Mathura A District Memoir Chapter-13
Mathura A District Memoir By F.S.Growse
THE pargana of Kosi is the most northern of the three on the western side of the Jamuna and borders on the district of Gurgaon. It is the smallest of the Mathura six, having an area of only 154 square miles. It yields annual reve nue of Rs. 1,52,013. Its villages, sixty-one in number, with six exceptions, are all bhaiyachari, divided into infinitesimal shares among the whole of the com munity; so that, barring a few shopkeepers and menial servants, every resident is to some extent a proprietor. In the ordinary course of events, all would be, not only members of the same caste, but also descendants of one man, the founder of the settlement ; but in many instances, in spite of the right of preemption, several of the subordinate shares have been bought up by outsiders. A fresh assessment is made privately every year; and, according to the amount of land actually under cultivation, each tenant proprietor pays his quota of the revenue at so much per bigha, and enjoys the remaining profits as his private income. The Government demand is realized through the head-men or lumberdars, of whom there are generally several in each village. As a natural result of this minute sub-division of estates, there is not a single landed proprietor in the whole pargana of any social distinction. The two wealthiest inhabitants are both traders in the town of Kosi—Chunni Lal, son of Mohan Lal, and Kushali Ram, son of Lal Ji Mall—with incomes of Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 4,943 res pectively. The former has no land at all; the other owns one small village.
Of the six zamindari villages, only two were so previous to the last settlement; viz., Pakhar-pur, the property of Kushali Ram above mentioned, and Jau, a purchase of the Lala Babu. The other four have acquired their exceptional character only within the last few years; Garhi having been bought from the Jats by Sah Kundan Lal, of Lakhnau; Majhoi and Ram-pur having been conferred, after the mutiny, on Raja Gobind Singh, of Hathras, and Chauki on Shiv Sahay Mall, of Delhi, at the same time. One mahal of Chaundras has also quite re cently been constituted into a zamindari; and two or three other villages, now in the hands of money-lending mortgagees, will probably become so before long.
The Muhammadans number only 8,093 out of a total population of 65,293, and, with the exception of a few scattered families, are almost confined to seven places, viz., Barha, Bisambhara, Dotana, Jalal-pur, Kosi, Mahroli, and Shahpur. At three of these, viz., Bisambhara, Dotana, and Jalal-pur, they even slightly out number the Hindus.
The predominant Hindu castes are Jats, Jadons and other Gaurua, i.e., spurious, Thakur tribes. There are also a considerable number of Gujars, though these latter have now in every place ceased to be proprietors. They muster stronger in the adjoining pargana of Chhata, and were ringleaders of disaffection during the mutiny. In consequence, eight of their villages—Majhoi and Ram-pur in Kosi, Basai, Husaini, Jatwari, Karahri, Khursi and Ujhani in Chhata—were confiscated and conferred on Raja Gobind Sinh. They had previously disposed of their four other Chhata villages, Chamar-garhi, Dhimri, Gulal-pur and Pir-pur, to the Lala Babu. The course of years has not reconciled the ejected community to their changed circumstances, and so recently as the 29th of September, 1872, the widowed Rani's agent, Jay Ram Sinh, was, in result of a general conspiracy, barbarously murdered at night while sleeping in the Jatwari chaupal. Six of the murderers were apprehended, and, after conviction of the crime, were sentenced to death, but one escaped from the jail before the sentence was executed.
In the year 1857, the period, during which there was no recognition of government whatever, extended from the 12th of July to the 5th of December. With the exception of the Gujars, who assembled at Sher-garh and distinctly declared themselves independent, there was little or no ill-feeling towards the British Crown expressed by any class of the population; though many persons took advantage of the favourable opportunity for paying off old scores against ill neighbors, and especially for avenging themselves on their natural enemies, the patwaris, or village accountants, and Bohras, or money-lenders. Thus there was a pitched battle between Hathana and the adjoining village of Banswa in Gurgaon; the patwaris at Barha and Bisambhara had all their papers des troyed; at Pakharpur, Ganga Dan, bohra, was plundered by the zamindars of Kadona and Sirthala; at Kotban, Dhan-raj, bohra, was only set at liberty on payment of a ransom; and at Little Bathan, Lekhraj, bohra, after seeing all his papers seized and burnt, was himself put to death. The Jats of Kamar, after plundering Moti Ram, bohra, proceeded to turn the police out of the place, and raised a flame which spread across the border into the adjoining district; but they afterwards atoned for this indiscretion by the assistance which they gave to the Deputy Collector, Imdad Ali, in suppressing the Gujars.
The trees most commonly found growing wild in the pargana are the nim and the pilu while every piece of waste ground (there are several such tracts of large extent,) is dotted with clumps of karil. The soil is not suited to the growth of the mango, and there are scarcely any considerable orchards either of that or indeed of any other fruit tree; the one at Shah-pur being the only notable exception. Of the total area of 97,301 acres, there are 71,490 of arable land; the crops most extensively grown being joar, chana and barley. The wheat sold at the Kosi market comes chiefly from across the Jamuna. The number of wells has been much increased in late years and is now put at 1,379, of which 846 are of masonry construction. The Jamuna, which forms the eastern boundary of the pargana, is crossed by ferries at Shah-pur, Khairal, and Majhoi. The new Agra Canal passes through the villages of Hathana, Kharot, Hasanpur Nagara, Kosi, Aziz-pur, Tumaula, and Dham Sinha, a length of ten miles, and is bridged at Kharot, Kosi, Aziz-pur, and Tumaula. The high road to Delhi traverses the centre of the pargana, passing through the town of Kosi and the villages of Kotban, Aziz-pur, and Dotana; and from the town of Kosi there is a first-class unmetalled road to Sher-garh, a distance of eleven miles. The Halkabandi, or Primary, schools are twelve in number, being one for every five villages, an unusually favourable average : the attendance, how-ever, is scarcely so good as in some other parts of the district ; as it is difficult to convince a purely agricultural population that tending cattle is not always the most profitable occupation in which boys can be.
In addition to the capital, there are only four places which merit special notice, viz., Bathan, Dotana, Kamar, and Shah-pur.
Kosi is a flourishing municipality and busy market town, twenty-six miles from the city of Mathura, most advantageously situated in the very centre of the pargana to which it gives a name and on the high road to Delhi. As this road was only constructed as a relief work in the famine of 1860, it avoids all the most densely inhabited quarters, and the through traveller sees little from it but mud walls and the backs of houses. The Agra Canal runs nearly parallel to it still further back, with one bridge on the road leading to Majhoi and Sher-garh, and another at Aziz-pur, a mile out of the town on the road to Mathura.
The zamindars are Jats, Shaikhs, and Brahmans; but the population, which amounts to 11,231, consists chiefly of baniyas and Muhammadan kasabs, or butchers, who are attracted to the place by its large trade in cotton and cattle. It is estimated that about 75,000 mans of cotton are collected in the curse of the year and sent on down to Calcutta. 
The nakhkhas, or cattle market, is of large extent and supplied with every convenience—a fine masonry well, long ranges of feeding troughs, & c. On every beast sold the zamindars levy a toll of two anas, and the Chaudharis much; in consideration for which payment they are bound to maintain two chaukidars for watch and ward, and also to keep the place clean and in repair. Prices, of course, vary considerably, but the following may be taken as the average rates :—Well-bullocks from Rs. 30 to Rs. 60 each; cart-bullocks from Rs. 50 to 75 ; a cow from Rs. 15 to 50 ; a calf from Rs. 10 to 30 ; a buffalo from Rs. 25 to 50 ; and a male buffalo calf from Rs. 2 to 10. There are two market days every week, on Tuesday and Wednesday; and in 1868-69, when a tax of one and a quarter ana was levied on every beast sold, it yielded as much as Rs. 2,188-13-0 ; the zamindars' receipts at two anas a head and the Chaudharis' at the same rate amounted to Rs. 3,502-2-0 each. Taking Rs. 25 as an average price per head, which would be rather below than above the mark, the amount of money changing hands in the course of the year was Rs. 7,00,425. The exports of grain are put at 200,000 mans and there are in the town some 100 khattas, or cellars, ordinarily well filled with reserve stores for the consumption, not only of the residents, but also of the numerous travellers passing up and down the great thoroughfare on which the town stands, and who naturally take in at Kosi several days' supplies, both for themselves and their cattle. There is also very considerable business done in country cloth, as all the villages in the neighbourhood are purely agricultural, and supply most of their wants from the one central mart.
As the town lies in a hollow, it is liable to be flooded after a few days' con tinuance of heavy rain by a torrent which pours in upon it from Hodal. This was the case in 1873, when much damage was done to house property; and the subsequent drying up of the waters—which was a tedious process, there being no outlet for their escape—was attended with very general and serious sickness. The only remedy lies in developing the natural line of drainage, and the necessity of some such operation has forced itself upon the notice of the canal department ; but no definite steps have yet been taken in the matter.
The income of the municipality is about Rs. 12,000 per annum; but this sum is a very inadequate test of the actual trade done, since there is no duty either on cotton or on cattle, excepting beasts intended for slaughter.
The area of the parish is 2,277 acres, on which the Government demand used to be Rs. 6,700; but the assessment was proved to be too severe by the distress it caused to the zamindars, and it was reduced to Ra 4,790.
The principal annual melas, or fairs, are—1st, the Dasahara, only started between forty and fifty years ago by Lalu Singh, khattri, and Darbari Singh, baniya ; 2nd, the Muharram ; and 3rdly, the Phul-dol, on Chait badi 2, which is a general gathering for all the Jilts of the Denda pal from Dah-ganw Sot-ban,, Nabi-pur, Umraura, and Nagara Hasan-pur.
In the centre of the town stands a large Sarae, covering nine and-a-half bighas of land, with high embattled walls, corner kiosques, and two arched gateways, all of stone, ascribed to Khwaja I’tibar Khan, governor of Delhi, in the reign of the Emperor Akbar. On the inside there are ranges of vaulted apartments all round, and the principal bazar lies between the two gateways. The building has been partially repaired by the municipality at a cost of Rs. 4,000, and if the inner area could be better laid out, it might form a remunerative property. At present it yields only an income of between Rs. 300 and 400 a year; even that being a considerable increase on what used to be realised. A large masonry tank, of nearly equal area with the same, dates from the same time, and is called the Ratnakar Kund, or more commonly the ‘pakka talao.’ Unfortu nately it is always dry except during the rains. The municipality was desir ous of having it repaired, but it was found that the cost would amount to Rs. 3,500, a larger sum than the funds could afford. The enclosing walls are twenty feet high and the exact measurement is 620 by 400 feet. Three other tanks bear the names of Maya-kund, Bisakha-kund, and Gomati-kund, in allusion to places so styled at the holy city of Dwaraka, or Kusasthali—a cir cumstance which has given rise to, or at least confirms, the popular belief that Kosi is only a contraction of Kusasthali. The Gomati-kund, near which the fair of the Phul-dol is held, Chait badi 2, is accounted the most sacred and is certainly the prettiest spot in the town. The pond is of considerable size, but of very irregular shape and has a large island in the middle. There are two or three masonry ghats, constructed by wealthy traders of the town, and on all sides of it there are a number of small shrines and temples overshadowed by fine kadamb, pipal, and bar trees, full of monkeys and peacocks; while the tank itself is the favourite haunt of aquatic birds of different kinds. There are a few handsome and substantial private houses in the quarter of the town called Baladeva Ganj; but as a rule the shops and other buildings have a very mean appearance; and though there are a number of Hindu temples and four mosques, they, too, are all quite modern and few have any architectural pretensions.
A little beyond the town on the Delhi side close to the new canal and not far from the Idgah is a tirath called Mabhai, with a masonry tank and temple, which is looked after by a Pandit of the Radha Ballabh sect, called Bal-mukund. When I went to see him, he would only talk in Sanskrit and derived the name of the place from Ma bhaishih, `fear not,' the exclamation of Krishna to the herdsmen when the forest was set on fire. But there was an old fort of the same name in the Bulandshahr district near the town of Khurja, where no such legendary explanation would be applicable. The word is a peculiar one, and I am unable to offer any suggestion regarding it.
The Saraugis, or Jainis, have three temples at Kosi, dedicated respectively to Padma-Prabhu, the sixth of the Jinas or Tirthankaras ; Nem-nath, or Arishtanemi, the twenty-second ; and Mahavira, or Varddhamana the twenty-fourth and last of the series  who is supposed to have died about the year 500 B. C. A festival is held at the temple of Nem-nath, which is the smallest and most modern of the three, on the day after the full moon of Bhadon, when water is brought for the ablution of the idol from a well in a garden at some little distance. Any processional display, or beating of drums, or uttering of a party cry is so certain to result in a riot that extra police are always told off to prevent anything of the kind, and to confine every religious demonstration strictly within the walls of the temple. The antipathy to the rival faith on the part of the Vaishnava Hindus is so strong that it is ordinarily expressed by saying that it would be better, on meeting a mad elephant in a narrow street, to stand still and be trampled to death than to escape by crossing the threshold of a Jaini temple.
As regards the essential matters of conservancy, water supply and road communication, the condition of the town is satisfactory and has been much improved by municipal action. Most of the streets are either metalled or paved, and lighted by lamps at night. A neat dispensary has been opened and is well attended, though as yet it has no accommodation for indoor patients. A small bungalow has been built for the meetings of the committee and for occasional use as a rest-house ; the ground between it and the dispensary being laid out as a garden for the supply of fruit and vegetables and as a decorative feature at the entrance of the town. A new market was also designed with lines of substantial brick-built and stone-fronted shops of uniform character, arranged on three sides of a square, which was secured end levelled for the pur pose. In order to further the speedy completion of a work which it was thought would so much improve both the appearance of the town and also the finances of the municipality, a loan of Rs. 12,000 was contracted, with the sanction of Government, to be repaid in the course of four years by half-yearly instalments, beginning from October, 1874. Before application was made for the loan, Rs. 6,000 had been already expended, and with a further allotment, to about the same extent, from ordinary municipal income, the market might have been completed by the end of 1878. But unexpected changes in the schedule of taxation reduced the octroi receipts so considerably that the annual income was nearly all exhausted by the charges for establishment, repairs, and the repayment of the loan. Thus the work dragged slowly on; and since I have left the district has come, I believe, to a dead stand-still. At its commence ment an illustration was afforded of the extraordinary mania with which the local baniyas are possessed for hoarding large quantities of grain. This they do in the hope that a year of famine will come when they will be able to realise a rapid fortune by selling their stores at enormously high rates. As the grain is simply thrown into a pit sunk in the ground, and no precautions taken to preserve it from the damp, in a few years the greater part of it becomes quite unfit for human consumption, and its sale would only increase the general distress by spreading disease. This, however, is a consideration which has no influence on the mind of a baniya: he has a fixed method of squaring accounts with Providence, and holds that the foundation of a sumptuous temple, at the close of his life, is an ample atonement for all sins of fraud and peculation, and the only one which Divine justice is entitled to demand from him. Such a pit came to light after the heavy rains of 1873. Five of the shops then in course of construction began to settle and give way to such an extent that they had to be taken down. On digging a few feet below the foundations to ascer tain, if possible, the cause of the accident, a subterranean granary was revealed with an invoice stating that it had been filled in Sambat 1898 (1841 A.D.), and contained in all 1,303 mans of different kinds of grain. The greater part of this was so much damaged that it had to be destroyed, and the sale of the remainder realised only Rs. 324, which did not cover the cost incurred in dig ging it out, filling up the pit, and rebuilding the shops.
The Tahsili School was built by the Public Works Department at a cost of Rs. 6,000. The police, maintained by the municipality on an annual grant of Rs. 1,800, are located in a corner of the sarae, with an entrance made through the old wall directly on to the high road, opposite the parao. The latter is the property of private individuals, who levy a toll on every animal or vehicle driven into its enclosure, —the rates being fixed by the municipality—and pay Rs. 10 a month for the monopoly.
On the 31st of May, 1857, the rebels on their march to Delhi stopped at Kosi and, after burning down the Customs bungalow and ransacking the police station, proceeded to plunder the tahsili, but Rs. 150 was all that they found in the treasury there .The records were scattered to the four winds, but were to a great extent subsequently recovered. The Musalmans of Dotana, the Jats of Aziz-pur, and the Gujars of Majhoi and Ram-pur lent a willing hand to any deed of mischief; but the townspeople and the inhabitants of the adjoining villages of Hasan-pur Nagara, Umraura, Dah-ganw and Nabi-pur, gave what assistance they could in maintaining order, and as an acknowledgment of their good behaviour one year's jama was remitted and a grant of Rs. 50 made to each lumberdar. The position of the town between Agra and Delhi and the strength of its fortified sarae have rendered it a place of some impor tance at other periods of local disturbance. Thus, in 1774, the Jat Raja, Ranjit Sinh, on his retreat to Barsana, occupied it for some time and again, in 1282, after the death of Najaf Khan, his nephew, Mirza Shafi, fled to it as a temporary refuge from before his rival Afrazyab Khan.
BATHAN, GREAT AND LITTLE, are two populous and extensive Jat villages (the former with a Halkabandi school) in the immediate neighbourhood of the town of Kosi. According to popular belief, the name is derived from the circumstance that Balarama here sat down ‘(baithen) to wait for his brother Krishna’; but like so many of the older local names, which are now fancifully connected with some mythological incident, the word is really descriptive simply of the natural features of the spot,' bathan being still employed in some parts of India to denote a pasture-ground for cattle. In the same way Brinda-ban, ‘the tulsi grove,’ is now referred to a goddess Vrinda; Loh-ban, ‘the lodhri grove,’ to a demon Loha-jangha; and Kotban, ‘the limit or last of the groves,’ to a demon Kota, whose head was tossed to Sirthala, and his hands to Hathana. On the outskirts of Great Bathan is an extensive sheet of water with a mason ry ghat built by Rup Ram, the Katara of Barsana, which, by its name Balbhadra-Kund, has either occasioned, or at least serves to perpetuate the belief that Balarama was the eponymous hero of the place. Here, on Choir badi 3, is held the Holanga Fair, when some 15,000 to 16,000 people assemble and a sham fight takes place between the women of Bathan, who are armed with clubs, and the men from the neighbouring village of Jav, who defend themselves with branches of the acacia. At a distance of two miles, between two smaller groves, each called Padar Ganga, the one in Bathan, the other in Jav, is Kokila ban, the most celebrated in Hindi poetry of all the woods of Braj : so much so, indeed, that the word is often used as a synonyme for ‘the garden of Eden.’ It comprises a wide and densely-wooded area  the trees becoming thicker and thicker towards the centre, where a pretty natural lake spreads cool and clear, and reflects in its deep still waters the over-hanging branches of a magni ficent banyan tree. It is connected with a masonry tank of very eccentric configuration, also the work of Rup Ram ; on the margin of which are several shrines and pavilions for the accommodation of pilgrims, who assemble here to the number of some 10,000, Bhadon sudi 10, when the Ras Lila is celebrated . There is also a walled garden, planted by a Seth of Mirzapur, who employed as his agent Ghan-pat Ram, one of the Kosi traders. It has a variety of shrubs and fruit trees; but, like most native gardens, is rapidly becoming a tangled and impenetrable jungle. Adjoining it is a barah dari, or pavilion, constructed in 1870, by Nem Ji, another Kosi baniya, out of money left for the purpose by his brother Bansidhar. A fair is held in the grove every Saturday and a larger one on every full moon, when the principal diversion consists in seeing the immense swarms of monkeys fight for the grain that is scrambled among them. The Bairagi belongs to the Nimbarak Sampradaya.
Between Kokila-ban and the village is another holy place, called Kabir-ban besides the Padar-Ganga. The origin of the word Padar is obscure: it is inter preted by hara, ‘green,’ and therefore may be a corruption of the Sanskrit padapa, a tree. 
At little Bathan, a curious ridge of rock, called Charan Padar, crops up above the ground, the stone being of precisely the same character as at Barsana and Nand-ganw. It was once proposed to utilize some of it for engineering purposes, but such strenuous objections were raised that the design was never carried into execution. The name of the present hermit is Radhika Das. This, it is said, was one of the places where Krishna most delighted to stop and plays his flute, and many of the stones are still supposed to bear the impress of his ‘feet,’ charan. The hill is of very insignificant dimensions, having an average height of only some twenty or thirty feet, and a total length of at most a quarter of a mile. On the rock are several specimens of the tree called Indrajau (Wrightia tinctoria), which I have not seen elsewhere. In the cold weather it is almost entirely bare of leaves, but bears bunches of very long slender dark-green pods, each pair cohering lightly at the tip. There is also an abundance of a scraggy shrub called Ganger, a species of Grewia (?) and a creeper with white sweet-scented flowers which may be the zedoary. Its native name is nirbisi. In the small belt of jungle, which environs the hill, may also be found almost every variety of the curious inedible fruits for which Braj is noted, viz., the karil, pilu, pasendu, hingot, barna, and anjan-rukh. A little beyond the neigh bouring town of Kamar, just across the Gurgaon border, is a very similar ridge called the Bichor hill, from a large village of that name.
DOTANA, population 1,185, is a Muhammadan village on the high road between Kosi and Chhata with a number of old buildings which are sure to attract the traveler’s attention. There are seven large tombs dating from the time of Shahjahan and Aurangzeb if not earlier (there are no inscriptions) three mosques of the same period, erected respectively by Inayat-ullah Khan,Kazi Haidar Khan and Rau-ullah Khan, a modern mosque founded by Abd-ul Barkat, and four small gardens.
A masonry tank, which covers an area of 12 bighas and is in good repair, though dry for the greater part of the year, is said to have been constructed by the village founder Kabir-ud-din Auliya. One of his most illustrious descendants was Sadullah Khan, from whom the town of Sadabad derives its name, the minister of Shahjahan, in whose reign Dotana is said to have been a large town. Shernagar originally belonged to the same family, and three members of it are commemorated by the three Pattis, called respectively Lal, Ruh-ullah and Malak. A distributary of the canal runs within a few yards of the tank, which might easily be filled from it. Near it is the tomb of Kudus and Anwar, two of the village patriarchs.
Many of the large brick houses in the village are in a most ruinous condi tion, and the zamindars are now in poor circumstances. In the mutiny they joined the rebels in plundering the Kosi Tahsili, and part of their estate was confiscated and bestowed on Kunvar Sham Prasad, a Kashmiri, formerly Tahsildar of Maha-ban, who has transferred it to his sister, Maharani. The name Dotana is thought to be derived from Danton, a tooth-brush, and if so, is rather suggestive of Buddhist legends. The place is mentioned by Bishop Heber in his Journal, who writes: " January 7th, 1825.-Traversed a wild but more wood country to Dotana. Here I saw the first instance of a custom which I am told I shall see a good deal of in my southern journey, a number of women, about a dozen, who came with pitchers on their heads, dancing and singing to meet me. There is, if I recollect right, an account of this sort of dance in Kehama. They all professed to be Gopis, or milk-maids, and are in fact, as the thanadar assured me, the wives and daughters of the Gwala caste. Their voices and style of singing were by no means unpleasant; they had all the appear ance of extreme poverty, and I thought a rupee well bestowed upon them, for which they were very thankful." There can be no doubt also that this is the place to which John de Laet, in 1631, alludes in his India Vera, though he calls it Akbar-pur, the name of the next village. “This was formerly a consi derable town; now it is only visited by pilgrims who come on account of many holy Muhammadans buried here." Annual fairs are still held in honor of three of these holy men, who are styled Hasan Shahid, Shah Nizam-ud-din, and Pir Shakar-ganj, alias Baba Farid. The shrines, however, are merely commemorative and not actual tombs; for Hasan, ‘the Martyr,' is probably Ali's son, the brother of Hussain; Nizam ud-din Aulia is buried at Delhi; and the famous Farid-ud-din Ganj-i-Shakkar lies at Pak Patan near the Satlaj.
KAMAR, population 3,771, six miles from Kosi on the Gurgaon border, is still a populous Jat town with a considerable trade in cotton; but in the early part of last century was a place of much greater wealth and importance, when a daugh ter of one of the principal families was taken in marriage by Thakur Badan Sinh of Sahar, the father of Suraj Mall, the first of the Bharat-pur Rajas. On the outskirts of the town is a large walled garden with some monuments to his mother's relations, and immediately outside it a spacious masonry tank filled with water brought by aqueducts from the surrounding rakhya. This is more than a thousand acres in extent, and according to village computation is three kos long, including the village, which occupies its centre. For the most part the trees are exclusively the pilu, or salvadora oleoides, very old, with hollow trunks and strangely gnarled and distorted branches. The fruit, which ripens in Jeth, is sweet and largely eaten by the poor, but as a rule not sold, though some is occasionally dried and exported. A Bairagi of the Nimbarak Sampradaya, by name Mangal Das, has a hermitage with a small temple of Bihari Ji, in the midst of some fine kadamb trees, which form a conspicuous group at one end of the rakhya. He has a great reputation for sanctity and the offerings made during the last 30 years have enabled him to have a fine masonry tank con structed, of great depth, at an outlay of Rs. 2,500; from its appearance it might be taken to have cost even more. It is filled to the brim in the rains, but soon becomes dry again; a defect which he hopes to obviate by paving it at the bottom. It is about half a mile from the village and is a pretty spot. Had I remained in the district, I should have got the tank finished; arrangements were being made when the order came for my transfer. At a rather greater distance in the opposite direction is a lake with unfinished stone ghats, the work of Raja Suraj Mall; this is called Durvasas-kund, after the irascible saint of that name; but there is no genuine tradition to connect him with the spot; though it is sometimes said that the town derives its name from a ‘blanket’ (kamal) with which Krishna persuaded him to cover his nakedness. Among the trees on the margin of the lake are some specimens of the Khandar or Salvadora Panica. This is less common than the oleoides species, and is a prettier tree and blossoms earlier. Its fruit, however, is bitter and uneatable. In the town are several large brick mansions built by Chaudharis Jasavant Sinh and Sita Ram, the Raja’s connections, and one of them has a fine gateway in three stories, which forms a conspicuous land mark : but all are now in ruins. At the back of the artificial hill on which they stand, and excavated to supply the earth for its construction, is a third tank of still greater extent than the other two, but of irregular outline, and with only an occasional flight of stone steps here and there on its margin.
A temple of Suraj Mall's foundation, dedicated to Madan Mohan, is specially affected by all the Jats of the Bahin-war pal,  who are accounted its chales, or sons, and assemble here to the number of some 4,000, on Chait badi 2 and the following day, to celebrate the mela of the Phul-dol. The school, a primary one, is not a very prosperous institution. The Chaukidari Act has been extended to the town; but it yields a monthly income of only Rs. 60, which, after payment of the establishment, leaves an utterly insignificant balance for local improvements. The only work of the kind which has been carried out is the metaling of the principal bazar.
SHAH-PUR, under the Jats the head of a pargana, is a large but somewhat decayed village on the bank of the Jamuna, some ten miles to the north-east of Kosi. It is one of the very few places in this part of the country where the population is almost equally divided between the two great religions of India; there being, according to the census of 1881, as many as 1,137 Muhammadans to 1,084 Hindus, The total area is 3,577 acres, of which 2,263 are under the plough and 1,314 are untilled. Of the amble land 612 acres are watered by wells, which number in all 63 and are many of masonry construc tion. The Government demand is Rs. 3,907. The village was founded towards the middle of the sixteenth century, in the reign either of Sher Shah or Salim Shah by an officer of the Court known as Mir Ji, of Biluch extrac tion, who called it Shahpur in honour of his royal master. The tomb of the founder still exists not far from the river bank on the road to Chaundras. It is a square building of red sandstone, surmounted by a dome and divided on each side into three bays by pillars and bracket arches of purely Hindu design. By cutting off the corners of the square and inserting at each angle an additional pillar the tomb on the inside assumes the form of a dodecagon. On the other side of the village, by the road to Bukharari, is another tomb, in memory of Lashkar Khan, a grandson of the village founder: it is solidly con structed of brick and mortar, but quite plain and of ordinary design. Nearly opposite is the hamlet of Chauki with the remains of a fort erected by Nawab Ashraf Khan and Arif Khan, upon whom Shah-pur with other villages, yield ing an annual revenue of Rs. 28,000 were conferred as a jagir for life by Lord Lake. There is a double circuit of mud walls with bastions and two gateways of masonry defended by out works, and in the inner court a set of brick build ings now fallen into ruin. This was the ordinary residence of the Nawab, and it was during his lifetime that Shah-pur enjoyed a brief spell of prosperity as a populous and important town. It would seem that the fort was not entirely the work of Ashraf Khan, but had been originally constructed some years earlier by Agha Haidar, a local governor under the Mahrattas, who also planted the adjoining grove of trees.
The village has continued to the present day in the possession of Mir Ji's descendants, to one of whom, Fazil Muhammad, the great grandfather of Natha Khan, now lumberdar, we are indebted for the large bagh, which makes Shah pur the most agreeable camping place in the whole of the Kosi pargana. It covers some sixty or seventy bighas, and, besides containing a number of fine forest trees, mango, jaman, mahua and labera, has separate orchards of limes; and ber trees; while the borders are fenced with the prickly nag-phani interspersed with nims and babuls, having their branches overspread with tangled masses of the amar-bel with its long clusters of pale and faint-scented blossoms. The yearly contracts for the different kinds of fruit yield close upon Rs. 1,000. Though a mile or more from the ordinary bed of the river, it is occasionally, as for example in the year 1871, flooded to the depth of some two or three feet by the rising of the stream. The more extensive the inundation, the greater the public benefit; for all the fields reached by it produce excellent rabi crops without any necessity for artificial irrigation till, at all events, late in the season. In the village are three mosques, but all small; as the Muhammadan population, though considerable, consists, to a great extent, merely of kasabs; there is also a temple erected by the Mahrattas. The chief local festivals are the Dasahara for Hindus and the Muharram for Muhammadans, both of which attract a large number of visitors from the neighbourhood. There is a weekly market on Monday and a small manufacture of earthen handis. The halkabandi School, which, for some years, maintained only a struggling existence, has been better attended of late, since the completion of the new building.
The pargana of Chhata has a population of 84,598 and an area of 256 square miles. It lies immediately to the south of Kosi, with the same boundaries as it to the west and east, viz., the State of Bharat-pur and the river Jamuna; and, farther, resembles its northern neighbour in most of its social and physical characteristics. Being the very centre of Braj, it includes within its limits many of the groves held sacred by the votaries of Krishna; but, with the exception of these bits of wild woodland, it is but indifferently stocked with timber, and the orchards of fruit trees are small and few in number. The principal crops are joar and chana, there being 63,000 acres under the former, and 29,000 grown with chana out of a total area of 160,433. A large amount of cotton is also raised, the ordinary outturn being about 20,000 mans. But the crop varies greatly according to the season ; and in 1878 did not exceed 1,500 mans, in consequence of the very heavy and continuous rains at the beginning of the monsoon, which prevented the seed from being sown till it was too late for the pod to ripen. The coarse sandstone, which can be obtained in any quantity from the hills of Nand-ganw and Barsana, is not now used to any extent for building purposes, but it is the material out of which the impe rial saries at Chhata and Kosi were constructed, and is there shown to be both durable and architecturally effective. The western side of the pargana is liable to inundation in exceptionally rainy seasons from the overflowing of a large jhil near Kama in Bharat-pur territory; its waters being augmented in their sub sequent course by junction with the natural line of drainage extending down from Hodal. In 1861, and again in 1873, the flood passed through Nand-ganw, Barsana, Chaksauli, and Hathiya extended as far even as Gobardhan; but no great damage was caused, the deposit left on the surface of the land being beneficial rather than otherwise.
The first assessment, made in 1809, was for Rs.1, 02,906. This was gradually increased to Rs. 1, 77,876, and was further enhanced by the last settlement. Much land, formerly lying waste for want of water, was brought under cultivation on the opening of the Agra Canal. This has a total length of 11 miles in the pargana, from Bhadaval to Little Bharna, with bridges at each of those places and also at Rahera and Sahar.
Till 1838 Sher-garh and Sahar were two separate parganas, subordinate to the Aring tahsili : but in that year Sahar was constituted the headquarters of a tahsildar, and so remained till the mutiny, when a transfer was made to Chhata. The latter place has the advantage of being on the highroad, and is tolerably equi-distant from east and west, the only points necessary to be con sidered, on account of the extreme narrowness of the pargana from north to south. Thus, its close proximity to the town of Kosi—only seven miles off—is rather an apparent than a real objection to the maintenance of Chhata as an administrative centre.
The predominant classes in the population are Jats, Mons, and Gaurua Thakurs of the Bachhal sub-division; while several villages are occupied almost exclusively by the exceptional tribe of Ahivasis (see page 10) who are chiefly engaged in the salt trade. A large proportion of the land—though not quite to so great an extent as in Kosi—is still owned by the original Bhaiyachari communities; and hence agrarian outrage on a serious scale is limited to the comparatively small area where, unfortunately, alienation has taken place, more by improvident private sales, or well-deserved confiscation on account of the gravest political offences, than from any defect in the constitution or adminis tration of the law. The two largest estates thus acquired during the present century are enjoyed by non-residents, viz., the heirs of the Lala Babu (see page 258), who are natives of Calcutta, and the Rani Sahib Kunvar, the widow of Raja Gobind Singh, who took his title from the town of Hathras, the old seat of the family, though she now lives with the young Raja at Brinda-ban. Of resident landlords, the three largest all belong to the Dhusar caste, and are as follows: First, Kanhaiya Lal, Sukhvasi Lal, Bhajan Lal, and Bihari Lal, sons of Ram Bakhsh of Sahar, where they have property, as also at Bharauli and three other villages, yielding an annual profit of Rs. 3,536. Second, Munshi Nathu Lal, who, for a time, was in Government service as tahsildar—with his son, Sardar Sinh, also of Sahar, who have an assessable estate of Rs. 3,874, derived from Astoli, Tatar-pur, and shares in nine other villages ; Nathu Lal's father, Giridhar Lal, was sometime Munsif of Jalesar, and was descended from one Harsukh Rae, who received from Raja Suraj Mall the grant of Tatar-par, with the title of Munshi, by which all the members of the family are still distinguished. Third in the list is Lala Syam Sundar Das, son of Shiu Sahay Mall, a man of far greater wealth—his annual profits being estimated at a lakh of rupees. He is the head of a firm which has branch houses at Kanh-pur, Agra, and Amritsar, and other places, and owns the whole of the large village of Naugama and half of Taroli. For many years he was on the worst possible terms with his tenants; but the dispute between thorns has at last been amicably arranged, and during the recent famine the eldest son, Badri Prasad, came forward as one of the most liberal landlords in the district.
The two places of most interest in the pargana, Barsana and Nand-ganw, have already been fully described; there remain Chaumuha, Chhata, Sahar, Sehi, and Shergarh, which may each claim a few words of special mention.
CHAUMUHA, population 2,275, on the high road to Delhi, 12 miles from the Mathura station, was included in the home pargana till the year 1816. It has the remains of a large brick-built sarae, covering upwards of four bighas of land, said to have been constructed in the reign of the Emperor Sher Shah. It now a rental of only some Rs. 20 a year, being in a very ruinous state. This fact, combined with the perfect preservation of the parallel buildings at Chhata and Kosi, has given rise to a local legend that the work was bad in the first instance, and the architect, being convicted of misappropriating the funds at his disposal, was, as a punishment, built up alive into one of the walls ; the corpse, however, has not been discovered. Immediately opposite its upper gate, though at some little distance from it, stands one of the old imperial kos miners. Though in itself a clumsy erection, it forms a picturesque object as seen through the arch from inside the courtyard, and would make a pretty sketch. When Madho Rio Sindhia was the paramount power, he bestowed this and other villages in the Agra and adjoining districts on the celebrated pandit, Ganga-dhar Shastri, who constituted them an endowment for educational pur poses. In 1824, one quarter of the estate was assigned to his sons Tika-dhar and Murli-dhar; the remainder, yielding an annual rental of Rs. 24,000, of which Rs. 3,730 come from Chaumuha, is the property of the Agra College. In the old topographies the same is described as situate at Akbar-pur, a name now restricted to the next village, since the discovery of an ancient sculpture supposed to represent the four-faced (chaumuha) god Brahma. It is in reality the circular pedestal of a Jaini statue or column, with a lion at each corner and a nude female figure in each of the four intervening spaces: the upper border being roughly carved with the Buddhist rail pattern. The inhabitants are chiefly Gaurua Thakurs. A weekly market is held on Tuesday. There is a primary school; also a bungalow occupied by an assistant patrol in the customs; a small new mosque inside the sarae; a temple of Bihari Ji, built by Kasi Das, Bairagi, some 200 years ago, and kept in repair by his successors; and two ponds known as Bihari-kund and Chandokhar. As a punishment for malpracties during the mutiny, the village was burnt down, and for one year the Government demand was raised to half as much again.
CHATTA, since the mutiny the capital of the pargana, has a population of 6,014. It is on the high road to Delhi, 19 miles from Mathura, with a camping ground for troops, about 46 bighas in extent. The principal feature of the town is its sarae (already noticed at page 29), which covers an area of 20 bighas, its walls measuring 732 feet by 694. Jacquemont, who saw it in the year 1829, describes it as " a large fortress, of fine appearance from the outside, but it will not do to enter, for inside there is nothing but misery and decay, as everywhere else, except perhaps at Mathura and Brinda-ban". He would find matters improved now, for in 1876 I had a broad street laid out through the centre of it from the one gate to the other, and at the time of my transfer it had become the principal bazar in the town. I had also sent up an application to Government for a grant of Rs. 3,500 for the repair of the gateways, which possess considerable architectural merit. The repair of the side walls and cells I had already taken in hand and nearly completed, by means of small aunnal allotments out of the chaukidari fund.
In 1857 the sarae was occupied by the rebel zamindars, and one of the bastions (now built up square) had to be blown down before an entrance could be affected. The town was subsequently set on fire and partially destroyed, and twenty-two of the leading men were shot. It was originally intended to confiscate the zamindars' whole estate, but eventually the jama was only raised to half as much again for one year. The population are chiefly Jats, the next most numerous class being Jadons. The name is derived by the local pandits from the Chhattra-dharana-lila, which Krishna is said to have held there ; but there is no popular legend regarding such an event, nor any very ancient sacred place in its vicinity ; though the Vraja-bhakti-vilasa (1553 A.D.) mentions, it is true, a Chhattra-ban and a Suraj-kund. The latter is still in existence to the north-east of the town, and is a large sheet of water with one good masonry ghat built by a Brahman, Bijay Ram, an officer of the Bharat-pur Raj, who also built the very large brick house adjoining it, now in ruins. All round the tank are fine old trees and beyond it an extensive rakhya of chhonkar, pilu, and hingot. There is another tank on the Mathura road called Chandra-kund, which it would be an improvement to deepen and embank. The word Chhata probably refers to the stone chhattris which surmount the sarae gateways, and form prominent objects in the landscape from a long distance. There is a tahsili school and a weekly market on Fridays. The Hindus have nine small temples and the Muhammadans four mosques.
SAHAR—population 2,776—seven miles from Chhata and nine from Gobar dhan, was, from 1838 to 1857, the headquarters of a tahsili. At the beginning of last century it was a place of considerable importance under the Jats, being the favourite residence of Thakur Badan Sinh, the father of Suraj Mall, the first of the Bharat-pur Rajas. The handsome house which he built for himself is now unoccupied, and to a great extent in ruins; and the very large masonry tank which adjoins it was left unfinished at his death and has never since been completed. The word Sahar would seem to have been originally either Sabha-ra, or Sabha-pur. Probably the latter; for in the Mainpuri district there is a place called Sahawar, which is clearly for Sabha-pur, and from which to Sahar the transition is an easy one. The township is divided into two thoks, the one of Brahmans, the other of Muhammadans, and the latter have four small mosques and a dargah. The Government demand under the present settlement is (including nazul) Rs. 5,392, collected by 16 lumberdars. Part of the land has been transferred by the old proprietors to the two Dhusar families that have been seated here for some generations and are really the principal people in the place. In the town are several old houses with carved stone gateways of some architectural pretension; also a tank, with two masonry ghats, called Mahesar-kund, another known as Manik-Das-wala-kund, and a small ruined temple of Baladeva. There are a police station, a post-office, a weekly market held on Wednesday, and a very well attended primary school. For the accommodation of the latter I had a large and substantial building erected, in the form of a double corridor, arched and vaulted, running round three sides of an open square, with a low wall and central gateway on the fourth side or front. The cost was Rs. 1,858.
The Agra Canal runs close to the town and is bridged at the point where it crosses the Gobardhan road. It would have been much better to have diverted the road and so brought the bridge, which is now a mile away, nearer to the town. As matters stand at present, the canal, instead of being a blessing, is an intolerable nuisance. On account of the depth of its bed and the absence of any distributary, no water can be had from it for irrigation, while some hundreds of acres that used to be close to their owners' doors can now be reached only after a circuit of some three miles, and are, of course, very much lowered in value.
In the mutiny there was no disturbance here except that the lock-up was broken open, a suspected rebel let loose, and the patwari's-papers seized and destroyed.
A short time ago a dispute arose between the Muhammadans and the Hin dus as to the possession of a site on which they wished to erect, the one party a mosque, the other a temple. The real fact, as afterwards more clearly appeared, was that the Hindus had originally a temple there, which the Muhammadans had thrown down and built a mosque over it. This, too, had fallen, and the ground had for some years remained unoccupied. The case, when brought into court, was decided in favour of the Hindus, who thereupon set to work and commenced the erection of a shrine to be dedicated to Radha Ballabh. In dig ging the foundations, they came upon the remains of the old temple, which I rescued and brought into Mathura. They consist of 10 large pillars and pilas ters, in very good preservation and elegantly carved with foliage and arabesques, and also a number of mutilated capitals, bases, &c., the whole series proving an interesting illustration of the mediaeval Hindu style of architecture. Their value is increased by the fact that two of the shafts bear inscriptions, in which the date is clearly given as Sambat 1128 (1072 A. D.) The style that I call 'the mediaeval Hindu,' and of which these pillars afford a good late example, began about the year 400 A. D., and continued to flourish over the whole of Upper India for more than seven centuries. It is distinguished by the constant employment in the capital, or upper half column, of two decorative features, the one being a flower-vase with foliage over-hanging the corners, and the other a grotesque mask. The physiognomy of the latter is generally of a very unIndian type, and the more so the further we go back, as is well illustrated by a pillar in the underground temple in the Allahabad Fort. The motif is precisely the same as may be seen in many European cinque cento arabesques, where a scroll pattern is worked up at the ends, or in the centre, into the semblance of a human face. The fashion with us certainly arose out of the classic renaissance, and in India also may possibly have been suggested by the reminiscence of a Greek design. But it was more probably of spontaneous and independent origin; as also it was among our Gothic architects, in whose works a similar style of decoration is not altogether unknown. In the earlier examples, such as that at Allahabad, the face is very clearly marked; though even there the hair of the head and the moustaches are worked off into a scroll or leaf pattern. In later work, of which numerous specimens may be seen in my collection of anti quities in the Mathura museum, the eyes are made so protuberant, and the other features so distorted and confused by the more elaborate treatment of the foliage and the introduction of other accessories, that the proportions of a human face are almost and in some cases are altogether destroyed. The tradition however exists to the present day; and a Mathura stone-mason, if told to carve a grotesque for a corbel or string-course of any building, will at once draw a design in which are reproduced all the peculiarities of the old models.
SEHI is a place of some note, as being the centre of a clan of Ganrua, i.e., spurious, Thakurs, who derive their distinctive name of ‘Bachhal’ from the Bachh-ban here. They are numerous enough to form a considerable item in the population of the pargana, where they once owned and where they still inhabit as many as 24 villages, viz., Sehi, Chaumuha, Sihana, Akbarpur, Jaitpur, Bhau ganw, Mai, Basi Buzurg, Gangroli, Javali, Dalota, Siyara, Bahta, Kajiroth, Agaryala, Tivoli, Parsoli, Mangroli, Naugama, Undi, Gora, Ranera, Bharauli and Baroli. The Bachh-ban is now a ‘grove’ only in name, and is accounted one of the hamlets of the town. In it is the temple of Bihari Ji, to which the Bachhals resort; the Gosains, who serve it, being accounted the Gurus of the whole community. The name Sehi is probably derived from Sendhna, ‘to exca vate,’ as a great part of the village area (1,442 bighas) consists of broken ground and ravines (khar and behar). Other 106 bighas are occupied by tanks and ponds, one of which is called Ritharo, another Bhabhardi, after the name of the Bach hal, who dug it in the famine of 1837. In 1842 the village was put up to auction for arrears and bought in by Government. After being farmed for some years by Kunvar Faiz Ali Khan, it was sold in 1862 for Rs. 4,800 to Seth Gobind Des, who, in the following year, sold it to Swami Rangacharya, the head of his temple at Brinda-ban, for Rs 10,000. The annual Government demand is Rs. 6,100. There are four other hamlets in addition to the Bachh-ban, called respectively Odhuta, Garh, Devipura (in the khadar) and Little Hazera. The old khera bears the name of Indrauli, and is said to have been at one time the site of a large and populous town. It was certainly once of much greater extent than now, as is attested by the quantity of broken bricks that strew the adjoining fields; but there are no ancient remains nor traces of any large build ing. It is still, however, a fairly well-to-do place, most of the houses in the bazar being of masonry construction, and a few of them partly faced with carved stone. The school has an attendance of about 40 boys; the population being 2,211. In the courtyard of the temple of Bihari Ji is a square chhattri of red sand-stone with brackets carved in the same style as some in the Brinda-ban temple of Gobind Deva; and of those that support the eaves of the temple itself six are of the same pattern. The shrine has evidently been rebuilt at a much later period; and on one of the pillars is cut a rough scrawl with the date Sambat 1805, which is no doubt the year of its restoration. In the village is a small temple of Hanuman, recently rebuilt; and outside, a semi-Muhammadan shrine, erected by a chamar,. Khumani, about the year 1860. There are two annual melas held at it, in Baisakh and Kartik, on the day of the full moon. They are attended equally by Hindus and Muhammadans (as is the case with the shrine of the Bare Miyan at Jalesar) and of the two ministers one is a Brahman, the other a Musalman Fakir. A mosque which, seen from a little distance, looks rather an imposing structure, was built by two Pathans, Kasim Khan and Alam Khan of Panipat, who had a jagir of 24 villages, 12 here and 12 about Sonkh. Their descendants were reduced to poverty under the Bharat-pur Raj; but one of the families, Gulab, has lately in part repaired the mosque.
SHER-GARH—population 4,712-eight miles from Chhata, with which place it is connected by a metalled road, derives its name from a large fort, now in ruins, built by the Emperor Sher Shah. The Jamuna, which once washed the foot of its walls, is now more than a mile distant from it. The Hindus would derive the name from Sihra, Krishna's marriage wreath; but though this is improbable, it is clear that there was a town here long before the time of Sher Shah; for in taking down one of the towers of the fort, I came upon a stone carved with foliage of decidedly early Hindu or Buddhist character, with the trefoiled circle so common in the Kashmir temples. There were six towers to the fort and four gates, called the Dehli, the Madar,the Patti or water gate, and the Khirki or postern. By the latter, which is now the most frequented of all, is the school which I had built in 1875 at a cost of Rs. 1,933, in the same style as the one at Sahar. The original zamindars were Pathans, but in 1859, in execution of a decree held by Kishori Lal, Bohra, the whole of their estate, excepting 11/4 of biswa, still held by the sons of the late Asaf Khan, a descendant of the old family, was put up to auction and sold for Rs. 16,200 to Muhammad Nur Khan of Merath, from whom it was purchased for Rs. 20,000 by Seth Gobind Das. It now forms part of the endowment of the temple of Dwarakadhis in the city of Mathura. In the mutiny, considerable alarm was caused to the townspeople by the Gujars of the neighbouring villages, who made this their centre, and whose estates were afterwards confiscated and bestowed on Raja Gobind Sinh of Hathras. The Hindus have twelve small temples; the Saraugis one, dedicated to Parsvanath, and the Muhammadans three mosques. The weekly market is held on Thursday. There is a police station, a district postoffice, and besides the school for boys there are two for girls, one of the latter having been supported till his death by Asaf Khan. The town is singularly well-supplied with roads, for, in addition to the one to Chhata, it has three others (unmetalled) leading direct to Kosi, to Jait, and, across a bridge of boats, to Noh jhil.
THE Mathura pargana is the last of the three lying to the west of the Jamuna. It is the largest in the district, comprising as many as 247 villages and townships, with a population of 220,307 and an area of 401 square miles. Under the Jat and Mahratta Governments of last century its present area was in five divisions—Aring, Sonkh, Sonsa, Gobardhan, and Farrah; Aring being the jagir of Baja Bai, the queen of Daulat Rao Sindhia, who (if local traditions are to be believed) inherited all the ferocious qualities of her infamous father Gatgay Shirzi Rao, the prepetrator of the massacre of Puna. In 1803, when the country was ceded to the Company, two parganas were formed, Mathura and Aring, which were put under a single Tahsildar, who was stationed at the latter place; and this arrangement continued till 1868, when his office was transferred to its present more appropriate location at the capital. The 84 villages, that had previously constituted the Farrah parganah of the Agra district, were added in 1878.
The first settlement was assessed at Rs. 5,149 for Mathura and Rs. 98,885 for Aring, making a total of Rs. 1,04,034, which was gradually increased to Rs. 2,14,336 ; the actual area also having undergone considerable change. For, in 1828, after the conclusion of the war with Durjan Sal, 15 villages on the Bharatpur border were annexed, and about the same time several muafi estates in the neighbourhood of Mathura were resumed. The first contractor for the Government revenue was a local magnate, whose name is still occasionally quoted, Chaube Rudra-man, who, after one year, was succeeded by Khattri Beni Ram.
In addition to the City, it includes within its limits some of the most notable places in the district—such as Brinda-ban, Gobardhan, and Radha-kund a- also several large and populous villages which are of modern growth and have no special characteristic beyond their mere size, as Parson, Phendar, Usphar and others, each with two or three thousand inhabitants.The principal landed proprietors are the trustees of the Seth's temple at Brinda-ban: Gosain Puru shottam Lal of Gokul; the Raja of Awa; the heirs of the Lila Babu, in Calcutta; and Seths Ghansyam Das and Gobardhan Das of Mathura; not one of whom resides immediately upon his estate. The predominant classes of the population are Jats, Brahmans, and Gaurua Kachhwahas. The ancestor of all the latter, by name Jasraj, is traditionally reported to have come at some remote, but unspecified, period from Amber, and to have established his family at the village of Kota, whence it spread on the one side to Jait, and on the other to Satoha, Giridhar-pur, Pali khera, Maholi, Nahrauli, Naugama, Nawada, and Tarsi ; which at that time must have formed a continuous tract of country, as the villages which now intervene are of much more modern foundation. The estates continued for the most part with his descendants till the beginning of the present century; but seventy years of British legislation have sufficed to alienate them almost entirely. The most common indigenous trees are the nim, babul, remja, and kadamb and the principal crops tobacco, sugarcane, chana, cotton, and barley; bajra and joar being also largely grown, though not ordinarily to such an extent as the varieties first named. Wheat, which in the adjoining parganas is scarcely to be seen at all, here forms an average crop. The cold-weather instalment of the Government demand is realized principally from the outturn of cotton. An average yield per acre is calculated at one man of cotton, seven of joar, three of bajra, six of wheat, eight of barley, five of chana, eight of tobacco, and ten and a half of gur, the extract of the sugarcane. The cost of cultivation per acre is put at Rs. 7 for the kharif and Rs. 10 for rabi crops. The river is of little or no use for irrigation purposes; but after the abatement of the rains it is navigated by country boats, which are always brought to anchor at night. Water is generally found at a depth of 49 feet below the surface of the soil; and it is thus a matter of considerable expense to sink a well, more especially as the sandiness of the soil ordinarily necessitates the construction of a masonry cylinder. The Agra Canal has proved a great boon to the agri culturist; it has a length of 16 miles in the pargana, from Konai to Sonoth, with bridges at Basonti, Aring, Sonsa, Lal-pur, and Little Kosi.
ARING—Population 3,579-nine miles from Mathura, on the high road to Dig, was, from 1803 to 1868, the head of a tahsili, removed in the latter year to the Civil Station. Near the canal bridge, the navigation channel to Mathura branches of on the one side and on the other a distributary, that runs through the villages of Usphar and Little Kosi. Till 1818 the town was a jagir of a Kashmir Pandit, by name Baba Bisvanath. On his death it was resumed and assessed at Rs. 6,447, which sum has subsequently been raised to Rs. 10,000. In 1852, the old Gaurua zamindars' estate was transferred at auction to Seth Gobind Das, who has made it part of the endowment of his temple at Brinda-ban. In the mutiny the rebels marched upon the place with the intention of plundering the treasury, but were stoutly opposed by the zamindars and resident officials, and driven back after a few shots had been fired. Lala Ram Bakhsh, the here ditary patwari, who also acted as the Seth's agent, was conspicuous for his loyalty, and subsequently received from the Government a grant of Rs. 1,000 and the quarter jama of the village of Kothra, which he still enjoys. The Tahsildar, Munshi Bhajan Lal, also had a grant of Rs. 1,200, and smaller donations were conferred upon several other inhabitants of the town, chiefly Brahmans. It is much to be regretted that a misunderstanding with regard to the management of the estate has arisen within the last few years between the Seth and his agent, the Lala, which threatens to sever entirely the lat ter's connection with the place. Aring is generally counted as one of the 24 Upabans, and has a sacred pond called Kilol-kund, but no vestige of any grove. Various mythological etymologies for the name are assigned by the local pandits; but, as usual, they are very unsound. Probably the word is a corruption of Arishta-grama; Arishta being the original Sanskrit form of ritha, the modern Hindi name of the Sapindus detergens, or soap-berry tree. The Gosains would rather connect it with Arishta, the demon whom Krishna slew. There is a school of the tahsili class (which hitherto has been liberally supported by Lala Ram Bakhsh), a post-office, a police-station in charge of a Sub-Inspector, and a customs bungalow, recently moved here from Satoha. Three small temples are dedicated respectively to Baladeva, Bihari Ji, and Pipalesvar Mahadeva; and the ruins of a fort constructed last century preserve the name of Phunda Ram, a Jat, who held a large tract of territory here as a jagir under Raja Suraj Mall of Bharat-pur. The Agra Canal passes close to the town, and is bridged at the point where it crosses the main road. The market day is Sunday. The avenue of trees extending from Mathura through Aring to Gobardhan was mainly planted by Seth Sukhanand.
AURANGABAD—population 2,219—was originally a walled town. It is four miles from the city of Mathura on the Agra road, and derives its name from the Emperor Aurangzeb, who is said to have made a grant of it to one Bhim Bhoj, a Tomar Thakur, with whose descendants it continued for many years. For some time previously to 1861 it was however held rent-free by a Fakir, commonly called Bottle Shah, from his bibulous propensities, a grantee of Daulat Rao Sindhia. On his death it was assessed at Rs. 691, which was subsequently raised to Rs. 898. The place is frequently, but incorrectly, called Naurangabad. It also has the subsidiary name of Mohanpur, from one Mohan Lal, a Sanadh, a man of some importance, who came from Mat and settled there last century. On the bank of the Jamuna is an extensive garden, and on some high ground near the old Agra gate a mosque of the same age as the town, which presents rather a stately appearance, being faced with stone and approached from the road by a steep flight of steps. The weekly market is held on Friday, and is chiefly for the sale of thread and cotton. The Government institutions consist of a police-station and a school. For the accommodation of the latter, which for some years past had borne an exceptionally high character, I had a handsome and substantial building erected, with pillars and tracery of carved stone, which now forms the most conspicuous ornament of the place. This was the last work that I completed before I left the district. A view is given of it as an example of the way in which the indigenous style of architecture can be adapted to ordinary modern requirements. A reach of sandy and broken ground extends from the town to the river, where a bridge of boats affords means of communi cation with Gokul and Maha-ban on the opposite bank. Aurangabad is the chief place for the manufacture of wicker chairs and couches, which find a ready sale among the English residents of the adjoining station.
FARAH—population 3,642—has a camping ground for troops on the high road to Agra, from which district it has only lately been detached. It was founded by Hamida Begam, the mother of the Emperor Akbar. About the year 1555, during the exile of the Emperor Humayun the town was the scene of a battle between Sikandar Shah (a nephew of Sher Shah) and Ibrahim Shah, in which the latter was defeated, though he had with him an army of " 70,000 horse and 200 persons, to whom he had given velvet tents, banners, and kettle-drums." Sikandar, whose force did not exceed 10,000 horse, offered peace upon condi tion of receiving the government of the Panjab, but on his overtures being - rejected, he joined in battle, and by his victory-became sovereign of Agra and Delhi while Ibrahim fled to Sambhal.
SONKH—population 4,126—is on the road from Mathura to Kumbhir. It is a very thriving and well-to-do place, with a large number of substantial brick-built shops and houses, many of them with carved stone fronts. Under the Jats it was the head of a local Division. It is said by the Gosains—with their usual absurdity—to derive its name from the demon Sankhasur; but, accord ing to more genuine local tradition, it was first founded in the time of Anang Pal, the rebuilder of Delhi, probably by the same Tomar chief who has left other traces of his name at Son, Sonsa and Sonoth. The ancestor of the present community was a Jat, by name Ahlad, whose five sons—Asa, Ajal, Purna, Tasiha and Sahjua—divided their estate into as many separate shares, which still bear their names and are to all intents and purposes distinct villages, with the Sonkh bazar as their common centre. This lies immediately under the Khera, or site of the old fort, of which some crumbling walls and bastions still remain. It was built by a Jat named Hati Singh, in the time of Suraj Mall of Bharatpur, or Jawahir Singh; but the khera itself must be many hundreds of years older. There are two market-places in it, the one belonging to Sahjua, the other to the Purna zamindars. The market day for the former is Thursday, for the latter Monday. But a considerable amount of business is transacted every day of the week; there being as many as 200 baniyas' shops and almost enough local trade to justify the incorporation of a Municipality. In Sahjua there are several extensive orchards of mango and ber trees, with an octagonal stone chhattri (commemorating the grandfather of the present lum berdar), and three masonry wells of exceptionally large dimensions; all attest ing the greater wealth and importance of the Jat proprietors during the short period of the Bharat-pur Hegemony. About a mile from the bazar, just across the Bharat-pur border, at a place called Gunsara, is a very fine masonry tank, worthy of a visit from any one in the neighbourhood, being on the same scale and in much the same style as the Kusum-Sarovar near Gobardhan. This was the work of the Rani Lakshmi, the consort of Raja Randhir Sinh, who also built the beautiful kunj that bears her name on the bank of the Jamuna at Brinda -ban. The tank was not quite completed at the time of her death, and, according to native custom, has never been touched since. Adjoining it is an extensive walled garden overgrown with khirni and other trees that are sadly in need of thinning. In the centre is an elaborately carved stone plinth for a building that was designed but never executed. Though the population of Sonkh exceeds 4,000, the school has an attendance of no more than sixty pupils, of whom only six are the sons of the Jat zamindars. The five pattis stand as follows:—
|Ajal ,,,||4||2||3||195||The Ajal thoks are called Bhagmall,Jagraj Sirmaur and Kunja.|
|Ase ...||2||5||7||380||Ase is now divided into distinet mahals.|
|Purna ...||2||2||6||1,104||The Purna thoks are named Kisan and Isvar.|
|Sahjua ..||2||4||15||2,017||The Sahjua,Biluchi and Bewal.|
|Tasiha ..||3||3||2||415||The Tasiha;Taj,Uranf and Manohar.|
Where the road branches off to Gobardhan is a towered temple of Maha deva, with a masonry tank of no great area, but very considerable depth, which was commenced twenty years ago by a Bairagi, Ram Das. It is now all but completed, after an outlay of Rs. 1,300, which he laboriously collected in small sums from the people of the neighbourhood, with the exception of Rs. 200 or 300, which were granted him from the balance of the Chaukidari fund. The avenue of trees along the road between Sonkh and Gobardhan was almost entirely planted by another Bairagi by name Salagram, who began the work out of a donation made him by the deceased Raja of Bharat-pur on the birth of his son and heir.
THE pargana of Mat is the most northern of the three on the east of the Jamuna, and is a long, narrow, straggling tract of country lying between the river and the Aligarh border. As it abounds in game of various kinds—black buck, wild boar, and water-fowl—it has considerable attractions for the sportsman ; but in every other point of view it is a singularly uninviting part of the district. There are no large towns, no places of legendary or historical interest, no roads, no local trade of manufacture, and no resident families of any distinc tion. The soil also is generally poor, the water bad, and—except quite at the north—there are few groves of trees to relieve the dusty monotony of the land scape. As if to enhance the physical disadvantages of the locality by an arti ficial inconvenience, the tahsili has been fixed at the mean little village of Mat in the extreme south, on the very borders of the Maha-ban pargana; though the merest glance at the map will show that Surir—a place with a larger population than Mat—is the natural centre of the division. Its recognition in that charac ter would be an immense boon both to Government officials and to the agricul turist. The present arrangement dates from a time when the pargana was of very different extent and Mat easily accessible from all parts of it. For, till 1860, it included the whole of tha Raya sub-division to the south; while in the north, Noh-jhil formed an entirely separate tahsili. This was more in accordance with the division of territory existing in the reign of the Emperor Akbar, when the whole of Mat proper came under Maha-ban, and Noh-jhil made part of pargana Noh in the Kol Sarkar. Immediately before the cession of 1804, the latter was the estate of General Perron; while Mat, with Maha-ban, Sa'dabad, and Sah-pau was held by General Duboigne.
As now constituted, the pargana has a population of 95,446, and an area of 223 square miles, comprising 141 villages, which form 153 separate estates. Of these, the great majority are bhaiyachari, anal thus it comes about that the richest resident landlords are the members of a Brahman family quite of the yeoman class, living at Chhahiri, a hamlet of Mat. They are by name Pola Ram and Parasuram, sons of Radha, and Kalhan, son of Bal-kishor, and have jointly an assessable income of Rs. 9,276 a year, derived from lands in Mat, Bijauli, Harnaul, Jaiswa, Jawara, Nasithi and Samauli. They have lately been at considerable expense in building a school in their native place. Three other men of substance, of much the same social position, are Lachhman, Brahman, of Bhadra-ban; Serhu, Brahman, of Tenti-ka-ganw, and Lala Ram, Baniya, of Jawara. Of non-residents, Rao Abdullah Khan, of Salim-pur in Aligarh, a connection of the Sa'dabad family, has estates about Khanwal and Karahri, on which the annual Government demand is about Rs. 2,000; the Raja of Mursan enjoys a royalty of Rs. 1,061 from the Dunetiya circle; and Lalas Mahi Lal and Janaki Prasad own the two large villages of Arne and Bhadanwara.
After the mutiny, as many as eighteen villages (eleven in whole and seven in part), belonging to the rebel leader Umrao Bahadur of Nanak-pur, were confiscated, and all the proprietory rights conferred on Seth Lakhmi Chand rent-free for the term of his natural life. On his death, the grant was further extended to his son, Seth Raghunath Das, on payment of the half jama ; but the muafi estate (being about Rs. 8,000 a year), which alone he retains in his own hands, it may be presumed, will lapse entirely on the termination of the second life. The zamindari was transferred to his uncle, the late Seth Gobind Das, C.S.I, and by him constituted part of the endowment of the temple of Dwarakadhis at Mathura. The original proprietor was a member of a family that had always been in opposition to the British Government, and died fight ing against us at Delhi. Their principal seat was at Kumona in Bulandshahr, where, in 1807, Dunde Khan, with his eldest son, Ran-mast Khan, who is said to have been possessed of perfectly marvellous and Herculean strength, held the fort for three months, though the garrison consisted of a mere handful of men. After the surrender, a pension of Rs. 6,000 a year was settled upon Ran-mast Khan which his widow enjoyed till her death, an event which took place a few years ago ; but the father's whole estate was declared forfeit and bestowed upon Mardan Ali Khan of Chatari, a scion of the same stock. Umrao Bahadur was the child by adoption of Dunde Khan's second son, Nawab Ashraf Khan of Nanak-pur, and, as above mentioned, was killed in the rebel army before Delhi. With him fell his youngest brother, Mazhar Ali Khan, who left a son by name Rahim Khan, who is now either dead or at the Andamans ; the sole surviving representative of the family being a son of Umrao Baba dur's—Amir Bahadur—who was too young to be engaged in the rebellion with his father.
To the south of the pargana the predominant class are Gaurua Thakurs; while in the north the agricultural community is almost exclusively Jats, mainly of the Nohwar sub-division. The principal winter crops are joar, bajra, maize and cotton, the latter occupying some 13,000 acres, while til, arhar, and hemp are also grown, but ordinarily in the same field with joar. In the hot weather about 24,000 acres are under chana 18,000 under wheat, and 13,000 under barley. Though there are indigo factories at four places, viz, Lohi, Karahri, Bhalai and Arua, the first named has almost entirely suspended operations, and at the other three the plant used is mainly grown in villages across the border in the Aligarh district. The most productive lands are the alluvial flats, which, in the rains, form part of the river bed; the high bank that bounds them is generally bare and broken, and the soil further inland poor and sandy, where the only trees that thrive well are nim, faras and baul. Connection with the opposite parganas of Kosi, Chhata, and Mathura, is maintained by two bridges of boats (the one from Chhin-pahari by Noh-jhil to Sher-garh, the other from Dangoli to Brinda-ban,) and as many as seven ferries, at Rae-pur, Faridam-pur, Musmina, Surir, Ohawa, Iloli Guzar, and Mat. Scarcely any attempt has been made to provide for internal communication. In the whole pargana there is not a single yard of metalled road, except in the Mat bazar, where it has been constructed out of the Chaukidari tax; the only bit of first-class unmetalled road is the four miles from Noh-jhil to the Sher-garh bridge; the remaining thoroughfares are for the most part narrow, winding cart tracks, sunk so much below the level of the adjoining fields that in the rains they assume the appear ance of small rivers. In 1856, a strip of land was taken up of sufficient width for the construction of a good broad road to extend from the Brinda-ban bridge to the town of Noh-jhil, thus traversing all the southern half of the pargana. But little was done beyond marking it out ; and as all the lower part of it for some miles lies across the ravines, where it was annually cut away by the rains, it was for at least six months in the year all but impassable ; the sum allowed for its maintenance, Rs. 5 a mile, being considered quite inadequate to carry opt more than the most superficial repairs. However, before I left the district, I was able to accomplish this most desirable work and that without any additional grant for the purpose, simply by concentrating the whole of each succes sive annual allotment on a particular part of the road, instead of dribbling it out over the entire length of 22 miles. Every year I built a culvert or two, or a bridge, burning the bricks and lime on the spot, employing local workmen and doing nothing by contract; and the result, after four years, was a perma nently good level road, over which it was quite possible to drive in an English buggy. The road connects three places of some importance in the pargana, viz., Mat, Surir and Noh-jhil at the one end with Sher-garh, which is a perfect terminus of roads, and at the other with Brinda-ban and Mathura; while a short branch from Mat would bring it in contact with the station on the new line of railway at Raya, and another from Noh-jhil with the market of Bajana.
Many of the smaller thoroughfares here, as in other parts of the district, are rapidly being obliterated, and unless speedy measures are taken for their preservation, very great inconvenience mast eventually result. The occupants of the fields through which they pass encroach upon them year by year, till at last, in the less frequented tracts, nothing is left but a mere ridge scarcely broad enough for a foot-path. When the traffic is too considerable to allow of this complete appropriation, the lane is narrowed till it barely admits the passage of a single cart ; a high bank is then raised on either side with earth always excavated from the roadway, which, thus, is sunk several feet below the level of the country and in the rains becomes a deep water-course. In the dry season of the year it is rendered equally impassable by huge aqueducts carried across it at short intervals in order to convey water for irrigation purposes from a well on one side to lands forming part of the same farm that happen to lie on the other. A small sum is annually allotted for the maintenance of a cer tain number of village roads, and as I have practically demonstrated, this money might be much more advantageously expended than has hitherto been the custom, if it were used for the systematic prevention of encroachments and the construction of occasional syphon drains and culverts.
As a rule, the bhaiyachari villages have a much more prosperous appearance than those which have passed into the hands of some one wealthy proprietor. In the former case every shareholder plants the borders and waste corners of his fields with quick growing trees, such as the faras, or tamarisk, which he fells from time to time as he wants timber for his well or agricultural implements, or for roofing his house, but immediately supplies their places by new cuttings. Thus the village lands from a little distance often look picturesque and well-wooded, though possibly there may not be a single grove or orchard on them. In a zamindari estate, on the other hand, the absentee landlord is represented on the spot only by an agent, whose sole duty it is to secure as large a yearly return as possible for his employer. Every manorial right is strictly enforced, and trees are felled and sold in large quantities, and never replaced, either by the tenant, who is not allowed to cut a single stick, however urgent his requirements, and therefore has no object in planting, or by the landlord, who cares nothing for the well-being of the village, which can be sold as soon as its productiveness is exhausted. It would be difficult, perhaps impossible, to mention a single instance in the whole district of one of the new landlords doing anything whatever forth permanent improvement of his estate. It never even occurs to them that their tenants have the slightest claim upon their consideration. Hav ing probably amassed their fortune by usury, they are willing to make advances at exorbitant rates of interest for any improvements the cultivators may wish to carry out themselves; but their ears are closed to any other application.
To prevent the possibility of any individual acquiring a fixed status, leases are never given but for very short periods ; accumulation of arrears of rent is encouraged for the three years that the law allows, when immediate action is taken for the recovery of the fall amount increased by interest ; if any pay ment has been made in the interim, though the tenant intended it to be on account of rent, the landlord maintains that it is absorbed in the clearing off of the advances ; no intimation is given to the patwari of the amount of these advances, nor, as a rule, is any payment made in his presence ; but after the lapse of some weeks, when the ignorant boor, who probably did not pay in cash, but through the intervention of a baniya, has forgotton what the amount was, the patwari is ordered to write a receipt for such and such a sum, and this document is accepted by the stolid clown without a question—ordinarily without even hearing it read—and is at once put away and either lost or eaten by white, ants, while the counter-part remains as legal evidence against him. To increase the confusion, the rent is collected not only without adequate witnesses or any written memorandum, but also at any odd time and by a variety of different persons, who are ignorant of each other's proceed ings; the agents are changed every six months or so, and (as the patwari can only read Hindi) are by preference people who know only the Persian character. The result is, that any adjustment of accounts is absolutely impossible; the patwari, the agents, and the tenants, are all equally at fault, and the latter are solely dependent on the mercy of the landlord, who, at a fortnight's notice, can eject every single man on the estate. Thus, during a single month of the year 1873, more than a hundred suits were filed against the people of one village for arrears contracted in 1870. After the lapse of three years, the defendants—who are so ignorant that they cannot state the amount of their liability for the present season, but depend entirely upon the patwari and the baniya—can only urge that they know they have paid in full, but (almost necessarily under the circumstances) they have no oral wit nesses to the fact, while the village account-books, which constitute the docu mentary evidence, are so imperfect as to form no basis for a judgment. At the same time, in the hope of producing the impression that an innocent man was being made the victim of a gigantic conspiracy, actions for fraud and corrup tion were instituted against both agent and patwari, and other criminal pro ceedings were taken against the villagers for petty infringements of manorial rights. Virtually, such pseudo-zamindars refuse to accept the position of landlords; they are mere contractors for the collection of the Imperial revenue, and it seems imperative upon the Government to recognize them only in that inferior capacity, and itself to undertake all the responsibilities of the real landlord. Since they have no influence for good, both policy and humanity demand that at least their power for evil should be restricted within the narrowest possible limits.
The most noticeable feature of the pargana is the extensive morass, from which the town of Noh-jhil derives the latter part of its name. Its dimensions vary very much at different seasons of the year and according to the heaviness of the rainfall, but it not unfrequently spreads over an area measuring six miles in length by one in breadth. It is the favourite haunt of large swarms of water-fowl, which are caught at night in nets, into which they are frightened by torches and fires lit on the opposite bank. They ordinarily sell for about Rs. 4-8 the hundred. The lands which have a chance of being left dry by the subsidence of the waters in time to be sown with hot-weather crops, bear the distinctive name of Lana, and are formed into separate estates, which it is a matter of no little difficulty to assess at their average value. When there is any harvest at all, it is exceptionally good; but not unfrequently the land remains flooded till seed-time is over and the only source of profit then left to the proprietor is the pasturage. The inundation, though primarily the result of the natural low level of the country, has been artificially increased by exca vations made some centuries ago with the express object of laying the approaches to the Fort under water: this being one of the special modes of rendering a stronghold impregnable laid down in Sanskrit treatises on the art of war. An outlet was provided by a winding channel, some five miles in length, called the Dhundal Nala, which passed under Firoz-pur and joined the Jamuna near Mangal-khoh; but its mouth is now completely blocked for a long distance. The cost of re-opening it has been estimated at Rs. 2,093; an expenditure which would soon be recovered by the settled revenue of the reclaimed land. A simpler, but at the same time a less efficient, remedy might be found in the reconstruction of an embankment ascribed to Nawab Ashraf Khan, which formerly existed near the village of Musmina, and was kept in partial repair by the Jat zamindars of that place till 1866. In that year the jhil was entirely dry, and the dam being in consequence neglected, the next heavy flood washed it away. To provide an exit for the water seems, however, far preferable to blocking its entrance; as the temporary submersion has a very beneficial effect on the land, and its total prevention might result in rendering a large area absolutely unculturable. A well-devised scheme of drainage for this part of the country, the transfer of the tahsili from Mat to Surir, and the completion of the road between Noh-jhil and the Brinda-ban Bridge, are the three great requirements of the district which urgently demand a speedy settlement.
Mat—population 4,093—has for some years past given a name to a pargana, though it is nothing but an exceptionally mean assemblage of mud hovels, without any bazar or even a single brick-built house. It stands immediately on the high bank of the Jamuna, but is separated from the actual bed of the stream by a mile of deep sand, and the ferry which connects it with Sakaraya on the opposite side is therefore very little used. Four miles lower down the stream is the Brinda-ban bridge of boats ; the road which leads to it skirting for some distance the margin of an extensive morass, called the Moti jhil, which, though never very broad, sometimes attains a length of nearly two miles. The township (jama Rs. 8,983) is divided into two thoks, Raja and Mula, and was till recently owned entirely by Brahmans and Thakurs, but some Muhammadans are now in part possession as mortgagees. The Chaukidari Act is in force, but yields an income of only Rs. 52 a month, which leaves a very small balance for local im provements. The school is merely of the primary class, and not so well attended as the one in the adjoining hamlet of Chhahiri. There is an old mud fort, and within its enclosure stand the tahsili and police-station, the only substantial buildings in the place. Though there is no grove of trees to justify the title, it is still designated as one of the Upabans, and is a station in the Ban-jatra; the name being derived from `the milk-pails' (mat) here upset by Krishna in his childish sports. At Chhahiri, a little higher up the stream, is the sacred wood of Bhandir-ban, a dense thicket of ber, hins, and other low prickly shrubs, with a small modern temple, rest-house and well in an open space in the centre. Just outside is an ancient fig-tree (bat) which Krishna and his playmates Balaram and Sridama are said to have made their goal when they ran races against each other (see page 59). A large meld, chiefly attended by Bengalis, is held here, Chait badi 9, and is called the Gwal-mandala. The temple in the grove is dedicated to Bihari; that under the Bhandir-bat, to Sridama. In the village are three other small shrines in honour of Radha Mohan, Gopal, and Mahadeva. Two mosques have also been recently built by the Muhammadans. In the mutiny the only act of violence committed was the seizure of six grainboats passing down the river, for which the zamindars were subsequently fined.
BAJANA—population 4,427-about five miles north-east of Noh-jhil, has from time immemorial been occupied by Jats. Many years ago, the three leading men divided it into as many estates, called after their own names, Sultan Patti, Dilu Patti, and Siu Patti. These are now to all intents and purposes distinct villages, each with several subordinate hamlets, where most of the landed proprietors reside, while the old bazar still remains as a common centre, but is mainly occupied by tradespeople. In it are the sarai, police-station, built in 1869, and halkabandi school. Here, too, every Saturday, a large market is held; all the dealers who attend it having to pay an octroi tax at graduated rates, according to the commodities which they have for sale. These duties are fanned out to a contractor, who in 1865, the year when the last revision of settlement took place, paid for the privilege Rs. 340, a sum which has now been increased to Rs. 429. This income certainly is not very large, but as the market is a popular one, it might, beyond a doubt, be greatly increased, if only the headmen would recognize the obligation, under which they lie, of occasionally devoting part of the proceeds to local improvements. Up to the present time they have done nothing : the market is held in the main street, which is so densely crowd ed from one end to the other that all through traffic is obstructed ; the sarae is too small to accommodate one-half the number of visitors, and there is no separate yard in which to stall horses and cattle ; the clouds of dust that rise from the unmetalled roadway make it painful to see and breathe, and would seriously damage any goods of better quality that might’ be brought; and, in addition to all this, an open space at the end of the street, where the crowd is the very thickest, has been selected as a convenient spot for depositing all the sweepings of the town till they are carted away as manure for the fields. Even the two substantial masonry wells which there are in the bazar have not been con structed by the market trustees, but are the gift of one of the resident shop-keepers.
Another market is held on Thursday, but exclusively for the sale of cattle. A considerable amount of business is transacted, though the animals offered for sale are generally inferior in quality to those brought to the Kosi market on the opposite side of the river. Bajana has also been one of the depots for Government stallions since 1856, when the establishment was transferred here from the adjoining village of Shankar-garhi, at Aligarh.
The two pattis of Sultan and Dilu are watered by a short branch of the Ganges Canal, which enters the district at the village of Ahmad-pur, and passes also through Shankar-garhi. In Sin Patti the proprietary shares are not reckoned by biswas but by wells, which, whether really so or not, are put at 36 in number. The jama is Rs. 3,400, and the quota of each ‘well’ is Rs. 96, making a total of Rs. 3,456; the surplus of Rs. 56 going to the lumberdars. Similarly, in Mat, the reckoning is by ploughs and bulls; plough being a share and a bull half a share. Dilu Patti has two hamlets, Murliya Jawahir and Murliya Badam ; Sultan Patti five, viz., Naya-bas, Dalgarhi, Prahlad-garhi (of which one biswa was sold 18 years ago to an Athwa riya), Ajnot and Idal-garhi ; and Sin Patti three, viz., Jareliya, Maha-ram-garhi, Bhut-garhi. At the time of the mutiny Umrao Bahadur was proprietor of 21/2 biswas in Dilu Patti, was mortgagee of 10 biswas in Thok Badam and farmed as much of Thok Hira. This was confiscated with the rest of his estates; the 21/2 biswas were conferred on Seth Lakhmi Chand; the other panels of land have reverted to their original owners. Half of Thok Kamala was also declared forfeit, but eventually returned on payment of a fine; the zamindars having joined in the assault on the Fort of Noh-jhil. One of the number, Khuba, who had been especially forward in attempting the life of the Tahsilldar, Sukhvasi Lal, died in jail before sentence. The Arazi Kasht Sultan Patti and Arazi Dilu Patti are lands recovered from the jhil and separately assessed—the one at Rs. 90, the other at Rs. 152.
NOH-JHIL.—population 2,674—is a decayed town, 30 miles from Mathura, which, up to the year 1860, was the head of a separate tahsili now incorporated with Mat. The original proprietors were Chauhan Thakurs, who were expelled in the thirteenth century by some Jats from Narwari near Tappal, and others from Jartuli near Khair, in the Aligarh District, who afterwards acquired the name of Nohwar, and at the present time are further distinguished by the title at Chaudhri. They brought with them as purohits some Gaur Brahmans of the Phatak clan, who received various grants of land, and at the last settlement their descendants owned 15 biswas of the township, the remaining five being held by Muhammadan Shaikhs. In the seventeenth century some Biluchis were stationed here by the emperor, for the express purpose of overawing the Jats; but their occupation did not last above 80 years. On the 4th of June, 1857, the Nohwar Jats of the place with their kinsmen from the neighbouring villages of Musmina and Parsoli attacked the fort and plundered all the inhabitants except the Brahmans, with whom, as above shown, they had an hereditary connection. The lumberdar, Ghaus Muhammad, was killed, and all the Government officials fled to the village of Thera by Surir, where the Malakana zamindars gave them shelter, and in acknowledgment of their loyalty subsequently received a dona tion of Rs. 151 and a remission of Rs. 100 on the yearly jama, which still con tinues. The estate is now held as follows: 121/2 biswas by the Brahmans, 33/4 by Shaikhs, and 41/4 biswas of alluvial land by the Seths. This latter share had been purchased at auction by Umrao Babadur’s father, and was confiscated with the rest of his property. Two outlying suburbs are called respectively Toli Shaikhan and Toli Khadim-i-dargah. The Fort, of which incidental mention has been already made, is of great extent, covering 31 bighas of land. It was rebuilt about the year 1740 by Thakur Devi Singh, an officer in the service of the Bharat-pur Raja. It is now all in ruins, but its crumbling bastions command a fine view of the extensive lake that spreads for miles beneath it. Within its enclosure is the old tahsili, built in 1826, now converted into a police-station, and a lofty tower erected in 1836 for the purposes of the Trigo nometrical Survey; ascent is impossible, as the ladder in the lower story was destroyed in the mutiny and has not been replaced.
Outside the town is a Muhammadan makbara or tomb, called the dargah of Makhdum Sahib Shah Hasan Ghori, traditionally ascribed to a Dor Raja of Kol who flourished some 300 years ago. This is not in itself impro bable, for about that time all the Aligarh Dors became converts to Islam  The buildings are now in a dilapidated condition, but include a covered colonnade of 20 pillars which has been constructed out of the wreck of a Hindu or Buddhist temple. Each shaft is a single piece of stone 51/2 feet long, and is surmounted by a capital, which adds an additional foot to the height. The latter are sculptured with grotesques, of which the one most frequently repeated represents a squat four-armed monster, who, with his feet and one pair of hands raised above his head, supports, as it were, the weight of the architrave. The shafts, though almost absolutely plain, are characteristic specimens of an eccentricity of Hindu architecture. (See page 275.) Several other columns have been built up into the roof ; one carved in low relief with several groups of figures, parted from one another by bands of the pattern known as the ‘Buddhist railing,’ has been taken out and transported their Mathura. The statues which adorned the temple have probably been buried under ground; but no excavations can be made, as the place is used for Muhammadan interments. The saint's urs or mela is held on the 14th of Ramazan, and his tomb is visited by some of the people of the neighbourhood every Thursday evening. There was an endowment of 300 bighas of land and a yearly pension of Rs. 100, but the latter ceased on the death of Makhdum Bakhsh, the repre sentative of the original grantee, and the land was settled at half jams (Rs. 80) in 1837. In the bazar are a small mosque and two temples built by the Mahrattas. The proximity of the jhil renders the town feverish and unhealthy, and the establishment of a branch dispensary would be a great boon to the inhabitants.
SURIR—population 5,199—by its position the natural centre of the pargana is a small town on the high road half-way between Mat and Noh-jhil. It is about a mile from the left bank of the Jamuna, where is a ferry to Bahta on the opposite side. It is said to have been called at one time Sugriv-khera, after the name of one of the different founders; this appellation is now quite obsolete, but it explains the origin of the word Surir, which is thus seen to be a contraction for Sugriv-ra. The oldest occupants were Kalars (the local name, as it would seem, for any aboriginal tribe), who were expelled by Dhakaras, and these again by Raja Jitpal a Jaes Thakur. His posterity still constitutes a large part of the population, but have been gradually supplanted in much of the proprietary estate by Baniyas and Bairagis. The township (jama Rs. 9,619) is divided into two thoks, called Bija and Kalan; and there are 11 subordinate hamlets. Three small temples are dedicated respectively to Mahadeva, Lakshmi Narayan, and Baladeva. There is a police station, a primary school, and a weekly market held on Monday. At the time of the mutiny, Lachhman, the lumberdar, with 11 others, was arrested on the charge of being concerned in the disturbances that took place at the neighbouring village of Bhadanwara, in which the zamin dar, Kunvar Dildar Ali Khan, was murdered, his wife violated, and a large mansion that he was then building totally destroyed. He was considerably in the debt of his banker, Nand Ram of Rays, who, when the estate was put up to auction, bought it in, and has been succeeded as proprietor by his nephew Janaki Prasad.
The Maha-ban pargana has a population of 116,829 and an area of 239 square miles. It forms the connecting link between the two divisions of the district. Its western half, which lies along the bank of the Jamuna, forms part of the Braj Mandal, and closely resembles in all its characteristics the tracts that we have hitherto been describing: its towns are places of considerable interest, but the land is poor and barren, dotted with sandhills and inter sected with frequent ravines. To the east, beyond Baladeva, the country is assimilated to the rest of the Doab; the soil, being of greater productiveness, has from time immemorial been exclusively devoted to agricultural purposes, and thus there are no large centres of population or sites of historic interest.
In area and subordination the pargana has undergone several changes; for originally it formed part of Aligarh, and then for some years recognized Sa'dabad as its capital, before it was finally constituted a member of the dis trict of Mathura. In 1861 it made over to Sa'dabad some few villages on the border, and received instead the whole of the Raya circle, including as many as eighty-nine villages, which till then had been included in Mat; together with three others, Baltikri, Birbal, and Sonkh, which were detached from Hathras. A glance at the map will show that a further rectification of its boundary line to the north is still most desirable; as all the 18 villages of the Ayra-khera circle occupy a narrow tongue of land that runs up along the Aligarh border, in such immediate proximity to the Mat tahsil that they would clearly be benefited by inclusion in Mat jurisdiction.
The river forms. the boundary of the pargana to the south as well as the west, and in the lower part of its course is involved in such a series of sinu osities that its length is out of all proportion to the area it traverses, and thus necessitates the maintenance of no less than eleven crossing places, viz., the pontoon bridge at the city, a bridge of boats at Gokul, and ferries at Pani-ganw, Habib-pur or Basai, Baroli, Kanjauli, Koila, Tappa Saiyid-pur, Sehat, Akos, and Nera. The contracts for all these, excepting the one at Koila, are given in the Agra district.
Of the 151,846 acres that form the total area, 110,613 are ordinarily under cultivation. The crops principally grown are joar, bajra and the like on 57,000 acres; wheat and barley on 38,700; cotton on 8,000, and chana on 4,000. Water-melons are also raised in large quantities on the river-sands; and the long grass and reeds, produced in the same localities, are valuable as materials for making ropes, mate, and articles of wicker-work.
The number of distinct estates is 216, of which 18 are enjoyed rent-free by religious persons or establishments, and 89 are in the hands of sole proprietors, as distinct from village communities. The castes that muster strongest are Jats and Brahmans, who together constitute one-half of the entire population. The great temples at Baladeva and Gokul, though they have also endowments in land, derive the principal part of their income from the voluntary offerings of pilgrims and devotees. Of secular proprietors the wealthiest—as in most other parts of the country now-a-days--are novi homines of the baniya class, who have laid the foundation of their fortune in trade. First in this order come Mahi Lal and Janaki Prasad of Raya. Their ancestor, Nand Ram, was a petty trader of that town, who realized large profits by the sale of grain in the famine of 1838. In partnership with him was his brother, Magni Lal, who, having no natural heir, adopted his sister's grandson, Janaki Prasad. In 1840 Nand Ram died, and as of his two sons, Mahi Lal and Bhajan Lal, the latter was already deceased, leaving issue, Jamuna Prasad and Manohar Lal, he left his estate in three equal shares, the one to his son, the second to his two grandsons, and the third to his adopted nephew. For some years the property was held as a joint undivided estate ; but in 1866 an agreement was executed contituting three estates in severalty ; Janaki Prasad's share being the village of Bhadanwara, Mahi Lal's that of Arua, both in Mat ; and Jamuna Prasad and Manohar Lal's, ten smaller villages in the Maha-ban pargana. As the main object of this agree ment was simply to get rid of Janaki Prasad, the others continued to hold their two-thirds of the original estate as one property. But after a time, thinking that the discrepancy between recorded rights and actual possession might lead to difficulties, in 1870 they executed another deed, by which the two shares were again amalgamated. This joint estate, including business returns, was assessed for purposes of the income tax, as yielding an annual profit of Rs. 16,066 the Maha-ban villages, in which they are the largest shareholders, being Acharu, Chura-Hansi, Dhaku, Gonga, Nagal, and Thana Amar Sinh. Some misunder standing having subsequently arisen, the uncle and nephew have again divided their joint estate. Their kinsman Janaki Prasad, in addition to his Mat village of Bhadanwara, has shares in Gainra, Kakarari and 15 other villages in Maha-ban, from which he derives a net income of Rs. 14,260.
Of much the same or perhaps rather lower, social standing are a family of Sanadh Brahmans at Jagadis-pur, money lenders by profession, who are gradually consolidating a considerable estate out of lands which for the most part they first held only in mortgage. The head of the firm in their native village, where they have been settled for many generations, is by name Harideva, with whom is associated in partnership his nephew, Chunni Lal, son of a deceased brother, Isvari. Besides owning three parts of Jagadis par, they have also shares in Daulat-pur, Habib-pur, Karab, Kakarari, Sahora, Wairani, and 16 other villages, producing a net income of Rs. 12,572. A brother of Harideva's, by name Puran Mall, has a separate estate, being part proprietor of Bahadur-pur Itauli, &c., while a relative, Baladeva, living at Gokul, has a further income of Rs. 13,311 derived from trade and lands that he owns at Daghaita and Arhera in the Mathura pargana. This latter's father, Param Sukh, was the brother of Hira-mani, Harideva's father; and it was their father Jawahir—nicknamed Kuteliya, ‘the pedlar’—son of another Harideva, who began in a very small way to form a nucleus for the fortune which his descendants have so rapidly accumulated.
The Saiyids of Maha-ban (see page 13), though of inferior wealth, have claims to a more ancient and honorable pedigree. They have a joint income of Bs. 6,084, drawn chiefly from the township of Maha-ban and the villages of Nagara Bharu, Gohar-pur, Shahpur Ghosna, and Narauli: but the shareholders are so numerous that no one of them is in affluent circumstances.
The Pachhauris of Gokharauli have a joint income estimated at Rs. 10,695. The most prominent person among them is Kalyan Sinh, and the actual head of the family, the Thakurani Pran Kunwar, his cousin Bakhtawar Sinh'a widow, has adopted one of his sons, by name Ram Chand. They trace their descent from one Bhupat Sinh of Savaran-khera in the small central India state of Bhadaura, who came from thence to settle at Satoha—a village between Mathura and Gobardhan. There he died and also his son, Parasu-ram Sinh; but the grandson, Puran Chand, removed to Gokharauli, where he acquired large possessions in the time of the Mahrattas. At the present day there is not a single village in the old pargana of Maha-ban, in which his descendants have not some share, though it may often be a small one. In several they are sole proprietors, and they have other estates in the Agra district. At the out-break of the mutiny, the fort of Gokharauli was surprised and taken in the absence of the head of the family, Ballabh Sinh, grandson of Puran Chand. It was, however, soon after recovered by him and his cousin, Kalyan Sinh; the Risaldar Major in the 17th Regiment; and their great local influence further enabled them to raise a large body of volunteers in pursuit of the rebel army. When the disturbances were over, Ballabh Sinh was appointed tahasildar of Kosi, but he soon threw up the appointment, as he had no taste for office work, and his private property required superintendence. As Pran Kunwar's adoption of a son has given rise to much litigation on the part of the rival claimants to the inheritance, it may be of use to add a genealogical table showing clearly the degrees of relationship:
Beyond the three towns of Gokul, Maha-ban, and Baladeva, which have already been fully described, the only other places in the pargana which require more than the most cursory notice are the four great centres of Jat colonization, whose history involves that of all the villages subordinate to them.
AYRA-KHERA, an old township with no amble land attached to it, is popu larly said to be the mother of 360 villages. It is still the recognized centre of eighteen which are as follows :—Ayra (or Era), Baron, Bhankarpur, Bhura, Bibavali, Bindu Bulaki, Birahna, Birbal, Gainra, Gaju, Kakarari, Lalpur, Manina Balu, Misri, Nim-ganw, Piri, Sabali, and Sampat Jogi. The founder is said to have been a Pramar Thakur, by name Nain Sen, who himself came from Daharua, another village in this pargana, but whose ancestors had migrated from Dhar in the Dakhan, the Raja of which state is still a Pramar and of a very ancient family. He had four sons, whose names are given as Rompa (or Rupa), Sikhan, Birahna, and Inchraj, and among them he portioned out his new settlement. They again had each issue, viz., Rupa five sons, the founders of the five northern villages, Bindu-Bulaki, Nim-ganw, Piri, Bibavali, and Bhura ; Sikhan four sons, who settled the four villages to the south-west, Kakarari, Birahna, Baron, and Gainra ; Birahna five sons, who founded the five villages to the east, Sabali, Birbal, Era, Misri, and Gaju; and Inchraj four sons, who founded the four villages to the north-west, Manina Balu, Bhankar pur, Lalpur, and Sampat Jogi. The bazar is considered the joint property of Rupa's descendants, and their permission is necessary before any new shop can be built in it .The market, which is held on a spot close to the bazar, twice a week, Wednesday and Saturday, is the property of the zamindars of the four villages founded by Sikhan's sons, who give it out on contract for about Rs. 50 a year to four baniyas, who take a weighing fee from every purchaser, six chhatanks in each rupee's worth of grain. The land is occupied almost exclu sively by the Jat community, with the exception of Lalpur, which is held by Brahmans, the descendants of the founder's purohit, who belong to the Sanadh clan. Adjoining the village there is a small piece of woodland, 20 bighas 4 biswas in extent, held rent-free by some bairagis, which is called Niwari, i.e., Nimwari. It makes a convenient place to camp in, being enclosed in a belt of fine old nim and papri trees, with a solitary imli and a number of pasendu and karil bushes in the centre. This is accounted part of Lalpur. The school has an attendance of about 60 boys. The older occupants of the place, whom Nain Ben dispossessed, are said to have been Kalars, whatever may be the tribe intended by that ambiguous term. His brethren, whom he left behind at Daharua, all became Muhammadans, and it may be presumed that it was his obstinate adherence to the faith of his fathers, which made it necessary for him to emigrate. The event therefore cannot be referred to any very early period. Though himself a Thakur, it is carious to observe that his descendants for very many generations past have been reckoned as Jats of the Godha sub-division. This they explain by saying that the new settlers, being unable to secure any better alliances, intermarried with Jat women from Kara in the Aligarh dis trict, and the children followed the caste of their mothers. There is a general meeting for all the members of the clan at the festival of the Phul Dol, which is held Chait badi 5.
At Bhura, which is one of the 18 villages, is an old brick-strewn khera, locally ascribed to the Kalars. Wells have been sunk all over it for the par-pose of irrigating the adjoining fields, but, so far as can be ascertained, no antiquities have ever turned up. On the top is a cairn, marking the grave of some Saiyid, name unknown. The soil is so sandy that swell anywhere except the khera falls in as soon as dug, unless protected by a masonry cylinder. For the convenience of revenue officials the whole of the Ayra-khera circle has been divided into 18 groups, and each group is entered in the records under the name of some one of its constituent homesteads, which is accounted the village and the others its hamlets. But, on the spot, each bears its own name and as they all lie very close together and are pretty nearly the same size and have the same general features, being all occupied by members of the same clan, the effect upon a chance visitor is a little bewildering. Neither do the fields of one hamlet all lie together, but are intermingled with those of several others. The tract however is well-wooded with babul trees dotted about the borders of the fields and frequent small mango orchards. It is also well-culti vated, the only bits of waste being the Bairagis hermitages, green little nooks, the last remnants of the original jungle.
AR-KHERA is said to have been the parent of twenty-eight villages, eleven of which are still grouped together under the collective name of the taluka Ar Lashkarpur.They are as follows:—Bansa, Basar-Bhikhandi, Bir Aliabad, Gurera, Khalana, Khajuri, Nigora, Nonera, Pavesara, Polua, and Sujanpur. The last of these, with an area of 243 acres, is uninhabited and is owned by the Jat Raja of Mursan. The Khera itself has been deserted for very many years past, and though a mela in honour of Barahi Devi is held there twice a year, even the goddess does not remain permanently on the spot, but is merely brought over for the occasion.
MADEM.-This is a circle of five villages occupied by Jats of the Dangri sub-division. Their ancestor, by name Kapur, is said to have been a Sissodiya Thakur from Jaitai in the Sadabad pargana, but originally from Chitor, whose five sons, Chhikara, Bhojua, Jagatiya, Nauranga, and Ransingha, founded the villages that still bear their names. In consequence of their laxity in allowing widow re-marriage they lost caste and from Thakurs became Jats. The older occupants of the locality are represented to have been Kalars. Chhikara and Ransingha now form the central settlement. At the siyar, or shrine of the goddess of small-pox, who is specially worshipped once a year in the month of Asarh, I noticed a small figure apparently Jain, which slightly confirms my view that Kalar is the local name for the older followers of that faith.
RAYA—population 2,752—is a small town on the Aligarh road, seven miles from Mathura, and the first station on the Light Railway from that city to Hathras. It has no arable land of its own, but is the recognised centre of as many as twenty-one Jat villages which were founded from it. These are as follows :—(1) Nagal, (2) Gonga, (3) Suraj, (4) Dhaku, (5) Acharu, (6) Bhain sara, (7) Siyara, (8) Banan, (9) Pararari, (10) Saras, (11) Tirwa, (12) Kharwa, (13) Narwa Hansi, (14) Thana Amar Sinh, (15) Saur, (16) Pokhar Hirday, (17) Malhai, (18) Khairari, (19) Bhima, (20) Koil, and (21) Chura Hansi. The first fourteen of these are the older settlements and are called the chaudah taraf; the other seven are subsequent offshoots. The town is said to derive its name from its founder Rae Sen, who is regarded as the ancestor of all the Jats of the Godha clan. There is an old mud fort ascribed originally to one Jamsher Beg, but rebuilt in the time of Thakur Daya Ram of Hathras. The principal residents are now Janaki Prasad, Jamuna Prasad, and Mahi Lal, of whom mention has been already made. A Bairagi of the Nimbarak persuasion by name Harnam Das enjoys a considerable reputation as a Pandit. There is a large orchard of mango and Jaman trees, twenty-three bighas in extent, planted by Sri Kishan Das, Baniya, whose son, Jugal Kishor, has also one of the two Indigo factories in the town ; the other belonged to the late Mr. Saun ders. There is also a smaller orchard in the possession of a Bairagi by name Rup Das. At the back of the police-station is a pond called Khema-ra, after the man who had it dug, and on the Mat road, near a Thakur-dwara, another called Rawa, probably after the founder Rae Sen. Market days are Monday and Friday. The town is administered under Act XX. Of 1856, and section 34 of Act V. of 1861 is also in force. The line of railway has been constructed along the side of the road, and, as at first laid, crossed and re-crossed it so fre quently that all road traffic would have been greatly impeded. This defect was subsequently remedied, and there are now only three crossings in its entire length of 29 miles; but the fine avenue of trees has been terribly cut up.
SONAI—population 2,393-is a township on the Hathras road which, like Raya, finds no place in the Revenue Records, being there represented by its eight dependent villages. These are Thok Bindavani, Jhok Gyan, Thok Kamal (better known as Khojua), Thok Saru, Thok Burners, Bhurari, Nagara Bari and Nagara Jangali. The Begam Umrao Shah in 1772 built a fort here, which in 1808 was held by Thakur Daya Ram, of Hathras, and for some years subsequently was used as a tahsili. Not a vestige now remains of the old buildings, which were pulled down and the materials used for the construction of the new police-station. The site is well raised and commands an extensive view. I would have built a school upon it, but it was represented that the children would be afraid of ghosts. The sarae was constricted in the time of Tahsildar Zahur Ali Khan, one of the Lal Khani family, seated in the Bulandshahr district. Market days are Sunday and Thursday.
THE pargana of Sadabad are bounded by the districts of Aligarh and Agra to the north and south, Eta to the east, and the Mathura pargana of Maha ban to the west. It has a population of 89,217 and an area. of 115,498 acres, divided into 131 separate estates, of which 52 are held by sole proprietors and the remainder by communities of shareholders. Though water is ordinarily found only at the considerable depth of 30 feet below tha surface and is often brackish, most of the land is of excellent quality, yielding a good return on every species of agricultural produce; barley, cotton, joar, and arhar being the Principal crops, with a considerable amount also of hemp and indigo. The predominant classes are Jats and Brahmans, who together constitute nearly one half of the total population. At the beginning of the century, Raja Bhagavant Sinh of Mursan was one of the largest landed proprietors; but the estate in Sa’dabad held by the present Raja consists only of the villages of Bhurka, Jhagarari, and Nagara Ghariba, which yield an annual income of Rs. 3,000. Another local magnate of great importance at the same period was also a Jat by caste, Thakur Kushal Sinh, the brother-in-law of Durjan Sal, the usurper be throne of Bharat-pur. His estates, some 10 or 11 villages lying round about Mathura, now on the line of Railway, were all confiscated at the close of the war, when a settlement was made with the former proprietors and some of the hereditary cultivators. At present the principal people in the pargana are the Muhammadan family seated at the town of Sa'dabad, at whose head is the Thakurani Hakim-un-Nissa, the widow of Kunwar Husain Ali Khan.
The remaining large landowners are of a different stamp, being nouveaux riches, who have acquired whatever wealth they possess within the last few years by the practice of trade and usury. The most prominent members of this class are-1st, Sri Ram, Bohra, son of Madari Lal, Brahman, of Salai-pur, who returns his net income at Rs. 15,500, derived from shares in 20 different villages ; 2nd, Mittra Sen, a Baniya of Hathras, who has an income of Rs. 12,125, arising from lands in Mirhavali, Samad-pur, and four other places ; and 3rd, Thakur Das and Sita Ram, the sons of Jay Gopal, Dhusar, who enjoy an income of Rs 12,116, from Jatoi, Kupa, Nagara Dali and shares in 11 other villages. Most of the indigo factories are branches of the Chotua concern, a firm which has its head-quarters near Sonai, in the Hathras pargana. Mr. John O'Brien Saunders, of the Englishman, was the senior partner: he died in 1879.
Strictly speaking, there is not in the whole of Sa'dabad a single town  for even the capital is merely a largish village with a population of 3,295. It was founded by a character of considerable historical eminence, Vazir Sa'dullah Khan —the minister of the Emperor Shahjahan—who died in 1655, three years before the accession of Aurangzeb. For some time after the annexation of 1803, it continued to be recognized as the capital of a very extensive district, which had the Jamuna as its western boundary and comprised the parganas of Jalesar, Mat, Noh-jhil, Maha-ban, Raya, Khandauli, Sikandra Rao and Firozabad, in addition to the one named after itself. This arrangment existed till 1832, when the Mathura District was formed and absorbed the whole of the Sa'dabad circle, with the exception of Sikandra Rao, which was attached to Aligarh, and Firozabad and Khandauli, which compensated Agra for the loss of Mathura. If the size of the place had accorded in the least with its natural advantages, it would have been impossible to find a more convenient and accessible local centre; as it stands on a small stream, called the Jharna, which facilitates both drainage and irrigation, and it is also at the junction of four important high roads. Of these, one runs straight to Mathura, a distance of 24 miles; another to the Railway Station at Manik-pur, which is nine miles off; while the remain ing two connect it with the towns of Agra and Aligarh. The Tahsili, which occupies the site of a Fort of the Gosain Himmat Bahadur's, is a small but substantial building, with a deep fosse and pierced and battlemented walls. As it has the advantage of occupying an elevated position, and is supplied with a good masonry well in the court-yard, it might in case of emergency be found capable of standing a siege. There is in the main street a largish temple with an architectural facade; but the most conspicuous building in the town is a glittering white mosque, erected by the late Kunwar Irshad Ali Khan, near his private residence. There are two other small mosques; one built by Ahmad Ali Khans, Tahsildar, the other ascribed to the Vazir, from whom the place derives its name. The zamindari estate was at one time divided between Brahmans, Jats, and Gahlots, of whom only the former now retain part possession, the remainder of the land having been transferred to Muhammadans and Baniyas. The town is not large enough to form a municipality, but is administered under Act XX. of 1856. The principal mela is the Ram Lila, started only 40 years ago by Pachauri Mukund Sinh, when Tahsildar. The oldest temples are two in honour of Mahadeva, one of Hanuman, and a fourth founded by Daulat Rao, Sindhia, dedicated to Murli Manohar. In the mutiny the place was attacked by the Jats, and seven lives were lost before they could be repulsed. A Thakur of Hathras, by name Samant Sinh, who led the defence, subsequently had a grant of a village in Aligarh, while two of the Jat ringleaders, Zalim and Deokaran of Kursanda, were hanged.
Immediately opposite the road that branches off to Jalesar is a neat little rest-house for the accommodation of the officers of the Public Works Depart ment ; and about half a mile from the town on the Agra side is a large and commodious bungalow of the Kunwar’s, which is always placed at the disposal of his English friends. It is surrounded by extensive mango groves, and attached to it is a spacious garden, very prettily laid out and well-kept, contain ing many choice varieties of trees, flowers, and creepers.
SAHPAU (probably for Sah-pura)—population 3,635—is the largest village in the pargana, a little off the Sa'dabad and Jalesar road, and close to the Manik pur Railway Station. The Thakur zamindars are Gahlots, who trace their descent from Chitor, and say that at one time they had as many as 52 villages in this neighbourhood. The elder branch of the family, as at Sahpau, Kukar gama, Isaunda, & c., take to themselves the title of Sah ; the second, as at Tehu in Jalesar that of Chaudhari ; and the youngest, that of Rao. Thakur Buddh Sinh of Umargarh now owns 5 biswas of the estate, purchased by his father, Thakur Tikam Sinh; Bindaban Sah is lumberdar of other 10, and Jhaman Sah of the remaining 5. But out of these 15 biswas, Chunni Kuar, wife of Panna Lal, baniya, has acquired 7½ viz., 5 of Bindaban's and 2½ of Jhaman’s. Two families of Sanadh Brahmans have long enjoyed a malikana of Rs. 175, payable in four shares, two of Rs. 62-8-0 and two of Rs. 25 each, but the liability to further payment is now disputed by the proprietors, since one share has been sold and another mortgaged to a baniya, by name Bidhi-chand. There are 5 hamlets, called Sukh-ram, Badama, Tika Ram, Kushali, and Mewa. The Baniyas are all either Baraseni Vaishnavas, or Jaeswar Saraugis. The latter say that they came from Chitor with the Thakurs. They have a modern temple dedicated to Nem-nath, where a festival is held in the month of Bhadon. It stands imme diately under the site of the old fort, which is well raised and occupies an area of 13 bighas. It has yielded a large supply of massive slabs of block Kankar, which have served as materials for constructing the basement story of several of the houses in the bazar. Some late Jaini sculptures, representing each a cen tral seated figure with minor accessories, have also been exhumed; I removed to Mathura and placed in the museum there one of the most characteristic. Outside the town near Panna Lal's indigo factory is a raised terrace, now sacred to Bhadra Kali Mata, which also is partly constructed of kankar blocks, and on the top of it are placed a great number of late Jaini figures with part of the large Sinhasan on which the principal idol had been seated. Here a buffalo is offered in sacrifice at the Dasahara festival. In the suburbs of the town are some 12 or 13 mango orchards with small temples and Bairagis’ cells, and in a field by itself a large square domed building, of more architectural pretensions, which commemorates a Thakur window’s self-immolation. The lower part of the walls at each of the four corners has been almost dug through for the sake of the bricks, and unless repaired the whole must shortly fall. The town is administered under Act XX. of 1856.
- ↑ The outturn of cotton for the whole of district was estimated in the year 1872-73 at 225,858 mans,the exportation therefore must be very considerable.
- ↑ Each Tirthankara has his own distinctive sign: Mahavira, a lion ; Padma-Prabhu, a lotus ; Nem-nath a conch ; Chandra-Prabhu, a moon, and it is only by these marks that they can be distinguished from one another, as all are sculptured in the same attitude.
- ↑ It is 212 bighas in extent; 54 bighas being held rent- free by the Mahant of the Hermitage, who also has all the pasturage and fallen timber of the whole area, with a further endowment of 22 bighas of arable land in Jav.
- ↑ It is mentioned by name in teh Vraja-bhakti-vilasa as पाडरवन.
- ↑ Pal is the peculiar name for any sub-division of Jats. In the Kosi Pargana, the principal Jat Pals in addition to the Bahin-war, who own Kamar and 11 other villages, are the Denda, Lokans, and Ghatons. Similarly every sub-division of Mewstis is called a chhat.
- ↑ In Dr. Hunter's Imperial Gazetteer, under the letter S between an article on Sadiya in Assam and one on Sadras in teh Madras Presidency, there is a brief notice with the curious heading Sadr. Thsi is described as being the south-western tahsil of the Mathura district; as it there were not necessarily a sadr, i.e, a home, or head-quarters, tahsil in every district in India.
- ↑ When Kol was finally reduced by the Muhammadans in the reign of Nasir-ud-din Mahmud (1246-1265), it was under a Dor Raja, and the tower, which was wantonly destroyed by the local authorities in 1860, is supposed to have been eracted 652 A.H. (1274 A.D.) on the site of the principal temple of the old city. Among the Hindus, however, the tradition is somewhat different; they ascribe it to the Dor Raja, Mangal Sen, who gave his daughter Padmavati in marriage to the heir of Raja Bhim of Mahrara and Etawa, who soon after his accession was murdered by his younger brothers. The widow then retired to Kol, where her father built the tower for her. At noh-khera in the Jalesar pargana there is a local tradition of a Raja Bhim, and possibly the above may be the person intended. The father of Mangal Sen was Buddh Sen, who transferred his capital from Jalali to Kol.He was the son of Bijay Ram (brother of Dasarath Sinh, who built the fort at Jalesar), the son of Nahar Sinh, who built the Sambhal fort, the son of Gobind sinh, the son of Mukund Sen, the son of Vikrams Sen, of Baran, now called Bulandshahr.
- ↑ As an illustration of the curious want of perspective, which characterizes all Dr. Hunter's notices of this district in his Imperial Gazetteer, I observe that while he totally omits the towns of Baladeva, Barsana and Nandganw, gives six lines to Gokul and barely half a page to Brinda-ban, he devotes special paragraphs to two places in this Sadabad pargana, viz., Bisawar and Kursanda, which even in a book like the present devoted exclusively to one particular district, I can find nothing to say about, except that Dr. Hunter has mentioned them. They are not towns, nor even villages, but simply two groups of scattered and utterly insignificant agricultural hamlets, which for convenience of revenue purposes have been thrown together under collective names.