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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]


Please note that, for the links given below, the Digital Library of India is not currently operating.

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, or the later released versions from the DLI.
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.
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




  • 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 as 1905 Assam District Gazetteers Vols 1 To 10
The following were mainly from the Digital Library of India, now with mirror files on Cachar Vol. 1 1905; Sylhet Vol. 2 2013 reprint of 1905 original, Sylhet Supplement 1915; [Vol. 3] Supplement to Goalpara 1914. Also available British Library EAP454/9/1 (TIFF images); 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, Volume 10 Supplement 1915. British Library EAP file EAP454/9/2. (Tiff images, may require a plug-in); Vol.11 The Sadiya Frontier Tract and Balipara Frontier Tract, (in two Parts) 1928.
Bogra by J. N. Gupta 1910; Chittagong by L S S O'Malley 1908. Also available as a British Library EAP file EAP454/9/4 (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
DLI mirror versions available on Eastern Bengal District Gazetteers plus Chittagong Hill Tracts, Jalpaiguri.
Zhob District Vol. I, version ; 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,
Baluchistan District Gazetteer Series. Vol. IX: Index to Volumes I to VIII 1908. Pdf download, Digital Repository of GIPE-Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics [Pune India]. Other volumes are also available on GIPE. Viewers in some countries, probably including North America, may be able to access volumes on the Google Books or Hathi Trust websites.
  • Bihar and Orissa District Gazetteers, published 1917-1933. Earlier editions were published as Bengal District Gazetteers. Mainly pdf downloads, Digital Library of India.
Champaran; Cuttack; Hazaribagh by E Lister 1918; Monghyr; Palamau; Puri; Ranchi; Sambalpur
DLI mirror versions on for Bihar and Orissa District Gazetteers.
  • Gazetteer for the Haidarabad Assigned Districts Commonly Called Berar 1870
  • Central India State Gazetteer Series. Compliled by Captain C E Luard, Superintendent of Gazetteer in Central India.This series consisted of 1. Gwalior State 2. Indore State 3. Bhopal State 4. Rewah State 5. Western States (Malwa) 6. Eastern States (Bundelkhand). Published 1907-1908., Digital Library of India Collection.
Gwalior State Gazetteer Volume I Text and Tables, Vol I, Part II: Atlas, Vol I, Part III Village List, Vol I Part IV Photographs, the latter poor quality.
Indore State Gazetteer Volume II Text and Tables; Bhopal State Gazetteer Volume III Text and Tables; Rewah State Gazetteer Volume IV Text And Tables; Western States Gazetteer Malwa Volume V Part A, Text; Eastern States (Bundelkhand) Gazetteer. Volume VI-A-Text
Central Provinces District Gazetteers: Chhattisgarh Feudatory States 1909 (Volume 10)
Central Provinces District Gazetteers: Raipur District Volume A Descriptive 1909 (Volume 18)
The Digital Library of India has a number of Central Provinces District Gazetteers including Jubbulpore District Vol A 1909 and Nagpur District, Vol A 1908 as pdf downloads.
DLI mirror versions on for Central Provinces District Gazetteers, including Jubbulpore and Nagpur.
Gazetteers of Central Provinces and Berar. Digital reprints by Maharashtra State Gazetteers Department, of some individual Districts, including Nagpur (archived webpage). Transcriptions: All include District in the title: Akola 1910 (Berar) - Another version Akola; Amraoti (Berar); Bhandara; Chanda; Durg reprint of Volume A 1910 and Volumes B statistical tables from 1891-1926. Pdf download.; Nagpur; Wardha
Gazetteer Of Kashmir And Ladak 1890. Full title: Gazetteer of Kashmír and Ladak : together with routes in the territories of the Maharaja of Jamu and Kashmir compiled (for political and military reference) under the direction of the Quarter Master General in India in the Intelligence Branch 1890. Pdf download, Digital Library of India. version.
Routes in Asia. Variant Title: Routes in Central Asia. Calcutta : Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, 1877-1878. "Compiled under the direction of Major General Fred. S. Roberts, C.B., V.C., Quarter Master General in India ...". Section 5. Routes in the territories of the Maharaja of Jummoo and Kashmir, and adjacent countries compiled ... by M.H. Saward Google Books
Routes in Western-Himalaya Kashmir &c Volume 1 Punch, Kashmir, Ladakh [Púnch, Kashmír & Ladákh] by Kenneth Mason. Published under the direction of the Surveyor General of India, 1922 and printed at the Office of the Trigonometrical Survey of India, Dehra Dun. 2nd edition 1929, Revised and corrected. Pdf downloads, PAHAR Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset.
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
DLI mirror versions on Mysore Gazetteer including Volume 5 reprint edition.
Mirror editions of the above are also available on including, but not limited to Ambala 1883; Amritsar 1893; Delhi 1883, Delhi 1912; Dera Ghazi Khan 1893; Ferozepore 1883, Ferozepore 1888, Ferozepore 1915; Jalandhar 1883, Jullundur 1908; Karnal 1918; Lahore 1883, Lahore 1893; Lahore 1918; Ludhiana 1888, Ludhiana 1904; Montgomery 1900; Multan 1901, Multan 1923; Peshawar 1897; Rawalpindi 1893, Rawalpindi 1907; Sialkot 1895, Sialkot 1920.
  • Gazetteer of the Bannu District 1883. Punjab Government. Pdf download Digital Repository of GIPE-Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics [Pune India].
  • Gazetteer of Simla District 1888-89 by RG Thomson. Pdf download Digital Repository of GIPE-Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics [Pune India]. Note: this volume had been catalogued 1988-89, but it is believed this should be 1888-1889.
Volume I- Karachi District: 1910 (perhaps 1919?),, [1919], Pdf download DLI 1919, different digital file; Volume II- Hyderabad District, Pdf download 1927, version; Volume III -Sukkur District, Pdf download 1919, version; Pdf download 1928, version; Volume IV- Larkana District, Pdf download 1927, version; Volume V- Nawabshah District, Pdf download 1920, Pdf download 1926, version; Volume VI-Thar and Parkar District Pdf download 1919, version, different file. (Not available online: B Volume VII Upper Sind Frontier District, but it is available at the British Library IOR/V/27/63/110).


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.
Some, but not all, are available as mirror editions on
Akyab, Upper Chindwin, Henzada (different file),Insein, Sandoway, Syriam, Thaton, Thayetmyo, Toungoo
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.
Myanmar Law Library contains some online volumes of the Burma Gazetteer, which appear to be transcriptions including Volume A for Amherst c 1934, Mandalay, probably c 1925, and Tharawaddy, c 1913, and some B volumes, classified under Legal journal. If the link is not permanent, search for Gazetteer.
HathiTrust Digital Library editions accessible to those in regions such as North America.


Central Asia

  • The series Central Asia Intelligence Branch, QMG's Dept, 1871-78. Initial volumes by C M MacGregor pt. 1. North-West Frontier of British India. 3 vol.; pt. 2. Afghanistan; pt. 3. Balochistan; pt. 4. Persia; pt. 5. Asiatic Turkey and Caucasia; pt. 6, section 1 Khanat of Khiva by Cpt Henry Collett; pt. 6, section 2 Khanat of Bokhara by Captain John Moubray Trotter; pt 7, section 1. A gazetter of Kashmir and the adjacent districts of Kishtwar, Badrawar, Jamu, Naoshera, Punch and the valley of the Kishen Ganga by Capt Charles Ellison Bates; pt. 7, section 2. Ladak by F. Maisey.
Mostly available at the British Library UIN: BLL01002315764, last volume available at the BL in a reprint edition. Available online:
  • Central Asia Part-i Vol-ii Pdf download, Digital Library of India. version. Full title: Central Asia Part I: A contribution towards the better knowledge of the topography, ethnology, resources, & history of the North-West Frontier of British India complied (for political and military reference). Volume II
  • Part II, see Afghanistan above
  • Parts IV, V, see Persian Gulf etc below
  • Part VII, Section I, see Kashmir above.
  • Routes in Asia. Variant Title: Routes in Central Asia. Calcutta : Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, 1877-1878. "Compiled under the direction of Major General Fred. S. Roberts, C.B., V.C., Quarter Master General in India ...".
Section 1. Routes in Asia Minor, Armenia, Kurdistan, Georgia, Mesopotamia, and part of western Persia / compiled ... by W.J. Boyes -- Section 2. Routes in Afghanistan / compiled ... by F.J.N. Mackenzie -- Section 3. Routes in Khiva, Bokhara, Khokand, Yarkand, and Russian Turkestan / compiled ... by R.H. Fawcett -- Section 4. Routes in Persia and Balochistan / compiled ... by C.M. MacGregor -- Section 5. Routes in the territories of the Maharaja of Jummoo and Kashmir, and adjacent countries / compiled ... by M.H. Saward -- Section 6. pt. 1. Routes in Nepaul. pt. 2. Routes in Bhutan. pt. 3. Routes in Sikhim. Pt 4. Routes in Thibet. pt. 5. Routes in Burmah. pt. 6. Routes between Assam and Burmah / compiled ... by H.S. Brownrigg.
Section I, Section II, Section III, Section IV, Section V, Section VI Google Books
The six Sections are also available on HathiTrust Digital Library.


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

Mesopotamia (Iraq)

Entries from A Handbook of Mesopotamia by Admiralty War Staff Intelligence Division 1917


Persian Gulf, Oman And Central Arabia

British Library Untold lives blog ‘Persian Gulf tragedy’ – the death of John Gordon Lorimer 08 February 2014 (retrieved 18 June 2014)

External links


  1. Smith, Max Place Name Rootsweb India Mailing List 1 December 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2018.