About Etawah


Etawah lies entirely in the Gangetic plain, but its physical features vary considerably and are determined by the rivers which cross it. It is divisible into four portions of district natural characteristics.

The first of these consists of the country lying north-east of the Senger river, which runs across it from west to east almost parallel to the Yamuna; it includes the northern portions of tahsils Etawah and Bharthana. The second tract lies south of the Senger and extends as far as the high lands immediately overlooking the Yamuna.

It comprises a slightly undulating switch of country covering portions of Etawah and Bharthana and the bulk of a Auraiya Tahsil (now in Auraiya District). The tract includes the parts of some tehsils adjoining the river Yamuna.

Beyond the river Yamuna, stretching from the borders of tahsil Bah in Agra to the confluence of the Sindh, Kuwari, Chambal and Yamuna rivers, lies the high and broken country formerly known as Janibrast. These tracts differ from each other in a very marked degree though each presents general conformity within its own limits.

History of Etawah

The nation has proudly venerated those who had participated in the struggle. Till January, 1974, 548 persons of the district who took part in India's freedom struggle or their dependants were awarded Tamra Patras, i.e. copper plates containing a record of the services rendered by them or their forebears. This is a number which any district can boast of without exaggerating its role. Since then the District Administration is functioning well and the socio-economic environment remained decent.

With the fall of Delhi and Kanauj in 1193 A.D. the district landslided with in the sphere of the Moghuls, which by the end of century India was held in different degrees of subjection, except Malwa and some contiguous districts; and from that date till 1801, if we except the short period of Maratha occupation, it continued uninterruptedly to form a part of the dominions which owed real or nominal allegiance either to the Delhi court or its vassals.

The early period of the thirteenth century is probably the irruption and settling of the Rajputs clans. Sengars spread themselves over the bulk of Bidhuna and Auraiya, wresting the country, as it is said, from half savage Meos. Gaurs occupied parts of Phaphund and Bidhuna near the Kanpur boundary, only to succumb in turn to immigrant Chandels from Mahoba, Parihars in the wild region of the Pachnada; while Bhadaurias and Dhakras wind the rugged country between the Yamuna and the Chambal.

Lately the western portion of the district, with extensive tracts now in Mainpuri , passed into the hands of the Chauhans. Along with these Rajputs immigrants came Brahmans and Kayasthas, and the Hindu inhabitants were distributed over the district in much the same arrangement as obtains at the present day.

The allegiance, however, which some of these hardy Tribal owed to successive occupants of the Delhi throne was for many years merely nominal. They appear to have been able to hold their own remarkably well and to have bid defiance to the western adventurers with considerable success. Hardly a year passed by, after the reign of Firoz Shah and the orderly administration had come to an end, when an mission had to be sent against the "accursed in fields of Etawah," in order to extract the payment of revenue.

The trouble first began in the reign of Nasir-ud-din Muhammad Shah who ascended the throne in 1389 A.D. After cementing his position by the defeat of Abu Bakr Shah and the old slaves of Firoz Shah near Hardwar in 1390 A.D. this Sultan proceeded forward through the Doab to Etawah, where he met Vir Singh, the Tomar chief of Gwalior. This chief apparently proffered his allegiance to the Sultan, for we read that he was graciously received and sent back to his kingdom, while the emperor returned along the Yamuna to Delhi.

The conduct of Nar Singh on this occasion may be considered by implication, to have been the same as that of all the neighbouring Rajput chieftains; for the evidence furnished by subsequent events, shows that he was the acknowledged head of the Rajput tribes that had occupied the Etawah and Mainpuri districts towards the end of the 12th century. Only two years after his reception by Muhammad Shah at Etawah or in 1392 A.D. Nar Singh, Sarvadharan and Bir Bahan broke out into revolt. There is some doubt as to the identity of Sarvadharan, but all indications point to the fact that he is the same person as the Rai Sarwar of the historians and the Sumer Sah of tradition, who founded the Chauhan house of Partapner and whose clansmen were the progenitors of the present Chauhan residents of the Mainpuri district.

The coalition was a powerful one and seriously alarmed Delhi sovereign, who sent Islam Khan against Nar Singh, while he took the field in person against Nar Singh allies. Nar Singh was defeated, his forces were put to flight and he himself compelled to sue for peace. He was carried to Delhi and there kept in prison. Meanwhile Sarvadharan attacked the town of Balram; but on the Sultan's approach he fled to Etawah, followed by the imperial forces.

Climate of Etawah


The average annual rainfall in the district is 792 mm and in the year 1998 Zila Sankhikiya Patrika it is given to be 640 mm. About 85% of the annual normal rainfall in the district is received during the south west monsoon months from June to September, August being the rainiest month.


After February there is a steady increase in temperature. May is generally the hottest month with the mean daily maximum temperature at about 42 °C and the mean daily minimum at about 26 °C. The nights are warmer in June than in May. The heat in the summer is intense and the hot, dry and dust-laden westerly winds which are common in the hot season make the weather severely tiring. In this season maximum temperatures on individual days sometimes reach 46 °C or over. With the onset of the south-west monsoon over the district by about the third week of June there is appreciable drop in the day temperature and the weather becomes more bearable. But the nights still continue to be as warm as in the latter part of the summer. With the withdrawal of the monsoon by about the end of September there is a slight increase in the day temperature. There is a rapid drop in the night temperature after the withdrawal of the monsoon. After November both day and night temperatures decrease rapidly till January, which is usually the coldest month with the mean daily maximum temperature about 23 °C and the mean daily minimum temperature at about 8 °C. During the cold season the district as affected by cold waves and fog and the minimum temperature occasionally goes down to 3 °C.


During the rainy season the relative humidity is generally high being over 70%. Thereafter the humidity decreases and by summer which is the driest part of the year the relative humidity in the afternoons become less than 30%.


Winds are generally light and are mostly from directions between south-west and north-west. In May, the south-west monsoon season winds on many days blow also from directions between north-east and south-east.

Etawah at a Glance

The district of Etawah lies in the southwestern portion of Uttar Pradesh 26° 47" north latitude and 72° 20" east longitude and forms a part of the Kanpur Division. In shape it is a parallelogram with a length from north to south 70 Km. and East to west 66 KmOn one side and 24 Km on the other side. It is bounded on the north by the districts of Farrukhabad and Mainpuri, while the small extent of western border adjoins tahsil Bah of the Agra district.

The eastern frontier marches with the district of Auraiya, and along the south lies Jalaun and the district of Gwalior, the division line being, except for a short distance, the Chambal and Yamuna rivers. The total area in 1999 is calculated to be 2434 Km.

Language & Culture of Etawah

Language :

The language of practically the entire population is what is known as western Hindi. The returns of the census 1981 showed that this language was spoken by about 96.8 per cent of the population. In 1971, the percentage of Hindi speaking persons was 96.4.

Western Hindi is split up into several subdivisions. In 1981, the language known as Hindustani or Urdu was spoken by about 3.10 per cent (3.35 per cent in 1961) of the people, representing for the most part the inhabitants of Etawah city, while the bulk of the people spoke Antarbedi, or its varient called Pachharua, so called after the tract of that name.

In the trans-Yamuna portion of the district the dialect is known as Bhadauri, which is a form of Bundelkhandi, itself, a branch of Hindi. It derives its name from Bhadawar, the home of the Bhadoria Rajputs. A few people also speak Punjabi, Bengali or Sindhi. Devannagri script is being used for Hindi and its allied branches such as Garhwali, Kumauni etc. and the script used for Urdu is Persian. The other languages generally using their own scripts.

Culture :


Wheat constitutes the staple food of the people, other materials commonly consumed here as food being maize, barley, gram and jowar. Chapaties prepared from kneaded wheat or corn flour are generally eaten with dal or gur and milk. The pulses consumed here are urd, arhar, moong, chana, masur etc. One major meal is taken at about 1 P.M. in the day. Breakfast consists of tea and any of the Indian or western stuff. At nightfall the people take a light meal. Among edible fats ghee, vanaspati and mustard oil are more commonly used. The pure ghee of Etawah is quite famous for its thickness and purity. Spicy diet is not preferred though people are quite fond of pickles, chutneys and bari-mangauris.


The people of Etawah have colorful and different attires. The Sari-blouse-petticoat trio is the most favourite dress of ladies of all denominations, though women in Dupatta-kurta-salwar combinations are usually met with.

The best known Etawah's outfit is the 'Sari'. This graceful attire is a rectangular piece of Cloth, normally 5 to 6 meters in length and over a meter in width. It is worn without any pins or buttons or fastenings. The tightly fitted short blouse worn under a sari draped over the wearer's shoulder is known as the Pallav or palloo. The style, color and texture of a saree varies from one to another and may be made from cotton, silk or one of several man-made materials. Its ageless charm is provided from the fact that it is not cut or tailored for any particular size, and can fit any woman.

3. Dance & Music

Popular varieties of folk music prevalent throughout western U.P. e.g. the Allaha, Phaag, Kajari and Rasiyas, etc. are popular in this district as well, and are sung at different times of the year. Folk songs known as Dhola, Unchari and Langadia are also very common in the villages. Bhajans, Kirtan in a chorus to the accomplishment of musical instruments is very much liked by the inhabitants of the district.

How to Reach

The town of Etawah is centrally located having links to adjoining districts viz. Gwalior, Agra, Farrukhabad, Mainpuri, Kanpur and Jalaun. The city is well connected by road as well as by rail.

It is situated at a distance of 120 km from Agra, 165 km from Kanpur, 60km from Mainpuri and 125 km from Gwalior by road. It takes about two hours journey by train from Kanpur to Etawah.

Mode of Conveyance

From the earliest times till the coming of railways, the usual means of transport and travel were palanquins, horses, camels, and vehicles drawn by bullocks, buffaloes, horses and camels. The Ekka and gari or bugee appear to have been developed during the Mughal period.

With the construction of metalled roads speedy mechanised transport made its appearance. An economical and convenient means of transport, the bicycle is popular both in rural and urban areas. In urban areas the cycle-rickshaw is popular means of conveyance and has replaced ekkas and tongas.

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