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Boundaries and Area River System


Lakes and Jhils


Waste Land
 Soils Climate

Boundaries and Area

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 Km. on 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 lie 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.

Click here to view the geographical map of Etawah in 2000 A.D.



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 tahsils that adjoins the river Yamuna. Beyond the 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.

The Pachar

The northern portion of the district, which is separated from the rest by the Sengar, is known in the language of the country as Pachar. It presents a level expanse of upland, of which the surface is only broken by occasional sandy ridges or by one or two inconsiderable streams such as the Pandu and Arind or Rind, and the latter's tributaries, the Ahneya and Puraha. The soil is for the most part a rich loam of great fertility, interspersed with large tracts of usar and frequently varied by beds of clay, the centers of which form marshes  or jhils out of which rise some small streams. It forms the most important part of the district from an agricultural point of view and is thickly studded with well populated sites and hamlets.

The Ghar
The second tract between the Sengar and the Yamuna locally known as the Ghar. Its characteristic soil is a red a light but fertile sandy loam. The surface, which is not quite level, lies lowest nearly midway between the two rivers and one like the pachar, the Ghar is a plain of culturable soil unbroken by usar, while in the depressions the clay is found in much smaller beds. Here and there the ground rises into hillocks of sand and bhur, but these are for the most part confined to the Bharthana tehsil. Some of the largest towns in the district lie in this tract, in close proximity to the old Mughal road; yet the population is less dense and the village sites are smaller than in the northern portion of the district. The extension of canal irrigation to the Ghar, however, has considerably altered the characteristics of the tract and done much to assimilate in to the Pachar.

The Karka
South of the Ghar lie the uplands and ravines along the banks of the Yamuna and these form the third natural division of the district known as the Karka. The population here is scanty and the village sites are usually buried far away amid ravines; but the characteristics are not entirely uniform. If, a section of the Karka were taken from the uplands to the river, it would show first a tract of cultivated land similar in character and, as a rule, quite equal to the soil of the Ghar, secondly, a large area of wild and deep ravines covered with grass and thorny brushwood and in parts quite bare; thirdly, a low-lying plain of rich soil, subject to the floods of the Yamuna where it overflows in the rains; and fourthly, a fringe or strip of rich alluvial deposit along the very edge of the stream. Sometimes, however, the two latter and most valuable portions are altogether wanting, and the river sweeps right up to the foot of other bluffs that terminate the ravine ground. In some places, especially to the cast of the district, where the broken ground is wildest and covers the largest area, the ravines do not run down evenly and directly to the river but are divided as it were into two stages or steps, the first being separated from the last by be uneven plain of rough clay not unlike Bundelkhand soil.

The Par
The fourth tract comprises the lands lying between the Yamuna and the Chambal known as Par, and those on the right bank of the Chambal between it and the Kunwari. It is divided into four portions, namely Patti Kamait, Taluqas Chakarnagar and Sahson, Taluqa Bhareh and Taluqa Sandaus; and includes portions of the three tahsils Auraiya, Bharthana and Etawah. It extends from the borders of tahsil Bah in the Agra district to the point where the Yamuna, Chambal, Sindh and Kuwari unite. Patti Kamait comprises the western portion lying within the Etawah tahsil and extends as for as Kandhesi Ghar in Bharthana tahsil. To the last, where the space between the rivers is narrowest, the ravines Join and leave no level around between them; but towards the west the streams separate and in the centre is found a fine tableland of good loam, some four or five miles wide. There are few ridges of sand, and where the rivers again trend towards each other the soil is a friable clay full of holes and fissures like the well known black soil of Bundelkhand. This upland is bordered on either side by a network of intricate ravine beyond which there exists but little alluvial land, though a few bays of white sandy kachhar soil are found on the Yamuna bank. 


The portion of the district lying north of the Yamuna presents no great changes of level. It may be described as a plain intersected by shallow river valleys formed by small streams such as the Ahneya, Sengar and Rind, sloping from north-west to south-eat. A line of levels taken north and south across the district, two miles south-east of Hardoi in Etawah tahsil, shows that the recorded height above the sea near the village of Karri on the Mainpuri border is 191 feet near the Sarai Bhopat station of the East Indian Railway on the road from Etawah to Jaswantngar. The bed of the Sengar lies just 20 feet below this, the recorded level being 171 feet. The Etawah branch of the canal runs along the centre of this tract and the levels along it will give a clear idea of the south-easterly slope. At Hardoi the recorded height is 50053 feet; near Bharthana it is 482.00 feet; at Chachund  474 feet; and near Kanchausi, on the Kanpur border, 459 feet. The heights in the trans-Yamuna tract are not recorded, but this portion of the district lies at a somewhat higher elevation. The country, however, is too narrow and broken in character for transverse sections to convey an adequate idea of  its general contour: the slope follows that of the rest of the district and is from north-west to south-east.


In the Pachar and Ghar tracts the soils are broadly distinguishable into dumat or loam, matiyar or clay, and bhur or sand. Besides these are found everywhere low-lying beds of clay in which water collects during the rains and rice alone can be grown; these clay beds are known as Jhabar. In the Kurka and trans-Yamuna tract several other classes of soil are met with. In the ravines of the river and the land immediately adjacent to them are found fields full of kankar and gravel, the soil of which is called Pakar; this is in fact a sandy soil mixed with gravel. Below the ravines and in the wider valleys between them the soil that is flooded by the Yamuna is called kachhar; and along the edges of the streams there is a rich strip of alluvial deposit which is known as Tir. Both kachhar and tir vary greatly in quality: some patches of these soils consist of a rich reddish clay which lets at a high rental; other portions are composed of a dark colored loam; and others again are while and sandy in appearance and less fertile.

River System

The rivers and streams of the district consist of the Yamuna its two large affluent, the Chambal and, the Kuwari; the Sengar, and its tributary Sirsa; The Rind or Arind and its tributeries the Ahenya, the Puraha and the Pandu.

The Yamuna
The Yamuna first touches the frontier of the district at the village of Bawat in the north-west of tahsil Etawah. For 24 Km.  it forms the boundary between the district and Agra and then continues in a winding course, with a south-easterly direction, till it describes a remarkable curve near the village of Harauli before it unites its waters with those of the Chambal at Bhareh. Rain forced at this point by the latter stream it turns abruptly to the south and then once more sweeps eastward. Thenceforward its course lies almost due east, and it forms the common boundary of this district and Jalaun. The total length of the Yamuna in the district is about 112 Km. The bank on one side is unusually steep and precipitous whilst on other it is low and upon to the overflow of the river in the rains. For this reason the river spreads much in times of flood, and the surface velocity being small it covers a large area with a rich alluvial deposit in the rains. This natural tendency of the Yamuna to undulate the land along its banks is increased by the action of its tributary, the Chambal which rushing into it almost at right angles, throws lack by its greater volume and velocity the waters of the Yamuna and acts for the time as a sort of weir which still further retards that river.

The Chambal
South of the Yamuna flows the large river of the Chambal; this rises in Malwa on the northern slope of the Vindhyas near Mhow. It first touches the district at the village of Murong in the trans-Yamuna tract of Etawah tahsil, and for 40 Kms. forms the boundary of the district with the state of Madhya Pradesh. At Barechcha it is for the first time flanked on either side by land belonging to this district and for the remainder of its course of 35 Kms. flows through this district. Near its confluence with the Yamuna at Bhareh it forms a large though less abrupt curve than that river. In appearance and character the Chambal closely resembles the Yamuna and has within this district, a channel of equal dimensions. It is exceedingly liable to sudden and heavy floods owing to the step gradient of its bed before it debouches on the alluvial plain, and from the superior velocity of its stream, it discharges a greater volume of water than the Yamuna. Its waters are remarkable for their crystal-like clearness, and even after the two ricers have united the water of the Chambal may for some distance be distinguished from that of the Yamuna, which always carries either sand or mud in suspension. The Chambal seldom overdoes its banks. Both descriptions of land are sandy and the stream is too swine to allow of the deposit of fertilizing silt; consequently the alluvial patches along the Chambal are of much smaller extent and value than those along the Yamuna.

The Kuwari
This river is also the tributary of the Yamuna. This forms the district boundary with state of Madhya Pradesh for some 16 Kms. and for a like distance flows through the district till it  unites with the Yamuna some 8 Kms. below the junction of that river with the Chambal. Rising in Madhya Pradesh not far from the old town of Morar, it flows north-west, north-east turns east and finally south-east, almost in a semi-circle, till it is joined by the Sindh in the extreme south of tahsil Auraiya. The Sindh which joins it, and sometimes gives its name to the short length of the united stream which joins the Yamuna differs in no way from it. Both, like the Chambal, are subject to great and sudden freshets during the rains, though they dwindle to insignificant streams in the hot season. 

The vast stretch of the land from the confluence of Yamuna and Chambal upto the confluence of Sindh and Yamuna locally known as Pachnada, presents an extensive view Sylvan beauty during the rainy season and also in the winters. But it turns into an arid expanse during the summers.

The Sengar and Sirsa
It enters Etawah near the village of Dhanuha in the north of Etawah tahsil, and after traversing the district in a south-easterly direction, parallel to the Yamuna, passes into Kanpur district. In the upper part of its course the stream is not of much importance; its sides are low and shelving and its banks generally culturable. But at Amritpur, some 6 Kms. north of the town of Etawah, it is joined by the Sirsa, which up to this point bad shown a slight tendency to converge towards it. Thence forward the Sengar runs in a deep bad, and the drainage from the surrounding country tears its banks into ravines, which are only insignificant in comparison with the yawning fissures that disfigures the banks of the Yamuna. These ravines increase in extent and wildness as the river proceeds eaastward: they are altogether unfit for cultivation, but in places afford useful pasturage and produce Babul or Rionj trees, which are valuable for timber and bark. The Sirsa, which is merely a branch of the Sengar that separates near Umargarh in Jalesar, enters Etawah 17 Kms. west of the Sengar, and flows in a well defined channel to its junction with that stream, but it is of a small size.

The Rind and Arind
The river rises in Aligarh district and enters Etawah first at the village of Bhankhera in the north-east border of tahsil Bidhuna. After running along the district boundry for about 11 Km. in a tortuous course, it turns sharply southwards at Sabhad and meanders in a south easterly direction through Bidhuna till it finally passes into Kanpur. The Rind has a perennial stream, which shrinks considerably in size in the hot weather. At the village of Lakhna, where its course is more decidely deflected to east, it is joined by two tributaries known as Ahneya and Puraha.

The Ahneya and Puraha
These take rise in a series of lakes,  the former near Kakan and the latter near Sauj in the Mainpuri district and little more than the drainage channels for carrying off superflous rain water. In the hot or cold season they are normally dry but in rains the Puraha, owing to its sinous course, injures a considerable amount of land on either bank.

It is the only stream of the Etawah district which flows into the Ganga. It rises in the extreme north-east of Bidhuna tahsil in a large clay depression forming a lake lying between Sabhad and Nurpur. It flows eastwards into the Farrukhabad district.


Lakes and Jhils

The general excellence of the natural drainage afforded by the rivers and their tributary streams and watercourses over the bulk of the district is exemplified by the general rarity of lakes and marshes. The only portions that might be considered an exception to this rule are the northern portions of the district in tahsils Etawah, Bharthana and Bidhuna. Here the existence of clay beds in hollows has rendered conditions favorable for the extensive. Those that they exist are situated for the most part on the borders of the district, especially in tahsil Bidhuna, where they lie somewhat beyond the influence of the natural drainage lines or of the artificial cuts made in connection with the canals. The most important of these Jhils are those at Hardoi, Raan, Parauri and Baralokpur in tahsil Etawah; at Sarsainawar, Kunetha, Mahauri, Kudrel, Sonthna and Usarahar in tahsil Bharthana; and at Durmangadpur, Mundai, Hardoi, Barauli, Auton, Yakubpur, Tirhwa, Dhupkari or Thulpia and Manaura in tahsil Bidhuna the last five all lying close to the Farrukhabad boundary.

Waste Land

The average area returned as barren waste for the five years ending in 1997 was 13435 Hectares or 56.98 per cent of the entire district. This also consists either of Usar plains, in which the soil is rendered sterile by the saline efflorescence known as Reh or else of ravine jungle. This however, excludes the area under water and also the land occupied by sites, roads and the like amounting to 18662 Hectares. 


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 mansoon 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 trying. In this season maximum temperatures on individual days sometimes reach 46 ?C or over. With the onset of the south-west mansoon 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 with drawl of the mansoon 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 with drawl of the mansoon. 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 humidities 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 mansoon season winds on many days blows also from directions between north-east and south-east.