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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 7, p. 125.


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BASTI DISTRICT 125
United Provinces, lying north of the Gogra river, between 26° 25′ and
27° 30′ N. and between 82° 13′ and 83° 14′ E., with an area of 2,792
square miles. It is bounded on the north by Nepal territory; on the
east by Gorakhpur District; on the south by the Gogra, which divides
it from Fyzabad; and on the west by Gonda. Basti lies entirely in
the submontane plain, with no natural elevations to
diversify its surface. It is traversed by a consider- Physical
able number of small streams, and the north-west aspects.
corner resembles the rice swamps of the Nepal arai. The whole of
the drainage ultimately reaches the Gogra, but not within Basti District.
The northern portion, extending 14 to 20 miles from the Nepal frontier
to the Rapti, has a much greater rainfall than the rest. Many small
streams rushing down from the lower hills or rising in the Nepal tarai
water this tract, chief among them being the Burhi or 'old' Rapti, the
Banganga, and the Jamwar. South of the Rapti the central plateau of
the District extends almost to the Gogra, and is drained chiefly by the
Kuwana, which has a course parallel to the Rapti and Gogra. The
Katnehia, Rawai, and Manwar are the principal tributaries of the
Kuwana. Another small river, the Ami, crosses the upland between
the Rapti and Kuwana. There are many natural lakes or depressions,
often formed in the old beds of rivers, the largest being the BAKHIRA,
Chandf, Pathra, Chaur, and Jasoia Tals.
As is usual in the submontane tracts, kankar or nodular limestone is
scarce. No other rock of any kind is found in the alluvium of which
the District is composed.
The flora resembles that of the submontane tracts. Forests formerly
existed, but have been cut down. The District is, however, well pro-
vided with clumps of mango, bamboo, and mahud (Bassia latifolia).
Wild hog, nilgai, wolves, and jackals are common. Spotted deer
are occasionally seen. During the cold season wild-fowl and snipe
abound in the numerous lakes and swamps. Fish are plentiful, and
are much used for food. Snakes and crocodiles are also common.
The climate of Basti is distinctly milder than that of the more western
Districts, and extremes of heat and cold are less marked. It is, how-
ever, not specially unhealthy, except at the close of the rains.
The annual rainfall averages 49 inches, ranging from 46 in the
south-west to 52 towards the north. Near the Nepal frontier the fall
is still heavier. Large variations occur from year to year. In 1877 only
24 inches were received, compared with 76 in I894.
Materials for the history of the tract included in Basti District are
unusually scarce. It possibly formed part of the great kingdom of
KOSALA. For some years Kapilavastu, the birth- istor.
place of Gautama Buddha, was believed to have
been situated at Bhuila, 15 miles north-west of Basti town ; but this



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