William Wilson Hunter.

The imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 11) online

. (page 1 of 62)
Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 11) → online text (page 1 of 62)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


















^^^ ^^


— i



— 1



^^k vr^/Ti/ ^H



^^^ l\ TT^ ' ^^1


^^^^^ 1/ ^^^^H



^^^^ \\ M ^^^1



^^^^^ Ml /\ ,^^^^1



^^^^^L \u \1 ^^^^^1



















The Imperial Gazetteer of India.
















Pd;li.= — Town in Jodhpur State, Rajputana; situated in lat. 25° 46' n.,
and long. 73° 25' 15" e., on the route from Nasirabad (Nusseerabad)
to Disa (Deesa), 108 miles south-west of the former cantonment. An
ancient place, acquired by the Rahtors of Kanauj in 1 156 a.d. It is the
chief mart of Western Rajputana, being placed at the intersection of the
great commercial road from Mandavi in Cutch to the Northern States,
and from Mahva to Bahawalpur and Sind. It was formerly surrounded
by a wall ; 'and in consequence,' whites Thornton, 'its possession was
frequently contested by conflicting parties during the civil wars of
Jodhpur, until, at the desire of the inhabitants, the defences were
demolished ; and their ruins now give the place an air of desolation,
at variance with its actual prosperity.' Pali was visited and described
by Colonel James Tod {A?inals of Rdjasthdii) in 1819, by whom its
commercial revenues were computed at ^^7500 per annum ; they now
amount to about ^10,000. In 1836, Pali was visited by a disease
locally known as the Pali plague, which closely resembled the Levan-
tine plague. In June 1882, Pali was connected by a branch line
with the Rajputana-Malwa State Railway, starting from Bitiira station.
Water-supply abundant.

Pali. — Pargand in Shahabdd iahsil, Hardoi District, Oudh. Bounded
/n the north by pargn?id Pachhoha ; on the east by the Garra river,
separating it from pargands Shahabad and Saromannagar ; on the
south by Barwan ; and on the west and south-west by the Sendha river.
The villages skirting the Garra, though light of soil, are the best in the
pargand. In some of them the lands remain moist, by percolation
from the river, till IsLarch or April, so that irrigation is scarcely required.



In others, where the river runs between higher banks and with a
narrower flood-basin, fine crops of opium, tobacco, and vegetables are
raised along the river bank, owing to the ease with which a never-
faiUng supply of water is drawn from it. West of these villages, a
belt of high, dry, uneven, unproductive bhiir, with an average breadth
of about 3 miles, runs parallel with the Garra. All the villages in this
tract have been rated in the third or fourth class. Here rents are low
and wells are few. In some of the villages there is no irrigation at all.
To the west of this tract, and up to the boundary stream of the Sendha,
breadths of d/idk jungle intersected by narrow marshy Jhils^ along
whose edges cultivation is gradually extending, alternate with treeless
ridges of thinly cropped bhur. Many of the jungle villages are fairly
productive, with average soil and good water-supply ; but in some the
soil is cold, stiff, and unproductive, and in almost all, cultivators are
still few, rents are low, and much mischief is done by wild animals.
In the extreme west of the pargand, as in the east along the Garra, a
narrow strip of moderately good land fringes the Sendha. There is
not a mile of metalled road in the pargand. Cart-tracks wind deviously
from village to village. Area, 73 square miles, of which 46 are under
cultivation. Population (1881) 25,962, naniely, 24,100 Hindus and 1862
^Muhammadans. The staple products are bajfa and barley, which
occupy three-fifths of the cultivated area. Wheat, arhar, rice, and
gram, make up the greater portion of the remainder. Government
land revenue, ^3704, falhng at the rate of 2s. 6d. per cultivated acre,
or IS. 7d. per acre of total area. Of the 92 villages comprising the
pargand, 50 are held by Sombansi Rajputs, and 22 by Brahmans
Tdlukddri tenure prevails in 19 villages, 56 are za/ninddri, and 17
imperfect pattiddri.

Pali. — Town in Shahabad tahsil, Hardoi District, Oudh, and head-
quarters of V 2X1 pargand ; situated on the right bank of the Garra, 20
miles north-west of Hardoi town. Lat. 27^ 31' 45" x., long. 79° 53' 20"
E. A flourishing town under native rule, but somewhat decayed of
late years, especially in the Muhammadan quarters. Population (1881)
3562. Two mosques and a Hindu temple; Government school.
Market twice a week. Manufacture of coarse cotton cloth.

Palia. — Pargand in Lakhimpur tahsil, Kheri District, Oudh ; lying
between the Suhel and Sarda rivers, which respectively border it on the
north and south ; the eastern boundary is formed by Shihjahanpur
District of the North - Western Provinces; and the western by
Nighasan pargand. Area, 139 square miles, of which 37 are under
cultivation, the remainder being chiefly taken up by Government forest-
reserves. A jungle pargajid of the same character as Khairigarh,
the Raja of which is also its proprietor. Population (1881) 18,277,
namely, 15,770 Hindus, 2495 Muhammadans, and 12 'others.'


Land revenue, ^^1052. Game abounds in the forests. The pargand
is unhealthy, malarious fevers being very prevalent. Principal products,
rice and turmeric.

Palia. — Town in Lakhimpur talisil, Kheri District, Oudh, and head-
quarters of Palia pargand ; situated 2 miles north of the Chauka river,
in lat. 28° 26' N., and long. 80° 37' e. Population (1881) 3802, namely,
Hindus 2984, and Muhammadans 818. Two Hindu temples; bi-
weekly market.

Paliganj.— Small town in Patna District, Bengal ; situated near the
Son (Soane) river, and about 25 miles from Bankipur. Police station.

Palitana. — Native State in the Gohelwar division of Kathiawar,
Bombay Presidency; lying between 21° 23' 30" and 21° 42' 30" n. lat.,
and between 71° 31' and 72° o' 30" e. long. Area, 288 square miles.
Population (1872) 51,476; (1881) 49,271, namely, 25,702 males and
23J569 females, dwelling in i town and 86 villages, and occupying
10,483 houses. Hindus number 4*2.955 ; Muhammadans, 3581 ; and
'others,' 2735. Except in the hills, where the air is pleasant, the
climate is hot ; and fever is prevalent. The principal agricultural pro-
ducts are grain, sugar-cane, and cotton.

Palitana ranks as a ' second-class ' State in Kathiawar ; the ruler
executed the usual engagements in 1807. The present (1881-82) chief,
Thakur Sahib Sursinghji, is thirty-nine years old. He is descended
from Sarangji, second son of Sejakji, as the Bhaunagar Thakur is from
the eldest son, and Lathi from the third.

The present chief of Palitana has been engaged in a long contest
to reassert his rights over his own Bhayad or brethren on the one
hand, and over the Sarawaks or Jain traders who are interested in
the holy mountain of Satrunjaya on the other. This hill, which rises
above the town of Palitana, is covered with Jain temples, and is the
resort of innumerable pilgrims. Centuries before the Gohel chiefs
established themselves in Surashtra, the Jains worshipped in Satrunjaya.
They produce an imposing array of deeds from Mughal emperors and
viceroys, ending with one from Prince Murad Baksh (1650), which
confers the whole District of Palitana on Santi Das, the jeweller, and
his heirs. The firm of Santi Das supplied Murad Baksh with money
for the war when he went with Aurangzeb (1658) to fight Dara at
Agra and assume the throne. But the Mughal power has long passed
away from Kathiawar, and, on its downfall, the jurisdiction of Palitana
fell into the hands of the Gohel chief, a tributary of the Gaekwar.
While, therefore, the whole mountain is rightly regarded as a religious
trust, it is under the jurisdiction of the chief, for whose protection the
Sarawaks have long paid a yearly subsidy. Lender a decision of ^Lajor
Keatinge in 1863, the representatives of the Jain community had to
pay a lump sum of Rs. 10,000 (^1000) per annum for ten years to


the chief, in Heii of his levying a direct tax of 4s. a head on all pilgrims
visiting the shrines, with the proviso that a scrutiny lasting two years, or
longer if necessary, might be demanded by either side at the termina-
tion of that period, with a view of ascertaining whether the yearly sum
of Rs. 10,000 was more or less than the right amount. The chief
demanded such a scrutiny in 1879, and due arrangements having been
made, the count of pilgrims commenced on the 23rd April 1880. The
result of the collections derived from the pilgrims during the year
1882-83 showed that the sum formerly paid by the Jain community to
the chief in lieu of all demands was not sufficient, and justified the
procedure ordered by the Government. No final decision, however,
to the future amount to be paid by the Jain priests to the Palitana chief
had been arrived at up to 1883, A decision of the British Government,
given in March 1877, while it upholds the chiefs legitimate authority,
secures to the sect its long-established possessions, and maintains the
sacred isolation of the hill.

The chief does not hold a satiad authorizing adoption ; in matters of
succession the rule of primogeniture is followed. The chief is a
Hindu of the Gohel clan of Rajputs ; he administers the affairs of his
State in person, and has power to try his own subjects only. He
enjoys an estimated gross yearly revenue of ;£"2o,ooo ; pays tribute
of ^1036, 8s. jointly to the Gaekwar of Baroda and the Nawab of
Junagarh ; and maintains a military force of 455 men. There are
(1882-83) 16 schools, with 579 pupils. Xo transit dues are levied in
the State.

Palitana. — Chief town of Palitana State, Kathiawar, Bombay Pre-
sidency ; situated in lat. 21° 31' 10" N., and long. 71° 53' 20" e., at the
eastern base of the famous Satrunjaya Hill ; distant from Ahmadabad
120 miles south-west; from Baroda 105 south-west; from Surat 70
north-west; and from Bombay 190 north-west. Population (1881) 7659,
namely, 4436 Hindus, 1627 Muhammadans, and 1596 Jains. Formerly
the chief town of a lsing\\di\ pargand. School, dispensary, and post-office.
Connected by a good road with Songarh, the head-quarters of the
Gohel war division, 14 miles to the north.

Satrunjaya Hill, to which reference has been made in the foregoing
article, is sacred to Adinath, the deified priest of the Jains. It is 1977
feet above sea-level. The summit is divided into two peaks, but the
valley between has been partly built over by a wealthy Jain mer-
chant. The entire summit is covered with temples, among which the
most famous are those of Adinath, Kumar Pal, Vimalasah, Sampriti
Raja, and the Chaumukh. This last is the most lofty, and can be clearly
distinguished at a distance of 25 miles. Satrunjaya is the most sacred
of the five sacred hills of the Jains. Mr. Kinloch Forbes in the Rds
Mala describes it as the ' first of all places of pilgrimages, the bridal hall


of those who would win everlasting rest.' And adds, 'There is hardly a
city in India, through its length and breadth, from the river of Sind to
the sacred Ganges, from Himala's diadem of ice-peaks to the throne of
his virgin daughter, Rudra's destined bride, that has not supplied at one
time or other contributions of wealth to the edifices which crown the
hill of Palitana. Street after street, square after square, extend these
shrines of the Jain faith with their stately enclosures, half-palace, half-
fortress, raised in marble magnificence, upon the lonely and majestic
mountain, and like the mansions of another world, far removed in upper
air from the ordinary tread of mortals.' Owing to the special sanctity
of Satrunjaya, Jains from all parts of India are anxious to construct
temples on the hill ; and all members of the Jain faith feel it a duty to
perform, if possible, one pilgrimage here during their life.

The following description of this wonderful temple-hill is condensed
from an account by Mr. Burgess : —

' At the foot of the ascent there are some steps with many little
canopies or cells, a foot and a half to three feet square, open only in
front, and each having in its floor a marble slab carved with the repre-
sentation of the soles of two feet {charan), very flat ones, and generally
with the toes all of one length. A little behind, where the ball of the
great toe ought to be, there is a diamond-shaped mark divided into
four smaller figures by two cross lines, from the end of one of which a
waved line is drawn to the front of the foot. Round the edges of the
slab there is usually an inscription in Deva-nagari characters, and
between the foot-marks an elongated figure like a head of Indian corn
with the point slightly turned over. These cells are numerous all the
way up the hill, and a large group of them is found on the south-west
corner of it behind the temple of Adiswar Bhagwan. They are the
temples erected by poorer Sarawaks or Jains, who, unable to afford the
expense of a complete temple, with its hall and sanctuary enshrining a
marble viiirti or image, manifest their devotion to their creed by
erecting these miniature temples over the charana of their Jainas or

' The path is paved with rough stones all the way up, only interrupted
here and there by regular flights of steps. At frequent intervals also
there are rest-houses, more pretty at a distance than convenient for
actual use, but still deserving of attention. High up, we come to a
small temple of the Hindu monkey -god, Hanuman, the image
bedaubed with vermilion in ultra-barbaric style ; at this point the path
bifurcates — to the right leading to the northern peak, and to the left to
the valley between, and through it to the southern summit. A little
higher up, on the former route, is the shrine of Hengar, a Musalman //r,
so that Hindu and Moslem alike contend for the representation of their
creeds on this sacred hill of the Jains.


' On reaching the summit of the mountain, the view that presents
itself from the top of the walls is magnificent in extent ; a splendid
setting for the unique picture — this work of human toil we have
reached. To the east, the prospect extends to the Gulf of Cambay near
Gogo and Bhaunagar; to the north, it is bounded by the granite range
of Sihor (Sehore) and the Chamardi peak ; to the north-west and west,
the plain extends as far as the eye can reach, except where broken
due west by the summits of Mount Girnar — revered alike by Hindu,
Buddhist, and Jain, the latter of whom claim it as sacred to Neminath
their twenty-second Tirthankar. From west to east, like a silver
ribbon across the foreground to the south, winds the Satrunjaya river,
which the eye follows until it is lost between the Talaja and Khokara
Hills in the south-west. But after this digression, let us return to the
scene beside us. How shall I describe it ? It is truly a city of temples
— for, except a few tanks, there is nothing else within the gates, and
there is a cleanliness, withal, about every square and passage, porch and
hall, that is itself no mean source of pleasure. The silence, too, is
striking. Now and then in the mornings you hear a bell for a few
seconds, or the beating of a drum for as short a time, and on holidays
chants from the larger temples meet your ear ; but generally during the
after-part of the day the only sounds are those of vast flocks of pigeons
that rush about spasmodically from the roof of one temple to that of
another, apparently as an exercise in fluttering and just to keep their
wings in use. Parroquets and squirrels, doves and ringdoves abound,
and peacocks are occasionally met with on the outer walls. The top
of the hill consists of two ridges, each about 350 yards long, with a
valley between ; the southern ridge is higher at the western end than
the northern, but this in turn is higher at the eastern extremity. Each
of these ridges, and the two large enclosures that fill the valley, are
surrounded by massive battlemented walls fitted for defence. The
buildings on both ridges, again, are divided into separate enclosures,
called tuks^ generally containing one principal temple, with varying
numbers of smaller ones. Each of these enclosures is protected by
strong gates and walls, and all gates are carefully closed at sundown.'

A description of one of these tiiks must suffice here, but the reader
who wishes to pursue the subject will find an account of the other
temples in Mr. Burgess' Notes of a Visit to Satrunjaya Hill, published
at Bombay. The tiik now to be described is that of Khartarvasi, of
which the principal temple is that of the Chaumukh or ' four-faced '
Jaina occupying the centre. ' It is,' says Mr. Burgess {op. cit.), 'a fine
pile of the sort, and may be considered a type of its class. It stands
on a platform raised fully 2 feet above the level of the court, and 57
feet wide by about 67 in length, but the front of the building extends
some distance beyond the end of this. The body of the temple consists


of two square apartments, with a square porch or niandap to the east,
from which a few steps ascend to the door of the antardla or hall, 31
feet square inside, with a vaulted roof rising from twelve pillars. Pass-
ing through this, we enter by a large door into the shrine or garbha
griha, 23 feet square, with four columns at the corners of the altar or
throne of the image. Over this rises the tower or vi?nana to a height
of 96 feet from the level of the pavement. The shrine in Hindu
temples is always dark, and entered only by the single door in front ;
Jain temples, on the contrary, have very frequently several entrances.
In this instance, as in that of most of the larger temples, besides the
door from the antardla, three other large doors open out into porticoes
on the platform — a verandah being carried round this part of the
building from one door to another. The front temple has also two
side doors opening upon the platform. The w^alls of the shrine, having
to support the tower, are very thick, and contain cells or chapels opening
from the verandah ; thus the doors into the shrine stand back into the
wall. There are ten cells, and some of them contain little images of
Tirthankars ; those at the corners open to two sides. The pillars that
support the verandah deserve notice. They are of the general form
everywhere prevalent here — square columns, to the sides of which we
might suppose very thin pilasters of about half the breadth had been
applied. They have high bases, the shafts carved with flower patterns
each different from its fellow, the usual bracket capitals slanting down-
wards on each side and supporting gopis^ on whose heads rest the
abacus — or rather these figures, with a sort of canopy over the head of
each, form second and larger brackets. The floors of the larger temples
are of beautifully tesselated marble — black, white, and yellowish brown.
The patterns are very much alike, except in details, and consist chiefly
of varieties and combinations of the figure called by the Jains Natida-
varta — a sort of complicated square fret — the cognizance of the
eighteenth Jaina. The shrine contains a sinhdsan or pedestal for the
image ; in this temple it is of the purest white marble, fully 2 feet high
and 1 2 square. Each face has a centre panel, elaborately carved, and
three of less breadth on each side, the one nearer the centre always a
little in advance of that outside it.

' On the throne sit four large white marble figures of Adinath, not
specially well proportioned, each facing one of the doors of the shrine.
These are large figures, perhaps as large as any on the hill ; they sit
with their feet crossed in front, after the true Buddha style, the outer
side of each thigh joining that of his fellow, and their heads rising
about 10 feet above the pedestal. The marble is from Mokhrano in
Marwar, and the carriage is said to have cost an almost incredible sum.
The aspect of these, and of all the images, is peculiar ; frequendy on
the brow and middle of the breast there is a brilliant, set in silver or


gold, and almost always the breasts are mounted with one of the
precious metals, whilst there are occasionally gold plates on the
shoulders, elbow, and knee-joints, and a crown on the head — that on
the principal one in the Motisah being a very elegant and massive gold
one. But the peculiar feature is the eyes, which seem to peer at you
from every chapel like those of so many cats. They appear to be made
of silver overlaid with pieces of glass, very clumsily cemented on, and
in every case projecting so far, and of such a form, as to give one the
idea of their all wearing spectacles wath lenticular glasses over very
watery eyes in diseased sockets.

' The original temple in this tuk is said to date back to a king
Vikrama ; but whether he of the Samvat era, 57 B.C., or Harsha Vikram-
aditya, about 500 a.d., or some other, is not told. It appears to have
been rebuilt in its present form about 1619 a.d., by Seva Somji of
Ahmadabad, for we read thus: — "Samvat 1675, in the time of Sultan
Nur-ud-din Jahdngir, Sawai Vijaya Raja, and the princes Sultan Khushru
and Khurma, on Saturday, Baisakh Sudi 13th, Devraj and his family,
of which were Somji and his wife, Rdjaldevi, erected the temple of the
four-faced Adindth," etc. A stair on the north side leads to the upper
storey of the tower. This temple is said to contain a hundred and
twenty-five images.'

Fergusson, in his History of Indian and Eastern Architecture^ has the
following remarks on the Jain temple-cities, with special reference to this,
the greatest of them all : — ' The grouping together of their temples into
what may be called " cities of temples," is a peculiarity which the Jains
practised to a greater extent than the followers of any other religion in
India. The Buddhists grouped their stiipas and vihdras near and around
sacred spots, as at Sanchi, Manikyala, or in Peshawar, and elsewhere ;
but they w-ere scattered, and each was supposed to have a special meaning,
or to mark some sacred spot. The Hindus also grouped their temples,
as at Bhuvaneswar or Benares, in great numbers ; but in all cases, so
far as we know, because these were the centres of a population who
believed in the gods to whom the temples were dedicated, and wanted
them for the purposes of their worship. Neither of these religions,
however, possesses such a group of temples, for instance, as that at
Satrunjaya, or Palitana as it is usually called, in Gujarat. No survey
has yet been made of it, nor have its temples been counted ; but it
covers a large space of ground, and its shrines are scattered by hundreds
over the summits of two extensive hills and the valley between them.
The larger ones are situated in tuks^ or separate enclosures, surrounded
by high fortified walls ; the smaller ones line the silent streets. A few
yatis or priests sleep in the temples and perform the daily services, and
a few attendants are constantly there to keep the place clean, which they
do with the most assiduous attention, or to feed the sacred pigeons, who


are the sole denizens of the spot ; but there are no human hal)itatiGns,
properly so called, within the walls. The pilgrim or the stranger
ascends in the morning, and returns when he has performed his
devotions or satisfied his curiosity. He must not eat, or at least must
not cook his food, on the sacred hill, and he must not sleep there. It
is a city of the gods, and meant for them only, and not intended for the
use of mortals.

'Jaina temples and shrines are, of course, to be found in cities,
where there are a sufficient number of votaries to support a temple, as
in other religions ; but beyond this, the Jains seem, almost more than
any other sect, to have realized the idea that to build a temple, and
to place an image in it, was in itself a highly meritorious act, wholly
irrespective of its use to any of their co-religionists. Building a temple

Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 11) → online text (page 1 of 62)