Dhar district is a part of Indore division is a district of Madhya Pradesh state with its administrative headquarters located at Dhar town. The earliest reference to Dhar is in the 6th century. The district got its name from its headquarters town i.e. Dhar. Moreover, the town got its name from the terms ‘Dhara Nagara’ meaning ‘the city of sword blades’. As per its history, earlier (in the ancient period) Dhar was popularly known as Dhar Nagari and again in the medieval period its name was changed to Piran Dhar. Further, it has had the privilege of being the capital city, both in the ancient and in the early medieval periods. During different periods of time the district was ruled by different dynasties. At last British came to India and annexed India through the British East India Company. At the time of Indian struggle for independence, the Dhar district was also participated in it actively. In the year 1860 the British Government decided to return back Dhar to Anand Rao III. The district is full of amazing historical monuments which depicts its glorious history.
Geographically, the district lies at 22°60'N latitude, 75°30'E longitude and 559 m Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 7.90% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 8,153 sq km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 9th in the state and 96th in India. It is bounded by Ratlam district on the North, Barwani district on the South, Ujjain district on the North East, Indore district on the East, Khargone district on the South East and Jhabua district on the West. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 782.0 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 8 tehsils namely Badnawar, Dahi, Dhar, Dharampuri, Gandhwani, Kukshi, Manawar, Sardarpur, etc. There are 1 Lok Sabha seat and 7 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 8 sub-districts, 13 towns and 1,535 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 21,85,793 out of which 11,12,725 are males and 10,73,068 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 964 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 25.60% including 24.97% were males and 26.26% were females. The population density in the district is 268 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 39,621 out of which 20,702 were males and 18,919 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 14,658 out of which 9,491 were males and 5,167 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 93.84% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Hindi and Bhili/Bhilodi with 82.83% and 15.55%.
The economy of the district is basically dependent on agriculture. Most of the lands in the district are uses for agricultural purposes. The chief agricultural products in the district are wheat, gram, soybean, maize, cotton, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Pithampur industrial area is situated in the district. The district is scantily industrialised only a few industries are available in the district. Some principal industries in the district are Force Motors Ltd, Man Force Trucks, Rathi Steel, Eicher Motors, L & T Case Equipment, Anant Steel Pvt Ltd, Cipla, etc. It is one of the 24 most backward districts of Madhya Pradesh and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Program. In the year 2019-20 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 27,72,497 lakhs at current price and Rs. 17,01,579 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 25,22,062 lakh at current price and Rs. 15,01,515 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. 1,01,088 at current price and Rs. 60,183 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 College (Badnawar), Govt Autonomous PG College, Govt College (Dharampuri), Govt Degree College (Manawar), Shri Rajendra Suri Govt College (Sardarpur), Govt College (Dhamnod), Govt Girls Degree College, Govt College (Kukshi), Govt College (Pithampur) etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 59% including 68.95% are males and 48.77% are females. Chhatar Singh Darbar, an eminent Indian politician and a member of the 14th Lok Sabha from the Dhar constituency of Madhya Pradesh was born on 8th January, 1954 at Dhar city. He is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) political party.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures numerous travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. The beautiful sandstone fortress located on a small hill in the district was built by Muhammad bin Tughluq, the Sultan of Delhi. This fort has historical importance. Another great creation of the medieval period is the tomb of Shaykh ‘Abdullah Shah Changal, a warrior saint. As per the Persian writings incorporated in the compound gate, it was constructed in 1455. Lath Masjid or 'Pillar Mosque', situated on the southern part of the town was constructed by Dilawar Khan in 1405. The mosque got its name from the iron pillar within it, which was set up in the 11th century. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Bhoj Shala, Jheera Bagh Palace, Kamal Maula Campus, Cenotaphs and Old City Palace, etc.