In 1801 when Rohilkhand was ceded to the British, Pilibhit was a pargana of the district of Bareilly, which lost it in 1833, the arrangement being temporary and the tract being again united with Bareilly in 1841. In 1871 was formed the Pilibhit subdivision comprising Jahanabad, Pilibhit and Puranpur which was eventually converted into a separate district in 1879. At the introduction of the British rule the parganas of Pilibhit, Jahanabad & Bisalpur was formed into separate tehsils. Puranpur was united for this purpose with Khutar. A redistribution of the area was effected in 1824, when the Bisalpur tehsil contained the parganas of Bisalpur and Maurari, which afterward become a single area; Jahanabad was joined with Richha to form tehsil Pareva & Pilibhit with Bilheri, the HQ being at Pilibhit. In 1851 Bilheri and the other tarai pargana were taken under direct management and in 1863 Richha was attached to the new Baheri tehsil, pargana Jahanabad being assigned to Pilibhit which also received Puranpur on its transfer in 1865. The latter, in 1871, a became subtehsil dependent on Pilibhit. The promotion of Puranpur into a full tehsil occurred in 1879, while Bisalpur throughout remained a separate subdivision. Thus the area is now divided into three tehsils and four parganas. Puranpur & Bisalpur constituting individual tehsils and parganas & the tehsil of Pilibhit comprising the paraganas of Pilibhit and Jahanabad.
Rare Historical Facts about Pilibhit
1. It is believed that Pilibhit was ruled by a ancient king named Mayurdhwaja or Moredheaja, who were a great devotee of lord Krishna and a loyal friend of Arjun, whose name and geography of his kingdom, can be traced in Hindu epic Mahabharat.
2. Pilibhit was invaded by the Marathas in 1772 AC. This was the time when the Kurmi Community came in this region. The Marathas were the ancestor of Kurmi community, which is one of the major community in the region.
4. The city Pilibhit was an administrative unit in the Mughal era under Bareilly suba, so for the security purpose, The Mughal subedar Ali Mohammed Khan constructed four magnificent gate around the administrative building in 1734 AC. These gate were named as Bareilly darwaza in west, Hussaini darwaza in east, Jahanabadi darwaza in north and Dakhini darwaza in south, but due to lack of proper maintainence, all gate have been lost, only ruins are remaining now.
6. There is one memorial place at Khakra chouki (Current police chouki), where 21 freedom fighter were hanged on 14 Jan 1907, monday, on the day of Makar Sankranti, Who denied to follow English government orders and rebelled against them. In the respect of these 21 Martyrs, a rock (named all martyrs) has been founded in the compound of police chouki.
7. Mahatama Gandhi addressed a huge rally on 12 Nov 1929 in the field of Gauri Shankar temple along with Kasturba and Mirabehn and planted a tree in the temple campus which is still there in the temple.
8. Due to dense minority population, Pilibhit district is a communally sensitive area. Pilibhit also has seen many man created calamities. some of major in last 150 years are as –