Historically, Mandya district is named after the city of Mandya. It is also said that the region is named after sage called Maandavya. According to the legends, earlier Mandya was popularly known as ‘Vedaranya’ and later as ‘Vishnupura’ in the Kritayuga. It is believed that once a rishi (sage) was doing his penance here and made an image of God Janardana and was said to be teaching wild beast to pronounce the sacred word, “Veda”. In this way, the place came to be known as ‘Vedaranya’. After several years had passed, during the same yuga, another rishi, started to reside here, then installed an idol of God Sakaleshwara swami and Lord Vishnu, it is believed that they appeared in front of him. Thus, the place was renamed as ‘Vishnupura’. Another story explains that in the Dwapara yuga, there was a king called Indravarma, who came to this place in the hope of getting a son. Then he was blessed by a son named Somavarma, who built a fort and an agrahara at this place and gave it the name “Mandevemu”, when the time passed it was corrupted into Mandya. On the basis of ancient inscriptions, researchers state that this region was referred as 'Man-ta-ya' which meant a habitat preceding a civilization, and it became Mandya. Mandya was ruled over by the kings of the Ganga dynasty and then the Cholas and the Hoysalas. In 1346, the area was conquered by the rulers of Vijayanagara. The region was ruled by Mysore till 1761. 1n 1799, it became the property of the East India Company.
Kikkeri Shamanna Lakshminarasimha Swamy, an illustrious Indian film director, producer, actor and playback singer was born on 21st February, 1939 in the district. Hosagavi Shivalingaiah Sharath, a distinguished Indian first-class domestic cricketer and right-arm medium-fast bowler was born on 2nd June, 1993 at Mandya city.
Geographically, the district has total 4,962 sq. km. area and occupies the ranks 19th in the state and 224th in India on the basis of this territorial size. It lies at 12°52'N latitude, 76°90'E longitude and 678 m altitude. It is situated on the bank of Cauvery River. It is bounded by Mysore District on the South, by Hassan District on the West, by Tumkur District on the North and by Ramanagar district on the East. In the year 2019, the district had total 10.06% forest area of total geographical area. The climate of the district remains pleasant almost throughout the year. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 949.3 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administrative wise, the district is divided into 7 sub-district, 9 towns and 1,368 villages. Kannada is its administrative language. The district of Mandya came into existence on 1st of November, 1956 in the state of Karnataka with an allotted district code of 573. Its district headquarters is at Mandya which is located at a distance of 100 km. from the State Capital.
Demographically, according to 2011 census, the district has a total number of 4,26,578 households with a total population of 18,05,769 out of which 9,05,085 are males and 9,00,684 are females and causing it to rank 13th in the state and 264th in India. The density of population of the district is 364 persons per sq. km. The sex ratio is pegged at 995 (females per 1000 males) while the child ratio stands at 939 (females per 1000 males). As per 2011 census the percentage of major religions practiced by the people of this region is Hindu at 94.85% and Muslim at 4.31%. During the period 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 2.38% out of which 1.92% were males and 2.86% were females. According to 2011 census, the principal language in the region is Kannada at 91.92%. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 18,918 out of which 9,977 were males and 8,941 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 16,338 out of which 9,820 were males and 6,518 were females.
Economically, agriculture is the back bone of the district. It has suitable environment for industrialization because of easy transportation of raw materials and finished goods and enough technical manpower. There are two KIADB industrial areas one at Tubinakere, near Mandya and another at Somanahali, and six KSSIDC industrial estates at Mandya Ganjam (Srirangapatna), Somanahalli (Maddur), Harohalli (Pandavapura), Nagamangala. Recently, a new substation of 220 KVA was set up at Tubinakere estate. Paddy, sugarcane, maize, cotton, banana, coconut, pulses are the main crops which are grown here. The Gross District Domestic Product during the period 2016-17 was Rs. 29,49,100 lakh at current price and Rs. 22,98,794 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Net District Domestic Product during the period 2016-17 was Rs. 27,23,052 lakh at current price and Rs. 21,05,756 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost during the period 2016-17 was Rs. 1,41,957 at current price and Rs. 1,09,776 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
Education wise, according to 2011 census, the literacy rate in the district is 70.4% out of which 78.27% are males and 62.54% are females. The total literate population of the district is 11,49,649 out of which 6,38,668 are males and 5,10,981 are females. The district has several primary secondary and higher secondary schools and colleges. Grama Bharathi High School is a repetitious school of the district. More than 800 students are studying in the school. There is also a residential school namely Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Shivaragudda (JNVS). It is funded by the Indian Ministry of Human Resources Development. The district has an autonomous institute and technical engineering college namely ‘People's Education Society College of Engineering, (P.E.S.C.E.) recognized by AICTE. It was established in the year 1962 and run by the People's Education Trust. It provides undergraduate and post graduate courses in Engineering and MBA.
Jayalalithaa Jayaram (Jayalalithaa or Jaya) was born on 24th February, 1948. She is an Indian politician from Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). She served as Chief Minister from 1991 to 1996, in 2001, from 2002 to 2006, and from 2011 to 2014 and now since 2015. Before entering into politics she was an actress. She has done a number of Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada films. Malavalli Huchche Gowda Amarnath (Ambrish) was born 29th May, 1952. He is an Indian film actor, media personality and a politician. Currently, he is the MLA with the Indian National Congress party. He has won many filmfare awards for his acting career. He has honored with the degree of doctorate from the Dharwad University in 2013. Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna, an eminent Indian politician who served as the Minister of External Affairs of India from 2009 to October, 2012 was born on 1st May, 1932 in the district. He also became the 16th Chief Minister of Karnataka from 1999 to 2004 and the 19th Governor of Maharashtra from 2004 to 2008.
The district has a number of famous historical and religious places to visit. These places are Bheemeshwari, Shivanasamundram, Srirangapatna, Cauvery Fishing, Doddamakkali Nature Camp, Kokrebellur Pelicanry, Barachukki and Gaganachukki Falls Ranganatha Swamy Temple, Venkataramana Temple and Jumma Masjid. In the year 2016, 53,28,797 Domestic Tourist and 37,538 Foreign Tourists visited the district.