Kaushambi district, a part of Allahabad division is a district of Uttar Pradesh state with its administrative headquarters located at Manjhanpur town. An interesting history is also associated with the district. In ancient era of India, the place was not only a part of the Vatsa Mahajanapada, one of 16 such regions but also its capital. According to the Puranas, the name of the place “Vatsa” was taken from a Kasi king. In the Puranas it is mentioned that when the Hastinapura was washed away by the Ganges, Nicaksu the great grandson of Janamejaya, left the place and started to settle in Kausambi. Moreover, in the great epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata it is mentioned that the capital, Kausambi was founded by a Chedi prince named Kusa or Kusamba. The Puranas state that the place was ruled by different brave rulers during different periods of time. During the reign of Udayana, Gautama Buddha visited the place, Kaushambi many a times in order to spread the dharma meaning the Noble Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths. Udayana was a follower of Buddhism. During the period of Ashoka, he gave immense importance to Kaushambi and created a pillar of Ashoka in the place with some inscriptions in Pali language. Kaushambi is also one of the sacred places of Jainsim since it is the birthplace of sixth Jain Tirthankar Padam Prabhu Ji. The district came into existence on 24th April, 1997.
Geographically, the district lies at 25036'N latitude, 81040'E longitude and 90 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 1.56% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 1,779 sq. km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 63rd in the state and 517th in India. It is bounded by Pratapgarh district on the North, Chitrakoot district on the South, Allahabad district on the East and Fatehpur district on the West. The prominent rivers that flows though the district are Yamuna and Ganga. The climate of the district is characterised as moderate climate. The actual rainfall in the district was 510.4 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 3 tehsils namely Manjhanpur, Sirathu and Chail. Moreover, the district comprises 3 sub-districts, 09 towns and 868 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 15,99,596 out of which 8,38,485 are males and 7,61,111 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 908 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 23.70% including 22.89% are males and 24.60% are females. The population density in the district is 899 persons per sq. km. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 27,599 out of which 14,136 were males and 13,463 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 1,029 out of which 572 were males and 457 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 85.80% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 98.81%.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. Most of the lands in the district are use for agricultural purposes. More than half of its population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are wheat, rice, arhar, urad, chana, guava, etc. The district is famous for Surkha Mango. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these agricultural products helps in its economy to a great extent. The district is scantily industrialised but some agro based industries are available in it. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Kaushambi 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 2016-17 the gross domestic product of the district was Rs. 6,78,098 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 4,95,864 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2017-18 was Rs. 6,90,995 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 4,75,328 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the year 2017-18 was Rs. 38,434 at Current Price and Rs. 26,439 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 B.S.M. College, Kaushambi Mahavidyalaya, Smt. Vimla Rani Bhargava Balika, Rama Devi Shiv Mangal Prasad Mahavidyalaya, Janak Dulari Shiv Datt Mahavidyalaya, Mahatma Buddh Mahavidyalaya, V.P.Singh Smarak Degree College, Maulviya Liyakat Ali Degree College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 61.28% including 72.78% are males and 48.56% are females.
During the year 2018, there were 21,60,629 domestic tourists and 15,659 foreign tourists who visited these places of the district. The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Sheetla Temple, a major Shakti Peeth is situated on the bank of Ganga River at Kara in the district. In terms of historical and religious point of view, Kara is a very important place in the district. Some other prominent temples in Kara are Chhetrapal Bhairav temple, Hanuman temple and Kaleshwar Mahadev temple. Prabhas Giri, a renowned religious historical place is located on the bank of Yamuna River at the Manjhanpur town in the district. Natives believed that Lord Krishna died at this place. Durga Devi Temple, situated at a distance of 1 km. at Manjhanpur town has the deity of Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva in black stone. Historians believed that these idols are of the time of Lord Buddha. Pilgrims from far off places comes to this temple to offer their prayers. Kamasin Devi Temple in the district has also some divine powers which draw many pilgrims from far distance places.