1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kathiawar

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KATHIAWAR, or Kattywar, a peninsula of India, within the Gujarat division of Bombay, giving its name to a political agency. Total area, about 23,400 sq. m.; pop. (1901), 2,645,805. These figures include a portion of the British district of Ahmedabad, a portion of the state of Baroda, and the small Portuguese settlement of Diu. The peninsula is bounded N. by the Runn of Cutch, E. by Ahmedabad district and the Gulf of Cambay, and S. and W. by the Arabian Sea. The extreme length is 220 m.; the greatest breadth about 165 m. Generally speaking, the surface is undulating, with low ranges running in various directions. With the exception of the Tangha and Mandav hills, in the west of Jhalawar, and some unimportant hills in Hallar, the northern portion of the country is flat; but in the south, from near Gogo, the Gir range runs nearly parallel with the coast, and at a distance of about 20 m. from it, along the north of Babriawar and Sorath, to the neighbourhood of Girnar. Opposite this latter mountain is the solitary Osam hill, and then still farther west is the Barada group, between Hallar and Barada, running about 20 m. north and south from Gumli to Ranawao. The Girnar group of mountains is an important granitic mass, the highest peak of which rises to 3500 ft. The principal river is the Bhadar, which rises in the Mandav hills, and flowing S.W. falls into the sea at Navi-Bandar; it is everywhere marked by highly cultivated lands adjoining its course of about 115 m. Other rivers are the Aji, Machhu and Satrunji—the last remarkable for romantic scenery. Four of the old races, the Jaitwas, Churasamas, Solunkis and Walas still exist as proprietors of the soil who exercised sovereignty in the country prior to the immigration of the Jhalas, Jadejas, Purmars, Kathis, Gohels, Jats, Mahommedans and Mahrattas, between whom the country is now chiefly portioned out. Kathiawar has many notable antiquities, comprising a rock inscription of Asoka, Buddhist caves, and fine Jain temples on the sacred hill of Girnar and at Palitana.

The political agency of Kathiawar has an area of 20,882 sq. m. In 1901 the population was 2,329,196, showing a decrease of 15% in the decade due to the results of famine. The estimated gross revenue of the several states is £1,278,000; total tribute (payable to the British, the gaekwar of Baroda and the nawab of Junagarh), £70,000. There are altogether 193 states of varying size and importance, of which 14 exercise independent jurisdiction, while the rest are more or less under British administration. The eight states of the first class are Junagaw, Nawanagar, Bhaunagar, Porbandar, Dhrangadra, Morvi, Gondal and Jafarabad. The headquarters of the political agent are at Rajkot, in the centre of the peninsula, where also is the Rajkumar college, for the education of the sons of the chiefs. There is a similar school for girasias, or chiefs of lower rank, at Gondal. An excellent system of metre-gauge railways has been provided at the cost of the leading states. Maritime trade is also very active, the chief ports being Porbandar, Mangrol and Verawal. In 1903–1904 the total sea-borne exports were valued at £1,300,000, and the imports at £1,120,000. The progressive prosperity of Kathiawar received a shock from the famine of 1899–1900, which was felt everywhere with extreme severity.