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Mirzapur District

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About the Mirzapur district

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Brief About Mirzapur District
According to the tradition,the name of this town,after which the District itself is named was GIRZAPUR, which in terms derives its name from the goddess Parvati (Girija) who sacrified herself here in a vajna. Mirza, Vindhyavasini and Lakshmi are the other names of the goddess whose temple exists at Vindhyachal.The present name of the district is derived from goddess Lakshmi who emerged from the sea. The word Mirza is formed from two words; Mir meaning sea and ja meaning outcome,with the additional pur standing for town. It is also locally believed that the town was founded by raja Nanner and was known as Girijapur,but later on it came to know as Mirzapur The earliest mention of the town is found in the writings of Tieffenthaler,who drew up his description of the country between 1760 and 1770. He mentioned it, under the name of Mirzapur specially as a great mart. In the records of Jonathan Duncan,who was resident of Varanasi,frequent mention is made of the place as Mirzapur

The District of Mirzapur, with the exception of the Villages namely Mowat, Merolatand, Mahespur, Durjanipur, Mangarahi Deohat, Katra and Bamsaur received from Allahabad in 1861, falls entirely within the tract of country once known as the province of Benaras.

The sovereignty of this was formally ceded to the East India Company in 1775 by the Nawab-vizir of Avadh; but the tract itself was included in the zamindari of the raja of Benares and remained in his actual possession until 1794, when Mahip Narayan Singh surrendered its control of the Governor General of India by the agreement of 27th october of that year. It is not until 1830 that Mirzapur became a separate revenue jurisdiction of its own ,because until that year it had been included  in Varanasi.

Mirzapur was then placed under a local collector of customs, the subdivisions assigned to new collectorate being tappas Chaurasi , Chhiyanve, Upraudh, Kon and Sakteshgarh of pargana Kantit and other paragnas, Bhagwat Bhuili, Haveli, Chunar, Quriat, Sikhar, Agori, Barhar and Bijaigarh, Bhadohi, Kon and Majhwa were restored to Varanasi on the protest of raja but were afterwards re-annexed to Mirzapur. At present Agori, Barharand Bijaigarh are in Sonbhadra District. However Bhadohi is in Sant Ravidas Nagar District.

There has been no change in the territorial limits of Mirzapur since 1833, when the revenue and judicial administrations were made to coincide throughout the Benares province; but several alternations have been made in the sub-divisional boundries since the tract came in to the possession of the British. In 1801 every pargana and tappa, with a few exception had a separate Tehsildar.

In 1804 it was resolved to abolish the office of Tehsildar in the Benares Province. In 1806, tahsildars were established for tappas Chaurasi, Upraudh, Chhiyanvey Sakteshgarh and Bhagwat at Chaurasi ; and for pargnas Agori-Barhar and Bijaigarh (at present lies in Sonbhadra District) at Kusancha.

The first of the two tahsils created in 1809 corresponds to a great extent with the present Mirzapur tahsil. Saketeshgarh and Bhagwat have been taken may from it and kon and Majhwa added . To the tahsil which had its headquarters in 1809 at Kusancha, Singrauli and Dudhi were added and the whole was for some time known as the Shahganj tahsil ( Now all these are in Sonbhadra District). 

The history of Mirzapur dates back to Mughal times when, at the time of the Mughal king Akbar, carpet weaving began in the Jaunpur and Allahabad districts of Uttar Pradesh. During the course of time, these weavers migrated to Mirzapur. Even today carpets are a big industry in the region.

There are many lovely structures that still exist in Mirzapur today, albeit in a dilapidated state.
Havelis, colonial structures and natural beauty combine to make Mirzapur an interesting place to visit.

Mirzapur is located between latitude 23.52º to 23.32º and longitude 82.72º to 83.33º. It is spread over an area of 4952.5 sq. km. It is surrounded by Varanasi and Sant Ravidas Nagar on the north, Allahabad on the west, and towards south east its boundaries are contiguous with Varanasi district, Sonebhadra and the state of Madhya Pradesh. The district measures 64 km from east to west and 32 km. from north to south.

The land in the district is mostly uneven. The landscape is dotted with hills, mountains, plateaus, waterfalls and rivers. The Vindhya mountains range rises in Mirzapur district and extends to the south west. And the most beautiful waterfalls in the district are at Tanda, Windham. Ganga and Belan are the two major rivers flowing through the district.
The soil is generally red and the terrain generally rocky in the district. The district has 4,50,169 hectares reported area. The forest coverage is 98,353 hectares (28.1% of total reported).

Climate/Natural Resources
Mirzapur’s climate is subtropical. Average rainfall is 11 cm/year.
The Vindhya range has a dense forest cover. The most important forest produce is Tendu leaves.
Stone mines are found in many blocks of the district. This is a major industry.
Chunar is famous for its potteries.

Demographic Features
According to 1991 census the total population of the district is 16.57 lakhs (8.79 lakhs males and 7.77 lakhs females).
The urban population is 2.28 lakhs and rural population is 14.28 lakhs.
The sex ratio is 884 females for every 1000 males.
The density of population per square km is 336. The scheduled caste population is 4.61 lakhs. The district has a very negligible population of scheduled tribes.


The total number of literates in the district is 5.11 lakhs which is 39.68% of the total population. Male literacy rate is 54.75% as compared 22.32% for females. Literacy rate amongst scheduled castes is well below the district average. A concerted effort is required in the field of girl child education and extension of primary education to weaker sections of the society, particularly scheduled caste population.

Socio-Economic Structure

Due to its hard rocky terrain, low soil fertility and poor industrial investment, Mirzapur has not broken away from its feudal past. There still exists a very strong caste system effecting socio-economic structure.

The reorganization of the district has seen most of the active industrial sector go to Sonebhadra. Present day Mirzapur is left with extremely low level of state and central government public investment. The carpet industry of the district is flourishing and is world famous.