Madras (India : State).

Madura (Volume 1) online

. (page 4 of 40)
Online LibraryMadras (India : State)Madura (Volume 1) → online text (page 4 of 40)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


tlie natural grass of the hills.

The sheep of the district are of two varieties ; namely, the
hairy, long-legged, red kind which is only useful as a manuring
agent and to be turned into mutton, and the black sort which
carries a fleece of inferior, wiry, wool. The coarse blankets which
are woven from this material by the Canarese-.speaking Kurubas
are referred to on p. 145 below, and the considerable trade which
is carried on in sheep and goat skins is mentioned on p. 151.

The goats of Madura are of the usual kind and, as elsewhere,
their numbers constitute one of the difficult problems in forest
conservancy.
Game. Madura is a poor place for small game. Snipe are the only

game-birds which can be said to be plentiful. The best spots
for these are the tanks round Solavandan which are periodically
filled with the Periyar water. Their foreshores abound with the
liorai grass which is the bird's favourite cover. Late in the
season the Tirupparankunram wet land is also a likely part.

Duck and teal are most easily obtained on the tanks in Tiru-
mangalam, which are smaller, as a rule, than those elsewhere.
The other usual game-birds are met with all over the district,
but in small numbers. Florican are occasionally seen, round
Andipatti are some sand-grouse, and on the Upper Palnis are
woodcock.

Large game is confined to the hill ranges. All the usual south
Indian species, from elephant and bison downwards, occur.

Elephants vrere formerly very numerous all over the Palui
range and the old records are full of accounts of the devastation
they caused, even as far east as Kannivadi zamindari, and of the



PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION. 23

steps taken to reduce tlieir numbers, Tliey are seldom seen on CHAP. T.
this range now, even on the upper parts of it. Lieutenant Jervis;, FArx*.
in his Narrative of a journey to the Falls of the Cauvery, speaks oi
a natural pass on the hills near Kamham, which those familiar
with that locality may be able to identify, where these animals
were regularly caught in pits. The place ended in a narrow
gorge between two rocks through which only one elephant could
pass at a time, and ihe herds were driven through this into a net-
work of pits dug on the other side of it in a hollow between two
hills. He speaks of 63 elephants being trapped or shot there
on one occasion in four hours. Mr. Robert Fischer of Madura
possesses a pair' of elephant tusks, obtained in the d^Atrict, of
which the larger is 72 inches long, 18| inches in greatest cjirth
and weighs 72^ lb. and the smaller measures GO iuches ii
length, 18^ inches in girth and weighs 06 lb.

Bison are fairly plentiful, and two small herds of poor
specimens still roam the Alagarmalais, These animals used
to be numerous on the Sirumalais, but (with every other sort of
large game) they have long since disappeared from there. The
Nilgiri ibex {Hemitrayus I/ylocrius) is also found in one or two
spots on the Upper Palnis. The other game animals present
no peculiarities.

'Hie monkeys of the district are numerous and impudent.
They used to be such a nuisance in Madura town that people had
to cover the roofs of their houses with thorns ; and at length they
were all caught and deported. An almost worse pest which has
taken their place is the notorious Madura mosquito — a venomous
and vindictive breed.



24 MADUBA.

CHAPTER 11.

POLITICAL HISTORY.



Prehistoric Pbotles — Palieolithic man — Kistvaens, etc. Earlt Histort — The
Pandya dynasty — Its anticjuity — Appears in early Tamil literature — Its first
mention in inscriptions — Its struggles with the Pallavas, 7th century-
Decline of the latter — The Ganga-Pallavas, 9th century — Pandya as-
cendancy — The Chola revival. 10th to 12tb centuries— Pandya rebellions —
Pdndya renaissance, 12th century — Struggle for the throne— Decline of the
Cholas, 13th century — Pandya rule thenceforth— Maravarman Sundura.
Pandya I, 1216-35 — Arrival of the Hoysalas — Jatavarman Sundara-Pandya
I, 1251-(il — End of the Hoysala and Clidla power — Maravarman Kulas6khara
I (1268-1308) and his successor — Splendour of the Pandya realm. Musai,-
MAN Invasion, 1310— Musalman dynasty at Madura. Vi.jayanagar Dominion,
1365— Its effects — King Achyuta's campaign, 1532. XXvakkan DyNA.sTY,
1559-1736 — Its origin — Visvauatha Nayakkan, 1559-63 — His immediate
successors — Fall of Vijayanagar kingdom, 1565 — Tirumala Nayakkan, 1623-
59 — He defies Vijayanagar — Calls the Muhammadans to his aid — And
becomes their feudatory — His wars with Mysore — His death — Eebellions
among his vassals — -A curious rumour — Tirnmala's capital — His public build-
ings— Muttu Alakadri, 1659-62— Chokkanatha (1662 - 82)— His troubles with
his neighbours — His conquest and loss of Taaj



Online LibraryMadras (India : State)Madura (Volume 1) → online text (page 4 of 40)