THAR AND PARKAR, or Thur And Parker, a district of British India in the Sind province of Bombay. Area, 13,941 sq. m. The district is divided into two portions. The western part, called the "Pat," is watered by the Eastern Nara and the Mithrau canals, which constitute the sole water-system of the district, and the presence of water has created a quantity of jungle and marsh; the other part, called the "Thar," is a desert tract of rolling sand-hills, running north-east and south-west, composed of a fine but slightly coherent sand. To the south-east of Thar is Parkar, where there are ranges of rocky hills, rising to 350 ft. above the surrounding level, and open plains of stiff clay. This portion contains the ruins of several old temples. The climate is subject to considerable extremes in temperature, being excessively hot in the summer and very cold in winter, the cold increasing as the sand-hills are approached. In 1901 the population was 389,714, showing an increase of 22 per cent. in the decade. The principal crops are millets, rice, wheat, oil-seeds and cotton. Cultivation largely depends upon the control of the water which comes down the canals and occasionally causes flood. Salt is found in two or three places. The western border of the district is entered by the narrow-gauge railway from Hyderabad to Shadipalli, connected with the North-Western main line by a bridge across the Indus at Kotri, and with the Rajputana system at Jodhpur. Umarkot, the administrative headquarters of the 1 Stephanus of Byzantium gives it in a list of cities as a "Syrian town on the Euphrates," quoting from Theopompus, without noting that he has already referred to it under the name Amphipolis.
district, is on the edge of the desert. Pop. (Igoe) 4924. It is historically interesting as the birthplace of the emperor Akbar in 1542.
Very little is known of the early history of the district. The Soda Rajputs, said to be descendants of Parmar Soda, are supposed to have come into this part of Sind about 1226, when they quickly displaced the rulers of the country, though, according to other authorities, they did not conquer the country from the Sumras, the dominant race, before the beginning of the 16th century. The local dynasty of the Sodas succumbed to the Kalhoras about 1750, since which period the district has been subject more or less to Sind. The Talpur mirs succeeded the Kalhoras, and built a number of forts to overawe the people, who were lawless and addicted to robbery. On the British conquest of Sind in 1843 the greater part of the district was made over to Cutch, but in 1856 it was incorporated in the province of Sind. In 1859 a rebellion broke out, which was quickly suppressed.
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