Early History 1765–1816
The Sundarbans are the southern portion of the Ganges delta, extending from the Hugli on the west to the Meghna on the east, through the present districts of 24-Parganas, Khulna, and Bakarganj, and their limits on the north are the permanently-settled lands of those districts. The assessment of the Sundarban taluks required thorough revision; for, owing to numerous relinquishments that had been made both before and after the demarcation in 1786, the jamas assessed on the taluks were in a great degree nominal. In September 1812 the Collector supplied the Board with a statement of the Sundarban leases which were then in force, and mentioned that of late years individuals as well as landholders had cultivated immense tracts under leases obtained from the adjacent Zamindars. The zamindars had objected throughout to Mr. Smelt’s operations on the ground that he was measuring their estates as Sundarban land.