The history of Sirsa is closely associated with the era of Mahabharata. The district got its name from its headquarters town, Sirsa. It is believed that the name, Sirsa is derived from Sairishaka, its ancient Sanskrit name which is not only mentioned in the great epic of Mahabharata but also in the Ashtadhyayi and the Divyavadana. In the Mahabharata, the place of Sairishaka is described as being taken by Nakula in his conquest of the western part of the country. In the 5th century B.C. it was a flourishing city as per mentioned by Panini. Besides this there are many other legends about the origin of the name of the place. In 1819, the area of the present district was captured by the British and then it was made a part of the North Western district of the Delhi. In the year 1820, the district of North Western was divided into two parts such as Northern and Western districts. This territory soon became a part of Western district, which was after sometime renamed as Haryana district. In 1837, it was bifurcated from the Haryana district and unified with a newly formed district of Bhattiana. In the year 1858, Bhattiana district was shifted to the Punjab Province and renamed it as Sirsa district. In this way the present district of Sirsa was emerged on 1st September, 1975 by amalgamating Sirsa and Dabwali tehsils of the earlier Hissar district.
Vinay Kumar was the vice-chancellor of Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University (HAU). He was also founding Director General of Jannayak Chaudhary Devilal Vidyapeeth (JCDU). Sardara Singh is an Indian professional field hockey player. Currently, he is the captain of the Indian national team. He received the Padma Shri award in 2015.
Geographically, the district has a total 4,277 sq. km. area and occupies the rank 2nd in State and 274th in India on the bases of this size. It lies at 29°53'N latitude, 75°02'E longitude and 205 m attitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 1.36% forest area of total geographical area. The climate of the district is quite similar to the climate of the other districts of North India. It remains extremely hot in the summers and fairly cold in the winters. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 340.7 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administrative wise, the district is divided into 4 sub-districts namely Sirsa, Dabwali, Rania and Ellenabad. Moreover, it comprises 5 towns and 330 villages. Hindi is its official language. The administrative headquarters of the district is located at Sirsa town which is situated at a distance of 246 kms from the State Capital.
Demographically, according to the 2011 census, the district has a total number of 2,40,217 households with a total of 12,95,189 comprising 6,82,582 are males and 6,12,607 are females which causing it to rank 8th in the state and 378th in India. The density of population of the district is 303 persons per sq. km. The sex ratio is pegged at 897 females for every 1000 males while the child ratio stands at 862 females per 1000 males. The schedule caste population of the district is recorded as 3,87,381 including 2,02,430 are males and 1,84,951 are females. The percentage of major religions practiced by the people of this region is Hindu at 72.60%. The population growth rate during the period 2001 to 2011 was 15.99% out of which 15.06% were males and 17.04% were females. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 25,598 out of which 13,274 were males and 12,324 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 11,927 out of which 7,112 were males and 4,812 were females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Hindu and Sikh with 72.60% and 26.17% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Punjabi and Hindi with 73.30% and 26.21%.
Economically, agriculture is the prime source of income for the people of the district. The Ministry of Panchayati Raj included Sirsa as the one of the most backward district in 2006 and receiving the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF) from the government of Harayana. The GDDP or Gross District Domestic Product during the period 2005-06 was Rs. 4,18,552 lakh at current price and Rs. 3,51,205 at constant prices during the period 1999-2000. The NDDP, or Net District Domestic Product during the period 2005-06 was Rs. 3,91,371 lakh at current price and Rs. 3,30,474 lakh at constant prices during the period 1999-2000. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost during the period 2011-12 was Rs. 86,792 lakh at current price during the period 2004-2005.
Education wise, according to 2011 census, the literacy rate in the district is 68.82% out of which 76.43% are males and 60.4% are females. The total literate population of the district was 7,82,897 including 4,56,968 are males and 3,25,929 are females. The district has a number of educational institutes including schools and colleges. Sirsa Undergraduate Degree Colleges offers various courses in BA, BSc, BCom, etc. It has some engineering colleges also which offers BE, BTech, MCA, ME, MTech BArch, MArch etc. A few nursing colleges are also available here. It also includes colleges that offer Teacher Education Programs and Law Colleges. The district also provides distance education as well.
Devi Lal, famous Indian politician who served as the Chief Mnister of Harayana for two times i.e. in 1977-79 and 1987-89 was born at Teja Khera village in the Sirsa district. He held the position of sixth Deputy Prime Minister of India from 1989-91 in the governments of V. P. Singh and Chandra Shekhar.
The district has a number of famous historical and religious tourist places. These places are Dera Jiwan Nagar, Dera Baba Sarsai Nath, Gurudwara Guru Gobind Singh, Hanuman Temple, Jama Masjid, Ram Dev Mandir, Saint Baba Bihari Samadhi, Tomb of Khwaja Pir, etc. In the year 2019-20 there were total 4,917 domestic tourists who visited the above places. Dera Sacha Sauda was founded by a Saint Shah Mastana in 1948. Radha Swami Satsang Ghar is located at Sikander Pur. A grand Satsang is organized here every year. Ram Dev Mandir, Kagdana is the biggest temple among many temples of Ram Dev. Ram Dev is a saint from Rajasthan. A fair is held at this place every year. Dera Jiwan Nagar is an important centre of Namdhari sect. It is named after Jeewan Kaur mother of a Namdhari Saint named late Partap Singh. Earlier, the places were called as Chichal. Hanuman Temple is situated in the West of the City. Gurudwara Guru Gobind Singh is dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh. He spent a night here. Dera Baba Sarsai Nath is built by Sarsai Nath. He belongs to Nath Sect who is follower of Lord Shiva. Saint Baba Bihari Samadhi is a beautiful Vatika and Temple. A Bhandara is organized here every year. Dera Sufi Saint Baba Bhuman belongs to Sufi Saint Baba Bhuman Shah. A Fair is organized here every year on the ocassion of Sakranti Tomb of Khawaja Pir was built in the 13th century. It is dedicated to Khawaja Abdul Shankar. A mosque is also located here. Jama Masjid was constructed in the late 19th century.