Historically, the first dynasty was started by Hoysala rulers. Chikkamagaluru means "The town of the younger daughter" in the native Kannada language. It is said that the town was given by Rukmangada who was the chief of Sakrepatna, to his younger daughter as a dowry. As per the historical evidences, Chikmagalur is the region from where the Hoysala rulers started and also spent the early days of their dynasty. Legends believe that it was at Sosevur, now identified as Angadi in Mudigere Taluk that Sala, the founder of the Hoysala dynasty, killed the legendary tiger, immortalised in the Hoysala crest. It is well-known in the history of the district that Veera Ballala II (1173-1220 CE), the great king of Hoysala empire has constructed the Amriteshwara temple at Amrithapura in Tarikere Taluk. In the year 1978, the former Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi got elected from here for Lok Sabha.
The district has various famous personalities from different fields. Veda Krishnamurthy (born 16th October, 1992) is a right-hand bats-woman and right-arm leg break bowler in Indian cricketer. She started her career in international cricket with a one day international against England Women at Derby in 30th June, 2011. Kuppali Venkatappa Puttappa or Kuvempu or by K. V. Puttappa (29th December, 1904-9th November, 1994), was a Kannada novelist, poet, playwright, critic and thinker. He is considered as the greatest Kannada poet of the 20th century. He was awarded with Jnanpith Award (1967), Padma Vibhushan (1988), Padma Bhushan (1958) and Karnataka Ratna (1992).
Geographically, the district has total 7,202 sq. km. and occupies the ranks 10th in State and 123rd in India. It lies at 13°31' N latitude, 75°77' E longitude and 1037 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 55.06% forest area of total geographical area. It is surrounded by Shimoga district to the North, Davangere district to the North-East, Chitradurga and Tumkur districts to the East, Hassan district to the South, Dakshina Kannada district to the South-West and Udupi district to the West. Bhadra, Tunga, Hemavathi, Netravali, and Vedavathi rivers pass through the district. The area around Baba Budan Giri Hills has black soil and Southern parts have Red and Gravel soil. The region receives normal average rainfall. The actual rainfall in the district was 2332.6 mm in t he year of 2021-22.
Administrative wise, the district is divided into 7 sub-districts, 9 towns and 1,022 villages. Kannada is its official language. The district of Chikmagalur came into existence on the 1st November, 1956 with an allotted district code of 570 in the state of Karnataka. Chikmagalur is its district Headquarters which is located at a distance of 243 km. from the State Capital.
According to 2011 census, the district has a total number of 2,72,173 households with a total of 11,37,961 out of which 5,66,622 are males and 5,71,339 are females. The population growth rate during the period 2001 to 2011 was -0.26% out of which -1.44% were males and 0.94% were females. The density of population of the district is 158 persons per sq km. The sex ratio is pegged at 1008 (females per 1000 males) while the child ratio stands at 969 (females per 1000 males). As per 2011 census the percentage of major religions practiced by the people of this region is Hindu at 88.28% and Muslim at 8.90%. According to 2011 census, the percentage of the principal language of the region is Kannada at 72.74%. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 14,546 out of which 7,441 were males and 7,105 were females. In he same year the number of deaths in the district was 9,823 out of which 5,834 were males and 3,989 were females.
Economically, the district has agriculture and coffee cultivation as a main source of income for the people. Mainly, rice, maize and minor millets, pulses like red gram, horse gram, green gram, hyacinth beans, black gram and Bengal gram crops are grown here. The district also produce oil seeds like groundnut, sunflower, castor and commercial crops like sugarcane, cotton, and tobacco. The district mainly has small scale industries. Only one medium scale industry namely Vignyan Industries Ltd and one Large Scale industry is available here namely Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd. (1976). The district has 2 Industrial Estates, one near Chikkamagaluru town and the second near Birur in Kadur Taluk. The Gross Domestic Product in the district during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 38,83,038 lakh at current price and Rs. 27,66,196 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 34,93,132 lakh at current price and Rs. 24,56,628 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at Factor Cost during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 2,83,705 at current price and Rs. 1,99,523 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
Education wise, according to 2011 census, the literacy rate in the district is 79.25% out of which 85.41% are males and 73.16% are females. The total literate population of the district is 8,18,345 out of which 4,38,257 are males and 3,80,088 are females. The district has numerous primary, secondary and higher secondary schools. Devigiri Hills is a school that is located on the highest peak in Karnataka, Mullayanagiri. Mountain View High School is a junior college which provides Nursery to Degree classes. The district also has a number of graduate and under-graduate colleges. They are affiliated by Kuvempu University. There is an Engineering College namely Adichunchanagiri Institute of Technology, affiliated to Visweswariah Technological University, which offers courses in Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Information Science and technology, Environmental Engineering and Civil Engineering etc. The district has polytechnics such as Adichunchanagiri Institute of Technology Polytechnic, DACG (GOVT) Polytechnic and SJMM Vidyapeeta Polytechnic. There are several Industrial training institutes for instance Government Industrial Training Institute (Chikkamagaluru), SJM Industrial Training Institute (Birur) and Lakshmisha Industrial Training Institute. There is also Arror Laxminarayan Rao Memorial Ayurvedic Medical College in Koppa.
A number of key political personalities belong to the district. Jairam Ramesh is an Indian economist and politician who belong to Indian National Congress. He was born 9th April, 1954. Since June 2004, he is representing Andhra Pradesh in Rajya Sabha. He also served to the Union Council of Ministers of India. Shri C. T. Ravi is another famous politician from the district. He belongs to Bhartiya Janta Party. He held the post of Higher Education Ministry during BJP period. D. C. Srikantappa was born on 6th March, 1929. He was a member of the 14th Lok Sabha of India from BJP. He represented the Chikmagalur constituency of Karnataka.
The district has a number of famous historical and religious places to visit. These places are Chikmagalur, Horanadu, Kemmanagundi, Kudremukh, Shivgiri, Sringeri, Splendorous Water Falls, Bhadra Wild Life Sanctuary, Kemmanagundi, Annapoorneshwari Temple Trekking, Kalahasti Falls, Hebbe Falls, Kudremukh National Park, Hanumana Gundi Water Falls, Horse Faced Peak Trekking, Madagadakere Lake, Shiva Temple, AdiShankara Temple, Kere Anjaneya Temple and Malayala Brahma Temple. During the year 2016, there were 1,816 foreign tourists and 70,04,707 domestic tourists who visited the district.