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MUZAFFARNAGAR, a town and district of India, in the Meerut division of the United Provinces. The town is 790 ft. above the sea, and has a station on the North-Western railway. Pop. (1901), 23,444. It is an important trading centre and has a manufacture of blankets. It was founded about 1633 by the son of Muzaffar Khan, Khan-i-Jahan, one of the famous Sayid family who rose to power under the emperor Shah Jahan.

The DISTRICT OF MUZAFFARNAGAR has an area of 1666 sq. m. It lies near the northern extremity of the Doab or great alluvial plain between the Ganges and the Jumna, and shares to a large extent in the general monotony of that level region. A great portion is sandy and unfertile; but under irrigation the soil is rapidly improving, and in many places the villagers have succeeded in introducing a high state of cultivation. Before the opening of the canals Muzaffarnagar was liable to famines caused by drought; but the danger from this has been minimized by the spread of irrigation. It is traversed by four main canals, the Ganges, Anupshahr, Deoband and Eastern Jumna. Its trade is confined to the raw materials it produces. The climate of the district is comparatively cool, owing to the proximity of the hills; and the average annual rainfall is 33 in. The population in 1901 was- 877,188, showing an increase of 13-5 % in the decade, which was a period of unexampled prosperity. The principal crops are wheat, pulse, cotton and sugar-cane. The district is crossed by the North-Western railway from Delhi to Saharanpur.

Hindu tradition represents Muzaffarnagar as having formed a portion of the Pandava kingdom of the Mahdbharala; authentic history, however, dates from the time of the Moslem conquests in the 13th century, from which time it remained a dependency of the various Mahommedan dynasties which ruled at Delhi until the practical downfall of the Mogul Empire in the middle of the 18th century. In 1788 the district fell into the hands of the Mahrattas. After the fall of Aligarh, the whole Doab as far north as the Siwalik hills passed into the hands of the British without a blow, and Muzaffarnagar became part of Saharanpur. It was created a separate jurisdiction in 1824. During the Mutiny there was some disorder, chiefly occasioned by official weakness, but no severe fighting.

See Muzaffarnagar District Gazetteer (Allahabad, 1903).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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