History of district Bahraich
The dense forests and fast-flowing rivers are the specialities of district Bahraich. There are many Mythological facts about the great historical value of district Bahraich. It was famous as the Capital of God Brahma, the maker of the universe. It was also known as part of Gandharva Forest. Even today Northeast area of several hundred square Kms of the district is covered by the forest. It is said that Brahma ji developed this forest-covered area as the place of worship for Rishis & Sadhus. Therefore this place come to known as ” Bahraich”
According to some other historians in the middle age this place was the capital of “Bhar” dynasty. Therefore it was called as “Bharaich”. Which later come to be known as “Bahraich”.
Famous Chinese visitors Hwaintsang & Feighyaan visted this place. The famous Arab visitor Ibne-ba-tuta visted Bahraich and wrote that Bahraich is a beautiful city situated at the bank of holy river Saryu.
According to Puraans King Luv, the son of God Ram & King Prasenjit ruled Bahraich. Also during the period of exile Pandavas & along with mother Kunti visited this place.
The guru of Maharaja Janak , Rishi Ashtwakra used to live here. Rishi Valmiki & Rishi Balark also used to live here .
Role of Bahraich during First Freedom Struggle of 1857
On February 7, 1856 Resident General Outram declared the rule of Company on Awadh. Bahraich was made the center of a division & Mr. Wingfield was appointed as its commissioner.
Due to kingdom grabbing policy of Lord Dalhousie the whole nation was against the Britishers rule. Agents of leader of freedom struggle , Nana Saheb & Bahadur Shah Jafar were campaigning against British rule. During the campaign Peshwa Nana Saheb visited Bahraich to have a confidential meeting with local rulers. The meeting was held at a place presently know as “Gullabeer” on the exhortation of Nana Saheb king of Bhinga , Baundi , Chahlari , Rehua , Charda etc gathered at this place & promised Nana Sheb for freedom struggle till death.
King Vir Balbhadra Singh of Chahlari also actively participated in freedom struggle. In Bahraich also mutiny started as soon as it started in Awadh.
During that time Commissioner was posted is Karnailganj , Mr. C. W. Canlif , Dy Commissioner , Lt. Lag Bailey & Mr. Jorden were there in Bahraich along with two companies. The struggle of Bahraich was on a very large scale. All the Raikwar kings were against Britishers rule with all public support. When the struggle started all the three British officer moved towards Himalayas via Nanpara. But the soldiers of revolting kings blocked these way.
So they returned to Bahraich in order to go to Lucknow. But when they reached near Behram Ghat ( Ganeshpur ) all the boats were under the control of revolting soldiers. Which ensued serious struggle and all the three officers were killed. And whole district came under the control of freedom fighters.
Power of freedom fighters started decaying , after the loss of Lucknow. On 27 Nov. 1857 king of Chahlari Balbhadra Singh lost his life during the war with Britishers near Chinhat. Even Britishers praised his bravery. King of Bhitauni also faught & lost his life.
On 26 Dec. 1858 British Army captured Nanpara. The whole Nanpara was ruinned to rubbles. The soldiers of freedom fighters started to gather on the fort of Bargadia. A great struggle took place there. Approx. 4000 soldiers fled and took shelter in the better fort of Masjidia but Britisher again destroyed the Fort. And war took place at Dharmanpur. Lord Clive moved towards the other soliers who were residing on the banks of river Rapti. He thrashed them away to Nepal.
On 27 Dec. 1858 British army moved towards Charda. And after the war of 2 days British army captured it. On 29 Dec. 1858 British army returned to Nanpara.
Thus Britishers won the first freedom struggle on the basis of their superior armed forces.
Bahraich During Freedom Struggle
Second freedom struggle started in Bahraich with the establishment of congress party in 1920. Baba Yugal Bihari , Shyam Bihari Panday , Murari Lal Gaur & Durga Chand established Congress party in the district in 1920. During those days Home Rule League party was also active. Baba Vindhyavasini Prasad, Raghupati Sahay Firak Gorakhpuri & Pd. Gauri Shanker visited Bahraich to increase the influence of congress. Under the president ship of Diwan Paragidas congress was recognized with the workers of home rule League. Smt. Sarojni Naidu visited Bahraich in 1926 & appealed all the workers for self rule & wear Khadi. In Feb. 1920 total strike was called in Nanpara , Jarwal & Bahraich Town to oppose Simon Commission.
In 1929 Gandhi ji visited Bahraich & held a public meeting in old Govt. High School ( Now known as Maharaj Singh Inter College). A sum of Rs 3500/= was presented to him for the welfare of Harijans. Like other parts of the Nation there was a sharp reaction in Bahraich also when Gandhiji started his salt movement. On 6th May 1930 there was total Strike. Salt Law was also broken. All the prominent leaders were arrested. Next day a great procession took place & an effigy of British rule was burnt. On 6th October 1931 Pd Jawaher Lal Nehru visited Bahraich & held public meeting at Rampurwa , Hardi, Gilaula & Ikauna.
For Satyagrah of Gandhi ji 762 people provided their names. Out of which 371 were arrested. When Gandhi ji was arrested during quit India Movement on 9th Aug.1942 there was a sharp reaction in the distt. A huge procession took place. All the local leaders were arrested. In 1946 the lines were drawn for final freedom struggle. 15th Aug. 1947 the day of freedom was celebrated with great enthusiasm. Approx 1375 refugees from Pakistan come to Bahraich & they were rehabilitated in the district.