Hardoi, a part of Lucknow division is a district of Uttar Pradesh state with its administrative headquarters located at Hadoi town. The name of the district Hardoi is derived from its earlier name Haridrohi meaning "anti to the God". Native believes that an interesting mythological story is associated with the history of the district. In the ancient period there was a king called Hirnakashyap, who doesn’t believe in God and he declared himself as God. But his son Prahlad was a great believer of God so the king tried several times to kill his own son. Later, God himself came in mysterious incarnation to save Prahlad and killed the king Hirnakashyap. On the other hand some other scholars present a different theory regarding its name, the term "Hardoi" originated from the word "Haridwaya" meaning two gods. Since, there were two gods, Vamana Bhagavan during the regime of King Bali and Narasimha Bhagavan during the regime of King Hiranyakashipu, who had been incarnated there. Thus, the place was called Haridwaya and with the passage of time it was called Hardoi. The history of each district is different from one another and unique in itself. No doubt that in 1028, Bawan was invaded by Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud but till 1217, the Muslim Rulers didn’t capture the place. The name Hardoi was used for the first time during the period of Muslim colonisation. Numerous battles were also fought between Mughals and Afghans in the region because of some unavoidable situations aroused in the district. At the time of British rule after the Lord Dalhousie's proclamation, Hardoi as a part of Oudh came under the territory of British. The administrative headquarters of the district were earlier located at Mallawan then after the Sepoy Mutiny it was shifted to Hardoi town.
Geographically, the district lies at 27°39'N latitude, 80°13'E longitude and 134 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 2.45% forest area of total geographical area. The district occupies a geographical area of 5,986 sq. km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 3rd in the state and 172nd in India. It is bounded by Shahjahanpur district and Lakhimpur Kheri district on the north, Kannauj district, Unnao district and Lucknow district on the south, Sitapur district on the east and Farrukhabad district on the west. The prominent rivers that flows through the district are Ramganga and Ganga. The climate of the district is characterized as dry sub humid. During the summer it is extremely hot. Most of its rainfall occurs during the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 486.3 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 5 tehsils namely Hardoi, Shahabad, Sawayajpur, Bilgram and Sandila. There are 2 Lok Sabha constituencies in the district-Hardoi and Misrikh. Moreover, the district comprises 5 sub-districts, 13 towns and 2,070 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 40,92,845 out of which 21,91,442 are males and 19,01,403 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 20.44% including 18.93% were males and 22.23% were females. The population density in the district is 684 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 62,095 including 30,802 were males and 31,293 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 14,722 out of which 10,081 were males and 4,641 were females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Hindu and Muslim with 85.71% and 13.59% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 97.45%.
The economy of the district is mainly based on agriculture. The chief agricultural crops in the district are wheat, bajra, gram, maize, jowar, paddy, pulses, mustard, oil seeds, onion, sugarcane, potato, etc. Horticulture in the district like production of guava, mangos and some herbs also contributes in its economy. Some vital industries in the district include Baba Gauri Shankar Floor Mill, SAF Yeast Co. Ltd., Kit Ply India Rupapur, Metal Wire Pvt. Ltd., etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these industries. In the year 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Hardoi as one of the country's 250 most backward districts and 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. 26,84,603 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 15,97,752 lakh at Constant Prices during the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 23,79,751 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 13,72,640 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. 50,311 at Current Price and Rs. 29,019 at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012.
There are many schools and colleges in the district. Some of its reputed colleges are Katiyar Degree College, Cane Society Nehru Degree College, B.N. Degree College, M.P. Government PG College, Arya Kanya Degree College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 64.57% including 74.39% are males and 53.19% are females.
Brijesh Pathak, an eminent Indian politician and a Member of Parliament in which he represents the Uttar Pradesh state in the Rajya Sabha was born on 25th June, 1964 at Mallawan in Hardoi district. He is a member of Bahujan Samaj Party (political party).
During the year 2021, there were 15,186 domestic tourists who visited these places of the district. The district has some centres of attraction which allures numerous travellers from across the country. Nemisharayan is a very pious place in the district. Even the famous saint Goswami Tulasi Das in his Ramcharitmanas, wrote much about the importance of Naimisharanya, as a holy place. People from far distance place come to the place to offer their prayers. Sandi Bird Sanctuary is a located on Hardoi-Sandi road. Every year a large variety of native birds as well as migratory birds flock in the place. Mallawan in the district is often called as the Chhoti Kashi. The Bab Sunasir Nath Temple devoted to Lord Shiva is the identity of the place. Shahabad is a historical place, the place where Diler Khan, the governor of Aurangzeb was born. His tomb is there in the place. It has many marvellous temples such as Balaji temple, Sankta devi temple and Baram Baba temple.