Bathinda district is a district of Punjab state with its administrative headquarters located at Bathinda city. The district got its name from its headquarters city. Regarding the name of the place, different legends put forwarded different theories. According to Khalifa Muhammad Hassan, a well known author of his period in Patiala expressed that the region was popularly known as Bikramgarh during the ancient period. On the other hand as per Ibn Battuta, earlier the place was called as Batrind. Natives of the district believe that Bhatti kings, who ruled the Punjab state in the 6th century AD, established the place Bathinda. During the period of Batti Kings they named the city as Whatinda or Bitunda after their surnames but with the passage of time the place got its present name Bhatinda. In 965 AD, the place was ruled by a Hindu king named Jayapala. In 1004, the local fort of the Bathinda, located on the route from the northwest into the rich Ganges valley was surrounded by the Mahmud of Ghazni with help of his armies. Then in 1189, Muhammad Ghori attacked and captured the fort of Bathinda. Thirteen months later in the year 1191 Prithvi Raj Chauhan, the ruler of this region somehow managed to recover his control over the fort after the first battle of Tarain. Even the place has witnessed a famous battle called Battle of Lahira (at Lahira in Bathinda), fought between Guru Hargobind and Mughals in 1634. In this way, during different periods of time the place was ruled by different rulers. The district came into existence in the year 1754.
Mehar Mittal, an illustrious Indian Punjabi actor and producer was born on 24th October, 1935 at Bathinda city. He was also awarded by the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy at the 136th Dadasaheb Phalke Jayanti in Mumbai for his remarkable contribution as a cine artist in the Punjabi films.
Geographically, the district lies at 30°21' N latitude, 74°95' E longitude and 202 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 1.68% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 3,353 sq km. and it is bounded by Moga district on the North East, Faridkot district and Muktsar district of Haryana on the North West, Sirsa district and Fatehabad district of Haryana on the South and Sangrur district and Mansa district on the East. The climate of the district remains extremely hot in the summer and dry in the winter. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 553.2 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 4 tehsils namely Bathinda, Rampura Phul, Maur and Talwandi Sabo. Moreover, it comprises 3 sub-districts, 12 towns and 279 villages. The administrative language in the district is Punjabi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 13,88,525 including 7,43,197 are males and 6,45,328 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 868 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 17.34% out of which 17.44% are males and 17.23% are females. The population density in the district is 414 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 19,999 out of which 10,475 were males and 9,524 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 11,474 out of which 6,973 were males and 4,501 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Sikh with 70.89% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Punjabi with 89.56%.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. Most of the population in the district are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural crops in the district are citrus fruits, grapes, wheat, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the farmers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Industrially also the district is quite well developed. The district is fortunate enough to have the two foremost power plants namely Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant and Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant. The district has a large oil refinery named Guru Gobind Singh Refinery is owned by HPCL Mittal Energy Limited. Some other principal industries in the district are Bhatinda Chemicals Ltd, National Fertilizers Ltd, Milk Plant, Grasim Industries Ltd, Unit Birla plus Cement, Dhillon Oils and Fats Pvt. Ltd, Vardhman Polytex Ltd, HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these industries helps in its economy to a great extent. In the year 2019-20 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 24,15,490 lakhs at current price and Rs. 18,39,507 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 21,65,219 lakhs at current price and Rs. 16,44,281 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. 1,36,177 at current price and Rs. 1,03,414 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The Government of India recently established the Central University of Punjab in the place Bathinda. The two most reputed government engineering colleges in the district are Giani Zail Singh Punjab Technical University and Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University. Adesh University is a recognised private medical university in the district. Therefore, Bathinda district is an abode of several renowned educational institutions. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 68.28% out of which 73.79% are males and 61.94% are females.
Paramjit Kaur Gulshan, a veteran Indian politician and a member of the 15th Lok Sabha from the Faridkot constituency was born on 4th January, 1949 at Akali Jalal in the Bathinda district. She was also elected to the 14th Lok Sabha from the Bathinda constituency. She is a member of the Shiromani Akali Dal political party.
During the year 2018, there were 15,18,036 domestic tourists and 662 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. Qila Mubarak fort, a 1900 years old historical national monument located in the district was constructed by Emperor Kanishka and Raja Dab during the period between 90-110 AD. Maisar Khana Mandir, dedicated to Mata Jawala is situated at a distance of 29 kms from the Bathinda. Every year the temple organizes two famous melas which attracts devotees from far off places. The Rose Garden, situated near to the Bathinda city is a 10 acre garden with the large varieties of roses. It is a perfect destination for picnic. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Damdama Sahib, Zoological Park, National Fertilizers Ltd, Thermal Lake, Chetak Park, etc.