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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.