Chala

Chala a group of dome-shaped hillocks having maximum elevation of 10m to 12m with deeply-cut valleys in between, severely dissected by gullies and sheet erosion usually seen in the madhupur tract. These rounded, plateau-like hillock topography is locally called chala. They are 10-20m in elevation and have slightly dome-shaped rolling tops. Chalas are composed mainly of lateritic soil and usually remain flood free. In the past chala lands were covered by dense Shal (Shorea robusta) forest. But within the past century, most of the forest covers of the chalas have been cut off. At present, chalas are typically used for settlement, planting jackfruits [k'at'h'a'l] and bamboo groves, for growing vegetables, and as brickfields. Chalas are also important grazing land for the area during the wet season. [Mohd Shamsul Alam] [Alam, Mohd Shamsul Professor of Geography and Environment, Jahangirnagar University]