Dharmapuri District is a district in Tamil Nadu state in southern India. The district came into existence from October 10, 1965. It is the first district created in Tamil Nadu after independence. Dharmapuri is the district headquarters. Dharmapuri town is historically called “Thakadoor”. As of 2011, the district had a population of 1,506,843 with a sex-ratio of 946 females for every 1,000 males.

Dharmapuri was called as Dhagadur during the sangam era. “Thagadu” refers to Iron (Iron ore). “Oor” refers to Place. The name Tagadur is changed to Dharmapuri after the sangam period, possibly during Vijayanagar empire or Mysore empire period. Still the name Tagadur is in use among the People of dharmapuri.

The earliest known chieftain who ruled Tagadur (present Dharmapuri) during the Sangam era, is Adigaman Naduman Anji, whose patronage sustained the famous Tamil poetess Avvaiyar. The region is believed to have been controlled by the Pallava regime in the 8th century.

In the beginning of the 9th century, the Rashtrakutas gained power and influenced the history of the district for the next two centuries. The Rashtrakutas were defeated by the Cholas, and subsequently the district came under the Chola sphere of governance.

During 18th century present day dharmapuri district was under Mysore kingdom and it was called as Baramahal, As per treaty of Seringapatam after Third Anglo-Mysore War, tipu sultan agreed to give part of his territories including the present dharmapuri district to The British East India Company which was then merged into madras presidency

The present Dharmapuri district was then a part of the Salem district. During the British rule in the country and even till 1947 Dharmapuri was one of the Taluks of Salem District. The Dharmapuri district was formed as a separate district on 02/10/1965 with its headquarters at Dharmapuri. Thiru G.Thirumal I.A.S was the first Collector of Dharmapuri district.

The Dharmapuri district was bifurcated into present-day Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts in 2004.Many historical rock sculptures are found in this district. Modhur,a village near dharmapuri has remains that dates back to neolithic age.A government museum in dharmapuri town displays some of these significant sculptures for people’s view.

The district is located between latitudes N 11 47’ and 12 33’ and longitudes E 77 02’ and 78 40’. Occupies an area of 4497.77 km² (i.e. 3.46% of Tamil Nadu) and has a population of 2,856,300 (as of 2001). It is bounded on the north by Krishnagiri District, on the east by Tiruvannamalai District and Viluppuram District districts, on the south by Salem District, and on the west by Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar District. The Whole district is surrounded by hills and forests.The terrain of dharmapuri is of rolling plains type. Dharmapuri is located on the geographically important area in south India.

The climate of the Dharmapuri District is generally warm. The hottest period of the year is generally from the months of March to May, the highest temperature going up to 38 C in April. The Climate becomes cool in December and continuous so up to February, touching a minimum of 17 C in January. On an average the District receives an annual rainfall of 895.56 mm.

The whole district is predominantly covered with forests.Spider valley located near hogenakkal is home for many wild animals. The district falls in the migratory path of elephants.Man and elephant conflicts are most common in these parts.Many tribal communities depend on these forests.Vathalmalai,a mountain hamlet on top of shervarayan hill chain has suitable conditions to cultivate coffee and jack fruit. Wild boars and spotted deers are commonly seen in morappur and harur forest region.Gaurs sometimes stroll near villages near bommidi region.Thoppur ghat section has one of the scenic highways surround by mountains and forests.

According to 2011 census, Dharmapuri district had a population of 1,506,843 with a sex-ratio of 946 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929.A total of 167,940 were under the age of six, constituting 87,777 males and 80,163 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 16.29% and 4.18% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the district was 60.9%, compared to the national average of 72.99%.The district had a total of 375,873 households. There were a total of 751,170 workers, comprising 191,080 cultivators, 217,062 main agricultural labourers, 11,308 in house hold industries, 233,546 other workers, 98,174 marginal workers, 10,248 marginal cultivators, 50,283 marginal agricultural labourers, 4,033 marginal workers in household industries and 33,610 other marginal workers.The population of the district is roughly equal to the nation of Gabon or the US state of Hawaii.