Ambada.-Taluk Morsi: houses 701. Population 3,242. A large but unimportant village in the Morsi taluk, having a combined post office and Marathi school and also an Urdu school. The weekly bazar is held on Fridays. The watandar Patel is a Muhammadan.
Amla.-Taluk Chandur: houses 640. Population 2,438. A fair is held here for a single day on Shivratr in the month of Magh (February) and is attended by about 2,000 persons. There is a modern temple of Visheswar (Mahadeo) managed by a village panch on the profits of a few fields privately set apart for the purpose.
Amner.-Once the headquarters of the Amner pargana, Melghat taluk: the village is deserted, but [In this Appendix the words " gin " and " press " are used through, out as equivalents for steam ginning and pressing factory irrespective of the number of gins or presses at work in the factory. Berar Gazetteer 1870.]
the little fort of Amner, often called Jilpi Amner, has had some fame in recent wars. It occupies an elevated position immediately overlooking the waters of the Garga and Tapti at their junction. It is a compact-looking quadrangular building of brick and mud pointed with mortar. The walls are flanked by four round bastions of the same material, and enclose about an acre of ground. The west angle is occupied by a mosque, which, with its minarets towering about the rest of the fort, presents rather a picturesque object. There is only one approach, that from the north-west, on a level with the left bank of the Tapti, which, though entirely of earth, is very steep and lofty. The gateway and a portion of the ramparts were destroyed in 1858. At the same time the guns, four or five in number, were removed.' It lay in the line of Tantia Topi's retreat at the close of the Mutiny and subsequently when Tantia Bhil
was harassing the surrounding country with his raids a police watch was established here under the command of the late Raja Khuman Singh, without however very much effect.
Amner.-Taluk Morsi houses 329. Population 1,522. A village on the Wardha opposite the town of Jalalkhed in Nagpur District. Formerly a place of much importance, it has to-day been left in a corner and can only be reached by country roads from Nagpur or Warud; but the ruins of the town walls as well as of many temples, mosques and tombs bear witness to its former glories. It is said to have had manufactures of laces and silk and a fair to which elephants, horses, jewellery, and other outward signs of wealth were brought. There was a great fight here between the Bhonsla and the Nizam when the latter was marching to the reduction of Nawab Ismail Khan, and the tombs of the slain are still shown. In 1826, the Muharram and the Hindu festival Ganesh Chaturthi coinciding, a serious faction fight took place. To-day the population is chiefly Muhammadan. There is an old temple to Mahadeo, on the banks of the river, and, about 30 paces off, a pool, the depth of which is unknown; at the bottom of it there is said to be a temple which can be seen when the river is clear. Tradition has it that the place is presided over by the gods, and that at one time any Brahman by asking for cooking vessels over-night would find them near this hole in the morning; he was, however, bound to return them, when used, into the water: one day a Brahman prayed for a large number, and, instead of returning them, sold them, since when they have never been supplied. Perhaps the most striking of the ruins, though it is little over two hundred years old, is the makbara of Lal Khan Pathan, a large domed building in white stucco, with small spires at the four corners. Over the gateway is an inscription in Persian as follows:-
For the service of the throne of the Emperor Alamgir, his servant Raja Kisn Sing, with great exertions and in purity of
heart and soul laid the foundation of a beautiful tomb, a mosque, a cistern and a garden as well constructed as Paradise itself. It was on the felicitous day the fourth of Ramzan that Lal Khan Bazlaman passed from this world. Though his body be placed in the earth of Amner, yet his pure soul is entrusted to the Hari.
O God Ever preserve this matchless resting-place that his holy tomb and the
dome of light may always shine. When I sought of the unseen one the year of his
death, I was told " Lal Khan achieved martyrdom at Badnur." The building of the mausoleum was accomplished between the 34th and 36th years of the Emperor's reign at Delhi, Hijri 1100.' The chronogram 'LalKhanyaftshahadatbamakanBadnur,' gives not only the place but the date of his death. Perhaps the most notable feature of the tomb is that it should have been built by a Hindu Raja.
Amraoti Taluk.-The headquarters taluk of the Amraoti District lying between 2o°41 add 21° 12' N. and 77° 32' and 78° 2' E. with an area of 672 square miles, or 14 per cent. of that of the District. The taluk contains 330 villages and towns; of which
9 are jagir. It lies in the fertile valley of Berar but the almost uniform characteristics of this valley are broken by a low range of stony and barren hills which, cropping up in the immediate vicinity of Amraoti camp, extends over the eastern border of the taluk. The taluk is bounded on the north by the Ellichpur and Morsi taluks, on the west by the Daryapur taluk and the Murtizapur taluk of Akola District, and in the east and south it borders upon the Chandur taluk, almost touching with its north-eastern extremity, the river Wardha which forms the line of division between Berar and the Central Provinces. The taluk is compact in shape though it narrows towards the north; it has a length of 30 miles and an average breadth of some 23 miles. The tract contains no large forest; but babul and mango are plentiful everywhere, though the latter tree does not attain to any very great size. The taluk has a great variety of soils ranging from the prevalent black argillaceous mould to the worst of rocky soils. Inferior in appearance though the latter are, however, they are tolerably fertile owing to the iron felspar they contain, and in
favourable seasons they produce excellent crops, but require periodical manuring. The black soil, however, except in the western part of the taluk where it contains an excess of saline matter, is very fertile, requiring little or no manure nor even heavy ploughing, for the production of the prolific cotton for which this part of Berar is so justly renowned. The soil is deep and in the hot weather great fissures form in it sometimes several feet deep. When the rains come, the surface matter is washed well below and the soil turned as effectually as it would be by the best ploughs. [This is the popular theory.] The climate is on the whole healthy, though trying in the months of April, May and June on account of the extreme heat. The only rivers of any importance are the Purna and the Pedhi; the former separates Amraoti from Daryapur on the western border and contains a supply of water throughout the year. The Pedhi running through the centre of the taluk also has a perennial supply. Many of the villages are dependent on wells for their drinking water. The same salt bed, however, whish underlies parts of the Akola District and Daryapur taluk, infects Amraoti; and well water accordingly is frequently very brackish especially in the western towns and villages. Two large tanks have been constructed near Amraoti to supply the Civil Station and the city, but in years of short rainfall the supply is precarious. There are also tanks at Pohora, Anjangaon Bari,
and one or two other places.
The population of the taluk in 1901 was 175,557 persons, or about 22 per cent, of that of the District. In 1891 the population was 183,508 and in 1881, 163,456. The increase between 1881 and 1891 was 12.3 per cent. as against the District figure of
9.2 per cent., and the decrease between 1891 and 1901 was
4.3 per cent, as against the District figure of 4.7 per cent. As usual, the decrease in the last decade may be attributed to the series of bad years and the famines. The density of population is 261 souls per square mile, and excluding towns the density of rural population is 170 persons per square mile. The taluk contains 5 towns and 325
villages, of which 67 are uninhabited [An uninhabited village is one whose inhabitants in the Pindari times betook themselves to live in some more strongly fortified place, generally the Kasbaor Pargana Town, but continued their separate village organization and the cultivation of their old fields.] according to village
lists. The towns in the taluk are Amraoti, Amraoti Camp,
Badnera, Kholapur and Balgaon Jagir. Of the population
34.76 per cent. live in towns and 65.24 per cent. live in
villages. Besides the above towns the following 11 villages
contained a population of more than 2,000 persons in 1901:-
Anjangaon Bari, Takarkheda, Thugaon Kasba, Nandgaon
Peth, Pusda, Bhatkuli, Mahuli Jagir, Yaoli, Wathoda, Sahur,
and Sirala. There were also 15 villages whose population
exceeded 1,000 persons.
Formerly the principal crop was juari, which forms almost
entirely the food of the people. At the
original settlement it occupied 36 per
cent. of the cultivated land. Second in importance then stood wheat which occupied 22 per cent., and though partly consumed in the District was chiefly exported. Cotton came next, and the area occupied by it was 68,660 acres or 21 per cent. of the entire land under cultivation. This proportion was considered reasonable and it was expected that the cultivation of cotton would not be much further extended here-at least not in undue proportion to the other crops-as it would bring about a still greater scarcity of food than already existed. At revision settlement the figures based on the average for the settlement period (1893-1897) show that the area under cotton annually was 122,804 acres or about 35 per cent., and that juar was second though not far behind with 111,896 acres or 32.5 per cent. of the cultivated and. Wheat then came next in importance with 57,918 acres or 16.3 per cent., whilst linseed with 26,485 acres or 7.5 per cent. covered less than half this area. In 1906-07 the total village area excluding State forests but including the area of jagirs was 399,445 acres; of this 372,861 acres or 93 per cent. were occupied for cultivation. The total cropped area including double cropped (200 acres only) was 360,880 acres. The continued demand and the consequent high prices have greatly
stimulated the cultivation of cotton; the area under it
being 172,472 acres or about 48 per cent. of the total. The
area under juari had declined, being 97,561 acres or 27 percent.
Wheat occupied 44,026 acres or 12.2 per cent. and linseed
5,276 acres or 1.4 per cent. The area irrigated was only 1,674
acres, chiefly from wells, there being no patasthalbagait land.
At the original settlement the 330 Government villages
were divided into 4 groups and assessed with a dry crop maximum acreage rate of Rs. 2-8-0. The average rates per cultivated acre, however, varied from R. 1-2-4 to R. 1-8-9. As in other taluks the grouping of villages was made from a consideration
of their proximity or otherwise to the large bazar towns and the railway
stations. At revision settlement, considering the excellence of communications
in the taluk both by road and rail it was thought unnecessary to tone down
assessments by division of villages into separate groups. Hence all villages of the taluk were included in one settlement group and a maximum dry crop standard acreage rate of Rs. 2-12-0 was fixed. The demand at the time of revision settlement on Government occupied land of 349,905 acres according to the former survey was Rs. 4,66,057 giving an incidence of R. 1-5-4 per acre; while at the revision settlement the assessment on Government occupied land of 349,893 acres according to revision survey was increased to Rs. 6,30,144, the incidence per acre falling at R. 1-12-10. The increase in revenue thus amounted to Rs. 1,64,087, being 35.2 per cent. in excess of the previous demand. In 1907-08 the land revenue demand including cesses was Rs. 6,71,559 while the actual collections according to Treasury figures were Rs. 6,76,662 including however some amount on account of arrear collections. For purposes of land records the taluk has been divided into three Circle Inspectors' circles with headquarters at Badnera, Dhamoni
It contains 6 Police Station-houses, of which the one at Amraoti is under the
Amraoti City Inspector, while the others at Takarkheda,
Kholapur, Badnera, Mahuli and Loni, each under a Sub-Inspector, constitute a single police circle under the Amraoti Taluk Inspector. The Chirodi Forest Reserve lies partly in this taluk and partly in that of Chandur.
Amraoti Town.-The chief town of the province of Berar and of the Amraoti District and headquarters of the taluk of the same name. It stands about 1,118 feet above sea-level in 20° 56' N. and 77°47' E., and is distant by railway about 113 miles to the south-west of Nagpur, 419 miles to the north-east of Bombay and 814 miles to the south-west of Calcutta via Nagpur. Hyderabad, Deccan, the Resident of which place formerly administered Berar, is not connected with it by any direct line of rail or road but lies about 250 miles to the south as the crow flies. Amraoti suffers from the disadvantage of not being on the main line of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, but is connected with it at Badnera 6 miles away by a branch line of State Railway. The town includes portions of the villages of Tarkhed, Rajapeth, Gambhirpur and Mahajanpur, and is bounded roughly speaking by the Amba Nala on the south and a smaller watercourse (called Dalelpuri after a bygone Gosawi) on the north. To the west lie the cultivated fields of Gambhirpur and Mahajanpur and to the east the civil station, The area of the town is 361 acres and 38 gunthas.
At the census taken in 1867 the population of the town was
23,410: it was 23,550 in 1881, 28,946 in
1891 and 34,216 in 1901; an increase of
46 per cent. in 35 years. Since then however it has three times been visited by plague, and it is probable, even when we allow for large immigrations from elsewhere, that the figure of population has been little more than stationary. It now stands 5th among the towns of the Central Provinces being the most populous in Berar, though 40 years ago it was surpassed by Ellichpur. Of the total population 26,773 are Hindus, 6,295 Musalmans, 781 Jains, 186 Animists, 112 Christians, 38Parsis and 31 Sikhs.
History and Antiquities.
Amraoti contains a large number of Hindu and two Jain
temples as well as several mosques. One of the latter, that of Bade Nal
Sahib, is still supported by inam land, and the Jami Masjid is said to be 300 years old but none of
them is of any interest. The Jain temples are small and call for no particular comment. Among the Hindus the most important are the temples of Amba Devi and of Balaji, next in order after which come those of Ekirra Devi, Someshwar, and Narayan and the Datta Mandir. The Balajl temple and pilgrims' math attached to it are supported from the revenues of the inam village of Jamgaon in Amraoti taluk. The Amba temple is said to be the oldest in Amraoti and lays claim to a respectable antiquity of 1000 years, though how much of the. present building can be of that age it is impossible to say, since pious hands have covered the whole with plaster and ornament. It was from hence, we are told [Vide also Kaundinyapur.] that Krishna carried off Rukmini, who had come to the temple with her brother Rukmaya to pay her vows before her marriage with Shishupal. With them to witness the ceremony came a number of persons called Warhadis or Warharis, who settling here gave their name to the country " Warhar " corrupted into " Berar." Rukmaya after Rukmini's enlevement, tried the chances of a battle with Krishna, but was defeated and only spared at the urgent entreaties of his sister. He then settled at Bhatkuli a village 14 miles to the westward, where his name has been perpetuated by a temple erected in his honour. The name of the town is even said to be derived from the goddess, though the derivation is almost as doubtful as that just given for the name of the province, and the etymology " The Eternal City " or " City of the Immortals" is far more likely (vide Chapter 1, para. 1). The deity is held in great reverence by the Hindu community and on every occasion of a marriage or thread-ceremony invitation is in variably offered first to this deity. The most important days when the visitors come in great numbers are the 8th, 9th and 10th days of the first fortnight of Ashwin (October). The annual income, derived mainly from the offerings made to the deity and from the dharma fund collected by the traders, amounts to Rs. 6,000 and the main heads of expenditure are sadavarta (alms-giving) and other charitable
purposes. The management of the temple is in the hands of a local committee composed of bankers and influential citizens. The income and expenditure of the temple during the year 1907-1908 were Rs. 6,000 and 5,000 respectively, and doles were given to some nineteen thousand persons. Apart from the temple the town is certainly a modern one, and is not even the headquarters of the pargana in which it lies, that distinction being held by Badnera. Amraoti is said to have been founded by Raghuji Bhonsla,
and its fortunes commenced from the close of the eighteenth century when the tyranny of the Akola talukdar drove a number of the inhabitants of that place to settle here; but its early years were by no means uniformly prosperous. Both the Nagpur and Hyderabad rulers were represented here, the former taking 60 per cent. and the latter 40 per cent. of the revenues, and both oppressing the people. Amraoti contains two interesting relics of those days, one the Haveli or office of the notorious Raja Bisen Chanda (see Ridbpur), a building which possesses some creditable carving and is now used as a primary school; and the other the great wall of the town. Readers of Meadows Taylor's " Confessions of a Thug " will doubtless recollect his vivid description of the famous raid of Chitu the Pindari leader on Amraoti; it was to protect the town from calamities such as this that the wall was begun in A. D. 1804 by the Nizam's Government and was completed seventeen years later at a cost of over four lakhs of rupees. The wall, which is two and a quarter miles in circumference and from twenty to twenty-six feet in height, is neither architecturally beautiful nor strategically noteworthy. But it is so strongly built as to look almost new today, and is a subject of much local pride and patriotism. There are five large gates (Amba, Bhusari, Nagpur, Kholapur, and Mahajanwais) and four smaller ones called khirkis (the Khunari, Chatrapuri, Mata and Patel's khirkis). The Khunari Khirki derives its name from a faction fight during the Muharram of A. D. 1816 in which no less than 700 persons are said to have been killed. The civil and military station of former days, which was occupied by Messrs. Pestonji and Vikaji's agents and by the early British
administrators, lies just outside the wall to the north-west Nothing now remains save the butts of the old rifle range, a large garden well, a small unenclosed cemetery with a few broken-down graves, and one large octagonal tomb surmounted by a cross. It is possible that this may belong to Wellesley's army which halted here for some time after the fall of Gawilgarh. The town contains nothing else of antiquarian interest, though here and there may
be seen scraps of blackwood carving in verandahs and balconies and
semi-fortified houses dating from before the town wall was built.
The town of Amraoti is divided into two very distinct portions
the old city within and the new
suburbs outside the walls; but in recent
years, in addition to the gates already mentioned two new passages have been made, namely in Kangarpura and Sabanpura. Within the walls lie the muhallas and quarters called (1) Dhanraj street, (2) Machhisat, (3) Dahisat, (4) Bhusara street, (5) Bohorisat, (6) Shakarsat, (7) Sarafa, (8) Bajaja, (9) Kathada, (10) Baripura, (11) Patwipura, (12) Malipura, (13) Budhwara, (14) Kumbharpura, (15) Bhaji Bazar. The streets are mostly narrow and crooked and the drainage is very unsystematic. Houses are closely crowded and encroachments taking up land valuable either for drainage or ventilation have been in the past only too common.
Sanitation however is by no means so bad as one would be inclined at first sight to suppose, for the
houses are almost all well built upon solid plinths, which except in the case of the poorer houses are usually of stone. Outside the wall lie the weekly market and cotton market with the gins and factories, a quarter which is usually sanitary and clean; and Namuna, the best portion of the town, where are some of the Government offices and the houses of well-to-do pleaders and other leading citizens. This quarter contains two considerable open spaces, Nicoletts Park lying between the Municipal office and the railway station, and Jog square opposite the Tahsili; and is generally the most modern and best cared-for portion of the town. In other directions lie the slum suburbs
of Hamalpura, Masanganj, Ratanganj, etc. in which live the poorest classes whom recent prosperity has brought as frequent immigrants to Berar. The best that can be said for these bastis is that being outside the wall they are somewhat more freely ventilated than similar spots inside: on the other hand the houses are worse built. The question of improving these localities is being taken up as funds permit. A scientific drainage scheme is now before the Committee, as also the issue of land for building purposes to the north of the cotton market and opposite the Khunari Khirki in order to relieve the congestion on some parts of the town.
The municipality was created here in 1869. It now
consists of 24 members-18 elected by the ratepayers and 6 nominated by
Government. The average annual receipts and expenditure from 1891-92 to 1906-07 were Rs. 58,724 and Rs: 58,628 respectively. The income in 1907-08 was Rs. 65,408, of which Rs. 48,968 was derived from taxes, Rs. 4,442 from cesses, Rs. 9,185 from fees and municipal property, Rs. 2,099 from grants and Rs. 714 from miscellaneous items. The expenditure amounted to Rs. 64,716 during the same year, the principal heads of expenditure being as follows:-
General administration and collection charges
The incidence of income and taxation per head of population in 1907-08 was R. 1-14-7 andR. 1-9-0 respectively.
Of the municipal buildings the clock tower, the Municipal Hall and the boys' school No. 3 are alone important. The five cattle pounds in charge of the municipality yield an income of Rs. 1,300 to Rs. 1,400 per annum. The weekly market is provided with sheds where the bazar is held twice a week on Sunday and Wednesday. The right to collect bazar cess for the year
1909-10 was sold for Rs. 5,500. A sarai has been built for native travellers, the annual charges of maintaining which are estimated at Rs. 200. The Bench Magistrates hold their court in an old building belonging to Government.
Among the Government buildings in the town the Small
Cause Court is the oldest, having been
erected in 1868 at a cost of Rs. 54,183;
beside it and in the same compound stands the Tahsil
building erected two years later for Rs. 34,447. The Telegraph Office (Rs. 16,871) and General Post Office which
also face into Jog square were constructed about the same
time. Postal receipts and expenditure in 1907-08 were
Rs. 30,95,216, and Rs. 8,69,663 respectively. The High
School was built in October 1873, the total expenditure on it
up to the close of 1907-08 being Rs. 72,352. The average
daily attendance of students in the High School was 206
during the year 1907-08. The receipts and expenditure for
the same period were Rs. 3,681 and Rs. 16,258 respectively.
The other buildings are the Anglo-vernacular school, the
Anglo-Hindustani school, the girls' school, the Urdu girls
school and the normal school for women teachers. An Urdu
High School has now been established. In addition the
town contains a charitable dispensary and two police stations,
the gate lodges of the town wall being also utilized as police
Besides Government buildings, there is the fine edifice recently erected to house the Victoria Technical Institute; this has a hall, now the largest in Amraoti. used for darbars, examinations, and other functions. The Lady Dufferin Hospital, the Catholic Dispensary and Convent school intended for purdah ladies, a Free Library and a Theosophical Hall are perhaps the most important charities of the town.
Places of recreation.
Amraoti contains two theatres, the Indra Bhawan in the
old town and the Ganesh outside the walls. There is a small club with
twenty-five or thirty members which possesses two tennis
courts. In Nicoletts Park travelling circuses occasionally
take up their quarters; it is also used for various games.
Factories and Presses.
The number of ginning factories and that of cotton presses which fell within the
scope of the Factories Act stood as 13 and 9 respectively
at the close of 1908. The oldest cotton ginning factory is
owned by the New Mofussil Company Limited which was
started in 1872 along with the cotton and oil presses with a capital of a little over 2 lakhs of rupees. Amongst the cotton
presses that belonging to Messrs. Volkarts is the oldest. It
was opened in 1870 with a capital of Rs. 25,000. The two
oil presses now working here belong one to the New Mofussil
Company and the other to Messrs. Ramji Kanao & Co.
Amraoti has long been known as the principal cotton mart
of Berar. The number of carts loaded with cotton brought for sale in the
cotton market during the cotton season is about 1oo,ooo. The income derived from the cotton market in 1907-80 was Rs. 9,412 and the expenditure Rs. 8,281. The cotton is ginned, pressed and despatched in bales in large quantities to Bombay every year from this station. During the year 1908 ginned cotton weighing 373,626 maunds, of the value of about 60 lakhs of rupees, was exported. The other exports consisted chiefly of cotton seed (156,559 maunds), oilseed (such as linseed, linseed oil, &c.) weighing about 25,481 maunds, and hides and skins (5,663 maunds). The imports were wheat (59,382 maunds), rice(92,862 maunds,) sugar and jagree(14,319 maunds), salt (8,273 maunds) and piece-goods and twist (11,312 maunds).
Amraoti Camp.-The headquarters civil station of the Berars is situated on rising ground to the east of Amraoti Town and about 1,283 feet above sea-level. The area is 12 square miles; the population in 1901, 5,295 persons as compared with 4,709 in the previous census. Of the total population 4,039 are Hindus, 708 Muhammadans, 461 Christians and 87 followers of other religions. The station is well laid out, the climate dry and salubrious, and the mortality rates exceptionally low.
Municipality, Station and Puras.
The municipality here was created in 1889, affairs having
previously been managed by a Civil
station Committee. There are 10
nominated members of whom the
Deputy Commissioner is ex-officio chairman, and the income
in the year 1907-08 was Rs. 17,726; the expenditure being
Rs. 12,862. There were windfalls in the course of the year,
but even when allowance has been made for these the figures
indicate a much healthier state of affairs than had previously
been the case, for in the sixteen years preceding the average
expenditure had been about 300 rupees in excess of the
income. The incidence of income per head in 1908 was
Rs. 3-8-7 and the incidence of taxation R, 1-8-9. The
principal through roads are maintained by the District Board.
The town has not been definitely marked out into wards, but
falls naturally into three or four divisions. Of these the first
is the civil station containing the bungalows of officers and
clerks and the Government offices, and distinguished by the
large amount of open space. To the east lies the purely
agricultural village of Wadali included by reason of its
proximity to the waterworks in municipal limits, and to the
south lies Chuprasipura, a hamlet intended originally as its
name signifies for habitation by peons and orderlies, but
containing now several houses of a better class inhabited by
clerks and subordinate officers. Beyond this to the southward
again and separated from it by a small nullah lie the hamlets
of Fraserpura and Waddarpura inhabited by menials and
stonemasons respectively. Part of the Hamalpura of Amraoti
town also lies in camp limits.
There are excellent wells throughout the whole area, but
for Government offices and the civil
station water is supplied from Wadali Tank. This has a catchment area of about 2 square miles, and
a capacity of over fifteen million cubic feet. It was designed
for a daily supply of thirty gallons a head to a population of
2,000 persons, but there is unfortunately considerable leakage
and pumping operations from a well just below the tank have
often to be resorted to. In good years, however, the supply is
just sufficient; and, as the water passes through excellent
filter beds before entering the main, absolutely reliable. In
the season a certain amount of shooting and fishing is to be
had on the tank but this is strictly regulated.
Amraoti Camp contains the headquarters offices both of the
Division and District, chief among which are the Commissioners, Deputy
Commissioner's and Conservator's offices, the Civil and Sessions Courts, a fine circuit house and a well equipped civil hospital. The post and telegraph office is a branch controlled from the head office in Amraoti town. The police reserve lines have recently been completed. The District Board has a fine office built throughout of trap, the hall of which has been commonly used for darbars etc, though it is now superseded by the larger one of the Victoria Technical Institute at Amraoti. There is no municipal building but the committee meets in a room rented from the District Board,
Amraoti Camp is essentially a modern place, with but little
in the way of history. Tradition has it that the hill known as 'Mai Tekri'
which commands the town, and incidentally serves as a
butt to the Rifle Range, contains buried treasure placed
there by the wealthy sahukars of Amraoti in the old Pindari
times. The guns from which His Highness the Nizam's
salute is fired were cast in the 'forties and are now of
little use except for saluting purposes. To the east of the
civil station lies a small shrine known as Chilam Shah Wali,
and chuprasis and servants both Hindu and Muhammadan
generally ask for an evening's leave early in the hot weather
to attend the Urs.
Amraoti Camp is the headquarters of a company of the
Nagpur Volunteer Rifles formerly the Berar Volunteer Rifles, who have an
institute, a parade ground, a magazine and a rifle range. The
Officers' Club is housed in an extremely comfortable building
having two tennis courts and overlooking the public garden.
There is a passable 9 hole golf course and cricket and hockey
are played on the parade-ground during the season. On a stretch of grazing land managed by the municipality a racecourse has been laid out.
Anjangaon Bari.-Amraoti taluk: 781 houses: population 2,979, is about 4 miles from Badnera, being the next station on the railway line to Nagpur, and has an eighth standard school and post office. The majority of the inhabitants are Baris and the town has extensive garden cultivation (motasthal), the two chief products being betel and plantains. The place, like Badnera, was at one time in the Peshwa's Jagir, and there are the usual rumours of bygone fighting in the neighbourhood, with a crumbling mud fort to bear witness to their truth. The samadhi of one Sadhu Ramgir Bawa about a mile away attracts a small fair annually in the month of December. A tank was built in the neighbouring Chandur-Amraoti hills during the famine of 1899-1goo about 3 miles from Anjangaon.
Anjangaon Surji.-Houses 2,833. Population 11,881. Two large villages (Anjangaon 8,783 inhabitants, Surji 3,098) lying contiguously to one another in the north of the Daryapur taluk and usually spoken of as a single town; though for revenue purposes Anjangaon is divided into eight khels each with a patel and Surji is also separate. Legend connects the name of Anjangaon with Krishna's triumph over Rukmaya; and Surji, also known as Peth Muhammad Nagar after a bygone Musalman fakir, is said to be a corruption of suranji a tree with which the place was formerly overgrown, The public buildings of the town include a police station, a sub-registry, a dispensary, a Marathi and an Urdu boys school and girls schools both Marathi and Urdu. A Bench of Honorary Magistrates has been established here to try petty cases. Betel is largely grown and sold in the neighbourhood and the weekly bazar brings in a bazar cess of about Rs. 3,500 a year. Weavers in large numbers live here and produce saris,cholkhanas,dhotis,khadis, and turbans; four cotton gins have also been established. The town is connected with both Daryapur and Ellichpur by District Board roads, being about 17 miles
from either place. The road to Ellichpur is
and partially bridged. Anjangaon holds an important position in Anglo Indian history for it was here that the second Maratha war was concluded, the treaty with the Nagpur Raja being signed on the 23rd December 1803. On the same day the negotiations with Sindhia commenced, the British being represented by no less distinguished a trio than Sir A. Wellesley, Sir J. Malcolm, and Mountstuart Elphinstone, and the Maratha by Wattel Punt, ' Old Brag ' as Malcolm called him. It was he to whom Wellington afterwards compared Talleyrand, saying that the great Frenchman was like the Brahman 'but not so clever.' (See Kaye's " Life of Malcolm," Vol. I. pp. 240 and 241). The treaty was concluded on the 30th December and was described by Lord Wellesley in a private letter to his brother as ' a glorious and brilliant termination to the war and equal to the lustre of the campaign.'
The Deshpande family were presented with a copy of the treaty in recognition of their hospitality: but this was unfortunately destroyed in 1850 by the Rohilla troops of Ghulam Hasan Khan, Nawab of Ellichpur. This worthy was at open war with the Munsiff of Akot, Saiyid Siraj-ud-din Hasan. [Afterwards Sadrus Sadur or Sessions Judge under British rule.] The armies met at Anjangaon and the Nawab was almost beaten. His adversaries however turned to plunder and in a plucky rally he won the day. ' Hundreds of Rajputs,' says the local historian, ' were killed by the gun of Thomas Brown,' an adventurer in the service of the Nawab. Such was the state of Berar three years before the Assignment. Sheonath Rangopant the great Maratha poet and the religious teacher was born at Anjangaon, but his fame was acquired elsewhere.
Asadpur.-Ellichpur taluk; houses 442. Population 2,355. A village lying a few miles west of Assegaon, consists of the four hamlets of Shahpur, Raipur, Asadpur and Wasin, the whole being sometimes known as Rangaswasni. Nizam Ali Khan, Nizam-us-Sani made a grant of most of the land in these villages to one Mehtab Khan in 1763 A. D. for maintenance, and the Inam Commissioner in 1874 continued Raipur and Shahpur as jagir to his descendants with 100 bighas of land in Asadpur, inam. In 1889, owing to family quarrels, the
management of the jagir villages was taken out of the jagirdar's hand and the land became therefore separate inam survey numbers; Riasat Ali, one of the principal sharers in the jagir, lives at Asadpur. There is a vernacular school and post office, and a weekly bazar on Thursdays.
Assegaon.-A village on the Amraoti-Ellichpur road 18 miles from the former place and just within the borders of the Ellichpur taluk. The river Purna is crossed here by a strong bridge of four large spans. The village has 145 houses and 758 inhabitants, and owing partly to its position as a half-way house between the two cities, and partly to the energies of Raibhan Patel, the public buildings, which include a dak bungalow, an inspection bungalow, a 1st class police station, a sarai, a sub-registry and a school as well as the usual chawri and pound, are for so small a village unusually good. The sub-registry is at present a rural one and is held by Raibhan's grandson. The patel's house is a old semi-fortified building of red brick.