Online Encyclopedia

SHIMOGA, or SHEEMOGA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 860 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SHIMOGA, or SHEEMOGA, a town and district in the state of Mysore, southern India. The town is situated on the Tunga river, and is the terminus of a branch railway. ' Pop. (1901) 6240. The area of the district is 4025 sq. m. Its river system is twofold; in the east the Tunga, Bhadra and Varada unite to form the Tungabhadra, which ultimately falls into the Kistna and so into the Bay of Bengal, while in the west a few minor streams flow to the Sharavati, which near the north-western frontier bursts through the Western Ghats by the celebrated Falls of Gersoppa (q.v.). The western half of the district is mountainous and covered with magnificent forest, and is known as the Malnad or hill country, some of the peaks being 4000 ft. above sea-level. The general elevation of Shimoga is about 2000 ft.; and towards the east it opens out into the Maidan or plain country, which forms part of the general plateau of Mysore. The Malnad region is very picturesque, its scenery abounding with every charm of tropical forests and mountain wilds; on the other hand, the features of the Maidan country are for the most part comparatively tame. The mineral products of the district include iron-ore and laterite. The soil is loose and sandy in the valleys of the Malnad, and in the north-east the black cotton soil prevails. Bison are common in the taluk of Saugor, where also wild elephants are occasionally seen; while tigers, leopards, bears, wild hog, sambhar and chitdl deer are numerous in the wooded tracts of the west. Shimoga presents much variety of climate. The south-west monsoon is felt in full force for about 25 M. from the Ghats, bringing an annual rainfall of more than 150 in., but the rainfall gradually diminishes to 31 in. at Shimoga station and to 25 in. or less at Chennagiri. The population in 1901 was 531,736. Rice is the staple crop; next in importance is sugar-cane; areca nuts are also extensively grown; and miscellaneous crops include vegetables, fruits and pepper. The chief manufactures are coarse cotton cloths, rough country blankets, iron implements, brass and copper wares, pottery and jaggery. The district is noted for its beautiful sandal-wood carving. During the Mahommedan usurpation of Mysore from 1761 to 1799, unceasing warfare kept the whole country in constant turmoil.. After the restoration of the Hindu dynasty Shimoga became the scene of disturbances caused by the mal-administration of the Deshast Brahmans, who had seized upon every office and made themselves obnoxious. These disturbances culminated in theinsurrection of 183o, which led to the diiect assumption of the administration by the British.
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