district western bhartpur
MUTTRA, a district in the lieutenant-governorship of the North-Western Provinces, India, lying between 27° 14' and 27° 58' N. lat. and 77° 19' and 78° 33' E. long., is bounded on the N. by Aligarh and Gurgaon, on the E. by Aligarh, Mdinpuri, and Etah, on the S. by Agra, and on the W. by Bhartpur state, with an area of 1453 square miles. The district consists of an irregular strip of territory lying on both sides of the Jumna. The general level is only broken at the south-western angle by low ranges of limestone hills. The eastern half consists for the most part of a rich upland plain, abundantly irrigated by wells, rivers, and canals, while the western portion, though rich in mythological association and antiquarian remains, is comparatively unfavoured by nature. The crops are scanty, and the larger forest trees are not found. For eight months of the year the Jumna shrinks to the dimensions of a mere rivulet, meandering through a waste of sand. During the rains, however, it swells to a mighty stream, a mile or more in breadth. Till recently nearly the whole of Muttra consisted of pasture and woodland, but new roads constructed as relief works in 1837-38 have thrown open many large tracts of country, and the task of reclamation has since proceeded rapidly.
The census of 1881 returned the population of Muttra at 671,690 (males 360,967, females 310,723), Hindus numbering 611,669 and Mohammedans 58,088. There were only 65 native Christians. The population of the three municipal towns in 1881 was as follows : - Muttra, 55,016 ; Brindaban, 21,467 ; and Kosi, 11,231. In 1881 -82, 1048 square miles were returned as cultivated, 172 as cultivable, and 103 as uncultivable. Jodi- and cotton form the principal staples for the autumn (khar(f) harvest, while gram and barley are the chief grains grown for the spring (rabi) harvest. Sugar-cane, tobacco, indigo, and vegetables are all but unknown. The mass of the population is fairly well off, and the peasantryy are described as being in better circumstances than those of neighbouring districts. Great extremes of temperature occur, the cold of winter being comparatively excessive, while hot winds blow from the west with great violence during April, May, and June. The average rainfall for the ten years ending 1869 was 23.6 inches.
The central portion of Muttra district forms one of the most sacred spots in Hindu mythology. A circuit of 84 ken around Gokul and Briudaban bears the name of the Braj-Mandal, and carries with it many associations of the earliest Aryan times. Here Krishna and his brother Balaraina fed their cattle upon the plain ; and numerous relics of antiquity in the towns of Muttra, GobardGokul, Mahaban, and Brindaban still attest the sanctity with which this holy tract was invested. During the Buddhist period Muttra became a centre of the new faith. After the invasion of Mahnind of Ghazni the city fell into insignificance till the reign of Akbar ; and thenceforward its history merges in that of the Jats of Bhartpur, until it again acquired separate individuality under Surtij Mall in the middle of the last century. The Bhartpur chiefs took an active part in the disturbances consequent on the declining power of the Mughal emperors, sometimes on the imperial side, and at others with the Mahrattas. The whole of Muttra passed under British rule in 1804.