1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Chanda

CHANDA, a town and district of British India, in the Nagpur division of the Central Provinces. In 1901 the town had a population of 17,803. It is situated at the junction of the Virai and Jharpat rivers. It was the capital of the Gond kingdom of Chanda, which was established on the ruins of a Hindu state in the 11th or 12th century, and survived until 1751 (see Gondwana). The town is still surrounded by a stone wall 5½m. in circuit. It has several old temples and tombs, and the district at large is rich in remains of antiquity. There are manufactures of cotton, silk, brass-ware and leather slippers, and a considerable local trade.

The District of Chanda has an area of 10,156 sq. m. Excepting in the extreme west, hills are thickly dotted over the country, sometimes in detached ranges, occasionally in isolated peaks rising sheer out from the plain. Towards the east they increase in height, and form a broad tableland, at places 2000 ft. above sea-level. The Wainganga river flows through the district from north to south, meeting the Wardha river at Seoni, where their streams unite to form the Pranhita. Chanda is thickly studded with fine tanks, or rather artificial lakes, formed by closing the outlets of small valleys, or by throwing a dam across tracts intersected by streams. The broad clear sheets of water thus created are often very picturesque in their surroundings of wood and rock. The chief architectural objects of interest are the cave temples at Bhandak, Winjbasani, Dewala and Ghugus; a rock temple in the bed of the Wardha river below Ballalpur; the ancient temples at Markandi, Ambgaon and elsewhere; the forts of Wairagarh and Ballalpur; and the old walls of the city of Chanda, its system of waterworks, and the tombs of the Gond kings. In 1901 the population was 601,533, showing a decrease of 15% in the decade. The principal crops are rice, millet, pulse, wheat, oil-seeds and cotton. The district contains the coalfield of Warora, which was worked by government till 1906, when it was closed. Other fields are known, and iron ores also occur. The district suffered severely from famine in 1900, when in April the number of persons relieved rose to 90,000.