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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 13, p. 204.


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200 HOSPEPT TALUK
working out at Rs. 1,200 per acre. Much of it, however, is malarious,
and some of the villages near Hospet town are almost deserted, the
people being compelled by fever to live elsewhere. Sugar-cane and
rice are the chief crops raised on the irrigated land, the area under
sugar-cane being considerably more than half of the total under that
crop in the whole District. Owing to the many hills, the proportion of
the total area which is arable is lower than in any other tdluk.
Hospet Town (`New town').-Head-quarters of the subdivision
and tâluk of the same name in Bellary District, Madras, situated in
15° 16′ N. and 76° 24′ E., on the Southern Mahratta Railway. A
branch line has been built from here to Kottîiru. Population (rgor),
18,482. The town consists of one long market street, with a temple
at the end and a number of small lanes opening off it. The chief
merchants live in the suburb of Chittavadigi, which is the centre of
trade for the western tdluks of the District. Owing partly to the fever
which is gradually invading the western portion of Chittavadigi and
partly to the existence of the railway station in Hospet, Chittavadigi is
extending eastwards to join the rest of the town. The fever is worst
on the land irrigated by channels from the Tungabhadra. More than
one village among the `wet' fields has been almost entirely deserted;
and even the farm-labourers frequently live in Hospet or Chittavadigi,
and go out daily to their work rather than reside on the irrigated land.
Mainly owing to this fact, the population of Hospet advanced by
more than 40 per cent. during the ten years ending 1gor. The chief
industry is cotton-weaving. There is a native tannery, and five or six
families make brass toe-rings, bangles, cattle-bells, &c. The trade in
jaggery (coarse sugar), most of which goes by rail towards Bombay, is
large ; but the decline in price, due to the competition of sugar
refined by European processes, has affected it adversely. The jaggery
is made from the cane irrigated by the Tungabhadra channels. So
universal is the use of iron cane-crushing mills, that two native smiths
in Hospet have learnt to make and repair them. They procure the
necessary castings, &c., from Madras and adjust them and put them
together. One of them employs a lathe worked by bullock-power.
Conspicuous objects in the town are three stone Muhammadan tombs
east of the bazar-street, known locally as the three mosques, and two
other similar erections near the divisional officer's bungalow.
The town was built by the Vijayanagar king Krishna Deva between
15og and 1520 in honour of Nagaladevď, a courtesan whom he had
known in his youth, and whom he married after he became king. He
called it, after her, Nagala,půr, and it was his favourite residence. In
his time it was the entrance gate, as it were, to the city of Vijayanagar
for all travellers coming from Goa and the west: coast. Krishna Deva
also made the enormous embankment -south of the town, connect-
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