William Wilson Hunter.

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themselves in various strong places throughout the modern Districts
of Bangalore and Kolar. Timme Gauda, one of the ' seven farmers '
from Bangalore, became a favourite at the Vijayanagar court, and
was permitted to establish himself in the old fort of Kolar and to
build Hoskote (the new fort). The Gauda chiefs appear to have


274 KOLAR.

made no claim to independence, but to have submitted themselves
successively to every conqueror who was strong enough to exercise
temporary authority in those troubled times, until they were swept away
by the organized empire of Haidar Ali.

The first Muhammadans to invade this tract were the Bijapur kings,
whose general was the Maratha Shahji, father of Sivajf. In 1639, Shahji
obtained Kolar as a fief, which he transmitted to his son Venkoji, the
founder of the Tanjore line. Subsequently Kolar was overrun by the
Mughals, and placed under the government of Fateh Muhammad, whose
famous son, Haidar Ali, was born here at the little village of Budikot.
In 1 76 1, the District was formally ceded to Haidar Ali by the Nizam ;
and after the fall of Tipu in 1799, it was incorporated in the Hindu
State of Mysore. The chief historical interest of modern times centres
round the hill fort of Nandidriig (Nundydroog), which was stormed
by the British in 1791, under the eye of Lord Cornwallis, after a
bombardment of twenty-one days.

Two towns have a local history, viz. Chikballapur and Gumnayakan-
palya. The former was founded about 1479 by one of the Gauda
family, and rapidly grew into the capital of a petty kingdom, whose
rock fortress was at Nandidriig. The pdlegdr of his time successfully
resisted the conquering Hindu Raja of Mysore in the beginning of the
1 8th century; but, like the rest of his compeers, he fell before the
might of Haidar All, and his dominions were absorbed in Mysore.
Gumnayakanpalya was founded about one hundred years earlier, as the
fortress of zpakgdr, whose line also was extinguished by Haidar All.

Population. — A khdnasumdri or house enumeration of the people in
1853-54 returned a total of 461,979 persons. The regular Census of
187 1 ascertained the number to be 618,954, showing an increase of
nearly 34 per cent, in the interval of eighteen years, if the earlier
estimate can be trusted. The Census taken on February 17, 1881,
gives the following statistics: — Total population, 461,129; males,
228,193, females, 232,936. Area, 1891 square miles ; number of towns
and villages, 2983; occupied houses, 77,633; unoccupied houses,
17,887 ; persons per square mile, 244; villages per square mile, 1*58 ;
houses per square mile, 50*5 ; persons per occupied house, 5*94. In the
taluk of Sidlaghata, which is reckoned to be peculiarly healthy, is found
the greatest density of population in Mysore, about 375 per square mile.
There are, under 15 years of age, 76,367 boys and 79,715 girls; total
children, 156,082, or over 33 per cent of the population.

The male population is classified under six main groups — (1)
Professional class, including State officials of every kind and the learned
professions, 12,225 ; (2) domestic servants, inn and lodging-house
keepers, 563 ; (3) commercial class, including bankers, merchants,
carriers, etc., 5836 ; (4) agricultural and pastoral class, including

KOLAR. 275

gardeners, 127,151 ; (5) industrial class, including all manufacturers
and artisans, 13,046; and (6) indefinite and non-productive class,
comprising general labourers, male children, and persons of unspecified
occupation, 69,372.

The religious division of the people shows — Hindus, 439,092, or 95
per cent. ; Muhammadans, 20,664, or 4 P er cent. ; Jains, 504 ; and
Christians, 869. The Hindus are further sub-divided according to caste,
as follows : — Brahmans, 21,685, of whom tne majority belong to the
Smarta sect; Kshattriyas, 1121 ; Komatis, 7534, mostly traders; and
Nagatars, traders, 2408. Of inferior castes, by far the most numerous is
the Vakkaligars (115,926), who are agricultural labourers ; next come the
Bedars (35,567), hunters; the Banajigas (31,287), traders; the Kurubas
(28,669), shepherds. The Lingayats, who have always been influential
in this part of the country, number only 9823 ; out-castes are returned
at 67,660, wandering tribes at 3973, and non-Hindu aboriginal tribes
at 256. The Muhammadans, who muster thickest in the taluks of
Kolar and Srinivaspur, are chiefly returned as Deccani Musalmans.
Classified by tribes, they are thus distributed : — Sunnis, 20,071 ; Shias,
219; Wahabis, 42; Pindarfs, 19; Labbais, 218; and 'others,' 95. Out
of the total of 869 Christians, 76 are Europeans and 44 Eurasians,
leaving 749 for the native converts. According to another principle of
division, there are 386 Protestants and 483 Roman Catholics. The
language chiefly spoken in the District is Kanarese.

Of the 2983 towns and villages in Kolar District, 2348 contain less
than two hundred inhabitants ; 529 from two hundred to five hundred ;
78 from five hundred to one thousand ; 20 from one to two thousand ;
3 from two to three thousand ; 1 from three to five thousand ; 3 from
five to ten thousand ; and 1 from ten to fifteen thousand. The follow-
ing towns, which are also municipalities, each contain more than 5000
inhabitants: — Kolar, 11,172; Chikballapur, 9133; Sidlaghata,
5804.; Chintamani, 5 i 19. Apart from the towns already mentioned,
the most interesting places in the District are — Avani, one of the ten
places of greatest sanctity in India, and alleged to have been the
residence of Valmiki, author of the Rdmdyana ; Avati, the original
settlement of the ' seven Kanchi farmers ; ' Budikot, the birthplace of
Haidar AH ; and the hill fort of Nandidrug, with the sacred village
of Nandi at its base. Both fort and town were captured by Lord
Cornwallis in 1791.

Agriculture. — More than 45 per cent, of the people of the District
(2 10, t 97) are directly engaged in agriculture. The agricultural products
are substantially the same as those of the neighbouring District of
Bangalore, except that the abundance of tanks encourages more
attention to wet crops and vegetables. The staple food of the people
consists of rdgi (Eleusine corocana) and jodr (Sorghum vulgare).

276 KOLAR.

both of which come under the category of ' dry crops.' Rice, also, is
largely grown in the lower valleys, and nearly half the annual produce
is exported. It is estimated that in ordinary years the surplus of the
food crops, to the value of about ^50,000, is exported to Bangalore
and the adjoining Districts of Madras. Besides various pulses and
oil-seeds, the miscellaneous crops include sugar-cane, poppy, tobacco,
and mulberry for silkworms. Among vegetables are turmeric, garlic,
chilli, and potatoes. The cultivation, also, of viledele or betel-leaf,
tamarind, and kadale kdyi or ground nut, is very considerable.

The following are the agricultural statistics for 1880-81: — Total area
under actual cultivation, 519 square miles; cultivable but not under
cultivation, 342 square miles; uncultivable waste, 1030 square miles.
Area under rice, 39,300 acres ; wheat, 90 ; other food-grains, 260,244 ;
oil-seeds, 12,500 ; sugar-cane, 7040; vegetables, 11,000 ; mulberry, 692 ;
tobacco, 606 ; cocoa-nut and areca-nut, 739 ; fibres, 90 ; coffee, 45
acres. The current (1880) rents per acre in the District are as
follows: — For rice land, 12s.; for wheat, 12s.; inferior grains, 3s.;
cotton, 3s.; oil-seeds, 3s.; sugar-cane, £1, 4s.; tobacco, 12s. The
out-turn of the land per acre was, in 1880, as follows : — Rice, 720 lbs. ;
wheat, 817 lbs. ; inferior food-grains, 990 lbs. ; oil-seeds, 598 lbs.; sugar-
cane, 1420 lbs. ; and tobacco, 438 lbs. The average assessment per
acre of cultivated land is 4s. 8d.

The very large number of tanks forming chains along all the river
valleys has already been alluded to as an element in the scenery of
the District. The total is 5497, themselves covering an area of upwards
of 120,000 acres. As many as 400 can be counted from the summit of
Nandidriig. In addition to these tanks, irrigation is also practised
from small channels branching off from ancient anicuts or dams in
the rivers. Manure is largely used for sugar-cane, which flourishes
best in the Mulbagal taluk.

The indigenous cattle of the District are of a diminutive breed, but fine
bulls are imported from the Madras frontier. Several large cattle fairs
are held annually, of which the most frequented is at the village of
Vanarasi, where 60,000 bullocks sometimes change hands within the nine
days during which the fair lasts. The fairs at Avani and Nandi are of
scarcely second importance. In connection with these fairs, cattle shows
with prizes have been instituted by Government, and the breeding of
cattle has become a passion with well-to-do peasants. Buffaloes are com-
monly used for ploughing throughout the District. Sheep and goats are
numerous, and the village of Gumnayakanpalya is noted for a superior
breed of the former animals. The wool, however, is of a coarse kind,
only suited for native blankets. In 1880-81 the agricultural stock was as
follows: — Horned cattle, 192,085; horses and ponies, 2442; asses, 7837;
sheep and goats, 241,041 ; pigs, 1905; carts, 19,384; ploughs, 58,797.

KOLAR. 277

The town of Kolar and the surrounding villages are celebrated lor
turkeys, which are exported in large numbers to the markets of Bangalore,
Bellary, etc.

The prices of produce in 1880 were, per maundol So lbs., as follows : —
Rice, 4s. 7d.; wheat, 9s. 7d. ; cotton, £2, 13s. 4d. ; sugar, £1, 17-
salt, 7s. id.; gram, 7s. iojd. ; rdgi t 2s. 2d.; tobacco, ^3, 7s. 3d.

Manufactures, etc. — The staple industry of the District arises out of
the extensive cultivation of sugar-cane, and consists of the manufacture
of refined sugar, jaggery, and molasses. The production of raw
silk, a business confined to the Muhammadan class of the community,
has greatly declined in recent years, owing to the continued mortality
among the silkworms. The weaving of coarse cotton cloth and rough
woollen blankets or kamblis is common throughout the District, as also
are the making of common pottery and the pressing of oil. The returns
show a total of 6960 looms and 379 oil-mills. In the mountainous taluk
of Gumnayakanpalya, iron-ore was once worked by native methods in
considerable quantities, but the industry has died out since the famine.

The trade of the District is conducted at weekly markets and at
large annual fairs. There are 7 market towns, where the average weekly
attendance numbers over 1000. The principal fairs are those held at
Nandi, attended by 50,000 persons ; Avani, 40,000; Vanarasi, 25,000 :
which are all important cattle fairs, besides having a religious character.
It has not been observed that these large gatherings result in the pro-
pagation of any epidemic disease. Among exports from the District
sugar holds the first place ; the annual production is estimated at
,£78,060 worth of jaggery and refined sugar. Raw silk is manu-
factured to the value of ,£800 ; cotton, wool, and other fibres to the
value of ,£12,972; oils to the value of £51*16. Vegetables, betel-
leaf, cotton cloth, and ghi are also produced in sufficient quantities to
leave a surplus for other Districts. Almost the sole import received
in return is European piece-goods, valued, but manifestly over-valued,
at ,£1,466,000. The imports of salt are returned at ^57°°- Tne
Bangalore branch of the south-west line of the Madras Railway runs
for 31 miles across the south of the District, with stations at Kamasa-
mudram, Bowringpet or Kolar Road, Taiakaland Malur. The length of
made roads in 1880-81 was 419 miles.

Administration. — In 1880-81, the total revenue of Kolar District,
including forests, education, and public works, amounted to £<)(>, 9* 1 -
The chief item was land revenue, ,£85,763. The District is sub-
divided into 10 taluks or fiscal divisions, with 81 hoblis or minor fiscal
units. In 1870-71, the number of separate estates was 67S, owned by
78,247 registered proprietors or coparceners.

During the year 1 880-8 r, the average daily prison population of the
District jail was 55, and of the taluk lock-ups 2— total, 57, of whom


2 were women, showing i person in jail to every 8089 of the popula-
tion. Cost of District jail in 1880, ^£389 • net cost per head of convicts,
£6, 19s. 7& In the same year, the District police force numbered 475 of
all ranks, and the municipal police 3 officers and 15 men— total, 493
men of all ranks, maintained at an aggregate cost of ^"5624. These
figures show 1 policeman to about 4 square miles of area, or to every
935 of the population, the cost being nearly 3d. per head of population.
The number of schools aided and inspected by Government in 1874
was 233, attended by 5547 pupils, being 1 school to every iro6 square
miles and 8*9 pupils to every 1000 of the population. In addition
there were 102 unaided schools, with 1494 pupils. In 1880-81,
Government and aided schools numbered 155 for boys, with 4575
pupils, and 7 for girls, with 162 pupils. The London Missionary
Society has a station at Chikballapur.

Medical Aspects. — The climate of Kolar closely resembles that of
Bangalore, and shares in its general reputation for healthiness. The
mean annual temperature is about 7 6° F. During the year 1880-81,
the maximum recorded was 91 in the month of May, the minimum
65 in December. The average rainfall for the year is 30 inches,
which chiefly falls during the months of September and October. In
former times, Kolar town was periodically attacked by cholera and
other epidemics, introduced by the crowds of pilgrims that annually
passed through. But attention to sanitary precautions on the part
of the municipal authorities, and the construction of the railway,
have effectually checked this evil. A total of 7496 deaths, or 127
per thousand, were registered in 1880; but the actual mortality is
no doubt much higher. In 1880, 25 people were killed by snake-
bite. In the same year, 13,557 persons were vaccinated. There
are 2 civil dispensaries in the District — at Kolar and Chikballapur —
each affording relief to about 75 patients per day. During the year
1880, the dispensary at Kolar town was attended by 160 in-patients
and 7329 out-patients. [For further information regarding Kolar, see
the Mysore and Coorg Gazetteer, by Mr. Lewis Rice, vol. ii. pp. 82-138
(Bangalore, 1876) ; and also the r Census Report of Mysore for 1881.]

Koiar. — Taluk in Kolar District, Mysore State. Area, 337 square
miles. Population (1S71) 71,493; (1881) 56,971, namely, 27,526
males and 29,445 females. Hindus number 52,248 ; Muhammadans,
4364; and Christians, 359. The Palar river runs through the northern
and eastern parts of Kolar taluk ; the western side is occupied with the
ranges of the Kolar and Vakkaleri hills. Well cultivated, including even
the table-land on the Kolar hills. The old Bangalore-Madras road
passes through Kolar. The taluk contains 1 criminal court and 8
police stations. Regular police, 78 men; village watch (c/iaukiddrs),
148. Revenue (1883-84), ^12,856.


Kolar. — Chief town of Kolar District, Mysore State ; situated in lat.
13 8' 5" n., and long. 78 10' 18" e. ; 43 miles east-north-east of Ban
galore by road, but also connected with it by rail from the Kokir !
station at Bowringpet, 10 miles to the south. Population (1871)
9924; (1881) 11,172, namely, 5356 males and 5816 females. Hindus,
8165; Muhammadans, 2724; and Christians, 283. The town contains
the usual District offices, school, dispensary, barracks, jail, etc. The
chief building is the tomb of Fateh Muhammad Khdn, the father of
Haidar All (see Kolar District). The mulberry is cultivated for
the rearing of silkworms. Turkeys are exported in large numbers to
Bangalore, Bellary, and other places. Manufacture of kamblis or
coarse blankets. Weekly fair.

Kolar (Co/air; Kolleru; Klugu; Kolair; Roller). — Lake in Kistna
and Godavari Districts, Madras Presidency. Lat. 16 30' to 16 45' n.,
long. 8i° 5' to 8i° 27' e. A curious stretch of fresh water, half lake, half
swamp, sometimes covering more than 100 square miles in the monsoon.
In the dry weather the area is much reduced, and many parts are merely
mud. A few small streams feed it, and the Upputeru river is its only
outlet. At no time is it very deep. It abounds in waterfowl, and is
fairly stocked with fish. Lake Kolar contains numerous fertile islets
called lankds, many of which are inhabited and highly cultivated. On
the other hand, many of the smaller ones are submerged during floods.
The origin of the unusual depression which forms the bed of the lake
is unknown, but it was possibly the result of an earthquake. In very
dry seasons the ruins of ancient villages are perceptible in the bed, and
large quantities of charcoal and charred beams give support to the local
tradition that this was the scene of a conflagration, which was extin-
guished by a great flood ; the latter caused by volcanic subsidence.

Another hypothesis, common to the Kolar, and to the Chilka lake
in Orissa, explains these sheets of fresh water as caused by the land-
making activity of the great rivers, acting together with the monsoon,
which blows up an intervening beach or bank of sand between any low-
lying unfilled tract and the sea. The inner low-lying tract receives the
surrounding drainage, and becomes a shallow lake. The Godavari and
the Kistna have pushed out their deltas on either side, leaving the
area of the lake still to be filled up. Its dimensions are still being
gradually reduced by reclamation and embankments.

Two inscribed copper-plates of the early Pallava dynasty have been
found in the Kolar lake. A legend runs that one of the Orissa kings
had a fort at Kolleti Kota on one of the eastern islands of the lake, and
that the enemy, probably Muhammadan, encamped at Chiguru Kota
on the shores of the lake, whose waters prevented an attack on
Kolleti Kota. At last a channel, the Upputeru, was excavated, and
the lake waters drawn off into the sea. To ensure the success of


the assault that followed, the Orissa general is said to have sacrificed
his daughter. And her name, Perantala Kanama, commemorates the
point of attack to the present day.

Kole. Town in the Karad Sub-division of Satara District, Bombay

Presidency. Lat. 17 14' n., long. 74 10' E. ; 31 miles south by east
of Satara town. Population (1872) 5137; (1881) 1781.

Kolhan. — Tract of country forming a Government estate in Sing-
bhiim District, Bengal. Area, 1905 square miles, with 883 villages,
31,640 houses, and a population (1872) of 150,904 persons; density of
population, 79 persons per square mile; persons per village, 171;
persons per house, 4*8. No separate Census of the Kolhan tract
appears to have been taken in 1881.

The indigenous village system of the Kols, based upon a federal
union of villages under a single divisional head-man, which is gradu-
ally dying out elsewhere in Chutia Nagpur, still survives in this tract.
A group of from 5 to 20 villages forms a pirhi or pir, each of
which has its own mundd or village head, all of whom are subject
to the authority of the mdnki or divisional head-man, who exercises
the functions of divisional collector of rents and of divisional police
superintendent within the limits of his pir. Every mundd or village
head is responsible for the payment of the revenue, and for the
detection and arrest of criminals in his own village, to the mdnki
or divisional head of the pir ; and this latter official is in his turn
responsible to Government. For acting as revenue collectors, the
mdnkis receive a commission of one-tenth, and the mundds one-sixth,
of the rent which passes through their hands. Besides these duties,
the mdnkis and mundds, each in his degree, have certain informal
powers to decide village disputes and questions of tribal usage.

Kolhapur (or Karavira; Karvir). — Native State under the Kolhapur
and Southern Maratha Political Agency, Bombay Presidency. Kol-
hapur State is situated between 15 58' and 17° n' N. lat., and between
73 45' and 74 24 e. long. It is bounded on the north by the river
Warna, which separates it from the British District of Satara ; on the
north-east by the river Kistna (Krishna), separating it from Sangli,
Miraj, and Kurundwad ; on the east and south by the District of
Belgaum ; and on the west by the Sahyadri mountains, which divide
it from Sawantwari on the south-west and Ratnagiri on the west. Kol-
hapur State comprises portions of the old Hindu divisions of Maha-
rashtra and Karnatak, — a distinction which is still marked in the
language of the people, part of whom speak Marathi, and the remainder
Kanarese. It forms one of the Deccan group of Native States. Area,
2816 square miles; population (1881) 800,189 persons. Chief town
and capital, Kolhapur.

Physical Aspects. — Stretching from the heart of the Sahyadri range


eastwards into the plain of the Deccan, Kolhapur includes tracts of
country of widely different character and appearance. In the west, along
the spurs of the main chain of the Sahyadri mountains, are situated wild
and picturesque hill slopes and valleys, producing little but timber, and
till lately covered with rich forests. The central belt, which is open and
fertile in parts, is crossed by several lines of low hills running east and
west at right angles to the main range. Farther east, the land becomes
more open, and presents the unpicturesque uniformity of a well-cultivated
and treeless plain, broken only by an occasional river. Among the
western hills are perched the forts of Panhala, Vishalgarh, Bavra,
Bhiidargarh, and Rangna, ancient strongholds of the Kolhdpur chief-
tains. The State is watered by eight streams of considerable size : but
though navigable during the rainy months by trading boats of 2 tons,
none are so large that they cannot be forded in the hot season. The
only lake of any importance is that of Rankala, near the town of
Kolhapur. It has lately been improved at a considerable cost. Its
circumference is about 3 miles, and its mean depth 33 feet.

The principal agricultural products of the State are rice, millet,
sugar-cane, tobacco, cotton, safflower, and vegetables. Iron-ore of
three varieties is found in the Kolhapur territory. It is most
plentiful in Vishalgarh, Panhala, Bhiidargarh, and Kolhapur proper,
" near the main range of the Sahyadri Hills. In these places it
is generally found near the surface, in laterite stone. Formerly the
smelting of iron was an industry of some importance ; but, owing to the
cost of manual labour, the increased price of fuel, and the low rate of
freights from England, the Kolhapur mineral cannot compete with that
imported from Europe. Stone is the only other mineral product of the
State. There are several good quarries, especially one in a place
known as Jotibas Hill, with a fine grained basalt, that takes a polish
like marble. Game abounds, and the rivers yield large quantities of

History- -The members of the third branch of the Silahara family,
which was settled above the Western Ghats, possessed the territory
lying round Kolhapur and in the north-west part of Belgaum District,
from about the end of the 10th to early in the 13th century a.d. In
1 2 13 -14, the country passed to the Devgiri Yadava dynasty. The
ancient Hindu dynasty was subverted by the Bahmani kings of the
Deccan, and the country afterwards passed under the rule of Bijapur.
Sivaji obtained possession of the forts in 1659, which, though taken
and retaken many times, finally remained with the Marathas on the
death of Aurangzeb.

The present Rajas of Kolhapur trace their descent from Raja Kam,
a younger son of Sivaji the Great, the founder of the Maratha
power After the death of Raja Ram in 1700, his widow placed her


son Sivajf in power at Kolhapur. But in 1707, when Shahu, the
son of Sambhaji, Sivaji's elder son, was released from captivity, he
claimed the sovereignty over all the possessions of his grandfather,
and fixed his capital at Satara. Between the two branches of the
family disputes continued for several years, till in 1731 a treaty was
concluded, under the terms of which the Kolhapur family agreed to
yield precedence to Shahu, and Shahu recognised Kolhapur as an
independent principality.

On the death of Raja Ram's sons in 1760, the direct line of
Sivaji became extinct ; and a member of the family of the Bhonslas

Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 8) → online text (page 33 of 64)