Chhindwara district was formed on 1st November 1956. It is located on the South-West region of 'Satpura Range of Mountains'. It is spread from 21.28 to 22.49 Deg. North (longitude) and 78.40 to 79.24 Deg. East (latitude) and spread over an area of 11,815 Sq.Km. This district is bound by the plains of Nagpur District (in Maharashtra State) on the South, Hoshangabad and Narsinghpur Districts on the North, Betul District on the West and Seoni Districts on the East.
Chhindwara District ranks 1st in area (11,815 Sq. Km.) in Madhya Pradesh State and occupies 3.85% of the area of the state. The District is divided into 12 Tahsils (Chhindwara, Tamia, Parasia, Junnardeo, Amarwara, Chourai, Sausar, Pandhurna, Bicchua, Umreth, Mohkhed and Harrai), 11 Development Blocks (Chhindwara, Parasia, Junnardeo, Tamia, Amarwara, Chourai, Bicchua, Harrai, Mohkhed, Sausar and Pandhurna). There are 5 Nagar Palikas (Chhindwara, Parasia, Junnardeo, Pandhurna and Sausar), 10 Nagar Panchayats (Amarwara, Chandameta, Newton Chikli, Harrai, Mohgaon, Chourai, Lodhikheda, Pipla Narayanwar, Badkuhi, and Damua). Apart from this there are 8 small towns (Dighawani, Jatachapar, Iklehara, Pagara, Kalichapar, Pala Chourai, Bhamori, and Ambada).
There are 1984 villages in the district, out of which 1903 villages are habitated. The district is divided into 19 Revenue Circles, 803 Patwari Halkas. There are 803 Panchayats in the district. As per Census 1991, the total population of the district is 15,68,702 out of which 76.90% belong to rural areas. The Scheduled Caste population is 1,91,419 and Scheduled Tribes population is 5,40,708. The population per square kilometer is 133. '16-Chhindwara' is the Parliamentary Constituency in the district and it covers with all the 7 Assembly Segments (122-Jamai, 123-Amarwara, 124-Chourai, 125-Sausar, 126-Chhindwara, 127-Parasia, and 128-Pandhurna) of the district only. As per Census 2001 the total population of Chhindwara town is 1,22,309 and of the district is 18,48,882. There are 953
From the Geographical point of view Chhindwara district can be divided into three main regions - 1) The plains near Nagpur region comprising of Tahsils Sausar and Pandhurna, 2) the central region comprising of Chhindwara, Southern part of Amarwara region and and Northern part of Sausar region. This region is also known as the Satpura mountain region and 3) The third region is mostly the Northern region comprising of hilly terrain.
There are five major rivers which flow through the district namely Kanhan, Pench, Jam, Kulbehra, Shakkar and Doodh. Kanhan river flows in the Southern direction through the western parts of Chhindwara Tahsil and mixes with the Wenganga river. Jam river flows mostly through the Sausar region and joins with the Kanhan river. Pench river flows in the border areas of Chhindwara and Seoni Districts and mixes with the Kanhan river in Nagpur District. Kulbehra river starts at Umreth and flows through Chhindwara and Mohkhed and joins with Pench river.
It is believed that once upon a time the Chhindwara District was full of "Chhind" (Date-Palm) trees, and the place was named "Chhind"-"Wada" (wada means place). There is also another story that because of the population of Lions (in Hindi it is called "Sinh"), it was considered that making entry into this district is akin to passing through the entrance of Lions' den. Hence it was called "Sinh Dwara" (means through the entrance of lion). In due course of time it became "Chhindwara".
History records the place from the time of the rule of Bhakth Bulund King, whose kingdom was spread over the Satpura range of hills and it is belived that his rule was upto the 3rd Century. One ancient plaque, belonging to "Rashtrakut" dynasty, found in "Neelkanth" village. This dynasty ruled upto the 7th Century. Then came the "Gondvana" dynasty which ruled the area with "Devgarh" as the capital. King 'Jatav' of 'Gond' community has built the Devgarh fort. Bhakth Bulund King was most powerful in the dynasty and he has adopted Muslim religion during the rule of Emperor "Aurangjeb". Later the power has changed many hands and finally 'Maratha rule' ended in 1803. On 17 September 1803, East India Company had taken over this kingdom by defeating 'Raghuji II', starting the British rule. After Independence 'Nagpur' was made the capital of Chhindwara District, and on 1st November 1956 this district was re-constituted with Chhindwara as the capital.
Some of the events during the freedom struggle are mentioned below.
The first Freedom Movement in this district has started in 1857-58 with the arrival of 'Tantia Tope'.
As a part of National Awareness Moment Dr.B.S.Gunj and Dada Saheb Khapre visited this place on 11th May 1906.
The people of Chhindwara participated in fight against Rolect Act., Non-Cooperation movement, fight against Symon Commission, Jhanda Satyagrah, Jungle Satyagrah, Quit India Movement, Dhanoura Kand etc.
Mahatma Gandhi visited this place on 6th Jan 1921, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru visted on 31st December 1936 and Sarojini Naidu on 18th April 1922.
The people who laid down their life during the freedom struggle include - Sri Chain Shah (Jagirdar of Sonpur), Sri Thakur Rajba Shah (Jagirdar, Partapagadh) and Sri Mahaveer Sinh (Jagirdar, Harrakot), Sarvasree Badal Bhai (Pagara), Swami Shyamanand (Amarwara), Rajaram Shukla (Chhindwara), Atul Rahman (Chhindwara), Nathu Lakshman Gosai (Sausar), Waman Rao Patel (Wanora).
Out of the 138 Freedom Fighters of Chhindwara region, the names of Late Sarvasree Vishwanath Salpekar, Arjun Singh Sisodiya, Gulab Singh Choudhary, K.G.Rekhde, Premchand Jain, Ramchand Bhai Shah, R.K.Haldulkar, Pilaji Srikhande, Suran Prasad Singare, Sooraj Prasad Madhuria, Jagmohanlal Srivastav, Chunnilal Rai, Mahadev Rao Khatourkar, Chotelal Chavre, Tukaram Thosre, Govind Ram Trivedi, Mahadev Ghote, , Durga Prasad Mishra, Harprasad Sharma, Shivkumar Shukla, Choukhelal Mandhata, Manik Rao Choure, Vinshwambharnath Pandey, Ramnivas Vyas, Guru Prasad Shrivastav, Dayal Malviy, Prahlad Bavse, Satyavati Bai, Jayaram Verma and so on are included.
Chhindwara District has majority of tribal population. The tribal communities include Gond, Pardhan, Bharia, Korku. Hindi, Marathi, Gondi, Urdu, Korku, Musai, Parvari etc. languages/dialects are in use in the district. Majority of the tribals speak in Gondi and Hindi mixed with Marathi. Among the cultural functions/festivals in the district Pola, Bhujalia, Meghnath, Akhadi, Harijyoti etc. are famous ones. 'Gotmat Mela' of Pandhurna is unique and world renowned fair. On Shivrathri day 'Mahadev Mela' will be celebrated each year on "Choudagadh".
Prominent Tourist Spots in the District include Patalkot, Tamia, Tribal Museum, Chota Mahadev Cave, Devgarh Fort, Nadadwari, Hot Water Spring at Anhoni and Radhadevi Caves and Jam Sanvli Temple (Near Sausar).