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'Persian Gulf Gazetteer Part II, Geographical and Descriptive Materials, Section II Western Side of the Gulf' [‎71v] (145/286)

The record is made up of 1 volume (140 folios). It was created in 1904. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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indirect influence on Balirein, with the result that Bahrein emigrants wore
settled in places all round the Gulf; there were said to be 300 on tiie island of
Kais (?). In 1898 Sheikh had some very fast sailing war vesseis (batils).
Zwemer (11300) writing of the present Chief says most of his time is devoted to
hawking and the chase ; judicial authority is exercised by a Kadhi and oppres
sion, blackmail and bribery are universal.
BAHREIN ISLAND.—Island 27 miles long with maximum width of
10 miles. According to Bombay Records (1856) about ^ of the island is
well-watered, thickly inhabited and partly cultivated, the rest is in equal
proportions hilly and deseit. The soil of about ^ is rich and capable of
much improvement as, with the exception of the date plantations and a few
barley, wheat and clover fields, it lies entirely waste. Whish (1859) described
the road from Manama to Jebel Dukhan as leading through rich date plan-
tations and gardens in the direction of some minarets, passing which a back-
water was reached m )ro or less ford ibla according to the state of the tide.
Beyond this, | a mile, nn open space began, covered at first with tumuli but
later subsiding into a level plain, swampy in places. A rocky path between
steep cliffs, 40 or 50 feet high, then lei to elevated ground, barren and very
stony. From this point there was a gradual ascent to llufaa followed by a des
cent into a vast crater surrounded on all sides by cliffs. Over the bottom of the
crater the road ran for 5 miles through uneven ground of rocky formation to
Jebel Dukhan, a mass of rock standing almost alone in the centre of the crater.
From Rufaa to Jebel Dukhan ground was covered with stones, which were coated
with green lichen and contained beautiful crystallised spar. Palgrave (186^)
described, the west side of the island as consisting of dark tenacious mould steeped
in moisture. Many paths crossed the north end of the island leading to little
clusters of thatched cottages. Durand (1879) found that Jehel Dukhan com
manded a perfect view of the encircling sea and mainland. The top was
visible from both Muharrak and Manama and the hill was surrounded by a
ring of cliffs, facing inwards, at a di-tance of 3 or 4 miles; the land surround
ing these sloped down more or less gradually to the sea on all sides. Formation
was apparently not volcanic as rocks were limestone and sandstone. To the
south and east the island was very bare, but almost due west of Jebel Dukhan
palms be^an to lino the coast and stretched thence all round the north shore.
To the north-east, nearer the coast, white dusty ground everywhere intruded
and mighty mounds bare of vegetation towered above the palrn-groves. The
mounds stretched in endless chains all round the slope that falls from the cliffs
to the sea, clinging rather to the higher ground but occurring also in
separate clusters near the sea. The parent group of mounds was at Ali,
but they were found also at Balad al Kadim, on the road to Rufaa and at
Sirabe. From Manama west to Balad al Kadim were lines of date gardens.
Principal trees are date, vine, fig, pomegranate, almond, hair, peach, tama
rind, citron, apricot, mulberry. Castor oil plant nourishes and lucerne grass is-
largely cultivated. Camels are mostly from Arabia but a few are bred in the Horses are carelessly bred and inferior, cows good but race dying
out as no poor man or cultivator can keep them. White donkeys famed,'but
few except with Sheikhs and rich men and those not so good as Persians.
Ordinary donkeys common. Wild animals are gazelle, hare and mongoose.
Bent (1889) described the island as an almost dead-level of sandy desert
relieved by palm-groves, with a good supply of water and occasional cultiva
tion. The hills in the centre are limestones ; the rest of coral formation. The
Gulf Pilot (1898) describes Jebel Dukhan as a small square lump of dark hills
and says the north end of the island has a bolt, 2 or 3 miles wide, of very fertile
land covered with dato-groves. Zwemer (1900) states that the slightly elevated
table-land in 4he centre of the island is mostly barren,
BALAD AL KADIM.—Ancient site dating from before Portuguese
occupation. Principal feature is Madrasa Abu Zeidan mosque with 2 slender
and elegant minarets, surrounded by ruins of houses and buildings. In midsfc
of ruins is Abu Zoidan spring with well-built baths. Thursday market is still
held here.
BARBOORA.— Village near north shore of Bahrein Island, west of
Portuguese Fort.

About this item


The volume is Part II Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. Gazetteer, Geographical and Descriptive Materials, Section II Western Side of the Gulf (Simla: G C Press, 1904).

The volume contains notes, followed by subsections on Trucial Chiefs' Territory, Katar [Qatar], Bahrein [Bahrain], Hasa, and Koweit [Kuwait]. The volume is a geographical and descriptive gazetteer, giving information on alphabetically-listed places in each of the territories in question.

Extent and format
1 volume (140 folios)

There is a table of contents on the title page of the volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at 1 on the front cover, and terminates at 142 on the back cover. These numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and can be found in the top right hand corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. page of each folio. A printed pagination system also runs intermittently throughout the volume.

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English in Latin script
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'Persian Gulf Gazetteer Part II, Geographical and Descriptive Materials, Section II Western Side of the Gulf' [‎71v] (145/286), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/727, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 12 November 2019]

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