Chalisa famine
CountryNorth India
Period1783–84
Total deathsup to 11 million
Observationsdrought
Map of India (1765) shows Oudh, the Doab (the region in present-day Uttar Pradesh between the Ganges and Jumna rivers), Rohilkhand, the Delhi territories, eastern Punjab, Rajputana and Kashmir, all affected by the Chalisa famine.
Map of India (1765) shows Oudh, the Doab (the region in present-day Uttar Pradesh between the Ganges and Jumna rivers), Rohilkhand, the Delhi territories, eastern Punjab, Rajputana and Kashmir, all affected by the Chalisa famine.

The Chalisa famine of 1783–84 in the Indian subcontinent followed unusual El Niño events that began in 1780 and caused droughts throughout the region.[1] Chalisa (literally, "of the fortieth" in Hindustani) refers to the Vikram Samvat calendar year 1840 (1783).[2] The famine affected many parts of North India, especially the Delhi territories, present-day Uttar Pradesh, Eastern Punjab, Rajputana, and Kashmir, then all ruled by different Indian rulers.[3] The Chalisa was preceded by a famine in the previous year, 1782–83, in South India, including Madras City and surrounding areas (under British East India Company rule) and in the extended Kingdom of Mysore (under the rule of Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan).

Together the two famines may have depopulated many regions of India, including, for example, 17 per cent of the villages in the Sirkali region of present-day Tamil Nadu,[1] 60 per cent of the villages in the middle Doab of present-day Uttar Pradesh,[4] and over 30 per cent of the villages in the regions around Delhi.[5] It is thought that up to 11 million people may have died in the two famines.[1]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Grove 2007, p. 80
  2. ^ Bayly 2002, p. 503
  3. ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. III 1907, p. 502
  4. ^ Bayly 2002, p. 90
  5. ^ Stokes 1975, pp. 508–509

References

Further reading