Darrang district is a district of the Assam state with its administrative headquarters located at Mangaldoi town. Darrang district was emerged as a separate district on the month of July, 1983 by converting the earlier Mangaldai sub-division. Numerous archaeological sites in the district like Narikali, Tamreswar, Bijulibari, Lakshimpur, Bhairavkunda, Mathajhar, Murhadeor, Dhawalpur, etc. which have come to limelight very lately, point to a hoary past of this places. The bronze Bishnu icon of the 11th century that was found at Bijulibari near Sipajhar, now on display at Assam state museum whereas a number of tanks such as Jayapal, Burhinagar, Barampur, Baldev, Dighir, Lakhmpur etc. all that stands as a proof of the ancient glory of Mangaldai. The district got the name Darrang from the Bodo word “Dourang” meaning playground of Gods. According to Scholar Late Dineswar Sarma, the term Darrang is derived from the word “Dawrang” meaning 'Gateway', since at a very early period there was a direct way to Bhutan, Nepal, China, etc. Finally, with the passage of time this region got its present name Darrang. The place of Darrang has only a narrow strip of plain that falls in between the Himalayas and the Brahmaputra River. In the great epic of Mahabharata, it is mentioned that the present place of Darrang district was once a part of the Hindu Kingdom of Kamrupa. At the very beginning of the 16th century the Koch King Nar Narayan included this district in their kingdom. The year, 1637 is very significant for the Ahoms because it was the memorable year in which the Ahom Kingdom established their rule in the land. In this way, the place was ruled by different rulers during different periods of time. Moreover, during the freedom struggle, Darrang also played a vital role. Locals of this place actively participated in the various freedom movements and thereby they remarkably contributed to the achievement of Indian independence.
Kanaklata Barua, an eminent Indian freedom fighter from Assam who was shot dead while leading a procession bearing the National Flag during the Quit India Movement of 1942 was born on 22nd December, 1924 at Borangabari, Gohpur in the Darrang district. She is popularly known as Birbala and Shaheed (martyr). Sarbeswar Sahariah, an illustrious Indian nephrologist and organ transplant specialist, well known for his expertise in renal and pancreatic transplantation was born on 1st April, 1945 at Mangaldai in the Darrang district. The Government of India honoured him with the prestigious Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in the year 2014 for his contributions to the field of medicine.
Geographically, the district lies at 26059'N latitude and 91099'E longitude. The altitude in the district is 615 m. In the year 2019, there was a total 5.64% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 1,585 sq km. and it is bounded by Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan and Udalguri district on the North, the river Brahmaputra on the South and the districts of Sonitpur and Kamrup on the East and on the West. The prominent river that flows through the district is the mighty Brahmaputra River. The main tributaries of the river Brahmaputra in the district are Barnadi, Nowanai, Mangaldai and Dhansiri. The climate of the district remains pleasant throughout the year. In the winter season, the northern portion of the district becomes very colder in comparison to the rest other parts of the district as it is covered by hills and forests of the Udalguri district. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 344.2 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 6 sub-districts, 3 towns and 561 villages. It comprises four Assam Legislative Assembly constituencies namely Kalaigaon, Sipajhar, Mangaldoi, and Dalgaon. Mangaldoi is designated for scheduled castes. Whereas all other four are in the Mangaldoi Lok Sabha constituency. The administrative language in the district is Assamese and English.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 9,28,500 including 4,75,273 are males and 4,53,227 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 954 (females for every 1000 males) and child ratio of 969 (females per 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was -4.30% out of which -4.89% were males and -3.68% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Muslim with 64.34% of the total population. The population density in the district is 586 (persons per sq. km.). As per 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Assamese, Bengali and Bodo with 49.29%, 48.49% and 0.46%. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 17,952 including 9,663 were males and 8,289 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 2,496 including 1,412 were males and 1,084 were females.
The economy of the district is mainly dependent on the agricultural sector. More than half of its population are engaged in agricultural activities in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are rice, paddy, wheat, pulses, oil seeds, sugarcane, jute, etc. The soil of this district is very fertile for cultivation and the main horticultural products are orange, coconut, pineapple, etc. The area is also renowned for its huge amount of tea productions. Furthermore, the district is rich with sizeable production of vegetables. The district is scantily industrialised since it has a few agro based industries. In the year 2009-2010 (E) the Gross Domestic Product in the district was Rs. 2,42,747 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 1,79,169 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005. In the year 2007-2008 the Net Domestic Product in the District was Rs. 1,67,170 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 1,28,214 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 1999-2000. In the year 2007-2008 the Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost in the district was Rs. 20,988 at Current Price and Rs. 16,097 at Constant Prices in the year 1999-2000.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher educational institutions. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 63.08% including 67.87% are males and 58.04% are females. The literate population in the district is 4,87,039 out of which 2,68,666 are males and 2,18,373 are females. The illiterate population in the district is 4,41,461 out of which 2,06,607 are males and 2,34,854 are females.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. The place, Darrang has two prominent Satras namely Khatara Satra and Dihing Satra. The Khatara Satra is located at Dipila, 22 km. from Mangaldai on the other hand Dihing Satra is located at Kurua, 45 km. from Mangaldai. Inside the satras, there is a stone fetish with eight lotus petals made on it. Every year a great number of pilgrims come to these satras in order to celebrate the auspicious festival of Holi. Orang Sanctuary, popularly known as a miniature Kaziranga National Park is one of the most eminent tourist spots of the Darrang district, located near Silbori on the north bank of Brahmaputra River. It covers an area of 78 sq km. which includes some rare species of animals and birds. It is a perfect place for nature’s lovers. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Gandhi Smriti Park, Patharughat Swaheed Minar, Kamakshya Devalaya, Bar Maszid, Engil Baba's Mazaar and many more.