plain, lying practically free from the Himalayan system, though low
hills are found to the north of Bahraich and Gonda. The area of
these submontane Districts is about 24,000 square miles.
Rather more than half the total area of the Provinces (53,776 square
miles) is included in the great Indo-Gangetic plain. The western
portion comprises thirteen Districts: Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Buland-
shahr, Aligarh, Muttra, Agra, Farrukhabad, Mainpuri, Etawah, Etah,
Budaun, Moradabad, and Shahjahanpur. Most of these are situated
entirely in the Doab, or space between the two rivers Ganges and
Jumna ; but Muttra, Agra, and Etawah also extend to the south and
west of the Jumna, and the last three lie north and east of the Ganges.
With the exception of Muttra and Agra, these Districts form a gently
sloping plain of alluvial soil, in which neither rock nor stone approaches
the surface, though beds of kankar (nodular limestone) are found.
In the west of Muttra and Agra low stone ridges and hillocks form
a feature of the landscape. This portion of the Provinces is by far
the most prosperous. Ten of the thirteen Districts are protected by
canals, and the standard of comfort is distinctly higher than elsewhere.
In the centre of the great plain lie the Districts of Cawnpore, Fatehpur,
and Allahabad, with nine of the Oudh Districts: namely, Lucknow,
Unao, Rae Bareli, Sitapur, Hardoi, Fyzabad, Sultanpur, Partabgarh,
and Bara Banki. The Oudh Districts all lie between the Ganges
and the Gogra, while - Cawnpore, Fatehpur, and part of Allahabad
are in the Doab. Allahabad also extends north of the Ganges and
south of the Jumna. There are no canals in Oudh, but parts of the
other three Districts are irrigated by these works. The tract is
generally fertile, and closely cultivated. The eastern portion of the
great plain includes Ballia, Jaunpur, Azamgarh, Benares, and Ghazipur,
all lying between the Gogra and the Ganges, the last two Districts
extending also south of the Ganges. The rainfall is -heavier than in
the central and western portions, and the population denser.
On the south-west and south lie two small tracts belonging to natural
divisions of India which differ considerably from the main portions
of the Provinces. The four Districts of Jalaun, Banda, Hamirpur,
and Jhansi, with a total area of 10,400 square miles, form part of the
Central Indian plateau, and are generally known as British Bundel-
khand. They are situated on and below the eastern slopes of the
great plateau, with a gradual fall from south-west to north-east. The
tract is broken up, especially in the south, by low rocky hills, spurs
of the Vindhya mountains, covered with stunted trees and jungle.
The soil is largely rocky and infertile, with considerable patches of
the richer type known as `black soil,' which differs entirely from the
alluvium of the great plain. The spring-level is low, and there is
little canal-irrigation. The tract is peculiarly liable to suffer from either