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Districts of Salem and South Arcot, Madras Presidency. Lat. 12 21'
to 12 23' 45" n. ; long. 78 50' to 78 52' 35" e. As the direct route
to the Baramahal from the Karnatic, it has been the scene of several
important events. In 1760, Makdiim Ali entered the Karnatic by this
pass; and here, in 1767, Haidar All, pursuing the British in their
retreat on Trinomalai, received a severe defeat. Two years later, the
Mysore army retreated by the Chengama, and in 1780 returned
through it to destroy General Baillie's column. In 1791, Tipu led off
his forces — the last army that invaded the British Karnatic — by the
same route.

Chennagiri. — Taluk and village in Shimoga District, Mysore State.
— See Channagiri.

Chepauk. — A quarter of Madras Town.

Chera (or Kerala). — Name of one of the oldest kingdoms in
Southern India. Its exact locality is still a subject of dispute, but it is
quite certain that it lay on the western coast. It is doubtful whether
it was simply synonymous with Kerala, which was the name of the
whole western coast, including Travancore, or whether it was an older
name for the kingdoms of Kerala and of the Korigu kings combined.
If the latter, it embraced, besides the present Districts of Kanara and
Malabar and the Native States of Cochin and Travancore, the Districts
of Coimbatore and Salem, with parts of Mysore and the Nilgiris. In
the oldest historical days, Chera, Chola, and Pandya formed the
three great southern kingdoms, the confines of which met, according to
tradition, at a place on the Kaveri (Cauvery) river, 11 miles east of Kariir.
Probably the larger country was at different periods broken up into two
divisions, the coast and the inland, which again united under the old


name, provincialisms in language giving rise to various pronunciations.
The date of the origin of the Chera dynasty is unknown, but it was in
existence early in the Christian era. Towards the end of the ninth, or
beginning of the tenth century, the Chera country was overrun by the
Cholas. To the Chola dynasty succeeded, after an interval of anarchy,
the rule of the Hoysala Ballalas of Mysore, who held the country till
they were overthrown by the Muhammadans in a.d. 13 10. The latter
were shortly afterwards driven out by a Hindu confederation, headed
by the rising chiefs of Vijayanagar, and for two centuries were held in
check, while the Vijayanagar empire, which absorbed the ancient State
of Chera, grew to its greatest height of prosperity and grandeur. In
1565, the Vijayanagar kingdom was destroyed by the Muhammadans ;
but the Chera country was firmly held by the Nayakkas of Madura,
till the period when the whole of southern India was decimated by
the constant strife between the rising kings of Mysore, the Madura
Nayakkas, and the Muhammadans. In 1640, the Chera country was
captured by the armies of the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijaypur, and was
seized by the Mysore king in 1652. Perpetual strife ensued, ending
only on the downfall of Tipii Sultan and the capture of Seringapatam.
— See also Chola.

Cherand. — Village in Saran District, Bengal ; situated on the main
stream of the Ganges, 7 miles east of Chaprd, in lat. 25 43' 41" N.,
long. 84 52' 10" e. Contains the remains of an old fort, the history of
which is unknown, and a ruined mosque.

Cherat. — Hill cantonment and sanitarium in Nawashahra tahsil,
Peshawar District, Punjab; lies in lat. 33° 50' o" n., and long.
72 1' o" e., at an elevation of 4500 feet above sea-level, on the west
of the Khattak range, which divides the Districts of Peshawar and
Kohat ; distant from Peshawar 34 miles south-east, from Nawashahra
25 miles south-west. The site was first brought to notice in 1853 by
Major Coke, who observed it during the exploration of the Mir Kalan
route to Kohat ; but some years passed before active steps were taken
for its occupation, owing to the fear of political complications with the
surrounding Afridi tribes. In 1861, a temporary camp, established
during the autumn months, proved a complete success ; and since that
time, troops have been annually moved up with great benefit to their
health. Even in the hottest seasons, the temperature seldom exceeds
8o° F. The water-supply comes from a spring at Sapari, nearly 3 miles
distant ; estimated outflow, 20,000 gallons per diem in the driest season
of the year. There is another spring, very much nearer the station, the
water of which is slightly sulphurous ; it is used for bathing. Towards
the end of June, the temperature in the shade rises as high as 96°,
but once the rain falls, the climate becomes very pleasant. The hill is
rocky, but is not void of vegetation ; the wild olive {kabu\ dodonia, and


other wild bushes grow in abundance, and in the spring there is an
abundance of wild flowers. The place is still called a camp, no regular
cantonments having yet (1883) been laid out, and the men till recently
lived in tents. Huts, however, have now been built for the better
accommodation of the detachments. The land belongs to the Una
Khel Khattaks of the three villages of Shakot, Silakhana, and Bhakti-
pur. When the troops are away in the winter, the people of these
villages receive £,20 a month for taking care of the Government
property left. There is a small Roman Catholic Chapel, but no
Protestant Church, although the chaplain of Peshawar makes occasional
visits. The hill commands a view of the whole of the Peshawar valley
on one side, and on the other of a great part of Rawal Pindi and of
the Khwara valley in Kohat District.

Cherpulchari (Cherupullaseri). — Town in Malabar District, Madras
Presidency; situated 10 miles from the Pata'mbi railway station, in lat.
io° 53' n., long. 76 22' 20" e. Houses, 714; population (188 1) 4501,
namely, 3668 Hindus, 829 Muhammadans, and 4 Christians. Formerly
( 1 792-1800) the station of the Southern Superintendent under Bombay,
and (i860) the head-quarters of the Nedunganad taluk. Contains a
sub-magisterial establishment, post-office, travellers' bungalow, etc. It
was annexed to Mysore in 1766, and was the scene of troubles with the
Zamorin's family in J 790.

Cherra (Khasi, Soh-rah). — Petty State in the Khasi Hills, Assam.
Population (1881) 8055 ; revenue, ^855, chiefly from market dues.
The presiding chief, whose title is Stem, is named U Hajan Manik.
The principal products of the State are — oranges, betel-nuts, honey,
bamboos, lime, and coal. Manufacture of bamboo mats and baskets.
The Khasi word of Soh-rah, from which the little State and its capital
derive their name, is the name of an edible fruit-tree.

Cherra Punji (Khasi, Soh-rdh-pungi). — The principal village of
Cherra State, Khasi Hills, Assam ; a name now also given by custom to
an abandoned British station in the Khasi Hills District, about 30 miles
south of Shillong, and 4588 feet above sea-level. Lat. 25 16' 58" n.,
long. 91 46' 42" e. ; population (1881) 2729. Cherra Punji was early
chosen as the residence of the chief British official in the Khasi Hills.
The administrative head-quarters of the District were removed to
Shillong in 1864, and Cherra Punji was abandoned. The station,
which lies to the south of the punji or village, which forms the residence
of the chief of the State, is now, save for a dak bungalow, police-
station, and post-office, entirely deserted ; and the remains of the
solidly-built houses, now mere roofless walls choked with jungle, form
a melancholy spectacle. North of the plateau on which the station
stood, and south of the village, is the Christian colony of Nong-Saulia,
which forms the centre of operations of the Welsh Calvinistic Mission.


This mission first established itself in the hills in 1841, and has done
much to spread both education and Christianity among the Khasis. '1 he
management of education in the District is chiefly in the hands of the mis-
sionaries, but there is one Government school at Shillong. The normal
school at Cherra Punji, under the control of the Rev. Hugh Roberts
and his wife, was attended in 1881-82 by 40 Khasi pupils, of whom 9
were girls. The total cost was ^404, almost entirely paid by Govern-
ment. Soh-rah-rin, or old Sohrah or Cherra, a former capital of the
State, is situated 7 miles north of the present village, at which there is
a rest-house on the Assam and Sylhet road, where a weekly market is
held. Coal is found over an area estimated at one-third of a square
mile, with an average thickness of from 3 feet 6 inches to 4 feet ; the
possible output is calculated at 447,000 tons. The mineral is of
excellent quality, being little inferior to ordinary English coal ; but it
has never yet been profitably worked. The British Government holds
a perpetual lease of the coal strata from the native chief or stem, on
payment of a royalty. Between 1844 and 1859, sub-leases were
granted to a succession of British capitalists, and during two years of
that period the mine was regularly worked ; but since 1859, this mine,
like most of the others in the Khasi Hills, has remained untouched.
Potatoes are largely cultivated. Cherra Punji enjoys the reputation
of having the heaviest known rainfall in the world. The registered fall
during the five years ending 1881 shows an annual average of 462-85
inches. It is reported that a total of 805 inches fell in 1861, of which
366 inches are assigned to the single month of July. This excessive
rainfall is caused by the circumstance that Cherra Punji stands on the
first of a series of hill ranges that rise abruptly from the plain of Bengal,
and catch the vapour of all the clouds that roll up from the sea.

Cherupullaseri.— Town in Malabar District, Madras Presidency.—
See Cherpuixhari.

Chetpat (Cketupatu).— Quarter of Madras Town.

Chetterpur.— Town in Ganjam District, Madras Presidency.— See

Chetvai.— Village in Malabar District, Madras Presidency, and
part of the township of Vadanapalli, which contains 1372 houses,
and in 1871, 8018 inhabitants. No later statistics are available, as
the town is not returned separately in the Madras Census Report
of 1 88 1. Lat. io° 32' n. ; long. 76 5' e. Formerly a place of some
importance, as being a terminus of the vast inland backwater
communications of Cochin and Travancore. In 171 7, the Dutch
wrested it from the Zamorin, built a fort, and made it the capital of
their Province of Pappinivattam. In 1776, Haidar Ali overran the
District, and captured the fort. In 1790, the place passed into British
possession, and was leased to the Cochin Raja until 1805, in which


year it came under the direct administration of the East India

Cheyair (C/itytru).— River in Cuddapah District, Madras Presi-
dency; a tributary of the Pennar. Flows for some miles through
the Seshachellam hills, and is crossed by the railway near Nandaliir,
the scene of a terrible disaster in 1870. Owing to its steep and
precipitous course, the utilization of its waters for irrigation is almost

Cheyair (Cheyeru Bahunadi). — River in North Arcot District,
Madras Presidency ; rises in the Jawadi range (lat. 12 30' n., long. 78°
50' e.), and after a course north-east of about 90 miles, during which it
flows past Trivatiir and feeds many irrigational works, it joins the
Palar in Chengalpat District, in lat. 12 42' n., long. 79 55' e.

Chhachrauli.— Chief town of Chhachrauli tahsil, Kalsia State,
Punjab. Population (1881) 5389, namely, Hindus, 3447; Muham-
madans, 1699 ; Sikhs, 208 ; Jains, 35. Number of occupied houses,

75 6 -

Chhagan Gobra. — Village in Athgarh State, Orissa. Lat. 20 34' o"
n. ; long. 85 51' o" e. Inhabited exclusively by a small community
of native Christians, under the charge of the Baptist Mission at
Cuttack. The village has a small chapel, and is prettily situated on a
slight eminence, surrounded by well-cultivated rice- fields. Two other
Christian hamlets adjoin it.

Chhalapak. — Depot in Rangpur District, Bengal. Trade in jute
and lime.

Chhaliar. — Petty State of Rewa Kantha, Gujarat, Bombay
Presidency. Area, 1 1 square miles, containing 24 villages ; estimated
revenue, ^1200, of which ^340 is paid as tribute to the Gaekwar
of Baroda. The Chohans established themselves here at a very
early period. The original limits of the State embraced Vakhtapur
and Raj pur, which were subsequently assigned to cadets of the

Chhalla. — Petty State of Jhalawar in Kathiawar, Bombay Presidency;
consisting of 1 village, with 2 independent tribute-payers. Estimated
revenue in 1876, ^230; tribute of ^97 is paid to the British Govern-
ment, and ^7, 1 6s. to Junagarh.

Chhanchia Mirganj— Depot in Rangpur District, Bengal. Trade
in rice and jute.

Chhanuya (or Chanua). — Port on the Panchpara river, Balasor
District, Orissa. Lat. 2 1° 32' 30" n. ; long. 87 6' 21" e. Frequented by
native sloops for cargoes of rice. The Saratha river joins the Panch-
para a short distance above the point where the united stream falls
into the Bay of Bengal. The entrance from the sea is impeded by
a bar, covered at low tide with only a few inches of water. With


the rise of the tides, vessels of about 100 tons burthen contrive to
get in. Above the bar there is no want of water, and the river is
navigable by sea-going craft as far as Mahadani, 9 miles from the sea in
a direct line. The exports consist almost entirely of rice ; there are no

Chhapclra. — Decayed town in Lakhnador ta/isil, Seoni District,
Central Provinces, situated 22 miles north of Seoni town, on the
Jabalpur road. Population (1881) 2881, namely, Hindus, 2063 ; Mu-
hammadans, 644 ; Jains, 161 ; aboriginals, 13. Formerly a considerable
place, but sacked in the last century by the Pindaris, from which it has
never recovered. Excellent camping ground in the neighbourhood j
travellers' bungalow.

Chhata. — Tahsil and town in Muttra District, North-Western
Provinces. — See Chata.

Chhatak. — Village on the left bank of the Surma river, in Sylhet
District, Assam; 32 miles below Sylhet town. Lat. 25 2' 10" n. ;
long. 91 42' 20" e. Up to this point, the Surma is navigable by
steamers all the year round ; and Chhatak is a thriving seat of river
traffic, where the limestone, oranges, and potatoes of the Khasi Hills
are collected for shipment to Bengal. The articles received in exchange
comprise cotton goods, salt, sugar, rice, pulses, and hardware. In
1881-82, the exports from Chhatak by native boats were valued at
£14,000. The steamer traffic is chiefly a transit one to or from Cachar,
Sylhet, and Shillong. The thdnd or police circle of Chhatak has a
population (1881) of 81,466.

Chhatarpur.— Native State in Bundelkhand, under the Central
India Agency and the Government of India. It lies to the south of
Hamirpur District, bordered by the Dhasan and Ken rivers, between
24 21/ and 25 16' n. lat., and between 79 37' and 8o° 28' E. long. ;
area, 11 69 square miles \ revenue, about .£25,000. Population (1881)
164,376, namely, 158,108 Hindus, 5510 Muhammadans, 749 Jains, and
9 Christians; number of villages, 315; number of occupied houses,
27,603 ; average density of population, i43'4i persons per square mile.
The founder of the present line of chiefs was an adventurer, who had
dispossessed the descendant of Chhatar Sal in the days of Maratha
disturbances. On the British occupation of the Province in 1804, his
submission was secured by the guarantee of his possessions. He
received sanads to that effect in 1806 and 1808 ; and it is under these
charters, and one of like import in 181 7, that the estate is held. The
chief received the title of Raja in 1827. The present ruler is Raja
Bishen Nath Singh, a Puar Rajput by caste, who was born in 1867.
During his minority, Chaubi Chubi Dhanpat Rai, a Deputy Collector in
the North-Western Provinces, was appointed to superintend the State.
He died in 1876. The Raja keeps up a military force of 62 horse and


1 1 78 infantry and police, with 32 guns and 38 gunners. He receives a
salute of 1 1 guns.

Chhatarpur. — Chief town of the State of the same name,
Bundelkhand, Central India x\gency ; situated in lat. 24 54' n., long.
79 38' e., on the route from Banda to Sagar (Saugor), 70 miles south-
west of the former and 100 miles north-east of the latter. Population
(1881) 13,474, namely, 11,154 Hindus, 1966 Muhammadans, and
354 ' others.' It is a thriving place, having manufactures of paper
and coarse cutlery made from iron mined from the adjacent hills. The
most striking architectural objects are the ruins of the extensive palace
of Chhatar Sal, the founder of the short-lived independence of Bundel-
khand, in whose honour the town received its name. Close by is his
mausoleum, a large structure of massive proportions and elaborate
workmanship, surrounded by five domes. Most of the houses in the
town are low, and the streets narrow, but a few of the residences of the
more wealthy inhabitants are spacious and well built.

Chhatisgarh ('The thirty-six forts'). — The south-eastern Division
or Commissionership of the Central Provinces, lying between 20
i' o" and 22 33' 30" n. lat, and between 8o° 28' o" and 84 24' o" e.
long. Comprises the Districts of Raipur, with the four attached
States of Chhuikadan, Ranker, Khairagarh, and Nandgaon *
Bilaspur, with the two attached States of Kawardha and Sakti ;
and Sambalpur, with the seven attached States of Kalahandi, Raigarh,
Sarangarh, Patna, Sonpur, Rairakhol, and Bamra. Total area,
including feudatory States, 39,761 square miles; population (1881)
4,612,705. The area of the British Districts was 24,204 square
miles; number of towns and villages, 11,724; number of houses,
918,986, of which 888,590 were occupied, and 30,396 unoccupied;
population 3,115,997, namely, males 1,546,837, and females 1,569,160;
average density of population, 1287 persons per square mile ; villages
per square mile, -48 ; houses per square mile, 37 ; persons per village,
266; persons per occupied house, 3*51. Classified according to
religion, the population of the British Districts consisted of — Hindus,
2,118,898; Kabirpanthis, 240,646 ; Satnamis, 356,745; Kumbhipathias,
692 ; Sikhs, 10 ; Jains, 530 ; Muhammadans, 27,582 ; Christians, 966 ;
aborigines, 369,928. Ethnically, however, the aboriginal tribes are
returned at 770,773, the difference representing the number who have
embraced some form of Hinduism. An account of a remarkable
religious movement which has of late years sprung up among the
Chamars of Chhatisgarh, will be found in the article on the Central

The following brief description of the Chhatisgarh Division is quoted
from The Central Provinces Gazetteer, Introduction, pp. xxiv., xxv.
(second edition, Nagpur, 1870) :— 'The Nagpur plain is terminated on



the east by a rocky barrier which divides it from the low-lying plateau
known as Chhatisgarh, or "the thirty-six forts." Land-locked on every
side by deep forests or hill passes, and remote from all centres, whether
of eastern or more modern western civilisation, this little principality
was, till of comparatively late years, the least known portion of the
obscurest division of India. Its central portion is an open plain, now
so fertile that it is known to the bands of Banjaras, who annually come
with their long trains of pack-bullocks to carry off its surplus produce,
as the Khalauti, or the "Land of the Threshing-floors." But this
agricultural wealth is new. The marks of human settlement have not
hitherto gone beyond the bare necessities of agricultural life, and the
great central plain of Chhatisgarh is to the eye most uninviting.
Nature has provided a wide extent of fertile soil, and settlers have
within the last quarter of a century multiplied and prospered. Great
consignments of grain are sent out annually to feed the cotton-growing
population of the Wardha valley, and to the country round Jabalpur,
and the lower valley of the MahanadiV Since the foregoing was
written, Chhatisgarh has made great strides in material prosperity ; new
colonies of settlers have been introduced; exports have rapidly increased;
and the construction of a line of railway will, in a few years, afford an
additional impetus to commerce, by placing it in direct communication
with the ports of Bombay on the west, and Calcutta on the east coast
of India.

Chhatn&i. — Town in Rangpur District, Bengal. Population (1SS1)
9501, namely, 7458 Muhammadans and 2043 Hindus; area of town
site, 9816 acres.

Chhibramau. — Tahsil of Farukhabad District, North - Western
Provinces, consisting of pargands Chhibramau and Talgram. Area, 243
square miles, of which 166 are cultivated; population (1881) 122,782 ;
land revenue, ^20,080 ; total Government revenue, ,£23,223 ; rental
paid by cultivators, ^35>547-

Chhibramau. — Town in Farukhdbad District, North - Western
Provinces, and head-quarters of Chhibramau tahsil, situated on the
Grand Trunk road, 17 miles south-south-west of Fatehgarh town.
Population (1881) 7990, namely, Hindus, 6376 ; Muhammadans,
1596; Jains, 9; Christians, 9; area of town site, 137 acres.
The town itself consists of two portions — Chhibramau proper and
Muhammadganj. The former is a quiet little country place of mud-
built houses, standing just off the Grand Trunk road, and inhabited
chiefly by Hindus. Muhammadganj to the west, originally a large
village of mud houses, has profited greatly by the making of the
Trunk road ; and a well-built busy street now extends for about a
quarter of a mile on either side of the highway. A handsome sarai
or native inn, built by the Rohilla Nawab Muhammad Khan in the


early part of the last century, and restored by a British Collector, is
the principal building. The other buildings are the official, civil, and
revenue court-houses, police station, good school, and imperial post-
office. A municipal revenue for police and conservancy purposes is
levied by means of a house-tax, under the provisions of Act xx. of
1856. Good halting-place and encamping ground for travellers and

Chhindwara. — District in the Narbada Division of the Chief-
Commissionership of the Central Provinces, lying between 21 20' and
22 50' n. lat, and between 78 14' and 79 23' e. long. Bounded on
the north and north-west by Narsinghpur and Hoshangabad ; on the
west by Betul ; on the east by Seoni ; and on the south by Nagpur,
while its south-western corner touches Berar. Area, after latest changes
(1883), 3915 square miles; population (188 r ) 372,899. The admini-
strative head-quarters of the District are at Chhindwara, which is also
the principal town.

Physical Aspects. — Chhindwara naturally divides itself into a high-
land and a lowland region, the former of which, under the name of
the Balaghat, occupies the greater part of the District. The Balaghat
consists of a section of the Satpura range, extending northward to the
outer line of hills south of the Narbada (Nerbudda) valley. It rests for
the most part upon the great basaltic formation, which stretches up
from the south-west across the Satpura Hills, as far east as Jabalpur
(Jubbulpore). The highest of these ranges starts from the confines of
the Harai jdgir, and continues westward across the District, with a
mean breadth of 8 miles, the ascents being steep on the north, but
much easier on the other side. A beautiful valley skirts the southern
base, and is again divided by an ill-defined range of hills from the
central plateau, through which lies the descent to the plain of Nagpur.
The average height of the Balaghat is 2000 feet above sea-level. The
Zerghat, or lowland region, comprises three pargands in the south-west
angle of the District, touching upon Nagpur and Berar ; and extends in
an open and undulating country. In some parts of the uplands, the
scene for miles is bare of trees ; but the southern slopes of the Satpuras
are well wooded. Teak and sdj, the latter often of considerable size,
are plentiful in these forests, besides the ordinary woods, which are
largely exported to the neighbouring District of Nagpur. The total
area of Government reserved forests in 1880-81 was 736 square miles.
Along the streams which intersect the country, of which the Kanhan is
the most considerable, lie strips and patches of jungle, while the
villages are often surrounded with groves of mango and tamarind trees.
At Anoni, near Mahiiljhir, on the east of the Mahadeo Hills, a spring

Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 3) → online text (page 47 of 56)