district land cent
KAIRA, a British district in the province of Guzerat, Bombay, India, lying between 22° 26' and 23° 6' N. lat., and between 72° 33' and 73° 21' E. long., bounded on the N. by Ahmadabad district, on the E. and S. by the river MaId, and on the W. by Ahmadabad district and the state of Cambay, with an area of 1561 square miles. Except a small corner of hilly ground near its. northern boundary, and in the south-east and south where the land along the Meld is furrowed into deep ravines, Kaira district forms one unbroken plain, sloping gently towards the southwest. The north and north-east portions are dotted with patches of rich rice land, broken by unfilled tracts of low brushwood. The centre of the district is very fertile and highly cultivated ; the luxuriant fields are surrounded by high growing hedges, and the whole country is clothed with clusters of large, shapely trees. To the west this belt of rich vegetation passes into a bare though well-cultivated tract of rice land, growing more barren and open till it reaches the maritime belt, whitened by a salt-like crust, along the Gulf of Cambay. The chief rivers are the Mali on the south-east and south, and the Sabarmati on the western boundary. The former, owing to its deeply cut bed and sandbanks, is impracticable for either navigation or irrigation ; but the waters of the Sabarmati are largely utilized for the latter purpose. A smaller stream, the Kbari, also waters a considerable area by means of canals and sluices.
The census of 1872 returned the population at 782,733 (419,142 males and 363,591 females). Hindus numbered 711,619 ; Musa]. mins, 70,741 ; Parsis, 68 ; and Christians 305, of whom 243 are natives. Among the Hindus the most important classes are the Lewa and Kadwa Kumbis, numbering 144,639 ; they are the best cultivators in the district, sober, peaceful, and industrious. The Rajputs, with the exception of a few who with the title of thakur still retain landed estates, have sunk into the mass of ordinary peasant proprietors. Tho Kolis number 281,252 ; idle and turbulent under native rule, they are now quiet, hard-working, and prosperous. Among the Hindu low castes, numbering 61,834, the Dhers are distinguished for industry and good behaviour. They formerly lived in comfort by weaving coarse cotton cloth, but the competition of the Bombay and local steam mills is now shutting them out of the market. Of the Musalman population, about one-third represent the foreign conquerors of Guzerat ; the remainder are the descendants of converted Hindus. The first class, employed chiefly as cultivators, or in Government service as police and messengers, are for the most part poor ; the second class, who are artisans, chiefly weavers and oil-pressers, are hard-working and well-to-do. Thirteen towns contain more than 5000 inhabitants each. Agriculture forms the support of upwards of two-thirds of the population. In 1876-77, 362,221 acres, or 75 per cent. of the Government cultivable land, were under tillage, and 20,753 acres fallow or under grass. Food grains comprise upwards of 88 per cent. of the crops ; pulses, 8 per cent. ; oilseeds, 1 per cent. ; fibres, 1 per cent. ; the remainder being taken up by miscellaneous crops, chiefly tobacco, which has the reputation of being the finest in western India. The manufactures comprise soapmaking, glassmaking, calico printing, and handloom weaving of coarse cloth. A steam spinning and weaving mill has been recently established. The exports aro grain, tobacco, butter, oil, and the petals of the anahud tree ; the imports, piece-goods, groceries, •molasses, and dye-stuffs. About 40 miles of the Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Hallway pass through the district.
The revenue administration of the district is conducted by a col- ' lector-marristrate and three assistants ;•for judicial purposes Kairn is included within the jurisdiction of the judge of .Ahmadabad. The total imperial, local, and municipal revenue in 1875-76 was £249,314, of which £195,184 was derived from the land. Dlura. tion was afforded in 1876-77 by 189 schools, attended by 14,720 pupils. Kaira possesses a public library, and in 1876 publish,d three vernacular newspapers. The prevailing diseases consist of fevers of a malarious type. The average rainfall during the five years ending 1876 was 30 inches.
Kaira district has no independent history of its own. It is made up partly of lands acquired from the peshwa in 1802, and partly of territory acquired from the giekwar of Baroda in 1803 and 1817.