Historically, in Kannada Davane means a rope which is used for tying the cattle and horses on the bank of a big lake. Hyder Ali gave it to Appajiram who was a Maratha Chief. He encouraged merchants to settle there. The Chalukyas halted here to rest after long horse-rides. The place was called Devangiri which was an abbreviation of ‘danivinakere' meant ‘lake for the exhausted and the thirsty’ and eventually ‘Davangere’. Some other believed that the name of the city was derived from its previous name of Devanagari which means the city of divines. Davangere town is called the "Manchester of Karnataka". It is a major trading center of Karnataka.
The district also has various famous persons from different fields. Ranganath Vinay Kumar is a right-arm medium fast bowler in Indian cricket. He was born on 12th February, 1984. He has represented India at Test, One Day International (ODI) and Twenty 20 matches. He plays domestic cricket for Karnataka and also in the Indian Premier League for the Mumbai Indians and captained Karnataka to two consecutive Ranji Trophy titles in years 2013-14 and 2014-15, respectively. Taluku Ramaswami Subba Rao (T. R. Subba Rao) was born in 1920 and died in 1984. He is also known as TaRaSu. He was a novelist and a scholar in Kannada language. He is renowned as a harbinger of the Navya movement of Kannada literature. He won the Sahitya Akademi award for his novel Durgashtamana in 1985.
Geographically, the district has total 5,924 sq. km. area and occupies the rank 14th in State and 180th in India. It lies at 14°47' N latitude, 75°92' E longitude and 603 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 12.05% forest area of total geographical area. It is bounded by Shimoga District and Haveri District on the West, Chitradurga District on the East, Bellary District on the North and Chikmagalur district on the South. Davanagere district lies in the Bayalu Seeme which is the plain region on the Deccan Plateau. The climate of the district remains pleasant throughout the year. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1060.7 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administrative wise, the district is divided into 6 sub-districts, 8 towns and 800 villages. Kannada is its administrative language. The district of Davanagere came into existence on the 15th August, 1997 in the state of Karnataka with an allotted district code of 567. Davanagere is its district headquarters which is located at a distance of 262 km. from the State Capital.
Demographically, according to 2011 census, the district has a total number of 4,04,840 households with a total of 19,45,497 including 9,86,400 are males and 9,59,097 are females. The density of population of the district is 328 persons per sq km. The sex ratio is pegged at 972 (females per 1000 males) while the child ratio stands at 948 (females per 1000 males). As per 2011 census the percentage of major religions practiced by the people of this region is Hindu at 85.25% and Muslim at 13.66%. The population growth rate during the period 2001 to 2011 was 8.63% persons including 7.49% were males and 9.83% were females. According to the 2011 census, the percentage of the principal languages spoken in the region is Kannada and Urdu with 77.93% and 13.08%.In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 38,639 out of which 19,768 were males and 18,871 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 17,358 out of which 10,290 were males and 7,068 were females.
Economically, the district is based on agriculture primarily. It is one of the districts which are receiving the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). The district has many windy places which has caused growth of wind energy industry. In the year 2019-20 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 30,54,489 lakhs at current price and Rs. 20,26,919 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 26,76,341 lakh at current price and Rs. 17,30,376 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. 1,27,143 at current price and Rs. 82,203 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
Education wise, according to 2011 census, the literacy rate is 75.74% out of which 82.4% were males and 68.91% were females. The total literate population of the district is 13,08,540 out of which 7,20,637 are males and 5,87,903 are females. The district has numerous educational institutes such as Bapuji Educational Association, Bapuji Institute of Engineering & Technology, Davangere University, G M Institute of Technology, Jain Institute of Technology, S. S. Institute of Medical Sciences, Sri Siddaganga Composite High School and University B.D.T College of Engineering. Here is also is a private un-aided school namely Sri Siddaganga Composit High School and college.
The district has several famous political personalities. Shamanur Mallikarjun is a representative of Davangere North Constituency in Karnataka Legislative Assembly. He is a former Minister for youth Welfare and Sports in the Karnataka Government. S. A. Ravindranath is an Indian politician from Bharatiya Janata Party. He was born on 26th November, 1946 in Shiramagondanahalli village of Davangere District. He is a senior Cabinet minister in the BJP government of Karnataka.
The district has a number of famous historical and religious places to visit. These places are Betur, Kalleshwara temples, Anekonda, Sulekere, Kundwada Tank and Santhebennur Tank. During the year 2016, there were 10,99,337 domestic tourists who visited the famous places of the district.