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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 12, p. 396.


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396 GURDf1SPUR DISTRICT
The agricultural Jats are the most numerous tribe, numbering
143,000, or 15 per cent. of the total. Other agricultural tribes are the
Rajputs, who mostly inhabit the submontane portion of the District
and number 8o,ooo, the Arains (64,ooo), and the GŻjars (49,000): Of
the commercial and money-lending classes, the most numerous are the
Khattris (17,ooo) and Mahajan Pahari (14,000), who are stronger here
than in any other part of the Province. The Brahmans number 45,000.
Of artisan classes, the Julahas (weavers, 47,000), Tarkhans (carpenters,
35,ooo), Kumhars (potters, 22,ooo), Telis (oil-pressers, 19,ooo), and
Mochis (shoemakers and leather-workers, 15,ooo) are the most impor-
tant. The menial castes include the ChŻhras (sweepers, 67,000),
Jhinwars (water-carriers, 39,ooo), Nais (barbers, 16,ooo), Chhimbas and
Dhobis (washermen, i3,ooo), Chamars (field labourers, general coolies; -
and leather workers, 28,ooo), Dumnas (makers of bamboo articles,
ro,ooo), and Meghs (weavers, 7,000). Other castes worth mentioning
in this District are the Mirasis (village minstrels, 31,ooo), Fakirs
(mendicants, 17,ooo), and Barwalas (village watchmen and messengers,
i i,ooo). About 50 per cent. of the population are supported by
agriculture.
The American United Presbyterian Mission has been established in
Gurdaspur since Ó87a, and occupies the Path‚nkot and Shakargarh
tahsils. The Church Missionary Society has an important station at
Batala, established in 1878, where it maintains the flourishing Baring
high school. In 1go1 the District contained 4,198 native Christians.
The soils of the hilly tract consist of beds of conglomerate and
boulder drift, changing into strata of soft sandstone alternated with
Agriculture. beds of stiff red clay. The surface soil is nowhere
rich, and, where the sandstone is close to the surface,
needs constant showers of rain. In the plains, the soil varies from the
sandy soils of Shakargarh to the light loam which is largely charac-
teristic of the plains portion of the Doab, with clay soils in the canal-
irrigated tracts and rich alluvial deposits in the river-beds. Fertile
as the District is with its ordinary supply of rain, the crop failure is apt
to be complete when rain fails, except where there is irrigation;
fortunately, however, two bad harvests in succession are almost
unknown.
The District is held almost entirely on the bhaiydchdrd and fiattiddri
tenures, zaminddri lands covering only about 55 square miles.
The area for which details are available from the revenue records
of 1903-4 is 1,824 square miles, as shown on the next page.
Wheat is the chief crop of the spring harvest, covering 510 square
miles in 1903-4; gram and barley covered 132 and 81 square miles,
respectively. Sugar-cane, the chief crop of the autumn harvest, is the
most valuable staple; and the area under sugar-cane (82 square miles)j~
~
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