Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/21

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CHAPTER I

AREAS AND BOUNDARIES

Introductory.— Of the provinces of India the Panjab must always have a peculiar interest for Englishmen. Invasions by land from the west have perforce been launched across its great plains. The English were the first invaders who, possessing sea power, were able to outflank the mountain ranges which guard the north and west of India. Hence the Panjab was the last, and not the first, of their Indian conquests, and the courage and efficiency of the Sikh soldiery, even after the guiding hand of the old Maharaja Ran jit Singh was withdrawn, made it also one of the hardest. The success of the early administration of the province, which a few years after annexation made it possible to use its resources in fighting men to help in the task of putting down the mutiny, has always been a matter of just pride, while the less familiar story of the conquests of peace in the first sixty years of British rule may well arouse similar feelings.

Scope of work.— A geography of the Panjab will fitly embrace an account also of the North West Frontier