Vidisha district, a part of Bhopal division is a district of Madhya Pradesh with its administrative headquarters located at Vidisha city. For the first time in 1904 the district was formed by joining the tehsils of Vidisha and Basoda which did not include the Basoda State since at that time it was a part of Gwalior state. Earlier, the district was popularly known as "Bhilsa district". When India got its independence in 1947, after that the former princely state of Gwalior came under the Madhya Bharat state, established in 1948. In 1949 when some small princely states of Kurwai State were added in the Bhilsa district and it became enlarged. The present Vidisha district was emerged in the map of Madhya Pradesh state in 1956, when Madhya Bharat state, Bhopal State, the tehsil of Sironj, then part of Rajasthan state and previously part of the princely state of Tonk, were all merged into Madhya Pradesh state. Again, after sometime Sironj tehsil and the small pargana of Piklone from Bhopal state were both added into Vidisha district.
Kailash Satyarthi, distinguished Indian children’s rights, education advocate and an activist against child labour was born on 11th January, 1954 at Vidisha town. He was one who founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement) in 1980. He is honoured by many prestigious national and international awards, including the 2014 Noble Prize.
Geographically, the district lies at 23053'N latitude, 77082'E longitude and 424 m Altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 10.55% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 7,371 sq km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 13th in the state and 119th in India. It is bounded by Ashoknagar district on the North East, Raisen district on the South, Guna district on the North West and Bhopal district on the South West. The climate of the district remains extremely hot during the summer but its nights are generally pleasant. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 912.5 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 10 tehsils namely Vidisha, Sironj, Basoda, Kurwai, Lateri, Shamshabad, Nateran, Tyonda, Gyaraspur and Gulabganj. There are 1 Lok Sabha seat and 5 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 7 towns and 1,614 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 14,58,875 including 7,69,568 are males and 6,89,307 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 896 females for 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 20.09% out of which 18.79% were males and 21.57% were females. The population density in the district is 198 persons per sq. km. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 16,720 out of which 8,674 were males and 8,046 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 5,082 out of which 2,781 were males and 2,301 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 88.25% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 95.16%.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. Most of the people of in the district are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. Its main source of irrigation for the high quality production is Betwa River. The chief agricultural products in the district are maize, sorghum, soybean, wheat, gram, etc. The district is scantily industrialised but some small scale industries of soap, detergent, pesticide, silk, chemical, etc are available in it. Every year an amount of revenue comes from these industries helps in its economy to a great extent. The tourism sector of the district is also quit developed, which provides livelihood for few section. In the year 2016-17 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 12,04,814 lakh at current price and Rs. 8,26,574 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2016-17 was Rs. 11,17,734 lakh at current price and Rs. 7,54,162 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2016-17 was Rs. 70,632 at current price and Rs. 47,657 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 government educational institutions are Govt Sanjay Gandhi Smrati College, Govt College (Kurwai), Govt College (Nateran), Govt Lal Bahadur Shastri College, Govt College, Subhadra Sharma Govt Girls College, Govt College (Shamshabad), Govt Girls College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 70.53% including 79.14% are males and 60.85% are females.
Pratap Bhanu Sharma, an eminent Indian politician and a member of the 7th and 8th Lok Sabha from the Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency was born on 6th March, 1947 at the Vidisha city. He is a senior leader of the Indian National Congress.
The district has several centres of attractions which allures numerous travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Bijama??al, a large temple in the district was built in the late Paramara period. The Archaeology department of India believe that it was started to build in the second half of the 11th century but unfortunately it was never finished. Maladevi temple, situated on the slope of a hill is a wonderful temple. In the temple there is a Hindola Torana meaning an ornamental entrance arches, which leading to a large temple dedicated either to Lord Vishnu or to Lord Trimurti. Girdhari Temple, located at Sironj in the Vidisha district has the temples of Jatashankar and Mahamaya, which are believed to be ancient and pious. Pilgrims from far off places comes to this temple to offer their prayers. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Bajramath temple, Udayeshwara temple, Gadarmal temple, Holiodorous Pillar, Udaigiri Caves, Shalbhanjika, etc.