Past Cities

Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India

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Bareilly, located in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, is a city with a rich and diverse history that spans several centuries. Known for its cultural heritage, historical significance, and vibrant atmosphere, Bareilly has witnessed the rise and fall of empires, the influence of various political environments, and the shaping of its identity through its geography and people.

The origins of Bareilly can be traced back to ancient times. The city finds mention in the epic Mahabharata, where it is referred to as "Vasudeva" or "Vibhuti." Over time, the region came under the rule of several kingdoms, including the Mauryas, Guptas, and Kushans. The city gained prominence during the medieval period when it became a part of the Delhi Sultanate.

During the 16th century, Bareilly was under the control of the Mughal Empire. It was during this time that the city witnessed significant growth and development. The Mughals built several architectural marvels, including mosques, tombs, and palaces, which added to the cultural and historical fabric of the city.

With the decline of the Mughal Empire, Bareilly came under the control of various regional powers. In the 18th century, it became a part of the Rohilla Kingdom, established by Hafiz Rahmat Khan, a prominent Rohilla chief. The Rohilla Kingdom flourished under his leadership, and Bareilly became a center of trade and commerce. The city's strategic location on the banks of the Ramganga River further contributed to its economic growth.

During the British colonial era, Bareilly became an important administrative and military center. The British recognized the city's strategic importance and established a cantonment here. The cantonment played a crucial role during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, as it served as a base for the British forces in their suppression of the uprising. The rebellion had a significant impact on Bareilly, leading to widespread destruction and loss of life.

Following India's independence in 1947, Bareilly became a part of the newly formed state of Uttar Pradesh. The city witnessed rapid urbanization and industrialization in the post-independence period. It became a hub for industries such as textiles, sugar, and automobile manufacturing, attracting migrants from various parts of the country.

In terms of population, Bareilly has experienced substantial growth over the years. According to the 2011 census, the city had a population of approximately 8,84,429 people. However, it is important to note that the population has likely increased significantly since then due to natural growth and urbanization.

The political environment of Bareilly has played a crucial role in shaping its history. The city has been influenced by the rule of various dynasties, colonial powers, and the democratic government of independent India. Each political era brought its own set of changes and developments, affecting the social, cultural, and economic aspects of the city.

Geographically, Bareilly is situated in the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh, which is characterized by fertile plains and a diverse ecosystem. The presence of the Ramganga River and its tributaries has played a vital role in supporting agriculture and providing a source of water for the city's inhabitants. The fertile soil and favorable climatic conditions have made agriculture a significant economic activity in the region.

Bareilly has a diverse population comprising people from different religions, castes, and ethnicities. Hinduism and Islam are the predominant religions, with a significant presence of Muslims. The city has witnessed the coexistence of various communities and their cultural practices, contributing to its multicultural fabric.