Buldhana district is located in the northern part of the Maharashtra State. And it is the western most district of the Vidarbha. District is bounded by 190 51’ and 210 17’ north latitude and 750 57’ and 760 49’ east longitudes. It is included in the survey of India toposheets no. 55 C, D, 56 A and 46 P occupying an area of 9,680 sq.km. The district is bordered by Amravati and Burhanpur district (M.P.) in north, Akola and Washim districts in east, Hingoli and Jalna district on south and Jalgaon and Aurangabad in west. The district has been divided into 13 Talukas with 1427 villages. It is well connected by roads to the different Talukas. It has a total population of 22,32,480 souls, out of which approximately 85% constitute the rural population. The total area under forest is about 115100 hectors. The forest area makes 16.41 per cent of the total geographical area as against the average of 17.56 per cent for the State of Maharashtra.
The district is endowed with two major economic resources, viz. agricultural land, and forest produce. The chief major forest produce is timber and firewood and the chief minor produce is Tembhurni leaves and rosa oil, etc. Jowar and Cotton are the main crops of the district. Other important cash crops are groundnut, pulses and soyabean. The chief export articles of the district are cotton and teakwood giving highest revenue to the district.
In 1867 Buldhana district came into existence combining North Berar and Mehkar districts. After amalgamation of Berar with Central Province, Buldhana district became the district of Central Province and Berar. In August 1905 Khamgaon and Jalgaon tehsils from Akola district of CP and Berar were combined into Buldhana district. In 1950 it became part of Madhya Pradesh with Nagpur as its capital. In 1956 along with other Marathi-speaking regions of Vidarbha it became part of Bombay State and part of Maharashtra State in 1960.
The subdivision of talukas takes place subsequently with additional taluka as Sangrampur from Jalgaon - Jamod, Shegaon from Khamgaon, Motala from Buldhana, Nandura from Malkapur, Deulgaon Raja from Chikhali, Sindkhed Raja and Lonar from Mehkar to make up the Buldhana district.
Topographically, the district falls under three structural-cum-physical units: a narrow, northern strip in the Jalgaon thasil in the Satpuda hills, the Payanghat or the Purna plains in the middle comprising the tahsils of Malkapur, Khamgaon and Jalgaon, and the Buldhana plateau comprising the Chikhli and Mehakar tahsil to the south. The landscape in the district is rich and varied, with gently sloping fertile riverine plains studded with agriculturally prosperous villages standing in sharp contrast to the flat undulation plateau country with patches of cultivation, broad open river valleys and a monotonous scrub cover. The ghat country, deeply scoured by gullies and ravines on the edge of the plateau and the sheer black walls of the Satpuda scarps to the north add colour to the variety of landforms.
The district has no mountain system of considerable magnitude except for the area lying in the north in the Gawil-gadh hills or the Satpudas. Parts of the Buldhana plateau have hills rising to about 500 m.
The average elevation of the Satpudas in the northern part of Jalgaon tahsil of the district ranges between 700 and 1000 m with three high peaks: the Chandgarh, 743 m high in the north-westerncorner, the Dhormoria peak, 837 m high near the village of Bhimgara in the Raipur reserved forest area and an unnamed peak with an altitude of 928 m overlooking the deserted village of Kille Pimpaldol.
The Ajanta range carrying on its flat top, the high level mesa of Buldhana plateau covers the southern part of the district. The edge of this plateau, overlooking the Purna plains to its north, is a hilly ghat country at average elevations of 500 to 600 meters. It is an escarpment less well-defined than the Satpuda scarp. It has a curving trend from west to east, to southeast. It is also believed by geologists to be a fault scarp.
The Buldhana plateau on the crest of the Ajanta range in the southern parts of the district at an average elevation of 600 to 800 m sloping to the south-east is the only large plateau. Differential subaerial erosion of the horizontally bedded traps particularly in the western parts, namely, the Chikhli tahsil, has divided the area into a number of plateaus at different levels with fairly steep slopes in between. The Purna plains or the Payanghat is the main low land region of the district average elevation of which ranges between 250 and 270 m. The slope is extremely gentle, towards the west. On an average, it is about 50 to 60 km broad. Bounded to the north by the Satpuda scarps and to the south by the Ajanta scarp, the Purna valley is believed to be a graben floor developed as a result of sag faulting during the recent past. The infacing scarps are suggestive of this view. The valley floor is alluvium infilled. The thickness of the old alluvium above the rock basin in many places exceeds 400 m. The plain gradually narrows down to the west, as the Ajanta range approaches closer to the Satpuda scarp.
The two main rivers of the district are the Penganga and the Purna. The other but less important rivers is the Kate-purna.
The Penganga, the principal river of the district, rises close to the northern scarp edge of the Buldhana plateau in the Deulghat hills. The river has a generally southeasterly flow through the district before entering into the Akola district. Most of Chikhli and Mehkar tahsils fall within the drainage of the Penganga. The river has only a seasonal flow, being dry during the hot weather. The valley of the river is open, broad and shallow, presenting a mellowed mature or even senile appearance.
The Katepurna, or the lower Purna or the South Purna as it is differently called, also rises in the Ajanta ranges but outside the district limits in Aurangabad. It enters the district near the village of Chinchkhed in Chikhli tahsil and has a generally southeasterly flow in the southern parts of Chikhli and Mehkar tahsils. It has a run of about 50 km in the southern parts of the district "before it leaves the district to enter into Parbhani. It is also a non-perennial stream but has a flow for a longer period than the Penganga. Both the Penganga and the Katepurna are important left bank tributaries of the Godavari, but however they do not gain any importance till after their leaving the district limits.
The Purna, the only perennial stream in the Payanghat plains, rises in the south facing scarps of Gawilgarh hills in the district of Amravati. It flows across the northern part of this district to join the Tapi in Jalgaon district. A large number of streams rising in the scarps both to its north and to its south join the river and drain the whole region with a fairly dense network. The pattern is dendritic but some streams have a sub-parallel drainage to the main river before their confluence in the aggraded valley floor.
Geology of the Buldhana district is varied. Deccan Trap covers most of the district, and recent Alluvium occurs in northern parts of the district. The district of Buldhana provides little of geological interest except for the unique occurrence of picturesque ' Lonar crater ' the only such in the great basaltic province of India. Greater part of the district is covered by rocks of the Deccan volcanic of Cretaceous-Eocene age, and a few alluvium patches of the Purna and Penganga basin, respectively. The trap rocks are usually fine to coarse-grained, dark grey to greenish-black basalts of vesicular and massive types
Age Rock Formation Recent Purna Alluvium Upper cretaceous to lower Eocene Deccan trap(Lava Flows)
These lava flows are extensively capping the district and overlained by recent alluvium in patches along the rivers. These flows can be broadly divided as 1) Massive flow, 2) Vesicular flow, 3) Amygdaloidal or Zeolitic and 4) Jointed or Fractured. Layers of red bole are also associated with the flows.
The Purna valley alluvium occupies an extensive stretch of low lying ground between Paturda and the confluence of Purna river with that of Tapi in Jalgaon district. In the river valleys and where superficial rain-wash has accumulated, a mixture of black cotton soil associated with sub-recent conglomeratic formation or light brown laterite material is noticeable at places, but otherwise. The alluvium of the plains is usually of considerable depth sometimes, exceeding upto 50 m as noticed near Pimprala or Malkapur. At places in the river alluvium, calcareous fragmentary bones or teeth ruminants are found sporadically. Much on the alluvium produces effervescence of sodium salts. Majority of the wells sunk in the area have brackish water.
Buldhana forms the westernmost district of Vidarbha with an average annual rainfall of 70 to 85 cm. Excepting for the east-west stretch of the western extremity of the fertile Purna valley in the north-central portion of the district, the entire district is occupied by the trappean hill ranges of Gawali-garh in the north and the Ajanta in the south with a general depression towards the valley of Purna from either side. In the northern portion of the valley belt an east-west stretch extending for over 30 km, with an average width of 6 km is the potable fresh water belt with a discharge of 8 to 12 liters per second within a depth range of 40 m. In the southern part of the valley south of the river Purna there is acute scarcity with the river alluvium; but the major part of the alluvial portion of the district is generally free from it. In the basaltic terrain the groundwater occurs partly in the weathered mantle and partly in the vesicular basalt and inter trappean beds, and with lack of favorable conditions there is often acute scarcity, particularly in peak summer months. In last two decades water table is found to be decreasing steadily particularly in bajada zones in alluvial terrain. The Lonar crater lake is a saline water lake and there is also some amount of salinity in the direction of the Purna saline tract.
The interesting feature of the Deccan Trap, which is prevalent rock type of the district, is the contrast in the nature of water bearing properties of the different units having secondary porosities constituting them. The massive traps with weathered zones and fractures, the vesicular traps with their minutely interconnected and partly filled vesicles with their primary porosities play role in determining the groundwater possibilities of the different part of the area. Groundwater occurs under both water table and confined conditions in the Deccan lava flows. The near surface weathered and jointed zones of massive trap units and vesicular traps constitute the main water table aquifer. Depth to water table of this zone varies between 3.00 to 16.00 m. The deeper aquifers present are under confined conditions.
Major Projects: 03 (Pen Takli, Wan, Khadakpurna)
Medium Project: 09 (Nalganga, Koradi, Dnyanganga, Mas, Torna, Paldhag, Utavali, Man and Mandava)
Minor Project: 350
Command Area: 68000 Hect.
Irrigation wells: 48,581
Irrigation capacity: 60,000 Hect.
1.Kharif: Cotton, Jawar, Chilly, Pulses, oil seeds
2.Rabbi: Wheat, Pulses, Kardi, Sunflower, Onion
3.Perennial: Sugarcane, Orange, Banana etc.
The name of the district is derived from the district headquarters. Buldhana is probably a corrupt form of Bhil Thana. It is believed that Buldhana, along with the rest of the erstwhile Berar province, was part of the legendary kingdom of Vidarbha mentioned in the Mahabharata. Berar also formed part of the Mauryan Empire during the reign of Asoka (272–231 BCE). Berar later came under the rule of the Satavahana dynasty (2nd century BCE–2nd century CE), the Vakataka dynasty (3rd to 6th centuries), the Chalukya dynasty (6th to 8th centuries), the Rashtrakuta dynasty (8th to 10th centuries), the Chalukyas again (10th to 12th centuries), and finally the Yadava dynasty of Devagiri (late 12th to early 14th centuries. A period of Muslim rule began when Aladdin Khilji, Sultan of Delhi, conquered the region in the early 14th century. The region was part of the Bahmani Sultanate, which broke away from the Delhi Sultanate in the mid-14th century. The Bahmani Sultanate broke up into smaller sultanates at the end of the 15th century, and in 1572 Berar became part of the Nizam Shahi sultanate, based at Ahmednagar. The Nizam Shahis ceded Berar to the Mughal Empire in 1595. As Mughal rule started to unravel at the start of the 18th century, Asaf Jah I, Nizam of Hyderabad seized the southern provinces of the empire (including Berar) in 1724, forming an independent state.
In 1853, the district together with the rest of Berar came under the administration of the British East India Company. Berar was divided into East and West Berar with Buldhana district being included in West Berar. In 1903, Berar was leased by the Nizam of Hyderabad to the British Government of India.
The district was assisting East India company by Nizam following the treaty of assignment of 1853. At the time of 1961 census the district comprised of 5 tahsil having 1225 inhabited villages and 9 towns. In 1991 census, there were 13 tahsil with 1427 inhabited villages and 11 towns in the district.
A few old temples and beautiful picnic spots attract pilgrims and tourist in the district. Shegaon town, which is famous for Samadhi of Shri Gajanan Maharaj, a fair is held twice a year, Sarif Sailani shah miya urus at pimpalgaon sarai, Shri Balaji fair at Deulgaon Raja, Mahasiddha baba fair at Dhanora, are the most important fairs in the district. Few places of historical and tourist important are Lonar, Chandol and shri. Kshetra Nagzari.Sindkhed raja (Jadhav family of which Lakhuji Jadhav the father of Jijabai and the grandfather of the Shivaji, the Great) famous for Lakhuji’s palace, Rang mahal, Lakhuji Jadhav memorial.
Major tribes in the district are Gond, Korku,Bhil and Pardhi residing in the hilly areas of the district. Banjaras reside in hamlets called Tandas. They speak Banjari language while Gonds speak Gondi language. These tribals lead a hard life. The customs are different from other people living in villages or towns.
Some 2,000 people (1991) in the Buldana district of Maharashtra Nihali language a language isolate of India is spoken. Speakers are bilingual in Korku language, Hindi or Marathi language; Warhadi is the local Language of the district.
Balaji Temple at Deulgaon Raja Shri. Sant Gajanan Maharaj Shegaon. Hanuman Murti at Nandura
The lake which was created by a meteor hitting the Earth during the Pleistocene epoch, is a saltwater lake in Buldana district, Maharashtra, India. The crater thereby formed is the only hypervelocity meteoritic impact crater on basalt rock. A lake that evolved in the resulting basaltic rock formation, is both saline and alkaline in nature. Geologists, ecologists, archaeologists, naturalists and astronomers have reported several studies on the various aspects of this Crater Lake ecosystem. Lonar Lake has a mean diameter of 1.2 km (3,900 ft) and is about 137 m (450 ft) below the crater rim. The meteor crater rim is about 1.8 km (5,900 ft) in diameter. The circular depression bears a saline water lake in its central portion. The crater's age is estimated to be 52,000 ± 6,000 years (Pleistocene). It is the second largest impact crater in basaltic rock and is partially filled by a salt-water lake. There is an almost circular depression filled in with brackish water occurring in the lava beds of the south facing scarp slopes of the Buldhana plateau.
The country surrounding Lonar Lake forms a rolling upland at average elevations of 600 m. The country rock in the lake basin exposed along the steep inward slopes of the lake consists of bedded sheets of basalts mostly fine grained and steel-grey in color though individual horizons of vesicular basalts with amygdules of chert, zeolite and calcite occur in between.
Three springs of fresh water are noticed along the scarp slope. The one, which is the biggest, is at the head of the ravine on the northeastern slope at a height of 630 m. known locally as the Dhar, this spring supplies the domestic needs of water supply for the Lonar village. Along the same ravine, at a lower level, just at the base of a red bole layer occurs another spring, locally identified as Sitanahini. The third spring occurs on the southeastern face close to the water level in the lake and is called the Ramgaya spring. All the three springs are associated with the base of the volcanic ash layers and seem to derive their water supply from perched water tables. The Dhar spring seems to be one of the many that occur at this altitude level in the entire neighbourhood.
These springs and the temples beside them have attracted pilgrims from far and near. The mode of formation of this lake is a matter of considerable geological controversy.