Darbhanga district is a district of Bihar state with its administrative headquarters located at Darbhanga town. The district got its name from the headquarters and principal town Darbhanga. The natives of the district believe that the place was founded by Darbhangi Khan and for this very reason it was named after him. Some other believes that the name of the region Darbhanga was taken from the term Dwar-Banga or Dar-e-Bang which means “The Gateway to Bengal”. At the very beginning of the British rule, Darbhanga was a part of Sarkar Tirhut division until it was emerged as a separate district in 1875. After some time till 1908 when the separate Tirhut division was formed, Darbhanga became a part of Patna Division. The sub-divisions of the then district Darbhanga were created as earlier as Darbhanga Sadar in 1845, Madhubani in 1846 and Samastipur in 1867. In the year 1972, when the three of its sub divisions got the status of independent district at that time Darbhanga was made the divisional headquarters. Thus, after passing through various stages the current Darbhanga district took its shape.
Ramnath Goenka, an eminent Indian newspaper publisher was born on 22nd April, 1904 in the Darbhanga district. He launched The Indian Express and created the Indian Express Group with various English and regional language publications. In 2000, India Today magazine, named him amongst their list of "100 People Who Shaped India".
Geographically, the district lies at 26°17'N latitudes, 85°90'E longitudes and 52 m Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 6.05% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 2,279 sq. Kms. and it is bounded by Madhubani district on the north and north east, Samastipur district on the south and south west, Saharsa district on the east and Muzaffarpur district on the west. Generally the climate of the district remains dry. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1852.5 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district has 3 sub-divisions namely Darbhanga Sadar, Benipur and Biraul which are further divided into 18 developmental blocks. There are one Lok Sabha seat and 10 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 4 towns and 1,247 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 39,37,385 out of which 20,59,949 are males and 18,77,436 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 942 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth in the district was 19.47% including 19.61% were males and 19.31 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 77.17% of the total population. The population density in the district is 1,728 persons per sq. kms. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Maithili and Urdu with 72.75% and 20.67%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 1,56,513 out of which 84,835 were males and 71,667 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 16,081 out of which 9,944 were males and 6,136 were females.
The economy of the district is solely based on agriculture. Rice is the foremost crop of the district. Some other chief crops grows in the district are wheat, maize, pulses, oil seeds and sugarcane. Every year the district exports a huge quantity of its mangoes to different parts of the country. Most of its population are engaged in agriculture since it is scantily industrialized. Only a few factories and mills of paper, sugar and handloom are found in it which also helps in its economy to some extent. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Darbhanga as one of the country's 250 most backward districts and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). In the year 2011-12 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 7,03,564 lakh at current price and Rs. 4,35,002 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. In the year 2011-12 the net domestic product in the district was Rs. 6,31,493 lakh at current price and Rs. 3,85,839 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005.
There are numerous schools and colleges in the district. The two most reputed universities in the district are Lalit Narayan Mithila University and Kameshwar Singh Sanskrit University. Most of the colleges in the district are affiliated to any one of these two universities. Some of its renowned educational institutions are Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital, Mithila Minority Dental College and Hospital, Women's Institute of Technology, Darbhanga College of Engineering (JMIT), Govt. ITI, Dr. Zakir Hussan Teacher's Training College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 56.56% out of which 66.83% are males and 45.24% are females. The number of literates in the district is 18,16,634 including 11,25,566 are males and 6,91,068 are females.
Md. Ali Ashraf Fatmi, a distinguished Indian politician and a member of the 14th Lok Sabha from Darbhanga constituency was born on 1st January, 1956 at Darbhanga town. Earlier, he was also served as the minister of state with the portfolio of Human Resource development from 2004 till 2009. He is a member of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) political party. Prabhat Jha, an illustrious Indian politician and a member of Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh state was born on 6th April, 1957 at Hariharpur in the Darbhanga district. Presently he is the National Vice President of Bharatiya Janata Party.
The district has a variety of tourist places which allures numerous travellers from different parts of the country. Ahilya Asthan, an extra ordinary historical temple is situated at a distance of 3 kms. at Jale Block. The temple is exactly located at the place called Ahilya gram. Every year on the occasion of Ramnavami in Chaitra month a large fair held in this place. Brahmpur village, situated at a distance of 8 kms. from Kamtaul has the most pious Gautama Kund and Gautama Rishi temple. Chhaprar village, situated in the Bahadurpur block has an ancient Lord Mahadeva temple located on the bank of the Kamla River. Some other notable centres of attraction in the district are Mahinam-Mahadeo-sthan, Nawadah Durga-sthan, Kankali temple, Maharaja Laxmiswar Singh Museum, Chandradhari Museum, etc.