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had had to be bought by the payment of a poruppu, or quit-rent.
Following the rules laid down by the late Nawab, Mr. Hurdis
recommended that these grants should be resumed unless they
could be proved to have been made by Tirumala Ndyaktan.

Ardha-mdniyams comprised a small extent of land which had
been granted on payment of half [ardha) the usual assessment.

Of the two remaining sorts of land, pdlaiyams were the
poligars' estates, ana inams were fields or villages granted on the
usual favourable terms for the usual multiplicity of reasons.

Mr. Hurdis set himself to survey and settle the Madura side
of the district just as he had done the Dindigul portion, but the
work was far less carefully done in the former, than in the latter,
area. Madura w^as never surveyed, like Dindigul, by skilled men.
The area under cultivation in 1802, 'and that [alone, was ^ hastily
and incompletely surveyed by the kamams and other village
officers in that year. The work was never finished, and that part
of it which was done was never revised until the existing survey
was carried out.

The settlement which followed was also defective. No pro-
vision seems to have been made, as'] in Dindigul, for the case ol
double-crop wet land, and therefore fields sufficiently well watered


to raise two crops paid only single assessment if only one crop CHAP. XI.
was raised. Again, neither wet nor dry land was ever classed as Revkm-e
garden and assessed according to the class of crop grown on it, as '^^tobt.
had been done in Dindigul. This was no douLt a very lihcral and
proper arrangement, Lut it was clearly due to the happy accident
of Mr. Ilnrdii' forgetfalness rather than to economic sagacity
and forethought on the part of him and his successors.

As in Dindigul, the Government revenues in Madura included
a number of money taxes, known generically as swarnaddya, and
the land customs.

Mr. Ilurdis, as has already been seen, left the district in 1803
and was succeeded by Mr. Parish. As in Dindigul, so in the
Madura country, the latter adhered generally to the system which
he found in operation. His report on the jamabandi of fasli 1213
(1800-04) showed that since the preceding year there had been a
healthy extension of cultivation to the extent of 8 per cent., and
that there was every prospect that this would further develop.

Jn 1804-05, it appears, a settlement 'formed upon the money Tiiennial
assessments introduced by Mr. Hurdis ' was made with each ryot |,he^ryou^ari
separately. In 1805-06, apparently, the villages were leased out, system.
as in Dindigul, either singly or in groups, to renters. In fasli
1218 (1808-('9) these leases were made triennial. They were not
a success, and when they expired (in fasli 1220) the system of
settling with each ryot separately was reverted to. This was
temporarily continued for a year or two more, and was formally
adopted, as in Dindigul, in 1814-15.

Between that year and 1821-22 Mr. Eons Peter on several Eednctions in
occasions granted unauthorised reductions in the assessments of aseessmenta.
some 52 villages situated in the then taluks of Mddakkulam.
Solavanddn, Melur and Tirumangalam. These were carried out
on no fixed prinoi])les and without any regard for the characteristics
of each village. Mr. Peter was repeatedly called upon by the
Board to explain on what grounds he had granted them, but
neither he nor his successor Mr. Viveash ever replied. Eventually,
however, in 1848 the Board ordered them to be cancelled.

The existing survey of the whole district was begun in 1872. rpj,j. existing
Between then and 1875 it was carried on in a desultory manner SaRVEv and
by detachments from a survey party mainly employed in other "^ lyjjs-yii." *
districts, while between 1870 and 1878 work was seriously delayed
by the great famine. From 1879, however, a full party was
employed and the operations were completed in 1884. Tlie
whole of the six taluks were entirely re-surveyed, but the work
was done in detail in Government land only, and not in the
zamindaris or whole inam villages,





The existing

schvey and




The Settlement department began operations in the district in
1881, and in 1884 submitted a settlement scheme. This was
sanctioned hy Government in 1885 and its introduction was
begun in 1885 86 and completed in March 1889. It did not
extend to the whole inam villages or the zamindaris.

It proceeded on the usual principles and was based on
elaborate enquiries undertaken in the five taluks other than
Tirumangalam. The soils were classified, and were grouped
under the two main headings of regada, or black cotton-soil, and
red ferruginous. The extent to which each of these occurs in
each of the talukslhas already been shown on p. 12 above. There
are none of the arenaceous, or sandy, soils found in some districts.
These main varieties were then again sub-divided according
to their fertility into ' classes ' and ' sorts.'

For the purposes of wet assessment, the irrigation sources of
the district were divided into four classes. These were (to give
them in the order of their superiority) first, permanent anicuts or
head sluices on the main rivers and tanks directly fed by channels
led therefrom ; second, channels led direct from the main rivers
without permanent anicuts or head sluices, permanent anicuts on
the minor rivers, tanks fed directly from the above, and spring
channels and rain-fed tanks of six months' capacity and upwards ;
third, channels from minor rivers without permanent anicuts and
tanks fed by them, and spring channels and rain-fed tanks of from
three to six months' capacity ; and, fourth, other rain-fed tanks
and hill and jungle streams. Notice was given that on the com-
pletion of the Periyar Project (pp. 126-130) all irrigation affected
thereby would be included in the first group.

In some districts villages are classified, for the purposes of dry
assessment, into groups in accordance with their facilities for
getting their produce to favourable markets, but in Madura no
distinction of this kind was drawn.

The money assessments were calculated on the estimated value
of the calculated outturn of standard grains on wet and on dry
land. For wet land, paddy was taken as the standard grain ; the
outturn was calculated to vary from 1,000 to 400 Madras measures
per acre ; and the ' commutation price/ fixed for commuting the
money value of the estimated outturn on different classes of soil,
was taken at Es. 123-8-0 per Madras garce of 3,200 Madras mea-
sures — this being the lowest figure touched during the preceding
twenty non-famine years and some lis. 30 less than the average
price for those years (Rs. 17r35), even when reduced by ten
per cent, to allow for the difference between the figure obtainable


by tlie ryot and that commanded by the merchant. For dry land, CHAP. Xf.
cholam and cambu, each in the proportion of a half, were taken as The existing

• S L' R V E Y AND

the standard grains ; the outturn of the two together was esti- settlement,
mated to vary from 275 to 100 Madras measures per acre ; and the 18S5-fe9.
commutation price of the two was taken at Rs. 108-8-0 per Madras
garce — the lowest figure reached ia the preceding twenty non-
famine years, and a value much less than the average for such years
(Rs. lG0"7o), even when a deduction often percent, for merchants'
profits had been made tlierefrom.

From these commutation prices the gross value of the outturn
on an acre of each of the different varieties of soil was calculated ;
from this a deduction of one-fifth was made to compensate for
vicissitudes of season and the inclusion within the survey fields
of unprofitable patches, such as paths, banks and channels ; and
a further deduction, based on experiment and enquiry, for cultiva-
tion expenses. 'J he remainder was assumed to be the net yield
per acre ; and one half of this, rounded to the next lowest of
the standard rates of assessment, was taken to be the value of
the Government share of the crop aud the money assessment per

The rates per acre so arrived at for wet and dry land respectively Rates

are given in the margin. The per- prescribed.
*^'' '^' centage of each class of land ^vhich i^

assessed in each taluk at each of these
rates is given on pp. 122 and 116, and
in the separate Appendix to this volume
will be found figures showing by taluks
the actual area under each money rate
and the classes and sorts of soils included
under each. Less than one per cent, of
the total wet area of the district is charged the highest rate, and only
2 per cent, of it the next highest, while 59 per cent, is assessed at
either Rs. 4-8-0 or Rs. 3-8-0. Of the total dry area, less than thirty
acres is similarly charged the highest dry rate, and only 5 per cent,
the next highest, while 64 per cent, is assessed at either Re. 1-4-0
or Re. 1 . It had long been recognised that the old wet assessments
were too low and the dry rates too high. This was sufticicntly
evident from the figures of occupation, which showed that while
only seven per cent, of the assessed wet land was unoccupied, the
unoccupied portion of the assessed dry land was as high as 37 per
cent. The Director of Revenue Settlement found that some of the
most fertile wet land in the whole of the Peri) akulam taluk (then the
best irrigated in the district) was assessed at only some Es. 2 per





































CHAP. XI. acre. The dry land was accordingly treated with especial leniency,
The K.VI8TING but the wet rates were frequently enhanced. There remained, at
the time of the settlement, 253,794 acres of dry land assessed at
Rs. 2,1 7,519 and 10,000 acres of wet land assessed at Its. 31,770
which was still unoccupied. Most of the latter was in Madura
and Melur taluks.

The figures Lelow give nt a glance the general eifect of the
survey and settlement on wot and dry land respectively ; namely,
tlie increase in the cultivated area in each taluk disclosed by tlio
survey, and the onhaucement or redaction of the assessment brought
about by the settlement. It should however be noted that the
figures for Palni, Dindigul and Periyakulam compare the old wet
assessment, which was a consolidated rate on the two crops, with
the settlement assessment on a single crop. If the compulsorily
registered aid compounded second-crop charges and the additional
assessment levied whore second crops were growi' are taken into
account, the increase will be larger : —


Wet laud.

Dry land.

Peroentagf difference

Percentage difference






Madura ...





District Total ...

+ 10
+ 9
+ 15
+ 5
+ 3
+ 8

+ 12

+ 10
+ 11
- 7
+ 4
+ 10

4- 9
+ 7
+ 12
+ 7
+ 8
+ 3

- 6

- 18

- 20

- li

- 5

- 7

- 9-5

+ 9-3

+ 7-7

+ 7-5

It will be seen that though the survey showed that the irrigated
area in occupation was 9"3 per cent, more than was entered in the
accounts, the settlement only increased the assessment on it by 7' 7
per cent. ; and whereas the survey showed the similar excess in the
dry land in occupation to be 7*5 per cent., the settlement brought
about a decrease of no less than 9'5 per cent, in the amount
charged on this. Taking both wet and dry land together, the
survey disclosed an increase of 8 per cent, in the occupied area,
while the settlement resulted in a net decrease of 2 ^ per cent, in the
assessment, or, including the charge for second crop, an increase
of "45 per cent. The settlement cannot therefore be said to Have
"(ieftlt harshly with the Madura ryot,


The pill avari tax already referred to, wliicli was a light assess- CHAP. XI.
ment collected in tlie Paliii and Dindigul taluks on land used for Tife rxishnq
pasturage, was discontinued after the settlement.^ buRVKv a.n-o

The settlement of the villages on tlie Palni hills, which were 18S5-89.
sixteen in number (six on the Upper Palnis, and ten on the Lower), St-ttiement of
covering an area of 410 square miles and containing 18,000 souls, l"'l villages.
was separately undertaken in the latter half of 189-3. Tliese
villages, as has already (p. 188) been stated, were not included in
Mr. Hurdis' original settlement. Besides the ponikddu already
referred to, which was a customary rent on patches in the hills whicli
were cultivated with hoes, a tax of from Rs. 3 to Rs. 9 was at one
time charged on each plough kept tliere and another of from As. 8
to Rs. 8 on every hatchet. 'Paxes on wild honey, dammar, ginger
and other jungle products collected were also levied. In Mr. Ilurdis'
time and for many years afterwards, the Iiill villages were farmed
to renters who lived on the jUains and only occasionally visited
their farms, 'I'he villagers repeatedly re})resented the intolerable
exactions of these men (and of the mannddh-, or headmen of hill
villages, who afterwards were made the renters in some cases) and
at length, in 1837, karnams were appointed in each village to
enquire into the modes of taxation in vogue and the methods of
the renters. In 1842, on the representations of Mr. Blackburne,
the then Collector, the farming out was formally abandoned in
favour of the ryotwari system, and the land vvas taxed, as else-
where, according as it was dry or wet.= At the time of the
settlement, of the total occupied area, 4 per cent, was dry and 15
per cent, wet in the Upper Palni villages, and 78 per cent, dry and
8 per cent, wet in those in the Lower Palnis. The old rates of
assessment had varied from Rs. 3-9-9 (for plantains) to Re. 0-5-9
on dry land, and from Rs. 3-9-9 (again for plantains) to Re.
1-4-8 on wet. The new rates ranged respectively from Rs. 2 to
As. 4 and from Rs. 5-8-0 to Rs. 2. The survey disclosed an
increase in the dry land of 38 per cent, and the settlement imposed an
enhancement of 25 per cent, in the assessment. In the case of
wet land the corresponding figures were 25 and 148. The old wet
rates were admitted on all hands to have been much too low. In
calculating the assessments the same standard grains and the
same commutation prices were taken as on tlie plains. All tlie
irrigation sources were placed in the fourth class, as they had all
been made by the ryots themselves.

' A liistory of tbi3 impost will be found in the papers read in 13. P. Xo. 13G2,
Revenue, dated l(5th .June 18S6.

* For further particulars, see tlie iuleresting report of Mr. Clarke, tlio Sub-
Collector, dated 10th May 1853.


CHAP. XT. j'J'G inanis of Madura are not of particular interest. As Kas

iNAMs. already Leen seen, the poligars and karnams more than once

endeavoured, when the district was first taken over by the British,

to get the best fields into their possession by showing them in the

accounts as inams. On receipt of the report of the Dindigul

Commission of 179G, Government passed the very liberal order

that every inamdar who was in actual legal possession at the time

when the British arrived should be confirmed, and that any of

them who were denied confirmation under this rule should be

given a money allowance for life. Mr. Hurdis made enquiries into

most of the inams and compiled a list of them. Those which he

proposed to confirm amounted in extent to rather more than three

per cent, of the whole cultivable area of the Government lands and

were mostly granted for religious purposes. He proposed to

resume ' those given by the heads of villages, or by amildars

and renters to dancing -girls, poets, musicians, heroes and others

contributing to the pleasure of their immediate employers.'

The inam settlement was based on his accounts offaslil21l

and on two other sets of faslis 1217 and 1222, and proceeded on

the usual lines. Details of the grants then in existence will be

found in the Inam Commissioner's letter read in G.O., No. 545,

Revenue, dated 19th March 1863.

p]xi8TixG In 1^60, in consequence of Mr. Felly's scheme for the reorga-

Divisional nization of the village establishments, the taluks of the district
Charges. , , , -,

were re-named and re-arranged as under : —

Former taluks. ^ew taluks.

Tadikkombu. \ -^. ^. .

Nilakk6ttai. 1 Dindigul.

Madakkulam. Madura.

Melur. M^liir.

Aiyamj)alle. Palni.

Tenkarai. Periyakulam.

Tirumangalam. Tirumangalam,

On the 17th October 1861 a sub-magistrate was first appointed
at Kodaikanal, but revenue jurisdiction over the Palni Hills
remained unchanged, and they continued to be included partly in
Periyakulam, and partly in Palni, taluk.

In 1881) the existing Kodaikanal taluk was formed and a
deputy tahsildar was appointed to the charge of it. Besides this
officer and the tahsildars of the other seven taluks, there are
deputy tahsildars at Vedasandur in Dindigul taluk, at Uttamapa-
laiyam in Periyakulam, at Usilampatti in Tirumangalam and two
(one sanctioned temporarily in 1904 for two years) in Madura


The existing divisional cliarges are as under: Dindigul, CHAP. XI.
Kodaikanal, Palni and Periyakulam taluks are under the care of i^xisting
the Divisional Officer of Dindigul ; Madura and Melur are under the ^',^1^^'°^'^^

Madura (or Head-quarter) Deputj Collector, who also does the - '.

magisterial work arising in Madura town ; and Nilakkottai and
Tiruraangalam are in charge of tlie Tirumangalara division Deputy

In 1903 an additional Sub-Collector and Joint Magistrate was
appointed temporarily to assist the Collector and District Magis-
trate, who was greatly overworked, and his appointment still

A special Deputy Collector is engaged in tlie introduction of
the Proprietary Estates Village Service Act in the whole inam and
zamin villages in the district, and another in attending to various
matters connected with the introduction of the Periyar water, such
as the sale of land commanded by the Project, the levy of water-
rate on inam and zamin land, the acquisition of land for the series
of cross-roads which are being made in the Periyar area and
so forth.





Lid of CoUtciors.

Date of taking


6 Sept.
13 May
27 Dec.



22 June 17?U.


Ife March
IS Jim.
17 May
9 A.ig.
10 Sept.
15 Jan.
15 Feb.
20 Doc.

23 Jan.
30 April
17 Feb.

13 March

14 Oct.
8 Nov.

20 Dec.
19 April

4 May
27 June
27 July

1 April
13 July

7 July

7 Aug.

24 Aui

Online LibraryMadras (India : State)Madura (Volume 1) → online text (page 23 of 40)