NORTH - WEST PROVINCES AND Hindustan, in Europe, is a geographical term applied to British India generally. By the people, however, and by the European residents, the name is restricted to that part of India which lies between the Himalaya and the Vindhya mountains, and the N.W. Provinces and Oudh occupy a large part of that expanse. Hindustan was the Madhya-desa of the ancient Aryans, the middle region or Aryavarta, the Arya country. In a slokam in the Sanskrit work, the Amarakosha, the ancient boundaries of it are thus defined :— Ariavartali, punia bluimi hi, Mad'hiam Vindhya Himava yoho,' i.e. the Aryan country, the sacred land (lies) between the Vindhya and Himalaya, in this way indicating both the dominant race and the boundaries of the country held by them at the time that Amara Sinha wrote.
In 1877 theN.W. Provinces and Oudh were placed within one jurisdiction. The N.W. Provinces lie between lat. 23° 51' 30" and 31° • 5' N., and between .long. 3' and 84° 43', 36" seven degrees of latitude and seven of longitude, its area being 81,403 square miles ; while Oudh lies between lat. 25° 34' and 28° 42' N., and long. 79° 44' and 83° 9' E., three degrees of latitude and three of longitude, with an area of 23,992 square miles. They together, including also the feudatory Rampur State and Native Gar!twat, embrace an area of square miles, and a total population of 44,849,619 souls, of whom over 23 millions aro males, and 213. millions arc females.
Area. I I Males. Females.
N.W. Nov. & (nob, fou,1091144,107,869 2:1,912,556 21,195,818 Rantptir State, , 945 I 1541,914 232,359 259,555 Native Garltwal, • 4,130 199,836102,340 97,496 111,2249 44.849,619 Oudh lies between Nepal and the N.W. Pro vinces. It contains no mountains. In the Gonda district the boundary is on the ridge of the first range of low but abrupt hills of the Himalaya ; elsewhere it. is in the plains, and is a part of the alluvial valley of the Gauges and of some of its tributaries. The mountainous region of Garhwal has a population of 50 to the square mile. Large tracts of Garliwal, however, arc thickly populated, and where the situation is favourable, the cultiva tion stretches high up the bills, terrace after terrace.
There has been a decrease throughout a large area since 1872. This decrease was due to famine.
In the central tract, consisting of the Lucknow Division and Rai March and Sultanpur, the decrease of nearly eight per cent. must be an indication of a real loss. There is a well-defined tract showing a decrease, while another shows an increase. There must consequently have been some condition especially affecting the population of these districts. Such a condition we find in the drought of 1878 and the fever of 1879, from which this central tract suffered especially. That the population of these districts was thus particu larly affected, we find from the smaller proportion of children living of the years of birth 1878 and 1879. There can therefore be no doubt that the population of this tract actually has diminished by somewhere about eight per cent.,.owiug to the effects of those two fatal years.
The languages spoken are not numerous. It is the great seat of the Hindi and of its offshoot the Urdu or IIindustani, and its other dialects and other tongues have been classed as follows : a. Gaurian languages, Indian languages of Sanskrit affinity— Hindi and Urdu, 43,221,705 Sindi, 72 Garb wall, . . 340,913 Gujerati, . . . 3,847 Kamaoni, . . 459,623 Mahrati, . . . 3,347 . . . 8,723 Bengali, . . . . 16,437 Kashmiri, . . . 127 Assamese, . . . 1 Panjabi, . . 5,805 Uriya, 237 Marwari, . . . 5,664 - 44 ,066,500 b. Tamil, Telugu, Canarese, Malealam, 1,671 Gondi, 201 Burmese, . . . . 8 — 1,880 c. Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Baluch, Pushtu, Chinese, Armenian, Turki, Ladakhi, Tibetan, 5,508 Abyssinian, 12 European languages, . . . . 33,199 The religions professed throughout this pro vince are the Sikh, the Hindu, the Jaina, the Muhammadan, and the Christian, with many cults among the aboriginal races. The fall of Buddhism and the final triumph of Brahmanism was accomplished after long years of sanguinary wars, lasting through generations, perhaps centuries, and the plains of Oudh are supposed to have witnessed the last efforts of Buddhism, gradually retreating to the Himalayan mountains. They were so devastated by these prolonged con tests, that tradition assigns the country lying between the four points of Ayodhya, Bithur, and Nimasarang as a solitude. The spirit remains, and Oudli has seen many Hindu reformers.