Barnala district is a district of Punjab state with its administrative headquarters located at Barnala city. It is often believe that the name of the place, Barnala is derived from the term Vaarna meaning the land of frequent storms. Legends believe that during the earlier period its district headquarters was popularly known as Anahatgarh. At that time some Rungarh Muslims were settled down in a nearby village named Bhadalwadh but these Muslims were involved in cattle stealing and plundering acts in surrounding areas of the village. As result the natives of Anahadgarh went to Baba Gama of Bhadaur for help since he was well known for his might. But unfortunately Baba Gama was not there in his house at that time so his brother called Baba Ala Singh came along with them on behalf of Baba Gama. Then he compelled almost all the Rungarh Muslims to run away from that place and he himself started to live there. On the other hand there are different legends in context of the name of the place, Barnala. According to one legend, there was a place named Vaaran meaning storm since the storms frequently occurred at this place during that time. It is believe that with the passage of time the name of the place was changed from Vaaran to Barnala. As per another view, a fort in this place with a ‘baahuli’ (a well which had stairs going down) is believe to be built by Baba Ala Singh. Interestingly, in the Malwai accent it was known as ‘Baain’. Therefore, the then name Baain Wala was finally became Barnala. Some of its natives believe that Barnala was got its name from Baba Ala Singh. Baba Ala Singh left the hometown of Patiala State with his elder brother, Bhadaur and then settled at Barnala. On 19th November, 2006 Barnala was emerged as a separate district in the map of Punjab state.
Karam Singh, a distinguished subedar and honorary Captain of the Indian military was born on 15th September, 1915 at Barnala city. The Government of India honoured him with the gallantry award the Param Vir Chakra in the year 1948. Ram Sarup Ankhi, a Sahitya Akademi Award winning Punjabi writer, novelist and poet was born on 28th August, 1932 at Dhaula in the Barnala district. He also received the prestigious Sarb Shresht Sahitkaar award in the year 2009.
Geographically, the district lies at 30°38' N latitude, 75°55' E longitude and 227 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 0.55% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 1,482 sq km. and it is bounded by Ludhiana district on the North, Moga district on the North West, Mansa district on the South, Sangrur district on the East and Bathinda district on the West. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 421.1 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 2 sub-divisions namely Barnala and Tapa. Moreover, it comprises 5 towns and 127 villages. The administrative language in the district is Punjabi.
According to 2011 census the district as a population of 5,95,527 out of which 3,17,522 are males and 2,78,005 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 876 females for every 1000 males. The population density in the district is 402 persons per sq. km. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 13.02% including 12.80% were males and 13.27% were females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Sikh and Hindu with 78.54% and 18.95% of the total population. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 7,995 out of which 4,069 were males and 3,926 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 4,658 out of which 2,809 were males and 1,849 were females. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Punjabi with 95.14%.
The economy of the district is mainly dependent on agriculture. Most of the lands in the district are use for agricultural purposes. More than half of its population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are wheat, rice, cotton, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the farmers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. Industrially also the district is quite well developed. Some of its prominent industries are Trident Group, Industrial Organics and Chemicals Ltd, Standard Group, Malwa Cotton, etc. In the year 2019-20 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 11,88,314 lakhs at current price and Rs. 8,76,769 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 10,81,092 lakhs at current price and Rs. 7,93,341 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 1,63,802 at current price and Rs. 1,20,203 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. Some of its most recognised educational institutions are KNG’s Group of Institutions, Akal Polytechnic College, B. G. S. Public School, Barnala Polytechnic College, Dashmesh Institute of Management and Technology, Government Industrial Training Institute, Guru Arjun Dev College of Management and Technology, Guru Gobind Singh College of Education, Guru Nanak Dev Nursing Institute, Kings Group of Institutions and many more. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 67.82% including 71.57% are males and 63.57% are females.
Late Som Dutt Sharma, a veteran Indian politician who served as the Tourist Minister of Punjab was born in the district.
During the year 2018, there were 97,856 domestic tourists and 9 foreign tourists who visited the district. The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. It has two most significant religious places namely Nanaksar Gurudwara and Geeta Bhavan. Pilgrims from the far off places come to these religious places in order to offer their prayers. Sekha Village, located in the district is a perfect destination for the nature’s lovers.