The earliest recorded history of the district can be traced right back to the 3rd century B.C. The fact that three minor rock edicts of Ashoka are found in this district proves that this area was included in the dominions of the great Mauryan King Ashoka (273-236 B.C.). Of these, one rock edict has been found at Maski in the Lingasugur taluk and the other two at Koppal. During this time, the region was under the governance of the Viceory or Mahamatra of Ashoka.
Early in the Christian era, the district appears to have been a part of the kingdom of the Satavahana dynasty. The Vakatakas, who reigned during the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D., seem to have held sway over Raichur for sometime after which it appears to have been included in the Kadamba dominions. The Chalukyas of Badami are the next dynasty of importance that ruled over the place. According to an inscription from Aihole, Pulikeshin-II having defeated the Pallava Dynasty occupied this area and made it a province in his empire under the governance of his son Adityavarma.
Later on, the entire region of the present Raichur district was included in the dominions of the Rashtrakutas. The rulers of the Rashtrakuta dynasty rose to power sometime in the eighth century as could be gathered from the inscriptions of that period found in this district. According to an inscription from Manvi taluk, one Jagattunga, a subordinate ruler under the Rashtrakuta king Krishna-II, was ruling the province of Adedore Eradusavirapranta, i.e., the area constituting the present Raichur district. Nripatunga, a Rashtrakuta king, has described Koppal in his Kannada work, Kavirajamarga, as the great 'Kopananagara'.
Numerous inscriptions of the Chalukyas of Kalyani, found in the various parts of the district, testify to the fact that this region was under their sway for a considerable length of time between the 10th and 12th centuries A.D. It is learnt from an inscription found at Naoli in Lingsugur taluk that during the reign of Chalukya Vikramaditya-V, the Adedore-pranta, i.e., the Raichur region, was being ruled by his younger brother Jagadekamalla-I. Another inscription from Maski describes the place as a capital and makes a reference to the reign of Jayasimha. There were, however, frequent wars between the Chola kings of the south and the Chalukyan kings of Kalyani for supremacy over the Raichur region and the territory had passed into the hands of the Cholas for a brief period.
The Haihayas and Sindas also seem to have ruled some parts of this region for sometime. Later, after the fall of the Chalukyas, Raichur passed into the hands of the Kalachuri kings. They were followed by the Kakatiyas in the 13th century. From an inscription on the fort-wall of Raichur, referred to earlier, it is learnt that the original fort was built by one Gore Gangayya Reddy, a general of the Kakatiya queen Rudramba Devi of Warangal, in 1294 A.D., at the command of the latter.
In the recent past, the Raichur district was a part of the princely state of Hyderabad. Since the 1st of November 1956, it is a constituent district of the Mysore state.