Mathura A Gazetteer-1
MATHURA A GAZETTEER,
edited and compiled by, D.L. DRAKE-BROCKMAN 
BOUNDARIES AND AREA
Muttra, or as it is more correctly spelt Mathura, is the north-western district of the Agra division, and lies between the parallels of 27° 14' and 27° 58' north latitude and 77°17' and 78°12' east longitude. It is bounded on the north-west by the Gurgaon district of the Punjab; on the north-east and east by Aligarh, except for some eight miles where the borders of the Sadabad tahsil march with those of the Etah district; on the south by Agra ; and on the west by the independent state of Bharatpur. In shape it is like an imperfect crescent, whose horns look up towards the north-east; and its borders are extremely symmetrical and in no degree disfigured by the intrusions of independent territory so frequently found in districts which are conterminous with native states. South-west of Muttra city, however, there are five inclaves of Bharatpur territory, consisting either of single villages or groups ; and in the south-western corner the district possesses one village, Phulwara, which is completely isolated in the midst of land belonging to that state. According to the latest returns, the total area of the district is 924,497 acres or 1,445 square miles. Its greatest length is approximately sixty miles and its greatest breadth is forty miles. The district has been from time to time subjected to several changes of area, of which mention will be made in chapter IV.
TOPOGRAPHY AND GENERAL APPEARANCE
The district lies in the basin of the Jumna, which flows through the centre of it and divides it into two tracts of some-what dissimilar characteristics. Generally speaking it consists of two plains, sloping at a rate of 1.28 foot per mile in the direction of the river's course. The few small rocky out-crops which protrude across the Bharatpur boundary in the west and no-where rise more than 200 feet above the plain are the only features that vary the otherwise monotonous landscape. Flanked by ravines and sand dunes, the broad channel of the river rarely sinks more than 30 feet below the general surface of the country and alone prevents the district from being an uninterrupted level expanse; for Muttra is unusually ill-provided with streams or drainage channels. If the eastern corner, comprising parts of Mahaban and the whole of the Sadabad tahsil, be excluded, modern Muttra coincides almost exactly with the Braj Mandal of the Hindus. Its beauties have formed the theme of many a poet's praise in song. But the first aspect of the holy land could not fail to disappoint the student of Sanskrit literature, who had been led to anticipate grassy swards and smiling prospects ; and the impression upon the mind of any chance traveller during the hot and cold seasons of the year is that of a vista of depressing flats, blurred by a dense and cloudy haze and unrelieved by the grateful shade of trees. The general poverty of the Braj Mandal is the inspiration of a popular Hindi couplet, in which Krishna's neglect to enrich the land of his birth with any choicer product than the wild caper (karil) is cited as an instance of his wilfulness.
In the rains, however, which is the time of pilgrimage the landscape improves; and there are several places in the holy land that have a charm of their own. The beauty of Gobardhan and Barsana, where the gleaming tanks, overhung with pipal trees, are overlooked by the rocky hills hallowed by centuries of devotion, is sufficient to justify the warmest panegyrics of the devotee or poet. In the same season the Jumna becomes a mighty rushing stream, a mile or two broad; the dusty plain is transformed into an expanse of green grass and crops ; even the barren undulations along the river are clothed with verdure; and the patches of sacred grove land that lie dotted about over the district are decked once more with blossoms of white and red.
THE TRANS-JAMNA TRACT
The three trans-Jumna tahsils, Mat, Mahaban and Sadabad, have a total area of 643 square miles and present a fair sample of the scenery usually found in the Doab. This tract is care-fully cultivated and is irrigated from both a canal and wells. Luxuriant crops and fine mango groves indicate the fertility of the soil and render the landscape not unpleasing to the eye. To the farmer and economist it is by far the most important part of the district, though of less interest to the historian and antiquary than the tract which lies on the other side of the river. The agricultural population is denser than in western Muttra and the number of scattered hamlets gives the country a less solitary air. Two intermittent streams, the Pathwaha and the Jhirna, carry towards the Jumna the drainage of northern Mat and central Sadabad respectively. Above Bhadaura, in tahsil Mat, several old beds of the Jumna form lagoons. The undulating ridges of sand which flank the stream stretch further inland than on the opposite side of the river; and isolated dunes may be seen several miles eastward on the uplands. Below Bhadaura the river bank is scored into ravines which are dwarf-likenesses of those in the trans-Jumna tract of Agra.
The western part of the district includes the Muttra and Chhata tahsils, and has a total area of 802 square miles. The surface is perhaps less uneven than that of eastern Muttra; but it is slightly hog-backed, its line of highest elevation lying, though parallel to the Jumna, at some distance both from the river and the Bharatpur boundary. The rural inhabitants eschew hamlets and live in semi-fortified villages. This centralization is due partly to the quality of the water, which in some places is undrinkable, partly to the attraction of religious association but mainly to the past necessity of providing protection for life and property from the attacks of Jats and Marathas in the troublous days before the British rule. Most of the larger villages, as well as the large towns, Muttra, Brindaban and Kosi, lie on this side of the Jumna. Except that boundary river, the tract can boast no stream. It has no marshy spots beyond the hollows where rain-water stands for a few days ; and the only line of natural drainage in it is the ill-defined channel called the " western depression." This channel was formerly known as the Gobardhan nala. It forms the natural outlet for all drainage on the western side of the Agra canal, from its tenth mile stone, and has a catchment basin of some 2,428 miles. There is no flow-off and no continuous valley down to the point at which the depression leaves Bharatpur territory for the Muttra district, near the village of Sanket.
Above this point the flood water is retained in large hollows approaching the size of jhils, as at Khalitpur, Chandeni and Kotala in Gurgaon, which latter are used for irrigation purposes. From Sanket the valley extends with fair continuity past Gobardhan and Santhrak to the Fatehabad tahsil in Agra, where it terminates in a watercourse emptying into the Utangan river near the village of Nibohra. On the portion that lies with-in this district little or no flow is recorded ; but it has been found necessary to provide for six fairly large culverts in a project recently sanctioned by the Government for raising and improving the road from Muttra to Dig. An additional waterway has also been found necessary on the road to Bharatpur, as both roads run across the depression and become submerged in years of heavy rainfall. Down to the culvert at mile 9 ¾ on the Fatehpur-Sikri distributary of the Agra canal, the valley is now covered with a network of high watercourses for irrigation, the existence of which precludes the possibility of any flow in the depression in ordinary years. A proposal made to open up its whole course by a drainage cut from Hodal to the Fatehpur-Sikri culvert, in order to make the depression serve as an effective line of drainage, was abandoned in 1894, because it was realised that it would be impossible to deal with the accumulation of water in a year of heavy rainfall and on account of the consequent likelihood of floods in Muttra and Agra. Trees are scarce in western Muttra. The only large lagoon is an old bed of the Jumna at Koila, in tahsil Muttra. Below this the river banks are scored with ravines similar to those on the opposite side; and there is a long line of similar erosions further north, between Shergarh and Brindaban. Elsewhere the shore consists of sandy undulations, in some places sparsely cultivated but for the most part producing only sarpat grass or tamarisk.
In the two western tahsils just described lie the only hills of the district. These eminences are outlying spurs of the Aravalli system and belong to several distinct ranges. The most northerly is the Charn Pahar in Chhota Bathen, which is a low heap of rocks about 400 yards long and ten feet high rising directly out of the plain. Six miles to the south-west is the hill of Nandgaon, which is half a mile long and is covered with the houses of the village, the highest point being surmounted by the Nand Rai temple. The chief hill system of the district lies four miles further south and consists of two parallel ranges less than a mile apart. The main line commences at the village of Unchagaon and runs along the boundary of the district to Nahra at an approximate elevation of 200 feet above the plain. It is covered with huge boulders of rock similar in character to the substance of the hill itself and is entirely destitute of trees; while the detritus of the rock has produced a sandy belt along the foot, locally known as wal. The parallel range is really a series of three almost detached hills, the southernmost being overlaid by the village of Rankauli and the northernmost and largest having Dibhala at one end and the sacred village of Barsana at the other. The Rankauli hill has a few trees on it, and the northern half of the Barsana hill from the village of Manpur, which occupies a depression in the centre, is densely wooded with the dho tree (Anogeissus parvifolia) and is crowned by several temples of great sanctity. The soil between the two ranges is almost pure sand. Some ten miles further south-east, but following the same strike, is the Giriraj or Annakut hill of Gobardhan in Muttra tahsil. At its northern end it is little more than a heap of stones, but it rises at the southern to some 100 feet above the plain : it is a famous place of pilgrimage, wooded with chhonkar and other trees, and has on it numerous temples. All these hills are of ancient quartzite, and the largest is the Gobardhan hill, which extends altogether for about five miles. The only other formation approaching a hill in the district is near Gopalpur in the south of the same tahsil, where there is a curious elevation of red earth seamed with ravines and containing nodules of quartz : it lies far away from any range, but the formation resembles the hillocks at the foot of the Chhata ranges.
Apart from these hills and the valley of the Jumna the district has a gentle slope from north to south which can be clearly depicted by the line of levels. The frontier on the Gurgaon side near Kotban is 613.8 feet above the level of the sea. This falls to 600 feet at Sahar and 594 feet near Aring, some 16 and 25 miles respectively further south. The gradient then becomes a little steeper, for at Beri, 15 miles south of Aring, the recorded height is 574 feet, and on the Agra boundary only five miles beyond Beri this falls to 568 feet. The eastern portion other district is a trifle lower than the western, but the changes in level are not less gradual. Starting at 618 feet on the Aligarh frontier in the north of Mat the recorded height sinks to 610 feet at Chandpur, to 598 at Karahri and to 587 feet near Mat. Only eight miles further on, at Raya, the level is 585 feet ; and this falls to 574 feet near Baldeo and 564 feet near Barauli, at the head of the Jumna ravines. Owing to the easterly trend of the Jumna from this point onwards the level sinks in Sadabad to 564 feet, and at Jalesar road station, at the extreme eastern end of the district, is 563 feet above the level of the sea.
For purposes of soil classification the district was at the last settlement in 1879 divided into two portions—the bangar or up-lands and the khadar or Jumna valley, the latter of which, excluding the actual river bed, covered 59,453 acres or 93 square miles. The soils of the uplands do not differ from those found in other Doab districts, and vary from dumat or rich loam to bhur or sand. Dumat is not plentiful in the district, and is found for the most part in Mat, Sadabad and the northern tract of Chhata which was once comprised in the old pargana of Kosi. It varies from a dark to a mellow brown in colour, the varieties of the latter colour being less, fertile than those of the former. Far the most prevalent soil is piliya or light loam, which has a large admixture of sand. As its name denotes, it is yellow in colour, and it is more workable after rain than dumat. It varies considerably in quality, the better forms being equal to dumat, but the inferior varieties differing little from bhur. Pure clay is only found in the tarai or the lowlands, which are known as dahar : it is hard and unyielding and, except in years of favourable rainfall, cannot be worked with the plough. Bhur is almost pure sand, though the designation is also applied to lighter kinds of piliya. The pure sand found in the undulating hillocks is known as puth. Both bhur and puth are, as a rule, accompanied by lowlying tarai or clay beds, into which the alumina of the soil appears to have drained, leaving the sand above. The latter, after being continually blown hither and thither by the wind, drifts into heaps to which the name puth is applied. In the ravines of the Jumna, generally known as behar, cultivation is not extensive, the soil, which is largely mixed with kankar and denuded by drainage, being very poor, while in the actual valley of the river the characteristics are generally similar to those in the uplands. The ground-work of all the firmer soils is clay : in the bed of Nohjhil and in other places, where the soil is subject to the influence of stagnant water, the clay remains and is known as chiknot or slippery earth ; but where the action of the stream is felt, it becomes mixed with other matter, and produces a rich steel-gray loam, which is found at its best in the katris or fertile deposits along the edges of the river.
These classes cover all the main varieties of soil in the district though there are many distinctions locally recognised, especially in Mat and Nohjhil. Indeed the singular uniformity of the country led to the abandonment of soil demarcation by natural divisions at last settlement and the substitution for them of purely artificial distinctions. The broad division of the cultivated area into manured or home land, locally called bara, and outlying or unmanured land, known as barha or har,formed the basis of assessment. In Sadabad, Mahaban and Muttra the bara area was subdivided into gauhan and manjha; gauhan being the organically fertilised fields immediately around the homesteads, and manjha the outer circle of less manured land between the home circle and the barha. In Chhata and Mat only one class of bara was retained, which was subdivided into other classes according to its quality. The only departure from this system admitted consisted of the retention of separate areas of tarai and puth, and, in Mat and Nohjhil, of the demarcation of the poor gravely soil near the ravines as rakur. If the conventional soils be divided amongst their probable natural representatives, it is found that 78.47 per cent. of the cultivated area of the upland at last settlement was piliya or dumat, 15.19 per cent. bhur, 4.32 per cent. puth, and 1.81 per cent. tarai, the small remainder being rakar.
The rivers and streams of the district consist of the Jumna and its two affluents, the Pathwaha and the Jhirna or Karwan.
The two latter are deep-bedded torrents which form continuous streams only during the rains. Entering from the Aligarh district, the Pathwaha or Pathwaya joins the Jumna after a short course though the north of Mat. Its basin is narrow and its general direction is southerly. The bed has been recently improved by the Irrigation department to make it serve as a canal escape. The Jhirna or Karwan is a more important channel and, like the Pathwaha, is also used as a canal escape. On quitting Aligarh it runs south-eastward across Sadabad tahsil, flowing by the town of Sadabad, and thence passes into the Agra district, where it ultimately joins the Jumna. It drains a narrow valley from four to six miles wide, whose sides, like those of the Pathwaha basin, are bounded by denuded sandy slopes. During the rains it carries down a large body of water which, however, quickly subsides, the drainage having been facilitated by the improvements effected in its channel by the Irrigation department. Neither stream is at present of any use for irrigation purposes but a project for damming the Karwan has been prepared and is under consideration.
The Jumna first touches the district at the small village of Chaundras in the Chhata tahsil and, after a meandering course of approximately 100 miles, leaves it at the village of Mandaur in tahsil Sadabad. It has meanwhile divided Mat from Chhata and Muttra tahsils, Mahaban from Muttra tahsil and the Agra district, and tahsil Sadabad from the Agra district alone. On or near its banks stand all the larger towns, Shergarh, Brindaban, Muttra and Farah being on the right, and Mat, Mahaban and Gokul on the left bank. At first the river flows between low sandy banks, but as it advances in its course the sides of its channel become steeper, and ravine cliffs begin to intermingle with the sand slopes. The manner in which ravines and sand hills alternate depends on certain conditions in the direction of the stream. Where the river flows in a sweep or curve, ravines are almost invariably found on the concave side, while on the opposite side sand hills without exception prevail. On a change in the direction of the stream, ravines and sand hills change places also; and in the few instances where the river preserves a straight course for any distance, ravines and sand hills occur on both banks. On the right bank at Koila, near Muttra, and ea the left at Bhadaura, near Mat, the ravines finally oust the sand hills and begin a career which, so far as this district is concerned, is unending. From the ravines there is usually a sudden drop of some 20 feet to the channel of the river, but only in a very few places does the stream run directly under the bluff, a strip of alluvial soil of varying width generally intervening between it and the cliff. In some villages this strip, covered by every rise of the stream, changes yearly in shape and character : in others the deposit, being elder, is not liable to submersion except during the highest floods ; whilst elsewhere old trees, masonry wells and inhabited homesteads show how long since the soil was laid down. _But even the most ancient of these khadar lands are not altogether secure; and the occasional disappearance of houses, trees and wells, as for example at Jaitpur in Chhata, shows that the river can never be depended upon. Consequently large areas have been marked off as subject to fluvial action. To the rule of dhar dhurra or deep stream boundary there are but two exceptions: Chaundras in Chhata has some land on the left bank, and Jahangirpur of Mat on the right, the latter being caused by a sudden change in the stream, some fifty years ago, which, sweeping through the midst of the Jahangirpur lowlands, attached one-half thereof to the opposite shore. From the northern boundary of the district to Muttra or Mahaban the cutting of the river is of ample breadth, the average distance from bluff to bluff being some two miles. In this direction the lowland soil is often of exceptional fertility, the richest being found in the katris or yearly flooded strips along the very edge of the stream. South of Mahaban the valley narrows down, and the alluvial laud becomes smaller in extent and poorer in quality. Everywhere the ravines themselves are of the usual unculturable character, scoured of all vegetable mould and rough with knobs of nodular limestone, on which, where it exists, the cultivation is very inferior.
OLD BEDS OF THE RIVER
Above Bhadaura, on the left bank, where there are no ravines, there lie several fertile depressions which were once occupied by the river. Of these the most important and best known is the parabola-shaped hollow, the site of the Noh lagoon.
The bulge of its curve is north-easterly ; and, leaving the modern bed of the river between Musmina and Faridampur on the north, it travels round by Kaulana and Noh to rejoin that bed between Lana Makhdumpur and Firozpur on the south. The length round the other edge of the curve is about ten miles, and the area of the included lowlands is some thirteen square miles. From local traditions, as well as the look of the country, it is clear that the Jumna has deserted this bed within comparatively recent times ; the soils still very plainly mark where ran the old course of the river and where lay the sand banks. Round the Outer edge of the curve rises a steep cliff, about 20 feet high. This is in many places hollowed out into rugged ravines. The inner course encloses a mass of sand hills, such as are usually found in re-entering bends of the Jumna itself ; while the lowland was thirty years ago uninhabited, devoid of trees and bushes, and dotted over with many long serpentine . ponds which in seasons of flood united into one connected sheet of water. The Musmina mouth of the depression was long ago closed by an embankment, which was of sufficient height to keep out almost all water even in the highest flood ; and even that which found its way over it was stopped by rising ground before it reached the lowest part of the depression. At the other end, however, near Firozpur, is an old cut called the Dhundar nala; and up this, in times of flood, ascended a backwater which, while supplying the ponds with drinking water for cattle, was insufficient to damage the autumn crops. The Musmina embank-Ment was next cut away by a shifting of the stream and, during even moderate floods, a large body of water used to rush into the lagoon, submerging much valuable land too long to admit of the sowing of a spring crop. These floods, however, were not always injurious to the soil ; for, where that soil was a stiff clay, the sand suspended in the water combined with it to form a rich loam capable of bearing wheat without irrigation. In 1874 the old line of drainage down the Dhundar nala was improved by the landholders, so as to carry off surplus water to the Jumna ; but neither this nor the construction :by the Government shortly after of some tree spurs at Musmina, which were practically all washed away in the first rainy season after their completion,were productive of much useful result. Fifteen years later thelandholders, without any assistance from the Government,constructed an embankment at the top of the depression to keep the river water out, and a few years later Lala Jagan Prasad, honorary magistrate, threw up a dam across the Dhundar nala to prevent the water coming back from the river at the southern end of the depression. As a result of this the jhil has ceased to exist except during the rains. A project is under preparation in the Irrigation department for dealing on scientific lines with difficulties which the zamindars strove, not quite successfully, to master.
South of Nohjhil, and three miles distant from the town of the same name, another great, depression starts at the small village of Chin Pahari. Passing eastwards below Baghara into Barauth, it rejoins the present Jumna cutting at the village of Mirpur; but originally it would appear to have left the Noh depression near Noh itself and to have run eastwards between Mubarakpur and Baghara into Barauth, where it joined the bed of the Pathwaha nala. According to the traditions of the Nohwar Jats, the Jumna was leaving this bed when they colonised Palkhera, some six hundred years ago.
A third depression leaves the present course of the river near Auhawa and, after passing by Akbarpur and Harnaul, rejoins the present bed south of Ilauli Guzar, not far from where it left it. This line is also marked on its left bank by small ravines; but the river appears to have abandoned it very many years ago.
The only other jhils on this side of the river are two, the Moti jhil near Mat and the Panigaon jhil in Mababan tahsil close by, both of which are situated on lowlying land, close to the Jumna bank, where they are liable to submersion in times of heavy flood.
On the opposite side of the river, five miles south of Muttra city, lies a large depression, flanked by broken raviny ground, known as Koila jhil. It is also probably an old bed of the Jumna.
The drainage of eastern Muttra presents no peculiar features, but that of the western tract calls for some detailed notice. An extensive flood in the "western depression" took place in 1857. As a drainage line the depression has always been inadequate, and in 1870 the engineers who made the project of the Agra canal reported that there were no means of escape for the surface water of western Muttra, which was in consequence absorbed by the land itself. It appears, however, that the spring level was kept low by the constant use of well irrigation. After the introduction of the canal in 1875 many of the wells fell into disuse; and, partly as a result of soakage and partly as a result of the disuse of wells, the spring level rose until the rain water could no longer be absorbed. Unable to find a natural outlet to the river, flood-water merely spread over the country, filling shallow hollows, tanks and depressions, until it was disposed of by tardy percolation and evaporation. Consequently it soon became necessary to relieve the oversaturation of the ground by artificial drains. The first drainage cut to be constructed was the Tharauli drain : this was built in 1881 at a cost of Rs. 5,028 to carry off percolation water from the canal ; it runs from the village of Tharauli in tahsil Muttra to that of Pingri in the Jumna ravines. The first place in which the continuous rise of the spring level began to make itself felt was in the neighbourhood of Chhoti Kosi along the road to Bharatpur ; and in 1883 the Chhoti Kosi drain was constructed by the Irrigation department at an initial cost of Rs. 34,677. This cut was subsequently enlarged, extended and provided with branch drains, until at the present time it is fifteen miles long. Starting from the village of Son it drains the two villages of Sanoth, passes at Mal by a syphon under the main canal and, traversing the villages of Pilwa, Banmauli and Beri, joins the Tharauli drain. Near Mal it is joined by the Sehan branch drain, five miles long, which drains Nagla Sanwat, Sehan and Chhoti Kosi; and it has several other branches which take their name from the villages of Sanoth, Nagla Abhua, Pilwa, Banmauli and Tharauli. The Lalpur drain, which was constructed in 1892 at a cost of Rs. 4,439 and extended in 1893 at an additional expenditure of Rs. 3,000, is eight miles long. It starts at Aring and, after draining Sonsa, Lalpur and Son, joins the Chhoti Kosi draid near Chhoti Kosi village. A more important drainage cut was constructed in 1896 at a total outlay of Rs. 26,813. It is known as the Kudarban drain. It starts at Madhuri Kund, passes through Jinsuthi, Sonsa, Kudarban, Usphar, Chhoti Kosi and Sirsa, and joins the Chhoti Kosi drain some two miles below the syphon. Its main channel is 15 miles long and is provided with two small branches which come into it from Sonsa and Usphar. This complicated system of drainage cuts has succeeded in relieving the north central portion of Muttra tahsil from over-saturation, except in years of exceptionally heavy rain. Such a year was 1908, when large stretches of the roads to Bharatpur and Dig were several feet under water for a censiderable period and the crops of large tracts of country were destroyed. The construction of branch drains had increased the area, the relief of which devolved upon the Chhoti Kosi drain, to such an extent that the drain was found inadequate to carry off all the water poured into it. A project to remedy this defect is now under consideration.
The northern part of Chhata tahsil did not begin to be affected by saturation till some years later. The first note of alarm came from the town of Kosi about 1887, the rise of the spring level in its neighbourhood having become marked and outbreaks of sickness and fever frequent. It was hoped at first that the prohibition of canal irrigation near the town would abate the evil ; but as the main canal runs within a mile of the town, it was found that this prohibition had little effect. Elsewhere in the neighbouring tract the succession of dry seasons during the last decade of the century prevented any trouble arising from saturation, but eventually in 1903 it was realised that nothing but a drastic drainage scheme would relieve Kosi town. Accordingly in the years 1903 and 1904 the Kosi arterial drain was constructed at a cost of Rs. 1,93,971. The main drain, which is 25 ½ miles long, starts from the large jhil of Sessai on the borders of the Gurgaon district, on the left bank of the canal. Draining the villages of Bharaut, Dotana, Chhata, Semri, Akbarpur and Bhartiya lying between the Jumna and the Dehli road, it tails into the river through high land in the village of Sakraiya, three miles north of Brindaban. For the greater part of its length it taps but few hollows and falls into the ravines over a high cascade. The main channel has several branches. The largest and most important of these is the Bara Kosi branch drain which starts from Hatana jhil on the right bank of the canal opposite Sessai jhil. Draining Kotban and Nabipur, this branch passes close to Kosi town and joins the main channel at the village of Saphana, after passing by a syphon under the canal. It is into this branch drain that the actual drainage of Kosi is conducted, the drainage work of the town having been carried out at the cost of the municipal board while the branch drain was in process of construction. The other cuts made in connection with the arterial drain are those of Bharauli and Undi, 4 ½ and 2 ½ miles long respectively, which join it at Semra, and the Taroli cut, 4 ½ miles long, which joins it about a mile below the village of Akbarpur. The capacity of the arterial drain is not sufficient for all the work it has to do in abnormally wet years, but a result of its construction was that the depression in which the town of Kosi lies was drained in as many weeks after the floods of 1908 as it had taken months to relieve it in 1873.
These drainage works have relieved the worst affected portion of western Muttra from over-saturation, but the want of natural drainage lines is still felt over the whole tract, and a considerable extension of the system will have to be carried out before this part of the district can be considered otherwise than as exposed to heavy loss from fluctuations in the rains. Many villages still suffer from the effects of a high spring level, as for example Bathan Kalan, Bhadawal, Khanpur, Umraya, Rahera, Sahar, Konai, Aring, Muresi, Muhammadpur; Ganjauli, Parkham, Kirarai, Mustafabad and Kawaila. Western Chhata once suffered from evils of an opposite nature. The canal system did not penetrate as far as the country round Nandgaon, and the continual fall in the subsoil level of the water led to the most serious results from drought. In 1903, however, the Nandgaon distributary of the Agra canal was completed, and since that year this tract has been adequately protected. The tracts now most liable to damage from insufficient rain are the villages situated on the high lying Jumna bank throughout the river's length, those where the level of the subsoil water is lowered by the drying up of the Noh lagoon, and those which lie along the banks of the Karwan in Sadabad and are not commanded by the canal. Irrigation will soon be extended to the precarious villages in the north of Chhata and also in such a way as to protect the villages along the Bharatpur border, while those around Noh and on the banks of the Karwan will derive some benefit from the other works now contemplated.
The cis-Jumna tract, owing to the large area irrigated from wells, long ranked as the most fertile and prosperous part of the district : famine was practically unknown in it, and it was not considered to be ever likely to suffer from the worst effects of drought. A succession of dry seasons, however, and subsequently the famine of 1897, exercised a far-reaching influence not only on the level but also on the quality of the water in the wells. Irrigation was restricted not only by the failure of the supply but also by the brackishness of the water. With the fall in the sub-soil water level came a rapid increase of the weed called baisuri, the parts worst affected being Mahaban and western Sadabad. Baisur or baisurai (Pluchea lanceolata) is a small branching shrub growing from one to two feet in height. It possesses a tap root which penetrates the ground to a great depth; in fact the people say that this root has been found 100 feet below the surface in the course of excavations for wells. It flowers in April and May, the seeds appearing at the end of the latter month : these are small and provided with small hairs which enable them to float on the breeze away from the parent plant. The weed increases greatly in years of drought and has no economic uses, except when it is cut, dried and burnt as fuel. It forms considerable obstacles to agriculture as it has to be cleared laboriously with the hoe ; and it cannot be eradicated as its roots reach too far below the surface of the ground. The introduction of irrigation into the tract where it is rife will probably retard its growth ; for saturation has a bad effect on it and the regular cultivation which may be expected with an unfailing supply of water will not only prevent its spread but ensure its removal from the fields where it now exists. The extension of canal irrigation on the one hand and of drainage works on the other will in time have the effect of rendering practically the entire Muttra district secure from drought of saturation.
Some villages in tahsil Muttra along the Bharatpur border were once subject to another kind of evil, the depredations of large herds of wild cattle that swarmed over from the Bharatpur ramna and devastated the crops. The evil was remedied by the construction between the years 1890 and 1892 of a wire fence along the border stretching from the village of Nagla Abhua near Rasulpur to the Utangan river in the Kiraoli tahsil of the Agra district. The Bharatpur Darbar paid half the cost of erection, its contribution amounting to upwards of half a lakh. In the Muttra district the wire fence extends for twelve miles along the villages of Nagla Abhua, O1, Luhara and Bhadarua, when it passes into Kiraoli. The Bharatpur wild cattle now being kept under proper control, the fence is no longer needed and is about to be taken up.
WASTE LAND GROVES AND JUNGLE
The total area returned as barren waste during the years 1903 to 1907 averaged 62,961 acres or 6.78 per cent. of the total area of the district: this included 11,731 acres covered with water and 39,027 acres occupied by sites, buildings; roads and the like. The remainder, amounting to only 13,204 acres or 1.42 per cent. of the total area, consisted for the most part of unculturable Jumna ravines, there being no usar plains in the district. This proportion is slightly less than that recorded at the last settlement in 1879 ; but the difference is infinitesimal, and is due to the stricter classification of the soil that is absolutely unfit for the plough. Among the different tahsils there is little to choose, the percentages ranging between 5.90 in Chhata and 7.93 in Mahaban. Only 4,653 acres or .50 per cent. of the district are recorded as under groves, the proportion varying from .28 per cent. in Chhata to .70 per cent. in Sadabad : only .35 per cent. of the area of Mat is occupied by groves, so that the northern half of the district is the most poorly clad with trees. As has already been remarked, however, there is generally a noticeable difference between the cis-and trans-Jumna tracts. On the right bank of the river, except in close proximity to the canal, the mango grows but little, and the waste spaces between the villages are almost bare except for sparsely scattered babul and faras trees or stretches of the jharber. Many of the villages stand out devoid of trees; but near others, especially those of old standing, there are fairly large commons known as rakhya or kadamb woods (kadamb khandi). The poorer specimens of these are merely uncultivated land covered with karil, pilu, hins and other jungle shrubs; but in the better ones there are large kadambs (Anthocepalus cadamba) and other fine jungle trees which make these rakhyas look like pieces of real forest. Many of these are of considerable size. The largest are in Chhata, one, near Kamar, covering 513 acres ; while at Pisaya there is one of 122 acres, the latter being the most beautiful of all. These rakhyas are a feature of western Muttra and, in some cases, as for example round about Nandgaon and the Kokilaban .at Bathan Kalan, are preserved because they are sacred as places of pilgrimage. Others, however, are not venerated on this account, but are regarded all the same with a strong religious feeling, a curse being involved on any one who breaks up or cultivates the land on which they stand. These woods are probably the old village grazing grounds of the time when Muttra was a pastoral country, the fact that it was so being sufficiently attested by the Krishna legends, the existence of the twelve bans as places of pilgrimage, and the etymology of many of the place names. Historically, moreover, it is known that as late as the last quarter of the eighteenth century the forest of Barsana played an important part in a battle between Najaf Khan and the Marathas : while it is a noteworthy fact that it is the part of the district where these rakhyas are mostly found that is famous still for its breed of milch cattle. But the glory of the district as a pasture ground has now departed. Where no commons exist the cattle have here as elsewhere to be grazed in the ravines and khadar lands. The indigenous trees do not differ from those found elsewhere in the Gangetic Doab, though the hilly outcrops at Barsana and elsewhere produce some species of rock-loving trees or shrubs, such as the dho (anogei-ssus parvifolia), ganger and indrajau. In the western rakhyas the most noticeable trees, besides the ordinary kinds, are the kadamb, pasendu (diospyros cordifolia), pilu (salvadora oleoides) and pilukhan (fious cordifolia). The common trees in baghs and avenues are the shisham, imli, nim, jamun, khirni, siras, pipal and bargad. The chhonkar, dhak, bel and babul grow everywhere : and in the avenues along the old road to Dehli the arua (ailanthus excelsa) and bahera (terminalialia bellerica) are frequent.
A kind of sandstone, fit for building purposes, is procurable at two places on the western border of the district, namely Barsana and Nandgaon. This stone is mainly used locally though pieces were utilised for the construction of bridges and other works on the Agra canal. A considerable quantity is also now used by the Great Indian Peninsula railway company as ballast on the Agra- Dehli line. The company has made arrangements for quarrying a part of the Nandgaon hill and has built a branch line from Kosi to convey the quarried stone to the main line. Similar stone is found at Gobardhan,. but, owing to the religious sanctity attaching to the hill, it is not quarried. This stone can be quarried at Rs. 3 per 100 cubic feet, and the carriage for that quantity varies from twelve annas to one rupee per mile. The bulk of the material which is employed in the buildings of Muttra, Brindaban, Gobardhan, Gokul and other places in the district consists of sandstone from Rupbas or other quarries in Bharatpur. The stone is procured at an average cost of Rs. 60 per 100 maunds, and is of two, varieties. The red sandstone is specially adapted for flooring and roofing; it loses none of its strength from saturation by water, and frequently has so perfect a lamination that it can be split into flags of any desired thickness merely by the insertion of a series of wedges. The white variety on the other hand loses nearly half its strength when saturated, and is therefore unsuitable for roofing : but for all other building purposes it is superior to the red, both on account of its less perfect lamination and also its greater fineness of texture and uniformity of colour. It can be quarried in blocks of enormous size; and most of the handsome temples of the district are built of it.
Bricks can be made in every part of the district, the clay needing little working and tempering to ensure its burning a good colour. The native pazawa or kiln is of the usual description. The bricks are burnt with cowdung or other refuse as fuel; wood is seldom or never used for this purpose. Bricks measuring 7" x 4" x 1¼ " and 9" x 3½ " x 2 ½" are called pharah : this make has largely superseded the small country brick known as lakhauri or mathurabasi. Pharah bricks cost from Rs. 400 to Rs. 600 per 100,000 ; but larger bricks, measuring 9" x 4 ½" x 3," are made in Bull's patent kilns. There are three such kilns near Muttra, one belonging to the Military Works department and two to private persons. These bricks cost Rs. 1,000 per 100,000.
KANKAR AND LIME
Kankar is abundant all over the district. That found east of the Jumna differs in quality from that found to the west. The former is large, hard, of a good ashy-blue colour, and found in thick strata; while in the west it is small, soft, disintegrated and of a light colour. Block kankar well adapted for masonry work is found in the Sadabad tahsil; but the best quality comes from the neighbourhood of Jalesar. The average cost of kankar in the district is Rs. 4 per 100 cubic feet stacked on the road side, when the quarry is close to the place of delivery, and the cost of metalling a mile of road twelve feet wide and 4½ inches deep is about Rs. 1,200. There is no real limestone in the district, and kankar is generally used for making lime. When required for this purpose the kankar is spread out for exposure to air and sun for two or three days, then cleaned by beating with short sticks and then screened by being thrown on frames of coarse fibre. It is then taken to the kiln, where a bed is first prepared of dried cowdung cakes or uplas about a foot deep and in circular form; a thick bamboo or straight limb of a tree is set upright in the centre to form the firing hole, and the packing of the kiln then goes on in alternate layers of kankar and uplas, each layer decreasing in diameter so as to form a cone. It is then well covered in with broken-up uplas and dust, and is fired by removing the bamboo and throwing the fire into the centre. Care must be taken, while the kiln is burning, to prevent the flame bursting out ; and in opening it the lime must be removed layer by layer to prevent upla-ash gettling mixed up with it. If the whole process has been carefully managed an excellent hard-setting and strong lime is obtained; the cost, which depends on the distance between the kiln and the pit's mouth, varies from Rs. 10 to Rs. 16 per 100 cubic feet.
OTHER BUILDING MATERIALS
Wood is scarce all over the district. There is no wood suitable for use in building; such wood has to be imported from the northern forests. Sarpat grass for thatching is plentiful. The variety known as gandar is not so abundant as it used to be, and quantities are now imported from Bharatpur, the cost ranging from Rs. 3 to Rs. 10 per 1,000 bundles (pula) according to size, length of grass or nature of the crop. Tiles of a small size are made, but there is nothing peculiar about their manufacture in the district. Lock tiles are made on the chak or wheel in a cylindrical form and cut into two by wires. Pantiles are rolled out in temperd clay and cut to size according to wooden templates. Neither variety is neatly made. There is, however, little demand for tiles, the houses of the poor being usually thatched and the larger houses having flat plastered roofs. The cost of tiles is about Rs. 6 per thousand.
The wild animals found in the district are the same as those which occur throughout the Gangetic plain. Leopards, wolves, hyaenas and nilgai are not plentiful. They are usually seen in the hilly tracts to the west near the Bharatpur border. There is no lack of black buck all over the district, and gazelle are fairly common in the more broken country. Muttra is famous for the size and number of wild boar that frequent the ravines and khadir of the Jumna. The district is celebrated for the sport of pigsticking, and the local tent club has a splendid record. The Jumna swarms with crocodiles and turtles. The usual kinds of snakes and other reptilia occur. The quinquennial average of deaths from wild animals is 20, fourteen of which are attributed to snake bite. The average sum distributed in rewards during the same period was Rs. 15, most of which was paid on account of hyaenas at Rs. 2 per head. Some wolves and an occasional leopard are also killed. Hares, porcupines, badgers, otters and wild cats also occur, the two first being very common.
The commoner game birds comprise the gray partridge, smaller sand grouse, snipe and many kinds of quail ; while the black partridge and florican are also occasionally shot. The blue rock-pigeon and the green pigeon or harial are common; and varieties of doves, rollers, shrikes, sparrows, crows, and parrots are everywhere ubiquitous. Of migratory waterfowl, various kinds of geese, sheldrakes, pochards, duck, widgeon and teal visit the district in the cold weather, as also do cranes, kulin and flamingoes. Storks, herons, coots, and paddy-birds find suitable feeding grounds in a few places. Formerly, before the lagoon at Nohjhil was emptied, many persons residing on its banks earned their living during a part of the year by catching wild fowl: but at the present day, with the exception of a few Kunjras and Muhammadans who shoot storks, paddy-birds and bronze coots for the sake of their skins and feathers, for which they find a market in Cawnpore and Agra, no persons kill birds as a trade.
The. Jumna as a fishing river is sufficiently well known and calls for no special description. There are in addition in the district only a few scattered tanks where fish can be caught. Special mention must, however, be made of the Noh lagoon where large hauls are made daily in favourable seasons. During the five months from November 1908 to March 1909 over 550 maunds of fish caught in this lagoon and the river Jumna were exported from the Chhata and Kosi railway stations to Bareilly, Meerut, Delhi, Umballa and other places. Members of the local Mahagir community travel far afield to find markets whence they send orders for fish to their homes. The local landholders have been endeavouring, though so far unsuccessfully, to obtain a share in the profits of this industry. The fish in these waters comprise rohu, tengra, bachwa, parhin, anwari, and many other species. Consumers are few, the greater part of the Hindu population abstaining from a fish diet either on account of caste prohibitions or in deference to the prejudices of their neighbours. In Brindaban, for example, even the Bengalis, who are fish eaters elsewhere, are reported to be so far brought under the sacred influence of the place as to have abandoned fish as an article of diet. At the census of 1901 there were only 13 persons, with 32 dependants, who were returned as fishermen by profession. Fishing, however, forms a subsidiary occupation for a number of people who reside in the river-side villages and towns ; and at Muttra itself a constant supply of fish is usually obtainable.
The domestic cattle of the district do not differ in quality from those found in contiguous districts; and in Muttra, as elsewhere, the best specimens to be found are generally imported from Rajputana or the Panjab. The milch cows of northern Chhata, however, have long had something more than a local celebrity ; and the town of Kosi has for many years been a famous cattle mart, though the dealers allege that the best cattle to be obtained there are brought from the tracts already mentioned. In and around Hathiya near Barsana the cattle are above the average and cost about Rs. 90 a pair as against Rs. 50 for the ordinary indigenous breeds.
The supply of cattle is decidedly small, as the plough duty is very high. At the time of the last settlement in 1879 the district contained 102,523 plough cattle and 49,845 ploughs;this meant an average duty of 14.3 acres and a proportion of 2.06 animals per plough. Twenty years later, in August 1899, a regular stock census was taken, and it was then ascertained that the number of bulls and bullocks was 101,210, and of male buffaloes 13,515, giving a total of 114,725 plough animals. There were at the same time 50,181 ploughs, and the duty on the average area of cultivation amounted to 14.2 acres per plough. On the other hand the number of animals per plough had risen to 2.28. A second census was taken in January 1904, when a considerable decrease in the number of stock was observed; for although the number of male buffaloes had risen to 14,050, that of bulls and bullocks had fallen to 91,054. This gave a total of 105,104 plough animals, and as the number of ploughs was 47,515 the proportion of animals per plough was only 2.21 as against a provincial average of 2.33. The plough duty on the average cropped area of 711,875 acres was no less than 14.9 acres, a higher figure than that previously recorded. The last census of stock was taken in January 1909, when the decrease was found to have continued. On this occasion only 81,575 bulls and bullocks and 12,347 male buffaloes were recorded,the number of ploughs being 42,988. This gives a plough duty of 16.53 acres on an average cultivated area of 711,875 acres, and a proportion of 2.18 animals per plough. Owing to the absence of detailed figures for the various tahsils it is impossible to say with exactness whether conditions now vary in different tracts ; but it was observed at last settlement that the two portions of the district on either side of the Jumna showed marked variation, and it appears that the same conditions prevail now that prevailed then. For in the highly cultivated tahsils of Mat, Mahaban and Sadabad the plough duty is lower than in Chhata and Muttra. Of other animals at the census of 1904 there were 78,332 cows, 76,553 cow buffaloes and 160,215 young stock, showing a decrease under all heads since 1899. In 1909 the number had further decreased, that of cows being 56,101; of cow-buffaloes, 69,095 ; and of young stock 112,388.
The return of the last census in 1909 showed a total of 9,978 horses and ponies in the district, the former numbering 1,560 only. There was a considerable decrease under this head again, for in 1899 a total of 16,492 was recorded. The ordinary country pony in Muttra differs in no respect from that found elsewhere ; but some interest, especially in Mat tahsil, is taken in horse-breeding. And for the purpose of improving the local breeds Government stallions are maintained at Chhata and Sadabad.
Interest was once taken in the same localities in mule-breeding, donkey-stallions being maintained at Mat and Chhata; but the attempts at mule-breeding did not meet with any great success, and the district board no longer maintains stallions for the purpose. The returns of 1909 showed a total of 103 mules in the district: and there were 14,989 donkeys. The estimate made at the last settlement recorded 6,300 sheep and goats : the accuracy of this, however, is more than doubtful, for in 1899 the number had risen to 142,862-a figure which is well up to the average of the province, while five years later there were 69,160 sheep and 126,905 goats. At the last census in 1909, however, a decrease was found to have taken place, the number of sheep being 63,616 and that of goats 82,697. Sheep are bred chiefly for the market, while goats are also kept for their milk : both are pastured for the most part in the Jumna ravines. Camels, which, in 1909, numbered 770, are more numerous than in most districts of the province, and are largely used for transport. Carts, of which there were 6,302, are relatively scarce except in the vicinity of the metalled roads.
The common forms of cattle disease found in the district are rinderpest, foot and mouth disease, pox, hæmorrhagie septicæmia and pleuro-pneumonia. The district board maintains two peripatetic veterinary assistants to deal with them and a third is employed in the veterinary dispensary at Muttra. During the year 1907-08 animals to the number of 2,342 were treated for contagious and non-contagious diseases. The returns are not always reliable, and there are often large variations from year to year ; but the figures may be taken as an indication of the extent to which cattle disease is prevalent in the district.
The climate of Muttra is as a rule drier and hotter than that of most districts of the Doab. The hot weather lasts some-what longer than in the north of the province and the rainfall is decidedly less. As early as March the approach of the hot weather is signalized by a marked rise in the temperature and the beginning of the hot west wind. The latter increases in intensity as the year advances. The climate of Muttra, according to some old registers kept in the cantonments, shows an average temperature of 60°.4 for January and of 93°.4 for June. No regular statistics are now kept up on this point but the above figures are probably approximately correct, though the heat is tempered in places by the presence of trees and the canal.
Records of the rainfall have been kept at Muttra since 1861, and at other tahsil headquarters since 1864: besides these, observations have for a number of years been taken at the three canal bungalows of Baroda, Chhoti Kosi and Basaunti. According to these returns, the mean average fall for the district is 24.42 inches, the bulk of which occurs during the months of July and August. The winter rainfall is uncertain in its coming, though it is rare for any year to pass by in which some rain is not received in December, January or February. Among tahsils, Muttra appears to receive the most rain. Its average is 26 inches ; Mat with an average of 22.92 receives the least. The annual variations exhibited are not very striking, and the rain-fall received does not as a rule depart much from the average. There have, however, been a few years of remarkable discrepancy. The wettest year on record was 1873, the average for the whole district being 43.12 inches, ranging from 51.40 inches in Muttra to 33.50 at Sadabad; and in 1908 nearly 39 inches were recorded. The most noticeable departures from the normal have been in the direction of defect; and in this connection the year 1905, when only 10.36 inches fell, stands out : in that year Muttra only received 7.48 and Mahaban 8.02 inches. If these years be excluded the heaviest falls for individual tahsils have been 40.48 inches at Muttra in 1894; 40.39 inches at Chhata, 45.73 inches at Mat, and 39.29 inches at Mahaban in 1908 ; and 43.72 inches at Sadabad in 1894. As regards droughts, Muttra only received 10.50 inches in 1877; Chhata 10.60 inches in 1880; Mat 11.20 inches in 1877; Mahaban 11.10 inches in the same year ; and Sadabad 8.40 inches in 1880.
Taken as a whole, the district may be regarded as a healthy one. The trans-Jumna tract is well drained, dry and salubrious. In the cis-Jumna tahsils the physical characteristics are very different. The vital statistics therefore have to be examined in the light of this difference (X X X X PLACE LINK- *(Appendix,table111) . From 1877 to 1880 (the first period during which mortuary returns can be regarded as satisfactory) the average recorded number of deaths was 34,355 annually, giving a rate of 43.91 per mills : this number was abnormally high owing to the excessive mortality during the years 1878 and 1879, when famine prevailed. During the ensuing decade the annual mortality was 20,934, ranging from 26,548 in 1890 to 15,394 in' 1883; the resultant rate, calculated from the census returns of 1881, was 31.16 per mille and, owing to the absence of auy, exceptional years during the period, this figure may be considered as approximately the normal average. From 1891 to 1900 the recorded annual mortality was 22,302 or 31.26 per mille, exhibiting little variation from the preceding decade : but between 1901 and 1907 the number rose to 35,066 or 45.95 per mile on the population as enumerated in 1901. This period has been marked throughout by a high death rate, but the result is swollen by the excessive mortality in 1905, when no less than 69,448 persons of 91'01 per mille of the people died. In the normal years from 1881 to 1900 the birth rate well exceeded the death rate on every occasion except between 1887 and 1890 and in 1900, the average number of births being 25,441 or 36.62 per mille as against 21,618 deaths or 31.21 per mille; while during the last period on record, from 1901 to 1907, the former have averaged 29,703 of 33.92 per mille, a figure which would have slightly exceeded the average mortality, had it not been for the disastrous year 1905.
In another table will be found. the number of death! occurring from the principal forms of disease in each year since 1891.* Fever easily heads the list. Though the term is al a rule made to include all cases in which fever is rather a symp tom of the disease than the cause of death, yet malarial fever is undoubtedly prevalent and at times assumes the proportions of a violent epidemic. In 1872 Muttra was visited by an epidemic of dengue fever which lasted from the end f August until the end of November, attacked all classes of the population, Europeans and natives alike, and was followed by attacks of dysentery and bronchitis, which carried off considerable numbers of the people. In 1878 Muttra headed the list of districts showing excessive mortality from malarial fever; and, though no such severe attack has been known since, it has been responsible for a considerable increase in the average mortality in 1897, 1899, 1900, 1902 and 1903. From 1877to 1900, according to the returns, fever accounted for over 85 per cent. of the total number of deaths; but from 1901 to 1907, owing in part to better diagnosis and enumeration, only 78.04 per cent. has on the average been attributed to this cause. During the last year on record, 1908, it was again widely prevalent in the district, owing to excessive rain in July and August, the cis-Jumna tracts with their naturally defective drainage being particularly affected.
Never, since statistics have been compiled, has the district entirely escaped the ravages of cholera, but on no occasion except the year 1869, when 1,060 deaths were recorded, has the mortality from it exceeded 1,000. The worst years on record are those of 1889 and 1884, in the latter of which the cities of Muttra and Brindaban were most affected, the presence of the disease being ascribed to the filthy state of the Jumna river. Again, in 1892, 686 deaths from cholera were recorded, the outbreak being attributed to importation by pilgrims from Boron; and on several other occasions, such as 1903, 1902, 1901, 1897, 1896, 1891, 1890, 1887 and 188:3 the disease has carried off considerable numbers of the people. Severe outbreaks appear to, be punctuated by periods f almost complete immunity. From 1877 to 1907 some 4.36 per cent. of the annual mortality is attributable to this cause.
Small-pox was formerly severe though there has been a progrssive immunity from this scourge. From 1877 to 1890 the average mortality was 197 deaths annually. Severe epidemics occurred in 1878 and 1884. The good results of protective measures in the shape f vaccination are very clearly indi:aed in the returns. From 1891 to 1900 the average number f deaths recorded from small-pox was only 51 annually, and during the last seven years has not exceeded the small amount f 20, nearly 43 per cent. of the total mortality during this period having occurred in the single year 1896. The latter out-break was the only epidemic worthy of the name in the whole period. From 1877 to 1890 the average number of persons vaccinated annually was 16,638, while in the ensuing decade this rose to 25,331; and during the last seven years has averaged 23,105. As a result, Muttra is now as well protected against small-pox as any district of the provinces. Vaccination is compulsory in the three municipalities of the district; and the vaccinating staff consists of an assistant superintendent of vaccination and 15 vaccinators.
The other diseases prevalent in the district call for no special mention. Dysentery and bowel complaints are responsible for a number of deaths every year. In many cases they occur as resultants of malarial fever. A more diastrous affiiction has been plague, which first made its appearance in 1903. In the following year 4,657 deaths were recorded as due to it but the climax was reached in 1908, when no less than 47,867 persons died of this disease. In 1906 the epidemic almost died out, only 21 deaths being recorded ; but in the next year there was a recrudescence and the mortality amounted to 5,272 deaths, while during the last year on record, 1908, again 2,492 persons were reported to have died of plague.
Statistics of infirmities for the district as now- constituted are only available from 1881. In that year it was found that there were in Muttra 31 lunatics, 1,656 blind persons, 205 deaf-mutes and 90 lepers. Ten years later the number of the first had increased to 63, of the second to 2,631, of the third to 399 and of lepers to 153. The reason for this general and large increase is not apparent, for in 1901 there was, except in the case of the insane, a decline all round. The district then contained '61 persons of unsound mind, 1,566 who were blind, 129 deaf mutes and 85 lepers. The numbers of all these classes except the blind are well below the average of the division. This is perhaps remarkable as the pilgrimage in the district affords considerable opportunities to beggars.