district british canal cotton
HISSAR, a British district belonging to the division of the same name,1 in the lieutenant-governorship of the Punjab, India, lying between 28° 36' and 29° 49' N. lat., and between 75° 16' and 76° 22' E. long. It is bounded on the N. and N.W. by the PatiMa state and a small portion of the British district of Sirsa, on the E. and S. by the territory of Jhind and the British district of Rohtak, and on the W. by the deserts of Bikaner. Area, 3539 square miles ; population (1868), 484,681.
Hissar forms the western border district of the great Bikaner desert, and consists for the most part of sandy plains dotted with shrub and brushwood, and broken by undulations towards the south, which rise into hills of rock like islands out of a sea of sand. The Ghaggar is its only river, whose supply is uncertain, depending much on the fall of rain in the lower Himalayas ; its overflow in times of heavy rain is caught near Patehabad and Murakhera by Ails, which dry up in the hot season. A canal, known as the Western Jumna Canal, crosses the district from east to west, irrigating 54 villages. The soil is in places hard and clayey, and difficult to till ; but when sufficiently irrigated it is highly productive. Old mosques and other buildings exist in parts of the district.
Rice is the staple crop of the district. In favourable seasons, cotton is extensively grown in lands irrigated by the Western Jumna Canal. In 1872-73, 1,431,541 acres were under tillage, out of an assessed area of 2,265,428 acres. Hissar produces a breed of milk-white oxen, 17 or 18 hands in height, which are in great request for the carriages of natives. The district has always been subject to famine. The first calamity of this kind of which we have authentic record was the famine of 1783 ; since then there have been several more or less serious failures of the crops.
The principal exports are oil-seeds, gram, grains, copper and brass utensils, hides, and a little cotton ; the imports - salt, sugar, fine rice, cotton goods of English make, spices, and iron. The exports are double the imports in value. The rural manufactures comprise coarse cotton cloth, vessels made of prepared skins, and copper and brass vessels. The annual out-turn of rough saltpetre is estimated at 450 maunds. The trade of the district centres in Bhawani, where nine lines of traffic converge. The main road, about 50 feet wide, unmetalled, traverses the district, passing through Hand and Hissar towns ; fourteen other roads supply communication. The census of 1868 returned the population at 484,681 (males, '266,847; females, 217,834). The Hindus numbered 373,937 ; Mahometans, 102,928 ; Sikhs, 1812 ; and " others," 6004. There are three municipalities, viz., Bhawani, 32,254 ; Hissar, 14,133 ; and Hang, 13,563. The district police numbered 396 men in 1872-73, and the municipal police 174. In the same year there were 50 schools, with 1729 scholars. The climate of Hissar is very dry ; hot westerly winds blow from the middle of March till July. The average rainfall for the six years 1867-68 to 1872-73 was 14.57 inches. The principal diseases are fevers and smallpox. Cholera occasionally breaks out. Skin diseases also are common. Government dispensaries are situated at Bhawani and Hang.
Prior to the Mahometan conquest, the semi-desert tract of which Hissitr district now forms part was the retreat of Chauhin hijputs. Towards the end of the 18th century, the Bhattis of Bhatthina gained ascendency after bloody struggles. To complete the ruin brought on by these conflicts, nature lent her aid in the great famine of 1783. Hissir passed nominally to the British in 1303, but they could not enforce order till 1810. Early in the mutiny of 1857 His.* was wholly lost for a time to British rule, and all Europeans were either murdered or compelled to fly. The Bhattis rose under their hereditary chiefs, and the majority of the Mahometan population followed their example. Before Delhi had been recovered, the rebels were utterly routed.
Hissku, municipal town and administrative headquarters of the above district, 29° 9' 51" N. lat., 75° 45' 55" E. long. ; population (1868), 14,133 (Hindus 9211, Mahometans 4805, Sikhs 34, Christians 83). The town is situated on the Western Jumna Canal, 102 miles W. of Delhi. It was founded in 1354 by the emperor Firoz Shah, who constructed the canal to supply it with water ; but this fell into decay during the last century, owing to the constant inroads of marauders. Hissar was almost completely depopulated during the famine of 1783, but was afterwards occupied by the adventurer George Thomas, who built a fort and collected inhabitants. It contains a cattle farm, both for commissariat purposes and for improving the breed of the province ; attached is an estate of 43,287 acres for pasturage. There is an import trade in grain, 911-1, sugar, oil, cotton, tobacco, and English piece goods. The municipal revenue in 1875-76 was £1229.