STERILE ROCKY COUNTRY.
and precarious, and it is only along the narrow margins of the few rivers that the peasant is assured of a good return for his labour. From nearly the whole of the Western Deccan the heavy clouds of the S. W. monsoon are either shut out by the Ghat range, or, if they surmount this barrier, they sail away to the east leaving the land unwatered and untilled, so that "the Deccan, generally speaking, yields to much labour a bare measure of subsistence."* (Moral and Mat. Prog. 1911-12, P. 10.)
- * The rain is precipitated on the coast-line [i.e., Konkan] at an average of 100 to 120 inches [in the year.] Once the crest [of the Western Ghats] is passed, the precipitation decreases very rapidly, until a belt is reached only 35 miles from the hills where the rainfall is very precarious and averages only about 17 inches. Further east again, the S. W. monsoon is nearly spent, but the influence of the N. E. monsoon begins to be felt and the rainfall improves... South of Khandesh, we get the Deccan proper divided into three tracts [running parallel to the Ghats and called] the Dang or Maval to the west, the Transition in the centre, and the Desk, or black-soil plain to the east. The soil, however, is not fertile, and there are ranges of bare rocky hills running east and west, spurs so to speak of the Ghats, which neither store water for cultivation nor attract the rainfall... The Karnatak [i.e., the Dharwar, Belgaum, and Bijapur districts] has a more certain and more copious rainfall and more fertile soil." (Census of India, 1911, vii. pt. I, pp. 4-6.) The western hilly belt is called Dang in the north (i.e., Baglana), Maval in the centre (i.e., the Nasik, Puna and Satara districts), and Mallad in the south (i.e., Karnatak.) The Konkan, on the other hand, is an area