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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 7, p. 104.

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104 BASI / 0 TOWITw
with which it is connected by a good metalled road. Population
(1901), 13,823. Basim is said to be a very old town, and to have
been founded by Wachh, a Rishi. A legend tells of a king, Vasuki,
afflicted with leprosy, who was cured by bathing in a pool outside the
town, which he enlarged to a tank, known as Padma Tirtha, still largely
resorted to for bathing. It is also said to petrify articles exposed to
its action. The deshmukhs of Basim in the seventeenth century
received large grants of land and perquisites from the Mughal
emperors, and the family has always been of some consideration
in South Berar. After the Bhonsla ruler of Nagpur ceased to receive
a share (40 per cent.) of the revenue, the Nizam stationed troops and
established a mint at Basim. The most striking buildings are the
temple and tank of Balaji, constructed rather more than a hundred
years ago by Bhawani Kalu, a general of the Bhonslas. The muni-
cipality was created in I867. The receipts and expenditure during
the ten years ending i90o averaged Rs. I3,400 and Rs. 12,700. In
1903-4 the receipts were Rs. I8,ooo, principally from taxes, the expen-
diture, mainly devoted to education and conservancy, being nearly the
same. The town contains several ginning factories and a cotton-press.
It was the head-quarters of Basim District till 1905, when that District
ceased to exist as a separate administrative unit.
Basirhat Subdivision.-North-eastern subdivision of the District
of the Twenty-four Parganas, Bengal, lying between 21° 31′ and
22° 55′ N. and 88° 33′ and 89° 6′ E., with an area of 1,922 square
miles, of which 1,584 are included in the SUNDARBANS. The northern
part of the subdivision consists of a fertile alluvial tract; but to the
south, where the delta is in a less advanced stage of growth, there is
a network of tidal creeks winding through numerous islands and
morasses. The population in 190o was 372,I87, compared with
347,138 in 189I, the density being 194 persons per square mile. It
contains three towns, BASIRHAT (population, 17,001), its head-quarters,
BADURIA (12,921) and TAKI (5,089); and 920 villages.
Basirhat Town.-Head-quarters of the subdivision of the same
name in the District of the Twenty-four Parganas, Bengal, situated in
22° 40′ N. and 88° 51′ E., on the right bank of the Jamuna river.
Population (g19o), 17,o00. Basirhat was constituted a municipality in
1869. The income and expenditure during the decade ending
1901-2 averaged Rs. 6,000. In I903-4 the income was Rs. 6,600,
mainly from a tax on persons; and the expenditure was Rs. 6,300.
Basirhat contains the usual public offices; the sub-jail has accommoda-
tion for 12 prisoners. Basirhat is connected with Barasat, a station
on the Eastern Bengal State Railway, by a metalled road 26 miles in
length, along which a light railway with eight stations has recently
been laid.

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