2 8 111AIIIAR STATE
was taken of this in constructing the great Deccan road and the branch
of the East Indian Railway between Jubbulpore and Allahā.bād.
The chiefs of Maihar claim descent from the Kachwāha Rdjput clan,
a claim, however, which is not admitted, and has indeed little to
support it. The family apparently migrated from Alwar in the seven-
teenth or eighteenth century, and obtained land from the Orchhd chief.
Thakur Bhim Singh later on entered the service of Chhatarsdl of
Pannā. His grandson, Ben! Singh, the founder of the State, rising
from a low position, finally became minister to Rājā Hindupat, who
about 1770 granted him the territory now forming Maihar, which had
originally been a part of Rewah. Beni Singh was killed in 1788. He
has left many monuments of his liberality throughout Bundelkhand in
numerous tanks and buildings. He was succeeded by his son Rājdhar,
who, together with the other chiefs in this region, was conquered by
Ali Bahādur of Bdndā early in the nineteenth century. Ali Bahādūr,
however, restored the State to Durjan Singh, a younger son of Beni
Singh. In 1806 and 1814 Durjan Singh received sanads from the
British Government, confirming him in the possession of his lands.
On his death in 1826 the State was divided between his two sons,
Bishan Singh, the elder, succeeding to Maihar, while Prig Dās, the
younger, obtained Bijai-Rāghogarh. The latter State was confiscated
in 1858 owing to the rebellion of the chief. The present chief,
Raghubir Singh, succeeded as a minor in 1852, and obtained adminis-
trative powers in 1865. The title of Rājā, was conferred on him in
1869 as an hereditary distinction, and a personal salute of 9 guns was
granted in 1877 and made hereditary in 1878.
The region in which Maihar lies is of considerable archaeological
interest, but has not as yet been fully investigated. Remains are
numerous throughout the State, especially of temples in the mediaeval
style of the eleventh to the thirteenth century.
The population has been: (1881) 71,709, (1891) 77,546, and (1901)
63,702, giving a density of 156 persons per square mile. Hindus
number 49,740, or 78 per cent.; Animists (chiefly Gonds), 11,876,
or i9 per cent.; and Musalmāns, 2,oog. The State has one town,
MAIHAR (population, 6,802), the capital; and 210 villages. Baghel-
khandi is spoken by 50 per cent. of the inhabitants, and Bundelkhand!
by 47 per cent. Agriculture 'supports about go per cent. of the total
The soil, except in the hills, is fertile and bears good crops. Of the
total area, ii o square miles, or 2 7 per cent., are under cultivation,
of which 70 square miles are irrigable; 43 square miles are cultivable
but not cultivated; and the rest consists of forest and waste. The
forests, which cover a large area of the State, are not as yet under
systematic management. Kodon and rice each occupy 20 square miles,