Barabanki district (Hindi: बाराबंकी जिला, Urdu: بارابنکی ضلع) is one of the districts of Uttar Pradesh state of India. The town of Barabanki is the district headquarters. Barabanki district is a part of Faizabad division.
Barabanki occupies an area of 3825 km². The district forms a part of eastern Uttar Pradesh and lies between 26°32’ and 27°21’ N and between longitudes 80°05’ and 81°51’. The district is bounded by the river Ghaghra in the north, Faizabad district in the east, Sultanpur and Rae Bareli districts in the south and Lucknow district (only 28 km to the west).
The district under British rule had an area of 1758 sq. m. It stretches out in a level plain interspersed with numerous jhils or marshes. In the upper part of the district the soil is sandy, while in the lower part it is clayey and produces finer crops. The principal rivers are the Ghagra, forming the northern boundary, and the Gomti, flowing through the middle of the district. In 1856 it came, with the rest of Oudh, under British rule. During the Sepoy war of 1857-1858 the whole of the Bara Banki talukdars joined the mutineers, but offered no serious resistance after the capture of Lucknow.
The principal crops are rice, wheat, pulse and other food-grains and sugarcane. Both the bordering rivers are navigable; and the district is traversed by two lines of the Oudh and Rohilkhand railway, with branches. Trade in agricultural produce is active.
The district of Barabanki also known as the Entrance to Poorvanchal, has the privilege of being the penance ground to numerous saints and ascetics. There are several ancient sayings to the naming of this district. The most popular among them is that, due to the reincarnation of 'Bhagwan BAARAH' on this poise land, this place came to be known as 'BAANHANYA' which in course of time got corrupted to Barabanki. The headquarters of the district was at Dariyabad until 1858 AD, which was later shifted to Nawabganj in 1859 AD the other popular name of Barabanki.
As the saying goes, in ancient times this district was part of the kingdom ruled by Suryavanshi kings, whose capital was Ayodhya. King Dashrath and his famous son, Lord Ram were of this dynasty. Guru Vashisht was their Kulguru, and he preached and taught the young royal princes of the dynasty at Satrikh, initially known as Saptrishi.
This district was under the rule of the Chandravanshi kings for a very long period. During the Mahabharat era, it was part of the 'Gaurav Rajya' and this part of land was known by the name Kurukshetra. Pandav along with their mother Kunti had spent some time on the banks of river Ghaghra during their exile.
Parijaat tree world's unique tree, Kunteshwar Mahadev temple, and its extremely ancient Shivling, Kunteshwar (Kintur) on the poise banks of Ghaghra, Bazaar Dharam Mandi (Dhamedi), and the famous Lodheshwar Mahadeva's Shivling etc. are proof enough that this region had an important place even five thousand years ago during the Mahabharat period.
As per the historical documentation available, in 1030 AD this region was attacked by Sayyed Salar Masood, brother of Mahmood of Ghazni. In the same century Qutubuddin Gaha of Madina annexed the Hindu princely states, thereby establishing the Muslim dominance then on. During the reign of the great Mughal emperor Akbar this district was dividedly under the sirkars of Awadh and Manikpur. While the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan was still alive, a war of succession to the Mughal throne ensued. The Emperor's youngest son, and the governor of Deccan, Abu Muzaffar Muhiuddin Aurangzeb, was amongst the protagonists, and was the ultimate victor in this war and deposed his father. The Ansari family of Sehali is said to have professed loyalty to, and supported Aurangzeb Alamgeer during his campaigns in the war of succession as well as during his reign as the Mughal Emperor.
After the assassination of Mullah Qutab uddin Shaheed, (d. 1692) the family leader was Mullah Saeed bin Mullah Qutab Uddin who still saw the hostility of his relatives and decided that he is was going to depart from Sehali and find a home somewhere else. He went to Hyderabad,India to visit Emperor Aurangzeb.
Many kings and princes opposed the expansion of British rule into this district by waging wars against them. During the British Raj, several kings fought for their independence and laid down their lives doing so, the great revolutionaries. Raja Balbhadra Singh Chehlari along with about 1000 revolutionaries sacrificed their lives for independence from the British rule. The last battle of the First War of Indian Independence was fought in December 1858 AD here in this district.
During the middle of the nineteenth century the revolutionaries put up their last front at 'Bhitauli' which proved unsuccessful in comarison to the strong British forces. Leaving behind the Bhitauli front the independence fanatics along with Begum Hazrat Mahal, Nana Saheb entered into the territory of Nepal to continue their freedom struggle from there.
In 1921 AD Gandhiji started the Non-cooperation Movement, thereby igniting the flame of independence once again. Here too, the district leading from the front, opposed the arrival of Prince of Wales to India. As a result, protests were organised and large number of freedom fighter courted arrests at the Government High School, Nawabganj, Shri Rafi Ahmad Kidwai was also arrested. During 1922 AD Khilafat Movement, 1930 AD Salt Movement, and in 1942 AD the Quit India Movement, the people of this district actively participated in these movements thereby giving sleepless nights to the British Raj. As a result, the District Congress Office was sealed. But, the local leaders continued their protests remaining underground. The Haidergarh Post office was looted on 24th August 1942 as a mark of protest by the revolutionaries. Similar incidents took place at the GPO Barabanki and Satrikh.
The people of this district enthusiastically respond to the call of Satyagraha and large numbers courted arrest. At last, on August 15,1947, the country achieved its long-awaited independence. Every home in Barabanki along with the rest of the country celebrated the occasion with great enthusiasm.
The Ansari family of Sehali or Sihali,BARABANKI DIST. who later achieved great renown as the Firangi Mahal family or the Ulama-e-Farangi Mahal, is recorded in a book titled, Tazkira-e-Ulama-e-Firangi Mahal.
The ancestors arrived in India from Herat, Afghanistan, and settled mainly in and around Panipat. In the mid-sixteenth century, they further spread to the Oudh ptovince, during the reign of the great Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great. They made their way to, and settled in a small village, Sehali, District Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, India.
The land of Barabanki district possesses a rich heritage in keeping with its glorious past. This district since its inception has been the meditorium for numerous saints and ascetics, sanctum sanctorum of 'Sadhna' for the literary intellectuals and battlefield for the freedom fighters. For bringing the whole world under one umbrella, Sufi Saint Haji Waris Ali Shah of international fame, motivated people through the message of Jo Rab Wahi Ram i.e. the supreme power, God is One, is the flower of this fertile land. Satnami Saint Shri Jagjiwan Das and Saint Malamat Shah lit the torch of communal harmony for the countrymen at large. The place of pilgrimage of the KANWARIYAS' Mahadeva, the Kurukshetra of Mahabharat and the Parijaat tree - the animate symbols of Mahabharat era are also present as mile stones of the spiritual tilt of this sacred land of Barabanki district.
The district being a part of the plains, conforms to the same geological sequence as the plain itself. The soil structure of the district is composed of alluvial soil, the soil brought in by the rivers. The upper belt is called 'Uparhar' and the soil texture is yellowish clay. The basin land of the rivers is mostly sandy soil, and the land adjacent to the rivers is sandy loam. The only mineral of any note found in the district is sand, which is available in sufficient quantity on river banks, and is used in construction works. The district is also noted for its deposits of brick earth.
The district lies in the plains of the State, and hence its climatic conditions are quite similar to the average climatic condition of the plains. Hot to very hot in summers, cold to quite cold during winters and humid to very humid and sultry during rainy season. Most of the rain occurs from June to September and often in November to January. The winter sets in November and continues till February end. The maximum temperature recorded in 1997-98 was 47.5°C and minimum was 2.5°C. The average rainfall recorded for 1997-98 was 1056 mm.
Animals in the wild have greatly decreased in number and variety in the district due to excessive hunting and poaching during the past century. The various animals found here are Neel Gai (Blue Bull), Hiran (Deer), Barasingha (Swamp deer), Padha (Black Buck), Cheetal (Spotted deer), Fox, Jackal, Porcupine. The Neel Gai has become a menace to the farmers here in the district due to their increasing numbers. However, all the above animals are on the protected list.
District Barabanki was known as Dariyabad with its headquarters at Dariyabad town established by an officer in the army of Mohammed Shah Shariqi by the name Dariab Khan. It remained the district headquarter till 1858 AD. The district headquarter was shifted to Nawabganj in 1859 AD now known as Barabanki. This was done during the expansion of the district by the British, when Kursi from district Lucknow and Haidergarh from district Rae Bareli were added to the, then Dariyabad district.
Barabanki is one of the four constituent districts of Faizabad Division. The other district being Faizabad, Sultanpur and Ambedkar Nagar. The Division is headed by the Divisional Commissioner.
District Barabanki has been divided into six subdivisions, popularly known as tehsils. The District Revenue Administration is headed by the District Collector (also known as District Magistrate), with office at the collectorate, and these tehsils are under the charge of Sub-divisional Magistrates. The six tehsils are:
The District level developmental activities are coordinated by the Chief Development Officer having his office in DRDA at collectorate. Block Development Officers, who head each of the Development Blocks into which the district is sub-divided carry out the development schemes on behalf of government. Barabanki encompasses 15 such Blocks, they are:
The district level offices for monitoring the developmental activities of Blocks at Barabanki are located at Vikas Bhawan.
The Law and order administration is jointly coordinated by the District Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police. The district is subdivided into 22 Police Stations/Thanas. Each Police Station / Thana is headed by an officer of the rank of Inspector or sub-inspector of police.
The district has 14 urban administrative bodies for the administration and provision of civil amenities in towns. The Towns in the district are: