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ORIGIN OF NAME OF DISTRICT
The district of Raebareli, which was created by the British in 1858, is named after its headquarters town. Tradition has it that the town was founded by the Bhars and was known as Bharauli or Barauli which in course of time got corrupted into Bareli. The prefix, Rae, is said to be a corruption of Rahi, a village 5km. west of the town. It is also said that the prefix, Rae, represents Rae, the common title of the Kayasths who were masters of the town for a considerable period of time.
Since about the begining of the media level period of indian history the region in the south of which the area covered by the district of Raebareli lies has been known as avadh or subhah of avadh. In the north it streched as far as the foothills of the Himmalays and in the south as far as the Ganga beyond which lay the Vatsa country. There is no doubt that the district has been civilised and settled life since very early times.
The Quit India movement was inagurated on August 8, 1942 and the district did not lag behind any others. Again there was mass arrests, imposition of collective fines, lathi charges and police firing. At Sareni the police opened fire at an agitated crowed, killing and maiming many. The people of this district enthusiastically respond to the call of individual Satyagragha and large numbers courted arrest. At last, on August 15,1947, the country shook off the foreign yoke and achieved its long-awaited independence. Raebareli celeberated the event with benefiting glee and rejoicing in every home along with the rest of the country.
HISTORY OF DISTRICT AS ADMINISTRATIVE UNIT
History is silent about the Adminitrative status of the district prior to the Muslim invasion, except that it formed part of the ancient Kosla country.
At the begining of the 13th century, what is now Raebareli and the tracts around it were ruled by the Bhars who were displaced by the Rajputs and, in a few cases, by some Muslim colonist. The south western part of the district was occupied by the Bais rajputs. The kanpurias and Amethias, other rajput clans, established themselves respectively in the north east and east. During the rule of the Delhi sultans nearly the whole tract nominally formed a part of their kingdom. During the reign of Akbar the area now covered by the district was divided between the sirkars of avadh and Lucknow in the subah of Allahabad, the sirkar of manikpur which included the larger part of the district as it extended from the present Mohanlal ganj pargana of district Lucknow on the north west to the ganga on the south and to pargana Inhauna on the north east. The pargana of Inhauna corresponded to a mahal of that name in the sirkar of avadh. The parganas of sareni, Khireoon and the western portion of the pargana of Raebareli formed part of the sirkar of Lucknow. In 1762, the sirkars of manikpur was included in the territory of avadh and was placed under a chakladar.
In 1858, it was proposed to form a new district with head quarters at Rae bareli, as a part of the Lucknow Division. The district, as then constituted, was very different in shape and size from the existing one and was divided into four tehsils, Raebareli, Haidergargh, Bihar and Dalmau. This arrangement resulted in a district of very irregular shape, 93 kms.long and 100 kms.broad. In 1966, owing to the change in the course of the Ganga the villages of katia Ahatima, Rawat pur, Ghiya, Mau, Sultanpur Ahetmali, Kishunpur, Deomai and lauhgi were transferred from district Fatehpur to pargana Sareni of tehsil Dalmau in this district.
LOCATION & BOUNDARIES
The district is irregular in shape but fairly compact. It forms a part of the lucknow Division and lies between Latitude 25° 49' North and 26° 36' North and Longitude 100° 41' East and 81° 34' East. On the North it is bounded by tehsil mohanlal ganj of district Lucknow and tehsil haider gargh of district Barabanki, on the east by tehsil Mussafir Khana of district Sultanpur and on the south east by pargana Ateha and the Kunda tehsil of district Pratap Gargh. The southern boundary is formed by the Ganga which separates it from the district of Fateh pur. On the west lies the purwa tehsil of district Unnao.
Acoording to the 1991 census the area of the district was 4,609 sq. km. The area is liable to vary every year by reason of the action of the Ganga, for a small variation in the deep stream of the river makes a very noticable change in the area of the district, which occupies the thirty fourth place in size among the districts of the State.
The district,as a whole, is fairly compact tract of gently undulating land. The elevation varies from about 120.4 m. above sea level in the north west to 86.9 m. above sea level in the extereme south east, on the banks of the Ganga. The hightest points are the crowns of the watersheds of the different drainage channel which serve to divide the district into five main physical units, The ganga Khadar, the ganag upland, the southern clay tract, the central tract or the sai upland and the Northern clay tarct.
RIVER SYSTEM AND WATER RESOURCES
The district is drainned by the ganga, the sai and their tributeries althrough some of them join the main straem after passing the confines of the district.
This river, which is a teritory of the Gomti, rises in the Hardoi district and for a considerable portion of its course separates the districts of Lucknow and Unnao. Bending south and passing to the west of the town of Raebareli, it turns east, striking the southern border of the old catonment in the city. It passes out Raebareli at village kanhpur in pargana Salon. The total course of the river in the district is about 100 kms.in length. The banks of sai are and in many places precipitous.
The district forms a part of the Gangetic plan which is of recent origin according to geological chronology and revela ordinary gangetic alluvium. The district being apart of the alluvial plain conferm to the same geological sequence as the plain itself. The only mineral of importance is kankar. The district is also noted for its deposits of reh and brick earth.
As stated earlier this district lies in the vast Gangetic plains of north india at an elevation of 100 to 120 metres, sloping gently to south east. Relief from the summer heat arrives with the mansoon in second half of June, through the weather may often remain sultry. The winter sets in November and last upto February Generally.
About the 13th century the greater part of the district was covered with extensive forests and in the clear spaces brick dwellings and scattered bamlets of the Bhars were only evidences of human life. During the period of second world war and thereafter in furtherranceof the grow more food campaign, forest in the district were recklessly cut down. The areas of such land already planted with trees like dhak, khair, babul, shishum, neem, vilayti babul, arjuna, kanji, siras, eucalyptus, mango and jamun are 544 hectares in tehsil Raebareli, 500 Hectares in tehsil salon, 348 hectares in tehsil Dalmau and 61 hectares in tahsil Maharajganj.
Groves in the district consist mostly of mango and mahua trees. Tahsil Salon had the largest percentage of its area under groves viz: 8.5%. In 1903 the area covered by the groves diminished to 33,412 hectares. In 1968-69 the area under groves in the district was 28,472 hectares, of which an area of 9,056 hectares lay in tahsil Dalmau, 7,557 hectares in tahsil Maharajganj, 6,611 hectares in tahsil Salon and 5,247 hectares in tahsil Raebareli.
The birds of the district are similar to those of the adjoing districts. The chief game of birds found are several varieties of ducks, patridges and pigeons. The pink headed has become extinct.Green pigeons are becoming rare due to felling of fruit and berry trees. The red headed parrot was formely extensively netted for the sake of its plumage. its skin being sent to kanpur for export to Europe.
Fish are found in the rivers, ponds, canals and artificial reservoirs of the district. About 36 species of fish have been found in this district so far, the chief being the rohu (Labeo rohita), Tengra (Mystas seenghala), parhan (wallagonia attu), mangur(clarius batrachus), saul(ophiocephelus spp.), nain(cirrhina mrigala).