1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hoshangabad

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HOSHANGABAD, a town and district of British India, in the Nerbudda division of the Central Provinces. The town stands on the left bank of the Nerbudda, 1009 ft. above the sea, and has a railway station. Pop. (1901), 14,940. It is supposed to have been founded by Hoshang Shah, the second of the Ghori kings of Malwa, in the 15th century; but it remained an insignificant place till the Bhopal conquest about 1720, when a massive stone fort was constructed, with its base on the river, commanding the Bhopal road. It sustained several sieges during the 18th century, and passed alternately into the hands of the Bhopal and Nagpur rulers. Since 1818 it has been the residence of the chief British officials in charge of the district. It has a government high school, and agricultural school and a brass-working industry.

The District of Hoshangabad has an area of 3676 sq. m. Pop. (1901), 449,165, showing a decrease of 10% in the decade, due to famine. It may be described as a valley of varying breadth, extending for 150 m. between the Nerbudda river and the Satpura mountains. The soil consists chiefly of black basaltic alluvium, often more than 20 ft. deep; but along the banks of the Nerbudda the fertility of the land compensates for the tameness of the scenery. Towards the west, low stony hills and broken ridges cut up the level ground, while the Vindhyas and the Satpuras throw out jutting spurs and ranges. In this wilder country considerable regions are covered with jungle. On the south the lofty range which shuts in the valley is remarkable in mountain scenery, surpassing in its picturesque irregularity the Vindhyan chain in the north. Many streams take their rise amid its precipices, then, winding through deep glens, flow across the plain between sandy banks covered with low jungle till they swell the waters of the Nerbudda. None is of any importance except the Tawa, which is interesting to the geologist on account of the many minerals to be found along its course. The boundary rivers, the Nerbudda and Tapti, are the only considerable waters in Hoshangabad. The principal crops are wheat, millets and oil-seeds. The district is traversed throughout its length by the Great Indian Peninsula railway.