Places Of Indian Rebellion Of 1857(33)

Pilibhit (historic name: Hafizabad) 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 next to foothills of Sivalik Range on the boundary of Nepal, known for the origin of river Gomati and one of the most forest-rich areas in North India. Pilibhit was once known asHafizabad, 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. The city came third-bottom in terms of hygiene and sanitation in a Government ranking list of 423 towns and cities in India. 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.In recent past, Pilibhit has been in news at national level because of a few man killer sub-adult tigers, which has caused fear in the whole area in and around the forest. By August 2010, the cat had killed and partially eaten eight people.


Pilibhit lies between the parallels of 28°64' and 29°53' north latitude and the meridians of 79°57' and 81°37' 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 kilometer, is more densely populated that the rest of district, which has 469.51 people per km2.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(Hindi: गोमती ), 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 (Hindi: शारदा ), which runs through on the eastern part of the district. Pilibhit city receives water from the river Devhahuti Ganga or Devha (Hindi: देवहुति गंगा or देवहा ) on the north-west side of the city and the River Ghaghara orKhakra (Hindi: घाघरा or खाकरा ) 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 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. 
National Highway No. 74 runs through the district connecting Haridwar to Bareilly via Kichha, Kashipur and Nagina city. Apart from the National Highway, the district is well connected with Shahjahanpur in south, Lakhimpur Kheri and Indian International Border (IIB) with the Nepal in east,Nanital and town Khatima in north, and the city of Bareilly in the west by roads and railways. There are 1216 Villages in the district Pilibhit in four tehsils and seven blocks.
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.The district Pilibhit also has several places of religious importance in or around the district. A main gurudwara of the Sikh community is located in Nanakmatta town around 46 km from the city. One of the biggest and the most important temples of the region, Sri Purnagiri Temple, is in the nearby Champawat district of Uttaranchal. Millions of people from around Uttar Pradesh and other parts of Northern India come to this temple, and Pilibhit is one of the halting points for the pilgrims. 


As of the 2011 India census,  District Pilibhit had a population of 2,037,225. Pilibhit district is the 46th most populous Districts of Uttar Pradesh. Pilibhit City has 1,97,455 people. Males constitute 52.94% of the population and females 47.06%. Pilibhit has an average literacy rate of 63.58%, lower than the national average of 74.04%. Male literacy is 73.46%, and female literacy is 52.43%. In Pilibhit, 14.58% of the population is under 6 years of age. 
One of the historically important community is the Tharu tribe.Prior to the abolition of zamindari, the zamindars owned large tracts of arable and forest land. Farm labors were brought from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. After zamindari was abolished, the excess cultivable land was distributed amongst the landless agricultural labors. In the post-independence period, many displaced persons fromPakistan were settled in the area. They were provided cultivable land mainly by clearing private forests. Large tracts were cleared and wetlands were drained and brought under the plough. The inhabitants of the land generally belong to these major groups: those from eastern Uttar Pradesh, those from Pakistan including Punjabis and Bengalis, migrants from Punjab and the locals. The common property lands and resources are worst affected in Puranpur tehsil. The population density of the tehsil has increased considerably over the last two decades. The population groups constantly endeavor to maintain their interests and identity. The immigrant labour and the Bengalis are the weakest economically but have growing political clout. The Punjabi displaced persons and migrants are financially the strongest and wield considerable political clout.    Studies reveal that the poverty level in the district is associated with the social identity, source of livelihood, landless and level of education of the head of household. Education is a crucial instrument for raising income levels of people and moving out of the vicious circle of poverty. A study done by Delhi-based NGO, Nav Bharat Nirman indicates a strong correlation between educational attainment and poverty levels among various social classes in the district. The incidence of poverty is much higher among scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST)households in Pilibhit. Nearly 60 per cent of SC households were below the poverty line in Pilibhit in 1999-2000. However, this proportion came down to 45.23 per cent in 2007-08.  The pace of decline of poverty was faster for the SC/ST households as compared to other households during this period. The poverty level among Hindus and Muslims was roughly of the same in the rural areas around 31 percent in 1999-2000. But poverty levels are much higher for Muslims in the urban areas, which is almost equal to 42.2 per cent as compared to only 26.4 per cent for Hindus. With 7,44,120 people under poverty line, Pilibhit comes under top 20 backward districts of India in term of education, socio-economic conditions, opportunity to earn livelihood and basic amenities. Many non-profit organization have come forward to help the population living under the poverty line.ClimatePilibhit experiences three distinct seasons: summer, monsoon and winter. The typical summer months are from the end of March to June, with maximum temperatures ranging from 36 °C (97 °F)to 42 °C (108 °F). Contrary to most of the Himalayan Plateau where June is the warmest month, the warmest month in Pilibhit is May. The city starts receiving heavy thundershowers with sharp downpours in mid June. Though the temperatures plunge in this month, the summer heat can be accompanied by high humidity.Monsoon winds blowing from the south India are a welcome relief in mid June, bringing with them heavy showers in July and August. Pilibhit receives considerable rainfall in August and September. The city receives an annual rainfall of 723 mm, mainly between June and September as the result of southwest monsoon. August is the wettest month of the year. The spells of continuous rainfall may stretch to many days or even a few weeks. In 1967, Pilibhit received a record of 17 consecutive days of rainfall (days when rainfall is greater than 21.7 mm).As the monsoon winds recede, the day temperature starts to decline in October with cooler nights signalling the onset of winter. Pilibhit experiences winter from November to February. It experiences pleasant windy days, clear skies and cool nights from November to the end of February, which makes it the most enjoyable time of the year. The day temperature hovers around14 °C (57 °F) while night temperature is below 7 °C (45 °F) for most of December and January, often dropping to 3 °C (37 °F) or 4 °C (39 °F). On particularly cold days, wind may appear to be very chilly due to the dryness of air. Rain is very expected in February.Etymology       The city Pilibhit derived its name from a nearby small village name 'Old Pilibhit', whose existence has been traced to the mid-15th century. This village still exist on the bank of the River Ghaghraor Khakra in the north-east from the city on the way to Nyoria Husainpur town. This village was occupied by the Bhanjara (local community) of the Periya clan, which used to live in the houses made of mud and other raw material available in the forest. This community made a wall or mound of yellow mud around their locality in order to secure their house from wild animals, as that area was a dense forest, so the people used to call the locality as Pili (yellow) and Bhit (wall or mound). According to the Imperial Gazetteer of India, vol. 20, page 144, issued by the Government of India, Pilibhit was once known as Hafizabad on the name of the great Rohella leader of the area, Hafiz Rahmat Khan, but later took its current name from a nearby village. According to a document from the British Library, 'the city Pilibhit' existed in the late 18th century (1770–1780) when Marathas invaded the Rohilkhand region. With this invasion, the Kurmi community came to this region and over time, the city Pilibhit enlarged it boundaries. Another evidence of the city's existence is found in Nepali literature, which mentions a city named as Pilibhit, which provided shelter to the last king of the Shah dynasty, Deepa Shah, who was attacked by the Gorakha king in 1789 AD.  The Rohella ruler Hafiz Rahmat Khan, a Pashtun ancestor of Afghans in the area, developed Pilibhit as a city and administrative unit.History                The last king of the Raika dynasty of Doti ( Nepal ) , King Prithivipati Shah, was sheltered in Pilibhit by the ruler of Rampur suba Faizullah Khan in 1789 AD, after being attacked by the Gorakha king of Nepal. The city Pilibhit was an administrative unit in the Mughal era under Bareilly suba. For security, the Mughal subedar Ali Mohammed Khan constructed four magnificent gates around the administrative building in 1734 AD. These gates were named Barellwi darwaza at the west, Hussaini darwaza at the east, Jahanabadi darwaza at the north and Dakhini darwaza at the south. Because of a lack of proper maintenance, all the gates have been lost; only their ruins remain. 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.