Dongola, a province of Upper Nubia, in the valley of the Nile, between lat, 18° and 19° 30' N., including the narrow strip on both banks, between the river and the desert; pop. about 60,000. Nearly all the fertile land is on the left bank, the right being mostly barren and covered with drifting sands. The climate is agreeable and generally healthy, although fevers are prevalent in the rainy season, and the heat is great from March to July. On the annual rise of the Nile the low lands along the banks are submerged to the breadth of 12 or 15 m. Thus irrigated and enriched, the country is remarkably productive, yielding two crops annually. Corn and dates are the chief products, but cotton, tobacco, coffee, opium, indigo, sugar cane, beans, and saffron are also raised. The horses of Dongola are of a superior breed, larger than the Arabian. The inhabitants are chiefly of the Ethiopic race, and are of lighter color than other Nubian tribes. Many are descendants of the Mamelukes, who established themselves there in the beginning of this century. They are represented to be indolent, immoral, and selfish, and, notwithstanding the fertility of the soil, live in abject poverty.
Their principal occupations are cattle raising and trading in slaves. - The chief town is New Dongola or Marakah, the capital, on the left bank of the Nile, lat. 19° 10'; pop. about 0,000. It is the seat of a pasha, and has government offices, a bazaar, an indigo factory, and baths. It owes its origin to the barracks built there about 1820, after plans of the naturalist Ehrenberg, to take the place of those destroyed by the Mamelukes at Old Dongola. Not far from the town is the island of Argo, in the river, on which are numerous colossal Egyptian monuments and other remains. Old Dongola, the former capital, on the right bank of the river, 75 m.. above New Dongola, is situated on a rock about 500 ft. high, and is surrounded by fortifications which show its ancient importance. It is now a miserable village of a few hundred inhabitants. - Dongola was a Christian country in early times, and was the seat of civilization and power in Nubia. In the 18th century it was overrun by the Sheikia Arabs. About 1812 the Mamelukes, expelled from Egypt, fled thither and attempted to found a government, but they were driven out in 1820 by Ibrahim Pasha, and since that period the country has been a dependency of Egypt.