This city was built by Firuz Shah Tughluq, a Tughlaq king. From the earliest it was famous for glass and bangle works, and its related small scale industry is famous throughout the world. Due to underdeveloped industry, literacy rates are very low. The city suffers from child labour, low literacy, and pollution. Firozabad City, where people breathe not air but glass, where every second vehicle on the road is found fully loaded with glittering bangles of vivid colours. In this city, if you will stay for two days, you will find it very difficult to imagine that, if it had not been for glass, then what this city would have done.
Firozabad is located in north central India, in western Uttar Pradesh state, 40 km away from Agra and around 240 km away from Delhi, at the northern edge of the Deccan Plateau, at . The height above sea level is 164 meters (540 ft). The district is well connected by rail and bus routes to major cities. The nearest airport is Agra. The boundaries of district touch Etah district in north and Mainpuri and Etawah districts in the east. The Yamuna river makes its southern boundary.
The area of the district is about 0.8% of total area of Uttar Pradesh, and the population is 1.1% of the state's total population. Approximately 73.6% of the population lives in rural area. More than half of the workforce is engaged in manufacturing activities. The city is also an important market center. It has severe winter and summer seasons. The district is mostly flat and its slope is from north west to south.
Mr. Peter, a businessman working for the British East India Company visited Firozabad on 9 August 1632 and found the town in good condition. It is written in the gazetteer of Agra and Mathura that in 1596 Firozabad was upgraded to a pargana. Firozabad was bestowed to Nawab Sadulla as jagir, in the regime of Shahjahan. Jahangir ruled here from 1605 to 1627. Etawah, Budaun, Mainpuri, Firozabad were under first class mansabdar of emperor Farrukhsiar. Bajirao peshwa looted Firozabad and Etmadpur in 1737 in the regime of Mohammad Shah. Jats of Mahawan attacked Faujdar Hakim Kajim at Firozabad and killed him on 9 May 1739. Jats ruled Firozabad for 30 years. Gajuddin, Hidayat Vaksh son of Alamgir second his nephew and Mirza baba the son in law, came to Firozabad. Mirza Nabab Khan stayed here till 1782. In the end of 18th century, Firozabad was ruled by Himmat Bahadur Gusain with cooperation of Marathas. The French Army chief of Marathas, D. Wayan, established an ordnance factory in November 1794. Mr. Thomas Traving also mentioned this fact in his book Travels in India. Marathas appointed his subedar Lakwadads here who made a fort near old tehsil, known at present as garie.
General Lek and General Vellajally attacked Firozabad in 1802. In the beginning of British regime Firozabad was in Etawah district but after some time it was attached to Aligarh district. When Sadabad was created a new district in 1832, Firozabad was attached to it. Later on, in 1833 Firozabad was attached to Agra. In 1847, the business of lac was flourishing at Firozabad.
In 1857, Chauhans of Mainpuri, Jamidar of Chandwar with local Mallahs took active parts in freedom struggle. Famous Urdu poet Munir Shikohabadi too was sentenced to Kala pani by the British East India Company government. People of this city took part in "Khilafat Movement", "Quit India Movement", and "Namak Satyagrah" and went to the jail during these national movements . In 1929, Father of Nation Mahatama Gandhi, in 1935 Semant Gandhi, in 1937 Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru and in 1940 Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose visited Firozabad. Firozabad district was finally established on 5 February 1989.
During ancient periods, invaders brought many glass articles to India. These glass articles when rejected were collected and melted in locally made furnace called as "Bhainsa Bhatti." This was the start of the glass industry in Firozabad. In this furnace, wood was used as a fuel. These old traditional furnaces are still in use in Sasani near Aligarh and at Purdal Nagar. During that time only small bottles and bangles were made. At this time only one bangle at a time can be made. In this bangle there was no joint. These bangles were called "Kadechhal Ki Chudi". Since then Firozabad is the home of the glass industry, white and coloured glass pieces being manufactured for the purpose of assembling jhad and fanus (chandeliers) which were in demand by royal courts and nobles for decorating their assembling and drawing rooms. Later on phials for Itra, scents, and other cosmetic products were made. Slowly and steadily Indian marriage items like bangles, kangans, kada, etc. were produced in bulk for the general public. Today it is nicknamed suhag nagri because it fulfills almost all the demand of bangles, kadas, kangans and other items of suhagins(married women).
Since 1989, Firozabad has produced artistic glassware in different colours and shades used in chandeliers and other items. About four hundred glass industries are registered in Firozabad, making different types of glass products. They use natural gas instead of coal. Half of the production of these units is exported. Now-a-days, blowing/modeling is done by the pot regenerative tank furnish process in the factories.
All sorts of glass articles, including jars, candle stands, glasses, flower vases, and electric wares such as decorative lights, bulbs and every other sort of glass articles are prepared in this city. These articles are painted with vivid colours and innovative patterns. Etching is done on some products to enhance their beauty. Decoration work is also done on some products by fixing other material on them.
Firozabad glass industry broadly consists following types of products: -
Glass Automobile wares. The glass accessories for automobiles like light bulbs, mine battery bulbs and other light and sight equipments are produced here for two wheelers and four wheelers.
Glass Street and domestic light wares. For the lighting of urban and rural areas and other utility purposes many glass items are being produced including miniature bulbs and high power voltage bulbs. It is estimated that 6% demand of bulbs is being fulfilled from Firozabad
There are many eye-catching places in Firozabad.