Adilabad district is a district of Telangana state with its administrative headquarters located at Adilabad town. Long time back during the reign of Qutub Shahis the place was popularly known as Edlabad. Therefore, the original name of the Adilabad was Edlabad. Its original name was derived from a Gond word “Edla” meaning people lives in woods. The name of the place was changed to its present name "Adilabad" during the period of Mohammed Adil Shah, the Islamic ruler of Bijapur. The district was for long not a homogenius unit and most of its parts were ruled by different dynasties during different periods of time namely, the Mauryas, Staavahanas, Vakatakas, Chaludyasof Badami, Rashtrakututs, Chalukyas of Kalyani, Mughals, Bhosle Rajes of Nagpur and Asaf Jahis, besides the Gond Rajas of Sirpur and Chanda. Before the year 1956, the area was under the Telugu linguistic state. The place is blessed with the dense forests and river Godavari basin. At present it is a part of the Red Corridor. Adilabad as a separate district came into existence in 1872 AD.
Komaram Bheem was an illustrious and very brave tribal leader who fought against the Asaf Jahi Dynasty for the liberation of Hyderabad. He was born on 22nd October, 1901 at Jodeghat, Asifabad in Adilabad district. The famous slogan Jal Jungle Jameen was given by him. Samala Sadasiva, an eminent Telugu poet and writer was born in 1928 at Telugupalle village in Dahegaon mandal of the Adilabad district. He was honoured by Rajiv Prathibha Puraskaram in 2006 and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2011.
Geographically, the district lies at 19°67' N latitude, 78°53' E longitude and 264 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 35.66% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 16,105 sq km. and it is bounded by Maharashtra state on the north, Nanded district of Maharashtra on the west, Karimnagar district and Nizamabad district on the south and Chandrapur district and Gadchiroli district on the east. The chief rivers of the district are Godavari River, Penganga River, Wardha River and Pranahita River. The climate of the district remains extremely hot in summer. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The rainfall in the district, in general increases from the south-west towards the north east. The actual rainfall in the district was 1803.1 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administrative wise, the district is divided into 5 revenue divisions-Adilabad, Utnoor, Nirmal, Mancherial and Asifabad. Moreover, it comprises 52 sub-districts, 22 towns and 1,725 villages. The administrative language in the district is Telugu.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 27,41,239 out of which 13,69,597 are males and 13,71,642 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 1,001 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate of the district was 10.18% including 9.48% are males and 10.88% are females. As per 2011 census the major religion of the district is Hindu with 87.55% of the total population. The population density in the district is 170 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Telugu and Marathi with 59.36% and 13.61%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 9,933 out of which 5,080 were males and 4,853 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 3,113 out of which 1,778 were males and 1,335 were females.
In 2006 the Indian government declared Adilabad as one of the country's 250 most backward districts and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. The prime agricultural crops of the district are jwar, paddy, cotton, wheat, maize, chillies, sugarcane and soya. Sericulture is another source of income in the district. Since the city produces a huge quantity of cotton so the Adilabad city is popularly known as “city of cotton”. In the year 2020-21 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 14,59,885 lakhs at current price and Rs. 9,65,645 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2015-16 was Rs. 7,43,239 lakh at current price and Rs. 6,00,999 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 1,75,171 at current price and Rs. 1,13,915 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 reputed educational institutions in the district are Dr. Rajendra Prasad College of Education, Maduganti Suryamma College of Education, Srinidhi Teacher Training Institute, Vivekananda College of Education, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate of the district is 61.01% including 70.81% are males and 51.31% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 14,83,347 including 8,56,350 are males and 6,26,997 are females.
Jogu Ramanna, a veteran Indian politician and M.L.A from Adilabad assembly constituency was born at Deepaiguda villagein the Adilabad district. Earlier, he was a member of the Telugu Desam Party then he joined the Telangana Rashtra Samithi. Ramesh Rathod, a distinguished politician and MP from Adilabad constituency was born on 20th October, 1966 at Tadihaddnur in the Adilabad district. He is a member of the Telugu Desam Party.
Adilabad has many centres of attraction which allures numerous travellers from different parts of the world. Kuntala Waterfalls is 45 meters tall and located in the middle of the mountain ranges of Sahyadri. Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary, established in 1964 is situated amidst of the dense forests. The sanctuary is prominent for a wide range of species. Pochera waterfalls are situated in the thickness of the forests. Godavari River merges with the stream of water and falls down from a height of 20 m. Pranahita Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most well-known tourist places in the district. It was established in the year 1980 and has a variety of species. The River Pranahita flows through this place. Sivaram Wildlife Sanctuary, established in 1987 is situated on Godavari River banks. The sanctuary has a rich variety of flora and fauna and the animals. Kala Ashram of the district was founded by Shri Ravindra Sharma in 1979. The ashram takes active steps to revive fading art forms like Bhiksha Vruttis. Basar Saraswathi Temple, situated on Godavari river banks, is the most renowned temple of the district.