276 ,VF.1KTII,A DISTRICT
the limits of the District, being more or less dry, except during the
rains. Between it and the Pwemingyi ridge is a valley, 6 or 7 miles
in width, which gradually rises towards the south, and is irrigated by
numerous tanks. The Thinbon chaung rises on the eastern slopes of
Popa, flows in a north-easterly direction through the .Mahlaing and
Wundwin townships, and falls eventually into the Samon at the ex-
treme northern end of the District. Within the limits of Meiktila the
Panlaung is merely a mountain brook.
One of the main features is the Meiktila lake, situated on the
Minwin ridge, about Boo feet above sea-level. This artificial stretch
of water is about 7 miles long and 311 square miles in extent, and at
the centre, near Meiktila, is so narrow as to be practically divided into
two sections, north and south. The northern lake is diminishing in
capacity yearly, owing to the deposit of silt from its feeder streams, the
Shanmange and the Mondaing ; and both sections are subject to very
rapid rises after heavy rain over their area of supply. Another impor-
tant piece of water is the Nyaungyan-Minhla tank or lake, situated near
the southern border of the District. It derives its water from the
Chaunggauk and Chaungmagyi streams, both of which rise in the west,
the former bounding the District on the south, the latter watering a
considerable area of Yamethin District. The Nyaungyan and Minhla
tanks were originally separated, but have now, been joined by a canal.
The whole of the District is occupied by rocks of Upper Tertiary
(pliocene) age, covered to a great extent with alluvium. In the western
portion of the Mahlaing township the abrupt dip of the strata, visible
to the naked eye by reason of the erosive action of the streams, appears
to indicate that the tract has been the scene of violent volcanic up-
heavals, the slopes in some cases being not less than 70° to 8o from
the horizontal. In the western areas the trunks of large petrified trees
are found in the alluvium, and in some cases large areas are strewn
with fragments of fossilized wood.
The vegetation of the District resembles that of KYAUKSE. In the
plains it is of a very dry type ; and sparse scrub jungle, with cactus,
tamarind, cutch, and several species of capers, covers the greater
part of the non-cultivated area. On the hills in the east the growth is
more luxuriant, and the bamboo is found. Its main features are
described under the head of Forests below.
Tigers, bears, bison, elephants, and siimbar are all found, but only
to the east of the Samon near the hills. Leopards are said to be
increasing in numbers. Other kinds of deer besides the sāmbar are
shot in the plains, and in the cold season ducks and snipe are plentiful.
As in most of the dry zone Districts, snakes (including the cobra, the
karait, and the Russell's viper) are very common.
Meiktila lies along the eastern edge of the dry zone of Upper