Nalbari district is a district of the Assam state with its administrative headquarters located at Nalbari town. The district got its name from the word 'Nalbari' which means a place of reeds. In some 1890-91 A.D the present name of the district was founded by the British Railway Engineers. Earlier, the district was popularly known by various names such as Satra, Govindapur, Khata, etc. Moreover, in the ancient period of time this region was a part of the Kampitha, Pagarjotic, Pragjyotisha, Kamarupa, Kangoor, Rumi, Vaisali, etc. Natives of the district believe that the history of this region is associated with the famous mythological king called, Jarashandha and Lord Krishna. During different periods of time the place of Nalbari was ruled by different dynasties likewise, Varmanas, Salastambhas, Palas, Bhuyans, Koch, Tai-Ahoms, Mughals, etc. It is also believe that the Pandavas and Kauravas also came to the place of Kamarupa during the marriage ceremony of Duryyodhanas since this was the only route. Earlier, Nalbari was well known as 'Navadivipa' of Assam. There are numerous Sanskrit Toals in Nalbari. Once this area was the hub of the activities of Haradatta and Biradatta revolutionary. Moreover, the valorous story of Kumedan Bangal and Padma Kumari daughter of Haradatta still famous here. In the year 1967 Nalbari was declared as a sub division of undivided Kamrup district. Then Nalbari was emerged as a separate district on 14th August, 1985 when it was split from the Kamrup district.
Seema Biswas, an eminent Indian film and theatre actress from Assam who shot into prominence with the role of Phoolan Devi in Shekhar Kapur's film Bandit Queen in the year 1994 was born on 14th January, 1965 at Nalbari town. She won the 1996 National Film Award for Best Actress for her role that she played in the film Bandit Queen.
Geographically, the district lies at 26°44'N latitude and 91°44'E longitude. The altitude in the district is 89 m. In the year 2021, there was a total 10.65% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 1,052 sq km. and it is bounded by the districts of Baksa and Barpeta on the north and west and Kamrup district on the south and east. The principal river that flows through the district is Brahmaputra River. The climate of the district can be characterised as sub-tropical climate with semi dry hot summer and cold winter. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1935.6 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 7 revenue circles namely Banekuchi, Barbhag, Barkhetri, Ghograpar, Nalbari, Paschim Nalbari and Tihu. It also comprises 7 development blocks likewise Pub Nalbari, Borigog Banbhag, Paschim Nalbari, Madhupur, Tihu, Barbhag and Barkhetri. Moreover, the district has 9 sub-districts, 11 towns and 456 villages. The administrative languages in the district are Assamese and English.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 7,71,639 including 3,96,006 are males and 3,75,633 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 949 (females for every 1000 males) and child ratio of 967 (females per 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 2.96% out of which 2.08% were males and 3.89% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 63.71% of the total population. The population density in the district is 733 (persons per sq. km.). According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Assamese and Bodo with 85.88% and 2.53%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 20,179 out of which 10,315 were males and 9,864 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 4,112 out of which 2,058 were males and 2,054 were females.
The economy of the district is mainly dependent on agricultural sector. More than half of its population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are rice, paddy, wheat, etc. In spite of launching some modern agricultural schemes by the government yet till today the farmers of the district are stick to their old agricultural technique. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. But the district is scantily industrialised since it has a few agro-based small scale industries. In the year 2018-19 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 6,88,560 lakhs at current price and Rs. 5,00,379 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2007-08 was Rs. 1,54,891 lakh at current price and Rs. 1,18,753 lakh at constant prices in the year 1999-2000. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 77,803 at current price and Rs. 57,460 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Nalbari is a famous seat of Sanskrit education and popularly known as "Nabadeep" since it has a number of Sanskrit educational institutions like Kamrup Sanskrit Sanjivani Sabha. Some of the most recognised educational institutions in the district are Nalbari College, Nalbari Sanskrit College, Nalbari Commerce College, MNC Balika College, Barbhag College, Baska College, Barkhetri College, Tihu College, Barama College, Kamrup College, Dhamdhama Anchalik Mahavidyalaya, Dhamdhama Anchalik Mahavidyalaya, Gyanpeeth Mahavidyalaya, Nalbari Law College, D.S.R.Academy, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 78.63% including 84.36% are males and 72.57% are females. The literate population in the district is 5,31,771 out of which 2,93,184 are males and 2,38,587 are females. The illiterate population in the district is 2,39,868 out of which 1,02,822 are males and 1,37,046 are females.
Dr Bhumidhar Barman, a veteran Indian Politician and a member of the Indian National Congress was born on 12th October, 1931 at Belsor in the district. He was also served as the Chief Minister of Assam from 22nd April, 1996 to 14th May, 1996. He has been elected for 7 times as a member of the Assam Legislative Assembly.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Billeshwar Temple, dedicated to God Krishna was constructed over 500 years old. Natives of the district believe that a Shivalinga was unearthed in this place. Furthermore, a beautiful temple of Lord Krishna is also built in this site. It is believe that Shripur Dewalay Mandir was constructed by Sib Singha, an Ahom king. Basudeb Devalay, made by an Ahom king named Sib Singha during the period between 1718 and 1744 AD portrays the glorious history of the district. Hari Mandir, constructed in the year 1965 is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Every year a huge number of pilgrims come to the temple in the celebration of Ras Mahotsava Festival in order to enjoy it to the fullest. Jaypal Than, popularly known as Kshudra Dingdingi is located at a distance of 13 km. from Nalbari’s south in the district According to a legend named Kapali, the temple was discovered by a cow. It is mentioned that the incident occurred during the rule of Sib Singha, Ahom king between 1718 and 1744. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Buddhist Temple, Sonkuriha, Fenguwa Rampart, Daulashal Temple and many more.