Sitapur

Sitapur is one of the districts of Uttar Pradesh state of India, with Sitapur town as the district headquarters. Sitapur district is a part of Lucknow division.

Little is known about the history of Sitapur. Legends connect many places in episodes in Mahabharata and Ramayana.There is a usual tradition of a raid by a general of Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud. The rise of Rajput power, according to tradition of great clan which held the district, was somewhat later than in Southern Oudh (Avadh). The influx continued till the reign of Aurangzeb. The Rajputs generally found the soil occupied by the Pasis, whom they crushed or drove away. Under the early kings of Muhammadan kings of Delhi, the country was normally ruled by the Governor of Bahraich, but little authority was exercised.

In the fifteenth century, the district was included in the new kingdom of Jaunpur. About 1527, Humayun occupied Khairabad, then the chief town; but it was not until the accession of Akbar that the Afghans were driven out of the neighborhood. Under Akbar, the present district formed the part of four Sarkars – Khairabad, Bahraich, Oudh, and Lucknow – all located in the Subah of Oudh. Khairabad was held for sometime by the rebels of Oudh in 1567 but throughout the Mughal period and the rule of Nawabs and Kings of Oudh, the district is seldom referred to by the native historians.

Early in nineteenth century, it was governed by Hakim Mahdi Ali Khan, a capable minister of Naseerundden Haider, and some years later Sleeman noted that it was unusually quiet as far as great landholders were concerned. At annexation in 1856, Sitapur was selected as headquarters of one district and Mallanpur (currently a village in Tambaur Development Block of District Sitapur. It is the same place where Sharda and Ghaghra rivers meet.) as the headquarters of another, which lay between Chauka and Ghaghra rivers.

Sitapur figured prominently in the First War of Independence, 1857. In that year, three regiments of native infantry and a regiment of military police were quartered in Sitapur Cantonment. The troops rose on the morning of 3 June, fired on their officers, many of whom were killed, as were also several military and civil officers with their wives and children in the attempt to escape. Ultimately many of the fugitives succeeded in reaching Lucknow, while others obtained the protection of loyal zamindars. On 13 April 1858, Sir Hope Grantinflicted a severe defeat on the rebels near Biswan. Order was completely restored before the end of that year.

Sitapur is located at 27.57°N 80.68°E. It test has an average elevation of 138 meters (452 feet). It is located in the Gangetic Plain, with elevations ranging from 150 m above sea level in the north-west to 100 m in the south-east. It is intersected by numerous streams and ravines and contains many shallow ponds and natural reservoirs, which overflow during the rainy seasons, but become dry in the hot season. Except in the eastern portion, which lies in the doabs between the Kewani and the Chauka, and the Ghaghra and the Chauka rivers, the soil is dry. Even this moist tract is interspersed with patches of land covered with saline efflorescence called reh.

As of 2011 India census, Sitapur district has population of 4,483,992 of which male and female are 2,375,264 and 2,108,728 respectively. District Sitapur ranks 8th in terms of population in Uttar Pradesh. The density of Sitapur district for 2011 is 781 people per sq. km. In 2001, it was about 630 people per sq. km. Sitapur town/city has a population of 1,77,351. Males constitute 52.67% of the population and females 47.41%. Sitapur has an average literacy rate of 61%, lower than the national average of 74.04%. Female literacy is about 50%. In Sitapur, 16.6% of the population was under 6 years of age. Sitapur has a sex ratio of 888 females per 1000 males.There are 801,764 households in the district accounting for 2.4 percent of the total households in the state. The average size of households in the district is 5.6 persons.

Languages spoken here include Awadhi, a vernacular in the Hindi continuum spoken by over 38 million people, mainly in the Awadh region.Sanskrit, Urdu, Punjabi and English are also understood among a minuscule minority. Apart from Hindi, English is now part of curricula in most government and private schools.

Agriculture is the primary activity in the district, with wheat, rice, and urad being the staple crops with sugarcane, mustard and groundnuts as cash crops. The crop area of peppermint is also rapidly increasing especially in eastern part of the district. Narrow tracts of sandy soils in the valley of rivers produce potato, groundnuts and ginger. Banana plantations are becoming popular among farmers recently.