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Umaria is a district that is located to the northeastern side of Madhya Pradesh. The district has a total area of 4,548 square kilometers, with the greatest length of the district going to about 150 kilometers running from north to south. The greatest width is about 60 kilometers from east to west.
Umaria district is bounded by the district of Shahdol to the east, Dindori district to the south, Katni to the west, and the district of Satna to the north. Jabalpur also somewhat bounds it to the southeast. As of the census taken on 2001, the population of the district stands at 515,963, of which roughly 83% are living in the rural areas. Of the total population, 35,126 are from scheduled castes while 227,250 are from scheduled tribes. The district’s administrative headquarters is the town of Umaria. The district is part of Rewa division.
Umaria was a part of the district of Shahdol until 1998, when it was separated and was formed into its own district. This came about in the shadow of the Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh division which happened shortly after.
The district is rich in some natural resources, particularly forests and minerals. About 42% of the district’s total area is covered with forests. The most important mineral in Umaria is coal; there are at least eight coal mines that are being operated by the South Eastern Coalfields Limited, the largest coal-producing company in all of India. The coal mines are a constant source of revenue and money for the district.
Administratively, Umaria has three subdivisions as well as three administrative divisions (or tehsils). They are Bandhavgarh, Manpur and Pali. When it comes to education, Umaria is a bit on the developing side, with an overall literacy rate of just 32.63%, which is below the national average.
The district is not without its places of interest for the tourists and visitors. Chief of these is the Bandhavgarh Fort, located on the Bandhavgarh hill, rising some 811 meters above sea level inside the Bandhavgarh National Park. The name means “Brother’s Fort” as it was said that Lord Ram gave the fort to his brother Lakshman to keep watch over Lanka. The fort is natural and is thought to be around 2000 years old. Because of this, it is both of archaeological and historical importance. Across Umaria’s history, various dynasties have ruled the fort such as the Mauryans, the Kalachuris and the Baghels. The last inhabitants of the fort deserted it in 1935.
Bandhavgarh National Park is also another popular attraction and is one of the most popular national parks in India. Having an area of 105 square kilometers, Bandhavgarh was declared a national park in 1968. The park has a diverse animal life, chief of which are the tigers; the density of the tiger population in Bandhavgarh National Park is one of India’s highest. Other animals that are also found in the park are panthers and various species of deer.