Latur district, a part of Aurangabad division is a district of Maharashtra state with its administrative headquarters located at Latur city. The ancient history of the place has most probably dates back to the Rashtrakuta period. Earlier, a branch of Rashtrakutas ruled the Deccan region from 753-973 AD. The kingdom of Rashtrakuta in the region was started with king Dantidurga from Lattalur, which might be the ancient name for Latur. Previously, Ratnapur is mentioned as a name for Latur. The headquarters city, Latur was flourished during the reign of the king Amoghavarsha of Avinash but originally it was a native place of the Rashtrakutas. In 753 AD the Chalukyas of Badami was succeeded by the Rashtrakutas, who called themselves as the original residents of Lattalur. During different periods of time the lace was ruled by different rulers and dynasties namely the Satavahanas, the Sakas, the Chalukyas, the Yadavas of Deogiri, the Delhi Sultans, the Bahamani rulers of South India, Adilshahi and the Mughals. In the 17th century, it became part of the independent princely state of Hyderabad. Under Hyderabad the tax system was reformed and many of the exploitive taxing practices were ended. In the year 1905, when the region of Latur was merged with its surrounding areas then it became called as Latur tehsil under the Osmanabad district. Moreover, the Osmanabad district was a part of Hyderabad state under the Nizam until 1948. In the year 1989, Latur was carved out from the Osmanabad district and emerged as a separate district in the map of the Maharashtra state.
Geographically, the district lies at 18040'N latitude, 76058'E longitude and 634 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 0.18% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 7,157 sq km. and in terms of geographical rea it occupies the ranks of 10 sub-districts, 7 towns and 928 villages. It is bounded by Parbhani district on the North, Osmanabad district on the South West, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka on the South East and Beed district on the North West. Moderate temperatures are generally observed in the district. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 634.9 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 5 subdivisions namely Latur, Nilanga, Ausa, Ahmadpur and Udgir. Moreover, it comprises 10 sub-district, 7 towns and 928 villages. The administrative language in the district is Marathi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 24,54,196 out of which 12,73,140 are males and 11,81,056 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 928 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 17.97% including 18.40% were males and 17.51% were females. The population density in the district is 343 persons per sq. km. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 47,909 including 24,658 were males and 23,251 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 12,084 including 7,193 were males and 4,891 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 81.78% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Marathi with 81.75%.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. 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 sun flower, soybean, pulses, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. Industrially also the district is quite developed. It is well known as a trading centre in oil seeds mainly sun-flower and soya bean, kardi (safflower), nutcrackers, locks, brassware, milk powder, ginning and pressing. In the year 2017-18 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 30,15,100 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 24,64,000 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012. In the year 2013-14 the net domestic product in the district was Rs. 19,36,800 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 9,95,900 lakh 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. 80,352 at Current Price and Rs. 41,314 at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Most of the colleges in the district are affiliated to Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University (SRTMU), which was established in the year, 1994 at Nanded in the Maharashtra. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 77.26% including 84.39% are males and 69.63% are females.
Shivajirao Nilangekar Patil, a veteran Indian politician and the 10th chief minister of Maharashtra i.e. from June 1985 to March 1986 was born at Nilanga in the district. He was a leader of the Indian National Congress party. Shivraj Vishwanath Patil, an illustrious Indian politician who served as the Governor of the state of Punjab and Administrator of the Union Territory of Chandigarh from 22nd January, 2010 to 21st January, 2015 was born on 12th October, 1935 at Latur city in the district.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Siddheshwar and Ratneshwar Temple, situated almost at a distance of 2 km. from the city was built by the king named Tamradwaj. Every year a large number of pilgrims come to this temple in order to offer their prayers. Udgir fort, one of the most important attractions of the Latur district has a great historical significance since it has witnessed the war between the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad which took place in 1761. Ausa, a place situated 20 km. away from Latur has an old historical fort which is in ruins state at present. The place has a huge temple of Virnath Maharaj also which was constructed by his son Mallinath Maharaj almost about 300 years ago. Some other places of interest in the district are Ganj Golai, Surat Shahvali Darga, Kharosa Caves, Astavinayak Temple, Wadwal Nagnath Bet and many more.