In transcribing the following paragraphs from the Internet Archive online version of The Imperial Gazetteer’s entry on Hindustan, I have expanded the abbreviations for easier reading and added paragraphing and links. This mid-Victorian reference work has substantial sections on both India and Hindustan, and it is not always clear how Victorians distinguished between the two. The title-page bears the date 1856, but internal evidence in various entrees makes clear that the text dates from 1851 or 1852. This discussion of British India has particular importance because it immediately precedes the 1857 Mutiny.— George P. Landow]

The minerals of this vast territory are as various as its other products. The Himalayan mountains abound in iron, copper, and lead; the mines have, however, been only super ficially worked. Graphite has been found in the province of Kumaon, and traces of lignite in the tertiary formation; where immense deposits of fossil bones have also been discovered.

Deposits of coal stretch across India from east to west; from Assam and Sylhet into Burdwan, where some coal mines are wrought for the supply of Calcutta; and along the course of the Nerbudda, as well as in the west district of Cutch. Agates and carnelians abound throughout Central India; and at Surat and other places, on the west side of the peninsula, carnelians are cut and wrought with great ability by native artists. Nitre and nitrate of soda effloresce in great quantities on the soil indifferent parts of Hindoostan; and all, or nearly all, the supply of those minerals to Great Britain is now de rived from India.

Gold is procured by washing the sand of some rivers, and iron is in many parts abundant; but few mines of any metals exist. Diamonds are found at Panna, in Bundelcund; the mines of which, under the name of Pa- nassa, are mentioned by Pliny. They are also found in the Deccan, but few are now produced. A species of carbonate of lime, termed hauliar, and porcelain clays, are plentiful; as are marbles of various colours. Alum is obtained in Cutch in considerable quantities.

Related material


Blackie, Walker Graham. The Imperial Gazetteer: A General Dictionary of Geography, Physical, Political, Statistical and Descriptive. 4 vols. London: Blackie & Son, 1856. Internet Archive online version of a copy in the University of California Library. Web. 7 November 2018.

Last modified 10 December 2018