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The imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 3) online

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him to the right administration of the judicial and police powers
entrusted to him. Precise rules for the administration of criminal
justice were first promulgated in 1863, under which the Chiefs have
power to fine up to the extent of ^5, or to inflict imprisonment with
or without hard labour for two years. Another provision empowers
them to pass sentence of imprisonment up to five years, or to fine to
the extent of ,£20 ; but all such sentences are referred to the Com-
missioner for confirmation. In all cases of heinous crime, for which a


466 CHUT1YA.

sentence of five years' imprisonment appears inadequate, the Chiefs, in the
capacity of magistrates, remit the cases to the Commissioner, who tries
the accused, and passes sentence. Sentences of death must be sub-
mitted to the Lieutenant-Governor for confirmation. The total tribute
paid by the Chiefs amounts to .£468, and most of them are also bound
to supply a contingent for military service, if required. Their estimated
revenue is approximately returned at ^2 6,400. The police system
of the States is purely indigenous, and consists for the most part of
the rural militia, who hold their lands on condition of rendering
personal service to their Chiefs. On the whole, there is very little
heinous crime. Murders occur occasionally, as might be expected
among half-civilised races; but serious offences against property are
rare, and petty crime is sufficiently dealt with by the Chiefs under the
supervision of the Commissioner. A characteristic feature of the crime
returns is the number of charges of defamation of character brought by
women who have been denounced as witches. The belief in witchcraft
still survives in full strength; and in 1873, two reputed witches were
murdered, and others maltreated, in Gangpur. [For further informa-
tion regarding the Chutia Nagpur Tributary States, see the separate
articles in their alphabetical arrangement. Also the Statistical Account
of Bengal, vol. xvii. pp. 149 to 250 (London : Triibner & Co., 1877);
and the Bengal Census Repo7't for 1881.]

Chutiya. — A semi-Hinduized tribe probably of Shan descent, at one
time dominant in Upper Assam. Their territories extended over the
present Districts of Sibsagar and Southern Lakhimpur. When the
Ahams first arrived in Assam, a Chutiya king reigned at Garhgaon,
and the two kindred tribes lived for long on neighbourly terms with
each other. They are said to have been first brought into hostile
relations by the treacherous murder of the Aham chief by the Chutiya
king who had invited him to a friendly boat race. The struggle
which followed between the two kindred tribes lasted for a century and
a quarter, and ended only on the final defeat and death of the Chutiya
king, and the annexation of his territory by the Ahams. The follow-
ing account of this tribe, which is still numerous in Upper Assam, is
condensed from the Assam Census Report for 1881. The Chutiyas
of the present day are divided into four classes, known as Hindu, Aham,
Borahi, and Deori. The first two of these are completely Hinduized.
They are practically equals and eat together, although the Hindu
Chutiyas assert a nominal superiority on the ground of their earlier
conversion to Hinduism. The Borahi Chutiyas rank much lower, and
the two higher classes (Hindus and Ahams) will not associate or eat
with them. They were the first of the Chutiya tribes subdued by the
Ahams, who employed them as cooks, keepers of fowls, and in other
menial offices, which probably accounts for the low estimation in which


they are still held. They are few in number, and although nominally
Hindus, still adhere in part to their ancient religious customs.

The Deori or priestly Chutiyas form the best representative class of
the original race. A few of their villages are found on the Dikrang in
North Lakhimpur, on the banks of the Brahmaputra between North
Lakhimpur and Majuli island, and again on the Tengapani in the
extreme east of the valley. They are worshippers of Durga under the
names of Gokhdnf, Tamasurai Mai, and Khesakhati. The first name
signifies the wife of Mahadeo in his form as a religious mendicant ; the
second refers to a copper-roofed temple on the Dhola east of Sadiya j
the third, literally ' eaters of raw flesh,' recalls the human and uncooked
meat sacrifices which this priestly tribe were wont to offer. Durga
has taken the place of a number of evil spirits which the Chutiyds
used to appease by sacrifices. This copper temple on the Dhola, now
abandoned, was endowed by the Aham kings with money and lands,
and supplied with an annual human victim. It seems to have been a
centre of worship for all the wild tribes of the frontier, until the arrival
of the Burmese and the later raids of the Mishmis compelled large
numbers of Chutiyas to emigrate farther south to their present abodes.
The Deori Chutiyas have never employed the services of Brahmans,
but offer their propitiatory sacrifices through their own priests ; nor
have they adopted the Hindu ritual. A Deori village is made up of
about 30 houses, built on bamboo platforms raised five feet from the
ground. Each house consists of one large undivided room, often con-
taining a family of 40 persons, and a verandah in front for visitors.
The men are tall and well-nourished, with a strong resemblance to the
Kacharis. Any connection with the Kacharis is, however, indignantly
repudiated by them. But their language has a close affinity to the
Kachari, and they are regarded by some as a branch of the great Bodo
race. They drink spirits, and eat all kinds of flesh, except beef. Like
the Kacharis, they will not drink milk, although they keep buffaloes
and trade in dairy produce. Child-marriage and polygamy are unknown,
and marriages are generally negotiated by the parents of the bride on a
business basis, in which the price of the bride sometimes rises to as
high as ^10. Love matches, in defiance of parental arrangements,
are, however, not uncommon. The Chutiyas burn their dead. The
Chutiyas in the Assam Valley in 1881 were returned at 59,163, of
whom 29,952 were in Sibsagar and 16,708 in Lakhimpur District.

Circars, the Northern (Sarkdr, ' a government '). — The historical
name for a large tract of country lying between 15 40' and 20 17' n.
lat., and between 79 12' and 85 20' e. long., along the coast of the
Bay of Bengal, within the Madras Presidency. It extended over about
17,000 square miles, and corresponded in general outline with the
British Districts of Ganjam, Vizagapatam, Godavan, Kistna, and part


of Nellore and Karniil (Kurnool), stretching from the Chilka Lake, its
northern limit, to the Gandlakamma river, its southern boundary.
Previous to the Muhammadan period, it was known by the Hindu names
of Kalinga, Telingana, and Andhra. On the east it was bounded by the
sea, and on the west by the hills running from the Godavari to Gumsar
(Goomsur), which separated it throughout from the Nizam's Dominions.
In breadth, the Northern Circars ranged from 18 to ioo miles.

From the 5th to the nth centuries, the north of this tract was subject
to the Kesari or Lion-kings of Orissa. In the 12th century appeared
the Gajapati dynasty (the Elephant-kings), whose rule extended south-
wards to the Godavari, the Narapatis (Lords of men) reigning contem-
poraneously over the southern portion (see Conjevaram). In the 15th
century, a disputed succession in Ganjam led to Muhammadan inter-
ference. Mumammad Shah, the last but one of the Bahmani dynasty of
the Deccan, being appealed to by one of the claimants, invested him
with the title in dispute, and extended his dominion as a tributary over
the countries of Kondapalli (Condapilly), Rajamahendri (Rajahmundry),
and Ellore, as far south as the present British District of Nellore. In
the 1 6th century, the Bahmani dynasty succumbed, and their tributary
protectorate in the Circars passed, not without a struggle with the Chiefs
of the northern divisions, under the power of the Kutab Shahi princes.
In the 17th century, the Kutab Shahi dominions fell to Aurangzeb ; but
for thirty years no serious attempt was made to impose the Delhi rule
upon the Circars. Early in the 18th century, however, the office of
Siibahdar of the Deccan was created; and Nizam-ul-mulk, the first
incumbent, appointed two lieutenants to the governments of the coast
Provinces — Anwar-ud-din, afterwards Nawab of the Karnatic, being
placed over Chicacole and the north, and Riistam Khan over Rajama-
hendri and the south. The Northern Circars at this time comprised
the 5 divisions of Chicacole, Kondapalli, Rajamahendri, Ellore, and
Gantiir (Guntoor). Chicacole, or Kalinga, comprising the present
Vizagapatam and Ganjam Districts, with a portion of the adjoining
country, was sub-divided into Ichhapur, Kasimkota, and Chicacole, the
Piindi river forming its northern boundary. For a time this division
was known to the Muhammadans as Gulchanab^d. Rajamahendri
extended to Coconada, while south of it to the Kistna was Kondapalli.
Between Kondapalli and the southern branch of the Godavari, lay
Ellore ; and still farther south, to Ongole, stretched Gantiir (Guntoor).
Besides these was the coast strip known as Masiilipatam havili, held
as a personal estate by the reigning power, in which lay Masiilipatam,
the chief town and fortress of the Northern Circars. To all these the
Muhammadans gave new names ; but it is noteworthy that none have
survived. In 1750, Muzaffar Jang succeeded to the Subahdarship of
the Deccan, and ceded Masiilipatam, with the country adjacent, to the


French, by whose assistance he had obtained his position. Two years
later, his successor, Salabat Jang, extended the grant to the whole of
the Northern Circars. M. Bussy, who was appointed to the govern-
ment of the new tract, united the whole, not, however, without great
trouble in Chicacole, Bobbili, and other places, under the titular
chiefship of Vijayaram, Raja of Vijayanagar. He was succeeded by
Anandaraj Gajapati, who, after making offers in vain to our Madras
Government (then embarrassed by the French besieging the capital),
surrendered the Circars to our Bengal chiefs. Lord Clive at once sent
an army southwards, which, after defeating the French, stormed Masuli-
patam. A treaty was concluded with Salabat Jang, by which all the
territory dependent on Masiilipatam, about 80 miles in length and 20
in breadth, was ceded to the British. In 1761, Nizam All supplanted
Salabat Jang ; and in the following year, four of the Circars were offered
by him to the East India Company on condition of affording military
aid. The offer was refused ; but in 1766 we obtained a grant for all
the five Circars from the Delhi court. To secure the possession, the
fort of Kondapalli was seized, and a treaty of alliance signed with
Nizam AH at Haidarabad (Hyderabad), November 12, 1766. By this
treaty the Company, in consideration of 'the grant of the Circars,'
engaged to maintain troops at an annual cost of ^90,000, for the
Nizam's assistance whenever required. Gantiir (or Kondavir, as it was
sometimes called), being a personal estate of the Nizam's brother,
Basalat Jang, was, as a matter of courtesy, excepted during his lifetime.
Two years later, the Nizam having in the meantime associated himself
with Haidar Ali against the Company, another treaty was signed (on
the 1st of March 1768), in which he acknowledged the validity of the
Delhi grant and resigned the Circars (Gantur again excepted) to the
Company, receiving as a mark of friendship, ,£50,000 per annum. In
1769, the Circars were taken under direct management; and in 1778,
Gantur also was rented, by special treaty, from Basalat Jang, for his
lifetime. In the following year, the Nizam was again in alliance with
Haidar Ali, on the pretext that the Company had withheld payments
due on account of the Circars ; and the Government restored Gantur to
Basalat Jang for his life. He died in 1782 ; but it was not until 1788
that Gantur came under British administration, and then on the promise
of £70,000 per annum. In 1823, this annual payment was consolidated
into a lump sum, and the whole of 'the Northern Circars' thus
became a British possession.

Circular Road Canal.— Canal in the District of the Twenty-four
Parganas, Bengal, leading from the Hiigli river at Bagh Bazar on the
north of Calcutta, to the old toll-house on the Salt Water Lake.
Length, 6 miles. Lat. 22 34' to 22 36' 30" n. ; long. 88° 24 30" to
88° 25' 15" e.


Cis-Sutlej States. — Tract of country in the Punjab, including
the British Districts of Ambala (Umballa), Ludhiana, Firozpur
(Ferozepore), and Hissar, and the Native States of Patiala, Jind, and
Nabha. The term was first applied to the Sikh principalities which
arose to the south of the Sutlej (Satlaj) during the last years of the
Delhi Empire. After the suicidal contests of the Marathas and the
Durani princes, the Sikhs began to cross over from the Punjab proper
(see Amritsar District) into the territory beyond the great boundary
river, and soon acquired for themselves the whole stretch of country
between the Sutlej and the Jumna valley. When the Maratha power
in Upper India fell before the British conquerors in 1803, the whole of
this intervening tract was already parcelled out among numerous chief-
tains, from the powerful Raja of the Patiala principality to the petty
sarddrs who held a few villages under a precarious sway. After the
establishment of the British power to the east, the various Native rulers
continued to wage perpetual war upon one another, until the consolida-
tion of the Lahore Government, under Ranjit Singh, forced them to
unite in resistance to the common enemy. The great Maharaja at last
appeared on the south of the Sutlej, and demanded tribute. There-
upon the Cis-Sutlej princes, fearing the fate which had befallen their
brethren in the Punjab proper, united in 1808 in an application for aid
to the British Government. Our authorities, who were then engaged in
negotiations with Ranjit Singh, accepted the proffered protectorate.
The treaty of 1809 secured them from encroachment on the north ;
while a proclamation, issued in 181 1, put an end to those internal wars
which had previously wasted the energies of the various States. With
this exception, however, the Chiefs still retained sovereign rights within
their several principalities, having absolute civil, criminal, and fiscal juris-
diction, subject only to the supreme authority of the British Government.
No tribute was demanded, and no contingent fixed ; the only claim
which the British advanced, in return for their protection, was the right
to escheats, and to assistance in case of war. But after the outbreak of
the first Sikh war, and during the Sutlej campaign of 1845, tne chief-
tains failed to supply the stipulated military aid. At the conclusion
of the war, the British Government accordingly resolved to place the
jurisdiction of the Cis-Sutlej principalities upon an entirely new basis.
The chieftains had in many cases exhibited an incapacity for just rule,
so that it had become desirable in the interests of their subjects to
check their fiscal exactions, and place the administration of justice in
stronger hands. By a resolution, dated November 17, 1846, the
Governor-General abolished the criminal jurisdiction of the chieftains,
removed the internal transit or customs duties, and laid down a scale
of tribute in commutation of the military service which the chiefs had
neglected to perform. Patiala, Jind, Nabha, Faridkot, Maler Kotla


Chitrauli, Raikot, Buriya, and Mandot obtained exemption from this
arrangement ; but all the other principalities were incorporated into a
British Commissionership of the Cis-Sutlej States, with its head-quarters
at Ambala. It soon became apparent, however, that the petty Chiefs,
deprived of their police jurisdiction, could not efficiently collect their
revenue, and steps were taken for a regular assessment of the land under
British officials ; which measure, though temporarily postponed by the
outbreak of the second Sikh war, was fully carried out after the comple-
tion of that campaign and the resulting annexation of the Punjab. In
June 1849, accordingly, the British Government finally abolished the
sovereign powers of the petty chieftains, and assumed the complete
criminal, civil, and fiscal authority throughout all the States, except the
eight above enumerated. The whole administration devolved upon our
newly-formed Government at Lahore; and though the revenues still
belonged to the various chieftains, the task of assessment and collection
fell upon the British officials. Since that date, various other States
have lapsed from time to time, by death or forfeiture, to the British
Government, and have been incorporated with one or other of the
different Districts. For further details and statistics, vide the Districts
of Ambala, Ludhiana, Firozpur (Ferozepore), and Hissar, and
the Native States of Patiala, Jind, and Nabha.

Closepet. — Taluk in Bangalore District, Mysore State. Area, 476
square miles. Population (1881) 82,585, namely, males 40,652, and
females 41,933. Hindus numbered 74,957; Muhammadans, 7393 J
and Christians, 235. A fertile and well-cultivated taluk, watered by
the rivers Arkavati, Kanva, and Vrishabhavati. Considerable culti-
vation of rice, cocoa-nuts, betel-leaf, plantains, and sugar-cane. Much
raw silk was formerly produced at the towns of Closepet and Channa-
patna, but the outbreak of disease among the silkworms has almost
destroyed the industry. Manufacture of coarse cotton cloth. Revenue,
1883-84, ^"13,313. The taluk contains 2 criminal courts with 8
police circles (thdnds) ; strength of regular police, 80 men ; village
watchmen (chaukiddrs), 30.

Closepet. — Town in Bangalore District, Mysore State, and head-
quarters of Closepet taluk, situated on the right bank of the Arkavati
river, 30 miles by road south-west of Bangalore. Lat. 12 40' n.,
long. 77 12' e. Population (1881) 4832, namely, 3279 Hindus, 1482
Muhammadans, and 71 Christians. Founded in 1800 by the Diwan
Purnaiya, and named after the British Resident, Sir Barry Close.
There are several religious buildings of the Hindu sects. The silliddr
horse-breeding establishment has been removed to Kunigal. The
Muhammadans were formerly much engaged in sericulture; but since the
outbreak of disease among the silkworms, many of them have emigrated
to the coffee Districts. Head-quarters of the taluk of the same name.


Cocanada.— Sub-division of Godavarf District, Madras Presidency ;
comprising the taluks of Peddapuram, Pithapur, and Tuni. Also a
zamindari estate of the District ; area, 190 square miles, containing 61
towns and villages and 20,394 houses, with (1881) 101,075 inhabitants,
namely, 97,277 Hindus, 2894 Muhammadans, 881 Christians, and. 23
1 others.'

Cocanada {Kdki-ndda, 'Crow country')-— Town and seaport in
Godavarf District, Madras Presidency. Situated on the coast 545
miles south of Calcutta, and 315 north of Madras, and connected by
navigable canals with Samulkotta and the Godavarf river at Dowlaish-
waram. Lat. 16 57' n., long. 82 13' e. Houses, 4024. ^ Population
(1881) (with Jaganadhapur) 28,856, namely, 26,680 Hindus, 1383
Muhammadans, 772 Christians, and 21 'others.' Area of town site,
3271 acres. Municipal revenue (1881-82), ^"2952; incidence of
taxation, 2s. id. per head. Being the head-quarters of the District
administration, it contains the courts of the Magistrate and his
subordinates, jail, post and telegraph offices, schools, dispensary, etc. ;
and as the second seaport of the Presidency after Madras, it possesses
the usual marine establishments, custom house, master attendants' office,
etc. The European mercantile community numbers 185 persons. The
municipality includes the older town of Jaganadhapur (formerly a
Dutch settlement, made over to the British in 1825), which is con-
nected with Cocanada proper by an iron bridge across the tidal creek.
The returns for 1881-82 show that shipping of 703,264 tons burthen
entered during the year; value of exports, ^2 17,331— of imports,
,£1,225,533. Principal export to Europe, cotton — grown in Godavarf
and Kistna Districts, pressed at Gantiir (Guntoor), and brought to
Cocanada by canals ; oil-seeds, sugar, and rice are also exported. The
trade is carried on by English, French, and native coasting vessels.
The cotton traffic received a great impetus during the American war,
this port being more convenient for large shipments than Masulipatam.
The chief imports are iron, copper, sacks, and liquor. The roadstead
is one of the safest on this dangerous coast, but the anchorage is
gradually shifting owing to the silting up of the bay. A new light-
house was erected on the mainland, 4} miles from Coconada, in 1879,
the old one, erected in 1865, having become almost useless, owing to
the shifting of the shoals.— See Coringa.






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