Sabar Kantha district is a district of Gujarat state with its administrative head quarters located at Himatnagar city. In order to make a control on the political activities of the Rao of Idar, the Sultan Ahmed I who for the first time in 1426 AD. established the Himmatnagar city. The city was so liked by the Sultan that he renamed it as Ahmedanagar after his name. After sometime in 1848 AD., it was came under the kingdom of Idar and the city got its original name Himmatnagar back. Himmatnagar is named after the then ruler of the state called Himmat singhji. When there was the British rule in India at that time the Vijaynagar State made Vijaynagar in the Sabarkantha district as its capital. The present sabarkantha district consists of 29 different united and merged kingdoms. Once the two talukas namely Prantij and Modasa were a part of Ahmedabad district but later these talukas are merged in this district. Several subdivisions namely Vidarbh, Marathwada, Saurashtra and Kutch were emerged at the period of the major division of the Mumbai State in the year 1956. On 1st May, 1960, the State of Bombay was bifurcated into two different states i.e. Gujarat and Maharashtra. On the same date, Sabarkantha also emerged as a separate district in the map of Gujarat state.
Umashankar Jethalal Joshi, an illustrious poet, scholar and writer was born on 21st July, 1911 at Bamna in the Sabarkantha district. In the year 1967 he was honoured by the prestigious Jnanpith Award for his remarkable contribution to the Indian literature, especially Gujarati Literature.
Geographically, the district lies at 23°68'N latitude, 73°18'E longitude and 195 m Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 10.98% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 7,394 sq. km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 11th in the state and 118th in India. It is bounded by Rajasthan on the north East, Gandhinagar district and Kheda district on the south, Panchmahal district on the east and Banaskantha district and Mehsana district on the west. The climate of the district remains extremely hot during the summer. The actual rainfall in the district was 732.2 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 7 talukas namely Himatnagar, Idar, Prantij, Talod, Khedbrahma Vadali and Vijaynagar. There are 1 Lok Sabha seat and 7 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 15 towns and 1,376 villages. The administrative language in the district is Gujarati.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 24,28,589 including 12,44,231 are males and 11,84,358 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 952 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 16.62% out of which 16.33% were males and 16.92% were females. The population density in the district is 328 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 32,520 out of which 16,898 were males and 15,622 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 11,130 out of which 6,762 were males and 4,366 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 93.08% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Gujarati with 97.86%.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. Most of the locals of the district earns their livelihood from agriculture and dairy farming. Some of its principal agricultural crops are oil seeds, wheat, mango, pomegranate, groundnut, tobacco, castor, cabbage, cauliflower, 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. Only a few industries of food processing, textiles and dairy farming are found in it. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Sabarkantha as one of the country's 250 most backward districts that is currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).
The district is an abode of numerous reputed educational institutions. It also provides platform for the higher education. Some of its recognised educational institutions are Chitrini Women’s College, Shri B.B. Shah College, APMC College, Shri T.S. Patel College, Government Polytechnic, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 75.79% including 86.44% are males and 64.69% are females.
Kodardas Kalidas Shah, a distinguished Indian politician and the Governor of Tamil Nadu from 1971 to 1976 was born on 15th October, 1908 at Gabat village in the Sabarkantha district.
The district has numerous centres of attraction with religious and historical significance which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. The place Idar is also popularly known as Idargadh, situated at the northern side of the Himmatnagar town. There is a huge fort located in the town and its marvellous boundary is made of hard black rocks which protects it from any kind of harm. Poshina Darbargarh, a very beautiful palace situated in the Poshina region of the district was constructed by the descendents of Chanakya. At present this magnificent palace serves as a heritage hotel. Shamlaji temple, the best Vishnu temples is situated in the district exhibits an impressive architecture. The temple was built the in the 15th century and behind the temple there is a beautiful lake called Shyam Sarovar. Sir Pratap Singh Palace, a wonderful palace built many centuries ago is situated in the district. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Clock Tower, Ruthi Rani Mahal, Shantinath Temple, Shrimad Rajchandra Vihar, Khedbrahma Teerth, Nana Posina Teerth, Shri Vadali Teerth, Vaktapur Teerth, Tintoi Teerth, etc.