Gondiya district, a part of the Nagpur division is a district of Maharashtra state with its administrative headquarters located at Gondiya city. It is believed that the region of the present district to the south of the Godavari River was inhabited by the aborigines or Rakshasas (in the Sanskrit language) during the ancient period. At the very beginning in the 7thcentury the district was a part of the territories of the Haihaya Rajput kings of Chhattisgarh. In the 12th century the place witnessed the rule of Panwars (Rajput) which was followed by Gond chiefs who declared their freedom of the Ratanpur dynasty. Then in 1743 the place was went into the hands of Raghoji Bhonsle of Vidarbha who established himself as the king of Vidarbha. In 1755, the sovereign of the territory was declared by the Janoji. During different periods of time the place was ruled by different prominent dynasties.At last the place was the ruled by the Nizam. Later,the Nizam ceded the province of Berar to the British East India Company and in 1903 the Nizam leased it to the British Government of India. Finally, it was transferred to the Central Provinces. In the year 1956 when the re-organization of states was started at that time, Bhandara was transferred from Madhya Pradesh to Bombay Province. After the formation of Maharashtra in 1960, Gondiya was carved out of the Bhandara district and emerged as a separate district in the map of Maharashtra on 1st April, 1999. It is currently a part of the Red Corridor.
Geographically, the district lies at 21°46'N latitude, 80°20'E longitude and 300 m altitude.In the year 2019, there was a total 37.04% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 5,234 sq km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 29th in the state and 203rd in India. It is bounded by Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh on the North, Chandrapur district on the South, Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh on the East and Bhandara district on the West. The natives of the district experiences extreme variations in temperature with very hot summers and very cold winters. The actual rainfall in the district was 1327.6 mm in the year of 2019-2020.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 8 tehsils namely Gondiya, Goregaon, Tirora, Arjuni Morgaon, Deori, Amgaon, Salekasa and Sadak Arjuni. Moreover, it comprises 10 towns and 883 villages. The administrative language in the district is Marathi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 13,22,507 out of which 6,61,554 are males and 6,60,953 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 999 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 10.14% including 10.47% were males and 9.82% were females. The population density in the district is 253 persons per sq. km. In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 17,996 including 9,486 were males and 8,510 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 9,182 including 5,204 were males and 3,978 were females.As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 87.25% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal languages n the district is Marathi and Hindi with 73.31% and 20.74%.
The economy of the district is mainly based on agriculture. Most of the lands in the district are use for agricultural purposes. More than half of its population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are paddy, linseed, wheat, etc. Gondiya is also popularly known as Rice City since it is basically a rice producing district with nearly 250 rice mills. But it is scantily industrialised. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Gondiya 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 2018-19 (P) the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 16,57,800 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 12,92,400 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012.In the year 2013-2014 the net domestic product in the district was Rs. 9,32,600lakh at Current Price and Rs. 5,26,600lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005. In the year 2013-14 the Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district was Rs. 68,665 at Current Price and Rs. 38,772 at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005.
The district is well known as abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. The recognised educational institutions in the district are D.B.Science College, N. M.D. College, Gondiya Medical College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 84.95% including 92.04% are males and 77.89% are females.
Dr Kushal Bopche, a veteran Indian politician and elected as a member of the 9th Lok Sabha from the Bhandara Lok Sabha Constituency in Maharashtra was born at Hirodamali, Goregaon in the Gondiya district. He is a member of the Bhartiya Janata Party.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Darekasa Caves, located in the Chandsuraj hills of Darekasa village in the Gondiya district are group of natural and manmade caves formed in single rock. The stone carving in the caves proves the presence of the habitant of the Gonds depicting their ancient cave culture. Nagzira Wild Life Sanctuary, one of the better maintained sanctuaries of the state with watch towers and cabins for the tourists is situated in the district. Nagra Shiv Temple, located at a distance of 5 km. from Gondiya was constructed in the 15th century in Hemadpanthi style. Pilgrims from far off places come to this temple in order to offer their prayers. Some other places of interest in the district are Chulbandh Dam, Itiadoh Dam, Dakram Sukdi, Kachargadh Caves, Navegaon National Park, Pench National Park, Shenda Shiv Temple, etc.