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'Report on Kurdistan' [‎24r] (52/220)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (106 folios). It was created in 1911. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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protection of the district. The men of the garrison said that they got no pay,
but were allowed a half-oke of barley a day; and even this pittance was not given
regularly. They lived by robbing the Government and the people as often as they
got the chance. They complained bitterly of their treatment and of the Govern
ment, and wished that some foreign power would annex the country.
The local levies, or militia, of Merivan are subordinate to the Mustaufi Bashi,
or Hakim of Merivan ; they consist of about 1,500 tufangchis, armed with flint
guns, and 200 horsemen. Only half the tufangchis serve at one time. A regi
ment of infantry, nominally of eight companies of 100 each, and called Fauj-i-
Kurdistan (Zafar regiment), is furnished by the surrounding districts as
their quota for the regular forces ; this is not under the authority of the Hakim
of Merivan, but is commanded entirely by its Sartip. The names of these officials,
respectively, areMirza Muhammad Sadik and Muhammad Ali Khan.* The regiment
was armed with heavy muzzle-loading muskets, sighted to 550 yards.”
Gerard (27th March 1882) writes “ Merivan (which he mentions as 3 q
miles south of Baneh, close to Penjvin) is situated among valleys with lovely
grazing-ground. A small square fort, with flanking bastions, is here close to the
village : it is of somewhat modern construction. The Kurd civil governor of
the district treated me most hospitably, and also the Persian commandant, who
has 10 gunners and 30 sarbaz as garrison.”
At 2,000 paces from the lake of Zeribar the above-mentioned fort was
by order of Nasr-ud-Din Shah, built in 1281 A. H. = 1865., Five years later on the
advice of Farhad Mirza, Mu’tamad-ud-Dauleh, the size of the fort was reduced
and its strength greatly improved. 40,000 tum'ins were spent on this fort.
It has an arsenal, an artillery square, and some guns. To the west of this fort
which is called Kaleh-Shaha'bad, Mu’tamad-ud-Dauleh built a settlement usually
named now Kaleh Merivan instead of Kaleh Shahabad, and brought to it 100
families, some of which still remain-f The place has a hammam and a mosque,
and Muhammad Ali Khan, Zafar-us-Sultaneh, built a caravanserai here. On
account of the proximity of lake Zeribar the climate of Shahabad is very hot
and unhealthy.
At 3,000 to 4,000 paces from Kaleh-Shahabad on the summit of a hill is the
old Kaleh Merivan, in olden times one of the strongholds of the Valis and capital
of their dominions. It is situated in a position of great strength. Some twenty
times did Turks and Persians meet in battle array in the plain down below. In
this ancient fort Algas Mirza. who had taken arms against his brother Shah
Tahmasp L, surrendered in 1005 A. H. (1597) to Surkhab Beg, Yah of Kurdistan,
who obtained for him the royal pardon.
^ Exports from Merivan to Turkey consist of the so-called red ” tobacco,
carpets, silk tissues, henna, wooden combs, mercery, and dried fruits. i
Imports from Sulaimanieh and Penjvin comprise gall-nuts, iron, worked
iron, dates, a few prints, tea, and sugar.|
At the village of Pilek in the same district Mu’tamad-ud-Dauleh had Hassan
Sultan Aurami hanged in sight of his own fol-
Pile k. lowers, and put his two brothers in chains, as
they had come to oppose him with 1,000 tufangchis.
* Now titled Zafar-uUVlulk. t This village now only numbers some
t For the year January 21, 1902, to Jan- 30 to 40 families of the Kalkufi branch of
uary 20, 1903, exports to Turkey amounted Kalbaghi Kurds,
to Kra. 4,808 and imports to Krs.

About this item


Confidential report compiled by Hyacinth Louis Rabino. The report was printed in Simla at the Government Monotype Press, 1911.

The report is divided into three parts (I-III), as follows:

Part I: Geographical and Commercial Notes (folios 6-39) with sections on the province of Kurdistan (including information on cultivation, population, revenue, roads, imports/exports, and the capital, Senna), its tribes (including statistics on population, land, and residences), rivers, and mountains, and appendices comprised of government lists of villages.

Part II: History (folios 40-54) with a chart showing the Valis and Provincial Governors of Kurdistan for the years 1169-1905 (folio 41).

Part III: Gazetteer of Kurdistan (folios 55-104) arranged alphabetically.

At the back of the volume is a glossary (folios 105-06) including notes on the weights used in Kurdistan.

Extent and format
1 volume (106 folios)

There is a contents page at the front of the volume (f 5) which refers to the volume's original pagination.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence for this description commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 108; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'Report on Kurdistan' [‎24r] (52/220), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/21, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 23 February 2020]

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