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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 11, p. 340.


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340 DIAMOND HARBOUR SUBDIVISION
Diamond Harbour Subdivision.--South-western subdivision of
the District of the Twenty-Four Parganas, Bengal, lying between 21° 31′ and 22° 21′ N. and 887deg; 2′ and 88° 31′ E., with an area of 1,283 square
miles, of which 907 are included in the SUNDARBANs. The southern
part of the subdivision exhibits all the typical features of half-formed
land through which the estuaries of the Ganges find their way to the
sea. In the northern area the tracts along the banks of the Hooghly
are salubrious, owing to better drainage, the comparative absence of
noxious undergrowth, and the sea-breeze, which blows almost con-
tinuously during the south-west monsoon. Farther east, the country is
badly waterlogged, by reason of defective drainage. The population in
19o1 was 460,748, compared with 402,88o in 1891, the density being
359 persons per square mile. It contains 1,575 villages, one of which,
DIAMOND HARBOUR, is the head-quarters ; but no town.
Diamond Harbour Village.--Head-quarters of the subdivision of
the same name in the District of the Twenty-Four Parganas, Bengal,
situated in 22° 10′ N. and 887deg; 12′ E., on the left bank of the Hooghly
river. Population (1901), 1,036. The village is built on both
banks of the Hajipur creek, which is crossed by a ferry. Diamond
Harbour was a favourite anchorage of the Company's ships in olden
times. It suffered severely in the terrible cyclone of 1864, which
swept away large numbers of the inhabitants. A harbour-master and
customs establishment are maintained to board vessels proceeding up
the Hooghly, and the movements of shipping up and down the river
are telegraphed to Calcutta and published, at intervals throughout the
day, in the Calcutta Telegra,ph Gazette. Diamond Harbour is con-
nected with Calcutta by a branch of the Eastern Bengal State Railway,
and by a metalled road 30 miles long. A mile to the south is
Chingrikhali Fort, where heavy guns are mounted and the artillery
from Barrackpore encamp annually for gun practice. It is the head-
quarters of the Salt Revenue department ; and a quarantine station
has been opened for the accommodation of pilgrims returning from
Mecca. Steamers cross daily to Geonkhali in Midnapore, and the
Assam steamers also touch here. Diamond Harbour contains the
usual public offices ; the sub-jail has accommodation for 12 prisoners.
Diamond Island (Burmese, Thamihla, 'beautiful daughter').-
A solitary jungle-covered islet off the coast of Burma, about a square
mile in extent, lying due south of the mouth of the Bassein river in
15° 51′ 30° N. and 94° 18′ 45′ E., about 8 miles from Negrais Island,
and nearly half-way between the mainland and the Alguada Reef
lighthouse which lies south of it. It derives its name from the fact
that it is more or less diamond-shaped, its angles facing the points of the
compass. It is well-known, partly by reason of its rich turtle-beds,
partly on account of its being a wireless telegraphy station, from which
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