Online Encyclopedia

REWA, or RIWA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 225 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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REWA, or RIWA, a native state of Central India in the Bagelkhand agency. It is the only large state in Bagelkhand, and the second largest in Central India, having an area of about 13,000 sq. m. It is bounded N. by the United Provinces, E. by Bengal and S. by the Central Provinces. On the W. it meets other petty states of Bagelkhand. Rewa is divided into two well-defined portions. The northern and smaller division is the plateau lying between the Kaimur range of hills and that portion of the Vindhyas known as Binjh, which overlook the valley of the Ganges. This plateau is for the most part cultivated and well peopled; rich harvests both of kharif and rabi crops are generally obtained. Water is plentiful, and the country is full of large tanks and reservoirs, which, however, are not used for irrigation purposes; the only system of wet cultivation which has any favour with the villagers is that of bunds, or mounds of earth raised at the lower ends of sloping fields to retain the rain water for some time after the monsoon rains cease. The country to the S. of the Kaimur hills comprises by far the largest portion of the state; but here cultivation is restricted to the valley between the hills and the Sone river, and to a few isolated patches in scattered parts of the forest wastes. The principal river is the Sone, which flows through the state in a N.E. direction into Mirzapur district. Another important river is the Tons, but neither is navigable. The annual rainfall averages about 41 in. The population in 1901 was 1,327,385, showing a decrease of 12% in the decade. Many of the inhabitants of the hilly tracts are Gonds and Kols. Estimated revenue, £200,000. The staple crops are rice, millets and wheat; but more than one-third of the area is covered with forests, yielding timber and lac. The S. of the state is crossed by the branch of the Bengal-Nagpur railway from Bilaspur to Katni, which taps the Umaria coal-field. The state suffered from famine in 1896-97, and again to a less extent in 1899-1900; but on both occasions adequate measures of relief were provided. The state first came under British influence in 1812. The chief, Venkat Raman Singh, was born in 1876, succeeded in 188o and was created G.C.S.I. in 1897. During his minority the administration was reformed. He is Raj put of the Baghela branch of the Solanki race, and is descended from the founder of the Anhilwara Patan dynasty in Gujarat. The town of Rewa is 131 M. S. of Allahabad. Pop. (1901) 24, 6o8. It has a high school, also the Victoria and zenana hospitals and a model gaol. The political agent for Bagelkhand resides at Satna, on the East Indian railway: pop. (1901) 7471.
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