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Record Keepers of Nation
 
 
Time is always on the move. Its movement is timeless as well as timely; timeless in the sense that it is ceaseless. Neither its beginning nor its end is identifiable. Its classification into past, present and future is of our own reckoning. Despite its infiniteness, we can capture a slice of it and make it as our own. This is what all history and chronological records are. These are representations of different slices of time which, despite their being timely, keep on preserving through written records, books and visual artefacts of diverse variety. The sum total of these slices may take us to the beginnings of time though not the precise moment of beginning and may also point towards eternity. Till then, we have to be content with the part and keep aspiring for the whole. Since timelessness is beyond our grasp, we keep on preserving what is timely.

Gazetteer of the British Indian Empire was one such attempt to capture and preserve in the form of written records – the entire territorial, topographical, racial, ethnic, socio-cultural, economic, religious, administrative, in fact, complete civilizational profile of Indian landmass as it came to be occupied and governed by the British, bit by bit, from the early decades of 18th century till the mid twentieth century. This tradition of collection of data through official channels and its yearly publication through a gazette notification is still being followed in India.

The original plan for starting the Gazetteer of India was made by Sir William Wilson Hunter in 1869 and its first Edition consisting of nine volumes was published in 1881, while the second and third editions consisting of fourteen volumes were published in 1885-87, and 1893 respectively, all these three editions being edited by Sir William Wilson Hunter, the original planner. The next three editions have been published in 1908, 1909, 1931 by Oxford University Press. All these editions are now acknowledged as a standard historical reference work for historical research and are available online now.

The Gazetteer consists of information about geographical, topographical features such as river systems, Geology, Fauna and Flora such as wild animals and plant species; demographic patterns such as births and deaths, socio-religious variations such as distinctions of caste, religion and language, dress, housing and food patterns; major occupations in agriculture, industry and commerce; governmental, administrative and financial management systems, and major landmarks such as towns and cities, taking a district as a unit and notifying its data on a yearly basis. Since then, it has been and is still taken to be an authentic and reliable source of information despite its obvious tag of being a British official version.
The entire data, being based on the entries made in the official registers and records and submitted and tabulated by responsible, accountable officials, seems to be fairly reliable. Information and data recorded in each yearly gazette of a district is encyclopaedic in range, systematic and meticulous in recording and illuminating and knowledgeable in information. Studied minutely and assimilated discerningly, the reader gets a complete feel of the pulse of times in all its complexity. A few snippets from the gazetteers of the Karnal and Ambala districts pertaining to the year 1883-84 (BK-004287, BK-004288) would bring out the full spectacle of the state of the Indian society in the northern region during the British colonial rule. Both Karnal and Ambala districts, being contiguous, have striking similarities in topography, demographic distribution as well in socio-cultural moorings. Both the districts have been a theatre of war in antiquity (Mahabharta) as well as in eighteen century when its populace had to bear the brunt of invasions by Afghan-Moghul-Sikh, Maratha and Anglo-British armies right up to the great mutiny of 1857. This 18th century war ravaged region was also afflicted by a more sinister catastrophe in the form of famines in 1783, 1803, 1812, 1824-25, 1833, 1834, 1837, 1842, 1851, 1852, 1858, 1861, 1868, 1869, 1875-77, due to paucity of rains. It resulted in high rates of mortality, rising food prices, deaths due to starvation and sporadic spells of epidemics throughout the 19th century. Describing the aftermath of 1869 famine, the Gazetteer of Karnal (1883-84) records: “Hundreds of people are in a state of semi-starvation, never getting enough to eat from one day to another. Not a leaf is to be seen on the trees that have, while they lasted, made a wretched substitute for fodder for the cattle. Skeletons of cattle in all directions, empty huts, and lean countenances of the people in villages indicate state of poverty fully justifying the relief proposed”.
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PDL has digitized a large number of gazetteers relating to Panjab which are listed here.

  • A Gazetteer Of The Territories Under The Government Of The East - India Company
  • District And States Gazetteers of The Undivided Punjab - 1993
  • District And States Gazetteers of The Undivided Punjab - 1932
  • District Gazetteers Vol.XXB Amritsar District Statistical Tables
  • East-India Gazetteer
  • Gazetteer of Coorg
  • Gazetteer Of India - Patiala
  • Gazetteer of India & Pakistan
  • Gazetteer of India Punjab Amritsar
  • Gazetteer of India Punjab Hoshiarpur
  • Gazetteer of India Punjab State Gurdaspur District
  • Gazetteer of The Ambala District 1883 - 84
  • Gazetteer of The Amritsar District 1883-84
  • Gazetteer of The Bannu District
  • Gazetteer of The Bannv District 1883-84
  • Gazetteer of The Delhi District 1883-84
  • Gazetteer of The Dera Ghazi Khan District 1883-84
  • Gazetteer of The Gajaranwala District Revised Edition 1893-94
  • Gazetteer of The Gujarat District 1883-84
  • Gazetteer of The Gujarat District 1892-93
  • Gazetteer of The Gurdaspur District (1891-92)
  • Gazetteer of The Gurgaon District 1883-84
  • Gazetteer of The Hazara District 1907
  • Gazetteer of The Hissar District 1883-84
  • Gazetteer of The Ismail Khan District 1883-84
  • Gazetteer of The Jalandhar District 1883-84
  • Gazetteer of The Jhang District 1883-84
  • Gazetteer of The Jhelam District 1883-84
  • Gazetteer of The Kangra District (1883-84)
  • Gazetteer of The Kangra District Vol.I
  • Gazetteer of The Kangra District Vol.I Kangra Proper 1883-84
  • Gazetteer of The Karnal District
  • Gazetteer of The Karnal District 1883-84
  • Gazetteer of The Montgomery District 1898-99
  • Gazetteer of The Mooltan District 1883-84
  • Gazetteer of The Multan District
  • Gazetteer of The Peshawar District 1883-84
  • Gazetteer of The Peshawar District 1897-98
  • Gazetteer of The Punjab Provincial 1888-89
  • Gazetteer of The Rawalpindi District
  • Gazetteer of The Rohtak District
  • Gazetteer of The Shahpur District
  • Gazetteer of The Sialkot District 1894-95
  • Gazetteer of The Simla District (1888-89)
  • Gazetteers of The Hazara District 1883-84
  • Gazetter of The Dera Ghazi Khan District Revised Edition 1883-84
  • History of Services of Gazetted Government Servants
  • Imperial Gazetteer of India (Vol.VI)
  • Mazaffargarh District Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXXIV-A
  • Mianwali District Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXX A
  • Panjab District Gazetteer - Hoshiarpur
  • Panjab District Gazetteer - Montgomery District Part A
  • Punjab Dictrict Gazetteer - Jullandhar
  • Punjab Dist. Gazetteers Vol.XVI (Part-B) Gujarat District
  • Punjab Dist. Gazetteers Vol.XXVI Part-B Jhang Dist.
  • Punjab District Gazetteer - Amritsar
  • Punjab District Gazetteer - Bathinda
  • Punjab District Gazetteer - District Muzaffargarh - 1929
  • Punjab District Gazetteer - District Muzaffargarh - 1916
  • Punjab District Gazetteer - Ludhiana and Malerkotla State
  • Punjab District Gazetteer - Rupnagar
  • Punjab District Gazetteer ol.XXXII B Jhang District Statistical Tables 1904
  • Punjab District Gazetteer Vol. No.VII Year 1924-25
  • Punjab District Gazetteer Vol.III A Rohtak District With Maps
  • Punjab District Gazetteers - Amritsar District
  • Punjab District Gazetteers - District Attock
  • Punjab District Gazetteers - Ferozepur
  • Punjab District Gazetteers - Gujranwala District 
  • Punjab District Gazetteers - Hoshoapur District
  • Punjab District Gazetteers - Ludhiana
  • Punjab District Gazetteers - Multan
  • Punjab District Gazetteers - Part A - District Jhang
  • Punjab District Gazetteers (Vol.I) Part B Hissar District Statistical Tables 1935
  • Punjab District Gazetteers (Vol.IX) Part B Jullundur District Statistical Tables 1935
  • Punjab District Gazetteers (Vol.V B) Delhi District Statistical Tables 1912
  • Punjab District Gazetteers (Vol.XI) Ferozepore District Statistical Tables 1935
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Amritsar District
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Karnal District Part-B Vol.VI B
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol. XXIII A Sialkot District 1920
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.II B Hissar District And Loharu State Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.II Hisar District Part-A
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.III B Rohtak Disrtrict And Dujana State Statistical Tables 1912
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.III B Rohtak District And Dujana State Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.III Part B Gurgaon District Statistical Tables 1935
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.IV A Gurgaon District 1910
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.IV B Gurgaon District Statistical Tables And Pataudi State Parts A End B 1904
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.IV Part B Karnal District Statistical Tables 1935
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.IX Part-B Jullundur District Stastical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.V Part.B Ambala District Statistical Tables 1936
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.VI B Karnal District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.VI Part.B Simla District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.VII B Ambala District & Khalsa States
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.VII B Ambala District And Khalsa State Statistical Tables 1904
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.VII Part B Kangra District Statistical Tables 1934
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.VIII A Shimla District
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.VIII B Shimla District Statistical Tables 1904
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.VIII B Simla District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.VIII Part B Hoshiarpur District Statistical Tables 1935
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.X B Kangra District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XII B Mandi & Surat States Statistical Tables 1904
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XII Part-B Lahore District 1936
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XIII A
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XIII B Hoshiarpur District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XIV B Jullundur District And Kapurthala State Statistical Tables 1912
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XIV B Jullundur District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XIV Part B Gurdaspur District Statistical Tables 1936
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XIVB Jullundur District Statistical Tables 1916
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XIX B Lahore District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XIX Lahore District Statistical Tables 1912
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XIX Part.B Shahpur District Statistical Tables And Discriptive Portion With Map 1934
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XV A Ludhiana District And Maler Kotla State With Maps 1904
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XV B Ludhiana District Statistical Tables 1912
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XV Part-B Sialkot District Statistical Tables 1936
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XVB Ludhiana District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XVI B Ferozpur For District And Faridkot State Statistical Tables 1904 Part B
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XVI Part-B Gujaranwala District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XVIB Ferozpur District And Faridkot State Statistical Tables 1913
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XVII Part-B Sheikhpura District Statistical Tables 1933
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XVIII B Montgomery District Statistical Tables 1913
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XVIII-A Montgomery District Part-A With Maps
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XX Part-B Jhelum District Statistical Tables 1934
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXI A Gurdaspur District 1914
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXI B Gurdaspur District Statistical Tables 1912
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXI B Gurdaspur District Statistical Tables With Maps 1904
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXI Part-B Rawalpindi District Statistical Tables 1935
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXII Part.B Attock District 1933 Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXIII (Part-B) Sialkot District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXIV (Part-B) Montgomery District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXIV A Gujranwala District Part A
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXIV A Muzaffargarh District
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXIV A Part II A And B Muzaffar Garh District Leiah Tehsil 1916
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXIV B Shahpur District Statistical Tables 1912
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXIX (Part-B) Attock District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXIX A Attock District Part-A
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXIX Part-B D.G. Khan District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXIX-A Attock District Part-A With Maps 1930
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXIXB Attock District Statistical Tables 1907
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXV A Gujrat District 1921
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXV B Gujarat District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXV Part-B Lyallpur District Statistical Tables 1935
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXVB Gujarat District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXVI (Part-B) Gajaranwala District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXVI B Gujaranwala District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXVI B Gujranwala District Statistical Tables 1904
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXVI B Shahpur District Statistical Tables 1904
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXVII (Part-B) Jhelum District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXVIII (Part-B) Rawalpindi District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXVIII A
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXVIII Part.B Muzaffargarh District Statistical Tables 1936
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXVIII Part-B) Jhelum District 1913
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXVIII Rawalpindi District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXX A Ferozpur District
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXX A Kangra District (Parts II Kulu & Saraj III Lahul IV
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXX A Lahore District 1916
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXX A Lahore District 1916
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXX A Shampur District
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXX Mianwali District Statistical Tables 1912
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXXB Lahore District Statistical Tables 1916
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXXI Lyallpur District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXXII Part A Jhang District 1929
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXXIIB Jhang District Statistical Tables 1912
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXXIII (Part-B) Multan District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXXIII B
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXXIV B Muzaffargarh District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXXIV-B Muzaffargarh District Statistical Tables A 24
  • Punjab District Gazetteers Vol.XXXV B D.G. Khan District Statistical Tables
  • Punjab District Gazetters Vol.XXII Part-B Mianwali District Statistical Tables 1935
  • Punjab District Gazetters Vol.XXXB Mianwali District Statistical Tables 1904
  • Punjab Districts Gazetteers Vol.V A Delhi District 1912
  • Punjab Gazetteers (Vol.X) Part B Ludhiana District Statistical Tables 1935
  • Punjab Gazetteers Mandi State 1920 Vol.XII A
  • Punjab Gazetteers Vol.VI A Karnal District 1918
  • Punjab State Gazetteer Vol. XVII A
  • Punjab State Gazetteer Vol.VIII Shimla Hill States 1910
  • Punjab State Gazetteers (Vol.XVII B) Phulkian States Statistical Tables
  • Punjab State Gazetteers (Vol.XXXVI-B) Bahawalpur State Statistical Tables 1913
  • Punjab State Gazetteers (Vol.XXXVIII) Kapurthala State Statistical Tables 1933
  • Punjab State Gazetteers Vol.IX B Sirmour State Statistical Tables 1904
  • Punjab State Gazetteers Vol.IX B Sirmour State Statistical Tsbles 1912
  • Punjab State Gazetteers Vol.XIV B Kapurthala State Statistical Tables
  • Punjab State Gazetteers Vol.XVIIB Patiala State Statistical Tables 1904
  • Punjab State Gazetteers Vol.XXXVI B Bhawalpur State Statistical Tables 1904
  • Punjab States Gazetteers
  • Punjab States Gazetteers Vol.VII A
  • Punjab States Gazetteers Vol.XXII B Chamba States Statistical Tables 1904
  • Sirmour States Gazetteer (Part-A)
  • Sirmour States Gazetteer (Part-A)
  • The Gazetteer of Sikhim
  • The Himalayan Gazetteer - 2002 Vol I
  • The Himalayan Gazetteer - 2002 Vol II
  • The Himalayan Gazetteer - 2002 Vol III
  • The Imperial Gazetteer of India
  • The Imperial Gazetteer of India (The Indian Empire Vol.I Descriptive)
  • The Imperial Gazetteer of India (The Indian Empire Vol.III Economic)
  • The Imperial Gazetteer of India (Vol.I)
  • The Imperial Gazetteer of India (Vol.VII)
  • The Imperial Gazetteer of India (Vol.VIII)
  • The Imperial Gazetteer of India Vol. XV Karachi To Kotayam
  • The Imperial Gazetteer of India Vol.III
  • The Imperial Gazetteer of India Vol.IV
  • The Indian Gazetteers
  • The Mewar Residency (Rajputana Gazetteers)
  • The Mewar Resideny
  • The Western Rajputana States Residency And The Bikaner Agency
(p. 24): Based on 1881 census, the average density of population in two districts in the period from 1853-1881 varied between 200-300 persons per square mile with minor variations in certain pockets. Society on the whole in these two districts being medieval in mind set, casteist, patriarchal and male Chauvinistic in outlook s, the region suffered from an adverse male-female ratio, infanticide especially of the female child and considerable presence of widows among the higher castes. The gazetteer provides meticulously recorded statistics in each of these social indices. That some of these social maladies still afflict the modern society in this region explains the legacy of the past which may interest the sociologists and social activists today as well. The two gazetteers give a tabulated information about the number and courses of its rivers, seasonal rivulets such as the now extinct Sarswati, Ghaggar, Markanda, Tangari, Fauna and Flora, major crops, people’s major occupations, modes of measurement of time in terms of Pahars and gharis, birth, death, betrothal, marriage ceremonies, tribes, castes, genealogy of ruling feudal, princely rulers and names and boundaries of their principalities.
What makes these gazetteers really credible and reliable documents is the stamp of authenticity and seal of authority that this tabulated data bears. The final published data in each gazetteer has been collected and verified by a hierarchy of officials, fully accountable for the genuineness of their inputs. Thus these gazetteers are finely packed and preserved snippets and capsules of reliable statistics and facts of history as well as politico-social and sociological aspects of mid-nineteenth century northern region. Panjab Digital Library, with a sizeable collection of these rare documents in digital formats, endeavours to make this data about our past, legacy and heritage available to the readers.

- Prof. Kulwant Singh
  Senior Metadata Editor at Panjab Digital Library
 
 

 
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