Basti is the seventh largest district of Uttar Pradesh. It is an
administrative district with its headquarters located at Basti town. Originally a village, district Basti derived its name from the Ashram of Rishi Vashishtha or Bashishtha, it was then known as Vashishthi. Sage Vashishtha was a renowned Rishi in the ancient period.
According to Ramayana Lord Rama and his younger brother Laxman stayed at this place for some time. At one time this region was mainly covered with forest but gradually it became inhabitant. Around 16th Century, Raja Kalhan selected it as a seat of his Raj. With the passage of time, the region prospered and finally got the status of tehsil headquarter in 1801. It was chosen as a District Headquarter of a newly established district in 1865. The place is growing in population and importance since then.
Basti is situated between 26°23’ and 27°30’ North Latitude and 82°17’ and 83°20’ East Longitude. The district is located between Gonda on the West and District Sant Kabir Nagar on the East. River Ghaghra creates a natural boundary of the district separating it from Faizabad and district Ambedkar Nagar in the South. District Siddharth Nagar lies on the north. The district experience four seasons viz. Winter (mid November to February), Summer (march to mid June), Southwest Monsoon (mid June till September) and Post Monsoon or transitional period (October to mid-November).
Basti Facts and Figures
|Year of Formation||1865|
|Area||7,309 sq. km|
|Latitude||26° 23' and 27° 30' North|
|Longitude||82° 17' and 83° 20' East|
|Population (2001)||27, 50,764|
|Literacy Rate (1991)||21%|
|No. of Tehsil||03|
|No. of Blocks||13|
|No. of Villages||3354|
|Average rainfall||1166 mm|
History of BastiAncient history
The area around Basti was known as Kosala in ancient times. The Shatpath Brahman speaks of Kosala as one of the countries of the Vedic Aryans. Panini (great grammarian) mentions it in one of his Sutras. Glory of Kosala dynasty reached its peak during the reign of Raja Dashratha and his eldest son Lord Rama. Lord Ram Chandra’s Kingdom was said to be an ideally lawful state, the proverbial RAM RAJYA. Rama's elder son Kush ascended the thrown of Ayodhya in Kosala itself and the younger son Love became the ruler of the northern part of the kingdom with it capital Shrawasti.
With the decline of the Guptas in sixth century A.D. Basti also gradually began to desolate. A new dynasty named Maukharies, with capital at Kannauj began to gain power in northern India and this Kingdom included Basti in it.
Just at the beginning of the 9th century A.D., the King of Gurjara Pratihara, Nagbhatta II, overthrew the the throne of Ayodhya, who was then ruling at Kannauj, and the citywas made the capital of his growing Empire which touched its peak during the reign of the famous Mihirbhoj(836-885 A.D.). After that Awath started loosing its power and was divided into small chieftainships but with an obligation to yield to new powers of Gahadwals of Kannauj. The last impoetant ruler od the dynasty,Jaychandra(1170-1194 A.D.) was killed in the battle of Chandawar(near Etawah) fighting against the invading army of Shahabuddin Mohd. Gauri. Turks occupied Kannauj soon after his death.
It is believed that, for centuries Basti was occupied by the Bhars. Though, there is no definite evidence about the origin of Bhars and there early history but the evidence of an extensive Bhar kingdom in the district can be gleaned only from the ruins of ancient brick buildings popularly ascribed to the Bhars and found extant in a number of villages of this district.
Nasir-ud-din Mahmud, the elder son of Iltutmish, became the governor of Awadh in 1225 and is said to have completely crushed all resistance on the part of the Bhars. In 1479 Basti and adjoining district appear to have remained under control of the successor of Khawaja Jahan who was ruler of kingdom of Jaunpur. Then, Bahlol Lodi handed over the charge of the government of this reign to his nephew Kala Pahar with headquarters at Behraich and which clearly included the district of Basti and the adjoining parts of it. During this time, Mahatma Kabir, the well known poet and philosopher lived at Maghar,a small place of this district.
This was the state of the Hindu society in the district before the arrival of the Rajputs from the west. It is said that before the advent of the leading Rajput Kings, there were the local Hindus and Hindu Kings in the districts and they are said to have substituted the original tribes like Bhars, Tharus, Domekatars and Domes, whom local natives declared as early rulers. Among these Hindus were, Bhumihars, Sarvariya Brahmins and Visen. During the 13th century the Srinetra was the newcomer to have first established in this reign and Chandrasen,their chief, expel the Domkatar from the eastern part of Basti. Rajput of Gonda province, the Kalhans, established themselves in Basti pargana. South of the Kalhans country there was Nagar, Ruled by a Gautam Ruler. There was also an ailed clan in Mahuli known as Mahsuiyas are Rajputs of Mahso.
Other Rajputs of special mention was that of Chauhan. It is believed that three chief Mukund fled from Chittaur who ruled on undivided part of district Basti. Amorha a part of district Basti were ruled by Kayasth dynasty in the last quarter of the 14th century.
The district formed a part of the Sarkar Gorakhpur during the reign of Akbar and his successor. In the earlier days of his reign the district served as the asylum for the rebel Afgan leaders like Khan Zaman, the governor of Jaunpur and Ali Quli Khan. In the Mughal period in 1680 Aurangzeb sent one Qazi Khalil-ur-Rahman as the chakledar ( holder of the tract ) of Gorakhpur probably to get the regular payment of revenue from the local chiefs. Qazi Khalil-ur-Rahman marched from Ayodhya to force the chieftains of the districts adjoining Gorakhpur to make payment of revenue. As a result, the rajas of Amorha and Nagar, who had recently became powerful, easily tendered their submission and confrontation was thus averted. The Mughal governor then proceeded to Maghar where he again compelled the raja of Bansi to retire to this fortress on the bank of Rapti. Khalilabad town, now headquarters of newly created district Sant Kabir Nagar, was named after Khalil-ur-Rahman. A road leading from Ayodhya to Gorakhpur was constructed. In February 1690, Himmat Khan ( son of Khan Jahan Bahadur Zafar jang Kokaltash, subahdar of Allahabad ) was appointed subedar of Awadh and faujdar (military commander ) of Gorakhpur who held the charge of Basti and adjoining districts for a long time.
When, Saadat Khan was appointed governor of the subah of Awadh including the faujdari (commaandarship) of Gorakhpur on 9th September 1772, a great and far reaching change came over the sense. At that time small-amall places were ruled by different rulers viz.Bansi and Rasulpur were ruled by the Sarnet raja; Area of Binayakpur by the Chauhan chieftain of Butwal; Region of Basti by the Kalhan; Amorha by the Kayastha raja;Guatams ruled Nagar; Mahuli by the elder line of Suryavanshis; while Maghar was the only place under the direct control of the Nawab's deputy, who had the backup of the Muslim garrison.
In November 1801 Saadat Ali Khan, surrendered Gorakhpur. It, at that time, included the present district Basti and other territory to the East India Company. Routledge become the first Collector of Gorakhpur. But some steps had been taken by Collector to enforce some order in the matter of collection of land revenue yet in order to assist the process a force was raised in March, 1802 by Caption Malcolm Mcleod. To teach a lesson to the local chieftains for their obstinate attitude all their Forts, except those of Basti and Amorha Raja, were grounded.
The part played by the Basti in the freedom struggle of 1857 is generally not ascribable exclusively because,the district was still forming After capture of Gorakhpur by the English on January 5 1858, the freedom fighters started moving west ward and formed double entrenchment at amorha in the south western part of the district, to stop the march of Rowcroft from Gorakhpur. The army was composed of about 15000 men entrenched at Belwa to oppose Rowcroft. In this action at Amorha which was one of the most memorable events of the freedom struggle, the freedom fighters were able to obstuct the British force from all sides.
In this struggle between 4 and 5 hundred people were killed and many others wounded. Mohammad Hasan of Gorakhpur, strengthen the position of the freedom forces at Amorha by joining hands with them, with four thousand men. Rowcroft,sent a detachment with Major Cox, after hearing the arrival of Mohd. Hasan, at Amorha,. These events marked the conclusion of the freedom movement in the Basti district.
Mohd. Hasan managed escaped the hard of the victors in consideration of his assistance once given to Colonel Lennox by him. The Bobu of Bakhira was hanged but the Raja of the Nagar avoided a similar fate by starving himself to death in prison. The Rani of Amorha lost her property for her complicity in the war independence which was given to Rani of Basti. The agent of Basti Rani was given land. Similarly several others, who had supported the British in some way or other and had betrayed the freedom fighters, were awarded grants of land. Those who supported freedom movement were suppressed, the foreign rulers settled down to organise the civil administration. There was peace in the district by maintaining a garrison at Gorakhpur and also with the help of recognised police force. Finaly the present district was fomed on the sixth of May, 1865.
Close of 1920, The Non-Co-operation Movement begin to appear in the district. In the preparation for this movement Mahatma Gandhi along with Jawahar Lal Nehru had visited the district on October 8, 1919. At Hathiyagarh Rehar near old town of district Basti he had addressed a large gathering. Fortunately for India's struggle for freedom, the fatal inertia that had practically put an end, after calling off the Non-co-operative movement, to all its outwards activities, was removed by an action of the British government, by the appointment of Simon Commission in 1928. District received a fresh impetus with the next visit of Mahatma Gandhi along with Jawahar Lal Nehru on October 8, 1929.
India's struggle for freedom marked the turning point when, The Quit India resolution was passed by All India Congress Committee in its session at Bombay on August 8, 1942. Basti, enthusiastically participated in the movement. It was a result of several causes, particularly the poverty of the people and nearness of the area to the B.H.U. at Varansi, as the batches of students arrive with the message of Do or Die. A few days later the Railway station at Gaur was attacked causing damage to government property. Finally, the day of Independence arrived in the mid night of 14-15 Aug.1947. On the eve of Independence, thousands from the town and surrounding country side assembled at district headquarter Basti to celebrate freedom. National flag was hoisted at the Collectorate.
Tourist Places in Basti
- Pakke Bazar
- Ahmath Pull
- Kutiwa, Ganeshpur
- Makhauda, Chawni Bazar
- Chando Tal
- Jama Masjid
- Kateshwar park
- Van Vihar
- Bhadeshwar Nath
- Mahua dabar
- Bhuila taal
- Pakari bikhy
The district is mainly known for its
Cotton textile, Sugar factories many small scale and cottage industries
including Manufacturing units of Brassware,iron and carpentary
goods,bricks,agro products, agricultural implements, foot-wares, soaps,
candles and pottery are present here. There are three sugar factories in
the district. Basti is also known for Shisham, Bamboo, Eucalyptus and
Mango. Main crops of the place are Sugar cane, maize, pulses, paddy, wheat and potato.
How to Reach Basti
By Rail : The main Railway line connecting Lucknow with Gorakhpur and places in Bihar and Assam in the East passes through the south of the district. The line has 6 railway stations to serve the district namely, Munderwa, Orwara, Basti, Govindnagar,Tinich and Gaur.
By Road : Basti is well connected by road. National Highway 28 passes through Basti. Approximately 200 buses of U.P. state Transport Corporation ply on 27 routes within the district.
Distance of Basti from other places
| Gonda || 112 Km|
|Sant Kabir Nagar||9 Km|
|Ambedkar Nagar ||675 Km|
| Siddharth Nagar|| 60 Km|