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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 5, p. 243.


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ALAIORA DISTRICT


243


Varma, in order to put an end to the commercial supremacy of the
Dutch, who with their factory at Porakad had monopolized all the north
Travancore commerce. Foreign merchants settled here on invitation
and the port was opened to foreign trade. To facilitate the transport
of merchandise, a canal was cut to connect the port with the interior
backwaters. Towards the close of the eighteenth century warehouses
and shops were built at State expense, a system of forest conservancy
was introduced, and officers were appointed to collect and forward all
hill-produce to Alleppey. The town soon increased in importance, and
by the first quarter of the last century it had become the premier port
of Travancore, a position which it still maintains. It is a convenient
dep6t for the storage and disposal of all forest produce, and possesses
a harbour affording safe anchorage during the greater part of the year.
This is formed by the natural breakwater which exists in the roadstead
in the shape of a remarkable mud-bank, or floating mud-island, which
breaks the force of the roughest seas and ensures shelter to vessels in
the roadstead. A lighthouse at the entrance to the harbour bears
a revolving light visible about 20 miles out at sea. A tramway worked
by coolies conveys goods from the pier to the warehouses close by.
Several oil-mills are in operation, and the manufacture of coir matting
is carried on to a large extent. The chief exports are copra, coco-nuts,
coir, coir matting, cardamoms, ginger, and pepper. The imports consist
of rice, Bombay salt, tobacco, metals, and piece-goods. The customs
revenue from exports averages about Rs. I,90,000 per annum and from
imports Rs. Io,ooo. The harbour returns show that shipping with an
annual tonnage of 280,585 (steamers 260,000 tons and sailing vessels
20,585 tons) touch at the port.
In 1894 the town was placed under a town improvement committee,
and since then Rs. 5,000 has been spent annually by the State on its
improvement and conservancy. Alleppey contains the courts of a
District and Sessions Judge, a Munsif, and the District first-class and
second-class magistrates.
Allir.--Town in the north of the Nellore taluk of Nellore District,
Madras, situated in 14 41' N. and 80o 3' E. Population (19I0), 7,527,
chiefly agriculturists. It is the head-quarters of a deputy-fahszlddr. The
land revenue is the largest in the District, the demand being Rs. 53,000.
The Iskapalli salt factory is situated on the coast, 5 miles distant.
Allur-cuzm-Kottapatam.-Town and port in Guntar District,
Madras. See KOTTAPATAM.
Almora District.-North-eastern District in the Kumaun Division,
United Provinces, lying between 28 59' and 30 49' N. and 79 2' and
81 31' E., with an area of 5,419 square miles. It is bounded on the
north by Tibet; on the east by the Kali river, which divides it from
Nepal; on the south by Nainm Tal District; and on the north-west by
R 2



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