Mandla district, a part of Jabalpur division is a district of Madhya Pradesh state with its administrative headquarters located at Mandla town. The district got its name from its headquarters town. The famous writers like Alexander Cunningham and Girija Shankar Agrawal identified Mandla as the Mahishmati of the ancient times. Mandla district was considered a tehsil of Seoni district from 1818 AD to 1835 AD. After some time in 1840 AD Mandla was became a part of Jabalpur district. In the year 1849 Mandla was emerged as a district for a very short period of six months because after that it was again reverted to its old position. At last, Mandla, Ramgarh and Sohagpur were merged together to create a separate Mandla district in 1851. As per the records mentioned in the history of the Mandla district suggests that the district played a vital role in the India’s struggle for independence.
Geographically, the district lies at 22°59'N latitude, 80°38'E longitude and 445 m Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 44.43% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 5,800 sq km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 27th in the state and 186th in India. It is bounded by Umariya district on the North East, Jabalpur district on the North West, Balaghat district on the South, Dindori district on the East and Seoni district on the West. The climate of the district remains pleasant throughout the year except summer. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1223.2 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 4 tehsils namely Niwas, Mandla, Nainpur and Bhua Bichhiya. There are 1 Lok Sabha seat and 3 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 6 sub-districts, 8 towns and 1221 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 10,54,905 out of which 5,25,272 are males and 5,29,633 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 1008 females for every 1000 males. In the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 17.97% including 17.26% were males and 18.68% were females. The population density in the district is 182 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 22,871 out of which 11,768 were males and 11,103 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 9,932 out of which 5,613 were males and 4,319 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 80.53% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 89.01%.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. Most of the population in the district are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are paddy, maize, pulses, soybean, linseed, lentil, mustard, gram, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Sometime its economy is based on forestry and natural resources as well. Though the district is scantily industrialised yet it has some principal industries too such as Primo Pick n Pack Pvt. Ltd., Simpleya Tubes Pvt. Ltd., P.S.L. Engineering Works, Card Board Paper Product, Sima Rubber Pvt. Ltd., Commercial Body Builders, Navin Fabricators Pvt. Ltd., Kailash Auto Builders, Narmada Khandsari Piparpani, etc. 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 Mandla 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. 8,90,608 lakhs at current price and Rs. 5,34,884 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 8,20,653 lakh at current price and Rs. 4,81,055 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. 68,155 at current price and Rs. 39,952 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 most recognised educational institutions are Rani Durgawati Mahavidyalaya, Jagannath Munnalal Choudhary Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Polytechnic Girls College, Maharshi Vidya Mandir, Bharat Jyoti Higher secondary school, Jagganath Excellence School, Gyan Deep English Medium (HS) School, Sarasawati Shishu Mandir, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Nirmala Higher Secondary School, Amal jyoti convent school, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 66.87% including 77.52% are males and 56.39% are females.
Faggan Singh Kulaste, an eminent Indian politician and a member of the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 16th Lok Sabha from the Mandla constituency was born on 18th May, 1959 at Mandla town. In the year 1999 he was served as the minister of state in Vajpayee ministry. He is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) political party.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Kanha National Park is renowned as a land of Royal Bengal Tiger since it has more than 100 tigers. It encompasses an area of 1945 sq km. Moreover, it has some other rare animals too. It is a perfect destination for animal’s lover. There are some important ghats in the district located at the bank of Narmada River are Rangrez Ghat, Rapta Ghat, Nav Ghat, Nao Ghat and Sangam Ghat. One of the most attractive tourist spots in the locality of Mandla town is Sahastradhara, a place full of mesmerising natural sceneries. Garam Pani Kund, situated at a distance of 18 km. from the Mandla town is well known for its magical warm water well. Even, the Indian council of medical research (ICMR) also declared that the water of the Kund has the power to cure various skin diseases. Ramnagar Fort or Mandla Fort, located in a loop of the Narmada River was constructed by the Gond Kings in the late 17th century. Begum Mahal in the district was constructed for Chimney Rani which depicts the Mughal architecture. The three storied Mahal was built by using the wonderful black stones.