Mountstuart Elphinstone.

Selections from the minutes and other official writings of the Honourable Mountstuart Elphinstone, governor of Bombay. With an introductory memoir online

. (page 39 of 41)
Online LibraryMountstuart ElphinstoneSelections from the minutes and other official writings of the Honourable Mountstuart Elphinstone, governor of Bombay. With an introductory memoir → online text (page 39 of 41)
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Modasa. Both together maintain about 100 horse and
200 foot. Baur yields only 5,000 rupees (.£500) a
year. The Chief of Ahmednagar is the mortal enemy
of his cousin, the Eaja of Idar ; and their enmity is at



HON. MOUNT STUART ELPHINSTONE. 541

present raised to the highest pitch by a dispute regard-
ing Modasa, which the llaja claims as having reverted
to him by the death of the hxst cliief without issue,
while the chief of Ahmednagar holds it for his son,
whom he alleges to have been adopted by the deceased
chief.

To complete the list of the Idar chiefs, it may be
necessary to mention nine Koli villages on the Sabar-
mati which used to belong to Idar, and still pay a
trifling tribute ; but they have been long considered
as separate, and are probably entirely beyond the
Raja's control.

The territoiy of Idar, though open towards the west,
is generally very strong, abounding in rivers, hills, and
forests. The soil is fertile, and from the innumerable
mango trees it seems to have been once well cultivated,
but at present the greater portion is overrun with
jungle. The Raja's government is said to be very
oppressive, those of his Patavats less so. The town of
Idar is conjectured to contain upwards of 2,500 houses,
which would give from 10,000 to 12,000 inhabitants.
Modasa is less than Idar. Ahmednagar, situated within
the walls of a magnificent fort of the Mohammedan
kings, is only a large village.

The whole of the Idar country is now disturbed by
the Cliief of Titui, who, though a Patavat of the Raja,
has latterly settled separately with the Gaikwar. This
innovation has led to fresh assertions of independence,
and has finally brought about a war between the Chief
of Titui and the Raja, the result of w^liich has sub-
jected all the neighbourhood to plunder. The Raja
is on bad terms with all his Patavats, and though a
plausible man in his behaviour, is generally considered
as of a wavering and faithless character, quite in-
capable of steadily conducting his affairs. His mis-



542 MINUTES BY THE

fortunes, however, are not entirely to be ascribed to his
want of liberty. The Chief of Ahmednagar was always
rather a rival than a support to the head of his family ;
and the Modasa chief with most of the Patavats
established their present independence during the long
minority of the Eaja.

The Eaja of Lunavada is descended from a family
of Salonka Rajputs, who have long possessed the small
The Raja of territory now under his government. His
Lunavada. j^gQjjje jg gtatcd by Captain MacDonald to be
40,473 rupees (£4,047), and for his chiefs about 40,000
more, making the whole revenue of the territory
amount to about 80,000 rupees (£8,000). From this he
pays a tribute to Sindia of 12,000 rupees (£1,200), and
another to the Gaikwar of 6,501 rupees (£650.) It is
not knoAvn when the former tribute was first levied, nor
indeed can the first payment to the Gaikwar be ascer-
tained with precision, the earliest on Baroda records
being stated by Mr. Norris to be in a.d. 1783. This
tribute was settled for ten years at 6,501 rupees
(£650) per annum by Major Ballantyne in 1813.

The remaining chiefs have sometimes only one village,
and sometimes as many as fifty. Their incomes vary

all r kiefs ^^^^^ 30,000 rupccs (£3,000) a year to 1,000
rupees (£100), but their importance depends on
the number of fighting men they can assemble from villages
or those of their allies. The annexed Table A, prepared
by Captain Barnewall, will give some notion of the
income and number of retainers of each chief. The
most considerable among them may be divided into four
or five clusters, according to their geographical position.
The first is composed of the Koli villages of Amballa
and Lobar (both of which have several times defeated
the Gaikwar armies), the Koli village of Nirmal, and
the Makvani ones of Mandva, Punadra, and Koral.



HON. MOUNTSTUART ELPIIINSTONE. 543

These all lie within a space of fifteen miles, and mostly
on the river Vatrak. Another of nine Koli villa



Online LibraryMountstuart ElphinstoneSelections from the minutes and other official writings of the Honourable Mountstuart Elphinstone, governor of Bombay. With an introductory memoir → online text (page 39 of 41)