This article has been extracted from
THE IMPERIAL GAZETTEER OF INDIA , 1908.
OXFORD, AT THE CLARENDON PRESS.
Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts.Many units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.
Frontier valley in the Mansehra tahsil of Hazara District, North-West Frontier Province, lying between 34 degree 29' and 34° 35' N. and 72 degree 58' and 75 degree 9' E. It consists of three mountain glens, 10 miles in length and 6 in breadth. The lower portions contain a mass of luxuriant cultivation, thickly dotted with villages, hamlets, and groves, and surrounded by dark pine-clad heights, whose depressions occasionally disclose the snowy peaks of the main range in the distance.
These valleys are alike in their nature; they have no strictly level spaces, but consist rather of terraced flats which descend from the hills. Water is abundant and perennial, so that failure of crops seldom occurs. The population consists chiefly of Swatis and Gujars, and was returned in 1901 at 16,983. Islam is the almost universal creed. Agror is the ancient Atyugrapura of the Rajatarangini and the 'I0ayoupos town in Ompo-a mentioned by Ptolemy. From the time of Timur until the beginning of the eighteenth century the Agror valley was held by a familyof Karlugh Turks.
These were expelled in 1703 by a Saiyid named Jalal Baba, and the conquered country was divided among the Swatis, one Ahmad Sad-ud-din, who died in 1783, rising to the position of Khan of Agror. The Nawab ol Amb took the valley in 1834, but in 1841 it was restored by the Sikhs to Ata Muhammad, a descendant of Sad-ud-din. At annexation Ata Muhammad was recognized as chief of Agror, and the defence and management of this part of the frontier was originally left to him ; but the arrangement did not work satisfactorily. An expedition had to be sent in 1852 to avenge the murder of two officers of the Salt department ; and in consequence of the unsatisfactory attitude of the chief and of repeated complaints by the cultivators, it was resolved in 1868 to place a police station in Agror and to bring the valley more directly under the administration of Government.
This incensed the Khan, at whose instigation the newly-built police station was burnt by a raid ol the Black Mountain tribes. An expedition was dispatched, and Ata, Muhammad was deported to Lahore for a time, but in 1870 reinstated in his chieftainship. His son and successor, Ali Gauhar, was removed from the valley in 1888 in consequence of his abetting raids into British territory. In order to maintain the peace of the border, expeditions were dispatched against the Black Mountain tribes in 1888, 1891, and 1892 ; and there has since been no disturbance.
The Agror Valley Regulation (1891) declared the rights of the Khan of Agror to be forfeit to Government.
The land revenue of the valley was assessed by the Sikhs at Rs. 1,515. This demand was continued on annexation and raised to Rs. 3,315 In 1853 and Rs. 4,000 at the regular settlement, in which the engagement was made with the Khan. The settlement was revised in 1901, and the present demand is Rs. 13,300.
The sole manufacture ol the valley is cotton cloth, and trade is purely local, except for a small export of grain. The chief place in the valley is the village of Oghi, the head-quarters of the Hazara border military police.