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Alirajpur District

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Alirajpur is a district of Madhya Pradesh. It has a total area of 2165.24 square kilometers. As of the census taken in 2001, the district has a total population of 2,488,003 people spread in around 551 villages. The district’s boundaries include the neighboring states of Maharashtra and Gujarat; it is situated in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. Many of the inhabitants are aboriginal. At least 55% of the total population of the district is Bhilala, 21% is Patlya, 15% is Bhil with the remaining 9% is made up by diverse groups. The town of Alirajpur serves as the district’s administrative headquarters.

The district is the most recent addition to Madhya Pradesh, being less than a year old as of this writing. It is named after its headquarter town Alirajpur, which was formerly the capital of a princely state of India, under the Central India Agency’s Bhopar Agency subdivision. In 1901, the state’s population was listed as 50,185. The rulers were entitled to an 11-gun salute and were styled as Rajas.

According to historical records, the principality was founded by the Rajput Rathore dynasty in 1437. The state’s last ruler was Surendra Singh, who also served as India’s ambassador to Spain in the 1980s. When India gained its independence in 1947, the rulers of Alirajpur acceded to the Union of India, which eventually became part of the district of Jhabua, under the new state of Madhya Bharat.

When the states were reorganized on November 1, 1956, Alirajpur, under Jhabua, became a district of the newly established Madhya Pradesh which was formed from the merging of Madhya Bharat and several other states. On May 17, 2008, Alirajpur, together with the tehsils Jobat and Bhavra, was split off from its parent district of Jhabua and became its own district.

Alirajpur’s topography is predominantly hilly. Its economy depends primarily on agricultural endeavours, especially farming, especially mangoes. The agricultural trading yard in Alirajpur is the biggest in all the state when it comes to mango trading. Also, the Noor Jahan, a very rare variety of mango of which only four trees are currently surviving, can only be found in the district, specifically in the town of Katthiwara.

The district is also famous for wood carvings which display exquisite and beautiful craftsmanship. Owing to the fact that there is a significant population of the Bhils tribe in the region, the district has also become the hub for Bhils for different kinds of trading and businesses.

While tourism isn’t a major industry, there are several Jain temples located in Alirajpur that are worth seeing. The Laxmaniji Teerth, for example, houses the idol of Padma Prabhu Swami as its main deity. Another temple worth seeing is the Shri Laksamani Teerth located some 8 kilometers from the main headquarter town. This 2000-year old temple sports a large main hall, with 140 colorful and artistic stone archives hidden away in the inner halls. The temple’s main deity is Shri Padmaprabh Bhagvan, in a white stone idol in the padmasana posture.

The nearest railway station in Alirajpur is the Dahod Railway station in Gujarat. However, on February 8, 2008, the foundation for the Badodara-Dhar broad-gauge rail line was laid, promising complete rail connectivity of the district to the others. The nearest airport is found in Indore, the Devi Ahilya Bai Holeker airport.

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