Jubbulpore City

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Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts. Some units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.

Jubbulpore City

Head-quarters of the Division, District, and tahsil of the same name, Central Provinces, situated in 23 degree 10' N. and 79 degree 57' E., 616 miles from Bombay by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, and 784 miles from Calcutta by the East Indian, the two lines meeting here. A branch narrow-gauge railway has recently been opened to Gondii, 117 miles distant, on the Bengal-Nagpur system. The city stands in a rocky basin surrounded by low hills, about 6 miles from the Narbada river. The gorge of the Narbada at Bheraghat, where the river passes through the well-known Marble Rocks, is 13 miles distant. Jubbulpore is well laid out, with broad and regular streets, and numerous tanks and gardens have been constructed in the environs. Its elevation is 1,306 feet above sea-level. The climate is comparatively cool, and Jubbulpore is generally consi- dered the most desirable of the plain stations in the Central Provinces, of which it ranks as the second city. It is steadily increasing in importance, the population at the last four enumerations having been : (1872) 55,188, (1881) 75,075, (1 8 9 1 ) 84,481, and (1901) 90,316. Of the total in 1901, 63,997 were Hindus, 21,036 Muhammadans, and 3,432 Christians, of whom 2,000 were Europeans and Eurasians. Four miles to the west of the city, and included in the municipality, is Garni, once the capital of the Gond dynasty of Garha-Mandla, whose ancient keep, known as the Madan Mahal, still crowns a low granite range with the old town lying beneath it This was constructed about 1 100 by Madan Singh, and is now in ruins. It is a small building of no architectural pretensions, and its only interest lies in its picturesque position, perched upon the top of the hill on a huge boulder of rock. In the sixteenth century the capital was removed to Mandla, and the importance of Garha declined. Of the history of Jubbulpore itself nothing is known until it was selected by the Ma- rathas as their head-quarters on the annexation of Mandla in 1781. In an old inscription now in the NSgpur Museum the name is given as Javalipatna. Jubbulpore subsequently became the head-quarters of the Commissioner of the Saugor and Nerbudda Territories, which were merged in the Central Provinces in 1861.

A municipality was constituted in 1864. The municipal receipts and expenditure during the decade ending 1901 averaged Rs. 2,62,000 and Rs. 2,57,000 respectively. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 3,54,000, the main sources being octroi (Rs. 1,65,000) and water rate (Rs. 29,000); and the total expenditure was Rs. 2,38,000, including refunds (Rs. 56,000), conservancy (Rs. 34,000), repayment of loans (Rs. 28,000), general administration and collection of taxes (Rs. 21,000), and water- supply (Rs. 13,000). Previous to the construction of the existing water-works, the town depended for its supply on a number of unreli- able wells, and it was not uncommon for water to be retailed in the hot season at one or two annas a pot. The water-works were opened in 1883, and extended to the cantonment and the civil station in 1894. They consist of a reservoir constructed on the Khandari stream, about seven miles from the city. The masonry embankment is 1,680 feet long and 66 feet high, and the catchment area of the reservoir is 5 ½

square miles. Water is conveyed to the city in pipes by gravitation. The total cost of the works was 9.4 lakhs, including the extension. The effect of the constant intake of water in a city whose situation does not provide good natural drainage has, however, been to render the ground somewhat sodden, and a drainage scheme to counteract this tendency is under consideration.

Jubbulpore includes a cantonment with a population of 13,157. The receipts and expenditure of the cantonment fund during the decade ending 1901 averaged about Rs. 25,000, and in 1903-4 they amounted to Rs. 32,000. The ordinary garrison has hitherto consisted of one battalion of British and one of Native infantry, a squadron of Native cavalry, and two field batteries; but it is proposed to increase it. There are also two companies of Railway Volunteers, and one of the Nagpur Volunteer Rifles. Jubbulpore is the head-quarters of a general officer, and the garrison is included in the Mhow division. A central gun-carriage factory for India was opened in 1905. A Government grass farm, combined with a military dairy, has also been established.

Jubbulpore is an important commercial and industrial town. It receives the grain and other produce of the greater part of Jubbulpore District, and of portions of Seoni and Mandla. The factories include spinning and weaving mills, pottery works, a brewery and ice factory, oil- and flour-mills, the workshops of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, and four hydraulic presses for san hemp. The local handi- crafts are cloth-weaving, brass-working, stone-cutting, and the manu- facture of images from marble, and of studs, buttons, and other orna- ments from agate pebbles. Till lately a considerable tent-making industry was carried on, at first by the Thags, who were kept in con- finement here, and their descendants, and afterwards at a Reformatory school ; but this has now ceased. There are six printing presses, with English, Hindi, and Urdu type ; and an English weekly and a Hindi newspaper are published.

Jubbulpore is the head-quarters not only of the ordinary District staff, but of the Commissioner and Divisional Judge of the Jubbulpore Division, a Conservator of Forests, a Superintending and an Irrigation Engineer, the Superintendent of Telegraphs for the Central Provinces, and an Inspector of Schools. One of the three Central jails and one of the two lunatic asylums in the Province are located here. The industries carried on in the Central jail include the weaving of cloth for pillow and mattress cases, and of net money-bags, the manufacture of wire netting for local use, and of thick bedding cloth and Scotch and Kidderminster carpets for sale. Fifty-five looms were employed in making carpets in 1903-4. The Church Missionary Society, the Zanaiia Mission, and the Roman Catholic, Wesleyan, and American Methodist Churches have mission stations in Jubbulpore, and support several orphanages and schools. A Government Arts college affiliated to the Allahabad University, with law and engineering classes attached to it, had 114 students in 1903-4. There are also three high schools, one maintained by the Church Missionary Society with 79 pupils, one by a Muhammadan society with 8 pupils, and one by a Hindu society with 87 pupils, training institutions for male and female teachers, and 53 other schools. Schools for European boys and girls are maintained by the Church Missionary Society and the Roman Catholic Mission, with the assistance of Government grants. There is also a Reformatory, to which youthful offenders from the whole Province are sent and taught different handicrafts. It contains 125 inmates, and is the successor of the old school for the children of Thags arrested in the Central Provinces. Jubbulpore contains a general hospital, the Lady Elgin Hospital for women, three dis- pensaries, and a veterinary dispensary.

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