LOCATION and BOUNDARIES
The district Barabanki is situated about 29 Kms. in the East direction of Lucknow the Capital of Uttar Pradesh. This district being one of the five districts of Ayodhya division, is located in the heart of Awadh region and it lies between Latitudes 26° 30′ North and 27° 19′ North and Longitudes 80° 58′ East and 81° 55′ East. District Barabanki is surrounded by district Ayodhya in the East, districts Gonda and Bahraich in the North East, district Sitapur in the North West, district Lucknow in the West, district Rae Bareli in the South and district Amethi in the South East. The river Ghaghra forms the North Eastern Boundary separating Barabanki from Bahraich and Gonda.
According to the 2011 census the area of the district was 3891.5 sq. kms. The area is liable to vary from year to year due to the slightest change in the coarse of the river Ghaghra, because this slight variation makes a noticeable change in the overall area of the district.
The district can be topographically divided into three main regions. First TARAI region, the area in the North East towards river Ghaghra. Second GOMTI PAR region, the wide area from South West to South East of the district. Third is called the HAR region, which is situated at some height to the Gomti Par region. The whole tract is gently undulating land with gentle slope from the North West to South East.
RIVER SYSTEM AND WATER RESOURCES
The district is well fed by rivers Ghaghra, Gomti and Kalyani with their tributaries for major part of the year. Although some of them dryout during summers and create havoc during rainy season by flooding.
- GHAGHRA – Ghaghra is the most important river of the district. It, being a mountain river, is the main resource of water round the year. Ghaghra flows from the northern boundary of the district to the South East. Some portion of Tehsil Fatehpur and some portion of Tehsil Ram Sanehi Ghat falls on its banks. Ghaghra forms the northern boundary separating Barabanki from Bahraich and Gonda.
- GOMTI – This is the second important river in the district, being a river with its origin in the plains itself flows, throughout the year. Gomti flows from Lucknow into this district and covers the northern part of tehsil Haidergarh and some portion of the tehsil Ram Sanehi Ghat.
- KALYANI – Kalyani is a small river of local origin. It flows through the district along with its tributaries, covering most of central portion of the district. Kalyani creates havoc during the rains, flooding considerable part of the district, though during summers there is hardly any water in certain sections of the river.It is an important source of water for major period of the year, with banks precipitous at a number of places.
- RAIT – Rait is a small stream which flows dangerously during rains, flooding its adjoining areas, but dries up during the summers.
The district being a part of the plains, conforms to the same geological sequence as the plain itself. The soil structure of the district is composed of alluvial soil, the soil brought in by the rivers. The upper belt is called ‘Uparhar’ and the soil texture is yellowish clay. The basin land of the rivers is mostly sandy soil, and the land adjacent to the rivers is sandy loam. The only mineral of any note found in the district is sand, which is available in sufficient quantity on river banks, and is used in construction works. The district is also noted for its deposits of brick earth.
The district lies in the plains of the State, and hence its climatic conditions are quite similar to the average climatic condition of the plains. Hot to very hot in summers, cold to quite cold during winters and humid to very humid and sultry during rainy season. Most of the rain occurs from June to September and often in November to January. The winter sets in November and continues till February end. The maximum temperature recorded in 2014-15 was 45.0°C and minimum was 0.5°C. The average rainfall recorded for 2014-15 was 738 mm.
FLORA and FAUNA
One of the sayings is that Barabanki got its name due to excessive forests. But, unfortunately today very little land area remains as a token of forest in this district. With passage of time, pressure of the increasing population and the need to grow more food, ultimately became the reason for clearing of the majority of forest cover for cultivation. As of today, majority of the forest cover in Barabanki district is on uneven land scape and consists of a mixed variety of vegetation mainly bushes. The forests are small and scattered. The total area under forests is approximately 5308 hectares. with 29% in tehsil Ramsanehi Ghat, 27% in tehsil Fatehpur and 15% in tehsil Haidergarh. Most of the forest cover is on the banks of the river Gomti and Kalyani. In addition to this, on 1034 Kms of PWD roads in the district are trees on both its sides. The trees like Shishum,,Arjuna, Kanji, Khair, Saagaun, Subabul, Neem, Eucalyptus, Babul, Kanju, Gold Mohar, Kesia, Akesia, Mango and Jamun are found in sufficient numbers.
The land area under groves, gardens and plantations is fairly distributed throughout the district, Groves in the district consist mostly of mango and are concentrated in tehsil Nawabganj, Ramnagar and Fatehpur.
Animals in the wild have greatly decreased in number and variety in the district due to excessive hunting and poaching during the past century. The various animals found here are Neel Gai (Blue Bull), Hiran (Deer), Barasingha (Swamp deer), Padha (Black Buck), Cheetal (Spotted deer), Fox, Jackal, Porcupine. The Neel Gai has become a menace to the farmers here in the district due to their increasing numbers. However, all the above animals are on the protected list.
The birds of the district are similar to those of the adjoining districts. The chief game of birds found are several varieties of Ducks, King Fisher, partridges, pigeons, peacock and several other water birds.
A number of varieties of snakes and other reptiles are found almost everywhere in the district especially in the rural areas. Some of the poisonous snakes found here are Cobra, Krait and Rat snake. Several non-poisonous snakes have also been noticed and python being the main among them. The other reptiles found in the district are the chameleon and Bichhkhopra.
Fish are found in the rivers, streams, ponds, canals, catchment areas and artificial reservoirs of the district. There are a number of species of fish which have been found in this district so far, the chief being the rohu (Labeo rohita), nain(cirrhina mrigala), mangur(clarius batrachus), saul(ophiocephelus spp.), katla.