Barwani district, a part of Indore division is a district of Madhya Pradesh state with its administrative headquarters located at Barwani city. In olden times it was believed that the forests of Bad had surrounded the city. At that time the word Wani means garden. Thus, the district derives its name from the two terms i.e. ‘Bad’ and ‘Wani’ meaning Garden of Bads. With the passage of time, at present it is written as Barwani but still pronounced as Badwani. In the past the Rana dynasty ruled the place for a long period. Due to its rocky terrain and less productive soil the place was remained safe from the invasion of British, Mughals and Marathas. The history of this dynasty can be traced back to the 13th century. It is believe that the region was founded in the 9th (traditional date of 836A.D.) or in the 14th century by a Sisodia Prince from Mewar, who came to the Narmada Valley and then settled at Avasgarh, a hill in the Satpuras, located almost 78 kms southwest of its present capital. Until 1650, the state was well-known as Avasgadh, after its original capital. In some books the name of Barwani town was also mentioned as Badnagar and Siddha Nagar. In 1948 after independence the princely state of Barwani was merged with Union of India. Then it came under the West Nimar district of the newly formed Madhya Bharat state. On 25th May, 1998 Barwani district was carved out from Khargone district and emerged as a separate district in the Madhya Pradesh state.
Anil Kakodkar, an illustrious Indian nuclear scientist, mechanical engineer and the Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre from 1996-2000 was born on 11th November, 1943 at Barwani city. On 26th January, 2009 the government of India honoured him by the prestigious Padma Vibhushan Award.
Geographically, the district lies at 22°03'N latitude, 74°90'E longitude and 178 m Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 16.66% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 5,427 sq km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 30th in the state and 194th in India. It is bounded by Dhar district on the North, Satpura Range and Maharashtra state on the South, Khargone district on the East and Gujarat state on the West. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 751.4 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district comprised two sub-divisions namely Barwani and Sendhwa. Again, the sub-divisions are divided into nine tehsils such as Barwani, Sendhwa, Pansemal, Warla, Niwali, Thikri, Pati, Anjad and Rajpur. There are 1 Lok Sabha seat and 4 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 9 sub-districts, 8 towns and 716 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 13,85,881 out of which 6,99,340 are males and 6,86,541 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 982 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 28.15% including 27.48% were males and 28.85% were females. The population density in the district is 255 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 69,492 out of which 36,354 were males and 33,138 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 9,383 out of which 6,436 were males and 2,947 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 95.16%of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district is Bhili/Bhilodi and Hindi with 58.54% and 35.37%.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. Most of the lands in the district are use for agricultural purposes. The chief agricultural products in the district are jowar, corn, soybean, peanut, cotton, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. The district is scantily industrialised but it has some industries of electronic products and heavy machineries. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these industries helps in its economy to a great extent. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Barwani as one of the country's 250 most backward districts and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). In the year 2019-20 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 12,13,266 lakhs at current price and Rs. 7,16,608 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 11,25,467 lakh at current price and Rs. 6,48,023 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 71,147 at current price and Rs. 40,965 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Some of its recognised educational institutions are Govt. Polytechnic College, Nimar Institute of IT, Aadinath Institute of Information Technology & Management, S.B.N. Government P.G. College, Government Girls College, Shahid Bhagat Singh Institute of Information Technology, Narmada IIT, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 49.08% including 55.7% are males and 42.39% are females.
Makhansingh Solanki, an eminent Indian politician and a member of 15th Lok Sabha from the Khargone Lok Sabha constituency was born on 1st March, 1952 at Than village in the district. He is a member of Bhartiya Janata Party.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Bawangaja (Chool Giri), a significant Jain pilgrimage centre is located at a distance of 6 km. from the Barwani city. The hill has 11 temples constructed in the 15th century. There is the statue of Lord Adinathji, considered as the world's tallest statue. Beejasan, situated 20 km. away from Sendhawa towards Maharashtra has a well known temple of Godess Beejasani (Durga). Some other notable places of interest in the district are Bandhan, Rajghat, Gwalbeda, etc.