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Malabar Manual Vol 2
William Logan

By Chappu Menon, B.A.

Position, Boundaries, Area.—This taluk formerly comprised the taluks of Kavayi and Chirakkal. It is the most northerly taluk of the district. Boundaries ; North—South Canara ; East—Coorg ; South— Kottayam taluk ; West—the Arabian Sea. Its area is not accurately known, there having been no regular survey of it by the professional department. For the census of 1881 the area was taken to be 648 square miles. About 150 square miles may be said to be under cultivation.

Physical Aspect.—The terraced character of the laterite formation is nowhere more conspicuous than in the Chirakkal taluk, and more particularly in that portion of it lying to the north of the Valarpattanam river. These laterite terraces are, as a rule, unproductive, but where they break off in abrupt cliffs the soil is extensively cultivated with coconut and jack and pepper. The flats also lying between the laterite terraces are thickly peopled and every inch of available ground is occupied. Along the coast, the beach, except at Mount Deli and again to the south of Cannanore, is low and sandy. Inland, the outlying spurs of the Ghat mountains are covered with scrub jungle, and even the Ghats themselves are in great part also covered with scrub, the heavy forest having disappeared before the axes and fires of the thriftless punam cultivators.

Population and Houses.—The population, according to the census of 1881, was 272,669 as against 257,377 in 1871, showing an increase of 15,292 or 5.9 per cent, on the number returned in the latter year. The Hindu population numbered 207,909, and there were 60,154 Muhammadans, 4,507 Christians, and 99 persons belonging to other classes. The males were to the females as 132,715 to 139,954, and the density of population was 421 per square mile. The total number of houses in the taluk was 54,005, of which 44,250 were occupied and the rest unoccupied.

Subdivisions of Taluk for Administrative Purposes.—The taluk is subdivided, for purposes of revenue administration, into 43 amsams or villages, each of which is as usual placed under an adhikari (village head) aided by menon (accountant) and a petty staff of peons. Groups of amsams are assigned to officers, designated Deputy Tahsildars, and these latter exercise criminal jurisdiction likewise over the area under their control. There are two Deputy Tahsildars, located one at Taliparamba and the other at Cannanore whose territorial jurisdictions extend over 10 and 9 amsams respectively ; and the Tahsildar, who has general revenue charge of all the amsams and special magisterial charge of 24 of them, has his head-quarters at Cannanore. The Tahsildar and Revenue and Magisterial establishments generally work under the Sub-Collector.

Public Establishments.—In addition to the village and taluk establishments above specified, there are two District Munsifs' Courts, situated at Taliparamba and Chova1 usually designated the District Munsifs' Courts of Kavayi and Cannanore respectively, and there are also four sub-registry offices, located at Palayangadi, Taliparamba, Cannanore and Anjarakandi.

NOTEs: 1. Since transferred to Cannanore. END OF NOTEs

The details of the several public establishments in the taluk are given below:-

1. Brigadier-General commanding the Western District, comprising Malabar and Canara, with the offices of the Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quarter-master Generals’ and Medical Departments, Cannanore.

2. Cantonment Magistrate and his establishment, Cannanore.

3. Civil Surgeon, Cannanore, and Medical subordinates, Cannanore.

4. Superintendent, Central Jail, and his establishments, Cannanore.

5. Chaplain, Cannanore, and church servants, Cannanore.

6. District Munsifs at Taliparamba and Cannanore.

7. Tahsildar, two Deputy Tahsildars, Taluk Sheristadar, Revenue Inspectors and other subordinate revenue staff.

8. Sea Customs Superintendent and Port Conservator, Cannanore, and his subordinates.

9. Two Inspectors of Police, one at Taliparamba, and the other at Cannanore, with station-house officers and men.

10. D.P.W. Supervisor, Cannanore sub-division, and his subordinates.

11. Sub-Registrars of Assurances at Palayangadi, Taliparamba, Cannanore and Anjarakandi.

12. Officers of the Postal and Telegraph departments.

13. Sub-Inspector and other subordinates of the Salt and Abkari department.

14. Local Fund Overseer and his subordinates.

15. Municipal establishment, Cannanore.

16. Inspecting Schoolmasters and teachers.

17. Vaccinators.

NOTEs: 2. The head-quarters and a portion of the British Infantry regiment stationed at Cannanore were transferred from Cannanore to Wellington and Malabar annexed to the newly constituted “Southern District” (G.O. No. 7124, dated 15th November 1886, Military, Board’s Proceedings, No. 62, dated 18th January 1887,) since this article was sent to press. END OF NOTEs

Towns.—Cannanore (lat. 11° 51' 20 N., long. 75° 21' 45" E.), which is the head-quarters of the taluk, is a straggling town situated on the sea coast. It consists of two detached portions, locally known as the old town, or Cannanore proper, and the cantonment.

Between the two, and commanding the old town, lies Fort St. Angelo, an old-fashioned fort built of laterite and standing on a rocky promontory surrounded on three sides by the sea. The fort is held by the British troops located in the cantonment. It has a dry ditch on the landward side and flanking bastions. The greater part of the outworks was demolished some years ago. The fort has a flag-staff with a mast-light for the use of mariners.

Adjoining the fort is the brigade parade ground, which is very extensive, and has on its outskirts the barracks of the European regiment, the Anglican, German, and Roman Catholic churches, the European cemeteries, the powder magazines, the Commissariat office, and the little village of Barnacherry. This esplanade is used for parade and other military purposes.

At a short distance north from the brigade parade ground lies another esplanade used by the Native Infantry regiment. On its outskirts lie the camp bazaar, the depository of the arms of the native regiment and their lines, and a bazaar known as "Thakki" bazaar, used by the native troops. The public buildings at Cannanore present no marked features. They consist of Commissariat offices, Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General’s offices, the Tahsildar’s and Sub-Registrar’s offices, civil and military dispensaries, postal and telegraph offices, and the Government school. The chief places of resort for travellers are the Esplanade Hotel, the travellers’ bangalow, and the mussafarkhana, the latter two belonging to the Cannanore Municipality.

Cotton fabrics of different descriptions are manufactured at Cannanore, chiefly by the mercantile branch of the German Mission. About 3 miles north of the fort is the Central Jail, at a place called Utayan Kunnu ; and the court-house of the District Munsif, Cannanore, is located at Chova1, a suburban place about 3 miles to the south-east of the fort.

NOTEs: 1. Since transferred to Cannanore. END OF NOTEs

The Central Jail is built on the system of blocks of cells radiating from a central watch tower. There is an extensive garden attached to it, in which is situated the Superintendent’s house. The jail can accommodate 829 prisoners.

The Municipal Act (X of 1865) was introduced into Cannanore by the notification of Government, dated 24th June 1867, but its operation was suspended over the area included in what are called “Kirar limits,” owing to the protest made by Sultan Ali Raja of Cannanore. His objection was, however, overruled by the Madras Government2, and the area temporarily excluded was brought within the operation of the municipal enactment in June 1873. The municipality now comprises portions of Pulati and Elayavur amsams, and has an area of about 4 square miles. Its population, according to the census of 1881, was 26,386, of whom Hindus numbered 10,656, Muhammadans 11,617, Christians 4,087, and other classes 26. The males were to the females as 13,046 to 13,340. The number of houses within the municipality was 5,981, of which 1,943 were returned as ‘‘unoccupied" at the recent census. The income of the municipality from all sources of revenue amounts to about Rs. 19,000 on an average. The following table shows how the funds are raised and spent :

NOTEs: 2. G.O. dated 21st June 1873, No. 264, Political. END OF NOTEs


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