Azamgarh, a part of Azamgarh Division is a district of the Uttar Pradesh state with its administrative headquarters located at the Azamgarh city. The name of the district is derived from the name Azam, the son of Vikramajit, founded the town in 1665. Vikramajit was a descendant of Gautam Rajputs of Mehnagar in pargana Nizamabad. A mythological story is also associated with the district. There is a belief among the natives of the district that it is known as land of the sage Durvasa whose ashram was located in Phulpur tehsil. At the end of the 16th century, a Gautam Rajput from the place of Azamgarh went in search of greater influence and embraced into the Mughal court at Delhi. Then his mission was successful when the Mughal royal court eventually honoured him 22 parganas in the Azamgarh region. The wazirs of Lucknow surrendered the district to the British in 1801. In 1857 most of the locals of this region aided the Sepoy Mutiny against the British. Soon the district transferred into a centre of combat between the Gurkhas and the rebels. But it was brought under control in October 1858 by Colonel Kelly. After that, natives of Azamgarh started to participate in numerous national freedom movements including the Civil Disobedience Movement and the Quit India Movement in the year 1942. Finally, Azamgarh as a separate district came into existence on 19th November, 1988.
Sayyid Akhtar Hussein Rizvi, known as Kaifi Azmi, an eminent Indian Urdu poet was born on 14th January, 1919 in Azamgarh. He was the one who brought Urdu literature to Indian motion pictures. He too participated in the most memorable mushairas of the twentieth century. He was honoured by many great awards-Sahitya Akademi Award in 1975, Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 2002 and Padma Shri.
Geographically, the district lies at 26°06'N latitude, 83°18'E longitude and 64 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 1.22% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses an area of 4,054 sq km. and on the basis of geographical area it secures 22nd rank in the state and 294th rank in India. The district is enclosed by the Mau district on the east, Gorakhpur on the north, Deoria on the south-east, Jaunpur on the south-west, Sultanpur on the west and Ambedkar Nagar on the north-west. Ghaghara River is the main river that flows through the district. The climate of the district remains moist and relaxing except in the winter and summer season. The district has humid subtropical climate. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1064.7 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administrative wise, the district is divided into 7 tehsils namely Azamgarh, Burhanpur, Lalganj, Mehnagar, Nizamabad, Phulpur and Sagri. There are 2 Lok Sabha constituencies such as Azamgarh, Lalganj and 10 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district has 20 towns and 4,101 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 46,13,913 including 22,85,004 are males and 23,28,909 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 1019 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 17.11% out of which 17.15% were males and 17.06% were females. The district has a population density of 1,138 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 1,24,671 including 64,095 were males and 60,576 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 28,198 out of which 14,794 were males and 13,404 were females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Hindu and Muslim with 84.06% and 15.58% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 91.75%.
The economy of the district is based on agriculture. Its core agricultural crops are pulses, oil seeds, sugar cane, and potato. There are some industries in the district which also contributes in its economy. Some chief industries in the district are Kisan Sahkari Chini Mills Ltd., Benarasi Sari Udyog, Black Pottery, Foods and Allied Products. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared the district as one of the country's 250 most backward districts. It is one of the 34 districts in Uttar Pradesh which is currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). In the year 2020-21 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 24,70,193 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 15,10,145 lakh at Constant Prices during the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 21,83,715 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 12,94,003 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 42,068 at Current Price and Rs. 24,928 at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is trying to provide quality education to its natives. It has both degree and professional educational institutions. Government Medical College, Azamgarh is a state medical college located at Chakrapanpur, Azamgarh. It is affiliated to King George's Medical University, Lucknow. Rajkiya Engineering College, Azamgarh is a constituent college of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technical University, formerly known as Uttar Pradesh Technical University. Shibli National College, a reputed graduate and post graduate college in the place of Azamgarh. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 70.93% including 81.34% are males and 60.91% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 27,71,917 including 15,59,414 are males and 12,12,503 are females.
Ram Naresh Yadav, an illustrious Indian politician and the former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh from 1977 to 1979 was born on 1st July, 1928 in Azamgarh. Earlier, he was a member of Janata Party then later he joined the Indian National Congress. He was also appointed as a Governor of Madhya Pradesh on 26th August, 2011 by former Indian President Pratibha Patil. But on 25th February, 2015 the home ministry asked him to resign from the post as his name being probed in the exam scam.
During the year 2021, there were 1,98,755 domestic tourists who visited these places of the district. No doubt that it has a very limited number of centers of attraction but these a few places of interest in the district offers a good experience and mental relaxation to its visitors. Nizamabad, a place in the district is named after Sheikh Nizam-ud-din, a Sufi saint. The place has a distinguished Gurudwara which possesses a pair of wooden slippers and a dagger is said to be of Guru Nanak who once visited the place. Maharajganj, a place got its name from one of the Rajas of Azamgarh. There is an old shrine dedicated to Bhiron Baba also called as Deotari. The place is the gateway to the ancient city of Ayodhya. Mubarakpur is situated in the north-east of the district is famous for the Banarasi Saree, which are very popular across the world. The temple of Thakurji and mosque of Raja Sahib is the identity of the place. Mehnagar is located 36 kms away from the district headquarter is place full of its historical monuments. Durvasa and Dattatreya are the two places in the district which has two ashrams named after the well-known Rishis (saints)-Durvasa Rishi and Dattatreya Rishi.