Panchmahal district is a district of Gujarat state with its head quarters located at Godhra city. The history of the Champaner city is related to the history of the district. The district came into existence in the year 647 (7th century) in the territory of the King Vanraj of Solanki dynasty. After some time in the 13th century, Chauhans conquered over the Muslim rulers and took the powers from Alauddin Khilji. Chauhans ruled the place until sultan Mohammad Begda overpowered the city in 1484. During the period from 1575 to 1727 under the Mughal rule, Godhra was considered as centre of the district. In 18th century Panchmahals was again captured by the Maratha general Sindhia from the Mughal Empire. With the passage of time, Sindhia dynasty became the Maharajas of Gwalior State and after the year 1818, they were forced to recognize the British sovereignty. The Sindhias in 1861 transferred the Panch Mahals to British India and at that time it was emerged as a separate district in the Gujarat Division of Bombay Province.
Geographically, the district lies at 22082'N latitude, 73075'E longitude and 107 m Altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 13.57% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 5,231 sq. km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 14th in the state and 204th in India. It is bounded by Dahod district on the north-east and east, Vadodara district on the south, Kheda district on the west and Sabarkantha district on the northwest. The climate of the district remains extremely hot during the summer. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 788.3 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 11 tehsils namely Divda Colony, Ghoghamba, Godhra, Halol, Jamughoda, Kalol, Khanpur (Bakor), Lunawada, Morwa, Santrampur and Shehera. There are 1 Lok Sabha seat and 7 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 9 towns and 1,210 villages. The administrative language in the district is Gujarati.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 23,90,776 out of which 12,26,961 are males and 11,63,815 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 949 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 18.05% including 17.42% were males and 18.72% were females. The population density in the district is 457 persons per sq. km. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 38,677 including 20,287 were males and 18,390 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district is 10,796 including 6,787 were males and 4,009 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 92.90% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Gujarati with 96.52%.
The economy of the district is solely based on dairy farming and agriculture. The chief agricultural products in the district are rice, maize, pulses, onion, cabbage, mango, banana, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the farmers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Moreover, its black helps to produce wheat, maize and pulses in a large quantity. The district is also rich in mineral resources. The principal mineral resources available in the district are quartz, marble and granite. The district is scantily industrialised but the presence of some small scale industries of wooden products, food processing units and machine tools stands as a supporting pillar of its economy. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Panchmahal as one of the country's 250 most backward districts and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).
The district is an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Some of its recognised educational institutions are Government Engineering College, S.P. Patel Arts College, Government Polytechnic Godhra, Shri Muktajivan Swamibapa Kelvani Mandal Sanchalit Arts College, Adivasi Arts and Commerce College, M.M. Gandhi Arts and Commerce College, Nutan B. Pharmacy College, Degree Pharmacy College, GHB Pharmacy College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 70.99% including 82.51% are males and 58.89% are females.
Prabhatsinh Pratapsinh Chauhan, an eminent Indian politician and a member of 15th and 16th Lok Sabha from the Panchmahal constituency was born on 15th June, 1941 at Godhra in the Panchmahal district. He is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) political party. Bhupendrasinh Prabhatsinh Solanki, an illustrious Indian politician and a member of the 14th Lok Sabha from the Godhra constituency was born on 26th March, 1954 in the Panchmahal district. He is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The district has numerous centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. The district is a perfect destination for pilgrims since it consists of four Vaishnava temples at Godhra, Jain temples, Ramji Mandir, Gokulnathji temple, Swaminarayan temple, Ankleshwar Mahadev temple, Bohora Masjid, Marisdeshwar Mahadev temple, Jhakurkhan Ara Masjid, Old Methodist Church, etc. Pilgrims from far distance place comes to these holy places of the district to offer their prayers. There are also some places in the district which are full of natural beauty and mesmerising sceneries. Kanelav Talava, a wonderful pond which draws many visitors and most of the time the surrounding area of this pond is used as a picnic spot. Ram Sagar Talav, another beautiful pond is situated near a statue of Swami Vivekananda. Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary in the district is a perfect destination for animal lovers.