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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/247

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PANJAB DISTRICTS AND DELHI

of the Bagar is a plain of very light reddish loam known as the Rohi, partly watered by the Sirhind Canal. South of the Ghagar the loam in the east of the district is firmer, and well adapted to irrigation, which much of it obtains from branches of the Western Jamna Canal. This tract is known as Hariana, and has given its name to a famous breed of cattle. The Government cattle farm at Hissar covers an area of 65 square miles. North of the Fatehabad tahsil and surrounded by villages belonging to the Phulkian States is an island of British territory called Budhlada. It belongs to the Jangal Des, and has the characteristic drought-resisting sandy loam and sand of that tract. Much of Budhlada is watered by the Sirhind Canal. Of the total area of the district only about 9 p.c. is irrigated. The water level is so far from the surface that well irrigation is usually impossible, and the source of irrigation is canals.

Hissar suffered severely from the disorders which followed on the collapse of the Moghal Empire and its ruin was consummated by the terrible famine of 1783. The starving people died or fled and for years the country lay desolate. It passed into the hands of the British 20 years later, but for another 20 years our hold on this outlying territory was loose and ineffective. In 1857 the troops at Hansi, Hissar, and Sirsa rose and killed all the Europeans who fell into their hands. The Muhammadan tribes followed their example, and for a time British authority ceased to exist. The district was part of the Delhi territory transferred to the Panjab in 1858.

The rainfall is scanty, averaging 15 inches, and extremely capricious. No other district suffers so much from famine as Hissar. The crops are extraordinarily insecure, with a large surplus in a good season and practically nothing when the rains fail badly. They consist mainly