Online Encyclopedia

CAMBAY

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 82 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CAMBAY, a native state of India, within the Gujarat division of Bombay. It has an area of 350 sq. m. Pop. (1901) 75,225, showing a decrease of 16% in the decade, due to the famine of 1899-1900. The estimated gross revenue is £27,189; the tribute, £1460. In physical character Cambay is entirely an alluvial plain. As a separate state it dates only from about 1730, the time of the dismemberment of the Mogul empire. The present chiefs are descended from Momin Khan II., the last of the governors of Gujarat, who in 1742 murdered his brother-in-law`, Nizam Khan, governor of Cambay, and established himself there. The town o'f CAMBAY had a population in 1901 of 31,780. It is supposed to be the Camanes of Ptolemy, and was formerly a very flourishing city, the seat of an extensive trade, and celebrated for its manufactures of silk, chintz and gold stuffs; but owing principally to the gradually increasing difficulty of access by water, owing to the silting up of the gulf, its commerce has long since fallen away, and the town has become poor and dilapidated, The spring tides rise upwards of 3o ft., and in a channel usually so shallow form a serious danger to shipping. The trade is chiefly confined to the export of cotton. The town is celebrated for its manufacture of agate and carnelian ornaments, of reputation principally in China. The houses in many instances are built of stone (a circumstance which indicates the former wealth of the city, as the material had to be brought from a very considerable distance); and remains of a brick wall, 3 m. in circumference, which formerly surrounded the town, enclose four large reservoirs of good water and three bazaars. To the south-east there are very extensive ruins of subterranean temples and other buildings half-buried in the sand by which the ancient town was overwhelmed. These temples belong to the Jains, and contain two massive statues of their deities, the one black, the other white. The principal one, as the inscription intimates, is Pariswanath, or Parswanath, carved in the reign of the emperor Akbar; the black one has the date of 1651 inscribed. In 178o Cambay was taken by the army of General Goddard, was restored to the Mahrattas in 1783, and was afterwards ceded to the British by the peshwa under the treaty of 1803. It was provided with a railway in 1901 by the opening of the 11 m. required to connect with the gaekwar of Baroda's line through Petlad.
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