This large tract, extending from the Arabian Sea on the west to the Satpura mountains in the north, comprises a good part of western and central India, including the modern provinces of the Konkan, Khandesh, Berar, the British Deccan, part of Nagpur, and about half the nizam's Deccan.
Thus Raghoji Bhonsla established himself in the tracts lying underneath the southern base of the Satpura range (namely, Nagpur and Berar), overran Orissa and entered Bengal.
CENTRAL PROVINCES AND BERAR, a province of British India, which was formed in October 1903 by the amalgamation of the Central Provinces and the Hyderabad Assigned Districts.
The province, therefore, now consists of the five British divisions of Jubbulpore, Nerbudda, Nagpur, Chhattisgarh and Berar, which are divided into the twenty-two districts of Saugor, Damoh, Jubbulpore, Mandla, Seoni, Narsinghpur, Hoshangabad, Nimar, Betul, Chhindwara, Wardha, Nagpur, Chanda, Bhandara, Balaghat, Raipur, Bilaspur, Amraoti, Akola, Ellichpur, Buldana and Wun; and the fifteen tributary states of Makrai, Bastar, Kanker, Nandgaon, Kairagarh, Chhuikhadan, Kawardha, Sakti, Raigarh, Sarangarh, Chang Bhakar, Korea, Sirguja, Udaipur and Jashpur.
To the south the province is shut in by the wide mountainous tract which stretches from the Bay of Bengal through Bastar to the Godavari, and west of that river is continued onward to the rocky ridges and plateaus of Khandesh by a succession of ranges that enclose the plain of Berar along its southern border.
Berar consists mainly of the valley lying between the Satpura range of mountains in the north and the Ajanta range in the south.
In addition to the Melghat mountain tract which walls it in on the north, Berar is divided into two sections, the Payanghat or lowland country, bounded on the north by the Gawilgarh hills, and on the south by the outer scarps of the Ajanta range, and the Balaghat or upland country above the Ajanta ridge, sloping down southwards beyond the ghats or passes which lead up to it.
It contains all the best land in Berar; it is full of deep, rich, black alluvial soil, of almost inexhaustible fertility, and it undulates sufficiently to maintain a natural system of drainage, but there is nothing picturesque about this broad strip of champaign country.
The provinces may be divided into two tracts of upland and three of plain, consisting of the Vindhya and Satpura plateaus, and the Berar, Nagpur and Chhattisgarh plains.
To the south of the Satpuras and extending along its base from west to east lie successively the Berar, Nagpur and Chhattisgarh plains.
The surface soil of Berar is to a great extent a rich black vegetable mould; and where this surface soil does not exist, there are muram and trap with a shallow upper crust of inferior light soil.
The climate of Berar differs very little from that of the Deccan generally, except that in the Payanghat valley the hot weather may be exceptionally severe.
The staple crops of Berar are cotton and juar.
The form of the administration of Berar was in 1903 entirely reorganized.
In November 1902 a fresh settlement was arranged and Berar was leased in perpetuity to the British government in return for an annual rental of 25 lakhs.
As the immediate result of this change the offices of heads of departments in Berar, except the j udicial commissionership and the conservatorship of forests, were amalgamated with the corresponding appointments in the Central Provinces, and Berar is now treated as one of the divisions of that province for purposes of revenue administration, with a divisional commissioner as its immediate head.
The population of the Central Provinces and Berar as now defined according to the census of 1901 was 10,847,325, and is of very diverse ethical construction, having been recruited by immigration from the countries surrounding it on all sides.
There are six main divisions of the people: the Dravidian tribes, who formerly held the country; Hindi-speaking immigrants from the north and north-west into Saugor, Damoh, the Nerbudda valley and the open country of Mandla and Seoni; Rajasthani-speaking immigrants from Central India into Nimar, Betul and parts of Hoshangabad, Narsinghpur and Chhindwara; Marathi-speaking immigrants from Bombay into Berar, the Mahratta districts and the southern tahsil of Betul; the Telugu castes in the Sironcha and Chanda tahsil of Chanda and the south of Bastar; and the Hindu immigrants into Chhattisgarh, who are supposed to have arrived many centuries ago when the Haihaya dynasty of Ratanpur rose into power.
Thirty languages and a hundred and six dialects are found in the Central Provinces alone, and twenty-eight languages and sixty-eight dialects in Berar.
The chief languages of Berar are Marathi, Urdu, Gondi, Banjari, Hindi, Marwari, Telugu, Korku and Gujarati.
of Asoka, of the Guptas of Maghada, or of the ancient Hindu kingdom of Vidarbha (Berar); and inscriptions and numerous discoveries of coins prove that, during the middle ages, the open spaces were occupied by a series o Rajput dynasties.
In addition to the acquisitions made in the north at the expense of Garha-Mandla, the Moguls, after the annexation of Berar, established governors at Paunar in Wardha and Kherla in Betul.
In 1743 Raghoji Bhonsla of Berar established himself at Nagpur, and by 1751 had conquered the territories of Deogarh, Chanda and Chhattisgarh.
Under this latter raja the Nagpur state covered practically the whole of the present Central Provinces and Berar, as well as Orissa and some of the Chota Nagpur states.
In 1803 Raghoji joined Sindhia against the British; the result was the defeat of the allies at Assaye and Argaon, and the treaty of Deogaon, by which Raghoji had to cede Cuttack, Sambalpur and part of Berar.
In spite of a treaty signed with the British in this year, Mudhoji in 1817 joined the peshwa, but was defeated at Sitabaldi and forced to cede the rest of Berar to the nizam, and parts of Saugor and Damoh, with Mandla, Betul, Seoni and the Nerbudda valley, to the British.
On the 1st of October 1903 Berar also was placed under the administration of the commissioner of the Central Provinces (for history see Berar).
Berar also suffered from the famines of 1897 and 1900.
The village is memorable for an action which took place on the 28th of November 1803 between the British army, commanded by Major-General Wellesley (afterwards duke of Wellington), and the Mahrattas under Sindhia and the raja of Berar, in which the latter were defeated with great loss.
BASIM, a town of India, in the Akola district, Berar, 52 m.
The climate of the locality is better than that of the other districts of Berar; the hot wind which blows during the day in the summer months being succeeded at night by a cool breeze.
A railway is projected from Itarsi through the district to Berar.
In 1703 a Mussulman convert of the Gond tribe held the country, and in 1743 Raghoji Bhonsla, the Mahratta ruler of Berar, annexed it to his dominions.
BERAR, known also as the Hyderabad Assigned Districts, formerly a province administered on behalf of the nizam of Hyderabad by the British government, but since the 1st of October 1903 under the administration of the commissionergeneral for the Central Provinces.
The origin of the name Berar is not known, but may perhaps be a corruption of Vidarbha, the name of a kingdom in the Deccan of which, in the period of the Mahabharata, Berar probably formed part.
The history of Berar belongs generally to that of the Deccan, the country falling in turn under the sway of the various dynasties which successively ruled in southern India, the first authentic records showing it to have been part of the Andhra or Satavahana empire.
On the final fall of the Chalukyas in the 12th century, Berar came under the sway of the Yadavas of Deogiri, and remained in their possession till the Mussulman invasions at the end of the 13th century.
On the establishment of the Bahmani dynasty in the Deccan (1348) Berar was constituted one of the four provinces into which their kingdom was divided, being governed by great nobles, with a separate army.
The Bahmani dynasty was, however, already tottering to its fall; and in 1490 Imad-ul-Mulk, governor of Gawil, who had formerly held all Berar, proclaimed his independence and proceeded to annex Mahur to his new kingdom.
He died in 1504 and his direct descendants held the sultanate of Berar until 1561, when Burhan Imad Shah was deposed by his minister Tufal Khan, who assumed the kingship. This gave a pretext for the intervention of Murtaza Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar, who in 1572 invaded Berar, imprisoned and put to death Tufal Khan, his son Shams-ul-Mulk, and the ex-king Burhan, and annexed Berar to his own dominions.
In 1595 Sultan Murad, son of the emperor Akbar, besieged Ahmednagar, and was bought off by the formal cession of Berar.
In 1724 the Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah established the independent line of the nizams of Hyderabad, and thenceforth the latter claimed to be de jure sovereigns of Berar, with exception of certain districts (Mehkar, Umarkhed, &c.) ceded to the peshwa in 1760 and 1795.
By the partition treaty of Hyderabad (1804) these ceded territories in Berar were transferred to the nizam, together with some tracts about Sindkhed and Jalna which had been held by Sindhia.
By a treaty of 1822, which extinguished the Mahratta right to levy chauth, the Wardha river was fixed as the eastern boundary of Berar, the Melghat and adjoining districts in the plains being assigned to the nizam in exchange for the districts east of the Wardha held by the peshwa.
Though Berar was no longer oppressed by its Mahratta taskmasters nor harried by Pindari and Bhil raiders, it remained long a prey to the turbulent elements let loose by the sudden cessation of the wars.
It was these "Hyderabad Assigned Districts" which were popularly supposed to form the province of Berar, though they coincided in extent neither with the Berar of the nizams nor with the old Mogul province.
In 1860, by a new treaty which modified in the nizam's favour that of 1853, it was agreed that Berar should be held in trust by the British government for the purposes specified in the treaty of 1853.
Under British control Berar rapidly recovered its prosperity.
As representative of the landowners of Berar and Bengal he took an important part in the discussion on the Bengal Tenancy Bill.
In the meantime Sindhia and Holkar, with the raja of Berar,.
Wellesley marched northwards, captured Ahmadnagar on the 11th, crossed the Godavery ten days later, and moved against the combined forces of Sindhia and the raja of Berar.
On the 23rd of September Wellesley supposed himself to be still some miles from the enemy; he suddenly found that the entire forces of Sindhia and the raja of Berar were close in front of him at Assaye.
The treaties with Sindhia and the raja of Berar, which marked the downfall of the Mahratta power, were negotiated and signed by Wellesley (who was made K.B.
His legitimate consort was Rukmini, daughter of the king of Berar; but Radha is always associated with him in his temples.
On the dissolution of the Bahmani empire (1482), its dominions were distributed into the five Mahommedan states of Golconda, Bijapur, Ahmednagar, Bidar and Berar.
Berar had already been annexed by Ahmednagar in 1572, and Bidar was absorbed by Bijapur in 1609.
The peshwa's dominions were annexed, and those of Sindhia, Holkar, and the raja of Berar lay at the mercy of the governor-general, and were saved only by his moderation.
AMRAOTI, or Umrawattee, a town and district of India, in Berar, Central Provinces.
It is the richest town of Berar, with the most numerous and substantial commercial population.
comprises the Central Provinces and Berar, the presidencies /and of Madras and Bombay, and the territories of Hyderabad, Mysore and other feudatory states.
Last come the chief commissionerships, of which the Central Provinces (with Berar) rank scarcely below the lieutenant-governorships, while the rest - the North-West Frontier Province, British Baluchistan, Ajmer-Merwara, Coorg and the Andamans - are minor charges, generally associated with political supervision over native states or frontier tribes.
The principal cotton-growing tracts are the plains of Gujarat and Kathiawar, whence Indian cotton has received in the Liverpool market the historic name of " Surat "; the highlands of the Deccan, and the valleys of the Central Provinces and Berar.
These were - (1) the Adil Shahi dynasty, with its capital at Bijapur, founded in 1490 by a Turk; (2) the Kutb Shahi dynasty, with its capital at Golconda, founded in 1512 by a Turkoman adventurer; (3) the Nizam Shahi dynasty, with its capital at Ahmednagar, founded in 1490 by a Brahman renegade; (4) the Imad Shahi dynasty of Berar, with its capital at Ellichpur, founded in 1484 also by a Hindu from Vijayanagar; (5) the Barid Shahi dynasty, with its capital at Bidar, founded about 1492 by one who is variously described as a Turk and a Georgian slave.
At last he turned his arms against the Mahommedan kings of the Deccan, and wrested from them Berar; but the permanent conquest of the south was reserved for Aurangzeb.
Chief among these generals were the gaikwar in Gujarat, Sindhia and Holkar in Malwa, and the Bhonsla raja of Berar and Nagpur.
Sir Eyre Coote, the victor of Wandiwash, was sent by sea to relieve Madras with all the men and money available, while Colonel Pearse marched south overland to overawe the raja of Berar and the nizam.
Towards the east the Bhonsla raja of Nagpur reigned from Berar to the coast of Orissa.
The Bhonsla raja forfeited Orissa to the English, who had already occupied it with a flying column, and Berar to the nizam, who gained a fresh addition by every act of complaisance to the British government.
Though the Brahman, who by this time had firmly secured his supremacy over the kshatriya, or noble, in matters spiritual as well as in legislative and administrative functions, would naturally be the prime mover in this regulation of the social 4 Thus, in Berar," there is a strong non-Aryan leaven in the dregs of the agricultural class, derived from the primitive races which have gradually melted down into settled life, and thus become fused with the general community, while these same races are still distinct tribes in the wild tracts of hill and jungle."Sir Alfred C. Lyall, As.
Central Provinces and Berar >>
ASSAYE, a village of Hyderabad or the Nizam's Dominions, in southern India, just beyond the Berar frontier.
The place is celebrated as the site of a battle fought on the 23rd of September 1803 between the combined Mahratta forces under Sindhia and the rajah of Berar and the British under Major-General Wellesley, afterwards the duke of Wellington.
BULDANA, a town and district of India, in Berar.
The southern part forms a portion of Berar Balaghat or Berar - above the Ghats.
Situated as the district is in the neighbourhood of the great cotton market of Khamgaon, and nearer to Bombay than the other Berar districts, markets for its agricultural produce on favourable terms are easily found.
Rice, the chief export, is sent to Bombay, Berar and northern India.
AKOLA, a town and district of India, in Berar, otherwise known as the Hyderabad Assigned Districts.
Akola is one of the chief centres of the cotton trade in Berar, and has numerous ginning factories and cotton presses.
m., and the population 582,540.) The surface of the country is generally flat, the greater part being situated in the central valley of Berar.
The climate resembles that of Berar generally, but the heat during April to mid-June, when the rains begin, is very great, the average temperature at the town of Akola in May for the twenty-five years ending 1901 being 94.4° F.
The history of Akola is not distinguished from that of the other portions of Berar.
In 1724 it came, with the rest of Berar, under the dominion of the nizam, being assigned to the British in 1853.
Murad, founding the city of Shahpur, fixed his seat at Berar, and after his death in 1598, and the conquest of the Deccan by Akbar, the province was united with Ahmednagar and Khandesh under the emperor's fifth son, Daniyal (d.
After Akbar's death (1605) Berar once more became independent under the Abyssinian Malik Ambar (d.
The climate resembles that of Berar generally, but the heat during April to mid-June, when the rains begin, is very great, the average temperature at the town of Akola in May for the twenty-five years ending 1901 being 94.4Ã‚° F.
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