William Wilson Hunter.

The imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 8) online

. (page 58 of 64)
Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 8) → online text (page 58 of 64)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

the confluence of the Dhaneswari (Dhansiri). The large alluvial island
thus formed is called the Majuli Char. It covers an area of 310,215
acres, lying wholly within the jurisdiction of Sibsagar. On its right or
north bank the Lohit receives the waters of the Subansiri river.

Loisinh. — Estate or zaminddri in Sambalpur District, Central Pro-
vinces ; 20 miles south-south-east of Sambalpur town. Population (1881)
2412, nearly all Gonds and Kandhs, residing in 26 villages; area, 60
square miles, of which only a small part is cultivated, nearly the whole
estate consisting of a thick forest of sal and sdj. During the Mutiny
of 1857, the inhabitants, influenced by the rebel Surendra Sa, did much
mischief on the high-road from Cuttack, which runs through the estate ;
and Muddu, the chiefs brother, was hanged for the murder of Dr.
Moore. Chandru, the chief, was restored after the amnesty.

Lonar. — Town in Buldana District, Berar. Lat. 19 58' 50" N.,


long. 76 33' e. Population (1881) 2604, the majority of whom are
Brahmans. A place of great antiquity, standing on a hill amidst un-
dulating high lands, among which lies the salt lake of Lonar, the fabled
den of the demon-giant Lonasiir, who was overcome in single combat
by an incarnation of Vishnu. The god assumed the form of a beautiful
youth, and, with the aid of the giant's two sisters, discovered his sub-
terranean abode. With a single touch of his toe, he threw off the lid
of the den, and found the giant sleeping on his couch. A hill near
Dhakefal, about 36 miles south-west of Lonar, is said to be the lid of
the lake thrown off by Vishnu, and to coincide in shape and size with
the top of the lake. Lonasiir was buried in the den or hollow now
occupied by the great lake, whose water is supposed to be the giant's
blood. Lonar has ever since been held in great veneration.

The view r of the lake is very striking. It is surrounded by a circular
ridge of hills about 400 feet high, among which are several old temples
and ruins of other monuments. From a crevice on the southern ridge
flows an ample spring of sweet water, with a fine temple at the fountain-
head. The top circumference of the hollow occupied by the lake is
about 5 miles, and the cavity presents the appearance of an enormous
volcanic crater. The country around is of tabular or nodular basalt.
The sides of this great bowl rise abruptly at an angle of 75 to 8o°,
the circumference of the lake itself at their bases being about 3 miles.
These slopes are covered with jungle interspersed with teak ; at their
feet is a belt of large trees, about 300 yards broad, encircling the basin.
This belt is formed of concentric rings of tamarind and babul.

A muddy space, several hundred yards broad, white and slimy, and
devoid of all vegetation, surrounds the lake ; and is in the rainy season
covered with water. The specific gravity of the water is 1027-65. When
in the dry weather evaporation reduces the level of the lake, large
quantities of salts are collected, which by analysis (Malcolmson, 1837)
gave in 100 parts — carbonic acid, 38 ; soda, 40*9 ; water, 20-6 ; insoluble
matter, 0-5 ; and a trace of sulphate. The salt is chiefly used for the
manufacture of country soap, and is exported to considerable distances.
It is now proposed to farm the products of the lake, leasing the right to
collect the salt for a term of years.

Lonara. — Town in Hardoi District, Oudh; 10 miles north-west of
Sandila. Population (1869) 2947; (1881) 1191, residing in 215 mud
houses. Only noticeable as being the first seat of the Nikumbhs when,
300 years ago, they moved southwards from Muhamdi and drove out
the Kamangars ; and still in their possession.

Lonauli. — Town, municipality, and railway station in Poona District,
Bombay Presidency; situated about 40 miles north-west of Poona city,
at the top of the Bhor Pass. Lonauli forms an important point on the
south-east extension of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway. Popula-

49 o L ONI—L UCKNO U '.

tion (1881) 3334. A railway reservoir, about 2 miles to the south of
the town, affords a fair supply of drinking water. Close to the town
is a wood of fine trees, covering an area of about 56 acres. The
municipality, established in 1877, had in 1882-83 an income of ^100;
incidence of municipal taxation, 3! d. per head. Lonauli contains a
post-office, locomotive works, Protestant and Roman Catholic chapels,
railway school, masonic lodge, and co-operative store.

Loni.— Decayed town in Ghaziabad tahsil, Meerut (Merath) District,
North- Western Provinces. Distant from Meerut city 29 miles south-west,
from Delhi 7 miles north-east. The population, which in 1872 was re-
turned at 4085, had by 1881 dwindled to 2529, namely, Muhammadans,
1505 ; Hindus, 1020; and Christians, 4. Ruined fort, built by Prithwi-raj,
the Chauhan ruler of Delhi. The town was formerly a hunting residence
of the Mughal Emperors. About 1 789, Muhammad Shah built a grove
and tank, to water which the Eastern Jumna Canal was first constructed,
though never actually used. At Uldipur, Zinat Mahal, wife of Bahadur
Shah, planted another grove, enclosed by walls and gates, and containing
a scarlet-domed bdraddri. Numerous other relics exist of the Mughal
dynasty, confiscated after the Mutiny, and now for the most part in ruins.
Police station, post-office.

Lormi (Lurmt). — Valuable estate in Mungeli tahsil, Bilaspur
District, Central Provinces, owned by a Bairagi, to whose predecessor
it was granted in 1830. Area, 92 square miles, of which rather more
than half is cultivated, and nearly all cultivable.

Losar. — The highest inhabited village in Spiti, Kangra District,
Punjab, consisting of sixteen households. Lat. 32 28' N., long. 77
46' e. ; elevation above sea-level, about 13,400 feet.

Lovedale. — Hill station in the Nilgiri District, Madras Presidency.
Lat. n° 22' 40" n., long. 76 44' 30" e. The Lawrence Asylum is
situated here. — See Utakamand.

Lowa. — Town in Unao District, Oudh ; situated on the Sai river,
16 miles north-east of Pdrwa, and 36 from Unao town. Lat. 2 6° 29' n.,
long. 8i° 1' e. Population (1869) 3318; (1881) 3192, namely, 3135
Hindus and 57 Muhammadans.

Lowaghar. — Mountain range in Bannu District, Punjab. — See

Luckeeserai (Lakhi-sardi). — Railway station in Monghyr District,
Bengal, at the junction of the 'chord' and 'loop' lines of the East
India Railway ; 262 miles from Calcutta by the former route. A
broad, handsome bridge here crosses the Keul river, on the west bank
of which Luckeeserai stands. Of growing importance as a railway

Lucknow {Lakhnau). — Division or Commissionership in Oudh,
under the jurisdiction of the Lieutenant-Governor of the North- Western


Provinces; lying between 2 6° 6' and 27 21' 5" n. lat, and between 8o° 7
and 8i° 56' e. long. It forms the south-east Division of the Province
of Oudh, and comprises the 3 Districts of Lucknow, Unao, and Bara
Banki, each of which see separately. It is bounded on the north by
Hardoi and Sitapur Districts ; on the east by Bahraich and Gonda
Districts ; on the south by Faizabad (Fyzabad), Sultanpur, and Rai
Bareli Districts ; and on the west by the Ganges, separating it from the
North-Western Provinces Districts of Fatehpur and Cawnpur. Area,
4504/5 square miles, containing 18 towns and 4676 villages, with
470,780 houses. Total population in 1869, 2,837,580, namely, males
1,466,831, and females 1,370,749. Total population (1881) 2,622,681,
namely, males 1,350,053, and females 1,272,628. The decrease of
population during the twelve years ending 1881 was, therefore, 214,899,
or 7 '6 per cent. The decrease varies from 49 per cent, in Unao to 8*5
per cent, in Bara Banki, and 10*5 per cent, in Lucknow. These Districts
formed part of the tract which suffered from the drought of 1877-78,
and the terrible fever of the following year. The District officers concur
in ascribing the diminution to these disastrous years, and they show
the rate of decrease to be highest in those pargands where the people
suffered most.

Classified according to religion, the Census of 1881 returned the
population as follows : — Hindus, 2,225,508, or 84-8 per cent. ; Muham-
madans, 389,154, or 14*8 per cent.; Sikhs, 282; Christians, 6407, mainly
consisting of the Lucknow garrison of European troops; Jains, 1301;
Parsfs, 19 ; and Jews, 10. Among the higher castes, Brahmans
number 259,100, constituting the second most numerous caste in the
Division; and Rajputs, 141,512; the two castes aggregating 400,612,
or 15-3 per cent, of the total population. The Baniyas or trading class
number 49,868 ; and the Kayasths, or writer caste, who form the bulk of
the native officials, 39,410. Of the lower or Siidra castes, the most
important are — Ahirs, the most numerous caste in the Division,
271,251; Chamars, 211,385; Kurmis, 184,747; Lodhis, 157,891;
Kachhis, 76,412; Korfs, 64,446; Kahars, 46,274; Gadarias, 45,966;
Nais, 44,541; Telis, 42,581; Barhais, 4° > 75 I ; Dhobfs, 37,112;
Bhurjis, 30,961; Kumbhars, 26,424; Lohars, 23,944; Tambulis,
20,463. The old aboriginal tribe of Pasis are returned at 227,695 in
number, and are included in the Census Report among the Hindus.
The ancient dominant tribe of Bhars, who ruled the country prior to
the Rajput and early Muhammadan invasions, have now entirely dis-
appeared from this part of the country, or been absorbed into some
one or other of the Hindu low castes, as the Census only returns 19
Bhars in the whole Lucknow Division. The Muhammadan population
consists of 347,466 Sunnis and 41,688 Shias, the latter, who are chiefly
found in the neighbourhood of Lucknow City, being the descendants


of the courtiers and retainers of the Nawab Wazirs. Of the Christians,
4631 are Europeans, 1000 Eurasians, 5 Armenians, and 771 native

Lucknow Division contains a large urban population, the number of
towns, including Lucknow city and cantonment, with upwards of
five thousand inhabitants, being 18, with an aggregate town population
of 386,256, or 147 per cent, of the total population. The remainder,
or rural population, is divided among 4676 villages, classified as
follows: — ^99 contain less than two hundred inhabitants, 1786 from
two hundred to five hundred, 10 18 from five hundred to a thousand,
368 from one to two thousand, 68 from two to three thousand, and 36
from three to five thousand.

Total adult agricultural population, male and female, 854,989,
consisting of 30,502 landholders, 598,599 cultivators, 220,250 field
labourers, and 5638 agents, etc. The population dependent on the
soil, however, numbers 1,705,388, or 65*02 per cent, of the whole
population of the Division. Of the total area of 45°4'5 square
miles, 43717 square miles are assessed for Government revenue.
Of these, 2493*6 square miles were under cultivation in i88r, 892*9
square miles were cultivable but not under cultivation, and 985*2
square miles were uncultivable waste. Total Government assess-
ment, including local rates and cesses, ,£395,266, or an average of 4s.
nfd. per cultivated acre. Total rental paid by cultivators, ,£742,607,
or an average of 9s. o|d. per cultivated acre. The gross revenue of the
Lucknow Division in 1882-83 was ,£479,581 ; the total charges for
civil administration, as represented by the cost of officials and police,
was returned at .£56,576. Justice is administered by 41 criminal
courts, including that of the Judicial Commissioner of the Province,
and 37 civil and revenue courts. Total number of police circles
(thdnds), 32; strength of regular police, 2386 men; village watchmen
(ehaukiddrs), 7485.

Lucknow. — District of Oudh, in the Lucknow Division or Commis-
sionership, under the jurisdiction of the Lieutenant-Governor of the
North-Western Provinces; lying between 26 30' and 27 9' 30" n. lat.,
and between 8o° 44' and 8i° 15' 30" e. long. Area, 989*6 square miles ;
population (1881) 696,824. Lucknow is bounded on the north by
Hardoi and Sitapur ; on the east by Bara Banki ; on the south by Rai
Bareli ; and on the west by Unao Districts. In shape, the District is an
irregular oblong, running north-west and south-east ; average length, 45
miles; average breadth, 25 miles. The administrative head-quarters
are at Lucknow City, the capital of the Province.

Physical Aspects. — The general aspect of the country is that of an
open champaign, studded with villages, finely wooded, and in parts
most fertile and highly cultivated. In the vicinity of rivers, however,


stretch extensive barren sandy tracts (b/uir), and there are many large
sterile wastes of saline efflorescence (lisar). The country is an almost
dead level throughout, the average slope, which is from north-west
to south-east, being less than a foot per mile. The principal rivers
are the Gumti and the Sai, with their tributaries. The former
enters the District from the north, and, after passing Lucknow city,
turns to the east and enters Bara Banki. Its chief tributaries are the
Behta and Nagwa, two small streams, which join it on its right bank.
The Sai forms the south-west boundary of the District, running almost
parallel with the Gumti, receiving as tributaries in Lucknow the Loni
and Bank nadis.

History. — The following paragraphs on the history of the District are
condensed from the Official Settlement Report : —

' Very few of the existing clans are of ancient date. Lucknow itself
was not, by the most probable accounts, founded before the time of
Raja Jai Chand of Kanauj, the downfall of whose kingdom at the
hands of Shahab-ud-din, in 1194 a.d., saw the last of the Hindu
dynasties of Northern India passing away; and the colonization of the
whole of this part of the country seems due to the dispersion of the
Rajputs, which the Musalman conquest effected. There are, so far as
I have been able to gather, only two or three exceptions to this — in the
Janwars of Saindar in Dewa ; in the Parihars of Ghugtir in Kiirsi, since
driven back to Ahmamau ; and in the Gautamas of Sassaindi in the
Mohanlalganj pargand. The history of the former is very ancient, and
seems strangely blended with that of the Bhars and Bahraich. The
traditions of the Gautamas of Sassaindi connect them with the kingdom
of Kanauj, and the Bais of Baiswara', to whose powerful kingdom
they became subject, subsequent to their own occupation and owner-
ship of the soil. Some few of the Rajput colonies — as the Punwars
of Itaunja (Mahona) and the Chauhans of Amosi — conducted their
invasions under the auspices, and with the sanction, of the Delhi
Emperors ; for at that time the Muhammadan rule in this Province was
little more than nominal, and all that the Rajputs effected seems to
have been due to their own strength and exertions.

' The Rajputs, after the tide of their immigration had once set
in, made themselves masters of the whole country. Amethias and
Gautamas possessed themselves of Mohanlalganj and Nighohan.
Subsequently there came to the former pargand a colony of Janwars
from Ikauna in Bahraich ; but they settled peaceably under the Shaikhs,
who had invaded and driven out the Amethias from the north of
the pargand — then known as Amethi — in the middle of the 16th

' Bais to the south, and Chauhans through the centre, of the
pargand held Bijnaur; and Bais invaded and possessed themselves


of Kakori. Janwars and Raikwars settled in Mohan- Auras ; Nikumbhs,
Gahirwars, Gautamas, and Janwars spread through Malihabad ; Pun-
wars and Chauhans invaded Mahona ; and Janwars held the north of
Kiirsi and Dewa. At an early period, the Janwars were invaded by a
tribe of Parihars, and confined in Kiirsi to the north of the Kalyani,
In Dewa, they succumbed to a family of Bais.

'Then came the Musalman conquest. Little seems to have been
effected by the first invasion of Sayyid Masaiid in 1030 a.d. Traces
of it may have remained in some of the old pargana towns, which
he made his encamped settlements, as in Nagram and Amethi of
pargana Mohanlalganj — through which he is said to have passed —
where mahallds are still existing, containing, as it is said, the descend-
ants of his old followers who founded them. But for a long time they
did not dare venture far from any of these, or from the head-quarters
which he had fixed for them at Satrikh.

' The next invasion was that of Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khilji, during
the time of Shahab-ud-din, in 1202 a.d. But he too seems to have
left but little trace behind him. He may have founded the village of
Bakhhtiyar-nagar, near Malihabad, and may have left some Pathans in
the town itself; but — though they may have resisted any attack made
upon themselves, as in the case of the Bais under the Bais Raja
Sathna of Kakori — they never ventured out into the surrounding
country to colonize it.

' The earliest Musalman colonies do not probably date from much
before the middle of the 13th century. Amongst the first to come
were the Shaikhs of Kasmandi in the Malihabad pargana, and the
Sayyids of Salimabad in Kiirsi. Then came the Shaikhs of Kidwara in
the Lucknow pargana, in the direction of Satrikh, and those of Kheoli
in Dewa. Many scattered Musalman communities are spread also
through Kiirsi and Dewa, but the native accounts favour the belief that
they originated from Satrikh.

1 The Musalmans frequently made short incursions from Satrikh.
One of the first places they attacked was the town of Dewa, where they
seem to have established themselves under Shah Wesh, a captain of
Sayyid Masaiid ; and they penetrated in the direction of Lucknow as
far as the town of Mandiaon or Mariaon, where they met with a repulse,
and their leader fell. In a village is still a tomb of portentous length,
in which a nau gaza pir, so called from his height, is said to have been
buried. By far the greater part of the Musalman proprietorship of
villages in the District dates from the time when a Musalman govern-
ment was firmly established within the limits of the Province. They
were naturally attracted towards the settlements of their own country-
men ; and Musalman villages stretch through the south of parqands
Dewa, Kiirsi, and Lucknow, up to Kakori.


1 Local tradition states that the owners of the country, before the
early Rajput and Muhammadan settlers, were certain low-caste tribes
of Bhars, Arakhs, and Pasis. Who the Bhars were, is a question that
still remains unanswered. Mr. Elliot says that they overran the country
after the loss of Ajodhya by the Surajbansi tribes. The country had
then apparently relapsed into primeval wilderness. The natives' only
conception of it is that of a vast uninhabited jungle, in which none but
saints and anchorites lived, who passed their time in prayer and medi-
tation. Raja Janmajai, son of Parikshit, grandson of Raja Yudisthira,
of mythical times, granted them the land in jdgir.

'The foundation of many of the towns is attributed to devotees, as
Mandiaon to Mandal Rikh, Mohan to Mohangir Gosain, Jugaur to
Jagdeo Jogi, Dewa to Dewal Rikh; and they may belong to these
times. The Bhars, then, found the country open to them ; and in this
District there was certainly some dominant clan that ruled the country,
so far south as the Sai, up to the end of the 12th century.

1 They seem to be of aboriginal origin, and some say belong to the
forest tribes of Kols, Bhils, Kirats, Hais, Pardhans, and Thariis, and
originally came from the Tarai. Ruins of Bhar dihis or village sites,
cover the face of the country. They seem to have built in brick, which
is more than their successors the Hindus do. The Kanauj dynasty
before its fall made great efforts to wrest the country from them. Ala
and Udan, Banaphar Rajputs, were sent by Raja Jai Chandra,
and first attacked Nathawan near Bijnaur, which is said to have
been held by a Pasi Raja Bigli : they then advanced to Sarsawa
near Amethi, and afterwards to Dewa, but seem to have got no

' In describing the settlements of Pasis and Bhars, etc., Pasis and
Arakhs seem to have been in strength in Malihabad and to have
stretched south to Kakori and Bijnaur, and along the left bank of
the Sai to Sassaindi. All to the east of them were Bhars.

' The Pasis must have been an aboriginal tribe ; they are disowned
by every one else, and their habits would favour it. Their fondness for
drink was notorious. There is not a story told of the conquest of any
fort, but that it was effected by plying the occupants with wine. This
is told of Bhars and Pasis alike. The natives connect them with
Arakhs ; they have an account of a Bhar dynasty founded about a.d.
918, by Tilok Chand, the head of the tribe. This chief fixed upon
Bahraich as his seat of empire, and led a powerful army against Raja
Bikrampal of Delhi, whom he defeated and dispossessed of his king-
dom. It is then said that he held all the country up to Delhi, and all
Oudh up to the mountains. His dynasty lasted for nine generations,
or one hundred and fifteen years, up to a.d. 1093. It ended with Rani
Bhem Devi, wife of Gobind Chand, who died without an heir, and



bequeathed the kingdom to her priestly confessor (gurtf), Hargobind,
whose dynasty lasted for fifteen generations.'

Population.— -The area comprising the present District of Lucknow
contained, in 1869, a population of 778,195 souls - At the last Census
in 1881, the population was returned at 696,824, showing a decrease
of 81,371 souls, or 10-5 per cent., in twelve years. Lucknow was in
the very centre of the tract which suffered most severely from the
famine of 1877-78, and the fever epidemic of the following year; and
the diminution of population is ascribed to these calamities. The
results of the Census of 1881 may be briefly summarized as follows : —
Area of District, 989-6 square miles, with 5 towns and 942 villages ;
number of houses, 131,215. Total population, 696,824, namely,
males 365,305, and females 331,519; proportion of males in the total
population, 52*4 per cent. Average density of population, 704 persons
per square mile; towns and villages per square mile, 0-95 ; persons per
town or village (excluding Lucknow city and cantonments), 471 ;
number of houses per square mile, 132*5 \ inmates per house, 5-3.
Classified according to religion, the population consisted in 18S1 of—
Hindus, 540,037, or 77-5 per cent; Muhammadans, i49>9 21 > or 21 '5
per cent.; Sikhs, 218; Christians, 6280; Jains, 339; Jews, 10; and
Parsis, 19. Classified according to age, there were, under 15 years of
a g e — males 120,844, and females 107,234; total children, 228,078, or
327 per cent, of the population : 15 years and upwards — males 244,461,
and females 224,285; total adults, 468,746, or 67-3 per cent, of the

Among Hindus, the higher castes of Brahmans and Rajputs bear
a less proportion to the general population in Lucknow than in any
other District of Oudh. The Census of 1881 returned the Brah-
mans at 45,549, or 8*3 per cent, of the Hindu population; Rajputs
at 27,765, or 5*i per cent. The Baniyas or trading class numbered
18,840; and the Kayasths, or writers and official class, 15,640. Of
the lower or Sudra castes, the most numerous were — Ahirs, 65,189;
Pasis (aborigines and one of the dominant classes of the country prior
to the Rajput and Muhammadan invasions), 58,435 ; Chamars, 58,396;
Lodhis, 45,778; Kurmis, 21,261; Kachhis, 19,836; Koris, 16,333;
Kahars, 14,760; Teh's, 13,428; Dhobis, 10,621; Nais, 10,439; Bar_
hais, 8711 ; Bhurjis, 8019 ; Kumbhars, 7314; Tambuh's, 7088; Lohars,
6263; Bhangis, 6061; Gadarias, 5917; Kalwars, 5890; and Sonars,
5218. Lucknow has a larger proportion of Muhammandans than any
other District in Oudh, but this is mainly due to Lucknow city, which
contains a Musalman population of 94,851. By sect the Muham-
madans consist of — Sunnis, 115,371, and Shias, 34,550, the large pro-
portion of the latter being due to the fact that Lucknow was the seat of
a Shia court during the days of the Nawabi, and the great majority of


Shias still live in the city and immediate neighbourhood of Lucknow.
Of the Muhammadans, 654 are Mewatis by race, descendants of
converts to what was then the State religion ; 105 Giijars ; and 29
Rajputs. The Christian community comprises — Europeans, 4590 ;
Eurasians, 946 ; Armenians, 5 ; and native converts, 739.

Town and Rural Population. — Including Lucknow city and canton-
ment, the District contains five towns with a population exceeding five

Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 8) → online text (page 58 of 64)