Page images

Bara Banki.

Statement skewing (fie working of the district dak in 1864 and 1874


List of tcduqdara paying a Revenue of Ms. 5,000 and above in the district Bara Banki.


List of taluodars paying a "Revenue of Bs. 5,000 and alove in the district Bara Banki.—(Continued.)




District has always been turbulent and ill-conditioned—Statement of towns, houses, wells, and religious buildings in the district—History of the district—Colonel Sleeman's description of Hamnagar Dhameri, &c. The Bahrela Eajputs—the story of Ganga Bakhsh liawat—taluqas of Ramnagar, Haraha, Surajpur, Jahangirabad, ilaqas of Barai, fiudauli, Bara Banki during the rebellion—Medical aspects.

District has always been turbulent and ill-conditioned.—This district has always been a most turbulent and ill-conditioned one. The reason probably is that the Musalmans and the Rajputs, or, in other words, the town party and the country party, are pretty equally balanced. There are here a number of great Musalman colonics, and their inhabitants have not been so tolerant as in other parts of Oudh.

In Zaidpur, for instance, a town with a population of over 10,000, the majority of whom are Sunnis and Hindus, there is not a single religious edifice for the use of either. The lords of the soil are Shias; they form a mere fraction of the population; but seventeen mosques have been provided to attest tbeir zeal and their intolerance. The following table conveys some interesting information concerning these towns. It appears that there are eighty-six Hindu temples, four Jain shrines, and 144 Musalman mosques or meeting houses. In all there are 234 religious edifices. These are of masonry.

The temples of Mahadeo in his ling representation are as numerous as those of all other deities put together.

Statement sfwwing tlie towns of Bara Banhi district with their Iiouses, wells, religious buildings &c.


History.—The early history of the Bara Banki district is perhaps more ohscure than that of any other in Oudh, partly because less perhaps has been done for its elucidation, partly owing to the change in the ownership of land. About half of the district is now owned by Musalmans; it is not known when they acquired this predominance.

The following parganas are mentioned in Akbar's time with their respective owners—vide A'm-i-Akbari.

Sarkdr Oudh.

Sailuk (now Rdmnagar and Huhammadpur) ... Raikwdrs.

Daryabad ... ... ... ... Chauhans, Ruikwars

Kudauli ... ... ... ... ... Bois, Chauhans.

Subeha ... ... ... ... ... Rajputs.

Satrikh ... ... ... ... ... Annari Musalmans.

Bhitauli ... ... ... ... ... Rajputs, Jatu.

Dewa ... ... —. ... ... Rajputs.

Sihali ... ... ... ... Rajputs.

Siddhaur ... ... ... ... ... Nayazi Afghans, Rajputs.

Fatehpur ... ... ... ... ... Shekhzidaa, Rajputs.

Kursi ... ... ... ... ... Rajputs.

The disintegration of the Hindu clans in this district is sufficiently apparent from this list; the proprietary possession of large, continuous tracts by one single Chhattri caste, which prevails elsewhere in Oudh, does not appear here. The Musalman invaders had made their first permanent settlement in this district at Satrikh, in H. 421, A. D. 1030; from thence they had for years waged a fierce and proselytizing war. In successive battles the Hindu had been defeated ; their attempts to poison or assassinate Sayya4 Salar had failed, but the war of extermination which ensued crushed the remains of Hindu independence and annihilated the faith in large districts by the wholesale massacre of its professors. Sihali, for instance, was conquered, and its sovereign, a Siharia Chhattri, was killed. Kuntur was captured, and its Bhar queen, Kintama slain. The death of Sayyad Salar, 1032 A. D., was merely a temporary check; the Musalman invaders were now animated by a desire to revenge their young martyr, as well as by the usual motives of plunder, proselytism and conquest; a second invasion consequently ensued.

In A. D. 1049, 441 H, the Kings of Kanauj and Manikpur were defeated and driven from Oudh by Qutub-ud-dm of Medina. The Musalman invasion was more successful in Bara Banki than elsewhere. In 58G H, 1189 A. D., Sihali was conquered by Shekh Nizam-ud-dm of Herat, Ansari. Zaidpur was occupied by them in H. 636, when Sayyad Abd ul Wahid twenty-three generations ago turned out the Bhars, altering the name of the town from Suhalpur. The colony of Musalman Bhattis, which now occupies Mawai Maholara, is reported to have arrived about the same time, although some place it as early as H. 596, 1199 A. D. They came from Bhatnair or Bhatti&na, in the Punjab and Bajputana; it is possible that, as they allege, they were a colony left by the Ghori king, who five years before had taken Kanauj; but it is more probable that they were converts and emigrants from the parent city, when Jessulmere was VoLIl-f. l^i*Maa> taken and sacked by Alla-ud-dm in 1295 A. D. Bhat'tia itself had been sacked in 1004 A. D. At any rate, under Imam Joth Khan and Mustafa Khan, they drove out Bais Chhattris from Barauli, Brahmans and Bhars from Mawai.

Rudauli was occupied about H. 700, in the reign of Alla-ud-din Khilji, whose forces had just about the same time destroyed Anhalwara, Chittor, Dcogir, Mandor, Jessulmere, Gagraun, Bundi, in fact nearly every remaining seat of Chhattri power. Rasulpur was conquered about 1350 AD. 756 H. Daryabad was founded about 850, H. 1444 A. D., by Dariao Khan Subahdar. Fatehpur was colonized by Fateh Khan, a brother of Dariao Khan, and about the same time.

The villages of Barauli and Barai, near Rudauli, were occupied, and gave their name to large estates about the middle of the fifteenth century.

Simultaneously, however, with this latter immigration of the Musalmans there was one of Chhattris. The mysterious tribe of Kalhans, which numbers some twenty thousand persons, are said to be descended from Achal Sing, who came in as a soldier of fortune with Dariao Khan about 1450 A. D.

At this time Ibrahim Shah, Sharqi, reigned at Jaunpur. Oudh was the battle ground—the border land between that dynasty and the Lodis of Delhi—and their princes, as the tide of conquest surged backwards and forwards, settled Hindu soldiers as garrisons,—the war being now one between Moslems, and no longer one of religion. The Kalhans are said to have come from Gujarat, the same nursery of Chhattris from which the Ahban, the Pan war, the Gahlot, the Gaur, the Bais, and many other Oudh clans, are believed to have emigrated.

This Achal Singh is declared to have been of an Angrez bans or stock, and there is no doubt that on the borders of Gujarat and Baluchistan many foreigners who had arrived both by land and sea voyages did settle down and gradually blend with the Hindu race, assuming suitable places in the caste system. A migration further east, far from all local traditions of original impurity, would in time render their origin one of unquestioned orthodoxy in popular repute, just as Indo-Scythians,* and even Portuguese are said to have blended with Western Rajputs. At any rate, this Raja Achal Singh is a great name in the middle ages of Oudh ; he had large property—some state that his capital was Bado Sarai, on the old bank of the Gogra; and the story that ne was overwhelmed with nearly all his houses by an irruption of the Gogra f because he had perjured himself to his wife's family priest, is a favourite tradition of Oudh. He had, it is stated, only a grant of eight villages originally; now his descendants have six great taluqas, mostly situated in Gonda, Kamiar, Paska, Shahpur, Dhanawan, Paraspur Ata; they hold on both sides of the Gogra, just as the Raikwars do to the north, and the Jangres beyond them again in Kheri and Bahraich. Similarly, the isolated Surajbansi estate of Haraha and the Sombansi Bahrelia estate of Surajpur were establised by small colonies of Chhattri soldiers, who had been dismissed from service about eighteen generations ago. These Sdrajbans assert an emigration from Bansi in Gorakhpur and a connexion with the Sirneyts ; the Chauhans of

* Wilson'* Vishnu Purana, Hall's Edition, Vol. It p. 134.
t Camegy'e Castes of Oudh, p. 47.

« PreviousContinue »