Budaun district, a part of Bareilly division is a district of Uttar Pradesh with its administrative headquarters located at Budaun town. In an inscription of ancient time the name of the Badaun district was mentioned as Bedamooth. It can also be seen in some stone scripts at the Lucknow Museum. Later the name of the area was changed to Panchal. A well known historian called Roz Khan Lodhi said that Ashoka, the Great constructed a Buddh Vihar and Quila in this place which he called Buddh Mau that was named after the Ahir prince Budh. About some 905 AD ago Budaun was established. An inscription, probably of the 12th century, gives a list of twelve Rathor kings reigning at Budaun called Vodamayuta. The Mughal ruler Qutb-ud-din Aibak captured it in 1196, after that its importance as a position was increased on the northern frontier of the Delhi Empire. On the other hand as per the tradition, the place of Badaun was founded about 905 and an inscription, probably of the 12th century, present a significant list of twelve Rathor kings ruled at this region (called Vodamayuta). The first authentic historical event associated with it was however captured by Qutb-ud-din Aybak in the year 1196, after which he got an important post on the northern frontier of the Delhi empire. During the 13th century two of its governors, Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, and his son Rukn ud din Firuz, attained the imperial throne. Later, in 1571 the town was burnt, and then almost about a hundred years, under Shah Jahan, the seat of the governorship was handed over to Sahaspur-Bilari.
Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan, a distinguished Indian classical musician in the Hindustani Classical Music tradition was born on 3rd March, 1931 in the Budaun district. He was honoured by many prestigious awards such as Padma Shri in 1991, Padma Bhushan in 2006 and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2003.
Geographically, the district lies at 28°03'N latitude, 79°12'E longitude and 169 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 0.62% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 5,168 sq. km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 7th in the state and 212th in India. It is bounded by Rampur district, Bimnagar district and Bareilly district on the north, Kanshi Ram Nagar district and Farrukhabad district on the south, Bulandshahr district and Aligarh district on the east and Shahjahanpur district on the west. The prominent river that flows through the district is Ganga. The climate of the district remains extremely hot during the summer and fairly cold during the winter. Rainfall occurs here mostly in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 692.6 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 5 tehsils namely Budaun, Bisauli, Bilsi, Dataganj and Sahaswan. The district has 2 Lok Sabha constituencies such as Badaun and Aonla and 6 Assembly constituencies likewise, Bisauli, Sahaswan, Bilsi, Budaun, Shekhupur and Dataganj. Moreover, there are 6 sub-districts, 23 towns and 2,061 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 36,81,896 including 19,67,759 are males and 17,14,137 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 871 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 19.95% out of which 18.07% were males and 22.20% were females. The population density in the district is 712 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 61,463 including 32,626 were males and 28,837 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 13,811 out of which 9,572 were males and 4,239 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 77.89% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 91.28%.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. Some of its chief agricultural products are wheat, paddy, sugarcane, guava, menthol, etc. In the whole Uttar Pradesh Budaun is famous as the largest producer of wheat and second largest producer of sugarcane and potatoes. The district is also well known for its menthol production. The soil quality of the district is very suitable for agriculture. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these agricultural products. Most of the people of the district are engaged in agriculture since it is scantily industrialized. Only a few small industries and mills of sugar, rice, brick, etc can be found in the district. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Budaun as one of the country's 251 special funded cities for this very reason it 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. 24,84,132 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 14,66,390 lakh at Constant Prices during the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 22,20,928 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 12,69,214 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. 52,396 at Current Price and Rs. 29,943 at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district provides a platform for the higher education. Some of its reputed educational institutions are N.M.S.N. Das P.G. College, Gindo Devi Mahila Maha Vidyalaya, S.K. Inter College, Vivekanand College, Rajaram Mahila Inter College, BRB Model School, Nehru Children Academy School, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 51.29% including 60.98% are males and 40.09% are females.
J.S. Onkar Singh, an eminent Indian politician and a member of third (1962-67) and fourth (1967-70) Lok Sabha was born at Bela Dandi, Badaun district. He was a member of Jan Sangh.
During the year 2021, there were 50,694 domestic tourists who visited these places of the district. The district has numerous tourist destinations of historical and religious significance which allures many travellers from different parts of the world. Jama Masjid built by Iltutmish in 1223 is the third oldest mosque in India. The beautiful Badaun fort, situated in Jawaharpuri is the Makbaraa (graveyard) of Nawab Ikhlas khan which is also known as Roza. Ohia palace, a wonderful palace was built in 1812 by the royal family of sahaspur bilari. Some other notable places of interest are Choti Ziyarat, Badi Ziyarat, Sheikhupur Fort, Farshori tola, Sarsota, Kothiwal temple, etc.