Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/884

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867
RAJSHAHI—RÁKÓCZY

very simple; in the country west of the Aravallis only one crop is raised in the year, while in other parts south and east of the Aravallis two crops are raised annually, and various kinds of cereals, pulses and fibres are grown. In the desert tracts fine breeds of camels, cattle, horses and sheep are to be found wherever there is pasturage. Irrigation, mostly from wells, is almost confined to the N. portion. The country is traversed throughout by the Rajputana railway, with its Malwa branch in the south, and diverging to Agra and Delhi in the north. Jodhpur, Udaipur and Bikanir have constructed branch railways at their own cost, the first of which was extended in 1901 to Hyderabad in Sind. In 1909 another line was opened running N. near the E. boundary from Kotah to Bharatpur.

History.—Only faint outlines can be traced of the condition of Rajputana previous to the invasion of Upper India by the Mahommedans, and these indicate that the country was subject for the most part to two or three powerful tribal dynasties. Chief of these were the Rahtors, who ruled at Kanauj; the Chauhans of Ajmere; the Solankis of Anhilwara, in Gujarat; the Gehlots with the Sisodhyias sept, still in Mewar or Udaipur; and the Kachwaha clan, still in Jaipur. These tribal dynasties of Rajputs were gradually supplanted by the Moslem invaders of the 11th century and weakened by internal feuds. At the beginning of the 16th century the Rajput power began to revive, only to be overthrown by Baber at Fatehpur Sikri in 1527. The clans were finally either conquered, overawed or conciliated by Akbar—all except the distant Sisodhyia clan, which, however, submitted to Jehangir in 1616. From Akbar's accession to Aurangzeb's death, a period of 151 years, the Mogul was India's master. Aurangzeb's death and the invasion of Nadir Shah led to a triple alliance among the three leading chiefs, which internal jealousy so weakened that the Mahrattas, having been called in by the Rahtors to aid them, took possession of Ajmere about 1756; thenceforward Rajputana became involved in the general disorganization of India. By the end of the century nearly the whole of Rajputana had been virtually subdued by the Mahrattas. The victories of Generals Wellesley and Lake, however, saved the Rajputs; but on Lord Wellesley's departure from India the floodgates of anarchy were reopened for ten years. On the outbreak of the Pindari War in 1817 the British government offered its protection. The Pindaris were put down, Amir Khan submitting and signing a treaty which constituted him the first ruler of the existing state of Tonk. By the end of 1818 similar treaties had been executed by the other Rajput states with the paramount power. Sindhia gave up the district of Ajmere to the British, and the pressure of the great Mahratta powers upon Rajputana was permanently withdrawn. Since then the political history of Rajputana has been comparatively uneventful. The great storm of the Mutiny of 1857, though dangerous while it lasted, was short. Most of the rajas remained loyal; and the capture of the town of Kotah, which had been held by the mutineers of that state, in March 1858, marked the extinction of armed rebellion.

Rajputana is of great archaeological interest, possessing some fine religious buildings in ruins and others in excellent preservation. Among the latter are the mosques at Ajmere and the temples on Abu. But the most characteristic features of architecture in the country are shown in the forts and palaces of the chiefs and in their cenotaphs.

See J. Tod, Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan (1829, 1832); W. W. Webb, Currencies of the Hindu States of Rajputana (1893); Chiefs and Leading Families of Rajputana (1903); and Rajputana Gazetteer (Calcutta, 1908).


RAJSHAHI, a district and division of British India, in the province of Eastern Bengal and Assam. The administrative headquarters are at Rampur Boalia. The area of the district is 2593 sq. m., comprising an alluvial plain seamed with old river-beds and studded with marshes. The Ganges and the Mahananda are its principal rivers; the former constitutes a great natural boundary-line to the south and south-west, and the latter, which rises in the Himalayas, borders the district on the west for a few miles before joining the Ganges. Other rivers are the Narad and Baral, important offshoots of the Ganges; the Atrai, a channel of the Tista; and the Jamuna, a tributary of the Atrai. Both the Atrai and the Jamuna belong to the Brahmaputra system and are navigable throughout the year for small cargo boats. The drainage of Rajshahi is not carried off by means of its rivers, but through the chains of marshes and swamps, the most important of which is the Chalan bhil or lake, which discharges itself into the Brahmaputra. In 1901 the population was 1,462,407, showing an increase of 1.6% in the decade. Rice is the staple crop, with pulses, oilseeds and jute. Indigo has disappeared. Sericulture has received a stimulus from the efforts of the agricultural department, supported by private enterprise, to improve the breed of silkworms. The hemp grown on a small tract in the north of the district supplies all the ganja that is consumed in Bengal. The district is traversed from south to north by the main line of the Eastern Bengal railway to Darjeeling, with a branch to Bogra. Most of the permanent buildings in the district were severely damaged by the earthquake of the 12th of June 1897. When the East India Company took over the administration of Bengal in 1765, the zamindari of Rajshahi or Nattor was one of the largest and most important in the province. It appears to have extended from Bhagalpur on the west to Dacca on the east, and to have included an important subdivision called Nij-Chakla Rajshahi on the south of the Ganges. The total area was estimated at 13,000 sq. m., or more than five times the size of the present district. Having been found much too large to be effectually administered by one central authority, Rajshahi was stripped in 1793 of a considerable portion of its outlying territory, and a natural boundary-line was drawn to the west, south and east along the Ganges and Brahmaputra. Its north-western limits were reduced in 1813, when the present district of Malda was constituted. The erection of Bogra into a separate jurisdiction in 1821 still further reduced its area, and in 1832 the limits of Rajshahi were fixed by the constitution of Pabna into an independent jurisdiction.

The Division of Rajshahi is coextensive with northern Bengal, from the Ganges to the mountains. It comprises the seven districts of Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri, Malda, Rangpur, Bogra and Pabna. Total area, 18,091 sq. m. Pop. (1901) 9,130,072.


RAKE (O.E. raca, cognate with Du. raak, Ger. Rechen, from a root meaning to scrape together, heap up), an agricultural and horticultural implement consisting of a toothed bar fixed transversely to a handle, and used for the collection of cut hay, grass, &c., and, in gardening, for loosening the soil, light weeding and levelling, and generally for purposes performed in agriculture by the harrow. The teeth of the hand-rake are of wood or iron. For the horse-drawn rake, a bar with long curved steel teeth is mounted on wheels (see Hay and Haymaking). The word “rake” has been used since the 17th century in the sense of a man of a dissolute or dissipated character. This is a shortened form of the earlier “rake-hell,” apparently in common use in the 16th century. In military and naval use “to rake” means to enfilade, to fire so that the shot may pass lengthwise along a ship, a line of soldiers, entrenchments, &c. In the nautical sense of the projection or slope of a ship's bows or stern or the inclination of a mast, the word is apparently an adaptation of the Scandinavian raka, to reach, in the sense of reach forward.


RÁKÓCZY, the name of a noble Hungarian family, which in the 10th century was settled in the county of Zemplén, and members of which played an important part in the history of Hungary during the 17th century.

George I., prince of Transylvania (1591–1648), who began his career as governor of Onod, was the youngest son of Sigismund Rákóczy (1544–1608), who shared in the insurrection of Stephen Bocskay against the Emperor Rudolph II., and was for a short time prince of Transylvania. In 1616 he married his second wife, the highly gifted zealous Calvinist, Susannah Lorántffy, who exercised a great influence over him. He then took a leading part in the rebellion of Gabriel Bethlen, who