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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Backward Mining Methods in Garhwal

Administration, Social and Cultural Characteristics History of Garhwal in Shah Dynasty -13 

History of Garhwal including Haridwar (1223- 1804 AD) –part -202      
   History of Uttarakhand (Garhwal, Kumaon and Haridwar) -450 

                        By: Bhishma Kukreti (A History Research Student)
            Due to backwardness in mining in Garhwal in Pal /Shah Dynasty period, there was least productivity in mining thus low income.
          All the mines were on the hill slopes. The miners used to dig hole in such a way that rain water did not enter into the mines.  The mining holes were so narrow and low height that the mining worker did not have opportunity for standing. On the mine tunnel the roofs were covered by tree log, branches or sleepers but accident took place due to falling of mine debris.
   Miner labors had old types of   hoes, spades, hammers, drillers, etc. These old types of appliances were not able to mine hard rocks and mining from soft rocks was dangerous. The miner used to burn Chill (pine or other plant twig burning lamp) inside the mine for light.
  At the time of water logging the labor used to take out water with the help of wooden Parothi (container). The last person used to hand over water Parothi to other and Parothi was hand over one person to last person like that.
                              Ore Cleaning
 The mining labor (Agariya majdur) used to take animal bag (Goat etc) inside the mine. There he used to fill ores inside the animal bag and used to close there. He used to tie bag by rope and tied on his back. Then he used to pull the ore filled bag towards the opening.
 The ore was hit by Thath (hammaers) on a stone by women. Then stones were separated by women. The ore was taken to river bank and was washed there. This way stone, mud and other unnecessary material was separated.
                    Ore Smelting
           The cleaned ores were taken to the smelting factory (Ghansal or Ansal). The smelting workers were called Dhanoriya. Dhanoriya had factories inside normal hut and had pits inside the Ghasal. The ore was smelted by wood coal. The Dhanauriya had Dhankani to blow air.The ore smelt used to take around twenty nine hours. This way the metal round roll (Pind) was produced. Dhanoriya used to send Metal Roll to ‘Khateniya’ who used to convert Pind (roll) into ‘Fal’ or ‘Pai’(plates). The weight of a Fal or Pai was around a kilo. The ‘Fal used to be thick in the centre and thinnest towards the corner.
  By 930 Ser of ore (around .80 Kilo), 327 Ser of metal was extracted and then 82 Ser of pure iron was extracted. The productivity was 8.8 percent.
 The iron smith had two castes –Lohaar (those who used to make agro appliances and Bhadeliya who used to make iron house hold appliances.
                        Mining Contractors
  Mines were Kingdom properties. Kingdom used to give mines on contract for five –six or more years. The contractor used to pay half of the money of the metal value to the Kingdom. The contractors used to hire mining labor (Agriya or Chhora) on contract. Agriya used to do farming near mines land. Garhwal Kingdom used to get income for Rs 5000 (nepali ) from Nagpur copper mines. That means same way; there were incomes from other mines too.

                            Extracting Gold Dust  
     The gold dust was found in the river sands of Garhwal. Dhunar used to extract gold dust from river sand by washing sand into water. Dhunar used to take contract of river bank land. Each Dhunar used to deposit Rs 100/- annually in the treasury.
The following centers were for gold dust extraction –
Karnprayag region – Banks of Pindar and Alaknanda and other rivulets
Painkhanda –Alaknanda valley
Devprayag – Alaknanda and Bhagirathi valleys
Rishikesh –Ganga Banks
Haridwar – Ganga Bank
Lakadghat – Kalgarh at the Ramganga bank
Mandakini bank –Near Kedarnath
                     Miscellaneous Minerals in Garhwal
Sandstone was important mineral in Haridwar and Rishikesh. There were lead mines in Dashauli and Garhwal Kingdom used to mine lead from there. Garhwal Kingdom had given the land to Lead miners that whenever Kingdom needed lead the Dhunariya or Agariya would mine the Lead from mines. There was Mica, sulfur, Shilajit minerals too. Traders used to call Borax from  Tibet and used to supply in Indian plains.

Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti Mumbai, India, bckukreti@gmail.com7/10/2014
History of Garhwal – Kumaon-Haridwar (Uttarakhand, India) to be continued… Part -451
(The History of Garhwal, Kumaon, Haridwar write up is aimed for general readers)
History of Garhwal from 1223-1804 to be continued in next chapter ….
Notes on South Asian Modern Period  History of Garhwal;  South Asian Modern Period   History of Pauri Garhwal; South Asian  Modern Period  History of Chamoli Garhwal;  South Asian Modern Period   History of Rudraprayag Garhwal;  South Asian Modern  History of Tehri Garhwal; South Asian Modern  History of Uttarkashi Garhwal;  South Asian Modern Period   History of Dehradun, Garhwal;  Modern  History of Haridwar ;  South Asian Modern Period   History of Manglaur, Haridwar;  South Asian Modern Period   History of Rurkee Haridwar ;  South Asian Modern Period   History of Bahadarpur Haridwar ; South Asian Modern Period  History of Haridwar district, History of Characteristics of Garhwal Kings Shah dynasty ,  to be continued
  Backward Mining Methods in Garhwal; Backward Mining Methods in Garhwal in context Haridwar, Garhwal History; Backward Mining Methods in Garhwal in context Dehradun Garhwal History; Backward Mining Methods in Garhwal in context Pauri Garhwal History; Backward Mining Methods in Garhwal in context Uttarkashi Garhwal History; Backward Mining Methods in Garhwal in context Chamoli Garhwal History; Backward Mining Methods in Tehri Garhwal in context Tehri  Garhwal History; Backward Mining Methods in Garhwal in context Rudraprayag Garhwal History;