Basti was originally known as villege. The origin of name Vaishishthi is attributed to the fact that this area was the Ashram of Rishi (sage) Vashistha in ancient period.lord rama with his younger brother laxman had been here for some time with rishi vasistha.

The tract comprising the present district was remote and much of it was covered with forest. But gradually the area became inhabitable, for want of recorded and reliable history it cannot, with any degree of certainty, be said how the district came to known by its present name on account of the original habitation (Basti) having being selected by the Kalhan Raja as a seat of his Raj, an event which probably occurred in the 16th century. In 1801,. Basti became the Tehsil headquarters and in 1865 it was chosen as the headquarters of the newly established district.

Geography Of Basti – LOCATION & BOUNDARIES:-
The district lies between the parallels of 26° 23′ and 27° 30′ North and Latitude and 82° 17′ and 83° 20′ East longitude. Its maximum length from north to south is about 75 km. and breadth from east to west about 70 km. The district lies between newly created district Sant Kabir Nagar on the east and Gonda on the west On the south, the Ghaghra river separates it from the Faizabad and newly created district named Ambedkar Nagar. While on the North it is bounded by district Sidharth Nagar.

According to the 2011 census Basti district has a population of 2,461,056, roughly equal to the nation of Kuwait or the US state of Nevada. This gives it a ranking of 179th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 916 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,370 /sq mi) . Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 18.05 %. Basti has a sex ratio of 959 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 69.69 %.

As of 2011 India census, Basti has a population of 24,61,056. Males constitute 12,56,158 that is 51.04% of the population and females 12,04,898 that is 48.96%. Percentage decadel growth of population in Basti is just 18.04% from the year 2001. Sex ratio of Basti is 959 which is better than the national sex ratio of 940.27. It is also better than Uttar Pradesh`s sex ratio of merely 908. Child Sex ratio of Basti is 922 which is again better than the national average child sex ratio of just 914 female child. Basti has an average literacy rate of 69.69% which is higher than the literacy rate of Uttar Pradesh 69.72%.Although it is less than the national average literacy rate of 74.04% Male literacy is 80.65%, and female literacy is 58.35%. Population density per km2. in Basti is 916. The above data suggests a good transition in the district good for future endeavours.

Languages Vernaculars spoken in Basti include Bhojpuri, a language in the Bihari language group with almost 40 000 000 speakers, written in both the Devanagari and Kaithi scripts.

History Of Basti
Ancient period
In very ancient period the country around Basti was part of Kosala. The Shatapatha Brahmana speaks of Kosala as one of the countries of the Vedic Aryans and the grammarian Pa?ini mentions it in one of his Sutras. It was during the rule of Rama, the eldest son of Dasharatha, that the glory of the Kosala royal dynasty reached its culmination. According to the tradition, Rama’s elder son Kush ascended the throne of Kosala while the younger son Lav became the ruler of the northern part of the kingdom with its capital as Shravasti. In the 93rd generation from Ikshvaku and 30th from Rama was Brihadbala, the last famous king of the Ikshvaku density who was killed in Great Mahabharata battle.

With the decline of the Guptas in sixth century CE, Basti also began gradually to become desolate. At this time a new dynasty, that of the Maukharis, with its capital as Kannauj, assumed an important position on the political map of northern India and perhaps this kingdom in included present district also.

In the beginning of the 9th century CE, the Gurjara–Pratihara king, Nagabhata II, overthrew the Ayodhyas who was then ruling at Kannauj, and made this city the capital of his growing empire which rose to its greatest height in the reign of the famous Mihira Bhoja I (836-885 A.D.). During the reign of Mahipal, the power of Kannauj began to decline and Awadh was divided into small chieftainships, but all of them ultimately yielded to the newly rising power of Gahadwals of Kannauj. Jaychandra (1170-1194 A.D.), the last important ruler of the dynasty was killed in the battle of Chandawar (near Etawah) fighting against the invading army of Muhammad of Ghor. Soon after his death Kannauj was occupied by the Turks.

According to the legends, for centuries Basti was a wilderness and that greater part of Awadh was occupied by the Bhars. No definite evidence is available about the Bhars origin and early history. 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 in abundance in a number of villages of this district.

Medieval period
In the beginning of the 13th century CE, 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 1323, Gayasuddin Tuglaq march through Bahraich and Gonda on his way to Bengal but he seems to have avoided the perils of the forest of district Basti and went by river from Ayodhya. Till 1479 CE, Basti and its adjoining districts appeared to be remained under the control of the rulers of Jaunpur Sultanate. After annexing the Jaunpur Sultanate, Bahlol Lodi handed over the governorship of the area covered by the sultanate to his nephew Muhammad Farmuli (Kala Pahar) with the headquarters at Bahraich, which included this district and the adjoining areas. About this time, Mahatma Kabir, the well known poet and philosopher lived at Maghar in this district.

It is said that before the advent of the leading Rajput clans, there were the local Hindus and Hindu Rajas in the districts and they are said to have supplanted the aboriginal tribes like Bhars, Tharus, Domes and Domekatars, whom general tradition declares to have been the early rulers, at least after the fall of ancient kingdoms and this appearance of the Buddhist faith. These Hindus included the Bhumihar Brahmins, Sarvariya Brahmans and Visen. This was the state of the Hindu society in the district before the arrival of the Rajputs from the west. In the middle of the 13th century the Srinetra was the newcomer to have first established in this reign. Their chief, Chandrasen, expel the Domkatar from the eastern Basti. The Kalhans Rajput of Gonda province established themselves in Pargana Basti. South of the Kalhans country Nagar, ruled by a Gautam Raja. There was also an ailed clan in Mahuli known as Mahsuiyas are Rajputs of Mahso.

Other Rajput clan of special mention was that of Chauhan. It is said that three chief Mukund fled from Chittaur who ruled on undivided part (now it is in district Siddharthnagar) of district Basti. By the last quarter of the 14th century Amorha a part of district Basti were ruled by Kayasth dynasty.

During the reign of Akbar and his successor the district formed a part of the Gorakhpur sarkar of the Awadh Subah. In the earlier days of his reign the district served as the asylum for the rebel Afghan leaders like Ali Quli Khan, Khan Zaman, the governor of Jaunpur. During 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. Kalil-ur-Rahman marched from Ayodhya to force the chieftains of the districts adjoining Gorakhpur to make payment of revenue. As a result of this move, the rajas of Amorha and Nagar, who had recently acquired power, promptly tendered their submission and confrontation was thus averted.

The governor then proceeded to Maghar which he again garrisoned, compelling the raja of Bansi to retire to this fortress on the bank of Rapti. The town of Khalilabad, now headquarters of newly created district Sant Kabir Nagar, was named after Khalil-ur-Rahman, who tomb was erected at Maghar. 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 Subahdar of Awadh and faujdar (military commander) of Gorakhpur who held the charge of Basti and adjoining districts for a long time.

Modern period
A great and far reaching change came over the sense when Saadat Khan was appointed governor of the Subah of Avadh including the faujdari (commaandarship) of Gorakhpur on 9 September 1772. At that time Bansi and Rasulpur were held by the Sarnet raja; Binayakpur by the Chauhan chieftain of Butwal; Basti by the Kalhan ruler; Amorha by the Suryavansh; Nagar by the Gautams; Mahuli by the elder line of Suryavamsis; while Maghar alone was under the direct control of the nawab’s deputy, who was strengthened by the Muslim garrison.

In November 1801 Saadat Ali Khan, successor of Nawab Shuja Ud Daulah surrendered Gorakhpur, which then was inclusive of the present district Basti and other territory to the East India Company. Routledge had become as a first Collector of Gorakhpur. Some steps had been taken by Collector to inforce 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 Captain Malcolm Mcleod. To cure the local chieftains of their obstinate attitude all their Fords, save those of Basti and Amorha Raja, were raise to ground.

The part played by the Basti in the Freedom Struggle of 1857 (Indian Rebellion of 1857) is generally not ascribable exclusively; as the district was still forming but an outlying portion of Gorakhpur, possessing no civil station of its own. After capture of Gorakhpur by the English on January 5, 1858, the freedom fighter had moved west ward a form double entrenchment at Amorha in the south western part of the district, to obstruct the march of Rowcroft from Gorakhpur.

The army opposed to Rowcroft was composed of about 15,000 men entrenched at Belwa this large army of the nationalists comprised troops led by Mehndi Hasan the Nazim of Sultanpur, the Rajas of Gonda, Nanpara, Atrauli and the Raja of Chaurda in the Behriech district and many other talukdars including Guljar Ali, the rebel Sayyed of Amorha. In this action at Amorha which was one of the most memorable events of the freedom struggle, the freedom fighters were able to encircle the British force oppose to them. In this struggle the loss freedom forces was estimated between 4 and 5 hundred killed and many others wounded. The position of the freedom forces at Amorha was reinforced by Mohammad Hasan of Gorakhpur who had join them later, with four thousand men. Rowcroft, hearing the arrival of Mohd. Hasan at Amorha, sent a detachment, under Major Cox. These were the events which had marked the conclusion of the freedom movement, so for the Basti was concerned.

With the restoration of order and the discomfiture of the freedom fighters came the day of reckoning, and a heavy account had to be settled. Mohd. Hasan escaped the hard of the victors in consideration of his assistance once given to Colonel Lennox. The Bobu of Bakhira was hanged and the Raja of the Nagar avoided a similar fate by staving himself to death in prison with the bayonet of the prison guard. 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 assessed at Rs. 1000=00 (sicsic). Similarly several others who had supported the British in some way or other betraying the freedom fighters, were awarded grants of land. The supporters of the freedom movement having been suppressed and the leaders annihilated, the alien rulers settled down to organized the civil administration. The peace of the district was secured by the maintenance of a garrison at Gorakhpur and also by the recognized police force. The one event of prime interest was the formation of the present district on May 6, 1865.

The non-co-operation Movement began to appear in the district towards the close of 1920. In the preparation for this movement Mahatma Gandhi along with Jawahar Lal Nehru had visited the district on October 8, 1919. He addressed a large gathering at Hathiyagarh Rehar near old town of the district. 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, namely the appointment of Simon Commission in 1928. The people of this district received a fresh impetus with the next visit of Mahatma Gandhi along with Jawahar Lal Nehru on October 8, 1929.

The Quit India resolution pass by All India Congress Committee in its session at Bombay on August 8, 1942, marked the turning point in India’s struggle for freedom. In Basti the movement had taken a serious turn. It was due to several causes, particularly the poverty of the people and nearness of the area to the B.H.U. at Varanasi, from where batches of students arrive with the message of Do or Die. The students of Walterganj staged demonstration and organized meeting on August 15, 1942. A few days later the railway station at Gaur was attacked causing damage to government property.

In 1946 the Congress was again returned and it formed the Government. Then the came the long cherished dream of Independence true on the midnight of August 14–15, 1947. On the eve of Independence, thousands from the town and surrounding country side assembled at district headquarters in Basti to hail freedom. National flag was hoisted at the Collectorate and other government and semi government buildings, private buildings too, throughout the district were bedecked with flag.

Notable persons

  • Acharya Ramchandra Shukla (Great Critics, writer)
  • Laxmi Naraiyan Lal ( litterateur,poet)
  • Khair Saheb (Founder of Khair Inter Collage)
  • Ambika Pratap Narayan](scholar, writer, educationalist)
  • Late Shri Kotwal Singh (social justice leader)
  • Late Shri Thakur Prasad Ojha (Actor,Director & GM(Engg)-Air India)
  • Late Dr. Kuldeep Lal Srivastava (doctor)
  • Nikhilesh Kumar Chaudhary (advocate Highcourt)
  • Jagdish prasad shukla(social activist)
  • Late Engineer Mashiatullah(Civil Engineer)
  • [Mr.Pramod Kumar Ojha](District Chairman of A.I.C.H.W.)
  • Chanchal Kumar Chadha Vice President NBTY,USA

Geography Of Basti
The district lies between the parallels of 26° 23′ and 27° 30′ north latitude and 82° 17′ and 83° 20′ east longitude in North India. Its maximum length from north to south is about 75 km and breadth from east to west about 70 km. Basti lies between the newly created district Sant Kabir Nagar district on the east and Gonda district on the west. On the south, the Ghaghara River separates it from Faizabad district and newly created Ambedkar Nagar district, while on the north, the district is bounded by Siddharthnagar district. The district lies entirely in the submontane plain, with no natural elevations to diversify its surface.

Education Of Basti
There are many good schools such as St. Basil`s School (ICSE, ISC), St. Joseph`s School, Kendriya Vidhyalaya (CBSE), Central Academy (CBSE), Maharishi Vidya Mandir, Government Girls Inter College, Government Inter College, Khair Inter College. in 2011, there was centenary celebration at Government Inter College which hosted the former president of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.And in rural part,J.L.T.R.C. inter college is most renowned college situated in Kalwari which is 16 K.M.apart from city founded by Jhinku Lal a famous merchent and Triveni Ram Chaudhary a landlord. They provided the land and monetary support for establishment.This college had strong connection with late prime minister shri Chaudhari Charan Singh.There are 4 Degree Colleges in the district which are APN Degree college, Kisan Degree College etc. There is no university in Basti.

Economy Of Basti
The district is famous for cotton textile. There are many small scale industries which offer employment to the local people. Sugar factories, cottage industries and small scale industries including the manufacturing units of brassware, iron and carpentry goods, agricultural implements, bricks, agro-products, foot-wear, soaps, candles, and pottery are present here. Basti is also famous nationally for Bamboo, Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Teritrornis), Mango and Shisham (Dalbergia Sissoo). Three sugar factories are housed in the district. Sugarcane, maize, paddy, pulses, wheat, barley and potato are commonly cultivated.

In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Basti one of the country’s 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640). It is one of the 34 districts in Uttar Pradesh currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).

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