Chitrakoot district is a district of Uttar Pradesh with its administrative headquarters located at Chitrakoot town. The term Chitrakoot means the 'Hill of many wonders'. Chitrakoot lies in the northern Vindhya Range of mountains. According to Valmiki Ramayana, it is an abode of many great sages with a huge variety of flora and fauna. The two great sages of this place are namely Valmiki and Bharadwaj. There is a mythological story associated with this place. During the exile of Lord Rama it was advised to him to stay and take rest in this place since the place has the quality of relieving a person from worldly desires and pains. Then Lord Rama also admitted this fact. On 6th May, 1997 a new district named Chhatrapati Shahuji Mahraj- Nager was created in the state of Uttar Pradesh after it has been carved out from the earlier Banda district. Later, the name of the district was changed to Chirakoot on 4th September, 1998. It falls in the northern Vindhya range of mountains extended to the states of Uttar Pradesh f3,216and Madhya Pradesh. Moreover, the larger part is included in the District Chitrakoot of U.P. and the District Satna of Madhya Pradesh.
Geographically, the district lies at 25018'N latitude, 80087'E longitude and 207 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 18.23% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 3,216 sq. km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 37th in the state and 372nd in India. It is bounded by Fatehpur district on the north, Kaushambi district on the north east, Banda district on the north west and Madhya Pradesh on the south, south east and south west. The prominent rivers that flows through the district are Yamuna. The climate of the district remains extremely hot during the summer and fairly cold in the winter. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 911.3 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 4 tehsils namely Karwi, Mau, Manikpur and Rajapur. There are 1 Lok Sabha seat and 3 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 4 towns and 6,56 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 9,91,730 out of which 5,27,721 are males and 4,64,009 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 879 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 29.43% including 28.97% were males and 29.96% were females. The population density in the district is 308 persons per sq. km. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 20,819 out of which 10,610 were males and 10,209 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 1,085 out of which 664 were males and 421 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 96.33% of the total population. According to the 2011 census the principal languages in the district is Hindi with 99.87%.
The economy of the district is agrarian based. Most of the lands of the district are used for agricultural purpose. Some of its chief agricultural products are wheat, rice, pulses, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the farmers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. More than half of the population in the district are engaged in agriculture since it is scantily industrialized. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Chitrakoot 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 that is currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). It is generally viewed that every successive government often ignores the district's development and therefore it has become one of the most remote and cut-off districts in India. In the year 2016-17 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 3,67,488 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 2,87,225 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2017-18 was Rs. 6,47,723 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 4,96,274 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2017-18 was Rs. 56,402 at Current Price and Rs. 43,214 at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is an abode of numerous reputed educational institutions. It provides platform for higher education. Some of its recognised educational institutions are Goshwami Tulshidas Government College, Mahamati Prannath College, Chitrakoot Inter College, Subhash Inter College, Kaushambi Inter College, Adarsh Haldhar Inter College, Teacher Training Institute, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 65.05% including 75.8% are males and 52.74% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 5,31,072 including 3,30,339 are males and 2,00,733 are females.
Shyama Charan Gupta, an eminent Indian politician and a member of 16th Lok Sabha from Allahabad constituency was born on 9th February, 1945 at the Chitrakoot town. He was also served as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 2004 to 2009. He is a member of Bharatiya Janata Party. R.K. Singh Patel, a distinguished Indian politician and a member of the 15th Lok Sabha from the Banda constituency was born on 3rd July, 1959 at Balapur, Khalsa in the Chitrakoot district. He is a member of Samajwadi Party (SP) political party.
During the year 2018, there were 67,96,416 domestic tourists and 4,696 foreign tourists who visited these places of the district. The district has numerous centres of attraction with historical and religious significance which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Kamadgiri, located in the district is a religious hill covered with dense forest. Native of the district believe that Kamadgiri is the original Chitrakoot. Bharat Milap temple is the identity of this place. Devotees from far distance place come to this hill to perform a distinct ritual in order to seek blessings. Sphatik Shila is a place in the district marked by two huge rocks. According to mythology it is the place where Lord Rama and Sita praised the beauty of Chitrakoot. Hanuman Dhara, situated on a steep hillside has a natural spring which water flows over an image of Lord Hanuman. Ram Ghat, located on the banks of the Mandakini River is a centre of ritual activity. Janki Kund is a cave over the Mandakini River and there is a belief that Goddess Sita bathed in it.