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BURDWAN, or BARDWAN

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 811 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BURDWAN, or BARDWAN  , a
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town of
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British India, in Bengal, which gives its name to a
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district and to a division . It has a station on the East
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Indian railway, 67 m . N.W. from
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Calcutta . Pop . (1901) 35,022 . The town consists really of numerous villages scattered over an
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area of 9 sq. m., and is entirely ruralin character . It contains several interesting ancient tombs, and at
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Nawab
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Hat, some 2 M. distant, is a
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group of ro8
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Siva lingam temples built in 1788 . The place was formerly very unhealthy, but this has been to a large extent remedied by the establishment of
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water-
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works, a good supply of water being derived from the
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river Banka . Within the town, the
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principal
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objects of
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interest are the palaces and gardens of the maharaja . The chief educational institution is the Burdwan Raj college, which is entirely supported out of the maharaja's estate . The town owes its importance entirely to being the head-quarters of the maharaja of Burdwan, the premier nobleman of
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lower Bengal, whose
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rent-roll is upwards of £300,000 . The raj was founded in 1657 by
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Abu Ra Kapur, of the Kapur Khatri
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family of Kotli in
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Lahore,
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Punjab, whose descendants served in turn the Mogul emperors and the British government .

The

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great prosperity of the raj was due to the excellent management of Maharaja Mahtab Chand (d . 1879), whose
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loyalty to the government—especially during the Santal
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rebellion of 1855 and the mutiny of 1857—was rewarded with the grant of a coat of arms in 1868 and the right to a
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personal salute of 13 guns in 1877 . Maharaja Bijai Chand Mahtab (b . 1881), who succeeded his adoptive
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father in 1888, earned great distinction by the courage with which he risked his
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life to save that of
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Sir Andrew Fraser, the
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lieutenant-governor of Bengal, on the occasion of the attempt to assassinate him made by
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Bengali malcontents on the 7th of November 1908 . The DISTRICT of BURDWAN lies along the right
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bank of the river Bhagirathi or
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Hugh . It has an area of 2689 sq. m . It is a flat plain, and its scenery is uninteresting . Chief rivers are the Bhagirathi, Damodar, Ajai, Banka, Kunur and Khari, of which only the Bhagirathi is navigable by country cargo boats throughout the
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year . The district was acquired by the East India
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Company under the treaty with Nawab Mir Kasim in 176o, and confirmed by the emperor Shah Alam in 1765 . The
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land revenue was fixed in perpetuity with the zemindar in 1793 . In 1901 the population was 1,532,475, showing an increase of 10 % in the decade . There are several indigo factories .

The district suffered from drought in 1896-1897 . The

Eden Canal, 20 M. long, has been constructed for irrigation . The
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weaving of
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silk is the chief native industry . As regards
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European
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industries, Burdwan takes the first place in Bengal . It contains the great
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coal-field of Raniganj, first opened in 1874, with an output of more than three million tons . The Barrakur ironworks produce pig-iron, which is reported to be as good as that of
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Middlesbrough . Apart from Burdwan town and Raniganj, the chief places are the river-marts of Katwa and Kalna . The East Indian railway has several lines
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running through the district . The DIvIsIoN of BURDWAN comprises the six districts of Burdwan,
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Birbhum,
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Bankura,
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Midnapore, Hugli and
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Howrah, with a
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total area of 13,949 sq. m., and a population in 1901. of 8,240,076 .

End of Article: BURDWAN, or BARDWAN
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