Unnao district
Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary
Location of Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh
Location of Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh
Country India
StateUttar Pradesh
 • Lok Sabha constituenciesUnnao
 • Vidhan Sabha constituenciesUnnao
 • Total4,469.2 km2 (1,725.6 sq mi)
 • Total3,108,367
 • Density700/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Literacy68.29%
 • Sex ratio0.901 /
Time zoneUTC+05:30 (IST)

Unnao district is a district of Uttar Pradesh state in northern India. The city of Unnao is the district headquarters. The district is part of Lucknow Division.

As of the 2011 census, Unnao district has a population of 3,108,367, making it the 31st-most populous district in Uttar Pradesh.[1] It is a predominantly rural district, with over 80% of the population living in rural areas.[1]

Unnao District is known as "The Land Of Pen and Sword" (कलम और तलवार की धरती).[citation needed]


Unnao district was created by the British upon their annexation of Oudh State in February 1856.[2] Before then, under the Nawabs of Awadh, the area was divided between several different districts or chaklas: Purwa covered the eastern part, and to the north were Rasulabad and Safipur.[2] The pargana of Auras, meanwhile, was part of the chakla of Sandila, and the parganas of Baiswara were included in the chakla of the same name, whose headquarters were at Rae Bareli.[2] After the British takeover, the district was originally called "Purwa district" with Purwa as its headquarters.[2] This only lasted for a very short period before the headquarters were relocated to Unnao.[2]


Xuanzang, the Chinese pilgrim to India, stayed at Kannauj for 3 months in 636 AD. From here he journeyed a distance of about 26 km and reached the city of Nafotipokulo (Navadevakula) which stood on the eastern bank of Ganga. The city was about 5 km in circumference and had a Deva Temple, several Buddhist monasteries and Stupas.

Navadevakula has been identified with Nawal, 18 miles southeast of Kannauj.[2]

After that period, this area's history is almost completely obscure, with only the traditions of the later Rajput families as a source.[2] These traditions indicate that today's Unnao district was heavily divided between various groups: the Bhars are said to have ruled in the eastern part, while the central part was inhabited by a mix of tribes including the Lodhs, Lunias, Ahirs, Thatheras, Dhobis, and Kurmis.[2] The mud forts of their rulers are still pointed out, but none of them ruled over a very large area.[2] In the north, the rulers were the Rajpasis, whose capital was the city of Ramkot (now known as Bangarmau).[2] Finally, the area around Safipur was supposedly ruled by Brahmin rajas (Tewari's), with Safipur originally being called "Saipur" after one of them.[2]


In the following centuries, the Rajputs were the main ruling class in this area.[2] The Bais ruled in the south, the Dikshits were prevalent in the central part (their family traditions call this the "kingdom of Dikhitana"), and the north was divided between several smaller clans.[2] Muslim rule was never very strong here, and so the medieval history of Unnao district is essentially a collection of separate family traditions of the ruling Rajput clans, with no specific dates given.[2]

The first major Muslim center in the region was Bangarmau, around the year 1300: according to tradition, one Sayyid Ala-ud-Din conquered the area from the raja of Nawal, then destroyed Nawal and built a new capital at Bangarmau.[2] The shrine over his grave bears an inscription with the date of 702 AH (1302 CE).[2] The next major Muslim conquest was Safipur, said to have happened in 819 AH; a different Sayyid Ala-ud-Din was killed in battle here, and his shrine is venerated by both Hindus and Muslims.[2] His son, Baha-ud-Din, is then said to have later conquered Unnao itself from the Bisen raja of the city, disguising his soldiers as women in order to take the raja's troops by surprise.[2] Other Muslim outposts included Asiwan and Rasulabad.[2]

At the time of Akbar, the entire area of modern Unnao district was included in the sarkar of Lucknow, in Awadh Subah.[2] It consisted of the following mahals: Unnao (called Unam in the Ain-i-Akbari), Sarosi, Harha, Bangarmau, Safipur (then called Saipur), Fatehpur-Chaurasi, Mohan, Asiwan, Jhalotar, Parsandan, Unchgaon, Sidhupur, Purwa (then called Ranbhirpur), Mauranwan, Saron or Sarwan, Kumbhi, Magrayar, Panhan, Patan, Ghatampur, and finally Asoha.[2] This administrative setup remained almost unaltered through the 20th century, although there were a few changes.[2] For example, the pargana of Pariar was formed from parts of Sarosi and Safipur in 1785, and then in the 1800s the pargana of Sarosi became known as Sikandarpur instead (C.A. Elliott wrote in 1862 that it had "recently become habitual" at that time).[2] As another example, Daundia Khera was formed out of Unchgaon and Sidhupur by Rao Mardan Singh around 1800.[2]


There are few references to this area during the later Mughal period, but they become more numerous during under the Nawabs of Awadh.[2] The Nawabs originally maintained a strong central authority over the region, with most of the local zamindars submitting to them without putting up a fight, but gradually their authority here diminished, and the local rulers became practically independent.[2] Under the Nawabi administrative setup, the area covered by today's Unnao district was divided between several districts or chaklas: Purwa, Rasulabad, and Safipur were based here, while Sandila and Baiswara were based outside of the present district but included some of its territory.[2]

When the British annexed Awadh in 1856, they established a new district based at Purwa, but the district headquarters were relocated to Unnao soon after.[2] Unnao was chosen for its central location, and the Deputy Commissioner had been posted here even during the short time when Purwa was the headquarters And district kachhri in Tikargarhi village this located in central unnao area.[2] At first, the new district was smaller than it is today, with only 13 parganas.[2] In 1869, however, it became much larger: the 7 parganas of Baiswara (Panhan, Patan, Bihar, Bhagwantnagar, Magrayar, Ghatampur, and Daundia Khera) were transferred into Unnao district (from Rae Bareli district), where they became part of the tehsil of Purwa.[2] Also in 1869, the pargana of Auras-Mohan was transferred here from Lucknow district, and Mohan became the seat of a tehsil (replacing Nawabganj).[2]

Some fighting during 1857 sepoy mutiny took place in this area. Following the mutiny, the civil administration was re-established in the district which was named district Unnao, with headquarters at Unnao. The size of the district was however small until 1869, when it assumed its present form. The same year the town of Unnao was constituted a Municipality.[3]


In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Unnao one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).[4] It is one of the 34 districts in Uttar Pradesh currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).[4]


Map of Unnao district's tehsils and blocks
Map of Unnao district's tehsils and blocks

Unnao district is divided into 5 tehsils: Unnao, Hasanganj, Safipur, Purwa, and Bighapur.[1] These are further subdivided into 16 community development blocks, as follows:[1]

The current elected representative from Unnao to the Lok Sabha, in the Parliament of India, is Shakshi Maharaj. The district had 6 Vidhan Sabha seats, namely Unnao, Purwa, Bhagwantnagar, Mohan, Safipur and Bangarmau. However, after delimitation in 2008, areas under Harha were merged with other Vidhan Sabha seats. Thus, the district now has only 6 Vidhan Sabha seats. Other prominent Qasba of Unnao include Karowan B.K., Safipur, Neotani, Asiwan, Bangarmau, Mohaan, Magarwara, Shuklaganj, Purwa Maurawan, and Baksar. The district magistrate is Ravindra Kumar.[5]

The Unnao Lok Sabha Constituency had the largest number of registered voters for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, post de-limitation, with about 1.9 million voters, making it India's largest parliamentary seat.

Member of Legislative Council—Kanpur Graduate Seat---Arun Pathak (BJP, elected 23/01/2015) (Kanpur city, Kanpur Dehat and Unnao districts are represented by this seat).


The district has 18 statutory towns, including 3 Nagar Palika Parishads (municipal boards) and 15 Nagar Panchayats, as listed below:[1]

Town name Classification Tehsil Population (in 2011)
Ganj Muradabad Nagar Panchayat Safipur 10,957
Bangarmau Nagar Palika Parishad Safipur 44,204
Fatehpur Chaurasi Nagar Panchayat Safipur 6,715
Ugu Nagar Panchayat Safipur 6,318
Safipur Nagar Panchayat Safipur 25,688
Kursath Nagar Panchayat Safipur 6,770
Auras Nagar Panchayat Hasanganj 6,466
Hyderabad Nagar Panchayat Hasanganj 7,697
Rasulabad Nagar Panchayat Hasanganj 7,928
Mohan Nagar Panchayat Hasanganj 15,071
Nyotini Nagar Panchayat Hasanganj 7,577
Nawabganj Nagar Panchayat Hasanganj 11,545
Unnao Nagar Palika Parishad Unnao 177,658
Gangaghat Nagar Palika Parishad Unnao 84,072
Purwa Nagar Panchayat Purwa 24,467
Maurawan Nagar Panchayat Purwa 15,484
Bighapur Nagar Panchayat Bighapur 6,501
Bhagwant Nagar Nagar Panchayat Bighapur 6,995

Unnao district also has 3 census towns, which are not full municipalities but are otherwise counted as urban areas:[1]

Town name Classification Tehsil Population (in 2011)
Achalganj Census Town Unnao 7,748
Katri Piper Khera Census Town Unnao 26,475
Majhara Pipar Ahatmali Census Town Unnao 25,310


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Religions in Unnao district (2011)[7]
Religion Percent
Other or not stated
Distribution of religions

According to the 2011 census Unnao district has a population of 3,108,367,[8] roughly equal to the nation of Mongolia[9] or the US state of Iowa.[10] This gives it a ranking of 31st in Uttar Pradesh[1] and 112th in India (out of a total of 640).[8] The district has a population density of 682 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,770/sq mi), which is lower than Uttar Pradesh as a whole.[1] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 15.19%.[8] The district's population is 82.9% rural and 17.1% urban as of 2011.[1] Unnao district has a sex ratio of 906 females for every 1,000 males, which is the 30th-highest in the state.[1] It also has a literacy rate of 66.4%, which is the 47th-highest in the state.[1] Scheduled Castes made up 30.51% of the population.[8]


Languages of Unnao district (2011)[11]

  Hindi (97.59%)
  Urdu (2.25%)
  Others (0.16%)

At the time of the 2011 Census of India, 97.59% of the population in the district spoke Hindi (or a related language) and 2.25% Urdu as their first language.[11]

Languages spoken here include Awadhi, a vernacular in the Hindi continuum spoken by over 38 million people, mainly in the Awadh region.[12]


The district follows the usual 10+2+3 pattern of education, as elsewhere in India. Some notable schools and institutions of the district are:

2013 gold treasure incident

Main article: Unnao Gold Treasure Incident

In October 2013, Archaeological Survey of India took up the excavation near Daundia Khera village in Unnao district amid reports of over 1000 tonnes of gold deposits buried beneath the ruins of an old fort, which belonged to Ram Baksh Singh, a revolutionary of 1857.[16] The preliminary investigation of ASI and GSI also confirmed a non-magnetic anomalous zone occurring at 5–20 m depth indicative of possible non-conducting, metallic contents and/or some alloys.[17]

Notable personalities


  1. ^ Part of Purwa block is also in Bighapur tehsil.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Census of India 2011: Uttar Pradesh District Census Handbook - Unnao, Part A (Village and Town Directory)". Census 2011 India. pp. xiii–xv, 5–11, 14, 19–20, 75, 93, 110, 135, 160, 178, 204, 237, 262, 280, 298, 323, 348, 373, 390, 416, 525–39. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af Nevill, H.R. (1903). Unao: A Gazetteer, Being Volume XI Of The District Gazetteers Of The United Provinces Of Agra And Oudh. Allahabad: Government Press. pp. 90, 113–39, 171, 217, 240–1. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  3. ^ "History of the District". Unnao District Website. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  4. ^ a b Ministry of Panchayati Raj (8 September 2009). "A Note on the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme" (PDF). National Institute of Rural Development. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  5. ^ Rastogi, Divyansh (23 February 2020). "यूपी सरकार के प्रशासनिक फेरबदल: 13 IAS अफसर इधर से उधर- अखिलेश सिंह सहारनपुर के नए DM" [Administrative reshuffle of UP government: 13 IAS officers from here to there – new DM of Akhilesh Singh Saharanpur]. Jagran.com (in Hindi). Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  6. ^ Decadal Variation In Population Since 1901
  7. ^ "Table C-01 Population by Religion: Uttar Pradesh". censusindia.gov.in. Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. 2011.
  8. ^ a b c d "District Census Handbook: Unnao" (PDF). censusindia.gov.in. Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. 2011.
  9. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2011. M Mongolia 3,133,318 July 2011 est.
  10. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 30 September 2011. Iowa 3,046,355
  11. ^ a b "Table C-16 Population by Mother Tongue: Uttar Pradesh". www.censusindia.gov.in. Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India.
  12. ^ M. Paul Lewis, ed. (2009). "Awadhi: A language of India". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (16th ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  13. ^ "Know More About College". St. Jude's College. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  14. ^ "St. Lawrence School, Unnao". St. Lawrence School. 2016. Archived from the original on 22 August 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  15. ^ "S.V.M. Inter College, Sant Pooran Das Nagar, Unnao". Facebook. 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  16. ^ "'Peepli Live' in Unnao: ASI begins hunt for 1,000-tonne 'buried treasure'". Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  17. ^ "ASI begins Excavation at Unnao in search of Gold Deposits". Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  18. ^ "Famous Personalities". Unnao District Website. 2010. Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  19. ^ "अखिलेश यादव की बैठक के दौरान सपा नेता उमाशंकर चौधरी की हार्ट अटैक से मौत" [During a party meeting, Samajwadi Party leader Umashankar Chaudhary died from a heart attack]. Amar Ujala (in Hindi). 22 July 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  20. ^ "सपा की बैठक के दौरान उमा शंकर चौधरी को हार्ट अटैक, अस्पताल में निधन" [Uma Shankar Chaudhary dies in hospital, heart attack during Samajwadi Party meeting]. Dainik Jagran (in Hindi). 23 July 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2018.

Coordinates: 26°33′00″N 80°28′48″E / 26.55000°N 80.48000°E / 26.55000; 80.48000