William Wilson Hunter.

The imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 8) online

. (page 4 of 64)
Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 8) → online text (page 4 of 64)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

^£5, 15s. iojd. ; while the net cash earnings of each labouring prisoner
amounted to £2, 14s.

Cattle-stealing is the normal crime of Karnal District. These
thefts are performed in a systematic manner, the animals being rapidly
transferred to great distances and to other Districts by accomplices.
Cattle-lifting, however, is not now so prevalent, owing to the heavy
punishment awarded to offenders. Formerly, heads of families of
respectable birth would demur to give a daughter in marriage to a
man who had not proved his capability to support a family by cattle-
lifting. The Sansyas, Biluchis, and Tagus belong to the predatory
tribes, and many of them are proclaimed under the Criminal Tribes
Act. With regard to the Sansyas and Biluchis, this Act has been
worked with much success, and the numbers on the proscribed
roll are decreasing steadily. The Tagus, however, are still addicted
to thieving, and they travel long distances in small gangs for this

Education is making some progress, though not so rapidly as
could be desired. In 1872-73 there were 99 schools in operation
within the District, more than half of which were in receipt of
Government aid. The total number of pupils on the rolls was 2541 ;


and the sum expended on instruction from the public funds amounted
to ^1409. In 1882-83, the Education Department returned a total
of 43 State-inspected schools, with 2129 pupils, besides 121 indigenous
schools attended by 1541 pupils. Total, 164 schools of all classes,
with 3670 pupils, The Census Report of 188 1 returned 2715 boys and
63 girls as under instruction, besides 13,226 males and 90 females
able to read and write, but not under instruction. The Karnal District
School, located in the old fort, had an average number of 327 pupils
on the rolls in 1882. Among indigenous schools, the Arabic School at
Panipat is worthy of notice. It is supported by voluntary contributions,
and is attended by some thirty or forty boys, chiefly sons of middle-
class Muhammadans of the town. A branch of the Delhi Zan&na
Mission is established at Karnal town, the ladies of which visit women
in the city, and teach them and their children.

The District is sub-divided, for fiscal and administrative purposes,
into 3 tahsils, and contains 863 villages, owned in 1881 by 76,999
shareholders. There are municipalities at Karnal, Panipat, Kaithal,
Pundri, and Kunjpura. Their aggregate income amounted to ^3325
in 1871-72, and the incidence of taxation per head of population was
1 o|d. In 1882-83, the total municipal income from the same towns
was ,£5879, the average incidence being is. 7& per head.

Medical Aspects -.—The average annual rainfall at Karnal town is
returned at 29*80 inches, although in certain tracts the rainfall is below
18 inches. In 1881, the rainfall at the head-quarters town was only
22-50 inches, or 7-30 inches below the average. No trustworthy ther-
mometrical returns are published. In the portion of the uplands
watered by the canal, malarious fever, dysentery, and enlargement
of the spleen are very prevalent, owing to stagnant morasses which
result from excessive percolation. Some of the villages have suffered
terribly from these causes. Bowel complaints are also common, and
small-pox and cholera appear occasionally in a more or less epidemic
form. The total number of deaths recorded in 1872 was— 13,370,
or 22 per thousand, and in 1882, 19,759* or 3 2 P er thousand. The
fever-rate for the same years was 12*02 per thousand in 1872, and
19-95 P er thousand in 1882. The District contains 6 charitable
dispensaries, which in 1882 afforded medical relief to 2016 in-door
and 36,458 out-door patients. [For further information regarding
Karnal, see the Gazetteer of Karnal District, published under the
authority of the Punjab Government (Lahore, 1884). Also Mr. D. C.
J. Ibbetson's Report on the Southern Pargands of the District ; Mr.
Stack's Memorandum upon Current Land Settlements in the temporarily
settled parts of British India, p. 321; the Punjab Census Report for
1 88 1 ; and the several Administration and Departmental Reports from
1SS0 to 1883.]


Karnal. — Central tahsil or Sub-division of Karnal District, Punjab.
It may be divided into three parts — the low riverain valley of the
Jumna to the west; the canal watered highlands to the south; and
the pasture lands of the Nardak to the north-west. Area, 832 square
miles, containing 359 villages or towns, with 23,485 houses. Population
(1881) 231,094, or 278 persons per square mile. Classified according to
religion, there were — Hindus, 161,577 ; Muhammadans, 65,747 ; Sikhs,
2594; Jains, 1 1 29; and Christians, 47. Of a total assessed area of
820 square miles, or 1,533,990 acres, according to the last quinquennial
agricultural statistics of the Punjab Government for 1878-79, 241,870
acres were returned as under cultivation, 174,683 acres as cultivable,
and 112,629 acres as un cultivable waste. The average annual area
under cultivation for the five years 1877-78 to 1881-82, was 203,264
acres, the principal crops being — rice, 56,778 acres; wheat, 32,631;
/oar, 58,535; barley, 22,353; gram, 13,478; Indian corn, 501 1;
cotton, 2616; and sugar-cane, 29S0 acres. Revenue of the tahsil,
£16,192. The administrative staff, including the head-quarters for
the whole District, comprises a Deputy Commissioner, with 3 Assistant
or extra-Assistant Commissioners, 1 tahsilddr, 1 munsif, and 1 honorary
magistrate. These officers preside over 7 criminal and 6 civil courts.
The tahsil contains 6 police circles (thdnds), with a regular police
force of 172 officers and men, besides 436 village watchmen

Karnal. — Town, municipality, and administrative head-quarters of
Karnal District, Punjab. Lat. 29 42' 17" n., long. 77 1' 45" E -
Founded, according to tradition, by Raja Kama, champion of the
Kauravas in the great war of the Mahdbhdrata, and certainly a city
of immemorial antiquity. Occupied by the Rajas of Jind about the
middle of the last century, wrested from them in 1 795 by George Thomas,
the adventurer of Hariana, and immediately seized by the Sikh Raja
of Ladwa, from whom the British captured it in 1805. (See Historical
section, Karnal District.) It was conferred together with its pargand
in permanent tenure (isiimrdr) upon the Mandal Nawabs in exchange
for a similar grant held by them across the Jumna. The fort was
occupied as a British cantonment for many years, suitable compensa-
tion being made to the Nawab, but was finally abandoned in 1841.
In 1840, it was selected as a residence for Dost Muhammad Khan,
Amir of Kabul, in which he was detained for about six months, on his
way to Calcutta, as a State prisoner. The fort was afterwards used
successively as a jail, as quarters for a native cavalry regiment, as a
poorhouse, and was ultimately made over to the Education Depart-
ment for the District school.

Karnal stands upon high ground, just above the old bank of
the Jumna, overlooking the khddar, or lowland tract. The river now


flows 7 miles away to the east ; but the Western Jumna Canal passes
just beneath the town, and, intercepting the drainage, causes malarious
fever, which has given Karnal an evil reputation. A wall 12
feet in height encloses the town, and forms the back of many

The population of the town, which in 1868 numbered 27,022, had by
1881 fallen to 23,133, namely, males 12,626, and females 10,507. Classi-
fied according to religion, the population in the latter year consisted of —
Hindus, 15,215; Muhammadans, 7550; Jains, 213; Sikhs, no; and
'others,' 45. Number of houses, 3679. The decrease of the popula-
tion is in some measure due to the opening of the railway on the
opposite bank of the Jumna, which has prejudiced the commercial
importance of Karnal, but still more to its unhealthiness, caused by
the canal and swamps, which has increased of late years. Municipal
income in 1875-76, ^"1532 ; in 1882-83, ^"2057 ; the average
incidence of taxation being is. o^d. per head of the population.

The streets of the town are well paved, but nearly all are narrow and
tortuous ; the sanitary arrangements are fairly good. The civil station
stretches to the north of the town, where the cantonment formerly lay,
and comprises the court-house and treasury, tahsili, police station,
staging bungalow, and several sardis, besides a small church, dis-
mantled since the removal of the cantonment. Outside the town are
the District and many other schools, charitable dispensary, and town
hall. The Government formerly maintained a large stud farm here,
but it was abolished in 1875. A branch cattle farm has been recently
established in connection with the Government farm at Hissar. Brisk
trade in the produce of the canal villages with Delhi and Ambala.
Manufacture of country cloth for local consumption, and blankets and
boots for export. The blanket trade employs about 100 looms.

Karnala {Funnel Hill).— -Fort and hill in Thana District, Bombay
Presidency. Lat. 19 53' n., and long. 73 10' e., a few miles north-
west of the Vegavati river, and 8 miles south of Panwel; elevation,
1560 feet above sea-level. Commands the high road between the Bor
Pass and the Panwel and Apta rivers. The hill has an upper and
lower fort. In the centre of the upper fort is the 'funnel,' an
almost inaccessible basalt pillar about 125 feet high. The funnel
rock is locally known as the Pandu's tower. From the south-west
of the hill can be seen the island-studded harbour of Bombay.

The fort was often taken and retaken during the turbulent period of
Indian history. Under the Muhammadans, Karnala was garrisoned to
overawe the North Konkan. Troops from Ahmadnagar took it in 1540.
The Portuguese captured it soon after, but gave it up on receiving
a ransom of ^1750 a year. Sivaji, the Maratha leader, seized it in
1670, driving out the Mughals. On the death of Sivaji, Karnala was


recaptured by Aurangzeb's generals, and was held by the Mughals
till at least 1735. Shortly afterwards, it must have again passed
into the hands of the Marathas, for in 1740 the Peshwas power was
established over the whole of the Deccan. In 1818 the fort was
captured, and passed into British possession, together with the whole
remaining territory held by the Peshwa. It is now in ruins.

Karnaphuli. — River of Bengal ; rises in a lofty range of hills beyond
the north-east border of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, in lat. 22 55' n.,
and long. 92 44' e. ; and, after flowing a circuitous course southwards
and westwards, finally falls into the Bay of Bengal, in lat. 22 12' N.,
and long. 91 49' 30" e., 12 miles below the town and port of Chitta-
gong, which is situated on its right bank. As far up as Chittagong
town, the river is navigable by steamers and sea-going vessels ; and for
large native cargo boats as high as Kasalang in the Chittagong Hill
Tracts, a distance by river of about 96 miles. Beyond Kasalang, for
a distance of 20 miles, the river is navigable by smaller craft; but
above this point navigation is much impeded by a succession of low
falls and long rocky slopes, about a mile in length, known as the Barkal
rapids. Following still up stream, the river narrows considerably as it
flows among the higher ranges of hills. Its course continues north for
some distance, and then sweeps to the east till the Demagiri falls are
reached, some three days' journey from Barkal. Above this, it
becomes an insignificant stream in a rocky bed, only navigable by the
smallest canoes. The chief tributaries of the Karnaphuli are the
Kasalang, Chingri, Kaptai, and Rankhiang rivers in the Hill Tracts,
and the Halda in Chittagong District, the latter a navigable stream
which empties itself into the main river from the north, being navigable
by native boats for 24 miles throughout the year. Principal river-side
towns and villages — Kasalang, Rangamati, Chandraguna, Ran-
gunia, and Chittagong.

Karnatik or Carnatic {Kannanda ; Kanara; Karndta ; Karnd-
taka-desa, 'the Kanarese country'). — The name erroneously applied by
modern European writers to the Tamil country — that is, the country
from Cape Comorin to the Northern Circars, lying east of the Ghats,
and reaching to the sea on the Coromandel coast. Including Nellore,
which is a Telugu-speaking District, it stretches from 8° 10' to 16 n.
lat., and from 77° 19' to 8o° 19' e. long. The modern application of
the name Karnatik includes the territories of Arcot, Madura, and
Tanjore, or, going back to a yet earlier period, the kingdoms of
Chola, Pandya, and part of Chera, — countries, as Wilkes says, never
anciently included in the Karnatik. The boundaries of the true Kar-
natik, or Karnataka-desa, are given by the same authority as 'com-
mencing near the town of Bidar (Beder), in latitude 18 45' north, about
60 miles north-west from Haidarabad (Hyderabad, Deccan) j following


the course of the Kanarese language to the south-east, it is found to
be limited by a waving line which nearly touches Adoni, winds to the
west of Gooty (Giiti), skirts the town of Anantapur, and, passing through
Nandidrug, touches the range of the Eastern Ghats ; thence pursuing
their southern course to the mountainous pass of Gazzalhati, it con-
tinues to follow the abrupt turn caused by the great chasm of the
western hills between the towns of Coimbatore, Polachi, and Palghat ;
and, sweeping to the north-west, skirts the edges of the precipitous
Western Ghats, nearly as far north as the sources of the Kistna
(Krishna) ; whence following first an eastern and afterwards a north-
eastern course, it terminates in rather an acute angle near Bidar, already
described as its northern limits.'

This country was ruled by the Chaliikya, Chera, Ganga, and Pallava
dynasties, till about the 10th century, when the south fell into the
hands of the Cholas, and the last three dynasties ceased to exist. The
Kalachiiris succeeded in the north; and about the 12th century the
whole was subjugated by the dynasty holding court at Dwarasamudra,
from about 1035 to 1326, when, upon being defeated by the Muham-
madans, Ballala Deva retired to Tonnur, in Mysore, where his de-
scendants remained as feudatories of Vijayanagar. The latter dynasty,
which came into power about the year 1336, and survived till 1565,
conquered the whole of the Peninsula south of the Tungabhadra river.
They were completely overthrown by the Muhammadans in 1565, and
retired first to Pennakonda, and then to Chandragiri, one branch of
the family settling at Anagundi. It was these conquests that probably
led to the extension of the term Karnitik to the southern plain
country ; and this latter region came to be called Karnata Payanghat,
or lowlands, to distinguish it from Karnata Balaghat, or the hill
country. When the Muhammadan kings of the Deccan (Dakshin)
ousted the Vijayanagar dynasty, they divided the north of the Vijaya-
nagar country between them into Karnatik Haidarabad (or Golconda)
and Karnatik Bijapur, both being sub-divided into Payanghat and
Balaghat. At this time, according to Wilkes, the northern boundary
of Karnata (Karnatik) was the Tungabhadra.

Speaking of this period and the modern misapplication of the
name, Bishop Caldwell says : ' The term Karnata or Karnataka is
said to have been a generic term, including both the Telugu and
Kanarese peoples and their languages, though it is admitted that
it usually denoted the latter alone, and though it is to the latter
that the abbreviated form Kannadam has been appropriated.
Karnataka (that which belongs to Karnata) is regarded as a Sanskrit
word by native Pandits, but I agree with Dr. Gundvet in preferring
to derive it from the Dravidian words, kar, "black," nddu (the
adjective form of which in Telugu is ndti), "country," i.e. "the


black country/' a term very suitable to designate the "black
cotton-soil," as it is called, of the plateau of the Southern Dekkan.
The use of the term is of considerable antiquity, as we find it in
Vahara-mihira at the beginning of the fifth century a.d. Taranatha
also mentions Karnata. The word Karnata or Karnataka, though at
first a generic term, became in process cf time the appellation of the
Kanarese people and of their language alone, to the entire exclusion
of the Telugu. Karnataka has now got into the hands of foreigners,
who have given it a new and entirely erroneous application. When
the Muhammadans arrived in Southern India, they found that part of
it with which they first became acquainted — the country above the
Ghats, including Mysore and part of Telingana — called the Karnataka
country. In course of time, by a misapplication of terms, they applied
the same name Karnatik, or Carnatic, to designate the country
below the Ghats, as well as that which was above. The English have
carried the misapplication a step further, and restricted the name to
the country below the Ghats, which never had any right to it whatever.
Hence the Mysore country, which is properly the true Karnatik, is no
longer called by that name ; and what is now geographically termed
"the Karnatik" is exclusively the country below the Ghats, on the
Coromandel coast, including the whole of the Tamil country and the
Telu^u-speaking District of Nellore.' — Caldwell's Grammar of the
Dravidian Languages, pp. 34, 35-

Kamprayag. — Village in Garhwal District, North-Western Pro-
vinces; situated at the junction of the Pindar and the Alaknanda.
Lat. 30 15' n., long. 79° 14' 40" e. Forms one of the five sacred
halting-places on the pilgrimage to Himachal. The principal temple,
dedicated to Uma, one of the forms of the wife of Siva, is said to
have been rebuilt by Sankara Acharya, the famous religious reformer
of the 9th century a.d. A jhi'da or rope bridge formerly crossed
the Pindar here, but is now superseded by an iron suspension bridge.
Elevation above sea-level, 2560 feet.

Karaiil (Kurnoul, Karnulu, Ca/wt/l—Orme ; Kandanul — Hamilton).

British District in the Madras Presidency. Lies between 14° 54' and

16 14 n. lat., and between 77° 46' and 79 15' e. long. Bounded
on the north by the rivers Tungabhadra and Kistna (which separate
it from the Nizam's Dominions) and by Kistna District ; on the south
by Cuddapah and Bellary; on the east by Nellore and Kistna; and
on the west by Bellary. Area (including the petty State of Banagana-
palli, q.v.), 778S square miles. Population (1881), also including
Banaganapalli, 709,305 souls. The administrative head-quarters are at
Karnul town.

Physical Aspects. — Two long mountain ranges, the Nallamalai and the
Yerramalai (Yellamalai) hills, extend in parallel lines, north and south,


through the centre of the District. The Nallamalai range is about 70
miles long in Karniil, and nearly 25 miles broad in the widest parts.
The principal heights are Biramkonda (3149 feet), Gundlabrahmeswaram
(3055 feet), and Durgapukonda (3086 feet). There are five plateaux on
this range, of which the principal is that of Gundlabrahmeswaram, 2700
feet high, reached by two paths of easy gradient. On this a bungalow
has been built, but the site is unsuited for a sanitarium. The Yerra-
malai is a low range, generally flat-topped with scarped sides. The
highest point is about 2000 feet. These two ranges divide the District
into three well-defined sections. The eastern section, called the Cum-
bum (Kambham) valley, is about 600 feet above sea-level, and is very
hilly. The Velikonda (2000 feet) range, the main edge of the Eastern
Ghats, bounds this valley on the east. Several low ridges run parallel
to the Nallamalais, broken here and there by gorges, through which
mountain streams take their course. Several of these gaps were
dammed across under native rule, and tanks formed, for purposes of
cultivation. One of the tanks so formed is the magnificent Cumbum
Tank, closed in by a dam across the Gundlakamma river. It covers
an area of nearly 15 square miles, and irrigates about 6000 acres of
land, yielding a revenue of nearly ^"6000 a year. The northern part of
the valley is drained by the Gundlakamma, the southern part by the
Sagilair (Sagileru), a tributary of the Penner. Both these rivers rise
in the Nallamalai hills.

From the Cumbum (Kambham) valley, the Nandikanama ghat
(highest point, 2000 feet) and the Mantral Pass lead across the Nalla-
malais to the central division. This is a very extensive, flat, open valley,
between 700 and 800 feet above sea-level, and covered with black cotton-
soil. Northward, it is crossed by the watershed between the Pennar
(Ponnaiyar) and the Kistna, and it is drained by the Bhavanasi to
the north and the Kundair (Kunderu) to the south. In the hot
months, this plain presents an arid appearance. On the hill-sides, how-
ever, green woodlands and private gardens are seen, watered by the
streams and springs which rise in the neighbouring hills. The canal
of the Madras Irrigation Company is carried right down this valley.
On the flank of the hills, bounded by the two valleys, stone imple-
ments were recently discovered by the geological surveyors. It has
been suggested that the people who used them lived on these hills
when the valleys were still under water.

The western division differs in its features from the other two. It
forms the northern end of the eastern edge of the Mysore Plateau ; and
lies 900 feet above the sea at Karniil town, on its northern extremity,
and 1700 feet at Peapalli, 4 miles north of its southern limits. It is
dotted with bare rocky hills and long ridges, and is drained from south
to north by the Hindri. which falls into the Tungabhadra at Karniil.

vol. viil c


Rivers. — The principal rivers are the Tungabhadra and the Kistna,
which bound the District on the north. When in flood, the Tunga-
bhadra averages 900 yards broad and 15 feet deep. It is usually
crossed by means of basket boats, some of which are of large size. In
i860, an anicut or weir was built across the river at Sunkesala, 18
miles above Karmil town, and a canal dug for the double purpose of
irrigation and navigation. After the floods subside, a fine description
of melon is grown in the river-bed. Small communities of fishermen,
who monopolize the ferrying trade, live in villages on the banks of the
river, but they complain that since the construction of the anicut, the
fishing industry has fallen off considerably. The Kistna in Karmil
District flows chiefly through uninhabited jungles, sometimes in long
smooth reaches, with intervening shingly rapids. The average fall of
the river is about \\ feet per mile above the junction and 4 feet below
it ; the depth in high flood varies from 25 to 40 feet. The Bhavanasi,
which rises in the Nallamalai hills, drains the northern part of the water-
shed, and falls into the Kistna at Sangameswaram, a place of pilgrimage.
Below their junction is a whirlpool {chakratirtam) which is regarded as
holy by the native pilgrims. The Kunderu, a rapid stream, rises on the
western Yerramalais. Winding round the hills, it drains the central
valley and falls into the Pennar. The Gundlakamma rises in the
Nallamalais, and, after receiving two other mountain torrents, passes
through the Cumbum gorge, where it is formed into a tank. Emerging
again from the tank, and obstructed in its easterly course by the base
of the Velikonda range, it makes a remarkable curve towards the north,
and flows through Kistna and Nellore Districts to the sea. It is rapid,
deep, and erosive, often injuring the wells on its banks, and has a
minimum flow of 800 cubic feet of water per second. The Gundla-
kamma and the Sagileru are utilized for cultivation by means of rough
low dams thrown across them. In the Bhavanasi, temporary dams
are constructed every year.

Geology.— The rocks of the District belong to three different for-
mations, corresponding to its three great physical divisions. In the
Kunderu valley or Karmil formation, shales, limestones, and quartzites
are the prevailing rocks. The limestone makes very good building
material, and resembles the Nigri stone, with which many of the railway
stations are built. The limestone found near Karmil is used for litho-
graphic purposes. Nearly the whole of the Kunderu valley, including
the Nandikotkiir taluk at its head, the lands on the banks of the Hindri,
and about one-fifth of the Cumbum valley on the banks of the
Gundlakamma and Sagileru, are covered with black cotton-soil. The
minerals found in Karmil District are diamonds, steatite, iron, lead,

Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 8) → online text (page 4 of 64)