ETAH, a town and district of India, in the Agra division of the United Provinces. The town is situated on the Grand Trunk road. Pop. (1901) 8796. The district has an area of 1737 sq. m. The district consists for the most part of an elevated alluvial plateau, dipping down on its eastern slope into the valley of the Ganges. The uplands are irrigated by the Ganges canal. Between the modern bed of the Ganges and its ancient channel lies a belt of fertile land, covered with a rich deposit of silt, and abundantly supplied with natural moisture. A long line of swamps and hollows still marks the former course of the river; and above it rises abruptly the original cliff which now forms the terrace of the upland plain. The Kali Nadi, a small stream flowing in a deep and narrow gorge, passes through the centre of the district, and affords an outlet for the surface drainage. Etah was at an early date the seat of a primitive Aryan civilization, and the surrounding country is mentioned by Hsüan Tsang, the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim of the 7th century A.D., as rich in temples and monasteries. But after the bloody repression of Buddhism before the 8th century, the district seems to have fallen once more into the hands of aboriginal tribes, from whom it was wrested a second time by Rajputs during the course of their great migration eastward. With the rest of upper India it passed under the sway of Mahmud of Ghazni in 1017, and thenceforth followed the fortunes of the Mahommedan empire. At the end of the 18th century it formed part of the territory over which the wazir of Oudh had made himself ruler, and it came into the possession of the British government in 1801, under the treaty of Lucknow. During the mutiny of 1857 it was the scene of serious disturbances, coupled with the usual anarchic quarrels among the native princes. In 1901 the population was 863,948, showing an increase of 23% in the decade due to the extension of canal irrigation. It is traversed by a branch of the Rajputana railway from Agra to Cawnpore, with stations at Kasganj and Soron, which are the two largest towns. It has several printing presses, indigo factories, and factories for pressing cotton, and there is a considerable agricultural export trade.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)