Pegu Division

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This article has been extracted from



Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts. Some units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.

Pegu Division

Division of Lower Burma, lying between 16 19' and 19 n' N. and 94 41' and 96 54' E., and comprising the greater part of the strip of country that stretches between the Irrawaddy and the Sittang rivers from 19 N. to the Gulf of Martaban, and, with the exception of a single township, wholly to the east of the former river. It is well watered and, except for the area covered by the Pegu Yoma at the northern end, forms one expanse of plain land of extraordinary fertility.

The population of the Division at the labt four enumerations was : (1872) 848,077, (1881) 1,215,923, (1891) 1,523,022, and (1901) 1,820,638. Its head-quarters are at RANGOON, and it contains the following Districts:

Of the inhabitants in 1901, 1,541,388 were Buddhists, 65,534 Musalmans, 152,191 Hindus, 38,274 Christians, and 21,709 Animistb, the majority of the remainder being Sikhs and Jews. According to race, 1,330,816 were Burmans, 103,420 Karens, and 78,576 Talaingb. The density was 139 persons per square mile, or a little over three times as great as that of the Province as a whole. In 1901 the Division contained 8 towns and 6,817 villages. Of the towns only two RANGOON (234,881), and PROMK (27,375) had a population exceeding 20,000. Rangoon lies at the southern end of the Division, and there is no other commercial centre. In PROME and PEGU, however, it possesses towns of historical interest, once the capitals of two dynasties of the past, that of the Pyus in the north and that of the TALAINGS in the south, and both the scene of warlike operations during the first and second Burmese Wars. Syriam, close to and west of Rangoon, also has a place in the history of Burma as a famous emporium of olden days, and one of the first of the ports at which the peopte of the country entered into commercial relations with the strangers who were destined centuries later to be their conquerors.

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