The district of Bareilly (also known as Bareli or Bans Bareli) in
was once part of ancient Panchala. Panchala acquired great significance during the later Vedic period and it was the center of later Vedic civilization. The scholars of Panchala were famous throughout India. The ruins of Ahichhatra, the capital of ancient Panchala, have been unearthed near Ramnagar Village of Anola Tehsil, thus adding to its significance. Coins belonging to pre-Guptan periods have also been obtained from Ahichhatra. Some of the masterpieces of Indian terracotta art are from Ahichhatra.
The district has an area of 4,120 sq km. The population is almost 3.5 million. The temperature varies from a maximum of 44ºC in the months of May-June to 4ºC during the cool months of December-January.
Ramganga is the main river. The other rivers include the Siddha, the Dojora, the Bahgul (west), the Sankha, the Deoranian and the Nakatia, and their tributaries.
Bareilly has also been the center of many economic, cultural and educational activities. Camphor and Allied Products, one of the largest camphor making units of the world and a urea making plant are situated here. Bareilly District is also a leading manufacturer of handicrafts items such as
Zari work, bamboo and wooden furniture, surma and patang manjha.