Bareilly, also known as ‘Bans Bareilly’ is situated in the Tarai region of Himalayas. This is one of the important districts of Uttar Pradesh, with its administrative seat at Bareilly town.
The city derived its name from the names of two princes, Bansaldev and Baraldev sons of the founder of the city. Though Bareilly is also a production center for cane (Bans) furniture, but it has nothing to do with its name. The city is situated on the banks of Ram Ganga and has a rich heritage. The city has a mention in Epic Mahabharata as the capital of 'Panchal' rulers. Bareilly is one of the very important towns in the Indian State of Uttar Pradesh. The city is the capital of Rohilkhand division. It is an important commercial center in North India and has several small and medium sized industries. The city for long has been a center for various minor and major movements. Famous Sufi-Barelvi sect Islam was born in this very city. Ahmed Raza Khan who was the resident of the city started the movement that borrows its name from the city itself. In fact, the city is known as the citadel of Barelvi sect in Asia.
Bareilly Location Boundaries & Climate
Bareilly is located at 28°10’N 78°23’E. Bareilly, an important district of Uttar Pradesh is situated in the Tarai region of Himalayas.
The district shares common boundaries with Nainital district on the North, district of Pilibhit on the East, Badaun district on the South and South-West and Shahajahanpur district on the South-East,. The Ramganga River forms the natural boundary of the Bareilly.
Facts and figures of Bareilly
|Area||4120 sq. km|
|Latitude||28°10’ to 28° 54’ N|
|Longitude||78° 58’ to 79° 47’ E|
|Population density||1084 per sq. km|
|No. of Tehsil||06|
|No. of Blocks||15|
|No. of Villages||2072|
|Average rainfall||1096 mm|
|Temperature||Max.: 45.5°C; Min.: 4.8°C|
The district of Bareilly was once the part of ancient Panchala, which was bound by the river Yamuna in the west, Gomati in the east, Chambal in the south and on the north it approaches the Himalayan foot hills. Panchal acquired considerable significance during the later Vedic period – in fact it became the centre during the Later Vedic Civilization. It is mentioned in the ‘Shatapatha Brahamana’ (Hindu Holy book) that the Brahmins who had settled in different parts of Panchala and were being patronised by its Kings were to be counted not by hundreds but by many thousands. The scholars of Panchala were famous throughout India. Sage Yajnavalkya from Panchala region was invited in the kingdom of Mithila to enlighten king Janaka on various philosophical problems. Saints Prayahana Jaivali, Pratardana, Gargayayana and Uddalaka of Panchala had made significant contributions in the development of Upanisadic philosophy. In fact it was in this region that during the later Vedic period the Indian life and thought had assumed the form which had followed ever since. The love for reason in the region of Panchala did not confine to philosophy only. Panchals were also ploneers in the domain of Natural Science.
Uddalaka Aruni of Panchala who could not presumably be later than the 8th or 7th B.C. took the great step of viewing scriptures from the mythological to a naturalistic understanding of mother nature. He postulated the original cause of the universe the primeval being (Sat), he proceeded to sketch a view of the evolution or development of everything in nature ultimately from the primeval being or Sat with a dynamism or motion inherent in it. The most striking thing about his procedure is that practically at every step of this sketch, he also drew upon empirical data or facts of direct observation, already censored by the priest class.
Bareilly district is very rich from archaeological point of view. The remains of Ahichhatra(Capital town of Northern Panchala) have been discovered near Ramnagar Village of Aonla Tehsil in the district. During the first excavations at this place in 1940-44 the painted grey ware of the times of Aryans, when they were in Ganga Yamuna valley were discovered at this place. Approximately five thousand coins belonging to periods earlier than that of Guptas have been yielded from Ahichhatra. From the point of view of the total yield of terrocotas it has also been one of the richest sites in India. Some of the masterpieces of Indian terrocotta art are from Ahichhatra. As a matter of fact, the classification made of the terracotta human figurines from Ahichhatra on grounds of style and to some extent stratigraphy became a model for determining the stratigraphy of subsequent excavations at other sites in the Ganga Valley.
During the 6th Century BC, the Panchala was among one of the sixteen mehajanapadas of the country. The experiment in non-monarchical form of Government in Panchala soon resulted in the growing of Magadhen imperialism, earlier under the Nandas and then under the Mauryas.
The fall of the Mauryan Empire resulted in the emergence of numerous small and independent states in the whole Ganga Valley. It laid a base of remarkable revival in the fortunes of Panchala which once again came to occupy a very significant position in the history of northern India. At this time Panchala emerges as one of the strongest powers in country. During the period between the fall of the Mauryas and the rise of the Guptas, the Panchalas had two phases of power – first the pre Kushana phase and secondly a short period of fifty years after the fall of the Kushanas, which ended when Panchala was assimilated in the Gupta empire by Samudragupta.
During the Gupta Empire, Ahichhatra was one of the provinces into which the Gupta Empire was divided. Not much Importance was given to the place. The monuments under the Guptas were mainly religious indicating that Ahichhatra had then become mainly a religious centre at that time.
The amalgamation of several religious and popular beliefs may be observed through out the history of Panchala in ancient India. It was also associated with the activities of pravahana Jaivali, Gargayayana, Uddalaka etc. who were responsible for giving a distinctive touch to the later vedic thought. The Jain tirthamkara Parshvanath is also said to have attained Kaivalya at Holy Ahichhatra. The place was also influenced by Buddha and his followers. There are remains of Buddhist monastries at Ahichhatra. The shadows of the Bhagavates and the Saivas can still be seen in the towering monuments of massive temples, which is the most impressive structure of the site.
Bareilly came under the domain of Maukharis after the fall of the Guptas in the latter half of the 6th century. Under the emperor Harsha (606-47 AD) the district was the part of the Ahichhatra Bhukti. During the reign Harsha, the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang also visited Ahichhatra about 635 AD.
After Emporor Harsha’s death this region fell under anarchy and confusion. And during the second quarter of eighth century the district was included in the kingdom of Yashavarman (725-52 AD) of Kannauj and after him the Ayudha kings. Kannauj became the masters of the district for several decades. As the power of Gurjara Pratiharas started gaining strength in the 9th century, Bareilly came under them till the end of the tenth century.
A final death blow was given by Mahmud of Ghazni to already decaying power of Gurjara Pretihara. After the fall of Gurjara Pretiharas, Ahichhetra no longer remain the flourishing cultural centre of the region. The Royal power seat was shifted from Ahichhatra to Vodamayuta or modern Badaun as the irrefutable evidence of Rashtrakuta Chief.
About the middle of the twelfth century the Katehriyas established themselves firmly in the Bareilly region with Kabar and Aonla as their chief centres. The Katehriyas are to be noted for their conspicuous role in persistently resisting the onslaught of the Delhi rulers till the time of Akbar.There is a controversy as to how katehar rajputs origin and dominated the region.
The foundation of the town of Bareilly may be dated some time in the first half of the sixteenth century. It is believed that one Jagat Singh katehriya founded a village called Jagatpur about the year 1500 and in 1537 his two sons Bas Deo and Barel Deo founded Bareilly. The name of the place is influenced by their names and was known as Bans Bareilly. One of the colonies of the old city still retains the name Jagatpur. During the region of Akbar the Katehriyas rose in revolt but it was crushed by Almas Ali Khan,the Mughal general. Bas Deo of Bareilly who was then ruling over a considerable extent of territory was killed and Bareilly was merged in the Mughal Empire. Mughals had to overthrow afghan nobles to rule the place.
The development of the city was accelerated in 1657. When, Mukrand Raj cleared the sal forest area tobuild the city. The mohalla or colony makrandpur sarkar was named after him and that of Alamgiri Ganj after AurangZeb Alamgir. The Mohallas of Kazitola, Beharipur and Malookpur were also founded by him. He is also responsible for building of the Jama Masjid and a large Fort where the Qila Police Station is situated now.
It was with the immigration of Daud Khan, an Afghan slave(who originally came from Roh in Afghanistan) in the region that the Afghan Rohillas had come into prominence. Ali Muhammad Khan, his adopted son,succeeded in carving out an estate for himself in the district with his headquarter at Aonla region. He was ultimately made the lawful governor of Kateher by the Mughal emperor, and the region was named “the land of the Ruhelas”.
Marathas invaded Rohilkhand in November 1772, they were repulsed by the Rohillas with the help of the nawabs of Awadh. After the war when Shuja-Ud-daula demanded the indemnity from the Rohilla Chief Hafiz Rahmat Khan for the help given to him, the demand was rejected. Annoyed from the rejection, nawab then with the help of Warren Hastings invaded Rohilkhand. Resulting in the battle of Mirranpur Katra in 1774, Empror Hafiz Rahmat Khan was killed and the authority of the Awadh was established over the entire territory of the Rohillas. The supermacy of Awadh did not continue for long for the pilling debt on account of the maintenance of British forces in the region led to the surrender of the whole of Rohilkhand(including Bareilly) to the East India Company on November 10, 1801.
On May 14 1857, the news of the outbreak of the struggle of independence which started at Meerut reached Bareilly. The people rose in revolt, occupied treasury and the records of Kotwali were burnt, Khan Bahadur khan, the grandson of Hafiz Rahmat Khan was able to form his own government by appointing Sobha Ram Diwan, Madar Ali Khan and Niyaz Muhammed Khan generals and Hori Lal as paymaster. But with the failure of this first war of the Indian independence everywhere, Bareilly was also completely subjugated by the British on 7th May 1858. Khan Bahadur Khan was sentenced to death and was hanged on February 24, 1860 in Kotwali.
During Khilafat Movement, the Indian National Congress came in to prominence in Bareilly. Gandhiji visited this town twice and many Hindus and Muslims were arrested. Gandhiji Launched, the Civil Disobedience Movement in the district on Jan 26,1930. In 1936, a conference of the Congress was held in Bareilly under the presidentship of Acharya Narendra Deo. Conference was addressed by Jawaharlal Nehru, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, M.N.Roy and Purushottam Das Tandon. And then, in 1942 when the ‘Quit India’ movement was launched, many processions and meetings were organised and around 200 persons were arrested. In the Bareilly central Jail at that time were confined such prominent leaders as Jawahar Lal Nehru. Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, Mahavir Tyagi, Manzar Ali Sokhata and Maulana Hifazul Rahman.
The city entirely lies in the Ganges Plains and the soils are fertile and suitable for farming.Main occupation is agriculture however there are some parts, which are prone to floods. Apart from sitating on the banks of Ram Ganga, seven more river pass through the region.
Bareilly district is also famous for its Handicrafts like Zari-Zardozi, wooden furniture and Bamboo work etc.
Bareilly is Famous for the Dargah of Ahle Sunnat Scholar Imam Ahmed Raza Khan. Bareilly also homes a number of famous hindu temples. It has four Shiva temples at its four corners viz. Alakhnath, Madhinath, Tiberinath, and Dhopeshwarnath. Another well known temple is the Chunne Miyan's Lakshmi Narayan Mandir.
How to Reach Bareilly
By Air: Indian Airforce has abase called Trishul Airbase on the outskirts of Bareilly at Izzatnagar, but it is not open for civilians. The nearest Airport from Bareilly is at Pantnagar about 70 Km.
By Rail: Bareilly lies on Moradabad-Lucknow Route. There are six railway stations serving the city, viz. Bareilly Junction, C.B Station, Chenheti Station, City Station, Izzatnagar Station and Bhojpura Station.
By Road: Bareilly is well connected to cities in Uttar Pradesh and around through a network of National and State Highways. Bareilly is equidistant from Lucknow, Agra and Delhi about 200 km from each. Nainital and Dehradun are very close to Bareilly. It takes nearly 5 hours from Delhi to reach Bareilly by bus.
Distance of Bareilly from other places
| Lucknow|| 200 Km|
| Delhi || 200 Km|
| Agra|| 200 Km|
|Shahjahpur ||75 Km|