Aurangabad District, 1908

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Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts.Many units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.


Aurangabad District

Physical aspects

District in the extreme north-west of the Hyderabad State, lying between 19 18' and 20 40' N. and 74 40' and 7 6° 40' E., with an area of 6,172 square miles. It is bounded on the north, west, and south by the Bombay Districts of Khandesh, Nasik, and Ahmadnagar, and by the Bhir District of Hyderabad ; and on the east by the Buldana District of Berar and the Parbhani District of Hyderabad. Aurangabad may be divided into the Balaghat or 'uplands' to the north, and the Payanghat or ' lowlands ' to the south, the latter terminating in the valley of the Godavari. The northern hills are a continuation of the Balaghat of Berar, and are named Satara, Ajanta, Kannad, &c, after villages in their

proximity. The Mahadeo range, a continuation of the Sataras, is 2,772 feet above the sea. All the hills in the District have a terrace-like appearance with flattened summits. One range, about 2,400 feet high, extends from Khanapur to Jalna, passing through Aurangabad and Daulatabad, being 3,022 feet high near the latter. The Sarpanath hill in the Baiamahal range is 3,517 feet above the sea. The Gaotala hills, also known as the Ajanta and Satmala, form the northern limits of the plateau, running east and west for 70 miles.

The most important river is the Godavari, which forms the southern

boundary for about 127 miles, separating the District from Ahmadnagar and Bhir. Its principal tributaries are the Sina rising in the Kannad hills, the Dhenda rising near Daulatabad, and the Dudna flowing from the hills east of Aurangabad. The general slope of the country is towards the south and south-east.

The District is situated within the Deccan trap area. In the valley of the Godavari and some of its tributaries the trap is overlaid by gravels and clay beds of upper pliocene or pleistocene age, containing fossil bones of extinct mammalia. The famous caves of Ajanta and Ellora have been carved out of the basalt beds of the Deccan trap.

Jungles of the larger vegetation clothe the slopes of the hills sur- rounding the Balaghat and the ravines of streams issuing from the highlands. The gorges of the Ajanta and Gaotala ghats are well wooded.

The animals found in the District include antelope, wild hog, bears, wild dogs, and wolves, and occasionally tigers and leopards.

The climate is generally healthy, but during the rains and part of the cold season it is malarious. The Balaghat is dry and healthy, its mean temperature for the whole year being 8o°. The pleasantest spot in the District is Rauza or Khuldabad, on the hills south-east of the caves of Ellora, where the temperature in the height of the hot season does not exceed 82 .

The rainfall during the twenty-one years ending 1901 averaged 25 inches. The District suffered severely from scanty rainfall (12 inches) and famine during 1899- 1900.


The District is of great importance in the early history of the deccan. Long before the Christian era Paithan was probably an important place. From Ptolemy's account of India it appears that Paithan was the capital of Pulumayi II, the Andhra king (a.d. 138-170), whose rule extended across the peninsula. With the decay of the Andhra power in the third century a period commences of which nothing is known, but the country must have fallen under the sway of the Chalukyas three hundred years later, and was ruled by them for a long period. In the seventh century Hiuen Tsiang visited the caves of Ajanta, Pulikesin II being king at the time. About 760 the Chalukyas were conquered by the Rashtrakutas, one of whose rulers, Krishna I, constructed the wonderful rock-cut temple of Kailas at Ellora. In 973 the Rashtrakutas were overthrown and Chalukya power was restored, but not to its former glories. Among the feuda- tories of the Chalukyas were the Yadavas, or perhaps more correctly the Seunas. A long list of chiefs has been collected, commencing from the early part of the ninth century ; but the first independent ruler was Bhillama I, who established himself about 11 87 in the country between Daulatabad and Nasik, with his capital at the former place, then known

as Deogiri. He died fighting the Hoysala ruler of Mysore in 1191 ; but his grandson Singhana extended the kingdom from Khandesh on the north to Mysore on the south, so that it practically included the whole of the Western Chalukyan dominions. Singhana also invaded Gujarat, and claims to have conquered practically the whole of India. In 1294, however, Ala-ud-din invaded the Deccan and defeated Ramchandra, the last of the independent Yadavas, close to his capital, securing an enormous booty and the promise of tribute. Owing to default in the payment of the latter, Malik Kaffir was dispatched to invade the Deccan again in 1307, and Ramchandra yielded without a struggle. The default of his son and successor led to further expeditions, and in 13 18 Harpal, the last ruler, was flayed alive, and the Yadava power was finally extinguished. From 1347 the District formed part of the Bahmani kingdom, and in 1499 it was included in Ahmadnagar. In 1600 the Mughals under prince Daniyal captured Ahmadnagar after the murder of Chand Blbi. Malik Ambar, the Ahmadnagar minister, fought several battles with the Mughals, and in 1610 founded Kharki, the present Aurangabad, which he made his capital. After his death in 1626, Ahmadnagar and Aurangabad were annexed to the Mughal empire, but the District was separated from it on the foundation of the Hyderabad State in the beginning of the eighteenth century.

The most important cave-temples in India are found in the neigh- bourhood of Ellora, Aurangabad, and Ajanta, belonging to the Buddhist, Jain, and Brahmanical styles of arehitecture. Those at Ajanta number 29 and contain exquisite paintings, while 1 1 miles west of Ajanta are the two Ghatotkach caves. North of the city of Aurang- abad are twelve Buddhist caves. The Ellora series contain some of the largest and most elaborately carved caves, dating from the second century b.c. to the eighth century A.d. The great fort at Daulatabad is a remarkable building. Aurangabad, Daulatabad, and Jalna contain numerous Muhammadan buildings, but none of great importance. The village of Khuldabad is marked by the tombs of several historical persons, including the emperor Aurangzeb and Asaf Jah, the founder of the Hyderabad State.


The number of towns and villages is 1,831. The population at each Census in the last twenty years was as follows: — (1881) 730,380, (1891) 828,975, and (1901) 7^1,407- The great Population famine of 1899-1900 is responsible for the decrease of population in the last decade. The District is divided into the ten taluks of Aurangabad, Ambarh, Jalna, Kannad, Bhokardan, Paithan, Gangapur, Vaijapur, Sillod, and Khuldabad, the last two being sarf-i-khas or ' crown ' taluks. The towns are Aurangabad, Jalna, Kadirabad, Paithan, and Vaijapur. Nearly 85 per cent, of the population are Hindus and more than 12 per cent. Musalmans. About

79 per cent, of the people speak Marathi. The following table shows the distribution of population in 1901 : —


In 1905 a few small transfers were made, by which the area and population of individual taluks have been changed.


The agricultural castes include the Maratha Kunbis, 257,000, and also Sindes, 15,900; Banjaras, 8,900; Kolis, 7,000; and Maratha Hol- kars, 5,800. The Malis or gardeners number 18,600. The Mahars (village menials) and Mangs (leather-workers) number 66,800 and 21,500; Dhangars or shepherds, 31,000; Brahmans, 28,000. Vanls, 4,600, and Marwaris, 7,800, are the principal trading castes. About 46 per cent, of the population depend on agriculture.

The District contained 2,673 Christians in 1901, of whom 2,512 were natives. The soils are of three kinds : the regar or black cotton soil, the masab or reddish, and the milwa, a mixture of the other two. Regar is derived from trap, and the sandy or reddish soils gncu ure. f rom granitic rock. The regar constitutes over 55 per cent, of the total cultivable area, and is very fertile, as also are the soils found at the foot of the hill.-.

Khalsa land measured 4,678 square miles in 1901, of which 3,727 were cultivated, 82 were occupied by cultivable waste and fallows, 392 by forests, and 477 were not available for cultivation. The cultivated area in 1903 was 3,732 square miles. Jowar, bajra, and wheat are the chief food-crops, covering an area of 991, 535, and 258 square miles respectively. Pulses and rice are next in importance, with areas of 497 and 19 square miles. Cotton and oilseeds are largely grown, occupying 384 and 409 square miles respectively. Sugar-cane is grown on about 9 square miles.

The cattle are of the ordinary Deccani breed, being small, hardy, and active, and well adapted for agricultural operations. The valley of the Godavari was once famous for its breed of horses, noted for their hardiness and powers of endurance, and said to be the offspring of Arab sires ; but the stock is now inferior. The State maintains Arab stallions at Aurangabad and Ambarh for improving the breed. The sheep are of the usual black breed. There are two varieties of goats : the Gujarat short-legged breed, with erect ears, which are good milkers ; and the shaggy long-legged breed, with drooping ears.

The irrigated area in 1901 was 134 square miles, entirely supplied from wells, of which 19,778 are in working order. There are a few small tanks, but they are used only for drinking purposes.

The forest area is small, comprising only 123 square miles of 'reserved,' and 69 and 200 square miles of protected and unprotected forests respectively. Teak {Tectona grandis) is the predominant species among the timber trees, while the sadora {Terminalia tomentosa), dhamora (Anogeissus latifolia), and malanjar (Hardivickia binata) are fairly plentiful. A considerable portion of the forests contains only brushwood and small trees used for fuel, which is given free of charge to the cultivators.

Very few minerals of economic value are met with ; those found are jaspers, agate, carnelian, chalcedony, heliotrope, and rock crystals, both white and amethystine. Kankar or nodular limestone, basalt, and granite occur all over the country, and are utilized for building purposes.

Trade and Communication

Aurangabad City is noted for its silver ware and embroidery, as well as for silver and gold lace and cloth {kamkhwab), and other silk cloths known as himru and mashru. which are largely produced. Valuable silk and cotton saris and other silk fabrics are made at Paithan and Jalna.

Paper of several descriptions is manufactured at Kaghazipura, near Daulatabad. Saltpetre is produced in small quantities from saline earth gathered near villages and old walls. In 1889 a cotton-spinning and weaving-mill was erected in Aurangabad city, which employs 700 hands daily. Since the opening of the Hyderabad-Godavari Valley Railway in 1900 several ginning factories have been started. In the Jalna taluk alone there are 9 cotton-ginning factories and 5 cotton- presses, besides two ginning factories at Aurangabad and Kannad, and one oil-press at Aurangabad. The total number of hands employed in the cotton-presses and ginning factories in 1901 was 1,016.

The chief exports consist of cotton, food-grains, oilseeds, dyes, live- stock, silk stuff, cloth, hides, tobacco, jaggery (raw sugar), ghi, paper, silver ware, copper and brass vessels ; the principal imports are food- grains, chiefly rice, salt, opium, cloth, English piece-goods, yarn, sugar, kerosene oil, fruit, raw silk, spices, copper and brass vessels, iron, silver and gold, jewels, paper, hardware, and sulphur. The principal trade centres are Aurangabad city, Jalna (Rett Kadirabad) and Paithan. The Varus, Bohras, Bhatias, and Memons from Bombay are the chief traders. Internal trade is carried on by means of weekly markets, held at eighty places in different parts of the District.

The Hyderabad-Godavari Valley Railway traverses Aurangabad from west to east, for no miles, with eleven railway stations within the District.

The total length of main roads is 392 miles, of which 154 are metalled. The District is also well supplied with numerous fair-weather roads leading to the head-quarters of taluks, their length being 454 miles, making a total of 846 miles of metalled and fair-weather roads and cart tracks. There are several ghats or mountain passes, the chief being those of Ajanta, Upli near Daulatabad, and Ellora.


From the second quarter of the nineteenth century up to 1872, there were six years of distress and famine in the District, attended by much loss of cattle. In 1876 the rains failed almost com- pletely, the fall in the previous year also having been deficient. In 1878 the kharif crop was damaged by excessive rain, and the rabi crops suffered from rats. In 1897 the number of persons relieved was 267,318, costing Rs. 68,000. The ryots had not recovered from the effects of the distress of 1897 when the great famine of 1899- 1900 took place. Owing to the scanty rainfall of 1899 and 1900 (12 and 19 inches), both the kharif and rain crops of these two years failed, and severe distress was felt in all parts. While the famine was raging, cholera supervened and carried off thousands. The District lost 76,000 agricultural and 74,000 non-agricultural cattle, or 38 and 37 per cent, respectively of the total. The total number of units relieved was 19 millions, and the highest attendance in famine camps in one day was about 58,000, the total cost to the State amounting to 17-4 lakhs.


There are three subdivisions, the first consisting of the taluks of Jalna, Sillod, Ambarh, and Bhokardan ; the second, of Vaijapur, Gangapur, Paithan, and Kannad ; and the third, of Aurangabad and Khuldabad. The first two subdivi- sions are each under a Second Talukdar and the third under a Third Talukdar, each of the ten taluks being under a tahsildar.

The First Talukdar is the chief magistrate, and the Nazim-i-Diivani or District Civil Judge is also a joint magistrate, who exercises magisterial powers in the absence of the First Talukdar from head-quarters. There are three Munsifs' courts — at Aurangabad, Jalna, and Gangapur. The Second and Third Talukdars exercise second-class, and the tahsilddrs third-class criminal powers. The Nazim-i-Subah, or the Judge of the Division, one of the puisne judges of the High Court, holds his court at Aurangabad. Serious crime is not heavy in ordinary years, but has shown a tendency to increase in seasons of scareity. The Bhlls gave much trouble during and immediately after the famine of 1900.

Authentic records of the revenue history of the district exist from the time of Malik Ambar early in the seventeenth century, who had the whole country surveyed, and fixed the revenue according to the pro- ductiveness of the soil in each tract. Prior to 1866, the villages were farmed out, the revenue contractors being allowed 10 per cent, for collec- tion ; but on the introduction of administration by Districts in 1866, Talukdars and tahsilddrs were regularly appointed, and the ryotwari system with cash payments was introduced. The revenue survey was started in 1876 and completed in 1882, the assessments being fixed for thirty years. The survey showed that the area of holdings was larger by 18 per cent, than that shown in the accounts. The average assessment on 'dry' land is Rs. 1-14 (maximum, Rs. 2-6 ; minimum, R. 1), and on 'wet' land Rs. 5 (maximum, Rs. 6 ; minimum, Rs. 4).

The land revenue and the total revenue for a series of years are shown below, in thousands of rupees : —


Both Aurangabad city and the adjoining cantonment are adminis- tered as municipalities. The District board, in addition to its own work, manages the city municipality, and also supervises the working of the taluk boards, and is presided over by the First Talukdar. The canton- ment municipality is managed by the cantonment authorities. For each of the taluks, except Aurangabad, there is a taluk board and a small municipal establishment. The principal source of income is the one anna cess, which yielded 1-5 lakhs in 1901, while the total expenditure was i-8 lakhs, including local works as well as municipal expenditure.

The First Talukdar is the head of the District police, with a Super- intendent {Mohtamim) as his executive deputy. Under the latter are 12 inspectors, a frontier assistant, 79 subordinate officers, 738 con- stables, and 34 mounted police. These are distributed among 37 police stations and 42 outposts (thdnas and chaukls), and also guard the Dis- trict and taluk treasuries. Rural police are appointed at the rate of one man to every fifty houses in the villages, and are under the police patel and subordinate to the jemadar of the nearest police station.

There is a Central jail at Aurangabad, with accommodation for 2,000 prisoners. It receives convicts sentenced to more than six months, imprisonment from Bhlr, Parbhani, and Nander. Carpets, rugs, cotton tweeds and other kinds of cloth, as well as boots, harness, and belts, are made here.

Aurangabad District takes a comparatively high position as regards the literacy of its population, of whom 3-2 per cent. (6 males and 0-3 females) could read and write in 1901. The total number of pupils under instruction in 1881, 1891, 1901, and 1903 was 1,087, 3,926, 5,648, and 5,054 respectively, including 214 girls in the last year. In 1903 there were 92 primary and 4 middle schools, one high and one industrial or art school, and one college. Of these institutions 1 1 were private and the remainder State. The total expenditure on education in 1 90 1 was Rs. 44,100, of which Rs. 27,300 was contributed by the State and Rs. 16,800 by Local boards. The fee receipts amounted to Rs. 3,100.

In 1 90 1 the District contained six dispensaries, including one yunani institution, having accommodation for 37 in-patients. The number of out-patients treated in 1901 was 45,827, and of in-patients 242. The operations performed numbered 1,503. The expenditure amounted to Rs. 22,400, of which Rs. 3,800 was contributed from Local funds.

The number of persons vaccinated in 1901 was only 2,873, or about 4 per 1,000 of the population.

[J. Fardunji, Notes on the Aurangabad Agriculturist]

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