The Mainstay of the Freedom Struggle
Bareilly has been the centre of cultural & educational activities in the state of Uttar Pradesh in north India. Situated on the banks of the river Ramganga, Bareilly was established in 1537. It was earlier called Jagatpur, having been founded by Jagat Singh Katehriya. Jagat Singh had two sons Bans Deo and Barel Deo, who were killed in a revolt against the Mughals. The city is named after the brothers. It is often called 'Bans Bareilly'. The place was later captured by the Rohillas and Avadhs, but finally it surrendered to British?s East India Company. The city has always been very rich in literature and traditional aspects. The development of the cith was accelerated in 1657 and it was mainly built by the Mughal governor Makrand Ray.
The city is a major shopping hub for its special handicrafts, popularly known as Zari-Zardozi, which is a form of embroidery.This is one of the oldest tradition of the Bareilly District. People believe that the city is called 'Bans Bareilly' because of the fine bamboo craft. Cane and bamboo, and wooden furniture is also a speciality of the area. One can get these items in almost every corner of the Bazaar. Bareilly is the largest producer and exporter of camphor in India. Apart from this, Bareilly is famous for Surma (Collirium). The city has a number of small-scale industries that include Sugar processing and cotton ginning.
Bareilly is a spiritual city and the Alakhnath Temple is the headquarters of the Anand Akhara order of Naga sannyasins. A separate class/section of this order belongs to the Shiva devotees, known as 'Naga Babas' as they do not wear any clothes. The temple is always full of devotees who sing Bhajans and make offerings. The temple has several shrines dedicated to different Gods and Goddesses. Even animals of various kinds including cows, goats and sometimes camels can be seen in the premises. A sadhu receives the offerings from the devotees. He greets you and smears ash on your forehead.
Other religious Places
Other major Hindu religious places in Bareilly are the Tibri Nath Temple, Marimanth Temple, Dhopeshwarnath Temple, and the Gulharhiya Gaurishankar Temple.
The city has been a historical place for the Muslims as well, therefore one can find a few holy majares like the Majar-e-Aala Hazrat, Khanqahai Aaliya Niyazia, Bara Burji Masjid etc. The only church in Bareilly is Freewell Baptist Church.
The city is nurtured by the river Ramganga that flows from the West to the South-East. This river provides water for irrigation in the crop fields as well. On a visit to Bareilly, one can enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the Ramganga. The other rivers are the Siddha, the Dojora, the Bahgul (west), the Sankha, the Deoranian and the Nakatia, and their tributaries, which mostly rise in the Tarai.
How To Reach
It is easily accessible from Delhi and Lucknow Airport. Bareilly Railway Station lies on the Moradabad-Shahjanapur railwayline. For road travellers, the city is located on the National Highway 24.