damson form the principal groves, while shisham (Dalbergia Sissoo) and
tun (Cedrela Toona) are the chief timber trees. Species of fig, acacia,
and. bamboos are also common.
The spread of cultivation has reduced the number and variety of the
wild animals. No tigers have been shot for the last thirty years, and
leopards are very rarely seen. A few wolves, an occasional jungle-cat,
and jackals and foxes are the only carnivorous animals. . Wild hog
have been almost exterminated by the Pasis, who eat them. A few
nilgai and antelope are still found. The rivers abound in fish, and the
larger streams contain crocodiles and the Gangetic porpoise.
Apart from the gdnjar, which is malarious, the District enjoys a cool
and healthy climate. The mean temperature ranges from about 45° in
the winter to 95° in the summer. Even in May and June the maximum
heat seldom rises to i io°, and frost is common in the winter.
The annual rainfall averages about 38 inches, evenly distributed in
all parts of the District. Great fluctuations occur from year to year ;
in 1877 the total fall was only 2o inches, while in 1894 it was nearly 64
Little is known of the history of Sitapur. Legends connect several
places with episodes in the Mahabharata and Ramayana. There is the
usual tradition of a raid by a general of the martyred
Saiyid Salar. The rise of Rajput power, according to History.
the traditions of the great clans which now hold the District, was some-
what later than in Southern Oudh, and the influx continued till the
reign of Aurangzeb. The Rajputs generally found the soil occupied by
Pasis, whom they crushed or drove away. Under the early Muham-
madan kings of Delhi the country was nominally ruled by the governor
of Bahraich, but little real authority was exercised. In the fifteenth
century the District was included in the new kingdom of Jaunpur.
About 1527 Humayun occupied Khairabad, then the chief town; but
it was not until after the accession of Akbar that the Afghans were
driven out of the neighbourhood. Under Akbar the present District
formed part of four sarkdrs : Khairabad, Bahraich, Oudh, and Luck-
now, all situated in the Siibah of Oudh. Khairabad was held for some
time by the rebels of Oudh in 1567, but throughout the Mughal period
and the rule of the Nawabs and kings of Oudh the District is seldom
referred to by the native historians. Early in the nineteenth century
it was governed by Hakim Mahdi Ali Khan, the capable minister of
Nasir-ud-din Haidar, and some years later Sleeman noted that it was
unusually quiet as far as the great landholders were concerned. At
annexation in 1856 Sitapur was selected as the head-quarters of one
District, and Mallanpur as the head-quarters of another, which lay
between the Chauka and Gogra.
Sitapur figured prominently in the Mutiny of 1857. In that year