Unnao district, a part of Lucknow division is a district of Uttar Pradesh with its administrative headquarters located at Unnao town. In the earlier period the region was covered by dense forests. Then in the 12th century a Chauhan Rajput called Prashan Singh Chauhan came to this region and he cleaned up the forests that covered. At that time the place was popularly known as Sawai Godo. During the Kannauj rule, Unwant Singh, a very brave man killed the Governor of this place named Khande Singh. After that he ordered to construct a fort in this place and named it Unnao after himself. In ancient period Unnao was a part of the Kosala Mahajanapada but later included in the Oudh. After the 1857 Mutiny the power of the British East India Company was transferred to the British Crown, by the Queen's Proclamation of 1858. After the end of chaos, the civil administration was re-established in the district and it was again named as Unnao.
Shivmangal Singh, a distinguished Hindi poet and academician was born on 5th August, 1915 at Jhagarpur in the district. He was honoured by many prestigious awards such as Sahitya Akademi Award in 1974, Padma Shri in 1974, Padma Bhushan in 1999 and many more.
Geographically, the district lies at 26°55'N latitude, 80°48'E longitude and 98 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 5.80% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographically area of 4,558 sq kms. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 13th in the state and 248th in India. It is bounded by Hardoi district on the north, Fatehpur district and Raebareli district on the south, Lucknow district on the east and Kanpur district on the west. 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 648.9 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into tehsils namely Unnao, Bangarmau, Hasanganj, Safipur, Purwa and Bighapur. There are 1 Lok Sabha seat and 6 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 5 sub-districts, 21 towns and 1,795 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 31,08,367 out of which 16,30,087 are males and 14,78,280 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 907 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 15.11% including 14.59% are males and 15.69% are females. The population density in the district is 682 persons per sq. kms. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 71,608 including 37,571 were males and 34,037 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 16,071 out of which 9,495 were males and 6,576 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 87.89% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 97.72%.
The economy of the district is mainly dependent on agriculture. Some of its chief agricultural crops are paddy, rice, potato, maize, pulses, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the farmers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Most of the population of the district are engaged in agriculture since it is scantily industrialized. Only some leather industries are available in the district because Unnao district is famous for its leather industries and leather goods. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Unnao as one of the country's 250 most backward districts which 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. 21,94,567 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 13,60,536 lakh at Constant Prices during the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 19,44,788 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 11,73,037 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. 56,536 at Current Price and Rs. 34,101 at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district provides platform for the higher education. Some of the reputed educational institutions in the district are Rajkeeya Mahavidhyalaya, Saraswati Institute of Technology and Management, Sunrise Institute of Engineering Technical and Management, Shri Narain Girls Post Graduate College Department of Education, Institute of Professional Studies and Research, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 66.37% including 75.05% are males and 56.76% are females.
Uma Shankar Dikshit, an illustrious Indian politician and a Union Cabinet Minister for Home Affairs (1973-1974) was born on 12th January, 1901 at Ugu in the Unnao district. He was also served as a Governor of Karnataka from 1976 to 1977 and a Governor of West Bengal from 1984 to 1986. He was a member of Indian National Congress. Annu Tandon, an eminent Indian politician and a member of 15th Lok Sabha from Unnao constituency was born on 15th November, 1957 at Unnao town. She is a member of Indian National Congress party.
During the year 2021, there were 16,215 domestic tourists who visited these places of the district. Every year numerous travellers from different parts of the world come to this place to enjoy its various centres of attraction with historical and religious importance. Badarqa Harbans village, located at a distance of 11 kms. south of the Unnao district was founded in 1643 AD by king Harbans, an official at the court of Shah Jahan. He constructed a beautiful house in this place. Bangarmau is the place according to Buddhist literature where Lord Buddha stayed for some time and preached the gospel. At present every year a Budhwa Mangal fair is organized on the first Tuesday of Chaitra. Pariyar is a very pious place which possesses two notable temples namely Balkaneshwar Nath Mahadeo temple and Janki temple. Some other renowned places of interest are Nawab Ganj, Patan, Safipur, Daundia Khera, Mohan, Mogli Water Park, etc.