Panna district, a part of Sagar division is a district of Madhya Pradesh with its administrative headquarters located at Panna town. The district was ruled by different dynasties such as Maurya Empire, Sunga Dynasty and Gupta Empire and it was also an important part of these Empires. In the 13th century the place was inhabited by Gonda tribe. In the 17st century the place was overpowered by the Bundelas and at that time the area was popularly known as Bundelkhand. In the early 19th century, during the British rule, the place Panna was transferred to a princely state of British India. Till 1st January, 1950 the place was under the administration of Maharaja Mahendra Yadvendra Singh but he surrendered it to the Government of India. Therefore, the Panna district came into existence in the year 1950. After Indian got independence in 1947, at that time the present Panna district was formed by several former princely states of Panna, Jaso, most of Ajaigarh and a portion of Paldeo. Earlier, the Panna district was under the newly formed Vindhya Pradesh state but on 1st November, 1956 it was merged into Madhya Pradesh.
Geographically, the district lies at 24°72'N latitude, 80°18'E longitude and 416 m Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 38.52% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 7,135 sq km. and in terms of geographical area it occpies the ranks of 16th in the state and 136th in India. It is bounded by Chhatarpur district on the North West, Satna district on the North East and East, Damoh district on the South West and Katni district on the South. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 924.1 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 6 subdivisions namely Ajaigarh, Amanganj, Gunour, Panna, Pawai and Shahnagar. There are 1 Lok Sabha and 3 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 8 sub-districts, 6 towns and 1,011 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 10,16,520 out of which 5,33,480 are males and 4,83,040 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 905 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 18.67% including 18.41% were males and 18.97 were females. The population density in the district is 142 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 22,488 out of which 11,781 were males and 10,707 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 6,402 out of which 4,000 were males and 2,402 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 95.81% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 99.12%.
The district has abundant of diamond mines which are located in a belt of 80 km across the Panna town. Since the district is scantily industrialised hence the State Industries Department has gave it the 'C' category. Now-a-days some small scale industries of Coal Brackets, Chlorinated Paraffin Box, Ice, Edible Oil, Agricultural Implements, etc are established in the district by the District Industries Centre which provides an employment facility to its natives. Some of its population in the district are also engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are rice, gram, wheat, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. In the year 2019-20 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 9,47,490 lakhs at current price and Rs. 5,61,978 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 8,78,900 lakh at current price and Rs. 5,07,493 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. 75,749 at current price and Rs. 43,739 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 Govt College of Ajaigarh, Govt Sanskrit College of Devendranagar, Govt Chhatrasal PG College, Govt College of Pawai, Govt College of Gunnor, Govt College of Amanganj, Govt College of Devendranagar, Govt Girls College, Govt Arts and Commerce College of Shahnagar, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 64.79% including 74.14% are males and 54.44% are females.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Mahamati Prannathji Temple, situated in the Panna district was constructed in 1692 reflects Muslim and Hindu architectural styles in its domes. Pilgrims from far distance place come to this temple during the Sharada Purnima. The temple consists of six parts namely Shri Gummatji, Shri Bangalaji, Shri Sadguru Mandir, Shri Baijurajji Mandir, Shri Chopada Mandir and Shri Khijada Mandir. Padmavati Devi also known as Badi Devi temple, located on the north-west corner near Kilkila River is an ancient temple of great importance. Some other prominent temples in the district are Lord Ram-Janki temple, Sarang temple, Swamiji temple, Baiji temple, Govindji temple, etc. Pandav Fall, located at a distance of 12 km. from Panna towards Khajuraho is situated inside the Panna National Park. Lush green surrounding of the fall attracts its visitors. Panna Tiger Reserve, located in the Vindhya Mountain Range spreads over the Panna district is the twenty-second Tiger Reserve of India.