1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sirohi

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
[ 257 ]

SIROHI, a native state of India, in the Rajputana agency. Area 1964 sq. m. The country is much broken up by hills and rocky ranges; the Aravalli range divides it into two portions, running from north-east to south-west. The south and south-east part of the territory is mountainous and rugged, containing the lofty Mount Abu, an isolated mass of granite rock, culminating in a cluster of hills, enclosing several valleys surrounded by rocky ridges, like great hollows. On both sides of the Aravallis the country is intersected with numerous water channels, which run with considerable force and volume during the height of the rainy season, but are dry for the greater part of the year. The only river of any importance is the Western Banas. A large portion of the state is covered with dense jungle, in which wild animals, including the tiger, bear and leopard, abound. Many splendid ruins bear witness to the former prosperity and civilization of the country. The climate is on the whole dry; in the south and east there is usually a fair amount of rain. On Abu the average annual rainfall is about 64 in., whereas in Erinpura, less than 50 m. to the north, the average fall is only between 12 and 13 in. Pop. (1901) 154,544, showing a decrease of 17% in the decade, due to the results of famine. Gross revenue £28,000, tribute £450.

During the early years of the 19th century, Sirohi suffered much from wars with Jodhpur and the wild Mina hill tribes. The protection of the British was sought in 1817; the pretensions of Jodhpur to suzerainty over Sirohi were disallowed, and in 1823 a treaty was concluded with the British government. For services rendered during the Mutiny of 1857 the chief received a remission of half his tribute. The chief, whose title is maharao, is a Deora Rajput of the Chauhan clan, and claims descent from the last Hindu king of Delhi. The state is traversed by the Rajputana railway.

The town of Sirohi is 28 m. N. of Abu-road station. Pop. (1901) 5651. It has manufactures of sword-blades and other weapons. The Crosthwaite hospital, which is built and equipped on modern principles, was opened by Sir Robert Crosthwaite in December 1897.