Mandsaur district, a part of Ujjain division is a district of Madhya Pradesh state with its administrative headquarters located at Mandsaur town. The district got its name from the headquarters town. The name Mandsaur is believed to have originated from the names of two villages ‘Marh’ and ‘Dasaur’ or ‘Saur’, which merged in the town. Dashpur was another name by which the town was known in ancient days. Sondani, a small village located at a distance of almost 4 km. from Mandsaur where two monolith pillars were built by the King named Yasodharman in 528 AD with an inscription which explain his exploits including victory over Hunas (Alchon Hunas). During the reign of Mahendrapala II, the Gurjara Pratihara Empire was extended up to Mandasor. The place was also remain under the rule of Dilawar Khan Ghauri for a long period of time. Most of the marvellous historical monuments of this place were constructed during his rule. In 19th century prior to India’s independence, Mandsaur was a part of Gwalior, princely state. It gave its name to the treaty with the Holkar Maharaja of Indore, who made the Third Anglo-Maratha War and the Pindari War over in 1818. During the early period of the 20th century it was well known for its Malwa opium trade.
Mannu Bhandari, a distinguished Indian author who became famous for her two Hindi novels namely 'Aapka Banti' and 'Mahabhoj' was born on 3rd April, 1931 at Bhanpura in the district. In the year 2008 she was honoured by the prestigious Vyas Samman Award for her autobiography ‘Ek Kahani Yah Bhi’.
Geographically, the district lies at 24°07'N latitude, 75°07'E longitude and 469 m Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 4.35% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 5,535 sq km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 29th in the state and 195th in India. It is bounded by Neemuch district on the North, Ratlam district on the South and Rajasthan state on the East and West. The climate in the district generally remains dry except in the monsoon period. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1050.8 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 4 sub-divisions namely Mandsaur, Malhargarh, Sitamau and Garoth. It also comprises 8 tehsils likewise Mandsaur, Malhargah, Garoth, Shamgarh, Dalauda, Bhanpura, Suwasra and Sitamau. There are 1 Lok Sabha seat and 4 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 8 sub-districts, 11 towns and 933 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 13,40,411 out of which 6,82,851 are males and 6,57,560 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 963 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 13.24% including 12.85% were males and 13.65% were females. The population density in the district is 242 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 23,523 out of which 12,188 were males and 11,335 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 9,928 out of which 6,049 were males and 3,879 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 88.97% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 98.26%.
The economy of the district is mainly based on agriculture and opium trade since it is renowned for the highest production of opium in the world. The chief agricultural products in the district are wheat, maize, gram, different types of pulses, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the farmers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. The district is scantily industrialised but some slate pencil industry and coarse woolen blankets factories are available in the district. The district is also rich in mineral resources so it has some mines of rocky stone and limestone. C- WET has proved some portions of the district as suitable for the establishment of wind farms. Therefore, now-a-days some wind farm industries are set up in the district. In the year 2019-20 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 18,38,674 lakhs at current price and Rs. 10,67,100 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 17,04,219 lakh at current price and Rs. 9,62,300 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. 1,11,388 at current price and Rs. 62,896 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 Mandsaur Institute of Technology, B.R.Nahata College of Pharmacy, Mandsaur Institute of Pharmacy, Jawaharlal Nehru Law College, Kamla Nehru Bal Mandir, Mandsaur International School, St. Thomas Convent School, Kendriya Vidyala Mandsaur, Bhartiya Vidhya Mandir, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 71.78% including 85.14% are males and 57.98% are females.
Sudhir Ramchandra Gupta, an eminent Indian politician and a member of 16th Lok Sabha from the Mandsaur constituency was born on 19th May, 1959 at Mandsaur town. He is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures numerous travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Teliya Talaab is a beautiful lake in the district and a perfect destination for picnic lovers. It also serves as a source of the utility water supply for its natives. Taxakeshwar temple, a place of religious and historical importance is situated 22 km. away from Bhanpura town in the district. Taxak, a serpent king is worshiped in this place as Taxakeshawar or Takhaji, called by natives. Gandhi Sagar Sanctuary, a wildlife sanctuary is located on the northern border of Mandsaur and Nimach districts in Madhya Pradesh. It was established in 1974, then in 1983 some more areas were also added in it. At present it is spread over an area of 368.62 sq km. Mandsaur Fort, popularly known as Dashpur Fort is situated in the Mandsaur town. Hushang Shah Gori, the successor of Dilawar Khan Gauri (former governor of the Malwa provice) was constructed the fort in order to strengthen its north-western boundary.