Hardoi district (Hindi: हरदोइ ज़िला, Urdu: ہردوئی ضلع) is a district of Uttar Pradesh, India, and Hardoi town is the district headquarters. Hardoi district is a part of Lucknow division.
People believe that the name Hardoi comes from distorted version of its earlier name Haridrohi, which is a Hindi word that means “anti to the God”. According to Hindu theology, in the past it was ruled by a king Hiranyakashipu, who didn’t have faith in God, but instead declared himself as God. He wanted the people to pray to him, but later his own son Prahlad rebelled. He tried to kill his own son by various means, but was unsuccessful. Later, to save Prahlad, God himself came in disguise, such that he was neither human nor animal, and killed Hiranyakashipu. According to some scholars, the term “Hardoi” originated from the term “Haridwaya” which means two gods. Since there were two gods, Vamana Bhagavan (in the regime of King Bali) and Narasimha Bhagavan (in the regime of King Hiranyakashipu) had been incarnated hence the place called Haridwaya and later called Hardoi.
Hardoi is first mentioned during the Muslim rule. In 1028, Bawan was invaded by Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud.However, Muslims didn’t occupy the region until 1217. After long struggle Sayyad Shakir established first Muslim site at GOPAMAU. Many battles between the Mogul and Afghan empires took place in Hardoi district due to the situation of the district. Humayun was defeated by Sher Shah Suri between the cities of Bilgram and Sandi, and he escaped by crossing the river Ganges with the help of a bhisti to whom he had made the king for one day after regaining the throne.
Later, in February 1856, Hardoi, as a part of Oudh, became part of the British territory after Lord Dalhousie’s proclamation. The headquarters of the district were at first Mallawan, but then became Hardoi after the Sepoy Mutiny.
In 1901, the main activities were wood-carving industry, saltpetre works and grain trade. The district exports grain, sugar, hides, tobacco and saltpetre.
Hardoi district has 5 tehsils – Hardoi, Shahabad, Sawayajpur, Bilgram and Sandila. These tehsils consist of 19 blocks (Ahirori, Hariyava, Sursa, Shahabad, Bharkhani, Bharavan, Harpalpur, Bilgram, Madhoganj, Mallavan, Tadiyavan, Todarpur, Kothavma, Sandila, Behndar, Pihani, Sandi, Kachona, Bavan), 191 Nyay panchayat, 1101 gram sabha and 1983 revenue villages (1883 of them are inhabited). The district has seven nagar palika parishads (Municipal boards) and six Nagar Panchayats.
This district is a district of the Lucknow Commissionary in Uttar Pradesh Province of India, it is situated in between 26-53 to 27-46 north latitude and 79-41 to 80-46 east longitude. Its north border touches Shahjahanpur district and Lakhimpur Kheri district. Lucknow (Capital of U.P.) and Unnao are situated at the southern border. The western border touches Kanpur (Industrial City of U.P.) and Farrukhabad district and on the eastern border the Gomati River separates the district from the Sitapur district. ‘Nemisharayan, the Pilgrim of Dwapar age’ is just 45 km from district headquarters. The length of this district from northwest to southeast is 125.529 km and width from east to west is 74.83 km., the area 5947 km2.