According to the 2011 census Azamgarh district has a population of 4,616,509, roughly equal to the nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina or the US state of South Carolina. This gives it a ranking of 30th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 1,139 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,950 /sq mi) . Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 17.17 %. Azamgarh has a sex ratio of 1017 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 72.69 %. Azamgarh district’s total population was 3,939,915 as per 2001 census with population density of 972/km². The population consists of 297,300 urban and 3,642,616 rural; 1,989,501 females and 1,950,414 males. The literacy rate was 57%.

Azamgarh, one of the easternmost districts of the State, once formed a part of the ancient Kosala kingdom, except the north-eastern part of it which was included in the kingdom of Malla. Kosala figured prominently among the four powerful monarchies of northern India during the time of the Buddha when its prosperity reached its zenith. The kingdom of Kosala was bounded on the east by the Ganga and the kingdom of Magadha, on the north-east by the territories of Vriji-Lichchhavis and those of Mallas on the north by the territories of the Sakyas, on the west by Surasena and on the south and south-west by the kingdom of Vatsa with Kausambi as its capital.

The district of Azamgarh possesses hardly any remains of much antiquarian value. Of the few that exist, neither the origin nor the history are known, for the most part. There are some deserted sites, forts and tanks to be seen in every tehsil of this district, and they carry vague legends regarding their builders. The early history of the district can be traced only from the extant antiquities.

According to a local tradition, the country of the Bhars, which was included in the kingdom of Ayodhya in Rama’s time, was occupied by Rajbhars and Asuras.

The second battle Tarain in 1192 A.D. established the Islamic power in India, but the region including the district of Azamgarh does not appear to have been subject to the sovereignty of the Muslims immediately. In 1193 A.D. after the death of Jayachandra, the region from Varanasi to Gaya including the district of Azamgarh passed into the hands of the Muslims by Shihab-ud-din-Muhammad Ghuri. From the establishment of the Jaunpur kingdom to its extinction, most of the tract now included in this district fell under its rule, but no important place in this district of Azamgarh can be mentioned as having been the seat of administration for the surrounding parganas.

The headquarters of the district derives its name for Azam Khan who founded it on the ruins of the village Ailwal and Phulwaria about 1665 A.D. Azamat Khan, the brother of Azam Khan, built a fort and settled a bajar of Azmatgarh in pargana Sagari about the same time as that of Azamgarh. Only the ruins of the fort constructed by Azmat remain in Azamgarh. Adjoining Azmatgarh there is the great ‘Salona’, Azamgarh Tal, which was named after Azam Khan.

Azam Khan died in Kannauj in 1675 A.D. After the attack of Chabile Ram, Azmat Khan fled northwards followed by the interior forces. He attempted to cross the Ghaghra into Gorakhpur, but the people on the other side opposed his landing, and he was either shot in mid stream or was drowned in attempting to escape by swimming.

In 1688 A.D. during Azamt’s lifetime, his eldest son Ekram took part in the management of the state, and after Azam’s death he was perhaps left in possession together with Mohhabat, another son. The remaining two sons were taken away and for a time detained as hostages for their brothers’ ‘good behaviour’.

The successor of Ikram finally confirmed the title of his family to the Jamidari. Ikram left no heirs and was succeeded by Iradat, son of Mohhabat, But the real ruler all along had been Mohhabat, and after Ikram’s death, he continued to rule in his son’s name.

Notable people

  • Shibli Nomani (Muslim writer, educationist, poet)
  • Mirza Aslam Baig (Former Chief of Army Staff Pakistan and Director General of ISI)
  • Rahul Sankrityayan (Hindi/Sanskrit scholar)
  • Kaifi Azmi (Urdu poet)
  • Ram Naresh Yadav (politician, former U.P. Chief Minister, Governor of Madhya Pradesh )
  • Shabana Azmi (Bollywood film actress, politician)
  • Abu Asim Azmi (politician)
  • Shamim Jairajpuri (an Indian zoologist and academic who is known for his contributions to the field of nematology)
  • Maulana Aslam Jairajpuri (Islamic scholar)
  • Qamaruzzaman Azmi (Muslim scholar, writer and educationalist)
  • Shaikh Shamim Ahmed (Politician, Ex. M.L.A Mumbai)
  • Prem Chand Pandey (scientist, founder director National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Goa)
  • Waqar Azmi (UK Prime Minister’s Chief Diversity Adviser)
  • Amar Singh (politician and businessman)
  • Laxmi Narayan Mishra (play writer of Hindi)
  • Abu Salem Major Convict BOMBAY BLASTS He is convicted for the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and killing of India’s music baron *Gulshan Kumar in 1997
  • Nagendra Kumar Singh (National Professor, Agriculture Scientist, ICAR)

Geography and topography Of Azamgarh
Azamgarh has an average elevation of 64 metres (209 feet). Azamgarh consists of a series of parallel ridges, whose summits are depressed into beds or hollows, along which the rivers flow; while between the ridges are low-lying rice lands, interspersed with numerous natural reservoirs. The soil is fertile, and very highly cultivated, bearing magnificent crops of rice, sugar-cane, wheat and orchards of mango and guava.

Azamgarh is connected to Mumbai, National Capital Delhi, Ahmedabad, state capital Lucknow, Jaipur, Ajmer, and Amritsar. Buses regularly travel between Azamgarh and the capital, Lucknow.

As of 2011 India census, Azamgarh has a population of 46,16,509. Males constitute 22,89,336 of the population and females 23,27,172. Azamgarh has an average literacy rate of 62%. 22% of the population is under 6 years of age. Azamgarh is the fourth most populous city in Uttar Pradesh. The largest part of the community belongs to the Hindu religion. Muslims account for nearly 15% of the district population. The majority of the Muslims in the district belong to the Sunni sect. Among them the most numerous are Julahas or weavers. There are minorities of other religions including Sikhism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Jainism.

Economy and topography Of Azamgarh
In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Azamgarh one of the country’s 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640). It is one of the 34 districts in Uttar Pradesh currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF)

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