William Wilson Hunter.

The imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 8) online

. (page 61 of 64)
Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 8) → online text (page 61 of 64)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

him severely. He lingered till the morning of the 4th, and then died

in great agony. Major Banks succeeded to the civil command, while

the military authority devolved upon Brigadier Inglis. On 20th

July, the enemy made an unsuccessful assault. Next day, Major

Banks was shot, and the sole command w r as undertaken by Inglis.



On the ioth of August, the mutineers attempted a second assault,
which was again unsuccessful. The third assault took place on the
1 8th ; but the enemy were losing heart as they found the small garrison
so able to withstand them, and the repulse proved comparatively easy.

Meanwhile, the British within were dwindling away and eagerly
expecting reinforcements from Cawnpur. On 5th September, news of
th£ relieving force under Outram and Havelock reached the garrison
by a faithful native messenger. On 22nd September, the relief arrived
at the Alambagh, a walled garden on the Cawnpur road held by the
enemy in force. Havelock stormed the Alambagh, and on the 25th
fought his way with continuous opposition through the narrow lanes
of the city. On the 26th he arrived at the gate of the Residency
enclosure, and was welcomed by the gallant defenders within. General
Neill fell during the action outside the walls. The sufferings of the
besieged had been very great ; but even after the first relief, it became
clear that Lucknow could only be temporarily defended till the arrival
of further reinforcements should allow the garrison to cut its way out.
Outram, who had now re-assumed the command which he generously
yielded to Havelock during the relief, accordingly fortified an enlarged
area of the town, bringing many important outworks within the limits of
defence ; and the siege began once more till a second relieving party
could set the besieged at liberty. Night and day the enemy kept up a
continual firing against our position, while Outram retaliated by frequent

Throughout October the garrison continued its gallant defence,
and a small party, shut up in the Alambagh, and cut off unexpectedly
from the main body, also contrived to hold good its dangerous post.
Meanwhile, Sir Colin Campbell's force had advanced from Cawnpur,
and arrived at the Alambagh on the ioth of November. From the
day of his landing at Calcutta, Sir Colin had never ceased in his
endeavours to collect an army to relieve Lucknow, by gathering together
the liberated Delhi field force and the ' fresh reinforcements from
England. On the 12th, the main body threw itself into the Alambagh,
after a smart skirmish with the rebels. Sir Colin next occupied the
Dilkusha palace, south-east of the town, and then moved against the
Martiniere, which the enemy had fortified with guns in position. After
carrying that post, he forded the canal, and on the 16th attacked the
Sikandra Bagh, the chief rebel stronghold. The mutineers, driven to
bay, fought desperately for their fortress, but before evening the whole
place was in the hands of the British. As soon as Sir Colin Campbell
reached the Moti Mahal, on the outskirts of the city proper, General
Havelock came out from the Residency to meet him, and the second
relief was successfully accomplished.

Even now, however, it remained impossible to hold Lucknow, and Sir


Colin Campbell determined, before undertaking any further offensive
operations, to return to Cawnpur with his army, escorting the civilians,
ladies, and children rescued from their long imprisonment in the Resi-
dency, with the view of forwarding them to Calcutta. On the morning
of the 20th of November, the troops received orders to March for the
Alambagh ; and the Residency, the scene of so long and stirring a de-
fence, was abandoned for a while to the rebel army. Before the final
departure, Sir Henry Havelock died from an attack of dysentery.
He was buried in the Alambagh, without any monument, a cross on a
neighbouring tree alone marking for the time his last resting-place.
Sir James Outram, with 3500 men, held the Alamba'gh until the
Commander-in Chief could return to recapture the capital. The rebels
used the interval well for the fortification of their stronghold to the
utmost extent of their knowledge and power. They surrounded the
greater part of the city, for a circuit of 20 miles, with an external line
of defences, extending from the Giimti to the canal. An earthen
parapet lay behind the canal ; a second line of earthworks connected
the Mod Mahal, the Mess-house, and the Imambara ; while the Kaisar
Bagh constituted the rebel citadel. Stockade works and parapets
closed every street ; and loopholes in all the houses afforded an oppor-
tunity for defending the passage inch by inch. The computed strength
of the insurgents amounted to 30,000 Sepoys, together with 50,000
volunteers ; and they possessed 100 pieces of ordnance-guns, and

On the 2nd of March 1858, Sir Colin Campbell found himself
free enough in the rear to march once more upon Lucknow. He first
occupied the Dilkusha, and posted guns to command the Martiniere.
On the 5th, Brigadier Franks arrived with 6000 men, half of them
Gurkhas sent by the Raja of Nepal. Outram's force then crossed the
Giimti, and advanced from the direction of Faizabad (Fyzabad), while the
main body attacked from the south-east. After a week's hard fighting,
from the 9th to the 15th March, the rebels were completely defeated,
and their posts captured one by one. Most of the insurgents, however,
escaped. As soon as it became clear that Lucknow had been per-
manently recovered, and that the enemy as a combined body had
ceased to exist, Sir Colin Campbell broke up the British Oudh army,
and the work of re-organization began. On the 18th of October 1858,
the Governor-General and Lady Canning visited Lucknow in state, and
found the city already recovering from the devastation to which it had
been subjected.

Population. — The Census of 1869 returned the total population of
Lucknow, including the cantonments, as 284,779. In 1881, the Census
returned the population of the city at 239,773, and the cantonments
at 21,530; total, 261,303, showing a decrease of 23,476, or 8*2 per


cent, in twelve years. Classified according to religion, the population
of the city and cantonment stood as follows in 1881 : — Hindus, 155,320 ;
Muhammadans, 99,152; Jains, 338; Christians, 6253; and 'others,'
240. Males numbered 139,105, and females 122,198. The European
element in the city is unusually large. The Hindus number three-
fifths of the population, the Kayasth and Baniya castes forming a con-
siderable .proportion. Many pensioners of the British Government and
of the former Oudh kings reside in the city. The Lucknow Musal-
mans are chiefly Shias, that being the recognised orthodox sect under
the Nawabs.

Commerce and Trade, etc. — The traffic of Oudh flows southward
from Bahramghat and Faizdbad through Lucknow to Cawnpur. Large
quantities of grain and timber come in from the trans-Gogra Districts,
while raw cotton, iron, and imported goods go northward in exchange.
The Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway, with its branches, has a station in
the town, and gives direct communication with Benares, Bareilly, and
Cawnpur, as well as connecting with the Great Trunk lines to Calcutta,
Bombay, and the Punjab. The railway has given a great impetus to
trade. The chief country imports consist of wheat and other grains,
ghi t gur or molasses, sugar, spices, oil-seeds, and tobacco ; besides which
a large quantity of European piece-goods, etc., are brought into the

Manufactures are carried on to a considerable extent ; the chief pro-
ducts being those which call for the oriental combination of patience,
industry, minute manual skill, and delicate taste in the management of
colour. Lucknow muslins and other textile fabrics have a high reputa-
tion, some 30 small establishments being engaged in this trade. Gold
and silver brocade, however, made of small wires, forms the leading
manufacture. It is used for the numerous purposes of Indian pomp, and
has a considerable market even in Europe. The gorgeous needlework
embroidery upon velvet and cotton, with gold thread and coloured
silks, also employs many hands. Lucknow jewellery, once very famous,
has declined since the departure of the court. Glass-work and moulding
in clay still maintain their original excellence. A Kashmiri colony has
introduced a small manufacture of shawls. The only enterprise con-
ducted by Europeans is an ice-making concern. The railway workshops,
however, employ many hundreds of workmen, including several pupils
of the Martiniere school, besides other Europeans and Eurasians. The
principal markets are — the grain markets of Fatehganj and Digbijaiganj,
lying to the west ; Rakabganj, at the south end of the Canning road ;
Saadatganj, in the south-west ; and Shahganj, near the new Victoria
road. Imported cotton and salt are set down at Saadatganj. Molasses
is sold at the Nakhkhas market, and leather in the Chikmandi. A
paper factory has recently been established in the city.


Administration. — Before the amalgamation of Oudh with the North-
western Provinces in 1877, Lucknow formed the residence of the
Chief Commissioner and his staff. It is still the head-quarters of the
officials whose authority extends over the whole of Oudh. It also
forms the Oudh head-quarters of the united Provinces of the North-
western Provinces and Oudh, and the residence of the Lieutenant-
Governor for a certain period every year. The Judicial Commissioner
of Oudh, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, the Inspector of
Education, the Examiner of Public Works Accounts, the Assistant
Commissioner of Customs, the Chief Inspector of Post Offices, and the
Conservator of Forests have their offices at Lucknow. The central
officials of the Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway likewise have their posts
in the city. The municipal police in 1883 consisted of 876 officers
and men, together with a force of chaukiddrs and jamaddrs, and a
contonment and railway police. Besides the Balrampur hospital,
already noticed, Lucknow contains 2 similar charitable institutions, the
King's Hospital and the Government Dispensary. A lunatic asylum
for the whole Province stands upon the eastern bank of the river, near
the Faizabdd (Fyzabad) road. The municipal revenue in 1870-71
amounted to ^£20,018, of which ,£16,230 was derived from octroi.
By 1883 the municipal income had increased to ^26,119, of which
.£21,037 was derived from octroi ; average incidence of taxation, is. 8d.
per head of the population (239,773) within municipal limirs.

Education, etc. — Canning College, supported by the tdlukddrs, and
assisted by a grant-in-aid from Government, was established in 1864.
It contains five departments, namely, the college, school, oriental, pre-
paratory, and law branches, and is under the management of a com-
mittee, with the Commissioner of the Division as President. The
Martiniere College provides education for the sons of soldiers, and has
also a girls' school in connection. The American Mission conducts 7
schools, and the English Church Mission 5. Eleven other schools
derive support from provincial, municipal, and private funds. The
Loretto Convent and 25 other establishments offer education for girls.
Lucknow, in spite of its comparative decay, still ranks as the admitted
capital of Hindustani music, song, and poetry. The Lucknow native
theatres also maintain a high position in native opinion. The subjects
for the dramas are largely derived from English life in India.

Military Statistics. — Lucknow forms the head-quarters of the Oudh
military Division. The cantonment is healthily and well situated, 3
miles east of the city. The garrison usually comprises 3 batteries of
British artillery, 1 regiment of British cavalry, 2 of British infantry, 1 of
Native cavalry, and 2 of Native infantry. A battery of artillery and a
detachment of Native infantry occupy the Machi Bhawan fort, and
act as a garrison to command the city ; but it has been proposed to


give up the ancient stronghold and erect a new fort upon some other

Ludhiana. — District in the Lieutenant-Governorship of the Punjab,
lying between 30 33' and 31° i' n. lat., and between 75 24' 30" and 76°
27' e. long. Area, 1375 square miles (1881). Population, 618,835
persons. Ludhiana is the westernmost District of the Ambala (Umballa)
Division. It is bounded on the north by the river Sutlej (Satlaj), which
separates it from Jalandhar District ; on the east by the District of
Ambala ; on the south by the Native States of Patiala, Jhind, Nabha,
and Maler Kotla ; and on the west by the District of Firozpur (Feroze-
pore). To the north, east, and west, the boundaries are fairly symme-
trical, but in the south several outlying villages belonging to Ludhiana
District are scattered among the Native States mentioned above ; while
on the other hand, two or three groups of Patiala villages in the east
are completely surrounded by British territory. Ludhiana District is
divided into three tahsils or Sub-divisions, Samrala to the east,
Ludhiana in the centre, and Jagraon to the west. The District stands
twenty-ninth in order of area, and fifteenth in order of population
among the thirty-two British Districts of the Province, and comprises
1 '29 per cent, of the total area, 3*29 per cent, of the total population,
and 3-40 per cent, of the urban population of British territory. Not-
withstanding its limited area, the District is one of the most important
in the Punjab. Excluding the outlying villages, it is probably more
compact and convenient for administrative purposes than any other
Punjab District, the remotest point being not much more than 30
miles from head-quarters, and access to almost every part being easy
by rail, or by good roads which intersect the District in all directions.
The administrative head-quarters are at the town of Ludhiana, which
is centrally situated a few miles south of the Sutlej.

Physical Aspects. — The surface of Ludhiana consists for the most
part of a broad plain, nowhere interrupted by hills or rivers, and
stretching northward from the borders of the Native States to the
south to the ancient bed of the Sutlej (Satlaj). Its soil is composed
of a rich clay, broken by large patches of shifting sand, which
has drifted here and there into ridges of considerable height. The
distribution of the sand-layer is singularly capricious, so that a distance
of only a hundred yards may carry the observer from fertile gardens
into the midst of a deep and barren desert. On the eastern edge,
towards Ambala (Umballa) and the hills, the soil improves greatly,
as the clay is there surmounted by a bed of rich mould, suitable
for the cultivation of cotton and sugar-cane ; but towards the west,
the sand occurs in union with the superficial clay, and forms a light
friable soil, on which cereals form the most profitable crop. Even
here, however, the earth is so retentive of moisture that good harvests


are reaped from fields which appear to the eye mere stretches of dry
and sandy waste, but are covered, after the autumn rains, by waving
sheets of wheat and millet.

These southern uplands descend to the valley of the Sutlej by an
abrupt terrace, which marks the former bed of the river. At its
foot lies a half-deserted watercourse, still full at all but the driest
seasons, and once the main channel of the Sutlej. Now, however
the principal stream has shifted to the opposite side of the valley,
leaving a broad alluvial strip of from 2 to 6 miles in width, between
its ancient and its modern bed. This region, known as the bet,
forms the wider channel of the river, and is partly inundated after
heavy rains. It is intersected in every direction by minor water-
courses or ndlas, and, being composed of recent alluvium, is for the
most part very fertile, though in scattered portions its fruitfulness is
destroyed by the occurrence of a deleterious saline efflorescence. The
Sutlej itself is navigable for boats of small burden, but its value as a
water-way is inconsiderable in this portion of its course. A branch of
the Sirhind Canal, recently constructed, enters the District from
Ambala (Umballa), and with its two principal branches, irrigates a large
part of the western pargands. With this exception, irrigation is almost
entirely confined to wells.

Ludhiana is singularly bare of trees. In the bet are a few well-grown
philkans, while pipals and banians are to be found near the village tanks ;
but as a rule, only a few patches of scrubby dhdk jungle break the
general monotony of the sky-line. Attention, however, has been lately
directed to this subject, and avenues of trees are now growing up along
the main roads, which will doubtless do something to improve the
appearance of this level and arid District. The only mineral product in
Ludhiana is kankar or nodular limestone, which is quarried in many
places for metalling the roads and for burning into lime.

History. —Though the present town of Ludhiana dates no further
back than the 15th century, other cities in the District can claim a
much greater antiquity. At Sunet, close to the modern town, are
ruins of an extensive brick-built town, whose greatness had already
passed away before the period of Muhammadan invasion ; and the old
Hindu city of Machrwara is of still earlier date, being mentioned in
the Mahdbhdrata. During the Musalman epoch, the history of the
District is bound up with that of the Rais of Raikot, a family of con-
verted Rajputs, who received the country as a fief under the Sayyid
dynasty, about the year 1445. The town of Ludhiana was founded
in 1480 by two of the Lodhi race (then ruling at Delhi), from whom it
derives its name. It was built in great part from the prehistoric bricks
of Sunet, still bearing their rude trade-mark in the impression of three
human finders. On the overthrow of the Lodhi dynasty by Babar, the


town passed into the hands of the Mughals, with whom it remained
till 1760, when the Rais of Raikot took possession of it.

Throughout the palmy days of the Mughal Empire, the present District
was included in the Sarkdr (or Division) of Sirhind, in the SuMh (or
Province) of Delhi, the western portions being leased to the Rais of
Rdikot, who, on the decadence of the empire, asserted their indepen-
dence and formed a kingdom out of the territories held by them in this
and the neighbouring District of Firozpur, the boundaries of which they
extended. On the capture of Sirhind by the Sikhs in 1763, the western
parts of the District fell into the hands of a number of petty Sikh
chiefs. At the close of the 18th century, the Raikot family was repre-
sented by a minor ; and the Sikhs from the other side of the valley
commenced a series of attacks upon their possessions. On one occasion,
the famous adventurer, George Thomas, was called in to repel them.
Finally, in 1806, Maharaja Ranjit Singh crossed the Sutlej on his first
expedition against the cis-Sutlej chiefs, and stripped the Rais of their
possessions, leaving only a couple of villages for the maintenance ot
two widows, who, with the exception of the minor chief, were the only
remaining representatives of the ruling family.

In 1809, after Ranjit Singh's third invasion, a treaty was concluded
between him and the British Government, by which his further con-
quests were stopped, although he was allowed to retain all territories
acquired in his first two expeditions. At the same time, all the cis-
Sutlej States that had not been absorbed were taken under British
protection. In the same year (1809) a cantonment for British troops
was placed at Ludhiana, compensation being made to the Raja of Jhind
in whose possession it then was. In 1835, on the failure of the direct
line of the Jhind family, a tract of country around Ludhiana came into
British possession by lapse, and this formed the nucleus of the present

On the conclusion of the first Sikh war in 1846, Ludhiana District
assumed very nearly its present limits by the additions of territory
annexed from the Lahore Government and its adherents on this side of
the valley. Since the British occupation, the town has grown in wealth
and population, but its history has been happily marked by few noticeable
events of any sort. The cantonment was abandoned in 1854. During
the Mutiny in 1857, an unsuccessful attempt was made by the Deputy
Commissioner of the District, with the assistance of a small force, to
stop the Jalandhar rebellious Sepoys on their way to Delhi. In 1872,
an outbreak by a fanatical sect of Kukas attempted to disturb the
peace of the country ; but it was at once suppressed, and its leader,
Ram Singh, deported from India, and sent as a State prisoner to British
Burma. The more peaceful events to be chronicled are the opening
of the Sind, Punjab, and Delhi Railway, and the opening of the


Sirhind Canal. Since the first Afghan war (1839-42), Ludhiana town
has been the residence of the exiled royal family of Shah Shuja.

Population. — The first enumeration of the people was that of 1855,
which returned the total number of inhabitants at 527,722, or 388
to the square mile. These figures, however, are suspected of being
slightly in excess of the real numbers. A second Census was taken in
1868, over an area corresponding to the present District, which
returned a total population of 585,547, or 426 per square mile. In
3881 the population had further increased to 618,835, namely, by
33,288, or 57 per cent., during the thirteen years ending 1881.
The general results of the Census of 1881 may be briefly sum-
marized as follows : — Area, 1375 square miles, with 6 towns and 853
villages, 104,231 houses, and 141,719 families. Total population,
618,835, namely, males 339,598, and females 279,237 j proportion
of males, 54*9 per cent. From these data the following averages
can be obtained: — Persons per square mile, 450; villages per square
mile, 0-62; persons per village, 725; houses per square mile, 98;
persons per house, 5*9. Classified according to age, the Census
returned — under 15 years, males 126,501, and females 100,091 ; total
children, 226,592, or 36*6 per cent, of the population : 15 years and
upwards, males 213,097, and females 179,146; total adults, 392,243,
or 63*4 per cent.

As regards religious distinctions, Hindus number 275,240 persons,
or 44-4 per cent.; Muhammadans, 213,954, or 34*6 per cent;
Sikhs, 127,143, or 20'6 per cent.; Jains, 2165; Christians, 322;
and 'others,' 11. In the ethnical classification of the inhabitants,
the Jdts rank first both in number (222,665) and in agricultural
importance; they form one -third of the whole population, and
nearly two - thirds of the cultivating class. As a race, the Jdts
are patient, laborious, and enterprising. They are evenly distributed
over the whole District, with the exception of the Sutlej valley,
where they are comparatively few in number. In religion, the great
majority of Jats are Hindus or Sikhs. The Rajputs come next,
with 30,957 persons; they are almost exclusively Musalmans. The
Giijars number 30,759, and cluster thickly in the fertile strip by the
bank of the Sutlej. Though they hold the richest portion of the
District, they are here as elsewhere careless and improvident cultivators,
and ill fitted for any but a predatory regime. Most of them are
Musalmans in creed. The Brahmans muster strong, numbering 25,121,
but their social importance is small. The mercantile classes are
represented by 15,944 Khattris and 8722 Baniyas. There are also 2492
Kashmiris, chiefly confined to the town of Ludhiana, where they are
employed in weaving shawls and woollen goods.

Town and Rural Population. — The District contained 4 towns



in 1 88 1 with a population exceeding 5000 — namely, Ludhiana, 44,163;
Jagraon, 16,873; Raikot, 9219; and Machiwara, 5967. Two other
places are returned as municipal towns, but with a less population
than 5000, namely, Khanna, 3988 ; and Bahlolpur, 2842. These
six towns have an aggregate population of 83,052 persons, or 13-4 per
cent, of the total District population. Of the 859 towns and villages
in the District, 140 are returned as having less than two hundred
inhabitants; 318 from two to five hundred; 243 from five hundred to
a thousand; 119 from one to two thousand; 21 from two to three
thousand ; 4 from three to five thousand ; and 4 between five and fifty
thousand inhabitants. As regards occupation, the adult male popula-

Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 8) → online text (page 61 of 64)