Lakhimpur Kheri is the largest district in Uttar Pradesh, India, on the border with Nepal. Its administrative capital is the city of Lakhimpur.
Lakhimpur Kheri district is a part of Lucknow division, with a total area of 7,680 square kilometres (2,970 sq mi).The national government designated Lakhimpur Kheri as a Minority Concentrated District on the basis of 2001 census data, which identifies it as requiring urgent aid to improve living standards and amenities.
Dudhwa National Park,is in Lakhimpur Kheri and is the only national park in Uttar Pradesh.It is home to a large number of rare and endangered species including tigers, leopards, swamp deer, hispid hares and Bengal floricans.
Traditions point to the inclusion of this place under the rule of the Lunar race of Hastinapur, and several places are associated with episodes in the Mahabharata. Many villages contain ancient mounds in which fragments of sculpture have been found, Balmiar-Barkhar and Khairlgarh being the most remarkable. A stone horse was found near Khairabad and bears the inscription of Samudra Gupta, dated in the 4th century. Samudra Gupta, King of Magadha performed Ashvamedha yajna in which a horse is left to freely roam in the entire nation, so as to display the power of king and to underline the importance of his conquest. The stone replica of the horse, is now in the Lucknow Museum.
The northern part of Lakhimpur Kheri was held by Rajputs in the 10thcentury. Muslim rule spread slowly to this remote and inhospitable tract. In the 14th century several forts were constructed along the northern frontier, to prevent the incursions of attacks from Nepal.
During the Mughal Empire in the 17th century, under the rule of Akbar the district formed part of the Sarkar of Khairabad in the Subah of Oudh. The later history of 17th century under the Nawabs of Awadh, is of the rise and decline of individual ruling families.
In the year 1801, when Rohilkhand was ceded to the British, part of this district was included in the cession, but after the Anglo–Nepalese War of 1814-1816 it was restored to Oudh. On the annexation of Oudh in 1856 the west of the present area was formed into a district called Mohammadi and the east into Mallanpur, which also included part of Sitapur. In the Indian Rebellion of 1857 Mohammadi became one of the chief centres of Indian independence movement in northern Oudh. The refugees from Shahjahanpur reached Mohammadi on 2 June 1857, and two days later Mohammadi was abandoned, most of the British party were shot down on the way to Sitapur, and the survivors died or were murdered later in Lucknow. The British officials in Mallanpur, with a few who had fled from Sitapur, escaped to Nepal, where later on most of them died. Till October 1858, British officials did not make any other attempt to regain control of the district. By the end of 1858 British officials regained the control and the headquarters of the single district then formed were moved to Lakhlmpur shortly afterwards.
Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) has two core areas, Dudhwa National Park and Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary, which were merged in 1987. Dudhwa National Park is known as the first National Park of the state after the formation of Uttarakhand.
It is home to a large number of rare and endangered species including Tiger, Leopard cat, Rhinoceros (one-horned), Hispid hare, Elephants, Black deer, Swamp deer, etc.
A bird watchers’ haven, Dudhwa is noted for its avian variety – about 400 species. Its swamps and several lakes attract varieties of waterfowl. Being close to the Himalayan foothills, Dudhwa also gets its regular winter visitors – the migratory water birds. The Banke Tal is perhaps the most popular spot for bird watchers. There are egrets, cormorants, herons and several species of duck, geese and teal.
The visit of Sir D.B. Brandis in 1860 to the area culminated in a 303 square miles (780 km2) forest area of the present day Dudhwa National Park being brought under the control of Government in 1861 for preservation.In Kheri District all the Sal and miscellaneous forests and grasslands in Kharigarh Pargana, between the Mohana and Suheli rivers, were included in the then North Kheri Forest Division. More areas were reserved for protection between 1867 and 1879 and added to the Division. The area of the Division was legally constituted as Reserved Forests in 1937.
The Sonaripur Sanctuary, comprising 15.7 km2, was created in 1958 to specifically protect swamp deer (Cervus duvaceli duvaceli). The area was too small and was later enlarged to 212 km2 and renamed as Dudhwa Sanctuary in 1968. Later, more area was added to the Sanctuary and in 1977, it was declared Dudhwa National Park. The total area of the Park was 616 km2 of which 490 km2 was the core zone and the balance of 124 km2 was a buffer zone.
The area was established in 1958 as a wildlife sanctuary. On 1 February 1977 wildlife sanctuary became a national park and after 11 years in 1988 it was established as a tiger reserve. Dudhwa Tiger Reserve lies on the India-Nepal border in the foothills of the Himalaya. Dudhwa Tiger Reserve was created in the year 1987–88 comprising Dudhwa National Park and Kishanpur Sanctuary (203.41 km2). With an addition of 66 km2 to the buffer zone in 1997, the present area of the Tiger Reserve is 884 km2. Distance from Lakhimpur railway station to Dudhwa is about 100 km by road. Sharda Dam and Deer Park are other major attractions of Lakhimpur.
Naseeruddin Memorial Hall
East India Company built Willoughby Memorial Hall in 1924 in the memory of Sir Robert William Douglas Willoughby, Deputy Commissioner of Kheri. On 26 April 1936, Willoughby Memorial Library was established. Freedom Fighter Naseeruddin Mauzi Nagar and Rajnarayan Mishra shot the Deputy Commissioner and they were later hanged by the colonial rulers during freedom struggle. Willoughby Memorial Hall was recently renamed as Naseeruddin Memorial Hall.
Eid Gaah, Kheri
The Eid Gaah is a beautiful mosque near the railway tracks between Lakhimpur and Kheri. It is a picturesque site and an architectural beauty.
Shiv Temple Gola Gokaran Nath
Shiv Temple of Gola Gokaran Nath is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.The Gola Gokaran Nath is also called Choti Kashi. It is the belief of the people that Lord Shiva was pleased with the penance (Tapasya) of Rawana (King of Lanka) and offered him a boon. Rawana requested the Lord Shiva to go to Lanka with him and leave Himalaya forever. The Lord Shiva agreed to go on condition that he should not be placed anywhere on the way to Lanka. If he were placed anywhere, he would settle at that place. Rawana agreed and started his journey to Lanka with the Lord on his head. When Rawana reached the Gola Gokaran Nath (then called Gollihara) he felt the need to urinate (a call of nature). Rawana offered some gold coins to a shepherd (who was none other than Lord Ganesha sent by deities) for placing the Lord Shiva on his head until he returned. The shepherd (Lord Ganesha) placed him on the land. Rawana failed to lift him up despite all his efforts. He pressed him on his head with his thumb in full anger. The impression of Rawana’s thumb is still present on the Shivling. In the month of Chatra (April) a great fair is organised for one month known as Cheti-Mela.
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The unique Frog Temple lies at Oel town, 12 km from Lakhimpur on the route from Lakhimpur to Sitapur. It is the only one of its kind in India based on Manduk Tantra. It was built by the former king of Oel State (Lakhimpur Kheri district) between 1860 and 1870. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is built at the back of a large frog. The Temple is constructed within an octagonal lotus. The Shivling installed in the temple was brought from the Banasur Prati Narmdeshwar Narmada Kund. The main gate of the temple opens in the east and another gate is in the south. The architecture of this temple is based on Tantra Vidya.
Shiv Temple Devkali
It is said that Janmejayi son of king Prikshit organised famous Nag Yagya at this place. It is believed that snakes do not enter houses where the holy soil of this temple is present. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is also believed that the Devakali, daughter of Lord Brahama (Founder of the world) did a hard penance (Tapsya) at this place. After the name of Lord Brahama’s daughter this place is known as Devakali.