Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 94 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SUNDARBANS, or SUNDEBBUNDS, a tract of waste country in Bengal, India, forming the seaward fringe of the Gangetic delta. It has never been surveyed, nor has the census been extended to it. It stretches for about 165 m., from the mouth of the Hugli to the mouth of the Meghna, and is bordered inland by the three settled districts of the Twenty-four Parganas, Khulna and Backergunje. The total area (including water) is estimated at 6526 sq. m. It is a water-logged jungle, in which tigers and other wild beasts abound. Attempts at reclamation have not been very successful. The forest department realizes a large revenue, chiefly by tolls on produce removed. The characteristic tree is the sundri (Heritiera littoralis), from which the name of the tract has probably been derived. It yields a hard wood, used for building, and for making boats, furniture, &c. The Sundarbans are everywhere intersected by river channels and creeks, some of which afford water communication between Calcutta and the Brahmaputra valley, both for steamers and for native boats.

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