Online Encyclopedia

HYDERABAD, or HAIDARABAD

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V14, Page 31 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HYDERABAD, or HAIDARABAD, a city and district of British India, in the Sind province of Bombay. The city stands on a hill about 3 M. from the left bank of the Indus, and had a population in 19or of 69,378. Upon the site of the present fort is supposed to have stood the ancient town of Nerankot, which in the 8th century submitted to Mahommed bin Kasim. In 1768 the present city was founded by Ghulam Shah Kalhora;and it remained the capital of Sind until 1843, when, after the battle of Meeanee, it was surrendered to the British, and the capital transferred to Karachi. The city is built on the most northerly hills of the Ganga range, a site of great natural strength. In the fort, which covers an area of 36 acres, is the arsenal of the province, transferred thither from Karachi in 1861, and the palaces of the ex-mirs of Sind. An excellent water supply is derived from the Indus. In addition to manufactures of silk, gold and silver embroidery, lacquered ware and pottery, there are three factories for ginning cotton. There are three high schools, training colleges for masters and mistresses, a medical school, an agricultural school for village officials, and a technical school. The city suffered from plague in 1896–1897. The DISTRICT OF HYDERABAD has an area of 8291 sq. m., with a population in 1901 of 989,030, showing an increase of 15% in the decade. It consists of a vast alluvial plain, on the left bank of the Indus, 216 in. long and 48 broad. Fertile along the course of the river, it degenerates towards the east into sandy wastes, sparsely populated, and defying cultivation. The monotony is relieved by the fringe of forest which marks the course of the river, and by the avenues of trees that line the irrigation channels branching eastward from this stream. The south of the district has a special feature in its large natural water-courses (called dhoras) and basin-like shallows (chhaus), which retain the rains for a long time. A limestone range called the Ganga and the pleasant frequency of garden lands break the monotonous landscape. The principal crops are millets, rice, oil-seeds, cotton and wheat, which are dependent on irrigation, mostly from government canals. There is a special manufacture at Hala of glazed pottery and striped cotton cloth. Three railways traverse the district: (I) one of the main lines of the North-Western system, following the Indus valley and crossing the river near Hyderabad; (2) a broad-gauge branch running south to Badin, which will ultimately be extended to Bombay; and (3) a metre-gauge line from Hyderabad city into Rajputana.
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