Previous Page [Digital South Asia Library] Next Page

Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 379.


Graphics file for this page
KOLHAN 379
Episcopal Mission has an orphanage and industrial school. The
municipality dates from 1870. The receipts and expenditure during
the ten years ending igo1 averaged Rs. 4,000. In 1903-4 they were
Rs. 12,000.
Kolhan.-Government estate in Singhbhthn District, Bengal, lying
between 21° 58′ and 22° 43′ N. and 85° 21′ and 86° 3′ E., with an
area of 1,955 square miles. The Kolhan is a low plateau, varying in
elevation from 750 feet above sea-level in the neighbourhood of Chai
basa to upwards of i,ooo feet in the south. On the north, east, and
south, the country is for the greater part open and gently undulating ;
it is covered with prosperous villages and is well cultivated, the depres-
sions between the ridges being invariably sown with rice and some
portion of the uplands with cereals, pulses, or oilseeds. In the south-
east the surface is very rocky and covered with jungle ; and in the west
and south-west are mountainous tracts thickly covered with jungle and
very sparsely inhabited. The villages here are mere hamlets scattered
on the hill slopes, and an area of 529 square miles has been formed
into forest Reserves.
The majority of the inhabitants are Hos, and British relations with
them date from 1820. At that time the tract was a refuge for fugitive
offenders from Chota Nagpur, and plundering excursions were fre
quently made by the Hos into the neighbouring territories. They thus
became a thorn in the side of the Raja of Porahat and of the other
chiefs in the north of Singhbham. The British Government, wishing
to put an end to the plundering excursions, formed relations with the
Raja of Porahât, and assisted him and the Saraikela and Kharsawan
chiefs in bringing the Hos into submission. The chiefs, however, were
unable to keep them in order, and in 1837 the British Government
resolved to take their territory under its direct control. Colonel
Richards entered the country with a strong force and secured their
submission, after which 23 Ho pirs or parganas were detached from
the control of the Singhbh am chiefs and 4 from Mayûrbhanj and
formed into the Kolhan Government estate. There was no further
trouble until 1857, when the Hos joined the mutinous Raja of Pordhdt,
and a long and troublesome campaign took place, which terminated
with the surrender of the Raja in 1859.
The indigenous village-system of the Kols, based upon a federal
union of villages under a single divisional headman, which is gradually
dying out elsewhere in Chota Nagpur, still survives in this tract. The
whole estate is divided into groups of from 5 to 20 villages. Each
village has its own mundd or headman, all of whom are subject to
the authority of the wimki or divisional headman. Every munda is re-
sponsible for the payment of the revenue, and for the detection and
arrest of criminals in his village; to the nadnhi, who is in his turn
voL. xv. P. h
Previous Page To Table of Contents Next Page

Back to Imperial Gazetteer of India | Back to the DSAL Page

This page was last generated on Monday 18 February 2013 at 16:20 by dsal@uchicago.edu
The URL of this page is: http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/gazetteer/text.html