Shravasti district, a part of Devipatan is a district of Uttar Pradesh with its administrative headquarters located at Shravasti town. As per mentioned in the great epic Mahabharata, the distict got its name from the legendary king Shravasta. The city was called Savatthi according to the Buddhist tradition since the prominent Savattha sage lived there. The name of the place is also mentioned in the another epic Ramayana, as per it the king of Kosala, Rama, handover the power to his son Lava at Shravasti and Kusha at Kushavati. The place is very closely associated with the life of Lord Buddha. Near the Sahet-Mahet village in the district, there are many ancient stupas, temples and viharas which prove the close connection of Lord Buddha with Shravasti. Natives of the district believe that the district headquarters town was founded by King Sravasti, the eighth king of the Ikshwaku dynasty. At that time the capital of the Kosala kingdom, a prosperous trading centre and a religious place was Shravasti. Shravasti is also well known as the birthplace of the Tirthankara Sambhavanath and in his honour the Sobhanath temple was constructed in Shravasti which made it an important centre for the Jains. According to Nagarjuna, in terms of population in 5th century BCE Shravasti has even overshadowed the Rajgir, the capital of Magadha. As per the 'Bruhatkalpa' and various Kalpas of the fourteenth century, the place was popularly known as Mahid. In the year 1996 Shravasti was emerged as separate district in the map of Uttar Pradesh state.
Geographically, the district lies at 27°50'N latitude, 82°03'E longitude and 185 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 17.40% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 1,640 sq kms. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 66th in the state and 533rd in India. It is bounded by Nepal on the North East and North West, Gonda district on the South, Balrampur district on the East and Bahraich district on the West. The prominent river that flows through the district is Rapti. The climate of the district remains extremely hot during the summer. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1532.5 mm in the year of 2021-2022.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 2 tehsils namely Bhinga and Ikauna. There are 1 Lok Sabha seat and 5 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 2 sub-districts, 2 towns and 541 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 11,17,361 out of which 5,93,897 are males and 5,23,464 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 881 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was -5.02% including -6.02% were males and -3.86% were females. The population density in the district is 681 persons per sq. kms. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 31,917 including 16,609 were males and 15,308 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 2,414 out of which 1,682 were males and 732 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 68.79% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 98.78%.
The economy of the district is solely dependent on agriculture. Most of the lands in the district are used for agricultural purposes. Some of its chief agricultural products are paddy, wheat, pulses, sugarcane, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. More than half of the population in the district are engaged in agriculture since it is scantily industrialised. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Shravasti as one of the country's 250 most backward districts that 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. 4,94,085 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 2,99,423 lakh at Constant Prices during the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 4,39,050 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 2,59,234 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. 42,688 at Current Price and Rs. 25,205 at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012.
It is an abode of numerous reputed educational institutions. It provides platform for higher education. Mahamaya Government Degree College is one of the foremost educational institutions in the district. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 46.74% including 57.16% are males and 34.78% are females.
During the year 2021, there were 10,982 domestic tourists who visited these places of the district. The district has numerous centres of attraction with religious and historical significance which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Shravasti District is one of the renowned religious places for Buddhist pilgrims and Jain pilgrims. Jetavana Monestry, situated in the Shravasti district is named after its prince Prasenjeet who donated this park and it is the holy place where the Lord Buddha spent 24 years of his life. Maheth, a fortified place in the ancient period is situated in the north of Jetavana. The ruins of Mahet include two stupas and its excavations led to the discovery of massive gates and ramparts and many other things which are the evidence of the glorious past of the place. Maha Mangole Temple, Maha Veera Temple, Saheth and Shakti Peeth are some of the core temples of the Shravasti district. Some other places of interest in the district are Kachchi Kuti (Saheth), Orajhar, Pakki Kuti, Shobhnath Temple (Mahet), Sita Dwar, Vipassana Meditation Centre, Vibhuti Nath Temple, etc.