Historically, Dungarpur State was originally founded in 1358 A.D. by Rawal Veer Singh, the eldest son of the ruler of Mewar named Karan Singh. They are descendants of Bappa Rawal, the eighth ruler of the Guhilot Dynasty and founder of the Mewar Dynasty. The chiefs of Dungarpur titled Maharawal descend from Mahup, Karan’s eldest. Mahup, disinherited by his father, took refuge with his mother's family, the Chauhans of Bagar and then he declared himself as the lord of that country at the expense of the Bhil chiefs. The chiefs of Dungarpur, who bear the title of Maharawal, are descended from Mahup. Mahup, disinherited by his father, took refuge with his mother's family, the Chauhans of Bagar and made himself master of that country at the expense of the Bhil chiefs. After the death of Rawal Udai Singh of Bagar at the Battle of Khanwa in 1527, where he fought alongside Rana Sanga against Babar, his territories were divided into the states of Dungarpur and Banswara.
The district belongs to various famous personalities. Pannalal Nanalal Patel (7th May, 1912-6th April, 1989) was a Gujarati author, born in an Anjana Chaudhari family at Mandli village, Dungarpur. He was awarded with the Ranjitram Suvarna Chandrak in 1950 and Jnanpith Award in 1985. Another personality is Maharaj Sri Nagendra Singh (18th March, 1914-11th December, 1988) was born in Dungarpur. He was an Indian lawyer and administrator. He was the President of the International Court of Justice from 1985 to 1988.
Geographically, the district extends to a geographical area of 3,770 sq km. and occupies the ranks 31st in the State and 319th in India on basis of this size. As per data recorded in the year 2019, the forest covers 8.02% of the total geographical area of the district. It lies at 23084'N latitude, 73071'E longitude and 225 m altitude. It is bounded by the districts of Sabarkantha Panchmahal and Dahod of the state of Gujarat on the southeast. The district have Mahi River which provide boundary with Banswara District on the South Eastern edge, Som River (tributary of Mahi River) which form boundary with Udaipur District on the northern edge and Vatrak River which originates in the district. The district touches the boundary of Gujarat state. It has rough triangular shape. It has hot and dry climate in summer season. The actual rainfall in the district was 761.8 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administratively, the district is divided into 4 sub-districts namely Aspur, Dungarpur, Sagwara and Simalwara. Moreover, it has 4 towns and 976 villages. The district of Dungarpur came into existence in the state of Rajasthan with an allotted district code of 124. Its district Headquarters is at Dungarpur which is located at a distance of 521 km. from the State Capital. Hindi is its administrative language.
Demographically, according to 2011 census, the district has a total number of 2,83,556 households with a total population of 13,88,552 including 6,96,532 are males and 6,92,020 are females. The population growth rate during the period 2001 to 2011 was 25.36% persons with 27.15% males and 23.61% females. The density of population of the district is 368 (persons per sq km). The sex ratio is pegged at 994 (females per 1000 males) while the child ratio stands at 922 (females per 1000 males). As per 2011 census the percentage of major religion practiced by the people of this region is Hindu with 96.51% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Bhili/Bhilodi and Hindi with 74.60% and 3.42%. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 24,179 including 13,082 were males and 11,097 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 8,097 including 5,472 were males and 2,623 were females.
Economically, agriculture is the prime base of the district. It is one of the districts of Rajasthan which receiving Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF). The Gross Domestic Product in the district during 2016-17 was Rs. 8,39,223 lakh at current price and Rs. 5,98,496 lakh at constant prices during 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during 2016-17 was Rs. 7,63,655 lakh at current price and Rs. 5,38,037 lakh at constant prices during 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost during 2016-17 was Rs. 50,767 lakh at current price and Rs. 35,768 lakh at constant prices during 2011-2012.
Educationally, according to 2011 census, the literacy rate in the district is 59.46% with 72.88% are males and 46.16% are females. The total literate population of the district is 6,81,591 including 4,15,820 are males and 2,65,771 are females. The district has a number of primary and middle schools, higher secondary and secondary schools, undergraduate and post graduate colleges.
The district is famous for several historical and religious places. The places which attract tourist from the world wide are Dungarpur Fort, Gaib Sagar Lake, Juna Mahal, Sai Baba Mandir, Rajmata Devendra Kunwar State Museum, Sabela Lake, Galiakot, Udai Bilas Palace, Beneshwar, Badal Mahal, Vijay Rajrajeshwer Temple, Somnath Temple, and Mahakal Mandir.