Behat

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Behat
city
Behat is located in Uttar Pradesh
Behat
Behat
Location in Uttar Pradesh, India
Coordinates: 30°10′N 77°37′E / 30.167°N 77.617°E / 30.167; 77.617Coordinates: 30°10′N 77°37′E / 30.167°N 77.617°E / 30.167; 77.617
Country  India
State Uttar Pradesh
District Saharanpur
Population (2001)
 • Total 17,177
Languages
 • Official Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Behat is an ancient town and a nagar panchayat (municipality) in Saharanpur district on the northern tip of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is located on the State Highway No 57 on the banks of Eastern Yamuna Canal, about 26 km (about 16 miles) north of Main Saharanpur City, 190 km (118 miles) from the Indian Capital New Delhi, and 77 km (48 miles) from Haridwar, at an average elevation of 275 m from sea level. It is famous for production of fruits such as mangoes and guava, moorhas (reed stools), brass bells, and wrought iron handicrafts.

History[edit]

Archaeological excavations and surveys have provided evidences of the existence of many ancient settlements over the ages in and around Behat. On the basis of artifacts discovered during these excavations, human habitation can be traced as far back as 2000 BC in and around this area. Behat was probably known as Brihat-vat during the reign of the Nanda Dynasty (c. 500 BC). Indeed it is a place of considerable antiquity.

An Ashokan Pillar excavated from Topari (Khiderabād), near Saharanpur, was taken to Delhi by Sultan Firoz Shah Tughluq, and it is still in Feroze Shah Kotla. Mayapur (Haridwar) and Behat were well-known cities at the time of Mauryan Dynasty (c. 180 BC). Behat was next to Mayapur (Haridwar) in importance, because it was an important Buddhist center. [1]

Xuanzang traveling in search of Sacred Buddhist Texts and Scriptures, had traveled through Behat and had come across important Buddhist Monasteries in Behat (c. 630 AD).[1]

During the reign of Bahlul Khan Lodi (1451–1489), a Muslim colony was founded at Behat by Shah Abdullah, who was a descendent of the Saint Sheikh Baha-ud-din Zakariya Suhrawardi. Western part of Behat along the Naugaon Rau is named after him as Abdullah Mazra. [1]

Behat remained headquarters of a Paragana, during the times of Akbar, and was known as Behat Kanjawar.[1]

Around 1710 AD, Behat was Jagir, of Pirzadas. The place was famous for cow slaughtering, and Pirzadas didn't treat anyone fairly, except the Muslims of the Jagir. Around this time the Sikh Army of Banda Bahadur Singh, attacked Behat, and reportedly killed all the family members of Pirzadas, except one who was away at Bulandshahar, at the time of this incident. The Sikh Army, later plundered the area, and sat it on fire.[2]

In 1834, Captain Proby Thomas Cautley, while leading the redesigning of the Eastern Yamuna Canal (which at that time was known as Doab Canal, discovered a buried town 5.18 m (17 ft) below the surrounding country and 7.62 m (25 ft) below that of existing site. That township belonged to the Pre Indo-Scythian times as established from the archaeological evidences found here. Captain Cautley also found a large number of Indo Scythian coins and other evidences about the existence of a large Buddhist Settlement at this place.[1]

After the Mutiny of 1857, a Police Station was established at Behat. Towards the end of the 19th Century, the town had a Post Office and an Upper Primary School as well. Also until towards the end of 19th Century, an Annual Fair used to be held in honor of Shah Abdullah, chiefly organized by the local Pirzadas who then fell to difficult times due to their excesses and extravagance.[1]

After the British left India in 1947, Government has largely chosen to ignore this area, and as a result Behat has made little progress in last 70 years or so. It looks more like a big village than a town.

Geography[edit]

To the east of Behat, flows The Eastern Yamuna Canal (or Eastern Jumna Canal), and to the west beyond Abdulla Mazra, flows the Naugaon Rau (Rau means an ephemeral stream, torrent or rapid, which is dry for most part of the year). To the south about two miles from the center of the town flows the Maskara Rau (flows from the confluence of two Rau/torrents at Jasmour, and crosses Eastern Yamuna Canal at Kalsia). The average elevation is about 275 meters above the mean sea level. The entire place slightly slopes from north-east to south-west though unevenly.[1]

Demographics[edit]

As of 2001 India census,[3] Behat had a population of 17,177. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Behat has an average literacy rate of 51%, lower than the national average of 59.5%; with 59% of the males and 41% of females literate. 17% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Travel and Transport[edit]

Behat has two bus stands on the State Highway No 57 connecting Saharanpur with Yamunotri - known as Tehsil Behat and Behat Bus Stand, respectively. Tehsil Behat, which is situated outside the Tehsil Building, is the bus terminus from where one can take buses for Kalsia - Chhutmalpur. From Behat Bus Stand one could take a bus for Kalsia - Saharanpur, Herbertpur - Vikas Nagar - Dakpatthar - Chakrauta, Shakumbhari Devi Shrine etc. The buses are owned by private bus operators who have formed a union. The members of the union have to obey the Departure and Arrival time table strictly (up to the minute) otherwise they are levied penalty by their own Union. Thus, it is a very reliable bus service for this route.

The town is also serviced by various state Roadways such as UPSRTC,HRTC, DTC, etc., as it falls en route to Dak Patthar (Uttarakhand), and Nahan (Himachal Pardesh)

Besides in the Main Saharanpur City, there is a bus stand named as "Behat Adda" situated at Behat Road (Behat Road is the stretch of State Highway No 57 between Saharanpur City and Behat, sometimes also referred to as Chakrauta Road)ahead of "Dehaat Kotwali", from where one could take a bus to reach Kalsia, Behat, Raipur, Shakumbhari Devi, Mirzapur, Badshahi Bagh, Herbertpur, Vikas Nagar, Kalsi, Chakrauta, and Nahan (Himachal Pardesh)

There is no local transport to travel in and around Behat.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g A Gazetteer of Saharanpur District District Volume XIV: Gazetteers of the United Provinces edited by H. R Neville
  2. ^ Harbans Kaur Sagoo (1 January 2001). Banda Singh Bahadur and Sikh Sovereignty. Deep & Deep Publications. pp. 171–. ISBN 978-81-7629-300-6. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 

Saharanpur division