342 KOHAT DISTRICT
classed with the overlying eocene on account of the apparent absence
of any unconformity 1.
The vegetation is composed chiefly of scrub jungle, with a secondary
element of trees and shrubs. The more common plants are : Flacourtia
sapida, F. sepiaria, several species of Greiewia, Zazyphus nummularia,
Aracia Jacquemontii, A. leucophloea, Alhagi camelorum, Crotalaria
Burhia, Prosopis spicigera, several species of Tamarix, Nerium odorum,
Rhazya stricta, Calotropis procera, Periploca aphylla, Tecoma undulata,
Iycium europaeum, Withania coagulans, W. somnifera, Nannorhops
Ritchieana, Fagonia, Tribulus, Peganum Harmala,, Calligonum poly-
gonoides, Polygonum aviculare, P. plebejum, Rumex vesicarius, Ch. rozo-
phora plicata, and species of Aristida, Anthistiria, Cenchrus, and
Game of all kinds is scarce; leopards are occasionally shot in the
hills, and twenty years ago were quite common. There are practically
no deer. Bears occasionally come down from the Sâmâna range to
Mirânzai when the corn is ripe. Chikor and partridges abound in
Mirânzai and the Teri tahsil, and fish are abundant in the Kurram and
The District as a whole lies high; and the hot season, though oppres-
sive, is short, and the spring and autumn months are pleasant. The
winter is very cold, and a cutting west wind, known as the ` Hangu
breeze,' blows down the Mirânzai valley to Kohât for weeks together.
Owing to the great extremes of heat and cold pneumonia is common,
but malarial fever is the chief cause of mortality.
The monsoon rains do not usually penetrate as far as Kohât, and the
rainfall is very capricious. The annual fall at Kohat averages 18 inches,
while the greatest fall since 1882 was 48 inches at Fort Lockhart on
the Samâna in rgoo-r, and the least 5 inches at Kohat in 18gi-2.
The distribution of the rain is equally uncertain, villages within the
distance of a few miles suffering, some from drought and some from
floods, at the same time.
The first historical mention of the District occurs in the memoirs of
the emperor Babar. The District was then, as now, divided between
the Bangash and Khattak branches of the Pathân
History, race, the Bangash occupying the Mirânzai valley,
with the western portion of Kohat proper, while the Khattaks held the
remainder of the eastern territory up to the bank of the Indus. Accord-
ing to tradition the Bangash were driven from Gardez in the Ghilzai
country, and settled in the Kurram valley about the fourteenth century.
Thence they spread eastward, over the Mirânzai and Kohat region,
fighting for the ground inch by inch with the Orakzai, whom they
' Wynne, ' Trans-Indus Salt Region in the Koh1t District,' Memoirs, Geological
Survey oj'India, vol, xi, part ii.