3g8 MADURA DISTRICT
ôf Pamban, Laterite covers a considerable part of the District.
Further particulars will be found in Mr. Bruce Foote's account in
Memoirs, Geological Survey of India, vol. xx.
The botany of the central portion of the District presents no points
of special interest. Along the coast occur areas covered with the red=
sand wastes (teris), which are so extensive in Tinnevelly, and with
brackish swamps. These exhibit the flora characteristic of such tracts'.
The most interesting region botanically is the Palni range. Dr. Wight
visited this in 1836, and recorded his observations in the Madras
Journal of Literature and Science the next year. He says that in the
course of about fifteen days he collected little short of 1,500 species of
plants; and he thought that the flora of the hills would be found on
examination to include almost four-fifths of the whole flora of the.
Presidency, and to present- a vast number of species peculiar to the
locality. In the same journal for 1858, Colonel Beddome published
a list of more than 700, species of plants (exclusive of Compositae
Gramineae, and Cryptogams not determined) which he found on this
range. It is thus evident that the locality is well worthy of detailed
examination by botanists.
The hills to the west contain all the larger game usually found in
such localities: namely, tigers, leopards, bears, elephants, bison (gazer),.
Nilgiri ibex, s(zmbar, and spotted deer. The opening up of neighbour-
ing areas to the' planting of coffee and the ravages of wild dogs and
native shikâris are, however, reducing the game. In the plain country
antelope are common, especially towards the sea.
the climate is hot, dry, and variable. There is no real cold season
in the plains, but the air is pleasantly cool from November to February.
The mean annual temperature at Madura city is 84°, compared with
83° at Ma ~s. It is considerably less on the island of Pamban, at
places lik~ digul, and in the Kambam Valley. The climate of the
upper Palm %s is probably one of the finest in India, resembling that of
the Nilgiris. The District is not regarded by the natives as healthy,
on account of the prevalence of malarial fever.
The annual rainfall of the District as a whole, omitting the Palnis,
usually varies from 26 to 36 inches, averaging about 30 inches. Of
this, more' than half is registered during the north-east monsoon in the
last three months of the year, about one-fourth during the four months
of the south-west monsoon from June to September, and only one
seventh during April and May. The distribution, however, varies, very
considerably in different parts of the District, especially during the
south-west and north-east monsoons. During the first three months
of the year, for example, the heaviest rain is to be expected along
the sea-coast and among the hills that enclose the valleys in the west:
The early showers of April and May are usually fairly abundant in the