Raisen District

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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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