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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 17, p. 327.


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MIDNAII'ORE Dl,STRICT 327
taken about î67o by the Maddagiri chiefs, in whose hands it remained
till captured by Haidar Ali in 1761. The Marathas took it in 1767,
but it was recovered by Tipű Sultan in 1774•
Midnapore District (Medin.pur).--Southernmost District in the
Burdwan Division of Bengal, lying between 21° 36' and 22° 57' N. and
860 33' and 88° 11' E., with an area of 5,186 square miles. Midnapore
is the largest and most populous of the Bengal Regulation Districts;
and it is proposed to subdivide it into two Districts in order to ensure
greater efficiency of administration. Its western boundary marches
with Balasore District and the Mayűrbhanj Tributary State of Orissa
and with the Singhbhiim and Manbhitm, Districts of Chota Nagpur,
while its southern boundary is the coast-line of the Bay of Bengal.
To the east the Hooghly river and its tributary the Riipnarŕyan
separate it from the Twenty-four Parganas, Howrah, and Hooghly
Districts, while on the north it is bounded by Bankura.
This extensive District comprises three tracts of well-marked charac-
teristics : the north and west are of laterite formation, the east is
deltaic, and the south is seaboard. The Contai
and Tamlűk subdivisions, on the sea-coast and the physical
estuary of the Hooghly, contain the mouths of the aspects.
Rasűlpur and Haldi rivers. They are comparatively free from malaria
and produce very rich crops of rice. The Ghatal subdivision, farther
north, slopes back from the bank of the Rizpnarayan ; the soil is a rich
alluvium, but much of its area is liable to floods, and, though excellent
crops are reaped, the inhabitants suffer greatly from malaria. The
head-quarters subdivision consists in the north and wčst of thinly
wooded and rocky uplands forming part of the fringe of the Chota
Nagpur plateau ; here the climate is good, though the laterite soil is
dry and infertile. Towards the east and south the level dips, and
a swampy hollow is formed between the elevated country to the west
and the comparatively high ground along the coast. The conditions
in this tract are very similar to those in the Ghatal subdivision which
it adjoins. In the north-west corner there are several hills over 1,ooo
feet in height, but the rest of the District is nearly level. The scenery
is varied in the north and west, where there are extensive sâl forests
and the country is undulating and picturesque.
The chief rivers are the HOOGHLv and its three tidal tributaries, the
Rurly.XRnvnlv, the Haldi, and the Rasfilpur. The Rűpnarayan joins
the Hooghly opposite Hooghly Point; its chief tributary is the Silai,
flowing in a tortuous course through the north of the District and
navigable as far as Ghatal. The Haldi falls into the Hooghly opposite
the northern point of Sagar Island. Its principal tributaries are
the Kaliŕghai and the Kasai, neither of which is navigable; the latter
rises in ManbhCim District and flows past Midnapore town. The
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