The city, founded by the Pandava brothers of Mahabharata, was originally known as Vyghraprastha (Sanskrit: व्याघ्रप्रस्थ, lit. “tigercity”) because of the population of tigers found many centuries ago, and was one of the five villages asked by the Pandava brothers from Duryodhan to avoid the Mahabharat. Barnava, near Baraut is the site of the Lakshagraha – palace made of wax, that was built by Purochana a minister of Duryodhana to kill the Pandavas.

There are many versions of the story as to how the city derived its name. One less popular version states that the city has derived its name from the Sanskrit word Vakyaprastha(Sanskrit: वाक्यप्रस्थ, lit. “city of delivering speeches”). Inspired by such words and versions, the city was finally named Baghpat during the Mughal Era.