Subarnapur district is a district of Odisha with its administrative headquarters located at Subarnapur town, popularly known as Sonepur. The district got its name “Subarnapur” during the reign of Somavamsi ruler. Historians believe that during the 10th-11th centuries Subarnapur district was popularly known as Paschima Lanka or Western Lanka. Regarding this fact, there is evidence which comes from a copper plate charter issued Kumara Someswaradeva of Subarnapur district, a Somavansi prince in the late 10th century by named. The Prince was famous as the king of Paschima Lanka. It is also believe that the Mahada copper plate gifted by Kumara Someswaradeva was registered on the bank of the Chitrotpala (Mahanadi) River, situated near to the region of Lanka. At that time the people of the Paschima Lanka was the great worshipers of goddess Lankeswari. Subarnapur as a separate district came into existence in the map of Odisha state on 1st April, 1993.
Kailash Chandra Meher, an eminent Indian artist, inventor, social activist was born on 22nd January, 1954 at Sonepur in the district. The Government of India honored him by the prestigious Padma Shri Award in the year 2013. Sabyasachi Mohapatra is a famous Odiya film director, writer, and producer. The name of his production house is Mohapatra Movie Magic. Nila Madhab Panda is an International Film documentaries and short film Maker and Producer.
Geographically, the district has a total 2,337 sq km. area and occupies the rank 28th in State and 469th in India on the bases of this size. It lies at 20°85' N latitude, 3°90' E longitude and 172 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 16.95% forest area of total geographical area. It is bounded by Sambalpur district on the North East, Boudh district on the South East, Bargarh district on the North West and Balangir district on the South West. The climate of the district 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 1333.4 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 8 sub-districts, 4 towns and 962 villages. Oriya is its official language. It came into existence on the 1st April, 1993 with its administrative headquarters located at Subarnapur which is situated at a distance of 263 kms. from the State Capital.
Demographically, according to the 2011 census, the district has a total number of 1,52,454 households with a total of 6,10,183 comprising 3,11,312 are males and 2,98,871 are females which leads it to rank 26th in the state and 524th in India. The density of population of the district is 261 (persons per sq km.).The sex ratio is pegged at 960 (females per 1000 males) while the child ratio stands at 952 (females per 1000 males). As per 2011 census the percentage of major religions practiced by the people of this region is Hindu at 99.19%. The population growth rate during the period of 2001-2011 was 12.61% persons including 12.96% are males and 12.26% are females. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Oriya with 99.00%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 5,844 out of which 3,108 were males and 2,736 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 4,388 out of which 2,462 were males and 1,926 were females.
Economically, the district is dependent on agriculture primarily. Most its population are engaged in agricultural activities in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are paddy, sugarcane, pulses, groundnut, basil, etc. In the year 2011-12 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 2,13,433 lakhs at current price and Rs. 1,26,071 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2011-12 was Rs. 1,96,189 lakh at current price and Rs. 1,14,841 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2011-12 was Rs. 29,807 at current price and Rs. 17,448 at constant prices in the year 2004-2005.
In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Subarnapur as one of the country's 250 most backward districts and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).
According to the 2011 census, the literacy rate in the district is 74.42% including 84.4% are males and 64.04% are females. The literate population of the district is 3,98,421 out of which 2,30,393 are males and 1,68,028 are females. It is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Some of its most recognized educational institutions are Birmaharajpur College, Sreeram College, Siddhartha College, Garuda Campus Sonepur College, Gram Panchayat College, Biju Pattnaik Degree Womens College, A.E.S. College, Sri Aurobindo Shikshyakendra, Ganapati Adarsha Shikshya Niketan, Maharaja High School, etc.
The district has several centers of attraction which allures many travelers from different parts of the country as well as world. The notable places of interest in the district are Sashisena Temple, Bhagabati Temple, Champeswar Temple, Khambeswari Temple, Kosaleswar Temple, Paschim Somanath Temple, Rameswar Temple, Sureswari Temple, Suvarnameru Temple and many more. In the year of 2019, there were total 7,57,721 domestic tourists and 171 foreign tourists who visited the above places.