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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 9, p. 249.


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CI1 CII11Ie 249
by ranges of low hills, which project from the mountains surrounding it
on three sides. The area of the plains portion is 2,063 square miles.
The BARAII, range, which connects the north Manipur hills and the
Khasi range, forms a continuous wall along the north of the Barāk
valley, varying from 2,500 to 6,ooo feet in height. South of the
Barāk the District is bounded on the east by the BHUBANS, which vary
from 700 to 3,000 feet in height, and on the west ,by the SIDDHESWAR
Hills. The plain is further broken up by two long ranges running
north and south, called the Rengtipāhar and the Tilain. All of these
hills are formed in ridges and peaks, with precipitous sides covered
with tree forest. The general appearance of the District is extremely
picturesque. On three sides it is shut in by range upon range of blue
hills, whose forest-clad sides are seamed with white landslips and gleam-
ing waterfalls. The villages are buried in groves of feathery bamboos and
the graceful areca palm, and the country on every side looks fresh and
green. Here and there, swamps and marshes lend variety to the scene,
and the low hills with which the plain is dotted are covered, as a rule,
with neat rows of tea bushes and crowned at the top with the planter's
bungalow. The Barāk winds through the centre of the plain, its surface
dotted with the sails of native craft, and in places hills come down
almost to the water's edge.
The chief river of Cāchar is the Barāk or SURMA, which enters the
District from Manipur at the extreme south-east corner, and, flowing
north, forms the boundary between that State and British territory till
it turns westward a little to the south-east of Lakhipur. Its bed is
from too to 200 yards in width, and in places is as much as 70 feet
deep. Its principal tributaries in Cāchar District from east to west are
on the south bank, the SONAI, the Ghagra, and the DHALESWARI, with
its new channel, the Katākhāl ; on the north bank, the JIRI, which also
divides Cachar and Manipur, the Chiri, the Madhurā, and the JATINWi.
The Doiāng, which falls into the Kapili, a tributary of the Brahmaputra,
is the largest river north of the Barail. The most important sheet of
water in the District is the Chatla haor, or fen, a low-lying tract
between the Rengtipahar and Tilain hill ranges, which during the greater
part of the year is drained by the Ghāgra river. When the monsoon
breaks, the rainfall on the surrounding hills, assisted by the floods of
the Barak, turns this marsh into a navigable lake 12 miles in length by
2 in breadth. The floods, however, deposit large quantities of silt, and
year by year the level is being raised and the area liable to inundation
diminished. Other marshes, though of less importance, are the Bakri,
the Bowalia, the Kholang, the Thapani, and the Pumā.
The Cāchar plains form an alluvial tract which is gradually being
raised by the action of the rivers, which overflow their banks and
deposit a layer of silt. The constituents of the soil are clay, sand, and
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