1902 Encyclopedia > Chutia Nagpur Tributary States

Chutia Nagpur Tributary States

CHUTlA (CHOTA) NAGPUR TRIBUTARY STATES. These are seven in number,—Sirguja, Udaipur, Jashpur, Gangpur, Bonai, Koria, and Chang Bhakar. At the decline of the Marhatta power in the early part of this century these estates came under British protection. They are now under the political superintendence of the commissioner of Chutia Nagpur, and the charge of them constitutes what is known as the South-West Frontier Agency. Before the rise of the British power in India their chiefs exercised almost absolute sovereignty in their respective territories. The Rajfls now pay a light tribute to the British Govern-ment, and are invested with magisterial authority to punish offenders by fine not exceeding £5 or by imprisonment not exceeding two years. The states are mountainous, thinly cultivated, and inhabited for the most part by wild aboriginal tribes. They cover an area of 15,419 square miles, the largest states being Sirguja and Gangpur. Their aggregate population amounts to 405,980 souls, giving an average of 26 persons to the square mile. No towns exist in the Tributary States, and only three villages contain more than 1000 inhabitants. The following is a brief description of each of the States :—

(1.) Sirguja, the largest, lies between 22° 30' and 24° N. lat., and 82° 35 and 84° 10 E. long. It is bounded on the N. by the in dependent state of Rewa and the districts of Mirzapur and Lohardaga, on the E. by the district of Lohardaga, on the S. by the Bilaspur district of the Central Provinces and the states of Udaipur and Jashpur, and on the W. by the state of Koria. It is very hilly, with elevated table-lands affording good pasturages, and cut up by numerous ravines. The rivers are the Kanhar, Rer, Mahan, Son, and Santeh, the last being formerly known as the Diamond River. Hot springs exist in the state. Extensive sal forests cover a large area, affording shelter to herds of wild ele-phants, antelopes, bisons, buffaloes, and many sorts of deer, and also to tigers, bears, and other beasts of prey. The area is 6103 square miles; the population in 1872, 182,831 souls, residing in 1295 villages and 36,463 houses:—classified, according to religion— Hindus 68,789, or 37'6 per cent. ; Muhammadans 1370, or '8 per cent. ; aborigines of the Dravidian stock 73,256, of the Kolarian stock 39,416, total 112,672, or 61'6 per cent. The principal agri-cultural products are rice, Indian corn, and other inferior cereals, pulses, oilseeds, and cotton ; the articles of export—clarified butter, grain, oilseeds, lac, gums, jungle silk cocoons (tasar), &e. ; imports— brass and pewter vessels, piece goods, and ornaments. The places of trade are Bisnimpur, the capital of the state, Pratappur, and Jhilmili. The total revenue of the estates in Sirguja in possession of the different members of the chief's family is £7000; the rental of the personal estate of the Raja, £3000; the expenditure on adminis-tration, £212. A small body of police is maintained by the Raja, and he can at a short notice put himself at the head of 1000 fighting men. Sirguja pays a tribute of £189 to the British Government.

(2.) Udaipur lies between 22° 3' and 22° 50' N. lat., and 83° 5' and 83° 50' E. long., and is bounded on the N. by the Mainpat plateau in Sirguja, on the E. by Jashpur, on the S. by Rai-garh, and on the W. by Bilaspur in the Central Provinces. Country hilly, diversified with plains, and possessing one of the most extensive coal fields in India. Principal river, Maud. Area, 1051 square miles, of which 121 are cultivated. Population— 27,708 :—Hindus, 7351 ; Muhammadans, 118 ; aborigines, 20,239. Principal villages—Rabkob, the capital, and Dorki. Exports— cotton, resinous gums, oilseeds, rice, wild arrowroot, iron, and a small quantity of gold, obtained by washing. Udaipur came under the British protection in 1817, and now pays an annual tribute of £53.

(3.) Jashpur, the most populous of the states, lies between 22° 20' and 23° 15' N. lat, and 83° 30' and 84° 30' of E. long., and is bounded on the N. and E. by the district of Lohardaga, on the S. by the states of Gangpur and Udaipur, and on the W. by the state of Sirguja. The country is divided almost equally into high and low lands. The only river of importance is the Kb, in the bed of which diamonds are found, and from time immemorial its sands have been washed for gold. Jashpur iron, smelted by the Kols, is highly prized. Jungles of sal forests abound, harbouring elephants, bisons, and other wild beasts. Jungle products—lac, silk-cocoons, and beeswax, which are exported. Area, 1947 square miles; population, 66,926:—Hindus, 11,498; Muhammadans, 423; aborigines, 55,005. Principal villages—Jashpur Nagar, the capital, and Sanoa. Agricultural products—rice, barley, Indian corn, and other inferior crops, pulses, oilseeds, hemp, flax, &c. The Raja possesses an income of about £2000, and pays through the Sirguja state a tribute of £77,10s. to the British Government. Jashpur came under the protection of the British Government in 1818.

(4.) Gangpur extends from 21° 50' to 22° 30' N. lat., and 85° 10' to 85° 40' of E. long., and is bounded on the N. by Lohardaga district, E. by the Sinhbhum district, S. by Sambalpur and Bamra, and W. by Raigarh in the Central Provinces. The country is for the most part an undulating plain, broken by detached ranges of hills, one of which, the Mahavira range, possesses a very remarkable and imposing appearance, springing abruptly from the plain in an irregular wall of tilted and disrupted rock, with two flanking peaks. The rivers are the Eb and the Brahmani, formed here by the union of the Sankh and the Koel, both navigable by canoes. The Eb was formerly famous on account of diamonds found in its bed, and its sands are still explored for gold. One of the largest coal fields in India extends into the state. Jungle products—lac, silk cocoons, catechu, and resin, which are exported. Wild ani-mals—bisons, buffaloes, tigers, panthers, leopards, hyenas, wolves, jackals, wild dogs, and many sorts of deer. Area, 2484 square miles ; population, 73,637, viz., Hindus, 28,192 ; Muhammadans, 231 ; aborigines, 45,214. Principal village, Suadi, the residence of the Raja. The soil is exceedingly fertile, yielding sugar cane, tobacco, rice, and other cereals, pulses, oilseeds, and cotton. The chief enjoys a revenue of about £200, out of which he pays £50 as tribute to the British Government, the connection of which with the state dates from 1803.

(5.) Bonai extends from 20° 10' to 21° 10' N. lat., and from 84° 80' to 85° 25' E. long., and is bounded on the N. by the Gangpur state and the Sinhbhum district, on the E. by the state of Keuujhar in Orissa, and on the S. and W. by the state of Bamra in the Central Provinces. It is for the most part covered with a mass of uninhabited hills, except the central part, through which the Brahmani river passes, forming a fine fertile valley along its course. Principal heights—Mankarnacha, 3639 feet • Baddin-garh, 3525; Kamratar, 3490; Cheliataka, 3308; and Kondadhar, 3000. Products—almost the same as Gangpur. Area, 1297 square miles; population, 24,832, viz., Hindus, 10,416; Muhammadans, Si ; and aborigines, 14,384. The chief enjoys an income of about £600, and he pays an annual tribute of £20 to the British Govern-ment. In 1803 the British Government entered into treaty rela-tions with Bonai.

(6.) Koria lies between 22° 58' and 23° 49' N. lat., and 82° and 82° 59' E. long., and is bounded on the N. by the Rewa state, E. by Sirguja, S. by Bilaspur district of the Central Provinces, and on the W. by Chang Bhakar. Country ^..cremely hilly; highest point, 3370 feet. Rivers—Heshto or Hasdo, Gopath, and other minor streams which feed either the Son on the N. or the Mahanuddy on the S. Jungle and agricultural products— same as the other states. Mineral product—iron. Tigers commit great havoc in the villages, and wild animals abound. Area, 1631 square miles ; population, 21,127, viz., Hindus, 10,807 ; Muham-madans, 140 ; aborigines, 10,180. Principal village—Sonhat, the residence of the Raja, which contains a mud fort. The Raja enjoys an income of about £700, and pays a tribute of £40 to the British Government. The relations of the British Government with this state commenced in 1818.

(7.) Chang Bhakar state protrudes like a spur into the Rewa territory, which bounds it to the N., W., and S., the eastern side being bounded by the state of Koria, of which it was formerly a fief. The natural scenery of the country consists of hills, ravines, and plateaus, covered with forests of sal, with small villages at distant intervals in the jungle. Herds of wild elephants commit sad havoc on the crops, which has caused the desertion of several villages. Area, 906 square miles ; population, 8919, viz., 2728 Hindus, 34 Muhammadans, and 6157 aborigines. The chief has an income of about £300, and pays a tribute of £38, 12s. (W. W. H.)

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