1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mandla
MANDLA, a town and district of British India, in the Jubbulpore division of the Central Provinces. The town is on the river Nerbudda, 1787 ft. above the sea. It has a manufacture of bell-metal vessels. Pop. (1901), 5054. The district of Mandla, among the Satpura hills, has an area of 5054 sq. m. It consists of a wild highland region, broken up by the valleys of numerous rivers and streams. The Nerbudda flows through the centre of the district, receiving several tributaries which take their rise in the Maikal hills, a range densely clothed with sāl forest, and forming part of the great watershed between eastern and western India. The loftiest mountain is Chauradadar, about 3400 ft. high. Tigers abound, and the proportion of deaths caused by wild animals is greater than in any other district of the Central Provinces. The magnificent sāl forests which formerly clothed the highlands have suffered greatly from the nomadic system of cultivation practised by the hill tribes, who burned the wood and sowed their crops in the ashes; but measures have been taken to prevent further damage. The population in 1901 was 318,400, showing a decrease of 6.5% in the decade, due to famine. The aboriginal or hill tribes are more numerous in Mandla than in any other district of the Central Provinces, particularly the Gonds. The principal crops are rice, wheat, other food grains, pulse and oil-seeds. There is a little manufacture of country cloth. A branch of the Bengal-Nagpur railway touches the south-western border of the district. Mandla suffered most severely from the famine of 1896–1897, partly owing to its inaccessibility, and partly from the shy habits of the aboriginal tribes. The registered death-rate in 1907 was as high as 96 per thousand.