Bahraich district, a part of Devipatan division is a district of Uttar Pradesh state with its administrative headquarters located at Bahraich town. The thick forests and crystal clear rivers are the unique features of the district of Bahraich. There are numerous interesting mythological stories associated with the name of the district such as previously an ancient tribe named Bhars inhabited in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh and the name of the district Bahraich is derived from them. Natives of the district believe that it was the Capital of God Brahma, the maker of universe. Earlier, it was a part of the Gandharva Forest. Even today also a several hundred sq km of the north east portion of the district is covered by the forest. There is a belief among the locals that Lord Brahma created this forest as the place of worship for Rishis. So in course of time this place came to known as ” Bahraich”. As per the research of some historians. during the middle age this place was served as the capital of “Bhar” dynasty. Thus, at that time it was well known as “Bharaich”. Which later come to be known as “Bahraich”. There were some evidences in the history of the district that the famous Chinese visitors Hwaintsang and Feighyaan and the prominent Arab visitor named Ibne-ba-tuta came to the place Bahraich and they were so mesmerized by this region that they described Bahraich as a beautiful city situated at the bank of holy river Saryu. According to the Hindu Puraans King Luv, the son of God Ram and King Prasenjit occupied the Bahraich. On the other hand during the exile period Pandavas along with mother Kunti visited this place. Bahraich was a part of historic Awadh. When it was a part of the Nanpara Taluqdari, at that time it was ruled by a succession of Rajas who owned more than three hundred villages and all forests in the district.
Geographically, the district lies at 27°57'N latitude, 81°59'E longitude and 126 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 10.62% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 5,237 sq. km. and in terms of geographical area it secures 6th rank in the State and 202nd rank in India. The district is enclosed by Nepal on the north east and north west, Hardoi district on the south west, Gonda district on the south east, Shravasti district on the east, Lakhimpur Kheri district and Sitapur district on the west. The chief rivers that flows through the district are Ghaghara and Sarju. The climate of the district is characterized as warm humid subtropical climate with extremely hot summers and fairly cold winters. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1406.8 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 4 tehsils namely Nanpara, Bahraich, Kaiserganj and Mahsi. There are 2 Lok Sabha and 7 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 5 towns and 1,390 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 34,87,731 out of which 18,43,884 are males and 16,43,847 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 892 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 46.48% including 44.58% were males and 48.67% were females. The district has a population density of 666 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 97,405 including 50,450 were males and 46,955 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 4,350 out of which 2,573 were males and 1,777 were females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Hindu and Muslim with 65.71% and 33.53% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 92.71%.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. Bahraich was one of the most prominent markets of grains and pulses during the British period. Some of its chief agricultural products are wheat, pulses, grains, corn, rice, sugar, mustard, herbs, timber, etc. Bahraich has the second biggest grain market in Uttar Pradesh, popularly called as Galla Mandi (Grain Market) by natives. Nanpara and Bhinga region in the district has many dense forests which are full of herbs and timber trees. The trees of teak, Shisham and Khair are available in these forests. Sericulture is another occupation of the people of the region. The district has abundant fruits such as mango, guava, etc. The principal crops of the region are wheat, rice, sugarcane, pulse, and mustard. Though the district is scantily industrialized yet it has some small scale industries likewise mills and factories of sugar, rice and different types of pulses. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Bahraich as one of the country's 250 most backward districts that is currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). In the year 2020-21 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 18,25,944 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 11,06,178 lakh at Constant Prices during the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 16,26,981 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 9,57,532 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 33,460 at Current Price and Rs. 19,693 at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012.
Bahraich is still developing in the way of education yet it provides an impressive platform for higher education. Some of the recognised higher educational institutions in the district are Sanjeevani Institute of Technology and Management, Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Thakur Hukum Singh Kisan Post Graduate College, Mithilesh Nandini Reshama Arif Mahavidyalaya, Seemant Degree College, Lord Buddha Degree College, Ameer Hasan Farooqui Masoodiya mubaraka degree college, Maharaja Balbhadra Singh Raikuwar Mahavidyalaya, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 49.36% including 58.34% are males and 39.18% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 13,98,368 including 8,78,285 are males and 5,20,083 are females.
Daddan Mishra, a distinguished India politician and a member of 16th Lok Sabha from the Shrawasti Lok Sabha constituency was born on 30th September, 1969 at Bahraich town. At present, he is a member of Bharatiya Janata Party.
During the year 2021, there were 1,21,630 domestic tourists who visited these places of the district. There is no doubt the district is not a renowned tourist spot yet it has some centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Mausoleum (Dargah) of Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud, the identity of Bahraich is the pious place built by Firoz Shah Tughlaq. Natives of the district believe that people taking bath in the holy water of the Dargah become free of all skin diseases. A cultural fest is organised in the Dargah every year is known as Dargah Mela. Sravasti, a place located at a distance of 50 km. from Bahraich has an ancient Buddhist monastery. This place is holy for Buddhists and Jains since it is the place where Lord Buddha preached Buddhism for twenty four years of his life. Katarniya Ghat Wildlife Reserve, the biggest wildlife reserve of Uttar Pradesh is situated in the Bahraich district. It is home to a wide variety of unique animals. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Dargah of Ameer Mah, Risiya Park, Markaz Alam Shaheed Masjid, Siddhnath Temple, etc.