Historically, the name Barmer is named after the ruler Bahada Rao Parmer or Bar Rao Parmer who was believed to the founder of the place, Barmer in the 13th century. Barmer was a beehive of activity till a few centuries ago, and a number of important kingdoms flourished at various times in the district during the medieval age. The chief principalities of Barmer at the time were Khed, Kiradu, Pachpadra, Jasol, Tilwara, Sheo, Balotara and Mallani. It was the Panwara clan which had strong links with the Solanki dynasty of Gujarat, whose sphere of influence extended right across the Barmer region at the time. Mallinath was the first ruler of Barmer who was called Rawal. Later, Barmer was conquered by the state of Jodhpur. After Indian independence in 1947, both Barmer and adjoining Jodhpur became part of the state of Rajasthan.
The district has several famous personalities from different fields. Balwant Singh Bakhasar was a feudal of Barmar. He associated and guided commandos of Indian Army to Counterparts of Sindh in 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. Hanut Singh Rathore (6th July, 1933-11th April, 2015) was a former Lt. General of Indian Army. He was awarded by Mahavir Chakra for his role in the battle of Basantar in 1971 Indo-Pak war. Rawal Mallinath is a folk hero of Rajasthan of 14th century. He and his wife Rani Rupade are reserved as folk saints in Western Rajasthan.
Geographically, the district lies at 25075'N latitude, 71038'E longitude and 227 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 1.02% forest area of total geographical area. It is located in west part of state forming a part of Thar Desert. The district encloses a geographical area of 28,387 sq km. and it is bounded by Jaislmer district in the North, Jalore district in the South, Pali district and Jodhpur district in the East and Pakistan in the West. The longest river of the district is Luni. Variation in the temperature of the region is very high. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 123.5 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 8 tehsils namely Chohtan, Gudha Malani, Pachpadra, Barmer, Siwana Baytoo, Sheo and Ramsar. Moreover, it comprises 4 towns and 2,460 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi. The administrative headquarters of the district is located at Barmer, situated at a distance of 531 km from the State Capital.
Demographically, according to 2011 census, the district is home to a total number of 4,47,776 households with a total population of 26,03,751 including 13,69,022 are males and 12,34,729 are females. The population growth rate during the period 2001 to 2011 was 32.52% with 31.86% were males and 33.26% were females. The density of population of the district is 92 persons per sq kms. The sex ratio is pegged at 902 females for every 1000 males while the child ratio stands at 904 females per 1000 males. The schedule caste population of the district is recorded as 4,36,414 including 2,28,431 are males and 2,07,983 are females. The schedule tribe population is 1,76,257 including 92,610 are males and 83,647 are females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Hindu and Muslim with 86.22% and 12.34% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 95.72%. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 80,636 including 44,081 were males and 36,550 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 11,160 including 7,167 were males and 3,992 were females.
Economically, the district is based on agriculture primarily. It is one of the districts receiving ‘Backward Region Grant Fund’ (BRGF). A large onshore oil field has been discovered and made functions in the district. The British exploration company ‘Cairn Energy’ has started the production there on the large scale in 2009. The Gross Domestic Product in the district during 2016-17 was Rs. 45,73,868 lakh at current price and Rs. 41,41,779 lakh at constant prices during 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during 2016-17 was Rs. 39,80,071 lakh at current price and Rs. 36,16,879 lakh at constant prices during 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost during 2016-17 was Rs.1,41,102 lakh at current price and Rs. 1,28,226 lakh at constant prices during 2011-2012.
Educationally, the percentage of literate persons in the district is 56.53% including 70.86% are males and 40.63% are females. The total literate population of the district is 11,88,322 out of which 7,83,461 are males and 4,04,861 are females. There a number of educational institutes. Famous schools of the region are Adarsh Vidhya Mandir, Antari Devi Girls Secondary School, Jawahar navodaya Vidhyalaya, Mayur Nobal Academy etc. Colleges imparting education are Government P.G.College, D.R.J. Government Girls College, Mahesh Teacher Trainning College, Smt Santra Devi B.Ed College and Smt Sundra Devi Bafna Teacher Training College etc. various polytechnic are also there for instance Shri Hiralal Yogi Plytechnic, Indian Institute of Polytechnic, Sawami Keshwanand Shikhshan Sansthan etc. Mr. Ram Lal Sharma was born in Baytoo, a small village in Barmer district in 1941. He was appointed as faculty in Jai Narain University, Jodhpur. He researched several projects in economics.
The district has various famous political personalities. Umed Singh (5th October, 1936-29th September, 2006) was a key politician from Barmar district. He was three term member of Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. He was elected for a 1st five year term as ‘Member of Legislative Assembly’ (MLA) from this region in 1962 on independent ticket. In 1980, he was elected for a 2nd five year term as MLA on Janta Party ticket. Another Politician is Virdi Chand Jain from this district. He was ‘Member of Parliament’ for Barmar and former ‘Member of Legislative Assembly’ in Barmer Constituency for Rajasthan from Indian National Congress.
The district has various tourist attractions. It includes the historical sites and the religious places, such as Mahaveer Park, Kiradu Ancient Temples, Nakoda Temple, Vishnu Temple, Meva Nagar, Neemari, Juna Jain Temple, Safed Akhara, Barmer Fort, Mahabar Sand Dunes and the Rani Bhatiani Temple.