1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hardoi

HARDOI, a town and district of British India, in the Lucknow division of the United Provinces. The town is 63 m. N.E. of Lucknow by rail. Pop. (1901) 12,174. It has a wood-carving industry, saltpetre works, and an export trade in grain.

The District of Hardoi has an area of 2331 sq. m. It is a level district watered by the Ganges, Ramganga, Deoha or Garra, Sukheta, Sai, Baita and Gumti—the three rivers first named being navigable by country boats. Towards the Ganges the land is uneven, and often rises in hillocks of sand cultivated at the base, and their slopes covered with lofty munj grass. Several large jhils or swamps are scattered throughout the district, the largest being that of Sāndi, which is 3 m. long by from 1 to 2 m. broad. These jhils are largely used for irrigation. Large tracts of forest jungle still exist. Leopards, black buck, spotted deer, and nilgai are common; the mallard, teal, grey duck, common goose, and all kinds of waterfowl abound. In 1901 the population of the district was 1,092,834, showing a decrease of nearly 2% in the decade. The district contains a larger urban population than any other in Oudh, the largest town being Shahabad, 20,036 in 1901. It is traversed by the Oudh and Rohilkhand railway from Lucknow to Shahjahanpur, and its branches. The chief exports are grain, sugar, hides, tobacco and saltpetre.

The first authentic records of Hardoi are connected with the Mussulman colonization. Bāwan was occupied by Sayyid Sālār Masāūd in 1028, but the permanent Moslem occupation did not begin till 1217. Owing to the situation of the district, Hardoi formed the scene of many sanguinary battles between the rival Afghan and Mogul empires. Between Bīlgrām and Sāndi was fought the great battle between Humāyun and Sher Shāh, in which the former was utterly defeated. Hardoi, along with the rest of Oudh, became British territory under Lord Dalhousie’s proclamation of February 1856.