Pilibhit Town

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Pilibhit Town, 1908

This article has been extracted from



Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts. Some units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.

Head-quarters of the District and tahsil of the same name, United Provinces, situated in 28 38' N. and 79 48' E-., on the Lucknow-Sitapur-Bareilly Railway. Population (1901), 33,490. The name is derived from Periya, the title of a Banjara clan, and bhlt % a wall ' or ' mound.' It has no history till the middle of the eighteenth century, when it became the residence of Hafiz Rahmat Khan, the Rohilla leader. In 1763 he surrounded it with a mud wall, and six years later with a brick wall. For a time Pilibhlt was called Hafizabad, after the title of the great soldier. The town never rose to the importance of Bareilly ; and after the defeat and death of Hafiz Rahmat Khan in 1774 it declined under the rule of Oudh, and under the British, to whom it was ceded in 1801. At the time of the Mutiny in 1857, Pilibhit, though it had been the capital of a District from 1833 to 1842, was the head-quarters of a subdivision. The Joint- Magistrate was compelled to retire to Nairn Tal, and the town was the scene of constant disturbances, though nominally subject to the rebel governor of Bareilly.

Pilibhit is almost surrounded by water. It lies between the Deoha and Kakra, which were formerly connected by ditches still forming drainage channels, though not constantly filled. A fine mosque built by Hafiz Rahmat Khan, in imitation of the Jama Masjid at Delhi, is the chief ornament of the town. The public buildings include the District courts, male and female dispensaries, a clock-tower, a Sanskrit school, and a Turkish bath. The houses are largely built of brick, and there are several good market-places lined with shops. Besides the ordinary District staff, a Forest officer resides at Pilibhit, and there is a branch of the American Methodist Mission. The municipality was constituted in 1865. During the ten years ending 1901 the income and expenditure averaged Rs. 46,000 and Rs. 45,000 respectively. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 76,000, including octroi (Rs. 35,000) and rents (Rs. 22,000); and the expenditure was Rs. 71,000. A revised drainage scheme has lately been carried out. The trade of the town is largely concerned with the agricultural produce of the District, wheat, rice, sugar, and san-hemp forming the chief exports. In addition, Pilibhit is an important depot for the produce of Nepal and the Himalayas. Carts and bedsteads are largely made and exported. The municipality maintains eight schools and aids four others, attended by 724 pupils.

2015: Pilibhit

The Times of India, Jul 21 2015

Neha Shukla

Bright spot: 15 tiger cubs seen in UP's Pilibhit reserve

At least 15 tiger cubs have been spotted in Uttar Pradesh's Pilibhit Tiger Reserve since April.

While eight cubs have been recorded on camera, others have been spotted by the forest staff at different ranges. At least 13 of the cubs are less than a year old.

Pilibhit has 200 sensorenabled cameras installed since April covering the 720 sq km of the reserve for the tiger census exercise of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). The sensor-enabled cameras click every movement within their operational range.

Till June 30, the cameras have recorded the movement of several newborn cubs.The cubs, which were too small to be trapped by cameras mounted at a certain height, were spotted by the forest staff.

Tiger census in 2011 had shown 35 to 40 tigers in the Pilibhit reserve. It is the only forest area in UP which according to tiger census 2014 has shown some `improvement'.At present, officers put the tiger count at 28 in the reserve.

Bansuri Nagari 

Notebandi knocks wind out of Pilibhit's flute industry, Feb 15, 2017: The Times of India

Pilibhit, also called Bansuri Nagari (flute city), is the country's flute-making hub. But the artisans have fallen on hard times. Of ficial apathy and the onslaught of cheaper, imported products were pinching the flute-makers when the note ban struck. Now, with orders from middlemen drying up, the industry faces closure.

“Pilibhit has a Union minister and two state ministers, but they have done little for us. We met all three, but none showed any concern,“ Rizvi says. Neither does the plight of these flute-makers figure among the poll issues. “I could get a handful of orders.Many said they'd clear my dues only after March. Two months ago, I was forced to lay off 12 artisans. I had no money to pay them. If conditions don't improve by April, we'll be forced to shut shop,“ Rizvi rues.

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