Kannauj district, a part of Kanpur division is a district of Uttar Pradesh with its administrative headquarters located at Kannauj city. Kannuaj district is named after its city Kannauj. The city got its name from the term ‘Kanyakubja’ meaning the city of the hunchbacked maidens. Kannauj is a place of historical importance. At the very initial period, Kannauj was a part of the Gupta Empire. But when the Gupta Empire started to decline in the 6th century, the Maukhari Dynasty of Kannauj had served as vassal rulers under the Guptas and they took advantage of the situation, separated from Guptas and established their control over the large areas of northern India. The three powerful dynasties, namely the Gurjara Pratiharas, Palas and Rashtrakutas had an eagle eye on the place of Kannauj, between 8th and 10th centuries. Many historians named the tussle between these three prominent dynasties as the Tripartite struggle. On the other hand, natives of the district believe that the Kannauj city is the origin of the Kanyakubja Brahmins. Kannauj is famous for the unique perfumes popularly known as ‘Attar’ throughout the country. Moreover, it is a huge market centre for tobacco and rose water. Some people believe that the district derived its name from its distinct dialect of the Hindi language called Kanauji. At different periods of time the place was ruled by different dynasties but among them the three most powerful dynasties ruled over the place include the Gurjara Pratiharas of Malwa, the Palas of Bengal and Rashtrakutas of the Deccan. The conflict between these three dynasties is called tripartite struggle by many historians. Kannauj as a separate district came into existence on 18th September, 1997.
Geographically, the district lies at 27°06'N latitude, 79°92'E logitude and 139 m Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 1.33% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 2,093 sq. km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 59th in the state and 489th in India. It is bounded by Farrukhabad district on the North, Hardoi district on the northeast, Kanpur Nagar district district on the east, Kanpur Dehat district on the southeast, Auraiya district on the south, Etawah district on the southwest and Mainpuri district on the west. The climate of the district remains extremely hot during the summer. Most of its rainfall occurs during the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 983.1 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 3 tehsils namely Chhibramau, Kannauj and Tirwa. There are 1 Lok Sabha seat and 5 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 3 sub-districts, 8 towns and 752 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 16,56,616 out of which 8,81,776 are males and 7,74,840 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 879 females for every 1000 males. In the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 19.27% including 18.49% were males and 20.18% were females. The population density in the district is 792 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 40,728 including 20,803 were males and 19,925 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 11,349 out of which 5,840 were males and 5,509 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 83.05% of the total population. According to 2001 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 97.08%.
The economy of the district to some extent is based on agriculture. Some of its chief agricultural crops are rice, maize, jowar, pulses soyabean, etc. It is one of the largest producers of potato in the state. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. The perfume industry of Kannauj district is very famous. Bidi industry is one of the foremost industries of the district. Even it is the largest bidi supplier district in Uttar Pradesh. Now-a-days the essence flavour and fragrance of the Kannauj district are become internationally well known. In the year 2020-21 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 16,25,740 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 9,40,861 lakh at Constant Prices during the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 14,30,187 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 8,02,247 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. 75,400 at Current Price and Rs. 42,295 at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is an abode of numerous reputed educational institutions. It provides platform for higher education. Some of its recognised educational institutions are Bau Singh Mahavidhyalya, Ch. Manesh College for Women Education, Ch. Mohar Singh Mahavidyalaya, Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar Ajkiya Medical College, Gautam Buddha Balika Degree College, Gautam Buddha Degree College, Govt. Degree College, V.K. Degree College, Swami Girshanand Degree College, Sri Mukund Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya, P.S.M. Degree College, Nehru Degree College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 72.7% including 80.91% are males and 63.33% are females.
Dr. Sone Lal Patel, a renowned Kurmi (caste) leader and the former National President of Apna Dal, a Kurmi caste oriented regional political party in India was born in the year 1950 at Bagulihai village in the Kannauj district.
During the year 2021, there were 8,49,466 domestic tourists who visited these places of the district. Every year numerous travellers from different parts of the country as well as world come to this place to enjoy its various centres of attraction with historical and religious significance. Lakh Bahosi Bird sanctuary, a very beautiful bird sanctuary is situated at Kannauj. During the period of November to March this place is full of many rare varieties of migratory birds. It is a perfect destination of nature’s lovers. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Archeology Museum, Raja Jaichandra Fort, Gauri Shankar Temple, Annapurna Temple, Shiv Temple, Baba Vishvanathan, etc.