Hukawng Valley

   A lowland area, comprising approximately 20,720 square kilometers (8,000 square miles), located in northern Kachin State. The name derives from ju-kawng, meaning "cremation grounds" in the Jinghpaw Kachin language, referring to the place where the bodies of Shans slain by Kachins were burned. During World War II, it earned the epithet "Valley of Death" because many people perished there while trying to reach India to escape the invading Japanese. Since the 1960s, it has been under the control of the Kachin Independence Army/Organization, though decreasingly so since the KIA signed a cease-fire with the State Law and Order Restoration Council in 1994. The Hukawng Valley has deposits of amber and gold, which are being extensively worked by prospectors, and large forests, which are being rapidly depleted. Recently, the Forest Department of the central government established a wildlife sanctuary in the valley that covers its entire extent and makes the Hukawng Valley the world's largest tiger reserve.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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