BEVNARES DISTRICT 179
Districts in the United Provinces. The largest towns are: BENARES
(population, 209,331 with cantonments), MIRZAPUR (79,862), JAUNPUR
(42,771), and GHAZIPUR (39,429). There are few places of commer-
cial importance, the chief being Benares, Mirzapur, GhSzipur, Jaunpur,
SHAHGANJ, and AHRAURA. Benares is one of the holiest centres of
Hinduism, especially to the worshipper of Siva; and some interesting
Buddhist remains have survived at SARNATH near it. Jaunpur was
the seat of a powerful kingdom during the fifteenth century, and con-
tains fine specimens of the Muhammadan buildings of that period.
Benares District (Bandras).-District in the Division of the same
name, United Provinces, lying between 25° 8′ and 25° 35′ N. and 82°
40' and 83° 33′ E., with an area of I,oo8 square miles. Benares is
bounded by Jaunpur and Ghazipur on the north; by the Shahabad
District of Bengal on the east; by Mirzapur on the south; and by
Jaunpur and Mirzapur on the west. The District is part of the alluvial
valley deposited by the river Ganges, and forms an
irregular parallelogram, divided by the sacred stream. Pheical
On each bank of the river is found a high ridge of
coarse gravelly soil, mixed with kankar or nodular limestone, and scored
by ravines. East of the Ganges the surface dips rapidly, and a large
portion of this tract is under water during the rains, and is generally
marshy. On the opposite bank the level is more uniformly maintained.
The Ganges first touches the District on the southern boundary, and
after crossing it in a series of bold curves, with a general direction from
south-west to north-east, leaves the northern border, at the point where
it receives the Gumti, which forms the northern boundary for about
22 miles. Two small streams, the BarnA and Nand, drain the area on
the left bank of the Ganges. The Karamnasa skirts the south-eastern
border; it becomes a heavy stream after rain, and is subject to sudden
floods, but is almost dry during the hot months. The District contains
many small marshy lakes or jhils, some of which attain a length of
several miles during the rains, but most of them are almost dry in the
Benares lies entirely in the Gangetic alluvium, and kankar is the only
stone found. Saline efflorescences called reh are not uncommon,
especially in the Chandauli tarsil.
The flora of the District presents no peculiarities. The mango and
bamboo are largely planted, and fine groves are numerous. Fruit is
also largely grown, and Benares is famous for its mangoes and guavas.
There is very little jungle.
Owing to the absence of uncultivated land, the wild animals found
here are not important. A few antelope are seen north-east of the
Ganges and along the Karamnasa. Wild-fowl congregate in numbers
on the rivers and lakes. Fish are caught abundantly in the Ganges.