(Pterocarpus Marsupium) occurs on the middle and lower slopes of the
hill belt. On the dry stony hill-tops and plateaux, more especially
those of sandstone formation, salai (Boswellia 'serrata) is, predominant,
with stunted trees of other species, mainly khair (Acacia Cate(hu)
and lendid (Lagerstroemia parviora). Sdl (Shorea robusta) is
found on the Pachmarhi plateau, and anjan (Hardvickia binata)
appears in the Denwa forests of the Sobhapur range, but does not
attain any size.
The forests are fairly well stocked with game, including bison in the
Bori and Rajaborari tracts, and tigers, leopards, and the usual kinds
of deer over most of the wooded area. Antelope are plentiful in the
open country. Of birds, peafowl are the most numerous, and the other
land game-birds are also common, but duck and snipe are found only
in scattered localities. Mahseer may be had in the rivers.
Rainfall is registered at the four tahsil head-quarters and at Pach-
marhi. The annual fall at Hoshangabad town is 50 inches, and this
may probably be taken as representing the average for the plain.
In the hills the rainfall is much heavier. Until within recent years
the District has very rarely suffered from marked deficiency of rain..
Thunderstorms occur with comparative frequency in the hot season.
Hail is not uncommon and is much dreaded, but dust-storms are
unknown. The climate is on. the whole healthy. The cold season is
characterized by bright cloudless days and cold nights with piercing
winds ; frost is known, but water never freezes. The summer months
are hot and dry, and during the rains the weather is somewhat steamy
and oppressive, especially in the town of Hoshangabad.
Little is known of the history of the District before the Maratha
invasion. The town of Hoshangabad is believed to take its name
from Sultan Hoshang Shah Ghori, the second of
the Malwa kings, who reigned from 1405 to 1434. History.
Hoshang Shah may have passed through Hoshangabad on his way
to Kherla in Betul, the head-quarters of a Gond dynasty, which he
is said by Firishta to have reduced in 1433• In Akbar's time Handia
was the head-quarters of a sarkdr, and was occupied by a Faujddr and
Dzwdn and by Mughal troops. Seon! was attached to Bhopal, and
Hoshangabad is not mentioned at all. Several reasons point to the
conclusion that the eastern part of the District was never conquered
by the Muhammadans, but was thought too wild and valueless to wrest
from the Gonds who occupied it. On the decay of the Mughal empire
the District again reverted to the Gonds, who were probably its original
masters. In the early part of the eighteenth century the eastern portion
of the Rajwara pargana was ruled by four Gond Rajas of Sobhapur
and Fatehpur, who were feudatories of the Mandla kingdom. The
centre formed part of the territories of the Deogarh dynasty, and in