Aligarh District

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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.

Aligarh District

A pargana of the State of Tonk, Rajputana, lying between 25 degree 36' and 26 degree 2' N. and 76 degree 3' and 76° 20' E., with an area of about 157 square miles. It is bounded on the north, west, and east by Jaipur; on the southwest and south by Bundi and on the south-east by Kotah. The country is for the most part flat and open, but a range of well-wooded hills passes through the south eastern corner.

The population in 1901 was 17,063, compared with 19,623 in 1891. There are 86 villages. The principal castes are Minas, Chamars, Gujars, Malis, and Mahajans, forming respectively about 21, 15, 8, 7, and 6 per cent, of the total. The district takes its name from its head-quarters and, like it, was formerly called Rampura. Little is known of its early history.

The Hara Rajputs of Bundi are said to have possessed it (or parts of it) from 1688 to 1748, and for the rest of the eighteenth century it was held alternately by Holkar or the Jaipur chief. The town and fort were successfully stormed by a British force under Colonel Don in May, 1804, but in the following year were restored to Holkar. However, in 1818, on the final defeat of the latter's army at Mehidpur, the district was annexed by the British Government, and in 1819, together with the town and fort, was made over as a free gift to Nawab Amir Khan. More than half of Aligarh is now held on special tenures by jagirdars and others, and the actual khalsa area is about 67 square miles. Of the latter, 59 square miles are available for cultivation, and the net area cropped in 1903-4 was 34 square miles, or 58 per cent., only 3 square miles being irrigated. Of the cropped area, jowar occupied about 43 per cent., wheat 20, and til nearly 19 per cent. The soil is generally fertile, though somewhat light. The revenue from all sources amounts to about Rs. 36,000, of which five-sixths is derived from the land. The head-quarters of the district is a small town situated in 25 degree 58' N. and 76 5' E., about 24 miles south-east of Tonk city.

Its population in 1901 was 2,584. It is said to have been founded in 1644 by one Basant Rai, a Bohra, and was called Rampura after a Rathor Rajput, Ram Singh, in whose estate it was situated. The name was changed to Aligarh in the time of the first Nawab, Amir Khan. The town lies low and is unhealthy in the rains ; it is surrounded by a rampart of consider- able strength, and possesses a post office, a lock-up, a vernacular school, and a small dispensary for out-patients.

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