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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/50

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MOUNTAINS, HILLS, AND PLAINS

At Kalabagh the Salt Range reappears on the far side of the Indus. Here the salt comes to the surface, and its jagged pinnacles present a remarkable appearance.

Country north of the Salt Range.— The country to the north of the Salt Range included in the districts of Jhelam, Rawalpindi, and Attock is often ravine-bitten and seamed with the white sandy beds of torrents. Generally speaking it is an arid precarious tract, but there are fertile stretches which will be mentioned in the descriptions of the districts. The general height of the plains north of the Salt Range is from 1000 feet to 2000 feet above sea level. The rise between Lahore and Rawalpindi is just over a thousand feet. Low hills usually form a feature of the landscape, pleasing at a distance or when softened by the evening light, but bare and jagged on a nearer view. The chief hills are the Margalla range between Hazara and Rawalpindi, the Kalachitta and the Khairimurat hills running east and west through Attock and the very dry and broken Narrara hills on the right bank of the Indus in the same district. Between the Margalla and Kalachitta hills is the Margalla pass on the main road from Rawalpindi to the passage of the Indus at Attock, and therefore a position of considerable strategical importance. The Kalachitta (black and white) chain is so called because the north side is formed of nummulitic limestone and the south mainly of a dark purple sandstone. The best tree-growth is therefore on the north side.

Peshawar, Kohat, and Bannu.— Across the Indus the Peshawar and Bannu districts are basins ringed with hills and drained respectively by the Kabul and Kurram rivers with their affluents. Between these two basins lies the maze of bare broken hills and valleys which make up the Kohat district. The cantonment of Kohat is 1700 feet above sea level and no hill in the district