1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mainpuri

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MAINPURI, or Mynpooree, a town and district of British India, in the Agra division of the United Provinces. The town has a station on a branch of the East Indian railway recently opened from Shikohabad. Pop. (1901), 19,000. It consists of two separate portions, Mainpuri proper and Mukhamganj. Holkar plundered and burned part of the town in 1804, but was repulsed by the local militia. Since the British occupation the population has rapidly increased and many improvements have been carried out. The Agra branch of the Grand Trunk road runs through the town, forming a wide street lined on both sides by shops, which constitute the principal bazaar. Mainpuri has a speciality in the production of carved wooden articles inlaid with brass wire. The American Presbyterian mission manages a high school.

The District of Mainpuri lies in the central Doab. Area, 1675 sq. m. Pop. (1901), 829,357, an increase of 8.8% in the decade. It consists of an almost unbroken plain, intersected by small rivers, with a few undulating sand ridges. It is wooded throughout with mango groves, and isolated clumps of bábul trees occasionally relieve the bareness of its saline usar plains. On the south-western boundary the Jumna flows in a deep alluvial bed, sometimes sweeping close to the high banks which overhang its valley, and elsewhere leaving room for a narrow strip of fertile soil between the river and the upland plain. From the low-lying lands thus formed a belt of ravines stretches inland for some 2 m., often covered with jungle, but affording good pasturage for cattle. The district is watered by two branches of the Ganges canal, and is traversed by the main line of the East Indian railway.

Mainpuri anciently formed part of the great kingdom of Kanauj, and after the fall of that famous state it was divided into a number of petty principalities, of which Rapri and Bhongaon were the chief. In 1194 Rapri was made the seat of a Moslem governor. Mainpuri fell to the Moguls on Baber’s invasion in 1526, and, although temporarily wrested from them by the short-lived Afghan dynasty of Shere Shah, was again occupied by them on the reinstatement of Humayun after the victory of Panipat. Like the rest of the lower Doab, Mainpuri passed, towards the end of the 18th century, into the power of the Mahrattas, and finally became a portion of the province of Oudh. When this part of the country was ceded to the British, in 1801, Mainpuri town became the headquarters of the extensive district of Etawah, which was in 1856 reduced by the formation of Etah and Mainpuri into separate collectorates. On the outbreak of the Mutiny in 1857 the regiment stationed at Mainpuri revolted and attacked the town, which was successfully defended by the few Europeans of the station for a week, until the arrival of the Jhansi mutineers made it necessary to abandon the district.