miles division province akyab
ARAKAN, a division of British Burmah, and within the jurisdiction of the chief commissioner of that province. It consists of a strip of country running along the eastern seaboard of the Bay of Bengal, from the Nal estuary, on the borders of Chittagong, to Cape Negrais. The division is situated between 16° 2' and 21° 33' N. lat., and between 92° 10' and 94° 50' E. long. It is bounded on the N. by the Bengal district of Chittagong ; on the E. by the Yumadoung mountains, which separate it from i ide e p n- dent Burmah and the British district of Pegu ; and on the S. and W. by the Bay of Bengal. Length from northern extremity to Cape Negritis, about 400 miles ; greatest breadth in the northern part, 90 miles, gradually diminish ing towards the south, as it is hemmed in by the Yumadoung mountains, until, in the extreme south, it tapers away to a narrow strip not more than 15 miles across. The coast is studded with islands, the most important of which are Cheduba, Ramrf, and Shahpura. The division has its headquarters at Akyab and consists of four districts - namely, Akyab, Northern Arakan hill tracts, Ramri, and Sandoway. Total area estimated at 18,530 square miles, of which only 740 square miles were actually under cultivation in 1871-72. The population at the time of the British accession in 1826 did not exceed 100,000. In 1831 it amounted to 173,000; in 1839 to 248,000; and in 1871 to 461,136, or 24.9 souls per square mile. It consisted of 365,131 Buddhists, 53,289 Mahometans, 9029 Hindus, 33,337 aborigines, and 350 Christians - total, 461,136. The principal rivers of Araktin are - (L) The Naf estuary, in the north, which forms the boundary between the division and Chittagong ; (2.) the Myu river, an arm of the sea, and running a course almost parallel with the coast for about 50 miles ; (3.) the Koladyne river, rising near the Blue mountain, in the extreme north-east, and falling into the Bay of Bengal a few miles south of the Myu river, is navigable by vessels of from 300 to 400 tons burden for a distance of 40 miles inland ; and (4.) the Lemyu river, a considerable stream falling into the bay a few miles south of the Koladyne. Further to the south, owing to the nearness of the range which bounds Arakan on the east, the rivers are of but little importance. These are the Talak and the Aeng, navigable by boats ; and the Sandoway, the Toungoop, and the Gwa streams, the latter of which alone has any importance, owing to its mouth forming a good port of call or haven for vessels of from 9 to 10 feet draught. There are several passes over the Yumadoung mountains, the easiest being that called the Aeng route, leading from the village of that name into independent Burmah. The staple crop of the province is rice, along with cotton, • tobacco, sugar, hemp, and indigo. The forests produce abundance of excellent oak and teak timber. During 1871-72 the sea-borne trade of ArAkan amounted to £1,345,417, the exports of rice alone being returned at £105,894. The three maritime ports of the division are Akyab, Kyoukphoo, and Sandoway; and since June 1871 steam communication has been kept up once a fortnight between all these ports and Calcutta, except in the southwest monsoon, when conununication is maintained with Kyoukphoo only. The revenue of Arakan Division in 1871-72 amounted to £199,756, of which 37.29 per cent., or £74,490, was derived from the land revenue. Throughout the whole division there 'were only two Government and three other schools in 1870-71, attended by 251 pupils. The police force, for the protection of person and property, consisted of a total of 115 of all ranks, the proportion being one man to every 15 square miles, or one to every 385 of the population. The only town in the division with a population exceeding 5000 souls is Akyab, which has 15,281 inhabitants. • I The natives of Artiittin trace their history as far lack as 701 A. n., and give a lineal succession of 120 native princes down to modern times. According to them, their empire had at one period far wider limits, and extended over Ava, part of China, and a portion of Bengal. This extension of their empire is not, however, corroborated by known facts in history. At different times the Mughuls and Pegus carried their arms into the heart of the country. The Portuguese, during the era of their greatnos in Asia, gained a temporary establishment in Arzikein ; but in 1783 the province was finally conquered by the Burmese, from which period until its cession to the British in 1S26, under the treaty of Yandaboo, its history forms part of that of Burmah. The old city of Arakan, formerly the capital of the province, is situated on an inferior branch of the Koladyne river. its remoteness from the ports and harbours of the country, combined with the extreme unhealthiness of its situation, have led to its gradual decay subsequently to the formaEca of the comparatively recent settlement of Akyab, which place is now the chief town of the province. The old city of Arakin lies about 50 miles north-east of Akyab, in 20° 42' N. lat., and 95° 24' E. long. The Maghs, who form nearly the whole population of the province, follow the Buddhist doctrines, which are universally professed throughout Burmah. Tho priests are selected from all classes of men, and one of their chief employments is the education, of children. Instruction is consequently widely diffused, and few persons, it is said, can be found in the province who are unable to read. The qualifications for entering into the priestly order are good conduct and a fair measure of learning - such conduct at least as is good according to Buddhist tenets, and such learning as is esteemed among their votaries.