Gorakhpur is a commercial hub in eastern Uttar Pradesh and is one of the largest cities in the state. Perched at an altitude of 102 m above sea level, the city is in the shape of a bowl. Gorakhpur is the seat of administration of Gorakhpur District and is located on the banks of the Rapti River. Lucknow is 245 km west of Gorakhpur.
Founded in 1400, the city derived its name from the Hindu saint Gorakhnath, who was an eminent profounder saint of 'Nath Sampradaya'. During the reign of Akbar, it was a district headquarters and an important garrison town. The city was ceded to the East India Company by the Nawab of Avadh in 1801. Under the British, the city was made the headquarters of a division bearing the same name and it remained with them until India’s independence in 1947.
Gorakhpur is now a prominent industrial and agricultural trade center in Uttar Pradesh. Textiles, printing, sugar milling and railroad maintenance and manufacturing constitute the major industries. The city is also famous for its terracotta and handloom.