
21' E. It is noted for its annual horse

Buxar is situated on the east side of
the Ganges, seventy miles below Be-
nares. A celebrated battle was fought
here in 1764 between the British arid the
united armies of Shajaood Dowlut and
Kasim Alikhan.

Travelling distance from Calcutta, by
Moorshedabad, 485 miles.

Dinapoor stands on the south side of
the Ganges, ten miles to the westward of
Patna. It is one of the principal mili-
tary stations of the province. Potatoes
are produced here in great abundance.

Patna, the capital of the province, is
situated on the south side of the Ganges,
which is here, during the rainy season,
five miles wide, lat. 25 37' N. long. 85
15' E. It is a large but irregularly built
city, and contains about 300,000 inhabi-
tants. It has always been a place of con-
siderable trade, and was resorted to at
an early period by the English, Dutch,

BAHAR. 129

Towns. French, and Danes, who all had facto-
ries here.

Travelling distance from Moorsheda-
bad 400 miles, from Benares ]55.

Gaya is situated in lat. 24 49' N.
long. 85 E. about 55 miles to the south-
ward of Patna. The town consists of
two parts. One the residence of the
Brahmins and others connected with
them, which is Gaya Proper, and the
other called Sahibgunj, inhabited by mer-
chants, tradesmen, &c.

This is one of the most noted places
of pilgrimage in India, both for Boodd-
hists and for followers of the Brahmini-
cal system. By the former it is consi-
dered to have been either the birth-place
or the residence of the founder of their
sect. The neighbourhood abounds with

Travelling distance from Calcutta 309

Monghir is situated on the south side
of the Ganges, in lat. 25 23' N. long.
86 26' E. This was formerly a place
of considerable importance. It is now
noted principally for its iron and leather
manufactures, including in the former
guns, pistols, &c. The gardeners of
Monghir are considered, the best in this
part of India.

Travelling distance from Calcutta by
water 301 miles. About five miles from
Monghir is a hot spring named Seeta-

Name. The present name of this province is

derived from that of the town of Bahar,
or Vihar, which is supposed to have been




its capital at some former period. In
Hindoo writings, the districts north of
the Ganges were called Maithila, and
Bahar and Shahabad were included un-
der the name of Moogadha.

Inhabit- Hindoos, including a great number of
Brahmins, and a large proportion of Ma-
homedans ; this province having been con-
quered by them at an early period.

The hills of Boglipoor are inhabited
by a number of original tribes, living in
a very uncivilised state, and in the south-
ern parts of Ramgurh are the Lurka-
koles and other wild mountaineers.

History. According to Hindoo legends Bahar
appears to have been in ancient times the
seat of two independent sovereignties, that
of Maithila, or north Bahar, and Moogad-
ha, or south Bahar. It was subsequent-
ly divided under different chiefs until
conquered in the beginning of the 13th
century by the Mahomedans, when it
was annexed to the dominions of Delhi,
and afterwards incorporated with Bengal
as a sooba of the empire. Many parts,
however, of the hilly districts were never
perfectly subdued. Several of the ori-
ginal tribes preserving their indepen-
dence both under the Hindoo and Maho-
medan governments, not being convert-
ed or subjugated by either; and it ap-
pears that even in the most flourishing
period of the Mooghul empire, there
were still many petty chiefs, who did
not acknowledge the authority of the
Mahomedan vice-roy. With Bengal this
province came under the government


History. o f the British, in 1765, when the deewa-
nee of the sooba was granted to them
by the emperor of Delhi.

Religion. Amongst the Hindoos of this province
there are a considerable number of the
Sikh sect, and some Jains. The Bogli-
poor, and other hill tribes in general,
have not adopted the Brahminical sys-
tem, but still follow their original prac-

Language. Hindoostanee and Moogadhee. The
latter, which is the vernacular language
of the Hindoos of the province, does not
greatly differ from Hindoostanee.

Bengal and its Dependencies.

Bound- Including the various minor states or

principalities dependent upon this pro-
vince, its boundaries are, north, Nepal
and Bootan ; east, Assam and Arracan ;
south, Arracan, the Bay of Bengal, and
Orissa ; west, Bahar.

Divisions. Exclusive of the dependent states,
which will be separately -noticed, the
principal divisions of this extensive pro-
vince are the following :

Purnea, Rungpoor. Dinajpoor, My-
moonsing, Silhet, Beerbhoom, Moor-
shedabad, Rajshahee, Dacca-Julalpoor,
Burdwan, Jungul-Mahals, Midnapoor,
Hoogly, Twenty-four Purgunnas, Nud-



Divisions. <j e a 9 Jessoor, Bakergunj, Tippera, and

Rivers. Ganges, Hoogly, Teesta, Brahma-

pootra, and numerous others.


Along the whole northern frontier of
this province there runs a belt of low-
land from 10 to 20 miles in breadth, co-
vered with the most exuberant vegeta-
tion, particularly aujiya grass, which
sometimes grows to the height of thirty
feet, and is as thick as a man^s wrist,
mixed with tall forest trees. Beyond*
this belt rise the lofty mountains of
Northern Hindoostan. Eastward of the
Brahmapootra are other ranges of moun-
tains, and along the westward and south-
westward of Beerbhoom and Midnapoor,
the country becomes hilly and broken.
The whole remainder of the province
may be described as one immense open
plain, intersected in every direction by
rivers and jheels, or small lakes, and
having large tracts subject to annual in-
undation, forming one of the most fertile
countries in the world. The whole ex-
tent of the southern coast, between the
Hoogly on the west, and the Megna on
the east, forming the delta of the
Ganges, is broken into numberless small
marshy islands, called the Sunderbunds,
covered with forest, and swarming with
tigers of the largest description, and alli-
gators. These are uninhabited, but are
resorted to, during the dry season, by
woodcutters and salt makers, who carry
on their trade at the constant hazard of
their lives. Latterly attempts have been


^General made to clear one of the principal of
ttonT P these islands, named Sagur, occupying
the south-western corner, but, as yet,
little has been accomplished. There are
hot sulphurous springs in some parts of
this province, and the vicinity of Cal-
cutta is occasionally subject to slight

jProdue- Rice in the greatest abundance, wheat,

Online LibraryCharles Alfred BrowneAn introduction to the geography and history of India, and the countries adjacent; → online text (page 8 of 26)