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far above all other castes in Champaran. During the famine of 1874,
not one of them came to the relief works ; and they then asserted that
they had sufficient rice in store for six months' consumption.

Classified according to occupation, the Census Report returns the
male inhabitants under the six following main divisions : — (1) Pro-
fessional class, including Government officials and the learned
professions, 10,671; (2) domestic servants, etc., 20,888; (3) com-
mercial class, including merchants, general dealers, carriers, etc.,
21,474; (4) agricultural and pastoral class, including gardeners,
346,453 ; (5) manufacturing, artisan, and other industrial classes,
46,641 ; (6) indefinite and non-productive (comprising 86,400 general
labourers and 338,100 'unspecified,' including children), 424,500.

A?itiquities. — Champaran abounds in places of historical interest,
many dating back to a period anterior to the Christian era. Simraun,
now in ruins, is situated partly in British and partly in Nepal territory,
the frontier line passing through the walls. The ruins are in the form
of a square, surrounded by an outer and an inner wall, the former being
14, and the latter 10 miles in circumference. On the east side, six or
seven ditches can still be traced between the walls, and three or four on
the west side. Inside are the remains of massive buildings, and of a
large tank, measuring ^^ yards by 210. Its sides are composed of the
finest burnt bricks, each a cubit square and a maund (80 lbs.) in
weight. The remains of palaces and temples disclose some finely-
carved basements, with a superstructure of beautiful bricks. The
citadel is situated to the north, and the palace in the centre ; but both
only exist as tumuli from 20 to 25 feet high, covered with trees and
jungle. Tradition says that Simraun was founded by Nanuapa Deva
a.d. 1097. Six of his dynasty reigned with much splendour, but the last
of the line, Hari Singh Deo, was driven out in 1322 or 1323 by the

Two miles to the south of Kesariya police station, stands a lofty
brick mound, 1400 feet in circumference, capped by a solid brick
tower, 62 feet in height. General Cunningham assigns the date of
this tower to between 200 and 700 a.d., and concludes that it was
built on the top of a much older and larger stupa. About a mile
north-north-east of this tower, is a low mound with the walls of a small
temple 10 feet square, containing the head and shoulders of a colossal
figure of Buddha. This is supposed to have been the site of a
monastery, as the remains of cells are still visible. At Araraj, about


20 miles north-west of Kesariya, is a lofty stone pillar, bearing in well-
cut and well-preserved letters several of Asoka's edicts. The pillar
consists of a single block of polished sandstone 36^ feet high, with a
diameter at the base of 41*8 inches, and 37*6 inches at the top. At
Lauriya Navandgarh or Mathya, about 15 miles north-west of Bettia,
are some very extensive remains, consisting of three rows of earthen
barrows or huge conical mounds. General Cunningham considers
them to be sepulchral mounds of early kings before Buddhism arose,
and assigns their date to a period between 1500 and 600 b.c. A short
distance from these barrows stands the lion pillar of Lauriya Navand-
garh, consisting of a single block of polished sandstone, 32 feet 9 inches
high, with a top diameter of 26*2 inches, and a base diameter of 35-J-
inches. The capital is bell-shaped, with a circular abacus, supporting
a statue of a lion. The column is much thinner and lighter than that
at Araraj, and contains the edicts of Asoka beautifully inscribed, as well
as some unimportant inscriptions in modern Nagari. The pillar is now
worshipped as a phalhts, and is commonly known as Bhi'm Singh's lathi
or club.

Agriculture. — The crops in Champaran are divided into three
harvests, named after the season of the year in which they are reaped —
(1) the bhadai or autumn crop ; (2) the aghani or autumn crop ;
(3) the rabi or spring crop. The total cultivated area is pretty equally
distributed between the three. Rice may be either a bhadai or an
aghani crop, but more usually the latter. In the former case, it is
grown on comparatively high lands ; in the latter case in low-lying
fields. The cultivation of rice is chiefly confined to the tract lying
north of the Little Gandak river, and it has been estimated that only
about one-third of the population habitually use rice as their daily food.
In the remainder of the District the food-supply is drawn from the
bhadai and rabi crops, which include barley, wheat, Indian corn, and
various millets and pulses. The miscellaneous crops not grown for
food, are indigo, oil-seeds, opium, tobacco, and sugar-cane. In Cham-
paran, indigo is generally grown under the asd?niwdr system ; in
accordance with which the planter takes a lease of an entire village
from the zaminddr, and the cultivators are required to plant indigo on
receiving an advance. There are altogether 12 head factories in the
District, with 24 outworks, cultivating about 60,000 acres, but holding
leases of villages, the area of which cannot be less than half a million of
acres. In 1872, which was an average season, the out-turn was about
8000 cwts., valued at ,£264,000. In 1882-83, the actual out-turn
was 11,962 cwts., and the estimated out-turn for the following
year, 11,000 cwts. As elsewhere throughout Behar, opium is culti-
vated on a system of advances made by the Government. In 1872-73,
the total area under opium was about 59,000 acres, and the out-turn


about 6000 cwts. The cultivation of sugar-cane is said to have been
introduced from Gorakhpur in the beginning of the present century.
Manure, in the shape of cow-dung and sit or indigo refuse, is used for
special crops, such as sugar-cane, tobacco, opium, and indigo.

Irrigation is commonly practised in the north of the District, especially
by the Tharus, who lead the water to their fields from the hill
streams by artificial channels sometimes several miles in length. In
the south of the District wells are occasionally dug for purposes of irriga-
tion. Tanks are extremely rare. An elaborate scheme for utilizing the
destructive flood-waters of the Gandak has long been under the con-
sideration of Government. Almost the entire soil of Champaran is in
the hands of three large landowners, who usually farm out their estates
on short leases to middlemen, and the rent is frequently paid in kind.
Though rents are not high, as compared with the neighbouring Districts,
this system is unfavourable to the independence of the cultivators, who
are described as being in poor circumstances. Owing to a succession
of excellent harvests of late years, the cultivators are now (1883) in
better circumstances than at any period during the past twenty years.
The Koeris and Kurmis are skilled agriculturists, and capable of
managing large holdings \ higher rents are taken from them than from
the favoured castes of Brahmans, Rajputs, and Babhans. The average
rent of land on which food-crops are raised varies from 3s. to 6s. per
acre. A large extent of waste land is still available for tillage in the
central and north-western parts of the District.

Natural Calamities. — Champaran is exceptionally exposed to natural
calamities. The famines of 1866 and 1874, caused by drought, pro-
duced great and general distress in this District. In each case, also,
the end of the drought was attended by destructive floods. The
calamity of drought can only be remedied by encouraging facilities for
importation, which will be provided by the Bettia branch of the Tirhiit
State Railway. The mischief caused by floods, though equally over-
whelming as that caused by drought, is not so extensive in its area, and
the embankment along the left bank of the Gandak will effectually
protect the low-lying fields. Famine rates are reached when rice sells
in the beginning of the year at 12s. per cwt. But it must be recollected
that the majority of the people do not eat rice, but depend upon barley
and inferior grains.

Industrial.— There are altogether 26 lines of road in Champaran,
with an aggregate length of 438 miles. In the year 1874-75, a total sum
°f ^"8252 was expended by the District Road Committee. External
commerce is chiefly conducted by the rivers, which lend themselves more
easily to export than to import. The Tirhiit State Railway from Muzaffar-
pur to Bettia, through Motiharf, now (1883) nearly ready to be opened,
will place the District in direct connection with the main channels of


communication. The indigenous manufactures are confined to the
weaving of coarse cotton cloth and blankets, and the making of pottery.
The preparation of indigo is almost entirely conducted by European
capital and under European supervision. The industry of sugar-refining
has been introduced from the neighbouring District of Gorakhpur
within the present century. Saliferous earth is found in all parts of the
District ; and from this a special caste, called Nuniyas, earn a scanty
livelihood by extracting saltpetre and other saline substances, including
a considerable quantity of untaxed salt. Apart from its local trade in
agricultural products, Champaran possesses commercial importance as
occupying the high road between Patna and Nepal. Both the local and
through traffic of the District, so far as it did not escape registration, is
included in the following totals, which refer to the year 1876-77 : —
Exports, ,£543,000, chiefly indigo ,£245,000, oil-seeds ,£120,000,
timber ,£38,000, sugar ,£17,000, and cotton goods ,£30,000, which
last are despatched northwards into Nepal ; imports, ,£139,000, chiefly
salt ,£39,000, piece-goods ,£13,000, and food-grains ,£20,000, received
from Nepal. The principal river marts are Bettia, Gobindganj,
Bagaha, Barharwa, Pakri, and Manpur. The greater portion of the
trade with Nepal crosses the frontier at Katkanwa.

Administration. — Champaran was separated from Saran, and erected
into an independent District, in 1866. In 1870-71, the revenue
amounted to ,£82,212, of which ,£50,030 was derived from the land ;
the expenditure was ,£57,779, including ,£23,749 on account of
military payments, thus leaving a net surplus of ,£24,433. In
1881-82, the total revenue amounted to .£"86,301, of which ,£51,269
was on account of land-tax. In 1881-82, the regular police consisted
of a force of 341 men of all ranks, of whom 40 were employed in town
or municipal duty, maintained at a total cost of ,£4843, and a village
watch of 2363 men, who received emoluments in money or land from
the landowners to the estimated value of ,£6227. The total force,
therefore, for the protection of person and property numbered 2704
officers and men, being 1 man to every 1 -30 square mile or to every
637 persons in the population. The estimated aggregate cost was
,£11,070, equal to anaverage of ,£4, is. iojd. per square mile and ifd,
per head of population. There is a jail at the civil station of Motihari,
with a subordinate lock-up at Bettia. In the year 1881, the daily
average number of prisoners was 420, being 1 prisoner to every 4099 of
the population. The Motihari jail has a bad reputation for its excessive
unhealthiness, and a new prison is now (1883) in course of

Education in this remote District has hitherto been in a backward
condition. It is only since the introduction of Sir G. Campbell's
reforms, by which the benefit of the grant-in-aid rules has been extended


to the village schools or pdt/isdlds, that primary instruction has had any
existence in Champaran. In 1870-71, there were only 2 schools in the
District, attended by 51 pupils. In 1872-73, after the reforms above
mentioned had come into operation, the number of schools increased
to 78, and the number of pupils to 1222. By the 31st March 1875, the
schools had further increased to 182, and the pupils to 3805.
The greatest increase has taken place since that date : and in 1881-82
there were 36 upper primary schools, attended by 1261 scholars, and
930 lower primary schools, with 7576 pupils; total, 966 schools,
attended on the 31st March 1882 by 8837 pupils.

For administrative purposes, Champaran District is divided into 2
Sub-divisions and into 10 thdnds or police circles. There are 4
parga?ids or fiscal divisions; but one of these, parga?id Majhawa, which
includes the Bettia Raj, the Ramnagar estate, and the greater part of
the Madhubani estate, covers an area of 1 \ million acres, and for fiscal
purposes is divided into 25 tappds or minor revenue areas. In
1881-82 there were 7 magisterial and 3 civil courts open, and 2
covenanted civil servants stationed in the District. The two towns of
Motihari and Bettia, with an aggregate population of 31,570 souls, had
in 1881-82 a total municipal income of ^1249 \ average rate of
taxation, iod. per head.

Medical Aspects. — The climate of Champaran is described as com-
paratively cool and dry. The rainy season lasts from June to September.
The hottest month of the year is May, at which time hot winds from
the west frequently prevail. The cold weather lasts from November to
March. The nights are then cold and bracing, and light winds blow.
The annual rainfall at Motihari town for the 23 years ending 1881 was
47-92 inches. In the latter year, 57-06 inches fell, or 9*14 inches above
the average.

Endemic diseases of a malarious origin prevail, especially in the
north of the District. In Ramnagar, intermittent fever assumes its
most fatal type. Goitre, with its attendant cretinism, is common.
Cholera is rarely absent from some part of the District, and outbreaks
of small-pox are not infrequent. [For further information regarding
Champaran District, see the Statistical Account of Be?igal, vol. xiii. pp.
220 to 318 (Triibner & Co., London, 1877). Also the Bengal Census
Report for 1881, and the Provincial Administration Reports for the
years 1880 to 1883.]

Champaran. — Head-quarters Sub-division of Champaran District,
Bengal. Area, 1518 square miles, with 4594 villages and 159,475
houses, of which 153,842 are occupied and 5633 unoccupied.
Population (1881) — Hindus, 879,812; Muhammadans, 137,633;
and Christians, in : total, 1,017,556, viz. 513,113 males and 504,443
females. Average density of population, 670 per square mile ; houses


per square mile, 105 ; persons per village, 753 ; persons per occupied
house, 6 "6 1. The Sub-division consists of the police circles {thdnds) of
Motihari, Adapur, Dhaka Kamchandra, Kesariya, Madhuban, and
Gobindganj. In 1882, it contained 1 civil and 3 criminal courts ; with
a regular police force of 215 officers and men, and n 73 chaukiJars or
village watchmen.

Champdani. — Small village in Hugh' District, Bengal ; situated on
the right bank of the Hugli river, near Baidybati. In former times,
notorious for piracies and murders.

Chamraj nagar. — Taluk in Mysore District, Mysore State. Area,
208 square miles; population (1881) 80,550, viz. males 38,911, and
females 41,639. Hindus numbered 78,764 ; Muhammadans, 1778 ; and
Christians, 8. Land revenue (1874-75), exclusive of water-rates,
;£i 2,2 22, or 2S. id. per cultivated acre. There is much black cotton-
soil, growing wheat, etc.

Chamraj nagar. — Town in Mysore District, Mysore State, and head-
quarters of the taluk of the same name; 36 miles south-east from
Mysore town. Lat. n° 56' 15" n., long. 77 e. ; population (1881)
4123, of whom 2 are Christians. Original name (Arkotar) changed by
the late Maharaja of Mysore in 1 818, in honour of his father Chamraj
Wodeya>, who was born here. In 1825, the Maharaja erected a large
temple to Chamraj eswara, which he endowed with sarvamanyam
villages, yielding ^1700 a year, and placed in charge of an amildar
with 157 subordinates. He also built a palace. Two miles east are
the ruins of an ancient city, locally known as Manipur.

Chamrauli. — Town in Unao District, Oudh ; situated 7 miles east of
Unao town. Founded by the Dikhit Kshattriyas, and the seat of their
power for many generations. Still one of the chief Dikhit villages.
Population (1881) 2704, namely, Hindus, 2482 ; Muhammadans, 222.
Government school. Large village. Grain market. Two old Sivaite

Chamiindibetta (the hill of Chamundi, a name for Kali, the
consort of Siva). — Precipitous hill in Mysore District, Mysore State ;
2 miles south-east of the fort of Mysore, 3489 feet above sea-level.
Lat. 12 17' n., long. 76 44' e. A road for wheel traffic, $h miles in
length, opened in 1877-78, leads to the summit, on which is a temple
of Chamundi, repaired by the late Maharaja. Human sacrifices were
offered here until the time of Haidar Ali. Two-thirds of the way up is
a colossal figure of Nandi, the sacred bull of Siva, hewn out of the solid
rock. The figure is in a recumbent attitude, 16 feet high, and very
correctly represented. It was carved by order of Dodda Deva Raja,
who ascended the throne of Mysore in 1659.

Chamursi.— Town in Mtil laksil, Chanda District, Central Provinces,
situated near the left bank of the Wainganga. Population (1S81) 34S0,


namely, Hindus, 3244; Muhammadans, 80; and tribes professing
aboriginal religions, 156. Trade in castor seed with the Nizam's
territory ; and in gM, silk cocoons, and thread with the- east coast.
Weekly market, post-office, and school.

Chanar (Chunar). — Tahsil of Mirzapur District, North-Western
Provinces, lying along the south bank of the Ganges, and consisting in
large part of the last outlying terraces which descend from the Vindhyan
range. Area, 558 square miles, of which 244 are cultivated ; population
(1881) 182,654; land revenue, ^£28,665; total revenue, ^30,320;
rental paid by cultivators, .£59,042. In 1883, the Sub-division con-
tained 1 criminal court and 7 police stations (thdnds)) strength of
regular police, 79 men ; village watchmen, 381.

Chanar. — Fortress and ancient town in Mirzapur District, North-
western Provinces. Situated in lat. 25 7' 30" n., and long. 82 55' 1" eJ
on the south bank of the Ganges, at the point where the river takes its
great bend northward towards Benares. Distant from Benares 26 miles
south-west, from Mirzapur 20 miles east. Population (1881) 9148,
namely, 6667 Hindus, 2386 Musalmans, 51 Christians, and 44 ' others;'
area of town site, 211 acres. Municipal income (1881) ^710.

The fort of Chanar is built upon an outlier of the Vindhyan range — a
sandstone rock jutting into the Ganges, and deflecting the river to the
north. It lies nearly north and south, 800 yards in length, 133 to 300
in breadth, and 80 to 175 feet above the level of the surrounding country.
The circumference of the walls is about 2400 yards. The present
fortifications were for the most part constructed by the Musalmans,
apparently from materials obtained by pulling down still older Hindu
buildings. Sculptured stones, with figures of Hindu deities and heroes
in high relief, are found built into the walls and pavements, with their
carved faces scornfully turned downwards into the earth. Ornaments
bearing the trace of Buddhist workmanship, such as bells and flowers,
and even fragmentary jatakas, the sacred Birth-stories, occur. Many of
the stones bear the imprint of masons' marks — tridents, swords, fishes,
and characters derived from the Nagari and Pali alphabets. While the
magazine and main portions of the fortress stand on a conspicuous
height, defended by natural precipices, the lower part lies scarcely above
the inundation level of the Ganges, and was flooded in 1875.

Tradition assigns a high antiquity to the fort of Chanar. Bharti
Nath, king of Ujain, and brother of the half-historic Vikramaditya, is
said to have chosen this solitary wooded rock overhanging the Ganges
as the site of his hermitage. The great Prithwi Raja is also said to
have dwelt in the fortress ; and a mutilated slab over the gateway long
commemorated its ransom from the Muhammadan invaders. The
present buildings are, as above mentioned, the work of later Musalman
conquerors, who adapted the ancient Hindu fortifications to their more


modern military requirements. The fort passed through many changes
of masters, under the Pathan and Mughal dynasties ; it was held for
Akbar, by a general whose descendants still linger in obscurity around
its base ; and it finally fell into the hands of Raja Balwant Singh of
Benares about the year 1750 (see Mirzapur District). The British
troops, under Major Munro, attacked it without success in 1763 ; but
it came into our possession after the battle of Buxar, in the following
year. After Raja Chait Singh's outbreak in 1781, Warren Hastings
retired to Chanar, where a force was collected under Major Popham,
which expelled Chait Singh from his strongholds in the neighbourhood,
and finally drove him into the Gwalior territory. Hastings was fond of
the situation and climate of Chanar ; his house is still pointed out on
the summit, and remains the principal edifice to this day.

The fort is now used as a place of confinement for State prisoners, and
is held by a small garrison. The ordnance enclosure and the magazine
are at the north-west end of the plateau overlooking the river. The
fort is armed with 18 guns, of various calibre up to 32 -pounders,
four 8-inch mortars, and 1200 barrels of gunpowder. The garrison
would have to be strengthened to over 500 men if the place were to
be defended against an attacking force, as several positions would have
to be held outside. Warren Hastings' house is now used as barracks
for a company of British infantry; and his staff-quarters adjoining to
it form (1883) the residence of three Kiika prisoners. A little to the
east lies the tomb of a Muhammadan saint, whose piety was clearly
established, when he was carried prisoner to Delhi, by his fetters
dropping off each evening at time of prayer. The last act of the dying
man was to shoot an arrow from the fort into the jungle, to fix the site
of his tomb. His mausoleum lies at a rather long bow-shot from the
fortress; other Muhammadan mausoleums have grown up around it,
and a cemetery in a beautiful garden. It is visited each year by crowds
of devotees, both Hindus and Musalmdns, but especially the former,
who present offerings of rice, and tie a knot on a long string which
hangs down in the sanctuary, breathing at the same time a wish or a
vow. The town of Chanar is the seat of a flourishing native literary
society, and has a reading-room, telegraph office, and dispensary.

Chanchra. — Village in Jessor District, Bengal ; about a mile south
of Jessor town, and the residence of the Rajas of Chanchra or Jessor.
Lat. 23 9' o" n., long. 89 14' 45" e. The Chanchra family traces
its origin to one Bhabeswar Rai, a soldier in Khan-i-Azam's army,
who received a grant of 4 parga?ids out of the territories conquered
from Pratapaditya (vide Jessor District). He died in 1588 a.d.,
and his successors added considerably to the original domain. His
grandson, Manohar Rai (1 649-1 705), is looked upon as the prin-
cipal founder of the family ; and at his death, the estate was by far


the largest in the neighbourhood. His second successor divided the
family property into two parts, retaining a three-fourths share, known
as the Yusafpur estate, for himself, and making over the one-fourth,
known as the Sayyidpur estate, to a brother, who some years afterwards
died without heirs. At the time of the Permanent Settlement (1793),
the Yusafpur estate was in the hands of Srikant Rai, who fell into
arrears of land revenue. His property was sold, pargand after pargand,
and finally he became a pensioner on the bounty of Government.
His son, Banikant Rai, succeeded by a suit in regaining a portion of
the ancestral estates, gave up his pension, and became again a landholder.
On his death a long minority occurred, during which the estate was
under the management of the Court of Wards, and greatly increased in
value. The last possessor, Baradakant Rai, received a grant in 1823 of
one of the pargands confiscated in the time of his predecessors. The
title of Raja Bahadur and a khillat of honour was also bestowed on
him, in recognition of his position, and for services rendered during the
Mutiny. His son, Gyandakant Rai, succeeded him, and is the present
(1883) holder of the estate.

Chanda. — District in the Nagpur Division of the Chief- Com-
missionership of the Central Provinces, lying between 19 31' and

Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 3) → online text (page 41 of 56)