Bhandara district derives its name from the town Bhandara which has its origin in the term Bhanara , a place where metal utensils are manufactured on a large scale. The district was under regency administration from 1818 to 1839 & later on the area was controlled under British territory in 1853.The head quarter of the district was brought from Langi to Bhandara in 1820-21.
Bhandara dirstrict covers an area of 3717 sq km and its population according to 2001 census is 11 35,835. As per 2001 census total population of the district is 11,35,835, out of these 5,73,184 are male & 5,62,651 female. The population of the district was from 1941upto 1971 by increased rate but during 1981 this increased rate decreased. Out of total population 85 percent population lived in rural area & 15 percent population lived in urban area.
The head quarters of the district are at Bhandara town. The district is administratively divided into two Revenue Sub-Divisions namely Bhandara & Sakoli.The Bhandara Revenue Sub-Division is administratively divided into four tahsils & Panchayat Samitis namely Bhandara, Mohadi,Tumsar & Paoni as well as Sakoli Revenue Sub-Division is administratively divided into three tahsils & Panchayat Samitis namely Sakoli, Lakhani & Lakhandur.
The district is situated in the Wainganga basin. It lie in between 20o 39’ to 21o 35’ North latitude & 79o 30 to 80o 5 East longitude.It is included in Survey of India toposheet No 55/P, 55/O, 64/C.
Topographically, the district can be conveniently divided into 3 natural divisions as follows:
1. The hilly division Gaimukh and Ambagad
This region is located in the central part of the district to northern side up to district boundary comprises of about 1/3 area of Bhandara Tahsil.
2. The hilly division of Gaikhuri
This region comprises major portion Sakoli Tahsil. It is hilly and has extensive forests.
3. The basin of Wainganga river
The region consist southern portion of Bhandara Tahsil and Western portion of Sakoli Tahsil. Soils in this area are very fertile.
Rain fall and climate:
The district is falls in assured rain fall zone.The rains start in the district form first week of June and last till second week of October. The intensity of rainfall is generally experienced in the month of July, August and September. The rainfall is not uniform in all parts of the district. It is greater in Sakoli and Lakhani tahsil, than in other part of district. Average rainfall during the year is 1376 mm
The climate of the district is uneven and as such there is large variation in the temperature in hot and cold season of the year. Normally January is coldest month in the year, where as May is hottest. Climate is healthy is all part of the district.
Based upon the physical characteristics of the soil, they can be divided in the three major groups,viz
1. Yellowish brown soils of mixed origin on high level.
2. Yellowish brown soils of mixed origin on plains
3. Deep black soils of valley i e Kali
The geology of the district offers a varied and marked contrast to the rest of the State and belongs to the Archeans and Dharwar sediments preserved in the synclinal depressions of the former and highly metamorphosed. Repeated folding and faulting has complicated the structure of the rocks in the area. Rare and sporadic occurrences of the Vindhyans in parts of the district and the basic traps at the higher elevations of the Ambagad range are the only geological horizons outcropping in the district.
The oldest rocks found in the district are the crystalline complex of granite and granite gneiss followed by the mica schists, hornblende schists, quartzite, crystalline limestone etc. of the Saucer series.
The Dharwars belongs to two suites; the highly metamorphosed rocks of the Sausar series which occur in the north-west, mainly in the Bawanthari valley, and the Sakoli series which east.
Rocks occurring in the district may be arranged as follows, in descending order:
Recent- • Alluvium, • Laterite, • Dibase Purana- • Vindyans, • Dharwars Archaean- • Granites with quartz-felsites, • Diorites, • Gneisses
Hydrogeology of the district:
The geological formation of the district comprises of older metamorphosed rocks with intrusives of Archaean age.These consists of schist, phyllites, quartzite, granulites, granite gneisses, granites, andesites, crystalline limestones and rhyolites. These are capped by the alluvial deposits or at places laterites.
The occurrence of groundwater in the metamorphic suits is in the weathered zones. It can be said that the groundwater is restricted to the weathered zones. The groundwater confinement is attributable to the soil layer which normally overlain the weathered zone. However, the thickness of this layer varies to a greater extent hence compactness of soil can not be the main reason for the confining effect. The weathered zone normally consists of weathered to highly weathered metamorphosed rocks, which easily crumble on exposure to atmospheric conditions. The formation of clayey materials in case the argillaceous metamorphosed rock does not permit free circulation of ground water. The groundwater is restricted to the pores and cavities in the rocks formed by the various weathering processes.
In the hard strata the movement of groundwater is through the open fracture and fissures. The wells penetrating large fractures comparatively yield large quantities of water. However, if the fractures are of limited extent the resultant yield is poor.
In alluvial, formations the wells generally range in depth form 8 to 20 m. (inclusive of wells provided with bores at the bottom), in crystalline formation from 6 to 15m. and in older metamorphic form 6to 12m.
The economically important minerals found in the district are Manganese, Chromites, Kyanite-Sillimanite, Corundum, Gold, Uranium Oxide and Iron Ore.
Marathi is local language of the district and rice is the staple food of the people. Several special dishes are prepared from rice flour. Ganesh utsav, Shimga, Diwali, Ramnavmi, Hanuman Jayanti, Muharram are the religious festivals of the people.
In Bhandara district there are no major places of tourist interest. Even then some old forts, important temples built in earlier period are in the district. But these places are not much attractive for outsiders.
Pauni is the headquarters of Pauni tahsil. It was a place of residences of the mythical king Pawan Historical importance of the town made known as some Buddha Stupa, Gateway etc. are found near Pauni town in the excavation. Pauni was a well- known centre of Buddhism in ancient times.
Bhandara district is flood prone district. The Wainganga river affects the Bhandara, Tumsar and Pavani tahsil .