KOTAH, a native state of India, in the Rajputana agency, with an area of 5684 sq. m. The country slopes gently northwards from the high table-land of Malwa, and is drained by the Chambal with its tributaries, all flowing in a northerly or north-easterly direction. The Mokandarra range, from 1200 to 1600 ft. above sea-level, runs from south-east to north-west. The Mokandarra Pass through these hills, in the neighbourhood of the highest peak (1671 ft.), has been rendered memorable by the passage of Colonel Monson's army on its disastrous retreat in 1804. There are extensive game preserves, chiefly covered with grass. In addition to the usual Indian grains, wheat, cotton, poppy, and a little tobacco of good quality are cultivated. The manufactures are very limited. Cotton fabrics are woven, but are being rapidly superseded by the cheap products of Bombay, and Manchaster. Articles of wooden furniture are also constructed. The chief articles of export are opium and grain; salt, cotton and woollen cloth are imported.
Kotah is an offshoot from Bundi state, having been bestowed upon a younger son of the Bundi raja by the emperor Shah Jahan in return for services rendered him when the latter was in rebellion against his father Jahangir. In 1897 a considerable portion of the area taken to form Jhalawar (q.v.) in 1838 was restored to Kotah. In 1901 the population was 544,879, showing a decrease of 24% due to the results of famine. The estimated revenue is 206,000; tribute, 28,000. The maharao Umad Singh, was born in 1873, and succeeded in 1889. He was educated at the Mayo College, Ajmere, and became a major in the British army. A continuation of the branch line of the Indian Midland railway from Goona to Baran passes through Kotah, and it is also traversed by a new line, opened in 1909. The state suffered from drought in 1896-1897, and again more severely in 1899-1900.
The town of Kotah is on the right bank of the Chambal. Pop. (1901), 33,679. It is surrounded and also divided into three parts by massive walls, and contains an old and a new palace of the maharao and a number of fine temples. Muslins are the chief articles of manufacture, but the town has no great trade, and this and the unhealthiness of the site may account for the decrease in population.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)