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Skyline of Pilibhit highlighting the Chhathavi Padshahi Gurudwara
Skyline of Pilibhit highlighting the Chhathavi Padshahi Gurudwara
Pilibhit is located in Uttar Pradesh
Location in Uttar Pradesh, India
Coordinates: 28°38′59″N 79°52′21″E / 28.6497°N 79.8724°E / 28.6497; 79.8724Coordinates: 28°38′59″N 79°52′21″E / 28.6497°N 79.8724°E / 28.6497; 79.8724
Country India
StateUttar Pradesh
Ward52 wards
SettledLate 15th century
 • BodyPilibhit Nagar Palika Parisad
 • ChairmanVimla Jaiswal
 • MPManeka Sanjay Gandhi
 • MLASanjay Singh Gangwar
 • Total47 km2 (18 sq mi)
172 m (564 ft)
 • Total127,988
 • Density559/km2 (1,450/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code05882
ISO 3166 codeIN-UP-PB
Vehicle registrationUP-26
Coastline0 kilometres (0 mi)
Sex ratio889 /
Civic agencyPilibhit Nagar Palika Parisad
Distance from Delhi274 kilometres (170 mi) NW (land)
Distance from Lucknow270 kilometres (170 mi) SE (land)
Governing bodyGovernment of UP
Government of India
ClimateHS-TH (Köppen)
Precipitation780 millimetres (31 in)
Avg. annual temperature25.5 °C (77.9 °F)
Avg. summer temperature36.8 °C (98.2 °F)
Avg. winter temperature14.5 °C (58.1 °F)
The word 'Pilibhit' means "A Wall of Yellow Mud"

Pilibhit is a city and a municipal board in the Pilibhit district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Pilibhit is the north-easternmost district of Bareilly division, situated in the Rohilkhand region of the sub-Himalayan Plateau belt next to foothills of Sivalik Range on the boundary of Nepal, known for the origin of river Gomati and one of the most forest-rich areas in North India. Pilibhit was also known as Bansuri Nagari - the land of flutes, for making and exporting roughly 95 per cent of India's flutes.[2]

According to a report issued by the Government of India, Pilibhit is one of the Minority Concentrated Areas in India on the basis of the 2001 census data on population, socio-economic indicators and basic amenities indicators.[3] Though separated only by a short distance from the outer ranges of the Himalayas, Pilibhit consists entirely of a level plain, containing depressions but no hills and is intersected by several streams.[4] Pilibhit is one of the forest rich areas of Uttar Pradesh, which has very high tourism potential. The almost 54 km-long Indo-Nepal international border makes Pilibhit a highly sensitive for security purposes.[5] According to an estimate by the Government of India, Pilibhit has 45.23% of its population living under the poverty line.[6] Increasing population and unemployment is a cause of worry in the area, and many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government-run organizations have initiated projects to provide employment, but human resources are yet to be exploited in full. The city came third-bottom in terms of hygiene and sanitation in a Government ranking list of 423 towns and cities in India.[7]

Pilibhit has been geographic and political cynosure as it is the only forest area amid the 22 districts and the only district that has an international border in Harit Pradesh, which is proposed to be carved out of Uttar Pradesh.

Pilibhit was in news at national level because of a few man killer sub-adult tigers, which has caused fear in the whole area in and around the forest. By August 2010, the cat had killed and partially eaten eight people.[8]


Pilibhit lies between the parallels of 28°64' and 29°53' north latitude and the meridians of 79°57' and 81°37' east longitude covering an area of 68.76 km2. The north side of Pilibhit is bordered by Udham Singh Nagar of Uttarakhand state and by the territory of Nepal. Shahjahanpur lies on the south side Pilibhit. The east of Pilibhit is flanked for a short distance by Lakhimpur Kheri and the remaining distance is swathed by the Shahjahanpur. The western limit touches the limits of Bareilly.

According to the Central Statistical Organisation, the district Pilibhit had an area of 3504 km2 on 1 September 2007, occupying 46th position in the state and the total area of the Pilibhit city is 68.76 km2. Pilibhit city, with 2365.11 people per square kilometer, is more densely populated that the rest of district, which has 469.51 people per km2.

The area has diverse features, and topographically may be divided into several distinct tracts. In the north and north-west, the tract is a continuation of the Terai. The southern portion of the Bisalpur tehsil is similar in most respect to the adjacent tract of Bareilly and Shahjahanpur. The eastern and smaller section approximates rather to undeveloped forest areas of Lakhimpur Kheri, though with the spread of cultivation the dissimilarity between Puranpur and the rest of the area is gradually becoming less marked. There are 1216 villages within Pilibhit's limits, of which 982 are electrified.[9]

Agricultural and forestry science center, Pilibhit

The area has more than ten small to medium-sized rivers and nine small to medium-sized water bodies. The origin of river Gomti, Gumti or Gomati (Hindi: गोमती), which is a tributary of the Ganges River, is from a small lake, Gomat Taal, situated in Madhotanda in the Puranpur tehsil region.[10] Pilibhit city also has a few water bodies in its limits, one being on Tanakpur road in front of Dramond college gate, another being at the Chauraha degree college. Every year during winter, the Chauraha water body attracts thousands of migratory birds. The main source of water in the district is the ground water and the canals. District Pilibhit is swathed by a big net of canals. The district has six main feeders or canals, which run through almost 138 km in the district.

Road side canals are very common around Pilibhit

The major part of Pilibhit District is covered by dense forest. Total 784.572 km2 is forest.[11] Till 1978, 63% area of the district was a dense forest, but deforestation has reduced the total forest cover to 22.39% in 2004.[12] The Sharda canal is the main canal of the district, the others being its branches. The total length of canals in the district is 138 km. Apart from the canal system, the district also has a few water bodies, which are being using for agriculture purposes.

National Highway No. 74 runs through the district connecting Haridwar to Bareilly via Kichha, Kashipur and Nagina city. Apart from the National Highway, the district is well connected with Shahjahanpur in south, Lakhimpur Kheri and Indian International Border (IIB) with the Nepal in east, Nanital and town Khatima in north, and the city of Bareilly in the west by roads and railways. There are 1216 Villages in the district Pilibhit in four tehsils and seven blocks.

The district Pilibhit also has several places of religious importance in or around the district. A main gurudwara of the Sikh community is located in Nanakmatta town around 46 km from the city.[13][14]


As of the 2011 India census,[15] District Pilibhit had a population of 2,037,225. Pilibhit district is the 46th most populous Districts of Uttar Pradesh. Pilibhit City has 1,97,455 people. Males constitute 52.94% of the population and females 47.06%. Pilibhit has an average literacy rate of 63.58%, lower than the national average of 74.04%. Male literacy is 73.46%, and female literacy is 52.43%. In Pilibhit, 14.58% of the population is under 6 years of age.[16]

A busy market on station road in Pilibhit city

Studies reveal that the poverty level in the district is associated with the social identity, source of livelihood, landless and level of education of the head of household. Education is a crucial instrument for raising income levels of people and moving out of the vicious circle of poverty. A study done by Delhi-based NGO, Nav Bharat Nirman indicates a strong correlation between educational attainment and poverty levels among various social classes in the district. The incidence of poverty is much higher among scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST) households in Pilibhit. Nearly 60 per cent of SC households were below the poverty line in Pilibhit in 1999-2000. However, this proportion came down to 45.23 per cent in 2007-08.[17]


Pilibhit experiences winter from November to February. It experiences pleasant windy days, clear skies and cool nights from November to the end of February. The day temperature hovers around 14 °C (57 °F) while night temperature is below 7 °C (45 °F) for most of December and January, often dropping to 3 °C (37 °F) or 4 °C (39 °F). Rain is very expected in February.[18]

Reported climatic variations:[19]

  • The highest temperature recorded in Pilibhit was 48.5 °C (119 °F) on 29 May 1989.
  • The lowest temperature recorded in Pilibhit was −1.2 °C (30 °F) on 17 January 1949.
Climate data for Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, India
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C 14 19 21 36 40 42 40 36 34 29 20 11 29
Average low °C 4 10 13 23 31 34 32 27 24 20 13 6 20
Average rainfall mm 7.6 23 30 46 81 120 130 140 110 30 23 13 753.6
Average high °F 57 66 70 97 104 108 104 97 93 84 68 52 83
Average low °F 39 50 55 73 88 93 90 81 75 68 55 43 68
Average rainfall inches 0.3 0.9 1.2 1.8 3.2 4.8 5.2 5.5 4.3 1.2 0.9 0.5 29.8
Source: www.wunderground.com[20]


According to the Imperial Gazetteer of India, Pilibhit was once known as Hafizabad after the Rohila leader of the area, Hafiz Rahmat Khan, but later took its current name from a nearby village.[21] According to a document from the British Library, 'the city Pilibhit' existed in the late 18th century (1770–1780) when Marathas invaded the Rohilkhand region. With this invasion, the Kurmi community came to this region and over time, the city Pilibhit enlarged it boundaries.[22]

Another evidence of the city's existence is found in Nepali literature, which mentions a city named as Pilibhit, which provided shelter to the last king of the Shah dynasty, Deepa Shah, who was attacked by the Gorakha king in 1789 AD.[23]


Jamia Mosque in the 1780s

At the introduction of the British rule, the parganas of Pilibhit, Jahanabad and Bisalpur was formed into separate tehsils. Puranpur was united for this purpose with Khutar. A redistribution of the area was effected in 1824, when the Bisalpur tehsil contained the parganas of Bisalpur and Maurari, which afterward become a single area, Jahanabad was joined with Richha to form tehsil Pareva and Pilibhit with Baheri, the HQ being at Pilibhit. In 1851 Baheri and the other tarai pargana were taken under direct management and in 1863 Richha was attached to the new Baheri tehsil, pargana Jahanabad being assigned to Pilibhit which also received Puranpur on its transfer in 1865. The latter, in 1871, a became subtehsil dependent on Pilibhit. The promotion of Puranpur into a full tehsil occurred in 1879, while Bisalpur throughout remained a separate subdivision. Thus the area is now divided into three tehsils and four parganas. Puranpur and Bisalpur constitute individual tehsils and parganas and the tehsil of Pilibhit comprises the paraganas of Pilibhit and Jahanabad.[24]

Historical facts[edit]

It is believed by locals that Pilibhit was ruled by an ancient king named Mayurdhwaj or Moredhwaj or King Venu, a great devotee of lord Krishna and a loyal friend of Arjun. King Venu's name and the geography of his kingdom can be traced in the Hindu epic Mahabharat.[25]

Jahanabadi darwaza in the backdrop, In Pilibhit Main Market.

The city Pilibhit was an administrative unit in the Mughal era under Bareilly suba. For security, the Mughal subedar Ali Mohammed Khan constructed four magnificent gates around the administrative building in 1734 AD. These gates were named Barellwi darwaza at the west, Hussaini darwaza at the east, Jahanabadi darwaza at the north and Dakhini darwaza at the south. Because of a lack of proper maintenance, all the gates have been lost; only their ruins remain.[26]

The last king of the Shah dynasty of Doti, Nepal, Prithivipati Shah, was sheltered in Pilibhit by the ruler of Rampur suba Faizullah Khan in 1789 AD, after being attacked by the Gorakha king of Nepal.[27]

The freedom fighter Maulana Enayetulla, from Pilibhit, voluntarily played host to the exiled Queen of Avadh, Begum Hazrat Mahal, who reached Nepal in late 1859.[28][29]


Rail transportation[edit]

Pilibhit Junction railway station is on the Bareilly-Lakhimpur railway line. The station is under the administrative control of the North Eastern Railways. Computerized reservation facility is provided.

Going south-west, Bhojipura Junction railway station is the main station next to Pilibhit. The nearest main station to the west is Puranpur railway station.[30]

National Highway 74, runs through Pilibhit, and connects Haridwar to Bareilly via Pilibhit, Kichha, Kashipur and Nagina city


Three express trains come here from Lucknow: Lucknow - Agra Express (5313), Nainital Express (5308) and Rohilkhand Express (5310). Two express trains come from Agra: Agra - Gonda Express and Agra - Lucknow Express.

From Delhi one has to reach first nearby district Bareilly by bus or train before reaching Pilibhit by a bus or broad gauge train.[31]

Pilibhit connected by broad gauge to Bareilly - Delhi .[32]


The Lalit Hari Sugar Factory Stadium is Pilibhit's only cricket stadium. It is located in the Shri Lalit Hari sugar mill compound, and used to be known as Lalit Hari Stadium. This stadium was established in 1931 on Tanakpur road, at the railway station end. The home team for this stadium is Uttar Pradesh. It has matting type of pitch. This stadium had hosted a few Ranji trophy cricket matches in the early 1980s.

The Gandhi Sports Stadium in the Bareilly zone covers 85 acres (local measurement) of area in the middle of the city. It has various facilities for athletics, football, volleyball, hockey and some indoor sports. A swimming pool is constructed in the stadium. In the same compound one multipurpose auditorium is available. This stadium is the only sports facility available for public uses.

Various educational institutions have their own facilities, including: DGIC ground, St. Aloysius ground, Rama college ground, and SVM college ground. The city hasn't produced any big sports celebrities, but city teams have won a few state level competitions on various events.[33]


The main crop in the district is sugarcane[citation needed] and there is a sugar factory in the city.[34] According to an article published in Hindustan Times, by a 1991 estimate, 95% of India's flutes were manufectured in Pilibhit.[35] The craftmen were used to source its bamboo from Barak Valley in Assam. Earlier, there was an unbroken narrow-gauge line running from Silchar, in Assam, via Bihar, and into Pilibhit. On this line, 60-strong bundles of bamboo, each stalk 10 ft long, used to make their way to Pilibhit, but around 15 years ago, sections of that line were removed. Now, the bamboo has to travel on narrow gauge from Silchar to Jiribum, then shift onto a broad-gauge line to travel to Bareilly, the nearest big town, and then reloaded onto narrow gauge to come into Pilibhit.[36]


Religious practices are as much an integral part of everyday life and a very public affair as they are in the rest of India. Therefore, not surprisingly, many festivals are religious in origin although several of them are celebrated irrespective of caste and creed. Among the most important Hindu festivals are Diwali, Holi and Vijayadashami, Mahashivaratri, Ram Navmi, Basant Panchami, Sri Krishna Janamastmi and Raksha Bandhan, which are also observed by Jains and Sikhs. Eid al-Milad, Eid ul-Fitr, Bakr-Id and Moharram are Muslim religious festivals. Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated by Jains, Buddha Jayanti by Buddhists, Guru Nanak Jayanti by Sikhs and Good Friday, Christmas by the Christians.[37][better source needed]

Communication and media[edit]

Pilibhit has one local Radio Station (Akashwani) at 100.1 MHz but it also receives Bareilly's FM signals of following Radio providers:

Service Provider Frequency
All India Radio 100.4 MHz
Big FM 92.7 MHz
Radio Mantra 91.9 MHz
Print media

The Hindi daily news papers include Dainik Jagran, Amar Ujala, and The Hindustan. Prominent English dailies like The Times of India, The Hindustan Times and Indian Express have fewer readers. Among lesser known Hindi papers are Swatantra Bharat, Rashtriya Sahara, and Jansatta. The Hindi newspapers Dainik Jagran and Amar Ujala have their offices in the city.


Lok Sabha Constituency[edit]

Vidhan Sabha constituencies[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Civic administration[edit]

The Pilibhit Nagar Palika Parishad (PNPP) is the largest municipal board in the Pilibhit District, in charge of the civic and infrastructural assets of the city of Pilibhit. This municipal board was established in 1865.[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Census of India Search details". censusindia.gov.in. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Pilibhit as Bansuri Nagari". The Indian Express. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  3. ^ "Minority Concentrated Districts". Government of India. Retrieved 19 December 2007.
  4. ^ "The Physical Aspects". Government of India. Retrieved 4 October 2009.
  5. ^ "Indo Nepal International Border". The Dainik Jagram, Hindi News Paper. Retrieved 25 April 2009.
  6. ^ "Population under poverty line". A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2007.
  7. ^ Government of India, National Urban Sanitation Policy
  8. ^ "Man Eating Tiger". Time Of India, English News Paper. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  9. ^ "Electrified Villages in Pilibhit". Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited. Archived from the original on 31 March 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  10. ^ Dikshit, Rajeev (25 August 2006). "Gomati goes missing". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 August 2006.
  11. ^ "Forest in Pilibhit". District Administration. Archived from the original on 19 September 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2006.
  12. ^ "Pilibhit Wildlife". SEVAK group, India. Archived from the original on 27 August 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2007.
  13. ^ "Historic Gurdwara". Punjab Heritage. Retrieved 9 December 2008.[dead link]
  14. ^ "Nanak Matta Sahib". Uttarakhand Tourism. Retrieved 12 September 2006.
  15. ^ "Population of Pilibhit" (PDF). National Register of Indian Citizens. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  16. ^ "The Literacy rate in 2011" (PDF). Government of India. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  17. ^ "Population Under Poverty Line". A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2007.
  18. ^ "Annual Weather Pilibhit". Weather Underground. Retrieved 22 October 2006.
  19. ^ "Climatic Variations in Pilibhit". Indian Meteorological Department. Archived from the original on 20 March 2005. Retrieved 2005-03-21.
  20. ^ "Pilibhit weather". Weather Underground. Retrieved 4 February 2008.
  21. ^ "Pilibhit known as Hafizabad before 1763". Government of India. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  22. ^ "History of Banjaras". Prof Motiraj Rathod. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
  23. ^ "Advanced History of Nepal". T.R. Vaidya Publications. Archived from the original on 9 February 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2005.
  24. ^ "History of Pilibhit". District Administration. Retrieved 29 September 2006.
  25. ^ "Kingdom of King Venu". Government of India. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  26. ^ "Ruin of Pilibhit". Brill's Indological Library, Leiden: E.J. Brill. Retrieved 10 November 2007.
  27. ^ "History of Nepal". T.R.Vaidya Publications. Archived from the original on 20 October 2006. Retrieved 31 January 2008.
  28. ^ "History of Oudh". Najma Nasreen. Retrieved 12 February 2008.
  29. ^ "History of Oudh and Pilibhit". Meerza Kaukab Qudr. Retrieved 12 February 2008.
  30. ^ "Railway Station Pilibhit". IRFCA.org. Retrieved 31 December 2008.
  31. ^ "Indian Railways". Railways of India. Archived from the original on 27 October 2007. Retrieved 8 November 2007.
  32. ^ "Indian Railways meter gauge". Railways of India. Archived from the original on 3 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
  33. ^ "Pilibhit city express". cities.expressindia.com. Retrieved 28 December 2007.[permanent dead link]
  34. ^ "Sugar India" (PDF). CDM India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
  35. ^ "Flutes of Pilibhit". The Indian Express News paper. Retrieved 22 April 2009.
  36. ^ "History of flute". The Hindustand Times News Paper. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2009.
  37. ^ "18 Popular India Festivals". Retrieved 23 December 2007.
  38. ^ "Municipal Board Establishment". Government of India. Retrieved 12 May 2009.

Further reading[edit]

  • P. C. Kanjilal, P (1982). "A Forest Flora for Pilibhit, Oudh, Gorakhpur, and Bundelkhand" (5 ed.). Narendra Pub. House.
  • Basil Leonard Clyde Johnson, P (1979). India,: Resources and Development (6 ed.). Heinemann Educational Books. ISBN 0-06-493348-2.
  • Govt. of Uttar Pradesh, P (1959). "Uttar Pradesh District Gazetteers" (2 ed.). Govt. of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Walter C. Neale, P (1962). "Economic Change in Rural India: Land Tenure and Reform in Uttar Pradesh:1800-1955" (1 ed.). Yale University Press.
  • Ira Klein, P (1974). "Population and Agriculture in Northern India, 1872-1921" (1 ed.). Cambridge University Press.

External links[edit]