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In India. 

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M A N B H U M. 

IPrice-^In India, Us. 3; in England, 4s 6d.} 





C vol. / J 









The account of Manbhum district contained in this 
volume has been compiled from the Statistical Account 
of Bengal, volume XVII, by Sir W. W. Hunter, and from 
materials gathered from local records. In the sections 
dealing with history and ethnol)gy frequent reference 
has been made to Colonel E. T. Dalton's Descriptive 
Ethnology of Bengal and various articles by the same 
author in the Journals of the Asifitic Society, to Mr. J, 
D. Beglar's Report of a Tour through the Bengal Pro- 
vinces in 1872-73, published in the Archaeological Survey 
of India Reports, and also to the various reports and 
letters ''unpublished) of Sir H. H. Risley (Superintendent 
of Ghatwali Survey, 1880-1884), Sir E. N. Baker (Deputy 
Commissioner), Colonel Dalton, Messrs. Hewett, Forbes 
and Gait (at various times Comniissioners of the Chota 
Nagpur Division) on the subject of the ghatwals of the 

For the Chapter on Geology I am indebted to Mr. E. 
W. Vredeuburg of the Geological Survey of India; for 
the article on economical products and also for much 
assic'tance and advice elsewhere in the volume, to the 
Revd. A. Campbell, d.d., of Pokhuria. I desire also to 
acknowledge gratefully the assistance received from Rai 
Nanda Gopal Banerji Bahadur in obtaining materials for 
and revising various articles in regard to which his 
detailed knowledge of the district extending over 3^ years 
was invaluable, and to express my thanks to Mr. J. H. 
Lindsay, i.c.s., Subdivisional (Jfficer of Dhanbaid, for revis- 
ing the Chapter on the Coal-fields of Manbhum. 


The 24th December 1910. 






Physical aspects 

... 1-25 

Appendix — geology by E. W. Vred 


... 26—46 



... 47—68 


The people 

... 69-97 


Public he.klth 

.. 98—112 



... 113-127 


Natural calamities ... 

... 128-142 


Rekts, wages and prices 

... 143-1 -^e 


Occupations, manufactures and trade 

... 157-169 


The coal-fields of Mnbhum 

... 170-182 


Means of communication . . 

... 183-186 


Land revenue administration ... 

... 187 -2 J 2 

Appendix — a note on the police 




... 213—245 


General administration 

... 246—253 


Local self-government 

... 254-257 



... 258-262 



.. 263^289 


... 291—298 




Gbhbbal DB80B1PTI0K - Origin of name— Koundaries — Configuration — Natural 
Divisions akd Scbnery — Hilis — Rivkhs — KarSkhar — Olmodar — Dhal- 
kisor and Silai — Kasai— Subarnurekha — Lakes and Marshes — GEOLOor — 
Minerals — Botany— Trees and vegetation — Economic use* — Fadna — 
Game Birds— Fish— Reptiles— Climatk— Rainfall ... .„ ... 1 — 25 



Gbnbbal Featdres — GeolO:.Mcal constitution of the district — Faulted frac- 
tures — Absence of well-marked topokrraphical features— Long-continued 
8ubse''cal denudation — Topography depending solely on differences of hardness 
of rocks — Structure of Gondwana basins— Influence of Qoudwana rocks on 
drainage— Intrusive rocks — Structural directions — Fault-rock — The Gond- 
WAKA CoAL-piELDS — Talcher stage — Boulder -beds — Permian ice-age — 
Talcher fossils — Damodar stage — Barakhar sub-stage — Ironstone shales — 
Raiiiganj sub-stage — Damodar fossils— Intrusive rocks in Gondwana co»r 
fields —Mica- peridot) to — Exceptional richness in phosphorus — Dolerit* 
dykes— The Gondwana coal — Hot springs along faulted boundiries — Tub 
DhabwIb SrSTBM — Northern boundary of main outcrop of Dharwars— 
Constitution of Dhirwiirs —Calcareous jasper - Potstone — Sequence amougat 
Dharwars -Fault-rocks ..long boundary of Dharwars — Physical features of 
Dharwar outcrop The Dalma Trap — Degree of metamorphism of Dharwars — 
Auriferous veins — Dharwar outliers near Manbazir — Susunia hill — Altered 
rocks perhaps referable to the Dharwars— Alluvial gold — Magnetic sands— 
Arch^AN GNEIS8U8 — Distribution of Arcliajan gneisses —The Bengal 
gneiss — Constitution of gneisses — Composition of porphyriiio gneiss — Garnet 
and pyroxene gneisses — Ancirnt intrusive bocks — The " dome-gneiss " — 
Disiribuiion of granitic intrusions — Constitution of " dome-gneiss" — 
Pegmatite veins— Except lONAL bocks- Kyanite ami corundum veins— Cal- 
careous schists — Fault rook and dykes — Epidiorites — Anortlicsite — Fn roxene — 
gneiss of Parasnath— Felspar porphyry— Latebite and clai-- Valuable 
mNBBALS — Coal — Iron — Building stones — Liuie8toue--L»t.d ... 26««4i6 




EabX/Y hisioey— The Jain or Buddhistic era — Mr. Beglar's theory- Colonel Dal- 
ton'a theory — Muhammadan btjie — Panchet estate — Eablt English 
Abministeation — Barabbunr in 1800 — Ganga Narayan's rebellion — Causes 
and results of the outbreak— Mutiny of 1857 — Lateb History — Forma- 
tion of the district — Aroh^ological eemains ... ... 47 — 68 



Qeowth of populatios—census of 1901 — MiGEATioN— Genebal OHAEAO- 
TKBISTI08 — Density of population — Towns and villages — Language 
— Religion— Hindus and Animists — The Sun God and other local deities 
— Gramya Devata — Witchcraft — Festivals — Mubammadans — Christians — 
Castes and tribes — Kurmis — Sonthals — Bhuuiij — Bauris — Brahmans — 
Kamars and Lobars — Bhuiyas — Other Kolarian tribes — Kora — Mahli — 
Mundas and Kharias — MallH • -Pahira — Saraks — Village officials — Vil- 
lage Social life — General appearance of the village — Dwellings — Furni- 
ture — Dress— Bedding — Village festivals— Pastimes ... ... 69 — 97 



Geneeal conditions — Vital statistics — Births — Deaths — Infantile morta- 
lity — Diseases — Fever — Cholera— Small-pox — Bowel complaints- -Plague — 
Infirmities — Vaccination — sanitation — In Puralia — In the villages — In 
the coal-fields— Necessity for legislation — Medical Institutions — Indi- 
genous system of medicine — Leper asylum ... ... ,,. 98—112 



Geneeal conditions — Influence of Rainfall — Ibeigation — "Wells — Exten- 
sion of irrigation — Soils — Scientilic classification — Popular classification — 
Extension op cultivation — Peinoipal cbops— Extent of cultivation — 
Rice — Maize — Other crops— Outturn of crops— Impeovements in culti- 
vauon — Cattle ... ... ... ... ...113 — 127 



Liability to famine— Famine of 1770— Famine of 1866— Famine of 1874 — 
Scabcity in 1892 — Famine of 1897— Distebss in 1908 — General con- 
*■ elusions— Floods, eaethquakes, Locusts ... ... ...128 — 142 



„ _ Pagbs. 

Cash bents — Prevalence of custoniary or quit rents — Nayaladi settlonienfs — 

Proiiuce rents— ^6if36 — Bastu rent — Miscellaneous — VVages — Villao-e 

labourers — Supply of labour— Prices — Material condition of the 

PEOPLE — Landlords — Increasing improvidence — Indebtedness ... ...143 156 



Occupations— Manufactdbes and Industeibs — FAOXOBIBS—Iron and steel- 
Pottery — Lac- -Silk and tasar weaving — Cotton weaving — Irouwar* and 

cutlery — Stone carving — Gold washing — Other industries — Tbadh 

Weights and measures ... ... ... ,., ...157 1G9 



Early Discoveries— Mr. Rupert Jones' enquiry— Early developinents in 
Manbhum— The Rauiganj field — The Jbaria field — l^eidogy of the Jharia 
field — Compoeitiou — Method of working — Labour — Inspection ...170 182 



i)evelopment op means of Communication — Roads — Railways— Extensions 
of the railway system — Rivers— Ferries — Staging and Inspection 
Bungalows — Postal Communications ,.. ... ...183 186 



DiTlSlON INTO Estates— Probable origin— Suzerainty of Panchet — The perman- 
ent settlement— Baeabhum— Form of agreement, 1776 — Meaning of 
" Zamindar" — Other estates — Pancuet — Muhamniadan era — Early British 
era— Tbmpobaeilt settled estaxls — Matha — Kailapal — Later history— 
Tbe rule of primogeniture — Exemption of estates from sale for arrears and debt 
—The Encumbered Estates Act— Kevenue-feeb fbopebtibs — Digwabi 
ESTATES— Subordinate tenukks— Shikmi taluks-- Patni taluks— Mankifui 
and Murari tenures- -Mokrari — Panchaki Brabmottars, etc. — Ijara — Main- 
tenance tenures— Cultivating teniires — Rent-free grants for religious or 
charitable purposes — Sbbtice tenuees — Minor service tenures ...187— 2J2 




Police Tbnuebs in MInbhum — Colonel Dalton's account of their origin — 
Early police arrangements in Panchet - l)igwars — Digwars of Mahal and 
Bankhandi — Ghatwals subordinate to the digwars — Panchet jaigirg— Digwars 
in Jharia, Pandra, Jhalda, and Begnnkodar — Digwars without tenures — 
Service tenures in Manbhum, Barabhura, Kailapal, and I'atkum — Kailapal — 
Manbhum — Birabhum — The ghatwali survey, 1880-83 — The compromi«e of 
]884 — Ihe results of the compromise — The compromise overruled by the Court 
— Documentary evidence of early origin — caidars and paiks in 1800 and 
earlier years— Identity o£ the sardars and paiks with the later ghatwals — 
Existence of certain of the tenures in 1789 — Their entry in the ekjai papers 
of 1205 as mahal Bhumijani — And in those of 1206, 1207 — The four major 
tarafs definitely recognized as tenures prior to and immediately after the 
Permanent Settlement — Meaning of Bbumi ani — The Bhumijani tenure not 
distinct from the ghatwali or jaigir — Origin of the so-called minor 
tarafs — Bangurda — Kumaripar — Sarberia — Other ghatwali tenurgs in the 
chakran lists — Vague distinction between niahal Bhumijani and cbakran — 
The isamnavisis of 1824 and 1833 — Rent and panchak in the 1833 isam- 
navisi — Mamul khajana — The viilnge list of 1870 — Ultimate origin in the 
Mundari village system— Tenures in Patkum— Conclusion ... ...213—245 



Adminibtkativb Staff — Revenue— Land Revenue — Excise — Stamps — Income 

Tax— Cess Registration— Administeation of jDSriCB— Criminal justice 

— Civil justice— Emigb&xion—Policb— Jails ... ... ...246—253 




Purulia— Income and expenditure—Jhalda-Baghunathnur ... ...264—257 




Paoks . 
Pboohess of Education— Genebal Statistics — Sbcondabt Education — 
i'HiMAHT Education— FtMALE Education — Spboial Schools — Indus- 
ti;iaj£, Education — Night or continuation schools — Otheb schools 
— Boarding houses— Education op diffbrbnt bacbs— Aburigiuals — 
Libraries and newspapeks ... ... ... ... 258—262 



A^ra — Balaraiupur — Barabazar — Boram — Buddhpur — Cbaknltor — Cbarra — 
Dalmi — Dhanbaid— Dhanbaid Sul>division — Gobindpur — Jhalda— Jharia— 
Katias or Katrasgarh — Manbaiur — Pabanpur — Pakbira — Paucbet or Pancb- 
kot-l'ara — Purulia — Purulia Subdivision — Raghunatbpur — Telkupi ... 263 — 289 

Index ... ... ... ... ... ... .... 291-298 





The district of Maublium forms the eastern part of the Chota Gknbbal 
Nagpiir Division aud lies between 22° 43' and 24° 4' North ^f^'^f "• 
Latitude, and 85° 49' and 86° 54' East Longitude. It contains 
an area of 4,147 square miles and a population, according to the 
census of 19U1, of ],301,364 souls. The principal town and 
administrative head-quarters is Purulia situated some three miles 
north of the Kasai Hiver in 23° 20' N. and 86'* 22' E. 

The district takes its name from one of its most easterly Origin ©r 
Parganas, at the chief place in which, Manbazjir or Manbhum ""™^' 
Khas, was the head-quarters of the Jungle Mahals district from 
1833 to 1838, in the earlier of which years the Manbhum district 
was constituted. Of the origin of the name it is difficult to speak 
with any certainty ; the apparently obvious derivation from 
man (Bengali) " the land of honour " may, at once, be rejected 
as the Bengali connection wit^ the Pargana and district can hardly 
date back much more than two centuries. Dr. Hunter prefers 
" the land of the wrestlers" {met Ik oi mala). Other authorities, 
including Mr, W. B. Oldham and Sir H. H. Risley, follow General 
Cunningham and ascribe the origin of the name to the Dravidian 
tribe of Mai referred to by Pliny as Malli and identical apparent- 
ly with the Sauri, the Saurian family to which the Pajmahal 
Paharias, the Oraons and the Sabars belong, and neighbours oi 
the Mandei or Monodes, identified with the Munda Kols. The 
tribal name Mfd, Male, or Maler is variously derived from a Dra- 
vidian root meaning a hill, (c. f. Paharia, the hillmen), and 
from male " a man," the tribe speaking- of themselves as *'men" ^ 




just as the Kolarian tribes, Sonthals, Mundas and Larka 
Kols (Hor, ho) do at the present day. That the district name is 
derived from non- Aryan sources is the more probable as a very 
large number of the village names and several of the pargana 
names (e.g., Patkum) undoubtedly come from one or other of the 
aboriginal dialects, though some of them have within recent 
times adopted a more Aryan appearance. 
Bounda- The district is bounded on the north by the districts of 

ries. Hazaribagh and the Sonthal Parganas ; on the east by Burdwan, 

Bankura, and Midnapore; on the south by Singhbhum, and on 
the west by Eanchi and Hazaribagh. The whole of the northern 
boundary is marked by the Barakhar river ; on the north-east the 
Barakhar and Damodar separate the district from Burdwan, and 
on the west and south the Subarnarekha river flows along the 
boundary for short distances. 
Configura- ^^ shape Manbhum is an irregular parallelogram, having a 
tion. length of 90 miles from north to south and a breadth of 60 miles 

from west to east, with Purulia, its administrative head-quarters, 
situated a little south of the centre. The Damodar river divides 
the district into two unequal portions, the northern portion corre- 
sponding to the Dhanbaid, until recently the Gobindpur, sub- 
division with an area of 803 square miles, and the southern to 
the Sadar subdivision of 3,344 square miles. 
Natural The district has been described as the first step of a gradual 
descent from the table land of Ohota Nagpur to the delta of 
scenery. Lower Bengal ; more properly it is the last step in the descent 
from the great elevated high lands of Central India, the Ohota 
Nagpur plateau with its general elevation of 2,000 to 2,500 feet 
forming the intermediate stage. The general characteristics are 
those of an upland district, consisting, as it does, in great 
measure, of metamorphic rocks, spurs projected from the table- 
land on the west, and swelling ridges of laterite. Towards the 
east, as the metamorphic rocks thin out, the laterite ridges thicken, 
the undulations so characteristic of Ohota Nagpur are less 
pronounced, and the dips between the ridges are broader and 
more level ; the country is more open, and presents the appear- 
ance of a series of rolling downs, dotted here and there with 
isolated conical hills. This description appHes generally to the 
north and east of the district, including the valleys of the 
Damodar and Kasai rivers, with their various affluents. In 
the north-western corner, however, a double spur of hills 
branches out from the range of which Parasnath is the most 
striking feature and, extending across Pargana Tundi, forms the 
watershed between <he Damcdar and Baiakhar rivers. In the 



adjoining Pargaua of Nawagarh, to the west, the lower slopes of 
the Parasnaih range extend well into the district, and outly- 
ing ridges and isolated hills, locally known as dunr/ris, extend 
in iiioro or less parallel lines along the Jamunia river to the 
banks of the Damodar. 

South of this again spurs from the Hazaribagh part of the 
Chota Nagpur plateau abut on or extend short distances into 
the western parts of Parganaa Khaspel and Jainagar. In the 
a(^ joining Pargana of Jhalda, there begins a series of isolated 
groups of liills and isolated peaks, some of them of consider- 
able elevation, which still further south form a regular range 
known as the Baghmundi or Ajodhya range, which in places 
reaches an elevation of over 2,000 feet and forms the water-shed 
between the Subarnarekha and Kasai rivers. This range which, 
indeed, is rather a plateau of considerable extent, on which 
there are a number of flourishing villages, than a mere range 
of hills, ends somewhat abruptly in Pargana Matha, but 
numerous isolated peaks and groups of low hills connect it 
Avith the spurs from the Uanchi plateau on the west, and the 
range separating Pargana Patkum from the Kharsawan State 
in the south-west. Practically continuous with the last, save for 
the very narrow valley of the Subarnarekha, is another range 
extending along the Singhbhum boundary known by the name 
of its highest peak, Dalma. This, like the Baghmundi range, 
marks the division between the watersheds of the Subarnarekha 
and the various feeders of the Kasai, of which the Nengsai, the 
Kuniari and the Tatko are the most prominent. Of picturesque 
scenery the more level portions furnish but little in the dry months 
of the year except where the Parasnath or Tundi ranges in the 
north, the Baghmundi range in the centre and west, and 
Dalma in the south give a striking background to the picture. 
The general absence of trees in this part of the country, and 
the fact that cultivation is almost entirely oonfiaed to the rice crop, 
gives in the dry season the general appearance of a barren waste. 
In the rains the prospect is more pleasing when the fresh green 
of the young rice shades oS into the darker greens of the grass 
which springs up everywhere when the first showers fall, and 
contrasts with lihe browns of the ripening crops on the higli 
lands, and of the bare gravel ridges, varied here and there 
by black masses of exposed rock. These effects are naturally 
enchanced when the liills give a background of mingled jungle 
growth and enormous masses of rock of quaint shapes and vary- 
ing shades of colour. In the early hot weather the jungle- 
covered areas, whether on the hills or in the plain, present for a 

B 2 



time a brilKant spectacle, the red blossom of the palds (Butea 
frondosa) coutrasting in striking fashion with the fresh green 
of the new leaves. Grenerally it may be said of the district 
that, from the point of view of the picturesque, the seasons 
of the new leaves and the palds blossom, that is to say the early 
hot weather, and of the young rice, August-September, are the 
two most favourable ; of the constantly picturesque and of the 
grand there is little or none in comparison with the more favoured 
high lands to the west. 
Hilli. The general trend of the hill system has been described in the 

previous paragraph, and it remains only to notice the more 
prominent peaks. Of these Parasnath, though not actually within 
the district, forms unquestionably the most conspicuous feature 
of the landscape throughout the northern and western parts of 
the district. Compared with its commanding height (4,480 feet) 
and generally striking appearance all other hills in this neighbour- 
hood are dwarfed; on clear days in the rains and early cold 
weather it is a prominent object even so far south as PuruUa, 
a distance of some 70 miles ; its southern and eastern lower 
elopes are within the district and it is the great Jiill (the Marang 
Buru) of the Sonthals who constitute nearly one-sixth of the 
whole population, and consequently it may be claimed as to 
some extent appertaining to, though not within, the district, 
Uighest within the district itself is the crowning peak of the 
Dalma range (3,407 feet), but it is in no sense the rival of 
Parasnath ; it wants the bold precipices and commanding peaks of 
that hill, and its height loses effect from the fact that it is 
merely the highest point in a long rolling ridge reached by 
a gradual rise from the lower hills on either side. The slopes 
of the hiU are still covered with dense jungle, though much 
of the big timber has been cut away within recent years ; 
its summit is accessible to men and beasts of burden. Sawai 
(2,637 feet) and Charajural (2,412 feet) in the extreme south- 
western comer of the district are even less conspicuous in 
proportion to their height than Dalma, shut off as they are by a 
group of hills on the Manbhum side of which Auli (2,108 feet), 
Karanti (1,932 feet), Chatam (1,766 feet) with others ranging from 
1,100 to 1,300 to the north and east are sufficiently high to take 
from the effect. Granga Buru (or Gaj Buru) the highest peak in 
the Baghmundi range makes much more of its 2,220 feet, but the 
chief features of this range are several more or less detached lower 
peaks of which one at the north-east corner, in shape like an 
irregular church steeple or a gigantic tooth, is a very conspicuous 
object for miles around. At the northern end of the same range 


but detached from it, not far from Jhalda, Bansa (1,789 feet) 
attracts some attention rising np abruptly nearly 1,000 feet 
from the general level of the plain in the shape of huge 
sugarloaf. Panchkot or Panchet (1,600 feet) is the most con- 
spicuous object in the north-east of the district, in Pargana 
Chaurasi, some 35 miles north of Purulia. In shape it is a long 
crescent like ridge rising to its highest point at its eastern 
extremity ; it is covered with small but dense jungle, with some 
fine clumps of mango and mahua scattered over the low foot hills 
at its base. At the foot of its eastern face are the ruins of the 
old palace and fort of the Panchet Rajas, and above and also 
below them, of some ancient temples, an account of which will be 
given in a later chapter. A few miles south of Panohet is a 
picturesque group of rocky hills of bold irregular formation with 
great masses of grey black boulder jutting out above the scanty 
scrub jungle which clothes the lower slopes. One more pre- 
cipitous than the rest with a clear drop of several hundred feet 
from an immense boulder on the top is known as Execution Hill, 
the story being that from this spot the Raja of Panchet used, in 
ancient days, to have his enemies as well as detected evil-doers 
hurled over the face of the cliff to be dashed to pieces on the 
rough stones at the foot. In the extreme north of the district the 
only peak of any prominence, apart from Parasnath, is the 
curious double-peaked hill in the Tundi range, known as 
JJumunda ; its height is inconsiderable, but its appearance makes 
it a conspicuous object. 

Following the natural slope of the district all the rivers Rivbbb. 
which intersect or take their rise within it, have an easterly or 
south-easterly course. They have the usual characteristics of 
hill-fed streams ; their beds are entirely or almost dry during the 
greater part of the cold season, and the whole of the hot season ; 
they are not navigable during any portion of the year with the 
single and intermittent exception of the Damodar, and are subject 
to sudden and violent freshets which are usually of very short 
duration. Except where they run over exposed rock, their beds are 
usually deep in gravel and sand ; their banks are abrupt and broken 
into deep cuts wherever the drainage from the surrounding 
country finds its way to the level of the stream. Cases of 
alhivion are very rare, and the only notable instance is the small 
island thrown up at the junction of the Damodar and Barakhar 
rivers. Diluvion on a small scale is on the other hand constant ; 
huge masses of gravelly soil are constantly being undermined 
and detached from the banks, and every heavy fall of rain ^ 

scours out the small cuts and channels which feed the larger 

t 6 MiNBHUM, 

streams. There is no regular system of river-cultivation, and 
as a general rule the banks are covered with low scrub jungle. 

Barakbar. The northernmost river in Manbhum is the Barakhar, which 
skiits Parganas Tundi and Pandra and forms the northern and 
north-eastern boundary of the district. Eunning at first in 
a south-easterly direction, it suddenly sweeps round the low group 
of hills to which Durgapur (1,186 feet) gives its name, and runs 
due south with several bends and turns till it joins the Damodar 
a few miles south of Chirkunda and Barakhar, at the tri junction 
of Parganas Domurkonda, Chaurasi, and Shergarh. Just above 
this point it receives from the west its only important tributary, 
the Khudia, which takes its rise in the extreme west o£ the 
district between the Parasnath and Tundi ranges, and drains 
the whole country between that range and the high ridge whicb 
marks the nothern limit of the Jharia coal-field. 

Ddmodar. The Damodar, as already stated, divides the Dhanbaid from 
the Sadar Division ; its course through the district is almost 
due east. On its entry mlo the district it receives from the north 
the waters of the Jamuuia, a considerable stream which marks 
the boundary between the Hazaribagh and Manbhum districts 
along almost the whole length of Pargana Nawagarh. Of its 
other affluents from the north the Katri, which takes its rise in 
the foot hills below Parasnath and cuts through the coal-field 
area, is the most important. From the south its main affluent 
is the Gowai which before its junction with the Damodar 
just east of Bhojudih itself receives the waters of the Ijri 
and the Harai which drain practically the whole counlry 
east of the Jhalda hills, north of the lianchi Eoad and north 
and west of the Purulia-Asansol Railway line as far up 
as the Panchet hill. The watershed between this and the 
Kasai river is somewhat inconspicuously marked by a line of liigb 
ridges, occasionally rising to sufficient height to be designated 
hills, running across the district in an easterly and later 
northerly direction as far as the Panchet hill. 

The Damodar receives the waters of the Barakhar on the 
Burdwan border, and here, as well as near the confluence with 
the Gowai, a small island is formed in a loop of the stream. 
Navigation of the Damodar even in the rainy season is difficult 
owing to the sudden changes in depth due to freshets, and the 
violence of the current which tends to throw up sand banks 
In constantly shitting sites. Eafts of timber still come down 
from the jungle areas higher up, but since the opening of the 
Eailway the conveyance of coal in country boats by this route 
has praotioally ceased. 


South of tho Damodar and between it and the Kasai, the i^halkisor 
Dhalkisor and the Silai, which become important streams lower 
down, drain a large portion of Pargana Ludhurka in which 
they take their rise. Within the district they are short streams 
of no particular importance ; their watershed is marked off 
from that of the affluents of the Damodar by the high ridge of 
which the isolated peaks at Eaghunathpur are the only promi- 
nent feature. Between tho two and between them and the 
Kasai the watershed is even less distinctly marked by the 
Magura iiill just south of Hura. 

The Kasai is the most important river of the centre portion KSsai. 
of the district. It takes its rise on the extreme west in the 
hills north of Jhalda and, flowing in a south-easterly direction, 
]^^aves Puruha a few miles on the north and finally passes out 
into the Banku-a district at a point some 60 miles from its 
source, and after draining practically the whole of the centre and 
south-eastern portion of the district east of the Baghmundi 
and north of the Dalma range. Just outside the district 
beyond Manbazar it receives the waters of the Kumari 
which, with its affluents the Tatko and the Nengsai, drains 
the whole of the northern slope of the Dalma range. Within 
the district it is quite impossible for navigation ; it is particularly 
liable to sudden and violent freshets and in the year 1898 it 
overflowed its banks, which are generally of very considerable 
height, and near Purfdia, where in the dry weather it is a 
stream at most a foot deep and 15 or 20 feet in width, it pre- 
sented a breadth of over 2,700 feet. Villages situated on the 
high banks were washed away and crops destroyed by this 
flood, which is still remembered as the great flood of 1301 
(Bengali year). 

We^t of the Baghmundi rauge and south of Dalma the only Subama. 
liver of importance is the Subarnarekha For 35 miles it follows rekba. 
a tortuous course along the district border from Bhojpura, some 
10 miles north-west of Jhalda, to Jojodih on the borders of 
Patkum and Baghmundi Parganas where it turns towards the 
east, its general direction previously having been due south, and 
intersects the former Parg.ina till it meets the district border 
a few miles south of Ohaudil. It then flows for some miles along 
the Singhbhum-Manbhum border in an easterly direction, skirting 
the Dalma range, and finally leaves the District near Kapali. Its 
only affluent of any size or importance within the district is the 
Karkari, which rises in the Ranchi District and bisects the Patkum 
Pargana iov some 20 miles, meeting the Subarnarekha a few miles 
east of Ichagarh. • 



Lakes and There are no large marshes in the district, nor are there any 
natural lakes. Artificial lakes of considerable size have, however, 
been formed in several places by running dams across small 
ravines or valleys, so that the enclosed space is filled by the 
natural drainage from above. Of such, the most noticeable 
example is the Sahib-bandh at Purulia the water in which, when 
full in the rains, covers over 50 acres, and even at the lowest some 
30 or 35 acres. The dam or bdiulk was constructed about 1848 
mainly by convict labour, and according to local tradition the 
then Deputy Commissioner refused to consider any petition filed 
unless the petitioner had first done a day's hard labour on the 
bandh. There are avenues of trees on three sides, and a couple of 
wooded islands which greatly add to the general picturesqueness. 
From a utilitarian point of view the lake is the chief source of 
drinking water for the western half of the town, and it is undei 
contemplation at present to construct another bdadh or tank 
below it for bathing and the washing of clothes, and reserve the 
Sahib-bandh entirely for drinking purposes. At Gobindpur there 
is a similar bandh on a smaller scale known as the Eislny Bandh ; 
others constructed by private enterprise are the Raai-Bandhs at 
Pandra andJaypur; the Babir-Bandh at Babudih, the Jobuna- 
Bandh near Eangamati, and the large railway bandh recently 
made by the Bengal-Nagpur Railway Company near Adra to 
provide the railway settlement with pure drinking water. The 
construction of similar bdiidhs forms the main part of the district 
programme of village famine works, their economic value as 
reservoirs of drinking water being at any rate equalled by their 
value for irrigation purposes, the fields lying immediately at the 
foot of the dams being kept constantly moist by percolation of 
the water, and forming ideal rice -growing land. Canals and 
artificial water courses are practically unknown. 

Geology. The geological formations are the Archoean and the Grond- 

wana. The Archaean rocks consist of gneiss and crystalline 
schists, the gneiss occupying by far the largest portion of the 
district. It belongs principally to the group known as Bengal 
gneiss, which is remarkable for its varied composition, consisting 
of successive bands of intermixed granitic, granulitic and dioritic 
gneisses, and micaceous chloritic and hornblendic schists, with a 
laminated or foliated structure striking usually east and west. 
About the centre of the district is a great belt of unfoliated or 
only slightly foliated granitic intrusions, also striking east and 
west, and extending westwards into the adjacent district of 
Riinchi. Crystalhne limestones occasionally occur. Along the 
• southern boundary there exists a group of rocks resembling the 


Dharwar schists of Southorn India, wliich wore originally sodi- 
montary and volcanic, but have boon altered into qiiarUicos, 
quartzitic sandstones, slates of various kinds, hornblondic mica, 
and talcoso and cliloritic schists, the hitter passing into potstones, 
greon stones and epidiorites. 

Quite close to the southern boundary of Manbhum, the schists 
arc invaded by a gigantic dyke of basic igneous rock forming an 
imposing east and west range, which culminates in the lofty 
Dalma hill. The schists are here more metamorphosed than 
elsewhere with a considerable development of iron ores ; in this 
neighbourhood, moreover, the rocks are richest in gold. 

The Gondwauas, whose age as determined by fossil plants, is 
partly upper palaeozoic and partly mesozoic, are the principal 
rocks from an economic point of view. They occur along the 
Damodar river and form the Ranlganj coal-field, the western 
portion of which lies in Manbhum, and the rich Jharia coal-field 
almost entirely situated within the district. The Gondwana rocks 
comprise the Mahadeva, Panchet, Raniganj, ironstone shales, 
Barakhar and Taleher divisions, of which all but the first belong 
to the lower Gondwanas. The series consists throughout almost 
exclusively of shales and sandstones. The coal seams are restricted 
to the Barakhar and Raniganj divisions. 

The coal-fields owe their preservation from denudation find 
their present situation to a system of faults that has sunk them 
amidst the surrounding gneiss. The faults are easily recognized 
aloug their boundaries, especially on the south, and sulphurous 
hot springs are often situated in their neighbourhood. Innumer- 
able fissures are occupied by intrusive dykes of basalt and of 
mica-apatite-peridotite, the latter being frequently detrimental to 
the coal seams which have often been burnt away by it. These 
intrusions are of the same ago as the volcanic rocks of the 
Rajmahal hills.* 

The most important mineral found in Manbhum is coal, of Mineral». 
which a more detailed account will be found in a later Chapter. 
The whole of the Jliaria field, 180 square miles in extent, lies 
within the district, besides portions of the Raniganj-Barakhar 
field. On its western border, the Jharia field practically joins 
on to the Bokaru-Ramgarh field which is now being exploited 
in Ilazaribagh. 

Iron is plentiful in several parts of the district, and the 
Barakhar iron and steel works have in the past obtained much 

* A fuller account of the jjeology of tliis district whicli lins been spt-ciuliy 
written by Mr. K. Vredenburg of the (Jeological Survey of India for this Volume , 

is printed as au Appendix to this Chapter. 

10 mInbhum. 

of their ore from Malti and Cheliama in Barabhiim and Patkum 
in the south and from various places within the limits of the 
ilaniganj coal-field in the north-east of the district There a 
clay iron-stone, which constitutes a large proportion of the 
iron stone shales, is especially rich and plentiful, and is some- 
times associated with carbonaceous matter forming a black-band 
iron ore. Magnetic and titaniferous iron ores are also found 
among the gneissose and schistose rocks; red hematite occurs 
in the siliceous fault breccias of the same jareas, and lateritic 
iron ores also exist. Iron is worked on a small scale, principally 
by the aboriginal tribes, in various places among which may be 
mentioned Ajodhya on the Baghmundi plateau, and Akro and 
other villages in the south of Pargana Manbhum. The rocks 
on the southern boundary of the district constitute part of the 
northern edge of the auriferous tract of Ohota Nagpur. They 
are traversed by innumerable gold-bearing quartz veins, from 
which has been derived the alluvial gold obtained in all the 
rivers that drain the schist area. The Patkum prospecting 
syndicate attempted to work the gold on an extensive scale but 
failed, and the careful investigation to which the area has been 
subjected of late years leaves very little hope of extracting the 
gold at a profit. An attempt has also been made to work gold 
at Akro in the south of Manbhum Pargana but so far the 
result has not been very successful. Washing for gold goes on 
at a number of places along the Subamarekha river in Pargana 
Patkum; the results are, however, very small, the average 
earnings of a washer being not more than four or five annas a 


Lead ores (principally argentiferous) are found near Dhadka 
in south-eastern Barabhum, the amount of silver per ton of 
lead in two samples tested being 119 and 99 ounces. Copper 
ores are found at Purda 30 miles south, and at Kalianpur 32 
miles due west from Purulia. Traces of corundum have been 
found in the Tinsaya Ghatwali tenure in Barabhum, where also 
various superior clays including kaolin are also said to exist 
in workable quantities. Chalk, red ochre and traces of mica are 
found here and there, but the only attempt to work the last 
named commercially (in Pandra in the north of the district) 
failed. Soap-stone quarries are worked at several places in the 
south of the district, particularly round about Patkum, and the 
stone produced is fairly extensively employed for the manufacture 
of idols, plates, bowls and the Kke. The process of manufacture 
is simple, the blocks being roughly dressed by hand and then 
cut into form in a rude lathe, and finished off with a smooth 


surfacG. Kankar suitable for the manufacture of lime is found 
in most parts of the district, and rubble, quartz, sand-stone, Irap 
and basalt are quarried for building purposes, road metal and 

It is only in respect of a comparatively limited iiru.', namely, BoTANy 
along the hill ranges to the north-west, south and south-west ' """^^^ '""^ 
of the district, that Maubhum can now be described a-; a well [•„^„'^' ^ 
wooded country, and even in these parts deuud i<ion has gone on 
to such an extent that the amount of large timber left, except 
in the most inaccessible places, is very small. There are small 
areas of protected forest in the Matha and Kailapal estates 
which, in course of time (they have only been under protection 
since 1892), should develop into fairly useful forests, and here 
aud there zimindars and others have made special etf'orts to 
preserve some small patches usually as a shooting preserve 
(shikar jungal or mahal). In ghatwaH villages some sort of 
protection is nominally enforced, but the strict application of 
rules in the case of villages nearer the ct-ntres of civilization or 
in the midst of a fairly thick population lias, in practice, been 
impossible and only a small percentage of the ghatwali jungles 
is now, in consequence, worthy of the name of forest. Of the 
four sections, therefore, into which Mr. V. Ball* in 1869 divided 
the district, the first, i.e., "original jungle land in which trees 
are of large size" has almost entirely disappeared. The second 
'* stunted jungle land from which timber is regularly cut, and 
where the tree;? are never allowed to attain respectable dimen- 
sions" describes accurately the bulk of the jungle that survives. 
The third and fourth classes, "dry, gravelly and rocky ground 
out up by ravines, incapable of supporting a tree cultivation", 
and "land under cultivation" have proportionately increased; 
the former, owing to the practice of " j burning" or bringing 
under cultivation jungle ari'as not suited for permanent cultiva- 
tion, and which are necessarily denuded of soil once cultivation, 
or the attempt at cultivation, ceases, has jirobably increased at 
least as rapidly, if not more rapidly than the actual permanently 
cultivated are?.. Mr. Ball gives as among the most characteristic 
trees in his first division the Sal [S/.oreff robusta), Asau {Tfimin- 
alia loine>ilosri), Kkswh {Schlev'hera ttiji(ga), Kend {Mdauoxi/- 
Ion) and Pinr (Jiuchananui Iniifolia). On the higher hills the 
bamboo as a rule takes the place of other trees. Herbaceous 
plants are comparatively scarce, but there are numerous large 
scandent creepers among which the JUilea sKperbn with its 
magnificent orange-red flowers, and the Baii/iii.ia V<lilii are the 

• Flora of Manbhuin— J. A. S„ 1869. * 


4 12 MSNBHUM. 

most conspicuous; parasites and epipytes are represented by 
several species of loranthus and of orchids. Mr. Ball's second and 
third divisions have no very characteristic vegetation ; stunted sal^ 
the result of cutting the original too high from the ground, the 
jiiilds {Butea frondosa) and various grasses and more or less 
dwarfed bushes of different species form the ordinary vegetation; 
timber trees of any size are ordinarily conspicuous by their 
absence, though in the areas nearer the hills the general appear- 
ance of open forest or park like country is preserved by the 
presence of numerous ma/ma {Bassia latifoUa). These, as well 
as paldii besides the various fig trees, the mango, nim, hair or 
plum tree, ja^^JMw and jack with very occasional date palms, are 
the principal varieties found in and near the cultivated tracts. 
Economic Of trees and plants yielding good timber, or of which various 
parts and products serve useful economic purposes, Dr. A. Camp- 
bell, of Pokhuria, gives the following account of the most 
important ; he mentions at the outset that the list is not exhaus- 
tive, and that, apart from the trees and shrubs referred to, there 
are over 90 species of plants which minister to the necessities 
of the people by providing food of a sort during scarcity or 

Dilkmacece. — Two species of the genus Dillenia, are fairly 
common. Dillenia indica, Linn, (Chalta, Beng., Korkot, Sant.) 
and D. pantagyna, Roxb., (Sahar, Sant.). The former yields 
a good timber and fruit of the latter is eaten. Anonacece. — 
Miliusa velutina, Horssk. fil and Thorns, (Kare, Beng., Ome, 
Sant.) is a middle sized tree, the timber of which is used for 
yokes and axles and the fruit is edible. Anona squamosa, 
Linn., (Sarpha, Beng., Mandargom, Sant.,) the custard apple, 
and A. reticulata, Linn., (Mandal, Beng., Grom, Sant.,) the 
Bullock's heart, are found cultivated and in a semi-wild state. 
Both yield edible fruit. 

Cupparidacece.—Qw^im.Q horrida, Linn., (Bum asaria, Sant.,) 
a scrambling shrub is met with. Bixinem. — Oochlospermum 
gossypium, D.O., (Golgol, Beng., Hopo, Sant.,) is remarkable 
for its large, handsome yellow flowers, which appear before the 
leaves. It yields a gum, known commercially as Hog-gum, 
and from the seeds a soft silk cotton is obtained which is known 
by its trade name of Kopok fibre. Flacourtia Ramontchi, 
L'Herit., (Obir, Beng., Merlec, Sant.,) yields an edible fruit. 
Vipterocnrpacem. — Shorea robusta, Gaertn., (Sal, Sakhua, Beng., 
Sarjom, Sant.,) is a large gregarious tree yielding a heavy, 
strong, tough timber, which is valuable for all purposes where a 
smooth polished surface is not required. There seem to be two 


forms of this tree, the most prevalent having a dark-brown heart- 
wood, while that of the other is white slightly tinged with rod. 
The fruit is eaten, the resin is used locally for several purposes 
but does not appear to bo exported, the bark servos as a tan. 
This is the sacred tree of the 8onthals, the tribal deities being 
worshipped under its shade. —Malvacew. Is important for the 
number of fibre-yioldiug plants embraced in it. Bombax mala- 
baricum, D.C., the cotton tree (Shimal, Beng., Edel, Sant.,) 
attains to a very large size. The wood is white and soft, and as 
broad planks can bo had from it, it is in much request for doors. 
The seeds yield a silky cotton, which is in demand for stuffing, 
and large quantities are exported under the trade name of 
Kopok fibre. Kydia calycina, Roxb., is a largo shrub or small 
tree from the bark of which a serviceable fibre is procured. Other 
wild Mulvaceai which yield fibre are mostly small shrubs, many 
of which, such as Thespasia Lampas, Dais, et Gibbs.; Abutilon 
indicum, Don.; Urena repanda, Roxb.; U. sinuata, Linn.; U. 
lobata, Linn.; Sida mysurensis, "Wight; S. carpinifolia Linn • 
S. rhombifolia, Linn., yield fibre deserving attention. Ster- 
cu/iacce embraces many trees and shrubs among which the 
following are worthy of note : — Sterculia urens, Roxb. (Telhor 
Beng., Telhec, Sant.), S. villosa, Roxb., (Udal, Beng. Ganjher, 
Saot.), and S. colorata, Roxb., are middle sized deciduous trees 
all of which yield a very strong bast fibre. IleUcteres Isora 
Linn. (Maronphol, Beng., Petchamra, Sant.,) is a large shrub 
with a spirally twisted fruit, which is given medicinally in colic 
etc. The bark yields a bast fibre. Pterospermum acorifolium 
Willd. (Makchan, Beng., Machkunda, Sant.) is a tall ever-green 
tree, not very common, the large white flowers of which are used 
as a disinfectant. Tiliacece — Grewia hirsuta, Vahl. (Kukur- 
bicha, Beng., Seta andir, Sant.), G. tilia3folia, Vahl. (Jang olat 
Sant.), G. sapida, Roxb., var. Campbellii, Watt.; G. vestita. 
Wall., (KcDlata, Beng., Olat, Sant.), G. scabrophylla, Roxb. 
(Tarse kotap, Sant.), G. laevigata, Wall., aro all shrubs or small 
trees. The timber of these which attain to the size of trees is 
remarkably stroDg, tough and light, and is used for purposes 
where these qualities aro in request. All yield a strong bast 
fibre. Butacace. — u3j]gle marmelos, Correa., (Bel, Beng,, Sinjo, 
Sant.) is found wild and is also planted largely for its fruit 
which possesses a high medicinal value. Ferouia Elephantum, 
Correa (Katbel, Beng., Kochbel, Sant.) is not common, but 
probably indigenous. Burseracece.—BoswGllia sorrata, Roxb. 
(Saiga, Beng., Sant.) yields an aromatic gum. Garuga piuuata, 
Roxb., (Kanwer, Sant.) ; Bursera serrata, Colebr. (Aimu, Sant.y, 


all three specieis are deciduous and the timber is of little value. 
Aleli/icece Azadirachta indica, A. Juss., Syn. Melia Azadirachta, 
Linn. (Nim, Beng., Sant,) a large evergreen tree naturalized all 
over the district. The seeds yield a medicinal oil. Melia 
Azadaraoh, Linn., (Bakain, Beng, Bokom, Sant.) the Persian 
Lilac. A middle-sized tree, not indigenous. Soymida febrifuga, 
Adr. Juss. (Liohan, Beng., Ruhen, Sant.), is a large tree with 
tall, straight trunk, heart- wood dark reddish -brown, and very 
durable. Oedrela Toona, Roxb., (Tun, Beng., Sant ) yields a 
very fair timber for finer carpentry. Olacinece. — Two species may 
be mentioned : — Olax scandeiis, Roxb., a small bush or climber; 
and O. iii'.na, Wall., a medium-sized shrub. Geladrinece. — Oelas- 
trns paniculatus, |Willd. K'ljri, Beng , Sant.), the seeds of which 
yield a medicinal oil ; Elssodendron EiOxburghii, W. and A 
(E.aj jehnl, Beng , Neuri, Sant.) i?/«(7m//e«?.— Ventilago madras 
patana, Gaertn., Sjn. Ventilago ealyculata, Tulasne (Eaerui- 
Beng., BongaSarjom, Sant.) is a large climber, the seeds of which 
yield an oil in taste approaching ghee, used for culinary purposes. 
The bark yields a bast fi.bre. There are four species of 
Zizyphus : Zizyphus Jujuba, Lam. (Kul, bair, Beng., Jom, 
lanum, dedhaori janum, Sant.). There are two forms of this, 
one cultivated, which grows to be a good sized tree, the fruit of 
which is v^ry palatable, the other, the wild form, is a small 
gre^;ariousbush, the fruit of which, though sour, is largely eaten. 
Zizyphas xylopyra, Willd. ^Korkot, Beng., Karkat Sant.); Z, 
oxyphylla, Edgew., (Seakul Beng., Kurit rama. Sant.); Z. 
rugosa, Lam. (Sahra, Beng., Salira, Sant.) ; all yield edible 


Ampdl/ea'. — Is represented by several genera, mostly climbing 
plants, with a few shrubs, none of which is of any economic 
value. Sapi)idace(e. — SGhleiGh.eTSi trijuga, Willd. (Kusum, 
Beng-, Baru, Saut.), the only species of any importance in the 
district, is a large tree valued mainly for the oil yielded by its 
seeds and for the superior quality of lac procured from it. 

Anncardiacece. — Odina Wodier, Eoxb. (Kasmala, Beng., 
Doka, Sant.) is a large deciduous tree, the wood of which is said 
to be suitable for bobbins. Spondias mangifera, Willd. 
(Amra, Beng. Sant.) the Hog-plum, is a large deciduous tree, fruit 
edible. Buchanania latifolia, Eoxb. (Pial, piar, Beng. Tarop, 
Sant.) is a middle sized tree, the fruit and gum of which are 
eaten. Mangifera indica, Linn. (Am, Beng, III, Sant.^ the 
mango tree ; a large evergreen tree, apparently indigenous, but 
largely planted as groves near villages and on road sides The 
i'luit of the cultivated tree is highly esteemed, but that of the 


wild is 60ur and stringy, ^^emeoarpiis Anaoardium, Ijinn. f , var. 
ouneifolia (Bhulwa, l>eng., Soao, Sant.) the marking nut tree. 
Tho drupe is about one inch in length, the pericarp is full of an 
acrid juice, whio]i takes the place of marking ink, the hypocarp 
when ripe is of a bright orange colour and is edible. Aforingece. — 
Moringa pterygosperma, Gaertn. (Sogna sag, Heng., Munga 
arak, Sant.) the Horse raddish tree. 'Ihis small tree does not 
seem to be indigenoup, but is largely cultivated, leaves, flowers 
and fruit eaten 

Ll' gu/ni no fice -1b represented by a large number of genera 
and species comprising many large timber trees, but the majority 
are shrubs or climbers. There are five species of Orotalaria; two 
of Indigofera ; seven of Desmodium ; one of Ouginia, 0. 
Dalbergioides, Benth.; one of Abrus, A. precatorius, Linn.; one of 
Muouna ; one of Erythrina, E. indica, Lam.; one of Pueraria; one 
of Spatholobus, S Roxburghii, Benth., a large climber yielding a 
strong bast fibre ; two of rfutea,|B. frondosa, Roxb., (Palas, Beng., 
Murup, Sant.), a fairly large tree, gregarious in its habits, noted 
for its brilliant orange, red flowers, and as a large producer of 
lac. 15. superba, Roxb , a large climber with flowers of a flaring 
orange colour, larger than those of B. frondosa ; three species 
of Flemingia, all small shrubs ; three of Dalbergia, D. 
lanceolarin, Linn. (Siris, Beng., Chapot Siris, Sant.), D. 
latifolia, Eoxb. (Sotsal, Beng., Satsayar, Sant ), both large 
deciduous trees yielding good timber ; D. volubilis, Roxb., 
a large scrambling shrub; oue of Pterocarpus, P. marsupium 
Roxb. (Murga, Beng., MurgaSant.) a large deciduous tree with 
a brownish heart- wood ; one of Pongamia, P. glabra, Vent 
(Kurunj, Beng., Sant.) probably introduced into the district, but 
has been long naturalized, seeds yield a useful oil and fruits 
edible; one species of Tamarindus, T. indica, Linn. (Tetul, Beng., 
Jojo, Sant.) yielding an edible fruit ; of Cassia five, 0. Fistula, 
Linn. (Bandarlce, Beng., Nuruic, Sant.), flowers in large 
pendulous racemes of a bright yellow, known as the Indian 
Labumam ; of Bauhinia seven, B. malabarica, Koxb., B purpurea 
Linn., B. variegata, Linn., B. retusa, Ham., B acuminata, Linn., 
li. raoemosa. Lam., B. vahlii, Wight et Arn., the first six species 
are medium sized trees, the last is a gigantic climber (Chikor 
Beng., Laraak lar, Jom lar, Sant ), yielding an excellent bast 
fibre and an edible bean ; one of Adenanthera, A. pavonia, Linn, 
not indigenous; of Mimosa, one, M. rubicaulis, Lam.; of Acacia 
five, A. Farnesiana, Willd., A. pennata, Willd,, A. csesia, Willd., 
A. Catechu, Willd., A. arabica, Willd.; Of Albizzia four, A. 
myriophylla, BL, A. odoratissisma, Benth., A. Lebbek, Benth., 

16 MiNBHUM. 

A., procera, Benth. (commonly known in the ver. asSiris), all large 
trees yielding excellent timber; CombretQcece. — The most important 
are Terminalia belerica, Roxb. (Behra, Beng., Lopong Sant.); 
T. Chebula, Eetz. (Harla, Beng,, Rol. Sant.) yields the myra- 
bolams of commerce ; T. tomentosa, W. et Am. (Asan, Beng., 
Atnak, Sant.) , Tasar silkworm is largely reared on this species ; 
T. Arjuna, Bedd. 'Arjun, Beng., Kauha, Sant.) all four species 
are large trees and are very common. Myrtacem. — The principal 
are Eugenia operciilata, Roxb,, E. Jambolana, Lam. (Jamun, 
Beng., So kod, Sant.), E. caryophyllifolia, Lmk., all yield edible 
fruits ; Barringtonia acutangula, Gsertn., (Kumia Beng., Hinjor, 
Sant.) ; Carea arborea, Roxb. (Kumbhir, Beng., Kumbir, Sant.). 
Lijthracece — The most important species are Lagerstroemia 
parviflora, Roxb. (Sidha, Beng., Sekrec, Sant.), a large gregarious 
tree, which coppices well, the gum is edible. Lawsonia alba, 
Lam. (Mihendi, Beng., Sant.), a shrub never found in a wild 
state, makes a -good hedge, the leaves yield the "henna" dye 
which is used to colour the skin and hair. Woodfordia flori- 
bunda, Salisb. (Dhatki, Beng., Ichak, Sant.) a small bush, 
which is extensively used in house -building, being placed above 
the rafters to support the thatch. Tlie flowers yield a dye and, 
before the ainline dyes were introduced, were exported in large 
quantities to Patna and Cawnpore. Samydncece.— Casearia 
tomentosa, Roxb. (Chorcho, Beng., Sant.), a small tree, the 
fruit is employed to poison fish. Cornacem. — Alangium 
Lamarckii, Thws, (Akura, Beng., Dhela, Sant.), a small decidu- 
ous tree, with a hard, close and even-grained heartwood. 
Riihwcece — Embraces about 18 genera, of. which the following 
are the most important :— Ani;hocephalus Oadamba, Miq. (Kadam, 
Beng., Sant.), a large deciduous tree of rapid growth, the fruit 
is eaicu and the flowers offered in worship. Adina cordifolia. 
Hook. f. and Benth., (Karam, Beng., Sant.), a large deciduous 
tree a branch of which is fixed by the Hindus in the courtyard 
of the house during the observance of the Kardin festival. 
Sonthals also dance round a branch of it at their Karam festival. 
Stephegyne parvifolia, Korth, syn. Nauclea parvifolia, Willd. 
(Gulikodom, Beng., Gore, Sant), a large deciduous tree, the 
bark of which yields a good bast fibre. Hymenodictyon excelsum. 
Wall. (Bhorkond, Beng., Sant.), a large deciduous tr< e, the inner 
bark of which is in repute as a febrifuge. Wendlandia tinc- 
toria D. C. and W. exserta, D.O., are small bushes, fairly 
common, but without any economic value. Gardenia latifolia, 
Ait. (Pepra, Beng., Popro, Sant.), a small deciduous tree whose 
fruit is edible. There are two species of Randia, E. dumetorum, 


Lamk., and E.. uliginosa, D.C., both small trees which yioid 
edible fruits. Cautbium didymiira, Eoxb. (Garbagoja, Beng., 
Garbhagoja, Sant.), is a small or medium-sized tree with no 
particular economic use. Pavetta indica, Linn., and P. indica, 
Linn., var. tomentosa, lioxb., are small bushes. Ixora parvi- 
flora, Vahl., is a c immon, but, from an. economic point of view, 
an unimportant tree. Morinda tinctoria, Roxb., syn. M. exscrta, 
Uoxb. (Ohaili, Bong., iSant.) is a modtrate sized deciduous tree 
seldom, if ever found in a purely wild state. This at one time 
was a most important tree as the bark of the root was extensively 
used to dye yellow and rod. There are five species of Olden- 
landia, all small unimportant shrubs with the exception of O. 
corymbosa, Linn., which is the Madras red dye known as chey 
root in commerce. There are several other plants belonging to 
this order, but they serve no economic uses and are not therefore 
noted. Coinposilce. — A large number of plants found in the 
district belong to this order, but as all are herbs or shrubs with 
little economic value they are passed over. Mt/runece. — Embelia 
robusta, Roxb., is a large bhrub or small tree, with wood uf a 
reddish hue. 

/Srt/vo/ocfo?.— Bassia latifolia, Roxb. (Mahua, Mahul, Beng., 
Matkom, Sant.) is a very large deciduous tree with reddish- 
brown, very hard heart wood. The timber is used for many 
purposes, but it is not lightly cut down. The flowers are an 
important article of food. When dry they store well, keeping 
in good condition for a very long time. The trees in most 
villages are divided among the ryots in proportion to the area 
they cultivate, but landless labourers generally are in possession 
of one or more trees. When the owner does not collect the 
produce himself, he as a rule engages another to do so, allowing 
him sometimes a third and sometimes a half thereof in return 
for his labour in collecting. Jiahua is cooked and eaten by 
preference along with rice or rice water. Eaten alone it is said 
not to digest readily. A coarse spirit distilled from Malmn is 
the liquor most generally consumed in the district. The fruit 
(Kocbra, Beng., Kuindi, Sant.) when unripe is eaten as a 
vegetable cooked. When ripe the pulp is only enten. Jt is 
generally infested by a small white worm and can only be con- 
sumed by the less fastidious. The kernel of the fruit yields an 
oil which is used for culinary purposes, for lamps and anoiutino- 
the person. To extract the oil the kernels are split and dried in 
the sun. They are then pounded into coarse flour in the 
ihenki, put into an airtight basket and steamed. The muierial 
is then wi-apped up tightly and carefully with ^aboe grass and 



placed in the press whieli is worked with a lever. The oil 
as it readily solidifies is often used to adulterate ghee. 

EbenacecB. — Three or four species of Diospyros are found 
within the district, the most important being Diospyros tomentosa, 
Eoxb., which some botanists include in Diospyros Melanoxylon, 
Eoxb. (Kend, Beng., Terel, Sant.), a small or medium sized 
tiee never entirely leafless. The heartwood is very dark coloured, 
resembling ebony in hardness, and is considered to be of great 
value. The fruit when fully rij)e is very palatable. Styracece — 
Symplocos racemosa, Eoxb. (Lodh, Beng., Lodam, Sant.), is 
a small tree, the leaves and bark of which are used in dyeing. 
Oleacece. — Nyctanthes arbortristis, Linn. (Sitik, Beng., Saparom, 
Sant.), is a large shrub or small tree, generally gregarious in 
dry situations. It is sometimes cultivated on account of the 
fragrance of its flowers which open in the evening and drop 
off at sunrise. Jasminum arboroscens, Eoxb., is a scandent 
shrub frequenting the vicinity of streams. Apocinacece. — Carissa 
Carandas, Linn., Alstouia seholaris, E. Br., Holarrhena anti- 
dysenterica, Wall., Wrightia tomentosa, E, and S., Nerium 
odorum, Soland., Thevetia Neriifolia, Jus., are probably the 
most important species. Asclepiade(e. — Galotro-pis gigantea, E. 
Br. (Akand, Beng., Akaona, Sant), a common gregarious bush, 
in flower all the year round. Its inner bark gives a fibre of 
fine silky texture, which is very strong and is used for bow 
strings, etc. The seeds are surrounded by silky hair which is used 
for stuffing pillows, the root is used to dye with. Calotropis 
procera, E. Br., fibre, silk from the seeds, and root are used 
in the same way as those of C. gigantea. Dregea voliibilis, 
Bentn., is a twining shrub, which yields an extremely strong 
fibre, from which Brahmans make the j^oita or sacred thread. 
Boraginecp. — Cordia Myxa Linn.) Buch, Beng., Buch, Sant.), 
and C. Macleodii, H. F. and T. (Jugia, Sant.), are medium 
sized trees, the wood is valued for the purpose of making cattle 
yokes. Ehretia loevis, Eoxb. (Pusi pan, Sant.), is a middle 
sized tree, of no particular economic use. Convolvulacece. — Ipomoea 
is represented by seven species, Erycibe paniculata, Eoxb., is 
the only species which attains to any size, the others are herbs. 
Solanaceiv — Datura fastuosa, Linru (Dhatura, Beng,, Sant.) is 
common, growing on waste places. Solanum xanthocarpum, 
Schrad. et Wend!., is a common procumbent thorny plant. 
Scro2)hularinece.—^\iQVQ are two species of Torenia, one of 
Vandellia, two of Ilysanthes, one of Sopubia, one of Bonnaya, 
three of Limnophylla, one of Dopatrium, etc. B/'gnonacecB.— 
Oroxylum indicum, Benth. (Sonae, Beng,, Bana hatak, Sant.), 


a small troo remarkable for its loug, Hat, sword-liko capsule and 
largo flowers. The bark and fruit are used in tanning and 
dyeing. Stereospermum suavoolens, D. C. (Padal, Beng., Pader, 
Saut.) is a large deciduous tree, the wood of which is durable 
and easy to work. The tree is not common. AcanthaGcoi. — 
Contains mostly lierbs, among which the following are repre- 
sented : — Barloria, Dtedalacanthus, Strobilanthes, Ruellia, Peris- 
trophe, Hemigraphis. Hygrophila, Ruugia, Andrographis, etc., etc. 
VerbenaceaK—Yitex Negundo, Linn. (8indwari, Beng., Sinduari, 
Sant.), is a large shrub or small tree V. piduncularis, AVall., 
Syn. Vitex alata, Roxb. (Bhade, Beng., Bhadu, Marak, Sant.), 
is a middle sized tree, with a hard, close grained timber. 
Gomelina arborea, Linn. (Gamhar, Beng., Kasmar, Sant.) is a 
large quick growing deciduous tree, with a close and even- 
grained wood, which is used largely in making the finer parts 
of palanquins. Two species of Callicarpa, two of Premna, and 
five of Clerodendron are found within our area. Lahlatw. — There 
are several plants belonging to this genus found in the district, but 
all are herbaceous. Three species of Leucas aiford food in times 
of famine. AniarantaceaL — Represented only by herbs, but these 
are important from an economic point of view as they afford 
sustenance to the poor in times of scarcity. The following may 
be noted in this connection : — Oolocia argenta, Moq., ^rua lanata 
Linn., Amarantus gangeticus, Linn., Digera arvensis, Forsk., 
and Acternanthera scssilis, R. Br. Polygonacew. — With the 
exception of Polygonum glabrum, Willd., the leaves of which 
are used as a pot-herb, this contains no species of any importance. 
TJrtkacew. — This contains many valuable species, but there 
is space only for the following : — Artocarpus iutegrifolia, Linn. 
(Kathal, Beng., Kanthar, Sant.), the jack tree is a large evergreen 
tree planted extensively for its fruit which is highly valued. The 
wood which is durable and takes a fine polish is largely employed 
for all kinds of carpentry. A. Lakoocha, Roxb., (Dahua, Beng., 
Dahu, Sant.), is a large tree, the male flower buds and fruit are 
eaten. Ficus bengalensis, Linn. (Bor, Beng., Bare, Sant.), 
the banyan, is a large evergreen tree, which throws down aerial 
roots from the branches, the fruit is eaten, and the . wood which 
is of little value is mainly used to make solid cart wheels. F. 
infectoria, Willd. (Pakaro, Beng., Sant.), F. religiosa, Linn., 
(Pipar, pipal, Beng., llosak, Sant.), F. cordif olia, Roxb., (Sununi 
jor, Sant.), F. Cunia, Buch. (Bhoka dumbar, Beng., llorpodo, 
Sant.), F. glomerata, Roxb. (Dumbor, Bong., Loa, Sant), F. 
tomentosa, Willd. (Chapakia bare, Sant.), F. scandens, Roxb. 
yield edible fruits. Enjihorbiacew. — The more important species 

c 2 

20 MiNBHUM. 

are Phyllanthus Emblica, Linn. (Aura, Beng., Meral, Sant.), 
P. multilocularis Mull. Arg. Putranjiva Roxburghii, Wall., 
Briodelia retusa, Spreng. (Kadrupala, Beng., Karke, Sant.), 
Croton oblongifolius, Roxb. (Putol, Beng., Gote, Sant.), and 
Mallotus philippinensis, Mull. Arg. (Rohra, Beng., Eora 
Sant.) . This latter is a gregarious shrub or small tree and yields 
the kaniela dye of commerce. Palmce. — Borassus flabelliformis, 
Linn. (Tal, Beng., Tale, Sant.), the palmyra palm, and 
Phoenix sylvestris, Roxb., (Khajur, Beng., Khijur Sant.), the 
wild date palm, are the only species indigenous to the district. 
The palmyra palm seems to flourish everywhere, but the wild 
date palm does not grow so readily in all situations. 

Oramineoe. — Of these the first to be noted is Dendrocalamus 
striotus, Nees. (Bans, Beng., Mat, Sant.), the male bamboo. 
This is apparently the only bamboo indigenous to Manbbum. 
Bambusa Tulda, Roxb., (Ropa bans, Beng., ropa mat, Sant.), 
the bamboo of Bengal, clumps of this bamboo are becoming 
increasingly frequent in the vicinity of villages. It grows 
readily when transplanted and is a source of considerable profit 
to the villagers. Of fodder grasses the best known is Oynodon 
Dactylon, Pers. (Dub, Beng., Dhobighas Sant.), Pollinia 
eriopoda, Hance. (Baboe, saboe, Beng., Bachkom, Sant.). 
The supply of this grass from wild sources being limited owing 
to the decrease of jungle it is now being largely cultivated. It 
is used for all kinds of rough twine and cordage and is of very 
great importance. Cattle eat it when young. A species of 
Aristida (Bhalki, Beng., kharang, Sant.), supplies the material 
from which house brooms are made. Heteropogon contortus, R. 
& S. (Khar, Kher, Beng. Sauri, Sant), (is the principal thatch- 
ing grass of the district. It grows to a height of two feet or over 
and lasts longer than rice straw. Andropogon muricatus, Retz. 
(Bena, Beng., Sirom, Sant.) is common, found in moist 
situations. The fragrant roots known under the name of 
khaskhas are used in the manufacture of fatties. The brush 
( Konoh) with which a weaver applies starch to the warp of a web 
is made from the roots of this grass. Besides these there are 
many others in the plains and hills comprising species of Andro- 
pogon, Setaria, Pennisetum, Panicum, Paspalum, Eragrostis, 
Oplismenus, Perotis, Spondiopogou, Chrysopogon, Pollinia, 
Eleusine, Apluda, Sporobolus, Agrostis, Ohloris, Aristida, Pogona- 
therum, Elytrophorus, Leersia, Ischsemum, Heteropogon, Isacbne, 
Arundinella and others. 

Though the physical features of the district resemble so 
clo-soly those of the adjoining districts of Ohota Nagpur, and 


though it shared till oomparativoly recent times their reputation 
as a happy hunting ground, this reputation is no longer deserved, 
and, speaking generally, tlie district is now singularly destitute 
of wild animals and game of all descriptions. The causes are 
not far to seek ; cultivation and the clearing of jungles for this 
purpose has widely extended during: the last 20 years, and 
denudation of the jungles, even where the land is not required wr 
suitable for cultivation, almost as if not more, rapidly. Moreover, 
the Sonthal population has rapidly increased, and, as is well 
known, their hunting habits very quickly denude the country in 
their immediate neighbourhood of all small and grouud game, 
both fur and feathered, deer, pig and hare, and birds, both game 
and non-game, and in the absence of their natural food the 
larger carnivorous animals must necessarily die out or remove 
to more favoured parts. It is possible now to travel througli and 
to beat miles of jungle covered hill and see not a single head 
of game of any description; country eminently fitted for the 
smaller varieties of deer, for wild pig, for hare, for partridge, 
the jungle fowl or the pea fowl is untenanted save by the squirrel 
and tlie owl, and the natural habitation of the tiger, the leopard 
and the bear may, perchance, produce a stray hyaena or jackal. 
The larger game that are still occasionally seen or shot are the 
exception. Wild elephants have within recent years been seen 
in the jungles on the Dalraa range in the south, visitors no 
doubt from Dhalbhum, where a small herd is known to survive. 
A stray tiger or two occasionally kill in the same area, or in the 
hills south of Patkum, or on the Baghmundi range, and within 
the last few years several visitors from the Hazaribagh jungles 
have been shot near Jhalda. Leopards (felis pardus) are some- 
what less rare in the same areas, and are also met with at 
times in the jungles which run up the banks of the Kasai river 
through Parganas Manbhum and Kasaipar. They are also to 
be found, as also a very occasional tiger, on the Tundi range 
and on the foot hills of Parasnath in the north. Other 
felines are represented by two or more varieties of wild cat, 
specimens of which though rarely seen are probably fairly 

During the ten years ending 1908, 65 human beings and 
2,181 cattle were reported to have been killed by tigers and 
leopards, and rewards were paid for the destruction of 3 tigers 
and 79 leopards. 

The bear — the common black or sloth bear — is rather more 
common, and is still to be found in most of the wooded liilla 
on the north, west and south of the district. On the Tundi and 


Parasnath hills on the north they must at one time have been 
very numerous as it is on record that one Sub-divisional Officer, 
who was at Grobindpur for several years in the eighties, shot 
over a hundred. During the ten years ending 1908, 11 human 
beings and 67 cattle were killed by bears and 45 bears were 
brought in for reward. 

Wolves are said to be fairly numerous on and near the 
Panchet hill, and are practically the sole relic of wild game in 
that neighbourhood ; they are also met fairly frequently in other 
hilly and jungly parts of the district. Hy?enas are to be found 
in the same regions and are apparently somewhat more numerous. 
Wolves and hysenas accounted during the last ten years for 16 
human beings and 3,312 cattle and rewards were paid for the 
destniction of 45 wolves and 273 hysenas. 

Jackals are, of course, numerous, but not nearly so common 
as might be expected from the general appearance of the country. 

Of herbivorous quadrupeds the Sambar is almost extinct 
except on the Parasnath and Dalma ranges where occasional 
specimens are seen ; the spotted deer survives in certain more 
or less preserved jungles near Jhalda, Baghmundi and Manbazar, 
and a small herd is said to exist still in the jungles surrounding 
some low hills north-west of Balarampur. The barking deer is 
found occasionally in the same areas and in the Dalma range. 
The chinkara is practically unknown, and the four-horned 
antelope hardly survives except in the preserved jungles of the 
Panchet zamindar near Kesargarh. 

Wild pig are rarely to be found except in the dense 
jungles adjoining the Parasnath and Dalma ranges; they do 
considerable damage to the crops grown on small patches of 
cleared land in and near the jungles, but in the struggle for 
survival they have little chance against the Sonthal or the 
Bhumij. The langur {Semnopithecus entillus) is to be found 
in the hills near Jhalda and elsewhere at various places but in no 
great numbers, One tribe or family visits Purulia in the mango 
season and does some damage to the little fruit there is, until 
driven away. 

The Indian fox is common throughout the district. The 
short-tailed Indian pangolin {Manis crassicaudata) an animal 
almost peculiar to this and the Singhbhum district of which 
a picturesque account is given in Hunter's Statistical Account 
of the district is not yet extinct though but rarely seen; 
a specimen was killed in Purfdia in 1907 while attempting 
to burrow its way into the local Post Office, and after 
seriously frightening the whole postal estabhshmont. More 



roocntly another specimen was captured near Dhanbaid. 
Hares are very rare except whore there are largo areas; of scrub 
jungle and broken ground, their habits making them a very easy 
prey for tho aboriginal tribes, armed with bows, sticks or 

The game birds of Manbhum are few in number and variety ; Game 
jungle, spur, and pea fowl can now but rarely be found and only ^"^^s. 
in tho wildest parts of the district ; the grey partridge is fairly 
common in suitable country, the black is only very occasionally 
seen. Pigeon, both rock and green, are fairly common. Of cold 
weather visitors the snipe is the most numerous, and from November 
till May a wisp or two can usually be found in the rice fields 
immediately below most Land/is. Towards the end of the season 
when suitable grounds are loss numerous and of smaller area 
it is possible to get a fair bag. Wild geese resort regularly 
to the beds of the larger rivers, the Damodar, Kasai and 
Subamarekha, and a fair number of duck and teal are to 
be found on the larger bandits throughout the district particularly 
in the later months of the season. The most common varieties 
are the common or blue winged teal, the pintail, the white- 
eyed, common and red-crested pochards, the gadwal and the 
shoveller; whistling teal both great and lesser are found 
occasionally and a fair number of cotton teal stay through the 
year on some of the larger tanks, near which there is cover for 
their breeding. Manbhum is mentioned by Mr. E C. Stuart 
Baker* amoug the habitat of tho Nullah teal or comb-bill, but no 
specimen has been seen or shot of recent years. Golden plovers 
are seen occasionally in considerable flights on the high tanr lands 
where also the common plover is fairly common. Of other birds 
the most conunon are tho crow, the maina, the sparrow and the 

Many of the tanks and irrigation baudhs are regularly stocked p;^i,^ 
with fry of the vni, ml r gel and kafiu species, and various small 
species are to be found in almost every piece of water. Hilsa and 
bachtca are caught in the Damodar and Subarnarekha during the 
rains and both these rivers are said to contain mahseer. 

Snakes are not s{)ecially numerous ; of the prisonous varieties Reptile 
the cobra and the karait are fairly common ; of others the most 
frequently seen is tho dliamun which grows to a considerable 
size. In the hilly areas an occasional p} then is met wiih ; and 
various harmless and grass snakes are generally common. During 
the ten years ending in 1908, 1,022 persons were reported to 
have been killed by snakes, and 3,859 snakes were destroyed. 

• The Indian Ducks antl their Allies. Bombay, 1008, * 

24 manbhum. 

Climate. Q^j^e climate is generally much drier than that of Eastern 

Bengal, though less so than that of the plateau of Chota Nagpur 
proper. From early in March till the end of May or the 
beginning of June hot westerly winds ordinarily prevail, and 
the heat duiing the day is oppressive, the thermometer in the 
shade constantly rising as high as 110° and not infrequently 
several degrees higher. Towards evening the west wind usually 
drops, or dies away altogether, and there is a considerable fall in 
temperature. The nights during March are still cold, during 
April usually bearable, but towards the end of May the minimum 
night temperature is frequently above 90°. Occasional relief 
is afforded during these months by nor'-westers, which, even 
when not accompanied by rain, reduce the temperature by 
several degrees, and relieve the general feeling of oppression. 
With June the wind veers to tho south or east, the actual 
temperature drops, but the air becomes saturated with moisture, 
and, until the rain actually comes, the climate is unpleasant in 
the extreme. 

During the rains which normally set iu about the middle of 
June, and last till the middle of September, the climate is on the 
whole pleasant ; the country being naturally weil-drained, and 
the soil mainly composed of saud and gravel, the air is compara- 
tively dry in the intervals between the rain, and the sultry, 
damp and steamy atmosphere of a Bengal district at the same 
season of the year is comparatively uncommon. 

The end of September with a hot midday sun and the air 
still moist is fairly trying, but with October cooler currents 
of air from the , north and west set in, and by the end of the 
month the cold weather is ordinarily well established. 

From November to mid February the days are not unpleas- 
antly warm, and the nights cool ; the air is ordinarily dry and 
bracing, and a healthier or more enjoyable climate could 
hardly be wished for. Extreme cold is rare, and frost except 
on the higher hills practically unknown. 

The range of temperature during the year is considerable. 
'Ihe mean maximum temperature, which is betweeu 76° and 
79° during December and February, rises to 89° iu March, 
and iu April and May to 10'6°. Throughout the rains it 
averages about 90° dropping to 88° in October and 84° in 

The mean minimum temperature varies from as low as 52° iu 
January to 79^^ in June, the mean for the cold weather months 
being about 58° and for the hot weather TO". The mean 
« temperature for the yeay ie 77°. 



Tho average monthly rainfall from seven reporting stations Rainfall. 
(rmTilia, Gobindpur, llaghunathpur, BnraLlium, Jbalda, Chas 
and Pjindra) is shown iu the annexed statement. Besides these 
there are registering stations more recently established at 
Maubazar, Bandwan, Kailapal, and Dhanbaid. Between the 
ditferent stations the differences are not very marked, tho total 
rainfall of the year varying only between 494 ond 65| inches. 

!S(afemeni shoicimi the average rainfall moutli by month for 
(och reporting sttdion. 

.Name of rain 



i 1 1 

i ( 










= 1 





















12-23 12-26 







Gobindpur ... 



0- 1 




14-12 13-40 














13-25 12-73 







Barabhuni ... 







12-82 11-73 














12-5C 15-('0 








Chas .. 
























11 -no 













As might be anticipated, the rainfall is heaviest near the 
hilly areas in the north, west and south, and lightest in 
the comparatively level central area. In respect of variation 
from year to year the range is considerable ; just under 
lUO inches were recorded at Gobindpur in 1893, in which 
year the average for the district was 73| inches; two years 
latei, in 1895, the average fall was only 34| inches, and in 
1896 barely 37 inches. 

The cold and hot weather rains are usually very light, less 
than 3^ inches being ordinarily precipitated in the six months, 
November to April. The fall in May averages just under 3 
inches, and the burst of the monsoon in June gives some 9^ 
inches ; July and August with nearly 13 inches each are the 
wettest mouths ; in September the fall averages about 8^ inches 
and the final effort of tho monsocn gives another 2^ inches in 
October. It is this final rain which in an otherwise normal 
year makes the difference between a full and an average, or even 
a comparatively poor crop. 





General Features. 
From the point of view of the geologist Manbhum can be 
Geological constitution of the dis- c^vided from north to soiith into 
trict. three successive belts, each of 

which stretches across the entire width of the district in an east 
and west direction. The northern belt is occupied mainly by the 
two great coal-basins of Raniganj and Jharia, separated by an 
intervening area of crystalline rocks. The middle belt, which is 
broadest, is occupied almost exclusively by crystalline rocks The 
southern belt includes a series of ancient slates with associated 
volcanic rocks belonging to the group of rocks known to Indian 
geologists as the Dharwar System. 

Consequently the district includes a very great variety of 
different rocks, and it is a patchwork of formations which differ 
widely in age, in structure, and in history. The crystalline gneisses 
and the sedimentary Dharwars belong to the oldest formations 
known in India. They have been extensively disturbed and 
altered since their original formation. The rocks of the coal-basins 
in the northern belt of the district are less ancient and belong partly 
to the end of the period known to geologists as the " primary " 
or "palaeozoic", partly to the beginning of the succeeding period 
known as "secondary " or " mesozoic". They constitute a portion 
of the group of rocks classified by Indian geologists as the " Gond- 
wana System" which consists of fluviatile sandstones and shales 
with intercalated coal-seams. These rocks have not been subject- 
ed to disturbances and alteration to the same extent as the older 
gneisses and Dharwars. and being usually far less indurated than 
those older formations, would have been mostly denuded away 
were it not that they have been let in amongst the older rocks 

along a series of faulted fractures, 

Faulted fractures. o i • i • j' ; 

some 01 which indicate an enor- 
mous amount of subsidence. 


The faulted fractures whicli affect tlio Goudwana rocks of the 
coalQoMs arc the latest distuibanccs of this kind which one ob- 
serves in the district. Evidence of older faulted fractures abound 
in the gneissose and Dharwar areas. 

The extreme variety and checkered geological history of the 
Absence o£ wtii-iuarked topograpiu- ^ocks of this district aro Only 
c!ii features. very feebly expressed by its topo- 

graphical features. Most of the structural features of the rocks 
exhibit an east and west trend ; but this structure has very little 
influence upon the direction of the lines of drainage, most of 
which flow obliquely to the strike of the rocks, and are scarcely 
deflected to any appreciable extent when they pass from one 
formation to another. Some of the great structural faidts 
are of enormous "throw", for instance, that forming the 
southern border of the Raniganj coalfield which represents 
a subsidence of the Gondwana strata of nearly two miles. 
Yet these great fractures arc without any eifect on the 

The only rivers whose course has been materially influenced 
by the nature and structure of the rocks arc the Damodar, and 
to a minor extent some of its tributaries where they traverse 
the Goudwana basins, as will be explained when deaUng with the 
structure of the coal-fields. 

It is the protracted denudation to which the region has been 
subject that accounts for the want of correspondence generally 
observed between its structural features and the directions of 
drainage. The district has been a dry land area subjected to 
atmospheric weathering and denudation since a very early geolo- 
gical period, and it has not been subjected to any earth-crust 
movements capable of influencing appreciably the shape of its 
surface since the completion of the great faulted fractures that 
limit the Gondwana areas. These date back to a time previous to 
the close of the secondary era, and most parts of the earth's 
surface that have been dry land from so early a geological time 
have had the irregularities of their topography similarly reduced : 
the great mountain ranges, such as the Alps and Himalayas, owe 
their strong relief to tlie fact that they were uplifted ouly at a 
lato period of the Tertiary era. In the case of a region subjected 
to denudation since a very early date, like that of Manbhum, the 

levelling action of denudation 
Long.contiuucd sub-:.ciiui dcnudii- j^^^g ^^^.^ g^ protracted that, with 

tiou. . I- P 1 

the exception oi a general seaward 
slope towards the Bay of Bengal, tlie only differences of level 
observed are due to relative differences in hardness of the rocks, 


without any reference to former movements of upheaval or 
subsidence. The extent to which the present topographical 
features are disconnected from the former geological history of 
the region is well illustrated in the case of Panchet hill, and a 
few other hills along the southern border of the Eaniganj coal- 
fields. They owe their present relief to the fact ihey consist of 
hard sandstones and conglomerates that have resisted denudation 
better than the softer surrounding rocks ; yet they occur on the 
downthrow side of one of the greatest faulted fractures of the 
district, and have sunk to a depth of almost two miles relatively 
to the older crystalline rocks which they overlook on their 
southern aspect. Ages of denudation have so equalised the level 
of the surface on the downthrow and upthrow sides of the fault 
that it is the sunken portion that now exhibits the strongest 


The other outstanding hills of the district all owe their pre- 
servation similarly to the relative 
Topography depending solely on Jjardness of the rocks constitu- 

Jifferences of hardness of rocks ,• J.^ i t\ i i ^^^ 

ting them ; such are Ualma hill, 
at the southern border of the district, consisting of a great mass 
of " epidiorite " ; Parasnath hill, whose lower spurs touch the 
north-western edge of the district, consisting of a compact augite- 
enstatite granulite similar to the pyroxene granulites of 
the " Nilgiri gneiss " that constitute the loftiest hills in 
Southern India : the Baghmundi plateau in the south-western 
part of the district, consisting of compact granite or granitite 

The geological formation that has attracted more attention 

than any other owing to its 

Structure of Gondwana basins. . . . • ,^ i 

economic importance is the coal- 
bearing Gondwana formation which occupies the Raniganj and 
Jharia coalfields in the northern belt of the district. The 
Gondwana rocks consist essentially of a succession of fluviatile 
sandstones and shales with intercalated coal-seams, which exhibit 
a general southerly dip, in such a manner that the oldest beds 
outcrop at the northern edge of the coal-basins, and the newest 
beds at its southern edge, where the succeasion is abruptly inter- 
rupted by the great structural fault that constitutes the maia 
southern boundary of each of the coalfields. With few excep- 
tions the Gondwana rocks are moderately indurated and easily 
denuded away, and, owing to this relatively easy weathering, the 
larger channels of drainage have established themselves on their 
surface more easily than on the adjoining rocks. This is why the 
course of the largest river of the region, the Damodar, coincides 


with the position of the coal-basins. Moreover, the general souther- 
ly dip of the coal-bearing strata 

Iiifliieiico of Gondwaoa rocks on i „„ u„j ii, xs i ^c l i.i 

jj.jji,j.^„j. lias had the eirect or constantly 

displacing thi- main channel 
towards the south, so that the Damodar generally follows at a 
short distance the main southern faulted boundary of the coal- 
fields. Similar features are observed in all the coal-basins of 
India, which always exhibit tho same unsymm^^lricHl structure as 
the E-aniganj and Jharia basins, and almost invariably have their 
main boundary fault approximately coinciding with a great 
channel of drainage : a conspicuous instance is that of the Gond- 
wana basin of the lower Godavari. 

In addition to thp three great systems of rocks that make up 

the Manbhum district, that is, the 

Intrusive rocks. n j - ii i n- 

U-ondwana, ttie crystalune gneis- 
ses and the Dharwar slates, there are numerous igneous intrusions 
varying in composition from acid (highly siliceous; to basic (com- 
paratively poor in silica, but rich in lime, iron, and magnesia). 
The basic intrusions being more easily recognised have more parti- 
cularly attracted attention, and generally have the shape of elong- 
ated linear vertical " dykes " representing fissures that have been 
filled up from below with a molten material of volcanic origin. 
Some of these basic intrusions are of very ancient date, almost or 
quite as old as the Dharwar slates, and are probably contempora- 
neous with the ancient " basic " rocks of Dalma hill They are 
observed principally in the gneiss areas, and having shared in the 
disturbance that has affected the gneiss and the Dharwar slates 
they have been affected by alterations which oonsiderabl\ disguise 
the original character of their minerals. The later set of basic 
dykes is contemporaneous with the volc;inic eruptions of the 
Eajmahal hills in Bengal. They are posterior to the latest dis- 
locations that have nffected the region, and except whfre acted 
upon by atmospheric weathering close to the surface, are quite 
unaltered. They are observed cutting through the Gondwana 
rocks and also through the surrounding crystalline rocks, but are 
much more abundant within the Gondwana areas than through 
the surrounding country because the soft Gondwana sandstones 
and shales have afforded an easier path to the injected material 
than the harder surrounding crystalline rocks 

The main structural features of the district as expressed by the 
„^ , , ,. ,. strike of the rocks are directed 

structural directions. r, 

trom east to west, with some 
subsidiary deflections to north-west and south-east. The same 
directions are reflected in th'^ faulted fractures so frequent 

30 manbhum. 

tliroiighoiit the district: the main directions of faulting are also 
east-weBt and north-west to south-east. Both directions are 
conspicuously exhibited in the main faults of the Raniganj coal- 
fields. Both inside and outside tlie coalfields, the north-west to 
south-east direction is that most frequently followed by the great 
intrusive dolerite dykes of Eajmahal age. 

One of the most noteworthy rocks of Manbhum, not from its 
^ „ , bulk but for its wide distribution, 

Fault-rock, . i. .,. ■, 

IS a peculiar sihceous and some- 
times ferruginous rock which accompanies lines of faulting. 

The Oondwdna Coalfields, 

Though occupying less superficial extent than the gneiss and 
Dharwar formations, the Grondwana is the most important of 
the geological formations represented in Manbhum on account of 
the immense value of its associated coal seams. Indian geologists 
have divided the Gondwana system into a lower, a middle, and an 
upper series, of which the two first-named are exhibited in the 
Manbhum coalfields. 

The Gondwiina rocks occurring in Manbhum include the 
following subdivisions : — 

r Kamihi. 
Midtlle Gouclwaiia < 


Ironestoue shales. 
') i. Barakbar, 


The Talcher subdivision is of moderate and rather uniform 

thickness, about 500 to 800 feet. 

Talcbev stage. • I p c • j 

it consists 01 hne-gramed arena- 
ceous shales of greenish grey, more rarely of red colour, and 
fine-grained soft sandstones, greenish -grey or reddish, consisting 
of quartz and undecomposed felspar. The shales are greatly 
jointed and break up into angular, often pencil-shaped, fragments. 
They are frequently calcareous. The sandstones are somewhat 
thickly, though distinctly, bedded, occasionally interstratified with 
shales, and often break up into cubic pieces for which reason they 
have received the name of "tesselated sandstones." The sand- 
stones usually predominate in the upper portion of the Talchers, 
there being a gradual increase in the coarseness of the sediments 
as one ascends through the section. Pebbles of various dimen- 
sions, sometimes reaching the size of large boulders, are frequently 


scattered through tlie fine shales or mudstones towards tho base 
„ ,, , , of the series, and constitute the 

Talolier " boulder-beds.' The 
pebbles often consist of rocks that do not occur in tho nnighbour- 
hood of tho Talcbcr exposures in which they are found, and 
which must have boon earned from a distance by glaciers. 
Similar indications of oxtensive glaciatiou have been detected in 
many other parts of the world amongst rocks of the same geolo- 
gical age as tho Talchors, that is, belonging to the passage zone 
between "Carboniferous" and "Permian." At that period tho 
. . world must have passed through 

lermiau ice-age. . i ; • 

an ice-age somewhat similar to 
the one which immediately preceded tho present era. 

The Talcher beds are usually barren of coalseamf . The lower 
strata of the Talcher shales are unfossiliferous, as though, at tho 
time they were deposited, the climate wore still too severe for a 
luxurious development of vegetable life. The upper strata of tho 
Talcher are sometimes fossiliferous and contain a flora which is 
markedly dfferent from that of tho overlying Damodar, the leading 

Talcher fossils. *?''"^^ ^^'"^^ "^^^'^^^^ ^P'^^^^S ^^ ^ ^OS- 

sil fern known as Qancjamopteris. 
In the Raniganj and Jharia coalfields, the Taloher is succeed- 
ed with varying degrees of overlap and unconformity by the 
coal-measures of the Damodar division. The Damodar stage is 
most completely represented in the Raniganj coalfield whicli 
-,- , , may bo taken as the type for 

Damodar stage. ., . ^. . . . ■^ >■ 

this division, the differences in 
other areas consisting principally in the absence or less complete 
development of the newer sub- stages. 

The three sub-stages exhibited in the llaniganj field are in 
ascending order, the Barakhar, ironstone shales, and Eaniganj. 

The Barakhars, with a thickness of about 2,000 feet, consist of 

course conglomerates with white or buff sandstones and numerous 

coal-seams, tho lowermost of whieli are often very thick. The 

pebble beds ore particularly frequent towards the base of the 

„ _, , , , sub-stago, the sediments becom- 

uiu-akhar sub-stage. . j n n 

mg gradually faner in an upward 
direction. The Barakhar sandstones are sometimes felspathic, 
but the felspar grains nro kaolinisod, instead of being imdecom- 
posed, as in tho case of the Talchors. 

Tho ironstone shales, about 1,400 feet thick, are black carbo- 

Ironstone sbalos. l^^QOMQ shalos, with numerOUS 

bands of clay ii"onstono, the fer- 
ruginous element occurring in the form of iron carbonate. They 


sometimes constitute valuable iron-ores. The average amount of 

metallic iron in the clay-ironstones is 39 per cent. Some of the 

richer bands in the Eaniganj coalfield contain as much as 54 

per cent. 

The Raniganj sub-stage, with a maximum thickness of 5,000 

. , feet, which it attains only in the 

Ranigan] sub-stage. . . "^ 

Kaniganj coalbeid, consists of 

sandstones, both coarse and fine-grained, mostly felspathic and 

false-bedded, intercalated with a large proportion of shales, 

together with coal-seams. The coal seams are thinner, but more 

constant than in the Barakhar. 

Fossil plants occur abundantly in some of the Damodar strata. 

The leading fossils belong to the 

Damodar fossils. „ ° ^ . ^ , • 

genera (jriossopteris, behtzoneura 
Pfipllotheca &nd iSjjhenop/iyllnm, the first of which is allied to the 
ferns, the other three to the Equisetacece. 

All three subdivisions of the Damodar, together with the 
underlying Talcher, are exposed both in the Eaniganj and 
Jharia coalfi-elds. The overlying Panchet beds are absent from 

the Jharia coalfield, but are well 
° ■ exposed it the Raniganj coal- 

field where they occupy a c msiderable arei*, in the southern part 
of the coal-basin, and constitute the underscarp of Panchet hill, 
the upper crags of which consist of Kamthi sandstone. In the 
Raniganj field they attain a total thickness of about 1,500 feet 
consisting principally of very false-bedded coarse sandstones 
and red clays, with the exception of the lowest 250 or 300 feet 
which consist of grey and greeuish-grey sandstones and shales^ 
often micaceous and very thin-bedded, and not unlike some of the 
Talcher beds. 

The Panchet beds are barren of coal-seams. Sometimes 
they contain poorly preserved impressions of fossil plants, which, 
when recognisable, appear to be closely related to or identical 

with common Damodar forms. 
Vertebrate fossils. rpj^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ yj^j^^^ remnants 

of labyrinthodont amphibians belonging to the genera Gonio- 
glyptus. CljipotognathuH and Pachygonia. and primitive reptiles of 
the genera Dycinodon and Ep^cmupodon. 

Both in the Raniganj and Jharia coalfi.elds the Gondwana 

strata are penetrated by nunaerous 
Intrusive rocks in Gondwana coal igneous intrusions, principally in 

the form of dykes, which usually 
stop short at the faulted boundaries of the coal-basins, although 
they occasionally extend beyond them. They are mostly or 


entirely of later age than the faults. Their preponderance within 
the Goudwana areas probably stands in relation to the fractured 
condition of the earth's crust in those sunken areas, and also 
with the greater ease vdth. which the relatively soft sediments 
of the Gondwanas could bo rent asuuder by intrusive masses 
as compared witli the much more compact surrounding gneisses 
and schists. 

These intrusions are connected with the llajmahal period of 
volcanic activity, probably of liassic age. They belong to two 
distinct types : — 

(1) A group of mica- peridot ites remarkable for the amount 

of apatite they contain. 

(2) Large dykes of ordinary busalt or dolerite. 

Both sets of intrusions belong to one geological epoch, though 
the mica-peridotites are more frequently observed crossing the 
dolerite ones than the reverse. 

The djkes of mica-peridotite are generally narrow, not 
„. . , ^.^ exceeding 3 to 5 feet, and at the 

surface are always decomposed 
to a soft buff-coloured crumbling earth, which is often vesicular 
and contains remnants of partially decomposed bundles of mica. 
The vesicular appearance is caused by the removal of some of 
the minerals by superficial weathering. Traced below the surface 
in the colliery workings, the rocks where unaffected by surface 
alteration, have a very different aspect, appearing as compact, 
tough and almost black rocks with spangles of biotite, glassy- 
looking porphyritic crystals of olivine, and large numbers 
of acicular crystals of apatite. They are seen to send out 
ramifications into the surrounding coal and sandstones and 
in some places they thicken out into boss-like masses or even 
spread out in wide sheets along the bedding planes, coking the 
coal with the production of remarkable columnar structures 
baking the shales, and partially fusing the folspathic sandstones 
into compact rocks. 

Fresh specimens of these mica-poridotites have a speciSc 
gravity of nearly 3. The primary minerals of the unaltered 
rocks, arranged in their order of crystallisation, are apatite, 
olivine, magnetite with varying atnounts of chromite and ilmenite, 
biotite, a brown hornblende which has been regarded as antho 
phyllite, augite. The secondary minerals developed by the 
contact with the coal-seams are serpentine, secondary magnetite, 
a titaniferous mineral which has been regarded as perofskite^ 
rhombohedral carbonates, chiefly dolomite, pyrites, 



A constant character of these remarkable rocks is the 
-- ^.1-1 -11 exceptional quantity of apatite 

Exceptional ncliuess in pnospuorus. ^ . 

(phosphate of lime) which they 
contain, amounting in some of the freshest specimens from 
underground workings to as much as II "5 per cent, of the 

The basalt and dolerite dykes are easily distinguished 
D 1 r't d kes from the associated intrusions of 

mica-poridotite, by their physical 
and minoralogical characters and their frequently much greater 
dimensions. They display a more or less columnar or polyhedral 
jointing, and the spheroidal jointing that usually characterise 
such rocks. They sometimes attain a thickness of 100 feet, and 
yet the action on the adjacent strata is in no way comparable 
to the effects of the much narrower intrusions of mica-peridotite. 
They do not penetrate the coal-seams like the mica-peridotites, 
and have never been observed to spread out into sills parallel 
with the stratification. 

The specific gravity of these rocks averages 2*99. They 
consist chiefly of olivine, plagioclase felspar, and augite. 

The Goudsvana coal has a very pronounced laminated 

„, „ , _ , appearance, owing to its being 

The Goiidwaua coal. . ^^ . , , ° „ , *^ 

invariably composed of layers of 

varying thickness, which consist alternately of a bright jet-liiie 
black substance, and of a dull lustreless material. The brighter 
portions consist of very pure coal, while the dull portions are 
nothing more than an extremely carbonaceous shale. Hence 
the value of any Gondwana coal depends mainly on the propor- 
tion of bright laminae. In many instances the carbonaceous 
coal constituting the dull layers is too impure to soften by heat 
and constitutes an impediment to the manufacture of coke. 
Nevertheless excellent coke is obtained from many Gondwana 

The rlisturbed condition of the earth's crust along the main 
lines of faulting of the great coalfields, is revealed by the 

presence of mineral springs. 

Hot springs along faulted bound- rni -i. t J il. "Tk- i 

^yj"g ^ ° ° Those situated near the Damodar 

river have especially attracted 
attention, such as the one situated below Chanch, on the faulted 
boundary of the Eaniganj coalfield, Two miles south-west of 
the Chanch spring is that of Tentulia on the south bank of the 
Damodar river, which is sulphurous and is said to have a tempera- 
ture of 190° F. (88° 0.). There is another hot spring on the 
north bank of the Damodar, situated 5 miles east by north of the 



eastern termination of the Jliaria coalfield along the eastern 
eoutinualion of the main boimdary fault of that coal-basin. 

A hot or tepid spring is said to iiow at tho south-west corner 
of Susuuia hill where tho quarries of " Burdwau stono " aro 

The JJhdrudr si/stem. 

The next older group of rocks anterior to the Gondwanas is 
the Dharwar system which is indeed considerably more ancient, 
since it includes tho oldest undoubted sediments mot with in India. 

The main outcrop of tho Dharwars forms the southernmost 

belt of Manbhum district. Tho 

Northern boundary of inuin outcrop ^^^j^g^n boundary of this OUt- 

of I'Uarwars, •' 

crop is described as a fault. The 
most eastern point where it has been observed is along the 
borders of the alluvium near Bhelaidiha in Bankira district, and 
from there it has been followed westwards to a point beyond 
Bandgaon in Kanchi district, for a total distance of more than 
100 miles. Tho faulted boundary runs just north of the towns 
of Ambikanagar and Barabhum, and crosses the Subarnarekha 
river six miles north-west of its confluence with its important 
tributary, the Karkari. The town of Barabhum, though situated 
south of the northern boundary of tho Dharwar belt, is not built 
on Dharwar rooks, but on an inlier of granitic gneiss. 

The Dharwars consist of quartzites, quartzitic sandstones, 

slates of various kinds, shales, hornblendic, mica, talcose and 

^ ,., ,. , ,„ _ _ chloritic schists, the latter pass- 

Loustitution of DLuiwtirs. j • i. 

ing into potstones, and mter- 
stratified greenstones or diorites with what appear to be inter- 
stratified volcanic ash beds. 

A particularly noteworthy rock amongst the Dharwars is a 

Calcareous jasper. distinctly bedded siliceous rock 

having the appearance ot black 
chert or Lydian stone or jasper. Its surface, under the influence 
of weathering, assumes a white crust, due to the removal of a 
small quantity of carbonate of lime. The colour is an intense 
black and the fracture conchoidal. These jaspidous rocks some- 
times graduating into limestone aro frequently observed amongst 
the ancient sediments of India. 

Throughout the area of the Dharwar rocks, niagnesiun schists 
are of common occurienco ; they vary considerably in texture and 

composition. There are talcose 

1 otstoue, , ^ , -1 ..• V i „i 

and chlontic schists, soapstones, 
and potstones; many of the varieties are quairitd and 

D 2 

36 MlNBHUM. 

manufactured by means of rude lathes into plates, curry-dishes 
basins, and Mahadeos. One variety is not much esteemed owing to 
its inability to sustain heat. This is probably due to the presence 
of chlorite which contains a larger percentage of water of 
combination than the talcose minerals. The cracking of this 
variety is, therefore, doubtless caused by the liberation of this 
water when heat is applied. 

So far as any regular sequence can be made out amongst the 
, T., _ _ Dharwar beds, it would seem as 

Setiut-nce amongst Dharwars. ■,■,■, , , , • i 

though the lowest strata consist 
of chloritic schists and potstones accompanied by hornblendic 
rooks and quartzites. A somewhat higher zone appears to consist 
of slates, schists, and of particular earthy shales closely resembling 
those of the Talcher series, and, like them, perhaps indicating 
the former existence of glacial conditions at a still more remote 
period of the earth's history. 

Along the faulted northern boundary, the line of fracture has 

become, by means of infiltration, 
Fault-rocks along boundary of ^j^^ receptacle of various mineral 

Dharwars. ^ ..„.,. 

substances, prmcipally silica and 
ores of iron. In many places the iron ore first deposited -as 
subsequently been replaced by fine-grained quartz, some of 'che 
pseudomorphic plates of which show the delicate etching which 
occurs on "specular iron", while in other cases the iron has not 
been completely removed, but is retained in the interstices. 
Sometimes the quartz occurs massive but penetrated by numerous 
intersecting veins. The line of fracture is particularly evident 
to the north and north-east of Ambikanagar, near the eastern 
border of the district, where it is marked by deposits of hsematite 
which appear to contain a great abundance of rich ore. In the 
hills between Balarampur and Bauch, nine miles west by north 
of Ambikanagar, there is, along the same line of fracture, another 
strong deposit of hsematite, bejond which, and on the same 
disturbed line, there is an old worked-out copper mine in which 
traces of malachite and azurite are still to be found as encrusta- 
tions on the neighbouring rocks. In its vicinity there is a 
vein of coarse crystalline dolomitic limestone. Further west, 
a^ain, the fault is marked for a distance of 10 miles towards 
Barabhum by a range of hills 250 to 300 feet high, and striking 
25*^ north of west, which consist of pseudomorphic quartz. 
Exposures of fault rock are also observed at a distance of 18 
miles west of Barabhum. West of the Subamarekha river, 
the western continuatiou of the fault has been traced into Ranchi 



Tho Dliarwars constitute a region of jiinglo-clad hills, the 

lines of height generally follow- 
Pbysical feiituves of Dhfirwar out- [^g i^^ east-wcst trend concording 

with the strike of the stratifica- 
tion. It is tho harder bands among>t the strata which are 
particularly adapted to stand out as hills, and the succession of 
hill-fomiers is best see a in tho neighbourhood of the Subarna- 
rekha river ; the northernmost range consists of a cherty 
quartzite which rises into saddle-shaped hummocks, then follow 
two chains of truncated or perfectly conical hills formed of 
slate, then a massive range of irregular elevation composed of 
basic volcanic or intrusive rock whoso highest part forms the fine 
hill of Dalma. South of the igneous range are two more ranges, 
one of felspathic quartzite, and the other of talcose and micaceous 
schists of tolerably equable elevations throughout. 

The Dalma trap forms, as it were, the backbone of the hilly 

region in southern Manbhum 

The Dulma Trap. ° , i •-,•;. ^ r 

and separated this district from 
that of Singhbhum situated next to the south, 

Thd exact relation of the Dalma trap to the associated rooks 
is not quite clear owing to their disturbed condition and to the 
amount of alteration which they have suffered. The rock 
constituting the " Dalma Trap " is not a continuous compact 
intrusion, for it is interleaved with some of th i typical representa- 
tives of tho Dharwars, such as indurated chloritic schists . 
Perhaps it may include both interbedded and intruded elements. 
The occurrence of southerly dips amongst the beds north of the 
band of volcanics, and of northtirly dips amongst those south of it, 
might lead one to infer a synclinal structure, bat this is not confirmed 
by any repetition of the beds on either side of the supposed 
synclinal axis. Moreover, the occurrence of masses of haematite 
on the north side of the volcanic rocks, similar to those observed 
along the northern faulted boundary of the Dharwars, suggests 
the existence of local faults indicating that the structure is complex. 

Lithologically the " Dalma Trap " is sometimes compact, 
sometimes vesicular and amygdaloidal. At other times it exhibits 
a brecciated structure. It belongs to the class of rocks which 
petrologists classify under the name of ''epidiorite," that is, 
a basic igneous rock which has undergone alteration through 
earth-movements subsequent to its consolidation, the main result 
of the alteration being the transformation of the mineral 
" augite" into the mineral "hornblende." 

The Dalma Trap appears to represent one particular horizon 
corresponding with a period of exceptionally pronounced volcanio 

38 MiNBHUM. 

aotivity. It is not, however, the only volcanic rock associated 
with the Dharwars ; all through the Dharwar outcrop there are 
hornblendio rocks and presumed ash-beds which seem to be of 
volcanic origin. 

At Bangurda, six miles south-east by south of Barabhum, 
there is a basic igneous rock which forms a range of bare red 
hills. The colour is due to the weathering out and decomposition 
of magnetic iron, and the detritus from it is almost identical with 
one of the commonest varieties of laterite. 

The Dharwar strata of Manbhum, in spite of their great 

geological antiquity, are often 

Degree of metamorphism of Dharwars. i , t i li u i i. 

^ ^ but very slightly altered, much 

less so than in most other outcrops of these rocks in other parts of 
India ; slaty cleavage is sometimes so feebly developed that the 
argillaceous varieties of the strata are merely in the condition of 
shales. It often happens, however, that the rocks are considerably 
metamorphosed, just as much as in other parts of India, and have 
become slaty, or even crystalline. 

In places where the degree of metamorphism is not greatly 
pronounced, the finer sediments do not assume the form of slates, 
but merely consist of ordinary shales, some of the green-coloured 
varieties of which might be easily mistaken for Talcher shales 
were it not for the quartz-veins which traverse them and which are 
not observed amongst the Gondwana sediments 

The metamorphism is perhaps less pronounced in the eastern 

and southern portions of the 

Auriferous veins. tm - - i_ j j.t- • -i. ii, 

Dharwar band than in its north- 
ern and western parts ; it is, howevo^\ very irregularly distributed. 
The quartz-veins, which cut through the Dharwar sediments in all 
situations, are frequently auriferous. 

Granitic intrusions are absent from the great spread of 
Dharwar rocks which occupies the southernmost part of the 
district. Yet the intrusive granites observed in the middle belt of 
the district may be partly of later age than the Dharwars ; only 
as the rocks with which they come into contact are either pre- 
Dh&rwar gneisses, or else schists which may be of Dharwar age 
but are metamorphosed beyond recognition, it is impossible, at 
present, to obtain undoubted evidence in this respect. 

Close to the eastern edge of Manbhum district there are some 

outliers of Dharwars surrounded 

Dharwar outUers near Manbazar. i . i j. -j. j j -j. 

by gneiss, but situated quite 
close to the main outcrop. They are observed principally in the 
neighbourhood of Manbazar. They are affected by well-marked 
faults, the edges of the different formations being in some places 


in abrupt contact and in others only separated by ridges of 
pseudomorphic quartz or lodes of brown hoeraatite. The rocks 
occurring in these detuclied areas are chiefly alternations of 
quarlzites, potstones, and horublendic rocks corresponding to the 
lowest zone of the Dharwars of this area. 

In the middle belt of Manbhum, the Dharwars are inter- 
foliated to such an extent with 
Susuniu hill. ^^^^^ gneisses and perhaps with 

younger granites that it becomes difficult to separate tliem, and 
no accurate mapping of this area has yet been attempted. The 
most remarkable outlier of the Dharwars in this middle belt is that 
constituting Susunia hill, and which yields the so-called Biirdwan 
paving stone. Susunia hill is about 15 miles south-south-west of 
Uiiniganj ; it rises abruptly to a height of 1,443 fuct. It 
is chiefly formed of quartzites and felspathic Cj[uartzites, 
with occasional traces of mica. The beds dip generally 10° east 
«of north at angles of 20° to 25°, but owing to some rolls and 
contortions, the azimuth varies to east, north-east, and north- 
west. The beds are traversed by three systems of joint planes 
which facilitate the quarrying of the stone to a very material 

Other outcrops, probably also representing altered Dharwars, 

are observed up to the north- 
Altered rocks jierliaps rePcriiiilo to ernmost limit of the district. 

For instance, at Pandua Hat, 
a locahty situated J 3 miles west of Barakhar, midway l)etween 
the Kauiganj and Jharia coalfields, there are mica schists 
succeeded to the north by thick aud tliiu even-bedded groy, palo 
drab and brown quartzo-felspathio rocks with a dip of lo to 15° 
to the north, which show but small signs of metamorphism, and 
probably ropreseut a local outcrop of Dharwar rocks. 

Another series of rocks which possil^ly may represent 
metamorphosed Dharwars, are a succession of schists which are 
situated south of the eastern portion of the Jharia coalfield, 
and which are particularly clearly exposed in the Tasarkua 
river and in the Growai river below its confluence with the 
Tasarkua. They include mica-schists and ohloritic schists pass- 
ing into potstones, some of which have been quarried for plate - 
making, but being generally distinctly schistose, and therefore 
too fissile, are much less suitable for the purpose than are the 
compact varieties which are common in the unaltered or slightly 
altered at eas of the Dharwars. The mica schists of the Tasjirkua 
and Gowai exposures frequently contain crystals of garnet, 
tourmaline and kyauite. AU these rocks are profusely injected 


with veins of granite and pegmatite which no doubt account for 
their condition of metamorphism. 

Alluvial gold washings occur at a number of localities 

throughout the Dharwar area. 
^° ■ The gold in the alluvium origi- 

nates from the disintegration of the numerous auriferous quartz 
veins which intersect the Dharwar slates, but do not contain the 
precious metal in sufficiei.t proportion to repay the cost of mining. 

The largest grains of alluvial gold so far recorded were 
obtained from the Grurum river never Dhadka, and were accom- 
panied by minute flakes of platinum. 

T^he same streams which contain alluvial gold that has 
accumulated in the sand owing to its heavy specific gravity, also 

contain accumulations of maffne- 
Magnetic sands. j • • •■ , -, 

tic iron sand, whose accumula- 
tion is due to the same mechanical causes. The magnetite is 
derived from the disintegration of certain chlorite schists crowded 
with magnetite crystals which abound in certain parts of the 
Dharwar outcrop. 

ArcJman Gneisses. 

The northern belt of Manbhum is not occupied exclusively 

by the Grondwana rocks described 

Distribution or Arcliajan gneisses. . ,. -n ,-, ■, n ■, ■, 

m connection with the coalfields 
but also includes various ancient gneisses and schists occupying 
the interval between the Eaniganj and Jharia coalfields. They 
have received very little attention as compared with the rocks 
of the coal-basins, and, in all their characters they agree essential- 
ly with the crystalline rocks occupying so extensive an area 
throughout the middle belt of Manbhum. 

The rocks in the middle belt of Manbhum consist partly of 

an older set of foliated gneisses 

The Bengal gneiss. j i • i j L^ £ 

and schists and partly oi a newer 
set of intrusive granites. The older set which constitutes the 
geological group, known as the " Bengal Gneiss," includes mica- 
schists, chloritic schists, quartzites, felspathic qiiartzites, horn- 
blende schists, biotite and hornblende granitic gneisses some of 
which are porphyritic. A great many of these rocks are older 
than the Dharwars; but amongst them are probibly included 
foliated members of the Dharwar series whose characters have 
become disguised by regional metamorphism. The granitic in- 
trusions are probably newer than the Dharwars. 

Except for local disturbances, the general trend of the gneisa 
throughout the middle belt of Manbhum is east- west. 

6E0L0GY. 4l 

Strongly foliated biotite and horublondo gneisses constitute 

the Tundi hills at the north-west 

Constitution of i^ueissee. . o ■■ rm 

extremity oi the area. Ihey are 
traversed by numerous basic intrusions and runs of siliceous 

The region situated north-east of the Jharia coalfield and 
south-east of the Tundi hills iucludes a considerable variety of 
gneissose and schistose rocks, amon;j;-8t wliich wo may specially 
luention hornblendic schists, mica schists, and coarse porphyritic 
granitoid gneisses. 

Those porphjritio gneisses are also observed at the extreme 
north of the district where they occupy a zone which can be 
followed from north of Q-obindpur, a town situated on the 
Grand Trunk Road, up to the foot of Parasnath hill. 

The area situated between the two great coalfields is tra- 
versed by numerous runs of quartji; rock, no doubt representing 
the continuation of the faults that affect the areas occupied by the 
Gondwana rocks. 

Pegmatite veins and basic dykes are abundant also in the 
gneissose country intervening between the two great coalfields 

The analysis of the porphyritic gneiss indicates a granite with 

two felspars or " granitite," with 
Composition of porphyritic gneiss. ^.^^j^^ ^^ ^^ muscovite. The 

silica is low for a granite (67*60 per cent.), and the proportions 
of sod.i, lime, and iron indicate an approach to the rooks known 
as *'diorite " Rocks of this type are very abundant amongst the 
oldest gneisses of the Indian peninsula, belonging to the type of 
the '' Bengal Gneiss." 

Certain varieties of the gneiss contain garnets ; such are the 

gneisses with or without horn- 

Garnet and pyroxene eneisses. i i i i • i , • , , . « 

blende which constitute most of 
the hills situated immediately south of the Raniganj coalfield. 
Garnet-bearing rocks, described as altered intrusions, also occur 
along the Ijri valley south of the Jharia coalfield. 

The pyroxene gneiss constituting the lofty Parasnath hill on 
the borders of Manbhum and Hazaribagh also contains garnets 
and recalls the " Nilgiri Ghieiss " of Southern India. 

Ancient intrusive rocks. 

Perhaps the most striking crystalline rock in Manbhum is 

_,^ .. , . „ the intrusive poiphyiitic granite 

The " dome-gnei88." . , , ^ , 

or gneiss known as the '' dorao- 

neiss*' which is conspicuously developed in the middle belt of the 

42 mAnbhum. 

district where it outcrops principally along two elongated areas 
of considerable size, the more northerly or rather more north- 
easterly of which commences in the countrj'- round Bero, a village 
situated 5 miles south of Panchet hill, and extends from there 

in a west by south direction with 

Distribution of granitic intrusions. x i i i l\ j? n i m i 

" a total length of 20 miles and an 

average breadth of 4 or 5 miles. The second zone commences 
abruptly near the village of Ladhurka, about 11 miles east- 
north-east of Furulia; it is about 4 miles wide, and from thence 
to the banks of the Subarnarekha, about 40 miles of it extends 
without interruption. Beyond the Subarnarekha, too, it has been 
traced for many miles into the district of Eanchi. 

In addition to these two main outcrops there are some smaller 
areas occupied by the same formation, and lithologically similar 
rocks also occur interbedded, probably as intrusive sills, with the 
ordinary gneissose rocks in many parts of the district. 

The numerous pegmatite veins which are scattered through 
the gneiss area are no doubt connected with the same set of 

The " dome-gneiss " is a coarsely granitic rook composed of 

quartz, muscovite-mica, and orth- 

Constitution of "dome-gneiss". , p , i-i i ij 

oclase lelspar, the latter occurring 
both in the general matrix and as large porphyritic " amygdal- 
oidal " crystals which communicate to the rock almost a con- 
glomeratic appearance. The colour of the felspar is usually 
pink or grey, though it is occasionally of a brick-red colour as 
in the picturesque conical hills situated west of Bero, a village 
situated 5 miles south of the hill known as Panchet hill which 
forms the south-west corner of the Raniganj coalfield. 

The rock has a tendency to weather into dome-like bosses and 
tors. It is from this tendency that it derives the name of 
"dome-gneiss "• Especially remarkable in appearance are the 
steep conical hills formed by this rock near the village of Jhalda, 
5 miles from the left bank of Subarnarekha, near the western 
border of the district. 

Hornblende bearing varieties also occur, for instance, north 
of Bero hill and at Paghunathpur. 

Another set of hornblende-gr mite gneisses detached from 
the main outcrop occurs in the Sindurpur and Tilabani hills 
situated some 12 miles northeast of Purulia, Tilabani hill also 
containing porphyritic granitic gneisses. The hornblende- 
granite gneiss weathers into huge masses which are sometimes 
40 feet in diameter ; these, when seen piled on one another as 
on the Sindurpur hills, produce a very striking effect. 


The porphyritie stnicturo, although very commonly developed 
is ocoasioiially wanting. " Segregation veins" of coarser texture 
constituting the rock known as pegmatite occur throughout the 
large outcrops of the "dome gneiss." They also extend beyond 
the boundaries of the dome-gneiss into the surrounding older 
schists and gneisses, when they are apt to become excessively 

coarse-grained. When travers- 

Pe2:uiatite veins. . . i • j n ^ 

ing nuca schists they become 
loaded with mica which crystallizes in gigantic crystals yielding 
the tH)nmiercial mica which is supplied in large quantities by the 
mines in the neighbouring district of tlazaribagh. 

Exceptional rocks. 

Many remarkable minerals are found in the areas occupied 
by the gneisses. 

A remarkable vein of blue kyanite (silicate of alumina) and 
muscovite mica (silicate of alumina and potash), with an average 
thickness of two feet, has been followed for a distance of G miles, 

approximately 3 miles east and 

Kyanite anil corundum vein l c o n • mi •, / •• 

west 01 fealbani, a village situated 
some 6 miles west-north-west of Barabhum. At some places 
the kyanite is associated with large masses of corunium (pure 
alumina) of a beautiful sapphire colour, but too much flawed 
and clouded to be cut as gems. Occasionally the minerals 
tounnaline (complex silico-borate of alumina and magaesia) and 
r utile (oxide of titanium) are also found associated with the 
kyanite The kyanite vein accompanies some coarse-grained 
quartz-tourmaline rocks and micaceous beds running east and 
west and situated one quarter of a mile north of the boundary of 
the Dharwar beds. 

Close to Panchet liill, just outside the south-western corner 
of the Ranigauj coalfield, the gueissoso and schistose rocks 
are locally characterised by contaiuing interbedded calcareous 

schists which have been largely 

Ualcareous scliists. • -, , i i . o j 

quarried to supply lime for the 

manufacture of iron by the Bengal Iron Works Company. It 

is possilAe tliat tlioso rooks represent metamorphosed Dharwars. 

Throughout the gneissoso areas one observes occasionally 

„ ,, , , , , runs of siliceous fault rock, and 

Fault-rock and dykes. i i • • , • 

also basic intrusions, some of 

which are very ancient and perhaps of the ago of the " Dalma 

Trap," while other less ancient ones belong to tlie game system 

as the basic dykes of Rajmahal ago which aro so numerous in 
the Gondwana coalfields. 


The older basic rocks, whether intrusive or not, have almost 
invariably been altered by regional metamorphism, and owing 
to the transformation of the original augite into hornblende 

(uralite) they are in the condition 
'"""^^^' of '' epidiorites." The only 

recorded exception is in the case of some iutrusive rocks situated 
in the midst of the gneiss north-east of Susunia hill (a hill 
situated 15 miles south-south-west of Raniganj, from which the 
so-called "Burdwan stone" is quarried), and in the case also 
of the great mass of gneissose rocks constituting the lofty 
Tarasnath hill on the borders of Manbhum and Hazaribagh. 
The intrusive basic rocks near Susunia hill are said to contain 
the variety of augite known as " diallage," and would appear 
to belong therefore to the class of rock defined by petrologists 
as "gabbro" which is characterised by the presence of this 
mineral. 1 1 contains a large proportion or the silicate of lime 
and alumina known as " anorthite " in consequence of which 
it approaches in composition to the rocks known to petrologists 

under the name of ' anorthosite". 
• Anorthosite. rpj^^ ^^^^ ^^ Parasnath hill is a 

garnet-hearing pyroxene-gneiss resembling the "Nilgiri Gneiss'' 
. „ „ _^, of Southern India. 

Pyroxene-gneiss oi Farusnath. 

In addition to the basic intrusions, there are also intrusions 

Felspar porphyry. ^^ ^^^'P^^ porpbyry, perhaps 

offshoots from the same original 
molten mass as the granites constituting the " dome -gneiss". 
Porphyries of this kind are met with, in particular 7 miles south- 
south-east of Eaniganj, along the Bankura road, where their 
direction of strike is 35° north of east, oblique therefore to that of 
the gneiss which, in this neighbourhood, seldom departs from true 
east and west. The porphyries can be traced in a south-westerly 
direction for about 7 miles from the road. 

Laterite and clay. 

The easternmost border of Manbhum touches the margin of the 
great spread of lateritic and alluvial formations which occupy the 
greater portion of the districts of Bankura and Midnapore, where 
the laterite forms a deposit of several feet in thickness Laterite 
also occurs in thinner spreads, pretty generally distributed over 
Manbhum. Four distinct varieties of this rock occur, which may 
be thus described: — 

1. Pisolitic, sometimes concreted, but towards the surface 
generally in the form of loose gravel. 


2. (a) Conglomeratic — coutains both rouudcd and angular 

fragments of quartz. 
(0) Conglomerate passing into coarse grit. 

3. Concretionary. 

4. Compact, occurring in stratified beds 

The two latter varieties are those principally occurring along 
the eastern borders of the district where they are gradually 
encroached upon, mostly outside the boundary of the district, by 
recent alluvium. 

At many places in M&nbhum there are thick deposits of clay 
the most important of which is at tlie northern ba^^c of the 
Baghmundi plateau, an elevated tract of gneissose rocks near the 
western border of the district ; here the clay deposit sometimes 
attains a thickness of GO feet 

Valuable minerals. 

The principal mineral of economic importance is coal since 
the district includes portions of the two richest coalfields in 
India, that is the western portion of the Raniganj coalfield, and 
nearly the whole of the Jharia coalKeld. 
^ The other mineral products which are worked remuneratively 
but on a munh smdler scale, are iron, "potstoue'', building 
stones, and to a very small extent, alluvial gold. 

The coal-seams worked in this district belong partly to the 

Barakhar and partly to the Rani- 
ganj subdivision, the great major- 
ity of collieries exploiting the former in both coalfields so far 
as Ma ubhum district is concerned: the rich seams of Raniganj 
coal are situated mostly in Burdwan district. The Jharia coal- 
field produces on an average some 4 or 5 millions of tons an- 
nually, anJ yields about half the total output of the coal in India 
The iron-ores from the ironstone-shales of the Raniganj 

coal-basin are smelted at the 
'""■ works of " Bengal Iron and 

Steel Company " at Barakh ir, which yield an average produce 
of 40,000 tons of "pig iron ". 

The only stone at present largely quarried and used for 

building purposes is the coarse 
BuildiiK stones. gandstono at Barakhar. It has 

been used for public buildings in Calcutta, as well as locally for 
the Barakhar bridge and the railway. It is of very unequal 
quality and texture, and has been proved to bo incapable of 
sustaining great pressure. For all ordinary building purposes, 
however, it is very useful. 



The quartzites and felspathic quartzites of Susunia hill have 
long been quarried and manufactured into flags, curbstones, etc., 
and are known in Calcutta as Burdwan paving stones. 

A rock of similar character to that of Susunia occurs in the 
south part of the district, but is not nearly so accessible. 

Limestone occurs, but apparently in small quantity, on the 

southern fault of the Eaniganj 
coalfield. Limestone occurs at 
the junction of the Damodar and Panchet beds at the north- 
west corner of the base of Pauchet hill. 

Occasionally in this district, a kind of calcareous tufa derived 
from former hot springs is found in crevices in the hills. It is 
commonly spoken of by the natives as Asarhar or giant's bones. 
Close to Dhekia, a village situated 2 miles east by south 

of Dhadka, at the south-east 
corner of the district, there is a 
load of argentiferous galena in a sandy mica schist belonging to 
the Dharwar system. 





Of the early history of Iho territory now iucludod within the kariy 
district of Manhhum but Utile is known with any certainty ; no ^'stouy. 
written records of any con8id<u-able antiquity exist, there are no 
ancient inscriptions, and the light that might have been thrown 
on the subject by the traditions handed down in the families of 
the proprietors of the soil is obscured by their attempts to manu- 
facture for themselves an origin outside the district, and to secure 
for themselves recognition as Eajpnts. 1 Reference will be made 
to these traditional family histories, but little of value from the 
point of view of scientific history is to be gathered from them. 

The district name is apparently derived from one of the fiscal 
divisions within it, and is a mere artificial product of comparative- 
ly recent times, which cannot be taken as indicating any speci- 
ally close connection in earlier times between the dilt'erent estates 
within the district. Though, therefore, we may accept the deri- 
vation of Manbhum suggested in the preceding chapter as equi- 
valent to the "land of the Mai, Male or Malor," this does not 
assist us very much, beyond showing that one of the most easter- 
ly estates or petty kingdoms derived its name from one of the 
branches of the JMunda family. The typical aboriginal race 
within the district to this day is the Bhumij, and of his close 
connection, if not complete identification, with the Munda, there 
can be no doubt. The Mundas as Moned^s and the Male as 
Malli were known to Pliny and are described by him as being" 
along with the Sauri, in occupation of the inland country to the 
south of Palibothra (Tatna). The Sauri are generally identified 
with the modern Savaras, who, though they no longer speak a 
dialect of Muudari, are undoubtedly Mundari by race. It is 
suggested that this name is derived from the Prakrit form of 
the Sanskrit ' s?//.a/-fl ' "a pig," a contemptuous name given by 
their Aryan neighbours en the nortli and west to the inhabitants 
of this area, just as the Hindus of later times gave the generic 
name of Kol or Kolhu, from the Sanskrit ' Jcola, ' also meaning 
" a pig," to the Munda, Ho, Bhumij, Oraon, Sonthal and other 
aboriginal races of these parts generally. 


Whatever the degree of accuracy in these derivations, there 
cnn be little doubt that Mundari or Kolarian races occupied the 
wild area south of Bihar in Pliny's time. Bihar itself, the ancient 
kingdom of M agadha, was at one time under the dominion of the 
Cheros, another branch of the great Mundari race, and Buchanan 
suggests that the modern Kols, using the word as covering all the 
Mundari races, are descended from that portion of the original 
population of Magadha which rejected the religion of Buddha and 
the civilisation of the Aryan immigrants, and migrated south to- 
wards the great forest country of Central India and Chota Nagpur. 
Ptolemy's Geography throws little more light on the subject 
beyond that he groups with the Mandalai and Sutrarai (the 
Monedes and Sauri of Pliny), the Kokkonagai, a n\me which is 
perhaps traceable to Karkhota Naga, the country of the Nag- 
bansis, and surviving still in the name Nagpur. 
The Jain In the 7th century of the Christian era, some more definite 
DHisTio' geographical material is available in the accounts of the travels 
BHA. by Hwen Thsang, These, as interpreted by Cunningham, show 

that between Orissa on the south, Magadha or Bihar on the north, 
Champa {query Bhagalpur and Burdwan) on the east, and 
Maheswara (in Central India) on the west lay the kingdom of 
Kie-lo-na Su-fa-la-tia or Kirema Suvama, ordinarily identified 
with the Subarnarekha river, ' rehha * and ' kirdna ' both meaning in 
Sanskrit a " ray," and the river in all probability getting its name 
from its auriferous sands. This, General Cunningham writes, must 
" have comprised all the petty hUl states lying between Midnapore 
and Sirguja on the east and west and between the sources of the 
Damodar and Yartarini on the north and south." The capital of 
this kingdom is variously placed by Cunningham at or near Bara- 
bazar in Pargana Barabhum, and by Hewitt at Dalmi in the 
adjoining pargana of Patkum where extensive ruins still exist. 
Mr. Beglar, who identifies the Chinese traveller's Kie-lo-na with 
Karanpur, a subdivision of Chota Nagpur, places the capital at or 
near Safaran (Su-fa-la-na), about 10 miles north-west of Dalmi. 
Both these places are situated on the river Subarnarekha, so that 
whichever interpretation of the name used by the Chinese travel- 
ler is adopted, it would seem to be more or less certain that some- 
where on this river, and probably in the part of the district just 
referred to, was situated the capital of a powerful kingdom. 
We are told that its king at that time was She-Shang-kia or 
Sasanka, famed as a great persecutor of Buddhists. 
Mr. Heq- The remains at Dalmi and other places in the immediate 
Thboby neighbourhood are elsewhere described; at Dalmi the Brah- 
manical element is most in evidence, but there are sufficient 


traces of Jain or Buddhistic influence to suggest the probability 
that a Jain or Buddhistic civilisation preceded the Brahmanical. 
The Jain element is more prominently marked at some of the 
neighbouring places, and there are very considerable remains also 
in other parts of the district, in some places purely Jain, in otheia 
Brahmanical, superimposed on or alongside early Jain remains. 
Mr. Beglar, who made a comprehensive study of these and 
similar remains from Tamluk to Patna and Gaya in 1S62-63, 
propounds an interesting and fairly probable explanation of these 
numerous remains of an advanced civilisation in a part of the 
country so little known in later years, and which from its natural 
features could never have lent itself readily to any general state 
of civilisation in the early days from which these relics date. 
This theory is that there must have been regular routes between 
Tamluk (Tamralipta), a place of very early importance in the east, 
and Patna (Pataliputra) , Graya, Rajgir and Benares in the north 
and west. Among the routes which he traces, so far as this 
district is concerned, is that from Tamluk to Patna via Ghatal, 
Bishunpur, Chatna (inBaukura), Raghunathpur, Telkupi, Jharia, 
RajauK (Gaya) and Rajgir. At or near all these places as well 
as others on the route are ruins ; at Telkupi in M aubhum the 
Damodar crossing is marked by very extensive ruins, mainly 
Brahmanical but partly Jain ; similar ruins exist near Palganj 
where the Barakhar river r/ould be crossed. According to iradi- 
tion the temples at Telkupi arc ascribed to merchants and not to 
Rajas or holy men, and the inference is that a large trading settle- 
ment sprung up at this point where the Damodar river w^mld 
present, at any rate in the rainy season, a very considerable 
obstacle to the travellers and merchants. Another great route 
passing through this district would be a more direct road to 
Benares ; marking the line of this are the extensive remains, Jain 
and Brahmanical, at Pakbira, Buddhpur and other places on the 
Kasai river near Manbazar ; it would pass further on through 
Barabazar and btill further west strike the Subarnarekha river at 
or near Dalmi ; Safaran and Suisa on the same bank of the river, 
another Dalmi and other adjoining places en the west bank, all 
contain traces of early Jain and Brahmanical civilisation, and 
Dalmi would certainly appear to have been a very considerable 
town. Further west the route wouLl pass Ranchi and Palamau 
where also there are remains Gross roads connecting the main 
Benares and Gaya routes explain the large collection of remains 
in the neighbourhood of Pakbira and Buddhpur; from this point 
to Palganj the route is marked by ruins at Balaranipur aud 
Charra near Purulia, at Para, at Chechaougarh and various 




neighbouring villages on the Damodar, and at Katras. Another 
route which Mr. Beglar has omitted, i.e., from Dalmi to Palganj, 
would after crossing the Ajodhya range pass Boram on the Kasai 
river where also there are extensive remains of about the same 
period as those at Dalmi. An intervening place on this route, 
Arsha Karandibi, also contains ruins which have not been 
examined. This route would, like the other, cross the Damodar 
near Checbaongarh and find its way via Katras to Palganj. 

Mr. Beglar justifies his theory in the following paragraph 
which is deserving of quotation in extenso. 

" It appears to me quite a mistake to imagine that districts 
Kke Manbhum, Palamau, the Sonthal Parganas, Jharkhand, &c., 
could ever have been extensively cultivated and peopled densely 
like the plains of Magadha or the volleys of the Jamuna and the 
Ganges; the occurrence of ruins among the wilds of Chutia 
Nagpur can only be due to the cities leaving from some generally 
intelligible natural cause sprung up at points along a great road ; 
and by no means to the whole district having been in a flourishing 
condition. The contrast between the profusion of remains 
scattered broadcast in the fertile and known densely-peopled 
plains of M agadha and the isolated remains in the wilder districts 
is too great to be explained away by any amount of imaginary 
dilapidations and destruction from any causes ; indeed, so far as 
destraction goes, buUt remains, in the civilised tracts, are generally 
in a far more advanced stage of decay (even when they have not 
absolutely disappeared as structures, leaving only the materials as 
witnesses) than those in the wilder places."* 
Col. Dal- ^^ would be difiicult to find a more reasonable interpretation 
ton's than this theory gives of the hints we get as to the ancient 
history of this area from such archseological evidence as exists. 
Nor is the theory inconsistent with the inference to be drawn 
from ethnological sources. It is true that in one place Mr. Beglar 
seems to assume that the Kolarian races only found their way 
into the district after the period of Brahmanical civilisation, a 
position which would not have been accepted by Colonel Dalton nor 
probably by later experts; it is not, however, necessary to assume 
an invasion to account for the extermination by the Kolarian races 
of the early civilisation, which was confined, as we have seen, to 
particular centres. Colonel Dalton's theory is a perfectly reason- 
able one, i.e., that the scattered colonies, which he accounts for 
as resulting from a peaceable extension of Brahmanical missions 
among the unsubdued Dasyas, gradually assumed a more aggressive 


* Arch»ological Survey of India Reports, Vol. VIII, page 51. 


attitude which drove the non-Aryan races living round about 
them into open revolt, and probably, after severe struggles, 
ended in a more or less complete extirpation of the Aryans, and 
the partial or complete destruction of their forts and cities and 
temples. The history of these races in more recent times gives 
more than one illustration of their capacity for living for years 
in apparent peace with their neighbours, and suddenly rising and 
attempting to overwhelm them. It is not difficult to suppose that 
the Aryan centres of civilisation contained the prototype of the 
modem moneylender, or that the absorption of the cultivated land 
by these, and the enslaving of the actual cultivator went on in 
those early days, and that when the cup was full, or his eyes 
were opened to what was happening, the Bhumij of those days 
rose and destroyed his oppressor, just as the Sonthal did in 

Reference is made elsewhere to a peculiar people bearing the 
name of Sarak (variously spelt) of whom the district still contains 
a considerable number. These people are obviously Jain by 
origin, and their own traditions as well as those of their neigh- 
bours, the Bhumij, make them the descendants of a race which 
was in the district when the Bhumij arrived; their ancestors 
are also credited with building the temples at Para, Charra., 
Boram and other places in these pre-Bhumij days. They are 
now, and are credited with having always been, a peaceable race 
living on the best of the terms with the Bhumij. To these and 
perhaps their local converts Colonel Dalton would ascribe the 
Jain remains. He places them in the district as far back as 
500 or GOO years before Christ, identifying the colossal image 
now worshipped at Pakbira under the name of Bhiram as Vir, 
the 24th Tirthancara whom Professor Wilson represents as 
having "adopted an ascetic life and traversed the country 
occupied by the Bajra Bhumi and the Sudhi Bhumi Avho abused 
and beat him and shot at him with arrows and barked at him 
with dogs, of which small annoyances he took no notice." The 
Bajra or terrible Bhumi are, according to Colonel Dalton, the 
Bhumij. He suggests, therefore, that it is not improbable that 
the shrines referred to mark the course taken in his travels by the 
great Saint " Vira" and were erected in his honour by tho people 
whom his teaching had converted, or, it may be —and this is more 
consistent with local tradition on which, however, no great 
weight can be placed — that ho merely visited places at which 
Jains were already established, within sight of the sacred mount 
Samaye whore 250 years earlier the Jina Paswa or Parasnath 
had obtained Nirvana. 

E 2 


Corabining Colonel Dalton's aud Mr. Beglar's theories we 
should get a long period of peaceful occupation of various 
centres by the Jains or Saraks left undisturbed by the Bhumij 
settlers whose advent must have been some time before Yir's 
travels. The Saraks must have been superseded some time before 
the 7th century by Brahmans and their followers ; such of them 
as survived or resisted conversion migrating to places away from 
the existing civilised centres where they remained unmolested 
by their Bhumij neighbours The 10th century, judging by 
such of the buildings as it is possible to date with any accuracy, 
saw the Brahmans at their prime, and some time between that and 
the 16th century the Bhumij, possibly assisted by fresh migra-i 
tions from the west and north, must have risen and destroyed 
them root and branch. The destruction of the Hindu temples is 
ordinarily ascribed to Muhammudans, but, so far as this area is 
concerned, there is no trace, not even in tradition, of any invasion. 
Mr. Beglar draws a similar inference from two inscriptions found 
by him at Grondwana en route from Barabazar to Chaibasa, the 
earlier of wdiich, though not interpretable, dates from the 6th 
or 7th century and the later to the 15th or 16th; the latter 
records the name of "Lakshmana first Banjara" which, read 
with the evidence of earlier use of the route to be inferred from 
the other inscription, suggests a period of 500 years or more 
during which trade along this route was stopped, and considering 
the reputation of the Bhumij in later years, it is hardly surprising 
that if the existing civilisation was forcibly uprooted, it would be 
long before the country would be oven comparatively safe for the 
ordinary traveller. 

History in the strict sense is certainly non-existent for the 
whole of this period ; there are no remains which can be positively 
ascribed to any date between the 10th or 11th csntury and the 
16th century, when Muhammadan influence on architecture begins 
to be evident ; the local zamindars' geneological trees give regular 
lines of succession throughout the period, but, as already stated, 
no reliance can be placed on them and probably all that can be 
said with any certainty is that they had their origin as reigning 
families, whether from outside or local stock, during this period. 
To the Muhammadan historians the whole of modern Chota 
MADA» Nagpur and the adjoining hill states was known by the name of 
"'^"' Jharkhand; it was a disturbed frontier country, the barbarous 
Hindu inhabitants whereof required special military precautions 
to keep them in check. Perhaps the earliest historical reference 
to any part of the district is to be found in the Bramanda section 
of the Bhavishyat Purana, compiled in the 15th or 16th century 




A. D., whore it is stalod that " Varahabhumi is in one direction 
coutiguoiis to Tungabhumij and iu another to the Sekhara 
mountain ; and it comprises Varabhumi, Samantabhami, and 
Manbhumi. This country is overspread with impenetrable 
forests of sal and other trees. On the borders of Varabhumi 
runs the Darikesi rivt-r. In the same district are numerous 
mountains, containing mines of copper, iron aud tin The men 
are mostly Kajputs, robbers by profession, irreligious and savage. 
They cat snakes and. all sorts of flesh, drink spirituous liquors, 
aud live cliiefly by plunder or the chase. As to the women, they 
are, in garb, manners and appearance, more like Eakehasis than 
human beings. The only objects of veneration in these countries 
are rude village divinities." 

The area described is still identifiable with a portion of the 
Chatna thana in Bankura and pargauas Barabhum and Man- 
bhum in this district, Tungabhum corresponding with the 
Raipur thana of the former district, while Sekhara is identifiable 
mth Parasnath or more probably the Panchet hill. Sekhar 
is a name formerly borne by all holders of the Panchet Kaj, 
and the name Sekharbhum survives as the regular name of 
a portion of the estate and is commonly used in many parts of the 
district for the estate as a whole. 

History can hardly be said to begin even with the period of 
Muhammadan influence in Bengal. Wo know that Akbar about 
1585 sent a force to subdue the Raja of Kokrah, or Ohota Nagpur 
proper, a country celebrated for its diamonds. In the Aiu-i-Akbari 
Chai Champa part of Ilazaribagh district is shown as assessed to 
revenue as a pargana of Subah Bihar. To the north Birbhum 
and to the east Bishnupur were already under Muhammadan 
influence by this time, and in 1580 or 1500 Eaja Man Singh 
marched from Bhagalpur through the western hills to Burdwan 
en route to reconquer Orissa, and again a couple o£ years later he 
sent his Bihar troops by what is described as the western road, 
called the Jharkhand route, to Midnapore. In the latter journey, 
at any rate, he can hardly have failed to pass through a part of the 
present district of Manbhum, and archaeological evidence place 
about this time the building of the Panchet fort as well as 
repairs to some of the older temples in that neighbourhood, e.g,y 
those at Para and Telkupi. 

Some 30 years later (1632 or 1633) we get the first specific panchet 
reference to Panchet in the Padishahuama where it is stated that Estath. 
" Bir Narayan, Zamindar of Panchet, a country attached to Subah 
Bihar, was a commander of 300 horse and died in the sixth year." 
Wot till 25 years later, however, ie there any record of liability to 


tribute or revenue, but iu the improved Jama Tumari of Sultan 
Singh, as settled in 1658, Panchet is shown as liable to a 
'Peshkush' or fixed tribute. Yet just about this very time so little 
was known about this part of the country that we read that after 
Shuja's defeat by Aurangzeb at Kajwa near Allahabad in 
1659, his pursuers Prince Mohammed and Mir Jumla with 
some difficulty got information of a route from Patna to Bengal 
other than the ordinary one via the Ganges. This alternative 
route is described as " the route of Sherghotty which is situated 
in the mountains of Jharkhand ; it was circuitous, narrow and 
steep and little used on account of the difficulties it presented 
and the savage manners of the mountaineers." 

In later records references to Panchet are more numerous ; the 
Peshkush was gradually increased, implying a greater degree of 
control from Murshidabad, and it is possible that the abandonment 
of the Panchet fort about 1700, in regard to which there is no 
very definite tradition, and certainly no internal evidence, to 
show that it was taken by force, was a mere withdrawal of the 
zamindar to a less easily accessible portion of his territory 
to avoid such direct pressure as, for example, was exercised on 
other Hindu zamindars by Murshid Khan in the early part 
of the eighteenth century when we read that he deprived 
them of everything but "Nankar, Bankar and Jalkar"andin 
many instances even of their liberty, and appointed Muham- 
madan Amils to collect the revenues of their estates. It is said 
that the zamindars of Birbhum and Bishnupur were the only 
exceptions the former (AsaduUah) because of his reputation for 
religion and charity, and the latter '■ owing to the nature of his 
country which was full of woods and adjoining the moun- 
tains of Jharkhand whither, upon any invasion of his district, 
he retired to places iuaceessible to the pursuers and annoyed 
them severely on their retreat. "* What was true of Bishnu- 
pur must have been even more true of Panchet and of the 
zamindaris to the south and west. Of these, at any rate by 
name, there is not a single mention in any history of 
Muhammadan timeS; nor is there the slightest trace either in 
local tradition, in place names, or in archaeological remains, 
of any sort of Muhammadan occupation, forcible or peaceful. 
What the exact position of these other estates was during this 
period it is impossible to state ; Barabhum, if the identifica- 
tion with " Varabhum" is correct, certainly had a much earlier 
separate existence, and so also Manbhum, but of the others 
we know nothing,, 

* Stewart's History o£ Bengal. 


Tho territory comprised iu thu present di:?trict of Xlanbbum Karly 
was acquired by the British with the grant of the Dewani of ^'J^M^y/s- 
Beugal, Bihar, and Orissa in 1765. Even as late as this, tbatio.v. 
however, our knowledge of the district hardly extends 
beyond the Zamindari Haj of Panchet, to which Jhalda was 
described a few years later as a recent annexation. The 
zamindaris of Barabhum and Manbhum appear to have been 
among the kingdoms of the Chuars, and nominally attached 
to Midnapore. Patkum and Baghmundi in the south-west 
were, when we first hear of them, included iu Uamgarh, as also 
were in all probability Nawagarh, Katras, Jharia, and Tundi 
in the north-west. Pandra, the remaining estate in the 
north, was apparoatly under the domiuion of the neighbour- 
ing zamindar of Birbhum. 

Of portions of the district, at any rate, it may safely bo said 
that the annexation was not effected without much trouble and 
military expeditions. Manbhum and Barabhum, wliich were 
included in the Jungle or Western Mahals of Midnapore, were 
along with the others the object of an expedition led by 
Lieutenant Fergusson, acting under orders from Mr. Gfraham, 
Resident or Collector at Midnapore, who spent from January 
1767 to January of the succeeding year in these Western 
Mahals, and further operations under other officers were neces- 
sary for several months longer. Jagan Nath Dhal of Ghatsila 
or Dhalbhum was the chief obstacle to the establishment of 
order, but both the Barabhum and Manbhum Hajas gave trouble, 
though eventually they agreed to pay respectively lis. 441-5-9 
and E,s. 316-2 as revenue or tribute. The settlement was, 
however, far from complete, and December 1769 witnessed a 
great outbreak of the Chuars inhabiting the hills between 
Barabhum and Ghatsila, and five companies of sepoys divided 
into two parties under Captain Forbes and Lieutenant Nun 
respectively had to be sent to restore order ; Subla Singli 
described as the Jaigirdar of Kailapal was one of tho principal 
insurgents, and though special orders were given for his arrest 
and summary execution as an example to the rest, he was not 
on this occasion at any rate captured. In January 1770 
Lieutenant Nun was supposed to have restored peace in 
Barabhum, but almost immediately afterwards he and his force 
were surprised among the hills and suifered considerable loss, 
and re-inforcements had to be sent from Miduapore and a more 
or less permanent military post established at Barabhum 

Tho records of later years are full of accounts of similar 
outbreaks and their suppression; thus iu January 1771 Lieutenant 


Goodyear was engaged against various rebels, among them 
the Chu§,r sardar Samganjin (Sham Ganjan) of Dhadki 
(Dhadka), Subla Singh of Kailapal, and a third the Dubraj 
or eldest son of the Barabhiim Raja As a base for his 
expedition he was building a fort some 3 miles from Kailapal, 
and 8 from Dhadka. The place selected was one where the 
Ohuars used to assemble to commit their robberies and divide 
their plunder "which made him think it the more convenient 
to annoy them," and was strongly fortified with a paUsade of 
trunks of trees from 10 to 22 inches in circumference and 12 feet 
in height. Dhadka was, however, too strong to be attacked 
from the Kailapal side, and it was only with the aid of levies 
from the Man Raja (Manbhum), Ghatsila Raja and others, and 
by keeping the Bara Raja (Barabhum) occupied with levies 
from Panchet, that he was eventually able to reduce Sham 
Ganjan to terms and to march with considerable difficulty 
through the Dhadka pass. Peace was thus once more restored, 
and though the outbreak of the Dhalbhum Raja in 1773 to some 
extent affected the neighbouring area in Manbhum there was 
a period of comparative peace in Barabhum for several years. 
A detachment of sepoys remained at Barabhum, and during the 
rains of 1773 Manbhum was held by a small military force under 
Lieutenant James Dunn. 

The history of the remainder of the district during the 
earlier years of British rule seems to have followed a more 
peaceful and less interesting course. Panchet was joined with 
Bishnupur and Birbhum under a single Supervisor or Collector, 
and the correspondence which survives is mainly taken up with 
revenue matters, though there are constant references to trouble 
with Chuars to the west and south. In 1772 there was difficulty 
in obtaining a farmer for Panohet, "none of the farmers offering 
to renew their leases apprehending a decrease of revenue, as 
there had been a wholesale desertion of the land by the ryots in 
consequence of the oppression of the superior farmers." Farmers 
were eventually obtained, apparently owing to the exertions of one 
Ram Kanta Biswas who was accordingly appointed Dewan. 

During ihe next ten years Panchet with Jhalda was given a 
separate Collector. In 1782 we hear of the making of the 
military road still known in the district as the old Benares Road 
and cutting right through the heart of Panchet Proper. 
Raghunathpur on this road, within a few miles of the Panchet 
zamindar's residence at Kiishipur, was, if not actually the head- 
quarters of the Panchet district, a place of some importance. 
In November of the same year there were disturbances in Jhalda 


and Tamar; tho zamindar of Panchot is dotcribod as exposed to 
daily depredations from tho potty estates of Jhalda, and at the 
same time tho zamindars of Nawagarh and Jharia had taken to 
plundering and tho hitter to withholding his rents. The 
immediate result was tho deputation of Major Crawford with an 
armed force to Jhalda to quell the disturbances and take charge 
of the collections. By July of 1783 this officer had restored 
Jharia to tranquillity and was prepared to proceed with the 
revenue settlement of Jhalda ; at the sanie time he recommended 
that tho inhabitants of this area and also of parts of Eamgarh 
on the west and Panchet on the east should be disarmed. 

About the same time the troubles with the Chuars of the 
south of the district broke out once more, and military measures 
had again to be taken to restore order. The Jaigirdar of 
Kailapal was once again to the fore, and this small tract of 
diflBcult country had apparently become a regular place of refuge 
for the Chuars of the surrounding country. Tho disturbances 
lasted all through the cold weather of 1783-84^ and it was not 
till May 1784 that order was once more restored. At the same 
time there were outbreaks in the northern estates of the district 
which were apparently a place of refuge for the dacoits and 
others who gave such trouble to the Birbhum authorities. 

In 1789 and 1790 there was once more trouble in Jhalda and 
the adjoining estates of Tamar in Hamgarh. Panchet, and with 
it apparently most of the district except perhaps tho south- 
eastern estates, was at this time under the Collector of Ramgarh. 
In 1792 depredations in Patkum. were treated as a sufficient 
reason for suspending the demand due from tho zamindar of 
Nagpur, and the inference to be drawn is that Patkum was at 
that time a dependency of the Cho!a Nagpur ^ Raja. Disturbed 
conditions seem to have continued here and in Tamar oflt arid on 
during the next three years, and the Permanent Settlement of 
this area was not finally completed till 1795. 

Meantime the Panchet Zamindar had already fallen into 
arrears and his estate was in 1795 put up to sale and purchased 
by one Nilambar Mitra. The zamindar complained that the 
default and consequent sale was due to collusion between 
his Dewan and the CoUectorate Staff, and prayed for the 
cancellation of the sale. No attention being paid to this prayer 
the zamindar defied the authorities and refused to allow the 
auction purchaser any footing in the estate. He was loyally 
supported by his tenantry and the various attempts on the part of 
the Collector to farm portions of the estate and to manage 
other portions khas were continually thwarted. By 1798 the 


whole area was practically in a state of insurrection and the 
trouble of the local authorities was enormously increased by 
a fresh outbreak of the Chuars in Parganas Raipur. Ambika- 
nagar, and Supur adjoining Manbhum and Barabhum on the 
east. Durjan Singh, their chief leader, was captured by the 
military force sent to suppress this outbreak in 1798 but was 
again released as, when he was put on trial, no one dared to 
appear against him. The trouble consequently began again, and 
as the Chuars lived in remote and inaccessible places, they were 
diflficult to get at ; they constantly made raids when they were 
least expected, and when troops were sent out against them, 
disappeared into their fastnesses, only to reappear and commit 
fresh depredations as soon as the troops were withdrawn. 

So far as Panchet was concerned an end was put to the 
disturbances by a complete climb down on the part of the 
Government ; the zamindar was restored to his estate and the sale 
cancelled. At the same time the supervision of this area was 
transferred once more from the Collector of Ramgarh to the 
Collector of Birbhum with a view apparently to closer control. 

In the south-west of the district there was also trouble at this 
time. The zamindar of Patkum was a minor, the succession 
was disputed between him and his brother, and his uncle to 
whom the management had been made over by Government was 
inclined to give trouble ; Baghmundi had been confiscated, 
apparently in consequence of the participation of the zamin. 
dar in the disturbances in Patkum and Tamar a year or two 
earlier. A portion of the estate was subsequently restored to 
him probably in pursuance of the policy forced on Government 
in the case of Panchet by the strong objection of the local 
aborigine to the rule of any one but his hereditary chief. 
Baba- Some interesting details of the state of aifairs in the south- 

i8(y)*^ ^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^® district Barabhum and neighbouriag parganas in the 
early days of British rule are given in a report of Mr. Henry 
Strachey, the Magistrate of Midnapore in 1800. At the time 
he wrote the estate was in the throes of a disputed succession 
between two minor sons of Raghunath Narayan, with whom the 
Permanent Settlement was concluded, and who died early in 
1798. Pending settlement o£ the dispute by the civil courts 
Government had assumed the management, but for their own 
ends the various sardar paiks, the talukdars of Barabhum, and 
the ancestors of the present ghatwal sardars had taken sides, and 
were engaged in ravaging one another's and the Raja's territory. 
Neither the regular police nor the military detachments stationed 
at Barabazar, or from time to time sent to quell the disturbances, 



wore of any avail aguiust the large forces of the sardare, 
particularly those of Ijal i^ingh of Satarakhani ; the climate 
was unhealthy, the area full of impassable hill and jungle in 
which the sardars and their paiks or Chuars took refuge when- 
ever pressed. " Perfect tranquillity," according to Mr. Strachey, 
" had almost never been known in Barabhum and the zamindar 
had never had complete control over the different descriptions 
of persons residing within his estate" and depredations had been 
constantly committed by one sardar or other on his neighbour 
gardars, on the zamindar himself, or on the neighbouring zamindars. 
As a sample of what these dreaded sardars were, he describes one 
of them, Lai ^iugh, in these terms: — 

"Lai Singh appears to be the most powerful of these sardars. 
A short account of him and of his conduct during the late dis- 
turbances will serve to convey an idea of the others. 

" Lai Singh and his ancestors have long possessed lands in the 
zamindari of Barabhum, and have paid with punctuality their 
revenue of 2^0 rupees yearly to the zamindar. Lai Singh 
resides at Sauri, a place described to me as an almost inaccessible 
mountain about 5 or G Grose from Barabhum, the residence of 
the zamindar, and above 90 miles from hence. A stone quarry 
near his house yields him a revenue of about 1,000 rupees yearly, 
and the produce of his lands may amount to another thousand 
rupees. Every year he levies a small contribution from almost 
every village in the zamindari. In case of refusal or the least 
delay in the ])ayment of sookmudi, so the contribution is called, 
the village is infallibly plundered. 

" Lai Singh possesses large tracts of land in other zamindaris, 
some of them at a great distance from his own residence. These 
lands he haa seized within these few years, and maintains himself 
in the possession of them by threats of laying waste the zamin- 
dari in which they are situated. The zamindar of Panchet has 
found it his interest to grant him several villages in his estate, 
and he accordingly maintains quiet possession of them, treats his 
ryots well, and affords them effectual protection. 

" A few years ago he took possession of ten villages belonging 
to Jaganuath Dhal, zamiudar of Grbatsila. This produced a 
war between them, and, after a long struggle, and much slaughtei 
on both sides, he was forced to yield to the superior power of 
the zamindar, retire to his own domains, and relinquish the 
lands he had occupied in Ghatsila. 

" The two minor zamindars and their adherents have respec- 
tively used every endeavour to engage this powerful sardar to 
support the pretensions of one against the other, and it appears 


that as soon as the eldest succeeded in gaining him over to his 
interest, the younger accused his brother of joining the Ohaars. 
The elder brother, probably to avoid this imputation, left the 
zamindari, came into Midnapore, and has resided here ever 

" This event occurred above a year ago. Most of the other 
sardars in the zamindari at the same time attached themselves 
to the younger brother, and all parties proceeded to open hosti- 
lities, that is to say, to murder each other, to plunder, lay waste, 
and burn the property in dispute, to depopulate the country as 
far as lay in their power, and to commit every species of outrage 
and enormity. During this general scene of havoc and disorder 
the Serberacar being robbed and stripped of all he had, and his 
house being entirely plundered by Lai Singh and other sardars 
escaped to Midnapore. At the same time twenty Sebundies 
who were stationed there by the Magistrate likewise retired 

" At this period disturbances had broken out owing to other 
causes entirely unconnected with the dissensions of Barabhum 
in many other parts of the jungles in Eaipur, Phulkusma, Dom- 
para, aud in the Rani's estate contiguous to Midnapore. 

" A considerable military force being at length sent to Bara- 
bhum hostilities ceased between the contending parties, and 
they retired to their strongholds, from whence they have since 
occasionally sallied out, and plundered indiscriminately every 
part of the estate. 

" Before the arrival of the troops, Lai Singh, with what avowed 
object I cannot discover, had in conjunction with other sardars 
plundered the greater part of the town of Barabhum, or other 
village (since there is not a single brick house in the whole 
zamindari) and prevailed on above 100 paiks of the place to join 
him and take up their residence at Sauri ; 50 of these paiks after- 
wards joined Kishen Pator, another powerful sardar of the other 
party. The rest remain with Lai Singh, so that all became 
Chuars and still remain so." 

Mr. Strachey's report deals with the question of restoring 
order ; his proposals involved the pardoning of these sardars for 
all past offences and making them responsible as police for the 
maintenance of order in their respective tenures and the estate 
generally. Further reference to these measures, which were ac- 
tually adopted, will be made in dealing with the police tenures 
of the district in a later chapter. Mr. Strachey succeeded in 
restoring a state of comparative peace, without recourse to 
further military measures, and the settlement of the question 


of succession in favour of the elder son Gauga Grobinda by the 
courts, a few years V^^ov, rouioved the immediate excuse for 
dissension and disorder, and the peace waa not seriously broken 
in this area till some 3U years later. 

The records of succeeding years show tliat so far as adminis- 
tration of revenue went, things had to a certain extent settled 
down, though the Panchet zamindar, taking advantage no doubt 
of his successful opposition in 1798, was constantly in arrears and 
from time to time proposals were put forward for the sole of the 
whole or portions of the estate. For revenue purposes the Col- 
lector of Birbhum exercised jurisdiction over the whole area now 
included \\ ithin the district, but by Regulation XVIII of 1805 
the Jungle Mahals (23 Parganas and Mahals in all, including the 
wilder portions of Purdwan and the present district of Bankura) 
were constituted into a separate magisterial charge of which the 
headquarters was at Bankura. 

During the 25 years succeeding the formation of the Jungle 
Mahals district the area included therein was brought under much 
closer control. There were small military establishments at 
Jhalda and Raghunathpur on the Calcutta-Benares Road and 
these with the police organisation were sufficient to reduce the 
district to a state of comparative order. The police system was, 
except in Panchet, that provided for in the Regulation of 1805 ; 
the zamindars themselves were the police Darogas, and they 
provided and were responsible for the subordinate rural police. 
In Panchet, where the area was too big for the zamindar to 
exercise a close enough control, the system was supplemented by 
a thana system, the cost of which was provided by the zamindar ; 
under the Darogas in charge of the thanas worked the rural police, 
consisting of the Digwars and their subordinates in all the more 
noiiherly portions, and the considerable body of Ghatwals in the 
south and west. Mr. Dent writing in 1833 remarked that, with 
regard to [ olice, '• the rules in Regulation XV III of 1805 
seem well adapted to these Jimgle Mahals and where the 
Raja and his Dcwan have been duly c[ualified they have fully 
answered in practice and crimes of violence and blood had greatly 

In 1832, however, the peace of the district was somewhat '^axo a 
rudely disturbed by the outbreak known to this day as " Ganga yan'V 
Narayan hangama " which followed almost immediatel}' upon the hkhbl- 
Kol rising, which disturbed the peace of Singhbhum, Ranchi and ^^'^^' 
Palamau in the preceding year. From participating in this the 
l^humij Kol of this district had almost entirely abstained except 
in Patkum, whore a smnll disturbance in January 1832 was not 


put down by the Magistrate until a military force had been called 
in. The people of this country, besides being very closely allied 
with those of Tamar, one of the chief centres of the disturbance in 
Ranchi, had special grievances of their own in the fact that there 
had been a general enhancement of rents of all inferior holders 
without regard to the rights of the parties or the usage of the 
country by the Sazawal appointed by G-overnment in the Court 
of Wards to manage the estate during the long minority of the 
Raja. On the outbreak being suppressed the Raja being then 
of age was put in possession, and in the later troubles he gave 
material assistance to the Grovernment forces. 

It was in Barabhum, the adjoining estate, that the disturbances 
of 1832 commenced ; the causes were complex and will be referred 
to later. The origin of the disturbance, however, lay in a disputed 
succession to the Raj. In the previous century Raja Belak 
Narayan died leaving two sons, Raghunath and Lachman Singh ; 
the latter, though the younger by birth, was the son of 
the elder or Pat Rani and as such claimed to succeed. His 
claim was, however, rejected and he was driven out by a military 
force and shortly afterwards, as he continued to make efforts 
to wrest the estate from his brother, he was apprehended and 
later died in Midnapore Jail. On Raghunath's death in 1798 
an exactly similar dispute arose between his sons Granga Grobinda 
and Madhab Singh which was decided after lengthy litigation 
in. favour of the former, as the eldest son born in wedlock, by 
the Sadar Dewani Adalat. Madhab Singh settled his differences 
with his brother and became his Dewan, but unfortunately for 
himself, put himself into direct opposition to Granga Narayan 
Singh, son of his uncle Lachman, who had maintained his 
father's feud against the other branch of the family. Madhab 
deprived Oanga Narayan of Pancha-Sardari, the largest of the 
ghat wall tarafs which had been held by Lachman after being 
driven out of Barabazar, and prior to his arrest and death in Jail. 
As Dewan Madhab appears to have made himself thoroughly 
unpopular by imposing additional taxes or rents on the holders 
of the different Ghats and a general house-tax or ^ gharta/d' 
throughout the estate ; over and above this he went extensively 
into the moneylending business ; his charges were particularly 
usurious and api)arently he made full use of the courts, and also 
of his own position in the estate, to exact the uttermost 
farthing from his debtors. The odium in which be was held 
resulted in his murder on the 2nd April 1832 by Ganga Narayan 
Singh who came upon him with a large force of Ghatwals from 
Panoha Sardari and Satrakhani while he was checking his 


ptore of grain in au outlying village. Madhab was seized and 

carried oft' a few miles to a small hill near Bamni and there 

deliberately muid( red by Ganga Karayan himself ; the latter 

however, though ho struck the first blow, insisted on every 

ghatwal jtresent shooting an arrow into the body, thinking 

thereby to ensure their continued co-fiperation and their not 

betraying hiau, all being equally implicated in the murder. 

With a large body of ghatwals thus attached to his cause 

Ganga Narayan Singh proceeded to lay the whole country under 

contribution and on the 1st of May marched on Barabazar ; the 

Munsiff's outchery was attacked and the Bazar plundered, and 

the zamindar was obliged to concede all Ganga Narayan's 

demands including taraf Pancha Sardari as his khorposh or 

subsistence grant, in order to escape being attacked in his own 

palace. On the following day Ganga Narayan once more 

advanced on Barabazar and burnt down the Munsiff's and Salt 

Daroga's cutcheries and the police thana. On the 14th he 

attacked, with a force of three thousand Chuars, the troops 

who were with the Magistrate Mr. Bussell ; the latter tried to 

reason with the insurgents, but as an essential condition was 

the surrender of the murderers of Madhab Singh, the negotiations 

failed. On the 4th, 5th and 6th June the troops were attacked 

on their march to Bamni and again on their retirement from 

that place to Barabazar with such effect that the whole of the 

Government force had to retire on Bankura, leaving Barabhum 

in the undisturbed possession of Ganga Narayan. A lull 

then followed, but as soon as the rice crop had been planted out 

in August, Ganga Narayan once more assembled his followers 

and proceeded to i)luuder the estates of Akro, Ambikanagar, 

Raipur, Shamsundarpur and I'hulkusma, to the east of Barabhum, 

and now part of Bankuia district. The Bhumij of these areas 

as well as of Sildah (uov/ in Midnapore) and Kailapal for the 

most part joined the insurgents and the whole country side 

was in a general state of disturbance, or, as it was then described, 

of C/iuari, until the end of November when the 34th regiment 

of Native Infantry arrived at Raipur. Ganga Narayan had 

already retired through Dhalbhum, where he forced on the 

Haja one of his nominees as ghatwal of Dompara, to Dhadka 

and later to Baridih. From these places expeditions were made 

towards Gokulnagar and Puncha, and operations would 

probably have extended further north into the Panchet country 

but for the arrival of Mr. Braddon and Lieutenant Trimmer 

with a force of sepoys and Barkandazes, who succeeded in 

repelling an attack made on them by Ganga Narayan at 

64 mXnbhum. 

Ohakultor, a few miles south of Puriilia. Mr. Braddon's force, 
proceeded then to re- occupy Barabazar ; a thana was established 
at Balarampiir and the intervening country held in force 
and further incursions northwards prevented. In November 
Mr. Dent assumed charge at Chakultor and offered a free pardon 
to all concerned in thedisturbance except Ganga Narayan himself 
and some ten of the leading Sardars. This offer having no result, 
Mr. Dent proceeded to make simultaneous attacks on the night 
of the 16th November on Bandhdih, Ganga Narayan's head- 
quarters, and on Barudih and Bhaoni, those of two other leaders, 
all of which were successful. During the following month 
elaborate military operations were undertaken, small detachments 
being sent out in every direction through the hilly country to 
break up and destroy or secure the surrender of the now dis- 
organised forces of Ganga Narayan. The leader had by this time 
retired into Singhbhum with some of his followers, and there he 
met his death in attempting to establish among the Kols his 
reputation as a great military leader by attacking a strong post of 
the Thakur of Kharsawan. With the death or rather the flight 
of Ganga Narayan the disturbances in this district came to an 
end ; order was quickly restored and the active services of the 
troops dispensed with. 

Mr. Dent in his report to Government, on which the 
AND account just given is largely based, dealt in considerable 

orxHE^ detail with the various causes, which, though not directly account- 
ouT- ing for this outbreak, made it possible for Ganga Narayan to 
BBHAK, enlist so readily the services of a large body of men, and to spread 
confusion over so extensive an area. Dissatisfaction with the 
administration of the law of debtor and creditor appears to have 
been rife at this time in Barabhum, and the sale of ancestral 
holdings for debt was particularly objected to as something entire- 
ly opposed to the custom of the aboriginal tenantry. Nor were 
indebtedness and its consequences confined to the tenantry, but we 
are told that almost all the zamindars, the members of their 
families holding maintenance or other grants, the Sardar Ghat- 
wals, and the bigger intermediate holders generally were in 
embarrassed circumstances. General improvidence seems to have 
been the order of the day, and much of the land had already at 
this time passed more or less permanently to money-lending out- 
siders. The rule of inheritance by primogeniture kept the large 
estates nominally intact ; in practice the necessity of providing 
for members of the family by maintenance grants imposed a 
continually increasing burden on the zamindar, and continually 
decreased his cash resources, putting him more and more at the 


HISTORY. 65 • 

meroj of the money-lender. To all these people, therefore, 
Ganga Narftyan's outbreak came as welcome opportuniiy of getting 
back some of their own ; the memory of the P&nohet zamindar'a 
successful objection to his estate being sold still remained, and 
there seems to have been a general idea that if success attended 
the outbreak there would be a general wiping off of burdensome 
debts. The state of things disclosed was not unlike that already 
found in Chota Nagpur Proper, and the recommendation already 
made in consequence thereof, i.e., " to exclude the area from 
the operation of the general regulations and form it into a 
separate jurisdiction superintendi'd by the Political Agent for 
the South- West Frontier as Commissioner acting under the 
special rules which might from time to time be prescribed 
for the said area by the Grovernment and aided by one or 
more assistants as might be requisite for the due adminis- 
tration of the tracts placed under his authority ", was now 
given effect to, and embodied in Eegulation XIII of 1833. By 
this the district of the Jungle Mahals was broken up ; the estates 
of Senpahari, Shergarh and Bishnupur were transferred to Burd- 
wan and a new district called IVlanbhum "with its headquarters at 
Manbazar constituted, including, besides the present area of the 
district, the estates of Supur, Raipur, Ambikanagar, Simlapal, 
Bhelaidiha, Phulkusma, Shamsundarpur and Dhalbhum. la 1838 
the headquarters was removed to Purulia, describe'! then as lying 
''in the centre of the jungles." Prior to the mutiny the only 
further changes were the transfer of Dhalbhum to Singhbhum and 
the change in titles of the chief officers, the Principal Assistant 
at Purulia becoming the Deputy Commissioner, and the Agent to 
the Governor- General for the South-West Frontier the Com. 
missioner of Chota Nagpur, by Act XX of 1854. 

During the mutiny the attitude of the local garrison which Mrxurr 
consisted of 64 sepoys of the Ramgarh battalion and 12 Sowars °^ '' 
was such that the Deputy Commissioner was obliged to aban 
don the plane for a time, retiring via Paghunuthpur on Paniganj 
The gjirrison proceeded to loot the Treasury and release 
the prisoners in the jail and then marched oti' without appar- 
ently creating any serious disturbance, either in Purulia 
itself or oi route, to join their fellows at llanchi. Most of 
the respectable residents left the town at the first sign of an 
outbreak, and in the absence of the sepoys and also of any 
constituted authority the jail birds and badraashes, led, it is said. 
by a member of the Panchet family, committed various out- 
rages in the town and on the roads towards Paghunathpur ; 
the court-house was burnt down and the old records 

c 66 MiNBHUM. 

destroyed. Captain Oakes, tlie Deputy Commissioner, had on his 
retirement called on the then Eaja of Panchet, Nilmoni Singh, 
for assistance which, however, be did not give. Cunsequenlty, 
on his return less than a month later with reinforcements 
from Eaniganj, his first act was to arrest the Raja and send him 
in custody to Calcutta, where he was not released until March 
1859. Beyond a certain amount of anxiety due to the disturbed 
state of the adjoining districts there was little further of interest 
or importance in the mutiny history of Manbhum. The iSonthals 
of the district were reported by Captain Oakes to be in a state of 
great excitement, but no actual outbreak occurred ; the zamindar 
or Jaypur was indeed attacked by some of them, but he was able 
to beat them off and reduce them to order without assistance from 

Writing in April 1858 Colonel Dalton, the Commissioner, re- 
marked that Chota Nagpur was full of " tribes whose predatory 
habits were notorious long ago and whom recent disturbances have 
shown that they have not forgotten their hereditary renown". 
He believed that they were " not impelled by feelings hostile to 
the British Grovernment but they cannot resist the temptation of 
following any chief who will lead them, on plundering 
expeditions." I'he comparative freedom from trouble during this 
period in Manbhum may perhaps therefore be ascribed to the 
prompt arrest of the Raja of Panchet and the absence of any 
other suitable leader ; it is worthy of notice, at any rate, that the 
trouble among the Sonthals was due to local causes entirely, and 
at no time were their energies directed against any but the local 

From the mutiny onwards the history of the district diSers 

little from th it of other districts in British India ; the records 

show a steady advance in more systematic and more closely 

organised and supervised administration, and the general peace of 

the district has not been broken. Agrarian troubles threatened 

in 1H69 and 1870 in the north of the district where the Tandi 

aamindar and his South al tenants were at variance, but tho 

difficulty was smoothed over by an informal settlement arranged by 

Colonel Dalton as Commissioner, which was renewed 1 years later 

by Mr. Risley and again at the beginning of the present century. 

L4TE« The history of the disputes between the ghatwalsof Barabh mi 

HisTOET. and Messrs. Watson and Company will be referred to in a later 

ohai'ter; the so-called compromise of 1884 arranged by Mr. 

Ivisley removed for a time the aouteness of the ill-feeling, which 

the gliatwals bore towards the Company and its European 

inenao'ers, and which for a time threatened to culminate in serious 

HISTORY. 67 , 

disturbances of tho peace. The proneness of the Bhumij popula- 
tion of this area to revert to their ohl " Chuari " habits has been 
disphiyed ou tho occasion of every famine and period of scarcity 
in the regularly recurriui^: outbri^aks of d icoity, but nothiug in 
the shape of organised opposition to constituted authority has 
been noticeable. The latent possibilities of such organisation 
among the Sonthals, who within the last 20 years have become a 
very considerable part of the district population, were just 
suggested in 1907, when after a bad harvest prices rose to what 
would, teu years earlier, have been treated as inlicative of famine 
conditions. On that occasion a decision was come to by the 
Sonthals, assembled for their annual hunt on the I'Sghmundi 
hills, that rice should be obtainable at 10 seers per rupee, and as 
a result of that decision and the refusal of the merchants to 
supply at that rate, several of the " tiats " were systematically 
looted within a few days, and there was every prospect of this 
being lepeated. Prompt police m'-asures, and a rapid rusli by the 
Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police through 
the country affected brought the Sonthals very quickly to a sense 
of the folly and futility of their action, and the trouble promptly 

The only matter calling for further mention is the formation 
of the district as at present constituted. When it was first esttib- ^'^^^^' 
lished in 1833 under liegulaiion XIII of that year, it included of '^nB 
the estate of Dbalbhum, now attached to Singhbhum, besides a "'*^^^°^' 
large part of the present district of Bankura, and Sher"arh 
now a part of Burdwan. In 1845 the estate of Dhalbum was 
transferred to Singhbhum, and in the following year, owing to a 
press of criminal cases, the fiscal divisions of Shergharh, 
Chaurasi, Mahisira, Oheliama, Chatna, Nalichanda, Bankhaadi 
l^aipara, and jiortious of Bonehas and I'ara were placed under 
the criminal jurisdiction of Bankura district, though remaining a 
part of Manbhiim for revenue purposes. At this time the 
nominal area of the district was no less than 7,806 square miles 
comprised in 31 zamindaries. In 1871 Shergarh with part of 
Pandra (east of the Barakar river) was transferred to Burdwan, 
and Chatna and Mahisara to Bankura, wliile the criminal juris- 
diction of the remainder was rctransferred to Manbhum, the civil, 
criminal and revenue jurisdiction being made coterminous. A 
further change in the jurisdiction of the district was made by 
the Government orders of the 27ih Septuiubor 1879, by which 
|)ar.ianas Supur, Raipur, Ambikanagar, Simlapal, Bhelaidiha, 
Pimlkusma and Shamsundarpur, comprising Raipur, Khatra and 
Simlapal thanas were transferred to Bankura district, thus reducini; 


, 68 MANBHUM, 

Manbhum to Its present limits. This final change in jurisdiction 
originated in a representation made by Messrs. Gisborne ^ Co., 
"who held a considerable portion of these parganas, and with some 
reason complained of the inconvenience and hardship to people 
having to go to Purulia and Ranohi from these areas, the distances 
being great, and also of the delay in disposal of cases in Manbhum 
which, they said, was under-officered, while work in Bankura was 

Since L'^TO no changes have taken place in the jurisdiction of 
Mgnojuam, though in 1904 it was seriously contemplated to 
cut off the whole of the northern subdivision, and form it with 
RSniganj inio a separate district, which would have contained 
within its boundaries the greater part of the existing coalfields 
of Bengal. Other counsels, however, prevailed, and the main 
objections to the then existing arrangements were met by the 
removal of the headquarters of the Raniganj subdivision to 
Asansol, and more recently of the Gobindpur subdivision to 
Dhanbaid, both of which places are more centrally and conve- 
niently situated with reference to the actual coalfield areas. 
Aechso. Reference has already been made to the more important of 

REMAINS, 't^'^ numerous archseological remains in connection with their 
bearing on the history of the district, and a more detailed descrip- 
tion will be found against each place of interest in the concluding- 
chapter of this volume. 



Ax the conclusion of the Revenue survey of 1864-67 the popula- ukowth 



tion of Manbhura, including 1,404 square miles subsequently °^ ^°^^' 

Iransfen'ed to BSnkura and Burdwan, was estimated at 694,498, 
giving a density per square mile of 126 persons ; this figure was 
based on an enumeration of the houses, allowing an average of 
4 1 persons per house. Two years later, in 1869, a preliminary 
census was held, but the results were even then admitted to be 
inaccurate and may be rejected. In 1872 the attempt to carry 
out a simultaneous enumeration through the agency of the inha- 
bitants themselves was abandoned, and a gradual enumeration 
was made by a salaried agency. The population was then 
returned as 915,570 for an area of 4,914 square miles and 
820,821 for the di^strict as at present constituted. In 1S81 the first 
regular simultaneous census took place and disclosed a population 
of 1,058,228 for an area of 4,147 square miles, comprising 3 towuB, 
6,144 villages and 178,494 occupied houses ; the average density 
of population per square mile was thus 225, a very large increase 
on the approximate figures of earlier enumerations. The large 
increase of 237,707, or nearly 29 per cent, in 9 years, must be 
treated as to a large extent due to the inaccuracy of the 
earlier enumeration, though part, possibly as much as half, 
may be ascribed correctly to normal growth of population, 
added to the gradual opening out of the country which then, as 
till a much later date, was the least difficult of access of any o£ 
the Chota Nagpur districts and was more especially open to 
immigration from the already densely-populated districts of 
Bengal proper. 

The census of 1891 disclosed a further increase of 135,100 or 
12"8 per cent. Purfilia had by this time beeu connected up by 
railway with xVsausol and had developed into a fairly important 
trading centre; the urban population of Jhalda and Raghunathpur 
had also increased considerably, but comparing the figures for the 
different rural areas it is obvious tliat the main cau'ses of increase 
were natural and common to the whole district. 

70 ' mInbhuw. 

CEN8TJ8 In the succeeding 10 years the increase amounted to only 

108,036, the total population being returned in 1901 as 1,301,364 
persons. The percentage of inorense was 9*1, but an examination 
of the thana figures shows that over 44 per cent, of the total in- 
crease is accounted for by the two thaiias of Jharia and Topchanchi 
which contain the bulk of the collieries, most of which were 
opened out for the first time during the last few years of the 
decade. Excluding these areas, the inersMse over the rest of the 
district was only d'Q per cenL, a very considerably diminished rate 
as compared with that of the previous decade, which may be ac- 
counted for by the fact that there were short crops in 1891, 1892, 
1895 and 1896, the last of v/hich yeais was followed by a year of 
acute scarcity. Apart from the direct and indirect effects of 
scarcity on the fecundity of the people, emigration from and 
through this district to the tea districts, which was considerable 
throughout the decade, reached very large figures in 1896 and 
1897. During the 5 years ending 1900 nearly 40,000 persons 
were registered at PuruKa under the provision^ of Act I of 1882, 
and the number of emigrants not so registered is estimated at 
about the same. These figures, however, include a large number 
of coolies recruited in the Central Provinces, Eanchi and other 
districts, and probably not more than half in all were actually 
residents of Manbhum. Over and above this, however, there 
was considerable emigration to the adjoining coalfield of 
Eaniganj and by way of set-off in the later years of the decade 
immigration to the Jharia coalfield from Hazaribagh and the 
Sonthal Parganas. The number of imraigr tnts is, however, far 
short of the number of emigrants, and the excess of persons bom 
in Manbhum and living elsewhere over persons born elsewhere but 
living in Manbhum was returned at the last census as nearly 
MiosA. ^^ spite, therefore, of the attraction of the coalfi.elds the 

TioN. district had lost by migration. The number of female 
immigrants was slightly greater than 1891, and there were 
about 14,000 more male immigrants, chiefly from Hazaribagh, 
Bihar and the United Provinces, who had for the most part 
come to work in the mines. The increase in the number 
of emigrants was even larger, the excess over the figures of 
1891 being some 5,500 in the case of males and nearly 12,000 
in the case of females. It is interesting to note that more 
than half the emigrants (136,000 in all) were enumerated 
in Assam ; of the remainder one-third wore found in Burdwan, 
while another third were accounted for in the adjoining 
districts of Bankura, Hazaribagh and the Sonthal Parganas. 


No great number go from Manbhum to tho dockyards 
or mills of Oalciilla, and Assam is evidently preferred to the 
coalfields of Burdwan ; further roforenco to the emigration to 
the tea gard'-ns will be found in a later chapter. 

The dis'riot supports 314 persons per square mile as compared '^KrcBRAi. 
with ^"^1 per square mile for the whole ChoLa Nagpur reKisncs 
Division. The density of population is nearly twice that of Density 
Ilazaribagh and Ranchi. rather more than twice that of "^.^ V''pu'a 
Singhbhum, and jusr 2| times that of Palamaii. It varies 
VHiy mueh in different parts oF the district, but generally 
speaking, if the northernmost thana, Tundi, be excluied, it 
is gre itcst in the north, and gradually decreases as one 
approaches the southern boundary. Topchanchi which 
includes a lonsiderable part of the Jharia coalfield returns 
as many as 417 persons per square mile ; Jharia adjoining 
it has IJ80, and Nirsa which includes a portion of the Eaniganj 
coalfield has 370, while Oobindpur which immediately adjoins 
the Jharia cofdfield on the north returns 300. The remaining 
thana in the northern sabdi vision, Tundi, is a purely rural 
area and is the least densely popalaf ed thana in the district , 
the number of persons per square mile being only 203. Imme- 
diately south of the coalfield area and of the Damodir 
river are Chas with 427 per square mile and Raghanathpur 
with 400. Ihe latter thana contains a small coalfield area, 
but the main reason for the density of population in both 
thanas is, perhaps, the fact that they contain much more 
comparatively level ground than any r.ther part of the 
district and offered in the past attractions in the way of 
comparatively easy cultivation to immigrants from other parts 
of tho district and from Hazaribagh on the west and Bankura 
on the east. The census figures, however, show that the 
tendency to increase of population in these areas had prac- 
tically disappeared before the last decade ; an indication, 
perhaps, that the limits of easy cultivation have been reached. In 
the centre of the district there is less variation in density, tho 
average being about 330 for the thanas Puralia, Manbazar, 
Gaurandi and Para Sonth and west of this area there is. 
a considerable drop, tho density being greatest, 260 in 
Jhalda and least in Baghmundi 231, the other two thanas, 
Barabhum and Chandil returning 233 and 250, respectively. 

Excluding the colliery tracts Purulia, Manbazar and Chandil 
are the areas in which there was the greatest increase in the 
decade ending in 1901 ; in the case of the two latter the 
population has practically doubled itself in the last 30 years. 


The lowest rate of increase in recent years has heen in Para, 
Chas, G-auraiidi and Jhalda, from all of wMch areas the labour 
force of the coalfield is recruited. 

Towns and rjij^^ ^^^y places recoguised as towns are the three Municipal 
towns of Puriilia, Jhalda and Raghunath pur, which have a popu- 
lation of 17, 291, 4,877 and 4,171 respectively. The remainder 
of the population is contained in 5,521 villages, most of which 
are very small, over 92 per cent, of the rural population living in 
villages containing less than 500 inhabitants, while the average 
number of residents in each village is only 231. The number of 
villages containing between one and two thousand inhabitants 
was in 1901 sixty-three; fourteen contained from 2 to 4 thousand, 
and only one, excluding the Municipal towns, over 4,000. 

Language. The prevailing vernacular of the district is the western 
dialect of Bengali, kuown as Bar hi boU, which is used by 72 per 
cent, of the inhabitants. Aloug the western border this merges 
into the Magahi form of Hindi, variants 'jf which are locally 
known as Kurmali, Khotta or Khottahi, or even Khotta Bangala, 
Including these dialects, which are spoken by over 40,000 people 
mainly in the north and west of the district, aa Hindi, Hindi is 
the language used by nearly 163,000 or 12J per cent, of the 
population. Of non- Aryan languages the most prevalent is Son- 
thali, spoken by 182,000 persons or nearly 14 per cent, of the 
population. Other Muudari or Kolarian languages are represented 
by 3,770 persons who speak Kurmali, 2,340 Bhumij, 2,229 Kora, 
1,888 Mundari and 1,169 Mahli. No great reliance can, however, 
be placed on these figures as the distinction between the different 
dialects is not, as a rule, very marked, and the enumerators as a 
class were not likely to have shown any great discrimination. 
The small number of persons speaking Bhumij, barely 2 per cent. 
of the whole Bhumij population, is perhaps partly accounted for 
by the fact that the Bhumij of eastern Barabhum, at any rate, 
and probably of a larger area, profess Bengali as their mother 
tongue, though they speak freely with their Sonthal neighbours in 
so-called Sonthali, which a closer examination by an expert would 
probably show to bo a survival of their own original dialect. To 
a large extent the members of the aboriginal tribes are polyglot, 
speaking Bengali or Hindi, usually the former, in addition to 
their own dialect, even where, as in the case of the Sonthals, 
they are a suflSoiently numerous community to force a knowledge 
of their own language on their neighbours, and on the courts and 
otficcB with whom they come into contact. The aspirations of the 
upper grades of Bhumij to take position as Rajputs, and the 
general spread of Hindu religious ideas among them no doubt 



accouut largely for tho exloul lo which thoy ha\o given up Ihoir 
own language for Beugali ; the census figures show that in the case 
of the Sonthals a similar tendency is not as yet very niarkecl 

Tho census figures distinguish between Hindus, Aniinists, ^l'g>"u. 
^[usalinans, Christians and others. For M^nbhum, according 
to tho figures compiled for the census tables, 87 per cent, of the 
population are Hindus, 7°9 per cent. Animists, and 4"8 per cent. 
Muhammadans, while Christians and others number together 
barely 3,000, or less than ^- per cent, of the district population. 

As Mr. Gait* points out, the dividing line between lliuduisni Hindus 
and Animism is uncertain. Animism is defined as " the belief ^"<? . 
in the existence of souls or spirits, of which only the powerful, 
those on which man feels himself dependent, and before which 
he stands in awe, acquire the rank of divine beings^ and become 
objects of worship. These spirits are conceived as moving freely 
through earth and air, and eit'ier of their own accord, or because 
conjured by some spell, and tJius under compulsion, appear to 
men (Spiritism). But they may also take up their abode, either 
temporarily or permanently, in some object, whether living or 
lifeless, it matters not ; and this object, as endowed with higher 
power, is then worshipped, or employed to protect individuals 
and communities (Fetishism) ". But Hinduism does not, like 
Christianity and Islam, demand of its votaries the rejection 
of all other religious beliefs as a social organisatioo. The great 
points, on which the Brahmans insist, are the recognition of 
their own supremacy, and the existence of certain Hindu gods, 
and the observance of certain restrictions in the matter of food 
and drink and social practices. Subject to these limitations, 
there is nothing to prevent the neophytes admitted from a non- 
Hindu race from worshipping their own peculiar gods or devils 
in their own way and with the aid of their own priests. Conse- 
quently it is almost impossible to say where the exact lino 
dividing Hinduism from Animism lies, and in a district liko 
Manbhum, with a large aboriginal population, a considerable 
part of which has been subjected to Hinduising influences for 
several generations, this is particularly the case. 

Judged by tho outward and visible signs of Hinduism in 
the shape of regular temples and places of worship, it would be 
infen-ed that the Hinduism of a large part of the population 
is not much more than a veneer. At the same time races liko 
the Bauri, the Kurrai and the Bhumij have adopted in varying 
degrees the observance of the regular Hindu festivals, Hindu 
ouptoms and ceremonies in regard to births, deaths and marriages, 

• CoDsus of India, 1901, Vol. VJ, Part I, pages, 151, 398. 


and thougli the Bhumij, at any rate, retain a very large leaven 
of their purely tribal customs ia matters of religion, they are 
sufficiently Hinduised to be classed as Hindus rather than 
Anirnists. The same cannot be said for the Sonthals, though 
the census figures show that half of these have been classed as 
Hindus and half as Anirnists. 
The Sun Among all the aboriginal and lliudaisod aboriginal races of 

other local the district the sun h"lds a very high place in their primitive 
deities. beliefs; the Bhumij and Mundas worship him under the name 
"Singbonga"' with offerings of fowls an^l country liquor, und the 
most binding form of oath amongst them begins with the formula 
''the Sun God is in the sky." Equally prominent among both 
Mundas and Southals is the reverence for the great mountain or 
Marang Burn, to whom a buffalo is the appropriate form of 
sacrifice. Among other objects of nature the karnn tree {Adiiia 
cordifolia) is especially sacied, and a .--peoial festival is held in its 
honour at the time of the har^'est home, a branch of a tree 
being brought in from the forest by the young men and women 
of the village to the accompaniment of singing and dancing and 
beating of tomtoms. In the village it is stuck in the ground, 
and decorated with flowers and lights and forms the centre of a 
night of great merriment In the morning it is thrown into the 
nearest stream and the spirit of evil is believed to be removed 
with it. 
Oramya The worship of a Ordmay devata is almost univerdal, and 

devata. j^jj^ong the Sonthals Marang Burn, already referred to as the 
spirit of the mountain, is the principal. In every village where 
the tribe, which originally cleared it, still remains, there is 
sacred grove, Jdhira or Sarna, a small patch of virgin jungle 
preserved from the axe as a refuge and local habitation for one or 
more sylvan deities. Their worship is conduc'.ed, ordinarily 
without the assistance of any regular Brahmaa or priest, by the 
head of the village ; a handful of rice is deposited ia three places 
in the grove and the saorificial goat is made to eat this, after 
which its head is severed at one blow ; the head is the perquisite 
of the Laya or priest, if there is one, and the body is shared by the 
members of his family. 
Witch- A belief in witchcraft and the evil eye is universal ; oases of 

craft. murder of persons suspected of being witches are far from 
uncommon. The murderer is, it may be noted, almost invariably 
a member of the family to which the witoh belong^s. Cases of 
human sacrifice are very rare, but hook swinging is still occasion- 
ally practised, though, as a rule, tho hooks are merely inserted in 
the fleshy part of the back, and the devotee or victim swung with 

tllK PEOPLK. 75 

his weight taken by a cloth bouud round his chest, and not by the 
ropes attached to the hooks. 

There are no special i»Lices of pilgrinngo within the distr ct, Festivuls. 
though the ancient temples of Tulkupi nud Budhpur are Ihe 
scenes of small melas on the occasion of the ('haitra Sankranti 
and other I'estivals. 

Of the Musalman population more than hnlf were returned Mnbam- 
as Shaikhs and the remainder, except for some 2,0UU odd Pathaus, "'" *"*' 
as Jolahas. Nearly one -fifth of the whole population is to be 
found in Purfdia thana, and Chas and Jhalda iu the Sadar sub- 
division return over 6,000 and 4,tt00 respectivelj. The propor- 
tion Musalmans bear to the general population is more marked 
in the Dhanbaid subdivision, where in Grobindpur thana they 
represent nearly one-sixth, and are also numerous in Topchan- 
chi, Jharia and Nirsa. Yerj few among them hold any sort of 
position, and their general poverty and obscurity is marked by 
the fact that, except in Purulia, (Jhas, Grobindpur and a few 
other places, there are no regular mosques. Enquiries recent ly 
made elicited the fact that there was not a single recognized 
Maulvi in the district. 

The Christian population, though small, had almost doubled Christiaus. 
itself in the decade ending 1901. Towards this result the largely 
increased number of Europeans brought into the district by the 
opening out of the colliery area and extension of the railway 
8y8t(im contributed very materially. 

The native Christian population is most numerous in the 
Purfilia, Jhalda and Fundi thanas. In the two former, as well 
as in Baglimundi thana, the main proselytizing agency is the 
German Evangelical Lutheran (Grossner's) Mission, an important 
branch of which has its headquarters at Purfilia with small 
outlying posts in cliarge of native pastors at Sirkabad, Ilu and 
Tunturi. The Mission has been working since 1864 and the 
progress made in proselytizing has not been very marked; the 
majority of the converts come from the purely aboriginal castes 
and the lowest strata of Hindu society. One of the most useful 
branches of their work is the management of the PurQlia Leper 
Asylum, to which reference is made elsewhere. 

The established Church of England is represented at Purfilia 
now by a few converts as well as the resident European popula- 
tion. From 1903 till 1907 there was a resident clergyman, a 
member of the S. P. Gr. Mission whose headquarters are 
at Ranchi, but ho has now moved to Adra where a large rail- 
way settlement has sprung up in the course of the last few years 
and a handsome church is now under erection. A church has 







reconily 'been built near Jharia for the common use of Protestant 
Christians, wlietlier Church of England or non-conformist, but there 
is at present no resident pastor. The Dublin Mission is repre- 
sented by a chaplain at Dh^nbaid^ another large railway centre, and 
funds are now being raised for the construction of a church there. 

In the extreme north of the district at Pokhuria in thana 
Tundi is the headquarters of a branch of the Free Church of 
Scotland Mission to the Sonthals. 

The marginal table shows the strength of the different castes, 

tribes or races which uum- 

... 37,885 
... 36,703 















Raj war 
Kamar and 


ber over 25,000, As 
be seen, aboriginal races 
largely predominate, the 
Kurmis, Sonthals, Bhumij 
20,569 and Bauri alone accounting 
for half the total population. 
The Kurmis are fairly well distributed throughout the district, 
but are proportionately most numerous in the southern and 
central parts : in Jhalda they make up one- third of the whole 
population, and in Purulia and Baiabhum more than one 
quarter- In the north of the district there is a small 
intermixture of the Bihar Kurmi, who keeps himself for 
th-< most apart from the local man, to Avhom he considers 
himself superior as coming from the west. The distinction 
first drawn by Dr. Grierson between the Bihar and the Chota 
Nagpur Kurmis, which is now generally accepted, is exemplified 
in this district by the fact that marked traces of the characteristic 
Kolarian village system remain, the Mahato or village headman 
of the Kurmis corresponding exactly with the Manjhi of the 
Sonthals, the Sardar of the Bhumij and the Munda of the 
Horaces. The Ilinduisation of the Kurmis is much more com- 
plete than that of either the Bhumij or the Sonthal ; they 
abstain from both beef and pork, though they still eat fowls, 
and in consequence are not reckoned among the castes from 
whose hands a Brahman may take water. Their characteristic 
festivals, the " Karam " described in an earlier paragraph, is, 
however, essentially animistic, and typical of an aboriginal tribe. 
Sir H. H. Risley considers that they may perhaps be a 
Ilinduised branch of the Sonthals. '* The latter ", he writes, 
" who are more particular about what they eat or rather about 
whom they will eat with than is commonly supposed, will eat 
cocked rice with the Kurmis, and according to the tradition 
regard them as elder brothers of their own. However this may 
be, the totemism of the Kurmis of western Bengal stamps them 


as of Dravidlau descent and clearly distinguishes them from the 
Kurmi of Bihar and the United Provinces. They show signs 
of a leaning towards orthodox Hinduism and employ Brahmans 
for the worship of Hindu gods, but not in the propitiation of 
rural or family deities or in their marriage ceremonies." They 
are almost entirely an agricultural oas'e, but in this district, at 
any rate, they full far short of their namesakes in Bihar both in 
energy and skill in matters connected with agriculture. 

Like the Kurinis the .Sonthals are well distributed throughout SonthaU. 
the district ; in Tundi, which immediately adjoins the Sonthal 
Parganas, they form nearly half of the population, and in 
Barabhum and Manbazar, in the extreme south and east of tlie 
district, more than one quarter. The high rate of increase 
among this people, as shown by the census figures, is partly 
accounted for by their well-known fecundity, but there must 
have been also a considerable influx from outside, more especially 
in the coalfield area, where the Sonthal is usually considered 
as the best miner, and considerable trouble is taken by mine 
managers to attract and retain them. There can, however, be no 
question that a large part of the present population springs from 
families that have been established in the district for four gene- 
rations or moi'e, and it is perhaps open to doubt whether their 
establishment in this district was not earlier in date than in the 
Southal Parganas. For a detailed description of the Sonthals, 
their traditions, their septs and their rehgious and other customs 
reference may be made to the account given by Sir H. H. Risley 
in Appendix VIIT to his recent work "The People of India," and 
to the account of the Sontbals of Bankura printed as an Appendix 
to Chapter III in O'Malley's Gazetteer of the Bankura District. 
In this district, as elsewhere, their primary occupation is culti- 
vation ; their special genius is the opening out of new cultivation 
in hilly or jungle area. They are for the most part a law-abidiug 
race, and beyond an occasional disturbance arising out of a land 
dispute with their neighbours of other castes or tribes, practically 
no serious or oven petty crime is reported from Sonthal commu- 
nities. They are universally considered as good tenants, requiring, 
however, to be tactfully treated. Unfortunately for themselves 
they are improvident and peculiarly liable to fall into the toils 
of the money-lenders with usually disastrous results to themselves. 
They are also good workers and many go to the mines for employ- 
ment ; there they earn money quickly, much of which they spend 
in drink; once they have accumulated some small savings they 
return to villages and live at home until these are exhausted, when 
they rotufu to work once more. 

78 MlNBHUM. 

Bhumij. The Bhumij or Bhumij Kola are generally considered to be the 

characteristic and autocthonous race of the Manbhum district. 
As a matter of fact they are strictly speaking conQned to the 
part of the district lying west and south of the Kasai river, 
thanas Chandil, Parulia and Barabhum, accounting each for 
some 25,000, and Manbazar and Baghmundi for 10,000 each 
out of the total of 109,000. The history, tradition and customs 
of this tribe are dealt with at great length in Col mel Dalton's 
Ethuoloo-y of Bengal, and a good deal has been written about 
them by later writers on linguistic and ethnological subjects. 
Thouo-h a certain difference of opinion remains as to their exact 
position as regards the allied KoLarian tribeS) there can be no 
doubt that they are closely allied to, if not identical with, the 
Mundas. In his earlier work (Tribes and Castes of Bengal) 
Sir H. H. Eisley doubted whether they ever had a distinct 
language of their own, and was inclined to believe that they 
were nothing more than a branch of the Mundas, who had 
spread to the eastward, mingled with the Hindas, and thus for 
the most part severed their connection with the parent tribe. 
His view is based largely on the fact that the Bhumij of 
south-west Manbhum, i.e., the western part of Pargana Chandil, 
and Parganas Matha and Baghmundi, call themselves Mundas 
or r&,ther Muras, and practically in all respects correspond with 
their Munda neighbours in south-east Hanchi \vith whom they 
intermarry. The language used by the Bhumij in this area 
is closely akin, if not identicil with Mundari, whereas further 
east and north Bengali is the ordinary language of the Bhumij, 
thou<'-h, as has already been s.ated, the Bhumij of the south- 
east are largely bilingual and can speak what they call iSonthali, 
but which may well be a survival of their own particular dialect 
of Mundari. The identification of the western Bhumij or 
Mura with the Munda of Rauchi is not, however, complete. 
The Bhumij uses the word Mura as a title in these parts, instead 
of the word Sardar ordinarily used by the eastern Bhumij, 
but in the same villages may be found both Bhumij and Munda 
admittedly distinct and local tradition makes the Bhumij the 
orio'inal inh'bitaut. Oa the Ajodhya hill, for instance, Bhumij 
and Munda live side by side ; the burial stones of the former 
are at Ajodhya on the hill itself while those of the Mundas 
are at Tuuturi, a village in the plains below, au'i the Mundas 
admit that the Bhumij yvere the earlier settlers. As far as 
language is concerned, not only the Bhumij and Munda but 
also the Sonthals, of whom there is a still more recent settlement 
in the same village, profess to use identically the same. 


In any case, howovor, thero can be no question that in this 
western tract the Bhuraij has retained the tribal religion and 
customs as well as the language to a very much greater extent 
than the Bhumij of the eastern and northern tr.'icis. There 
llinduising tendencies have been at work for several generations. 
Writing in 1833 Mr. Dent remarked that the Bhuiiiij of 
Barabhum speak Bengali and were adopting Hindu customs. 
Sir H. H. Risley speaks of the Bhumij of western Bengal as 
a tyjical examjile of a whole section of a tribe becoming 
gradually converted to Hinduism, and transformed into a 
full-blown caste without abandoning their tribal designation. 
" Here," he remarks, " a pure Dra vidian race have lost their 
original language and speak only Bengali (but vide supra) ; 
they worship Hindu gods in addition to their own (the tendency 
being to delegate the tribal gods to the women) and the more 
advanced among them employ Brahnians as family priests. 
They still retain totemistic exogamous divisions closely resem- 
bling ihoso of the Mundas and Sonthalso But they are beginning 
to forget the totems which the names of the subdivisions denote, 
and the names themselves will probably soon be abandoned for 
more aristocratic designations. The tribe will then have become 
a caste in the full sense of the word, and will go on strippino- 
itself of all customs likely to betray its true descent." Hindui>a- 
tion has, perhaps, not greatly improved the original Bhumij ; 
he is, it is true, no longer the wild marauder oF the seventeenth 
and early eighteenth century, but to this day the tribe provides 
innumerable recruits to the gangs of petty burglars and dacoits 
of the south and east part of the district. He is at the best 
a poor cultivator, displaying the minimum of skill and energy 
and is notorions as a bad tenant. To the improvidence of the 
f^onthal he has added the litigiousness of the Bengali, with 
the result that he has generally fallen a very easy prey as well 
to the alien zamindar and mahajan as to the petty local 

Last of the four great aboriginal or semi- aboriginal castes is 
the Bauri, and as might be expected they are found in largest 
numbers in the areas immediately adjoining what is called by 
Mr. W. B. Oldham the Baun land of Burdwan and Bankura. 
Nearly one-third of the whole number are accounted for in thana 
Raghunathpur alone, and the bulk of tlw remainder in thanks 
Purulia, Gaurandi, I'aru and Manbiizar in the Sadar and Niisa in 
the Dhanbaid subdivision in the mining thauas Jharia and 
Topchanchi there is also a considerable number, a large percentage 
of whom are recent immigrants to the collieries. The Bauris hold 



a very low place in the social scale, their Hinduism is described by 
Sir H. H. Eisley as of the slenderest kind, and their favourite 
objects of worship are Manasa and Bhadu, whom they share with 
the Bagdis, Man Singh, Barpahari, Dharmaraj and Kudrasini. 
Barpahari is merely another name for the great mountain 
(Maraug Buru) of the Sonthals, and is propitiated with ofPerings 
of fowls. Their priests are usually men of their own caste, 
termed Jjaya or Degharia, and frequently holding land rent-free 
or at a nominal rent {Idijali) as remuneration for their services. 
Aoricultural labour and palki-bearing are the traditional occu- 
pations of the caste, and the former is still their main occupation, 
though they take fairly readily to most forms of manual labour 
including mining. In Manbazar (as also in Bankura) a consider- 
able number of them hold more or less substantial tenures as 
hereditary ghatwals, a fact which lends support to the theory that 
here and in adjoining portions of Bankura the Bauris represent 
the real aboriginal inhabitant. 

Of the purely Hindu castes which return more than 25,000 it 
*is perhaps unnecessary to say more than that they differ to no great 
extent from their fellow oastemen in other districts. Brahmans, 
though fairly numerous, are not very evenly distributed ; Purulia, 
Chas and Raghunathpur return the highest actual numbers as well 
as the highest percentage on the total population. The area 
roughly represents the heart of the ancient Panchet estate whose 
zamindars appear to have been specially lavish in their grants of 
land to the Brahmans. These for the most part were immigrants 
from the eastern districts, but in Chas there is a considerable 
admixture of the typical Bihar or Tirhutia Brahman, who 
apparently migrated here about a century ago, and are now, 
thanks chiefly to successful money-lending, the holders, as tenure- 
holders or tenants, of a very considerable part of the country. 
Over the remainder of the district they are spread but thinly for 
the most part in scattered small colonies, and their numbers 
are barely sulficient to provide an adult priest for every 
two or three villages. A good many of these, as has already 
been noticed, are Brahmans of more or less degraded orders, 
administering to the Hinduistic tendencies of the semi-aboriginal 
_ Kamars and Lobars who number nearly 30,000, though 

aud '^ classsed as Hindus by religion and Aryan by race, include abrost 
Lobars, certainly considerable drafts from aboriginal or semi-aboriginal 
castes, Munda, Bauri and Bagdi in particular, who have adopted 
the oaste occupation, and have been to a certain extent absorbed 
in the caste. 


Bhiiiyas aro most numerous in the Dhaubaid subdivision, and uiuiyas. 
to some extent lake there the position occupied by the Bhumij in 
the south of the district. The distinction between Bhuijas by 
tribe and Bhuiyas by title — I^)huiya by itself meaning simply 
" connected with the land,"— is not an easy one to draw, as Sir 
H. H. Eisley has pointed out, and it is difficult to say how far 
those who have been enumerated as Bhuiya represent members 
of an homogeneous race or caste. It is noticeable that the 
Ghatwars or Ghatwals have disappeared from the census tables as 
a separate caste, Ghatwal being essentially a title assumed by a 
Bhuiya of somewhat superior position to distinguish himself from 
a mere Bhuiya field- labourer. Colonel Dalton considered the 
Bhuiya^, including those of northern Manbbum, to be Dravidian 
rather than Kolarian in origin, and he remarks on their more or 
less pronounced negritic type. He believed that most of the 
proprietors of estates in this district as well as in Hazaribagh, 
round the Parasnath hill, were Bhuiyas, and this theory is perhaps 
supported by the survival of the name " Tikait " as the title of 
the oldest son of the reigning zaniindars among them, a title 
used also in Bonai by the eldest sons of Rajas, and in Graya 
assumed by the richer members of the Ghatwar community. No 
very careful study has been made in recent years of the religious 
beliefs and customs of the Bhuiyas of this district, and it can only 
be said that they are generally much more Hinduised than even 
the Bhumij in the south. 

The Kolarian race is represented in Manbhum mainly by the Other 
Bhumij, but there were enumerated besides in 1901 some 22,000 J^?''*''i-"^" 
Koras, over 9,000 Mahlis and nearly 4,000 Mundas, and the same 
number of Kharias, besides a few Tuns and Birhors. 

Koras are found fairly evenly distributed through the district, Kora 
their numbers being proportionately greatest in Puriilia thana; 
they are essentially a tribe or caste of earth--workers. It is noted 
by Sir H. H. Eisley that outside Manbhum there are sub-castes 
whoso names preserve the memory of their original settlements 
in Manbhiun and Dhalbhum ; -within Manbbum no sub-castes 
appear to have been formed and the caste is still more or less in 
the tribal stage. In matters of religion they afi!oct to be orthodox 
Hindus, calling themselves Saktas or Vaishnavas as the case may 
be. Manasa, the heavenly patroness of snakes, and Bhadu, 
the virgin daughter of the Panchot houso, aro said to be their 
favourite deities. The cult of the latter is more or less peculiar 
to this caste and the Bagdis. The story is that Bhadu was the 
favourite daughter of the former liaj a of Panehet and that she 
died a virgin for the good of the people. Her fe&tival is 

, 82 MANBHUM. 

celebrated on the last day of Bliadra, when the Koras and Bagdis 
carry her effigy in procession, and the whole population, men 
women and children, take part in songs and wild dances in her 

The Koras of Manbhum rarely employ Brahmans, but a 
member of the caste styled Laya or Naya acts as the priest. In 
social status and occupation there is little to distinguish Koras 
from the Bauris ; the tendency to abstain from beef is probably 
more pronounced than when Sir H. H. Bisley wrote ; they are for 
the most part earth- workers, field-labourers and petty cultivators, 
with here and there a few substantial agriculturists. As earth- 
workers they are conspicuous for their objection to carrying earth 
on their heads, carrying it instead in triangular baskets slung 
on a shoulder-yoke (bangh). 

The censua figured return over 2,000 Koras as speaking 
the Kora dialect, which in all essential points corresponds to 

Mahiis. The Mahlis are described as a caste of labourers, palanquin 

bearers and workers in bamboo, more or less closely connected 
with the Sonthals, a dialect of whose language a considerable 
number of thsm still employ- Their religion is described by 
Sir H. H. Eisley as a mixture of half forgotten animism 
and Hinduism imperfectly understood. Manasa, the snake 
goddess, and Barpahari, identical with Marang Burn of the 
Sonthals, are the favourite deities. Their primary occupation is 
basket-making and bamboo-working generally, but many of 
them are now petty cultivators or landless day-labourers. 

Mundas Of the Mundas and Kharias, whose main habitat is in other 

??^ . districts, no detailed description is required here. The Mundas, 
as has already been stated, are mainly confined to the south - 
western corner of the district bordering on Tamar in Kanchi ; 
the Kharias are found in largest number in Barabhum, their 
settlements being scattered along the Dalma range ; they have 
now lost, if the census figures are to be trusted, their distinctive 
language, though nearly half their number are still shown as 
animists. As a caste, they are classed as cultivators, but outside 
the hill villages they are for the most part mere day-labourers, 
and from an administrative point of view, they have an unenviable 
reputation as professional thieves and burglars. 

Of other castes the following deserve some mention as being 
more or less peculiar to the district or for other reasons. 

Malliks. Malliks, treated for census purposes as a sub-caste of Mai, 

form a community numbering just over 7,000 found only in Man- 
bhum. and confined here to the Jharia, Nirsa and Eaghuuathpur 


thanas. Locally thoy are treated as a separate caste, and ciiiito 
distinct from the Bag-dis who use the word MalHk as title. The 
zamiudari of Pandra (in thana Nirsa) belonged formerly, 
according to tradition, to Malliks, who were defeated and driven 
out by a member of the Tundi family. Mr. Gait suggests that 
they probably belong to the Mai Paharia stock found in the 
adjoining area of the Sonthal Parganas. He gives the following 
account of them based on information supplied by the Sub- 
divisional Officer. 

" They call themselves Deobansi Malliks as distinguished 
from another group called Rajbansi Mallik with which they 
repudiate all connection. The whole caste has the same totem 
Patrishi, the Indian Paradise fly-catcher. The only bar on 
marriage is that a man may not espouse his first cousin or any 
nearer relation. Divorce, polygamy, and widow-marriage are 
allowed. The former is effected by publicly tearing a leaf in 
two. Marriage is both infant and adult. The binding part of 
the ceremony consists of the placing of an iron bangle on the 
left wrist of the bride. They profess to be Hindus, but their 
religion is of a very low order. They specially worship Mahamai, 
Kali, Manasa, and five Devatas called Thuiha, Baghut, 
Monongiri, Babiari and Maya. The offerings to these deities 
are usually fowls, sheep and goats. They perform the ceremonies 
themselves, but once in five years, when they worship the sun 
(Bhagawan), a degraded Brahman is called in, and he also 
assists at marriages and funeral ceremonies. The dead are 
usually burnt. They are cultivators and day-labourers. They 
eat pork and fowls, but abstain from beef and vermin. They 
will take cooked food fromBhuiyas, but not from Uoms orHaris." 

The Pahiras, numbering 977, are a small tribe found only ^^hira. 
on the Dalma range in Pargana Barabhum. They are 
apparently the same as the Paharia of earlier censuses. Thoy 
were grouped by Mr. Y. Ball with the Kharias found in 
the same hcak and apparently they are of Kolarian race, though 
it is stated thay have abandoned their original Munda language 
in favour of Bengali. Neither their dialect nor their special 
customs, if any, have apparently been studied, living as thoy 
do in most out-of-the-way and inaccessible places. 

To the Saraks reference has already been made in an earlier SarSks. 
chapter as the remnant of an archaic community, whose connec- 
tion with the district must date back to the very earliest times. 
Though a considerable number are found in the adjoining districts, 
Manbhum is essentially the main habitation of this caste, the 
census figures showing 10,496 out of a total of 17,386 as resident 

G 2 


therein. The following account of this interesting caste is taken 
from Mr. Gait's census report. 

*' The word Sarak is doubtless derived from Sravaka, the Sans- 
krit word for 'a hearer.' Amongst the Jains the term is used to 
indicate the laymen or persons who engaged in secular pursuits, as 
distinguished from the Yatis, the monks or ascetics, and it still 
survives as the name of a group which is rapidly becoming a re- 
gular caste of the usual type (Saraogi). The Buddhists used the 
same word to designate the second class of monks, who mainly occu- 
pied the monasteries ; the highest class or Arhans usually lived 
solitary lives as hermits, while the great majority of the Bhikshus, 
or lowest class of monks, led a vagrant life of mendicancy, only 
resorting to the monasteries in times of difficulty or distress. 
The origin of the caste is ascribed in the Brahma Vaivartta 
Puran to the union of a Jolaha man with a woman of the 
Kuvinda or weaver caste. This, however, merely shows that at 
the time when this Puran was composed, or when the passage was 
interpolated, the Saraks had already taken to weaving as a means 
of Kvelihood. Mr. Eisley says that the Saraks of M anbhum, though 
now Hindus, retain traditions of having formerly been Jains. 

" It is now reported from M anbhum and Ranchi that they claim 
formerly to have been Agarwals who venerated Parasnath and 
inhabited the country on the bank of the river Saraju which flows 
into the Granges near Ghazipur, in the United Provinces, where 
they lived by trade and money-lending. They cannot explain 
why they left their original liome, but in Manbhum they say that 
they first settled near Dhalbhum in the estate of a certain Man 
Baja. They subsequently moved in a body to Panchet in con- 
sequence of an outrage contemplated by Man Raja on a girl 
belonging to their caste. In Ranchi it is believed that their first 
settlement was at Ogra near Puri, whence they subsequently mi- 
grated to Chota Nagpur. In Burdwan and Birbhum there is a 
tradition that they originally came from Gujarat, but in the for- 
mer district the popular belief is that they were brought thither 
as sculptors and masons for the construction of stone temples and 
houses, the remains of which are still visible on the bank of the 
Barakhar. They themselves say that their ancestors were traders 
and revered Parasnath, but at the present time in Birbhum, Ban- 
kura, and Manbhum, they call themselves Hindus. The Saraks of 
this part of the country are served by Brahmans, who in some 
parts are, and in others are not, held to be degraded by acting as 
their priests. In M anbhum it is said that they were not served 
by Brahmans of any kind until they were provided with a priest 
by a former Raja of Panchet, as a reward for a service rendered 



to him by a Sarak, who concealed hini whon his country was 
invaded by tho Bargis, i.e. the Marhattaa. Thoro arc sovon Gotras 
or oxog-amous groups, Adi or Adya Dub, Dharma Dob, Rishi Deb, 
Saudilya, Kashyapa, Auauta aud Bharadvaja. In Dirbhum 
Goutam and Vyasa are also given as the names of (jotrasy and in 
lianchi Batsava is added. Thoy are also divided into four thdkH 
or sub-castes based on locality, viz: — 

(1) Panchkotia or inhabitants of the Panchet estate in Man- 


(2) Nadiparia, or Saraks residing on the right bank of the 

Damodar in Manbhum. 

(3) Birbhumia, or residents of Birbhum, and 

(4) Tamaria, 6r residents of Pargana Tamar in Ranohi. 

'' There is a fifth sub-caste based on occupation, viz., the tSaraki 
Tiiiitis or Tanti Saraks of the Bishnupur subdivision of Bankura. 
who live by weaving and are held to bo degraded. The latter 
again have four subdivisions Asvini Tanti, Patra, Uttarkuli and 
Mandarani. In tho Sonthal Parganas the sub -castes are Phul 
Saraki, Sikharia, Kandala and Saraki Tanti. 

" Except for the few traditions mentioned above, the names of 
some of their gotras and the extreme tenderness for animal life 
mentioned by Mr. Risley, which not only makes them strict 
vegetarians, but even leads them to eschew altogether the use of 
the word ' cut \ there is little to distinguish the Saraks of West 
Bengal, Manbhum, and R&nchi from the ordinary Hindus amongst 
whom they live In Ranchi the Saraks specially venerate Syam 
Chand whose worship is performed by a Brahman. A 11 fines im- 
posed for caste offences are set aside for the worship of thegodling." 

The Saraks in this district are mostly found in thanas Raghu- 
uathpur and Para ; writing of a visit paid to Jhapra near Para in 
1863, Colonel Dalton mentions that it was their pride that no 
member of their community had been convicted of any heinous 
crime, and it is probable that they could justly make the same 
boast now; they are essentially a quiet and law-abiding com- 
munity, living in peace among themselves and with their 

The old village communal system of the Kolarian races Village 
still survives to a very large extent in Manbhum, though the o^^'='»'''» 
intrusion of non-aboriginal elements and the substitution of 
outsiders for the head of the tribe or family as the rent collectors 
or tjdrdddrs of the village, aud tho impuriuaou of Brahmans as 
priests, where tho llinduising tendencies are more marked, all 
tend to disintegration. In most villages, however, there is still 
a recognised headman, even if he is no longer also the ijdrdddr ; 


ttnd the Manjhi among the Sonthals, the Sardar among the 
eastern, or Mura among the western Bhumij, the Mahato or 
Des-mandal among the Kurmis, and to a ceitain extent the 
ijaradar in mixed communities, is referred to in all village dis- 
putes, and takes a leading position in all social and religious 
ceremonies. If not also the holder of the village lease, and the 
latter, i.e., the ijaradar, is non-resident, the tribal headman is 
usually his representative, and may cultivate for him the ' man * 
or khas lands, ordinarily attached to the post of ijaradar. For 
groups of villages among the Sonthals there is occasionally a 
superior official, the Parganait, to whom reference is made on 
questions of importance and who presides at the annual hunt and 
the tribal assembly which follows. In many villages the headman 
is also the priest, but frequently there is a separate priest, Laya 
or Naya whose post is hereditary, and who is remunerated partly 
by a share of offerings made to the Grramya Devata, and partly 
by a special grant of land, held rent-free or on a quit rent 
{Ldydli), Goraits, who help the tahsildars of the bigger land- 
holders to collect rents in khas villages, are found occasionally, 
but ordinarily this work is done by non-resident peons or Aagdis, 
usually upcountry men, in the personal service of the zamindar. 

As has already been stated, the vast majority of the villages 
are small, villages containing 150 to 200 houses being, with a 
few exceptions, confined to the areas which are in fairly close 
touch with the railways and the industrial centres ; elsewhere the 
average village contains from 25 to 100 houses, and in the wilder 
the village, portions of the district collections of a half a dozen or a dozen 
scattered huts frequently represent the nucleus of a recently 
formed village. In style there is a general homogeneity, the 
general arrangements being, as a rule, similar, and the houses, 
though those of certain castes can usually be distinguished, 
differing but little in size and manner of construction. The 
earliest settler naturally places his house near the land he pro- 
poses to cultivate, and usually therefore on some ridge, or near 
the crest of a slope above and not far from the spot which he has 
selected or is likely to select later for a bdndh. Other houses 
follow, unculturable land, or land not likely to be brought under 
cultivation without great expenditure of labour, being selected 
as sites, and the result in course of time is a long straggling 
village often confined to a single row of houses or a single street 
known as the sadar kuli with occasionally other rows or 
detached houses on lanes striking off from the main street at 
Tarious angles according to the nature and lie of the ground. In 
tUo earlier stages the houses are well away from one another, 







eaoh having a considorablo yard or compound ; later, as suitablo 
ground for extension becomes more limited, builders have to be 
content with more contracted sites and smaller enclosures. The 
street or streets which arc rather below the level of the houses 
usually serve in the rainy season as drains to carry off the surface 
water, besides being the means of communication from house to 
house and to the cultivated fields. It would, however, be a mistake 
to assume from this that the villages generally are dirty and in- 
sanitary ; on the contrary the average small village compares very 
favourably in this respect with villages in Bihar and Bengal, 
though certain castes, among which may be mentioned the 
Bauris, the Haris and the Doms, are here, as elsewhere, conspicuous 
for tlieir dirty habits. Much, if not most, of the household 
rubbish is burnt from time to time and utilised as manure for the 
bari or cultivated plots nearest the houses, and ordinarily the 
drainage from the houses is limited to the rain water ; in the 
rains the village street is necessarily at times a watercourse, but 
the soil being gravelly and the slope, as a rule, considerable, it 
quickly dries, and the condition of the village street of more level 
districts, a foot or more deep in mud for several months at a time, 
is, though not uncommon in the larger villages, by no means 

The absence of trees in the individual compounds as compared 
with the typical Bengal village described by the Kev. Lai 
Bihary Dey*, is another distinguishing feature. An occasional 
jaman (^Eugenia jambolana) may be noticed, and perhaps a solitary 
pipal {ficKH leligiosa) or banyan {ficus bengalensis) or a fine 
mango at some point along the village street, usually near ihe 
house of the village headman, alongside which an open space is 
usually reserved as the akhara or village meeting place. In 
villages where the immigrant element prevails, the usual fruit 
trees of the Bengal compound, plum, mango, guava, lime, papaya 
and plantain are more common, but the position of the villages 
on high land and the poverty of the soil do not tend to any great 
luxuriousness of growth, and a Manbhum village can seldom be 
described as a bower of foliage. Round about Manbazar in the 
east of the district the kul or plum tree is cultivated wherever 
space permits for rearing lac, but as the trees are regularly 
pollarded, their presence adds little to the general picturesquenesa. 
Immdiately outside the village arc usually one or more groups 
of trees, in most villages of aboriginals, of sal trees, or at any 
rate a single tree, a karum, or bar, which represent the 
grove, Sarfia or Jdhira sacred to the village deity, Gramija 

* Btiugal Feasant Life, MacMillau &Co„ Loudon, 1902. 



Devata. Older and larger villages may boast a group of mango 
trees, under ■which the local market or hat^ if there happens 
to be one, is held, and the village cattle, when not out in the 
jungles, take shelter during the heat of the day. 

The smaller villages, as a rule, contain no shop of any sort, the 
wants of the villagers, such as are not supplied from their o"v^ 
fields or the jungles, being obtained weekly from the nearest or 
most convenient hat. The bigger villages may contain one 
or more shops supplying salt, tobacco and various oddments of 
pedlar's wares, but it is only in those of considerable size that the 
grain and cloth dealers and general merchants congregate. 
Dwell- The ordinary house for a family, neither poor nor very rich, 

consists of three diiierent mud-walled and thatched buildings, 
one of which is the sleeping apartment (sohdr ghar), one a 
kitchen {rdnnd ghar), and one a cattle-shed {goal ghar), 
arranged on three sides of a quadrangle ; on the fourth or open 
side is the bdri or bdstu, i.f., an open plot of high level land 
on which are grown various bhadoi and rabi crops and vegetables 
for the consumption of the family. Behind one of the three huts 
is another plot of open land usually enclosed by mud-walls, 
which is the -Jchdindr bdri or place for threshing corn and 
storing fodder and manure. 

The "sleeping apartment," the main building, is, according to 
the means of the owner, 9 cubits x 6 cubits, or 12 cubits x 7 
cubits, or 15 cubits x 8 cubits, or 21 cubits x 10 cubits in floor 
area, with a verandah (pinrd) on the side facing the quadrangle, 
varying from 2 cubits to 5 cubits in width. Those dimensions are 
more or less fixed by custom and seldom deviated from. The 
building may be either of one, two or three rooms according to 
size, but the most common type contains one room only. The 
floor is generally of mud raised about 1|^ to 3 feet. The 
walls vary from 5 to 9 cubits in height and from 1 cubit to 
2 cubits in width at the base, according to the size of the 

The roof is of thatch varying from about 3 to 9 inches in 
thickness resting on a framing of ballas (sal poles), and brush- 
wood, or split bamboos (the latter are used only by the well-to do), 
supported on a rough timber framing of beams {sang a), king 
posts {muri khunid), ridge {muddn), and hips {hondch or kdar). 
Well-to-do people often put a flat mud terrace, a layer of mud 
on a layer of jungle-wood planks, or bamboos closely packed, 
resting on cross-beams fixed on the walls, between the thatch and 
the floor, oliiefly for protection against fire. A building provided 
with a terrace roof of this kind is known as mdt-kdthd. 


This building as a rulo has its back wall against the village 
street, as all the valuables, including, in some cases, stocks of 
paddy aro kept in it, and its situation, as wcllas its U'^e as a sleeping 
chamber, makes it the safest against thieves and burglars. Each 
compartment or room has a single door, ordinarily a rough wood 
frame with wattle and dab panelling, which swings on two 
vertical wooden pivots, fitting into holes in a thick plank {l;ddd 
paid) which is placed on the top of the door opening and in a 
small pioco of wood fixed in the floor below. Tliose who can 
afford to do so use ordinary wooden door frames, with rough 
plank and. batten shutters in two leaves, fixed on to the frames 
with rough hinges; all locally made by village artisans. Windows 
or other openings are rather the exception than the rule, but 
circular holes or apertures not bigger than 9 inches in diameter 
are sometimes left in the walls for light and air at a height of 
6 feet or so from the floor. The verandah is of simple construc- 
tion, the floor raised about a foot above the outside ground level 
and the roof supported by a row of wooden posts [k hunt a) along 
which runs the post plate [pdrh). 

The kitchen building is constructed in similar stylo but more 
cheaply both as regards walling and roofing. On one side of 
this room is the cooking place {chuld), and on the other the dhcnid 
or paddy husking mill or lever. In some cases the latter has its 
place in the verandah of the building where there is one, and the 
space inside is then used as an additional sleeping apartment. 

The cattle shed has seldom any verandah, and a stout wooden 
post-and-bar fencing is generally substituted for the wall on the 
quadrangle side of the building. In many cases the walls on the 
other three sides are only about 4 feet high, and the roof rests on 
posts and post plates. It is divided according to requirements 
by wooden fencing into compartments, one for cows and bullocks, 
another for buffaloes, and a third, if necessary, for goats and sheep. 
Geese and fowls are ordinarily kept in the verandahs or kitchen 
and occasionally in special sheds constructed for the purpose. For 
pigeons, which many householders keep, a pigeon-cot (tany) is 
usually provided, consisting of a number of earthen pots placed 
on a platform supported on posts fixed in the centre of the 
quadrangle, and covered by some kind of roof as a protection 
against the weather. 

The poorest class of cultivator and the landless labourer has to 
be content with a single building. In this and its verandah he 
and his family cook their food and sleep and generally live such 
part of their lives as is not spent in the open ; his yard is small 
and he has no khdmar and, more often than not, no bavi 

90 MlNBHUM. 

or at most a minute plot. In the case of more substantial 
cultivators the number of buildings constituting the house ia 
larger, and there is separate accommodation for the master of the 
house and for the wife and children. As the family grows up 
an additional quadrangle arranged on similar lines may be added, 
connected with the original house by a narrow passage. In all 
such big tenements, provision is made for the storage of 'grain 
in the shape of mordis (capacity 100 to 500 maunds) or 
hamars (500 to 1,500 maunds). These are erected in the middle 
of the quadrangle and rest on platforms of planks or balla)i and 
bamboos, supported on rough stone or brick pillars, about 18 
inches above ground, so as to admit of free ventilation and to 
protect the grain from flooding during the rains. In shape both 
are similar and present the appearance of an inverted frusfrum 
of a cone, surmounted by a thatched roof. The mordi has 
an outer casing, and to extract the grain it is necessary to remove 
the roof, while the hdmdr is of fine wattle plastered with mud and 
supported by halln and bamboo posts, with a trap door above the 
level of the stored grain, or two trap doors at different heights 
according to the size. Poorer people who can store only small 
quantities of grains do so in spherioal shaped bundles of straw 
and straw ropes known as kiinchuri or pur a with capacities 
varying from 2 to 10 maunds each. These are kept on stone 
slabs, or wooden supports inside the sleeping apartments or 
kitchen if anybody sleeps there, if the bundles do not contain 
more than 3 maunds, or in the verandahs if they are heavier. 
Still smaller quantities are stored in the large earthen pots used 
for fetching water {kahi) or boiling rice {hdnri) arranged in 
rows inside huts. 
Furniture. By Way of furniture, a cultivator, whose house consists of 
three buildings as described above, has the following: — 

The khdt or bedstead consisting of a framework of thin 
ml wood poles or thick bamboos, on four legs, cross-woven with 
string, commonly made from the jungle grass babui. Khats 
of different sizes are provided for the various members of the 
family to sleep on, and in the day time they are used for various 
purposes, among others for spreading out grain to dry. The 
full-sized khdt is ordinarily 3^ cubits in length and 2 to 2^ 
cubits in width, and | to 1^ cubits in height. They are 
never made long enough to enable the sleeper to stretch himself at 
full length inside the framing, the superstition being that if this 
should be the sleeper will shortly die. 

Machuli.—^ioo\% a foot to eighteen inches square, of 
similar construction to the khdt. Of these there may be 


t^o or more in a house for the use of the family and of 

Chauki. — Low wooden stools about IS" to 2' square. 
One or more are kept in every house and are used for the same 
purpose as machulis and occasionally for bathing. 

Pinrd. — Rectangular pieces of wood about an inch in 
thickness of various sizes, used for sitting on during meals. 

K/idts and machulis are sometimes very neatly made with 
dressed sal wood frames on turned legs with the rope-work artis- 
tically woven with string of coloured jute or hemp in fancy pat- 
terns. Clothes and bedding are, when not in use, kept on a rope 
or bamboo or wooden pole stretched from wall to wall, or on 
wooden pegs projecting from the walls. Shelves of various 
lengths of wood or plastered dab wattle, resting on pegs driven into 
the walls, are placed rather above a man's height from the floor for 
keeping cooking pots and cooked food. Oil, ghi (clarified butter), 
murhi (fried rice), chinra (dry parched rice), gnr (molasses), 
etc., are kept in earthen pots or jars suspended from the roof 
in string loops, sometimes very artistically made of coloured 
strings. Valuable things (such as silver ornaments, cash, 
documents, rent receipts, etc.) are kept inside earthen pots imbed- 
ded in a wall, or buried in the floor in places known to the head 
of the family only. Wooden and tin boxes are gradually coming 
into use amongst well-to-do people chiefly for keeping clothes 
and valuables. 

Earthen pots of various sizes are used for cooking purposes 
but there are generally also an iron kardi (a semi-spheri- 
cal pan with two loop handles) used for boiling milk and 
frying purposes; and a lokl (a shallow brass pot) specially 
used for cooking for guests, who for caste reasons require 
their food separately cooked. 

Other utensils in daily domestic use, of which there may be 
one or several in a house according to the circumstances of the 
owner, are : — 

1. Oarayd or Glmrd (water-pot of brass cast or wrought). 

2. Ihdld or Thdli (circular dinner plates of various sizes 
with more or less raised edges). 

3. Ghati (small sized pots for drinking water). 

4. Galds, i.e., glass (tumblers for drinking water). 

5. Bdti or cup, ranging from one holding an ounce or two 
to large bowls holding a gallon or more. 

Nos. 2 to 5 are mostly of bellmetal, but small sized brass cups 
are also used. Stone pots, dishes and bowls of different sizes and 
varieties manufactured at the quarries in Patkum are also used. 

( 92 MANBHUM. 

Dress. rj^^Q ordinary apparel of the cultivating classes consists of tlie 

following made in local looms for the most part from imported 
cotton yarn. (1) Kdcha — 5 to 7 cubits in length and about 1 cubit 
wide. This is passed between the legs and under a piece of string 
round the loins ; over this the kdcha is wrapped once or twice, 
according to its length, so as to leave a piece about 18 inches in 
length to hang loosely downwards from the loins. (2) Qamcha — 
This is about 5 cubits in length by 2 cubits in width, worn in 
various ways ; when working in the field or walking long distances 
in sun and rain half of it is tied on the head, turban fashion, 
leaving the other half to hang down to cover the back and sides. 
It is also worn over the kdcha and loosely turned round the 
waist and tied in a knot or else loosely wrapped round the body. 
(3) Bhuti — The ordinary dhnti a longer piece (7 to 8 cubits) of 
about the same width as a gdmchd reserved as a rule for use on 
special and festival occasions. (4) Geldp — This is a two-fold 
wrapper of abou.t 5 cubits in length and 3 in width, sewn 
to that size from stuff especially made for the purpose, and 
used as a wrapper in the winter season, both when going out 
or sleeping. (5) Bddha — Wooden sandals used only in the 
rainy season when going about and not ,when working in the 

The umbrella (chhdtd) of common use is made of split bamboo 
ribs and shaft with covering of fine bamboo mat. Imported or 
country-made umbrellas of European fashion are now generally 
used by well-to-do cultivators. The ghong is a covering for the 
head and back in one, woven out of leaves of a creeper of that 
name which grows in the hills. The portion for the head tapers 
to a point and rests on the head hat like, the remainder spreads 
round to cover the arms and back down to a little below the waist. 
The lower edge is semi-circular. It is used mostly by women, 
especially when working in the fields during the rains, and by 

Female swear the thenti which is a stout piece of cotton 
cloth with a border on the two long sides, and varying from 5 
cubits by 1^ cubits for young girls to 10 cubits by 2 cubits 
for grown-up women. This is turned and tied round the waist, 
forming a kind of skirt, and the remaining length passed over 
the shoulder, so as to cover most of the upper part of the body 
and, when necessary or desired, the head. The ordinary thenti 
is plain but coloured cloth is not infrequently used, and the 
borders worked in various patterns ; the portion at one end, 
which is thrown over the left shoulder, called the anclila, is also 
occasionally worked m some fancy pattern. 



Younger girls are clothed in pieces of cloth, plain or striped, 
just large enough to go comfortably round the waist and to hang 
down to the ankles ; these are called putli or pharani. Similar 
but rather larger pieces of cloth called nalianrja are used in the 
same manner by very old women. 

European cotton-clothes, coats, shirts, vests, etc., are gradually 
coming into use amongst those who have opportunities of frequent 
intercourse with advanced people living in centres of trade and 
industry and near railway stations. 

The ordinary bedding consists of a mat made of palm or dato Bedding, 
palm leaves imd split bamboo. Kdntha made of old and useless 
clothes sewn quilt fashion, sometimes with coloured thread, form 
the best mattresses in most houses, and these are also used by old 
women as ^vrappers during winter. Country -made blankets and 
(lurries (Satranja) are also fairly common. Straw is abundantly used 
in winter for sleeping on, either on a kJidt or on the floor. Pillows 
for the head are generally made by placing bundles of straw 
underneath the mat, kdntha or blanket. Ordinary pillows made 
of silk cotton, stuffed inside a cotton- cloth casing, are also occasion- 
ally used. 

Apart from the usual ceremonies in connection with births, Village 
deaths and marrifigGS, which Viiry according to the race, religion ^''•'^*'^^'^' 
and caste of the villagers, the main feature of village social 
life is the observance of the various festivals of which almost 
every month has its own particular one. The following account 
of the most important of these, other than the regular Hindu 
festivals recognised and observed by the strictly orthodox, has 
been furnished by Eai Nanda Gopal Banerji Bahadur; the 
festivals described represent for the most part semi-Hinduised 
survivals of what were originally the non-Hindu festivals of 
tho different animistic tribes, or else regular Hindu festivals to 
which various aboriginal forms and ceremonies have been 
tacked on. 

Bi/saJih. — "^'drul is observed on the last day of the month of 
Bysahh (April-May). The Ldya or village priest offers flowers 
and sacrifices a cock, or less frequently, a goat or sheep, in the 
(jrdinya ihdn, i.e., the seat for the presiding deity of the village. 
Tho Sonthals and Bhumij offers various kinds of jungle edibles 
to the deity and brew h an rid or rice-beer and spend the night 
in dancing, men and women together, to tho accompaniment 
of tho mddal. The Kurmis abstain from both drink and dance 
and merely decorate the entrance to their houses, and do not 
work on that day. If there is any death or birth in the village, 
the festival is postponed for a moro auspicious day. This festival 

94 MiNBHUM. 

is obviously a survival of the baha bonga or flower festival 
of the Hos and the sdrul of the Mundas described by Ool. 
Dalton, though these are held slightly earlier in the year. They 
mark the bursting of the trees into new leaf and blossom, and 
the beginning of spring. 

Joistha. — The Rohini festival is observed on the 13th day 
of the month of Joistha (May- June). Pujas are oifered to 
Manasa, the deity presiding over snakes, and a band of cow- 
dung is smeared around every house and enclosure wall. The 
young men and boys go about the village dancing, rubbing mud 
and throwing dust at each other. 

Asfiar. — The last day of the month of Ashar (June-July) 
is devoted to the Jdntal Farab or Ashari Oram Puji (the baihar 
horo nawai of the Sonthals) when the first fruits of the new crops 
are offered to the presiding deity of the village. A goat is 
sacrificed by the Laya at the grdmyd ihdn and the meat distri- 
buted to all families, cultivators abstaining from work in the 
fields for the day. 

Srahan. — Manasa is again propitiated on the last day of 
Sraban (July-August) with offerings of goats, geese or pigeons. 

Bhadra. — In Bhadra (August-September), on the 11th day 
of the bright half of the month, are celebrated the Karam and 
Ind Pujas, A branch of the karam tree is planted in the 
nkhra (meeting place) and offerings are made by a Brahman 
who gets some rice or paddy and pice from every family as his 
fees. The day as well as the preceding night are spent in fasting 
but in the evening every one meets at the akhra and dancing 
round the karam occupies the night. Next day Indra, the 
special deity who presides over the rains, is propitiated with the 
sacrifice of a goat, branches or twigs are planted in the paddy 
fields, the transplantation of which ought by this time to be 
complete, and the chhdtd (umbrella) ceremony is then gone 
through. For this a big ml pole topped with an umbrella, with 
bamboo ribs and shaft covered with white cloth, and ornamented 
with flower frills and tassels, has been previously prepared 
and pivoted on a framework of vertical *a/ posts fixed in the 
ground, with ropes arranged for hauling the umbrella on its long 
shaft into an upright position. On the arrival of the zamindar 
on horseback or in a ydlki preceded by a horseman, the 
umbrella is rapidly run up and the zamindar and his cortege 
make the circuit of the pole seven times amid the shouts and 
applause of the crowd, which then disperses. A similar festival 
is observed in some localities under the more descriptive name 
of Chhdtd Parab on the last day of the same month. Both 


the Ind and tho Chhdtd festivals aro closely connected with 
what may bo called the semi-feudal zamindari system of the 
district, and the celebrations take place only at present 
or past headquarters of one or other of the local llajas, 
and by way of imitation, of one or two wealthy Kurmi land- 
holders. These festivals mark the completion of the trans- 
plantation of the lower land rice, and the beginning of the 
harvest of the early gora rice. The karani festival referred 
to in an earlier part of the chapter is, however, more generally 
celebrated by Sonthals and other aboriginals in this district later 
in the year, at the end of Aswin., when the reaping of the main 
rice crop begins. 

Aswiii. — The Ji'a Parab takes place on the 8th day of 
the dark phase of the moon in Amin (September-October), 
This is observed for the benefit of children by females 
who are mothers, and widowers with children. The green 
end of a sugarcane, a branch of a fig tree and a small bundle 
of green paddy plants are fixed in the place selected for 
the purpose in the village. Those who observe the ceremony fast 
the whole day and night, and piija is offered to Bhao-abati 
Durga. At night there is the usual dancing and merry- 

Kartik {October-November), — The Oaraijd puja is observed 
on the 15th day of the dark phase of the moon in Kartik. 
The usual Kali puja drinking and dancing begin in the 
evening and the drums are kept going all night " to keep 
the cattle awake." Pujas are offered inside the cattle-shed the 
next morning for the propitiation of tho goddess Bhao-abati 
Durga and a she-goat is generally sacrificed. The following 
day, i.e., the second day of the light half of the month is the 
Kara Kfiunta. On this occasion the horns of the buffaloes 
(both male and female) and of the cows and bullocks are smeared 
with oil and vermilion and various devices daubed on their 
bodies. In the afternoon selected buffaloes and bullocks are tied 
with strong ropes to different posts close to each other alouo- the 
main street of the village. Those are then frightened and scared 
by constant drumming and the tlisplay of red cloth, blankets 
and even bear and tiger skins, iill they break their ropes and 
bolt away. 

Ayhan [November-December),— Th.Q succeeding month Aghnn 
or Agrahayan is not marked by any special festival of tho type 
just described. 

Pam [December-Januari/). — In Pana the Turn Parab is 
observed by unmarried girls thi-oughout the month. Small 

96 MiNBHUM. 

oowdung balls are prepared, and stored in an earthen pot, which 
is painted outside with a solution of pounded rice. Paddy is 
sprinkled over the balls, and pujas offered to the goddess of 
wealth with flowers of mustard and radish every morning before 
anything is eaten. Hymns are also sung invoking the goddess 
and calling on her to provide wealth and good husbands. On 
the last day of the month the girls bathe, set fire to the cowdung 
balls and join in the general Pit ha or cake festival. This is 
celebrated by the whole village bathing very early in the morn- 
ing, preferably in some large river, and on their return eating 
caSes prepared a day or two before of pounded new rice, and 
stuffed with a paste of cocoanut or cocoanut and gur. 

Magh {January -February). — On the succeeding day, the 
first of Magh^ held to be specially auspicious, all cultivators take 
an early bath and, having tied the yoke to the plough with a new 
piece of rope, go out to one of their fields and take the plough 
two and-a-half times round it. They then retarn home and take 
their breakfast and then turn out in bands and go about merry- 
making, cock-fighting, singing, dancing, etc. 

Phalgun {February-March).— In Phalgim the oiihodox Hindu 
festival, the Holi or Phagua, is celebrated by all classes alike and 
takes the place of any special local festival. 

Choitra {March- April). — In Choifra. on the last day of the 
month and also of the Bengali year, is celebrated the Bhokta or 
Charak hook-swinging festival, referred to earlier in this chapter. 
This, though essentially a festival in honour of the Hindu 
Mahadeva and organised by a Brahman priest, is most popular 
with some of the aboriginal and semi-aboriginal castes, and the 
devotees are almost invariably drawn from among these classes, 
the higher castes and orthodox Hiudus being content to look on. 

Besides or as alternatives to some of the above, the Sonthals 
and Mundas observe the ordinary festivals peculiar to those tribes ; 
no attempt need be made here to describe these as they differ in 
no important particulars from the same festivals as observed in 
the districts of the South al Parganas and of Eanchi, and are 
fully described in the volumes of this series dealing with those 

Apart from the dancing, singing and too often drinking 
which, as will be seen, usually form a leading feature of the 
numerous religious or semi-religious festivals that follow one 
another at frequent intervals throughout the year, and constitute 
the chief amusements of the people, the most characteristic 
pastime is hunting. From their earliest years all aborigines use 
bow and arrow partly as a pastime and partly, when this is 


still possible, as a moans of obtaining food. Besides the annual 
regular hunt or Uankwa {lo bit- seiidra) of the Sontlials for 
which they gather in large numbers from all parts of the district 
south of the Damodar at Ajodhya on the Baghmundi range 
of hills, and in the north of the district on the slopes of 
Parasnath, smaller hunts are frequent in the wilder areas, and 
almost everywhere the boys pursue with great zeal any jackal, 
fox or hare that may be sighted near the village with their dogs, 
their bows and arrows, and sticks and stones. Arrow shooting 
matches are not uncommon, and form an essential part of the 
Binda Parub of the Bhumij and of the Akhan Jatra which 
corresponds to the Pitl,a Parab or cake festival as observed 
by the Kurmis. Over a great part of the district, and more 
especially in the south and east, cock-fighting is a very favourite 
amusement ; this usually takes place on market days after the 
main business of the day is over, and takes the form either of 
individual matches or more rarely regular inter-villago matches, 
over which great enthusiasm is displayed. The cocks are 
specially bred and trained for the purpose, and rough pieces 
of iron, three inches or more in lengtli, with an edge hammered 
and ground till it is of knife-like sharpness, are attached to 
the spurs. The contests are usually fought to the fiDish and 
the beaten bird goes as the prize to the owner of the winner. 
Among the Bhumij in the west a kind of hockey {P/iuni khel 
or P/'tudi iiigraiu) is played with considerable zest in the month 
of January, large numbers taking part in the game which is 
played with any ordinary sticks and a ball of raw hide stuffed 
with clotb. The object of the game is to drive the ball over 
the opponent's goal line (there is no actual goal) which is usually 
formed by some natural boundary. Other games are marbles, 
and one resembling 'tipcat', and in the south of the district 
* pegtops ' are occasionally seen. 


98 MlNBHUM, 




Gekbkal Manbhum enjoys the reputation among both Europeans and 
CONDI- Indians of being a particularly healthy district ; considerations 
of temperature indeed make Ranohi and Hazaribagh preferable 
to Europeans as places of residence but PuruKa is still, in spite of 
the accessibility of Ranchi, a favourite health resort among certain 
sections of the Indian population. The fact that the whole 
country is undulating and towns and villages are usually built 
on comparatively high lands, ensures a certain amount, at any 
rate, of natural drainage, and with it a relative immunity from 
the ordinary diseases, which account for the bulk of the morta- 
lity elsewhere. Statistics of mortality fully bear out the pojiular 
reputation, the mean ratio of deaths per mille of population, for 
the quinquennial period ending 1907 being returned at 25'37 
only, as compared with the provincial average of 35*53, the only 
districts boasting a lower mortality rate being Singhbhum with 
21-25 and Sambalpur with 24-29. 

But the Sanitary Commissioner's figures show that there has 
been a gradually falling off in late years in the comparative 
immunity of the district from fever, the ratio of deaths from that 
cause having gone up from 1573 for the ten years ending 1902 
to 19*74 for the succeeding five years, and the district has also 
earned of late an unenviable reputation for severe epidemics of 
cholera and small-pox. These epidemics usually mark the hot 
weather months, April to June, recurring from time to time in 
the case of cholera iu August and September. Ordinary fever 
is most prevalent at the seasons of excessive variations of tem- 
perature which mark the months of March and early April, and 
again the end of the rains, September and October, which is also 
the most favourable period for malarial fevers. The hot weather 
proper is usually, apart from! epidemics of cholera and smaU-pox, 
a healthy period, as also are the cold weather months except for 
the old and for persons of otherwise impaired vitality. All three 
Municipal towns compare favourably with the rest of the district 
in point of view of mortality, and in contrast to the mufassal area 
the figures for the five years ending 1908 show a considerable 


improvomont on those for the doconnial period ending 1902 ; 
iu Turfilia the ratio of deaths decreased from 23*13 to 20-89, 
in liaghuuathpur from 2G-85 to 20'88 and in Jlialda from 
22*55 to 17-9G, the coiTOsponding figures for the district as 
a whole being 22*45 for the earlier period and 28-13 for the 

The present system of ooUocting statistics of births and Vital 
deaths both in urban and rural areas was introduced in 1892 ; "'"'^'^*^'*-"''- 
compulsory registration is iu force in the towns and parents, 
guardians or the persons directly concerned are required to report 
births and deaths to the town police. In rural circles each village 
chaukidar is required to report at the time of the weekly parade 
at the police stations all births and deaths which have occurred in 
his village, or the portion of the village in his charge, during the 
preceding week. In the towns the statistics so collected are 
checked not only by the police but also by the vaccination stafE 
working under the direct control of the Civil Surgeon ; in rural 
areas the chaukidar's reports are from time to time verified by a 
superior police officer. The area of a thana or police circle is 
ordinarily, however, considerable and the amount of control which 
can be exercised over the chaukidars is necessarily small ; the re- 
porting staff is moreover illiterate and ordinarily of no very high 
level of intelligence, and not given to displaying any inordinate 
amount of energy over this or any other branch of their work. 
It follows that registration and classification of diseases are 
much less accurate in rural areas than in the towns where the 
general level of intelligence is higher, and the supervision closer. 
The chief defects in vital registration are the omission to report 
still-births, births of females, and births in outlying hamleta and 
among the lowest castes. Deaths are more carefully recorded 
but the causes of death, except perhaps cholera and small-pox, are 
hopelessly confused, the bulk being classified under the general 
head of fever. 

The returns from 1892 to 1908 show that since 1895 the birth Birth*, 
rate has generally been above 30 per mille, the average for tho 
ten years ending 1902 being 32*78, and for the five years ending 
1908 it was as much as 39*11. The lowest ratio recorded was 
25*91 per mille in 1895 ; in more recent years the laweat reached 
was 31-47 in 1908. Tho highest rate recorded was 44'61 per 
mille in the year just preceding, and this extraordinary drop in 
the birth rate, though to some extent due to incomplete registra- 
tion, can only be fully accounted for as the result of two suc- 
cessive years of short crops and high prices with resulting reduced 
vitality, and the very considerable emigration of women as well 


c 100 MANBHXJM, 

as men during the period of scarcity. As is usually the case 
elsewhere the ratio of births is lowest in the towns, Puriilia 
showing for the five years ending 1908 an average of just over 
20 per mille, and in the preceding ten years only 18*33. For 
the same periods in the town of liaghunathpur the ratio of births 
fell from over 29 to 23 per mille, and in Jhalda from over 27 to 
25*65. The highest ratios of births were generally in the areas 
in which the aboriginal element, more especially the Sonthals 
whose fecundity is proverbial, is strongest ; the lowest rate is 
curiously enough found in Jharia, where a large part of the enu- 
merated population is a floating population of mining cooKes, and 
apart from the fact that the women naturally make for their 
own homes, if possible, before confinement, the registration both 
of births and deaths, is necessarily more difficult and more inac- 
curate than elsewhere. 
DeatiiB, The death-rate during the same periods was lowest in 1898 

when it fell as low as 16"43, a figure partially accounted for by 
the large amount of emigration in the preceding year ; 1899 and 
1900 were also years of low mortality, the ratios being just over 
20 and 21 respectively. Since then there has been a fairly 
steady rise culminating in the high figure of 41*78 per miUe in 
1908, wlien cholera alone accounted for nearly 10 per mille, and 
the mortality from fever exceeded the ordinary average of deaths 
from all causes, the predisposing cause being undoubtedly the 
low vitality resultant on two years of -comparative scarcity and 
high prices. This is clearly shown by the figures showing age 
at death; of 54,375 deaths 8,949 or 16"46 per cent, were of 
infants, 6,940 or 12"76 per cent, of children between 1 and 5 years 
of age, and 6,515 or 11*98 per cent, of persons of 60 years and 
upwards ; over 41 per cent, of the deaths in all being children of 
tender years or the extremely old. 
Infantile Infantile mortality even in ordinary years is high though on 

Mortality, the wholc Manbhuui compares very favourably with many 
districts in the province. In 1906 something less than 16 per cent, 
and in the following year slightly over 16 per cent, of children 
born in the district died within 12 months of their birth, as 
contrasted with over 20 per cent, in 1908 : another 10 to 15 
per cent, die between the ages of one and five. More male 
infants die than females and the feverish and early cold weather 
months, September to December, are especially fatal. In the rural 
areas, given normal conditions, there is no reason why infant 
mortality should be specially high, the climate being ordinarily 
dry and the villages naturally drained. Conditions in the larger 
villages and towns and in the coal field areas, where large 


numbers of coolies live more or less crowded into a very small 
space wiili iiiadoqiuite sauitary arrangements, are not conducive 
to child life. 

The great bulk of the mortality is reported as due to fever, Uisbasbs. 
the ignorant chaukidar for the most part leing incapable of 
distinguisliing more than three specific causes of death (other than 
death by misadventure) ; cholera he knows, small- pox he knows, 
all otliors he treats as due to fever. 

The average mortality from fever for the five years ending Fever. 
1908 was 19*74 per mille as compared with 15-73 permille for the 
ten years ending 1902 ; in the urban areas the variation was in 
the way of decreased ratios ; Purulia showing a small improve- 
ment from 8-44 to 783, Jhalda rather more from 13-91 to 10-82 
and Raghunathpur a very marked decrease from 17*98 (more 
than the district average") to 11*82 per mille. Major S. Anderson, 
I. Ms., Civil Surgeon of the District, writes, "in the rural areas 
there has been a marked increase in the death-rate, the ratios 
having gone up from 1 4*39 to 27*19 during the quinquennial period 
ending 1908. The year I9t)8 records the largest number of 
deaihs, almost double that of 1904, as previously noted, the ratio 
of deaths for the district from this cause, having gone up from 
15*73 for the ten years ending 1902 to 19*74 for the succeeding 
five years. The increase is noticeable in all the thanas of the 
district. Thanas Para, Chandil, Barabazar (Bandwan side), 
Topchanchi, Tundi and Jharia persistently recorded an annual 
increase in the death-rate. From this it would appear that the 
most malarious portions of the district are the forest country at 
the foot of the hills, and especially the rice-growing tracts. 

"The figures shown under head 'Fever' practically represent 
the residue of deaths from all causes after abstracting a certain 
number of deaths from small-pox, dysentery, &o., owing to sheer 
ignorance on the part of the registering agents. Further I am 
of opinion that a large percentage of the cases of this disease are 
imported. Manbhum possessing a dry climate and being within 
easy reach of Calcutta, is resorted to, every year, by a large 
number of health-seekers and patients suffering from malaria, 
enlarged spleen and phthisis. 

"The meteorological data also bear some relation with the 
prevalence of malaria, as it has been noticed that a heavy rain- 
fall together with high level sub-soil water, occurring mainly at 
the foot of hills — as in Topchanchi, and at Dalma in the Barabazar 
thana — favours malaria. The water here forms pools quickly, 
which remain for a long period, and so allow of multiplication of 
the moBquitoeB carrying the fever. 

( 102 MlNBHUM. 

^^ Seasonal prevalence.— A-pait from epidemics of cholera and 
small-pox, which occur from April to June, ' fever ' due to various 
causes is most prevalent in March and early April and again 
in September and October at the end of the rains. In February 
and March a form of ' Influenza ' prevails, mainly a catarrh 
attended with slight fever and frontal headache. 

" Simple fever mainly due to heat occurs during the dry hot 
months of April, May and June ; this when more severe causes 
syncope (failure of heart), difficulty in breathing or acting upon 
the thermal regulating centres produces the so-called * Siriasis ' 
of Manson. 

" True malaria occurs from August to October, but ' relapses 
may occur at any time." 
Oholera. Cholera is endemic in this district, the average death-rate 

during the five years ending 1908 being 2"91 per mille, as com- 
pared with an average of 1'58 in the preceding 10 years. The 
latter figure may be taken as representing the normal death-rate, 
as the second period includes 1908 in which the death-rate 
from cholera reached the exceptional figure 9'27 per mille, the 
maximum recorded for the district for any year for which 
statistics have been compiled. In this year the enormous number 
of 12,075 deaths were recorded, and even this figure probably 
falls far short of the actuals as the coal field area in Jharia and 
Topchanchi thanas was for some time reduced to a state of 
panic, and neither colliery managers nor chaukidars furnished 
complete information. When the epidemic started work was 
being carried on at high pressure all through the field, owing 
to the exceptionally high prices obtainable for all qualities of 
coal; the disease spread rapidly through the field and panic- 
stricken coolies hurrying away from the infected collieries spread 
the disease into all parts of the district. In March the epidemic 
started and in May it reached its height ; in June there was some 
abatement and it died rapidly away shortly after the rains broke. 
The primary causes were undoubtedly the absence of proper 
sanitary arrangements for the large population collected together 
in the comparatively small area covered by the coal-field, the 
exceptionally dry cold weather following on an early cessation 
of the rains, and the consequent drying up or pollution of the 
ordinary sources of water-supply. 

It is not very easy to specify any definite part of the year as 
the cholera season, but taking the statistics for a number of years 
the months March to July would appear to be those in which a 
Berious outbreak is most usual, though occasionally, as in 1907, 
the disease starts as early as January and reaches its height in 



February, Generally speaking, the lost four months of the year 
are comparatively free. 

It is worthy of note that during the outbreak of April- June 
1908 a largo number of persons both European and Indian in 
and near Jharia submitted to inoculation at the hands of 
Professor Ilalikino, with excellent results. 

Small-pox appears every year but is rarely either epidemic Smajl-po 
or widespread ; it was only in 1902 that the death-rate rose over 
1 per raille, the incidence being greatest in the months of April 
and May. For the five subsequent years the average incidence 
was somewhat less than 2 per 10,000, as compared with rather 
more than 3 per 10,000 for the preceding decennial period. 

Dysentery, diarrhoea and other forms of bowel complaints are Bowel 
credited with barely two deaths per 10,000, but as has already '^"'"' 
been pointed out the general tendency is to report all deaths, 
where the disease is accompanied by fever, as due to " fevers." 
No great reliance can therefore be placed on these figures, though 
it may perhaps bo asserted with some degree of confidence that 
the climate is not, as a rule, provocative of this class of diseases, 
and in respect thereof the district is among the healthiest in the 

From the ravages of plague the district has been singularly Piaj^uo. 
immune ; the disease indeed appeared at Jharia in the cold 
weather of 1906-07 and for some months there were sporadic 
cases, but the prompt measures taken by the Local Committee 
which included the burning down of part of the Jharia bazar 
where the disease had started, and a vigorous campaign of rat- 
killing throughout the adjoining colliery area apparently pre- 
vented the disease from getting a hold. The number of reported 
deaths was only nine and there has been no recrudescence in the 
area then affected. In the following year there were two isolated 
cases, both imported from Mirzapur at Balarampur, and in 1909 
one death occurred at Purulia, the victim having brought the 
disease from Calcutta, 

The iufimiities of blindness and leprosy are very common, infimii- 
the (number of blind persons and lepers per 10,000 head of ''"*• 
population being in 1901 something over 35 and 30 respectively, 
as contrasted with only 18 and 9^, the figures for the province 
as a whole. No special reasons are assignable for these high 
figures, though in the case of leprosy the numbi-r is swelled by 
the inclusion of a good many from the neighbouring districts of 
Burdwan, Bankura and Birbhum, which with Maiibhum appears 
to bo a special focus of this disease, brought together in the local 
asylum, of which an aooount will be found at the end of that 



chapter. The majority of the persons afflicted belong to the 
lowest classes. 
Vaccina- Vaccination is compulsory only in Municipal areas, but on 

the whole it does not appear to be regarded with any groat dis- 
favour by the people generally ; the ordinary attitude is one of 
more or less passive indifference, and it is only occasionally and 
in limited areas that active objection is ta.keu. In 1908-03 
57,593 persons or 44 per mille of the population were successfully 
vaccinated, and the average annual number in the previous 
five years was 47,984 representing 36 per mille. The district was 
formerly the great centre of inoculation for the whole of the 
Chota Nagpur Division, and though the practice has now practi- 
cally died out the following account taken from the Eeport on 
the subject by the Inspector-General of Civil Hospitals in 
1869-70 and reproduced in Hunter's Statistical Account may 
be of interest. " Most of the inoeulators (called iikaiis, from 
iika, a mark) were Brahmans, and the District was divided 
between them, so that each inoculator had a circle within which 
he had an exclusive right, recognized both by other tikaits and 
by the inhabitants, to carry on his profession. Besides this they 
practised in the neighbouring districts of Lohardaga and Singh - 
bhum, and to a limited extent in Hazaribagh. As a rule each 
family of tikaits held some land which had been granted to them 
by zamindars for their services, but depended chiefly on inocu- 
lation for a living. The average fee charged was four annas for 
a male child, and two annas for a female ; but the expenses for 
tne religious ceremonies attending the event, and the present 
usually made to the inoculator on the thirteenth day after the 
operation, made the outlay so great that it was regarded as an 
expense to be incurred only once in a lifetime. The instrument 
used was a small iron screw about two inches long, sharp at one 
end to prick the skin, and flattened at the other to apply the 
small-pox matter, which was carried in the shell of a fresh-water 
Sanita. In 1873 the Sanitary Commissioner reported that " in the 

^^°*'' district at large, sanitation, even in the most ordinary sense of 
the word, is not attended to, except in the larger villages, such 
as Eaghunathpur, Jhalda, Manbazar, etc. Where municipalities 
exist, conservancy is looked after, and a certain amoimt of care 
and cleanliness is observed. European and native ideas differ 
widely in matters of household sanitation. The dwellings of the 
natives are constructed without the least regard to light and venti- 
lation ; and generally, heaps of bones, broken pottery, animal 
ordure, straw saturated with offensive liquids, dried and rotten 



leaves, etc., aro found around them." To a gl-eat extent this 
description rciuaius i rue to the facts, though it is perhaps unfair 
to duseriLo the smaller vilhigos as generally insanitary, iho natural 
conditions ordinarily obviating the necessity of any elahortite 
sanitary arrangements, and the hahits, at any rate, of the superior 
aboriginal races, I'.tj., the Sunthals, being fur the most part rather 
more cleanly than might be inferred from this description. Of 
tlio larger villages, with few exceptions, the description is much 
nearer to the facts, and outside the municipal towns and the 
Jharia coal field, to which reference will bo made later, there is 
jin entire absence of any methodical sanitary arrangements. 

Turulia was described in the same report as having generally in 
excellent sanitary arrangements; its population was then under ^""'^"'* 
6,000, which had by 1901 grown to over 17,000. Even now, 
however, few parts of the town are congested, and the natural 
drainage (most of the main roads have pukka roadside drains) 
is sufficient to keep the town fairly clean, though the eventual 
necessity for a regular drainage system is realised, and a scheme 
is now under preparation. The conservancy arrangements, usual 
in municipal areas, are in existence and, besides the road-clean- 
ing and scavenging establishment, a large body of sweepers are 
maintained for private latrines. There are numerous good wells 
in the town, the municipality maintaining some nine, and the 
Saliibbandh, elsewhere referred to, is a practically never-f ailing- 
source of good drinking water, special precautions being taken 
to prevent its pollution by surface drainage and when necessary 
by persons or cattle bathing therein. Besides the Sahibbandh 
there are a few other fairly clean tanks ; the chief obstacle, how- 
ever, to good sanitation is the large number of smaller tanks, 
a few of them public property but the bulk private, widch are to 
be found in all parts of the town and which are more or less per- 
manently polluted by surface drainage, sullage or other sources of 
pollution. The task of filling up or draining many of these is one 
which has to be faced sooner or later, but in its present financial 
condition the municipality cando but little. 

Beyond short lengths of roadside drains, the provision of a in the 
few municipal wells, and of a small conservancy and scavenging villages, 
staff neither the Jhalda nor Eaghunathpur Municipalities have 
been in a position to provide very much in the way of improved 
sanitation ; strictly speaking, however, they are not towns but 
merely large villages, and as such conditions are certainly very 
much better than in some of the rural villages, with rather smaller 
population, but almost as imporiant as centres of trade. In 
these, as for example Balarampur, Chandil, Manbazar, Chas and 

, 106 mAnbhum. 

Oheliama all in the Sadar subdivision, of which all but the last 
named are centres of the lac industry, the sanitary condition 
leaves much to bo desired ; attempts are made from time to time 
with varjdng success to regulate the nuisance arising from the 
waste-water from the lac factories, and occasionally the local 
shop-keepers combine for a time to employ one or more sweepers 
to keep the main street comparatively clean ; generally speaking, 
however, no special attention is paid to sanitation beyond the 
provision of an occasional well by some public- spirited shop- 
keeper or merchant or by the District Board. The latter body, 
it may be noticed, has now on its books 21 wells besides 8 tanks, 
and provision is annually made for some 8 or 10 new wells 
in different parts of the district. Dhanbaid which has recently 
become the head-quarters of the subdivision and shows signs of 
rapidly growing into a considerable town, has taken early steps to 
regulate itself ; a strong local committee has been formed with 
the Subdivisional Officer as President and about one thousand 
rupees, raised by subscription locally, is spent annually on a 
conservancy staff. A similar committee is mooted for Katras, 
and it is proposed eventually to convert these into regular Union 
In tba Sanitation in the ooal field area is a problem which has given 

t'oal fields, infinite trouble during the past five years, and is far from being 
solved yet. Prior to 1906 when plague broke out at Jharia and 
there was a general scare, practically nothing was ,done ; coolies 
were indifferently housed, or left to arrange for themselves, here 
and there only attempts were made to provide comparatively 
pure drinking water, and conservancy arrangements were oon- 
epicuous by their absence. The outbreak of plague resulted in 
the formation of a special Sanitary Committee consisting of 
representatives of several of the leading firms interested and of 
the local zamindar, the Civil Surgeon of the district, the local 
Medical Officer of the Indian Mining Association and the Sub- 
divisional Officer with the Deputy Commissioner as President. 
The suppression of the plague outbreak and the warding off 
of any possible recurrence were the primary objects of this 
Committee and with the active co-operation of the Raja's 
Manager a good deal was done to clean out the Augean stable 
existing in the shape of the crowded and filthy Jharia bazar. A 
staff of Inspectors with gangs of oooHes was organised, which, 
besides directing the rat-catching operations, wore to take steps 
to clean up specially insanitary bast is or oolloctiona of coolies* 
huts. At the same time most of the larger collieries employed 
a more adequate staff of sweepers for the conservancy of tlieir 


own particular oolliories, and a more onlightenod policy began to 
bo adopted in the matter of provision of regular cooly lines and 
the supply of drinking wutor. With the departure of plague 
and in the absence of any law or recognised rules which could 
be enforced, the energies of the Committee and their staff very 
soon ceased to have any groat effect, and on the smaller collieiies 
and in the villages adjoining or in tho midst of the colliery area, 
where the authority of the Committee, or of individual colliery 
managers of more enlightened views or greater public spirit, did 
not extend, conditions rapidly reverted to what they had former- 
ly been. The recurring cholera epidemics of 1906 and 1907 
stimulated to renewed efforts on the part of a few managers, and 
in tho matter of cooly linos the good example set was of con- 
siderable effect ; little attention was, however, paid to the water- 
supply question outside a very limited circle, and the result was 
the disastrous epidemic of 1908, which, besides causing enor- 
mous mortality, practically brought the working of tho mines 
to a standstill for nearly three months at a time when every extra 
ton of coal raised meant a record profit. The immediate 
result was the expenditure of very large sums by most of the 
leading concerns on more or less elaborate arrangements for 
improving tho water-supply of their respective collieries; two or 
three had already, before the outbreak, installed Jewel filter 
systems, and these proving generally satisfactory, were quickly 
introduced elsewhere, in some cases on a very largo scale. The 
housing of coolies also received renewed attention, the medical 
and conservancy staff on many collieries was strengthened, and 
here and there some effort was made to clean out and reserve 
tanks, and to provide surface drainage in the cooly lines. It 
was generally felt, however, that tho solution of the problem 
did not and could not lie with individual colliery managers, or iu 
individual schemes ; insanitary conditions in adjoining villages 
and in the numerous smaller collieries, where the efforts towards 
improved sanitation were neither vigorous nor sustained, remain- 
ed a constant source of danger to the better managed properties 
in their neighbourhood ; moreover in many oases private arrange- 
ments for proper water-supply by moans of Jewel filters or 
otherwise were rendered difficult by the absence of a sufficient 
supply of pit or other wator which might bo filtered and rendered 
potable. A general scheme to supply tho whole coal field was 
mooted, and was gone into with some care ; prima facie such a 
Bchome is desirable and ultimately necessary but tho i»roblom8 
involved, both engineering and financial, are of considerable 
complication, and up to date no eoheme has been worked out in 

^ 108 MANBHUM. 

sufficient detail to enable a proper examination of the possibilities 
and difficulties to be made. 
Necessity AnotLer lesson brought home by the 1908 epidemic follow- 

j^'^'j^j _ ing as it did on serious, though less severe, outbreaks in the two 
tion. preceding years was the necessity for legislation enabling the 

enforcement of ordinary sanitary and conservancy rules. The 
interests engaged in the coal industry are many, and to some 
extent conflicting, and till recently any general public spirit 
over-ridiug individual and temporary interests has been con- 
spicuous by its absence. Concerted action was to a certain 
extent possible where collieries belonged to the Indian Mining 
Association, but there were and are many which do rot. More- 
over the number of small concerns with very small capital, and of 
others whose working capital is inadequate owing to the inflated 
sums paid to promoters when the mines were first opened or taken 
over from their previous owners during the height of the boom, is 
considerable ; any heavy expenditure on water supply and sanita- 
tion, the return from which is only at the best prospective, can 
hardly be expected, and the result is that danger spots remain 
alongside and in the midst of areas where the most enlightened 
and wealthier collieries have sunk large sums in improving con- 
ditions. A similar state of things exists in regard to many of the 
villages in the neighbourhood of collieries, originally small agri- 
cultural villages, now largely crowded out by extra population 
connected with the mines; here too power to compel the reserva- 
tion of tanks and wells, to control the manner and place of dis- 
posal of the dead, to clear out congested areas and to enforce 
comparative cleanliness within the village site is an urgent desi- 

Various proposals have been made from time to time and have 
been rejected as unsuitable or impossible. The proposal to form the 
whole area into a municipality was one of the earliest, but the 
Act was obviously unsuitable for an area so large ; the limitations 
of the Epidemic Diseases Act rendered a second proposal to pro- 
mulgate rules under that Act of little value, as such rules could 
only have been enforced for the short period of six months, 
Grreat things were expected of the new provisions in regard to 
Union Committees embodied in the Local Self-Grovernment 
Amendment Act of 19t)8 and it was hoped that it would be 
possible to form two or three Union Committees under the Act 
with sufficient powers to enforce the sanitary rules already pro- 
pounded. Unfortunately it proved that the provisions of the Act 
in regard to finance put such Committees out of the question, and 
this proposal like the others had to be abandoned. The solution 


of the problem has still to be found ; it 'is generally thought to lie 
in some amendment of the Indian Mines Act, extending the 
duGnition of " mine" to include not merely the actual workings 
as at pn sent but also the colliiry iTeuiisL'S, including the cooly 
lines generally, ond in order to meet the difficulty in regard to 
outside villages, the addition of a suitable definition of a mining 
settlement, which should include them. These changes with due 
provisions for suitable committees with powers to enforce rules and 
a staff to inspect and report on sanitary conditions will, it is 
hoped and jiuiicipated, meet a great part, at any rate, of the 
present difficulties of the situation. A general water-supply 
scheme to supply pure water pumped ,from the bed of the 
JJamodar river, throughout the coal field has so far failed to 
materialise, and in the. present depressed conditiou of the 
coal industry it is hardly likely that any such scheme, even 
though feasible from an engineering point of view, could be 
financed. Meantime the Sanitation Committee already referred 
continues to exist and maintains a small staff whose main busi- 
ness it is to give early information of any outbreak of epidemic 
disease, and to form a nucleus for the larger staff which would 
be necessary to deal with any really serious outbreak. The 
provision of improved cooly linos continues, experience showing 
that tho labour force now looks upon weather-proof huts or 
"dhowras," as they are locally called, as more or less essential; 
when not provided tho coolies will not stay. Some attempt is 
also made in most of the larger collieries to provide comparatively 
pure drinking w ater, but oven now there is much to be desired 
in this respect, and instances are not infrequent where a couple 
of wells, mthout any arrangement for distribution through the 
lines or workings, are tho only provision for a labour force of 
upwards of a thousand. Tanks and ohl quarries filled with water 
must in such cases be used and also the pit water, and all these 
are more often than not polluted, so that the possibility of a 
rocurreijco of serious outbreaks of cholera is a constant one. 
Nowhere as yet in the coal field is latrine accommodation pro- 
vided and the resulting evils must necessarily grow more acute 
as tho area becomes more and more congeslod. Altogether 
though in the last few yeai-s tliere has been a considerable 
improvement, tho absence of luethod and system in matters of 
sanitation in tho Jharia coal field presents a far from pleasant 
picture, and considerations of conmion humanity as well as the 
interests of the industry call for early and concerted action. 

There are eight pubUc dispensaries situated at Purulia, Jhalda, Jngi'tu.' 
Eaghunathpur, Chas and Baiabazar in the Sadar subdivision and tions. 


at Dhanbaid, Topcli5nchi and GoHndpur in the Dhanbaid sub- 
diviBion. Private dispensaries supervised by the Civil Surgeon, 
are also maintained at Jharia and Pandra by the proprietors of 
those estates. The zamindar of Nawagarh also keeps up a 
small private dispensary and the majority of the larger collieries 
have their own arrangements for the medical relief of their 
labour force. At Pokhuria medical relief is provided in ordinary 
cases by Eevd. Dr. Campbell of the United Free Church of 
Scotland Mission to the Sonthals, and occasional visits are paid 
by one of the medical missionaries from other stations in the 
Sonthal Parganas or Monghyr. 

In-patients are received at (1) the Purulia dispensary which 
has 26 beds for men and 8 for women ; (2) the Jhalda dispen- 
sary with 2 beds for men and 2 for women; (3) the Barabazar 
dispensary with 4 beds ; (4) the Jharia dispensary with 5 beds ; 
(5) the Purulia infectious diseases' hospital with 8 beds for 
men and 8 for women, and the new dispensary at Dhanbaid, 
when |complet«, will have accommodation for 6 male and 4 
female in-patients. 

The oldest dispensaries are those at Purulia, established in 
August 1866, and at Pandra, established by the liberality of 
E.Ani Ilingan Kumari in December 1872. The most impor- 
tant of the medical institutions is at present the dispensary 
at Purulia ; it is maintained by the municipality with the help 
of a contribution from the District Board, private subscriptions, 
and a small endowment fund, devoted to the maintenance of a 
trained Dhai. From time to time improvements have been 
made from funds obtained from various private donors, and a 
new operation ward is shortly to be constructed and other im- 
provements made, the bulk of the money required having been 
subscribed by the two leading zamindars of the district, Jyoti 
Lai Prosad Singh Deo of Kashipur and Eaja Durga Prosad 
Singh of Jharia. 

The new dispensary at Dhanbaid promises, when complete, to 
be a model institution ; besides the main dispensary building 
there wiU be separate wards for males and females providing ac- 
commodation for 16 patients in all, an infectious diseases' ward 
with 2 beds, a moribund ward with 4 beds, besides a fully equipped 
operation room built on the most approved principles, and suitable 
quarters for the dispensary staff. The dispensary is managed 
by the District Board which contributes Rs. 500 annually to- 
wards its upkeep ; there is a subscription list amounting to some 
Es. 2,675 per annum, a large part of which is contributed by the 
various colliery companies, and Government, besides meeting the 


charges on aooount of the Assistant Surgeon's salary and allow- 
ances, contributes Us. 545 annuall}'. The dispensary has been 
open as an outdoor dispensary since July 1908, and the remain- 
ing buildings are now practically complete. 

Dispensaries are maintained by the East Indian Railway 
Company at Dlianbaid and by the Bengal-Nagpur Railway at 
Adra, at both of which places there are resident medical officers. 

Tho European system of medicine and surgery has steadily i,„ii ,e. 
gained popularity, and at Puriilia, Dhanbaid, Jharia and a few nous sya- 
places within the district there are medical practitioners with *^^''!ji'.^i„e. 
Calcutta or other qualifications, whoso practice is considerable and 
is for the most part conducted on European lines. Outside, 
however, the immediate radius of the dispensaries European 
drugs are not commonly used, and the majority of the people con- 
sult Indian doctors, either Muhammadan Hakims or the Vaidyas 
who practise the Hindu system of medicine. In the remoter 
areas the village ojha or the barber is consulted, and tho treat- 
ment consists in many cases of incantations, charms or tho per- 
formance of pujas varied with the use of a few comparatively 
simple herbal remedies, the knowledge of which in particular 
diseases has been handed down from father to son. More or less 
complete starvation and abstinence from drink is ordinarily pre- 
scribed in fever cases : in other diseases the remedies range horn. 
comparatively harmless and occasionally suitable drugs such as 
opium, camphor, nutmeg, myrabolam, aloes, lime-juice, salt, vino- 
gar, assafootida to various nauseating compounds including such 
materials as animal urine. 

Tho Lepor Asylum at Purulia was started on a small scale in 
1886-87 by the Rev. Homrich TJffmann of the German Evange- Asyluin. 
listic Mission in connection with the Mission to Lepers in India 
and the East. It was removed to its present site, about two 
miles west of the public offices and entirely separated from the 
town and its outskirts by a broad strip of cultivation, some four 
years later, and in the years succeeding has grown into a smtdl 
town of itself, neatly laid out in a largo sal plantation with well- 
built brick houses accommodating each some 12 persons, each 
house being 50 feet from its neighbour on either side. Down 
tho centre runs a wall which separates the male wards from the 
female, and along it at intervtds are the officoF., ihe shop, the 
hospital and in a central position tho churcli. For doubtful cases 
there are separate observation wards, and htdf a mile or more away 
and nearer the town is a large building and compound forming a 
home for the untainted children of the lepers. Both hero and 
in tho Asylum itself are schools, including for untainted children 


a Teohnical School where carpentry, mason-work and other useful 
crafts are taught. In the main Asylum there are now 22 wards 
for men and 18 for women, of which all save 3 (two male and 
one female, built at Government expense) have been provided by 
the supporters of the Mission and other friends. 

The average population is from 600 to 700, the actual 
number in May 1910 being 629, inclusive of 41 cases under 
observation and 50 children in the " Untainted Children's Home." 
The popularity of the Asylum is such that the majority of cases 
find their way there willingly, and the number of lepers sent 
there by the Magistrate under the Act is, as a rule, very small. 
A large majority of the inmates are, however, such as could 
legally be sent there, and in consideration of this fact and the 
useful work done by the Asylum, it receives an annual grant of 
Es. 12,000 from Government. 

The Asylum is now the largest of its kind in India ; as 
already stated it is situated pleasantly and in a healthy situation. 
Numerous wells have been sunk, and cisterns and bathing plat- 
forms provided and both houses and compound are kept scrupulously 
clean by the lepers themselves, each separate house having one of 
it inmates responsible as house-master or mistress as the case may 
be. Those who are able to do so are encouraged to keep up their 
own small patches of garden, and recently advantage has been 
taken of the Land Improvement Loansj Act to build a tank and 
bring some of the extensive waste land beyond the Asylum 
under cultivation. 

One of the features of the place is the shop where small 
luxuries can be purchased, each adult male getting a casli allow- 
ance of 5| annas and each adult female 4 annas per week besides 
a daily allowance of uncooked rice ; the making of their small 
purchases and the cooking of their own food add undoubtedly to 
the pleasure of their lives and to the popularity of the Asylum, 
and make cases of evasion rare, though the opportunity is always 
present, the Asylum being open on every side and in no sense of 
the word a prison. 

From the outset the working of the Asylum has been in the 
hands of the German Evangelical Mission, and to the Rev. 
II. Uffmann, who initiated the work, and the late Rev. F. Hahn 
and the liev. P. Wagner (now in charge) especial credit is due 
for its thoroughly efficient organisation and management. 




The surface of the district consists generally of a succession Geseual 
of rolling uplands with intervening hollows, along which the y^^^g' 
drainage runs off to join the larger sti earns. The soil is naturally 
an infertile laterite of, as a rule, no great depth, and the general 
tendency is towards continual detrition, the process being contin- 
ued till the underlying rock or heavier gravel is exposed, where- 
ever the higher lands are denuded of vegetation and notliing 
done to Lring them under cultivation, before the disappearance of 
such vegetable loam as had formed there in the days when the 
forest or vegetation remained. Similarly, the more level spaces 
between the ridges and undulations requii'e constant protection, 
if they are to retain the soil that has been washed down from the 
higher slopes, as every heavy shower tends to wash the soil down, 
first into the smaller streams and finally into the larger rivers. 
The first esi^ential, therefore?, from the cultivator's point of view, 
is to break up this constant surface drainage and stop the conse- 
quent detrition, and the result is to be seen at the present day in 
the conversion of the slopes and hollows, wherever practicable, 
into terraces of different levels, these again being cut up into 
smaller patches each with its protecting embankment, varying in 
height from a few inches to several feet. The rainfall is thu.^ 
retained on each particular terrace and field, and cultivation of 
a wet rice-crop made possible. The power of retaining moisture 
varies, largely, of course, with the nature and depth of the soil, 
and percolation from one terrace to another is more or less slow 
or rapid ; the lower, however, the level, the more the field benefits 
by the moisture percolating from those above it, and except 
where the nature of the soil and the absence of proper drainage 
is such that they become water-logged, the lowest levels ordinarily 
furnish thu best and most secure rice lands. 

A system of cultivation, such as is described above, is suitable 
mairly for rice, and rice is the main crop of the district. Land 
on the ridges, where there is a suthciency of soil, is cultivated 
without the preliminary process of levelling with a crop of early 
{(jora) rice sown broadcast, or with kodo, or ona of the pulses 


nrid and mungy known locally as biri, in the early rains, May 
to October, and with, various oil-seeds in the cold season. High 
lands near the village sites, which are within reach of such 
manure as is available, are cultivated in the autumn with maize, 
kodo and biri, aud in the spring such lands may also yield a crop 
as oil-seeds, or occasionally of wheat or barley. 

The extent of cultivation varies with the predominance of 
particular characteristics. South of the Damodar in the northern 
half of the Sadar sub-division, an area of some 1,600 square miles, 
the undulation of the country is comparatively slight, and except 
along the eastern and western borders whore much scrub jungle 
still remains, cultivation is fairly close, and the eye is met, as one 
tops each ridge, with the view of a large expanse of terraced rice 
fields, dotted with numerous small tanks and here aud there 
clumps of trees, marking the village sites. In places, more 
especially in thana Eaghunathpur and the eastern portion of 
thana OhSs, the ridges are comparatively low and the interven- 
ing hollows so extensive that the terracing is barely noticeable 
except to a close observer, and the impression obtained is rather 
that of a stretch of ordinary Bihar or Eastern Bengal rice 
fields ; such favoured tracts are, however, rare. 

South of Purulia itself and a line drawn east and west, practi- 
cally coinciding with the Bankura jmd Eanchi roads, conditions are 
less favourable, bare uncultivaled stretches of high land are 
more in evidence, the country is more broken up as it falls rapidly 
away to the Kasai river. Towards the west the rugged Ajodhya 
range rises abruptly from the plain south of, and at no great dis- 
tance from, the K&sai. To the east the country is better clothed 
•with vegetation, but scrub jungle and bare high lands are more 
in evidence than cultivation. South of this again is an area of 
fairly close cultivation stretching towards the hilly range which, 
with the Subarnarekha below it on the south, divides the district 
from Singhbhum. As the hills are approached cultivation becomes 
scattered, giving way as one advances further to stretches of 
Borub jungle and when the foot hills are reached to traces of 
the great forests which once clothed this range. 
Ikflxt- '^^ second main condition on which the nature and extent of 

EKOB OP the agriculture depend is the climate and, more especially, the 
TAWi.' rainfall. As will be seen from the account just given of the 
physical conditions which prevail in the district of Manbhum, 
rainfall is necessarily a matter of prime importance. Without 
adequate rain in due season, both preparation of the soil and 
sowing of the crop is impossible, the soil itself not being natur- 
ally one that can retain moisture for any considerable length of 


time. The normal annual rainfall of the district is 53 inches 
of which nearly 44 roproscut the ordinary fall in the months of 
June, July, August and September ; 3 inches may be expected 
in October and Nuvumber, less than 1-^ inches in the three suo- 
coediug months, and somowliat under o inches in the months of 
March, April and May. The ideal distribution for the cultivator 
whoroHes maiidy on his %\inter rice crop, is a sufficiency of 
showers in early May to enable him to get his fields dug over 
and ploughed, lie then requires fairly heavy rain at the end 
of May in order to prepare his seed beds, sow his seedlings and 
have sufficient moisture to keep the young plants green till the 
regular rains coimnence. This should be between the loth and 
20th of June, and to be really useful the fall during the latter 
half of Juno should measui'e some 8 to 10 inches. While he is 
going on with the preparation of his fields, which includes several 
ploughings, the repairing and strengthening of the ails and 
embankments and other preliminary preparations, his seedlings 
are growing rapidly and by the second week of July he should be 
able to begin trans[)lantation, and with fairly regular but not too 
heavy rain throughout July and in the earlier part of August he 
should complete this in fields of all levels by tho middle of that 
month. Thereafter, all that is required is suflSciently heavy rain at 
intervals to keep the young crop almost continuously standing in 
a few inches of water. About the second week of September it is 
usual to run off the surface water with the idea of encouraging 
the formation of tho grain but in doing so the cultivator incurs a 
considerable risk and this practice makes a heavy fall of rain at 
the end of September an absolute necessity. Given this, however 
and some 3 or 4 inches in the first fori night of October his crop 
even if no f uriher rain is received, should be a bumper one. 

It will thus be seen that it is not merely the quantity of rain- 
fall which is imporiant, but also the timeliness or otherwise of the 
different falls. If, for instance, the May rains fail, the preparatioi. 
of the fields, the sowing of the seeds in tho seed beds and their 
subsequent transplantation are all delayed, and tho crop ultimately 
suffers in a greater or less degree, even though the rains in the 
latter months are timely and adequate. Again, when after suitable 
rains in May the June rains are delayed, the cultivator wiU have 
his time cut out to keep his seedlings alive ; in extreme cases he 
may have to begin over again, when the rains do come, by sowing- 
fresh seed at the time when ho ought to bo transplanting- -with 
the result that -by the time the fields are planted out the beet port 
of the rainy season will have gone by and his chances of ^eftino- 
anything more than a poor crop will be very small. Again 


1 16 MANBHUM. 

when all conditions have been favourable down to tJie middle of 
September, the absence of rain during the succeeding three weeks 
or a month will mean probably the entire loss of his crop on the 
higher level fields, and at the most a 50 per cent, crop on those on 
the lowest level, unless by irrigation he is able to make up for the 
deficiency in the necessary moisture. For the bhddoi crops an 
early cessation of the rains does not so much matter, but the 
earlier rains must be ample. For Indian corn, though ample 
rainfall is necessary, ample sunshine is almost equally important 
as without it the grain will neither fill out nor ripen. For the 
rabi crops the September rains are all important, as without them 
the fields will not contain suflficient moisture to germinate the 
seed, and to ensure a full crop periodical showers from December 
to February are also necessary. 
Irrigation. The dependence of the crop on rainfall is thus such as to make 
it very necessary that the cultivator should be prepared to supple- 
ment deficient rainfall by irrigation. Unfortunately, the nature 
of the country lends itself to one system only, viz., that of 
irrigation from ahars and bdndhs themselves dependent for 
their supj)ly of water on the jrainfall. In other districts, as for 
example in Gray a, it is possible to feed the ahars by channels 
or 2min% taking off from the different streams which depend 
for their water not on local rainfall but on the rainfall of the 
hiUy regions where they have their source. In this district all 
the larger rivers, and most of the smaller streams, run a very 
rapid course along beds which are usually very much below the 
general level of the surrounding country and, in order to utilize 
their water for irrigation purposes, it would ordinarily be 
necessary to construct channels of great length and through very 
difficult country at an expense which would be prohibitive. 

The bdndhs of this district of which there are, as a rule, 
several in every cultivated village, are simply embankments 
thrown across a favourable dip in the general level of the ground. 
In some cases the embankment is a comparatively high one across 
a deep valley, but ordinarily any existing natural depression is 
made use of by raising a low bank on one or more of its sides. 
In a few cases as much as 100 acres of land may be irrigable 
from such a bdndhy but in the vast majority the area irrigated is 
from 5 to 10 acres only. Such bdndhs are constructed practically 
wherever it is possible to catch a certain amount of surface 
drainage and at the same time to terrace a few rice fields below 
them. Tile irrigation is effected ordinarily by percolation; 
only in exceptional cases is the bdndh cut or the water drawn off 
b/ a pipe or other outlet, as for instance, when water is required 


to preserve the seedlings or, towards the end of tlie season, to • 
make up for the deficiency of the rainfall. For cold weather 
crops such Jx'Didlm arc ordinarily useless, as in a dry year the 
majority retain little water fifter December. "When land is first 
brought under cultivation, the cultivator naturally tackles first the 
land in the lowest part of a dip and the hdndh constructed is 
usually some way down the slope and, consequently, gets a large 
amount of surface drainage and is so much the more useful for 
irrigation purposes. As cultivation extends, the lower bdndhs are 
themselves converted into rice fields except where they have been 
excavated to any great depth, and the new bdndhs constructed 
higher up get proportionately less water ond at the same time 
have to serve a larger area. The general result, in areas where 
practically the whole of the easily available land has already 
been brought under cultivation, and this applies to a large part of 
the district, is that the hd}tdhs are of comparatively little value as 
a safeguard against failure of the crops and in a year of very 
deficient rainfall, being themselves dependent on the rainfall for 
their water, they can hardly be classed even as protective works. 

Irrigation from wells is practically unknown; only masonry welis. 
wells, sunk to considerable depth, would be suitable in a soil 
composed so largely of gravel and disintegrated rock, and con- 
struction of such wells, the cost of which can never be accurately 
estimated in advance owing to the possibility of meeting hard 
rock, is only within reach of the exceptionally prosperous culti- 
vator ; they are rarely met with therefore outside the village site. 
Kutcha wells are occasionally sunk a few feet in the beds of 
bdhd/ts, or in low level rice fields, but this is done ordinarily in 
order to supply drinking water for men and cattle, when other 
sources have failed, and not for irrigation. 

Beyond multiplying the number of iandhs and enlarging and kxtbn- 
deepening existing bandhs, extension of irrigation is hardly ^^^^ °^ 
possible except at prohibitive cost. Various schemes for irrigation jiy^. 
dams and channels were considered in connection with the 
enquiries made by the Irrigation Commission of 1901-03, and a 
few of these were examined in greater detail in 1907 by an 
Executive Engineer specially deputed for the purpose. 

Of these, only one project was of any size or importance, viz., 
the proposal to throw a dam across the Saldaha Jhor some five 
miles south of Jhalda near the village Lagam. Here the ^it^^eam 
passes between two hills in a valley about a mile wide, and the 
Executive Engineer considered that at a cost of about Es. (>l»,000 
it would be possible to form a reservoir of sufiBcient ai;te to irrigate 
an area of some two to three thousand acres in some half dozen 

il6 mAnbhttm. 

villages. No detailed plans and^estimates have yet been prepared 
and it is, perhaps, doubtful whether the scheme is really at all 
practicable and it is certainly doubtful whether the return in the 
shape of additional rents, if the local Zemindar undertook the 
cost of construction, would anything like recoup him or, should 
Government constmct the reservoir, whether a water-rate, such as 
the tenants could pay, would give an adequate return on the 
outlay. The stream being a comparatively small hill stream with 
only a small drainage area, it seems unlikely that sufficient water 
would be stored in the years in which water is most necessary, i.e., 
the years in which ihe rains absolutely fail. 

The District Famine Programme provides for the construction 
or improvement of bdndhs in a large number of villages. Such 
bdnd/is make cultivation possible, and they reduce the chances of 
entire failure of the crop in years of badly distributed rainfall, 
though, as already explained, in a year of deficient rainfall they 
are liable to fail as sources of irrigation just when they are most 
needed. Still a degree of protection is better than none at all, 
and, in the absence of any workable scheme to ensure complete 
protection, it seems desirable that the construction and improve- 
ment of landhs should be encouraged in every possible way. 

Soils. The prevailing characteristic of the soil is hard ferruginous 

gravel with a thin overspread layer of vegetable mould, where 
protected by jungle growth or otherwise from detrition. The 
system of cultivation as well as the rapid denudation of the 
jungle, prevents any great addition being made to the alluvium, 
and for its phosphates and nitrates the cultivated area has to 
depend mainly either on rotation of crops which is barely 
practised at all except on the high lands, or on such manure as 
the cattle which graze unrestrained after the rice harvest provide, 
or the mud dug out periodically from the dried up bdndhs and 
tanks. Except on the high lands adjoining the homesteads and 
on lands selected for sugarcane, regular manuring with cattle 
dung is rarely gone m for, and the increasing difficulty of 
getting wood tends to make the cultivator trench more and 
more on the available supply ol cattle dung as a substitute for 

Scientific Ml. Mukherji in his note on the soils of this district 

ciassifica- dassifies them as follows ;— 

I. Clay or chita — 

(«) Qobra c/iitn is of a blackish colour, very hard when 

dry and impossible to plough till softened by much 

rain. It is retentive of moisture. Eice, oilseedn, 

gram and cottou are grown on this land. 


((.) Dvdhichita is of whito or reddish colour. It is an 

imperm»mblo clay mixed with limestono nodules. 

It is sticky when wot but very hard when dry. 

Grows no crops, 
(c) Dhaha cinta or knnm is also very similar to the above 

in physical oliaractor and agricultural value. It is 

a source of lime. 

II. Loamy soil — 

{a) Dorasa is found near the hills and on the tops of 

(/>) Foil is soil formed by rain washings from higher 
situations and consists of detritus of decomposed 
rocks and vegetable matter. When the proportion 
of clay predominates it is called pali bait (clay loam), 
and when on the other hand the proportion of 
sand predominates it is called bdli pali. The silt 
deposited by the Subarnarekha river on its banks, 
grows good crops of jute. 

III. Sandy soil is known as bali. It is commonly found 

in river beds and used for growing melons and other 
cucurbitaceous vegetables. 

IV. A number of inferior soils unfit for cultivation are 

distinguished by their colour, etc., eg,, sdda n/dti 
(white), kdla mdfi (black), lal mdti (red), kankar 
mdti (calcareous), or pdtliar mdti (gravelly), etc. 

This classification illustrates fairly clearly the general Populnr 

poverty of the soil, but for practical purposes the ordinary 
cultivator merely differentiates soils by position. Thus, there 
are the three classes of rice land, baldl, the lowest or the most 
benefited by percolation from a Odnd/i and most retentive of 
moisture, k&ndli, somewhat higher, and less favourably situated 
in respect of moisture, and b'ikl, the high terraces surrounding 
the bahdl or kdndU, and dependent entirely on the rainfall, 
much of which percolates rapidly on to the lower level fioldu. 

High lands are known by the genersd term ' ddnga ' oi 
towards the west ' idnr ' ; when cultivated they retain these 
names, or are called occasionally ' yord ' ; such lands give at the 
best a scanty outturn, and ordinarily they are cultivated only 
once in four or five years. The land immediately adjoining the 
homesteads is varionsly known as bdstu^ ud-hdHu or bddu bdri; 
it benefits by getting more of the available manure, and it is on 
this that the superior au/^umn and winter crops are grown. 




Ex ension Some indication of the extent to which the aroa brought 
Y "''^' under cultivation has increased during; the last 20 years is to be 
gathered from the latest Settlement Eeports of the Tundi, Matha 
and Kailapal estates, to which reference has been made in an 
earlier chapter. The first named is characteristic of the hilly 
area in the extreme north, Matha of the country immediately 
south and west of the Baghmundi range, and Kailapal of the 
wilder portion of the country bordering on the Dalma range in 
the extreme south. In Tundi in 1904 it was found that the 
area terraced for rice had increased in 20 years by nearly 80 per 
cent. ; in Matha by 15 per cent., and in Kailapal by 43 per cent. 
In the central and more advanced parts of the district the 
increase cannot have come up to even an average of these 
figures, but it would not be unsafe to estimate the extension of 
cultivation in the district as a whole during the last twenty-five 
years as ajiproximating to 20 or 25 per cent. Cultivation is 
still extending in all parts of the district, though it is only in 
the areas still bordered by jungles thut any rapid or consider- 
able extension is now possible. The -u'asteful method known as 
"jhuming" is no longer very prevalent, but the destruction of 
jungle in order to bring under cultivation areas which are unlikely 
to remain culturable more than a fe^v years at the outside, is 
common almost everywhere that any jungle remains. In the 
more closely cultivated areas extension is gradual, but in any 
favourable year new plots adjoining the existing cultivation are 
terraced and planted out with rice seedlings on the off-chance 
of getting some return, and hero and there new baitdh-i are 
excavated and new fields made below them, for the most part by 
tenants whose credit with the money-lender is considerable, or 
by the money-lender himself, such work involving a considerable 
outlay in cash, if the work is to be immediately productive. 
Phjnci- According to the accepted Agricultural Statistics of the district, 

^"' 59 per cent, of the district area was under cultivation in 1908-09, 


Ejtent 7 per cent, consisted of current fallows and culturable waste, and 
OF CuLTi- j^-^Q remaining: 34 per cent, was not available for cidtivation. 
This classification, which is not based on any detailed survey, 
can hardly be treated as more than an approximate one, and is 
probably only accurate, even approximately, so far as the per- 
centage under cultivation goes. In Pargana Barabhum, which 
has lecently been surveyed, and the area of which is rather less 
than one-sixth of the whole district, the figures prepared by the 
Survey Deparment show the percentage under cultivation as 
48, current faUow and culturable waste 17^ per cent, and uncult- 
urable area 34^ per cent. Of the cultivated area included in the 



above figures, a ccnsiderable portion consists of liigh lands 
cropped only once in throe or four years, and the average area 
under cultivalion in any one yeai- is barely '60 per cent. 

In the other surveyed areas, which are of comparatively 
small extent and include a larger sliaro of hill and jungle, the 
percentage under cultivation is 32 per cent, and 17 per cent., 
respectively, in the Kailapal and Mafha estates. Allowing for 
closer cultivalion in the uiore level and open parts of the district 
it would probably be safe to assume that not more than 45 to 50 
per cent, of the total art a is under regular cultivation, and 
another lO per cent, of high lands cultivated once in three 

For statistical purposes the crops grown are divided into the 
tliree main divisions, bhwioi, tK/h/nii and rabi, according to the 
time of harvest ; the bhddoi, the early or autumn crop reaped in the 
months of lihSdra, Aswin and Kartik, (Septeuiber, Octo})er, 
Novtmber), includes gori and b/iodoi rice, mnrurt. l,o<i<) 
maize and various less important millets ; aghani is tJie winter 
crop including winter rice reaped in December (Aghan), suo-ar- 
cane cut in January and early February, and certain varieties of 
oil-seeds ; the rabi crop harvested in the spring includes such 
cold weather crops as gram, wheat, barley and various pulses and 
oil-seeds. The chstribution of the normal acreage under these 
crops cannot, in the absecce of detailed survey figures for the 
whole district, be given with any degree of accuracy but on the 
basis of the figures recently made available for Pargana liara- 
bhum it may be accepted that approximately 50 per cent, of the 
cultivated area is under bhadoi crops, 40 per cent, under ayhani 
and 8 per cent, rabi, the twice cropped area being about 4 per 
cent. Even these figures must i e accepted with caution, as 
tho.'^e for bhadoi crops are sv»elled by the large area under 
rice which is reaped in November, and which is strictly speaking 
somewhere between a bhddoi and an ag/iani crop. 

Eice is shown in the District Statistics as grown on an area Kif 
of 1,428 square miles, and in Barabhum the area under this 
crop represents no less than 7o per cent, of the net cultivated 
area in any one year ; it is. therefore, without question the 
most important crop. No distinction is made locally between 
bhddoi and (Kj/nini rice, and the only true bhadoi rice is that 
known as gora, sown broadcast on high lands in May or 
early Juno and reaped in August and September. This, 
except in the portion of the district bordering on the Eanchi 
district, is a small crop and represents at the outside a very 
small percentage of the whole. The figures on which the 

1^12 manbhttm. 

estimato for bhddoi crops Just given is based axe swelled by 
the inclusion of all rice reaped earlier than December, that 
is to say, the whole of the rice crop grown on the baid 
lands, most of which in this district is transplanted and, 
except that it ripens rather earlier, differs in no respect from 
the winter rice reaped on the lower lands in December and 
January. Locally, the only distinctions drawn are between 
gora rice and other rice, the latter being Bub-divided 
into baidhan (grown on bnid lands) and borhan grovn 
on kanali or ba/tdl lands ; the terms bhddoi and agkani 
as well as «"s and aman are never used locally. Were 
the so-called bhddoi rice a variety sown broadcast and reaped 
not later titan October, there would be some advantage iii 
having the distinction drawn : as the facts are the differen- 
tiation is purely on paper and serves no really useful purpose: 
on the contrary it is probably misleading, because the im- 
pression obtained by any one familiar with conditions, e.g.y 
in Bihar where the bhddoi rice is a true bhddoi crop, from 
the assertion that the area under bhddoi rice in Manblium 
exceeds that under aghani rice would naturally be that, in a 
year in which the September rains failed after favourable 
conditions in previous months, at least half the rice crop was 
assured which would, as a matter of fact, be far from justi- 
fied by the facts. It should, therefore, be borne in mind 
that the bulk of Manbhum bhddoi rice is, at any rate, a very 
late hhddni crop, and likely to be adversely affected by condi- 
tions adverse to the later winter crop. 

As already stated the area under gora rice is small, and, 
except towards the western border where the example of the 
Kol cultivators in Ranchi has perhaps had some effect, it ia 
not a crop which the Manbhum tenant ordinarily goes in 
for preferring, when he does cultivate high lands at this 
season to sow kodo^ gondii or urid ; a liberal estimate of 
the area cropped would be 5 per cent, of the whole area 
under rice, or about 70 square miles. The following are 
the chief varieties grown i—chark't, kala, sindurtupi, alsanga, 
hheriya, prosdd-bhog, rudni, haya, nefa, himri, keiesh, aus, hevgrij 
bhasa bahdlit kanhua, and Imca. In the north of the district 
where gora dhan is not grown at all its place is taken to 
a certain extent by the Sdlhi d/ian, so-oallod as ripening 
in 60 days, and remarkable on account of the fact that the 
grain ripens within the sheath and is, consequently, not 
exposed to the ravages of certain insect pests which attack 
S)ther forms of early ripening rice. 


The main riro crop grown on terraced lands and for the most 
part trariBplanted, may bo taken as made up of 00 prr cent, hhadoi 
or early ripening and 35 per cent, aghnni or late ripening, the 
former being grown on an area of B^h^ square miles, aid the latter 
on an area of 500 square miles. Tlie former includes the whole 
of that grown on tlio highest or laid lands ; that grown on the 
second class or kdudli lands is ]^artly bhadoi find partly (Kjliani, 
while the entire crop on tlie best lands {bnldl) is classed as nylnni. 
The list and description given below of the chief varieties of rice 
grown on the different clashes of land has been supplied by 
Iiev. Dr. Camjibell, whose experience of agricultural conditions 
in the northern part of the district extends over some 35 years. 
The list only professes to be accurate for the Dhanbaid Sub- 
division, but may be taken as approximately accurate for the 
rest of the district also. 

I. ASd//;/.— This variety of Dhan is grown on high lands, 
generally the highest portion of /'/rnVHands, hut not extensively 
A peculiarity of this variety is that the grain ripens mthin the 
sheath, and is therefore not exposed to the ravages of a certain 
fly pest, which renders early ripening dhan unproductive. 

II. High land Dhan locally known as Baid Dhan. — Of this 
there are many varieties, the most important and most lar^-ely 
cultivated are :— 

(1) Badras. Awnless, grain of a light brown colour, rice 
white. Ripens from 7th to 16th Kartik, and, in good soil and 
under good climatic conditions, yields from 50 to GO fold. 
(2) Jatcne Lnru. Awnless, grain light straw coloured, rice white, 
grain medium size. (3) Moifal, Awnless, grain light coloured, 
narrow ; rice white. Withstands drought well and is therefore 
cultivated in the higher Baid lands. (4) Askuji. Awnless, 
ripens from 7th to 15th Kartik ; grain smallish and light coloured. 
(5) Koya. Fully awned, grain medium size, light coloured, 
ripens early. (0) Dulngi. Grain small, very dark coloured, 
rice white. If grown on sandy soils the grain is dark coloured, 
if on clayey soils it is light coloured. The grain is awnless. 

III. Dhan grown on second class lands, known locally as 
Ednali. — The most important varieties are : — 

(1) Kolom-'Kathi. Awnless, grain long and narrow, light straw 
coloured, rice white. (2) Ajan. Awn on terminal grain of spike, 
grain large, light coloured, rice white. (3) Pormai Sal. Awned, 
grain very dark, often almost black, rice white. Emits a perfume 
when in process of being cooked. (4) Kdli Kdsi Phiil, Awn- 
less, grain dark coloured, often as if it had been smoked, rice 
white. Is also grown on bahal lands. (5) Mahti. Awulese, 

124 MA.NBHUM. 

grain small, darkish tinge, rice white. (6) Koh Kandhi, Awn- 
less, grain small, light coloured, rice white, drought resisting. 
(7; Ben a Piiul. Awnless grain medium size, light coloured, 
rice white. (8) Kdsi Phul. Awnless, grain small, straw coloured, 
rioe white. (9) Rdi Mundi. Awned, grain small, light coloured, 
rice white. 

IV. D/'nin grown on first clans lands, hnomi locally as ba/idl. — 
The most important are : — 

(1) Dhusri, Awnless grain dark coloured and small, rioe, 
white. Bipens early. (2) Mdnik Kolma. Awnless, grain darkish 
coloured and small, rice white. (3) Kumra Sol. Awnless, grain 
light coloured, short and thick, rice white. (4) Kmnhur Sal. 
Awnless, grain straw coloured, short and dumpy, rice white. (5) 
Qe.tul. Awnless, grain straw coloured, medium size, rice white. 
(61 Sal 3/tin(/nr. Sparsely awned, grain a dark straw colour, 
medium size, rice white. (7) Nari Kolma. Awnless, grain 
small, light coloured, rice white. (8) Jhnler. Awnless, grain 
light coloured and small, rice white. Ripens late [9) Basinati. 
Sparsely awned, grain very small and straw coloured, rice very 
fine and clean. Emits a very pleasant perfume when being 
cooked. (10) Bag Panjar. Has a few awns on each spike, grain 
very dark coloured, medium size, rice white, spikes of great 
length. This variety is grown in very moist situations. (11 "i 
Pormde Sal. Awned, grain very dark coloured, often almost 
black, rice white. Emits a pleasant perfume when being cooked. 
(12) Medi. Awnless, grain short and thick, very dark coloured, 
has the appearance of having been smoked, the husked rice has 
streaks of colour lengthwise. (13) HtmcJid Ednge, Awnless, 
grain bright brown colour and small, rice white. Ripens early. 
(14) Kdmln Kajol. Awnless, grain darkish coloured, small, rice 
white. Ripens early. (15) Sit a Sal. Awnless, grain light 
coloured, very small, rice very fine and white. (16) Bora 
Kolma. Upper grains in spike awned, grain darkish coloured 
and small, rice white. (17) hdli Chur. Awnless, grain tinged 
brown, very small, rice white. (18) Chini Sankar. Awnless, 
grain darkish coloured and very small, rice white. (19) Chandon 
Sal. Awnless, grain dark coloured, small and narrow, rice 
white. (20) Kari Bdnki. Awned, grain very dark coloured, 
rice white. Emits a pleasant perfume when being cooked. ^21) 
Ram Sal. Awnless, grain light straw coloured, medium size, 
rice white. (22) Narhi Kolma. Awnless, grain lightish coloured, 
rice when husked has a reddish tinge. Grrain does not readily 
become detached from the straw. (23) Chaehi Mohul. Awnless, 
grain deep brown colour, medium size, rice white. Ripens early. 


Grain is readily detached from straw, and is therefore reaped 
before it is fully ripe. (24) Dudln Kohm. Awnloss, grain light 
coloured, rice white. (25) Sdheb Sal. Awnloss, grain light 
coloured, rice white. (26) Lidhi Koltna. Awned, grain light 
coloured, medium size, rice white. (27) l<ag(>r Kolma. Awnless. 
grain dark straw colour, long and narrow, rice white. 

Next in importance to rice as a food crop is maize, occupying Maize, 
in Barabhum about 9 per cent, of the cultivated area, and iu the 
district as a whole 172 square miles. This crop is cultivated on 
an extensive scale in the extreme nortli and south of the district 
only, elsewhere it is confined to small patches near the homesteads, 
every iSonthal and, generally, every aboriginal cultivator growing 
a small quantity for home consumption only. As compared with 
Bihar it is noticeable that the crop is a poor one, very little 
trouble being taken with the preparation of the soil or its 
subsequent tillage and weeding in the early stages of the crop's 

Other autumn crops are i/rj«^y//, bajra, mama, kodo, mung and other 
uvid grown for the most part on roughly prepared high lands, *'''"P^- 
cropped as a rule not oftener than once in two or three years. 
These with the winter crops, wheat and barley, gram, rahar, 
k/icsnn, kiirt/ii, niasari and various peas and beans, make up 
the miscellaneous food crops of the district and, according to the 
district statistics, are cultivated on 245 square miles, of which 
barely one quarter represents the area under the spring food 
crops. Tho unpopularity of such crops is due to several causes 
one being the difficulty of arranging for the irrigation necessary 
for the superior crops, such as wheat and barley, and another the 
practice of allowing the village cattle to wander at will once the 
rice crop is reaped. If a second crop were raised on the moisture- 
retaining rice lands (a possibility which the local Agricultural 
Association is at present endeavouring to demonstrate), this 
practice would require modification unless the fields were fenced, 
which is out of the question on the ground of exiiense, except 
for very small areas. The conservatibm of tho local cultivator 
in this respect is not likely to bo overcome until increasing pressure 
of population on tho soil or higher rents compel him to make some 
ensc;ivjur to get more out of the land than the single, and at 
present in a normal year more than satisfying, rice crop. 

Of non-food crops oil-seeds, grown both as a winter and a 
spring crop, are the most important. Eape and mustard cover 
some 52 square mileB, til or gingelly 10 square miles and 
others, of which the mosrt common is suryujr, some 40 square 



of crops. 

ments in 

Sugar-cane is but sparsely cultivated, the area under this crop 
being barely 32 square miles; with few exceptions the quality of 
cane is inferior, and the outturn of rab or gur small. Cotton is 
a very small crop covering 16 square miles, and tobacco is 
grown in minute patches lonlyjfor purely local consumption, the 
total area under this crop in the whole district being estimated 
at less than G square miles. 

Miscellaneous crops occupy a very small area. Potatoes and 
other vegetables are grown in small quantities only, in and near 
Purulia and Jharia ; the various varieties of sweet potatoes, alu, 
suthni) etc., are barely grown at all. Of productive mango gardens 
there are few, and fruits are represented almost entirely by the 
products of the jungles. 

The conditions under which crop-cutting experiments are 
ordinarily conducted, and the large amount of personal error 
which is possible, make it difficult to attach any great weight 
to the statistics compiled therefrom ; this is particularly so in 
the case of rice which in a district like Manbham is cultivated 
in small plots, each of which in the same area may differ more 
or less considerably in productivity by reason of its particular 
position in respect of the main source of moisture. From ba/idl 
lands 30 maunds of paddy per acre would probably represent a 
fair average crop in a normal year, though outturns of 50 or 
even 60 maunds are by no means uncommon; iov />atidH lands 
the average is from 20 to 25 maunds, though as much as 30 
or 35 maunds are occasionally obtained. For baid lands it is 
almost impossible to state an average : 25 maunds would be an 
exceptional crop obtainable in a good year from specially favour- 
ed plots: 15 maunds is probably nearer the normal, and in many 
fields, cultivated more or less speculatively on the chance of 
getting a small return, 10 maunds would probably represent a 
fair outturn. For other crops the available statistics are of 
little value. 

It is perhaps doubtful whether the last 20 years have witness- 
ed any marked improvements in methods of cultivation, and 
the attempts made of recent years by the local Agricultural 
Association to introduce good or new varieties of seed have, so 
far, borne little fruit. As elsewhere noticed there is not yet any 
great pressure of population on the soil, and in normal years 
the ordinary cultivator can garner in a rice crop more than suffi- 
cient for his needs without any great expenditure of effort, and, 
BO long as this is the case, it is unlikely that the intensely con- 
servative and not too energetic cultivator of this district will 
change his ways. The exertions of the Agricultural ABSooiation 


have so far beon mainly directed to the introduction of a superior 
variety of Central Provinces aun paddy, and the encouragement 
of the sowing of a second crop of gram or khrsd) i on suit- 
able rice lands. The former has proved almost uniformly a 
failure, owing to bliglit or other causes; the latter is being persist- 
ed in and in course of time may, by force of example and the 
demonstration of what is possible, have good results, but at present 
the outlook is not very hopeful. 

The cattle are generally small and of poor quality, tho main Cattle, 
cause of whicli is no doubt the entire absence of good grazing, 
outside tho hill areas, for more than half tho year. An addi- 
tional reason is tlie insuflicient attention paid to reservation of 
bulls for breeding purposes, numbers of undersized, ill-fed and 
bar»ly mature bulls being regularly found with every herd. A 
few superior bulls are available here and there, and in the north 
and west some in< er-broeding with Ilazaribagh stock is done, 
with good results. Buffaloes compare favourably on the whole 
with the cattle, and in many parts of the district they are exten- 
sively used both in carts and for ploughing. Sheep are of a very 
inferior kind, undersized for the most part and yielding a poor 
fleece. Horses are scarce, except in the stables of a few of the 
larger zemindars, and country ponies are not very numerous. 
The pig and the goat are the most flourishing of the domestic 
animals. There is a Veterinary Dispensary at Purulia, in charge 
of a Veterinary Assistant, established in 1905, and also an 
Itinerant Veterinary Assistant with head-quarters at Dhanbaid. 
Three thousand one hundred and sixty-five animals were treated 
by these two officers during 1909-10, and 272 inoculated with 
rinderpest serum. 

128 mXnbhum. 



Liability The extent to which Manbhum as a whole is dependent on a 
""^^M N single crop, i.e., the rice crop, and that again on the amount and the 
distribution of the rainfall, has been referred to in the preceding 
chapter, and it will not, therefore, be a matter of surprise to find 
that the district is classed as one liable, throughout its whole 
extent, to famine, though for reasons now to be explained it does 
not fortunately rank with those districts in which a failure of the 
crops involves ' intense ' famine. The primary reason for com- 
parative immunity is the extent to which in hard times jungle 
products aiford a source of food supply, which, though neither 
specially nutritious nor specially conducive to good health, yet 
suffices to keep the poorest classes of people alive for several 
weeks, if not months, at a time. In Dr. Campbell's account of 
the botany of the district, reproduced in earlier chapter, it is 
mentioned that there are no less than 90 species of plants 
which minister to the necessities of the people by providing 
food of a sort during scarcity or famine. Of these the most 
important is the mahua, both as a flower and as a fruit- Even in 
ordinary years and in spite of the large demand for export for 
distillation and other purposes, the flowers of the mahua tree 
form a considerable part of the ordinary diet of the villagers, 
wherever the trees survive, during the months of April, May and 
Juno. Other important jungle products used by the poorest 
classes in ordinary years and resorted to by all classes in times of 
distress are the seeds of the sal tree, the fruit of the banyan and 
pipat, wild yams, the bitela (f rait of the Semeoarpus anacardium) , 
the 2>iV/r -Buchanania latifolia), and the bair (Zizyphus jujuba), 
besides innumerable others whether seeds, fruits or roots. The 
value of such products of the jungles as a safeguard was, perhaps, 
hardly realised prior to the famine of 1897, and of course there 
is now a danger of over-estimation, as not only has the population 
increased but the jungles have very considerably decreased in area 
since then, but even now it is probably well within the truth to 
say that intense famine is i?nprobable, if not impossible, in the 
wilder parts of the district. 


Another most valuable jungle product, though not an edible 
one, is lac which provides a considerable cash income to very 
many of ilio smaller cultivators not only in the more outlying 
villages, whore the wild palas and kmum arc available for the 
culture of the lac-producing insect without any great capital 
expenditure, but also to those in the more settled areas, who are 
sufficiently enterprising to grow the common, hnl or plum tree 
(Zizyphus jujuba) for the purpose. Nor is the benefit confined 
to the cultivator, a considerable amount of labour is required for 
the collection of the crop and its transport to the marlcots, and at 
the centres where manufacture is carried on, both skilled and 
unskilled labour command good rates of pay. 

The opening out of the vast mineral resources of the district 
has, even since the last famine of 1897, made a very large differ- 
ence in tlio condition of the labouring classes and their liability 
to be seriously affected by nny shortage of the crops. According 
to the cecsus of 1901, 4 per cent, of the whole population or 
5'3.500 in all consisted of landless labourers and their dependents, 
and in the same year an average of 31,106 coolies found employ- 
ment in the mines: by 1908 this number had increased to 72,000 
and even this figure doos not by any means represent the number 
of coolies for whom work is available, or who are actually 
employed at the seasons when there is least demand for agricul- 
tural labour. Moreover the demand for above and below ground 
labour in the mines themselves represents only a part of the 
additional demand for labour due to the activity of the coal 
trade ; new colliery sidings nro constantly being built, roads are 
being extended, the ujikeep of existing lines of rail and road, 
the handling of trucks at the transfer and assembling stations, 
the unloading and distributic^n of the enormous requirements of 
the coal field in the shape of grain, oil, cloth, etc., besides machi- 
nery and other colliery stores, all call for a constantly necessary 
labour supply. It follows therefore that for the classes accuf^toraed 
to manual labour, or ready, if driven by strtss of scarcity, to take 
to it, there is now an ample field locally where the able-bodied can 
not only support themselves but also, the rates of wnges being 
liigh, send home supplies to the weakly or incapable members 
of tbeir families. 

To those advantages is now added a fairly comprehensive 
railway and road system by means of which almost all parts of 
the district are within comparatively easy n ach of outside sources 
of food supply, and the hability, which existed in 1874, of parti- 
cular areas being left for days or weeks at a time with absolutely 
inadequate supplies or tven no supplies at all in the local markets 

. 130 MANBHUM. 

is a thing of the past. Manbazar in the east, the BandwHn 
outpost of Barabhum thana in the extreme south-east, portions 
of Baghmuudi and Chas thanas in the west and of Tundi and 
Topchanchi in the north are the least well protected areas in this 
respect, and further protection in the shape of improved com- 
munications is still desirable, but even in these areas no real 
danger of an absolute failure of food supplies exists, and as a set 
off against their disadvantages in this respect, they are for the 
most part the portions of the district in which supplementary 
sources of food supply in the shape of jungle products are available 
in greatest abundance. 

Further light on the subject of the present liability of the 
district to famine is to be found in the histories of earlier recorded 
famines and of the conditions of later years, when in spite of 
comparative failures of the rice crop this district escaped the 
famine or scarcity which affected other districts less favourably 
Famine of Qf the great famine of 1769-70 there are no detailed records 


to show the extent to which this district suffered ; we know, 

however, thai Birbhum in which, so far as the district was under 

British control, the area of the present district of Manbhum was 

for the most part included, suffered extremely, and the description 

givoij of the state of that district in 1771 " many hundreds of 

villages are entirely depopulated, and even in the large towns not 

a fourth of the houses are inhabited " probably applied to the 

northern part of Manbhum with equal accuracy. In Birbhum 

district as then constituted there had been close on 6,000 villages 

under cultivation in 1 765 ; three years aft er the famine there 

were little more than 4,500. So far as we know now this famine 

was due to the failure of a single crop, the rice crop of December 

1769, following on a comparatively short crop the year before ; 

its intensity was due to tlie failure being wide-spread, extending 

over the greater part of Bengal and Bihar, and to the' entire 

absence of easy communications. 

Fj.ii/i. e of Nearly a hundred years passed before any scarcity resulting 

lm6. £j^ serious famine occurred, though in the intervening period 

there were years of short crops and presumably considerable 

distress ; partial droughts affecting particular areas only have been 

numerous, and in 1851 there was a more or less general drought 

and failure of tlie rice crop, but not such as to result in famine. 

The immediate cause of the famine of 1865 was the excessive 

rain in the earlier part of the monsoon period which hampered 

agricultural operations and ruined the bhddoi crop, folli3»^yed by 

a sudden and early cessation which spoilt the prospects of the 


main winter crop. Thoro "woro besides prediflposing causes; 
the harvests of 18G3 and 1804 had been below the average, and 
the cyclone of the latter year, though it did not roach the 
Manbhum district, led to exportation to an unusual extent, and 
stocks of grain were consequently already depleted, or at any 
rate unusually low at the time the new crop should have come 
into the market. 

So early as the end of October 1865, a petition was presented 
to the Deputy Commissioner, praying that exports might be 
stopped and the price of the rice fixed ; and in November he 
issued a notice to the zamindars recommending them to use 
their influence to check the export of rice. The outturn of the 
winter crop all over the disirict was estimated to have been 
between one-third and one-half of a full crop ; but in a consider- 
able tract towards the south-east the jdeld did not exceed 
one-fourth. On the 15th of March 1866, the District Superinten- 
dent of Police reported a great increase of robberies and dacoities, 
particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the district. 
" That these wore largely due to scarcity was proved by the fact 
that the property stolon consisted of nothing but eatables, any 
valuables in the houses broken into being left as useless. 
Unhusked rice was selling at 18 or 20 seers for the rupee, husked 
rice at 8 and 7 seers, and it was reported that not only the very 
poor but even the more respectable natives had been forced to eat 
mahua and the like ; numbers of the people wore said to be 
actually starving, and subsisting on grass or anything they 
could get." In the middle of May the Deputy Commissioner 
called a meeting to devise measures for the relief of the distress, 
and asked the Commissioner of the Division to cause subs- 
criptions to be raised in other districts, and to apply for a grant of 
money from Government. Colonel Dalton, however, while 
approving of the meeting, considered tliat there was no occa- 
sion for relief by distribution of food. Prices, he observed, 
were lower in Manbhum than in other districts of the Divi- 
sion ; and the robberies, cited in evidence of the distress, 
were committed for the most part by the landless low castes 
of semi-IIiuduizod aborigines, who gain but a precarious 
liveKhood in ordinary years. This class, Colonel Dalton was 
of opinion, could best be dealt with by encouraging them to 
emigrate, and by establishing relief works for their employ- 
ment. A letter from the Commissioner of Burdwan, reporting 
that the villages of l^Iiduapore bordering on Manbhum were 
threatened by armed gangs of Sonthals belonging to the latter 
district, had previously been forwarded to the Commissioner 



of Chota Nagpur, who replied that although some Bauris 
(not Sonthals) had committed numerous grain robberies, no 
disturbance had taken place with which the ordinary police were 
unable to cope, and that the inhabitants of both Manbhum and 
Singhbhum were bearing up very well against the difhculties. 
Both at this time and later in the year, the Deputy Commissioner 
replied to Colonel Dalton's argument, tliat there could be no 
distress with rice selling at 14 seers to the rupee, by pointing out 
that in the interior of the district all transactions were carried on 
by barter, and that the recorded market price was therefore no 
criterion of the supply of grain. Even dealings by barter in 
open market were now uncommon, and in Eaipur (now included 
in Bankura district) there were no transactions in the markets, 
and no rates of price could be reported. Money, in fact, was so 
little used, that the copper coins received at the Treasury from 
Calcutta never passed into circulation at all. During May grain 
robberies increased more particularly in the south-east of the 
district and even the Commissioner was at last satisfied tliat some 
relief measures were necessary. Relief works were opened by 
the District Committee in the most distressed portion of the 
district, i.e., the eastern than as, and in June, when a grant of 
Bs. 2,000 was received from Government, depots for gratuitous 
relief were started in the south of the district. Up to the 5th of 
June, employment had been provided for 1,000 persons daily, and 
gratuitous relief for 450. Distress, however, continued to increase 
all along the south of the District ; the price of rice rose in 
Barabhum from 11 to 9 seers for the rupee, and j^rain robberies 
were occurring at the rate of four every night. The Belief 
Committee, therefore, applied for a further grant from Govern- 
ment, and the Deputy Commissioner reported that the ghatwali or 
rural police were wholly dependent on the produce of their lands, 
and that an outbreak might be expected unless their subsistence 
was provided for. In the meantime, a depot for gratuitous 
relief was opened at Purulia and placed under the charge of 
Mr. Onasch, a Lntheran missionary, as Secretary to the Relief 
Committee. With the opening of the grain depots in the south 
of the district there was a marked decrease in the number of 
gang robberies, but distress now began to spread towards the 
north, and on the 25th of Juno a sudden rise in the price of 
rice from eleven to seven and-a-half seers for the rupee was 
reported from Gobindpur, At this time Mr. Onasch, visiting 
the south-eastern portion of the District, found the people living 
on the seeds of the sal tree, on the chaff of rice, on oil- cake, 
and other less nutritious substances. Deaths from starvation 


had occurred in many places ; Iho inioncy paid as wages 
remained unused: no rice was to bo louglit; land which 
was ordinarily cultivated had been left fallow for want of 
seed ; and in i-omo villages the reeriiiters for emigration 
had aggravated the dislre.^s by taking away the men, and 
leaving the women and children destitute. Payment in grain 
instead of money was now commenced wherever such an arrange- 
ment was possible, arrangements being made to import grain 
from Calcutta. 'Ihe Board of Hevenuo sent up 5,000 maunds 
of rice in the beginning of July, but a largo amount of 
it was damaged in consequence of the absence of any facilities for 
storing at the Parakar station. Only a few carts could be pro- 
cured, floods in the Daniodar cut off communications, the roads 
were impassable from heavy rain, with the result that it was nearly 
2^ months before the last of this consignment actually reached 
Purfilia. In fact, as the Famine Commissioners remarked, the 
isolation of Manbhum, when once the rains had set in, was near- 
ly as complete as that of Orissa itself. All through August, dis- 
tress and mortalit}' continued to increase, and at the end of that 
month rice was selKng in Purfdia at the rate of from four to four 
and-a-half seers per rupee. Further south the state of things was 
worse, only three and-a-half seers being procurable for the rupee, 
and the people had eaten much of the early rice crop in the field 
before it attained maturity. Ihe prospects of the later crop were 
good, but only one-third of the usual arua liad been sown, stocks 
in the district were exhausted, and the Deputy Commissioner 
urged the necessity of importing more rice from Calcutta. Put the 
worst was now over and though no more grain was actually sent 
from Calcutta it was reported on the Uth of September that dis- 
tress was decreasiBg, although deaths were still very numerous in 
the south-east of the district. During that month ten new cen- 
tres were opened by the Committee, but by this time the pros- 
pects of the late crop were secured, and the early rice which was 
now in the market began to reduce the rates. Thus, in Puriilia, 
rice was selling at 10 seers for the rui:)oe ; and on the 31st of 
October an order was passed that every man should be sent from 
gratuitous relief to the relief works as soon as ho was cajjable of 
labour. On the 3rd of November rice was selUng at 20 seers for 
the I'upee, and distress rapidly decreasing. As the main crop was 
coming in, the Deputy Commissioner issued a notification to the 
landowners, pointing out to them the importance of leaving the 
crop of JSnO in tlie hands of the peasantry and not sweejiing it 
away by distraint for arrears of rent. The landowners were also 
requested to explain to their tenants that a grain merchant has 


no right of distraint, except under the decree of a Court, and that 
cultivators were not "bound to repay advances out of the crop of 
the current year. On the 14th of November a further grant of 
Rs. 8,000 was received from the Calcutta Relief Committee, and 
on the 16th the District Committee began closing all depots where 
the number of applicants fell below 50. By the end of Novem- 
ber, depots were being rapidly closed all over the district. But 
the Deputy Commissioner anticipated that distress would con- 
tinue for some months in the wilder tracts, where, owingi to the 
absence of tanks and means of irrigation, nearly two-tbirds of the 
crop of 1865 had been lost ; while, for want of seed little more 
than one-third of the available land had been sown in 1866. In 
these tracts, therefore, about twenty rehef centres were kept open 
till tlie middle of December. 

The total daily average number of persons relieved in each 
month in Manbhum is reported by the Famine Commissioners as 
follows :— June, 322; July, 1,303; August, 2,924; September, 
5,824 ; October, 9,950 ; November, 4,252 ; December, 1,988. Daily 
average from June to December, 3,794. Besides this, four depots 
for the distribution of relief were opened and supplied by private 
persons at Pandra, Jharia, Katras, and Barakhar, where large 
numbers were fed. The total sum expended on relief amounted 
to Rs. 76,360 of which Rs. 43,346 was granted by the Board of 
Revenue, Rs. 28,200 including grain to the value of Rs. 5,000 
by the Calcutta Central Relief Committee, and Rs. 4,814 was 
raised by private subscriptions. To this has to be added 
Rs. 25,346 being the cost of grain suppUed from Calcutta by the 
Board of Revenue. The total cost of famine operations was, 
therefore, rather more than one lac of rupees. The report of the 
Famine Commissioners describes the distress in Manbhum District 
as having been "severe" over an area of 2,318 square miles, 
and "intense" in a smaller area of 1,500 square miles, the total 
area included in the district as then constituted being 5,400. 
These areas are, however, only approximate. The famine was 
most severe in the Fiscal Divisions of Barabhum, Manbhum and 
Raipur, in the south and south-east of the district ; and diminish- 
ed in intensity north of a line drawn from east to west almost 
through the civil station of Purulia. 

Of the mortality directly or irdirectly due to this famine there 
have been various estimates ; the figures finally accepted by the 
Commissioners were based on a detailed enquiry made in particular 
areas by the Deputy Commissioner, and inferences drawn from 
the census figures of 1872. According to this out of an estimated 
population of just under a million in 1865 no less than one-fiith 


perished eithor of starvation or disease, a percentage that can only 
have been possible if as was stated at the time the deaths in Bara- 
bhuni and othrr severely aifootcd parts auioimtcd to ouo -fourth 
or even ono-tldrd of the popiihilion. 

The circumstances preceding the famine of 1874 were not Pamb-ie of 
unlike thoso preceding the one just described; the year 1H72 was 
not altogether a favourable one; in parts of the district, especially 
in the eastern Pargana of Miinbhum, the main rice crop was almost 
a total failure, and for the whole district the estimated outturn was 
only five eighths cf a fidl crop; as a small sot olf against this the 
rabi crop was almost uniformly good. In 1873 conditions wero 
oven more adverse; the rains wero late in coinmoncing, only 2'21 
inches f idling in June as compared with the normal fall of 8.j 
inches; in July the fall was excessive, amounting to no less than 
20^ iuclios as compared v/itli 12i normal, and over a largo part 
of the district the rains almost entirely ceased in the month of 
August, the September fall at Turulia being only 3 inches and 
the October fall a barely measurable quanlity as compared with 
7 inches and 4|- inches for the two mouths in normal years. The 
result was a crop estimated at only half the normal for the district 
as a whole, varying from four to six annas in the centre to nine or 
ten annas in the more favoured parts in the west. The outturn 
generally was slightly better than in 18G5, but on the other hand 
the succeeding rabi crop was a smaller one, the area under culfiva- 
tion being reduced to a miuinmm by the absence of moisture and of 
water in the reservoirs due to the early cessation of the rains. As 
in the earHer famine year there was at first a considerable drain 
on the district resources in the shape of export to other distressed 
regions ; the local stocks must, however, have been considerable as 
the price of rice rose only from 15i seers in January to 13 seers in 
April when Qovernmont importations had already begun to arrive, 
and it was not till March that distress began to make itself shown 
among the beggars and thoso who in ordinary times subsist on 
private charity. During April the ripening of the ma/iua harvest 
prevented a further increase of distress, the maliua blossoms 
affording cheap food to the poorer classes. To quote the Deputy 
Commissioner's words, " had it not been for this very timely 
supply of food, great distress, if not actual starvation, would ere 
this have taken place." In addition to tho ma/ma harvest the 
spring crop of lac came in at this time, and as the lac market was 
favourable to sellers, this was also a material aid to tho people, Itwi 
exchanging locally at the rate of one seer of the dye for three 
seers of rice. Meantime relief works had already been started on 
small scale in February ; in March the average daily attendance 


had risen to over 3,000 and in April the numbers mounted up 
rapidly, the average attendance for that month being over 10,000. 
By the time May came the area affected had greatly increased 
and included parts of the district till then comparatively well otf . 
In the areas in which mahua trees were few in number cases of 
distress were numerous and on the increase, and the circle of 
distress generally had widened, so as to include the smaller 
cultivators as well as the mendicant and labouring classes. Even 
the south of the district, where the harvest had been better 
than elsewhere, had now begun to feel the pinch, prices then 
having levelled up owing to continued exportation. Thus by 
the middle of May the numbers on relief works had mounted 
up to nearly 14,000 besides nearly 6,000 receiving gratuitous 
relief, either in doles of dry grain or at the famine kitchens* 
The numbers on relief works reached their highest in the 
following month during which an average of over 14,000 were 
so relieved ; but with the opening of the rains there was a rapid 
fall to slightly over 8,000 : in August the relief works ceased 
to attract more than 800 a day and in September they were 
closed entirely. The departure of the able bodied, however, to 
ordinary field labour did not for some time relieve the district 
authorities of the necessity of feeding their dependants, and 
the number gratuitously relieved mounted up rapidly till it 
exceeded 20,000 in the middle of July, and nearly 22,000 iu the 
early part of August and between that date and the first week of 
October between 13,000 and 9,000 were relieved daily. By that 
time the bhddoi crops were coming into the market, the prospects 
of the rice crop were more or less assured, and the price of rice, 
which owing to the large importations had never been higher 
than 13 seers for the rupee (in July), was steadily falling and 
the necessity for continuing further relief operations had gone. 
"With the advent of the first of the new crop in the market 
prices quickly fell in November and December to 22 and 24 seers 
which had been about the average rates during the year 1872, and 
any cause for further anxiety had entirely passed away. 

The largest number of people in receipt of relief at any 
one time, i. c, rather more 28,000 in July, represents less than 3 
per cent, of the district population, and the average number 
relieved during the 7 months, in which operations were in full 
swing, was less than 2 per cent. The total cash expenditure 
■was Es. 2,67,641, besides 8,830 tons of grain, the cost of which to 
Grovemment it is almost impossible to estimate but which can- 
not have been less than 8 lakhs of rupees. The actual cost of 
relief measures was thus over 12^ lakhs of rupees as compared with 


three-quarters of a lakh expended in 180(5. Of this amount, 
however, Rs. 99,000 represents loans made in cash, and a i proxi- 
mately Rs. 5,30,000 tidvaiices in grain or OJ lakhs in all of 
which 44- lakhs wore subsequently recovered. The net famine 
expenditure was, therefore, about 7f lakhs. 

As the Famine Commissioners ol 1880 remarked of Bengal 
general the immunity from mortality due to starvation was 
dearly purchased, and tlie means employed were entirely dis- 
l)roportioned to the end. At tha same time it is hardly possible 
to endorse the view in the case of Maubhum that the policy of 
importation of grain was a mistaken one. Communications had 
not improved materially since 1806, Barakhar was still the 
nearest railway station and cut off from the greater part of the 
district by the river Damodar, and it is conceivable that luid 
exceptional steps rmt been taken to import grain in large 
quantities before the rains began, the experience of 1800 might 
well have been repeated in the remoter parts of the district. 
On the whole the measures taken, though possibly exceeiliug 
what was really necessarj', were on ?ound lines. 

Rainfall in 1892 was deficient and badly distributed and Scarcit// 
in consequence the outturn of both the autumn and winter crops *" ^'^'^'^' 
was poor, viz , 12 and lU annas respectively. In the previous 
year also there had been below the average and prices had 
generally risen. The district was, however, just then being 
opened out by railways, the mining industry was also beginning 
to develop, and in consequence the demand for labour was 
considerable. Though, therefore, there were some distress in 
places the year can hardly be classed as one of anything more 
than partial scarcity, and nothing in the way of relief measures 
was necessary. 

The next and most recent year of famine was 1897 and, Famine 
as in the two previous cases, the cause lay in a succession of bad °^ ^^^'^" 
seasons rather tlian in a single failure of the crops. In 189o-96 
the district rainfall was only 35 77 inches as compared with a 
normal fall of 53*27 inches, and though the thadoi crop was an 
average one, the winter crop amounted to only five-eighths of the 
normal. The succeeding spring crop was rather better, average 
thirteen-sixteenths, but this is at the best a very small crop in 
Manbhum. The result was that prices had begun to rise as 
early as the beginning of 1890, and by September had risen to 
14 seers at Turulia and 11 at Gobindpur. The rainfall of 
1890-97 was only slightly heavier than that of the previous year, 
and its distribution could liardly have been worse. In the Sadar 
Subdivision only 1^ inches were reooived in May after au 


absolutely dry April witli the result that preparation of fields 
and the sowing of the seed leds were seriously delayed. The 
next two months conditions were more or less normal, but in 
August only 9^ inches fell as compared with a normal of nearly 
14, and the September fall was less than half the normal. In 
the Gobindpur (Dhanbaid) Subdivision conditions were rather 
more favourable in May and June, but in the two succeeding 
months the rainfall was in marked defect. The fall in Septem- 
ber was over 7 iuches but most of this fell in the early part of 
the month; in both Sub' livisions October was absolutely rain- 
less. The result was that the outturn of bhadoi crops was only 
half the normal, and of winter rice even lesf^, 7 annas for the 
district as a whole, and iu parts of the district no more than 
4 annas. The very early cessation of the monsoon was not com- 
pensated for, as in parts of Bihar, by favourable cold weather 
raius and the consequence was that the rabi crop of 1897 was 
almost an entire failure, the outturn being estimated at '6\ annas 
only. To add to the misfortunes of the District the mahua crop, 
which is largely consumed by the lower classes, was seriously 
damaged by untimely rain in March 1897. By January of that 
year it was evident that severe distress, if not actual famine, 
was probable, and preliminary arrangements for the organisation 
of relief measures had been put in hand. Prices had by this time 
risen to 10 seers at Purulia and 9 at Gobindpnr, and gratuitous 
relief to beggars and wanderers was necessary. By the third 
week of February gratuitous relief was being administered to 
nearly 4,500 persons and the test works opened in Gobindpur, 
Tuni, Chas and Jhalda earlier in the month were being attended 
by another 3,000. During March and April the area treated as 
affected gradually widened until it included the whole district, 
except thanas Manbazar and Barabazar in the east and south, and 
at the end of that month though the numbers of relief works had 
only increased to 4,000, those on gratuitous relief had mounted 
up rapidly to over 12,000. The price of rice had risen to 
8^ seers per rupee in April, and by the end of May only 7f seers 
were obtainable at Gobindpur and slightly more at Purulia, and 
at this level or slightly lower prices remained during the two 
succeeding months, reaching as high as 7 seers per rupee at 
Gobindpur towards the end of the latter month. During May 
and June the numbers on relief works increased but shghtly, 
the ordinary field work of the season being then in fuU swing 
and stricter scrutiny of the applicants for gratuitous relief had 
brought down the numbers so relieved to a little over 7,000. 
Erom then onwards there was a rapid increase, the average 


attendanco on relief works iu July being 8,508, and in August 
10,751), iho figures for the last week of ihat month being as high 
as 16,388. An altemiit was tlion made, as iu other diHtricts of 
the division, to summarily close down all forms of relief otlier 
than kitchens, granting two weeks gratuitous relief to each 
worker and to the recipients of grain doles. The attempt was, 
however, premature as the early hltddoi crop, consisting of (jora 
or sdilii rice, maize, ^;/fr/?/^/, etc., is a comparatively small crop, 
and the main rice harvest, oven that part of it which is classed 
as bhd'toi, does not begin till November. Both works and 
gratuitous relief centres were, therefore, opened again after a 
few days interval under, the Commissioner's orders and the 
numbers on rcliof works had again risen to over 13,000 by the 
end of September, at which time over 3,000 persons still 
in receipt of gratuitous relief. Trices were, however, by this time 
steadily falling and the prospects of the new crops assured, and 
at the end of October, though 9,000 persons were still on the 
works and 2,000 in receipt of other forms of relief, the opera- 
tions were finally closed. 

The total area affected was 3,373 square miles in extent 
with a population of 991,000; the average number under relief 
during the six months, when the distress was at its worst, was 
14,162 representing 14 per mille of the population: the largest 
number relieved at any one time, i.e., the last week of August was 
23,696, or rather less than 2| per cent. The total expenditure 
incurred from public funds was lis. 2,80,177, besides Rs. 42,093 and 
40,052 (partly from public funds and partly from the Charitable 
Relief Fund) paid out in advances under the Land Improvement 
and Agriculturists' Loans Acts respectively. From the Charitable 
Relief fund also Rs. 31,500 was expended in advances and gifts 
for seed to cultivators, some Rs. 10,000 in valedictory doles to 
the reUef workers and recipients of gratuitous relief, and the 
remainder on general relief. 

One of the most interesting features of these operations was 
the successful organization for the relief of weavers in the north 
of the district by Dr. A. Campbell of the Free Church of 
Scotland Mission at Pokhuria where, apart from other forms of 
relief, there were at one time between 1,300 and 1,400 persons 
engaged in spinning and some 200 others in weaving. The cost 
of these operations was bhown at Rs. 5,462, viz., Rs. 2,220 spent in 
materials and Rs. 3,242 paid in wages, the estimated value of the 
cloth received being Rs. 2,395. Dr. Campbell's services as an 
Honorary Circle Oificer can hardly be spoken of too highly. His 
charge extended over what the Commisfiionor in his report status 

^ 140 MANBHUM* 

to have been the only part of the division where general distress 
in anything approaching an acute form of famine can be said to 
have existed, and the same officer remarked that " from the point 
of view of relief administration Dr. Campbell's arduous and 
unostentatious work in Pokhuria was a performance of the highest 
merit, and will long be held in grateful memory by the people of 
ihe neighbourhood."' Dr. Campbell's services were acknowledged 
by the bestowal on him of the Kaisar-i-Hind medab and those of 
the District Engineer, Babu Nanda Gopal Banerji, on whose 
shoulders fell the whole of the organisation uf the relief works, by 
thn granl of the title of Ilai Bahadur. 

Mortality due to actual s-tarvatiou was sucoessfally avoided 
but the extremity of distress was marked by a very high death 
rate, the rate for the months, June to September being 15| per 
mille as compared with 9k, the average for the corresponding 
period of the five preceding years. This excessive rate was due 
largely to a severe epidemic of fever, but that the general health 
of the district considerably deteriorated is shown by the fact that 
66 per cent, of persons admitted to the jails during the months 
April to October 1897, were classed as in bad or iudiiierent health 
as compared with only 24 per cent, in the previous year. Other 
indications of the extent of the distress were the large increase in 
dacoities and burglaries, from 9 and 426 respectively in 1896 to 34 
and 1,179 in 1897, and in the iucrease of registered emigrants from 
1,073 in 1896 to 4,776 in 1897. 

In contrast to previous famines nothing was done to import or 
encourage the importation of grain from outside, or from one part 
of the district to another; exports practically ceased in 1897, in 
which year, instead of an excess of exports over imports amount- 
ing to over 80,000 maunds in 1895 and 5,000 maunds in 1896, 
there was an excess of imports of nearly 209,000 maunds, a fact 
which at once proves that the deficit in the district was consider- 
able, and that private trade was quite able to make it good. 
Communications had, of course, greatly improved since 1874 but 
it may well be borne in mind that neither the Grraud Chord of the 
East Indian Eailway nor the Purulia-Ranchi branch of the 
Bengal-Nagpur Bail way were even projected till a much later 
^'i903^ Since 1897 there were comparatively short crops in 1904-05, 

1906-07 and 1907-08 and in the last year the situation was one 
which gave rise to considerable anxiety, owing to the previously 
unparalleled prices to which food-grains rose almost generally 
throughout the district, and more particularly in the parts more 
remote from the railway. As early as October 1907 the price 


of rice had liaon to 7 seers per rupee, and though thoro was a 
slight recovery when the new crop came in, the improvement was 
only temporary and prices rang^'d between 7 and 7^ seers at 
Purfdia, rising at tunes as high as 1.^ and 5 seers at more remote 
markets, until the now cropHSogan to come into the market in 
September and October. In spite, however, of tliese obviously 
adverse con'litious only one oE tlio various ^igns, whicli are treated 
as famine warnings, i.e., increase in crime, was notice ible in 
marked degree, and oven tins was practically confined to (he 
southern and eastern parts of the district wliere the Bhumij 
population have not yet outgrown their earlier reputation as 
"chuars" and apparently still prefer thieving to hard work, when 
the opportunity is given, or the necessity for one or the other 
is forced on them by hard times. Nowhere in the district at any 
period of the year was there any marked iiicrease in the number 
of beggars^ or of obviously underfed wanderers. The year was, 
it is true, one of excessive mortality, but the immediate cause, i.e.^ 
a severe epidemic of cholera, cannot be ascribed as due to in- 
sufficient or improper food, as it originated in the coal fields where 
wages and food supplies were ample; the primary cause was the 
inadequacy of the water supply and absence of sanitary arrange- 
ments for the enormous population employed in the coal industry, 
which was then at the height of the boom. The ability of the 
people to resist famine was due to the causes already enumerated 
in the early part of this chapter, the large demand for labour in 
the coal fields and elsewhere, the enormous sums made out of the 
lac crop, and the ability of a considerable part of the population 
to carry on for s >me time on viahua and various edible jungle 
products in lieu of or in addition to a scanty dole of rice or 
other staple foods. Additional causes were the considerable 
suras made by tlie cultivators by the sale of their surplus 
rice in the previous year, the fact that their credit was far 
from exhausted, and finally the very considerable demand for 
field labour throughout the district for the excavation of new 
bdnd/is, clearing out of old bandhi and making of new fields 
for rice cultivation, the two first of which operations wore 
facilitated by the exceptional drought, which had resulted in an 
exceptionally low subsoil water level, while capitalists, whether 
money-lenders or cultivators with savings or substantial credit 
were specially encouraged to bring new laud under rice cultivation 
by the prospeets of liigh profits in the event of a continuance of 
the prices that had ruled in the preceding years. To persons on 
more or less fixed income whether from service or rents the year 
was undoubtedly a hard one, and numbers of small cultivators 



must have ended it in heavy debt, if not with absolutely 
exhausted credit, and not a few were obliged to alienate perma- 
nently a part, at any rate, of their holdings. Rupees 32,000 was 
distributed in loans, Es. 20,000 under the Land Improvement 
Loans Act and Es. 12,000 under the Agriculturists' Loans Act 
mainly in the north of the district during the first six months 
of 1908, but beyond this no direct or indirect famine expenditure 
was incurred. 
General The general conclusion to be drawn from the histories of 

scarcities given in the preceding paragraphs is that Manbhum, 
though dependent mainly on a single crop, i.e., the late or winter 
rice crop, is no loDger liable to the extremes of famine, which the 
absence or difficulty of communications made possible 35 and 40 
years ago ; that the outturn of rice even in a year of partial 
failure, e.g., from 75 per cent, to 80 per cent, of a normal crop, 
still leaves a considerable margin over what is required for a 
year's consumption, and that in consequence a single year's failure 
not preceded by a partial failure in the year previous, is hardly 
likely to result in anything more than distress among the smaller 
cultivators and persons on small fixed incomes, and that even when 
the crop is a more or less complete failure in such a year, the other 
sources of subsistence available and the large local demand for 
labour will considerably reduce the numbers of those for whom, 
in less favoured districts, relief works would be necessary. 
Floods, Floods are practically speaking an impossibility in Manbhum, 

earth. ^^ earthquake has within the memory of man done any serious 

quakes, ^ j >/ 

locusta. damages, though that of June 1897 was felt, and more recently 
smaller shocks in May and August 1909. Visitations from 
locusts have been very rare and the damage done small. In 
short, except in respect of liability to famine, the district may be 
classed as a specially favoured one. 



HENTS, Wages AxND i rices. 

No regular settlement of rents has yet been carried out in the Cash 
district as a whole, and accurate information of the actual inci- '^'''"'^' 
dence of rent per ucro of the dilforent classes of cultivated land 
is difficult to obtain, owing to the fact that land is ordinarily 
measured in terms of murh, pown><, rekfu, knts, etc., which 
represent either fractionul shares in villages and not specific areas 
of land, or else the area which can be sown with a specific quan- 
tity of the seed, usually rice, wliich will necessarily vary not only 
with the quality of the soil but also the idiosyncrasies or customs 
of particular villages. For purposes of a.'^sessmont of rent lands 
are usually divided into rice or dhdnkhet and upland. Dhdnkliet 
is again sub-divided into b.ilidt, kundli and Ixiid^ the distinction 
between which has been given in the preceding chapter. These 
again may bo furtlior distinguished into three or even more 
classes, but this is a comparatively rare refiuemont. Uplands are 
classified into (jora (or tdnr) and bdHtti. 

In the extreme north of the district Id some 52 villages tenant- 
ed by Sonthals in the Tundi estate the rates of rents adopted as 
the basis for a resettlement conducted by tlie district authorities 
in 190G-07 were as follows :— Z/r///a/ Es. G, kdnaii Rs. 4-8, baid 
Rs. 3 per acre but, as a matter of fact, the total assessment only 
worked out to something less than Rs. 2 p^T acre all round, as con- 
siderable concessions had to bo made in order to keep the enhance- 
ment in the case of individuals and of villages below the limit of 
100 per cent, fixed by the Board of Revenue ; the uplands were 
in the case of this area left unassossod, and rice fields newly 
prepared since < he previous settlement were assessed only at half 

In tlio small temporarily settled estates of Matha and Kailapal 
the rates adopted in the last settlement (1900) were for bahdl 
Rs. 3-G and Rs. 2-iO per acre, for Afl/ja/t Rs. 2-4 and Rs. 1-14 
and for baid Rs. 1-14 and Rs. 1-8, respectively. In the case of 


Kailapal bdstu was assessed at 12 annas and gora at 3 annas, but 
the assessment was subsequently cancelled. Both these estates 
lie in the least developed part of the district and the rates in 
comparison with those adopted for Tundi are apparently very 
low. They are, however, not very difYerent from the rates gene- 
rally prevalent over the southern half of the district. 

Thus in Barabhum and Patkum where in 1884 a survey was 
made of the ghatwali tenures, the rates adopted in the compro- 
mise as the basis of settlement of the excess lands with the ghat- 
wals holding them were Es. 3 for haiidl, Ks. 2 4 for kdndii and 
also for sugarcane land, Re. 1-8 for baid, and annas twelve for 
cultivated (idwid per acre respectively. Except, however, in one 
toraf or tenure, that of Dhadka, settlements were not actually 
effected at these rates. 

In the large area within the Zamindari of Barabhum which is 
held in patni by the Miduapore Zamindari Company, the standard 
rates shown in the agreements taken from their tenants are for 
!i(ihdl lis. 4-8, fcT-id/i Us. 3, /jaid Rs. 2-4, ikk/iu .^sugarcane) 
Es. 2-4, udbdstu lidri (cultivated land near the homestead) 
Rs. 3, gora annas 12, besides various rents for trees, eto. These 
rates, however, represent what the Company would like to 
enforce, and are very much in excess of what they are actually 
able to collect. Thus to quote a typica' instance, when the total 
cabulated at the rates shown in the kabuliyat, worked out to 
Rs. 16-2, the actual rent agreed upon was Rs. 7-4, the diiferenee 
being described as a temporary remission. In another where 
the rent for rice lands at these rates amounts to Rs 31-10, and 
for (j'ira to Rs. 5-14, the amounts shown as the demand in the 
collection books are only Rs. 11 and Re. 1-8 respectively. It 
follows, therefore, that the actual rates in force in this area are 
from one-third to one-half only of the nominal rates shown iu 
the tenants' agreements. 

Further north, however, and more particularly within the 
Panchet Estate, where sub-infeudation of the proprietary right is 
of old standing and in a large majority of the villages the 
immediate receivers of the rents are ou-sider ijdrauns whose 
interest it must always be to screw rents up as much as possible 
during their limited tenure of the post, the general rates are 
much higher and frequently range from as much as Rs. 7-8, 
Rs. 5-10, Rs. 3-12 for the different classes of rice lands to 
Re. 1-8 or Re. 1-14 for uplands and attempts are occasionally 
made through the courts to obtain rents at double these rates. 

In general terms, therefore, it may be said that the average 
rates for rice lands vary from Rs. 7-8 to Re. 1-8 per acre 


according to quality and position, and for other lands from Tvs. 3 
to annas 12 por acre. 

This statoniont, liowovor, is at tlie best a general one, the Prevalence 
fact remaining that in very many villages in the district hmds ^ ^'"^ ™' 
are still held on what are practically quit rents averaging not quit lents. 
more than 8 annas to a rupee on t]ie total area now under culti- 
vation. Elsewhere, on the other hand, where the aboriginal 
settler has been, ousted or is in process of being ousted, new 
settlors hold at what are practically competition rents, and wliich 
represent more accurately the present productive value of the 
land. It is obvious that a new tenant inducted on lands 
already terraced and levelled for rice cultivation can afford to 
pay a liigher rent than his predecessor who has been ousted after 
undergoing all the labour and expense of preparing the fields. 
The general tendency, however, is for the old settler strenuously 
to resist all attempts to enhance the rent which he and his 
ancestors have paid for generations, even when his holding has 
undoubtedly extended far beyond the original area settled or 
assessed to rent ; the landlord, as a rule, finds it difficult to prove 
excess cultivation, and even to rebut the pleas regularly set up 
of non-enhanceability, and in consequence generelly fails in 
enhancement suits ; when he is unscrupulous he more often than 
not has recourse to underhand and roundabout methods of 
ousting the refractory tenant from the whole or a paii of the 
tenancy, a course for which the absence of any survey records and 
of any description of lands in documents by metes and bounds, 
tlie ordinary description being by a name only, gives special 

The arrangements customary in regard to lands brought NaySbadi 
under cultivation under leases for that specific purpose vary in ^^^^^'^ 
different parts of the district, but ordinarily the holder of a 
naydhddi or ahriat tenure, terms which correspond fairly closely 
to korkar and khandit of other districts of the Chota 
Nagpur Di\i8ion, gets a permanent deduction of six annas in the 
rupee on the ri'nt fixed, whidi becomes payable only after tlie 
laud has actually been prepared for cultivation, for which a period 
is ordinarily fixed. In other cases the arrangements may bo fot 
a progressive rent, the full rent, in. this case also six annas in the 
rupee less than the rent calculated at the ordinary rates, being 
reached in 5 or 7 years. 

The above applies, however, to comparatively modern settle- 
ment of specific areas Tho old and original ' hat/d'ih/i ' settle- 
ment was almost invariably one of a village or portion of a 
Tillage specified in terms of pouw, i.i\, quarters, or of nk'tSf 


( 146 MANBHUM. 

each rekh being the sixteenth part of a village. The settlements 
so made were of the nature of janyalburi or clearing leases, 
the applicant being given permission to clear and bring under 
cultivation any land within the boundaries of the village, or the 
share of it agreed upon. Nominally, therefore, the tenant's 
rights extend over the whole village or a specific fraction ©f it, 
both cultivated and waste, subject to payment of either a fixed 
quit rent, or of rents at fixed rates calculated on the area under 
cultivation. In practice, however, the landlord or farmer 
assumes, wherever he can, superior rights over all lands not 
actually under cultivation, and endeavours to lease out the lands 
still waste with other cultivators when the descendants of the 
original settlers do not meet his terms. The assumption that the 
rekh represents a fraction of the cultivation, and not of the 
whole village, was, it may be noted, followed in the ghatwali 
compromise of 1884, and the example then set by Grovernment 
(against its own and the ghatwal's interests) has naturally been 
widely followed. Another variation of this class of settlement 
usually met with in the north of the district in the case of settle- 
ments of ancient date is when the tenant is given permission to 
bring under cultivation of land as much land as will require a 
certain quantity of seed grain, from which comes the use of 
Mt and muri both of which words mean a maund or there- 
abouts of grain, as a measure of area. The opportunities for 
dissension between the modern landlord and his tenant, where 
areas are so vaguely expressed and settlements made in such 
haphazard fasliion, are sufl&ciently obvious and require no special 
Produce Produce rents are U'lt very common except in the case of 

rents. small areas let out to the poorer class of cultivating labourers, 
not infrequently also the real tenant holds under his mortgagee 
on bhag, when he has got so involved as to be obliged 
to convert his simple mortgage into an usufructuary mortgage. 
Ordinarily, in the case of such bhdg settlements, the produce 
is divided half and half, but where the landlord provides seed 
and cattle for ploughing, the tenant receives one-third only. 
In these cases the tenant is really a mere servant, known as 
krishan ardhiar or aidhar and his third share of the crop represents 
his wages for cultivating iiis master's land. 

It is not uncommon for a part of the rent to be jiaid in kind, 
usually only a small quantity of rice or otl:er grain required 
for the consumption of the landlord's family; this is more 
especially the case where the landlord has little or no khds 
land on which to grow his own grain. In some cases this 


demand is, perhaps, a true rent, but in tho majority of cases m 
which it is c'uimed through the courts it is treated as dbwdb. 

Lesidos reut and ct'sses, the latter of which are not iufro- Ahicab. 
queutly demanded and paid at more than tho legal rate of tix 
pies per rupee, there are other customary demands of the nature 
of abuab ov predial conditions. 

Among these the commonest are shyama (jhi, representing 
the money value of a goat and a certain quantity of (jhi duo 
annually to the Zamindur at the time of the Durga festival. 
Sht/dinn c/^^/u/ is similar, rice being substituted for yhi', a certain 
quantity of straw is also occasionally demanded. The following 
actuid instance from a Brahmottar village in Pargana Barabhum 
may be quoted, as illustrating these and other dbudb. Here, for 
what is described as Re. 1 worth of rice land, the tenant is 
expected to pay : — 

in cash — 


in kind — 

besides furnishing 4 days' labour per annum vAih. a plough 
(Ad/-/je^), and one day with a spade {koddl-bet) in the landlord's 
own cultivation, and one day's ghar-chhauni, i.e., assisting to 
repair the landlord's thatched roofs. 

Bet-bt(jari or the system under which the tenant has to do 
a certain number of days' work on the Zamindar's own cultiva - 
tion still survives, as the instance above quoted shoWH, but the 
extent to which the landlords are able to enforce their demands 
for assistance in cultivating their khds lands is now largely 
liuiited, and, except in the more out-of-the-way tracts, little 
attempt is actually made now to enforce such demauds, cultiva- 
tion of the khas lands being done for the m.ost by bhdgis or mjaSf 
i.e., labourers or undertenants paid by a share of the produce. 

Other demands, which do not appear in tho rent papers, are 
the customary dues of the collecting staff, and what are known 
as mdiKjdH or "occasional benevolences," namely payments 
in cash and kind made to the Zamindar on the occasion of births, 
deaths and marriages in his family, or on bis paying a persona 

L 2 

. 1 


,. 1 


. 1 


.. i 


,. 3 


,. 80 


. I 


148 mSnbhum, 

visit to a particular village, or to lielp him with the expenses of 
some big civil suit. 
Sasiu Where the old customary rents continue, and even in some 

'''^"'^* places also where, for one reason or another, these have given 
place to rents based on the present condition and productive 
powers of the soil, it is not usual to assess to rent any but the rice 
lands, and such other lands as are planted with sugarcane or other 
special crops. For the high land round his hut, and for other 
high lands from which in one year out of four or five a scanty 
crop of liodo, kiirihi, or some inferior oilseed is obtained, the 
tenant ordinarily pays no specific rent. In lieu thereof in 
Barabhum pargana it is customary for the tenant to pay a regular 
bdsiu, or homestead rent. The rates at which this rent or tax 
was assessed in 1884 were 

Rs. A. p. 
For every cultivating family ... 1 1 

non „ ,, ... 8 6 



widow „. ...0 4 

and these rates have continued to the present day, except in areas 
which came under the influence of Messrs. Watson and Company 
and their successors in interest, who have succeeded in many 
villages in getting the tenants to agree to pay double these rates, 
on condition of being freed from the obligation of growing 

When a hdstu rent in cash is not charged, it is not unusual 
to find the rent of the high lands represented by a demand 
for a fixed quantity of grain or other produce, e.g., in one 
instance noticed the demand was 80 heads of maize, and ono 
cartload of manure. 
Miscei- ^ r^^t ^^ coss is also not infrequently charged for the 

laneous. privilege of rearing lac on palds, kmnm or bair trees and of 
collecting the flower and fruit of the ma/nia. Tenants 
ordinarily claim the right to take such jungle produce as 
they require for their own use free of charge, but in some 
estates at any rate they are unable to resist the landlord's 
demand for a jungle cess, known variously as jangalhar, bankar 
or hathikar. For bamboos cut from the jungles bd/iskar is 
charged, and even the privilege of grazing cattle in the jungle 
does not invariably escape assessment. The liability to pay such 
demands is, however, constantly in dispute, and it is probable 
that most of them are of comparatively recent origin, the 
landlords having taken advantage of the indefiniteness of the 


customary rights daimod by the tenants, to force on them these 
demands now that the increasing popuhition and tlio denuded 
jungles have made all ordinary jungle products an easily market- 
able commodity. In the case of lac the imposition is undoubtedly 
of recent origin; no objection is ordinarily taken whore trees 
(«r specific patches of jungle are leased out for the express purpose 
of rearing lac, except whore tho tenants aro strong enough to 
assert their claim to all rights in the jungle and waste lands. 
The attempt, however, to assess trees standing on a tenant's 
holding, or reared by him thoroon, is a gradually growing 
cause of friction between landlord and tenant. 

For some years past there has been a steady rise in the wages Waqm, 
paid for labour, among the chief causes for which must be 
placed the development of the mining industry and tho improve- 
ment of communications by road and rail. Another accelerating 
cause in recent years is tho increased activity in the lac 
industry, the high prices obtainable for the raw product in 1908 
and the two years preceding having enormously stimulated pro- 
duction, as well as encouraged the opening of new factories. In 
the case of skilled labour the increase is not very marked in tho 
last ten years as the rise had already taken place prior to that 
period ; still expert masons and carpenters now get from 10 annas 
to 12 annas or even one rupee per diem ; superior blacksmiths, 
who already got 12 annas in 1900, now earn from 12 annas to 
one rupee. In the same period the daily wages of a common 
mason and carpenter have risen from a maximum of six annas to 
eight annas and those of a common carpenter to as much as ten 
annas ; and tho common blacksmith, who could earn only 8 annas 
per diem in 1900, now demands and receives from 8 to 10 annas. 
The price of unskilled labour, so far as paid in cash, that is to say, 
in the towns and industrial centres, has risen more appreciably ; 
the daily wage of a cooly varies now from 3 to as much as 5 
annas as compared with only 2^ annas in 1900 ; women and boys, 
who then got only 1^ annas a day, now get from 2 to 2^ and 2 
to 3 annas respectively. In the villages wages are almost entirely 
paid in grain, two to three seers of rice or some cheaper 
grain being the ordinary field-labourer's daily wage ; this at tho 
rates at which the cidtivator realises on his surplus crop may bo 
taken as equivalent to 2 to 2| annas, though to the cooly who has 
to purchase in small quantities it means a good deal more. 
Ploughmen earn rather more, 2^ to 3 annas in cash or its equiva- 
lent, and cartmen from 3^ to 4 annas. Qhardmii both in town 
and country can earn from 3 to 5 annas per diem. Much of the 
field labour in the case of larger holdings is done by quasi-sub- 


tenants khown as krishan, ardhinr, or aidhar, who do the 
ploughing, sowing, transplanting and weeding of the crop and 
get usually one-third of it as their remuneration. Harvesting is 
largely left to women kdmins usually also paid in kind out of 
the standing crop, one edge of the field, known as cJihineha^ 
usually where the crop is poorest, being left them as their 

The fact that the demand for labour in the coal fields within 
and just outside the district is constant and considerable, and that 
the possible advantages of Assam as a field for surplus labour 
are well known in every part of the district, probably accounts 
for the comparatively liberal treatment of the ordinary field 
labourer including the aidhar just mentioned, and for the small 
extent to which, in this district, as compared with some of its 
neighbours, the labourer or kamii, a is a mere bond slave. Every 
zamindar and indeed every holder of any considerable extent of 
land has his k a mil/ as, but it is ordinarily only those of the purely 
money-lending classes or the petty foreign thikadar or ijaradar 
type, who are in the strict sense bond-slaves, that is to say, 
persons more or less permanently bound to work for a particular 
master m. consideration of an advance or advances of money ; such 
persons are housed, clothed and fed, and not too well, by their 
master, and their wages are set off against the loan, the chances 
of paying off which are usually but small. Obviously, in a 
district like Manbhum this system, formerly very common if not 
almost universal, must tend to die out, as the over-driven 
kamiya will sooner or later find an opportunity of clearing 
out with his family to the mines or Assam, leaving his creditor 
in the lurch. The system of large advances in order to attract 
labour is, it may be noted, common in the lac factories, and 
recourse is frequently had to the courts to enforce the eoutracts 
under the provisions of Act XIII of 1 859 ; this system is not in 
itself objectionable, but where, as is often the case, the factories 
do not provide contiriuous labour, being closed for several months 
in the year, and regular payment of the advance while the cooly 
is earning high wages is not insisted on, it very quickly assumes 
most of the objectionable features of the kamiya system, with 
the added terror of the criminal law as a means of enforcing the 
Village The blacksmith and the carpenter in the villages, who make 

and repair the agricultural implements, household utensils, etc. 
of the ordinary cultivating families, are ordinarily remunerated 
by a regular annual allowance of grain per family or householder. 
The blacksmith supplies his own coal ; his remuneration is 20 seers 



of dJian a year per plough, and a hinra or sheaf, yielding 2i to 
3 seers when threshed. For every adult resident he gets also 1 
seer of grain per annum for sharpening sickles and another seer 
for affixing the share to a new pLiugh. The Dhobi or washeiTnan, 
when one is employed, gets cash at the rate of 1| anna per score 
of articles washed. The other village officials or servants, ».<?., 
the barber, the Kumhar or potter, the Groala, Chamar and Dora 
are usually paid in cash or kind, as their services are required. 
The barber gets special gratuities either in grain or cash on the 
occasion of any birth in a family, the fee for a boy being 
invariably double that for a girl. 

The foUomng remarks regarding the supply' of labour in Supply of 
Manbhum are quoted from Mr. Foley's Keport on Labour in 
Bengal (1906)— 

" Besides the emigration to tea, a certnin number, but not 
apparently a very large number, emigrate every year to Calcutta 
where they work mostly as scavengers throughout the year, 
returning for some six weeks in June to transplant their paddy. 
Others go to the Sundarbans. Lac-rearing gives occupation to 
many others. The district is not congested, the people are fairly 
well off, and the Jharia coal-fields in the north and the Raniganj 
coal-fields across the Damodar form the natural outlet for all 
the labour available in the district The Kurmi, Sonthol and 
Bhumij are the most numerous castes in the district, but there 
are also 99,000 Bauris. The labour is not suitable for mills and, 
for the same reason stated in the case of Hazaribagh and Ranchi, 
not to be recommended for handling goods. Only a few castes 
seem to have taken to mining, and thus there is a scarcity 
of coal cutters in the Jharia mines, though there is no scarcity 
of surface labourers. It would appear that recruits for the coal 
mines, especially from the south of the district, are increasing 
but only gradually. The people should apparently be encouraged 
to take advantage of the high rates they can make in the mines. 
There is no reason why they should migrate to any other industry, 
and from the opinion given me by the Manager of the Panchet 
Encumbered Estate, increased migration to any other industry 
would be look'-d on as objectionable of the Zemindars." 

Since the above 'was written the demand for labour in the 
coal-fields has greatly increased, and with rates of wages generally 
high throughout the district there is but little inducement for 
labour to migrate, and the Assam Labour Committee of 1906 
fully realised that the days were numbered in which Manbhum 
could be looked upon as a favourable field of recruitment for 



Prices. The average prices (in seers and cMttacks per rupee) of 

common rice, 
wheat, maize and 
salt during the 
hxst fortnight of 
March, for the 
15 years ending 
in 1910, are 
given in the 


Com moil 





1901-1905 ... 

Sr. Ch. 

14 10 
13 11 
10 11 

Sr. Ch. 

10 9 

11 12 
9 3 

Sr. Ch. 

13 H 

14 1 
10 11 

Sr. Ch. 

16 4 
22 8 


9 13 
10 8 
16 8\ 


eluding salt, the fall in the price of which is duo to successive 
reductions in the import duty thereon, the prices of all food- 
staples have risen ; in the ense of rice which is the ordinary food- 
grain produced within the district, and consumed by the bulk of 
the inhabitants, the average price for the more recent quinquen- 
nium was more than 25 per cent, in excess of what it was in the 
five years which closed the last century ; maize, which is much less 
important but grown and consumed in considerable quantities in 
the wilder portions of the district, had increased in price by over J 2 
per cent. Special causes, however, affected prices generally to an 
unusual extent in the years 1907 and 1908, ie., the general short- 
age of the rice crop in the Province of Eastern ^Bengal in the 
former year and the local scarcity in the succeeding year, and in 
the last year of the period prices considerably improved, the year 
ending with rice selling at 14 seers per rupee and maize at 20 

Within the year the course of prices varies in normal years 
mainly with the time of the harvest. Maize is cheapest in Septem- 
ber and October, and rice in December and January when the 
main crop has been reaped ; with a full harvest they remain fairly 
steady with a tendency to a shght rise tiU April and May. By 
this time the bulk of the local maize crop has been consumed and 
prices harden rapidly till the new crop is harvested in September. 
In the case of rice, the rise throughout May, June and July is 
fairly continuous, August as a rule marking the highest limits. 
Then, if the prospects of the early crop and of maize are good, 
and conditions are hopeful for the main winter rice crop, there 
is a steady fall with perhaps a sudden and ' considerable drop 
in November, when it is quite certain that the crop is to bo an 
average or a bumper one. Yariations of price in the more 
remote markets are greater, as a rule, than those at the main 
centres and near the railways, where the retail prices are more or 
less regulated by the big traders, who watch the course of prices 
in the outside world as well as locally. 


Tlie raaximiiin price of rice in ilie fuinin'* of 18G6 at ruiTilia 
was 4 seers for tlio rupee at the (^nd of Aiif^ust ; in ]^7] ilie price 
never went above 13 seers iu July; between October 1"1)() and 
September 1897, ten seers was o\)tainablo at Gobindpur for the 
rupee during- two foriniglits only (the Ist in Oetol)er and the 
2nd in December) and from May to (September less than eight 
seers, lire maximum price seven seers being readied in the early 
part of July. At rurulia prices did not fall bilow 10 seers till 
March, and below 8 seers till the end of May and the maximum 
price was ?/„• seers in iho latter half of July. Willi these 
figures may bo compared those for 1907-08, during which the 
average price of rice was 7^ seers for the rupee, the maximum 
variation being from 8 seers, for short periods only in November 
1907 and the following January, and again in September 1908, 
and 7 seers at which it remained steady throughout July during 
which month, in the more remote markets, e.g., Manbazar and 
Bandwan, prices as high as and even 5 seers per rupee were 

No more striking illustration of the improvement that has matebial 
taken place in the material condition of the people generally can eoNoi- 
be given than the manner in which, without assistaoee from ^^^ 
Government, they were able to tide over nearly two years of high people. 
prices in 1907 and ll^'OS ; high prices, of course, if coincident 
with good crops, mean considerable direct benefit to the cultivator 
but in the latter year, at any rate, it was only the fortunate few 
who could have had any appreciable margin over the amount 
required for home consumption by which they could have profited 
financially. Moreover, it must be remembered that rice is in this 
district the ordinary staple consumed, and cheaper grains are not 
produced in anything like sufiicient quantity to take the place of 
rice converted into cash. Though, therefore, it must be accepted 
that the high prices they obtained for their surplus in 1907, must 
have gone some way to securing the position of the cultivating 
classes tliroughout the ensuing period of short crops and famine 
prices, some other cause must be found for the smaller cidtivators' 
and landless labourers' ability to hold out without some form of 
relief from outside. For the latter, as has already been shown, 
there was an ample field for employment at rates on which they 
could live comparatively well even at famine prices ; in the case of 
the small cultivators, it was most probably the high prices obtain- 
ed for lac in the previous years which made resistance possible, in- 
asmuch as they were thereby saved from exhausting their credit. 
Moreover, the continuance of high prices over a considerable 
number of years had, in itself, improved their credit by increasing 


the selling value of their holdings, more especially in the 
more congested areas where additional land could not readily or 
cheaply be brought under rice cultivation. At the end of the 
period of high prices there can be no doubt that the smaller cul- 
tivators, and many also of the bigger men, had come practically to 
the end of their resources, and the records of the registration 
offices show that during the period an abnormal number of 
usufructuary mortgaoes and sales of occupancy and 6xed rent 
holdings and portions thereof were executed, and arrears of rent 
mounted up in almost all estates. Since then, however, there 
have been two full rice harvests, and credit must have been fully 
restored, while stocks of grains are largely held, wherever the 
necessity for raising cash by an immediate sale was not necessary. 
At the time of writing, therefore, the general condition of the 
cultivating classes is probably better than it has been at any time 
during the past ten years. 

Of the condition of labourers it is unnecessary to say very much ; 
in the villages there is ample employment at the customary rates, 
and, as has been shown in an earlier pgrt of this chapter, there is 
an ample field for them iu the coal and other industries withia 
the district. 

Land' rp|^g condition of the smaller landholders, who have consider- 


able cultivation of their own, besides rent collections from tenants, 

is similar to that of the cultivators in general. Their 
expenses are larger, they have as a rule more non-earning 
members of the family to maintain, but on the other hand 
their income is larger. Many of them, however, show a 
tendency to ape the bigger landholders in the matter of 
expensive marriages, feasts to Brahmans and other ceremonies, 
with disastrous results to themselves. With very few excep- 
tions the larger landholders, including most of the Zamindars 
or so-called Rajas of the distiict, are more or less heavily 
involved in debt. The causes are mainly and primarily their 
own or their predecessors' gross extravagances, and the result- 
ant permanent alienation of considerable portions of their 
estates to money-lenders and others, and the necessity of 
providing for the maintenance of near and remote relatives, 
either by cash allowances or grants of land. In many cases 
it is the aping of a Rajput status which has been their 
ruin, improvement in status being mainly effected by marriages 

necessarily expensive — into families of rather higher status 

in local or popular opinion than their own. Another cause 
in recent years has been the general rise in the standard 
of living, the fa&hion being largely eet by the comparatively 


few big Zannndnrs, whoso income has bopn doubled or even 
quadrupled by tho fact of their being the owners of the 
mineral rights in the coalfields. Further reference to this 
state of things will be found in the paragraph dealing with 
Encumbered Kstatts in Cha[iter X. 

Though, as above stated, the condition of the mass of Increasing 
the people is generally better now than it has been for years de,,ce. 
post, there are not wanting signs that the tendency is for 
expenditure to increase more rapidly than income. The im- 
providence of most of the aboriginal and semi-aboriginal races 
is almost proverbial, and the absence of any wish to provide 
for the morrow, or even of any idea of the desirability of 
making such provit-ion, is everywhere conspicuous. The con- 
siderable earnings of the cooly classes are very largely spent 
in drinking and feasting, and the higher their wages the 
fewer days in the week or month will they, as a general 
rule, work. Similarly among the cultivating classes, though 
the drinking habit is less noticeable, (and even among the 
classes from whom a large part of the labouring population 
is drawn, it is largely confined to the consum{ition of home- 
made rice-beer {hdndia or pachicai) on the occasion of the 
regular festivals), there is little, if any, tendency displayed 
towards saving. Larger sums are spent on clothing and im- 
proved utensils, more expensive and more numerous ornaments 
are purchased, and also larger supplies of the articles of 
food find household use for which the cultivator has at all 
times to go to the nearest market, but the bulk of the extra 
proceeds of his crops go in more expensive show and tamdsha 
on the occasion of the various social ceremonies ; the aping 
of superior social status is not confined to the Zamindars or 
bigger tenure-holders ; among the Bhumij, especially, the 
claim to the dignity of Rajput extends much lower, and the 
holder of a few bighas more than his neighbours now not 
infrequently sets up to be a Eajput, Generally, wherever 
the tendency is towards Ilinduisation of a particular tribe 
or race, increased means stimulates the movement, and the 
extra earnings of the family are rapidly used up in the imitation 
of Hindu customs of early marriages and large dowries, expen- 
sive srddh ceremonies and the like, and a nucleus of debt to the 
mahajan remains even after a succession of good years. Even 
the high prices obtainable for rice have not as yet stimulated, 
in any great degree, extension of cultivation beyond what the 
requirements of an increasing family necessitate, and hardly any- 
where within the district are serious efforts made to improve the 

' 166 MANBHUM. 

yield from existing fields, and, as has been remarked in a previous 
chapter, any marked improvement in the system of agriculture 
whether in the matter of improving on the present yield, or in 
trying new or additional crops, can hardly bo expected until it is 
forced on the cultivator by his sheer necessity. 
Indebted- Indebtedness is more or less general, but the amounts are pro- 
iiess. bably not, as a rule, excessive in proportion to the real value of 

the holdings, and in the majority of cases not more than could 
be cleared off without much difficulty or effort in a year of good 
crops, if the cultivator cared or were pressed to do so. The 
effects of the introduction of the Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act 
which prohibits sales, and limits mortgages of lands held by 
'cupanoy tenants, will undoubtedly affect their credit, and 
will probably operate to their ultimate advantage by limiting 
thoir capacity for extravagance. It should certainly lead to 
greater advantage being taken by him of the Land Improvement 
and Agriculturist's Loans Act, very little use has been made of 
which in the past, except in years of scarcity ; it may also stimu- 
late the opening of Co-operative Banks, which at present only 
exist among two small Christian communities at Purulia and 




The statistics obtained at tlio census oC 1901 show that (JTl per Oocupa- 
eent, of the total population of Manbhum are supported by "^lo^"^- 
agriculture, a figure considerably below the average for the 
Division. The agricultural population in all numbers 873,500 of 
whom 4G per ceut., including some 1,'JOO rant-receivers, ul:7,OoO 
rent-payers and 53,500 agricultural labourers, are actual workers. 
The industrial population accounts for 117 per cent, of the total, 
and of those rather more than half are actual workers, aud 
include 16,000 miners, 9,800 cotton-weavers, 6,000 basket-makers 
and 4,400 workers in iron aud steel ; oil-pressers, rice-pounders, 
and workers in brass aud boUmetal and in gold are also fairly 
numerous. Commerce and the professions support a very small 
number, only three per thousand of the population being en"-ao-ed 
in trade, and 2 '3 per cent, dependent on the professions for their 
livelihood ; of the latter nearly half are actual workers and 
include some 1,500 priests, 2,700 religious mendicants, 4U0 
teachers, 150 lawyers and l,o00 members of the medical pro- 
fession of whom more than half are ordinary unqualified mid- 
wives ; 118,000 persons are employed as earth- workers and 
general labourers and, with tlioir dependants, make up nearly 15 
per cent, of the whole population ; numerically important also are 
the herdsmen and others engaged in breeding, keeping and 
tending cattle, who number over 33,000. 

The predominance of agriculture in one form or another 
among the occupations of the district is as marked as it is 
elsewhere in Bengal, and excluding the landless labourer class 
there are few trades or professions, a considerable poroentao-e of 
whose niembers are not also supported by agriculture. Of the 
more important manufactures and industries of the district and of Manufao- 
ita trade generally, a brief account is given in the succeeding- iJdcs -^"^ 
paragraplis. tbies. 

The coal industry is naturally the most prominent feature of Coal. 
<^ho trade and commerce of this district, and Manbhum now ranks 




Iron and 

even ahead of Burdwan as producing the largest amount of coal of 
any district in India, though, as a competitor of Burdwan, it 
entered the field comparatively recently. The present limits of 
the district still include a portion of the Raniganj field, but its 
fame as a coal-producing area is now practically identified with 
the Jharia field, of which, as well as of the industry generally, a 
more detailed description will be found in the succeeding chapter. 
In 1891, apart from the older mines of the Raniganj field, only 
two mines were being worked in the district with an output of 
78 000 tons, but with the opening of the Damudar branch of the 
East Indian Railway in 1894 development became rapid; in 1903 
there were 141 collieries at work, 115 in the Jharia and 26 in the 
Raniganj field, with outputs of 2,746,000 and 24o,000 tons 
respectively, and by 1908 the total number of mines working had 
risen to 281 and the total output to 7,062,000 tons. In 1:^00 the 
mines gave employment to 27,000 persons, a figure which had 
risen to 72,000 in 1908. The latest year (1909) for which figures 
are available show a considerable fall both in outturn, which 
dropped to 6,326,000 tons, and in the labour force employed 
(59,000 persons), due to the general depression in trade. The 
bulk of the miners employed are Bauris and Sonthals, both local 
and immigrant, but of recent years there has been a tendency 
to import labour from upcountry (Peshwaris and others) 
on an increasing scale. For above-ground labour the field 
of selection is wider, and representatives of all the ordinary 
labouring castes and local aboriginal tribes are to be found. 
Wages of Re. 1 or even more per diem can easily be earned by a 
man, and as most of his family can find employment on propor- 
tionately remunerative terms above or below ground, there is 
everything to make the cooly prosperous. Few, however, of 
them can be induced to work more than five days in the week, 
and large numbers of them only work for a few weeks at a time 
and go off home to spend their earnings. There is also a con- 
siderable exodus on the occasion of the various important village 
festivals, and during the cultivating seasons. All these causes of 
course go to reduce the average number actually employed and 
an average of 70,000 for the year probably meaus an actual 
labour force varying from a lakh or even 120,000 to as few as 40 
or 50,000, according to the season. 

The factory industries, so numerous and important in the coal- 
field area in the neighbouring district of Burdwan, have still 
to be developed in Manbhum. The Barakhar Iron and Steel 
Works, which is just outside the district, draws a large part of its 
raw material in the shape of ore from Malti, Dudhapani, Ohandil 


and other places in this district, and most of its coke from Jharia, 
but any description of the works belongs more properly to the 
Burdwan volume. Altogether 10,000 tons of ore valued at nearly 
Us. 51,000 were drawn from their varioiis cpiarries in this district 
by this company in 1909, and a considerable labour force 
was employed. Iron is smelted on a small scale at a few places 
in the district, but the outturn is very small and only a very 
few families, mostly of Kols, are employed in this industry. 

There are two brick, tile and pottery factories, both situated 
with the Raniganj coalfield in pargana Pandra. Of these the 
Brick and Tile Syndicate's factory at Grurtalbaii is of some years 
standing and employs from 250 to 300 persons; the Kumardubi 
Fire-brick and Pottery Works have recently been started and 
employ some 150 persons only. The only other factory worked 
under the Factories Act is the Barakar Coal Company's Engineer- 
ing "Works at Kumardubi where 300 persons are employed, the 
work done being mainly such as is required for the replacement 
and repairs of parts of machinery u&ed in the company's various 

The most important industry in the district after coal is the Lac 
collection and manufacture of lac. The extent of the trade in 
this article in one form or another is shown by the large exports. 
No accurate %ures are unfortunately obtainable, as separate 
statistics were not compiled by the Eailway Companies till 1909, 
in which year the total export of lac in the form of stiok-lac, i.e., 
not manufactured, and in the various manufactured forms was 
200,311 maunds, valued at Rs. 40 to 50 lakhs. 

The number of people engaged in the collection of raw lac can- 
not be estimated as almost every small cultivator in the greater 
part of the district has at least a few trees on which he rears lac, 
and there are now also several large firms who arrange with the 
actual producers for more systematic cultivation ; among these 
may be mentioned Messrs. Schroder Smidt & Co., who have 
leased the right to rear lac in the Mahta Protected Forests for five 
years at an annual rental of Rs, 400, and Messrs. Shaw Wallace 
& Co. who combine a lac business with coal-mining in their 
properties in the northwest of the district. In 1909 there were 
118 regular lac factories in the district employing an average 
of nearly 6,000 persons. Jhalda is the most important centre of 
manufacture, but there are numerous factories also at PuruUa 
and Balarampur, and a few at Chandil, Chas, Manbazar, Tulin 
and Gobindpur. The manufacturing industry is almost entirely 
in the hands of Armenian and Mirzapur fimis ; the rates of wages 
given are high, an adult male being able to earn from five 


annas to eight annas per diem, and skilled workers, both male 
and female, even more. The most important markets for the 
raw article are Manbazar, Balarampur and Jhalda, but in almost 
every weekly hat throughout the district lao is brought in and 
sold to the agents of the manufacturers and exporters during the 

The raw lac is a resinous incrustation produced round the 
bodies of colonies of the lac insect {Tixchardia lacca) after it has 
fastened on the twigs of gVarious trees, of j which the most import- 
ant as lac producers in this district are the Kusum {Schleicher a 
trijuga), the Palas {Butea frondom)\Q;D^ the Bail' or Kul {Ziz',phus 
jiijuha). The production of the lao of commerce commences with 
the birth and swarming of the larvse which occurs twice or 
occasionally three times in the year, viz., in July, December and 
January. The'larvf© emerge from the dead bodies of the female 
and crawl away in quest of fresh feeding grounds covering the 
adjoining branches and twigs till the latter look red and literally 
alive. In this stage they have numerous enemies and the vast 
majority perish; the more fortunate are wafted by the breeze or 
carried by the bees, birds or squirrels or by their own exertions 
to new situations. There the larvae become fixed, their legs no 
longer required fall off, and a resinous excretion begins to form 
round their bodies, and in course of time, by the aggregation of 
many, the twigs become more or less completely and thickly 
encrusted. Two and a half months after swarming the insects are 
produced, the females have no power to locomotion and remain in 
the cells, the males emerge winged and fly and flutter away 
visiting and impregnating the females. Shortly afterwards] the 
bodies of the females become greatly enlarged, assume a bright 
red colour and in the due course develop viviparous larvce. The 
mother then dies, the body becomes the resting place of her 
numerous offspring (about 1,000 in number) which at their 
appointed time escape by swarming, and thus twice or sometimes 
thrice in the year the strange cycle of life is repeated. 

The system of propagation or cultivation ordinarily followed 
consists in lopping off a few twigs of well-formed lac shortly 
before the expected date of swarming, and tying these in conve- 
nient portions on fresh trees or fresh boughs of the same tree. In 
the case of the Bair, and to a certain extent also Kusum, it is the 
practice now to regularly pollard the tree so as to encourage 
vigorous growth of new branches and twigs on which to propagate 
the lao ; in the case of Kusum the seed in the shape of an old 
branch, well encrusted, is applied to the fresh tree or branch in 
the month of Magh (January-February) ; a bundle of seed twigs, 


a foot or so in diameter and costing about five riipeos, suffices for 
four trees. The principal crop in the ease of Kusum is gathered in 
Kartik (October- November), but a smaller crop called ' J ethua ' is 
also cut in Chait (March- April). The encrusted branches are 
removed entirely and the lac scraped olf; the produce of an average 
tree weighs about 30 seers, including a comparatively small 
amount of wood and bark ; the quality depends on the brightness 
of the colour and the thickness of the incrustation, wliich is often 
as much a-- one inch, completely encircling the twig.* 

Palasi and Kul lac are reckoned inferior to Kusum, and of 
the two Kul is of sHghtly better quality but involves more cost in 
cultivation. The method of application is much the same. The 
principal crop is in Baisakh (April-May) when the twigs are 
lopped otf and the lac removed with a sickle, the twigs in the 
case of Kul being first soaked in water to facilitate this operation. 
Palasi lac reaches the market as a rule with a larger percentage 
of wood, and indeed much of it still attached to the twigs, and 
the price is in consequence lower. A second crop is taken from 
the Palas, on which a part of the earlier crop is usually left as 
seed, in Kartick ( October-November) and is known as ' Chuchia ' 
when it is cut and sold as seed. ' Chuchia ' or seed lac is not 
left on the Kul, for which seed from the Palas is ordinarily used. 
The yield from a Kul tree of average size may be taken as 
20 to 25 seers, and from the Palas sHghtly less. The risks 
attending the cultivation of lac generally are considerable. 
Excessive heat in March or August is said to be fatal to the seed ; 
fog or mist is supposed to damage it, and cloudy weather accom- 
panied by thunder and lightning to injure or even destroy the 
crop. In May 1908 the comparative poorness of the outturn was 
ascribed to excessive heat which had literally melted the incrusta- 
tions on the branches, but a more probable explanation of the 
shortage was the large prices obtainable in the previous year, which 
led to an insufficient quantity being reserved for seed. 

The price obtainable by the cultivator varies between very 
extreme Umit s according to the quality of the lac, its comparative 
purity from foreign matter in the shape of bark and wood, and 
the market for the manufactured article. In the specially 
favourable season of 1907 Kusumi lac fetched as much as Bs. 70 
per maund in the local market, Palasi Hs. 50 and Kuli Es. 70, 
the demand for Europe and America being at that time enormous ; 
in the two suc-cecdiug years prices dropped and the average did 
not exceed Es, 25, Es. 20 and Es. 25 per maund for the three 
varieties respectively. At Es. 20 per maund it is calculated 

* The CoDiniurcial Products of India. Sir George Watt, Loudon, 1908. 


162 mXnbhum. 

that the cultivator can make a profit of E,s. 7 per tree with a 
produce of Rs. 20 seers per tree and seed lac selling at Es. 5 
per bundle, and allowing for payment for assistance in applying 
the seed, watching the trees and gathering and prex^aring the crop 
for the market ; where all this is done by members of the culti- 
vator's family the actual cash profits will of course be consi- 
derably higher. Even with lac selling at Es. 10 per maund, the 
profit per tree is still considerable, though the margin is not large 
where hired labour has to be prepared and seed to be purchased. 

The process of manufacture followed in most of the factories 
is as follows: the raw lac is first crushed on a flat stone, and as 
much as possible of the woody material removed ; the crushed lac 
{buUf) is then made over to the ghaaanddrs (literally those 
who rub) who put it in earthen jars called atfidlis in which 
they wash and rub it between the palms of their hands or trample 
it with their feet. More of the foreign matter is thus removed 
and also the colouring matter, the water being constantly changed 
until it comes away comparatively free of dirt and colour. The 
lac lt.ielf is in the course of this process converted into what is 
known as seed lac, and is divided out into large and small grains, 
called respectively chaun and muldma. The washing process 
is done either with or without saji, mdii, i.e., impure carbonate 
of soda, the use of which gets rid of a larger percentage of the 
dye or colouring matter, and results in a more valuable quality of 
lac. After the washing and separation of the grains these are 
spread out and exposed to the rays of the sun to dry ; over- 
exposure results in blackening of the lac and consequent reduc- 
tion in value. When dried, the grains are winnowed to get rid 
of dust and dirt. A certain quantity of powdered yellow arsenic 
is mixed with them, the object being apparently to improve the 
colour ; resin is also added partly as a cheap f onn of adulteration 
and partly because it makes the melting point of the shellac 
lower, and therefore makes it more suitable for certain purposes. 
Thus prepared the lac is made over to the regular shellac manu- 
facturers {kdrik'irs) who are mostly skilled workers from Mirzapur. 
They proceed to stuff the grain into long cyhnder-shaped bags ; 
one end of ihe bag is then attached to a chorki or wheel, not 
unlike a spinning wheel, placed close to a long open fire, and the 
other is held by the kdrikar. The wheel is revolved and the 
BU.Tface of the bag gradually heated all round, and as the kdrikar 
horn, time to time gives his end of the bag a complete twist 
round, ihe melted lac gradually exudes on the surface. In this 
state the iao, known as puk, is removed with a piece of flat 
iron and dropped either into a vessel of hot water or on to tiles 


kept wet and clean alongside the fire. The next stage ia the 

conversion of the lumps of cooked lao into shoot or shellac; the 

lump, still hot, is taken by another workman and spread smoothly 

round a cylinder of wood or iron, or the stalk of a plantain 

the smootliing out is done with a ribbon of palm leaf stretched 

between the hands and is continued till the lao is a smooth sheet 

about one -eighth of an inch in thickness. The sheet is then 

opened out by a hlua or opener and removed from the cylinder 

and trimmed into rectangular form, when another assistant 

carrying it in front of the fire seizes it with his hands, toes and 

even his teeth and spreading his arms and legs and straightening 

himself out stretches it to three or four times its original size and 

to the tliinness of paper. It is then laid on a mat or cloth and 

allowed to cool gradually. The sheets thus prepared are carefully 

examined, all pieces of darker colour or containing impurities 

broken off and put away separately, and the remainder, broken into 

pieces two or three inches square of uniform clear golden colour, 

is ready for the market as first class shellac. The other forms in 

which lac is put on the market are as garnet, button or refuse. 

For garnet lac, which as its name implies is a rich red colour and 

is in demand where colour is not a disadvantage, the palasi 

lac is largely used as well as the rejections at the different stages 

of the manufacture of shellac. The manufacture differs only 

in the fact that the process is complete at the cylinder stage, no 

further stretching being necessary. For button lac the molten 

material is not stretched at all but is simply allowed to drop 

off from the bag in which it is cooked on to a smooth clean 

surface, where- it forms round pieces about 3 or 4 inches in 


The bags used in the process above described contain a 
considerable residue of lac of which part is extracted by boiling 
with mji and made into cakes called pa<heha which seU at some- 
what less than half the rates obtainable for shellac and which 
are used mainly in the local manufacture of lac ornaments, 
bangles, toys, etc., and common sealing wax, and also by cabinet 
makers for covering up cracks in wood. 

For lac dye there is now practically no demand, and no 
attempt is made to recover it from the water used for washing 
the raw lac in the earlier stages of manufacture. This water ia 
allowed to run to waste and incidentally its disposal is a constant 
source of trouble in the factories within the municipal towns and 
larger villages, as it contains a large amount of botli animal 
and vegetable refuse and has a most objectionable odour. The 
system now being enforced on manufacturers so far as possible ia 

M 2 



Silk and 



^ eaving. 

to run off the water to some distance from inhabited areas in 
pucka drains, and then to allow it to spread out over level fields ; 
the earth saturated with the refuse water forms a valuable manure 
and cultivators regularly dig it out and put it on their fields, not 
infrequently paying small sums to be allowed to do so. 

The finer qualities of manufactured lac, shellac, garnet and 
button are exported direct for the most part to Calcutta; no 
attempt has yet been made to convert any part of it locally into 
varnish, though in the mahua tree, which is usually abundant in 
this district in the very areas from which the raw lac is drawn, 
there is ample material for the distillation of a cheap spirit suitable 
for use in conjunction with lac in the manufacture of varnish. 

Tasar silk weaving is still carried on at a few centres of which 
Baghunathpur (3 miles west of Adra station on the Bengal- 
Nagpur Railway) is the most important ; ^>inghbazar near 
Purulia and Lohagarh, 15 miles south-east of the same place, 
each contains a few looms ; the total number of families engaged 
in the industry is about 150, and in 1907-08 there were reported to 
be 95 looms. The estimates of outturn are only approximate and 
range from 32,000 yards in 1905-06 to 20,000 in 1907-08. Raghu- 
nathpur appears to have been the chief centre of the manufacture 
in earlier days, but the industry has declined, since, it is said? 
the forests from which the cocoons were locally obtained have 
disappeared, and it is necessary now to go to a distance for 
these; the cost of the raw material is thereby enhanced, and 
as the profits of manufacture are reduced, many of the weaving 
families have had to take to other occupations. The quality of 
cloth produced at Raghunathpur is good and there is a small 
local demand for it for d/udis, saris, chadars, napkins and pagris^ 
but the bulk of the outturn finds its way to Burdwan and 
Calcutta. Attempts were made for several years to teach 
improved methods of manufacture and to adopt the fly- shuttle 
loom; the innate conservatism of the leading weavers was not, 
however, to be overcome, and neither in the methods of winding 
the cocoon nor in the method of weaving has any material 
improvement been effected. 

Tasar rearing is still carried on fairly extensively in a small 
area near Kenda about half-way between Purfdia and Manbazar ; 
the rearers are chiefly Kurmis but Sonthals, Bhumij and others 
also go in for it. The Asan {Terminalia tomentosa), Sidha 
{Lacjerstroemia parviflora) and Dhau {Anogeissus latifolia) are the 
trees ordinarily used for rearing dahas and the Asan only for hugnis. 

Cotton weaving other than as a home industry, i.e,^ production 
on a small scale for merely local consumption, has almost 


disappeared; there are now no great weaving centres or 
large colonies of weavers, but in almost every village a few 
Weavers will bo found who prepare the coarse country cloth used 
by the poorer population for the ordinary articles of clothing ; 
the cloth produced is coarse but strong and durable and is 
preferred to the more showy but less durable Manchester 
goods which are available in any quantity at every bazar and 
hat throughout the district. Formerly locally grown cotton 
was used, and in the wilder areas the aboriginal races still grow 
their small patches of cotton, but generally speaking the bulk of 
the cotton used is imported. Attempts have been made to 
introduce the fly-shuttle loom at Eaghunathpur where cotton 
as well as Tasar weavers are fairly numerous, but these have not 
been successful. At Pokhuria in the north of the district 
Dr. Campbell has been more successful, weaving is taught in a 
regular school and various improved looms ure in use. The object 
of this school is primarily to teach the Sonthalto be entirely 
independent of the outsider and to have in every Sonthal village 
a few Sonthal weavers able to supply the local requirements ; 
no attempt is therefore made to teach anything but ordinary 
coarse work. 

The ordinary iron utensils required for domestic use are Iron'^avc 
made locally throughout the district ; the ordinary village 5^^"^^*^"*' 
blacksmith works in a very primitive method and the produce 
of his heartli and anvil has no pretensions to being fine work ; 
the raw material is usually supplied by his customers and 
ho makes it up .to order to the best of his ability. In PurOlia, 
Jhalda, Tauasi and one or two other places, however, theer are 
more skilled workers, and the two former places have a con- 
siderable reputation for the manufacture of agrioulturla imple- 
ments, cutlery and firearms. 

The reputation of Jhalda for guns hardly compares with 
that of Monghyi' and the outturn is now very limited, two 
or three per annum only ; the industry was, however, at one 
time a flourishing one, and the gun-makers of both Jhalda and 
Tanasi were suspected in 1857 of supplying matchlocks and 
other weapons to the discontented Sonthals and others 
who gave trouble in the neighbourhood of Jaipur and Gola. 
The manufacturers have not, however, lost their skill and 
can effect passililf repairs of weapons of European manufac- 
ture and also turn out weapons which are a fair imitation, 
so far as appearance goes, of the cheaper products of Birming- 
ham. Their methods ditler in no material respect from 
those followed by the gun makers of Monghyr which are 


described in detail by Mr. E. R. Watson in his Monograph 
on Iron and Steel work in Bengal (1907). Sword-sticks 
{gupti) are also manufactured in considerable numbers, as 
well as similar walking sticks of various patterns without the 
concealed weapon. The bulk of the outturn of the smithies 
consists, however, of ordinary household and agricultural 
implements of somewhat superior workmanship to those 
produced by the regular blacksmith of the smaller villages. 
The technical schools at Jhalda and Tanasi reierred to elsewhere 
are in connection with the superior blacksmiths' shops, and 
boys mainly of the regular blacksmith or Lobar castes are 
taught the vaiious stages in the working up of the rough 
material into ploughshares, koddlis, axes and the smaller cutting 
instruments in ordinary use. According to Mr. Jo G. Gumming,* 
the workers at Jhalda are capable of doing much better work 
than he found them doing, and only require an extended 
market for their manufactures. It is doubtful, however, whether 
without a capitalist behind them there is much possibility of 
their obtaining this. 
Stouc- The only survival of the art of stone-carving, which to judge 

°" by the many relics of ancient skill to be found in the ruined 
temples scattered about the district, must at one time have had 
skilled exponents, is the small industry carried on at Dalmi and 
one or two other places in the south of the district, where the 
local pot or soap-stone is quarried on a small scale, and plates 
and other vessels manufactured from it. The number of 
people employed is small, a few dozen families in all and 
among these only a few individuals ;are skilled workmen. 
The blocks of stone are roughly dressed with a hammer and 
chisel, and then put on a rough lathe on which they are 
turned to the desired shape, and finally polished by hand. 
Occasionally somewhat more elaborate work is undertaken in 
the shape of idols, and it is stated that a few years ago some of 
the pot-stone masons were employed to do the carving for a 
new temple at Chirkunda. For such work, however, it is 
more usual to import skilled labour from Calcutta, Puri or 
(iold- Gold-washing is an industry which still survives at a few 

was ling, pig^Qgg along the Subarnarekha river in the fiscal division of 
Patkum. The methods followed are primitive and the results are 
very small, a hard day's work being well rewarded if the out- 
turn in gold dust is worth four or five annas. 

* lieview of the Industrial position and prospects iu Bengal in 1908, 


Other industries call for no Fpocial description ; workers in Other 
brass and bellmetal at PurHlia supply the ordinary local require- "'^""tMes. 
meiits in the way of vessels for hou«oliold use, and gold and 
silversmiths, usually immigrants from the Bihar districts, 
manufacture the usual ornaments; the local pottery is of the most 
ortliuary desiTiption, and neither wood turning nor wood-carving 
approaches anything in the shape of fine art. Basket-making 
is carried on for the most part by Doms and Haris of whom a few 
may be found in most villages. Rope is made in the villages 
nearer the jungles from various jungle grasses and fibres ; aloe fibre 
is also used, but the commonest material for ordinary purposes is 
rice straw. 

Coal is of course the most important article of export, followed Thade. 
closely in point of value by lac ; a long way behind these both in 
quantity and value come rice, paddy, gram and various pulses, 
in all of which,, however, a comparison of the figures for the last 
two quinquennial periods (ending March 1005 and 1910 respec- 
tively) there is a tendency to decline, due largely no doubt to the 
rapidly increasing industrial population of the coalfield area, and 
the diminishing area available there for cultivation. The extent 
of the 1-ic trade has already been referred to ; its financial 
importance to the district may be inferred from the fact that, 
taking the lowest computation, the value of lac exported in 1909 
was approximately 40 to 00 lakhs of rupees as compared with 
150 lakhs for coal and 3 lakhs for all kinds of food-grains. The 
chief imports are food-grains, nnmely, rice and pulses, sugar, 
refined and unrefined, salt, EngHsh and Indian cotton piece-goods, 
and Indian cotton-twist, tobacco, and kerosine oil. The bulk of 
the exports go to Calcutta, though coal in large quantities goes 
to Bombay, the United Provinces and other Provinces, and a 
considerable quantity of raw lac to Mirzapur. Bihar and Butd- 
wan take the bulk of the exports of rice, and Ranchi and Singh- 
bhura the various pulses. Of the imports the bulk of the 
rice comes from Burdwan, Bankura, Singhbhum and Sam- 
balpur, and of gram and pulses from the Bihar districts and 
Ranchi. Burdwan nnd Bihar share in providing' most of the 
raw sugar and tobacco ; oil-seeds come principally from districts 
of Bihar and other districts of Chota Nagpur ; raw lac in 
considerable quantity comes from Ranchi and Singlibhum and 
the bulk of the remainder of the imports come direct from Cnlcutta, 
The chief centres of trade are the towns of Purillia and Jlmlda, 
Dhanbaid, Jharia, Katras and Chirkunda in the north of the 
district, Balarampur and Chandil in tlie south, all on the line of 
railway, and Manbazar and Barabazar in the east and south-east. 



The Dhanbaid subdivision is particularly well served by rail- 
ways, tbe Purulia subdivision not so well, but the Asansol-Sini 
line intersects it from north-east to south-west almost centrally, 
and the western half is again intersected since 1908 by the 
Purulia -Ranchi line ; the Kharagpur-Gomoh branch cuts across 
the north-eastern corner and connects up the rest of the area with 
both Calcutta and the coalfield. Communications by road are on 
the whole good ; passable fair-weather roads connect all parts of 
the district with one or more railway stations, and the main routes 
are metalled with either stone or gravel. The one existing 
drawback which hampers trade at all times and periodically stops 
through communication in the rains is the largo number of 
unbridg«d rivers and streams. Outside the places mentioned there 
are comparatively few permanent markets, and the bulk of the 
ordinary trade of the district is carried on by means of the weekly 
lidts, many of which are held at places more or less inter- 
mediate between the distributing centres and the rural areas which 
they serve. In the wilder parts of the district pack-bullocks are 
regularly used as the only suitable means of conveyance, and the 
travelling purveyor of Manchester cloth and other village require- 
ments or luxuries is no uncommon sight. For the purchase of the 
products of the rural areas agents are sent out from the chief 
centres to the hats and villages and much of the produce, 
more particularly such articles as grain, oilseeds, hides, etc., for 
export, are thus bought locally ; lac and other forest produce is 
usually brought in to the larger hats and to the places of 
manufacture. Inter-district traffic by road with the southern and 
western portion of Ranchi is considerable, Ohandil being the 
main distributing and collecting centre, and a great part of the 
produce of the south-eastern corner of the district finds its way to 
various stations on the Bengal-Nagpur Railway in the Singhbhum 
district. In the west Jhalda, which is now conueoted by a good 
road with Grola, does a large amount of trade with the south- 
eastern portion of Hazaribagh ; in the extreme north there is a 
considerable inter-district traffic betweeen Tundi and the Sonthal 
Parganas, gram and straw from which as well as timber from 
Palganj in Hazaribagh find their way in large quantities to the 
coalfield by road, 
and^mea- '^^^ extension of the coal industry and the opening out of the 

Bures. district generally, which has resulted from it, has naturally led to 
the standardization of weights in the district. In the larger 
markets and generally at most places within reach of the railway 
the only weight in use is the standard seer of 80 tolas. In the 
more out-of-the-way parts, a seer varies from as little as 60 to as 


much as 112 tolas in Manbazar, soutli-eastern Barabhuin, Bagh- 
mundi and elsewhere. Actual transactions, when dealing retail, 
are usually by measurer bowls supposed to hold 4 seer (potcti) or a 
seer {paild) being used to measure grain. 

The standard cubit for all ordinary purposes is one of 18 
inches ; smaller units are the rin(/u/iov thumb breadth, the musldis 
of 4 fl>/</u//s = three inches, and the bigha equal to three mushtis. 
Five hdt/ifi in length by four /idf/is in breadth makes a chittak of 
45 square feet land measure, 16 chittaks equal 1 katha, and 
20 kathas one bigha. Divisions of time are but vaguely recog- 
nised by the rural population, a r/I/ari is about 24 minutes, a 
ghanta approximately an hour, and a prahar three hours. 
Dnpra/iar represents midday. Other times of day are usually 
marked by reference to this or to sunrise or sunset or to the 
regular meals. 




Early The fii'st Englishman to discover the existence of coal in Bengal 
discoveries. -^j^g probably Mr. Suetonious Grant Heatly who, in 1774, was the 
Collector of Chota Nagpur and Palamaii. In that year he and 
a Mr. John Sumner obtained from Warren Hastings a license 
empowering them to work coal mines in "Pachete andBirbhum." 
A Mr. Redferne subsequently joined the firm which, as Sumner, 
Heatly and Redferne, applied for and obtained the exclusive right 
for a period of 18 years to work and sell coal in Bengal and its 
dependencies. In addition to paying a Government royalty of 
one fifth of the value of all the coal raised by them, they also 
agreed to supply Government with ten thousand maunds of coal 
a year for a period of five years. Under this agreement the firm 
in 1775 announced the arrival of 2,500 maunds or 91| tons of 
Pachete coal and asked that it should be taken over. This 
appears to be the first occasion on which Bengal coal in any large 
(juantity was brought into the market. The coal, however, was 
not taken over .until 1777 when, upon a second application from 
the firm, the Commissary of Stores was directed to examine and 
report upon it. 

In 1777, about the same time, Farquhar and Motte asked 
permission "to bore cannon and to cast shot and shell in the 
district of Jherria, lying between the rivers Dammuda and 
Barakar." They gave as their reason for the selection of that 
locality that it " abounds in iron ore and is contiguous to the coal 
mine of Messrs. Sumner and Heatly." Unfortunately the coal 
Heatly produced was reported as being much inferior to that of 
England. In fact the Commissary of Stores, as the result of a 
series of experiments, came to the conclusion that it was only half 
as good as English coal, and it was returned to the firm. This 
circumstance, together with the indifference of Lord Cornwallis to 
measures calculated to develop the internal resources or promote 
the external commerce of India, led to the neglect and apathy 
that characterised the first few years of coal niiuing in India. 
Mr. Heatly was afterwards transferred, and it is doubtful whether 
any more of the coal was actually brought into the market. The 


miuos first worked by him aro said to have beou six in numhor, 
three of which were at Aitiiria, Chinakiiri, and Damulia, and the 
others further west near the Barakar. In his Wild Sports in the 
East (1808), Williamson alludes to Indian coal, but says that the 
Company " finds it easier to seud coal from England, as ballast, 
to their arsenals abroad, where quantities are occasionally used in 
fusing metals for casting ordnances." But none of the early 
European travellers in India make any mention of coal, prior to 
the fir&t decade of the 19th century. This is abundantly exem- 
plified by the silence of Milburn (Or. Comm., 1813) and of 
Macpherson (Hist. Europ. Comm. Ind., 1812), two authors who 
were certain to have had chapters on Indian coal and India's re- 
quirements in coal had these been questions of public importance 
at the time in which they wrote. 

In 18(18 the Indian Directors of the East India Company 
actually complained of the heavy charges iuvolved by the indents 
for coal made by their Indian representatives, and they accord- 
ingly recommended an enquiry whether charcoal could not be 
substituted ; and if not, they further recommended tlie transfer- 
ence of the ordnance works to Euglantl. The Earl of Minto, who 
was at the time Groveraor-Greneral of India, directed that Indian 
coal should bo submitted to actual tests by the military authorities 
ill India, and further experiments were accordingly made by 
Colonel llardwicke. His report, however, which is dated May 
19th, 1809, was again very unfavourable, and the subject of coal 
for a time dropped uut of notice. But iu L'r^H the Marquis of 
Hastings once more urged on the Military Board the desirability 
of ascertaining beyond doubt " whether the coal of India was of 
a quality calculated for the purpose of the forge." He also 
announced that a fully qualified person would be appointed to 
examine the mines, who would be furnished with the necessary 
apparatus to make borings and who would for experimental pur- 
poses procure a supply of coal from such a depth as to ensure that 
it would represent the average quality. Previous experiments 
where thus disci-edited owing to the coal used having been obtain- 
ed from the surface and therefore much deteriorated. 

By this time apparently coal was being regularly conveyed 
by boat down the Daiuodar river to Calcutta, und we hear 
of a Calcutta merchant having rominenced to use Bengal coal 
notwithstanding the unfavoiurablo reports published by the 
Military Board. 

The expert deputed by Government was a Mr. Rupert Jones ^ir. Ru- 
who was sent from England on purpose to examine the Bengal enquiry *'' 
coalfields, and his report (written in 1815) •will be found in the 


Asiatik Researches (1833, XVIII, 163-70;. \Ii. Jones redis- 
covered Mr. Heatly's workings and also found the seam at Rani- 
ganj, which later in 1815 or 1816, he began to work on his own 
account. His report was on the whole favourable and showed 
that Bengal coal might very well be used for many of the pur- 
poses for which English coal was being imported. But he did 
not himself realise the full value of his investigations. He fore- 
told increased prosperity to Calcutta through the coal he had 
discovered being a better and more economical fuel for burning 
the Sylhet limestone than the firewood then in use, but appar- 
ently he knew little of the great revolution steam was destined 
to effect, nor of the imperative necessity of an abundant 
and cheap supply of coal for commercial and industrial 
Early ^^^ history of Mr. Jones' undertaking at Raniganj belongs 
develop- to the Burdwan district, but barely 10 years after Messrs. 
Manbhum. Alexander and Company took over his workings and started 
The ^ the first regularly constituted Indian mine under European super- 
field^^""" "^sion and worked by European capital in 1820, Mr. Homfray 
of Messrs. Jessop and Company opened the Chanch and Luchibad 
mines at the other end of the Raniganj field west of the Bara- 
khar river and within the present limits of this district. In 
1837 these mines with others passed into the hands of Messrs. 
Gilmore, Homfray and Company, and six years later in 1843 
this filrm and that of Carr, Tagore and Company, who had 
acquired the Raniganj mine in the Burdwan district, combined 
to form the Bengal Coal Company which still owns the most 
extensive coal properties in the Raniganj field. Progress was, 
however, slow until the opening of the East Indian Railway 
as far as Raniganj in 1854, and so far as mines in the Manbhum 
portion of the Raniganj field are concerned until its extension 
to Barakar in 1858. A return of production submitted in 1860 
shows three collieries working within the present limits of the 
district, i.e., Chanch, Luchibad and Domurkonda, with a total 
outturn of 4| lakhs of maunds for 1858 and 34 for 1859. In 
1861 Mr. Blanford of the Geological Survey saw quarries being 
worked at these three places and also at Hirakund, and in a 
few other places surface coal was being quarried on a small 
scale by natives ; at Domurkonda development had gone to 
the extent of the installation of a steam engine of 10 horse- 
power. But with no outlet to the rail-head and to the con- 
suming centres except by road or in the rains by the somewhat 
^ - — —a _^ 

* This and the preceding paragraphs are reproduced from the Burdwau 
Gazetteer, J. C. K. Peterson, 1910. Ed. 


uncertain route of the Daniodar river, which doea not in 
this difilrict or for some distance further east lend itself very 
readily to regular boat tratho, dcvelopnu'nt was very slow, and as 
late as 1868, the report on the " Coal llosources and J?roduction 
of India " states that a single inine with a yearly output of 1^ 
lakhs of maunds was being worked west of the Barakhar river. 
Though the East Indian Railway Une was opened as far aa 
Baralshar in 1858, it was not till 1870 that the road bridge over 
tlie liarakhar river was completed, and another 24 years elapsed 
before thu Barakhar railway bridge and the Ohaneh branch, a 
purely colliery line connecting the collieries at (Jhanch, Luchibad, 
Donnirkonda, etc., with the main line, were opened in 189-i. 
Even as late as 1891 the only extensive workings in this part, of 
the field were those of ihe Bengal and Barakhar Coal Companies 
at Laikdihi and Kumardubi respectively, aud t]ie total output in 
that year was only 77,000 tons. Though, tlierefore, coal mining 
within the district of Manbhum in the Ranjganj field was initiated 
so many years before, it can only bo said to havo got its full 
opportunity of development almost at the same time as the Jharia 
field was brought into touch with the outside world by ihe openino- 
of the Barakhar-Dhanbaid line in 18y4. 

It has already been mentioned that so far back us 1777 The 
Farquhar and Motte had asked permission to bore cannon and •^''^i''* 
cast shot and shell in the district of Jharia, which they describe ^ * 
as "abounding in iron ore and as contiguous to Sumner and 
Heatly's coal mines." Tlie latter, however, were east of the 
Barakhar, and it is probable that Farquhar and Motte referred 
rather to the eastern part of the Ranlganj field which answers 
their description in other respects than to the Jharia field proper. 
Mr. Jones, in a paper written in 1817 and published 10 jears 
later, referred to coal in iJie neighbourhood of Jharia or " Jani- 
garh," but the map which accompanied it did not include the 
Jharia field. It was Major Sherwill, the oflfieer in char<>'o of the 
party which did the Kovenue Survej^ of this part of the district 
in the years 1861 to 1863, who once more brought to notice the 
existence of coal in Jliaria. An application liad indeed been filed 
a few years earlier (1S5S) by Messrs. Borrodaile and Company 
for a mining lease of the whole Jharia estate whii^i was then 
under Court of Wards management, but nothing came of this 
Major Shei-wilFs information led to the deputation of 
Mr. Theodore Hughes of the Geological Survey, as soon as the 
topograpliical maps were ready, to make a jiropcr exaTninntion 
of the mineral resources of this area, and his report was made 
public in the Memoirs of the Geological ISurvey of India iu 18u5 

174 MiNBHUM. 

(Vol. V, Pai-t. III). An optimistic view of the quality and future 
of Jharia coal was not, however, taken by Mr. Oldham, the Super- 
intendent of the Greological Survey, and no steps were taken to 
exploit it till 1890, when the East Indian Eailway Company 
deputed Mr. T. H. Ward to make a definite report on the 
economic resources of the field. Mr. Ward's report was a most 
favourable one. He considered the Jharia coal superior to the 
general average of the raisings in Eaniganj field, and was 
sanguine that with good railway communications it would com- 
mand the north-west market. The construction of a railway 
line from Barakhar to Katras was sanctioned in April 1892 and 
taken in hand at once, and there was an immediate rush for 
settlements of coal lands in Jharia. The estate was just then 
about to be released from management, and the Court of Wards 
declined to undertake the responsibility of making any settlements 
with the result that the earliest mines to be opened were 
some near Katras. The new line from Barakhar to Dhanbaid 
and Katras was opened oq the 20th May 1894, and a year later 
another line from Kusunda to Pathordi, and the whole length 
of the coalfield was thus brought into direct communication 
with the outer world, and the result was an immediate and 
rapid development of the industry. In 1894 the outturn from 
all mines in the district was only 128,686 tons; iu 1895 it rose 
at once to 1,281,294 tons, the enormous increase being almost 
entirely from the Jharia field. In the two succeeding years 
there was a set-back, but from 189S there was a steady rise in 
the outturn which first touched two million tons in 1901. In 1905 
the outturn had swelled to nearly three million Ions, and in 1906 
to nearly four millons; in 1907 over 5,800,000 tons were raised, 
and in the following year no less than seven millions of tons. 
These figures are, by themselves, sufficient to show the extra- 
ordinary rapid development o£ the coal industry in the district ; 
the Jharia field is of course the one which accounts for the bulk 
of the increase in outturn, but since 1894 there has been a very 
considerable expansion in the Eaniganj field also, and many 
new mines have been opened out, more especially along what 
is known as the Pandra extension of the field and also south 
of the Damodar river, where the famous Deshargarh seams have 
been worked by the Equitable Coal Company at Ohaurasi since 
1902. The entrance of the Bengal-Nagpur Eailway in the 
Jhiria field in 1904 and the subsequent extension of various 
loops and small branches, besides innumerable sidings from both 
Eailway systems, the doubling of the line from Barakhar to 
Dhanbaid, the opening of the section of the Grand Chord of 


the East Indian Railway from Dlianbaid to Goraoh in 1907, 
have all facilitated rapid development, and at the present time 
it may bo said that every part of the field, ineludiug the exten- 
sion on the west towards the llamgarh Bokaro field wliich almost 
immediately joins on to the Jharia field across the Ilazaribagh 
border, has been bruiig it into dose touch with the railway and 
by means of it with the outside world. The tendenc}', however, 
which was manifest in 1907 and 1908 to open out new collieries 
in this part of the field, and also in the continuation of the 
main field south of the Damodar, has for the time being been 
checked. From two concerns representing some half a dozen mines, 
working in 1891 the number of eoUieries in the district has 
grown to -281 in 1908, 222 in the Jharia;field and 59 in the Eani- 
ganj field, producing (5^ millions and 650,000 tons respectively, 
or more th m double the output of the Burdwan mines in the 
same year and nearly seven-twelfths of the total output of British 
India. The value at the pit's mouth represented over 2 crores of 
rupees or nearly H millions sterling, and the number of work- Geology 
people employed amounted to an average of 72,000 persons daily, jharia 

The geology of the Jharia field is thus described by Mr. fi^'d. 
Hughes. Two series are developed, — the lower the Talcher, and 
the upper the Damodar, — comprising a total thickness of 6,800 
feet of strata, and forming a trough or basin, the beds usually 
dipping at right angles away from the boundaries, at varying 
amounts towards a common centre of depression. A large and 
well-defined fault, possibly continuous and directly connected with 
the one that forms the southern boundary of the Raniganj field, 
cuts off the whole of the beds to the south, thro-«ing them several 
hundreds of feet. The Talcher series is easily recognised by 
those peculiar mineral characters which serve so readily to dis- 
tinguish it, where developed in neighbouring localities A 
" boidder-bed " occurs at the base, and above it are flaggy green 
shales and mammillated sand- stones, the former of which may be 
considered the distinctive rocks of the series. The Damodar series 
is characterised by its containing coal, by the mineral composition 
of its beds and by the nature of its flora. In subdividing it, I 
have followed t..e classification and nomenclature first introduced 
by the Geological Survey of India in the Report on the Raniganj 
field: — ;1) Barakhar group at the base, (2) Carbonaceous shales 
with iron-stones, and (3) Raniganj group. In the present in- 
stance, however, there is no evidence of decided unconformity 
between any of the above three groups, and my divisions are 
based entirely upon litbologioal grounds. Even this test, how- 
ever, almost fails with respect to the carbonaceous shales -^ith 


ironstones, as they are not developed to such an extent in 
the . Jharia district as in the Eaniganj field; and in many 
instances the ironstones are altogether wanting in the shales, 
so that they wholly loose their distinctive character. No 
formation higher than the two above mentioned occurs, and 
the Panohet rocks (the next in order of succession above 
the Damodar), which possess such a splendid development at 
a distance of only eighteen miles to the east in the 
Ranlganj field, have been, removed from this district, so that 
no vestige of them remains. This phenomenon is no doubt 
in great part due to the fact that the southern boundary has not 
been thrown to the same enormous extent as that of the Hani- 
gani field, although connected with it; and that, therefore, 
the Panchets were less protected and more easily swept away 
by the denuding forces that acted against them. The metamor- 
phio series, composed mainly of gneiss and constituting the 
bottom rocks of the country, is represented by a large inlier 
in the neighbourhood of Dumra, which must have been an 
island in the old Talcher sea at the time when the sedimentary 
substances which formed that group were being deposited, and 
doubtless furuished some of the material which we now see 
piled up against its old shores, Tue most common varieties ot 
rock are syenitic and porphyritic gneiss, but another very 
prevalent form is a binary compound of quartz and felspar. 
The last element is very subordinate, and as the grains of 
quartz are by no means sharply crystalline, this peculiarity 
when the rock is much weathered, — and it occurs near the 
boundary of the coal measures, - often at first leads one to the 
very natural supposition that it is an unaltered silicious 

With the exception, then, of the middle series, coal is found 
at all depths in the Damodar series, the larger seams generally 
being at the base, while those occurring at the top are smaller. 
The excellence of the coal in the Eaniganj group of the Eaniganj 
field is well known ; bat in the Jharia field, although there 
are many seams in the upper series superior to some in the 
Barakhars, the finest coal and the freest from ash occurs in the 


Mr. Ward traced out altogether 17 seams upwards of 5 feet 
in thickness within the Barakhar group. In the main central area 
these measures dip at an angle very moderate from a miner's 
point of view of 10° to the south, whilst on the flanks east 
and west the dips increase to 30° and 40°. In nearly every 
case the seams are overlain by a roof of sandstone. The seams 



miinborin^^ Ihi, 15 aud 17 oouiain first, olass coal; thuir charac- 
toristio thick iio38i'8 aro 7h, 25 aud 10 feet ruapoctively. No. 14, 
whidi is a vury fair ooal, is unfortunately spoilt ovor largo areas 
by intrusions of trap. Mr. Ward ostimatud tho not qiiautity of 
coal of No. l'!i soaui wliicli he oousidurod among tho best, at 730 
millions of tous, of which 159 million tons aro at doptbs losa 
than 800 feet. 

In tho Barakhar series eighteen well-do fined seams are now 
reoognisorl, of wliicli, according to Sir T. Holland, tho upper eight 
seams include enormous supplies of good coal ; such seams as 
there are of the higher beds of tho Damodar series have for the 
most part yielded poor coal. " Tho two classes of ooal 
present a well-marked and constant dilferenoe in tho amount of 
moisture they contain ; the older, Barakhar coals, both in the 
lianiganj field and in Jharia, contain on an average about 
1 per cent, of moisture, whilst tho average for the younger coal 
of the lianiganj series is 3 8 per cent, in the lower seams, and 
nearly 7 per cent, in the upper seams. There is a ooiTesponding, 
but less marked, differeuce in the proportion of volatile hydro- 
carbons, which form a larger percentage of the younger coals 
than of those at lower stages in the Damodar series." vSir T. 

The results of certain assays of coil and coke made by Composi- 
Mr. E. 1'. Martin and Professor II. Louis of carefully procured *°"' 
samples from the Jharia and Raniganj fields are thus summarised 
by Dr. Watt. 








Lb. of water 

evaporHted by 

1 lb. of coal. 

Jharia iield 
(12 samples). 

Baui^'atij (4 

60 5 








Carbon, j Sulphur. 




Jharia coke (9 

75-16 ' 0-65 





Commenting on those results. Sir T. Holland observes : 
■' Tho beds in which the ooal is now being ndnud in the Jharia 
field were lonjj ago correlated by the Geologioal Survey with the 



Barakhar series of tlie Raniganj coalfield, and it is interesting to 
notice that the low percentage of moisture recorded by Saise in 
the coal of the Barakhar series in the Raniganj field is charact- 
eristic also of the Barakhar coal in the Jharia field. In tlie case 
of the Barakhar coal from the Raniganj field the moisture 
amounted on an average to I'O per cent., whilst in the case of 
these Jharia coals the average for moisture is 0*9 J per cent." 

The methods of working are at the time of writing in a 
of work- transition stage. Up till very lately the miner, helped by the 
^°^' nearness of the coal to the surface, the slight inclinations of the 

seams and the excellent sandstone roofs above the coal, had been 
able to do his work with little knowledge or experience of real 
mining such as is known in England. Now that (he worldngs 
are at lower levels and the profitable work of pillar extraction i.s 
being carried out, scientific mining is a necessity. 

There are three methods in which mining is carried on in this 
area, (a) the coal is quarried, {b) brought to the surface along an 
" incline ", or [c) raised up a shaft. Although no less than 88 
mines were classed as quarries in 1909, yet as a matter of fact these 
have passed beyond the quarry stage and are worked by incliuus 
from the original quarries. Inclines are open cuttings leading 
from the surface to the coal measures always near the outcrop. 
Usually they are fui'nished with rails up which tubs of coal are 
hauled. Pit shafts are all circular and used to be made by hand. 
In this way a depth of 60 feet through moderately hard sandstone 
could be reached in a month. Now there is a growing tendency 
to use macnine tools for this work. The completed shaft has an 
anlined jagged surface save on the rare occasion when it goes 
through alluvium or faulty ground, but the guide ropes prevent 
any danger to the cages from the rough rocks. 

When the shaft or incline has reached the level where work 
oij the coal is to start, two series of galleries at right angles to 
each other (one series along the dip of the seam) are driven right 
up to the boundary of the area to be worked. All the coal is 
thus extracted except the pillars formed by the spaces between 
the galleries. These pillars support the soil above the coal and 
thus protect the workings. This method alone was employed in 
this field up till a short time ago. It involved the temptation to 
make the galleries as wide and the pillars as small as possible. In 
'addition, the coal on the pillars being easy to extract, the oooHes 
who are paid by the amount produced, naturally "robbed " the 
pillars whatever orders were in force. The excellent sandstone 
roof and the absence of explosive gas hid for some time the dan- 
ger of ikese methods. Here and there, however, nature asserted. 


liorsolf and tlio woijrht of tlio strata has crushed out the weak 
pillars so tliat large areas, if not the whole of the miue, have been 
irretrievably lost. Such a system with 12 feet galleries and 12 
feet pillars yields 70 per cent, of the coal, but the remaining 30 
per cent, cannot bo touched. 

At present the tendency is to cut the galleries so that the coal 
in the pillars also may be extracted. With a view to this the gal- 
leries are driven 10 feet to GO feet apart throughout the area to be 
worked. Tlion small galleries are driven through the pillars them- 
selves, leaving slight columns of coal to support the roof. In time 
these columns are removed, working from without iiiwards until 
only the one nearest the remaining pillars is left, the roof mean- 
while being supported by timber. The area of this pillar is then 
left, and sooner or later the roof falls in. Proceeding from the 
outer boundary of the property, the pillars are all extracted till the 
whole area is worked out. By this method quite 90 per cent, of 
the coal can be extracted, but great care is needed to guard against 
any workers being under or close to the roof at its fall. 

For removing the coal dynamite is the explosive most in use. 
Blasting powder is used in only a few mines, but in many col- 
lieries all the work is done with picks as the coal is easily worked. 
Owing to the abseuce of explosive gas, naked lights are used 
for lighting. Small kerosine oil lamps have quite replaced the 
indigenous chh'<i() formerly in use, but they make the atmos- 
phere unpleasant because there is seldom adequate ventilation. 
In only a few collieries has any attention been paid to ventilation, 
but when deeper levels are reached this must be systematically 
taken in han4- 

The method of conveying the coal from the place of extraction 
to the railway waggons is still with one or two exceptions very 
primitive As the coal is cut it is gathered into wicker baskets 
and curried on the heads of the coolies (generally women) right 
up to the surface, where it is stacked or tumbled at once into 
the railway waggons. In some mines the coal is deposited in 
tubs at the mouth of the incline, and these are pushed by hand 
along rails to the railway siding. In others the tubs are filled 
in the workings and hauled up the inclines by steam power, four 
to tight at a time, or raised up shafts in cages. The rails often 
extend a considerable distance under ground, but there is always 
a long lead along which the coal has to be carried by coolies. 

As indicated above, manual labour still bulks largely in ths 
working of mines. Machinery is, however, coming more genet- 
ally into use, and in 1008, 04 out of 222 mines in the Jharia field 
. and 11 out of 59 in the Rauiganj series were classed as worked 

N 2 


by steam. In a few collieries only has electricity begun to take 
tlie place of steam-power, principally for pum[)ing or drivin.c: 
new galleries, and it is probable that when the present depression 
in the industry passes and the demand for labour once more 
largely exceeds the supply, as was the case in 1907 and 1908, one 
or other of the various systems of mechanical cutting will be 
substituted for hand labour. 
Lnboar. As in England, 100 years ago, the miners are still essentially an 

agricultural class. Almost all of them are cultivators who are 
attracted to the mines by the high and constant wages and find 
there the means to satisfy their landlord and moneylender. As 
yet there are no hereditary miners. A large number of the 
colliers are aboriginals, and for underground work Sonthals, 
Mundas, Oraons and Kols are probably the best workers. Semi- 
aboriginals and among them Bauris are largely employed both 
above and below ground, but almost all the local castes, which 
go in for any form of manual labour, are now represented 
in the mines. In a few coUieries a number of Pathans and 
Peshwaris are employed and are said to be the best workmen ; 
coolies from Bilaspur are also imported. Employment is not 
confined to the cooly himself, but practically every member of 
his family can get work of some sort. Underground work is 
usually paid for at a fixed price per tub of coal, ordinarily 
5 annas equivalent to about 7^ annas per ton. This rate includes 
not only cutting but loading into the tubs, but ttie latter part 
of the work is done by the cutter's family or other members of 
Mb gang ; the latter also push the tubs to the main gallery 
from which they are hauled up the incline. , In ordinary 
circumstances a man can cut from 2 to 3 tub loads of coal in 
a working day of 8 hours, but one of the chief difficulties in 
colliery management is to get the coolies to do a full day's 
work, and even the most energetic will not work more than five 
days in the week while at the colliery, and will ordinarily go 
to their own homes for all festivals, as well as during the marriage 
and cultivating seasons. Surface labourers and others who are 
not paid by outturn can earn four to five annas per diem, women 
two to three annas, and boys and girls of 10 to 15 years almost 
as much. The gross earnings of a family may therefore be con- 
siderable. Unfortunately the desire to earn more than suffices 
to feed him well and enable him to get drunk fairly frequently 
is generally absent, and from the colliery manager's point of 
view the classes of coolies, who really work hard while on the 
ooUiery, &% for example many of the Sonthals, are as trying as 
the rest because their periods of absence in their own villages, 


wlioro they go whoa they have amiHsod suificient to pay off 
iho moneylondor and rodoorn a field or two, are the longest. 
Sunday aftoraoon, after ihe moraiug disi ribution of pay, wituessoa 
a considerable oxodus, strings of coolies may bo seen crossing 
the Q-rand Trunk lioad making diiferent short cuts to theii 
villages in Tundi and the Sonthal I'arganaa; on other days 
small parties may be seen making their way back to the mines 
after spending their earnings or celebrating their local festivals 
or preparing their fields or sowing, transplanting or reaping 
their crops according to the season. Strikes are unknown and 
serious quarrels, when thoy do arise, are settled by the miners 
leaving the collieries for tlioir homes. As a rule the supply of 
labour is less than tlie demaml, hence the Managers, to keep 
what they have, must treat tlieir workers well. 

The methods of the workers are still more or less primitive ; 
the average cooly prefers to fill his tub in the easiest and quickest 
way that suggests itself to him, quite irrespective of whether 
the results of his want of method may bo fatal to himself or 
others. One of the most frequent causes of fatal accidents is the 
practice of what is called " robbing pillars," the miner surrepti- 
tiously hacking at the pillar and filling a few baskets on his way 
to his appointed place, where the same amoaat of effort will 
result in a very much smaller outturn in coal. Apart from 
this cause of accident, and a(Joident3 due to other forms of 
shoer carelessness on the part of the labourers above and below 
ground, acciiients are few, though the death-rate figures for recent 
years shtw that there is a tendency to an increase in this respect. 
The most fruitful source of serious accidents in English mines, 
explosions of fire-damp, is almost unknown, and in very few mines 
has it been found necessary, as yet, to insist on the use of safety 
lamps. The only serious accidents of this kind that have occurred 
in this district were at the Laikdih and Ohanch mines in 1907 and 
1908 respectively; both of those are in the Uaniganj field and are 
among the oldest worked in the district. 

Tlie largest concerns now working in the district are the East 
Indian, the Eastern, and Qopalichak Goal Companies, the Indian 
Collieries Syndicate, tho Lodna Colliery Company, the Ranigauj 
Coal Association, tho Reliance, Sijua, Standard, Bengal, Bengal- 
Nagpur, E(iuitablo and Hhalgora Coal Companies, all of wliich 
employed a daily average of more than 1,000 labourers during 
1908. Tho majority of the above are managed by Euu t)oaa 
firms; tho chief Indian firm owning or managing oollieijos is 
that of Messrs. Fjiik and lianofji, which was as a matter of fact 
one of the earliest in the field in Jharia. 

182 mAnbhum. 

Inspec rj\^Q headquarters of the Department of Mines in India was 

removed from Calcutta to Dhanbaid on the 20th April 1909, and 
besides the Chief Inspector, one of the three Inspectors of Mines 
is resident there. The whole of the Jharia field is included in 
Inspection Circle No. I, and the K aniganj portion with part of the 
field in the Burdwan district is in Circle No. II, the dividing line 
being one drawn from Adra at mile 175 of the Bengal-Nagpur 
Eailwaj to Gobindpur at mile 169 of the Grand Trunk Road. 
On the Chief Inspector and Inspectors rests the whole responsi- 
bility of seeing that the rules framed under the Mines A ct are 
complied with ; inspections in connection with sanitary and other 
arrangements are also made from time to time by the Deputy 
Commissioner, Subdivisional Officer, and Civil Surgeon . 



Till wlttiin comparativoly recent timea the district of Manbhuni Develop- 
was very badly served in the matter of means of co mraunication moans or 
both by road and rail, but the last 15 years has seen a very foi'iinnni. 
considerable development. . ^'' '°"' 

In 1854:, so far as can now be ascertained, the only metalled 
road was the then new Grand Trunk Road, 43 miles of which, 
from the 149th mile at the Barakhar Bridge to the 192nd mile 
at the foot of Parasnath hill, lie within the district. Mr Ricketts 
writing in that year refers also to fair-weather tracks, 
between Sili on the E.anchi border, through Purulia and on 
to Bankura, and from Purulia through Raghunathpur to 
Ranlganj, the terminus of the East Indian Railway. A road 
from Gobiudpur, on the Grand Trunk Road, to Ranchi 
?ia Mahoar, about 4 miles north-west of Ohas, and Gola in 
Hazaribagh, was also under construction. The alignment of 
tne old Benares Road, which was not, however, metalled, passed 
^urougli the district, from a point near Gaurandi about 6 miles 
from the Bankura border and 18 miles from Bankura, to the 
liazaribagh border, some 4 miles west of Chas. The semaphore 
rowers still remain on commanding positions along this road to 
nark its previous importance as the direct military route between 
Calcutta and the North- West Provinces. 

Between 1854 and 1874 Purulia had been connected by good, 
"ridged (except for the Damodar river) and metalled roads with 
Barakhar (46 miles) and Ranchi, the Manbhum portion of the 
latter road ending at the Subarnarekha river 35 miles west of 
Purfdia. The Chaibasa Road, 40 miles in length, had been almost 
completed, and a direct road to Bankura, about 28 miles, was 
under construction. Altogether it was at that time reported that 
there wore 5U0 miles of road in the district, which, however, 
included at that time several Parganas which were afterwards 
transferred to Burdwan and Bankura districts ; within the present 
limits of the district the mileage was probably not more than 



350, of which 215 only were under the management, of the 
District Road Committee. 

Roads. The latest schedules of the District Board show a total road 

mileage of 1,168 maintained by the District Board, besides 88 
miles maintained by the Public Works Department. The whole 
of the latter, which includes 43 miles of the Grand Trunk 
Road and 35 of the Purulia-Ranchi Road are metalled. Of 
roads maintained by the District Board 123 miles are metaUed. 
These include 42 miles of the Purtslia-Barakhar Road which 
is a Provincial road, and some 26 miles of roads in the 
Jharia coalfield, besides various short lengths of Railway 
Station approach roads, and portions of several of the main 
routes. There are besides some 30 miles of roads, classed as 
unmetalled, in which the wheel tracks, two and a half feet wide, 
on each side of a central gravelled strip, three feet wide, are 
metalled. Of other immetalled roads all the more important are 
surfaced with gravel, and more or less completely drained. 
Except on the Purulia- Barakhar Eoad, the rivers and rivulets 
crossed are generally unbrid<:ed, but within the last few years 
causeways have been constructed over the beds of the smaller 
streams, crossed by the more important roads. The Damodar, the 
Katri, and the Khudiya rivers in the north of the district, the 
Gowai and Ijri in the centre, and the Kasai, Kumari and Subarna- 
rekha in the south of the district are the only streams which 
cause any serious interruption to traffic ; the Kasai which runs 
within 3 miles of Purulia makes communication with the whole 
of the south-eastern portion of the district very difficult during 
the rainy season, and its broad sandy bed is a considerable obstacle 
to traffic even in dry weather. 

Railways. The East Indian Chord Hne was completed to Barakhar in 
1858, and for the next 31 yeai-s communication with Calcutta 
and the outside world generally was via Barakhar or Raniganj. 
In 1885 the Bengal-Nagpur Railway Company started the 
•construction of the Bilaspur-Asansol branch connecting their 
main Nagpur line with the East Indian system, and this branch 
was opened in 1889. The line crosses the Damodar six miles 
south of Asansol, and for a distance of 83 miles traverses the 
district in a south-westerly direction, connecting Purfilia with 
Asansol, on the East Indian Railway, and with Sini and Chakra- 
dharpur on the Bengal Nagpur Railway. 

In 1894 the East Indian Railway Company extended their 
system from Barakhar to Jharia and Katras, so opening up the 
Jharia coalfield aa-ea. Nine years later, in February 1903, the 
Kharagpur-Gomoh section of the Bengal- Nagpur line was opened 


to goods traffic as far as Bhojudih, and in (ho following year for 
gooda and passenger tralKc as far as Mulkera, the complete length 
to Goraoh not being ready till January 1907, this affording 
another outlet for the products of the coalfield. In February 
1907 the Grand Chord of the East Indian Eailway, which 
practically doubled the existing line through the coalfield and 
gave a direct outlet towards the North-West i'rovinccs and 
Bombay, was opened. The most recent addition to the railway 
system is the Puriilia-Ranchi line on the 2'-6''' guage, which 
was opened in February 190S ; 36 miles of this railway lie 
within the district of Mrmbhum, and afford an outlet for 
the grain and jungle products of the western portion of the 

The collieries are served by a network of loops, branches, and 
sidings taking off from the main lines of both the Bengal- 
Nagpur and East Indian systems, and the inter-connection of 
the two systems at Gomoh, Katrasgarh and Jharia makes it 
possible for the colliery proprietor to despatch his coal to any 
part of India by the most convenient route. 

Further extensions of the railway system are in progress or Extensions 
contemplated. A direct line from Pradhankhunta on the Grand ^^ t'^*^ 
Chord to Tathoi-dih at the extreme south-eastern corner of the systou. 
coalfield is under construction, the intention being to relieve the 
congestion of eastward bound traffic which at present has to pass 
through Dhanbaid. An extension of the Bengal-Nagpur system 
from Khanudih in the extreme west of the Jharia field, tlixough 
the Bokharo-liamgarh field in the Hazaribagh district, is at 
present unc^er survey. 

According to the figures supplied by the Agents of the Rail- 
way Companies, there are at present some 300 miles of open 
line within the district, of which 230 are available for both 
passenger and goods traffic, the balance consisting of special 
colliery branches. Connected with the Bengal-Nagpur system 
there are some 75 colliery sidings, and vdih. the East Indian 
system no less than 100 -svitli a total length of over 70 miles 
and these are constantly being added to. 

There are no canals or navigable rivers in the district. In Rivera, 
pre-railway days the Damodar river was utilised during the rains 
for the despatch of coal, limber and other local products in small 
country boats or rafts, but tlie currents are so rapid and the bod so 
liable to changes that navigation was at all times difficult and 
dangerous, and now that rtiilways provide safer and easier 
means of transport, practically no attempt is made to utilise this 

186 mInbhum. 

Ferries. The District Board maintain ferries over the larger rivers 

during the rains, but the streams rise and fall with such rapidity 
that regular use cannot be made of them and the income 
obtained is very small. 
Staging There are dak bungalows at Purulia and Tulin on the PurOlia- 

ins ection T^^^ichi Eoad maintained by Government, and on this and the 
Bang.i. Grand Trunk Eoad there are staging or inspection bungalows 
^°"'^' at approximately every 10th mile. Bungalows and rest-houses 

are maintained by the District Board at the majority of the police- 
stations and also at convenient distances along all the more 
important roads. These are ordinarily in charge of chaukidars, 
but at Bhaga (Jharia), Katras, Jhalda and Baghmundi there are 
Khansamas in charge. 
I'ostal There are altogether 56 post offices in the district, and 258 

communis rniles of postal communication. The number of postal articles 
cations. jeiivgj.y(j ij^ 1908-09 was 628,530, while the value of money-orders 
paid wasKs. 8,69,073 and of those issued Rs. 27,55,189. The 
number of sa^'ings bank deposits in tie same year was 5,690, the 
amount deposited being Es. 1,77,876. There are 11 postal tele- 
graphic offices from which 25,688 messages were despatched 
during the same year. 




h'oR purposes of Land Revenue Administration the district, Division 
as now constituted, is divided into 26 major estates, 24 perman- estates. 
ontly and 2 temporarily settled, besides 4 minor estates, 
eonsistiug of Government camping grounds, let out from year 
to year. The revenue-roll also includes as a separate unit the 
demand in the shape of "police contribution" from one of the 
major estates (Panchet). Besides these there are 25 " Digwari " 
estates, the holders of 14 of which pay a small pnnchak, or 
quit rent (Digwari cess) to Governaient, the remainder paying 
Boad and Public Works cesses only. The roll of the district 
also includes some 32 revenue-free properties, of which, however, 
only 27 include land within the present district boundaries. 

Of the revenue-paying estates Panchet is by far the largest 

both in extent and in respect of the revenue demand ; it 

includes no less than 19 out of the 39 Parganas which make 

up the district area, covering in all 1,650 square miles in this 

district besides some 250 to 300 square miles in the adjoining 

districts of Burdwan, Bankura and Hanchi, and paying a gross 

revenue of Rs. 55,794 on account of land and Es. 1,754 by way 

of police contribution, or Rs. 57,548 in all. The remaining 

Parganas of the district constitute each, with two exceptions, 

single estates ; the exceptions are Nawagarh and Pandra, each 

of which, for reasons to be detailed later, is subdivided into 

4 shares or fdsumis, each constituting a separate estate. They 

range in size from the county-like Barabhum (according to tho 

new survey records, 635 square miles) to the petty manor of 

Torang, barely 11 square miles in extent. Patkum pays tho 

highest amount in land revenue, i.e., Rs. 3,165, after Panchet, 

and Torang the least, being assessed at Rs. 235 only. Tho 

total land revenue of the district is only Rs. 84,000, a sum which 

represents barely one anna per acre on the estimated area under 

cultivation. The reasons for this light assessment are to be 

found in the conditionB existing when the Permanent Settlement 

l88 mInbhuM, 

was made, of whioh some indication has alieady been given 
in the second chapter of this volume. 
Trobabie ^he generally accepted theory is that in the earliest times the 

origin. greater part of Manbhum district was occupied by Bhumij or 
Miinda communities, each of which was under the authority of a 
village head, styled Munda. Groups of about twelve villages, 
called pai //as were presided over by a divisional head or Manki ; 
and the Government of the country was carried on by these two 
grades of headmen in village or par ha conclave No one can say 
precisely at what date this system was changed ; but it was 
the opinion of Colonel Dalton, that " soon after the election of Phani 
Mukuta llai as Raja of the table-laud of Ohota Nagpur Proper, 
the p'irUi chiefs of Manbhum followed the lead of the highland 
chiefs, and elected Bajas of their own, all miraculously nurtured 
foundlings, and all now claiming to be Rajputs." Even in 
Colonel Dalton 's time there remained only one (the zamindar 
of Baghmuudi) who had the good sense to acknowledge his 
Mimdari descent, but the conclusion that " all originally belonged 
to the races amidst which they dwelt is more or less forced on us 
by their position, their various fables of origin, and by the 
fact that intermarriages between the different families are 
or have been usual ". Not all, however, were of Kolarian origin, 
one at least (Manbhum) was probably u Bagdi, and those of the 
north of the district almost certainly Bhuiya. Of Panchet, the 
conditims in which were somewhat different when the British 
took over the government, and whioh had a recognised position 
in the latter part of the Muhammadan era, perhaps all that need 
be said here is that, though probably the origin of the estate or 
of its nucleus and of the family was similar to the rest, its emer- 
gence from primitive or semi-primitive conditions must have been 
much earlier. It is in the southern and western estates, Barabhum , 
Patkum and Baghmundi that the clearest traces of their origin 
in the regular Mundari system are still extant. Thus the Bagh- 
mundi estate is to this day made of five groups of villages, one 
held khas by the zamindar, the other four by Mankis on small 
rentals fixed in perpetuity. The small adjoining estate of Torang 
is an instance of a single par ha being treated at the Permanent 
Settlement as an independent estate ; its zamindar is still entitled 
' Manki '. In Barabhum the present arrangement of the grades of 
gh^twals provides an exact parallel to the regular Mundari system ; 
the lowest grade or tabcdars are the bhuinhars or original tillers 
of the soil, the village sardars the Mundas, and the taraf san/drn 
the Mankis, whose taro/s correspond with the parhas of the 
Mundari system. In Patkum a similar division into tava/s 


existed at one tiiue throughout the estate, the quinquonnial papers 
for 12U2 Fasli (1797 A.D.) rofurriug spooifically to 12 such 
divisions, and of those at least Iavo survive, one the shiknii tenure 
of Naro, thu other being at present described as held on u Jilurdri 
tenure, and its holder as a ' Manda ' or Mura. 

Elsewhere traces of thu Mundari village system survive in 
various forms, though for the most part the grouping ot villages 
into pariicis or taraj^ has disappeared ; this in the area wliich 
came more directly under the influence of the Panchot Rajas may 
well have been due to deliberate action taken to break up the 
local organisations as a source of possible opposition to their 
own authority, and to the substitution of a system of petty seini- 
military, semi-police chieftains drawn from their own entourage 
and more under their direct control ; to this theory the survival 
of a large number of jaif/irs usually consisting of one or two 
villages, and for the most part on the outskirts of the estate, lends 
support. North of Panchet and of the Damodar river there are 
even fewer traces of the typical Mundari orgauisatioa ; and 
assuming that the chiefs are Bhuiya rather than Bhumij 
in origin and that the original home of the Bhuiyas was 
in the southern parts of Chota Nagpur and the states 
adjoining where they had to give place to the invading Kols, it 
may be inferred that they had already their recognised 
chiefs when they arrived in northern Manbhum, and that the 
constant necessity of resisting pressure from outside, the powerful 
states of Panchet, Birbhum and Bishnupur being their near 
neighbours, was sufficient to counteract any tendency to lesson the 
power of their chiefs by the formation of smaller groups based on 
a communal system. The local traditions that the Jharia, 
Katras and Nawagarh houses were offshoots from the powerful 
Palganj house in Uazaribagh, and Pandra and Nagarkiari from 
Tundi, and that Pandra was previously a distinct " Mullik " 
state conquered by a scion of the Tundi house, suggest at any 
rate that the development of these estates was rath r from a 
centre than to a centre (as was apparently the case in the south), 
a difference due tu their chiefs being immigrants obliged from 
the first to hold their own under conditions adverse to any return 
to their original tribal conditions. 

Ii is cLiimed on behalf of Panchet that prior to tlio British Suzerainty 
accessi'>n all the northern estates and several of those on the west p^auchet 
also acknowledged the suzeraiuty of the Panchet Kaja. This 
claim is not, however, borne out by any specific historical facts 
nor by internal evidence except perhaps in the case of Jhalda, 
which is described by Mr, iSheristadar Grrant as " a recent 

190 M5.NBHDM. 

territorial accession to Panchet", but even in this case there was no 
such absorption into the conquering Raj as to raise any question 
as to its suitability for sepai*ate settlement with its proprietor, 
and though the then Panchet Uaja was, as the old correspondence 
shows, quite ready at any time to file protests and petitions to 
higher authorities in regard to the manner in which the perma- 
nent settlement of his estate was effected, no mention appears 
anywhere of any claim to have any one of the3e estates settled 
with him. At the most his suzerainty, if it existed at all, 
must have been a nominal one, and can never have extended to 
interference with the internal arrangements of any of these estates. 
Tlie Per- The Permanent Settlement was, therefore, effected with the 
luanont lieroditary chieftains or headmen of the various existing states 
ment.' or " Rajs " under circumstances which made it dithcult, if not 
impossible, in most cases to fix the revenue with any definite 
reference to the value or the assets of the estate. As akeady 
noticed, there is no evi'lence to show that any of these estates, 
excepting perhaps Pandra, paid any regular revenue to the 
Muhammadan rulers, and it is probable that it was only on very 
rare occasions, if at all, that any of them were induced or forced 
to pay something in the shape of tribute, and when the British 
succeeded to the Dewani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa there was 
very considerable difficulty for many years in enforcing the 
authority of the new Government on the chiefs of the estates, 
who are variously described as banditti, robbers or " chuars " 
in such literature as survives of this period. Of the manner in 
which the Permanent Settlement, and the temporary settlements 
which preceded it, the destruction ot tlie district records in the 
mutiny, as well as the fact that parts of the district were settled 
from Midnapore, others from Ramgarh, and others again from 
Birbiium, renders it impossible lo give any very accurate account 
oxce^t in the case of Panchet which will be referred to later. 
Tlie general inference to be drawn from such facts as are on 
record is that the settlement was less of the nature of a settlement 
of revenue with an ordinary zamindar than the fixing of a defi- 
nite tribute to be paid by a number of semi-independent border 
Bara- This conclusion is illustrated by the little that is definitely 

bhum. ^nown about the early arrangements in Barabhum which, with 
Man bazar, was one of original Jungle Mahals or Western Jungles 
of Chakla Midnapore and attached to Oriissa. In 1778 the 
Jungle Mahals were described as divided into two thanas, thana 
Balarampur and thana Jaunpur, Barabhum being one of seven 
Parganas attached to the former thana. These are described as 


"govornod oach by a zamiudar, who is dignified among his 
ryots with the title of Raja. 'rhe3e zamindars are mere free- 
booters, who pluudor thoir neighbours and one another ; and 
their tenants are banditti, wliom thoy chieily employ in their 
outrages. These depredations keep the zamindars and their 
eervants continually in arms ; for, after the harvest is gathered, 
there is scarcely one ot them who does not call his ryots to his 
standard either to defend his own property or attack his neigh- 
bour's." llcferenoe has been ma»le in an earlier chapter to the 
military operations of 17G7 and 1708, as a result of which 
Mr. Graham, Oolleotor or Resident at Midnaporo, and his Assist- 
ant, Lieutenant Fergusson, tirst succeeded in bringing these people 
to some degree of subordination and stipulated with them for an 
annual revenue of Rs. 22,0)0, instead of Rs. I,"<i00 formerly paid 
by them, and some years later, i.e., in 1776 Mr. Higginson, 
Resident of Burdwan, settled the Jungle Parganas of the two 
thanas for Rs. 17,846. Of this settlement Mr. Higginson 
reportel to the Council of Revenue on the 23rd November 1776 
tliat the jama was based on the bandobast of the last and prece- 
ding years, excusing even " the Uasad or increase, which by the 
old settlement with Mr. Beber * becomes due in the present 
Orissa year 1184. This amounts only to Rs. 515-10 gandas, and 
I have thought it prudent to deduct it in order to begin by 
shewing an example to the zamindars that Grovernment's inien- 
tious were not founded on any other plan than to establish a 
certain reasonable tribute from their frontier zamindars on condi- 
tion of their living peaceably and becoming faithful subjects, 
aad I have the pleasure to tell you that when I made known to 
them the above sentiment they were unanimously pleased and 
satisfied with the settlement and conditions to be observed which 
T had proposed to them, in so much so that I flatter myself, 
unless unforeseen revolution happened to change the face of 
affairs, I do uot believe that there will, in future, be occasion for 
the assistance of a single sepoy in any of the fifteen zamindaris 
which I have settled." 

The revenue fixed in 1776 in the case of Barabhum was Form of 
Rs, 829-15-9 sikka, equivalent to Rs. 885. which is the e.vaot ^^'^V 
amount of the present Grovernment Revenue. The form of 17GG. 
kabuliyat executed by the Barabhum and other zamindars of the 
Jungle Mahals in favour of Grovernment was as follows : — 

" Article 1st. That we wdl annually pay our revenue to Gov- 
erntuent agreeably to last year's jama by the established 
kistbandi tO the Tahsildar who may be stationed at our thanas. 

* Edward Beber, Collector or Resident at Midnapore, 1770-1773. 


" Second. That we will bind ourselves by a separate muchal- 
ka to forfeit all rights or pretentions to be continued in our 
zaraindaris if we oppose or interrupt the march of the English 
Company's troops which may pass through our zamiudaris. We 
wiU on the contrary engage to furnish them with guides and the 
necessary saranjamis or articles of provisions at the established 
rates and our ryots shall not in this case desert from their habita- 

" Tliird. That we do likewise bind ourselves not to plunder 
the frontier Parganas adjoining to our several zamindaris, and if 
any of our chuars should contrary to our agreemeni: and will 
commit any depredations wo will deliver them up for punishment 
to the Tahsildar in order to be tried by the Faujdari of Midnapore. 

" Fourth. That wo will regard our present agreeinent with 
the Chief of Burdwan on behalf of the English Company as per- 
manent and valid wliilst our several zamindaris are continued to 
ourselves on the present mokrara jama, and all matters of dispute, 
which may exist either betwixt ourselves or others, we do hereby 
bind ourselves and heirs solely and truly to submit to the decision 
of the established mof ussil courts of Adawlat with a right of appeal 
to the Honourable Q-overnor-G-eneral and Council of Calcutta. 

*' Fifth. That we further engage not to assist in any shape 
or hold correspondence with Jaganuath Dhal or any of the rebel- 
lious zamindars or enemies of the English Q-overnment uniler 
penalty of being dismissed from our zamindaris. " 

In return for this Mr. Higginson gave to each an ainaliKima 
or " deed of possession and encouragement that on condition o( liis 
duly executing the above agreement the right and privileges of his 
zainindari are confirmed by the English Company to himself and 
his heirs for ever on the present fixed jama without being subject 
to any increase, mathat, "^alami, nazarana, or expenses of any 
denomination.'' The settlement is described in the contemporary 
records as a mokarrari or fixed settlement, and the Board declared 
that their chief purpose therein was not "to effect an aggrandize- 
ment of the revenue, but the settlement of an easy peshkush or 
quit rent, as an acknowledgment merely of the Company's 

From the form of agreement alone it would seem obvious that 
the arrangement with the Barabhum zamindar was essentially of 
the nature of an agreem-^nt with a semi independent State and not 
the ordinary agreement with a zamindar hold responsible for the 
collection of the Q-overnment Revenue. Of the reasons which led 
the authorities to convert this agreement into a regular perma- 
nent settlement of revenue (if this can be said to have been 


actually done) tlioro is no existing record ; but it is obvious that 
no attempt was made, or, if made, was successful, to get from the 
zamiudar any detailed account of his assets, or else that it was 
considered that the terms of Mr. lliggiuson's settlement in 1776 
precluded any interference with the jama then fixed. The "Daul 
bandobast ' of the Decennial Settlement, which is extant, thrown 
no light on the question, and the so-called quinquennial papers of 
1197 (1790), which were furnished by the zamindar in this as in 
other estates regularly settled in order that in the event of default 
and a portion of an estate having to be sold, material for alloca- 
tion of the revenue might be available, contains nothing 
but a list of 149 villages without any distribution of the 

In 1787 Mr. Serishtadar Grant distinguished between three Meaning 
uses of the word Zamindar, which was often " indiscriminately °/„ 
applied to express an independent Raja or sovereign Hindu dar". 
prince, one made tributary by conquest, treaty or convention, 
or merely an officer of Moghul Government employed in the 
collection of the revenues with certain assigned jurisdictions, 
rights and privileges appertaining to the office." The former 
class, he adds, are obviously not meant when speaking of " the 
several classes of zamindars and landholders who are held res- 
ponsible for the revenues of Government. Of the second he 
adds: " We have only to boast in all the British territories imme- 
diately dependent on Fort Wilham, of the tributary Rajas of 
Cooch Behar, Nagpur, Ramgarh and Palamau with perhaps a 
few more very inconsiderable landholders in different situations 
near hills or j^angles, the nature and extent of whose jurisdictions 
must ever be imperfectly ascertained, while the intrinsic value of 
dominion affords no temptation for an entire conquest beyond the 
desire of imposing the fresh yoke of civilization, so that it is 
alone the third class or official zamindars which are now in 

Two years earher, in 1789, Mr. Shore had expressed his agree- 
ment with the Collector of Nagpur that the regulations should 
not extend to his district, on the ground that "the amount 
received from this Pargana being more in the nature of a tribute 
than a revenue proportioned to the produce of the soil, the appor- 
tioning the present jama on the villages will be attended with 
great disadvantage to the Company in case any of them should 
be hereafter sold at the assessed rate for a balance, because it ia 
weU-known the country yields more than is paid by the Raja, 
consequently his villages must be much underrated to bring them 
within the sum he now pays." 

' 194 MANBHUM. 

It seems possible therefore, if not proloaWe, that the Chief 
of Barabhum was treated as a zamindar of Mr. Grant's second 
class, i.e., one made tributary by conquest, treaty or convention, 
without either full political or proprietary rights and yet not a 
mere official Revenue Collector, and that the Permanent Settle- 
ment,- though nominally applied to his estate, was not applied 
in its full scope, though at the same time he was not allowed the 
pohtical rights acceded to the more important tributaries. 
Other Of Manbhum, the other Jungle Mahal of Chakla Midnapore, 

Estates, qqw included in this district, the settlement was on similar lines, 
the revenue or tribute fixed by Lieutenant Fergusson in 1767-68 
was Rs. 316-2 and Mr. Higginsoa assessed it at Rs. 1,702-1-6, 
at which amount it still remains. It is stated in connection with 
the former settlement that it was only the inclusion of the 
Aengabad Pargana that enabled the zamindar to pay anything 
for that Manbhum had never had any Jaina. All trace of the 
separate existence of Aengabad has been lost. Of Patkum it is 
related by Lieutenant Fergusson that the zamindar, as also 
the zamindar of Singhbhum, actually asked to be put on a footing 
with their neighbours in the western jungles, as they were con- 
stantly oppressed by a neighbour who made a practice and trade of 
plundering and carrying oif their effects, but Patkum was even- 
tually settled at a later date from Ramgarh as probably also were 
Baghmundi, Torang and Hesla. In the case of Patkum there is 
some reason to believe that in the earlier days of British adminis- 
tration this estate was treated as an appanage of Chota Nagpur, as 
the Raja of Nagpur gave on one occasion as an excuse for non- 
payment of his tribute or revenue the fact that disturbances in 
Patkum and Tamar had interfered with his collections. Bagh- 
mundi was in a state of disturbance very shortly after the Perma- 
nent Settlement and was for a time forefeited to Grovernment and it 
was only a portion of the estate which was in July 17^)0 restored 
to the proprietor Anand Singh, a fact which perhaps accounts for 
the revenue being proportionately much liigher than in the case 
of the other southern estates, though much of the estate is even 
now unproductive. Jhalda and the adjoining group of estates 
including Jaypur, Mukundapur, and Begunkodar apparently 
gave considerable trouble, and for several years from. 1782 Jhalda 
was the headquarters of an armed force whose Commandant, 
Major Crawford, was entrusted with the duty of restoring order 
and making a proper settlement of the revenues. The result of 
this closer attention is apparent in the comparative incidence of 
the revenue, Jhalda witli an area of only 82,000 acres being 
asaessed at Rs. 2,787 as compared with Rs. 3,165 for Patkum 


with more than double the area, or Barablmm with only Rs. 885 

for tive times the area. Major Crawford was alscj called in to 

restore order in Jharia and Nawagarh, and both tliese estates as 

also J>Latras pay a proportionately heavy revenue in consequence. 

Little is, however, known of the history of the settlement in 

these estates or the others in the north of the district ; Tundi was 

probably, and Pa ndr a certainly, a fief of the great Muhammadan 

-Raj of Birbhum ; it is described in the ' daul ' of the Decennial 

Settlement as taluk Pandra, Pargana Birbhum, and there is 

evidence that for some (30 years previous it had paid a rent or 

tribute of Ra. 300 to the Rajas of Birbhum. The revenue fixed in 

1791 was practically the same sum, lis. o(Jl-i4 sicca or Rs. 322, 

and the inference to be drawn is that its real assets were not 

known, or that it was treated as a quasi-ghatwali tenure, and 

assessed to a mere quit-rent only. The assets were actually 

stated within 4 years of the Decenuial Settlement to be either 

Rs. 5,000 or Rs. 20,000 per annum, the holder putting them at 

the former figure and the claimants to two- thirds share in a suit 

for partition at the latter. 

The settlement of the Panchet estate was conducted on more PInchet. 

regular lines. It had akeady come within the Muhammadan ^"'tiam- 
° . '' madan era. 

sphere of infhience as early as 1632-33, and the entry in the 
Padishanama (B. i., page 317) that " Bir Narayan, zamindar of 
PaDchet, a country attached to Subah Bihar, was tinder Shah 
Jehan, a commander of 300 horse," implies that a fixed peshkush 
was paid to Delhi, and this fact is definitely stated in the 
improved Jama Tumari of Sultan Singh 30 years later. The 
subsequent revenue history is related by Mr. J. Grant in his 
report on the revenues of Bengal, where he describes tlie 
' Zandndari J\aj of Panchet ' as a jungly territory of 2,779 square 
miles, situated within the portion of country ceded to the Com- 
pany, and differing very little in circumstances of financial 
history or internal management from the adjoining district of 
Bishnupur. From the year 1135 to 1150 of the Bengal era 
(1728-43 A. D.), Raja Garur Narayan was subject to an annual 
tribute of Rs. 18,203 for the fiscal division of Panchet and 
the kismat of t^liergarh. In 1743 an additional charge of 
Rs. 3,323 was levied from the estate in the form of the abwab 
chaut Marhatt a imposed by Ali Yardi Khan. In 1170 (1703) the 
sarf-i-sikka, or impost imposed by Kasim Ali to cover losses on 
the exchange of coins, swelled the net assessment to Rs. 23,544. 
Mtihammad Reza Khan in 1760 raised the demand to Rs. 30,000, 
but only Rs. 5,969 was in fact collected during that year. In 1771 

Fifth Report, Madras edition, 1866, page 464. 


196 ~ MANBHUM. 

a zor talah or compulsory exaction of Rs. 1,44,954, including a 
saranjdmi, or deduction for collection charges of Es. 17,302, was 
established, and the demand enforced by military authority. In the 
'gross medium settlement' of 1777 withEajaEaghunathNarayan 
*the actual payment of Panchet, with the recent territorial annexa- 
tion of Jhalda, ' is stated at Es. 69,027. Yet the amins had 
discovered sources of revenue amounting in all to Es. 1,54,423 
including paldtika or revenue chargeable on lands that had been 
deserted by cultivators. Finally, in 1783, the total assessment of 
same territory amounted to Es. 76,532, charged with a deduction 
of about Es. 57,000 for collection expenses. This, Mr. Grant 
points out, gives little more to the sovereign than the original 
tribute, and ' leaves a recoverable defalcation exceeding one lakh 
of rupees, if we take the zor tahb or compulsory exaction of 1771 
as the proper standard.' 
Early rpj^g early days of British rule were marked by a constant 

era. struggle between the authorities and the zamindar who was per- 

sistent in neglecting to pay the revenue demanded, and from 
time to time portions of the estate were made over, generally 
unsuccessfully, to farmers. Eventually the Decennial Settlement 
was concluded in 1791 with the proprietor, and 18 months later, 
in March 1793, was made permanent and the revenue fixed at 
Es. 55,794, this amount being arrived at by detailed assessment 
of every village within the zamindari, with the exception of 
the numerous rent-free grants, of which a list had been furnished 
by the zamindar as early as 1771. According to this list and 
the later one of rent-paying villages returned at the time of 
the Decennial Settlement, the whole estate consisted of 1,280 
villages, of which 404 only were mdl or rent paying, and 49 khds 
khainar or retained in the zamindar's hands. 'The remainder 
included 388 Brahmottars, 68 Debottars, 2 Bhatottars, 2 Mahat- 
trans and 180 Jaigirs held on quit-rents and variously described 
as mog/nili, talabi or panc/uiki; 57| villages were set aside 
as ' Digwari ' and over 200 villages were entirely rent-free ; these 
latter form respectively the Digwari and revenue-free properties 
now borne on the district roll and will be referred to in more 
detail in a later paragraph ; similarly the quit-rent tenures 
which were not, as these were, excluded altogether from the 
estate as settled with the zamindar, will be dealt with under the 
head of subordinate tenures. The extent of these deductions from 
the area of the estate capable of paying a full rental no doubt 
accounts very largely for the low incidence of the revenue fixed, 
which works out at almost exactly half-an-anna to the acre on the 
total area of the estate. The revenue then assessed was made 


permanent in 1793, the estate being, however, at the same time 
made liable to a contribution of Rs. 1,754 per annum as contribu- 
tion towards the upkeep of the police, a demand which continues 
to the present day. 

The origin of the two temporarily-settled estates of Matha tempoba. 
and Kailapal is wrapped in a certain amount of obscurity. Matha ^'^^ set- 
is traditionally a part of Baghmundi, and it presumably corres- estates. 
ponds with the portion of that estate which was not restored to jj-u^- 
Anand Singh in 1799. According to tradition, the zamindar or 
Thakur of Matha is a descendant of Bayar Singh, a robber whose 
name was once a terror in Western Bengal, and who is credited 
with having killed a police Daroga sent to arrest him. Other 
attempts to arrest him failed, and on his death his son Paban 
Singh succeeded in 1212 B. S (about 1805 A. D.) in getting him- 
self recognised, with the assistance of the police, as zamindar of 
Matha. Bayar Singh is said to have had a private arrangement 
with the zamindar of Baghmundi to abstain from raiding the 
latter's estate in consideration of an annual payment of Es. 35 
in cash and 35 maunds of dhdn^ while he on his part agreed to 
pay Rs. 60 as tribute to the zamindar. From Paban Singh 
the zamindar proceeded to demand a larger tribute, and eventually 
a claim was submitted to the authorities, when the Raja of 
Panchet intervened and claimed Matha as his subordinate tenure. 
Proofs were called for from all three but none were forthcoming, 
and eventually it was declared that Matha was held on an invalid 
lakheraj title. Nothing more was done, however, till 1860 when 
Colonel Dalton reported the facts to Grovernment, and recommended 
settlement with the holder at a sadar jama equal to one-third of 
the gross rental, of which he declared himself to be in receiptj 
in the absence of any correct data of tbe real assets. This 
arrangement was approved and accepted by the holder Anand 
Singh Thakur, and the estate was resumed and settled with him 
at a sadar jama of Rs. 135-8. In 1881 a survey and settlement 
of the estate was made and the revenue was fixed at Rs. 647-5-9 
for a period of 15 years which expired in 1896. The fresh 
survey then made showed that the gross assets had in the 15 years 
increased from Rs. 1,942 to Rs. 3,464, and it was proposed to 
resettle with the holder at half the latter amount ; the 
proprietor, however, refused settlement on these terms and an 
attempt was made, which was not successful, to settle direct with 
the tenure- holders : eventually in 1904 the gross jama arrived 
at originally was reduced from Rs. 3,464 to Rs 2,849, and the 
holder was allowed to take settlement at one-third rates with 
effect from the date of expiry of the previous settlement and for 

l98 manbhuM. 

a term of 12 years expiring in 1916-17. The present revenue 
demand is, therefore, Es. 949-15-3. 
jj. .,- _, The other temporarily-settled estate of Kailapal is ,a small 

pargana intervening between Barabhum and Manbhum in this 
district, and Silda and Shamsundarpur of the Midnapore 
and Bankura districts, respectively. The predecessors of the 
original proprietary family appear to have been prominent among 
the robber chiefs of the jungle mahals of Chakla Midnapore^ 
and as early as 1784 there are references to a zamindar of 
Kailapal having been taken prisoner by a force deputed to 
suppress disturbances in this area. Apparently he was let off, 
and we hear later of one Shab Lai Singh who lived in the hills 
south of the village Kailapal and spent his time making inroads 
on the neighbouring estates, and extorting blackmail for the 
cattle and other valuables he carried off. Attempts made to 
arrest him failed, but he was eventually offered a pardon, and 
on his coming in, terms were settled between him and the 
neighbouring zamindars, by which, in consideration of his sparing 
their villages, he was allowed a few villages in each of the 
neighbouring parganas. These were eventually resmned through 
the civil courts, but Shab Lai and his successor apparently 
lived in comparative peace with their neighbours until the 
rebellion of Granga Narayan Singh when the then zamindar 
Bahadur Singh's two brothers joined the insurgents. Bahadur 
f?ingh was called on to deliver them up, and eventually did so, 
and as a reward for his services Mr. Harrington, Collector of 
the jungle mahals, is said to have declared his estate, pargana 
Kailapal, to be a reut-free service tenure. Hqw it escaped 
assessment when the other estates in this area were assessed is 
nowhere stated, but presumably, though not specifically exempted 
from revenue, it was not actually assessed as being an entirely 
wild and uncultivated area ; even at the time of Granga Narayan 
Singh's raid it is stated that there were only 5 villages in 
existence within the estate. The validity of Mr. Harrington's 
grant was not called in question till 1860 when the zamindar 
put in a petition complaining that he had already lost many 
of his villages and that liis neighbours of Barabhum, Silda, 
etc., were bent on filching away more. He prayed, therefore, 
that he might be assessed to Grovernment revenue and be 
protected by Government from further encroachments. Colonel 
Dalton then reported the facts, and recommended resumption and, 
as in the case of Matha, settlement with the holder at a sadar 
jama equal to one-third of the declared gross rental. These 
proposals were accepted and the estate settled on a revenue of 



E". 196. Tho subsequent history of the estate is similar to that 
of Matha; the reveiiuo was iiicreased on survey in 1881 to 
Es. 1,021, and a fresh survey was made in 1896-97 resulting in 
an increase in the rental from Es. 3,066 to Es. 5,393. Settlement 
at hidf the gross rental was offered to the proprietor, hut it was 
only with considerable difficulty that he was eventually induced 
to accept it, and the new settlement at a revenue of Es. 2,696 did 
not come into effect till 1901-02. The term fixed is 15 years. 
Prior to this settlement the estate had passed out of the hands of 
the original proprietary famil}^ the present settlement holder, who 
is also zamindar of Simlapal in Bankura district, having acquired 
it by purchase in the civil courts. 

In the case of both these estates the forest areas were excluded 
from the last settlement, all the waste lands and forests excluding 
portions sufficient for the requirements of the villagers being 
formally declared as Protected Forests under the Act. 

The subsequent history of the peiTuanently settled estates of Lateb 
this district, which with a single exception have remained in the Tjjg ^^^^^ 
families of the original settlement holders and are stiU nominally of primo- 
undivided, has been largely influenced by two special circums- " 
tanoes, i.e., the strict rule of succession by primogeniture and the 
policy 'of exemption from the ordinary sale laws. The former 
existed fi-om before British rule, and was no doubt due to the 
circumstances attending the origin and early conditions of the 
estates themselves, which obviously called for a central and 
undivided authority, which would rapidly have disappeared had 
the estate been divided on the occasion of every death of a ruler. 
The existing jcustom was recognised from the outset of British rule, 
an attempt to prove divisibility in the case of the Panchet estate 
was defeated and the right of the then head of the family to settle- 
ment of tho whole estate was recognised in spite of objection at the 
Decennial Settlement ; and Eegulation X of 1800 definitely affimied 
and confirmed what had been the existing practice. The only varia- 
tions are to be found in tho Nawagarh and Pandra estates in the 
north of the district, and these exceptions when carefully examined 
are more apparent than real. In Nawagarh, which was treated 
at the Permanent Settlement as four KwnaU (two of six annas 
each and two of two annas), the origin of the division is said to be 
that one Faleh Singh in the early 18th century having no son 
divided the estate during his lifetime between himself, his 
brother and his uncle. The last-named divided his share again 
between his two sons, since which there has been no further 
ubdi vision, and indeed, through failure of heirs, the 1st and 2nd 
KUmats, i.e., 12 annas of the estate, have since 1872 been held 

« 200 MlNBHUM. 

in one interest. The strict rule of succession by primogeniture 
is now followed in all the divisions of the estate, but the very 
fact of a division being possible in earlier^ years illustrates the 
somewhat different origin of the estates in this area, which are, if 
tradition is to be believed, all offshoots of Palganj and the result 
of a series of partitions, Palganj being 6rst divided into Palganj 
and Katras, and the latter at a later date into Jharia, Katras and 
Nawagarh. The case of Pandra is different ; it was treated at 
the Decennial Settlement as one and undivided and settled with 
Jadunandan Singh ; a suit was then, however, filed by his two 
brothers claiming that they were entitled each to a third share, 
and a decree was given accordingly in 1795, apparently in error 
or through collusion, as an examination of the evidence in a 
later suit (1885) showed conclusively that there had been no 
partition prior to 1791 (as claimed by these persons) and that 
the strict rule of primogeniture had always been followed. A 
further division of one of the third shares was made in 1819 
when the widow of one of the original claimants, having no 
son, divided her share between the others ; the three kismats 
thus became four, the first and third of which are held by the 
elder branch of the family and the second and fourth by the 
younger branch. The former follow the rale of primogeniture 
strictly, and the existence of this rule has been affirmed on more 
than one occasion by the courts ; in the latter, bound as they 
are by the decision of 1795 which gave them the property, 
succession follows the ordinary Hindu Law, and there are now 
a number of shareholders, though there has been no recognised 
partition of the shares. 
Ezemp- The policy of exempting the estates of this district from 

tion of ^Yie ordinary Sale Laws arose, according to Mi;. Eicketts, who 
from sale made a tour of inspection of the South- West Frontier Agency in 
f"^"*^''^ 185 1, from an unauthorised extension of the appUcability of 
certain Government Orders, dated i;3th October 1834, substituting 
attachment and adjustment of accounts for sale in the case of 
the Ghatwals or Tikaits of Kharakdiha in Hazaril>agh. These 
orders, however, gave authority to the Governor General's Agent 
to extend the same method of settling accounts to " all the old 
hereditary landholders in ihe jungle estates for generations ", 
limiting the application to cases of urgent necessity. In 
Manbhum, at any rate, they were constantly applied and probably 
only regularised an existing practice, as no cases of sale either 
lor arrears of land revenue or for private debts appear to have 
been effected between 1800 and 1834, and there can be no 
question that the fear that the transfer of ancient estates to persons 


other than members of the old families might lead to disturbances, 
must have been a very present one in Manbhum in view of the 
circumstances attending the sale of Panchet to one Nilambar 
Mitra in 179"), which was the occasion for the general rising, 
described in an earliev chapter, which was only put an end to 
by the annulment of the sale. The practice, as Air. Ricketts 
found it, was to attach and bring uiider direct management such 
estates as were likely to default or to be sold up in the civil 
court on decrees for debts, etc., and this procedure was definitely 
regularised by the passing of the Chota Nagpur Encumbered 
Estates Act VI in 1875 and the issue of notifications in 1878 and 
1879 prohibiti?ig sales in execution of civil court decrees wirhout 
the previous consent of the Commissioner. The necessity of 
obtaining previous sanction was done away by a notification of 
1880, but it was still left open to the Commissioner to step in and 
stay the sale and, where circumstances required such a course, 
forbid it altogether. A further extension of the system has been 
made by the recent amending Act which gives the Deputy 
Commissioner power in certain circumstances to file suo moiu an 
application for protection of any estate. At the same time it is 
more definitely laid down that the holder of an estate so exempted 
must belong to a family of political or social importance, or if 
this is not so, Grovernment must be satisfied that it is desirable 
in the interests of the tenantry that the estate should be 

The result has been that there have constantly been several The En- 
estates under Government management ; thus, when recommend- g"*^*'^'^^^ 
ing in 1834, the application of the Kharakdiha orders for general Act. 
application, the Agent stated that " the necessity was urgent in 
the case of five or six zamindars of the Manbhum division 
particularly those of Jhalda, Manbhum and Chatna who were 
80 deeply involved in debt that nothing but the adoption of 
some plan, similar to the one now recommended, can possibly 
prevent the sale of every village in their estates." In 1854 
Mr. Bicketts found no less than 9 zamindaris, 2 Shikmi Mahals 
(Manki tenures), 1 Ghatwali, and 5 rent-free holdings under 
attachment, and of the zamindaris one had been attached since 
1837, another since 1839, and a third from 1842. Forty-two 
years later, in 1>'96, 11 estates were being administered under 
the Encumbered Estates Act, including the four largest in the 
district, le., Panchet, Barabhum, Patkum and Manbhum, and 
comprising nearly three-quarters of the district area; in 1909 
there were 7 estates, i.e., Manbhum, Patkum, Pandra (all four 
kiamais, held in two separate interests) and Torang, one Shikmi 


zamindari, Naro, one Mankiari tenure, Kalimati, one Grliatwali 
tenure, Tinsaya, and one Jaigir, Bharamahal, covering in all 
rather more than one-fifth of the district area. The statistics of 
the district show that almost every major estate besides several 
Shikmi, Jaigir, Ghatwali and other subordinate tenures have at 
one time or another been attached or brought under management 
as encumbered estates, and so protected from sale or dismember- 
ment ; the few major estates which have escaped have done so 
for special reasons, as, for example, the fact of their being 
managed by the Court of Wards for long periods, or in more 
recent years having received unexpected additions to their revenue 
through coal settlements. 

The one unfortunate exception to the general rule which has 
preserved these estates to the original families is that of J ainagar, 
which was sold in execution of a civil court decree in 1866 
and purchased by the Court of Wards on behalf of the zamindar 
of Jharia, then a minor. The reasons which led to the ordinary 
practice being departed from in this case are not now traceable, 
but according to local tradition the zamindar of Jainagar treated 
the various processes of the civil court preliminary to the sale 
with such contempt that he entirely alienated the sympathies 
of the then Deputy Commissioner. Another estate has suffered 
dismemberment by private sale, half of the Mukunda- 
pur estate having been sold to the zamindar of Jaypur by 
private treaty ; no partition of the shares has, however, been 
Revenue- Qf Revenue-free properties there are 32 on the district roll, all 

properties. Ijiiig within the ambit of the Panchet zamindari and having 
their origin in the rent-free grants already referred to. The 
majority of them are small, consisting of a village or at most two 
or three villages, but two are of considerable size, i.e., one of 14| 
villages, which constitute a Debottar grant to the family gods of 
the zamindar and are recorded in his name, the income therefrom 
being devoted to the maintenance of the various family deities, 
their shrines and priests; the other also a Debottar consisting of 
57^ villages dedicated to the upkeep of the worship of Keshab 
Rai, a deity belonging to the Gurus or spiritual guides of the 
zamindars of Panchet, who live at Bero in pargana Chaurasi. 
Over and above this large revenue and rent-free grant, the 
Mahants of Bero have at various times received other villages 
both from the Panchet zamindars and from others, and their 
property is now a considerable zamindari in itself, within which, 
in imitation of other landholders, subordinate tenures of all kinds 
including even Patni Taluks have been created. 


The position of the Digwari estates, 25 in number (of whicli, r)iKwari 
however, two lie witliin pargauas Shergarh aiid Mahishaia, Jiow 
belougiug to Bui-Jwan and Baukura, respectively) is somewhat 
difficult to define. All of them are within the ambit of the 
Panchet estate and they correspond with the 57j villages wliich 
were declared as Digwari and tlieir assets excluded at tJie time 
of the Permanent Settlement, with the addition of two villages 
in pargauas Malial, wliioh are admitted as Digwari though not 
reported as such by Lala Kanji, Tahsildar of Panchet, wlio was 
examined in detail on the subject of police tenures in this eat ate 
in the year 1790. No revenue ia, therefore, paid on account of 
any of these holdings, but the holders pay a cess variously known 
as ' Digwari ' or ' Road patrol ' Cess direct to Government, 
amounting in all to Es. 798, and varying from as much as 
Rs. 122 for four villages in Pargana Chaiira to lis. 6-6-7 only fur 
two villages in Domurkonda. A similar demand is levied from 
the zamindars of the Jliaria, Katras, Nawagarh, Nagarkiari and 
Pandra estates and the gross demand, Ps. 1,258, constitutes what 
is known as the Road Patrol Fund, administered by the Police 
Department. Strictly speaking, these Digwari villages are neither 
estates nor revenue-free properties nor yet ordinary tenures, 
intermediate between the zamindar and the actual cultivator ; 
the Digwais are appointed by Government, and are liable to 
dismissal for non-performance of their duties, but ordinarily the 
succession goes from father to son. They are essentially, 
therefore, service tenures held directly under Government, and 
distinguished from others in the district by the fact that the 
vilLiges assigned to them are definitely outside the Permanent 
Settlement though mthin the limits of the parganas settled as the 
Panchet estate'. 

Subordinate tenures are in Manbhum both numerous and of Sub- 
considerable variety ; the following is a description of the more o^^^nxtf 
important classes. 

The IShihmi Taluk or zaniindari ranks first in local estimation Shilmi 
though only one tenure legally recognised as such now ^«^«** 
exists, i.e.y that of Naro in the zamindari of Patkum which 
is protected from liability in the event of the latter estate 
being sold for arrears of revenue by Regulation VIII of 1793, 
though its origin is undoubtedly development out of a " Manki" 
or divisional headman's tenure under the Mundari system rather 
than a mere transfer of a portion of the Patkum estate by the 
Ziimindar, subject to payment of its share of the Government 
revenue. Attempts have been made to estabUsh in the courts 
that the great ghat wall tenures of the Barabhum estate are 

204 MlNBHUM. 

shikmi zamindaris, but this claim was disallowed in a suit to 
whicti Bharat Singh, Taraf Sardar of Satrakhani, the zaniindar 
and Government were parties. 
Patni Palni Taluks with their subordinate dar-patni and se-patni 

tenures, as defined in Regulation VIII of 1819, are, strictly 
speaking, confined to the Panchet estate, to which the Regulation, 
was not extended until some time after 1854, though many of the 
taluks date from a much earlier period. The system is not, 
however, confined to this estate. Small patnis exist in many of the 
others, and nearly half the estate of Barabhum was leased out in 
patni to Messrs. Watson & Co. (represented now by the Midna- 
pore Zamindari Company) in 1883. In such cases, however, if 
rents are not duly paid, the procedure prescribed in the Regulation 
is not followed, the zamindars realising the arrears under the 
ordinary rent laws. In Panchet the number of patni taluks is 
very large, and some of them are of very considerable extent ; 
altogether it is estimated that more than half the estate is held 
under patni leases, and nearly one quarter under other forms of 
permanent lease. The system undoubtedly spread from the 
adjoining estate of Burdwan, and was here, as there, a convenient 
method of raising funds to meet the zamindtir's present and 
pressing necessities at the expense of his descendants. Since 1895, 
when the estate was last brought under management under the 
provisions of the Encumbered Estates Act, no fresh leases of this 
kind have been granted, and from time to time defaulting patnis 
have been bought in by the proprietor. It is obvious, however, 
that those which are most valuable by reason of their low patni 
rental and high mtifassil jami are the least likeJ.y to oome 
into the market, and the chances of materially increasing in this 
way the area under direct management are but small. 
Manhiari Mdukinri and J/'/r^re tenures have already been referred to as 
^^^ _ . survivals of the old Mundari Village System, under which each 
village had" its "Munda" or "Mura" and each group or "parha" 
of 12 villages or so its 'Manki'or divisional headman. The 
permanently settled estate Torang, as well as the Shikmi tenure 
of Naro above described were probably both in origin ' parhas ', 
and similar tenures, four in number, survive in the Baghmundi 
estate, their holders being still known as 'Mankis' . Their tenure 
is a heritable one, the succession being governed by primogeni- 
ture, and they pay to the zaminder a small quit-rent only. The 
murdri tenure as now existing is distinguished from niankidri 
in name only. The conditions are exactly the same, and though 
strictly speaking a ' Mura ' or ' Munda ' should have only a single 
village, those now tecognised in the Baghmundi Pargana hold 


several villages ; they are, however, for the most part 
subordinate still to the Mankis, and not directly under the 
zamiudiir. In Pat kum there are also ' Muras' who hold single 
village?, but their exact si atus has still to be defined ; the zamindar 
does not admit their claims which usually extend over the whole 
village including the jungles; and in a number of instances he 
has succeeded in getting the courts to hold that they are mere 
ijdradars and liable as such to ejectment and enhancement. 
Others still obstinately assert their rights or supposed rights, 
and the decision of the rival claims will be one of the most 
difficult problems of the settlement operations now in progress. 

The commonest form of hereditary tenure at a low rent Mokrari. 
fixed in perpetuity is the nmkarrdri or i/wkrdri ; these are found 
in almost all estates and are most numerous perhaps in the 
Manbhum and Barabhum estates in the south-east ; they vary 
in extent from several villages to a few acres of land ; the latter, 
however, are more strictly raiyati holdings at fixed rents, 
and the term as properly applied usually covers the grant 
of a village or a specific share or portion thereof. The rent settled 
is usually a comparatively low one, the settlement being made 
on payment of a considerable salami or bonus, varying in amount 
from 10 to 15 years' purchase of the rental. Dar-mohrdrk are 
created on similar terms by the larger mokraridars. 

The tenures known variously as moylnili, pnnchaki, or „ , 
talahi Debottars, Brahmottars, etc., take rank among the here- k% Brah- 
ditary tenures at a fixed rent not liable to enhancement, but »«o'^^«'*«. 
except in respect of the quit-rents payable, their nature is in 
every respect the same as the Idkhirdj or rent free tenures 
bearing similar names. The origin of the qualifying names, 
moghuli, panch^iki, and talabi is somewhat obscure, and it is diffi- 
cult to make any distinction between the terms of the different 
tenures to which they are attached. Panchaki and monhuli 
quit-rents are invariably very small, and tilabi usually so, 
though it is commonly said that tahbi implies a more subs- 
tantial rent. According to Professor Wilson (Griossary of Legal 
Terms) the term panchaki denotes lands originally rent-free 
but later subjected to a quit-rent and thence termed panclhiki 
Idkhirdj, and this description probably apphes accurately to grants 
of this nature in Manbhum. 

According to the holders ,ww^A«/j was the term used for the 
rent or quittance their predecessors had to pay to the Moghul 
Emperors, but this interpretation cannot be historically accurate ; 
others say the word is a corruption of muHgali signifying 
payments made as tokens of blessing by Brahmans to kings 


aud emperors in consideration of officeB or lands granted tliem 
Talahi means little more than rent-paying, and betala'd is the 
regular word used to distinguish, rent-free grants of a similar 
nature. The large number of these tenures, which already existed 
in the Panchet estate at the time of the Decennial Settlement, 
has already heen noticed, and the explanation is no doubt to be 
found in the somewhat ambiguous position of the zamindar whose 
elevation to the dignity of Ohattri Rajput necessitated the em- 
ployment of many priests and Brahmans^ and the propitiation 
of various Hindu deities. Similarly in the other estates grants of 
this kind, usually absolutely rent-free, have been numerous in 
more recent times. 
Ijara. ^^ ^j^q above are definitely tenures of a permanent nature 

and held in a fixed rate of rent and usually heritable and 
transferable ; the ijara which has now to be described is more 
complex and difficult to define, the term being applied not only 
to mere temporary lease -holders or collectors of rents but also to 
headmen of villages, who have held the post of ijdrdtkua possibly 
for generations. Landlords claim that ijdrddars are removeable 
at will or on the expiry of their lease, but in practice it is usual to 
find them holding without objection for years after their leases 
have expired, and resisting successfully efforts made to oust them. 
In many estates a distinction is made between tniddi, that is, 
appointed for a term of years, and betniddi ijdrddars, but even 
iu the case of the former the extensive rights claimed by the 
holders are seldom now admitted. 

The common features of almost all ^jdi-an are the fact that 
the ijdrddur is supposed to collect the rents of the tenants on 
behalf of the landlord, and that as remuneratitm he gets either a 
percentage on the total demand, or else cultivates .on a privileged 
rent or rent-free what are known as the man or k//ds lands : 
occasionally he gets both cash and land. The regular widdi ijard- 
dfir is a mere tliikddar with little interest in the village beyond 
the screwing out of the tenants the largest possible amount within 
the term of his lease, at the end of which the ijdva is ordinarily 
let out again to the highest bidder. In the heniddi ijdm the- gets, until the landlord discovers them, and can force on 
him a larger demand, the benefit of all new lands assessed ; 
he frequently claims and succeeds in asserting his sole right to 
make new settlements, and also himself t-j bring under cultivation 
without additional payment to the landlord extra lands, and 
ordinarily where there is jungle he takes to himself any 
profits there may be from it. In fact, he sets up to be what in 
many cases he no doubt originally was — the village headman of 


the Miindari organisation, and though ho may admit the land- 
lord's right to raise the ijdva jama he resists any attempt at 
frequent or excessive enhancements, and as he has, as a rule, 
tlio whole vilhige at his back, and the landlord no papers to show 
the previous extent of cultivation or the exact terms on which 
the ijdrddar holds, he is more often than not successful. Such 
ijdrdiiars are still common all through the nortii of the district, 
and almost universal where there are Sonthals ; elsewhere many 
of the old headmen have been ousted by fair meaus or foul 
from the post and the ijara made over to outsiders of the middi 
type .-this is especially the case when subinfeudation has been 
excessive as in the Panchet estate, the petty vwkraridar or dar- 
mok' aridiir naturally resenting the intervention of any privileo-ed 
person between himself and his comparatively few tenants. 
At the same time many of the old ijarditarn have themselves 
become m<krdriUn's, and their interests having ceased to be with 
the tenants against the common foe, the superior landlord, they 
have become themselves petty landlords instead of village head- 
men in their manner of dealing with the tenants. One of the 
most important results anticipated from a survey aud settlement 
is from the point of view of the ijdrddais und tenantry, the 
giving of a secure title to such headmen-^Vara^/ffrs as survive and 
from the point of view of the superior landlords the definition 
of the exact rights of ijarddars of all classes, aud the simpli- 
fication of the procedure for securing to the landlords a proper 
proportion of the additional profits of the villages. 

A very important class of tenures consists of the maintenance '^ai"- 
tenures or grants of land for the support of the younger members tenures, 
of a Eaja's or zamindar's family, known by the general name of 
khnrpofih. The, necessity for these grants follows from the rule 
of succession by strict primogeniture, provision having to be 
made by the head of the famiiy for his younger brotliers as well 
as for more distant relations. The practice differs sliglitly in 
different estates, but generally speaking <?nd and 3rd sons are 
entitled by family custom to grants of land, while others may 
get either land or a cash allowance. These grants are, generally 
speaking, resumable on the death of the grantor or grantee, but 
in ordinary cases a now Baja would not resume the k/iorposh 
plants of his father's younger brothers without making them 
fresh grants or providing for them in other ways. In Barabhum 
and Manbhum the next younger brother of the reignino- chief 
is called the Hikim ; there is a special khorposh called the 
Jy /A;? /// a /< which passes on the death of one zamindar from the 
uncle to the next younger brother of the new chief. Similarly 



in many estates there are allotted villages which form the hhor^ 
2)osh of the wife of the zamindar; these similarly pass on his 
death to the wife of his successor. Custom only requires that 
maintenance grants should be given to persons within a certain 
degree of consanguinity, and consequently, as the grantees become 
more and more distant from the ruling chief, the grants are pro- 
portionately reduced until eventually the heirs of a k/wrposhdar 
become little more than ordinary' cultivating raiyats. It is not, 
however, uncommon in the case of distant relations for small 
grants at fixed rents (mokrari) to be substituted for regular 
Ji/iorposh, and in some cases, through undue favouritism or for 
other reasons, members of now distant branches of the family are 
found in possession of comparatively large properties on patni or 
other secure permanent title. 
Cultiva- The distinction between superior tenures and the tenure of 

the ordinary cultivating tenant is not a very definite one. As 
already stated, there are many moh'd-l tenures of small extent of 
which the holders should be classed as raiyats rather than as 
tenure-holders, and the same is the case with the nuyabddi, 
jangalbuii, Jal/car, jalsdsan, and altriat tenures, all of which are 
essentially and by origin raiyati or tenant holdings to which 
special conditions attach, though not infrequently the areas so 
held are in excess of what the grantee could possibly bring under 
cultivation without inducting other tenants. 

The naydbadi tenure is self-explanatory ; permission is given 
by the zamindar to bring new land under cultivation ; the terms 
vary in different parts of the district, but the more usual are that 
the tenant should hold the whole area so settled on fi small quit- 
rent for five or seven years, and that at the expiry of that period 
the area brought under cultivation should be assessed at the 
ordinary rates, and that ten-sixteenths of the rent so arrived 
at should be the rent payable by the tenant. Fresh terms 
would at the same time be arranged for the area, covered 
by the original lease, but not by that time brought under 

Jalkar and jahdsan tenures may be distinct from or combined 
with a naydbadi lease, the essential condition on the tenant's 
side being that a tank or reservoir should be constructed, from 
which the land to be brought under cultivation, or other land 
already cultivated, can be irrigated. Usually the actual land on 
which the tank or reservoir is to be constructed, and a small aj*eu 
attached to it is given on a small quit-rent fixed in perpetuity, 
the remainder of the area taken up being on ordinary or else on 
naydbadi terms. 


Ahriat tenures are practically identical with naydhddi^ the 
name being derived from ahra an embankmont, and having 
reference to the necessity for levelling, terracing, and embanking 
essential before land can be made suitable for rice cultivation. 

A jangalbtiri tenure is, as its name implies, a clearing lease 
usually of a specific area of jungle ; such tenures in this district 
are usually of ancient date, and are held on a fixed quit-rent ; 
in some cases the rent is settled on similar terms to those usual in 
the case of naydbddi tenures. 

Of ordinary cultivating tenants the vast majority have either 
by law or by custom settled occupancy rights, and of these again 
a comparatively small percentage are entitled under the Ohota 
Nagpur Tenancy Act (introduced into the district in December 
1909) to the special rights of original settlers or descendants of 
original settlers {k/iuntkaiti). Practically the only classes of 
tenants who are not customarily treated as occupancy raiyats are 
those who hold on produce rent, and who are in fact rather 
servants than tenants. 

Of rent-free grants for religious or charitable purposes Rent-free 
those which were recognised as having been made prior fji-gioug"' 
to the Permanent Settlement were treated as revenue-free or chari- 
properties ; tlie others of later creation are of a similar nature p„ * b^b. 
and similar also to those which bearing the same names are 
subject to a small quit-rent. The forms taken are either (1) 
Bebottar, grants of laud for the worship of idols, or of a particu- 
lar idol ; the holder for the time being is the mahant or priest 
attached to the worship of the idol in question, and he is in the 
position of a trustee ; (2) Brdlimottar^ lands given for the support 
of Brahmans*; large numbers of these grants were made by 
chiefs of aboriginal descent, who aspired to be pure Hindus, in 
order to induce Brahmans to settle within their territories ; (3) 
Bhdtottar or grants for the support of Bhats, who record genealo- 
gies; (4) VaishnavoUar^ or grants for the support of the 
worshippers of Vishnu ; (5) Maliattran, or lands granted for 
services by persons other than Brahmans ; (G) Pirottar, or lands 
given for the worship of Muhammadan saints. Of the last class 
there are very few examples in the district. 

AH these grants are of a permanent nature, and are heritable 
and transferable, though in certain cases the transfer is said 
to be limited by the requirement that the grant must not be 
diverted to purposes other than that for which it was created. 
There are, besides these, other rent-free tenures which are neither 
permanent nor transferable, but these are more strictly classed as 
service tenures. 

210 mSnbhum. 

Sbbvice Of the service tenures of Manbhiim there are, according to 

TENUBEs. g.^ yg- jj^jj^er, ten classes, of which seven are major and three 
minor. A more distinctive division would be into police and 
zamindari service tenures. Among the former he enumerates 
the Jaigir (confined to Panchet), the Digwari, the Naib Digwari, 
the Sardar Ghatwali, the Sadiyali, the QhatwaU, and the 
Tabedari. To all of these the general term "Ghatwali" 
tenures is ordinarily applied, and their iuiportance is such, and 
their history and incidents so full of difficulty that to include 
any detailed account of them in the present chapter would make 
it inconveniently lengthy ; for a full account, therefore, of these 
interesting tenures, the reader is referred to the appendix to this 

Panchet Jaigirt^. — The jaigirs of Panchet were excluded from 
the general survey of ghatwali tenures which was made in the 
years 1880-1883, as previously to that date it had been decided 
that their services were not worth retaining : their exact extent 
and area is not, therefore, known; 160 villages were shown in the 
village list of 1771 as jaigir, and withiu the present limits of the 
district there ure 52 distinct recognised tenures of this class 
having lands in 99 villages, for which rent is paid to the Panchet 
zamindar. Their chief features are that they are hereditary, 
impartible, and non-saleable for arrears of rent. 

Bigwdrs. — The Digwars of the parganas included in the 
Panchet est ale have already been described. Similar tenures 
are found in the Jharia, Pandra, and Jhalda estates, the holders 
of which, however, are liable to the zamindar for small quit-rents. 
Begunkodar has, instead of Digwars, Sardars wlio are in no res- 
pect different from the Digwars of the adjoining estsite of Jhalda 
except in name, and in the Manbhum estate the.terms appear to 
be interchangeable. Ordinarily speaking, a Digwar has one or 
more whole villages as his tenure, and lius a subordinate staif of 
Naib Digwdrs, Sardars, and Tabedars, with whose assistance he is 
supposed i o poKce the whole pargana or estate, or in some cases 
some specific part of it; his powers are usually those of a head 

Sardar Qhaltcdk. — Sardar Ghatwals or t<iraf Sardars are found 
in Barablmm and Patkum only, where they may be said to take 
tlie place of the Digwars of other parganas. Their tenures are of 
considerable extent, the four major tarafs of Bavabhnm including 
from 28 to 75 villages each. The majority of the villages are 
held directly by Sadiyals or Sardars who pay nothing more than 
a small quit-rent to the taraf Sardar, but each of the latter has 
several villages under his direct control. His police powers are 


those of a Sub-Inspector in the case of the larger tarafs, and of a 
head constable in the case of the others, and ho is supposed to 
exercise control over the large force of subordinate ghatwals 
within his tamf. 

Sadiyals. — The Sadiyals are intermediate between the tnraf 
Sardar and the village Ghatwals ; they are not mere rent collec- 
tors or assistants of the former, but in Barabhum at any rate are 
to the village sardar what in Munda areas the Manki or head of a 
f>arh(j or group of villages is to the Munda or headman of a single 
village, and the taraf Sardar is himself only an overgrown Manki 
or Sadiyal. 

Village Sarddrs. — The Sardars or village Sardars are the ghat- 
wals proper of Sir W. Hunter's classification ; in Panchet and the 
other northern estates they are found subordinate to the Digwars 
in Barabhum and Patkum to the tamf Sardars ; in Kailapal. 
Begunkodar, and for the most part in the Manbhum estate in- 
dependent. Their tenures consist either of a whole village or 
of a definite part of a village, and their jurisdiction in any case 
extends to the whole village, and is confined to it. 

Tabedais. — Below them and directly under their control are 
the lowest grade of ghatwals, i.e.., the Tabedars, of whom there may 
be from one or two to as many as twelve or even twenty in a 
village. As their name implies, their position is more or less of a 
menial one, and on their shoulders fall the whole or the bulk of 
the police duties actually required of the ghatwali force. These 
include the manning of a number of police road posts, the patrol- 
ling of the roads, the going on rounds at night, the escorting cf 
prisoners or, of informants to the police station, or the courts. 
Many of them have considerable holdings for which they pay a 
nominal quit- rent to the village sardar, but in a large number of 
cases the land held is now barely adequate for their support, moie 
especially where, as is often the case, it is let out to cultivating 
tenants on inadequate rents. 

Gh&twals of all grades are liable to dismissal and loss of their 
service lands for misconduct. On a vacancy occurring from doath 
or other cause the son or next male heir is ordinarily appointed, 
and to this extent the posts aud tenures are hereditary. The 
ghatwal for the time being has no power to alienate any part of 
his tenure, and the approval of the Deputy Commissioner is 
required for any settlement of a permanent or semi-permanent 
nature; in regard to jungles and minerals the working rulo is 
that the ghatwal has the right to use but not to waste the resources 
of his holding or tenure ; he may not use hia tenuro in such 
a way as to reduce its value to his auccesaora. 

p 2 


Down to the year 1908 ghatwali tenures were not saleable 
either for arrears of rent, or for any private debt, but in March 
of that year, section 5, paragraph 1 of Bengal Regulation XXIX 
of 1814 (a regulation for the settlement of certain mahals in 
the district of Birbhum, usually denominated ghatwali mahals) 
was extended with some modification to Barabhum, and these 
tenures were thus made, in certain circumstances, saleable for 
arrears of rent and cesses. During the succeeding three years 
a number of tenures were thus allowed to go to sale, includiug 
one of the four great tarafa. Since then, however, the policy has 
been discouraged, and in no case has the Commissioner sanctioned 
a sale. Outside Barabhum, where the Regulation has not been 
extended, the ghatwali tenures are still exempt from liability 
to sale. 

Excluding the Panchet jaigirs there were demarcated in 1883, 
at the time of the ghatwali survey, no less than 590 tenures 
covering an area of 408 square miles and supporting a force of 
1,974 ghatwals of all classes, made up of 12 sardar ghatwals, 
40 digwars, 23 naib digwars, 1 1 sadiyals, 504 village sardars and 
1,384 tabedars. Of the tenures no less than 498, and of the 
ghatwals 1,606, were in the three estates of Barabhum, Manbhum 
and Patkum. 

The three minor tenures are (1) Goraiti, a grant of land made 
tepuree. to the viUage fjorait^ who is the messenger or peon of the landlord. 
It is his duty to assist in the collection of rent by summoning 
the tenants when required to attend on the tahsildar or at the 
tahsildar's or landlord's cutchery, and also to keep the landlord 
informed of what is going on in the village such as marriages, 
transfers of lands, cutting of trees, and any other of tiie numerous 
small matters which warrant the levy of a cess, or the demand 
for a salami, or a cash payment. The gorait is frequently a 
substantial tenant, and in lieu of a special grant of land he will 
often in such cases merely get a remission of part of his rent. 
(2) The ld//ali is a grant of land to the Ldi/a or village priest ; 
it is to be found in most, if not all, aboriginal villages ; the post 
is ordinarily a hereditary one, and the land passes from father 
to son. (3) Chakran grants are ordinarily petty grants to 
servants in the zamindar's employ, or to potters, barbers, smiths, 
washermen, and others who do menial service for the landlord. 
The grants are essentially conditional on the rendering of services 
and therefore resumable ; in many cases, however, though the 
services have been dispensed with or are no longer demanded, no 
attempt has been made to resume. 





The subject of police and qiiasi-polico tenures in Manbhum is Police 
one which bristles with problems, and the literature relating to ^^^^j^"*. 
these is voluminous, much of it hidden away in reports and office bhxtm. 
notes which are not easily get-at-able. The object of the present 
note is to collate so far as possible the main facts, and at the same 
time to state briefly the main theories and inferences based 
thereon as to the origin and nature of the different forms of 
tenure and the main differences between them. The importance 
of the subject will be evident from the fact that, exclusive of 
jaigirs, the holders of which are no longer treated as liable to 
render service to Q-overnment, though this was the case till 
comparatively recent times, there are in all 591 tenures of this 
kind scattered over 25 out of the 39 parganas which make up 
the district, and that these tenures covered in 1883, when they 
were surveyed in detail, an area of 785,192 standard bighas or 
408 square miles, nearly one-tenth part of the district, and were 
held by no, less than 1,974 ghatwals, a term which is somewhat 
loosely applied to all classes of rural police, other than chaukidars, 
who do, or are supposed to do, any specific police duty. 

The continued existence of these various classes of police Coi. 
tenures and, to a certain limited extent only, their origin also, is r)aiton'8 
due to the conditions prevailing in the district in the earliest days of their 
of British rule which largely influenced the arrangements made or'g»n- 
by the Government for the preservation of the peace and the 
maintenance of order. These conditions were described by 
Colonel Dalton, Commissioner of the Division, in a report to 
Government on the subject of the ghatwali poUce of the Division, 
dated 9th December 1864, from which the following paragraphs 
axe extracted. 

" 2. The Rajas of the Jungle Mahals of Chota Nagpur and 
the adjoining Tributary Estates, were, under the ancient Govern- 
ment of India, neither officers appointed for the collection of the 
revenue nor land proprietors in the ordinary acceptation of the 

214 mInbhum, 

term. They were Chiefs^ generally of the satae race as the people 
they ruled, and who originally elected them to fill that position. 
.Some of them indeed claim to be of alien blood, but those who do 
EO can only found their pretensions on manifest tables. 

" 3. These Chiefs continued to exercise sovereign powers in 
their respective territories till the accession of the British Govern- 
ment. They were almost unknown to the former sovereigns of 
India, but according to their positions geographically, tribute 
to the rulers of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa was paid or exacted 
from them. 

"4. For many years under our rule great difficulty was 
experienced in reducing them to any kind of subjection, and 
when this was effected, it was considered necessary to treat 
these countries as exceptional tracts for which a peculiar ad- 
ministration was required. The revenue wag fixed low without 
much investigation in regard to assets, but as they contributed 
so little to the support of the estate and seemed to thrive 
best on the system of self-government to which they had been 
accustomed, it was determined, when police was organised in 
other parts of the British possessions, and other zamindars were 
relieved of the greater portion of their responsibilities in regard 
to crime by Regulation XXII of 1793, to throw on these Chiefs 
the entire duty and risk of maintaining order in their respective 
jurisdictions, and in addition to the amount of tixed rent de- 
manded from them, they were required to execute engagements to 
provide for the safety of life and property, and rendering them 
personally responsible if, in the event of a felony being com- 
mitted in their estates, they failed to arrest the criminal and 
cause the restoration of the stolen property. It was thus that 
the principal Chiefs, and in very large estates, the most important 
of their vassals, became hereditary PoKce Darogas, a position in 
which the Jungle Mahals' Chiefs were confirmed by the passing 
of Regulation XYIII of 1805. 

"5, Previously, in the exercise of their sovereign rights, 
they had been assisted, first, by their great vassals, and secondly, 
by a large body of yeomanry, who, in lieu of the payments in 
cash or in kind contributed by others for the support of their 
Chief, rendered service in guarding the roads and passes and in 
military or honorific attendance on the Chief himself. The yeo- 
manry we now recognize in the jaigirdars, sardars, ghatwals, 
dig wars and tabedars, to be presently noticed in detail." 

The general position, therefore, taken by Colonel J)alton and 
generally accepted since, is that prior to the British occupation the 
reigning Chiefs had already, for theii own protection and support, 


both against their neighbours and against internal troubles, a 
number of quasi-rt-tainers or feudal barons, holding considerable 
areas of land, either free of tribute or subject to a small tribute 
only, fiom the proceeds of which they were bound to maintain a 
large subordinate force of armed guardians of the peace. In the 
case of some of the estates these barons were almost, if not quite, 
the equals of (he Cliief in dignity and importance, and the latter 
was probably in the first instance one of them, to whom, as a 
matter of convenience and for better mutual protection, a more or 
less commanding position was given Such were according to 
Colonel J Jalton tlio sardar ghatwals of the southern parganas, 
Barablium, Manbhum and Patkum. Elsewhere, an I more es- 
pecially in the Paiichet estate, conditions were rather different. 
Panehet was a congeries of many smaller estates or zamindaris, 
amalgamated probably by conquest, and all trace of the older 
rulers or Chiefs of these had disappeared long before history 
begins. Maintenance of order within the estate, and protection 
of the outlying parts asfainst the incursions of neighbouring Chiefs, 
was as important as in the smaller zamindaris, and at the 
time British in(luenc4 began to be exercised, we find an elaborate 
organization of digwars, of whom each pargana had one or 
more, with a large force of subordinates whose duties were 
mainly, if not entirely, of a j)olice nature, and besides these, 
a large number of jaigirdars, whose duties were apparently 
rather to render military assistance to the Raja, and prevent 
incursions from outside. 

It is possible, therefore, at the outset t>) draw a distinction 
between the, police tenures of Panehet and those of other parts 
of the district, and within Panehet between the digwars with 
their subordinates and the jaigirdars. A further distinction can 
then be drawn between the former and the digwars and other 
ghatwals of the northern parii^anas, leaving as a class by 
themselves the ghatwali organization of the soutUera zamindaris. 

From the out.set the police arrangements in Panehet were j^jariy 
somewhat different to those adopted in other estates in Chota Police 
Nagpur, though the agreement taken from the Raja (Raghunath ^^f,?^'^* 
Narayan Deo) with whom the Decennial Settlement was Panehet, 
concluded, contained the same clauses in regard to the guarding 
of the roads, providing for the safety of travellers and bringing 
criminals to justice. For several years after the Permanent 
Settlement the zamindari continued in a state of great anarchy, 
;he Raja fell into arrears and the estate was sold, though the sale 
was eventually cancelled. When order was restored the Raja 
was, like other zamindars vested with the control of his own 


police, but curiously enough he was considered so poor that a sum 
of Rs, 1,600 was allowed him towards the expense of maintaining 
the necessary stations in his extensive jurisdiction. The 
arrangement was, however, unsatisfactory and very shortly 
afterwards he was relieved of the charge and the allowance with- 
drawn, and regular police stations, with establishment paid by and 
directly subordinate to the Government officials, were established 
at Chas and Raghunathpur, and later at Purulia. All control by 
the zamindar over the digwari police was at the same time 
transferred to the authorities, and from that time on they became 
directly responsible to Government for the maintenance of order 
the reporting of crime and arrest of criminals within their several 

Digwars. According to Colonel Dalton's report the Raja of Panchet, when 
he exercised police powers, had the services of twenty -four sardar 

: digwars who were bound to maintain a force of 800 tabedars 

for the protection of the roads and passes, and this force was 
maintained from the whole proceeds of 573 villages excluded on 
this account from the settlement made with the zamindar and the 
gross assets of which were estimated in 1799 at Rs. 5,000 per 
annum. The existing force of digwari police in the Panchet 
parganas, now included within the district boundary, is made up 
of 28 digwars, 16 naib or deputy digwars, 2 sadiyals, 24 
sardars and 163 tabedars, or 233 in all, for whoso support 45 
whole villages and portions of 8 others or 53 tenures in 
all are definitely assigned. These include 43 J out of 
the 57| villages specifically excluded from the Permanent 
Settlement as digwari, and classed now as digwari estates, 2 
villages in Pargana Mahal also treated as such but not 
shown as liable to payment of 'road patrol ccfsses,' 2 whole 
villages and 2 quarter villages in Bankhandi held by digwars 
which pay neither a quit-rent to the zamindar nor cess to Govern- 
ment, nor yet are recognized as ' Digwari estates,' and another 
village, Ghatkul in pargana Chaurasi, which has been dcfi.nitely 
declared in a civil suit to be ' ghatwali ' and is held by a sardar 
who is not, as others are, subordinate to the digwars of the 
pargana. The earliest reference to these digwari estates or 
tenures is in a letter from Captain Crawford commanding in 
Birbhum in 1774 to Mr. Higginson, in which he says that "the 
full produce of these was given in consideration of their being 
a protection to tlie interior parganas and to provide that the 
chaukidars be ready for service in obedience to the orders of 
Government." He adds that with Government troops in the 
country their services might easily bo dispensed with and the 


revenue considerably increased by assessing them to proper rents. 
Colonel Dalton remarks in this connection that the lands are 
for the most part in the open country and not in the vicinity 
of difficult and dangerous hill passes like the ghatwali villages 
elsewhere in Manbhum. The inference to be drawn from this 
is that even at that date their services were mainly, if not entirely, 
those of internal police and not mihtary. As to their relationship 
to Grovornment and to the zamindar, there is and has been no 
dispute ; the zamindar makes no claim on them ; the bulk of 
the villages were excluded from the assets of the estate, and 
they are, therefore, essentially of the nature of the tenures 
referred to in section 8, clause 4 of Act I of 1793, and Govern- 
ment cannot at any time resume them or demand a proper 
assessment on dispensing with their services of the dig wars and 
the subordinates. As in other ghatwali tcDures, the son ordinarily 
succeeds the father, but the digwar is liable to dismissal, and 
there are now many tenures held by persons specifically appointed 
to the exclusion of the old families. The latter are in most cases 
so-called Chattris or Eajputs, but obviously of either Bhumij 
or Bhuiya origin. There are one or more digwars holding 
digwari tenures (four each in Bagda and Para and three in 
Khaspel) for 17 out of the 19 parganas which make up the 
estate, the exceptions being the small parganas of Marra and 
Jaytara, in each of which, however, there is a digwar, supported 
partly by cash payment from the zamindar and partly by fees 
or (lasturi levied from the villages; 11 parganas have one or more 
naib or deputy digwars ; the two sadiyals who are supposed to 
represent tl;ie mohurrirs or tahsildars of the digwar are found 
in a single pargana ChaiTa ; the sardars in Charra, Palma, 
Ludhurka, Nfslichanda, Domurkonda, Chaurasi and Bankhandi, 
in which the digwari tenure consists of several villages, and the 
sardars hold specific villages under the digwars, and control 
the subordinate tabedars, Tabedars are found in most of the 
parganas, but the system of remuneration differs ; in a few cases 
they hold specific lands on quit-rents, payable to the sardar or 
digwar, and are themselves hereditary ghatwals; in the majority 
the digwars pay a small cash or grain wage to their subordinate 
tabedars, or provide them with lands in lieu thereof, which, 
however, are not specifically reserved for the purpose, nor 
necessarily pass from one tabedar to his successor. 

According to Lalla Kanji, tahsildar of Chakla Panchakot, Digwars 
who replied to certain questions " put by the Ilazoor respecting af,d^a *! 
the police" in 1799, the number of digwars supported by the khandi. 
57| villages excluded from the Permanent Settlement was 24, 


whereas at present there are 28, and there are tenures in 8 villages 
not included in the 57j recognised as digwari. Of these 
additional holdings found, two are in pargana Mahal supporting 
2 digwars and four, also supporting 2 digwars, in pargana 
Bankhandi ; to the demarcation of those holdings during the 
survey of 1884 no objection was taken. That the list of 57.j 
villao-es was not an exhaustive one will appear from Lalla 
Kanji's report itself, for he specifically refers to digwars in 
iiargana Bara and Mahal whose salaries were paid by the raiyats 
by sab-^cription before the establishment of thanas, and also to 
diovvars in Maria, Mahal, Chatra and Uhagam, who held villages 
in iaio-ir. In pargana Marra there is still a digwar who as 
a matter of fact is the holder of one of tlie recognised Panchet 
iaio'irs ; in Jaytara there is also a digwar, whose only remuner- 
ation is what he can collect from the tenants of the villages 
^ in the paro-ana as dastitri. Bankhandi does not appear in 

this list and the theory is that it was not part of the original 
Panchet estate but was attached to the zamiudari of Chatna 
and came to Panchet as the dowry of a daughter married to the 
Pauchet zamindar at or just about the time of the Permanent 
Settlement. Whatever may be the facts as to the origin of 
these particular tenures, there is no dispute as to their antiquity 
and validity, and though the digwars pay nothing in the shape 
of rent either to Government or to the zamindar, they are in all 
other respects exactly similar to the rest. 
Gbaiwals According to Lalla Kanji, there were, besides digwars, 

aubordi- < o-hatwals' who had charge of the jungles and places frequented 
Urgwars. ^by thieves and bad characters and "who take „care of the 
travellers who travel by that road and watch the thieves and 
bad characters." According to him there were originally 36 
ghats, ^3 of which were in charge of the digwars themselves, 
and for the remaining 13 the Raja maintained salaried men at 
an annual cost of Rs. 1,033. These were, however, dismissed 
when Government took over the police {i.c, the thana police) 
and made the Raja pay Rs 1,300 for the expenses of the thana. 
These ghatwals were evidently, therefore, not holders of tenures, 
and in no way corresponded with the hereditary tenure holders 
of other areas. They were in fact ghatwals of the same kind as 
the bulk of the still remaining subordinates of the digwars, that 
is to say, mere salaried subordinates with no special hereditary 
claim to lands held by way of remuneration, and in fact, in the 
majority of cases, mere recipients of a monthly wage. 
Panchet Of the jaigirs of Panchet there is a very early mention in 

Jaigirs. ^-^q Uat of the villages furnished by the zamindar in 1771, which 


shows 160 villages as jaigir ; in Lalla Kanji's replies 167^ 
raauzas are referred io as held by jaigirdars, but it is not quite 
clear whether these include or exclude the digwiri mauzas. 
According to the same authoriiy, Mr. Uigginson so arranged it, 
that " the jaigirdars should pay two-thirds of the rontnl to the 
zaniindar and retain one-third as their own remuneration, and 
their duties were to assist the digwars, if so required, to arrest 
thieves and turbulent men." The digwars, he says, were 
responsible if there was any case of theft, but if there were 
many cases of rioting and theft both " digwars and jaigirdars 
used to investigate jointly, taking the assistance of the amlas 
of the Raja, and any amount that was epent on this account by 
the digwars and jaigirdars was paid by the Raja." 

The records of the Permanent Settlement show that as a 
matter of fact each jaiglrdari village was assessed to a given 
revenue, the amount in all cases being the same as that shown 
in the older accounts as having been paid by the jaigirdar to 
the zamindar. Two-thirds of the mufassil jama were treated as 
an asset in calculating the revenue payable by the zamindar. 
and the one-third retained by the jaigirdar was not, and in 
consequence of this fact the Privy Council has definitely ruled 
that the services for which this share of the rent or revenue was 
allowed as compensation to the jaigirdar were, whatever their 
nature and whatever were the antecedent facts, definitely made 
renderable to Government at the Permanent Settlement. That 
this was so, is also suggested by the fact that the jaigirdars, or 
at any rate, some of them, obtained definite sanads signed by 
Mr. Higgins9n as Supervisor of Birbhum in 1774, a circumstance 
which appears to distinguish them from merely personal grants. 
Down to 1845 tJie jaigirdars were treated as not very different 
from the digwars, appointments and dismissals were made, and 
successions regulated as in the case of other ghat wall tenures 
by the local officials. In that year, however, Colonel Ousley, 
the Agent to the Governor-Genei'al for the South-West Frontier, 
ruled that they were not police tenures and were liable to sale. 
The jaigirdars, however, continued to assert that they were not 
liable to do personal service for the Raja, and that they owed 
allegiance only to Government, but no further attempt was made 
to make regular use of their services, though, for a number of 
years afterwards, Government was regularly made a party in 
suits brought against jaigirdars and not infrequently assisted 
the holder in defending them. In 1863 the High Court 
ruled in the case of Udai Chand Chakravarti that their duties 
differed little, if at all, from those required of all landholders 

220 MlNBHUM, 

by the terms of clause I, Eegulation XX of 1817, namely, 
"to give inform ation and assistance in the investigation of serious 
crimes, information as to thefts, notorious bad characters, and 
receivers of stolen property, to afford assistance in the appre- 
hension of all persons for whose apprehension warrants have 
been issued by the Magistrate, and generally to co-operate with , 
assist, and support the police oflBcers of Government in main- 
taining the peace, preventing,' as far as possible, affrays and 
other criminal acts of violence, or apprehending the offenders 
under the rules and restrictions enacted and promulgated in the 
Eegulations". From this view, however, the Privy Council 
dissented in the suit Raja Nilmoni Singh Deo venus Bakranath 
Singh, Jaigirdar of Taraf or Ghat Dhekia in pargana Mahishara> 
disposed of on appeal in 1883 (I. L. R IX Cal., pp. 187-208) 
and definitely ruled that the jaigirs of Panchet are analogous 
to the ghatwali tenures of Birbhum, that the jaigirdars rendered 
services of a public and not a private kind, and that " the 
Permanent Settlement did not alter the nature of the jaigir 
or of the tenure upon which the lands were held, nor could it 
convert the services \\)iiich were public into private services under 
the zamindar ". The finding was therefore that the jaigirs were 
essentially police tenures, resumable neither by the zamindar 
nor by Government, and alienable neither at death nor by 
division, and but for the operation of Regulation XVIII of 1805 
which removed Panchet from the jurisdiction of Birbhum to that 
of the Jungle Mahals district, they would have been subject to 
Eegulation XXIX of 1814 which related to the lands held by 
the class of persons denominated ghatwals in th,e district of 
Birbhum. This ruling made it once and for all clear that the 
jaigirdars ' services were renderable to Government and that they 
owed no service to the zamindar, and their tenures could not be 
resumed by him. Government, however, held that " their services 
were of no special value, and though no formal relinquishment 
of Government right to the services of the jaigirdars has been 
made, it has, since 1881, been taken as finally decided that 
Government would in future abstain absolutely from being a 
party to any litigation between the jaigirdars and the zamindars." 
(Government order No. 560T., dated 23rd June 1881.) 

The present position of the jaigirdars is, therefore, a favoured 
one : no services are demanded from them, their tenures are not 
resumable, and it has been held that their very nature renders 
thorn impartible, and also nonsaleable for arrears of rent. The 
number of such jaigirs within the present limits of the district 
is 52, comprising the whole or portions of 99 villages. Kasaipar 


contains the largest number, i.e., 20, of which the jaigir of Mudali 
comprises no loss than 15 villages: Mahal contains 17, of which 
Bharamahal comprising G villages and portions of 11 others and 
Asansol with a one-third share of 16 villages are the largest. 
Bagda contains 9 jaigirs, and Para and Cheliama three each, 
the jaigir in each case consisting of a single village. It is 
noticeable that the Kilsaipar jaigirs form almost a continuous 
line along the Barabhum and Baghmundi borders, and the other 
pargana in which jaigirs are most numerous is also an outlying- 
one, bordering on the Bhuiya estates of the north Damodar area 
and of the Hazaribagh district. No specific details are forth- 
coming, but it is a fact that in some of the jaigirs (Sirkabad 
and Mudali in pargana Kasaipar) there are still tabedars, 
and there can be little doubt that originally a consider- 
able force of subordinate ghatwals was maintained by 
the Jaiglrdars, of whom those of Mudali, Bharamahal and 
Asansol hold positions not very different from those of the groat 
taraf sardars of Barabhum. The majority of the jaigirs are 
still, it is said, in the hands of the original families who claim, 
in most cases, to be Chattris or Rajputs, though their claims 
have probably as little foundation in fact as those of the 

The only other parganas in which ghatwals styled digwars Digwars 
in possession of digwari tenures are found are Jhalda and Begun- p-'^'."'^'"'' 
kodar to the west of Panchet, and Jharia and Pandra in the north Jhaida' 
of the district. In the report of Munshi Nandji on the Q-hatwali ^"^ 
Survey of 1880-83 it is stated that all these estates were in earlier kodar. 
days subordinate to Panchet and we are left to infer that the 
origin of the digwari holdings here is the same as that of the 
digwari holdings in Panchet. But neither the statement nor the 
inference is entirely an accurate one in the case of Pandra, 
at any rate, which for sixty years before the permanent 
settlement, was subordinate to Birbhum rather than Panchet ; of 
the other throe, it is only in the case of Jhalda that there is any 
definite evidence of its partial subordination to Panchet. It is 
impossible, therefore, to say that the fact that there are digwari 
tenures in these estates and not in Katras, Nawagarh and the 
smaller estates of the north, or in Baghmundi, Jaypur and other 
smaller estates bordering on Jhalda and Panchet is due to the 
connection of the former with Panchet ; as a matter of fact, the 
origin of these tenures is entirely obscure, and all that can be said 
with any definiteness is that they differ from most of those in 
Panchet in that they were not specifically excluded from the 
assets of the estate at the time of the Decennial Settlement. 

222 MlNBHUM. 

In Jharia there is a single tenure consisticg of two villages, 
the digwar of which maintains 4 naibs and 2 tabedars ; the dig- 
war pays a quit-rent of Es. 64 per annum to the zamindar, who, 
it may be noted, pays in his turn Es. 36 as Digwari Cess to 
Government. This tenure has recently been the subject of litiga- 
tion in regard to the question of mineral rights, and an attempt 
was made by the zamindar to show that the digwar and his 
predecessors were mere ijdrddors and not dig wars or jaigirdars. 
The contrary view was, however, taken by the High Court, who 
rejected the finding that the tenure could only date from some 
time after 1833 when the zamindar was divested of police powers^ 
and held that so far as there is any evidence it must be presumed 
from it that this tenure is analogous in origin and nature to the 
gbatwali tenures of Birbhum. The decision is an important one 
as materially affecting the decision of any future disputes between 
Government or ghatwal and the zamindars as to the proprietary 
rights in minerals, its finality is not, however, assured as an 
appeal has been filed before the Privy Council. 

In Pandra 13 ghatwali holdings covering 11,069 bighas were 
demarcated in 1880-83, and according to the registers these 
maintain a force of 7 digwars, 2 naib digwars, 2 village sardars 
and 35 tabedars. The bulk of the latter are mere paid subor- 
dinates of the digwars; the two sardars appear to Ve independent. 
Nothing can be asserted definitely of the origin of these tenures, 
but it is noteworthy that the most extensive of tliem, i e., those 
which comprise whole villages, are found in groups along the 
extreme southern and northern limits of the estate ; the smaller 
tenures are found here and there in the interior of the estate ; the 
antiquity of the former is undoubted, and also their similarity to 
the digwari tenures of Panchet except in the matter of liability 
to quit-rent to the zamindar, and it may safely be assumed that 
their origin was similar to that of the ghatwali tenures in the 
adjoining district of Birbhum. The smaller tenures differ but 
little from ordinary chaukidari chakran lands and are important 
neither from an historical or a police point of view. 

In proportion to their size Jhalda and Begunkodar support a 
larger force of rural police. In Jhalda 7 tenures covering 6,509 
bighas were demarcated supporting 2 digwars, 1 naib digwar, 
5 sardars and 14 tabedars, 22 men in all. In Begunkodar there 
are eight tenures with an area of 8,973 bighas, maintaining 
11 village sardars and 27 tabedars. Between the digwars of 
Jhalda and the sardars of Begunkodar no practical distinction 
can be drawn, nor any explanation offered on the diiler- 
ence in title. All appear to be equally ancient in origin and 


to date from boforo the Permanent Settlement, and like 
those of Jharia and Pandra, and the jaigirs of Panchet, to be 
analogous in origin and nature to the Birbbuni ghatwali tenures 
The subordinate ghatwals are in all cases, like their superiors, 
holders of quasi -hereditary posts, and entitled on appointment to 
hold lands regularly set aside for the purpose. 

There are also, as already noticed, digwars without tenures in Disrwars 
Marra and Jaynagar, parganas of the Panchet estate, and similar without 
digwars, remunerated either in cash by the zamindar, or by 
dasturt collected from tenants, .pxist in the estates of Nawa- 
garh, Katras, Jaynagar and Jaypur. The very fact that no 
lands are attached to these posts suggests a different origin, and 
there can bo no doubt that they are relies of the time when the 
zaraindars had charge of the police as Darogas, and hud to find 
special establishments where necessary, as for exa.mple in the 
early days of the Grand Trunk Road, for the protection of 
travellers along particular roads Special police were organised 
for the Grrand Trunk Road in 1863 and the northern zamindars 
were relieved of this charge, and assessed in lieu thereof to what 
is now known as Digwari Cess, the proceeds of which go to the 
Road Patrol Fund, and the solitary digwars are left as a relic 
of the once considerable force supplied by the zamindars alou<»- 
this road. It is interesting to notice that dasfiiri is still paid by 
the villagers to several of the regular digwars of the Panchet 
estate, and Ihe demand is not confined to these landless digwars. 

Collection was in former days enforced by issue of warrants 
under the signature of the Deputy Commissioner, but in more 
recent years the digwars liave been left to their own devices. It 
is not recorded whether on any occasion they have succeeded in 
recovering from., defaulters through the civil court, but probably 
they have not. 

There remain now of the service tenures only those of theSorvire 
four parganas Manbhum, Barabhum, Kailapal and P^tkum, f^*'""'*'* 
which are remarkable for their number and exfout, uud in tJie case Mrnii.hum, 
of Barabhum especially for the intricacy of the questions which I!"^?'-^-,"' 
have arisen as to their exact origin nnd status. According to the and 
figures furnished by the Ghal wali Survey of 1880-83 Manbhum P'^^''""- 
contains 117 tenures comprisiug 7<),8')0 biglia", nearly one-sixth 
of the pargana area, and supporting two digwars, 114 village 
sardars, and 321 tabedars. Of the tenures 45 are entire villages 
and the remainder either fractional shares or isolated plots within 
villages. Kailapal, which is a small pargana 25 square miles in 
extent, has 9 tenures, i.e., throe whole villages and scattered lands 
in six others, with a total area of 2,514 bighas ; in each villao-e 


there is a sardar, and under the nine sardars are 13 tabedars. 
In Patkum, with an area of nearly 300 square miles, 38,754 big-has 
or 20 square miles were demarcated as ghatwali in 45 villages 
supporting 3 sardar ghatwals, 31 village sardars, and 43 tabe- 
dars. The largest area of ghatwali land is in Barabhum where 
no less than 27 1 square miles, or 42 per cent, of the whole area of 
the estate, go to form 336 tenures maintaining a force of 9 sardar 
ghatwals, 9 sadiyals, 308 village sardars, and 766 tabedars. 

Kailapal. Of the tenures in Kailapal it need only be said that they are 
of comparatively small importance ; the estate was not assessed to 
G-overnment revenue till as late as 1862, and beyond the fact that 
it was still a wild and almost uncultivated area as late as Granga 
Narayan Singh's rebellion in 1833 we have uo knowledge of its 
earlier condition ; the ghatwali tenures are probably of com- 
paratively recent origin and they may either represent regular 
Mundari khimtkalti villages, or, as is not improbable, either 
maintenance grants to relatives of the zamindar or semi-military 
fiefs given to his chief retainers. The zamindar of Kailapal was 
a " chuar " of the " chuars " continually raiding his neighbours, 
and it is only to be expected therefore that we should find him 
surrounded by vassals for whose support specific lands were set 

Manbiiuiu. The ghatwals of Manbhum have not received the same careful 
study as those of the adjoining estate of Barabhum ; all traces of 
any division into tarafs or large semi- feudal estates have been lost, 
and it is noticeable that a considerable proportion of the ghatwals 
are Bauris or Bagdis and not Bhumij. No distinction can be 
drawn between the digwars and sardars: the latter are not 
subordinate in any way to the former, and as a matter of fact the 
titles seem to be interchangeable, as at present ^the number of 
superior ghatwals known as digwars is five instead of two, and 
that of sardars proportionately reduced. A few only of the 
G-hats consist of more than one village, and there is a much larger 
proportion of part villages, and scattered small pieces of land 
constituting the tenures of the sardars than is the case in 
Barabhum. Whether this points to a difference in origin or 
merely in development is a matter of opinion, and the known 
facts are too scanty to form a basis for any definite decision. 

Barabhum. Patkum and Barabhum are differentiated from other areas by 
the fact that there is a more distinct and definite organisation of 
the ghatwals ; elsewhere (if we except some of the digwars and 
jaigirdars of Panchet) the tenure is usually confined to a village 
or at the most two or three villages, and the subordinate ghatwals 
are more of the nature of paid retainers of the sardars or village 


ghatwals. In Barabhum -wo find tho whole series of tenures 
grouped into large divisions to which the name taraf is given. 
Four of these have a higher status than the rest, i.e.^ Pancha 
Sardari, Satrakhani, Tinsaya and Dhadka, comprising respectively 
59, 75, 28 and 42 villages ; the remaining four, though recog- 
nised as taraf s, may be classed as minor. Five of these taraf s, 
the four major and Bangurda, have a recognised taraf sardar 
or sardar ghatwal; two others, Sarberia and Kumaripar, have 
each two who hold jointly ; the remaining one, Gartoli, ia 
without a sardar, though it includes as many as 45 villages. In 
Gartoli and Kumaripar village sardars pay their quit-rent direct 
to the zamindar ; in the others the zamindar'a dues are paid by 
the taraf sardar, who collects quit-rents from the ghatwals of 
subordinate degrees. 

The origin of these tenures has been the subject of much 
discussion, and received the particular attention of Mr. (now Sir 
H. H.) Risley when employed as Superintendent of the Ghatwali 
Survey in Maubhum in 1880-1883. The circumstances which led 
to this survey being undertaken were the endless disputes which 
arose out of the want of definiteness as to the areas which were 
covered by the quit rents payable by the ghatwals to the zamin- 
dar, and as to their liability to pay rent or increased rent for non- 
ghatwali areas held by them. These disputes were brought to a 
head when the whole of the ghatwali tarafa of Barabhum were 
leased by the zamindar to Messrs. Watson & Company, who 
naturally had less compunction in pressing their claims against 
the ghatwals than the zamindar, and were in a position to spend, 
if necessary^ large sums in fighting out the various issues in the 
courts of law. 

The Sucvey of 1880 and following years was conducted by The 
Munshi Nandji and covered the whole area then claimed by Ghatwali 
ghatwals, by whatever name known, throughout the district ; 1880-83. 
it disclosed in Barabhum the fact that the ghatwals claimed and 
were in actual possession of large areas in excess of what was 
professedly recorded as such in the list known as the isamnavm of 
1833. Rightly or wrongly, a certain amount of fi.nality had 
been attached to this document in virtue of a rubakdri of Colonel 
Oakes, Deputy Commissioner in 1862, which stated that on 
enquiry he learnt that it had been prepared by Captain Nicholson 
with the concurrence of the zamindar and ghatwals, summoned 
in for the purpose, and had been approved by Captain Wilkinson, 
the Governor- General's Agent. This list was accordingly made The 
the basis of a so-called compromise between Government, the ^oppw- 
zamindar (or rather his patnidars, Messrs. Watson & Co.) i884. 

226 manbhum, 

and the ghatwals, the area demarcated as ghatwali being strictly 
confined to that shown in the isamnavhi, and the remainder 
actually held by the ghatwals described as excess. For the 
excess land terms were prescribed on which settlement of it 
could be taken by ghatwals of different degrees from the patni- 
dars, the basis of the calculation being certain rates of rent for 
different classes of lands. When the ghatwal refused settlement 
on these terms, the land became the zamindar's mdl land, and it 
was open to him or his patnidars to settle with any one they 
pleased on the best terms they could get. Pnum facie the terms 
were fair to all parties, the ghatwals were confirmed and Iheir 
rents fixed in perpetuity in respect of all. lands which they were 
apparently entitled to hold as ghatwals, and they were given 
the chance of obtaining a regular and permanent settlement of 
the remainiug areas claimed by them on favourable terms, 
t Three out of the four major tarafs were then under management 

as attached or encumbered estates, and the terms were accepted 
on behalf of these by the Commissioner; the signature of the 
taraf eardars themselves were also obtained to the document and 
also of many of the village eardars. 
The result 8 But when it came to give effect to the compromise the ghat- 
of the ^a^ig -^ere as unwilling as ever to give up any of the lands they 
misc. held or to take a fresh settlement of them on the terms proposed. 
In the case of two of the tarafs Grovernment, as Manager, was 
held to be bound by the compromise to give effect to it, and 
though it was pointed out that it was impossible to make the 
tenants pay rents at the rates which had been laid down as those on 
which the payments by the inferior ghatwals to their superior and 
by the latter to the patnidar were to be based, settlement on these 
terms was actually made. In one taraf (Satarakh&ni) the sardar 
was sufiiciently powerful to force Messrs, Watson and Company 
subsequently to give him a permanent lease of his whole taraf on a 
fixed rent, much smaller in amount than would have been the 
rent payable on the compromise terms ; other sardars for the most 
part refused settlement, and at the same time resisted any interfer- 
ence by the Company with the excess lands in their possession. 
The result in most cases was the same. The ghatwal, when he had 
taken settlement, could not pay his rent, was sued and sold up ; 
tenants with whom settlement was made in default of the ghatwal 
jould not obtain possession, defaulted and were also sold up, and 
the bulk of the so-caUed excess land thus came into possession of 
the Company through the courts. Meantime the ghatwal has 
still to pay for his ghatwali lands the same panchak which for- 
merly covered the whole of the land held by him, and in a 


considerable niniibor of cases this also fell into arrears, and the 
ghatwali holdings, put up to sale with the permission of the 
Commissioner under Notification No. 1240 L.R., dated 7th March 
1903, have also been bought in and the purchaser, generally Mr. 
MathewBon, ^vho succeeded to the interests of Messrs. Watson and 
Company, was appointed ghatwal. So far therefore as the gbat- 
wals generally are concerned, the compromise of 1884 has had 
most disastrous results, though there are still many cases wliere 
individual ghatwals have been sufficiently strong to resist the 
efforts of the Company to oust them, and several cases in which 
the courts have ruled that their signature to the compromise was 
obtained by undue pressure and that they are not bound by it,mu 

i^«» •'X llG colli* 

In the most recent case the decision goes further, as it has been promise 
definitely ruled by the High Court that prior to the compro- b^the^"^ 
mise of 1884 the taraf sardar of Tinsaya held as a tenure-holder Court, 
the whole of a particular village Erka (and the ruling applies 
equally to other villages of the taraf; in which the isamnarisi and the • 

compromise showed only 4 rckhfi of cultivated land as ghatwali. 

There can be litle question that this decision is a just one, 
and that the theories on which the compromise of 1 884 was based 
were mistaken, and that in attempting to force the compromise 
on the ghatwals a great injustice was done to many of them. 
This will be apparent from the following analysis of the documen- 
tary evidence of earlier date than 1833 relating to these tenures. 

Though the word ' ghatwal ' is not found in any document docu- 
earlier than the esaw;jflt'««j of J 824, the existence of sardars and">^"*a'y 
paiks in Barabhum is frequently referred to in papers relating of 'eariy* 
to the early years of British rule. In 1794 the zamindar origin. 
Raghunath' Narayan asked for military assistance against his Sardars 
brother Lachman Singh who had entered into alliance with?"*^ P*^^* 
*'the five sarciars" (i'awc/'S«r;/an) and had "brought the chudrs^nnA 
of village Berma (to this day the headquarters of Taraf ^''''®'' 
Tinsaya) and five or seven villages under his own influence and^^^"' 
has been oppresdng the tenants." This rebellion of the Pancha- 
sardari assumed such dimensions that in March 1796 it was 
proposed to reinforce the local military detachment and attack 
them in the jungle of Dalma, but before troops were ready, the 
paiks came in of their own accord and acknowledged the Raja's 
authority, promising to restore the cattle they had lifted and pay 
their rent regularly in future. 

Writing a few yeai's later in 1800, Mr. Strachey, Magistrate of Mr. 
Midnapore, to which district Barabhum was then attached, ^^rachey's 
describes the state to which Barabhum had been reduced by the [[arsbbum 
struggles between the parties supporting the lival claims of the — 1800. 

Q 2 


two minor sons of Baghunath wlio had died early in 1798. In this 
dispute the sardars had taken sides and Lai Singh of Sauri* 
ancestor of the present sardar of Satarakhani, headed one party, 
and Kishen Pathar of Panchsardari the other. Gruman Grunjan 
of Dhadka had been outlawed for raids in Dhalbhum. and was 
then in hiding to avoid arrest. Writing of these Mr. Strachey 
says : " Several sardars of paiks occupy considerable portions of 
land, and enjoy profits, some of them nearly equal to what the 
zamindari yields to the zamindar. The sardars may be considered 
the talukdars of Barabhum, and Ihey have commonly acknow- 
ledged the zamindar as their chief. Their ancestors have for 
many generations possessed the land occupied by them. They 
have, however, of late made very considerable encroachments, 
and several causes have conspired to increase the number of their 
followers." In the same report he describes the reasons for the 
failure of the Daroga system of police introduced by Regulation 
' XXII of 1793, and asserts that the only effective police were the 

sardar paiks or chuars. He proposed to aboHsh the regular police 
as useless and to offer a general pardon to Lai Singh and the other 
sardars and to arrange a general settlement between them and the 
zamindar, and to engage them " to defend the lands which they 
have been employed so long in desolating." 
Identity In another paragraph of his interesting report he states that 

of the a j^Q tolerable police system can be established in Barabhum 
and without the assistance of the sardars, and that, therefore, unless 

th^'? Tr^^ ^^®y receive sanads as the zamindars have done, empowering 
ghatwals. them to act as police officers, they must be encouraged to make 
their peace with the zamindar." Mr. Strachey's proposals met 
with the approval of Government, and he was authorised to 
offer the sardSrs a general pardon for all past offence.s, conditional, 
however, on their future good behaviour, and " to make such 
use of the sardar paiks in Barabhum as circumstances may appear 
to render expedient or necessary." Lai Singh and the other 
sardars were accordingly pardoned, and it is to be inferred that 
Mr. Strachey gave effect to the rest of his proposals, and made 
the sardars responsible, under the Managers of the estates, for 
the peace of the zamindari generally. In a later report it is 
stated that a number of new paiks were appointed, but whether 
by this is meant sardar paiks, or merely paiks under the pardoned 
sardars, or directly under the Managers, is not clear. 

Apart from any other evidence, the above is enough to show 

that ghatwals, under the name of sardars and paiks and having a 

efinite status as police, were recognised very eaiiy in the period 

of British rule, and that certain of the sardars, the Panchasardar 


or their chief Kishen Pathar, Lai Singh of Satarakhani, 
and Q-umau Granjan of Dhadka held a very prominent position. 
Mr. Strachoy's proposals in 1800 suggest more regularised 
employment of them as police, and no doubt it was these propos- 
als that originated the present elaborate arrangement, but at the 
same time they apparently imply that even before this tho 
sardars had obligations in this respect and were supposed to 
carry them out through their subordinates or paiks. The general 
impression conveyed is that the earlier organisation was a 
semi-military one rather than one of internal police, that the 
leading sardars had in the past admitted their liability, but that 
latterly, in the disturbances arising out of the two disputed 
successions, had got out of hand and taken to employing their 
forces against one another and against the zamindar and Q-ov- 
emment rather than against outsiders. The pardon offered 
them by Mr. Strachey saved their tenures or estates from tho • 

forfeiture, to which their misconduct had rendered them liable, 
and in return they allowed themselves to be organised into a 
more or less regular police force with definite obligations to the 
zamindar as head of the zamindari police. 

Of the recognition of their various tenures, even as early as Existence 
1789-90, the year the Decennial Settlement was completed with °J ^^j^^*^*^° 
Raja Raghunath Narayan, there is positive evidence in a list of tenures lu 
villages which exists for that year in the shape of the so-called •'^^^* 
quinquennial papers. These, read with certain papers filed by 
the Tahsildars and Managers of the estate while under Govern- 
ment management for the years 1205, 1206 and 1207 (1798-1800) 
and entitled ekjai mahadad or ekjai jamd-wdsil-bdki, throw a 
clear light on the early history of the ghatwali tenures. The 
quinquennial papers give a list of the rent-paying villages of the 
estate, 149 in all, and among the entries appear the following :— 







Raj da 




Rs. A. 


137 8 


147 8 




137 8 


66 12 









entry in 
the eJcjai 
papers of 
1205 as 

And iu 
tbone of 

As to the identification of the first four with the four major 
tarafs of Panchasardari, Dhadka, Satarakhaui and Tinsaya there 
oan be no question. Bangurda and Sarberia are two of the 
minor tarafs, and Punrara and Rajda or Bajra are to this day the 
respective headquarters of the two sardars who are jointly 
classed as the Taraf Sardars of Jiumaripar. There is of course 
nothing in this list to indicate the nature of the tenures which 
these groups of villages constituted, but the very fact of their 
being so grouped, e.g.^ Dhadka, etc., 14 villages, conclusively shows 
that the J were held in one interest, and that, if it were necessary 
to sell a portion of the estate in order to realise the revenue (this 
was the primary object of the quinquennial papers), the group, 
that is to say the zamindar's interest iu it represented by the 
jama disclosed in the statement, would have to be sold as a whole 

The ekjai mahadad of 1205 (1798) is signed by Ganga 
Gobinda Narayan, one of the two claimants and eventually the 
successful claimant to the succession. It gives details of the 
demand under various heads from 71 villages, apparently those 
under direct management or held by members of the family by 
way of maintenance, specifying in each case the name of the 
holder. There then follows a list of 18 mahals comprising 64 
villages and headed '•'■ mahal hhuml Jdni.'^ Among these the 
first four are entitled "Lai Singh, Q-uman Ganjnn, Pancha- 
sardar, and Tinsaya " with 11, 14, 13 and 13 villages respec- 
tively and total Jamas, including batta and deudni, of Es. 267, 
Es. 137-8, Es. 190 and Es. 137-8. Lai Singh's villages 
(Satarakhani) are reduced from 17 to 11, Guman Ganjan's 
(Dhadka) Jama is reduced by Es. 10, and that of PgLUchasardari 
raised by Es. 52-8, but in other respects the entries exactly 
correspond with those of the 1197 list. 

Of the other entries Hatu Sardar's two villages on a Ja7na 
of Es. 67-8 are identifiable by means of the later ekJai papers 
with Banguda, etc., 2 villages (Bangurda and Band), Jama 
Es. 66-12 of the 1197 list ; Birbar Singh's one village on Es. 12-4 
is possibly identifiable with Sarberia. Of the others described 
by the names of their holders, it may be possible by careful 
enquiry as to the ancestry of present ghatwals to identify some 
of the names and attach them to villages. One village name 
only appears, Atsimul held on a Jama of Es. 6, and this is now one 
of the part ghatwali villages of Panchasardari. 

Similar lists of Mahal Bhumijani appear in the ekJai papers 
of the two following years, which are statements of collections 
as well as of demands and profess to be prepared on behalf of 
the zamindar by the two muharrirs of Eaja Nan da Lai Singh, 


the rival claimantB' uncle, to whose management the estate had 

been entrusted. The list is, liowever, curtailed and includes 

only eight mahals, i.e., the four major tarafs, Birbar Singh 

(possibly Sarberia, tide above), Lay a Barga Sinha against whose 

name appears Bangurda in Mr. llisley's report, Garwarah or 

Gemarah held by Bajnath Singh, possibly a village in Sarberia, 

and Sukhla Sabna Singh, not identified. The number of villages 

is no longer given and there are further changes in the Jdina^ 

due in part, at any rate, tis the details of the statement show, 

to a difference in Oiilculation of the batia and the omission of 

the cess dewdni charged in the 1205 statement. Between the 

1206 and 1207 lists also there are differences, and it is only in 

the latter that we get for the four main tarafs (this word is used 

for the first time in the ] 207 list) the exact Jamas (exclusive 

of bat (a) which we know from Mr. Dent's report of 1833 

remained till Madhab ^ingh doubled them some time before 

the revolt of the preceding year and which appear as ' panchak ' ' 

in the isamnavisi of 1833, i.e. Satarakhani Es. 240, Pancha- 

sardari and Tinsaya Rs. 160 each, and Dhadka Rs. 120. 

These papers then, by themselves, establish what was reason- '^^^ ^'*°^' 

L r T J major 

ably inferred from the less detailed lisi. of 1197 that the four tarafs 
major tarafs at any rate existed as recogrnised tenures of consider- <Jefinitely 
able extent at the time of the Permanent Settlement ; that they as tenuifs 
were of considerable extent appears from the number of villages i"^'""*. '° 
they comprised, i.e., 57 out of a total of 149 rent-paying villages diately 
in the estate. II: would also be reasonable to infer that the rents ^^^^ ^^® 
may have been more or less privileged but not mere quit-rents, as ent Settle- 
for rather more than one-third of the estate as reckoned by vH- ™c"*- 
lages and even now containing a large area of unculturable hill and 
jungle and in those days undoubtedly a very wild and hardly 
developed area, the total rent demand from these four tarafs is 
put down in 1789 as Rs. 689-8 out of Es. 2,642-5, the total 
mufassiiyrtwja of the estate. Jf^'Sh^Si 

Exactly what the title ' Bhumi jani ', as applied to these jani. 
mahals, conveyed at the time it was used, cannot now be ascer- 
tained, but it is difficult to account for its use unless it was in- 
tended to describe tenures to which some particular incidents 
attached, and not merely that they were held by Bhumij, though 
it is an interesting fact that looking through the names shown 
against the "■ Dekat'\ ^^ Khas Khdinar" and ''Mahal jut'' vil- 
lages of the estate, the names of Kurmis, Sonthals and others, 
but only in very occasional instances, of Bhumij appear as the 
holders of the villages. On the other hand, all the names in the 
earliest Bhumij ani list (that of 1205), except possibly Madhu 

232 MiNBHUM. 

Digwar, are clearly Bhumij names, and so also are those of most 
of the holders of villages shown under c/idkran, except such as* 
are obviously servants, etc., of the zamindar, i.e., Khawas, Kabi- 
raj, Hukabardar and the like. 

Whatever the exact nature, there can be no question that the 
Bhumij ani Mahals were distinct and separate tenures, and as dis- 
tinguished from the chakran tenures to be referred to later, it is 
noticeable that the lists in no case give the names of the vil- 
lages, and that no cesses other than batta and, in the earliest list 
only, dewdtii also, were charged against them and no abwab 
except in the case of one of the smaller Mahals, Garuara. All 
these facts seem to point to a class of tenure with the internal 
details of which the zamindar had little concern, liable to pay a 
fixed tribute and nothing more except, if such was the case, police 
or military service. 
The _ In Mr. Eisley's report the view is taken that these Bhumijan 

tenure ■'not ^^nuTes Were held by the sardars as something apart from the 
distinct lands held by them in consideration of their performing service 
ghatwaii^ for the Zamindar or Government. It is unnecessary to go into 
or jaigir. the rcasonings on which this conclusion is based ; it is sufficient 
to say that the assumption that the ekjai papers are incomplete 
and that, if complete, there would have been a list of ' Mahal 
jaigir^ is incorrect. The papers of 1206 begin with an 
abstract of the different classes of villages giving the total jama 
for each and the details given in the succeeding pages exactly 
correspond ; there can be no question therefore that the papers 
are complete, and that for the four major tarafs at any rate the 
only details are those found under the head of * Bhumij ani '. 
Moreover, the word 'jaigir' actually appears in the heading 
of one of the columns of this abstract, viz., "deduction on 
account of chakran jaigir*\ under which an entry appears 
against the cross heading " chakran " ; jaigir cannot, therefore, 
be something distinct from chakran, and no separate list of jaigirg 
was required. It follows, therefore, that the only tenures held 
by the four taraf sardars in the period covered by the 10 years 
succeeding the Decennial Settlement were those described as 
Mahal Bhumij ani; how far these were ordinary and how far 
service tenures will be discussed later. 
Origin of Before doing so the results of an examination of the chakran 
caUed ^^^^^ Contained in the ekjai papers are worthy of consideration, 
minor as theso furnish particulars of some of the tenures which make 
Kn^urda ^P ^^® other 60-called minor tarafs. 

Bangurda (which now contains 1 whole village, 4 rekhs in 
three and detached lands in two others) has been identified 


above with the two villages shown in 1205 Bhuniijani list 
against the name of Hatu Sardar on a jama of lis. 67-8. His 
name does not appear in the 1206 list, but under chakron of 
that year is the entry Mauzas Band and Hangurda, Chatu Sardar, 
Es. 67-8 rent and batPi^ besides various cesses. The isamnavisi 
of 1833 gives the sardar of Bangurda only 4 rekhs in Band but 
he was still in possession of the whole village in 1880. 

Kumaripar (/.e, beyond the Kumari river) has two taraf sar- Knmari- 
dars, each of whom has seven whole villages under him ; there are P**"* 
besides these 45 villages containing small areas of ghatwali land 
nominally within the taraf, but not actually any part of the 
taraf sardars' charge. The Mahal Bhumijani lists contain no 
entries which can be identified with these two sardars, but the 
tenures are clearly identifiable among the Mahal Chakran, the 
first two entries in which are Bajra or Eajda and four other villages 
in charge of Aini Sardar and Punrara with five other villages in 
charge of Asman Sardar ; the majority of the village names are 
clearly identifiable with those of villages now in the two taraf 
sardars' possession, and Bajra and Punrara are to this day their 
respective headquarters. Both groups, as was noticed before, 
appear as such in the village list of 1789, Pudara with a jama of 
Es. 20 for six villages and Bajra of Es. 30 for five. The ekjai 
papers give the detailed jama for the separate villages and exclu- 
sive of ahicdb and deducting the allowance for chakran the rents 
for the two tenures in 1206 were respectively Es. 46 and Es. 20. 
The panchak now payable, which is according to the isamnavisi of 
1833 and includes mamul khajana and various cesses, is respect- 
ively Es. 69-3-6 and Es. 60-13. 

These tenures have therefore continued practically unchanged 
since before the Permanent Settlement, though they have not 
apparently enjoyed the same fixity of rent as the four major tenures. 

The identification of Sarberia is not so easy but the fact that garberia. 
it has at present two taraf sardars points, as in the case of 
Kumaripar, to an origin in two distinct tenures. One of these is 
apparently the Bhumijani Mahal Dhuni Birbar Singh, corres- 
ponding perhaps to the village Sarberia, the other Gemarah or 
Garuarah held by Baijnath Singh, which also finds a place in all 
three lists of Bhumijani Mahals. The two sardars were in 1884 
in possession of only four reklis of Sarberia, but held the whole of 
villages Kudlong, Jiling and Mahisadabar in spite of the faci. that 
the isamnavisi of 1834 only gave them fractions of these villages. 
Now a village list of 1279 Fasli filed by the zamindar, to which 
reference will be made later, shows Jiling as a chak of Gerua (the 
map name is Garwara), Mahisadabar as a chak of Sarberia, and 






in the 










Kudlong as a c/iak of Sinduri, and of the 20 villages in whieli 
there are ghatwali lands in this taraf more than half are shown 
as oif shoots of these tlu'ee villages. There is every reason, there- 
fore, to believe that taraf Sarberia originated in these two 
Bhuraijani Mahals of Birbar and Baijnath Singh. 

Other entries also in the c;dkrau list related to villages which 
fall within one or other of these minor tarafs and of Gartoli. 
Raigara and Ohechangdih in which there are now (following the 
1833 isainnavisi) only lands requiring 2 or 3 maunds of seed, 
were held as a chdkran by Khosal Sardar on a net rent excluding 
dhudb of Rs. 29, Bamu in the same taraf by Chamu Sardar 
for Rs. 60, Digram by Ranjit Ray for Rs. 50, Darberia 
(Kumaripar) and Parasya (Grartoli ) by Bauri Sardar for Rs. 9, 
Hulung (Grartoli) with Padampur by Sagar Sardar free of rent 
Of these it is worth notice that Raigara, Bamu and Hulung 
were still in 1880 entirely held by the ghatwal, though the 
isamnavisi shows portions only as ghatwali ; the last-named village 
being in fact the only case in the whole of the so-called taraf 
of Gartoli iu which an entire village is held by the ghatwal. 
In this taraf also is Pargala, of which 2 rekhs are now ghatwali; 
this through the chdkran list of 1206 is identifiable with the 
Bhumijani Mahal shown in 1205 in the name of Madhu Digwar, 
Kumaripar would, therefore, appear to bo largely made up of a 
number of distinct chdkran tenures having no connection with one 
another; Grartoli, which has no Taraf Sardar and which in 
Mr, Dent's report of 1833 is the name given to the portion of the 
estate constituting the Raja's khaha villages and has now locally 
an alternative name, viz., Dubraji, i.e., that part of the estate in 
which the Dubraj or eldest son's maintenance villages lie (another 
of Mr. Dent's divisions of the estate), had evidently no separate 
existence as a superior tenure and its ghatwali holdings are 
to this day mere scattered lands in villages spread over the 
central part of the estate in which the khdi khdmar, dehat, 
mahal jat and babudria villages, i.e., villages held by the Raja 
and his relations, lay ; in fact there are now ghatwali holdings 
in many of the villages included in the lists of 1205 to 1207 
under those heads. The same applies to those parts of Kumaripar 
which are outside the two main tenures and the smaller ones 
referred to in the preceding paragraph. 

The (dassification of some of these tenures as Mahal Bhumi- 
jani in the papers of one year and as Mahal Chakran in those of 
the succeeding years suggests^ at any rate, that the distinction 
between the two was not very great, and in view of what 
Mr. Strachey wiites of the services of the sardars and paika as 


police there can be very littlo^doubt that specific duties attached 
to the holding of the Bhuinijani tenures as well as to those 
specifically described as c/idkran. The village list of 1197, 
moreover, read with the ekjai papers, conclusively shows that the 
four major t'lrafs, and also what may be called the nuclei of the 
minor tarafs Bangurda, Sarberia and Kuraaripar date from 
before the Permanent Settlement. The settlement of the estate 
was made in the lump, and it cannot, therefore, bo said that 
these tenures were like the Panchet Digwari tenures excluded 
from the Permanent Settlement, but there can be little question 
that one of the considerations which led to the low revenue, fixed 
first in 1776, being left as the revenue to be permanently settled, 
must have been the knowledge of the fact that a large part of 
the estate was permanently alienated in tenures held at low 
rates of rent and subject to services which would become render- 
able to Government in virtue of the terms of that settlement. 
This view is supported by Mr. Harington who in his Analysis of 
the Regulations, Calcutta 1814—1817, Yolume II, pages 235- 
230, Volume III, pages 509-512, distinguishes ordinary c'idkrr/n 
and ghatwali tenures. "The ghatwali tenure, however," he 
writes, " as ascertained from the result of inquiries made by the 
Magistrates of zillas Burdwan, Birbhum, and the Jungle Mahals, 
and oommunioated to the Court of Nizamut Adawlat in the year 
1816, differs essentially from the common chdkran in two 
respects ; ' first, that being expressly granted for purposes of police, 
at a low assessment, which has been allowed for, in adjusting 
the revenue payable by the landholders to Grovernment, at the 
formation of , the Permanent Settlement, the land is not liable to 
resumption nor the assessment to be raised beyond the established 
rate at the discBotion of the landholders ; secondly, that although 
the grant is not expressly hereditary, and the ghatwal is remove- 
able from his office, and the lands attached to it, for misconduct, 
it is the general usage on the death of a ghatwal, who has faith- 
fully executed the trust committed to him, to appoint his son, if 
competent, or some other fit person in his family, to succeed to 
the office'. The above discrimination between the ghatwali 
tenure, which being an appropriation of land at a low Jama for 
a police establishment, may be considered within the fourth 
clause of section YIII, Regulation I, 1793; and the common 
chdkran assignments in lieu of wages to zamindari servants, 
which have been annexed to the malgoozari lands and declared 
issponsible for the public assessment, by section 41, Regulation 
YIII, 1793, is taken verbatim from a letter written by order 
of the Nizamut Adawlat to the Calcutta Court of Circuit on 


the 30th Octoher 1816. It is probable that some specific 
provisions may hereafter be enacted for defining more 
exactly the rights of the ghatwals referred to. At present, 
however, those of Zilla Birbhum only are included in the enact- 
ments of Eegulation XXIX, 1814." 

The description given in this paragraph seems to be in every 
respect applicable to these Barabhiim tenures, ■whether described 
as mahal bhumijani or chdkran, which latter are quite distinct 
from the common chakran given to personal servants, of which, 
judging by the names Khawas, Kabiraj, and Hukabardar, the 
mahal chdkran lists of 1205, 1206 and 1207 contain a number of 
examples. In connection with the term 'bhumijani' it maybe 
mentioned that in the leading digtvdri case of district Hazari- 
bagh (Nam Narayan Singh vs. Tikait (janjhu, Calcutta Weekly 
Notes, XII, 178) what purported to be copies of lists of " digwara, 
ghatwars, and bhuinhars" for the years 1799 and 1806, said to 
have been furnished by the Rajas of Eamgarh to Government, 
were produced. Between the original meanings of ' bhumij ' and 
'bhuinhar' there is little or no distinction, and the use of the 
latter term in the Hazaribagh district in conjunction with the 
terms 'digwar' and 'ghatwar' suggests at once that these parti- 
cular bhuinhars had specific police duties attached to them as 
early as 1799, and that they were classed, like the digwars and 
ghatwars, as service tenure-holders owing service to Grovernment. 
In another case (Nilmoni Singh vs. Bir Singh) it was observed 
that " there can be little doubt that these rural police were 
variously named at different times and in different districts, but 
as guardians of the ghats or passes they are better known in later 
times as ghatwals." 

It has been necessary to deal at this length with the 
evidence of the early existence of these tenures because so 
much has been made of the absence of any trace of the use of 
the word 'ghatwali' prior to the isamnavm of 1824, and in 
conjunction with the statement that after Mr. Strachey's re- 
organisation of the Pargana new paiks were created by the 
zamindar, it has been suggested that the ghatwals only became 
such after the Permanent Settlement, and that their tenures 
having been created by the zamindar out of his permanently 
settled estates, they would be resumable by him on the services 
of the ghatwals being no longer required. "Within the 
'Ghurtoolee' and 'Dubraji' of Mr Dent's report, i.e., the modem 
Q-artoli and part of Kum&ripar taraf, where the zamindar would 
be personally responsible for the maintenance of order, it is 
conceivable that more paika were required and that some of the 


Bmall holdings in this area were then created ; in the four major 
tarafa and in the groups which constitute the nuclei of the 
Kumaripar, Sarberia, and Dangurda tarafs, the position of the 
zamindar must have been taken by the sardar or holder of the 
Bhumijani Mahal and any creation of tenures for the support of 
the necessary number of paika must have been made by him, 

Mr. Eisley's original conclusion that the ghatwali tenures — as Tho 
distinguished from ' Bhumijani ' or ordinary tenures as headmen "*"?*. 
of Bhumij villages— date from some time after 1800, is, therefore, of 1824 
untenable ; the tenures certainly existed with services attached to *°* ^^"* 
them from a much earlier date. The next record available of them 
is the isauinavki of 1824, which professes to be a list of the 
ghatwala and the lands held by them and amount of cash 
remuneration, if any. This list has since 1862 at any rate been 
treated as superseded by the similar but more elaborate list of 
1833, the importance attached to which has already been referred 
to. The 1824 list is not, however, worthy of the contempt 
showered on it ; it is exactly what it professes to be and its 
accuracy is probably at least as great as that of any of the 
numerous later lists which were prepared and submitted by the 
zamindar as head of the police. The greater elaboration of the 
1833 list, the abstracts which are given for the major tarafs, dis- 
tinguishing between original jaigir villages and others, and split- 
ting up the total amounts payable into pnnchak, rent and various 
cesses, all suggest more careful preparation, but in spite of the 
weight attached to this document by the courts in several cases 
and the authority given it by Colonel Oakes' statement (29 years 
later) of his belief as to the manner in which it was prepared 
there can be little question that, looked at dispassionately, it is a 
document which, considered only the zamindar's interests, which 
ignored actual facts, and which, if it be a fact that the ghatwals 
assisted in its preparation, can only be explained on the supposi- 
tion that they were reduced to extremities by the suppression of 
Ganga Narayan's rebellion and by fear of the results of their 
complicity in it and in the murder of Madhab Singh and were 
forced to accept on paper a compromise which, if given effect to 
reduced their holdings by as much as two-thirds, more than 
doubled their rents and rendered them liable to further increase 
This document is dealt with at great length in Mr. Eisley's report 
of 1884, and on his interpretation of it are based the terms of the 
compromise of that year. His inferences from certain of the 
entries are now clearly demonstrable as wrong, and it is a question 
whether the compromise would have taken the form it did take but 
for these. 




Rent and That drawn from the entry of rent separately from panchak 
^'^the"^ in the abstracts for the four major tarafs is, perhaps, the most 
1838 important. In this abstract the entries are " ordinary jaigir 
lands" so many villages, ordinary rent (maniul khaj'ina) of 
" nml " lands held besides jaigir lands — so many villages — and 
against each of these, under the heading " ■panch^'k jama " is 
entered an amount, in all cases the same in both. In the margin 

is a note in the vernacular, ^'' jxinclmk scirai taka 

mamul khajana son san o/ahida mulyujari kare ehang bastu batir 
khajana o mulukdar imua ankn jakhav jaha haya sab pargona har 
san san ahihida dei,''^ which Mr. Eisley paraphrases, "these 
(number) villages are held by separate payment of regular rent 

{mnmul khnjann) of rupees. Besides this, the holder 

pays separate rent for hasiu bati (high land and houses). He also 
pays, according to the custom of the country, new rent [nay a '<nka) 
from time to time {jakhan jaha haya) according to the pargana 
rate." A more literal translation however would be, " besides 

panchak, Rs is to be paid separately as ordinary rent 

{mamul khajana) annually. Further bastu rent as also any new' 
cess or impost (c/n/iT?) , provincial or local (mulukda?), which may 
from time to time be imposed, will have to be paid according to 
the pargana rate year by year" ' Anka,' literally a number, is a 
word occasionally used for a cess or impost ; it is not, so far as 
can be ascertained, used for ' rent,' and the entry does not 
necessarily, as Mr. Risley assumed, imply a tenure held on a 
variable rent. 
Uamui The words " mamul khajana " have an importance which was 

khjjana. overlooked by Mr. Eisley. Mr. Dent, to whose report of 1833 
reference has already been made, gives in clear terms the histori- 
cal origin of these double entries of similar amounts as p'lnchak 
and rent. Describing the oppressions of Madhab Singh Babu, to 
which the outbreak of 1832 was largely due, he writes : " The 
measures he adopted were these. He commenced an extensive 
and lucrative trade in which his position in the zamindari gave 
him a complete monopoly ; this soon brought him wealth, the 
free and usurious use of which rendered the Raja and nearly all 
his subjects his debtors, and it was the merciless severity with 
which he enforced these claims particularly against the ghatwals, 
that made these people his inveterate enemies. Our law of 
debtor and creditor, severe perhaps in itself, was rendered doubly 
so when applied to these rude and ignorant people, but Madhab 
Singh did not hesitate to avail himself to the amount of the 
entire power it gave him over the propprty of his debtors in 
compelling payment Not satisfied, however, with the exorbitant 



... 120 


... 240 


... 160 


.. 160 


profits of his trade, he had recourse to his power as Dewan and 
Manager of the estate for extorting further .'■urns from the 

unfortunate ghatwals. The rents 
as per margin paid by the four 
principal ghatwul sardars were 
very light owing to the nature of 
their tenures; he doubled them 
calling the additional cess 'mamuli ;' this, as was natural, was 
resisted and never. I bel'eve, fully enforced in the Satarakhani. 
He als ) established a house tax ' Ghartaki ' which was compounded 
for in many villnges by the payment of a fixed sum ; other illegal 
but not altogether unusual (in these jungle estates) 'Cesses' 
made under the denomination of ' Maugon ' or voluntary subsidies, 
were levied, such as " Hatee Mangon " a cess or rate for the pur- 
chase of a horse or elephant. So great, however, is the attachment 
of these people to their Eaja that any demands of this latter 
description within moderate bouuds, which may be necessary to 
enable him to maintain a proper d( gree of state, have always 
'readily been complied with. This, however, was not the case with 
regard to the ' Grhartaki', ' Mamuli ' and other exactions which 
were permanent taxes, " 

The identity of the " ghartaki " with the ^Hdstu lati khnjana " 
of the isamnavisi is undisputed, and there can be no reasonable 
doubt that the doubling of the yanchak by means of the tax 
'''' mamuW^ is represented by the double entry of panchuk and 
" mamul khajana''' of the isamnavisi 

The "mamul khajma" was, therefore, in 1833, a recent 
imposition and one which was strongly resented by the ghatwals 
and yet we are asked to believe that the ghatwals accepted the 
entries in ihis isamn arm as correct at the very time when Mr. 
Dent, fresh from the scene of the disturbances was -VMiting '"the 
ghatwals are throughout loud in their complaints of the encroach- 
ment of the zamindars and others and of the exactions and 
irregular demands to which 4hey are subject," and that it was "of 
the most vital importance to the generd peace of the district and 
the maintenance of an efficient police that these jaigiis should not 
in any way be diverted from the purpose for which they were 
originally granted, either by fraudulent alienations of the o-hat- 
wals themselves or the encroachments of the zamindars and others 
which are now daily taking place ". Unless it bo a fact that the 
spirit was eniirely taken out of the ghatwals by the measures 
taken to suppress the disturbances, which were not completed till 
April 1833, it is inconceivable that, within the few months that 
remained of that year, they agreed to all the zamindar's demands • 


it is stni less conceivable when we learn that 50 years afterwards 
they were still in possession, with nothing to indicate that they 
had ever been out of possession, of 85 whole villages in which the 
isamnavisi only assigned them a few rekhs or land requiring a few 
maunds of dhdn as seed ; and this in spite of executive and judi- 
cial orders asserting the finality of the 1833 papers. 
The An interesting ^side-light is thrown on this isanutavisi by a 

Kst ^f statement of the patit {i.e., uncultivated) and jungle lands contained 
1870. ia the villages of his estate, filed by the zamindar in 1279 (1870). 
This professes to be a complete list of then existing villages, and 
contains entries in regard to 608, of which, however, only 169 are 
"«!8/«" villages and the remainder "cAa/c* ", i.e., hamlets or off- 
shoots from one or other of the parent or " asli " villages. A 
careful examination of this list shows that the vast Imaj^rity of 
the villages in which, according to the isamnavisi, so many rekhs, 
or land requiring so many maunds of seed, are ghatwali, but 
which were found during the survey of 1880-83 to be held 
entirely by the ghatwals, are chaks of asli villages which the 
isamnavisi shows as entirely ghatwali. The isamnavisi, therefore, 
asserted the zamindar's claim to all new villages which had 
sprung up within the areas in which the original jaigir or bhumi- 
jdni villages lay, a claim which, iu the absence of any maps or 
record of village boundaries and in the face of the adverse posses- 
sion of the jaigirdars or talukdars, he could never have 
established in a court of law in 1833, nor, without the isamnavisi 
of 1833 being treated as authoritative, in 1884. Mr. Dent's 
description in 1833 clearly implies that what he calls the ghats 
were self-contained and distinct from the portion of the estate 
with which the zamindar was directly concerned^ He writes : 
" It is divided into the Raja's Khalsa villages called Grhurtoolee, 
the Dubraji Mahal (or estate for the support of the Raja's eldest 
son) which comprise the more open and cultivated portions in 
the interior of the estate, and ten ghats or divisions which entirely 
surround the estate. The principal of these are Dhadka which 
adjoins Kailapal and Dompara in Dhalbhum ; to the westward 
and adjoining Dhadka is Satarakhani which protects the estate 
against Dhalbhum ; to the westward of this is Pancha-sardari 
which guards that side against Singhbhum and Patkum ; the 
others are smaller ghats on the side of Manbhum. Each of the 
ghats is held in jaigir on a mere nominal rent by a sardar who 
is the captain of the border or lord of the marches, and a certain 
number of followers called ghatwals who were the old military 
force of the country and whose duty it was to protect the estate 
from the predatory incursions and inroads of their neighbours. 


At the settlement of the jimgle mahals " {i.e., Mr. Higginson's 
settlement in 1776)," the ghatwals were allowed to remain in 
possession of their lands and became the police servants of our 
Government ; thoy were the chief factors in the recent distur- 
bances." He has unfortunately only given the names of the 
four major ghjits, but it would not be unreasonable to assume 
that among the others were Bajra and Punrara within the 
modem Kumilripar, Sarberia and Graruara within Sarberia, 
Bangurda, and the tenth, one of the unidentified Bhuraijani 
Mahal (possibly Sukhla Bir Singh, two villages). These form a 
practically complete ring round the estate, and the list of 
villages comprising the estate in 1197 contains, with a single 
and that a doubtful exception, the name of no village which 
could by any stretch of imagination be described as lying within 
the periphery of any one at any rate of the major tarafs. 

The ultimate origin of the main tarafs or ghats, whether Ultimate 
classed in the early papers as mnhal bhuniljdni or as cMkran, '^l^'^^l 
must almost certainly have been in the ordinary village system Mmidari 
of the Mundas, a race to which the Bhumij undoubtedly belong, ^'^v*"* 
Authorities differ on some points, but the generally accepted 
view is that the sardar of the Bhumij area is the headman 
or Munda of the Munda village community, i.e., the head 
of the family which first brought the village under cultivation ; 
other members of the original family would be the bhuinhorfi 
or khiiiitkatti tenants, and the village might contain also outsiders 
as ordinary unprivileged tenants Over groups of five to a 
dozen villages in Miindari areas one of the headmen takes 
precedence as _ manki ; in the Bhumij area there is the exact 
equivalent in the sadiyal, or sardar sadiyal of whom there are 
four and five respeotively in the two largest tarafs of Panch- 
sardari and Satarakhani. The taraf sardar, locally the sardar 
ghatwal, or sardar simply, as distinguished from a Gramya 
sardar, is almost certainly a mere overgrown manki or Sadiyal. 
Thus the name Panchasardari obviously means merely a group 
of five sardars, and in 1795 it was of the insolence of the 
five sardars, of whom the ancestor of the recent taraf sardar 
was the chief, that the zamindar complained. In both this 
and the Satarakhani taraf, each sadiyal and also the taraf 
sardar has his separate group of villages, not difi'ering greatly 
in extent, and no doubt they were originally independent of one 
another, and combined for purposes of mutual protection or 
aggression on their neighbours, recognising one of themselves 
as their chief. In Dhadka and Tinsaya there are no traces of 
smaller subdivisionB, but the name Tinsaya possibly arises from 


there being an amalgamation of three sadiyals. Eajda with its 
tour villages and Punrara with its five, in Kumaripar, are typical 
sftdiyali or manki tenures ; Bangurda, Sarberia, Garwara, either 
sadiyali or merely sardari. When the bigger taraf sardars 
acquired their commanding position it is impossible to say, but 
there is every reason to believe that the zamindar himself at 
one time held an exactly similar position, and that his elevation 
to the dignity of over lordship was due to mutual consent rather 
than to any special superiority in power or rank, and the quit- 
rent payable to him represented probably the minimum required 
to support him in his dignity, and to mark the fact that the 
other sardars owed him allegiance ; the bulk of his necessary 
income was expected to be reaHsed from his own original 
mdnkiat or taraf. Within the other taraf s a similar arrangement 
would also be the rule, and in the two which have 8pecifi.c 
divisions we have one out of five or six groups of villages 
directly under the taraf sardar ; aud within these groups again, 
usually one or more villiges in which the sadiyal is himself 
the sardar, while in the rest there are sardars who themselves 
pay a quit-rent and uothing more for the whole village to 
the sadiyal. Exactly, however, as the zamindar has claimed 
as his khds the great3r part of the areas within the tarafs 
brought under cultivation since the Permanent Settlement, 
so also the taraf sardars and sadiyals have striven to better 
themselves at the expense of the village sardar whose quit- 
rent for the original village might reasonably have been 
held to cover that of new villages colonised by families from 
his, the heads of which would in the ordinary course 
become themselves villago sardars and pay a quit-rent to the 
sardar of the parent village. But even in the typical Mundari 
community there is ordinarily no fixity of rent, though the 
original clearer is by custom outilled to special terms, and 
ultimately a portion of the additional rent due for new cultivation 
must find its way to the manki, and, it may be, through him, to 
the superior landlord. Elsewhere, however, in Manbhum the 
manki became at the Permanent Settlement either a recognised 
zamindar, as for example in the case of Torang, or a shikmi 
zamindar as in the case of Naro in Patkum, or at least a permanent 
tanure holder at a fixed rent as in the case of the mankis of 
Baghmundi. By analogy, therefore, the sardar ghatwals 
also of Barabhum should have reached one or other of these 
pcpitions when Barabhum came under settlement, and reasons 
have been given above for believing that such was actually the 
case. But the particularly disturbed condition of this area, tha 


notorious tendency of the Bhumij population to pilfering and 
thieving, besides the liability of the ciuntry in the 100 years or 
80 before the Pennanent Settlement to be overran by the 
Marhattas imposed on the zamindar and the leading sardars 
something more than the usual obligations in the matter of 
external defence and internal police, and it can hardly be doubted 
that in the very earliest days of British rule, those specifically 
imposed on the zamindar by the agreement ^vll'^ page 191 supra) 
taken from him by Mr. Higginson in 1776 must have been 
partially transferred to his greater vassals and by them again to 
the village headmen or sardars under them. The result, if this 
is so, must have boon that conditions of service as well as liability 
to pay lent must already have attached to these tenures at the 
time of Permanent Settlement, and it is not surprising that later 
on what had originally been an ordinary tenure of the type usual 
in the Muudari communities came to be looked upon as purely a 
service tenure, and that the failure to render the required service 
made the holder liable to removal. 

The conclusion arrived at is, therefore, that the tenures of the 
present taraf sardars, sadiyals and village sardars had their 
origin in the ordinary Mundari village system, and that in course 
of time and on account of the special circumstances of the area 
they came to be treated as purely service tenures ; that the larger 
tarafs and the nuclei of the others were specific blocks of country 
and not mere scattered or isolated villages, and that the claim 
of the zamindar to all new cultivation within their limits was 
probably unjustifiable, though as a result of their origin being 
overlooked or forgotten, and their being treated as purely service 
tenures he has been able, thanks to the interpretations put upon 
the isamnavm of JL834, to a considerable extent to establish it. 
Of the lowest rank of ghatwal, the tabedar, it is only necessary 
to say that, as the village sardar was required to provide so many 
paiks, these must have been found among his tenants who were 
mainly members of one or other of the families who originally 
colonised the village ; the tabedar must also, therefore, have been 
in the first instance an ordinary tenant or khunthattiiar of the 
village who was required to give his services as well jis pay u nomi- 
nal rent for oocupatioa of his holding. .As in the case of his 
superiors, his original status was forgotten and he became a mere 
service tenant or ghatwal liable to dismissal and, h,8 a conse- 
quence, to loss of his holding. At the same time he got the 
nd vantage, if advantage it be, that his holding became inalienable 
and indivisible, going from father to eldest sou or next direct 
heir, except where it was forfeited for misconduct. 

R 2 


The only distinction that can he drawn is, as already noticed, 
hetween these ab origiue tenures, and what may well have 
been more recent creations in the villages in the centre part of 
the estate where it is conceivable that definite assignments of land 
were made to persons who were not village headmen or even 
khuntkatti tenants of the village as remuneration for service 
under the zamindar as Daroga of police. 
Tenures in q^ ^^^ Patkum tenures it is only necessary to say that 
their origin appears to have been similar to that of the cor- 
responding tenures in Barabhum, though the hoLiings are mucli 
more attenuated. There are numerous isamnnvms of various 
dates from 1816, but these are widely discrepant, and it is 
difficult, if not impossible, to infer from them what was the 
original area held as ghatwali, or by the ghatwals as talukdars 
or tenure-holders. The three tarafs are traceable to three out 
of the twelve tarafs or ghats into which the quinquennial papers 
of 1798 divide the estate, and it is noticeable that another of 
these twelve is Naro, an admitted ^hihnii zamindari. The taraf 
sardars have now only one or at the most two whole villages, and 
in the majority of the villages the ghatwali land is represented by 
comparatively small areas, for the most part fixed by compromises 
filed in suits arising out of the survey operations of 1880-83. 

The admission of Naro as a shikrai tenure and the claims 
of other holders of villages in this estate to the status of 
manki or Munda, with more or less exclusive rights in their 
village or group of villages, combined with the comparatively 
small number of compact ghatwah tenures, form a contrast to 
what has been desoribed as the state of things, in Barabhum, 
while at the same time they corroborate very strongly the view 
taken of the origin of the ghatwali tenures in these parganas. 
As compared with Barabhum, it would appear that in Patkum 
the necessity for imposing special services on the headmen 
or mankis of the Mundari village organisatioa was less 
imperative, and as a result we get side by side the miirdri or 
mdnkidri tenure which has remained so, and the similar tenures 
on which service o )nditions were imposed and the original nature 
of the tenure merged or forgotten. By way of further contrast, 
and at the same time corroboration of this view, the case of 
the adjoining estate of Baghmundi, the only major estate in the 
district in which there are no ghatwals of any kind, is of special 
interest, as in it the clear division into five mankiari tenures, 
corresponding to the parhan of the Mundari area across the 
Ranchi border and to the tarafs of Barabhum and Patkum is 
extant to this day. 


The settlement of the m«ny still vexed questions in regard C^onclu- 
to the nature and extent of ghatwali holdings and tenures in ^'^"' 
these two parganas is one of the problems of the survey and 
settlement operations now going on ; and indeed these are among 
the special reasons why these operations have been undertaken 
in adviince of the regular programme, according to which 
Manbhum, as a whole, "svill not be dealt with until the work in 
the other districts of the Division is completed. The protection 
of the ghatwals from any further encroachment on the holdings, 
which the compromise of 1884 has left them, the settlement of 
the relations between the different grades of ghatwals and 
between them and their tenants, and the manner in which 
commutation of services can, if at all, be equitably arranged, are 
among the most important of the subjects with which the 
Settlement Officers have now to deal. 




Adminis- LiKE other districts of the Chota Nagpur Division, Manbhum is a 
staff ^^ non -regulation or scheduled district, i.e.. one to which certain of 
the general Regulations and Acts in force in other parts of India 
and Bengal have not been extended From a practical point of 
view, the main distinction at present lies in the fact that the head 
of the district is styled a Deputy Commissioner, instead of a 
Magistrate-Collector ; that as such he exercises certain extended 
powers under section 30 of the Criminal Procedure Code, and 
that he exercises jurisdiction in rent suits, which were tried under 
Act X of 1859 till December 1909, and since then under Bengal 
Act YI of 1908, (Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act) by Deputy 
Collectors, or by Munsiifs specially gazette d as Deputy Collectors. 
Down to the year 1902 the Deputy Commissioner exercised also 
the powers of a Subordinate Judge, but from 1891 the bulk of 
the civil work had been done by a separate Subordinate Judge 
belonging to the Provincial Service. 

For administrative purposes the district is divided into the 
Sadar and the Dhanbaid (formerly Gobindpur) Subdivision^ 
with an area of 3,344 and 803 square miles, respectively, the river 
Damodar forming a natural boundary line between the two. In 
the administration of the Sadar Subdivision the Deputy Commis- 
sioner is assisted by a staff of five Deputy Collectors, one of 
whom is occasionally a Joint Magistrate, and by one or two 
Sub-Deputy Collectors, and from time to time an Assistant 
Magistrate. Besides this regular staff there is a special Dei»uty 
Collector in charge of Excise and Income-Tax, and also from 
time to time a Special Land Acquisition Officer. The Sub- 
divisional Officer of Dhanbaid, who is ordinarily a Joint 
Magistrate, is assisted by a Sub-Deputy Collector. In the 
administration of Wards and Encumbered Estates, which at 
present extend over 969 square miles, the Deputy Commissioner 
has the assistance of a Leueral Manager. Other local officers 
are a Superintendent, and Deputy Superintendent of Police, 
a Civil Surgeon, and a District Engineer. The Inspector, 
Additional Inspector, and Assistant Inspector of Schools for 


the Chota Nagpur Division also have their head quarters at 

I'he Revenue of tlie District under the main heads increased Revenues, 
from Es. 3,0: ,000 m 1881-82, by which date the district had 
assumed its present dimensions, to Us. 7,67,000 in 1901-02. In 
1908-09 the collections amounted to Es. 13,45,000, of which 
Es, 5,33,000 wer.' derived from Excise, Es. 3,32,000 from Cesses, 
Es. 2,73,000 from Stamps, Es. 88,000 from Income-Tax, and 
Es. 83,000 from Land Revenue. 

The coUectious of 1 ind levenue have varied very little from ^and 
year to year during the 1 ist 25 years. The current demand in ^^'^^""^ 
1908-09 was Us. 83,126, as compared with Es. 82,418 in 1881-82, 
Es. 80,715 representing the fixed demand from the twenty- 
seven permanently settled estates, Es. 2,-'391 that from two estates 
settled for periods of 12 and 15 years expiring in 1916, and the 
small balance the demand from Government Camping Grounds 
settled frem year to year. The total land revenue represents 
only 5 '65 per cent, of the gross rental of the district as disclosed 
by the Eoad Cess Returns, and the incidence is barely one anna 
per cultivated acre. 

Excise is the most important source of revenue. The receipts 
from this source from a considerably larger district area were, in 
187U-71, only Rs. 47,300. In 1892-93 they had increased 
nearly thr-e-fold, to Es. 1,38,000 ; in IHOI 02 the receipts were 
Es. 2,63,000, and since then there lias been a steadj' increase 
to Es. o,')8,773 in 190^-09, a total considerably higher than for 
any other district in the Division, excepting Eanchi. The net 
excise revenue in 1908-09 amounted to Es. 4,085 per 10,000 
of the population (approximately i'^ annas per head), as com- 
pared with the provincial average of R.-. 3,333 per 1",000. 

The greater, portion of the excis ■ revenue is derived from 
the sale of country spirit prepared by distillation from molasses 
and the flower of the mahua tree {Baxaia latifolia). The receipts 
from this source amounted in 1908-09 to Es. 4,29,000, or more than 
three quarters of the excise revenue Until the year 19t»7 the 
system in force was the outstill system, except in a small area served 
from the distillery shop at Asansol. In April 1907 the contract 
supply distillery system was introduced throughout the district, 
of which the main features are that local manufacture of country 
spirit is prohibited, and a contract is made with one or more large 
distilleries (in the case of Manbhum with Messrs. Carew and 
Company, Asansol) for its supply. The liquor is sent out from 
the distillery to three depots at PurOlia, Dbanbaid and Balaram- 
pur, where it is blended with water and issued to the retail 


vendors at various fixed strengths for sale to the consumers. 
The general issue strengths are 30°, 50°, 70° under proof, but 
in the case of the Balarampur depot and certain outlying shops 
served from the I'urulia depot liquor is also issued at 60*^ 
under proof, with permission to still further reduce before 
sale to 80° under proof. This is a concession allowed on 
account of the difficulty and expense of conveying liquor to 
Bhops situated in hilly and jungly areas, away from the 
main roads. Maximum prices are fixed for retail vend, varying 
according to the strength of the liquor and also according to the 
loctile of the shop, a distinction being made between ordinary 
and colliery shops 

The number of retail shops for the sale of country liquor is 
140, of which 18 are classed as colliery shops Approximately, 
this gives one shop for every 29 J square miles and for every 9,291 
persons. The issues from the depots in 1908-09 represent a 
consumi»tion of 92 proof gallons per 1,000 of the population, 
the incidence of taxation per head of the population being 
As. 6-11. 

The income from other exoiseable articles is in comparison 
very small. Gran j a is sold at 46 shops, and produces m license 
fees and duty Rs. 67,700; opium at 16 shops, produiing 
Rs. 36,000, and imported liquor at 14 shops, the fees from which 
amounted to Ks. 4,200 in 1908-09. In the same year 69 licenses 
for the sale of pachwai or rice-beer were issued on f et s amounting 
to Rs. 28,000. Pachwai is the ordinary drink of the aboriginal 
inhabitant of the district, and it is the policy of the adminis- 
tration to encourage him to stick to it in preference to the 
stronger and less wholesome country spirit. The tr.ste for the 
latter is, however, readily acquired, and the ordinary cooly, who 
has returned from a spell of work in the mines where high wages 
have enabled him to indulge in the more expensive drink, reverts 
with difficulty to the cheaper but less intoxicating rice-beer of 
his forefathers. Free-brewing of pachwai for home consumption 
is allowed throughout the district ; the privilege is ordinarily 
made use of only on the occasion of festivals and family or 
village ceremonies, and no tendency to abuse the privilege is 
Stamps The revenue from Stamps ranks next in importance as a 

Bcource of income to that derived from Excise. From Rs. 56,500 
in 1881 the revenue rose to Rs. 1,94,500 in 1901-02, and there 
was a further increase to Rs. 2,73,000 in 1908-09. The bulk of 
the revenue is derived from sale of judicial stamps, the receipts 
from wliich were in 1908-09 Rs. 1,89,000, as compared with 


Rs. 84,000 from non- judicial. The figures point significantly to 
the increase in the volume and value of litigation, due partly 
to the normal progress of the district but influenced largely by 
the enormous expansion of tbe coal industry. 

Tlie collect ions of Income-tax were Rs. 19,900 in 1892-93, Jnronr.e- 
aud by 1901-02 had increased nearly four-fold to Ra. 74,000 paid 
by l,32t) assessees. At that time the minimum income assessable 
was Rs. 500, but this was increasc'l to Rs. 1 OOO per annum in 
1903, with the result that the number of ass^sBees fell to 639 and 
the receipts to Ks. 53,000 in 1903-04. Since then the expansion 
of the coal industry, and an era of great pro8j»erity in the ' lac ' 
trade has resulted in a large increase in the collections, which in 
1908-09 amounted to Rs. 88,000, paid by 758 assessees. 

Road and Public Works Cesses arn, as elsewhere in the Oesses. 
Province, levied at tiie maximum rate of one anna m the rupee. 
The demand in 1908-09 was Rs 3,20,000 of which Hs. 86,000 
was payable by 27 revenue-paying estates, Rs. 4,300 by 57 
revenue-free estates, and Rs 1,700 by 549 rent-free properties. 
Rupees 2,28,000 represented the demand from mines and jungles, 
of which 319 were asse.-sed in that year. Mines and jungles are 
valuel annually, the basis of assessment being the average profits 
of the three preceding years, and the increase in the demand from 
less than Rs. 11,000 in 1896-97 is a strikin<i; indication of the 
enormous progress made by the coal industry during the last 
twelve years. The last general re-valuatiou for the purpose of 
assessing cess on lands was made in 1881-82, but a portion of the 
district, including the Panchet estate and Parganas Barabhum and 
Patkum, was revalued in 1906, with the result that the assessment 
was increased by nearly Rs. 20,000. 

Inclusive of the cess on mines and jungles the figures for 
1908-09 represent an average rental value of something less than 
Rs. 2 per acre of the whole district area. Calculated from the 
land cess by itself the average rental value of every acre of culti- 
vated land in the district is rather less than Re. 1. 

There are 8 oflSces, of which two, namely those at Hura and Registra 
Balarampur, have only recently been made permanent, tor the *"^"* 
registration of assurances under Act XVI of 1908. At Purfilia 
there is a District Sub- Registrar, who deals as usual with the 
documents presented there, and assists the Deputy Commissioner, 
who is «x-officio ' istrict Registrar, in supervising the proceedings 
of the Sub- Registrars, who are in charge of the outlying offices. 
The average number of documents registered annually during the 
quinquennium ending in 1904 was 18,883 as against 1(.!,525 in 
the preceding five years. 



The marginal statement shows 


























2 o82 











Halarampur ... 








* Now at Dhaubaid. 

t Opened on 16th December 1907. 

t Opened on 18th December 1907. 

the number of documencs 
registered, as well as the 
receipts and expenditure of 
each office for the year 
1908, The year was an 
exceptionally busy one for 
the Sub- Registrars, as the 
serious shortage of the 1907 
rice -crop, following on a 
practical failure in the pre- 
ceding year, forced the cul- 
tivating ten ante more than 
usual into the hands of the 
money-lenders, and their 
money was advanced except on 
cases also tenants were obliged 
order to get money 

credit being low, practically no 
registered moitgages. In many 
to sell out-right portions of their holdings in 
to enable them to cultivate the remainder. 

Criminal Justice is administered by the Deputy Commissioner, 
who has special powers under section 30 of the Criminal Proce- 
dure Code. There is, besides, at head- quarters, a sanctioned 
staff of five Deputy Magistrates, four exercising first class powers, 
and the fifth seccnd or third class powers; there is usually also 
a Sub-Deputy Magistrate exercising third class powers. The 
Subdivisional Officer of Dhanbaid is almost invariably an officer 
vested with first class powers, and the Sub-Deputy Magistrate 
attached to the Subdivision ordinarily exercises second class 
powers. There are also benches of Honorary Magistrates at 
Purulia, Jhalda, Raghunathpur, and Adia, and Honorary 
Magistrates empowered to sit singly at Puruli!i, Pokhuria, Jharia, 
Katras, and Chirkunda. Of these the Eev. Dr. Campbell at 
Pokhuria exercises first class powers, and takes cognizttnce of 
cases direct both on complaint and on police report. The Judicial 
Commissioner of Chota Nagpnr was the Distiict and Sessions 
Judge till March 1910, when a separate Judgeship for the 
districts of Manbhum, Singhbhum and Sambalpur with head- 
quarters at Purulia was constituted. Prior to this, liowever, the 
actual sessions and appellate work of the district had been done, 
since 1904, by the Sessions Judge of Bankura, exercising powers 
as an Additional Sessions Judge of this and the Singhbhum 

Manbhum was, until March 1910, under the jurisdiction of the 
Judicial Commission! r of Chota Nagpur, to assist whom there was 
a Subordinate Judge posted at Purulia. Down to the year 1887 


the civil work was done by the Deputy Conimissionpr, assisted 
by a Deputy Collector specially vested with the powers cf a 
Sub Judge Pressure of work during the next few yeaismade 
it necessary to depute a special Subordinate Jud^'e to the district 
for several months in the year, and in 1891 a whole-time officer 
of the Provincial Judicial Service was pi rmanently posted 
to PurHlia. The Deputy Commissioner continued to exercise 
the powers of a Sub- Judge with regard to insolvency and succes- 
sion certificate casc'^ till 19(J2, when he was finally divested of 
all civil powers. In March lUlU the district, along with Siiigh- 
bhuni and SamValpur, was constituted into a separate judgeship, 
and the District Judge, who hiis also powers of a Judicial Com- 
missioner under Bengal Act VI oi 1908 (the Chota Nagpur 
Tenancy Act), has his otfice and head-quarters at Puiiilia. The 
subordinate civil courts are those of two (occasionally threes 
Munsilfs at Puriilia, one Munsiff at iiaghauithpur, and one 
at Dhanbaid. ^lanbazar was till 1879, the seat of a separate * 

Munsiif's Court, which was in that year removed to Barabazar, 
and this was again transferred to Puriilia in 1^98. 

The volume of litigation has increased steadily during the 
last ten years, and the tigurts for 1908 as compared with those 
for 18! i9 show an increase of 32 percent in the number of suits 
in tt^H Munsiff s' Courts and of nearly 40 per cent in that of the 
Subordi^jate Judge's. i he average value of a suit in 1908 in the 
MunsittV Courts was Es. 114, and in the Subordinate Jndge's 
Bs. 5,184. 

The control of emigration to the Tea Gardens still plays an Emigka- 
importaijt part in the administration of the district, though '^'*^^- 
Puriilia has ceased to have the imnortance it had 10 or 15 years 
ago, when it, was practically the centre of the recruiting industry, 
as the head- quarters of the district in Chota Nagpur most easily 
accessible by rail to Assam, and as the station through which prac- 
tically all coolies recruited in the Division and the Native iStates 
adjoining had to pass en route to the gardens. The Deputy 
Commissioner and the senior Deputy Magistrate are en-of/ic/o 
Superintendents of Emigration both for Manbhum and Singh- 
bhum, and the Civil Surgeon Rejii-^tering Officer and Inspector of 
Emigrants. Recruitment is now mainly under Chapter III of 
Act YI of 1901, i.e., through licensed contractors and recruiters, 
known as the Arkati system, and under Chapter IV, /.- ., recruit- 
ment by Grarden Sardars working under the control of local 
agents. In 1908-09 five contractors and 04 recruiters held licenses, 
and 1,5^32 coolies with 389 dependents were registered and put 
under contract. In the same year 1,411 Sardars and 196 Sardarins, 

252 MlNBHUli. 

working under the supervision of the Tea Districts Lab mr Supply 
Association, recruited 3,786 labourers and 2,471 dependents, who, 
in accordance with concessions recently granted by the Local 
Gov. rnment to this and two other Associations, were neither 
registered or put under contract, but went t > Assam as free 
labourers. Fourteen Sardars working under Chapter V, recruited 
17 labourers with 7 dependents only. Both this and the preceding 
year were especially favourable years for the various recruiting 
agencies as the crops of 1906 and 1907, the latter espeo-C'lly, 
were poor. The Arkati system, under which each cooly represa vs 
a money value nf from Rs. 120 to Rs. 160, of which a considerable 
sum goes to the recruiter, necessarily leads to abuses, as the 
temptations to entice people away from their hom(?s, or to divert 
them when en route lor the coalfields or elsewhere in search of 
labour are very considerable. The Arkati is also in a position to 
tamper with the Garden Sardars working under Chapter IV or V, 
• to any one of whom a sum of even Rs. 20 would mean a larger 

profit than he could maiie by taking a labourer to his Local Agent. 
Every year there are a considerable number of cases of cooLies, 
usually women, enticed away from their homes, whom the re- 
cruiters attempt to pass off under false names and de.>criptious, 
PoiicB. For police purposes the district is divided into 16 thanas or 

circles with 12 outposts ; the latter, it may be explained, are 
treated as thanas for police, though not for other administrative, 
purposes, such, for example, as the census. The regular poKce 
force consisted in 1909 of a District Superintendent of Police, 
a Deputy Superintendent, 6 Inspectors, 46 Sub Inspectors, 41 
Head Constables, and 358 Constables, representing one policeman 
to every 9*<,9 square miles, and to every 2,853 persons " The rural 
police force, intended for watch and ward duties in the villages, 
consists of 2,683 chaukidars under Act Y (B.C.) of 1887. There 
are besides 1,974 ghatwals of different degrees, namely, 12 tarai 
sardars, 11 sadiyals, 504 village sardars, 1,384 tabedars, 40 digwars, 
and 23 naib digwars, whose services are remunerated by service 
tenures, particulars of which have been given in an earlier chapter. 
Their police duties are, in the case of the subordinate ghatwals, 
periodical attendance at the police stations, patrol of certain 
roads, and general watch and ward in the villages included in 
their respective " ghats ". From the ghatwals of higher degree 
is expected an occasional attendance at the thana, general super vd- 
eion of the inferior ghatwals of their respective ghats, and regular 
submission of diaries detailing the actual duties performed, and 
reporting any facta of interest in respect of their ghats. From 
the point of view of the superior police authorities, the aervicea 


of the ghatwals generally are of little value ; attempts have, 
from time to tiiuo, been made to make more use of them, but of 
recent years other considerations, of which some notice has 
already been given, have prevented any serious prt ssure, which 
can only be exerted by means of fine or dismissal being put upon 
them. The question of commuting their services has been 
constantly raised, and it is perhaps probable that a solution of 
the various ditficulties in this connection will be found when the 
settlement operations, now in progress in Barabhum, where the 
ghatwals are most numerous, is completed 

There is a second class District Jail at Purfilia and a Subsidiary jAj^g, 
Jail at Dhanbaid. The latter has accommodation for 40 male 
and 7 female prisoners. The District Jail has accommodation 
for 281 prisoners, viz., G barracks for 211 male convicts, 10 female 
convicts, 32 under-trial prisoners and 7 civil prisoners, 5 cells 
for 5 male convicts, and a hospital with 16 beds. 

The daily average number of inmates in the Purfilia and 
Dhanbaid Jails during 1908 was 201 and 15, respectively. The 
industries carried on in the District Jail are oil-pressing, aloe iibre 
decortication, weaving of cloth and dans, and cane and bamboo 
work. There is a large garden attached to the Jail, in which 
prisoners, unfitted for other forms of hard labour, are employed. 

Land has recently been acquired and administrative sanction 
given for a considerabln extension of this Jail ; an additional 
double storied barrack with accommodation for 192 prisoners is 
provided for. 









OuTsiDTi the municipal towns of Purulia, Jhalda and Eaghunath- 
pur thp administration of local affairs, such as the maintenance 
of roads, bri'lges, ferries and pounds, tne contiol of village sani- 
tation and water supply, the provision of medical and vetermary 
relief, and the general respon?ibilit\ for primary education, rests 
with the District Board which was established in the year 1900, 
when the provisions of the Local Self-Government Act III (B, C.) 
of 1885 were extended to the District. The District Board con- 
sists of 14 members, of whom six are eir-offioio, two elected by 
the Local Board of Dhanbaid, and the remainder nominated by 
Government. The Board as constituted in 1909 included 6 
Grovernment servants, 5 Landholders and Landholders' Managers, 
1 Pleader, 1 Colliery Manager and 1 Missionary. By a recent 
Notification of Government the number of members has been 
increased to eighteen, and Landholders have been nominated for 
the vacant places. 

The income of the District Board in the first year of its 
existenee was Rs. 96,799, of which Rs. 45,474 was derived from 
Road Cess. Since then there has been a rapid increase, and in 
1908-09 the total income was Rs. 2,88,500 of which Rs. 1,49,000 
was derived from Provincial rates, Rs. 26,500 from Civil Works, 
including a special grant from Government of Rs. 25,000, and 
Rs. 38.000 from Education, the bulk of which, i.e., Rs. 31,600 
represents the Government contribution. The extent .to which 
the Board's resources have been increased by the opening out of 
the coal fields, will appear from the fact that in 1908-09 cesses 
derived from mines and jungles amounted to Rs. 1,06,300 as 
compared with only Rs 34,700 in 1906-07. 

The incidence of taxation is, for the same reason, heavier 
than elsewhere in the Division, amounting to nearly 2 annas per 
head of population. 

The expenditure in 1908-09 was Rs. 2,16,000 of which 
Rs. 1,45,000 was allocated to Civil Works, while Education 
accounted for Rs. 41,000. The maintenance of 123 miles of 


iiietallod, and 527 milos of unraotalled roads, besides a large 
ninnber of villag-o 1 racks with a total length of 508 miles, is 
naturally the heaviest charge on the income of the District Board, 
and Es. 51,800 was spent on this account in 1908-09, the cost of 
maintaining these roads working out at Rs. 447, lis. 59 and 
EiS. G per mile for the three classes respectively. A large part of 
the additional income due to the expansion of the coal industry 
has necossarily goue to improve the road system in the colliery 
areas, and during the five years ending in March 1909 about 
27 milos of metalled road, eight causeways and two Inspection 
iiungalows have been constractod in this area alone, at a total 
cost of Es. 1,70,000 besides another Es. 20,000 expended on 
improvement of approaches to rivers and stone -metalling portions 
ol: previously existing roads. 

Advantage has also been taken of the increased income as 
well as of special grants received from Government from time 
to time, to improve by gravelling some of the more important 
roads in other parts of the district, and to link up the main 
roads with the different r dlway stations. 

After Civil Works, Education constitutes the hf-aviest charge 
on the Board's resources ; it maintains four Middle Schools and 
aids 12 Middle Schools, 71 Upper Primary Schools, 588 Lower 
Primary Schools, 15 Tola and Muktabs and three Technical 
Schools* For the purposes of supervision it maintains a staff 
of eight In'^pectiiig Pamiits. 

On Medical Eelief and Sanitation Es. 6,500 was expended 
in 1908-09, as compared with Es. 1,300 iu 1900-01, in supporting 
eight dispensaries of which two are under the direct management 
of the Board. The priuciple adopted is that the Board gives 
one anda-halS times the amount raised by private subscription, 
but in special cases additional grants are made. A contributioa 
of Es. 2')') was also made in the same year towards the funds 
af the special Sanitary Committee for the Jharia coalfield, and, 
when required, special measures are taken on the outbreak of 
epidemic disease-. The District Board also contributes a sum 
of Es. 200 annually towards the support of the Purulia Leper 
Asylum. A Veterinary Dispensary was established af Puruli.i 
in 19 J5 at a cost of Es. 2,800 and a resident Veterinary Assistant 
is maintained there ; since April 1909 a second itinerant officer 
has been employed with hyad-(iuarters at Dhanlmid. 

In subordination to the District Board is the Dhanbaid Locai, 
Local Board, the jurisdiction of which corresponds to the '^oaeb. 
subdivisioual charge of the same name. The Local Board 
is composed of 14 members, all of whom are nominated by 



Government. It receives allotments from the funds of the 
District Board, and is entrusted with the maintenance of certain 
of the District Board roads, all village roads, pounds and some 
other small functions, 

There are three municipalities in the district, viz., Purulia, 
Jhalda and Eaghunathpur. The number of rate-payers in 
1908-09 was 4,403, representing 16*7 per cent, of the population 
(26,342) residing in municipal limits, as compared with 16*4 per 
cent, for the whole division. The average incidence of taxation 
in the same year was annas 13-4 per head of the population, as 
against the divisional average of annas 14-4, and varied from 
Ee. 1-0-6 in Purulia to annas 6-10 in Raghunathpur. 
Purulia. The Municipality of PurDlia, which was constituted in 1869, 

is administered by a Board of 19 Commissioners, of whom 12 are 
elected, 5 nominated by Government and 2 are tx-officio members. 
The area within municipal limits in 1909 was 5 square miles, 
the number of rate-payers being 3,212 or 18*57 per cent, of 
the population. 
Income The average annual [income of the municipality during the 

^r^.^J^^J^P''"' decade ending in 1901-02 was Rs. 20,300, and the expen- 
diture was Rs. 21,000 ; during the succeeding five years ending 
1906-07 they were Rs. 29,600 and Rs. 27,60(> respectively. 
In 1908-09 the income aggregated Rs. 33,540, besides an 
opening balance of Rs. 9,576. The chief source of income 
is a rate on houses and arable lands assessed at 7| per cent, on 
their annual value, which in that year brought in Rs. 11,242 ; 
while a conservancy rate, levied at Rs. 3-8 per cent, on the same 
basis, brought in Rs. 5,414 ; fees from markets brought in 
Rs. 4,081, receipts from pounds and serais Rs. 949, and a 
tax on vehicles and animals Rs. 1,343. The total incidence of 
taxation was Re. 1-0-6 per head of the population. The expendi- 
ture in the same year was Rs. 26,565, exclnding Rs. 6,520 expend- 
ed on the repayment of advances and deposits. The principal 
items of expenditure were medical relief, conservancy and public 
works, which accounted for 2225, 34*79 and 17'25 per cent., 
respectively, of the disbursements. 

The Municipality is at present unable to undertake new projects 
or carry out substantial reforms for want of funds. An ample 
supply of good drinking water is available in the large tank known 
as the Saheb-bandh, but to ensure freedom from contamination good 
tanks suitably situated are required for bathing and culinary pur- 
posee, and existing insanitary tanks require to be thoroughly 
cleaned out, and in some cases filled up. The town is to a certain 
extent naturally drained, but the growth of the more densely 


populated parts calls for an extonfdon of the artificial drainage, 
and with this ohjoot a s.irvoj is shortly to bo made and a regular 
scheme prepared. Furl her expenditure is also required for the 
provision of more public latrines, and the improvement of the 
li<^htiug- system. A detailed survey of the town is now (1909) in 
progress, and it is anticipated that the now assessment which 
will be based on the map and record prepared, will result in a 
substantial increase in income, and make it possible to take in 
hand some of the needed improvements outlined above. 

Jhalda was constituted a Municipality in 188'^, and has a jimicla. 
Municipal Board composed of 9 Commissioners all ol' whom are 
nominated by Government. The area within municipal limits is 
approximately o square miles, and the number of rate -payers ia 
775, representing 15*88 per cent, of the population residing 
within municipal limits. The average annual income of the 
Municipality during the five years ending 1907-08 was Es. 4,000 
and the expenditure Rs. 3,800. In 1908-09 the income of the 
Muuicip lUt}' was Rs. 3,911, of which Rs. 2,170 were obtained 
from a tax on persons according to their circumstances and 
property, levied at one per cent, on the income of the assessees; 
receipts from pounds amounted to Rs. 350, and from serais and 
markets Rs. 320. The incidence of taxation was 7| annas per head 
of the population. 

The expenditure in the same year was Rs. 4,725, the 
principal items being medical relief, conservancy and pubUc 
works, which accounted for 34*2 1, 16 88 and 15 '4, respectively, of 
the total expenditure. 

The Municip ility of Righunathpur was established in 1888 Raghu- 
and is administered by a Board of 10 Commissioners, all of whom "^thpur. 
are nominated by Grovemment. The area within municipal 
limits is 4 square miles, and the number of rate-payers is 416 
representing 9*9 per cent, of the population. The average annual 
income of the Municipality during the five years ending 1907-08 
was Rs. 3,600 and the expenditure, Rs. 3,200. In 1908-09 its 
income was Rs. ;5,688 besides an opening balance of Rs. 709. The 
chief source of income is, as at Jhalda, a tax on persons, levied 
at one per cut. in the income of the rate-payers, which brought 
in Rs. 1,1C8. From pounds Rs. 440 was realized, and rents 
of serais brought in Rs. 280. The total incidence of taxation was 
6 1 annus per head of the population. 

The expenditure in the same year was Rs. 3,750, the principal 
items being medical relief (35 per cent.) and conservance (27 
per cent.). 




PuoQB^ss jj, 1855 j^j. (afterwards Sir H.) Ricketts wi'ote of education in 
TioN. Man^ihum : — "The only school in this district is an English 
School established at Purulia in 1853. Though so lately 
established, the number on the books is 7 and the average 
attendance is 34." He goes on to quote the Secretary as saying 
" the demand for education is confined to the middle class of 
people, who hold it in great estimation. The zamindars and rich 
" people think it below and the poorer classes above their notice. 

The people generally are averse to contribute to the furtherance 
of education, thinking themselves entitled to receive from the 
G-ovemment everything necessary about it." Mr. Ricketts adds 
that " the attitude of the landholders was unfortunate for they 
possessed extensive estates, inhabited by very wild and barbarous 
people, whose ignorance has, on more than one occasion, caused 
very embarrassing disturbances and much bloodshed." 

No material advance in the spread of education seems to have 
made for many years. In 1870-71 the number of Government 
and aided schools had increased to 2o with 960 pupils, and the 
creation of primary schools under Sir George Campbeirs grant- 
in-aid scheme swelled the total to 31 in the following year. The 
next year saw the scheme more fully in operation and the number 
had increased to 183 with 5,271 pupils by the inclusion of many 
of the 72 schools returned in 1870-71 as private unaided schools, 
attended by an estimated total of 1,238 pupils. By the end of 
March 1876 the total number of Government aided and inspected 
schools was 244 attended by 6,938 pupils, figures which represent- 
ed on the then area and population of the district, one school to 
every 20*13 square miles of area, and one pupil to eYery 143 

The succeeding 15 years saw a considerable advance in the 
number of schools of which in 1892-93 there were 622 attended 
by 15,578 scholars. In the next ten years there was a steady 
increase, the number of schools in 1901-02 being returned as 727, 
and of scholars 19,728. The census of that year showed that 


the total number of persona able to read and wi-ite waa 47,231 
representing 4'2 per cent. (8-0 males and 0-3 females) of the 

In 1904-05 the figures reached 849 for schools and 28,686 
for scholars, but the succeeding years saw some decrease, the 
latest returns for 1908-09 showing a total of 768 schools with 
26,624 pupils on their rolls. 

Of the total number of schools, 759 with 26,382 pupils are Gkxebal 
classed as public institutions, and only 9 with 242 pupils as ii*"*' 
private institutions. Of the former 13 schools attended by 764 
pupils are under public management, 9 being managed by Gov- 
ernment and 4 by the District Board ; of the schools under 
private management 625 are aided and 121 unaided. The 
inspecting staff consists of 1 Deputy Inspector of Schools, 8 Sub- 
Inspectors, 2 Assistant Sub-Inspectors and 8 Inspecting Pandits. 

There is no college in the district. There are 25 secondary Second- 
schools, the attendance at which is 2,248, Of these six are High c^tiov"' 
schools of which one only, the Zilla School at Purulia, is main- 
tained by Grovernment. The pupils on the rolls of this school in 
1 908-09 numbered 272, but it is reported that for want of suflB- 
cieut accommodation both in the school itself and the hostel 
attached, a number of applicants had to be refused admission. 
Considerable ODlargemenfs of the buildings have been sanctioned 
by Government but funds have not as yet been provided to carry 
tht m out. Two schools, i.e., those at Chirkunda and Raghunath- 
pur, with a total of 259 pupils are aided by Government and in 
the latter case also by municipal funds. Of the three unaided 
institutions those at Jharia and Pandra, which owe their existence 
to the liberality of Raja Durga Prosad Singh and the late Rani 
Hingan Kumari respectively, provide for 88 and 118 pupils 
respectively. The remaining High School is known as the 
Victoria Institution and is at PurOHa; in 1908-09 the number of 
scholars was 366. Of middle schools there were 19 in 1908-09, 
namely, 12 middle English and 7 middle vernacular. One of 
the former and three of the latter were managed by the District 
Board, the number of pupils on the rolls being 45 and 185 res- 
pectively. Of the others 13 with 822 pupils were aided and 2 
Avith 03 pupils unnidt^d. The popularity of secondary vernacular 
education is evidently declining as the present figures show a 
considerable falling off since 1891-92 when there were 12 middle 
vernacular schools with 570 pupils. 

The total number of primary schools for boys in the district is Pfiiii-^Br 
676, of which 73 are upper primary and 603 lower primar}^ , ^^q^^' 
With the exception of 4 upper primary schools attached to the 








guru training schools, all are under private management, 561 
being aided and 111 unaided. The attendance at these schools 
was 22,685, viz., 21,435 boys and 1,150 girls. Upper primary- 
schools are usually accommodated in buildings specially provided 
for them, but in the majority of cases such buildings are very 
unsuitable for the purposes. With few exceptions lower primary 
schools have no regular buildings and are generally held in the 
common pujn house of the village, or the verandah of some com- 
paratively well-to-do villager's house. With the aid of a Govern- 
ment grant of Es. 15,500 and funds subscribed locally the District 
Board are now constructing 18 model school buildings, of which 
12 are intended for upper primary and 6 for lower primary 

The education of women has not advanced beyond the primary 
stage. There were in 1908-09 altogether 29 girls' schools, ^.f., 4 
upper and 25 lower primary. These schools were attended 
by 847 girls, and there were also 1,150 girls studying in boys' 
schools, so that altogether 1,997 girls were under instruction; of 
these 1,636 were Hindus, 26 Muhammadans, 148 Christians and 
187 aborigines. In the majority of cases the girls' schools are 
taught by male teachers from the neighbouring boys' schools and 
there are only 13 girls' schools with separate staif. 

There is one model primary school for girls teaching up to the 
lower primary standard. It is under the management of Grov- 
ernment and had 42 girls on its roll on 31st March 1909. 

There are four schools for the training of primary school 
teachers, all of which are intended for male teachers. Sixty- 
four gurus were under training at the close of the year 1908-09, 
and during the year 11 passed the final examination. 

Five technical schools are aided by the District Board or 
Government, of which 2 are for instruction in blacksmith's work 
at Jhalda, where there is a considerable manufacture of country 
guns, sword-sticks, and agricultural and household implements. 
The German Lutheran Mission at PurQlia maintains a general 
technical school where carpentering and smithy work are taught 
to the inmates of the untainted children's ward attached to the 
Leper Asylum ; there is also in connection with the same Mission 
a lace school for girls, at present unaided. A special weaving 
school is managed by the Rev, Dr. A. Campbell of the Sonthal 
Mission at Pokhuria. The remaining aided school is at Tanasi, 
the industry taught being smithy. Another weaving school at 
Raghunathpur was supported for a nuTiber of years by the 
District Board, but was recently abandoned as the local weavers 
found that the fly-shuttle loom was uusuited for the local industry 

Education. 261 

of silk- weaving. In all these schools arrangements have recently 
been made to provide teaching in at any rate part of the lower 
primaiy course hesidos the industrial subject. 

There were in 1908-09, 37 night schools with 824 pupils on Night ou 
their rolls. Their object is to give facihties for primary education t,on " 
to boys of the working classes who are unable to attend the ordi- schools. 
nary day schools. 

Other schools include 7 Sanskrit tola with 1 1 9 boys on their Otheb 
rolls, 11 maktabs Avith 20G students, 13 indigenous schools teach- ^ "°°^^* 
ing vernacular only with 97 pupils, and Koran schools (class I 
maktab) with 115 pupils, on their rolls. These schools were 
returned as private institutions. 

There were in 1908-09 9 boarding-houses mth 237 inmates. BoABDiNa 
Of those one is attached to the Purfilia Zilla School and m^°^^^^' 
under the management of Government ; the rest are unaided 
and under private management. 

The number of Muhammadan pupils studying in public educa- 
institutions in 1908-09 was 1,541, representing 5-31 per cent, ^'o-^ o^ 
of pupils of all creeds, almost exactly the same proportion as the ent 
Muhammadan population bears to the total population of the «acb3. 
whole district. It is noticeable also that the percentage of 
literates among the Muhammadan population is 59 as compared 
with 4-2 for Hindus, a fact which suggests that the communi- 
ty has realised to some extent the importance of primary 

The number of aboriginal pupils in the various public iustitu- Abohigi- 
tions is returned by the Education Department as 5,709 of wh(jm ^^^' 
328 are Chrij^tians ; few of these go beyond the primary stages, 
and it is a significant fact that none of the Government offices 
in the district contain a single aboriginal clerk, though attempts 
have been made from time to time to recruit suitable aboriginals 
as apprentices. The backwardness of the aboriginal population 
generally in the matter of education is shown by the low per- 
centage of literates to total population in the thanas in which 
the aboriginal element is strongest, Baghmundi 2 per cent., 
Chandil and Barabhum 2-4 per cent., and Tiindi 2 9 per cent., as 
compared \\'ith the district average of 4 2. The same table shows 
that the area in which education is most advanced is that which 
borders on Burdwan and Bankura, in which the immigrant 
population from the more advanced Bengal districts is more 
predominant than elsewhere. 

There is a small public library at Purulia, maintained Libbaeies 
in the Town Hall erected to commemorate the Jubilee of the nkws- 
Uueen-Empress Yietoria. The only private library of any papebs. 


importance is tliat of Dr. Campbell at Pokliuria, wliieli is largely 

Two newspapers, the Manbhum and the Purulia Da>yan, 
dealing with topics of local interest are published at Purulia. 
The Sonthal Mission Press at Pokhuria publishes a quarterly 
magazine dealing with the progress of Medical Mission in 





Adra. — An important station and railway settlement on the 
Gomoh-Eiaragpur and Asansol-Sini sections of the Bengal- 
Nagpur Eailway Hne, situated at 23° 30' N. and 86° 44' 
K. 177 miles from Calcutta, 24 from Puriilia and 26 from 
Asansol. This rapidly growing settlement has come into existence 
since 1903, when the Khai-agpur-Gomoh branch was opened. 
The area covered by the station buildings, yard, workshops and 
residences is nearly a square mile in extent, and more recently a 
large area (nearly half a square mile) has been acquired as a 
sanitary zone, and to secure unpolluted the catchment area of the 
large tank to the east of the settlement which is the source of the 
water supply. The settlement includes the residences and offices 
of a District Engineer, District Loco. Superintendent, District 
Traffic Superintendent, and Assistants, a Medical Officer and a 
Chaplain, besides quarters for a large number of European and 
Indian subordinates of the different branches A line church has 
recently been built at the expense of the Bailway Company, and 
there is also a large institute, providing f 'r the recreation and 
amusement of the subordinate staff. The affairs of the settlement 
including a m^ket garden and a meat market, are managed by a 
Station Committee ; there is also a Bench of llonoraiy Magis- 
trates with third class powers, who dispose of any cases made 
over to them by the Deputy Commissioner. About five miles 
south, and connected with the station by a metalled road is 
Kashipur, the pre&ent head-quarters of tho Zamindar of Panchet. 
Balarampur. — A village 3 miles south-east of Puriilia near the 
banks of the K&sai river, A description of a collection of ruins at 
this place, written by Lieutenant R. C. Money, is quoted in Colonel 
Dalton's Notes on a Tour in Manbhum in 1864-65,* and reproduced 
in Hunter's Statistical Account under the name Palma, which is 
apparently an eiTor for Balarampur. Mr. Beglar describes the 
principal ruin as a temple of the Baijnath typo dating probably 

• The Journal of the Asiatic Society XXXV, Part I of 1866, page 1S(J . 


to some time after Eaja Man Singh, but "built of the materials 
of an older temple. The sculptures of perfectly nude male 
figures, standing on pedestals and under canopies, with Egyptian 
head-dresses, the arms hanging down straight by their sides, the 
hands turned in and touching the body near the knees, described 
by Lieutenant Money and identifi.ed by Colonel Dalton as images 
of the Tirthankaras of the Jains are no longer extant, and had 
apparently been removed before Mr. Beglar's visit in 1872. 

Barabazar. — A village of considerable size, in pargana Bara- 
bhum in latitude 23° 2' N. and longitude 86° 25' E. 12 miles 
south-east of the Barabhum railway station in the Asansol- 
Sini section of the Bengal-Nagpur Eailway. The viUage contains 
the residence and family temples of the zamindar of the pargana, 
a police station, a sub-registry office, a District Board inspection 
bungalow, a middle English school, and a post and telegraph 
oflSce combined. The offices and residence of the Manager of the 
Midnapore Zamindari Company, which holds a large part of the 
^tate on a potni lease, are situated just outside the village. 
Barabazar was also the head-quarters of a separate Munsifi from 
1880, when it was transferred there from Manbazar, until October 
1898 when it was again transferred to Purulia The tradi- 
tional origin of the Barabhum family connects them closely with 
the adjoining estate of Patkum and its mythical founder Yikram- 
aditya {vide also under Dahni, Pabanpur, Telkupij ; their family 
legend is given by Colonel Dalton as a specimen of the skill of 
the Bhumij zamindars in making pedigrees. " Nath Varaha and 
Kes Yaraha, two brothers, quarrelled with their father, the Eaja 
of Virat, and settled in the court of Vikramaditya. Kes the 
younger was sawn into two pieces, and with his blood Vikram 
gave a ' tika '* to the eldest and a pair of umbrellaa, and told him 
that aU the country he could ride round in a day and night 
should be his. Nath mounted his steed and accomplished a 
circuit of eight 'yojanas't within the time specified, and a 
precious stifi' line of country he took in riding round what is now 
Barabhum, but it must be all true as the print of his horse's hoofs 
are still visible on the southern slopes of the hills." (^Descriptive 
Ethnology of Bengal 1872). Another variant to the earlier part 
of the story is that the two brothers came to Vikramaditya's 
court with the fixed determination that they would not bow 
their heads to any one. To test them Yikramaditya had some 
swords hung in the door through which they would first pass ; 

* Mark on the forehead. 

t A "yojaua" is equal to four " kros" or a trifle over 9 miles, a "kros" being 
•qual to 8,000 cubits or 12,(i00 feet taking a cubit aa 18 inches. 


Set or Kes passed through without stooping and his head was in 
oousoquuuce severed from his body, whereupon Vikramaditya 
stopped Iho other brother, and took hini into favour, awarding 
him a kingdom in the manner ah-eady described. 

The name of the pargana and estate liarabhum is beyond 
question a survival of the Varahabhunii described in the Bhavi- 
shyat Purfma of the 15th or IGth century, as a country " contigu- 
ous in one direction to Tungabhumi" (the southern part of 
Raipur thana in the Bankura district), " and in another to the 
Sekhara mountain" (either Parasnath or the Panchet hiU) and 
comprising Varabhumi, Samantabh- mi (Chatna thana in i ankura) 
and Miinbhumi." According to the same account the inhabitants 
were "mostly Rajputs, robbers by profession, irreligious and 
savage, eaters of snakes and drinkers of spirituous hquorB," a 
description which remained very true to the facts till a much later 

At the time of the British accession to the Dewani of Bengal, 
Burdwan, and Orissa, and for many years afterwards the area 
covered by this estate was notorious as the home of the " chuars," 
and the zamindar and his chief sardars were little better than 
leaders of banditti. Details of the organisation of the ghatwals, 
who are a special feature of the pargana, will be found elsewhere 
{vide Chapter XI and Appendix). 

Boram. — A village some four miles south of the police station 
Jay pur (railway station Grarh Jaypur) on the right or south 
bank of the Kasai river. Here are the ruins of three large brick 
temples and several stone temples of which Colonel Dalton* gave 
the following description : — 

"The most southern of the three temples is the largest. The 
tower rises from a base of 26 feet square. The chamber occupies 
only 9 feet square of this, and after 9 feet of upright wall is 
pyramidal in form, the bricks, in rows of first three, then two, 
and near the top one, gra<Lually approaching till the four sides 
meet. The remainder of the tower is solid brickwork throughout. 
Its height is about GO feet; but the u]>per portion of it has fallen, 
and it is impossible to say how it was dnished off. The bricks 
of which these temples are composed, some of them eighteen 
inches by twelve, and only two inches thick, look as if they were 
machine made, so sharp are the edges, s> smooth their surface, 
and so perfect their shape. They are very carefuUy laid through- 
out the mass of masonry, so closely fitting that it would be 
difficult to insert at the junction the blade of a knife. The 

• J. A. S. XXXV. Part 1 of 1866. 


entrance to all the temples faces the rising sun. The objects of 
worship, whatever they were, have disappeared from the fanes ; 
but in the southern temple there is a stone gutter through the 
wall, terminating in a well-carved gargoyle for carrying oS 
the water used in the ablution of the idol. The bricks used for 
ornamental freizes and cornices appear to have been carefully 
moulded for the purpose before they were burned ; and the design, 
executed entirely of bricks thus moulded and put together, is, 
though very elaborate, wonderfully perfect and elegant as a 
whole ; but in some places stucco has been added, and further 
ornamentation or more delicate tracery attempted in the stucco 
on the brick foundation, and this tracery, where it remains, is in 
wonderful preservation. The entrance to the temple is wide 
and lofty, and arched like the interior ; that is, by the projection, 
till they meet, of bricks horizontally laid. Door, there appears 
no sign of. The fane must have been open to the world. The 
only animals I could discern in the ornamentation were geese, 
introduced in the scrolls. The goose is a Buddhist emblem. The 
other temples are of similar design, but smaller size. In front 
of them I observed several pillars of stone ; but I found no 
architraves, and the pillars are hardly long enough to have been 
the support of a covered porch in front of the fane. These three 
temples are all of the same type, and are no doubt correctly 
ascribed by the people to the Srawaks or Jains. I found, indeed , 
no Jain images on the spot ; but about a mile to the south the 
remains of a Hindu temple in a grove were pointed out to me, 
and all the images from all the temples in the neighbourhood 
have been there collected, The grove temple was 4©dicated to 
Siva ; but amongst the images were several nude figures like 
those already described, that were in all probability the Jain 
figures belonging to the brick temple. Near the brick temples 
I found, amongst a heap of ruins, a square stone crypt in which 
was a four-armed female figure, finely carved, in the style of 
the sculptures at Dalmi, to be presently described. This was 
worshipped by the women of the place under the name of Sasthi. 
In the grove there was a similar figure, and the other images of 
Hindu gods found there appeared to be of the same period. 
Another mound was pointed out to me, about half a mile from the 
grove, as a collection of ruins, but I did not go to it." 

Mr. Beglar* describes these temples as definitely Saivic ; the 
largest, that described in detail by Colonel Daltou, faces east 
and the object of worship is a four-armed female presumably 

* Archaeological Survey of India Reports, Vol. VIII. 


Parvati seated on a liou. Another Parvati with a small figure of 
Ganesha to ils right and a foinalo fignro to the left lies near the 
second brick temple ; this resemhlos in execution and style the 
sculptures of Dalnii (<i. v.) and belongs apparently to the same 
period, i.e., the tenth or eleventh century. The third brick temple 
faces north, and contains a life-size sculpture of the eight-armed 
Durga slaying Maliishashur, and is of particularly tine work- 
manship. Mr. Beghir describes also a fourth brick temple besides 
throe stone temples, and the numerous mounds and debris scattered 
about point to the existence of others, which may have been of 
earlier date. The only inscriptions are the single letter K ins- 
cribed on a round-ended flat slab between the river and the 
largest temple, and the figure G on one of the side posts of the 
entrance to one of the stone temples. The former is ascribed, 
from the formation of the character, to the ninth or tenth 

Buddhpai'.— A village four miles north of Manbazar on the 
Hura Road on the north bank of the Kasai river. There is here 
an interesting group of temples of which the largest is still 
in a fair state of preservation and maintained as a place of 
Saivic worship ; in its immediate neighbourhood are the remains 
of four smaller temples, besides numerous roughly sculptured 
stones commemorating in all probability *' mtis.'' The main 
temple is thus described by Mr. Beglar, '* The temple is 
placed on a liigh plinth on the topmost point of a low 
hillock ; in plan, the temple resembles other temples of the 
kind, with some petty variations, the principal of which is 
that at the two sides of the entrance into the " antarala " 
are two recesses, like the recesses at the sides of the western- 
most templg at Barakhar. The windows in the projecting 
ends of the transept are closed by plain square-holed lattices 
cut in the same sandstone of which the temple is built ; 
the windows being projecting, the three open sides of each 
are thus closed. The entrance into the ' antarala ' is similar 
to the entrance into the temple at Buddha Gaya, being 
formed of overlapping courses of stones. The ornamentation 
externally eonsists of lines of mouldings of a plain kind 
sparingly used ; the mouldings resemble those of the 
temples at Barakhar. The pinnacle that sunnounted the 
original tower roof of the sanctum lies neglected on the 
ground ; it is an urn-shaped vessel, supported by four cobras 
with expanded hoods and forked tongues, and is graceful in 
outline and design ; there can, I believe, be no doubt that it 
was, as it now is, a Saivic temple." 


The lingam of the temple is known as Budheswar and 
ranks locally, in point of sanctity, with the Gadadhar of 
Gaya, and Buddhpur is the scene of an annual fair held 
on the last night of the month of Ohaitra, which attracts 
plilgrims in considerable numbers both from the immediate 
neighbourhood and from adjoining districts. 

Chakultor.— A large village, situated in 23" 14' N. and 
86° 24' E. about seven miles south of Purulia, on the 
Puriilia-Barabazar Eoad. The place is chiefly notable for an 
annual fair held at the time of the Chhata festival on 
the last day of the month of Bhadra. The origin of the 
celebration of this festival, usually confined to places where 
local zamindars reside, and of the fair which follows it lies 
apparently in the fact that at one lime this was one of 
the seats of the Panchet Zamindar. Some members of the 
family still reside here, and there are remains of fairly ela- 
borate buildings, both residences and temples. The fair lasts 
for seven days and is one of considerable local importance 
attracting large numbers of people, chiefly of the aboriginal 
or semi- aboriginal tribes, from the southern half of the district. 

Charra. — Village in the head-quarters subdivision of Man- 
bhum district, situated in 23° 23' N. and 86° 25' E. 4 miles 
north-east of Purulia. Population (1901) l,o32. It contains some 
vfery old stone temples, called deuls or debalayas. There were 
originally seven temples, but five have fallen. Some of them were 
Jain or Buddhistic, and numerous votive chaityas with mutilated 
figures either of Buddha or one of the Jain hierarchs lie in the 
village, but the greater number of the remains of sculptures lying 
about are Brahmauical. According to local tradition these and 
some large tanks in the vicinity were constructed by Saraks 
i^vide Cha]Dter III, page 83 sqq). 

Dalma. — Principal hill in Manbhum district, situated in the 
headquarters subdivision in 22° 53' N. and 86° 14' E. rising 
to a height of 3,407 feet above sea-level. It has been described 
as the rival of Parasnath, but it lacks the bold precipices and 
commanding peaks of that hill, and is merely a long rolling ridge 
rising gradually to its highest point. Its slopes are covered with 
dense forest, but are accessible to beasts of burden. The chief 
aboriginal tribes living on the hill are the Kharias and Paharias. 

Dalmi or more correctly Diapur Dalmi, the site of an ancient 
town of considerable extent on the north bank of the Subarna- 
rekha river, in latitude 23° 4' N. and longitude 86° 2' E. 
The actual ruins are now, and have for a long time been, in a 
very dilapidated condition ; a full account of them is to be fonnl 


at pages \8G-sq(] of Volume VIII of tlie Arcli£eological Survey 
of India Reports (J. D. Beglar), and at pages 190-f<qq, 
Volume XXXV, Part I, Jouinul of the Asiatic Society, Bengal, 
1866 (Colonel E. T. Dalton). One brick tomple alone remains 
and this also is much dilapidated, but for several miles almost 
every eminence is marked by debris of temples and other build- 
ings. A few only of the statues described by earlier observers 
are to be found in situ, the remainder have beo-n removed to 
various places in the village or to Puriilia. Mr. Beglar identified 
some of the more noiiherly ruins as Jain or Buddhist, and the 
remainder as Brahmani(^al. The ruins of a brick fort of no great 
size, known as Vikramaditya's fort, are still visible to the south 
of the village, on the bank of the Subarnarekha river ; nearer the 
village is a large tank known as the " Chhata Pokhav" from the 
singular structure of stone, two small columns supporting a triple 
umbrella, which marks what was perhaps oncu the centre of the 
tank. Tradition has it that this is where Vikramaditya used to 
perform Puja before bathing ; Telkuju some 60 miles away on 
the Damodar was where he rubbed his body with oil preparatory 
to the bath. The most notable of the extant statues is a colossal 
Ganesha, who according to Colonel Dalton was the janitor, the 
heaps of stones round about representing the remains of the 
river gate of the old city. In the village itself are various sta- 
tues of Vishnu, and of groups representing Vishnu and Lakshmi 
Durga Mayi, the monster Mahisasur, and of Kamdeva and his 

The only inscribed statue is one of Aditya, the characters 
being proba-bly of the tenth century to which period Mr. Beo-lar 
judging from the general style of the sculpture, would date the 
temples. Sonje of the sculpture and ornamentation is described 
by him as very good, and obviously ascribable either to Jains 
or Buddhists ; he infers thai there was a large Jain establish- 
ment here in the ninth and tenth century, succeeded, say about 
the eleventh century, by Hinduism. 

Of equal interest ^nth these remains of an ancient Aryan 
civilisation is the enormous collection of '"Kistvaens" in the 
village itself, the sacred burial places of the Bhuniij ; some of 
the stones are of enormous si^e, lU to 15 feet square, and alto- 
gether there must be several hundred, representing originally 
as many heads of houses or founders of families. The inference 
to be drawn from their presence here and the ruins alongside is 
that the Aryan city was conquered, and the followers of Brah- 
mauism driven out by the incursion of the Bhun\ij seotiuu of the 
Kolarian race sometime probably between the eleventh and 

270 manbhum. 

sixteenth centuries. The small extent of jungle for some dis- 
tance round, the absence of any sign even of earlier forests on 
the now bare hUls, and the very considerable cultivated area all 
mark the place as a very eai'ly settlement of the Bhumij ; 
from the extent of the ruins it might reasonably be inferred that 
much of the country was already cultivated when they became 
its masters. Another view, it may be noted, that held by Colonel 
Balton, is that the Kolarian tribes were already in possession 
when the Buddhists, and later the Brahmans, pushed out missions 
into the wilder parts of the country. He assumes that when 
these missions got too aggressive the progenitors of the Kols, 
Bhumij, and Munda finally after severe and continued struggles 
extirpated them. 

The present reigning family of Patkum, six miles from 
Dalmi, claim descent from Yikramaditya, and have the usual 
stories to account for their presence here. The generally accept- 
ed theory is that the Raja or Zamindar of this and other 
estates is descended from a self-elected chief or mauki of a group 
of Bhumij, or Munda villages; it may be as Colonel Dalton 
half satirically suggests that the conquering aborigines " from a 
lingering admiration for the superior intelligence, higher civil- 
isation and godlike beauty " of the Aryans they displaced, 
" retained some of them as guides and instructors and in some 
instances from the remnant heirs retained, elected their chief. 
"We might thus account for the Aryan features and Brahmanioal 
predilections of some of the chiefs whom we find ruling alike 
people without any evidence that they had by conquest attained 
that position," 

The chief modern importance of Dalmi is tne manufacture 
of cups and plates from the soft dark coloured slate stone, 
which crops up iu and along the bed of the river here. Some 
16 or 20 people are emplo^'ed in quarrying and about as 
many in cutting the stone. There are obvious indications all 
1 ound that a great part of the sculptured or plain blocks^, forming 
the ruins of the temples, have already been u>ed up for the same 

A few miles further up the Subarnarekha, and north-west 
of Dalmi, is Safaran, which Mr. Beglar identifies with the Kiraua 
Sufalana of Hwen-Tsang, the capital of the Sasangka Raja 
At Safaran itself are uninvestigated mounds, and near it in 
Deoli and Suisa fairly extensive indications of early Jain civili- 
sation ; in Suisa there is also another large Bhumij burial p'ace. 

Dhanbaid. — Headquarters of the subdivision of that name 
since July 1908. It is an important station on the East Indian 


Grand Chord Line, and is the junction for the Jhnria and Katras 
branches from which radiate most of the short lengths of line 
which serve the various collieries. The railway quarters cover a 
considerable area on either side of the line near the station, and 
quarters have been erected or are in course of erection for a full 
complement of railway ofEeials besides a very large subordinate 
start, both European and Indian. The civil buildings cons- 
tructed between 1905 and 1908 lie in the village of Hirapnr 
about half a milt I'rom the railway ^taii(•n and comprise a Sub- 
divisional Magistrate's Court, a Munsifi, Sub- Registry Office, 
Post and Telegraph Office combined, and police statiou, with 
residences for the Subdivisioiml Officer, Munsif, and Sub-Deputy 
Magistrate. North of tliese again is the large double-storied 
office of the Department of Mines in India, with residences for 
the Chief Inspector, an Inspector, and a large number of clerks. 
The purely Dative town which is still in the early stages of 
growth consists of a considerable bazar in the village of Dhan- 
baid immediately south of the Railway line and a rapidly grow- 
ing residential quarter for pleaders, clerks, etc., between the 
offices of the Mines Department and the rural village of Hirapur. 
The chief feature of the former is the Lindsny market-place 
recently constructed by private enterprise. There are also several 
large general merchandise shops and a couple of printing presses. 

Dhanbaid Sub-division — Known till July 1908 as the Gobind- 
pur Sub-division, is the northern sub-division of the district 
lying between 23° 38' and 24° 4' north and 86° 7' and 86° 50' east 
with an area of 803 square miles. In shape it is an irregular 
triangle between the Barakhar and Damodar riverf=, their junction 
just south of Barakhar in the Burdwan district forming the 
apex. A third river, the Jamuni, forms a part of its western 
boundary, the remainder being foimed by the lower slopes of the 
Parasnath Range, and the vaiious spurs and ridges which strike 
off from it. To the north and ea-^t the country is fairly open, 
marked only by occasional hills of no great height. The popula- 
tion of the subdivision was 277,122 in 1901 as compared with 
221,434 in 1891, the density being 345 persons to tbe square 
mile. The south-eastern part of the subdivision, comprising 
the police stations of Dhanbaid and Jharia and the independent 
out- post of Katras, con'^titutes the Jharia coal-field, the rapid 
development of which between the years 1894 and 1901 accounts 
for the large increase in the population of the subdivision as 
returned in the latter year ; during the succeeding years 
the development has been even more marked, and there 
were in 1908 no lees than 281 collieries at work in this aroa 


omjl.oying a daily average of 72,000 labourers, A portion of the 
i^aLiganj coal-field falls within the eastern part of the subdivi- 
sion (police station Niisa and independent out-pobt Chirkunda), 
The area covered by the remaining | oiice stations of Gobiudpur, 
Tundi and Topehanehi and out-post iiajganj is almost entirely 
outeide the limits of workable coal deposits, and is consequently 
purely rural in character. There are no towns, but Jharia Khas, 
Katras and Dhanbaid are now places of considerable size and 
importance. The head-quarters of the subdivision were moved 
to Dhanbaid from Gobindpur in July 1908; for some years 
before 1846o Bagsuma. a small village at mile 167 of the Grand 
Trunk Eoad, was the site of the Sub-divisional Officer's residence 
and office. 

Gobindpur.— A village situated in 23° 50' N. and 86° 32' E. 
at the lfi9th mile of the Grand Trunk Eoad, formerly (till 1908) 
the head-quarters of the northern sub-division of the district. 
Population (1901) 1,293. There were the usual subdivisional 
offices and a residence and a sub-jail. The last named has now 
been converted into a guru- training school, and the Subdivi- 
sional Officer's residence has been taken over by the District 
Board for use as an inspection bungalow. The village has now 
lost practically all its importance with the removal of the pleaders, 
mukhtears, clerks and most of the shop-keepers to Dhanbaid. A 
weekly market is held, which is attended by a considerable 
numbers of villagers from the rural areas surrounding. A single 
lac factory, and a few big grain merchants' depots remain to 
testify to the former importance of the place. There are two 
fine sheets of water, hdndhs constructed at the expense of Gov- 
ernment during the famine years of 1866 and by public subscrip- 
tion in 1882-83, known respectively as the Sahib l^andh and the 
Eisley bandh. Both of these are maintained by the District 
Board. There is also a Government camping ground to the 
west of the village, and a Public Works Department inspection 
bungalow about 3 miles west on the Grand Trunk Eoad at 
Kandra. Good gravelled roads to Tundi and Pokhuria (towards 
Giridih and Jamtara, respectively) take off from the Grand 
Trunk Eoad on the northern side, and on the south there is the 
direct road to Purulia via Pradhankhunta station and Sarsakunri 
Ghat and also a metalled road to Dhanbaid and the coal-field. 

Jhalda (Jhalida). — A email town in the head-quarters 
subdivision, situated in 23° 22' N. and 85 59' E. Population 
(TjOI) ^,877. Since 1908 it has been connected by railway with 
Purulia and Ranchi. Jhalda was constituted a Municipality in 
1888, and its income, mainly from a tax on persons, averaged 


Rs. 4,000 during the five years ending 1908-09 ; its average 
annual expenditure during the same period was Rs. 3,800. Tlie 
town consists of one main street (the PurHlia-Ranchi road) with 
several small streets leading off from it. There is a regular 
weekly market, and also a fair number of merchants, shops 
dealing in grain, cloth, kerosine oil and miscellaneous articles. 
There are some 43 lac factories owned for the most part by 
Armenian and Mirzapuri firms, and it is a very important centre 
for the lao trade, large quantities of the raw material being 
brought in from the wild tracts, both of Manbhum and of the 
Ranohi and Hazaribagh districts which surround it. There is 
also a considerable manufacture of cutlery, including sword-sticks 
and also of guns. Besides the Ranchi-PuriiKa road, there is a 
good metalled road as far as the border of the district, towards 
Gola, one of the chief trade centres in Hazaribagh, and there are 
fair gravelled roads towards Baghmundi (south) and Begunkodar 
(cast) . The public buildings consist of a small Municipal office, 
a dispensary with accommodation for in-patients, a District Board 
inspection bungalow, and a police station. Besides the usual 
middle vernacular and primary schools, there are two technical 
schools, subsidized by the District Board and Municipality, where 
boys of tlie artisan class are taught how to make cutlery and agri- 
cultural implements. Jhalda is also the head-quarters of the local 
zamindar, whose residence, a collection of not vpry imposing 
buildings, is surrounded by a high earthen rampart, partly 
natural, partly artificial. 

According to one of the traditions of the Panohet family 
Jhalda \\as their earliest seat in the district, and the sacred cow, 
Kapila Gai, who nourished the abandoned child of Anot Lai, 
Raja of Kashipur, who eventually became the first king of 
Chaurasi or Sekharbhum with head-quarters at Panchkot, is 
supposed to have been converted into stone and to Jiave her 
resting place one of the hills north of Jhalda The traditional 
history of the Jhalda Raj family contains nothing of special 

Jharia. — A large village in the Dhanbaid subdivision, situated 
in 23° 44' north and 86 ^ 27' east. Population (1901) 4,623. The 
village itself, except in point of size, possesses few features of 
interest ; it contains a market place, built by the local Raja, 
a charitable dispensary built and maintained by him, and a 
police station. There arc a number of shops of considerable size 
dealing in grain, cloth, kerosine oil and other necessaries of the 
largo coal-field population; there are also residences, some of 
imposing dimensions, of Indian colliery owners, managers and 


others connected with the coal trade. Good metalled roads 
connect the station, the market, the Rajbari, etc., with the main 
District Board roads running from Dhanbaid, Katras and 
Pathardih. The residence of the Raja, just outside of and to the 
north-west of the bazar, is of cousiderable ?ize ; most of it is of 
comparatively modern construction and of no spocial architectural 
interest ; a large house for the reception of guests is under 
construction. Between the Rajbari and bazar is a fine tank, and 
another large tank, the Rani bandh, recently enlarged and deepened 
at the Raja's expense lies between the Dhanbaid and Katras roads 
and the Damodar Branch of the East Indian Railway line. On 
all sides of the bazar, and working right up to, if not actually 
underneath part of it, are numerous collieries ; some of the best 
and most easily worked of the Jharia seams underlie the town, 
which, sooner or later, wiU probably have to make room for 
collieries A quarter of a mile from the present residence of 
the Raja is a small hill or mound with a few dilapidated ruins 
on it, said to be the remains of the original fort of Jhariagarh, 
from which, according to the historians, the whole tract of country 
including the greater part of Ohota Nagpur and part of Bihar 
got the name of Jh&rkhand, by which it was known in 
Muhammadan times. The mound also contains traces of having 
been a Bhumij or Munda burial ground. According to tradi- 
tion the present Jharia house is an offshoot of Palganj in 
Hazaribagh and was formerly established at Katrasgarh, the 
original offshoot having further spht up in more recent times 
into the three houses of Katras, Nawagarh, and Jharia. Twenty 
years ago the zamindar's income was some Rs. 25,000 to 
Rs. 30,000 entirely derived from rents of land ; his present 
income from rents and mining royalties is some . three to five 
lakhs per annum, over and above which very large sums have 
"been received as ' sa/du i ' on coal settlements. 

Half way between Jharia (East Indian Railway) and Bhaga 
(Bengal-Nagpur Railway) Railway stations is the Jharia Station 
Club, which is the common meeting place of the European 
community of the coal-field ; nearer Bhaga station is a District 
Board inspection bungalow, and also a small lecture-haU where 
the Mining Instructor gives regular courses of instruction to 
candidates for Mines' Managers' certificates. On the other side 
of Jharia about half a mile from the town on the Dhanbaid road 
is a Protestant (undenominational) Church recently erected by 
private subscription. 

Katras or Katrasgarh.— A village of considerable rize about 
li miles from the railway station of that name, and six miles 


smith of the polioe out post Uajganj on the Grand Trunk Eoad. 
Aloug with *he iiuw bazar which has sprung up near the station 
and is locally called Pauchgarhi it is now a place of couaiderable 
importance being surrounded on three sides by colliery areas 
Panchgarlii coutaius an independent police outpost, an iuspcction 
bungjih)w, post and tehgraph office combined, school, and a large 
mark' t place which is the chief centre of distribution in the west- 
ern half of tlie Jharia coal field. Tho villagn if Katras itself 
contains the residence of the local zamindar, and acccrding to tradi- 
tion wns formerly the head-quarters of the Jharia llaj before this 
was split up into tlie separate houses of Katras, Jharia and Nawa- 
garh. There are traces of ruins of numerous temples and other 
buildings, of which a small temple hdf ruined, known as the 
Dewal is described by Mr. Beglir as an interesting and ancient 
example of the single-cell type. It stands on the crest of high 
undulating ground known by the name of Jhinjhi Pahari, where a 
fair is held in the month of Chaitra (March-ApriL . The temple 
faces west ; on the architrave of the entrance is a sculptured human 
head with matted locks, apparently intended for Siva, and within 
is an argha centrically placed. South of Katraa about 8 miles off 
on both l)anks of the Damodar river at Chechgaongarh and 
Belonja are a number of ruined temples, marking the site of a 
very ancient Buddhist or Jain religious establishment, succeeded 
by a Brahmanical, Th«i ruins, for the most part very dilapidated, 
are principally of Saivic ten.ples, but indications of the earlier 
Jain estabUt-hment remain in a large naked and obviously Jain 
statue now at Belonja, south of the river, besides various Jain 
and Buddhistic figures and emblems sculptured on the fragments 
in situ or scattered about. The ruins are very extensive, traces of 
16 temples, .large and small, are extant in a space of about a 
quarter of a mile broad and half a mile in length, besides others 
half a mile away on either side on the north bank of the river 
and of one large temple on the south bank, and there is every 
indication that the buildings were elaborate and profusely orna- 
mented with sculpture, some of which in beauty and delicacy of 
workmanship vies, according to Mr. Beglur, with the similar work 
in the superb temple of Udaipur in Central India. 

Manbazar. — A village or rather group of villages of consi- 
derable size, in latitude 23° 03' N. and longitude 8G° 43' E. some 
28 miles south-oast of Burulia, and the chief place in the pargana 
from which the district gets its name ; it is also the seat of the 
local zamindar, locally known as Kaja of Manbhum, The family 
claim to have come originally from Raj put ana and settled first in 
the Burdwan district and Liter in Bankura. They are connected 

T 2 


by marriage with the landholding houses of Ambikanagar, 
Khatra, and Bishmipur. Of their Rajput origin they have 
nothing in the shape of authentic records of ancient date, and in 
all probability like other zamindars of the district they are 
actually of Bhumij or possibly in this case of Bauri origin. 
The estate is at present heavily involved in debt due partly to 
an expensive succession suit but mainly to the wholesale aliena- 
tion of portions of the estate on nominal rents fixed in perpetuity. 
It is now under management under the Chota Nagpur Encum- 
bered Estates Act. 

Manbazar, or rather a small village close to it, Bartoria, was 
the head-quarters of the Jungle Mahals district from 1833 to 
1838. Of the office buildings and residence a heap of bricks is 
the only remains, but the police station occupies the site of the 
Munsifi and Sub- Registry Office which were not removed from 
here till a much later date. The bazar is of considerable extent 
and is an important centre of the lac trade, which is exported 
mainly in the unmanufactured state to Purulia to the extent, 
it is said, of nearly a lakh of rupees' worth per annum. A large 
factory was started here a few years ago by an Armenian firm, 
but owing to the dulness of [the lac market and the distance from 
any railway station the venture has not been successful and the 
factory is now (1909) about to close. There is one middle 
vernacular school and also two lower primary schools in the 
village, and a third lower primary school at Pathormohara, 
which immediately adjoins it. There is also a police station and 
a post office, and a District Board inspection bungalow. A good 
road connects the place with Puriilia, and there are also roads 
leading north to Hura, west to Barabazar, and east to Bankura 
and Khatra, besides a fair-weather track leading south to 
Kailapal and Bandwan, • 

Pabanpur. — A village in pargana Barabhum in latitude 
22° 57' N. and longitude 86° 23' E., where there are extensive 
ruins of temples and other buildings, which have not as yet been 
examined by any archaeologist. The ruins extend into the 
neighbouring village of Bhula, which is a purely Bhumij village 
and the site of a large burial ground belonging to the Bhumij of 
the Grulgar sept or KilU. Tradition connects the ruins mth Eaja 
Yikramaditya, the reputed ancestor of the zamindars of the 
adjoining pargana of Patkum, whose name is also closely con- 
nected with the ruins at Dalmi and Telkupi (q. v.). The carving 
on the fragments that remain is described as highly artistic and 
from the specimen recently sent to the Indian Museum, a minia- 
ture temple about two feet in height and six inches square at 


tho base, -witli represontations of Tirthankaras on the four Bidos 
and apparently a votive offering of some Jain pilgrim, tho Jain 
or Buddhistic origin of those remains is apparent. Closer 
examination "will probably prove, as in the case of Dalmi and 
other places in tho district, that the original Buddhistic civilisation 
was succeeded by a Brabmanical dynasty, which was eventually 
destroyed by the aboriginal population, the Bhumij. The close 
proximity of a vevy early Bhumij colony to tho relics of an 
ancient and higher civilisation is here, as at Dalm^ suggestive. 

Pakbira.— Two miles east of Puncha and some 2;j miles 
south-east of Purulia, in pargana Bagda, contains tho remains of 
numerous statues and sculptures principally Jain, a full description 
of which is given by Mr, I3eglar.* The principal object of atten- 
tion is a colossal naked figure with the lotus as symbol on tho 
pedestal and worshipped under the name of Bhiram which is 
obviously the Jain Tirthankara, Vira. The figure is 7| feet in 
height standing on a low pedestal ; it is depicted perfectly nude 
with the arms stretched out close to the sides and the hair wound 
up into a knot on the top of the head. The shod in which it 
now stands contains numerous other figures, two small ones with 
the bull symbol, one smaller with the lotus, a votive chaitya on 
the four sides of which are sculptured a lion, an antelopo, a bull, 
and what appears to be a lamb ; over each principal human figure 
on the chaitya is represented a duck or a goose, holding a garland. 
Mr. Beglar also unearthed from one of the numerous mounds 
of ruins n(?ar by five Buddhist sculptures of late age, tho most 
remarkable being a male and a female figure under a tree, 
possibly the date palm. 

One large brick temple still stands and north of it a line of 
four stone temples, thi-ee standing and one broken. Near this 
is an irregular line of five temples, two of stone of which one is 
standing, and three of brick all ruined, and again north of this 
another line of four temples, three of stone and one of brick, 
all in ruins. East of the brick temple are other lines of two and 
three temples all in niins, and all according to Mr. Beglar 
probably stood originally on a stone pavement some 100 or 120 
yards square. 

Traces of other ruins are numerous in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood. The hill called Lathondungri near Kharkiagarh, just 
south of Pakbira was probably the site of one, as there are hero 
numerous votive chaityas and round and oblong cut-stone blocks. 
It is jilso the site of an old burial place of tho Bhumij. 

* Archa5ological Survey of India Reports, Volume VIIL 


Dhadki Tanr, Tuisama are other places just south where ruins 
of temples, probably Saivic, and later in date thau those at 
Pakbira, exist, and immediately south of these are the temples 
of Buddhpur (q. v.). 

Panchet or Panchkot. — Hill in the head-quarters sub-division 
of Manbhum district, situated in 23° 37' N. and <S6° 47' K. half 
•way between Raghunathpur and the junction of the Barakhar and 
Damodar rivers. It is 3 miles long stretching from north to 
south in a long rounded ridge, and has a height of 1,600 feet 
above sea-level. At the foot of the hill towards the southern end 
is the fort of Panchet, once the residence of the Rajas of Panchet 
but now deserted and in ruins. The name is variously explained 
as meaning that the Raja reigned over five Rajas, or over five 
crores of people, but the word probably means five forts or 
citadels and apparently refers to the number of walls surrounding 
the actual citadel. Of these there are actually four on the west, 
south, and east, the hill defending the fort on the north, and the 
fifth, it is suggested, is an outer natural line of ramparts, the 
ridge-lines of the surrounding undulating country. 

" The four sets of artificially built walls of the fort are all of 
earth, and are each defended by deep and wide moats, uow filled 
up in ruany places ; the moats were so connected with the streams 
descending the sides of the hill, as to keep them always wet, and 
to this day they always contain some water ; in most places the 
walls, or earthen ramparts, were also ingeniously led so as to form 
continuations of natural spurs of the hill itself, thus securing the 
maximum of defent«ive power with the minimum of labour in 
throwing them up. In the walls were numerous gates, now 
mostly gone, and represented by mere gaps in the walls; four 
gateways, huwever, of cut stone, in various stages of .. decay, still 
exist, and have names ; they are named Ankh Duar, Bazar Mahal 
Duar, or Desbandh Duar, Khoribari Duar, and l)u&r Baiidh; the 
last is in the best state of preservation ; all of them were built in 
much the same style, viz., the usual Muhammadan style and with 
true arches, though overlapping arches were also used: some of 
these gateways served the double purpose of gateways proper and 
openings for water, and the Duar Bandh still serves the purpose 
of allowing water to be taken in from the moat outside, when 
necessary for irrigating the fields within ; the fort is very large, 
the outermost ramparts having a total length or more than five 
miles, while the traditional outermost defences, viz., the ridge lineg 
round the fort, inclose a space of about U square miles, exclusive 
of the hill itself." (Beglar. Archajological Survey of India Re- 
ports, 7 oh Vlil.) 



"Within tho fort aro nuTiiorous brick romains, for tho most part 
much dilapidated and grown over with jungle ; tho outlines of 
tlie Raja's palace, of the female apartraouts, and of various other 
buildings aro pointed out, and one or two small temples in a fair 
atate of preservation remain. All are apparently post-Muham- 
madan and of the Lower Bengal typo of architecture ; moulded and 
cut brick and terra cotta sculptured tiles are used in almost all 
of them. On the side of the hUl, and overlooking the fort, 
are a number of temples, all massively built, and marked by tho 
occurrence of the true dome and the true arch as post-Muham- 
madan. The largest temple is known as Eaghunath's mandir^ 
and is ascribe*! to a Raja of that name, probably tho eighth in 
ascent from the present zamindar who reigned from about 

The date of the fort is more or less definitely fixed by that 
of two of its gates, the DuSr Bandh and the Khoribaii, on 
which there are duplicate inscriptions in the Bengali character 
referring to a Sri Vira Ilamira, and giving the date Samvat 
1G57 or 1(359, i.e., about KiUU A.D. Yira ilamira is apparently 
the Bir Ilambhir of the Bishnupur Eaj, who threw in his lot 
with the Mughals and rendered good service to the Viceroy 
Alan Singh when he invaded Orissa in 1591. 

It is a matter for question whether the fort was built by 
him and subsequently captured by the Panchut Raja, or by the 
Panchet Raja for his own protection against Vir Ilamira and 
perhaps also against the Muharamadans. The reason for its 
abandonment is not known. According to one story connected 
with the name of another Raghunath, whose period was about 
1705-1720, it was on account of some mysterious sickness which 
affected numerous members of his household. There is nothing, 
in any case, *to show that the family was forcibly driven out, 
but it has been suggested that it was due to the desire to avoid 
the notice of the Musalman Governors, whose aggressions were 
at that time coming somewhat close ; it may also have been due 
to pressure from Chitra Sen Rai of Burdwan, who compiered 
Shergarh, once a part of tho Panchet estate, about 1742. 
Support is given io this theory by the tradition that Mani Lai 
(also a Raghunath) who reigned from 175o to 1791 hid himself 
for some time at Alanihara. 

Later the head quarters of the estate was at Chakultor, a few 
miles south of Purulia, at Kesargarh in the jungles on the Kasai 
river, 12 miles south-east of Purfdia, and finally at Kafii\ipur. 

The history of this great zamiudari, so far as it oomes into 
the history of the district, has been referred to in chapter II. 


The legendary origii], and establishment of the family is thus 
described by Mr. Beglar : 

" Auot Lai, Raja of Kashipur, was going, "with his wife, on a 
pilgrimage to Jagannath, when the Hani gave birth to a child 
in Axuna Vana (the present P&nchet). The Raja and Rani, 
unwilling to delay on account of the child, determined to 
abandon it, thinking that they could easily get other children, 
while the fruits of the pilgrimage could not be so easily 
got so they proceeded on to Thakurdwara; the fabulous cow 
Kapila Gai, who used xo live in Arunban, seeing the child 
abandoned, took upon herself to feed it with her milk, and 
thus the child lived on and grew up, and remained in 
the jangal. One day a party of hunters, who were looking 
for game in the forest, saw the child, and carried him off, 
notwithstanding the resistance of Kapila Gai, to Pawapur ; when 
he grew up, the people made him Manjhi (chief of a elan or 
village), and finally, when in want of a king, determined to elect 
him, and he was accordingly elected king of pargana Chaurasi 
(Sikhar-bhum) ; they built him the Panchet fort, and named him 
Jata Raja ; on the death of the miraculous cow, her toil was 
fouad and carried to the Raja, who used it as an ensign, tying 
it to his horse ; hence he was also called Chanwar bandha, and 
the Rajas of Panchet are said to this day to use the cow's tail, 
or chanwar, as one of their emblems. 

" AixOt Lai had two other sons by another wife ; they were 
named Nayan and Asman ; they invaded Jata Raja's domains, 
and he was forced to fly, but his conquerors, in seeking for him 
in the jangal, lost their way and perished, and Jata Raja 
returned and reigned peaceably. 

" Another version says, the child was not deliberately aban- 
doned, bat falling accidentally from the elephant 'on which he 
was being carried, the Raja and Rani left him for dead ; then 
Kapila Gai came and fed him ; she used to live in Kapila Pahar 
(the range of hills south of Purulia*), and would come daily to 
feed the child ; when the child grew up, he used to wander in 
the jangal with the cow, and, eventually, he became king, and 
built Pancha Kot ; as he was made king through election by 
five Rajas, his fort was named Pancha Kot ; he was known as 
the Gaumukhi Raja. The Raja had a cowherd, who one day 
saw a large snake issue from a hole in the hill side, and the snake 
vomited forth a brilliant gem that illuminated the whole 
forests by its light ; it fed and then swallowed the gem ; then 

Mr. Beglar's geography ia at fault ; Kapila Pahar is a hill north of Jhalda, Ed. 


bauds of celestial nymphs and musicians came and performed 
for some time, and finally all vanished. The cowherd related the 
particulars to tlio Eaja, who went to see the wonder, and so great 
an ell'ect had the sight on him, that he returned bereft of speech, 
and died in two or three years. During his son's reign, the 
Jvajaof Mursliidabad invaded the country, and extenninated the 
entire race of the Kajas of Panchet, except one child, who was 
saved by the headman ot the village of Suri Lachhia, hiding 
him in a drum ; he grew up and regained his kingdom, and he 
is the ancestor of the present Eajas. The cow, turned into 
stone, etill exists at Jhalda on the Ajodhya hill.* As there 
are remains of Saivic temples in Jhalda, the petrified cow is 
most probably a statue of Nandini (the celestial cow mother)." 
According to the zemindar's geneological tree the first 
Maharaja of Chakla Panchkot was Damodar Sekhar Singha Deo, 
described as 12th Maharaja of Ujjain, about 80 A.D., from 
whom the present zamindar is the G7th in direct line of descent, 
the succession haying been, according to the tree, direct from 
father to son, except on two occasions when grandsons succeeded. 
The value of this tree is discounted largely by the stories told of 
various Eajas. Thus Abhay Nath Serkhar, 33rd Raja, whose 
date is 952 — 9G7A.D., is supposed to have provided a fight for 
the Emperor's son at his Garh Panchkot and gave so good 
a show, keeping off the Emperor's army for four dandas (1^ 
hours), the time stipulated for the tight, that he was rewarded 
with a sanad and the title of Maharajadhiraj and the whole 
of pargana Siiergarh as an addition to his Raj, The loss 
of a portion of this pargana is explained by the following story, 
the historical inaccuracies in which will be obvious. "About 
1688 Sak (1767 A. D.) one Bahuram gave himself out as Ananta 
Lai, an uncle of the then Raja Mani Lai alias Raghunath, who 
had become a religious mendicant, and with the help of Kanta 
Pal, Dewan of the Nawab of Murshidabad, got himself recognised 
as Raja of Panchet (by whom the story does not say), and gave 
part of Shergarh to Kanta Pal. The impostor was found out 
and deposed but Kanta Pal prevailed on the Raja to let him keep 
part of j.argana Shergarh in consideration of his promising in 
future to look after the interests of the Panchet Raja." This 
story is no doubt more consistent with the dignity of the family 
than would be an admission that Warren Hastings found 
Shergarh a sort of debatable ground between Panchet, Burdwan 
and Bishnupur, and carved off a large portion of it by way of 

* Hero agaui the geogvaphj ia at fault, Ed. 


reward for his right hand man Kanta Pal. (Vide W. B. Oldham'fl 
Some historical and ethnical aspects of the Burdwan District, 
Calcutta, 1894.) 

These stories illustrate the manner in which fanciful and 
mythical traditions, mainly complimentary to the family, have 
made it impossible to trace with any sort of accuracy the real 
history of any one of the great zamindari families of the 
Manbhum district any further back than late Muhammadan or 
early English times. 

Para. -A small village in the head-quarters sub-division, situ- 
ated in 23° 31' N. and 86 33' B., on the direct road between 
Puriilia and Gobindpur, and about four miles from the railway 
stations Kargali and Anara, on the Kharagpur-Gomoh and 
Asansol-Sini sections of the Bengal-Nagpur Eailway. There 
is a police station, but the chief interest in the place lies in the 
numerous ruined temples which nre found in the neighbourhood. 
These are locally ascribed to the ancestors of the Saraks, an 
account of whom was given in an earlier chapter, and of whom 
a considerable number still reside at Jhapra and other places in 
the immediate neighbourhood. As a matter of fact, however, 
according to Mr. Beglar,* the ruins for the most part date from 
the post- Muhammadan period. The most ancient nnd interesting 
objects are two temples, to the east of, and just outside, the 
villao-e, one of brick, and the other of a soft kind of stone, both 
much weather-beaten and broken, but full of interesting architec- 
tural and archaeological features. Both must at one time have 
been profusely ornamented with mouldings and sculptures, and 
those on the brick temple, which have weathered better than the 
soft sandstone of which the other is built, were particularly fine. 
Extensive repairs appear to have been done to loth temples, 
during the time of Eaja Man Singh, probably by one Purusbottam 
Das of Brindaban to whom is ascribed a more modern temple 
called Radharaman dating from that period, which remains in a 
good state of preservation at the extreme western end of the 
village, and which, like the more ancient, is profusely orna- 
mented with moulded and cut brick. 

" Close to the bt^ ne temple is a large mound, on which, 
and about which, lie several tapering plain pillars ; this mound 
was clearly once the site of a large temple, larger than the exist- 
ing ones. At the east end of the mound still stand two pilasters, 
with plain square mouldings ; they measure 28 inches in width 
by 16 inches in thickness. Tradition says they are the side 

* Archroologieal Survey of India IJeporti, Volumo Vlll. 


supports on wliioh tho trunuioa^ of a dheiiki used to woik, 
thu said dlionki having been set up by an evil liankmi, wlio 
■was fond of liu nan flesh, which she used to pound in this 
dhenki ; and one of the long stone pilhirs, lying at. the foot of 
tho mound, is pointed out as th-i dhenki beam ; it is said 
that, by agreement with the Haja, she was allowed one iiuman 
victim daily. One day a poor cowherd, on returning witli his 
cows to his master's hou^e, saw his master and mistress crying 
bitterly ; and ascertaining on inquiry the cause to be that one 
of tliem was to bo made over to the ogress, he volunteered to go 
instead, stipulating only that Jie should be immediately furuis'.od 
witli some gram made of iron and some ordinary gram ; armed 
with these, the man and liis two dogs went to the temple and 
waited ; presently in came the Raukini, and was about to seize him, 
when he said — " Hold, before you eat me, or I eat you, let us 
make a trial of strength : here is a handful of gram for you, and 
here is one for me, whichever of us two finishes eating tJie gram 
fir>t, shall also eat the other." The liankini agreed, but vainly 
tried to masticate the iron gram she had received, while the cow- 
herd soon got through his share, and made as if he would begin 
on her next ; terrified the Eankini rent the temple and ran out 
]iujsued by the cowherd and his two dogs ; the liankini fled to 
Dhalblium, where, seeing a washerman washing at the river, she 
begged him to hide her promising him the Eaj as recompense ; 
the man hid her. under his " pat ' (the piece of wood they beat 
the cloth on), and the cowherd, after a fruitless search was 
returning with his two dogs, when, in passing through the Baghal 
forest, near the village of Baghalya, he and his dogs were turned 
into stone, and exist to this day ! In proof of the trutli of this 
legend, they point to the Eajas of Dhalbhum, who are said to 
be dhobis by caste, and who are notorious for havino- prac- 
tised liuman sacrifices till very recent times, in honor, it is 
said, of tliis very Kankini, who became their tutelary deity and 
the principal object of worship in the country ; her temple is 
said (^and the site is pointed out at Sarangarh, near Ambikanao-ar) 
to have existed till ^vithin the last few years, and to have been 
regidarly supplied with human victims till it was destroyed by 
the liritish authorities. 

*' The petrified cowherd is nothing more or less than a Sati 
pillar, standing by itself, in the Baghalya forest (scrub juno-al) 
near ilie Baghnlya village ; it is (dear that the name of the 
village and of the jangal has suggested the identification of 
the c^ati pillar (the real purpose of which was forgotten) with 
the petrified cowherd ; the dogs are said tJao to be there, but 


one of them is certainly a lion from some temple, and the other 
is perhaps another from the same, or some other temple : the 
Sati pillar is now worshipped, if plenteous libations of milk and 
ghi be any criterion of worship. The Baghalya village is a 
couple or 3 miles off the road, between Koira and Jhapra." 

Pur alia. — Principal town and administrative head-quarters of 
the Manbhum district, situated in 23"^ 20' north and 86° 22' 
east on the Sini-Asansol section of the Bengal-Nagpur Rail- 
way, and at the junction of that system, with the 2 feet 6 inches 
gauge line from PurHlia to Ranchi, which was opened in Feb- 
ruary 1908. Purulia has been the head-quarters of the district 
since 1838 ; it was Hrst constituted a municipality under the old 
law in 1869, and became a regular municipality uudei" Act V 
of 1876 from the '26th July 1876. For municipal purposes it 
includes the villages of Puriilia khas, and Nadiha, and portions of 
Palanja, Ketka, Dulmi, Balguma, Bhatbandh, Manguria, and 
Raghabpur, covering an area of nearly five square miles. The 
town proper is, however, little more than a mile iu length from 
east to west and rather less in breadth, lying for the most part, 
between the I'ailway station, and the fine lake known as the 
Sahib I'jindh. The population which was only 5,695 in 1872, 
had expanded by i 901 to 17,291 of whom 14,287 are Hindus, 
2,271 Muhammadans, and 684 are Christians. 

The chi.ef streets of the town correspond with the old 
Bankura, Chaibasa, Ranchi and Barakhar roads, which radiate 
from the public buildings, which cover a considerable area about 
one mile west of the railway station. Of these the offices of 
the Deputy Commissioner, District Judge, and Superintendent 
of Police, occupy a single compound, which includes also an 
English Church built in 1898, and a large schoo.l, the Victoria 
Institution, built on the site of the old Government Middle 
Vernacular School. The police lines, and jail are about j 
mile south-east and south, respectively, and the ZiUa School with 
its hostels, about the same distance south-west, on the Chaibasa 
road. To the north and immediatly on the banks of the 
Sahib Bandh, is the Town Hall, in which are the offices of the 
Municipality and District Board, erected by public subscription 
in memory of the Jubilee of Queen Victoria. 

The town proper contains a considerable number of substan- 
tial residences of merchants, pleaders and others, and all houses 
in this quarter are now tiled. The European residences, includ- 
ing those occupied by the German Evangelical Lutheran Mission, 
and also their Church, lie along the Ranchi road, and on the 
western and north-eastern banks of the Sahib Bandh. A. mile 


beyond tho European quarter, and outside munioipal limits, in 
the village of Mauguria, is the Leper Asylum an acoount oi' which 
has been given in Chapter IV. 

Tho town is purely modern, and there is no building of anti- 
quarian interest ; there is a picturesque Muhammadan mosque, 
dating back some 40 or 50 years, but no Hindu temple of any 
size or special interest. The main business quarter inmiediately 
adjoins the public offices, and the Municipality maiutains a 
market which brings in a considerable income. In more recent 
years, the eastern part of the town, east, that is, of tlie railway 
station, has considerably developed, and there are a number of 
large lac factories and one 1 irge oil mill now working in this 

The climate of the town is dry and healthy, and prior to 
the opening of tlie railway line to Ranchi, there was a 
growing tendency for it to become a regular health resort 
for Indian gentlemen, principally of Calcutta. Tho drainao-e 
is naturally good, and tho town is well supplied with drinki no- 
water, tho Sahib Buudh serving as a valuable reserve, during the 
months when other lauks and most of the wells dry up. It is 
well served by roads and those in the station are usually smooth 
and woll kept, the heavy cart traffic from the Ranchi direction to 
the railway station being for the most part diverted at a point 
just outsi'.e the town. There are pleasant drives in the Barakhar 
Manbazar and l\anchi directions, and a circular drive of about 
6 miles, known as the Wilcox c}iakkai\ connecting ih.Q lianebi 
and Chaibasa loads, besides the shorter circular diive rouud the 
Sahib Bandh. There is a European Club, to which are attached 
tennis courts, golf links, and a fine polo and parade ground • and 
recently some gf the Indian residents have started a Union Club 
which provides for tenuis and also indoor games. Football is 
played with considerable vigour by the boys of tb.e different 
schools, and from time to time the Town Club engao-es in 
matches with teams from Bankura, Asausol and other ijlaces. 

Purulia Subdivision.— The head-quarters subdivision of the 
district lying between 22° 43' and 2d° 44' N. and 85° 49' and 
86° 54' E., and covering an area of 3,344 square miles. It 
comprises the whole of the district south of the Damodar river • 
to the east it merges in the alluvial plains of Bengal, but to the 
west and south the country is more broken and the general 
elevation rises towards that of the Chota Nagpur plateau. The 
south of the district is marked by the Dalma range of hills the 
highest peak in which rises to 3,400 feet ; in tho south-west the 
Baghmundi or Ajodhya range is a conspicuous feature. The 


population of the sub division was 1,024,242 in 1901 as compared 
with 971,894 in 1891, the density being 306 persons to the square 
mile. It contains three Municipal towns, Purfilia (population 
17,291), Jhalda (4,877) and Eaghunathpur (4,171) and 4,273 
villao-es. It comprises the police stations of Purulia, Haghunath- 
pur, Gaurandi, Para, Chas, Jhalda, Baghmundi Chandil, Bara- 
bhum and Manbazar, besides the independent outposts of 
Ichagarh (Patkum), Band wan, Balarampur, Hura, Jaypur and 

Raghunathpur. — A small town in the head-quarters subdivi- 
sion situated in 25'^ 31° N and 86° 40° E., two miles from 
Ohinpina station, and about 3^ from Adra station on the Bengal- 
Nao-pur Bailway System. Population (1901) 4,171. Raghu- 
nathpur was constituted a municipality in 1888; the average 
annual income and espendilure during the five yeais ending in 
1908 were respectively lis. -"^,600 and E.s. 3,200, the chief source 
of income being a tax on persons or property tax. It is the head- 
quarters of a Munsif-Deputy Collector who exercises powers in 
respect of civil justice over parganas Banchas, Barpara, Ban- 
khandi, Chaurasi, Cheliama, Mahal, Marra, Nalichanda, and Para, 
and in respect of rent suits over parganas Chaurasi, Cheliama, 
and Banchas. The Munsif exercises also powers of a Magistrate 
of the third class, and until 1906 had powers to take cognizance 
of cases on complaint. There is also a Bench of Honorary 
Magistrates who exercise third class powers. The public 
buildings include, besides the munsifi, a sub-registry oflBce, 
a police station, a dispensary and also a large Inspection 
Buno-alow, formerly one of the staging bungalows between 
Barakhar and Purulia, the direct road between which places 
passes through the town. With the opening of the Kharngpur- 
Gomoh branch of the Bengal-Nagpur Eailway, and the develop- 
ment of Adra (q-v.) into a large railway centre, the importance 
of Bao-hunathpur has rapidly diminished. Il is still a centre of 
the tasar silk industry, and there is also a considerable manufac- 
ture of cotton cloth, but both industries are on the decline. The 
Pemberanda Faith Mission ( an ui; denominational American 
Mission ) has a station at Raghunathpur, with one male and two 
or more female missionaries in residence. The most notable 
feature of the neighbourhood is the group of bare cone-shaped 
hills iust to the south of the town, one of which is known as 
'Phansi Pahar,' the tradition being that in former days the 
zamindars of Panchet executed on this hill their enemies and 
other malefactors. The unfortunate victim was pushed or drag- 
ged up the less precipitous side of the easternmost peak and 


then pushed over the other, a shoor drop of a couple of hundred 
feet or more. There is a small tempki on the central hill of no 
ppeoial interest, and also tlie ruiua of one of tlio old semaphore 
towers which were erected every 20 miles or so alou<j tlie so-called 
old Benares Road, llfmlganj via Ilaghuuathpur and Chas in the 
Manbhum district to Uamgarh and on to Hhergliati in Gaya, 
which was the great military road before the completion of the 
present tilignment of the Grrand Trunk lioad about 1846. Besides 
this and the Purnlia-Barakhar l>oad which intersect at Raghu- 
nathpur, there aro good gravelled roads to Adra and to Santuri 
(police station) in the direction of Raniganj, and a fair weather 
road towards Iclkiipi. 

Telkupi. ' A small village in the south bank of the Damodar 
river in pargana CheUama, about 7 miles north-east of the 
village of that name. It contains what Mr. Beglar of the 
Archajological Survey described as "perhaps the finest and 
largest number of temples witliin a small space that is to be 
found anywhere in Chota Nagpur." They are in 3 groups, the 
largest being immediately ou the bank of the river to the north 
of the village, a second close to the village towards the west, and 
a third within the village itself ; there are besides several detached 
temples further south, and numerous mounds some of stone, but 
mainly of brick, representing the remains of temples which 
have collapsed. When Mr. Beglar visited the place in 1872-73 
the first and largest of the groups consisted of 13 temples, 3 of 
considerable size, and 10 small; of the latter two have since 
disappeared, having fallen -with, the bnnk on which tuey stood 
into the bed of the Damodar river which at this point has cut 
in consideraT3ly. All tlie temples are Brahmanical in origin, and 
the oldest probably date from the tenth century ; one of the 
three large temples, which is still kept up as a place of worship 
appears to have been considerably added to at a later date 
probably, according to Mr. Beglar, about the time of Raja Man 
Singh, the internal evidence of date being a small true arched 
opening, typical of post-Muhammadan work, in the wall which 
forms a court-yard round it. More recently the appearance of 
the court-yard and the general symmetry of the place has been 
spoilt by the erection of rough stone sheds forming quarters 
and cooking shed for the resident priest. Of one of the other 
larger temples, the most interesting from an archaeological point 
of view, Mr. Beglar gives the following description. 

'• No. G is a large temple, facing west ; it consists at present 
of a sand um, ' antarala ' in the thickness of the front wall of 
xoahamandapa , an ardhamandapa, and a portico. The sanctuni 


with its tower roof is entire, but the inner roof of the sanctum, 
being the floor of the upper chamber, is broken, the chamber 
above the sanctum has no opening, and therefore is, and alwaj's 
was, inaccessible ; the roof proper of the sanctum (now broken) 
was formed of overlapping stones ; the original architrave over 
the entrance no longer exists, having been replaced at some period 
by a plain one ; this, too, failed, and others were successively put 
in, till, at this moment, there are four door frames, one within 
another, thus reducing the original \\idth and height of the 
entrance considerably ; the jambs which were afterwards put. in 
are not all entire piUars, but are made up of miscellaneous 
fragments, put together so as to make up the required height. 

" The mahamandapa was roofed also by overlapping courses 
of stones ; the square corners were gradually rounded off by 
successive small portions, till it formed an octagon, over which 
the circular roof proper rested ; the roof has long ago tumbled 
in but the corners are yet intact, and the constructive expedient 
used may be seen in the photograph ; the circular roof was 
further supported, as is done in several instances elsewhere, by 
four pillars, placed as a square in the centre of the mahamandapa ; 
these pillars are quite plain ; the material and execution of the 
portion external to the sanctum and ' antarala ' differ from those 
of the sanctum, being of plain ; indeed coarsely dressed, granite, 
while the sanctum is of finally cut and smoothed sandstone ; the 
line of junction, too, of the mahamandapa and of the sanctum 
is quite distinct, proving clearly that the mahamandapa is a 
subsequent addition, the original temple having consisted of 
the sanctum and its attached vestibule alone, which, far from 
having the manifestly unfinished appearance of the facade of 
the Barakhar temples, has, independently of the, subsequently 
added mahamandapa, a finished fa9ade, the portion over the 
entrance being provided with regular freize, and cornice, 
and mouldings and sculpture, all which would necessarily be 
hidden by the roof and architraves of the later added maha- 

" Externally, the tower is adorned with sculpture and mould- 
ings, carefully and finely cut in the stone itself. At some subse- 
quent period the tower appears to have received externally a 
coat of plaster, in which was sculptured devices, ornaments, and 
figures different to that in the stone below, proving clearly that 
the original stone tower was not covered with plaster when 
first built. Over this coat of plaster was put on, at a stiU later 
period, a second coat, and on this were sculptured figures, 
ornaments, and devices ditiering from either of the previous ones^. 


The ornament atiou executed iu the plaster coat resembles that 
used in the plaster coating put on the brick temple at Para, and is 
therefore presumably of the same age, that is, of the time of Man 
Singh to whom therefore, I ascribe the extensive repairs and 
alterations executed in this temple, and in others of the group " 
(A. S. I. Reports, Vol. YIIL) 

The doorway described by Mr. Begler is once more giving 
way; there are only scanty traces of the external plaster and its 
sculptured devices, and much of the detail of the tower is now 
obscured by a mass of creeper, otherwise Mr. Beglar's description 
is still true to the facts. 

Of the temples in the other groups space does not permit any 
detailed description ; all are of more or less similar type, and 
Brahmanioal in origin, save one to the south of the village which 
was either Buddistic or Jain, with the remains of a large monas- 
tery, in the shape of a large brick mound, close to it. 

Tradition ascribes the building of all these numerous temples 
to merchants or mahajans, and not as ordinarily to Rajas and 
this tends to confirm the inference drawn by Mr. Beglar that the 
place rose to importance as lying on one of the great traffic routes 
and at a principal obstacle, viz., the Damodar river. Its name 
is ascribed to the fact that Eaja Vikramaditya used to come, or on 
one occasion came here, to rub oil on his body before bathing in 
the " Chhata Pokhar "' at Dalmi, a distance of some 60 miles. 
The place is considerably frequented now-a-days by Hindu 
devotees, and a fair, known as the EJielai Chandi Mela, is held in 
the month of Pons, which is attended by Hindus from consider- 
able distances. Another fair, called the Baruni Mela, is held in 
the last days of Chaitra, which is largely attended by Sonthals to 
wliom the place is specially holy as situated on their sacred stream, 
the Damodar (Nai), into which they throw the ashes of their 
dead. On this occasion it is said that the Sonthals are rigidly 
excluded from the main tempi e enclosure known as the Bhairab- 
than, and they take no part in any of the religious ceremonies 
performed at that time in honour of the Hindu deities. 



Aboriginnl races, 7G-83 ; cduciition df, 


Alivai, 147-148. 

Ailniiiiistrati'in, luiul revumu', 187-212; 
gciural, 24G-253;; of jiiaticc, 250-253, 

Administrative divisions, 246-247, 

staff, 250-251. 

Adra, description of, 263. 

Aghani crops, 121 ; rice, 122. 

Agreement 177G ; form of, lOl-l'ja. 

Agricultural Association, 126-127 j 
classes, 157; material condition of, 
153-154; statistics, 120-121. 

Agriculture, 113-127. 

Agriculturists' Loans Act, 156. 

Ahars, iirigatiou from, 116 

Ahriat, tenures, 2U9. 

Ajodhya range, 3. 

Akhan Jatra, 97. 

Amusements of the people, 96-97. 

Animals, wild, 20-23. 

Animists, 73-74. 

Anorthositc, 44. 

Arcliffiological remains, 68. 

Area of the district,!, 69; cultivated, 

ArJcati system, 251-252, 

Artisans, wages of, 149-151. 

Arts and industries, 157-168. 

Aspects, physical, 1-25; medical, 08-112. 

Assessment of rent, 143-149. 

Asylum, Leper, 111-112. 

Auli hill, 4. 

Aus rice, cultivation of, 127. 

Autumn crops, cultivation of, 125. 


Babir handh, 8. 

Bagbmundi, rantie, 3 ; thana at, 286. 

Bahal land, 119. 

Baid land, 119. 

Bujra, cultivation of, 125. 

Balarfimpur, sub-rei,'istry office at, 250; 
description of, 263-264; police outpost 
at, 286. 

BUndhs, 8; irrigation from, 116; utility 
of, 116-117. 

Bandwan, police outpost at, 286. 

BSngurda ghatwali taraf, 232-233. 

Bausa hill, 5. 

BUnsTcar, 148. 

Barabazar, rainfall of, 25; sub-registry 
office at, 250 ; description of, 264-265 ; 
police-station at, 286. 

Bariiblium in 1800, 58-61 ; settlement of, 
190-193; ghatwali tcnur.s in, 224-244 ; 
zamindari family of, 264-265. 

Barakhar Coal Company, 159; iron and 
steel works, 45, 158-159; river, 6. 

Barakhar sub-stage, 31. 

Bari^ hdstu or udhastv, 119. 

Barley, cultivation of, 125. 

Basket-making, 167. 

Bastu h'uii khajana, 239, 

Bastv rent, 148. 

Bauris, 79-80. 

Bedding, 93. 

Bengal gneiss, 40. 

Bengal Iron and Steel Cumpany, 45, 

Bet-bfigari, 147. 

.C^adoi cropo, 121; rainfall required for, 
114.116; rice, 121-122. 

Bkatottar, 209. 

Bhokta, hook-swinging festival, 90. 

Bhuiyas, 81. 

Bhumij, 78-79. 

Bhumifani ma ha I, 230 -232. 

Binda pvah, 97. 

Birds, game, 23i 

Births, 99-;00, 



Blindness, 103. 

Boarding houses, 261. 

Boram, description of, 265-267. 

Botany, 11-20. 

Boulder-beds, 31. 

Boundaries of the district, 2. 

Bowel complaints, mortality from, 103. 

Brahmans, 80. 

Brihmottar, 209. 

British administration, early, 55-58. 

Buddhistic era, 48. 

Buddhpur, description of, 267-2 J8. 

Building stones, 45. 

Bungalows, staging and inspection, 186. 

Burdwau stone, 44. 

Calamities, natural, 128-142. 

CalcaroouB jasper, 85 ; schists, 43. 

Camping gronnds. Government, 187. 

Canals, 185. 

Cash rents, 14 > -146. 

Castes and Tribes, 76-85. 

Cattle, 127. 

Census of 1901, 70. 

Centres of trade, 167. 

Cesses, revenue from, 249. 

ChaJcran, 212, 234-237. 

Chakultor, description of, 268. 

Chalk, 10. 

Charajural hill, 4. 

CharaTc festival, 96. 

Charitable dispensaries, 109-111. 

Charra, description of, 268. 

Chas, rainfall, 25 ; sub-registry office at, 
250 ; thana, 286. 

Chatam hill, 4. 

Chaukidars, 252, 

Chhdta parah, 94, 

Chirkunda, police outpost, 272. 

Cholera, epidemics of, 102-J03. 

Christians, 75-76. 

Civil Justice, 250-251. 

Clay, 44, 118-119. 

Climate, 24 ; in relation to health, 98-99. 

Coal-fields of Mdnbhnm, the, 45, 170-182, 
early discovoiics of, 170-171 ; early 
develoi)ment8, 172 ; the lianiganj, 172- 
173 ; the Jharift, 173-178 ; geolo-y, 45, 
175-178 ; methotl of working in, 
178-181 ; labour, lSO-181. 

Coal, composition of, 177-178, industry, 

Commerce, 167-168. 

Communication, means of, 183-186 ; de- 
velopment of, 183-184; roads, 184; 
railways, 184-185; extension of tho 
railway system, 185 ; rivers, 185 ; 
ferries, 186 ; bungalows, 188 ; postal, 

Compromise of 1834, GG, 225-227. 
Condition of the people, material, 153- 

Configuration of the district, 2. 
Conservancy, 256-257. 
Continuation schools, 261. 
Copper ores, 10. 
Cotton weaving, 164-165. 

Country spirit, manufacture and con- 
sumption of, 247-248. 
Courts, civil and criminal, 250-251. 
Criminal justice, 250. 

Crops, principal, 120-126 ; rotation of, 
118 ; statistics of, 121 ; autumn, 125 ; 
non-food, 125 ; outturn of, 120. 

Cultivating tenures, 208-209. 

Cultivation, system of, 113-114; exten- 
sion of, 120 ; extent of, 120-121 ; im- 
provements in, 126-127. 

Culturable waste, 120. 

Cutlery, manufacture of, 165-166. 


Dalma, range, 3-4 ; description of, 268 ; 
trap, 37-38. 

Dalmi, 49, 289 ; description of, 268-270. 

Damodar fossils, 32 ; river, 6, 185, 271, 

Damodar stage, 31. 

Danga (high land), 119. 

Dar-mokrari, 205. 

Dasfuri, 223. 

Deaths, 100 ; by wild beasts, 21. 

Dihottar, 209. 

Density of population, 71-72. 

Dhaba cJdta soil, 119. 

Dhalkisor river, 7. 



blmnbiiid stibdivision; 240, 271-272; 
town, description of, 270-271 ; dibpon- 
sary at, 110-111 ; Bnb-re(,'i8try fiflicc 
at, 250 ; eub-jail at, 253 ; police- 
station, 271 ; public buildings, 271. 

Dhcin^het or lico laud, 143, 

Dharwiir systeiD, 35-40. 

DiarrLoea, mortality from, lOB. 

Digwari estates, 203. 

DigicUrs, 210, 216-223. 

Diecaecs, principal, 101-104. 

I-)ispcnsario3, 109-111 ; veterinary, 127> 

Distilleries, 247-218. 

Distress in 1908, 140-142. 

District, formation cf, G7-G8 ; staff of, 

District Board, administration of, 254-255 ; 
income of, 251; expenditure of, 
254-255 ; roads, 18*. 

Dolerite dykes, 84. 

Domo gneiss, 41 ; constitution o'', 42. 

Domestic animals, 127. 

Dress of tlic people, 92-93. 

Duhrdji, mahal, 234, 240. 

Dudhi cMta, 119. 

Dumunda bill, £>. 

Durpapur bill, G. 

Dwellings, 88, 

Dysentery, mortality from, 103. 


Early Englisb administration, 55-58. 
Early histcr^ of Manbbum, 47-52. 
Eartliquakos, 142. 

Education, 258-'262 ; progress of, 258-259 5 
statistics of, 259 ; secondary, 259 ; 
primary, 259-2G0 ; fenmle, 260; indus- 
trial, 2C0-261 ; of Mulianimadans, 261; 
of aboriginals, 261 ; of different races, 

Educational staff, 259. 

EJcjai mahadad of 12U5, 230. 

Embankments, 116-117. 

Emigration, 70, 251-252. 

Encumbered Estates Act, 201-202. 

Epidioritos, 44. 

Estates, revenue-paying, 187 ; pcrnianent- 
ly-sottled, 187-197; probable origin of, 
188-189 ; temporarily settbd, 197-199; 
exemption of, from sale for arrears and 
debt, 200-201; rcvcnue-fre*. 2(2; 
digwari, 203. 

European club at Jlioria, 274 ; at Purulia, 

Excise administration, 247-248. 

Execution hill, 5, 286. 

Exports, 1G7-1G8, 


Factories, 158-1G7; iron ond steel, 158, 
159; pottery, 158. 

Famine, liability to, 128-130. 

Famine of 1770, 130; of 18GG, 130-185; 
of 1874, 135-137 ; of 1897, 13?-140. 

Fauna, 20-23. 

Female edueation, 2G0. 

Ferries, 18G. 

Festivals, 75; village, 93-9G. 

Fever, mortality from, 101-102. 

Finance, 246-249. 

Fiscal divisions, 187-188. 

Fisb, 23. 

Floods, 142. 

Flora, 11. 

Food-grains, prices of, 152«153. 

Forests, Protected, 199. 

Formation of the district, G7-08. 

Furniture, 90-91. 

Game birds, 23. 
Ganga-b'iru, bill, 4. 

Ganga Narayan's rebellion, G1-G4; causes 

and results of, G4-G5. 
Oaraya puja, 95. 
Gauriindi tbana, 286, 
General administration, 246-253. 

General characteristics of population, 

Geological constitution of the district, 26. 

Geology, 8-9, 26-46; of Jharia field, 175, 

Oharamit, 149. 

OhartaJci, 239. 

Qhartooloe or Gartoli taraf, 225, 232, 

OhaiH'cili survey, 1880-83, 225. 

Ohaiirali tenures, 210, 223-245; evidence 
of their eiuly origin 227-232; Ibfir 
ultimate origin in Muiidari village 
system, 241, 232-2-15, 252. 



Ghattvdls 211, 252, | 

Girls' schools, 260. 
Gneisses, 40-41 ; of Parasnath, 44. 
Gobindpur, description of, 272; police 

station at, 272 ; rainfall of, 25. 
Gold, alluvial, 10, 40 ; gold-washing, 10, 

Gondii, cultivation of, 125. 

Gondwana coal-fields, 30-35 ; system, 26- 

Goraiti grants, 212j 

Gorahmi, 119 ; rice, 122. 

Government camping grounds, 187. 

Gowai river, 6, 184. 

Gram, cultivation of, 125 ; prices of, 152.1 

Gramya devata, 74; Qramya than, 94.^ 

Grazing grounds, 127. 

Guru-training schools, 2G0. 


EanJcwa, 97. 
Harai rivtr, 8, 
Hatee mangan, 239. 
Eats, 168. 

Health, public, 98-112. 
High Schools, 259. 
Hikimali tenure, 207. 
Hills, 4-5. 
Hindus, 73-74. 

History, of the district, 47-68 ; of Tand 
revenue administration, 187-203. 

HoH festival, 96. 

Honorary Magistrates, 250. 

Hospitals, 109-11. 

Hot springs, 69. 

Houses, 89-90. 

Hura, sub-registry office at, 250 ; police 
outpost, 286. 

1 chagarh (Patkum), police outpost, 286. 

Ijara, 206-207. 

Ijri stream, 6, 184, 

Immigration, 70-71. 

Imports, 167- 1C8. 

Incidence of rent, 143. 

Income-tax, revenue from, 249. 

Jnd par ah, 94-95. 

Indebtedness, 156. 
Industrial classes, 157. 
Industrial education, 260-261. 
Industries, 157-67 ; in district jail, 253. 
Infantile mortality, 100-101. 
Infirmities, 103-104. 
Influenza, 102. 
Inoculation, 104. 
Inspection of mince, 182. 
Intrusive rocks, 29 ; in Gondwiiiia coal- 
fields. 32-33. 

Iron-ores, 45. 

Ironstone shales, 81-32. 

Ironware and cutlery, 165-66. 

Iron works, 158-59. 

Irrigation, 116-17 ; necessity for, 116; 

from bdndhs, 116-17; from wells. 

117 ; extension of, 117-18. 
Isamnavisis of 1824 and 1833, 227. 

Jahira, 74. 

Jaigirs, Panchot, 210, 218-221. 

Jail, district, 253; subsidiary, at Dhan- 
baid, 253. 

JalTcar tenures, 208. 

Jaltason tenures, 208. 

Jamunia river, 6. 

Jangalhuri tenures, 209. 

JangalJcar, 148. 

Jantal parab, 94. 

Jaypur, police outpost, 286. 

Jhalda, rainfall of, 25; sub-registry office 
at, 250; municipality,' 257; description 
of, 272-273 ; police-station at. 286. 

Jharia coal, composition of, 177 ; Coal- 
fields, 26, 45, 173-178 ; town, descrip- 
tion of, 273-274; thana, 271. 

Jita parab, 95. 

Jobuna-bandh, 8. 

Jungle iiroducts, 12-19, 128-129. 

Justice, administration of, 250-253 ; cri- 
minal, 250 ; civil, 250-251. 


Kailapal, temporarily-settled estate, 198- 
199; ghatwali tenures io, 224. 

RUlipuja, 95. 

Kamiyas, 150. 



Kruiiars, 80. 
Kanuli land, 110. 
KiinJcar, 11, 110. 
Kara Icfiunta fostivnl, 05. 
Karam fostivnl, 04. 
Knrivnti, hill, 4. 
Karkari river, 7, 
Kasai river, 7, 184. 
KTitMJcar, 148. 

Kiltvas, police outpost, 271 ; description 
of, 274-275. 

Katri river, G, 184. 

Khajana mamul in Barabhmii, 238-230. 

Khaiias, 82. 

Klielai chandi niela, 280. 

Khesdri, cultivation of, 125. 

Khorposh, 207-208. 

Kluidia river, G, 184. 

Khuntkatti tenants, 209, 241. 

Koda, cultivation of, 125. 

Kolarian tribes, 81-82. 

Korn, 81-82. 

Kuuiurdubi, Brick and Tile Syndicate, 
150 ; Fire Brick and Pottery Works, 

KumSripar ghatwali taraf, origin of, 

Kumari river, 7, 184. 

KuruHs, 76-77, 

Kurthi, cultivation of, 125. 

Labour, supply of, 151 ; in the coal-fields, 

Liibourers, wages of, 140-151. 

Labouring classes, 157. 

Lac industry, 150-1G4. 

Lakes, 8. 

Lai mati soil, 119. 

Land Improvement Loans Act, 15G. 

Landlords, condition of the, 154-155, 

Land revenue, administratioD, 187-212, 

receipts from, '^47. 
Lands, classification of, 118-110. 
Land tenures, 203- LOO. 
Language, 72-73. 
Laturite, 44-45. 
LayTili grants, 212. 

Lead ores, 10, 46. 

Leucnchiry history, 47-52, of Mariibhinn 
family, 264-265, of I'Snchet family, 
273, 280-282. 

Leper Asylum, 111-112, 

Leprosy, 103-104. 

Libraries, 261-262. 

Limestone, 46. 

Local Board, 255-256. 

Local Solf-Governnioiit, 254-257. 

Locusts, 142. 

Lobars, 80. 

Magura hill, 7. 

Mahal hhumijani, 230-231 ; 234-2J7 ; 

duhraji, 240, jaigir, 23 i. 
Mahaljat, 281, 234. 
Maliattran tenure, 200. 
Mahli, 82. 

Maintenance tenures, 207-208. 
Maize, cultivation of. 125 ; prices of 

MaJctabs, 2G1. 

Malaria, 102 

Mallik, 82-83, 

Mamul khajana, 233-240. 

Manama, 94. 

Manbazar, description of, 275-276 ; tfcana, 

Manhhum (nowspiipor), 262. 

Mfmbbum, origin of name, 1 ; geological 
constitution of, 26 ; early history of, 
47-51 ; Muhammadan rule of, 52-53;' 
early Knglish 'administration of, 
55-66 ; formation; of, 67-68; division 
into estates, 187-88 ; police tenures 
in, 213-245. 

Mangan, 147-48. 

ManJcairi tenures, 204-05, 244. 

Manufactures, 157-67. 

Marshes, 8. 

Marua, cultiration of, 1:^5. 

Material condition of the people, 153-56. 

Matha, temponry settled estate, ori-i-in of. 

Means of commimication, 183-186 ; r*nds, 
1H4 ; railways, 184-85 ; river 185- 
186 ; postal, 186. 

Measures, 168-69. 



Medical aspects, 101-13 ; institutions, 

Medicine, indigenous Bystcm of, 111. 
Metoorological statistics, 24. 
Mica-peridotite, 33, 
Middle English Schools, 259. 
Middle Vernacular Schools, 259. 
Migration, 70-71. 
Minerals, d,2 1 ; 45-46. 
Mines, 157-158, 170-182. 
Mission, German Lutheran, 75, 260 ; 

Pomboranda Faith, 386 ; Sontlial, 76, 

Mokrari tenures, 205. 
Moghuli, brahmottars, etc., 205-206. 
Mortality, 99-001. 
Mountains, 4-5. 

Muhammadan »ulo on district, influence 
of, 52-54. 

Muhaminadans, 75 j education of, 261. 
Mundari village nystem, 188-189 ; 241" 

Mundas, 82. 
Municipalities^ 256-257. 
Murari tenures, 204-205, 244. 
Mustard, cultivation of, 125. 
Mutiny of i 857, 65-66. 


Natural enlamities, 128-142, division of 

the district, 2 -4. 
Navigation, 185. 
Nay&hadi setticmonts, 145-48 ; tenures, 

Nengsai river, 7. 
Nowspapcri', 261-262. 
Night schools, 261. 
Nirsa, police-station at, 272. 

Occupancy raiyats, 209. 
Occupations of the people, 157. 
Officialp, village, 85-86. 
Oil-sccds, cultivation of, 125. 
Outposts, police, 252. 
Outturn of crops, 120. 


Pahanpur, description of, 270-277. 
Puck -bullocks, use of, 108. 

Pahira, 83. 

Pakbira, description of, 277-278. 

PanohaJc quit-rent of ghatvviili tenures, 

225, 238. 
ranchaJci, brahmottars, etc, 205. 

Fiiuchet estate, 53-i 4, 187; rents in, 
144; suzerainty of, 189-190; during 
Muhauimadan era, 195-196; in citrly 
liritish era, 196-197; jaigirs, 210, 
218-221 ; early police arrangouients 
in, £15-216; description of, 278-28:i; 
fort, 278 ; hill, 4, 278 ; stage (geologi- 
cal), 30, 32. 

Pandra, estate, 65, 187, 180; partition of, 

200, rainfall at, 25. 
Para, description of, 282-284; thana, 

Paras nath hill, 5, 51. 
Pasturage, 127. 
Pastimes, 96-97. 
Patkum estate, early history, 57-58, 61-62, 

194; service tenures in, 223-224, 244; 

gold in, 10, lfi6; traditional history, 

269, 289. 
Patni taluks, 204. 

Pooplo, the, 69-97 ; social life of, 86-97 ; 
material condition of, 153-150 ; occupa- 
tions of, 157. 

Permanent Settlement, 190. 

Thagua festival, 96. 

Fhansi pahar, 5, 286, 

Phosphorus, 84. 

Thudi inganu, P7. 

Fhuni khel, 97. 

Physical aspects, 1-46, ' 

Firottar, 209. 

Pitha parol, i)G, 07. 

Plague, outhreaks of, 103. 

Police, administration of, 1^52-253 ; 
early Arrangements in Panchot, 215- 
216 ; tenures in Miinbhum, 213-245. 

Population, growth of, Gd ; density of, 


Porphyry, felspar, 44. 

Post offices, 186. 

Postal communications, 186. 

Potatoes, cultivation of, 126. 

Potstone, 35-36, 166. 

Prices, 152-153 : famitie, 131-141. 

Primary education, 25;»-260. 

Primogeniture, the rule of, 199-200, 

Produce rents, 146-147. 



Producta of forests, 128-120. 

Professional elassoe, 157. 

Protected forests, 199. 

Public health, 98-112. 

Purdlia Darpan (newspaper), 262. 

Purulia subdivision, 2l^5-2SG. 

Purulia town, deecripti'U of, 28'l-285j 
rainfall of, 25; Church of Enghuid at, 
75-70; hoBjital at, lC9-ll6, 255; 
Leper uflyluiu at, 111-112, 285; sub- 
re-^istry ollico at, 250; district jail, 
253; municipality, 256-257; zilla 
school at, 259, 2S4 ; population, 284; 
thaiia, 286. 

Quarries, 10-11, 178. 
Quartzites, 4G. 


Kabi crops, 121, 125; raiufall rcq\iired 

for, 114-116. 

liaglmnathpur town, description of, 286- 
287; raiufall of, 25; sub-registry office 
at, i50; uiuuicijiality, 257; High 
schc'l at, 59 ; population, 2!5G ; police- 
station, 286. 

RaTiar, cultivation cf, 125. 

Uailwnys, 184-185; oxtinsion of, 185, 

Kainfall, statistics of, 1:5; in relation to 
aj/ricullure, 114-116 ; in 1873, 135; in 
1892 and 18'.t7, 137. 

Raiyats, occupancy, 209. 

Riijganj, police outpost, 272. 

Kani-baudli, 8. 

Hiiniganj coal, composition oP, 177; coal- 

ilehV 20, 45, 172-174; sub stage, 32. 
KaiH', cultivation uf, 125. 
Hegistration, 249-250. 
Registry cilices, 250. 
Religion, 73-76, 

Rent, 143-149; rates of, 143; in Tu.di, 
143; ill Matha and Kaiiupal, 143-144; 
in 15arabhi:m, 141; in i ancLut, 144; 
prevalence of customary or (juit rents, 
145; cash rents, 143-146; produce 
rents, 14(;-147 ; huatu rent, 143; rout 
fur trees. 148-149. 

Rent-free grunts, 209. 

Rciitilcs, 23. 

Reservoirs, irrigation Iroui, ilG-ll7. 

Revenue of tho district, 246-250; land 
revenue administration, 1^7-212; from 
land, 247; excise, 247-24S; stamjis, 
248-249; income-tax, 249; ccsee^, 
249 ; registration, 249-250. 

Revenuc-froo properties, 202. 

Revenue-paying tenures, 203-207. 

Rico, cultivation of, 121-125 ; piicc of 
152 ; varieties of, 122-125. ' 

Rinderpest, 127. 

Risley-bandh, 8. 

Rivers, 5-7, 185. 

Roads, 183-184. 

Rohini festival, 94. 

Rope -making', 167. 

Rotation of crops, 118. 

Rural police, 252-253 ; population, 72. 


SadiyMa, 211. 
Sabib-bandb, 8, 256, 285. 
Salt, prices of, 152. 
Sauda, magnetic, 40. 

Sanitation, 104-109; ia Purulia, 105- 
in the villages, 105-106; in the coal' 
fields, 106-108. 

Sanskrit tols, 261. 

Siiiituri p.jlice outpost, 28 ». 

Saraks, 83-85. 

iii.rhcx\!ighattvaU taraf, origin of, 233-234. 

tSardar ghatwah, 210-211, 225, 241-24-4, 

Sarul festiv::), ijj. 

Sawai hilJ, 4. 

Scarcity iu 1892, 137; in 19u8, iJO-Hx 
Sconery, 2-4. 

Middle English, 259 ; Middle Vern-i- 
cular, 259; Girls', 260; I'rimary, 259- 
2G0; special, 2G0 ; training 2G0- 
techmcal. 2G0; lace and weaving, 260* 
mdigenous, 2G1 ; night or conlinualion', 
^61 ; Koran, 261 ; other schools, 2G1. 

Secondary education, 259. 

Service tenures, 210-245. 

Settlement, nuj/Zhadi, 145-146. 

ShiJcmi laluJcs, 203-2U4; tenures, 244. 

Silai river, 7. 

Silk weaving, 164, 280. 

^ingbonga, 74. 

Small-pox, mortality from, ;u3. 

Snakes, :i3. 

Soap-stone, 10, 35-36, 166. 



Social life of the people, 86-97. 

Soils, 118-119, 

Sontbal Mission Press, 262, 

Sonthale, 77. 

Special schools, 260. 

Spirit, consumption of, 248. 

Spring.s hot, 34. 

Stamps, revenue from, 248-249. 

Statistics, 24; agricultural, 120-121; 
of education, 259; jail,2lZ; medi- 
cal, 110; meteorological, 24; of occu- 
pation, 157; of rainfall, 25; vital, 

Stone-carving, 166. 

Sub-aerial denudation, 27, 

Subarnarekha river, 7, 184. 

Subdivisional administration, 271-272. 

Subordinate tenures, 203-207. 

Sugarcane, cultivation of, 126. 

Sun God, 74. 

Supply of labour, 151; in the coal-fields, 

Surguja, cultivation of, 125. 


Tahedars, 211, 243, 

Talahi, hrahmottars, etc., 206. 

Tillcher fossils, 31 ; stage, 30, 

Taluks, sUTcmi, 203-204; patni, 204. 

Tanr land, 119. 

Tarafs, ghativTili. 224; origin of, 231- 
234, 241-244, 232-234. 

Tasar rearing and weaving, 164. 

Tea Districts Labour Supp''y Association, 

Telegraph offices, 186. 

Telknpi, description of, 287-289. 

Temperature, 24. 

Tenures, cultivating, 208-209; ijara, 20G, 
207 ; maintenance, 207-208 ; minor 
service, 212 ; rent-free, 209 ; service, 
210-212 ; subordinate. 203-206. 

Totko river, 7. 

Thanas, 271-272, 286. 

Hil, cultivation of, 125. 

Tols, 261, 

Toijchanchi police-station, 272. 

Topography, 1, 28. 

Towns, 72. 

Trade 167-169; centres, 167. 

Training schools, 260. 

Trees and vegetation, 11-12; oconon.ic 
uses of, 12. 

Tribes and castes, 76-85. 

Tnndi police-station, 272 ; range, 3. 

Tusu parol, 95-96. 


Ud-bdstu lari, 119. 
Union Club, 285. 
Urban population, 72. 

Vrid, culti ration of, 125. 


Vaccination, 104. 

Faishnavottar tenure, 209. 

Vegetation and trees, 1 11-12 ; ecououiic 

uses of, 12. 

Veins, auriferous, 38 ; pegmatite, 43 ; 
kyanite and coiundmn, 43. 

Vertebrate fossils, 32. 

Veterinary relief, 127, 

Victoria Institution, 259, 284. 

Village festivals, 93-96 ; bibourers, 
wa?e^ of, 150-151 ; officials, 85-86 ; 
sardars, 211 ; social life, 86-97 ; watch, 

Villages, 72 ; general appearance of the, 

Vital statistics, 99-101. 


Wages, 149-151 ; rates of, 149, 
Water-courses, 116-117. 
Watershed, 2, 3. 7. 

Weaving of silk and tasar, 164; of 
cotton, 164-165. 

Weights, 168-169. 

Wells, irrigation from, 117. 

Wheat, cultivation of, 121, 125 ; prices 

of, 152. 
Wild animals, 20-23. 
Winds, 24. 

Winter rice, cultivation of, 121-25. 
Witchcraft, belief in, 74-75. 
Women, education of, 260. 
Wood-carving, 167. 


Zamindar, meaning of, 193-194. 
Zilla school, 259, 284. 
Zoology, 20-23. 

B. S. Press— 18 10 1911— 27931— 536 -C. i. P. & others. 




900 873 1 





be, the totemism of the Kurmis of western Bengal stamps them 


as of Dravidlau descent and clearly distinguishes them from the 
Kurmi of Bihar and the United Provinces. They show signs 
of a leaning towards orthodox Hinduism and employ Brahmans 
for the worship of Hindu gods, but not in the propitiation of 
rural or family deities or in their marriage ceremonies." They 
are almost entirely an agricultural oas'e, but in this district, at 
any rate, they full far short of their namesakes in Bihar both in 
energy and skill in matters connected with agriculture. 

Like the Kurinis the .Sonthals are well distributed throughout SonthaU. 
the district ; in Tundi, which immediately adjoins the Sonthal 
Parganas, they form nearly half of the population, and in 
Barabhum and Manbazar, in the extreme south and east of tlie 
district, more than one quarter. The high rate of increase 
among this people, as shown by the census figures, is partly 
accounted for by their well-known fecundity, but there must 
have been also a considerable influx from outside, more especially 
in the coalfield area, where the Sonthal is usually considered 
as the best miner, and considerable trouble is taken by mine 
managers to attract and retain them. There can, however, be no 
question that a large part of the present population springs from 
families that have been established in the district for four gene- 
rations or moi'e, and it is perhaps open to doubt whether their 
establishment in this district was not earlier in date than in the 
Southal Parganas. For a detailed description of the Sonthals, 
their traditions, their septs and their rehgious and other customs 
reference may be made to the account given by Sir H. H. Risley 
in Appendix VIIT to his recent work "The People of India," and 
to the account of the Sontbals of Bankura printed as an Appendix 
to Chapter III in O'Malley'