Old-time Trade  Routes and Roads

                The region  covered  by the  present district of Mainpuri formed part of the ancient kingdom of the Mauriys and Guptas and of Harsh Vardhana. The old imperial highway which ran from the north-western region of the country of Bengal has existed since the times of the Mauriyas. It traversed the district connecting the Punjab, Delhi,and Agra to Allahabad and places further east up to Calcutta. It enters the district from Agra and after passing through Shikohabad and Sirsaganj passes into the Etawah district. It was the  practice  of the Hindu  Kings in  ancient India to provide  wells  and  avenues  as  well as  roofed  shelters on  the main  roads.

                Before the  introduction of railways in the  district   it  was  the mainline of  communication . The  old  imperial  highway  came to  be  known from  Sher  Shah Suri's  times as  the Badshahi road and  it was  the percursor of the Grand Trunk  road .  This  road was  well maintained  having milestones, wells and  serais and   long avenues  of fairly well – preserved trees.  Another important provincial  roads was  the section  of  the Grand Trunk road  which  ran through the district , dividing a Bhongaon in to  two branches, one  of which  went north-west towards Delhi and the  other south-west  towards Agra. The former branch  passed through Kuraoli and thee latter  through Mainpuri  town and Shikohabad .The  total length of  the  road in the  district was 142.4 K.m. The only other provincial road in the district was the Farrukhabad Etawah road which crossed the Grand Trunk road at Bewar and ran south to Kishni , forming the principal lime of traffic in the eastern portion of the district.

                During  the reign of  Akbar  the main  roads  in the district were the same as they  are at  present except that they  were  unmetalled  and there were ferries on  the rivers instead of  bridges as  now. During the rainy season the  ferries were generally difficult to  negotiate Some improvements were effected under  the Bangash and  Rohilla administrations when some more places were connected with  roads.

        After  the cession of  the district to the East  India  company  in 1801,an efforts was  made to hold the  landowners responsible  for the  upkeep of the  roads passing through  their  estates, but it did not prove  of much help. Then the roads were n sought to  be improved by  the  imposition  of a road cess and the formation  of a road and ferry fund  committee to administer the proceeds. Till 1857, all the  land  routes  were treated as local and no road  had been  metalled , but  thereafter of roads spring up , leading towards every direction.In 1876, the metalled roads consisted  of the Mainpuri  Etawah , Shikohabad - Etah, Shikohabad Sirsaganj, Bhongaon-Agra , Mainpuri- Karhal and Fatehgarh- Gwalior roads,  besides  certain third  class and village roads.

                Many more roads were  added in the  following three decades but even in 1908, the majority of  the roads were poor, many of them  being impossible to  travel upon during several  months of the  year. many rivers flowing through  the  district   presented obstacles in the  construction of roads . The roads approaching  the ferries passed  over expanses of drifting  sand skirting  the river .

                The  following   statement  gives the lengths  of metalled  roads  in the district in 1908:

Road Length (in Km.)


Grand Trunk road - Aligarh, Etah and Kanpur section 60.00
Grand Trunk road - Agra , Mainpuri and Bhongaon section 73.60
Etawah, Bewar, and  Fatehgarh 33.00
Etah- Shikohabad 32.00
Shikohabad railway feeder 2.40
Jasrana- Mustafabad 11.00
Sirsaganj-Batesar 3.40
Ghiror- Jasrana 15.30
Ghiror-Kosma Feeder 4.50
Other Roads 25.50
Total 260.70

           In addition,  there were 274  km. unmetalled roads in the  district .There was very  little  development  of roads  in  the  first half of the twentieth  century. However, planned  development  of means of  communication and the  construction of new  roads was  undertaken  after 1947 by the  public works department of the  State. In 1947,the  total length of  metalled  roads in the  district  was 375 Km. which rose to 518 km. in 1963.


                The roads of the  district  are  now  classified as national highways,State  highways, district  roads, roads in   the Jurisdiction of  the forest department and  the local  bodies. The  State public works department looks after the national  highway on  behalf of the Central  Government  and it  also maintains  the State highways and  the major district roads. The forest department  and local bodies  maintain roads lying within their jurisdictions. The Agra -Etawah-Fatehpur road is a national  highway which runs 41.42 km. in the  district.

                The  following  statement gives the  names  of the  various highways, national  and State ,  along with  their  lengths in  the district  . The roads are  metalled  and bridged  throughout  their  lengths:

Highway Length in district (in Km.)
National Highway
Agra-Etawah-Fatehpur road 41.82
Grand Trunk road 60.00
Bareilly-Etawah 32.46

                The following  statement  gives the lengths of the  district  roads Maintained by  the  public works department:

Name of the road Length in district (in KM.)



Sirsaganj-Kishni 58.18
Etah-Shikohabad 32.98
Etawah-Mainpuri 29.83

Shikohabad -Batesar

Mainpuri-Kuraoli 17.80
Sirsaganj- Kaorara 5.58
Kosma railway feeder 5.23
Chhachha-Alipur Khera 5.00
Bhongaon-railway feeder 3.20
Mainpuri-railway feeder 2.00

                There  are also  the following 3 shramdan roads in  the  district ,measuring  about  18 km:

Name of the road Length in district (in KM.)
Mainpuri-Sansarpur Beon 9.75
Alipur Khera-Kali Nadi 7.00
Bachela road 1.27

         The  Zila  Parishad, Mainpuri , Maintains  42 roads in the  district of which  17 are  metalled  . The  total  length of the  unmetalled roads which  connect various villages is 236-.20 km. The  following  statement gives the  lengths  of the  metalled  roads:

Road Length(in km.)
Kusiyari   feeder 0.80
Mustafabad-Eka 10.40
Parham feeder   0.40
Bareilly-Etawah road extension Kusmara  0.60
Bareilly-Etawah road extension Kishni 1.00
Great circular road 4.47
Little  circular  road 0.80
Gola Bazar Sansarpur  0.41
Khuria-Mainpuri 1.60
Sirsaganj-Mainpuri 2.40
Katra bypass  0.80
Kishni-Harchandpur 1.80
RadhaRaman road 1.42
Isan bridge to Diwani  1.17
Jait to  Diwani  3.77
Aron- Sirsaganj 9.45
Aron-Sirsaganj-Deviroad 1.65
Total 42.94

               The municipal  board,  Mainpuri  maintains 41.44 km. of roads within its  limits of  which  a length of  33.44 km. is metalled. The municipal board, Shikohabad  has 49.30 km. of  roads of which a length of 37.17 km. is metalled.                                                                        

                                                MEANS OF CONVEYANCE

                From the  earliest  times till the coming  of the  railway  the usual means of  transport  and  travel were palanquins,  horses,  camels and vehicles drawn by  bullocks,  buffaloes, horses and  camels . The bulk  of the  heavy goods was moved by  means  of pack  animals but valuable  goods were usually  in carts  and carriages . Horses and  ponies were very  rarely  used for  draught  purposes during  Mughal period  and the  familiar  conveyance of later  days,  the ekka, appears to   have been  developed  since  Akbar's time.people in the village in the  village depended largely on  bullock carts and on vehicles  drawn by horses   and  camels .Camel carts (which  have now disappeared  from the  roads) were a common sight in olden  days. With  the construction  and improvement  of  metalled roads, speedy mechanised transport, which has the  added advantage of being  able to play in  almost any kind  of weather, also  made its appearance and today  motor  cars, buses tractors,  motor -cycles, bicycles, bicycle-rickshaws speed along  the  roads in the towns and the  countryside . As and economical  and convenient means of transport the bicycle is  very  popular both  in the  rural and  urban  areas of the district. Cycle-rickshaws  are a recent  addition  to the  modes of

public  conveyance and  are so popular  that they have  almost driven  almost driven  ekkas and tongas  off the  roads.  However, carts driven by  bullocks and  buffaloes are  even today  the main forms of  conveyance  in the rural areas of the  district . In the urban areas the bicycle and  cycle-rickshaw is a  popular  means of  conveyance .In  1974-75 , there were  50 tongas,155 rickshaws and  9,000 bicycles in  the  district .             

Vehicular Traffic

                Motor  trucks and  buses started operating  in the  district  since the thirties of  the present century . However, there were  only  a few  motor  vehicles  in the  district  before1947. In  the following years the  prices of  buses and  trucks  declined  due to the  conclusion  of the Second World War  (1936 -46) and motor  vehicles began to be  used  on the  roads in  large  numbers. In 1974-75 as many  as 88 private passenger buses, 7 mini-buses, 80 trucks, 80 private cars and  jeeps,70 taxi-cars and station  wagons, 381 motor  cycles and  scooters,  and  127 other motor vehicles  operated  district.        

Bus Service --Road transport was nationalized  in the  State in 1947 to private  such facilities  to the  raveling  public  as stoppages at definite wayside  places on  the prescribed  routes,  punctuality  in the arrival  and departure  of  vehicles, fixed rates of fares and   freights  and  avoidance of  overcrowding in  buses.

                The  U.P. Government Roadways was constituted  in to  the U.P. State Road Transport Corporation  in 1972 .The  number of nationalized routes and public buses plying  from Shikohabad and Mainpuri  sub- depots has increased

.The  following statement  gives the  names of  the  routes in   1974-75 on which the  buses of the  U.P. Road Transport Corporation, Agra region  plied:

Routes Mileage(in km.) Number of trips
Shikohabad Mainpuri   51 6
Shikohabad-Mainpuri-Korara    29 1
Shikohabad-Kishni Baya 101 1
Shikohabad-Kusmara 303 1
Shikohabad-Farrukhabad 121 2  

              The  district  is linked  by the roadways to  the district  of Kanpur , Lucknow , Agra  ,Etawah, Etah and Farrukhabad. Buses  may also  be reserved for  sight-seeing, excursions and  marriage  parties.


                A railway line  of  the East  India Railway  was opened for  traffics  in the  second half of the  nineteenth  century , traversing  the  southern corner of  the district . It  enters the  district  from  Agra  at Makhanpur station and then after running 37km. in the district  through  stations  at Shikohabad ,  Korara  Bha dan leaves for Etawah .         

                A branch line between  Shikohabad  and Mainpuri  was opened  for passenger  traffic  in 1905 , bringing  the district  headquarters on  the railway  map of the country . Later the   whole  line between line  Shikohabad and  Farrukhabad  was completed and  opened on January 1,1906 for traffic . It  starts from  Shikohabad in the  south - west  and goes to the south –east of the  district  ,   running   through , besides Shikohabad  , the  station at  Araon, Takha ,  Tindauli,  Mainpuri city , Mainpuri  Kuchehri, Bhongaon , and Mota  in the district.

                In November 1951,  the  railways were  nationalized and   divided in to  zones, Mainpuri  now lies on the  Northern Zonal  railway with headquarters at  New Delhi.

Bridges and  Ferries

                Bridges--There  are a number of  bridges and  culverts on  the railway lines and  roads in  the district, besides ten  ferries under   the Zila  Parishad .

Travel Facilities

                It is  mentioned in  the  jatakas,  that in  past, the  roads were not dangerous for travelling and  in the  Ashokan edicts there  were rest-houses and  wells on  the high  roads . The  Mauriyas  had a separate department  to look after   roads and  transport and  provided a number  of  amenities to travelers. Sher Shah Suri and the  Mughal emperors,  particularly Jahangir, took great interest in  reducing the  hardships  of travel by  planting trees, building  of serais and  wells along  the  sides of main  highways.

                Due to the construction  of big serais on  the old imperial road in the  district  , certain  places  have developed as commercial centres. There were  serais at  Nabiganj,  Kuraoli, Sirsaganj, Bewar Bhongaon, Sarai Latif, Mainpuri  and Shikohabad . A few  are now used as rest-houses but some others  have been converted into   such institutions  as  hospitals  schools

                The town of Mainpuri  is centrally  located having road  links with all the  adjoining  district  of Farrukhabad ,Etawah, Agra, and Etah and other districts of the State such as Mathura, Lucknow  and Kanpur.  It possesses amenities like dharmaslas, rest-houses , post and telegraph offices, telephones and  hospitals  and a hospital , besides,  of course, a police-station.

                The  inspection  houses , rest-houses and dak bungalows in   the district are  maintained by  different departments of  the  government  and are chiefly for  the use of their own  their own  officers but  officers of other  departments, members of the public  and tourists  are also accommodated in them  on payment , if accommodation can be  spared .

                A few hotels at Mainpuri  and Shikohabad  provide  lodging and boarding.

                There are dharmasalas at  Shikohabad , Kishni  and certain other places  also   in the  district  . They  are privately  managed and  the charge is  a nominal rent for the  accommodation  ; the visitor   has to make his own  arrangements for boarding . Lists of  inspection houses,dharmasalas etc; are given   at the  end of the  chapter in Statements A and B respectively .

                              POST, TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE

                Post-office --After the suppression  of the  struggle  for the freedom of the  country  launched  in 1857, the work of carrying  and   distributing the mails  was  entrusted to the  police  and that  purpose offices were opened at  the tahsils  and the principal thanas. The  system proved unsatisfactory, and in 1865, a new  scheme was introduced,  where by the

police were relieved of  postal duties and   the distribution  of the district dak started with  a regular staff.The whole district was divided into  a number of circles, with  a post -office  in each, the  police –stations generally  on account  of   administrative convenience,  and the mails were carried by  runners.There  were imperial dak lines from  Mainpuri  to the branch lines and  district dak runners were employed to deliver the dispatches.With  the introduction of the railways in the  district the  dak began to   carried by   trains,  the runners being employed in the  interior of the  district . In 1870-71 about 1,18,747 deliveries were made by the department and  amount of Rs 14,139 was earned . Further improvements  were made with  a view to ensure the regular delivery of letters in the  villages and the  system remained in  force till 1876-77 the administration of postal services was taken over  by the  Imperial  Government . The  district dak was not, however, altogether replaced, only important  offices were taken  over by the Imperial Government . There were 9 imperial post-offices functioning  at Mainpuri , Bewar,Bhongaon, Karhal Kuraoli, Mustafabad ,Sirsaganj, Shikohabad and Jasrana. The district dak  offices numbered 13 and were located at  Azamabad

Araun,Ekah, Barnahal, Ghiror, Kurara  Buzurg, Kishni , Kusmara, Ponchha, Nasirpur, Akharpur Aunchha, Pharha and Sultanganj. In 1907 , the district  dak  services were abolished and   the post-offices were placed  under the management of  the Government  of India.


                The development  and extension of  roads and  the  consequent in crease in  vehicular traffic and growth   of population  have  led to  the opening of  more and more  post-offices. In 1908 , there  were 10 sub offices and 22 branch offices in addition to head office  in the district . In 1974-75, they  totaled  207; about  9 villages being served  by  a post-office . The number of  post-offices per 100 sq.km. in rural  areas of the  district  is shown  in the  following  table :

Tahsil No. of post-offices per 100 sq. km.
Mainpuri 4
Shikohabad 4
Bhongaon 4
Jasrana 3
Karhal 3

                  The  Post  Telegraph,  a Central  Government  establishment , is presided  over  by  a  director -general, under are the postmasters generals of the  various  States. The  district is in the administrative jurisdiction of  post-offices,Etawah,  postal division with  headquarters at  Etawah. He works under the  adminstrative control of the  postmaster general of Uttar Pradesh with  heaquarters at Lucknow .

                                                             STATEMENT - A

                                                        List of Inspection Houses          Reference Page No. 130

Village/town Name Managing department
Mainpuri P.W.D. Inspection house Public Works Department
Ditto Zila Parishad inspection house Zila Parishad
Ditto Hydel inspection house State electricity board
Ditto Canal inspection house Irrigation Department
Dunnahar Canal inspection house Irrigation Department
Ghiror Canal inspection house Irrigation Department
Aurangbad Canal inspection house Irrigation Department
Sarai Latif Canal inspection house Irrigation Department
Gangari Canal inspection house Irrigation Department
Brijhia Canal inspection house Irrigation Department
Kurra Canal inspection house Irrigation Department
Karhal Dak Bungalow Revenue Department
Darapur Rasim Inspection house Irrigation  (Canal ) Department
Belon Inspection house Irrigation  (Canal ) Department
Semrai Inspection house Irrigation  (Canal ) Department
Sewa Inspection house Irrigation  (Canal ) Department
Ong Inspection house Irrigation  (Canal ) Department
Saman Inspection house Irrigation  (Canal ) Department
Dhandhos Inspection house Irrigation  (Canal ) Department
Ram Nagar Inspection house Irrigation  (Canal ) Department
Barauli Inspection house Irrigation  (Canal ) Department
Nabiganj Inspection house Public Works Department
Kusmara Inspection house Zila parishad

                                                            STATEMENT B

                                                    LIST OF DHARMSALAS

Village/town/mohalla Name of the Dharmshalas
Mainpuri Narain Dharmsala
Mainpuri Parvati Dharmsala
Mainpuri Sabitri Dharmsala
Mainpuri Jain Dharmsala
Mainpuri Chaube Dharmsala
Mainpuri Kr. Lal Singh Man Singh's Dharmsala
Mainpuri Agrawal Dharmsala
Mainpuri Adhati Singh Dharmsala
Kuraoli Tiwari Dharmsala
Kuraoli Lala Bilas Rai Dharmsala
Mahloli Village Dharmsala
Karhal Jain Dharmsala
Jasrana Dharmsala