Bahraich is a city and a municipal board in Bahraich district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Located on the Saryu River, a tributary of river Ghaghra, Bahraich is 125 km north-east of Lucknow, the state capital. The towns of Barabanki, Gonda, Balrampur, Lakheempur and Sitapur share local boundaries with Bahraich. A factor which makes this town important is the international border shared with the neighboring country, Nepal.
Bahraich got its name from the Arabic word bahr which means a large body of water. Situated on the bank of river Ghaghra, it was named Bahraich. Although a small town, Bahraich happens to be a very old town of India. It was inhabited around the 10th century.
Some people also believe that Bahraich got its name from 'Brahma'. It is believed that there was an ancient Brahma Temple here ( not present now), thus giving the city the name - Brahmaich, thus, Bahraich.
It is also believed that Bahraich got its name from the Ashram of Mahirshi Bhar.bahraich was the land of Rishis, Munis(Hindu saints), Bhikhkhus(Bhudhhist Monks). A town near Bahraich is named as RISIYA which was named Rishi Bhumi in ancient times.
The main occupation of the residents of Bahraich is agriculture. In the British period, Bahraich was a famous market for grains and pulses. Even today, it is famous for agricultural products like pulses, wheat, rice, corn, sugar, and mustard. Also, there are dense forests in Nanpara and Bhinga region which account for herbs and timber.
Bahraich is located at 27.58° N 81.6° E. It has an average elevation of 126 metres (413 feet).
The Nanpara estate
The district of Bahraich was part of the Great Nanpara Estate made up of lands belonging to the Raja of Nanpara. Read the Wikipedia article on Nanpara for a history of the ruling family up to the abolition of Zamindari in 1954. The Rajas of Nanpara owned more than three hundred villages in the District including all the forests. A large part of the education system in the district was the legacy of the late Raja Sadat Ali of Nanpara who built the major roads and hospitals.
Dargah of Ghazi Saiyyad Masud
Bahraich is very famous because of the mausoleum (Dargah) of Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud, a famous eleventh century Islamic invader. His Dargah is a place for reverence for Muslims and Hindus alike. It was built by Firoz Shah Tughlaq. It is believed that people taking bath in the water of the Suryakund nearby become free of all skin diseases. The annual festival (Urs) at the Dargah is attended by thousands of people coming from far-off places of the country.
Roughly 50 km from Bahraich, there are remains of an ancient Buddhist monastery. This place is known as Sravasti and it is one of the most popular destinations around Bahraich. Other places of interest are the Temple of Junglee Nath, Kailashpuri Barrage, Chittaura Jheel and Kartaniya Ghat Alligator Breeding center.
Bahraich hosts the biggest Wildlife reserve of the state of Uttar Pradesh - Kartarniya ghat wildlife reserve. Other Places of Interest include Shravasti which is also Holy Place for Buddhist and Jains, Lord Buddha spent twenty four years of his life preaching Buddhism. Shravasti is visited by tourists from Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka & China.
As of 2001 India census,Bahraich had a population of 168,376. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Bahraich has an average literacy rate of 59%, lower than the national average of 59.5%; with 57% of the males and 43% of females literate. 15% of the population is under 6 years of age.