Online Encyclopedia

NADIA, or NUDDEA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V19, Page 149 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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NADIA, or NUDDEA, a district of British India, in the Presidency division of Bengal. The administrative head-quarters are at Krishnagar. Area, 2793 sq. m.; pop. (1901) 1,667,491. It is a district of great rivers. Standing at the head of the Gangetic delta, its alluvial surface, though still liable to periodical inundation, has been raised by ancient deposits of silt sufficiently high to be permanent dry land. Along the entire north-eastern boundary flows the main stream of the Ganges or Padma, of which all the remaining rivers of the district are offshoots. The Bhagirathi on the eastern border, and the Jalangi and the Matabhanga meandering through the centre of the district, are the chief of those offshoots, called distinctively the " Nadia rivers." But the whole surface of the country is interlaced with a network of minor streams, communicating with one another by side channels. All the rivers are navigable in the rainy season for boats of the largest burthen, but during the rest of the year they dwindle down to shallow streams, with dangerous sandbanks and bars. In former times the Nadia rivers afforded the regular means of communication between the upper valley of the Ganges and the seaboard; and much of the trade of the district still comes down to Calcutta by this route during the height of the rainy season. But the railways, with the main stream of the Ganges and the Sundarbans route, now carry by far the larger portion of the traffic. Rice is the staple crop; but the district is not as a whole fertile, the soil being sandy and the methods of cultivation backward. It is traversed by the main line and also by several branches of the Eastern Bengal railway. The battlefield of Plassey was situated in this district, but the floods of the Bhagirathi have washed away some part of it.
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