The name Goalpara is said to have originated from the word "Gwaltippika" meaning Guwali village, or The village of the milk men. In the local dialect, "para" means village.
The original Goalpara district was first created in 1822 A.D. by David Scott- an employee of East India Company, who was the first Commissioner of the newly created North East Rangpur district Hd. Qr. at Rangpur town(now in Bangla Desh) and newly created Goalpara district was also tagged with North-East Rangpur district for administration. The erstwhile Bijni Kingdom's area which included the undivided Garo Hills district area also constituted the original Goalpara district area in 1822. In 1866 Garo Hills was separated from the Goalpara district area and in the same year a new district named "Greater Koch Behar" was created and the residual portion of the Goalpara district was withdrawn from Rangpur and tagged with Koch Behar. In 1874 a new province named Assam Valley Province was created by the British Govt. (Successor of East India Company) and the Goalpara district area was withdrawn from Koch Behar and tagged with Assam Province which continues till today unless petty political gambling disturbs. Now the original Goalpara district has given birth to four districts namely (i) Goalpara (ii) Dhubri (iii) Kokrajhar and (iv) Bongaigaon.
The present Goalpara district was created in the year 1983 with two sub-divisions viz Goalpara Sadar sub-division and North Salmara Civil sub-division, carved out from the erstwhile Goalpara district. However, the same was again reconstituted in the year 1989 with only the Sadar sub-division of Goalpara and the Civil sub-division of North Salmara was taken away in that year and merged with the newly created Bongaigaon district. At present, the district of Goalpara is situated entirely on the south bank of the river Brahmaputra. The district covers an area of 1,824 sq. km. and is bounded by West and East Garo Hill districts of the state of Meghalaya on the south and Kamrup district on the East, Dhubri district on the West and the mighty river the Brahmaputra all along the North.
The Goalpara district was endowed with natural beauty and archaeological treasures. The important tourist spot of the district includes Sri Surya Pahar, a very significant but relatively unknown archaeological site in Assam, a hill which showcases the remains of the cultural heritage of three important religions of India, Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. Dadan hill has a Shiva Temple on its top. The temple was established by a general of the army of King Bana of Sonitpur named Dadan. The mystical hill is surrounded by mythological stories related to the bygone era. Pir Majhar is situated at the heart of the Goalpara town, a tomb of a saint named Hazarat Sayed Abul Kashem Kharasani. He is a saint respected by Hindus and Muslims alike. Hulukanad hill is located at the heart of Goalpara. Sri Tukreswari hill, Paglartek Baba at Barbhita, Urpod beel of Agia, Dhamar Risen beel of Lakhipur are some other attractions of the district.
Muslims constitute the majority of the population in Goalpara. Most residents of Goalpara refer to themselves as "deshi" (of the local region) in order to avoid addressing this issue directly. The widely spoken language is Goalpariya. Other languages spoken here include Assamese, Bengali, Rabha, Hindi, Garo, Bodo, Hajong, Nepali, etc. But most people use Goalpariya as a common language for daily communication. It was once a princely state ruled by the Rajbongshi/Koch Rajbongshi kings.