The district is a part of Lucknow Division, located in the Uttar Pradesh state with its administrative headquarters situated at the Lucknow city. The district is fortunate enough to be the capital of Uttar Pradesh. In 1775 the Lucknow city was established by the Nawab of Awadh when moved his capital from Faizabad to Lucknow. The natives of the district pronounce "Lucknow" as "lakhnau" means a city of Nawabs. A mythological story is associated with its name Lucknow. As per the story the city is named after Lakshmana, a hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana. The story states that Lakshman had his palace in the area, which was known as Lakshmanapuri or "Lakshmana's city" which later called Lucknow. Likewise, some other interesting stories are also there regarding the name of the district. After the year 1350, Lucknow and some other parts of the Awadh region were came under the rule of the Delhi Sultanate, Sharqi Sultanate, Mughal Empire, Nawabs of Awadh, the British East India Company and finally, the British Raj. Awadh was a part of the Sharqi Sultanate of Jaunpur for about eighty-four years i.e. from 1394 to 1478. Emperor Humayun also made it a part of its Mughal Empire around 1555. The Nawabs of Lucknow were the real Nawabs of Awadh who got the name after the reign of the third Nawab when Lucknow became their capital. After sometime, a Persian adventurer named Saadat Khan, also popularly known as Burhan-ul-Mulk, was appointed as the Nizam of Awadh in 1722 who established his court in Faizabad, near Lucknow. Most of the marvellous monuments standing today in Lucknow were constructed during the Mughal period. For the first time, in 1856 the East India Company moved its troops to the border and then entered in the place. At that time, Awadh was under the control of a chief commissioner called Sir Henry Lawrence. East India Company then imprisoned Wajid Ali Shah, the then Nawab, and after that the company exiled him to Calcutta. During the revolt of 1857, the role of Lucknow occupies a central place in the history of the Great Revolt. This uprising at Lucknow and the heroic defence by the sipahis and the common native people of Lucknow has added a glorious chapter in the annals of the anti-colonial struggle.
Parveen Talha, an eminent Indian civil servant and the first Muslim woman to serve in any class I civil service in India was born in Lucknow. She is the first Indian Revenue Service officer to become a member of the Union Public Service Commission and also the first woman to serve in Narcotics Department of India. The Government of India honoured her by the Padma Shri Award in 2014.
Geographically, the district lies at 26°85'N latitude, 80°95'E longitude and 123 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 15.32% forest area of total geographical area. The district occupies an area of 2,528 sq. km. and it is bounded by Barabanki district on the east and the Sitapur district on the north, Hardoi district on the north-west, Rae Bareli district on the south-east and Unnao districts on the south west. The climate in the district is characterized as humid subtropical climate. The actual rainfall in the district was 942.3 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administrative wise, the district is divided into 8 blocks-Bakshi Ka Talab, Chinhat, Malihabad, Kakori, Mal, Mohanlalganj, Sarojini Nagar and Gosainganj. There are 2 Lok Sabha constituencies and 9 Assembly constituencies.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 45,89,838 (persons) including 23,94,476 (males) and 21,95,362 (females). The district has a sex ratio of 917 females for every 1000 males. In the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 25.82 (persons) out of which 23.92 (males) and 27.97 (females). In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 92,839 including 48,196 were males and 44,643 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 38,076 out of which 20,511 were males and 17,565 were females. As per 2001 census the major religions in the district are Hindu and Muslim with 78.2% and 20.52% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 91.19%.
Lucknow as an industrialised district is famous across the country. The chief industries in the district are aeronautics, machine tools, distillery chemicals, furniture and Chikan embroidery. The district has some core research and development centres which include R&D centres of the National Milk Grid of the National Dairy Development Board, the Central Institute of Medical and Aromatic Plants, the National Handloom Development Corporation and U.P. Export Corporation. These centres put their efforts to raise the quality and production the product. In the year 2020-21 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 61,19,363 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 41,02,518 lakh at Constant Prices during the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 53,43,814 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 34,77,543 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. 96,606 at Current Price and Rs. 62,867 at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is abode to numerous distinguished educational and research institutes. Moreover it has provided a great platform for higher education. Some reputed higher educational institutes in the district are Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, Central Drug Research Institute, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, National Botanical Research Institute, Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Science and King George’s Medical University respectively. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 77.29% (persons), 82.56% (males) and 71.54% (females).
Mohammad Hidayatullah, the eleventh Chief Justice of India and the sixth Vice-President of India (31th August, 1979 to 30th August, 1984) was born on 17th December, 1905 in Lucknow. As the Chief Justice of India, he had also served as the Acting President of India (July 20, 1969 to August 24, 1969). As he was not belonging to any political party so he contested the elections as an independent candidate.
During the year 2021, there were 40,83,534 domestic tourists and 920 foreign tourists who visited these places of the district. Lucknow as a tourist destination has got much fame throughout the world. Its Bara Imambara was built by the fourth Nawab of Awadh known as Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784. It was built as a part of a relief project for a major famine in 1784. British Residency Lucknow is not in its original structure now but it has been declared as a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India. Many travellers allures towards the Chattar Manzil in the city because of its strikingly different architecture. Jama Masjid in Lucknow was constructed by Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1423. The whole majid is made up of yellow sandstone and is known for its intricate design and architecture. Some other centres of attraction in the district includes Rumi Darwaza, Clock Tower, Moti Mahal, Lakshmana, Hussainabad Imambara, etc.