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Prome, Distirct Of

PROME, DISTIRCT OF, a district in the Pegu division of Lower Burma, with an area of 2915 sq. m. and a population (1901) of 365,804.

It occupies the whole breadth of the valley of the Irrawaddy, between Thayetmyo district on the north and Henzada and Tharrawaddy districts on the south, and originally extended as far as the frontier of Independent Burma, but in 1870 Thayetmyo was formed into an independent jurisdiction. There are two mountain ranges in Prome, which form respectively the eastern and western boundaries. The Arakan Yomas extends along the whole of the western side, and that portion of the district lying on the right bank of the Irrawaddy is broken up by thickly wooded spurs running in a south-easterly direction, the space for cultivation being but limited and confined to the parts adjacent to the river. On the eastern side lies the Pegu Yomas, and north and north-east of the district its forest-covered spurs form numerous valleys and ravines, the torrents from which unite in one large stream called the Na-weng River. The most important of the plains lie in the south and south-west portions of Prome, and extend along the whole length of the railway that runs between the towns of Paungde and Prome; they are mostly under cultivation, and those in the south are watered by a series of streams forming the Myit-ma-kha or upper portion of the Hlaing. There are in addition large tracts of land covered by tree-jungle which are available for cultivation. The principal river is the Irrawaddy, which intersects the district from north to south; next in importance are the Tha-ni and its tributaries and the Na-weng system of rivers. In the hills near the capital the soil is of Tertiary formation, and in the plains it is an alluvial deposit. The climate is much drier than other districts in Lower Burma, the annual rainfall being about 48 in. The temperature ranges from about 100 in June to 60 in January. The staple crop is rice, but some cotton and tobacco are grown, while the custard apples are famous. Sericulture is extensively carried on by a special class. The forests yield teak and cutch, cotton and silk- weaving are important industries; there are also manufactures of ornamental boxes, coarse brown sugar and cutch.

The early history of the once flourishing kingdom of Prome, like that of the other states which now form portions of Burma, is veiled in obscurity. After the conquest of Pegu in 1758 by Alompra, the founder of the last dynasty of Ava kings, Prome remained a portion of the Burman kingdom till the close of the second Burmese War in 1853, when the province of Pegu was annexed to British territory.

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

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