According to Raebareli District Gazetteer ,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.