William Wilson Hunter.

The imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 8) online

. (page 28 of 64)
Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 8) → online text (page 28 of 64)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

^69,741. In 188 1, the area irrigated from this source, within Kistna
District, was 165,136 acres ; in addition, 6019 acres were fertilized by the
Godavari channels, and 19,941 acres were irrigated from tanks. The
total assessment on the irrigated area was ,£109,688. During the same
year the total area irrigated from the Kistna canals amounted to 287,027
acres, the ultimate area irrigable by the works, when carried to com-
pletion, being 475,000 acres. Manure of inferior quality is generally
used. The District contains numerous wells.

Of a total area of 8471 square miles, 51 12 square miles were assessed
in 1 88 1 for revenue, of which 3479 square miles were cultivated,
1238 square miles cultivable but not cultivated, and 395 square miles
uncultivable waste. The agricultural population of the District in 1881
numbered 471,318, or 30*4 per cent, of the total population. Total
amount of Government assessment, including local rates and cesses
on land, ^£478,951, or an average of 4s. 3d. per cultivated acre. Total
amount of rental actually paid by cultivators, including rates and c e
£635,460, or an average of 5s. 6d. per cultivated acre. According to
the returns of 1882-83, the farm stock included 105,159 ploughs,
25,854 carts, 713 boats, 167,094 buffaloes, 358,352 bullocks and cows,
2154 horses and ponies, 304,820 goats and sheep, 33,301 pigs, 8977
donkeys, and 3 camels.

The current prices of the chief articles of food during 1SS2-S3 were,
for a rupee — rice, 30 lbs. ; rdgi, 64 lbs. ; wheat, 23 lbs. ; and gram, 44
lbs. The daily wages of coolies and agricultural day labourers m
were from ijd. to 3d.; in 1882, from 4^. to 6d. Skilled labourers
in 1882 earned iojd. a day; while sixteen years ago they earned
to 6d.

Natural Calamities. — Famines occurred in 1423, 1474, 1686,
1793, but of these there is no detailed account extant. The great
famine of 1832-34 caused a decrease of 200,000 in the population-
It was worst in the Guntiir portion, and was due to the failure o(
both the monsoons, causing, it is said, a loss of revenue in Guntiir
District estimated at ^2,270,000. Prices rose enormously. Public
works were opened, but the bulk of the people would not avail them-
selves of them, and wandered away to other Districts. The 1
population was only in part due to deaths. Kistna 1 '
but slightly affected by the great South Indian famine ol


Although the cultivated area temporarily fell off by 14*2 per cent., the
local scarcity did not reach famine point. Inundations of the sea over-
whelmed the town of Masulipatam in the years 1779 and 1864; and
in both cases they were due to a storm-wave forced on to the coast by
the violence of a cyclone. The reported loss of life on each occasion
was between 20,000 and 30,000 persons. In the last cyclone, the salt
water penetrated to a distance of 17 miles inland.

Manufactures, etc. — Next to agriculture, the most important industry
in the District is weaving. The chintzes and coloured cloths of Masuli-
patam once enjoyed a wide reputation, and these goods were formerly
sent to the Persian Gulf to the value of ^50,000 ; but the annual
value of this export has now fallen to .£5000. In other parts of the
District also the competition of cheap piece-goods from Manchester has
almost destroyed the manufacture of the more durable native cloth. Al
Bezwada a considerable trade is carried on in dressed hides. In th(
villages, the chief manufacture is still cotton-weaving, sometimes froi
native hand-made thread. In some of the villages saltpetre is refined,
little silk is made at Jaggayapet, and in the large towns there is some
trade in copper and brass vessels. At Kondavfr and Kondapalli
certain manufactures are a specialty : at the former, essences and
fragrant oils are distilled ; at the latter, small figures and toys are cut
out of the light wood (Gyrocarpus Jacquini) found on the neighbouring

A curious export of the District is the feathers of the white-breasted
king-fisher, which are bought up by the dealer for £1, 12s. per
100. Cotton and indigo are exported in considerable quantities
from Cocanada in Godavari District, a far easier port of shipment than
Masulipatam. The only business carried on by European agency is a
steam cotton-press at Guntiir. Cotton is brought there to be pressed,
and thence sent by road and canal to Cocanada, where the purchasers
from the west reside. In 1874-75, the total sea-borne imports into
the District were valued at £190,058, and the exports at £251,206;
in 1881-82, the figures were — imports, £114,009; exports, £"274,231.
The gross duty paid in the former year was ,£1507 ; in the latter
year, £2713. In March 1882, the customs import duties, with the
exception of those on liquors, arms and ammunition, and one or
two other articles, were abolished throughout British India. The
largest exports are of grains, seeds, and spices. The three seaports
are Masulipatam, Nizampatam, and Ipurpalayam. Lighthouses have
been built at Masulipatam and Point Devi. Seventeen thousand
tons of salt were made in 1881, manufactured in the 4 factories of the
District, situated at Pandraka, Manginapudi, Nizampatam, and Chinna
Ganjam. The value of the inland trade, with the Nizam's territory, in
1881 was £182,127 passing coastwards, and £245,921 passing inland.


The principal roads are — from Masulipatam to Haidai
(Hyderabad); from the Palnad via Sattanapalle to Gunttfr,
thence to Bezwada; from Bhadrachalam via Tirviir to I
and from Nellore District to Pondogala on the Kistna and thei
Haidarabad. Total length of road communication, 537 miles. I
of navigable rivers, 231 miles. There is water communication b<
Bezwada and the Godavari Canals. Length of navigable canals, 17a
miles. Bezwada was but a little village when the anient was made,
and the Kistna irrigation system established ; it is now a flourishing
town, and the busiest place in the District.

Administration.— The total revenue of Kistna District in 1S70-71
amounted to ,£548,469, of which £359,172 was derived from the land.
In 1882 it was £440,058, of which £386,996 was derived from the land.
It appears that from the earliest times there were public officers in each
village, with duties corresponding to those of a kurnam and munsij
at the present day. The Musalmans first introduced the system of
renting out villages to middlemen, or zaminddrs, originally mere
collectors of revenue, who gradually raised themselves to the position
of hereditary landowners, and at last asserted their independence of
the sovereign power. When negotiations were going on between
the Nizam and English, soon after the capture of Masulipatam by
Colonel Forde in 1759, it was urged by the Company that, as the
Nizam had not for a considerable period received any money from
the Circars, he would lose nothing by surrendering his nominal rights
to the English.

When the English undertook the government of that part of the
Circars which now comprises the present District of Kistna, the lands
were divided into hdveli and zaminddri. The hdveli lands were divided
into muta/is, and were sold ; the whole District, including the old
zaminddris, and the recently sold hdveli lands, being brought under
the permanent settlement of 1802. In course of time many of the
zaminddrs fell into arrears, and an inquiry into the causes ot this was
held by Mr. (now Sir) Walter Elliott, reported on in 1846. In 1846, all
the zaminddris in Guntiir District, and some in Masulipatam District,
came under the hammer, and were purchased by Government On the
Masulipatam side of the river, the custom was to let the whole village
for a fixed sum to the chief inhabitants, or any one who would outbid
them, leaving it to the villagers to apportion the revenue and lands
among the cultivators. But when Guntiir fell to Government, the
strict rayatwdri system of dealing with each rayat lor his land was
ordered. The revenue was fixed either by measurement or by the
yearly out-turn of crops. In 1S59, the new settlement, t«. ascertain the
productive value of the land, was begun, and finished in 1873. I he
assessment then fixed will hold good for thirty years.


Kistna District contains 13 taluks, and several zamindari estates.
The District is administered by a Collector and Magistrate, with
4 Assistants and 37 subordinate judicial officers. The police force
consists (1882) of 1346 men, controlled by a superintendent and
his assistant, who reside at Masulipatam and Guntur respectively.
Cost of police (1882), ,£17,583. There is a District jail at Guntur,
and 21 subsidiary prisons. The average daily number of prisoners in
Guntur jail in 1882 was 129, maintained at a cost of £& per prisoner.

The country people, save Brahmans and Komatis, are generally
uneducated ; but in the towns, the inhabitants gladly avail themselves
of the schools that have been established. The Church Missionary
Society has a station at Masulipatam, and the American Lutherans at
Guntur. In 1823, the number of vernacular schools teaching Telugu
was 465 ; Persian, 19 ; and Sanskrit, 49. In 1882-83, the total number
of educational institutions, Government, aided, and unaided (including
3 normal schools and 44 girls' schools), was 1102, with 23,119 pupils.
The Census Report of 188 1 returns 19,161 boys and 1262 girls as under
instruction, besides 58,365 males and 2378 females able to read and
write, but not under instruction.

Medical Aspects. — The District surgeon resides at Masulipatam, and
there is also a civil surgeon at Guntur who has charge of the Dis-
trict jail. The cost of the hospitals founded in both these places is
defrayed by local funds. Local funds also maintain dispensaries in
every taluk, there being three in the Palnad, where malaria is prevalent.
Advice and medicine are given free. Births per thousand registered
in 1882, 29 ; deaths per thousand registered, 17. Rainfall in 1882, 47*9
inches; average of nineteen years ending 1881, 367 inches. [For
further information regarding Kistna, see the Manual of the Kistna
District, compiled for the Government of Madras, by Mr. G. Mackenzie,
C.S. (Madras, 1883). Also the Settlement Report of the District, by
Mr. W. W. Wilson, C.S. (1867) ; the Madras Census Report for 1881 ;
and the several Annual Administration and Departmental Reports for
the Presidency from 1880 to 1883.]

Kistna (Krishtna, Krishna). — River of Southern India, which, like
the Godavari and Kaveri (Cauvery), flows almost across the peninsula
from west to east. In traditional sanctity it is surpassed by both
these rivers, and in actual length by the Godavari ; but the area of
its drainage basin, including its two great tributaries, the Bhima and
Tungabhadra, is the largest of the three. Its total length is about 800
miles, and the total area of its catchment basin about 97,050 square

The source of the Kistna is in 18 1' N. lat., and 73 41' e. long.,
near the Bombay sanitarium of Mahabaleshwar, in the Western Ghats,
only about 40 miles from the Arabian Sea. Here stands an ancient


temple of Mahadeo, at the foot of a steep hill, at an elevatioi
4500 feet above sea-level. In the interior of the temple is a
tank, into which a stream of pure water ever pours out 1

fashioned into the image of a cow's mouth. This is the trad;
fountain-head of the river, which is likened to the deity in a I
form, and is fondly called Krishna Bar. Pilgrims in large numbers
crowd to the sacred spot, which is embowered in trees of dark f<
and flowering shrubs. From Mahabaleshwar the Kistna runs
wards in a rapid course, flowing through the British DistrU ts of £
and Belgaum, the cluster of Native States which form the £
Maratha Agency, and the District of Kaladgi. Here it turns east to
pass into the dominions of the Nizam of Haidarabad. In this 1
of its course it receives many tributaries, of which the chief are the
Yerla, Warna, Idganga, Ghatprabha, and Malprabha. All these, like
the main stream, are characteristic rivers of the plateau of the 1 1<
They run in deep channels, from which it is almost impossible t
off channels for irrigation. In the rainy season they swell into brim
ming torrents, but during the remaining eight months of the year they
shrink to mere threads of water, straggling through a sandy waste.

On entering the Nizam's dominions, the Kistna drops from the
table-land of the Deccan Proper down to the alluvial Doabs of Shorapur
and Raichur. The fall is as much as 408 feet in about three miles. In
time of flood, a mighty volume of water rushes with a great roar over a
succession of broken ledges of granite, dashing up a lofty column of
spray. The first of the Doabs mentioned above is formed by the con-
fluence of the Bhima, which brings down the drainage of Ahmadnagar,
Poona, and Sholapur ; the second by the confluence of the Tunga-
bhadra, which drains the north of Mysore and the 'Ceded Districts'
ofBellaryand Karnul (Kurnool). At the point of junction with the
Tungabhadra, the Kistna again strikes upon British territory, and, still
flowing east, forms for a considerable distance the boundary between the
Madras Presidency and the Nizam's dominions. Here it is joined by
its last important tributary, the Musi, on whose banks stands the Nizam's
capital of Haidarabad. On reaching the frontier chain oft:
Ghats, the Kistna turns south to reach the sea.

The delta, for about 100 miles from the mountains to the \'
Bengal, lies entirely within British territory, and is now known as the
District of Kistna. The river ultimately falls into the sea by two princi| al
mouths. Along this part of the coast runs an extensive strip o!
which has been entirely formed by the detritus washed down by the
Kistna and the Godavari. Asa great part of the course of the Kistni
its tributaries flow through alluvial soil, the flood-water is heavily < '
with silt. The rocky bed through which the river flows in Karmil
District, and in the Palnad and Sattanapalli Sub-divisions ot Kistna


District, does not favour the deposit of much of this silt. The channel
which the river has found among the older rocks must be scoured out
in high floods, for the average fall of the river in the 295 miles above
Bazwada is $'$ feet per mile. When it reaches Bazwada. it is confined
between two gneissic hills, the width of the gorge being about 1300
yards. At this point the velocity of the river in flood is rather more
than 6*5 miles an hour, and the maximum flood discharge attains the
enormous figure of 761.000 cubic feet per second. The solid matter
carried by the flood-water past Bezwada is T | T of the bulk. It follows
that the Kistna in high flood carries past Bezwada daily enough detritus
to form a deposit one foot deep over a surface of five square miles.
Below Bezwada to the sea, the fall of the river is only o'66 foot per
mile, and the bed widens out to three or four miles, so that in the course
of ages an extensive deltaic tract has formed between Bezwada and the
coast. This delta slopes away on either side, with a fall of about iS
inches per mile from the elevated river bed ; hence all that is not
protected by embankments is submerged whenever a high flood occurs,
and the deposition of fluviatile alluvium still continues. The Kolar
(Roller) Lake, a depression between the deltas of the Godavari and
the Kistna rivers, represents the work still to be done by this alluvium
in levelling up the land wrested from the sea by the rivers. The actual
mouths of the rivers have thrown out low promontories far into the

The Kistna may be said to be almost entirely useless for navigation.
From Jaggayapet down to the anicut (about 50 miles), the river is
navigable for about six months of the year by sea-going dhonis, which
are brought up either by the Bandar or the Ellore Canal. The chief
port in the delta is Masulipatam, a bare roadstead, liable to be swept
by cyclones. The river channel is throughout too rocky and the
stream too rapid to allow even of small native craft. The mode of
crossing at the ferries is by wide circular baskets, made of hides stretched
over a framework of bamboos. Near Raichur, the main stream is crossed
bv a magnificent iron girder bridge of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway.
In utility for irrigation the Kistna is also inferior to its two sister
streams, the Godavari and the Kaveri (Cauvery). Throughout the
upper portion of its course it runs in a deep bed, with high banks rising
from 30 to 50 feet above its ordinary level. Naturally it drains rather
than waters the surrounding country ; and but insufficient attempts have
vet been made to extend its usefulness by means of artificial channels.
Of its tributaries, the head-waters of the Bhima are dammed up at
Kharakwasla to furnish Poona with a water-supply; and the Madras
Irrigation Company have expended large sums of money to water the
thirsty soil of Karniil (Kurnool) from the floods of the Tungabhadra.
On the main stream, a small work has been constructed high up in Satara


District, called the Kistna Canal. A dam has been thrown a< n

bed of the river, from which a canal is taken parallel to the left bank,

capable of irrigating an area of 1825 acres.

But by far the greatest irrigation work on the Kistna is the Be;
anicut, first commenced in 1852, when the similar undertakings on the
deltas of the Kaveri and Godavari had pointed out the way to si.
Bezwada is a small town at the entrance of the gorge by which
the Kistna bursts down through the Eastern Ghats upon the plains.
The channel is here 1300 yards wide. During the dry season the
depth of water is barely 6 feet, which rises in summer freshes some-
times to as much as 40 feet. The maximum flood dischar^
calculated at 761,000 cubic feet of water per second. Theobjeit 0!
the engineer has been to regulate this excessive supply, so that it shall
no longer run to waste and destruction, but be husbanded for the
purposes of agriculture, and to some extent also of navigation. The
Bezwada anicut consists of a mass of loose stone, faced with a front of
masonry. Its total length is 1238^ yards, the breadth 263 feet, and the
height above the river bed 20 feet. At each end sluices have been pro-
vided, in order to scour out channels for the heads of the two main
canals. Of these, the one on the left bank breaks into two brandies,
one running 39 miles to Ellore, the other 49 miles to Masulipatam.
The canal on the right bank proceeds nearly parallel to the river, and
also sends off two principal branches, to Nizampatam and Komamur.
The total length of the main channels (not including minor distribu-
taries) is 254 miles; the total irrigated area is 226,000 acres, yielding
a revenue of ^89,000. Schemes are now under consideration for
extending the network of canals. The Kistna canal system is connected
with that of the Godavari through the town of Ellore.

Kistnapur. — Town in Kaninagapalli District, Travancore State,
Madras Presidency. Lat. 9° q'n., long. 76 33' e. Population (187]
3731 ; houses, 895. Not returned in the Census Report of 1SS1. Scat
of a District judge ; contains a palace and a large square fort in good
repair to the west; a canal leads to Kayenkolam. Its once active
borne trade has now disappeared.

Kittlir. — Town and fort in the Sampgaon Sub-division of Belgium
District, Bombay Presidency. Lat. 15° 35' 30" x., and Ion-. 74 5
26 miles south-east of Belgaum. Population (1S72) 7166; (1SS1) 6300.
The Desais of Kitttir were descended from two brothers, who came as
bankers with the Bijapur army towards the close of the 1 6th century.
By distinguished action in the field, the Desais obtained a grant of
Hubli; and their fifth successor established himself at Kittlir. On
the fall of the Peshwa, the town passed into the hands of the British
Government. But in 1S1S, when General Munro was
fort of Belraum, the Desai of Kittlir gave great assistance, and in


return was allowed to retain possession of his town of Kittur. The
■ Desai died in 1824, without issue. An attempt was subsequently made
to prepare a forged deed of adoption, which led to an outbreak, in
which the Political Agent and Collector, Mr. Thackeray, was killed,
and his two Assistants imprisoned. The prisoners were afterwards
released, but the fort was not surrendered until it had been attacked
and breached, with a loss of 3 killed and 25 wounded. Among the
killed was Mr. Munro, Sub-Collector of Sholapur, and a nephew of Sir
Thomas Munro. Kittur then finally passed into the hands of the
British, although another rising occurred in 1829, which was not
suppressed without difficulty. Bi-weekly markets are held in Kittur
town on Mondays and Thursdays, at which cotton, cloth, and grain
are sold. Weaving and glass bangle-making are the sole industries.
School and post-office.

Koch (also called Pali or Rdjbansi). — These three names are
applied to a race of aboriginal descent found in the Districts of Xorth-
Eastern Bengal, and in Assam. Nothing is known for certainty as to
their origin, but their name and that of the ancient kingdom over
which they once ruled is still preserved in the independent State of
Kuch (or Koch) Behar. The best authorities regard the Kochs as a
branch of the Bodo, Mech, or Cachari stock who had become Hindu-
ized at a very early date, and who dominated the ancient kingdom of
Kamriip in Lower Bengal, stretching eastwards as far as the borders
of Bhutan. The Kochs, except by their broad faces, flat noses, and
projecting cheek-bones, are now hardly to be distinguished from ordinary
Hindus. On the conversion of the Kamriip kings to Hinduism, a
divine ancestry was found for the race, and numbers of Kochs now
repudiate their race name, and claim that of Rajbansi, literally ' of royal
descent.' With the exception of the people known as Pani Koch who
inhabit the submontane tract at the foot of the Garo hills, and who
have only partially accepted Hinduism by abstaining from the use of beef
as food, the whole of the Koch people have adopted exclusive Hindu
caste habits. The total number of Kochs (including Rajbansi's) returned
in the Census Report of 1881 is 1,985,180, confined wholly to the
Districts of North-Eastern Bengal and Assam.

Kochchi Bandar. — Town in Malabar District, Madras Presidency.
— See Cochin.

Kod.— Sub-division of Dharwar District, Bombay Presidency. Area,
400 square miles; number of villages, 177; population (1881) 80,345,
namely, 41,397 males and 38,948 females. Hindus numbered 72,759 ;
Muhammadans, 7138; and 'others,' 448. Since 1872, the population
has increased by 1246.

Kod, the most southern Sub-division of Dharwar District, is dotted
with small hills and ponds ; some of the latter when full are two or



three miles in length. Many of the hillocks are hare, but the
which separates Kod from Mysore is covered with bnisl ,1 | ow

forests. A considerable portion of the Sub-division is well water,
covered with sugar-cane fields and areca palms. The villages are
close together, well shaded, and situated in the open plains. 'I |
is chiefly red; black soil occurring in a few villages in the
north and west are studded with small hills and knolls, and the
is also hilly. The Tungabhadra touches a few villages in the soutl
corner; the Kumadvati, rising in the Madak lake in Mysore, with a
bed 150 feet broad, and between steep banks, flows east across the
Sub-division. In the hot season it holds water in pools. Though cool
and healthy during the hot months, the climate is very feverish during
the cold season. During the ten years ending t88i, the rainfall at
Hirekerur, the head-quarters of the Sub-division, averaged 25-73 inches.

Of the 400 square miles, 389 have been surveyed in detail. Fifteen
square miles are occupied by alienated villages. The remainder consists
of 191,648 acres of arable land, of which 46,810 acres are alienated
lands in Government villages; 2016 acres, unarable land;
acres, grass land; 25,829 acres, forests; and 23,811 acres, village
sites, roads, rivers, and streams. In 1881-82, of 123,768 acres, the
whole Government area occupied for tillage, 25,859 acres were fallow or
under grass. Of the 97,909 acres under tillage, cereals covered 65,539
acres; pulses, 7018 acres; oil-seeds, 3843 acres; fibres, 3370 acres; and
miscellaneous crops, 18,139 acres, of which chillies occupied 16.210
acres. In 1882-83, the Sub-division contained 35 boys' and 1 girls'
school, 2 criminal courts, and 1 police station {tJidnd) ; regular police,

Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 8) → online text (page 28 of 64)