Page images
[ocr errors]

Mahanada; but the soubah of Orissa appears not to have been formed at that time.

Of the newly erected soubahs in the Deccan, * Candeish the smallest of them, occupies the space between Malwa on the north, Berar on the east, and Amednagur on the west and south.

Berar, according to the present definition, has Allahabad and Malwa on the north ; Candeish and Amednagur on the west; Til

ana and Golconda on the south; and Orissa on the east. I apprehend that only the western parts of Berar were reduced by Acbar,

Amednagur it, the southmost of Acbar's soubahs, had Çandeish and Malwa on the north; the Gatte, or Balagat mountains on the west; Bejapour (or Visiapour) and Tellingana on the south ; and Berar on the east. The limits of this soubah are not defined in the Ayeneh Acbaree; and as Acbạc had wars in the Deccan during almost his whole reign, it may be supposed that its limits were perpetually fluctuating.

Tellingana, which in the Ayeneh Acbaree is called a circar of Berar, was probably possessed only in part by Acbar. The ancient Tellingana, of which Warangole I was the capital, comprehended most of the tract lying between the Kistna and Godavery rivers, known now by the name of Golconda.

Thus we have a standard for the geographical division of Hindooftan proper,

in the time of Acbar; but for the Deccan in general, no authority on record has ever come to my knowledge. It appears that Acbar reduced the western side of the peninsula as far down as the 18th degree of north latitude 8: and under his succeffors, the whole peninsula, a few mountainous and inaccessible tracts

* Named by Acbar, DanDeISH, in honor of Prince Danial ; but at present it bears its old name.

+ The capital of this soubah being originally established at the city of Amednagur, it gave name to the whole province, but the name of the fortress of Dowlatabad has in turn superseded: it. In like manner the name of Tellingana has now given way to that of Golconda. I Called Arinkill by Ferishta.

All the latitudes mentioned in this work being north of the equator; and all the longitudes east of the meridian of Greenwich ; 1 Thall in future mention only the terms latitude and longitude, leaving the species of each to be understood.


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

only excepted, was either entirely subjected, or rendered tributary to the throne of Delhi, and formed into one government under the name of the DeccAN; which name, in its most extensive signification, includes the whole peninsula south of Hindoostan proper. , However, in its proper and limited sense, I apprehend it means only the countries situated between Hindoostan proper, the Carnatic, and Orissa; that is, the provinces of Candeish, Amednagur, Viliapour, Golconda, and the western part of Berar. .

The Carnatic anciently comprized all that part of the peninsula that lies south of the Gondegama * and Tongebroda rivers, from the coast of Coromandel eastward, to the Gaut mountains westward, and was divided into Balla Gaut and Payen Gaut, or the great and little Gauts † ;. the former being the western part, and containing the districts of Bednore, Myfore, Coïmbetour, &c. now the country of Hyder Ally: and the latter, the eastern part, or the Carnatic according to its present definition; in which Ongole, Cudapah, Arcot, Tritchinopoly, Madura, Tanjore, Tinevelly, and Marawar are included,

Having given this very general idea of the original division of India, I shall next endeavour to convey an idea of the present division of it, as far as respects the principal states, or the have appeared on the political theatre since the establishment of the British influence.

The British nation possess, in full sovereignty, the whole soubah of Bengal, and the greatest part of Bahar ; I say the greatest part, because I believe that there may be some purgunnahs on the south-west of little Nagpour, that were formerly classed as belonging to Bahar, but are now in the possession of the Mahrat

In Oriffa, we possess only the districts of Midnapour, the rest being entirely in the hands of the Mahrattas and their tri

powers that


• Called also Gilligama. + Gaut, or Ghaut, fignifies either a pass through mountains, or a landing place on the bank of a river. In the former sense, the term has been applied to the Carnatic, which is divided by ridges of mountains, abounding with passes and defiles.

butaries, 5

butaries. The British poffeffions contain about 150,000 square British miles of land, which is about 18,000 more than is contained in Great Britain and Ireland : and about ten millions of inhabitants.

The natural situation of Bengal is fingularly happy with respect to security from the attacks of foreign enemies. On the north and east it has no warlike neighbours ; and has, moreover, a formidable barrier of mountains, rivers, or extensive wastes, towards those quarters, should such an enemy start


On the south is a seacoast, guarded by shallows and impenetrable woods, and with only one port (and even that of difficult access) in an extent of three hundred miles, It is on the west only that any enemy is to be

is to be apprehended, and even there the natural barrier is strong; and with its population and resources, aided by the usual proportion of British troops, Bengal might bid defiance to all that part of Hindoostan, which might find itself inclined to become its enemy. Even in case of invasions, the country beyond the Ganges would be exempt from the ravages of war, and furnish supplies for the general defence. But, with the whole revenue in our possession, the seat of war will probably be left to our own choice.

The Nabob of Oude (successor to Sujah Dowlah) possessed the whole soubah of that name, and the north-west part of Allahabad; to which, of late years, have been added the eastern parts of Delhi and Agra, till that time possessed by a tribe of Afghan Rohillas, and by the Jats. The Zemindary of Benares, which includes also the circars of Gazypour and Chunar, constituted a part of the dominions of Oude until the year 1774, when its tribute or quit rent of twenty-four lacks was transferred to the English. This Zemindary, which was lately in the hands of Cheet Sing, occupies the principal part of the space between Bahar and Oude, so that only a small part of the territory of the latter, touches Bahar on the north-west.


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

The dominions of Oude lie on both sides of the Ganges, occupying (with the exception of Fizula Cawn's district of Rampour) all the flat country between that river and the northern mountains, as well, as the principal part of that fertile tract lying between the Ganges and Jumna, known by the name of Dooab *, to within forty miles of the city of Delhi. In short, the British nation, with their allies and tributaries, occupy the whole navigable course of the Ganges, from its entry on the plains, to the sea; which, by its winding course, is more than 1350 British miles.

The dimensions of Oude and its dependencies may be reckoned 360 British miles in length from east to west, and in breadth from 150 to 180. The capital is Fyzabad on the river Gogra, and very near to the ancient city of Audiah or Oude.

On the south-west side of the Jumna, and contiguous to the governments of Oude, Benares, and the Mahrattas, is Bundela, or Bundelcund, lately subject to Rajah Hindooput, but now divided amongst his descendants. It is a hilly tract of more than 100 miles square, and contains the famous diamond mines of Panna, and some strong fortresses, amongst which Callinger is the principal.

The territories of Adjid Sing are contiguous to Bundelcund on the west ; to the Berar Mahrattas on the south, and to Benares on the east. It is nearly of the same extent as Bundelcund; and, like that, subject to the occasional depredations of the Mahrattas.

The territories of the Rajahs of Ghod and Bahdoriah, also adjoin to the new dominions of Oude on the south of the Jumna river, opposite Etayah. The former has the Mahrattas on the south, Jeynagur on the west, and Nudjuff Cawn's districts on the north. His territory is small; but within it is situated the famous fortress of Gwalior, taken from the Mahrattas by the British forces in 1781.

* Dooab or Doabah signifies a tract of land formed by the approximation and junction of two rivers : that formed by the Ganges and Jumna rivers is called by way of eminence The Dooal,


Contiguous to the western bank of the Ganges, and surrounded by the dominions of Oude, is a small district belonging to the Pattan Rohillas, of which Furruckabad is the capital. It is little more than thirty miles in extent.

Fizula Cawn, a Rohilla Chief, possesses the small district of Rampour lying at the foot of the mountains beyond the Ganges. He is in effect tributary to Oude, by furnishing his quota towards an establishment for the common defence.

The country of Zabeda Cawn, successor to Nijib Dowla, an Afghan Rohilla, adjoins to the western bank of the Ganges, and to the northern mountains; and extends as far to the west asi Sirhind, and southward to Delhi; being about 180 miles long from east to west, and near half as wide. He has the Seiks on his wertern frontier; and, till of late years, the Jats on the south.

Shah Allum, the nominal emperor of Hindoostan, possesses the city of Delhi, and a small territory round it, which is all that is left remaining to the House of Timur *. Nudjuff Cawn has, in like manner, the city of Agra; but neither of these are of

any weight in the politics of Hindooftan.

The Jats, till within these few years, possessed the principal part of the foubah of Agra, and for some time fixed their capital at the city of that name; but they are now dispossessed of the Dooab, as well as most of the open country contiguous to the western bank of the Jumna, and have fallen back to the mountainous country beyond Mewat. I apprehend that the people named Getes, on whom Timur made war in his march from Batnir to Sammana, were a part

of the Jats t. The Seiks are the westernmost nation of Hindoostan: their ter. ritories begin at Sirhind, and extend westward to the Indus, the whole course of which from Attock to Sindy, with the low coun

• The House of Timur, or Tamerlane, reigned over Hindoostan, with little interruption, more than 3;0 years. ti St. Croix's Life of Timur.


« PreviousContinue »