1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kyauksē

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KYAUKSĒ, a district in the Meiktila division of Upper Burma, with an area of 1274 sq. m., and a population in 1901 of 141,253. It is also known as the Ko-kayaing, so called from the original nine canals of the district. It consists of a generally level strip running north and south at the foot of the Shan Hills, and of a hilly region rising up these hills to the east, and including the Yeyaman tract, which lies between 21° 30′ and 21° 40′ N. and 96° 15′ and 96° 45′ E., with peaks rising to between 4500 and 5000 ft. This tract is rugged and scored by ravines, and is very sparsely inhabited. The Panlaung and Zawgyi rivers from the Shan States flow through the district and are utilized for the numerous irrigation canals. Notwithstanding this, much timber is floated down, and the Panlaung is navigable for small boats all the year round. Rain is very scarce, but the canals supply ample water for cultivation and all other purposes. They are said to have been dug by King Nawrahtā in 1092. He is alleged to have completed the system of nine canals and weirs in three years’ time. Others have been constructed since the annexation of Upper Burma. At that time many were in serious disrepair, but most of them have been greatly improved by the construction of proper regulators and sluices. Two-thirds of the population are dependent entirely on cultivation for their support, and this is mainly rice on irrigated land. In the Yeyaman tract the chief crop is rice. The great majority of the population is pure Burmese, but in the hills there are a good many Danus, a cross between Shans and Burmese. The railway runs through the centre of the rice-producing area, and feeder roads open up the country as far as the Shan foot-hills. The greater part of the district consists of state land, the cultivators being tenants of government, but there is a certain amount of hereditary freehold.

Kyauksē town is situated on the Zawgyi River and on the Rangoon-Mandalay railway line, and is well laid out in regular streets, covering an area of about a square mile. It has a population (1901) of 5420, mostly Burmese, with a colony of Indian traders. Above it are some bare rocky hillocks, picturesquely studded with pagodas.

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