Bhandara district, a part of the Nagpur division is a district of Maharashtra state with its administrative headquarters located at Bhandara city. The term Bhandara is taken from the word ‘bhana’ meaning 'brass' since the place is dominated by brass-working industry. The excavation of Ratanpur has proved the glorious history of Bhandara. The stone inscriptions of the 11th century which was found during the time of excavation has confirmed the human existence in the district of Ratanpur and Bhandara. Then in the seventh century, this region was a significant part of the Haihaya Rajput kings of Chhattisgarh, whose empire was popularly known as Maha Kosala at that time. Prior to that a part of the kingdom of the Haihaya Rajput kings of Chhattisgarh, mainly the territory of the present day’s Bhandara district was under the control of the Panwar rajput in the 12th century but later it was captured by the Gond chiefs. In the 17th century, the Peshwas, who invaded the region had made it a part of the Berar. In 1699, the region went into the hands of Parasoji Bhonsle along with the territories of Vidarbha and Berar. Bhonsles ruled the place remarkably for a long time. From the time period 1818 to 1830, Bhandara district was governed by the feudal dynasty of Lanji and Lanji was the head quarter of the dynasty. During different periods of time the place was ruled by different dynasties. At last the rule of the British East India Company was started the region in 1903. With the re-organisation of states in 1956, Bhandara came under the Bombay Province from the state of Madhya Pradesh. In 1960 after the formation of Maharashtra, Bhandara emerged as a separate district of the state. Again, a part of the earlier Bhandara district was carved out on 1th May, 1999 in order to a new district, named Gondia. Thus, both the districts of Bhandara and Gondia came into existence.
Geographically, the district lies at 21°17'N latitude, 79°66'E longitude and 244 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 24.41% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 4,087 sq km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 35th in the state and 298th in India. It is bounded by Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh on the North, Chandrapur district on the South, Gondia district on the East and Nagpur district on the West. The climate of the district remains extremely hot during the summer season and fairly cold during the winter season. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1196.3 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 7 tehsils namely Bhandara, Tumsar, Pauni, Mohadi, Sakoli, Lakhni, Lakhandur. Moreover, the district comprises 12 towns and 771 villages. The administrative language in the district is Marathi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 12,00,334 out of which 6,05,520 are males and 5,94,814 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 982 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 5.65% including 5.59% were males and 5.71% were females. The population density in the district is 294 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 17,984 out of which 9,416 were males and 8,568 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 9,091 out of which 5,361 were males and 3,729 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 84.09% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Marathi with 93.19%.
The economy of the district is mainly based on agricultural sector. More than half of its population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are sugarcane, soybean, trandhanya, tur, urid, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Industrially, also the district is quite well developed. Some of the prominent industries in the district are Hinduja Group Company, Ashok Leyland, Sunflag Iron Steel Company, Shivmangal Ispat Pvt. Ltd., Bidi manufacturing, saw mills, brass manufacturing units, etc. The district is rich in mineral resources as well. Manganese, Ore, Corundum, etc are some commonly found mineral resources in the district. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Bhandara as one of the country's 250 most backward districts and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). In the year 2020-21 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 18,49,200 lakhs at current price and Rs. 12,68,900 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 16,50,400 lakh at current price and Rs. 11,21,900 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 1,28,175 at current price and Rs. 87,125 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 83.76% including 90.35% are males and 77.08% are females.
Shishupal Natthu Patle, a member of the 14th Lok Sabha from the Bhandara constituency of Maharashtra was born on 1st February, 1967 at the Bhandara city. He is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) political party.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Ambagar fort, located at a distance of 13 km. from tumsar in the district is an ancient fort constructed by Raja Khan Pathan. Andhalgaon popularly known as the dark village is a village situated in the Bhandara district. It is one of the principal centres in the district having a considerable weaving industry, silk bordered cloths for women being chiefly produced. Bondgaon, a small village established in 1971 in the Sakoli tehsil near the Chulband River in the district has the most prominent temple of Gangajumna Devi and every year on Chaitra-Paurnima a fair is held in the ground of the temple. Some other places of interest in the district are Brahmi, Gaimukh, Gondumri, Rawanwadi, Pandey Mahal, Sangadi Killa, Sindhpuri Bodh Vihar and many more.