The town of Unnao gives its name to the district of which it forms a part. About 1200 years ago, the site of this town was covered with extensive forests. Prashan Singh Chauhan, a Chauhan Rajput, cleared the forests, probably in the third quarter of the 12th century, and founded a town called Sawai Godo, which shortly afterwards passed into the hands of the rulers of the Kannauj, who appointed Khande Singh as the Governor of the place. Unwant Singh, a Chauhan Rajput and a lieutenant of the Governor, killed him and built a fort here, renaming the place as Unnao after himself. In ancient times, the area which comprises Unnao formed part of the Kosala Mahajanapada. It was later included in Oudh. This region has been inhabited since antiquity as traces from ancient times remain at some places in the district. After the First War of Indian Independence in 1857, power was transferred from the British East India Company to the British Crown, by the Queen's Proclamation of 1858. Once the order was restored, the civil administration was re-established in the district which was named Unnao, with headquarters at Unnao. It assumed its present size in 1869. The same year the town of Unnao was constituted a Municipality. There were many rulers with a small estates ruled under the constituency of Unnao proclaimed by British Constituency during early 19's till 1948 until India has been handed over to the interim government of 1948. Later, in 1956 the local throne was handed over to Pahadpur estate, one of the strongest estates in Unnao and had been ruled under Rao ShivBali Singh Bahadur Chauhan, who had served his country as a Royal Indian Army personnel in British rule. Later, in 1970's the custody of Unnao had been succeeded by his descendant and his very own son Rao Ramsajeevan Singh Bahadur Chauhan, who also had served his country in Royal Indian Army. He is blessed with 5 children, 2 Daughters and 3 son and had married to Daughter of Raja Bahadur Singh of Dalpatkheda estate. These all were the unsung parts of history which is available in the history of Unnao book.
Unnao district is surrounded by some of the main cities of Uttar pradesh. Lucknow Kanpur Raebarelly Hardoi
Location & Boundaries
The District is roughly a parallelogram in shape and lies between Latitude 26°8' N & 27°2' N and Longitude 80°3' E & 81°3' E. It is bounded on the North by District Hardoi, on the East by District Lucknow, on the South by District Rae Bareli and on the West by the Ganga which separates it from districts of Kanpur & Fatehpur.
River Systems & Water Resources
The Ganga, Kalyani and Sai are the main rivers of the district, the former making its western and southern boundaries and the latter, for the greater part of its course, forming its northern & eastern boundaries. Among the other mainstreams of the district are Kalyani, the Tanai, the Loni and the Morahi (Naurahi), all tributaries of the Ganga. These rivers generally run dry during the hot weather, but hold water during the greater part of the year and are utilized for irrigation.
The only great river of the district is the Ganga which first touches the district near the village of Purwa Gahir, in pargana Bangarmau and flows south-eastward, separating this district from districts Kanpur and Fatehpur. Generally it flows from north-west to the south-east, but it makes several sharp bends such as those near Umriya Bhagwantpur, and Rustampur in tehsil Safipur, Rautapur in tehsil Unnao and Ratua Khera and Duli Khera in tehsil Purwa. The Ganga receives the Morahi near Baksar where it flows close to its old high bank. It leaves the district at a short distance from Baksar.
The river is not, however, put to much use either as a waterway or as a source of irrigation. There are several ferries for pedestrians and pilgrims but none of them approaches what may be termed a trade route. The river cannot, as a rule be utilised for irrigation owing to the height of the bank but certain of its small drainage channels or sotas, which run island for a considerable distance in some parganas, are sometimes used to irrigate crops grown in lowlying alluvial lands. Otherwise, cultivated lands lie at great distances and cannot be irrigated from the river whose water would, in order to irrigate these lands, have to be passed through the sands on the sides of the river, and in the process be greatly washed, if not altogether absorbed. The main channel of the river is subject to constant variation and the cultivation in its immediate neighbourhood is, therefore of a shifting kind.
It appears from its old high bank that the river has a general tendency to shift its course to the west. In the days of Akbar, the river skirted the village of Ghatampur but has since then so altered its course that it now runs about 8 km to the south-west of this village.
There is unusually large number of swamps & lakes of great size and value, particularly in the southern & eastern parts of the district. The larger lakes, which hold water all the year round, are the Kundra Samundar near Jhalotar, the lake near Nawalganj, the wide expanse of water near Kantha and the long chain of lakes in pargana Mauranwan. In Tehsil Safipur, the more important tanks are those at Mawai-Bhari and Kursat and the Harial Tal near Mustafabad. In Tehsil Hasanganj, besides the Kundra Samundar at Mawai, there are the Kulli Bani and Jalesar tanks near Ajgain and the chain of lakes called Basaha, which it seems, partakes of certain characteristics of a stream also, travelling a distance of 96 km in the district and eventually leaving it for district Rae Bareli where it is reckoned as a tributary of the river Sai. In the western part of the Tehsil are the Katgari lake near Asiwan and the stretches of water at Amarpur, Sambha, Sheothana, Marenda & Asakhera, but in its northern and eastern parts, there are only small and very shallow tanks which dry up when rainfall is deficient. In Tehsil Unnao there are no important lakes, but a number of very shallow depressions, which get filled up with water during the rains and yield excellent crop of rice.
In Tehsil Purwa there are many lakes, situated in a well defined belt stretching along the whole length of the tehsil. The main among them are the lakes at Kantha, Bhadain, Unchagaon, Qila, Akhori, Miri, Zorawarganj and Sarwan. The Barhna tank near Sagauli, the Mohan and Sukrar lakes near Mauranwan, and several others, like the Bharda lake, skirting district Rae Bareli. Besides these, there are the tanks at Sahrawan, the Bhundi tank at Gulariha, and the Kumbha tank at Bhagwantnagar. The lakes at Kantha, Sagauli, and Barela contain water all the year round, while the others generally provide irrigation for the Rabi crops only, drying up in the years of drought.These lakes and tanks abound in fish, and singhara (water chestnut) is very extensively grown in them.
Geologically the district forms part of the vast Indo-Gangetic alluvial tract, of which the origin is attributed to a sag in the earth's crust, formed, in the upper eocene times, between the northwardly drifting Gondwanaland and the rising Himalayan belt, and gradually filled in by sediments so as to constitute a level plane with a very gentle seaward slope. The alluvium formation of the district, comprising sand, silt & clay with occasional gravel, is of the early quaternary to sub-recent age. The older alluvium called bhangar, forms slightly elevated terraces usually above the flood levels. It is rather dark in colour generally rich in concretions and nodules of impure calcium carbonate, locally known as kankar. The newer alluvium, called khandar, forming the lowlands between the Ganga and Bhangar, is light coloured, poor in calcarious contain and composed of lenticular beds of sand, gravel and clays. The economic minerals found in the district are kankar, reh and sand.
Unnao lies in the great plains of the Ganges and hence the land is highly fertile. The soil is mostly alluvial. The Ganges separates Unnao from Kanpur district. The district is bounded by river Ganges in the west and the river Sai in the east. The entire district falling in Sai Sub-basin of the Ganges basin represents flat topography. The irrigation in the district takes place through Sharda Canal network system and tubewells. About 92% of the district area is under cultivation. The district has a subtropical climate. The district is mainly drained by the river Ganges and its tributaries Kalyani, Khar, Loni and Marahai in the western part of the district, and by Sai river in the eastern part of the district. All these rivers are perennial in nature. About 87% area of the net sown area (3,00,000 hectares) is irrigated both by surface water (Sharda Canal network system) and ground water through shallow and moderately deep tubewells. The share of surface water irrigation is 48% while that of ground water is 52%. The economy of the district mainly depends on agriculture.
As per data of 2011 census, Unnao had a population of 3,108,367 out of which males were 1,630,087 and females were 1,478,280. The literacy rate was 66.37 per cent.
Unnao hospital serves patients from nearby villages. The Uma Shankar Dikshit hospital is a government-run hospital located in A.B. Nagar near Ram Lila Ground. Another government hospital, which serves women, is located near the Unnao railway station. Medical College in the city is proposed. Trauma Center is proposed in government hospital.
There are 538 government health care facilities in the district, as can be seen from the table given below:
Tanning is the biggest industry in Unnao. Unnao is known for its leather industry and leather goods. Superhouse Group, Mirza Tanners, Rahman Exports, and Zamzam Tanners, Mahavir Spinfab Pvt. Ltd., Parash Nathtech Garments Pvt. Ltd., Real enterprises (part of Baqai exports Gujarat) in large factories in Unnao. Banthar Leather Technology Park, Magarwara Industrial area and Unnao Industrial area developed by UPSIDC are major industrial suburbs of Unnao. Unnao is known for printing & dyeing for 'Lihaf'(Quilts) and mosquito net production and major producers are Haq and sons dyeing and printing company and other major producers include F.R dyeing and printing works.
Unnao is known for its Samosas (of Kachaudi Gali, Unnao), Chaat ( Munna ki chaat at Chota chauraha) and kalajamun]]s of Chakalwansi Chauraha (18 km. from district centre). The street food is available and eaten by people of all ages.
The city consists of many Hindi and English Medium schools. Majority of them are affiliated to Uttar Pradesh Board but there are some which have affiliations to ICSE-ISC and CBSE.
List of Educational Institutes located in Unnao City:
Vishambhar Dayal Inter college Khetalpurwa ballapur unnao
Lucknow Public School, Unnao [A C.P. Singh Foundation]
Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Rajivpuram, Kali mitti Unnao
Ram Kumar Dixit Inter College Bhumbhuwar Korari
Saraswati Vidya Mandir Inter College (SVM) (UP Board)
Government Inter College for Boys (GIC)
Government Girls Inter College (GGIC)
Raja Shankar Sahay Inter College for Boys (RSS)
Rani Shankar Sahay Inter College for Girls
Dr. G. Nath G. Dayal Inter College for Girls
Kendriya Vidyalaya ( kvunnao.ac.in) (CBSE)
Ben Hur Inter College (co-ed)
St. Jude's College (ICSE, co-ed)
St. Lawrence School (ICSE, co-ed)
Sir Syed Public School (ICSE, co-ed)
Patriot Inter College (co-ed)
Brilliant Public School (co-ed)
Ahuja International School (co-ed)
JN Shah Memorial School (co-ed)
St. Peter's School (co-ed)
R.R.B.N Inter College(co-ed)
Degree Colleges in Unnao
Dayanand Subhash National (DSN) is the oldest, largest post graduate, co-ed college located in Unnao city. Shri Narain PG College for girls, Harivansh Rai Bachhan Degree College, Maha Pran Nirala Degree College, Government Degree College (Bakhakhera) are some of the popular degree colleges. Lately many other degree colleges have come up in the rural areas. All these degree colleges come under Chhatrapati Shahu Ji Maharaj University (Kanpur University). Currently CSJM University lists 23 degree colleges located in Unnao district.
There are two main libraries in the city which have good collection of books from diverse areas. One of them is Shri Vishwambhar Dayalu Tripathi District Library.
Unnao is seamlessly connected through Indian Railways. Unnao railway station is the junction point for Rae Bareli, Allahabad, Hardoi, Balamau situated at Lucknow-Kanpur stretch. Trains for major cities like Agra, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Nagpur, Vijaywada, Chennai, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Bhubaneswar, Bhadrak, Cuttak, Chennai, Chandigarh, Chitrakoot, Cochin, Delhi, Gorakhpur, Ernakulam, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jammu Tawi, Jhansi, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Panipat, Gorakhpur, Gwalior, Darbhanga, Kota, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna, Puri, Surat, Trivandrum, Vadodara, Ujjain, Varanasi, Vadodara, can be boarded here.The railway stations in Unnao Urban Agglomeration are:-Unnao Railway Station- This is the major junction railway station in the city of Unnao and is connected to major cities of India with many express/mail trains.
Magarwara Railway Station-This is a passenger/EMU train station in the industrial suburb of Magarwara.
Sonik Railway Station-This is a railway station towards East of Unnao city near UPSIDC Industrial Area and has only passenger/EMU trains stoppage.
Kanpur Bridge Left Bank Station- This is a station within the municipal limits of Shuklaganj, the twin city of Unnao and has only passenger/EMU stoppage.
Unnao will be the only railway station between Kanpur and Lucknow of the planned high speed railways.
The major national highway NH 25 passes through Unnao which has bypass from Unnao. The State Highway which is 78 km encompasses Unnao is in good condition. Lucknow-Agra Expressway which will be India's longest access-controlled expressway will pass through Unnao district and the work is under construction. It will be a six lane expressway.
The nearest airport is Lucknow International Airport towards east (approx. 50 km) and Kanpur Airport towards west(approx. 25 km),
The city has transport likes auto-rickshaw (By-Pass to Tempo Stand (Kanpur), Pedal rickshaws and Sub Metropolitan city buses and economical cross overs like Endeavour, Scorpio, Innova, Bolero etc. which are privately run.
Unnao has been known as the land of pen (kalam) and sword (talwaar). It has been the land of Progressive Hindi writers, freedom fighters, educationists etc.Maulana Hasrat Mohani
Uma Shankar Chaudhary
Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala',
Bhagwati Charan Verma
Shivmangal Singh 'Suman'
Christine Goutiere Weston
Vishwambhar Dayal Tripathi
Ram Vilas Sharma
Dwarka Prasad Mishra
Gulab Singh Lodhi
Major Girish Chandra Verma
Babu Leeladhar Asthana
Professor Devendra Srivastava
Professor Ray Bahadur Pandey
Ram Baksh Singh
Chandra Bhushan Singh