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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 8, p. 45.


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BHAHO DISTRICT
45
Bharno ]District (Burmese, Bamaw).-Frontier District in the north
of the Mandalay Division of Upper Burma, lying between 23° 37' and
z4° 52' N. and 96° 34' and 97° 46' E., with an area of 4,146 square
miles. It is bounded on the north by Myitkyinâ District; on the east by
the China frontier; on the south by the Shan State of Mongmit ; and on
the west by Kathâ District. Down the centre of the
District from north to south runs the Bhamo plain, physical
about loo miles long and 25 miles wide, shut in on aspects.
every side by mountains, once forest-clad, but now sadly marred by the
improvident taungya-cutter. On the east the uplands extend in a suc-
cession of ranges, forming a sea of mountains, and extending far into
the great plateau of South-western China, with peaks near the frontier
rising to 8,ooo feet. On the west the hills bounding the plain are
similarly arranged in parallel chains, running north and south and
occasionally reaching an altitude of 4,000 feet, until another plain is
reached, watered by the Kaukkwe stream running southwards into the
Irrawaddy, and the Sitkala running northwards into it, the two rivers
bounding the District on the west. The Irrawaddy, flowing down from
the north, enters the District in a narrow defile between the two eastern-
most of these ranges, and debouches on to the Bhamo plain about
28 miles farther down. Here it turns south-east and bends round in
one great sweep past the town of Bhamo, to pierce the highlands again
about 30 miles lower down, running in another narrow defile to a little
way above Shwegu, where it once more spreads out into a wide island-
strewn channel, quitting the District after a farther course of 30 miles.
The two defiles referred to are usually known as the third and second
defiles. They are both beautiful, but are unlike in character. The
former (the northern one) is wild and rugged ; in the dry season the
river wanders through a wilderness of fantastic rocks which in the rains
break up the water into foaming impassable rapids. The latter is
almost as imposing, the hills on the northern side ending in a magni-
ficent wall, rising in one place to about 400 feet sheer out of the water.
The river here presents an unruffled surface, sliding between the rocky
walls in scenery unsurpassed in its contrast of deep-blue water and
luxuriant forest. Above and below these two clefts the river spreads
out near Bliamo to a width of a miles, containing numerous islands.
Into the Irrawaddy on its left bank flow various streams from the north,
south, and east, which spread out fanwise and drain the whole Bhamo
plain to the east and south of the river. The sources of some of these
are more than loo miles apart, while a distance of only 20 miles
separates their points of junction with the Irrawaddy. Proceeding from
north to south the first of these rivers is the Mole, which rises in the
Chinese hills and, after running a tortuous track southwards and west-
wards for 100 miles across a now almost deserted plain., empties itself
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