Historically, Sonipat was once known as Sonprastha. Later, it was called Svarnaprastha (Golden City). The word Svarnaprastha is the made with the combination of two words Svarna means Gold and Prastha means Place. After that, the name of the district became Svarnpat and now is called Sonipat. According to the ancient history, the name of the place is mentioned in the great epic Mahabharata as Swarnaprastha, founded by the five Pandava brothers. It was one of the five prasthas or towns demanded by Yudhishthira as the price of peace from Duryodhana and in lieu of the kingdom of Hastinapur. Where as the other four villages were Panprastha (Panipat), Baghprastha (Baghpat), Tilprastha (Tilpat) and Indraprastha. On the other hand, another legend explained that the place was ruled by Raja Soni, the thirteenth descendant of Arjuna, one of the Pandava brothers.
Sonipat was finally emerged as a separate district in the map of Haryana state in the year 1973.
Several famous personalities belong to the district. Baje Bhagat was an Indian litterateur, artist, thinker, poet, ragni writer, sawng artist and haryanvi cultural show artist. He was born on 16th July, 1898 in Sisana village and died on 26th February, 1939. In June 2013, the Government of Haryana instituted an award for the haryanvi raagni singers. Ramesh Kumar is an Indian wrestler from Sonipat district. He won the bronze medal in the Men's 74kg Freestyle Wrestling event at the 2009 Wrestling World Championship in Herning in Denmark. He also won Gold medal in Commonwealth games in 2002.
Geographically, the district has a total 2,122 sq. km. area and occupies the rank 8th in State and 487th in India on the bases of this size. It lies at 28°99'N latitude, 77°02'E longitude and 224 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 1.04% forest area of total geographical area. It is surrounded by Delhi union territory in South, Panipat District in the North, Jind District in the North-West, Uttar Pradesh state in the East with the Yamuna River acting as a border and Rohtak District in the West. The climate of the district is 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 1167.7 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 4 sub-districts namely Ganaur, Sonipat, Kharkhauda and Gohana. Moreover, it has 8 towns and 332 villages. Hindi is its official language. The administrative headquarters of the district is located at Sonipat which is situated at a distance of 214 kms from the State Capital.
Demographically, according 2011 to the census, the district has a total number of 2,69,658 households with a total of 14,50,001 comprising 7,81,299 are males and 6,68,702 are females which causing it to rank 6th in the state and 342nd in India. The population density in the district is 683 persons per sq. km. The sex ratio is pegged at 856 females for every 1000 males while the child ratio stands at 798 females per 1000 males. The schedule caste population of the district is recorded as 2,69,935 comprising 1,44,516 are males and 1,25,419 are females. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 23,068 out of which 12,023 were males and 11,045 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 11,301 out of which 7,227 were males and 4,070 were females. As per 2011 census the percentage of major religion practiced by the people of this region is Hindu with 95.87%. The population growth rate during the period 2001 to 2011 was 13.35% including 12.30% were males and 14.61% were females. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 98.10%.
Economically, the district is dependent on the agriculture primarily. Three types of region can be found here namely the Khadar, the upland plain and the sandy region. Khadar region is located along the Yamuna River. The upland plain is the most fertile area. Sandy area is the smallest part of the district. Rice, sugarcane, oil seeds and vegetables are cultivated mainly in the area. Horticulture plants are also grown on large scale. The GDDP or Gross District Domestic Product during the period 2005-06 was Rs. 5,19,169 lakh at current price and Rs. 4,00,638 lakh at constant prices during the period 1999-2000. The NDDP, or Net District Domestic Product during the period 2005-06 was Rs. 4,75,475 lakh at current price and Rs. 3,69,858 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. 95,053 lakh at current price during the period 2004-2005.
Education wise, according to the 2011 census, the literacy rate persons is 79.12% including 87.18% are males and 69.8% are females. The total literate population of the district is 9,98,316 comprising 5,89,881 are males and 4,08,435 are females. It has become a main centre for education. The district has a number of educational institutes such as schools and colleges. It also has three universities namely Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University of Science and Technology in Murthal (founded in 1987), Bhagat Phool Singh Mahila Vishwavidyalaya in Sonipat (founded in 2006) and O P Jindal Global University near Rathdhana (founded in 2009). A world class institute ‘National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship & Management’ (NIFTEM) was established at Kundali in 2012. Name of the some of the colleges are Govt College for women in Murthal, Govt PG College in Gohana, Saheed Dalbir Singh Govt College in kharkhoda, Chotu Ram Arya College in Sonipat, D.A.V. College Hassahgarg in Rohtak, Gita Vidhya Mandir in Sonipat, Hindu College in Sonipat and T.R. College of Education in Sonipat. There is also a Rajiv Gandhi University which has deemed government and private 30 universities, medical colleges, engineering colleges, and other educational institutes.
The district has numerous famous historical and religious places to visit. These places are Ancient Pandav Place, Ancient Temple of Guru Gorakhnath, Baba Dham, Buddhist Site of Worship, Historical Memorial Site in Village Badkhalsa, Tomb of Khwaja Khizr, Tirath Satkumbha Temple. In the year 2020-2021, there were total 18,874 domestic tourists. who visited the above places. Ancient Pandav Place is an ancient site belongs to Pandavas. It has an old well of duration of Pandava’s exile time. There is also a temple of Kali Mata. Ancient temple of Guru Gorakhnath is situated at the Gord village in the Kharkhonda tehsil. It is prominent religious place. It is believed that it is the beginning place of Nath sect. The place has a 31-feet high statue of Lord Shiva and ancient pond. A fair is also celebrated here every year. The Baba Dham temple is famous for two big statues of Lord Shiva and Lord Hanuman. There is a village namely Kumaspur which belongs to the Lord Buddha. It is believed that Lord Buddha visited this pace. Tirath Satkumbha temple is an ancient temple about 1,100 years old. The beautiful tomb of Khwaja Khizr was built during 1522-24 AD.