Out of the 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh state, it is the most well known historical district with its administrative headquarters located at Agra city. For the first time the name of the city Agra was mentioned as Agreva?a in the great epic Mahabharata. The term Agreva?a is a Sanskrit word which means "the border of the forest". The first person who gave Agra its present name was Ptolemy. On the other hand the heritage of the Agra city depicts its glorious history. Legends believe that modern Agra was established by Sikandar Lodhi in the 16th century. Then Babar, the founder of the Mughal dynasty ruled this region as well for a definite period of time. Later during the reign of Emperor Akbar, he built the beautiful Agra fort and Fatehpur Sikri near Agra. At that time Fatehpur Sikri was declared as his capital for almost fifteen years. When Shahjahan came into the throne of Mughal Empire, he worked a lot to beautify the place of Agra. He took up the Mughal architecture to its celestial point, when he constructed the wonderful Taj Mahal in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. After the downfall of the Mughal era, Agra had witnessed the rule of the Jats, Marathas and finally the British taking over it.
Motilal Nehru, an eminent Indian lawyer, an illustrious activist of the Indian National Movement and an important leader of the Indian National Congress was born on 6th May, 1861 in Agra. He also served as the President of Congress party for two times (1919-1920) and (1928-1929). He was the originator of India's most renowned political family, the Nehru-Gandhi Family. Girish Chandra Saxena, a former governor of Jammu Kashmir State was born at Agra city in 1928. He joined IPS in 1950 and held many prestigious positions in police department. He retired as the Director of the Research and Analysis Wing, India's external intelligence agency.
Geographically, the district lies at 27°18'N latitude, 78°01'E longitude and 169 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 6.50% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 4,041 sq. km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies 23rd rank in the state and 303rd rank in India. The place of Agra is bounded by some district from all four sides such as Mathura district, Mahamaya Nagar district and Etah District. on the north, Dholpur district of Rajasthan on the south, Bharatpur district of Rajasthan on the west and Firozabad district on the east. The district is characterized as humid subtropical climate. The climate of every season in this place has a distinct feature. The district experiences a hot and dry summer, mild winter and rainy monsoon. The actual rainfall in the district was 562 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 6 tehsils-Etmadpur, Agra, Kiraoli, Kheragarh, Fatehabad and Bah. There are 3 Lok Sabha and 9 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 27 towns and 929 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 44,18,797 out of which 23,64,953 are males and 20,53,844 are females. In terms of population, it occupies the ranks of 11th and 41st in the state and in India. The district has a sex ratio of 868 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011, the population growth rate in the district was 22.05% including 20.58% were males and 23.79% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 88.77% of the total population. The population density in the district is 1,093 (persons per sq. km.). According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 98.75%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 1,14,790 including 59,802 were males and 54,988 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 22,908 including 15,223 were males and 7,685 were females.
The presence of the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and other historical monuments has developed a remarkable tourism industry in the district. Moreover, from time to time the government of India introduces some new innovative measures for development of the tourism sector of the district. Tourism contributes to the economy of the district to a huge extent. Royal crafts like Pietra Dura, marble inlay and carpets commonly found in the district are world famous. A major portion of its population is engaged in the agricultural sector in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural crops grow in the district are wheat, paddy, bajra, mustard, potato, etc. Some other notable sources of earning in the district are leather and footwear business and iron foundries. Though the district is scantily industrialized yet it has a number of small scale industries. Uttar Pradesh's first biotech plant company named, Harihar Biotech is located near the Taj. In the year 2020-21 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 62,02,523 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 38,86,881 lakh at Constant Prices during the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 54,95,889 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 33,39,871 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. 1,06,256 at Current Price and Rs. 64,572 at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district has witnessed many transformational changes in the educational sector. During the very beginning of the Mughal era Agra grew as a centre of Islamic education. Then the British came and they introduced the western concept of education in the district. In that same era, the place was changed into a great centre of Hindi literature with some eminent personalities like Babu Gulab Rai at the helm. Agra University, established on 1st July, 1927 is the most reputed government university in the district and most of the colleges here are affiliated to it. Later the Agra University was renamed as "Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar University" by the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Ms. Mayawati. Agra College is one of the oldest colleges in India which was established in 1823. Among all the educational institutions in the district some of its reputed educational institutions are Sachdeva Institute of Technology, Central Institute of Hindi, Institute of Mental Health and Hospital, Sarojini Naidu Medical College, St. John's College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 71.58% including 80.62% are males and 61.18% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 26,80,510 out of which 16,14,594 are males and 10,65,916 are females.
During the year 2021, there were 43,86,676 domestic tourists and 36,388 foreign tourists who visited these places of the district. The district provides a treasure trove for all the tourists from India and abroad. Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri, all three tourist places of Agra are registered as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful architecture of the Mughal period the mausoleum of Shah Jahan's beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal is the most admired creation in the district. It is included in the Seven Wonders of the World. Agra Fort was made 1000 years before but renovated by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565. During the period of Emperor Shah Jahan, he reconstructed the red sand stone fort and made it a beautiful palace. Fatehpur Sikri located about 35 km. from Agra was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar and he made it his capital. The site has many structures which displays significant historical importance. I'timad-Ud-Daulah, Akbar’s tomb, Jama Majid, Ram Bagh, Mariam’s tomb are some other foremost creations of Mughal rulers in the district.