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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 5, p. 289.


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289


the density being 379 persons per square mile. The apparent decrease
is accounted for by the presence of a large number of labourers from
outside at the time of the Census of I891. The demand for land
revenue and cesses amounted in 1903-4 to Rs. 4,74,000. The taluk is
mainly composed of the valleys of the Tambraparni and its affluents,
which contain rich areas of rice cultivation yielding two unfailing crops
every year. The irrigation system, which depends upon numerous dams
across the Tambraparni, is ancient and very complete. Excepting the
river valleys, however, the soil is rocky and poor. There are two
zaminddris, Singampatti and Urkad, both of which are well situated for
irrigation, the former from the Manimuttar and the latter from the
Tambraparni. The valley of this latter river is studded with numerous
towns and villages, containing a large population of wealthy Brahman
landowners, to whose enterprise and intelligence the prosperity of the
taluk is mainly due. AMBASAMUDRAMI (population, 12,869) is the head-
quarters; but VIRAVANALLUR (I7,327), KALLIDAIKURICHI (14,913), and
SERMADEVI (13,474) are larger places. PAPANASAM, a famous place of
pilgrimage, is situated within it, and there are 84 other villages.
Ambasamudram Town.-Head-quarters of the Itluk of the same
name in Tinnevelly District, Madras, situated in 8° 42' N. and 77° 27'
E., on the left bank of the Tambraparni river, 20 miles above Tinne-
velly town. Population (1901), 12,869. Local affairs are managed
by a Union panchkdyat. There is a high school, managed by a local
committee.
Ambela.-A mountain pass in Buner, just beyond the north-east
border of Peshawar District, North-West Frontier Province, situated in
34° 24' N. and 720 38' E. The pass gave its name to the Ambela
campaign of 1863. In 1824 one Saiyid Ahmad Shah of Bareilly,
a companion-in-arms of the famous Amir Khan, the Pindari, settled
with about forty followers among the Yfsufzai tribes on the Peshawar
border. This event occurred just after Ranjit Singh had gained his
great victory over the Pathans at Naushahra. Driven out of the Peshawar
valley by the Sikhs in 1827, Saiyid Ahmad sought refuge in Swat, and
eventually in Buner, but in 1829 he seized Peshawar. His Pathan
disciples, however, soon tired of his attempted reforms, and drove him
across the Indus to Balakot in Hazara. There he was attacked by the
Sikhs under Sher Singh, and defeated and slain. His surviving disciples
sought a refuge at Sittana, a village of the Utmanzai Yfsufzai. Here
under Saiyid Akbar Shah, spiritual chief of Swat, the Hindustani
fanatics built a fort and established a colony, which soon became an
asylum for political refugees, escaped criminals, and deserters from
British India. After the annexation of the Punjab, this colony became
a source of anxiety to the Government; and in I853 an invasion of the
territory of the Khan of Amb, a British feudatory, necessitated a punitive
VOL. V. u



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