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The Imperial Gazetteer oe India.

W. W. H'








ganjAm to INDI.



MAY 1 1 1971



^5/rY Of ^0^



I N D I A.


Ganjam {Ganj-idm, 'the granary of the world'). British District in

the extreme north-east of the Madras Presidency, lying between 18° 15'

and 20° 15' N. latitude, and between 83° 49' and 85° 15' e. longitude.

Bounded on the north by the Orissa Tributary States of Nayagarh, Daspalla, and Bod, of Bengal; on the east by the Bengal District of

Puri and the Bay of Bengal ; and on the west by the Feudatory States of Kalahandi and Patna of the Central Provinces, and Vizagapatam

District of the Madras Presidency. Area, 83 11 square miles, of which 5205 square miles are in the Agency or Hill Tracts. Population,

according to the Census of 1881, 1,749,604. In point of size, Ganjam

District ranks sixth amongst the Districts of the Madras Presidency.

Geographically the District divides itself into the Maliahs or Hill

Tracts, and the Plain country, and contains 16 large and 35 minor

zamhiddris or proprietary estates, besides 3 Government taluks. There

are altogether


towns, of which

2 are municipalities, and 6879


of the latter,

2706 are in the Agency Tracts.


is the chief town of the District, and is also a military cantonment.

Physical Aspects. The District is mountainous and rocky, but inter-

spersed with valleys and fertile plains. In shape it resembles an hour-

glass, contracted in the centre, where the Eastern Ghats nearly meet the sea, and widening out in the north and south into undulating plains.

Pleasant groves of trees give to the scenery a greener appearance than is

usually met with in the plains farther to the south ; whilst rugged moun-

A chain of

fresh-water or brackish lakes runs all along the coast, being separated from

the sea by narrow strips of sand. Salt swamps and backwaters are also

tains, frequently covered with dense jungle, relieve the eye.

not uncommon. The chain of the Eastern Ghats, known as the Mdliahs



or Maliyds, which occupies the western portion of the District, has several

well-defined gaps.

On the Bod frontier it has a general elevation of

about 2000 feet (the axis of the chain being here farther eastward and about 2500 feet high) ; west of Daringabadi the peaks rise above 4000

feet, and the general elevation exceeds 3000 feet.

the chain is pierced

A gap occurs where

by the 'Hot Springs' Pass, and here 1800 feet is

the sunfhiit level for some distance. In the Pedda Kimedi and Paria Kimedi Hills, the chain is over 3000 feet, and the peaks approach

to near 5000 feet. The principal peaks are— Mahendragiri (4923 feet),

The passes which lead from

the low country of Ganjam into the Maliyas, along their entire length

of some 140 miles, are very numerous; but only one, the Kalinga Ghat, possesses a road available for wheeled traffic. Many of the passes

Singhardj (4976), and Deodonga (4534)-

are, however, practicable for elephants and other beasts of burden,

although the paths are generally rocky, rugged, and steep.

rivers are (i) the Rishikulya in the north, which rises in the hiHs

beyond the District boundary, and, after a course of about 100 miles,

The chief

not ordinarily

navigable, but rafts can be floated down it in the flood season between

June and November: (2) the Vamsadhara, which rises in the Jaipur

(Jeypore) Hills, and, after a course of about 145 miles, falls into the

sea near Kalingapatam in the south of the District ; it is more or

less navigable for about 70 miles from its mouth : (3) the Languliya,

which takes its rise in Kalahandi, and, after flowing for about 115

miles, enters the sea near Mdphiiz Bandar.

Besides these rivers, there

are numerous mountain streams and torrents, which are utilized for the

purposes of irrigation. The banks of the rivers are usually steep and

high, and there is in all of them a great tendency to accumulate silt.

Their channels dry up in the hot season, but during the rains between

falls into the sea near Ganjam

town ; this



June and November they are

usually in full flood.

Owing to the

vicinity of the Eastern Ghats to the sea, however, the floods subside

with rapidity ; and from the same cause the rise of the waters in the

rivers is frequently so great as to cause considerable damage to property,

and not

unfrequently loss of life.

Sea and river fisheries form an

important industry, and the fishing castes were returned in 1881 at

41,856, or 2-48 per cent, of the Hindu population. Pearl oysters, of an

inferior (}uality, are found in the Sonapur backwater, and in the canal which runs from the Chilka Lake to the Rishikulya river. Iron-ore^

limestone, building stone, sandstone, talc, and crystal comprise the

mineral products.

sisting chiefly of sdl, with satin-wood, sandal, and ebony in smaller

Timber forests are numerous and extensive, con--"


Beeswax, honey, turmeric, and myrabolans are jungle

products, and important articles of commerce, being sold by the hill

Kandhs (Khond'^) to the low-country merchants. Wide grazing grounds'



exist, wliich afford pasturage to large herds of cattle.

numerous in the hills.

Wild beasts are

History. Ganjam anciently formed part of the southern kingdom of



early history is

involved in obscurity, and it was


until the long line of Gajapati or Ganga-vansa kings (i 132-1532)

occupied Orissa that the adjoining District of Ganjam was annexed to

that Province.

Owing to the nature of the country, Ganjam was only

nominally reduced by the Musalmans, who overran Orissa from Bengal

for the first time about 156S.

In 1641, the king of the Kutab-Shahi

kingdom sent a deputy, Sher jMuhammad Khan, to Chikakol (Chicacole)

to rule over the country as its first Faujdar. The present District of

Ganjam formed under the Musalmans a part of the Chikakol Circar,

and the country south of the Rishikuliya river at Ganjam, as far as Kasibiiga, was known by the name of the Ichapur Province. Successive

Faujdars and Naibs continued to rule over the Chikakol Circar until 1753, in which year the Northern Circars were granted to the French by

the Xizam, Salabat Jang, to cover the pay and equipment of the French

M. de Bussy, who managed the affairs of the

auxiliaries in his service.

P'rench at Haidarabad in the Deccan, proceeded to the Northern Circars

in person in 1757, in order to secure the revenues on behalf of his native

After reducing the country as far as Gumsar, on the south-west


border of Ganjam, M. de Bussy was obliged to return, being recalled

by M. Lally, the Governor of Pondicherri, who required his services at

the siege of Madras (1758). In 1759, an expeditionary force under

.Colonel Forde, sent from Bengal by Clive, was successful in taking

Masulipatam ; and upon the key of their position in the Northern

Circars falling into the hands of the English, the French found them-

selves obliged to abandon Ganjam and their other factories in the


In 1765, the Northern Circars were granted to the English by

the Mughal Emperor's y^?/7//(f;/, dated the 12th August 1765; but it was

not until the 12th November 1766, that Nizam All, the Siibah of the

Deccan, agreed to ratify this farmdfi by actually ceding the country to the English. In August 1768, Mr. Edward Cotsford took possession

of Ganjdm as the first English Resident, and founded an English

factory there, which he secured by means of a small fort. From 176S

down to 1802, the Ichhapur Province was ruled by a succession of

Residents, Chiefs in Council, and Collectors; and in the latter year, the

country south of the Piindi river, as far as Chikakol, was formed into

the present District of Ganjam.

The earlier records (i 768-1802) of

the District show that the zam'inddrs were accustomed to pay their

tributes only under actual pressure ; and that the country was con-

tinually in a state of disturbance and confusion. Plunder, rapine,

murders, and incendiarism were common ; and one zaminddr had to be

reduced by troops.

In 18 15, a severe epidemic fever prevailed in



the town of Ganjam, and carried off about 20,000 people in the course

ot' the three years

came down

that it raged in the District.

In 18 16, the Pindaris

upon the Parla Kimedi zamindari, and spread fire and

sword from Ichhapur to Ganjam. In 1819, the disturbances in the

Parla Kimedi and Mohirr zaininddris had risen to such a height, that

Government sent Mr. Thackeray to Ganjam, as Special Commissioner,

to devise means for quieting the country. It needed the presence of a



body of regular troops to crush the spirit of insubordination

had been fostered in the District by many years of a weak and

vacillating policy.

In 1834-35, the Parla Kimedi campaign took place,

Brigadier-General Taylor in command.

The judicious measures of

Mr. George Russell, the Special Commissioner in this and the two suc-

ceeding Giimsiir campaigns of 1835-37, did much to place the country

on a more satisfactory footing, by reducing the two most refractory

and influential zaminddrs in the District.

The first contact of the

with the aboriginal Kandhs (Khonds) occurred in 1836, when

discovered that they were addicted to the practice of human


it was

A special Agency, under European officers, was

deputed to the tract, and succeeded in inducing the Kandhs to abandon

sacrifice {meriah).

the rite.

In 1865, a partial rising of the Kandhs took place, but it was

of an unimportant character, and was suppressed without the aid of regular troops. Since then the District has enjoyed undisturbed peace.

(For further details, see Hunter's Orissa, vol. i. 18, ii. 49-5 3? ''ind article


J\ypuIation. A Census of the District taken in 1S71 returned a



of 1,520,088, inclusive of the people of the hills. >

The last Census of

increase of

18S1 returned the number at 1,749,604, or an

Of the whole number returned

229,516 in ten years.

in 1 881, 246,303 inhabited the Hill Tracts, namely, 130,042 males

The remainder, namely, 739,423 males and

and 116,261 females.

763,878 females, total 1,503,301, inhabited the plains portion of

the District.

Scattered over the

lowlands and highlands are 16

towns and 6879 villages.

which 58,565 are

5 "4 persons


The number of houses is





This gives a proportion of




in the Hill Tracts.


per house

plains, and

density of population, Ganjam ranks third among the Districts of

The proportion in the plains is 484 persons

to the square mile, being next to Tanjore and Vizagapatam Districts,

and more than double the average. The proportion of males to

the Madras Presidency.


number of children under

221,590 boys and 227,481

is 497



in every


1000 of the population.


years were returned at 449,071, or

10 and


years there

girls; between

were 159,293 males and 141,948 females, total 301,241.

nearly half the population

of the

District are under


So that

years of




The population is composed almost entirely of Hindus, of

whom there were males 865,229, females 875,945, total 1,741,174,

or 99*58 per cent., distributed as follows: Erahmans, 127,869;

Kshatriyas (warriors), 4143; Shettis (traders),



(agriculturists), 461,995; Idaiyars (shepherds), 56,567; Kammalars

(artisans), 44,970; Kanakkan (writers), 25,665; Kaikalars (weavers),

38,104; Vanniyans (labourers), 42,712; Kushawans (potters), 15,660;

Satanis (mixed castes), 29,670; Shambadavans (fishermen), 41,856;

Shanans (toddy - drawers), 44,467; Ambattans (barbers), 25,206; Vannans (washermen), 40,462 ; Pariahs, 198,179 ; other castes not speci-

fied, 464,853.

1551, of whom 129 were Europeans, and 222 Eurasians; Jains and

Buddhists, 270; and 'others,' 536.

Sixty per cent, of the Christians

The distribution by occupation was as

are Roman Catholics.

follows: Under Class I., or professional, 29,843, or 171 per cent.;

under Class II., or domestic, 22,133, O'" ^'26 per cent.; under Class

III., or commercial, 21,523, or 1*23 per cent.;

under Class IV., or

The Muhammadans numbered only 6073 ; Christians,

agricultural, 568,843, or 32*51 per cent. ; under Class V., or industrial,

180,382, or io'3i per cent. ; and under Class VI., or indefinite and

non-producti\*e, 926,880,


5 2 '98 per cent.

Of the total popula-

tion, 53*87 are employed in work, while 46 '13 are dependent on

^ them for support.

44*59 are employed.

Of the

males, 63*27 per cent., and of the females,

There were in the plains, educated or under

instruction, 61,406 persons, including 4268 females.

of the plains of Ganjam are Telugu and Uriya, while Kandh and

The languages

Savara are the languages of the tribes in the hills known by those


The aboriginal tribes are principally Kandhs and Savaras,

who have now nearly all embraced some form of Hinduism, and

are included in the general number of Hindus

returned above.

Ethnically, the Uriyas (777,558) form the largest part of the District

population, the remainder being for the most part Telugus (692,931).

Their manners and customs differ, and they speak a distinct language. The Uriyas are chiefly found in the north of the District, extending

as far south as Parla Kimedi. South of Kasibiiga, and throughout the

Chikakol tdh(k^ the larger number of the inhabitants are Telugus.

There is, however, no clearly-defined line between the country occupied

The principal towns in Ganjam are Berhampur

by the two races.

(i88r), 23,599; Parla Kimedi, 10,812; Chikakol, 16,355; Ichkapur,

5528; Baruva, 4298; Raghunathapuram, 7634; Kalingapatam, 4465; AsKA, 3909; Gan-jam, 5037; Gopalpur, 2675; Boyarani,

3339; Harimandalam, 3089; Mandasa, 4671; Narsannapet, 8230;

Purushottapur, 3962 ; and Surada, 3594.

Gopalpur is the chief

seaport of the District : the others are Ganjam, Bdruva, and Kalinga-

The only municipalities are Berhampur and Chikakol.




Ai^riculiute. Agricultural operations commence in June, during

which month the rains of the south-west monsoon usually begin to


In June the


dry grains


rice intended for trans-

planting arc sown. Rice is sometimes sown broadcast, but is usually

transplanted from specially prepared seed-beds. In July and September

an ample and continued supply of water is essential to the growth of

the young plants.

The reaping of the rice crop commences soon

after the ist November, and sometimes lasts until the 15th January,

according as the season has been early or late.

An early season

betokens, as a rule, a favourable harvest.

The dry grain crops {i.e.

those grown upon unirrigated land) and early rice are reaped between

the I St September and the 15th October. The after-crop of dry grains continues, however, to be reaped from the middle of February to the

beginning of April.

known ; it occurs, however, in a tract of land not far from Ichdpur,

bordering upon the sea.

A second crop of rice in Ganjam is almost un-

Neither cotton nor fibre cultivation is

])ursued to any considerable extent. The sugar-cane grown in Ganjam

is of excellent quality, and is said to be the best in India.

It demands

more care and attention, however, than any other crop, and is never

grown for two years in

succession on


same land.

The soil

requires to be well manured with oilcake or other suitable manure.

Sugar-cane is estimated to require one-third more water than rice,

and takes ten months before it reaches maturity.

In spite of these

drawbacks, however, the crop is exceedingly profitable to the peasant who can afford to grow it. Sugar-cane is chiefly cultivated about


The total area of the District amounts to 83 11 square miles,

of which 5205 are comprised in the Maliya Hill Tracts, and 3106

form the plains portion.

was 428,337 acres (or nearly one-twelfth of the total area of the Dis-

trict), of which 203,184 acres were irrigated. The uncultivated area

consisted of 70,763 acres of cultivable land, 28,139 acres of pasture

and forest lands, and 147,090 acres of uncultivable waste; the total

area assessed was 495-824 acres, and the total assessment amounted to

-£^97'059- Of the cultivated area, cereals occupied 353,333 acres; pulses,

•9.755 acres; orchards and garden produce, 14,838 acres; tobacco,

2015 acres ; condiments and spices, 2090 acres ; sugar-cane, 4123 acres;

oil-seeds, 27,564 acres; and fibres, 4445 acres, including 4093 acres

under cotton. The Imperial and minor irrigation works of the Dis-

trict comprise 45 irrigation channels, 112 large and 2661 minor tanks,

The total cultivated area returned in 1881-82

which irrigated in 1 88 1-82



area of

268,135 acres, yielding

a water revenue of ;^54,5i7- Rice occupies about two-thirds of the

area under grain cultivation.

The agricultural stock of the District in

1881-82 consisted of 26,537 buffaloes, 81,400 bullocks, 66,279 cows,

I \



sheep, 13,874 carts, and 47,440 ploughs. The peasantr}-, as a class,

are poor, and generally in debt to the money-lenders, forestalling

their crops by borrowing, or by selling the produce at a cheap rate for

payment in advance. An average holding consists of about 8 acres,

average rates of wages

paying a yearly rental of about j[,2.


in 1SS1-S2 were, for ordinary labourers, from

and for blacksmiths, carpenters, and other skilled labourers, 6d. to 8d. Prices of rice and food-grains have risen to more than double the rates prevailing in 1850, and in the case of rice, to treble the former

rates. The rates in 1881, per maufid of 80 lbs., were as follow : Rice,

4s. ; ragi (Eleusine coracana), 2s. 2d.; kambu (Panicum spicatum), 2s.;

o|d. ;


2d. to 3d. per

millet, 2s.

3d. ; wheat,


id. ;

pulses, from







loid. ; sugar, 21s.

lod. ; gingelly, 6s.; tobacco, 22s.; cotton,

14s. 2d.; and sheep, 3s. 6d. each.

Tenures are of three kinds (i)

Kayatii'dri, or small farms held by individuals direct from Government ;

(2) koshtguitj, in which whole villages unite in holding lands in common, direct from Government, with joint responsibility for rent ;


(3) 7nustazdri, or the farming-out system, which

is confined to the

zaviinddri tracts.

By the last system lands are put

up to auction,

either in



entire villages, and knocked down to the highest

bidder, who is left to make what profit he can



of the


Natural Calamities. Famines, caused by flood and drought, are

the principal natural calamities to which the District is liable.


chief scarcities have been in 1789-92, 1 799-1801,


1836-39, and

The great famine of 1865-66 was principally confined to

the northern portion of the District, but its ravages did not reach the

same intensity as in Orissa.

This famine was caused b</