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A gazetteer is a geographical dictionary or directory.

Place Names in India

Marcus F C Martin, a geographer devised a simple way to understand the old English spellings for Indian places. “For example, FATEHPUR (‘City of Victory’) is a fairly common placename and by the mid-19th century it could be spelled in at least seven ways: FUTTIHPOOR, FUTIHPORE, FUTTAPORE, FUTTEHPOOR, FUTTIPOUR, FUTTYPOOR, FUTTYPORE etc. Marcus saw that the consonants were fairly accurate and could be reduced to a short code: here ‘FTP’ or, if you prefer 4 characters, ‘FTPR’. Then

a.. treat soft ‘c’, ‘ch’ and ‘chh’ as being the same;
b.. treat hard ‘c’, ‘k’ and ‘q’ also as the same; and
c.. treat double consonants as single (‘ck’ as ‘k’, ‘tt’ as ‘t’ etc);
d.. Ignore vowels, except at the beginning of a name, when they should be replaced by a wildcard, such as a dash (-).

Marcus was apparently delighted to find, using this principle, that OOMRAWUTTEE was modern AMRAOTI (both names will code to ‘-MRT’). He published a pamphlet which is long since out of print, with coded tables for the 3,900 Post Offices that existed in India in 1877, when they were renamed in standardised form and continued until independence.

The principle is quite easy to remember and helps enormously when looking up placenames in atlases and gazetteers."[1]

Imperial Gazetteer of India

The Imperial Gazetteer of India was created by Sir William Wilson Hunter in 1881.

The third edition, published between 1909 and 1931, is available online, at the Digital South Asia Library, consisting of 24 volumes of text, and 1 volume of maps. It was first published, due to the efforts of Sir William Wilson Hunter, in 9 volumes in 1881 with a second edition of 14 volumes in 1885–1887.

Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series

In 1908/1909 the Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series was published with the following publications:
v. [1] Afghanistan and Nepal - v. [2] Andaman and Nicobar Islands - v. [3] Baluchistan - v. [4] Baroda - v. [5]-[6] Bengal, v. 1-2 - v. [7] Berar-- v. [8]-[9] Bombay Presidency, v. 1-2 - v. [10]-[11] Burma, v. 1-2 --v. [12] Central India - v. [13] Central Provinces - v. [14] Eastern Bengal and Assam - v. [15] Hyderabad State-- v. [16] Kashmir and Jammu - v. [17]-[18] Madras, v. 1-2 - v. [19] Mysore and Coorg. - v. [20] North-West Frontier Province - v. [21]-[22] Punjab, v. 1-2 - v. [23] Rajputana - v. [24]-[25] United Provinces of Agra and Oudh

Afghanistan and Nepal Imperial Gazetteer of India is available to download as a pdf from Pahar-Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset, located under both Books, Afghanistan, and Books, Nepal. Scroll down to 1908.
The following are available on

Restricted access: Viewers in North America and some other countries may be able to access the Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series on Google Books or the Hathi Trust Digital Library

Other gazetteers



  • A Geographical, Statistical, and Historical description of Hindostan, and the Adjacent Countries by Walter Hamilton 1820 Volume 1, Volume 2 Google Books


The following volumes may be viewed online on the Digital Library of India website. Except for Volume VII, they are not calalogued under 'Baluchistan District'
  • Volume I Zhob District catalogued as Zhob District Gazetteer; Volume V Quetta-Pishin District by R Hughes-Buller ICS 1907 catalogued as Quetta-Pishin District Gazetteer; Volumes VI, VI-A and VI-B Sarawan, Kachhi And Jhalawan catalogued as Sarawan, Kachhi And Jhalawan vol.6; Volumes VII and VIIA: Makran and Kharan. Makran Contents, computer page 14. Volume VIIA Kharan commences computer page 386, Contents computer page 390
Other volumes in the series, not generally available online, appear to be Bolan, Chagai, Las Bela (Volume 8). Volume 9 appears to be an Index to Volumes 1-8. Viewers in some countries, probably including North America, may be able to access volumes on the Google Books or Hathi Trust websites.
Manual of Coorg : a Gazetteer of the natural features of the country and the social and political condition of its inhabitants ; (with a map and four illustrations) by G Richter 1870 Staatsbibliothek Berlin
Mysore and Coorg : A gazetteer compiled for the government of India by Lewis Rice
Mysore: a Gazetteer compiled for Government Revised Edition
Mysore Gazetteer edited by C. Hayavadana Rao published 1927-1930 in 5 volumes (Volume 2 is in 4 parts) (total 8). Volume 1, Descriptive; Volume 2, Historical (in 4 Parts); Volume 3, Economic; Volume 4, Administrative; Volume 5, Gazetteer; is available to read online on the Digital Library of India website. One volume is available on Mysore Gazetteer Volume 2 Part 4:Historical, Modern Period c 1930
Volume I- Karachi District, 1919, Volume II- Hyderabad District 1927, Volume III -Sukkur District 1928 (catalogued as b vol.iii (karachi district)), Volume IV- Larkana District 1927, Volume V- Nawabshah District 1926, Volume VI-Thar and Parkar District 1926 (Not available online: B Volume VII Upper Sind Frontier District, but it is probably available at the British Library).


  • Refer Gazetteer of the Countries Adjacent to India on the Northwest by Edward Thornton (1844) under India, Regional
  • Refer Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series above



Volume 1, A-K 1896, Volume 2, L-Z 1898


  • Refer Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series above

Persian Gulf, Oman And Central Arabia

  • Gazetteer Of The Persian Gulf, Oman And Central Arabia by J G Lorimer, published 1908 to 1915. Volume I, Historical consists of Part I being the 'Arabian' portion of the History and Part II being the 'Persian' section of the History. Both Parts of Volume I, Historical, have the same extensive index, covering all Parts.
    • Four out of six volumes of a reprint edition are available to read online at Hathi Trust Digital Library. The volumes are Volume I: Historical: Part I (in two parts) and Volume II: Geographical and Statistical (in two parts)
    • The Qatar Digital Library contains copies of the original editions held at the British Library. Note: these webpages may be very slow to load at times
    • Three volumes of the Gazetteer Of The Persian Gulf, Oman And Central Arabia by J G Lorimer, Indian Civil Service, are available to read online on the Digital Library of India website, being Parts I and II of Volume 1, Historical, published 1915 and the Geographical section of Volume II, Geographical and Statistical Gazetteer, published 1908.
      • Part I Contents computer pages 12-137. Text commences cp 138. Part II Contents computer pages 10-133. Text commences cp 134. Appendix "Published books and articles" cp 1210. Volume II Geographical and Statistical Gazetteer. There is no Index. Introduction pages i-iii are missing. The text is cp 8-2047
    • Volume I, Part III of a reprint edition is available on the National Library of Australia Digital Collections-Maps Catalogue entry. It contains two maps (including the map of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia) and genealogical trees.

External links


  1. Smith, Max Place Name Rootsweb India Mailing List 1 December 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2014