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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 19, p. 278.


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278 OUDH
Province may thus be divided into two tracts separated by the Gogra.
On the north-east the Districts of Bahraich and Gonda form a triangu-
lar area, a portion of which is drained by the R9PTi, with a course
roughly parallel to that of the Gogra, into which it falls in Gorakhpur
District, while the greater part of the drainage is carried directly into
that river. The rest of the Province is roughly rectangular in shape,
and lies between the Gogra and the Ganges. Through the centre of
this portion flow the GUMT1 and its southern tributary the SAI, which
carry off most of the drainage into the Ganges. It is only in the
northern Districts of Kheri and Sitapur that the Gogra obtains am
increase to its volume through the S9RDi and its branches. The
numerous shallow ponds or jhils, of which the DAHAR LAKE is the
most important, form a more valuable source for irrigation than the
rivers.
The general aspect of the Province, except during the hot season
when the land is bare, is that of a rich expanse of waving and very
varied crops, interspersed with numerous ponds or shallow lakes,
mango groves, and bamboo clumps. The villages lie thickly scattered,
consisting of low cottages surrounded by patches of garden-land. The
dense foliage of mango plantations marks the site of almost every little
homestead. Mahud (Bassia latifolia), plantains, guavas, and jack-
fruits add further beauty to the village plots. The scenery, as a whole,
has few claims to attention, except so far as trees and water may
occasionally combine to produce a pleasing effect; but the varied
colouring of the ripe crops, the sky, and the groves or buildings, often
charm the eye under the soft haze of a tropical atmosphere.
The legendary accounts of Oudh centre round AJODxvn or Awadh,
the city from which the Province takes its name. This was the capital
of Kosala, the kingdom of Dasaratha of the Solar
History. race, father of Rama, from which the hero went forth
into exile with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana, and to which
he returned in triumph after the defeat of Ravana, king of Ceylon. ,
Many places in Oudh are visited by pilgrims on appointed days as
connected with the story. After the death of Rama the kingdom was
divided into Northern Kosala, ruled by his son, Lava, at Sravasti ; and
Southern Kosala, ruled by another son, Kusa. No approximate date
can be assigned to whatever may be historical in the story of the
Ramayana.
In the Buddhist literature of the centuries immediately before the
Christian era, Sravasti figures as an important place at which Gautama
spent many years. Its exact site is disputed, but the kingdom of which
it was the capital certainly included part of Oudh north of the Gogra.
The rest of the Province still preserves many remains of the Buddhist
faith, which have not been thoroughly examined. An inscription of
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