Bareilly district in north India belongs to the Uttar Pradesh state is a part of Bareilly division with its headquarters located at Bareilly city. According to the great Sanskrit epic Mahabharata earlier Panchal region is the present day’s Bareilly where Draupadi (a mythological character) was born. From the very beginning, Bareilly district is considered as a archaeologically rich point. Some extensive remains of Ahichhatra, the Capital town of Northern Panchala have been found near Ramnagar village of Aonla Tehsil in the district. During an excavation in the place of Ahichhatra, nearly five thousand coins belonging to periods earlier than that of Guptas have been yielded. During the 12th century the region was ruled by different Rajput rulers. At the time of Mughal Empire it came under the Sultanate of Delhi. In 1657 Mukrand Rai founded the modern Bareilly city. Before the rule of Nawab Vazir of Awadh in this region, it was the capital of the Rohilkhand region. Lastly, the East India Company came to this place and made it an integral part of India. At that time the natives of Bareilly district participated very actively in the freedom struggles of the nation. In the time of Khilafat movement, the Indian National Congress came into limelight in this place. In response to the call given by Gandhiji, the Civil Disobedience Movement was launched on 26th January, 1930 in the district. Numerous prominent leaders were send to the Bareilly Central Jail at that period such as Jawahar Lal Nehru. Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, Mahavir Tyagi, Manzar Ali Sokhata, Maulana Hifazul Rahman, etc.
Imran Hassan Khan, an eminent Indian shooter and a gold model winner in 50-metre rifle event at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, combining with Gagan Narang was born in 1983 in Bareilly. He is a member of the Indian Army. He has also won medals at the South Asian Games as well as a bronze medal in men's 50-metre rifle three positions team event at 2006 Asian Games in Doha. D.B. Seth, an illustrious Indian painter and a life member of All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society (New Delhi) was born in 1944 in Bareilly. His work is included in the collections of the National Gallery of Modern Art. In 1991 the then Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar honoured him by the 'Kala Shri' award.
Geographically, the district lies at 28°37'N latitude, 79°43'E longitude and 166 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 1.09% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographically area of 4,120 sq. km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 21st in the state and 293th in India. It is surrounded by Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand on the north, Badaun district on the south, Pilibhit district on the east and Rampur district on the west. The major river in the district that passes through the district is Ramganga River. The climate of the district is characterized as humid sub tropical climate. There is a high variation in temperature of summer and winter season. Most of its rainfall occurs during the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1334 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 6 tehsils likewise, Aonla, Baheri, Bareilly, Faridpur, Meerganj and Nawabganj. There are 2 Lok Sabha and 9 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 31 towns and 2,051 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 44,48,359 including 23,57,665 are males and 20,90,694 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 887 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 22.93% out of which 21.90% were males and 24.12% were females. The population density in the district is 1,080 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 1,29,883 including 67,554 were males and 62,329 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 29,264 out of which 19,386 were males and 9,878 were females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Hindu and Muslim with 63.64% and 34.54% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Hindi and Urdu with 90.76% and 8.48%.
The economy of the district is mainly based on agriculture but its trade and commerce is growing in a remarkable speed. The chief agricultural crops in the district are sugarcane, rice, pulses and wheat. Barielly is the important place for Hindustan Unilever Company because it is the place where it has begun to cultivate rice. Zardozi, a form of embroidery is the speciality of Bareilly. Handicrafts, bamboo artwork and wooden furniture are also contributing in its economy. In the year 2020-21 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 46,68,111 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 29,14,878 lakh at Constant Prices during the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 41,18,663 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 24,87,668 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. 78,557 at Current Price and Rs. 47,449 at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012.
Rohilkhand University in Bareilly was established in 1975 which was renamed as Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Rohilkhand University in August 1997. Most of the colleges in the district is affiliated to it. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 58.49% including 67.5% are males and 48.3% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 21,91,759 including 13,42,697 are males and 8,49,062 are females.
Shri Harish Kumar Gangawar, a prominent Indian politician and elected as a Member of Parliament in the seventh Lok Sabha from Pilibhit Constituency was born on 25th January, 1930 at Teolia village in the district. Earlier, he was a member of Bhartiya Jana Sangh but later he joined Indian National Congress. Shri Mohan Swarup, a distinguished Indian politician was born on 18th February, 1918 at Sahora village in Bareilly. He was elected as a Member of Parliament in the 2nd (1957), 3rd (1962), and 4th (1967) Lok Sabha as member of Praja Socialist Party from Pilibhit Constituency and again elected in the 5th Lok Sabha (1971) as a member of Congress Party from the same constituency.
During the year 2021, there were 2,55,104 domestic tourists and 161 foreign tourists who visited these places of the district. The district is full of marvelous temples, gurudwaras, mosques and churches which allure numerous travellers from all over the country. There are four temples of Lord Shiva (Nath) at four corners of the city namely Alakha Nath, Trivati Nath, Madhi Nath and Dhopeshwar Nath. Some other temple with mesmerizing art and beauty are Laxmi Narayan temple, Bakebihari Mandir, Hari Mandir, etc. Gurudwara Singh Sabha, Gurudwara Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib, Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib, Qibla Basheer Miyan sahib, Karbala Swale Nagar, Christ Methodist Church, St. Paul's Church, St. Stephen's Church, etc are some most admired and notable gurudwaras, Islamic places and churches in the district.