Dewas district, a part of Ujjain division is a district of Madhya Pradesh with its administrative headquarters located at Dewas city. The district got its name from the district headquarters city i.e. Dewas. The place Dewas got its name from the Devi Vaishini hill near to the city which is usually called as Tekri. The three prominent temples of Devi Tulja Bhawani, Chamunda Mata and Kalika Mata are located in the hill. Some of its natives believe that the term Dewas is a blend of two words i.e. ‘Dev’ meaning deity and ‘Vas’ meaning abode. Therefore, Dewas means abode of the deity or god. The History of the hill (Tekri) of Dewas is described very clearly in the notable book named Sadhan Shikhar by Swami Shivom Tirtha. Earlier, the place of Dewas was served as the capital of two princely states in British India. Originally, Dewas was established by the two Maratha brothers TukajiRao and Jivaji Rao in the 18th century. Then these two brothers divided this region between them and after them their descendants ruled as the senior as well as the junior branches of the family. After the year 1841, each of these branch ruled their own area as a separate state since the lands of each one were very closely entangled in Dewas, the capital town where the two sides of the main street were under the different administrations and had different arrangements for the basic needs likewise water supply, lighting, etc. When finally India got its independence in 1947, the then Rajas of Dewas joined their hands with the states of India. At the very beginning, it was a part of Madhya Bharat but later in 1956, Madhya Bharat was merged into Madhya Pradesh.
Geographically, the district lies at 22°96'N latitude, 76°05'E longitude and 535 m Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 27.74% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 7,020 sq km. and in terms of geographical are it occupies the ranks of 17th in the state and 142nd in India. It is bounded by Ujjain district and Shajapur district on the north, Harda district and Khandwa district on the south, Sehore district on the east, Khargone district and Indore district on the west. 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 1071.5 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 6 tehsils namely Sonkatch, Dewas, Bagli, Kannod, Tonkkhurd and Khategaon. There are 1 Lok Sabha seat and 5 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 8 sub-districts, 13 towns and 1,114 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According o 2011 census the district has a population of 15,63,715 including 8,05,359 are males and 7,58,356 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 942 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 19.53% out of which 18.81% were males and 20.31% were females. The population density in the district is 223 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 27,759 out of which 14,346 were males and 13,413 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 9,989 out of which 6,265 were males and 3,724 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 88.03% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 92.82%.
The economy of the district is dependent on both the agricultural and industrial sectors equally. The chief agricultural products in the district are wheat, sorghum, rice, cotton, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the farmers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. In the past few years, the development of its industrial sector is also very remarkable. The growth in its industry sector provides employment facilities to its locals. It has some specific small scale industries of the traditional crafts such as shoes, synthetic Indian carpets, various leather works, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these industries helps in its economy to a great extent. In the year 2019-20 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 26,36,103 lakhs at current price and Rs. 16,60,141 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 23,44,263 lakh at current price and Rs. 14,24,235 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 1,31,341 at current price and Rs. 79,795 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 educational institutions are Prestige Institute of Management, Government K.P. College, Government Girls Degree College, Moulana Azad College Of Professional studies, Guru Vashihtha College, Government Polytechnic College, Synergy Institute of Technology and Science, Government Basic Training College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 69.35% including 80.3% are males and 57.76% are females.
Kailsh Chandra Joshi, an eminent Indian politician and a former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh from June 1977 to January 1978 as a member of Janata Party was born on 14th July, 1929 at Dewas city. At present, he is a member of Bharatiya Janata Party.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures numerous travellers from different parts of country as well as world. Kavadia Hills, a group of seven hills with various shapes are made up of stone pillars. These hills are the great creation of volcanic eruption. Pawar Chattries, located near the Meetha talab at Dewas town is an amazing construction of Maratha Empire which depicts their architectural style. These Chattries are indeed a statement of Pawar kings. Chamunda Tekri, a temple dedicated to Goddess Chamunda is situated at the foot of a conical hill in the Dewas city. Basically, it has two shrines of goddess one is known as Choti Mata (Chamunda Mata) and other one is Badi Mata (Tulja Bhavani Mata). Mahakaleshwar Bilawali, a famous temple of Lord Shiva with a Shivling which increases every year in size is located at Bilavali village, 3 km. away in the north of Dewas town. Pilgrims from far off places come to the temple in order to offer their prayers. Some other foremost places of interest in the district are Kela Devi temple, Mahadev temple (Shankar Garh), Dharaji, Shri Manibhadra Veer temple, Grace Church, Datta Mandir, Kassabban Maszid, Kali Maszid, Shahi Jama Masjid and Siddheshwar Mahadev temple, etc.