BOG ALCUND, a district of the province of Gundwana in Hindostan, in the 25th degree of north latitude, and 82d of east longitude ; bounded on the west by the British possessions in Bundelcund; on the east by the small territory of Manwaa ; and wa tered by the rivers Soane, Btchanuddy, and Behen middy.
The exact dimensions of this country, so far as we know, are not ascertained,, but they appear to be considerable. Part of it is fertile and well cultivat. . ed ; the chief crops are wheat, barley, and different kinds of pease, all in tolerable quantity : neverthe less, very little grain, exceeding their own necessi ties, is raised by the natives. They have also nume rous herds of black-cattle, and larget_ipiks of sheep. The whole surface is traversed by good roads. Its access from Allaliabad, to which it was annexed by A urengzebe, is by a pass called Sohagee Ghaut, long, steep, and difficult, having at its extremity a redoubt in a strong position. From hence Bogsictmd appears like a great table and, without any descent, and the traveller is conducted by a good road to the ca pital.
Gundwana is inhabited by various tribes, who seem to receive the generic name of Goands. Their man ners and civilization are different, and in various stages of advancement ; some, particularly the moun taineers, are rude and savage. They go almost naked, if not entirely so; practise gross supersti tions ; and dwell in villages consisting of a few huts in places almost inaccessible. But those in the lower and fertile parts of the country are more cultivated, and sufficiently courteous to strangers. The inhabi tants of Bogalcund are called Bogals, Bogheleis, or Boghels, synoaymes used indifferently ; but it is not evident whether they should be considered a distinct race from the Goands of Gundwana. They are re ported to have migrated hither from Guzerat many centuries ago, and gradually enlarging their confines by an encroachment on those of their neighbours, expelled a tribe of mountaineers from Shewah, which their chief was induced, by the excellence of its si tuation, to select for his own residence. It is not
unlikely they are of Tartar origin. As this is one of the northern countries of India, whose histo ry and statistics are extremely obscure, very little can be said of the manners, customs, and conditions of its inhabitants. They consist of five different tribes, acknowledging the same government, but without admitting an equal control, or paying the like obedience to it. Part, er the whole, profess the Mahometan religion, and many temples are to be seen in the territory. Three of the tribes follow a practice, too general in the east, of destroying their infant daughters, which must inevitably restrict the population.
The Bogals are skilful in agriculture ; and they have many fine tanks, or artificial ponds, conveni. ences of greater importance in India, and of infinitely greater size than Europeans are wont to conceive. These are generally situate on a declivity, three sides being built up with much art and labour, and the fourth serving as a natural embankment. The agricultural skill of the inhabitants results, in a great measure, from the nature of the government. Here the feudal system prevails, and many of the lands are held by military tenure. The forces have no pay, but, in lieu of it, certain lands are assigned for their subsistence. Their influence is thence very great, and there is not an officer among them with out one or two villages for his support. The country is thus partitioned among innumerable feudatories, who find it their interest to promote agriculture in order to provide more amply for their own subsist ence. It is common with the peasantry to change their abode at intervals of three or four years, for the purpose of tilling the ground whereon their cot tages stood. The traces of villages recently aban doned are, therefore, frequently to be seen, and would indicate declining prosperity, did not their re newal in ether places, as often presented to view, prove the reverse.