The Shahi Mosque in Kushtia bears the sign of rich cultural heritage of the region from Mughal period. Kushtia is the birthplace of many historical figures including Mir Mosharraf Hossain (1847-1912) and Bagha Jatin (1879-1915). King of Bauls, Lalon Fakir (1774-1890), also hailed from this district and his shrine, reconstructed in 1963, still attracts many people from home and abroad. Nobel laurate poet Rabindranath Tagore lived a part of his life at Shelaidaha in this district and created some of his memorable poems while living there. However, during the British rule Kushtia was not a separate district it was a part of a part of the Nadia district (now in West Bengal) of undivided India. Kushtia was once a part of the Nadia district (now in West Bengal) of undivided India. A municipality was established in Kushtia in 1869. Hamilton's Gazetteer has the mention of Kushtia (Kustee) town and of the fact that the local people called the town Kushtay (Kushte). Kushtia, however, is not an ancient township. A river port was developed in the district during the reign of Emperor Shahjahan. Although the British East India Company made extensive use of the port, it was not until indigo planters and traders settled that the township began to grow. A railway connection with Kolkata, capital of British India, made in 1860, made the town an alluring location for mills and factories, including the Jagneshwar Engineering Works (1896), Renwick and Company (1904), and the Mohini Mills (1919). In 1860, the Indigo Resistance Movement spread throughout the Bengal province. Shalghar Madhua in Kushtia district was one of the forerunners in this movement.It inspired all indigo farmers in Kushtia to refrain from paying government taxes. The British government deployed an army platoon under the command of GG Morrison, to investigate into the matter. After negotiating with the farmers Morrison convinced the farmers to restart payment of taxes.Subsequently, with the publication of the Indigo Commission Report an Act was passed prohibiting coercion of cultivators for indigo cultivation and the measure led to the end of the movement.
During the Partition of India, Kushtia was made a separate district, consisting of Kushtia Sdor, Chuadanga and Meherpur subdivisions, in 1947. The town once again became attractive for development with the establishment of the Ganges-Kobadak Project (also known as G-K Project) headquarters and a number of government offices in 1954. GK Project is a large surface irrigation system which was started in 1954, though the first corp under this project was not grown until 1962-63. The whole project was divided into two units, the Kushtia Unit and the Jessore Unit. The Kushtia unit completed in two parts, Phase-I and Phase-II. Phase-I had a command area of 85,020 ha, of which 48,700 ha are irrigable. Phase-II had a command area of 117,814 ha, of which 93,300 ha are irrigable.The district of Kushtia had significant contribution to Bangladesh Liberation War. A 147 member company of the 27th Baluch Regiment of Pakistan army reached Kushtia on 25 March 1971 from its base at Jessore cantonment. Although they initially captured the local police station and settled an outpost there, soon they faced a considerable resistance from a group of police, ansars, students and local people. By April 1, the Pakistany army was completely overpowered and the muktibahini took control of Kushtia.Later on April 17, 1971 the Bangladesh Government in-exile formally announced Proclamation of Independence at Baidyanathtala (re-named Mujibnagar after the proclamation), a border area in present Meherpur district, then a subdivision of Kushtia district. The Proclamation so announced in effect provided the fundamental instrument of law as well as an interim constitution of the mujibnagar government during the war of liberation, including that of the government in liberated Bangladesh until the adoption of the Constitution, made effective from 16 December 1972. Subsequently direct encounters between the Pak army and the freedom fighters were held at many places of the district including Bangshitala at Kumarkhali, Daulatpur After the independence of Bangladesh several different development projects were undertaken in the district of Kushtia. On November 22, 1979 the foundation stone of The Islamic University was laid at Shantidanga - Dalulpur under the districts of Kustia-Jhenidah. However, In 1982 the University was shifted to Gazipur and admission of students began in the session of 1985-86. Later on 10th January, 1990 the University re-shifted to its original site at Shantidanga Dulalpur. In 1984, two subdivisions of Kushtia: Chuadanga and Meherpur were named separate districts.