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Vizianagram

VIZIANAGRAM, a town of India, in the Vizagapatam district of Madras, 17 m. from the seaport of Bimlipatam, on the East Coast railway, 522 m. N.E. of Madras. Pop. (1001) 37,270. It has a small military cantonment. It contains the residence of a zamindar of the same name, who ranks as the first Hindu nobleman of Madras. His estate covers about 3000 sq. m., with a population of 900,000. The estimated income is 180,000 , paying a permanent land revenue of 34,000. The town possesses many fine buildings, entirely supported by the raja. It has a college and two high schools.

The ruling family, which claims descent from a high official at the court of Golconda, established itself in Vizagapatam in the 17th century. In 1754 Viziarama Raz made an alliance with the French, but his son, on succeeding, fell out with them, captured Vizagapatam from them and ceded it to the British in 1758. The next raja, another Viziarama, was entirely under the influence of his half-brother Sita Ram, whose power, however, became so great a menace that he was forced to retire in 1793. A period of decay now set in. The raja was incompetent, and, his estate having been sequestrated for debt, revolted and was defeated and killed in 1794. The next raja, Narayana Babu, was no more successful, and his estate had been long under the management of the British government when he died in 1845. Viziarama Gajapati Raz, who succeeded him and took over full powers in 1852, was a man of ability, and received the titles of maharaja and K. C.S.I.; as also was his son, the maharaja Ananda Raz, G.C.I.E. He died in 1897, and was succeeded by Raja Pusapati Viziarama Gajapati Raz, during whose minority (till 1904) the estate was again under government administration.

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

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