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as the Nam Pi, and locally as the Chaungmagyi, rises in the Shan
States and flows at first southwards, forming part of the eastern
boundary of the District, after which it turns westwards, and joins the
Irrawaddy about 25 miles above Mandalay. Close to its debouchure
from the hills are the head-works of the new Mandalay Canal, which
distributes its waters over the eastern ]x\rt of the plain almost to the
Myitnge river.

Of lakes proper there is none, though several large areas are inun-
dated to a considerable depth in the rains, the chief being the
Aungbinle lake east of Mandalay, the Nanda lake 21 miles north-
north-east of the city, the Shwepyi in the north of the District, and
the Taungthaman close to Amarapura. The Mandalay Canal is,
however, fast converting the first two into paddy-fields. The last two
are lagoons fed from the Irrawaddy, which are dammed for fishing
and cultivation when the river falls.

The plain is to a great extent covered with alluvial deposit from
the Irrawaddy. The isolated hills are of crystalline limestone, belong-
ing to the period of Mogok gneiss. In the wSagyin Hills rubies are
found in the debris resulting from the denudation of the limestone.
The hilly tract, the edge of the Shan plateau, is composed of palaeozoic
rocks, probably faulted down against the crystalline limestone. A
fringe of Devonian limestone extends along the outer edge of the
plateau, followed by a zone of Silurian sandstone, shales, and lime-
stones, which occupy most of the broken country below its crest. The
Silurians rest unconformably upon a series of quartzites and slaty
shales which are probably of Cambrian age. Near Zibingyi (on the
Lashio railway), a narrow band of black shaly limestone is found at
the base of the Devonian limestone, containing graptolites and fossils
of Upper Silurian age. The surface of the plateau extending from
Zibingyi to beyond Maymyo is covered with Devonian limestones, the
denudation of which has exposed the Silurian rocks beneath in the
hilly country north of Maymyo. The shales of the Lower Silurian
formation are highly fossiliferous, containing large numbers of detached
plates of cystidcans and fragments of crinoid stems.

The forest produce is described below. The Maymyo plateau is
extraordinarily productive of flora both indigenous and foreign. Many
kinds of orchids and lilies grow wild ; English blooms of every
description flourish; and \\\q padank {^Pterocarpus i/idicus), the ingym


{Pe/ihuinc siainc/isis), the saga-7va and sifxa-seiu {MicJielia Cliainpaca)^
the gafigmv {Mesiia fenra), and the sal>e are all met with.

The fauna does not greatly differ from that of Upper Hurma
generally. The elephant, the bison, and the tsl/ie or hsai/ig {Bos
sondaicus) are met with in the hilly tracts in the north and east. The
barking-deer {gyi) is ubiquitous, and the sainbar and hog deer {daye)
are fairly common. The serow (Burmese, taivseik or ' wild goat ') is
occasionally met with in the hills. Tigers and leopards are common
both in the hills and on the plain. \\'ild hog cause a good deal of
destruction to the crops at the foot of the slopes, and two species
of black bear (Malay and Himalayan) frequent the hills of the Maymyo

The climate is dry and healthy. From x\pril to August strong winds
prevail. In the plains the thermometer rises frequently in the hot
season to 105° or 107° in the shade, and the minimum, in December,
is about 55°. Occasionally temperatures of 112° have been recorded
in April. In the hills the range is from 32° to 90°. The Maymyo
plateau is, except at the beginning and end of the rains, very healthy,
and is at all seasons temperate. The average minimum at Maymyo
in December is 38° and the maximum in May is 86°, though six
degrees of frost and temperatures exceeding 90° have been recorded.

The rainfall in the plains is meagre, and somewhat capricious. It
is least in the south, where it averages 30 inches, increasing to about
40 inches in the extreme north. In the hills it is considerably heavier,
with a mean of about 58 inches, while as much as 75 inches have been
recorded. In November, 1899, an extraordinary fall of rain caused
great damage, breaching the railway and flooding a large part of
Mandalay cit}' ; several bridges were swept away, and a village was
destroyed with a loss of seven lives. Such storms are frequent at
the beginning and end of the rains, though as a rule the havoc they
work is inconsiderable.

The District has from very early times been a part of the kingdom
of Burma. The history of the foundation of Mandalay City is con-
tained in a separate article, and the account of the

. . \ , Ti • • I /^' • 1 1 • History.

negotiations of the British (jovernment with king

Thibaw at Mandalay is given in the article on Burma. We are
concerned here with the settling oi the District after the fall of
iNIandalay in November, 1885. Though about 1,000 troops were
quartered in Mandalay itself after the annexation, the District was
for some time overrun and practically administered by three or four
dacoit leaders, who gave themselves out as acting for the Myingun
prince, and who were kept together by a relative of his. Dacoities
continued throughout 1886, I)ut in 1887 their perpetrators were hunted
down. In August, 1887, a rising look place in the Maymyo sub-


division under the Setkya pretender, and the Assistant Commissioner
at Maymjo was killed. Two dacoit leaders, Nga To and Nga Yaing,
at that time held the islands of the Irrawaddy and made raids right
up to the walls of IMandalay ; and a third, known as Nga Zeya,
occupied the hilly country in the north and north-east of the District.
However, these leaders were either driven out of the country or
executed in 1888 and 1889, and their gangs were broken up. The
last dacoit band, led by Kyaw Zaw, a lieutenant of the Setkya pre-
tender, was dispersed in 1889-90. It had till then harried the Maymyo
subdivision and the neighbouring hilly tracts of Kyaukse District.

Pagodas of all sizes are dotted over the plain, crowning the low
limestone hills that rise out of it. Some of the most interesting of
these lie in or close to Mandalay itself, and are described under
Mandalav City. In the Madaya township are the Sutaungbyi and
Sutaungya pagodas. The former was built in the eleventh century
by king Anawrata, on his return from China, to commemorate his
victories there. The latter was erected by king Mindon in 1874 for
the use of the royal flimily, it is said, lest any among them who aspired
to the throne should obtain the fulfilment of their prayers which
the more \enerablc shrine was l)elieved to ensure. \.i Tawbu in
the same township is an old pagoda where a great festival is held
in February. An impressive sight is the Shwegyetyet grouj) of shrines,
about 600 years old, on the bank of the river at Amarapura. l^arge
crowds assemble annually to witness the feeding of the fish which
come up in shoals to be fed at the great Tabaung feast of the .Shwe-
/ayan pagoda on the Myitngc river, built by Shinmunhla, the queen
of Anawrata. The fish are so tame that they are called up by the
voice and are fed by hand, pious worshippers decorating their heads
with gold-leaf. In the north of the District, 8 miles east of Singu,
is the Shwemale pagoda. According to an inscription, it was built
about 1,000 years ago by king Yamaingsithu, who gave up certain
lands to Ijc worked by payakyuns (pagoda slaves) and their descen-
dants, the revenue to go to repairs of the pagoda. The receipts are
at present spent for the most part on festivals, as may be inferred
from the neglected appearance of the shrine.

Little is known regarding the population under native rule, but it

is clear that it was smaller in 1S91 than before annexation. In 1891

.^ , . the inhabitants numbered ^y^.oi^i;, of whom 188,815

Population, , , , ,^ , 1 t, .1 ^ . 1

belonged to Mandalay cit\'. By 1901 the total

had fallen to 366,507, the residents of the city having dwindled to


The chief statistics of area and population for 1901 arc given in
the tabic (;n the next page.

The principal town is ^IA.\■l)Al.A^•, the headquarters, and formerl\-



the capital of independent Burma. The attractions of the Burmese
court, and the comparative security against dacoities that its presence
ensured, were doubtless responsible in pre-annexation days for the
existence of a larger population than the District was able economi-
cally to support. The waning of the former and the extension of
the latter throughout Burma have had the effect of drawing off the
surplus not only from the city, but also from the adjacent townships
of Amarapura and Patheingyi. The census figures show that the
flow of emigrants has been mostly towards Ma-ubin, Fyapon, and
Hanthawaddy Districts, and to Rangoon, which together contain
nearly 30,000 persons born in and about Mandalay. The rural
population in 1901 was 172,300, rather less than half the total, and
the a\erage density in the rural areas was 82 persons per square
mile. Buddhists predominate ; but in 1901 there were 20,300 Musal-
mans, 13,400 Hindus, and 1,000 Sikhs, mostly residents of the city.
Burmese is the language of 91 per cent, of the people.

s .

Number of




age of
on in
on be-


le to


tid « «i ■











and I





Mandalay City .



- 3







' li


Patheingyi .





— 10







+ 4







- 4


Pvintha .





- 13


Maymyo .





+ 72


\\ etwin

District total





+ 19







In 1901 Burmans numbered 306,300; Shans (for the most part
in the hilly Maymyo subdivision), 5,400 ; and Danus, a mixture of
the last two races, 6,300. Natives of India are numerous. There
were 7,900 Indian immigrants in 1891, and this number had increased
in 1 90 1 to 15,400, of whom 12,000 lived in Mandalay city. The
oldest foreign settlers are the Kathes and Ponnas, a large number
of whom are descended from Manipuri prisoners of war. They now
number nearly 9,000, and are mostly domiciled in the city and its
environs, though the Ponnas have their own villages in the Amarapura
township. The percentage of Indian women is exceptionally high,
a fact which points to a large permanent Indian colony. Chinamen,
for the most part traders and artisans in Mandalay and Maymyo,
number 1,600. 'Ihe European community in 1901 numbered 2,200
(composed largely of llie British troops in cantonments). 'J"he


number of persons directly dependent on agriculture in 1901 was
84,698, or less than half the rural po{)ulation and a quarter of the total.
More than 37,000 persons li\ing in the hills in the north and east
are dependent on tixiDh^ya (shifting) cultivation alone.

Christians in 1901 numbered 4,389, of whom 2,062 were natives
(mostly Madrasis). Mandala)- city is the see of a Roman Catholic
bishop, under whom nine priests arc at work in the District, but rather
among the Indian Christians than the indigenous folk. The mission
possesses thriving schools and an imi)ortant asylum for lepers. The
American Baptists have three pastors at work among the Burmans
and natives of India. The Anglican Church is represented by the
S.P.G. Mission in Mandalay city, where also the \\'esleyan Mission
has its head-quarters, and controls a leper asylum.

Owing to the scanty rainfall, the greater part of the plain is at
present uncultivable. Agricultural conditions have, however, been
improved b\' the opening of the new Mandalay
Canal, which should eventually result in a con-
siderable expansion of cultivation. The settlement of 1892-3 divided
the District into five soil tracts. The first is composed of a thick
absorptive clay, commanded by the Shwetachaung Canal, taking off
from the Madaya river. The second is a stiff paddy clay or cotton
soil, formerly irrigated by the Aungbinle tank, but now by distribu-
taries from the Mandalay Canal. The third is a free and friable
kind of sandy loam, and in some places a stiff paddy clay or cotton
soil, formerly commanded by the Shwelaung Canal, the place of
which has practically been takeii by the Mandalay Canal. The fourth
is alluvial land inundated during the rains. The fifth consists of
rough broken land, composed largely of cotton soil with patches
of sandy loam, where cultivation depends entirely upon a timely
rainfall. There is very little variety in the systems of cultivation ;
rice is the chief cr()p, and the plough and harrow arc the main agri-
cultural implements. Taii/igva, or shifting, cultiNation [)rcvails in
the Maymyo subdivision, though here too a certain amount of irri-
gated rice is grown in terraced rice-fields in the bottoms of the

About three-fourths of the cultivated land is state land (chiefly
ahmudansa^ or land held on a service tenure). The non-state lands
are mostly lands acquired in the latter days of the monarchy by
purchase, or presented to junior members of the royal family and
others. The table on the next page exhibits the main agricultural
statistics for 1903-4, in square miles.

Exclusive of the Maymyo subdivision, for which no statistics exist,
273 square miles were under cultivation in 1890-1, 196 square miles
in 1900-1, and 246 square miles in 1903-4. The increase in the



cultivation and a diversion of about y,ooo acres from 'dry crops'
to rice are due to tlie o[)ening of the Mandalay ("anal, which has
also reduced the area of current fallows by nearly 7,000 acres. The
area under rice had risen in 1903-4 lo 136 square miles, of which
y8 were irrigated. Of the total rice crop, about 27 square miles were
mayin or hot-season rice. A large share of this is twice-cropped
irrigated land in the Shwetachaung ("anal tract. Pulse of various
kinds, pegyi being the most popular, covers 56 square miles, mainly
in the northern or Madaya subdivision. Gram and wheat each occupy
about 3,500 acres, chiefly in the Patheingyi town.ship. The areas
under both these crops, as well as those under various fodder croi)s
and sesanium, the last covering 14 square miles, have all decreased
of late, owing to the land being converted into irrigated paddy-fields.
Tobacco is cultivated to the extent of about 3,500 acres on the allu-
vial deposits in the Irrawaddy islands. Onions, tomatoes, and chillies
are grown to a smaller extent. The area under garden cultivatit^n
is 16 square miles, including mang(j groves, nearly 3,000 acres ot
which clothe the bank of the j\I)itnge river and areas in the Amara-
pura township, and 4,600 acres of plantain groves. There are very
valuable gardens at Madaya, watered by the Shwetachaung Canal,
in which large quantities of coco-nuts, plantains, betel-vines, pine-
apples, mangoes, papayas, and custard-apples are grown. Grapes have
been tried in Amarapura, and strawberries do well in Maymyo. A
certain amount of homestead garden cultivation is attached to every
Shan village in the Maymyo subdivision. There is a considerable
amount of hobabaing or non-state land in the District. In all, 52 estates
exceed 100 acres in extent, and one has an area of 670 acres. The
average size of a rice or mixed crop holding is 5| acres, that of other
holdings is 2 acres.


Total area.




Mandalay Cilv .
















- 805





Tyintha .


Maymyo .











The cultivation of tobacco and wheat from imported seed is
gradually spreading. Indian wheat and Havana and Virginia tobacco
seed have given satisfactory results, producing better crops than the
indigenous varieties. The local cultivators seldom a\ail themselves


of the benefits of the Land Improvement and Agriculturists' Loans
Acts, i^referring to obtain advances from money-lenders, who are less
particular as to security, and are quite content with the production of
a land revenue receipt.

There are no local breeds of cattle or ponies. Bullocks are used for
ploughing very much more commonly than buffaloes. Ponies are
brought from the Shan States, as well as from Pakokku and other
Districts down the river. The area of reserved grazing ground ex-
ceeds i,ooo acres, and the large uncultivated areas and broad kazins
or field embankments will render further reservation unnecessary for
some time to come.

At the time of annexation the District contained several canals of
considerable size. The Shwelaung Canal took off from the Madaya
ri\er at Zehaung, close to the headworks of the new Mandalay
Canal, and, crossing the District diagonally for about 30 miles, joined
the Irrawaddy at Amarapura. On the foundation of Mandalay, it was
directed so as to supply the city moat, but it was never very reliable,
and failed absolutely in 1880. The Shwetachaung Canal was 26 miles
in length, taking oft' from the Madaya stream near Madaya, and running
south to join the Irrawaddy below Mandalay. From the dam just
above Mandalay (below which the canal is empty) to its head it is still
navigable by country boats. It is a valuable source of supply, irrigating
about 50 square miles. Between these two is the Dinga stream,
supplying the Nanda lake north of Mandalay. The present Mandalay
Canal takes the place of the Shwelaung Canal and of the Aungbinle
and Nanda lakes, which are being converted into paddy-fields. The
area annually irrigable by this work is estimated at 80,000 acres, and
that irrigable by the Shwetachaung Canal at 28,000 acres ; the area
actually irrigated in 1903-4 by the former was 30,000 acres, that by
the latter 24,000 acres. In the same year 2,300 acres were irrigated
from wells, and 1,500 acres from tanks. The total irrigated area of
the District in 1903-4 was 100 square miles. More than one-third
of this total lies in the Madaya, and more than a quarter in the
Fatheingyi township.

The fisheries are mainly situated near the Irrawaddy, their success

depending upon the nature of the rise and fall of the river. The

^. , . season begins in October, when the river falls and


the outlets of the lagoons and connecting channels

are closed with yins (bamboo screens). In the Amarapura township

the most important fishery is the Taungthaman lake, which brings in

about Rs. 8,000 annually. There are two valuable fisheries in the

Madaya township, the larger, the Kyi-in fishery, yielding an annual

revenue of about Rs. 9,500. In the Singu township, where the river

spreads out over a considerable area in lagoons and backwaters, seven


large fisheries realize more than Rs. 5,000 each. In 1903-4 the
fisheries yielded a total revenue of 1-2 lakhs.

The forests are of various types, depending on climatic conditions,
which vary considerably in different parts. In the plains the jungle
growth consists of open scrub, increasing in height
and density as the rainfall increases. The principal
species here are zi {Zizyphus Jujiibd) and kan {Carissa Carandas),
overtopped here and there by a tanai/ng {Acacia lei/cophlaea), nabc
(Odina JFodicr), or sit {Albizzia procerd). On the lower slopes, facing
the plain, the forest is of the type known as 'dr}',' in which the princi-
pal species are sha {Acacia Caiec/iu), dahat {Tectona Haffiilto/iiana),
than {Termijialia 01iveri\ ingyin {Pentacme siamensis), and myinwa
{Dendrocalamits strictus), or the common bamboo. With increasing
rainfall this gradually merges into mixed forest in which i&dk, padauk
{Pterocarpus indicus), and pyingado {Xylia do/abriformis) are found.
In the north are mixed forests with belts of indaing on laterite soil. In
these tracts the principal species, besides teak, padauk, pyingado^ and
in {Dipterocarpus ti/bejxiilati/s), are thitya {Shorea obtnsa) and thitsi
{Melanorrlwea usi/ata), with various species of Sterculia and bamboo.
Oaks and chestnuts begin to appear at an elevation of about 2,800
feet, and on the Maymyo plateau these are among the most common
species. A small patch of pine forest {Pinus Khasya) exists on a hill
about 12 miles east of Maymyo. Besides teak, the trees yielding the
most valuable timber are padaitk and pyingado ; thitya^ ingyin, and in
are also employed in building. The other trees of economic importance
arc the sha, yielding the cutch of commerce : the thitst, producing
a black Mirnish ; and the various species of Sterculia (Burmese, shaic),
the bark of wliich yields a strong fibre.

The area of 'reserved' forest in 1903-4 was 335 square miles, and
that of 'unclassed' forest 470 square miles, principally in the Maymyo
subdivision. The only plantations that have been formed are those in
the Singu and Lower Madaya Reserves, in which 61 acres had been
planted up to the end of 190 1 on the teak taufigya system. The forest
revenue in 1903-4 amounted to Rs. 13,000.

The Sagyin Hills near Madaya produce spinels and rubies, plum-
bago, graphite, and alabaster. Copperas is met with at Kainggyithamin
and Yegyi, and lead at Onhlut. Mica has been found at Shwegyin,
9 miles north of Singu, and an inferior kind of coal, of little use for
fuel, has been dug near Wetwin on the Mandalay-Lashio railway.

Most of the arts and manufactures of the District are carried on in
Mandalay and are described in the city article. In
Amarapura township the chief industry is that of communications
silk-weaving, in which whole \illages are often
occupied. The beauliful acJicik taniciiis (skirls) come from the Kalhe


(Alanipuri) villages of this township. A little cotton is woven in the
rural areas, but only for local use. An important manufacture of
Amarapura is that oi kammaiva writing slips. These measure i8 inches
by 2, and are made of four folds of chintz stuck together with black
fhitsi and overlaid with vermilion. They form the material on which
kammawa, or Buddhist religious texts, are written in Pali.

About three-fourths of the total population being non-agricultural,
a large internal trade is carried on between the city of Mandalay and
the District. The through trade is also considerable, imports from the
Shan States being shipped for ports down the river in the steamers of
the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company, together with the main products
of the District, such as hides and skins, grain, and silk goods. These,
and the rubies, stick-lac, rubber, and cutch that come from up country,
arc exchanged for imports, mostly manufactured goods from Rangoon.
The latter include hardware, metals, cotton and woollen piece-goods,
and general stores from Europe ; silks and dyes from Japan and
China ; and iii^api and salted fish from Lower Burma. These are
brought by rail and river from Rangoon, and are to some extent
re-exported to the Shan States and Western China. The total value
of the imports from the Northern Shan States amounted in 1903-4 to
6i lakhs by caravan and 2\\ lakhs by rail. By far the most important
commodity brought in is pickled tea (valued at 21 lakhs) from the
Hsipaw and Tawngpeng hills. The exports to the Northern Shan
States were valued in 1903-4 at 5I lakhs by caravan and 22^ lakhs
by rail. They included cotton piece-goods (7^ lakhs), dried fish
(i^- lakhs), cotton twist and yarn (2^ lakhs), salt (2 lakhs), and
petroleum (i-| lakhs). Maymyo is a registering station for trade to
and from both the Northern and Southern Shan States. The imports
from the Southern States in 1903-4 Avere valued at a lakh, and the
exports at a lakh and a half. Trade with AV'estern China along the
Maymyo route is registered, but it is very small and shows no signs of

The main railway Ironi Rangoon enters the District 10 miles south
of Mandalay city on the bank of the Myitnge, which it crosses by a
fine girder-bridge, and passes through the Amarapura township to the
terminus in the city. From Myohaung, 3 miles south of the terminus?
there are two branches. One runs westwards through Amarapura to
a point on the bank of the Irrawaddy 12 miles from Mandalay, where