Gadchiroli district, a part of the Nagpur division is a district of the Maharashtra state with its administrative headquarters located at Gadchiroli town. During different periods of time the place was ruled by different prominent dynasties namely the Rashtrakutas, the Chalukyas, the Yadavas of Deogiri and finally the Gonds of Gadchiroli. In 1853 Chandrapur, a part of the Berar province was ceded to the British East India Company. After some time in 1854, Chandrapur came into existence as an independent district of Berar. Gadchiroli was formed as a tehsil in 1905 when zamindari estate was transferred from Brahmapuri and Chandrapur tehsil. In 1956, when the reorganisation of the states was started, at that time Chandrapur was transferred to Bombay state but till then it was a part of the Central Provinces. In 1960, when the new state of Maharashtra was created, Chandrapur became a district of the state. Later, Gadchiroli was emerged as separate district in the year 1989 after it carved out from the Chandrapur district in the place of Brahmapuri, a part of the Vidarbha region of the Maharashtra state. Currently, Gadchiroli is a part of the Red Corridor.
Keshav Jagannath Purohit, an illustrious Marathi writer who wrote many Marathi literatures by using the pen name Shantaram was born in the year 1923 at the Chamorshi town in the district. In 1989, he was the one who presided over the Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, held in Amravati.
Geographically, the district lies at 20°18'N latitude, 79°99'E longitude and 217 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 68.71% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 14,412 sq km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 6th in the state and 20th in India. It is bounded by Gondia district on the North, Andhra Pradesh on the South and Southwest, Chhatisgarh on the East and Chandrapur district on the West. The climate of the district remains tropical wet and dry for most of the year. The actual rainfall in the district was 1281.3 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 12 tehsils namely Gadchiroli, Dhanora, Chamorshi, Mulchera, Aheri, Sironcha, Etapalli, Bhamragad, Wadsa, Armori, Kurkheda and Korchi. Moreover, it comprises 6 towns and 1509 villages. The administrative language in the district is Marathi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 10,72,942 out of which 5,41,328 are males and 5,31,614 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 10.58% including 10.23% were males and 10.94% were females. The population density in the district is 74 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 16,702 out of which 8,655 were males and 8,039 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 7,159 out of which 4,287 were males and 2,872 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 86.44% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Marathi and Gondi with 56.38% and 14.21%.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. More than half of its population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are bamboo, paddy, linseed, wheat, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. The district is famous for bamboo and Tendu leaves. The district is scantily industrialised only a few paper mills are located at Ashti in Chamorshi Taluka and a paper pulp factory at Desaiganj in the district. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Gadchiroli 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. 12,01,900 lakhs at current price and Rs. 8,25,000 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 10,74,300 lakh at current price and Rs. 7,30,900 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. 94,214 at current price and Rs. 64,098 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is well-known as an abode of several reputed educational institution. It provides a platform for higher education. Some of its most recognised educational institutions are Kamlesh Uke High School, Gondwana Sainiki Vidyalaya, Shri. Shivaji High School, Z.P. High School, Carmel High School, Platinum Jubilee High School, Namdeorao Poreddiwar College Of Engineering & Technology, Vasant Vidyalaya, Sarasvati Vidyalaya, Government Polytechnic College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 74.36% including 82.31% are males and 66.27% are females.
Marotrao Sainuji Kowase, a veteran Indian politician and a member of the 15th Lok Sabha from the Gadchiroli-Chimur constituency of Maharashtra was born on 3rd November, 1949 at Bhadbhidi in the district. He is a member of the Indian National Congress (INC) political party.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Markandadeo village, popularly known as the place of Lord ‘Shiva’ is located at the Chamorshi Tehsil in the district. Pilgrims from far off places come to this village in order to offer their prayers. Chaparala, a significant pilgrimage situated in the Gadchiroli district is well-known as Prashant Dham. In around 1935 the temple was constructed by Kartik Swami Maharaj. At present it is transferred to a group of temples of Lord Shiva, Saibaba, Hanuman, Durga, and some other gods and goddess. Surjagad hills, situated at the Etapalli Taluka in the district are spread over 27 km. These hills are commonly known as Surjagad Pahadi and a great variety of species of flora and fauna is available in it. Some other places of interest in the district are Binagunda, Bhamragad Sangam, Lakka Metta, Van Vaibhav, Aheri and many more.