K.UAIRPUR STATE 211
ridge of limestone hills, being a continuation of the low range known
as the Ghar, which runs southward from Rohri for a distance of
about 40 miles. On a western outlying spur of this ridge is situated
the fort of Diji.
The State of Khairpur is mostly occupied by Indus alluvium and
desert formations. The Kīrthar limestone (middle eocene) forms a
range of hills in the north-eastern portion, between the Mir Wah and
the Nara river. On the top of the range are found oyster, cockle,
and numerous other kinds of marine shells.
The trees and shrubs are identical with those found in Sukkur
District, and good timber is to be met with in different game preserves
bordering on the Indus. The kandi-tree grows luxuriantly in the
valleys, and the tāli is largely grown by cultivators.
The wild animals found in Khairpur include the hyena, wolf, jackal,
fox, wild hog, deer, gazelle, and antelope. The birds and water-fowl
are those common to Sind generally, such as bustard, wild geese, snipe,
partridges (both black and grey), and various kinds of wild duck (which
arrive in the cold season). Snakes abound, as in other parts of Sind.
The climate of Khairpur is agreeable during four months of the year,
when the minimum temperature falls to 4o', but is fiercely hot during
the remaining eight, when the maximum rises to 113°. The rainfall is
slight, but dust-storms are frequent and have the effect of cooling the
atmosphere to some extent.
The present chief of Khairpur belongs to a Baloch family called
Talpur ; and, previous to the accession of this family, on the fall of the
Kalhora dynasty of Sind in 1783, the history of
Khairpur belongs to the general history Of SIND.
In that year Mir Fateh Ali Khan Talpur established himself as Rais
or ruler of Sind ; and subsequently his nephew, Mir Sohrab Khan
l'alpur, founded the Khairpur branch of the Talpur family. The
dominions of Mir Sohrab Khan were at first confined to the town
of Khairpur and a small adjacent tract of country; but by conquest
and intrigue he managed to enlarge them, until they extended to
Sabzalkot and Kashmor on the north, to the Jaisalmer desert on the
east, and to the borders of Cutch Gandava on the west. About
the year 1813, during the troubles in Kabul incidental to the estab-
lishment of the Barakzai dynasty, the Mirs were able to withhold the
tribute which up to that date had been somewhat irregularly paid
to the rulers of Afghanistan. Two years earlier, in 1811, Mir Sohrab
had abdicated in favour of his son Mir Rustam. But he appears to
have endeavoured to modify this arrangement subsequently ; and
ultimately the jealousy between the two brothers, Mir Rustam and
Ali Murad, was one of the factors in the crisis that caused the inter-
vention of the British power.