Historically, Anantnaag is called Islamabad by local people. It is a historical city since around 5000 BCE. The first civilization emerged here. In 1320 CE, Kashmir was divided into three parts-Maraz, Yamraj and Kamraj. Anantnag came in Marhan and was called Maraj. It is said that the name Anantnag is derived from the Sanskrit term “countless springs". The meaning of Nag is water spring in the Kashmiri language. There are numerous springs in the district namely Nag Bal, Salak Nag, Ananta Nag and Malik Nag. Anantnag is named after the spring Anant Nag.As per Marc Aurel Stein, the name of the place probably comes from the name of the spring of Shesha Nag, the "Divine Serpent" in Hindu mythology, who was also popularly called Anantnag. Moreover, this is also believed by almost all local historians including Kalhana. The Hindus and Sikhs community of the district prefers to call it, Anantnag where as the Muslims prefers to call it, Islamabad. According to legends, the name, Islamabad is taken from the name of a Mughal governor, Islam Khan who built a beautiful garden in the area. The district surrounding the town was called the Islamabad district until the 1950s when Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad administration changed it to "Anantnag district".
Mahmud Gami was a poet of the Masnavi and ghazal. He is mainly known for his work Yusuf Zulaikha. Rasool Mir was a Kashmiri poet of the 19th century. He is famous as the John Keats of Kashmir. His poetry was based on Romanticism and many Gazals with rivers, valleys, birds, fruits and imagery of Kashmir were written by him. Basharat Peer is a Kashmiri journalist, author, political commentator and script writer. Parvez Ghulam Rasool Zargar is an all rounder Indian cricketer. He is serving as the caption of Jammu and Kashmir domestic cricket team. He is a right-hand batsman and off break bowler. He has played for IPL and International cricket against Bangladesh in the year 2014.
Geographically, the district has a total 2,727 sq km. area and occupies the rank 5th in State and 427th in India on the bases of this size. It lies at 33°73'N latitude, 75°16'E longitude and 2195 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 39.42% forest area of total geographical area. It is bounded by Ganderbal district in the North, Doda district in the South, Kishtwar district in the East and Ramban district, Kulgam district and Pulwama district in the West. Arapath, Brengi, Sandran, Veth, Lidar are the main rivers in the district. The climate of the district can generally be described as cool in the spring and autumn, mild in the summer and cold in the winter. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 896.9 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 6 sub-districts, 12 town and 335 villages. Urdu is its official language. The district came into existence in the year 1871 with an allotted district code of 14. Anantnag, the headquarters of the district is situated at the distance of 56 kms from the capital of the state.
Demographically, according to the 2015 census, the district has a total number of 1,42,987 households with the total population of 10,78,692 comprising of 5,59,767 are males and 5,18,925 are females which is leading it to the rank 3rd in the state and 422nd in India. The population density in the district is 302 (persons as per sq km.). The sex ratio is considered 927 (females as per 1000 males) and child ratio is 841 (females as per 1000 males). According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Kashmiri at 85.10% and Hindi at 13.32%. During the year 2001-2011, the population growth rate of the district was 46.85% including 45.33% were males and 48.52% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Muslim with 97.99% of the total population. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 4,948 out of which 1,973 were males and 2,975 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 1,547 out of which 907 were males and 640 were females.
Economically, agriculture and industry both are the main sources of income for the people of the district. Wheat, paddy, maize, oil seeds are main production here. Shawl weaving, Gabbah and Namdah manufacturing, handicrafts making are the main occupations in the district. Tourism is also a main source for income here. It has become a large business and trading centre in Kashmir Valley. The Gross Domestic Product in the district during the period 2005-06 was Rs. 2,96,845 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 2,25,738 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 1999-2000. In the year 2003-2004 (Pre.) the Net Domestic Product in the district was Rs. 1,82,696 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 90,583 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 1993-1994. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2003-04 was Rs. 14,488 at Current Price and Rs. 7,183 at Constant Prices in the year 1993-1994.
Education wise, the according to 2011 census, the literacy rate in the district is 62.69% out of which 72.66% are males and 52.19% are females. The literate population in the district is 5,45,532 comprising 3,24,417 are males and 2,21,115 are females.
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had served as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir for two times. He was the founder of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party. Dr. Mehboob Beg Mirza is an Indian politician from Peoples Democratic Party. Previously, he belonged to the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference but later he became the Chief Spokesperson of Peoples Democratic Party. In the 2009, he represented Anantnag constituency in the 15th Lok Sabha. During 1983-1987 and 2002-2008, he was the part of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly. Presently, he is serving for the state politics only. Syed Hussain was a Member of Rajya Sabha and Ex-Chairman of Legislative Council. Abdul Majeed Bhat Laram (Majeed Larm) is a social worker, businessman and the Member of Legislative Council. Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed is the 2nd Muslim woman Chief Minister of India. Presently, she is the Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir for 9th time and representing Anantnag constituency in the 16th Lok Sabha. She is also serving as the President of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party.
The district has many famous historical tourist places to visit. These places are Mattan, Pahalgam, Achabal, Kokernag, Daksum, Verinag, Wasaknag. Mattan is a hill station. Pahalgam is a town and a hill station. The famous Amarnat Yatra starts from here. Achabal is a beautiful and famous spring. It is surrounded by a garden namely Mughal Garden. Daksum is situated in the Green Forests at Anantnag-Semthan-Kishtwar road. It is famous for natural beauty. Verinag, a wonderful place is known for Verinag Spring. There is also a garden around the spring which was built by Mughal emperor Jahangir in 1620 A.D. This place comes first in the way from Jammu to Kashmir valley. Achabal is an important tourist place located 7 kms away from Anantnag. The place is famous and attractive due to an ancient spring surrounded by a garden terraced and developed by the Mughals. The place has got some historical background also. The upper portion of the garden is called 'Bag-e-Begum Abad' developed by Malika Noor Jehan Begum in 1616 AD and renowned as Sahib Abad in which there is a Hamam (treasure of water) getting heat from a logical lamp (Tosnag).