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Anuppur District

One of the relatively new districts of Madhya Pradesh, Anuppur district was once a part of the district of Shahdol before it was created out of the latter on August 15, 2003. It is now part of the Rewa Division, the same as Shahdol district. Anuppur district has a total area of 3,701 square kilometers, with a total population of 667,155 according to the 2001 census. Of those, 309,624 are from scheduled tribes while 48,376 are from scheduled castes (both scheduled tribes and scheduled castes are known as India’s untouchables). Due to this, the district is mainly considered as a tribal dominated district.

The boundaries for Anuppur district include its parent district Shahdol to the north and northwest, the state of Chhattisgarh to the southeast and east, Dindori district to the southwest, Umarya district to the west. The district extends 80 kilometers from east to west and some 70 kilometers from north to south.

The district’s topography consists of a series of rivers and mountain ranges. The whole region can be divided into three geographical divisions. These are the highlands of mountain ranges, the lowlands of the rivers and the central plateau. The first division is primarily governed by the Maikal mountain range which extends from the southern part of the district to the eastern part. The rivers on the other hand are represented by the Narmada River, Son and Johilla, which all originate from the Maikal hills. A third of the district is composed of dense forests, and is generally regarded as a hilly area. Climate-wise, Anuppur has a marked temperate climate, with the monsoon season lasting from June to October. The temperature ranges from a maximum of 46 degrees to 2.6 degrees Celsius.

There are several large and small-scale industries present in the district; the 1998 survey shows that there are some 106 such industries in the district. Examples of these are the Orient Paper Mill and Soda Factory, both of which can be found in Amlai. Small-scale industries include polythene and bamboo basket production. There is also a Bidi factory found in the region of Venkatnagar.

Anuppur district is also rich with mineral deposits — the region of Amarkantak, in particular, is famous for its large deposits of bauxite. Other minerals include coal and fire clay, with most of the coalmines located in the Kotma subdivision.

Anuppur can be reached by land via road, through Matelic Road and Kachi Road. However, the best way to go there is still through India’s railway system since Anuppur can be reached via the Katni, Chirimiri and Bilaspur route.

Dewas District

Dewas is a district of Madhya Pradesh, on the west-central part of the state. It is situated on the Malwa Plateau. The geographical boundaries are Ujjain district to the north, Khandwa (formerly East Nimar) district to the south, Indore district to the west and Sehore district to the east. To the northeast is found the district of Shahjapur while Hoshangabad district is to the southeast. Lastly, to the southwest is Khargone, formerly West Nimar. The district has a total area of 7,020 square kilometers and its population is at 1,306,617 according to the 2001 census. This represents a 26% increase in population since 1991. The district’s administrative headquarters is the town of Dewas. Dewas district is part of Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain Division.

The name of the district is thought to have originated from two traditions. One states that the name is derived from the hill which is located near the city. The hill’s name is Chamunda, but it was also called Devi Vaishini or Goddess’ Residence because of an image of the deity Devi Chamunda that is cut in a rocky wall of the cave. From this, the name Dewas (dev-vas) seems to have been derived. The other tradition states that the name came from the founder of the village, Dewasa Bania.

Whatever the origin, Dewas was originally the capital of two princely states in the Malwa political charge of the Central India Agency. This state was originally founded during the first half of the 18th century by two brothers, Tukaji Rao (the senior) and Jivaji Rao (the junior). They were from the Pawar clan of the Marathas dynasty, who came to Malwa with the Maratha Peshwa at that time, Baji Rao. The territory was divided among the brothers and their descendants followed suit, ruling as seniors and juniors. In effect, there were two distinct rulerships with separate administrations, independently acting on most matters, but sharing the same capital town of Dewas. They were so intimately entangled that in the capital town, the two sides of the main street were under different administration, with different arrangements for water systems and lighting.

When India achieved independence in 1947, the state of Madhya Bharat was created a year after and both Rajas of Dewa acceded to the India, forming one district that is Dewa. When the states got reorganized on November 1, 1956, Madhya Bharat got merged with the other territories to form the new state of Madhya Pradesh and Dewa became one of its districts.

Dewas is mainly known for its colorful and cultural environment. The major cultural activities are called “Malvi Songs”. Folk songs are also very popular, especially on occasions of marriage, festivals and local fairs. as for industries, the district is engaged in the manufacturing of textile chemicals, automotive and railway gears, LPG cylinders and polypropylene gas, among others. The M.P. State Handicraft Development Corporation is a prime source of employment for the people in the district. They mainly produce carpets, sofa set covers and seat covers, among others.

Damoh District

Damoh is a district of Madhya Pradesh. As of the 2001 census, Damoh has a population of 897,944 people. It has a total area of 7,306 square kilometers. Currently, it has 1,384 villages, 191 of which are currently uninhabited, and more than 75% have electricity. The district also has 7 administrative towns.

Much of the district’s geography consists of open plains with varying degrees of fertility, with low ranges and isolated heights breaking up the pattern. Exceptions to this are in the south and east part of the district, where there are spotted places of surrounding hills and patches of jungle that break up the region. The richest tracts lie in the center of the district, where much of the agriculture is found. The gentle descending slope and the porous character of the sandstone formation makes for very good and excellent drainage of the area. All of the streams located in the district flow from south to north, with the two principal rivers, the Sunar and the Bairma, traversing the whole length of the district. There isn’t that much use of the rivers for irrigation purposes although in many places, facilities are offered for such a purpose.

The district has a rich history dating back to ancient times. Several Stone Age tools have been found in the Singrampur Valley. The district was also part of the grand empire of the Guptas of Pataliputra who existed sometime in the 5th century. Traces of the kingdoms of Chandragupta, Samudragupta, and Skandgupta were also found via coins and plaques excavated in the region.

The 14th century was marked by the Muslim rule, as mentioned by several texts as well as stone carvings of sultans during that time. Later on, the Sultan of Malwa annexed the whole region to his rule. In the last quarter of the 15th century, it was the Shah of the Gond dynasty, Sangram Shah, who claimed the place under him. When the Mughal empire came, the region’s sovereignty was defended by the martyrdom of Rani Durgawati. Shortly after the Mughal came the Bundelas, who later had to give up the region for the Marathas dynasty in 1732. This reign went on until the British annexed the Marathas kingdom in 1888. During this time, in 1861, Damoh was formed into a separate district.

Due to its rich and fertile central land, Damoh is primarily agricultural. It also has a considerable cattle-market as well as several homegrown small industries such as weaving, dyeing and pottery making.

The district has many places of historical importance. Chief of these is Jatashankar, a temple that is found in the periphery of Damoh City. Another is the Shiv temple, Nohleshwar Temple, that is found about 1 kilometer away from the village of Nohta. Finally, the Sad-Bhawna Shikhar is the highest point of the Vidhyachal mountain ranges. It can be reached through a forest road that cuts through the Bhainsa-Kalumar road.

Datia District

Datia is one of the districts located in Madhya Pradesh. It is located on the northern part of the state. The district has a total population of 627,818 people on a total geographical area of 2,691 square kilometers. The majority of the people live in the rural areas, with the urban parts only having 137,545 people. The district has an elevation of 218 meters above sea level. For its boundaries, the district of Bhind bounds it to the north while to the west, the district of Gwalior lies. The southwest is occupied by the district of Shivpuri while a big part of the south and the east is Uttar Pradesh. The district’s administrative headquarters is the town of Datia. Datia is part of the Gwalior division of Madhya Pradesh.

Historically, Datia is an ancient town, having been mentioned in the Indian epic Mahabharata where it was called Daityavakra. In modern times however, the district was a state in the Bundelkhand region, known then just by the town of Datia. The place was ruled by the Rajputs of the clan Bundela, who were also descendants of the younger son of a former raja of Orchha.

Later on, it was administered as part of Central India’s Bundelkhand agency, lying in the extreme northwest of the region, near Gwalior. Back then, it was surrounded on all sides by Central India’s other princely states, excepting the east where the United Provinces bordered it. Back then, Datia state was the second highest in rank of all Bundela states, with the ruling maharajas bearing the hereditary title of Second of the Princes of Bundelkhand.

When India gained its independence in 1947, the Maharajah of Datia acceded and later merged with the Indian union. With the rest of the Bundelkhand agency, Datia became a part of the new state of Vindhya Pradesh in 1950. On November 1, 1956, the states were reshuffled and Vindhya Pradesh was merged with the other states to become Madhya Pradesh. Datia became one of the districts of the new state and has remained to be such until the present.

Handloom-weaving is an important industry in the district, and the administrative town is a market center for food grains and products made of cotton. There are also several manufacturing companies that have set shop in Datia, ranging from metals to solvents. These industries include Gwalior Synthetics, Pandit Granite and Datia Metal Industries.

Some of the more popular and famous attractions in Datia include Pitambra Peeth, a Hindu holy place located at the entrance of Datia. It is said to hold the power of the Hindu goddess Pitambra. The place attracts thousands of pilgrims each year and it features several temples such as the Buglamukhi Devi and the Dhumawati Mai. Another famous attraction is the seven-storied Govind Palace which was built entirely on stone by the Raja Bir Singh Deo in 1614. It is one of the best examples of Bundela architecture today. The palace also houses several Bundela paintings.

The district can be accessed by the West Central Railway line between the districts of Jhansi and Gwalior. Datia Railway Station on the other hand is on the Delhi-Mumbai railway line. For those traveling by road, there are regular buses that traverse the Shivpuri, Gwalior and Bhind routes. The nearest airport is located in Gwalior.

Shivpuri District

Shivpuri is one of Madhya Pradesh’s districts, located in the northern part of the state. To the north, the district is bounded by the districts of Morena, Gwalior and Datia while to the south, it is bounded by Guna district. The east of the district is already Uttar Pradesh, while to the west is Rajasthan. Shivpuri district has a total area of 10,298 square kilometers, with a total population of 1,441,950 people as of the 2001 census. The district mostly consists of small hills and forests. The slope topography is mostly gentle and the forests are verdant; the landscape, in short, is generally pleasing. The town of Shivpuri is the district’s headquarters.

While the present-day Shivpuri district was formed out of the former Narwar district of what was the princely state of Gwalior, the place first found a mention during the time when the Mughal dynasty was still in control of a large part of India, in 1564. It was said that the Mughal emperor Akbar made a stopover in this place. During that time, it was already a part of Narwar Sarkar. During the time when Gwalior was a state, the district was mostly known as Narwar, although the administrative headquarters was placed at Shivpuri.

In 1804, the district was taken over by the Sindhias, a clan of the ruling Marathas dynasty, from the Kachhawaha Rajputs. In 1817, it was captured by the British but was again returned to the Sindhias the next year where it continued to be a part of the state of Gwalior. The Maharajah Madhav Rao Sindhia paid much attention to the development of Shivpuri, constructing a big palace and developing much of the city; it eventually became the summer capital of Gwalior state and government officials often stayed in the district during the summer months.

After India gained its independence in 1947, all the princely states acceded to the government of India and the district of Shivpuri acquired all its present boundaries, with the addition of the small princely state of Khaniadhana in the southeast, some parts of Datia state on the northeast, and most of Pauri estate in the northwest. Shivpuri eventually became a district in the state of Madhya Bharat when it was established in 1950. When Madhya Bharat was integrated into the newly-made state of Madhya Pradesh in 1956, Shivpuri district was included among its constituents.

Most of the economy of the district is agriculture-based, with an estimated 83.38% of the working population engaged in agricultural endeavours, either as cultivators (70.40%) or agricultural laborers (12.98%). The main cereal crops being produced in the district are rice, maize, barley, wheat and jowar. The main pulses are gram and tur. The rest of the crops include sugarcane, condiments, spices and linseed.

Another emerging employment avenue the people of the district are starting to explore are handicrafts and leather; the leather industry, in particular, is gaining popularity. While there are no export house in Shivpuri district, there are several industrial units that export their products such as Sharda Solvent, Ltd. which exports D. Oil Cake and the Balaji Stone Cutting Industry which exports stone tiles.

Neemuch District

Neemuch is one of the more recent districts in the state of Madhya Pradesh, its district status having been established on June 30, 1998. It is located on the northwest portion of the state. It is a part of the Ujjain Division, with a total area of 3,875 square kilometers. As of the census of 2001, the district has a total population of around 725,457 people and a population density of 170 people per square kilometers. Neemuch district is bordered on the north and west by the state of Rajasthan, while the district of Mandsaur borders it on the south and east. The district’s administrative headquarters is the town of Neemuch.

Neemuch was originally a part of Mandsaur. It was the most southerly place to which the great Indian rebellion of 1857 extended to, in which a brigade of native Bengal troops mutinied and marched to Delhi. The European soldiers then took refuge in the fort after which they were taken under siege by rebel forces from Mandsaur (of which Neemuch was originally an administrative division of). Eventually, the European defenders were relieved by the reinforcements in the form of the Malwa field force. An army cantonment was also established by the British during the time of their occupation in the area.

In 1949, two years after India gained its independence, Neemuch became the birthplace of the CRPF, the Central Reserve Police Force, formerly known as the Crown Representative’s Police. When Madhya Pradesh was created on November 1, 1956, Mandsaur became one of its districts and on June 30, 1998, the state passed a law making Neemuch, one of its divisions, a separate district.

The economy of the district is largely agricultural in nature, and the town which is its administrative headquarters serves as a road junction and distribution center of agricultural products. Some of the important crops that Neemuch distributes are wheat, maize, soyabean, oured and mustard. Handloom-weaving is also a major industry in the area, particularly in the town of Neemuch. The district is also one of the largest producers of opium in the world, since the climate there is very apt for the production of the crop. Neemuch has one of only two opium factories in all of India.

Aside from its historical significance, there are also other attractions in the district, most of them religious by nature. The most famous and popular ones include:

1. Kileshwar Temple – The Kileshwar temple annually holds the Maha Shivratri festival (translated as “Great Night of Shiva”), which is dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva. It attracts thousands of devotees every year.

2. Sukhanandji Ashram – Located about 20 kilometers from the town, on the border of Rajasthan, this temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva can be found in an ancient rock-cave. The place itself commands a scenic view, with a spring that is always flowing with water. The place plays hosts to two fairs celebrated annually: the first is on Haryali Amavashya of Srawan month and the second is on Baisakh Purnima.

3. Gandhi Sagar – This wildlife sanctuary straddles the northern boundary of Neemuch and Mandsaur. It has an area of 368.62 square kilometers, adjoining the state of Rajasthan. The sanctuary is open throughout the year.

Jhabua District

Jhabua is a district located on the westernmost side of Madhya Pradesh. To the north is the district of Ratlam, while to the east is the district of Dhar. The west is bounded by the state of Gujarat. To the northwest is Rajasthan state. The south is mainly bounded by the state of Maharashtra, with the district of Barwani on the southeast part. The district has an area of 6,793 square kilometers, populated by some 1,394,561 people as of 2001. 91% of the population lives in the rural area while about 85.6% are tribal. The district is part of the Indore division and its administrative headquarters is the town of Jhabua.

The district’s topography is hilly, undulating in a typical fashion known locally as “Jhabua hills topography.” As a result, this undulating and uneven terrain does not lend itself to much agricultural productivity. In this type of topography, the difference between the highest and lowest points vary, usually averaging to about 20 to 50 meters. The difference, however, increases as one goes further south. The areas are almost entirely hilly, intersected by narrow valleys and low ranges covered by jungles, as common in Vindhayan topography. The south drains to the Narmada River.

The land is mostly erratic with low fertility, resulting in a lack of forest cover. The top soils are mostly light, with some patches of fertile, medium black variety. These are somewhat threatened by soil erosion and, with the failure of rains at times, can cause vegetation to become sparse. The underlying rock structure is mostly archaean igneous with some deccan trap basaltic and sedimentary formations. Due to the low permeability and porosity of the formations, the groundwater aquifers have poor retention capabilities, resulting in a severe lack of vegetation in most areas.

A big part of the economy is supported by various industries that have sprung up in the district. These range from chemical manufacturing plants to mineral grinding industries. Some of the companies include Apex Electricals Ltd, Raindrop Petrocom Industries and Natural Gold Cotton Industries.

There are two major tribes that inhabit the district: the Bhils and the Bhilalas. They used to practice shifting cultivation, hunting and gathering in the forests and lands that used to cover the terrain. However, after India’s independence, a land settlement process was developed that aims to stop shifting cultivation putting the tribals in a difficult position. Most of the population live below the poverty line but this hasn’t stopped them from reveling in their traditional festivities. The women of the tribe also make a living making handicrafts and ethnic items such as bamboo products, dolls, bead jewelries and other items that have adorned and decorated Indian homes all over the country. In fact, Jhabua is famous for its handicrafts.

Jhabua’s climate is generally moderate, with well-defined seasons. The average rainfall is about 800 mm, with most of it occurring during the monsoon season.

Chhindwara District

Chhindwara is one of Madhya Pradesh’s districts, and is part of the state’s Jabalpur division. In terms of total land area, it ranks as the first in all of Madhya Pradesh, having a land area of 11,815 square kilometers. This comprises about 3.85% of the state’s total area.

The district is located on the southwest region of the Satpura Mountain Range. It is bounded by the districts of Narsinghpur and Hoshangabad on the north, the plains of Maharashtra State’s Nagpur district on the south, the district of Seoni on the east, and Betul district on the west. As of the 2001 national census, Chhindwara district had a total population of 1,848,882 people. Given the district’s land area, the population density of the whole place is 156 people per square kilometer. Also, the average literacy rate of Chhindwara district is higher than that of the whole state, with 66.03% as compared to Madhya Pradesh’s 64.08%.

Chhindwara has gone through several dynasties across the centuries. The earliest account shows the rule of Bhakth Bulund King, whose kingdom reached the Satpura hill range. Then came the Rashtrakut dynasty, which ruled up to the 7th century. The Gondvana dynasty came next, followed by the Mughal empire. The last ruling dynasty was the Marathas until, on September 17, 1803, the East India Company took over, when Raghuji II was defeated. When India finally obtained its independence, Chhindwara district was reconstituted on November 1, 1956, and the town of Chhindwara was established as the district headquarters.

Geologically, the district of Chhindwara can be divided into three main regions: the plains near Nagpur region, which is comprised of Tahsils, Sausar and Pandhuma, the central region where the town of Chhindwara, southern Amarwara and northern Sausar are found, and the mostly northern region which is comprised of hilly terrain.

Industrialization has a good presence in Chhindwara as well. It has several industries that make it a good industrialized district. Among them are:

1. Spices Park. Opened on February 25, 2006, the spice park was the first in India. It is also the first in a series of seven spice parks that is planned by the Spices Board. The initial phase consists of a Garlic Dehydration Plant and a Steam Sterilization Unit. The park is located in Laas village.

2. Hindustan Unilever Limited. Hailing from England, the multinational company celebrated its 75th year in 2008. The company is situated at Lahgadua village, some 5 kilometers from Chhindwara. It produces three main products: the Rin washing soap, Surf Excel washing powder, and Wheel washing powder. It is the only Hindustan Unilever factory in Madhya Pradesh.

3. Raymond Group. Set up in 1991, the manufacturing company features state-of-the-art equipment and production lines. The plant’s product is premium wool, wool-blended and polyester viscose suiting. The plant has the distinction of being the single largest integrated worsted suiting in the world, having achieved a record production of 14.65 million meters.

4. Coal Mines. Chhindwara’s Parasia is known as the “Coal Mines Belt”, with 20 working mines.

The district also has a lot of tourist attractions that make it a good destination point for visitors. Among them are the Tribal Museum, Devgarh Fort, and the hot water springs at Anhoni.

Rewa District

Rewa is the district in Madhya Pradesh that also has the town of Rewa as its main headquarters. It is bounded on the north by the state of Uttar Pradesh while the districts of Shahdol and Umaria are found on the south. The east and the southeast are bordered by Sidhi district and the district of Satna can be found on the west. As of the 2001 census, the district had a total population of 1,972,333 people, distributed across a total land area of 6,314 square kilometers. Rewa District is a part of Rewa Division. The district is divided into eight tehsils: Guhr, Baikunthpur, Sirmaur, Teonthar, Hujur, Mau Ganj, Govindgarh and Raipur Karchulian. The city of Rewa lies in Hujur.

Rewa district is also known as the land of the white tigers. This came about because the Maharajah of the place used to have the white cats, found and captured within the region itself. The first white tiger was caught in December 1915, when Maharajah Gulab Singh caught a two-year old white cub. The cub continued to live on in the Maharajah’s summer palace for five more years. When it died, it was stuffed and was then sent to King George V of England as a sign of India’s loyalty to the crown.

The most famous of all the white tigers, however, is undoubtedly Mohan. A white male, Mohan was the only white cub of a litter of four. After his mother and two of his siblings were killed, Mohan escaped, by pure luck more than anything else. He was eventually captured but three days later he escaped, which eventually led to a long and massive hunt. He was recaptured and this time, was placed in a repaired courtyard where he lived for the rest of his life. Even to this day, the Maharajah’s palace at Govingarh still keeps white tigers.

One of the main industries that is present in Rewa district is cement manufacture. This is because Rewa is located in the so-called limestone belt, and coal can also be found in the nearby districts, particularly in Sidhi, Umaria, and Shahdol. There are a lot of cement manufacturing businesses in the district, including the well-known Jaypee group, which has made a township in Rewa known as Jaypee Nagar, and Prism, Asia’s biggest cement factory. Other industries found in the district include the Birla group of companies such as Birla Ericson and Vindhya Tele Links.

Tourists will also find that there are a lot of things to see in Rerwa district. There is Deorkothar, known for its Buddhist stupas that were found in 1982. The place used to be visited by the Buddhist monks frequently. Govindgarh is also quite famous, especially since Taalab, Asia’s biggest pond, is located there. Other attractions include Keoti Falls and Chachai Falls.

Transport facilities in the district include the 50-kilometer Rewa Satna Rail Line which connects Rewa to Satna. The district also falls on India’s longest highway, National Highway 7. National Highway 27 and National Highway 75 also pass through Rewa. By air, Rewa district has an air strip at Churhata while the nearest airports are Khajuraho and Allahabad.

Raisen District

Raisen is one of Madhya Pradesh’s districts, located in the central part of the state. It encompasses a total area of 8,466 square kilometers, taking about 2% of Madhya Pradesh’s total area. Based on the 2001 census, the district has a total population of 1,120,159 people, with the male and female distribution almost equal. Since the whole district is landlocked in the middle of Madhya Pradesh, its neighbors are all state districts. To the north is the district of Vidisha while the northeast is bounded by Sagar district. Narsinghpur bounds it to the southeast and Hoshangabad sets the boundary to the south. Due west is the district of Bhopal while southwest is bound by the district of Sehore. The district is part of the Bhopal division. Its administrative headquarters is the town of Raisen.

The district’s name is taken from the massive fort which is situated on top of a sandstone hill. The town of Raisen sits at the foot of the fort. The name ‘Raisen’ is probably a corruption of the royal residence, Rajavasini or Rajasayan.

Raisen was an important administrative center ever since it founded. In the 15th century, the fort came under the rule of the Sultans of Mandu, who then passed it on to the Rajputs. During the reign of the Mughal empire led by Akbar, Raisen was the headquarters of a sarkar (a person of authority or an overlord) in the province of Ujjain in Malwa. In 1760, the third Nawab of the state of Bhopal, Fiaz Mohammad Khan, occupied Raisen and later got himself recognized as the Faujdar of Raisen by Emperor Alamgir II. A faujdar is a person who is tasked to protect a certain territory. This resulted in the district being under the princely state of Bhopal until India was granted independence in 1947. After independence, the princely state of Bhopal became part of a new state that also bears the same name. During the reshuffling of states on November 1, 1956, Bhopal was merged with several other states to form a new one, which came to be called Madhya Pradesh. Raisen, which has been a district of Bhopal until then, became a district of the newly formed state.

Administratively, the district is divided into 4 subdivisions, which are further subdivided into 7 blocks. Aside from these, the district is also divided into 7 administrative divisions called tehsils. These are Raisen, Goharganj, Begamganj, Gairatganj, Silwani, Bareli and Udaipura. The district also has a high literacy rate at 66% which is significantly higher than the national average of 59.5%.

There are several tourist attractions in the region as well, but arguably none is as important as Bhimbetka, a group of caves and rock shelters that exhibit the earliest traces of human life in all of India, in the form of Stone Age rock paintings which are approximately 9,000 years old. The archaeological site has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, making it one of the most important preservation sites in the world.

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