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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 5, p. 132.


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132


AJAIGARH STATE


difficult. The total length of roads is 72 miles, of which 24 are
metalled and 48 unmetalled. The metalled roads are portions of the
Satna-Nowgong, Banda-Nagod, and Ajaigarh-Panna roads, of which only
the last is maintained by the State. A British post office has been
opened at Ajaigarh town.
The total revenue amounts to 2-3 lakhs, of which 2 lakhs is derived
from land, and Rs. I9,000 from tribute. The expenditure is about
2 lakhs, of which one lakh is spent on general administration, including
the chief's establishment. The revenue is assessed on the crop-bearing
capability of the soil, a higher rate being levied from irrigated lands.
The incidence of the land revenue demand is Rs. 1-5-0 per acre of
cultivated area, and R. 0-7-8 per acre of the total area. About
203 square miles, or 26 per cent. of the total area, have been alienated
in land grants.
The army consists of 75 cavalry, 350 infantry, all irregulars, and
44 artillerymen with 9 serviceable guns. The number of regular police
is 68, and of village police 2II.
Four schools are maintained, including one primary school, attended
by 67 pupils. There is a dispensary at Ajaigarh town.
Ajaigarh Town.-Chief town of the State of the same name in
Central India, situated in 24 54' N. and 80 I8' E., at the foot of the
old fort. Population (1901), 4,216. The modern capital is known as
the Naushahr or 'new city,' and lies at the north end of the rock on
which the fort stands. It is in no way remarkable, but has been much
improved by the present chief. High above the town towers the great
fort, one of those strongholds known traditionally as the Ath Kot, or
' eight forts,' of Bundelkhand, which, with the natural ruggedness of the
country, long enabled the Bundelas to maintain their independence
against the armies of the Mughals and Marathas. It was ultimately
taken by Ali Bahadur of Banda in i8oo after a siege of ten months.
In I803 Colonel Meiselbeck was sent to take possession, in accordance
with the terms of a treaty with Ali Bahadur; but the Muhammadan
governor was induced by one Lachhman Daowa, who had formerly
been the governor under Bakht Singh, to make over the fort to him in
return for a bribe of Rs. i8,000. On February 13, 1809, it was taken
by Colonel Martindell after a desperate assault, Lachhman Daowa
withdrawing.
The hill on which the fort stands, called the Kedar Parbat, is an
outlier of Kaimur sandstone resting on gneiss, and rising 860 feet above
the plain below, the fort being 1,744 feet above sea-level. The slope is
gradual up to about 50 feet from the summit, where it suddenly becomes
a perpendicular scarp, adding greatly to the defensive strength of the
position. The name by which the fort is now known is comparatively
speaking modern, and is not used in the numerous inscriptions



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