DHARWAR, a town and district of British India, in the southern division of Bombay. The town has a station on the Southern Mahratta railway. The population in 1901 was 31,279. It has several ginning factories and a cotton-mill; two high schools, one maintained by the Government and the other by the Basel German Mission.
The District Of Dharwar has an area of 4602 sq. m. In the north and north-east are great plains of black soil, favourable to cotton-growing; in the south and west are successive ranges of low hills, with flat fertile valleys between them. The whole district lies high and has no large rivers.
In 1901 the population was 1,113,298, showing an increase of 6% in the decade. The most influential classes of the community are Brahmans and Lingayats. The Lingayats number 436,968, or 46% of the Hindu population; they worship the symbol of Siva, and males and females both carry this emblem about their person in a silver case. The principal crops are millets, pulse and cotton. The centres of the cotton trade are Hubli and Gadag, junctions on the Southern Mahratta railway, which traverses the district in several directions.
The early history of the territory comprised within the district of Dharwar has been to a certain extent reconstructed from the inscription slabs and memorial stones which abound there. From these it is clear that the country fell in turn under the sway of the various dynasties that ruled in the Deccan, memorials of the Chalukyan dynasty, whether temples or inscriptions, being especially abundant. In the 14th century the district was first overrun by the Mahommedans, after which it was annexed to the newly established Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar, an official of which named Dhar Rao, according to local tradition, built the fort at Dharwar town in 1403. After the defeat of the king of Vijayanagar at Talikot (1565), Dharwar was for a few years practically independent under its Hindu governor; but in 1573 the fort was captured by the sultan of Bijapur, and Dharwar was annexed to his dominions. In 1685 the fort was taken by the emperor Aurangzeb, and Dharwar, on the break-up of the Mogul empire, fell under the sway of the peshwa of Poona. In 1764 the province was overrun by Hyder Ali of Mysore, who in 1778 captured the fort of Dharwar. This was retaken in 1791 by the Mahrattas. On the final overthrow of the peshwa in 1817, Dharwar was incorporated with the territory of the East India Company.
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