1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bijnor
BIJNOR, or Bijnaur, a town and district of British India in the Bareilly division of the United Provinces. The town is about 3 m. from the left bank of the Ganges. The population in 1901 was 17,583. There is a large trade in sugar. The American Methodists have a mission, which maintains some aided schools, and there is an English high school for boys.
The District of Bijnor has an area of 1791 sq. m. The aspect of the country is generally a level plain, but the northern part of it rises towards the Himalayas, the greatest elevation being 1342 ft. above the sea-level. The Koh and Ramganga are the principal rivers that flow through the district, and the Ganges forms its western boundary. In 1901 the population was 779,451, showing a decrease of 2% in the decade. The country is watered in most parts by streams from the hills, but a series of small canals has been constructed. Sugar is largely exported. A line of the Oudh & Rohilkhand railway from Moradabad to Saharanpur runs through the district.
History.—Of the early history of Bijnor even after it passed under Mahommedan rule little is known with any certainty. The district was ravaged by Timur in 1399, and thenceforward nothing is heard of it till the time of Akbar, when it formed part of the Delhi empire and so continued undisturbed, save for occasional raids, so long as the power of the Moguls survived intact. In the early part of the 18th century, however, the Rohilla Pathans established their independence in the country called by them Rohilkhand; and about 1748 the Rohilla chief Ali Mahommed made his first annexations in Bijnor, the rest of which soon fell under the Rohilla domination. The northern districts were granted by Ali Mahommed to Najib Khan, who gradually extended his influence west of the Ganges and at Delhi, receiving the title of Najib-ud-daula and becoming paymaster of the royal forces. His success, however, raised up powerful enemies against him, and at their instigation the Mahrattas invaded Bijnor. This was the beginning of a feud which continued for years. Najib, indeed, held his own, and for the part played by him in the victory of Panipat was made vizier of the empire. After his death in 1770, however, his son Zabita Khan was defeated by the Mahrattas, who overran all Rohilkhand. In 1772 the nawab of Oudh made a treaty with the Rohillas, covenanting to expel the Mahrattas in return for a money payment. He carried out his part of the bargain; but the Rohilla chieftains refused to pay. In 1774 the nawab concluded with the government of Calcutta a treaty of alliance, and he now called upon the British, in accordance with its terms, to supply a brigade to assist him in enforcing his claims against the Rohillas. This was done; the Rohillas were driven beyond the Ganges, and Bijnor was incorporated in the territories of the nawab, who in 1801 ceded it to the East India Company. From this time the history of Bijnor is uneventful, until the Mutiny of 1857, when (on the 1st of June) it was occupied by the nawab of Najibabad a grandson of Zabita Khan. In spite of fighting between the Hindus and the Mahommedan Pathans the nawab succeeded in maintaining his position until the 21st of April 1858, when he was defeated by the British at Nagina; whereupon British authority was restored.