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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 6, p. 266.


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266


1ALUCHISTA-


way to those inland lakes or hadmlins which form so general a feature
of Central Asia.
The name of the country is derived from the Baloch, whose migratory
hordes gradually extended eastwards from Southern Persia in and after
the seventh century, until they eventually took up a position in Kachhi
about the fifteenth century. The Baloch are not, however, the most
numerous people in the Province, being exceeded in numbers by both
Brahuis and Afghans.
The characteristic divisions of the country are four in number : upper
highlands, lower highlands, plains, and deserts. The upper highlands,
locally known as Khorasan, occupy the central and
Physical east-central portion of the country, extending between
aspects. 28and 3iN. Here the mountains reach an ele-
vation of nearly I2,000 feet, while the valleys lie about 5,000 feet above
sea-level. The lower highlands include the slopes of the Sulaiman
range on the east, the Pab and Klrthar ranges on the south, and the
ranges of Makran, Kharan, and Chagai on the west. The elevation of
the valleys in this tract varies from 250 feet above sea-level upwards.
The plains of Baluchistan include the peculiar strips of country known
as Kachhi and Las Bela, and the valley of the Dasht river. They may
be described as flat triangular inlets of generally similar formation,
running up into the mountains. Their population differs markedly
from that of the highlands. The deserts are situated in the north-
western part of the Province. They consist of open level plains covered
with black gravel, or of broad expanses of deep sandhills which
sometimes assume the proportions of formidable sand-mountains.
The general configuration of the mountains resembles the letter S.
On the east the SULAIMAN range stretches upwards in gradually ascend-
ing steps to the Takht-i-Sulaiman. The mountains then curve round
in a westerly direction on the northern side of the Zhob river along the
TOBA-KAKAR hills till the CENTRAL BRAHUI range is reached. Near
Quetta the direction becomes north and south, but from about the 66th
degree of longitude the general trend is again in a westerly direction
through Makran and Kharan. To the south of the Central Brahui
range the KIRTHAR and PAB ranges occupy the south-east corner of the
Agency. On the west four parallel ranges occur, the southernmost being
known as the MAKRAN COAST range, the next as the CENTRAL MAKRAN
range, north of which again lies the SIAHAN range. Above these are
situated the RXs KOH, skirting Kharan, and the CHAGAI hills. The
mountains are, as a rule, composed of bare rocky limestone or conglo-
merate, and, except in the upper highlands, seldom have much vege-
tation. In southern Makran the hills are distinguished by the absence
of stones; and the white clay of which they consist has been worn by
the lapse of ages into most fantastic shapes. A range seldom bears



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