Sivaganga district is a district of Tamil Nadu state with its administrative headquarters located at Sivaganga town. The district got its name from its headquarters town. During the early 17th century, Sivaganga was a part of the Kingdom of Ramnad, which had its boundary expanding across the present day’s district of Sivaganga, Pudukkottai and Ramnathapuram. The 7th king of the empire, Ragunatha Sethupathy (also popularly known as Kelvan Sethupathy) governed the place from 1674 to 1710 and was succeeded by his sister's son Vijia Regunatha Sethupathy. Then he was succeeded by his son-in-law named Sundareswara Regunatha Sethupathy in the year 1726. After sometime in 1730 Sasivarna Periya Oodaya Thevar founded the Sivaganga kingdom which was ruled by his successors for many years. But in 1790 they lost to the British Empire. Then in 1801 the Company declared Gowry Vallaba Periya Oodaya Thevar as the Zamindar of the place, Sivaganga and his successors ruled over the region until 1947. Till 1984 it was a part of the Ramnad district. Finally, the Sivaganga district came into existence on 15th March, 1985 and the place, Sivaganga became a part of this newly formed district.
Kannadasan, a prominent Tamil poet, lyricist and one of the greatest writers in the Tamil language was born on 24th June, 1927 at Sirukoodalpatti in the district. He was honoured with prestigious National Film Award for Best Lyrics in 1961 and Sahitya Akademi Award in 1980.
Geographically, the district lies at 9°85'N latitude, 78°48'E longitude and 104 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 7.82% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 4,233 sq. km. and it is bounded by Tiruchirapalli district on the North, Pudukkottai district on the North East, Ramanathapuram district on the South East, Virudhunagar district on the South West and Madurai district on the West. The climate of the district is characterised as tropical wet and dry climate. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1110.2 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 8 taluks namely Sivagangai, Manamadurai, Ilayangudi, Thiruppuvanam, Kalaiyarkoil, Thiruppathur, Karaikkudi and Devakottai. Moreover, it comprises 16 towns and 515 villages. The administrative language in the district is Tamil.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 13,39,101 out of which 6,68,672 are males and 6,70,429 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 1003 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 15.90% including 17.94% were males and 13.94% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 88.57% of the total population. The population density in the district is 316 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Tamil with 99.14%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 18,871 out of which 9,763 were males and 9,108 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 13,159 out of which 7,733 were males and 5,426 were females.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. More than half of its population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The red soil and climatic condition of the district are favourable for agriculture. The chief agricultural products in the district are millets, paddy, cereals, pulses, sugarcane, groundnut, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Thus, the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University plans to establish the state's first Red Soil Dry land Research Centre in Sivaganga district very soon. Industrially, also the district is quite developed. In the name of industry the district has a few sugar industries, a solar power farm and a television plant. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the industrial units of the district helps in its economy to a great extent. In 2006, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Sivaganga as one of the country's 250 most backward districts and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). In the year 2011-12 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 9,05,788 lakhs at current price and Rs. 6,02,986 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 15,77,195 lakh at current price and Rs. 11,23,039 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. 89,132 at current price and Rs. 68,591 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 recognised educational institutions are Government Sivagangai Medical College and Hospital, Alagappa Chettiar College of Engineering and Technology, CSIR-Central Electrochemical Research Institute, Government Industrial Training Institute at Karaikudi, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 79.85% including 87.92% are males and 71.85% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 9,59,744 including 5,26,304 are males and 4,33,440 are females.
Palaniappan Chidambaram, a veteran Indian politician and a former Union Minister of Finance of India was born on 16th September, 1945 at Kandanur in the district. At the very beginning of his political career he was a member of the Tamil Maanila Congress (1996-2001), then he joined Congress Jananayaka Peravai (2001-2004) and finally from 2004 till today he is affiliated with the Indian National Congress.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary, located near to the Tirupattur is a wonderful sanctuary which attracts a number of rare migratory birds includes white ibis, asian openbill stork, night heron and many more. Aadi Ratneswarar Temple, located at Tiruvaadaanai in the district is a huge temple devoted to Lord Shiva. This temple covers an area of 10 acres and the prime shrine of this temple is popularly called as Aadaanainathar. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Chettinad, Idaikattur Church, Anjanamaar Panch Shaheedh Waliyullah dargah, Kollangudi Vettudaiyar Kaliamman Temple, Kaleeswarar Temple, Nagarasivan Temple, Kundrakudi Temple, Kollakalaiamman Temple, etc.