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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 in twenty five volumes, all of which are available online, either as pdf downloads, Digital Library of India, or
Afghanistan and Nepal; Andaman and Nicobar Islands; Baluchistan; Baroda; Bengal Vol. I - Bengal Vol. II; Berar; Bombay Presidency Vol.I - Bombay Presidency Vol. II; Burma Vol. I - Burma Vol. II; Central India; Central Provinces Eastern Bengal And Assam; Hyderabad State; Kashmir and Jammu; Madras Vol. I - Madras Vol. II; Mysore and Coorg; North-West Frontier Province; Punjab Vol. I - Punjab Vol. II; Rajputana; United Provinces of Agra and Oudh Vol. I - United Provinces of Agra and Oudh Vol. II.

In addition, 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.
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


  • Assam District Gazetteers. Published 1905-1928, Volumes 1-10 by B.C. Allen, 1905-06; Volume 11 written anonymously, 1928. Supplementary volumes published c 1915.
There is a download available as a pdf file from Pahar-Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset catalogued as 1905 Assam District Gazetteers Vols 1 To 10, located under Books, Indian Subcontinent, 1905.
The following are mainly pdf downloads, Digital Library of India: Cachar Vol. 1 1905; Sylhet Vol. 2 1905, Sylhet Supplement 1915; Supplement to Goalpara 1914; Kamrup Vol. 4 1905; Darrang Vol. 5 1905, Darrang Supplement 1915; Nowgong Vol. 6 1903; Sibsagar Vol. 7 1906, Sibsagar Supplement 1915; Lakhimpur Vol. 8 1905, Lakhimpur Supplement 1916; Naga Hills And Manipur Vol. 9 1905; The Khasi and Jaintia Hills, the Garo Hills and the Lushai Hills Vol.10 1906, Volume10 Supplement 1915. British Library EAP file (Tiff images, may require a plug-in); Vol.11 The Sadiya and Balipara Frontier Tract ? 1928.
  • A Description of the Roads in Bengal and Bahar by James Rennell 1778 Google Books. Although not a Gazetteer, this book contains many place names.
  • Bengal District Gazetteers
    • Bakarganj by J C Jack 1918. Howrah by L. S. S. O'Malley and Monmohan Chakravarti 1909. Manbhum by H Coupland 1910. Murshidabad by L.S.S. O'Malley 1914. Mymensingh by F A Sachse 1917. Nadia by J H E Garrett 1910. Shahabad by L. S. S. O'Malley 1906. All .
    • Various Bengal District Gazetteers are available as pdfs to download on DSpace at West Bengal State Central Library under the subject category such as Gazetteers and Gazeeteers, the latter includes Bengal District Gazetteers: 24-Parganas by L.S.S. O'Malley 1914. Also, many editions for various districts are available to read online on the Digital Library of India website, under the title Bengal District Gazetteers including districts in East Bengal. Restricted access: For those in North America and some other countries, volumes may be accessed on the Hathi Trust Digital Library, catalogued according to a volume number, but see separate list.
    • Eastern Bengal District Gazetteers, or Eastern Bengal and Assam District Gazetteers The majority of the files are pdf downloads from the Digital Library of India
Bogra by J. N. Gupta 1910; Chittagong by L S S O'Malley 1908. Also available as a British Library EAP file (Tiff images, may require a plug-in); Chittagong Hill Tracts by R Hutchinson 1909; Dacca by B C Allen 1912; Dinajpur by F W Strong 1912; Jalpaiguri by John F Gruning ICS 1911; Noakhali by JE Webster 1911; Rangpur by J A Vas 1911; Tippera by J E Webster 1910
Zhob District Vol. I; Loralai District Vol. II- 2nd file; Sibi District Vol. III by Major A McConaghey IA 1907; Bolan And Chagai Vol. IV and IV A; Quetta-Pishin District Vol.V; Sarawan, Kachhi And Jhalawan Vol. VI; Makran Vol. VII; Kharan Vol. VIIA; Las Bela Vol.VIII
Volume 9 is an Index to Volumes 1-8, but does not appear to be generally available online. Viewers in some countries, probably including North America, may be able to access volumes on the Google Books or Hathi Trust websites, including Volume 9
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, Pdf download 1919 ; Volume II- Hyderabad District, Pdf download 1927 , Volume III -Sukkur District, Pdf download 1919 , Pdf download 1928; Volume IV- Larkana District, Pdf download 1927; Volume V- Nawabshah District, Pdf download 1920, Pdf download 1926; Volume VI-Thar and Parkar District Pdf download 1919. (Not available online: B Volume VII Upper Sind Frontier District, but it is available at the British Library IOR/V/27/63/110).


  • 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


Akyab District Vol A 1917; Bhamo District Vol A 1912; Lower Chindwin District Upper Burma 1912; Upper Chindwin District Vol A 1913; Henzada District Vol A 1915; Insein District Vol A 1914; Kyaukse District Vol A 1925; Mergui District Vol A1912; Pegu District Vol A 1917; Ruby Mines District Vol A 1915; Salween District Vol A 1910; Sandoway District Vol A 1912; Shwebo District Vol A 1929; Syriam District Vol A 1914; Thaton District Vol A 1931; Thayetmyo District Vol A 1911; Toungoo District Vol A 1914;
Burma Gazetteer: Lower Chindwin District, Upper Burma 1912 Ebook Hong Kong University Library. Note: if the navigation tabs at the top of the webpage are not visible, decrease the size of the page.


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