Gonda - Encyclopedia

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GONDA, a town and district of British India, in the Fyzabad division of the United Provinces. The town is 28 m. N.W. of Fyzabad, and is an important junction on the Bengal & NorthWestern railway. The site on which it stands was originally a jungle, in the centre of which was a cattle-fold (Gontha or Gothah), where the cattle were enclosed at night as a protection against wild beasts, and from this the town derives its name. Pop. (1901) 15,811. The cantonments were abandoned in 1863.

The district of Gonda has an area of 2813 sq. m. It consists of a vast plain with very slight undulations, studded with groves of mango trees. The surface consists of a rich alluvial deposit which is naturally divided into three great belts known as the tarai or swampy tract, the uparhar or uplands, and the tarhar or wet lowlands, all three being marvellously fertile. Several rivers flow through the district, but only two, the Gogra and Rapti, are of any commercial importance, the first being navigable throughout the year, and the latter during the rainy season. The country is dotted with small lakes, the water of which is largely used for irrigation. On the outbreak of the Mutiny in 1857, the raja of Gonda, after honourably escorting the government treasure to Fyzabad, joined the rebels. His estates, along with those of the rani of Tulsipur, were confiscated, and conferred as rewards upon the maharajas of Balrampur and Ajodhya, who had remained loyal. In 1901 the population was 1,403,195, showing a decrease of 4% !n one decade. The district is traversed by the main line and three branches of the Bengal & NorthWestern railway.

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