The forest areas of India include the dense vegetation and luxuriant growth of the Tarai jungles at the foot of the eastern Himalaya, and wide stretches of loosely-timbered country which are a prevailing feature in the Central Provinces and parts of Madras.
The lower Himalayas to the south of Sikkim, and the tarai, or plains, which extend from the south of these ranges as far as the northern borders of Purnea district.
Of small game, hares, jungle fowl, peacocks, partridges, snipe, woodcock, wild ducks and geese, and green pigeons are numerous in the tarai, and jungle fowl and pheasants in the hills.
The inhabitants of the hilly tract consist to a large extent of Nepali immigrants and of aboriginal highland races; in the tarai the people are chiefly Hindus and Mahommedans.
In the upper or northern tarai, along the base of the hills, the Mechs form the principal ethnical feature.
The British connexion with Darjeeling dates from 1816, when, at the close of the war with Nepali, the British made over to the Sikkim raja the tarai tract, which had been wrested from him and annexed by Nepal.
Campbell, the superintendent of Darjeeling, and Sir Joseph Hooker, resulted in the stoppage of the allowance granted to the raja for the cession of the hill station of Darjeeling, and in the annexation of the Sikkim tarai at the foot of the hills and of a portion of the hills beyond.
TARAI, or Terai (i.e.
The Deoha is the great river of the Tarai proper, and is navigable at Pilibhit.
This tract presents the same general features as the Gangetic valley, varied by the damp and pestilential submontane region of the tarai on the north-east, at the foot of the Kumaon hills.
To the westward of this the northern boundary recedes a little from the mountain tract, and the tarai in this portion of the range has been for the most part ceded to Nepal.
They are succeeded by a broad submontane belt, the tarai, which is rendered moist by the mountain torrents, and is covered by forest from end to end.
A tract of forest jungle, called the tarai, stretches along the extreme north of the district, and teems with large game, such as tigers, bears, deer, wild pigs, &c. The river Sarda or Gogra forms the eastern boundary of the district and is the principal stream.
Recent investigations show that all the chief rivers of Nepal flowing southwards to the Tarai take their rise north of the line of highest crests, the " main range " of the Himalaya; and that some of them drain long lateral high-level valleys enclosed between minor ridges whose strike is parallel to the axis of the Himalaya and, occasionally, almost at right angles to the course of the main drainage channels breaking down to the plains.