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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 20, p. 51.


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PATKAI
51
numbers to Patiala, which has ever since been the capital of the chiefs
of the State. It is the centre of a considerable local trade, many
articles of luxury being manufactured in it. It contains a State work-
shop. The old palace is in the middle of the town, which is not
unpicturesque, the bazars being wide and straight, though the side
streets are narrow and crooked. The environs of the town are, how-
ever, beautifully laid out with gardens and shady roads, among which
are the numerous public buildings and residences of the Maharaja and
his officials. Of the former, the Mohindar College, the Rajindar
Victoria Diamond Jubilee Library, the Rajindar Hospital, the Baradari
or royal residence, the Moti Bagh, or `pearl garden,' and the Victoria
Memorial Poorhouse deserve mention. The sanitation of the town
is efficient; but owing to its low-lying situation it is subject to heavy
floods, which occasionally do much damage to its buildings, and cause
malarial fevers in the autumn months. A municipality has recently
been established. The town contains the Sadr and Lady Dufferin
Hospitals, and the Lady Curzon Training School for midwives and
nurses, opened in rgo6. The Victoria Girls' School was opened in
the same year.
Patkai.-A range of hills lying to the south of Lakhimpur District,
Assam, between 26 3o' and 27 15' N. and 95 15' and 96 15' E.
The general height of the range is about 4,000 feet, but it contains
summits nearly 7,000 feet in height. The hills are composed of Upper
Tertiary rocks, and their sides are clothed with dense forest. The pass
over the Patkai is the recognized route between Burma and the Assam
Valley, though, as it entails a long march through wild and hilly
country, there is little intercourse between the two Provinces. It was
by this route that the Ahoms entered the valley of the Brahmaputra in
the thirteenth century; and it was used by the Burmese when they were
summoned to Assam at the beginning of the nineteenth century to
assist Chandra Kanta, one of the last of the Ahom Rajas. In 1837
Dr. Griffiths crossed the Patkai into the Hukawng valley, and in 1896
a railway survey party traversed the range. The construction of a
line from Ledo in Lakhimpur District over the Patkai and down the
Hukawng valley to Taungni station in the Mu valley was estimated
to cost 383 lakhs for a total length of 284 miles. The line, if made,
would be carried through the summit of the Patkai in a tunnel 5,000
feet in length and situated 2,750 feet above the level of the sea. The
rocks in that neighbourhood consist of an indurated sandstone. The
hills are inhabited by Naga tribes. Those who live on the Hukawng
side of the watershed are subject to Singpho chiefs. They are armed
with daos, muskets, and cross-bows, and their villages are usually well
situated for defence. An account of these people is annexed to the
report of the railway survey party.
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