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Mandla District

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Surrounded by the Narmada River, Mandla is a district that is found in the central eastern part of Madhya Pradesh. It is bounded by the district of Jabalpur to the north, the district of Dindori to the east, Balaghat district to the south and Seoni district to the west. Since the district is surrounded by the Narmada river, most of it lies in the river’s basin. Mandla has a total area of 8,771 square kilometers, with a population of 894,236 people. It has a population density of 102 people per square kilometer. The town of Mandla also happens to be the district’s administrative headquarters. It is part of the Jabalput division, and lies in the Mahakoshal region.

Mandla was originally a part of Seoni district from 1818 to 1835. In 1840, it was transferred to the district of Jabalpur. It was upgraded to the status of district in 1849 but six months after, it was reverted back to being a tahsil. Finally, in 1851, Mandla together with two other constituents Ramgarh and Sohagpur were combined to form the independent district of Mandla. A deputy commissioner was put in charge of the new district.

In the 1857 Indian Mutiny, the chief of the three tahsils that constitute Mandla joined the mutineers. When the revolt was finally taken under control, Ramgarh and Shahpura were confiscated and Sohagpur was given to Rewa. The British took control of Mandla in 1858 and implemented several administrative and territorial changes to the district. When Balaghat was formed in 1867, 262 villages were transferred to Mandla from Seoni. The first Indian civil service officer was also placed in Mandla. In 1914, a third tahsil, Niwas, was added to Mandla. Later on, the tahsils were increased to six. These were Mandla, Niwas, Dindori, Nainpur, Bichhiya and Shahpura. On May 21, 1998, when Madhya Pradesh passed the act that reorganizes its districts, Mandla was split into two districts: Mandla and Dindori.

Mandla district’s physical features consist of a rugged high tableland in the eastern part of the Satpura hills. The southwest corner of the district consists of low altitude, compact blocks of about two hundred villages known as Haveli, which are also the rich and wheat-growing tracts around the Hirdenagar, and the open wheat plains around Nainpur. The extreme upper valley of the Narmada are undulating plains broken by flat-topped hills that enclose patches of fertile black soils. The southern portion of the eastern tahsils is covered by grass plains which house the forest sanctuaries that serve as the home of countless fauna. The northern part of the district is another tract of rugged and inaccessible tract, but contains two pockets of the rich block soil.

The district’s economy relies mainly on forests and natural resources, as well as tourism. Kanha National Park, in particular, is Mandla’s most famous tourist attraction. It is a tiger sanctuary, serving as a home to more than 100 tigers. It came about as a result of Project Tiger, one of the largest conservation schemes in the world, which was launched in 1973 in India. The park was one of the first nine reserves included in the Project Tiger Network and remains to this day one of the most popular tourist destinations in India.

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