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Kej

KEJ, or KECH, the chief place in a district of the province of Makran in Baluchistan, which has given its name to Kej-Makran, as distinguished from Persian Makran. There is no town, but a number of small villages dominated by a fort built upon a rock, on the eastern bank of the Kej River. This fort, like many others similarly placed throughout the country, is supposed to be impregnable, but is of no strength except against the matchlocks of the surrounding tribes. Kej (or Kiz) was an important trade centre in the days of Arab supremacy in Sind, and the rulers of Kalat at various times marched armies into the province with a view to maintaining their authority. At the beginning of the 19th century it had the reputation of a commercial centre, trading through Panjgur with Kandahar, with Karachi via Bela, and with Muscat and the Persian Gulf by the seaport of Gwadar, distant about 80 m. The present Khan of Kalat exercises but a feeble sway over this portion of his dominion, although he appoints a governor to the province. The principal tribe residing around Kej is that of the Gichki, who claim to be of Rajput origin, and to have settled in Makran during the 17th century, having been driven out of Rajputana. The climate during summer is too hot for Europeans. During winter, however, it is temperate. The principal exports consist of dates, which are considered of the finest quality. A local revolt against Kalat rendered an expedition against Kej necessary in 1898. Colonel Mayne reduced the fortress and restored order in the surrounding districts.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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