Yavatmal district is located in the eastern part of the Maharashtra State. It is one of the large district of state ranking sixth in geographical area. Yavatmal town is the district headquarter also known as “Cotton City”. District is bounded by 190 26’ and 200 42’ North latitude and 770 18’ and 790 9’ East longitudes. It is included in the survey of India toposheets no. 56 M, I, E and 55 H, L occupying an area of 13,584 sq.km. The district is borderd by Amravati district in North, Chandrapur and Wardha districts in NE Nanded and Adilabad district(A.P.) on South and Akola in West. The district has been divided into 16 talukas, 1856 villages and 365 wadis. It is well connected by roads to the different tahsils and also connected to Achalpur by a narrow guage railway. Yavatmal district has a total population 24,58,271 out of which appx. 85% constitute the rural population. The total area under forest in Yavatmal district is about 201,047.34 hec and social forestry area is about 2863.88 hec.
Yavatmal district is endowed with three major economic resources, viz. agricultural land, mineral deposits and forest produce.The chief major forest produce timber and firewood and the chief minor produce is Tembhurni leaves and Hirda, etc. Jowar and Cotton are the main crops of the district. Other important cash crops are groundnut, pulses (Tur Dal) and soyabean. The chief export articles of the district are cotton and teakwood giving highest revenue to the district.
Yavatmal district is surrounded by Ajantha Ranges in NW and Southern sides. The district has undulating topography. Central portion of the district is a flat topped plateau with steep ghats having elevation of 550 M in NW side and 200 M in SE side from MSL. The plateau is dissected by a number of rivers. There are two major rivers in the district viz, Wardha flowing in NE and Painganga flowing in south. Bembla (Drainage length 29 km) and Nirguda are the main tributaries of Wardha river (Drainage length - 161 km, slope – 78 mtr ie., 0.02%). Pus, Arunavati, Adan, Waghadi, Vidarbh and Khuni are the main tributaries of Painganga river (Drainage length – 453 km, slope – 276.64 mtr ie., 0.06%). Climate of the district as a whole is tropical. The period from June to September is the southwest monsoon and Avg. Rainfall is 912.79 mm and generally increases from NW to SE direction. Temperature rises rapidly by beginning of March till May which is the hottest month wit mean max. temp. 41.80C and the mean min. temp. 28.30C. The heat in summer is intense. Winds are generally light to moderate with some strengthening during May to August. In post monsoon and cold season winds generally flow from east to NE. By March south-westerlies and westerlies blow. In rest of summer season and SW monsoon, winds are mostly from directions between SW and NW.
Geology of the Yavatmal district is varied. Most of the district is covered by Deccan Trap, other geological formations older than Deccan Trap and recent Alluvium occur in eastern and south eastern part of district.
Age Rock Formation Recent Alluvium Upper cretaceous to lower Eocene Deccan Trap with intertrappeans Permian ( Lower Gondwana ) Kamthi series, Sandstone, Shales and Coal Pre Cambrian Pakhal, Vindhyan System, Limestones, Shales and Sandstones Archean Granites and granitic gneiss
Granites and granitic gneisses: These are the oldest rocks in the district exposed in Kharbi and Darati villages of Umarkhed. The granites are pink in colour and coarse grained.
Vindhyan System: Vast areas of Wani and Kelapur tahsils are occupied by Vindhyan System consisting of limestones, dolomitic limestones, purple shales and sandstones. Limestones are dark grey, black to buff coloured, fine grained, jointed horizontally and vertically along and across the bedding planes respectively.
Lower Gondwana: This include thick succession of sandstones, shales and coal seams. Sandstones are seen exposed in Wani town itself. The sandstones are reddish brown coloured, compact, medium to coarse grained and of ferrugenous in nature.
Deccan Trap: These lava flows are extensively capping the district associated with intertrappean beds 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 Zeoloitic and 4) Jointed or Fractured. The inter trappean beds consist of limestones, clays, shales, etc. At some places these sediments are fossiliferous. Also, layers of red bole are also associated with the flows.
Alluvial Deposit: Minor Alluvial deposits chiefly occur along the Painganga, Wardha and Bembla rivers. These consist of yellow and light brown clayey silts admixed with kankar.
The district has rich deposits of coal, belonging to Barakar stage of Damuda series of the Lower Gondwana system. Also, extensive deposits of good quality limestone used in cement industries belonging to Vindhyan system are present in the district. Shahabad stone for making tiles is famous in the district.
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 and the inter-trappean 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 15.00 mtr. The deeper aquifers present are under confined conditions.
The Gondwana sediments especially the Barakars and Kamthis are respectively Coarse grained and medium to coarse grained sandstones have higher porosities. The Motur stage dominated by shales is less pervious to groundwater. In Gondwana groundwater occurs under both water table and confined conditions. Depth to water table of first zone varies between 1.50 to 16.00 mtr. The Shales act as confining aquicludes. The Vindhyan dolomities and limestones have poor primary porosities but are characterised by fracture porosities and solution cavities. The fractures have widened with increase in permeability as a result of karstification. In the Vindhyans, groundwater is mainly under water table conditions and depth to water table ranges between 0.60 to 13.50 mtr. Alluvial formations restricted to river courses are constituted of gravels, sands and clays which are erratically distributed throughout the alluvium. This results in highly variable primary porosities for depending upon sand/clay ratio. In recent alluvium deposits also, groundwater occurs mainly under water table conditions. Depth to water level ranges between 3.00 to 14.00 mtr.
Yavatmal, the name of the district is said to have originated from Yeota and the termination is either the word ‘mal’ or a ‘hill’ or a corruption of mahal, chief town of a pargana. In the Ain-I-Akbari the pargana is called Yot Lohara, Lohara a village three miles to the west of Yavatmal. Yavatmal with rest of Berar must have formed part of legendary kingdom of Vidarbha mentioned in the Mahabharta. It formed part of the empire of Ashoka Maurya reigned from 272 to 231 BC. The district then came under the dynasty of Sunga. A short inscription in Cave XVI at Ajanta gives the name of seven members of the Vakataka family. The Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas left no monuments in the district. Upto 1863 Yavatmal was a part of East Berar district. At the time of 1961 census the district comprised of 5 tahsils having 1629 inhabited villages and 8 towns. In 1991 census, there were 14 tahsils with 1836 inhabited villages and 10 towns in the district.
A few old temples and beautiful picnic spots attract pilgrims and tourist in the district. Ghanti baba fair at Digras, Shri Ranganath Swami fair at Wani and Shri Chintamani fair at Kalamb are the most important fairs. Wani the tahsil place is sitated along the bank of Nirguda river. Shri Ranganath Swami fair at Wani is famous for trade in bullock and other cattles. Kalamb the tahsil place is an ancient village situated on the bank of river Chakravti. There is a famous water tank known as ‘Ganesh Kund’. There are no famous historical forts wort mentioning in the district.
Major tribes in the district are Gond, Kolam, Andh 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. ‘Pola’ is the most important festival in the district and ‘Puranpoli’ is the most popular sweet dish of the people.
The district has given great saints and leaders to the nation. The great saint Grustamad of Kshetra, Kalamb, Khateshwar Maharaj of Jodmoha, Appa Maharaj of Wani, Madhav Maharaj of Patanbori are the famous saints of District. Loknayak Bapuji Ane famous agricultural researcher, Two Chief Ministers of Maharashtra Late. Shri. Vasantro Naik, Late Shri. Sudhakarrao Naik and the great historian Dr. Y. K. Deshpande belonged to Yavatmal district.
Hot Spot :
Hot water springs at Unkeshwar, tahsil Ghatanji and Sulphur spring at Kapeshwar, tahsil Arni at the bank of Painganga river are the point of attraction for the tourists. Also, waterfall at Sahastrakund, tahsil Umarkhed is one of the major tourist attraction.