Online Encyclopedia

CHINDWIN

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 232 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CHINDWIN  , a

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river of
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Burma, the largest tributary of the Irrawaddy, its entire course being in Burmese territory . It is called Ningthi by the Manipuris . The Chindwin is formed by the junction of the Tanai, the Tawan and the Tarbn or Turbng, but it is still uncertain which is the main stream . The Tanai has hitherto been looked on as the chief source . It rises in about 25° 30' N. and 970 E., on the Shwedaung-gyi
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peak of the Kumbn range, 12 M . N. of Mogaung, and flows due N. for the first
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part of its course until it reaches the Hukawng valley, when it turns to the W. and flows through the
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middle of the plain to the end of the valley proper . There it curves round to the S., passes through the Tarbn or Turbng valley, takes the name of the Chindwin, and maintains a general southerly course until it enters the Irrawaddy, after flowing through the entire length of the Upper and
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Lower Chindwin districts, in about 21° 30' N. and 950 15' E . Its extreme outlets are 22 M. apart, the
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interval forming a succession of long, low, partially populated islands . The most southerly mouth of the Chindwin is, according totradition, an artificial channel, cut by one of 'the kings of Pagan . It was choked up for many centuries until in 1824 it was opened out by an exceptional flood . The Tanai (it is frequently called Tanaikha, but kha is merely the Kachin word for river), as long as it retains that name, is a swift, clear river, from 50 to 300 yds. wide and from 3 to 15 ft. deep . The river is navigated by native boats in the Hukawng valley, but launches cannot come up from the Chindwin proper because of the reefs below Taro .

The Taron, Tuning or Towang river seems to be the real main source of the Chindwin . It flows into the Hukawng valley from the

north, and has a swift current with a succession of rapids . Its source; are in the hills to the south of
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Sadiya, rising from io,000 to ii,000 ft. above sea-level . It flows through a deep valley, with a general E. and W. direction, as far as its junction with the Loglai . It then turns S., and after draining an intricate
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system of hills, breaks into the Hukawng valley a few miles N. of Saraw, and joins or receive; the Tanai about to m. above Kintaw
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village . Except the Tanai, the chief branches of the Upper Chindwin rise in mountains that are covered at least with winter snows . Below the Hukawng valley the Chindwin is interrupted at several places by fails or transverse reefs . At the village of Haksa there is a fall, which necessitates tranship. ment from large boats to canoes . Not far below this the Uyu river comes in on the
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left
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bank at Homalin, and from this point down„ wards the steamers of the Irrawaddy Flotilla
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Company ply for the greater part of the
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year . The Uyu flows through a fertile and well. cultivated valley, and during the rainy season it is navigable for a distance of 15o m. from its mouth by steamers of
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light draught . Ordinarily
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regular steam communication with Homalin ceases in the dry weather, but from Kindat, nearly 15o m. below it, there are weekly steamers all the year round . Below Kindat the only considerable affluent of the Chindwin is the Myit-f ha, which receives the
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Chin hills drainage .

The Chindwin rises considerably during the rains, but in

March and
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April it is here and there so shallow as to make navigation difficult even for small steam launches . Whirlpools and narrows and shifting sandbanks also give some trouble, but much has been done to improve navigation since the
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British annexation . Kindat, the headquarters of the Upper Chindwin
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district, and Monywa of the Lower, are on the banks of the river . (J . G .

End of Article: CHINDWIN
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