1902 Encyclopedia > Balasor (town)

Balasor (town)
Orissa, British India

BALASOR, the principal town and administrative head- quarters of the above district, situated on the River Bura- balang, in 21° 28' 45" N. lat, and 86°'59 33' E. long., about 8 miles from the sea-coast as the crow flies, and 16 by the river. The English settlement of Balasor, formed in 1642, and that of Pippli in its neighbourhood, seven years earlier, became the basis of the future greatness of the British in India. The servants of the East India Company here fortified themselves in a strong position, and carried on a brisk investment in country goods, chiefly cottons and muslins. They flourished in spite of the oppressions of the Mahometan governors, and when needful asserted their claims to respect by arms. In 1688, affairs having come to a crisis, Captain Heath, commander of the Company's ships, bombarded the town. In the 18th century Balasor rapidly declined in importance, on account of a dangerous bar which formed across the mouth of the river. At present the bar has 12 to 15 feet of water at spring tides, but not more than 2 or 3 feet at low water in the dry season. Large ships have to anchor outside in the open roadstead. The town contains a population of 18,263; municipal income in 1872, £519; expenditure, £514; rate of taxation, 6|d. per head of population. (W. W. H.)

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