Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 647 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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NORTH KANARA DISTRICT forms part of the southern division of Bombay. The administrative headquarters are at Karwar, which is also the chief seaport. Area, 3945 sq. m.; pop .(1901),454,490, showing an increase of 2 % in the decade. The trade of the interior, which used to pass down to the seaports, has been largely diverted by the opening of the Southern Mahratta rail-way. Along the coast rice is the chief crop, and coco-nut palms are also important. In the upland there are valuable gardens of areca palms, cardamoms and pepper. Rice and timber are exported, and sandalwood-carving and salt manufacture are carried on. The main feature in the physical geography of the district is the range of the Western Ghats, which, running from north to south, divides it into two parts, a lowland or coast strip (Payanghat), and an upland plateau (Balaghat). The coast-line is only broken by the Karwar headland in the north, and by the estuaries of four rivers and the mouths of many smaller streams, through which the salt water finds an entrance into numerous lagoons winding several miles inland. The breadth of the low-lands varies from 5 to 15 miles. From this narrow belt rise a few smooth, flat-topped hills, from 200 to 300 ft. high; and at places it is crossed by lofty, rugged, densely wooded spurs, which, starting from the main range, maintain almost to the coast a height of not less than t000 ft. Among these hills lie well-tilled valleys of garden and rice land. The plateau of the Balaghat is irregular, varying from 1500 to 2000 ft. in height. In some parts the country rises into well-wooded knolls, in others it is studded by small, isolated, steep hills. Except on the banks of streams and in the more open glades, the whole is one broad waste of wood-land and forest. The open spaces are dotted with hamlets or parcelled out into rice clearings. Of the rivers flowing eastward from the watershed of the Sahyadri hills the only one of importance is the Wardha or Varada, a tributary of the Tungabhadra. Of those that flow westwards, the four principal ones, proceeding from north to south, are the Kali, Gungawali, Tadri and Sharavati. The last of these forms the famous Gersoppa Falls. Extensive forests clothe the hills,. and are conserved under the rules of the forest department.

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