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Betul District

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Betul is one of the main districts of Madhya Pradesh. It is bounded on the north by the district of Hoshangabad, the district of Amaroti of the state of Maharashtra on the south, the district of Chhindwara on the east, and the districts of Hoshangabad and East Nimar on the west.

The district covers an area of 10,043 square kilometers and it has a population of 1,395,175 (as per the 2001 census), making for a population density of 138 per square kilometer. Betul district is also particularly rich in tribal population; the main tribes inhabiting the place are the Gonds and the Korkus, although other castes include Kunbis, Kurmis, Chamars, Mehras and Rajputs, among others. As of the 2001 census, the tribal population of the district is 549,907.

There is not much history known about the district except that it is probably the center of the first four Gond kingdoms: Kherla, Garha-Mandla, Chanda-Sirpur, and Deogarh. These kingdoms flourished in 1398 until 1418, when the Sultan of Malwa, Hoshang Shah, invaded Kherla and reduced it to a dependency. Throughout the following centuries, various attempts were made to wrest the kingdom from the rule of Malwa, but they were wholly unsuccessful.

Eventually, the kingdom of Malwa was absorbed into the dominions of the emperor of Delhi. In 1743, the Maratha ruler of Berar annexed them to his dominions. This was eventually ceded to the East India Company as the Marathas payment for a contingent and was formally incorporated with the British possessions as stated in the treaty of 1826. When the territories were merged into the Central Provinces in 1861, Betul district was assigned as a part of the province’s Nerbudda Division.

The district of Betul has a mean elevation of 2000 feet above sea level. It is essentially a highland tract, divided into three distinct sections, differed by the soil characteristics, superficial aspects, and geological formation. The northern part has a distinct sandstorm plain formation. It is well-wooded and is highly reminiscent of charming English glades and parks, but it has very little in terms of population and is not well-cultivated.

The central tract of the plains, on the other hand, possesses a rich soil, with lands that are well watered due to the presence of the two rivers Machna and Sampa. The land is almost entirely populated by villages and is very well-cultivated.

The south is a rolling plateau of basalt formations. It extends over the whole of the district’s southern face, finally merging with the broken and wild lines of the Ghats, which eventually leads down the plain. This area consists mainly of stony trap rock ridges that enclose valleys or spots of fertile soils, where the cultivation, for the most part, is confined to. There are several major rivers flowing through the district. They are the Ganjal River (which is a tributary of the Tapti River), the Morand River, ad the Tawa River (which is a tributary of the Narmada River).

The district’s economy is primarily agragrian, based on forests since the district has a large forest cover. Industry-wise, Betul is well connected to the other districts by way of road and rail; the Delhi-Chennai Railway Line and National Highway 69 pass through the district. The district also has good telecom services.  Due to these, Betul is primed to be a major industrially advanced district.

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