Pilibhit is a city and a municipal board in the Pilibhit district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Pilibhit is the north-eastern most district of Bareilly division, situated in the Rohilkhand region of the sub-Himalayan Plateau belt on the boundary of Nepal, known for the origin of river Gomati and one of the most forest-rich areas in North India. According to the Imperial Gazetteer of India, vol. 20, page 144, issued by the Government of India, Pilibhit was once known as Hafizabad, derived from the name of the great Rohella leader of the area Hafiz Rahmat Khan, but eventually it took its present name from a nearby village.Pilibhit was also known as Bansuri Nagari – the land of flutes, for making and exporting roughly 95 per cent of India’s flutes.
According to a report issued by the Government of India, Pilibhit is one of the Minority Concentrated Areas in India on the basis of the 2001 census data on population, socio-economic indicators and basic amenities indicators. Though separated only by a short distance from the outer ranges of the Himalayas, Pilibhit consists entirely of a level plain, containing depressions but no hills and is intersected by several streams. Pilibhit is one of the forest rich areas of Uttar Pradesh, which has very high tourism potential.
The almost 54 km-long Indo-Nepal international border makes Pilibhit a highly sensitive for security purposes. According an estimate by the Government of India, Pilibhit has 45.23% of its population living under the poverty line. Increasing population and unemployment is a cause of worry in the area, and many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government-run organizations have initiated projects to provide employment, but human resources are yet to be exploited in full.
Pilibhit has been geographic and political cynosure as it is the only forest area amid the 22 districts and the only district that has an international border in Harit Pradesh, which is proposed to be carved out of Uttar Pradesh.
Geography Of Pilibhit
Pilibhit lies between the parallels of 28064′ and 29053′ north latitude and the meridians of 79057′ and 81037′ east longitude covering an area of 68.76 km2. The north side of Pilibhit is bordered by Udham Singh Nagar of Uttarakhand state and by the territory of Nepal. Shahjahanpur lies on the south side Pilibhit. The east of Pilibhit is flanked for a short distance by Lakhimpur Kheri and the remaining distance is swathed by the Shahjahanpur. The western limit touches the limits of Bareilly.
According to the Central Statistical Organisation, the district Pilibhit had an area of 3504 km2 on September 1, 2007, occupying 46th position in the state and the total area of the Pilibhit city is 68.76 km2. Pilibhit city, with 2365.11 people per square kilometre, is more densely populated that the rest of district, which has 469.51 people per km2.
The area has diverse features, and topographically may be divided into several distinct tracts. In the north and north-west, the tract is a continuation of the Terai. The southern portion of the Bisalpur tehsil is similar in most respect to the adjacent tract of Bareilly and Shahjahanpur. The eastern and smaller section approximates rather to undeveloped forest areas of Lakhimpur Kheri, though with the spread of cultivation the dissimilarity between Puranpur and the rest of the area is gradually becoming less marked. There are 1216 villages within Pilibhit’s limits, of which 982 are electrified.
The area has more than ten small to medium sized rivers and nine small to medium sized water bodies. The origin of river Gomti, Gumti or Gomati, which is a tributary of the Ganges River, is from a small lake, Gomat Taal, situated in Madhotanda in the Puranpur tehsil region. Another important river in the region is River Sharda, which runs through on the eastern part of the district. Pilibhit city receives water from the river Devhahuti Ganga or Devha on the north-west side of the city and the River Ghaghara or Khakra on the north-east side of the city.
Pilibhit city also has a few water bodies in its limits, one being on Tanakpur road in front of Dramond college gate, another being at the Chauraha degree college. Every year during winter, the Chauraha water body attracts thousands of migratory birds. The main source of water in the district is the ground water and the canals. District Pilibhit is swathed by a big net of canals. The district has six main feeders or canals, which run through almost 138 km in the district.
The major part of Pilibhit District is covered by dense forest. Total 784.572 km2 is forest. Till 1978, 63% area of the district was a dense forest, but deforestation has reduced the total forest cover to 22.39% in 2004. The Sharda canal is the main canal of the district, the others being its branches. The total length of canals in the district is 138 km. Apart from the canal system, the district also has a few water bodies, which are being using for agriculture purposes.
History Of Pilibhit
At the end of 10th century, a line of princes of Chhinda dynasty ruled the area of Pilibhit. Nothing else is know but their name and the fact that they made a canal out of River Sarada is recorded in an archaic inscript written in Sanskrit found near Dewal village. Local history commences with the rise of Rohela power in the area in the 18th century, when Pilibhit fell in the hands of Rohella warrior Hafiz Rahmat Khan, after the death of Ali Mohammed Khan.
Hafiz Rahmat Khan was killed in 1774 in a battle near Miranpur Katra with the Nawab of Oudh, who was aided by British force lent by Warren Hastings and was added to Oudh. According to records available on papers, in 1801 when Rohilkhand was ceded to the British in lieu of payment of tribute, Pilibhit was a pargana of the district of Bareilly, which lost it in 1833, the arrangement being temporary and the tract being again united with Bareilly in 1841. In 1871 the Pilibhit subdivision was formed comprising Jahanabad, Pilibhit and Puranpur. the last of which was eventually converted into a separate district in 1879.
At the introduction of the British rule, the parganas of Pilibhit, Jahanabad and Bisalpur was formed into separate tehsils. Puranpur was united for this purpose with Khutar. A redistribution of the area was effected in 1824, when the Bisalpur tehsil contained the parganas of Bisalpur and Maurari, which afterward become a single area, Jahanabad was joined with Richha to form tehsil Pareva and Pilibhit with Baheri, the HQ being at Pilibhit. In 1851 Baheri and the other tarai pargana were taken under direct management and in 1863 Richha was attached to the new Baheri tehsil, pargana Jahanabad being assigned to Pilibhit which also received Puranpur on its transfer in 1865. The latter, in 1871, a became subtehsil dependent on Pilibhit. The promotion of Puranpur into a full tehsil occurred in 1879, while Bisalpur throughout remained a separate subdivision. Thus the area is now divided into three tehsils and four parganas. Puranpur and Bisalpur constitute individual tehsils and parganas and the tehsil of Pilibhit comprises the paraganas of Pilibhit and Jahanabad.
Education Of Pilibhit
The city of Pilibhit have several secondary and higher secondary schools and colleges for boys and. One of the main Ayurvedic colleges of Uttar Pradesh is situated in the city. The city has one ITI college, one law college, one nursing college and one management school, and a few colleges for science, commerce and art. The educational instituations are the main attraction for the students of nearby places as many new institutions have come up in the city for various higher education mainly affiliated with MJP Rohilkhand University, Bareilly.
Although city has many educational institutes, Pilibhit has an average literacy rate of 49.81%, lower than the national average of 59.5%. Male literacy is 62.49%, and female literacy is 35.11%. Supporting education system by offering private classes and tuitions is one of the major livelihood earning in Pilibhit city. Pilibhit also a major educational center for Nepali students from the nearby areas in Nepal.
Names of Educational Institutes
1. Drumand Boys’ Government Intermediate College, Pilibhit
2. St. Aloysius Intermediate College, Pilibhit
3. Chironji Lal Virendera Pal Saraswati Vidhya Mandir Boys, Pilibhit
4. Springdale Intermediate College, Pilibhit
5. Sanatan Dharam Banke Bhihari Shri Ram Boys’ Intermediate College, Pilibhit
6. Lions Bal Vidhya Mandir Intermediate College, Pilibhit
7. Girl’s Government Intermediate College, Pilibhit
8. Anguri Devi Saraswati Vidhya Mandir Girls’ Intermediate College, Pilibhit
9. Siddique National Boys’ Intermediate College, Pilibhit
10. Ben-Hur Intermediate College, Pilibhit
11. Upadhi Mahavidhayalaya, Pilibhit
12. Ram Lubhai Sahani Girls’ Degree College, Pilibhit
13. Pushp Institute of Sciences & Higher Studies, Pilibhit
14. Hafiz Rahmat Khan Law College, Pilibhit
15. Sanjay Gandhi School of Nursing, Pilibhit
16. Shri Lalit Hari Sanskrit Mahavidhiyalaya, Pilibhit
17. Springdale College of Management Studies, Pilibhit
Economy Of Pilibhit
The district Pilibhit has an agriculture-based economy. It has very fertile land, but little industry, and has no mineral extraction area. The industry in the district is mainly based on agriculture. Since the main crop in this area is sugarcane, there are four sugar factories at Majhola, Puranpur, Bisalpur and Pilibhit. Three factories are in co-operative sector and one at Pilibhit is in private sector. The Lalit Hari Sugar Factory is the largest among them. In 2005-06, the Bajaj Industry opened with Bajaj Hindustan Sugar Factory Ltd, in Barkhera area of the district.
The district also has a few cottage industries, including wooden or bamboo flute manufacturing, engineering units, brick klins, candles and zari work. The flutes made in Pilibhit have a big international demand. These flutes are exported to United State, Europe, Japan, Canada, UAE and African countries. Other major units are three solvent plants, four flour mills, one steel plant (a few kilometres from the city) and one alcohol distillery in Majhola town.
According to an article published in Hindustan Times, by a 1991 estimate, 95% of India’s flutes were manufectured in Pilibhit. The craftmen were used to source its bamboo from Barak Valley in Assam. Earlier, there was an unbroken narrow-gauge line running from Silchar, in Assam, via Bihar, and into Pilibhit. On this line, 60-strong bundles of bamboo, each stalk 10 ft long, use to make their way to Pilibhit, but around 15 years ago, sections of that line were removed. Now, the bamboo has to travel on narrow gauge from Silchar to Jiribum, then shift onto a broad-gauge line to travel to Bareilly, the nearest big town, and then reloaded onto narrow gauge to come into Pilibhit.
The main crops of Pilibhit are sugarcane, rice, wheat, pulse, food grains, mustard and oil seeds, which depend upon the seasons. District Pilibhit supplies a large amount of fresh vegetables to Delhi, Lucknow and nearby markets in Uttaranchal. Pilibhit has one of the biggest food grain market in the Uttar Pradesh named as Adarsh Krishi Khadyann Mandi Samiti, which is the main supplier market food grain and vegetable to Uttaranchal.
The dairy industry has been flourished in the area. The district has a lot of livestock, mainly cows, buffalos, goats. The district fulfills its own demand, and supplies the district of Bareilly and various places in Uttaranchal.
The embroidery industry is also one of the major source of income for semi-skilled labor. With help of some NGOs, this industry is growing in the local market, but and at the international level.