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Murwara is the other name of the city of Katni, located on the banks of the Katni River, and the administrative headquarters of the Katni district, in Madhya Pradesh. Murwara is one of the largest railway junctions in the country. India’s largest rail yard and its biggest diesel loco shed is also found there. As of the 2001 Indian Census, the city has a population of around 93,783 people. Murwara is sometimes referred to as Mudwara.

There are several stories as to how Murwara got its name. One states that the name is derived from the fact that the junction has a half-circular Mode (or turn) from the wagon yard. Another states the name comes from the word “mund” which means head, to commemorate the fact that an ancestor of the family who founded the town lost his head in an epic battle. Still another enduring legend says that the British government, when the region was still under their control, used to cut the heads of criminals and plunderers and hang them in the town square as a warning to others, and to curb crime. There is no exact indication which one is right. However, it is a fact that Murwara came about as a conjugation of three cultural states, namely Bundelkhand, Mahakausal and Baghelkhand. Murwara was also the property of a wealthy Brahman family, and in 1874, was constituted as a municipality.

Murwara is among the front runners of education in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Currently, there are more than 12 higher secondary schools in the city. From that number, more than five are affiliated by the CBSE board and thus sanctioned to give upper higher secondary level teachings like the other main cities of the state. Support from the state government has also bolstered the quality of education, as evidence by the opening of a new professional college that provides masters degrees in technical fields, well beyond the confines of basic colleges. Among Murwara’s most reputable schools is the Bardsley English Medium Senior Secondary School located at Mission Chowk, which is one of the oldest and English schools affiliated by the CBSE, having been established since the British rule of India. Another reputable college is the SYNA International School, located at Jhinjhri.

Economy-wise, Murwara is one of Katni’s fastest growing cities, with huge job opportunities for several sectors and industries, including finance, banking and IT. Since the city is also famous for its abundance in several minerals, chief of which are lime and bauxite, mining and processing of such minerals also add to the economy of the city and the state. In recent years, marble mining, which used to be done illegally by the local mafia, got recognition and support from the government. As a result, marble mining has opened a new revenue area for the city’s economy.

The junction in Murwara is a very important part of the city’s structure. One can go to virtually any location from the Murwara junction. This junction serves as a link to several important cities in the country such as Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai. At any given day, as many as 115 trains ply the rails. Increased infrastructure facilities with the addition of other junctions have made Murwara an important part of travel in the Indian subcontinent.


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