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or. k


Notes on Transliteration


a has the sound of a in ' woman.'
a has the sound of a in 'father.'
e has the vowel-sound in ' grey.'
i has the sound of/ in 'pin.'
I has the sound of i in ' police.'
o has the sound of o in ' bone.'
u has the sound of u in ' bull.'
u has the sound of u in ' flute.'
ai has the vowel-sound in ' mine.'
au has the vowel-sound in ' house.'

It should be stated that no attempt has been made to distinguish
between the long and short sounds of e and o in the Dravidian
languages, which possess the vowel-sounds in ' bet ' and ' hot ' in
addition to those given above. Nor has it been thought necessary
to mark vowels as long in cases where mistakes in pronunciation
were not likely to be made.


Most Indian languages have different forms for a number of con-
sonants, such as d, t, r, &c, marked in scientific works by the use
of dots or italics. As the European ear distinguishes these with
difficulty in ordinary pronunciation, it has been considered undesir-
able to embarrass the reader with them ; and only two notes are
required. In the first place, the Arabic k, a strong guttural, has
been represented by k instead of «/, which is often used. Secondly,
it should be remarked that aspirated consonants are common ; and,
in particular, dh and /// (except in Burma) never have the sound of
th in ' this' or ' thin,' but should be pronounced as in ' woodhouse '
and ' boathook.'



Burmese Words

Burmese and some of the languages on the frontier of China have
the following special sounds: —

aw has the vowel sound in ' law.'

ind ii are pronounced as in German.
s pronounced almost likey* in 'jewel.'
kv is pronounced almost like ch in 'church.'
th is pronounced in some cases as in 'this,' in some cases as in

w after a consonant has the force of uw. Thus, ywa and pwe
are disyllables, pronounced as if written yuwa and piave.

It should also be noted that, whereas in Indian words the accent
or stress is distributed almost equally on each syllable, in Burmese
there is a tendency to throw special stress on the last syllable.

The names of some places — e.g. Calcutta, Bombay, Lucknow,
Cawnpore have obtained a popular fixity of spelling, while special
forms have been officially prescribed for others. Names of persons
are often spelt and pronounced differently in different parts of India ;
but the variations have been made as few as possible by assimilating
forms almost alike, especially where a particular spelling has been
generally adopted in English books.

Notes ox Money, Prices, Weights and Measures

As the currency of India is based upon the rupee, all statements
with regard to money throughout the Gazetteer have necessarily been
expressed in rupees, nor has it been found possible to add generally
a conversion into sterling. Down to about 1873 the gold value of
the rupee (containing 165 grains of pure silver) was approximately
equal to 2s., or one-tenth of a £ ; and for that period it is easy to
convert rupees into sterling by striking off the final cipher (Rs. 1,000
= £100). But after 1873, owing to the depreciation of silver as
compared with gold throughout the world, there came a serious and
ssive fall in the exchange, until at one time the gold value of
the rupee dropped as low as is. In order to provide a remedy for
the heavy loss caused to the Government of India in respect of its
gold payments to be made in England, and also to relieve foreign
trade and finance from the inconvenience due to constant and
unforeseen fluctuations in exchange, it was resolved in 1893 to close
the mints to the free coinage of silver, and thus force up the value of
the rupee by restricting the circulation. The intention was to raise


the exchange value of the rupee to is. 4d., and then introduce a gold
standard (though not necessarily a gold currency) at the rate of Rs. 1 5
= £1. This policy has been completely successful. From 1899 on-
wards the value of the rupee has been maintained, with insignificant
fluctuations, at the proposed rate of is. ^d. ; and consequently since
that date three rupees have been equivalent to two rupees before 1873.
For the intermediate period, between 1873 and 1899, it is manifestly
impossible to adopt any fixed sterling value for a constantly changing
rupee. But since 1899, if it is desired to convert rupees into sterling,
not only must the final cipher be struck off (as before 1873), but
also one-third must be subtracted from the result. Thus Rs. 1,000
= £100— § = (about) £67.

Another matter in connexion with the expression of money state-
ments in terms of rupees requires to be explained. The method of
numerical notation in India differs from that which prevails through-
out Europe. Large numbers are not punctuated in hundreds of thou-
sands and millions, but in lakhs and crores. A lakh is one hundred
thousand (written out as 1,00,000), and a crore is one hundred lakhs
or ten millions (written out as 1,00,00,000). Consequently, accord-
ing to the exchange value of the rupee, a lakh of rupees (Rs. 1,00,000)
may be read as the equivalent of £10,000 before 1873, and as the
equivalent of (about) £6,667 a f ter *899 ; while a crore of rupees
(Rs. 1,00,00,000) may similarly be read as the equivalent of
£1,000,000 before 1873, and as the equivalent of (about) £666,667
after 1899.

Finally, it should be mentioned that the rupee is divided into
16 annas, a fraction commonly used for many purposes by both
natives and Europeans. The anna was formerly reckoned as \\d. ;
it may now be considered as exactly corresponding to id. The
anna is again subdivided into 12 pies.

The various systems of weights used in India combine uniformity
of scale with immense variations in the weight of units. The scale
used generally throughout Northern India, and less commonly in
Madras and Bombay, may be thus expressed : one maund = 40 seers ;
one seer =16 chittaks or 80 tolas. The actual weight of a seer
varies greatly from District to District, and even from village to
village ; but in the standard system the tola is 180 grains Troy
(the exact weight of the rupee), and the seer thus weighs 2-057 lb.,
and the maund 82-28 lb. This standard is used in official reports
and throughout the Gazetteer.

For calculating retail prices, the universal custom in India is to
express them in terms of seers to the rupee. Thus, when prices
change, what varies is not the amount of money to be paid for the


same quantity, but the quantity to l>e obtained for the same amount
of money. In other words, prices in India are quantity prices, not
money prices. When the figure of quantity goes up, this of course
means that the price has gone down, which is at first sight perplexing
to an English reader. It may, however, be mentioned that quantity
.ui not altogether unknown in England, especially at small
shops, where pennyworths of many groceries can be bought. Eggs,
likewise, are commonly sold at a varying number for the shilling.
It it be desired to convert quantity prices from Indian into English
denominations without having recourse to money prices (which would
often be misleading), the following scale may be adopted — based
upon the assumptions that a seer is exactly 2 lb., and that the value
of the rupee remains constant at is. ^d. : 1 seer per rupee = (about)
3 lb. for 2S. ; 2 seers per rupee = (about) 6 lb. for 2s. ; and so on.

The name of the unit for square measurement in India generally
is the digAa, which varies greatly in different parts of the country.
But areas have always been expressed throughout the Gazetteer either
in square miles or in acres.


Eastern Bengal and Assam .... to face p. 112
Baluchistan . ... ->~>6



Argaon. — Village in the Akot taluk of Akola District, Berar, situ-
ated in 2i° 7' N. and 76 59' E. Population (1901), 3,131. The
place, the name of which means ' village of wells,' is mentioned in
the Ain-i-Akbari as the head-quarters of a pargana. On the broad
plain, intersected by watercourses, before Argaon, General Wellesley
gained a great victory (November 29, 1803) over the Nagpur army
under Venkaji, brother of RaghujT Bhonsla. The battle was followed
up by the capture of Gawllgarh. A medal, with a bar commemorative
of Argaon, was struck in 185 1 and presented to the surviving officers
and soldiers.

Ariankavu. — Village, pass, and shrine in the Shencottah taluk of
Travancore State, Madras, situated in 8° 59' N. and 77 9' E., in a
circular valley about a mile from the head of the pass, 54 miles from
Trivandrum, 50 from Quilon, and about 50 from Tinnevelly. Popula-
tion (1901), about 1,000. The principal line of road from Tinnevelly
via Shencottah into Travancore passes by this village, as also does the
Tinnevelly-Quilon Railway. The extension of the tea- and coffee-
planting industry has increased its importance. It contains a temple of
great antiquity dedicated to Sastha, which is asserted to have been
built by Parasu Rama. It lies in a hollow surrounded by hills. The
whole of the pass, about 18 miles in length, presents a succession
of grand forest scenery.

Ariyalur Subdivision. — Subdivision of Trichinopoly District,
Madras, consisting of the Udaiyarpalaiyam and Perambalur taluks.

Ariyalur Town. — Chief town of the zamlndari of the same name
in the Udaiyarpalaiyam taluk of Trichinopoly District, Madras, situated
in n° 8' N. and 79 5' E. Population (1901), 7,370. It is the head-
quarters of the Ariyalur subdivision, which is in charge of a Deputy-
Collector and Magistrate, and comprises the taluks of Perambalur and
Udaiyarpalaiyam. It also contains a District Munsif's court and a
hospital, and a European firm has a screw cotton press here. Satins



ol various patterns are made in the town by the foreign weaver-caste of
the Patnulkarans, which arc most handsome and effective and have
a wide reputation. The chiefs of Ariyalur experienced numerous
vicissitudes during the Wars of the Camatic and the government of
the Nawab. When Trichinopoly District passed into the hands of the
East India Company in 1801, the poligdr t or chief, was in receipt of
a monthly allowance of ks. 700, the estate being under the manage-
ment of an agent of the Nawab. The zamindari continued under the
management o( the Company for some years, the proprietor being
allowed one tenth of its net income ; but in 181 7 he obtained a sanad
(title-deed) for the village in which he resided and a number of others
adjoining it, the annual value of which was equal to one-tenth of the
revenue of the estate, and he was required to pay a peshkash
of about Rs. 1,090. The zamlndars are Vanniyas by caste, and origin-
ally held the estate as arasukdvalgdrs or 'heads of police.' The
property has since been dismembered into seventeen portions, as a
result of civil court sales held to discharge the debts incurred by its
owners. Ariyalur has a particularly fine market, which is regarded
as one of the best in Southern India. A large temple of comparatively
recent date, about 4 miles from the town, is a sort of local Lourdes,
devout Hindus taking their sick to it in the hope that their cure will be
effected at the hands of the founder of the temple.

Arkalgud. — Southern taluk of Hassan District, Mysore, lying
between 12 31' and 12 50' N. and 75 56' and 76 12' E., with an
area of 261 square miles. The population in 1901 was 76,775,
compared with 75,812 in 1891. The taluk contains three towns,
Arkalgud (population, 4,903), the head-quarters, Konanur (2,328), and
Basavapatna (1,684) ', and 300 villages. The land revenue demand
in 1903-4 was Rs. 1,25,000. The Hemavati river forms the northern
boundary, and the Cauvery runs through part of the south. The rice
crop served by the river channels is one of great yield and certainty.
Near the large tanks rice is followed by a crop of onions, which is very
profitable. The west of the taluk up to the borders of Coorg is jungly
and hilly. In the south are numerous coco-nut and areca-nut gardens,
but the areca-nut is the coarse variety called godu. On the high
watershed in the centre much tobacco is grown, which is converted
into snuff.

Arkavati.— A tributary of the Cauvery, in Mysore, about 120 miles
long, having its source on Nandidroog, and flowing through Bangalore
District from north to south with a slight westerly direction. The Kumud-
vati from the west joins it south of Nelamangala, and the Vrishabhavati
from Bangalore on the east, north of Kankanhalli. In its upper course
are some large tanks, including Hesarghatta, the source of the water-
supply of Bangalore. From Savandurga southwards it runs mostly


through a wild country, amid rocky hills and forest, and is therefore
not much used for irrigation.

Arkonam. — Town in the Walajapet taluk of North Arcot District,
Madras, situated in 13 5' N. and 79 40' E. It has sprung into
importance only since it became a railway junction. Here the north-
west and south-west lines of the Madras Railway meet, and here also is
the terminus of the branch of the South Indian Railway which runs
from the main line at Chingleput. Population (1901), 5,313, many
of whom are railway employes. The town is a Union under the
Local Boards Act, and the head-quarters of a deputy-ta/isllddr and

Armagon (Armeghon, Armugani). — Village in the Gudur taluk of
Nellore District, Madras, situated in 13 59' N. and 8o° io' E., on the
Bay of Bengal. The place is now sometimes called Monapalem, from
a neighbouring village with a lighthouse, and sometimes Dugarazu-
patnam, from another village where open communication with the sea
can be maintained. It is said to be named after one Arumuga
Mudaliyar, by whose assistance one of the earliest English settlements
on the Coromandel coast, consisting of a factory defended by twelve
pieces of cannon, was established in 1625. A lighthouse is maintained
at Monapalem in 13 53' N. and 8o° 8' E., which gives a flash every
20 seconds visible 14 miles away, and warns vessels off the Armagon
shoal, 6 miles from shore. The shoal is about 10 miles long, and the
shallowest patch on it has \\ fathoms of water, and lies from 3^ to
5-| miles east-by-north of the lighthouse. The still water inside the
shoal is called Blackwood's Harbour, after Sir Henry Blackwood, once
admiral on this coast, who had it charted, and suggested that it would
make a practicable harbour. Seven miles north of Armagon lighthouse
is Dugarazupatnam, a small village of 2,388 inhabitants on the Buck-
ingham Canal. Being at the mouth of an entrance to the sea from
the backwater in front of which Armagon stands, it was apparently the
port of Armagon, and the two places are often spoken of as identical.
Near by are the remains of an old fort built by the East India

Armur Taluk. — Taluk in Nizamabad District, Hyderabad State,
with an area of 1,038 square miles. The population in 1901, including
Jdglrs, was 122,455, compared with 123,285 in 1891. The taluk
contains two towns, Armur (population, 9,031), the head-quarters, and
Balkonda (5,118), a jagir town; and 160 villages, of which 51 are
jaglr. The land revenue in 1901 was 3-6 lakhs. The statistics include
the sub-taluk of Bimgal, which was merged in Armur in 1905, and had
an area of 491 square miles and a population of 54,290 in 1901. Rice
is largely raised by tank irrigation. The taluk is hilly in the centre, and
the Godavari flows through the north.

1; 2


Armiir Town. Head-quarters of the taluk of the same name in
\ mabad District, Hyderabad State, situated in i8° 48' N. and

;S I-/ I... K« miles north-east of Nizamabad town. Population
(190 1 ), i), 03 1. It contains a sub-post office, a police inspector's office,
a dispensary, and a school with 127 pupils. Silk cloth and saris are
largely manufactured.

Ami Subdivision. -Subdivision of North Arcot District, Madras,
consisting of the zamindari tahsll of Arni and the taluks of Polur
and Wandiwash.

Arni Tahsil. — Zamindari tahsll in the south of North Arcot
District. Madras, lying between 12° 29/ and 12 49' N. and 79 7' and
79 ;:' E., and comprising the Ami jagir. The area is 184 square miles,
or less than any other tahsll in the District. Number of villages, 139 ;
population in 1901, 96,542, compared with 91,730 in 1891 ; head-
quarters. Arm (population, 12,485) ; peshkash payable to Government
(including cesses), Rs. 21,000. The jagir was granted to an ancestor
of the present holder early in the seventeenth century, as a reward for
military services, by the Maratha chief Shahji during his expedition
into the Carnatic.

Arni. — Town in North Arcot District, Madras, situated in 12 41' N.
and 79 17' E. It is the head-quarters of a Deputy-Collector and other
officials ; population (1901), 12,485. The most interesting building is
the fort, an almost square structure which has been dismantled to
a great extent. Until thirty years ago, Arni was a military station and
at one time a very large one, as the long lines of deserted barracks
testify. These barracks are fast falling into disrepair, but portions are
still used as public offices. There are two old European cemeteries
near the western walls. An imposing monument in the -shape of a high
column stands on one side of the parade ground ; it was erected, as an
inscription shows, by an officer of the garrison in memory of a brother
officer whom he had shot in a duel. At the north-west angle of the
enclosure is a fine old temple somewhat recalling that in the Vellore
fort, though it does not contain such excellent sculpture. A consider-
able industry in the manufacture of silk and cotton fabrics is carried
on in the town.

Aror. — Ruined town in the Rohri taluka of Sukkur District, Sind,
Bombay, situated in 27 39' N. and 68° 59' E., 5 miles to the east of
Rohri town. Population (1901), 939. It was formerly the capital
of the Hindu Rajas of Sind, and is said by native historians to have
been taken from them by the Muhammadans about a.d. 712. It was
built on the bank of the old course of the Indus — then known as the
Mihran — and was destroyed by the earthquake which, about 962,
diverted the river into its present channel. Among the ruins is
a mosque built by Alamglr. There is also a cave, considered by


Hindus to be sacred to the goddess Kalika Devi, where an annual fair
is held.

Arrah Subdivision. — Head-quarters subdivision of Shahabad
District, Bengal, lying between 25 10' and 25 46' N. and 84 17' and
84 51' E., with an area of 913 square miles. The subdivision is
a low-lying alluvial fiat, bounded on the north by the Ganges and on
the east by the river Son. The population in 1901 was 699,956,
compared with 743,582 in 1891, the density being 767 persons to the
square mile. It contains two towns, Arrah (population, 46,17°)) the
head-quarters, and Jagdispur (11,451); and 1,245 villages, one of
which, Bihiya, on the East Indian Railway, is an important trade
centre. Arrah is famous on account of the gallant defence of the
Judge's house by a handful of Europeans and Sikhs against an over-
whelming force of mutineers in 1857.

Arrah Town (Ara).— Head-quarters of Shahabad District, Bengal,
situated in 25 34' N. and 84 40' E., on the East Indian Railway,
368 miles from Calcutta. The population increased from 39,386
in 1872 to 42,998 in 1881, and to 46,905 in 1891, but fell to 46,170
in i9or, the decline being probably due to plague. Of the popula-
tion in the last year, 32,903 were Hindus and 12,797 Musalmans, while
among the remainder were 433 Jains.

The town of Arrah is invested with a special historical interest as
being the scene of a stirring episode in the Mutiny of 1857. A body
of rebels, consisting of about 2,000 sepoys from Dinapore and four
times as many armed villagers under Kuar Singh, marched in the end
of July on Arrah. They reached the town on the 27th of that month,
and forthwith released all the prisoners in the jail and plundered the
treasury. The European women and children had already been sent
away, but there remained in the town about a dozen Englishmen and
three or four other Christians of different races. The Commissioner of
Patna, Mr. Tayler, had supplied a garrison of 50 Sikhs. At this time
the East Indian Railway was in course of construction, under the local
superintendence of Mr. Vicars Boyle, who fortunately had some know-
ledge of fortification. He occupied two houses, now known as the
Judge's houses, the smaller of which, a two-storeyed building about
20 yards from the main house, was forthwith fortified and provisioned.
The lower windows, &c, were built up, and sand-bags ranged on the
roof. When the news came that the mutineers were advancing along
the Arrah road, the Europeans and Sikhs retired to the smaller house.
The rebels, after pillaging the town, made straight for Mr. Boyle's little
fortress. A volley dispersed them, and forced them to seek the shelter
of the larger house, only a few yards off, whence they carried on an
almost continuous fire. They attempted to burn or smoke oul the
little garrison, and tried various other safe modes of attack ; hut they


had no guns. Kuar Singh, however, produced two small cannon which
he had dug up, and artillery missiles were improvised out of the house
furniture. In the small house there was no thought of surrender.
Mi. Herwald Wake, the Magistrate, put himself in command of the
Sikhs, who, though sorely tempted by their countrymen among the
mutineers, remained faithful throughout the siege. A relieving party
of 150 European troops, sent by water from Dinapore, fell into an
ambuscade on landing in Shahabad ; and as time passed away and
no help arrived, provisions and water began to run short. A bold
midnight sally resulted in the capture of four sheep, and water was
obtained by digging a well 18 feet deep inside the house. A mine of
the enemy was met by countermining. On August 2 the besieged
party observed an unusual excitement in the neighbourhood. The fire
of the enemy had slackened, and but few of them were visible. The
sound of a distant cannonade was heard. Before sunset the eight days'
siege was at an end, and on the following morning the gallant garrison
welcomed their deliverers — Major Vincent Eyre, with 150 men of the
5th Fusiliers, a few mounted volunteers, and 3 guns with 34 artillery-
men. Major Eyre had dispersed Kuar Singh's forces on his way to
Arrah, and they never rallied.

Arrah was constituted a municipality in 1865. The income during
the decade ending 1901-2 averaged Rs. 52,000, and the expendi-
ture Rs. 47,000. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 55,000, including
Rs. 21,000 derived from a tax on persons (or property tax), Rs. 11,000
from a water rate, Rs. 5,000 from a tax on vehicles, Rs. 4,000 from
a municipal market, and Rs. 6,000 as special grants from Provincial
and Local funds for medical purposes. The incidence of taxation was
R. 0-14-3 P er head of the population. In the same year the expendi-
ture amounted to Rs. 48,000, the chief items being Rs. 10,000 on
conservancy, Rs. 5,000 on water-supply, Rs. 8,000 on medical relief,
and Rs. 5,000 on roads. The town is supplied with filtered water from
the Son ; the works, which cost upwards of 4 lakhs, were opened
in 1894. The town contains the usual public buildings of a District
head-quarters. The District jail has accommodation for 278 prisoners,
who are employed chiefly on oil-pressing, thread-twisting, and carpet-

Arsikere. — Northern tahek of Hassan District, Mysore, lying between
1 3° 5' and 13 ^1 N. and 76 2' and 76 26' E., with an area of 486 square
miles. The population in 1901 was 79,588, compared with 65,306 in 1891.
The taluk contains three towns, Arsikere (population, 3,565), the head-
quarters, Banavar (2,422), and Haranhalli (2,117); and 354 villages.
The land revenue demand in 1903-4 was Rs. 1,62,000. The surface
is very undulating. In the west is a chain of rocky hills, covered with
scrub jungle. In the north are the Hirekalgudda hills, on which is the


temple of Malekal Tirupati. The drainage is northwards to the Vedavati

Online LibraryGreat Britain. India OfficeImperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 6) → online text (page 1 of 51)